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Muslim Prayer Postures Found in the Bible

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Prayer holds a very important place in Islam.

It is the second pillar of faith and the act of ritual prayer is performed five times every day.

There is great power entrenched in the postures of prayer not the least of which is that it establishes and reinforces our connection to God.

This is a connection that God Himself established when he created human beings. Our ancestor Adam was responsible for teaching his family how to worship God in the correct way which included praying.

All the Prophets and messengers God sent to the nations on earth spread the same message:

O my people, worship God, you have no other God but Him. (Quran 11:50)

They all spoke words of wisdom, guiding the people and reminding them that God is One, alone, without partners, sons or daughters. Most of the Prophets mentioned in the Quran are recognizable to people of the Christian and Jewish faiths and they all prayed in much the same way that Muslims pray today.

Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the final Prophet and that his mission and message was slightly different to the message of all the Prophets before him.

While each Prophet was sent specifically to guide his own nation, Prophet Muhammad was sent to guide all of humankind. He said:

“Every prophet was sent to his nation exclusively, but I was sent to all mankind.” (Al-Bukhari, 335)

Once we understand the connection between all the Prophets of God it is not surprising to learn that they all prayed in basically the same way. What is surprising however is that even though there are descriptions of prayer in the Bible, Christians and Jews no longer pray the way their own Prophets prayed.

The remainder of this article will examine passages from various books of the Bible and compare them to the way Muslims pray.

The most recognizable posture in the Muslim prayer is touching the forehead to the ground. It is the apex of a person’s prayer and it is mentioned in the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad as the position in which a believer is as close to God as it is possible to be.

Consider the following verses from the Bible.

“And he (Jesus) went a little further, and  FELL ON HIS FACE, and prayed…” (Matthew 26:39) Read more of this post

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The following logic is what is contributing to the alarming conversion rate among Christians to Islam. Jews, Christians and Muslims have a common father, Prophet Abraham, the patriarch of monotheism. For example, Abraham married Sarah and it is through her Jewish children over generations that the following prophets came: Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. Abraham also married Hagar and it is through her Muslim children over generations that the following prophets came: Ishmael and Muhammad.  When Christians realize that the Bible was manipulated by biased writers to unfairly exclude Ishmael, the son of Hagar, they realize that their religion may be nothing more than the result of innocently mislead people who wrote from the time Jesus left earth in 30 AD until about 350 AD when the formation of the New Testament came to an end (1). The following analysis of biblical scriptures illustrates that Ishmael was part of God’s covenant, thereby proving Islam a divine religion. God made an important promise to Abraham before any children were born to him.

(Genesis 12:2-3) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Abraham was first married to Sarah who happened to be a barren woman and bore him no children.

(Genesis 16:1). Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children

Later in the book of Genesis (16:2) we are told that Sarah gave Abraham a handmaid (Hagar) to be his wife, in the hope that she may bear a child to Abraham. Hagar did indeed bear Abraham’s first child, and the Angels of God told Hagar to name him Ishmael (Gen 16:11), which means God Hears. Clearly, this is a divine child as God is intervening and sending angels down to name him; this is a clear indication that the child is divine and important. Moreover, we are told in Genesis (21:20) that, God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael, the firstborn child is very important. As a matter of fact, this is indeed consistent with the bible. In Hebrew traditions, the first-born son is to have double portions of honor, even inheritance and that right is not changed by the status of his mother. For example in (Deuteronomy 21:15-17) we are reminded that a firstborn son is to be given a double share of inheritance regardless of the circumstances since the first born is the first sign of his father’s strength. For the following 14 years, Ishmael was Abraham’s only child. Later, Abraham’s first wife Sarah bears him a son, Isaac (Gen 21:1-5).  After the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac, God’s promise to bless the families of the earth through Abraham’s descendants was repeated:

(Genesis 17:4) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shall be a father of many nations.

According to Jews and Christians only Isaac was the son of promise and covenant. The following verses are referenced.

(Genesis 17:21) But my covenant will I establish with Isaac.

(Genesis 21:12) For in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

An interesting thought arises, is it possible that the writer(s) of this book (Genesis) inserted such statements to favor his own clan, himself being an Israelite? When these two verses (Gen 17:21 and 21:12) are examined in context with other verses of this same book, it becomes obvious that the Ishmaelite were included in God’s promise and his covenant with Abraham. God’s covenant with Abraham was made before he had any children (Gen 12:2-3). It was reiterated after the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac (Gen 17:4). Moreover, Ishmael is also specifically blessed, and, hence, included in God’s promise.  For example, God stated:

(Genesis 21:13) Of the son of the maidservant (i.e. Ishmael) I will make a great nation because he is thy seed.

The above promise was further confirmed a few verses later:

(Genesis 21:18) Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation.

(Genesis 21:20) God was with the boy as he grew up.

When God speaks of greatness, he does not merely refer to numbers. Greatness by God’s own criterion is founded on faith, spiritual heritage and religious leadership. One may wonder at this point why there should be only one child as the heir of the divine promise? Why not both sons in view of the evidence discussed already? What type of divine justice punishes the rites of the firstborn to satisfy Sarah’s ego and bless her jealously? Was Sarah dictating her desires to God, too?

(Genesis 21:10)  Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.

This statement was made after Ishmael allegedly  mocked Isaac on the day Isaac was weaned (Gen 21:8-9). Can one imagine Hagar and her 17 year old son Ishmael expelled to the desert because Ishmael allegedly mocked the 3 year old boy Isaac on the day of a great feast when Isaac was weaned (Gen 21:8) What did Ishmael say to the 3-year-old baby to warrant such a harsh punishment? Did he mock him in the presence of a large group of people who attended the feast? One can only wonder what he said to the lad. Moreover, it is doubtful Abraham would send his wife and son off into the desert (a virtual death sentence) at the request of his other moody wife Sarah; the story does not seem plausible. On the contrary, as we will see below, something is rotten in the State of Denmark!

THE MUSLIM VERSION

The Muslim version of the story is that Abraham received instruction from God to take Hagar and her baby Ishmael to a barren and lifeless place in Arabia (Paran). The area of Paran is also referred to in the Bible in (Gen 21:21). When Abraham began to leave Hagar and Ishmael alone in such barren wilderness, Hagar cried to him and asked why he was leaving her in the desert, eventually she asked if God had commanded him to do this and Abraham responded yes. When Hagar ran out of water, the baby was crying (Gen 21:17-19) and in a moment of despair and apparent death, God Hears (i.e. Ishmael Gen 16:11) the cry and intervenes again and a spring of water suddenly gushed forth from under Ishmael’s feet. That well later came to be known as the well of Zamzam. One must ask why God intervenes to save Ishmael, perhaps because he was part of a divine plan?Ishmael means God hears (Gen 16:11); how ironic a name God’s Angels gave him. According to the Muslim version Abraham did not just abandon his son and never talk to him again. Abraham would still keep in contact with Ishmael and visit him (Quran 37:102-111). This is because he cared about him, which seems to be consistent with the Bible (Gen 21:11).

THE BIBLICAL VERSION

Sarah, Abraham’s first wife was jealous of Hagar and her son Ishmael. She did not want Ishmael to inherit with her son Isaac because Ishmael was the son of the handmaid. She was particularly angry because of what she considered mockery on the part of Ishmael toward his younger brother Isaac while they were playing together.

(Gen 21:10)  Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.

This incident took place after Isaac was weaned. Abraham obeyed his wife Sarah whose demand of casting out the slave woman and her son was blessed by God who told Abraham to (Gen 21:12) listen to Sarah. One morning Abraham rose up, gave provisions and water to Ishmael and Hagar, and left them in the wilderness of Beer Sheba in Southern Palestine (Gen 21:14). When Hagar ran out of water she could not bear to watch her son die, so she sat away. Eventually, an angel appeared before her and provided her with a spring of water. The angel further told her (Gen 21:18) Arise, lift up the lad and hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation. Ishmael dwelt in the wilderness of Paran (Gen 21:17-21) He had twelve sons one of whom one was named Kedar (Gen 25:13).

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE TWO VERSIONS

There appears to be at least three similarities between the two versions:

1)      That Hagar and Ishmael were taken away from Palestine and dwelt in the wilderness of Paran.

2)      That Hagar ran out of water and was worried about the life of her son Ishmael.

3)      That unexpectedly, she had access to water which she gave to her son to save his life.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO VERSIONS

 

According to the Muslim version:

1)      Hagar and Ishmael were taken away because of a specific divine instruction given to Abraham as part of the divine plan. When the time came, prophet hood was to shift from the Israelites to the Ishmaelite, after the rejection of the last Israelite prophet, Jesus.

2)      Hagar and Ishmael were taken to the wilderness of Arabia, specifically Mecca and not to Beer Sheba.

3)      The incident took place before the birth of Isaac and not after; when Ishmael was a baby, which is further confirmation of the more realistic reason for Hagar and Ishmael’s apparent exile as stated in the first difference.

ANALYSIS OF DIFFERENCES

Was Ishmael and Hagar sent to the desert before or after the birth of Isaac? If we were to accept the Biblical version, we would encounter a number of inconsistencies and contradictions. It is clear from the story in Gen. 21:14-19 that Ishmael was a little baby at that time. For example according to Gen. 16:16 Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born. And according to Gen. 21:5 Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born. It follows that Ishmael was already fourteen years old when his younger brother Isaac was born. According to Gen. 21:8-19 the incident took place after Isaac was weaned. Biblical scholars tell us the child was probably weaned at about the age of three. Thus, it follows that when Hagar and Ishmael were taken away Ishmael was a full-grown teenager, seventeen years old. However, the profile of Ishmael in Gen 21:14-19 is a small baby and not a full-grown teenager. Why?

Genesis 21:14-21

14 Early next morning Abraham took some food and a full water-skin and gave them to Hagar. He set the child on her shoulder and sent her away, and she wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was finished, she thrust the child under a bush, 16 then went and sat down some way off, about a bowshot distant. How can I watch the child die? she said, and sat there, weeping bitterly. 17 God heard the child crying, and the angel of God called from heaven to Hagar, What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid: God has heard the child crying where you laid him. 18 Go, lift the child and hold him in your arms, because I shall make of him a great nation. 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well full of water; she went to it, filled the water-skin, and gave the child a drink. 20 God was with the child as he grew up. He lived in the wilderness of Paran and became an archer; 21 and his mother got him a wife from Egypt. (The Revised English Bible)

1st) First, the original Hebrew for Gen. 21:14 is ” and put the bread and water on her shoulder AND the boy.” Anyone fluent in Hebrew can confirm this! This reading is still rendered in the Revised English Bible; however, other Bible publishers possibly aware of the discrepancy decided to translate the verse slightly different; however, we can see their trick! How would a mother carry a seventeen-year-old teenager on her shoulder? Certainly he was probably strong enough to carry his mother. Ishmael must have been a baby!

2nd) Second, in Gen 21:15 we are told that Hagar put the child under one of the bushes. Ishmael must have been a baby and not a teenager!

