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Friday, November 26, 2010

Did the Prophet (S) fast on the 10th of Muharram?

The practice of fasting on 10th Muharram (Ashura) in the Sunni culture has nothing to do with the tragic results of the battle of Karbala. Instead, it involves a very different story, constructed years after the Prophet's (S) death with a specific motive. The Prophet (S) never observed fast on the 10th of Muharram. It started through one of the unauthentic ahadith written and compiled by Mr. Imam al-Bukhari that says:

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered Medina in the first year of Hijra and noticed the Jews fasting. He asked one of his companions: “Why are the Jews fasting?”. His companion replied: “The Jews are remembering when Prophet Moses (pbuh) and the children of Israel were saved from the Pharaoh”. The prophet said: “I have a greater right on Moses than what they do. Therefore, my people will fast on Ashura in the same way they are fasting on Ashura”. One of the companions exclaimed: “O Messenger of Allah, but we are going to be copying the Jews” and the prophet then replied: “You are right, from now on we will fast on the 9th and 10th”. (Al-Bukhari, hadith 1865)

The above hadith claims that the Jews observed this month as sacred and also observed fast during the 10th of Muharram as it coincided with their religious event of Passover. Further it claims that when the Prophet heard of the Jews fasting on 10th Muharram (the Jews were supposed to have said that Moses observed fast on 10th Muharram), the Prophet allegedly also decided to fast.

A careful analysis of historical data with all its facts exposes the manipulation of Bukhari Hadith No.1865 that's responsible for starting the culture of fasting on 10th Muharram. The Jews didn't fast on the 10th of Muharram as Passover never coincided with Muharram. The Jews had their own calendar. They had no reason to fast on the 10th of Muharram - unless it could be proven that this date coincided with some Jewish day of fast during the Medinah period in Islamic history. But there's no evidence of that either.

In accordance with historical findings, during the very ancient days, the Jewish month of Tishri coincided with Muharram once upon a time. But history bluntly indicates that the Arab and Jewish calenders lost their synchronization and parity long before the Prophet (S) migrated to Medinah in 622 CE. The parity was lost before the advent of Islam as the pagan Arabs did not follow any mathematical calculation in their intercalation. That's the reason why Muharram in the second year of Hijrah began on July 5, 623 C.E. (Al-Munjid, 21st ed.), much before the Jewish month of Tishri I (which always coincides with September-October). It was for this reason that neither the Jews nor the Arabs ever discussed anything about the synchronization of their calenders during the Prophet's entire era in Medinah. The day of Ashura had NO significance for the Jews.

Furthermore, according to the Jewish Bible, the month in which the Israelites were freed from the tyranny of Pharaoh was Abib (in Hebrew, which is the same as Rajab in Arabic). The Jewish Bible (Torah) says: "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night." (Deut., 16:1). As the Jewish Bible mentions that Passover took place in the month of Abib (or Rajab), how could the Jews transfer that event from Rajab to Muharram in open defiance to their religious scripture? The narrator of this forged hadith obviously overlooked this point. This narrator only knew that once upon a time Muharram coincided with the Jewish month, Tishri, but he was totally unaware of contemporary rules of Jewish religion and culture.

Most importantly, something for Sunni Muslims to reflect upon which they unfortunately ignore for the purpose of defending the contents of this very unauthentic Hadith.

The Prophet (S) was sent by Allah Almighty with a perfected Religion to abrogate all previous religions that were changed and corrupted by the selfish desires of the human mind. Thus, would the Prophet (S) ever decide or agree to imitate the custom of the Jews and order people to fast on that day when the Noble Quran commands to fast ONLY in the month of Ramadan? He would NEVER do that for certain.

