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Refutation Of The Christian Missionary Writings ( Satanic Verses )

Refutation Of The Christian Missionary Writings ( Satanic Verses )



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Published by abuali-almaghribi
Refutation Of The Christian Missionary Writings ( Satanic Verses )
Refutation Of The Christian Missionary Writings ( Satanic Verses )

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Published by: abuali-almaghribi on Sep 20, 2008
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"Those Are The High Flying Claims"
M S M Saifullah, Qasim Iqbal, Mansur Ahmed & Muhammad Ghoniem 
 © Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.
Last Modified: 23th August 1999
 Assalamu-`alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
1. Introduction
We would like to discuss some of theclaimsof a Christian missionary concerning theso-called 'Satanic verses'. The gist of the missionary's argument is in the lastparagraph, which we have divided into various points for the sake of refutation:
But, to repeat, Rushdie did not originate the satanicverses. Nor did Jews, Christians or other non-Muslims.The sources for the satanic verses, at-Tabari and IbnSa'd, are reputable Muslim sources for early Quraniccommentary and Islamic history. Muslims today who simplydismiss the account of these writers as fabricated andunhistorical must at least answer the question why suchreputable persons would fabricate it. The question is notnew. But, it seems, a serious Muslim response is hard tofind.
 We agree that Salman Rushdie did not originate the so-called 'Satanic' verses. In theIslamic sources the whole saga is known as
Hadith al-Gharaniq al-
; thereforeneither are the Islamic sources responsible for such a theatrical title. Who then coinedthe term 'Satanic verses'? As the tradition of defamation against Islam demonstrates, itcould only have been Christian missionaries. Indeed, it was an English missionary,the belligerent Sir William Muir, who fashioned the term 'Satanic verses'.
 The word
The number of the beast
, i.e.,
, by whichMuhammad
was known in the Middle Ages. The names
 refer to Muhammad
, imagined by credulous Europeans to be
a pagan God
. Thesederogatory names were concocted by "love-thy-neighbor", "turn-thy-cheek"Christians who maintained an open policy of defamation against Islam and
throughout the Middle Ages. Apparently, this policy still exists today,though in a more sophisticated apparatus.Now let us address the statements from the Christian missionary:
The sources for the satanic verses, at-Tabari and IbnSa'd, are reputable Muslim sources for early Quraniccommentary and Islamic history.
 Where do Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (d. 310/923) and Ibn Sa'd claim to be the
of theso-called 'Satanic verses'? It is precisely the opposite. They have only transmitted thestory as it was transmitted to them. Al-Tabari mentions the so-called 'Satanic verses'story
in hisTarikhas well as an important set of statements in the introduction of hisbook, which states:
Let him who examines this book of mine know that I haverelied, as regards everything I mention therein which Istipulate to be described by me, solely upon what hasbeen transmitted to me by way of reports which I citetherein and traditions which I ascribe to theirnarrators, to the exclusion of what may be apprehended byrational argument or deduced by the human mind, except invery few cases. This is because knowledge of the reportsof men of the past and of contemporaneous views of men ofthe present do not reach the one who has not witnessedthem nor lived in their times except through the accountsof reporters and the transmission of transmitters, to theexclusion of rational deduction and mental inference.
Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some menof the past, which the reader of listener findsobjectionable or worthy of censure because he can see noaspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, lethim know that this is not to be attributed to us but tothose who transmitted it to us and we have merely passedthis on as it has been passed on to us.
 Thus, al-Tabari faithfully displayed these accounts in the exact manner through whichhe received them. Can he then be held liable if any objectionable accounts shouldarise? To translate this into laymen's terms, al-Tabari has simply refused
accountability by avoiding the task of historical criticism. Therefore, any spuriousaccounts are not to be attributed to him.This would not be difficult to understand, given the fact that the so-called 'Satanicverses' were transmitted from al-Waqidi to Ibn Sa'd. Ibn Sa'd (d. 230/845), who wasthe secretary of al-Waqidi (d. 207/823), also assumed the role of a mere transmitter byciting the text and its isnad. Concerning the two historians, al-Waqidi and Ibn Sa'd,the contemporary scholar, Tarif Khalidi, says:
For it is clear that Waqidi is in fact the seniorpartner. Ibn Sa'd, known of course as 'katib al-Waqidi',was a secretary-editor of his master and of the materialshe had assembled and then amplified.
 In other words, neither al-Waqidi nor Ibn Sa'd were eye-witnesses to the revelation of 'Satanic verses'; they were simply the transmitters.It is also worthwhile to mention that:
... Waqidi was attacked for loose isnad usage by strictpractitioners of Hadith...
 Claiming that the issue of so-called 'Satanic verses' incident is true just because al-Tabari or Ibn Sa'd mentioned them amounts to a deliberate distortion of the facts.Now we will address the issue of why Muslims today simply dismiss the accountmentioned by these two writers. To begin with, Muslims exegetes in the past havedismissed these accounts, too. This is not something new. Michael Fischer and MehdiAbedi, writing on the issue of Salman Rushdie's novelThe Satanic Versesas well asthe Islamic account of the so-called 'Satanic' verses, say (and notice their curiousargument):
The story that Muhammad could have used the Satanicsuggestion is rejected by almost all exegetes
, but thefact that the story persists as a subject of exegetes'discussions is testimony to the reality of the temptationboth for Muhammad and for later Muslims in their ownstruggles with such "Babylons" as London, New York,Paris, or Hamburg.
 Since the story is rejected by almost all the exegetes, are the Muslims not justified indismissing the account related to the so-called 'Satanic verses'?One is also tempted to add the research done by Orientalists like John Burton, whoinstead of parroting Muir and Watt, concluded with an original argument:
There existed therefore a compelling theoretical motivefor the invention of these infamous hadiths. If it befelt that this has now been demonstrated,
there should be

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