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Old 13th November 2013, 06:33 PM   #1
AhmedH
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Default The Original Dhu'l-Faqar

Salaams all,

I just wanted to share this with all those who are interested in knowing the original Dhu'l-Faqar; the famous sword of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), that later on became the symbol of the Islamic Caliphate.

The sword is a Mashrafi (Yemeni War Sword); dating back to either the very late 6th century, or the early 7th century C.E. It is now preserved in Topkapi Museum; especially in the Sacred Treasures section, under inventory number 2/3775.

I will later on send the article, photos, and figures supporting my identification (which occurred in either late 2000, or early 2001). But first, I'd wish to know how you fancied the original Dhu'l-Faqar looked like, what its dimensions were, etc.

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old 14th November 2013, 08:09 AM   #2
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Sounds Fascinating!

I look forward to it!

Spiral
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Old 14th November 2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Dear Spiral,

Thanks a lot for your encouraging reply. Attached is the article, and the photos and figures; the article being in a document, while the photos and figures are in a separate document. Here are both:
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Old 14th November 2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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I am delighted that the mystery of Dhu'l-Fakar was finally solved. Congratulations! The only thing left is to prove it.


I am looking forward to the pictures.

There is not much sense for us guessing the features: this had been done for centuries with no agreement between the scholars.

Please show the pics and the supporting materials.
With best wishes.
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Old 14th November 2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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Here's the article that I've composed as an appendix of my master's dissertation in defense of the identification of the original Dhu'l-Faqar:
Attached Files
File Type: doc DHU.doc (328.0 KB, 8599 views)
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Old 14th November 2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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I believe I'm having problems sending the attachment that includes the photos and figures. They say it's too large (1.76 MB). I wish I were able to divide this file into 3 smaller files, but I don't know how.

Any help, please?

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old 14th November 2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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I believe I have been able to overcome this silly problem. Here we go:
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Old 14th November 2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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One should take the claims made by the Topkapi museum with a few grains doubt. I was there a few weeks ago and they were making some really bold and unfounded claims specially in the sacred treasures area. To me it was all a show to sell tickets, they have nothing backing those claims, specially the claims made in regards to the artifacts belonging to the Prophet (PBUH), his companions and his family.
One sword that made me almost laugh was this HUGE 5 ft something tall and about a foot wide one resembling ones shown in Final Fantasy video game. It is claimed that it belonged to the 3rd Khalif Hazrat e Osman, now every Muslim knows the he was not a warrior nor a tall man, why go a claim that huge sword belonged to one who was of a smaller build?
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Old 14th November 2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I am delighted that the mystery of Dhu'l-Fakar was finally solved. Congratulations! The only thing left is to prove it.


I am looking forward to the pictures.

There is not much sense for us guessing the features: this had been done for centuries with no agreement between the scholars.

Please show the pics and the supporting materials.
With best wishes.

Salaams ariel ~ I agree absolutely. It is clear that these swords said to be of such provenance have been worked on by great and famous craftsmen but such are the alterations that no one can reverse engineer what they originally may have looked like. Most scholars simply accept that "they are what they are". It would be a brave researcher indeed who would try to process the answer with any degree of accuracy.. As you say... "prove it" !

AhmedH Maybe you are that brave researcher!! and to support your claims I'm sure you will present some interesting Topkapi and other photographs which I also look forward to seeing.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 14th November 2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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Salaams to all,

I'm extremely sorry, but the file regarding the photos and figures seems impossible (for me) to send to this great and wonderful site. I believe and hope that the file containing the article itself has been able to be sent. It just takes many hours to be approved.

So, if you're really interested in seeing and studying the photos and figures, I could send you the file that contains them via email. So, please do not hesitate to send me your email addresses and I'll be more than glad to send you the file containing the photos and figures.

I repeat my apology, but I've done my best to send that file to this great site. Not being that capable in computer skills, I must admit my partial failure!

