Non Muslims Questions and Answers: September 2010

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Did Prophet Muhammad Copy the Bible



It is true that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) received his first revelation in his fortieth year. And it is true that both the books of the Bible and the Qur’an cover much common ground. It is also true that in the course of 23 years, verses were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) on different occasions and that he asked his followers to put these verses in particular places in different chapters. All this is true. But the conclusion of the Christian critics that the Prophet had been memorizing Biblical verses during the first 40 years of his life in order to fabricate the Qur’an is untenable for the following reasons:


1. There was no Arabic translation of the Bible available during the Prophet’s time.

Ernst Würthwein informs us in his book Is The Bible Really The Source of The Qur’an?, The Text Of The Old Testament:

“With the victory of Islam the use of Arabic spread widely and for Jews and Christians in the conquered lands it became the language of daily life. This gave rise to the need of Arabic versions of the Bible, which need was met by a number of versions mainly independent and concerned primarily for interpretation.” (Ernst Würthwein, The Text Of The Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1988, pp. 104.)

Thus, the first translations of the Hebrew Bible in Arabic appeared after the advent of Islam. In fact, the oldest dated manuscript of the Old Testament in Arabic dates from the first half of the ninth century.

What about the New Testament?

Sidney H Griffith, who has done extensive research on the appearance of Arabic and the New Testament says:

“The oldest dated manuscript containing the Gospels in Arabic is Sinai Arabic MS 72. Here the text of the four canonical Gospels is marked off according to the lessons of the temporal cycle of the Greek liturgical calendar of the Jerusalem Church. A colophon informs us that the MS was written by Stephen of Ramleh in the year 284 of the Arabs, i.e., 897 AD.” (Sidney H Griffith, The Gospel in Arabic: An Enquiry into Its Appearance in the First Abbasid Century, Oriens Christianus, Volume 69, p. 131-132.)

2. It is well-known that the Prophet did not know how to read or write: he was illiterate. So there was no question of his plagiarizing the Bible, even if an Arabic copy did in fact exist in his time. What then of the charge that he was taught by some Christians?

Allah the Almighty answered the criticism fourteen centuries ago in these verses, which say what means:



*{Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled. Nor does he say [aught] of [his own] desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him. He was taught by One Mighty in power.}* (An-Najm 53:2–5)

To deny the divine origin of the Qur’an missionaries claim that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) knew all the sources—Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hanif and ancient Arab beliefs—before he compiled the Qur’an. However, this ignores the simple fact of his illiteracy that was even acknowledged by the enemies of Islam 1400 years ago. Allah the Almighty also answered this in the Qur’an, when it says what means:

*{And thou wast not [able] to recite a Book before this [Book came] nor art thou [able] to transcribe it with thy right hand: in that case indeed would the talkers of vanities have doubted. Nay here are signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: and none but the unjust reject Our signs.}* (Al-`Ankabut 29:48–49).

Despite all this, the missionaries have been repeating the same arguments, hoping to mislead the gullible. It was common knowledge in Makkah that the Prophet was illiterate, and there is no record of the pagan Arabs in Makkah accusing Muhammad (peace be upon him) of not being illiterate.

The reasons why the whole of the Qur’an was not revealed to the Prophet at one time are well known: (1) It was only reasonable and realistic to reveal the guidance of Allah governing the individual and social lives of the gradually evolving Muslim society at the same pace as its stage-by-stage emergence in space and time. So verses had to be revealed to the Prophet depending upon the contexts demanding divine guidance.

(2) It was easier for the Prophet and his Companions to learn and imbibe the Qur’anic message as it was being revealed in small portions.

You also ask, “If the Prophet was asked by Allah to seek forgiveness, as is mentioned in the Qur’an, how can the Muslims believe that he was sinless?”

Please understand that Muslims do not believe that Muhammad (peace be on him) or any prophet for that matter was anything more than human. In this way we need not have any problem in recognizing any weakness in them that is characteristic of humans. But it is part of our belief that all prophets were protected by Allah from the usual failings of ordinary humans. Bear in mind that this is true not only of Muhammad, but also of all prophets including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (peace and blessings be on them all).

Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him), as well as all other prophets, was a model for all humans in all walks of life. Only a human who is like all other humans can serve as a model for other humans. That is why most Christians who imagine Jesus to be God cannot emulate his life as perceived by the Christians. For instance, Jesus is reported to have fasted forty days and forty nights continuously. Can this form of fasting be an example for others to follow? It is important to note that the fasting of Muhammad is being followed by millions of his followers until today.

Allah says in the Qur’an that if He wanted to give humankind what they actually deserved, nobody would remain on the face of the earth. But Allah is All-Merciful. Islam is meant for humans, and it is clearly stated in the Qur’an that Allah created humans as weak creatures. The Qur’an says what means:

*{God doth wish to lighten your [difficulties], for man was created weak [in flesh].}* (An-Nisaa’ 4:28)

So it is only natural that humans need divine guidance to keep themselves free from sins. And Allah in His infinite mercy allows us to continue to live here even after we disobey Him again and again. Now the life of a prophet is a practical demonstration of how to live according to divine guidance. Allah taught the prophet not only to do good things, but to avoid all bad things and to seek His forgiveness for any mistakes or lapses on his part as a human being. So no one, not even the Prophet, is exempt from seeking Allah’s forgiveness. And that is the reason why Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked to seek Allah’s forgiveness.

May Allah forgive us all and show us the right way
Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Authorship of the Quran

Description: A look into whether the Quran could have been written by Muhammad himself.


Although it is proven that the text of the Quran has remained intact till today, how are we sure that the words actually originated from God and not some other source? This takes us to look at the authenticity, authority, or source of the Quran.

Concerning the authorship of the Quran, Muslims believe that it was revealed verbatim (i.e. word for word) by God, to Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. Non-Muslims, however, who do not support this view, can have no differences with Muslims concerning the fact that the Quran was at least first witnessed to be uttered by Muhammad, a Meccan Arab in the 7th century CE and, as proved above, there have been no changes to the records of his utterances since then.

Muslims’ claim of “internal evidence” for the divine authorship of the Quran, i.e. from statements to that effect in the Quran itself (e.g. Quran 4:82; 6:19; 6:92; 27:6; 45:2, etc.), is understandably looked upon with skepticism, as nearly anyone can quote passages from his or her scripture that claim the scripture in question is revelation from God. We are therefore forced by reason and objectivity to look elsewhere for “external evidence” of the Quran’s divine source or authority.

The simple proposed structure for the presentation of this “external evidence” is an elimination process, where we get to the answer of the question – “Who is the author of the Quran?” – by eliminating all alternative answers to this question which are definitely implausible. In other words, the definite or (at least) most probable author or source of the Quran is identified by eliminating unacceptable alternative candidates.

There are various contradictory views and opinions held by some non-Muslims as to the source of the Quran. The following list of “possible” authors reflects the main theories:

1) Muhammad.

2) Some other Arab poet(s), scholars, etc.

3) Some non-Arab scholars, or poets or religious personalities.

4) Monks or Rabbis (i.e. from the Bible or Judeo-Christian sources).

5) Satan (or other deceitful “spirits” or “aliens”, etc.).

6) God.

We may now proceed to examine from a closer study of the Quran and history how plausible these theories are.

Muhammad: Unlettered and Had No Teachers

The fact that Muhammad could neither read nor write (Quran 29:48) is well known and uncontested by even his non-Muslim contemporaries and present day historians. He had no schooling or teacher of any kind. He had never been known to compose oral poetry or prose. The Quran, with its all-embracing laws and freedom from all inconsistencies, has its greatness acknowledged even by non-Muslim scholars.[1] Its contents treat social, economic, political and religious legislation, history, views of the universe, living things, thought, human transactions, war, peace, marriage, worship, business, and everything relating to life - with no contradicting principles. The Quran has never been edited or revised as it was never in need of any revision or correction. How were such vast subject areas expounded upon with such precision by a 7th century Arab with no formal education or even the ability to read what scant material there may have been in his environment on such topics? Where and when has history ever produced an illiterate author of such a scripture?

Muhammad’s Known Integrity

Muhammad’s sincerity, truthfulness and integrity were so well known that he was even nicknamed “Al-Ameen” (The Trustworthy) by his pre-Islamic community. Not a single lie is recorded against him, and many modern Western Orientalists have themselves admitted that contrary to any deliberate deception, that the Prophet had a profoundly sincere conviction that it was revealed to him by God Himself is undeniable.[2]

If his integrity had been in question, and he was supposed to have been motivated by the desire for personal glory to produce the Quran, why then would he disclaim authorship and instead claim it was from God, especially when the pagan Meccans had conceded that no one could produce such a scripture (Quran 2:23-24, 17:88, etc.), but only marvel at it? His enemies even offered him kingship over Mecca and any riches he desired if only he would stop reciting. If it was true that he desired his personal glory and leadership, why would he decline the offer when it was presented to him and instead prefer a life of humility, simplicity, persecution, sanctions, and even hostile attack by those who felt threatened by the Message of One God?

