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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meaning of Prostration of the Sun under the Throne

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

Meaning of the Hadith about the Prostration of Sun underneath the Throne of Allah, in the light of the context and significance of the verse of the Holy Qur’an (36:38) that is explained by the Hadith and the purpose of the prophetic teachings.

Following Hadith narrations are used by haters of Islam from amongst the Christians missionaries to attack Islam and by Hadith rejecters to question the divine origin of Hadith. Further it raises queries in the minds of general readers as well.

Narrated Abu Dharr: The Prophet asked me at sunset, "Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?" I replied, "Allah and His Messenger know better." He said, "It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the Statement of Allah: "And the sun is quickly proceeding towards its destination. That is the designing of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. " (36.38)
(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Hadith 421)

In a narration, again from Sayyidina Abu Dharr, there appear the additional words to the effect:

“I asked the Prophet about the Statement of Allah: -- ‘And the sun is quickly proceeding towards its destination. That is the designing of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing ' (36.38) He said, ‘Its course is underneath "Allah's Throne.’" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Hadith 327)

Following is the explanation given by Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ after quoting the above narrations in his commentary (tafsir) to Qur’an 36:38.[1]

The Prostration of the Sun: A look into the phenomenon of the sun performing sajdah (prostration) beneath the ‘arsh (the Divine Throne)

From these narrations of Hadith, we learn that mustaqar means a spatial destination, that is, a place where on orbit of the movement of the sun stands completed- and they also tell us that this place is beneath the ‘arsh (the Throne of Allah). Hence, the verse would mean that, everyday, the sun moves towards a particular destination, and once it has reached there, it performs prostration before Allah and seeks His permission for the next orbit. Once permission is given, it begins the next orbit.

Questions about the Hadith:

But, when seen outwardly, several strong difficulties arise on the basis of principles laid down by experiments, observations and astronomy.

1. The state of the ‘arsh of Allah (generally referred to as Divine Throne) as understood from the Qur’an and Sunnah is that it surrounds all that we know as the masses of the land and expanses of the sky. All these masses and expanses along with planets and stars, without any exceptions, are enclosed within the ‘arsh- and the ‘arsh of Allah holds the entire cosmic universe inside itself. If seen from this angle, the sun is, in all conditions and all the times, simply under the ‘arsh. What, then, would be the sense of going beneath the ‘arsh after it sets?

2. It is common observation that the sun, after it sets at someplace, does rise elsewhere. Therefore, its rising and setting is an ongoing phenomenon, what then is the meaning of going beneath the ‘arsh after setting and doing prostration?

3. From the apparent sense of the Hadith mentioned above, we learn that the sun, after having reached its destination (mustaqar), pauses within which it offers sajdah (prostration) before Allah and seeks the permission for the next orbit- although, there being no break in the movement of the sun at any time is an open observation. And since this rising and setting of the sun keeps taking place all the time in terms of different locations, therefore, this pause should also be there all the time as result of which sun should not have any movement any time.

Some clarifications and reminders before the actual explanation

To understand its answer, it must be borne in mind that to the extent the explanation of the cited verse (i.e. Qur’an 36:38 for itself) is concerned, no difficulty out of the doubts and difficulties mentioned above relates to the Qur’an. The sense it carries is no more than that Allah Almighty has commissioned the sun to move in such an organized and steady was that it keeps moving continuously in a single state towards its destination (mustaqar). I

Any doubts, out of the doubts mentioned above, does not apply to what has been said in the cited verse. However, all these doubts and difficulties in comprehension do arise from the Hadith statement about the sun that soon after its setting, it goes beneath the ‘arsh (Divine Throne), performs sajdah (prostration) and seeks permission to start the next orbit. And this debate sprung up in relation to this verse for the reason that, in some words of the hadith, reference has been made to this verse. Answers to these doubts given by experts of the Hadith and commentators of the Qur’an differ. From the apparent connotation of the words there, it is generally gathered that this sajdah of the sun takes effect only once in day-night span after its setting.

The clear cut, and cloudless rejoinder seems to be that which Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani has given in his treatise (Sujud al-Shams: The Prostration of the Sun) which finds support in the statement of several leading commentators.

Before one proceeds to understand the presentation … It should be borne in mind that the argument of the Qur’an and the noble prophets through the creations in the heavens and the earth and the major changes that occur therein is limited to the extent that could be rationalized by every human being by virtue of bare observation and elementary deliberation. Technical refinements of philosophy and mathematics that can be resolved by experts in the field alone are not the material on which argument of this nature is based; nor are people invited to deliberate on these. The reason is simple. Believing in Allah the Almighty and acting in accordance with His message is the duty of every human being- learned or illiterate, man or woman, urbanite or villager, dweller of some mountain or island. Therefore, prophetic teachings are synchronized with the level of perception, reason and understanding of common people that need no technical expertise.

Take the example of knowing the time of salah (daily ritual prayers), fixing the orientation of qiblah (the Holy Ka’ba in Makkah), and knowing the months, years and dates. The knowledge of all these things can also be acquired through mathematical computations. But the shariah (Law) of Islam has, rather than rely on high-tech mathematical calculations to determine any of these things, placed reliance on common observations. Months and years and theirs dates were set in accordance with the lunar calendars. The basis of determining whether the new moon has or has not appeared was declared to be physical observation alone, the seeing of the new moon. The days of fasting and the hajj were fixed on that very basis. When some people asked the Holy Prophet about the secret behind the waning, waxing and disappearing of the moon and then its rising again, the answer to it was given by the Qur’an on his behalf: “Say: They are indicative of time for the people, and of the Hajj”- (Al-Baqarah, 2:189) In other words, the Holy Prophet was asked to tell people that all those changes occurring in the life of the moon are there so that they could find out when the month begins and ends and then find out its dates and determine the days of the Hajj. The answer served them with a warning against their unnecessary and ineffectual question, because no business of theirs, in this world or in the next, hinges on finding the reality behind it. Therefore, they were supposed to ask only about something that related to either their worldly or other worldly need.

The context of the verse quoted in the hadith

After these initial remarks, let us give a little though to the essential matter before us. Is it not that, in the cited verses, Allah the Almighty has, after having mentioned some manifestations of His perfect power and infinite wisdom, invited human beings to believe?[2] Of these mentioned first was the land that is before us all the time:

“And a sign for them is the dead LAND.” (36:33)

Then mention was made of how rains made it come alive and the growth of trees and other produce became possible- something everyone sees and knows:

“We GAVE IT LIFE and BROUGHT FORTH GRAIN from it; so from it they eat.” (36:33)

Mentioned first after that was the daily alternation of the night and day:

“And a sign for them is the night. We strip (the cover of) the day from it, and they are suddenly in darkness.” (36:37)

Mentioned thereafter were planets and stars. Out of these, about the sun it was said:

“And the sun is quickly proceeding towards its destination. That is the designing of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.” (36:38)

Think about it. The purpose here is to tell that the sun is not moving on its own, not of its volition or power. Instead, it is moving in subservience to the One who is Mighty and Knowing, and moving under the predetermined system originated by an entity with great power and knowledge.

The Holy Prophet, close to the time of one sunset, had alerted Sayyidina Abu Dharr al-Ghifari to the reality behind it during a question answer interlude with him. He has told him that the sun, at the time of its setting, performs a prostration before Allah the Almighty beneath the ‘arsh and seeks the permission to start the next orbit. When it has the permission, it moves as usual and rises from the east in the morning. Its outcome is no more than that the atmosphere of the world goes through a new transformation at the time of the setting and rising of the sun, something that depends on the sun. The Holy Prophet, took this moment as suitable to teach human beings their essential lesson that they should not take the sun to be an independent entity moving of its own volition and power. It moves only under the permission and will of Allah the Almighty. Every time it rises and every time it sets has to be with His permission, for it is subservient to His permission. This very act of moving under the command of Allah the Almighty has been declared to be its prostration, the act of prostration before its creator. The reason is that a prostration made by anything happens to be appropriate to its state of being as the Qur'an has itself clearly said:

“Did you not realize that the greatness of Allah is proclaimed by all those in the heavens and the earth, and by the birds with their wings spread out? Everyone knows one‘s own (way of) praying (to Allah) and one‘s own (way of) proclaiming Allah‘s greatness.” (24:41)

It means that the entire creation of Allah is engaged in worshipping and glorifying Allah, but each has its own separate way of doing it that has already been taught to it just like human beings who have been told how to do their salah and tasbih. Therefore, taking the prostration (sajdah) of the sun to mean that it can take effect only when it places its forehead on some floor like a human being would not be correct.

