1. It is consistent with listening to Satan in the Qur’an
It is not only Muhammad who listens to Satan and acts upon what he heard but also other prophets also do the same such as Adam being a prophet (2:37) listened to Satan when he was in the garden (20:120-121) and Aaron being a prophet (4:163) listened to Satan in absence of Moses (7:150). All the above, the Quran tells that all of God’s messengers and prophets had their desires affected by Satan (22:52). Therefore, it cannot be argued from the Qur’an that a prophet would be incapable of doing this because the Qur’an says other prophets acted this way too.
- First of all Adam is not a prophet as claimed based on the verse (2:37) rather he just received specific words to use on earth for his redemption of sin as God has given us knowledge to derive 20 prophets by their names (6:83-89, 19:56 & 33:40) and an unknown number of messengers of God (40:78, 4:164) while the definition of prophet is also found in the Quran (2:213). Since the descent of Adam on earth is detailed out in the Bible, the Bible would be in question to be the revelation of God and the acceptance of the prophets of Israel including Jesus would be in question mark as well if the descent of Adam on earth is disputed.
- The verse (7:150) connected to the incident of worshiping calf reflects the humans’ idolatrous tendency when Moses was summoned for forty nights and his majority followers worshipped calf as stated in (2:51, 2:54), which is a learning for us from the history of Israel to make efforts to prevent us from falling into idol worship due to Satan’s trick.
- Even if the verse (22:52) is referred to the incident of the Satanic verses, there is also a lesson for us to make efforts to protect us from idolizing God’s prophets and messengers considering them infallible supported by (3:79-80). It is a common tendency of the followers to idolize their prophets and saints to get closer to God. For examples, millions of Christians believe that Jesus will intercede for them at God on the Day of Judgment to forgive and admit them into Paradise while millions of Muslims believe that Muhammad will intercede for them to do the same on that day either, which is a Satanic trick because of assigning power of intercession to them. In addition, this verse is placed in Suratul Hajj and the stoning is one of the rituals of Hajj for condemnation of Satan as well as rejection of his plans and tricks being our great enemy (17:62).
2. It is consistent with abrogation in the Qur’an
The Quran is the doctrine of abrogation as it was developed with a phenomenon of modification and deletion. In fact, enough verses were modified or deleted that it made people doubt Muhammad was a genuine prophet and the issue had to be dealt with in the Qur’an. However, the Satanic verses are not the only example of where the Qur’an was revised and modified, there is also other example where revision and modification occurred:And when We exchange a verse in the place of another verse – and God knows very well what he is sending down – they say (to Muhammad), “Thou art a mere forger!” (Qur’an 16:101, Arberry).
In addition, the Hadith also records several other occasions where verses of the Qur’an were modified, added to or deleted: Narrated Al-Bara: (1) There was revealed: “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive and fight in the Cause of Allah.” (Qur’an 4:95).The Prophet said, “Call Zaid for me and let him bring the board, the ink pot and the scapula bone (or the scapula bone and the ink pot).” Then he said, “Write: Not equal are those Believers who sit …”, and at that time ‘Amr bin Um Maktum, the blind man was sitting behind the Prophet. He said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is your order for me (as regards the above Verse) as I am a blind man?” So, instead of the above verse, the following verse was revealed: “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame etc.) and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah.” (Qur’an 4:95) (Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 61, no. 512, Khan, agreed).This account clearly records the revision of 4:95 from its initial to final form. This type of modification is exactly what happened in the account of the Satanic Verses, (2) Narrated Sahl bin Saud: When the following verses were revealed: “Eat and drink until the white thread appears to you, distinct from the black thread” (2:187) and “of dawn” was not revealed, some people who intended to fast, tied black and white threads to their legs and went on eating till they differentiated between the two. Allah then revealed the words, “of dawn”, and it became clear that meant night and day. (Bukhari: vol. 3, bk. 31, no. 141, Khan), (3) Narrated Said bin Jubair: Ibn Abza said to me, “Ask Ibn ‘Abbas regarding the Statement of Allah: … ‘… nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause … except those who repent, believe, and do good deeds.'” (25.68-70) So I asked Ibn ‘Abbas and he said, “When this (25.68-69) was revealed, the people of Mecca said, “We have invoked other gods with Allah, and we have murdered such lives which Allah has made sacred, and we have committed illegal sexual intercourse. So Allah revealed: ‘Except those who repent, believe, and do good deeds and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’ (25.70) (Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 60, no. 288, Khan) and (4) Narrated Anas: … We used to recite, “Inform our people that we have met our Lord, He is pleased with us and He has made us pleased”. Later on this Quranic verse was cancelled. (Bukhari: vol. 4, bk. 52, no. 57, Khan).
