WE DEFEND ISLAM

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inheritance shares totaling more than 100%

by Shabbir Ally

Source: http://www.ebnmaryam.com/vb/t195682.html


In response to the alleged internal contradiction by Jochen Katz
PRIMARY CLAIM #1: inheritance shares totaling more than 100% 

Katz claims that there is a contradiction in the matter of inheritance. He says that the shares allotted to individual heirs in a particular case would add up to more than 100% of the available estate. If a man dies leaving behind three daughters, his parents, and his wife the allotments total one and one-eighth. Surah 4, verses 4:11-12 shows that in this case the three daughters together will receive 2/3, the parents together will receive 1/3, and the wife will receive 1/8. Hence a numerical discrepancy. 

REPLY: Adding two unknowns 

Katz misunderstood what he read in the Quran. The verses he refers to do not say what the parents will receive in this case. Nor does it say what the wife will receive in this case. To arrive at his understanding, Katz insists that he must take the Quranic statements in the most literal sense. Yet the text even when taken in a literal manner does not support his misunderstanding. The Quran does not literally prescribe what the parents will receive in the case which Katz proposes. It is true that the Quran literally prescribes that the parents will share 1/3 when a man dies leaving one child (4:11). But the case which Katz proposes is different. Katz’s case involves three daughters, and the literal Quranic prescription involves only one child. Hence Katz’ proposed numerical discrepancy is built on his confusing one case for another. 

If we were to follow the Quranic prescriptions literally, in Katz’s case the wife’s share is also not specified. The Quran literally prescribes a 1/8 share for the wife if the husband leaves only one child. But Katz’s case involves three daughters. And the number three happens to be more than the number one. 

Katz thinks that the stated shares in this case would be 2/3 + 1/3 + 1/8, whereas in fact since two of these shares are not actually stated in the Quran, the shares are 2/3 + ? + ? = ? 

Since the Quran does not make a statement on this specific case, it is impossible for the Quran to be wrong. The details of this case is left to the comprehensive nature of the Islamic Shariah which does not depend on the Quran alone. 

A note about the Islamic Law 

My answer here does not enter into the details of the Islamic rules governing inheritance for that is not what the objection is about. Katz explains that his objection is only that if the Quranic statements about inheritance are taken literally then they yield numerical discrepancies. All we had to do here was to show that his objections are baseless. Even if we take the Quranic statements literally we find that the numerical discrepancies that Katz speaks of are not in the Quran but only in Katz’s mind. 

The source of Katz’s confusion 

Katz’s confusion apparently springs from his reliance here on the translation of the Quran by Arthur Arberry. But Arberry in his translation of these passages mistakenly renders walad as “children” whereas walad is singular: “a child” (4:11, 12). 

CLAIM #1b: The man with no direct heirs 

Katz claims that there is a further discrepancy in this matter in the case of a man who leaves a mother, a wife, and two sisters. If the allotted shares are added up the total exceeds the total estate. In this case the mother gets 1/3 (4:11) the wife gets 1/4 ( 4:12) and the two sisters together receive 2/3 (4:176). These shares altogether total 15/12, more than the available estate. 

REPLY: Dead mother gets no share 

Katz is again mistaken. To arrive at the said allotted shares Katz refers to the shares allotted in Surah 4, Ayah 176 of the Quran. But that ayah refers to a man who leaves neither parent nor child. At the time of his death his mother already lays in her own grave and as such can lay no claim to a share of inheritance. 

Katz’s misunderstanding is again due to Arberry’s translation. In the Quran in 4:176 the case described is that of a man who is called in Arabic “kalalah” which is correctly translated by Yusuf Ali as one who leaves “no descendants or ascendants.” 
More Objections Answered 

Wasting Words 

Many of Katz’s subsidiary objections fault the Quran for not providing a complete list of all possible cases and every detail. Then, after wasting many words on this, he concludes: “But since these cases are just not stated, let us not speculate about it and only look at the cases for which we are explicitly given instructions . . . .” What then was the point of raising such an issue? 

Islamic Law Not Based on the Quran Alone 

Katz objects that in many cases the Quran does not allot the entire estate to designated recipients. He thinks that the Quran ought to have given more detailed instructions. But here he misses a key point about the Quran. The book was sent along with its interpreter, the prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. He came to teach us the details of what the Quran lays out in general principles. After much discussion of his need for details in the Quran, however, Katz concludes: “Anyway, as long as the shares add up to less than one, things can be settled still ‘relatively easily.'” Again, why the wasted discussion? 

The Question is not About Islamic Law 

His persistent question in a number of cases is, “Who gets the rest?” The text itself and the Shariah on the whole has ways of dealing with this. In his response to Randy Desmond, Katz himself admits: “I want to repeat again. Experts on Islamic law are just as intelligent as everybody else and they have found ways to distribute inheritance to the heirs in generally accepted ways.” 

The Rulings of Muslim Scholars 

Often Katz objects that the Muslim scholars rule differently than what the Quran prescribes. This is a different objection that proving a contradiction or numerical discrepancy in the Quran itself. This matter he should take up with the said Muslim scholars themselves. Then such scholars will either have to correct themselves or teach Katz the details of Quranic interpretation. To deal with this is not my expertise. Nor is it required here. 
Keeping to a Consistent Frame of Reference 

Katz failed to remain consistent on his basic frame of reference. On the one hand he thinks of the prophet Muhammad as an intelligent man who wrote the Quran; on the other hand he cannot assume a basic level of intelligence for the prophet. 

Katz writes: 
“Even if one would not put standards of perfection on these rules as is fitting for a revelation from God but only think it to be from Muhammad, it is strange that this successful business man, in charge of whole caravans for a number of years, was not able to correctly add up a few fractions.” 

Contrary to Katz’s ambivalence between attributing intelligence and ignorance to the prophet, it is established practice that as we read a work we assume for the author a reasonable degree of intelligence consistent with our knowledge of the author’s biography. Since we know from history that the prophet was a successful business man in charge of whole caravans for a number of years we have to assume that he had more than a child’s intelligence. 

Yet in order to attribute error to the Qur’an, Katz pretends that its author has not even a child’s intelligence. On this basis Katz objects to 4:11 which prescribes that a daughter will get half of the entire estate available for inheritance. Since the same verse also prescribes that a son gets twice the share of a daughter, Katz thinks that in the case of one son and one daughter the shares of inheritance would be 50% for the daughter and 100% for the son thus totaling 150% of the available estate. Then he wonders how the parents and spouse will inherit when more than the whole is already allotted. He does not here allow for the author of he Quran to know that if a daughter gets half of the whole thing only the other half will remain for a son. Yet every child knows that if they have to share a cake and one person gets half the other person cannot get twice as much from the same cake. If Katz is to assume that the prophet is the author of the Quran and Katz admits at least a basic level of intelligence for him, how does Katz imagine such an idiotic explanation for the Quran? Does Katz want to have his cake and eat it? Here Katz’s method has gone beyond even his admitted intention to approach the Quran with hostility. 

“Daughters Only” Implies “No Sons” 

Actually, again, there is no problem in the scripture itself, only in Katz’s approach. The passage (4:11) first mentions the general principle that a son gets twice what the daughter gets. Then it goes on to prescribe in cases when only daughters remain. Only when there is no son, and only one daughter, does the verse prescribe half the estate for the daughter. So Katz’s goings on about the double share for the son is mistaken. In this case there exists by definition a total number of zero sons and one daughter, and no other children. 

The fact that this is a case of no son can be immediately seen from the Quranic text. Speaking of the children, the Quran moves over to a use of the feminine plural pronoun “kunna” which by definition cannot include males. Arberry’s translation again did not sufficiently emphasize this reference to females alone. Yet the translation is not alone to blame here. The problem rests with Katz. On the one hand he calls the prophet a successful businessman and the author of the Quran. Surely such a man would know that if you put half of the camels on one side the other side cannot have twice the number. Or, that if he already paid for half his merchandise he should not again pay for the remainder twice what he paid for the first half. Such a man would know that if he gave half his wealth to his daughter he cannot also give twice as much to his son. 

The Author Must Have Some Intelligence 

Katz ought to here align himself with the world in this matter. When we read a work we assume for the author a level of competence consistent with his biography. Those who believe that the Quran came from Muhammad and know anything about his biography cannot justifiably take the words of he book in the most silly meaning possible. Even a person like Katz who decided to use the approach of a hostile critic must have his limits. 

It is due to his own such misunderstandings that Katz in his response to Al-Kadhi repugnantly states that “the author of the Quran shows incompetence at a very basic level.” On the other hand, both Katz and I have to recognize our own incompetence. I cannot claim competence in fully understanding either the Bible or the Quran, and I am willing to be corrected if I overstep my competence in dealing with both books. Similarly, if Katz does not know the Arabic language, and if he is dependent only on English translations he should judge whether or not he is competent to be a justifiable hostile critic of the book. Hostile critic yes — but justifiable? 

Katz’s Excessive Diligence in the Wrong Direction 

Credit goes to Katz for his excessive diligence in searching for errors in the Quran. The allotment of inheritance shares involves a very detailed system. It itself is an area of specialization within Islamic studies. To sort through all the prescriptions in the Quranic text and decide individual cases based on the general Quranic principles takes much careful study. To invent hypothetical cases which would result in the apparent numerical discrepancies as Katz has done requires tremendous zeal. Yet Katz did not stop at that. He generally uses Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Quran to analyze the difficulties he deals with. But in the matter of inheritance he turned to Arthur Arberry’s translation. Why? Katz explains: “because Yusuf Ali was even more difficult to follow.” Yet my review of the two translations convinced me that whereas the inheritance law is itself complex, the two translations were roughly similar in their level of persistence needed to comprehend the subject. 

Why Arberry’s Translation? 

The key difference between the translations, however, was that whereas the discrepancies Katz sought could be pressed on with the help of Arberry’s translation, this often was not true for Yusuf Ali’s translation. Though not itself perfect, Yusuf Ali’s translation is in the relevant verses closer to the original Arabic. Katz may have turned to Arberry’s translation not only because he found it easier to follow, but because he also found it easier to use in support of claimed contradictions. What Katz needed to do was to channel his diligence in the search not for error but for truth. He should have compared the translations to make sure that the one translation on which he relies should not itself prove erroneous on this issue. This way he would have avoided skewering his results in the erroneous direction he took. But, then again, perhaps here again Katz did not put a reasonable limit on his diligence for locating internal Quranic errors. 

Comparing Translations 

Normally in Biblical studies it is demanded that studies be based on the texts in the original languages. Students who have no access to the original languages are advised to compare translations so as to ensure that a particular mistaken slant of one translation does not affect the general understanding. Moreover, a particular emphasis may be captured well in one translation but not in another. 

If Katz had used this principle in studying the Quran he would have suspected that some of the discrepancies he points to are found in Arberry’s translation but not in Yusuf Ali’s. Then he might have sought clarification from the original text to find out the source of the apparent discrepancy. But Katz’s excessive diligence was apparently not in the direction of establishing truth. 

Even a Hostile Critic Needs Limits 

We do not expect Katz to take an overly friendly approach to the Quranic text. Yet he ought not to take such a hostile approach either. Surely there is a happy medium between these extremes. How about an unbiased reading of the Quran? Apparently Katz abandoned Yusuf Ali’s translation precisely because in this case Arberry’s translation was moreuseful to the extreme hostile approach. 

Katz Knew the Solution 

In fact, Katz was aware that Yusuf Ali’s translation and notes if followed would remove one of the problems cited above. We have already shown how Katz in one case due to his misunderstanding counted a share for an already dead mother. His misunderstanding depended on Arberry’s translation which did not make sufficiently clear that the prescription in 4:176 dealt with a person who left neither a parent nor a child. While Katz was busy establishing that the total share including the mother’s share would exceed the available inheritance, he showed no awareness of the possibility that the mother is no longer around. Only later, when Katz was dealing with a different problem, did he show that he had this knowledge. He wrote that 4:176 deals with the situation when “there are no direct heirs (i.e. parents or children according to Muslim understanding – see Yusuf Ali’s translation and footnote).” If Katz knew of this understanding why did he not suggests that if the Muslim understanding is based on the Arabic reading then the claimed discrepancy disappears? 

CLAIM: Brothers can inherit if only no direct heirs remain 

Katz thinks that according 4:12 and 4:176 the siblings of the person who died only then share in the inheritance if there are no direct heirs (i.e. parents or children . . . ). Thus he concluded that a brother cannot inherit if a mother is alive. But he finds this conclusion to contradict 4:11 which seems to allot a brother a share along with the mother. 

REPLY : Searching for the word “only” 

Here Katz misunderstands both 4:12 and 4:176. Neither of these verses state that a sibling can inherit “only” if there are no parents or children. Hence Katz’s contention is without basis. This time his contention is not even based on Arberry’s translation. 

CLAIM: Sibling share suddenly doubled 

Katz claims that 4:12 contradicts 4:176. According to 4:12 when there is no direct heir a brother or a sister would receive 1/6 each; thus 1/3 altogether. But “4:176 says in the same situation that ‘they shall receive two-thirds of what he leaves’ [double of what 4:12 says].” 

REPLY: Read Carefully 

Contrary to what Katz claims, there is a key difference in the two situations. The pronoun “they” in 4:176 refers to two sisters whereas 4:12 refers to a brother and a sister. Since a brother and a sister is not the same thing, a brother plus a sister is not the same as two sisters. 

The Arabic text clearly says, “in kanataa ithnatayn” which literally means “if they are two–females.” Hence Yusuf Ali renders it: “if there are two sisters.” Even Arberry’s translation renders the passage: “if there be two sisters they shall receive two-thirds of what he leaves (4:176).” So the translation also made the matter clear. But in order to press home his claim of contradiction, Katz wrenched a phrase out of its context hence giving it a different meaning. He skipped the conditional “if there be two sisters” and quoted only “they shall receive two-thirds of what he leaves.” Then Katz went on to argue as though the pronoun “they” refers to a brother and a sister. A quick review of the text, however, reveals that Katz’s point is based on a misrepresentation of the Quran. 

Lest You go Astray 

I am struck by Allah’s mention in the same verse: “Allah makes clear to you, lest you go astray.” I wonder now, by Katz’s muddying the verse how many internet browsers may have gone astray. I pray that my humble effort here may become the means by which Allah may guide many. 

To be sure, 4:176 then goes on to prescribe for the case of more than two siblings including brothers and sisters. But then the verse does not prescribe the specific shares to be allotted them except to reiterate a general principle that the males get twice what their sisters receive. Since the specific shares are not allotted they cannot be said to be different from the allotted shares elsewhere. Either way you look at it, Katz is very wrong.

The Commentators 

Katz goes on to report the commentary of Razi to show how Razi got around the perceived problem with the assumption that the two verses speak of two different sets of brothers and sisters. Whereas 4:12 refers to a brother or a sister from the mother, 4:176 refers to full siblings or siblings from the same father. If Razi is right, then of course there is no problem. Katz thinks that Muslim commentators simply invented this explanation to get around the problem. 

But even if Razi is wrong, there is still no problem. My clarification above does not depend on any commentary. I have just simply shown that if we took the verse literally as Katz wants to do then it speaks of two different things. Whether we take the verse literally or we take Razi’s commentary as correct, either way Katz is wrong. 

CLAIM: One year’s maintenance not same as 1/8 

Katz claims a contradiction between 4:11 and 2:240. A man leaves an eight of his estate to his widow if he also leaves a child. But 2:240 prescribes “one year’s maintenance for her.” And this, except for some remarkable coincidence, will always be different from a 1/8 share. 

REPLY: Why should they be the same? 

Katz failed to distinguish between the inheritance shares and a bequest. In 2:240 the maintenance for one year is prescribed as a bequest (Arabic: wasiyyah). On the other hand 4:11 prescribes the 1/8 share to be given only after debts and bequests (wasiyyah) are settled. Even Arberry’s translation on which Katz depends says that men leave to their widows “an eight after any bequest they may bequeath, or any debt (4:11).” 

Selective Recall 

It is sad to notice again that the problem is not Katz’s lack of knowledge of the terms. Elsewhere he acknowledged “the rule that at most 1/3 can be given as a bequest to a person which is usually not an heir.” Then he even goes on to provide links to sites which deal with Islamic inheritance law. So the problem is not that Katz does not know. The problem is that while he is concentrating on establishing one contradiction at a time he forgets anything he knows that could possible demolish the very claimed contradiction. 

CLAIM: See Yusuf Ali’s footnote 

Katz claims that since many commentators recognized that they cannot in practice make a year’s maintenance for a widow equal to a 1/8 share of inheritance, they saw here a contradiction between 2:240 and 4:12. To support this claim, he writes: “According to Yusuf Ali’s footnote on 2:240, many commentators for this reason consider 2:240 abrogated by 4:12.” 

REPLY: It does not say what you say 

The support for that claim is based on a false allegation. I have checked more than one editions of Yusuf Ali’s translation for the opinion which Katz attributes to Yusuf Ali. And I could not find it. Katz’s claim is that according to Yusuf Ali many commentators deemed the two verses to be mutually contradictory, and that “for this reason” they consider 2:240 to be abrogated by 4:12. 

On the contrary, Yusuf Ali’s footnote on 2:240 reads: 

“Opinions differ whether the provision ( of a year’s maintenance, with residence) for a widow is abrogated by the share which the widow gets (one eighth or one-fourth) as an heir (Q. iv. 12). I do not think it is. The bequest (where made) takes effect as a charge on the property, but the widow can leave the house before the year is out, and presumably the maintenance then ceases.” 

That is the full extent of Yusuf Ali’s note #273 on 2:240 (American Trust Publications, 1977). Notice that the quoted words from Yusuf Ali do not imply anything about contradiction, only about abrogation. Yusuf Ali does not say that the commentators recognized here a contradiction and that “for this reason” they consider 2:240 to be abrogated. Here Katz’s enthusiasm overshadowed his caution, and he attributed to Yusuf Ali an opinion which Yusuf Ali did not hold. 

Katz harbours the idea that abrogation means contradiction. But abrogation is not the same as contradiction. The difference is explained under the next head. 

CLAIM 
Katz claims that 4:7 contradicts 4:11. In 4:7 daughters are given an equal share with their brothers whereas in 4:11 they are given only half what their brothers get. This is clear from the parallel construction in 4:7 which says “to the men a share . . . and to the women a share.” 

REPLY 
It seems that Katz is willing to go to desperate lengths to keep making more claims. Why does he think that 4:7 awards an equal share to daughters? He thinks “the parallel construction makes that obvious.” On the contrary, the only thing it makes obvious is that sons and daughters each get a share. Where does it say that the shares are equal? 

On the other hand, it is reasonable to see that both statements are correct. One says that the son and daughter will each get a share. Another says that the share which the son gets will be double what the daughter gets. Putting the two statements together, we have this final instruction: Both the son and the daughter will have a share, the son’s share being twice that of the daughter. Where is the contradiction? 
Katz supports his finding of a contradiction here by referring to Muslim commentators. He noted that all commentators recognized 4:7 to be abrogated by 4:11. This pair of verses is listed as pair #20 in the book Itqan. According to Katz, then, 4:7 was recognized by all commentators as an abrogated verse. This to him means that its content is contradicted by another verse, in this case 4:11. Hence he can claim the following: “That this was a contradiction was recognized by all commentators . . . .” 

REPLY 

But surely here Katz misunderstands what an abrogation is in the view of Muslim commentators. Many used the term abrogation in the sense of specification. Hence if one verse gave a general instruction and a later verse gave a more specific instruction the latter is called an abrogating verse and the former is called an abrogated verse. However, this does not mean that the commentators recognized here a contradiction as Katz alleges. It only means that they recognized the later verse as being more specific where the former wasmore general. We have already seen that this is the case with the verses being discussed. Whereas the former verse 4:7 said in general that the son and daughter both inherit, the latter verse 4:11 specified that the share of the male would be twice that of the female. There is hence no contradiction between the two verses. 

Moreover, even if commentators think that there is a contradiction that does not help Katz. His method was, as he stated, to ignore the commentators and take the Quranic statements in their most literal sense. If he cannot show a contradiction using this method, it is pointless to appeal to the commentators in desperation. 