Please accept my apologies and limitations.
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Old 14th November 2013, 05:17 PM   #11
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Topkapi collection number 2/3775 was mentioned by AhmedH.


Yucel's book shows # 21/3775, a supposedly Umayyad sword, supposedly attributable to Uthman ibn Affan.

Are we talking about the same one?
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Old 14th November 2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Topkapi collection number 2/3775 was mentioned by AhmedH.


Yucel's book shows # 21/3775, a supposedly Umayyad sword, supposedly attributable to Uthman ibn Affan.

Are we talking about the same one?
Yes, it's that sword that is erroneously attributed to either Caliph Uthman ibn Affan or Osman I.

Please read the article that I've submitted.

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old 15th November 2013, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AhmedH
I believe I'm having problems sending the attachment that includes the photos and figures. They say it's too large (1.76 MB). I wish I were able to divide this file into 3 smaller files, but I don't know how.

Any help, please?

Thanks a lot in advance.
If you email the files to me at iain.norman@live.com I'd be happy to split them up for you.
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Old 15th November 2013, 09:21 AM   #14
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Having seen the files and determining with Ahmed the best way to make these available is a weblink.

This ZIP file contains the illustrations and the article.

Last edited by Iain; 15th November 2013 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 15th November 2013, 12:16 PM   #15
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file gives error that it is missing split parts, ie the . z01 & .z02...
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Old 15th November 2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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I visited the Topkapi. Legendary arms and armour exhibit and one of the best collections of European arms and armour too that was taken during their Empire - however many of the mystical objects could not possibly be as old as claimed. For example the staff of Moses and turban of Joseph were in remarkably good condition for millenia old objects.

These items would have been miraculously "found" during the days of the Ottoman empire and used by the Empire as symbols and to gain legitimacy.

Didn't the sword dissapear when the Mongols sacked Baghdad? Last century during the communist takeover of Mongolia, Ghengis's original horsehair also dissapeared in the same manner. Possibly burned by some communists eager to get rid of such national symbols. This morning I was reading about all the objects looted from Egypt's museums during the current upheavals. It is sad when these priceless objects are lost forever.

Maybe it is the original sword. Who knows?
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Old 15th November 2013, 12:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
file gives error that it is missing split parts, ie the . z01 & .z02...
Apologies, I just edited the link. Can you have a try now and let me know if it's working for you?
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Old 15th November 2013, 05:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AhmedH
Here's the article that I've composed as an appendix of my master's dissertation in defense of the identification of the original Dhu'l-Faqar:


Salaams AhmedH~ I have so far read about one third of your attachment and I have to say I find it brilliant... not only in the way you have openly accepted the mistakes and pitfalls of others but in the logical and informative structure of your dissertation. This is a very real pleasure to read. I look forward to reading more and it is a delight to see the references of the great masters being used so effectively...Brilliant !

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 15th November 2013, 06:12 PM   #19
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Dear Ibrahiim,

Thanks a lot for your very positive and encouraging review of my article so far! I felt very flattered! Thanks a lot!

I hope you enjoy reading the rest of it.

Thanks again for your very positive reply. Any questions you ask me shall be answered thoroughly; as best as I could.

-Ahmed Helal Hussein-
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Old 15th November 2013, 06:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsa
I visited the Topkapi. Legendary arms and armour exhibit and one of the best collections of European arms and armour too that was taken during their Empire - however many of the mystical objects could not possibly be as old as claimed. For example the staff of Moses and turban of Joseph were in remarkably good condition for millenia old objects.

These items would have been miraculously "found" during the days of the Ottoman empire and used by the Empire as symbols and to gain legitimacy.

Didn't the sword dissapear when the Mongols sacked Baghdad? Last century during the communist takeover of Mongolia, Ghengis's original horsehair also dissapeared in the same manner. Possibly burned by some communists eager to get rid of such national symbols. This morning I was reading about all the objects looted from Egypt's museums during the current upheavals. It is sad when these priceless objects are lost forever.

