Hamza Yusuf – EP01 – How the Quran Was Revealed and Compiled

Hamza Yusuf
AI: Summary © The Bible is viewed as a source of guidance for people to learn about the end of time and as a reference to the upcoming return of God. The title provides insight into the Bible's historical and cultural significance, including its use as a reference to the upcoming return of God and its importance as a reference for people. The speakers also touch on the title's historical and cultural significance, including its use as a reference to the return of God and its significance as a source of reference for people.
AI: Transcript ©
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Traditionally, Muslims begin anything that they do that's worth doing. There's a header that says anything we're doing should begin with Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim which is also the actual first statement in the Koran if you open up any of Quran, the very first thing that will be read is Bismillah R Rahman Rahim, which means In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. And Rahman and Rahim are derived from the same root because Arabic words and I'm probably going to talk about this a lot over this course of lectures, Arabic words are built on try literal roots.

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The Semitic languages are route based languages. So Hebrew has the same phenomenon you're dealing with

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a language in which a semantic field or a constellation of meanings emerges out of primitive root structures, which are based on three letters generally, sometimes four. But the vast majority are three letter, which is interesting in terms of cosmology, three is a very interesting number, because it introduces the idea of multiplicity, from the one came the two and from the two k myriad forms. So three is literally the beginning. multiplicity and so the language by its nature, which is almost inexhaustible, in a sense, and couldn't, in reality be considered inexhaustible, is built in the Arabic language on three.

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Now, the Quran itself is a word, which also comes from a root word.

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And there's some differences about it. But generally, in English, it's written like this.

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And now becoming more popular, like this.

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Generally, the word the root words here are, are off.

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And yeah,

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and these are three Arabic letters

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off is really a letter that probably we don't have an equivalent it's, it's, it's done in using something in your throat by squeezing the upper portion of your throat together and ejecting this sound Ah,

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ah, so almost sounds like a crow. But the the second era is similar to our letter R, Ra. And then yeah, at its root, meaning you get the word for city.

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Which is interesting because it brings in the idea of civilization.

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And traditionally, civilizations are built on books.

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The vast majority of human civilizations, you will find that there is fundamentally a book at the core of the civilization. For the Greek civilization, it would probably be Homer.

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And for the In other words, we can't really imagine a Greek civilization without Homer given what we know about the Greeks. Plato is dependent on Homer.

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The playwrights are planning dependent on Homer for the Hebrew people, it was certainly the Telegraph, or their Bible. And this will become the foundational book for the western peoples, the European peoples, the Bible really becomes a foundational book, first in Greek and then in Latin, and ultimately for the English speaking people, the King James Bible. For the Arabs. Interestingly enough, there is no book in the Arabic language until the Quran.

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There's literally no book there an ancient people.

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And yet there is no book in the Arabic language until the Quran.

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Prior to that, the closest thing that you could consider literary was poetry that was done orally. And there was seven ODEs that were quite popular, that were hung in the Kaaba, in the house in Mecca. And we're honored by the Arabs, the pre Islamic Arabs as being the quintessence of eloquence and of the Arabic art form of poetry. So when the Quran comes to these people, this is a radical departure from any previous concepts within the culture, of knowledge and the transmission of of knowledge. There

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The other route that you're going to find in here is

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the word to recite.

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an aura in the Arabic language means two things. It means to read. And it means to recite, so it has an oral, and it has a written quality to it. Now, interestingly enough, if you look at there's a really wonderful book, which I recommend, particularly all of you, since your teachers, if you haven't read it, it's really worth reading, which is called as ferox by Barry Sanders. And this book is talking about the fact that orality is the substratum of literacy, if you do not have an oral tradition, you cannot have a literate tradition. And one of the things one of his complaints is that our culture is losing its orality the oral tradition in this culture is dying out, because of

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television and other forms of media, in which visualization and not orality becomes the dominant means of raising our children. So if you look at children for the first five years of their life, they are oral creatures, they're in the oral world, they're not literate, they're in the oral world. And traditionally what would happen is they would hear stories, and their imaginations would be ignited. And this was something that took place in all cultures. Now in this culture, that reason phenomenon is children being raised in front of the television.

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So the mother is no longer transmitting the oral lore, the child is lore of the culture to these children, but in fact, it's being experienced through the medium of visualization, which is a powerful medium, but it has certain effects. And Sanders believes that that one of the effects is is the lack of humanization that he believes that orality is a process of humanization. The fact that the Arabs aren't oral people is very significant. There, they're an oral people and the Koran is a Koran before it's a book. In other words, the real meaning of Quran is the recital. It is the oral book. And then the next word that the Quran has identified as his key tab,

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which means book,

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and Qatada. The root word means to join together,

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it means to join together. So what happens with the Arabs is that in 570, of the the Christian era,

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a boy is born in Makkah, to a mother who his father dies. Prior to that, during her pregnancy, Amina, and this boy is named Mohammad salatu salam, and during this time, for the first few years of his life, he is sent to the desert, to the oral Arabs, to learn the language through this tradition of the Arabs in raising the aristocratic arrows would send their children to the desert Arabs, because they considered that they were the most eloquent Arabs. And they wanted the children to absorb the language within the first five years of their life. Because they recognize the children that were raised amongst these, these people who spoke a very powerful Arabic would have also strong

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Arabic, even if they spent the later portion of their life in the city. And so during this time for the first 40 years of this man's life,

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really from all if we look at it just in terms of a human life, very little

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matters of significance occur in this man's life.

