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History Makkah

The Kaaba And The Abrahamic Tradition

The story of Prophet Ibrahim’s migration from Babylonia to Syria-Palestine (Kan’an), then to Egypt, then his return to Palestine and subsequently his coming with his wife Hajar and son Isma’il to Makka is well-known. These epoch-making travels took place roughly at the beginning of the second millennium B.C. Ibrahim had at first called his own people to abandon the worship of idols and other objects like the heavenly bodies and to worship the One Only God.1 They, however, instead of responding to his call, put him to various vexations and ultimately to the test of fire from which God protected and saved him.2 Only his wife Sarah and nephew Lot believed and accepted his call. Under God’s directive3 Ibrahim, accompanied by Sarah and Lot first migrated to Haran (in Syria) and then on to Kan’an (Palestine). At both the places he preached God’s message and called the people to worship Him alone. Next he travelled to Egypt where the reigning monarch initially designed evil against him but was subsequently attracted to him and respected him. The ruler presented Hajar to Ibrahim and Sarah. Hajar was originally a princess and queen to another ruler but was captured in a war by the Egyptian monarch.4

With Hajar, Ibrahim returned to Palestine and subsequently married her. Ibrahim had hitherto no child. So he prayed to God for a son. God granted his prayer and gave him the good news that a forbearing son would be born to him.5 As Hajar became pregnant Sarah grew jealous of her; but God blessed her. According to the Old Testament an angel visited her and gave her the good tidings that she would give birth to the first son to Ibrahim and that she should name the son Isma’il.6

In due course she gave birth to a son, the first-born to Ibrahim, and the child was named Ismail. Ibrahim was at that time 86 years old.

Until Ibrahim’s return from Egypt, Lut had all along been with him. Then Lut was called to Prophethood and was directed to preach to the people inhabiting the then prosperous region lying to the southeast of the Dead Sea. The sinful people rejected his repeated appeals to reform themselves and to obey Allah. Ultimately Allah destroyed the intransigent population and their habitat, saving Lut and a few of his believing followers.7 This happened some 12 or 13 years after the birth of Isma’il. The scenes of destruction and devastation are still visible in the region.

After Isma’il’s birth Sarah grew all the more jealous of Hajar so that Ibrahim found it necessary to separate her and the child from near Sarah. Under Allah’s directive and guidance he travelled with Hajar and Isma’il all the way from Palestine to the valley of Makka and left the mother and the child, with some provisions and water, at the spot near which the Ka’ba stands. It was then an uninhabited place. Hajar of course enquired of Ibrahim why he was leaving them there. In reply he said that he was doing so according to Allah’s directive and desire. The virtuous and believing Hajar willingly submitted to Allah’s will, expressing her confidence that Allah would not then let them down.8

Allah of course did not let Hajar and Isma’il down. As the little amount of water with them was soon exhausted Hajar went in search of water. She ran frantically between the nearby Safa and Marwah hills in search of water. As she thus completed seven runs between the two hills, the angel Jibril appeared before her by Allah’s command and caused the well of Zamzam to gush forth from the ground for Hajar and Isma’il. The provision of this well for them was indeed the beginning of their peaceful existence there. For water in those days (as also subsequently) was the most valuable wealth in desert Arabia. Soon a Qahtani tribe of Yaman was passing by the region. Noticing that a bird was flying over the spot of Zamzam they correctly guessed that there was water there. They reached the spot and sought and obtained Hajar’s permission to settle there.9

Thus the spot was settled and it soon grew to be an important trading centre, lying conveniently on the trade route from Yaman to the north and vice-versa. Isma’il grew up among the Jurhum tribe, learning the pure Arabic tongue from them. When grown up he successively married two ladies from the Jurhum tribe, the second wife being the daughter of Mudadd ibn ‘Aim, leader of the Jurhum tribe.

In the meantime Ibrahim continued to visit Makka from time to time to know about the well-being of his son and wife.10 On one such occasion, when Ismail had reached the age of understanding, Ibrahim received Allah’s command in dream to sacrifice his dear and only one son. He disclosed it to Isma’il. The virtuous son of the virtuous father, who himself was to be a Prophet of Allah; Isma’il unhesitatingly consented and asked his father to carry out Allah’s behest. Accordingly Ibrahim took Isma’il to a suitable spot.11 The Qur’an specifically states that both father and son submitted to Allah’s will12 made him lie on the ground, face downward, and was about to strike his neck with knife when Allah’s call reached Ibrahim saying that he had already passed the test and that he should instead sacrifice an animal.13

The test was for both father and son and both had creditably passed it. It was as a reward for having passed this test that Allah further blessed Ibrahim and gave him the good tidings that He would favour him with another son by his first wife Sarah, though both he and she had grown quite old14. Thus another son, Ishaq, was born to Ibrahim by Sarah when Isma’il was about 14 years old. On another occasion when Ibrahim visited Makka Allah bade him build a house for His worship15. Accordingly, he built the Ka’ba, assisted by his son Isma’il. As they raised the foundation they prayed to Allah to accept their good deed, to render them submissive to His will, to raise from among their progeny a people submissive to Allah and to raise from among them a Prophet who would purify them and recite unto them His scripture and directives16. Further they prayed Allah to make Makka and its vicinity a land of peace and security and to feed its people abundantly – “such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.” (Qur’an, 2:126).

When the building of the Ka’ba was completed Allah commanded Ibrahim to proclaim to mankind the duty of pilgrimage to the House (Ka’ba)17. So Ibrahim introduced the rite of pilgrimage to the Ka’ba.

The Qur’an as well as the Bible state that Allah especially blessed Ibrahim and both his sons, Isma’il and Ishaq, intimating that their descendants would multiply into nations18. Indeed, it was according to the Divine plan that the two sons were settled in two different lands. Ibrahim lived long to see his sons grow into maturity, establishing their respective families. According to the Old Testament Ibrahim lived for 175 years and when he died both Isma’il and Ishaq together buried him19.

Isma’il also lived long for 137 years and left behind him twelve sons from whom twelve tribes arose20. They and their descendants lived at Makka; but as their numbers increased they scattered over the other parts of Arabia. Of the tribes who arose out of the twelve sons of Ismail, those from the eldest two, Nabat and Qaydar21 became more prominent. The descendants of Nabat migrated from Makka towards the north where, in the course of time, they founded the famous Nabatian Kingdom (sixth century B.C. to 105 A.C.) with Petra as its capital. The descendants of Qaydar continued to live at Makka and its vicinity for long till the time of ‘Adnan, probably the 38th in descent from Qaydar. The descendants of ‘Adnan through his son Ma’dd and grandson Nizar multiplied so greatly that they were in the course of time divided into numerous tribes and spread over all parts of Arabia including Bahrayn and Iraq. Most of the tribes who subsequently attained prominence traced their descent from ‘Adnan and thus called themselves ‘Adnanites. Such famous tribes as Taghlib, Hanifah, Bakr ibn Wa’il, Qays ibn ‘Aylan, Sulaym, Hawazin, Ghataffan, Tamim, Hudhayl ibn Mudrikab, Asad ibn Khuzaymah, Thaqif, and Quraysh (sons of Fihr ibn Malik ibn al-Nadr ibn Kinanah) all traced their descent from ‘Adnan and through him from Isma’il and Ibrahim.

Indeed, this Abrahamic tradition was the most important and universal feature in the social life of the Arabs. It was the symbol of their unity and identity, despite their division into numerous independent tribes. It found expression in their practical life in various ways. Each and every tribe meticulously maintained their genealogy tracing it ultimately to Isma’il and Ibrahim. They universally practised circumcision as an Abrahamic tradition (Sunnah). All the peoples of all the tribes believed the Ka’ba to have been built by Ibrahim and they considered it as their spiritual centre. They even placed images of Ibrahim and Isma’il along with other images, in the Ka’ba. In pursuance of the Abrahamic tradition, all the Arabs used to perform pilgrimage to the Ka’ba and Makka, to make sacrifice of animals in connection with that rite, and to circumambulate the Ka’ba. And despite their relapse into gross idolatry, they did not forget the name of Allah, Whom they regarded as the Supreme Lord — a faint remnant of monotheism which Ibrahim and Isma’il had taught. And most important of all, when the Prophet asked them, through the Qur’anic text, to revert to the true faith of their forefather Ibrahim (millata ‘abikum Ibrahim) they did not controvert him on this point of their ancestry going back to Ibrahim, although they were only too ready to oppose the Prophet on all conceivable grounds. This is worth emphasizing; for nothing was more obnoxious to an Arab than to ascribe a false or imaginary ancestry to him.

Regarding The Abrahamic Tradition

(a) Consideration of Muir’s views

Of greater import are the opinions of the orientalists about the Abrahamic tradition. Generally, they deny that Prophet Ibrahim(P) ever came to Makka, that Hajar and Isma’il(P) were ever left there by him and that the Ka’ba was built by him. They also assert that it was Ishaq(P) and not Isma’il(P), who was intended to be sacrificed. These views are as old as Orientalism itself. It was Muir, however, who gave those views their modern form and pattern. And ever since his time others have mainly reproduced his arguments and assumptions.22 “The connection of the Abraham myth with the Ka’bah”, writes Margoliouth, “appears to have been the result of later speculation, and to have been fully developed only when a political need for it arose.”23

Of the others who reiterated and elaborated the same views mentioned may be made of J.D. Bate and Richard Bell. The former prepared an independent monograph entitled Enquiries Into the Claims of Ishmael24 in which he set forth almost all that the orientalists have to say on the theme including the question of the sacrifice of Isma’il. The latter, Richard Bell, suggested that the relevant Qur’anic passages on the subject are “later” revisions during the Madinite period of the Prophet’s mission25.

Clearly, the subject calls for separate treatment. The scope of the present work, however, necessitates confining the present section to a consideration of Muir’s views that are mainly elaborated and reiterated by his successors.

On the basis of the information contained in the Old Testament Muir says: “Hager, when cast forth by Abraham, dwelt with her son in the wilderness of Paran, to the north of Arabia.”26. He further says that the “divine promise of temporal prosperity” in favour of Isma’il was fulfilled and his twelve sons became “twelve princes” whose descendants were founders of numerous tribes. These tribes, and also other Abrahamic and collateral tribes lived, according to Muir, in northern Arabia extending “from the northern extremity of the Red Sea towards the mouth of the Euphrates.”27

He admits, however, that the Abrahamic tradition and the legend connected with the Ka’ba were widely current and accepted in Arabia and Makka before the rise of Islam28 but he holds that these traditions, though earlier than Islam, grew there much subsequently to the time of Ibrahim. Muir mentions in this connection that though “a great proportion of the tribes in northern and central Arabia were descended from Abraham, or from collateral stock, we have no materials for tracing their history from the era of that patriarch for nearly two thousand years.”29. Therefore he proceeds to “conjecture”30the “facts” as follows.

He says that there were earlier settlers at Makka, many of whom were natives of Yaman. They brought with them Sabeanism, stone worship and idolatry. “These became connected with the well of Zamzam, the source of their prosperity; and near to it they erected their fane [the Ka’ba], with its symbolical Sabeanism and mysterious black stone. Local rites were superadded; but it was Yemen, the cradle of the Arabs, which furnished the normal elements of the system.”31 Subsequently, an Isma’ilite tribe from the north, “either Nabataean or some collateral stock”, was attracted there by its wells and favourable position for caravan trade. This tribe carried “in its train the patriarchal legend of Abrahamic origin” and engrafted “it upon the local superstitions.” “Hence arose the mongrel worship of the Ka’ba, with its Ishmaelite legends, of which Mahomet took so great advantage.”32.

