Sunni misconceptions about Shia muslims

The root cause of anti-Shia violence perpetrated by militantly sectarian and mostly Wahhabi/Salafi minded elements within the Sunni muslims is the existence of major misconceptions regarding Shia muslims. This goes as far as considering Shias „non-muslims“ (Kuffar) or worse „apostates“ (Murtadeen).

Hateful incitements against the Shias have been „explained“ by takfiri ideologues using a wide array of mostly unsustainable religious pseudo-arguments in order to justify and „legitimize“ the killing of Shia muslims.
Thus it is time to identify and refute these deadly misconceptions.

Since (the mostly Wahhabi/Salafi minded) radical islamists among Sunni muslims seriously think there is solid religious „legitimization“ for anti-Shia violence which absolves them of any guilt and even justifies sectarianism, it is time to identify, address and refute misconceptions about Shia muslims.

The misconceptions:

1. There is a „Shia Quran“ which is different than the „Quran“
Truth: Of course there is no such seperate and different Quran. The Quran sold and read in Tehran is the same as in Riyadh.

2. The Shia believe that Imam Ali (ibn Abi Taleb, cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad) is „God“
Truth: No Shia Imam or scholarly person has ever claimed this and this is also totally inconsistent with the „Shahada“ formula that every practising Shia uses: „La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. “

3. The Shia believe that archangel Gabriel (Jibr´eel) „mistakingly“ gave prophethood to Prophet Mohammad instead to Imam Ali
Truth: Same as with misconception 2

4. The Shia do not pray 5 times a day and a total of 17 Rakaat
Truth: „In Shia mosques, whether in Iran or the USA, all five daily prayers are performed. Shia do combine noon and afternoon and evening and night, but Shia scholars recommend performing them separately.“
http://www.ezsoftech.com/akram/shiasunniunity.asp

5. The Shia do not pray voluntary „Sunnah“ prayers (in addition to the obligatory „Fard“ prayers)
Truth: Beside the fact that the „Sunnah“ prayers are voluntary and thus NOT compulsitory, „Shias do perform non-obligatory prayers, 36 cycles per day in total, but call it Nawafil and not Sunnah.“ For details, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salat

6. Lying and deception is allowed for the Shia because they make use of „Taqiyyah“ (Dissimulation)
Truth: Shias are of course not allowed to lie or deceive or give wrong testimony. „al-Taqiyyah literally refers to the practice of hiding one’s faith when one’s life is in danger from others who may wish to harm them for what they believe…Muslims should employ the practise of Taqiyyah in matters of life and death. In reality the Shia have found themselves in that very situation on numerous occasions throughout Islamic history.

The practice is legitimised during times of danger by the Holy Qur’an in Surah 16: Ayah 106:

 “Whoever renounces faith in Allah after {affirming} his faith—barring someone who is compelled while his heart is at rest in faith—but those who open up their breasts to unfaith, upon such shall be Allah’s wrath, and there is a great punishment for them.”

This verse was revealed in relation to the Prophet’s (s.a.w) companion ‘Ammar b. Yasir, after he was forced to use renounce his faith in order to save his life from the Qurayshi pagans who were torturing and killing Muslims for refusing to outwardly profess disbelief.“
http://shiastudies.org/article/taqiyyah
Though Sunni muslims do not use the word „Taqiyyah“, the concept as such is not unknown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiya#Sunni_Islam_view

7. Shias are „polytheists“ because they worship others than Allah
Truth: No, of course Shias only worship Allah. They have been accused of „shirk“ because of prostrating on a piece of earth (clay) during the prayer. This has nothing to do with polytheism (by „worshipping stones“) as Sunni Sheikh Ahmed Deedat explains here very well:

“An example is that the Shia brothers when they make salat, they have a piece of clay (turbah) that they do sajjdah on. And he( Sunni cleric) says, “see what they are doing here. This is shirk. They are worshipping a piece of clay.”
I said why don’t you ask them why they place their foreheads on a piece of clay and learn the logic behind this. I asked them. Why do you carry this clay tablet everywhere you go in your pocket? They said “we are supposed to do sujood on Allah’s earth with our foreheads touching the earth. We say “subhanna rabia Allah” three times with our foreheads touching the earth.” So the Shia want to actually touch the earth with their foreheads and not a manmade carpet. They want to be true to the expression of praying with the forehead actually touching Allah’s earth. You see they don’t worship the clay tablet as many wrongly think. And this is always something that we Sunnis are always making fun of and mock the Shia.”“  https://revivinghope.wordpress.com/tag/shia-sunni-unity/

At times, Shias visiting shrines have been wrongfully accused of „worshipping“ the (graves of the) dead.
„Touching or kissing the shrines of the Prophet and the imams does not imply shirk, nor does it associate that particular person with Allah, because Allah has the ultimate sovereignty in this universe, and Muslims submit to, worship, and seek help only from Him. Visiting the shrines is merely a gesture of respect.“

