Earliest ‘Dated Muslim Texts’ constantly remember God but never Muhammad

(Reason 21 of22 serious reasons shahada should contain no name except God’s’)

Earliest dated Muslim texts

 
If the so-called ‘full shahada’ in its current form was recited by or even known to the Muslims during the time of the Prophet, then one could expect that it would appear in the Quran as well as in the earliest documents of Islam.

But, in reality, this is NOT the case.

Interested readers will find a list of ‘Dated Muslim Texts’ from the first Islamic century in the following links:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/earlyislam.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/earlysaw.html

This will clearly demonstrate that – although God’s name was constantly remembered in these earliest Islamic records – the so-called ‘full shahada’, even Muhammad’s name itself, was completely absent there until the period of 5th Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (reigned 65-86 AH/ 685–705 CE):

‘DATED MUSLIM TEXTS’ FROM THE FIRST ISLAMIC CENTURY

Various demand notices and receipts on papyri (in Greek and Arabic or Greek only), Egypt, 22 AH / December 642 CE onwards.

Opening formulae: bism Allāh / en onomati tou theou (“In the name of God“); bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm. (“In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful”); syn theō (“With God“).

Papyri ERF No. 552, containing an acknowledgement for receipt of six nomismata by ʿUbayd ibn ʿUmar, concludes kai eirēnē soi apo theou (“And the peace from God be upon you”). Papyri ERF Nos. 552-573 are dated between 22 AH and 57 AH (except for 572, which may be later). For Papyri ERF 558, click here.

Invocation Of ʿUmar b. Al-Khaṭṭāb, before 23 AH / 644 CE.

ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb bi-llāhi yaṭiq

ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb puts his trust in God.

Arabic graffito from Qāʿ al-Muʿtadil, N. W. Arabia (near al-Hijr), 24 AH / 644 CE.

Bism Allāh anā Zuhayr katabt zaman tuwuffiya ʿUmar sanat arbaʿ wa-ʿishrīn

In the name of God, I Zuhayr wrote [this] at the time ʿUmar died in the year twenty-four.

Arabic graffito from Wadi Khushayba, S. W. Arabia (near Najrān), 27 AH / 648 CE.

Taraḥḥama Allāh ʿalam Yazīd ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Salūlī wa-kataba fi Jumādā [kadhā] min sanat saba‘ wa-‘ishrīn.

May God have mercy on Yazīd ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Salūlī and he wrote [this] in Jumādā of the year twenty-seven.

Tombstone of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Ibn Khair al-Hajrī, 31 AH / 652 CE.

Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm. hadhā l-qabr li-ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Ibn Khair al-Ḥajrī. Allahumma ighfir lahu wadkhulhi fī raḥma minka wa ātinā ma‘ahu. istaghfir lahu idhā qara’a hādha l-kitāb wa-qul amīn. wa-kutiba hādha l-kitāb fī Jumādā al-ākhar min sanat iḥdā wa-thalāthin.

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful; this tomb belongs to ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Ibn Khair al-Ḥajrī. O God, forgive him and make him enter into Thy mercy and make us go with him. (passer by) When reading this inscription ask pardon for him (the deceased) and say Amen! This inscription was written in Jumādā II of the year thirty-one.

Arab-Sassanian coins, various mints in Iran, known in large quantities from year 20 (assume Yazdgird era, so 31 AH / 652 CE) onwards.

All bear the legend bism Allāh (“In the name of God“), sometimes with additional words in Arabic and Persians.

Arab-Sassanian coins, various mints in Iran, known with years 23-39 (assume Yazdgird era, so 34-50 AH / 654-70 CE).

All bear the legend lillāh (“Unto God“).

An Inscription Mentioning The Murder Of ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān, c. 36 AH / 656 CE.

Anā Qays al-kātib Abū Kutayr. laʿana Allāh man qatalaʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān wa aḥatta qatlahu taqtīlan.

I am Qays, the scribe of Abū Kutayr. Curse of God on [those] who murdered ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān and [those who] have led to the killing without mercy.

Arabic inscription on the Darb Zubayda caravan route, 40 AH / 660-661 CE.

