ISLAM: Basis - Past - Present - Future


Part 3:

The Divine Right to Rule


by Manfred Davidmann



Contents

Overview
Introduction
Ruling the Muslims: The Struggle for Power and Control after Mohammed Died
   Abu-Bakr
   Umar
   Uthman
   Ali
   Muawiya
Power and Control
Umayyad Rule
Abbasid Revolution
The 'Divine Right to Rule' of the Secular Rulers
The 'Divine Right to Rule' of the Clerics
Under the Umayyads ( -750)
Under the Abbasids (750- )
The 'Divine' Right to Social Decisions-taking
Fixing the Koran's Written Language
Fixing the Koran's Readings; End of 'Free Choice'
Sifting and Validating Traditions (Hadiths)
Collecting, Sifting and Confirming the Circulating Traditions (Hadiths)
Sunnism, its Origins and its Agreed Doctrines (Beliefs)
Consequences of Sunnism and Shiism
The Way Forward

Relevant Current and Associated Works

Notes <..>, References {..} and Links

Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview



Overview

The aim of this report is to assemble an objective picture of what took place and of its background, looking in some detail at how the Koran was compiled so as to show what Mohammed taught in the name of God (Allah), and how this was recorded.

What we have is the Koran and traditions collected many years after the death of the Prophet. However, some uncertainty remains and so we are here embarking on a journey of exploration which will take us through the accumulated dust of many centuries to what Mohammed actually taught, to the revealed word of Allah, of God.

The report consists of seven consecutive free-standing parts. The seven parts follow each other in an intended sequence in which each is aiding and contributing to understanding the following part. The parts are:

1     Prophet Mohammed's Struggle for a Better Life for All
             
       

The information brought together in Part 1 relates primarily to Mohammed's struggle for recognition of his mission and message and is limited to this. Knowing about, and understanding, Mohammed's struggle is of vital importance if one wishes to understand what Mohammed taught, the Koran and Muslim belief and practice.

Throughout his whole life as Prophet he struggled against the powerful Meccan ruling elite, against the Meccan family which dominated Mecca, the Quraysh. They first opposed and then persecuted him and his followers for ten years, following which he fought them for ten years till he won and then he died.

So we need to know just what Mohammed taught which upset the elite so thoroughly and persistently, which caused him and his followers to be so harshly opposed and so actively persecuted.

         
2     Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran
         
       

The first step towards understanding the intent and substance of God's (Allah's) revelations as expressed by Mohammed's teachings, is to gain knowledge about the then developing Arabic written language, that is to understand how recorded letters and symbols were used to state the meaning of words, and about the dialects of the time.

Such knowledge and understanding is particularly important when considering how the Koran was assembled and what scholars and clerics have done and are doing when they are 'interpreting' the text of the Koran.

         
3     The Divine Right to Rule
         
       

Following Parts 1 and 2 we are here looking at the struggle for power and control over the Muslim community which took place after Mohammed died and seeing how Muslim belief and practice evolved in the two hundred years under the caliphs.

These events and struggles formed Sunnism and Shiism, shaped the Koran and Muslim belief and practice, underlie today's conflicts and confrontations within Islam.

         
4     Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality
         
       

Hadiths (traditions) tell that Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran and that Caliph Uthman later had an official version prepared.

The arabic text of these hadiths recorded the underlying reality. They state that on the one hand we have the word of benevolent Allah as taught by Mohammed that people (believers) should have a good life of high quality in this life, but that on the other hand is the ruling elite's opposing viewpoint that people should be obedient and serve willingly without questioning their condition.

         
5     Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters
         
        The important chapters (suras) singled out by 'abbreviated letters' show how the chronological (as revealed) sequence was changed. The effect of the changes on the record of Mohammed's preaching and teaching is described and followed by a discussion of the doctrines of 'Abrogation' and of 'Consensus' in relation to Mohammed's teachings.
         
6     Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite
         
       

Mohammed's social teachings are stated from Koran chapters (suras) singled out by 'Abbreviated Letters', statements of revelation from compassionate and caring Allah. It seems that some self-seeking doctrines were added later by the ruling elite of that time.

The content of the corresponding compassionate and benevolent teachings are described as are the Koran's stated rewards for following them and the consequences of ignoring or opposing them.

         
7     Muslims and Jews
         
       

Includes a comprehensive summary table of the struggles of the Muslims while Mohammed was alive, primarily against the Meccan ruling elite but also including their conflicts with the Jewish Medinan clans.

The unexpected but convincing conclusions are directly relevant to understanding present tensions and conflicts within Islam.

     
See    
     
1   Prophet Mohammed's Struggle for a Better Life for All
     
2   Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran
     
3   The Divine Right to Rule
     
4   Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality
     
5   Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters
     
6   Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite
     
7   Muslims and Jews



Introduction

Mohammed was ill for a little while before he died in year 632 and could have appointed someone to take his place within the Muslim community, had he wished to do so. He was God's Messenger (rasul Allah) and God's Prophet (nabi Allah), and by himself could not appoint 'successors' to these roles. Only God could do so and thus Mohammed neither recommended nor appointed a 'successor'.

After Mohammed died, Abu Bakr was left to lead prayers at the local prayer meeting. So Mohammed's role as a Muslim within the Muslim community was that of a religious leader, and accordingly he provided for Abu Bakr to lead the local prayers after his (Mohammed's) death.

And it appears that Mohammed pointedly did not nominate a successor so as to emphasize that his unique role was that of serving God and people, that it was not that of organising conquests for the sake of loot and tribal power over others.


Ruling the Muslims: The Struggle for Power and Control after Mohammed Died

Abu Bakr and Umar were in-laws of Mohammed, Ali was a blood-relative (cousin) and son-in-law, but there was no traditional or legal reason why either Abu Bakr or Ali should control and rule the Muslim community. However, we are told that Abu Bakr and Umar succeeded in winning acceptance at a local meeting for Abu Bakr to control and rule the Muslim community. {3}

According to Maxime Rodinson {2}, this outcome appears to have been the result of a secular power-balancing exercise between the Medinan tribes of Khazraj, their Medinan rivals the Aws, and the Qurayshi emigrants who had come from Mecca with Mohammed. Rodinson records:

"As night fell, everyone had forgotten the body (Mohammed's) still lying in Aisha's little hut. ... Late that night it was finally agreed that Abu Bakr should be the 'successor' of the Messenger of Allah."