In addition, how reasonable is it to believe that unlettered Muhammad would author the Quran for personal benefit and then within the Quran correct and reprove himself? For example:

“He frowned and turned away when the blind man came to him…” (Quran 80:1-2)

And also,

“…And you did fear men, though God is more deserving that you should fear Him” (Quran 33:37)

There are other verse you may refer to, such as chapter18,verse 23-24, and others. Why would he embarrass himself when he could simply omit or favorably modify such verses in the Quran? They were certainly not to his advantage if his goals were power and prestige. The existence of such verses only proves that Muhammad was indeed a truthful and sincere Messenger of God!

The Style of the Quran

There is a world of difference between the style of the Quran and Muhammad’s own style as recorded in the books of Ahadeeth. The differences between the two in every respect – style and contents – are immediately evident. The sayings of Muhammad (Ahadeeth) are conversational, oratorical, and expository, of a kind the Arabs were already familiar with. By contrast, the style of the Quran is authoritative:

“We created the heavens and the earth…” (Quran 15:85, 44:38, 46:3, 50:38)

Also,

“Say!...”[3]

Also,


“… had it (the Quran) been from any other than God, they would have found therein much discrepancies.” (Quran 4:82)

Also,

“… Say then: ‘Bring a chapter like it and call, if you can, on other than God…’”(Quran 10:38)

Also,


“… then bring a chapter like unto it… and if you can not — for surely you cannot, then…” (Quran 2:23-24)

Which fallible human being would write a book and challenge humanity to find discrepancies in it, as does the author of the Quran (Quran 4:82)? Would any sensible student after writing an exam paper add a note to the lecturer saying “Read my answers with care and find any discrepancies or mistakes in it if you can!”? The style of the Quran is simply that of the All-Knowing Creator.

Furthermore, the Quran is a literary masterpiece of Arabic which was and remains unrivaled in its eloquence. Its rhythmic style, rhyme, near-haunting depth of expression, majesty, and “inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy”[4], shook the foundations of a society which had prided itself on its oratory skills. Contests were held every year in Mecca for who could recite the longest and most eloquent pieces from memory. When the Quran was revealed, all such contests were brought to a halt, as there was no more competition.

Like the miracle of Moses’ stick turning into a real snake which outdid the ability of all the Pharaoh’s magicians at a time when the Egyptians were noted for their mastery of sorcery and magic, and the miracle of Jesus’ healing of the blind and bringing the dead back to life which outdid the ability of all the doctors at a time when the Jews were noted for their mastery of medicine, the Quran was the Prophet Muhammad’s own miracle.[5] How could such magnificent and unrivaled expressions emanate from a man who, for 40 years, was never known for any such ability?

Similarities and Discrepancies between the Quran and the Bible

The mere existence of similarities between any two books is insufficient to prove that one must have been copied from the other. Both could have drawn information from a third common source, thus accounting for some similarities between them. This, in fact, is the argument of the Quran that God is the Source of all authentic revelation (Quran 4:47).

Some scholars have noted that the only Christians the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him,, is recorded as having been personally introduced to prior to his mission did not spend long enough time with him to teach him of their scripture, and no other historical record mentions anyone who taught the Prophet from among the Jews and Christian.[6] Furthermore, the Arabs of his time were very eager to discredit him. Hence, if there was any secret teacher, he would most likely have been exposed by them then.

Furthermore, could the Quran have been copied from the Bible if they exhibit serious creedal differences? Regarding doctrines such as the concepts of God and prophethood, sin and forgiveness, the Quran differs significantly with the Bible. The Quran in fact addresses Jews and Christians directly when correcting what it states are corruptions in their own scriptures. Interestingly, Quranic revelations of doctrinal problems with Christianity were sent largely in the Meccan period, prior to the Prophet’s migration to Medina, where he would have encountered many more Jewish and Christian scholars.

Even in the case of narration common to both scriptures, vital discrepancies can be observed. For example, the Quran, unlike the Bible:

— does not blame women for the mistake committed by Adam and Eve (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) in disobeying God in the Garden of Eden. (Compare Genesis 3:12-17 with Quran 91:7-8 and 2:35-37);

— emphasizes that Adam and Eve repented to God (Quran 7:23) and were forgiven by Him (Quran 2:37);

— mentions that the eventual dwelling of Adam and Eve on Earth was already part of God’s plan even before He created them (Quran 2:30), and not a sort of punishment (Genesis 3:17-19).

Other significant variations can be seen in the stories of Solomon[7], Abraham[8], Ishmael and Isaac, Lot, Noah[9], Moses and Jesus[10] (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him).

The Quran also mentions a good amount of historical information about which the Bible is completely silent. From which portion of the Bible were the following copied?

• The stories of the people of ‘Ad and Thamud, and their Prophets, Hud and Saleh.

• The dialogue between Prophet Noah and his son before the flood (Quran 11:42-43).

• The dialogue between Abraham and his father (Quran 6:74), as well as between he and a king (Quran 2:258), and between he and his people (Quran 22:70-102; 29:16-18; 37:83-98; 21:57).

• The mention of the city of Iram (Quran 89:7).

• The Pharaoh of the Exodus having drowned, with his body preserved as a sign for people of future generations (Quran 10:90-92).

• Jesus’ miracles of speaking from the cradle (Quran 3:46), and his producing (by God’s will) a bird from clay (Quran 3:49), etc.

For further examples, see the following references from the Quran: 21:69, 2:260, and 3:37.

Quranic Teachings about Satan and about Morality

Some claim that the Quran was the work of the devil.[11] Let us examine how much sense (or non-sense) this allegation makes.

If he authored or inspired the Quran, why would Satan curse himself and call himself the worst enemy of man (Q.35:6; 36:60)? Why would Satan command that before reciting the Quran, one must first say:

“…I seek refuge in God from Satan the accursed.” (Quran 16:98)

How could Satan so vehemently condemn himself? Is it really acceptable to common sense to hold the view that Satan would ask people to do good, to be moral and virtuous, to worship none but God, to not follow Satan or his whispers, and to avoid and struggle against evil?

To hold such a view is clearly repugnant to reason, as Satan has only undermined himself through this means if he is the author. Even the Bible attests:

“And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.” (Mark 3:26)[12]

This argument applies to any “Satanic forces”, be they “evil spirits”, “deceitful aliens”, etc.

The Quran’s Factual Contents and Scientific Information

Within the Quran are recorded facts about ancient times that were unknown to Muhammad’s contemporaries and even to historians in the first half of the 20th century. In scores of verses, we also find references to scientific wonders, some only recently discovered or confirmed, regarding the universe, biology, embryology, astronomy, physics, geography, meteorology, medicine, history, oceanography, etc. Below are some examples of modern scientific discoveries mentioned in the Quran.

• The Lost City of Iram. (Quran 89:7)

• Worker bees being female. (Quran 16:68)

• Mountains as “stakes” and stabilizers. (Quran 78:6-7)

• The spherical shape of the Earth. (Quran 7:54; 36:37; 31:29)

• The expanding universe. (Quran 51:47)

• The “Big Bang”. (Quran 21:30)

• That at one point in time, the whole universe was nothing but a cloud of “smoke”. (Quran 41:11)

• The Quranic description of the development of the human embryo. (Quran 23:12-14)

Readers who are interested in further examples, are referred to “The Bible, the Quran and Science” by Maurice Bucaille[13], “Struggling to Surrender” p.33-38, by Jeffery Lang[14], “The Quranic Phenomenon” by Malik Bennabi[15], “The Developing Human”, 3rd edition, by Keith L. Moore[16], “A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam”, by I. A. Ibrahim[17], “The Sources of the Quran” by Hamza Mustapha Njozi[18], “The Basis of Muslim Beliefs”[19] and “The Amazing Quran” by Gary Miller[20], etc.

How many well trained modern scientists and geniuses with the aid of hi-tech equipment, satellites, telescopes, microscopes and computers were required to discover the scientific facts mentioned in the Quran, and over what time span? Is it even conceivable that any human being over 1,400 years ago could have produced a scripture with such information in it, let alone a person who had never been educated?

