Reading along in a late medieval Persian history, I came across the Arabic quotation “ما لا عين رأت ولا اذن سمعت” (“What eye has not seen, nor ear heard”). Most such Arabic quotations in this work are taken from the Qur’an or the hadith, and the editor has identified all the Qur’anic citations, but not those from the hadith. But since I am skimming this history not for religious themes but for political events, I generally skip the quotations. This one was different: I had seen that phrase before, in another language. The apostle Paul had written in 1 Corinthians 2:9: ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδεν καὶ οὗς οὐκ ἢκουσεν καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἀνέβη, ἃ ἡτοίμασεν ὁ θεὸς τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν (“The things that eye has not seen and ear has not heard and have not come up upon a person’s heart, are the things that God has prepared for those who love him”; NA27). Could it be that a late medieval Persian author was quoting the New Testament? That would be very surprising. Continue reading
A classic rookie teaching mistake is to put on one’s syllabus a reading which has not been translated into a language one’s students can understand. This is what I did a year ago with the Kitab al-I’lam bi-manaqib al-Islam of al-‘Amiri (d. 992). This text is, among other things, a fascinating treatise in comparative religion (arguing, as the title suggests, for the superiority of Islam), as well as a defense of philosophy from Muslim critics. Not having a full translation from which to choose a pungent section, however, I hurriedly made my own translation of a single small section defending the study of logic, using logical means. I thought I’d include it here for general interest:
Although I found many news articles about the ultimatum against the Christians in Mosul issued by ISIS, I was unable to find the text available anywhere, other than in an image which circulated around Twitter. So here I have transcribed and translated the decree. Because I have done this quickly, I have no doubt that I have made some errors of transcription or translation; any suggestions welcome!
First, here is the picture of a copy of the decree which I saw on Twitter:
The text (ignore extra ـ characters; for whatever reason the RTL algorithm is failing):
ـ 17/ 7 /2014م
|بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
|لا اله الا الله
الحمد لله معزّ الإسلام بنصره، ومذلّ الشرك بقهره، وجاعل الأيام دولاً بعدله، والصلاة والسلام على من رفع الله منار الإسلام بسيفه، وبعد : ـ
يقول الله تعالى : وَإِذْ قالت أمة منهم لم تعظون قوما الله مهلكهم او معذبهم عذابا شديدا قالوا معذرة الى ربكم ولعلهم يتقون : الأعراف (163).ـ
فبعد إبلاغ رؤوس النصارى واتباعهم بموعد الحضور لبيان حالهم في ظل دولة الخلافة في ولاية نينوى أعرضوا وتخلفوا عن الحضور في الموعد المحدد والمبلغ إليهم سلفاً، وكان من المقرر أن نعرض عليهم إحدى ثلاث :ـ
ـ1 – الإسلام.ـ
ـ2 – عهد الذمة (وهو أخد الجزية منهم).ـ
ـ3 – فإن هم ابوا ذلك فليس لهم الا السيف.ـ
وقد من عليهم امير المؤمنين الخليفة ابرهيم – اعزه الله – بالسماح لهم بالجلاء بانفسهم فقط من حدود دولة الخلافة لموعد أخرة يوم السبت الموافق 21 رمضان 1435 شـاعة الثانية عشر ظهرأء وبعد هذا الموعد ليس بيننا وبينهم إلا السيف.ـ
ـ((ولله العزة ولرسوله وللمؤمنين ولكن المنافقين لايعلمون))ـ
|There is no God but Allah
|In the Name of God the Merciful the Compassionate
The Islamic State
The Council of Judges
Date: 19/ Ramadan / 1435 A.H.
17 / 7 / 2014 A.D.
Praise to God who strengthens Islam by his victory, and who humbles polytheism by his subjugation, and makes the days follow one another by his justice, and prayer and peace upon whomever God exalts as the beacon of Islam by his sword, and hence:
God Most High says, “When some of them said: ‘Why do ye preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or visit with a terrible punishment?’- said the preachers: ‘To discharge our duty to your Lord, and perchance they may fear Him.'” (al-A’raf 163)
And after the announcement of the leaders of the Christians and their dependents of the appointed time of the meeting for indicating their condition under the shadow of the state of the caliphate in the province of Nineveh, they rejected and were absent from the meeting at the specified time and the payment to them in advance, and it was determined that we should present to them one of three things:
3. And if they refuse these, there is nothing for them but the sword.
And the Commander of the Faithful, Caliph Ibrahim (may God strengthen him) has granted to them permission for them to depart with only their persons from the boundaries of the state of the caliphate at the latest by Saturday which falls on 21 Ramadan 1435, at the hour of twelve noon, and after this time there is nothing between us and them but the sword.
Council of Judges