And when it stands clarified from the statements of the Qur'an and Sunnah that the Divine Throne, the ‘arsh of the Allah, surrounds all heavens and stars and surfaces, it is already obvious that the sun is nowhere but under the ‘arsh, at all times and at every place. And when experience bears out that the time the sun is setting at one place, it is also rising at another. Therefore, no moment of the sun is free of either rising or setting. Thus, the being of the sun under the ‘arsh is also perennial under all states and so is its setting and rising. Therefore, the outcome of the subject mentioned in the Hadith is that the sun, in its entire orbit, remains in the state of prostration before Allah under the ‘arsh, that is, it moves under His permission and command. And this cycle will stay activated right through the proximity of the last Day of Resurrection until comes the time for the emergence of the sign that the Day of Resurrection is very close. When this happens, the sun will, rather than start its next orbit, be commanded to turn back - and then, it will rise from the west. At that time, the door of repentance will be closed and no declaration of faith or repentance from anyone shall remain acceptable at that hour.

In short, this particularity of the setting of the sun, its passing under the ‘arsh, the making of prostration there and the incidence of seeking permission for the next orbit mentioned in the narration being studied is simply a similitude in consonance with the mores of effective prophetic teaching and in terms of common perception. Neither does it make it necessary that it performs prostration (sajdah) on some land surface like a human being, nor does it make it necessary that there be some pause in the movement of the sun at the time of making a prostration, nor does it mean that it goes to some particular place doing only one prostration during a day and night, and nor that it goes beneath the ‘arsh after setting only. But, at this time of great alternation, when people are seeing that the sun is receding away from them, what has been done is that they have been appraised of the truth of what is happening in the manner of a similitude while the reality is that this whole thing is happening because of the sun moving beneath the ‘arsh in subservience to the Divine command - the sun does not have any capability or power of its own. So, the way, at this time, the people of Madinah were convinced that the sun would now make its prostration and seek permission for the next orbit, similarly, the message was relayed onwards to every place where the sun would be setting and everyone there would stand advised of the lesson thereof.

Thus, the truth of the matter turns out to be that the sun at every moment while moving on its orbit keeps offering prostration before Allah the Almighty and keeps seeking permission to move ahead - and it needs no pause or break to make prostration or seek permission. Following this submission, there remains no doubt concerning the Hadith quoted, neither in terms of observations, nor in terms of the rules of astronomy.

(See, Maariful Qur’an, English Translation by Muhammad Shamim, vol.6 pp.388-395)

One may say that the hadith suggests it is the sun that revolves around the Earth and not the other way round.

As stressed above, one must remember that the prophets do not come to teach astronomy. Their sole aim is to make people understand that everything in the universe obeys Allah and so should the humans. For this reason they allude to how humans perceive the things and it actually does appear that sun moves across the horizon. Had the Prophet –peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- through divine guidance made the point in a way that could not be comprehended by his immediate listeners, it would have killed the purpose of it, because their guidance and instruction into righteousness was certainly the sole way message could reach us in this age. Looking back, we can now easily understand the proverbial sense of it and appreciate it, but it wouldn’t have been anyway possible for the people in the seventh century to look ahead into the future. For us the message remains as great and relevant as ever because even though we have the knowledge that it is rather the Earth that revolves around sun, we know the grand design and the fine-tuning of the whole celestial system including the sun is such that it speaks of an Ultimate Power which is obeyed by the whole Universe. And this is what the essence of the message is.

(See, Abu Al-A’la Maududi, Rasail wa Masail, Islamic Publications, Lahore, 2000 pp.21-22)

Further elucidation:

The following two verses are also about the topic at hand;

“The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.” (Qur’an 17:44)

“Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people?” (Qur’an 22:18)

Maulana Daryabadi in his commentary note to Qur’an 22:18 reproduces what Edward William Lane’s quotes with reference to Lisan al-‘Arab, the well known and voluminous Arabic lexicon;

“The primary significance of السجود is تذلل … The سجود of inanimate things to God, we understand, in the Qur’an as denoting as obedience to that whereto they are made subservient.” (Tafsir-ul-Quran- Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Majid Daryabadi, Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, Lucknow, 2007 vol.3 pp.178)

Shah Wali Ullah (d. 1176 A.H./1762 C.E.) sums up the essence of the whole issue beautifully;

"In their conduct (the prophets) did not occupy themselves with what had no relevance for refining the soul and the governing of the community. They did not explain the events of the atmosphere like rain, eclipses, rings around the sun or moon, the wonders of plants and animals, the measurement of the paths of the sun and moon, the causes of daily events, and the stories of the prophets, kings, countries and so on, unless they used simple words with which their audience was familiar, and that their minds would accept if these were used to remind them of the blessings of God and the requital of God, unless this was by way of digression into a general discussion which is permitted in cases like this, through introducing metaphors and similes. This was basically the case when they asked the Prophet about the reasons for the waxing and waning of the moon, and God the Exalted turned from that to the explanation of the benefits of that waning and waxing, and said, "They ask you about the new moons, say they are times appointed for the people and the pilgrimages." (Qur'an 2:189) You may see many people whose taste is corrupted because of familiarity with these (technical) fields, or due to other causes, so that they apply the words of the prophets to things to which they did not refer, and God knows better." (Hujjat Allah al-Baligha- The Conclusive Argument from God, Translated by Marcia K. Hermansen, Islamic Research Institute, Islamabad, 2003 p.256)

LET ME TURN THE TABLES

While Christians missionaries are hell bent on finding issues with such hadith narrations, what they often forget is that the scripture they consider “holy” is not only riddled top class absurdities but also such classical expressions of the kind they take exception to when it comes to Islamic sources.

The following is from the Bible:

“The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.” (Ecclesiastes 1:5)

The readers should wait for explanation to this verse which does not show the cunning approach and double standards of these anti-Islamic polemicists – the Rivals of the Truth.

Indeed Allah knows the best!


[1] Only relevant parts of his explanation are quoted for the sake of brevity and some changes have been made in the translation

[2] The point is; the context of the verse mentioned in the hadith is about the phenomena under common human observation, therefore, appears expedient that the significance of the meanings of the hadith explaining the verse must also be about what is observable by all humans. This leads to metaphorical explanation of the hadith.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

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The Ultimate Truth 1.m4v

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Being good to Parents

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Helping Muslims Around The World

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

We need this lap top


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Are you a Muslim?

Monday, June 18, 2012

False narration related to Aisha bint Talha and face veil

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

As one can see many sites refer to the case of Aisha bint Talha from amongst early Muslims to question the originality of the idea of veil in Islam.

This is how they put the contention against veil alluding to some words attributed to the pious lady.

When the son of a prominent companion of the Prophet asked his wife Aisha bint Talha to veil her face, she answered, "Since the Almighty hath put on me the stamp of beauty, it is my wish that the public should view the beauty and thereby recognized His grace unto them. On no account, therefore, will I veil myself.

Many sites (including that of BBC) put the following reference to this, “Women in the Muslim World, ed. Lynn Reese, 1998” telling us the source of the information of many excited to have found something against what they may like to the “Wahhabi version of Islam.”

Simple rule to remember:

The first and foremost point is that even if the statement was proven to be true it could never be used as an evidence on the status of veil in Islamic law. The law essentially rests on Qur'an and Sunnah alone.

For an explanation of what hijab is and its details from Qur’an and Sunnah, see the following linked article by a wonderful scholar of our day, Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani:

The Hijab of Women and its Boundaries

The report:

Coming back to the issue at hand, the original source of the narration is Kitab Al-Aghani (Book of Songs) by Abu Al-Faraj al-Asbahani (d. 356 A.H.).

He puts the narration as;

أخبرني الحسن بن يحيى قال قال حماد قال أبي قال مصعب : كانت عائشة بنت طلحة لا تستر وجهها من أحد. فعاتبها مصعب في ذلك فقالت : إن الله تبارك وتعالى وسمني بميسم جمال أحببت أن يراه الناس ويعرفوا فضلي عليهم، فما كنت لأستره

AL-Hassan bin Yahya – Hammad – his father – Mus’ab: Aisha bint Talha did not veil her face from anyone. Mus’ab reprimanded him on it. She said, “Verily Allah the Almighty has blessed with me beauty. I like that people should view it and they should know how I have been blessed over them. So why should I cover it,”
(
Kitab al-Aghani No. 186, Dar Sader, Beirut 2008 vol.11 p.112)

Who was Aisha bint Talha?