In support of this “conjecture” Muir advances a number of other suppositions. He says that though the existence of the Abrahamic tradition was extensive and universal, it is “improbable” that it “should have been handed down from the remote age of the patriarch by an independent train of evidence in any particular tribe, or association of tribes”. According to him, “it is far more likely that it was borrowed from the Jews, and kept alive by occasional communication with them.”33 Having said so he states that so “extensive a homage,” i.e., homage to the Ka’ba “must have its beginnings in an extremely remote age; and similar antiquity must be ascribed to the essential concomitants of the Meccan worship, – the Kaaba with its black stone, sacred limits, and the holy months.”34 He then attempts to prove the great antiquity of the Ka’ba and its rites by mentioning that the Greek historian Herodotus (5th century B.C.) speaks of one of the chief goddesses of the Arabs and mentions her name as Alilat which “is strong evidence of the worship, at that early period, of Allat the Meccan idol.”35

Next Muir points out that the Greek author Diodorus Siculus, writing in the first century B.C., spoke of a “temple” in Arabia which was “greatly revered by all the Arabs”. Muir observes that this must refer to the Ka’ba, “for we know of no other whichever commanded the universal homage of Arabia.”36 Finally, Muir suggests that the practice of idolatry was old and widespread in Arabia and, on the authority of Ibn Hisham (Ibn ‘Ishaq), points out that idolatrous shrines were “scattered from Yemen to Duma [Dumat al-Jandal] and even as far as Hira, some of them subordinate to the Kaaba and having rites resembling those of Mecca.”37

On the basis of such facts and arguments, Muir states that there “is no trace of anything Abrahamic in the essential elements of the superstition. To kiss the black stone, to make the circuits of the Ka’ba, and perform the other observances at Mecca, Arafat and the vale of Mina, to keep the sacred months, and to hallow the sacred territory, have no conceivable connection with Abraham, or with ideas and principles which his descendants would be likely to inherit from him”38 These were according to him “either strictly local” or being connected with the system of idolatry prevailing in the south of the peninsula, were imported to Makka by Banu Jurhum and others.

And when the Abrahamic legend was grafted on “the indigenous worship, the rites of sacrifice and other ceremonies were now for the first time introduced, or at any rate first associated with the memory of Abraham”39 and once the legend was thus established at Makka, its “mercantile eminence” which “attracted the Bedouins of Central Arabia” to it, “by degrees imparted a national character to the local superstition, till at last it became the religion of Arabia.”40

Finally, suggests Muir, the Prophet only took his stand on this “common ground”, and effected a bridge between the “gross idolatry of the Arabs and the pure theism of Israel”. “The rites of the Kaaba were retained, but stripped by him of every idolatrous tendency?”41

Clearly, this thesis of Muir’s is based on four assumptions, namely, (a) that polytheism and polytheistic practices existed at Makka before the migration of the Isma’ilite tribe there; (b) that the Ka’ba and the rites connected with it are polytheistic and are of south Arabian origin, “having no conceivable connection with Abraham”; (c) that an immigrant Isma’ilite tribe superimposed the Abrahamic legend on those rites and (d) that the combined system was then by degrees adopted by the Arab tribes as the national religion.

The facts and arguments adduced by Muir do not, however, substantiate any of the four above-mentioned elements of the theory. With regard to the first assumption, Muir mentions three facts. First, he says that the fifth century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus speaks of an Arabian goddess Alilat. Muir notes that Herodotus does not speak specifically about Makka but maintains that Alilat should be identified with the well-known Makkan (in fact Ta’ifan) goddess Al-Lat. It should be pointed out that Herodotus, in fact, speaks with reference to north Arabia. Even taking his statement to apply to Arabia in general, and accepting the identification of Alilat with Al-Lat, the evidence would take us back only to the 5th century B.C., that is, by Muir’s own admission, to a period some one thousand and five hundred years subsequent to that of Ibrahim. Muir’s second fact is that the first century B.C. Greek writer Diodorus Siculus speaks of a universally venerated Arabian “temple”.

Muir rightly takes it to refer to the Ka’ba, but this evidence takes us back still less in point of time. i.e., only to the first century, B.C. Muir’s third fact is that polytheism and polytheistic shrines were widespread all over Arabia. He cites this fact on the authority of Ibn Hisham (in fact Ibn Ishaq). It should be pointed out that the latter speaks of a state of affairs that prevailed prior to the emergence of the Prophet. Neither Ibn Ishaq nor any other authority implies that the situation obtained from time immemorial.

Thus, none of the facts mentioned by Muir takes us back beyond the fifth century B.C. It cannot be suggested that the supposed migration of the Isma’ilite tribe to Makka took place so late as the fifth century B.C. or even after that; for, Muir himself admits that the descendants of Kedar, son of Ismail, became so widespread in northern and central Arabia that the Jews, i.e., the Old Testament, used to speak of the Arab tribes generally of those regions as Kedarites42
. According to modern critics, the extant Old Testament was composed not later than the fifth century B.C. As it speaks of a state of affairs already prevailing in northern and central Arabia, which includes Makka, for a long time, and not of a recent dispersion of the Kedarite tribes over those regions, the Isma’ilite tribes must have been settled at Makka long before the fifth century B.C.

Muir’s second assumption that the Ka’ba and its rites are polytheistic, that they are of south Arabian (Yamani) origin and that they have “no conceivable connection with Abraham” is both incorrect and misleading. The Ka’ba and its rites must, of course, be assigned very high antiquity, as Muir emphasizes. But that in itself does not prove them to be pre-Abrahamic in point of time, nor that they are south Arabian in origin. Muir does not advance any evidence to show that the Ka’ba is of south Arabian origin. If it was established in imitation of anything like it existing in Yaman, we should have found some trace of that original temple or some mention of it in ancient accounts; and it should have been initially more important and more venerated than its supposed imitation temple at Makka. But the existence of no such old or venerable temple is known, neither in Yaman nor elsewhere in Arabia, from any source, not even from the writings of the ancient Greek authors. To cite the evidence of Diodorus again. He speaks of only one universally venerated “temple” in Arabia, not of anything else like it or superior to it. The existence of a number of idolatrous shrines throughout Arabia before the rise of Islam to which Ibn Ishaq refers and of which Muir speaks, including even the “Yamani Ka’ba” of Abrahah, were all established subsequently to and in imitation of the Makkan Ka’ba, not before it. Muir simply attempts to put the cart before the horse when he draws attention to the existence of these Ka’ba-like idolatrous shrines in order to suggest that the Makkan Ka’ba was originally one such idolatrous establishment. Even then he is forced to admit that many of those idolatrous shrines were subordinate to the Ka’ba “having rites resembling those at Mecca”.,

In fact, none of those shrines was older than the Ka’ba, nor was any one of them regarded by the Arabs as of similar antiquity and commanding comparable veneration. This fact alone proves that those shrines were established in imitation of the Ka’ba. That they were devoted to idolatrous gods or goddesses was also naturally in imitation of the idolatry which had in the meantime been installed at the Ka’ba, not vice-versa, as Ibn Ishaq and others very distinctly mention. Idolatry had of course been prevalent in many of the surrounding countries since a much earlier period, but to prove that the Ka’ba was originally built as an idolatrous temple requires some more relevant evidence than what Muir has adduced. All that he has mentioned, to repeat, takes us back only to the fifth century B.C. He cannot imply that the Ka’ba was built so late as the 5th century B.C. or around that time.

Muir admits that the Abrahamic tribes of Arabia “originally possessed knowledge of God.” They indeed did; it has been noted earlier that despite their declension into gross idolatry they had not lost sight of Allah (God) as the Supreme Lord of the universe. And it is remarkable that throughout the ages the Arabs used to call the Ka’ba the “House of Allah” or Bayt Allah. While all the other shrines were each named after some specific god or goddess, such as the shrine of Al-Lat, that of AI-‘Uzza, that of Wadd and so on, the Ka’ba was never called after any such idolatrous deity, not even after the Quraysh’s principal idol Hubal. If the Ka’ba was originally built for any idolatrous deity, the name of that deity would have remained associated with it. It cannot be supposed that the name of that deity was obliterated when the immigrant Ismailites allegedly superimposed the Abrahamic tradition upon the “temple”. If such subsequent superimposition had at all taken place, it is more in accord with reason that the name of that idolatrous deity would have been conjoined with Allah at the time of the supposed integration of the Ka’ba with the Abrahamic tradition.

To prove the supposed idolatrous origin of the Ka’ba, Muir states that the “native systems of Arabia were Sabeanism, Idolatry, and Stone worship, all connected with the religion of Mecca.”43 This is a highly misleading statement. The religious systems mentioned were, of course, prevalent in Arabia at different places and at different times, not equally and everywhere at the same time. Sabeanism with its worship of the heavenly bodies prevailed in south Arabia. Muir does not show how this system was “connected with the religion at Mecca” except saying that as late as the fourth century “sacrifices were offered in Yemen to the sun, moon, and stars” and that the “seven circuits of the Kaaba were probably emblematical of the revolutions of the planetary bodies.”44 It is not understandable how sacrifices offered in Yaman “to the sun, moon and stars” could be connected with the religion at Makka. The Makkan unbelievers did, of course, offer sacrifices to their idols; but they did never do so by way of worshipping the sun, the moon, and the stars! Indeed the practice of sacrificing animals, or even human beings, for gods and goddesses, had been prevalent among many ancient peoples before even Prophet Ibrahim’s(P) intended sacrifice of his son to Allah. But none would, therefore, suggest that such sacrifices by the other ancient peoples or by Ibrahim were only symbolical of Sabeanism! In fact, the term Sabeanism is derived from the Sabaeans who emerged on the scene of history much subsequently to the generally assigned date of the Ka’ba. More specifically, worship of the heavenly bodies was prevalent among the ancient Greeks, among others. In that perspective, Sabeanism was only a south Arabian manifestation of Hellenism.

More strange is Muir’s statement that the “seven circuits of the Kaaba were probably emblematical of the revolutions of the planetary bodies”. There is no indication whatsoever that the Sabaeans or other ancient worshippers of the heavenly bodies used to make seven circuits around any object as part of their astral worship. It is also quite unreasonable to suppose that the ancient Makkans or others of the time were aware of “the revolutions of the planetary bodies”. If they had such modern astronomical knowledge, they would not have worshipped the heavenly bodies at all.

With regard to idolatry and stone worship Muir, after referring to what Ibn Ishaq says about the existence of idolatrous shrines in Arabia and how the Isma’ilites, when dispersing from Makka, used to carry with them a stone from the sacred precincts, states that this widespread tendency to stone worship probably “occasioned the superstition of the Kaaba with its black stone, than that it took its rise from that superstition.”45

As shown above, the evidence adduced by Muir does in no way show that the idolatrous shrines in Arabia and the attendant worship of stones or stone images came into existence before the erection of the Ka’ba. And Muir is grossly wrong in supposing that the Black Stone at the Ka’ba was symbolical of stone worship. Whatever the origin of the Black Stone and whatever the origin of stone worship in Arabia, the pre-Islamic Arabs, neither of Makka nor of the other places, are never found to have worshipped the Black Stone of the Ka’ba. The kissing of the Black Stone was no worship of the stone itself; it marked only the start of making the circuit around the Ka’ba. This circumambulation was not done for any specific idol in the Ka’ba or around it. It was to all intents and purposes a circumambulation of the House of Allah. And it is only an instance of the peculiar coexistence of the Abrahamic traditions and idolatry which the Makkan religion represented on the eve of the rise of Islam. It should be noted here that it was very much the practice of Ibrahim(P) that in the course of his travels from one land to another he set up, wherever he halted, a stone to mark a place dedicated to the worship of Allah (“an altar unto God” as it is put in the English versions of the Old Testament)46.

That these places of worship were symbolized by stones erected as pillars is clear from Gen. 28:10, 18-22, which informs us that Jacob [Ya’qub(P)], when he journeyed from Beer-Sheba to Haran, halted at night at a certain place and in the morning took the stone he had used as his pillow and “set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el.” He further declared: “And this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house.”47 In fact, these stone pillars were in the nature of foundation stones laid at different places where houses for God’s worship were intended to be erected. The Black Stone of the Ka’ba was one such stone with which the patriarch Ibrahim(P) laid the foundation of the House of Allah (Beth-el).48

Neither was the Black Stone of the Ka’ba symbolical of stone worship, nor were the Prophets Ibrahim(P), Ishaq(P) and Ya’qub(P), by any stretch of the imagination, stone worshippers on account of their erection of stone pillars as “altars unto God”.