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By all intents and purposes, one would really say that had the Prophet not reached his 40th year that he would have been known amongst his people, perhaps for one thing only, which was that he was extremely trustworthy. He was a very quiet person, he did not speak much. He did not quote poetry. He was not a poet. He was not known to engage in discourse with the people. He was a contemplative person. He liked to go off and reflect on his own. He was known to be extremely kind to poor people to orphans. This is all mentioned in the tradition. Other than that, he had no aspirations of being a leader within his people, as as some people would he was from an aristocratic clan, but he

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happened to be from a sub grouping within that clan that was on bad times, but he had

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Now, just prior to his 40th lunar year, because the Muslims, when they talk about years, they they're talking about lunar years, which is about 11 days short of a solar year each year. So his 40th, lunar year would probably be about 39 years of age, in terms of solar, little, little less, probably,

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at the age, just before his 40th birthday, he began to see some dreams in the tradition, but he would go off to a mountain, just outside of Mecca, which is called gemba, nor the mountain of light. And during that time, the word that was used to describe what he was doing was to head north, and in Arabic, Hindi is is polytheism. To handle means to avoid polytheism to avoid idols. So he was going out to this place, and he would meditate in this cave.

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And we really don't have a description of the actual practices that he was doing. But there was a tradition amongst the Arabs called the hoonah fowl or the Hanif. And these were people who were inclined towards a type of monotheism, they did not worship the idols they did not believe in the idols, but they did not necessarily speak out against the idols of the Japanese Arabs or the Arabs prior to the Prophet Muhammad's mission. So he would go to this cave and in the 40th year, in the month of Ramadan, he had an experience. Now there are many ways to look at this experience and Western orientalist generally said wretched things about the Prophet, if you read early traditional

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literature coming out of Europe, just really not very nice thing. They've become a lot nicer recently, since oil was discovered in the Arabian Peninsula, there needs to be diplomacy when we talk about people's beliefs and traditions, when you have interests involved there. So Orientals have definitely become that's a cynical way of looking at it. I think maybe there has been some growth as well within the academic community. And certainly the the

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the impetus for attacking Islam prior to that was often based on an almost evangelical type of Christianity that existed particularly within the Protestants in England, the Anglican Church and others, who really felt it their duty to christianize the world there was a very strong ideal that we should civilize the world and certainly the Arabs needed just like anybody else. And then you have a long history within the Western tradition of

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just a type of antagonism between the Islamic forces because they were their world power for centuries. And the Christian forces in Europe. I mean, that tension, really, they were coexisting with a lot of tension, with few exceptions in different places like periods of time in Sicily, for instance, during the time of Rod King Roger of Sicily, where there was a lot of interpenetration going on between the Arabs and the Christians. So in the 40th year, anyway, these orientalist basically would traditionally say things almost like that he had epileptic fits this type of thing.

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The more recent orientalist and not just Orientals, but even theologians like Hans Cohn wrote an interesting book called Christianity and the world religions. One of the things he says in there is that we have to stop speaking derogatorily about the Prophet Muhammad, because whatever was taking place there, it was, certainly, by all accounts that we have a sincere phenomenon. In other words, he's not willing to accept and that's his prerogative, that this was a revelation, but he is willing to accept that the person was sincerely diluted, which is a big difference from simply saying that he was insane, or that he was Mao had mal intention, right.

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The experience was basically this, it's come down in the tradition, that at the age of 40, he was in the cave and a being came to him, it was in the form of a man.

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And he said, fo, this was the first word, fo now if I can be interpreted two ways. It can be interpreted, recite, or read. Now the Prophet Mohammed was not he was neither a reciter of poetry, nor could he read.

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And he said at that point, he said, Man, if your body I don't know how to recite, or I don't know how to read, it could be interpreted both way generally is interpretive. He did not know how to be caught up a second time, a third time. And then in the tradition, it says that he was actually squeezed until he thought that his sides would burst. And then he said EPA, this Mira bacala, the Hara Hara in Santa Monica.

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Era era bucur Akram Allah de Anima para malaman in Santa Monica, Anna, and this is the beginning of this phenomenon that will take place for the next 23 years of his life before he dies. The revelation said, read in the name of your Lord, who created the human being from a

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clinging tissue,

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read in the name of your Lord, the Most Generous, who taught the human being with the pen and taught the human being that which he did not know, that's not a very eloquent translation, but I'm just doing that directly from the Arabic And I'm sure that texts will have a better,

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better interpretation there.

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At this point, the prophet was concerned, he did not know what was happening to him. He went down to his wife and explain to her what happened. His wife comforted him, Hobbesian Cobra, she said to him, she was an older woman, she and her uncle had been a, an Arab who converted to Christianity. She was familiar with revelation. She said,

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You are a good person, you take care of the orphans. You take care of the widows, you take care of the needy, and I don't think something bad would happen to you like this, because he thought that this might be like a, some kind of evil spirit or something. I mean, he really he did feel that

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they go, she takes him to her uncle waterpark, Ben NOFA,

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who had some knowledge of previous books, and he says a very interesting thing. He said, this is the news. Now for people that know GRI. Now most comes from nomos.

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Right? And nomos means the law. So he In other words, he was saying, This is now moves that came to Moosa. In other words, you are being given a revelation, that's what this is. And he told him,

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your people, when they find this out, will become your enemies and drive you from this city. And he said, would they do that? Because he had never done anything wrong to them before that, and he said, they will do that and I wish that I could was a young man that I might be by your side doing this. Now during the next period of time, he begins to get these revelations the next one yeah, you hadn't was a middle?

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Oh, you wrapped because he used to wrap himself when he would meditate, rabbinical, and these revelations begin to come with a regularity. Now the problem Mohammed in a description, somebody said that he said that sometime the revelation came like a bell, like the ringing of a bell. In other words, it was like it began as a vibration. And then it would move into

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two letters and then into the actual words. And it's interesting because if, when you hear for instance, there's a group of letters that many of the chapters of Quran begin with 19 chapters in the Quran begin with these letters are called Matata. And if you hear them recited, they would have been a human, a ship on

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any land.

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Now you can hear the vibratory

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vibratory force there. And this is how some of these revelations were beginning literally like a vibration, moving into the material world, from another realm, according to the Muslim tradition. During this time, he began to tell close people.

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And hadisha is the first person who believes him his wife, which is interesting.

