Islam 101 Saudi Arabia



In other religions it’s doing good in the face of evil.

Zip over at Weasel Zippers nails it shut:

Funny, I’ve never heard a homily at mass where the priest extolled the virtues of smashing skulls and chopping off arms even though the left claims Christianity is just as violent as Islam.

Saudi Arabia, a place where one can still visit the 7th century, and not be in a museum.

MEMRI: Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by Saudi cleric Muhammad Al-Arifi, which aired on Al-Nas TV on February 21, 2012:

Muhammad Al-Arifi: There is no doubt that one’s devotion to Jihad for the sake of Allah and one’s will to shed blood, smash skulls, and chop off body parts for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion constitute an honor for the believer. Just having this notion in your heart is a mark of honor, even if you do not actually wage Jihad.

The infidel countries — the US and its allies — would not have dared to fight the Muslims, to rape their wives, and to turn them into widows. . . They only dared to engage in the daily corrupting of and fighting against Islam and the Muslims when they saw that the Muslims did not even consider fighting and conquering the [infidel] countries.

If the Muslims implemented the words of Allah: “Fight the infidels near you, and let them find harshness in you,” and other Koranic verses, like the Verse of the Sword, which deal with fighting the infidels and conquering their countries, stating that they should join Islam, pay the jizya poll tax, or be fought. . . Had the Muslims implemented this, we would not be in our current state of humiliation.

