This book focuses on the Quran and the emergence of Islam. The research delves into the origin of the Quran, using its verses alongside investigative works which support various new theories. This work highlights the relationships that are pivotal for understanding the development of Islam, and follows a clear methodology, which often greatly differ from the many conclusions about the origin of the Quran that have been nurtured for centuries.
The dangers posed by false interpretations of the Quran has become increasingly more serious from ﬁrst appearance of Islam until today, the result of which we can see clearly in our current world.
“… the approach of Dr Azmayesh is highly interesting and allows us to have a new understanding of the complete history of Islam from its origin until today…”
“…extremely helpful in the understanding that most of the information on Islam, in accordance with the findings of Dr. Azmayesh, is misleading and based on false interpretations of Islam made by Muslims….”
- Prof. Dr. theol. Dr. phil. Peter Antes,
Emeritus of Department of Theology and the Study of Religions at the Leibniz, University of Hannover, Germany.
“..Azmayesh deduces from the Quran that Mohammad’s mission was to establish justice in society and empower individuals to lead a dignified life..”
“…The survey of Azmayesh is important, as it shows how different Muslims view their religion - and that a peaceful Islam is possible..”
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Newspaper
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Read an Excerpt
New Researches on the Quran
Why and How Two Versions of Islam Entered the History of Mankind
By Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Dr S. M. Azmayesh
All rights reserved.
Age determination of an old manuscript of the Quran
he discovery of the old manuscripts of the Quran and their age determination to around the lifetime of Prophet Mohammad sheds a very important light on the circumstances of the first appearance of Islam. In contrast to the opinion of those who believe that the teachings of Mohammad were in the category of verbal literature, the information that follows will show that a part of the Quran – called 'Sohof él Oulâ [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was taught by Mohammad from a book that existed before the Quran.
Scribes used different alphabets on the Arabian Peninsula from the first millenary BC. In the pre-Islamic period, in parallel with the illiterate inhabitants of Mecca and nomadic Bedouins of the deserts, Rab' [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], at least ten different alphabets were used by Arabic civilisations in the four corners of the Peninsula of Arabia – from Bosra-Petra-Negev (Syria-Jordan-Sinai in the north) to Saba and Najran (Yemen, in the south) and Madineh Saleh (in the centre) – alphabets such as Safaï, Aramaic, Phoenician, Nabatean, Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, Pahlavi, etc. for inscribing the books and carving on rocks and stones.
These concrete discoveries bring irrefutable evidence of the existence of the Arabic alphabet in the first years of the sixth century AD, about hundred years before the first appearance of Islam and the revelation of the Quran. By comparing all of the remaining old petroglyphs carved on the mountains in different regions of the Arabian peninsula – before or contemporary to the time of the appearance of Islam – we discover diverse styles of Arabic writing including Musnad [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
Invention and evolution of the Arabic alphabet
The Quran contains advice for the people of faith to Islam, Mo'menoun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], to write down their financial contracts in order to avoid all conflicts regarding properties:
'O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write it between you in justice. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him out of respect for Allah, his Lord not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice ... And do not be too weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its specified term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction, which you conduct among yourselves. For then there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is grave disobedience in you. And be mindful of Allah. And Allah teaches you. And Allah is knowing of all things'. Surah 2, v: 282
These sentences expressing advice can be considered as evidence confirming the existence of a common alphabet for writing in Arabic, even though the major part of the nomadic tribes of that area were illiterate.
Words used in the Quran such as sohof [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (written pages), kotob [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (books), qàrâtis [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (scrolls), àsâtir [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (written texts line by line), yastoroun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (writing texts line by line), yaktoboun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (redacting books, contracts and letters), yadressoun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (teaching and learning), qàlàm [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (pen), noun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (ink cup), lowh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the stone tablet, metal plate, timber panel, or clay tablet for writing), are convincing proofs of the existence of a system of education all around the Arabian peninsula, including Mecca.
In all of these schools, the students and disciples were learning the art of recitation and narration of the sacred texts composed of diverse incantations and prayers. The teachers used to apply a particular method to teach the pupils how to read the texts, and to memorise them by heart: Hâfezoun [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
The Arabic alphabet called Hijazi [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which was used by a circle of literate people in Mecca, existed in parallel with another style of Arabic calligraphy employed in the Jewish schools by the literate scribes of the Jewish tribes such as Bànou Qorayzeh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and the inhabitants of Khaybar [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in Medina, who were speaking a particular Arabic dialect called Yahoudyyeh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] rather than Hebrew.