Although the inability of man to encompass all the mysteries and complexity of creation is mentioned in the Quran (67:3-4), the revelation nevertheless seems to point to various natural phenomena as if urging human beings to enquire and verify what is said – again, with such an attitude of confidence that one can only assume the author is indeed challenging our disbelief. To be generous to the skeptic, perhaps one or two of the scientific revelations were the result of nothing more than a good guess or coincidence, but how probable could it have been that they all were?

Comparing Quranic statements that deal with the physical universe with certain scientific notions leads us to discover profound similarities. But, more notably, as Dr. Maurice Bucaille observes, the Quran is distinguished from all other works of antiquity that describe or attempt to explain the workings of nature in that it avoids mistaken concepts. For in the Quran, many subjects are referred to that have a bearing on modern knowledge without a single statement contradicting what has been established by present-day science.[21]

Dr. Bucaille goes as far as to conclude his study with the following remark:

“In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad’s day, it is inconceivable that many statements in the Quran which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Quran as an expression of Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on account of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms.”[22]

Conclusions

In examining the possible source of the Quran we have covered the following points:

• Muhammad’s being unlettered

• Muhammad’s integrity

• The Style of the Quran

• Discrepancies between the Quran and the Bible

• Quranic teachings about Satan and about morality, and

• The Quran’s factual contents and scientific information

These points were presented to aid us in our “elimination process” of unacceptable sources or authors of the Quran, as follows:

Muhammad : We might start by eliminating Muhammad from the list of possible authors of the Quran. There is just no way that he could have authored the Quran in view of points 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 presented above.

Other Arab Poet(s), Scholar(s), etc.: We can also eliminate any other Arab from the list of possible authors in view of points 2, 3 and 6 (at least).

Some non-Arab: The reasons for the elimination of any Arab from the list also eliminate any non-Arab scholar, poet or religious personality.

Christian Monks or Jewish Rabbis (i.e. Judeo-Christian sources): This alternative source of the Quran is unreasonable in view of points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.

Satan (or other deceitful spirits or aliens, or anyone on his side, etc.): This option is also unacceptable in view of the points discussed, especially under 5.

God: In the absence of any more acceptable alternative as source and author of the Quran, one is more or less forced by reason to accept the Quran for what it claims to be – revelation from God through His Prophet Muhammad. This position seems reasonable not just because it is the only option that cannot be objectively eliminated, but because it is only reasonable to expect that a book with such qualities and contents would come from man’s Creator and Guide. Of all the possible sources of the Quran, it is only the last alternative – God – who even claims in the Quran itself to be the author of the scripture, for the Quran is truly the spoken word of God.

The position, therefore, which holds that God is the author and source of the Quran still stands, and the challenge (or falsification test, Q.4:82) remains open to anyone to disprove the Quran’s claim to being revelation from God. Having undertaken this task ourselves, the Muslim’s contention that the Quran is the Word of God appears not just a product of blind faith but, in fact, a product of very sound and reasoned judgment in light of all the available evidence. Indeed, after having assessed the evidence, it would be blind faith to contend otherwise!

Note that the evidence for the Divine Authorship of the Quran is also evidence for the existence of the Divine. God must exist, unless a more reasonably acceptable author of the Quran can be found!

Footnotes:

[1] See Fredrick Denny, Islam, NY: Harper & Row, 1987, p.88; Dr. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Quran and Science, Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1983, p.163; and H.A.R. Gibb, Wither Islam, NY: A.M.S. Press, 1932, p.350; etc.

[2] See for example, H.A.R. Gibb, Mohammedanism, London: Oxford University Press, 1962, p.25

[3] This is mentioned in too many places in the Quran to mention here. See. Quran 112,113,114 for an example (E).

[4] Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Quran, New York: The Muslim World League, 1977, p.vii.

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari Vol.6, Hadeeth No.504; Saheeh Muslim Vol.1, Hadeeth No.283.

[6] Bilal Philips, Usool at-Tafseer, Sharjah: Dar al-Fatah, 1997, p.127-128.

[7] eg. the Quran rejects that this Prophet was ever a worshipper of idols – compare Quran 2:102 with 1 Kings 11:4.

[8] eg. the Quran describes the account of the story of God’s command to sacrifice his son as occurring in a dream with his son as a willing participant before being saved by God’s intervention, while the Bible speaks of God speaking directly to him and his son as unaware of his plans - compare Quran 37:99-111 with Genesis 22:1-19

[9] The Bible describes the Great Flood as covering the entire Earth whereas the Quran describes the flood as a local event only, a description which is more consistent which scientific evidence - compare Quran 25:37 with Genesis 7:23.

[10] A critical difference is the Quran’s insistence that Jesus was never truly crucified.

[11] See Norman Daniel’s Islam and the West: the Making of an Image, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 1989, p.83, 94, etc.

[12] Cited in H.M. Njozi, The Sources of the Quran: A Critical Review of the Authorship Theories, Saudi Arabia: WAMY Publications, 1991, p.96

[13] Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Quran and Science, Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1978

[14] Jeffrey Lang, Struggling to Surrender, Maryland: Amana Publications, 1994

[15] Malik Bennabi, The Quranic Phenomenon, transl. A.B. Kirkary, Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1983

[16] Keith Moore, The Developing Human, 3rd edition, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1982

[17] I.A. Ibrahim, A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, Houston: Darussalam Publishers, 1997

[18] H.M. Njozi, The Sources of the Quran: A Critical Review of the Authorship Theories, Saudi Arabia: WAMY Publications, 1991



[19] Gary Miller, The Basis of Muslim Beliefs, Kuala Lampur: Prime Minister’s Department - Islamic Affairs Division, 1995

[20] (http://users.erols.com/ameen/amazingq.htm)

[21] Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Quran and Science, Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1978

[22] [76] ibid., p.163.

Is temporary marriage really allowed in Islam?

Praise be to Allaah.


Mut’ah marriage means that a man marries a woman – either Muslim or from the people of the Book – and specifies how long the marriage will last, for example five days, or two months, or half a year, or many years. The beginning and end of the marriage are specified, and he pays her a small mahr (dowry), and after the specified time is over, the woman exits the marriage. This kind of marriage was permitted during the year of the Conquest of Makkah for three days, then it was disallowed and prohibited until the Day of Resurrection. This was reported by Muslim (1406).

The wife is the one with whom one stays on a long-term basis, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and live with them honourably …” [al-Nisaa’ 4:19], but in the case of mut’ah a man does not live with the woman for long.

The wife is the one who is called a wife in sharee’ah, with whom the relationship is long-lasting. She is mentioned in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, for then, they are free from blame” [al-Mu’minoon 23:6]

The wife is the one who inherits from the husband, or from whom the husband inherits, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“In that which your wives leave, your share is a half if they have no child…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:12]. But the woman in a mut’ah marriage does not inherit, because she is not a wife, since she spends such a short time with the man.

On these grounds, Mut’ah marriage is considered to be zinaa (adultery or fornication), even if both parties consent to it, and even if it lasts for a long time, and even if the man pays the woman a mahr. There is nothing that has been reported in sharee’ah that shows that it may be permitted, apart from the brief period when it was allowed during the year of the conquest of Makkah. That was because at that time there were so many people who has newly embraced Islam and there was the fear that they might become apostates, because they had been used to committing zinaa during the Jaahiliyyah. So this kind of marriage was permitted for them for three days, then it was made haraam until the Day of Resurrection, as was narrated by Muslim, 1406.

It was narrated from ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade mut’ah marriage and the meat of domestic donkeys at the time of Khaybar. According to another report, he forbade mut’ah marriage at the time of Khaybar and he forbade the meat of tame donkeys.


Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3979; Muslim, 1407.

The APOSTLE OF ALLAH (PEACE_BE_UPON_HIM) PROHIBITED TEMPORARY MARRIAGE WITH WOMEN.

Muslim, Book 008, Number 3251:

How did mut’a come into Islam?

Like many innovations unfavorable to women, it can be traced directly to Judaism!


In the Old Testament, seduction of a virgin not yet engaged to be married, was not a crime, but merely a BUSINESS TRANSACTION:

"16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, he must pay the bride price for her and marry her. 17 But if her father refuses to let him marry her, he must pay the father a sum of money equal to the bride price for a virgin."

Exodus 22 (Today’s English Version).

Mut’a, similarly, degrades marriage to a business arrangement. This "Israeeleeat" doctrine has no place in Islam.

What these anti-Islamics don't know is that Muta originally came from their own Bible.

the following Biblical verses clearly prove this:

Exodus 22:16-17

16 If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife.

17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

There is no doubt that these verses allow for muta between the man and even a virgin. Not only that, but the New Testament doesn't even nullify them.

