The Samaritan error in the Qur'an

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Dr. M S M Saifullah

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May 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/17/99
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Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Samarians or Samaritans? The Christian missionaries have claimed that the
mention of Samaritans during the time of Moses and Aaron(P) in the Qur'an
is a historical contradiction. The Qur'anic verses used here are:

He said: They are close upon my track. I hastened unto Thee, my Lord, that
Thou mightest be well pleased. He said: Lo! We have tried thy folk in thine
absence, and As-Samiri hath misled them. Then Moses went back unto his
folk, angry and sad. He said: O my people! Hath not your Lord promised you
a fair promise? Did the time appointed then appear too long for you, or did
ye wish that wrath from your Lord should come upon you, that ye broke tryst
with me? [20:85-87]

But if one looks at the Judeo-Christian sources, a complete different
picture is obtained.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica (under Samaritans) states that until the middle
of the 20th century it was widely believed that the Samaritans originated
from a mixed race people living in Samaria at the time of the Assyrian
conquest (722 B.C.). In recent years however, new research based on the
study of the Chronicles of the Samaritans has led to a re-evaluation of
their origins:

"Until the middle of the 20th Century it was customary to believe that the
Samaritans originated from a mixture of the people living in Samaria and
other peoples at the time of the conquest of Samaria by Assyria (722/1
B.C.E.). The Biblical account of in II Kings 17 had long been the decisive
source for the formulation of historical accounts of Samaritan origins.
Reconsideration of this passage, however, has led to more attention being
paid to the Chronicles of the Samaritans themselves. With the publication
of Chronicle II (Sefer ha-Yamim), the fullest Samaritan version of their
own history became available: the chronicles, and a variety of
non-Samaritan materials.

According to the former, the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the
Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century C.E. they
possessed a high priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar
and Phinehas. They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient
territory in central Palestine and to have been at peace with other
Israelite tribes until the time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by
moving from Shechem to Shiloh and attracting some northern Israelites to
his new cult there. For the Samaritans, this was the 'schism' par
excellence."

If the Samaritans trace their origins from the time of Joseph's(P)
descendants, then they were certainly in existence in the time of Moses(P)!

The is just the summary.

The claims of the Christian missionaries are at:

http://www.answering-islam.org.uk/Quran/Contra/h002.html

http://www.answering-islam.org.uk/Quran/Contra/qbhc01.html

The complete refutation of such a claim is at following sites:

http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~islamawe/Quran/Contrad/External/samaritan.html

http://www.ummah.org.uk/islamaware/Quran/Contrad/External/samaritan.html


--

Dr. M S M Saifullah NTT Basic Research Laboratories
'Islamic Awareness' http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~islamawe/

MyTajMahal

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May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
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In article <7hpeqh$r1i$1...@waltz.rahul.net>, "Dr. M S M Saifullah"
<sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp> writes:

>Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
>
>Samarians or Samaritans? The Christian missionaries have claimed that the
>mention of Samaritans during the time of Moses and Aaron(P) in the Qur'an
>is a historical contradiction. The Qur'anic verses used here are:
>
>He said: They are close upon my track. I hastened unto Thee, my Lord, that
>Thou mightest be well pleased. He said: Lo! We have tried thy folk in thine
>absence, and As-Samiri hath misled them. Then Moses went back unto his
>folk, angry and sad. He said: O my people! Hath not your Lord promised you
>a fair promise? Did the time appointed then appear too long for you, or did
>ye wish that wrath from your Lord should come upon you, that ye broke tryst
>with me? [20:85-87]
>
>But if one looks at the Judeo-Christian sources, a complete different
>picture is obtained.

Aparently a discussion of the Judeo-Christian sourses is deemed irrelevant,
according to the moderators, and I agree for once as it lends no clarity
whatsoever to the error in the Qur'an

<snipped the discussion deemed irrelevant>

>
>The Encyclopaedia Judaica (under Samaritans) states that until the middle
>of the 20th century it was widely believed that the Samaritans originated
>from a mixed race people living in Samaria at the time of the Assyrian
>conquest (722 B.C.).

The writers of this encyclopaedia are confused and trying to extract themselves
from the hole the Rabbis dug for themselves over theri prejudice against the
Samaritians.

In recent years however, new research based on the
>study of the Chronicles of the Samaritans has led to a re-evaluation of
>their origins:

>"Until the middle of the 20th Century it was customary to believe that the
>Samaritans originated from a mixture of the people living in Samaria and
>other peoples at the time of the conquest of Samaria by Assyria (722/1
>B.C.E.). The Biblical account of in II Kings 17 had long been the decisive

>source for the formulation of historical accounts of Samaritan origins...."

Further evidence of confusion.

>If the Samaritans trace their origins from the time of Joseph's(P)
>descendants, then they were certainly in existence in the time of Moses(P)!

Serious Biblical students (ones unaffected by Rabbinical prejudice) have always
known that the Samaritans claim ancestry back to the Patriarchs and not only
Joseph. (also see John 4:12). There is no evidence in what you have presented
to demonstrate that the Samaritains or Samarians (whatever you want to call
them) existed as such or were a seperate entity, claiming to be "Shamerin'
(observant ones) shortly after the Israelites escaped from Egypt with Moses as
their leader and during the time of the establishment of the law and covenant.

The writer of the Qur'an does indeed seem to be in error.

Regards


jk...@math.gatech.edu

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May 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/22/99
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In article <7hpeqh$r1i$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
"Dr. M S M Saifullah" <sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp> writes:

> Samarians or Samaritans? The Christian missionaries have claimed that the
> mention of Samaritans during the time of Moses and Aaron(P) in the Qur'an
> is a historical contradiction.

... discussion snipped, we may pick it up at a later time...

> If the Samaritans trace their origins from the time of Joseph's(P)
> descendants, then they were certainly in existence in the time of Moses(P)!

Just for clarification let me ask this:

The usual response by Yusuf Ali and Jamal Badawi on this issue has
been to deny that this word refers to a Samarian/Samaritan (that is
really insubstantial). Even though it is the exact same Arabic word
as the one that is used for the Samaritans, it is supposedly not
derived from it, but from some other entity, so goes the reasoning.

Now, it seems to me that Saifullah does no longer want to hold to
this kind of evasive explanation, but instead tries to prove that
these Samaritans can already (by their own claim) be traced back
far enough to make the Qur'anic mentioning valid, and no longer a
contradiction.

Before we discuss the issue, I would like to have this clarification:

Does Saifullah agree with most non-Muslim writers now (and we agree
too) that this Qur'anic verse talks about a Samaritan (i.e. a name
for a people group or ethnic/tribal entity, just like saying "a German"
or "an Arab" or "a Levite") and not about a man who for whatever reason
had the personal name of "as-Samiri" but this has nothing to do with
Samaritans.

If we agree on this, then we have a basis for discussion. If he
wants to play both sides of the issue, then there is no point of
even discussing this. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Is in your eyes, "as-Samiri" a proper personal name, or is it a
term telling us about his belonging to the group of "Samari(t)ans"
whether they existed at this time as Saifullah claims, or not as
many other claim?

Please commit yourself clearly to an interpretation and then
we discuss the rest of the evidence. But first I want to know
what exactly we are discussing.

Best regards,

Jochen Katz


Dr. M S M Saifullah

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May 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/22/99
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mytaj...@aol.como (MyTajMahal) writes:

Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

>>But if one looks at the Judeo-Christian sources, a complete different


>>picture is obtained.
>
>Aparently a discussion of the Judeo-Christian sourses is deemed irrelevant,
>according to the moderators, and I agree for once as it lends no clarity
>whatsoever to the error in the Qur'an

Right! It did not occur to MyTajMahal that it was Judeo-Christian sources
that were used to show that the Qur'an is in error concerning the
Samaritans. So, essentially MyTajMahal is taking refuge in the solace that
the moderators rejected the post just because there was more
Judeo-Christian material in it.