Syed Saeed Rizvi who has widely researched this issue is of the view that this story was constructed by the Ommayad rulers in collaboration with their political cronies, after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. It was done for the purpose of portraying the day of Ashura (10th Muharram) as a day of rejoicing to distract the society from the events of the incident in Karbala. Regardless of the long-standing Shiia-Sunni wranglings, it isn't hard to discern that Rizvi's well studied views make plenty of sense. It's a well-known fact that Abu Huraira, who barely knew the Prophet (S), and yet has narrated more hadiths than anyone else, was a close friend of Muawia bin Abu Sufyan, the first Ommayad caliph. It's also an open secret that Abu Huraira constructed tons of forged narrations in the Prophet's name from Muwaia's luxurious palace which he visited regularly. There were others like him too. Their loyalty toward Faith was questionable. Their obvious goal was personal benefit by befriending powerful and influential persons.

The above quoted Hadith on fasting on 10th Muharram is of the same genre as various other forged narrations by the camp followers of the Ommayads which say that it was on the 10th of Muharram that Noah's ark rested on Mount Arafat, the fire became cool for Abraham, and Jesus ascended to the heaven. In the same category came the traditions exhorting the Muslims to treat Ashura as a festive and joyous occasion.

Apart from the Hadith written by Imam Bukhari, and a few other copy-cat versions penned by Muslim bin Hajaj and Imam Tirmizi, there is absolutely no mention (let alone any evidence) in Islamic history that the Prophet (S) nor anyone else observed fast on 10th Muharram.

Briefly and simply put, this hadith is politically motivated. The Jews didn't fast on the 10th of Muharram and the Prophet (S) never observed fast on this day either. The month of Muharram and particularly the 10th of Muharram became significant in history after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet, which happened in the year 61 AH (or 680 CE), years after the passing away of the Prophet (S). The Ommayad rulers were eager to downplay the relevance of 10th Muharram as Imam Hussain's martyrdom happened during the period of the second Ommayad ruler, Yazid bin Muawia.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Myth of "Satanic Verses"

The mischief of Rushdi originated from the lies of al-Tabari

The ones who have benefitted most from the misinterpretations of the Quran based on utterly ridiculous and untruthful Ahadith narratives have been the impious. The book of Salman Rushdi is a clear example.

The untruthful and slanderous "Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdi gets its title from nowhere else but the fat bundle of lies fostered by the institution of Hadith.

According to a viciously false Hadith narrative written by Abu Jafar al-Tabari, it is alleged that one day, as the Prophet (S) was reciting the Quran (Surah An-Najam), Satan interrupted and caused him to compromise with the idolaters. The first of the two sources of this contrived Hadith is a book written by Tabari titled "Tarikh al-Tabari" and the second source is another book filled with cooked up stories called "Kitab Tabaqat Al-Kubra" also written by a 9th century so-called 'scholar & biographer' named Ibn Sa'd al- Baghdadi.

For once our modern Muslim scholars showed an element of wisdom. They analysed and rejected this alleged incident of the so-called "Satanic verses" as completely false and unauthentic. These books of Tabari and Ibn Sa'd have not been given any importance and neither have they been translated into English from Arabic. But the wisdom of our scholars and ulemas takes a tumble for not trashing the Arabic version of Tabari's garbage. Taking advantage of their negligence, Islamophobic orientalists like Salman Rushdi and G.R. Hawting consulted the fictions of Tabari and Ibn Saad and got them translated through their own sources for inclusion in their works.

Jafar al-Tabari (born 923 CE) was an early Persian historian and a so-called exegete of the Quran claiming to know fluent Arabic. But his insults and falsehoods against the Prophet (S) were stark evidences that he was a 'Muslim' only by title while still very much a Zorastrian at heart. This is nothing surprising as it was the same with with all imams who appeared from the 9th century onward, particularly the Persian imams of that era. Like all Hadith writers/compilers of his time, offensive fairy tales of Tabari have provided plenty of ammunition to mean and manipulative orientalists for attacking the Glorious Quran and the Prophet (S). According to many analysts it's also very doubtful if Tabari knew proper Arabic, let alone being an expert in the Arabic language to be called an exegetist of the Quran. All Persian imams of that era - Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Nasai etc. - knew only makeshift Arabic in which they compiled their Hadith narrations, the standard of which is internationally recognized as the poorest quality of Arabic.

