ورواه البخاري من حديث عبد الله بن عمرو بلفظ: “بلغوا عني ولو آية، وحدثوا عن بني إسرائيل ولا حرج، ومن كذب علي متعمداً، فليتبوأ مقعده من النار”.
“Convey from me, even if it be a single verse. Narrate from the Children of Israel, there is no harm. He who intentionally lies against me should prepare his resting place in the Fire.” [ʾal-Bukhārī]
Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) has clearly allowed us to narrate from the Children of Israel. To deny that would be to contradict him. At the same time, this permission is not a license to spread falsehood, and worse, to believe narrations which contradict the Qurʾān, whether explicitly or in spirit. This should be clear, not only in general principle, but from the very narration which grants permission in the first place. For if it is prohibited to lie against Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), how much more so to lie against Allāh’s Word?
Muslims are accepting and circulating narrations which they should not, not only through traditional causes of interaction with Christians and Jews, but of increasing concern is the immature use of social media and the effects of movies and television. I would like to say that parents have a special responsibility towards their children in these avenues, but often it is the “adults” who worse criminals in spreading falsehood in religion.
Here are some issues and narrations which are of concern but are by no means a complete list. Some are serious negations of Islamic belief; some are to set the record straight. In either case, truth is a valuable commodity which a believer cannot compromise on.
Lucifer & Angels
Television increasingly promotes three perceptions.
- The Christian belief that Satan was originally an angel.
- The Christian belief that Satan and other angels rebelled against God.
- The illuminati agenda that Satan is misunderstood and wishes well for mankind. In fact, he wishes to illuminate us and is the good guy.
The Christian belief that Satan was originally an angel.
Islām divides the intellectual creation into three categories – angels who are created from light, Jinn who are created from fire and humans who are created from earth. (Note that I used “intellectual” in the loose metaphysical sense, as one wonders in regards the intellectual capacity of some folk one encounters.)
While Satan (then called ʾAzāzīl) did reside amongst the angels, the Qurʾān is quite explicit that he is Jinnī, not an angel.
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ ۗ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِي وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ ۚ بِئْسَ لِلظَّالِمِينَ بَدَلًا
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, but not Iblīs. He was of the Jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Will you then take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil exchange it is for the wrongdoers! [ʾal-Kahf: 50]
This distinction between angel and jinnī will be important when we reach the next point.
The Christian belief that Satan and other angels rebelled against God.
Satan did rebel against ʾAllāh, as is clear from the above Verse. The Verse however clarifies that he was not an angel. Not a single angel joined Satan in his rebellion against ʿAllāh, as the Christians believe, and as Hollywood embellishes. An angel cannot disobey, let alone rebel. There are no “fallen angels”.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَّا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ
O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones. Over it are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded. [ʾat-Taḥrīm: 6]
If we do accept that Satan’s hosts are fallen angels, then who are in his armies? Satanists are both Jinn descendants of Satan as mentioned in ʾal-Kahf, as well as human supporters as mentioned in the following verse.
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ
Thus We have made for every prophet an enemy – devils from both humans and jinn… [ʾal-ʾAnʿām: 112]
Humans and Jinn have the capacity to rebel and disbelief, not angels. Regular readers will know that I make no bones in calling out the Saʿūd regime as Satanist. Satan must be proud of the wars they wage against ʾIslām and the Muslims.
Some may ask, that if angels do not fall, what then of the Qurʾān mentioning the angels Hārūt and Mārūt? The discussion cannot be dealt with in an academic fashion here, but these points should suffice for our purpose:
- The additional narrations of the angels becoming human-like in feeling and giving in to temptation are not in the Qurʾān.
- These narrations are not universally accepted.
- Even if accepted, firstly the angels were said to be given human feeling. Thus this specific transformed pair cannot be the criteria for judging angels in general their natural state.
- There is a world of a distinction of a specific angel being given human feelings and falling into error due to weakness, as opposed to intentionally rebelling against ʾAllāh.
- Furthermore a sin in a single act, does not equate to complete rebellion and denying ʾAllāh.
The illuminati agenda that Satan is misunderstood and wishes well for mankind. In fact, he wishes to illuminate us and is the good guy.
This may seem laughable, but it should really worry the believer how this ubiquitously this concept is being promoted especially on television and Hollywood. What one may think is mere entertainment is a subtle erosion of one’s faith. ʾAllāh knows best if such eroded faith can withstand the test of the Anti-Christ who may soon appear in this world. At the very least one should understand that one’s “entertainment” calls the Qurʾān a lie:
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا ۚ إِنَّمَا يَدْعُو حِزْبَهُ لِيَكُونُوا مِنْ أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ
Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze. [ʾal-Fāṭir: 6]
While the illuminati idea is the one which is overtly projected, the idea of him not being evil has a parallel in Israelite literature which we should know has no basis in ʿIslām:
According to Torah, no spiritual force opposes G‑d. This includes Satan, who is a spiritual entity that faithfully carries out its divinely assigned task of trying to seduce people to stumble. Satan is also identified with the Prosecutor above — that’s what the word Satan itself means: it’s just Hebrew for prosecutor — who levels charges against the guilty party who succumbs to its wily arguments. Look in the beginning chapter of the Book of Job and you’ll see that clearly.