3rd) Third, in Gen 21:16 we are told that Hagar sat away so she did not have to see the child die before her eyes. Is this the profile of a husky seventeen-year-old teenager who probably was capable of being worried about his mother dying before his eyes? Or is it obviously a profile of a small helpless baby? Ishmael must have been a baby and not a teenager!

4th) According to Gen 21:17-18, the angels told Hagar lift the child and hold him in your arms. Is a seventeen-year-old man the object of being lifted up and held in one’s arms by a woman while CRYING? Or is it the reference of a small child. Ishmael must have been a baby and not a teenager!

5th) According to Gen 21:19 we are told that Hagar filled the bottle with water and gave the child a drink. One would expect a seventeen year old to bring water to his mother instead. Ishmael must have been a baby and not a teenager!

6th) According to Gen 21:14 Abraham puts the food and water on Hagar’s shoulder. Why doesn’t the strong husky seventeen-year old Ishmael offer to carry the food and water? Ishmael must have been a baby and not a teenager!

7th) According to Gen 21:20-21?? Ishmael grew up, became an archer and got married. Ishmael must have been a baby and not a teenager!

The above analysis leads to the inevitable conclusion that while the Bible contains some truths as explained earlier, there is also evidence of human additions, deletions and interpolations which only a subsequent authentic revelation could clear. The Islamic version of the story is fully consistent and coherent from A to Z; Ishmael was a baby and Isaac was not born yet when this incident took place. This proves that the real reason behind their settlement in Arabia (Paran) was not the dictation, jealousy, ego or sense of racial superiority on the part of Sarah. It was rather God’s plan, pure and simple!

(Gen 21:10)  Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.

How hypocritical Sarah is, for initially she saw potential in Hagar,

(Gen 16:2) The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.

(Gen 16:4)  He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When Sarah knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.

Even the Bible admits how Jews tampered with scripture.

(Jeremiah 8:8 RSV)  How can you say, We are wise, we have the law of the LORD, when scribes with their lying pens have falsified it?  

THE SYMBOL OF GOD’S COVENANT WITH ISHMAEL AND HIS DESCENDANTS

According to Gen 17:10-14, circumcision was regarded as a symbol of the covenant with God and a sign of purification from polytheism. In Gen 17:23-27 we are told that Abraham took Ishmael and all those males born in his household and circumcised them. Therefore, one can see that Ishmael was somehow participating in the Abrahamic covenant. Even to this day every Muslim male is circumcised.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AWAITED PROPHET: A PROPHET LIKE MOSES

In the book of Deuteronomy 18:17-18, Moses was quoted as saying: And the lord said to me, they have well spoken that which they have spoken, I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you, and will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Three important elements are included in this prophecy: A prophet will come from among the brethren of the Israelites; this prophet will be like Moses and God will put his word in the mouth of this prophet.

FIRST: The bible refers to the Israelites as the brethren of the Ishmaelite (Gen 16:12, 25:18). Moreover, Isaiah 42:1-11 Speaks of the geography of where this prophet will come from. Verse 42:11 states Let the desert and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where KEDAR lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. According to the Book of Genesis, KEDAR was the second son of Ishmael (Gen. 25:13). The best-known prophet who came from Ishmael’s descendants is Muhammad.

SECOND: Muhammad is like Moses:

THIRD: God will put his words in the mouth of that Prophet. The specific wording of the above verse is a vivid description of the type of revelation received by Muhammad. Angel Gabriel used to come and dictate to him specific portions of the Quran that were then repeated by Prophet Muhammad exactly as he had heard them. Muhammad’s own thought or authorship was not involved in any way in what he uttered. The words of God were put into his mouth. As the Quran itself described 53:3-4:

“He (Muhammad) does not speak of his own desire, it is no less than a revelation sent down to him.”

Jesus also mentioned that Muhammad would speak only what he hears but not on his own. For example, in John 16:7,13 Jesus said,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. But when he the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (NIV)

If Christians think the Counselor is the Holy Spirit then they are mistaken, because the Holy Spirit was already present at the time of Jesus (John 20:22 Luke 3:22). Moreover, the sentence does not make sense if it is referring to a spirit; the sentence only makes sense if it is referring to another prophet as Deuteronomy 18:18 states a prophet.

SACRIFICE OF ABRAHAM’S ONLY SON: ISHMAEL OR ISAAC?

The following quotes are taken from the Bible.

The Bible Genesis 22:2

“Take now your son, your only son, whom you love,_______, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains”.

The Bible Genesis 22:12

“Since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

The important question is who was this only son of Abraham that was offered for sacrifice? Ishmael the eldest son or Isaac the second son? The Bible writers have placed the name of Isaac in the blank space above. Muslims believe Ishmael was around thirteen years old when Abraham was asked to sacrifice him. In both the above quotations the Lord uses the word your only son. Obviously, the logical answer is that the incident must have taken place before the birth of Isaac, the second son of Abraham. So, what could be the reason that the name of Isaac appears in the blank space, as the only son of Abraham? Bible scholars explain that anomaly by putting forward the following two arguments.

The first argument is that after the birth of Isaac, Ishmael lost his status of being a son of Abraham, since he was not born of a wife of Abraham but born to a handmaid of Abraham’s wife. However, this argument is false because Hagar was a wife of Abraham otherwise the Lord would not have used the word wife in the following verse.

Genesis 16:3  So after Abraham had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.

Moreover, Jews and Christians contend that only Isaac, the one that was born to Sarai was a son. However the biblical passage below tells us that Ishmael never lost his status as a son, not even after the birth of Isaac. If Ishmael had lost the status, the Lord would not have used the word sons in the following verse.

Genesis 25:9 Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael, buried him (Abraham) in the cave of Machpelah.

A second argument presented is that because Ishmael was born to a handmaid he would qualify as a seed or a descendant of Abraham, but not as a son. This argument is nullified because prevailing Nuzi Laws of marriage (exhibit A) tell us that such marriage contracts were legal in the days of Abraham and the child born of a handmaid or slave-girl would have the same status as one born to the wife, even if the wife had a child of her own later. There can be no doubt concerning the validity of the Nuzi laws of marriage. For example, when one traces the maternal side of the children of Israel, Genesis tells us that Jacob (later called Israel Gen 32:28) had four wives. He married Leah (Gen 29:22-23), Rachel (Gen 29:28), a slave-girl Bilhah (Gen 30:4), and another slave-girl Zilpah (Gen 30:9). From these four wives came the twelve Children of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naptali, Gad and Asher (Gen 35:23-26 & 1 Chronicles 2:1-2). All twelve of these children make up the Israelites and are all referred as a combined group, see (Exodus 1:1-9). Four of the twelve children (Gad, Dan, Naphtali and Asher) were sons of the slave-girls. Thus, it follows that about one third of all Israelis are children of slave-girls! Will a third of all Jews stand up and say they are illegitimate? Moreover, further evidence that the Bible clearly includes the slave-children as part of the combined group of Israelis is the Bible’s tracking of their genealogy in (1 Chronicles 5:18; 1 Chronicles 7:12, 13, 30). Moreover, we are told that the children of Asher were leading princes.

1 Chronicles 7:40 “All these were descendants of Asher, heads of families, picked men of ability, leading princes.”

Consequently, the entire Abrahamic family tree is tracked in 1 Chronicles, including Abraham’s children from his first wife Hagar (1 Chronicles 1:29), his second wife Sarah (1 Chronicles 1:34) and his third wife Keturah (1 Chronicles 1:32 – see family tree at main web page).

Moreover, there is a very similar incident in the Bible (Ruth 1-4). In this story a child born to a handmaid is indeed recognized as a son. For example, Boaz, a landowner of Bethlehem, meets a handmaid named Ruth (Ruth 3:9) and marries her. Ruth was a young widow and a handmaid of Moabite descent (Ruth 1:4); the Moabite people were descendants of an act of incest by Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:36-37). Boaz and Ruth latter had a son named Obed. Later on, Obed became the founder of the royal line of Israel (Ruth 4:17-22), an ancestor of both king David and of the great prophet Jesus. If the son of a maidservant of questionable heritage could have the honor of being the progenitor and forbearer of the most important lines of descent for both Jews and Christians, then why cannot Ishmael, a son of a handmaid, be offered by his father for a burnt offering as his only son? Moreover, this argument cannot be correct because if it were, Sarah would have never said. (Gen 16:2) The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abraham agreed. It is certain that Sarah and Abraham knew the law and did not want to waste their time during their old age building an illegitimate family that would serve them no good!

So, is it out of tribal rivalry that the descendants of Isaac (Jews) are concealing these facts and depriving the preeminence due to the descendants of Ishmael (Arabs)? In Encyclopaedia Judaica Jerusalem, volume 9, under the heading Ishmael it is written:

“It is related that a renowned traditionalist of Jewish origin, from Qurayza tribe and another Jewish scholar who converted to Islam, told Caliph Omar ibn Abd al-Aziz (717-20) that the Jews were well informed that Ismail (Ishmael) was the one who was bound (sacrificed), but they concealed this out of jealousy.”

 

Even the Bible admits how Jews tampered with scripture.

(Jeremiah 8:8 RSV)  How can you say, We are wise, we have the law of the LORD, when scribes with their lying pens have falsified it?

The Quran confirms that Abraham did indeed relocate Ishmael & Hagar and that because of Abraham’s strong faith and willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael, God rewarded him with the birth of Isaac (Koran 37:102-111).

The Quran 37:102-111

And when he attained to working with him, he said: O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. He said: O my father! Do what you are commanded, if God please, you will find me of the patient ones. So when they both submitted and he threw him down upon his forehead, and we called out to him saying: O Abraham! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do we reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial. And we ransomed him with a great sacrifice. And we perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. Peace be on Abraham. Thus do we reward the doers of good. Surely he was one of our believing servants. And we gave him the good news of Isaac, a prophet among the good ones.

The Quran 14:35-37

And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! Make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols: My Lord! Surely they have led many men astray; then whoever follows me, he is surely of me, and whoever disobeys me, Though surely art Forgiving, Merciful: O Our Lord! Surely, I have settled a part of my family in a valley without cultivation by thy sacred house; in order, O lord, that they may establish prayer: So fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits: So they may give thanks.

(EXHIBIT A)

 

THE NUZI LAWS OF MARRIAGE

Jacob M. Myers of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania has been a professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and a contributor to Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. He is recognized as a leading expert on the Old Testament. In his book Invitation to The Old Testament (1) he writes:

“Archaeological discoveries help us to fill in the details of the biblical narrative and to explain many of the otherwise obscure references and strange customs that were commonplace in Abraham’s world and time. A Nuzi marriage contract provides that a childless wife may take a woman of the country and marry her to her husband to obtain progeny. But she may not drive out the offspring even if she later has children of her own. The child born of the handmaid has the same status as the one born to the wife. That is why, when Sarah wanted to drive out Hagar and  Ishmael, it was quite objectionable to Abraham because of the legal custom of the region from which he came, he was reluctant to do so. It required special divine dispensation to act contrary to that custom.”

Gen 21:12-13 And God said to Abraham, Do not be disturbed over the lad and your handmaid. Listen to Sarah and do everything she tells you.

The above quoted Nuzi Law of marriage confirms that a child born of a handmaid wife to a childless father has the same status as one born to his wife and cannot be treated differently, even after the birth of a child to his original wife.