Via Zip

One Response

  1. Occultism in the family of Mohammed
    When exposing occultism in the family of Mohammed, we are not showing prejudice or unfairness to Muslims, rather, we are simply presenting the truth as recorded in ISLAMIC LITERATURE. Unfortunately, the Islamic historians who recorded such occult phenomenon, failed to recognize that such occultism is directly contradictory to: the nature, the call and the world of the true God.
    Will the Muslims today fail to continue to be able to discern the real spiritual forces which underlined Mohammed and his family? An honest study of the life of the members of the family of Mohammed will help us to clarify this problem. We will begin with the grandfather of Mohammed Abu Mutaleb, who was known as the worshiper of Asaf and Naelah.
    What is the true religion of Abdul Mutaleb?
    Asaf and Naelah were two Kuhhan priests of the Jinn-devils. Tradition asserts that the gods transformed them into two stones because they committed fortification inside the Kaabah of Mecca.
    The statues of Asaf and Naelah were also placed on the wall of Zamzam. Inb Hisham, who edited the oldest book on the life Mohammed, says these statues were worshipped at the well of Zamzam. He tells us the worshippers sacrificed their animals to the statues there. This suggests to us that the well of Zamzam was dedicated to the worship of the two priests of the Jinn, which the statues represented. It was Abdul Mutaleb, the grandfather of Mohammed, who dedicated the well of Zamzam to the two venerated Jinn priests and their statues. We draw this conclusion for many reasons.
    First, Abdul Mutaleb dug the well of Zamzam.
    Second, Abdul Mutaleb was one of the worshippers of the statues of the two Jinn priests. He was so consumed by occult worship that he wanted to sacrifice one of his own sons at the feet of the two statues at Zamzam. That son was Abdullah, the father of Mohammed. When Abdul Mutaleb was at the point of killing abdullah with a knife, abdul Mutaleb’s brother rescued the boy.
    The idea of sacrificing one’s son to the Jinn or their representatives, the venerated leaders and priests, is known, not only in Arabia, but also in other parts of the world. Even to this day worshippers in the occult religions sacrifice children to devils. The fact that Abdul Mutaleb chose to sacrifice his son before these two statues reveals that the religion of the Jinn of Arabia was the religion to which he was most attached.
    The third reason for concluding that Abdul Mutaleb dedicated the well of Zamzam to the statues of the Jinn priests, who were venerated in Mecca, is that Abdul Mutaleb showed he had a close relationship with the representatives of the Arabian Jinn religion. Those representatives or priests were called Kuhhan, the singular of which is Kahen. Abdul Mutaleb consulted the Kuhhan when he faced a problem. They were his counselors and he used to travel great distances in order to meet and consult a famous Kahen. When a dispute between the tribe of Quraish and Abdul Mutaleb occurred, because of the well of Zamzam, Abdul Mutaleb chose a famous Kahinah of Jinn to rule in the matter. This Kahinah was the one who appointed two dangerous Kuhhan of the Jinn, Satih and Shak’, to be priests of the Jinn after her death. Al-Halabieh says about these two Kuhhan of the Jinn:
    They were the chiefs of the Kuhhan and the ones with knowledge about occultism and the priesthood of the Jinn.
    Ibn Hisham mentions about this Kahinah,
    “She was the Kahinah of the clan of Saad Hutheim.”
    When a dispute arose between Abdul Mutaleb and Beni Kilab, which means the clan of Kilab, Abdul Mutaleb went to a Kahen of the Jinn called Rabiah Bin H’thar al-Asadi to judge the matter. Consulting the Kuhhan of the Jinn was something that the grandfathers of Mohammed practiced. Hisham, the father of Abdul Mutaleb, was known to consult a main Kahen of the tribe of Khuzaa’h. Many examples such as these shed light to the affiliation of the family and the ancestors of Mohammed to the religion of Jinn in Arabia.
    As if this were not convincing enough, two more considerations prove that Abdul Mutaleb was a leader in the Arabian Jinn religion. When Abdul Mutaleb dedicated his son Abdullah, who became the father of Mohammed, he did it through Kahinah, a female Kahen, under the instruction of the Jinn to whom she was connected. The biographers of Mohammed, including Ibn Hisham, Mohammed’s most authoritative biographer, tell us that Abdul Mutaleb took Abdullah to a Jinn priestess named Khutbah. She lived in the city of Khaybar located in north central Arabia. When he visited Khutbah, Abdul Mutaleb expressed his readiness to kill his son if the priestess of Jinn ordered him to do so. It is clear that children born to the followers of occult sects were to be sacrificed to the malignant spirit connected with the medium or priest of the occult community. The spirit may ask that the child be killed as a sacrifice to the devil or the priests may ask the child’s parents to present dogs or other animals to the malignant spirits as sacrifices. It is clear that in the case of Abdul Mutaleb, we encounter the same occult phenomenon which is practiced among various occult sects. The spirits of Jinn-devils rule over the destiny of children who are born within the occult community. This was the reason many children were sacrificed to the devil.