"Meanwhile the members of Mohammed's family (including his son-in-law Ali) had assembled in his house." They heard what had taken place, "were furious but powerless". And "they decided to bury Mohammed that same night in the hut in which he had died (possibly to prevent Abu Bakr leading the funeral procession and so appearing to be the Prophet's appointed successor). For months they refused to recognise Abu Bakr."

So we have some knowledge about by whom, and how and why, Abu Bakr came to be selected to rule the Muslims. But he took the title 'Successor to God's Messenger' (Khalifat rasul-Allah) from which came the title 'Caliph' meaning 'Successor'. {3}


The first four rulers of the Muslims are being called the 'Rashiduns', that is the 'rightly-guided'. Just what the term 'rightly-guided' means is not defined in concrete terms and Shia and Sunni Muslims confront each other about who was rightly-guided and who not, about who was more rightly-guided than the other. In effect, one side is saying that Mohammed's cousin and son-in-law Ali should have ruled the Muslim community after Mohammed died, the other side is arguing against them. So statements about being 'rightly-guided', or about being more or less rightly-guided, are sectarian <1> and need to be disregarded until 'rightly-guided' is defined in meaningful and objective term.

To see what actually happened we need to look at the first five rulers together and the picture which emerges is enlightening, clear and to the point. Consider the following information about the first five Muslim rulers (caliphs):

Year           Reign
(Years)
    Ruler
(Caliph)
           
                 
632-34    2   Abu Bakr        
                 
634-44   10   Umar   (Assassinated)    
                 
644-56   12   Uthman   (Assassinated)   Uthman ibn Affan ibn Umayya

First of the Umayyad caliphs
                 
656-61    5   Ali   (Assassinated)    
                 
661-80   19   Muawiya       Cousin of Uthman

Following the death of Ali, Muawiya's caliphate was recognised and this established the Umayyad dynasty

Abu Bakr ruled for two years before he died. Each of the other three 'rightly-guided' rulers was assassinated for one reason or another. What we see during this period is a bitter struggle for control and absolute rule over the Muslim community.

At stake is the wealth being collected annually from Muslims by way of charity and other taxation, the enormous power resulting from commanding the Muslim forces, the enormous material loot and human slaves resulting from their campaigns.

But this community, this mixed population, is not a tribe or nation. What they have in common is the religious belief revealed by God through His Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed.


This is what Abdou Filali-Ansari said recently about what took place {16}:

After Mohammed died in 632, the Muslim community became a proper state. Muslims were immediately divided over this.

Those who defended an empire (caliphate) led by a chief "elected" by an assembly, carried the day.

The supporters of Ali, who wanted a state run by the Prophet's family, created Shiism.

But a third branch is always forgotten. These were the early Muslims, such as Malik ibn Nuwaira and Abu Dharr, who said: "We're a religious community, so why set up a state?" They were executed or forced out. Over the centuries, many thinkers who've taken up their ideas have met the same fate. Their history has never been written.

So let us consider in a little more detail what took place:


632-34    Abu-Bakr

Abu Bakr was the father of Mohammed's wife Aisha, Umar was the father of Mohammed's wife Hafsa.

Abu Bakr was selected to rule the community by a meeting of Muslims who were apparently persuaded by Umar to select Abu Bakr.

Abu-Bakr later appointed Umar to succeed him.


Abu Bakr assumed the title 'Caliph', short for 'Successor to the Messenger of God'.

Mohammed's family, including Ali, the Prophet's cousin and son-in-law, reluctantly recognised Abu Bakr's authority some months after Abu Bakr took over. {3}


It was some time after the battle of Yamama (633) that Zaid ibn Thabit was asked to start compiling the Koran. The completed manuscript was given to Abu Bakr some time before Abu Bakr's death in 634.

Zaid must have completed the first compiling of the Koran very quickly, seeing that Abu Bakr died in 634. On the other hand, his manuscript could have been shorter than the Koran compiled later at Caliph Uthman's request.


The state was called the 'Muslim Community'. Conquered tribesmen had to pay taxes.
Each tribal group was administered by an Agent (amil), often one of the Quraysh or the ansar <2>. The agent apparently supervised the tribe and collected the taxes that were due from it. {5}

The conquered were dominated by the state, but
they had no active share in the formulation or execution of state policy, which remained the exclusive domain of the elite. {5}

Fred Donner {5} writes that at the outset the elite included tribesmen of Medina (the ansar) and the Meccan Quraysh. According to Donner:

"as their rivalries became sharper, the elite became increasingly narrowly defined as successive groups were eased out of positions of real influence. The Quraysh seem to have risen quickly to a position of practical dominance over other elements in the elite." And that

"the ansar, in Abu Bakr's day, were already worried enough to demand of him, "Who is in charge of this affair? Do the ansar have a share in it?"


634-44    Umar

Umar was the father of Mohammed's wife Hafsa.

Abu Bakr had left instructions for Umar to succeed him. {3}

Umar took the title 'amir-al-muminin' which can be translated as 'Commander of the Faithful' and equally well as 'Prince of the Believers'.


The giving of alms (zakat) became a tax collected from Muslims leading a settled life 'for the support of the Muslim community' {8}.

Which seems to imply that the deciding of who or what needed and deserved financial support was taken from individual believers. Decisions about what to do with the collected alms tax seem from then on to have been made by those in authority.


Newly absorbed tribal groups had to pay tax. According to Fred Donner {5} that paid by nomadic tribesmen was called 'sadaqa', that paid by settled non-Muslims was called 'jizya, jaza', and

the "fiercely independent nomads were reduced to subject status and supervised by the tax agents sent out among them".

Further, "Umar formed his armies of conquest by requesting his agents among the tribes to send contingents from the groups for which they were responsible."


In November 644 the Caliph Umar was assassinated.

He had designated a special council to select a successor and they chose Uthman. {3}


644-56    Uthman

Uthman was a member of the powerful Umayyad family of Mecca {3} and he had a wife who was one of Mohammed's daughters.

Uthman ordered a committee to prepare an approved text of the Koran and ordered that it be used by all Muslims. He also ordered that all other versions of the Koran be destroyed.

Uthman was assassinated in Medina in June 656.
'Discontented tribesmen rose in revolt and in June 656 the aged Caliph Uthman was murdered' {3}; Uthman was killed by mutineers' {14}.


