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Another Passage Which Exposes Muhammad’s Fraud: The Samaritan Who Didn’t Exist

Since the Quran challenges unbelievers to find discrepancies and mistakes within it, in order to disprove its divine origin,

Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other Than God, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy. S. 4:82 Y. Ali

I have, therefore, decided to highlight another serious blunder which exposes Muhammad as a fraud and false prophet.

Muhammad erroneously assumed that a Samaritan was responsible for fashioning the golden calf during the time of Moses:

Said He: “Then [know that], verily, in thy absence We have put thy people to a test, and the Samaritan (al-samiriyyu) has led them astray.”… They answered: “We did not break our promise to thee of our own free will, but [this is what happened:] we were loaded with the [sinful] burdens of the [Egyptian] people’s ornaments, and so we threw them [into the fire], and likewise did this Samaritan (al-samiriyyu) cast [his into it].”… Said [Moses]: “What, then, didst thou have in view, O Samaritan (ya samiriyyu)?” S. 20:85, 87, 95 Muhammad Asad

Here are other renderings of the foregoing passage, which have no problem translating or acknowledging that the Arabic term does, in fact, mean Samaritan:

He said: Then, truly, We tried thy folk after thee and the Samaritan caused them to go astray… They said: We broke not what was promised to thee from what is within our power, but we were charged with a heavy load of the adornments of the folk. Surely, we hurled them because the Samaritan cast… Moses said: Then, what is thy business O Samaritan? Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar

He said: “We have tested your folk in your absence and the Samaritan has led them astray.”… They said: “We did not break your appointment of our own accord, but we had to carry loads of the people´s ornaments and toss them [into a furnace]. That is what the Samaritan suggested.”… He said: “What have you been trying to do, 0 Samaritan?” T.B.Irving

[God] said, “But We have tested your people after you [departed], and the Samaritan has led them astray.”… They said, “We did not break our promise to you deliberately, but we were weighed down with the heavy burden of the people’s jewelry so we threw them [into the fire], following what the Samaritan did.”… [Moses] said, “And what is the matter with you Samaritan?” Safi Kaskas

He said, “Truly We tried thy people in thine absence, and the Samaritan led them astray.”… They said, “We did not fail our tryst with thee of our own will, but we were laden with the burden of the people’s ornaments. So we cast them [into the pit], and thus did the Samaritan throw also.”… He said, “What was your purpose, O Samaritan?” The Study Quran

(God) said: “Then (know that) We have put your people to a test in your absence, and the Samiri (Samaritan) has led them astray.” Ali Ünal

Said He, “Yet surely We have already tempted your people even after you; (i.e., after your departure from them) and As- Samiriyy (The Samaritan) has led them into error.”… They said, “In no way did we fail your promise of our volition; but we were burdened with encumbrances of adornment of the people; so we hurled them (into the fire). So, (even) thus did As-Samiriyy (The Samaritan) also cast.” Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali

Allah said: “Well, listen! We tested your people after you and the Samiri (Samaritan) has led them astray.” Farook Malik

He (Allah) said: ‘We tempted your nation in your absence, and the Samaritan has misled them into error.’… They replied: ‘We have not failed in our promise to you through our choosing. We were laden with fardels, even the ornaments of the nation, and threw them just as the Samaritan had thrown them (into the fire),’… You, Samaritan, ‘ said he (Moses), ‘what was your business?‘ Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah

Said He, ‘We have tempted thy people since thou didst leave them. The Samaritan has misled them into error.’… ‘We have not failed in our tryst with thee,’ they said, ‘of our volition; but we were loaded with fardels, even the ornaments of the people, and we cast them, as the Samaritan also threw them, into the fire.’… Moses said, ‘And thou, Samaritan, what was thy business?’ Arthur John Arberry

The standard Arabic lexicons and dictionaries also confirm that the Arabic term means Samaritan.

as-samira the Samaritans

samiri Samaritan; (pl. -un… samara) a Samaritan (Hans-Wehr, 4th edition, p. 501)