The Noble Qur’an teaches that when Prophet Yaqub cried over the separation of his son, Yusuf he lost his eye sight. Years later, Yusuf sent his shirt with one of his brothers and told him to put it on the face of his father so that he would regain his sight. The Qur’an says:

„Go with this shirt of mine and cast it over the face of my father. He will become seeing. And bring to me all your family. And when the caravan departed (Egypt), their father (who was in Palestine) said, “I do indeed sense the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not sane.” They (his family) said, “Certainly you are in your old error.” Then when the bearer of glad tidings arrived, he cast it (the shirt of Yusuf) over his face, and he became seeing. He said, “Did I not say to you that I know from Allah that which you know not?”[Quran, 12:93]

Today, in most countries, both Muslim and non-Muslim, the flag of a nation is so sacred that soldiers, even civilians kiss it and put it on their faces. Does that mean they are worshipping a piece of cloth?
http://allaboutshias.com/shias-view-on-grave-worship/

8. Self-flaggelation is part of Shia ideology
Truth: No, it is not part of the ideology and even less a core belief of Shiism. Unfortuntaly it is still practised by many thousands of Shias but it should be noted that the broad majority of Shia does not commit it:
„Fatwa by the supreme leader of Iran – The Shia majority Iran and many Shiite clerics have denounced self-flagellation as un-Islamic and have issued a fatwa banning self-flagellation. The fatwa has led to many Muslims denouncing self-flagellation and have instead organized blood donation camps. Some have ignored the fatwa…With many Shiite clerics denouncing the act of self-flagellation, the act of self-flagellation is more of an Asian phenomenon now more particularly India & Bangladesh.“
http://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/opinion/this-blood-soaked-islamic-ritual-needs-to-be-banned-completely/

Also: „Suffering and cutting the body with knives or chains was banned by Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran and by Hezbollah in Lebanon.[62] Khamenei issued a fatwa on 14 June 1994 banning this practice. He considered it irreligious and not suitable for good Muslims.“
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Twelver_Shia_Islam#Mourning_Husayn_and_self-flagellation_during_Ashura

9. Shias hate or insult the Prophets companions (Sahaba)
Truth: While, it is unfortunately true that some Shia indeed (have) insult(ed) some of the Sahaba, it is unfair and incorrect to accuse the Shia collectively of doing this. This shameful „habit“ is also nothing that is part of the general upbringing or education of an average Shia.
More interestingly, it should be noted that Ayatollah Khamenei from Iran strictly forbids insulting the Sahaba:
http://www.sunniandshia.com/unity-between-shia-and-sunni-on-imam-khameneis-fatwa/
Also: „Shia consider the first three caliphs as great companions and good Muslim administrators, but not spiritual leaders (imams). Imam Jafar Sadiq, whose mother and grand mother came from the line of Abu Bakr, said of Abu Bakr, “He gave me birth twice.” Ayisha is respected by Shias as the „Mother of Believers,” as Ali respected her when he sent her back from Basra to Madinah after the Battle of the Camel. If some Shia do slander the three caliphs and Ayisha, they do it out of ignorance and should ask God’s forgiveness.“
http://www.islamicity.org/2237/sunni-misconceptions-about-shias/

„Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s fatwa in October 2013, when he strictly forbade attacking Sunni sanctities, stating, “These are condemnable acts, and they violate the Shiite imams’ orders.”…Several Shiite authorities cooperated with Tayeb’s latest request and issued several fatwas and statements forbidding insulting Sunnis.“
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/01/iran-iraq-fatwa-sunni-shiite-insults.html#

10. Shias practice temporary marriages (Mutah) 
„Temporary marriage (Mutah) was allowed during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and he himself practiced it. Ibn Zubayr was born out of a temporary marriage. Later on Caliph Umar prohibited it due to social reasons as the Islamic world was rapidly expanding. Shias discourage Mutah but do not consider it prohibited. “
http://www.al-islam.org/muta-temporary-marriage-in-islamic-law-sachiko-murata/legitimacy-muta

 

Instead of pointing at alleged or real differences the focus should be put on highlighting the common ground:

„Shia and Sunni have many things in common. They both believe in One God (Allah), follow the same Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the last Prophet, offer five daily prescribed prayers, perform the prescribed fast in the month of Ramadan, go to Makkah for the Hajj pilgrimage, read the same book of Allah, Holy Qur’an, and pay the poor-due (Zakat).“
http://www.ezsoftech.com/akram/shiasunniunity.asp
In addition, both Shias and Sunnis share the most important holidays: Eid al adha and eid al fitr

 

 

 

Hadith criticism, Part IV.