656-61    Ali

Ali was a cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed and, following the death of Uthman in 656, Ali was acclaimed as Caliph in Medina.

But Muawiya, a cousin of Uthman and also Governor of Damascus, refused to recognise him. Ali was unable to overcome Muawiya.

A group of Muslims, the Kharijites (Outgoers) distanced themselves from the majority and in January 661, Ali was assassinated by a Kharijite.

There was then no serious opposition to Muawiya.


661-80    Muawiya

Muawiya was a cousin of Uthman, one of the descendants of Umayya.

Muawiya had already had himself proclaimed Caliph in Jerusalem {3} and, after Ali's death, Muawiya's caliphate was generally recognised {14}.

This established the Umayyad dynasty.


Power and Control

So what we have seen is that the first three of the 'rightly-guided' caliphs, were all either a father-in-law or a son-in-law of Mohammed, were not blood-relatives. The fourth, Ali, was both a blood-relative (cousin) and a son-in-law.

The core issue is secular authority and control, personal power over people, over the 'believers', on behalf of their family, clan and tribe in line with customary Arab tradition and behaviour. What is at issue is personal authority and control over vast personal income, wealth and power resulting from directing and controlling Arab forces, from the conquest and subjection of wealthier neighbouring people.

Not an issue for them, and not being considered by them, is the taking over of Mohammed's actual role as intermediary between God and people. In other words, they are not competing for an exclusively-religious leadership of the Muslim people, of the believers, of the Muslim community at large.


But just what is 'the Muslim community'?

Abdou Filali-Ansari {16} says:

What the Prophet founded at Medina wasn't a political entity. It was a religious community. You joined it because you wanted to become a Muslim, by simply taking an oath (a profession of faith).

It was a sort of anti-tribe, which ruled out identifying oneself with a particular clan.

This community, this mixed population, is not a tribe or nation.

What Mohammed did was to replace blood ties and family-based tribes with a religious community which all who were deprived could join. And together they became powerful enough to defend themselves, to overcome other tribes and so compel people to join them.

What they have in common is the religious belief revealed by God through His Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed.


Now we can understand the behaviour of the rulers, understand their claiming to be Mohammed's 'successors', their adopting the title Caliph (Successor to the Messenger of God).

By calling themselves Caliphs, that is by calling themselves successors to God's Messenger, to the Prophet Mohammed, the rulers are persuading the community into serving the rulers in the name of religion. The rulers are using religion as a means of indoctrinating and motivating the Muslim community into willingly serving their rulers and their rulers' establishments.

What is clear is that those who ruled the Arab Muslims and later also non-Arab Muslims, considered Islam as a means to an end rather than considering their objective to be that of spreading the word of God and of corresponding humane behaviour.

Islam, and converting others to Islam, was the outward appearance, the motivating means, the means used for oppressing and exploiting their own Arabs and Arab tribes as well as other conquered peoples.

So Islam was used as a means of ensuring that joiners transferred their total allegiance to the new super-tribe of Muslims in the service of the Muslim organisation, that is in the service of their rulers and their rulers' establishments.


This is how Maxime Rodinson {2} describes what happened after the death of Mohammed:

At the head of the Arab empire was the family of Quraysh which had been the most determined in its opposition to the Prophet.

It was as if Mohammed had worked and preached, all for the greater glory and profit of his enemies.

To the Quraysh, to the elite, Islam had become, and was used as, a way of conditioning the masses into subservient obedience for the benefit of the elite, as a way of conditioning the masses into willingly accepting the hardships of mere existence while serving and dying for their masters, for the elite.


Umayyad Rule

The Umayyad family ruled the Arab empire from 661 to 750.

The Prophet Mohammed had taught God's revelations in the language of those whom he addressed, that is in Arabic, so that they could understand what he taught and could apply what he taught in their daily lives.

But, as Kelley Ross {7} records,
many Arabs were made to believe that Mohammed had simply been a Prophet for the Arabs. Newly converted Muslims needed to be affiliated with an Arab tribe
and were considered inferior. In time
hostility against the Umayyads began to mount. The resentment of the non-Arabic second-class Muslims joined with the cause of the partisans of Ali, questioning the legitimacy of the regime and agitating against it.


Abbasid Revolution

In 750 the Umayyads were overthrown and massacred (except in Spain). This, the Abbasid revolution, ended the Arab empire and established a kind of 'equality' between Muslims of Arab descent and other Muslims.

This is how Kelley Ross {7} describes what happened:

When the storm broke, it was with astonishing ferocity. The entire Umayyad clan was exterminated. Only one prince escaped, to Spain, where an Umayyad regime endured. Elsewhere, the rebellion succeeded completely, bringing to power distant cousins of the Umayyads, the descendants of Mohammed's uncle Abbas, that is the Abbasids.

Arab and non-Arab Muslims now became more equal and the influence of Persian civilization began to predominate. The Arabs lost their preeminence, and soon it was the rare Caliph who was not the child of a Persian or Turkish mother.

Mansfield {3} describes what happened, in these terms:
The Arab tribal aristocracy had been ousted by the new social class of government officials, landowners and merchants, whose activities were more fundamental to the life of the cities and settled communities. These also included the Muslim scholars collectively known as 'ulema'.


The coming of the Abbasids triggered fundamental changes to Muslim belief and practice. Starting one or two decades after the Abbasids took over, we see a power struggle between 'church' (clerics, ulema) and state (caliphs, civil servants) for the right to take social decisions, which lasted about a hundred years. And during the next hundred years the Koran's text was finally fixed by the addition of diacritical and vowel points, it was decreed that only seven particular readings of the Koran could be used, and the many circulating traditions (hadiths) were collected, sifted and validated. Fundamental changes of the greatest importance to Islam. Changes which shaped today's Muslim belief and practice.

To see and understand what took place we now first look at the 'divine right to rule' from the point of view of the rulers and then from that of the clerics.

We then look at what happened, at the course of events, under the Umayyads and after the Abbasids took over.


The 'Divine Right to Rule' of the Secular Rulers

We saw that:

Abu Bakr was the first to rule and the first to assume the title Caliph, short for 'Successor to the Messenger of God', and that

Umar took the title 'Commander of the Faithful' ('Prince of the Believers').


