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The entire book has been refuted here:

Use whatever you like from it without any restriction.

There is a theory for which I do not have evidences as of now (a lot of ifs, buts and may be’s) and hence not included in the article above but would like to mention here in comment.

It is possible that Prophet Eisa -peace be upon him- was born differently from inside and hence there was no possibility for Satan to enter him. The possible proof is that Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- went to heaven in a physical body and before that he underwent an open heart surgery by the angels [Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 314]. Prophet Eisa -peace be upon him- also went to heaven in a physical body and so it could be possible that he was already born with the internal system that Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- had obtained after the operation. Allah knows best.

The Hadith under discussion is as follows:

قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏"‏ مَا مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ مَوْلُودٌ إِلاَّ يَمَسُّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ حِينَ يُولَدُ، فَيَسْتَهِلُّ صَارِخًا مِنْ مَسِّ الشَّيْطَانِ، غَيْرَ مَرْيَمَ وَابْنِهَا ‏"‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ ‏{‏وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ ‏}

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (Qur’an 3.36)

This Hadith has been posted and a number of questions have been asked pertaining to it.

1. Do you think there is no medical reason for why the newborns cry? According to medical science a new born baby has to cry otherwise brain will not get oxygen immediately and this can bring serious complications later. When the baby is in the womb it doesn’t breath through the nose but by umbilical cord, so when it comes out there is no oxygen going in through the nose since the baby doesn’t know how to breath so the nurse will hit their tiny buttocks and they will respond to the pain will a yell which automatically opens the nose and the lungs start pumping oxygen.  In some cases, babies born at home, into a quiet, warm environment (especially during water birth) sometimes do not cry and no complications may happen in those circumstances. Babies need to be monitored only under such circumstances.   Therefore, there is pure science involved for babies crying. It is not Satan’s touch that makes them cry.

There is no reason why the medical reason and the touch of Satan cannot go hand in hand. Let’s say, if someone says that Allah causes rain and another person says that evaporation and the whole procedure related to it causes rain, we cannot say that only one of them is correct; both would be correct in saying so. Allah causes rain and evaporation is the procedure by which it happens.

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَجْرِي مِنِ ابْنِ آدَمَ مَبْلَغَ الدَّمِ

Satan runs in the body of Adam's son (i.e. man) as his blood circulates in it.

Satan's touching is an unseen event. We know that he resides in son of Adam like blood yet we cannot see it or feel it. However, we don't know when Satan enters the human body. It could either be at time of birth or while the child is still in the womb or later on. Since it is from the unseen, speculating won't be helpful. There is another Hadith that provides us with further understanding of Satan.

إِذَا اسْتَيْقَظَ ـ أُرَاهُ ـ أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ مَنَامِهِ فَتَوَضَّأَ فَلْيَسْتَنْثِرْ ثَلاَثًا، فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَبِيتُ عَلَى خَيْشُومِهِ

"If anyone of you rouses from sleep and performs the ablution, he should wash his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out thrice, because Satan has stayed in the upper part of his nose all the night."

Some people attempt to ridicule this Hadith. However, that is not our concern in this paper. If they find problems in accepting that Satan is an ugly creature and that his deeds are ugly as well, then they would not attempt to defend Satan by mocking such narrations.

Satan's touch (or his initial entry into the human possibly through the nose) while the child enters the world, could cause the medical conditions mentioned. For someone to find the Hadith to be against science, they would have to have seen Satan in person and convince others that Satan is not how he has been defined by Allah and His Messenger –peace be upon him.

The second question asked relating to the Hadith is as follows:

2. There are some babies that do not cry at the time of birth. Will they come under the category of Mary and Jesus? i.e, They do not cry, is it because of Satan not touching them?

The Hadith states that a baby that cries is due to the touch of Satan. It does not say that Satan's touch always causes a cry. There is a big difference in both! A child cries when it falls down while playing. However, this does not mean that all children will cry when they fall down; some don't.

Another question pertaining to the Hadith is as follows:

3. Why Mary and Jesus alone were exempted from Satan’s touching and (most probably did not cry)? This question is important, because, as per the hadith, even prophet Ibrahim was not excluded from Satan's touching. And why Mary and Jesus alone?  Don't you think this hadith makes discrimination among different prophets?

The reason why Maryam –peace be upon her- was not touched by Satan is because she was dedicated by her mother to the service of Allah. Her purpose in life was to stay away from worldly activities and only dedicate herself to the worship of Allah and hence Allah kept her away from Satan. Here is what her mother had said when she conceived her:

اذ قالت امراة عمران رب اني نذرت لك مافي بطني محررا فتقبل مني انك انت السميع العليم

When the wife of ‘Imran said, "My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing."

Prophet Eisa –peace be upon him- was not touched by Satan because the Qur'an explicitly says so.

فلما وضعتها قالت رب اني وضعتها انثى والله اعلم بما وضعت وليس الذكر كالانثى واني سميتها مريم واني اعيذها بك وذريتها من الشيطان الرجيم

But when she delivered her, she said, "My Lord, I have delivered a female." And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, "And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Maryam, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah]."

The prayer was answered. The Hadith of Satan not touching them is quoted in the commentary of this verse by Ibn Kathir as well.

As to the discrimination argument, there is none because all messengers of Allah were out of the reach of Satan’s influence in their life. Since all messengers of Allah were not able to be influenced by Satan in their lives, Prophet Eisa and Maryam –peace be upon them- would have been protected by Allah from Satan even if the prayer was not made. However, since the prayer was made, the additional protection was provided to them and that was the touch of Satan at the time of birth.

On a side note, one must not question such issues and points related to discrimination between prophets because they were all messengers of Allah. Prophets were given features, qualities and miracles by Allah and hence to say that one messenger received such and such a miracle while the other received such and such and hence this messenger has been discriminated against.

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad –peace be upon him- mentioned that his companion Satan became a believer. We are not told whether the same happened with any other messenger as well. Asking unnecessary questions at unnecessary places and occasions leads to confusions and doubts. Since the Messenger of Allah –peace be upon him- is not with us any more to answer the questions directly, we must remain content with what has been told to us and such areas not told to us should not be speculated upon.

Another question asked is as follows:

4. Don’t you think this hadith contradicts another ahaadith reported by both Bukhari and Muslim wherein the prophet said that each and every child is born in a state of Fitrah?

The child is still born on Fitrah. This question indicates a lack of understanding of the term ‘Fitrah’. Satan's touch does not convert the child towards a false or a corrupted religion, neither does it force the child towards the worship of a false deity or any other deviated belief. The Hadith that has been spoken of in this question itself clarifies this, if read in full.

مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ إِلاَّ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ، كَمَا تُنْتَجُ الْبَهِيمَةُ بَهِيمَةً جَمْعَاءَ، هَلْ تُحِسُّونَ فِيهَا مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ

"No child is born except on Al-Fitrah (Islam) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?"

Lastly, it has been asked whether making du’a (prayer), as mentioned in another Hadith, can prevent from the touch of Satan.

5. You quoted a hadith from Volume 1, Book 4, Number 143: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas, in which prophet said “If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said 'In the name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e. the coming offspring) from Satan, and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm that offspring. "My question is this:  Are you saying that babies born in the above circumstances won’t cry?

The question would not have been asked if the Hadith had been read properly. The du’a made by the parent is for the parents as well. Since the parent makes du’a for protection from Satan, who has already been touched by Satan at his own birth, how can one assume that the protection of the child from Satan means protection from his touch at the time of birth? Harm caused by Satan is not only limited to touching at the time of birth. Satan not being able to harm him speaks of a bigger context i.e. Satan would not be able to cause him problems in life that may turn him away from the true faith.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

[1] Saheeh Bukhari, Book 60, Hadith 102
[2] Saheeh Bukhari ,Book 78, Hadith 243
[3] Saheeh Bukhari, Book 59, Hadith 104
[4] Qur’an 3:35
[5] Qur’an 3:36

Rebuttals & Polemics / The Hadith of Shaytaan passing wind explained
« on: February 23, 2014, 11:08:24 AM »
Many Muslims have become victims of the bombardment of the enemies of Islam with allegations and attacks. One such is a narration of Prophet Muhammad –may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- as follows:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلاَةِ أَدْبَرَ الشَّيْطَانُ وَلَهُ ضُرَاطٌ حَتَّى لاَ يَسْمَعَ التَّأْذِينَ، فَإِذَا قَضَى النِّدَاءَ أَقْبَلَ، حَتَّى إِذَا ثُوِّبَ بِالصَّلاَةِ أَدْبَرَ، حَتَّى إِذَا قَضَى التَّثْوِيبَ أَقْبَلَ حَتَّى يَخْطُرَ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَنَفْسِهِ، يَقُولُ اذْكُرْ كَذَا، اذْكُرْ كَذَا‏.‏ لِمَا لَمْ يَكُنْ يَذْكُرُ، حَتَّى يَظَلَّ الرَّجُلُ لاَ يَدْرِي كَمْ صَلَّى ‏"‏‏

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "When the Adhan is pronounced Satan takes to his heels and passes wind with noise (ضرط) during his flight in order not to hear the Adhan. When the Adhan is completed he comes back and again takes to his heels when the Iqama is pronounced and after its completion he returns again till he whispers into the heart of the person (to divert his attention from his prayer) and makes him remember things which he does not recall to his mind before the prayer and that causes him to forget how much he has prayed."[1]

عَنْ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ "‏ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ إِذَا سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ بِالصَّلاَةِ ذَهَبَ حَتَّى يَكُونَ مَكَانَ الرَّوْحَاءِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ سُلَيْمَانُ فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنِ الرَّوْحَاءِ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ هِيَ مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ سِتَّةٌ وَثَلاَثُونَ مِيلاً

Abu Sufyan reported it on the authority of Jabir that he had heard the Apostle of Allah say: "When Satan hears the call to prayer, he runs away to a distance like that of Rauha". Sulaiman said: "I asked him about Rauha." He replied, "It is at a distance of 36 miles from Medina."[2]

The Arabic word for breaking the wind is not limited to releasing stomach gas

The Arabic word ‘ضرط (dart)’ needs to be understood properly. It carries the meaning of passing or breaking the wind but this is not the only meaning. It also means to let slip which can be stomach gas but not necessarily so.

