Muftis opinion on Luxenberg

Question ID: 23629

As a practising Muslim i am convinced that as we hold the quraan today,that is exactly how it was given to our beloved rasool!But the coding system of the quraan was done many years after the time of our beloved Rasool,a european expert on old languages has made the following assertion,please clarify mufti saheb.

Luxenberg remarks that the Qur’an contains much ambiguous and even inexplicable language. He asserts that even Muslim scholars find some passages difficult to parse and have written reams of Quranic commentary attempting to explain these passages. The assumption behind their endeavours, however, has always been that any difficult passage is both true and meaningful, and that it can be deciphered with the tools of traditional Muslim scholarship. Luxenberg accuses Western academic scholars of the Qur’an of taking a timid and imitative approach, relying too heavily on the biased work of Muslim scholars.
Luxenberg argues that scholars must start afresh, ignore the old Islamic commentaries, and use only the latest in linguistic and historical methods. He argues that Muhammad was preaching concepts that were new to many of his Arab hearers, concepts that Muhammad had learned from his conversations with the Arabian Jews and Christians, or from the Christians of Syria (where he is believed to have travelled). Hence, if a particular Quranic word or phrase seems meaningless in Arabic, or can be given meaning only by tortured conjectures, it makes sense�he arguesto look to the Aramaic and Syriac languages as well as Arabic.

Whereas traditional Islamic commentary generally limits itself to Arabic lexicology, Luxenberg proposes to expand the number of languages to be consulted.
Luxenberg also argues that the Qur’an is based on earlier texts, namely lectionaries used in the Christian churches of Syria, and that it was the work of several generations to adapt these texts into the Qur’an we know today.

According to Islamic tradition, the Koran dates back to the 7th century, while the first examples of Arabic literature in the full sense of the phrase are found only two centuries later, at the time of the ‘Biography of the Prophet’; that is, of the life of Mohammed as written by Ibn Hisham, who died in 828. We may thus establish that post-Koranic Arabic literature developed by degrees, in the period following the work of al-Khalil bin Ahmad, who died in 786, the founder of Arabic lexicography (kitab al-ayn), and of Sibawayh, who died in 796, to whom the grammar of classical Arabic is due. Now, if we assume that the composition of the Koran was brought to an end in the year of the Prophet Mohammed’s death, in 632, we find before us an interval of 150 years, during which there is no trace of Arabic literature worthy of note.[3]
At that time, there were no Arab schools�except, perhaps, for the Christian centers of al-Anbar and al-Hira, in southern Mesopotamia, or what is now Iraq. The Arabs of that region had been Christianized and instructed by Syrian Christians. Their liturgical language was Syro-Aramaic. And this was the vehicle of their culture, and more generally the language of written communication.[3]
Beginning in the third century, the Syrian Christians did not limit themselves to bringing their evangelical mission to nearby countries, like Armenia or Persia. They pressed on toward distant territories, all the way to the borders of China and the western coast of India, in addition to the entire Arabian peninsula all the way to Yemen and Ethiopia. It is thus rather probable that, in order to proclaim the Christian message to the Arabic peoples, they would have used (among others) the language of the Bedouins, or Arabic. In order to spread the Gospel, they necessarily made use of a mishmash of languages. But in an era in which Arabic was just an assembly of dialects and had no written form, the missionaries had no choice but to resort to their own literary language and their own culture; that is, to Syro-Aramaic. The result was that the language of the Koran was born as a written Arabic language, but one of Arab-Aramaic derivation.[3]
What is mufti saheb’s response to this?

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Asked on May 12, 2010 12:00 am
Private answer
This person is mis-guided.
Many answers have already been given to the assumptions made.
Adequate refutation verbally I have done on the allegations of this person.
See audio on site.
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Answered on May 12, 2010 12:00 am