The Satanic Verses !!

By Sami Zaatari

One of the most common arguments that are thrown against the prophet Muhammad is what they like to call the Satanic Verses. Yet if one were to actually read the incident very carefully, one would notice the incident proves that Muhammad is a true prophet, and that the Muslim can be very assured as to the Quranic reliability.

 

Here is the incident from Tabari:

 

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. It is said that he wanted to find a way to do this, and what happened was a follows.

Ibn Humayd – Salamah-Muhammad b. Ishaq – Yazid b. Ziyad al-Madani – Muhammad b. Ka’b al-Qurazi: When the messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed out, and he debated with himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed:

 

“By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire…”

 

and when he came to the words:

 

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

 

Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words:

 

“These are the high flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval.

 

When Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced and were happy and delighted at the way in which he spoke of their gods, and they listened to him, while the Muslims, having complete trust in their prophet in respect of the messages which he brought from God, did not suspect him of error, illusion, or mistake. When he came to the prostration, having completed the surah, he prostrated himself and the Muslims did likewise, following their prophet, trusting in the message which he had brought and following his example. Those polytheists of the Quraysh and others who were in the mosque likewise prostrated themselves because of the reference to their gods which they had heard, so that there was no one in the mosque, believer orunbeliever, who did not prostrate himself. The one exception was al-Walid b. Al-Mughirah, who was a very old man and could not prostrate himself; but he took a handful of soil from the valley in his hand and bowed over that. Then they all dispersed from the mosque. The Quraysh left delighted by the mention of their gods which they had hared, saying,”Muhammad has mentioned our goes in the most favorable way possible, stating in his recitation that they are the high flying cranes and that their intercession is received with approval.”

The news of the prostration reached those of the messenger of God’s companions who were in Abyssinia and people said, “The Quraysh have accepted Islam.” Some rose up to return, while others remained behind. Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, “Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.” Then the messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad’s tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers, and revealed:

 

“Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he recited (the Message) Satan cast words into his recitation (umniyyah). God abrogates what Satan casts. The God established his verses. God is knower, wise.

 

Thus God removed the sorrow from his messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared and cancelled the words which Satan had cast on his tongue, that their gods were the high flying cranes whose intercession was accepted with approval. He now revealed, following the mention of “al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other,” the words:

 

“Are yours the males and his the females? That indeed were an unfair division! They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers.”

to the words:

to whom he wills and accept

 

This means, how can the intercession of their gods avail with God?

 

When Muhammad brought a revelation from God canceling what Satan had cast on the tongue of His prophet, the Quraysh said,”Muhammad has repented of what he said concerning the position of your gods with God, and has altered it and brought something else.” Those two phrases which Satan had cast on the tongue of the Messenger of God were in the mouth of every polytheists, and they became even more ill-disposed and more violent in their persecution of those of them who had accepted Islam and followed the messenger of God.

 

So this is the famous incident which Christians have titled as the Satanic verses.

 

When reading the story you will notice that the angel Gabriel came to the prophet Muhammad and corrected the prophet of this mistake, on top of this God himself consoled the prophet and let him know that this has happened to other prophets as well. So therefore this is not something that is unique to the prophet Muhammad, but this happened to other prophets as well. I quote this part of the story again:

 

 Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, “Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.” Then the messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad’s tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast,

 

So if Muhammad was a false prophet then why would the mightiest angel of God come and correct him of the mistake!? This in itself is proof that he is a prophet of God, or else the angel Gabriel would have never come to him and corrected the error that was made.

 

Now the hostile Christian cannot have his cake and eat it, he can’t say “oh the rest of the story is a fake and Gabriel never visited the prophet” sorry, that won’t work, either you accept the story, or you throw it out, you can’t accept part of it and throw the other part out. Because notice how inconsistent this is, if someone was able to make the rest of the story up, such as Gabriel coming and visiting the prophet, then this casts doubt on the entire story as well, because if one can tamper with one part of the story, what’s to say the entire story hasn’t been tampered with and is an entire fabrication?! So Christians can’t have it whatever way they want, either they accept it, or leave it.

 

Secondly, since this is an Islamic text, it is based for Muslims, and for Muslim knowledge. As we can see, the text and the Quran make it clear that other prophets were also tricked by Satan, now Christians won’t have to believe this, but their belief at this point is irrelevant as the text is for Muslims, not for Christians. Hence a Muslim should have no problem with the prophet Muhammad being tricked by Satan, because according to these Islamic texts other prophets suffered the same fate as well, hence we shouldn’t be worried about the prophet Muhammad. Hence a Christian cannot come up to a Muslim and say this should worry you Muslims! I say this shouldn’t worry any of us Muslims since according to Islamic texts the same happened to other prophets, a Christian may not believe that, but what they believe is irrelevant as the text isn’t meant for them but for us and our beliefs.

 

Thirdly, this incident PROVES THE COMPLETE RELIABILITY OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD AND THE QURAN.

 

Christians often like to say this incident proves the opposite, that the prophet Muhammad cannot be trusted, and is unreliable as a result of this, because if Satan could trick the prophet here, could he not trick him with many other verses?

 

The answer is NO. Let us read the story again:

 

Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, “Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.” Then the messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad’s tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast,

 

So notice that the angel Gabriel immediately came and rectified the problem, and the verse was cancelled at once, this shows how reliable the prophet Muhammad is, as well as the Quran. Let’s say that Satan did try to trick the prophet again, or tried it before and succeeded, this would cause no problems as the angel Gabriel would immediately come and correct the trickery and crush it with the truth!

 

Hence no Christian can say this incident throws doubt on the prophet Muhammad, this incident throws no doubt on the prophet Muhammad, but complete reliability as we know that God is watching over him, and that the angel Gabriel will always be sent to rectify any problems and trickery from Satan.

 

So in conclusion the satanic verses as the Christians like to call it, proves that Muhammad is a true prophet, and proves how reliable the Quran is. 

 

And Allah Knows Best!

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