Other meanings of the Arabic word ‘ضرط’ are ‘to ease’ or ‘shortage’ or ‘to release/escape’ and hence shortage of hair is also called ‘ضرط’ where hair is ‘released’ from the head or ‘reduced’. Therefore, it could be said for a balding man that his hair is escaping him. A person who has light beard is called ‘اضرط’ (Adraat). A woman with light eyebrows is called ‘ضرطاء’ (Dartaa); all different forms of the same verb ‘ضرط’.[3]

Even though it is weak, there is a saying of Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that proves that the word is not exclusive to passing the wind i.e. stomach gas. The sentence, at the least, proves that the usage of the word in the past was not restricted to the one being alleged and made fun of by enemies of Islam.

إنه دخل بيت المال فاضرط به أي استخف به و سخر منه

He entered the state treasury and got angry with him and despised him and ridiculed him.

Here the meaning of the word ‘ضرط’ is ‘to treat with contempt’, ‘to disapprove of something’.

How have the scholars understood these narrations?

1. First group of scholars understand the narrations on face value, even though they admit that the word ‘ضرط’ is not restricted to the release of wind from the stomach. Hafiz Ibn Hajar carries this view. He states the different views and prefers the literal approach.

Furthermore, in support of this view, it can be stated that since shaytaan is made from fire, he does not have the same body as humans and does not have the same characteristics as humans and does not go through the same physical conditions as human beings go through. Therefore, if he has the ability to release stomach gas at will, it should not be a surprise as details of his physical features, attributes and qualities are unknown. However, Hafiz Ibn Hajr states that it is the level of fear of shaytaan that results in him releasing wind while running away.

Interpreting these narrations literally should not be a problem to anyone. Since the shaytaan is an enemy of Islam and promotes everything that Islam prohibits and encourages vile and disgusting behavior, it should not be a surprise if he acts this way literally while hearing the Adhan. Making fun of these narrations is actually defending the shaytaan from being a filthy creature. Any believer would readily accept that the enemy of Allah is indeed hideous and anyone defending shaytaan from being hideous requires serious and urgent help.

Imam Qurtubi is also of the opinion that such narrations of shaytaan releasing stomach gas are to be understood as literal since it is proven that shayateen eat and drink, urinate, marry etc.

2. Second group of scholars have stated that this was an Arabic figurative way of saying that shaytaan runs away in a disgusted fashion. For example in English, if one say that he went away with his ‘tail between his legs’, a literal tail is not intended, rather the meaning is that the person went away frightened, defeated or as a coward.

Arabic-English Lexicon approves of this as well[4]. On page 1786 of the dictionary under the definition of ‘ضرط’ we find the following:

It is explicitly mentioned that these are proverbs. It is taken as a figure of speech and not in literal sense. The approach of the second group of scholars is well founded and strong as well.

3. Third group of scholars also state that ‘ضرط’ is not restricted to releasing stomach gas and has other meanings and they use other meanings in these narrations. They state that ‘ضرط’ in these narrations means ‘to go away angrily’ (as evidenced from the narration from Ali – may Allah be pleased with him) and hence when shaytaan hears the Adhan, he takes to his heels and escapes away angrily. Among modern scholars, Sheikh Maududi has stated this opinion, however, he considers the second opinion as equally strong.


Such narrations are very much logical and there is nothing in it for Muslims to deny or twist. Muslims who have been affected by the bombardment of anti-Islamic claims should keep the following verse of the Qur’an in mind:

ماضل صاحبكم وماغوى - وماينطق عن الهوى - ان هو الا وحي يوحى

Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.[5]

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, book 11, Hadith no. 582
[2] Sahih Muslim, book 4, Hadith no. 751
[3] Different forms of ‘ضرط’
[4] Arabic-English Lexicon by Edward William Lane (London: Willams & Norgate 1863)
[5] Qur’an 53:2-4

There is a saying of Prophet Muhammad –may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- that is alleged to contradict science and logic.

في الحبة السوداء شفاء من كل داء، إلا السام

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “There is healing in black cumin for all diseases except death.[1]“

There are two aspects to the narration. The first aspect is linguistic and the other being scientific. It must be understood what the Hadith actually means linguistically. When it is said that black cumin has cure for all diseases except death, one would naturally ask the question whether death is a disease or not. Death is not a disease and hence the statement itself is clear that it is not to be read and understood literally but rather as a figure of speech. This figure of speech lays down the immense importance of the black cumin.

Another important point here is the understanding of all when the diseases are mentioned. The Arabic language has a rule known as taqleeb (تقليب) which states that whenever a majority is addressed, relevant words related to them are used which automatically include the minority not directly addressed. Hence, if the Hadith states that black cumin has cure for all diseases, it applies the rule of taqleeb.

Moreover, something carrying healing does not necessarily mean that it would ‘itself’ provide healing. If, for example, acetaminophen is an ingredient in many of the medicines, it does not mean that consuming it would provide one with healing. Dr. Zaghlool el-Naggar states regarding the Hadith:

This Prophetic hadith has urged many Muslim scholars and physicians throughout the ages to carry out research about the possibility of making use of this blessed seed in the treatment of some diseases, as the word ‘heal’, is mentioned in these Ahadith (sayings of the Prophet) in an indefinite form . Some scholars assert that it is not meant to heal any disease (on its own) and that the expected percentage of cure varies according to the type of disease and its intensity.

It is interesting to note that black cumin contains ‘nigellone’ which is used in the treatment of several diseases, most common of them being respiratory diseases.

Prophet Muhammad –may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- had stated this fact about the cumin seed a long time back and the guidance provided is for mankind for all times.

The scholars have explained the Hadith as follows:

قال النووي في شرح صحيح مسلم: “وقد ذكر الخطابي في الكلام على السنن أن هذا من العام المراد به الخصوص؛ إذ لا يجتمع في طبيعة نبات واحد يجمع القوى التي تتقاوم الطبائع فيها من معالجة الأدواء على اختلافها وتقابل طبائعها، وإنما أراد أنه شفاء من كل داء يحدث من كل البرودة والرطوبة والبلغم

Imam an-Nawawi in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim said: Al-Khattabi in his Sunan mentioned that the rhetorical device of speaking in general terms, yet intending by it a specific thing, is being utilized here. There is not a single type of plant, which contains the cure for a disease and a cure for another disease which requires the opposite of that which is present in the same plant. Rather, what he intended is that it’s a healing from every disease which occurs from every cold, humidity and expectoration.[2]

قال أبو بكر بن العربي: العسل عند الأطباء أقرب إلى أن يكون دواء من كل داء من الحبة السوداء، ومع ذلك فإن من الأمراض ما لو شرب صاحبه العسل لتأذى به، فإن كان المراد بقوله في العسل” فيه شفاء للناس” الأكثر الأغلب فحمل الحبة السوداء على ذلك أولى. وقال غيره: كان النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يصف الدواء بحسب ما يشاهده من حال المريض، فلعل قوله في الحبة السوداء وافق مرض من مزاجه بارد، فيكون معنى قوله «شفاء من كل داء»؛ أي: من هذا الجنس الذي وقع القول فيه، والتخصيص بالحيثية كثير وشائع”

Abu Bakr Ibn al-’ Arabi said: Honey according to the doctors is more worthy of being considered a healing for every disease than the black cumin, nevertheless there are still certain diseases which would worsen if the patient were to drink the honey. If in His saying “in it there is healing for people” [16:69] we understand that this refers to the majority of the cases, then restricting the Hadith of the black cumin to this as well would be even more suitable. Others have said: The Prophet – peace be upon him – used to prescribe medicine in accordance with what he observed from the state of the patient. It’s possible that his statement regarding the black cumin corresponded to diseases resulting from a cold, hence the meaning of his statement “healing for all diseases” entails it being in reference to this specific nature and type of disease (i.e. related to cold). Specification of general statements in accordance with the viewpoint and perspective of the speaker is very common.[3]

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 7, book 71, no. 592

[2] Commentary on Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawwawi

[3] Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani’s commentary of Sahih Bukhari, Fath al-Bari

Rebuttals & Polemics / Why is soiling oneself with urine a big sin?
« on: January 04, 2014, 12:05:03 PM »
It is argued that the Islam’s stance on soiling oneself with urine is absurd and that it is unfair to one with a disease or one who cannot control his urination.[1]

The Hadith under discussion is as follows:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of the punishment of the grave will be because of urine.[2]

Another Hadith is as follows:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Once the Prophet, while passing through one of the grave-yards of Medina or Mecca heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid)." The Prophet then added, "Yes! (they are being tortured for a major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends). The Prophet then asked for a green leaf of a date-palm tree, broke it into two pieces and put one on each grave. On being asked why he had done so, he replied, "I hope that their torture might be lessened, till these get dried."[3]

If one considers the Islamic position on cleanliness, they would find these narrations to be full of wisdom and fine teachings. Prophet Muhammad –may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said:

Cleanliness is half of faith.[4]

Islam has stressed great importance on cleanliness. Above is just one of hundreds of narrations on cleanliness. The Qur’an is also clear in its position on cleanliness:

Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves Mutatahhireen (those who purify themselves, those who keep themselves clean).[5]

There are plenty of other verses with the same message. Instead of appreciating this teaching of Islam, finding faults in it portrays an unclean mind.

Explaining the importance of cleanliness, Ibn Nujaym al-Misri (d. 970 AH) states:

وفي معراج الدراية وجه مناسبة عذاب القبر مع ترك استنزاه البول هو أن القبر أول منزلة من منازل الآخرة والاستنزاه أول منزل من منازل الطهارة والصلاة أول ما يحاسب به المرء يوم القيامة فكانت الطهارة أول ما يعذب بتركها في أول منزل من منازل الآخرة
In Mi'raj ad-Dirayah [of al-Kaaki (d. 749 AH)] it is stated that relation of punishment in grave with not keeping oneself from defiling by urine is that grave is the first of the stations of Hereafter and keeping oneself from defilement is the first step of purification and prayers (salah) which is the first thing a person will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment. Therefore, purity is first thing leaving which a person will be questioned at the first of the stations of Hereafter.[6]

Moreover, urine is a strong medium of transmission of diseases and one need not be a specialist in the field of biology to know this basic fact. Therefore, if one does not find the Islamic teaching of prevention from urine to be a good teaching, then they must rethink their approach to life.

The Qur’an orders the believers to refrain from following the footsteps of the devil.[7] Since one step leads to another, it is best to stop before the first step. Realizing the importance of prevention from sprinkling urine on oneself leads one towards the path of cleanliness and prevents from several diseases.

