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The Title Faruq and Its Association With Umar by Suliman Bashear

The Title Faruq and Its Association With Umar by Suliman Bashear

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Published by: asadmarx on Apr 12, 2012
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Maisonneuve & Larose
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Maisonneuve & Larose
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http://www.jstor.org/stable/1595775.
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THETITLE
(
FARUQ>QANDITSASSOCIATIONWITH'UMAR I*
'UmarI,the secondcaliphofIslam,figurescentrallyinMuslimtraditional sourcesas thetrueconsolidator ofthatreligionandpolity.Thisviewwasinitiallyacceptedonmodernwesternscholars some of whomcomparedhisoverall roleto that ofSt.Paul,"the second man"inChristianity.(1)Gradually,how-ever,fewscholarsexpressedmore cautionintheirassessment ofthehistoricityofsuchrole,owingto thesubjectionof thetraditionalreportson him tocriticalscrutinyandtheexpositionofagreatdeal of contradictionsandobscurities.(2)Lately,note was alsomadeofthe factthat noseriousattemptwas madeatexaminingthereligious aspectsof thepersonalityandroleofthemanespeciallybymodernMuslimscholarswho,instead,usuallypresenthimasaperfectruler fit evenfortwentiethcenturypoliticalideals ofdemocracy,etc.(3)On theotherhand,note mustbe made of the newlineopened bythe
*Inthe course ofworkingonthispaperI hadfruitful discussions withProf.M.J. Kisterandmade useof thematerial,especiallyfrommanuscripturalsourcesofhis,which he referred meto. Forall thatIowehim aspecialdebt ofgratitude.I also thankthe TrumanInstitute of theHebrewUniversityofJerusalem for thefinancialgrantwhich madetheaccomplishmentof this workpossible.(1)Compare:Sir W.Muir,AnnalsoftheEarlyCaliphate,London1883, 283-4;D.S.Margoliouth,Mohammed and theRiseofIslam,London1905, 162-5,167,346;W. R.Smith,"Some Similaritiesand Differences BetweenChristianityandIslam",The WorldofIslam,London1960,52.(2)G. LeviDellaVida,"Omar ibnal-Khattab", s.v.,E.I.1sted.,982-4 and thesources citedtherin.(3)H.Lazarus-Yafe,"Umar..." in S.Morag& I. BenAmieds.,Studies inGeniza,Jerusalem1981,319 inf.
 
S.BASHEAR
authors ofHagarisminthestudyof thatpersonalityandrole,wherethey suggestthat the title"faruq"constitutes in factanIslamic fossilization of a certainJewishidea ofmessianism.(4)Allthisjustifiesafurtherinvestigationof thistitlewithwhich'Umarwasheavilyassociated to thedegreethat itbecame hissecondname.Atask which thepresent papertries toaccomplishinawaythatwillhopefullycontribute to abetterunderstandingnotonlyto the role andpersonalityof 'Umar butalsoindirectlyto theliteraryprocesses throughwhichthe relevantreportson himcrystallized.Indoingsowe shall examine themeaningof"fadruq"and thecontextsinwhich itsassociation with 'Umarwerepresentedbythedifferentlexical,biographical, exegetical,histo-riographicalandother traditionalMuslim sources.1)ArabicFRQand Some SemiticCognates.Fromthe rootFRQinArabic,as wellas other SemiticlanguageslikeSabaic,Syriac,Hebrew and AramaicPRQ,canbederivedverbs,nouns andadjectivesdenotingdivision,separation,dis-persalanddeliverance. Some of these derivationsconveyclearreligiousconnotations.The verbsfrqandtfrqinSabaiccan meanboth todeliver/saveand to seeksafety/bedispersed/scatter.(5)Likewise,Syriacaismeans both todivide/setapartand tosave.And,fromthe lattermeaningcomes
Lo
i
rL
=saviourandlo9A=salvation/redemption.(6)Indeed,both R. Belland A.JefferybelievedQuranic"furqan"to havecome fromSyriacperqanawhichdenotessalvation.(7)Alsonoteworthyinthiscontextisthe factthat thefifthcenturyBeirfniexplicitlysaysthat"faruqdrabba" is aSyriacphrasewhichmeans "thegreatredeemer"(bi-l-surydniyya...:al-munajjial-azam).(8)He alsoadds thatoneoftheholydaysfortheNestorianChristianswas"al-faruqa, meaningsalvation,which is thethursdayoccurringonthe24thdayof[their]fasting."(9)Finally,"al-Faruq"occurs as a
(4)P. Crone& M.Cook,Hagarism,Cambridge1980,5.(5)A. F. L.Beestonetal.,SabaicDictionary,Louvain and Beirut1982,46.(6)M.H.Goshen-Gottstein,ASyriac-English Glossary,Wiesbaden1970,64-5.(7)R.Bell,TheOriginsofIslaminitsChristianEnvironment,London1926, 120;A.Jeffery,TheKoran,Selected SurasTranslated,N.Y.1958,228.(8)Beiruni,al-'Atharal-Baqiya,Leipzig1923,16.(9)Ibid.,311.

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