.. (TA) the Samaritans; a people said to be] one of the tribes of the Children of Israel; (M;) or a sect, (Msb,) or people, (K,) of the Jews, differing from them (Msb, K).. Zj says, they remain to this time in Syria… (M:) most of them are in the mountain of En-Nabulus… (Lane’s Lexicon, p. 1426)

… The Samaritan, a name given to an individual who is said to have made the Golden Calf for the Children of Israel. (Penrice, Dictionary and Glossary of the Quran, p. 71)

… The Samaritans.. a sect of the Jews differing from them in some of their institutions… (M. G. Farid, Dictionary of Quran, p. 410)

… Samiriyyun The Samaritan (87:95). (L; T; Razi; Ibn Kathir; LL) (Dictionary of the Holy Quran, p. 279)

(The above were all taken from the following link:,ll=1471,ls=5,la=2090,sg=527,ha=347,br=479,pr=80,vi=197,mgf=441,mr=324,mn=658,aan=283,kz=1146,uqq=162,ulq=955,uqa=205,uqw=802,umr=524,ums=443,umj=383,bdw=447,amr=317,asb=471,auh=772,dhq=271,mht=431,msb=116,tla=57,amj=370,ens=1,mis=1073).

As the foregoing citations indicate, Muslim scholars themselves, such as Tabari, ar-Razi, Ibn Kathir etc., admitted that the Quran is referring to an actual Samaritan. Here are a few more Muslim scholars that acknowledge this point:

But those he supposed to be following him had remained behind for He exalted be He said ‘Indeed We tried your people after you that is after your departure from them and the Samaritan led them astray’ so they took to worshipping the golden calf. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold emphasis mine)

They said ‘We did not break our tryst with you of our own accord read the mīm with any of the three vowellings meaning ‘by our own power’ or ‘of our own will’ but we were laden with read hamalnā ‘we carried’ or hummilnā ‘we were made to carry’ the burdens the weight of the people’s ornaments of the trinkets of Pharaoh’s folk — which the Children of Israel had borrowed from them on the pretext of using them for a wedding but which had remained with them — and we cast them we threw them into the fire at the command of the Samaritan and so just as We cast did the Samaritan cast what he had on him of their trinkets together with the dust that he took from the track left by the hoof of Gabriel’s steed as follows (Ibid.; bold emphasis mine)

He said ‘And what have you to say what was the motive for doing what you did O Samaritan?’ (Ibid.; bold emphasis mine)

AS-SAMIRI.… Mentioned in the Qur’an (Surah xx. 87: “As-Samiri has led them astray”) as the person who made the golden calf for the Children of Israel. In Professor Palmer’s translation, it is tendered “the Samaritan,” which is according to al-Baizawi, who says his name was Musa ibn Zafar, of the tribe of Samaritans. [MOSES.] (Thomas P, Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p. 564; underline emphasis mine)

Orientalists and Islamists have long noted this serious historical blunder on the part of Muhammad. They even postulate the possible reason why Muhammad erroneously placed a Samaritan with Moses, even though no such ethnic group existed at that time:

19 That is, the Samaritan. This rendering, which is probably the true explanation of the word Samiri, involves a grievous ignorance of history on the part of Muhammad. Selden (de diis Syr. Syn. i. ch. 4) supposes that Samiri is Aaron himself, the Shomeer, or keeper of Israel during the absence of Moses. Many Arabians identify him with the Micha of Judges xvii. who is said to have assisted in making the calf (Raschi, Sanhedr. 102, 2 Hottinger Hist. Orient. p. 84). Geiger suggests that Samiri may be a corruption of Samael. See next note. But it is probable that the name and its application in the present instance, is to be traced to the old national feud between the Jews and Samaritans. See De Sacy, Chrestom. i. p. 189, who quotes Abu Rihan Muhammad as stating that the Samaritans were called Al-limsahsit, the people who say, “Touch me not” (v. 97, below), and Juynboll Chron. Sam. (Leid. 1848) p. 113. Sale also mentions a similar circumstance of a tribe of Samaritan Jews dwelling on one of the islands in the Red Sea. (John M. Rod-well, The Koran, p. 108; bold emphasis mine)

