Trouw-columnist Eildert Mulder continues his saga and now uses a few coins, a copy of which displays Muawiyya with John the Baptist’s head in his hand, says German Islam-expert Volker Popp. Online publishing office of the German Saarland University, Universität des Saarlandes, displays impressive and well-known names, like professor Karl-Heinz Ohlig, but also Christoph Luxenberg has a publication, it’s name is Der Koran zum ‘islamischen Kopftuch’. Firstly Volker Popp says that the coin ‘definitely’ must date from the era of the four righteous caliphs, the period 632 – 661 AD. ‘Ali ra’s caliphate indeed was contested by Abu Sufyan’s son Muawiyya, who resided in Damascus. Muawiyya may have had his own coin, however, how likely is it that he allowed himself to be immortalized with John the Baptist’s head? Would a Christian monarch be portrayed with the head of a man as important to Christianity as John the Baptist in his hand? Volker Popp must admit that the head in the man’s left hand, a ruler figure with a lance ‘might as well be an censer’. Thus the object is described in art catalogues too. The coin’s backside shows a letter M with a cross. This could, says Popp, refer to its value, a thousand talents, which could make it a Roman coin. However, the letter could also mean something else, like ‘Muawiyya’, perhaps even ‘Muhammad’. The letters DAM are mentioned on it, which must imply that the coin has been struck in Damascus, however, Popp denies the Romans had their coining production there. Thus the suggestion is made that Muawiyya very well might have been a Christian Roman ruler and not ‘Ali’s Saudi rival. Question remains whether the coin may at all be Muawiyya’s product. The exegesis by both Volker Popp and Eildert Mulder is highly speculative and is by no means supported by other evidence or findings. The coin may very well represent nothing more or less than a ruler figure with a censer and it’s financial value.
On the same website Luxenberg claims in his article ‘Der Koran zum ‘Islamischen Kopftuch’ that Qur’anic verse 24:31, which says that women should cast veils over their bosoms, in Aramaic truly means that women should cast a belt over their loin’. A belt around their waist. Also in Christianity the belt is a signaficant symbol of chastity for not only women but monks too. Also would appear from hadith 318 Book 60 Volume 6 by Sahih Buchari that the woman used to wear a cloth around the waist covering the hips:
Narrated Safiya bint Shaiba:
‘Aisha used to say: “When (the Verse): “They should draw their veils over their necks and bosoms,” was revealed, (the ladies) cut their waist sheets at the edges and covered their faces with the cut pieces.”
To cut it short, Luxenberg thinks we should stop making things difficult and read the Qur’an the Aramaic way. It’s not necessary to consider the new Islamic duties mentioned in this hadith, in his eyes.
All these efforts by Christians and other Westerners to re-write Islamic history indicate a non-acceptance of religiously-inspired records of history. For them it is decided that such scriptures are fabricated myths, fairy-tales, and miscellaneous gathered facts and narratives that may be fine sources for inspirational purposes, so-called allegories or deeper truths. Incessant efforts are made to parallel Islam with Judaism and Christianity. The big difference, however, is that especially Christianity has a much less reliable historic record, as Romans, the popes and other rulers destroyed much of its inheritance and furthermore, Jewish history took a much longer time span. It is true that the Bible holds the same narratives of the same events, but then we see that names, dates and events do not quite match. Judaism and Christianity therefore had to rely a lot more than is the case for Islam on interpretation by scholars from later eras. Islam has a much clearer defined area of study with Qur’an and ahadith. One must acknowledge that Islam has a different origine than Judaism and Christianity and above all, among different people. Thus at an early stage one single qur’an could be recorded and memorized, which is still used by the entire Islamic umma without modifications. Something similar goes for the recording of ahadith, however, it must be admitted that part of them was written down immediately, but part of the most authoritative ahadith was for a fact recorded from many oral sources only two centuries later. This happened though in a way that they indeed can be used for historic reference. They may not each and everyone of them be infallible, but we can safely conclude that the memorized events truly took place. If we then may conclude that the Prophet pbuh indeed received Divine Revelations, is even with the ahadith at hand impossible to prove, because not often clearly supernatural events in the sense of spectacular ‘miracles’ like walking on a water surface, apparitions of angels or Allah swt showing Himself took place. This aspect of it all definitely is a question of faith. Westerners try to ascribe epilepsy or other illnesses to the Prophet; he underwent ‘a seizure’ at the moment he received a new Revelation. Islam, however, sees creation and the Scripture as miracle enough and has no need for stunts.
Der Koran zum ‘Islamischen Kopftuch’ Christoph Luxenberg