The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran

The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran is an English-language edition (2007) of Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache (2000) by Christoph Luxenberg.

The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran
AuthorChristoph Luxenberg
Original titleDie Syro-Aramäische Lesart des Koran
SubjectQur'anic studies
PublisherHans Schiler Publishers
Publication date
1 May 2007
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
297.1/22 22
LC ClassPJ6696 .L8913 2007

The book received considerable attention from the popular press in North America and Europe at its release, perhaps in large part to its argument that the Quranic term Houri refers not to beautiful virgins in paradise (Jannah), but to grapes there.[1]

The thesis of the book is that the text of the Quran was substantially derived from Syriac Christian liturgy, arguing that many "obscure" portions become clear when they are back-translated and interpreted as Syriacisms. While there is a scholarly consensus Classical Arabic was influenced by Syro-Aramaic, since the latter used to be the lingua franca of the Ancient Near East, Luxenberg's thesis goes beyond mainstream scholarly consensus and was widely received with skepticism in reviews. The book asserted that the language of the early compositions of the Quran was not exclusively Arabic, as assumed by the classical commentators, but rather is rooted in the Syriac language of the 7th century Meccan tribe of the Quraysh, which is associated in the early histories with the founding of the religion of Islam. Luxenberg's premise is that the Syriac language, which was prevalent throughout the Middle East during the early period of Islam, and was the language of culture and Christian liturgy, had a profound influence on the scriptural composition and meaning of the contents of the Quran.[2]

Thesis edit

The work advances the thesis that critical sections of the Quran have been misread by generations of readers and Muslim and Western scholars, who consider Classical Arabic the language of the Quran. Luxenberg's analysis suggests that the prevalent Syro-Aramaic language up to the seventh century formed a stronger etymological basis for its meaning.[3]

Contrary to the earlier assumption of a dialect of Arabic spoken in Mecca, the present study has shown that, insofar as the Arabic tradition has identified the language of the Koran with that of the Quraysh, the inhabitants of Mecca, this language must instead have been an Aramaic-Arabic hybrid language. It is not just the findings of this study that have led to this insight. Namely, in the framework of this study an examination of a series of hadith (sayings of the Prophet) has identified Aramaisms that had either been misinterpreted or were inexplicable from the point of view of Arabic. This would lead one to assume that Mecca was originally an Aramaic settlement. Confirmation of this would come from the name Mecca (Macca) itself, which one has not been able to explain etymologically on the basis of Arabic. But if we take the Syro-Aramaic root Km (ma, actually makk) (lower, to be low) as a basis, we get the adjective akm (mäkkä) (masc.), atkm (mäkktä) (fem.), with the meaning of "(the) lower (one).[4]

A notable trait of early written Arabic was that it lacked vowel signs and diacritics which would later distinguish e.g. ب, ت, ن, ي, and thus was prone to mispronunciation. Arabic diacritics were added around the turn of the eighth century on orders of al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf, governor of Iraq (694–714).[5]

Luxenberg claimed that the Quran "contains much ambiguous and even inexplicable language." He asserts that even Muslim scholars find some passages difficult to parse and have written reams of Quranic commentary attempting to explain these passages. However, the assumption behind their endeavours has always been, according to him, that any difficult passage is true, meaningful, and pure Arabic, and that it can be deciphered with the tools of traditional Muslim scholarship. Luxenberg accuses Western academic scholars of the Qur'an of taking a timid and imitative approach, relying too heavily on the work of Muslim scholars.

Luxenberg argues that the Quran was not originally written exclusively in Arabic but in a mixture with Syriac, the dominant spoken and written language in the Arabian peninsula through the eighth century.

What is meant by Syro-Aramaic (actually Syriac) is the branch of Aramaic in the Near East originally spoken in Edessa and the surrounding area in Northwest Mesopotamia and predominant as a written language from Christianization to the origin of the Koran. For more than a millennium Aramaic was the lingua franca in the entire Middle Eastern region before being gradually displaced by Arabic beginning in the 7th century.[6]

Luxenberg remarked that scholars must start afresh, ignore the old Islamic commentaries, and use only the latest in linguistic and historical methods. Hence, if a particular Quranic word or phrase seems "meaningless" in Arabic, or can be given meaning only by tortuous conjectures, it makes sense – he argues – to look to Syriac as well as Arabic.

Luxenberg also argues that the Quran is based on earlier texts, namely Syriac lectionaries used in Christian churches of Syria, and that it was the work of several generations who adapted these texts into the Quran as known today.