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She didn't, you know, abandoned him, she was right there. And she said, I believe this. His nephew, who was his cousin was living in his house, from his uncle, the son of his uncle, he was taking care of him

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who was a young boy at that time, but he also says that he believes tells him that he believes in the tradition, and then other people from very close people that knew him. aboubaker said Dieppe was a very close person. But at a certain point, he's commanded to warn his family. So he gathers them all together. And he says to them, what would you say if I told you that there was an army

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on the other side of the mountains of Mecca, waiting to attack you? And they said, we would believe you, because you're an amine, you're the trustworthy one. And he said, What would you say if I was a messenger of God?

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And I was sent to you. And they said, We don't believe you.

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And they rejected that. And then

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As more people begin to come into Islam,

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the police began to get worried. And it's very interesting what they said. They said that they said about the moment they said, you said, People lamina, he makes us look stupid.

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Because he was saying, Do you worship pieces of wood and stone that can't hear or speak or benefit you. And so if that bothered them, and there's a, there's an interesting analogy in the Quran, with Ibrahim on Abraham, where he, there's all these idols that his people worshipped. And one night he goes in, he was only about 12, or 13, he goes in, and he smashes all of the idols except for one of them. And he puts the X in, in the big one. And then he leaves and they come back, and they find all their idols Smash. So they say this, Ibrahim was talking about this, they go get it. And they say, Who did this? And he said, Ask the big one. And they said, What do you think we're stupid? He can't,

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he can't say anything. He said, Then why are you worshiping me?

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And then it's a very interesting verse in the Quran says

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they became self reflected.

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Very interesting, they became self. Suddenly they said,

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he's got a point here. Now this became troublesome for them. Because at that point, a window opens, and it can close very quickly, and somebody shouted, get rid of them. Right. And that becomes a mob scene. Yeah, let's not think about this. Let's kill him right?

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Now, there's an interesting German philosopher, who Heidegger, who has a theory about what he calls throne this, that human beings are thrust into a certain environment. And they they literally take on all of these qualities, not based on their own individual reality, but based on what everybody else has told them. And so we learn about them very quickly. And there are certain expectations within the context of them, the other like that we don't belch in public, right. I mean, we learned quickly that there are certain things we don't breach. And they're not things that we chose, they're things that are imposed on us. And obviously, they have purpose. And, you know, we're civilized

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people, right, we don't do certain things. But also, there's a type of what Heidegger felt was a type of inauthenticity that went with that, because people really had reflected about who they were in their essence or, or their essential nature, they were really simply only confirming what had been reflected back to them from their culture and their society. And people that break these models in England, they would be called eccentrics, right? People that don't and the English actually kind of allow for that within their culture that that, that you have to be rich, that's a prerequisite.

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Because if you're poor, they call you mad. So, but Heidegger felt that that a person that had who had never come to terms with this, he called it an undifferentiated person, they really hadn't ever thought that the only reason I am the way I am is because I grew up in a certain culture and environment. And this culture and environment has completely imposed upon me a way of viewing the world, a language that involves a worldview. All of these things are literally superimposed upon us and we submit to them without reflection, by and large. Now Heidegger's solution to it was

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he said, the only authentic act that you could really do once you realize this was died.

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In other words, nobody's gonna teach you how to die, nobody's gonna, you will do that very authentically.

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So he said, you'd become a being unto death, but for the Muslim, and I really think that the Quran really did this to these people. It forced them to look at what Tiger would call their thoroughness. In other words, why are we worshipping these idols? Why are we there in our with our girl or baby girls alive?

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Who is people didn't think about us? It's like, in certain cultures, I mean, in this culture, we have a very serious crisis, where there's reflection on both sides with the abortion issue. I mean,

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you know, there's people say this is wrong, and we hear that then we have to think about it. Whereas in that culture, nobody was there saying it was wrong, they were saying was perfectly acceptable. Now, here comes a man and start saying this is wrong. That's a very strong thing for people who have not given a lot of reflection to themselves or their cultures. So the Orion begins to literally question things very deeply. And the first period which is 13 years is called the meccan period.

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Now during the meccan period, the dominant themes within the Quran are primarily what in Arabic is called Toshi.

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Now Joe heat is sometimes translated as

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which is, I don't like that transition. The actual word in Arabic means to make one, if you translated it quite literally, it would be the making of one. But the word means from a Quranic perspective, is

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worship worshipping Allah for God with absolutely no association in that worship, nothing is associated within that worship with God. nothing whatsoever. And this is if you want one word that will give you the theme of Koran. It's this word. And this is why the Muslims have in the western comparative religious tradition had they had been called radical monotheists.

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More so than the Jewish tradition and more so than the Christian tradition. The Muslims are considered radical monotheists. One, there's absolutely no anthropomorphism in Islam, there is no association of God with creation. And the probably one of the most definitive verses in the Quran about the nature of Tolkien is laser committee shape, there is no thing that like God.

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The early community said, whatever occurs to your intellect God is other than that, the Companion of the Prophet, I will walk up the Cydia, the second kanita are the first one, after the messenger said, your inability to comprehend God is your comprehension of God.

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Your inability to comprehend God is your comprehension of God that is the essence of tawheed. Now, here's where we get into problem. We say if God is unknowable, then how do we know God? Right. Now, it's interesting because within the Christian tradition, the first person to really deal with this issue. I mean, there's probably 2 trillion. You might have some inkling that the first person really to deal with this issue is probably Kierkegaard, who is a very interesting philosophy. Because Kierkegaard recognizes suddenly that the nobility of God, there's definitely a problem there. Now, the way that Christians have tended to deal with that is through Christ, Christ becomes the object

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of Gods know about ability, that God becomes man so that men can understand God. Right? I mean, this is this is an element within Christian theology. For the Muslim, the nobility of God is through the creation itself. And this is why much of the Quran is focused on telling people to explore the creation itself, because the creation is seen as a theater, of manifestation, of divine manifestation, that God is not entering is not incorporated is not becoming, he is not becoming, embodying himself into the creation, like incarnation is becoming the flesh. And likewise, what every walk would like to suggest is that somehow God has created himself nice, fancy PhD word, that

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God became book, right? Which is not true. The Muslims do not look at that even though they do believe that the Quran is an attribute of God, that this part that we have here, we do not say this is God's, you know, God on earth or something like that? No, although we do believe that the Quran is the speech of God and we believe it's the uncreated speech of God

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in the eternal meanings that move into the vehicle of language, the intentions of God, that is the speech of God. So he is a very important theme. The next idea is the idea of Africa.

