The mushrikŻn Were Christians

According to the later Ė widely fictitious Ė Islamic historiography the Meccan and Central Arabian adversaries of MuHammad, the so called mushrikŻn, "associators" (i.e. those who "associate" other gods to God), were some vague "idolators" or "pagans". However that they actually were (Trinitarian) Christians could long since be gathered already from many dispersed old remarks still extant in the ocean of Islamic tradition, though Orthodox Islam has tried to eradicate as far as possible all relics of the true picture of the rise of Islam, including the fact that these mushrikŻn, "associators" actually were (Trinitarian) Christians.

GŁnter LŁling in his "A Challenge to Islam for Reformation. The Rediscovery and reliable Reconstruction of a comprehensive pre-Islamic Christian Hymnal hidden in the Koran under earliest Islamic Reinterpretations", Delhi (Motilal Banarsidass Publishers) 2003,[1] on page XIV points to an example of those remarks which evaded the later "Orthodox" eradication: A tradition still contained in AT-TabarÓ's Commentary on Surah 12:106 and ascribed to Abdullah Ibn ĎAbbas, reportedly an uncle of MuHammad, allegedly one of the greatest scholars of early Islam and the first exegete of the Koran.

Surah 12:106-108

Surah 12:106

And this is the tradition still extant in AT-TabarÓ's commentary on surah 12:106:

حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّد بْن سَعْد قالَ ثني أبِي قالَ ثني عَمَّي قالَ ثني أبِي عَنْ أبِيهِ عَن ابْن عَبَّاس قَوْله {وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ اكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إلَّا وَهُم مُشْرِكُونَ} يَعْنِي النَّصَارَا

HaddathanÓ muHammad bnu saĎd, q‚la: [Hadda]thanÓ abÓ, q‚la: [Hadda]thanÓ ĎammÓ, q‚la: [Hadda]thanÓ abÓ Ďan abÓhi, Ďan ibni Ďabb‚s, qauluhu: {wa m‚ yuíminu aktharuhum bi-ll‚hi ill‚ wa hum mushrikŻna} yaĎnÓ n-naS‚r‚

Muhammad b. SaĎd handed down to us, he said: My father handed down to us, he said: My uncle handed down to us, he said: My father handed down to us from his father from Ibn ĎAbbas: His [God's] speech {And most of them don't believe in God unless they associate [other gods to God] = And most of them believe in God, only that they associate [other gods to God]} means the Christians.

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[1] Here is the English and here the Arabic translation of the review by Wolfgang GŁnter Lerch, a pupil of Josef van Ess and expert for Oriental and Islamic affairs with the leading German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published there on June 1st, 2004.