    We see the dedication of Abdul Mutaleb to the religious system which Khutbah represented. Abdul Mutaleb was ready to obey the decision of the Jinn-devil to whom Khutbah was a medium and a priest, in whatever the Jinn decided for his son. Ibn Hisham reports the answer the Jinn priestess gave to Abdul Mutaleb’s request:
    “Return to me after one day until the one to whom I am connected comes to me.”
    By this she meant the Jinn-devil. The Jinn-devil came to her and told her that camels should be sacrificed instead of Abdullah, who became the father of Mohammed.
    To decide the religion of any person, one needs only to look at where he consecrated his children. If he dedicates his children in church, we know he is a Christian. If he dedicates them in a Jewish Synagogue, we can be sure he is Jewish. If he dedicates them in a Sabian temple, then he is a member of the Sabian sect. But when he dedicates his children in an occult ceremony by a medium of the order of a Jinn-devil, then he belongs to the occult sect that the medium or priestess represents. That’s his religion. Not far from Mecca, there were many Christian Churches, particularly in the city of Najran. There were also many synagogues near Mecca, but Abdul Mutaleb avoided all these and went to dedicate his son through Kahinah, a priestess of the Jinn.
    Another thing to consider was his willingness to find a wife for his son Abdullah from among the priestesses of the Jinn. He introduced Abdullah to many young Jinn priestesses. On one occasion reported in the book of Halabieh, which contains the life of Mohammed:
    When Abdul Mutaleb accompanied his son Abdullah in preparation for marriage, he passed by a Kahinah who was a priestess of Jinn from Tubbalah, a small town in Yemen. The name of the woman was Fatimah, daughter of Mural-Khathmieh.
    Another priestess of Jinn to whom Abdullah was introduced was Ruchieh Bint Naufal. She was also a Kahinah priestess of Jinn. Ibn Hisham, Mohammeds main biographer, showed that Abdul Mutaleb encountered Ruchieh in the Kaabah, which suggests that she was part of the occult functions that took place in the Kaabah of Mecca.
    Finally, Abdul Mutaleb selected a wife for Abdullah. She was Amneh, a niece of Soda Bint Zehra, the main priestess of the Jinn at Mecca. Al-Halabi states that the reason Abdul Mutaleb took Amneh as a wife for Abdullah was due to her aunt Soda Bint Zehra. Abdul wanted to be near the chief priestess and embrace the kind of dedication to the worship of Jinn which she represented.
    An important test of the level of someone’s dedication and his attachment to his religious convictions is the partner he has selected for himself or for his son to marry. If he’s satisfied with any female of the sect, we might consider him a normal follower of his own religious system, but if he looks for wives only among woman dedicated to his religion he ceases to be a simple follower of his religion and becomes an activist and a fanatic. He shows that he desires to promote the religion by building a family totally dedicated to it, so that such family may have a leading role in his religious system.
    This helps us see the religious affiliations of the man who dug the well of Zamzam and gives us the purpose for which he dug the well. It was a custom for Arabians to dig a well and dedicate it to the gods they worship and venerate. The fact that Abdul Mutaleb dug the well of Zamzam and erected the two statues of the priest of Jinn, Asaf and Naelah, on the well, is sufficient to convince us of the nature of his religion and the zeal he had to promote it. Because he considered killing his son Abdullah before those two statues, indicates that the Arabian Jinn worship was his main religion and he was fully dedicated to it.
    The literature which gives us background to the life of Arabians at the time of Mohammed, mentions the custom of some Arabians to present sacrifices to the Jinn-devils after they dug a well. The fact that Abdul Mutaleb had erected the two statues of the priests of Jinn on the well of Zamzam and that he was ready to kill his son at the feet of these statues, indicates that he wanted to bring a sacrifice to the Jinn and that he dug the well of Zamzam for the express purpose of honoring the worship of the Jinn religion of Arabia.
    Amneh, the mother of Mohammed
    Amneh was the neice of Soda Bent Zahreh, the priest of Jinn at Mecca. We saw that the reason Abdul Mutaleb took Amneh as a wife for Abdullah was due to her aunt Soda Bint Zehra. Mohammed was known to have suffered from trances since his childhood because Amneh, his mother, brought on him a rukhieh, or bewitching. In the rukhieh a Kahan priest of Jinn brings the spirit of Jinn to a person to whom the Kahen is connected as a medium. Since Amneh was the niece of Soda Bent Zahreh, the priest of Jinn at Mecca, this may explain why she was able to perform occultist ceremonies upon Mohammed, called “rukhieh” when he was very young. Only the Kuhhan of Arabia could perform the right “rukhieh” a practice of witchcraft indicating that Mohammed’s mother had joined the ranks of the Kuhhan of Arabia after her aunt had passed away.