(1)   Doubleday & Co., Inc., New York (1966) page 26

CONCLUSION

Based on the above analysis it is obvious that in no uncertain terms beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bible was manipulated to EXCLUDE Abraham’s other son Ishmael.  The preponderance of the evidence proves that Ishmael and Isaac were both blessed and part of God’s covenant.Moreover, when a Quran sprouts up from this OTHER SON ISHMAEL containing major scientific data that present day science has confirmed to be  accurate, it makes Christians say hhhmmm   (http://www.answering-christianity.com/sci_quran.htm)    (http://www.miraclesofthequran.com)  (http://www.islam-guide.com/ and http//fakir60.tripod.com). When curiosity forces Christians to  READ the Quran (a well written non-voluminous text) they can see that Islam superseded Christianity.

Reference:

Muhammad in The Bible by Jamal Badawi

Understanding The Bible Through Koranic Messages by Akbarally Meherally, A.M. Trust, 5449 Dominion Street, Burnaby, B.C. Canada V5G1E1

Answering Claims of Paul Ross No 6. “Thou shall Crucify and Amputate non-Muslims. Koran 8:12, 47:4”

A Non Muslim reader sent me a response regarding “REFUTING CLAIM SATAN INSPIRED PROPHET IN CAVE (not GABRIEL).” His name is Paul Ross.

His TITLE: The 20 Commandments of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

There are 20 claims that he believes inspired by satan. All I can say that he doesn’t understand anything about Islam especially Al-Qur’an. Let’s discuss it one by one.

I SKIPPED CLAIM NO 2 (2. Thou shall have Sex Slaves and Work Slaves. Koran 4:3, 4:24, 5:89,33:50, 58:3, 70:30) since this kind of discussion demanding long explanation. I will discuss this for the last Insha Allah.


6. Thou shall Crucify and Amputate non-Muslims. Koran 8:12, 47:4

Surah 8:12 is not about killing of all Non Muslims. This Surah merely against the Pagan Quraisy.

When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.

This verse and the verses before and after were revealed about the Battle of Badr, which occurred in Arabia in the early seventh century. A battle in which the pagans of Makkah traveled more than 200 miles to Madinah with an army of about 1000 to destroy Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) and fellow Muslims had suffered severe persecutions and torture for 13 years in the city of Makkah. And now that they had fled Makkah and found a sanctuary in the city of Madinah, they were once again threatened. Muslim Army was only about 300 strong. God Almighty gave the order to Muslims to fight to defend their lives and faith. The enemy came to them with the intent to kill Muslims. It was a war to defend themselves and their Faith. It was a war imposed upon Muslims.

To convince you, open surah 8: 15-16

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Answering Claims of Paul Ross No 3. “Thou shall Beat Sex Slaves, Work Slaves, and Wives. Koran 4:34”

A Non Muslim reader sent me a response regarding “REFUTING CLAIM SATAN INSPIRED PROPHET IN CAVE (not GABRIEL).” His name is Paul Ross.

His TITLE: The 20 Commandments of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

There are 20 claims that he believes inspired by satan. All I can say that he doesn’t understand anything about Islam especially Al-Qur’an. Let’s discuss it one by one.

I SKIPPED CLAIM NO 2 (2. Thou shall have Sex Slaves and Work Slaves. Koran 4:3, 4:24, 5:89,33:50, 58:3, 70:30) since this kind of discussion demanding long explanation. I will discuss this for the last Insha Allah.


3. Thou shall Beat Sex Slaves, Work Slaves, and Wives. Koran 4:34

Surah 4:34 has NOTHING TO DO about BEATING SEX SLAVE OR WORK SLAVE because no such words found in the phrase. (You’ve just making it up)

Arabic version of surah 4:34

لرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ۚ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا

Transliteration:

Arrijalu qawwamoonaAAala annisa-i bima faddalaAllahu baAAdahum AAala baAAdin wabimaanfaqoo min amwalihim fassalihatu qanitatunhafithatun lilghaybi bima hafithaAllahu wallatee takhafoonanushoozahunna faAAithoohunna wahjuroohunnafee almadajiAAi wadriboohunna fa-in ataAAnakumfala tabghoo AAalayhinna sabeelan inna Allaha kanaAAaliyyan kabeera

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Part 9-Menjawab tuduhan redaksipetang.blogspot.co.id (Kontradiksi Al-Qur’an -Al-Qur’an perkataan Rasul atau Allah?)

Original link: http://redaksipetang.blogspot.co.id/2016/07/alasan-kyai-haji-saifuddin-ibrahim-dari.html


Selesai dari alasan-alasan mengapa mantan kiyai Saifuddin MURTAD, website Kristen “redaksipetang.blogspot.co.id” meneruskan tentang kontradiksi-kontradiksi didalam Al-Qur’an.


Kesaksian pertobatan Dr. Michael brwon: Tradisi atau kebenaran?
Dr. Tawfik Hamid: Kita para Muslim perlu mengakui masalah2 kita dan hadapi mereka
3. Banyak sekali ayat-ayat Kuran yang meragukan imannya [7]
3.1. Ayat-ayat Kuran saling bertentangan satu dengan lainnya. Surah 4:82  – ”Kalau kiranya Al-Quran itu bukan dari sisi Allah, tentulah mereka mendapat pertentangan yang banyak di dalamnya.” terjemahan lain: Had it been from other than Allâh, they would surely have found therein much contradictions (NQ)[8]. – surah ini mengklaim superioriti Kuran, namun juga menjadi batu sandungan bagi Kuran itu sendiri.
S 4:82 mengklaim Kuran pasti dari Allah, namun S 69:40 berbunyi: ”Sesungguhnya Al-Quran itu adalah perkataan Rasul [Muhammad; lihat S 27:91 sebagai contoh].”

Kalau kalian para missionaris terlalu sensitif dengan (a so called) kontradiksi didalam Al-Qur’an, bagaimana dengan kontradiksi pada Bible anda?

Salah satu kelemahan dari para “Missionaris” dalam perdebatan, mereka suka memenggal ayat dan mendakwanya sebagai suatu kesalahan. Tapi semua akan berbalik pada mereka setelah kita ajukan ayat-ayat lanjutan dari apa yang mereka ajukan. Mari kita lihat.:
Surat 69 (Al-Haaqah) : 40
Pickthall

That it is indeed the speech of an illustrious messenger.

Yusuf Ali

That this is verily the word of an honoured messenger;

Indonesian

Sesungguhnya Al Quran itu adalah benar-benar wahyu (Allah yang diturunkan kepada) Rasul yang mulia,

Pada terjemahan berbahasa Inggris, memang jelas dikatakan bahwa Al-Qur’an adalah kata-kata seorang Rasul yang dimuliakan. 
Tetapi terjemahan bahasa Indonesia jelas mengatakan bahwa “Al Quran itu adalah benar-benar wahyu (Allah yang diturunkan kepada) Rasul yang mulia,”
Mengapa harus diberikan tambahan penjelasan? karena pada ayat selanjutnya  (69:43) Allah SWT menjelaskan:
تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Pickthall

It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.

Yusuf Ali

(This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds.

Indonesian

Ia adalah wahyu yang diturunkan dari Tuhan semesta alam.

Jadi, surat 69:40 yang diajukan para missionaris untuk menunjukkan bukti bahwa Al-Qur’an adalah kata-kata Rasul adalah ayat yang belum selesai. Lanjutannya adalah 69:43
Ia adalah wahyu yang diturunkan dari Tuhan semesta alam.
Apakah cukup disitu? TIDAK. Ada keterangan lebih keras dari ALLAH SWT bahwa kata-kata didalam Al-Qur’an bukanlah kehendak atau ikut campur dari Nabi Muhammad SAW.
Perhatikan bagaimana kerasnya HUKUMAN dari Allah SWT apa bila Nabi SAW berusaha memasukkan kata-kata dari dirinya sindiri kedalam Al-Qur’an.
Surat 69:
43:Ia adalah wahyu yang diturunkan dari Tuhan semesta alam.
44:Seandainya dia (Muhammad) mengadakan sebagian perkataan atas (nama) Kami,
45:niscaya benar-benar Kami pegang dia pada tangan kanannya.
46:Kemudian benar-benar Kami potong urat tali jantungnya.
47:Maka sekali-kali tidak ada seorangpun dari kamu yang dapat menghalangi (Kami), dari pemotongan urat nadi itu.
Jadi para bapak missionari di”redaksipetang.blogspot.co.id”, TIDAK KONTRADIKSI. Semua tuduhan anda dan para MANTAN Muslim semata-mata karena kebodohan anda semua terhadap Al-Qur’an.
Melengkapi segala kekacauannya, bapak-bapak missionaris mengajukan ayat yang sama sekali tidak berhubungan dengan pernyataan bahwa “Al-Qur’an berasal dari kata-kata Rasul”
Di ajukan :[Muhammad; lihat S 27:91 sebagai contoh].

 

Inilah surat 27:91

Aku hanya diperintahkan untuk menyembah Tuhan negeri ini (Mekah) Yang telah menjadikannya suci dan kepunyaan-Nya-lah segala sesuatu, dan aku diperintahkan supaya aku termasuk orang-orang yang berserah diri.

Apakah para teman sekalian menemukan hubungan kata-kata diatas dengan pernyataan bahwa Al-Qur’an berasal dari kata-kata Rasul?


 

Part 7A-Kyai Haji Saifuddin Ibrahim-Kebodohan dan Kebohongannya (Muhammad dalam kitab terdahulu-kesaksian pend. Buhaira)

Original link: http://redaksipetang.blogspot.co.id/2016/07/alasan-kyai-haji-saifuddin-ibrahim-dari.html


Mantan Kiyai Mengatakan:

Kuran mengklaim Muhammad dikenal baik oleh pengikut ajaran Alkitab ”seperti mereka mengenal anak-anaknya sendiri” (S 2:146). Sebaliknya Muhammad tidak dikenal di Alkitab sama sekali, tidak pernah dinubuatkan.


Surat 2 (Al-Baqarah) : 146

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Orang-orang (Yahudi dan Nasrani) yang telah Kami beri Al Kitab (Taurat dan Injil) mengenal Muhammad seperti mereka mengenal anak-anaknya sendiri. Dan sesungguhnya sebahagian diantara mereka menyembunyikan kebenaran, padahal mereka mengetahui.

Dari ayat ini kami para Muslim diiformasikan oleh Allah pencipta Taurat dan Injil bahwa apa yang mereka punya sudah tidak lagi serupa dengan apa yang diturunkan pada Nabi Musa A.S dan Isa A.S. Dengan demikian ayat ini jelas sekali membantah claim bahwa INJIL yang disebutkan dalam Al-Qur’an adalah INJIL yang ada ditangan para Kristen saat ini (sebagaimana yang dipakai para missionaris untuk mencuri keimanan para Muslim).