While it is true that Jesus prohibited divorce between two spouses except for "marital unfaithfulness", but he clearly did allow polygamy in the polygamist society that he lived in through his "1 groom and his 10 virgin brides" parable.

A Christian man can still sleep with a woman and pay her the "bride-price." She would become his wife only and only if her father approves it. After that they certainly can't divorce except for "marital unfaithfulness" from either one. But the point is, according to Exodus 22:16-17, he can still take her to bed and not be violating anything. And if a woman is divorced, and he seduces her for muta, then her father doesn't even have to be involved. Not only that, but in the OT days, divorce was allowed between the two spouses. Again as I mentioned above:

Jeremiah 3:1

If a man divorces a woman and she marries someone else, he is not to take her back again, for that would surely corrupt the land. But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, says the LORD. Yet I am still calling you to come back to me.

Refute that lying is taught in Islam.

Does Islam really order Muslims to lie to non-Muslims ?There are many verses in The Noble Quran PROHIBIT Muslims to lie .

Let us look at the Noble Verses that:

"A believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith, said: "Will ye slay a man because he says, 'My Lord is Allah.?- when he has indeed come to you with Clear (Signs) from your Lord? and if he be a liar, on him is (the sin of) his lie: but, if he is telling the Truth, then will fall on you something of the (calamity) of which he warns you: Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies!"

Surah 40. Ghafir verse 28.


Who doth greater wrong than one who invents falsehood against Allah, even as he is being invited to Islam? And Allah guides not those who do wrong.

Surah 61. As-Saff verse 7


The above Noble Verses clearly PROHIBIT Muslims to lie to muslims or non-Muslims.

One of the most common claims thrown against Muslims is that the prophet Muhammad allowed Muslims to lie. Christians always like to go around claiming that Muslims are allowed to lie, and they often make these claims on their websites and sermons.

The Christians are guilty of intentionally distorting what the prophet Muhammad really said, since when we look at what the prophet said, it is nothing near the claims the Christians are making.

Now it must be said, that lying is forbidden in Islam, however so, UNDER 3 OCCASIONS, it is not. This point must be made crystal clear, that it is only under 3 specific circumstances in which a Muslim is allowed to lie, not like the Christian tries to make it seem, that Muslims are always allowed to lie.

These three specific circumstances are as follows:

Sahih MuslimBook 032, Number 6303:

Humaid b. 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Auf reported that his mother Umm Kulthum daughter of 'Uqba b. Abu Mu'ait, and she was one amongst the first emigrants who pledged allegiance to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), as saying that she heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he conveys good. Ibn Shihab said he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them).

So as you can see, Muslims are allowed to only lie during battle, essentially in war. Muslims are allowed to lie in order to bring peace between two people, and also when a wife and husband are fighting with each other and they lie to bring about an end to their problems.

As you can see, there is nothing wrong or extreme about that now is there? During war, many people will lie; this is how war is, if an enemy comes to you asking you where you're other soldiers are, would you tell him? Off course not, and if you were forced into giving the enemy army some information, you would give him false information. This is something very common during wars, and is practiced by every single army and every practicing soldier yet no one says they are commiting a crime or something bad! How ironic American Marines who kill, rape, and bomb innocent Iraqis are hailed as heroes by many Christians in the west yet they have a problem with a command from the Prophet Muhammad allowing people to lie in war!

Also How more ironic it is, that Americans have no problems with the CIA and US military being taught on how to give false information to enemies during war, and see it as something very normal and okay, yet when Islam permits the same type of action, the Christian goes all crazy shouting out evil! Such double standards simply reflect the low character of such Christians, and I am ONLY referring to those Christians who use these double standards.

Any sane rational person would lie during war to save yourself, or your comrades, and only a fool would say this is something wrong.

The second circumstance, in which a person is allowed to lie, is when you want to bring peace between 2 people. Again, does this seem like something evil? If two of your best friends were fighting, and the only way to bring a peace between both of them was to make something up, would you not do it? Off course you would, and many of you have done so.

This is something very normal, and logical, and this is something any person would do. Your intention is not to cause problems; rather your intention is to cause good and peace, only a fool would argue saying to lie to make peace is bad. If a lie could bring peace and end war, or blood-shed, or violence, would you not lie to end it and bring the peace? Only an idiot would say no.

The third circumstance of when it's permissible to lie is when you are trying to fix things up between your wife or husband. Again, is this something wrong or evil? The majority of married people have lied to each other to fix things up, and this is a FACT, yet no one has a problem with it or cries out evil! Yet when Islam allows such a rational act, the Christians go mad. Remember, the intention of this is something good, not to bring evil, you are doing this to fix your marriage, and to reconcile things, you are not doing this to do bad things.

Now it must be said, Muslims cannot use this hadith to always lie to their husbands and wives intentionally, no, it is only when your intention is to really fix things up, then you can commit the lie. You cannot commit the lie to simply help yourself, and then go back to doing bad things, and lie again, and play around. This is not how it goes.

So as you can see, Islam only allows you to lie under special circumstances, and as we saw, there is nothing evil about these circumstances, and only a fool would argue that this is something bad and evil.

So in conclusion, Christians should stop claiming that Muslims are allowed to lie for fun or whenever they feel like, that is something false and is an intentional lie and a distortion of the facts. Muslims are only allowed to lie under 3 specific circumstances, and as you can see, it is something very natural to lie in these 3 specific circumstances, and it must be done with a good intention, to save your life or the life of your fellow soldiers and army.

The Bible On  Lying

Christian fundies always argue that Muslims are allowed to lie to try and spread their faith, i.e. taqqiya, yet the irony is that this teaching is found within their own Bible!


1 Corinthians 9:18-23




http://www.muslim-responses.com/

Refutes the claim that the prophet got his teachings from Christian sources

Refutes the claim that the prophet got his teachings from Christian sources.

The Prophet of Islam (sws) never claimed that his teachings stemmed from his own ‘intellectual world’. The Qur’an explicitly asserts:
Even so We have revealed to thee a Spirit of Our bidding. Thou knewest not what the Book was, nor belief; but We made it a light, whereby We guide whom We will of Our servants. And thou, surely thou shall guide unto a straight path -- the path of God, to whom belongs whatsoever is in the heavens, and whatsoever is in the earth. Surely unto God all things come home.1
As regards the charge that his teachings ‘stemmed mostly from Judaism and Christianity’, it is to be noted that the source of all true religions is one and the same: the divine revelation; there is also a unity of purpose in all the divine religions: providing guidance to mankind. The Prophet of Islam (sws) never claimed that Islam was a novel or a unique religion. This fact has been categorically made clear in the Qur’an:
I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.2
The resemblance of some aspects of Islam and the Biblical religions (Judaism and Christianity) is due to the unity of source of all the three religions. There is no possibility of the Prophet of Islam (sws) having extorted and adopted his teachings from the Biblical sources. Some of the Orientalists have also admitted this fact. Prof. Montgomery Watt observes:
(...) The possibility of his having read the Bible or other Jewish or Christian books may be ruled out. [p.39] (....); and it is unlikely that he had ever read any other books.3
Marshall G. S. Hodgson has also expressed the same views:
Muhammad’s standard for prophecy was, in principle, the experience and action of the old Hebrew prophets. But he knew nothing of them directly. His own experience was evidently very personal.4
Islam is a code of life revealed by God through his Messengers for providing guidance to the whole of mankind through the ages and its basic teachings have remained common in spirit and purpose all along. It would have been ridiculous if its fundamental teachings, which are not subject to time and space, had been different. God is One; He is the Creator and Sustainer of every being; there is no peer or partner to Him; Resurrection is unavoidable; murder, adultery, telling a lie, stealing, cruelty, etc. are sins and liable to punishment; mercy, truth, alms-giving, service to all beings and social welfare are virtues: These had been virtues hundreds of thousands of years back, they are virtues today, and they will remain virtues throughout the centuries and millennia to come. How can, then, the teachings of one Prophet (sws) be different from other Prophets even though there be a gap of hundreds and thousands of years between them? This fact should best be known, and be made known to all others, by, of all people, the learned orientalists. The Qur’an explains:


He has laid down for you the [same] way of life and belief which He commanded to Noah, and which We have enjoined on you, and which We had bequeathed to Abraham, Moses and Jesus, so that they should maintain the order and not be divided among themselves. Heavy is to idolaters what you invite them to. God chooses whom He please for Himself, and guides to Himself whoever turns to Him.5
The Prophet of Islam (sws) was an unlettered person. He had no contact with some authority of religious knowledge, nor had he any opportunity of receiving a regular schooling or education from some religious scholar. There is a tradition that the Prophet, at the age of nine or twelve, travelled to Syria, with his guardian uncle, Abu Talib, in a trading caravan. The caravan broke journey at Busra. A monk, Buhayra or Bahira by name, who lived there in a monastery, recognized him to be the Apostle of the Lord of the Worlds. When asked about his source of knowledge about Muhammad’s imminent apostleship, he replied that every tree and rock had prostrated itself before him; At his advice, Abu Talib sent him back to Makkah with Abu Bakr and Bilal. Most of the renowned Orientalists have made every effort to exploit this tradition and to assert that the Prophet (sws) of Islam (sws) conceived the idea of apostleship and got most of its training and education from this monk. They let aside all their scholarship, analytic study, objectivity and their high standard of research for which they are conspicuously renowned and appreciated the world over and made a mountain out of a molehill.
The tradition has been reported through different chains of narrators and is found in different collections. The strongest chain is that of Tirmizi. All other stories are so obviously fabricated ones that none of the regular compilers of the traditions of the Prophet of Islam (sws) considered them worthy of mention. The chain of the narrators in Tirmizi is:
Tirmizi reports it from Fadl Ibn Sahl, who reports it from `Abd al-Rahman Ibn Ghazwan, -- from Yunus Ibn Abi Ishaq, -- from Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Musa, from his father [Abu Musa Ash`ari]. He said: Abu Talib set out for Syria etc.6
Allama Shibli Nu`mani, and later on his learned student Allama Sayyid Sulayman Nadwi, made some analytic observations on the Buhayra incident in their esteemed seven-volume Urdu work on the life of the Prophet (sws), "Sirat al-Nabi". A gist of their observations from Volume I and Volume III is given hereunder:
Although one of the narrators, `Abd al-Rahman Ibn Ghazwan, has been approved by some of the critics of Asma al-Rijal (the science of judging the reliability of the narrators of the traditions); yet others have leveled charges against him. Allama Dhahabi, in his "Mizan al-I`tidal", says: `Abd al-Rahman relates Munkar (unacceptable) traditions; the most unacceptable of which is the tradition regarding the account of Buhayra. The concocted tradition regarding Mamalik was also reported by him. Hakim says: He reported an unacceptable tradition from Imam Layth. Ibn Hibban writes: He committed mistakes. Abd al-Rahman has reported it from Yunus Ibn Ishaq. Although some of the critics have approved this Yunus, yet generally he is considered to be unreliable. Yahya says: He was very careless. Shu`ba has accused him of deceit. Imam Ahmad has termed his reporting, in general, as disturbed and worthless. Yunus reported it from Abu Bakr who reported it from his father, Abu Musa Asha`ri; but it is not certain that he ever heard some tradition from his father. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hunbal has totally rejected his hearing from his father. That’s why Ibn Sa`ad has declared him as unreliable. Thus the tradition can safely be termed as Munqata` (whose chain of reporters is cut off).7
After giving a brief account of the chain of narrators from "Sirat al-Nabi", a fairly detailed study of the narrators is undertaken hereunder. First of all, a few words about the first narrator, Abu Musa Asha`ri. He was one of the companions of the Prophet of Islam (sws). Ibn Athir asserts about him:
A group of scholars of genealogy and biography asserts that Abu Musa came to Makkah, entered into alliance with Sa`id Ibn al-As and turned back to the area of his tribe. Then [after not less than ten to fifteen years] he came with his brethren and his journey coincided with the return of the refugees from Ethiopia at the time of the conquest of Khaybar. It is also said that their ship was driven by the wind to the land of Negroes, where they stayed for some time. Then they joined the Refugees in their return to Madinah from Ethiopia.8 Abu Musa died between 42-53 AH at the age of 63.9
Hafiz Dhahabi has collected some detailed information about him. He says:
It is reported that Abu Musa died in the year 42 AH. Abu Ahmad al-Hakim reports: He died in the year 42 AH; and it is also said that in 43 AH.’ Abu Na’im, Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ibn Numayr and Qa`nab Ibn al-Muharrar reported that he died in the year 44 AH]. So far as Waqidi is concerned, he says: He died in the year 52 AH; and Mada`Ini says: in the year 53 AH after Mughirah. And I had mentioned in Tabaqat al-Qurra: True it is that Abu Musa died in Dhu al-Hijjah in the year 44 AH.10
Similar data has been recorded about him by the following authorities:
(a) Ibn Hajr.11
(b) Ibn Sa`ad.12
It is thus clear from the above that:
i) Abu Musa died at the age of 63.
ii) He died between the year 42-53 AH and most probably in 44 AH, as stated above by Dhahabi.
iii) If he died in 42 AH, he was born when the Prophet (sws) was 32, i.e. 20 to 23 years after the incident of Buhayra.
iv) If he died in 53 AH, he might have been born when the Prophet was 34, i.e. 31 to 34 years after the incident of Buhayra.
v) In no case can Abu Musa be treated as an eye-witness to the incident which took place not less than 20-34 years prior to his coming into existence; and 30-40 years before his pubescence, when he could have been expected to be able to understand and remember such an event even to a very small degree.
Even if Abu Musa be not an eye-witness, his report could have been acceptable, had he stated that either he had heard it from the Prophet (sws) himself, or from some of the Prophet’s companions, who should have heard it from the Prophet (sws) himself. In the absence of such a statement, the chain of the narrators is to be considered as disconnected, and such a tradition is termed as ‘Mursal’, which is a sort of a defect in a tradition. But even if this flaw is ignored, the chain has other serious shortcomings, which render it quite unacceptable.
Abu Bakr reports the tradition from his father, Abu Musa Asha`ri. It is genuinely questionable if he ever heard some tradition from his father. He died in the year 106 AH13 whereas his father Abu Musa died [at the age of 63]14 in 42 AH as has been reported by Imam Dhahabi, which is reproduced here: Ibn Sa`ad reports from Haytham Ibn `Adi: He died in the year 42 AH or later.’15 It means that he lived for 64 years or so after the death of his father and would not have been more than a boy at the death of his father. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hunbal has categorically rejected any possibility of it. Ibn Sa’ad says that he is considered as unworthy and unreliable. Hafiz Yusuf al-Mizzi states that it is reported that his name was `Amar or `Amir. He further states:
He reported the traditions from: al-Aswad Ibn Hilal, Bara Ibn `Azib, Jabir Ibn Samurah, Abdullah Ibn `Abbas, `Ali Ibn Abi Talib, and what had been said, which is a misconception, [emphasis added] from his father, Abu Musa.16
From Abu Bakr the tradition has been reported to Yunus Ibn Ishaq. As already stated: he is unworthy, unreliable, careless and even a cheat. Abu Hakim asserts that he is often baffled and hallucinated about his reports. Although some of the critics have tolerated or even approved him, yet most of them consider him unreliable. Hafiz Mizzi has collected some fairly detailed information about him. It would be pertinent to study some of the remarks made by him:
Salih Ibn Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reports from `Ali Ibn al-Madyani that he was listening to Yahya. When Yunus Ibn Ishaq was mentioned there, he said: He was negligent and careless; and these were his natural and innate characteristics. Bundar quotes from Salm Ibn Qutaybah: I came from Kufah. Shu`bah asked me whom I had seen there. I said I saw such and such persons there; and I also met Yunus Ibn Abi Ishaq. He asked: what [hadith] has he related to you. I narrated [whatever I had heard]. He kept silent for a while. I told him that he said: Bakr Ibn Ma’iz narrated to me. Shu`bah observed: Didn’t he say to you that Abdullah Ibn Mas`ud had narrated to him? (which was obviously impossible due to the gap of time in both of them. It means that Shu`bah treats him as a fabricator.) Abu Bakr al-Athram says: I heard Abu Abdullah. When [the name of] Yunus Ibn Abi Ishaq was mentioned, he termed his reporting from his father as unreliable. Abu Talib told Ahmad Ibn Hanbal as saying that in Yunus’s hadith there were some additions on the reports of the people. His son Israel heard and noted down from Abu Ishaq; but there are no such additions in it as Yunus adds. Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: I asked my father about Yunus Ibn Abi Ishaq; he said that his reports are disturbed and confused. (...). He is such and such a person. Abu Hatim said that he was truthful but his hadiths cannot be quoted as authentic or offered as a proof for something. Imam Nasai tolerated him by saying that there is no harm in him. (...). He died in 159 or 152 or 158; the first one is more correct.17
The next narrator `Abd al-Rahman Ibn Ghazwan -- although most of the learned critics have declared him a strong, reliable or acceptable narrator -- is also not without a blame. Imam Mizzi observes as follows:
Ibn Hibban has reported about him: He used to commit mistakes. His report from al-Layth -- from Malik -- from Zuhri -- from `Urwah -- from `Aishah about the story of al-Mamalik disturbs and troubles the heart. Tabari says that he died in the year 207 AH.18
Now there remains only Fadhl Ibn Sahl Ibn Ibrahim al-`Araj. He is a reliable narrator; but there are also some reservations about him. Khatib Baghdadi asserts:
Ahmad Ibn Sulayman Ibn `Ali al-Muqriu reported to me from Abu Sa`id Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-Malini to whom reported Abdullah Ibn `Adi -- he said: I heard Abdan saying that he heard Abu Dawud al-Sajistani saying that he did not [like to] report [some tradition] from Fadhl [the Lame]. I asked why. He said [how is it that] no good hadith escaped from him. Ibn `Adi said that he heard Ahmad Ibn al-Husayn al-Sufi saying that Fadhl was one of the fox like cunning, wily and crafty persons.19
It is to be noted that if only a single narrator is adversely criticized, or if there is a disconnection in the chain of the narrators, or if the first narrator is not either a part of the event himself or an eye-witness to the event, the whole chain of the narrators becomes doubtful and the report or the hadith becomes unreliable. In this hadith, most of the narrators are unreliable. Secondly, the chain of the narrators is disconnected. And finally, the first narrator is not an eye-witness or part of the incident. It is strange that in spite of all these defects and with the chain of narrators being of such a dubious nature, how could a scholarly analyst have even dared to quote this tradition, not to say of presenting it as an evidence on an important issue.
After undertaking the external study of its chain of narrators of the tradition, its text and content also needs to be looked into. The text of the tradition is reproduced below:
Along with the Prophet, Abu Talib set out to Syria with some of the elders of the Quraysh. When they approached the monk, they dismounted for a break. The monk came to them, whereas, previously, when they passed by him, he never came out or took any notice of them. While they were unfastening their saddle-bags, he passed through them. Coming to Muhammad, he caught his hand and said: This is the Chief of the Worlds, Messenger of the Lord; Allah shall appoint him as Mercy for the Worlds. The elders of Quraysh asked him how he came to know about it. He said: When you appeared from the gorge, each and every tree and stone bowed down before him; and they never prostrate for anyone except a prophet. I also recognized him by means of an apple-like "Seal of Prophethood", which is below his shoulder-bones. Then he came back and got some lunch prepared for them. When he brought it for them, he [the ‘would be’ Prophet boy] was with the herd of camels. The monk sent for him. The [‘would be’] Prophet came along with a cloud casting shadow on him. When he reached the people he found that they had already occupied all the shady place under the tree. The Prophet sat, and lo! the shade of the tree leaned over him. The monk said: Look here! the shade of the tree has inclined towards him. He was yet standing with them, solemnly requesting them not to take him to the territory of Byzantine, because no sooner would the Romans see him than they would recognize him by his traits, and would murder him; when, all of a sudden, seven persons appeared from Byzantine. He welcomed them and asked the purpose of their visit. They said: It has been brought to our knowledge that this [promised] Prophet is to come out [of his place of residence] in this month. So, people have been dispatched on all sides and we have been sent to this route of yours. The monk said: Is there anyone behind you who is superior to you? They said that they being the best ones had been selected for this side. The monk said: Have you pondered ?! Can anyone prevent the accomplishment of a task that Allah has resolved to accomplish? At their reply in the negative, he urged them to pledge their allegiance to him. They stood with him. Upon his earnest request people told him that Abu Talib was his [Muhammad’s] guardian. On his insistence, Abu Talib sent him back [to Makkah] with Abu Bakr and Bilal [or it was Abu Bakr who sent Bilal with him; which does not look to be a proper rendering]. The monk [then] offered them oil and cake for their en-route provisions.20
When the text is critically analysed, it reveals serious flaws. Some of the observations are given below:
1. Abu Talib had never been a wealthy person. His poverty was so dire and it struck him to such an extent that he was unable even to support his own children. Some of his close relatives, who were sympathetic to him, undertook the up-bringing of some of his sons. Involvement in mercantile activities and going out in trade caravans could have only been undertaken by some rich person and Abu Talib could not have dreamed of it. The story of the tradition is a fabrication; and there is no mention of any trade activity of Abu Talib any where else. He was a simple perfume maker. He is also reported to have been lame21; and thus incapacitated to commit such a long and troublesome journey.
2. If it be true that Buhayra was such a great scholar and manipulator that he masterminded the prophethood of Muhammad, there would have been a lot of literature about this great benefactor of Christianity in the annals of Christianity. There would have been volumes replete with his life and works, whereas whatever has been stated about him, is borrowed from a very weak tradition of Islamic literature.
3. Buhayra singled out the ‘would be’ Prophet and in the presence of the elders of the Quraysh said that the boy shall become the "Choicest Leader of the Worlds, Apostle of the Lord of Worlds and Mercy for the Worlds". It is very likely that after these elders had borne witness to this incident they would have described this unusual event to the people of Makkah on their return. It would have become the talk of the town making Muhammad a very introduced personality in Makkah. When, a few years later, he appeared in the Ka`ba one early morning to settle the dispute of the fixing of the ‘Black Stone’, people should have shouted: `The Apostle of the Lord of the Worlds has arrived, the Chief Leader of all the Beings has come in; the Mercy for the Worlds has appeared. We pleasingly approve him and will accept his decision’. But history records that none of them uttered any such epithets; they rather cried: `Here comes the Amin -- the trustworthy--etc’. Then again, when this ‘would be’ Prophet announced his being formally commissioned to the position, every one should have rushed to pledge allegiance to him. It should have been on record that whosoever embraced Islam had announced that he already knew him to be a prophet and he had been eagerly waiting for his being commissioned as such.
4. When asked about his source of knowledge about the boy who was to be commissioned as a Prophet, Buhayra is reported to have answered that he saw all the trees and rocks bowing down before him. Had it been so, every body coming in contact with him in Makkah or elsewhere should have been aware of it. It was an unusual, uncommon, supernatural and extra-ordinary phenomenon and could not have escaped the notice of the people. It is strange that the caravan fellows who had been travelling with him for hundreds of miles, failed to take note of it; and it was only Buhayra who could catch sight of it. Also, this unusual happening should have been recorded in the Bible as a sign to recognize Prophet of Islam (sws). But we do not find any such mention in the Bible. This is an ample proof of this tradition being a fabricated one.
5. Had the learned orientalists, who pick this event as a boon to show that Muhammad learned and borrowed all the knowledge of his religious teachings from Christianity through this monk, believed that this incident was a fact and not fiction, and had they been sincere in their findings, their attitude towards Islam would have been quite different. Their present negative attitude towards Islam reveals that, as a matter of fact, they do not believe in the validity of this tradition.
6. Had the trees and stones bowed down to Muhammad, this prostration should not have been confined for this journey only. Hundreds of thousands of people should have already seen it in Makkah and elsewhere. But we do not find even a single sound tradition in any book of Hadith reporting such a happening. This also shows that the tradition is baseless.
It is also to be borne in mind that Islam has strictly denounced any prostration before anyone except Allah. The Qur’an asserts:
Bow not yourselves to the sun and moon, but bow yourselves to God who created them, if Him you serve.22
(...), and the stars and the trees bow themselves; and heaven -- He raised it up, and set the balance.23
And they serve, apart from God, what neither profits them nor hurts them; (...)But when they are told: Bow yourselves to the All-merciful, they say: And what is the All-merciful?24
The Prophet (sws) also prohibited the believers from prostrating before anyone except Allah. It had also been prohibited in the Bible:

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.(...).25
It can thus be appreciated that prostration before the Prophet (sws) is not permissible in any case.
7. As to the "Seal of Prophethood", there seems to be no clear account of it in the Bible. Had there been any mention of this sign for the Prophet of Islam (sws) in the Bible; and had this ‘Seal’ physically existed on the back of the Prophet (sws), the sincere among the scholars and the elders of the Quraysh should have appreciated the genuineness of the claim of the Prophet of Islam (sws) as being the apostle of Allah and, as a result, should have acknowledged his religion to be true. Although there was a gland-like blackish growth on the upper back (beneath the shoulder bones) of the Prophet of Islam (sws), yet he never claimed it to be a sign for his apostleship. Had it something to do with a sign of his apostleship, the Prophet (sws) would have insistently offered it as such; the absence of which shows its irrelevance with any ultra-natural miraculous sign. It thus clearly establishes the absurdity of this tradition.
8. Had it been a genuine tradition; the Prophet of Islam (sws) would have asserted it as a conspicuous sign for his prophethood; and it would have been difficult for an unbeliever of Muhammad’s time to reject outright such an obviously tangible sign.
9. The same above mentioned observations are pertinently applicable to the shadow of the cloud for the Prophet of Islam (sws).
10. The same observations are fully applicable to the inclination of the tree to extend its shade for the Prophet (sws).
11. The tradition says that the monk urged them not to take the boy to the Byzantine territory, because, seeing the boy, they would recognize him by his signs and would put him to death. This only means that the signs of this ‘would be’ Prophet were so conspicuously laid down in the Bible, that he could in no case have escaped the notice of the Roman elders. Do the learned Orientalists agree with the monk’s observations? And if it be so, how far do they find themselves prepared to surrender to the truth? Do these scholars believe that the signs in favour of the Prophet of Islam (sws) are really so plainly described in the Bible that only at the sight of him, and that too in his early age, a scholar of the Bible could have, of certain, recognized him to be the Prophet?
12. As regards the assertion of the group of seven elders from Byzantine that the Prophet is out of his station during this month, one may ask about the source of their information. As far as the Bible is concerned, there is nothing to be found in it of this sort. It is strange that the learned Orientalists choose to build their castle on the ground of such a fabrication which itself has got not a single column to stand upon
13. Had the event been true, the elders of Quraysh and especially Abu Talib would not have refrained from embracing Islam as soon as the Prophet (sws) declared his commissioning to the office.
14. Had there been any truth in the story, the Islamic literature would have been full of the description of various aspects of the life of this monk. But he has nowhere been mentioned in whole of the Islamic writings of that age.
15. According to the last part of the tradition, at the insistence of the monk, Abu Talib sent the boy back with Abu Bakr and Bilal. This is a clear proof of the story being a blatant lie. It is a well known historical fact that Abu Bakr was two to three years younger to the Prophet (sws). If the ‘would be Prophet’ was 9 at that time, Abu Bakr would have been only 6; and had the ‘would be Prophet’ been 12, Abu Bakr would have been 9. There is a Persian maxim: `A liar has no memory.’ The fabricator of the story forgot that Abu Bakr was younger to the Prophet (sws), as is recorded in history. Ibn Sa’ad reports:
Muhammad Ibn `Umar told us that he heard from Shu`ayb Ibn Talhah [reporting] from a son of Abu Bakr al-Siddique who said: Bilal was of the same age as Abu Bakr. Muhammad Ibn `Umar said: If it is like this, and it is a fact that Abu Bakr died in the year 13 [AH], when he was a ‘boy’ of 63 years; thus, between this and between that which was reported to us about Bilal, [there is a gap of] seven years. And Shu`ayb Ibn Talhah knows better about the birth of Bilal when he says: He was of the same age as Abu Bakr."26
Hafiz Dhahahbi, who is a reliable authority on Asma al-Rijal, has narrated a brief account of the life of Abu Bakr. He says:
al-Siddique died when eight days were left from the month of Jumada al-Akhirah in the year 13 AH and his age was sixty three years.27
The above reports reveal that there seems to be no sense in sending Abu Bakr with the ‘would be Prophet’ boy for his protection on his way back home.
As to Bilal, he may not have even been born by that time. Ibn Sa`ad says:
Bilal died in Damascus and was buried at Bab al-Saghir in the year 20 A H when he was a ‘boy’ of over sixty; and it is [also] said that he died in the year 17 or 18 A H.28
Similar information has been provided by Ibn Hajr. He Says:
He died in Syria in the year 17 or 18 AH and it is also said in 20 AH when he was above sixty.29
Shams al-ddin Dhahahbi has also noted some of the reports about Bilal. He says:
Yahya Ibn Bukayr reports: Bilal died in Damascus of plague in the year 18 AH. Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Taymi, Ibn Ishaq, and Abu `Umar al-Zarir, and a group report: ‘He died in Damascus in the year 20 AH.30