For first time readers of this article series I recommend to start here:
https://radioyaran.com/2014/12/18/muslims-should-critically-review-the-ahadith-part-i/

For followers: As of this part (IV.), I will not give consecutive numbers to new postings on this subject. It means, all new entries will come as updates of „Hadith criticism, Part IV.“ with the new text put on the top and older entries below it.
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Narrator: Abdullah ibn Umar
Umar bought a silk cloak from the market, took it to Allah’s Apostle and said, „O Allah’s Apostle! Take it and adorn yourself with it during the ‚Id and when the delegations visit you.“ Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) replied, „This dress is for those who have no share (in the Hereafter).“ After a long period Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) sent to Umar a cloak of silk brocade. Umar came to Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) with the cloak and said, „O Allah’s Apostle! You said that this dress was for those who had no share (in the Hereafter); yet you have sent me this cloak.“ Allah’s Apostle said to him, „Sell it and fulfil your needs by it„“ (Bukhari, Vol. 2, No. 69)
First of all, this is one of many Ahadith to prohibit something which the Quran has NOT prohibited, while the Quran says „We have not neglected anything in the Book“ (6:38).
Second, the Hadith is in itself irrational: If wearing silk is a sin that condemns people to hell, why does the Prophet send it to Umar to sell it? Anyone who would buy it would „qualify“ for hell.

It becomes even „funnier“…

Narrator: Al-Bara‘ bin ‚Azib
Allah’s Apostle ordered us to do seven things and forbade us to do other seven. He ordered us: to follow the funeral procession. To visit the sick, to accept invitations, to help the oppressed, to fulfil the oaths, to return the greeting and to reply to the sneezer: (saying, „May Allah be merciful on you,“ provided the sneezer says, „All the praises are for Allah,“). He forbade us to use silver utensils and dishes and to wear golden rings, silk (clothes), Dibaj (pure silk cloth), Qissi and Istabraq (two kinds of silk cloths). “ (Bukhari, Vol. 2, No. 331)
Narrator: Anas
The Prophet allowed ‚Abdur-Rahman bin ‚Auf and Az-Zubair bin Al-‚Awwam to wear silk.“ (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 171)
Not only that the entire silk prohibiting Ahadith contradict the Quran, these two Ahadith – both from the Sahih of Bukhari – contradict themselves!

Narrator: Jabir ibn Abdullah
While we were in an army, Allah’s Apostle came to us and said, „You have been allowed to do the Mut’a (marriage), so do it.“ Salama bin Al-Akwa‘ said: Allah’s Apostle’s said, „If a man and a woman agree (to marry temporarily), their marriage should last for three nights, and if they like to continue, they can do so; and if they want to separate, they can do so.“ I do not know whether that was only for us or for all the people in general. Abu Abdullah (Al-Bukhari) said: ‚Ali made it clear that the Prophet said, „The Mut’a marriage has been cancelled (made unlawful).““ (Bukhari, Vol. 7, No. 52)
There is no such thing like temporary marriage in the Quran. Even a Prophet is not allowed to make himself a „law maker“ besides God.

Narrator: Anas bin Malik
The people of Mecca asked Allah’s Apostle to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hiram‘ mountain.“ (Bukhari, Vol. 5, No. 208)
Narrator: Abdullah
We used to consider miracles as Allah’s Blessings, but you people consider them to be a warning. Once we were with Allah’s Apostle on a journey, and we ran short of water. He said, „Bring the water remaining with you.“ The people brought a utensil containing a little water. He placed his hand in it and said, „Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah.“ I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah’s Apostle, and no doubt, we heard the meal glorifying Allah, when it was being eaten (by him)“ (Muslim, Book 39, No. 6728)
This contradicts the Quran that maintains that the Prophet is nothing but an ordinary human being. Neither is he immortal, nor infallible, nor can he perform miracles:
„And they say, `We will not believe in thee until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth…`Or, thou have a house of gold or thou ascend up into heaven; and we will not believe in thy ascension until thou send down to us a Book that we can read.‘ Say, `Holy is my Lord ! I am but a mortal sent as a Messenger.'“ (Quran, 17:90-93)
„And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from his Lord? You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people. “ (Quran, 13:7)

Narrator: ´Amr Bin Maimun
During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them.“ (Bukhari, Vol. 5, No. 188)
Questions:
1. How did ´Amr Bin Maimum know about this „crime“?
2. Prior to Islam Arabs were killing their newborn girls, but this man was able to identify a case of „illegal sexual intercourse“ among monkeys?
3. What happened to the he-monkey, that had committed adultery? Did the „pious“ monkeys stone him as well?
4. What is the purpose of this silly Hadith? To „abrogate“ the Quranic ruling on adultery which is lashing and NOT the death sentence?

