Jochen's questions answered

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Jochen Katz

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Feb 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/5/98
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I want to stress that this issue discussed in the thread
has nothing to do with me. It was not my question.
And if this continues under my name, I might be forced
to enter the discussion...

Anyway, to this one I want to only point out that there
is still the issue of misquotation. The fact that the Qur'an
brings a quote doesn't absolve it from the responsibility.

In article <6b8i9d$6...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>,
Fariduddien Rice <dr...@see.text.for.email.address> writes:

} The ayat in question is Qur'an 19:27-28. It says, in meaning (Asad
} translation):

} And in time she returned to her people, carrying the child with her.
} They said: "O Mary! Thou hast indeed done an amazing thing! O sister
} ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^
} of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother a
} ^^^^^^^^
} loose woman!"

} An important point to note here, is that the Qur'an is providing a
} *quote*. The Qur'an does not call Mary a "sister of Aaron," instead it
} *quotes* people of her time referring to her as a "sister of Aaron."
} If there was a mistake, it would be the mistake of the people being
} quoted, not of the Qur'an.

This doesn't solve very much.

It is just like with the Qur'anic assertion that the Jews call
Ezra the son of God. But they don't. Whether the Qur'an makes a
false statement or whether the Qur'an false claims that others
make a certain statement, it is still the Qur'an that is wrong.

} Asad writes, on the phrase "sister of Aaron" :
}
} In ancient Semitic usage, a person's name was often linked with that
} of a renowned ancestor or founder of the tribal line. Thus, for
} instance, a man of the tribe of Banu Tamim was sometimes addressed
} as "son of Tamim" or "brother of Tamim." Since Mary belonged to
} the priestly caste, and hence descended from Aaron, the brother of
} Moses, she was called a "sister of Aaron" (in the same way that her
} cousin Elisabeth, the wife of Zachariah, is spoken of in Luke 1:5
} as one "of the daughters of Aaron").

Now, the main question remaining is, whether he only gives assertions,
or if he does give references for this.

"daughter of..." is acknowledged. But where is the "brother of ..."
that is alleged? Can he give us documents from that time that show
this use? Not claims, but evidence?

Best regards,

Jochen Katz

Ahmaed

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Feb 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/7/98
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In article <6bbo9k$i...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>, Jochen Katz
<jk...@math.gatech.edu> writes:

<< I want to stress that this issue discussed in the thread has nothing to do
with me. It was not my question. And if this continues under my name, I might
be forced
to enter the discussion... >>

LOL. I guess you have already entered the conversation. In any case, are you
abolutely sure that this matter has not been raised by you in your website?

<< Anyway, to this one I want to only point out that there is still the issue
of misquotation. The fact that the Qur'an brings a quote doesn't absolve it
from the responsibility. >>

For a start, there is no *misquotation*. Secondly, even if it was an incorrect
expression, the fact remains that the Qur'an is indeed reporting a statement
attributed to the Jews. Now, where I would partially agree with Jochen, is that
I would normally expect the Qur'an *not* to record a false statement, even of
others, without pointing out to the error. However, it is possible that the
Jews taunted Mary the mother of Jesus a.s. by likening her as the literal
sister of Aaron a.s. [Numbers 12:1], who had committed the wicked crime of
accusing Moses a.s. of adultery [33:69].

To demonstrate that the expression under question is not incorrect,
irrespective of whether it was attributed to a third party or not, I wish to
relate an incident which happened in the time of Muhammad s.a.w. When his
Jewish wife, Safiyyah r.a. was taunted by Arab women for being a Jew, Muhammad
s.a.w. asked her to retort back that Aaron a.s. was her father, Moses a.s. her
uncle, and Muhammad s.a.w. her husband. Muhammad s.a.w. was well aware that
Aaron a.s. was not her father, nor Moses a.s. her uncle. This tradition of
Tabari shows that the application of these Arabic terms is not confined to the
above mentioned blood relations.

Hence, the charge against the Qur'an is, as ever, bogus.