Sayyidah Aisha bint Talha was the daughter of Umm Kulthum bint Abu Bakr, niece of Sayyidah Aisha, the Mother of the Believers, and the grand daughter of Sayyidina Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with them all. She died circa 100 A.H.

Abu Al-Faraj Al-Asbahani and his work Kitab Al-Aghani:

Abu Al-Faraj Al-Asbahani (Isfahani) has been criticized by some scholars and some have considered him acceptable.

As to his book, it has strange kind of narrations which might be taken as interesting information or fun facts but can never used in matters of shariah to ascertain the legal status of anything.
Do not ever think of using a book of songs in matters of shari'ah.

The chain of narrators:

First narrator after Al-Asbahani is Al-Hassan bin Yahya, and the last one is Mus’ab bin Zubair who was the husband of Sayyidah Aisha bint Talha.

The narrators in between the above two are, Hammad bin Ishaq bin Ibrahim al-Mosali and his father, Ishaq bin Ibrahim al-Mosali.

The son and the father were both singers and musicians, and not the men of learning and narrators of hadith.

Commenting to a narration from these two narrators about Imam Abu Hanifa, the erudite Egyptian scholar of the last century Shaykh Zahid bin Al-Hassan Al-Kawthari comments;

حماد بن إسحاق الموصليٍٍ ... وهو وأبوه من المغنيين المشاهير من رجال الأغاني، فيكون هو وأبوه من رجال الأسمار، لا ممن يحتج بهم تراجم الأئمة الكبار

“Hammad bin Ishaq al-Mosali … he and his father are from amongst the famous singers from the narrators of Al-Aghani. He and his father were from amongst the people telling stories at night for amusement- not from amongst those who can be taken as evidence in the biographical accounts of the great imams.” (Ta’nib al-Khatib ‘ala Ma Saqahu fi Tarjimati Abi Hanifah Min al-Akadhib, Dar al-Bsha’ir al-Islamiyyah, Beirut, 1990 p.343)

If such cannot be taken as evidence in the biographical narrations about scholars, how can they be taken as evidence in matters of the lawful and the unlawful, obligatory and otherwise?

About Ishaq bin Ibrahim Al-Mosali, Imam Al-Nawawi quotes Imam al-Khattabi in a discussion on a certain hadith to which he and another person objected. After condemning the other person Imam Al-Khattabi said:

والآخر معروف بالسخف والخلاعة وهو إسحاق بن إبراهيم الموصلي

“The other one is known for absurdities and obscenities and he is Ishaq bin Ibrahim Al-Mosali.” (Sharah Al-Nawawi, Dar Al-Ahya Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut 1392 A.H. vol.11 p.91)

Any sane person would know that one known for absurdities and obscenities can only be rejected and condemned and never taken as evidence in matters of shariah.
I hope this clarifies the worth of this narration.

Indeed Allah knows the best!

Alleged statement of Abu Hanifa about Prophet (pbuh) following his opinions

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

Sometimes back I found a fellow referring to an alleged statement of Imam Abu Hanifa. Although he did not derive any conclusions from it, it really alarmed me because there is a potential of gross misuse of the statement as recorded in the work usually cited.

In this time of tribulation (fitna) there are people -liberals and the secular- who never cease to twist the meanings of the Qur’an according to whims and wishes and to restrict the scope of countless hadith narrations to seventh century Arabia. To these people statements of scholars and mutahid imams mean nothing but at the same time if somehow they can use a statement attributed to any of great early scholars they forget everything else and take any such statement as ultimate evidence as if it is a revelation from Allah. This attitude speaks a lot of their objectives and objectivity. And what if the statement they use is not authentic to begin with?

The alleged narration:

The alleged statement goes as;

قال أَبُو حنيفة: لو أدركني رسول الله صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وأدركته لأخذ بكثير من قولي

Below is the reproduction of the translation given in the article by Muhammad Altaf Hussain Ahangar titled "Iqbal and Hadith."

Khatib Baghadadi in his history, with reference to Yusuf Ibn Isbat, writes:

Abu Hanifa used to say that if the Prophet (s.a.w) would have found me and I could have found him (i.e. both would have lived at the same time), then He [the Prophet (s.a.w)] would have adopted many of his (Abu Hanifa’s) thoughts. Religion is not anything else except the good and fine opinion.

Let's find out and analyze the truth of these words;

What works actually record this narration?

The narration is as such related by Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 453 A.H.)[1] and before him Ibn Hibban (d. 354 A.H.)[2] and has been reproduced by some later writers as well.

Authenticity of the Narration:

Now we discuss the most important issue i.e. the authenticity of this report.

1- The rules of narration (riwayah) check:

Wherever the report is given with a chain of narrator, we find that it comes through Yusuf bin Asbat (not "Isbat"). And this narrator itself is not truly reliable.

Ibn Abi Hatim said, "He is not to be sought evidence with."[3]

And Imam Bukhari said, "He had buried his books, and did not narrate the narrations the way they were written."[4] i.e. he mixed the things up

So these facts about the person attributing the words to Imam Abu Hanifah make the case of the narration quite weak. The following details will further add to the clarity on the evident dubious nature of the narration.

2- The rational rule (dirayah) check:

Imam al-Hafiz Muhibuddin Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Mahmud aka Ibn al-Najjar al-Baghdadi (d. 643 A.H.) actually showed that what the narration says is not tenable rationally. He first reproduces the narration and then writes;

"It is narrated from Abu Hanifa (ra) and all his fellows rule accordingly as to what is narrated from al-Abbas (ra) that when the Prophet (pbuh) gave the sermon, he in a lengthy report said, 'Verily Makkah is one the sanctuaries of Allah (where nothing can be harmed)" Abbas (ra) said, "Except idhkhir (a kind of grass), O Messenger of Allah", so the Prophet (saaw) said, ""Except idhkhir " Abu Hanifa said regarding it, 'The Prophet (saaw) himself intended to make this exception (already), Abbas (just) uttered it before him." Thus Abu Hanifa did not interpret it in a way making the Prophet (saaw) follow the opinion of Abbas, so how could he (speak of to) make him follow his own opinion?"[5]

Simply put, there is a narration in which apparently the prophet (pbuh) said something after his uncle and a great companion Abbas (ra) had spoken of it, yet Abu Hanifa said the Prophet (pbuh) has already decided to say it. It’s only that Abbas (ra) in that moment uttered it before him i.e. the Prophet (pbuh) did not follow the opinion of Abbas (ra). The argument is, when he did take the pain to interpret the narration against the apparent meanings just to avoid the notion of Prophet (pbuh) following someone else opinion albeit of a great companion, how could then he say that Prophet (pbuh) would ever need to follow his own opinion?

On the reality of the alleged narration:

An Egyptian scholar Shaykh Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthari (d. 1371 A.H.) has discussed the narration in detail in his dedicated work on the narrations about Imam Abu Hanifa in "Tarikh Baghdad" of al-Khatib.

Following detail gives a fair proof on the origins of the narration.

Imam Mofiq bin Ahmad al-Makki (d. 568 A.H.) narrated the following words Imam Abu Hanifa on authority of Yusuf bin Khalid;

لو أدركني البتي لترك كثير من قوله

"If al-Batti would have found me, he would have left many of his opinions (in favor of mine)."[6]

Abu al-Mo'id Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Khwarazmi (d. 665 A.H.) narrates it with the following words;

لو أن البتي رآني لأخذ بكثير من أقوالي

"If al-Batti would have found me he would have adopted many of my sayings."[7]

al-Batti here refers to a Kufan scholar who later settled in Basra, Usman bin Muslim al-Batti (d. 143 A.H.)

Shaykh al-Kawthari, following al-Mo'id al-Khwarazmi, argues that it is actually a scribal error or confusion of the narrator that made the narration as it is now recorded in Tarikh al-Baghdad etc.. In the narration al-Batti ( البتي) first became al-Nabi (النبي). This is easy to understand as the skeleton of both the words is same and the difference is only of the dots (nuqaat). Then seemingly undergoing the narration-by-meaning phenomenon the word النبي was replaced by  رسول الله and thereafter understandably the words صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ added to it.

This is no far-fetched an assertion, in fact we have a categorical example like it, in totally a different context, recorded in Tarikh Baghdad[8] itself where it is stated that a narrator confused the words رأيت البتي (I saw al-Batti) and put them as رأيت النبي (I saw the Prophet).