According to Islamic tradition, the Koran dates back to the 7th century, while the first examples of Arabic literature in the full sense of the phrase are found only two centuries later, at the time of the 'Biography of the Prophet'; that is, of the life of Mohammed as written by Ibn Hisham, who died in 828. We may thus establish that post-Koranic Arabic literature developed by degrees, in the period following the work of al-Khalil bin Ahmad, who died in 786, the founder of Arabic lexicography (kitab al-ayn), and of Sibawayh, who died in 796, to whom the grammar of classical Arabic is due. Now, if we assume that the composition of the Koran was brought to an end in the year of the Prophet Mohammed's death, in 632, we find before us an interval of 150 years, during which there is no trace of Arabic literature worthy of note.[7]

At that time, there were no Arab schools—except, perhaps, for the Christian centers of al-Anbar and al-Hira, in southern Mesopotamia, or what is now Iraq. The Arabs of that region had been Christianized and instructed by Syrian Christians. Their liturgical language was Syro-Aramaic. And this was the vehicle of their culture, and more generally the language of written communication.[7] Beginning in the third century, the Syrian Christians did not limit themselves to bringing their evangelical mission to nearby countries, like Armenia or Persia. They pressed on toward distant territories, all the way to the borders of China and the western coast of India, in addition to the entire Arabian peninsula all the way to Yemen and Ethiopia. It is thus rather probable that, in order to proclaim the Christian message to the Arabic peoples, they would have used (among others) the language of the Bedouins, or Arabic. In order to spread the Gospel, they necessarily made use of a mishmash of languages. But in an era in which Arabic was just an assembly of dialects and had no written form, the missionaries had no choice but to resort to their own literary language and their own culture; that is, to Syro-Aramaic. The result was that the language of the Koran was born as a written Arabic language, but one of Arab-Aramaic derivation.[7]

With his approach of research, Luxenberg is a representative of the "Saarbrücken School" which is part of the Revisionist school of Islamic studies.

His proposed methodology edit

  • Check whether a plausible, overlooked explanation can be found in Tafsir al-Tabari (completed c. 883 CE).
  • Check if there is a plausible explanation in the Ibn Manzur's Lisān al-ʿArab (completed c. 1290 CE), the most extensive Arabic dictionary (this dictionary postdates the Tabari commentary by about 400 years, so might plausibly contain advances in lexical insight).
  • Check if the Arabic expression has a homonymous root in Syriac or Aramaic with a different meaning that fits the context.
  • Judge whether or not the meaning of the Syriac/Aramaic root word might make better sense of the passage.
  • Check to see if there is a Syriac word which would make sense of the passage.
  • Experiment with different placements of the diacritics (which indicate vowels, etc.) later added to the earliest text, the rasm. Perhaps there is a version of the rasm that will give an Arabic word that makes sense of the passage.
  • If there is no Arabic word that works, repeat the experiment and look for Syriac words.
  • Translate the Arabic phrase into Syriac and check the Syrian literature for a phrase that might have been translated literally into Arabic; the original meaning in Syriac may make more sense than the resulting Arabic phrase (such translated phrases are called morphological calques).
  • Check to see if there is a corresponding phrase in the old Syrian literature, which may be an analog of an Arabic phrase now lost.
  • Check to see if it is a correct Arabic expression written in Arabic script, but in Syriac orthography.[8]: 34–5 

"Plausibility", "judging" and "making sense" of single word involves looking at occurrences of the same word in more obvious Quranic passages, and looking at Aramaic apocryphal and liturgical texts, which were carried over almost verbatim into the Quran.

Word analysis edit

Quran edit

According to Luxenberg, the word qur'an ("reading, lectionary") is a rendition of the Aramaic word qeryan-a, a book of liturgical readings, i.e. the term for a Syriac lectionary, with hymns and Biblical extracts, created for use in Christian services. Luxenberg cites the suggestion by Theodor Nöldeke "that the term Qorān is not an inner-Arabic development out of the synonymous infinitive, but a borrowing from that Syriac word with a simultaneous assimilation of the type fuʿlān."[9]

Huri edit

The word houri, universally [citation needed] interpreted by scholars as white-eyed virgins[dubious ] (who will serve the faithful in Paradise; Qur'an 44:54, 52:20, 55:72, 56:22) means, according to Luxenberg, white grapes or raisins. He says that many Christian descriptions of Paradise describe it as abounding in pure white grapes. This sparked much ridicule and insult from the Western press who allege that "suicide bombers would be expecting beautiful women and getting grapes."[10]

