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Muhammad

Another Rational Approach To The Prophethood of Muhammad

This is a continuation of our earlier discussion where we have talked about a rational approach to the prophethood of Muhammad. It is well known that the Prophet Muhammad(P) was victorious over all his opponents, to him and to his followers subdued many states and kingdoms, people entered Islam in large numbers and his call resulted in Islamic Caliphate and civilization for so many centuries. We also agree that God is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Wise.

So is it possible for the Most Wise to enable a liar to be victorious, assist him, aid him against his opponents and make the end result in his favour and his followers, although this liar continuously invent lies and forgeries against God claiming that He sent him, attributing to Him false religion and false laws and making all this God’s Words and inspiration, then this liar stays victorious and overpowering during his lifetime and after his death, while people are fooled by him accepting his lies and forgeries against God? Or does God’s Wisdom require that he is beaten in every battle and every field, and overpowered and defeated by everyone in every war and that he builds no state but God destroys it, so he dies conquered and overpowered as God does with all those who falsely claim prophethood, divinity or inspiration?

If we apply this to Muhammad’s claim of prophethood, we notice that he(P) made it clear that he is a prophet of God, inspired by Him and reciting His Words.

Moreover, Muhammad(P) made it clear that God aids him against his opponents and He was going to make him victorious over all, the Holy Qur’an says:

If any thinks that Allah will not help him (His Messenger) in this world and the Hereafter, let him stretch out a rope to the ceiling and cut (himself) off: then let him see whether his plan will remove that which enrages (him).1

The meaning is that if anyone thinks that Allah would not make Muhammad(P) victorious in this life and in the Hereafter, then let him do his best in fighting and opposing him (peace be upon him), and if he failed, let him stretch a rope to the ceiling of his house and hang himself on for Allah will inevitably aid His prophet.

Just imagine it. A man claiming prophethood and inspiration recites verses affirming that God helps him and will make him victorious over his enemies, and then he actually defeats all these enemies and becomes victorious over them in the end.

And imagine again. This man recites the following verse:

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: nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath).2

Please read the verses again and ponder upon their meaning.

Here we have a man claiming he is inspired and sent by God and challenging that if he does not tell the truth, God will certainly destroy him. However, we see that God never destroyed this man, on the contrary, he supported and assisted him and made him victorious and glorious before all his opponents.

This means one of the following:

1) God does not exist in the first place.
2) God exists but He is ignorant for He is unaware of all these challenges spoken by this impostor.
3) God exists and is Omniscient, but He is impotent for He can do nothing about the challenges spoken by this impostor. So He sits and watches the promises and challenges of the impostor come true.
4) God exists and is Omniscient and Omnipotent, but He is unwise for He misleads people to the utmost, by swallowing the challenges of impostors while He can actually stop them. Not only that, He also executes all their promises with victory and glory for them.
5) God exists and is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Wise, and Muhammad is truly His Prophet whom He aided and supported.

So, choose for yourself!

So, we conclude that it is impossible of Muhammad(P) to lie regarding prophethood because we believe that God’s Wisdom necessitates that if he was an impostor, God would humiliate him. But this did not happen. On the contrary, God aided and supported him during his lifetime and after his death which is a decisive indication that he was a true prophet of Allah.

This decisive argument is irrefutable; for we believe that Allah’s Wisdom necessitates aid of true prophet and humiliation of false prophet, and we know that Allah supported Muhammad(P) and did not let him down, so he must be a true prophet.

In the light of this argument, we cannot accept the claim that Muhammad’s victory was due to worldly reasons for this would be a complete rejection of God’s Wisdom and Omnipotence. Moreover, it is well known that Muslims were markedly fewer in number than their opponents in all the wars they fought beginning with the battle of Badr till their wars with Persian and Roman armies, except for the battle of Hunayn.

Before the advent of Islam, it was very usual of a small number of Persian or Roman soldiers to attack a large populated Arab tribe, capture their men and enslave their women. During wars, large numbers of Arab fighters were often defeated by small numbers of Roman or Persian soldiers.

After the advent of Islam, the opposite was true; small numbers of Prophet’s Companions used to defeat large numbers of Roman or Persian soldiers, even though Muslim soldiers were poorly equipped. Roman and Persian kings were always amazed how their huge well-equipped armies were defeated at hands of Muslims despite their small number, weakness and lack of equipment.

