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Featured Mohamed's extermination of the Banu Quraiza.

Discussion in 'Quranic Debates' started by stevecanuck, Nov 27, 2022.

  1. rational experiences

    rational experiences Veteran Member

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    Egyptian culture origin family.

    Did technology as human choice temple science... enslaved family. Weren't named Jews then.

    No tribes all the same culture. Evil star fall changed brain maybe million years ago. Enslavement of family.

    Moses teachings adopted the old Egyptian advices in evolving consciousness. Warned.

    Evolution.

    Sex. Is family life.

    Different family tribes emerge. Memories of old emerge.

    Allah...love honour abide all things once like Buddhism.

    Changes occur. Mind changes after Romans Jewish built new technology. The temple.

    Once Muslims were against rebuilding science temple. Then they agreed. History of men who conspired for greed.

    Tribal groups began blaming each other for past evil choices. Teachers changed leadership's...stopped following the holy teachings. As readings.

    Interpret the teaching incorrectly.

    Murder other humans claiming they were told to by documents is leadership in review.

    Actually.
     
  2. rational experiences

    rational experiences Veteran Member

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    Theme if they were rebuilding a temple of worship the Muslims may have taken the idea as follows....

    Judas not allowed back in holy ground Egyptian culture to build science again. Law said so as legal from Jesus agreement sacrificed son of God life.

    Probably were just building a temple of worship. Would be why they killed young men too. Humans hurting humans wrong.
     
  3. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Well you might first ask yourself why you think they would have adopted such an approach, but you never seem all that interested in the actual history, just what you want it to be.

    You also like to point out that the text wouldn't be consistent if taken purely literally, and seeing as this wasn't a problem for Muslims, it's pretty clear that they didn't.

    Overall though:

    Firstly, literalism generally doesn't make any sense early on in religions as traditions are fluid and evolving, and orthodoxy emerges much later. You don't seriously think Islam emerged fully formed and remained so from that date do you?

    Secular history shows that people conquered by early Muslims don't really notice they have a new religion, the shahada mentioning Muhammad doesn't appear in the historical record for the best part of a century, the extent to which the Quran was codified and it's role within the early community is unknown. As we've seen, things like the Treaty of Medina clearly show they didn't take verses like the one you quoted literally (if indeed they were aware of it).

    In short, there isn't a stable tradition to take literally.

    The evidence from the early pre-Shafii texts is, then, that the whole legal enterprise was not reified, and thereby forced into a coherent framework. Since it is within these discussions that a theory of literal meaning might emerge, it is perhaps not surprising that early juristic writings contain no detailed or subtle understanding of the operation of language, expressed explicitly or implicitly, in which a notion of literal (or textual) meaning might sit.
    Literal Meaning in Early Islamic Legal Theory - R Gleave

    We could also note the fact that early exegetes clearly don't know how to interpret many verses (Tabari for example often notes 5-10 contradictory interpretations of passages).

    We could note that scholars rely heavily on the sirah and hadith to interpret and contextualise, these verses which clearly goes against a rank literalism. Even more so given these sources were often disputed within Muslim communities

    Then we can look at the fact that something approaching Orthodox Sunni Islam only several centuries later, and that the Caliph had an important role in creating early doctrine (See Crone & Hinds - God's Caliph)

    The name “Sunni” derives from a technical term that we have already encountered: “Sunna.” When the term “Sunna” appears in Islamic legal theory, it is used in a more restrictive sense to refer to the normative life of Muhammad that was constructed and imagined as authoritative by later generations...

    The name “Sunni” abbreviates a phrase that better clarifies the Sunni movement’s ideological parameters: “ahl al-sunna waʾl-jamaʿa” (the People of the Tradition [of Muhammad] and the Community). As with Shiʿism, however, it is imperative that we not regard this tradition as emerging fully formed at the time of Muhammad. On the contrary, it took time to develop, often in relationship to a series of legal and theological disputes, certain answers to which would emerge as “orthodox.” Although many of these answers would at a later date be taken to have existed at the time of Muhammad, there is no clear evidence that they did.

