Saturday, January 25, 2014

Prophet Muhammad's line to Kedar, Ishmael

The Prophet’s Family Line No 2  - from Qusayy to Adnan and beyond
Sr Ruqaiyyah

The last of the Banu Khuza’ah kings, Hulayl b. Hubshiyyah (Habashiya) b. Salul b. Ka’b b. Amr al-Khuza’i, gave his heiress daughter Hubbah in marriage to the hero Qusayy b. Kilab of people known as the Banu Nadr.[1]   Qusayy’s line can be traced as far back as Adnan, of the line of Isma’il b. Ibrahim.

Qusayy was the son of Kilab b. Murrah  b. Ka‘b  b. Lu‘ayy by his wife Fatimah bint Sa’d b. Sayal of the Banu Azd of Yemen. Qusayy had a brother Zuhrah.

Qusayy’s father Kilab was the son of Murrah b. Ka’b by his first wife Hind bint Surayr b. Thalabah b. Harith b. Fihr b. Malik b. Nadr b. Kinanah b. Khuzaymah. Murrah’s second wife, Asma bint Adiy b. Harithah b. Amr b. Amir b. Bariq (from Yemen), also known as Bariqiyyah of Asad, was the mother of Kilab’s half-brothers Taym and Yaqazah (Ibn Ishaq named her Hind bint Harithah al-Bariqiyyah).   Yaqaza was the father of Makhzum. (The three men whose names are highlighted were leaders of important tribes)

Ka’b b. Lu’ayy was a famous poet, one of those who believed there would soon come a new Messenger of God.  Murrah had two brothers, Adiy and Husays. Murrah and Husays were the sons of Ka’b’s wife Wahshiyah (or Makhshiyyah) bint Shayban b. Muharib b. Fihr b. Malik b. Nadr b. Kinanah. Adiy’s mother was Raqash bint Rukbah b. Na’ilah b. Ka’b b. Harb b. Taym b. Sa’d b. Fahm b. Amr b. Qays b. Aylan.   Husays was the father of Amr and grandfather of Jumah and Sahm. (Three more important tribal leaders)

Ka’b’s father was Lu’ayy b. Ghalib (Qusayy’s great-great-grandfather), the brother of Taym al-Adram. Lu’ayy had seven sons - Ka’b, Amir, Sama, Khuzaymah, Sa’d, Harith and Awf. The mother of all the sons except Amir and Awf was Mawiyyah bint Ka’b b. Qayn b. Jasr b. Shay Allah b. Asad b. Wabrah b. Taghlib b. Hulwan b. Imran b. Haf b. Quda’ah. 

Ka’b and his two brothers were known as the Banu Najiyah.

Awf’s mother was Baridah bint Awf b. Ghanm b. Abdullah b. Ghatafan.

Amir’s mother was either Makshiyah or Layla bint Shayban b. Muharib b. Fihr (Ibn Ishaq p.706 n.88). The tribe of Awf b. Lu’ayy allied with the Ghatafan.

Lu’ayy and Taym were the two sons of Ghalib b. Fihr. When Lu’ayy died, Baridah took her son back to her own people and married Sa’d b. Dhubyan b. Baghid.

Ka’b had two other paternal half-brothers – Khuzaymah (who was known as Aidhat Quraysh after his mother Aidhah bint Khims b. Quhafah b. Khatham, and Sa’d (whose mother was Bunanah).

Lu’ayy’s mother was Atikah bint Yakhlud b. Nadr b. Kinanah, the first of the Atikahs of the tribe of Quraysh who were ancestresses of the Prophet (pbuh). Another source (Ibn Ishaq p.41) gave her name as Salmah bint Amr b. Rabi’ah (Luhayy) b. Harithah b. Amr Muzayqiqa b. Amir Ma’al-Sama b. Khuza’ah.

Lu’ayy had two full brothers, Taym al-Adram (from daram, meaning a receding chin) and Qays.

