Why is there no adoption in Islam? Zaynab – the occasion if not the cause

At he beginning of the “Stand to Reason” podcast “Islam and Prolife” (13 August 2013), Greg Koukl points out that there is no adoption in Islam. He was informed that this was based on Islamic theology but did not know why there was no adoption in Islam. The reason is Zaynab. Here is James White’s riveting and disturbing account of “The Story of Zaynab” in his “What every Christian needs to know about the Qur’an.” Let us see why he concludes:

Whether or not for political purposes (so that there would be none to take Muhammad’s place, as Zayd would have), the culture-enriching humanity-raising, love-engendering institution of adoption was mortally wounded in Islamic society. And upon what authority? That of the Qur’an.” Is not this episode, asks White, “a clear example of the problem with the orthodox view of the Qur’an’s nature?

I scanned the story from James White’s Kindle edition on my ipad. Any scanning typos are mine.

The Story of Zaynab bint Jash

There is no other account in the Qur’an that, to me as a Christian reader of the Qur’an, the hadith, and the tafsir literature, is more indicative of the fundamental problem with Muhammad’s claimed prophethood than that of his relationshig with Zaynab bint Jash. When one takes into consideration not only the situation itself but also its results in the lives of countless millions down through the centuries, the importance of following the biblical pattern for the recognition of prophethood is readily seen.

Zaynab bint Jash was by all accounts a strikingly beautiful Woman. She also was a married woman, to a young man named Zayd bin Muhammad, the Prophet’s own adopted son, a freed former slave. He was an early convert to the Islamic faith, and the two men were close. Up to that time, the Arab tribes, like the Jews, Romans, and so many others, had practiced – and honored – the concept of adoption. For  to  marry the divorced wife of his adopted son was a fundamental violation of morality and custom, tantamount to incest. The relationships that arose through adoption were held to be truly valid.

With this background in mind, consider these texts from Surah Al-Ahzub: Allah has not made for any man two hearts within him, nor has he made your wives whom you declare to be like your mothers your mothers, nor has he made those whom you claim to be your sons your sons. This is but what you say with your mouths. And Allah says the truth and He guides to the path. Attribute them to their fathers. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah. And if you know not their fathers, then they are your brothers in religion and your clients.

And there is no sin for you in the mistakes that you make unintentionally but what your hearts purpose [that will be a sin for you]. Allah is forgiving, compassionate. And when you said to him on whom Allah has conferred favor and you have conferred favor “Keep your wife to yourself and fear Allah.” And you hide within yourself that which Allah was to bring to light, and you fear the people Whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zayd had accomplished of her what he would, we gave her to you in marriage so that [henceforth] there may be no sin for believers in respect of wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have accomplished of them what they would. The commandment of Allah must be fulfilled. There is no reproach for the Prophet in what Allah has made his due. That was Allah’s Way with those who passed away of old, and the Wish of Allah is certain to be fulfilled. (33:37-38). Now, according to Islamic orthodoxy, these words were inscribed on the heavenly tablet in eternity past. They are as eternal as Allah is. And yet here are two sections that both deal with the same awkward situation that arose in history regarding Muhammad,  Zayd, and Zaynab.

The first verses cited give Allah’s command relating to adoption. No longer would Zayd be known as Zayd bin Muhammad: now he would be known as Zayd bin Haritha. Adoption as a stabilizing and gracious societal element would be forever damaged due to this change. Why do this? As the second verses show, there was a major problem among the people – one highlighted by Allah having commanded Muhammad to marry the divorced wife of his adopted son. To let the Muslim sources explain, we start with Al-Tabari’s massive history, which places the story’s backdrop in its all-too-human setting:

The Messenger of God came to the house of Zayd b. Harithah. (Zayd was always called Zayd b. Muhammad). Perhaps the Messenger of God missed him at that moment, so as to ask, “Where is Zayd‘?” He came to his residence to look for him but did not find him. Zaynab bint Jash, Zayd’s wife, rose to meet him. Because she was dressed only in a shift, the Messenger of God turned away from her. She said: “He is not here, Messenger of God. Come in, you who are as dear to me as my father and mother!” The Messenger of God refused to enter. Zaynab had dressed in haste when she was told “the Messenger of God is at the door.” She jumped up in haste and excited the admiration of the Messenger of God, so that he tuned away murmuring something that could scarcely be understood. However, he did say overtly: “Glory be to God the Almighty! Glory be to God, who causes the hearts to turn!”