    Sunni Islam is defined not by its allegiance to a particular individual (e.g., Ali and the ahl al-bayt) or institution (e.g., the Imamate), as Shiʿism is, but by following one of the four authentic schools of law that are envis- aged as representing the true elaboration of Muhammad’s Sunna. These schools took generations to develop and were done so largely by means of a group of legal scholars (ulama; sing., alim), whose main concern was to determine what obedience to God should mean in a daily context.3 The product of their collective efforts is the sharia, literally the “path” or “way” that Muslims should follow. Muslim Identities: An Introduction to Islam - M White



    The fluidity of early religion is one of the reasons you need to think a bit more critically regarding the accuracy of the theological narrative.
     
  4. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I get this far and stop reading. Is there, or is there not, a number of secular historians who doubt that the Banu Quraiza were slaughtered by Mohamed's men?
     
  5. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    As I said, the more pertinent question is, even if there is a rough historicity, why do you believe that it happened in anything like the manner you take as highly accurate given it's quite obviously not recorded as factual history and serves a theological purpose.

    So, regarding the sources that record the event written by a secular historian:

    The contrast can be seen more clearly when specific examples are analyzed in their larger context, such as the two authors' accounts concerning the raid on the B. Qaynuqac, the exile of the B. Nadir, and the raid on the B. Qurayza. These events constitute a unit within the structural framework of the maghazi and indicate Muhammad's relations with the Medinan Jews-in mythical terms, the hero's journey away from home to prove himself.66 Although these tribes were not the only Jews in Medina, they were certainly the most significant, and Muhammad is depicted as having been responsible for bringing about their destruction. The way this happened is explained differently by Ibn Ishaq and al-Waqid

    Ibn Ishaq represents Muhammad's conflict with the Jews of Medina in a truly eclectic fashion: with the B. Qaynuqac, we have the Prophet inviting the Jews to Islam in typical Biblo-Qur'anic manner; with the B. Nadir, Ibn Ishaq introduces instead the universal mythical pattern of stone-throwing, for we see the B. Nadir plan to drop a rock upon Muhammad in order to kill him;67 and with the B. Qurayza, we see borrowing from the tales of the ayyam, in particular a story which told of how the B. Qurayza had been massacred by Malik ibn Ajlan in the days of the Jahiliya.68 A story similar to this last example is also related regarding the Christians of Naj- ran, who were said to have been massacred according to some pre-Islamic tradi- tions cited by Ibn Ishaq.69 In his depiction of the actual destruction of the tribes, Ibn Ishaq uses a combination of mnemonic and Biblo-Qur'anic patterns: the community that rejects Muhammad is obliterated in so decisive a fashion that not only are the better-prepared Jews defeated by the smaller Muslim forces, but none of the Jewish tribes is ever heard of again. As for the actual means of Muhammad's victory, the violence against the Jews is depicted as having escalated from forced submission to exile and execution.


    Al-Waqidi, for his part, plays with Ibn Ishaq's account, using repetition, a change of chronology, and new material (as is his wont) to weave a motif about the Jews' abrogation of the agreement with Muhammad. This, too, is an age-old biblical theme: the Jews had not kept their covenant with God. But al-Waqidi does not stop here. He takes aspects of the B. Nadir incident depicted by Ibn Ishaq and presents them during the raid on the B. Qaynuqac as well, so that the hypocrisy of Ibn Ubay is repeated, as is the notion of the exile of the Jews. Through repetition al-Waqid emphasizes that the Prophet is honest by character; he is a man who keeps his agreements but is forced to attack the Jews because they have abrogated theirs. As for the Jews, they are portrayed as predictably unfaithful. By emphasizing the writing of agreement with the significant Jewish communities, al-Waqidi introduces his own interpretation of these events. A close comparison of the texts of Ibn Ishaq a al-Waqidi is necessary to appreciate more fully the contrived nature of this art form...

    In the works of both compilers, the chronology of events is artificial and imposed; it is based on the purposes of the compiler and the interpretation that he desires to impose on this material rather than on a search for factual data.

    Muhammad and the Medinan Jews: A Comparison of the Texts of Ibn Ishaq's Kitab Sirat Rasul Allah with al-Waqidi's Kitab al-Maghazi - Rizwi S. Faizer


    So, as a non-Muslim, why do you take what is clearly a theological narrative as highly accurate historical fact?
     
  6. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Of course there are, as you should know if you have studied the topic for decades.