In fact this seems to be too general a mistake and confusion. Another example of the same is quoted by Al-Qifti (d. 646 A.H.)[9]

These examples show it was quite common for people to mix the two in both writing and reading.

So the reasonable conclusion is that the actual narration is misconstrued, apparently by, Yusuf bin Asbat who often did such things due to inadvertence and ignorance.[10] Here please recall Imam Bukhari's statement about him quoted above.

The phrase, "Religion is nothing but fine opinion":

Coming to the last phrase, "Religion is not anything else except the good and fine opinion", Shaykh al-Kawthari is of the opinion that this too involves confusion due a scribal error. He argues that the Arabic wording هل الدين إلا الرأي الحسن was originally هل أرى إلا الرأي الحسن i.e. what would he opine except according to the good opinion.He supports this by the fact that al-Batti too like Abu Hanifa was known for making extensive ijtihad and as as such known to be among Ahl al-Ra'i.[11]

Having looked into various old manuscripts myself I find the explanation quite plausible but it is a bit lacking in external independent support. However, even if accepted as such the phrase still does not signify more than the fact that when a matter is not resolved directly through Qur'an, Sunnah or the verdicts of the companions and it comes down to the opinions of the scholars then among those opinions the religious verdict is on nothing but the best of those opinions.

The principle of Imam Abu Hanifa:

Here I must quote the principle of Imam Abu Hanifa about the order of precedence among the the sources of shariah.

ما جاء عن الله تعالى فعلى الرأس والعينين وما جاء عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فسمعا وطاعة وما جاء عن الصحابة رضي الله عنهم تخيرنا من أقوالهم ولم نخرج عنهم وما جاء عن التابعين فهم رجال ونحن رجال

"What comes to us (directly) from the Allah the Almighty (i.e. in the Qur'an) is held the most supreme by us, and what reaches us from the Messenger of Allah -peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- we (simply) listen and obey, and what reaches from the Companions -Allah be pleased with them- we chose the best from their opinions and do not leave them all (i.e. we stick to one of their opinions) and what comes to us from the opinions of the Followers (tabi'un), so they are men like us."[12]

This shows the truth of the above explanation for he clearly stated that he could not think of leaving the opinions of the Companions even let alone leaving a hadith or thinking that Prophet (saaw) would ever -God forbid- follow his opinion. But yes he, being himself a Follower (tabi'i) could contend with another of the same category and expect him to follow his opinion once he convinced him of its fineness.

And Indeed Allah knows the best!


References:

[1] Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Ziyuluhu, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut 1417 A.H, vol.13 p.386

[2] Al-Majruhin, Dar al-Wa'i, Halb, 1396 A.H. vol.3 p.65

[3] Mezan al-A'itdal, Dar al-Ma'rifah, Beirut 1963 vol.4 p.462 No. 9856

[4] ibid.

[5] Kitab al-Radd 'alaa Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, included in Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Ziyuluhu, vol.22 p.54

[6] Manaqib al-Imam al-‘Azam Abi Hanifa, Da’ira al-Ma’arif al-Nizamia, Hyderabad Deccan 1321 A.H. vol.2 p.102

[7] Jami' al-Masanid, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut n.d. vol.1 p.63

[8] Tarikh al-Baghdad wa Ziyuluhu, vol.2 p.78

[9] Inbah al-Ruwat 'ala Anbah al-Nuhat, Maktaba al-'Ansariya, Beirut 1424 A.H. vol.2 p.344

[10] Ta’nib al-Khatib ‘ala Ma Saqahu fi Tarjimati Abi Hanifah Min al-Akazib, Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyyah, Beirut, 1990 p.175

[11] ibid.

[12] Ibn Hazm, Al-Ahkam fi Usool al-Ahkam, Dar al-Afaq al-Jadida, Beirut n.d. vol.4 p.188

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Can we throw it in the garbage?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Islamic Education for Children.m4v

Islamic Education for Children.m4v

Monday, June 4, 2012

Islam Pentru Romani ep2 Ce este Ramadanul ?

Be careful with FaceBook .m4v

Islam Dunk TV Show - Episode 7

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday Khutbah Lessons from Suratul Khaf

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Friday Khutbah Servants of the Most Merciful

Islam Dunk Show 11 - HD

Who is God?

Monday, May 14, 2012

How has the Quran been preserved?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Be careful with FaceBook .m4v

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

When did the documentation of Sunnah begin?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

A research paper analyzing the development of written record of sunnah

by Gabriel Keresztes

1. Introduction

“There will be a man to whom my hadith will reach him, while he is sitting comfortably, and he will say: between me and you is the book of Allah, whatever we find in it that is halaal we will make it halaal, and whatever we find in it haraam we will make it haraam”.[1]

It is without surprise that such a prophecy has come to pass, and we find today many so called intellectuals, both Muslims and non-Muslims denying the narrations of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) without any proper scientific grounds for doing so. It is a matter of desire and non-conformation, an epidemic influence from western ideologies of godlessness and moral disintegration. However, intellectuals will never admit the reality of the problem and they will always attempt to throw stumbling blocks in the path of the masses in hope of misguiding them to their own ideologies and philosophies. In attempting to do so, many Orientalists and Muslim liberals have come up with different ways of attacking Islam, in an attempt to reform it or stop it from spreading its pure and unaltered ways. When dealing with the Quran, such people have realized that it is very hard if not impossible to attack, however they have found that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) might be an easier target. They could have not been more wrong. Organizations of Quraniates[2], Orientalists, and Muslim Women Leagues have propagated ideas through their writings and media, that the ahadith are narrations that have been compiled much later after the death of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that such are not reliable and should be discarded.[3] In this paper I will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that such an accusation is baseless in the light of objective research and sincerity, and that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not a later invention as people claim. Contrary to this, it was during the life of Muhammad (peace be upon him) that such a science of ahadith began, being collected, propagated and guarded by his companions till today. I have split this paper in four sections: in the first section I will deal with the Muslim methodology of preserving information and authenticity. Second I will show historical examples and proofs of documentation of the Sunnah during the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Third, I will discuss the proliferation and documentation of the Sunnah after the death of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Last but not least I will discuss the crystallization of the science of hadith, and the different stages that this science went through.

2. The Muslim Methodology of Preserving Information

The Jewish and Christian Scriptures suffered at the hands of the very people who should have guarded them. Because of this, the Muslim community felt a pressing need to safeguard the knowledge that was entrusted to them. To write a book using a false name is tremendously easy; in the literary world the use of pen names is commonplace. Similarly, it is possible to tamper with someone else’s work then republish it under the original author’s name...Muslims devised a working solution long ago, developing a watertight system which they employed faithfully for eight or nine centuries.[4] Starting from the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) him receiving the firs revelation, knowledge proliferation has been at the core of the Muslim nation. Upon reaching Madinah the prophet (peace be upon him) arranged schools and ordered scribes to write whatever he dictated. Many companions had copies of his letters dispatched to different people.[5] Not only those things were written down with the outmost care, but also at the same time information was being checked for reliability and content. From the affairs of the government during the reigns of the three caliphs to the administrative lessons, religious rulings, political and military strategies and all of the prophet’s traditions were passed on through a very strict system.[6] The Muslims methodology of gathering information, verifying it and passing it on had no match. The isnad systems that were developed to make sure that each incident or rapport is reported by an unbroken chain back to the original narrator[7]. Evidence for the transmission of knowledge in this manner comes from thousands of ahadith bearing identical wordings but coming from different corners of the Islamic world, each tracing its origin back to a common source – the Prophet, a Companion, or a Successor.[8] For example the hadith of Abu Huraira about the obligation of following the Imam is recorded at least 124 times, and reported by 26 third-generation authorities that unanimously trace its origin to Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[9] However the isnad system was only the first step in establishing authenticity and preserving information. Establishing trustworthiness (morality, ability, memory etc.) of the narrator was another important step in the Muslim methodology of preserving information. Umar Al Khatab and Abu Bakr, when collecting the Quran in one book, they followed the instructions of Allah the Almighty:

“…and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice.”[10]

The people of ahlul suffah (companions of the rows) used to dedicate their whole lives just to record and propagate the teachings of Islam during the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many companions such as Uthman, Ali, Umar and others memorized not only the sayings of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but also the whole Quran. The knowledge they preserved was passed on in the forms of books through a very stringent system that involved different levels of information delivery such as Sama’ (teacher reading to student), Ardh (student reading to teacher), Munawala (hading someone a text and allowing transmission), Kitaba (a form of correspondence), and Wasiyya (entrusting someone with knowledge to be delivered). These are just a few examples of the strict methods taken by Muslims to preserve information and the early stage in which such began being implemented[11]. Now we turn our attention to the proofs of the documentation of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his time.