One may still argue that this teaching of Islam is harsh towards those with medical conditions. This conclusion is reached if other narrations carrying similar message are ignored.

Reported Ali ibn Abi Taalib: “I used to have a great deal of prostatic fluid flowing, so I asked a man to ask the Prophet (may peace be upon him) about it (as I was shy to ask him, due to my relationship with him through his daughter). He asked him and the Prophet (may peace be upon him), said, "Make ablution and wash your male organ."[8]

Al-Athram narrated, "I was bothered by a great deal of prostatic fluid, so I went to the Prophet (may peace be upon him), and informed him of this. He (may peace be upon him) said 'It is sufficient for you to take a handful of water and sprinkle it over."'

The statements of the Prophet (may peace be upon him) are clear in denoting that someone carrying a medical condition is exempt from the apparently strict ruling. Moreover Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, while commenting on Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, book 4, hadith no. 215 states:

“Most of the punishment of the grave is because of urine.” What it means is to avoid urine and be careful about it. ‘… so that drops of urine will not splash back on him’.

This applies to both men and women: they should pay attention to this matter. Urine should be in a place where it will not splash back on one. If some of that gets onto the thigh or foot, one should pour water on it and wash the place where it touched, so as get rid of the urine.

If the surface is soft or the individual makes sure that his urine lands in the toilet where it will be washed away when flushing, so that nothing will splash back onto him, that is sufficient.

However, avoiding urine and being careful about it is good. If it so happens that the urine hits the edge of the toilet and splashes back on the thigh or calf, then both men and women have to wash it off in that case.[9]
Moreover, the scholars have also clarified that those with medical conditions have certain exemptions. Islam encourages cleanliness and is not unfair towards those who have medical conditions. The teachings of Islam are practical and Allah does not hold to account people for things that are out of their control.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

[1] Anti-Islamic claim

[2] Ibn Majah No. 342, see also Saheeh al-Jaami’ No. 1202

[3] Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, book 4, hadith no. 215

[4] Sahih Muslim, book 2, hadith no. 432

[5] Qur’an 2:222

[6] Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr ar-Ra’iq Sharh ad-Daqa’iq, (Cairo: Dar al-Kitan al-Islami, n.d.) Vol. 1, 120)

[7] Qur’an 2:168, 208, 6:142, 24:21

[8] Sahih Muslim, book 2, hadith no. 572

[9] Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 2/657

Rebuttals & Polemics / The Hadith: Abdomen has told a lie
« on: January 04, 2014, 05:15:05 AM »
It is argued that the following Hadith ignores reality and asks to blindly believe in God even when it apparently contradicts reality.

Narrated Abu Said: A man came to the prophet and said, 'My brother has got loose motions. The Prophet said, Let him drink honey." The man again (came) and said, 'I made him drink (honey) but that made him worse.' The Prophet said, 'Allah has said the Truth, and the abdomen of your brother has told a lie."[1]

Other version has the following addition towards the end.

"Let him drink honey." So he made him drink honey and he was cured.[2]

Mufti Taqi Usmani explaining the phrase in question writes:

"The people of Hijaz use the word "kizb" to mean mistake/error. This is as al-Khattabi has pointed out that they say, "Your hearing has lied" i.e. he has erred and has not understood what was said to him. And in the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

"The stomach of your brother has lied" is an indication that this medicine (in the form of honey) is beneficial for him.

The persistence of disease is not for the ineffectiveness of the medicine rather for the problem with the stomach of your brother that it has a lot of infectious matter and the quantity of the medicine benefits when it according to severity of the disease.

If the disease is severe the use of the medicine for a short duration does not benefit and it requires repetitive and consistent intake.

For this reason the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ordered him to drink honey again."[3]

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Sahih Bukhari, book 71, Hadith no. 614
[2] Sahih Bukhari, book 71, Hadith no. 588
[3] Takmila Fath al-Mulhim, vol. 4, p. 313

Rebuttals & Polemics / Did Aisha (r.a) doubt the prophethood? Part II
« on: January 04, 2014, 04:32:57 AM »
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين

Reality of the narration that insinuates about Aisha (RA) questioning Prophet's prophethood in her outburst.

By now it should not be a surprise to anyone that the major anti-Islamic claims repeated by the tongues of Islamophobic missionaries are actually invented by those who claim to be Muslims. These black sheep have been giving a bad image to the Muslims and their honoured personalities since the time of Prophet Muhammad –may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Some of the lies are attributed to Prophet Muhammad – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – while many have been attributed to his loved ones such as his wives and closest companions. An example of a lie attributed to Prophet Muhammad – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – is that he said, "I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken.” This can be found in al-Tabari 6:111 and requires not more than basic common sense to realise that this is a lie attributed to our beloved prophet. Since all the Muslims and those claiming to be Muslims unanimously agree that this is a lie attributed to Prophet Muhammad – may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – it would be fair to reject any such or similar claim attributed to any of his beloved wives or close friends and companions.

However, this is not the case; a group amongst the Muslims whose religion starts with hate and ends with hate, blindly relies on any similar statement attributed to the Prophet’s wives or companions.

One such statement attributed to lady Ayesha (alternatively spelled as Aisha) – may Allah be pleased with her – is as follows:

And she [Aisha] told him once in an angry speech: You are the one who pretends to be the prophet of God. [The Revival of Religious Sciences, volume 2, page 43. Authored in the 11th or 12th century by Al-Ghazali]

It must be pointed out that these people are simply excited to collect material for their claims; they do not go for quality of the argument and instead seek only a large number of allegations.Before examining the quoted statement, it should be mentioned that Qur’an chapter 24 defends lady Ayesha – may Allah be pleased with her–whereas these people have used it against her.

Narrated Ibn Abi Malaika: 'Aisha used to recite this Verse:-- 'Ida taliqunahu bi-alsinatikum' (24.15) "(As you tell lie with your tongues.)" and used to say "Al-Walaq" means "telling of a lie. "She knew this Verse more than anybody else as it was revealed about her [Sahih Bukhari 59:465].

The verse was definitely revealed about her but it does not state that she used to lie rather mentions the lies of the people attributed to her. Reading the whole 24th chapter of the Qur’an clarifies everything but this claim is so childish and silly that even replying to it feels shameful.

Now coming to the statement attributed to lady Ayesha – May Allah be pleased with her - there are a number of issues with this statement attributed to the pious mother of the believers.

Original source works for the narration:

The narration is reported by Abu Ya’la al-Mosali in his Musnad and Abu al-Shaykh in Kitab al-Amthal fi Hadith al-Nabawi.

The chain of narrators:

In Musnad of Abu Ya’la the chain of narrators goes as;

Al-Hasan bin ‘Umar bin Shafiq bin Asma’ al-Jarmi al-Basri – Salamah bin al-Fazal – Muhammad bin Ishaq – Yahya bin ‘Ibad bin Abdullah bin al-Zubayr – his father – Aisha

In Kitab al-Amthal fi Hadith al-Nabawi the chain is as exactly the same with addition of Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin al-Harith before al-Hasan bin ‘Umar.


The narration is not reliable for following reasons;

1- According to both the sources above mentioned the report is narrated by Ibn Ishaq in an ambiguous way i.e. with ‘an. And he being a mudallis (one known to subtly drop the narrator immediately above him) his report cannot be accepted unless it be with unambiguous way of ascription e.g. haddathana (narrated to us), sam’itu (I heard),akhbarna (informed us).

Hafiz Ibn Hajr has placed him in the fourth category of mudallisin (sing. mudallis) and for this category (as well as the third one) a report has to be through unambiguous way of attribution to be taken as reliable. See, Tabaqat al-Mudallisin, Maktaba al-Manar, Amman, 1983 p.51 No. 125.

In his later work, Ibn Hajr put him in the third category, for which the same condition holds. See Al-Nukat ‘ala Kitab Ibn al-Salah, vol.2 p.642 No. 54.

2- Ibn Ishaq being the solitary narrator i.e. there is no chain for it that does not involve Ibn Ishaq. Solitary reports of Ibn Ishaq are not reliable.

Imam Ahmad was asked about the solitary reports of Ibn Ishaq if they are considered reliable. He said “No!”. See Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Da’ira Ma’arif Nizamia, Hyderabad, 1326 A.H. vol.9 p.43.

3- Weakness of the narrator Salamah bin Fazal

Following scholars have explicitly graded the report as da’if or have pointed to problem that renders it as such.

Imam Al-Ghazali (d. 505 A.H.): “In it is Ibn Ishaq and he narrated with ‘an’nah (i.e. his tadlis is involved)” See Ahya al-Uloom al-Din, Dar al-Ma’rifah, Beirut n.d. vol.2  p.43

Imam Al-Haithmi (d. 807 A.H.): “Abu Ya’la narrated it, it involves Muhammad bin Ishaq (as a narrator) and he is mudallis. And Salamah bin Fazal, he has been deemed reliable by a number of scholars including Ibn Ma’in, Ibn Hibban and Abu Hatim, and a number of scholars have graded him as weak (da’if).” See Majma’ Al-Zawaid wa manba’ al-Fawaid, Maktaba’ al-Qudsi, Cairo, 1994, vol.4 p.322 No. 7694

Imam Al-Boseri (d. 840 A.H.): “Abu Ya’la narrated it with a weak (da’if) chain due to tadlis of Ibn Ishaq.” See Ithaf al-Khira al-Mihra, Dar al-Watan, Riyadh, 1999 vol. 3 pp.154-155 No. 2426

Shaykh Albani (d. 1420 A.H.): “It is weak (da’if)” See Silsala Ahadith Da’ifa, Dar al-Ma’rif, Riyadh, 1992, vol.6 pp.554-555, No. 2985

Shaykh Jamal bin Farhaat Saawali: “Its chain of narrators is weak (da’if) for it has Ibn Ishaq who is mudallisand narrates with ‘an.” See research on Al-Matalib al-‘Aliya, Dar al-‘Asimah, Riyadh, 1998 vol.8. pp.188-189 No. 1599

Dr. Abdul Aliy Abdul Hameed Hamid: “Its chain is weak (da’if).” See research on Kitab al-Amthar fi Hadith al-Nabawi of Abu al-Shaykh, Dar al-Salafiyyah, Bombay, 1987 pp.95-96 No. 56

Shaykh Abu al-Ishaq Al-Heweny: “And this chain is weak (da’if). And Salamah bin al-Fazal has been graded as weak (da’if) by al-Nasai and others.  Al-Bukhari said, ‘There are some rejected reports in his narrations.’ ... Ibn Ishaq is a mudallis and reports with ‘an (i.e. in ambiguous way). Its subject matter has evident problem in the statement of Aisha.  The narration was graded as weak (da’if) by al-Boseri.” See Al-Fatawa al-Hadithia 1/244-245

Possible queries/objections:

Someone may like to point out that Imam al-Haithmi has said after the above mentioned comment that;

Abu al-Shaykh has narrated this report through Usama bin Zayd al-Laithi and hinted that there is no other problem with it except some weakness of Usama.