    Children on whom “rukhieh” was practiced suffered from many signs such as: falling into trances and having convulsions. Since his childhood, Mohammed suffered from many of these identical symptoms. Halabieh, a biographer of Mohammed, mentioned that Mohammed suffered from convulsions since he was one years old. Sahih Al Bukarih reports one occasion on which Mohammed fell into a trance while he was a young man before he claimed to have received the Quran. Other Islamic literature, such as Halabieh, states that Mohammed used to go into a coma before he wrote down the Quran, which clearly reveals his direct involvement with Kahaneh. When he started receiving the Quran he fell into a coma.
    Anthropologists believe that the priesthood which serves the devil is transmitted from individual to individual in the same family.
    Abu Taleb
    When studying occultism in the family of Mohammed, it is important to know what the biographers of Mohammed mention about Abu Taleb, the uncle of Mohammed, who Mohammed went to live with after his grandfather, Abdul Mutaleb died.
    Abu Taleb’s father had a special zeal for the Jinn religion of Arabia, leading his son to follow in his footsteps. Abu Taleb’s allegiance to the Jinn religion of Arabia is confirmed by his consultation of the soothsayers and diviners. In fact, as son of a leader in the Jinn religion of Arabia, Abu Taleb had very close relationships with: soothsayers, diviners, fortune tellers and all other who practice witchcraft; Abu Taleb used to regularly consult with such persons. Ibn Hasham, the most authoritative biographer of Mohammed, mentions that Abu Taleb used to consult a soothsayer by the name of Lahab bin Auhjun bin Kaab, from the tribe of Uzd. Ibn Hisham mentions that Abu Taleb used to expose his nephew Mohammed to the advices of Lahab. No wonder Mohammed suffered from nightmarish visions in the house of Abu Taleb, and Abu Taleb himself suffered from the influence of the Jinn-devils, experiencing the most dangerous and severe phenomenon, which usually occur in the house of devil worshipers.
    Among the worst calamities which befell Abu Taleb was the Jinn-devils seized his elder son, Taleb, and he was never found again. This thing that occurred to Taleb is known in the field of demonology: when the devil possesses a person, often such a person is subjected to suicidal acts provoked by the devil, such as throwing himself into the fire or into a well of water. The extremely dangerous activities of the devils in the house of Abu Taleb, where Mohammed grew up, is seen in another fact: the other son of Abu Taleb, called Ja’efer, was affected by what the Arabians called “Ain al-Jinn”, which means “the eye of the Jinn”. The Arabians at the time of Mohammed distinguished the symptoms of severe demon possession, as symptoms caused by the eye of the Jinn negatively effecting the person who suffers from such symptoms. These are the same symptoms which affected Mohammed, mainly: convulsions, trances and comas. The Arabians recognized the trance as an affliction caused by the devil. They called it “affliction through Ain”, or the eye. The eye of the Jinn looked at a person and caused the trance to happen.
    The mother of Ja’efer told Mohammed-after Mohammed claimed to be a prophet- “O prophet of Allah, my son Ja’efer is affected by the “ain of Jinn,” shall we make for him a Rukkieh? Mohammed said yes.” Rukieh was casting a spell on a person affected by a Jinn-devil. The adherents of the Jinn religion of Arabia believed that another Jinn-devil, who is stronger than the one who caused the symptoms of “ain of Jinn”, is able to expel the Jinn from the body. Mohammed in this case agreed that such sorcery should be done to his cousin Ja’efer.
    As we will see that Mohammed himself, before his claim to be a prophet, was known to be a Rakki, the one who practices Rukhieh upon others. For these examples, we can imagine the dangerous occult environment where Mohammed passed his boyhood: he lived in a family where the Jinn-devils dominated and possessed the members, and where the worst imaginable consequences befell them. All of this was due to their relationships with soothsayers, sorcerer, diviners and mediums.
    Thus, Mohammed’s close relationship with the Jinn, his episode of Jinn’s disease and his eventual rise to becoming a Rukhi himself grew out of his family’s deep occultist roots. His occult involvement all began with his mother Amneh casting spells on him as a young child, growing in intensity in the house of Abu Taleb and continuing up until the time of his claim to prophethood. Even Mohammed’s uncle, Abu Taleb, unfolds the truth in his own poetry that Mohammed had become a Rakhi, a person who casts spells upon others. In fact, Ibn Hisham, the oldest and the most authoritative Islamic biographer of the life of Mohammed, wrote the very famous poem, “Abu Taleb”, the uncle of Mohammed recited. The leader of Mecca came to Abu Taleb asking him to give Mohammed to them to be judged by them. Abu Taleb refused, and recited a poem lauding and praising Mohammed. There is a stanza in this poem in which he described Mohammed as “a Rakhi” or conjurer who conjures spells in Harra where he dwells.” Harra is the caves near Mecca where Mohammed used to spend his time before he claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel and allegedly entrusted with the role of prophecy. For Abu Taleb and in the eyes of many Arabians, the witch doctor, or rakhi, was a benevolent occupation because of the Jinn religion’s influence and the reputation that rakhis had for evicting the spirits that caused disease through there own Jinn. Mohammed confirmed that his uncle recited the poetry about him and boasted about its contents.
