Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Islamic Studies - some recommended resources (at no cost)

Back on December 21, 2011 I published a post that provided links to 4 online Islamic studies resources (LINK). Last weekend, I learned that some of those links were no longer working, and promptly repaired them. I also became aware of a few more useful resources that I am going to recommend, and provide links for:

Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah - The Life of Muhammad Translated by Alfred Guillaume

The Traditions of Islam by Alfred Guillaume

Ibn Khaldun's The Muqaddimah Translated by Franz Rosenthal

Seeing Islam As Others Saw It A Survey And Evaluation Of Christian Jewish And Zoroastrian Writings On Early Islam by Robert G. Hoyland

The History of the Qur'anic Text by Muhammad Mustafa Al-Azami

The Qur'ān in Christian Arabic texts by Clare Elena Wilde

Early Christian Explanations of The Trinity in Arabic in the Context of Muslim Theology by Sara Leila Husseini

For those who want to be challenged by one of the most gifted Muslim apologists of the 21st century, delve into the following two contributions:

Finding Muhammad in the New Testament Masters Thesis by Ali Ataie

In Defense of Islam: Confronting the Christians with their own Scriptures by Ali Ataie


Grace and peace,


Monday, May 21, 2018

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

Over the weekend, I got involved in a thread at the blog, Allan Ruhl - Truth Without Compromise, under the title: Ibn Khaldun on Christianity (LINK).

Though I have been a keen student of Islam for over two decades now, it had been about six months since I was last engaged in extensive research focusing on Islamic studies. As my weekend research continued into Monday, I came across a historical legend—some folk believe that it was an actual event—in a Festschrift honoring the famous British orientalist, E. G. Browne, that I had never heard of: The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.

The title of the Festschrift is, A Volume of Oriental Studies Presented to Edward G. Browne On His 60th Birthday (link to PDF copy HERE). The specific paper that discusses The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, was C. C. Torrey's, "Three Difficult Passages in the Koran" (pages 457- 471).

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of this event/legend before this morning. I have been studying early Christian history for over thirty years now, yet never came across it. More embarrassing is the fact that I have read the Qur'an, cover-to-cover, two times and did not realize that this event/legend is mentioned in Surah 18, The Cave—though not by name. But with that said, I am quite pleased that I am now fully cognizant of this wonderful story of seven Christian youths who escaped the Decian persecution of 250 A.D. by fleeing to a cave outside of Ephesus where they miraculously sleep for some 180-309 years (length varies in different versions), and then emerged from the cave not having aged a single day. Lending credence to this event is the fact that the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have feast days for it—October 22/23, August 2 for the Orthodox, and July 27 for Catholics.

There is a good deal of information on the internet about the The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus—the following links are some of my recommendations:

Tony Devaney Morinelli's English translation - LINK 1 ; LINK 2

Orthodox Church of America, online article 

Wikipedia entry

Catholic Encyclopedia entry via New Advent

Martyrs For The Faith

Huffington Post, blog contribution by Bob Schulman

Bartłomiej Grysa's, The Legend of the Seven Sleepers in Syriac and Arab Sources

Looking forward to dialogue on this event/legend...

Grace and peace,