>>The Encyclopaedia Judaica (under Samaritans) states that until the middle
>>of the 20th century it was widely believed that the Samaritans originated
>>from a mixed race people living in Samaria at the time of the Assyrian
>>conquest (722 B.C.).
>
>The writers of this encyclopaedia are confused and trying to extract
>themselves
>from the hole the Rabbis dug for themselves over theri prejudice against the
>Samaritians.

According to MyTajMahal, the writers of the Encyclopedia Judaica or even
others that are quoted all got confused because it showed how bad is the
Bible in depicting the history. If the writers are to "extract themselves


>from the hole the Rabbis dug for themselves over theri prejudice against

the Samaritians", then it is pretty clear that the Hebrew Bible's
authenticity is a big question. After all it was rabbis who transmitted it.


>Serious Biblical students (ones unaffected by Rabbinical prejudice) have
>always
> known that the Samaritans claim ancestry back to the Patriarchs and not only
>Joseph. (also see John 4:12). There is no evidence in what you have presented
>to demonstrate that the Samaritains or Samarians (whatever you want to call
>them) existed as such or were a seperate entity, claiming to be "Shamerin'
>(observant ones) shortly after the Israelites escaped from Egypt with Moses as
>their leader and during the time of the establishment of the law and covenant.
>
>The writer of the Qur'an does indeed seem to be in error.

If one reads about what Samaritans say about their origins, it is more
revealing than what MyTajMahal is trying to hide.

".... the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes,


Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century C.E. they possessed a high
priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas.
They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory in central
Palestine and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes until the
time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem to Shiloh

and attarcting some northern Israelites to his new cult there. For the


Samaritans, this was the 'schism' par excellence."

Encyclopaedia Judaica: Volume14, Encyclopaedia Judaica Jerusalem, The
Macmillan Company, pp. 727, (Under Samaritans).

Just read about they being the direct descendents from the Joseph tribes
and occupying high priesthood "descending directly from Aaron through
Eleazar and Phinehas.". I think that should clear up the confusion. So, the
Qur'an is correct and the Bible is well, polemical.

-------

MyTajMahal

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May 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/23/99
to
In article <7i64as$n2j$1...@waltz.rahul.net>, "Dr. M S M Saifullah"
<sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp> writes:

>>>Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

>>>But if one looks at the Judeo-Christian sources, a complete different
>>>picture is obtained.

Taj


>>Aparently a discussion of the Judeo-Christian sourses is deemed irrelevant,
>>according to the moderators, and I agree for once as it lends no clarity
>>whatsoever to the error in the Qur'an

Saif


>Right! It did not occur to MyTajMahal that it was Judeo-Christian sources
>that were used to show that the Qur'an is in error concerning the
>Samaritans. So, essentially MyTajMahal is taking refuge in the solace that
>the moderators rejected the post just because there was more
>Judeo-Christian material in it.

Taj
Right what ? It was you who are trying to use the Judeo-Christian sources to,
some how, support a vague notion that the 'Samaritans' existed immediately upon
Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt simply because some hundreds of years
later when they they claim decent from Joseph. The same information offers you
no solace whatsoever.

Saif


>>>The Encyclopaedia Judaica (under Samaritans) states that until the middle
>>>of the 20th century it was widely believed that the Samaritans originated
>>>from a mixed race people living in Samaria at the time of the Assyrian
>>>conquest (722 B.C.).
>>
>>The writers of this encyclopaedia are confused and trying to extract
>>themselves from the hole the Rabbis dug for themselves over theri prejudice
against the
>>Samaritians.

Saif again !


>According to MyTajMahal, the writers of the Encyclopedia Judaica or even
>others that are quoted all got confused because it showed how bad is the
>Bible in depicting the history.

Not at all :-) - there are other Jewish Encyclopedias (since these seems to
be your favourite source for 'truth') which do not suffer from the Rabbinic
blinkering evident in the 'Enc Jud' on this subject. The Jewish Encyclopedia
published in 12 volumes by Funk and Wagnalls & Co doesn't have this problem and
neither do the other 'Saifullah Sources of divine Truth' such as the
Britannica, the Talmud (Soncino edition), Encyclopedia Americana, The New
Catholic Encyclopedia (McGraw Hill) and the Catholic Encyclopedia, Universe
edition to name a few.....

Incidently the most peculiar statement in the Enc Jud: "until the middle of


the 20th century it was widely believed that the Samaritans originated from a

mixed race people living in Samaria." really shows up again the blinkering of
the writer. The Jewish Enclocypedia (published by a Jewish firm) I have is
perfectly clear on the origins of the Samaritans and it is a 1925 edition.

Saif


> If the writers are to "extract themselves
>from the hole the Rabbis dug for themselves over theri prejudice against
>the Samaritians", then it is pretty clear that the Hebrew Bible's
>authenticity is a big question. After all it was rabbis who transmitted it.

Taj
The Rabbis and Rabbinic Judaism with its prejudices came to pre-eminence well
after the text of the TaNaK was established.

Taj


>>Serious Biblical students (ones unaffected by Rabbinical prejudice) have
>>always known that the Samaritans claim ancestry back to the Patriarchs and
not
>>only Joseph. (also see John 4:12). There is no evidence in what you have
>presented to demonstrate that the Samaritains or Samarians (whatever you want
to call
>>them) existed as such or were a seperate entity, claiming to be "Shamerin'
>>(observant ones) shortly after the Israelites escaped from Egypt with Moses
>as their leader and during the time of the establishment of the law and
>covenant.

>>The writer of the Qur'an does indeed seem to be in error.

Saif


>If one reads about what Samaritans say about their origins, it is more
>revealing than what MyTajMahal is trying to hide.

Taj
There is nothing that your smokescreen will hide Saif. There were no people
called Samaritains two years after the Israelites escaped Egypt led by Moses as
the writer of the Qur'an seemed to think.

Saif


>".... the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes,
>Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century C.E. they possessed a high
>priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas.
>They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory in central
>Palestine and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes until the
>time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem to Shiloh
>and attarcting some northern Israelites to his new cult there. For the
>Samaritans, this was the 'schism' par excellence."
>
>Encyclopaedia Judaica: Volume14, Encyclopaedia Judaica Jerusalem, The
>Macmillan Company, pp. 727, (Under Samaritans).

Why don't you try and work out what you are quoting (and do you believe it to
be absolutely trustworthy?). This says nothing to support your claim that
there was a distinct people known as, or called "Samaritans", existed at the
time of Moses and Aaron. You quote this as if it was something new just
because you recently stumbled across it. But it doesn't support your claim..
Just because it can be demonstrated that the Celts originated and are
decendants of tribes from Southern Germany and Hungary are we now at liberty to
rewrite history and refer to the ancient tribes of those places as Irish men?
This is the train of your argument but it doesn't wash.

I also checked up the Encyclopedia Judaica before my earlier response and it
says absolutely nothing about 'Samaritans' being a people defined and called
such at the time of Mosesand Aaron. And just for the record:

Encyclopedia Judaica: ISBN 965-07-01242-3, Published by KETER Publishing House
Jerusalem, 1996 edition, Vol 14 pp727/728

>Just read about they being the direct descendents from the Joseph tribes
>and occupying high priesthood "descending directly from Aaron through
>Eleazar and Phinehas.". I think that should clear up the confusion. So, the
>Qur'an is correct and the Bible is well, polemical.

You would have more support for your argument if you studied the subject in
more detail in the TaNaK, but then you would have to twist it some also (I will
let you work that one out)

So it is quiite clear that nothing you have provided indicates, in the least,
that there were, at the time of Moses and the Israelites in Sinai a people
group called the 'Samaritans'.

The writer of the Qur'an is in error.

Kind regards

Dr. M S M Saifullah

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May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
mytaj...@aol.como (MyTajMahal) writes:

Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

>Right what ? It was you who are trying to use the Judeo-Christian sources to,


>some how, support a vague notion that the 'Samaritans' existed immediately
>upon
>Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt simply because some hundreds of
>years
>later when they they claim decent from Joseph. The same information
>offers you
>no solace whatsoever.