Dikatakan:”mengenal anak-anaknya sendiri” karena naskah (script) yang pernah mereka miliki MENUBUATKAN NAMA MUHAMMAD PLUS SEGALA CIRI-CIRI FISIK DAN TANDA-TANDA KENABIAN MUHAMMAD SAW. Semua ada didalam Taurat yang di wahyukan pada Nabi Musa A.S dan Injil yang diwahyukan para Isa (Yesus) A.S.  Semua tanda-tanda seorang Nabi akan datang begitu jelas hingga mereka memahaminya bagai memahami anak-anak mereka sendiri.

Ratusan tahun para Yahudi menunggu Nabi yang akan datang. Ketika Nabi Muhammad SAW dan para Muslim sampai di Madinah, mereka terkejut setelah mendapatkan bahwa CIRI-CIRI Nabi yang diNUBUATKAN jelas ada pada diri Nabi SAW. Begitu kuat tanda-tanda keNabian seperti yang digambarkan pada kitab mereka, kuat pula mereka MEMBANTAH dan menolak mentah-mentah hanya karena Nabi Muhammad SAW adalah seorang keturunan Arab terutama dari silsilah Ismail A.S. Kekecewaan mereka membuat mereka MENYEMBUNYIKAN AYAT-AYAT NUBUAT KENABIAN BAHKAN MENGHAPUS NAMA “MUHAMMAD” BESERTA SEGALA CIRI-CIRI KENABIAN DARI KITAB MEREKA.

Lalu apa buktinya kalau pernah ada NUBUAT tentang Nabi yang akan datang beciri-ciri seperti Nabi Muhammad SAW? Yang pertama perlu diketahui adalah kesaksian-kesaksian para AHLI KITAB tentang tanda-tanda seorang Nabi yang akan datang.


1. PENDETA (Monk) BUHAIRA (BAHIRA)

Sumber: https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buhaira

Buhaira (Arabبحير, Buheira, Bahira) adalah seorang mantan Yahudi yang menjadi rahib Kristen Nestorian yang melihat tanda-tanda kenabian Muhammad. Ia tinggal di kota Bushra, Selatan Syam (sekarang Syria).


Dibawah ini jelas menggambarkan bagimana pada Yahudi sebelumnya memiliki NUBUAT kedatangan seorang Nabi berserta ciri-cirinya.


http://www.islamiclandmarks.com/syria/monastery-of-bahira-the-monk

When they arrived, Bahira searched their faces looking for something. He said that he had offered his hospitality to everyone, was there anyone left behind? They said that they had left a young boy called Muhammad to look after the camels. Bahira insisted that they send someone to get Muhammad and bring him to the entertainment. When Bahira saw the face of Muhammad he was delighted for he was aware from the scriptures of the arrival of a mighty prophet and he could see the signs on the young boy. He asked him a series of questions such as how he sleeps, what does he see when he sleeps, what he thinks about and what he does all day. The young Muhammad answered truthfully which convinced Bahira of who he is.

Nabi yang akan datang memiliki TANDA KENABIAN DIANTAR KEDUA PUNDAK. Informasi dari pedeta Buhaira DI DAPATKAN DARI NASKAH YANG DIA MILIKI.

Pertemuan dengan Buhaira

Sumber: https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buhaira

Setelah melakukan perjalanan yang teramat jauh, suatu hari mereka sampai di sebuah tempat pertapaan di Bushra, antara Syam dan Hijaz. Disana mereka bertemu dengan seorang rahib bernama Buhaira. Ketika melihat Muhammad kecil selalu dipayungi oleh awan, Buhaira segera memperhatikan dengan saksama dan menghampirinya, lalu diperiksa sekujur tubuh Muhammad untuk melihat tanda-tanda kenabian yang diterangkan dalam kitab-kitab suci terdahulu. Ia menemukan tanda kenabian itu di punggung Muhammad, di antara kedua pundaknya, lalu ia mencium tanda itu.

http://salafiaqeedah.blogspot.com/2010/12/only-living-sahabi-tree.html

When the Messenger of Allâh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was twelve years old (42 BH/580 CE), he went with his uncle Abu Talib on a business journey to Syria. When they reached Busra (which was a part of Syria, in the vicinity of Howran under the Roman domain) they met a monk called Bahira (his real name was Georges), who showed great kindness, and entertained them lavishly. He had never been in the habit of receiving or entertaining them before.

He readily enough recognized the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) andsaid while taking his hand:

“This is the master of all humans. Allâh will send him with a Message which will be a mercy to all beings.”

Abu Talib asked: “How do you know that?”

He replied:

“When you appeared from the direction of ‘Aqabah, all stones and trees prostrated themselves, which they never do except for a Prophet. I can recognize him also by the seal of Prophethood which is below his shoulder, like an apple. We have got to learn this from our books.”

He also asked Abu Talib to send the boy back to Makkah and not to take him to Syria for fear of the Jews. Abu Talib obeyed and sent him back to Makkah with some of his men servants.

[Ibn Hisham 1/180-183; Za’d Al-Ma’ad 1/17]


Nabi yang akan datang adalah seorang YATIM PIATU. Informasi dari pedeta Buhaira.

Bahira and Abu Talib Face-to-Face
After his recognition, Bahira went to our Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) uncle, Abu Talib.
The following conversation took place between the two:
“What relation do you have to this child?”
“He is my son”
No, he is not your son because this child’s father is not supposed to be living.
“Yes, you are correct. He is my nephew, not my biological son”.
“Well, what happened to his father?
“He passed away while this child’s mother was pregnant.”
“Yes, you have told the truth.”


Read more :

The Young Muhammad (saw) Meeting the Monk Bahira

7. Muhammad as a youth and the trade journeys

Kisah bertemunya Pendeta Buhaira dan Nabi Muhamad SAW ketika berumur 12 tahun dapat ditemui pada buku-buku biografi Nabi SAW dan beberapa hadith.

Kesaksian Pendeta Buhaira adalah salah satu bukti bahwa ada tercatat ciri-ciri Nabi yang akan didatangkan pada naskah-naskah terdahulu sebelum para AHLI KITAB menghapusnya.

LANJUTKAN NUBUAT TENTANG MUHAMMAD SAW DARI KISAH SALMAN AL-FARISI

The Great Sacrifice Of Abraham (4)

Reflections

Imam Hamiduddin Farahi

Fifth Argument: Only Ismail deserved to be selected for the offering

The Torah states it explicitly that Ismail was the firstborn son of Abraham and it has been the established divine commandment of the law, from the days of Adam to those of Moses, that only the firstborn son can be offered. Nothing could override the superiority of being the firstborn. How can we imagine that Abraham, who was desired by God to be a perfect subject of God in all respects, would flout the oldest dictate of the divine law, in a matter which was meant to help him excel in spiritual perfection? How could he desist from offering his firstborn to God ? How could he offer Isaac

When Isaac was neither his firstborn nor his favorite son ? Recall that Ismail was born to him in response to his prayers to God, and when the second son Isaac was born, Abraham indicated that he was quite contended with his firstborn son, Ismail. Can we think of it even for a moment that Abraham could offer something to God which was not the best and the most beloved? We know that an offering is required to be the best thing out of the available ones.

Sixth Argument: Isaac was to be `ultiplied Exceedingly’ and hence could not be offered in his boyhood

God promised to `multiply Isaac exceedingly’ when the good news of his birth was announced to Abraham. Whereas God’s pomise to `multiply Ismail exceedingly’ was conveyed to Abraham either after the promise to Isaac or at the same time, i.e. after the Great Sacrifice took place.

`And when Abram was ninety years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, `I am almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My convenant between you and me, and will multiply you exceedingly.’… The God said to Abraham, `As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai but Sarah shall be her name and I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.’…. Then God said: Now Sarah your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac.’ (Genesis 17:1-19)

Is it pausible that God announce promise of `exceeding multiplication’ to Isaac and at the same time ask Abraham to offer him to Allah? Particularly when we know that on the occasion of the Great Sacrifice, Isaac was only a boy and had not married. He married when `Abraham was old and advanced in age.’ (Genesis 24:1) and Isacc was forty years old when he took Rebecca as wife (Genesis 25:20). And he had children when Abraham had died.

`And it came to pass, after the death of Abraham, ýýthat God blessed his son Isaac.’ (Genesis 25:11)

Also, Abraham died at the age of 175 years (Genesis 25:7). Bible also records that when Jacob was born to Rebecca, Isaac was 60 years odl (Genesis 25:27). It means that when Jacob was born, Abraham was alive (160 years old) because when Isaac was born, Abraham was 100 years old (Genesis 21:6). Even if we overlook the contradication between Genesis 25:11 and the above conclusion, we cannot fial to appreciate that Isaac had children at a very later age whereas the Bible and the Qur’an agree that the son offered as the Great Sacrifice was only a young boy. Therefore, it would be very difficult to carry the argument that Abraham offered Isaac after Isaac had been blessed with children.

Obviously the son could not be Isaac because if he was wanted by God as an offering in his boyhood, God’s promise that Isaac would be `multiplied exceedingly’ would have been rendered meaningless.

It may be asserted that Abraham knew beforehand that though he was offering Isaac, his son would come out alive and he would have descendants in a large number. In that case we would ask that if Abraham knew that the son he was offering to God would not die and would not only live but multiply exceedingly, how could it be termed it trial and a test of his loyalty to God ?

The Jews may still argue that the objection mentioned above valids against Muslim viewpoint as well. If Ismail were offered by Abraham, it would also have constituted an anomaly because God had also promised him a large progeny. Therefore, Ismail could have been sacrified in his boyhood. This analogy with Isaac’s case is not acceptable because of the following reasons:

a) The promise of `exceeding multiplication’ of descendants to Isaac was made by God even before Isaac was born whereas in case of Ismail it was probably announced by God after the incident of the Great Sacrifice.

b) In case of Ismail, the promise was made to Hagar while the command to offer him was addressed to Abraham. Whereas in Isaac’s case, the promise was made to Abraham and the order to offer him was also addressed to Abraham.

c) In case of Isaac, the Jew believe that he was promised an `exceeding multiplication’ even before he was born, but when he was only a boy and had not married or had any children yet, Abraham was asked to sacrifice him.

Seventh Argument: The incident of Great Sacrifice occurred before Isaac’s birth

We have already shown that since the `onlyö son’ was offered for sacrifice and Ismail was the elder son (he was 14 years older than Isaac), it is established beyond any shadow of doubt that Ismail was offered as the Great Sacrifice. But at the same time the phrase `only son’ goes to prove that Isaac was not even born at that time. Had he born, it would have been more appropriate to use the phrase `firstborn’ instead of `only son’.

Here we would contend that not only Isaac was born after the Great Sacrifice had been offered, but his birth was actually one of the blessings that flowed from the Great Sacrifice.

There are other noteworthy facts which need to be noted in the seventeenth chapter of Genesis and which relate to the promise of `exceeding multiplication’ of the progeny of Isaac and Ismail. We also feel sure that they also point to the Great Sacrifice. The most important aspect is that they relate to some of the events of the time, which has assisted us in resolving issues that are closely related with our subject.