Maybe it is the original sword. Who knows?
Please read the article, and you'll find answers to all your questions. No need to hurry, sir. Please, read it thoroughly and enjoy!

-Ahmed Helal Hussein-
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Old 15th November 2013, 08:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
Apologies, I just edited the link. Can you have a try now and let me know if it's working for you?
worked perfectly. thanks.

interesting illustrations. the dissertation makes sense. all previous info i've seen seemed to indicate a real split tip, or 2 tined forked tip. which would be somewhat unpractical for sword. the one illustrated solves the problem and appears to be a fine weapon such as would have been loved by the prophet (peace upon him). shame the original scabbard & harness did not survive as well.
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Old 16th November 2013, 07:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
worked perfectly. thanks.

interesting illustrations. the dissertation makes sense. all previous info i've seen seemed to indicate a real split tip, or 2 tined forked tip. which would be somewhat unpractical for sword. the one illustrated solves the problem and appears to be a fine weapon such as would have been loved by the prophet (peace upon him). shame the original scabbard & harness did not survive as well.
Thank you very much for your positive reply, sir. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding this article, and I'll be more than glad to answer you.

Best regards,
Ahmed Helal Hussein
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Old 17th November 2013, 11:46 AM   #23
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Thanks very much. Great research and accompanying photos.

Horsa
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Old 17th November 2013, 03:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AhmedH
Salaams all,

I just wanted to share this with all those who are interested in knowing the original Dhu'l-Faqar; the famous sword of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), that later on became the symbol of the Islamic Caliphate.

The sword is a Mashrafi (Yemeni War Sword); dating back to either the very late 6th century, or the early 7th century C.E. It is now preserved in Topkapi Museum; especially in the Sacred Treasures section, under inventory number 2/3775.

I will later on send the article, photos, and figures supporting my identification (which occurred in either late 2000, or early 2001). But first, I'd wish to know how you fancied the original Dhu'l-Faqar looked like, what its dimensions were, etc.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Salaams AhmedH, For reasons I cannot fathom I am unable to download any pictures and in particular I would like to see all 9 swords from the Topkapi and the subject sword; Dhu'l-Faqar. I think that once displayed the details should then be considered as classic material on Forum. ( Was it Rheinhardt himself who also prescribed pictures? )
This is indeed a thoroughly prepared delivery on the truth behind the myriad of accidental errors tripped over by experts and masters and shrouded in myth and legend now brought to life and identified in this research paper so amazingly well.
I therefor submit that this fine thread be placed on the Classic register.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 17th November 2013, 07:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams AhmedH, For reasons I cannot fathom I am unable to download any pictures and in particular I would like to see all 9 swords from the Topkapi and the subject sword; Dhu'l-Faqar. I think that once displayed the details should then be considered as classic material on Forum. ( Was it Rheinhardt himself who also prescribed pictures? )
This is indeed a thoroughly prepared delivery on the truth behind the myriad of accidental errors tripped over by experts and masters and shrouded in myth and legend now brought to life and identified in this research paper so amazingly well.
I therefor submit that this fine thread be placed on the Classic register.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Salaams Ibrahiim,

Thanks a lot for your very encouraging comments!

Please send me your email address and I'll send you the photos and figures. BTW, which 9 swords in Topkapi did you mean? Hank Reinhardt commented on 2 photos of Dhu'l-Faqar that I've sent him.

Thanks a lot, Ibrahiim! I felt very flattered. I wish this article would be placed on the Classic register; though it needs a few corrections.

Please don't forget to give me your email address so that I'd be able to send you the file with the photos and figures.

-Ahmed Helal Hussein-
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Old 18th November 2013, 03:58 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsa
Thanks very much. Great research and accompanying photos.

Horsa
Salaams Horsa,

Thank you very much for your positive review. Glad you liked it!