3. Documentation of the Sunnah during the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time

It is agreed upon that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not fully recorded in written form during his life time, however as we have pointed out the Muslim methodology was not restricted to writing, and it relied heavily on memorization. However much of the ahadtih have been recorded in writing and books during the lifetime of the prophet (peace be upon him). There are many evidences showing that companions (in this case Abu Shah) used to write the speeches of prophet Muhammad such as the example of the speech of the inviolability of Makkah.[12] The prophet (peace be upon him) also wrote letters to many kings inviting them to Islam, some of them still being available today. Some critics have raised an objection by quoting the hadith of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, who narrates that prophet Muhammad said:

“Do not take down anything from me, and he who took down anything from me except the Qur’an, he should efface that…”[13]

They claim that prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not allow hadith to be recorded, however they selectively take what suits their agenda and ignore the whole corpus of ahadith. It is clear from the wording of prophet Muhammad that such a statement was general and it was during the time when the writing of the Quran was in it’s early stages. The prophet allowed and encouraged his companions to write ahadith once the system for recording Quran was in place. He did not want companions to mix the Quran with ahadith, and indeed we see today that such genius paid off. When some companions heard that Amr ibn Al As’s had scrolls of ahadith, they reproached him, however he went and told the prophet who said:

“Write from me, for by the One Who has my soul in His hand, nothing other than the truth has ever come out of my mouth”.[14]

The same Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al As’s collected the book called Al-Sahefah As-Sadiqah. This is a book that contained many ahdith of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was spread amongst the companions and later generations. The Sahefah of Abu Hurayrah, which was proliferated by his student Hammam ibn Munabbih, that has survived till today and was published by Dr. Hamidullah.[15] It is without a doubt that there is sufficient information in the history of Islam to show that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was recorded and passed on with his permission and during his lifetime. Those who say that the Sunnah was recorded only centuries after prophet Muhammad during the time of Bukhari and Muslim are far away from the historical proofs that are widely available, wishing only to escape the strict security measures that were divinely implemented in guarding not only the Quran and the Sunnah, but also Islam as a way of life.

4. Documentation of the Sunnah after the Death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

After the death of Muhammad (peace be upon him), his companions took an even stricter approach in preserving and reporting the Sunnah. In this period, a number of leading companions wrote down narrations and preserved them. Abu Hurayrah to whom 5374 channels of hadith are attributed, had many books in his possession as reported by Hasan ibn Amr ad-Damari.[16] Abdullah ibn Abbas to whom 1600 channels of narrations are attributed used to write whatever he heard and used to hire his servants to write ahadith for him.[17] Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al Aas to whom 700 channels of narration are attributed recorded ahadith in his Sahefah, while Abu Bakr was also amongst those who used to possess written copies of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).[18] After the companions of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), their students passed on the knowledge to their students. Abu Hurairah had nine students writing down from him, Ibn Umar had eight, Anas had sixteen, Aisha had three, ibn Abbas had nine, Jabir had fourteen, and others did the same as well.[19] The time in history is known as the era of the Tabi’oon and in this era the science of gathering ahadith became stricter, as people began inventing ahadith. It is very important to highlight here the fact that fabrication was discovered and dealt with. This shows the strict nature of the system and the strong filters it had for innovations and lies. Under the reign of Umar ibn Abdul Azeez[20] the scholars compiled books of ahadith containing biographical data on the various narrators of ahadith, exposing the liars and fabricators.[21] The hadith proliferation spread with such a great strength and precise science that the science began influencing the other branches of Islamic knowledge such as Aqeedah, Fiq and other. The people would not accept the authority of any teacher of any subject, unless he or she would possess the unbroken link till prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) coupled with the reliability criteria for that person in question. The collection of ahadith and knowledge was so intense and serious that some would not wait for the ahadith to reach them but they would travel for long periods of time to hear and verify ahadith. Jabir ibn Abdullah heard of a hadith and traveled on a mount that he had purchased, and after one moth of travel he gathered the hadith and returned back. The same happened to Abu Ayoob al Ansari.[22] The sciences have only intensified and crystallized as time advanced and following the ear of the companions, the followers and their followers came the ear of the Saheehs, which was the pinnacle of hadith sciences[23].

5. Crystallization of Hadith Sciences

The writing of hadith can be classified in four stages:[24]

· The stage of the Sahefah, which was the stage in the life of prophet Muhammad and his companions. The hadith were compiled just for the sake of collection.

· The stage of the Musannaf, which was the stage of hadith classification according to subject matter. This was the ear of imam Malik.

· The state of the Musnad, which classified ahadith under companion’s names. An example of such is the Musnad of imam Ahamad.

· The stage of the Saheeh, and this is the most important stage where ahadith were classified under the headings of different subjects (8 main subjects of Jamiha books), and particular care was paid to the reliability and content of the hadith. This is the era of imam Bukhari and Muslim.

The third century hijri became the most important time for the sciences of hadith, and it was pioneered by the strict measures taken by imam Bukhari in compiling his monumental work Sahih al Bukhari. The ahadith were known in all circles of society, yet no one would gather or narrate without the measures put in place. So even though imam Bukhari might have known of a hadith he would apply the strictest measures to gather this hadith and put it in his book. It is recorded in one incident that he traveled for a long period of time to gather a hadith, however when he reached the person from who he was supposed to record, he saw him tricking his horse to come to him. Imam Bukhari turned around and refused to collect from him saying that if the man lies to his horse he might lie to Bukhari. It was with this strict attitude that the science of hadith reached almost infallibility and safeguarded not only the narrations of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but the narrations of companions, followers and scholars who have been passing their knowledge till it has reached us with the same rules and same methodology that prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to apply, as well as his rightly guided Caliphs after him.

6. Conclusion

It is without a doubt that Muslims and non-Muslims alike have downgraded the Muslim educational system. Western educational philosophies are considered superior and more popular. The strict method that was implied in passing down knowledge from prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) might only be available in certain institutions[25] or private study circles taking place in masajid. The reality is that most people are trying to employ modern methodologies of education, which do not take in consideration the character of the person who narrates or their religious integrity. Teachers who use foul language and are far away from morality stand in front of thousands of students who take knowledge from them as an ultimate truth. The Muslim methodology is not weaker or inferior to the current methodology. It is actually light years ahead of it, however the fault is with us, who have abandoned it. There are too many factors that have contributed to the forsaking the Sunnah, which are beyond the scope of this paper. Enough is to say that based on the information presented above, people who say that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon it) was only recorded in the third century or later, have no leg to stand upon, and should re evaluate the position in the light of historical data and proofs.

Indeed Allah knows the best!


[1] Sunan Tirmidhi, Kitab Al Ilm 38/5 as cited by Yahya, AbdulBary. "Hadith Studies." Chain of Command. University of Windsor, Windsor. 2008. Lecture.[2] People whom only believe in Quran and reject the Sunnah.

[3] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Submitters_International#Rejection_of_hadith_and_sunnah

[4] Aʻẓamī, Muḥammad Muṣṭafá. The History of the Qur'ānic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments. Leicester: UK Islamic Academy, 2003. Print.

[5] Aʻẓamī, Muḥammad Muṣṭafá. Studies in Early Hadīth Literature: With a Critical Edition of Some Early Texts. Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1978. Print.

[6] As cited by Azami from Letters of the Second Caliph Umar Abdur-Razzaq asSanani, Musannaf, vol 1, pp.206-209.

[7] See A’zami, The History of the Qur’anic Text… pg. 170 for an example of the hadith of the prayer, and how it has been transmitted. This chart is an excellent example of the unbreakable system of isnad.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Quran 65:2 Hilālī, Taqī Al-Dīn., and Muhammad Muhsin. Khan. Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qurʼān in the English Language: A Summarized Version of At [i.e. Al.]-Tabarī, Al-Qurtubī, and Ibn Kathīr with Comments from Sahīh Al-Bukhārī. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 1996. Print.

[11] For a full detailed explanation and proof of the Muslim Educational Methodology see chapter 12 in A’zami’s book The History of the Qur'ānic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments. Leicester: UK Islamic Academy, 2003. Print.

[12] Siba'ee, Muṣṭafá. The Sunnah and Its Role in Islamic Legislation. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2008. Print.

[13] Muslim, vo.14 nr. 5326, "Hadith (Hadis) Books (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu-Dawud, and Malik's Muwatta)." Search Engine: Search in the Quran and Hadith. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=1>.