Khātam edit

The passage in surat al-Ahzab that has usually been translated as "seal of the prophets" means, according to Luxenberg, "witness". By this reading, Muhammad is not the last of the prophets, but a witness to those prophets who came before him.[citation needed]

Ibrahim's sacrifice edit

The verse 37:103, considered to be about Ibrahim's sacrifice of his son, reads when translated into English from Arabic, "And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead". But using Syriac instead of Arabic for almost the same Arabic rasm, "he put him down upon his forehead", changes the meaning to "he tied him to the firewood".[11][12]

Aya analysis edit

The Quranic passage in surat an-Nur, 31 is traditionally translated as saying that women "should draw their veils over their bosoms" (Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary).[13] It has been interpreted as a command for women to cover themselves, and is used in support of hijab. In Luxenberg's Syro-Aramaic reading, the verse instead commands women to "snap their belts around their waists." Luxenberg argues that this is a much more plausible reading than the Arabic one. The belt was a sign of chastity in the Christian world. Also, Jesus puts on an apron (Greek λέντιον, lention) before he washes the disciples' feet at the last supper.[7]

Christoph Luxenberg edit

Christoph Luxenberg
GenreNon-fiction, Islam

Christoph Luxenberg is the pseudonym of the author of the book,[7] and several articles in anthologies about early Islam.

The pseudonym "Christoph Luxenberg" may be a play upon the name of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, the "destroyer of myths,"[14] since Lux (Latin) translates as Licht (German), 'light'.[14] Luxenberg himself claims to have chosen a pseudonym "upon the counsel of Arab friends, after these became familiar with my work theses,"[14] to protect himself against possible violent repercussions.[15]

The real identity of the person behind the pseudonym remains unknown. The most widely circulated version[14][16][17] claims that he is a German scholar of Semitic languages. François de Blois, writing in the Journal of Quranic Studies, has questioned Luxenberg's knowledge of Arabic.[18][19][20]

Reception edit

Luxenberg's book has been reviewed by Blois (2003),[21] Neuwirth (2003)[22] and following the English translation by King (2009)[23] and Saleh (2011).[8]

The most detailed scholarly review is by Daniel King, a Syriacist at the University of Cardiff, who endorses some of Luxenberg's emendations and readings and cites other scholars who have done the same, but concludes:

"Luxenberg's meta-theory of Qur'ānic origins is not proved by the evidence he sets forth in this book. That certain of the Qur'ān's expressions and words (as well as broader ideas and themes) are of Christian origin is well founded, and should in general be sufficient to explain the data presented here without needing recourse to either of the two more radical theories he espouses, namely that the Qur’ān was in origin no more than a Christian lectionary, and that the language which it is written is an 'Aramaic-Arabic hybrid'. More must be offered to convince anybody as to the mechanisms by which such a strong cultural and linguistic contact could have occurred".[24]

The conclusion of King's article summarizes the most prominent reviews of Luxenberg's work that have been published by other scholars.

Gabriel Said Reynolds complains that Luxenberg "consults very few sources" -- only one exegete (Abu Jafar al-Tabari) -- and seldom integrates the work of earlier critical studies into his work; "turns from orthography to phonology and back again"; and that his use of Syriac is "largely based on modern dictionaries".[1]

Robert Hoyland argues against Luxenberg's thesis that Syro-Aramaic language was prevalent in the Hijaz during the time of the Quran's inception, finding Arabic script on funerary text, building text inscriptions, graffiti, stone inscriptions of that era in the area.[25] He further argues that Arabic evolved from Nabataean Aramaic script not Syriac.[26] He concludes that Arabic was widely written, was used for sacred expression and literary expression, and was widely spoken in the Middle East by the seventh century CE.[27] He proposes that "the rise of an Arabic script in the sixth century" was likely the work of "Arab tribes allied to Rome" and Christian missionaries working to convert Arab tribes.[28]

The Quran is "the translation of a Syriac text," is how Angelika Neuwirth describes Luxenberg's thesis – "The general thesis underlying his entire book thus is that the Quran is a corpus of translations and paraphrases of original Syriac texts recited in church services as elements of a lectionary." She considers it as "an extremely pretentious hypothesis which is unfortunately relying on rather modest foundations." Neuwirth points out that Luxenberg doesn't consider the previous work in Quran studies, but "limits himself to a very mechanistic, positivist linguistic method without caring for theoretical considerations developed in modern linguistics."[22]