The dogmatic assertion that the rites connected with the Ka’ba “have no conceivable connection with Abraham, or with the ideas and principles which his descendants would be likely to inherit from him”, is a downright misstatement. So far as the Black Stone is concerned, its connection with Ibrahim and with the ideas, practices, and principles that his descendants were likely to inherit from him, are indubitably demonstrated by the above-mentioned testimony of the Old Testament. That the institution of sacrifice also is very much in line with the Abrahamic tradition admits of no doubt, the incident of the intended sacrifice of his son being so clearly narrated in both the Old Testament and the Qur’an. In this case, too, the coexistence of Abrahamic rites with idolatrous practices is noticeable. While the unbelieving Arabs used to sacrifice animals on various idol altars at different places, their sacrificing of animals at Mina at the time of the pilgrimage was only in pursuance of the Abrahamic tradition. It was no sacrificing for any particular idols or their idols in general. Neither any idol nor any altar was there at Mina or ‘Arafat. Indeed the pilgrimage, the staying at Mina, the standing at ‘Arafat and the sacrifices made on the occasion were not done for any idol or idols. These were performed purely in accordance with the Abrahamic tradition. Muir’s remarks about sacrifice are somewhat confusing. In attempting to show the supposed connection of Sabeanism with the Makkan religion he states, as mentioned earlier, that as late as the fourth century A.C. sacrifices were offered in Yaman “to the sun, moon and the stars”. But while suggesting that the Abrahamic tradition was grafted on the supposedly preexisting Ka’ba and its rites by an ‘Isma’ilite tribe he states that “the rites of sacrifice and other ceremonies were now for the first time introduced or at any rate associated with the memory of Abraham.”49 This statement of Muir’s constitutes, in fact, a confession of the weakness of his theory and an admission that the “rites of sacrifice and other ceremonies” were very much connected with the Abrahamic tradition.

Indeed Muir’s third and fourth suggestions, namely, that the Abrahamic tradition was superimposed on the supposedly pre-existent and idolatrous Ka’ba and its rites by an ‘Isma’ilite tribe subsequently settling there, and that this tradition was still more subsequently adopted “by degrees” on the part of the Arab tribes because of the commercial pre-eminence of Makka which attracted them thither, are more illogical and absurd. Both these assumptions run counter to his other statement that so “extensive a homage” to the Ka’ba and its rites “must have its beginnings in an extremely remote age.”50

The Ka’ba and its rites, of course, go back to very remote antiquity. And it is also noted that Muir makes a distinction between the prior existence of the Ka’ba and the extensive homage to it on the one hand, and the Abrahamic tradition on the other, which according to him was superimposed on it and its rites. But that does not resolve the inconsistency and difficulty involved in his proposition. If the Arab tribes had since antiquity been paying extensive homage to the Ka’ba and its rites, they would not simply add to these institutions only the name of Ibrahim at a subsequent stage -for that is in essence what Muir suggests – just because an Isma’ilite tribe came to settle at Makka and imposed Ibrahim’s name on the existing institutions. In all likelihood, such an illegitimate attempt on the part of an Isma’ilite tribe would have met with universal resistance, both from the preexisting idolatrous population of Makka as well as from the Arab tribes.

Muir seems to have foreseen the difficulty. Hence he recognizes, on the one hand, the fact that the Arab tribes of northern and central Arabia were by and large of Abrahamic origin so much so that both the Jews and the Old Testament spoke of them as Kedarites (i.e., descendants of Isma’il’s son Kedar or Qaydar) and, on the other, attempts to make room for his theory in the situation by suggesting that it is “improbable” that the memory of the connection with Ibrahim “should have been handed down from the remote age of the patriarch by an independent train of evidence in any particular tribe, or association of tribes”. As noted earlier, he suggests that “it is more likely that it was borrowed from the Jews, and kept alive by occasional communication with them.”51 Now, it is highly unlikely that an acknowledged conservative people like the Semitic Arabs, who of all people were the most attached to their ancient traditions, remembering their individual genealogies going back to a distant past, would have continued to venerate the Ka’ba and its rites as belonging to their common past, and at the same time forgetting the real fact of their descent from Ibrahim.

The nature of “living tradition” is not that it should have been handed down “by an independent train of evidence in any particular tribe, or association of tribes.” It is handed down from generation to generation by “popular memory”, not by the memory or evidence of any particular individual or tribe. It is also just not correct to say, as Muir does, that the Arab tribes having supposedly forgotten their descent from Ibrahim “borrowed” the memory “from the Jews” and it was “kept alive by occasional communication with them.” No people who had forgotten their common ancestor would accept the ancestor of other people as their ancestor too because the latter stated so, without further and an “independent train of evidence.” The fact is that the Arab tribes of central and northern Arabia were not merely on “occasional communication” with the Jews. Throughout the ages till almost the beginning of the Christian era the Jews and the Kedarite tribes of northern and central Arabia were on constant contact with one another and they very much constantly remembered their common descent from Ibrahim. But leaving aside all these questions and going with Muir all the way, it is only reasonable to suppose that if the Jews at any point of time reminded the Arab tribes of their descent from their common patriarch Ibrahim, they would also have been told that that patriarch was no polytheist and that the (supposedly) pre-existing Ka’ba and its rites had no connection with him. Therefore the Arab tribes would not associate the Ka’ba and its rites with the memory of Ibrahim even when they were reminded of their actual ancestor. But, since the Arab tribes, by Muir’s admission and by all the available evidence did in fact associate the Ka’ba and its rites with Ibrahim for long before the coming of Islam, a natural corollary of Muir’s suggestion is that the Jews, when reminding them of Ibrahim, must also have told them that the Ka’ba and its rites were of Abrahamic origin.

The unreasonableness of Muir’s proposition does not end here. He says that the Isma’ilite tribe, when it came to settling at Makka, brought “in its train the patriarchal legend of Abrahamic origin” and engrafted “it on the local superstitions.” Thus by Muir’s own statement, when the Isma’ilite tribe came to Makka, they had not forgotten their Abrahamic origin. It is, therefore, reasonable to add that they had also not lost sight of the fact that Ibrahim was no polytheist. Hence they would not have desecrated the sacred memory of their ancestor by associating it with the (supposedly) pre-existing and polytheistic Ka’ba and its rites, the more so because these institutions had long been commanding the homage of the Arabs. In such a state, if they intended to integrate themselves with the Arab tribes, or vice versa, they would have simply allowed the Abrahamic memory to remain in the background and would have accepted the Ka’ba and its rites as they were; for by so doing they would not have lost anything, neither their domicile nor the profitable trade of Makka. Since they did not do so, but accepted, as it is said, the Ka’ba and its rites as of Abrahamic origin, notwithstanding their having retained the memory of their descent from Ibrahim, and since also the Arab tribes accepted the Ka’ba and its rites as of Abrahamic origin, notwithstanding their constant touch with the collateral branch of Ibrahim’s descendants, the Jews, the natural conclusion is that they did so because they knew that the Ka’ba and its rites were of Abrahamic origin. Thus a rational analysis of even Muir’s theory of subsequent migration to and settlement at Makka by an Isma’ilite tribe, together with the other assumptions he makes and the facts he admits, leads to the unavoidable conclusion that the Ka’ba and its rites were of Abrahamic origin.

(b) About the Old Testament evidence

Muir’s above-discussed theory and assumptions proceed from his understanding of the information contained in Gen. 21:21. He says: “Hagar, when cast forth by Abraham, dwelt with her son in the wilderness of Paran, to the north of Arabia.”52 The above-mentioned passage of the Genesis simply says that Ismail and his mother “dwelt in the wilderness of Paran”. The clause, “to the north of Arabia”, is Muir’s own statement based understandably on the identification of Paran made by other Christian writers and exegetes of the Bible. Paran is mentioned in connection with other events at three other places in the Old Testament.53 But in none of all these places it is clear what exactly is the locality meant by the name Paran. The answer to the question where, according to Genesis 21:21, Hajar and Isma’il settled thus depends on the correct identification of Paran.

The subject was in fact exhaustively dealt with by Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur shortly after the appearance of Muir’s work54. As the arguments on either side have not advanced much since that time, it would be worthwhile to recapitulate the main points made by him, adding to them such other facts or points as bear on the subject. He drew attention to the fact that the early Muslim geographers speak of three different places bearing the same name of Paran, namely, first, the wilderness where Makka now stands, together with the mountainous region adjacent to it; secondly, those mountains and a village that are situated in Eastern Egypt or Arabia Petra and; thirdly, a district in Samarkand.55 He further pointed out that the Christian scholars and exegetes advance three different identifications of Paran. One view is that it comprised a vast area extending ‘from the northern boundary of Beer-Sheba as far as Mount Sinai’; the second view is that it was identical with Beersheba, which was also called Kadesh; and the third view is that it was the wilderness lying on the “western slopes of Mount Sinai.56

As regards these identifications the first two are obviously wrong, because the descriptions of the Old Testament itself clearly show Paran to be a distinct and different area, not a vast wilderness including many others such as the first identification would suggest, and also different from Beer-Sheba/Kadesh.57 The third identification, that of Paran being a locality on the western slopes of Mount Sinai, tallies with one of the Paran mentioned by the Muslim geographers, but the locality was in all likelihood not known by the name of Paran at that time. For Moses, in the course of his journey with the Israelites from Egypt to Sinai, does not make any mention of Paran although he passed through the same locality and mentioned the places on the way. Most probably the place came to be known as Paran at a period subsequent to that of Moses on account of the settlement there of a branch of Banu Pharan, a Qahtanite tribe.58

None of these three localities, however, could have been the domicile of Hajar and Isma’il. For, in the first place, no local traditions exist to the effect that they settled in any of those localities. Secondly, though Moses and his followers are stated to have proceeded further from Sinai and having passed through “Taberah”, “Kibrothhattaavah” and “Hazeroth” next halted at the wilderness of Paran59 the exact course taken by them is not clear. The Christian scholars themselves suggest as many as five different directions. Moreover, their statement that the descendants of Isma’il spread over the area “from ‘Shur to Havilah’, or across the Arabian peninsula, from the borders of Egypt to the mouths of the Euphrates” is based on an incorrect identification of “Havilah” mentioned in Gen. 25:18. They, guessing on a slender similarity in sound, identify Havilah with Aval or Auwal of the Bahrayn islands. In reality, as Syed Ahmed points out, Havilah is a locality in the vicinity of Yaman, lying at Lat. 17 degrees 30′ N and Long. 42 degrees 36, E, and called after Havilah, one of the sons of Joktan (Qahtan)60. It is thus evident “that the Ishmaelites settled in the wide tract of land extending from the northern frontiers of Yemen to the southern borders of Syria. This place now bears the name of Hedjaz, and it is identical with Paran”, as mentioned by the Muslim geographers.61 It is further noteworthy that an Arabic version of the Samaritan Pentateuch edited by R. Kuenen and published at Lugduni Batavorum, 1851, says in a note that Pharan and Hejaz are one and the same place.62

Thirdly, a close look at Gen. 21:14-15 would make it clear that the two consecutive passages do not really speak of one and the same occasion. The statement in Gen. 21:14 that Hajar “wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba” does not mean that she wandered only there and proceeded no farther. Nor does the statement in Gen. 21:15, “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs”, mean that the incident took place in or in the vicinity of Beer-Sheba. Nor does it mean that the same water in the bottle with which she had left her home “was spent” and therefore she was obliged to “cast the child under one of the shrubs”. Beersheba was a place well known to her, Ibrahim having lived there with her for long. There were also a number of wells scattered over the region and dug by different persons, as the Old Testament very clearly states at a number of places. The well at Beer-Sheba itself was dug by Ibrahim. All these could not have been unknown to Hajar. She could, therefore, have obtained further water, after a little search, from any of the many wells in the area.

