Ibn Rushd: the voice of rationality

History, critique of religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Iraq, Iran, Mexico and Spain.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gospel imagery in Islamic literature.

I have been delving into the Sira by Ibn Ishaq (Is-haq), later edited and cleaned by Ibn Hisham. This was spurned by reading chapter 1 of John Wansbrough's Sectarian Milieu and he said in there that there were certain topoi or literary stock-stories that the incident of the dispute between the Jews and Muhammad in Medina. As I read the Sira, I was struck by the similarities that I had read before in one of the Gospels. That is the Gospel of John, in verse 8. We see there the story of a confrontation between the Jews and Jesus. Jesus says that he was before Abraham and that Abraham was not a Jew. To this the Jews respond that he was, and that they are of his seed. The argument continues and the ending is not important. What is important is that in A. Guillame's translation of the Sira on pages 247-70, plays the same story, with the addition that Christians say Abraham was a Christian.

This represents a very stock-filled story that cannot have happened. This means that it cannot have happened because of the close similarities in the texts, and that it is so familiar to readers of the New Testament, that we cannot ignore that he must have had the Gospel in front of him.

More to come.

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