Narrator: Abu Hurayrah
(The Prophet) Solomon son of (the Prophet) David said, „Tonight I will go round (i.e. have sexual relations with) one hundred women (my wives) everyone of whom will deliver a male child who will fight in Allah’s Cause.“ On that an Angel said to him, „Say: ‚If Allah will.‘ “ But Solomon did not say it and forgot to say it. Then he had sexual relations with them but none of them delivered any child except one who delivered a half person. The Prophet said, „If Solomon had said: ‚If Allah will,‘ Allah would have fulfilled his (above) desire and that saying would have made him more hopeful.„“ (Bukhari, Vol. 7, No. 169)

Allah’s Apostle said, „(The Prophet) Solomon once said, ‚Tonight I will sleep with ninety women, each of whom will bring forth a (would-be) cavalier who will fight in Allah’s Cause.“ On this, his companion said to him, „Say: Allah willing!“ But he did not say Allah willing. Solomon then slept with all the women, but none of them became pregnant but one woman who later delivered a half-man. By Him in Whose Hand Muhammad’s soul is, if he (Solomon) had said, ‚Allah willing‘ (all his wives would have brought forth boys) and they would have fought in Allah’s Cause as cavaliers. „“ (Bukhari, Vol. 8, No. 634)

Allah’s Prophet Solomon who had sixty wives, once said, „Tonight I will have sexual relation (sleep) with all my wives so that each of them will become pregnant and bring forth (a boy who will grow into) a cavalier and will fight in Allah’s Cause.“ So he slept with his wives and none of them (conceived and) delivered (a child) except one who brought a half (body) boy (deformed). Allah’s Prophet said, „If Solomon had said; ‚If Allah Will,‘ then each of those women would have delivered a (would-be) cavalier to fight in Allah’s Cause.“ “ (Bukhari, Vol. 9, No. 561)

Sulaiman b. Dawud said: I will certainly have intercourse with seventy wives during the night, and every wife amongst them will give birth to a child, who will fight in the cause of Allah. It was said to him: Say: „Insha‘ Allah“ (God willing), but he did not say so and forgot it. He went round them but none of them give birth to a child except one woman and that too was an incomplete person. Upon this Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: If he had said „Insha‘ Allah.“ he would not have failed, and his desire must have been fulfilled.“ (Muslim, Vol. 15, No. 4069)

The stupity of these Ahadith is beyond belief:
1. No man can have sex with 60-100 women in one night.
2. It is inconceivable that God miraculously enables his Prophet to have so much sex.
3. It is inconceivable that the Child is punished through physical handicap just to set an example for a Prophet who forgot to say „Insha´allah“
4. But the most interesting aspect is that one and the same source, Abu Hurayrah, is giving four different numbers for the wives of Suleiman. This is the more disturbing that Abu Hurayrah has transmitted more supposedly „Sahih Hadith“ than Aisha, Ali and Abdullah ibn Umar together. In order to lend him credence Hadith supporters say his memory was photographic and quote yet another allegedly „Sahih Hadith“:
I was a poor man, and used to stick to Allah’s Apostle contented with what will fill my stomach, and the Muhajirin (emigrants) used to be busy trading in the markets, and the Ansar used to be busy looking after their properties. One day I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‚Who will spread his Rida‘ (a garment covering the upper body) till I finished my speech and then fold it, (i.e. wear it), in which case he will never forget anything he had heard from me?“ So I spread my garment which I was wearing; and by Him Who sent Muhammad with the Truth, ever since, I have never forgotten whatever I heard from him (the Prophet).
To make it short: The proof for Abu Hurayrahs „unfailing“ (perfect) memory is…HIS OWN CLAIM!
But why then the discrepancies with regards to Suleimans wives? This is a clear case of Hadith contradicting eachother.

Narrator: Abu Hurayrah
The Prophet said, „No prayer is harder for the hypocrites than the Fajr and the ‚Isha‘ prayers and if they knew the reward for these prayers at their respective times, they would certainly present themselves (in the mosques) even if they had to crawl.“ The Prophet added, „Certainly I decided to order the Mu’adhdhin (call-maker) to pronounce Iqama and order a man to lead the prayer and then take a fire flame to burn all those who had not left their houses so far for the prayer along with their houses.“ “ (Bukhari, Vol. 1, No. 626)
The Hadith has to be rejected due to it´s Matn being in clear contradiction to the Quran on following grounds:
The Quran says: „There is no compulsion in religion.“ (2:256)
The Quran does not prescribe any penalty, leave alone the death penalty, for not praying.

Narrator: Jabir ibn Abdallah
While Allah’s Apostle was carrying stones (along) with the people of Mecca for (the building of) the Ka’ba wearing an Izar (waist-sheet cover), his uncle Al-‚Abbas said to him, „O my nephew! (It would be better) if you take off your Izar and put it over your shoulders underneath the stones.“ So he took off his Izar and put it over his shoulders, but he fell unconscious and since then he had never been seen naked.“ (Bukhari, Vol. 1, No. 360)
This one is a good example for a Hadith that is contrary to reason and an insult to the Prophet:
1. Why did not al-´Abbas give the prophet a towel or another piece of textile to protect his shoulder from the stones?
2. Is it seriously conceivable that the Prophet would walk in the public NAKED?
3. Did the Prophet fell unconscious under the weight of his „Izar“?