In this chapter Abraham is asked to submit to God in totality. At this time he is 99 years old and Isaac is not born yet. Around this time, the command of circumcision is ordained. That is why Abraham and Ismail carry out this command the same day. Ismail was then 13 years old. And God announced an everlasting covenant to Abraham and declared circumcision the emblem of this everlasting covenant and his progeny. Then God promised `exceeding multiplication’ of progeny to Ismail and also heralded the birth of Isaac and `exceeding multiplication’ of his progeny. If the contents of this chapter are kept in mind, it becomes less difficult to understand what we have to contend.

We are unable to understand how the unusual divine acts of command for complete submission and tidings of great blessings and making an everlasting covenant could be the result of a paltry ritual of circumcision. The day of announcing the desirability of circumcision cannot be the occasion of these grand promises. We believe that there was a mention of something much more grand, for which these everlasting and far reaching commandments were given. This point was deleted by the Jews. There can be only one plausible answer. It was God’s command to offer Ismail. When Abraham came out of this test honorably, he was blessed with the news of another son. However, the fact was concealed and later on obliterated from the text by the Jews. This also explains our eariler argument that Isaac’s birth was nothing more than one of the blessings that came upon Abraham as a result of the Great Sacrifice.

This evidence is further corroborated by the other details related to the Great Sacrifice, such as the conclusion that Abraham was blessed because he did not refuse his sons life to please God. We also need to appreciate the fact that the son who was offered to God had not been blessed with the good news of `exceeding multiplication’ till he succeeded in this trial; hence God’s words:

`And the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, `By myself have I sworn, says the Lord, for because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son your only son, that in blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.’ (Genesis 22:15-18)

This shows that the blessings showered upon Ismail, the trials faced by Abraham and Abraham’s complete submission and making an everlasting covenant form the same chain of events of the same occasion. This is the occasion when Abraham is given the good news of Isaac. One should imagine how could Isaac be offered as the Great Sacrifice when he was not even born !

The good news of Isaac’s birth is itself sufficient testimony that his birth was the result and fruit of Abraham’s total submission before the will of God which he demonstrated by offering his only son. The real spirit of the Great Sacrifice was to dedicate Ismail to God. Abraham is only fulfiling this prophecy when he says, `O that Ismail might live before you.’ The meaning of the phrase `before God’ has adequately been explained in the beginning of this tract.

Ismail was thirteen years old on the eve of the Great Sacrifice. This is the best and the most important age of one’s childhood. And childhood is adorned by all the qualities of head and heart, the beauties of body, and purities of mind and soul, the child becomes priceless and its value boundless. These years must have been the beginning of his maturity and sensibility. He would have started to attract the immense love and deep affection of his father. He must have begun to assist his father in the errands with all his beauty, upbrinning and etiquette. Who can question the fact that he loved his son and cared for him even more than he cared for himself. No doubt, offering such a dear son to God was a great trial since Abraham came out of this trial with honour, he was blessed with the eternal honour of an everlasting covenant and many other bounties. It was not because of carrying out the ritual of circumcision, which would rendered the whole thing meaningless. Indeed, those who, out of prejudice, intentionally want to avoid truth get fatelly trapped in the mire of such erroneous beliefs.

Eighth Argument: Ismail was God’s offering

Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east. This is the sum of the years of Abrahm’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abrahm breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah. (Genesis 25:5-9)

Two conclusions can safely be deduced from these verses of the Old Testament.

First, that Abraham had not sent Isaac or Ismail away from himself to far off places because they kept visiting him and attended his burial. This proximity and intimacy was not granted to the sons of his concubines.

Second, Ismail was not bequeathed any property as Isaac, nor was he given any gifts as the sons of Abraham’s concubines.

It is quite difficult to explain how Abraham could deprive his firstborn son of inheritence, a son who continued to look after him till his death, particularly when the status of the firstborn son could not be stripped of by any means.

This discrepancy can only be resolved by presuming that Ismail had been offerred and dedicated to God. And as we have shown earlier, according to the Torah, a person offered to God had no right of inheritance. (Deutronomy 10:8-9 and 18:1-3)

Ninth Argument : Before the Lord

There are several indications in the Torah which show that Ismail was dedicated to God for his service and was an offering to God. An illuminating evidence is the prayer of Abraham on the occasion of Isaac’s birth:

`Oh that Ismail might live before you.’ (Genesis 17:18)

The words `before you’ show that Ismail had been devoted to the worship of God and the service of `His house’. Otherwise only the prayer `Oh that Ismail might live’ could have sufficed. We showed earlier that the phrase `before the Lord’ means ones dedication to God and presence in and service to the Bait El (House of Lord). This is what forms the cornerstone of the concept of Ismail being sacrificed and offered to God.

(Translated by Nadir Aqueel Ansari)

The Great Sacrifice Of Abraham (3)

Reflections

Imam Hamiduddin Farahi

Despite the assertion of the Torah (Genesis, Ch 22), this author is convinced, because of the evidence in hand, that Abraham had in fact offered his son Ismail and not Isaac to Allah the Almighty.

First Argument: The abode of Abraham and Ismail

It is apparent from the context that when Abraham left to offer his son, he was accompanied by Ismail and not Isaac. It was Ismail who was residing with his father. Those who tampered with the text to introduce Isaac’s name failed to comprehend this fact and this shows that Isaac’s name is indeed a later addition.

Bible affirms that after the incident Abraham returned to Beersaba which shows that Abraham was already dwelling at Beersaba. This is explicitly stated in Chapter 21. And this is indeed the truth. Beersaba is the place where Ismail lived with his mother. This fact is further underlined when the Torah relates the event of separation of Ismail and his mother from Isaac and his mother:

“So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheva … So God was with the lad and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness.” (Genesis, 21:14-19)

This passage refers to `wilderness’ and `wilderness of Beersheba’ because Beersheba was an uninhabited wasteland. Abraham had to bore seven wells and plant trees in it and hence its name. (Beersheba means `seven wells’). This discussion leads to the following conclusions:

1. Ismail and her mother Hagar dwelt in Beersheba.

2. This place was away from the abode of Isaac and his mother.

3. Abraham also lived here because it was from this place that he left for the sacrifice and then returned, after the sacrifice.

The abode of Sarah was at a distance from this Beersheba; that is why Abraham had to undertake a journey when he heard of Sarah’s death:

“So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.” (Genesis, 23:2)

This shows that on the day Abraham proceeded to sacrifice his son, he took Ismail with him who was residing with him in Beersheba and not Isaac who was living with Sarah far away in Canaan. This is subject to the presumption that Isaac was born by that time, as claimed by the Jews. Otherwise, we believe that Isaac was not even born by that time. Isaac was born after the event of sacrifice as we will show later on.

From the details of the event, it is evident that the son offered in sacrifice was left there by Abraham and was allowed to settle and reside beside the altar. This fact is further confirmed by the words uttered by Abraham on the occasion of the birth of Isaac:`Oh, that Ishmael might live before you.(ie remain in the service of Lord’s House)’, (Genesis 17:18). We have clarified earlier that the phrase, `before the Lord’ means `in the service of the house of the Lord’. The Holy Quran also verifies this statement:

“Abraham said: “Lord I have settled some of my offspring in a barren valley near Your Sacred House, so that they may observe true worship.” (14:37)

Now who is referred to as the one `living near the Sacred House of God (Ka’aba)’? He is definitely Ismail, as both the Christians and Muslims agree that Isaac continued to reside in Canaan along with his mother. For himself, Abraham selected a place midway between the abodes of Isaac and Ismail so that he may see his sons frequently and at the same time remain close to the Holy Ka’aba. That is why when he died, both his sons were with him.

“And his sons Isaac and Ismail buried him.” (Genesis, 25:9)

Second Argument: Ismail was the only son of his father

We have observed earlier that Abraham had been desired by the God to sacrifice his only son (Genesis, Ch 22). Clearly, the only son was Ismail because he was fourteen years older than Isaac:

“Abram was eighty six years old when Hagar bore Ismail to Abram.” (Genesis, 16:16)

“Now Abram was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.” (Genesis 21:5)

It flows from these two verses that a) Ismail was Abraham’s only son till such time that Isaac was born, and b) he was this only son whom Abraham sacrificed even before Isaac was born because after that Ismail could no more be referred to as the only son.

Both these conclusions are sufficient evidence from the Old Testament that Abraham offered Ismail in sacrifice. Here it becomes so evident that it gets impossible to be denied. But the Jews and Christians have argued that Ismail had been sent away and Abraham was only left with Isaac, and in a way Isaac became the only son with Abraham at that time. Thus Genesis records him to be the only son, in a figurative sense only. This interpretation is not sustainable because:

a) In fact, Isaac and not Ismail had been sent away. Ismail was actually living with his parents in Beersaba.

b) The figurative interpretation of `the only son’ is very far-fetched. The phrase `only son’ is used for the son who does not share his parents’ love and affection with any other siblings.

Actually, it must have been `your first born son’ in Genesis Ch 22 which appears to have been changed over to `your only son’. The change must have been brought about with the motive to exclude Ismail but instead it went to prove that Ismail was sacrificed even before Isaac was born.

Third Argument: Ismail was his father’s beloved son

In Chapter 22, the son to be offered to God was referred to as `your only son whom you love’. This also goes to show that Ismail is meant here because the Old Testament on more than one occasion indicates that Abraham doted on Ismail. Abraham specially prayed to God for him:

“But Abram said: Lord God what will you give me seeing I go childless and the heir on my house is Eliezer of Damascus ?” Then Abram said: Look You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir! And behold the word of the Lord came to him saying: This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” (Genesis, 15:2-4)

That is why when he bore the son, he named him Ishmael which meant Lord has heard your affliction. It is quite imaginable that Ismail must be his father’s favourite and blue eyed son. Let us imagine an old man who has no offspring and feels dejected on this account, beseeches God for an offspring and when he is blessed with a son at an advanced age, names him Ismail which means God has heard the affliction. Then keeps him pressed to his bosom for thirteen long years. He is all he can pin his hopes on for his old age, and sees no chances for another child. In these circumstances, it can be well imagined how the father would dote on his only son!

Then again when Lord the God promises the birth of another son (Isaac) to Abraham, he utters words which further bring out his special feelings for Ismail. It appears that after the birth of Ismail he is so indebted to God that he is not harbouring any more desires.

“Then Abram fell on his knees and laughed, and said in his heart: shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child ? And Abraham said to God: Oh , that Ishmael might live before you!” (Genesis 17:17-18)

These feelings are pronounced by Abraham when God is breaking to him the good news of another son. The words, `might live before you’ betray a love that is difficult to fathom. The affection is welling in a fashion that it is difficult for him to conceal it even before God.

Another instance also illustrates Abraham’s love for Ismail. When Sarah wishes to cast out Ismail and his mother and intends to disinherit Ismail, Abraham finds it very displeasing:

“And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Therefore, she said to Abraham: Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac. And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s sight becausof his son.” (Genesis 21:9-11)

Fourth Argument: The incident occurred at Marwah which is situated by the Ka`ba

We have read that when Abraham set out for the sacrifice: `On the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off’, (Genesis 22:4). The Jews deem this place to be the Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, while Christians consider it to be the place where Christ was crucified. But their own authorities maintain that this idea has no foundation. We quote their differences on this point from J. W. Colenso a biblical scholar. He has summarized the varied viewpoints and then summed up by recording his findings, thereby acknowledging the extent of changes introduced in the Scripture by human hands. He has pointed out that the place Muriah has been referred to in the Old Testament on four different occasions, and every time it is rendered differently in different versions by the Septuagint and Hebrew Bible.