Furthermore, all commentators are not agreed that this is a case of abrogation. According to Shah Waliullah of Delhi, there are only five pairs of abrogated and abrogating verses, and this pair is not one of the five (Ahmad Von Denver, Uloom al-Quran, UK: Islamic Foundation, 1994; p. 108). So what does that prove? The crux of the matter here is not what the commentators said but what the verses actually say. Since the verses themselves do not contradict each other, Katz’s claim is ruined. 

CLAIM 

Katz complains that the Quran often does not provide for the estate to be exhaustively distributed. When the allotted shares are added they amount to less than 100%. His persistent question, therefore, is “Who gets the rest?” Since the Quran claims to be a complete guidance, it should provide instructions on such details. 

REPLY 

The Bible is a much larger book than the Quran. Yet it contains less on inheritance than the Quran. And it too claims to be a complete guidance. How does Katz regard this? 

The Quran is said to be about 4/5 the length of the New Testament. The Old Testament is much longer than the New Testament. And the Bible is made up of both testaments. Why is it that a book of such size include so little on a subject that Katz considers so important? 

CLAIM 

Katz feels that the allowance in Islamic Law for a person to bequeath up to 1/3 of his property “can lead to gross injustices.” One can theoretically bequeath away his property thus leaving his elderly parents with no support. He further complains that the limit of 1/3 is not prescribed in the Qur’an. 

REPLY 

Katz would be on better ground here if he took into consideration the entire Quran. The Quran does in fact prescribe that charity is first to one’s parents, then to one’s near relatives, then to others. If anyone disinherits his parents he would be going against this important directive. 

Moreover, Katz should be able to demonstrate that the Bible is better at ensuring justice. On the contrary, the Bible in the Gospel of Luke shows that when a matter of injustice involving inheritance was brought to Jesus, on whom be peace, he refused to settle the matter (Luke 12:13). Muslims of course believe that Jesus stood for justice. Muslims would question any detail of the gospels which contradict this noble portrait of Jesus. But how does Katz feel about this gospel report? 

CLAIM 

Katz devoted an entire page complaining about how it is “very unjust” to allot a man twice the share of his sister as Islamic law does. His complaining may lead a reader to expect that his Bible teaches differently. 

REPLY 

On the contrary, according to the Bible if there are sons they should take everything and the daughters should get nothing. Only if there are no sons can the daughters inherit (Numbers 27:8-11). However, such a daughter is required to marry into a family of her father’s tribe (Numbers 36:6, 11). 

Katz complains of injustice because the Quran gives the woman only half of what her brother gets. How does he react to the Biblical prescription that the woman gets nothing if she has a brother? 

Moreover, the Quran prescribes for a woman to inherit as a daughter, as a mother, as a sister, and as a wife. The Bible offers no such prescription. Rather, the Bible allots the entire inheritance to male relatives where such exist, leaving nothing for wife or mother. So why do Bible believers complain about the Quran? 

CLAIM and REPLY 

In his reply to Randy Desmond, Katz comments on an interpretation of a hadith which directs us to give the allotted shares as designated and then to give the undistributed remainder to the nearest male relative. Katz stretches this to mean possibly a male cousin of an uncle. Then he concludes that if he dies leaving a daughter as his only child his daughter would get half the estate and such a remote male relative would get the other half. Then comes his expression of incredulity: 

“. . . this remote male relative would get half the inheritance? As much as my daughter? That is what the hadith would suggest.” 

Aside from his misunderstanding of the said hadith and of Islamic inheritance law, Katz should be advised that if he follows the Bible on this matter his daughter may get nothing and the male relative would take all if the daughter marries outside her father’s tribe. Katz may think this law no longer applies today, but that does not help his position. Since Katz believes that this prescription came from God in the first place, and Katz thinks it incredible, then by implication he thinks that God’s prescription in the Bible is incredible. 

Based on his misunderstanding of the hadith and of Islamic law, Katz is able to remark: 

“According to my taste, this is not justified. [Neither do I know of any country’s civil or religious law where things are dealt with that way.] But then, maybe I am not the one to define what is justice.” Neither is it done that way in Islamic law. On the other hand, has Katz read his Bible lately? According to the Bible, if a man has no kids his property goes to his brothers, or to his father’s brothers (Numbers 27:8-11). How does Katz feel about this? Wife and mother are not mentioned in the list of inheritors. According to this list we should pass over a man’s wife and mother and give his entire property to his father’s brother. Perhaps Katz will explain to us how this fits his taste of what is justified. 

Anything Left Unanswered? 

I have in the foregoing discussion answered every significant point raised by Katz regarding the matter of inheritance. If there is anything left unanswered I would like to know. Then I can get to work on it right away.
by Shabbir Ally


 

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Answers to “Contradictions in the Quran”

The Hadith ‘…Fight Until They Say There Is No God But Allah’ Explained

Source: https://discover-the-truth.com/2016/12/25/the-hadith-fight-until-they-say-there-is-no-god-but-allah-explained/
by  • DECEMBER 25, 2016
Kaleef K. Karim


 

Content:

1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Quraysh Broke The Treaty And Waged War
4. Analysing The Hadith
5. The Hadith rejects Forced Conversion Claim
6. The Quran Rejects Forced Conversion Claim
7.  Various Commentaries On The Hadith
8. Conclusion

1. Introduction

The following Hadith quotation (below) has often been quoted by some critics claiming that Prophet Muhammed (p) sanctions and/or approves of Muslims to forcefully convert non-Muslims to Islam:

“I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayer and pay the Zakah.” (Fath al-Bari, volume 1, page 95) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) [Abridged by A Group of Scholars Under The Supervision Of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri. Maktaba Dar-us-Salam – Second Edition, 2003] volume 4, page 377)”

When we get to read the Hadith and its historical context we find that this claim has no support from the Hadith nor was it interpreted in such a way. So what is the historical understanding of the Hadith report?

2. Background

Some of the earliest to contemporary scholars state that the Hadith report was said in connection to the pagan Arabs in Prophet Muhammed’s life time. Those words were uttered on the occasion of Surah al-Tawbah, specifically Surah 9:5, the “sword verse” as some would like to call it (Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Ibn Juzayy). [1] [2]

We wrote previously an article dedicated to Quran 9:5 – the verse was revealed as a result of the polytheists of Makkah breaking the treaty, attacking and killing Muhammed’s allies. As a result of their heinous and treacherous act, the Prophet (p) engaged the enemy.

Furthermore, it should be noted to our respected readers that in light of the Hadith report we are going to analyse, the Quraysh polytheists persecuted and murdered Muslims in Makkah for over ten years, and even when the Muslims fled to find safe sanctuary in Madinah they were persecuted once more: “Did Quraysh Persecute Muslims When They Fled To Madinah?

3. Quraysh Broke The Treaty And Waged War

Before we analyse the Hadith report, let’s briefly explain what happened on the occasion of Surah 9:5. In the sixth year of Hijri the Muslims and the polytheist Makkans made a treaty. Part of the treaty, the agreement was that neither parties would attack the other, nor would they attack any of their own allies. In this, all parties agreed and went their own ways. It didn’t take long when Banu Bakr tribe (who were an ally of Quraysh) attacked and murdered many of Banu Khuza’a’s tribe (they were the ally of the Muslims). The Quraysh being in the middle, the Muslims presumed that they would have tried to stop their ally (Banu Bakr) attacking and killing Banu Khuza’a. To the contrary, historical reports inform us that the polytheistic Quraysh supported Banu Bakr with weapons and their members also partook in killing Banu Khuza’a members. The Quraysh were the first to breach the terms of the treaty, attacking and murdering Prophet Muhammed’s ally. This is reported from many early sources.

Ibn Kathir (1301 – 1373 AD):

“‘then stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves those who have Taqwa.’ The Messenger of Allah and the Muslims preserved the terms of the treaty with the people of Makkah from the month of Dhul-Qa`dah in the sixth year of Hijrah, until the QURAYSH BROKE IT AND HELPED THEIR ALLIES, BANU BAKR, AGAINST KHUZA`AH, the allies of Allah’s Messenger . AIDED BY THE QURAYSH, BANU BAKR KILLED SOME OF BANI KHUZA’AH in the Sacred Area! The Messenger of Allah led an invasion army in the month of Ramadan, of the eighth year, and Allah opened the Sacred Area for him to rule over them…It was also said that these Ayat refer to the idolators BREAKING THE PEACE AGREEMENT WITH MUSLIMS AND AIDING BANI BAKR, THEIR ALLIES, AGAINST KHUZA`AH, the ally of the Messenger of Allah. THIS IS WHY THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH MARCHED TO MAKKAH in the year of the victory, thus conquering it…” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) [Supervised by Abdul Malik Mujahid – First Edition, 2000] volume 4, page 377 – 378)

Tafsir Jalalayn:

“‘except for those you made a treaty with at the Masjid al-Haram’ Referring to the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. They are the Quraysh who were exempted before. ‘As long as they are straight with you, be straight with them’ i.e. as long as they carry out the treaty and do not break it, you should fulfill it. The ma is conditional and not adverbial. ‘Allah loves those who have taqwa’ The Prophet WAS STRAIGHT IN HIS TREATY WITH THEM UNTIL THEY BROKE IT BY HELPING THE BANU BAKR AGAINST KHUZA’A. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn on Surah 9:7 – Online source http://bewley.virtualave.net/tawba1.html)

Tafsir al-Jalalayn goes further:

“Will you not (a-la, ‘will not’ or ‘is not’, denotes incitement) fight a people who broke, violated, their oaths, their pacts, and intended to expel the Messenger, from Mecca — for they discussed this between them in their council assembly — initiating, combat, against you first?, when THEY FOUGHT ALONGSIDE BANU BAKR AGAINST KHUZA‘A, YOUR ALLIES? So what is stopping you from fighting them? Are you afraid of them? God is more worthy of your fear, when you fail to fight them, if you are believers.” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn on Surah 9:13, Online source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=13&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2)

As-Sawi:

“[ As-Sawi: This refers to the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyya which stipulated that there would be no war for twenty years. The Banu Bakr formed an alliance with Quraysh and the Khuza’a with the Prophet. BANU BAKR THEN ATTACKED KHUZA’A AND QURAYSH HELPED THEM WITH WEAPONS, THUS BREAKING THE TREATY. ‘Amr b. ‘Allam al-Khuza’i went and informed the Prophet what had happened. The Prophet said, “You will not be helped if I do not help you,” and made preparations and went to Makka and conquered it in 8 AH. …”(Tafsir as-Sawi on Surah 9:3 – Online source http://bewley.virtualave.net/tawba1.html)

Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas:

“(Will ye not fight a folk) why is it that you do not fight a people, i.e. the people of Mecca (who broke their solemn pledges) which are between them and you, (and purposed to drive out the messenger) and wanted to kill the Messenger when they entered Dar al-Nadwah (and did attack you first) by BREAKING THEIR PLEDGE WHEN THEY HELPED THE BANU BAKR, THEIR ALLIES, AGAINST THE BANU KHUZA’AH, THE ALLIES OF THE PROPHET? (What! Fear ye them?) O believers, do you fear fighting them? (Now Allah hath more right that you should fear Him) because of leaving His command, (if ye are believers).” (Tanwir al-Miqbâs min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas on Surah 9:13 – Online Source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=13&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2)

Besides the above evidence, many earlier historical sources report similar accounts of this incident. That the Quraysh and Banu Bakr initiated warfare against Muhammed’s ally.

One of the earliest sources is Kitab al-Maghazi by Ma’mar Ibn Rashid (714-770 AD). He states that the Quraysh along with Banu Bakr attacked the Banu Khuza’ah tribe which were an ally of the Muslims at the time:

“During the two-year period of the Messenger of God’s truce with the Quraysh at al-Hudaybiyah, it is said that there was a war between the Bakr clan, allied with the Quraysh, and the KHUZA’AH CLAN, ALLIED WITH GOD’S MESSENGER. Now, THE QURAYSH PROVIDED AID TO THEIR ALLIES AGAINST KHUZA’AH, and when word of this reached the Messenger of God, he said, ‘By Him in Whose hands my soul resides, I will surely deny them what I and my household have been denied!’ He then began making preparations for war against the Quraysh.” (The Expeditions (“Kitab al-Maghazi”)- An Early Biography Of Muhammad by Ma’mar Ibn Rashid – According to the recension of Abd al-Razzaq al-San’ani [Edited and translated by Sean W. Anthony – Foreword by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem., NEW YORK University Press., 2014], page 95)

Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-Muluk – Abu Ja’far Muhammad b Jarir al-Tabari:

THE NIGHT THAT THE BANU BAKR ATTACKED THE KHUZA’AH at al-Watir, they killed a man of Khuza’ah named Munabbih. Munabbih was a man with weak heart. He had gone out with a tribesman of his named Tamim b. Asad. Munabbih said to him: ‘Tamim save yourself! As for me, by God I am a dead man whether they kill me or spare me, for my heart has ceased beating.’ Tamim ran away and escaped, Munabbih they caught and killed. When the Khuza’ah entered Mecca, they took refuge in the house of Budayl b. Warqa al-Khuza’I and the house of one of their mawlas names Rafi. When THE QURAYSH LEAGUED TOGETHER [WITH THE BANU BAKR] AGAINST KHUZA’AH AND KILLED SOME OF THEIR MEN, BREAKING THE TREATY AND COVENANT THAT EXISTED BETWEEN THEM AND THE MESSENGER OF GOD BY VIOLATING THE KHUZA’AH, WHO HAD A PACT AND TREATY WITH HIM, Amr b. Salim al-Khuza’ah, one of the Banu Ka’b, went to the Messenger of God in Medina. This was one the things that prompted the conquest of Mecca. Amr stood before the Messenger of God while he was in the mosque sitting among the people…
AMONG THE TERM ON WHICH THE MESSENGER OF GOD AND QURAYSH HAD MADE PEACE WAS THAT THERE SHOULD BE NEITHER BETRAYAL NOR CLANDESTINE THEFT. QURAYSH AIDED THE BANU BAKR WITH WEAPONS… That is why the Messenger of God attacked the people of Mecca. …” (The History Of al-Tabari (“Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-Muluk”) – The Victory of Islam [Translated and annotated by Michael Fishbein, University of California, Los Angeles – Bibliotheca Persica, edited by Ehsan Yar-Shater – State University Of New York Press, Albany., 1997], by Abu Ja’far Muhammad b Jarir al-Tabari, volume VIII (8), page 162 – 175)

In Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya Ibn Kathir reports in greater detail on this incident:

“’It was stipulated in the truce of al-Hudaybiyya that whoever wished to enter into an alliance with Muhammad could do so, and that those wishing to ally with Quraysh could also do that. Thereafter Khuza’a stated that they wished to be allied with the Messenger of God (SAAS) while Banu Bakr joined with Quraysh. ‘The truce remained in effect for some 17 or 18 months. But THEN BANU BAKR ATTACKED KHUZA’A AT NIGHT at a well called al-Watir, close to Mecca. QURAYSH, THINKING THAT BECAUSE IT WAS NIGHT AND THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE OBSERVED, ASSISTED BANU BAKR BY PROVIDING HORSES AND WEAPONS, AND THEY FOUGHT ALONG WITH THEM in order to express their hatred for the Messenger of God (SAAS). … Then Budayl b. Warq went with a group of Khuza’a to the Messenger of God (SAAS) and told how they had BEEN ATTACKED AND HOW QURAYSH HAD JOINED WITH BANU BAKR AGAINST THEM.” (The Life of the Prophet Muhammed (‘Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya’) [Translated by Professor Trevor Le Gassick, Garnet Publishing – Copyright 2000, The Center for Muslim Contribution To civilization], by Ibn Kathir, volume 3, page 377 – 399)

It is clear from some of the earliest sources that Prophet Muhammed (p) nor his companions initiated war against the polytheist Quraysh. It was the Quraysh with Banu Bakr who provoked – led the Muslims to retaliate against them.

4. Analysing The Hadith

With above out of the way, we can now focus on the Hadith report:

“It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that: The Prophet said: “I have been commanded to fight the idolators until they bear witness to La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. If they bear witness to La ilaha illallah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and they pray as we pray and face our Qiblah, and eat our slaughtered animals, then their blood and wealth becomes forbidden to us except for a right that is due.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i volume 5, Book 37, Hadith 3971, (Sahih, Darussalam) http://sunnah.com/nasai/37/1 )

And:

“It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that: The Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight the idolators until they bear witness to La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. If they bear witness to La ilaha illallah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and they face our Qiblah, eat our slaughtered animals, and pray as we do, then their blood and wealth become forbidden except for a right that is due, and they will have the same rights and obligations as the Muslims.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i volume 5, Book 37, Hadith 3972, (Sahih, Darussalam) http://sunnah.com/nasai/37/2 )

The controversy among critics surrounds the following part of the Hadith:

“I have been commanded to fight the idolaters (or ‘people’) until they say La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Some critics have deduced from this part of the report that Prophet Muhammed (p) and his companions roamed around Arabia forcefully converting people to Islam with the point of the sword. This fanciful tale has sadly been perpetuated by orientalists and other critics of Islam for a while.

The classical understanding of the Hadith: as a result of the polytheists breaking the treaty, murdering members of Muhammed’s ally and persecuting the Muslims over for many years, the Muslims had no choice but to deal with those who continued hostility and bloodshed with the point of the sword, 1300 years ago.

Since they murdered and persecuted people for so many years, the polytheist warmongers had no right over their land. Expulsion of the criminals was a must rule in this circumstance in order to save the community from further harm they would commit. If they did abide by the treaty and didn’t do the things they did, they would have still had full control over their territory, but since they persecuted and murdered, they longer had a right to this. Now, the only choice that would have been offered to the criminals was one of the following:

1. Stop their hostilities, put their weapons down and live under the Muslim rule (government).
2. Embrace Islam.
3. Or leave the Muslim lands.

Scholars in the past have interpreted the Hadith slightly different and sometimes offered different choices shown to the one presented. I would argue that this position is in line with what the Prophet (p) did on this incident as our earliest sources confirm this. The decision to add choice number one with the other two was because of the Biography of Prophet Muhammed’s life (Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah) and other sources.

For example, when the Prophet Muhammed (p) conquered Makkah, he commanded his companions only to fight those who fought them. He went further, anybody that goes inside Abu Sufyan’s house or lock their doors and don’t engage in any fighting, they were safe and protected. Furthermore, We understand from history that when the Muslims took over Makkah they gave the polytheists amnesty and forgave them for the wrong they had done. As such, conversion nor expulsion on this occasion was necessary as long as the polytheists laid down their weapons and repented from the wrong they had done.

