Ermuntert euch, Aria, No. 5 from Cantata No. 176: Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding (Alto Part)

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The Falasifas philosophers constituted another school of rationalism, which set itself up outside theological perimeters; their aim was to encompass all fields of knowledge, in keeping with the Greek philosophical tradition.

But the Mutazilites and Falasifas would be confronted with a growing and ever more powerful conformist tide. As the guardians of tradition, jurists and theologians became determined, in their respective disciplines, to destroy any notion of free will by asserting that it challenged God's omnipotence.

Miracles of Quran

The decisive stand-off between the two currents finally hinged on how each faction viewed the nature of the Koranic text. A temporal dimension is therefore implied, which leaves humans some latitude for interpretation. In other words, it is consubstantial with God and it shares in His eternity.

From that point, it becomes less important to understand the Koran than to be permeated by it, to let oneself absorb its divine nature by means of a literal reading, repeated indefinitely. And thus the text acquired the status of absolute, intangible truth from which sprang the notion of Koranic imprescriptibility.

The Quran: The Holy Book of Islam

The tenets of the imprescriptibility argument were to emerge victorious from this confrontation. Thus, for many centuries, the idea of free will lost out on Islamic soil, not to appear again until the end of the 19th century. Led by pre-eminent Muslim intellectuals, reformist thinking sought to undermine the doctrine of imprescriptibility, deriving inspiration from the spirit of the Enlightenment and relying on the modern disciplines of history, anthropology and linguistics.

Without questioning the divine origin of the Revelation, the movement set out to examine the historicity of its earthly manifestation. As a result, it ran up against the doctrinal guardians who discredited the new thinking by branding as illegitimate its methodological tool — critical reasoning — that prevailed in the humanities and social sciences. According to the guardians of the dogma, asserting that the Revelation of the Koran corresponds to anything other than the eternal will of God — and imagining that it could be linked in any way to some particular historic context — is an aberration invented by non-believers.

It looks at the divine from an external viewpoint. The proof, the aberrant idea is based on arguments drawn from profane disciplines alien to Islam. The question for us now becomes: can we get around this objection? Can we show the necessary link between text and context — without having recourse to the secular sciences, but relying entirely on the religious texts — deemed indisputable by the most punctilious guardians of the dogma?

The answer is yes. There are indeed religious texts that permit this interpretation, and they have long existed.

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They arose out of a pressing need already recognized in the Koranic schools in the first century of Islam. Scholars needed to fathom numerous verses that were difficult, if not impossible, to interpret without examining the circumstances surrounding their Revelation. They set about meeting this challenge, returning to the source of all available information concerning the time of the Revelation — the testimonials left by the Prophet's companions.


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Most of these followers did not always grasp the meaning of the verses the Prophet recited to them. They would go alone, or in groups, to ask him about them.

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After his death, the task of transmitting what they had learned from the Prophet's mouth to the growing ranks of new believers fell to his companions — their words now enriched by their own memories of when and where the verses had been revealed to them. The main interest of these chronicles is that they tell us the story of the Prophet's life, with the principal events following a rough timeline.

Thanks to them, we possess an approximate mapping of the successive moments of the Revelation, which allows us to situate hundreds of verses chronologically, each one relative to the other, and also to place each one in its proper context.

The Quran: The Holy Book of Islam

At no time is it permitted to extrapolate the eternity of His Word from the eternity of God Himself. A reading that puts the text back into context leads us to draw three fundamental conclusions. The second: in the Koran, the Word of God is not presented as a monologue, but rather as an interchange between Heaven and Earth. It is important to note that no one translation can claim to present the Quran exactly as found in Arabic; translations can change meanings, gloss over complexities that are found in the original, and are unable to transmit the aesthetic dimensions of the text.

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Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13

Regardless of their length, these stories are generally retold in an allusive style that would appear to presuppose that they were already known to their target audience. The stress is not on details of the narrative plots but on their didactic significance, which is often explicitly pointed out by means of interjected comments.


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These warners include not only biblical figures such as Noah , Abraham, and Moses but also nonbiblical messengers sent to certain ancient Arabian tribes. Apart from such obvious parallels in content, most of the individual episodes constituting these narrative cycles are also concluded by a refrain, adding further symmetry to the entire composition. Article Media. Info Print Print.