Narrator: Abu Said al-Khudri
The Prophet said, „Amongst the men of Bani Israel there was a man who had murdered ninety-nine persons. Then he set out asking (whether his repentance could be accepted or not). He came upon a monk and asked him if his repentance could be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and so the man killed him. He kept on asking till a man advised to go to such and such village. (So he left for it) but death overtook him on the way. While dying, he turned his chest towards that village (where he had hoped his repentance would be accepted), and so the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarrelled amongst themselves regarding him. Allah ordered the village (towards which he was going) to come closer to him, and ordered the village (whence he had come), to go far away, and then He ordered the angels to measure the distances between his body and the two villages. So he was found to be one span closer to the village (he was going to). So he was forgiven.“ (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 676)
Conclusion of this Hadith´s Matn: The man who had killed 100 people was simply forgiven because of being nearer to the village of his destination than to the village of his departure. This stands in grave contrast to the Quran that says: „whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind“ (5:32)

Narrator: Abu Hurayrah
The Prophet said „If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease.„“ (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 537)
Needless to argue why this Hadith is pure nonsense and an insult to any sane persons intelligence

Narrator: Abu Talha
The Prophet said, „Angels do not enter a house which has either a dog or a picture in it.„“ (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 539)
Narrator: Abdullah ibn Umar
Allah’s Apostle ordered that the dogs should be killed.“ (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 540)
Narrator: Nafi
Ibn ‚Umar used to kill snakes but when Abu Lubaba informed him that the Prophet had forbidden the killing of snakes living in houses, he gave up killing them.„“ (Bukhari, Vol. 4, No. 530)
These three Ahadith are completely ridiculous:
1. Does the first one imply that people living in a house with a dog and/or pictures will go to hell? If yes, then this is in violation of the Quran that at no points forbids dogs. If no, then it is irrelevant whether Angels enter a house or not.
2. What authority does even a Prophet of God have to order that dogs which are Gods creation should be killed?
3. Why does the same Prophet who orders the killing of dogs forbid the killing of snakes although the latter can pose a great danger?

 

 

Celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad

Recently in Yemen a suicide bomber attacked a ceremony of Shia Muslims celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30644624

Killing Shias is nothing that radical Sunnis would apologize for and since Shias, contrary to Jews and Christians, have no lobby there will hardly be any outcry or otherwise public condemnation even though the Houthi Shias in Yemen are fighting against Al Qaeda.

What is, however, much more frightening is that instead of condemning the crime or at least keeping silent some Sunni authorities consider the celebration of the Prophets birthday unislamic and forbidden (haram). By arguing in this direction such people at least indirectly „explain“ and justify the attack on the ceremony and side with the perpetrator.

Many islamic websites go at lengths to explain that celebrating the Prophets birthday is not part of the Quran and the Sunnah. Others say it is an innovation (bid´ah) and thus forbidden. Let´s take on these claims one by one:

1. With regards to the Quran one could also say that the exact text of the daily prayers (Salat), it´s times and other detailed aspects are also not part of the Quran. One could confront the extremists with this question: Has the Quran prohibited celebrating birthdays?

2. Declaring something forbidden because it is not part of the Sunnah is a weak argument as the same applies for drugs (Heroin…) as well as medicine (vaccination..). Same with regards to sports or technological innovations. None of this is reported in the Sunnah as being practiced by the Prophet or clearly regulated. Going by this irrationality one could also argue that grapefruits or kiwis are „unislamic“ because the Prophet is not reported to have eaten them. Fact is, anyway, that there is no Hadith where the Prophet explicitly forbade celebrating birthdays.
That the Prophet did not do somethings does not mean that they are unislamic and thus forbidden. For instance, did the Prophet go to school? Did he swim? Did he learn foreign languages?

3. Trying to construct a prohibition for celebrating the Prophets birthday by calling it „forbidden innovation“ (bid´ah) is completely flawed. Celebrating the Prophets birthday is not tantamount to introducing a religious ruling or law. What IS haram is to forbid something which God has allowed or to allow something that God has forbidden. None of this applies to the act of celebrating the Prophets birthday, so the true „innovators“ are those who go as far as to declare such a celebration forbidden.
Declaring such a ceremonial act „innovation“ is as much nonsense as saying that wearing a Lionel Messi jersey while praying or breaking the Ramadhan fasting with rump steak constitutes (unislamic) „innovation“.

What evil can possibly be in Muslims coming together to share food and pray with eachother? What is unislamic in commemorating the Prophet on his birthday and speaking prayers and poems to his remembrance?
Does not the Quran say: „God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.“ (33:56)?