Lu’ayy’s father was Ghalib b. Fihr b. Malik and his mother was Layla bint Harith b. Tamim b. Sa’d b. Hudhayl b. Mudrikah. (Other sources named his mother as either Jandalah bint Amir b. Harith b. Mudad (b. Amr) al-Jurhumi, or Salmah bint Udd b. Tabikhah b. Ilyas b. Mudar or Jamilah bint Adwan of Bariq of Azd).

Lu’ayy had six full brothers - Harith, Muharib, Asad, Awf, Jawn and Dhi’b.

Fihr and Harith were sons of Malik b. Nadr. Malik’s wife was Ikrishah (or Atikah) bint Adwan (Harith) b. Amr b. Qays b. Aylan. Another source named Fihr’s mother as Hind bint Fahm b. Amr b. Qays b. Aylan.

Malik, Salt and Yakhlud were the sons of Nadr (Qays) b. Kinanah.

Nadr’s mother was Barrah bint Murr b. Udd b. Tabikhah b. al-Yas b. Mudar, who had previously been married to his father Kinanah’s father. Kinanah b. Quzaymah had many other sons, including Malik, Milkan, Abd Manat, Nudayr, Amir, Harith, Amr, Sa’d, Awf, Ghanm, Makhramah, Jarwal, Ghazwan and Hudal.

They had a paternal half-brother Abd Manat, whose mother was Fukayhah (or Fakhah) al-Dhafra bint Hani b. Bali b. Amr b. Haf b. Quda’ah.

Abd Manat had a maternal half-brother, Ali b. Mas’ud b. Mazin b. Dhi’b b. Adiy b. Amr b. Mazin al-Ghassani. Abd Manat married Hind bint Bakr b. Wa’il, who bore him children, and when he died Ali b. Mas’ud married her and they also had children.

Kinanah, Asad, Asada (Abu Judham) and Hawn/Hun were the sons of Khuzaymah b. Amr (Mudrika). Kinanah’s mother was Awanah bint Sa’d b. Qays b. Aylan b. Mudar (or Hind bint Amr b. Qays), and his paternal half-brothers Asad, Asadah and Hun were the sons of that Barrah bint Murr whom Kinanah subsequently married himself.

Khuzaymah and Hudhayl were sons of Mudrika or Amr b. Ilyas. Their mother was Salmah bint Aslum b. Haf b. Quda’ah (or Salmah bint Asad b. Rabi’ah). They had a maternal half-brother Taghlib b. Hulwan b. Imran b. Haf b. Quda’ah. 

Mudrika (Amr), Tabikha (Amir) and Umayr (Qama’ah) were the sons of Ilyas b. Mudar. Their mother was a woman of Yemen, Khindif (her real name being Layla bint Hulwan b. Imran b. Haf b. Quda’ah, and her mother being Dariyyah bint Rabi’ah b. Nizar). This is the matriarch whose name prevailed in the genealogy and her sons were known as the Banu Khindif. They got their nicknames from their reactions to antics of a hare that scattered their camels – Amr went after the camels and was called ‘Overtaker’ (= Mudrika) while Amir cooked the hare (cook = tabikha). Umayr had slunk (=inqama’a) into the tents and not come out, but Layla rushed to see what was happening and Ilyas asked where she was hurrying to (= tukhandifin).

Ilyas and Nas (also called Aylan ‘the destitute’ because he was so generous he gave his possessions away, and who fathered all of Qays) were sons of Mudar b. Nizar, the brother of Rabi’ah. Their mother was Rabab bint Haydah b. Ma’add. These two were known as as-Sarihan, the ‘Candid ones’, of the line of Isma’il (pbuh) b. Ibrahim (pbuh). They had a full-brother Iyad and two paternal half-brothers Rabi’ah and Anmar, whose mother was Jaddalah bint Walan b. Jawsham b. Julhumah b. Amr of Jurhum. Anmar and Iyad went to the Yemen.

