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The Source of these stories is weak:
|A member on my blog, brother "zulfiqarchucknorris",
sent me the following information:
from wikipedia, scroll toward the middle of the page)
Ibn Sa'd → Al-Waqidi → 'Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn al-Fudayl → Al-Harith ibn al-Fudayl
Al-Waqidi has been condemned as an untrustworthy narrator and has been frequently and severely criticized by scholars, thus his narrations have been abandoned by the majority of hadith scholars. Yahya ibn Ma'een said: "Al-Waqidi narrated 20,000 false hadith about the prophet". Al-Shafi'i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Al-Albani said: "Al-Waqidi is a liar" while Al-Bukhari said he didn't include a single letter by Al-Waqidi in his hadith works.
In addition, this isnad is discontinued (muʻḍal) as Al-Harith ibn
al-Fudayl never met any of Muhammad's companions.
True Stories or
Forgeries? The Killing of Abu 'Afak and Asma' bint
(The reason why I copied this article from Hesham Azmy to my section is to permanently preserve it from ever being lost)
The vulgar Christian missionary, Silas, has accused Prophet Muhammad(P) of being responsible for the killing Abu 'Afak and 'Asma bint Marwan. The implications of these charges are that he(P) "stiffles" criticism by murdering his opponents. In this paper, insha'allāh, we are going to refute these false charges against the Holy Prophet(P), wa Allah-ul-Mustaan.
of Reports' Evaluation
We must explain the methodology of Muslim scholars before we comment on any Islamic report. Take for example the news reported on Presidents today! If the Vice-President gives a certain statement concerning the opinion of the President in a certain matter, then this statement is transmitted by a member of the secretary to a journalists who published it in the newspaper, what is the value of this report?
Our answer is that it could be right or wrong and we cannot be sure unless we know the reliability of the source.
If we find that the report is indeed transmitted by the secretary member on authority of the Vice-President and that each of them is well known for accuracy in transmission and truthfulness in speech, how can we evaluate this report?
Our answer is that we tend to believe it.
This is exactly what Muslim scholars require in any report to be valid and its attribution to God's Messenger(P) can be accepted. They actually add two more things; they must make sure that the report itself is not contradictory to other more authentic reports otherwise it will be considered eccentric! Also, they must exclude any hidden flaws in the text of the report, these flaws are detailed in specialized volumes of Hadīth.
Can we then accept the report as valid?
Not yet. After we had verified that the chain of transmitters is intact without interruption and that all reporters are honest, sane individuals, we must make sure that each reporter has received the report directly from the preceding one and that the report itself is in agreement with other authentic reports without flaws. The eminent hafiz Ibn Kathīr states that
Authentic Hadith is the transmitted hadīth whose chain is continuous through transmission of an accurate sane memorizer on authority of an accurate sane memorizer till its termination without being eccentric or flawed.
Is there a method more precise and meticulous than this?
There is no nation in the entire history that took care of reporting events and their verification as the Muslims have done. The Western Orientalist Bernard Lewis notes that
From an early date Muslim scholars recognized the danger of false testimony and hence false doctrine, and developed an elaborate science for criticizing tradition. "Traditional science", as it was called, differed in many respects from modern historical source criticism, and modern scholarship has always disagreed with evaluations of traditional scientists about the authenticity and accuracy of ancient narratives. But their careful scrutiny of the chains of transmission and their meticulous collection and preservation of variants in the transmitted narratives give to medieval Arabic historiography a professionalism and sophistication without precedent in antiquity and without parallel in the contemporary medieval West. By comparison, the historiography of Latin Christendom seems poor and meagre, and even the more advanced and complex historiography of Greek Christendom still falls short of the historical literature of Islam in volume, variety and analytical depth.
Then we talk about historical references written by Muslim authors. First of all, these books are not trustworthy references due to the fact that they do not follow proper methodology of transmission.
Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal sums up the Muslim point of view as regards the trustworthiness of the biographical reports when he declares that the biographies
...are not based on any principle.
