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adhahireen = paulianity?

This is a discussion on adhahireen = paulianity? within the Islamic Theology and Ideology forums, part of the Islamic Knowledge category; As-salamu 'alaykum, I have a lot of thoughts on thes issue of the Qur'an's view of the Torah and Gospel, ...

  1. #1
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    Default adhahireen = paulianity?

    As-salamu 'alaykum,


    I have a lot of thoughts on thes issue of the Qur'an's view of the
    Torah and Gospel, which is an important one, so I'd like to share
    them with you sometime, insha'llah.


    Somewhere on your blog I read a (mis)use of Qur'an 61:14 and a
    response to this attempted misapplication. Christian apologists try to
    use this verse to show that the Qur'an confirms that the disciples of
    Jesus whose message won out over the others (i.e. Matthew, Mark, Peter,
    John, James) were the true Christians. Therefore, since these disciples
    also believed in the Divinity of Jesus...then Muslims are in a bind
    since the Qur'an seems to be either in error-and may God save us
    from all that-or confirming that Trinitarian Christians are the true
    Christians.


    The confusion here-whether deviously intentional or otherwise-comes
    from the last word in Qur'an 61:14, which is "aZHaahireen". This
    last phrase of the ayah in question has been variously translated as
    "...they became the ones that prevailed" (Yusuf Ali); "...they
    became the uppermost" (Pickthall); "...and they became uppermost"
    (Shakir); and "...and they became the uppermost" (Hilali/Khan).
    However, a quick look at "Lisan al-'Arab", or Lane's Lexicon,
    shows that the root ZH-Ha-Ra has many, many meanings. Indeed, in
    Lane's Lexicon entries for this root amount to just shy of five
    pages!!!


    Some of the main meanings of this word are "emerged", "became
    distinct from", "became manifest", "helpers" and
    "apparent". Indeed, when learning about the interpretation of
    Qur'an and hadith, we are often taught we should interpret a verse
    with its "ZHahir", meaning it's "manifest" meaning, unless
    there's a compelling reason to do otherwise. Even though I've only
    looked at Tafsir al-Jalalayn so far (and I plan to check the other
    major tafasir this evening, insha'llah), it seems to me that a more
    accurate (or at least another acceptable) translation would be that
    "...they were made distinct" (i.e. they were made distinct, or
    manifest from, their enemies from the Bani Isra'il who disbelieved).


    This understanding of the verse could have multiple correct meanings:


    1) They were distinct group from the Jews who rejected Jesus (as)
    during his lifetime;
    2) They were distinct group from Jews who oppressed them after Jesus'
    (as) ascension;
    3) They were distinct group from all other groups of disbelieving Jews,
    including Saul of Tarsus and others.


    However, in conjunction with the above it could also mean:


    1) They were those who followed the "manifest", as opposed to
    ambiguous, teachings of Jesus (as), as distinct from others who
    disbelieved since they didn't adhere to the manifest. Is there a more
    succinct and accurate description of what went wrong with Trinitarian
    Christianity than this (i.e. the focused on ambiguous verses in order
    to prove their doctrines, while ignoring the manifest)?!?!? I'm sure
    that some more research into how the Qur'an employs words based on
    the root ZH-Ha-Ra would add further useful details to this.


    In short, the Qur'an is telling us here just what the Christians
    don't want to hear...but what history bears out. History has
    preserved the fact that the true followers of Jesus, which still
    practiced the Law and were led by James in Jerusalem, were a distinct
    and manifestly different group from others like Saul of Tarsus.


    Now "distinct" and "manifest from" related to "their
    enemies", which brings up the question whether it means ALL of their
    enemies or just their enemies amongst the Bani Isra'il, which is the
    context of the ayah. Either way would work actually, but we should bear
    in mind that (St.) Paul's message, with all of its ambiguity in
    regards to Divinity, failed amongst the monotheistic Jews and only
    succeeded amongst polytheistic pagans.


    That's all I have time for now, but please shoot me an email if you
    wish. I would have sent you one but couldn't find it on your page...


    Wasalam,


    Abdurrahman R. Squires

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    Default Re: adhahireen = paulianity?


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