In fact, the Old Testament writer here describes, in two very short and consecutive passages, the long and arduous wanderings made by Hajar, of which the beginning was her wanderings in Beer-Sheba and the last stage was at such a place where she could get no water, nor replenish her bottle in any way. So in utter distress and despair, she cast the child under one of the shrubs. The two passages speak of two different stages of her wanderings, separated by not too small gaps of time and place.

Fourthly, the causes and circumstances that led to Hajar’s and Isma’il’s banishment from home, as described in the Old Testament, also indicate that they travelled to a land quite away from the area where Sarah and Ibrahim continued to live. According to the Genesis, Sarah wanted that Isma’il should not be heir with her son Ishaq. So also, according to the Genesis, it was God’s plan that Ismail and his descendants should settle in and populate another land. The Genesis very graphically describes the situation thus:

“11. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.”

“12. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of the bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

“13. And also the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation because he is thy seed.”

“14. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar…”, etc. (Gen. 21:11-14)

Thus it is very clear from the Genesis that it was not really because of Sarah’s desire but decisively because of God’s plan and assurance of a fruitful future for Isma’il communicated to Ibrahim, and His command to him, that he banished Hajar and Ismail to a different land. God’s words to Ibrahim, “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called”, was a consolation as well as an assurance that the banishment of Ismail did not mean an end to or a constriction of the line of Ibrahim’s descendants. The statement, “in Isaac shall thy seed be called” meant that Ibrahim’s progeny will continue there where he was at that time, through Ishaq; whereas the other statement was an emphasis on the fact that Isma’il was his seed (“he is thy seed”) but his progeny will be multiplied and made into a nation in another region. By the very nature of this plan of God’s (and Sarah’s desire to exclude Isma’il from his father’s immediate possessions was itself part of God’s plan), Hajar and Ismail could not have been settled in any place in the region of Beer-Sheba and Sinai, which were very much then within the sphere of Ibrahim’s and Sarah’s activities. Hajar and Isma’il could only have been and were indeed consigned to a far-away and unsettled land. The Paran/Faran mentioned in the Genesis as their domicile could not simply have been any Paran in and around Beer-Sheba and Sinai, as the Christian scholars imagine.

Fifthly, as regards the exact location of Hajar’s and Isma’il’s domicile Genesis 21 also furnishes a clue. Thus, when Hajar in her utter distress and helplessness prayed unto God and also the child Ismail cried out of hunger and thirst, God responded to them. Says the Genesis:

(Gen. 21:17-19)

17. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the Angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”

“18. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.”

“19. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.”

Thus God provided Hajar and Isma’il with a well of water; on the spot where they were (“God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.”) Hajar did not have to look around and walk any distance to find the well. “God opened her eyes”, i.e., God made her open her eyes (Obviously Hajar was deeply absorbed in prayer with her eyes closed), “and she saw a well of water.” It was not simply a temporary relief. It was God’s especial gift for them to be the means of their sustenance and settlement there in accordance with His plan and promise to “make a nation” out of Isma’il. This divinely provided well cannot be identified with any well in Beer-Sheba and its surrounding region for the simple reason that none of these wells is mentioned in the Old Testament as God-given. On the contrary they are very distinctly described as the work of human hand. Nor is there any local tradition pointing to the existence there, now or in the past, of any divinely caused well. To attempt to identify the well given by God to Isma’il and Hajar with any of the wells in the Beer-Sheba region would be an affront to the clear wording and purport of the text of the Genesis. This well is unmistakably the Zamzam well by the side of the Ka’ba. Ever since the time of Hajar and Isma’il it has continued to be a perennial source of water for the descendants of Isma’il and others who repair there, except for a short period of human tampering with it.

Last but not least, the name of Makka, which is also called Bakka in the Qur’an (Q. 3:96), finds mention in the Psalm of David, together with the well too. Thus Psalm 84:6 says:

“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.”

‘Baca’ in the above passage is clearly Bakka of the Qur’an, and the well spoken of is the well of Zamzam. It is also noteworthy that ancient works on history and geography make mention of floods being caused at Makka by occasional heavy rains, a feature not quite unknown even in modem times -thus completing the identification with Makka – “the rain also filleth the pools.”

Thus, despite some obvious discrepancies in the description of the Genesis, it is in consonance with all the essential features in the Qur’anic and Islamic accounts; and they combined to prove that Hajar and Isma’il were settled at Makka, according to the Divine plan and provision.

Professor of the History of the Islam, Centre for the Service of Sunnah and Sirah, Islamic University Madina, Saudi Arabia. Excerpts from Sirat Al Nabi and the Orientalists: With Special Reference to the Writings of William Muir, D. S. Margoliouth and W. Montgomery Watt. Compiled by Adam Rodrigues

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Kaaba And The Abrahamic Tradition," in Bismika Allahuma, October 15, 2005, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/history/kaaba-and-abrahamic-tradition/
  1. Qur’an, 6:74, 80-83; 19:41-50; 21:51-71; 26:70-82; 29:16-18, 24-25; 37:83-98 []
  2. Qur’an, 21:68-70 []
  3. Qur’an, 21:71 []
  4. Ibn Khaldun, Tarikh, II/I / 79; Ibn Sa’d, I, 48, 49 []
  5. Qur’an, 37:99-100 []
  6. Genesis 16:7-11 []
  7. Qur’an, 6:86:7:80-84; 11:77-83; 15:57-77; 21:74-75; 26:160-175; 27:54-58; 29:26, 28-35; 37:133-138; 51:31-37; 54:34-39; 66:10 []
  8. Bukhari, no. 3364 []
  9. Bukhari, no. 3365 []
  10. Ibid. []
  11. Some reports say it to be at Mina; some others think it to be near the Marwah hill. []
  12. Qur’an, 37:103 []
  13. Qur’an, 37:102-107 []
  14. Q.37:112-113 []
  15. Bukhari, no. 3365 []
  16. Qur’an, 2:127-129 []
  17. Qur’an, 22:27 []
  18. Genesis 12:2; 16:10 []
  19. Genesis 25:7-9 []
  20. The Old Testament, after mentioning the names of the twelve sons of Ismail, states:

    “These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.” (Genesis 25:16) []

  21. Kedar of the Old Testament. []
  22. See for instance, A. Guillaume, Islam, London, 1964, pp. 61-62; P. Lammens, L’Islam, Croyance et Institutions, Beirut, 1926, pp. 28, 33 []
  23. D.S. Margoliouth, Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, 3rd ed. (London, 1905), p. 104. This specific comment has been discussed at a subsequent stage in this work, infra, Ch. XIV, see I & II []
  24. First published, London, 1926; republished in 1984 []
  25. R. Bell, The Sacrifice of Ishmael, T.G.U.O.S., Vol. X, pp. 29-31; and The Origin of the Id al-Adha, M. W. (1933), pp. 117-120 []
  26. W. Muir, The Life of Mahomet, 1st edn, Vol. 1., London, 1858, p. cxi, citing Gen. XXI: 25; XXV: 18 []
  27. Ibid. []
  28. Ibid., pp. cxv; cxxv []
  29. Ibid., p. cxvi []
  30. Muir specifically uses this term twice, once at p. cxxv and again at p. cxxvi. He also designates his account as the “supposed history of the rise of Mecca and its religion”. See side-note on p. ccxiv of the first edition and p. civ of the third revised edition by T.H. Weir, London, 1923 []
  31. ibid., 1st edn., p. ccxv []
  32. ibid., pp. cxxv-cxxvi []
  33. ibid., p. cxv. See also pp. cxxiv-cxxv []
  34. ibid., p. ccxii []
  35. ibid., p. ccx []
  36. ibid., p. ccxi []
  37. ibid., p. ccxiii []
  38. ibid., p. ccx []
  39. ibid., p. ccxvi []
  40. Ibid., p. ccxv []
  41. Ibid., ccxviii []
  42. Ibid. See also Isaiah 21:16-17 []
  43. Muir, op. cit., p. ccxii []
  44. Ibid. []
  45. Ibid., pp. ccxiii-ccxiv []
  46. Gen. 12:6-8; 13:4; 13:18. See also Gen. 25:25 which speaks of Ishaq’s similarly setting up an ‘altar unto God’. []
  47. Gen. 28:10, 18-19 []
  48. See Muhammad Sulayman Mansurpuri, Rahmatullil-‘Alamin, (Urdu text), Delhi, 1980 []
  49. Muir, Op. Cit., p. ccxvi. See also supra, p. 72 []
  50. Muir, Op. Cit., p. ccxii []
  51. See supra, p. 71 []
  52. Muir, Op. Cit., p.cxi. Muir mistakenly cites in his footnote Gen. 21:25. It ought to be Gen. 21:21 []
  53. See Gen. 14:6; Num. 10:12; Num. 12:16 []
  54. Syed Ahmed Khan Bahadur, Essay on the Historical Geography of Arabia (London, Trubner & Co., 1869) []
  55. Ibid., p. 74. See also Yaqu, Mu’jam al-Buldan, under Faran []
  56. Syed Ahmed, op. cit., p.76, citing Kitto’s Cyclopedia of the Bible and The Peoples’ Bible Dictionary []
  57. Syed Ahmed, op. cit., pp. 77-79. See also Gen. 14:5-7; Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3; Num. 10:12; 13:1-3, 6 []
  58. Syed Ahmad, Op. Cit., p. 85 []
  59. See Exod. 15:32; 17:8; 18:5; 19:2 and Num. 10:12; 11:34; 12:16; 13:26 and 14:25 []
  60. Syed Ahmad, Op. Cit., p. 80. See also Gen. 10:29 []
  61. Syed Ahmad, Op. Cit., p. 80 []
  62. Ibid., pp. 75-76 []
Categories
History Muhammad

Theophanes On The Medieval Jewish Acceptance Of Muhammad As The Awaited Messiah

The point of this article to comprehend the element of opportunism and utilitarianism as being the key element in the development of Messianic hopes among the medieval Jews.

There exist scores of “prophecies,” “visions” and recognition by the various medieval Rabbis and Jewish mystics, which whole-heartedly identify and accept people such as King Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, Prophet Muhammad(P) and the second Arab caliph `Umar I(P) as the promised Jewish Messiah.

Further, in this regard, I present in the following the pertinent extract from the “Chronographia” of the medieval Christian historian and theologian Theophanes.

While reading this, his Christian bias has to be remembered.

For instance, when he writes:

    “At the beginning of [Muhammad’s] advent the misguided Jews thought he was the Messiah who is awaited by them”

Though the incident(s) referred to could very well have been true, yet the description of those Jews as “misguided” does not represent actuality, but the reporter’s Christian bias.

The extract1 is as follows:

AM 6122 [A.D. 629]

In this year died Muhammad, the leader and false prophet [sic!] of the Saracens, after appointing his kinsman Abourbacharos [Abu Bakr] to his chieftainship. At the same time, his repute spread abroad and everyone was frightened.

At the beginning of his advent the misguided[!] Jews thought he was the Messiah who is awaited by them so that some of their leaders joined him and accepted his religion while forsaking that of Moses, who saw God.

Those who did so were ten in number, and they remained with him until his murder. But when they saw him eating camel meat, they realized that he was not the one they thought him to be, and were at a loss what to do; being afraid to abjure his religion, those wretched men taught him illicit things directed against us, Christians, and remained with him…

He taught his subjects that he who kills an enemy or is killed by an enemy goes to Paradise; and he said that this paradise was one of carnal eating and drinking and intercourse with women, and had a river of wine, honey, and milk and that the women were not like the ones down here, but different ones, and that the intercourse was long-lasting and the pleasure continuous; and other things of profligacy and stupidity; also that men should feel sympathy for one another and help those who are wronged.

It would be a classic faux pas to uncritically accept the account of Theophanes. Rest assured that Theophanes’ was a heresy-based account, coloured further by his bias as a Christian theologian as noted earlier.