MyTajMahal has clearly no argument. He is just shifting from one place to
another without dealing with any issue. The original argument of the
Christian missionaries was that the Judeo-Christian sources say (which
clearly do not!) that the Samaritans have origins which are post-Mosaic and
hence mentioning of a Samaritan during the time of Moses and Aaron(P) is a
historical anachronism.

He said: They are close upon my track. I hastened unto Thee, my Lord, that
Thou mightest be well pleased. He said: Lo! We have tried thy folk in thine
absence, and As-Samiri hath misled them. Then Moses went back unto his
folk, angry and sad. He said: O my people! Hath not your Lord promised you
a fair promise? Did the time appointed then appear too long for you, or did
ye wish that wrath from your Lord should come upon you, that ye broke tryst
with me? [20:85-87]

Now what we did simply is to show that the Judeo-Christian sources have
simply revised the Samaritan origins when the historical material from the
Samaritans themselves became available.

>Saif again !

Well, I suggest that you call me by proper name Saifullah or Dr. Saifullah.
I have neither given you permission to shorten or nickname me. So, stick to
the decorum of addressing people whom who hardly know.

>Not at all :-) - there are other Jewish Encyclopedias (since these seems to
>be your favourite source for 'truth') which do not suffer from the Rabbinic
>blinkering evident in the 'Enc Jud' on this subject. The Jewish Encyclopedia
>published in 12 volumes by Funk and Wagnalls & Co doesn't have this
>problem and
>neither do the other 'Saifullah Sources of divine Truth' such as the
>Britannica, the Talmud (Soncino edition), Encyclopedia Americana, The New
>Catholic Encyclopedia (McGraw Hill) and the Catholic Encyclopedia, Universe
>edition to name a few.....

What is getting clearer is that MyTajMahal just wants to attack
people/Encyclopedias by calling names. He has no argument to offer. By the
way, I do not expect all the Encyclopedias to carry all the information at
all times. So, it is perfectly acceptable that some will have it and some
will not.

>Incidently the most peculiar statement in the Enc Jud: "until the middle of
>the 20th century it was widely believed that the Samaritans originated from a
>mixed race people living in Samaria." really shows up again the blinkering of
>the writer. The Jewish Enclocypedia (published by a Jewish firm) I have is
>perfectly clear on the origins of the Samaritans and it is a 1925 edition.

Anyone who deals with history always writes "we believe that such a thing
happen". This is also a standard practice while publishing scientific
material in jounrals. I have published quite a few papers and I always
write that "we believe that such a phenomenon is occuring" and of course,
with supporting statements of why that phenonmenon is occuring.

>I also checked up the Encyclopedia Judaica before my earlier response and it
>says absolutely nothing about 'Samaritans' being a people defined and called
>such at the time of Mosesand Aaron. And just for the record:
>
>Encyclopedia Judaica: ISBN 965-07-01242-3, Published by KETER Publishing
>House
>Jerusalem, 1996 edition, Vol 14 pp727/728

Well, I have the collection of *all* the volumes of Encyclopedia Judaica +
the additional year books, just in case you want to act too smart!

>So it is quiite clear that nothing you have provided indicates, in the least,
>that there were, at the time of Moses and the Israelites in Sinai a people
>group called the 'Samaritans'.

If that is the case why does the EJ states that the Samaritans have
continuously occupied the ancient territory:

"They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory in
central Palestine and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes
until the time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem

to Shiloh and attracting some northern Israelites to his new cult there.


For the Samaritans, this was the 'schism' par excellence."

What is clear is that MyTajMahal has nothing to show in contrary except to
repeat the statements like a parrot.

--

Dr. M S M Saifullah NTT Basic Research Laboratories

'Islamic Awareness' http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~islamawe/

khal...@hotmail.com

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May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
On 23 May 1999 01:41:20 -0700, mytaj...@aol.como (MyTajMahal) wrote:

>Why don't you try and work out what you are quoting (and do you believe it to
>be absolutely trustworthy?). This says nothing to support your claim that
>there was a distinct people known as, or called "Samaritans", existed at the
>time of Moses and Aaron. You quote this as if it was something new just
>because you recently stumbled across it. But it doesn't support your claim..
> Just because it can be demonstrated that the Celts originated and are
>decendants of tribes from Southern Germany and Hungary are we now at liberty to
>rewrite history and refer to the ancient tribes of those places as Irish men?
>This is the train of your argument but it doesn't wash.
>
>I also checked up the Encyclopedia Judaica before my earlier response and it
>says absolutely nothing about 'Samaritans' being a people defined and called
>such at the time of Mosesand Aaron. And just for the record:


As'alamu Alaikum

I don't have much historical background on the subject discussed here.
but I'd like to share my opinion on it. first of all the word in
Arabic used for the person at the time Mosses as he was called
"alsamiri" a word which have a root and meaning in Arabic; it's root
is "samar" which means to stay a wake all night for guard or for
simply for company and chatting with others as in celebrating. The
same can be found in Hebrew:


shimmur {shim-moor'}
http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/?id=08107
1) night watch, watching, vigil

as in "It is a night to be much observed [shimmur]<08107> unto the
LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt" Exodus 12:42

The above can be translated in Arabic as "Laialatun lil **samar**"
which is exactly the same. And this is in Exodus which implies that
the concept of such a social practice did exist in the time of Mosses.


or the word shamar {shaw-mar'} which means to keep, guard, observe,
give heed and one of it's usages is a watchman or guard. A derived
word was even used as feminine as (shomrah {shom-raw'} ) to mean a
guard or a watch. And in matter of fact that's why "Samaria" or
'Shimron" or "Shimron-meron" (a Canaanite royal city allotted to
Zebulun) was called in the first place... they mean "the watch
mountain" or "the watch mountain of".

But It is not just That, There are even proper names derived from the
root word "shamar" [Arabic "samar"] previously used in or near the
time of Moses for persons as defined in (1a2) above or other --- for
a guard--- or simply just as a proper name as in the following names
mentioned in the Bible:

The most nearer name to the one used in the Quran is Shimriy
{shim-ree'} which is very similar in meaning and in sound with the
Arabic "samiri":

< http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/?id=08113 >

and to see the similarity in sound click the following link, it is a
real audio file:

http://www.biblestudytools.net/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=8113h

It is used at least for the following figures mentioned in the Bible:

Shimri = "vigilant"
1) a Simeonite, son of Shemaiah and father of Jedaiah
2) father of Jediael, one of David's mighty warriors
3) a Merarite Levite, son of Hosah
4) a Kohathite Levite of the sons of Elizaphan

Or the name:
Shemer {sheh'-mer}:
http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/?id=08106

noun proper name masculine.
Shemer or Shamer or Shamed = "preserved"
1) the owner of the hill where the city of Samaria was built
2) a Merarite Levite, son of Mahli and father of Bani
3) an Asherite, son of Heber and father of Ahi, Rohgah, Jehubbah,
and Aram. Also 'Shomer'
4) a Benjamite, son of Elpaal and builder of the towns of Ono and Lod

and there are other names also derived from the same root like:

Sh@maryah :
1) a Benjamite, one of David's mighty warriors who joined him at
Ziklag
2) a son of king Rehoboam of Judah
3) an Israelite of the sons of Harim who had a foreign wife in the
time of Ezra
4) an Israelite of the sons of Bani who had a foreign wife in the
time of Ezra

Shimriyth {shim-reeth'}
http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/?id=08116
1) a Moabitess, mother of Jehozabad, one of the assassins of king
Joash of Judah

Shimrath {shim-rawth'}
http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Hebrew/?id=08119
Shimrath = "guard"
1) a Benjamite, son of Shimei


With all of the above proper names which one cannot claim to have
popped up after the Samaritans - which is itself a derived word from
the root Shamar - we can safely see the stupidity of such claim
against the Quran! that it is addressing a person as "samiri". unless
Missionaries can bring proof that there was't anyone called "Shimiri"
or "samiri" or any other name and there were no post such as a watch
or a guared that used the same root for a hebrew person in the whole
Jewish history or at least in the days of Mosses and afterwards!