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And Africa means what comes after it means the end,

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the hereafter. The interesting thing about the Arabs is the Arab did not believe in a hereafter.

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Many traditions have a hereafter the Arabs did not believe in hereafter they thought, this is it. When you die, it's over. And they said, if we're bones and dust will we be brought back to life? The Quran says the one who brought you who praise you the first time is capable of creating

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Your second time. In other words, the fact that you've come into existence one time, a second time, even by our own logic would seem to be easier, because if you've made something one time, it's generally easier the second time around.

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Right? So there's the logic behind that. So the Arabic denied this idea of Africa or the next world. Now, the next world in the Quran is quite descriptive. And traditional Europeans often have a difficult time with it, because it's there are aspects of it that are quite Central. Right, the idea of Gardens under which rivers flow of fruits of maidens and beautiful youth, and these type of things.

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So this

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idea of an alpha is being introduced into the Iranian culture. Now, they obviously had some there, meaning the Christians and the Jews on their caravan routes, and they're hearing about these things, but they really had

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an attitude that was basically characterized as disbelief, they did not believe in some other world, they thought this is it. And for them, the world was

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what they called neuro was probability, manhood, chivalry, poetry, women, wine, this was really the environment of the air. And they praise these these qualities, and they praise these aspects of the world. And much of their poetry is about wine and women. Right? I mean, this is what they were interested in, suddenly, you have a book that's radically challenging that worldview,

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radically challenging it very powerful experience for these people that are forced to begin to think about these things. Now, for the first 13 years, the prophet is persecuted in Mecca. During this time, these people were learning apart, and that was being revealed by memory, the Quran was not revealed linearly, which is important, because it's not a linear book. And that's something if you really want to understand the Koran or be able to read it, you have to surrender your desire for linearity.

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Plato would probably have been able to read the book, Aristotle, definitely not, he would have had a very hard time with this book, because it does not begin in the beginning and end and

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it just doesn't work like that. So in a sense, what the Koran really is demanding for people is that they submit to the book itself. And I think it's very fascinating that the really probably the first verse of Quran after the opening chapter is at Islam mean, three letters, nobody knows what they mean, every commentator on the Quran will ultimately say about these three letters, God knows what they mean.

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Now, it's a very interesting phenomena to open up a book and the first three letters that you read, nobody knows what they mean. And I think part of the message there is to let us know that there's a lot of things that we don't know. And if we're not doing it, we're not going to admit that as a starting point, we're not going to benefit from this book. If we're going to go to the book filled with ourselves, and we're going to superimpose upon the book our own ideas, then we're not going to get anything out of the book. So the book for the 13 years, these meccan verses are being revealed. Now if you look at the the meccan verses,

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they are even though they're 85 of the chapters in the Koran are negative 8539 of them are Medina

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only 11.

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Out of the 30 parts of the put on equal parts are from Mecca, only 1119 are from Medina. So the meccan sutras or chapters are very short. And they tend to fall towards the end of the book, even though they've been revealed in the beginning of this dispensation. So although the meccan verses are the first verses, they are generally the ones that are found at the end of the book, which is very interesting. And when Muslims learn the book by Mark, they will generally begin at the end.

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That's where they'll begin they'll get begin with the last 30th of the forum.

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Now, the next idea that is being introduced, is the idea of what's called Sam

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and Sarah means the end of time.

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Now, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

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He his understanding of himself was that he

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was the first sign of the beginning of the end of the world, the existence of this endemic species.

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He actually viewed himself as the first sign. In other words, all traditions that were based on revelation according to the Islamic tradition, were basically indicating that the human experience will come to an end. And this is why within the,

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the Jewish tradition, you have an apocalyptic vision within the Jewish tradition, you have an apocalyptic vision within the Hindu tradition.

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You have an apocalyptic vision, the Kali Yuga, period, the last period of man, within the Buddhist tradition, you have an apocalyptic tradition. And in many of the more

00:35:51 --> 00:36:26

tribal based traditions within the Hopi tradition, the the colonists katze, the last period in the Hopi tradition, when everything gets out of control within the mind, and all these different peoples had an idea of some apocalyptic end, the apocalyptic ending upon is talked about in terms of a sack, which is the last moment, it's the last moment. And the problem Mohammed talked about signs in the Quran mentioned signs of this time. And so this was also now ultimately,

00:36:27 --> 00:36:43

the end of time for the Muslim in reality is the end of our own individual life. That is our end of time when I die, my worldly time is over. And so in a sense, the Quranic view, was

00:36:44 --> 00:36:55

trying to bring people into a type of presence of the imminence of death is imminent, the death is not something in some distant future. So for 13 years, this was the focus.

00:36:56 --> 00:37:44

After 13 years, the Quran is basically being memorized. And if you live with oral peoples, people that really still maintain these traditions. Now, I know Dr. Suman, Yang, who's from Africa, and knows, in the West African oral tradition, there are people that will recite epic poems of tribe, if they don't recite them exactly as they learn them, then they're literally lose their job. They can't be a storyteller. So the Arabs were people that memorize poetry and related poetry executives from they had phenomenal memories. And I've lived with the Mauritanians in West Africa, whose memories are extraordinary, like the young man who's here with us this phenomenal amount of information that

00:37:44 --> 00:38:22

he retains. Exactly. Now, for people that don't understand this oral tradition, they find it very hard to imagine that he would be able to memorize this entire text, the Arabic text and not make a mistake. Now I can bring that young man here, and I can read the Quran. And I can purposely leave out a verse, and he'll correct me immediately. Now, the other thing that's interesting about the Quran is for people who memorize it, and even parts of it will quickly learn that the Quran is a self correcting book, because it has a very unusual rhythm, that if you find a first moves out of sync, suddenly you're aware.