Rev. George Bush (1796-1859) says about Muhammad(P):

He laid the foundation of an empire, which, in the short space of eighty years, extended its sway over more kingdoms and countries than Rome had mastered in eight hundred. And when we pass from the political to the religious ascendancy which he gained and consider the rapid growth, the wide diffusion, and the enduring permanence of the Mohammedan imposture, we are still more astonished. Indeed, in this, as in every other instance where the fortunes of an individual are entirely disproportioned to the means employed and surpass all reasonable calculation …

And confesses:

…we are forced to resolve the problem into the special providence of God. Nothing short of this could have secured the achievement of such mighty results; and we must doubtless look upon Mohammedanism in the present day as a standing monument of the mysterious wisdom of Jehovah, designed to compass ends which are beyond the grasp of human minds, at least till they are accomplished.3

This is in fulfilment of God’s Promise in the Holy Qur’an:

Already has Our Word been passed before (this) to Our Servants sent (by Us), that they would certainly be assisted, and that Our forces, they surely must conquer.4

And:

We will, without doubt, help Our messengers and those who believe, (both) in this world’s life and on the Day when the Witnesses will stand fort.5

And:

Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (cause); for verily Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (Able to enforce His Will).6

And God’s ultimate promise:

Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion- the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.’ If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.7

This is markedly different from disbelievers who are made victorious and established in authority for their establishment and victory is not due to divine aid, rather it is due to frank material causes like wealth and power. None of them ever claimed prophethood, nor that Allah ordered them to worship Him alone. None claimed that whoever obeyed him would go to Heaven and whoever disobeyed would go to Hell. On the contrary of the one who claims inspiration from Allah, he is either a truthful prophet of Allah, so Allah aids him and makes him victorious, or he is an impostor, so Allah humiliates him and cuts him off.

This is the answer to those who may argue that Allah had established in the land many disbelievers and followers of false religions and made them prevail and succeed like Buddhists and Confucius.

Others may argue that Muslims nowadays are weak in comparison to other nations of disbelief, so how come Allah assists them?

The answer is that Allah made Muslims victorious over other nations when they adhered to it, so He humiliated people of disbelief like Jews and Christians. This is the case with the true religion of God, if its people adhere to it, follow its commandments and abstain from its prohibitions, God will aid them and make them victorious. But if they do not, He will not till they return back.

If a doctor prescribes a certain medication for a certain disease, then the patient does not follow the prescription and his illness does not improve, no one can blame the doctor in this case, nor claim that he is not a real doctor.

This is the case with our nation, if they do not follow the commandments and teachings of Islam, Allah does not aid or help them, as the Caliph ‘Umar said: “Allah has honoured us with Islam. So if we are to seek honour in other than Islam, Allah will dishonour us.”

In brief, it is the habit of Allah to aid and support His true apostle to the degree that no one can ever oppose this apostle. It is well known that He incredibly aided Muhammad (peace be upon him) like no other apostle, it is also well known that none falsely alleged prophethood but Allah exposed him, humiliated him and cut him off, and all those aided by Allah were true prophets like Noah, Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus, David and Sulaiman, for it is the habit of Allah to aid His Messengers and their followers.

In addition, teachings of all prophets of God are the same, for all of them command with worship of God alone with no partner, belief in the Hereafter and the Judgement Day, and with praise of Allah, chastity, honesty, truthfulness in speech and deeds, and they forbid idol worship, lewdness, lying, cheating, dishonesty, etc So, if someone claims prophethood and preaches the same teachings of all previous prophets for the sake of guiding people, we know he is one of them, i.e., a true prophet, the same way we recognize the doctor if he prescribes the same medications prescribed by all other doctors and his treatment leads to cure of diseases.