Salam
Khalid...


MyTajMahal

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May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
n article <7ibdpm$428$1...@waltz.rahul.net>, "Dr. M S M Saifullah"
<sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp> writes:

>mytaj...@aol.como (MyTajMahal) writes:
>
>Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

My apologies for causing you distress by abreviating your name as per how it
appears in your email address.

I wrote:
>>Right what ? It was you who are trying to use the Judeo-Christian sources
>>to, some how, support a vague notion that the 'Samaritans' existed
immediately
>>upon Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt simply because some hundreds
of
>>years later when they they claim decent from Joseph. The same information
>>offers you no solace whatsoever.

Saifullah


>MyTajMahal has clearly no argument. He is just shifting from one place to
>another without dealing with any issue.

Maybe I should allow you the time to answer Jochen so that we can see how you
deal with the explanations of Yusuf Ali, Badawi and others.

However to prove I am not shifting my stance here again is the conclusion you
were trying to suggest:

>If the Samaritans trace their origins from the time of Joseph's(P)
>descendants, then they were certainly in existence in the time of Moses(P)!

But nothing you have offered allows you to leap to this conclusion.

Saifullah


>The original argument of the
>Christian missionaries was that the Judeo-Christian sources say (which
>clearly do not!) that the Samaritans have origins which are post-Mosaic

This is just a strawman and you have missed the whole point by claiming
something which, if applied to the ancient Hungarian tribes, would make it
acceptable for them to be called Irish. Any Biblical student will accept that
the Samaritans "claim" ancestry back to Jacob and Joseph based on
Judeo-Christian sources (the Bible) but that doesn't entitle anyone to call
them 'Samaritans' at the time of Moses. The EJ simply parrots the Samaritan
claim without providing the evidence needed to prove it or that they in any way
were known as "Samaritans" at the time of Moses.

So the people who were later known as Samaritans may claim what they want and
they may even point to historical events going back to Jacob and Joseph (as
mentioned in the Bible) claiming that these events apply to them but they
claim them in retrospect and who is to know if the claims are true or not?
Furthermore they do not give any explanation for how Joseph and his decendants
didn't sojourn in Egypt with the rest of the Israelites. (they claim they lived
continiously in Palestine).

>and
>hence mentioning of a Samaritan during the time of Moses and Aaron(P) is a
>historical anachronism.

You got this bit right. There were no people called 'Samaritans' at the time
of Moses and Aaron. The city from which these people derived their name only
came into being about 700 years later (whatever their true origin was).

There seems little new material in the response you posted but lets take a
look:

I wrote:
>>So it is quiite clear that nothing you have provided indicates, in the

>least, that there were, at the time of Moses and the Israelites in Sinai a


people
>>group called the 'Samaritans'.

Saifullah


>If that is the case why does the EJ states that the Samaritans have
>continuously occupied the ancient territory:

Just because the EJ parrots the Samaritan claim in this respect doesn't make it
the truth and the editor of the EJ isn't presenting the claim in that way
either. No one is denying the Samaritan claim (It is even in the book of John
with the historical events they point to being recorded in the TaNaK), however
since the Samaritans do claim this they must also deny one of the most
significant episodes of Israelite history and that Joseph and his decendants
never were in Egypt.

Saifullah:


>Well, I have the collection of *all* the volumes of Encyclopedia Judaica +
>the additional year books, just in case you want to act too smart!

Bully for you !

>What is clear is that MyTajMahal has nothing to show in contrary except to
>repeat the statements like a parrot.

Nothing you have parroted out of your encyclopedia show that that a people
called "Samaritans' existed in Sinai at the time that Moses and the Israelites
were escaping Egypt. The writer of the Qur'an was in error to write as he did.

Kind regards


+++

BTW the Jewish Enclocypaedia (1925 edition) and the others I mentioned also
gave the Samaritan account of their claimed ancestry. I do not understand why
you wrote:

>What is getting clearer is that MyTajMahal just wants to attack
>people/Encyclopedias by calling names. He has no argument to offer. By the
>way, I do not expect all the Encyclopedias to carry all the information at
>all times. So, it is perfectly acceptable that some will have it and some
>will not.

I was not attacking people/Encyclopedias. I was simply point out that the EJ
tries to make out the Samaritan ancestry claim (going back to Joseph) as if it
was a 'new revelation' since the second half of the 20th century. The others
all gave the Samaritan account without claiming it to be a 'new revelation',
which indeed open minded Biblical students have always known to be their claim.

Dr. M S M Saifullah

unread,
May 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/25/99
to
jk...@math.gatech.edu writes:

Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

>The usual response by Yusuf Ali and Jamal Badawi on this issue has


>been to deny that this word refers to a Samarian/Samaritan (that is
>really insubstantial). Even though it is the exact same Arabic word
>as the one that is used for the Samaritans, it is supposedly not
>derived from it, but from some other entity, so goes the reasoning.

Now I have not read the arguments of either Yusuf Ali or Jamal Badawi. Our
argument is principally from the point of view of what is written in the
Christian missionary literature concerning the Samaritan error in the
Qur'an. Their argument is that since Samaritans did not exist in the time
of Moses or Aaron(P), it is a historical error in the Qur'an. It is clear
>from our discussion that the Samaritans claim that they are the descendents
>from the tribes of Joseph(P) and continuously occupied the territory from
the ancient times.

Further, the argument that the Bible uses the word Samaritan is already
refuted because the Samaritans themselves do not use that word at all to
address themselves. It is most like that the word means inhabitants of
Samaria not Samaritans.

On what basis does Yusuf Ali and Jamal Badawi deny that the word refers to
Samaritan or whatever is something I have no clue. Of course, we would like
to see their arguments before commenting.

>Now, it seems to me that Saifullah does no longer want to hold to
>this kind of evasive explanation, but instead tries to prove that
>these Samaritans can already (by their own claim) be traced back
>far enough to make the Qur'anic mentioning valid, and no longer a
>contradiction.

I was not trying to be evasive. It is Katz, who pretty well knows that the
word used in the Bible does not mean Samaritans, is complaining.

>Before we discuss the issue, I would like to have this clarification:
>
>Does Saifullah agree with most non-Muslim writers now (and we agree
>too) that this Qur'anic verse talks about a Samaritan (i.e. a name
>for a people group or ethnic/tribal entity, just like saying "a German"
>or "an Arab" or "a Levite") and not about a man who for whatever reason
>had the personal name of "as-Samiri" but this has nothing to do with
>Samaritans.

Well, there are two ways of looking at the verse. Khalid in a personal
communication told me that Samiri has its root from the word Samar, meaning


to stay a wake all night for guard or for simply for company and chatting

with others as in celebrating. Interestingly, Samaritans call themselves as
"keepers" or "observers" of the Law. Moreover, if one reads the history of
how jealously the Samaritans guarded/kept/observed the Torah it would be
clear that the word Samiri or Shamerim (as the Samaritans call themselves)
has the same root meaning.

as-Samiri, as far as, my personal opinion goes is a title rather than a
name. Further investigations need to be carried out on this issue. It is
just like al-Aziz in the story of Yusuf(P). Even a better example would be
al-Dimashiqi or al-Hindi which are used as titles for a person from
Damascus and India. Similarly as-Samiri would mean the Samaritan. And Allah
knows best!

>If we agree on this, then we have a basis for discussion. If he
>wants to play both sides of the issue, then there is no point of
>even discussing this. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Well, Katz your basis of discussion using II Kings 17 is already refuted. I
am sorry you did not have the cake at the first place to eat. You
missionaries forgot that you ate your hand instead.

Or are we entering into one of those fake Christian-Muslim 'dialogues' so
to say?

>Is in your eyes, "as-Samiri" a proper personal name, or is it a
>term telling us about his belonging to the group of "Samari(t)ans"
>whether they existed at this time as Saifullah claims, or not as
>many other claim?
>
>Please commit yourself clearly to an interpretation and then
>we discuss the rest of the evidence. But first I want to know
>what exactly we are discussing.