Dutch archaeologist Richard Kroes[29] describes Luxenberg's book in a review article as "almost unreadable, certainly for the layman. One needs knowledge of eight languages (German, English, French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac) and of five different alphabets (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and the Syriac Estrangelo) to comprehend the book fully. A good working knowledge of German, Arabic and Syriac is indispensable to be able to assess the book. [...] Luxenberg's main problem, however, is that his line of reasoning doesn't follow the simple and strict method that he set out at the beginning of his book."[30]

Conclusive remarks about the book are expressed as "certainly not everything Luxenberg writes is nonsense or too far-fetched, but quite a few of his theories are doubtful and motivated too much by a Christian apologetic agenda. Even his greatest critics admit he touches on a field of research that was touched on by others before and that deserves more attention. However, this needs to be done with a strictly scientific approach. In fact, his investigations should be done again, taking into account all the scholarly work that Luxenberg doesn't seem to know."[30]

A March 2002 New York Times article describes Luxenberg's research:

Luxenberg, a scholar of ancient Semitic languages, argues that the Koran has been misread and mistranslated for centuries. His work, based on the earliest copies of the Koran, maintains that parts of Islam's holy book are derived from pre-existing Christian Aramaic texts that were misinterpreted by later Islamic scholars who prepared the editions of the Koran commonly read today. So, for example, the virgins who are supposedly awaiting good Islamic martyrs as their reward in paradise are in reality "white raisins" of crystal clarity rather than fair maidens. . . . The famous passage about the virgins is based on the word hur, which is an adjective in the feminine plural meaning simply "white." Islamic tradition insists the term hur stands for houri, which means "virgin," but Luxenberg insists that this is a forced misreading of the text. In both ancient Aramaic and in at least one respected dictionary of early Arabic hur means "white raisin."[31]

In 2002, The Guardian newspaper published an article which stated:

Luxenberg tries to show that many obscurities of the Koran disappear if we read certain words as being Syriac and not Arabic. We cannot go into the technical details of his methodology but it allows Luxenberg, to the probable horror of all Muslim males dreaming of sexual bliss in the Muslim hereafter, to conjure away the wide-eyed houris promised to the faithful in suras XLIV.54; LII.20, LV.72, and LVI.22. Luxenberg 's new analysis, leaning on the Hymns of Ephrem the Syrian, yields "white raisins" of "crystal clarity" rather than doe-eyed, and ever willing virgins—the houris. Luxenberg claims that the context makes it clear that it is food and drink that is being offered, and not unsullied maidens or houris.[32]

In 2003, the Pakistani government banned a 2003 issue of Newsweek's international edition discussing Luxenberg's thesis on grounds that it was offensive to Islam.[33]

Francois de Blois has postulated that Luxenberg is not German, rather a Lebanese Christian. He believes that the individual is a dilettante whose Syro-Aramaic reading "does not actually make better sense" than the standard classical Arabic reading. He notes that the theory is not novel, rather Luxenberg seems to adapt earlier works by James A. Bellamy and Günter Lüling without citing them in his bibliography, which "poses questions about [his] scholarly integrity." He posits that Luxenberg has an articulate knowledge of dialectal Arabic, passable (though flawed) command of classical Arabic, and a basic (though "very shaky") command of Syriac. He ultimately concludes that German academics have no reason to hide their identity,[20]

It is necessary, in conclusion, to say a little about the authorship, or rather the non authorship, the pseudonymity of this book. An article published in the New York Times on 2nd March 2002 (and subsequently broadly disseminated in the internet) referred to this book as the work of 'Christoph Luxenberg, a scholar of ancient Semitic languages in Germany'. It is, I think, sufficiently clear from this review that the person in question is not 'a scholar of ancient Semitic languages'. He is someone who evidently speaks some Arabic dialect, has a passable, but not flawless command of classical Arabic, knows enough Syriac so as to be able to consult a dictionary, but is innocent of any real understanding of the methodology of comparative Semitic linguistics. His book is not a work of scholarship but of dilettantism [amateur].[20]