    Mohammed descended from a long line of occult worshipers, which considered the casting or spells and sorcery to be a great privilege and not a curse and an abomination as the Bible calls it. Deuteronomy 18 prohibits that any one consult mediums of Jinn-devils, as the family of Mohammed was deeply involved with or cast a spell like what Mohammed used to do and encouraged his relatives to do. In fact we read in Deuteronomy 18:10-14:
    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD you God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD you God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD you God has not allowed you to do so.
    Khadijah, the first wife of Mohammed, and her cousin Waraqa
    Khadijah, the first wife of Mohammed, came from a family of prominent occult leaders. Among them we mentioned Ruchieh, a Kahineh of Jinn-devils at Mecca. Ruchieh was the sister of Waraqa bin Naufal, the Ebionite occult priest who was the cousin of Khadijah. Waraqa, was a leading figure in the Ahnaf. He used to make Tahnuf, which meant he spent time in the caves of Harra’, separating himself from the rest of society for months at a time. (Such practices were common among heretics as we learned from the earlier Christian fathers, and were known among leaders of occult sects. Khadijah used to make Tahnuf at the same caves.
    Waraqa was the one who convinced Mohammed to be a prophet. After returning home from the cave of Harra’, where he often went, Mohammed was frightened. He told his wife that a spirit claiming to be Gabriel appeared to him and choked him three times. Mohammed was convinced after this encounter that he had a devil inside him. But Khadijah insisted that Mohammed become a prophet of Allah.
    Khadijah was married to Nabash Bin Zarareh Bin Wakdan, a visionary for the Jinn, before she met Mohammed. The Jinn appeared to Nabash in the form of an old man to give him information. Abu Baker was his most important disciple of Nabash. Abu Baker remained a close friend of Khadijah, eager to obey her when she declared Mohammed was the prophet, instead of her former husband. As a wife of a visionary of Jinn, this gave Khadijah some prestige because many Arabians consulted Jinn visionaries and gave them money. This also explains why Khadijah was so wealthy. She had caravans which brought goods from Syria to Mecca. After Nabash died, she employed Mohammed in her caravans, and then married him, although Mohammed was twenty years younger than she.
    After the negative experiences with depresses Mohammed, Khadijah sent him to her cousin Waraqa, to convince him that Mohammed was called to be a prophet of Allah. Waraqa succeeded in his task and became responsible for most of the Quranic verses at the beginning. Waraqa inserted Ebionite doctrines about Jesus in the Quran, stating that Jesus was a prophet, and that he was not crucified, but God made someone to resemble Jesus. That one was crucified because the crowd thought he was Jesus. This doctrine was first initiated by Simon the magician from Samaria, who later founded a heresy which took his name, Simonianism. Here, I present Simon the magician’s idea about Jesus, which Hyppolytus reported in “The Refutation of all heresies”:
    Jesus Christ being transformed and being assimilated to the rulers and powers and angels, came for the restoration (of things). And so (it was that Jesus) appeared as man, when in reality he was not a man. And (so it was) that likewise he suffered, though not actually undergoing suffering, but appearing to the Jews to do so.
    The idea that the people crucified someone whom God made to resemble Jesus was embraced by some heresy-believing groups which were known to have immoral values, such as free sex and connections with occultism. Waraqa belonged to one of these cults.
    Waraqa was one of the founders of the group called Ahnaf. In the first narration of the life of Mohammed, written by Ibn Hisham in the 8th. century A.D. we read:
    The Honafa’, or Ahnaf, was a small group started when four Sabians at Mecca agreed. Those four were Zayd bin Amru bin Nafil, Waraqa bin Naufal, Ubaydullah bin Jahsh and Uthman Bin al-Huwayrith.
    The four founders of Ahnaf were all related to Mohammed. They were descendants of Loayy, one of Mohammeds ancestors. Furthermore, Waraqa bin Naufal and Uthman Bin al-Huwayrith were cousins of Khadijah. We know this from Mohammed’s genealogy presented by Ibn Hisham. Ubaydullah Bin Jahsh was a maternal cousin to Mohammed. Mohammed married his widow, Um Habibeth. All this reveals the close connection between Mohammed and the founders of the group.