This is evident in the speech of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib to the king of Abyssinia:

“O king! We were plunged into the depths of ignorance, and we were idolaters. We used to eat corpses, to commit abominations, to severe blood ties, to neglect our duties of hospitality and neighbourliness, and to use only the law of the strong. That was our life until Allah raised among us a man, whose lineage, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we knew. He called us to the Oneness of Allah and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us the worship of idols and enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful and to regard the rights of the neighbours as well as kith and kin, and to refrain from crimes and bloodshed. He prohibited us from committing abominations, speaking lies, devouring the property of orphans, and vilifying chaste women. He commanded us to offer prayers, to render alms, and to observe fasts. We have allowed what he has allowed, and have prohibited what he has prohibited. For this reason, our people attacked us and persecuted us in order to force us to abandon the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and to regard as lawful the evil deeds we once committed. When they had tortured and encircled our lives, until finding no safety among them, we have come to your country, and hope you will protect us from oppression while we are with you, O king!”8

This speech summarizes the teachings of Islam and shows that they agree with the teachings of all previous prophets and messengers of God. This is a very important issue, for it is inadequate to merely know that Allah sent prophets and messengers to people, it is more important to know why Allah sent these prophets and messengers. In other words, what did prophets and messengers of Allah preach and teach? It is nonsense to believe that Allah sent messengers without knowing the reason why they were raised among their peoples in the first place, and understanding the purpose of their prophethood. So, belief in prophets and messengers of God requires knowing the purpose of prophethood and Messengership.

We see that all prophets of God commanded their people with all that is good, and forbade all that is evil. When we compare Muhammad(P) with other prophets who preceded him, we notice that he preached the same they preached and forbade the same they forbade.

  • He(P) ordered to glorify God, exalt Him above having partners or rivals, establish His authority and worth of worship, attribute to Him all qualities of perfection and negate all qualities of imperfection from Him.
  • He(P) denounced the notion that angels are daughters of God and explained their real deeds and missions in both earth and heavens.
  • He(P) commanded with belief in all previous divine scriptures revealed on previous prophets and showed that they contained guidance as long as they preach monotheism and purity of faith, but once they got corrupted, they are no longer suitable for guidance.
  • He(P) brought evident and decisive proofs of coming of the Last Day and Resurrection.
  • He(P) commanded with pleasing God with best acts like offering prayers, giving alms, fasting and pilgrimage.
  • He(P) preached good deeds and manners like truthfulness, honesty, fulfillment of trust, kindness to relations, helping the poor and the needy, etc.
  • He(P) warned of association of partners with Allah, idol worship and disbelief.
  • He(P) prohibited blood shedding, adultery, alcohol drinking and usury.

Are these not the teachings of all previous prophets which were decreed by Allah since the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him)?

All this indicates that he(P) walked in the footsteps of previous prophets of Allah. Actually, his Message preserved and guarded previous messages that had been corrupted and altered, Allah says:

Thus have We made of you an Ummah justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves.9

This is due to the fact that all prophets came to preach the same religion.

Sending Muhammad(P) after the corruption of the religion of the previous prophets is a mercy from Allah to mankind, for indeed He says:

We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.10

The teachings which the prophets preached commanded all that is good and forbade all that is evil. Muhammad (peace be upon him) came as a preserver, a guardian and a witness to these teachings. The Holy Qur’an says:

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

And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: my Lord bestow on them thy mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.

Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts: if ye do deeds of righteousness, verily he is most forgiving to those who turn to him again and again (in true penitence).

And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: but squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the evil ones; and the evil one is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.

And even if thou hast to turn away from them pursuit of the mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness.

Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.

Verily thy Lord doth provide sustenance in abundance for whom he pleaseth, and he provideth in a just measure. For he doth know and regard all his servants.

Kill not your children for fear of want: we shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.

Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).

Nor take life which Allah has made sacred except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand Visas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).

Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement, will be enquired into (on the day of reckoning).

Give full measure when ye measure and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.
And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the day of reckoning).

Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canasta not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height.

Of all such things, the evil is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.

There are among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee. Take not with Allah another object of worship. Lest thou shouldst be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.11

And says:

Say: come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from: join not anything as equal with him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want; we provide sustenance for you and for them; come not nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.

And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice; no burden do we place on any soul, but that which it can bear; whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the Covenant of Allah: thus doth He command you, that ye may remember.

Verily, this is my way, leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from his (great) path: thus doth He command you, that ye may be righteous.12

And says:

Say: “My Lord hath commanded Justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere as in His sight: Such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.”

Some He hath guided: others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the Evil once, in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance.

O Children of Adam Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but wast not be excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.