He was right insofar regarding Jewish acceptance of Muhammad, as he spoke of some Jews having accepted Muhammad(P) as the Messiah because that is attested by other circumstantial evidence as well — but that was it. All other secondary details in his account — details such as the number of those Jews as “ten,” Muhammad’s(P) eating of “camel’s meat” as the cause of those Jews’ reversion, Muhammad’s(P) telling the Jews “illicit things” about the Christians, Muhammad’s(P) “murder”, etc. — were all clearly bigoted mythical stereotypes.

Ironically, it evaded Theophanes’ attention that if (as he claimed) the Jews had rejected the Messiahship of Muhammad(P) because “they saw him eating camel meat”, then there would have been no way those Jews had accepted Jesus(P) as the Messiah, considered what the Gospel attributed to him:

“And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”2

How could Theophanes have justified the Jewish prohibition of eating camel meat in the presence of this statement of Jesus? And if, as Theophanes states, those Jews had rejected the Messiahship of Muhammad for his violation of the Jewish dietary laws, they would surely have rejected the Messiahship of Jesus as well in light of his contempt for the same laws, as is discernable in the cited verse.

This straw man clearly demonstrates that this whole story was cooked up by Theophanes in order to explain the embarrassing report which had reached him, of some of the Jews’ acceptance of Muhammad(P) as their promised Messiah. Theophanes On The Medieval Jewish Acceptance of Muhammad As The Awaited Messiah 2

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Theophanes On The Medieval Jewish Acceptance Of Muhammad As The Awaited Messiah," in Bismika Allahuma, October 5, 2005, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/history/jewish-acceptance-of-muhammad/
  1. Theophanes, “The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor,” as reproduced in Readings in Late Antiquity: A Sourcebook, tr. Cyril Mango and Roger Scott, ed. Michael Maas (New York: Routledge, 2000), p. 355 []
  2. Matthew 15:10-11 []
Categories
Op-Ed Polemical Rebuttals

Splitting Hairs, The “Jochen Katz” Way

In continuation of their tradition of belligerency, Answering Islam has posted an early reaction in objection to our publishing of Han Kung on the Prophet Muhammad(P). There are several issues in this reaction by Jochen Katz, the de facto dictator of Answering Islam, that needs to be pointed out and corrected.

We shall briefly respond to each of the allegations, which are:

  • Jochen Katz seems to come to too fast a conclusion in assuming that I (MENJ) have exclusive control of Bismika Allahuma‘s editorial policies. We do not know how he runs things at his website, nor do we care about it. It should be stated right here from the start that Bismika Allahuma is an online collaboration of several Muslim individuals who are concerned about the deen and wish to see a site facilitating their rebuttals to the Christian and anti-Islamic forces on the Internet. Bismika Allahuma does not revolve around one individual by the name of “MENJ”. We run things here in accordance to a shura’, Muslim consultation. This is not my personal site, which can be accessed here. Katz needs to stop imposing his Nazi heritage on us in equating Bismika Allahuma with “MENJ” and “MENJ” with Bismika Allahuma as, save for the fact that I have indeed co-founded this site with a partner, this project is not my own and I assume no control over it, unlike how Katz may be safely assumed to have dictatorial control over his website.
  • Jochen Katz takes issue with a simple sentence: “the Christian opinion on Prophet Muhammad(P)“. We have never said that Kung’s opinion represent all Christians or that Kung’s words is the sole canonical authority that all Christians must follow. Katz must have been reading too much into the text. Again, how things are run at Bismika Allahuma is totally different from how Katz with his dictatorship run things at his website. However, to satisfy Katz’s ego and to make our explanation clearer, we have reworded the text. We hope that Katz will no longer have any complaints about how the sentence was worded.
  • Since Katz have wasted his (and our) time complaining about such a minor issue about whether Kung is speaking on behalf of “THE Christian” community or one of the various diverse Christian opinions, we will not be bothered to address the rest of his polemical diatribe. As usual, Katz loves to split hairs and as a testament to his undying hatred of the Prophet Muhammad(P), tries to cast doubt on the scholarly credentials of Hans Kung. Now, we know who Hans Kung is, and he is a well-known authority who is often invited to speak at universities in the Muslim World. Now who is one obscure (Nazi!) German mathematician by the name of “Jochen Katz” is, compared to the world-renowned Catholic theologian1 by the name of Hans Kung?
  • Lastly, Katz decides to beat a dead horse by preaching about the so-called “falsehood” of the Prophet Muhammad(P). Since Katz was so hung up about Kung’s glowing tribute to the Prophet Muhammad(P) and questioned Kung’s “representation” of the Christian community2, may we be justified in saying that Katz’s opinion is only one opinion and does not represent ALL Christians in their opinion of the Prophet(P)?

With this brief assessment, we end our response here. See also The Küng Controversy: An Analysis of Jochen Katz’s Recent Tirade. And only Allah knows best! Splitting Hairs, The "Jochen Katz" Way 3

The author is the co-founder and executive editor of Bismika Allahuma.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Splitting Hairs, The “Jochen Katz” Way," in Bismika Allahuma, December 30, 2005, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/op-ed/splitting-hairs-jochen-katz/
  1. We believe that Katz has been making up stories in his polemic about the “non-Catholicity” of Hans Kung, as to the best our knowledge, Kung is still a Catholic priest and is introduced as such in every lecture he attends. According to his Wikipedia entry: “He [Kung] was not excommunicated and remains a Roman Catholic priest.” []
  2. Although we have never stated that this is so! []
Categories
Jerusalem History

The Position Of Jerusalem And Haram As-Shareef In Islam

The purpose of this article is to explain the significance of Jerusalem, or also known to Muslims as Bayt al-Maqdis (The Holy House) or simply al-Quds (The Holy); and the Haram As-Shareef (The Noble Sanctuary) area from the viewpoint of Islam and Muslims. At the same time, we also seek to look at the common objections of the Zionists and Christian missionaries against the claim of Islam over Jerusalem as its third most holiest site and see whether it stands up to the scrutiny.

Jerusalem In the Qur’an

“Glory to [God] Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).” (Qur’an 17:1)

In Islam, the only place whereby the Farthest Mosque (Masjid Al-Aqsa) is located is in the city of Jerusalem. Furthermore, the surrounding land around the Mosque has also been described by the Qur’an as being holy:

“[Moses said] O my people! Enter the holy land [Palestine] which God has assigned to you…” (Qur’an 5:21)

The above verse in Qur’an 17:1 has also described the mosque to be located in surroundings which “… We [i.e. God] did bless”. It is interesting to note that that the location which “… We [i.e. God] did bless” is generally used in the Qur’an for Palestine1. The Bible too has referred to Palestine as a land blessed by God. Addressing the Israelites, Moses(P) is reported to have said about it:

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the LORD your God for the good land that he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:7?10)

During the Mi’raj, the Prophet(P) is reported to have received from God the command of five daily prayers (salah) that all Muslims must perform. Upon his return to Mecca, the Prophet instituted these prayers. It is significant to note that he made Jerusalem the direction (al-Qiblah) which Muslims must face while doing their prayers (narrated by al-Bukhari, 41 and by Muslim, 525). Jerusalem is thus called Ula al-Qiblatain (the first qiblah). The Prophet(P) and the early community of Islam worshipped towards the direction of Jerusalem during their stay in Mecca. After the Hijra’ (migration), Muslims in Medina also continued to pray facing Jerusalem for almost seventeen months until God commanded the Muslims to change their direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca (Qur’an 2:142-150).

These established facts above clearly signifies the importance of Jerusalem in Islam. Furthermore, the Prophet(P)is reported to have said that:

You should not travel toward any other place for the purpose of worship and veneration except the three mosques: The Masjid al-Haraam [i.e. the Ka`abah]; the Masjid al-Aqsaa and this mosque [at Madinah] (Ibn Maajah)

Objections of Zionists and Christian Missionaries

We wish to examine two of the most often-repeated objections of the Zionists and the Christian missionaries to the claim of Jerusalem as the third-most holiest site in Islam. The first is as follows:

    …the Koran says nothing about Jerusalem. It mentions Mecca hundreds of times. It mentions Medina countless times. It never mentions Jerusalem. With good reason. There is no historical evidence to suggest Mohammed ever visited Jerusalem.

However, this claim is baseless. The reason they find difficulty in acknowledging the position of Jerusalem and the Haram As-Shareef in Islam is because of the general tendency of studying Islam in seclusion of the traditions of the Prophets of God preceding Muhammad(P). Islam is not a new religion. It has never claimed to be so. The Qur’an has clearly stated that Islam was the religion taught by all the prophets of God. The Islamic tradition is thus a continuation of the correct traditions of Judaism. If those in opposition to the Muslim claim over Jerusalem were to actually look at Islam, in the light of the foregoing principle, he/she would not find any problem in acknowledging that the position of Jerusalem in Islam is the same as it is in Judaism, merely on the grounds that Islam is actually in continuation of the true traditions of the prophets of God – including Moses(P), David(P), Solomon(P), John the Baptist(P) and Jesus(P) – even though the name of Jerusalem is not even mentioned once in the Qur’an.

The second objection commonly perpetuated by the Zionists is as follows:

    … Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab entity. In fact, it was a backwater for most of Arab history. Jerusalem never served as a provincial capital under Muslim rule nor was it ever a Muslim cultural center.

To claim that Jerusalem is “unimportant” because it never served as a political capital for Muslims is hilarious in its absurdity and shows how desperate the Zionists are to deny the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims. The two holiest cities in Islam apart from Jerusalem – Mecca and Medina – had never become a political capital for an Islamic state. Medina was merely a city-state which the Prophet Muhammad had ruled, not a capital of a State. After the death of the Prophet(P), the Islamic capitals were subsequently located in (not in particular order) Baghdad, Damascus, Kufah, Cairo and Constantinople (Istanbul). The holy cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem has never diminished in their status as the three most holiest sites in Islam, even though the Islamic capital were located and relocated somewhere else. If the Zionists want to deny Muslims the city of Jerusalem on the basis that it was never a “political capital”, then what about the cities of Mecca and Medina which was never a “political capital” during Islamic rule?

Jerusalem in Muslim History

We have seen in history of Jerusalem how Muslims had not only dedicated the site of Haram As-Shareef for worship to The One True God countless times, they had also sacrificed their lives for it.

Jerusalem was liberated by the Muslims in the first half of the seventh century C.E., when Muslims entered the holy city in 14 A.H./A.D. 638 during the reign of the second Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab(R). According to historical sources, the Caliph ‘Umar(R) came personally and specially to take over the city from its patriarch at that time, Sophronius, who refused to capitulate the city to anyone except `Umar(R). The sources also indicate that the Caliph declared a special Sulh (‘Ahd) to the Christians living in the city; its text developed in time to be known as the Covenant of ‘Umar. In this covenant, the Caliph guaranteed further religious freedom, safety of churches and secured the lives, fortunes and properties of the people living in the city (Mujir al-Din Vol. 1, 1973: 254)2.

The Muslims were horrified when they first discovered that that the area of Haram As-Shareef was abandoned and used as the city’s garbage dump. It was the Muslims who then cleaned and purified the place to its pristine form. We read that:

When the Arabs conquered Jerusalem they found the Temple Mount abandoned and filled with refuse. The abandonment of the Temple site was in accordance with with Jesus’ prophecy that not a stone would be left standing on another. ‘Umar ordered it cleaned and performed a prayer there.3

So we see that the Temple area had been abandoned some 600 years before the Muslims entered it. But who was using the holy site as a garbage dump?