The NYT article goes on to state that 'Christoph Luxenberg ... is a pseudonym', to compare him with Salman Rushdie, Naguib Mahfouz and Suliman Bashear and to talk about 'threatened violence as well as the widespread reluctance on United States college campuses to criticize other cultures'. I am not sure what precisely the author means with 'in Germany'. According to my information, 'Christoph Luxenberg' is not a German, but a Lebanese Christian. It is thus not a question of some intrepid philologist, pouring over dusty books in obscure languages somewhere in the provinces of Germany and then having to publish his results under a pseudonym so as to avoid the death threats of rabid Muslim extremists, in short an ivory-tower Rushdie. Let us not exaggerate the state of academic freedom in what we still like to call our Western democracies. No European or North American scholar of linguistics, even of Arabic linguistics, needs to conceal his (or her) identity, nor does he (or she) really have any right to do so. These matters must be discussed in public. In the Near East things are, of course, very different.[20]

Blois (2003) is particularly scathing, describing the book as "not a work of scholarship but of dilettantism" and concluding that Luxenberg's "grasp of Syriac is limited to knowledge of dictionaries and in his Arabic he makes mistakes that are typical for the Arabs of the Middle East."[21]

Walid Saleh (2011) describes Luxenberg's method as "so idiosyncratic, so inconsistent, that it is simply impossible to keep his line of argument straight."[8]: 51  He adds that according to Luxenberg, for the last two hundred years, Western scholars "have totally misread the Qur'ān" and that, ad hominem, no one can understand the Qur'an as "Only he can fret out for us the Syrian skeleton of this text."[8]: 56  Summing up his assessment of Luxenberg's method, he states:

The first fundamental premise of his approach, that the Qur'ān is a Syriac text, is the easiest to refute on linguistic evidence. Nothing in the Qur'ān is Syriac, even the Syriac borrowed terms are Arabic, in so far as they now Arabized and used inside an Arabic linguistic medium. Luxenberg is pushing the etymological fallacy to its natural conclusion. The Qur'ān not only is borrowing words according to Luxenberg, it is speaking a gibberish language.[8]: 55 [34]

Saleh further attests[8]: 47  that Luxenberg does not follow his own proposed rules.[35]

Richard Kroes (2004) says that "Even his (Luxenberg's) greatest critics admit he touches on a field of research that was touched on by others before and that deserves more attention. However, this needs to be done with a strictly scientific approach. In fact, his investigations should be done again, taking into account all the scholarly work that Luxenberg doesn't seem to know." and mentions that he is "unaware of much of the other literature on the subject" and that "quite a few of his theories are doubtful and motivated too much by a Christian apologetic agenda."[18]

Patricia Crone, professor of Islamic history at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in a 2008 article at admitted that the Quran language is obscure and that "Sometimes it uses expressions that were unknown even to the earliest exegetes, or words that do not seem to fit entirely, though they can be made to fit more or less; sometimes it seems to give us fragments detached from a long-lost context; and the style is highly allusive." Still she refers to Luxenberg's work as "open to so many scholarly objections" and "notably amateurism".[36]