    As well as those who are sceptical about the details, but think there are kernels of underlying truth, there are those who doubt the whole sirah tradition, let alone the Banu Qurayza narrative:

    This brief sketch of the events of Muhammad's life, although in many ways plausible (and probably in some respects accurate), is nevertheless vexing to the historian. The problem is that this detailed picture of Muhammad's career is drawn not from documents or even stories dating from Muhammad's time, but from literary sources that were compiled many years--sometimes centuries- later... and shaped with very specific objectives in mind... There is also reason to suspect that some--perhaps many--of the incidents related in these sources are not reliable accounts of things that actually happened but rather are legends created by later generations of Muslims to affirm Muhammad's status as prophet, to help establish precedents shaping the later Muslim community's ritual, social, or legal practices, or simply to fill out poorly known chapters in the life of their founder, about whom, understandably, later Muslims increasingly wished to know everything.

    Further, some episodes that are crucial to the traditional biography of Muhammad look suspiciously like efforts to create a historicizing gloss to particular verses of the Qur'an; some have suggested, for example, that the reports of the raid on Nakhla were generated as exegels of Q. 2.217... Other elements of his life story may have been generated to make his biography conform to contemporary expectations of what a true prophet would do (for instance, his orphanhood, paralleling that of Moses, or his rejection by and struggle against his own people, the tribe of Quraysh)...

    These well-founded concerns about the limitations of the traditional Muslim accounts of Muhammad's life have caused some scholars to conclude that everything in these accounts is to be rejected.

    Fred Donner - Muhammad and the believers

    If you doubt his credentials to discuss scholarly positions on the issue: Fred Donner - Wikipedia

    (In case it needs to be said, obviously people who doubt the whole tradition reject the BQ massacre)
     
  7. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Here is what the vast majority of accounts agree on in general (even if actual details may vary):

    1. When Mohamed moved to Yathrib there were 3 major Jewish tribes there.
    2. After about five years there were none, and Yathrib was now under Mohamed's rule.

    Do you agree with that?
     
  8. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Is this whole discussion moot? After all, here we are 1400 years later dealing with barbarians who believe every word of the Qur'an and, depending on whether they're Sunni or Shia, selected hadith on which they are acting to the detriment of the whole world.
     
  9. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    ..and here we are again with some western attitude of "saracens" are barbarians. :rolleyes:

    You are just looking for trouble, imo.
    If you really want peace, then you won't attack Muslims like you do.
    You certainly do not care about whether God exists, and pursue an agenda of enmity.
    If you really wanted to destroy Islam, you would probably be more successful if you were more subtle. You probably would like to see the whole world hating and killing each other .. no different from what satan is looking for.
     
  10. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    All of the accounts are based on a small number of sources writing centuries later. All the Gospels agree Jesus fed 5000 people miraculously and they were written far closer to events than these accounts.

    While we can never be sure, what I think (and have already supported with evidence):

    1. There were Jews in Yathrib, although the historical context was almost certainly different from the theological one and must be viewed in context of Byzantine/Persian politics and Jewish/Christian tribal warfare. If we look at the Quran's concern for Christology, we have to assume Christians have been edited out of the sirah narrative. Which lead us to question why them? Why do the Jews remain?
    2. Narratives about both Muhammed and the Jews serve a theological purpose and are contrived around this.
    3. Timelines are contrived and cannot be trusted. Much of the sirah/"time of revelation" literature is contrived to explain/contextualise ambiguous parts of the Quran.
    4. Proto-Muslims, Jews and Christians all participated in the Arab conquests
    5. The same sources that record the 'history' you are relying on are even more unanimous on stuff you don't think happened splitting the moon or the night journey (both presumably examples for point 3 btw)

    Any of this you disagree with? If so, why?

    No, it's not moot.

    If it's about what Muslims think, then they believe a) it wasn't his decision, and b) the punishment was justified as the BQ were traitors and were punished fairly according to the laws of tribal warfare.

    Your OP isn't about what Muslims think, it's about you making a secular, historical speculation about the real Muhammad's motivations and personality based on cherry picking parts of the story and inventing others to portray him in the most negative light possible.

    It only makes sense if the events and context are assumed to be pretty much factually accurate. If you don't assume the narrative and its context to be highly accurate, then you are simply creating a kind of "fan fiction".
     
  11. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    If you don't think IS, Boko Haram, etc. are barbarians, then go ahead and proclaim it for all to see.