Mudar was the son of Nizar b. Ma’ad (Abu Iyad, also called Abu Rabi’ah). His mother was Mu’anah bint. Jawsham b. Julhumah b. Amr, and his full brothers were Qunus, Qunasah, Sinam, Haydan, Haydah, Hayadah, Junayd, Junadah, Qahm, Ubayd al-Rammah, Urf, Awf, Shakk and Quda’ah. These were sons of Nizar, the brother of Quda’ah.

Nizar was the son of Ma’ad b. Adnan.  Ma’ad’s mother was Mahdad bint Lihamm (or Lahm) b. Jalhah b. Jadis (or Tasm, or Tawsam), one of the friends of Yaqshan the son of Ibrahim (pbuh). Ma’add’s full brothers were al-Dith Adan b. Adnan (or Akk, although some said Akk was the son of Dith b. Adnan), Abyan, Dahhak and Akk.

This genealogy up to this point is not disputed by any of the scholars, and all the tribes of the Arabs of the Hijaz combine in this line of descent.

Beyond this point, unfortunately, genealogists differ
(i)                          from which son of Isma’il the main line of descent came, and
(ii)                        in the names on the line of descent from Isma’il to Adnan

It is important to note, however, that it was common practice to omit less well-known names from long lists and only record or jump to the better-known celebrities.

Adnan, who was said to have been the ancestor of all the northern Arabs, had two paternal half-brothers, Nabt and Amr.

1. One line recorded by the historian Ibn Ishaq gives:
Adnan b. Udd (Udad)  b. Muqawwam b. Nahur b. Tayrah b. Yarub b. Yashjub b. Nabut b. Isma’il b. Ibrahim.
       2. The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) cousin-wife Umm Salamah, suggests:
Adnan b. Udad b. Zand (Hamaysa) b. Yara (Nabt) b. Araq al-Thara (Qaydhar?) b. Isma’il (pbuh) b. Ibrahim (pbuh).

3. Another line was suggested in the poetry of Qusayy b. Kilab:
Adnan b. Udad b. Aytahab b. Ayyub b. Qaydhar (Kedar) b. Isma’il (pbuh) b. Ibrahim (pbuh).

4. A further suggestion is:
Adnan b. Mayda b. Mani b. Udad b. Ka’b b. Yashjub b. Yarub b. Hamaysa b. Qaydhar (Kedar) b. Isma’il (pbuh) b. Ibrahim (pbuh).

5. The suggestion of Muhammad b Sa’ib al-Kalbi is:
Adnan b. Udad b. Hamaysa b. Salaman b. Aws b. Buz b. Qamwal b. Ubayy b. Awwam b. Nashid b. Haza b. Bildas b. Yidlaf b. Tabakh b. Jaham b. Tahash b. Makha b. Ayfa b. Abqar b. Ubayd b. Da’a b. Hamdan b. Sanbar b. Yathribi b. Yahzan b. Yalhan b. Arawa b. Ayfa b. Dayshan b. Isar b. Aqnad b. Ayham b. Muqsir b. Nahath b. Rizah b. Shamma b. Mizza b. Aws b. Arram b. Qaydhar (Kedar) b. Isma’il (pbuh) b. Ibrahim (pbuh).  (This last list seems far too long.)

The last four of these versions give Adnan’s descent from Isma’il’s son Kedar rather than Nabut. Several other versions also exist.

Qaydhar and Kedar

The references to Qaydhar or Qaydar are very important to those seeking to link this line with the references to Kedar appearing in various other places in the Old Testament, since Muslim scholars put these forward as possible texts prophesying the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).   See Isaiah 42.11.

[1] Ibn Kathir 1.60, Ibn Sa’d vol 1 p.71 states that the forbears of the Quraysh were known as the Banu Nadr. Nadr b. Kinanah was Qusayy’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

How Did the Apostles Die?

How Did the Apostles Die?

“Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.”
—Matthew 10:2-4 (see also Mark 3:14-19)
Lately I’ve been thinking about the twelve apostles of Christianity. According to Mark and Matthew, their names are as given above, although puzzlingly, the parallel list in Luke 6 omits Lebbaeus Thaddaeus and replaces him with James’ brother Judas, or Jude (apologetic tradition claims that the two are the same person). After Judas Iscariot’s death, Acts 1 informs us that Matthias was chosen to replace him.
An oft-heard Christian apologetic asks, “why would the apostles die for a lie?” Save for John, tradition holds, all of the original apostles eventually died martyr’s deaths – yet if the resurrection of Jesus was an invented story, they must have known that, and why would anyone go willingly to their death for a claim they knew to be untrue?
I’ll get into this claim in a moment, but first, an observation. One of the things I think any Christian should find strange is how little space the Bible gives to the twelve apostles. A few prominent ones such as Peter and John get more attention, but most of them vanish completely out of history after being named, with readers never being told anything else about them or anything they did. It is remarkable how unimportantmost of the apostles seem to be in the Bible.
Of all the apostles, the Bible records the death of only two: Judas Iscariot, who either hanged himself or fell and burst open (depending on which contradictory gospel account one believes), and James, son of Zebedee and brother of John, whom Herod killed “with the sword” (Acts 12:2). The Bible has Jesus imply, in John 21:18-19, that Simon Peter will die by crucifixion, but such an event is not recorded in the text.
The question is, how did the other apostles die? More importantly, how does anyone know? Where textual evidence is lacking, tradition has obliged, and a wide variety of local legends sprang up in medieval times about the apostles’ journeys and eventual deaths. But most of these traditions are late, invented hundreds of years after the fact, and lack any basis in earlier evidence. They are simply stories, tall tales. Such popular myths provide no support whatsoever for modern Christian claims that the apostles were willingly martyred.
Below is a brief survey of what history has to say about the apostles, and what sources our traditions draw from:
Judas Iscariot: According to the Bible, either committed suicide by hanging (Matthew 27:5) or fell down and exploded (Acts 1:18). Not considered a martyr.
John: Not said to have been martyred. Reportedly died of old age.
James, son of Zebedee: Killed by Herod (Acts 12:2). The Bible gives no further information about his death, including whether it was willing. The fourth-century church historian Eusebius quoted an earlier, lost work by Clement of Alexandria which allegedly claims that James’ calm demeanor at trial sufficiently impressed one of his accusers to convert him (source).
Simon Peter: Crucifixion, as implied by Jesus in John 21:18-19. Tradition usually holds that this occurred in Rome, as mentioned by second-century sources such as Tertullian and the apocryphal Acts of Peter. The Acts of Peter also claims that Peter accepted crucifixion willingly, making him one of the few apostles for which the claim of willing martyrdom is at all plausible. Eusebius dismissed this book as spurious and heretical (source).
Andrew: Reportedly martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross (“St. Andrew’s cross”). According to legend, he taught a gathered crowd while on the cross and refused their offer to take him down. This information comes from the apocryphal, probably second-century Acts of Andrew. Eusebius dismissed this book as spurious and heretical (source).
Philip: According to the apocryphal and probably fourth-century Acts of Philip, died after being hung upside-down with iron hooks through his ankles by the proconsul of Hierapolis. According to this book, before dying Philip cursed his enemies, causing seven thousand people to be suddenly swallowed up by an abyss. In return, Jesus appeared and rebuked Philip for “returning evil for evil”, and told him that he would be admitted to Heaven, but only after being tortured outside its gates for forty days as punishment. Like Andrew, Philip allegedly refused a crowd’s offer of rescue. The New Advent Catholic encyclopedia calls this work “purely legendary and a tissue of fables” (source).
Bartholomew: According to the third-century schismatic bishop Hippolytus, he was crucified in Armenia (source). A different tradition claims he was beheaded in India on the orders of King Astreges, who belonged to a demon-worshipping cult (source). Some traditions add that he was flayed alive before, or instead of, suffering either of these two fates. The New Advent encyclopedia says the manner of his death is “uncertain” (source), and adds that other than his name, “Nothing further is known of him”.