00:38:24 --> 00:38:37

I've said something wrong. And I'll give you an example of a few. Last week, I read the source prayer. And it was it was a rather long sword that I read. And at the end of it, I said a verse

00:38:38 --> 00:39:19

that is actually out of the fun, but it wasn't the person that went in that place and use almost the same words. And that morning, probably for the next half hour, something was bothering me and I realized what it was, I said diverse wrong. And I corrected myself. Nobody corrected me in the prayer. But I corrected myself. And it's very interesting when when you memorize a lot, because I've tried to memorize a lot of things. But, you know, I used to memorize some poetry, I went to prep school and you had to memorize poems and, and memorize like some piece of Shakespeare and things like that. The really interesting thing about it is is that the Koran, one is facilitated, it's very

00:39:19 --> 00:39:58

easy to memorize. It's not hard to memorize from for many, many people. And the other thing is, it's actually quite difficult to forget it, if you will recite it, within reasonable time limits repeated every once in a while. It's very difficult to forget, but the half is or the one preserved the Quran is somebody who has memorized it by rote. It usually takes about in the Indian subcontinent, they'll do it between a year and a half to two and a half years. In Mauritania, they have more rigorous standards for because they have other things to learn than just rote memorization. They usually take about four years doing it and they do it with their children. The Arab they say memorization in

00:39:58 --> 00:39:59

youth is like

00:40:00 --> 00:40:05

carving in stone. And memorization in old age is like painting on water.

00:40:08 --> 00:40:41

And one of the scholars, they said it's not that the memory is gone, it's that we've got too many worries when we get older children, you know, they don't have to worry. So it all just sticks there. Or as you get older, you're thinking about a lot of other things. So but it's still phenomenal what we never memorize. So during these 13 years, the Quran is being memorized this way. It's also being written by the few people who know how to write it, because most of the Arabs were illiterate. And the Prophet Mohammed said in a sound transmission, he said, We are illiterate people we don't read and we don't calculate.

00:40:42 --> 00:40:46

So he was admitting that about his people. The Quran itself says, Well,

00:40:48 --> 00:40:51

he's the one who said among the illiterate a messenger.

00:40:53 --> 00:41:15

You have to not only is he that he recites to them His signs, we use a key him and he purifies them, we are the one with Kitab hikmah. And he teaches them the book and wisdom in Catalan public about animal being, even if they weren't clear air before that. So the property is seen as a messenger first and foremost, to the arrows who are an illiterate people. Now,

00:41:16 --> 00:42:10

after 13 years of oppression, he makes a migration to Medina. Right? It's actually a flight, it's called the hegira. He, he flees there because actually tried to kill him at that point. And he he goes there and he, many people begin to become Muslim. Now, the discourse, the Quranic discourse, radically changes from the meccan period to the Medina period, you will see a change between these two, the focus of the verses moves away from these topics to the social environment, how to implement once these have been internalized interiorized how are they implemented in social behavior? If you believe in God, what is that going to do to alter your character to alter your

00:42:10 --> 00:42:54

behavior? How will that change you as an individual as a person, so the the focus becomes on character on building a community on building a society. So you will see many of the verses revealed in Mecca begin Oh, humanity, oh humankind. But in Medina, they begin, oh, you who have accepted. In other words, the call in Mecca was to people from amongst those people that were those who responded. And now the revelation is going to focus on creating an environment in which this teaching will manifest at the societal level, not simply at the individual level. And so the next 10 years

00:42:55 --> 00:43:22

are muddiman period for 10 years. You call it the muddiman period. Now, the interesting thing about the Quran is within mechon verses are Medina and verses and within Medina and verses are mentioned is in other words, there are sections because over the 23 year period, according to the tradition of the Sunni Muslims during this period,

00:43:23 --> 00:43:46

it's our belief that jabril or Gabriel was coming to the prophet and telling him the order that the Quran should be in. So it was revealed nonlinearly but now begins to move into a type of sequence. And beginning mostly with the Medina sores in the beginning and the meccan sores at the end.

00:43:48 --> 00:44:03

After 10 years. During that time, the entire Koran is written during the lifetime of the product, but it is not collected together, there is no collection, but during his lifetime, the entire fraud is written in his presence.

00:44:04 --> 00:44:08

And the Muslim don't have any doubt about that the orientalist

00:44:09 --> 00:44:29

the older ones are actually better than the more the more recent ones from Germany. But but they would definitely challenge that claim. But the Muslims would not I mean, this is our belief that, that during that time, now it's 630 to the Prophet Muhammad dies, so a lot is in them. And

00:44:31 --> 00:44:57

at that point, there are even a few revelations right before his death. And we know what they were which versus they weren't. So the Prophet left companions behind who had memorized the entire Quran. And one of them was at the time who the Prophet was commanded to recite the Quran to him and he would listen to it, named the companions and memorize the Quran during this time completely.

00:44:59 --> 00:44:59

At this

00:45:00 --> 00:45:15

points there teaching the people Islam is beginning to spread. Now, in 633, there was a battle called the Battle of DMM. Several, and it was actually fighting people in the next area who had,

00:45:17 --> 00:46:04

there was a man there who claimed that he was a prophet. And a lover sent an army to these people. And there was a battle that ensued, and many of the Quran reciters were killed, people that knew the Quran by heart were killed in that battle. So at that point, in Oman, wants the the entire book to be collected. And he goes to Abu Bakar. And he says, you have to collect this. And abubaker said, I'm not going to do something that the Prophet didn't do himself. In other words, the prophet didn't put it in a book, collected together, and I don't want to do that. And I'll and Omar kept telling me, you have to do this, this is a good thing, you must do this. What if people died, the Quran will