Samiri was the name for Samaritan, and according to the Arabians the Samaritans said, “Touch us not.”8 With how much reason the Arabians hold this is indeed unknown, perhaps only from confusion with a sect of the Pharisees described as bad in the Talmud, where it is named “The set-apart, touch me not;”9 but I have only a dim recollection of the passage. In short the Samaritans were certainly known to later Arabians by this name, and Muhammad doubtless knew them by it too; and since he gave the name of Samaritan1 to the maker of the calf, this man must have seemed to him to be the founder of the sect, and the “Touch me not” must have originated with him, which as a punishment was known to Muhammad from the similar story of the wandering Jew. Muhammad says that the calf lowed as it come forth.2 With this is to be compared the Rabbinical statement: “There came forth this calf3 lowing, and the Israelites saw it. Rabbi Johuda says that Samael entered into it and lowed in order to mislead Israel.”4 In the Quran it is said5 that among the people of Moses there was a tribe which kept to the truth. This seems to refer to the tribe of Levi and especially to their behaviour about the calf, although possibly it may refer also to their belief in Moses’s mission to Pharaoh of which we have spoken before. In the biblical account a statement is made,6 which is explained by the Rabbis as follows:7 “From Exodus, xxxii. 26, it is clear that the tribe of Levi was not implicated in the matter of the golden calf.” The Arabian commentators produce the most unedifying fables about this passage. (Abraham Geiger, Judaism and Islam, pp. 132-133; bold emphasis mine)

This is not, however, the only wonderful story which the Qur’an relates concerning what took place during the sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness. Not less strange is what we are told about the calf which they made to worship during Moses’ absence. In Surah XX56, Ta Ha, we are told that when Moses returned and reproached them for this, they said, “We were made to bear loads of the ornaments of the people, and we threw them [into the fire]: and the Samaritan likewise cast in. Then he brought out unto them a calf in body, which could low.” Jalalain’s note says that the calf was made of flesh and blood, and that it had the power of lowing because life was given it through a handful of dust from the print left by the hoof of the Angel Gabriel’s steed, which “the Samaritan” had collected and put into its month, according to v. 96 of the same Surah.

This legend also comes from the Jews, as is evident from the following extract which we translate from Pirqey Rabbi Eliezer § 45, “And this calf came out lowing, and the Israelites saw it. Rabbi Yehudah says that Sammael was hidden in its interior, and was lowing in order that he might deceive Israel.” The idea that the calf was able to low must come from the supposition that, though made of gold (Exod. xxxii. 4), it was alive, since it “came out” (v. 24) of the fire. Here, again, we see that the use of a figurative expression, when taken literally, led to the growth of a myth to explain it. The Muhammadan commentator in explaining the words “a calf in body” in the Qur’an as signifying that it had “flesh and blood” has only gone a step further, and he does this to explain how it was that the animal could low. Muhammad seems to have understood most of the Jewish legend correctly, but the word Sammael puzzled him. Not understanding that this is the Jewish name of the Angel of Death, and perhaps misled as to the pronunciation, he mistook the word for the somewhat similar “Samiri,” which means “Samaritan.” Of course he made this mistake because he knew that the Jews were enemies of the Samaritans, and he fancied that they attributed the making of the calf to one of the latter. He was doubtless confirmed in this belief by some indistinct recollection of having heard that Jeroboam, king of what was afterwards called Samaria, had “made Israel to sin” by leading them to worship the calves which he made and placed in Dan and Beth-el (1 Kings xii. 28, 29). But since the city of Samaria was not built, or at least called by that name, until several hundred years after Moses’ death, the anachronism is at least amusing, and would be startling in any other book than the Qur’an, in which far more stupendous ones frequently occur.