Septuagint Hebrew Bible

Genesis 22:2 high land the land of Mureh

Genesis 12:6 high terebinth tree the plain of Mureh

Deuteronomy 11:30 beside the high terebinth beside the plain of Mureh

Judges 7:1 by the hill of Mureh by the hill of Mureh

Then even the various translations of the Septuagint do not agree. The Septuagint reads Genesis 22:2 as “high land” whereas Aquila puts it as “prominent land” and Symmachus as “The land of the Vision” 1. Moreover, as we shall see later, not only is it interpreted differently but is also transcribed in more than one renditions when it comes to writing it in Hebrew. J. W. Colenso has contested the claim that Moriah is the hill on which Solomon’s Temple now stands in Jerusalem on the strength of the following proofs:

1. The word Moriah has nowhere been used for the Temple. In the words of Colenso: `The word is not mentioned in any book of the Old Testament which in chronology is later than Solomon’s book.2 The hill on which Solomon erected the temple is always recalled as Zion in the books of the Prophets and Psalms. The word Moriah is never used for the Temple.’

2. The characteristics of Moriah do not agree with those of the site of Temple.

We find the second statement notably cogent. Colinso reasons that the Torah asserts that the place was conspicuous from a distance to which Abraham lifted his eyes, whereas there is no such place at the site of the Temple which suits this description. It is interesting to note that when Mount of the Temple is approached from the east through the Valley of the son of Hinnom, one has to look downhill to behold it, hence the pointlessness of `lifting the eyes’ in Genesis 22. Colinso has also drawn strength from an excerpt by Stanley:

“In the morning Abraham set out from the camp heading for the place indicated by the Lord. The Jews claim it was a place in Jerusalem on the Hill of Moriah, but I do not agree. The Christians insist it was located near the Church of the Holy Tomb. But this idea is even more flimsy. Muslims believe that it was a place in Mecca on Mount Arafat. This view sounds even more odd and baseless. It would be very plausible to look for this place on Mount Gerizim. Its topography also resembles that of an altar.”

It is out of ignorance that this author has ascribed to Muslims, the view of placing the scene of this historic sacrifice on Mount Arafat. To my knowledge no Muslim holds this opinion. As goes for Mount Gerizim, it is believed to be the site of the Altar in question, by the Samaritans, a Jewish sect, which proclaims a different Torah and has more affinity with the Christians than any other Jewish sect could have.

We have dilated on these views only to show that there are wide differences about determining the exact location of Moreh, the site of the Great Sacrifice. A section of biblical scholars has eliminated the name altogether, substituting it with “high terebinths” or “prominent land” or “the land of vision” in subsequent translations. Others have preserved the name but have corrupted the text by adopting the different pronunciations of Moreh, Muriah and Moriah. This is the same age old ruse of jumbling up fact and fiction which has been lamented by the Quran:

“O you People of the Scripture! Why do you confound truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the Truth?” (3:71)

The correct word is undoubtedly Marwah (the famous hill near Ka’aba in Mecca) and not Moriah or Moreh. The word means shining smooth stone and is precedented frequently in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry.

Now the Hebrew word Moreh is derived either from Yara (fear or wonder) or Yarah (archery or moistening)3. Had the original word been Moreh, as the existing text suggests, the biblical translators would have preferred these meanings instead of “prominent land” or “land of vision”. The scribes of Pentateuch appear to have found it originally in the form Marwah but being the proper name of an unknown place situated far away in Arabia, it was difficult for them to translate it. Incidentally, there was a similar Hebrew word Marah which is derived from Ra’ah (Vision). The scribes mistook Marwah for Marah and in their effort to make the word meaningful to their predominantly Hebrew readers, translated it “Vision” and “Prominent”. When the translations became canonized with the passage of time, the original word was lost or confused and the Biblical scholars ended up with the word Moreh or Moriah.

In translations or versions where the name of the place has not been translated and the original name appears to have been preserved, the various extant forms of the word still suggest that it must have been Marwah.

The confusion was spawned by the fact that the classical Hebrew script had no indications of vowels. These were introduced later. In the absence of an oral tradition of transmission where people would commit the text to memory, the original accents and pronunciations could not be preserved. Consequently, the erroneous insertion of vowels sometimes completely changed the form of words and opened a floodgate of textual corruption. The word in question would have been originally written devoid of vowels but of course with a definite pronunciation. It suffered transformation later when vowels were added.4

Let us study this transformation in some detail. This transformation took three forms.

Original Form Changed Form Possible Pronunciation

Marwah Muryah Muriyyah

Mooriyah Mooriyaah

Mooreh Mooreh

The mechanism by which these changes came around needs to be considered. In the first case, the word Marwah was converted to Muryah. This is because the Arabic letter “w” is usually converted into Hebrew letter “y” (Yodh); for example Jol was turned into Jyl, Khoh into Khyh. This fact becomes more transparent when we find that in all roots which are common in Arabic and Hebrew, the Arabic “w” is changed to the Hebrew “y”, for instance we may note the change from Walo to Waly. It is still more evident when a root which is common in Arabic and Hebrew begins with “w”, such as the conversion of Arabic Walad to Hebrew Yalad, Ward to Yarad, Waqr to Yaqar and Wa’az to Ya’az. This shifting of syllables occurred either because of the convenience it offered in pronouncing the word, or because of the similarity in the way Hebrew alphabets “Waw” and “Yodh” are written.

The second change from Marwah to Moriyah occurred because they presumed that the letter “Mem” carried a vowel (sounding like Hebrew letter “Waw” or English letter O) and carried the presumption too far by replacing the vowel with letter “Waw”. This is not unusual in Hebrew and we have other examples such as the transformation of Y’tar to Yotar.

In the third case, the word Marwah (Arabic M’rwah) got converted into Morah (Hebrew Mwrah) when letters “Res” (English letter R) and “Waw” were allowed to exchange their places. Either it was in consonance with their habit of making like changes in Arabic words (such as their adoption of Jar’w as J’wr, Hafi as Yahaf, Alo as Ya’al, Kahal as Kalah) or because of the close resemblance between letters “Res” and “Waw” in Hebrew script. The latter probability is always there, particularly when the scribes deliberately intend to corrupt the text. There are many occasions when the Biblical scribhave actually thrived on this confusion because of similarity in written form of these letters. For instance they changed B’r’s into Bos.

It remains to be seen where this venue of the Great Sacrifice is actually located. The Jews consider it to be the place in Jerusalem where the Temple is situated. Christians place it at the Church of Holy Tomb. These claims have been sufficiently rebutted by their own intellectuals. As far as Stanley’s claim of identifying Moreh with Mount Gerizim is concerned, it is only based on conjecture. The mountain assumes the form of a table like plateau which strikingly resembles the shape of an altar. This led Stanley to believe that the altar referred to, in Genesis, must be Mount Gerizim. But unfortunately there are no compelling reasons to believe it. Also there is hardly anyone in the West who is for Stanley in his unique finding and scholars are hesitant to receive it.

We hold that this is exactly the same place in the Arabian Peninsula where the Children of Ismail have lived since earliest times and which has always been known as Marwah. The Book of Judges states:

“Then Jerubbaal (that is Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.” (Judges, 7:1)

This illustrates that the Hill of Moreh was situated by the side of the Midianite camp and it is an established fact that by Midianites the Old Testament means the Arabs. The word is commonly used for the Arabs. Jewish scriptures are quite loud on it that Midianites were in fact the children of Ismail. George Sale, who has to his credit the first English version of the Holy Quran, states:

“Midian was one of the cities of Hijaz (Arabia). It was situated in the south east of Sinai on Red Sea. Doubtlessly, this is the same place which is referred to by Ptolemy as Modiana.”

The Old Testament further asserts:

“Then the men of Israel said to Gideon: Rule over us, both you and your son, and your grandson also; for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.

But Gideon said to them: I will not rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you. Then Gideon said to them: I would like to make a request of you, that each of you would give me the ear-rings from his plunder. For they had golden ear-rings, because they were Ishmaelites.” (Judges 8:22-23)

“And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camel, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh on their way to carry them on to Egypt. So Judah said to his brothers: What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmailites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.” (Genesis, 37:25-28)

Thus Moreh was a place in the abode of Midianites and Midianites is only another name for Ismaelites, and Midian is a town situated in Arabia on the coast of Red Sea. We have also shown that Moreh is in fact the corrupted form of Marwah and there is no place in Palestine or Syria with the name of Moreh. The Jews introduced the name Moreh in their scriptures and tried to identify more than one spots with it, a contention which they could not get accepted even by their own authorities. This leaves the argument that Moreh is actually Mount Jerusalem, devoid of any strength.5

There are other reasons to believe that Marwah is actually a hill in Arabia, the land of Children of Ismail. In fact, it is one of the places with which the Arabs were quite familiar and it was the center of their religious rites on the occasion of Haj wherein it was mandatory to rally around it. That is why when the name Marwah is mentioned in the Quran, the details of its geographical location were deemed unnecessary. It has been indicated that it is one of the Signs of God and that the People of the Book tried to conceal it by textual interpolations although Allah had elaborately explained it. The detail of these statements of the Quran will appear in the second chapter.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sws), while watching the animals waiting to be sacrificed by Marwah, is reported to have pointed at Marwah and said: `This is The Altar and all roads to Mecca are altars.’ On another occasion, he is reported to have said that Mina is also an altar. Here we must note that the Prophet Peace be upon him declares Marwah to be “The Altar” (with a definite article), whereas the other places are referred to as “altars” (with indefinite article) which reduces them to the status of merely being one of the many altars.

The Holy Quran illustrates this fact from another angle. Referring to the animals brought for offering on Haj it observes:

“In the end, their place of offering is near the ancient house [The Ka’aba].” (22:33)

“… the offering brought to the Ka’aba.” (5:95)

This means that the animals brought for the offering should reach Ka’aba, because The Altar is situated near the “ancient house” which was raised in the beginning for this purpose.

“The first house (of worship) ever to be built was that at Bekka, a blessed place and a beacon for nations.” (3:96)

Now Marwah is situated beside Holy Ka’aba and it is The Altar. However with the passage of time as the followers of Islam spread through the world, the ambit of The Altar was also expanded around it. The Muslims and People of the Book concur that The Altar of Abraham was in the proximity of the Baitullah (House of Allah) which the Bible terms as Bethel (House of the Lord):

“Abraham passed through the land to the place of Shechem as far as Moreh and the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said: To your descendants I will give this land. And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the Mountain east of Bethel ( House of Lord) and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.”(Genesis, 12:6-8)

Other details of the incident as stated in the Old Testament, also conform to the surroundings of Marwah and do not agree with the location of Mount Jerusalem, which is called erroneously as Moreh, Moriyah or Muriyah by the Jews. A comparison of all statements shows that Abraham, in fact, came from the East, left both his slaves on a hill nearby, and zealously marched to Marwah with his only son, Ismail. And as indicated in Genesis 12:1-8, Abraham lived somewhere around Safa. On this occasion the Torah relates yet another version of Abraham’s journey to Moreh but the incident of the great sacrifice is not mentioned. (Gen 12:6)

These are the reasons which have given birth to the age old traditions and religious rites and customs among the Arabian tribe of Ismail which have survived to our times6; and such traditional remnants are conspicuously absent in respect of Mount Jerusalem.