Now suddenly we are seeing that Katz wants to discuss the issue with an
'evidence'. It did not occur to him at the first place that before claiming
a contradiction he should have used some of his own advice of "commit


yourself clearly to an interpretation and then we discuss the rest of the
evidence. But first I want to know what exactly we are discussing."

--

Saad Alfoudari

unread,
May 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/27/99
to
jk...@math.gatech.edu wrote:
Status: RO

>
> In article <7hpeqh$r1i$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,


> "Dr. M S M Saifullah" <sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp> writes:
>
> > Samarians or Samaritans? The Christian missionaries have claimed that the
> > mention of Samaritans during the time of Moses and Aaron(P) in the Qur'an
> > is a historical contradiction.
>
> ... discussion snipped, we may pick it up at a later time...
>

> > If the Samaritans trace their origins from the time of Joseph's(P)
> > descendants, then they were certainly in existence in the time of Moses(P)!
>

> Just for clarification let me ask this:
>

> The usual response by Yusuf Ali and Jamal Badawi on this issue has
> been to deny that this word refers to a Samarian/Samaritan (that is
> really insubstantial). Even though it is the exact same Arabic word
> as the one that is used for the Samaritans, it is supposedly not
> derived from it, but from some other entity, so goes the reasoning.
>

Interesting. I also go with this. Are you implying that since the
samaritans were mentioned in the bible, then there can be no others that
had a similar name (even though this is known to happen for other
names)?

Well. I personally know of the Cimmerians, a barbaric tribe, which the
fictional character "Conan" is attributed to (but the people were real
enough.)

Another name is "samerra'" in Iraq, which comes from "surra man ra'a".
Interestingly a name that looks liks "samara" (though not ancient,
however, it does establish the repeatition possibility of similar
names.)

Eh, lets not forget Sumer.

So, why isn't it possible that there could be others who had a similar
name?

Peace
Saad


MyTajMahal

unread,
May 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/30/99
to
2nd

In article <7id9th$pq8$1...@waltz.rahul.net>, khal...@hotmail.com writes:

>With all of the above proper names which one cannot claim to have
>popped up after the Samaritans - which is itself a derived word from
>the root Shama

Hello Khalid

It is interesting that none of these proper names seem to appear in the Torah
( Books of Moses) which contains the event (s) in question but are exclusively
contained in the post Babylonian exilic? writings.

> we can safely see the stupidity of such claim
>against the Quran! that it is addressing a person as "samiri".

So the proper name presentation is not your point at all. Are you now claiming
that it was simply a 'guard' (or a non Arabic word for guard which appears in
the Qur'an?) rather than the 'proper name' or 'tribal' designation of a person
?

>unless Missionaries can bring proof that there was't anyone called "Shimiri"

>or "samiri" or any other name....

Why do you and others find it neccessary to label anyone who investigates a
matter a missionary? Doesn't it just give you another opportunity to be wrong?
However there appears (partly from what you provided) to be no evidence which
indicates that anyone was called by a 'proper name' based upon the root word
for at least 300 years after Moses and in fact no such proper name based upon
the verb 'shaw-mar' or the 'shim-ree' seems to have existed at the time of
Moses.

> and there were no post such as a watch


>or a guared that used the same root for a hebrew person in the whole
>Jewish history or at least in the days of Mosses and afterwards!

This doesn't seem to be relevant. Just because there was a word for a 'guard'
or a 'watch' does not immediately provide evidence that there was also a proper
name based on the verb or occupation at any particular time or at the time of
Moses.

Kind regards

jk...@math.gatech.edu

unread,
Jun 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/1/99
to
In article <7ikknf$hmh$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
Saad Alfoudari <sa...@saadma.force9.co.uk> writes:

> > The usual response by Yusuf Ali and Jamal Badawi on this issue has
> > been to deny that this word refers to a Samarian/Samaritan (that is
> > really insubstantial). Even though it is the exact same Arabic word
> > as the one that is used for the Samaritans, it is supposedly not
> > derived from it, but from some other entity, so goes the reasoning.

> Interesting. I also go with this. Are you implying that since the
> samaritans were mentioned in the bible, then there can be no others that
> had a similar name (even though this is known to happen for other
> names)?

No, that is not my argument.

> Well. I personally know of the Cimmerians, a barbaric tribe, which the
> fictional character "Conan" is attributed to (but the people were real
> enough.)

Right, it is much more likely that the Qur'an speaks of 20th century
science fiction figures.... :-) After all, it also predicts 20th
century science like embryology, astronomy, geology, ... ;->

Now, if you would want to relate these people with the Israelites
on their exodus, you would have some work to do...

> Another name is "samerra'" in Iraq, which comes from "surra man ra'a".
> Interestingly a name that looks liks "samara" (though not ancient,
> however, it does establish the repeatition possibility of similar
> names.)
>
> Eh, lets not forget Sumer.
>
> So, why isn't it possible that there could be others who had a similar
> name?

The issue has several aspects.

First, it doesn't make much sense to say it is a proper name, because
it has a definite article in front of it. It is "as-Samiri". Proper
names are not prefaced with articles as far as I know. Have you ever
read of al-Muhammad? But I have seen at-Tabari, because he was born
in Tabari(stan), he is "the Tabaristanian" to translate it into English.

But more importantly, there IS an explanation that makes more sense
than any of the above ad hoc connections to people who had little
to do with Israel while in slavery in Egypt...

The question is not what kind of possibilities we can invent
by stretching our imagination widely. The question is what does
give the most coherent and likely understanding of all the facts
available?


In Tisdall's book "Sources of Islam", we find:

Fifth.
A few other things taken by Islam from the Jews. - If time permitted,
we could easily tell of many other narratives in the Koran, not in
our Scriptures but taken from foolish tales of the Jews, about Joseph,
David, Saul, etc-.; but space will not permit, excepting for a few.
Here, for example, is the account of "·Sinai overhead" as we have it
in Surah 7. 172: And when we raised the mountain over them, as though
it had been a canopy, and they imagined that it was falling upon them,
(we said) Receive that which we have sent unto you with reverence, and
remember that which is therein, if may be that ye take heed; and we
have two other passages (vv. 60 and 87) in Surah Bekr to the same
effect; -- the meaning being that when the Jews held back from
accepting the Torah, the Lord lifted Mount Sinai over their heads
to force their reception of it. The same tale is given by a Hebrew
writer thus: "I raised the mount to be a covering over you, as it
were a lid."1. It need hardly be said that there is nothing of the
kind in the Torah. The tale, however, may have arisen (Exodus 32:19)
from the fact that when Moses returning from Mount Sinai, saw his
people worshipping the calf, "his anger waxed hot and he cast the
tables (of the Law) out of his hands, and brake them beneath the
mount." The words "beneath the mount," simply mean that he cast the
tables down at the foot of Mount Sinai. And hence all this wild fiction
of the mountain being lifted over their heads! We can only compare
it to a like Hindoo tale of a mountain similarly lifted over the
people's heads, very much resembling what we have in the Koran.

Here are one or two other tales of Moses in the wilderness; and first,
that of the Golden Calf which came out of the fire kindled by the
people at Sinai. The Koran tells us that Sameri also cast (what he
had into the fire) and brought out unto them a bodily calf which
lowed.(Surah 20:9) The origin of this fiction we find in a
Jewish writer.2 as follows: "The calf having cried aloud, came
forth, and the children of Israel saw it. Rabbi Yahuda says that
Sammael from the inside of it made the cry of the calf in order to
lead the Israelites astray." No doubt the Prophet in this matter
got his information from the Jews; strange that he should have
been led to adopt this baseless tale. But he has used the wrong
name Al Sameri. The name of the people, of course, occurs often in
the Bible, and the Jews regarded the Samaritans as their enemies;
but as the city of Samaria did not arise till some four hundred
years after Moses, it is difficult to imagine how it came to be
entered in this story.3. We also note that in this matter the Koran
is in opposition to the Torah, which tells us that Aaron was the
person who for fear of the Israelites around him, had the molten
calf set up. Another story, given us twice in the Koran, (Surah 2:28,
Surah 4:152) is that when the Israelites insisted on seeing the
Lord, they were punished by death, but eventually restored to life
again; and to add to the foolish tale we are told that it was the
Torah which appealed for help and thus obtained their revival.