The Arabic Hijazi used in the circle of the scribes of Mecca was generated from the Arabic Jazm, rooted in the Musnad style. The comparison between one of the oldest pre-Islamic scriptures and an old Quran inscribed in the Hijazi-Mâél alphabet [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] confirms the continuity of this pre-Islamic Arabic style of calligraphy in the Islamic period.
The sentence of the Quran written in Hijazi style on the rocks in the region of Mecca, dated by its author ibn Emareh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] forty-eight years after Hegira, the Quran of Birmingham (568 AD to 645 AD), the Quran of Tübingen (650 AD to 670 AD), and the Quran kept in the British Museum written one or two centuries after Hegira, confirm the activity of the calligraphic school of Mecca for many years after the official publication of the Quran of Othman (third Caliph) in Kufi style. This confirms the survival of the school of calligraphy of Mecca, in parallel with the flourishing school of Medina and Kufah. This is because the school of Mecca was rooted in the pre-Islamic period, which appeared at least around one century before the apparition of Islam. From the other hand the discovery of the written texts in Arabic language-alphabet, in a southern region of Syria confirms the relationship between the scribes of the circle of the educated people in Mecca and the schools in Syria.
The relationship of the scribes in Mecca to the schools in Syria
According to Ahmad abi Ya'ghoub ibn Vazeh Ya'ghoubi in his book the History of Islam Umru'ol Qays [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], King of Hira composed long fascinating poetical compositions, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], and the scribes of his court wrote down those poems in so they could be given to the missionaries of the kingdom, who carried them to diverse regions in order to publicize their king and the rich culture of their civilisation. They travelled to many cities, gathering people around them in the markets and narrating the compositions. One of the regions where the poetry of that period was propagated was Mecca, which shows that the Arabs gave a very important place to the art of poetry, instead of science and philosophy.
Ya'ghoubi dedicates a detailed chapter to the names of the most famous poets of that period, whose poetry was recited during the period of pilgrimage in Mecca. The poetry was written in Arabic calligraphy on scrolls, which were presented to the pilgrims by being suspended from the roof of the Kabah to the ground on the four walls of the house of Allah. People gathered and listened to those who recited and narrated this poetry and voted for the best. The presented Qasayed (long poetical compositions) were named Mo'alaghat. Ya'ghoubi mentioned the names of seven poets who were the authors of Mo'alaghat é Sab'eh (seven suspended poems) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and ten others who were the authors of Mo'alaghat é Ashreh (ten suspended poems). In the Period of Ignorance ('Asr ol Jaheliat' [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) in the desert of the Peninsula of Arabia, the art of poetry and the poetic compositions of the famous composers, written in an Arabic language, were a matter of pride for the courageous Bedouin horsemen of the different tribes, who met each other at least once a year in Mecca. They greatly appreciated the art of poetry. This yearning to learn and memorise the poetry was one of the reasons for the quick evolution of the Arabic alphabet.
There are two remaining pre-Islamic scriptures from the period of Umru'ol Qays written in two different alphabets: Nabataean and Musnad. This confirms that these two styles of scripture coexisted but they are not related to each other. Certain experts thought that the first seed of Arabic of scripture, called Musnad style, appeared in Hira, and could have been generated from Nabataean [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] origin. But a simple comparison of the particularities of these two styles of alphabets disapproves this hypothesis. It is true that the Nabataean alphabet (a branch of the Syriac alphabet which is actually itself a branch of the Aramaic alphabet) was also used to write down the Arabic poetry and sentences by the scribes of certain regions of a large area of Arabia, but it was in parallel with the Musnad, and Jazm Arabic alphabet.
The report given by Ya'ghoubi points the researcher to the first trace of the Arabic alphabet. In his Book of History, ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) he remarks that the family of Monzar was from a Yemenit origin, and took the throne of the kingdom of Hira, and remained the best ally of the kings of the Sassanid dynasty. They spoke their maternal Arabic, but because of the close contact with the Persian administration, they also spoke the Persian language fluently, writing the texts both in Persian and Arabic alphabets. Ya'ghoubi declares that the kings of Hira had a deep respect for the poets. He confirms this in the following extract:
"It was a family of the tribe of "Bani Umra'ol Qays ibn Zeyd ibn Mànât ibn Tamim" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] very close to ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) Monzar, the King of Hira. A Man from this family of "Umra'ol Qays" called "Odayy ibn Zeyd Ibadi" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was a poet, preacher, and scribe who was able to inscribe both in Arabic and Persian Alphabets".
King Monzar sent his own son called "No'man" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to a milk-giver in the family of "Bani Umra'ol Qays" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. No'man stayed and grew up amongst them. Later on, the great Sassanid King Kasra (Khosrow) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] sent a letter to King Monzar and ordered him to send a native Arabic speaker to translate the letters from Arabic to Persian and vice-versa.