Say: who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for his servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say they are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the day of judgment thus do we explain the Signs in detail for those who understand.13

These great teachings were preached by all the Prophets, and Muhammad(P) affirmed and displayed them in the best way. It is adequate when hearing these great teachings to believe in Muhammad(P) and know that he came to mankind with guidance and favour, commanding with good and forbidding evil, whether it is in words or deeds.

And Allah knows best.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Another Rational Approach To The Prophethood of Muhammad," in Bismika Allahuma, December 16, 2007, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/muhammad/another-rational-approach-prophethood-muhammad/
  1. Sura Al-Hajj, verse 15 []
  2. Sura Al-Haqqah, verses 44-47 []
  3. Rev. George Bush, The Life of Mohammed; Founder of The Religion of Islam, and of The Empire of The Saracens, published by Harper & Brothers, 1844, pp. 156-157 []
  4. Sura Al-Saffat, verses 171-173 []
  5. Sura Ghafir, verse 51 []
  6. Sura Al-Hajj, verse 40 []
  7. Sura Al-Nour, verse 55 []
  8. Sirat Ibn Hisham, Biography of the Prophet, abridged by Abdus-Salam M. Harun. Translated and Published by Al-Falah Foundation, page 58 []
  9. Sura Al-Baqarah, verse 143 []
  10. Sura Al-Anbiyaa, verse 107 []
  11. Sura Al-Israa, verses 23-39 []
  12. Sura Al-An’am, verses 151-153 []
  13. Sura Al-A’raf, verses 29-32 []
Categories
Internal Errors Refutation of Qur'an Contradictions The Qur'an

Can There Be A Son Without A Mother Or Father? Responding To Banal Missionary “Logic”

The missionaries in their latest alleged claim of contradictions in the Qur’an have certainly outdid themselves in their travesty of logic and idiocy.

To cite the missionary claim, word-for-word:

    In the realm of the natural this is not possible, but for God it is possible; actually, it is not only possible, it is easy for God. It is rather ironic that, when discussing the identity of Jesus, the Quran says that Allah cannot have a son without a consort, but Mary can have a son without a consort, because all things are easy for Allah.

They have quoted Qur’an 6:100-101 as follows:

“And they make the jinn associates with Allah, while He created them, and they falsely attribute to Him sons and daughters without knowledge; glory be to Him, and highly exalted is He above what they ascribe (to Him). Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth! How could He have a son when He has no consort, and He (Himself) created everything, and He is the Knower of all things.”

This, they claim, contradicts the general nature of the following verse:

He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son. She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. Sura 19:19-21 Pickthall

Unfortunately for the missionary, an understanding can be reached if a little more thought can be put into their argument. The missionary has taken the understanding of these verses out of its intended context and is confusing Mary’s nature (since she is only human, and hence procreates) as a creation of the Almighty, with God Himself, who is the Uncreated. Certainly, God Almighty could have taken a “wife” and have “children” or have “children” without any consort whatsoever (nau’zubillahi min zaalik).

However, if this were to happen, it would mean that the Uncreated nature of God would be affected, as anything that is “procreated” by God (as the Qur’an argues in 6:100) is created. In other words, to expect the Uncreated to “procreate” children, whether with or without a “consort” (which would also be part of the Creation) is not only an affront against what God Almighty has told us about Himself, it is also a preposterous position only held by pantheists and the idolaters. It is most certainly not in conformity with pure monotheism or on how Islam understands divine transcedence.

Isma’il al-Faruqi described it perfectly when he says that:

“This is the first assertion of the Islamic creed that “There is no god but God” which the Muslim understands as denial of any associates with God in His rulership and judgeship of the universe, as well as a denial of the possibility for any creature to represent, personify or in any way. express the divine Being. The Qur’an says of God that “He is the Creator of heaven and earth Who creates by commanding the creature to be and it is…He is the One God, the ultimate… (2:117, 163). There is no God but He, ever-living, ever-active (3:2) May he be glorified beyond any description! (6:100)…No sense may perceive Him (6:103)…Praised be He, the Transcedent Who greatly transcends all claims and reports about Him (17:43).” In fulfilment of this view, the Muslims have been all too careful never to associate in any manner possible, any image or thing with the presence of the divine, or with their consciousness of the divine; and in their speech and writing about the divine to use only Quranic language, terms and expressions which, according to them, God has used about Himself in the Quranic revelation.”1

Hence, we say that the claim that:

    S. 6:101 stands not only in tension to S. 19:21, but conflicts with several other passages as well.

is not only a premature conclusion from the missionary, but an obvious ignorance of the doctrine of tawheed and what Islam actually stands for.