-Ahmed Helal Hussein-
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Old 18th November 2013, 02:46 PM   #27
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This article purports to prove that one of the swords in the Topkapi collection, traditionally attributed to Uthman ibn Affan is, in reality, the famous Dhu'l Fakar. This fact was, in author's interpretation, consciously concealed by the succession of the Ottoman Sultans and their close retinue for some uncertain, but likely political purposes. Thus, the identification of this sword as the true Dhu'l Fakar is a momentous discovery in Islamic history as well as in the history of arms and armour research.

The author has to be applauded for his perseverance and hard work.

However, IMHO, the author falls short in proving his hypothesis.

The proof rests on 3 main arguments:



1. The construction of the sword blade is similar to the description of what was advertised as Dhu'l Fakar by its various owners ~ 1000 years ago. Also, this blade is uniquely suited for cleaving armour.

2. It is unusually rich in decoration.

3. The inscription mentioning the name Uthman was found by the author on the blade, and interpreted as indicating Muhammed as its original owner.

None of this "proofs" hold water, IMHO.

1. Ther must have been thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of early Islamic and pre-Islamic swords of similar construction. Granting special status to this blade simply because it has 9 shallow fullers is naive. The mechanical properties of this blade had never been tested ( although I marvel at the cavalier attitude of the Topkapi curators allowing a straight-from -the- street visitor not only to handle the sword, but also to bend the blade at 45 degrees). The endorsement of Mr. Reinhardt who , just by looking at the photographs, determined the superior abilities of the blade, is totally discountable as verifiable evidence.

2. The reason why did the palace jewelers chose this particular sword for excessive decoration is unknown. Stating that this was done because the sword belonged to Muhammed, and therefore, its lavish decoration proves Muhammed's owneship, is a classic example of " circular argument".

3. I am surprised that the author, after only minutes of viewing the sword, was able to find an inscription on the blade that was missed by generations of previous handlers and by reputable researchers of the 20-th century.
The meaning of the inscription is uncertain ( although the fact that most of its text is eaten away did not prevent the author to insert missing fragments), but claiming that it attributes the blade to Muhammed is an exercise in sophistry, fantasy and wishful thinking.
A simpler interpretation would tie this sword to Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. This would perfectly explain the reason why this sword was used by the Sultans as their ascension sword. The readers of this comment are invited to supply their own versions and those will be just as believable ( or far-fetched) as mine or the author's.

A cautionary note: the very attribution of the Topkapi collection to Muhammed and his companions is questionable. The comments of Yucel clearly show his doubts, tempered by his unwillingness to rock the boat and say plainly that there is no evidence whatsoever that those swords were of the 6-7 century provenance.
The islamic legend cited repeatedly by the author that the Uthman's sword ( the alleged Dhu'l Fakar) was originally gifted by Queen Bilkis to the King of Israel Shlomo ( Solomon) is just as unsupportable as the attribution of the other sword from the same collection to King David.


These are just quick notes. Line-by-line reading of the opus can find a multitude of inconsistencies, mis-interpretations and wishful fantasies.


I am definitely against putting this sophomoric treatise as a Classic on the Forum page.

Moreover, this Forum is not an appropriate stage for " momentous discoveries".

I suggest that the author sends his article to one of the respectful European historical journals and obtains a real-life peer review. Suffice it to say, that previous attempts by the author to enlist prominent arms historians to his camp were unsuccessful.
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Old 18th November 2013, 04:16 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
This article purports to prove that one of the swords in the Topkapi collection, traditionally attributed to Uthman ibn Affan is, in reality, the famous Dhu'l Fakar. This fact was, in author's interpretation, consciously concealed by the succession of the Ottoman Sultans and their close retinue for some uncertain, but likely political purposes. Thus, the identification of this sword as the true Dhu'l Fakar is a momentous discovery in Islamic history as well as in the history of arms and armour research.

The author has to be applauded for his perseverance and hard work.

However, IMHO, the author falls short in proving his hypothesis.