<< It is just like with the Qur'anic assertion that the Jews call Ezra the son
of God. But they don't. >>

But they did, even if they may not do so now. At least some Jewish sects did
anyway. Given that the OT is full of the expression *Son of God* being
metaporically applied to prophets of God etc., it should not be a matter of
surprise that Ezra, being a Prophet of God, should be addressed by the Jews in
the manner of their Book.

As usual, such petty charges against the Qur'an only serve to show that there
are no real errors in the Qur'an. The critics just have to make do with such
pathetic attempts at finding fault, desperately hoping that in so doing,
attention is diverted from the gross and blatant errors of the Bible.

Peace.

"Love for All, Hatred for None" [Nasir Ahmad r.a.]
"There is to be no compulsion in religion [Qur'an 2:256]
"Peace is the best... When they incline towards peace, do you incline towards
it also"[Qur'an.

M S M Saifullah

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Feb 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/7/98
to

On 5 Feb 1998, Jochen Katz wrote:

assalamu-alaikum:

> It is just like with the Qur'anic assertion that the Jews call

> Ezra the son of God. But they don't. Whether the Qur'an makes a
> false statement or whether the Qur'an false claims that others
> make a certain statement, it is still the Qur'an that is wrong.

okay! prove your claim that ezra was not called son of god by some of
the the jews? and how did you know that they did not? or just because no
jew writes about it, it becomes a non-existent fact?

exaltation of ezra by the jews is well-attested fact. it is also
interesting to know that the jews did not complain when this ayah was
revealed (as far as my knowledge goes). if they were against the 'sonship'
of ezra, they would have certainly made the mockery of the prophet (SAW).

i posted the following sometime ago on soc.religion.islam

the below paragraphs are taken from the book "A History of The Jews of
Arabia: from ancient times to their eclipse under Islam" by Gordon
Darnell Newby, University of South Carolina Press, 1988. ISBN
0-87249-558-2. the chapter concerned in this book is "the jews of hijaz"

before proceeding, let us build the ground work.

"steven wasserstrom has demonstrated that post-islamic karaite attacks on
rabbinite judaism depict the rabbinites both as anthropomorphizing and as
worshipping an angel that functions as the substitute creator of the
universe. that angel is usually identified with metatron. enoch was
frequently equated with metatron and regarded as "lesser god", an angel
creator. when we look to later authors who write about varieties of jews,
we find both anthropomorphizing and the belief in the creator-angel to be
an essential definition of rabbinite judaism in the early islamic period."
[pp. 59]

and further the author states that:

"it is clear, nevertheless, that the polemic against the jews in this
passage (i.e., quraan 5:64) in the quraan is against rabbinite jews who
have, by way of interest for us, a passing aquaintance with magic and
mysticism and are well acquainted with the enoch traditions." [pp. 59]

with this ground work let us proceed to the issue of ezra as the son of
god.

the quraan says:

"and the jews say: ezra is the son of allah......" (quraan 9:30)

"in 1 enoch, and 4 ezra, the term "son of god" can be applied to the
messiah, but most often it is applied to righteous men, of whom jewish
tradition holds there to be no more righteous than the ones god elected
to translate to heaven alive. it is easy, then to imagine that among the
jews of the hijaz who were apparently involved in the mystical
speculations associated with "merkabah", ezra, because of the traditions
of his translation, because of his piety, and particularly because he was
equated with enoch as the scribe of god, could be termed one of the "bene
elohim". and, of course, he would fit the description of the religious
leader (one of the "ahbar" of quraan 9:31) whom the jews have exalted."
[pp. 61]

on the other hand we have "Encylopedia Judaica Jerusalem" under "Ezra" we
see many speculations regarding this issue. one of the interesting
quotes there is:

"h.z.hirschberg proposed another assumption based on the words of ibn
hazm (I, 99), namely, that the "righteous" who live in yemen believe that
'uzayr was indeed the son of allah. according to other muslim sources,
there were some yemenite jews who had converted to islam who believed
that ezra was the messiah. for muhammad, ezra, the apostle (!) of the
messiah, can be seen in the same light as the christians saw jesus, the
messiah, the son of allah." [pp. 1108]

--
Dr. M S M Saifullah NTT Basic Research Laboratories
'Islamic Awareness' http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/5603/

Jochen Katz

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Feb 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/8/98
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In article <6bh274$8...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>,
ahm...@aol.com (Ahmaed) responds to me:

} << I want to stress that this issue discussed in the thread has nothing to do
} with me. It was not my question. And if this continues under my name, I might
} be forced
} to enter the discussion... >>
}
} LOL. I guess you have already entered the conversation. In any case, are you
} abolutely sure that this matter has not been raised by you in your website?

Nearly every matter imaginable is raised on my web site that has more than
1000 pages now. The issue is that I did not raise the question here. I asked
a question about the thousands of people who were supposedly resurrected
at some time according to sura 2:243, and what this refers to.

And Shane Nickolson titled his response as above. And then some other
people brought the "Mary sister of Aaron" into it and most of what was
discussed under this header was this question I have nothing to do with
at this time. I have an opinion, and you can find it on my web page.
But I don't want to discuss it now.

Regards,

Jochen Katz

Zaharuddin Fikri

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Feb 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/8/98
to

as salaamu a'laykum

A demand for proof / evidence was raised against br. Fariduddien
regarding his explanation of the passage in the Qur'an 19:27-28,
on the usages of the words "sister" and "brother of" by the
people of the past.

Here is one such usage of the term "sister" by a man speaking to
his wife. In the context of this hadith (rather long and I have
only copied the pertinent portion), it is an indication of
surprise, an interjectory usage, as obviously the husband cannot
be the brother of his wife, and we exclude Abraham (a.s.) and
Sarah ("and those are a people who have passed away").

Narrated by abd al raHman ibn abu bakr in saHih al bukhari, vol 4
no: 781 (partial):

".... By Allah, whenever we took a handful of the meal, the meal
grew from underneath more than that handful until everybody had
eaten to his satisfaction; yet the remaining food was more than
the original meal. abu bakr saw that the food was as much or more
than the original amount. He called to his wife, 'O SISTER OF
BANU FIRAS!'

She said, "O pleasure of my eyes. The food has been tripled in
quantity." abu bakr then started eating thereof and said, "It
(i.e. my oath not to eat) was because of Satan." He took a
handful from it, and carried the rest to the Prophet (pbuh &
hf)...."

With regard to this ayah, we can see from the following hadith
that the early Christians had already asked the same questions
during the time of the Prophet (pbuh & hf) himself, and had
already received an answer, but sad to say some of them are still
asking the same questions in 1418 hijriyyah.

Narrated by mughirah ibn shu'bah in saHih muslim, no: 5326:
"When I came to Najran, they (the Christians of Najran) asked me:
'You read "O sister of Harun" (i.e. Maryam) in the Qur'an,
whereas Moses was born much before Jesus.'

When I came back to the Prophet (pbuh & hf) I asked him about
that, whereupon he said: 'The (people of the old age) used to
give names (to their persons) after the names of apostles and
pious persons who had gone before them.'"

As for the usage of the term "brother of", the following hadith
might be useful.

Narrated by abdullah ibn umar in saHih muslim, no: 2011:
"While we were sitting with the Prophet (pbuh & hf), a person,
one of the ansar, came to him and greeted him. The ansari then
turned back. Upon this the Prophet (p) said: 'O BROTHER OF ANSAR,
how is my brother Sa'd ibn Ubadah?' He said: 'He is better.'

The Prophet (p) then said: 'Who amongst you would visit him? He
(the Prophet) stood up and we also got up along with him, and we
were more than ten persons...."

I hope that after this, no one will claim that the terms
"brother" or "sister" have *never* been used to call people by
during those times, in that region.

wassalam,
Zaharuddin Fikri

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