And only God knows best!

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Can There Be A Son Without A Mother Or Father? Responding To Banal Missionary “Logic”," in Bismika Allahuma, October 26, 2005, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/quran/son-mother-father-responding-banal-missionary-logic/
  1. Ismail Faruqi, Al-Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life (IIIT, 1992), p. 24 []
Categories
Internal Errors Refutation of Qur'an Contradictions The Qur'an

The Event of Worship to the Golden Calf

In their tendentious list of “Qur’an Contradictions”, the padres at “Answering Islam” had pointed out some contradictions in the Qur’anic narrative of the worship of a Golden Calf by the Israelites, which they find “very confusing”. An attempt will therefore be made in the following to address these two “contradictions” and help the padres overcome their “confusions”.

Part (I): Before or After Moses Returned?

According to the missionaries:

    …in 7:149, the people repented about worshipping the golden calf BEFORE Moses returned, but according to 20:91 they refused to repent but rather continued to worship the calf it until Moses came back. (Emphasis already in the quote)

Here is an accurate rendering of the Qur’anic verses alluded to in the above quote:

But when they fell on their hands, and they saw that they had gone astray, they said: “Assuredly, if our Lord does not show mercy to us and forgive us, we shall be of the losers.” (7:149)

When Moses returned to his people angry and grieved, he said: “I’ll have ye acted as my successors after I left you…” (7:150)

They said: “We shall not cease to cleave to it until Moses return to us.” (20:91)

Even a brief look at them is sufficient for a diligent render for the identification of the fallacy in the reasoning of the author of the above-cited quote: his misapprehension of the factor, the occurrence of which caused the Israelites to repent.

That factor, after whose occurrence Moses’(P) people repented, is specified in the verse 7:149 as their realization of their having gone astray:

“But when they fell on their hands, and they saw that they had gone astray, they said:…”

Does this verse, or the verse 7:150, or any other verse in this context, say that the Israelites realized they had gone astray at a point in time before Moses’(P) return? Or, in other words, does the verse 7:149 or 7:150 tell us that the Israelites realized their error before Moses’(P) return?

No. What the verse 7:149 describes as the factor, which caused the Israelites to repent, was their realization of their error (i.e., “when they stumbled/ repented”).

No information is given in these verses as to whether they stumbled/ repented BEFORE or AFTER Moses’(P) return. Just because the verse 7:150 begins with the words:

“When Moses returned to his people, angry and grieved…”

does not imply that the stumbling/repenting of the Israelites was sequentially earlier than Moses’(P) return to them. In short, the only factor, which the verse 7:149 actually mentions as having caused the Israelites to repent, was their realization of their having gone astray, which is independent of Moses’(P) return.

On the other hand, since the (above-cited) other Qur’anic verse 20:91 clearly makes the Israelites say that they would not abandon the golden calf until Moses’(P) return, therefore, this additional information leads us to conclude that the realization by the Israelites of their having gone astray, when Moses(P) told them that they had grievously sinned, is what caused them to repent, and which occurred only after Moses’(P) return.

Therefore, the verses 7:149-50 and 20:91 are complementary, and not contradictory.

Part (II): Did He or Didn’t He? Aaron and the Making of the Golden Calf

According to the missionaries:

    In Sura 20:85, Allah told Moses “We have tested thy people in thy absence; the Samiri has led them astray”. Allah did not place any blame on Aaron. Aaron admitted that he did no wrong: “O my people! Ye are being tested in this … so follow me and obey my command” (20:90).

    Since Moses knew this (because Allah told him already), why did he place the blame on Aaron? “O Aaron! What kept thee back, when thou sawest them going wrong, from following me? Didst thou then disobey my order?” (20:92). And why did he drag him by the hair (7:150)? These two accounts contradict.