    This group was unknown outside Mecca, but Umayya bin Abi al-Salt, a maternal cousin of Mohammed, is considered by some to be a member of the group. He lived in the city of Taif. We know many people joined them. They belonged to different religions, and thus had various doctrines. Each religion contained some form of polytheism, paganism and occultism. This makes them the most unlikely group in history to claim that they espoused the faith which Abraham and other prophets in the Old Testament professed and preached. It is ridiculous that Muslims would believe that this pagan group represented the true and devout faith.
    The myth, which they believed and incorporated into their poetry were also written into the Quran because Mohammed belonged to the group from the time he was a youth. He boasted that he believed in their creed, and he was known to have connections with many members of this group. He was influenced by their teachings, as well as by the immoral concept and the use of slogans of sex to draw people to them, such as a paradise of free sex. All this reflects Mohammed’s deep affliction to this group. Mohammed used their ideas. In the Quran we encounter some of the same myths.
    It is not known if this group called themselves Honafa or Ahnaf, or if they called this by the society as such, but they knew the terminology had a negative meaning and reflected negative behavior. The word hanif means “astrictive, confined, awry, biased and errant.” The Arabic word comes from the verb hanafa which means “to become Astrictive.” Although the Quran would convey a positive meaning to the term hanif today, it was not so at the time of Mohammed. Jawad Ali, the Iraqi scholar I referred to earlier, says,
    “The Hanaf is straying from the right way.”
    Jawad Ali quotes many old Islamic authors who maintained this was the meaning of hanif at the time of Mohammed. According to Jawad Ali, the word also is derived from an Aramaic word that means
    “atheist, guileful, hypocrite, infidel or perverted.”
    No matter how you look at it, the term hanif was a negative one at the time of Mohammed, as we see it in the Arabic and Aramaic languages. This suggests that since the group’s members were called by this term, not only by themselves but by the society in which they lived, is a reflection on their immoral conduct and the perversions in which they participated.
    The Immoral reputation of Ahnaf and its impact on Mohammed
    Their immoral behavior is seen in their poem composed by Waraqa Bin Naufal, one of the four founders of the group. He boasted of his own experience raping a girl in her home and enjoying sex with her. In his poem he encourages others to enjoy experiences like this. Waraqa’s immoral ideas left a special impact on Mohammed, who studied under him.
    When Waraqa died, the biographers of Mohammed said the “inspiration cooled down or languished.” Because of this, Mohammed wanted to throw himself many times from a mountain. The narrators are in disagreement about the duration of such period in which he tried to kill himself; some claim it was forty days, others say it was three years. It took time before Mohammed found other resources for his verses.
    Many Kuhhan of the Jinn religion of Arabia were part of the Ahnaf group. The Ahnaf used to have rhymed prose like the Kuhhan of the Jinn-devil of Arabia. They used to have relationships with the Jinn-devils and they claimed that those devils were useful helpers and agents. Among the leaders of Ahnaf, who was in closest communication with the Jinn-devils, was Ummia bin Abi al-Salt, the maternal cousin of Mohammed. The devil used to teach him religious things, such as: “Bismika Allahumma” which means: “in your name Allah are they.” It is clear the devils in Arabia were training the group of Ahnaf to face and challenge Christianity, which spread in Arabia during the sixth century. Later, Mohammed adopted the same term. The Ahnaf replaced the angels with Jinn as useful agents, claiming that Solomon and other prophets of the Bible had Jinn-devils in their service. They claimed this to justify their occult relationships with the devils, like Ummia, who used to have relationships with the Jinn-devils. Mohammed followed the same path, organized occultist rituals with the Jinn, boasting of such relationships, under the excuse that the Jinn-devils had become Muslims. In the Quran, Mohammed later copied the teachings of the Ahnaf that even Solomon had Jinn-devils in his service.
    The study of the family in which Mohammed was born and raised up, shows that it was a family dedication to occultism and relationships to the Jinn-devils. Many family members were involved in the leadership of the Jinn religion of Arabia as Kuhhans, or mediums of the Jinn-devils. We do not affirm this through mere guessing or conjecture, but by depending on the Islamic sources, upon which Muslims depend, in establishing the true history of Mohammed, such as Ibn Hisham and other important historical scholars who narrated the life of Mohammed. The involvement of Mohammed’s family in Arabian occultism explains Mohammed’s close relationship with the Jinn-devils, despite the fact that he tried to justify such occultist relationships with the excuse that the Jinn-devils had became Muslim.
    How Authentic is Ibn Ishaq’s
    Biography of Prophet?