Therefore the incident of the Satanic Verses is consistent with the doctrine of abrogation.
- He took both the verses of the Quran (22:52 and 16:101) out of the context to draw his conclusion to support his abrogation hypothesis. The message in 22:52 depicts that no messenger or prophet is infallible to warn us NOT to fall into idol worshipping of any messenger or prophet, which is a very common human tragedy being a satanic trick while the message in 16:101 informs us that God is fully aware when He has replaced one revelation with the other, for sure it is not talking about the abrogation of verses in the Quran. God has blessed us with knowledge to derive from the Quran that He has sent 19 revelations (one scripture but its various editions with modifications and updates) through 20 prophets to guide the humanity until the end of the world, the Quran being the last one (33:40). He has also informed us in the Quran that there is preference of one revelation over the other that has reflected in the verse (17:55), which is typically misinterpreted to be the preference of one prophet over the other but the ending phrase of the verse “ We gave David the Psalms” eliminates this misinterpretation supported by (5:48)
- Green has also mentioned some references from Hadith books to prove his abrogation hypothesis to be true. Since Hadiths are not authentic sources of Islamic teachings and laws but certain historical events, these can easily be ignored for failing to provide us substantial evidences.
3. It is consistent with how Muhammad’s desires inspired the Qur’an
The Messenger of God was eager for the welfare of his people and wished to effect a reconciliation with them in whatever ways he could. … he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe. … and he debated with himself and fervently desired such and outcome. (Al-Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari, vol. vi, pp. 107-108). From this starting point the rest of the events of the Satanic Verses occur. However there are other examples of where Muhammad’s desire, and that of his companions, led to “revelations” from Allah. Consider these four examples.
a. The Direction of Islamic Prayer
Originally Muhammad prayed facing Jerusalem, but he wished for the direction to be changed. Then he received a “revelation” from Allah saying to now pray facing Mecca.Narrated Al-Bara: The Prophet prayed facing Bait-ulMaqdis (i.e. Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months but he wished that his Qibla would be the Ka’ba (at Mecca). So Allah Revealed (2.144) and he offered ‘Asr prayers (in his Mosque facing Ka’ba at Mecca) and some people prayed with him. … (Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 60, no. 13, Khan). Now We will surely turn thee (Muhammad) to a direction that shall satisfy thee. Turn thy face towards the Holy Mosque; and wherever you are, turn your faces towards it. (Qur’an 2:144, Arberry).
b. When Allah Agreed with Umar
Here are three occasions when the desires and sometimes exact words of Umar, Muhammad’s companion, became revelations from Allah.Narrated ‘Umar (bin Al-Khattab): My Lord agreed with me in three things:1. I said,”O Allah’s Apostle, I wish we took the station of Abraham as our praying place (for some of our prayers). So came the Divine Inspiration: And take you (people) the station of Abraham as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers e.g. two Rakat of Tawaf of Ka’ba)”. (Qur’an 2:125), 2. And as regards the (verse of) the veiling of the women, I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from the men because good and bad ones talk to them.” So the verse of the veiling of the women was revealed. (Qur’an 24:31) 3. Once the wives of the Prophet made a united front against the Prophet and I said to them, “It may be if he (the Prophet) divorced you, (all) that his Lord (Allah) will give him instead of you wives better than you.” So this verse (the same as I had said) was revealed.” (Qur’an 66:5). (Bukhari: vol. 1, bk. 8, no. 395, Khan).
c. Muhammad’s Sexual Privileges
In Surah 33 we read of Muhammad’s sexual privileges.Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave-girls whom Allah had given you as booty; the daughters of your paternal and maternal uncles and of your paternal and maternal aunts who fled with you; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet and whom the Prophet wishes to take in marriage. The privilege is yours alone, being granted to no other believer. (Qur’an 33:50, Dawood). The astonishing thing about this revelation is that Muhammad is given unique sexual privileges that no other Muslim was to have! This is normally the type of behaviour we associate with a cult leader. This privilege is seen in the next verse too, for Muhammad had many wives and there was an agreed roster by which he was shared among them. But in 33:51 Muhammad is given a special revelation so that he does not have to fulfil his sexual duties to his wives according to this roster. It is very interesting to read Aisha’s response to this revelation:Narrated Aisha: … (W)hen Allah revealed: “You (O Muhammad) can postpone (the turn of) whom you will of them (your wives), and you may receive any of them whom you will; and there is no blame on you if you invite one whose turn you have set aside (temporarily).’ (Quran 33:51) I said (to the Prophet), “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.” (Bukhari: vol. 6, bk. 60, no. 311, Khan).
d. Muhammad Taking Zaynab as His Wife
Muhammad had an adopted son named Zayd. Zayd had a beautiful wife named Zaynab. One day the Messenger of God went out looking for Zayd. Now there was a covering of haircloth over the doorway, but the wind had lifted the covering so that the doorway was uncovered. Zaynab was in her chamber, undressed, and admiration for her entered the heart of the Prophet. (Al-Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari, vol. viii, p. 4). Muhammad saw his daughter-in-law undressed in her house and “admiration for her entered (his) heart”. But there was a terrible problem, she was his daughter-in-law, the wife of his adopted son. Muhammad’s desires were obvious to Zayd and so Zayd offered to divorce Zaynab so that Muhammad could have her. Initially Muhammad refused as it was considered shameful in the pre-Islamic culture, as it is in many cultures, to marry your daughter-in-law. But then Muhammad claimed that Allah had saved him from this problem. First he said that Allah had cancelled all adoptions.(N)either has He made your adopted sons your sons in fact. (Qur’an 33:4, Arberry). This meant that Zayd was no longer Muhammad’s son and that Zaynab was no longer his daughter-in-law. Then he said that Allah had given Zaynab to him. So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her (divorced her), then We gave her in marriage to you (Muhammad). (Qur’an 33:37, Arberry). Thus, what began with the desires Muhammad had when he saw Zaynab undressed, ended with revelations from Allah annulling adoption and the giving of Zaynab to Muhammad. This example, and the others I have given in this section, and the event of the Satanic Verses, convince me that Muhammad prophesied from his own desires and this is why I do not accept him as a prophet.
- Green has alleged that not only Muhammad’s desires, even Omar’s desire inspired the Quran with respect to the changing the direction of Islamic prayer, Muhammad’s sexual privileges and taking Zaynab as his wife and agreeing of Allah with Omar to have station of Abrahamas prayer place, veiling of the women and Allah will give prophet better ones if he divorces any of his wives. These allegations are made up stories that do not even need any arguments or explanations to convince anyone to be false accusations as the verses that are referred to these matters have no connection with the message stated in the relevant verses of the Quran. But the backstory fabricated against Muhammad about taking of Zaynab as his wife (ex-wife of his adopted son) is really surprising to the account that how the narrator(s) saw Zaynab undressed in her house, and is not this accusation a big lie? However, all events in Muhammad’s life including his marriage privileges are according to God’s will for the successful delivery of the message, the Quran as a guidance for the people of the entire world until the End of the World.
4. It is consistent with Muhammad’s practice of incorporating pre-Islamic religion into Islam.
We see that Muhammad tried to incorporate the pre-Islamic gods into Islam so as to make it easier for his tribe to accept him. Muhammad actually did this on many occasions, and so we see that the Satanic verses are just one example of these. Here are four other examples where Muhammad successfully incorporated the pre-Islamic religion into Islam:
Muhammad initially continued the pre-Islamic time for fasting:Narrated ‘Aisha – ‘Ashura’ (i.e. the tenth of Muharram) was a day on which the tribe of Quraish used to fast in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance. The Prophet also used to fast on this day. So when he migrated to Medina, he fasted on it and ordered (the Muslims) to fast on it. When the fasting of Ramadan was enjoined, it became optional for the people to fast or not to fast on the day of Ashura. (Bukhari: vol. 5, bk. 58, no. 172, Khan).
b. The Black Stone
The pre-Islamic religion was animistic with special attention to sacred stones:Narrated Abu Raja Al-Utaridi: We used to worship stones, and when we found a better stone than the first one, we would throw the first one and take the latter, but if we could not get a stone then we would collect some earth (i.e. soil) and then bring a sheep and milk that sheep over it, and perform the Tawaf around it. … (Bukhari: vol. 5, bk. 59, no. 661, Khan). The most sacred stone in the pre-Islamic religion was the Black Stone. It was part of the Ka’ba in Mecca. Even though the worship of stones is animistic Muhammad continued this practice. Some of the early Muslims found this very uncomfortable and wanted reform:Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father who said: “Umar bin Al-Khattab addressed the Corner (Black Stone) saying, ‘By Allah! I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.’ Then he kissed it and said, ‘There is no reason for us to do Ramal (a special style of walking) (in Tawaf) except that we wanted to show off before the pagans, and now Allah has destroyed them.’ ‘Umar added, ‘(Nevertheless), the Prophet did that and we do not want to leave it (i.e. Ramal).'” (Bukhar: vol. 2, bk. 26, no. 675, Khan)
c. As-Safa and Al-Marwa
The pre-Islamic religion also had a special walk that was done between the mountains of Safa and Marwa in Mecca. Muhammad continued this practice too. Again, some of the early Muslims were uncomfortable with this and thought that this pagan practice should be stopped. Later Muhammad transformed the meaning of these mountains to be “symbols of Allah” : ‘Verily! (The two mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwa are among the symbols of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who performs the pilgrimage to the Ka’ba, or performs ‘Umra, to perform Tawaf between them.'” (2.158) (Bukhari: vol. 2, bk. 26, no. 710, Khan)
Incantations were part of the animistic pre-Islamic religion. Muhammad allowed this practice to continue as long as the incantations were transformed to be Islamic:’Auf b. Malik Ashja’i reported We practised incantation in the pre-Islamic days and we said: Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion about it? He said: Let me know your incantation and said: There is no harm in the incantation which does not smack of polytheism. (Muslim: bk. 26, no. 5457, Siddiqui). Thus, it was Muhammad’s methodology to incorporate as much of the pre-Islamic religion as possible. He did this to make it easier for the Arabs to accept Islam. The event of the Satanic Verses is an example of this, although in this case it did not work.
- Green has further alleged that Muhammad used the methodology of incorporating pre-Islamic religion as much as possible to make easier for the Arabs to accept him as a prophet such as kissing the black stone as well as circling (Tawaf) around the Ka’ba and incantations referencing from Hadith books while fasting in the month of Ramadan instead of tenth of Muharram and traversing Safa and Marwa quoting verses from the Quran are mispresentation as he is not aware that kissing of the black stone is not allowed in Islam while circling Ka’ba and traversing Safa and fasting are authorized practices of Islam. Like many other people he has also the misconception that Muhammad was the founder of Islam but he is not. Thus, what he has mentioned as the rituals of pre-Islam religion are actually the rituals of Islam but he intentionally ignored the fact that Abraham is called the father of Islam and the Christians abandoned all the rituals of Islam 300 years later after the death of Jesus.
- The whole Quran was revealed on the night of 27th Ramadan called laylatul qadr clarifying every command and fasting is decreed for the whole month of Ramadan in honor of the very significant event. However, Muhammad’s only function was to deliver the Quran Not to deliver religious rites.
5. Satan produced a surah like it.
One of the proofs that Islamic leaders give that the Qur’an is miraculous is that no one is able to produce a surah like. This challenge is found in the Qur’an itself:And if you are in doubt concerning that We have sent down on Our servant, then bring a sura like it. (Qur’an 2:23, Arberry). They say the Qur’an is miraculous in beauty and no one can make anything to compare to it. However, the event of the Satanic Verses casts doubt over this claim. For in this event Muhammad spoke words from Satan but everyone thought these verses were part of the Qur’an for the believers were holding that what their prophet brought from their Lord was true, not suspecting a mistake or a vain desire or slip. (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, p. 166).
- Even the Gharanic verses that were momentarily accepted reveal that there exists no harmony between the commendation of the idols by means of the verses: “These are beautiful, high-ranking birds, and their intercession is anticipated.”Thus, the challenge has been faced as claimed is not consistent with the matter expected to be addressed rather this event is a corroboration that the divine challenge is impossible to achieve whatever way it is attempted.
6. The Prophet Like Moses
I (God) will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. (Deuteronomy 18:18, NIV). Islamic leaders often refer to Deuteronomy 18:18 as evidence that Muhammad is predicted in the Bible. They say that Muhammad is the prophet like Moses. But the Islamic leaders who make this claim should also read the verse in context for Deuteronomy 18:20 says: But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. (Deuteronomy 18:20, NIV). When Deuteronomy 18:20 is considered in the light of the Satanic Verses it is clear that Muhammad is not a prophet like Moses. Therefore Muhammad is not the prophet like Moses, in fact, Deuteronomy 18:18-20 says he is a false prophet.
- Moses killed someone and committed gross sin and found him inconsistent when he walked with the saint but still he is regarded as prophet. Then what’s wrong with Muhammad to be a prophet who momentarily accepted the Gharaniq verses and later repented for the incident? Thus, the momentary acceptance of the event does not disqualify him to be a prophet as he faithfully reported God’s word and there is no doubt that he is a genuine prophet as the prophesy of his coming is found in the Deuteronomy too.