Although the following verse refers to allowed and forbidden food it still gives guidance regarding how to deal with „do´s and dont´s“:
„But say not – for any false thing that your tongues may put forth,- „This is lawful, and this is forbidden,“ so as to ascribe false things to God. For those who ascribe false things to God, will never prosper. “ (16:116)

„What think those who invent lies against ALLAH of the Day of Resurrection ? Surely, ALLAH is Gracious towards mankind, but most of them are not thankful.“ (10:60)

„My Lord has only prohibited indecencies, those of them that are apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority, and that you say against Allah what you do not know. “ (7:33)

It is by no means obvious in how far the verse above could contain the celebration of birthdays as part of the „catalogue of prohibitions“. At the same time a pious Muslim has no reason to assume that Allah has „forgotten“ anything as the Quran clearly says:

„…WE have left out nothing in the Book…“ (6:38)
„Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained ? …“ (6:114)
„And the word of thy Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice. None can change HIS words…“ (6:115)

Extremists argue that music and singing are prohibited in Islam, but again this is untrue. With no word does the Quran prohibit music. This is what it says:
„And assuredly We gave David grace from Us, (saying): O ye hills and birds, echo his psalms of praise! “ (34:10)
This refers to Prophet David singing his Psalms in praise of God, while the hills echoed the melody and the birds accompanied it with harmonic twitter.

While there are very few Sahih Hadiths that seem to indicate that music instruments are forbidden in Islam, there are at least three Sahih Hadith that indicate the opposite:

„That the Prophet said to him‘ „O Abu Musa! You have been given one of the musical wind-instruments of the family of David .‘ “ (Bukhari, Vol. 6, No. 568)

„The Prophet (ﷺ) came to me after consuming his marriage with me and sat down on my bed as you (the sub-narrator) are sitting now, and small girls were beating the tambourine and singing in lamentation of my father who had been killed on the day of the battle of Badr. Then one of the girls said, „There is a Prophet amongst us who knows what will happen tomorrow.“ The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to her),“ Do not say this, but go on saying what you have spoken before.““ (Bukhari, Vol. 5, No. 4001)

„On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) Abu Bakr came to her while two young girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (ﷺ) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded them and the Prophet (ﷺ) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, „Leave them, for these days are the days of `Id and the days of Mina.“ `Aisha further said, „Once the Prophet (ﷺ) was screening me and I was watching the display of black slaves in the Mosque and (`Umar) scolded them. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‚Leave them. O Bani Arfida! (carry on), you are safe (protected)“ (Bukhari, Vol. 2, No. 987)

Another popular „argument“ of Salafis is that celebrating the Prophets birthday means copying Christians and again that copying Non-Muslims means being one of them. But then what about using AK-47s, firing RPGs or building IEDs? Are these not all acts of „copying Non-Muslims“?

The biggest danger to Islam today is the rise of Wahhabism and Salafism, two extremist „sub-ideologies“ whose supporters consider themselves superior to anyone (including Muslims). They engage in an „exclusivist-narcissistic“ self-perception that takes on fascistoid dimensions climaxing in takfirism, the act of declaring other Muslims „unbelievers“ or „apostates“ (murtadd).
The result is that these people go as far as either directly committing violence against their opponents (including unarmed civilians of all ages and sexes) or they consider violence against their mentioned adversaries at least as lawful (halal).

Hadith criticism, Part III.

An example for a Hadith contradicting the Quran and in addition insulting the human mind is this one:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
„Allah’s Apostle said, „The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. „O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.““  (al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177)

This Hadith generalizes Jews as enemies worthy of death, while the Quran does not antagonize an entire religious community, especially since Jews are considered „People of the book“ (ahl al ketaab). Plus, with regards to „the Hour“ the Quran says the following:
„They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the Hour: when is its arrival? Say, „Its knowledge is only with my Lord. None will reveal its time except Him. It lays heavily upon the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except unexpectedly.“ They ask you as if you are familiar with it. Say, „Its knowledge is only with Allah , but most of the people do not know.““ (7:187)

Staying at the topic „The Hour“ (also known as „Day of Judgement“; السَّاعَةِ), many Sahih Hadith describe at length the „Signs of the Hour“, among them the „Dajjal“ (or Anti-Christ; المسيح الدجّال) and his many characteristics and deeds.
Here is one example from:

Narrated Ibn Umar:
„Once Allah’s Apostle stood amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved. Then, mentioning Dajjal, he said, „I warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but warned his nation against him. No doubt, Noah warned his nation against him but I tell you about him something of which no prophet told his nation before me. You should know that he is one-eyed, and Allah is not one-eyed.“ (al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Number 553)

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said: The Last Hour will not come until the Romans land at al-A’maq or in Dabiq. An army consisting of the best (soldiers) of the people on Earth at that time will come from Medina…they will be the conquerors of Constantinople. As they are busy in distributing the spoils of war (amongst themselves) after hanging their swords by the olive trees, Satan will cry: The Dajjal has taken your place among your families…“ (Sahih Muslim, 1348)