The proof rests on 3 main arguments:



1. The construction of the sword blade is similar to the description of what was advertised as Dhu'l Fakar by its various owners ~ 1000 years ago. Also, this blade is uniquely suited for cleaving armour.

2. It is unusually rich in decoration.

3. The inscription mentioning the name Uthman was found by the author on the blade, and interpreted as indicating Muhammed as its original owner.

None of this "proofs" hold water, IMHO.

1. Ther must have been thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of early Islamic and pre-Islamic swords of similar construction. Granting special status to this blade simply because it has 9 shallow fullers is naive. The mechanical properties of this blade had never been tested ( although I marvel at the cavalier attitude of the Topkapi curators allowing a straight-from -the- street visitor not only to handle the sword, but also to bend the blade at 45 degrees). The endorsement of Mr. Reinhardt who , just by looking at the photographs, determined the superior abilities of the blade, is totally discountable as verifiable evidence.

2. The reason why did the palace jewelers chose this particular sword for excessive decoration is unknown. Stating that this was done because the sword belonged to Muhammed, and therefore, its lavish decoration proves Muhammed's owneship, is a classic example of " circular argument".

3. I am surprised that the author, after only minutes of viewing the sword, was able to find an inscription on the blade that was missed by generations of previous handlers and by reputable researchers of the 20-th century.
The meaning of the inscription is uncertain ( although the fact that most of its text is eaten away did not prevent the author to insert missing fragments), but claiming that it attributes the blade to Muhammed is an exercise in sophistry, fantasy and wishful thinking.
A simpler interpretation would tie this sword to Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. This would perfectly explain the reason why this sword was used by the Sultans as their ascension sword. The readers of this comment are invited to supply their own versions and those will be just as believable ( or far-fetched) as mine or the author's.

A cautionary note: the very attribution of the Topkapi collection to Muhammed and his companions is questionable. The comments of Yucel clearly show his doubts, tempered by his unwillingness to rock the boat and say plainly that there is no evidence whatsoever that those swords were of the 6-7 century provenance.
The islamic legend cited repeatedly by the author that the Uthman's sword ( the alleged Dhu'l Fakar) was originally gifted by Queen Bilkis to the King of Israel Shlomo ( Solomon) is just as unsupportable as the attribution of the other sword from the same collection to King David.


These are just quick notes. Line-by-line reading of the opus can find a multitude of inconsistencies, mis-interpretations and wishful fantasies.


I am definitely against putting this sophomoric treatise as a Classic on the Forum page.

Moreover, this Forum is not an appropriate stage for " momentous discoveries".

I suggest that the author sends his article to one of the respectful European historical journals and obtains a real-life peer review. Suffice it to say, that previous attempts by the author to enlist prominent arms historians to his camp were unsuccessful.
Salaams Ariel, You admit that yours are just quick notes. Perhaps you also noted that the work your quick notes reflect took 6 and a half years of painstaking research. The references are immaculate. The subject is controversial and fraught with difficulties probably more than any other subject in the Ethnographic arms field it is handled with great expertise and professionalism.

The structure and method used in this treatise are extremely well executed and it is for this as well as other reasons set out below why I recommend this work to the Classic register.

It is an example of the way proper research can be applied to the often nebulous, clouded areas which require illuminating. ..The focus of the treatise is accurate, well balanced and technically excellent.

Naturally people get a little uneasy when delving into this subject because of the intense possible religious misconceptions attached to it.. but the author has managed to frame his discourse without stepping into those contentious areas. Moreover it is written with strong leanings to the historical not the religious, thus, he keeps it as factual as possible but where it touches on the philosophical I believe he treats that decently and absorbs those narratives well.

You state essentially that momentous discoveries are not the domain of Forum...

Momentous discoveries and minor ones are the domain of this Forum. This topic is full of minor revelations about detail missed or misconstrued..is that not the work of an ethnographic arms detective? I believe it is the essence of a diligent researcher. Why should we abstain from making momentous discoveries? The world was flat once.