When Zayd came home, his wife told him that the Messenger of God had come to his house. Zayd said, “Why didn’t you ask him to come in‘?” She replied, “I asked him, but he refused.” “Did you hear him say anything‘?” he asked. She replied, “As he turned away, I heard him say: ‘Glory be to God the Almighty! Glory be to God, who causes hearts to turn! ”’ So Zayd left, and having come to the Messenger of God, he said: “Messenger of God, I have heard that you came to my house. Why didn’t you go in, you who are as dear to me as my father and mother? Messenger of God, perhaps Zaynab has excited your admiration, and so I will separate myself from her.” Zayd could find no possible way to [approach] her after that day. He would come to the Messenger of God and tell him so, but the Messenger of God Would say to him, “Keep your Wife.”

Zayd separated from her and left her, and she became free. While the Messenger of God was talking with `A’ishah, a fainting overcame him. When he was released from it he smiled and said, “Who will go to Zaynab to tell her the good news, saying that God has married her to me.” Then the Messenger of God recited: “And when you said unto him on whom God has conferred favor and you have conferred favor, ‘Keep your wife to yourself” and the entire passage. According to ’A’ishah, who said: “I became very uneasy because of what we heard about her beauty and another thing, the greatest and loftiest of matters – what God had done for her by giving her in marriage. I said she would boast of it over us.”

Martin Lings narrates the same story in this Way:

It happened one day that he went to speak to his Zayd about something and went to his house. Zayd was out, and Zaynab, not expecting any visitors at that time, was lightly clad. But when she was told that the Prophet had come, she was so eager to greet him that she leapt to her feet and ran to the door, to invite him to stay until Zayd returned. “He is not here, O Messenger of God,” she said, “but comes out in, my father and my mother be thy ransom.” As she stood in the doorway, a radiant figure of joyous welcome, the prophet was amazed at her beauty. Deeply moved, he turned aside, and murmured something which she could not grasp. All she heard clearly were his words of wonderment as he walked away: “Glory be to God the Infinite! Glory be to Him who disposeth men’s hearts!” When Zayd returned she told him of the Prophet’s visit and of the glorification she had heard him utter. Zayd immediately Went to him and said: “I have been told thou camest unto my house.

Why didst not enter, thou who art more to me than my father and my mother? Was it that Zaynab hath found favor with thee? If it be so, I will leave her.” “Keep thy wife and fear God,” said the Prophet with some insistence. He had said on another occasion: “Of all things licit the most hateful unto God is divorce.” And when Zayd came again the next day with the same proposal, again the Prophet insisted that he should keep his wife. But the marriage between Zayd and Zaynab had not been a happy one, and Zayd found it no longer tolerable, so by mutual agreement with Zaynab he divorced her. This did not, however, make Zaynab eligible as a wife for the Prophet, for although the Koran had only specified that men were forbidden to marry the wives of sons sprung from their loins, it was a strong social principle not to make a distinction between sons by birth and sons by adoption. Nor was the Prophet himself eligible, for he had already four wives, the most that the Islamic law allows.

Some months passed and then one day when the Prophet was talking with one of his wives the power of Revelation overwhelmed him; and when he came to himself his first words were: “Who will go unto Zaynab and tell her the good tidings that God hath given her to me in marriage, even from Heaven.” Salma was near and she went in haste to Zaynab’s house. When she heard the wonderful tidings, Zaynab magnified God and threw herself down in prostration toward Mecca. Then she took off her anklets and bracelets of silver, and gave them to Salma.

Zayd is one of the few people to be mentioned by name in the Qur’an, and it is in this very context, of Allah rebuking Muhammad for hiding what Allah had revealed, and that in reference to Muhammad marrying Zayd’s divorced wife. To overcome immediate charges of impropriety even of incest a revelation comes down to solve the great and vexing problem of the marriage of divorced wives of adopted sons. Except, of course, it is more than hard to believe this was a great and vexing problem. We would expect the great and vexing problem to be divorce, let alone even the consideration of marrying your former daughter-in-law. But Allah commands his Prophet to break the customs of his day and marry his first cousin. 