This myth of the "Satanic verses" is completely and clearly refuted by the contents of Surah An-Najm from where Tabari deliberately constructed his false account in the name of "tafsir" and which was later exploited by crooks like Rushdi.

Before analysing and exposing Tabari's work which eventually earned Rushdi the title of 'knighhood' in the U.K., let me quote the entire 62 verses of Surah An-Najm, the 53rd Chapter of the Glorious Quran. Please read it carefully for reference.


1. By the Star when it setteth,

2. Your comrade erreth not, nor is deceived;

3. Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire.

4. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired,

5. Which one of mighty powers hath taught him,

6. One vigorous; and he grew clear to view

7. When he was on the uppermost horizon.

8. Then he drew nigh and came down

9. Till he was (distant) two bows' length or even nearer,

10. And He revealed unto His slave that which He revealed.

11. The heart lied not (in seeing) what it saw.

12. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he seeth ?

13. And verily he saw him yet another time

14. By the lote-tree of the utmost boundary,

15. Nigh unto which is the Garden of Abode.

16. When that which shroudeth did enshroud the lote-tree,

17. The eye turned not aside nor yet was overbold.

18. Verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord.

19. Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-'Uzza

20. And Manat, the third, the other ?

21. Are yours the males and His the females ?

22. That indeed were an unfair division!

23. They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath revealed no warrant. They follow but a guess and that which (they) themselves desire. And now the guidance from their Lord hath come unto them.

24. Or shall man have what he coveteth ?

25. But unto Allah belongeth the after (life), and the former.

26. And how many angels are in the heavens whose intercession availeth naught save after Allah giveth leave to whom He chooseth and accepteth.

27. Lo! it is those who disbelieve in the Hereafter who name the angels with the names of females.

28. And they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess, and lo! a guess can never take the place of the truth.

29. Then withdraw (O Muhammad) from him who fleeth from Our remembrance and desireth but the life of the world.

30. Such is their sum of knowledge. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth, and He is Best Aware of him whom goeth right.

31. And unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, that He may reward those who do evil with that which they have done, and reward those who do good with goodness.

32. Those who avoid enormities of sin and abominations, save the unwilled offences - (for them) lo! thy Lord is of vast mercy. He is Best Aware of you (from the time) when He created you from the earth, and when ye were hidden in the bellies of your mothers. Therefor ascribe not purity unto yourselves. He is Best Aware of him who wardeth off (evil).

33. Didst thou (O Muhammad) observe him who turned away,

34. And gave a little, then was grudging ?

35. Hath he knowledge of the Unseen so that he seeth ?

36. Or hath he not had news of what is in the books of Moses

37. And Abraham who paid his debt:

38. That no laden one shall bear another's load,

39. And that man hath only that for which he maketh effort,

40. And that his effort will be seen.

41. And afterward he will be repaid for it with fullest payment;

42. And that thy Lord, He is the goal;

43. And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep,

44. And that He it is Who giveth death and giveth life;

45. And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female,

46. From a drop (of seed) when it is poured forth;

47. And that He hath ordained the second bringing forth;

48. And that He it is Who enricheth and contenteth;

49. And that He it is Who is the Lord of Sirius;

50. And that He destroyed the former (tribe of) A'ad,

51. And (the tribe of) Thamud He spared not;

52. And the folk of Noah aforetime, Lo! they were more unjust and more rebellious;

53. And Al-Mu'tafikah He destroyed

54. So that there covered them that which did cover.

55. Concerning which then, of the bounties of thy Lord, canst thou dispute ?

56. This is a warner of the warners of old.

57. The threatened Hour is nigh.

58. None beside Allah can disclose it.

59. Marvel ye then at this statement,

60. And laugh and not weep,

61. While ye amuse yourselves ?

62. Rather prostrate yourselves before Allah and serve Him.

I am sure that everyone in their right mind can perceive, understand and enjoy the beautiful rhythm and perfect chain of expressions in the Divine Words of Surah An-Najm from start to finish.