[14] Siba'ee 93.

[15] "Greatest Living Islamic Scholar Dr. Hamidullah Passes Away, The Milli Gazette, 20 Dec 02." MG. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <http://www.milligazette.com/dailyupdate/200212/20021220a.htm>.

[16] Philips, Abu Ameenah Bilaal. Uṣool Al-Ḥadeeth: The Methodology of Hadith Evaluation = Uṣūl Al-Ḥadīth. Riyadh: International Islamic House, 2007. Print. P.23

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] 99 - 101 A.H.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Siba'ee p. 107

[23] For a detailed exposition of the companions and followers who wrote down ahadith and possessed books see M.M. A’zami p. 34 – 70.

[24] Philips p. 28

[25] We still have a few universities that follow the isnad methodology

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Youth Issues _ Islam Is Boring ?

Youth Issues - Islam is boring?

Is Islam boring? This is a very important topic that youth should pay attention to.  Islam has become a culture and we are forgetting what the real purpose of life is.
http://youtu.be/Vco1QrynpZ8

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

There is no substitutionary atonement in Islam

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

Shameless Sam Shamoun plays with the subtleties of Hadith narrations to misguide people about Islam by bringing Islam’s just ideas down to the level of some of the celebrated ideals of the religion he professes.

He uses four different narrations. Let us see as to what they really mean.

More...

Narration 1 & 2:

عن أبي موسى، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " إذا كان يوم القيامة، دفع الله عز وجل إلى كل مسلم، يهوديا، أو نصرانيا، فيقول: هذا فكاكك من النار "
Abu Musa' reported that Allah's Messenger said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.
(
Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6665)[1]

And another narration says;

عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال: «لا يموت رجل مسلم إلا أدخل الله مكانه النار، يهوديا، أو نصرانيا

Allah's Messenger –may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire.
(Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6666)

Al-Nawawi’s explanation:

Apparently, it does seem like what this shameless Sam Shamoun suggests, however, as the Muslim scholars have explained, this is not the case. And yes, these are the classical scholars and not modern “Muslim apologists”.

Imam al-Nawawi (d. 676 A.H.) comments on these narrations;

ومعنى هذا الحديث ما جاء في حديث أبي هريرة لكل أحد منزل في الجنة ومنزل في النار فالمؤمن إذا دخل الجنة خلفه الكافر في النار لاستحقاقه ذلك بكفره ومعنى فكاكك من النار أنك كنت معرضا لدخول النار وهذا فكاكك لأن الله تعالى قدر لها عددا يملؤها فإذا دخلها الكفار بكفرهم وذنوبهم صاروا في معنى الفكاك للمسلمين

And the meaning of this Hadith is like what is reported in a narration from Abu Hurayrah that, “For everyone there is a place in Paradise and a place in Hell” So if the believer enters paradise his place in Hellfire will be occupied by a disbeliever, due to (the fact that) he himself deserves it because of his disbelief. And the meaning of [the words] ‘Your rescue from Hell’ is that you were  susceptible to entry into Hell and this (disbeliever) is (as such) your rescue for Almighty Allah has destined for Hell a number that will fill it and (the number will be completed) when the disbelievers enter it due to their disbelief and sins. This is referred to as rescue for Muslims.”
(Sharah al-Nawawi, Dar Ehia al-Tourath al-Arabi, Beirut 1392 A.H.vol.17 p.85)

Here Imam al-Nawawi has pointed to a very interesting hadith i.e.

عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " ما منكم من أحد إلا له منزلان: منزل في الجنة، ومنزل في النار، فإذا مات، فدخل النار، ورث أهل الجنة منزله، فذلك قوله تعالى: {أولئك هم الوارثون} [المؤمنون: 10] "

Narrated Abu Hurayrah, the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said: “There is not one among you who does not have two places, a place in Paradise and a place in Hell. If he dies and enters Hell, the people of Paradise will inherit his place, and this is what Allah said: ‘These are indeed the heirs. (Qur’an 23:10)’”
(Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 4341, Dar Ahya Kutab al-Arabi, Beirut n.d.vol.2 p.1453 Classified as Sahih by Albani)

The narrator of this report Abu Hurayrah (d. 58 A.H.), may Allah be pleased with him- further elaborated on this issue;

يرثون مساكنهم ومساكن إخوانهم الذين أعدت لهم إذا أطاعوا الله

“They will inherit their own dwellings (in Paradise) and the dwellings of their brothers (in humanity) for whom the dwellings were prepared (and they would have owned these) if had they obeyed Allah.”
(Mustarak al-Hakim, Hadith 3845, Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1990 vol. 2 p.427 al-Hakim classified it as Sahih, al-Dhahbi agreed with him)

Al-Baihaqi’s comment:

Having read al-Nawawi’s intake on it as an explanation of the other reports and the narration from Abu Hurayrah, let’s see what another great Hadith scholar had to say on it.

Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Baihaqi (d. 458 A.H.) said:

ويشبه أن يكون هذا الحديث تفسيرا لحديث الفداء، والكافر إذا أورث على المؤمن مقعده من الجنة، والمؤمن إذا أورث على الكافر مقعده من النار يصير في التقدير كأنه فدي المؤمن بالكافر، والله أعلم.

And it appears that this hadith is a commentary to the hadith of Ransom. As a disbeliever’s dwelling in Paradise is inherited (i.e. filled) by a believer, and a believer’s dwelling in Hell is filled by a disbeliever, it is in a sense like a ransom for a believer through a disbeliever. And Allah knows the best!
(Shu’b al-Iman, Maktaba’ al-Rushd, Riyadh 2003 vol.1 p.581)

The crux is, everyone has a home in both Paradise and Hell. If someone believes in Allah and His Messenger Allah will forgive him and his place in Hell will be occupied by a disbeliever, who will enter Hell due to his own sins but will fill the could-have-been place of a believer. While a believer in his turn when enters Paradise due to his own belief and submission that entitles him to Allah’s special blessing, he will be made to fill the could-have-been place of a disbeliever.

One may like to ask, as to why the dwellers of Hell and the inmates of Paradise fill the could-have-been places of each other while everyone has his place in both the abodes? This query is answered below under a separate heading.

An interesting point:

A hadith given above says, every person has a station each in Paradise and Hell. When a person enters hell, his place in Paradise is occupied by those who end up as inmates of the blessed abode, and likewise we can say when a person enters Paradise, his place in Hell is filled by a disbeliever. For the latter case, the Hadith narrations under consideration figuratively term the disbeliever, who occupies the could-have-been place of a believer in Hell, as his “ransom” and “rescue”. And for the former case, Qur’an 23:10 describes the believers as the “heirs” of the disbelievers “inheriting” and occupying their places in Paradise.

A believer who replaces the disbeliever in his could-have-been above at the place of bliss is called as his “heir” while the disbeliever who fills the could-have-been place of a believer in Hell is referred to as his “ransom” and “rescue”. The idea is same anyway. And while there is no question of Muslims entering Paradise in place of Jews and Christian. This point also makes it evident that the whole thing is about “filling the place (in the sense of location)” of the other in either of the abodes by the one who ends up there.

Answer to a query:

Now we come to the query that when every person has his place in both Paradise and Hell, why the inmates of each fill the place of those who do not end up there.

The answer to this query comes from the understanding of yet another Hadith.

عن أبي هريرة، قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لا يدخل أحد الجنة إلا أري مقعده من النار لو أساء، ليزداد شكرا، ولا يدخل النار أحد إلا أري مقعده من الجنة لو أحسن، ليكون عليه حسرة

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet –my the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said, "None will enter Paradise but will be shown the place he would have occupied in the Hell-Fire if he had rejected faith, so that he may be more thankful; and none will enter the Hell-Fire but will be shown the place he would have occupied in Paradise if he had faith, so that may be a cause of sorrow for him."
(Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8 :: Book 76 :: Hadith 573)

Hafiz Ibn Hajr (d. 852 A.H.), while mentioning various comments on the issue writes;

يحتمل أن يكون الفداء مجازا عما يدل عليه حديث أبي هريرة ... لا يدخل الجنة أحد إلا أري مقعده من النار لو أساء ليزداد شكرا الحديث وفيه في مقابله ليكون عليه حسرة فيكون المراد بالفداء إنزال المؤمن في مقعد الكافر من الجنة الذي كان أعد له وإنزال الكافر في مقعد المؤمن الذي كان أعد له

“The “Ransom” might just be in figurative sense, and what makes an evidence for this is the narration of Abu Hurayrah, ‘None will enter Paradise but will be shown the place he would have occupied in the (Hell) Fire if he had rejected faith, so that he may be more thankful …’ And it is also about a possible reserve situation where a person has regret (ending up in Hell and seeing his place in Paradise.) And the meaning of “ransom” is the believer’s occupation of disbeliever’s dwelling in Paradise that was prepared for him, and likewise the disbeliever’s occupation of believer’s place (in Hell) that was prepared for him.”
(Fath al-Bari, Dar al-Ma’rifa, Beirut 1379 A.H. vol.11 p.398)

Firstly, it ought to be kept in mind that the “ransom” thing is only in the figurative sense.