Again, in the process, incalculable damage has been done to millions of children and families. In distancing himself from his adopted son, Whether or not for political purposes (so that there would be none to take Muhammad’s place, as Zayd would have), the culture-enriching humanity-raising, love-engendering institution of adoption was mortally wounded in Islamic society. And upon what authority? That of the Qur’an. Is this not a clear example of the problem with the orthodox view of the Qur’an’s nature? Muhammad suddenly goes into some kind of faint and, when he recovers, announces that adoption is undone and Zaynab is his wife. This was inscribed in eternity past upon a tablet in Arabic? lt seems even Aisha, his favorite (but who clearly experienced much jealousy toward his other wives) recognized an issue, for she is recorded to have said. I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your Wishes and desires.” Certainly this must give one pause in weighing the claims of the Qur’an to status as a divine revelation.

Modern lslamic Orthodoxy identifies Muhammad as the ideal man, the model to which all should seek to conform their behavior and lifestyle. Yet here, plainly the Qur’an displays acute embarrassment and must provide an apologetic, a defense of his actions. Many motives are possible, from the seemingly blatant marriage breakup, and the resultant diminishment of the evil of divorce, to the political tensions that were formative of the early generations of Islam and that led to the formation of its two major branches, Sunni and Shia. Whatever the motivation, the attempt to justify Muhammad’s actions and their wide-ranging results is obvious and forceful.

Reza Aslan’s “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”

Aslan is the main character in C.S. Lewis’s seven-book series The Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan is the great Lion” in The_Lion,_the_Witch_and_the_Wardrobe,” who is the only character to appear in the whole series. Aslan is Turkish, Arabic and Farsi (and possibly some other languages) for “lion”. Lewis often capitalises the word lion when referring to Aslan, because it represents Jesus, the “Lion of Judah. “I found the name [Aslan]…it is the Turkish for Lion. … And of course I meant the Lion of Judah.” (Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, vol iii, p 160). As Jesus was Jewish, why not use the Hebrew “Ari” (lion) for the Lion of Judah instead of the Turkish/Arabic Aslan? But that’s not Lewis.

There’s another Aslan – not a lion from Judah, or even a lion – from the United States, Reza Aslan, who has recently written the New York Times bestseller, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” Aslan appears in a video that has had more than 4 million views; as the catchy saying goes, “it’s gone viral.“ Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?

aslan zealot

Here is Andrew Kaczynski‘s “Buzzfeed” blurb on the interview: “Reza Aslan, a religious scholar with a Ph.D. in the sociology of religions from the University of California and author of the new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, went on FoxNews.com’s online show Spirited Debate to promote his book only to be prodded about why a Muslim would write a historical book about Jesus. I have transcribed an excerpt for discussion. I underline selected words. My impressions in brackets appear in italics. Interviewer “You’re a Muslim. So, why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity.” (So; in other words, “why on earth!”) Aslan “I am scholar of religions with four degrees including one in the New Testament and fluency in biblical Greek who has even studying the origin of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim…I am an expert with degrees in the history of religions. (who also just happens to be a Muslim. Owing to our presuppositions, there’s no such thing as total objectivity. That applies to academia – from physics to philosophy and religion. When it comes to religions that contradict one another in major areas – for example, the christian doctrine of the resurrection of Christ, which Muslims reject – presuppositions come into play as they do in other fields. So, if you’re a Muslim writing on Christianity, you’re going to write from your Islamic presuppositions. Likewise if you’ happen to be a Christian writing on Islam. Having said that, it is possible to maintain a certain objectivity in the realm of the historical record/textual criticism. Unfortunately, most people don’t know or care much about history). Interviewer “It still begs the question why you would be interested in the founder of Christianity.”

(Here is a definition of “Begging the question: “It is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place.” Hang on interviewer, Aslan has indeed shown why he is interested in the founder of Christianity, to wit,“I am scholar of religions with four degrees including one in the New Testament and fluency in biblical Greek who has been studying the origin of Christianity for two decades…”)

Aslan, a soupçon of irritation in his voice, reiterates as if explaining to someone in darkest America how to use a fax machine: “See press button”): “Because it is my job as an academic. I am (then Aslan slows down – she who has ears to listen, listen) a prof-ess-or of re-li-gions, including the New Testament. That is what I do for a living, actually. (Capiche? ). So, continues Aslan, it would be like asking a Christian why they would write a book about Islam. I’m not sure about that.