Sirat Rasul Allah – Ibn Ishaq:

THE APOSTLE HAD INSTRUCTED HIS COMMANDERS WHEN THEY HAD ENTERED MECCA ONLY TO FIGHT THOSE WHO RESISTED THEM… When the apostle of halted in the upper part of Mecca two of my brothers-in-law from B. Makhzum fled to me. (She was the wife of Hubayra b. Abu Wahb al-Makhzumi). Ali came in swearing that he would kill them, so I bolted the door of my house on them and went to the Apostle… Then he came forward and welcomed me and asked why I had come. When I told him about the two men and Ali he said: ‘WE GIVE PROTECTION TO WHOMSOEVER YOU GIVE PROTECTION AND WE GIVE SAFETY TO THOSE YOU PROTECT. HE MUST NOT KILL THEM.’” (The Life Of Muhammad – A Translation Of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah [With Introduction And Notes by A. Guillaume – Oxford University Press, Seventeenth Impression, 2004], page 550 – 552)

Kitab al-Maghazi – Ma’mar Ibn Rashid (714 – 770 AD):

“‘O Messenger of God!’ al-Abbas interjected . ‘Indeed, Abu Sufyan is one of the notables of our tribe, one of its elders. It would please me if you were to grant him something in recognition of his status.’
The Prophet decreed, ‘WHOEVER ENTERS THE HOUSE OF ABU SUFYAN IS SAFE.’ Abu Sufyan replied, ‘My house? My house!’
‘Yes,’ answered the Prophet, ‘AND WHOEVER LAYS DOWN HIS WEAPONS IS SAFE; AND WHOEVER LOCKS THE DOOR TO HIS HOUSE IS SAFE.’
Abu Sufyan left with al-Abbas, and while they were going down the road, al-Abbas feared that Abu Sufyan might still commit some act of treachery, so he sat him down on a mound of earth until the armies passed. …” (The Expeditions (“Kitab al-Maghazi”) – An Early Biography Of Muhammad by Ma’mar Ibn Rashid – According to the recension of Abd al-Razzaq al-San’ani [Edited and translated by Sean W. Anthony – Foreword by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem., NEW YORK University Press., 2014], page 99)

Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-Muluk – Abu Ja’far Muhammad b Jarir al-Tabari (838 – 923 AD):

“So I said to him, ‘Messenger of God, Abu Sufyan is a man who loves glory. Grant him something that shall be [a cause for him] among his clansmen.’ He said, ‘YES, WHOEVER ENTERS THE HOUSE OF ABU SUFYAN SHALL BE SAFE; ANYONE WHO ENTERS THE SANCTUARY SHALL BE SAFE; AND ANYONE WHO LOCKS HIS DOOR BEHIND HIM SHALL BE SAFE.’
… Abu Sufyan departed in haste. When he reached Mecca, he shouted in the sanctuary, ‘People of Quraysh, behold Muhammad has come upon you with forces you cannot resist.’ ‘What then?’ They said, ‘Alas, what will your house avail us!’ He said, ‘ANYONE WHO ENTERS THE SANCTUARY WILL BE SAFE, AND ANYONE WHO LOCKS HIS DOOR BEHIND WILL BE SAFE.’ … When THE MESSENGER OF GOD ORDERED HIS COMMANDERS TO ENTER MECCA, HE CHARGED THEM TO KILL NO ONE except those who fought them…” (The History Of al-Tabari (“Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-Muluk”) – The Victory of Islam [Translated and annotated by Michael Fishbein, University of California, Los Angeles – Bibliotheca Persica, edited by Ehsan Yar-Shater – State University Of New York Press, Albany., 1997], by Abu Ja’far Muhammad b Jarir al-Tabari, volume VIII (8), page 173 – 178)

Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan – al-Imam Abu’l Abbas Ahmad Ibn Jabir Al Baladhuri (d. 892 AD):

“…Kuraish had gathered their mob and followers saying, ‘Let us send these ahead. If they win, we will join them; and if defeated, we shall give whatever is demanded.’ ‘Do ye see’ said the Prophet, ‘THE MOB OF KURAISH?’ ‘We do,’ answered the Ansar. He then made a sign with one hand over the other as if to say, ‘kill them.’ To this the Prophet added, ‘Meet me at ‘as-Safa’. Accordingly we set out, each man killing whomever he wanted to kill, until abu-Sufyan came to the Prophet saying, ‘O Prophet of Allah, the majority of Kuraish is annihilated. … THE PROPHET THEREUPON ANNOUNCED, ‘HE WHO ENTERS THE HOUSE OF ABU SUFYAN IS SAFE, HE WHO CLOSES HIS OWN DOOR IS SAFE, AND HE WHO LAYS DOWN HIS ARMS IS SAFE.’ On this the Ansar the Ansar remarked one to the other, ‘The man is moved by love to his relatives and compassion on his clan.’ …
THE PEOPLE THEN CROWDED TO THE HOUSE OF ABU SUFYAN AND CLOSED ITS DOORS LAYING DOWN THEIR ARMS. … On the occasion of the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet made the following statement, ‘Slay no wounded person, pursue no fugitive, execute no prisoner; and whoever closes his door is safe.’ … On the day of the conquest of Makkah the Prophet asked Kuraish, ‘What think ye?’ To which they replied, ‘What we think is good, and what say is good. A noble brother thou art, and the son of a noble brother. Thou hast succeeded.’ The Prophet then said, ‘My answer is that given by my brother Joseph, ‘NO BLAME BE ON YOU THIS DAY. ALLAH WILL FORGIVE YOU; FOR HE IS THE MOST MERCIFUL OF THE MERCIFUL. …” (The origins of the Islamic State, being a translation from the Arabic accompanied with annotations Geographic and historic notes of the Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan of al-Imam Abu’l Abbas Ahmad Ibn Jabir Al Baladhuri, [Translated by Phillip Khurti Hitti, PHD – NEW YORK: Columbia University, Longmans, Green & Co., Agents – London: P. S. King & Son. Ltd., 1916], volume 1, page 65 – 68)

Although the polytheists were given amnesty and forgiven as long as they laid their weapons down and sought peace, there was an exception to few people. The Prophet (p) ordered his companions to kill certain specific individuals even if they were caught holding on the curtains of the Kab’ah. The names are, Abdullah Ibn Sa’d Ibn Abi SarhAbdullah Ibn Khattal, Miqyas b. SubahahAl-Huwayrith b. Nuqaydh b. Wahb b. Abd. B. QusayyIkrima b. Abi Jahl and Hind b. Utbah and few other names. These individuals persecuted, murdered people cold bloodily, and in some cases committed treachery against the State. As such, the Prophet (p) ordered that they should be dealt with wherever they may be.

It would be similar to a criminal making a run for a serious crime he or she may have committed in America today. If the authorities apprehend him or her they could get the death penalty in the court of law. The seriousness of the crime would not absolve the perpetrator from being tried. This is similar to this incident, 1300 years ago.

Since Prophet Muhammed (p) was the head of State, judge, jury and had the authority from God to execute those who committed heinous crimes, at the same time it was also in his hand to forgive. But in the case of these individuals, the only thing that could save their lives is if they went on the run (left Muslim lands) or embraced Islam, and repented from past crimes they had done. Some ran away, others came to the Prophet (p) asking for forgiveness and were granted. And some were executed for the past crimes.

It should be noted, those who insisted on hostility and warfare against the Muslims, they would have been dealt with the point of the sword or exiled (leave the lands where the Muslims resided), 1300 years ago. They would have no right to stay on the same land with the Muslims or other peaceful tribes who were non-Muslim. These rules were intended to make sure the community as a whole (Muslim and non-Muslim) were safe and were free to live without being persecuted against.

Indeed Prophet Muhammed’s (p) role in the community as a whole was to defend the rights of the marginalised and protect those who were victims of injustice. As such, if the polytheists at the time wanted protection and laid down their weapons, the Prophet (p) protected them as the evidence has shown.

This evidence here shows that the Prophet (p) nor his companions fought as a result of their beliefs. Rather it was due to them breaking the treaty and shedding blood which subsequently led to the Muslims conquering Makkah.

5. The Hadith rejects Forced Conversion Claim

The forced conversions claim, it is not permissible to force anyone to enter Islam. It is haram (forbidden).

In the book “Hidayatul Hayara Fi Ajwibatul Yahud wa al-Nasara” the scholar Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (1292 – 1350 AD) comments on Surah al-Tawbah. He writes that the Prophet (p) never forced anyone to accept Islam:

“When God sent His Apostle (p), most of the followers of these religions responded to him and to his successsors, voluntarily and willingly. NOBODY WAS COMPELLED TO DO SO. THE APOSTLE FOUGHT ONLY THOSE WHO FOUGHT AND WAGED WAR AGAINST HIM. He did not fight those who made peace with him, neither did he fight those who were under the pledge of truce. He was obeying the bidding of God Most Sublime were he said:

‘Let there be no compulsion in Religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks, and God heareth and knowth all things ‘ (al-Baqarah: 256).

THE APOSTLE DID NOT COMPEL ANYONE TO ADOPT ISLAM. The above quoted verse from the Qur’an negates compulsion in the sense of prohibition that is: do not compel a soul to embrace the Religion. The verse (Sura) was revealed to admonish some of the men among the companions whose children embraced Judaism and Christianity before the advent of Islam, and where with the advent of Islam, their fathers embraced the religion of Muhammad and attempted to compel their children to follow their lead. God Most Exalted prohibited the fathers from resorting to compulsion to inspire their children to embrace Islam out of their choice. … To him who ponders over the biography of the Prophet (p) it becomes clear that he did not compel anyone to embrace his religion, and that he only fought those who fought him. He did not fight those who made truce with him as long as they kept and honoured the truce. He never broke a promise, for God Most High bid him to fulfil his promises to them as long as they kept theirs. A propos, God Most Exalted said:

‘How can there be a league before God and His apostle, with the pagans, except thoe with whom ye made a treaty near the Sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you, stand ye true to them for God doth love the righteous’ (AL-TAWBAH: 7).

… Likewise, when the Prophet Muhammad made truce with (the tribe of) Quraysh holding for ten years, HE DID NOT START ANY FIGHT WITH THEM; BUT WHEN THEY VIOLATED THE MUTUAL AGREEMENT AND RAISED ARMS AGAINST HIM, HE FOUGHT BACK… he stopped the fight when they retreated and went off. The point is that he did not compel anyone at all to embrace his religion; but people embraced his RELIGION VOLUNTARILY and willingly. When most of the people earth realized the True Guidance, and that he is genuinely the Apostle of God, they embraced his call. (Guidance To The Uncertain In Reply To The Jews And The Nazarenes (‘Hidayatul Hayara Fi Ajwibatul Yahud wa al-Nasara’) – [Translated by Abdelhay El-Masry, Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah] by Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziah, page 25 – 27)

In fact, the very report that is used by proponents tells us that forced conversion is forbidden (haram):

“Jabir narrated that: the Messenger of Allah said: “I have been ordered to fight the people until they say: ‘La ilaha illallah’. So when they say that, their blood and their wealth are safe from me, except for a right, and their reckoning is for Allah.” Then he recited: So remind them – ‘YOU ARE ONLY ONE WHO REMINDS. YOU ARE NOT A DICTATOR OVER THEM’ (Quran 88:22). (Jami at-Tirmidhi volume 5, Book 44, Hadith 3341 (Sahih, Darussalam))

This Hadith is also reported in Sahih Muslim:

“It is narrated on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded that I should fight against people till they declare that there is no god but Allah, and when they profess it that there is no god but Allah, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah, and then he (the Holy Prophet) recited (this verse of the Holy Qur’an):” THOU ART NOT OVER THEM A WARDEN” (lxxxviii (88), 22).” (Sahih Muslim Book 1, Hadith 32 http://sunnah.com/muslim/1/35 )

Notice the words:

“You’re only one who reminds. You are NOT a dictator over them”.

Ibn Kathir commenting on Surah 88:22 states that one cannot force someone to “faith” i.e., force someone to believe in Islam:

“‘You are not a Musaytir over them.’ Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others said, “You are not a dictator over them.” This means that you CANNOT create faith in their hearts. Ibn Zayd said, “You are NOT the one who can force them to have faith.’” (Tafsir Ibn Kathird (Abridged) – (Surat At-Taghabun to the end of the Qur’an) [Abridged by A group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri., Darussalam., Second Edition, 2003], volume 10, page 464 )

Similarly, this is also said by Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas:

“‘Thou art not’ O Muhammad ‘at all a warder over them’ you are NOT imposed on them such that you force them to accept faith.” (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas on Surah 88:22 online source, http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=88&tAyahNo=22&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )

Tafsir Anwarul Bayan – Muhammad Aashiq Elahi Muhajir Madani states that the responsibility of the Prophet (p) was only to preach the Message and “not force people to believe (in Islam)”:

“…because of his overwhelming concern for his Ummah, the Holy Prophet used to become extremely grieved when people REFUSED TO ACCEPT ISLAM. Therefore, Allah said to him, ‘So give advice, for you are an advisor. You have not been appointed as a warder over them’ i.e., YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS ONLY TO PREACH THE MESSAGE AND NOT FORCE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE. Whoever believed after the message reached him, shall be successful.“ (Illuminating Discourses On The Quran (“Tafsir Anwarul Bayan”) [Translation Edited by Mufti Afzal Hussain Elias. – Revised by Maulana Arshad Fakhri based on Ma’ariful Quran. – Darul Ishaat, Urdu Bazar, Karachi. First Edition, 2005] by Muhammad Aashiq Elahi Muhajir Madani, volume 5, page 390)

Maarif ul Quran – Mufti Mohammad Shafi says that it is God who guides the “unbelievers”, and Muhammed (p) is only a “preacher”:

“In conclusion of the Chapter, the Messenger of Allah is comforted thus:
… ‘You are not a taskmaster set up over them, … 88:22’
THE HOLY PROPHET IS TOLD THAT HE IS ONLY A PREACHER, and as such he must keep on preaching. He should not worry beyond that. IT IS FOR ALLAH TO CALL THE UNBELIEVERS TO HIM to render account of their deeds and actions…” (Maarif ul Quran: Quran Translation and Commentary [Translated by Maulana Ahmed Khalil Aziz. Revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani] by Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi, volume 8, page 777)

Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an – Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi:

“325. (with either power or authority to force their will).” (Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an – Translation and Commentary Of The Holy Qur’an [Published By Darul Ishaat Urdu Bazaar Karachi: Pakistan. First edition, 1991] by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, volume 4, page 498)

The above evidence refutes the “sanctioning compulsion in religion” claim. We see that after declaring the command to fight the polytheistic Quraysh, the Prophet Muhammed recited verses affirming that his and the companions duty is only to deliver the message of Islam, which clearly shows that he was not forcing anyone to Islam.

6. The Quran Rejects Forced Conversion Claim

Furthermore, the Quran also affirms that forced conversion did not take place. It was not obligatory on this occasion for the polytheists to accept Islam in order to make peace with the Muslims. If they stopped their hostilities against the Muslims and sought refuge, then the Muslims were commanded to grant them protection and safe passage even if they did not accept Islam, as the following verse (Quran 9:6) testifies:

“And if anyone of the IDOLATERS SEEKETH THY PROTECTION (O Muhammad), THEN PROTECT HIM so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and AFTERWARD CONVEY HIM TO HIS PLACE OF SAFETY. That is because they are a folk who know not.” – Quran 9:6 (Pickthall Translation)

Some of the earliest exegesis have said that if the polytheists wanted to hear the message of Islam, the Muslims were obligated to convey the message to them. Even if they rejected Islam, they were allowed and should be send back to the area where they felt safe (Mujahid Ibn Jabr (645 – 722 AD) [3], Hud b. Muhakkam (9th Century) [4], Al-Tabari (838 – 923 AD) [5], Al-Wahidi (d. 1075 AD) [6], Al-Zamakhshari (1070 – 1143 AD) [7], Al-Razi (1149 – 1209 AD) [8], Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas (d. 1414 AD) [9], and Tafsir al-Jalalayn (15/16th Century) [10]). The Muslims were commanded by God to take them to a place of safety  where they felt safe. They were not harmed even when they rejected Islam. This verse (Q. 9:6) shows, the Muslims then were only fighting specific individuals from Quraysh as a result of the aggression and hostilities, not because of their beliefs.

7. Various Commentaries On The Hadith

The 13th-century scholar Taqi ad-Din Ahmed Ibn Taymiyyah (1263 – 1328 AD) comments on this Hadith report and says it speaks about those who wage war against the Muslims:

“It refers to FIGHTING THOSE WHO ARE WAGING WAR, whom Allah has permitted us to fight. It does not refer to those who have a covenant with us with whom Allah commands us to fulfill our covenant.” (Majmu al-Fatawa by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, volume 19, page 20)

The classical scholar Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (1335 – 1393 CE) had few people in his time that interpreted the hadith the way critics today understood it. Ibn Rajab refutes their claims by stating that the “Prophet and his battles with the disbelievers estalish the exact opposite”:

“وقد ظن بعضهم أن معنى الحديث أن الكافر يقاتل حتى يأتي بالشهادتين ، ويقيم الصلاة ، ويؤتي الزكاة ، وفي هذا نظر ، وسيرة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في قتال الكفار تدل على خلاف هذا
And some of them thought that this Hadith means, that the disbeliever should be fought until he utters the testimonies of faith, and prays, and this is debatable, because the life of the Prophet and his battles with the disbelievers ESTABLISH THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THIS.” (Jami Uloom wal-Hikam, by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, volume 1, page 241)

Shaykh Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo presents Wamaidh al-Umari’s view and he states the fighting that is mentioned in the Hadith is in reference to some “form of wrong or evil” the other side have done:

“According to al-Umari, the goal of the fighting mentioned in this Hadith is not to bring about death to the other party as a type of punishment, as in the Hadith of ibn Masood which is Hadith #14 in this collection. Instead, IT IS FIGHTING FOR THE PURPOSE OF BRINGING TO END SOME FORM OF WRONG OR EVIL. KILLING IN THIS CASE IS AN INCIDENTAL OR UNAVOIDABLE POSSIBLE RESULT OF THE FIGHTING AND NOT A GOAL IN ITSELF. It is similar to the type of fighting that is mentioned in the verse,
‘If two parties of believers fight, make reconciliation between them. If one of them rebels against the other, then fight you [all] against the one who rebels until it complies with the command of Allah (al-Hujuraat 9). When one fights the rebel forces, one is not trying to kill the individual Muslims but to defeat them and make them surrender to what is right. Therefore, this Hadith cannot be used as evidence that the one who does not pray is to be killed as a form of punishment because it is concerned with a completely different topic.” (Fiqh al-Imaan ala Minhaj al-Salaf al-Saalih [Jordan Daar al-Nafaais, 1998], Al-Umari, Wamaidh, page 324) (Commentary On The Forty Hadith Of al-Nawawi [Introduction by Prof. Jaafar Sheikh Idris T., Al-Basheer Company for Publications & Translations., 1999] by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo volume 1, page 424 – 425)

The late respected scholar Amin Ahsan Islahi (1904 – 1997) writes:

“Some tradition contain following words of the Prophet (sws):
I have been commanded to fight the people until they profess there is no God but Allah. (Bukhari, No: 385)
Apparent and literal meaning of the narrative, disregarding its true context, validates the Orientalists’ view that Islam was spread by the sword. It also entails that the war against unbelief that the Prophet (sws) started has to go on till the whole mankind embraces Islam and declares Allah to be the only deity. THIS IS PLAINLY WRONG. HISTORY FALSIFIES THIS INTERPRETATION. We know that the Prophet (sws) accepted Jizyah from the People of the Book as well as the Magians (al-majus). HE DID NOT FORCE THEM TO SAY THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH. Similarly all such people who contracted treaties with Muslims, before their subjugation (mu‘ahid/ahl al-ṣulḥ), WERE ALLOWED TO FOLLOW THEIR RELIGION. THEY TOO WERE NOT FORCED TO CONVERT.” (Fundamentals of Ḥadith Interpretation An English Translation of Mabadi Tadabbur-e Ḥadith [Translated by Tariq Mahmood Hashmi – AL-MAWRID 51-K Model Town, Lahore – First Edition] by Amin Ahsan Islahi page 42 – 43)

Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali (1917 – 1996):

“… Throughout its suras we find fervent appeals to man to take heed, return to right guidance and to return to right guidance and turn to his Lord. The policy of the big stick only began after the STICKS OF THE ENEMIES HAD INFLICTED PAIN ON THE BACKS OF THE BELIEVERS AND BROKEN THEIR BONES. Allah Almighty revealed,

‘Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged – truly Allah has the power to come to their support.’ (22:39)

The fact is that fighting was a policy of last resort when all other means had failed. The important thing is that those who are known for their relationship with Allah first of all call people to Allah in an excellent manner and offer opportunities for peace and truces, taking account of the errors to which human nature is prone, Then when they resort to fighting after that, they behave as men and they act in the most noble way. This is what Muhammad, peace be upon him, did, and what is shown clearly in his conduct. But when the first thing a short-sighted Muslim mentions about dealing with the enemies of Islam is the famous Hadith:

‘I was commanded to fight people until they say, There is no god but Allah,’

Then the man is one of those who move words from their proper place and treat the legacy of the Prophet with great stupidity. We explained in another book that this Hadith came at the time when Surat at-Tawba was revealed, about a year before the death of the Messenger, and after a fearsome STRUGGLE WITH THE PAGANS WHOM ISLAM GAVE THE RIGHT TO LIVE WHILE THEY OFFERED ONLY DEATH. He lived with them for a time on a basis of,

‘To you your deen and to me my deen,’