The Umayyads claimed that the caliphate had been bestowed on them by God,
it was then easy to go further and say that to deny that God had given the caliphate to the Umayyads was unbelief and that to disobey them or their agents was sin. {14}

And so the Umayyads were using religion to tranquillise their population, to justify enforcing obedience. Later Western rulers, kings, applied the same technique of conditioning ordinary people into what they hoped would be willing obedience by claiming that kings ruled by 'divine' right and, likewise, they enforced obedience through, in the end, the death penalty. {6}


When the Abbasid dynasty came to power in 750, their claim to the caliphate
was based on the assertion that the imamate had passed from Ali by an involved sequence to the father of the first two Abbasid caliphs. {14}

The later Caliph al-Mahdi (775-85) changed their claim,
asserting that the rightful successor of the Prophet had been the Prophet's uncle al-Abbas, and that the succession had then continued in al-Abbas' family, that is in the Abbasids. {14}

And Caliph al-Mamun (813-33) was the first caliph to make use of the term 'Imam'. {14}


So what we see is rulers using religion (Islam) to justify and validate their authority over the population and their rule, by claiming a 'divine right' to rule.


The 'Divine Right to Rule' of the Clerics

Religion teaches what should be done and what must not be done, and at times what must be done, in the light of God's will that people behave like human beings towards each other and have a good life by following rules of behaviour revealed by God. To Muslims the Koran is such a record of revealed rules of behaviour.

And arguments started about the source and extent of 'divine right', about the extent to which clerics ought to be taking part in or controlling secular (social) decision-taking in the name of religion.

The religious scholars, clerics (ulema), felt that if the secular ruler's justification for ruling Muslims, and for the associated almost unimaginable wealth, power and good life, was a 'divine' right, then they as religious scholars were entitled to benefit. They felt that they should share in the good life this 'divine right' provided. And saw that it could be possible for them to later take over secular rule (decision-taking) in the name of religion ('divine right') with all the resulting personal gains. Religious scholars, for example, would look at the extent to which they could work as qadis (judges) and at the extent to which they were being appointed to such positions.


Since then we see continuous confrontations and struggle between secular and religious hierarchies and figureheads, between state (government) and religious authorities, about what should and should not be done, about what must and must not be done, about who should be making these and similar decisions. About the personal role, authority, pay, standard of living and quality of life of the decision-takers.


As they were arguing mainly about who should be making these and similar decisions, you can see how important it is for us to know what actually happened so as to see and understand why Allah's (God's) intent still remains to be achieved.


Under the Umayyads ( -750)

On the Prophet's death in 632 the Islamic religion consisted only of the principles, beliefs and ritual he had taught. And during the reign of Caliph Uthman an official version of Mohammed's teachings was compiled.

Year      
     
650  

The official text of the Koran was compiled by order of Caliph Uthman (644-56), say about 20 years after Mohammed's death. This was a consonantal text without diacritical points for distinguishing consonants and without vowels. {13}

To that extent the text was uncertain. 'Readings' of uncertain texts are interpretations, which means they amount to somehow deciding between alternative meanings, amount to suggesting or providing meaning where the text itself seems unclear, ambiguous or meaningless to the reader. {13}

And the distributing of Uthman's Koran text marks the start of the period of 'free choice' (ikhtiyar) in which the Koran's text was read in different ways, that is in which there were different accepted 'readings' of the text. {13}

Each of the main centres of legal thought tended to go its own way and merely said, 'The teaching of our school is ...', or had supported it by reference to a distinguished earlier member of the school. {14}

People argued about the meaning of particular Koranic statements, or when the interpretation (meaning) of the Koran was in doubt, or when there was no clear Koranic statement. In time, the arguments came to be justified by quoting a tradition (hadith) about something Mohammed had said or done. {14}

In other words, as well as quoting the laws of the Koran, schools lent authority to their teachings by quoting traditions (hadiths) of possibly uncertain origin, to justify their points of views.


Traditions (hadiths) are handed-down stories about the life and times of Mohammed, about Mohammed's teachings and sayings. These recorded traditions have shaped Muslim belief and practice. So they are important and we need to know how and when they originated, how they were compiled and validated, and need to see how they reflect the causes of conflicts and confrontations within modern Islam.

A hadith consists of two parts called 'isnad' and 'matn' {14}:

The 'isnad' simply records the chain of transmitters, stating in sequence the names of the people who handed down the tradition, one to the other.

The 'matn' is the actual information recorded in the hadith, that is the tradition, anecdote or story being passed on.


Some Muslim scholars were adding what could be uncertain traditions about the life and sayings of Mohammed as a second source of information ('root') to what till then had been the single inviolate source of religious law, namely the Koran.

And some scholars attempted to restrict the number of circulating alternative readings of the Koran by proposing rules for comparing and testing them {9}:

The reading, for example, was supposed to fully agree with Uthman's consonantal text, but some held that earlier readings were equally valid.

Again, the reading was supposed to have come down from some reputable authority (isnad), but some were contemptuous of isnad.

Indeed, modern European scholarship has suggested that for much of the Umayyad period (660-750) the anecdotes were handed on without any isnad, or with an incomplete one. {14}


Under the Abbasids (750- )

Year          
     
750   Abbasid revolution. As said already, it replaced the Arab tribal aristocracy with a new social class of government officials, landowners and merchants, whose activities were more fundamental to the life of the cities and settled communities. This 'middle' class included the Muslim scholars collectively known as 'ulema'.
     
780   Grammar of written arabic established, about 150 years after the death of Mohammed. {13}
     
775-85   Rivalry develops between the secretaries (civil servants) and the ulema (religious intellectuals), at time of Caliph al-Mahdi (775-85). {14}
     
800-20   The quoting of 'traditions' (hadiths) to lend authority to an argument, to a religious opinion, becomes popular.

They were quoting 'traditions' (hadiths) about the life and sayings of the Prophet, about religious belief and practice, to lend authority to their arguments.

All the schools began to claim that their teachings were in accordance with both the Koran and traditions (hadiths) as two sources ('roots') of their considered opinions. It seems that from about this time onwards a complete isnad was rigidly required. {14}


As time passed, more and more of these sayings (traditions) were recorded, including undoubtedly a number of forgeries {11}. Isnads could be forged or conjecturally restored and anecdotes (traditions, hadiths) invented {14}. A number of sayings came to be attributed to the Prophet as a consequence of theological controversy <3> {1}. It is only later, from about 850 onwards, that scholars worked to collect and sift, reject or validate, the massive accumulation of circulating traditions (hadiths).

