Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Satanic Verses.

The Christians enjoy them self by cut and paste At-Tabari vol 6:111. They smile happy and think as if they are the winner. Check mate! They say, What about At-Tabari 6:111?

This is it:

Our Prophet Muhammad said: “I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken.”.

They do not give us the whole words but only this. Why? Because they do not want you to see the truth of the whole story.

These are the scans from At-Tabari 6:111 The words above you can see on page 111. Judge yourself, please see attached images.

There is no greater lie than the lie of the Satanic Verses. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never uttered those verses. To sum it all up, the story basically states that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was leading the prayer one time near the Ka’bah.

He was reciting Surah 53:19-20 and then immediately after he recited those verses, he said “those are the high-flying cranes and indeed their intercession is to be hoped for”, so the Quraysh tribe were so thrilled that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke so positively about their Gods that they also prostrated with the Muslims after he recited those verses. Afterwards, Allah sent down a verse rebuking the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) (Surah 17:73-75) and also sent down a verse abrogating the “Satanic Revelation” (Surah 22:52)

Let us see if this could make any sense.

Surah 53 was revealed in the 5th year of Prophethood…  

Ibn Sad says that before this, in the Rajab of the 5th year of Prophethood, a small group of the Companions had emigrated to Abyssinia. Then, when in the Ramadan of the same year this incident took place, the news spread that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had recited Surah An-Najm publicly in the assembly of the Quraish and the whole assembly, including the believers as well as the disbelievers, had fallen down in prostration with him.

When the emigrants to Abyssinia heard this news, they formed the impression that the disbelievers of Makkah had become Muslims. Thereupon, some of them returned to Makkah in the Shawwal of the 5th year of Prophethood, only to learn that the news was wrong and the conflict between Islam and disbelief was raging as furiously as before. Consequently, the second emigration to Abyssinia took place, in which many more people left Makkah.

Thus, it becomes almost certain that this Surah was revealed in the Ramadan of 5th year of Prophethood. (Syed Abu-Ala’ Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 53,)  

The alleged verse that was revealed rebuking the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent down years later:

The very first verse indicates that this Surah was revealed on the occasion of Mi`raj (Ascension). According to the Traditions and books on the life of the Holy Prophet, this event happened one year before Hijrah. Thus, this Surah is one of those, which were revealed in the last stage of Prophethood at Makkah. (Syed Abu-Ala’ Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 17)  

And the verse that supposedly abrogated the ‘satanic revelation’ was revealed in 1 A.H, which is approximately 8 years after the incident:  

The sudden change of the style from v. 25 shows that probably vv. 25-78 were sent down in the month of Zul-Hijjah in the very first year after Hijrah. This is indicated by vv. 25-41 and confirmed by the occasion of the revelation of vv. 39-40. (Syed Abu-Ala’ Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, Commentary on Surah 22,)  

Are they trying to say that the Muslims believed that the Satanic revelations were true revelations for approximately eight years? That would mean that the Quraysh would have believed that the Muslims were pagan worshippers. So, if the Quraysh did believe this, then why did they keep on persecuting the Muslims for their beliefs, which is the reason why the Hijra took place anyway?  

Obviously, one should also continue reading the remainder of the Surah:

Surah 53:21-25

What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! These are nothing but names which ye have devised, – ye and your fathers, – for which God has sent down no authority (whatever).

 They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire! – Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord! Nay, shall man have (just) anything he hankers after? But it is to God that the End and the Beginning (of all things) belong.  

It clearly condemns the deity of these idols, so why would we need a verse abrogating it?

Surah 22:52 is only a general statement…  

Prophets and messengers (the distinction is explained in n. 2503 to xix. 51) are but human. Their actions are righteous and their motives pure. But in judging things from a human point of view, the suggestion may come to their mind (from Satan) that it would be good to have power or wealth or influence for furthering Allah’s cause, or that it may be good to conciliate some faction which may be irreconcilable.

