Author Topic: Meccan Gods, Jesus' Divinity: a paper by Walid Saleh  (Read 200 times)


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Meccan Gods, Jesus' Divinity: a paper by Walid Saleh
« on: July 07, 2021, 05:50:47 AM »
Paper here:


The opponents of Muhammad did not live to tell their side of the story. Their world and ideology have to be reconstructed from the Qur’an, and fortunately there is much there to work with. Though the Qur’an did its best to undermine their image, belittling their intelligence and calling them cattle or worse (Q 7:179, Q 25:44 and Q 47:49), it had to answer to their trenchant criticism of Muhammad’s preaching and their passionate and sustained defense of the ways of their fathers. The later Islamic tradition was far less charitable. The portrait is one of marauding, murderous, infanticide-practicing brutes awaiting the light of Islam, a jāhiliyyah which ended with a new calendar – though some of these images are already present in the Qur’an. This portrayal of a mute, theologically lacking paganism has seeped not only into Islamic historiography but also into our read-ing of the Qur’an. Yet the opponents of Muhammad were not only articulate, as one can deduce from the Qur’an. Rather, some of their theological critiques of Muhammad’s preaching were devastating, and the Qur’an had to pay sustained attention to them. Arab paganism was not in a crisis. It was, however, also not ambitious; it was local, it lacked universal potential or a pan-Arab vision, and that was its undoing.

I found his analysis of 7:203 particularly interesting:

The Meccans were stating this: if your God keeps repeating that he is not willing to give a sign, why then do you, as a prophet and a man of God, not play a role in this and demand from your God a sign? They are asking: Are you not able to earn it, ijtabā? Where does a prophet stand in relationship to God? Are you not close enough to God, of such a standing that you are also part of the process? The God who is earning these prophets unto Him, can you earn Him unto you? Is not your prophetic character such that you can ask? Especially since other prophets were capable of this, as Muhammad claimed and as the Meccans were reminding him (Q 6:24 – “we shall not believe in you untill we are given (shown) the same as previous prophets”). Muhammad, the Meccans were implying, is not a prophet like the others he keeps referring to; he has no standing in front of his God. He has no access to God. He is incapable of this reciprocal relationship that the Qur’an itself depicts between real prophets and this God. By using the very verb that Muhammad used to speak of God’s closeness to his other prophets, they are ques-tioning Muhammad’s alleged closeness to God. Muhammad is not one of those who are earned unto God, nor able to earn God unto himself – hence the verb. That the Meccans should care to use a verb already used by the Qur’an to characterize God’s relationship to his chosen ones is indicative of the fact that they were listening all too attentively to Muhammad’s teaching and that they were pointing out glaring contradictions. The Meccans were raising a trenchant theological cri-tique based on Muhammad’s own teachings. It is nothing short of a dissection of the notion of messengership as presented in the Qur’an. It is not a frivolous critique, as the commentators implied by their interpretation...
فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ
So strive as in a race in all virtues!


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Re: Meccan Gods, Jesus' Divinity: a paper by Walid Saleh
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2021, 11:29:05 AM »
No, all prophets including Muhammad showed miracles, I showed this in my Turkish article.

And again, all the prophets were able to show miracles only when God wanted them. Every time a miracle was asked from them, no positive answer was given. Like the prophet Muhammad, they said, "We cannot perform miracles on our own." Many times, requests for miracles were denied:

14:11 Their messengers said: "We are indeed human beings like you, but God will bestow His grace upon whom He pleases from His servants. And it is not up to us to bring you proof except with the permission of God. And in God the believers should place their trust"

13:38 AndWe have sent messengers before you and We have made for them mates and offspring. It was not for a messenger to come with any sign except with the permission of God; for each period there is a Book.

40:78 And We have sent messengers prior to you. Some of them We have told to you, and some We did not tell to you. And it was not given to any messenger that he should bring a sign except with the permission of God. So, when the judgment of God is issued, the matter is decided with the truth, and the followers of falsehood will be lost.

11:32 They said: "O Noah, you have argued with us, and continued arguing with us, so bring us what you promise us if you are of the truthful ones."

11:33 He said: "It is God who will bring it to you if He wishes; you will not have any escape."

11:34 "And my advice will not benefit you if I wanted to advise you and God wanted that you should go astray. He is your Lord, and to Him you will return."