Work of Christoph Luxenberg edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Reynolds, "Quranic studies and its controversies", 2008: p.16
  2. ^ Giving the Koran a history: Holy Book under scrutiny / Critical readings of the Muslim scripture offer alternative interpretations of well-known passages Archived 2007-05-20 at the Wayback Machine, Lebanon Daily Star (July 12, 2003): "Luxenberg asserts that Koranic Arabic is not Arabic at all, at least not in the sense assumed by the classical commentators. It is written, rather, in the dialect of the Prophet's tribe, the Meccan Quraysh, and heavily influenced by Aramaic. Luxenberg's premise is that the Aramaic language—the lingua franca of the Prophet Mohammed, the language of culture and Christian liturgy—had a profound influence on the Koran. Extensive borrowing was necessary simply because at the time of the Prophet, Arabic was not yet sophisticated enough for scriptural composition."
  3. ^ Stille, Alexander (2 March 2002). "Scholars Are Quietly Offering New Theories of the Koran". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Luxenberg 2007, p. 327.
  5. ^ Dietrich 1971, p. 41.
  6. ^ Luxenberg 2007, p. 9.
  7. ^ a b c d e "The Virgins and the Grapes: the Christian Origins of the Koran". Archived from the original on April 17, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Walid Saleh, The Etymological Fallacy and Quranic Studies: Muhammad, Paradise, and Late Antiquity in: The Qur’an in Context, ed. Angelika Neuwirth, Brill (2011).
  9. ^ Theodor Nöldeke, Geschichte des Qorâns (1860), cited in Luxemburg (2007), p. 70.
  10. ^ "Virgins? What virgins?". The Guardian. 2002-01-12.
  11. ^ Luxemberg, Die Syro-aramaische Lesart des Koran, 254-94
  12. ^ Reynolds, "Quranic studies and its controversies", 2008: p.16-17
  13. ^ "CRCC: Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement: Resources: Religious Texts". Archived from the original on 2008-12-08.
  14. ^ a b c d "Keine Huris im Paradies" (in German). Die Zeit. 2003-05-15.
  15. ^ "Low profile for German Koran challenger". Reuters. 2004-11-11. Archived from the original on 2007-01-07.
  16. ^ "Radical New Views of Islam and the Origins of the Koran". New York Times. 2002-02-02. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013.
  17. ^ Stille, Alexander (2002-03-02). "Scholars Are Quietly Offering New Theories of the Koran". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-04-06.
  18. ^ a b Richard Kroes. "Missionary, dilettante or visionary?". Livius – Articles on Ancient History. Archived from the original on 2012-08-19.
  19. ^ François de Blois (2003). "Review of "Die syro-aramäische Lesart..."". Journal of Qur'anic Studies. 5 (1): 92–97 (mirrored at Aismika Allahuma – Muslim responses to Anti-Islam-Polemics).
  20. ^ a b c d DE BLOIS, FRANÇOIS; ﺩﻱ ﺑﻠﻮﺍ, ﻑ. (2003). "Review of Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran. Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache / ﻗﺮﺍﺀﺓ ﺳﺮﻳﺎﻧﻴﺔ ﺁﺭﺍﻣﻴﺔ ﻟﻠﻘﺮﺁﻥ". Journal of Qur'anic Studies. 5 (1): 92–97. ISSN 1465-3591. JSTOR 25728097.
  21. ^ a b Review by François de Blois Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 2003, Volume V, Issue 1, pp. 92-97.
  22. ^ a b "Qur'an and History - A Disputed Relationship. Some Reflections on Qur'anic History and History in the Qur'an", Journal of Qur'anic Studies, 2003, Volume V, Issue I, pp. 1-18 (excerpts at
  23. ^ "King, Daniel "A Christian Qur'an? A Study in the Syriac Background of the Qur'an as Presented in the Work of Christoph Luxenberg," JLARC 3, 44-71 (2009)" (PDF). School of History, Archaeology and Religion. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  24. ^ King, Daniel (2009). "A Christian Qur'ān? A Study in the Syriac background to the language of the Qur'ān as presented in the work of Christoph Luxenberg". Journal for Late Antique Religion and Culture. 3: 71. doi:10.18573/j.2009.10300.
  25. ^ Hoyland, "Epigraphy and the Linguistic Background to the Quran", 2008: p.53-56, 61-64
  26. ^ Hoyland, "Epigraphy and the Linguistic Background to the Quran", 2008: p.60-61
  27. ^ Hoyland, "Epigraphy and the Linguistic Background to the Quran", 2008: p.63-64
  28. ^ Hoyland, "Epigraphy and the Linguistic Background to the Quran", 2008: p.57-60
  29. ^ "Richard Kroes". Livius. Retrieved 26 Mar 2015.
  30. ^ a b Kroes, Richard. "Review of Ch. Luxenberg, 'Die Syro-Aramäische Lesart des Qur'an'". Archived from the original on 2012-08-19.
  31. ^ Stille, Alexander (2 March 2002). "Scholars Are Quietly Offering New Theories of the Koran". The New York Times.
  32. ^ Warraq, Ibn (12 January 2002). "Virgins? What virgins?". the Guardian.
  33. ^ "What Does The Quran Really Say?". CBS News.
  34. ^ (Italics in source)
  35. ^ Saleh additionally states that "The etymology of a word is a poor indication of what it means in a new context." He refers to Paul V. Mankowski's Akkadian Loanwords in Biblical Hebrew (Winona Lakes: Eisenbrauns, 2000), 1–13 and quotes M O'Conor's article "The Arabic Loanwords in Nabatean Aramaic" JNES 45 (1986), 215: "[T]he fundamental difficulty of all intra-Semitic language study: there is a common stratum of vocabulary and grammatical structure which makes it impossible to assign many words and formants to a particular language. Op cit, p. 55.
  36. ^ Crone, Patricia (31 August 2006). "What do we actually know about Mohammed?". Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009.

Bibliography edit

External links edit

Academic press edit

Popular press edit