(Translated by Nadir Aqueel Ansari)

The Great Sacrifice Of Abraham (2)

Reflections

Imam Hamiduddin Farahi

Chapter 2

Admissions of the Torah and Judaeo-Christian Scholars

It would serve our purpose better if the following ten premises of our discussion on the concepts of revelation, inspiration, apocalypse and sacrifice are clearly understood.

(I) It is unlike the divine way to command any of His obedient servants in explicit terms to sacrifice his son. Of course, it can be shown in a dream which allows room for interpretation. If sacrificing one’s son is indicated in a dream, its most plausible interpretation would be to dedicate one’s son to God and to surrender him as an attendant of the house of the Lord. According to the rituals of the Jews’ synagogues, the attendants of the synagogues were considered akin to the animals marked for sacrifice. That is why they were subjected to similar rituals.

“So you shall bring the Levites before the Lord, and the children of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites; and Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord like a wave offering from the children of Israel that they may perform the work of the Lord. Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the young bulls and you shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to the Lord to make atonement for the Levites. And you shall stand the Levites before Aaron and his sons and then offer them like a wave offering to the Lord. Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. After that the Levites shall go in to service the tabernacles of meeting. So you shall cleanse them and offer them like a wave offering. For they are wholly given to me from among the children of Israel; I have taken them for myself instead of all who open the womb.” (Numbers 8:10-16)

It is thus sufficiently illustrated that the children of Aaron were earmarked for the service of the temple and whenever they were nominated for this duty, they were subjected to all the rites meant for sacrificial animals. The Torah abounds with evidence on this subject of which only one instance has been cited; more examples will be brought forth in due course.

(II) The secrets of the unknown are sometimes revealed by God through dreams. Sometimes these dreams are as clear and vivid as the morning sun and sometimes they are clad in allegories. Just like a speech which can either be categorical or it can be metaphorical, wanting elucidation. The second type of dreams needs interpretation and sometimes the interpretation is so farfetched that it even eludes the person who is blessed with it. According to the Holy Quran, the two prison mates of the Prophet Yusuf (sws) and the king of Egypt failed to interpret their dreams. The Torah mentions a number of dreams of the Prophet Daniel and king Nebuchadnazar, the meaning of which was unfolded to them after long.The prophets also face the same situation sometimes. Interpretation of dreams is a specialized knowledge which stems from a god gifted insight and prudence. Prophet Yusuf, in his statement “And my Lord has taught me something of the art of interpretation of dreams and events” (Yusuf 12:101), has hinted at this branch of knowledge.

(III) As explained above, a revelation can be a categorical and unequivocal message like the morning sun and sometimes it can also assume the form of a dream. But whatever form it may acquire, the person receiving it is always convinced about the truth of its contents and has faith in it. In order to realize that one possesses a special gift, its active or passive appearance is sufficient proof. After that no external evidence is required. For instance, we possess faculties of hearing, sight and comprehension. The strongest evidence for their presence is the fact that we can hear, see and understand; no further argument is necessary. Similarly, the person being blessed with revelation has faith in it and does not wait for the confirmation of its veracity. No doubt, it worries him at the beginning but this uneasiness is also remedied with the passage of time by its increased frequency. Thus revelation, whether it comes to the recipient when he is awake or asleep, is accompanied by belief and satisfaction. When we are awake, we are able to differentiate between a concrete reality and a fantasy without any difficulty; similarly, one can distinguish between an ordinary dream and a vision meant to reveal a message of God. This aspect of prophethood has been allowed to continue even after the termination of the series of prophets so that people who are perceptive and discerning may have a glimpse of the way Prophets were revealed upon, although there is a lot of difference between the two.

(IV) When it comes to sacrificing before the Lord or entrusting someone to the service of the temple, it has always been mandatory to present the first born baby, be it an animal or a child. It was followed so closely that in case of land, the first crop or the first plucking of the orchard was offered in the name of God. This was the divine law in the days of Adam and it was also enacted in the Torah.

“Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering.” (Genesis 4:4)

This was the divine command during the Adam’s days and the same law was revealed to Moses in the Torah.

“Because all the firstborn among the children of Israel are Mine, both man and beast: on the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified them to Myself. I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the children of Israel.” (Numbers 8:17-18)

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.” (Exodus 13:1-2)

(V) The sanctity of the firstborn is of a permanent nature which cannot be annulled. So much so that if the firstborn is from the wife whom her husband hates and the second is from a beloved wife, even then it is the firstborn that retains sanctity because: “he is the beginning of his strength; the right of firstborn is his.” (Deuteronomy 21:17)

(VI) One who is offered to God has no share in inheritance; God is his inheritance.

“At that time, the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in His name to this day. Therefore, Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 10:8-9)

“The priests, the Levites — all the tribe of Levi — shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion. Therefore, they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 18:1-2)

(VII) It was necessary for the offering to be circumambulated around the altar seven times, and that razor should not have come down upon his head and his hair shall only be removed before the altar.(Numbers Chapter 6)

(VIII) For anything offered for God or anyone earmarked for His service, a special biblical phrase came to be used. It was: “before the Lord”, meaning that the person in question was in the service of the Lord or the synagogue.

“When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abraham and said to him: I am Almighty God: walk before Me and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)

“At that time, the Lord separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and to bless in his name to this day.” (Deuteronomy 10:8)

“And it (the robe) shall be upon Aaron when he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he goes into the holy place before the Lord.” (Exodus 28:35)

“Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” (Exodus 29:11)

“This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.” (Exodus 29:42)

“… from the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the Lord.” (Exodus 29:23)

“Then you shall take the breast of the ram of Aaron’s consecration and wave it as a wave offering before the Lord.” (Exodus 29:26)

More instances of usage of this phrase can be seen in the Book of Leviticus. The biblical scholars agree with our interpretation of this phrase.

(IX) The offering had to be presented at the place chosen by the Lord for this purpose.

“Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offering in every place that you see; but in the place which the Lord chooses.” (Deuteronomy 12:13-14)

“God said to Abrahamm: Take now your son to the Land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22:2)

“You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you; but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make his name abide.” (Deuteronomy 16:5-6)

(X) The Jewish law provided that special and important sacrifices had to be offered in special directions (Leviticus Chapters 1-8). For instance the sacrifice mentioned in Leviticus 6:17-25 and 7:1-6 was “most holy” and for it one had to face south and had to enter through the northern gate.

“He (Moses) put the table in the tabernacle of meeting on the north side of the tabernacle outside the veil; and he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the lamp stand in the tabernacle of meeting across from the table on the south side of the tabernacle; and he lit the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil; and he burned sweet incense on it as the Lord had commanded Moses. He hung up the screen at the door of the tabernacle. And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting; and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the Lord had commanded Moses.” (Exodus 40:22-29)

A Christian scholar has written a book on the Synagogue titled “The Temple”. While giving the details of all Jewish religious rites and rituals, he has pointed out these aspects also. He has also tried to explain why the door of the tabernacle was located at the northern end. He writes, “We are not sure; may be because it was cold and dark in the North and may be because during their wanderings in Teyah their temple faced Palestine.” Thus it is clear that the door of the tabernacle was to the North whereas the lamp stand was to the South.

Pitfalls In Bible Study

It has been shown beyond doubt that the Jews have effected copious interpolations in their scriptures which stand distorted as a result. Many words have been deleted and others have been added. Just as it is difficult for a jury to sift the truth out of a pile of false evidence, similarly it is very difficult to ascertain the facts out of these scriptures. The scholars have widely complained of these impediments. The matter hardly needs treatment at length because certain evidences from the text itself are sufficient to reveal this fact. Look how Prophet Jeremiah laments over their fabrications:

“My heart within me is broken because of the prophets … For both prophet and priest are profane … I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem; they commit adultery and walk in lies … And the Lord says: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart. Not from the mouth of the Lord … In the later days you will understand it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied” … Therefore behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words every one from his neighbour. I am against the prophets who use their tongues and say “He saith” … For you have perverted the words of the living God. (Jeremiah 23:9-36)

“How can you say: We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us”? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold they have rejected the word of the Lord; so what wisdom do they have?” (Jeremiah 8:8-9)

Jesus has also hinted at the same people:

“All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers.” (John 10:8)

There has been some error in reporting or translating this verse. Jesus must have intended to discredit only those who came before Jesus but after the true prophets.

Whoever will examine the Jewish scriptures, will learn that they are conglomeration of reports from various sources and, like all such reports, suffer from inconsistencies. That is why books, which are revered as revealed and inspired scriptures by one sect, are entirely apocryphal for another. This is a known controversy and admitted by the Christian and Jew scholars. Therefore, these texts should not be relied upon; rather their study must be carried out critically and endeavours should be made to tell the truth from falsehood. In our opinion, the following principles of textual criticism must be kept in mind during Bible study to avoid grave errors:

i) Verses favouring Jews in the matters of contested disputes should not be relied upon.

ii) When a deliberate attempt is made to tamper with the text, the intruders succeed in deleting, expunging or corrupting some portions, but usually fail to blot out all related signs. Thus these signs should be sought for diligently and then the expunged facts should be reconstructed on the basis of these hints.

iii) A correct and genuine statement agrees with its context whereas a distorted verse does not. Therefore truth can be brought out by comparison of verses and reports, and collation of all details appearing on the subject.

iv) The modern archaeological and scientific findings regarding biblical age can also prove helpful in this quest.

The Great Sacrifice as reported by the Torah

Let us read the incident of the Great Sacrifice as reported by the Torah and then we will try to analyze it in the light of the principles of biblical textual criticism cited above.

The twenty second chapter of the Book of Genesis begins with the narration of this incident, which is in continuation of the previous chapter which speaks of the land where Abraham dwelt and from where he left with his son for the Great Sacrifice. Herein, it is mentioned that Abraham wandered in Beersaba. The king of the area approached him and made a covenant with him and then returned to Palestine. In the end, the name of Abraham’s dwelling has been hinted at, from where he left for the place of sacrifice. Now, we present the incident in the words of the Torah:

“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him: `Abraham !’ And he said: `Here I am’. Then he said: `Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men: `Stay here with the donkey, the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you’. So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said: `My father!’ And he said: `Here I am, my son.’ Then he said: `Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said: `My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering’. So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from the heaven and said: `Abraham! Abraham!’ So he said: `Here I am.’ And he said, `Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.’ Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day: `In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’ Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of the heaven and said: `By myself, I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son — blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore, and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because you have obeyed My voice’. So Abraham returned to his young men and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.” (Genesis 27:1-19)

References to this event are found elsewhere in the Bible also to which we will refer later on. For the time being, we may note the following in this passage of the Torah:

1. Abraham dwelt in Beersheba before and after the sacrifice.

2. The land of Moriah is three days journey from Beersheba.

3. It is at Moriah where the Great Sacrifice was offered.

4. Moriah could be seen from a distance.

5. Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice.