Al-Tabari began constructing his false story by picking Verses 19 and 20 of Surah An-Najm, claiming that the names of idols stated in these two Verses were the result of Satan's interruption when the Prophet (S) was reciting this Revelation, and the Prophet (S) let slip into his recitation the names of these idols as whispered by Satan.

Please read the following analysis carefully. It will prove that Tabari was not just a compulsive liar but also a very stupid one.

The names of idols mentioned in the 19th and 20th verses of Surah An-Najm were the three main idols of the pagan Arabs whom they worshipped and called them "the daughters of Allah." It's absolutely clear in this Surah that Allah mentions those names to chastise and rebuke the pagans for their extreme ignorance and obstinacy to recognize this falsehood even after receiving Allah's guidance. Anyone with a shred of common sense who has read Surah An-Najm can clearly perceive that its entire set of 62 verses are intact, serially linked and self-explanatory.

It's interesting to note that the glaring falsehood of Tabari's story is so obvious that even all Hadith scholars, who are generally quite comfortable with lies, have rejected the isnad (chain of narrators) of Tabari's work as "completely false." In fact, the isnad, as quoted below from Ibn Saad's al-Tabaqat al-Kubra sounds like a joke!

It starts with a person called Muhammad ibn Umar who was born more than 100 years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh) and had died in 207 AH. The isnad says: "Muhammad ibn Umar narrated to us: Yunus ibn Muhammad ibn Fadala al-Zafari narrated to me: from his father who said: from Kathir ibn Zayd: from al-Muttalib ibn AbdAllah ibn Hantab."

And here's what other medieval Hadith authors said of Muhammad Ibn Umar, the narrator of Tabari's Hadith.

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 forgets hadiths." Al-Dhahabi said: "Consensus has settled over his debility." [Mizan-al-tidal 3:662-666 # 7993]

The illuminating analysis by Abbas Bahmanpour
Apart from the flaws of bad isnads, as Abbas Bahmanpour states: "The very composition of Surah An-Najam belies the story and makes it a poor selection for the insertion of satanic verses. In the beginning of Surah An-Najam (Verses 1 to 5), Allah rejects any possibilities that the Prophet (pbuh) would ever speak out of his desire or could be tricked." The following are the first 5 verses of Surah An-Najam, re-quoted for immediate reference, that flatly refute the lie of Tabari and the narrators of the false isnads.

1. "By the Star when it setteth,
2. Your comrade erreth not, nor is deceived;
3. Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire.
4. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired, 5. Which one of mighty powers hath taught him,"
(53:1-5) Surah An-Najam

Abbas Bahmanpour further explains that not only this, but subsequent to Verses 19 and 20 of Surah An-Najam which Tabari falsely claimed as "satanic verses," come the following three Ayahs of Surah An-Najam:

21. "Are yours the males and His the females ?
22. That indeed were an unfair division!
23. They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath revealed no warrant. They follow but a guess and that which (they) themselves desire. And now the guidance from their Lord hath come unto them." (53:21-23) Surah An-Najam

These three verses are a clear admonishment to the idol worshippers and their practices, and is a complete contradiction of the claims of Tabari and the narrators regarding 'Satanic verses.'

Al-Tabari's secret motive behind his myth
The reason why Tabari constructed this lie was to promote another lie floating within the circle of the imams. To reconcile their contradictory writings with the contents of the Quran, the Hadith writers in the 9th century came up another myth claiming that certain verses of the Quran had been "abrogated" in order to adjust their falsehoods within Islam. The fact is that none of the Quranic verses were ever "abrogated" and Verse 2:106 proves it.

"Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things ?" 2:106 Surah Al-Baqrah

This verse became an obstacle for Tabari in propagating the false notion of "abrogation of verses." Thus, he scribbled his story because he needed to plant some "evidence" for the myth of abrogation. This game played by Tabari has been confirmed by many truth-seeking researchers and historians who have also asserted that Tabari's story has been fabricated further by several Muslims themselves who were looking to justify the "abrogation" issue.

In plain terms, Rushdi's "Satanic Verses" originate from the unauthentic 'Satanic Hadith' by al-Tabari - a liar borrowing from a liar.