00:46:04 --> 00:46:51

get lost. And he said, finally, he said, I became convinced of that which Allah was convinced that he decides to collect the entire Quran. He gets one of the most learning people of the Quran, seven habits, and he tells him, you need to gather in the Quran I want you to gather for Zen says, How can you do something of a prophet didn't do, they were very worried about introducing, because much of the Quran is talking about how previous revelations were changed. The people came after they changed the teaching of the Prophet. So there was a real fear within the first community of doing anything that their prophet hadn't done. So he continues to date until say, Fine, he says, I realized that

00:46:51 --> 00:47:01

what I will bunker and Omar were saying was true. So they begin to collect it. And they have a criteria. And the criterion is that each piece of the blog

00:47:03 --> 00:47:26

must be brought and had been written in the presence of the Prophet with two witnesses. This is the criteria. And this takes place during that period. It took them a while to do that. And they did this. And there's only one verse, there's two verses at the end of sort of the Toba was the chapter of repentance, that they could not find two witnesses, they only have one Hosanna. Now,

00:47:27 --> 00:47:31

who's a man who was an asari, from the people of Medina.

00:47:33 --> 00:47:51

There is a tradition that says that a man from the people of the book came to the Prophet, and they he disagreed with the Prophet about something, and there were no witnesses, and presenters at all, bear witness for you, a messenger of God. And the father looked at him and he said,

00:47:52 --> 00:48:08

do you do you were you there that you should believe me, and he said, we believe a revelation comes to you from God. So we won't believe you about a business transaction. And so the Prophet said, The witnessing of who's a man is like two people.

00:48:10 --> 00:48:55

And so Hussein was those two verses, which were known by other companions, but it was the written within the presence of two witnesses that they wanted, they were accepted as part in this was made into one must have, and was listened to comes from Sahiba, which is tablets. And it was done generally they use a pirate and, and Gazelle, skin, leather, things like that. Prior to that, they've been using palm risks. And they were using the shoulder blades from camels that are quite long hours to write verses and things like this was suit, they would use a type of thing. And this is how they were writing the work. They put the entire forearm and it was kept Omar jumped in and

00:48:55 --> 00:49:02

then it was given to hustle. Now during the time of growth man, who is the the third candidate,

00:49:04 --> 00:49:21

there is a campaign in Azerbaijan. And during this time, there began to be some differences amongst the, amongst the Muslim about the recitation of paan because one of the things about the Koran

00:49:22 --> 00:49:26

is that it was being written there was no standardized writing.

00:49:29 --> 00:49:33

So the Quran was literally being ready for instance, like this.

00:49:38 --> 00:49:41

There are no dance. What are these, these are called

00:49:42 --> 00:49:51

diacritical marks, there were no diacritical marks, there were no balance. And so the book is like this. So you don't know if this is bad

00:49:52 --> 00:49:53

or if it's

00:49:54 --> 00:49:56

cheap born.

00:49:58 --> 00:49:59

Now because of this

00:50:00 --> 00:50:35

Reason, there were many people who memorize a new way was that there were other people that were beginning to learn it with the sheets and begin to differ. So a man wanted to standardize the writing of the Quran. And this is done 658 the prophets, a lot of guys in 630, to someone with mannequins to set out and standardize the forearm, and again, zayde and three companions prepare, they go back to this most of hassle. And they prepare the plan, according to

00:50:36 --> 00:50:54

recommendations. And one of them was if you differ about anything, then take the lens of apology, because there were different ways of pronouncing words, for instance, that the voice a movement, and the maintenance and movement like that the difference, so there are different ways the correction,

00:50:55 --> 00:50:56


00:50:57 --> 00:50:58


00:50:59 --> 00:51:08

other tribes that were at the center, so you got differences of pronunciation. So man

00:51:09 --> 00:51:42

has this project carry through and then sends copies, identical copies to the various centers of the Muslims and the governor and demands as the head of the Muslim government, that all of the bronze be burns, except these that were based on this writing. Now, this is very early, because I mean, if you look within the, the Jewish tradition, the Bible, the Old Testament is really

00:51:43 --> 00:51:57

it's gathered over about 900 years, basically, I mean, according to modern scholarship, and and you have, you have a, there's four dominant versions, like the ethnicity, the soccer doll,

00:51:58 --> 00:52:13

and you'll get some very, you'll get some big differences. The the within the Christian tradition also, the the final qualification is already 325. When when there's an agreement on the three on the four

00:52:15 --> 00:52:18

gospels, at the Council of Nicea.

00:52:20 --> 00:53:07

the companions of the Prophet himself, were the ones that gathered and did this and they were people who memorized the entire Quran, from the Prophet based on this world tradition. So the Quran itself, and this is really important to understand, that was written for her is not the primary source in which the Paragon is protected, it is protected through oral transmission. This is used one for people who don't memorize the one and two as a crutch for people who memorize it to go back and be reminded if their teachers are there, or somebody else who is in a hospital. But I guarantee you, when they finish a printing of blonde, they send it to people who memorize the Quran orally to check

00:53:07 --> 00:53:26

it, they don't check it against other blondes, they send it to several profile or the the the people memorize the Quran, and they will look at it email it, according to be tells a very interesting story in his Tafseer in his commentary on the Quran, under the words, when the Quran says,

00:53:29 --> 00:53:53

We have revealed that this reminder, and we have taken it upon ourselves meaning guys, it's like a royal week in Arabic. And we have taken it upon ourselves to protect it, even to put it to be says that there was a Jewish man who wanted to find out from the three traditions about their books. And so he took a Torah and he copied the entire Torah in Hebrew.

00:53:54 --> 00:54:37

And he put mistakes in it specifically, he went to arriva. And he gave him the Torah. And he asked me to read the entire Torah and tell him if it was a good addition. When he came back, and then said it was an excellent addition. You know, he knew there were mistakes in it. When he went to the Christian, he did the same thing with the Gospels. And the the Christian also said that it was an excellent addition of the Gospels. He did the same thing for the Koran. And he went to a Muslim scholar and asked him to read it. And he had his mistakes in there. And the Muslim scholar told him when he came back, you have to burn this because there's mistakes in Now, if this is like an

00:54:37 --> 00:54:58

apocryphal story, or Peggy rap, I don't know his historical validity. But I think the point is very well made, that the Muslims really do view the Koran, and rightly and justifiably so as a book that is preserved since this early time now in terms of what exists today.