Secondly as a believer will feel the pleasure seeing his place in Hell, and disbeliever will feel the agony seeing his place in Paradise, to further intensify the feelings on the part of people from both abodes, Allah will make them fill the places of others who did not make to respective abodes.

A believer seeing a disbeliever being punished at (not “in”) his place in Hell will truly understand how merciful Allah has been when He forgave His sins and saved him from the torment like what the disbeliever now suffers. And the remorse for failing to believe on the part of a disbeliever will increase manifolds when he will see a person enjoying at his place in Paradise. This regret and remorse will perhaps be a part of the punishment.

Narration 3:

The third narration from Sahih Muslim that the shameless Sam uses reads;

عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: يجيء يوم القيامة ناس من المسلمين بذنوب أمثال الجبال، فيغفرها الله لهم ويضعها على اليهود والنصارى

The usual translation, also reproduced by Sam is;

Abu Burda reported Allah's Messenger as saying: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with AS HEAVY SINS AS A MOUNTAIN, and Allah would FORGIVE THEM and He would PLACE IN THEIR STEAD the Jews and the Christians.
(Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6668. Emphasis by Sam Shamoun)

The above is the commonly used translation of the narration. However, this is not the right translation. Let’s first go through the explanation by the scholars before we translate the narration aptly.

Imam al-Nawawi comments to this narration:

فمعناه أن الله تعالى يغفر تلك الذنوب للمسلمين ويسقطها عنهم ويضع على اليهود والنصارى مثلها بكفرهم وذنوبهم فيدخلهم النار بأعمالهم لا بذنوب المسلمين ولا بدمن هذا التأويل لقوله تعالى ولا تزر وازرة وزرأخرى

“Its meaning is that Allah will forgive these sins for the Muslims and will remove it (the burden of sins) from them. And the like of it (i.e. the burden of sins) will be put on the Jews and Christians due to their disbelief and their sins. And they will be made to enter the Hell-Fire because of their own deeds and not for the sins of the Muslims. And this interpretation is expedient due to the word of the Almighty, “And no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another.(Sharah al-Nawawi,.vol.17 p.85)

An erudite scholar of our day, Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, elaborates on this in much simpler wording;

ليس معناه أن اليهود والنصارى يحملون من الذنوب ما ارتكبها المسلمون، لأن ذالك مخالف لصريح قوله تعالى: (وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى) بل مراد أن اليهود والنصارى يوضع عليهم ذنوبهم، فى حين المسلمين المذكورين لا يوضع عليهم ذنوبهم، بل يغفرلهم

“It does not mean that Jews and Christians will bear the sins that are committed by the Muslims for it goes against the clear word of Allah, “And no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another” [6:164]. The meaning in fact is that the Jews and Christians will bear the burden of their own sins while the Muslims will not bear any sins rather Allah will forgive their sins for them.”

Continuing his comment on the words “He would place it on the Jews and the Christians he hits the bull’s eye and writes;

فضمير المؤنث فى (يَضَعُهَا) راجع إلى جنس الذنوب، لا إلى آحادها التى ارتَكبها المسلمون

“So the subject "it" here is pointing to 'sins' in general and not the specific sins committed by the Muslims.”
(Takmila Fath al-Mulhim, Dar Ehia al-Tourath al-Arabi, Beirut 2006 vol.6 p.32)

In the light of the above scholarly exegesis the correct translation of the Hadith is;

Abu Burda reported the Prophet –may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- as saying: “There would come some people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with sins as heavy as mountains, and Allah would forgive them. However, He would place it (i.e. burden of sins) on the Jews and the Christians (unlike Muslims their sins will not be forgiven).” (Sahih Muslim)

Narration 4:

There is yet another narration that Sam refers to. It is from al-Hakim’s al-Mustadrak. This is how he puts it on his page;

Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups. One sort will enter Paradise without rendering an account (of their deeds). Another sort will be reckoned an easy account and admitted into Paradise. Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians: then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.

(This Hadith IS SOUND and mentioned in Mustadrak of Hakim). (110 Hadith Qudsi (Sacred Hadith), translated by Syed Masood-ul-Hasan, revision and commentaries by Ibrahim m. Kunna [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors], pp. 19-20; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Following is the original wording in the Arabic language.

عن أبي موسى، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " تحشر هذه الأمة على ثلاثة أصناف: صنف يدخلون الجنة بغير حساب، وصنف يحاسبون حسابا يسيرا ثم يدخلون الجنة، وصنف يجيئون على ظهورهم أمثال الجبال الراسيات ذنوبا، فيسأل الله عنهم وهوأعلم بهم فيقول: ما هؤلاء؟ فيقولون: هؤلاء عبيد من عبادك فيقول: حطوها عنهم واجعلوها على اليهود والنصارى وأدخلوهم برحمتي الجنة

The sentence that is most important here is;

فيقول: حطوها عنهم واجعلوها على اليهود والنصارى وأدخلوهم برحمتي الجنة

The translation reproduced by Sam puts it as;

“He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians: then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.”

Now this is definitely a grossly mistaken translation. There is nothing in the Arabic text to suggest “put the SAME.” This Hadith means exactly the same as Narration 3. And the scholarly comments given under that equally apply to this narration.

Therefore, the correct translation of the relevant last part of the narration is;

“He will say: Unload the (burden of) sins from them. (However) put it on the Jews and Christians. And let them (the humble servants) enter Paradise by My Mercy.”
(Mustadrak al-Hakim Hadith 193, vol.1 p.126)

The last part of the narration that about humble servants of Allah to be made to enter Paradise by the MERCY of Allah is also suggestive of the fact that their sins will be obliterated and not shifted on to someone else.

Conclusion:

The meaning s of Narrations 3 and 4 need no further elaboration. As to Narrations 1 & 2 another point adds much weight to the explanation given above. According to Qur’an and Sunnah the Jews and Christians, if the die like that, are actually destined to enter Hell anyway. It makes it very clear that they cannot “replace” Muslims in Hell or be a “ransom” as such.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah -may peace be upon him- observed: “By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.”
(Sahih Muslim :: Book 1 : Hadith 284)

They will not enter Hell “in place of” Muslims but will occupy their place. In other words the difference is about “in their place” and “at their place.”

Islam’s ideal is very categorically stated in the Qur’an:

وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى

“And no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another” (Qur’an 6:164)

Acknowledgement: Sister Rabbaniyah’s  (Cairo, Egypt) help was imperative in bringing up the translation of the commentary notes from the works of great scholars. May Allah reward her!

Indeed Allah knows the best!


[1] From now onwards I will use the hadith numbering in vogue online for the hadith collections translated into English

Monday, April 9, 2012

Youth Issues _ Who Do You Love

Youth Issues - Muslim youth in the 21st century is a hot topic for both parents and their children. Societal pressure is changing the future of our nation. Gabriel K. AbdulRahman AlRomaani discusses some of the most controversial topics that Muslims themselves want to burry instead of dealing with when it comes to youth. Youth Issues is simple, comprehensive, fun and guaranteed to touch upon some of the issues that you yourself are facing as a Muslim youth.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I love the Quran HD.m4v

I love Tawheed New Muslims HD.m4v

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wesley PHD ? Scholar or Liar?