Thomas: Tradition holds that he was sent to India to preach, where he was killed by being stabbed with a spear. This claim is made by local Indian Christians and an apocryphal gospel called the Acts of Thomas, which Eusebius dismissed as spurious and heretical (source). The New Advent encyclopedia says that “Little is recorded” of Thomas’ life, and that “it is difficult to discover any adequate support” for the tradition of his death in India. It also notes that the Acts of Thomas presents Thomas as the twin brother of Jesus, which is not accepted by Christians today or in the past and seems to be a Christian/Gnostic-themed variation of a pagan salvation cult that followed twin gods called the Dioscuri.
Matthew: Conflicting traditions. says, “Nothing definite is known about his later life”, and it is even “uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom”. The Christian History Institute says, “We have nothing but legend about Matthew’s death.” Even among those who do believe he was martyred, there is no evidence as to where. Another source says there is conflicting information about whether he was martyred in Egypt or in Persia. The manner of his death is unknown, and some churches even say he died a natural death (source).
James, son of Alphaeus: Conflicting traditions. There are several people named “James” in the New Testament and early Christian history, and it is uncertain which, if any, should be identified with this apostle. He is often identified with the “James the Less” mentioned in Mark 15:40 as the son of Mary and Clopas, which is fairly uncontroversial. However, the Catholic church also identifies him with James, the brother of Jesus, which is not widely accepted by Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches. If this identification is correct, the Jewish historian Josephus says that James was stoned by the Pharisees. This is seconded by Hippolytus. However, other sources (example) say that James son of Alphaeus was martyred by crucifixion in Egypt.
Jude/Lebbaeus Thaddaeus: Conflicting traditions. It is often said that he went with Simon to preach in Armenia, though New Advent says this legend is a late development not mentioned by contemporary historians of that region. The CatholicPatron Saints Index says he was clubbed to death; however, the apocryphal Acts of Thaddeus says he died naturally. Still another account says he was crucified (source). No reliable written sources seem to exist to corroborate any of this.
Simon the Zealot: Conflicting traditions. According to, Western traditions hold that he was martyred in Persia with Jude, usually by crucifixion, while Eastern tradition says he died naturally in Edessa. Other sources, according to New Advent, variously give his place of death as Samaria (Israel), or Iberia (Spain), or Colchis (Georgia), or even Britain. Some sources dispute the crucifixion account and claim he was instead sawn in half.
Matthias: According to the 14th-century historian Nicephorus, died by crucifixion in Colchis, in the modern nation of Georgia. Alternatively, the 17th-century historian Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de Tillemont says that he was stoned and then beheaded in Jerusalem. According to the New Advent Catholic encyclopedia, “all… information concerning the life and death of Matthias is vague and contradictory” (source). Many apocryphal sources confuse Matthias and Matthew.
* * *
As we can see, information regarding the life and death of the apostles is extremely dubious and fragmentary. This fatally undermines the Christian claim that the apostles were martyred for their faith; there is simply no good evidence that would support such a claim. The gaping void in the historical record when it comes to these twelve men is certainly strange and unexpected under the assumptions of orthodoxy – how could the original twelve Christians, handpicked by Jesus himself, vanish so completely out of history so quickly? However, it does support the mythicist theory that early Christianity arose from a tissue of legends, not from the exploits of actual historical figures. Jesus, the central figure of this myth, became better fleshed out over time, but this process never proceeded so far as to be applied to the apostles.
There is another important point here: for the modern apologists’ claims to be proven, we must have evidence not only that the apostles died as martyrs, but that they diedin a situation where recanting would have saved them. This requires specific and strong evidence, but then again, it is a very specific claim.
There is no biblical evidence that, for example, James could have saved himself by recanting Christianity. Herod might have been determined to kill him no matter what he said. The same goes for Peter’s eventual presumed crucifixion. And these are thebest attested of all the apostles’ deaths (though that is a relative term). For the majority of the apostles, we have no good evidence even of how they died, much less that they could have saved themselves by recanting. Most of the sources we do have are late, contradictory, and dismissed as unfounded even by early Christian historians. The next time a Christian challenges you to explain why the apostles would have died for a lie, I suggest this response: “How do you know how the apostles died?” Judging by the cases I have seen, they will be unable to come up with an answer.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aishah’s statement “Your Lord hastens in fulfilling your desires” explained