The early Muslim scholars who compiled books of hadīth and scrutinized this particular field undertook thorough and painstaking investigations to determine the authenticity of the reports from the Holy Prophet's time by tracing them back to eye-witnesses of the time, through unbroken lines of reliable narrators. As a result, they never held a high opinion of the biographies whose authors had simply copied masses of reports without check or criticism. One such scholar of hadīth, Hafiz Zayn-ūd-Dīn of Irāq, says about the biographies as follows:
The student should know that the biographies contain all kinds of reports, both true and false.
We believe that this should make us depend only upon reliable sources that have been properly authenticated by Muslim specialists in the Hadith sciences.
Killing of Abu 'Afak: Where is The Isnād?
According to Ibn Sa'd and Ibn Ishāq, Abu 'Afak was a 120 years old Jewish man who had abused the Prophet(P) verbally, so the latter launched a raid under the command of Salīm Ibn 'Umaīr to kill him. We do know that Ibn Ishāq lived in the 2nd half of the 2nd century after Hijra, as well as Al-Waqīdī from whom Ibn Sa'd (died
As explained above, the chain of reporters of the story from eye-witnesses of the event till Ibn Ishāq or Al-Waqīdī must be examined and verified. So, our legitimate question is: where is the isnād (i.e., chain of reporters)?
Unfortunately, references of the Sīrah do not provide such information. Actually, we are told that this story has no isnād at all; neither Ibn Ishāq (or his disciple Ibn Hīsham) nor Al-Waqīdī (or his disciple Ibn Sa'd) had provided such a thing! In this case, the story is rated by hadīth scholars as "...of no basis", indicating that it has reached the lowest degree of criticism regarding its isnād. This is in fact a proper scientific position because we cannot accept such a problematic story without evidence.
In brief, we have no commitment to accept such a baseless story - according to scientific criteria of hadīth criticism - which strangely had appeared in the 2nd half of the 2nd century after Hijra. We are therefore obliged to reject the story of the killing of Abu 'Afak by Salīm Ibn 'Umaīr at the Prophets command.
The Killing of Asma': True Story or Forgery?
Basically the charge is that the Prophet(P) had ordered the killing of Asma' when she insulted him with her poetry. As it is usually the case where the history of Islam and the character of the Prophet(P) is concerned, it is left to the Muslims to throw some light on authenticity of the story in which this incident is reported by the sources and educate the missionaries in matters which they have no clue about.
The story of the killing of Asma' bint Marwan is mentioned by Ibn Sa'd in Kitab At-Tabaqat Al-Kabir and by the author of Kinz-ul-'Ummal under number 44131 who attributes it to Ibn Sa'd, Ibn 'Adiyy and Ibn 'Asaker. What is interesting is that Ibn 'Adiyy mentions it in his book Al-Kamel on the authority of Ja'far Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn As-Sabah on authority of Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Ash-Shami on authority of Muhammad Ibn Al-Hajjaj Al-Lakhmi on authority of Mujalid on authority of Ash-Shu'abi on authority of Ibn 'Abbas, and added that
...this isnād (chain of reporters) is not narrated on authority of Mujalid but by Muhammad Ibn Al-Hajjaj and they all (other reporters in the chain) accuse Muhammad Ibn Al-Hajjaj of forging it.
It is also reported by Ibn al-Gawzi in Al-'Ilal and is listed among other flawed reports.
So according to its isnād, the report is forged - because one of its reporters is notorious for fabricating hadīth. Hence, such a story is rejected and is better off being put into the trash can.
Prophetic Attitude Toward Women and Old Men in War
Here we are going to discuss the authentic Sunnah of the Holy Prophet(P) regarding women and old men in war. No baseless or forged reports are allowed here; we will only display authentic reports.
In brief, the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet(P) prohibits the killing of women in war.
Narrated Anas bin Malik: A Jewish woman brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet and he was asked, "Shall we kill her?" He said, "No." I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Gods Apostle.