By Gabriel K. AbdulRahman AlRomaani 
pastedGraphic.pdfHis Theology
It’s no secret that Wesley is NOI till the bone.  His theology as he states on his PHD dissertation is as follows: This dissertation argues that as a member of the Semitic religions Islam too possessed a tradition of transcendent anthropomorphism, theophany and visio Dei, which tradition likely originated with the Prophet Muhammad. When read in the context of possible Biblical and ancient Near Eastern narrative/mythological subtexts, rather than affirming divine invisibility the relevant Qur'ānic passages seem to qualify divine visibility and theophany.
It’s All Black 
Wesley does not only claim that Islam as a member
 of Semitic religions (I like his choice of words, as it reflects how Muslim he is) possesses a tradition of transcendent anthropomorphism (an attribution of human form to a Allah), but he also claims that this human-god that he has concocted just like others before him, is black.  Such informations and claims are widely available on his sites, his blogs and in his books.  But this paper is not about his theology.  We have dealt with it in our previous two articles which have exposed his weak scholarship as well as his fake and deviant theology.  This paper is about his scholarship.  Wesley wrote an article trying to poison the well ahead of what was to be his humiliation.  Tarik Berry (a close associate of Wesley) as we will see later, has complained extensively about Waqar and I not answering their ridiculous claims faster.  Faster, for Wesley and Tarik means to do a poor job such as they are accustomed to doing.  However we took our time and it paid off.  In his article
, Wesley is trying to attack our credentials, saying that Waqar and I are just rookies and flaunting himself as a real scholar who has interacted with Arabic texts for many years. His interaction with Arabic texts will become evident soon.  But before that, we need to realize and understand that true scholarship in the history of Islam was never based on someone’s CV (resume) rather it was based on their ability and their knowledge.  Wesley’s PHD research skills take him as far as hopping on google and typing our names and cutting and pasting what he found. He really hit a big one there, didn’t he?  PHD might stand for something else in the case of Wesley, but this just goes to show what we said above - his degree is nothing but a piece of paper.  If someone tries to poison the well by using shaikh google research, it goes to show that his skills are limited to premature and haphazard conclusions, much like the ones he did when he choose the theology of NOI.  
Tarik and Wesley (different paths same destination) 
Wesley insists that Tarik and him have differences on certain principles (theology mainly), and we accept that.  However, in one of my initials posts on islamdunktv.com I accused Tarik Berry of helping Wesley in his deviation. He denied categorically and self righteously told me to fear God, and to swear that I know for a fact that he is helping Wesley. I apologized as I love to give the benefit of the doubt, however after a few days I discovered Wesley’s articles in which he thanks someone for the significant contribution that he has done in helping Wesley.  Does anyone want to guess who is Wesley thanking?  That’s right it is Tarik.  Wesley says that Tarik and another colleague of his (Wesley’s) have been documenting with impeachable sources the Africoid/black context of ethnic Arab peoples in general and the Prophet Muhammad in particular. 
  In another article Wesley says I would like to thank Dana Marniche and Tariq Berry for their invaluable feedback and material contributions to this paper.
In a post on my site, Tarik has been caught lying a few times, specifically pertaining to this point.  First he said that he does not help Wesley, second he said that he never claimed that Muhammad was black.  He said:
You know very well that I never said that the Prophet (SAWS) was black-skinned (like the people in the links above are). And you know very well that I told you that when the Arabs of the past called a person abyad (white), they meant a color that is considered black today.
  Wesley seems to be of a different opinion, as it seems that him and Tarik have been documenting with impeccable resources none other than BLACK MUHAMMAD.
pastedGraphic_2.pdfpastedGraphic_1.pdfTarik provides us with a picture of what he means by black (which according to him it’s not like prophet Muhammad). Both Waqar and I knew from the beginning that both Tarik and Wesley are playing with words and word meanings, but we did not expect it to reach this point.  Let’s say we understand that Wesley and Tarik have different theology (even though Tarik is helping Wesley spread his), what we don’t understand is who do they think they are trying to fool?  Here is a picture of what Wesley thinks black means .  And if the first picture is too white for Tarik, Wesley provides us with a second picture that is black enough.  
pastedGraphic_3.pdfSo it is without a doubt that Tarik is a working with Wesley, unless both of them are crazy and have not realized that yet.
Wesley and his interactions with Arabic texts 
On his black arabia blog, Wesley makes the following statement in an article aimed at discrediting Waqar and I: 
pastedGraphic_4.pdf“You see Shaka, Waqar is an amateur in Arabic. He only moonlights as an ‘Islamic scholar’, for he has no official training in that either. On the other hand, I have a doctorate in Islamic Studies. I was trained in Classical Arabic, Modern Hebrew, German, French, and English. I began formal training in Arabic in 1999. I was reading Classical Arabic texts independently since 2002-2003.  So this is the situation: Shaka privileges the translation of an amateur in Arabic and Islamic Studies who is committed to preserving the White Supremacy in Islam against the translation of a professional and peer-reviewed Islamic scholar with formal training in Arabic, who happens to be his Black brother and helper in the intellectual fight against global White Supremacy”.
  
pastedGraphic_5.pdfWesley’s problem is that intellectualism has gotten ahead of him and forgot that pride can backlash in the sigh of Allah.  He boasts himself with a PHD in Islamic Studies which as we will see below has caused him to make a kindergarden mistake:“Now, my mistranslation of this section was far less conspiratorial than Cheema and Keresztes would like to convince the world, which is why I can admit my mistake. My mistranslation was occasioned by a simple fact:in the phrase َسَواِدالِّتكُرور I simply could not findالِّتكُرور al-takrūr (un voweled in my text) in my lexicons and did the best I could with it
, but misreading this word caused a domino effect that caused me to mistranslate that whole sentence. Everyone who has struggled with a Classical Arabic text with an obscure word knows how this can happen.”
    We understand you are struggling, and thank you for admitting it.  
Wesley is not only a poor liar but at the same time he is a deceiver who cannot hold a straight discourse.  He changes his mind from paper to paper.  We have seen in his bashing article that he boasted of having training with Classical Arabic texts, however we saw him committing an elementary mistake which he admits by saying he could not find the word al-takrur un voweled in his texts.  Wesley: guess what?  Classical texts as you might know are un voweled and anyone with such formal training and resources as yours should have been able to deal with it, isn’t it?  You have more than 10 years of training.  Shame on you.  The least a scholar of your caliber could do is ask someone who knows, but of course you forgot what Allah teaches us: 
“Then ask those who possess the Message (Ahl adh-Dhikr) if you do not know.”
pastedGraphic_6.pdfA single word mistranslated or obscured should not cause a domino effect in the translation, not if Wesley knows how to translate the rest of the words.  It could be that Wesley is not really who he says he is, and does not really possess the skills that he brags about.  Yes I am sure he has a PHD as I have a copy of his dissertation, but a PHD can be obtained by almost anyone.  One can only wonder what else has Wesley mistranslated, and one can see that Wesley’s domino effects are present in most if not all of his articles.  Actually his whole work, and his whole theology is a mistake which caused a domino effect for Wesley and other people who have left THE TRUE ISLAM. Long have gone the days of ISNADS and traditional knowledge that was passed on and inherited from scholar to scholar back to the companions and to prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.  Waqar and I never claimed that we are scholars, as Allah knows we would be lying.  But one thing is for sure, that we are seeking knowledge in a traditional way with qualified people who have inherited knowledge from prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and not from Michigan Automotive Capital of the World, where Wesley wrote the Book of God trying to prove that the black man is god.  Above is a picture of his book which people buy and support, fueling this so called scholar to continue his work and misguide the African American Muslim community in the US and other.  Now any Muslim with an ounce of brain and common sense would stop at reading the title of such a book, but common sense is not so common anymore. 
Wesley claimed he was a scholar, but proof showed otherwise.  So who looks like a fool?  Even if Wesley does not feel like a fool after being exposed, he certainly looks like a fool.  
Conclusion
Today we live in the days of pseudo scholars who try to put others down in order to make themselves look tall, but Allah exposes them and puts them lower than they can ever imagine.  Don’t they know that Allah is watching them?
“Do they not know that Allah is seeing?”
pastedGraphic_7.pdfWesley and his associates are not only trying to prove that Muhammad was black, but they are trying to prove that God was black.  The world is not split enough on the basis of social classes man made religions and philosophies, now it has become split on the color of God as if God has a color, or as if God is a black man or white man or any other color man for that matter.  Islam is very clear on both the issue of color as well as the issue of God:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)”.
and 
“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.”
Some of the things that I have said in this paper might be harsh but a person like Wesley deserves it.  Not only does he have the audacity to claim such blasphemous theology, but he invites people to it, he makes a living out of it, and worst of all he believes it.  It is beyond the shadow of a doubt that Wesley has twisted and continues to twist the Quran, the Sunnah and Arabic language in order to maintain his pseudo scholar status.  
“And do not argue with the followers of earlier revelation otherwise than in a most kindly manner - EXCEPT it be such of them as are bent on evildoing...”

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