In fact, in Allah’s Plan, it may be the opposite. Allah, in His mercy and inspiration, will cancel any false or vain suggestions of this kind, and confirm and strengthen His own Commands and make known His Will in His Signs or revelations. (Yusuf Ali’s Commentary on the Quran, Commentary on Surah 22:52)

(Never sent We a messenger or a Prophet before thee) O Muhammad (but when he) the Prophet (recited (the message)) or spoke (Satan proposed (opposition) about that which he recited thereof) such that he does not act upon it. (But Allah abolisheth) but Allah elucidates (that which Satan proposeth) on the tongue of His Prophet such that he does not act upon it.

 (Then Allah establisheth) then He clarifies (His revelations) for His Prophet in order that he acts upon them. (Allah is Knower) of that which Satan proposes, (Wise) He decrees to abolish it; (Ibn Abbaas, Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Commentary on Surah 22:52)

Ibn Kathir also happens to mention that the narrations regarding this story are weak…

At this point many of the scholars of Tafsir mentioned the story of the Gharaniq and how many of those who had migrated to Ethiopia came back when they thought that the idolators of the Quraysh had become Muslims, but these reports all come through Mursal chains of narration, and I do not think that any of them may be regarded as Sahih. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

Here we see that the narrations are classified as mursal hadith. A mursal hadith is…

mursal or “unattached” hadeeth is one that contains a gap of one generation (according to both Azami and Hasan it is a hadeeth reported by a Successor who drops the Companion from whom he learned it in the isnad).

among them ghareeb (“scarce” or “strange”), 

Gibril Fouad Haddad does a great job listing the scholars who graded the narrations weak…

1. Ibn Sa`d (d. 230) in his al-Tabaqat al-Kubra
(reprint Beirut: Dar Sadir), vol. 1 said:

[p. 205] Muhammad ibn `Umar (*) narrated to us: (1) Yunus ibn Muhammad ibn Fadala al-Zafari narrated to me: From his father who said: (2) From Kathir ibn Zayd: From al-Muttalib ibn `Abd Allah ibn Hantab who said: –

[(*) Muhammad ibn `Umar al-Waqidi (d. 207), Ahmad ibn Hanbal said of him: “He is a liar.” Al-Bukhari and Abu Hatim al-Razi said: “Discarded.” Ibn `Adi said: “His narrations are not retained, and their bane comes from him.” Ibn al-Madini said: “He forges hadiths.” Al-Dhahabi said: “Consensus has settled over his debility.” Mizan al-I`tidal (3:662-666 #7993).]

Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – saw rejection coming from his people, so he sat in isolation, wishing to himself: Would that nothing is revealed to me that would drive them away from me.

Thereafter Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – approached his people again and made overtures to them, and they responded to him. One day he sat with them in one of the usual public gatherings around the Ka`ba and he recited to them “By the Star when it setteth” (Sura 53, al-Najm). When he reached the words:

19. Have ye thought upon Al Lat and Al Uzza? 20. And Manat, the third, the other?

the devil interjected two phrases (kalimatayn) upon his tongue:

“Those are the elevated cranes: truly their intercession is dearly hoped!”

Allah’s Messenger spoke these two phrases then went on to finish the entire Sura, then he prostrated and all those in attendance prostrated. Al-Walid ibn al-Mughira took a handful of earth and [applying it to his forehead] prostrated on it, for he was an aged old man who could not prostrate. It is also said that Abu Uhayha Sa`id ibn al-`As was the one who did this…. and some say both did it.

They [the Quraysh] were elated at what Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – had spoken, saying: “We definitely know that Allah gives life and gives death as well as creates and sustains, but these our gods intercede for us before Him, so if you give them their share, we are with you.”

This statement of theirs bore heavily on the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and he withdrew to his house. When evening came, Gibril came to him and rehearsed the Sura with him, whereupon Gibril said: “Did I bring you those two phrases (al-kalimatayn)?”

Allah’s Messenger said: “Have I said on Allah’s part something He never said?” Whereupon Allah revealed to him [p. 206] the verse: {And they indeed strove hard to beguile thee (Muhammad) away from that wherewith We have inspired thee, that thou shouldst invent other than it against Us; and then would they have accepted thee as a friend.} (17:73)

2. Imam al-Baghawi (d. 510) said in his commentary of the Qur’an entitled Lubab al-Ta’wil fi Ma`alim al-Tanzil (Dar al-Fikr ed. vol. 3) concerning the story of the cranes (qissat al-gharaaneeq):

[p. 293] Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad ibn Ka`b al-Qurazi and others of the commentators of Qur’an said that when the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – saw the turning away of his people from him and it bore heavily on him to see the distance grow between them and what he brought them on Allah’s part, he desired in his soul (tamanna fi nafsihi) that

there come from Allah something that would bridge the gap between him and his people, for he was deeply concerned that they should have faith. As he was in a gathering of the Quraysh one day, Allah revealed Sura al-Najm (53), whereupon Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him — began to recite it, until he reached His saying:

19. Have ye thought upon Al Lat and Al Uzza?

20. And Manat, the third, the other?

whereupon the devil interjected upon his tongue (alqa al-shaytan `ala lisanihi) in connection with that of which he spoke to himself and was hoping for:

“Those are the elevated cranes:
truly their intercession is dearly hoped!”

When the Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced greatly. Allah’s Messenger proceeded with his recitation until the end of the Sura, at which point he prostrated, and the Muslims prostrated with him as well as all those of the pagans that were in the mosque.

There remained no-one in the mosque, neither believer nor non-believer, except he prostrated, but for al-Walid ibn al-Mughira and Abu Uhayha Sa`id ibn al-`As who took a handful of earth and applied it to their foreheads, prostrating on it, for they were aged old men who could not prostrate.

Then the Quraysh dispersed in elation at the way they had heard their gods mentioned, saying: “Muhammad has mentioned our gods in the best way possible.” They also said: “We definitely know that Allah gives life and gives death as well as creates and sustains, but these our gods intercede for us before Him, so if Muhammad gives them their share, we are with him.” When evening came, Gibril came to Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – and said: “O Muhammad! What have you done?

You have recited to the people something which I never brought you from Allah Exalted and Almighty.” Hearing this, the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – was deeply grieved and feared much from Allah (swt). So Allah revealed to him the following verse in which he consoled him, as He was ever merciful towards him:

{Never sent We a messenger or a Prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise} (22:52)

Meanwhile those of the Prophet’s Companions who were in Abyssynia heard the news of the prostration of the Quraysh and the rumor that the Quraysh and the Meccans had accepted Islam, so most of them returned to their kindred. But when they neared Mecca, the news reached them that what they had heard of the Islam of the Meccans was false. So, no-one actually entered Mecca except under protection or stealthily.

When the above verse was revealed, the Quraysh said: “Muhammad regrets his words about the status of our gods before Allah and has now changed them.” The two phrases that the devil had interjected upon the tongue of Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – by then were in the mouth of every idolater, and their hostility increased in intensity against those who had accepted Islam.

3. Al-Tabari (d. 310) said in his commentary entitled Jami` al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an (30 vols.) Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1405/1985, reprint of the Bulaq 1322-1330/1904-1911 ed. vol. 17:

[p. 186] The sayings concerning the interpretation of the verse:

{Never sent We a messenger or a Prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise} (22:52):

It was said that the reason for which this verse was revealed upon the Messenger of Allah – Allah bless and greet him – is that the devil had interjected upon the Prophet’s tongue – Allah bless and greet him – during some of his recitation of the Qur’an as it had been revealed to him by Allah, something which Allah had not revealed. Then this bore heavily on Allah’s Messenger – Allah bless and greet him – who became despondent, whereupon Allah Almighty comforted him by revealing to him the above….

[Then al-Tabari proceeds to narrate reports to that effect, all of them weak, but the collective weight of which suggests authenticity as stated by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (see below).]

[p. 190] The gist of the interpretation of the verse is: “We never sent before you any Messenger nor Prophet except that, when he uttered Allah’s Book in recitation, or discoursed and spoke, the devil interjected something into what he uttered of Allah’s Book in recitation or into his discourse and speech, {But Allah abolishes that which the devil interjects} , i.e. He removes whatever suggestion the devil interjects upon the Prophet’s tongue and nullifies it.”

[Al-Tabari goes on to state that the verses that follow make explicit the fact that the reason for this incident was to test the belief of those who harbored a disease in their hearts and increase the belief of those who were rightly-guided – and this test continues until our time:

22:53 {That He may make that which the devil proposeth a temptation for those in whose hearts is a disease, and those whose hearts are hardened. Lo! the evildoers are in open schism.}

22:54 {And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it is the truth from thy Lord, so that they may believe therein, and their hearts may submit humbly unto Him. Lo! Allah verily is guiding those who believe unto a right path.}

22:55 {And those who disbelieve will not cease to be in doubt thereof until the Hour come upon them unawares, or there come unto them the doom of a disastrous day.}

22:56 {The Sovereignty on that day will be Allah’s. He will judge between them. Then those who believed and did good works will be in Gardens of Delight,}

22:57 {While those who disbelieved and denied Our revelations, for them will be a shameful doom.} ]

4. Al-Jassas (d. 370), Ahkam al-Qur’an (5 vols.), ed. Muhammad al-Sadiq Qamhawi (Beirut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi, 1405/1985) 5:83-84:

Concerning the verse:

{Never sent We a messenger or a Prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise} (22:52):

It was narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, al-Dahhak, Muhammad ibn Ka`b, and Muhammad ibn Qays that the circumstance of revelation fof this verse was that when the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him recited {Have ye thought upon Al Lat and Al Uzza? And Manat, the third, the other?} (53:19-20), the devil interjected (alqa) into his recitation: “Those are the elevated cranes: truly their intercession is dearly hoped!”

There is difference of opinion over the meaning of “the devil interjected.” Some said that when the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – recited this sura and mentioned in it the idols, the pagans knew that he would vilify them and so one of them said, at the time the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – reached the words {Have ye thought upon} etc. “Those are,” etc. in full presence of the multitude of the Quraysh in the holy Mosque.

At that time the generality of the pagans who were far back said: “Muhammad just praised our divinities!” and they conjectured that this was part of his recitation. Thereafter, Allah declared this claim of theirs false, and showed that the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – never recited it in the first place, but that it was only recited by one of the pagans.

Allah named that person “Satan” because he was one of the devils of humankind… “shaytan” being a name for every obdurate rebel among jinn and humankind. It was also said that it is possible that he was one of the devils of the jinn.

5. Al-Tha`alibi’s (d. 876) al-Jawahir al-Hisan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an (4 vols.), Beirut: Mu’assasa al-A`lami li al-Matbu`at, 1970, Reprint of the original 1323/1905 Algerian edition, 3:84:

Al-Qadi `Iyad said [in al-Shifa]: “Suffice it for you that this narration was not documented by any of the scholars of sound hadith, nor have any of the trustworthy narrators related it with a healthy, uninterrupted chain.

The only ones to be interested in it are the type of commentators and historians who are interested in every strange matter, blindly compiling from the books everything their hands fall upon, whether it is sound or feeble.” Qadi Abu Bakr told the truth.

6. Abu al-Su`ud’s (d. 951) Irshad al-`Aql al-Salim ila Mazaya al-Qur’an al-Karim (9 vols.), Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-`Arabi, 6:113:

Concerning the verse:

{Never sent We a messenger or a Prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise} (22:52):

It was said that he [the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him] hoped, because of his yearning that his people should have faith, that there be revealed to him something that would bring them nearer to him, and he persisted in this until he was among them and Sura al-Najm was revealed.

whereupon he began to recite it, and when he reached {And Manat, the third, the other} , the devil whispered to him with the result that his tongue tripped in inattention and he said “Those are the elevated cranes: truly their intercession is dearly hoped!”

 Whereupon the pagans rejoiced and joined him in prostration when he prostrated at the end of the Sura, and there remained none in the Mosque – whether believer or pagan – except they all prostrated. After this, Gibril – upon him peace – warned him of the mistake, then Allah the Exalted rebuked him with this verse. This account is rejected by the scholars of verification.

7. Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari, 1959 ed. vol. 8:

[p. 439] All the paths of this hadith are either weak or cut off, except for that of Sa`id ibn Jubayr… However, the profusion of the chains show that the story has a basis, furthermore, there are two other “mursal” chains whose narrators are those of Bukhari and Muslim. The first one is that narrated by al-Tabari through Yunus ibn Yazid from Ibn Shihab [al-Zuhri]: “Abu Bakr ibn `Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Harith ibn Hisham narrated to me,” etc.

The second is what al-Tabari also narrated through al-Mu`tamir ibn Sulayman and Hammad ibn Salama from Dawud ibn Abi Hind from Abu al-`Aliya…. Contrary to what Abu Bakr ibn al-`Arabi and al-Qadi `Iyad have claimed whereby the story has no basis at all…. When the paths of a hadith are many and distinct, it shows that the report has a basis…. So, as I said, there are three sounds but ‘mursal’ chains for it, among them what meets the criteria of the two Sahihs but for the fact that they are ‘mursal’. These constitute proof for both those that accept ‘mursal’ reports as proofs and those that do not, due to the mutual strengthening of the chains.

This said, it is required to interpret the incident and address what appears to be reprehensible, namely the statement “the devil interjected upon the Prophet’s tongue – Allah bless and greet him – the words ‘Those are the elevated cranes: truly their intercession is dearly hoped.'”

Such a thing is precluded from being accepted in literal terms for it is impossible for the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – to add something to the Qur’an that does not belong to it whether deliberately (`amdan) or erroneously (sahwan). …

[p. 440] Al-Qadi `Iyad did well when he said: “It is possible the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – was mentioning the belief of the pagans by way of derision, noting that at that time it was permitted to speak in the midst of prayer. To this position leaned Ibn al-Baqillani. It was also said that when he reached the words {Have ye thought upon Al Lat and Al Uzza?

And Manat, the third, the other?} the pagans feared lest he add something to mock their gods, so they hastened to interject and jeer so as to cover up what was coming next, as was their habit stated in the verse {Those who disbelieve say: Heed not this Quran and drown the hearing of it; haply ye may conquer} (41:26).

This act on their part was attributed to the devil as it was, he that inspired it to them. Or what was meant by the devil was the devil of humankind…. It was also said that the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him used to recite the Qur’an slowly, so that the devil lay in wait for one of the pauses and uttered the words in question with the same timbre of voice. 

Those that were near him heard it as if coming from the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – and attributed it to him. This is the best of all interpretations.”

Ibn al-`Arabi also approved of the latter interpretation, saying: “This verse [{ Never sent We a messenger or a Prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of his amaniyya (=”that which he recited thereof”)} (22:52)] is an explicit proof-text, in our school, to the innocence of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – of what was imputed to him. The meaning of ‘amaniyya’ in the verse being: ‘recitation’.

Allah Almighty therefore informed us in this verse that His way with His Messengers is that when they say something, Satan adds something to it on his part. This is an explicit proof-text that it is Satan that conveys this statement inside the Prophet’s words – Allah bless and greet him – and it is not the latter that says it.

A precedent for this view was given by al-Tabari, in keeping with his high erudition, vast learning, and perspicuous analysis, and HE DECLARED IT THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION, AND SETTLED ON IT.”

There are two recent booklets from the late Nasir Albani’s printing house, al-Maktab al-Islami out of Beirut, on the topic:

1- Nasb al-Majaniq li-Nasf Qissat al-Gharaniq (“The Hoisting of Catapults for the Destruction of the Story of the Cranes”) by M. Nasir al-Albani, 3rd ed. 1996.

2- Al-Gharaniq: Qissatun Dakhilatun `ala al-Sirati al-Nabawiyya (“The Cranes: A Story Interpolated into the Prophetic Sira”) by Albani’s student Salih Ahmad al-Shami, 1st ed. 1998.

The first work argues for the invalidity of the story from the viewpoint of isnad, a weak argument as shown in the preceding discussion.