Notes:
2. Pirke Rabbi Eleazer.
3. No. doubt the Prophet thought that the Jews said Sameri (Samaritan)
when they said Sammael. They regarded Sammael as the angel of death.


[Disclaimer: this is how I found it on the web, I have not checked
it against the text in Tisdall's book, if there are typos etc....]


Now, two remarks are in order.

1. the reference to Pirke Rabbi Eleazar is somewhat problematic,
because we know that some parts of this works are from the early
Islamic period, i.e. after the compilation of the Qur'an. However,
most of the Pirke is much older, and the problem now is how to
determine whether this particular story was pre-islamic or not.
If one wants to say that the Qur'an definitely is dependent on
this story, then one would have to prove its earlier date, but
this whole argument is not about proof (which is impossible) but
about plausibility.

2. If this were the only story in the Qur'an with such similarities
one could dismiss it as coincidence. There are many strange things
in this world, and one should never base a theory on isolated
snippets of observations. However, there are many (a whole book
full) of eerie parallels between rabbinical writings and the Qur'an
and when there are too many, then the explanation of coincidence
becomes less and less convincing, and a dependence is more and
more likely.


I hope this clarifies the reasons the many see this rabbinical
tale as a source for the Qur'anic story.

Warm regards,

Jochen Katz


Dr. M S M Saifullah

unread,
Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
to
jk...@math.gatech.edu writes:

Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

>In Tisdall's book "Sources of Islam", we find:

If there is any other Gospel that is present with the Christian
missionaries, it is the Gospel of Tisdall. May be the evangelical
Christians should include that as a part of the New Testament to 'save' the
Muslims.

As far as the borrowing theories of the Qur'an are concerned, almost
everything is refuted at:

http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~islamawe/Quran/Sources/

Now the important aspecs that are not present there, is the methodology.
The main theme of the theory of borrowing is as follows: - If a later text
shows similarities to an older (i.e.earler) text(s) or tradition(s) or is
similar to what is known (or thought to be known) before, then the later
text has borrowed/plagiarized/copied/utilized the 'previously known'.

"And they say:'Tales of the ancients which he has caused to be
written'"---This charge of borrowing ancient materials and composing it as
the Qur'an is, contrary to popular view among the Christians, not new. It
is as old as its time of revelation. In fact the above quotation is from
the Qur'an itself! (Surah 25, verse 5). Since the Qur'an, in the time of
its revelation, talks about the people before them, as well as which was
known to them from before, it was one of the excuses of unbelievers
rejection of the Qur'an.

Missionary Christians are now faithfully echoing this tradition of the
excuse-makers.

<big chop of Tisdall's unverified material>

Now the issues are:

1. Who was the Rabbi who taught various Rabbanical traditions of
Muhammad(P) for almost 23 years and yet no one could find me. Obviously,
Muhammad(P) could not have learnt from nowhere?

For this the Christian missionaries have no answer.

2. How could many Jews and Christians amongst his contemporaries become
Muslims and believe in his truthfulness if they knew he was copying from
their scriptures or learning from their priests or rabbis?

To this the Christian missionaries' answer is that they were fooled. (Not
to mentioned that the missionaries did not show at the first place who
taught Muhammad(P) and made fool of themselves by shelling a cheap excuse!).

>Notes:
>2. Pirke Rabbi Eleazer.
>3. No. doubt the Prophet thought that the Jews said Sameri (Samaritan)
>when they said Sammael. They regarded Sammael as the angel of death.

No doubt that this what Tisdall is saying on behalf of Muhammad(P).

>Now, two remarks are in order.
>
>1. the reference to Pirke Rabbi Eleazar is somewhat problematic,
>because we know that some parts of this works are from the early
>Islamic period, i.e. after the compilation of the Qur'an. However,
>most of the Pirke is much older, and the problem now is how to
>determine whether this particular story was pre-islamic or not.
>If one wants to say that the Qur'an definitely is dependent on
>this story, then one would have to prove its earlier date, but
>this whole argument is not about proof (which is impossible) but
>about plausibility.

The Jewish Encyclopedia published in 1905 (same year as the publication of
Tisdall's book) under Pirke De-Rabbi Eli'ezer informs us that:

"Josh was the first to point out that in the thirtieth chapter, in which at
the end the author distinctly alludes to the three stages of the Mohammadan
conquest, that of Arabia, of Spain, and of Rome, the names of Fatima and
Ayesha occur beside that of Ishamel, leading to the conclusion that the
book originated in the time when Islam was predominant in Asia Minor. As in
ch. xxxvi, two brother reigning simultaneously are mentioned, after whose
reign the Messiah shall come, the work might be ascribed to the beginning
of the nineth century, for about that time the two sons of Harun al-Rasid,
El-Amin and El-Mamun, were ruling over Islamic realm."

The Jewish Encylopedia: 1905, Volume X, Funk & Wagnalls Company, p. 59
[Under Pirke De-Rabbi Eli'ezer].

So, the Jewish scholars, much before Tisdall wrote The Original Sources Of
The Qur'an, had mentioned that Pirke De-Rabbi Eli'ezer post-dates Islam.
But surprisingly Tisdall 'missed' it.

Recent scholars like Norman Stillman have criticized Abraham Geiger's book
Was hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume aufgenommen? as:

"... it did tend to give exaggerated view of the Jewish contribution to the
Qur'an. Many of the traditions that he cites are in oriental Christian as
well as talmudic and haggadic literature. Our chronology of rabbinic
literature is better today than in Geiger's, and many more texts - Muslim,
Jewish, and Christian - have since being published. In the light of this we
know now that in some instances what was thought to be a Jewish haggadic
influence in an Islamic text might well be quite the reverse. The Pirqe de
Rabbi Eli'ezer, for example, would seem to have been finally redacted after
the advent of Islam."

The Story Of Cain & Abel In The Qur'an And The Muslim Commentators: Some
Observations, Norman A. Stillman, Journal Of Semitic Studies, Volume 19,
19??, p. 231.

Since Tisdall lifted most of his material from Abraham Geiger's book, it is
not at all surprising to find that former's sense of chronology matches to
a greater extent with the latter. See for example Rev. W. St. Clair
Tisdall, The Original Sources Of The Qur'an: 1905, Society For The
Promotion Of Christian Knowledge, London, p. 7.

Nowhere does the above references mention that "most of the Pirke is much
older".

>2. If this were the only story in the Qur'an with such similarities
>one could dismiss it as coincidence. There are many strange things
>in this world, and one should never base a theory on isolated
>snippets of observations. However, there are many (a whole book
>full) of eerie parallels between rabbinical writings and the Qur'an
>and when there are too many, then the explanation of coincidence
>becomes less and less convincing, and a dependence is more and
>more likely.
>
>
>I hope this clarifies the reasons the many see this rabbinical
>tale as a source for the Qur'anic story.

So, Katz have you got any information about who the teachers of Muhammad(P)
were? Or shall we assume that it is one of those Holy Ghost's blunder?

What is more interesting is Stillman's conclusion:

"In conclusion, it should be emphasized that one should be extremely
cautious about assigning specific origins to the story discussed here - or
for that matter, any other story in the Qur'an."

Nota bene: We are dealing with what the modern scholars say about the
'borrowing' theories of the Qur'an. Naturally, the Christian missionaries
would like to cling to the Gospel of Tisdall for very obvious reasons.
Afterall this is what duping Muslims is all about!

