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1) Lecture Introduction 2) The Revelation Event 3) The Self-Referential Nature of the Qur’an 4) Western Skepticism of the Transmission of the Qur’an 5) Was the Qur’an Written By Professional Scribes? 6) Was the Qur’an Written on a Scroll? 7) The Qur’an Was Transmitted Orally 8) The Writing Down of the Qur’an 9) Was the Qur’an Edited? 10) The Qur’an is Not a History Book 11) How Does the Qur’an Compare With the Bible as a Message of Mercy? 12) Muslims Relations With Polytheists? 13) How Would One Dispose of the Qur’an? 14) Literalism vs. Interpretation?
The heart of this talk is Dr. Blankinship’s response to the criticisms levied against the Qur’an’s authenticity as a sacred and preserved scripture from God. After discussing briefly the two periods of revelation in Makkah and Madinah as well as the revelation event at the cave of Hija, the speaker analyzes the Qur’an’s quality of self-reference, the significance of knowing the chronology of revelation, and the character of the Qur’anic text (both the written and the oral aspects). In discussing the many fascinating qualities and characteristics of the Qur’an, the speaker allows for the most sacred text in Islam to speak for itself in answering the supposed question of legitimacy. One highlight of this lecture is an example that Dr. Blankinship puts forth of the unique rhyme scheme of certain verses in the Qur’an and orthographic irregularities that actually prove the authentic transmission of the text! Another wonderful lecture for Muslims and non-Muslims as well as students of history. The speaker’s passionate style evokes very engaging questions from the non-Muslim audience and results in many interesting and enlightening exchanges. Other topics discussed: a comparison between the message of the Bible and the message of the Qur’an, hope that the Qur’an gives for a peaceful co-existence between Muslims and polytheists, methods of disposing the Qur’anic text, and the question of interpreting the Qur’an vs. literalism. Recorded at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute seminar.