BUT ALL HE EXPERIENCED FROM THEM WAS DECEIT AND ASSASSINATION. …
The beginning of SURAT AT-TAWBA GIVES COMPLETE PICTURE OF THAT INSOLENT TREACHEROUS PAGANISM, AND IT WAS IN THIS ATMOSPHERE THAT THIS HADITH WAS UTTERED: ‘I have been commanded to fight people until they say, ‘There is no god but Allah,’ It is not permitted for an ignorant person to take it out of context.” (The Sunna Of The Prophet – The People of Fiqh Versus the People of Hadith [Translation by Aisha Bewley, Editor Abdalhaq Bewley. – Sixth Edition – Dar Al Taqwa Ltd., 2009] by Muhammad al-Ghazali, page 104 – 105)

Professor Jonathan A.C. Brown, says that the Hadith was understood to mean that the conquered polytheists will agree to submit to the Muslim rule:

“Jihad was understood as the unceasing quest to ‘make God’s word supreme,’ as Hadiths described, through the ongoing expansion of the rule of God’s law on earth. THIS WAS NOT ENVISIONED IN ANY WAY AS A QUEST FOR FORCED CONVERSION, which never featured in the Islamic conquests. The Qur’anic edict of ‘no compulsion in religion’ governed the interpretation of Hadiths like the authenticitated report of the Prophet declaring, ‘I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, establish prayer and pay the charity tithe.’ Read in light of the Qur’anic prohibition on coerced belief, this mission to extract confessions of belief WAS NOT INTERPRETED LITERALLY. Rather, it was understood as referring either only to Arabia’s pagans (not followers of monotheistic religions) or as a metaphor for the conquered non-Muslims agreeing to submit to Muslim rule.” (Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices Of Interpreting The Prophet’s Legacy [Oneworld Publications, 2014], by Jonathan A. C. Brown, page 102)

Abdul Hamid Siddiqi’s commentary on the Hadith report:

“This hadith has been made the target of criticism by the hostile critics of Islam. They wrongly assert that it is by sheer force that people are converted to Islam. But THERE IS NOT AN IOTA OF TRUTH IN IT. They do not look into the words used by the Holy Prophet. Here the verb قات is highly meaningful. A person who is conversant even with the rudiments of Arabic grammar knows fully well that it is from the bab مفا علم which implies that it is not a one-sided action but a participation of both sides. Thus according to the bab of the verb used, IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT THE HOLY PROPHET EXHORTED TO FIGHT AGAINST THOSE WHO HAD RAISED ARMS AGAINST THE MUSLIMS. THIS COMMAND IS NOT DIRECTED AGAINST EVERY NON-MUSLIM.” (Commentary Of: Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 30 – Abdul Hamid Siddiqi’s Commentary – [Dar Al Arabia, Chapter IX] – volume1, page 16-17 (footnote 54))

Professor Asma Afsaruddin provides Dr. Buti’s assessment in regards to this report, and he says that the Hadith speaks about someone who “opposes you” or “fight someone who attacks you”:

“The seemingly problematic Hadith related by Ibn Umar, ‘I have been commanded to fight people until they bear witness that there is no god but God…’ has led to grave misunderstanding of its meaning because most people do not take note of the fundamental distinction between the two verbs uqatil and aqtul and tend to confuse and/or conflate the two, continuous al-Buti. The first would mean ‘[that] I fight’ and the second would mean [that] I kill.’ If the second verb had occurred in the Hadith, then that would indeed have been contrary to the texts of numerous Qur’anic verses and hadiths that prohibit coercion in matters of religion. The actual verb uqatil as it occurs in the Hadith is not contrary to these texts because it broadly means, according to the third verbal form, ‘TO FIGHT SOMEONE WHO OPPOSES YOU,’ AND MORE NARROWLY MEANS ‘TO FIGHT SOMEONE WHO ATTACKS YOU FIRST WITH INTENT TO KILL.’ For it is the aggressor (al-badi) who is called qatil, and ‘the one who resists the aggressor’ is called muqatil.’ On the basis of the linguistic analysis, it is compellingly established that THE PURPOSE OF FIGHTING IN THIS HADITH IS DEFENDING ONESELF IN RESPONSE TO A PRIOR ACT OF AGGRESSION. The proper meaning of Hadith may then be rendered as follows:
I have been commanded to prevent any act of aggression [directed] at my summoning of the people to faith in the oneness of God, even if this prevention of aggression against this summoning is accomplished through fighting the aggressors, for that is a duty I have been commanded to [undertake] by God, and which must be carried out. …” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought by Asma Afsaruddin, page 250)

Shaykh Sami al-Majid, professor at al-Imam Islamic University, Riyadh, writes:

“… This is further emphasized a few verses later where Allah says: “Will you not fight people who broke their covenants and plotted to expel the Messenger and attacked you first?” [Sûrah al-Tawbah: 13]
Ibn al-`Arabi, in his commentary on the Qur’ân, writes: “It is clear from this that the meaning of this verse is to kill the pagans who are WAGING WAR AGAINST YOU.” [Ahkam al-Qur’an: (2/456)]
Allah also say right after the verse under discussion: “How can there be a covenant before Allah and His Messenger with the pagans except those with whom you have made a treaty near the Sacred Mosque? As long as they stand true to you, stand true to them, for Allah does love the righteous.” [Surah al-Tawbah: 7]
Another misunderstood text is the hadith where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I have been commanded to fight the people until they bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am Allah’s Messenger. If they do so, then there blood and their wealth are inviolable except in the dispensation of justice, and their affair is with Allah.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
There can be no qualms about this hadith’s authenticity, since it is recorded in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. However, THIS HADITH IS ALSO NOT TO BE TAKEN GENERALLY, out of context, and in complete disregard to all the other textual evidence.
The term “people” here is not referring to all humanity. Ibn Taymiyah says: “It refers to fighting THOSE WHO ARE WAGING WAR, whom Allah has permitted us to fight. It does not refer to those who have a covenant with us with whom Allah commands us to fulfill our covenant.” [Majmu` al-Fatawa (19/20)]
ISLAM COMMANDS THE MUSLIMS TO BE JUST WITH PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS, WHETHER THEY BE JEWS, CHRISTIANS, OR PAGANS. ISLAM CALLS US TO TREAT THEM KINDLY and try to win their hearts as long as they do not take up arms against us. Allah says: “Allah forbids you not with regard to those who neither fight against you for your faith nor drive you out of your homes from dealing kindly and justly with them, for Allah loves those who are just.” [Surah al-Mumtahanah: 9-10]
ALLAH COMMANDS MUSLIMS TO RESPECT THEIR NON-MUSLIM PARENTS AND TO ACCOMPANY THEM IN THIS WORLD IN A GOOD MANNER.
The Qur’an commands us to argue with them in the best manner. Allah says: “Argue with the People of the Scripture in the best manner except those among them who act oppressively. Say: We believe in the revelation that has come down to us and in that which came down to you. Our God and your God is one, and it is to Him we submit ourselves as Muslims.” [Sûrah al-`Ankabût: 46]
We are ordered to uphold our covenants with the non-Muslims and not betray them or transgress against them. The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave a stern warning to us against killing a non-Muslim with whom we are at peace. He said: “WHOEVER KILLS ONE WITH WHOM WE HAVE A COVENANT WILL NOT SMELL THE SCENT OF PARADISE.” [Sahîh Muslim]
The faith of a Muslim is not acceptable unless he believes in all of the Prophets who were sent before (peace be upon them all). Allah says: “O you who believe! Believe in Allah, His Messenger, the scripture that He revealed to His messenger and the scripture that he revealed before. Whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day has gone far astray.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 136]” (“Let there be no compulsion in religion” by Sheikh Sami al-Majid, professor at al-Imam Islamic University, Riyadh, online source, last accessed 22st December 2016, http://en.islamtoday.net/artshow-262-3441.htm )

Dr. Jamal Badawi:

“There is no single verse in the Qur’an properly interpreted in its context and historical circumstances that ever allowed the Muslim to fight non-Muslims simply because they are non-Muslims. The opposite is true; in Chapter 60, verse 8 and 9 in the Qur’an, it clearly says that non-Muslims who are not fighting against Muslims or oppressing them are ENTITLED TO KIND AND JUST TREATMENT. Also, in the Qur’an, Chapter 2, verse 256, it says: let there be no compulsion in religion.” It is in the light of these two verses and many others in the Qur’an that the Hadith referred to should be understood.
The word “people” in this hadith and in the Qur’an may mean a subset of people but not all of them. There are a lot of evidences of variant usage in the Qur’an and also in this hadith. This hadith in all likelihood REFERS TO THE PAGAN ARABS WHO PERSECUTED MUSLIMS, MURDERED THEM, AND BROKE THEIR TREATIES WITH THEM. As such, they deserved capital punishment, yet they are given the opportunity to repent in which case they are to be forgiven, and their property will be protected. This shows, like other instances in the Qur’an and in hadith, that the purpose of Islam is punitive, but rehabilitative. To interpret this hadith in a generalized way is to violate the text of the Qur’an and basic rules of interpretation.” (Towards a Better Muslim/Non-Muslim Relation: Does Islam Teach Violence? By Jamal Badawi – online source http://web.archive.org/web/20110401225017/http://livedialogue.islamonline.net/livedialogue/english/Browse.asp?hGuestID=GRdp6I )

Shaykh Muhammad Hashim Kabbani:

“The Imams argued from this that as long as the unbelievers are willing to live peacefully among the believers our divine obligation is to treat them peacefully, despite their denial of Islam. The succeeding verse affirms this: So long as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily! God loves those who fear God. (Qur’an 9:7) This verse instructs the Muslims to observe treaty obligations with meticulous care, and not to break them unless the other side breaks them first. On the basis of the clear arguments of the scholars of Qur’an and Hadith, the majority concluded that physical fighting is not a permanent condition against unbelievers, but is resorted to only when treaties are broken or aggression has been made against Muslim territory (dar al-Islam) by unbelievers. On the other hand, educating non-Muslims about Islam is a continuous Jihad, per the agreed-upon, multiply transmitted hadith: The Messenger of God said, ‘‘I have been ordered to fight the people until they declare that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is His Messenger, establish prayers, and pay Zakat….’’39 In his book al-Jihad fil-Islam, Dr. Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti explains this hadith in detail based on the understanding of the majority of jurists, showing that linguistically the word ‘‘fight’’ here and in many other places does not refer to combat, rather to struggle, including in its scope da‘wa, preaching, exhortation, and establishment of the state apparatus whereby Islamic preaching is protected. IT DOES NOT MEAN FORCING ANYONE TO BECOME MUSLIM at the point of a sword, and numerous examples can be cited from the life history of the Prophet showing that he never forced conversion, nor did his successors.
Dr. Buti explains that the linguistic scholars of Hadith showed that the word uqatil used by the Prophet in fact means ‘‘fight’’ and not aqtul, ‘‘kill.’’ In Arabic, THIS WORD IS USED IN TERMS OF DEFENDING AGAINST AN ATTACKER OR AN OPPRESSOR; IT IS NOT USED TO MEAN ATTACK OR ASSAIL.
In light of this, Dr. Buti shows that this hadith connotes: I have been ordered by God to fulfill the task of calling people [peacefully] to believe that God is One and to defend any aggression against this divine task, even though this defense requires fighting aggressors or enemies.40
Dr. Buti explains that this hadith is reminiscent of a saying by the Prophet on the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaybiyya: where he told his mediator, Badil ibn Waraqa, ‘‘But if they do not accept this truce, by God in whose Hands my life is, I will fight with them, defending my Cause till I get killed.’’41
By these words, Badil ibn Waraqa was tasked with inviting the Quraysh to peace, and simultaneously, warning of the ongoing war which had already exhausted them. Dr. Buti remarks: The Prophet’s words ‘‘I will fight with them defending my Cause,’’ in this context certainly means that he, while inclining to peace with the enemy, would react to their combative aggression in the same way, if they had insisted on their aggression.42 Jihad in Islam 233 Note also that in the years after the Treaty was signed, it was the Quraysh who violated the treaty. Near the end of the seventh year after the migration to Medina, the Quraysh along with the allied Banu Bakr tribe attacked the Banu Khuza’a tribe, who were allies of the Muslims. The Banu Khuza’a appealed to the Prophet for help and protection. The Banu Khuza’a sent a delegation to the Prophet requesting his support. Despite the Meccan provocation and clear violation of the treaty, the Prophet avoided acting in haste to renew hostilities. Instead he sent a letter to the Quraysh demanding payment of blood money for those killed and the disbanding of their alliance with the Banu Bakr. Otherwise, the Prophet said, the treaty would be declared null and void. Quraysh then sent an envoy to Medina to announce that they considered the Treaty of Hudaybiyya null and void. However, they immediately regretted this step—and therefore, the leader of Quraysh Abu Sufyan himself traveled to Medina to renew the contract. Despite having been the greatest enemy of the Muslims, and despite the Quraysh already being in violation of the pact they had solemnly entered into, no hand was laid on this Qurayshi chief—someone who is infamous for his persecution and harm to Muslims in Mecca. He was even permitted to enter the Prophet’s mosque and announce his desire to reinstate the treaty. From this, one can argue that if a state of unbelief were sufficient pretext for war, then the Prophet would have been warranted in seizing Abu Sufyan and initiating hostilities against the Quraysh then and there. However, on the contrary, Abu Sufyan came and went from Medina freely and only after some time were the hostilities renewed based on the Meccans’ aggressive violation of the pact. (Voices of Islam – Voices Of The Spirit, by Shaykh Muhammad Hashim Kabbani, volume 2, page 232 – 234)

The late Egyptian Sunni scholar and Islamic theologian Mahmoud Muhammad Shaltut (1893 – 1963) writes:

“Some people who were bent on disparaging Islam did not go beyond the ostensible interpretation of “…fight the unbelievers that are near to you…’ and pretended that the Islamic religion ordered to fight the unbelievers in general, regardless of whether they had committed aggression or not, until they had been converted to Islam. They said that this rule was founded on this verse. However, the meaning of the word “unbelievers” in this and similar verse is: “THOSE HOSTILE POLYTHEISTS WHO FIGHT THE MOSLEMS, COMMIT AGGRESSION AGAINST THEM, EXPEL THEM FROM THEIR HOMES AND THEIR PROPERTY AND PRACTISE PERSECUTION FOR THE SAKE OF RELIGION”. The morals of those polytheists have been discussed in the opening verses of Surat al-Tawbah. The word “people” in the tradition: “I have been ordered to fight the people” should be understood in the same manner. For according to the Consensus [ijma], fighting must only cease at what is mentioned in this tradition…” (The Quran And Combat [MBDA – English Monograph Series — Book No. 18], Imam Mahmoud Muhammad Shaltut, page 87)

Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi:

“The main goal of fighting people, then, is not to make them testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah. If the People of the Book are excluded from the above mentioned hadith, then does the hadith deal with all polytheists and idolaters? The answer is definitely “no”! In another authentic hadith, the Magians are included with the People of the Book, as the hadith states, “Treat them as you treat the People of the Book” (reported by Malik, Al-Bayhaqi, and others. It was deemed weak by Sheikh Al-Albani). Hence, the fact is that this hadith is pertinent to the Arab polytheists who were reluctant to respect Islam and its followers, SEEKING TO DESTROY THEM COMPLETELY, AND WHO ALSO FAILED TO RESPECT ANY CONCLUDED TREATY or given covenant. Those people were granted four months to reconsider their situation and rectify their stance. If they insisted upon obliterating Islam, then it would be necessary to fight them. …
Ibn Taymiyah dealt with this hadith in his thesis entitled, A Rule in Fighting Against the Disbelievers. He adopted another approach in his understanding and explanation of this hadith, which is entirely different from what is said by the majority of Muslim scholars. Hence, we have to state this view on account of its depth, clarity and significance. Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, “The meaning of the Prophet’s saying “I have been ordered to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah. If they did so, then they would save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws, and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah” is just a mention of the objective during which fighting against them will be permissible. Hence, if those people carried out what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked them for, then fighting against them would be prohibited … Thus, this hadith does not mean that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was commanded to fight against all people only for this objective, as this meaning contradicts the religious texts and the consensus of Muslim scholars. Yet, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never committed such an act; rather, he (peace and blessings be upon him) USED TO MAKE PEACE WITH THOSE WHO WANTED TO MAKE PEACE WITH HIM. (Fiqh of Jihad (“Fiqh al-Jihad”), [Online pdf] volume 1, page 327-337)

Scholar Zaid Shakir:

“First of all, many of the classical exegetes explain that these verses do not apply to Jews and Christians. Their discussion of the verses in question center on relations with the polytheists, to the exclusion of the “People of the Book.” For example, Imam al-Qurtubi (d. 671AH [22]/ 1272 CE), renowned for his exposition on the legal implications of the Qur’anic text, states, concerning the verse in question, “… it is permissible to [understand] that the expression ‘polytheists’ does not deal with Jews and Christians (Ahl al-Kitab).” [23] This opinion is reinforced by the interpretation of a related prophetic tradition, “I’ve been ordered to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity but God. …” [24] Imam Nawawi mentions in his commentary on this tradition, “Al-Khattabi says, ‘It is well-known that what is intended here are the people of idolatry, not the people of the Book (Jews and Christians).’” [25] Among contemporary exegetes, Dr. Mustafa al-Bugha says, commenting on the term for people (nas), which occurs in this tradition, “They are the worshipers of idols and the polytheists.” [26] Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmad, and most contemporary scholars are of the opinion that the polytheists who are to be indiscriminately fought were those living in the Arabian Peninsula. [27] As that area has been free from polytheism since the earliest days of Islam, according to their opinion, the order is now a dead letter.
Just as we can argue that the people who are to be fought against are not an unrestricted class, based on a classical understanding of the “Verse of the Sword,” there are also considerations governing when the restricted classes can be fought. In the verse preceding the “Verse of the Sword,” we read, … except those you have convened a treaty with from the polytheists; when they have not breeched any of its conditions, nor supported anyone in aggression against you, complete the terms of the treaty. [9:4]
Imam al-Qurtubi says concerning this verse, “Even if the terms of the covenant are for more than four months.”[28] This condition and others mentioned in the verses following the “Verse of the Sword,” lead Abu Bakr b. al-‘Arabi (d. 543AH/ 1148 CE), the great Maliki exegete and jurist, to conclude, “It is clear that the intended meaning of the verse is to kill those polytheists WHO ARE WAGING WAR AGAINST YOU.” [29] IN OTHER WORDS, FIGHTING THEM IS CONDITIONAL ON THEIR AGGRESSION AGAINST THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY. THIS POSITION, THE PERMISSIBILITY TO FIGHT IN ORDER TO REPULSE AGGRESSION, IS THE VIEW OF THE MAJORITY OF THE SUNNI MUSLIM LEGAL SCHOOLS as has been explained in great detail by Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti in his valuable discussion of the rationale for Jihad. [30] ” (Jihad is Not Perpetual Warfare, Imam Zaid Shakir, online source, last accessed 21st December 2016, http://www.newislamicdirections.com/nid/notes/jihad_is_not_perpetual_warfare#sthash.SkfRDRLn.dpuf )

With the above in perspective, the command of the Hadith was specific to one group only, those who caused bloodshed and showed open aggression against the Muslims and their non-Muslim allies, 1300 years ago.

Furthermore, it should be noted while this issue with the polytheist Quraysh was taking place, Quran 9:4 tells us that the Prophet (p) had treaties with other polytheists in Arabia who were faithful and did not engage in any hostility against the Muslims nor their allies. Here the Muslims are ordered to abide by this treaty:

Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him).” – Quran 9:4 (Pickthall Translation)

Quran 9:7 also repeats this treaty. Here, the Muslims are commanded to abide by the treaty so long as they are true to the Muslims:

“How can there be an agreement for the idolaters with Allah and with His Messenger; except those with whom you made an agreement at the Sacred Mosque? SO AS LONG AS THEY ARE TRUE TO YOU, BE TRUE TO THEM; SURELY ALLAH LOVES THOSE WHO ARE CAREFUL (OF THEIR DUTY).” – Quran 9:7

We see here the Prophet and his companions did abide by the treaty with other polytheists like the Banu Kinanah, Banu Damra, Banu Mudlaj and other tribes who were peaceful (Surah 9:4, 7) and weren’t touched as classical and contemporary exegesis have reported to us. This clearly shows that the Prophet (p) did not fight the Quraysh polytheists because of their beliefs. [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

8. Conclusion

We see the historical context in which those words were uttered – the Muslims made a treaty with the Quraysh and the agreement was that no party would break the treaty, nor attack them or any of their own allies. Everyone agreed to the treaty’s order at the time. It didn’t take long before the Quraysh with Banu Bakr attacked, and murdered Muhammed’s non-Muslim ally at night. Soon after this, the Prophet and his companions led to conquering Makkah. The uttering of the statement was in the context of the Quraysh criminals who broke the treaty and murdered members of Muhammed’s ally and were given a choice of the following to choose:

1. Stop their hostilities, put their weapons down and live under the Muslim rule (government).
2. Embrace Islam.
3. Or Leave the land.