Hafiz Jamal al-ddin al-Mizzi has also quoted some authorities about Bilal. He writes:
Bukhari says that he died in Syria in the reign of `Umar. Ahvmad Ibn Abdullah Ibn al-Barqi reports that he died in the year 20 AH. Waqidi and Amar Ibn Ali say that he died in Damascus in the year 20 AH when he was a ‘boy’ of over sixty years.31
From all the above references and general information, it can plainly be deduced that:
i. The Prophet (sws), Abu Bakr and Bilal lived to be of the same age, that is 63 years.
ii. The Prophet (sws) died in the year 11 AH.
iii. Abu Bakr died in the year 13 AH, 2 years and 3 months later than the Prophet’s (sws) death.
iv. Bilal died in the year 17 or 18, and, most probably, in 20 AH, i.e., at least 6 or 7 years and most probably 9 years after the death of the Prophet (sws).
v. So, when the Prophet (sws) was 9, either he may not have been born or would have been a child of 1-3 years.
vi. When the Prophet (sws) was 12, he may have been either 5-7 years or most probably only 3 years of age.
It can thus be easily concluded that there may have been no chance of Bilal having been sent with the Prophet (sws) from Busra on the journey back home for his protection. This renders the tradition as totally impossible and obviously a concocted one. It is now every body’s case that where the grand edifice of the learned orientalists, showing that the Prophet of Islam (sws) learned all his religious teachings from a Christian monk, stands.
Abd al-Rahman Mubarakpuri in his commentary on Sunan al-Tirmizi, while explaining this tradition, observes:
And our Imams have counted it as an illusion in that the age of the Prophet, at that time, was twelve and Abu Bakr was two [and a quarter] years younger than the Prophet, whereas Bilal was not even born by that time. In Mizan al-’Itidal, it has been noted that of the points that indicate the absurdity of this tradition is his words ‘and he sent with him Abu Bakr and Bilal’ whereas Bilal was not born by that time and Abu Bakr was still a boy. And Dhahabi declared this hadith as weak [and unreliable] due to the words: And Abu Bakr sent with him Bilal, whereas Abu Bakr had not yet purchased Bilal [and as such he had no right to order him for some task]. (...). And Hafiz Ibn Qayyim said in his Zad al-Ma’ad (...); when he became of 12 years, his uncle set out with him to Syria. and it is also said that his age was only nine years at that time. (...). And it is obviously wrong; because Bilal had perhaps not even been born. And if he had been born he could not have been with Abu Bakr.32
The tradition says that on the persistent request of the monk, the ‘would be’ Prophet boy was sent back to Makkah under the protection of Abu Bakr and Bilal, because if he were to be taken to the Byzantine territory, there was a serious danger to the life of the boy; the religious scholars of the territory would recognize him and would put him to death. Abu Bakr and Bilal had not been sent with him for providing him company nor was it a sports trip. It is just silly, and quite unbelievable, that Abu Talib, who is believed to be loving the boy more than his own children, put him in the sole custody of two youngsters, one of whom was three years junior to him, and the other (Bilal) was either yet to be born (if the would be Prophet (sws) was 9 at that time), or a suckling baby of nearly two years. It is difficult to interpret how the learned orientalists, who are genuinely acknowledged to be commendable research scholars, and which, no doubt, they really are, picked up this obviously fabricated tradition and, with their exquisite and adroit pen, managed to build a complete castle in the air on its foundations.
16. At the age of about 25 years, when the Prophet (sws) had become a young man, he again undertook the journey to Syria with the trading caravan for Khadijah. Had he known that the land and its people are so inimical to him, and that, at the very sight of him, they would recognize him by his so conspicuous signs, he would never have undertaken that journey. But at the offer of taking the trading caravan by Khadijah, he showed no reservations; and unflinchingly accepted the offer. And to the surprise of the scholars nobody put a hand on him. He returned safe and sound after a very successful business.
17. It is surprisingly noted that in all this tradition, which although is a fabrication in itself, yet is stronger than all other narratives of the so-called incident, the monk is, at no time, seen to be addressing the ‘would be’ Prophet boy directly. One may once more go through the tradition and observe for himself the strange phenomenon. There has not been a single second person pronoun used for Muhammad any where at any time in the whole of the report. At every time, the monk uses the third person or a demonstrative pronoun for the boy. It shows that the monk did not consider that such a boy and from such an unlettered back ground could have been able even to understand his assertions. It can also be observed that none of the narrators of the tradition either, had been so silly as to show the monk addressing the boy directly; because they could naturally not have conceived a boy of his age worthy of such conversation.
To end the article, it will be useful to look into some balanced observations of some learned orientalists. John B. Noss and David S. Noss write in their esteemed work "Man’s Religions":
(...). The venerable tradition that he learned about Judaism and Christianity during caravan trips to Syria, the first when he was twelve in the company of Abu Talib and the second when he was twenty-five and in the employ of Khadija, whom he subsequently married, must be set aside as untrustworthy.33
Thomas Carlyle observes:
I know not what to make of that Sergius [Bahira or Buhayra, whatsoever the pronunciation be, has also been called as Sergius], the Nestorian Monk whom Abu Thalib and he are said to have lodged with; or how much any monk could have taught one still so young. Probably enough it is greatly exaggerated, this of Nestorian Monk. Mahomet was only fourteen [according to the tradition he was either only nine or, at the most, twelve]; had no language but his own: much in Syria must have been a strange unintelligible whirlpool to him.34