( I’m not sure about that. Aslan, you say you’re not sure why a Christian would write a book about Islam. I hope you don’t mean “why on earth would a Christian want to write a book on Islam,” as James White just did, whose book “What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an” is great. You say, Aslan, you’re not sure why a Christian would write a book about Islam. May I suggest how a Christian might answer:

I am a scholar of religions with degrees including one in the New Testament and fluency in biblical Greek and biblical Hebrew and biblical Aramaic, who has been studying the origin of Christianity for four decades. I also happen to be an expert with degrees in the history of religions. So why did I write this book on Islam? In brief, I wrote it because it is my job as an academic. And because I wanted – very important – to show that Islam is flawed.” Don’t tell me that Aslan has no intention to persuade his readers that Christianity is flawed. white koran Aslan says in the interview that he is a Muslim and that he believes in the crucifixion of Jesus. The Qur’an states “And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain” (Surah 4:157). While Aslan believes in the death of Jesus on the cross, which the Qur’an rejects, he disbelieves in the Virgin birth of Jesus, which the Qu’ran affirms. Aslan rejects Christian miracles of which the Virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus are two of the most important ones. They are foolishness to those who are perishing. Aslan, the lion, with a small “l” has bitten off more than he can chew – of the Qur’an. Before he converted to “Islam” he was a Christian. That makes him double apostate. Oh well, it’s still nice to know that Aslan believes that the Lion of Judah was indeed crucified. But, alas, so do the jinn. While there is life there is hope for Aslan; as the rabbis say: “The basis of our relationship with Hashem (the Name – God) means that the fact that we are alive means that God has hope for us. He put us here for a reason; he didn’t put us here to destroy us. so, if after we have sinned we are still alive then there is still hope for us…and we’re not lost.” (Sin in Adam and his Descendants and how to reconcile to God: Jewish “Orthodox” and Jewish “Reconstructionist” views). Yes, Yeshua haMashiach can break down any barrier.   Related post: Psalm 22: Like a lion: Nothing about the lion of Judah

Vengeance and the cartoons about Mohammed: None can change the words of Allah, except Allah, which he does

In Islam and the Book: The heart of the matter, I presented a discussion with a Muslim on the inspiration of the Quran and the Bible. The Quran states that the Hebrew and Christians scriptures (the “Book”) are divine revelation but they have both been corrupted from time immemorial and thus in Mohammed’s time no Jew or Christian – no matter how faithful to the original scriptures – had a copy of the original scriptures. The closest any Jew or Christian came to the “Book” sent down by God was, argued the Muslim, the few snippets they carried in their hearts.

I present here a specific example we discussed of the clash between the two religions on this matter: the Islamic violence unleashed on the world occasioned by the Danish cartoon of Mohammed.

(My part is in normal characters; his in italics).

– Do you agree with the violence that resulted from the silly cartoon.
– Yes. Muslims have to defend Allah’s honour.
– Why do you need to do that, can’t he defend his own honour?
– We can’t just let people do this.
– You say the Christian Bible is corrupt and only what the Quran says is true in it is really true. In my copy of the Bible it says: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). What do you think of the idea that vengeance should be left to God. Do you think this verse is a corruption of the original “Book” sent down to the Jews and the Christians by God.
– I think it is not wrong (that vengeance be left to God).
– But then why does the Quran say “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you” (Surah 9:123).
– You can only understand the Quran in Arabic.
– I take it that the reason why Muslims acted so violently again the cartoons is because they believe they are obeying Allah in doing so.
– Yes.
– But you said that it was not wrong for the Christian Bible to say that vengeance belonged to God alone, and now you say that Muslims are required to take vengeance on those who make fun of Mohammed.
– They are both true. What happened was that when the original (uncorrupted) Christian Bible was written, it was Allah’s will that vengeance should be left to him alone, but when Mohammed came, the Angel Gabriel revealed to him that Allah had changed, and that from Mohammed’s time onwards, it was now right to take vengeance on those who insulted Islam.

The conversation ended here. Something to do with my Muslim friend’s cat (Leo – of Judah?) causing with another cat over the wall.

I say something about the last response of my Muslim friend, namely, Allah changing his mind. The theological term for this is “abrogation.” I find this idea of abrogation odd because according to the Quran:

“No change can there be in the Words of Allah (Surah 10:64).
“There is none that can alter the Words of Allah (Surah 6:34)

Now Muslims say that Allah inspired the original Torah and Gospel (Injil), which according to my Muslim friend, have been corrupted  from time immemorial. My Muslim friend agrees that there is nothing wrong with the Christian claim that God said in their Bible that we should leave vengeance to God, but later in the Quran, he changed his mind. Yet we see in Surah 10:64 in the previous paragraph that Allah’s word can never be changed. The only conclusion I can come to is that Allah changed his mind about “No change can there be in the Words of Allah” (Surah 10:64). What justification does the Muslim have for this change of “no change” to “change”? Answer: “There is none (no human beings) that can alter the Words of Allah”‘ (Surah 6:34). The upshot of these two surahs: none can change the words of Allah, except Allah, which he does.