The Prophet(P) refused to kill a woman who did intentionally try to poison him, but the Christian missionaries, by using a fabricated story, wants us to believe that he ordered the killing of a woman who only abused him verbally. (note: in Islam a women can only be put to death if she commited murder as crime, for murder is (both for men and women) death punishment in islam),
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: Messenger of God (peace be upon him) saw the corpse of a woman who had been slain in one of the raids, and he disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.
Due to this prohibition, scholars of Abu Hanīfahs madhāb (school of thought) have stated that apostate women are not to be killed because the Prophet(P) forbade the killing of women, and since the prohibition is general it includes apostate women.
Even after the Prophet's demise, his Sunnah remain preserved by the Muslims:
Abu Bakr advised Yazid: "I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camel except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly."
The Western Orientalist Bernard Lewis notes that
From an early date Muslim scholars recognized the danger of false testimony and hence false doctrine, and developed an elaborate science for criticizing tradition.
We have utilized their scientific methodology to expose the false narratives attributed to the Prophet(P) about the alleged killing of Abu 'Afak and Asma' bint Marwan. Examination of the isnād (i.e., chain of reports) has revealed the unreliability of both stories. Also, an examination of the matn (i.e., text) has revealed their inevitable contradiction with vigorously authentic traditions and established Islamic principles. 'Abdūr Rahmān I. Doi had stated that
As far as the Matn is concerned, the following principles of criticism of the Hadith are laid down:
(1) The Hadith should not be contrary to the text or the teaching of the Qur'an or the accepted basic principles of Islam.
(2) The Hadith should not be against the dictates of reason or laws of nature and common experience.
(3) The Hadith should not be contrary to the Traditions which have already been accepted by authorities as reliable and authentic by applying all principles.
(4) The Hadith which sings the praises and excellence of any tribe, place or persons should be generally rejected
(5) The Hadith that contains the dates and minute details of the future events should be rejected.
(6) The Hadith that contains some remarks of the Prophet which are not in keeping with the Islamic belief of Prophethood and the position of the Holy Prophet or such expressions as may not be suitable to him, should be rejected.
But critics may have an objection: if these stories are false, then why they are mentioned in Islamic references in the first place? In response, we have earlier shown the position of learned Muslim scholars toward these references in the biographies, whose authors used to relate hundreds of reports without checking them or relying on serious criticism. These particular stories even proved their unscientific methodology because they are reported without isnād at all. This is extremely irregular of any respectable scholar. Ibn Jarīr At-Tabārī (224-
Hence, based on the empirical evidence, we can therefore conclude that the so-called "killing" of Abu 'Afak and Asma' bint Marwan respectively are inherently false and had never happened. This certainly throws the spanner into the works of the missionary's conclusions, which is based upon nothing but hatred, paranoia and xenophobia towards the elect Apostle of God, Muhammad(P).
And Allāh knows best.
See also: http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/muhammadp-the-lies
 Ibn Kathīr, Al-Ba'ith Al-Hadīth (Maktabat-us-Sunnah, Cairo, Egypt), p. 28
 Bernard Lewis, Islam In History (Open Court Publishing, 1993), pp.104-105
 Ibn Sa'd, Kitab At-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, Vol. 1, pp. 27-28
 Ibn 'Adiyy, Al-Kamel, Vol. 6, p. 145
 Ibn al-Gawzi, Al-'Ilal, Vol. 1, p. 279
 Sahih al-Bukhārī, Vol. 3, Bk. 47, No. 786
 Ibid., Vol. 4, Bk. 52, No. 257 & 258. Also see Mutta Malik, Book 21, Section 3, Number 9
 Al-Hasafky, Sharh Ad-Durr-el-Mukhtar, Volume 1, p. 483
 Mutta Malik, Book 21, Section 3, Number 10
 Bernard Lewis, Op. Cit., pp.104-105
 'Abdūr Rahmān I. Doi, Introduction to the Hadith (A.S. Nordeen, 2001), p. 15
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