What is interesting about these Ahadith is the following:
1. While the Quran mentions many topic several times, it does not mention the „Dajjal“ even once.
2. The „Dajjal“ is an unseen being, and the Quran clearly says that NOBODY (including Prophet Muhammad) has knowledge of „the unseen“ (علم الغيب):
Say [O Muhammad!]: “I do not say to you that I have the treasures of Allah nor that I know the unseen (ghayb). And I do not say to you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.” ..“ (6:50)
or
„Say, `I have no power to do good or harm to myself save as ALLAH please. And if I had the knowledge of the unseen, I should have secured abundance of good; and evil would not have touched me. I am only a Warner and a bearer of good tidings.‘ “ (7:188)
3. Why should the prophet tell an audience of believers explicitly that „Allah is not one-eyed“? Why should they have any reason to think the opposite?
4. The second Hadith clearly reflects the military-political circumstances of the 7th-9th century:
– The (East-)Romans (Byzantines) are the major enemy
– The battlefield is somewhere in Syria (Dabiq), which in those times was contested territory between Muslims and Romans
– The Muslim army comes from Medina (which back then was the ideological capital of the „Ummah“)
– The enemy´s capital is Constantinople
All this obviously proves that this Hadith is far from being genuine, it is clearly a primitive invention by ordinary men.

Now, to finally prove the idiocy of these Hadith I show an often-seen pattern, namely the pattern of Hadith contradicting eachother. This one is from al-Bukhari:

Narrated Abu Bakra:
„The Prophet said, „The terror caused by Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal will not enter Medina and at that time Medina will have seven gates and there will be two angels at each gate guarding them.““ („Virtues of Medina“, Chapter 30, No. 103)

Notice: the Hadith from Abu Huraira said, that the islamic army will come from Medina. Later (in the same Hadith), the Dajjal is said to have taken the place of the army soldiers among their families.  One must assume that these families are in Medina. But how can Dajjal do any evil in Medina when the last Hadith says his terror will not enter Medina?

To be continued…

Muslims should critically review the Ahadith (Hadith criticism), Part II

This article will be an ongoing sequel to my original article:
https://radioyaran.com/2014/12/18/muslims-should-critically-review-the-ahadith-part-i/

Below Hadith is part of the „Sahih“ of al Bukhari, so one could expect that it´s „Isnad“ and it´s „Matn“ are both 100% reliable:
„Narrated Sahl bin Sad: Allah’s Apostle said, „If at all there is bad omen, it is in the horse, the woman, and the house.““ (Sahih Bukhari,Book #62, Hadith #32).
Issues:
1. The „matn“ (content) is simply nonsense and insulting (to women particularly). Even if the Prophet really said this, he is a human being and not free from error as he has no divine knowledge. Claiming the contrary would constitute „shirk“ (giving God a partner). Such narrations do not specify whether the Prophet was sarcastic/making a joke or whether he was serious.
2. The Hadith contradicts another „Sahih“ Hadith, this time from the „Musnad“ of Ibn Hanbal (6/246):
„Abu-Hassan reports that two people came to Aishah and said to her that Abu Hurayrah narrates that the Prophet used to say that bad luck is to be found only in women, horses and houses. At this Aishah replied: By the God who revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet ! The Prophet never said this; what he did say was that the People of the Jahilliyyah hold this opinion.“
3. There is a 3rd Hadith referring to horses: „Allah’s Apostle said, „Good will remain (as a permanent quality) in the foreheads of horses till the Day of Resurrection.“ “ (Bukhari; 4.102-104))
Conclusion: Aishah, believed to be a 100% reliable source apparently contradicts two other supposedly 100% reliable sources: Ibn Umar and Abu Hurayrah. So, here we have two Sahih Hadith where either one of the sources is exposed as unreliable or the content is exposed as nonsense.

Here is another case of Sahih Hadith (from Bukhari) contradicting eachother:
„You offer a prayer which I did not see being offered by Allah’s Apostle when we were in his company and he certainly had forbidden it (i.e. two Rakat after the Asr prayer). “ (Muawiya – 1.561 )
vs.
„Whenever the Prophet come to me after the ‚Asr prayer, he always prayed two Rakat. “ (Aishah – 1.567)
-> So, either one of the sources is not as reliable as al Bukhari wants us to believe or the matn is useless

This one is a Hadith that contradicts the Quran:
„Abu Harb b. Abu al-Aswad reported on the authority of his father that Abu Musa al-Ash’ari sent for the reciters of Basra…he [Abu Musa] said:…We used to recite a surah which resembled in length and severity to (Surah) Bara’at. I have, however, forgotten it with the exception of this which I remember out of it:“ If there were two valleys full of riches, for the son of Adam, he would long for a third valley, and nothing would fill the stomach of the son of Adam but dust.…“
(Sahih Muslim, Book 5: The Book of Zakat (Kitab Al-Zakat), Book 005, Number 2286)
So, Abu Musa, one of the companions („Sahaba“) of the Prophet remembers a verse (Ayah) of the Quran which is highlighted above in Italic.
The Problem is: There is no such verse in the Quran and according to orthodox islamic understanding the Quran is „protected“ by Allah:
„We have, without doubt, sent down the Reminder [i.e., the Quran]; and We will assuredly guard it [from corruption].“ (Al-Hijr 15:9)
Or: „This is an honorable Quran. In a protected book. None can grasp it except the sincere. A revelation from the Lord of the universe.“ (Quran 56:77-80)