Year          
     
813-33  

Caliph al-Ma'mun (813-33) demanded that those in important positions (such as judges and court officials) should publicly declare their belief that the Koran was the created word of God, not His uncreated word. {14}

This has been called the 'mihna' (Inquisition), but a more appropriate name would have been 'Public Declaration of Loyalty'.

     
850  

Caliph al-Mutawakkil (847-61) in about 850 stopped demanding the public declaration of belief in the createdness of the Koran.

From this time onward (about 850) the Abbasid caliphs apparently accepted the practice of discussing and settling of religious questions by referring to hadiths as well as to the Koran {14}, thus giving much authority and social influence to the clerics (ulema).


One needs to remember that we are here still in the period of 'Free Choice', that is that the Koran's written Arabic language needed fixing, that the Koran was being read in a considerable number of different and equally valid and accepted ways, that there existed a massive volume of traditions with often uncertain chains of transmission and content.

However, from the year 850 the caliphs gave the 'Ahl al-Hadith' ('People of the Hadith') influence and accepted their claims that it was they who should be involved in taking religious decisions. In the next section we take a close look at how this came to be.


The 'Divine' Right to Social Decisions-taking

The core argument being debated during the early period of Abbasid rule was the question of whether the Koran was 'created' or 'uncreated'. An apparently vague and hypothetical theological question. But far from it. People were persecuted and suffered on both sides, the outcome shaped Muslim belief and practice to this day and illustrates the conflicts and confrontations we see today between Muslim rulers and Muslim clerics.

We saw that as schools were claiming that their teachings were in accordance with both the Koran and traditions (hadiths), Caliph al-Mamun found it necessary to demand that those in important positions (such as judges and court officials) should publicly declare their belief that the Koran was the created word of God, not his uncreated word {14}. In effect he demanded a public declaration of loyalty, of allegiance, from his establishment.

The argument runs roughly as follows:

If the Koran is 'created', then God created the Koran as it was immediately after it was created. And He could have created it other than it is, had He wished to do so.

So God created the Koran to be as and what He wanted it to be, because that is precisely what he wanted to do and create.

It then follows that interpreting the Koran's provisions in different ways (assigning different meanings) loses much, if not most, of its validity. And the theorising (interpreting) work of the ulema loses much of its authority.

But a 'divinely-inspired' imam (caliph) would be entitled to 'interpret', that is would be entitled to say how the Koranic provisions were to be applied, that is changed. {14}

On the other side, religious theorists (ulema, clerics) based their arguments

on the vague abstract uncertain and undefined assumption that God had not created the Koran, that it was 'uncreated' by God. They argued that because the Koran was uncreated, they were entitled to interpret, reinterpret and thus modify the application of the Koran's provisions and that they were entitled to base their conclusions not just on the Koran but also on the mass of the then circulating traditions (hadiths).

Since interpreting, the assigning of different meaning, and the forming of conclusions about the application of religious rules and customs, was what the ulema (religious theorists, clerics) were doing, this argument maintained that it was the ulema who should have religious authority, that it was they, the clerics, who should be taking the corresponding social decisions, should have the corresponding authority to make binding enforceable decisions.


Caliph al-Mamun was the first caliph to make use of the title 'Imam' so that in practice the public declaration of loyalty almost certainly meant more power for the caliph's ministers and secretaries. Nearly all the ulema (religious theorists) made the public declaration, apparently out of fear. {14}

The substance of the public declaration was 'That the Koran was the created word of God, not his uncreated word' and this was a doctrine proclaimed by the Mutazilites. Their principles were for a while the official ideology of the Abbasids. {14}


The Mutazilites were a school of thought, which had announced a number of principles including, for example, the humane and far-sighted principle of

'commanding the right and forbidding the wrong' (al-amr bi-l-maruf wa-nahyan al-munkar).

This was understood as the obligation to maintain justice and oppose injustice by tongue, hand and sword, where one was able to do so successfully {14}. 'Justice' means just treatment and implies fairness, honesty, impartiality and integrity.

This principle could cover both moral exhortation of one's fellow Muslims and moral criticism of unjust rulers and even revolt against them. For the earlier Mutazilites, at least, it implied supporting the Abbasids and the Mutazilites apparently had a good deal of political influence with the caliphal government. Several Mutazilites had high positions in al-Mamun's administration. {14}

The Mutazilite main religious principles were {14}

Belief in the absolute oneness of God, the sole eternal being and creator of everything else.

That everyone has free will and will be rewarded or punished for what he does.


Vehemently opposed to Mutazilite principles were the 'Ahl al-Hadith', the 'People of the Hadiths'. {14}

What was at issue was the relative political powers of the caliph and his ministers and civil servants on the one hand and ulema (religious theorists), that is the 'Ahl al-Hadith' ('People of the Hadiths'), on the other hand. {14}

Arguments were developed by both sides with great subtlety, and the range of topics included in the discussion became ever wider, about free will and the individual's responsibility for his acts, about Paradise (Heaven) and Hell, about reward and punishment for obedience and disobedience. {14}

Caliph al-Mutawakkil in about 850 stopped demanding the public declaration of belief (loyalty) that the Koran was the created word of God.

When the policy of demanding a public declaration of loyalty was abandoned, the Mutazilites lost their political influence and their contacts with the caliphal government, and the movement died out. {14}

In effect it was the 'Ahl al-Hadith' ('People of the Hadiths', ulema, clerics) who had gained political influence and authority.

But note particularly that both the caliphs and the clerics were claiming divine right to social decision-taking, to authority over people, to personal power. Hence the use of religious arguments between them. One side based on authority handed down from the Prophet, on succession, and on heading the community as Imam. The other side on basis of a mass of traditions which were additional and external to the Koran, additional to what Mohammed had revealed, additional to the word of Allah (God) as revealed by Mohammed.


The ulema (Ahl al-Hadith, clerics) were quoting traditions (hadiths) to lend authority to their arguments. The content and validity of 'traditions' (hadiths) about the life and sayings of the Prophet, about religious belief and practice, were under the control of the 'Ahl al-Hadith' and at that time there were many of questionable content and validity.