--

Dr. M S M Saifullah NTT Basic Research Laboratories
'Islamic Awareness' http://salam.muslimsonline.com/~islamawe/

Dr. M S M Saifullah, Researcher
Nanostructure Technology Research Group
Device Physics Research Laboratory
NTT Basic Research Laboratories
3-1, Morinosato Wakamiya, Atsugi-shi
Kanagawa Pref., 243-0198
Japan

Email: sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp Tel: 0081 (0)462 40 2634
Fax: 0081 (0)462 40 4317

Saad Alfoudari

unread,
Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
to
jk...@math.gatech.edu wrote:
[Deleted Text]

> > Well. I personally know of the Cimmerians, a barbaric tribe, which the
> > fictional character "Conan" is attributed to (but the people were real
> > enough.)
>
> Right, it is much more likely that the Qur'an speaks of 20th century
> science fiction figures.... :-) After all, it also predicts 20th
> century science like embryology, astronomy, geology, ... ;->

Actually, it predicts the science level at the time jest before
doomsday, but we might have along time tell then :). Some would even say
that it predicts our current attempts to make genetic modifications
(according to one ayah.) Any way, your comment doesn't erase the
existence of the cimmerians. I know that Herodotus have mentioned them
(can be found on the internet,) but I don't know if there are any other
references to them, or if there are any reference to other people who
had a similar name for that matter.

> Now, if you would want to relate these people with the Israelites
> on their exodus, you would have some work to do...
>

Not people, just one person. It is unlikely that he was one of a group,
since he was referred to with an "al", which means that he was distinct,
and well identified. Unless of course he was disntinct in another way by
this name (for example, if there was a group of them, and he was the
only one in proximity.)

[Deleted Text]


> The issue has several aspects.
>
> First, it doesn't make much sense to say it is a proper name, because
> it has a definite article in front of it. It is "as-Samiri". Proper
> names are not prefaced with articles as far as I know. Have you ever
> read of al-Muhammad? But I have seen at-Tabari, because he was born
> in Tabari(stan), he is "the Tabaristanian" to translate it into English.
>

"al" can be used for surnames (can be a tribe, or a place of origin.) It
can be attached to a surname, even if it was a normal name (if it was
taken as a surname.)

It can also be used to identify a person who has a certain proffesion,
the same way you would use "the" in english. like "the carpenter", or a
characteristic, like "aljahidh" (a well known historical character)
which means the person who has his eyes bulging out to a noticeable
degree.

Other than the posibility of assameri being a term to identify the
person according to his origin, it can also be some type of
characteristic. One could say the name might have a hebrow meaning, that
might not be common with arabic, but I don't know enough about that. The
possibility that it is derived from an arabic root would mean that it
could mean "ssamar" which is a term for talking in the night (usually
used to refer to talks of entertainment), in which a person is called
"ssamer" and a group are called "ssommar". Of course, there might be
another meaning that could be derived, but this seems to me the most
likely (if it was a case of a characteristic.) He could have been a
person (who in this case "might" be jewish) who was distinguished in
such events.

> But more importantly, there IS an explanation that makes more sense
> than any of the above ad hoc connections to people who had little
> to do with Israel while in slavery in Egypt...
>
> The question is not what kind of possibilities we can invent
> by stretching our imagination widely. The question is what does
> give the most coherent and likely understanding of all the facts
> available?
>

History sometimes would require imagination, when there is a lack of
solid data. The quote that you bring is just an attempt to attach the
incident of assameri to "a source," in which you imagine how things
became "altered" in the qur'an. Of course, it's not an "ad hoc" since
the qur'an is false :)

> In Tisdall's book "Sources of Islam", we find:

[Deleted Text]


> 2. If this were the only story in the Qur'an with such similarities
> one could dismiss it as coincidence. There are many strange things
> in this world, and one should never base a theory on isolated
> snippets of observations. However, there are many (a whole book
> full) of eerie parallels between rabbinical writings and the Qur'an
> and when there are too many, then the explanation of coincidence
> becomes less and less convincing, and a dependence is more and
> more likely.
>

There is a simple explanation for that. You assume that the bible is all
true, and you seem to dismiss the possibility that some "rabbinical"
writings might have some truth in them. Part of the reason that the
qur'an reveales some of these stories is to give (what Muslims believe)
a more sound telling of what happened in certain incidents (like in the
incident of Haron.)

> I hope this clarifies the reasons the many see this rabbinical
> tale as a source for the Qur'anic story.
>

The ever existing problem in this is that you want to establich that the
qur'an is false, and in this effort, you are inclined to accept
explanations to support such conclusion :)

There is an interesting theory (though only a theory) regarding assameri
(based on certain notes of the telling of the incident,) but since you
are only interested in contradictions, and establishing the falsehood of
the qur'an, I don't think you will be interested in it :)

I hope there was some benefit for you in this discussion, but it was
entertaining any way :)

Peace
Saad


Mohammad Ghoniem

unread,
Jun 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/2/99
to
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Assalaamu 3alaykom wa raHmatollaahi wa barakaatoh

In article <7j146c$n2q$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
jk...@math.gatech.edu wrote:

> The issue has several aspects.
>
> First, it doesn't make much sense to say it is a proper name, because
> it has a definite article in front of it. It is "as-Samiri". Proper
> names are not prefaced with articles as far as I know. Have you ever
> read of al-Muhammad? But I have seen at-Tabari, because he was born
> in Tabari(stan), he is "the Tabaristanian" to translate it into
> English.

Let me complicate slightly an already complicated issue:

There are Arabic proper names that take a definite article without
refering to an origin. For instance, "As-Sayyed" is a proper Arabic name
widely used in Egypt and means "the master" and of course, there is the
Divine name Allah that begins with a definite article too. One last
example of proper Arabic names taking a definite article is
"Ash-Shaymaa'" which is a girl's name used frequently in Egypt (when
used orally in modern times many people would drop the definite article
for convenience but it is still there in written documents).

Of course, the "i" in the end of As-Saamiri makes it likely (though not
necessary) that it refers to an origin.

In the end, maybe some more caution should be taken in this issue
especially from people who don't know much about Arabic names or
language.

wassalaamu 3alaykom wa raHmatollaahi wa barakaatoh.

Mohammad


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.


sv...@hotmail.com

unread,
Jun 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/3/99
to
In article <7i5slt$fgj$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
jk...@math.gatech.edu wrote:

> In article <7hpeqh$r1i$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
> "Dr. M S M Saifullah" <sa...@aecl.ntt.co.jp> writes:
>
>> Samarians or Samaritans? The Christian missionaries have
>> claimed that the mention of Samaritans during the time of
>> Moses and Aaron(P) in the Qur'an is a historical
>> contradiction.

JK
> ...discussion snipped, we may pick it up at a later time...

Dr.S.


>> If the Samaritans trace their origins from the time of
>> Joseph's(P) descendants, then they were certainly in
>> existence in the time of Moses(P)!

JK


> Just for clarification let me ask this:
>

> The usual response by Yusuf Ali and Jamal Badawi on this
> issue has been to deny that this word refers to a
> Samarian/Samaritan (that is really insubstantial). Even
> though it is the exact same Arabic word as the one that
> is used for the Samaritans, it is supposedly not derived
> from it, but from some other entity, so goes the reasoning.

SV
That is one possible line of reasoning. The Quran could refer
to a name or title that existed in the time of Moses which
was eventually applied to a group of people, the Samaritans.
Where did they get their name from? From where did the city
or area called Samaria derive its name? Do you wish to argue
that the name or title was unknown at the time of Moses(pbuh)
and could only have been invented at a much later time?

JK


> Now, it seems to me that Saifullah does no longer want to
> hold to this kind of evasive explanation, but instead
> tries to prove that these Samaritans can already (by their
> own claim) be traced back far enough to make the Qur'anic
> mentioning valid, and no longer a contradiction.

SV
That too is a possibility. The Samaritans trace their own
history to a period before Moses(pbuh).