In fact, the Talmud says, all that Satan does, he does for the sake of heaven. Without him, the defense attorney wouldn’t bother to dig up all the merits of the defense. And the defense would have to try so hard to give himself more merits.
So you see that really nothing happens in the entire world without G‑d approving. That’s why we Jews have so many complaints to him that we need to talk to him three times a day. The buck really stops at His office.
Finally, when the Divine Court decides that someone, G‑d forbid, deserves to die, then Satan is dispatched from Above to carry out the sentence
Prophets are Sinless in ʿIslām
Predating Hollywood’s Lucifer-good-guy agenda are reproductions of Biblical stories of the Prophets. The disgraceful depictions of the Prophets perhaps set the stage for the disrespectful way some Muslims talk of religious matters and personalities. However, it must be conceded that many of the accusations Hollywood levelled against the sinless Prophets (peace be upon them all) are extracted from the Bible directly or from other Israelite narrations.
The list of Israelite accusations against the Prophets are too lengthy and downright horrifying to list in toto. I shall list some, but the aim here is to make Muslims aware that they should take care with narrating Israelite narrations. There is no need in this article to address each accusation. We believe the Prophets to be sinless and whoever has concocted these tales is indeed the filthiest wretch imaginable:
- Lot had sex with his daughters [Genesis 19:30-38]
- Noah was sodomised by his son or grandson [Rabbinical interpretation of Genesis 9:22]
- Solomon worshipped idols [1 Kings 1:5]
- David committed adultery with a married woman, impregnated her and engineered her husband’s death [2 Samuel 11]
- Jacob cheated his brother out of his inheritance [Genesis 27]
Adam, Peace be upon Him
There are three basic points I wish to discuss. Two are in regards Israelite narrations, and the third is a western myth Muslims believe, with no basis in even Israelite narrations.
There was no sin
Our father did not sin but committed an error of forgetfulness. There is thus no concept of “original sin”
وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ آدَمَ مِن قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا
And We had already taken a promise from Adam before, but he forgot; and We found not in him determination. [Ṭāhā: 115]
Our noble Parents were not prancing around naked in Paradise
فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا
…when they tasted of the tree their shameful parts became exposed to them.. [ʾal-ʿArāf: 22]
The commentaries are clear that ʾAllāh had granted them garments of Paradise. These were removed when they tasted of the tree. Marriage, sexual propriety and modesty were some of the institutions implemented before humans even set foot on earth.
We do not know what Tree
The Qurʾān only mentions tree. Even the Bible does not specify “apple”. European artists took a liking to depicting the tree as an apple tree. The apple story is not even a Christian belief, let alone something Muslims should be repeating.
Birthplace of Jesus, Peace be upon Him
Some well-meaning Muslim publicise pictures of the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus (peace be upon him) was born below according to Christian tradition. I do not know how valid this belief is for even Christians, since their texts merely mention “a grotto” and construction of the church over a grotto began in 327.
I regret not having been able to get hold of a scholar who had visited Palestine and the Palestinian scholars had explained why they reject the site as implausible for various reasons. Nevertheless, it should be sufficient for any Muslim to understand that the setting which the Qurʾān describes of the birth of Jesus, is one of an open remote land, with a date tree and stream. This is not the stable in the little underground grotto in a city which the Christians believe in and which Muslims happily spread on social media.
The matter may appear to be minor in the greater scheme of things, and but would a Muslim who fears ʾAllāh call any of this minor?
- disseminating information without verification;
- spreading information because its sensational, not because its authentic;
- scholars who publish without verification and thus contradict the Qurʾān;
- scholars who narrate whatever will seem popular, never mind the veracity;
- dismal lack of scholastic effort amongst Muslims;
- telling a lie, however small;
- if you are so susceptible to anything you hear, what will happen when your faith is really put to the test?
I shall conclude with what ʾAllāh says in Sūrah Maryam in regards Jesus’s birthplace, not the Israelite narrations and not social media. Let ʾAllāh be our reference point always.
فَحَمَلَتْهُ فَانتَبَذَتْ بِهِ مَكَانًا قَصِيًّا (22) فَأَجَاءَهَا الْمَخَاضُ إِلَىٰ جِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ قَالَتْ يَا لَيْتَنِي مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَٰذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْيًا مَّنسِيًّا (23) فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَا أَلَّا تَحْزَنِي قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيًّا (24) وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا (25) فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا ۖ فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ الْبَشَرِ أَحَدًا فَقُولِي إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ صَوْمًا فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيًّا (26) فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهُ ۖ قَالُوا يَا مَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئًا فَرِيًّا (27)
(22) So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place.
(23) And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.”
(24) But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream.
(25) And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.
(26) So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.’ “
(27) Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said, “O Mary, you have certainly done a thing unprecedented.