Final words, as we have seen, this hadith refers to some polytheistic Arabs who persecuted, murdered Muslims and their allies, and broke their treaties with them. As such, some deserved capital punishment, yet they are given the opportunity to repent in which case they are to be forgiven, and their property will be protected. This shows, the command of the Hadith was specific to one group only, those who caused bloodshed and showed open aggression against the Muslims and their non-Muslim allies, 1300 years ago. And history is a witness that no one was forced to accept Islam, since the very report and other early historical sources refute this claim. [16]

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Related articles:

(1) – “Early Expeditions And Battles Of Islam

(2) – “Muhammed A Mercy: Analysing Dogs Killed In Madinah

(3) – “What Happened To The Captive Women In Awtas Incident?

(4) – “Most Misinterpreted Verses Of The Quran?

(5) – “‘Those Who Wage War And Make Mischief’ – Quran 5:33

(6) – “Did Jews Get Expelled From Arabia?

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References:

[1]  Ibn Kathir mentions the exact battle this Hadith was uttered – Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) [Supervised by Abdul Malik Mujahid – First Edition, 2000], volume 4, page 377
[2] Ibn Juzayy mentions that the Hadith was first said in relation to Surah 9:5, which was revealed in connection with the conquest of Makkah. Tafsir Ibn Juzayy, last accesed 22st December 2006 http://bewley.virtualave.net/tawba1.html
[3] Mujahid Ibn Jabr (645 – 722 AD) on Surah 9:6:
“…this verse guarantees the safety of people in general (insan) who came to listen to the Prophet recite from the Qur’an until they had RETURNED TO THE PLACE OF REFUGE WHENCE THEY CAME.” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought [Oxford University Press; 1st Edition., 2013] by Asma Afsaruddin, page 88)
[4] The 9th Century scholar Hud b. Muhakkam on Surah 9:6:
“…the polytheists who requests safe conduct from Muslims in order to listen to the word of God is to be so granted and returned unharmed to his place of origin, whether he embraces Islam or not. This was the view of Mujahid, for example. Al-Kalbi is quoted as saying that the verse referred instead to a group of polytheists who wished to renew their pact with Muhammad asked them to profess Islam, offer prayers, and pay the zakat, they refused, and the Prophet LET THEM RETURN SAFELY TO THEIR HOMES. Ibn Muhakkam further notes that al-Hasan al-Basri had remarked thus on the status of this verse: ‘It is valid and unabrogated (muhkama) until the Day of Judgement.’” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought [Oxford University Press; 1st Edition., 2013] by Asma Afsaruddin, page 88)
[5] Al-Tabari (838 – 923 AD):
“…in this verse God counsels Muhammad, ‘If someone from among the polytheists (al-Mushrikun) – those whom I have commanded that you fight and slay after the passage of the sacred months – were to ask you, O Muhammad, for safe conduct in order to listen to the word of God, then grant this protection to him so that he may hear the word of God and you may recite it to him.’ Such an individual, according to the verse, is to be subsequently ESCORTED BACK TO HIS PLACE OF SAFETY EVEN IF HE REJECTS ISLAM AND FAILS TO BELIEVE AFTER THE PROPHET’S RECITATION OF THE QUR’AN BEFORE HIM. SCHOLARS IN THE PAST WHO HAVE AGREED WITH THIS GENERAL INTERPRETATION INCLUDE IBN ISHAQ, AL-SUDDI, AND MUJAHID…” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought [Oxford University Press; 1st Edition., 2013] By Asma Afsaruddin, page 89)
[6] Al-Wahidi (d. 1075 AD):
“…should someone from among the same group of polytheists request safe conduct and refuge among Muslims so that he may listen to the word of God and learn of its positive commandments and interdictions, he is to be so granted and ESCORTED BACK TO A PLACE OF SAFETY. This is so because they are an ignorant people, and SO SHOULD BE GIVEN PROTECTION and the opportunity to acquire knowledge and perhaps submit to Islam.” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought [Oxford University Press; 1st Edition., 2013] by Asma Afsaruddin, page 89)
[7] Al-Zamakhshari (1070 – 1143 AD):
“…if one of the polytheists, with whom no pact (mithaq) exists, were to request safe conduct from the Muslims in order to listen to the Qur’an, then he should be granted it so that he may reflect God’s words. AFTERWARD, HE IS TO BE ESCORTED BACK TO HIS HOME WHERE HE FEELS SAFE. This, al-Zamakhshari says, is established practice for all time. Al-hasan al-Basri had similarly maintained that this verse is ‘valid till the day of resurrection.’ …” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought [Oxford University Press; 1st Edition., 2013] by Asma Afsaruddin, page 89)
[8] Al-Razi (1149 – 1209 AD):
“on the authority of Ibn Abbas, who relates that a polytheist man asked Ali b. Abi talib, ‘if we wished to approach the Messenger after the end of this period (the four sacred months) in order to listen to the word of God or for some other reason, will we be killed?’ Ali replied in the negative and recited this verse, affirming the granting of safe conduct to him so that he may listen to the Qur’an. … al-Razi further comments that this verse indicates that imitation of precedent (al-taqlid) is not sufficient in religion, and that critical inquiry (al-nazar) and the seeking of proofs (al-istidlal) are indispensable requirements within religion.
If emulation of precedent were enough, he argues, then this verse would not have granted a respite to this unbeliever, and would have been merely given a choice between professing his belief [In Islam] or death. As this did not occur, IT CONFIRMS THAT MUSLIMS ARE REQUIRED TO OFFER SAFE CONDUCT TO SUCH PERSON and thereby assuage his fears and allow him the opportunity to deliberate upon the proofs of religion. How long such a respite should last is not known; perhaps it should be determined according to the prevalent custom (bi-l-urg), he says.” (Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought [Oxford University Press; 1st Edition., 2013] By Asma Afsaruddin, page 89 – 90)
[9] Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas (d. 1414 AD) states that Prophet Muhammed granted safe passage to any of the idolaters who asked for it. So that they may hear the Quran. If he does not believe (i.e., embrace Islam), then he is to be left alone and granted safe passage back to the land he come from:
(And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the word of Allah) so that he may hear your recitation of the words of Allah; (and AFTERWARD CONVEY HIM TO HIS PLACE OF SAFETY) TO THE PLACE HE IS GOING, IF HE REMAINS AN UNBELIEVER. (That) which I have mentioned (is because they are a folk who know not) Allah’s command and His divine Oneness. (Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas on Surah 9:6 online source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=6&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )
[10] Tafsir al-Jalalayn also emphasizes that they were left alone if they didn’t believe in Islam, and were taken to their place of safety:
“And if any one of the idolaters (ahadun, ‘one’, is in the nominative because of the [following] verb [istajāraka, ‘seeks your protection’] that validates it) seeks your protection, requests security from you against being killed, then grant him protection, provide security for him, SO THAT HE MIGHT HEAR THE WORDS OF GOD — THE QUR’AN — AND AFTERWARD CONVEY HIM TO HIS PLACE OF SECURITY, THAT IS, THE DWELLING-PLACES OF HIS FOLK, IF HE DOES NOT BELIEVE, SO THAT HE MIGHT REFLECT UPON HIS SITUATION — that, which is mentioned, is because they are a people who do not know, the religion of God, and so they must [be made to] hear the Qur’ān in order to [come to] know [religion]. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn on Surah 9:6 – online source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=6&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )
[11] Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas on Surah 9:4,
“(Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty) i.e. the Banu Kinanah after the year of al-Hudaybiyyah, (and who have since abated nothing of your right) who they did not break their treaties, i.e. those who had a nine month treaty (nor have supported anyone) of your enemies (against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term) i.e. nine months. (Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him)) by not breaking their treaties.” (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas on Surah 9:4, online source http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=9&tAyahNo=4&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 )
[12] As-Sawi on 9:4,
:“[As-Sawi notes that the exception is made to the absolute statement in the first ayat. This is the Banu
“[As-Sawi notes that the exception is made to the absolute statement in the first ayat. This is the Banu Damra who still had nine months of their treaty remaining.]” (As-Sawi on Surah 9:4 – online source http://bewley.virtualave.net/tawba1.html )
[13] Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi:
“…commanded in the fourth verse of Surah Al-Taubah where Muslims were required to fulfil their treaty obligations to the tribes of Banu Damurah and Banu Mudlaj for the remaining nine months.” (Maarif ul Quran: Quran Translation and Commentary [Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim Revised by Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani] by Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi, volume 4, page 311)
[14] Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi’s commentary on 9:7,
“2 This declaration of the abrogation of the treaties with the mushriks was made in accordance with the law enjoined in VIII: 58 regarding the treacherous people, for it is treachery from the Islamic point of view to wage war against any people with whom a treaty of peace had been made, without openly declaring that the treaty had been terminated. That is why a proclamation of the abrogation of the treaties was necessitated against those clans who were always hatching plots against Islam in spice of the treaties of peace they had made. They would break the treaties and turn hostile on the first opportunity for treachery, and the same was true of all the mushrik clans WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BANI KANANAH, BANI DAMRAH AND ONE OR TWO OTHER CLANS. …
9 That is: Bani Kinanah and Bani Khuza`ah and Bani Damrah.” (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an, on Surah 9, online source http://englishtafsir.com/Quran/9/index.html)
[15] Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi also mentions Kinana tribe and others who were true to the treaty:
“201. The reference is to Banu Dhamra and Banu Mudlaj, two classes of Kinana tribe, who, it was expected, would keep the pledge.” (Tafsir-Ul-Qur’an – Translation and Commentary Of The Holy Qur’an [Academy of Islamic Research And Publications, Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow – 226 007, (Indian)] by Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi volume 2, page 217)
[16] According to al-Shanqeeti the action is performed by both sides. From the scholar’s writing he suggests to us that there was a war:
“However, as Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid pointed out, it seems very clear that this particular Hadith cannot be used as evidence that a person who intentionally does not pray is to be put to death. There is a difference between ‘fighting’, which implies opposing struggle between two parties, and ‘killing’ someone. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used the faa’il form of the word. THIS IMPLIES THAT THE ACTION BEING PERFORMED BY BOTH PARTIES INVOLVED. (Kauthar al-Maani al-Daraari fi Kashf Khabaaya Saheeh al-Bukhaari [Beirut: Muassasat al-Risaalah., 1995], by Al-Shanqeeti, Muhammad al-Khidr, volume 2, page 55)

refutation.png


 

I have been commanded to fight against people until they testify that there is no god but Allah

Source: http://www.oic-cdpu.org/en/topic/?tID=78
by Tarik Ladjal


It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah. Reported by Bukhari and Muslim

Perhaps no other authentic hadith has been employed to justify violence as this has been employed. Similarly, no other authentic hadith has been cited as much as this in accusing Islam of being a religion of violence that spread by the sword. This hadith has caused much confusion among Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The isnad (chain of narrators) of this hadith is agreed upon, and it has been narrated from numerous isnads. Among them are by Ibn ‘Umar, Anas Ibn Masood, Abdullah ibn ‘Amr Ibn al-Aas and the narrations on Abu Huraira exceed 30. Despite the observations by Ibn Hajar on the isnād of this hadith in his commentary on Sahih Muslim, they do not detract from the authenticity of the hadith.

The problems in this hadith are crystallized in two points:

Its clear contradiction with several verses of the Qur’an that guarantee the freedom of religion for non-Muslims, such as the verse: “Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)…” [18: 29], and “To you be your Way, and to me mine.” [109: 6], and “Thy duty is but to convey (the Message)” [42: 48], and “Thou art not one to manage (men’s) affairs.” [88: 22].

Its legalization of starting a war for the mere fact that the fighters are not Muslims, and therefore permitting jihad in a manner contrary to the explicit verse in the Qur’an, “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.” [2: 190].

Researchers in the interpretation of Muslim scholars concerning this hadith and their recommendations have long opposed the stance prevailing among advocates of contemporary jihadist movements who employ this hadith to justify their unruly and destructive agendas. Their interpretations contradict the correct and explicit understanding of the Muslim scholars, led by the Four Imams. The Four Imams are agreed that the text of the hadith is general yet it carries a specific meaning, i.e. that although the words present an open address, the meaning is intended for a specific group of people and not the general population. The intended meaning is that it addresses the disbelievers among the Quraysh who showed open hostility towards the Apostle and invested all efforts and energies to fight and try to eradicate his religion, i.e. Islam. For this reason, he was ordered to fight them in defence of the religion and its followers. The hadith is not intended as a command to the Prophet to fight all nations until they believe. Evidence of the specific meaning of this generally phrased hadith is its similitude to the use of the terms al-Nas (people) in the verse, “Men said to them: “A great army is gathering against you” [3: 173]. The unanimously agrees upon interpretation of the first reference to ‘Men’ is a single person, namely, the companion Naim Ibn Masood Althaqafi in the Battle of the Confederates when discord was inflicted between the combined armies that surrounded Medina to fight the Muslims.

On this hadith, a beautiful explanation was offered by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah that the hadith should not be taken to mean that the Prophet was commanded to fight all the servants of Allah to force them into his religion. Rather, the hadith is a deceleration of war on all those who sought to kill the Prophet and put an end to his message. The hadith is a statement on the extent to which the Prophet must continue to fight those who fight him, which is until this enter into Islam or stop their aggression against Muslims. Ibn Taymiyyah and a large number of Muslim scholars compiled evidence to demonstrate this beautiful understanding of this hadith. Among such evidence is when the Prophet, upon the conquest of Makkah, granted safety to all those who entered their homes and locked their doors. He did not impose Islam on any of them in spite of their defeat. What’s more, the Prophet sought the assistance of some of them in the Hanin War in Hanin as was the case when Safwan ibn Umayyah borrowed armour from the Messenger of Allah while still in a state of disbelief.

It is evident from this explanation that the use of this hadith by certain advocates of jihad to justify their attacks in Western countries and to justify their jihadist manifesto does not rest on the correct understanding of this hadith. Rather, the genuine meaning of the hadith advocates for the tolerance of Islam and the prohibition of aggression whatever the cause.

*Dr.Tarik Ladjal is Professor of History at Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


 

Quran Preaches Good | Good Things In Quran

Source: http://islamiat101.blogspot.com/2012/08/quran-preaches-good-good-things-in-quran.html


Quran (16:125)
Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching;
Quran itself preaches many good things as it is a solution for humanity and a man can be completely guided through the teachings of Quran. Allah confimrs in Quran that He had revealed it and will guard it from corruption

Quran 15:9
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.

Quran says be turthful:

Quran 2:42
“And do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].”

Quran says Give Charity:

Quran 2:43
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].

Be Good To People:

Quran 2:83
“And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], “Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah.” Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing. ”

Be A Good Person:

Quran 2:195
“And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good ”

Dont Hustle Kids:
Quran 4:10

“Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze”

Be Good to Family And Neighbours:
Quran 4:36

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.”

The religion of Peace:

Quran 8:61
And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah . Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Quran 43:89

So turn aside from them and say, “Peace.” But they are going to know.

Surpress Anger

Quran 3:134
Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good;

Dont Be Arrogant:

Quran 31:18
And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.

Don’t make fun of others
Quran 49:11
O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

Don’t be racist
Quran 49:13
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

Pay the Poor Due:
Quran 2:43

And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience].
Also See 2:110 and 2:117


Proof for your Belief:
Quran 2:111 

And they say, “None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian.” That is [merely] their wishful thinking, Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.”

Setting Slaves Free
Quran 2:177

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.

Don’t Figth war with Aggression/ Self-Defense/ Dont Br Transgressor
Quran: 2:190

Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

Do Good/ Don’t Harm Yourself
Quran 2:195

And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.

Spend Money For Good
Quran 2:215

They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, “Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”

Help Orphans
Quran : 2:220

To this world and the Hereafter. And they ask you about orphans. Say, “Improvement for them is best. And if you mix your affairs with theirs – they are your brothers. And Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. And if Allah had willed, He could have put you in difficulty. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

No Compulsion In Religion
Quran 2:256

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

Don’t argue about things that you know nothing about.
Quran 3:66

Here you are – those who have argued about that of which you have [some] knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you know not.

Don’t Take Interest/ Usury
Quran : 3:130

O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.

No Good work will be lost/ Equality
Quran 3:195

And their Lord responded to them, “Never will I allow to be lost the work of [any] worker among you, whether male or female; you are of one another. So those who emigrated or were evicted from their homes or were harmed in My cause or fought or were killed – I will surely remove from them their misdeeds, and I will surely admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow as reward from Allah , and Allah has with Him the best reward.”

Help Orphans Don’t Steal their Belongings/
Quran 4:2 and 4:10 

And give to the orphans their properties and do not substitute the defective [of your own] for the good [of theirs]. And do not consume their properties into your own. Indeed, that is ever a great sin.
And
Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze

Dont Kill People
Quran 4:29

O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.

Eye For An Eye/ Every deed had a Consequences
Quran 4:85

Whoever intercedes for a good cause will have a reward therefrom; and whoever intercedes for an evil cause will have a burden therefrom. And ever is Allah , over all things, a Keeper.

Greet People Back When you are Greeted
Quran 4:86

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant.

Good to Help Poor and Make Peace
Quran 4:114

No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.

Give Justice to Everyone
Quran 4:135

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.

Don’t Charge Interest/ High Interest
Quran 4:161

And [for] their taking of usury while they had been forbidden from it, and their consuming of the people’s wealth unjustly. And we have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.

Don’t Hate People / Be Just
Quran 5:8

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

Dont Kill Even A Soul Unjustly
Quran 6:151

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”

Established Peace
Quran 8:61

And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah . Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.

Enjoys What Is Good
Quran 9:71

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

Don’t Do Corruption/ Lie/ Weight Full Measures
Quran 11:85 

And O my people, give full measure and weight in justice and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.

Don’t Oppress/ Be Kind to Others
Quran 16:90

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Be Kind To Parents/ Don’t Leave them In Old Age Houses
Quran 17:23 

Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.

Do Not Waste Money/ Be Rightfull
Quran 17:26

And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.

Don’t Kill Children
Quran 17:31

And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.

Don’t Follow What you don’t know
Quran 17:36

And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.

Increase Me In Knowledge
Quran 20:114

So high [above all] is Allah , the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.”

Feed Miserable And Poor
Quran 22:28

That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.

Don’t Lie
Quran 22:30

That [has been commanded], and whoever honors the sacred ordinances of Allah – it is best for him in the sight of his Lord. And permitted to you are the grazing livestock, except what is recited to you. So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false statement,

Repel From Evil
Quran 23:96

Repel, by [means of] what is best, [their] evil. We are most knowing of what they describe.

Repel Evil From Good
Quran 28:54

Those will be given their reward twice for what they patiently endured and [because] they avert evil through good, and from what We have provided them they spend.

Help Needy and Wayfarers
Quran 30:38

So give the relative his right, as well as the needy and the traveler. That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah , and it is they who will be the successful.

Lower your Voice/ Don’t Talk Loud
Quran 31:19 

And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.”

Be Straight Forward and Speak Just
Quran 33:70

O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice.

Make your enemies your friends by good
Quran 41:34

And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.

Don’t Oppress Others
Quran 42:42

The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.

Among Disbelievers Live with Peace
Quran 43:88-89

And [ Allah acknowledges] his saying, “O my Lord, indeed these are a people who do not believe.”
So turn aside from them and say, “Peace.” But they are going to know.

Dont Backbite, Insult, Spy One Another
Quran 49:11-12 

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

Guess Can’t take over Truth
Quran 53:28

And they have thereof no knowledge. They follow not except assumption, and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all.