The ulema (Ahl al-Hadith, clerics) maintained that their considered opinions and decisions (usul al-figh) {14}, which were based on both the Koran and on traditions, had the authority of religious law and thus had to be obeyed. In other words, they claimed a divine right to social decision-taking and with it the consequent material and personal advantages to themselves as individuals and as clerics (ulema).


The ulema (Ahl al-Hadith, clerics) apparently went on to refer to their considered opinions as 'decisions' and 'religious law' without making crystal-clear that these were subordinate to the word of Allah, of God, that the word of Allah was the fundamental inviolate constitution. They did not state that they could not and would not in any way supersede, annul or replace any God-given rules of behaviour or their intent. But at that time they were in the period of free choice of Koran readings and, as described below, they set about defining the Koran's written language and its 'reading' and all this took another hundred years to do.

As the Koranic manuscripts were not arranged by subject, the ulema simply had no clear statement of God-given rules of behaviour. But there was a massive quantity of circulating hadiths many of which were of doubtful validity. However, they maintained that their conclusions were based on both the Koran and the traditions and that their conclusions had the authority of religious law and thus had to be obeyed.

Basing their religious decisions on what at that time were to a considerable extent uncertain and questionable traditions about Mohammed's personal life and behaviour instead of basing them on Allah's (God's) rules of behaviour.

On the one hand they failed to state clearly that their 'decisions' and 'religious laws' were man-made and therefore could be changed, bypassed or annulled by other man-made decisions. But on the other hand, as described below, they started to sift and validate the hadiths (traditions) which took them about 120 years to do.


So here we have seen religious scholars (ulema, clerics) taking over from secular rulers (government) the authority for social decision-taking concerning all aspects of life. Motivated by, driven by, personal ambition. But religious scholars as a whole are unable to exercise such power responsibly unless restrained by deep-seated knowledge and belief in God's social laws {17}, and here they were basing their decisions to a large extent on what at that time were somewhat uncertain traditions about Mohammed's personal life and sayings.


850-944    Fixing the Koran's Written Language

   Year         
     
850-944  

Vowel marks and diacritical points were then added to the text.

These were gradually applied to the whole text and helped to define the actual text of the Koran more accurately {10}.

The date of the final fixing of the Koran's text ('reading'), that is of the final introduction of vowel and diacritical points, is not known, but the process of fixing the text of the Koran took about three hundred years, that is to the end of the 'period of free choice' (ikhtiyar). {12, 13}


900-944    Fixing the Koran's Readings; End of 'Free Choice'

   Year         
         
900-944    
         
       900   By about the year 900 there was wide agreement about the interpretation of many verses of the Koran. All that was best in the work of the previous two and a half centuries was taken up in the great Koran-commentary of at-Tabari (d.923), which preserved the more important divergent views on questions of interpretation. {14}
         
       944  

About 300 years after the death of Mohammed, the wazirs Ibn Muqlah and Ibn Isa, guided by the work of a scholar, Ibn Mujahad, settled on seven systems of reading the text. They decreed that these were the only permitted (correct) ways of pointing and vowelling the text. {9, 13}

This ended the period of 'free choice' (ikhtiyar) {13}


850-970    Sifting and Validating Traditions (Hadiths)

   Year         
     
850-970   It was after about 850 that scholars collected and sifted the many circulating sayings (hadiths, traditions), which took about 120 years to do.


Collecting, Sifting and Confirming the Circulating Traditions (Hadiths)

We saw that a 'tradition' (hadith) consists of two parts, namely the 'isnad' which records the names of the persons who told the story and passed it on, and the 'matn' which is the actual information (story, anecdote, tradition) being told. {14}

And it is openly confessed that in their history Muslims had problems with those who engaged in misinterpreting of text, especially when we consider the mutual accusations of Sunnis and Shia on this issue. {11}

From about 850 onwards, that is from roughly two-hundred years after Mohammed died, scholars worked to collect, sift and systematize the massive accumulation of traditions (hadiths). {11}

This is what Bernard Lewis {4} says:

The collection and scrutiny of Hadith did not take place until several generations after the death of the Prophet. During that period the opportunities and motives for falsification were almost unlimited.

In the first place the mere passage of time and the fallibility of human memory are alone sufficient to throw doubt on evidence orally transmitted for over a hundred years.

But there were also motives for deliberate distortion. The period following the death of the Prophet was one of intense development in the Islamic community. A series of new social, political, legal, and religious problems and concepts came into Islam from the conquered peoples, and many of the ideas and solutions that resulted were projected backwards into the mouth of the Prophet by fabricated Hadith.

The period was one also of violent conflict between individuals, families, factions, and sects within the Muslim fold. Each of them could find no better way of supporting its case than by producing Hadiths attributed to the Prophet and expressing a suitable point of view.

The Muslims themselves realized at an early date that many of their hadiths were spurious, and they developed a whole science of criticism to distinguish those hadiths which were genuine from those which were forged by pious or impious fraud.

Bernard Lewis {4} also says:

Careful scholarship <4> ... (has) shown that the entire Hadith literature, of which the biography of the Prophet forms a part, must be treated with caution and reserve, and each individual Hadith weighed and tested before it can be accepted as authentic.

More recently, ... (it has been shown) ... that many traditions of apparently historical content in fact serve a legal or doctrinal purpose, and are therefore historically suspect. <4>

Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi {15} shows in a comprehensive and thorough analysis that forging hadith probably originated while Mohammed was still alive and became more common during the caliphate of Uthman.
'Some members of the factions into which the community was then divided forged traditions in order to advance their faction's interests. During the first century of Islam, and also thereafter, the various political parties, the heretics, the professional preachers, and even a number of sincere Muslims, all made their contributions to the growing rubbish-heap of false traditions.'

His list of known sects and individual forgers covers tens of thousands forged hadiths. {15}

The quoting of 'traditions' to lend authority to religious opinions became popular from about year 800 onwards. And what we have seen is how unreliable the then circulating traditions (hadith) were before they were collected and sifted. In this early period of uncertainty, say from about 775 to about 950, much of the circulating information about the Koran and its teachings appears to have been based on hearsay, on fairly unreliable information, and to some extent on fabricated traditions.

So why would scholars distort, misrepresent or fabricate religious texts and information?

Orally transmitted information is notoriously unreliable, gets more and more distorted as it is passed on from person to person. So written texts must have been used to an increasing extent. But why fabricate hadith (traditions) to lend authority to a scholar's (or school's) opinion?