Raḥmat Allāh wa barakatuhu ʿalā ʿAbd al-Raḥmān bin Khālid bin al-ʿĀs wa kutiba li-sanat arba‘īn.

God’s mercy and blessing be upon ʿAbd al-Raḥmān bin Khālid bin al-ʿĀs, and written in the year forty.

Arabic tax demand notice (entagion) on marble, Andarin, northern Syria, from the time of Muʿāwiya (40–60 AH / 661–80 CE).

Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm min al-Layth bin al-Diyāl ʿāmil al-amīr Muʿāwiya… ʿalā ard Qinnasrīn wa-ahlihi. takfi mukūs min iqlīm…

In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful: from al-Layth ibn al-Diyāl agent of the amīr Muʿāwiya … over Qinnasrin and its people. You should meet in full the taxes of the district of…

Arabic inscription on a dam, Medina, Arabia, of Muʿāwiya, 40–60 AH / 661–80.

Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm hadhā l-sadd li-ʿabd Allāh Muʿāwiya [kadham] amīr al-mu’minīn Allāhumma baraka [kadhā] lahu fihi rabb alsamawat [kadhā] wa-l-ard banahu [kadhā] Abū Raddād mawlā ʿAbdallāh ibn ʿAbbās bi-ḥawl Allāh wa-quwwatihi wa-qāma ʿalayhi Kathīr ibn al-Ṣalt wa-Abū Mūsā.

In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful, this dam is on behalf of the servant of God Muʿāwiya commander of the believers. O God, bless him for it, Lord of the heavens and the earth. Abū Raddād client of ʿAbdallāh ibn ʿAbbās built it by the power and strength of God, and Kathīr ibn al-Ṣalt and Abū Mūsā oversaw it.

A protocol (a protective cover at the beginning of a papyrus roll, bearing caliph/governer’s name and formulae), in Greek and Arabic, from the time of Mu‘āwiya (40–60 AH / 661-80 CE).

Greek: abdella Mouaouia amilalmoumnin

Arabic: ʿabd Allāh Muʿāwiya amīr al-mu’minīn (servant of God Muʿāwiya, commander of the believers)

Then it continues: In the name of God, the Compassionate and Merciful. From al-Ḥārith b. ʿAbd to the people of Neṣṣana. …

Five Arab-Sassanian coins of Muʿāwiya, Darabgird, year 41 AH / 661-62 CE.

On the obverse is written in Persian Maawia amir i-wruishnikan (“Muʿāwiya, commander of the faithful”), and in Arabic bism Allāh (“In the name of God“).

Three Arab-Sassanian coins, Bīshāpūr, years 45 AH / 665 CE and 47 AH / 667 CE.

All bear the legend bism Allāh al-malik (“In the name of God, the King”).

Arab-Sassanian coins, various mints in Iran, from year 35 (assume Yazdgird era, so 46 AH / 666 CE) onwards.

All bear the legend bism Allāh rabbī (“In the name of God, my Lord”), sometimes with additional words in Arabic and Persian.

Arabic graffito from Wādī Sabil, 46 AH / 666 CE.

Allahumma ighfir li-ʿAbd Allāh ibn Dayrām kutiba li-ʿarbaʿa layāl khalūn min Muḥarram min sanat sitt wa-arba‘īn.

O God grant pardon to ʿAbdalllāh bin Dayrām written when four nights had passed of [the month of] Muḥarram of the year forty-six.

Arabic graffito on the Darb Zubayda caravan route, 52 AH / 672 CE.

Allāhumma ighfir li-Hadya ibn Alī ibn Hinayda wa-kutiba li-sanat ithnān wa-khamsīn.

O God, forgive Hadya ibn Alī ibn Hinayda, written in the year fifty-two.

Seven bilingual entagia, Nessana, 54-57 AH / 674-77 CE. Click here to view one of them.

All begin Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Seven Arab-Sassanian coins of the governor Hakam ibn Abī l-‘Ās, Fars and Khuzistan, 56-58 AH / 676-78 CE.

All bear the legend: Bism Allāh rabb al-ḥukm (“In the name of God, the Lord of judgement”).