00:55:00 --> 00:55:12

The Koran, we definitely without any doubt by by even the consensus of orientalist have several parts of the Quran from early first century Islam.

00:55:13 --> 00:55:22

There would be some debate amongst orientalist, whether there's actually an addition of the bond that goes back to this original. Like many addition,

00:55:23 --> 00:55:27

the Muslims would say that there are two, possibly four.

00:55:28 --> 00:55:55

There's a copy now, which is called like somebody can copy or something, which is used to be southern Russia, which is now chickens. And it is definitely a first century but is it one of the original with 90, the Muslims believe it is. And there was also one in Egypt, that definitely goes back to the year 68, after it hit Europe. And without a doubt, it's on Gazelle leather, which lasts an incredibly long time. And then you also have

00:55:56 --> 00:56:09

a an edition, which is in desert in Iraq, which is says at the end of it, and it's written in an authenticated config script from that first period. It's says at the end that this was written by an ID before.

00:56:11 --> 00:57:03

So we believe that we do have original texts from this first period. But even if we didn't, there's no doubt in a Muslim scholars mind and the vast majority of orientalist that have really examine the situation like Ray Nicholson, in his book called the literary arafat history of the Arabs, he was a kindred scholar and teacher of Aj arbury, who translated the Quran or interpreted it into English. Nicholson says, there's really no doubt about the authenticity, the historical authenticity of the Quran. Now, this is not somebody who believes in in the revelation, but he is accepting that the book is intact, in terms of its historical authenticity, that this is a book that his original

00:57:03 --> 00:57:04

community was,

00:57:05 --> 00:57:14

was hearing, and was seeing. And so I'm just going to end it there and open it up for some, just if there's any questions.

00:57:15 --> 00:57:20

We've read today, the introduction, and you've made reference to to about the use of wheat.

00:57:21 --> 00:57:24

When when God is speaking, and you said

00:57:25 --> 00:57:32

that it's like the Royal week, because that's the only interpretation in the Arabic language, it's called a general II.

00:57:35 --> 00:57:46

Which means the plural of the one who's exalting himself. So from an Arabs perspective, if God's using it, it's acceptable. But when an individual uses it, it's arrogance.

00:57:47 --> 00:57:50

And you do find individuals in their world that will say,

00:57:52 --> 00:58:34

you know, we ate a lot today. And he's talking about himself. And it's actually it's considered bad manners. But this is this is the way it's absolutely it's never seen as more than $1. Absolutely not. When absolutely no, I that was that. I didn't mean to imply that. I know, I know. They're interesting enough, like the Mormons, for instance, do believe that the weed in the Old Testament is used to mean a multiplicity of gods. And some of the Christians have believed that we have the Old Testament was used also to indicate the Trinity, for instance, and their mental fitness and in many books, a Christian book for the Jews, the Jews understand the same way that the Arabs do, it's just

00:58:34 --> 00:59:03

a plural that's used majestically. Not know it's a stronger I say no, nothing interesting about the product to me and clearly points this out. I think it's a really valid insight clearly says that one of the interesting things about the Quran is that the shift of perspectives, because sometimes, you know, the Quran is saying, I know that I know there's no God, but I sometimes read it. I hate that there's no God, but you sometimes did. I did I did that one. There's no God. But

00:59:05 --> 00:59:12

he. So it, it's shifting constantly, this change of perspective, sometimes it's plural, sometimes it's singular.

00:59:13 --> 00:59:17

And it's a very fascinating phenomena you have

00:59:18 --> 00:59:19

any other questions?

00:59:23 --> 00:59:23

Uh huh.

00:59:31 --> 00:59:33

And I understood that somebody

00:59:35 --> 00:59:37

would pinch back is like

00:59:41 --> 00:59:55

this, they say that a few of these were stolen. And they also say, interesting, in the Treaty of Versailles, I think it's like in 246, the article 246. One of the conditions of surrender

00:59:56 --> 00:59:59

to the Germans was that they would return that

01:00:00 --> 01:00:08

Like 90 copy of the Koran that was in there trust from the Ottomans. And that's a text that

01:00:09 --> 01:00:16

apparently just disappeared. One of them was destroyed in a fire in Syria, I think in 1898. So,

01:00:17 --> 01:00:18

but I have heard that,

01:00:19 --> 01:00:21

and some of them showed up, and

01:00:24 --> 01:00:28

some of them showed up for sale at Sotheby's cosmic scandal.

01:00:29 --> 01:00:37

When Kevin is described as they're being made in this beautiful attended use, is this to be taken literally.

01:00:40 --> 01:00:41

Yes and no.

01:00:45 --> 01:00:46


01:00:47 --> 01:00:48

or philosophy?

01:00:50 --> 01:00:51


01:00:52 --> 01:00:55

philosophers generally can deal with a yes or no answer.

01:00:57 --> 01:01:19

There's a type of paradox here, one. On the one hand, we don't say that it doesn't not mean that. On the other hand, we certainly don't say that it means, like we understand here, right, the paradise according to the Muslim, it says, the best description of according to Revelation is

01:01:20 --> 01:01:36

one No, I have seen no here has heard and has never occurred to the human mind. So there's an idea that we really can't understand what it is, but we know that it is, it is going to be the greatest

01:01:37 --> 01:02:06

experience of solicitousness. It's called son Adam. And one of the 13th century scholars actually said that, that the sexual, the sexual pleasure was the highest physical pleasure that God has given the human being not the highest mental, because there's higher, but it was the highest. And he actually said that this was to give the human being a taste, just for a moment,

01:02:08 --> 01:02:35

a glimpse of the approximation of the delights of paradise. So the Muslims, I don't think I've ever been like prudish about those types of things. You know, I mean, there's not the problem was not essential, as by any means, and people that say that is a gross disservice to his character, because he was not, and he could certainly have been, and I don't think even had he been, he would not have been vaulted by his people, but he was not. his wives were elderly women, they were widows and orphans.