The usual answers apply, are simple and straightforward. To increase reputation, to gain respect among colleagues, to increase job security and funding, to gain authority and the financial rewards and power over others which these bring. Personal advantage, personal gain.


Isnads were scrutinised and rules laid down for differentiating sound hadiths from false. For example, the tradition must not contradict the Koran or any other sound tradition. {11, 14}

Large collections of Hadith were formed {14}. Well-known and respected are those of al-Bukhari (d.870) and Muslim (d.875) {3}. These and four others came to be accepted (in the tenth century) as authoritative. {14}.


To appreciate the size of the problem, consider the collection of Imam al-Bukhari of Bukhara (810-870). His collection is called Jami al Sahih. He examined 600,000 purported examples of hadith, but rejected all except 7,295 as invalid, false. Many of the remaining are parallel traditions, that is are traditions by different narrators referring to the same happening, so that only 2,765 were unique. {11}

It can be seen that Islam had an early problem with the question of the authenticity of texts. Granted, we are dealing here with hadith, rather than with the Koran, but hadith are used for interpreting the Koran, that is to explain or assign meaning to its provisions. {11}


Here are some thoughts on the validating procedure:

Two traditions which do not contradict each other could both be false and misleading. For example, the nonsensical statement 'the moon is made out of cheese' does not contradict the Koran or any other sound tradition although it is false.

A contradiction between two statements throws doubt on both. Eliminating contradictions means the remaining statements are consistent, agree with each other, do not conflict with or run counter to each other. Eliminating contradictions does not by itself mean that remaining statements are correct and valid.

They could not reliably determine or judge whether the information was valid or not, and so each tradition had to be accompanied by a statement of the transmitting chain, saying who had said what to whom who in turn passed it on to another, and that perhapse someone else had said the same to still another. Difficult to validate with certainty some hundred and fifty years after the events described in the tradition actually happened.

It seems that translations into English ignore the transmitting chain, the isnad, thus making it difficult for those unfamiliar with Arabic as a language, to assess the validity of the hadiths (traditions) they are looking at.


Further, Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi states {15} <5>:

There are many traditions which forbid the writing down of any scriptural material other than the Koran.

Many Companions and Successors are reported to have disliked and discouraged the writing of hadiths,

and that others are said to have opposed the writing of hadiths in any form.


Sunnism, its Origins and its Agreed Doctrines (Beliefs)

The 'Ahl al-Hadith' ('People of the Hadith') added their hadiths to the Koran as the base for religious decisions. Religious law (sharia) was to be based on both the Koran and the hadiths, and this gave much religious and legal influence and authority to 'Ahl al-Hadith' ulema as scholars and judges.

Since the ulema were accepted as accredited scholars of religious law, this position achieved great power for them {14}. It enabled them to comment on or decide what was lawful, and what was not, according to religious doctrine. And so approve or discredit a ruler's judgements, policies, decisions.

And they developed doctrines to secure their religion-based authority and later came to refer to their doctrines as 'sunnism' and to themselves as 'sunnis'. Consider the following doctrines (beliefs) which were adopted and which seem to be more connected with providing a religious basis for 'sunnism' than with the revealed word of Allah and its application in everyday life.

The Kharijites' belief that

the life of the community and the decisions of its rulers must be based on the Koran. ... {14}

was redefined as the sunni doctrine

that all social and political life must be based on the Sharia, that is on the Koran and on Mohammed's sunna as recorded in sound hadiths, taking his acts and words to be based on divine wisdom (hikma) given to him according to several verses of the Koran. {14}

In other words, that all social and political life must be based on the Koran and the hadiths, that social and political decisions must be made by Sunni clerics.

It was also decided that the Koran was the uncreated word or speech of God

Based on the abstract uncertain and undefined assumption that God had not created the Koran <6>, Sunni theorists argued that because the Koran was uncreated, they were entitled to interpret, reinterpret and thus modify the application of the Koran's provisions and that they were entitled to base their conclusions not just on the Koran but also on the mass of the then circulating traditions (hadiths).

This argument maintained that it was the ulema (religious theorists, clerics) who should have religious authority, that it was they, the clerics, who should be taking the corresponding social decisions, should have the corresponding authority to make binding enforceable decisions.

and Sunnis consider the ruler to be the guardian of the sharia, that is of religious law.
Presumably meaning that the ruler (caliph) of the community (state, empire) is to enforce Sunni social and political decisions, that they can tell the caliph what is to be enforced.

Against the Shiites it was decided that the first four caliphs were genuine caliphs, and that the chronological order was the order of excellence. It was decided 'the best of the community after the Prophet is Abu-Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman, then Ali'. Despite earlier questioning of the position of Uthman this became the final Sunnite position. {14}

Against the Qadarites and Mutazilites it was decided that all events are determined by God. {14}

Against the Kharijites (and with the Murjites) it was decided that sinners whose intellectual belief was sound were not excluded from the community because of their sins. {14}


The 'Ahl al-Hadith' ('People of the Hadith') came to refer to their doctrines as 'sunnism' and to themselves as 'sunnis'. Religious law (sharia) was to be based on both the Koran and the 'sunna'.

Hadiths are a collection of traditions attributed to the Prophet Mohammed, are about what Mohammed said and did.

The sunna, however, is the body of Islamic social and legal custom.

So the sunnite position became that religious law (sharia) is to be based on the Koran, on what Mohammed said and did in his everyday life, and on the considered opinions (rules) of Muslim clerics.


Consequences of Sunnism and Shiism

The consequences of the confrontations and struggles between secular and clerical rule in the name of religion were both disastrous and predictable.

Since then there has been continuous conflict and confrontation between rulers (government, state) and clerics (religion, church, religious hierarchy), with each attempting to make the other serve its own ends. It is this which shaped Muslim belief and practice to this day and it underlies the conflicts and confrontations we see today between Muslim rulers and Muslim clerics, between 'secular government' and 'rule by religious clerics'.

The consequent condition of Muslim populations then and now speaks for itself. Just consider for a few moments the condition of Muslim populations in some Muslim countries. Many of them are impoverished, deprived, exploited and oppressed.


Here we are looking at basic causes of their deprived condition, at the consequences of clerics being ruler-serving on the one hand and self-power-serving on the other. What is missing from their considerations is God's (Allah's) clear statement of his intent for humankind, missing are God's (Allah's) rules of behaviour for achieving a good life of high quality for believers in this life, and how this is to be achieved.