Inscription on the dam built by Caliph Muʿāwiya, 58 AH / 678 CE.

Hadhā l-sadd li-ʿabd Allāh Muʿāwiya amīr al-mu’minīn banahuʿAbd Allāh ibn Ṣakhr bidhn Allāh li-sanat thaman wa khamsīn. Allahumma ighfir li-ʿabd Allāh Muʿāwiya amīr al-mu’minīn wa-thabbithu w-unṣurhu wa mattiʿ l-mu’minīn bihi. katabaʿAmr ibn Ḥabbāb.

This dam [belongs] to servant of God Muʿāwiya, commander of the believers. ʿAbdullāh b. Ṣakhr built it with the permission of God, in the year fifty-eight. O God, pardon servant of God Muʿāwiya, commander of the believers, and strengthen him, and make him victorious, and grant the commander of the believers the enjoyment of it. ʿAmr b. Habbāb wrote [it].

Coin of Yazīd I, no place, year 1 (61 AH / 681 CE).

Obverse has the standard profile of Khusrau II and bears his name; reversal has usual Sassanian iconography (fire altar, stars and crescents etc.), but in the margin is written in Persian “Year one of Yazīd”.

Arabic graffito near Karbala in Iraq, 64 AH / 683-684 CE.

Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm. Allāh wa-kabbir kabīran wa-l-ḥamd lillāh kathīran. wa subḥān Allāh bukratan wa-asīlan wa-laylan tawīlan Allahumma rabb Jibrīl wa-Mīkā’īl wa Isrāfīl ighfir li-? ibn Yazīd al-As‘adī mā taqaddama min dhanbihi wa-mā ta’akhkhara wa-li-man qāla amīn amīn rabb al-ʿālamīn. wa-ktbt hādha l-kitāb fī Shawwāl min sanat arbaʿ wa-sittīn.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. God is the greatest Great. May God be abundantly thanked and May God be praised morning and evening. O Lord of Gabriel, Michael and Isrāfīl, forgive Layth (?) Ibn Yazid al-Asʿadi his early sins and the ones that followed and (forgive) whoever says Amīn. Amīn, O Lord of the worlds. I wrote this inscription in (the month of) Shawwāl in the year sixty-four.

Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Salm Bin Ziyād, 65 AH / 684-685 CE.

The legend is bism Allāh, Allāhu / Akbar (“In the name of God, God is / Great”). This is the first appearance of the Muslim slogan ‘Allahu akbar’ in a dated Muslim text.

Three Arab-Sassanian coins of the governor, ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Āmir, Sistan, 66 AH / 685-86 CE.

The legend is bism Allāh al-ʿazīz (“In the name of God, the Great”).

An Arab-Sassanian coin of Muṣʿab ibn al-Zubayr, Basra, 66 AH (?) / 685-86 CE.

The legend is muṣʿab ḥasbuhu Allāh (“Muṣʿab, God is his sufficiency”).

Two Arab-Sassanian coins of the governer ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Abd Allāh, Bīshāpūr, 66 AH / 685-686 CE.

Obverse field: Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust with name of ʿAbd al-Malik ibn ʿAbd Allāh (in Middle Persian). Obverse margin: bism Allāh / Muḥammad rasūl / Allāh (“In the name of God, Muḥammad is the Messenger of God“). Reverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants with mint (abbreviation) and date in Middle Persian, i.e., 66 AH / 685-686 CE. Reverse margin: Pellet at 7h30. This is the earliest occurrence of the name “Muḥammad” in a dated Muslim text.

Eighteen Arab-Sassanian coins of the Zubayrid governor of Basra ʿUmar ibn ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Maʿmar, Fars, 67-70 AH / 687-89 CE.

All have the legend lillāh al-ḥamd (“Unto God be praise”).

An Arab-Sassanian coin of the Kharijite rebel Qatarī ibn al-Fujāʾa, Bīshāpūr, 69 AH / 688-89 CE.