Don’t Defraud
Quran 83:1-3

Woe to those who give less [than due],
Who, when they take a measure from people, take in full.
But if they give by measure or by weight to them, they cause loss.

Don’t Drive Away Beggers or Oppress Orphans
Quran 93:9-10

So as for the orphan, do not oppress [him].
And as for the petitioner, do not repel [him].

Let People Worship What they Worship
Quran 109:1-6

Say, “O disbelievers,
I do not worship what you worship.
Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”

Kind Words Are Covering For Faults
Quran 2:63

“Kind words and the covering of faults are better than charity followed by injury. Allah is free of all wants, and He is Most-Forbearing.”


The Problems with Ibn Ishaq

Source: http://islamiat101.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-problems-with-ibn-ishaq.html


The Problems with Ibn Ishaq | HowAuthentic Is The Work Of Ibn Ishaq

“Something old doesn’t mean authentic”

Why Ibn Ishaq work isn’t reliable?

“The Life of Muhammad” by Ibn Ishaq has been quoted by many critics of Islam. They get excited when Ibn Ishaq paints a bad picture of Prophet Muhammad and use it in their writings to attack Islam. Although Ibn Ishaq was the earliest of the traditionists to write a biography of the events that pertained to the time of Muhammad there are several severe problems with his writings. Bassam Zawadi a Muslim missionary says” Just because something is early doesn’t mean it is true”. He has a good point. Not everyone back then was reliable and honest. Ibn Ishaq was known to be careless in him collecting stories about the Prophet, etc.

Several respected Muslim theologians rightly reject his (Ibn Ishaq’s) authority for several reasons:

(A) That he was a Shi’i favouring Ali over all the other contenders to the Khilfa.

(B) His Isnads (chains of transmissions) were defective, i.e not ‘iron’ tight by naming all the reporters, which is important because this determines whether the transmitter of the story is trustworthy or not. Ibn Ishaq was not an eye witness to any of the events of Prophet Muhammad’s life. Ibn Ishaq was writing about 150 years after the Prophet’s death so this is very important. In Islamic sciences in order for a report of the Prophet (peace be on him) to be true is if the isnad is solid or not.

(D) He used reports of traditions gathered from Jewish sources. Jews made up a lot of false stories/legends of Prophet Muhammad (just like the early Christians living outside of Palestine made up a lot of myths and legends of Jesus and put them in the Gospels). Making up stories and legends about the Prophet are unnacceptable in the eyes of many Islamic scholars.

(E) Ibn Ishaq was (for lack of better term) a “suck up” to the Jews of Arabia. He said several complimentary reports of the Jews of Arabia, despite the fact that the Jews of Arabia were constatnly fighting with the Arabs and were charging interest when loaning money. The Jews of Madinah were constatly plotting againist the Prophet Muhammad. They were always trying to undermine his authority. In fact they sided with the Makkans in order to assinate the Prophet.

(F) Most important of all, his report about Laylat al Qadr (the first revelation), contradicts all the hadith versions. The hadith collectors Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, etc were more careful in collecting their hadith (their chains of transmission).

(G) There are several stories in Ibn Ishaq which are never found in the hadith. The reason why is because several hadith collectors such as Bukhari– did not trust Ibn Ishaq.

(F) Ibn Ishaq live among the Shi’i Muslims and Jews and was heaviy inspired by Jewish and Shi’i traditions

(I) Ibn Ishaq is refer to as one of the early scholar for the deveopment of Shia. Some of his work is even criticize by Shi’a scholar. His works contains false stories regarding Prophet Muhammad and contradicts the hadith.

(J) Many prominent scholars such as Imam Hanbal had rejected his narrations, others hardly use his narrations in their works.

(K) Ibn Ishaq original biography (Sirah) did not survive. The modern day biography has been mixed and revised with the work of Ibn Hisham


Verses of stoning and Breastfeeding

Posted by Saif min Suyufillah on 

Source: https://rebuttaltoansweringmuslims.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/answering-using-the-quran-to-explain-the-incarnation-of-jesus-to-muslims/?fbclid=IwAR0xsj6e-m5a5U0PnkvgVX0Q2eEvrgqVBY1rAWqwhoatHEQYQvGcsIQD8ok


The narration goes as;

عن عائشة قالت لقد نزلت آية الرجم ورضاعة الكبير عشرا ولقد كان في صحيفة تحت سريري فلما مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وتشاغلنا بموته دخل داجن فأكلها

Reported ‘Aisha (RA): ‘the verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times was revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) expired and we were occupied by his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1944)

1- Authenticity of the narration:

Whenever we have a narration we ought to see whether it is authentic or not? The narration in fact has some problems.

The particular chain given in Sunan Ibn Majah finds one of the narrators Muhammad bin Ishaq narrating it using the word عن (‘an) which is rather an ambiguous way of narration and renders the narration weak when used by a narrator known for practicing Tadlis [practice of subtly missing a link] and Muhammad Ibn Ishaq is indeed such a narrator. Thus through particular chain of narration in Sunan Ibn Majah the narration is weak and unauthentic due the above mentioned defect though it has other issues as well as mentioned in the lines to follow. This is clarified by Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Usmani in Takmala Fath Al-Mulhim 1/69 pub. Darul Ahya Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut.

In Musnad Ahmad the same narration is given through the same chain but with an explicit way of narration i.e. it does not have the defect like the narration in Ibn Majah’s collection. But the narration is exposed to more criticism because many other narrators have related from ‘Aisha (RA) about the suckling/breastfeeding but no one has narrated the words found in this chain even though the narrators in those cases are more reliable and consistent than Muhammad bin Ishaq. And due to the fact of these words being narrated solely by him and in defiance to other much more reliable narrators, scholars have questioned its authenticity. Shaykh Shu’aib Arnaud has classified it as Da’if in his classification of Musnad Ahmad. See Musnad Ahmad 6/269 Hadith 26359.

2- Aisha r.a did not complain about the missing verse:

Aisha (RA) lived through the whole period of Qur’an compilation during the time of Abu Bakr (RA) and Usman (RA) while she was unanimously considered an authority for herself so if she had any thought about some verses missing she would have brought it to attention of other Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). Infact we have evidence of Usman (RA) making special endeavor of consulting ‘Aisha (RA) and her records for verifying the official compilation. See Ibn Shabba’s Tarikh Al-Madina p.997. Despite all this she never raised the issue supporting our conclusion that no part of the Qur’an was lost even if the narration is considered reliable.

Another Hadees:

‘Umar bin al-Khattab (RAA) narrated that he addressed the people and said, ‘Verily Allah has sent Muhammad with the Truth and sent down the Book to him, and the verse of stoning was included in what Allah sent down. We recited, memorized and comprehended it. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) accordingly (to what was in the verse) stoned to death (whoever committed adultery while being married), and we stoned after his death. But I am afraid that after a long time passes, someone may say, ‘We do not find the Verses of stoning in Allah’s Book, and thus they may go astray by abandoning an obligation that Allah has sent down. Verily, stoning is an obligation in the Book of Allah to be inflicted on married men and women who commit adultery, when their crime is proven, evident by pregnancy, or through the confession (of the adulterer).’ Agreed upon.Sahih Bukhari

1.There is no such complain from any of those companions of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w. who had collected Quran during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w.

2.There is no such complain from any Companion who had collected Quran after the death of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w.

3.None of the four companions who collected Quran during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w. had these verses mentioned,nor the ones who collected after His death.

4.The collection of those Companions is authentic and more reliable who had collected Quran during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w.

5.If there was any such verse then the only option which is obvious is :

Such of our revelation as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? (2:106)

Even in this case,There is no loss as it is clearly mentioned that any better verse or a verse like that would be there to replace it.


 

Missing Quran verses on stoning and breastfeeding

UMAR, GOAT AND LOST VERSES ON STONING?

Source: http://islamicresponse.blogspot.com/2008/07/missing-quran-verses-on-stoning-and.html


First of all everyone should read the following on the issue of Quranic variants and abrogation, seeing as a lot of people without any knowledge on the issue use it as a stick to beat the Muslims claiming the Quran has been changed and has some missing verses, when in fact it does not.

http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Mss/

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/introduction_to_quranic_variants

After reading this it should be clear that the Quran we have today is the Quran we were supposed to have as revealed, and intended from the creator to form the final revelation.

Regarding stoning it is said:

“He will state that this is a lost verse that was originally in the Quran in chapter 33, and there are numerous sources for this fact.”

Yes there are numerous sources, all which definitively disagree with the assertion that there is a lost verse on stoning. Please check out the following for clarity on the matter:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/the_quranic_verse_on_stoning

After reading this it should be clear that this was not a missing verse, nor a lost verse. In fact, it is no verse. It was abrogated via permission of the prophet and consensus amongst the companions. If it was lost or forgotten, why is it that the hadith clearly record the fact that the Prophet and the companions agreed that it was not part of the Quran. How can they talk about and discuss something which they have supposedly forgotten. Furthermore the law was actually implemented by them, how could they have implemented a law derived from something which they have supposedly forgotten?

Regarding breastfeeding it is said:

“Yes, there was a verse in the Quran that orders muslim women to breast feed men, or allow men to suck on their nipples 10 times as the hadith says so these men would become Mehrem, meaning people they can not marry so they can socialize with them!”

Was there? Really? Seeing as no references are ever provided, I will do all the work, and then answer the query.

Now for the issue raised, where its claimed there is a verse in the Quran that tells women to breast feed men. The hadith being referred to is:

Saheeh Muslim
Book 008, Number 3421:
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with, her) reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur’an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) died and it was before that time (found) in the Holy Qur’an (and recited by the Muslims).

You can find a detailed explanation of this at the following:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/quranic_variant__missing_verse_on_suckling_

After reading this you would have realized that this verse was never meant to be in the Quran, and it was abrogated via permission of the prophet and consensus amongst the companions. Hence it cannot be termed a missing verse, because for it to be termed as such the verse should have been somehow overlooked or forgotten by the companions and the prophet, when in actual fact it was considered and scrutinized and then abrogated accordingly with the permission of the prophet and companions, hence the will of the creator was done via his messenger Muhammad.

Now to the claim that the verse which was allegedly missing but actually wasn’t, said women are ordered to breast feed men? Nowhere did the hadith in question say MEN or MAN. If you had read up on the issue with abit more care, you would see that it refers to children. This hadith has to be cross referenced with the primary authority on the issue, which is breastfeeding.

The primary authority is the following:

The breastfeeding must happen within the first two years of the child’s life, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling.” [al-Baqarah 2:233].

The hadith is referring to a child NOT a man. In Islam, you are not allowed to marry the following category of people as clarified by the creator himself in his final revelation:

Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father’s sisters, Mother’s sisters; brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters; foster-mothers (Who suckled you), foster-sisters; your wives’ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 004.023

Note: It refers to foster mothers who suckled you. Now lets look again at the hadith in question:

Saheeh Muslim
Book 008, Number 3421:
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with, her) reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur’an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) died and it was before that time (found) in the Holy Qur’an (and recited by the Muslims).

And the following hadith:

Book 008, Number 3422:
‘Amra reported that she heard ‘A’isha (Allah he pleased with her) discussing fosterage which (makes marriage) unlawful; and she (‘A’isha) said: There was revealed in the Holy Qur’an ten clear sucklings, and then five clear (sucklings).

The hadith is not referring to men at all in any shape or form, people have misunderstood the whole thing. It was talking about when a woman fosters a child or wishes to, in order for that child to be categorized as a her son, he/she would have to meet the requirements on breastfeeding, and breastfeed that child in a certain way. Thus a clear guideline was provided on how a woman can foster a child as her own, be it a boy OR a girl so that there is not any confusion amongst people regarding the issue. No mention of a man.

These children, once they have been breastfed in the manner prescribed would become foster children of that mother. In the case of the male child, he would become a mehrem meaning someone the mother cannot marry, but can freely socialize with as you put it, as he is her son.
So just to summarise:

1) There is no ‘lost verse’ on stoning in the Quran as claimed
2) There is no ‘missing verse’ in the Quran on breast feeding as claimed
3) There is nowhere in the Quran where women were/are told to breast feed men as claimed
4) Goat or no goat it is irrelevant, as the relevant verses were abrogated

There are no variances or missing parts in the Noble Quran. These are all false and baseless assumptions from some anti-Islamics. The situation in the Hadiths above was not a corruption as it might appear to you. It is a problem with dialects. For instance, take the letter “j”. Did you know that some Arabs don’t pronounce the “j”? They always pronounce it as “g” or “ga”.

Take “the” as another example. Some Arabs also don’t pronounce “the”. They pronounce it as “za”.

Another example, and this is an important one in my opinion, is that some Arabs used to have a dialect which originated from Yemen, where they would add “an” at the end of a noun. Take for instance the popular word of today “Taliban”, as in the Taliban in Afghanistan. “Taliban” is the same as the Arabic word “Talib” which means “Student”.

The Afghans today used the old Arabic dialect from Yemen which dates even older than 1400 years ago when the Noble Quran was revealed. Back then in Yemen, as I said, they used to add the word “an” for nouns. So if they for instance wanted to refer to a stone “sakhr (in Arabic)”, then they would refer to it as “sakhran”, even though it would be written in Arabic as “sakhr”.
The point is that there were 7 different dialects. The Noble Quran was originally recited with the “Quraishi” dialect, which is the dialect that our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him spoke.

The other dialects were later prohibited by our Prophet’s disciple Uthman to keep the recitation of the Noble Quran consistent. The words were the SAME. But the pronunciation and the reading of them was different for the reasons I explained above and several others, such as the punctuations in Arabic.

When Uthman, the third Caliph in Islam, compiled the Noble Quran, he did not determine the numerical order of the Noble Chapters and the Noble Verses. The entire Noble Quran as I said was already documented and memorized. Chapters from the Noble Quran were recited by our Prophet peace be upon him at least 5 times a day during the Muslims’ five-daily prayers. Also, the Noble Quran was all recited during the month of Ramadan, as it is still done today. There are other daily and weekly religious occasions, festivals and holidays where the Noble Quran back then and still today was recited either partially or wholly. The Muslims who perfected the memorization of the Noble Quran back then continuously refreshed their memories through teaching others: Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam.

So, it is beyond the shadow of the doubt that the numbering and the order of the Noble Chapters and Verses was already determined by our Prophet peace be upon him through the inspiration and guidance of Allah Almighty, and not by anyone else.

CONCLUSION:

The Noble Quran today is One True Perfect Divine Holy Book. It survived man’s alterations and corruptions. The Noble Quran was all documented on the spot during Prophet Muhammad’s times. The Noble Quran’s numerical ordering of the Noble Verses and Chapters were also determined Prophet Muhammad through the inspirations of Allah Almighty. The Noble Quran was memorized and recited over and over again through the Muslims’ five-daily prayers, the Holy Month of Ramadan, and other events and occasions where Muslims who perfected the memorization of the Noble Quran continuously refreshed their memories through teaching others.

So, it is beyond the shadow of the doubt that the numbering and the order of the Noble Chapters and Verses was already determined by our Prophet peace be upon him through the inspiration and guidance of Allah Almighty, and not by anyone else.

The authenticity of the Qur’an is a major proof that it is from Allah, the Lord of all Being. Allah has Himself said in the Qur’an that He will guard it from corruption (we seen here how Allah’s Book survived 1400 years with out a single change, which proves that Allah has Guarded His Book). Therefore, we quote the following statement to all non-Muslims who attack the Holy Qur’an:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion, truth stands out clear from what is error.” (al-Qur’an (2):256)

Why do numerous hadiths claim the Quran is missing verses or has different versions?

Zaid Shaw, studied Islamic Knowledge & Sufi Islam

Naskh means Abrogation or Cancellation which I believe is what your question is referring to when you use the word ‘missing verses’ from Quran.

The numerous ahadith that have been alleged to refer to ‘missing’ verses of the Quran are actually referring to the orders in the Quran addressed at different times during the 23 year time period of Quran’s revelation. Some orders abrogated the others and there is proof for us in the Quran and the Hadith for that.

For instance in Tafsir (Commentary) of Ibn Kathir (r.a), regarding the verses of fasting, in the beginning the command was understood by the companions to either fast or feed poor persons:

..those who can fast with difficulty, they have to feed a Miskin (poor person (2:184) was revealed, those who did not wish to fast, used to pay the Fidyah (feeding a poor person for each day they did not fast) until the following Ayah (2:185) was revealed abrogating the previous Ayah. It was also reported from `Ubaydullah from Nafi` that Ibn `Umar said; “It was abrogated.’ The various Stages of Fasting

The companions at first used to feed poor persons instead of fasting in lieu of 2:184but when the following verse of 2:185 was revealed it abrogated that concession and the command of 2:184 was now only limited to those who are old, sick or on a journey and therefore unable to fast. In this instance the command was abrogated meaning that it was made more explanatory by adding exceptions but the Verses of the Quran still remain in Quran up till today. Such instance is an abrogation of commandments that Quran is replete with and numerous ahadith testify to this fact.

In another instance the following alcohol verse was revealed in the early stages of Muslims learning to practice Islam which prohibited them from approaching the prayer while drunk:

[4.43] O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say…

It is well known that when the above verse was revealed the Companions were alcoholics and when the time of prayer was due they would join and perform in a state of being drunk. Therefore the above verse was revealed to prevent them from doing so yet did not put a complete prohibition on their act of drinking. Then after sometime another verse on the alcohol was revealed declaring complete prohibition:

(5:90) O you who believe, intoxicants and gambling, idolatrous practices, and [divining with] arrows are repugnant acts- Satan’s doing- shun them so that you may prosper.

Due to revelation of 5:90 the complete prohibition of alcohol went in to effect and it abrogated the rule in 4:43. However its also best to mention that a minority of Islamic scholars declare that 4:43 is still valid for those who are strong addicts and its very difficult for them to quit (in need to join a rehabilitation center) therefore Allah gives them a chance as he did to the Companions of the Prophet.

Abrogation in the Quran referring to verses being removed

As for the abrogation of the verses meaning that there were verses of the Quran, that used to be part of the Quran, but have been cancelled (Naskh) and removed is unfortunately a misconception about the Quran. This concept exists due to a certain understanding of the Verse of the Quran and a couple of ahadith recorded in the books of tradition which I will mention below.

First of all, the divine promise of Allah says that no one can change His words:

Surah Al Kahf (Chapter 18) Verse 27

And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.

When referring to this Book i.e. The Holy Quran, Allah (swt) makes it clear that no changes can take place in regards to His words. Therefore many Muslim Scholars believe that no words of Al Mighty God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wassallam) were ever permanently abrogated.

The following is the verse that is related to the subject of Abrogation :

Any Ayah (verse or message) which We cancel, abrogate, or cause to be forgotten (Naskh), We replace with a better or a similar one. Do you not know that Allah has the power over all things?” (2:106)

2:106 was revealed against the background of 2:105 which mentions that the disbelievers amongst the Jews and Christians do not accept that a new revelation can be send in addition to their’s. To which Allah replied in 2:106 that He has the power to replace the previous message with a new one. The word that Allah (swt) used in 2:106 for ‘Message’ or ‘Revelation’ in Arabic is Ayah, which many of the translators and commentators have translated as ‘Verse’. Taking this restricted meaning of the term Ayah, some scholars concluded from the above passage that certain Verses of the Quran have been permanently abrogated or completely removed by God’s command.

The truth is that Naskh (i.e., cancellation/abrogation of an Ayah or verse, or causing an Ayah to be forgotten) did not apply internally to verses of the Quran, but, rather, externally to certain previous divine revelations.

Muhammad Assad in his Message of the Quran comments on the above verse

“..there does not exist a single reliable Tradition to the effect that the Prophet ever, declared a verse of the Qur’an to have been “abrogated”. At the root of the so-called “doctrine of abrogation” may lie the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one Qur’anic passage with another: a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been “abrogated”. This arbitrary procedure explains also why there is no unanimity whatsoever among the upholders of the “doctrine of abrogation” as to which, and how many, Qur’an verses have been affected by it; and, furthermore, as to whether this alleged abrogation implies a total elimination of the verse in question from the context of the Qur’an, or only a cancellation of the specific ordinance or statement contained in it. In short, the “doctrine of abrogation” has no basis whatever in historical fact, and must be rejected. On the other hand, the apparent difficulty in interpreting the above Qur’anic passage disappears immediately if the term Ayah is understood, correctly, as “Message“, and if we read this verse in conjunction with the preceding one, which states that the Jews and the Christians refuse to accept any revelation which might supersede that of the Bible: for, if read in this way, the abrogation relates to the earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur’an itself.” (2nd Surah – Al Baqarah)

Assad makes a very good point that the Prophet himself never declared any verse of the Quran to be permanently abrogated or removed. He also mentions another fact about the so called abrogation of Quranic verses that the scholars of Islam have never been unanimous over the agreement of how many verses were abrogated and in what way, if any.