From the perusal of the above analysis it can be concluded that the claim of those scholars who assert that the Prophet of Islam (sws) acquired all his religious understandings from some Biblical scholar like Buhayra is baseless; and it is only out of their wishful miscalculations that they articulate such an obviously obscure and improbable story. Objective research demands sustained and un-prepossessed efforts to secure facts with a reasonable, justifiable, and responsible approach.
1. The Qur’an, XLII:52f (Tr. A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, World’s Classics Paperback 1983, p.504).
2. The Qur’an, XLVI:9 (Tr. A.J. Arberry, op. cit., p. 522). Some other translations:
i. Say: I am no apostle of new doctrines. ( J. M. Rodwell, The Koran, London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1943, p.314).
ii. Say: I was no innovation upon the [other] messengers. (Richard Bell, The Qur’an Translated with a Critical Rearrangement of the Surahs, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1937, p.508).
iii. Say: I am no new thing among the messengers [of Allah]. (M. M. Pickthall, The Glorious Qur’an, Institute of Islamic Research, Islamabad, 1988, p.351).
iv. Say, I am not singular among the apostles. (George Sale, Al-Koran of Mohammed, London & N. Y., Frederick Warne & Co., n.a., p.372).
v. Say: I am no prodigy among the apostles. (N. J. Dawood, The Koran, Penguin Books, India, New Delhi, 1994, p.502).
vi. Say: I am not an innovator among the apostles. (E. H. Palmer, The Qur’an Translated, Motilal Banarsidas Publishers Private Ltd., Delhi, Sacred Books of the East Series,1993, p.225).
vii. Say: I am no new Messenger. (M. Shayr `Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text and Translation Ahmadiyya Muslim Foreign Missions Office, Rabwah - West Pakistan,1960, p.504).
viii. Say: I am not the first of the apostles. (M. H. Shakir, The Qur’an, Tehrik-i Tarsili Qur’an, Inc., Elmhurst, N. Y.,1988, p.337).
ix. Say thou: I am not a new-fangled one amongst the messengers. (H. Ghulam Sarwar, Translation of the Holy Qur’an, National Book Foundation, Islamabad,1973, p.293).
x. Say (O Muhammad S. A. W. S.): I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah i.e. I am not the first Messenger). (The Noble Qur’an, Dr. Muhammad Taqi al-ddin al-Hilali & Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Dar al-salam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996, p.634).
xi. Say thou: I am not an innovator among the apostles. (`Abdu’l Majid Daryabadi, The Holy Qur’an with English Translation and Commentary, The Taj Company Ltd., Karachi, 1971, p.504).
xii. Say: I am not a new Messenger to come. (Ahmad `Ali, Al-Qur'an, A Contemporary Translation, Akrash Publishing, Karachi, 1995, p.431).
xiii. Say: I am no bringer of New-Fangled doctrine among the messengers. (Abdullah Yusuf `Ali, The Holy Qur’an Text Translation and Commentary Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, Publishers, Lahore, 1979, p.1305).
xiv. Say: I am not the first of [God’s] apostles. (Muhammad Asad, The Message of the Qur’an, Dar al-Undalas, Gibraltar, 1980, p.771).
xv. Say to them: I am not a novel Messenger. (Mawdudi, The Meaning of the Qur’an (Tr. by Abdu’l `Aziz Kamal), Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Lahore,1994, Vol. XII, p.270).
3. W. Montgomery Watt, Muhammad Prophet and Statesman, Oxford University Press, Great Britain, 1961, p.40.
4. Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London, Vol. I, Book One, 1974. p.161.
5. The Qur’an, XLII:13 (Tr. by Ahmad `Ali, Akrash Publishing, op.cit., p.413.)
6. Imam Ibn `Arabi al-Maliki, `Arizah al-Ahwadhi Sharh Sahih al -Tirmizi, Dar al-Ihya al-Turath al-`Arabi, Beirut, n.a., Vol.XIII, p.106 (H. No. 3629).
7. Shibli Nu’mani, Sirat al-Nabi, al-Faysal Publishers, Lahore, 1991, Vol. I, p.119f; and S. Sulayman Nadwi, ibid., Vol. III, p.419f.
8. Ibn Athir, Usud al-Ghabah, Dar al-Ihya al-Turath al-`Arabi, Beirut, n.a., Vol.III, p.245.
9. Ibn Athir, Usud al-Ghabah, op.cit., p.246.
10. Shams al-Din Dhahabi, Sayar A’lam al-Nubala, Mu’assasah al-Risalah, Beirut, 1992, Vol. II, p.397f.
11. Ibn Hajr al-`Asqalani, al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Maktabah al-Riyadh al-Hadithah, 1978, Part II, p.359f.
12. Ibn Sa’ad, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Dar al-Bayrut, Beirut, 1957, Vol. IV, p.105-115.
13. Ibn Hajr al-`Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tihdhib, Dar al-Nashr al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Lahore, 1985, p.397.
14. Ibn Athir, Usud al-Ghabah, op.cit., p.246.
15. Shams al-Din Dhahabi, Sayar A’lam al-Nubala, Vol. II, p.382.
16. Hafiz Jamal al-Din Yusuf al-Mizzi, Tihdhib al-Kamal Fi Asma al-Rijal, Mu’assasah al-Risalah, Beirut, 1992, Vol. XXXIII, p.144.
17. Hafiz Jamal al-Din Yusuf al-Mizzi, Tihdhib al-Kamal Fi Asma al-Rijal, op.cit.,Vol. XXXII, p.491f.
18. Hafiz Jamal al-Din Yusuf al-Mizzi, Tihdhib al-Kamal Fi Asma al-Rijal, op.cit., Vol.XVII, p.337f.
19. Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh-i-Baghdad, al-Maktabah al-Salafiyyah, Madinah, n.a., Vol. XII, .p365.
20. Tirmizi, Sunan, Kitab al-Manaqib (46), Bab:3, Hadith No.3629.
21. Ibn Qutaybah, al-Ma’arif, p.252. [as quoted by Habib al-Rahman Kandhalvi, in his Urdu work: Madhhabi Dastanayn awr un ki Haqiqat (Religious Myths and Their Reality), Anjuman Uswah- i- Hasanah Pakistan, Karachi-18, 1986, p,110].
22. The Qur’an, XLI:37 (Tr. by A. J. Arberry, op.cit., p.495).
23. The Qur’an, LV:6 (Tr. by A. J. Arberry, op.cit., p.557).
24. The Qur’an, XXV:55,60 (Tr. by A. J. Arberry, op.cit., p.367).
25. The Holy Bible, R. S. V., Catholic Ed., London, Catholic Truth Society, 1966, Ex. 20:5, p.63.
26. Ibn Sa’ad, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, op.cit., Vol. I, p.238.
27. Shams al-Din Dhahabi, Tadhkirah al-Huffaz, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut, n.a., Vol. I, p.5.
28. Ibn Athir, Usud al-Ghabah, op.cit., Vol. I, p.209.
29. Ibn Hajr al-`Asqalani, Taqrib al-Tihdhib, op.cit., p.48
30. Shams al-Din Dhahabi, Tareekh al-Islam etc., Age of the Guided Caliphs, Ed. Dr. `Umar Abd al-Salam Tadmury, Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, Beirut, 1987, p.205.
31. Hafiz Jamal al-Din Yusuf al-Mizzi, Tihdhib al-Kamal Fi Asma al-Rijal, p.cit.,Vol. IV, p.290.
32. `Abdu’l Rahman Mubarakpuri, Jam’i Tirmizi with its Commentary, Tuhfah al-Ahwazi, Dhia al-Sunnah, Faisalabad, Pakistan, n.a., Vol. IV, p.296f.
33. John B. Noss/David S. Noss, Man’s Religions, Macmillan Publishing Company , New York, 1984, p.501.
34. Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, London, Oxford University Press, 1065, p.68.