A coin of Qatarī ibn al-Fujāʾa from 75 AH / 694-695 CE is shown here. It bears the typically Kharijite slogan lā ḥukm illā lillāh (“Judgement belongs to God alone”), prefixed with bism Allāh (In the name of God). And written in Persian: “Servant of God, Ktri, commander of the faithful”.

Anonymous Arab-Sassanian Coin From Kirmān, 70 AH / 689 CE.

Obverse field: Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust without the name of governor. Instead it is occupied by Middle Persian legend MHMT PGTAMI Y DAT (“Muhammad is the messenger of God“). Obverse margin: bism Allāh walī / al-Amr (“In the name of God, the Master / of affairs”).

An Arab-Sassanian coin of the Umayyad governer of Basra Khālid ibn ‘Abd Allāh, Bīshāpūr, 71 AH / 690-91 CE.

The legend is bism Allāh Muḥammad rasūl Allāh (“In the name of God, Muḥammad is the messenger of God“).

Tombstone Of ʿAbāssa Bint Juraij, 71 AH / 691 CE.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. The greatest calamity of the people of Islām (ahl al-Islām) is that which has fallen them on the death of Muḥammad the Prophet; may God grant him peace. This is the tomb of ʿAbāssa daughter of Juraij (?), son of (?). May clemency, forgiveness and satisfaction of God be on her. She died on Monday, fourteen days having elapsed from Dhul-Qaʿdah of the year seventy-one, confessing that there is no god but God alone without partner and that Muḥammad is His servant and His apostle, may God grant him peace.

The Arab-Byzantine “Three Standing Imperial Figures” Dīnār From The Time Of Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, 72-74 AH / 692-694 CE.

This is the Umayyad imitation of the Byzantine prototype – both of them consist of three standing imperial figures on the obverse side. Reverse field: Staff ending in globe in steps. Reverse margin: bism Allāh lā-ilaha il-Allāh waḥdahu Muḥammad rasūl Allāh (“In the name of God. There is no god but God alone. Muḥammad is the messenger of God“). This ‘full shahada’ is perhaps the earliest surviving physical record of it. The initial stage was the elimination of crosses present in the Byzantine prototype coins, but keeping everything else intact. In the subsequent stage, crosses as well as Byzantine formula were removed and instead Arabic formula, i.e., the shahada, was introduced. Please note that representation of human images was not prohibited in an earlier period.

The ʿAqabah Inscription From The Time Of ʿAbd al-Malik, 73 AH / 692-693 CE.

Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm lā ilāha il-l-allāh waḥdahu la sharīka lahu Muḥammad rasūl Allāh

In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful. There is no god but God alone without partner and Muhammad is the Messenger of God

Seven milestones on the Damascus-Jerusalem road from the reign of ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwan (65-86 AH / 685-705 CE).

Some of them can be seen here. They start with the typical formula of Bism Allāh al-raḥmān al-raḥīm lā ilāha illa-Allāh waḥdahu la sharīka lahu Muḥammad rasūl Allāh …

In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful. There is no god but God alone without partner and Muhammad is the Messenger of God

Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Yazīd Ibn Al-Muhallab – I, 78 AH / 697 CE.

Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust and fire-altar with attendants. Obverse margin: quwwat Yazīd billāh (“Strength of Yazīd is from God“).

Inscription In A Mosque In Damascus, Built By Caliph Walīd, 86-87 AH / 705-706 CE.

… rabbuna-Allāhu waḥdahu wa dīnunā al-islām wa nabīyyunā Muḥammad ṣallā-allāhu alayhi wa sallam.

… Our Lord is God alone, and our religion is Islam and our prophet is Muhammad, may God grant him peace.

Arab-Sassanian Coin, Sijistān, Minted In 89 AH / 708 CE.

Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust and fire-altar with attendants. Obverse margin: MY (Pahlavi) / bism Allāh / al-ʿizza lillāh (“In the name of God. Unto God belongs the honour”).

An Arabic Inscription From Khirbat Nitil, 100 AH / 718-719 CE.