I say a little more about the Christian position on vengeance:

The Lord does not desire to get back at those who hurt him. As Christians it is tempting to react violently, especially when you see evil all around and our neighbours insulting us. We tend to think like an unbeliever. You mess with me and I’m gonna mess with you, in spite of the evidence in scripture of Christ doing the opposite. Satan wants to win his kingdom by taking lives. He hates humanity, he hates Christ. But what does Jesus do? He lays down his life to save people.

Proverbs 20:22 – Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
1 Peter 3:9 – Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

When we Christians are insulted or see insults to Christ in the media, we need to step back and trust God. Thirst for justice, yes, but not for revenge. It’s hard for anyone, including a Christian to do this. Trust the Lord. It is he who will avenge one day. Muslims and others are killing Christians every day. Most of us have no idea of the destruction and death perpetrated against Christians. What we must guard against is the media’s encouragement of “righteous indignation”  – which is not righteous at all – against the perpetrators.

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

 (Jesus in) Luke 6:28

Islam and the Book: The heart of the matter

I (Raphy) meet a Muslim on are regular basis. We are very fond of one another. We were discussing the Muslim view that the Bible is corrupted. Our conversation went like this:

R – Is there anything in the existing Torah (the whole Jewish scriptures) or the Injil (NT) that Muslims accept?
M – There are bits and pieces.
R – Which ones are those?
M – The ones mentioned in the Quran.
R – The Quran says:

“It was We who revealed the Law to Moses, therein was guidance and light … and in their footsteps, We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel, therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him, a guidance and admonition to those who fear Allah. To thee (Mohammed) We sent the Scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety.” (Surah 5:47-51).

In Mohammed’s day, were there any Jews and Christians who were following the Law of Moses and the Gospel?

M – Yes.
R – Then they must have had an uncorrupted version of the Torah and Gospel.
M – No, they didn’t.
R – But then how could these Jews and Christians remain faithful to the Law of Moses and the Gospel?
M – They carried the pure Law of Moses and the Gospel in their hearts.
R – Didn’t they get it into their hearts through their heads – through words, written words, a text. Surely, there can be no Islam without a Quran; indeed, all religions depend on texts. The Quran says:

“They did not form any proper estimate of Allah when they said: ‘Allah has not revealed anything to any man.’59 Ask them: ‘The Book which Moses brought as a light and guidance for men and which you keep in bits and scraps, some of which you disclose while the rest you conceal, even though through it you were taught that which neither you nor your forefathers knew – who was it who revealed it?’ Say: ‘Allah!’- and then leave them to sport with their argumentation” (Surah 6:91).

Are you saying that the Book of Moses that Allah was referring to had become so corrupted that Jews never managed to preserve an uncorrupted version from time immemorial?

M – Only bits and pieces. Also, the Torah and the Injil were written down by human beings and so errors crept in, whereas the Quran is a pure creation of Allah with no human interference. That is why we are sure that it is free of error.

R – Why then does the Quran say this about the People of the Book?

“Dispute not with the People of the Book, save in the fairer manner, except for those of them that do wrong; and say: ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you; Our God and your God is One and to Him we have surrendered'” (Sura 29:45).

If Allah says “dispute not with the People of the Book” doesn’t it follow that – at the time of Mohammed – there existed a book, a written text that “has been sent down to you; Our God and your God is One and to Him we have surrendered.”

M – No; by “Book” Allah means what used to be written in the “Book” before it became corrupted, which happened long ago before anyone can remember. In Mohammed’s time, the “Book” that Allah is talking about didn’t exist as a written text; it existed in a few of the “People of the Book’s” hearts.

 

Saved by .000001% and a slight movement of the chest: Jewish and Islamic views of redemption

In one of Art Katz’s talks, he describes a movement within Lubavitch-Chabad who drive round New York in specially outfitted vans to pick up Jews on the street and get them to put on tefillin. If enough Jews did it – the critical mass, whatever that was – Messiah would come. Talking about “critical mass,” here is a comment on a Chabad article “Who is Mosiach? – the basics.” [My square brackets].

