Welcome to Paradise, Here are your Raisins

Welcome to Paradise, Here are your Raisins February 27, 2010

by VorJack

The Tim Minchin clip from last week reminded me of a theory that was going around for a while.

The pseudonymous Christoph Luxenberg wrote a work titled A Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran, in which he maintained that Muhammad and other early Muslims incorporated certain words and phrases from Aramaic into their Arabic. He also wrote that early Islam was influenced by Syrian Christianity.

So far, fairly plausible. He argued that these realizations allowed certain confusing parts of the Qur’an to be more clearly translated.

His most famous example deals with what the Muslim martyrs could expect in the afterlife. Luxenburg argues that the Arabic huri, or “virgins”, is actually a mistranslation of the Aramaic/Syriac word for “white grapes” or raisins, hur.

Can’t say whether it’s accurate or not. But if it is, then someone’s in for a disappointment.

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