… wā qimhu ʿala ḥawḍi Muḥammad …

… and s[et him on] the pool of Muhammad …

FINDINGS FROM THE ABOVE:

Earliest ‘Dated Muslim Texts’ constantly glorify God but never mention Muhammad

It is interesting to observe above that Muhammad’s name was not given importance in the earlier Muslim texts (during the time of Khulafa-e-Rashideen and the earlier Umayyad Caliphs).

Also, that the issue of Muhammad’s messengership as a theological formula was totally absent in their contents.

Thus Muhammad’s name, and so the so-called ‘full shahada’, did not appear in any of these physical records any earlier than the time of 5th Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who reigned during 65-86 AH/ 685–705 CE.

At his accession, Islam was torn by dissension and threatened by the Byzantine Empire. With the help of his able general al-Hajjaj, Abd al-Malik overthrew the rival caliphs and united Islam. His battles with Byzantine forces were without final result. An able administrator, ruling from Damascus, he reorganized the government and introduced Arabic coins, improved postal facilities, and made Arabic the official language18.

It was during this Umayyad period of Arab expansion, when Muhammad-worshippers – feeling superior as a religious group while claiming to be followers of ‘the last and the best prophet’ – concocted the ‘full shahada’ with Muhammad’s name in it; so that it could serve as an ideological slogan to sharply differentiate Islam from all other religions – which were all ‘outdated’ by the definition – and thereby to mark a superior religious-political identity for the then Muslims.

This growing sense of supremacy, particularly against their Christian-Byzantine rivals – in line with an increasing glorification of Muhammad to compete with an idolized Jesus – is most clearly expressed in The Arabic Islamic Inscriptions On The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE and The Copper Plaque Inscriptions At The Dome Of The Rock In Jerusalem, 72 AH / 692 CE.

The following review briefly explains how the ‘full shahada’ was formulated partly as a propaganda effort in a specific religious-political environment during that period:

“Unlike Christianity, Islam is a not a belief system whose religious formulae and expression are centred on the deification and glorification of a man. To put it another way, Muslims are not “Muhammadans” and Islam is not the worship of Muhammad. This can help to explain why our earliest epigraphic records are not awash with references to Muhammad, instead containing simple pietistic invocations mentioning God. Western scholars whose primary experience is of Judeo-Christian religion, history and culture often fail to appreciate this crucial difference. What these records do emphasise is the worship of one God alone without any partner, his attributes such as mercy and forgiveness are often supplicated for and are found in our earliest inscriptions. By their very nature, these inscriptions are short and are not intended to be complete manuals of faith and doctrine. Once the Islamic state started to change in the time of ‘Abd al-Malik (685-705 CE) following a number of battles and wars both internal and external, propaganda efforts were intensified, perhaps no more vividly than in the construction of the Dome of the Rock, whose Qur’an-inspired inscriptions boldly proclaim the fundamental aspects of the religion, challenging the Christian belief of Jesus as God and proclaiming God’s promise that the final victory will be for Islam, “Muhammad is the servant of God and His messenger whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He might make it prevail over all religions even if the associators are averse”. There could be no more explicit declaration to the residents of the city of Jerusalem and the wider Christian and Jewish communities that Islam, the religion of Muhammad and the earlier prophets, was here to stay.” (M S M Saifullah & ʿAbdullah David. © Islamic Awareness; words highlighted by the author S. I.)

Summary

Earliest ‘Dated Muslim Texts’ constantly remember God but NEVER Muhammad

If the so-called ‘full shahada’ in its current form was recited by or even known to the Muslims during the time of the Prophet, then one could expect that it would appear in the Quran as well as in the earliest documents of Islam.

But, in reality, this is NOT the case.

A study of the Dated Muslim Texts from the first Islamic century will clearly demonstrate the following:

Although God’s name was constantly remembered and glorified in these early Islamic records, the issue of Muhammad’s messengership as a theological formula, even Muhammad’s name itself, was completely absent there during the time of Khulafa-e-Rashideen and the earlier Umayyad Caliphs.

Thus Muhammad’s name, and so the so-called ‘full shahada’, did not appear in any of these physical records any earlier than the time of 5th Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (reigned 65-86 AH/ 685–705 CE).

Related links:

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/earlyislam.html

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/History/Islam/Inscriptions/earlysaw.html