“It seems that on a scale it only takes 1 grain of sand to tip two equal portions to one side or the other. When the scale tips it tips completely to one side or the other. I think the critical mass is simply 50.000001% of the Jewish population keeping Shabbos for instance. Possibly 1 of 2 of the greatest gifts Hashem gave us. Those who keep Shabbos understand the value of this gift clearly. Why then aren’t we creating an International Shabbos day and selling it like we sell the Superbowl. With Jewish celebrities promoting it in all corners of the Earth. Chabad is trying this but it needs to be on a much much bigger scale. How can we promote this idea to give all of those who have strayed from the path after all of these generations in gullus [galut – “exile”] – a taste of Gad [Gan – “garden”?] Eden?

The Lubavitcher Rabbi Schneerson (the Rebbe) expressed the “critical mass” idea differently: the Moshiach is waiting for that one tiny act of lovingkindness to tip the scales, then he will come.

I am reminded of a story in Islamic literature, in one of the versions of Hadith 20 (Al-Bhukari) where a murderer of 100 people was saved by a slight expansion of his chest.

20. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the negative and the man killed him also completing one hundred. He then asked about the most learned man in the earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the affirmative and asked, `Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.’ So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him; and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, ‘This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,’ and the angels of punishment argued, ‘He never did a virtuous deed in his life.’ Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, `Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.’ They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In another version: “He was found to be nearer to the locality of the pious by a cubit and was thus included among them”. Another version says: “Allah commanded (the land which he wanted to leave) to move away and commanded the other land (his destination) to draw nearer and then He said: ‘Now measure the distance between them.’ It was found that he was nearer to his goal by a hand’s span and was thus forgiven”. It is also narrated that he drew closer by a slight movement on his chest.

The fly in the cup: a lesson from the Hadith by Nadir Ahmed to Robert Morey

In “Orthodox” Judaism there is the Written Torah and the Oral Torah, which are both considered as divine revelation. In Islam, there is the analogous Q’uran (Koran) and Hadith. Many (if not all) Muslims regard the Hadith of Sahih al-Bukhari as divine revelation. Dr Robert Morey has made a deep study of Islam, and maintains that it is, at best, inauthentic. In his books and lectures he is very critical of the Hadith, specifically Sahih al-Bukhari. I must say that it is hard (for a non-Muslim) to believe much that appears in both the Q’uran and the Hadith(s). Here is an example on the fly.

In his “Ladies and gentlemen, we got him: Dr. Robert Morey: Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?”, Nadir Ahmed throws out this modest challenge:

“If Dr. Robert Morey can show us the proof for the following statements, which he made in his lecture at the Calvary Chapel San Bernardino… he will receive:

$500.00 U.S. dollars!

Here, says Ahmed, is Morey’s “lie #4”

The hadeeth which Dr. Robert Morey is referring to DOES NOT teach “drink it with the fly”. This is a pure concoction, rather the hadeeth states:

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 537:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
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.”

My comment:

When the Hadith says “If a house fly falls IN the drink of anyone of you” the “in” must mean merely on the surface or close to the surface of the drink, for if the fly had fallen deeper down, there would be no need to DIP it IN the drink. But let’s not occupy our minds with how deep the fly falls into the drink. Deep or shallow, Ahmed is indeed affirming with Morey that the Hadith says that the drink contains both the disease (from one wing) and the cure (from the other wing) of our fly.

It’s no good, alas, me suggesting that we should not bother with the fly once he’s deposited his potion-poison, because Ahmed insists that (the Hadith is saying?) the fly has to go, whereas Morey (the liar!) is “insisting” a little bit of protein can only be good for you. Can we be sure that the drinker was directed to remove the fly before he drank; a fat lot of difference that would have made to the point the Hadith was making.

What is that point? “When it comes to flies, one man’s meat is the same man’s poison.” Or has it got something to do with not to worry too much about that fly; do what you will with it (I suppose they were hard to avoid in Mohammed’s day). The main thing (and I don’t see why Ahmed should object) is, you can indeed have your concoction AND drink it – protein ‘n all.

The “Sahih” in Sahih al-Bukhari means “authentic.” So, Muslims better believe what is written in his Hadith – as the word of God. I ask the Muslim, how can such nonsense be the word of God? How can you believe that these are the words of the God of the Abraham of the “Book.”