Ever since the Persian occupation, when the Jews had resumed worship on the platform, the Christians had used the place as the city rubbish dump. When ‘Umar reached the old ruined gates of the Temple, says the Muslim historian Muj?r al-D?n, he was horrified to see the filth, “which was then all about the holy sanctuary, had settled on the steps of the gates so that it even came out into the streets in which the gate opened, and it had accumulated so greatly as almost to reach up the ceiling of the gateway.” The only way to get up to the platform was to crawl on hands and knees. Sophronius went first and the Muslims struggled up behind. When they arrived at the top, the Muslims must have gazed appalled at the vast and desolate expanse of Herod’s platform, still covered with piles of fallen masonry and garbage.4

So it was the Christians! The Christian attitude towards Jerusalem can be understood by reading the New Testament. Paul’s Epistles and the Book of Revelation may have defined a theological framework for the attitude towards Jerusalem, but the two synoptic gospels of Luke (19:42-44) and Matthew did more than that. They also provided guidelines for political or quaispolitical actions after Christianity became the officially established religion of the Roman Empire. The gospels relate how Jesus(P) rebuked his disciples when they admired the Temple’s beauty from the Mount of Olives:

His disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the Temple. But he answered them, ‘You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left any stone upon another.’ (Matthew 24:1-2).

Art historians such as Nuseibah and Grabar have reached a similar conclusion concerning the Christian attitude towards the Temple Mount:

More importantly, not only was the Haram left barren, but that very barrenness was given the Christian significance of fulfilling Christ’s prophecy, “There will not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down” (Mark 13:2). The ruins of the Jewish Temple and whatever else had been there were to remains as signs of the triumph of Christianity.5

And as expected, the Temple Mount was left in the state of pile of fallen masonry and rubbish, until the Muslims arrive and cleaned the place.

On July 15, 1099 Jerusalem was taken from the Muslims by the Crusaders from Europe. The Crusaders slaughtered the inhabitants of Jerusalem in an unjustified carnage. Philip K. Hitti records that:

A month’s siege proved more effective. On July 15 the besiegers stormed the city and perpetrated an indiscriminate massacre involving all ages and both sexes. “Heaps of heads and hands and feet were to be seen throughout the streets and squares of the city”.6

The Dome of the Rock was converted into a Christian church called the templum domini – “Temple of our Lord.” The Dome of the Rock was used as a headquarters for the Knights of the Templar who officiated the Temple compound, while Masjid al-Aqsa was used as a stable for their horses. It was a Muslim leader, Sultan Salahuddin Al-Ayubbi (Saladin) who fought for the liberation of Jerusalem from the Crusaders and finally succeeded in liberating the city. After ninety years of Crusader control (1099-1187), Jerusalem surrendered to Saladin’s army on October 2, 1187. In contrast to the brutality of the Crusaders, Saladin treated the defeated Crusaders with kindness and mercy.

To those who object to the significance of Jerusalem in Islam, we can ask them a simple rhetorical question: if Jerusalem has no importance in Islam, why did the city had consistently played a significant role in rallying Muslims? Why did the Caliph ‘Umar(R) and Saladin respectively wasted their time and resources to take the trouble to liberate Jerusalem from those who defile Haram As-Shareef? The answer is obvious, Muslims do hold Jerusalem as a holy city and the city does hold an important position in Islam.

Conclusions

We have seen the evidence of the claim of Islam over Jerusalem, where Masjid al-Aqsa is located. The city of Jerusalem is very important to Muslims and they have a right to this city religiously, historically and legally. Muslims have always viewed Jerusalem as a holy place which must be defended because it is similar to Makkah in its holiness and has been so for more than 14 centuries. These places must be protected given that Abraham(P), the Father of all Prophets(P), had built the Ka`abah in Mecca and thereafter moved to Palestine where he passed away and was buried in Hebron near Jerusalem.

Muslims will never forget that they used to pray toward Jerusalem in the early stages of Islam before God ordered it to be changed to the Holy Shrine in Makkah. There is a mosque in Madinah that still has the two directions (one pointing toward Jerusalem and one towards Makkah), namely Masjid al-Qiblatain, as real evidence for this intimate connection between Jerusalem and Makkah. Muslims had also several times sacrificed their lives for the holy city, and sanctified Haram As-Shareef when it was defiled twice — after liberating the city from Byzantium rule and the Crusaders respectively. It was Islam that had continuously and consistently restored the sanctity of the Temple Mount, and made it a place of prostration and prayer.

And only God knows best. The Position of Jerusalem and Haram As-Shareef in Islam 5

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Position Of Jerusalem And Haram As-Shareef In Islam," in Bismika Allahuma, October 15, 2005, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/history/jerusalem/the-position-of-jerusalem-and-haram-as-shareef-in-islam/
  1. For examples see: Al-Aa`raaf 7: 137, Al-Anbiyaa 21: 71 and Al-Anbiyaa 21: 81. The Qur’an has several times referred to Palestine as al-ard al-muqaddasah (the sacred land; Qur’an 5:21) and called its surroundings barakna hawlaha (God’s blessed precincts; Qur’an 17:1) []
  2. Dr. Marwan Abu Khalaf, The Religious Factors in Settlement Patterns in Jerusalem in the Early Islamic Period [Online Document, archived], Ministry of Information, Palestine National Authority []
  3. C. Glasse, Dome Of The Rock, The Concise Encyclopaedia Of Islam (1989), Stacey International: London, p. 102 []
  4. Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, 1997, Ballantine Books: New York, p. 229 []
  5. Sa’id Nuseibah & Oleg Grabar, The Dome Of The Rock, 1996, Thames and Hudson: London (UK), p. 35 []
  6. Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs (10th Ed.), The Macmillan Press Ltd (1970), p. 639 []
Categories
Islam Muhammad Polemical Rebuttals

Response To “Muhammad As Al-Amin (the Trustworthy): How His Enemies Really Viewed Him” And The Christian Missionaries

It has become a habit for some to publish responses to any paper dealing with the issue of Islam, its truthfulness and the falsehood of other religions. This is particularly true of the Christian missionaries as such people do not care whether they provide an efficient responses or not; all they care about is to respond, regardless of the outcome. Is this reaction an idiotic one? Well, we cannot claim that it is a stupid strategy; because it is always useful to show your followers that you are able to respond and speak loudly, drowning other voices. The psychological factor is after all always important here. But what is glaring indeed are the content of such “responses” because the writer tries to show that he is competent in the field when in actual fact he is totally unqualified.

This lack of qualification was especially glaring when it appeared in a recent Christian missionary article, allegedly “responding” to the article titled A Rational Approach To The Prophethood of Muhammad, the writer of this “response” made grave errors that does not suit a writer who respects himself and his readers. So since he has made such errors, he should know that he is not just a stupid person, he is a disrespected individual as well.

The first of these errors is the failure to comprehend the argument of his opponent. Any answer to a paper is based upon the arguments of the former. If you answer arguments which are not present in a paper, you have not “answered” the paper.

Are the above words easy to understand?

I want to make my words as simple as I can in order not to make my opponent misunderstand me again. We are commanded to convey the Message of Allah to all people in a clear and concise manner without any confusion or misunderstanding whatsoever.

The writer quoted some Qur’anic verses showing that the disbelievers belied the Prophet(P) and denied his Message, and used them to prove that the disbelievers viewed him as a liar. Then he advances in his response to say that “if their testimony is reliable enough to support Muhammad’s integrity then the unbelievers are also a good enough source to call his character into question”, and “the issue here is not whether what the unbelievers said was correct, but whether the Muslim assertion that even the disbelievers praised Muhammad’s honesty is true”, and “After all, they are the ones appealing to the statements of the disbelievers to prove that Muhammad was a trustworthy person.”

This clearly indicates that he has failed to comprehend my argument, for I argued that the disbelievers regarded Muhammad(P) as a truthful person who does not lie and from whom they never experienced any lie from. However, they belied him in the matter of Prophethood and revelation.

“This contradictory attitude of the disbelievers was the reason why they deserved God’s punishment in the end; they knew that Muhammad(P) was a truthful person and that he never told a lie. However, they disbelieved in him and vigorously rejected his Message”, I said.

The position of the disbelievers was inconsistent; that was what was mentioned. You cannot belie any person without proof, let alone of someone who never told a lie in his life.

This is the argument that the writer failed to understand, and our scholars say:

Do not answer anyone till you understand his words; for this distracts you from answering him to answering others and confirm your ignorance, but understand him. If you understand him, answer him, and do not rush to answer before you ask (for clarification) and do not be ashamed of asking before you answer; for answering before understanding is idiocy.1

Also, the writer of the response in question fell in a major logical fallacy which is generalization; he isolated the texts showing that the disbelievers belied the Prophet(P) in the matter of Message, as if I denied them and their significance, and generalized them to claim that the disbelievers viewed him(P) as a liar in addition to rejection of texts showing that his truthfulness and honesty were something agreed upon among his(P) contemporaries.

Anyway it was not expected from Christians to evade logical fallacies, for they are known for their incoherent faith and illogical beliefs. But it is ironic indeed that the people who do not even know how to transmit a report attack the authentic reports transmitted by Muslim scholars from generation to generation with utmost care and accuracy.

The Scriptures of People of the Book were transmitted by unknown individuals on the authority of unknown people on authority of unknown people, etc., until we are told that these are God’s Words! They do not know how to transmit a report, let alone how to evaluate it. However, they still have the audacity to criticize authentic Muslim reports.

Truthful indeed is the saying of Ahmad ibn Salam al-Faqeeh:

“Nothing is heavier and more hated to people of disbelief than hearing the Hadith and its narration with isnad i.e., chain of transmission.”2

Again, ponder upon the following report which was quoted in the previous article:

It is reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that when this verse was revealed:” And warn thy nearest kindred” (and thy group of selected people among them) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) set off till he climbed Safa’ and called loudly: Be on your guard! They said: Who is it calling aloud? They said: Muhammad. They gathered round him, and he said: O sons of so and so, O sons of so and so, O sons of ‘Abd Manaf, O sons of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, and they gathered around him. He (the Apostle) said: If I were to inform you that there were horsemen emerging out of the foot of this mountain, would you believe me? They said: We have not experienced any lie from you. He said: Well, I am a warner to you before a severe torment. He (the narrator) said that Abu Lahab then said: Destruction to you! Is it for this you have gathered us? He (the Holy Prophet) then stood up, and this verse was revealed:” Perish the hands of Abu Lahab, and he indeed perished” (cxi. 1). A’mash recited this to the end of the Sura.3

In the above report, it is noted that the Prophet Muhammad(P) had gathered all people of Mecca before him, then he asked them about his credibility before them; he said: “If I were to inform you that there were horsemen emerging out of the foot of this mountain, would you believe me?” This question is a test of his credibility and reliability in the eyes of his people, he asked them about a very illogical event, if he told them that it is true, would they believe him in such an illogical claim, that “there were horsemen emerging out of the foot of this mountain”?

The answer was: “We have not experienced any lie from you” indicating that his truthfulness and credibility among his people were at the highest levels.

However, when he informed them about his Message, they did not retract their testimony, instead they abused him saying:

“Destruction to you! Is it for this you have gathered us?”

This shows that his truthfulness was something agreed upon among his people and contemporaries.

Yes, they belied him in the Message and disbelieved in him, but this shows none but their incoherence. This is the reason why they were humiliated and defeated by Allah’s Aid in their lives and in the Hereafter.

Even after many years of his Mission, they did not retract their testimony to him with truthfulness as the conversation between Heraclius and Abu Sufyan shows.

Presence of those who disbelieve in Prophets does not discredit them; in fact it indicates that worldly desires, bias and greed can make some people reject presence of shining sun in the sky!