    According to (7:151), Aaron was partly responsible for the sins of his people because Moses prayed for Aaron’s forgiveness. And this time (contrary to his other confession), Aaron admits to idol making/idol worshipping in verse 150 “because of the people who nearly killed him when he tried to resist it. But seemingly he gave in and did as they said.

Allah told Moses(P) that his people were being tested in his absence. That test was in the form of Samiri’s fraud. By definition, those submitted to a test can either pass or fail it depending upon their training and capability. So, the reason why Moses(P) upon return reprimanded Aaron(P) was not that he was holding the latter responsible for leading his people astray. On the contrary, the reason why Moses(P) rebuked Aaron(P) was that he had been made the man in-charge in his absence by Moses(P) (see 7:142) and was therefore expected by Moses(P) to have rescued his people by dint of his leadership, which he had been unable to do.

In contrast to Exodus 32, at no place in the Qur’an was Aaron(P) blamed for the sin of the Israelites. In 7:151, Moses(P) prays for forgiveness, not just for Aaron(P), but for himself as well — not because they were responsible for making the Israelites sin, but because they were unable to stop them from sinning.

We have thus used the traditional method of Qur’anic exegesis, i.e., al-Qur’an yufassiru ba’duhu ba’dan (different parts of the Qur’an explain each other). What is given in a general way in one place is discussed in detail in some other place in the Qur’an. What is dealt with briefly at one place is expanded in some other place.

Further Observation: The OT and NT Contradicts on Aaron’s Guilt?

It is further interesting to note that the New Testament contradicts the Old Testament on the matter of blaming Aaron(P). Exodus 32 squarely puts the responsibility of making the calf on Aaron:

He [Aaron] took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf.” (Exodus 32:4)

Compare this with Stephen’s speech in the Acts of the Apostles, which clearly shifts the blame on the Israelite people themselves by employing the plural number:

“At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.” (Acts 7:41)

And only God knows best!

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Event of Worship to the Golden Calf," in Bismika Allahuma, October 14, 2005, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/quran/the-event-of-worship-to-the-golden-calf/
Categories
History Polemical Rebuttals

Hubal in the Worship of Pre-Islamic Arab Consciousness

It has always been the missionary tradition to jump from one nefarious claim to another in trying to ascertain the nature of “Allah”. We have previously shown some of the more common theories that they propagate, ranging from Allah(T) being the “moon god” to Ar-Rahman being a term for “pomegranate”. A recent missionary allegation has also been hurled against a beatific salutation of the Prophet Muhammad sallallah `alayhi wa sallam. Now a new postulation of the missionary has been made in their article, namely that “Allah” is synonymous with the god Hubal of the pagan Makkans!

It would perhaps be a good idea to introduce the reader to first explain how idolatry in pre-Islamic Arab was practiced:

Every tribe had a different idol which it worshiped. Generally, objects of worship belonged to three genres: metal and wooden statues, stone statues, and shapeless masses of stone which one tribe or another consecrated because its origin was thought to be heavenly, whereas in reality it was only a piece of volcanic or meteoric rock.1

Hence it is acknowledged that each Arab tribe had its own “chief idol” to which they would worship. With regard to the position of Hubal, it is noted that:

Hubal was the greatest member of the Arab pantheon and resided in Makkah, inside the Ka’bah. Pilgrims came to its shrine from all corners.2

Regarding the nature of Hubal, it has been ascertained traditionally that the idol is Moabite in origin. Martin Lings states as follows:

So ‘Abd al-Muttalib continued to dig without any actual move being made to stop him; and some of the people were already leaving the sanctuary when suddenly he struck the well’s stone covering and uttered a cry of thanksgiving to God. The crowd reassembled and increased; and when he began to dig out the treasure which Jurhum had buried there, everyone claimed the right to share in it. ‘Abd al-Muttalib agreed that lots should be cast for each object, as to whether it should be kept in the sanctuary or go to him personally or be divided amongst the tribe. This had become the recognised way of deciding an issue of doubt, and it was done by means of divining arrows inside the Ka’bah, in front of the Moabite idol Hubal3

Hence it has always been known that the idol Hubal is a Moabite import (i.e. Baal), hence demolishing another of the missionary’s accusations. Hitti seems to concur with the Moabite origins of Hubal by stating that:

Hubal (from Aram. for vapour, spirit), evidently the chief deity of al-Ka’bah, was represented in human form. Beside him stood ritual arrows used for divination by the soothsayer (kahin, from Aramaic) who drew lots by means of them. The tradition in ibn-Hisham, which makes ‘Amr ibn-Luhayy the importer of this idol from Moab or Mesopotamia, may have a kernel of truth in so far as it retains a memory of the Aramaic origin of the deity. At the conquest of Makkah by Muhammad, Hubal shared the lot of the other idols and was destroyed.4

How was this postulated to be the one and the same with Allah is no doubt a mystery that only the missionaries are capable of understanding. Further, it is also admitted by Hitti that Hubal shared the fate of the other idols which were destroyed at the conquest of Makkah.

Hence it is clear that there is nothing in the missionary diatribe that “seriously damages the Muslim claim regarding Allah in pre-Islamic times being the same God of Abraham” nor does the missionary reliance on Psalms and circular reasoning is “evidence linking Allah with Hubal”. As we have already noted before, Hubal was the principal idol of the Quraysh, as was Al-Lat the principle idol of the Ta’ifans. Despite their declination into idolatry, it is amazing, as one scholar remarks5, that the Quraysh have never lost sight of Allah as the Supreme Lord of the Universe. What is obviously clear from the evidence we have presented is that it is the worship of Hubal that was later imported into the present beliefs of the Makkans who had earlier already acknowledged the existence of Allah as the Only God. Indeed, Islam has identified itself with the other Semitic religions (Judaism and Christianity) and called upon them in these words:

“Say [O Prophet]: ‘O People of the Book! Let us come together on a fair and noble principle common to both of us, never to worship or serve aught but God, never to associate any other being with Him, and never to take one another as Lords besides God.” (Qur’an, 3:64)

This is indeed the religio naturalis of which Islam asserts as first principle that all mankind are endowned with this innate religiousity.

As for the rest of the inconsequential polemic of the missionary which deals with the ephitet Ar-Rahman and digressed from the nature of Hubal in pre-Islamic Arab consciousness, an exposition of this term may be seen here.

It is interesting to note that despite the propagation of this ridiculous theory that Allah = Hubal, the missionary still feel it fit to put up the following “disclaimer” in his Addendum section:

    Hence, even if the Quranic mention of Baal turns out to be a reference to Hubal, this would only show that Muhammad disassociated Allah from Hubal by turning the former into the true universal God.

It is an obvious escape tactic for someone who was never sure about the “position” of Hubal in the worship of pre-Islamic consciousness and wanted to leave the back door open if anything “disastrous” happens to the theory he propagates. Well, the disaster has certainly arrived!

And only Allah(T) knows best, for only He alone is worthy of worship.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Hubal in the Worship of Pre-Islamic Arab Consciousness," in Bismika Allahuma, December 29, 2006, last accessed September 25, 2022, https://bismikaallahuma.org/history/hubal-in-the-worship-of-pre-islamic-arab-consciousness/
  1. M.H. Haykal, The Life of Muhammad (transl. Isma’il R. al Faruqi), p. 20 []
  2. Haykal, ibid. []
  3. Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, p. 11 []
  4. Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, p. 100 []
  5. Refer to M. Mohar Ali, Sirat al-Nabi and the Orientalists, Vol. 1A, p. 74 for the full discussion. []
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Introducing Islam Islam Op-Ed

Eid Mubarak! On Occasion of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

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On occasion of Eid al-Adha, we would like to wish all our readers Eid Mubarak! Certainly the occasion which commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham (P) and his son Ishmael (P) is a more benign and noble tradition as compared to the “blood sacrifice” [the pagan imagery] of a half-naked man-god who died humiliatingly swinging from a Roman cross. May Allah give victory to our Deen and wipe out that Trinitarian religion in the foreseeable future, insha’allah.

What is Eid al-Adha?

At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2006, Eid al-Adha will begin on approximately December 31st, and will last for three days.

What does Eid al-Adha commemorate?

During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. The Qur’an describes Abraham as follows:

“Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous.” (Qur’an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his “sacrifice” had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham’s trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah’s commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations:

“It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him.” (Qur’an 22:37)

The symbolism is in the attitude — a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah’s commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

What else do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday?

On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.