Here, as in very many other instances, Muhammad’s ignorance of the Bible and acquaintance with Jewish legends instead is very striking. It is hardly necessary to point out that in the Bible the maker of the golden calf is Aaron, and that we read nothing of either Sammael or of the “Samaritan.” (Rev. W. St. Clair-Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Quran; bold emphasis mine)

Here are one or two other tales of Moses in the wilderness; and first, that of the Golden Calf which came out of the fire kindled by the people at Sinai. The Koran tells us that Sameri also cast (what he had into the fire) and brought out unto them a bodily calf which lowed.(Surah 20:9) The origin of this fiction we find in a Jewish writer.2 as follows: “The calf having cried aloud, came forth, and the children of Israel saw it. Rabbi Yahuda says that Sammael from the inside of it made the cry of the calf in order to lead the Israelites astray.” No doubt the Prophet in this matter got his information from the Jews; strange that he should have been led to adopt this baseless tale. But he has used the wrong name Al Sameri. The name of the people, of course, occurs often in the Bible, and the Jews regarded the Samaritans as their enemies; but as the city of Samaria did not arise till some four hundred years after Moses, it is difficult to imagine how it came to be entered in this story.3 We also note that in this matter the Koran is in opposition to the Torah, which tells us that Aaron was the person who for fear of the Israelites around him, had the molten calf set up. Another story, given us twice in the Koran, (Surah 2:28, Surah 4:152) is that when the Israelites insisted on seeing the Lord, they were punished by death, but eventually restored to life again; and to add to the foolish tale we are told that it was the Torah which appealed for help and thus obtained their revival. (Tisdall, Sources of Islam, pp. 37-38 – see also; bold emphasis mine)

Another Qur’anic story which has an undoubted Jewish origin is that found in Su’ratu Ta Ha (xx. 90) in connection with the calf which was worshipped by the Israelites during Moses’ absence on Mount Sinai. We are there told that the people brought their ornaments of gold and silver and cast them into the fire, after which in like manner Samiri also cast them in and he brought out to them a corporeal, lowing calf.” It is well known that the Taurat contains no mention of the golden calf having lowed; but Rabbinical fables are not wanting in which the story as reproduced by Muhammad is clearly traced. Thus in the Pirke Rabbi Eleazar we read, “The calf having cried aloud, came forth, and the children of Israel saw it.” Rabbi Yahuda further preserves a fable to the effect that a man named Sammael secreted himself inside the image and made a cry like a calf in order to lead the Israelites astray.1 Such is the story which was current amongst the Jews of Arabia in the time of Muhammad. Let it be compared with the narrative of the Qur’an and the reader will easily see that Muhammad, thinking the story which he heard upon the lips of his Jewish contemporaries to be a part of the scripture record, adopted and later gave it out to the ignorant Arabs as though revealed from heaven.

Unfortunately Muhammad failed to rightly understand the allusion to the man Sammael, and, confounding his name with the name of the Samaritans, whom he probably knew to be enemies of the Jews, makes the Samaritan to have a part in the matter. Since, however, the Samaritans did not come into existence as a people until some centuries after the event recorded here, it must require a wide stretch of credulity indeed to enable one to believe that this Qur’anic tale also was handed down from heaven by the angel Gabriel. (Rev. William Goldsack, The Origins of the Quran: An Enquiry Into the Sources of Islam , pp. 17-18; bold emphasis mine)

Hence, it seems that Muhammad garbled up a Jewish fairytale that claimed someone named Sammael made it seem as if the golden calf was actually lowing, and mistakenly took Sammael to be a Samaritan!