So we are here looking for the word of Allah (God) as recited (taught) by Mohammed.


The Way Forward

What we have seen is continuous confrontation and struggle between secular and religious hierarchies and figureheads, between state (government) and religious authorities, about what should and should not be done, about what must and must not be done, about who should be making these and similar decisions. About the personal role, authority, pay, standard of living and quality of life of the decision-takers.

As they were arguing mainly about who should be making these and similar decisions, you can see how important it is for us to know what actually happened so as to see and understand why Allah's (God's) intent still remains to be achieved.


Mohammed's sayings and behaviour in his private life, or the considered opinions (rules) of clerics, cannot modify or replace the word of Allah as revealed by the Prophet Mohammed.

But man-made rules can modify the application to everyday life of the revealed word of Allah, but only so as to achieve Allah's will and intent.

Hence the importance of knowing what Mohammed actually revealed, of knowing Allah's will and intent, of considering just who has the authority and responsibility for considering such matters and for stating such rules.


What we have seen so far is that the Koran, its content and arrangement, was compiled and formalised after the death of the Prophet Mohammed. And what we know about what took place, and how it was done, is based on sayings or traditions (hadith) recorded some time after the death of the prophet.

Hadith were selected by dedicated men bound by the knowledge, understanding, culture, prejudices and political restrictions of the times in which they were living.

But they recorded for us a clear statement of what Mohammed taught and why and how the ruling elite opposed him and his teachings and it is this which is exposed to the light of day in Part 4 Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality



Relevant Current and Associated Works

Other relevant current and associated reports by Manfred Davidmann:
     
     
Title   Description
     
Prophet Mohammed's Struggle for a Better Life for All     Mohammed's struggle for recognition of his mission and message against the powerful Meccan ruling elite. They opposed and then persecuted him and his followers for ten years, following which he fought them for ten years till he won and then he died.
     
Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran   How the written Arabic language developed from the time of Mohammed and how the Koran was assembled. How recorded letters and symbols were used to state the meaning of words. Compares 'readings' and interpretations.
     
The Divine Right to Rule   The struggle for power and control over the Muslim community after Mohammed died and how Muslim belief and practice evolved under the caliphs. These events and struggles formed Sunnism and Shiism, shaped the Koran and Muslim belief and practice.
     
Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality   Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran, Caliph Uthman had an official version prepared. Mohammed taught that people (believers) should have a good life, the ruling elite considered that people should serve willingly.
     
Uthman's Rearrangement of the Chronological (as revealed) Koran's Chapters   Chapters (suras) marked by 'abbreviated letters' show how the sequence of the Koran's chapters was changed. The effects of the changes on the record of Mohammed's preaching and teaching are described as are the doctrines of 'Abrogation' and 'Consensus'.
     
Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite   Mohammed's social teachings are stated from chapters (suras) singled out by 'Abbreviated Letters', statements of revelation from compassionate and caring Allah. It seems that some self-seeking doctrines were added later by the ruling elite of that time.
     
Muslims and Jews   Includes a comprehensive summary table of the struggles of the Muslims while Mohammed was alive, including their conflicts with the Jewish Medinan clans. The conclusions are directly relevant to understanding present tensions and conflicts within Islam.
     
The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil   Shows that there is no conflict, no contradiction, no divergence, only awe-inspiring agreement, between what is recorded in Genesis and what we know about the evolution of human beings. And Genesis defines good and evil, pointing to the root of evil.
     
Causes of Antisemitism   Shows that there are two separate root causes of antisemitism. One cause can be remedied by increasing peoples' awareness, the other is under the control of the Jewish people and can be remedied from within.
     
ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM   Proves by methods of biblical archaeology what Jesus really taught, how Paul changed what Jesus had taught, how this became Christianity's official doctrine. Outstanding are sections on Paul and the Gospels, on concurrent corresponding changes in Judaism.


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Notes, References and Links


Notes

<1>     Sectarian: Putting the beliefs or interests of one's sect before more general interests.
     
<2>   The major Medinan clans which were the first to support Mohammed were called the supporters (ansar).
     
<3>   Here quoted from {3}
     
<4>   For more information see {4}
     
<5>   In {15} see page 25. Sources are listed.
     
<6>   See section on 'The Divine Right to Social Decisions-taking'.


References and Links

{ 1}     Mohammedanism
H. A. R. Gibb
London, 1953
     
{ 2}   Muhammad
Maxime Rodinson
Tauris Parke Paperbacks
1971, 2002
     
{ 3}   The Arabs
Peter Mansfield
Penguin Books
Third edition, 1992
     
{ 4}   The Arabs in History
Bernard Lewis
Oxford University Press (6th edition, 1993)
     
{ 5}   The Early Islamic Conquests
Chapter VI. Conclusions: Tribe and State in Arabia
Fred Donner
Princeton Univ Press, 1981
https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/med/donner.html
     
{ 6}   Style of Management and Leadership
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 7}   Islam
Kelley L. Ross
http://www.friesian.com/islam.htm
     
{ 8}   Introduction to the Qur'an
Richard Bell
Edinburgh University Press, 1958
     
{ 9}   The Textual History of the Qur'an
Arthur Jeffery
1946, 1952
     
{10}   Jam' al-Qur'an: The Codification of the Qur'an Text
John Gilchrist
MERCSA, 1989
     
{11}   The Compilation of the Text of the Qur'an and the Sunni-Shia Dispute
Antoin MacRuaidh
http://www.debate.org.uk/debate-topics/theological/dispute/
     
{12}   Die Syro-aramaeische Lesart des Koran
Christoph Luxenberg
Published by 'Das Arabische Buch', 2000
3-86093-274-8.
     
{13}   Text, Language, Dialect and Interpretation of the Koran
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{14}   Islamic Philosophy and Theology: An extended Survey
W. Montgomery Watt
Edinburgh University Press
2nd Edition 1985, 1995
     
{15}   Hadith Literature: It's Origin, Development and Special Features
Professor Muhammad Zubayr Siddiqi
The Islamic Texts Society, 1993
     
{16}   Tune into the "new conscience of Islam"
Sophie Boukhari interviewing Abdou Filali-Ansari
Unesco Courier
November 2001
     
{17}   Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/



Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview


The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

To see the Site Overview page, click Overview

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