That Ur-Qur'an, That Alfarrabista In Lisbon
I suggested long ago at this site that someone might discover, deep in the dust-covered corner, of a neglected basement, in the small building once housing a long-gone alfarrabista in a back-alley in Lisbon, an Ur-Qur'an. And that Ur-Qur'an, that is a text much more of which would be in Aramaic, or rather Syriac (the Aramaic of Edessa), and would clearly demonstrate its origin in what was originally (as Luxenberg suggests) a Christian lectionary.
While few scholars in the world would be capable of judging such a find, the few who are would at first be skeptical and then, one by one, even the timid, be forced to recognize -- and there would be carbon-dating, and all the rest of it -- that this was indeed an Ur-Qur'an, from the late seventh century. And when everyone, when Michael Cook and Patricia Crone decide that they must go along with Alfred-Louis de Premare and Andrew Rippen and Gerd Puin and many others from every country, and then a few brave Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only Muslims begin to write, first in the Arab press in London, and then elsewhere, that "we Muslims must allow Islam to be subject to scholarly investigation just as Jews and Christians have allowed" and the all-hell-that-breaks-loose turns out to be not quite so hellish, and the Aga Khan endorses the idea, and then some maghrebin intellectuals follow suit, and so do a handful of disaffected (but carefully not yet declared apostates) Pakistanis living in the West, and then it turns out that that Ur-Qur'an is not only the missing link between that posited lectionary and the received, Muslim version (there are, or were, actually two, but very close, so let's leave that out of it) but has the little added benefit of possibly making Muslims capable of living in peace, rather than in a state of permanent war (though not necessarily warfare) with Infidels, and it no longer will have to be done through hocus-pocus smoke-and-mirror appeals that may in any case be made by so-called "reformers" who wish mainly to get the Infidels off of Islam's case but now, if they wish, can use this Ur-Qur'an to make the case better.
And World Peace will reign. And Harmony, Universal Harmony. And the World's Great Age will begin anew.
You heard it here first.
Hollywood: what about that movie deal? Write to me c/o NER.
Posted on 08/31/2007 7:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald