Rebuttal to Jochen Katz's Article, "The Stray Say: How the author of the Qur'an messed up"


Bassam Zawadi

Jochen Katz's article could be located here.

Jochen asks many questions in his article; however, they are all answered when one examines the historical context of the revelation of the verse.

However, Jochen's central argument that I want to address is when he says:

"Your heart" makes sense when Allah speaks to Muhammad, but when the command "Say:" is put before it, then the speaker is now Muhammad, and it has to be "my heart" not "your heart". Otherwise, Muhammad is commanded to say to his listeners: "Gabriel brought down the revelation on YOUR heart", i.e. the heart of his listener(s), not his own.

There are at least three possible solutions to this argument.

First, it is possible that God wasn't telling the Prophet (peace be upon him) to quote Allah's statement verbatim. Perhaps Allah meant to tell the Prophet (peace be upon him) to "tell them that Gibreel revealed the Qur'an to your heart," and then the Prophet (peace be upon him) tells the people, "Gibreel revealed the Qur'an to my heart," in his own wording.

Secondly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is merely an agent of God telling the people what Allah is saying verbatim. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) is saying the verbatim word of Allah to the people. By this, they would understand what the verse is saying.

Thirdly, there is a switch in who is speaking.

For example, Allah could speak to the Prophet (peace be upon him) when He commands him "Say."

Then Muhammad (peace be upon him) is supposed to say "Who is an enemy to Gabriel". This signifies that the Prophet (peace be upon him) calls out to those who claim to be enemies of Gabriel.

Then comes "For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah's leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers;" and this is where the Prophet (peace be upon him) is supposed to be quoting Allah's words verbatim.

Other examples of these kind of grammatical shifts could be found in Surah 3:32 and 5:68.

For more on iltifaat, please read this article.

Jochen said after pointing out a grammatical error in my articles:

On the contrary, it shows that the author was somewhat absent-minded, and failed to properly proofread his article.

Thanks, Jochen. I will be correcting it soon.

However, so that you won't feel left out, I would like to point out an error in one of your articles:

If this verse meant what Zawadi wants us to believe, it is useless, because the verse does not specify what it would have to specify in order to be meaningful.

You meant to say Zaatari, not Zawadi. One can view the screenshot of this error here as of March 22nd, 2008.

Stop daydreaming about me when you are writing your articles, Jochen; it freaks me out!

Or how about Jochen repeating the word "around" twice here as of May 1st, 2008?

So it looks like I am not the only 'absent-minded' person who doesn't have his articles proofread.

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