The second work argues for the invalidity of the story from the viewpoint of chronology, a strong and conclusive argument from the face of it, making the following points:

– Surat al-Najm (in which the disputed verses were purported to belong) was revealed in one whole in the tenth year of the Hijra.

– The First Hijra to Abyssinia took place in the fifth year, between Rajab and Shawwal.

– How then could the revelation of Surat al-Najm and the subsequent events – prompting the rumors of mass conversion in Mecca – that all took place in the tenth year, be a cause for the return of the Abyssinian Emigrants in the fifth?

– The true reason for the return of the Muslims from the first Abyssinian Emigration was alienation and difficult conditions as spoken by Asma’ bint `Umays in the narration of al-Bukhari in his Sahih: “Asma’ bint `Umays went in to see Hafsa the wife of Rasulullah Sallallahu `alayhi wa Alihi wa Sallam, and she was one of those who had emigrated to the Negus. Whereupon `Umar came in to see Hafsa while Asma’ was with her. He asked who she was and Hafsa told him.

`Umar said: She is the Abyssinian? The one from accross the sea? Asma’ said yes. `Umar said: We all [emigrants to Madina] made Hijra before you all [emigrants to Abyssinia], so we are more entitled to the Messenger of Allah than you – Allah bless and greet him. She became angry and said: Not at all, by Allah!

You were with the Messenger of Allah – Allah bless and greet him – at a time he fed your hungry ones and admonished your ignorant ones, while we were in the abode of alienation and detestation (dar al-bu`ada’ wa al-bughada’) in Abyssinia, all for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Rasulullah!

And, by Allah, I shall not eat one morsel of food nor drink one drop of water until I mention what you said to Rasulullah! And how much did we suffer, and how we lived in fear! But I shall mention this to the Prophet! Etc.”

– All the above does not preclude the fact that the Meccan unbelievers did prostrate upon hearing Sura al-Najm exactly as it was revealed, due to its majesty and the fear caused in them by the invocation of punishment pronounced towards its end. One needs only to imagine them gathered together with the Muslims before the Ka`ba as the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him –

himself recited this newly revealed Sura to them from beginning to end. Similar examples are the reactions of the unbelievers at the invocations of punishment they heard from the believers. For example, `Utba ibn Rabi`a’s reaction when he heard the verse {If they turn away, tell them I have warned you of a destruction similar to that of `Ad and Thamud} (Fussilat 13).

Upon hearing this `Utba placed his hand on the mouth of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – so that the threat of punishment would be averted. And when Khubayb ibn `Adi pronounced a similar threat, Abu Sufyan lied down on the ground together with his son Mu`awiya to deflect its harm.

Al-Shami also makes note of the book “Hadha al-Habib” by the late Abu Bakr al-Jaza’iri in which the author advocates the position that the story did take place and that the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – was in fact mislead.

This is the same man who used to sit in the Haram of Madina attacking the Awliya and Sufis, and who wrote that the father and mother of the Prophet – Allah bless and greet him – are in Hellfire. He was refuted among others by the two Moroccan authors of the book Wa`izun Ghayru Mutta`iz (“A Heedless Admonisher”).

The late al-Sayyid `Abd Allah Siraj al-Din al-Halabi (died this March 2002 rahimahullah) also has a long, extremely detailed treatment of the story of the cranes in his masterful book _Hady al-Qur’an al-Karim ila al-Hujjati wal-Burhan_ 2nd edition, 1994, p. 155-182. He too concludes that it is a forgery. 

Imam Razi in his commentary stated that the hadith scholars have declared this story to be weak and that when Ibn Khuzayma was asked regarding this story, he declared it to be forged from heretics. He also mentions that Imam Al Bayhaqi stated that this story was not narrated reliably and that the narrators have been condemned by hadith scholars. (Fakhar ad-Din ar-Razi, Tafsir Al Kabir, Commentary on Surah 22:52,)

Ibn Hazm also declared the Satanic verses story as a forgery and that there is no reliable chain of transmission for it. (Ibn Hazm, Al Fasl Filmalal, 2/308-309, 311)

Some may try to appeal Ibn Hajar’s argument regarding the story being authentic because the many weak chains when looked at together gives the story a basis. However, Sheikh Dr. Emad Sayed Al Sharbeeni in his book Radd Al Shubuhaat Hawl ‘Asmatil Nabi Fi Daw’ al Qur’an wal Sunnah, pp. 355-356 responds back to Ibn Hajar by presenting the two following points.