7. Muhammad committed, confessed and asked forgiveness for his sins.
Muhammad committed a gross sin accepting idolatry and polytheism, even for a short period of time. He confessed his sins and repented and asked for his forgiveness: (Muhammad prayed) O Allah! Forgive my mistakes and my ignorance and my exceeding the limit (boundaries) of righteousness in my deeds; and forgive whatever You know better than I. O Allah! Forgive the wrong I have done jokingly or seriously, and forgive my accidental and intentional errors, all that is present in me. (Bukhari: vol. 8, bk. 75, no. 408, Khan) and there is evidence from Quran (Qur’an 47:19). It is true that Muhammad confessed and repented, this is to his credit, but this event still shows a great failing in his life. This event must not be ignored as it shows that Muhammad was like you and me; he had to confess his sins and ask for forgiveness while he was claiming to be a prophet.
- Whether we claim we are Christians or Muslims or belong to any other religious faiths, we have common misconception that prophets and messengers are heavenly persona and claim that they are infallible while there are solid proofs from both Quran and Bible that they are not. Since it is already known from Quran, here is the proof from the Bible as Jesus acknowledges that no human is free from sin including him while a woman was brought to him for punishment caught in the act of adultery:4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”(John 8).
8. Jesus is higher than Muhammad
Muhammad was tempted to acknowledge false gods in order to achieve his desire of the Quraysh accepting him. He gave in to this temptation and acknowledged their gods. Jesus too was tempted to achieve his desire to rule as Christ by acknowledging false gods, but when Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” (Matthew 4:10, NIV). He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22, NIV).(He) has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15, NIV).Jesus was tempted by Satan in exactly the same way that Muhammad was, but unlike Muhammad Jesus never sinned. Jesus succeeded where Muhammad failed. How different Jesus is to Muhammad! Jesus is the only person who has offered perfect submission to God. Thus, he is higher than Muhammad.
- Christ’s teaching is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:30 & Luke 10:27) is as same as Muhammad’s teaching, “Absolutely, God’s allies have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. They are those who believe and lead a righteous life. For them, joy and happiness in this world, as well as in the Hereafter. This is God’s unchangeable law. Such is the greatest triumph.” (Quran 10:62-64) that we all must need to internalize to get closer to God. However, Jesus has also confessed that he was not free from sins (John 8:11) confirmed by (Quran 22:52). As such, does the statement “Jesus is higher than Muhammad” make any sense to the true believers of God and followers of His scripture except an attempt to cast abomination among them?
Green is a critic of the Quran and he read it as an Arabic literature but he had no access to the divine message due to his failure of fulfilling the requirements to understand the message coded in its each and every verse (Quran 56:79-80, 17:46, 16:98), which is also applicable to many traditional Muslim scholars as well. That’s why his interpretation of the verses as referred as evidences are not appropriate or applicable. He has also drawn some conclusions based on Hadiths which are not considered authentic sources of Islamic teachings and laws except historical events in certain matters. However, it is a great regret that he does not even know when the God’s religion started on earth and how the divine messages are updated to fit to the generations of people with the development of human civilization on earth. He has claimed that he is knowledgeable of the Bible and the Quran but he is not aware that the people have received the respective editions of the divine scripture in the respective time periods from One and Only source, the Almighty and the Most Wise God. However, he, perhaps being a Christian considers Jesus higher than Muhammad as well as Muhammad to be a false prophet because of his fallibility due to the incident of satanic verses while it is clear from both Bible and Quran that no messenger or prophet is infallible. In fact, the Quran consisting of 6346 verses (6234 numbered and 112 unnumbered) was revealed in one significant night (Quran 17:1, 44:1-4, 53:4-18, 97:1-5) clarifying each and every command (Quran 2:185) including the possibility of the satanic verses incident or whatever happened in Muhammad’s life or around him during 23 years for the release of Quran from his heart to his memory through Gabriel (Quran 17:106, 25:32) wherein there is no opportunity for abrogation, inspiration of anyone’s personal desire(s) or incorporation of any elements belong to pre-Islamic religion while none can blame the prophet what is done or practiced after him. It is not a surprise that God has provided mechanism in the revealed Quran to protect it from any distortion during its transmission down to the generations! (Quran 15:9, 41:42).
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Source: ‘The Satanic vesres and their implications’ at http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/satanic.htm