6. He was the son whom Abraham loved.

7. There was a thicket by the altar.

8. Abraham was blessed for not withholding his only son from God.

9. All the nations of the world were also promised to be blessed through Abraham’s descendants.

10. Abraham’s descendants shall possess the gates of their enemies.

Since the mind behind interpolations in the text was unaware of the fact that despite replacing Ismail’s name with that of Isaac, the context would reveal the truth through other details, therefore the other details were not touched. Now, we will show how these remnants of the original text can be pieced together to reconstruct the true picture.

Translated by Nadir Aqueel Ansari

The Great Sacrifice Of Abraham (1)

Reflections

Imam Hamid-u-Din Farahi

Introduction

This treatise is one of the prologues of my exegesis of the Qur’an, ‘Nizam-ul-Qur’an’, wherein I have tried to demonstrate as to which of his two sons—Ismail or Isaac—did Abraham offer to Allah as sacrifice. There are special reasons for setting down this treatise.

1. At first, I was motivated to write this tract by the extraordinary significance of this issue in Islam. This deserves elucidation: God, the Almighty, at first tested Abraham’s faith and when Abraham was not found wanting, he was blessed, chosen and appointed the patriarch (Imam) of the people. This has found mention in the Qur’an both explicitly and implicitly.

“And when his Lord tried Abraham by enjoining on him certain commandments and Abraham fulfilled them, He announced: I have appointed you Leader of mankind.” (2:124)

On another occasion, the Almighty has pointed out:

“We chose Abraham in this world, and in the world to come, he shall dwell among the righteous. When his lord asked him to submit, he answered: I have submitted to the Lord of the Universe.” (2:130)

That is to say that Abraham was chosen because of this submission to God and obedience to His commands. In other verses, the meaning of this submission to God and the nature of his trial have also been revealed ie, he was asked to sacrifice his son in the name of God.

“So when they [Abraham and his son] had both submitted to God and Abraham had laid his son prostrate on his forehead [for sacrifice]…” (37:103)

Later on, it has been made abundantly clear that the trial (ibtilaa’) mentioned in 2:124 refers to this very test.

“This is indeed the manifest trial.” (37:106)

This is to say that the test referred to above established Abraham’s complete submission and surrendering of will to God, which is the real essence of absolute monotheism and devotion to faith.

Now, when we talk in terms of nations (Ummah) and religions (sharaai`), this submission (Islam) has been reserved by God for the Ummah of the Prophet (sws). No one else has been allowed any share in it because the Shariah (code) is granted only to those who can bear it. Only the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (sws), could bear the responsibility, and, therefore, it was entrusted to it. This is the reason why Abraham, while constructing the Ka`aba prayed to God to raise a people from the barren valley of Mecca which may uphold the Shariah that embodies true faith, and to send a prophet who may enable this Ummah to discharge this responsibility through teaching and training:

“And recall when Abraham and Ismail were raising the foundations of the House praying: O Lord, accept this [service] from us. You hear all and You know all. Lord! make us submissive to You, and out of our descendents raise a nation that will be submissive to You. And tell us the way to worship You and forgive us. Verily, You are forgiving and merciful. Lord! send forth to them a Prophet from among themselves who shall convey to them your message and instruct them in law and wisdom and purify them of sins. Verily you are exalted in might and truly wise.” ( 2:127-129 )

Abraham’s prayer was heard by God, and out of his progeny rose an Ummah capable of upholding the Shariah, marked by absolute submission to God sacrificing themselves for the sake of God. As a result, this Ummah is ever ready to offer itself in sacrifice for Allah in the footsteps of its forefathers, Abraham and Ismail. This is revealed in a prayer taught to the Prophet (sws):

“Say: Behold, my Sustainer has guided me onto a straight path through an ever true faith—the way of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false, and he was not one of those who ascribe divinity to others besides Him. Say: Behold my prayers, and [all] my acts of worship, and my life and my death are for God [alone], who is the Sustainer of all the universe, in whose divinity none has a share: for thus have I been bidden—and I shall always be foremost among those who surrender themselves unto Him.” (6:161-163)

Here `foremost among those who surrender’ denotes this particular meaning of Islam. Otherwise, the word “Islam” has been applied in its general connotation to all divine religions, but as a proper name it has been used for the following of the Prophet Muhammad (sws) only. This is because the adherents of this Ummah are at the pinnacle of absolute submission to God. As indicated above, they have committed their lives to God and, consequently, God Almighty has chosen them and charged them the responsibility to bear witness to the truth before mankind:

“And strive hard in God’s cause as you aught to strive [with sincerity and discipline]. It is he who has selected you [to carry his message] and he has laid no hardship on you in [matters of] religion, [and has chosen for you] the creed of your forefather, Abraham. It is he who has named you in bygone times: `Muslims’ and you have been named so in this [scripture also]—so that the Prophet might bear witness to the truth before you, and that you might bear witness to it before all mankind.” (22:78)

`It is he who named you Muslims before this’ refers to Abraham’s prayer in which he has used the phrase Ummat-i-Muslimah. His words were: “And raise from my progeny an Ummat-i-Muslimah”.

An Ummah was raised for this very purpose so that this blessing (the religion of Islam) may pervade throughout the world and the progeny of Abraham may become a source of blessing and bounty for the world. That is why when the Torah relates the instance of the sacrifice by Abraham, it points out:

“By myself I have sworn, says the Lord because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son. That in blessing I will bless you and multiplying I will multiply your descendents as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore… In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:15-18)

The last sentence means that the Muslim Ummah will proclaim pure faith and absolute monotheism in the world, and in this manner the blessings of God will permeate all the nations of the world. The same theme is reiterated in the Qur’anic verses quoted above, wherein it is ordained `Bear witness to the Truth before all mankind’ and `strive hard in God’s cause with sincerity and discipline, He has chosen you’. That is to say that God has selected it for the realization of this noble and lofty cause, and so it should concentrate its efforts and aspirations on it: the people of this Ummah have sacrificed their lives in the name of God; their life and death are for him. These traits have won for them the status of witnesses to the Truth before mankind and they have been appointed to lead them.

Now let us sum up our findings. Our discussion has revealed that this Zibh-i-Azeem (The Great Sacrifice) is the very faith which signifies the essence of Millat-i-Ibrahim. The Prophet (sws) was sent to elaborate and consummate it. God named this faith Islam and its devotees were designated as Muslims. A special Ummah was raised from amongst the progeny of Ismail, settled around the center of Abraham’s nation—the venerated Ka`aba of Mecca, to propagate it. All these signs have been beautifully summed up in the following verses:

“Therefore, stand firm in your devotion to true faith which Allah Himself has ordained, after which He modelled man’s innate qualities. There is no altering God’s creation. This is surely the true religion, although most men do not understand.” (30:30)

Now consider, how oblivious are they of the purport of the great mission of the Prophet (sws) and how ignorant are they of the significance of this momentous sacrifice in Islam, who reckon that this trial was held on the Mountain of Jerusalem and Isaac was sacrificed instead of Ismail !

2. The second consideration before me to write this book is the fact that there are a number of verses in the Holy Qur’an whose true sense cannot be understood and their placement in the coherence of the Qur’an cannot be accounted for, unless the subject of this Great Sacrifice is grasped in depth. A few illustrations of this premises above might have been found above and more will follow. Dealing with these matters under every relevant verse in my exegesis “Nizam-ul-Qur’an” would have resulted in unnecessary repetition and protraction. Therefore, I have attempted to resolve all the related difficulties in this book. It may be considered as the preface of my commentary of the Qur’an. I would keep on referring to this tract in my commentary as and when required.

3. The third factor which prompted this work is that the Jews have made more efforts to conceal the reality of this event than they have attempted in any other case. There is no limit to the textual distortions and lies introduced in the scriptures when it comes to Ismail and the Ka`aba. Some of these textual manipulations will be revealed in due course. Although this incident has been reported in the Torah, it has been enveloped in so many textual corruptions and interpolations that the facts stand completely distorted. The Qur’an has revealed the truth by removing the fog of human interventions. The Qur’an has adopted a unique strategy of discussion and reflection in this regard; the following two aspects of this approach are noteworthy:

(a) All Jewish scriptures are unanimous that God had categorically commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son. But the Qur’an has given a different version: It states that Abraham saw in a vision that he was offering his son Ismail in sacrifice. This shows that the Qur’an is above any plagiarism from the corrupted scriptures of the Jews and Christians. In fact, the Qur’an introduces corrections in the Torah by reforming and improving the scriptures. It reveals the textual distortions introduced by the Jews.

b) In the Torah (Genesis, Ch 22), where the incident of the Great sacrifice of Abraham has been reported, the Jews have placed the name of Isaac instead of Ismail’s in a very preposterous manner without any rhyme or reason. This is one of the ugliest and the most despicable examples of Jewish tampering with the holy scriptures. It was deemed inappropriate by the Qur’an to comment on interpolation of this sort due to a number of reasons and, therefore, it did not contradict them. A contradiction was not even required. Although the Jews had inserted the name of Isaac in place of Ismail in some verses but the other indications in the text were sufficient to expose this insertion. They managed to remove a few signposts of the path but could not altogether close it down. This tampering, being in tune with their desires, found wide acceptance among all the earlier and later generations of Jews and Christians and not a single dissenting voice survived. The general masses are not well versed in Holy scriptures and they find it easier to yield to the prevailing beliefs. The same happened in this case. The Jews proclaimed it in unision so vehemently and vociferously that all and sundry conceded chorus. This fervid propaganda also influenced some of the Muslim scholars, such as Ibni Jareer (may Allah bless him), who did not mind trusting Jewish scriptures and held them in high esteem. Ibni Jareer has admitted in his celebrated “History of the Nations and Kings” that while recording the history of a people he prefers to rely on their statements. In my view, this lapse on the part of these historians owes to their failure in estimating the real worth of the Jewish scriptures and in distinguishing the extant versions of the Torah from the original one.

But only a few of the scholars had this misconception. Others who were proficient in the critical appreciation of the scriptures demonstrated from the Torah itself that it was Ismail who was offered by Abraham in sacrifice to Allah and not Isaac. However, due to these differences, the significance of this issue has receded into the background, or, one may say that it was the underestimation of the incident that led to these differences. Had they known what importance this event enjoys in our religion, they would have investigated the matter thoroughly and this event would not have fallen victim to their negligence.

These three factors motivated me to clarify this controversy for which this book was written. It consists of a prologue, three chapters and an epilogue.

In the first chapter, evidence has been drawn from the Torah and the statements and admissions of Judaeo-Christian scholars so that the Jews and Christians are left with no excuse.

The second chapter discusses the relevant Qur’anic arguments and sanctions.

In the third chapter, evidence has been presented from the traditions of the Prophet (sws), reports of the Companions of the Prophet (sws), citations from celebrated Muslim scholars, customs and history of the pre-Islamic Arabia.

Finally, these discussions have been summed up and reviewed in the epilogue.

(To be Continued)

Translated by Nadir Aqeel Ansari