Therefore King Monzar sent "Odayy ibn Zeyd" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in company of his two brothers "Obayy" and Somayy" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. These three brothers of "Umrau'ol Qays family" remained in the royal court of King Kasra and occupied the role of translator of the Arabic and Persian texts. After the death of King Monzar in Hira, the great King Kasra consulted "Odayy" about who would be the most qualified person to become the successor of Monzar. Odayy replied to King Kasra that Monzar had thirteen sons, all capable of replacing their father on the throne. Therefore, Kasra called all thirteen brothers to his royal court in Ctesiphon. He finally chose No'man as the successor of his father Monzar ..."
The above extract testifies to the importance of the existence of the Arabic alphabets for the usage of the royal Sassanid kings, in the pre-Islamic period. In other words, we know that Arabic alphabet in the pre-Islamic period existed, but this report does not talk about how this alphabet was invented in Hira (or perhaps elsewhere). However, for our purposes it is not really important to discover the first place in which the alphabet was invented, but where it evolved and was developed. It is certain that an important colony of Christian people had been living in the kingdom of Hira. The Christians of this region, as well as the Christians of the south of Syria in the regions such as Bosra [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Harran [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], had their own specific holy literature including scriptures and Gospels. They didn't believe in the crucifixion of Jesus, and rejected the principle of the Trinity [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
These particularities bring the specific idea to mind that they were disciples of another path, such as Manichean, hiding themselves under the cover of the Christian faith. The alphabet mainly used by this community was a category of secret Syriac style in use for the sacred texts, and understandable by the brothers and sisters of their path. The Manichean people had been forced to live covertly because they were tolerated neither in Persia nor in Byzance. The agents of the state church or the state fire-temples arrested them and forced them to confess their real faith under intense torture, then condemned them to be burned or executed. Hence, they hid their belief, and needed to write their books and scriptures with a new alphabet unknown by other people.
In other regions such as Bosra in the south of Syria, in Petra, in Hira, and even in different corners of the Arabian peninsula, these large groups of Manichean and new Manichean were dispersed, particularly in Yemen and in the region of Sana'a. Meanwhile the ruler of Hira – from the local dynasty of Lakhmides who brought his help to Seyf ibn zi Yazan Hemyari and the Yemenit people – was a Mazdakite.
The revolution of Mazdak ended in 528 AD (forty-two years before the birth of Mohammad), and the conquest of Yemen by the Mazdakite warriors occurred in 570 AD (the birth year of Mohammad).
Mazdak and new Manicheaism in Hira and Yemen, in the pre-Islamic period
Mazdak, son of Bamdadan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], was killed in 528 or 524 AD by the plot of the Zoroastrian priests [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Mazdak was a new Manichean prophet, Iranian reformer and religious activist who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanid Shahanshah Kavadh I [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. He claimed to be a prophet of Ahura Mazda, and established the concept of communal possessions and social welfare programmes.
Mazdak was the chief representative of a religious and philosophical teaching called Mazdakism, which he viewed as a reformed and purified version of Zoroastrianism, although it has been argued that his teaching displays influences from Manichaeism as well. However the religion of the Prophet Mani Farghalitous was already not tolerated throughout the entire Sassanid kingdom, and Mazdak was seen as a new Manichean reformer, with a renewed version of Manichaeism. Therefore, Anoushiravan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the young Sassanian Prince, launched a campaign against the Mazdakites in 524AD or 528AD, culminating in a massacre that killed most of the adherents, including Mazdak himself, and restoring orthodox Zoroastrianism as state religion.
A few Mazdakites survived, however, who were arrested and imprisoned. Later on the Ethiopian invaders, headed by a man called Masrough ibn Abraheh, occupied Yemen. A noble man from the tribe of Hemyar in Yemen called Seyf ibn zi Yazan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] left his land and went to Hira to inform ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) Monzar ibn No'man ibn Monzar, the king of the Lakhmid dynasty, about the occupation of Yemen by the Ethiopian Army. After few months Seyf and Monzar travelled to Mada'en/Ctesiphon [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (the Sassanid capital), to visit the great king of the Sassanid dynasty Kasra Anoushiravan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] – in order to request his help. Anoushiravan formed a small army of about 900 men from those jailed Mazdakites under the leadership of an old warrior called Vaharz [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. He sent them by eight boats to Yemen to support Seyf ibn zi Yazan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and to fight against the Ethiopian army headed by Masrough ibn Abraheh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The Mazdakite group defeated the larger Ethiopian army and conquered that region. From the moment the Mazdakite group took possession of the area, they started to spread their world vision of Manichaeism in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. They even wrote down sentences of the books of Mani Farghalitous upon the rocks and mountains in the form of pictographs. Ibn Husham reports that certain pictograph sentences from 'Zabour' (one of the books of the Prophet Mani) in Yemen originated from the pre-Islamic period. Theses pictographs contain a prediction about the destiny of a land called Zamar/ Dhamar. Ibn Husham writes: 'Zamar/ Dhamar signifies either Yemen or Sana'a.' (But in reality Zamar/ Dhamar is the name of a city in Yemen with more than 160,000 inhabitants).
