عنوان مقاله [English]
James A. Bellami is one of the orientalists thinking that there are some mistakes in Quran`s text; He believes that textual criticism must be applied to the Qur'an to remove it`s corruptions and produce a text the possibly nearest to original text. For example, In the article “More proposed emendations to the text of the Koran”, he claims that There are two major problems in the story of Shuaib, first, the form of his name, and second, the identity of the Ashab al-aykah. Given the existence of oral sources for the Qur'an, Bellami considers the Torah as the only source of the proper name of the "Shuaib" and the identity of the " the Ashab al-aykah ". For this reason, it is only by finding several common features in verses 13 through 17 of the Isaiah:21(the prophecy of Isaiah in Arabic) during the Old Testament and the story of Shuaib in the Qur'an, he claims that, firstly, the story of Shuaib derives from the Isaiah Prophecy about the Arabs (Isaiah 21: 13-17); secondly, “Shuaib” is mistaken with “Sh’aia” (spelled with final alif), the Arabic form of “Isaiah” ; thirdly Ashab al-aykah” in the Qur'an is the same Dedanite merchants in In Isa. 21:13-17.
The importance of surveying Bellami’s claims is that the results of them are, at least, the emphasis on the receipt of the Qur'an from the Bible, creating doubt in the realism of the historical stories of Quran and the failure to believe in the non-distortion of the Qur'an. The critique of his interpretive claims can cast doubt on this results. so, in this research, Bellami's views on Shuaib and Ashab al-aykah, as well as his reasons, are examined in five sections.
The first part is devoted to Bellami's claim to the word "Shuaib". Bellami claimed that he did not find "Shuaib" in Hebrew and Aramaic languages and ancient Arabic inscriptions, so there was no such name before the Qur'an was descended. Secondly, Shuaib has no suitable etymology and meaning for a man’s name. After examining the word "Shuaib" and its root, it became clear that - contrary to Bellami's claim - the word "Shuaib" has the correct etymology in Arabic, and the absence of the word "Shuaib" and above that the root of the "sha’b" in Hebrew and Aramic, not only is not evidence of Bellami's claims about "shuaib", but also amplifies that the root of the "sha’b" and the word "Shuaib" are Arabic.
Another result is that - contrary to the claim of Bellami - the name "Shuaib" has proper meaning and form for the men's name. Because according to Arab culture from pre-Islam times to now, using of a diminutive form of words and also making names for men from the root "sha’b" have been commonplace for men. Existance of some men whose name were from the root of the "Sha’b" (like Ash’ab) and those who had the name "Shuaib", before the Quran descends, can present good evidances for this claim . Also, analysis the different meanings of the word "Shuaib" indicate that this word has proper meanings for men.
Another consequence is that the absence of "Shuaib" in ancient Arabic inscriptions does not necessarily means that this name is not denied among the Arabs, as evidenced other sources, other than inscriptions, that this name can be found in pre-Islam Arabs. Even if it is assumed that there is no man named Shuaib before the Quran descends, the Shuaib of the Arabic translation may be the name or the title of this great Prophet, chosen and used by the Holy Qur'an for the first time. Therefore, the lack of this name in the inscriptions can not be a reason for the incorrect transcription of the term.
In the second section, the possibility of the wrongfulness of transcription of "Shuaib" was considered. To make this mistake, Bellami considers two hypotheses probable. For Example, his first assumption is that the name "Shuaib" was derived from scriber's mistake during the writing of the Qur'an (In the time of Abu-Bakr or Uthman) and its principle had been "Sh’aia". However, due to several reasons the incorrect transcription of this word is almost impossible; such as :1- word of "Shuaib" had been custom at the time of Qur'an's descent and before that ; 2- The Shuaib's story and name had been repeated during the gradual descent of Quran in the Meccan and Madnian Surahs; hence Muslims had been reading and repeating It during the gradual descent of the Qur'an; 3- Because Recitement, teaching and keeping of the verses had been common practice, the Shuaib's story and name repeated in the Muslim's ear many times; 4- The Quran had been written in particular manner, in the presence of witnesses and dictators .
In the third section, the feasibility of Bellami's claim for the adaptation of Shuaib's story of "Isaiah's prophecy concerning the Arabs" was investigated. The result is that due to the fundamental differences in the subject, the wisdom and details of the story of Shuaib and Isaiah, such as personality, history, place of residence, ethnicity, type and cause of torment, etc., the oral translation of Shuaib's story of the prophecy of Isaiah about Arab is not logical.
In the fourth section, Bellami's claim Based on the similarity of the Ashab al-aykah and Dedanite merchants is studied. The result of the study is that although both of them lived on the trade road to Mecca, but there was no justification and evidence to match Dedan with Aykah.
In one of his articles on reforming the Quranic vocabulary, Bellami has state his standards. In the fifth part, it was shown that the change of the word "Shuaib" to "Sh’aia" is not consistent with the standards of text correction provided by Mr. Bellami himself. For example, among the Bellami criteria, the modified text should make a better meaning than the existing one, but changing the word "Shuaib" to "Sh’aia", firstly, eliminates the semantic proportion of the name of the Prophet with his story; secondly, The text and the interpretation of Isaiah's Prophecy on the Arabs itself has some ambiguities; thus, not only the change of Shuaib to Sh’aia does not caused better meaning maked, but also it obscures the explicit and understandable story of Shuaib. Another Bellami's criterion is that the modified word should be in accordance with the style of the Qur'an; however, the change of Shuaib to "Sh’aia" is inconsistent with the style of the Quranic verses in which mentioned the names of the prophets in their historical order. Another criterion is that the word correction should be historically justifiable. To absence of Shuaib's story in the Bible, Mr. Bellami considers it non-historic. But, this can not be a convincing reason for denial reality of Shuaib's story. The existence of the ruins of the "Maghair Shuaib" and "Ayla", which are coherent with the Qur'anic verses in terms of space and time, regarding the people of Shuaib, can be a good historical evidence for the existence of a person called "Shuaib" and his story in reality.
In this way, the analysis of Bellami's claims showed that none of his claims was correct.