As for the ahadith that we find in the books that mention about verses being part of the Quran and are no more are only the words of his companions. The following 2 traditions bear witness to this fact:

Umar (r.a) said “… and the book (i.e., the Qur’ān) was revealed to him, and amongst that which Allah sent down was a verse on Rajm (i.e., the punishment of stoning to death for adultery), so we recited (the verse), and we understood it, and we applied it …” (Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

Aisha (r.a) said “The Verse of stoning and of breastfeeding an adult ten times (Other ahadith establish the number for fosterage to be 5) was revealed, and the paper was with me under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah died, we were preoccupied with his death, and a tame sheep came in and ate it.” Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

Both traditions are not Prophetic narrations, they are words of those with him. Lastly even if we were to accept the above words of Umar (r.a) and Ayesha (r.a) that the verse of Rajm (stoning) did exist and is no more then this discrepancy can also be resolved by referring to a Verse where Allah says that He removes or confirms what He wills and that He will protect this Quran:

(13:38–39) Every age has had its revelation: God annuls or confirms whatever He wills [of His earlier messages] – for with Him is the source of all revelation.

Due to this promise Allah (swt) has maintained the protection of His book and there are no changes or additions, neither cancellations that have been made to this Quran in the past almost 15 centuries.


 

Arda Wiraz Namag (Iranian “Divina Commedia”) And The Prophet’s Night Journey

Written by mquran.org
Wednesday, 22 November 2006
1. IntroductionThe earliest Orientalist who suggested the direct influence of Zoroastrianism on Islam was Goldziher.[1] His work gained so much popularity that it was translated into English[2] and became the basis on which further arguments concerning the Zoroastrian influences on Islam were developed. One such alleged influence of Zoroastrianism on Islam was the ascent of the Prophet to the heavens as mentioned briefly in the Qur’an and discussed in detail in the hadith literature. It has been claimed that this event as well as the details in it had been borrowed from the well-known Iranian “Divina Commedia” called Arda Wiraz Namag.[3]

As expected, the Christian missionaries were not far behind and they jumped on this bandwagon pretty early. Tisdall made a similar argument that Arda Wiraz Namag was indeed the source of the event of ascension of the Prophet to the heavens and his witnessing of denizens of heaven and hell. The Chinwad bridge mentioned in Arda Wiraz Namag was compared with the bridge over the Hell as mentioned in the hadith literature. Tisdall even made a claim that the book Arda Wiraz Namag was composed some 400 years before the hijra.[4] Instead of embarking upon a critical scholarship, Ibn Warraq satisfied himself by lifting and expanding the arguments of Tisdall. Like Tisdall, he claimed that

This ascent to heaven (or Miraj in Arabic) can be compared to the account in the Pahlavi text called Arta (or Artay) Viraf written several hundred years before the Muslim era.[5]

Again quoting Tisdall, Steven Masood also says that:

… the ascent of Muhammad to heaven and the passing visit to hell and paradise may be found in Zoroastrian tales dating some four hundred years before the time of Muhammad.[6]

As expected, the claim that Arda Wiraz Namag was written “several hundred years before the Muslim era” remained unsubstantiated either by Ibn Warraq or by Masood. One can also add `Abdallah `Abd al-Fadi,[7] Geisler and Abdul Saleeb[8]into the category of Tisdall’s faithful followers. Anis Shorrosh, on the other hand, belongs to a class of his own. After mentioning Prophet’s night journey, he talks about the “original” source and says:

The original Hindu source is Arta Viraf Namak.[9]

His claim of Arda Wiraz Namag being a “Hindu source” certainly shows “originality”. However, such “originality” stops short of any proper substantiation. Hence to refute these unsubstantiated arguments it would be sufficient to show that Arda Wiraz Namag was redacted after the advent of Islam.

2. Dating Arda Wiraz NamagBefore making a claim of borrowing, it would be a good idea to see the textual stability and dating of the sources. Ibn Warraq accepted Tisdall’s dating without even undertaking investigation into the nature of the textual source. It is well-known that the Zoroastrian sources like the Rabbanic literature underwent many redactions and that they were finally redacted a few hundred years after the advent of Islam.

There are two historical persons mentioned in Arda Wiraz Namag: Âdurbâd î Mâraspandan,[10] the famous Dastur and minister of Shapur II (309-379 CE) and Weh-sâpûr,[11] the famous Môbad in the time of Khosrow I (531-579 CE).[12] It is interesting to note that Arda Wiraz Namag says Wiraz was also called Weh-sâpûr:

…. from three one named Wirâz, it is so that some called him Weh-sâpûr.[13]

Did the author(s) of Arda Wiraz Namag know these two historical personalities? Vahman says that the author(s) of Arda Wiraz Namag:

…. had no historical knowledge about the time when they lived.[14]

This would mean that the story may have originated any time after 579 CE. The dating of Arda Wiraz Namag had been a case of controversy because of the mention of these two historical persons. Walter Belardi had dated this book before the third century establishment of the Sasanian state.[15] His argument is that the names Âdurbâd î Mâraspandan and Weh-sâpûr are perhaps the work of a later interpolator.[16] He also goes to an extreme by claiming that the whole of Chapter I, 1-20, is a later day literary forgery.[17] However, such position has not gained currency. Due to uncertainity and lack of evidence Vahman takes a middle path unlike Belardi. He opines that may be “their names were interpolated to credit the authenticity of the book. Or perhaps these priests were remembered with respect and honour at the time when the book was edited…”. It appears that this is the most accepted view among the scholars as will be seen below. David Flattery and Martin Schwartz have relied on Belardi’s dating even though they concede that the extant version of the book is late and can be dated to ninth century CE.[18] Hence the obvious conclusion here is that we do not know the terminus a quo of Arda Wiraz Namag.

If it is the “first redaction” that is important than the final redaction (in the redaction criticism it is the other way around!), Vargo did not show what the “first redaction” actually contained. Obviously, he can’t show what he has not got! Gignoux says the following about the problems facing literary critics concerning the Zoroastrain writings including Arda Wiraz Namag.

It is known that the whole of the Pahalvi literature was written tardily, roughly speaking after the Muslim conquest, and that it however transmitted extremely old traditions to us, from Sasanide and even pre-Sasanide times…. One also needs remark that the handwritten tradition in Iran was never regarded as a rigid data, untouchable and final from where successive rehandlings which the texts underwent, and that poses the literary critic problems that need to be solved, in what concern us in particular is that of the dating of the various draftings….. A particularly significant example of the transmission of a text for the Pahalvi literature, is the book of Arday Viraz…. Like also indicated by Ms. Boyce, in the work already quoted, this book underwent many rehandlings, and in the final drafting, the introduction was written subsequently to the Muslim conquest. But the adaptation of the text for purposes of a religious propaganda at the time, when Mazdaism had to be upheld against the attacks of Islam, does not seem to have been the last. Certain linguistic facts, with savior the presence of well characterized “persianisms”, attest that the text still seems to have undergone rehandlings in the 10th or 11th centuries and that the final drafting of the text such as it was preserved to us – insofar as, as one saw, one can speak about final drafting – could be extremely late.[19]

Similarly Encyclopaedia Iranica says:

The Arda Wiraz-namag, like many of the Zoroastrian works, underwent successive redactions. It assumed its definitive form in the 9th-10th centuries AD, as may be seen in the texts frequent Persianisms, usages known to be characteristic of early Persian literature.[20]

In other words, Arda Wiraz Namag underwent many redactions before it came into its final form after the advent of Islam in 9th-10th centuries CE. Mary Boyce argued along similar lines by saying:

In its surviving form it is a prose work, written in simple, direct style; and an introductory chapter indicates a date after the Arab conquest. This late redaction was made in Pars, and is probably one of the 9th/10th century literary products of the province.[21]

Fereydun Vahman, the translater of Arda Wiraz Namag, also asserts:

The introductory chapter indicates a date after the Arab conquest and was apparently written in Pars. It is probably one of the 9th or 10th century literary products of the province. A linguistic analysis supports this view.[22]

Gignoux did a literary study of Arda Wiraz Namag and reached a conclusion that Arda Wiraz Namag had reached its final form in 10th or 11th century CE.[23] Nevertheless, it appears that the general consensus among the scholars is that Arda Wiraz Namag came into its final form between 9th-11th centuries CE. Hence the terminus ad quem of Arda Wiraz Namag is between 9th-11th centuries CE.

It is not surprising to see that scholars dating this work say:

…. when it was set down is unknown.[24]

Vahman believes that this story may have originated when the Persian Empire declined or after its downfall as suggested by the introductory chapter.[25] This is the period of emergence of Islam and it was rise of Islam that brought an end of the Persian Empire. So, if Vargo is interested in the first redaction of Arda Wiraz Namag he has to live with the hard fact that it is not known and is more likely during the rise of Islam.

3. Arda Wiraz Namag & Kirdir’s Inscriptions at ParsAndrew Vargo ends his article, with a master-stroke in deception, as we will soon see, using the quote from the book of Flattery and Schwartz[26] to “prove” that the story Arda Wiraz Namag is much older than the 9th-10th redaction and that it “existed long before the time of Muhammad”. The missionary says:

 Essentially consistent with these accounts is a passage found in two stone inscriptions written in Fars about 300 A.D. by Kirdir, the founder of the Sasanian Zoroastrian ecclesiastical establishment … Kirdir’s inscription asserts in this passage, as a basis of his claim to religious authority, that his spirit double visited the other world and was shown heaven and hell. The account thus parallels the Arda Wiraz Namag in reaffirming the reliance placed on a vision of menog existence as the means to religious truth.

This, according to the missionary, “proves” that the story Arda Wiraz Namag is much older than the 9th-10th century redaction date cited by the scholars. Now if we look at the full paragraph in context which the missionary has conveniently eliminated, it reads:

To summarize, the three Pahlavi accounts are consistent in showing that sauma brought about a condition outwardly resembling sleep (i.e., stard) in which targeted visions of what is believed to be a spirit existence were seen. Essentially consistent with these accounts is a passage found in two stone inscriptions written in Fars about 300 A.D. by Kirdir, the founder of the Sasanian Zoroastrian ecclesiastical establishment. In the analysis of Back (1978), Brunner (1974), Gignoux (1979; 1981; 1984), and Skjaervo (1985), Kirdir’s inscription asserts in this passage, as a basis of his claim of religious authority, that his spirit double visited the other world and was shown heaven and hell. The account thus parallels the Arda Wiraz Namag in reaffirming the reliance placed on a vision of menog existence as the means to religious truth.[27]

In other words, the three Pahlavi accounts, viz., Arda Wiraz Namag, Denkird and Zand î Wahman Yasht that Flattery and Schwartz mention, show that the drug sauma brought the condition of outwardly resembling sleep that gives rise to the visions. The account of taking sauma for religious visions is also consistent with the account found in two stone inscriptions of Kirdir found in Fars (or Pars). Vargo conveniently eliminated the first sentence of the paragraph to claim that the story Arda Wiraz Namag is “proven” to be much older than the 9th-10th century redaction and that it “existed long before the time of Muhammad”. The passage, on the other hand, clearly deals with the intoxication and the resulting visions in the three Pahlavi accounts and its parallels with Kirdir inscriptions (there are some problems with such a claim as we would soon see!). It nowhere deals with showing Arda Wiraz Namag existed long before the advent of Islam. Furthermore, the name of the book is Haoma And Harmaline: The Botanical Identity Of The Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen “Soma” And Its Legacy In Religion, Language, And Middle Eastern Folklore. It deals with the use of sauma (or haoma or mang) and Harmel intoxication in Middle Eastern folklore. As mentioned earlier, Flattery and Schwartz concede that the extant version of the book is late and can be dated to ninth century CE.

Now that the missionary’s unsubstantiated claim is completely refuted, let us now turn our attention to the parallels between Arda Wiraz Namag, Kirdir’s inscriptions and the Islamic accounts of Prophet’snight journey to see if the missionary is really trying to tell the truth or just cooking up stories.

What are the parallels between Arda Wiraz Namag and inscriptions at Pars? How do they compare with Islamic accounts of Prophet’sal-mi`raj? There are four inscriptions from third century CE attributed to Kirdir at Pars. They are:

  1. Kirdir’s rock inscription at Naqs-i-Rustam (KNRm).[28]><
  2. Kirdir’s inscription on the Ka`aba-ye Zardost (KKZ).[29]><
  3. Kirdir’s rock inscription at Sar Mashad (KSM).[30]><
  4. Kirdir’s rock inscription at Naqs-i-Rajab (KNRb).

Out of these, only the inscriptions KSM and KNRm preserves the account by the high priest Kirdir going to a journey beyond death and the fate of the souls of the departed. Apart from a few minor details these two inscriptions are identical and but fragmentary.

The journey of Kirdir and Arda Wiraz Namag beyond death can be broadly classfied as shown below.[31] We will also compare and contrast the Islamic account of Prophet’s al-mi`raj.

  1. Background and introduction to the visions:Kirdir’s inscriptions: Kirdir’s inscriptions begin by recapitulation of Kirdir’s exalted position in the realm and explanation of the function of the vsions he asked the gods for. The function is twofold: for Kirdir to improve and become more confident in religious matters, and the same for those who read the record of the vision.[32]

    Arda Wiraz Namag: Arda Wiraz Namag begins in a setting when Mazdaean religion was in the state of confusion and people were in doubt. This introductory chapter was written after the advent of Islam. The confusion resulted in the religious leaders to assemble to seek a solution and get the news from spiritual realm. The priests called all the people in the court and separated from them seven men who were more certain of God and religion, and whose thoughts, words and deeds were orderly and religious. Wiraz, also known as Weh-sâpûr, was selected, through casting of the lots, to go to spiritual realm.[33]

    Al-Mi`raj: The Prophet’s al-mi`raj, according to majority of jurists, between 16-12 months prior to migration to Madinah. During this time in Makka, the Prophet’s life is noted for alternate fortune: gradual success and continuous prosecution.[34] The generally accepted view is that the Isra’ and Mi`raj occured on the same night, and took place when the Prophet was awake, not in a dream. The Prophet travelled physically, not metaphorically.[35] He was carried physically from al-Masjid al-Harâm in Makkah to al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem on a horse called al-Buraq in the company of archangel Gabriel. In Jerusalem, the Prophet alighted, tethered the horse to a ring and led the Prophets to prayer. After that Gabriel took him to heavens on the same horse.

    Discussion: There is no common thread in the above three narratives except that the vision of Kirdir and Wiraz share a common theme of attaining confidence in the religion.

  2. Preparation for the vision:Kirdir’s inscriptions: This part of the text contains a quotation of Kirdir’s prayer to the gods where he asks the gods to show him personally, in life, the truth of the promised journey of the soul after death acording to scriptures, so that he, Kirdir, may act accordingly. Kirdir goes on to describe the manner in which he prevailed upon the gods to grant him his prayer. His religious works as well as his extra-ordinary piety served as a means for obtaining the vision. The next issue is about how Kirdir obtained his vision. On this issue the scholars are in dispute. According to Gignoux, Kirdir may have used a narcotic to go into a trace; though there is no mention of such a procedure in the inscription. Skærvf assumed tentaively that Kirdir’s vision was by the means of a potent manthra during a ritual. This takes us another problem. In what manner Kirdir – whether in dreaming or person – received the revelation. According to Gignoux, it was a vision revealed to Kirdir. His main argument was that the vision was told in the first person. Skærvf has correctly pointed out that the first person singular is restricted to the part containing the preparations for the revelation, whereas the vision itself is told in the first person plural, i.e., someone other than Kirdir himself. Gignoux, however, correctly suggests that the story-tellers must be the mysterious lysyks who are “sent down”. More probably, however, lysyks are the persons who are acting as mediums to receive the vision in the presence of Kirdir after he “set them down” during the recitation of manthra.[36]

    Arda Wiraz Namag: In the story of Arda Wiraz Namag, Wiraz asks the permission from Mazdeans to recite the rites of the departed and take food and make his will before they give him the wine and narcotic called henbane (= Haoma). The high priests agree. At the fire temple those religious leaders chose a spot where Wiraz washed his head and body and put on a new garment, perfumed himself and spread new clean bedding on a counch. He sat on the clean couch and bedding, consecrated the drôn (a round loaf of bread made of unleavened dough), remembered the rites of the departed and partook the food. Then the religious leaders filled three golden cups with wine and henbane and gave it to Wiraz. He drank the wine and henbane, and while still conscious left bâj (the recitation of formulae from the Avesta in connection with religious or secular act) and slept in the bed. For seven days and nights the religious formulas from various religious texts were recited by Mazdeans and others.[37]

    Al-Mi`raj: The significant event that occurred before the Prophet’s “Night Journey” was that his breast was cleft by Angel Gabriel, his heart extracted and washed with the water of Zamzam – a sacred spring in Makkah. In the same context, there was brought to him two gold vessels. There was milk in one, while the other was full of wine. The Prophet was asked to choose either of them, so he selected the vessel containing the milk and drank it. The angel said: “You have been guided on al-Fitrah. Had you selected wine, your nation would have been misled.”[38] As mentioned earlier, the Prophet’s was taken physically to the heavens; he did not go into a trance and neither did he consume any narcotic.

    Discussion: It is not clear how Kirdir obtained his vision, whether it was a narcotic or a potent manthra. What is clear, however, is that lysyks are the ones who are acting as mediums to receive the vision in the presence of Kirdir. Wiraz, on the other hand, went into trance by drinking wine and narcotic henbane. He slept for seven days and seven night during which he had the visions. The Islamic narrative says that the Prophet denied the wine and took milk. The Prophet was physically taken to heavens and he was not in a trance at any time. The narratives in Kirdir’s inscription and Arda Wiraz Namag when compared with al-Mi`raj have nothing in common.

  3. The vision:Kirdir’s inscriptions: In Kirdir’s inscriptions, the journey in the world of dead is told by lysyks. The story is introduced by the words ‘they spoke thus’, ‘they said the following’ and many main sections of the story and stages of the journey are introduced by ‘and they said’. The journey presumably starts at the entrance to the other world where we find the lysyks, who tell that they see a shahriyâr (‘commander, king prince’) on a noble horse, with a banner in the hand, a man seated on a golden throne(?) as being ‘Kirdir’s likeness’ and a very noble woman coming from the East on a very bright road. The noble woman comes forward and greets the man, who is like ‘Kirdir’s likeness’, by placing ‘head to head’. They both take each other by hand and walk towards the East on the bright road. On this road a shahriyâr with a scales in front of appear. The man, who is like ‘Kirdir’s likeness’ and the woman walk past shahriyâr towards the East. They again encounter another shahriyâr on a throne who was more nobler than those whom they saw earlier. This shahriyâr had a cydyn in his hand. As for the cydyn itself, there is a puzzling fact that this appears to be held in the hand first (KNRm 63) and then in the immediate verse it appears like a bottomless well, which is Hell (KNRm 63-64). This bottomless well is full of snakes, lizards and other reptiles. The lysyks were sent down to examine the shape and build of Hell. They were distressed by shape, build and view of Hell and they did not want to go any further. However, somebody speaks of them, the identity of whom is unclear, reminding them that they only have to report on what they see. To be able to do that they have to cross the bridge over the pit of Hell. The bridge across the pit of Hell has a sharp edge. The woman and the man, who is like ‘Kirdir’s likeness’, go towards the bridge. As they advence and go towards the bridge another shahriyârappears; this being more nobler than the three who came earlier. Three of them cross the bridge (i.e., the Chinwad bridge). It is not clear why shahriyâr has to take them across personally. Continuing their journey, they see a palace and go inside it exclaiming that they have seen nothing nobler and brighter than this. Here the text in both KNRm and KSM has lots of lacunae to construct the event with certainity. It seems that there is more than one palace, golden throne and shahriyâr in this part of the journey. At the end of the journey, the man, who is like ‘Kirdir’s likeness’, takes bread and wine. After a long lacuna, a host comes forward and the ‘likeness of Kirdir’ distributes and gives them something. After another lacuna, someone is pointing a finger at the ‘likeness of Kirdir’ and smiling.[39] This is a brief summary of the vision in Kirdir’s inscription.