1) As Ibn Hajar admits himself, not all accept mursal narrations. Imam Muslim in his introduction to Sahih Muslim said that mursal narrations cannot be held as authoritative. (Bab: Sihhatil Ehtijaaj bil Hadeeth Al Mu’n’in, 1/163) Ibn Salaah said that mursal narrations are just like weak hadeeth, they cannot be used as evidence unless you have authentic narrations from somewhere else to strengthen it. 

(‘Uloom Al Hadeeth, p. 49) Different schools of thought have put different conditions in regards to accepting mursal narrations. Thus, not all Muslims are required to believe this story, for it cannot be proven to be authentic in a clear-cut manner.

2) Acceptance of mursal narrations is only debated when it comes to matters of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and not matters in Aqedah (theology) that demand clear cut proof and certainty, which the mursal narrations solely cannot provide despite having a good chain of transmission. If one were to see the different opinions of scholars regarding mursal narrations, you will realize that it is in relation to matters of acts of worship (jurisprudence) and not theology.

Thirdly, pp. 696-698 of Dr. Mohar Ali’s book The Biography of the Prophet and the Orientalists, shows that the matn (content) of the narrations are different when they are compared with each other. Keeping minor differences aside, there are major differences in regards to the occasion of the incident, nature of the Prophets’ alleged act, wording of the alleged “satanic verses” and their effect or sequel. Thus, this gives us greater confidence in the fact that the missing person in the mursal narration is indeed a weak narrator. 

I would like to make it known that missionaries do not (either due to forgetfulness, deceitfulness or ignorance) inform their readers about the other versions of the Satanic verses stories that have come down to us (all of them are unreliable by the way), which would refute the main thesis of their arguments.

One version of the story states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) never uttered the Satanic verses. It also states that the Muslims did not hear it. It was only Satan who deceived the pagans into making them hear the verses. So both Pagans and Muslims bowed down together (pagans hearing Satan’s revelation, while the Muslims were hearing the true Qur’an) and both were surprised at the other side for bowing down.

Dr. Mohar Ali interestingly points out in his book The Biography of the Prophet and the Orientalists, page 700:

Significantly enough, some versions of the story clearly state that the “satanic verses” were uttered not by the Prophet but by Satan or some unbelievers at the time of the Prophet’s recitation of the surah. Even the version said to have been transmitted by Urwah ibn al-Zubayr says first that it was “thrown in” by Satan without mentioning “on the tongue of the Prophet”, and later on specifically stating that “the Muslims did not hear what Satan threw in on the tongues of the polytheists” [2].

The same information is given in the version coming from Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri wherein it is stated: “The Muslims did not hear what the devil threw in the hearing of the unbelievers” [3] Rightly, therefore, Ibn Taymiyyah categorically states that the alleged couplet was put by Satan into the hearing of the unbelievers. [4]

2) Al-Tabarani, Majma’ etc., VI, 32-34; VIII, 70-72, Also quoted in Al-Albani, op.cit., 12-13

3) Ibn Kathir, Tafsir,

4) Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu’ at Fatawa, II, 282.

Dr. Mohar Ali also notes on page 697:

Yet other versions state that it was neither the Prophet, nor Satan, but someone from among the unbelievers who uttered the alleged verses when the Prophet had just completed the recitation of ayah 19 of the surah.

He argues on page 700:

A second fact which needs emphasizing in this connection is that the text of the so-called “satanic verses” was no new composition made on the occasion mentioned. It was an old couplet which the Quraysh pagans used to recite in praise of their goddesses while circumambulating the Ka’ba. [1] It is also to be remembered that the unbelievers used to create noise and disturbances whenever the Prophet or the Muslims recited the Qur’an publicly.

Therefore, it is very likely that when the Prophet recited the surah and mentioned Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza in the course of his recitation and in a denunciatory strain, some of the Quraysh unbelievers instantly interrupted and protested by shouting out the couplet.

1) Ibn al-Kalbi, Kitab al-Asnam, ed. Ahmad Zaki Pasha, p.19, Yaqut, Mu’jam al-Buldan, IV, 116.

So here we see that other versions of the Satanic Verses story destroy the missionaries’ conclusions and arguments. What objective scientific and historical methodology are they utilizing for insisting that the version of the story that he appeals to is correct and not these other versions? (PS: I do not accept any of these stories).

Since we are familiar with the low-quality argumentation of missionaries, we anticipate what they might say. They might argue back and say that there is good reason to believe that Muslims made up the other versions, which vindicate Muhammad (peace be upon him) because they are biased.

Therefore, they are not reliable. However, if we were to utilize the historical method and apply the principle of embarrassment, we can conclude that the story which portrays Muhammad (peace be upon him) as uttering the Satanic verses as more reliable, since Muslims would not make up such a story.

However, there are problems with these kinds of responses. First, the person arguing this way is committing the fallacy of circumstantial ad hominem. Just because it appears that the Muslims would have a motive to lie, that is not evidence that they did. Also, the missionary would be applying double standards here since one can then easily argue back that we do not have any enemy testimony from the first Christian century, but only Christian testimony.

Therefore, since Christians would have a bias towards speaking positively about Paul, we should assume that anything they say is not trustworthy! But of course, no Christian would accept that sort of logic now, would he?

As for the principle of embarrassment, this can only be applied once we know for a certainty who the person is. As I demonstrated in my article on the Satanic verses, the chains regarding the story are broken and there are missing people in the chain. We do not know who these missing people are. 

We do not know if they are Muslims, non-Muslims, hypocrites acting as Muslims and purposely spreading lies, etc. So, if we are not sure who the people in the missing links are, how can we apply the principle of embarrassment?

We can only apply this principle if we were to know that the person is a trustworthy Muslim who would definitely have no motive to lie and make up something derogatory about the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, for all we know, the people in the missing link could be people known for fabricating narrations. 

You cannot apply this principle to these people. In conclusion, since we are not sure who the people in the missing link are, we cannot confidently go ahead and apply this principle to this case.

Some missionaries might reply back and say that there is several independent testimonies narrating the event. But again, we do not know the people in the missing links. For all we know it can be the same person that is missing in all the broken chains. If that is the case, then this would not make all these narrations truly independent. So again, there is no shred of objective evidence that can show that all these narrations truly are independent.

Secondly, ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT let us actually say that this whole incident is true and actually happened. This in no way disproves the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him). It actually does nothing but convince me even more that he truly was a Prophet from God!

The funny thing is that if the Quran were truly authored by Satan as many critics claim then why on earth would Satan abrogate the ‘satanic revelations’ of Surah 53 and then expose himself?

If the Quran is truly inspired by Satan, then Satan should have just let people believe in that Satanic revelation. If the Quran is truly authored by Satan, then why would Satan only bother to expose himself on that specific verse? The truth of the matter is that this is absolute nonsense. If we want to accept the story, we could only accept this conclusion: 

Satan deceived the Prophet (peace be upon him) for those few seconds by whispering those verses into him and tricking him into saying it. However later on God protected His Prophet (peace be upon him) and rebuked Satan and exposed Satan’s failure in his attempt to bring people into idol worship. This could only show that the author of the Quran truly is God and no one else!

Of course, I reject the story. However, if people want to be stubborn and keep shoving it down my throat then fine. It does nothing more than prove to me that the Quran is indeed a revelation of God by exposing the plots of Satan!

The same arguments above apply even if the Islamic critic takes the position that it was Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself who was the author of the Qur’an and not Satan.

Allah knows Best.

Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.

Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.

Make sure to copy and email this post for your reference, you might need it later.

Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.