© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/157005808X347453 Arabica 55 (2008) 362-386 www.brill.nl/arab Charging Steeds or Maidens Doing Good Deeds? A Re-Interpretation of Qur ʾ ān 100 ( al- ʿ ādiyāt ) 1 Munther Younes Cornell University Abstract In A Challenge to Islam for Reformation , Gunter Lüling (2003) argues that about one-third of the Qur ʾ ānic text is based on ancient Christian Arabic hymns that were reworked and given a new meaning by the Qur ʾ ān editors after the Prophet’s death. This was possible because the Uthmanic mush ̣ af lacked dots, which allowed for diﬀerent readings. In this essay, I reconstruct the ﬁrst ﬁve verses of Koran 100 ( wa-l- ʿ ādiyāt ) by changing the dotting scheme of four words. Informed by a close examination of the syntactic structure and vocabulary of these verses and a comparison with cognates in Syriac and Hebrew, two languages with a clear inﬂuence on the Qur ʾ ān, this reconstruction results in a narrative that is more coherent semantically and syntac- tically than the traditional interpretation. Whereas in the traditional interpretation these verses describe steeds charging into battle, in my reconstruction they refer to maidens bringing light
Arabica – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: CHARGING STEEDS; CHRISTIAN ARABIC HYMNS; 'ĀDIYĀT; MUNTHER YOUNES; MAIDENS; Q 100; YOUNES
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