JK


> Before we discuss the issue, I would like to have this
> clarification:
>
> Does Saifullah agree with most non-Muslim writers now
> (and we agree too) that this Qur'anic verse talks about
> a Samaritan (i.e. a name for a people group or ethnic/
> tribal entity, just like saying "a German" or "an Arab"
> or "a Levite") and not about a man who for whatever reason
> had the personal name of "as-Samiri" but this has nothing
> to do with Samaritans.

SV
It might refer to one or the other, both or neither.
As-Samiri might just have been the persons name, it might
have been a title used to refer to a group of people or it
might just be an attributive title the Quran employs to
describe the person in question.

JK


> If we agree on this, then we have a basis for discussion.
> If he wants to play both sides of the issue, then there is
> no point of even discussing this. Can't have your cake and
> eat it too.

SV
Your claim is that the Quran is in error. How can that be
when there are several very reasonable ways to remove the
alleged error?

JK


> Is in your eyes, "as-Samiri" a proper personal name, or
> is it a term telling us about his belonging to the group
> of "Samari(t)ans" whether they existed at this time as
> Saifullah claims, or not as many other claim?
>
> Please commit yourself clearly to an interpretation and
> then we discuss the rest of the evidence. But first I want
> to know what exactly we are discussing.

SV
I say we are discussing all possible interpretations. If
it is proven that a particular interpretation is incorrect
then we can dismiss it.

Personally, I think 'as-Samiri' was an attributive name
applied to the leader or the group among the Jews who
conspired and taught others to worship the calf-idol.

Referring to the Bible we can note two interesting facts.
First let's refer to Ezekiel:

"The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, confront
Jerusalem with her detestable practices and say, 'This is
what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry
and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father
was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
[Bible, Ezekiel 16:1-3]

The chapter continues making much use of metaphorical
language to describe Jerusalem and it's adulterous practices
until we reach the following:

"You(Jerusalem) are a true daughter of your mother, who
despised her husband and her children; and you are a true
sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and
their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father
an Amorite. Your older sister was Samaria,..."
[Bible, Ezekiel 16:45,46]

According to this Samaria is the older sister of Jerusalem.
Does the Bible then not recognise the antiquity of Samaria?
Jerusalem is a very old city and it appears Samaria is older.
We find that Jerusalem is indeed an old city when the Bible
refers to it in Genesis:

"After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the
kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet
him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
Then Melchizedek king of Salem [Jerusalem] brought out
bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,"
[Bible, Genesis 14:17,18]

We find that, in his time, Abraham(pbuh) meets the King of
Jerusalem and the Bible suggests that Samaria is Jerusalem's
older sister. In other words it would be possible for the
Quran to refer to a Samaritan in the time of Moses(pbuh),
during the Exodus.

Now let's refer to the second passage of the Bible relevant
to our discussion:

"In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became
king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them
in Tirzah. He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for
two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling
it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of
the hill." [ Bible, 1 Kings 16:23,24]

According to the above passage, Samaritans are named after
a city, named after a hill, named after a previous owner of
the hill whose name was Shemer. Thus we can suggest that the
names Shemer or even Samiri had been in use long before there
was a city built in the area.

For now, let us pretend that the Christian is correct and
there was no such thing as a Samaritan in the time of
Moses(pbuh) and let us pretend that the Quran is in fact
referring to a Samaritan.

Since, Samaria is named after a hill, which is a location,
we can refer to people who lived in the vicinity as Samaritans
whether or not Samaria actually existed at their time or not.
For example, if I say that in 1000 AD the main source of
food for Native Americans was buffalo and fish, have I made
some sort of mistake? After all, the name "America" did not
even exist at that time. No, it might be proper to refer to
them by that name as it signifies the area or geographical
location in which they lived.

So, if a person was from an area that was later called Samaria,
would it be wrong to refer to that person as a Samaritan? If
the Samiri of the Quran simply lived in the area that later
became known as Samaria, there should be no harm in referring
to him as a "Samaritan" in the same way one might refer to
Native Americans. In fact, that is exactly what the Bible
itself appears to do in the above quoted passage. The hill is
called Samaria before that name actually existed. Unless we
assume the hill or area was already called Samaria and the
Bible is wrong that it was named after the man who sold it.
(I think that is likely)

Now let us turn to the Quran and the Arabic word "as-Samiri"
which appears to be derived from "samar". One possible
derivation is "Se-me-ra" which means to pass the night
in conversation. The word has been used in the Quran in this
sense:

"My communications were indeed recited to you, but you used
to turn back on your heels, In arrogance; talking nonsense
about the Quran, and left him like [one telling fables by
night.](Sa-mar-an)" [Quran 23:66,67]

Another derivative of "Samar" is "Samra" which means "to nail
something. "Samir" is a "person who nails". The word "Samir"
(one who nails) can be used to refer to those who carry on
the profession of blacksmiths or carpenters.

Now if we examine the passage of the Quran that refers to
as-Samiri we find that both interpretations would fit the
person who led the people of Moses(pbuh) astray with the
golden calf. The Quran states:

"Allah said, 'WE have tried thy people in thy absence, and
the Samiri has led them astray.' So Moses returned to his
people,... They said, 'We did not break our promise to thee
of our own accord; but we were laden with loads of people's
ornaments and we threw them away, and likewise did the
Samiri cast.' Then he produced for them a calf..."
[Quran 20:85-88]

We see that it was the Samiri who used the ornaments to
create the calf suggesting that he was some sort of artisan
or blacksmith. We also see that it was the Samiri who led the
people astray. According to the Quran, Aaron tried to guide
his people but they would not listen because they had been
beguiled by the Samiri. When confronted by Moses(pbuh), the
Samiri states he was more insightful than the other people;
claiming he saw or understood what they could not.

This appears to establish both senses of the word. As-Samiri
was a capable blacksmith or artisan and he was someone who
lead people astray through vain talk or discourses. That we
should be aware of such arrogant dealers of deception among
us, appears to be the purpose of including this event in the
Quran. It is most fitting that the Quran closes the affair
with the following words:

"Thus do WE relate to thee the tidings of what has happened
before. And WE have given thee from US a Reminder."
[Quran 20:99]

The verse is in one sense a prophecy; That Muhammad(pbuh) and
the Muslims would face similar conditions and people like
as-Samiri. Wasn't it a person much like as-Samiri, Abdullah
bin Saba, who stirred up revolt against the third Khalif,
Uthman, which ended in Uthman's assassination and the split in
Islam? Wasn't Ali accused of being an accomplice in the
assassination? Compare to how the Christians and Jews still
accuse Aaron(pbuh) of creating the golden calf when in fact
it was the doing of as-Samiri. Had the Samiri had his way it
would surely have caused a split between the Israelites.
It is interesting to note that much later in time some
Israelites did split away from the rest of the Israelites
and became known as a distinct community, the Samaritans.

These Samaritans claim that they have existed from a time
before the Exodus. If the Christian wishes to cast doubt on
the Quran by interpreting it as referring to a Samaritan
during the Exodus he will have to prove that the Samritans
are lying or wrong when they state they existed at the time.

Finally, if the Christians wishes to argue about something,
why doesn't he argue about the more important issue about
which the Quran and Bible are in conflict? The Bible accuses
Aaron of creating the idol while the Quran states Aaron tried
to stop them. I doubt the Chritian would want to pursue this
discussion.

"Other scholars, such as Sigmund Mowinckel, believe that the
narrative about the golden calf, which presents Aaron in an
unfavourable light, was part of the ancient tradition in
the Yahwist work, being the only passage in it that mentions
him. This narrative, according to these scholars, originally
came from the northern kingdom of Israel and described Aaron
as the ancestor of the priests in northern Israel; later it
was rewritten in a way defamatory to Aaron. But there are
also features in the narrative that may indicate that a later
source (or traditionist), the Elohist, tried to excuse Aaron
and to put the main responsibility on the people."
[Aaron, Enc.Britannica online]

The Bible scholars appear to be uncertain about Aaron's
involvement in the affair. If only they could see the truth
as found in the Quran. I may bring this up again under the
discussion on apostasy.

--
Wasalaam,
Saqib Virk

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