    Question and answer details
    Name of Questioner: Ali
    Reply date: 2011/02/16
    Question: Salaam dear consultant. Often Christian missionaries quote from Ibn Ishaq because they say it’s the earliest biography of Muhammad (peace be upon him) though I’ve read some material of Ibn Ishaq and to me it doesn’t seem right. I mean in it there were forced conversions (that’s what the missionaries said). I’ve also heard Ibn Ishaq’s material was rejected by many early scholars. So what is your view? Thanks
    consultant: Mohsen Haredy

    Salam Ali,
    Thank you for your question.

    Let us agree first that Ibn Ishaq is a controversial figure in the Muslim history. In what follows I will focus on his life and his work on the biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

    His name is Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar. He was born in Madinah about 80 AH/699 AD and died in Baghdad in 151AH/730AD. He is best known as Ibn Ishaq. His father and two uncles collected and transmitted information about the Prophet in Madinah.
    Ibn Ishaq was a contemporary of the second generation of traditionists such as al-Zuhri, Asim ibn Umar ibn Qatadah and Abd Allah ibn Abi Bakr. He devoted himself to the study of Hadith from his youth. At the age of thirty he traveled to Egypt to attend the sessions of Yazid ibn Abi Habib.

    In Egypt he was regarded as an authority because Yazid afterwards related Hadiths to Ibn Ishaq’s authority. On his return to Madinah, he arranged and sorted out the materials he had collected. Al-Zuhri is reported to have said that Madinah would never lack knowledge as long as Ibn Ishaq was there. Al-Zuhri gathered from Ibn Ishaq the details of the Prophet’s wars.

    Yahya ibn Ma`in, an early Hadith authority, said: “Ibn Ishaq is firm in tradition.” Abu Zur`ah (d. 281AH/860AD) said: “Older scholars drew from him and professional traditionists tested him and found him truthful.”
    Ibn al-Madini said: “Prophetic tradition originally lay with 6 men; then it became the property of 12, of whom Ibn Ishaq is one.”

    Al-Bukhari quoted him as an authority and Muslim cited him often.
    On the other hand, other scholars accused him of being a Qadari and a Shi`i. In response to this accusation, scholars said that the narrations which might be interpreted as a support for Shi`isim were reported by Ibn Ishaq in the form of stories not as a support.
    Ibn Ishaq excelled in the field of Hadith, Fiqh, Tafsir and Maghazi (the Prophet’s wars).
    Ibn Ishaq’s biography of the Prophet is titled: The Book of the Campaigns or The Book of the Campaigns and the Prophet’s Biography or The Book of the Beginning of the Campaigns. Al-Baka’, a pupil of Ibn Ishaq, made two copies of the whole book, one of which must have reached Ibn Hisham (d. 218AH/797AD) whose text, abbreviated and annotated is the main source of our knowledge of the original work.
    Throughout his work, Ibn Ishaq precedes every statement with the word za`ama orza`amu, he (they) alleged). It carries with it more than a hint that the statement may not be true, though it might be sound. This attitude reflects Ibn Ishaq’s caution and fairness.
    The phrase ‘God knows best’ speaks for itself and needs no comment. It is sometimes when the author records two conflicting traditions and is unable to say which one is correct. Another indication of the author’s scrupulousness is the phrase ‘God preserve me from attributing to the prophet’s words which he did not use.”
    It is not always Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah which is attacked but the man himself. Ibn Ishaq had another book titled Al-Sunan which if it ran counter to the schools of law that were in the process of development, the author would hope to escape strong condemnation.
    By now, we can conclude that Ibn Ishaq is the main source of our knowledge about the Prophet as all later works relied on the narrations contained in his book which survives only in the recension of Ibn Hisham.
    I hope this answers your query.

    Note: This answer is based on Alfred Guillaume’s introduction to his Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), published by Oxford University Press, 1955.

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