However this is pointless because the work of Abu al-Shaykh is extant and published and has no other chain for the report except the one discussed above.

Further one may argue that Ibn Hajr has stated that Abu Ya’la narrated the report with a chain having no problem (bi-sanad la ba’sa bihi), the answer is this comment even though coming from a learned scholar cannot stand empirical evidence for the weakness of the report.

Al-Heweni writes further to his above mentioned comment;

“As to al-Hafiz he said in Fath al-Bari (9/325), ‘Its chain has no problem’ but verily we have shown you the problem with it.”


The narration is not proved so objectivity and justice demands to stop the insane rant of lies against the one of the Noblest Ladies ever to have walked this earth. May Allah be pleased with her!

Indeed, Allah knows the best!

Rebuttals & Polemics / Did Aisha (r.a) doubt the prophethood? Part I
« on: January 04, 2014, 04:17:46 AM »

This paper critically examines a claim made by the critics of Islam that Aishah, the wife of Prophet Muhammad, had doubts towards the reality of his prophethood because of her statement to the Prophet, “Your Lord hastens to fulfill your desires.” The context of saying is highlighted as a tool to see its actual implications. And the whole claim is deconstructed through understanding of the key words and Prophet’s conduct on the issue. And in doing all this positive argument is made for the prophethood of the Prophet.

1. Introduction

One of the basic units of thought for as long as humanity has existed is the concept of reason. Reason screams loud and clear at thinkers as soon as the opposite of it is being propelled by ignorant masses as an ultimate discovery. Reason is not a byproduct of being educated; rather it is a litmus paper, separating those who have degrees only, from those who have knowledge. As such, many people who possess degrees have evaded reason, especially in the field of religion. In this paper we will examine a claim that has been made by certain critics against Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, stating that some of his closest followers had doubts towards the reality of his prophethood. One of such people as claimed was Aishah, the wife of the Prophet.

The statement in question goes as follows:

“I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.”

Referring to this statement, people make various assertions like:

Aishah meant to question the idea of revelation and therefore that of her husband’s prophethood.

That she said “Your Lord” and did not say “My Lord” or simply “Lord.” This shows she did not sincerely believe in what her husband preached about God.

She meant to be satirical and suggested that these were “convenient” revelations meant to allow him whatever he wanted.

In the following lines, all these assertions are critically analyzed.

2. The narration, full and explained

The complete text of the narration is:

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها، قالت: «كنت أغار على اللاتي وهبن أنفسهن لرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وأقول أتهب المرأة نفسها؟» فلما أنزل الله تعالى: (ترجئ من تشاء منهن وتؤوي إليك من تشاء ومن ابتغيت ممن عزلت فلا جناح عليك) قلت: ما أرى ربك إلا يسارع في هواك

Narrated Aishah: I used to look down upon those ladies who had given themselves to Allah’s Messenger and I used to say, “Can a lady give herself (to a man)?” But when Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive whom you will. And whomsoever you desire of those whom you have set aside (her turn temporarily) it is no sin on you (to receive her again).” (V.33:51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires (hawa).”[1]

The Prophet and his family lived a very austere life and some hypocrite women tried to stir wrong feelings with the wives of the Prophet, trying to exploit this adversity of situation. At the same time, some believing women, while knowing the conditions in which the Prophet’s family was, wished to be bond in the marital relation with the Prophet and they did so, making a pronouncement that they would even forego their rights if it could turn out to be too much for the Prophet to divide his time. In order to regard such feelings and to upset the hypocrites who attempted to stir troubles in the Prophet’s household, it was made lawful for the Prophet to accept such proposals.

Aishah knew that it was permissible for the Prophet but there was spousal jealousy that made her comment that way.

2.1 Aishah saying “Your Lord” shows she was not even angry with the Prophet

While the uneducated critics suggest that Aishah doubted the idea divine revelation because she said “Your Lord” and not “My Lord” the truth is quite the contrary. In the following report we find her own testimony on the meanings of implications of her referring to the Allah through mention of the Prophet.

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها، قالت: قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إني لأعلم إذا كنت عني راضية، وإذا كنت علي غضبى» قالت: فقلت: من أين تعرف ذلك؟ فقال: ” أما إذا كنت عني راضية، فإنك تقولين: لا ورب محمد، وإذا كنت علي غضبى، قلت: لا ورب إبراهيم ” قالت: قلت: أجل والله يا رسول الله، ما أهجر إلا اسمك

Narrated ‘Aishah that Allah’s Messenger said to her, “I know when you are pleased with me or angry with me.” I said, “Whence do you know that?” He said, “When you are pleased with me, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Muhammad,’ but when you are angry with me, then you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Abraham.’” Thereupon I said, “Yes (you are right), but by Allah, O Allah’s Messenger, I leave nothing but your name.”[2]

It proves far from doubting the revelation Aishah wasn’t even angry. It was nothing more than a characteristic frank comment between spouses imbued with spousal jealousy.

When the Prophet gave Aishah the good news of revelation vindicating her of the calumny, her mother asked her to go to the Prophet and thank him, to which she replied:

لا والله، لا أقوم إليه، ولا أحمد إلا الله

“By Allah, I will not go to him and will not thank (anyone) but Allah.”[3]

On the same note the statement under consideration came from his wife and needs to be viewed in that backdrop only. The blessed Prophet used to be frank and informal with his wives and likewise, they were with him. The simple and only conclusion is that there was certainly no skepticism or disrespect but only blunt frankness and natural spousal jealousy.

2.2 Aishah did not doubt prophethood

The fact that the Prophet did not object or reprimand her for saying what she said is a definite proof that even he understood Aishah did not mean to be skeptical or disrespectful; instead she was just being jealous for him. It is manifestly clear on comparison with the above mentioned hadith about Aishah leaving out the Prophet’s name, for we know when the Prophet genuinely felt that Aishah had some unnatural feelings, he used not to stay silent. At another point, Aishah herself reported that one night while the Prophet was staying with her, he left his bed and went to the Baqi’ graveyard to pray for the deceased and Aishah followed her and when he turned back Aishah ran to her room before him. Upon returning, the Prophet found her breathing heavily as she had followed him with the presumption that he might have gone to another wife. As this act had the suggestion of doubting Prophet’s justice between the wives, he reprimanded her. She herself stated: “He gave me a painful shove on the chest, then he said: ‘Did you think that Allah and His Messenger would be unjust to you?’”[4]

It is therefore unfathomable that the Prophet did not say a word when Aishah had actually meant to be skeptical on so fundamental an issue while he took exception to something far less serious.

2.3 The meaning هوى (hawa)

As stated above, the context of the saying is such that it gives no suggestion the lines the critics tend to read into it; however, to add more on what the actual meaning of the word ‘desire’ is, we will explain below.

The word used is هوى (hawa) which means desire at heart and inclination. It does not always mean whims or mala fide inclinations.

It means carefully considered opinion as well. After the battle of Badr, the blessed Prophet consulted Abu Bakr and ‘Umar about the prisoners. They both gave their suggestions and the Prophet inclined towards Abu Bakr’s opinion. ‘Umar stated this fact in the following words:

فهوي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ما قال أبو بكر، ولم يهو ما قلت

“But the Messenger of Allah inclined (hawiya) towards the view of Abu Bakr, and he did not incline (yahwa) towards what I said.”[5]

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (d. 795 AH) states:

وقد وقع مثل ذلك في الآثار الإسرائيلية كثيرا ، وكلام مشايخ القوم وإشاراتهم نظما ونثرا يكثر في هذا الاستعمال

“With such a connotation of good/innocent inclination, the word has been used in the reports of the People of the Book and also frequently in the poetry and prose of the Pious Predecessors.”[6]

It can even refer to a desire shaped under divine guidance. In the Noble Qur’an, we read:

وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (Noble Qur’an, 28:50)

This tells us that following one’s desires (hawa) is condemnable when it is not guided by Allah whereas following the desires guided by Allah is naturally above any kind of reproof.[7]

3. Did the Prophet benefit from the relaxation in rules?

Finally, the most important thing is to see if the Prophet used the excuse from the regular rules given to him. The verses relate to two specific relaxations for the Prophet:

a) Accepting a woman’s proposal to accept her in marriage without any dower.

b) No obligation to divide his time evenly between his wives.

All the propaganda around the above hadith is answered when we see that the Prophet opted not to benefit from these relaxations.

عن ابن عباس قال لم يكن عند رسول الله صَلَّى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم امرأة وهبت نفسها

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “The Messenger of Allah did not have any wife who offered herself to him.”[8]

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d. 852 AH) classified it as hasan and stated that it means the Prophet did not consummate his marriage with any such woman.[9] The narration that says Maymoonah had offered herself to the Prophet is weak.[10]

Aishah herself testified that the Prophet never discriminated among his wives regarding the distribution of time:

عن عروة ،قال: قالت عائشة: يا ابن أختي كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يفضل بعضنا على بعض في القسم، من مكثه عندنا، وكان قل يوم إلا وهو يطوف علينا جميعا

Narrated ‘Urwah, Aishah said: “O nephew! The Messenger of Allah would not prefer any one of us to another with regards to spending time with us. And hardly a day would go by except that he would visit all of us…”[11]

It is thus abundantly clear that the allegation of “convenient revelations” is out rightly false. In Surah Ahzab, around the verse quoted in the hadith, there are seven rules about marriage peculiar to the Prophet. Four of these granted him relaxations and three put restrictions; and while the Prophet certainly abided by the restrictions, he did not opt to benefit from two of the relaxations.[12]

These facts frustrate all efforts to twist the hadith under consideration to cast doubts upon Islam. Had the idea of ‘convenient revelations’ any basis, there wouldn’t have been any restrictions on the Prophet to the exclusion of the rest of the believers and he wouldn’t have failed to take benefit of every relaxation.