    Arda Wiraz Namag: After Wiraz consumed wine and henbane, he went to sleep. The soul of Wiraz went from his body to the ‘lawful summit’ on the Chinwad bridge and one the seventh day returned and entered his body. Wiraz rose up as if rising from a pleasant sleep and was welcomed by the religious leaders and Mazdeans. The bowed before him and asked him to narrate what he had seen in his vision. Wiraz started the narration by mentioning that on the first night pious Sros and the god Adur came to meet him and they paid homage to him. They both took Wiraz by hand and he came to the Chinwad bridge. This bridge was very protecting of the righteous. Here Wiraz saw the souls of the deceased. When the soul of the pious went around the scented plants, there he met his “own religion” and his “own deeds” (also called as dên) in the form of a very pleasing girl . Then the width of Chinwad bridge became nine lances long. Wiraz passed over it with the assistance of Sros, the pious, and the god Adur with ease, well protected by god Mihr, the just Rashn, the good Way, the powerful god Wahram and the god Ashtad. The righteous souls and other heavenly residents bowed before Wiraz and then Wiraz saw the just Rashn who had in his hand a golden balance. The just Rashn was weighing the deeds of righteous and sinful. Then the pious Sros and the god Adur took hold of Wiraz’s hand and showed him Paradise and Hell. They came to a place where they saw souls of some people standing together. Sros, the pious, and the god Adur said that it is a place called Hammistagân and these souls stand here until the Final Body. These are the people who good and bad deeds were equal. After this Wiraz is taken to the Heaven and then the Hell.[40] Since it is a long narrative, we will not deal with it here. Interested readers are requested to consult the ref. 37 for details. However, we will deal with some of issues in the discussion.

    Al-Mi`raj: When Gabriel and the Prophet reached the first heaven Gabriel asked the guradian angel to open the door of heaven. It was opened and he saw Adam. The Prophet saluted him and Adam welcomed him and expressed his faith in Muhammad’s Prophethood. The Prophet saw the souls of martyrs on his right and those of the wretched on his left. Gabriel then ascended with the Prophet to the second heaven, asked for opening of the gate and then he saw and saluted Yahya, the son of Zakariyya and Jesus, son of Mary. They returned their salutation, welcomed the Prophet and expressed their faith in his Prophethood. Then Gabriel and the Prophet reached the third heaven where they saw Yusuf and saluted him. The latter welcomed the Prophet and expressed faith in his Prophethood. The Prophet, in the company of Gabriel, then reached the fourth heaven where he met Idris and saluted him. Prophet Idris returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. Then the Prophet was carried to the fifth heaven where he met Harun and saluted him. Prophet Harun returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. In the sixth heaven, the Prophet met Moses and saluted him. The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. Moses was weeping because he witnessed a man sent after him as a Messenger (Muhammad) who was able to lead more of his people to the Paradise than he himself did. Then the Prophet reached the seventh heaven where he met Ibrahim and saluted him. The latter returned the salutation and expressed faith in his Prophethood. The Prophet was then carried to Sidrat al-Muntaha (The remotest Lote Tree) and was shown al-Bayt al-Ma`mur (the Most Frequented House) which was like the Ka`bah encompassed daily by seventy thousand angels. The Prophet was then presented to the Divine Presence and experienced the thrill of witnessing the Divine Glory and Manifestation. The five daily prayers were made obligatory.[41]The Prophet was shown the Heaven and the Hell. We will deal with the relevent bits in the discussion.

    Discussion: The parallels between Kirdir’s inscription and that of Arda Wiraz Namag start to appear once the narrative has moved into the visions. The nature of how Kirdir and Wiraz are receiving their visions is different. However, what they see have some similarities between them. For example, the appearance of the noble woman (representing person’s “religion” and “deeds”; called as dên), the person with the scales to weigh the deeds, the Chinwad bridge and then the view of the Hell and the Heaven. The sequence of the events in both the narratives is slightly different as shown in the figure below.[42]

    It is obvious that the Islamic narrative of al-Mi`raj has no parallels to this part of the narrative. Scholars in the past have compared the Chinwad bridge with the bridge over Hell in the hadith literature. However, they have overlooked certain important points. The Gathas talk about Chinwad bridge symbolically as a transitory stage between the darkness of the world and the new life which is happiness for the righteous. On the other hand, the later Zoroastrian literature considers the bridge to be real. Hence there exists a dichotomy in the Zoroastrian literature concerning Chinwad bridge. Quoting Barr, Vahman says:

    Since Zoroaster undoubtedly expected to witness the renewal of the existence in this material life it is possible to assume that for him the expression the crossing of the separator only describes the critical, decisive stage of passing to the new ideal shepherd life. According to his way of thinking the new life implied that the death of the body no longer existed for the believers, because death belonged to the world of Angra Mainyu. The expression itself: cinvatô.peretô – was probably not made by Zoroaster. It was taken from the popular conception of passing from this world to the other.

    In the later Zoroastrian literature, the bridge is real. It is situated in Êrânvêj with two extremeties. One of which at Cagâd î daîdîd, the lawful summit, and the other at Alborz. When a righteous man crosses the bridge it becomes nine lances wide. In the case of a sinner it becomes as sharp as a blade. The righteous person is helped by Astâd and Mihr to reach Paradise, whereas the wicked one falls into the darkness of hell, after having suffered terrible anguish.[43]

    How does al-Sirât compares with Chinwad bridge? The common theme between the purpose of two bridges is that the righteous can only cross it and the sinners and wicked people would fall in the Hell. There are also differences between the two. When the righteous crosses Chinwad bridge, it becomes nine lances wide and in the case of a sinner it becomes sharp as a blade. The shape of al-Sirât, on the other hand, does not change when the righteous and the wicked cross it.

    Let us now turn our attention to the common theme between the punishments as observed by Wiraz and the Prophet. Among all the punishments of the Hell as mentioned in Arda Wiraz Namag and in the narration of Prophet’s al-Mi`raj(there are no punishments mentioned in Kirdir’s inscriptions!), there is only one that is common in both narratives, i.e., the punishment of the women who committed adultery. These women were seen hung by their breasts.[44] Arda Wiraz Namag also mentions other punishments for the adulterous women; the punishments being driving of wooden pegs into the eyes of women while they were hanging downwards by one leg[45] and cutting of their chest and breast with an iron comb.[46]

4. ConclusionTaking the clue from Goldziher, subsequent writers like Tisdall, Ibn Warraq and Steven Masood have claimed that the event of ascension of the Prophet to the heavens and his witnessing of denizens of the heaven and the hell was borrowed from the Iranian “Divine Commedia” Arda Wiraz Namag. These writers also made a fantastic claim that this work dates “400 years” beforehijra or “several hundred years before Muslim era” is unsupported by any evidence. Contrary to their claim, the scholars of Persian studies have shown that Arda Wiraz Namag was redacted finally in 9th-10th centuries CE, at least a century after the advent of Islam. As for when this work was penned down is unknown.

The missionary Vargo went a step ahead to claim that Arda Wiraz Namag existed “long before” the time of advent of Islam. His evidence was a passage from the book by Flattery and Schwartz called Haoma And Harmaline: The Botanical Identity Of The Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen “Soma” And Its Legacy In Religion, Language, And Middle Eastern Folklore. It was shown that the missionary misquoted the reference. The passage nowhere says that the story Arda Wiraz Namag is older than the 9th-10th century redaction and that it “existed long before the time of Muhammad”. Instead, the reference is to the three Pahlavi accounts, viz., Arda Wiraz Namag, Denkird and Zand î Wahman Yasht to show that the drug sauma brought the condition of outwardly resembling sleep that gives rise to the visions. The alleged parallels to these can be found in Kirdir’s inscriptions. It is, however, unclear whether the account of taking sauma for religious visions as found in the Pahlavi texts are also consistent with the account found in two stone inscriptions of Kirdir. There is a scholarly disagreement about this issue.

The exists numerous parallels between the visions of Kirdir and Wiraz but the former contains no descriptions of denizens of Hell. The visions of Kirdir and Wiraz were compared and contrasted with Prophet’s al-Mi`raj. It was shown that the Zoroastrian and Islamic accounts are vastly different in scope with hardly any details common between them. The only detail common in all the stories is the bridge over the Hell. Again the issues associated with this bridge in the Zoroastrian and Islamic literature are different. Coupled with this problem is the late redaction of Arda Wiraz Namag after the advent of Islam and even later availability of the manuscripts. This makes it worse for the case of Tisdall and his likes to show the proof of “borrowing”. Due to lack of early manuscripts and the lack of rigidty in the written tradition, there is no way of knowing the extent of redaction that Arda Wiraz Namag underwent before it came into its final form in 9th-10th centuries. This, according to Gignoux, is a serious problem facing the textual critics. As for the borrowing theory, it stood on a weak foundation only to fall flat on its face.

And Allah knows best!

Appendix: The Manuscripts of Arda Wiraz NamagFollowing are the extant manuscripts of Arda Wiraz Namag. There is no surviving manuscript of Arda Wiraz Namag that dates before 14th century CE.[47] We are mentioning only the three important manuscripts that were used to make various critical editions.

 MS. K20: It is an undated manuscript and has the complete text. However, it has three colophons which have been dated in an irregular order of 1321, 1351 and 1331 CE. It is in the Royal Library, Copenhagen. It is believed that this manuscript dates from latter half of the 14th century CE.

 MS. H6: This manuscript is kept in Die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. The date of this copy is 1397 CE. The scribe is Pesotan son of Râm who used another copy dated to 1249 CE to make his edition.

 MS. K26: It is an undated Copenhagen manuscript. This manuscript supplies some phrases missing in both K20 and H6 and consequently it has not been copied from either of them. It is believed that this manuscript is from ~1371 CE or nearly contemporary with H6.

References & Notes[1] I. Goldziher, “Islamisme et Parsisme“, Revue De L’Histoire Des Religions, 1901, Volume XLIII, pp. 1-29.

[2] G. K. Nariman (ed.), Persia & Parsis, 1925, Part I, Iran League: Bombay. For translation see pp. 39-68 and a note on pp. 69-74.

[3] L. H. Gray, “Zoroastrian Elements In Muhammadan Eschatology“, Le Muséon, 1902, Volume III, pp. 153-184. A brief statement about the Zoroastrian influences is also made in A. V. Williams Jackson’s, Zoroastrian Studies: The Iranian Religion And Various Monographs, 1928, Colombia University Press: New York, p. 211.

[4] Rev. W. St. Clair Tisdall, The Original Sources Of The Qur’an, 1905, Society For The Promotion Of Christian Knowledge: London, p. 226. Full discussion on pp. 218-235.

[5] Ibn WarraqWhy I Am Not A Muslim, 1995, Prometheus Books: Amherst, NY, p. 46. Full discussion in pp. 45-47.

[6] S. Masood, The Bible And The Qur’an: A Question Of Integrity, 2001, OM Publication: Carlisle, UK, p. 144.

[7] `Abdallah `Abd al-Fadi, Is The Qur’an Infallible?, 1995, Light of Life: Villach (Austria), pp. 318-319. Although he does not cite any sources, it is most likely that he has used Tisdall’s reference.

[8] N. L. Geisler & A. Saleeb, Answering Islam: The Crescent In The Light Of The Cross, 1993, Baker Books: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 309; Also see “Qur’an, Alleged Divine Origin Of“, in N. L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia Of Christian Apologetics, 2002, Baker Books: Grand Rapids (MI), p. 628.

[9] Dr. A. A. Shorrosh, Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab’s View Of Islam, 1988, Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, p. 159.

Another person who belongs to a class of his own in Robert Morey. He claims that the “bridge of Sirat” among others things mentioned in the Qur’an were derived from Zoroastrian and Hindu sources. From his book, it is unclear which was the source of the “bridge of Sirat”. See R. Morey, The Islamic Invasion: Confronting The World’s Fastest Growing Religion, 1992, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene (OR), p. 151.

[10] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, 1986, The Curzon Press: London, p. 191

[11] ibid., p. 192.

[12] ibid., p. 11.

[13] ibid., p. 192.

[14] ibid., p. 11.

[15] W. Belardi, The Pahlavi Book Of Righteous Viraz, 1979 [Biblioteca di ricerche linguistiche e filologiche 10], University Department of Linguistics: Rome, pp. 121-122.

[16] As for the mention of Âdurbâd î Mâraspandan, Belardi says that the sentence No. 16 containing this name is interpolated because “the continuity of the sense is broken between No. 15 and No. 17-18” [ibid., p. 32]. Further, it is also added that the paleographic evidence shows the presence of three circles arranged in the form of a triangle. According to Belardi this “punctuation reflects an attempt made by a copyist to justify the context which because odd by inserting the marginal note (i.e., No. 16)” and hence the “copyist realized that the (interpolator) exemplar that he was reading and copying out was lacking in logical order; thus he left a space so as to m ake evident the lacuna he suspected” [p. 33]. As for the mention of Weh-sâpûr, Belardi opines that “probably this sentence is interpolated” [p. 43].

[17] ibid., p. 123. For Vahman’s views see, F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., p. 11.

[18] D. S. Flattery and M. Schwartz, Haoma And Harmaline: The Botanical Identity Of The Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen “Soma” And Its Legacy In Religion, Language, And Middle Eastern Folklore, 1989 [Near Eastern Studies 21], University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angles, p. 16.

[19] P. Gignoux, “Notes Sur La Redaction De L’Arday Viraz Namag: L’Emploi De Hamê Et De Bê“,Zeitschrift Der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 1969, Supplementa I, Teil 3, pp. 998-999. We reproduce the article in French below.

On sait que l’ensemble de la littérature pehlevie a été rédigé tardivement, grosso modo après la conquête musulmane, et qu’elle nous a transmis cependant des traditions fort anciennes, de l’époque sassanide et même pré-sassanide. …. Il faut remarque aussi que la tradition manuscrite en Iran n’a jamais été considérée comme une donnée rigide, intouchable et définitive d’où les remaniements successifs qu’ont subis les textes, et cela pose au critique littéraire des problèmes diffciles à résoudre, en ce qui concern en particulier celui de la datation des diverses rédactions. …. Un exemple particulièrement significatif de la transmission d’un texte pour la littérature pehlevie, est le livre d’Arday Viraz…. Comme l’a indiqué aussi M. Boyce, dans l’ouvrage déjà cité, ce livre a subi de nombreux remaniements, et dans la rédaction finale, l’introduction a été rédigée postérieurement à la conquête musulmane. Mais l’adaptation du texte aux fins d’une propagande religieuse à une époque déterminée, lorsque le mazdéisme dut se défendre contre les attaques de l’Islam, ne semble pas avoir été la dernière. Certains faits linguistiques, à savior la présence de “persianismes” bien caractérisés, attestent que le texte semble avoir subi des remaniements encore au 10è ou 11è siècles et que la rédaction définitive du texte tel qu’il nous a été conservé – dans la mesure où, comme on l’a vu, on peut parler de rédaction finale – a pu être fort tardive.

[20] “Arda Wiraz“, Encyclopaedia Iranica, 1987, Volume II, Routledge & Kegan Paul: London & New York, p. 357.

[21] M. Boyce, “Middle Persian Literature“, Handbuch Der Orientalistik, 1968, Band VIII, Iranistik: Zweitter Abschnitt, E. J. Brill: Leiden/Köln, p. 48. In the footnote 3. she says that it has been “maintained” that Arda Wiraz Namag influenced the Islamic tradition of Mi`raj even though she asserts that final redaction of Arda Wiraz Namag is late and long after the advent of Islam!; Also see M. Boyce (ed.), Textual Sources For The Study Of Zoroastrianism, 1984, Manchester University Press: Manchester, p. 84.

[22] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., p. 11.

[23] P. Gignoux, “Notes Sur La Redaction De L’Arday Viraz Namag: L’Emploi De Hamê Et De Bê“,Zeitschrift Der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Op. Cit., p. 1004. His conclusions in French are reproduced below.

Au demeurant, ce qui a été montré de l’usage de la particule hamê et du préverbe bê, nous semble suffisant pour pouvoir affirmer que l’ouvrage pehlevi sur l’enfer et le paradis a subi un remaniement vers le 10è ou 11è siècle, si ce n’est pas là la date de sa rédaction définitive, mais cela, pour être démontré, devrait l’être à l’aide d’autres critères.

[24] M. Boyce, “Middle Persian Literature“, Handbuch Der Orientalistik, op cit., p. 48.

[25] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., p. 11.

[26] D. S. Flattery and M. Schwartz, Haoma And Harmaline: The Botanical Identity Of The Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen “Soma” And Its Legacy In Religion, Language, And Middle Eastern Folkloreop cit., p. 23.

[27] ibid.

[28] P. Gignoux, “L’inscription de Kirdîr à Naqs-i Rustam“, Studia Iranica, 1972, Volume 1, pp. 177-205; C. J. Brunner, “The Middle Persian Inscription Of The Priest Kirder At Naqs-i Rustam“, in D. K. Kouymjian (ed.)Near Eastern Numismatics, Iconography, Epigraphy And History: Studies In Honor Of George C. Miles, 1974, American University of Beirut: Beirut (Lebanon), pp. 97-113.

[29] M. L. Chaumont, “L’inscription de Kartir à la Ka`bah de Zoroastre“, Journal Asiatique, 1960, Volume 248, pp. 339-380.

[30] P. Gignoux, “L’inscription de Kartir à Sar Mashad“, Journal Asiatique, 1968, Volume 256, pp. 387-418.

[31] P. O. Skærvf, “‘Kirdir’s Vision’: Translation And Analysis“, Archaeologische Mitteilungen Aus Iran,1983, Volume 16, pp. 289-304.

[32] op cit., p. 289.

[33] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., pp. 191-192.

[34] Safi-ur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtûm (The Sealed Nectar), 1995, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam: Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), p. 147.

[35] `Abd-Allah Hajjaj (trans. Huda Khattab), The Isra’ And Mi`raj: The Prophet’s Night-Journey And Ascent Into Heaven, 1989, Dar al-Taqwa Ltd: London (United Kingdom), p. 53. This book is deals with the issue of Isra’ and Mi`rajconcisely, dealing with different views and then stating the strongest and agreed upon opinion by the scholars.

[36] P. O. Skærvf, “‘Kirdir’s Vision’: Translation And Analysis“, Archaeologische Mitteilungen Aus Iran,Op. Cit., pp. 289-294.

[37] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., p. 193.

[38] Safi-ur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtûm (The Sealed Nectar), op cit., p. 149; `Abd-Allah Hajjaj (trans. Huda Khattab), The Isra’ And Mi`raj: The Prophet’s Night-Journey And Ascent Into Heaven, op cit., pp. 41-43 for variants of this hadith.

[39] P. O. Skærvf, “‘Kirdir’s Vision’: Translation And Analysis“, Archaeologische Mitteilungen Aus Iran, op cit., pp. 280-289 and pp. 294-304.

[40] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., pp. 193-196. The description of the Heaven and the Hell can be seen at pp. 196-219.

[41] Safi-ur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtûm (The Sealed Nectar), op cit., pp. 147-148; `Abd-Allah Hajjaj (trans. Huda Khattab), The Isra’ And Mi`raj: The Prophet’s Night-Journey And Ascent Into Heaven,op cit., pp. 5-14.

[42] P. O. Skærvf, “‘Kirdir’s Vision’: Translation And Analysis“, Archaeologische Mitteilungen Aus Iran, op cit., p. 301.

[43] F. Vahman, Arda Wiraz Namag: The Iranian ‘Divina Commendia’, op cit., p. 239.

[44] ibid., p. 203.

[45] ibid., p. 212.

[46] ibid., p. 210.

[47] ibid., p. 10.

M S M Saifullah

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