Strange defender

I find it fascinating that in 1977, the late Dr John Burton better defended the Prophet and the Qur’an, than all the Muslims through the ages.

At the very end of his thesis on the collection of the Qur’an, after a tour of the development of fiqh and naskh, and traditional accounts of the collection of the mushaf, he wrote:

“We have isolated and neutralised the only motive for excluding Muhammad from the editing and promulgating of the Qur’an texts. In those processes, Muhammad at last must now be once more re-instated. What we have today in our hands is the mushaf of Muhammad.”

I was once afraid to embrace objective scholarship such as this. Indeed, twenty years ago, my companions were found warning me off such works, petitioning me to embrace either puritanism or traditionalism instead. Ah, but the caravan moves on.

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