Excerpted from New Researches on the Quran by Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh. Copyright © 2016 Dr S. M. Azmayesh. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Book Review, 9,
Section One, 23,
Age determination of an old manuscript of the Quran, 23,
Invention and evolution of the Arabic alphabet, 24,
The relationship of the scribes in Mecca to the schools in Syria, 28,
Mazdak and new Manicheaism in Hira and Yemen, in the pre-Islamic, 33,
Syriac-Hijazi, important evidence, 40,
Waraka and the Honafa in Mecca, 44,
The Hanif-circle and the evolution of the Arabic alphabet, 44,
Waraka ibn Nowfal ibn Asad ibn Abd-al Uzza ibn Qusay Al-Qurashi, 46,
Travel to Bosra in Syria, 49,
The esoteric experience of Mohammad, 50,
Inscribing the verses from public proclamation of the Prophethood, 55,
Where did Ali learn to read and write?, 57,
What did Ali learn from his teacher Mohammad?, 60,
Abu Bakr (the first Caliph) and his example of the Quran, 65,
Kufi style, 66,
Some quotations about the writing of the Quran, 67,
Two examples of Quran (in Kufi and in Hijazi), 72,
Gradual steps in completion of the Quran, 76,
Hafsah bint e Omar, 78,
The Moshaf of Hafsah, 78,
Who was Zeyd?, 81,
Where did Zeyd learn to write?, 81,
Why it was important to make one version of the Quran, 83,
Section Two, 87,
The relevance of tales, legends, and historical events, 87,
The meaning of Sahifeh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Ostoureh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 87,
The Quran: Sohof e Motahareh, Kotob ghayemeh, 88,
The stories in the Quran and their relationship to historical events, 90,
Setting up the foundation of the Quran, 91,
Tales that are common to both the Bible and the Quran, 91,
Tales that are written only in the Quran, 92,
Tales in the Quran that contradict the stories in the Bible, 93,
The relationship between the tales of the Quran and the Bible, 94,
Another example is the tale of Abraham, 99,
The method of education according to the Quran, 105,
The tale of Zacharias in the Gospel and the Quran, 116,
The tale of Mary according to the Gospel and the Quran, 120,
Torah, Gospel, Forghan, 122,
Forghan: Name and description, 123,
The Path of Abraham: Mellat e Ebrahim/ Islam, 130,
About the sincere person: Sadougin in the Quran, 135,
The originial scripture: Zobor e Oula, 150,
About book called Qeryänä, 151,
The relationship between the Qeryänä and the Quran, 154,
Section Three, 161,
The sources of Islam, 161,
The Quran's view on Mani Farghalit-Baraghlites, 166,
The Christians in the Quran, 173,
The place of the Apostles in the Quran, 176,
Kawan and Quran, 179,
The Pesher of Habakkuk, 186,
Chivalry: the destiny of the spiritual knights according to the Quran, 188,
Two main confrontational nations on the borders of Arabia, 192,
The interest of the Kings of Hira in poetry, 194,
Preparing the ground for the arrival of the predicted Saviour, 196,
The travel of Rabieh from Syria to Mecca, 198,
Mecca after Qusay, 202,
The birth of Prophet Mohammad, 204,
Vähi: revelation and extrasensorial telecommunication, 205,
Those who did not believe in the validity of the Quran, 215,
Section Four, 223,
Migration to Medina 622 AD, 223,
Two versions of Islam in the same city, 223,
The Migration to Medina and the conquest of Mecca, 225,
Mohajerin and Ansar, 227,
Mosques built and used by the hypocrites, 242,
A short overview of the life of Prophet Mohammad, 243,
The "farewell pilgrimage" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), 245,
Islam after the death of its founder, 246,
The Islam ol Badawi and the Islam ol Madani, 250,
Evolution of society and the principle of Naskh [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], 254,
Index of Names, 265,
The Truth about Jihad, 297,
The Distinction between Jihads, 302,
A short overview of the Bible, 303,
Some scriptural evidences on rocks and stones, 307,
List of Figures and Illustrations, 319,