Aishah’s statement “Your Lord hastens in fulfilling your desires” explained

Adeel Tariq Khan and Gabriel Al-Romaani
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:
  1. Aishah meant to question the idea of revelation and therefore that of her husband’s prophethood.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

[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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Examples from the Prophet's Life Where He Chose Not To Seek Revenge

Examples from the Prophet's Life Where He Chose Not To Seek Revenge

This list is far from being exhaustive. I only present these examples in response to those who show examples of where the Prophet peace be upon him ordered people to be killed. 

These critics think that if Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were to punish people for their crimes then that would negate the notion that he was sent as a mercy to people. To always forgive people for heinous crimes for no valid reason is not mercy, rather it is stupidity and injustice. The Prophet (peace be upon him) forgave at times and implemented justice at times. He knew when to balance between the two. He couldn't always be forgiving, for this would put the Muslims in a weak position and make them vulnerable to more attacks by their enemies. Neither did he always punish people as we shall see below...

Example 1: The Prophet Did Not Have Marba‘ bin Qaizi Killed

We read the story in Al-Mubarakpuri's The Sealed Nectar:

The Remainder of the Islamic Army are on the Move to Uhud

With the remainder of fighters, the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] moved towards the enemy. After the rebellion and withdrawal of the hypocrites, the number of soldiers was reduced to seven hundred only.

The camp of idolaters was situated in such a place that the many roads leading to Uhud were almost blocked by them. So the Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] said to his men: "Which man of you can lead us to where the people (i.e. the idolaters) are, along a short track that does not pass by them?" Abu Khaithama said: "O Messenger of Allâh [pbuh], I am the man you need." Then he chose a short track that led to Uhud passing by Harrah Bani Harithah and their farms, leaving the idolaters’ army westwards.

On their way they passed by Ha’it (i.e. the field) of Marba‘ bin Qaizi, who was a blind hypocrite. When Marba‘ felt and realized that they were the Prophetic army, he started throwing earth at their faces, so they rushed to kill him, but the Prophet [pbuh] said:

"Do not kill him. He is blind in heart and eyes."
This story was reported in Ibn Hisham's Seerah of the Prophet (see original Arabic here). 

Example 2: The Prophet Forgave The Bedouin Who Tried To Kill Him

We read in Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 005, Book 059, Hadith Number 458:

Narated By Jabir bin 'Abdullah : That he fought in a Ghazwa towards Najd along with Allah's Apostle and when Allah's Apostle returned, he too, returned along with him. The time of the afternoon nap overtook them when they were in a valley full of thorny trees. Allah's Apostle dismounted and the people dispersed amongst the thorny trees, seeking the shade of the trees. Allah's Apostle took shelter under a Samura tree and hung his sword on it. We slept for a while when Allah's Apostle suddenly called us, and we went to him, to find a bedouin sitting with him. Allah's Apostle said, "This (bedouin) took my sword out of its sheath while I was asleep. When I woke up, the naked sword was in his hand and he said to me, 'Who can save you from me?, I replied, 'Allah.' Now here he is sitting." Allah's Apostle did not punish him (for that).
Example 3: The Prophet Chose Not To Execute The People of Makkah

This story is famous (see Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 112). 

Example 4: The Prophet Forgave The Jewess Who Poisoned Him

Eventually she was killed because a companion died later on from the poison, however before that occurred, the Prophet peace be upon him forgave her. We read in Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 003, Book 047, Hadith Number 786:

Narated By Anas bin Malik : A Jewess 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 Allah's Apostle.
Example 5: The Prophet Forgave The Murderer of His Uncle

See Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 399.

Indeed Islam is the religion of moderation. We don't need blood thirsty murderers as we see the false God of the Old Testament ordering people to be and we don't need cowards who would just turn the other cheek as we see the false God of the New Testament trying to teach people to do. Rather, we need Islam that is moderate and balances between justice and mercy.