In fact, there is overwhelming evidence for ‘inconvenient revelations’ as well. The prime example is that of change in qibla. According to the soundest opinion, the change in the qibla happened twice.[13] First it was the Ka’bah, then while the Prophet was in Makkah living among the pagans who revered the Ka’bah, he was instructed to make Jerusalem his qibla, which naturally invited more friction from the pagans and later when he wished it to be changed back to Ka’bah he did not turn to it merely on the basis of his own desire, unless he was ordered by Allah to do so.[14] Moreover, more than once he was reprimanded in the verses of Qur’an as in the verse about the blind man[15] and about the marriage with the divorcee of Zayd.[16]

That he was not making up things to make his life easier is established in the facts that he used to fast longer and pray for long hours at night to the point that his feet became swollen. Likewise, he never had anything from charity while he permitted it for his Companions, nor did he leave anything in inheritance for his widows and children. All such ‘inconvenient’ teachings refute any notion of ‘convenient’ revelations.

4. Aishah’s love and fidelity to the Prophet

As a final refutation, we will show categorical proofs of Aishah’s contribution and support of Prophet Muhammad. First and foremost, she was one of the most influential female scholars and one of the greatest first narrators of hadith reports and jurists. Their marriage was an example of love and affection. They used to race for fun, eat from the same plate, joke and nickname. She was his support in times of hardship and his loving companion along the struggles that he faced. When the blessed Prophet was on his deathbed, he chose to spend his last moments in Aishah’s house. He breathed his last breath and was buried in her house. Was this a woman who doubted his prophethood? No sensible person can believe that notion, in the light of evidence as opposed to the darkness of ignorance and ill intentions.

5. Summary and Conclusion

a) It was part of the frank discussion between spouses and included the element of spousal jealousy as well.

b) Aishah’s own testimony about her way of mentioning Allah tells us that she was not even angry with the Prophet when she said “Your Lord,” let alone doubting his prophethood. Moreover, her unwavering love and fidelity to the Prophet afterward also belies any such reading of the hadith.

c) The word used to mean “desires” does not necessarily mean base desires, it is also used for carefully deliberated upon opinion and a wish developing under divine guidance.

d) The Prophet never practiced either of the two exemptions mentioned in the hadith.

e) There are multiple examples of specific rulings and practices that made life difficult for him and his family, which show he had no personal motives or drives in any of these rulings.

It is therefore clear that far from raising any doubts about the Prophet, the hadith actually shows how the Prophet managed a very friendly and frank relation with his wives, despite all the burden of prophethood and that he did not even exercise the special relaxations given to him which dissolves the idea of ‘convenient revelations.’ In fact it even goes on to serve as a proof of his Prophethood.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1]al-Bukhari, as-Sahih, Translated by Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Riyadh: Maktabat Dar-us-Salam, 1997) Hadith 4788

[2]Ibid., Hadith 5228

[3]Ibid., Hadith 2661

[4] Muslim bin Hajjaj, as-Sahih, Translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Riyadh: Maktabat Dar-us-Salam, 2007) Hadith 2256 (103-974)

[5] Ibid., Hadith 4588 (1-1763)

[6]al-Hanbali, Ibn Rajab, Jami’ al-’Uloom wal-Hikam, (Beirut: ar-Risalah Publication, 2001) Vol.2, 399

[7]as-Sindi, ‘Abdul-Hadi, Hashiah ‘ala Sunan an-Nasa’i, (Halab: Matbu’at al-Islamiyya, 1986) Vol.6, 54

[8]at-Tabari, Ibn Jareer, Jami’ al-Bayan fee Ta’weel al-Qur’an, (Beirut: ar-Risalah Publication, 2000) Vol.20, 288

[9]al-Asqalani, Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, (Beirut: Dar al-Ma’rifah, 1367 AH) Vol.8, 526

[10]Ibid., 525. Also, al-Jazri, Ibn Atheer, Usd al-Ghabah fee Ma’rifah as-Sahabah, (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyah, 1994) Vol.7, 262

[11]as-Sajistani, Abu Dawood, as-Sunan, Translated by Yasir Qadhi (Riyadh: Maktabah Dar-us-Salam, 2008) Hadith 2135. Classified as hasan sahih by al-Albani

[12]Shafi’, Muhammad, Ma’arif al-Qur’an, Translated by Muhammad Shamim (Karachi: Maktaba-e-Darul Uloom, n.d.) Vol.7, 191-200

[13]Usmani, Muhammad Taqi, In’am al-Bari, (Karachi: Maktabatul Hira, 2006)  Vol.1, 505-508

[14]Qur’an 2:144

[15]Qur’an 80:1-10

[16] Qur’an 33:37

Rebuttals & Polemics / Six or eight days of creation?
« on: December 31, 2013, 07:10:22 AM »
Even though this is an old topic, there is still some confusion amongst the Muslims. This is mainly due to the word 'thumma'.

It has been alleged that the Qur'an contradicts itself when it comes to stating the number of days taken for the creation of the universe. The verses under discussion are from the 41st chapter of the Qur'an:

9. Say, 'Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals? That is the Lord of the worlds.'

10. And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures'] sustenance in four days without distinction - for [the information] of those who ask.

11. Thumma He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, 'Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.' They said, 'We have come willingly.'

12. And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.

Two days in verse nine, added by four days in verse 10 and two more days in verse 12 would indicate that the total days taken for creation were eight whereas the Qur'an states elsewhere that the universe was created in six days[1].

Apparently one would think that the four days mentioned in 41:10 include the two days mentioned in 41:9. However, when it is mentioned that Allah directed Himself to the heaven, it is also mentioned that He said to the earth to come into being (verse 11). This would mean that the four days in 41:10 do not include the two days of 41:9 because if the earth had been created already (verse 9), the order of creation of earth would not come again. The bottom line is that when Allah ordered the heavens and the earth to come into being (verse 11), the process of creation started and the events of verse 9 and verse 12 started simultaneously. The events of verse 9 and verse 12 ended simultaneously as well and then the events stated in verse 10 came into being. The two days of 41:12 were simultaneously being created with the four days of 41:10. Maududi clarifies:

Here, the commentators generally have been confronted with this question: If it is admitted that the creation of the earth took two days and the setting up of the mountains and placing of the provisions and blessings in it took four days, and the creation of the heavens, as mentioned below, took another two days, the total number of the days would be eight, whereas at several places in the Qur'an Allah has said that the creation of the earth and heavens took six days in all. (For example, see AI-A `raf: 54, Yunus: 3, Hud: 7, AI-Furqan: 59). On this very basis, almost all the commentators agree that these four days include the two days of the creation of the earth. That is, two days were taken for the creation of the earth and two days for the creation of the rest of the things within the earth, as mentioned below. Thus, the earth along with its provisions became complete in four days in all. But this not only is against the apparent words of the Qur'an, but the difficulty also is, in fact, an imaginary difficulty, to avoid which need for this interpretation has been felt. The two days of the creation of the earth arc, in fact, not separate from the two days in which this universe as a whole was created. If we consider the following verses, we see that in them the creation of both the earth and the heavens has been mentioned together, and then it has been stated that Allah made the seven heavens in two days. These seven heavens imply the whole universe, one part of which is also our earth. Then, when like the other countless stars and planets of the universe this earth also took the shape of a unique globe within two days, Allah began to prepare it for animate creatures, and in four days created in it all those provisions which have been mentioned in the above verse. What development works were carried out in the other stars and planets in these four days have not been mentioned by Allah, for not to speak of the man of the period of the revelation of the Qur'an, even the man of the present age does not have the capability to digest and assimilate this information.[2]

The explanation is completely harmonious and also makes sense. However, some have argued against this explanation stating that the Arabic word Thumma (ثم) always means then where something follows another. This is one of the meanings of the word but is not always the case.

We find Arabic poetry testifying to this fact:

قل لمن ساد ثم ساد أبوه

ثم قد ساد قبل ذلك جده

Say to those who prevailed, thumma prevailed the father,

Thumma his grandfather has prevailed before that.[3]

Thumma in the poetry does not refer to any sequence because the father and the grandfather have been stated after the thumma whereas a son cannot come before the father or the grandfather. The better word for thumma here would be moreover.

جَنُوح دِفاق عَنْدَلٌ ثم أُفرِعَت

لَهَا كَتِفَاها في مُعَالىً مُصَعَّد

Swiftly she rolls, her cranium huge, her shoulder-blades high-hoisted to frame her lofty, raised superstructure.[4]

The translator does not use 'then' for 'thumma' and presents the poetry in a way that does not denote sequence.

The Qur'an itself testifies to this.

And [recall] when We made an appointment with Moses for forty nights. Thumma you took [for worship] the calf after him, while you were wrongdoers.[5]

In this verse, thumma is used but after is also used after the incident. Does this mean that there is repetition of the same thing? Definitely not. Here thumma means and rather than then. A practical example would be to say as follows:

I will wake up at six, then I will go to the office after waking up.

The ending words '. . . after waking up' are not required because the word then is very clear that going to office would be after waking up. There are numerous examples of this sort in the Qur'an. A few more below:

. . . And if they fight you, they will show you their backs; thumma they will not be aided.[6]

Showing the backs itself means that they would not be aided and so to say that there is a sequence here where not being aided would be after showing backs would be incorrect. These two are simultaneous.

If one feels that this is not a direct explanation of the word thumma and is rather an interpretation, then the more direct ones should satisfy this misconception.

There is not upon those who believe and do righteousness [any] blame concerning what they have eaten [in the past] if they [now] fear Allah and believe and do righteous deeds, and thumma fear Allah and believe, and thumma fear Allah and do good; and Allah loves the doers of good.[7]

Fear of Allah is a command of Allah that is to be followed always without any sequence. It would be incorrect to say that one should believe and do righteous deeds and then fear Allah. Fear of Allah is something that is simultaneous to believing and doing righteous deeds. Thumma here should better be translated as moreover instead of then.

Another more direct and clear meaning verse is as follows:

Say, 'Travel through the land; thumma observe how was the end of the deniers.'[8]

How would one travel through the land and then observe? This verse is the most clear when it comes to understanding other proper meaning of the word thumma. Observing would be an act that would be conducted along with travelling.

Another verse that clarifies other meanings of thumma is as follows:

Thumma We gave Moses the Scripture, making complete [Our favor] upon the one who did good and as a detailed explanation of all things and as guidance and mercy that perhaps in [the matter of] the meeting with their Lord they would believe.[9]

In the context, the previous discussion is with Prophet Muhammad (may Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon him). So to say then the scripture was given to Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) would not be suitable and hence a better translation would be and instead of then.