In a report related by Ibn Ishaq in his Sira, al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq asked Abu Jahl:

“O Abu Al-Hakam! What is your opinion about what you heard from Muhammad”. Abu Jahl said: “We competed with Bani `Abd Manaf (the Prophet’s subtribe) and so we fed as they fed and gave away as they gave away. So, when we were neck and neck with them, just as two horses in a race, they said: There is a Prophet from among us, to whom revelation from the heaven comes.’ So how can we ever beat them at that? By Allah we will never believe in him or accept what he says.4

This indicates that worldly desires and tribal bias were the reasons as to why the disbelievers rejected the Message of Muhammad(P). This is indicated in another report related by Al-Hakim, that Abu Jahl met the Prophet(P) and said:

“We do not belie you, but we disbelieve in what you came with”. Then, Allah revealed: {It is not you that they belie, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny} Sura Al-An’am, verse 33.5

Ibn Kathir says:

{It is not you that they belie, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny} means, they do not accuse you of being a liar,{but it is the Verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny} It is only the truth that they reject and refuse.6

Many people know the truthfulness of any person with no need to miracles, this is due to the fact that they know this person’s habits and manners, so they can recognize his truthfulness or falsehood. For example, when Moses came to Egypt and said to Aaron and others that God sent him, they knew he was truthful before he did any miracles, and when he asked Aaron to support him, Aaron believed him because he knew him and his manners very well.

Also, when the Prophet(P) told his wife Khadijah about the revelation, she knew that he is truthful and believed in him. The same took place with Abu Bakr, Zaid ibn Harithah and others, for they knew his truthfulness in revelation due to what they knew about his truthfulness and honesty.

This is a case of a truthful honest person who said something peculiar to either a highly truthful man or a wicked liar, and he is known to be the first, not the second.

Those who disbelieved in the Prophet(P) are either ignorant people who did not know his truthfulness and honesty or arrogant people who followed their worldly desires. The elite of Quraish disbelieved the Prophet (peace be upon him) to keep their leadership and their followers disbelieved him in obedience of their leaders as God tells us in many verses of the Qur’an.

Their disbelief was not due to a proof of falsehood, for such a proof never existed. Actually, there are evidences that they knew his truthfulness and disbelieved in him out of worldly desires as we mentioned before in the conversation of Abu Jahl and Al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq.

In brief, it is well known that someone who is famous for truthfulness and honesty and known for not lying at all, is not expected to change his personality suddenly and become a liar against God without any cause.

Even if he did, this would appear in his habits and personality.

The writer of the response had no answer to this argument but[!], but I realized that the Christian missionaries and their ilkare not accustomed to see or meet truthful or honest people, they are surrounded by lying, cheating and dishonesty; ‘Abdullah Sa’d, a former Arab Christian tells us in his book Kont Nasranyan, i.e., “I Was Christian”, how Christian missionaries will lie, cheat and deceive others in order to convince them to accept Christianity and how they employ the most belligerent methods in order to do so.7

Therefore it is too much to ask such people to imagine presence of a truthful honest religious person, the same way it is too much to ask a layman of the 13th century to believe that we can save entire books on CDs.

For such people, truthfulness, honesty and high moral standards are not qualifications for Prophethood and Messengership; it is acceptable for them that the messenger of God is an enemy to God and his followers and an outward disbeliever, then he becomes messenger or apostle all of a sudden!

The other argument is that “how could a person who never told a lie about others ever tell a lie about Allah?”

As Allah says:

“Who can be more wicked than one who inventeth a lie against Allah, or saith, I have received inspiration, when he hath received none, or (again) who saith, I can reveal the like of what Allah hath revealed?”8

And says:

And if the messenger were to invent any sayings in Our name, We should certainly seize him by his right hand, And We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart.9

And says:

What! Do they say, He has forged a falsehood against Allah? But if Allah willed, He could seal up thy heart, and Allah blots out Vanity, and proves the Truth by His Words. For He knows well the secrets of all hearts.10

Predictably, no answer to this argument was available.

In fact, the writer of the response failed to show us any sound responses to these arguments. Instead, he denied the undeniable fact of truthfulness of the Prophet(P) and showed me the incoherence of enemies of Islam when they are confronted with what they call “typical argument often made by Muslim polemicists”.

Subhanallah!

Another error made by the writer of the response was his claim that “God provided supernatural verification that these prophets and messengers were speaking on his behalf, showing that the claims of the disbelievers were false. Muhammad, on the other hand, failed to provide any supernatural confirmation that he was speaking on behalf of God.”

These are two errors here, in fact: the first is his claim that the Prophet(P) had no miracles, and the second is his claim that the proof of Prophethood are miracles only.

As to the miracles of the Prophet(P) they are so many like splitting of the moon, multiplication of food and water, crying of the tree stump, etc. They are as undeniable as shining sun.

But if the writer runs to the same argument of “All the records that we do have were written by Muslims, and even these were produced long after Muhammad’s death” and “these Islamic reports are suspect since Muslims have/had the tendency of fabricating stories and statements in order to make Islam’s prophet look much better”, then we will ask him to produce his proof of prophethood of Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist or any prophet he believes in, and it will be shown to him that whatever the method he proves their prophethood with, I’ll prove the prophethood of Muhammad(P) by the same method, but in a stronger and clearer way.

This is our open challenge to the writer of this response who wanted to answer me on this specific topic.

The other error is that supernatural events are a definite proof of truthfulness; for we see that devils, sorcerers and pagan priests do miracles. How can you distinguish them from miracles done in name of God?

This is actually a fatal question to Christians because they have no distinction. They pay no attention to the Message carried by the Messenger or his teachings whether they are identical to teachings of other Prophets of God or not. Suppose that a man claimed he is a prophet and preached polytheism, worship of idols, lewdness, lying, injustice, etc. Would such a person be asked for a miracle or doubted to be a liar? Even if he produced supernatural events, they would be considered works of the devil.

Teachings of the Prophets and Messengers are very well-known, so when Muhammad(P) came with preaching God’s worship, destruction of idols, belief in the Hereafter, chastity, ruthfulness, honesty and kindness to relations, it was accepted that he was preached what all the Prophets and Messengers before him preached.

But Christians have a different story, it is acceptable for them that a disbeliever suddenly claims revelation and preaches association of partners to God, abolishment of all God’s Laws and faith-only doctrine. Then, they follow this disbeliever in violation of all teachings of Prophets. This proves that Christians are stupid, ignorant people who knew neither the Prophets nor their teachings.

Moving on to other allegations, we find that the writer of the response quoted reports mentioning the permission of the Prophet(P) to some Sahaba (i.e., Companions of the Prophet) to tell a lie in certain circumstances as a proof that truthfulness was not a character of his. This indicates to me that the writer is a biased and dishonest person (in addition to him being an obtuse and stupid individual!), for he ignored the overwhelming evidences that show that Islam preaches truthfulness and honesty and forbids lying and dishonesty, and quoted reports without explanation of their meanings or asking Muslims to explain them for him.

When he failed to capture a single proof that the Prophet(P) ever told a lie, he tried to run away by quoting these reports about Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf and Al-Hajjaj ibn ‘Ilat which we will discuss shortly, insha’Allah.

It is well known about the religion of Islam that it preaches truthfulness and prohibits lying as all Prophets of God did before him, as God says in the Holy Qur’an:

“O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true (in word and deed)”11

The Prophet(P) said:

“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fujur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fujur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.”12

The Prophet(P) said:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three:

1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise ).
3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest. (If you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it.)”13

The Prophet(P) said:

“Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up.

1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.
2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.
4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner.”14

Moreover, Arabs considered lying as an ugly character even before Islam, despite their practice of idol worship, adultery and alcohol drinking, they refrained from lying. The proof is the report of Abu Sufyan and Heraclius and the saying of Abu Sufyan:

“By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labelling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet.”15

Ibn Hajar commented:

“This is a proof that lying was ugly before them. His saying (labelling) instead of (belying) indicates that he was sure they would never belie him if he lied because of their animosity of the Prophet, but he refrained from this because he was ashamed that they would report his words when they returned back, so those who would hear this would label him as a liar. This is even clear in the report of Ibn Ishaq, its wording is “By Allah! If I lied, they would never belie me, but I was a notable man refraining from lying, I knew that the least of it – if I lied – is that it would be reported about me and transmitted to all people, so I did not tell a lie”.

Imam An-Nawawi commented:

“It means that if I had not been afraid of my companions reporting my lies to my people and talking about it in my homeland, I would have lied to him due to my hatred and animosity (against the Prophet). This indicated that lying is as ugly in Jahillyyah as in Islam”.16

As for the report of Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf in which Muhammad ibn Maslama took permission of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell a lie, this is specific to this occasion because it is related to the state of war and deceiving the enemy during war. This is the reason why Imam Al-Bukhari titled this hadith with (Chapter of Deceit in War), as the Prophet(P) said: “War is deceit”.17

It is agreed that no sane person would want to be truthful to his enemy who works to destroy him and plots to eliminate him. Deceit of the enemy is not only permissible, but also favourable. This ruling is confined only to war state. Objection to such principle is not just unwise but is plain stupidity as well!

Imam An-Nawawi said:

“Scholars agree on permissibility of deceiving the disbelievers in war in any possible way, unless this leads to break of a treaty. In this case it is unlawful.”18

The same applies to Al-Hajjaj ibn ‘Ilat, in addition to the fact that he feared the disbelievers would kill him while he was going to collect his money from them. This is because human life is very precious in our religion and Islam preaches its preservation and protection. So, whenever one encounters a life-threatening condition, it is permissible for him to save his life in any possible way unless he threatens others’ lives. This is a huge topic discussed in textbooks of Islamic Law and we may briefly talk about it in another occasion.

In addition, it must be noted that each of Muhammad ibn Maslama and Al-Hajjaj ibn ‘Ilat was keen to take permission of the Prophet(P) before they told a a lie to the disbelievers. This act has great significance; for if lying was permissible and the usual case in the Prophet’s(P) teachings, they would not have asked for his permission in the first place and they would go and commit lies directly. Asking the Prophet(P) before lying against the enemy indicates that lying and deception is primarily prohibited in Islam.

May Allah (T) save us from those who practice guile and deception!

Before we go on to deal with the obtuse Christian missionary who wrote a “response” to our article on the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet(P) including all sorts of incoherent arguments and dim reasoning in addition to his scandalous lack of understanding of his opponent’s argument, thinking that I was appealing to the disbelievers’ opinion in Muhammad’s prophethood, we are going to show how perfidy and breach of faith are utterly prohibited in Islam and how the Prophet(P) was a living example of this prohibition.

Sahih Muslim, Book 19: Jihad and Expedition, Chapter 4: Prohibition (Denunciation) of Breach of Faith

Number 4301:

It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When Allah will gather together, on the Day of Judgment, all the earlier and later generations of mankind, a flag will be raised (to mark off) every person guilty of breach of faith, and it will be announced that this is the perfidy of so and so, son of so and so (to attract the attention of people to his guilt).

Number 4302:
This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar through some other Chains of transmitters.

Number 4303:
This hadith has been narrated by another chain of transmitters on the authority of the same narrator, with the wording: Allah will set up a flag for every person guilty of breach of faith on the Day of Judgment, and it will be announced: Look, this is the perfidy of so and so.

Number 4304:
Ibn Umar reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) saying: There will be a flag for every perfidious person on the Day of Judgment.

Number 4305:
‘Abdullah reported Allah’s Prophet (may peace be upon him) as saying: There will be a flag for every perfidious person on the Day of Judgment, and it would be said: Here is the perfidy of so and so.

Number 4306:
This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Shu’ba with a slight variation of wording.

Number 4307:
It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: There will be for every perfidious person on the Day of Judgment a flag by which he will be recognised. It will be announced: Here is the breach of faith of so and so.

Number 4308:
Anas reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said this: There would be a flag for every perfidious person on the Day of Judgment by which he will be recognised.

Number 4309:
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: On the Day of Judgment there will be a flag fixed behind the buttocks of every person guilty of the breach of faith.

Number 4310:
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: On the Day of Judgment there will be a flag for every person guilty of the breach of faith. It will be raised in proportion to the extent of his guilt; and there is no guilt of treachery more serious than the one committed by the ruler of men.