A „famous“ case of a so called Sahih Hadith contradicting the Quran refers to the „verse of stoning“ (ayat ul rajm):
‚Umar said, „I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, „We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,“ and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.“ …“  (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 816)
This allegedly authentic narration contradicts three quranic/islamic concepts:
a) That the Quran is protected (from manipulation), see above
b) That the Quran has not forgotten to mention anything of (religious) relevance: „…WE have left out nothing in the Book…“ (6:38)
c) There is already a clear punishment for adultery in the Quran and it is NOT stoning: „The adulteress and the adulterer – flog each one of them with a hundred stripes.“ (24:2)
What is puzzling and a sad proof that many Muslims consider the Ahadith equal to the Quran is their attempt to defend and justify the Hadith above by claiming that the quoted quranic punishment for adultery was later changed (in the Quran). This itself is an insult to Allah and another contradiction:
And the word of your Lord has been completed with truth and justice; there is no changing His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower. “ (6:115)

Interestingly there is another Sahih Hadith, this time from Ibn Majah, that apparently confirms the Hadith above from al Bukhari:
Reported ‚Aisha (RA): the verse of stoning and of suckling an adult ten times was revealed, and they were (written) on a paper and kept under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) expired and we were occupied by his death, a goat entered and ate away the paper.“ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 1944)“
This Hadith is a clear insult to human reason and even basic knowledge of islamic history: It is safe to assume that the Prophet would announce such an important ruling verse in front of a big audience and not in his private chambers. The Quran was written down by several scripts, and even if Aishas paper was eaten by a goat one can expect that at least one other written document should exist. The Quran as a book was finalized and completed during the caliphate of Uthman which was AFTER the time of Caliph Umar. So by the time Umar and Aisha were apparently regretting the loss of the verse of stoning hundreds if not thousands of Muslim reciters should have been alive and available in Mecca and Medina to remember the verse and make sure it is taken into the final version of the Quran.

 

 

 

Muslims should critically review the Ahadith, Part I.

And among men are those who purchase idle HADITH (tales) without knowledge to mislead (men) from the Path of God, and make a mockery of it (God’s Path) [Quran, Luqman (31): 6]
وَمِنْ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا اُولَئكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ

And when it is said to them, Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! we follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor did they follow the right way. [Quran, Al-Baqarah (2): 170]
وَاِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ اتَّبِعُوا مَا انزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا الْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ ءابَاءَنَا اوَلَوْ كَانَ ءابَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْءا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

 

While the broad majority of Muslims would not say that the Ahadith (plural of Hadith, which refers to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) are equal to the Quran with regards to their importance as a source of religious law (shari´a) and jurisprudence (fiqh) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh very often the two (Quran and Ahadith) are confused with eachother.
Maybe half of the religious citations made by Muslims starting with „In Islam…“ to explain or justify something relate to the Ahadith and not to the Quran. It is my experience that more and more Muslims are getting indifferent regarding the necessity to distinguish between the two sources and effectively place the Ahadith at the same level as the Quran.

In addition the Ahadith are considered the main source for the Sunnah (the actions of the Prophet which are considered mandatory for Muslims because the Prophet should be regarded a „role model“). The Sunnah would not be known if it were not transmitted through the Ahadith. This is the point of view of the Ulama (the religious experts). The Ulama maintain that especially the Ahadith that narrate the accepted Sunnah are 100% authentic (Sahih). Thus they are binding for a Muslim and there is no reason to reject them as islamic source, they claim.

The traditional and ongoing perception/point of view of the orthodox Ulama is that the authencity and genuineness of the „Sahih Ahadith“ is proven by checking and approving two aspects of them:
– Isnad (the chain of transmitters)
– Matn (the textual content)
It is claimed that the six so called „canonical Hadith collections“ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutub_al-Sittah only contain Ahadith, where the Isnad is 100% reliable and the Matn is 100% in accordance with the Quran.

On closer examination it becomes clear that neither of these really withstand critical analysis:
For one thing all of the legendary Hadith collectors (such as al Bukhari and Muslim) lived some 200 years after the Prophet Muhammad and for another thing there is no way to check the credibility of the transmitters who are long dead. More on Isnad criticism in the links below*.
Scrutinizing the Matn, however, reveals even much bigger problems as many Ahadith in fact:
– contradict the Quran either totally or partially
– contradict eachother
– contradict human reason, science and in a broader sense knowledge in general

The focus of this article and it´s subsequent parts will be the Matn (content) of the Ahadith, and I will attempt to show many flaws in it.

 

*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Hadith
http://www.free-minds.org/does-hadith-have-solid-historical-basis

 

Killing Shias and the Quran

Quran 5:32
“…whosoever killeth a human being… it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…”

Now, judge for yourself to which category those belong who have been killing the Shia in Iraq:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24923794