    I don't attack Muslims. I read the Qur'an and report what it says. Then I tie it to the actions of Islamic mujahadeen to demonstrate why they do what they do.

    Allah made me his enemy, not the other way around (Allah is the enemy of unbelievers 2:98).

    If you really wanted to destroy Islam, you would probably be more successful if you were more subtle. You probably would like to see the whole world hating and killing each other .. no different from what satan is looking for.[/QUOTE]

    Damn! You've figured me out. I guess I'll have to quite RF now.
     
  12. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Based on your logic I should discount everything ever said by anyone who has/had a religious belief. That would require taking the word of people who actually think there's a being that wished the universe in existence. Splitting the moon is nothing by comparison. I see no point in continuing this.
     
  13. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Who is this "real Muhammad" of whom you speak? To believe he existed is to believe accounts from people who claim he split the moon and rode a magic flying steed.
     
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Well-Known Member

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    I know plenty of non-Muslims who have respect for other people, including Muslims.
    You are the one who starts threads attacking Islam/Muslims..
    ..so yes, God is your enemy .. you bring it upon yourself.
     
  15. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    What an odd non sequitur.

    I lived in Egypt for seven years. I have respect for a great many Muslims who I knew.

    I don't attack individual Muslims unless they deserve it - same as anyone else.

    God made his declaration against people like me 1300+ years before I saw born. My disbelief in your sky daddy is all it took for me to be declared an enemy. That's one very needy god you have.
     
  16. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    If you think that is my logic, you have very much misunderstood.

    What I am saying is that we should treat this area of history the same as any other area of history.

    No special favours or biases, a rational consideration of the evidence using critical historical methods.

    Can I assume you agree with this?

    If so, how do you decide what to believe and what not to believe?

    You seem to like discussing early Islam and say you've studied it for decades, surely you must have some reasoning that underpins what you choose to believe and what you don't.


    No it isn't. There are non-Muslim sources that pretty much show he existed from long before the Muslim ones were written down so it doesn't follow.

    But anyway we've established that is not my argument anyway.

    Applying critical historical methods to Islamic history doesn't necessitate rejecting everything, it just means you look at totality of evidence and have rational reasons for what we tentatively accept, what we reject and what we reserve judgement on.

    If you are not simply cherry picking based on ideological prejudice, how do decide what to believe and what to reject?

    Do you, for example, believe the descriptions of pre-Islamic Mecca? (a pagan stronghold without much Judeo-Christian influence major trading centre and a major site of pilgrimage for all Arabs before Islam, Abraha tried to destroy it with an elephant in the year Muhammad was born, etc.)

    Why do you trust the BQ narrative so much you can make assumptions about 'what really happened', but also you don't trust it enough so that you feel the need to guess about what really happened?
     
    #36 Augustus, Dec 5, 2022
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
  17. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Do you, or do you not believe that Mohamed's men slaughtered the Banu Quraiza?
     
  18. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    As I've explained with evidence, it's possible, but if it happened, there was most likely a very different context and events involved.

    So why do you choose to believe parts of the story and ignore others? Do you have any rational reasons behind it or is it just on a whim?
     
  19. stevecanuck

    stevecanuck Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I've indulged you much longer than I should have. I am aware of no reputable historical account that casts doubt on whether the BQ where in fact wiped out by the mighty Mo.
     
  20. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Don't lie now, you were provided with this a few posts ago in a quote from the eminent historian of Islam, Fred Donner ;)

    If you need reminding, it's here:

    Mohamed's extermination of the Banu Quraiza.

    So in your "decades of studying Islam" you haven't yet reached then level of competence of understanding where you have realised the sirah/hadith are religious texts, significantly shaped by religious concerns and certainly not recorded down as an exercise in objective and accurate history? It's actually quite impressive to have spent that much time without grasping at least a few elementary principles of the field of history you were studying. In this thread, you are also doing your level best to avoid learning anything new even when it is served on a plate. Seems strange to me to profess an interest in a topic but also expressing a hostility to learning more about it.

    It's like someone studying Christianity for "decades" without realising that a lot of stuff in the Bible didn't actually happen, or if there is a kernel of truth behind events, they certainly didn't happen as described. Then being churlish when someone pointed this out and explained why this is the case.

    So you really have no justification for your "method" of deciding what to accept and what to reject beyond confirmation bias and ideological prejudice?
     
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