And We have certainly created you (khalaqnaakum), [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Thumma We said to the angels, 'Prostrate to Adam'; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated.[10]

Khalaqnaakum is a plural word which would mean that 'created you' is for mankind and not just Adam -peace be upon him. If it was just Adam (peace be upon him), then one could say that the prostration order was then but since it refers to mankind and prostrating order had been given before creating mankind, then is not much applicable and moreover makes more sense here.

Another very clear verse is as follows:

Thumma eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you].' There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.[11]

The preceding verse speaks of inspiration to the bee. If there was a sequence with thumma here, then eating of fruits would have to be after the inspiration. This way a person would have to eat after the inspiration to the bee. This proves that thumma is not always then and here it is and.

Thumma, surely it is We who are most knowing of those most worthy of burning therein.[12]

Have you not considered your Lord - how He extends the shadow, and if He willed, He could have made it stationary? Thumma We made the sun for it an indication.[13]

Allah would not know something after it has happened. He already knows and always knows. Another simple point is that a shadow is because of the sun and not vice versa. How can sun be made an indication after the shadow? This indicates that thumma does not necessarily have a sequence and can be simultaneous and or moreover.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Qur'an 7:54, 10:3, 11:7, 25:59 and 32:4

[2] Tafsir Maududi Surah 41

[3] See Tafsir Ibn Kathir (1/102), Ibn Hisham Al-Ansari pg. 159.

[4] Poetry by Tarafah ibn al Abd, translated by A.J. Arberry. Also see Tahrir wal Tanweer, Ibn Ashur (377-1/376)

[5] Qur'an 2:51

[6] Qur'an 3:111

[7] Qur'an 5:93

[8] Qur'an 6:11

[9] Qur'an 6:154

[10] Qur'an 7:11

[11] Qur'an 16:69

[12] Qur'an 19:70

[13] Qur'an 25:45

Rebuttals & Polemics / Do not beat your wife as you beat your slave girl
« on: December 30, 2013, 09:54:54 AM »
A narration in Sunan Abu Da'ood  states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Do not beat your wife as you beat your slave girl.

The full narration is lengthy so let us take a look at the relevant paragraph from it.

قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ لِي امْرَأَةً وَإِنَّ فِي لِسَانِهَا شَيْئًا يَعْنِي الْبَذَاءَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَطَلِّقْهَا إِذًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ لَهَا صُحْبَةً وَلِي مِنْهَا وَلَدٌ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَمُرْهَا - يَقُولُ عِظْهَا - فَإِنْ يَكُ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ فَسَتَفْعَلُ وَلاَ تَضْرِبْ ظَعِينَتَكَ كَضَرْبِكَ أُمَيَّتَكَ

I (the narrator Laqit) then said: Messenger of Allah, I have a wife who has something (wrong) in her tongue, i.e. she is insolent. He said: Then divorce her. I said: Messenger of Allah, she had company with me and I have children from her. He said: Then ask her (to obey you). If there is something good in her, she will do so (obey); and do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl[1].

The full context indicates that this was a way of explaining or conveying the message of not beating the wife. It also does not encourage beating of slave girls.

Al-Khattabi states:

وإنما فيه النهي عن تبريح الضرب كما يضرب المماليك في عادات من يستجيز ضربهم، ويستعمل سوء الملكة فيهم. وتمثله بضرب المماليك لا يوجب إباحة ضربهم، وإنما جرى ذكره في هذا على طريق الذم لأفعالهم ونهاه عن الاقتداء بها وقد نهى صلى الله عليه وسلم عن ضرب المماليك إلاّ في الحدود وأمرنا بالإحسان إليهم.

It forbids severe beating like the beating of the slaves by the one who beats them and makes wrong use of his authority with regards to them. And the similitude of beating the slaves does not mean permissibility of beating them. The mention of it is made by the way of condemnation of their deeds and it prohibit imitating the same. Verily the Prophet has prohibited the beating of the slaves except by the way of prescribed punishments (hudood) and he has ordered to be kind towards them.[2]

Likewise as-Sindi states:

، والتشبيه ليس لإباحة ضرب المماليك، بل لأنه مما جرى به عادتهم

And the similitude is not provided in order to denote the permissibility of beating the slaves rather it was utilized because it was general practice (i.e. in seventh century Arabia) for slaved to be beaten.[3]

The statement was spoken as a similitude and the beating of slave was mentioned as an example. If one were to say that so-and-so treats his friends like animals, this would mean that he treats them poorly and would not indicate as to how he treats animals. Perhaps this person is very nice towards animals; the statement is a figure of speech. Similarly, not treating ones wife as a slave-girl is to be understood in like manner.

Moreover, this can be confirmed by the fact that the narrator Laqit Ibn Sabirah had come to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a part of a delegation from Iraq from the tribe of Banu al-Muntafiq. For 'as you beat your slave-girl' to be literal, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have to know Laqit Ibn Sabirah quite well from well before and would have to know how he treats his slave-girls and would even have to know if he had any slave girls or not.

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has explicitly stated as to how to treat the slaves.

Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari reported: "When I was beating my servant, I heard a voice behind me (saying): Abu Mas'ud, bear in mind Allah has more dominance over you than you have upon him. I turned and (found him) to be Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). I said: Allah's Messenger, I set him free for the sake of Allah. Thereupon he said: Had you not done that, (the gates of) Hell would have opened for you, or the fire would have burnt you."[4]

"Zadhan reported that Ibn Umar called his slave and he found the marks (of beating) upon his back. He said to him: I have caused you pain. He said: No. But he (Ibn Umar) said: You are free. He then took hold of something from the earth and said: There is no reward for me even to the weight equal to it. I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who beats a slave without cognizable offence of his or slaps him, then expiation for it is that he should set him free."[5]

Narrated Al-Ma'rur: At Ar-Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, "I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names."  The Prophet said to me, 'O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names You still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.'[6]

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: "When the slave of anyone amongst you prepares food for him and he serves him after having sat close to (and undergoing the hardship of) heat and smoke, he should make him (the slave) sit along with him and make him eat (along with him), and if the food seems to run short, then he should spare some portion for him (from his own share) - (another narrator) Dawud said:" i. e. a morsel or two".

Narrated AbuDharr:  "The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Feed those of your slaves who please you from what you eat and clothe them with what you clothe yourselves, but sell those who do not please you and do not punish Allah's creatures."[7]

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Book 1, Hadith 56
[2] Ma’alim al-Sunan
[3] Hashia ‘ala Musnad
[4] Sahih Muslim, book 15, no. 4088
[5] Sahih Muslim, book 15, no. 4079
[6] Sahih Bukhari, vol 1, book 2, no. 29
[7] Sahih Muslim, book 15, no. 4096/4097

Rebuttals & Polemics / The Hadith: Do not abuse Time
« on: December 30, 2013, 06:18:30 AM »
Some people find the following Hadith difficult to understand:

Abu Huraira reported: I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: The son of Adam abuses Dahr (time, age, eon, era), whereas I am Dahr since in My hand are the day and the night. [1]

Some modernist Muslims declare all such narrations as inauthentic claiming that it contradicts the Qur'an.

And they say, 'There is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time.' And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming. [2]

Such modernists argue that if the Hadith is accepted to be true, then this would mean that the pagan Arabs used to have correct belief about God i.e. they attributed the cause of death to Dahr which is Allah. They also argue that since the pagan Arabs used to worship the sun, the moon and planets and their alteration, revolution and rotation causes the changing of days and time (Dahr), hence the Hadith would imply approval of pagan deities.

Before explaining the verse and the Hadith, it must be mentioned that the Hadith is not weak and all the narrators are reliable and trustworthy. An allegation or attack on its isnad would not be a wise choice of argument. This article clarifies the matn of it as well.

The verse of the Qur'an does not at all approve of pagan deities; rather it denounces pagan beliefs. Ibn Kathir explains as follows:

Allah mentions here the creed of Ad-Dahriyyah and the Arab idolaters who embraced their creed, denying Resurrection,

﴿وَقَالُواْ مَا هِىَ إِلاَّ حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا﴾
(And they say: 'There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live . .') They say that there is only this life, some people die while others are born to life, without Resurrection or Judgement. This was the creed of Arab idolators who used to deny Resurrection, in addition to, the creed of the atheist philosophers among them who denied the creation and Resurrection. This was also the statement of atheist philosophers who deny the Creator and think that the world will return to its original form once every thirty six thousand years, when everything will restart its life cycle again! They claim that this cycle was repeated for infinity, thus contradicting the sound reason and the divine revelation. They said,

﴿وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَآ إِلاَّ الدَّهْرُ﴾
(and nothing destroys us except Ad-Dahr (time).) Allah the Exalted said in reply,

﴿وَمَا لَهُمْ بِذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَظُنُّونَ﴾
(And they have no knowledge of it, they only presume.) they speculate and guess! As for the Hadith recorded by the two collectors of the Sahih, and Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i, from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَقُولُ تَعَالَى: يُؤْذِينِي ابْنُ آدَمَ، يَسُبُّ الدَّهْرَ وَأَنَا الدَّهْرُ، بِيَدِيَ الْأَمْرُ، أُقَلِّبُ لَيْلَهُ وَنَهَارَه
(Allah the Exalted says, 'The Son of `Adam annoys Me when he curses Ad-Dahr (time), while I am Ad-Dahr. In My Hand are all matters; I cause the alternation of his days and nights.') In another narration;

لَا تَسُبُّوا الدَّهْرَ فَإِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى هُوَ الدَّهْر
(Do not curse Ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is Ad-Dahr.) Ash-Shafi`i, Abu `Ubaydah and several other Imams of Tafsir explained the meaning of the Prophet's statement,

لَا تَسُبُّوا الدَّهْرَ فَإِنَّ اللهَ هُوَ الدَّهْر
(Do not abuse Ad-Dahr (time), for Allah is Ad-Dahr.) They said, 'During the time of Jahiliyyah, when an affliction, a calamity or a disaster struck them, the Arabs used to say, `Woe to Ad-Dahr (time)!' So they used to blame such incidents on Ad-Dahr, cursing Ad-Dahr in the process. Surely, it is Allah the Exalted and Most Honored Who causes these (and all) things to happen. This is why when they cursed Ad-Dahr, it was as if they were cursing Allah Himself, since truthfully, He causes all incidents to happen. Therefore, abusing Ad-Dahr was prohibited due to this consideration, for it was Allah Whom they meant by abusing Ad-Dahr, which - as we said- they accused of causing (distressful) incidents.' [3]

The explanation provided and cited by Imam Ibn Kathir is not far-fetched can be obtained by pondering over the wordings of the Hadith. The Hadith uses the words I am Dahr since in My hand are the day and the night which clearly mean that the One who causes the alteration of the day and night is none other than Almighty Allah which the pagan Arabs clearly denied when they said there is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time. By time, they meant chance and something with no control; they did not attribute this to Allah which is an atheistic standpoint.

The following statement of Ibn Qutayba also makes the matter very clear:

سمع زياد رجلا يسبّ الزمان فقال: لو كان يدري ما الزمان لعاقبته إنما الزمان هو السلطان

Ziyad heard a man blame time, whereupon he said: 'If he knew what time is, I should have him punished, time is nothing else but the government itself.'[4]

In short, we can conclude that there is no contradiction between the Qur'an and the Hadith and accepting the Hadith does not change the meaning of the verse, neither does the understanding of the Qur'an conflict with the Hadith. The Hadith simply means that abusing Dahr is in actual abusing Allah who controls the time, era etc.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] The Hadith present in Saheeh Bukhari, Imam Malik's Muwatta, Saheeh Muslim, Abu Da'ood, Musnad of Imam Ahmad and Tafsir Ibn Jarir al Tabari.

[2] Qur'an 45:24

[3] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah Al-Jathiyah, Ayah 24.

[4] Ibn Qutayba's Uyun al-Akhbar

Rebuttals & Polemics / Does the Qur'an contradict monotheism? Part II
« on: December 29, 2013, 12:43:32 PM »
Find part one here.

It has been alleged that there are a number of passages in the Qur'an which indicate that Islam is not a monotheistic religion and that there are a number of verses which indicate so.[1] It is claimed that if one is to forcefully insert monotheism to such passages, then the Qur'an would lose points to the eloquence argument and hence it would be concluded that either the contradicts monotheism or that the Qur'an's claim to eloquence is unfounded.

Let us examine the verses claimed to contradict monotheism.

Allegation 1

And [We sent] Abraham, when he said to his people, 'Worship Allah and fear Him. That is best for you, if you should know. You only worship, besides Allah, idols, and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision. So seek from Allah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned.' And if you [people] deny [the message] - already nations before you have denied. And there is not upon the Messenger except [the duty of] clear notification. Have they not considered how Allah begins creation and then repeats it? Indeed that, for Allah, is easy. Say, [O Muhammad], 'Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah, over all things, is competent.' He punishes whom He wills and has mercy upon whom He wills, and to Him you will be returned. And you will not cause failure [to Allah] upon the earth or in the heaven. And you have not other than Allah any protector or any helper. And the ones who disbelieve in the signs of Allah and the meeting with Him - those have despaired of My mercy, and they will have a painful punishment. And the answer of Abraham's people was not but that they said, 'Kill him or burn him,' but Allah saved him from the fire. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe. And [Abraham] said, 'You have only taken, other than Allah, idols as [a bond of] affection among you in worldly life. Then on the Day of Resurrection you will deny one another and curse one another, and your refuge will be the Fire, and you will not have any helpers.' And Lot believed him. [Abraham] said, 'Indeed, I will emigrate to [the service of] my Lord. Indeed, He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.' And We gave to Him Isaac and Jacob and placed in his descendants prophethood and scripture. And We gave him his reward in this world, and indeed, he is in the Hereafter among the righteous.[2]

Allegations against these verses are mainly twofold:

1. Either the Qur'an contradicts monotheism because the passage appears to be stating that the words those have despaired of My mercy, and they will have a painful punishment belong to Prophet Muhammad (may blessings of Allah and peace be upon him).


2.There is no eloquence in the Qur'an and the entire passage is riddled with confusions carrying no sequence.

There is neither contradiction with monotheism nor any confusion and incoherence. The article containing the allegation has itself provided clarification to the first criticism:

Then often as the Quran does an interjection is made, Allah commands Mohammed to 'say' or recite something specifically to his people, his tribesmen.

However, a question has been asked:

When do Mohammed's comments addressing his people stop and when does the story switch back to Abraham?

The question is very much fair and valid. How does one know where the instruction to the Prophet to proclaim end and the statement of Allah starts and likewise where the statements spoken by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) start and end.

The Arabic text and the overall context of the Qur'an provides us with the understanding that the Most Merciful is none other than Allah. Keeping the teachings of the Qur'an in mind, one would automatically understand the quoted passages in accordance with the theme of the Qur'an. Even though this provides us answers as to whom each statement is attributed to, it is argued that it requires self-assessment thereby indicating problems in the Qur'an's eloquence.

Let us examine each of these verses in a little detail.

29:16: And [We sent] Abraham, when he said to his people, 'Worship Allah and fear Him. That is best for you, if you should know.

29:17: You only worship, besides Allah, idols, and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision. So seek from Allah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned.'

Here it is very clear that it is Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) who is speaking. If we ponder over the words of the verses, we observe that the words of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) are in second person.

29:18: And if you [people] deny [the message] - already nations before you have denied. And there is not upon the Messenger except [the duty of] clear notification.

This is the statement of Allah towards the nation of Prophet Muhammad (may blessings of Allah and peace be upon him).[3] When one reads the passage in Arabic, this makes complete sense and is harmonious as well.

The Arabic text of verse 15 (which is the statement of Allah) ends with 'Aalameen' Verse 16 and 17 end with 'Ta'lamoon' and 'Turja'oon' respectively which are the words of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and they rhyme with each other. Then verse 18 ends with 'Mubeen'. This is the statement of Allah and notice how beautifully it rhymes with the ending of verse 15 (Aalameen). The change in person is done in a very beautiful and poetic manner.

The proceeding verses follow different rules of rhyme and rhythm however, they are not addressed as they are not relevant to the topic at hand because where the rhythm does not clarify the situation, the direct and actual words do. When one reads the Qur'an in its original language, no such doubts and queries arise. No wonder the pagan Arabs never raised questions against the Qur'an eloquence.

Then in the very next verse, the tense changes from second person to third person:

29:19: Have they not considered how Allah begins creation and then repeats it? Indeed that, for Allah, is easy.

This is the statement of Allah and coming to this conclusion does not require a far-fetched interpretation and can be evidenced from the verse itself where Allah says Have they not considered (third person tense) whereas in the previous verse, it is Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) speaking to people in second person.

29:20: Say, [O Muhammad], 'Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah, over all things, is competent.'

These are the words instructed by Allah to the Prophet to speak. The word Qul (Say/Proclaim) at the start of the sentence makes this very clear. The Prophet is instructed to speak these words and they have been quoted in second person.

29:21: He punishes whom He wills and has mercy upon whom He wills, and to Him you will be returned.

29:22: And you will not cause failure [to Allah] upon the earth or in the heaven. And you have not other than Allah any protector or any helper.

These two verses also carry the words instructed by Allah to the Prophet to speak to the people.

29:23: And the ones who disbelieve in the signs of Allah and the meeting with Him - those have despaired of My mercy, and they will have a painful punishment.

In the 23rd verse, we see that the tense used is in third person which is the same as verse 19. i.e. both are the words of Allah and not of Prophet Muhammad (may blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) nor of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).

Allegation 2

And [Abraham] said, 'You have only taken, other than Allah, idols as [a bond of] affection among you in worldly life. Then on the Day of Resurrection you will deny one another and curse one another, and your refuge will be the Fire, and you will not have any helpers.'

And Lot believed him. [Abraham] said, 'Indeed, I will emigrate to [the service of] my Lord. Indeed, He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.'[4]

Arguments from these verses are the following:

1. The second statement is confusing as to the identity of the speaker. Whether the statement 'Indeed, I will emigrate' are the words of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) or of Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) is not clear from the text of the Qur'an.

2. Using the Qur'an only and not seeking aid of tafaseer (commentaries) would guide one to the conclusion that the speaker is Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) and his migrating to his Lord (Ibrahim) would mean that he committed shirk (polytheism).

Using different translations and utilizing the help of the weakest one to arrive at conclusions is intellectual dishonesty.

As to the first question, a little clarification on Arabic is necessary. Two words/letters are being used for 'and' in this passage. Wa (و) and Fa (ف). Wa (و) simply means 'and' whereas Fa (ف) refers to that 'and' where the follow-up word comes after i.e. there is a sequence. If a person did this and (و) that, it would mean that he did both of these while the sequence is not of importance. However, if a person is said to have done this and (ف) that, it would mean that he did the latter event after the former. Hence, another way to translate (ف) would be 'and then'.

Verse 24 quotes the response of the nation of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to him. The verse starts with Fa (ف) and so does verse 26 indicating that Lut (peace be upon him) believed in him (i.e. he accepted his call) after he had delivered the message. Keeping this basic information in mind, let us take a look at the verse again:

Then (Fa) Lot believed him. And (Wa) [Abraham] said, 'Indeed, I will emigrate to [the service of] my Lord. Indeed, He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

The previous verse quotes the words of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) stating that the disbelievers had rejected his call, then a little pause is taken stating as to who accepted his message using the word Fa (ف) and then the pause is ended and the words of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) continue again using the word Wa (و) this time.

When translators add words in brackets, it is not that they are using deceit or covering shortcomings but it is due to the fact that a literal translation does not always do justice to the text and the message especially where the language is Arabic and words and letters carry minute and deep meanings. If one were to read the entire passage in Arabic, one would find no issue worth seeking clarification.

As to the second point, even if it is assumed that the speaker is Prophet Lut (peace be upon him), the conclusion of polytheism appears very unwise. Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), in the previous verse, is quoted as speaking to his nation who had rejected his message and then the next verse informs us that Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) believed in him. Now supposing that it was him who wished to emigrate to his Lord, how would he emigrate to Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) when he was right with him? If he had considered Ibrahim (peace be upon him) as his Lord, then the statement of emigrating to him would not make sense as they were both together. This clearly shows that the Lord of the one planning to emigrate was none other Allah which is indicated by the verse itself.


If one reads the Qur'an with the intent to find faults, then the silly arguments would keep on generating and the list of 'contradictions' would never end. However, if one reads the Qur'an with genuine intent to understand it, then most of the questions would be answered by the readers themselves and where problems still persist, a closer look at the Arabic words, letters and sentences would surely end the confusion. The Qur'an is the book of Allah and it neither contains polytheism nor incoherence or departure from eloquence.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Anti-Islamic claim
[2] Qur'an 29:16-27
[3] Refer Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Jalalayn, Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas
[4] Qur'an 29:25, 26

There are more such allegations that some passages of the Qur'an appear to contradict monotheism.

Servants of Allah or of the Messengerﷺ?

The verse under discussion is as follows:

قُلْ يٰعِبَادِيَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُواْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لاَ تَقْنَطُواْ مِن رَّحْمَةِ ٱللَّهِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

Qul (Say/Proclaim/Declare), 'O 'Ibadi (My servants/slaves) who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'[1]

The argument derived from the quoted verse is as follows:

Adding 'Qul' before the statement in quotation marks means that the speaker (Allah) asks/ orders/ informs the recipient of the revelation (the Prophet) to say or declare to the people the message spoken after 'Qul' and hence the speaker then changes from Allah to Prophet Muhammad (on him be peace and blessings of Allah) and hence 'O My servants' would mean the servants of Prophet Muhammad (on him be the peace and blessings of Allah).

Abul A'la Maududi mentions, for this verse, in his tafsir of the Qur'an as follows:

Some commentators have given a strange interpretation to these words. They say that Allah Himself has commanded the Holy Prophet to address the people as 'My servants' therefore, all men are the servants of the Holy Prophet. This interpretation is no interpretation at all but a worst distortion of the meaning of the Qur'an and indeed tampering with the Word of Allah. If this interpretation were correct, it would falsify and negate the whole Qur'an.

For the Qur'an, from the beginning to the end, establishes the concept that men are the servants of Allah alone, and its whole message revolves around the point that they should serve none but One Allah alone. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) himself was Allah's servant. Allah had sent him not as rabb (sustainer, providence) but as a Messenger so that he should himself serve Him and teach the other people also to serve Him alone. After all, how can a sensible person believe that the Holy Prophet might have one day stood up before the disbelieving Quraish of Makkah and made the sudden proclamation: 'You are in fact the slaves of Muhammad and not of al `Uzzah and ash'Shams.' (We seek Allah's refuge from this).

The explanation for the verse can be sufficient for a Muslim but for someone having a bias against Islam, this could be a confirmation of his allegation that this mistake has negated and falsified the whole Qur'an. We find answers to their claims in the second part of the same verse:

Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful: The address here is to all mankind. There is no weighty argument to regard only the believers as the addressees. As has been observed by Ibn Kathir, to address such a thing to the common men does not mean that Allah forgives all sins without repentance, but Allah Himself has explained in the following verses that sins are forgiven only when the sinner turns to Allah's worship and service and adopts obedience to the message sent down by Him. As a matter of fact, this verse brought a message of hope for those people who had committed mortal sins like murder, adultery, theft, robbery, etc. in the days of ignorance, and had despaired whether they would ever be forgiven. To them it has been said: 'Do not despair of Allah's mercy: whatever you might have done in the past, if you sincerely turn to your Lord's obedience, you will be forgiven every sin.' The same interpretation of this verse has been given by Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah, Mujahid and Ibn Zaid.[2]

Non Muslims who have not accepted Islam or who even hate the Messenger of Allah (on him be the peace and blessings of Allah) cannot and will not accept to be servants of him whereas the verse speaks of all mankind. We can therefore, conclude based on the same verse that the servants mentioned are none other than the servants of Allah as also understood by the companions of the Prophet and earliest scholars. A person who denies Allah is still under the complete Lordship of Allah. Allah mentions elsewhere which further confirms our understanding:

أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوۤاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ ٱلتَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ ٱلصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

'Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants.'[3]

The theological aspect to the argument should be clear to everyone by now since it is also approved by the Prophet and his companions themselves. However, another issue that still remains under question and that is the linguistic part. Those having further questions on the My servants part, state either the Qur'an made a mistake in choice of words while it meant something else or it uses casual human way of explaining the matter both indicating serious issues regarding the Qur'an.

It appears that this criticism comes up with the understanding whenever Allah says 'Qul' in the Qur'an, the next words are of that of the Prophet (on him be peace and blessings of Allah). This is, however, not exactly true. The Qur'an is the complete word of Allah without a single letter being from anyone else. With this in mind, consider the following verse:

قُلْ يَتَوَفَّاكُم مَّلَكُ ٱلْمَوْتِ ٱلَّذِي وُكِّلَ بِكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ

Say, 'The angel of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned.'[4]

Here, Allah is the One who speaks after Say. He mentions to the Prophet Muhammad (on him be peace and blessings of Allah) to proclaim to the people what Allah is saying. The speaker of these words becomes Prophet Muhammad (on him be peace and blessings of Allah) but he is merely conveying or forwarding the words of Allah. Allah is speaking through the Prophet. When Allah says Say, the words spoken afterwards do not become the words of the speaker.

In fact, the greatest example where Allah changes the grammatical person from third person to second person could be the first chapter of the Qur'an i.e. Fatiha (The Opening) where All praise is [due] to Allah (Qur'an 1:2) changes to It is You we worship and You we ask for help (Qur'an 1:5). Here Allah is praised at the start and then the Servant addresses His Master directly.

The key is in the context and the translation:

An earlier verse of the same chapter speaks in similar words:

قُلْ يٰعِبَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمْ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُواْ فِي هَـٰذِهِ ٱلدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ وَأَرْضُ ٱللَّهِ وَاسِعَةٌ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى ٱلصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Qul (Say/Proclaim/Declare/State/Mention), 'O My servants who have believed, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good, and the earth of Allah is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.'[5]

The word Qul has several meanings. If translated as 'Say' in every verse, it does give rise to questions of the kind discussed above. However, if it translated using a different words such as Proclaim or Declare or Tell them, then the reader would not have any question at all and would simply understand it as an order of Allah to declare to the people His words or message. Translations have their limitations and this is the reason anyone conversant with the Arabic literature does not raise such silly questions.

Indeed, Allah knows the best!


[1] Qur'an 39:53
[2] Ibn Jarir, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi
[3] Qur'an 9:104
[4] Qur'an 32:11
[5] Qur'an 39:10

It has been alleged that there are a number of passages in the Qur'an which indicate that Islam is not a monotheistic religion and that there are a number of verses which indicate so.

Let us examine the verses claimed to contradict monotheism.

Allegation 1

That is Jesus, the son of Mary, the word of truth about which they are in dispute. It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is. 'And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.' [1]

It is claimed that since the speaker at the start is Allah, hence the ending words are also the words of Allah i.e. it is Allah who is saying And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him which would indicate that Allah is referring to someone else as Allah and His Lord. If only the selected passage is seen as it is, the outcome would most certainly appear to be as claimed. However, one needs to see the context as well. Let us understand these verses again with the context i.e. by selecting a few preceding verses.

[Jesus] said, 'Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah (obligatory charity) as long as I remain alive And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.' [2]

The passage quoted here immediately comes before the first passage quoted above. Here we see that it was Prophet Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) who was the one speaking. As soon as it is mentioned that he spoke in the cradle, the following verse mentions that this is the truth about Prophet Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) about which they doubt. In other words, the miracle of the cradle is mentioned followed by a clarification from Allah about the truth. Then that truth is further explained in the next verse as to how Allah decrees an affair. Then when the matter is stated and explained, the context goes back to the speech of Prophet Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) where he states And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. Notice that the words of Prophet Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) in both the passages above start with Indeed. His sentence starts with Indeed, I am the servant of Allah followed by clarification and explanation from Allah and then again the words of Prophet Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) continue with And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him.

It does not require too much of a brain to understand the way of explaining here. The context and the words of Prophet Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) themselves clarify who the speaker is in each verse.

There are similar passages in the Qur'an where an incident or event is mentioned preceded by a break to explain that incident or event and then continuing back with that incident or event and therefore the passages quoted above are not an exception. The only way to find problems in them is to look at them out of context in isolation.

Allegation 2

'And we descend not except by the order of your Lord. To Him belongs that before us and that behind us and what is in between. And never is your Lord forgetful. [3]

It is argued that since the entire Qur'an is the word of Allah in first person and there not being a mention of someone else's speech before the above quoted verse, the speaker is Allah and He describes His own descending by the order of the Lord of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who is other than Allah. They argue that the structure of the sentence is in such a way that this is the only conclusion derived from the verse.

To assume that this is the only and correct conclusion derived from this verse would be trickery. For the Qur'an, the entire book is the context. If a matter has been established somewhere in the Qur'an, then that cannot be ignored in other parts of the Qur'an. The Qur'an explicitly establishes that the Lord of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is none other than Allah.

The unbelievers _ be they among the people of the scriptures, or among the idolaters _ would not like to see any blessings ever conferred upon you by your Lord. But, for His mercy Allah selects whom He wants. Allah is the Lord of Infinite Grace and Bounties! [4]

(Tell them), 'Are you going to argue with us concerning Allah? He is our Lord, and your Lord! We have our deeds, and you have yours to account for. We have devoted ourselves (exclusively) to Him.' [5]

That definitely is the truth from your Lord. Allah is not unaware of anything you do. [6]

'Truly! Allah is my Lord, and your Lord! Therefore, worship Him (alone); that is the straight path!' [7]

This message is repeated hundreds of times in the Qur'an. If this is kept in mind while understanding the verse in question, no one would arrive at the faulty conclusion that there is a Lord other than Allah or that Allah Himself has a Lord.

Another question that may arise could be that how one can be sure that those that descend are the angels as the text is ambiguous. As has been explained before, the entire Qur'an is the context. When that is kept in mind, there appears no confusion, contradiction or ambiguity. The Qur'an states:

The angels and the Spirit (Jibreel) descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.

And we descend not except by the order of your Lord are the words of Angel Jibreel. The sentence takes a grammatical shift. Grammatical shift or Iltifāt is a feature of the Arabic language. [8] The concept requires a separate topic for explanation and the link is highly recommended.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.


[1] Qur'an 19:34 to 36

[2] Qur'an 19:30 to 33

[3] Qur'an 19:64

[4] Qur'an 2:105

[5] Qur'an 2:139

[6] Qur'an 2:149

[7] Qur'an 3:51

[8] Grammatical Shift For The Rhetorical Purposes:

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