Imam An-Nawawi comments: “These Hadiths display the severity of prohibition of perfidy”19

Under the topic of Keeping the Covenant, Imam Muslim relates the following tradition:

It has been reported on the authority of Hudbaifa b. al-Yaman who said: Nothing prevented me from being present at! he Battle of Badr except this incident. I came out with my father Husail (to participate in the Battle), but we were caught by the disbelievers of Quraish. They said: (Do) you intend to go to Muhammad? We said: We do not intend to go to him, but we wish to go (back) to Medina. So they took from us a covenant in the name of God that we would turn back to Medina and would not fight on the side of Muhammad (peace be upon him). So, we came to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and related the incident to him. He said: Both, of you proceed (to Medina) ; we will fulfil the covenant made with them and seek God’s help against them.20

This hadith shows how the Prophet(P) was keen to keep the covenant of the disbelievers although he was going to war and needed every soldier. We have previously quoted Imam An-Nawawi saying: “Scholars agree on permissibility of deceiving the disbelievers in war in any possible way, unless this leads to break of a treaty. In this case it is unlawful”.21 This means that keeping the covenant is prior to any other ruling even during war.

Another glaring example of keeping the covenant is the story of Abu Jandal during stipulation of treaty of Hudaibyyah with Suhail ibn ‘Amru:

…Suhail said, “We also stipulate that you should return to us whoever comes to you from us, even if he embraced your religion.” The Muslims said, “Glorified be Allah! How will such a person be returned to the pagans after he has become a Muslim? While they were in this state Abu- Jandal bin Suhail bin `Amr came from the valley of Mecca staggering with his fetters and fell down amongst the Muslims. Suhail said, “O Muhammad! This is the very first term with which we make peace with you, i.e. you shall return Abu Jandal to me.” The Prophet said, “The peace treaty has not been written yet.” Suhail said, “I will never allow you to keep him.” The Prophet said, “Yes, do.” He said, “I won’t do.: Mikraz said, “We allow you (to keep him).” Abu Jandal said, “O Muslims! Will I be returned to the pagans though I have come as a Muslim? Don’t you see how much I have suffered?”

Abu Jandal had been tortured severely for the Cause of Allah. `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “I went to the Prophet and said, ‘Aren’t you truly the Apostle of Allah?’ The Prophet said, ‘Yes, indeed.’ I said, ‘Isn’t our Cause just and the cause of the enemy unjust?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Then why should we be humble in our religion?’ He said, ‘I am Allah’s Apostle and I do not disobey Him, and He will make me victorious.’22

Here we see that the Prophet(P) made a peace treaty with Quraish in which it was stipulated that if anyone came to him from them as a Muslim, he would return him, but if anyone came to them from him, they would not return him. This is the reason why he returned Abu Jandal to his people although he embraced Islam.

The same situation took place with Abu Rafi’ who was an emissary from Quraish to the Prophet(P) and embraced Islam. Abu Rafi’ said: “Quraish sent me to him and Islam entered my heart and I said: “Oh, Messenger of Allah! I will not return.” But he(P) said: “I will not break an agreement and I will not detain an emissary; go back to them, then if there is still in your heart that which is there now, you may return.”23

This is the attitude and guidance of the Prophet(P) regarding treaties and covenants with others, it is authentically reported that he said: “When one has a covenant with people he must not loosen or strengthen it till its terms comes to an end or he brings it to an end in agreement with them.”24

And said: “Whoever guaranteed the safety of a man and then killed him, I disavow the killer.” And it is reported that he said: “Whenever a people violate an agreement, the enemy will triumph over them.”25

We have the entire biography of the Prophet(P), where is it mentioned that he ever broke an agreement or violated a treaty?

However, the inane Christian writer of the response brings the issue of expiation of oath as a proof that the Prophet(P) broke his word!

For me, the foolishness of this writer is a well-established fact. But we want to show this to the readers; he brought some reports from Sahih Bukhari talking about expiation of oath thinking that they mean that the Prophet(P) broke his words, ignoring the fact that the expiation of oath was actually revealed in the Holy Qur’an, as Allah says:

“Allah has already ordained for you, the dissolution of your oaths (in some cases)”26

Al-Karmani said: “His saying {the dissolution of your oaths} means dissolving them by expiation.”27

And says:

“Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but he will call you to account for you deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you his sign, that ye may be grateful.”28

So, if one makes an oath and then he regrets for it and wants to dissolve it, he expiates it. One example of cases in which one may regret for his oath is displayed by the Prophet(P) in the report of Al-Ash’aryyin quoted by the Christian writer in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) made an oath not to provide them with camels to mount on because he had none, then when he got camels, he gave them to the Ash’aryyin dissolving his previous oath and saying, “By Allah, and Allah willing, if I take an oath and later find something else better than that, then I do what is better and expiate my oath.”29

Another example is told in the report narrated by Abu Huraira that the Prophet(P) said: “By Allah, if anyone of you insists on fulfilling an oath by which he may harm his family, he commits a greater sin in Allah’s sight than that of dissolving his oath and making expiation for it.”30

And said: “”Anyone who takes an oath through which his family may be harmed, and insists on keeping it, he surely commits a sin greater (than that of dissolving his oath). He should rather compensate for that oath by making expiation.”31

Imam An-Nawawi, when commenting on the above reports, said as follows:

“These reports indicate that if someone makes an oath to do something or not to do it, and dissolving is better than fulfilling this oath, then dissolving is preferred and expiation is obligatory upon him. This is agreed upon.”32

Do we need to explain more that expiation of oath is quite far from lying or a breach of faith?

Anyway, if we excuse this writer for his slow understanding when bringing up the issue of expiation of oath, how can we do this in a totally irrelevant issue like taqiyyah? Have you ever seen such stupidity in involving anything relevant and irrelevant in the response?

He answers my basic fundamental argument by dragging in whatever comes to his mind and limited understanding — regardless whether relevant or irrelevant — in the response.

This is really pathetic!

As for taqiyyah, it is avoidance of harm of disbelievers by showing friendship to them. Imam Al-Baghawi says: “Taqiyyah is permissible only if one fears getting killed with his good intention, Allah says: {except under compulsion while his heart remains firm in Faith}. Moreover, it is merely permissible, if one stays firm till he is killed, he gains great reward (from Allah).”33

So, it is confined only for life-threatening conditions, contrary to others who teach it as a regular policy for preaching.

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake.”34

This is the reason why Christian missionaries deceive and cheat people during the process of preaching in order to bring them to Christianity, using very belligerent method as ‘Abdullah Sa’d, the former Christian, says.35

In the end, the Christian writer does not forget to praise his god, “the spotless Lamb of the Father”! It is amazing indeed to have a lamb as a god; so instead of eating it, they can worship it!

“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.”36

“… stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes”37

Seven horns and seven eyes! Is this the god they want us to worship?

No, it is not THE god, it is only one of gods they want us to worship; for their Scripture says:

“Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb”38

The poor writer wants us to disbelieve in Prophet Muhammad(P) and worship three gods: the Father, the Lamb and the Holy Spirit. It is something very different from Monotheism preached by all true Prophets and Messengers of God; for there is only One God with no lamb, no son and no partner.

‘Abdullah Sa’d, the former Christian writer, says:

“After long resistance and conflicts between my emotions and thoughts ,I decided to respect my mind and accept its convictions, so I said: God Whom I am looking for in the Scriptures is not present in the Gospel. Consequently, I quit or stopped searching for God in Christianity believing it is not a heavenly religion, and it is unimaginable to come from Great God due to much disorder and confusion in its creed and unacceptable parables which indicate limited thinking of its inventors.”39

Thus it is clear that:

“Say: O People of the Book do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?”40

In the end, we — the Muslims — bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God whom Allah sent to us to convey the Message before the Day of Judgement. We bear witness to this because he was a truthful person who had never told a lie neither during the period of Jahillyyah nor during the time of Islam. This leads us to primarily believe in him, especially since he preached the same which all true prophets and messengers of God had preached; God significantly made him victorious over his enemies.

We require whoever disbelieves in the Prophet(P) to bring a proof that he ever told a lie; for it is known that any claim must be founded upon proof.

The mere claim that Muhammad is not a prophet cannot stand on its own; you are required to bring evidence that he was not a prophet against what he said about himself.

If you ask us about proof, we will tell you that he was truthful and never told a lie either before or after revelation.

If you ask us about proof that he never told a lie, we answer that no person related that he ever told a lie despite the fact that his opponents had the motive to relate any lie from him. However, they did not.

If you argue that those who believed in him would never relate a lie from him out of religious bias and those who sympathized with him without belief would not do this out of sympathy, then how come those who opposed and fought him never related a single lie from him? On the contrary, they did directly bear witness that he does not lie and that they never experienced any lie from him.

Why did not they relate even a single lie from the Prophet(P)? The answer is obvious! This is because he actually never lied. If this is the case, why do not we believe in him and follow his Message especially he preached the same that all other prophets and messengers had preached. This is another proof of his Prophethood; for we know the Prophets and their teachings. So, if a person known for truthfulness and honesty claims Prophethood and preaches the same teachings of prophets, we know that he is one of them, i.e., the Prophets.

A third proof is the way God made him and his followers victorious over the disbelievers despite their small number the same way He (i.e., God) made other prophets victorious over their enemies like drowning of Pharaoh and his army when he followed Moses(P) and his people in the sea.

We will discuss these in a separate paper, insha’Allah. However, if you have any proof that Muhammad(P) is not a true prophet, bring forth your evidence if you are truthful. Otherwise, accept Islam to be saved from God’s punishment and the Hellfire.

We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and we bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger. Response To "Muhammad as Al-Amin (the Trustworthy): How His Enemies Really Viewed Him" And The Christian Missionaries 7

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Response To “Muhammad As Al-Amin (the Trustworthy): How His Enemies Really Viewed Him” And The Christian Missionaries," in Bismika Allahuma, November 21, 2007, last accessed December 4, 2021, https://www.bismikaallahuma.org/islam/response-to-muhammad-as-the-trustworthy/
  1. Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr, Jami’ Bayan Al-‘Ilm wa Fadluh, 1\148 []
  2. Ma’refah ‘Uloum al-Hadith, p. 4 []
  3. Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Chapter 87, Number 406 []
  4. Sira of Ibn Ishaq,1/389 []
  5. Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, 2\315 []
  6. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 3/155 []
  7. Confer ‘Abdullah Sa’d, Kont Nasranyan (I Was Christian), published by Dar al-Yaqin, p. 53 []
  8. Sura Al-An’am, verse 93 []
  9. Sura Al-Haqqah, verses 44-46 []
  10. Sura Al-Shura, verse 24 []
  11. Sura Al-Tawbah, verse 119 []
  12. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 73, Number 116 []
  13. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 32 []
  14. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 33 []
  15. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 6 []
  16. Sharh An-Nawawi of Sahih Muslim, 12/104 []
  17. Sahih Bukhari, Book 52, Number 68 on authority of Abu Hurairah and Number 69 on authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah. []
  18. Sharh An-Nawawi of Sahih Muslim, 12/45 []
  19. Sharh An-Nawawi of Sahih Muslim, 12\44 []
  20. Sahih Muslim, Volume 6, Book 19, Chapter 34, Number 4411 []
  21. Sharh An-Nawawi of Sahih Muslim, 12/45 []
  22. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 50, Number 891 []
  23. Narrated by Abu Dawud and Ahmad, Abu Dawud said: “This took place during the time when it was a condition (of the treaty between the Muslims and the polytheists that if any of them came to him, he would return him to them”. []
  24. Narrated by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ahmad. []
  25. Narrated by Al-Hakim. []
  26. Sura Al-Tahrim, verse 2 []
  27. Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani, Fath Al-Bari, 19/85 []
  28. Sura Al-Ma’ida, verse 89 []
  29. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 620 []
  30. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 621 []
  31. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 621 []
  32. Sharh An-Nawawi of Sahih Muslim, 6\39 []
  33. Tafsir Al-Baghawi, 1/336 []
  34. 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 []
  35. ‘Abdullah Sa’d, ibid., p. 53 []
  36. Revelation 17:14 []
  37. Revelation 5:6 []
  38. Revelation 7:10 []
  39. ‘Abdullah Sa’d, ibid. []
  40. Sura Al-Ma’ida, verse 59 []