Am I suggesting this become a topic for Classic inclusion because I think it is all correct or because I think it is momentous? Neither, in fact.

My suggestion for Classic inclusion is because this is a finely presented document upon a delicate and difficult subject, carefully researched and with superb references. It carries within it the essence of Forum enthusiasm, accuracy, excellence and effort... Should that not be rewarded..is that not what the Classic file is for?

A topic of this nature is not made bulletproof simply because it is a Classic... far from it...It is not written in stone. It is still a working thread, capable of being added to, criticized and replaced if something better comes up! Should it not be reserved for the best we have to date on a particular topic?

My recommendation to the Classics therefor stands.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 18th November 2013, 04:18 PM   #29
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like western christian relics and pieces of the true cross, the turin shroud, etc. - it sometimes comes down to a matter of faith, with the ';truth' possibly never to be known. could it be the true sword - yes - could it be otherwise? also yes. could there have been modifications over it's life. possible. in the end, it's like the print in the rock under the golden dome. faith. it is true because we want it to be, as much as it really is. if enough people believe it is, their belief imbues the object with their energy and the myth becomes reality.

and maybe it always was.
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Old 18th November 2013, 05:11 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Ariel, You admit that yours are just quick notes. Perhaps you also noted that the work your quick notes reflect took 6 and a half years of painstaking research. The references are immaculate. The subject is controversial and fraught with difficulties probably more than any other subject in the Ethnographic arms field it is handled with great expertise and professionalism.

The structure and method used in this treatise are extremely well executed and it is for this as well as other reasons set out below why I recommend this work to the Classic register.

It is an example of the way proper research can be applied to the often nebulous, clouded areas which require illuminating. ..The focus of the treatise is accurate, well balanced and technically excellent.

Naturally people get a little uneasy when delving into this subject because of the intense possible religious misconceptions attached to it.. but the author has managed to frame his discourse without stepping into those contentious areas. Moreover it is written with strong leanings to the historical not the religious, thus, he keeps it as factual as possible but where it touches on the philosophical I believe he treats that decently and absorbs those narratives well.

You state essentially that momentous discoveries are not the domain of Forum...

Momentous discoveries and minor ones are the domain of this Forum. This topic is full of minor revelations about detail missed or misconstrued..is that not the work of an ethnographic arms detective? I believe it is the essence of a diligent researcher. Why should we abstain from making momentous discoveries? The world was flat once.

Am I suggesting this become a topic for Classic inclusion because I think it is all correct or because I think it is momentous? Neither, in fact.

My suggestion for Classic inclusion is because this is a finely presented document upon a delicate and difficult subject, carefully researched and with superb references. It carries within it the essence of Forum enthusiasm, accuracy, excellence and effort... Should that not be rewarded..is that not what the Classic file is for?

A topic of this nature is not made bulletproof simply because it is a Classic... far from it...It is not written in stone. It is still a working thread, capable of being added to, criticized and replaced if something better comes up! Should it not be reserved for the best we have to date on a particular topic?

My recommendation to the Classics therefor stands.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Salaams Ibrahiim,

Thank you very much for your opinion regarding my article. Of course, nobody is perfect, but I'd like to add that these 6 1/2 years of restless research produced a composition of 1,718 pages of academic work; something that had to be reduced for the dissertation to be accepted for discussion, so I sized it down to 1,236 pages! Unfortunately, the university laws in Egypt maintain that a masters degree is an inevitable step before obtaining a PhD, so after all this effort, I was stunned to find the academics asking me to make a PhD, and I found myself at the age of 32! In many universities of the world, PhD students start their dissertation immediately after their BA, and after composing a dissertation much smaller than mine, they usually earn their PhD at the age of 25-29!

Nonetheless, I intend to reply to Ariel's review and doubts. I hope everyone participates in this coming discussion. Please enjoy!

I repeat my great thanks to your appreciation of my work and your insistence that my humble article would be in the Classic register.

As ever,
Ahmed Helal Hussein
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