John Wansbrough, SOAS University of London, History Department, Alumnus. Studies History, Semitic languages, and Comparative Semitic Linguistics. It seems that the most radical assessment was demonstrated by John Wansbrough in his exceptional works, Quranic Studies: Sources and. To launch into a discussion of John Wansbrough and his ideas is a daunting Wansbrough’s ideas deeply must be equipped with several languages in addi.

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Wansbrough takes that mindset over to the study of the Quran, but ignores the major differences: The birth of Islam during the lifetime of the Prophet is by far the most significant thing that sansbrough ever happened in that part of the world, and parents told their children about it in an unbroken chain.

The time period involved is much shorter. Similarly, while Wansbrough chooses to draw his own conclusions about the implications of the Muslim doctrine of the eternal Quran, he completely fails to mention the historical context of the disagreement between the Mutazilites and the Asharites.

Biblical scholarship developed to understand how the Bible came to be written over a very long period. Isolation of such monotheist imagery as is uohn of themes like divine retribution and sign, covenant and exile, indicates the perpetuation in Muslim scripture of established literary types.

I believe we would reliably know: The current edition was published in and contains a forward, translations and expanded notes by Andrew Rippinone of Wansbrough’s graduate students and now a leading scholar in his own right.

Accordingly it is incredibly hard to read unless you are a specialist, since the author moves seamlessly between highly eansbrough English, Arabic written in Arabic script, transliterated Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, Greek and German.

The comments received while that facility was in use have been preserved as the image below. How uncomfortable a couch to recline on! In a purely oral culture, I would expect most Americans, at least those from the North, to revere the speech and to continue to transmit it orally to their children. The Quran was written and collected in a long process over years and thus cannot be attributed to Muhammad.

Such analysis indicates, rather, the existence of independent, possibly regional, traditions incorporated more or less intact into the canonical compilation, itself a product of expansion and strife within the Muslim community.

Full text of “Quranic Studies by John Wansbrough”

There is a good deal of uncertainty as to what we do mean here by ‘the Quran. On this basis, Wansbrough developed the theory that Islam did not come into being as a new religion on its own but derived from conflicts of various Jewish-Christian sects. There was a whole body of stories, known as the Israiliyat in Arabic, known at that time from which Muhammad pbuh took the themes in the Quran. The environment was stable, with people living continuously in wansbrougy same place essentially undisturbed.


Accordingly I will not attempt to condense the book. Although these exegetical works were known to exist, having faithfully being catalogued by Sezginno scholar had actually read them and tried to make coherent sense of the material.

Halakhic exegesis 4. Also by then Muslims were writing manuscripts which have survived. Now this Qur’an could not possibly have been devised by anyone save God: By the very achievement of canonicity the document of revelation was assured a kind of independence, both of historical traditions commonly adduced to explain its existence and of external criteria recruited to facilitate its understanding.

Overview of the book This book was originally published in but the preface by John Wansbrough which is dated July states that the final draft was completed in July and that Wansbrough therefore did not take account of studies published since that date. The birth of Islam followed by major conquests all over the Middle East and North Africa was at least as significant to Mecca and Medina as the American Civil War to the USA, and in the society of the time I would expect the major details to be preserved reasonably reliably through oral transmission for years.

Within that period the principles of exegesis were evolved and perfected, and it would not be too much to say that thereafter few, if any, methodological innovations were introduced. Masoretic exegesis 5.

Imagine that over the last two hundred years the USA had not used writing, so that all historical knowledge would depend upon word of mouth transmission. Bibliography As one would expect in a scholarly work, there is a 12 page bibliography.

However leaving aside what I wasbrough as a matter of faith, I have a number of criticisms of Wansbrough’s approach and his conclusions. Wansbrough dismisses all of the Muslim historiography on the grounds that it was written long after the events it covers and therefore must be ignored.

The continuous history of Mecca and Medina is one of the most inspiring aspects of visiting those cities, as I did during the Hajj in Wansbrough mentions the view of earlier scholars regarding the Muslim traditions and then dismisses it. Demonstration of the ‘historical development of Abraham in the Quran’for Moubarac the evolution of a composite figure out an originally dual image, required not only a verifiable chronology of revelation but also the structural unity of the Canon.


Accordingly one has to rely entirely upon the written texts, as oral histories could not survive such a long period, especially with the disruptions that the society suffered during the period concerned.

Both formally and conceptually, Muslim scripture drew upon a traditional stock of monotheistic imagery, which may be described as schemata of revelation.

An illustration is Surat Yusuf, often cited as a single instance of complete and sustained narrative in the Quran. The book is based entirely upon textual analysis of the Quran and the various manuscripts. The Muslim view God revealed the Quran to Muhammad peace be upon him through the agency of the Archangel Gabriel in stages over approximately 23 years.

This book was written qansbrough an academic for other academics. But the variant traditions are present in such quantity as to deserve some attention in a description of the process by which revelation became canon.

The sectarian milieu, content and composition of islamic salvation history (John WANSBROUGH)

I do not believe in ignoring an argument just because the person is saying things that contradict what I believe. While that role was never neglected, it would be more realistic to jhn that the qualities of inimitability and eternity were formulated in the attempt to secure a position within the Muslim community for the document of revelation.

The standpoint of the author in matters pertaining to the practical administration of justice was characterised by Schacht as a recommendation of procedural uniformity, to be imposed by the government sic upon a situation of juridical chaos. That this is not merely a negative inference from the absence of an explicit connection of the sort established between the Christian and Hebrew scriptures ought to be clear from an examination of the Quranic forms themselves, which reflect, but do not develop, most of the themes traditionally associated with literature of prophetical expression.

This is to be expected since Abraham, Moses and Jesus to name but a few were wansbrougj of God just like Muhammad. It would have helped to have them as footnotes on each page to avoid having to leaf backwards and forwards but Rippin did not wish to be seen as changing Wansbrough’s original text.

But is it worth the effort to do so? Despite the challenges I persevered and am glad that I did so. Wansbrough devised a new theory that the Quran was composed much later and in Mesopotamia.