01:02:36 --> 01:02:38

And, with the exception of one,

01:02:43 --> 01:02:52

thought about the Torah and gospel thing, and are putting these on the stage now first, is a condition on scribes,

01:02:54 --> 01:03:13

which are always hidden, always having stayed put into the Torah. To show man's affection, it would be arrogant for a Hebrew scribe to ever try to say this is perfect, because only God will see this

01:03:15 --> 01:03:54

guy, glad you brought that up. I'm glad you brought that up. I think that's a really good point. We're a sin of arrogance. Because see that Muslims believe that the Quran is the Divine Word of God. And therefore they believe that to put a mistake in it would be of the greatest transgression. In other words, that it is a sacred trust. And in fact, the Koran says that we gave this trust, we offered this trust to the heavens, to the earth and to the mountains, and they refuse to bury it, but the human being born. Now it's interesting, because the according to the Quran, the Jews and the Christians said

01:03:55 --> 01:04:28

that they were given the task themselves of protecting their books, and they fell short. That's what the Quranic version is. But then it says about the Quran, because it's the final one, there would be no profit after the prophet to clarify that there were mistakes. It says that God alone has taken it upon God, the divine to protect this book. So the Muslims actually believe that it is divinely protected for that very reason. And I'm really glad you brought up that point. And I think it's a really, it's a very pertinent point.

01:04:34 --> 01:04:34

When there

01:04:36 --> 01:04:39

is a deliberate mistake, right?

01:04:41 --> 01:04:47

Where the mistakes are worth a lot more than a carpet that's made by a machine in Belgium.

01:04:52 --> 01:04:59

Anything else? I'm curious how many people approximately know the attacker, I would say, it's probably a

01:05:00 --> 01:05:03

It's probably, if not

01:05:05 --> 01:05:08

in the hundreds of 1000s, I'd say it's,

01:05:09 --> 01:05:14

you know, it would be hard to estimate, but I'll document exactly when I was in Mauritania.

01:05:16 --> 01:05:22

The tribe that I stayed with, and there's several 1000 of them, none of the men

01:05:25 --> 01:05:38

do not know the plot by heart every single it's like a prerequisite for that tribe is the tribe that men's from they all member has applied. And the women, some of them memorize the entire blog post and memorize at least like a third.

01:05:41 --> 01:05:42

So that

01:05:43 --> 01:05:54

you can go if you go to Mecca, it's very interesting. When you're at Mecca, there's a million people there, and I feel sorry for the mom, because you got a microphone if he makes a mistake, right?

01:05:57 --> 01:06:04

Don't make a mistake, boom, you just hear voices from all over breaking in and correcting him

01:06:06 --> 01:06:07

from everywhere.

01:06:09 --> 01:06:54

And it's actually teachers get encouraged to do that. You're supposed to give the mom a break. Let him correct himself. But people are so overzealous, you know, it's like a knee jerk response. They hear mistake I made a mistake. And it's an interesting phenomenon at my MOS where I pray there's about seven or eight that are whole fall, which is in America so that that's that's a small number. But you got a Pakistan filled with people in the reservoir, West Africa filled with people of Egypt filled with people that memorize a lot, many answers. Many women in Syria, there's been a recent phenomenon of a women memorizing a lot in Syria, many, many women, Turkey, all over the world you

01:06:54 --> 01:07:00

have many of the best partners are not Arabs. Right? In fact, some of the best from the Asian women.

01:07:02 --> 01:07:02

Uh huh.

01:07:07 --> 01:07:07


01:07:11 --> 01:07:16

If I need to know something, I bring up a bookshop in London, to say to the girl,

01:07:17 --> 01:07:43

is there a shop? And she was memorizing around the customers Yes or no? No, no. Yeah, it's very exciting. It really is. It's very common. I mean, if you're in a mosque, pray, you'll at least have one or two that memorize the entire body, many that memorize large portions of it. And it really it is the book that has created literacy in the world. I mean, it's you know,

01:07:44 --> 01:08:02

if you go to Kashmir, they say that people are illiterate, that the vast majority of people tradition in the Muslim world could read and recite the Quran. And many could understand because Arabic was it was like the lingua franca. It was the Latin and Google's the world's the cyberdata language.

01:08:03 --> 01:08:06

You mentioned last night that your teacher that

01:08:07 --> 01:08:31

has memorizing it was like the seventh version, there are seven variants. Now, I'm glad you mentioned that there's because I just forgot to mention that there are seven variants which are dialectical. In other words, some of the Arabs could not pronounce the prophets like language. And so the Quran was revealed in different variants based on the different tribes and they're all accepted, there's seven of them.

01:08:32 --> 01:08:51

And it's a hadith that read it does not change the meaning by consensus, you will find no doctrinal change in the Quran. For instance, I learned according to my wife, who's the African recite, and there are other people who recite the vast majority of Muslims recite by Alison or house who's originally from Kufa.

01:08:52 --> 01:09:10

If they hear me reciting, and they're ignorant, they might think I'm making mistakes. You see, they might think, but if they're educated, they'll know right away. He's reading a sound variance. So just to give you an example, if I said, in, sort of, in fact, I would say Bismillah R.

01:09:12 --> 01:09:36

Rahman r Rahim. Many kiyomi D in rush in house, Maliki army D. Now madikwe means the possessor of the date of judgment, many key means the king. So the meaning is not changed. They're both they're both the nation right that word. And they can see Well, yeah, the difference here same route.

01:09:39 --> 01:09:55

And the difference would be in the house. There's a there's just a mark right there man at the end in the wash, married like that. So there's only a few differences like that. Yeah, there should be more than pronounciation.

01:09:56 --> 01:09:59

So it's time for the boys to correct

Foundations of Islam Series: Session 1

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