And even though he candidly acknowledges that the word means Samaritan, the late Jewish convert and Muslim scholar Muhammad Asad nonetheless tries to explain it away:

70 The designation as-samiri is undoubtedly an adjectival noun denoting the person’s descent or origin. According to one of the explanations advanced by Tabari and Zamakhshari, it signifies “a man of the Jewish clan of the Samirah”, i.e., the ethnic and religious group designated in later times as the Samaritans (a small remnant of whom is still living in Nablus, in Palestine). Since that sect as such did not yet exist at the time of Moses, it is possible that – as Ibn ‘Abbas maintained (Razi) – the person in question was one of the many Egyptians who had been converted to the faith of Moses and joined the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt (cf. note 92 on 7:124): in which case the designation samiri might be connected with the ancient Egyptian shemer, “a foreigner” or “stranger”. This surmise is strengthened by his introduction of the worship of the golden calf, undoubtedly an echo of the Egyptian cult of Apis (see note 113 on 7:148). In any case, it is not impossible that the latter-day Samaritans descended – or were reputed to descend – from this personality, whether of Hebrew or of Egyptian origin; this might partly explain the persistent antagonism between them and the rest of the Israelite community. (The Message of the Qur’an, p. 658; bold emphasis mine)

Another Quranic translator, the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali, also tried to salvage this gross blunder of the Quran:

2605 Who was this Samiri? If it was his personal name, it was sufficiently near the meaning of the original root-word to have the definite article attached to it: Cf. the name of the Khalifa Mu’tasim (Al-Mu’tasim). What was the root for “Samiri”? If we look to old Egyptian, we have Shemer=A stranger, foreigner (Sir E.A. Wallis Budge’s Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, 1920,p. 815 b). As the Israelites had just left Egypt, they might quite well have among them an Egyptianised Hebrew bearing that nickname. That the name Shemer was subsequently not unknown among the Hebrews is clear from the Old Testament. In I Kings, xvi. 21 we read that Omri, king of Israel, the northern portion of the divided kingdom, who reigned about 903-896 B.C., built a new city, Samaria, on a hill which he bought from Shemer, the owner of the hill, for two talents of silver. See also Renan: History of Israel, ii. 210. For a further discussion of the word, see n. 2608 below.

2608 See n. 2605 about the Samiri. If the Egyptian origin of the root is not accepted we have a Hebrew origin in “Shomer” a guard, watchman, sentinel. The Samiri may have been a watchman, in fact or by nickname.

There are a few glaring problems with these attempted explanations.

First, the Quran claims to be a book that makes everything clear so that people can understand:

Thus doth God MAKE CLEAR His Signs to you: In order that ye may understand. S. 2:242 Y. Ali

Alif Lam Ra. A Book whose verses ARE SET CLEAR, and then distinguished, from One All-wise, All-aware: S. 11:1 Arberry

  1. L. R. These are the Ayatsof Revelation, – of a Qur’an that makes things clear. S. 15:1 Y. Ali Mecca

And indeed We know that they (polytheists and pagans) say: “It is only a human being who teaches him (Muhammad).” The tongue of the man they refer to is foreign, while this (the Qur’an) is a clear Arabic tongue. S. 16:103 Hilali-Khan

We verily, have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand (its meanings and its admonitions). S. 43:3 Hilali-Khan

By the manifest Book (this Qur’an) THAT MAKES THINGS CLEAR, S. 44:2 Hilali-Khan – cf. Q. 2:187, 219, 266; 3:103, 118; 4:26, 176; 5:89; 24:18, 58-59, 61; 57:17

The Quran also describes itself as a scripture that completely explains everything that it covers in detail:

It is He Who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea. We have (indeed) explained IN DETAIL Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, Revelations, etc.) for people who know. It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and has given you a place of residing (on the earth or in your mother’s wombs) and a place of storage [in the earth (in your graves) or in your father’s loins]. Indeed, We have EXPLAINED IN DETAIL Our revelations (this Qur’an) for people who understand. S. 6:97-98

[Say (O Muhammad)] “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (The Qur’an), EXPLAINED IN DETAIL.” Those unto whom We gave the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth. So be not you of those who doubt. S. 6:114 Hilali-Khan

Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur’an) which We have explained IN DETAIL WITH KNOWLEDGE, – a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. S. 7:52 Hilali-Khan

Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the Qur’an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of Allah’s existing Books [the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah] and A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF EVERYTHING and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe. S. 12:111

One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book EXPLAINING ALL THINGS, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. S. 16:89 Y. Ali

A Book whereof the Verses are explained IN DETAIL; A Qur’an in Arabic for people who know. S. 41:3 Hilali-Khan

As such, we would expect the Muslim scripture to explain in a detailed matter the precise identity and meaning of the term Samiri in order to make it clear to the reciters/readers/hearers lest they be confused. Therefore, if the author(s)/editor(s) wasn’t/weren’t erroneously referring to a Samaritan living at the time of Moses, but to some watchman or guardian, then s/he/they could have communicated this fact by employing the correct term or Arabic word that corresponds to the Hebrew phrase Shemer or Shomer. Any other expression would have been more appropriate than Samiri, seeing all the confusion that this name has caused for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

This brings me to my second point. Both the Quran and hadiths testify that Muhammad believed and honored the Torah in the possession of the Jews of Muhammad’s day, since part of his mission was to confirm the textual incorruptibility and authority of the Scriptures which the Jews and Christians were reading at Muhammad’s time:

Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant; and have awe of Me. And believe in that I have sent down, confirming that WHICH IS WITH YOU, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And sell not My signs for a little price; and fear you Me. And do not confound the truth with vanity, and do not conceal the truth wittingly. And do not confound the truth with vanity, and do not conceal the truth wittingly. And perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and bow with those that bow. Will you bid others to piety, and forget yourselves WHILE YOU RECITE THE BOOK? Do you not understand? S. 2:40-44

And they say, ‘Our hearts are uncircumcised.’ Nay, but God has cursed them for their unbelief; little will they believe. When there came to them a Book from God, confirming WHAT WAS WITH THEM — and they aforetimes prayed for victory over the unbelievers — when there came to them that they recognized, they disbelieved in it; and the curse of God is on the unbelievers… And when they were told, ‘Believe in that God has sent down,’ they said, ‘We believe in what was sent down on us’; and they disbelieve in what is beyond that, yet it is the truth confirming WHAT IS WITH THEM. S. 2:89, 91

When there has come to them a Messenger from God confirming WHAT WAS WITH THEM, a party of them that were given the Book reject the Book of God behind their backs, as though they knew not, S. 2:101

The Jews say, ‘The Christians stand not on anything’; the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand not on anything’; YET THEY RECITE THE BOOK. S. 2:113

Those to whom We have given the Book and who recite it WITH TRUE RECITATION, they believe in it; and whoso disbelieves in it, they shall be the losers. S. 2:121

It belongs not to any mortal that God should give him the Book, the Judgment, the Prophethood, then he should say to men, ‘Be you servants to me apart from God.’ Rather, ‘Be you masters in that YOU KNOW THE BOOK, and in that YOU STUDY.’ S. 3:79

You who have been given the Book, believe in what We have sent down, confirming WHAT IS WITH YOU, before We obliterate faces, and turn them upon their backs, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-men, and God’s command is done. S. 4:47

Muhammad went as far as to praise the very copy of the Torah, which the Jews held in their possession, and testified that he believed in its textual veracity and authority:

… Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, ‘O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.’ They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said…

<<Bring the Tawrah to me.>> He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying …

<<I TRUST YOU and He Who revealed it to you.>> He then said …

<<Bring me your most knowledgeable person.>> So he was brought a young man… and then he mentioned the rest of the story that Malik narrated from Nafi`.” These Hadiths state that the Messenger of Allah issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah, not to honor the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad only. Rather, the Prophet did this because Allah commanded him to do so. He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah to make them admit to what the Tawrah contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 5:41; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah mentioned this very same narration in his Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351, in reference to his claim that there were some notable Muslim scholars who argued for the textual incorruptibility of the Torah on the basis of such texts:

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

“No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it.”

Al-Razi also agrees with this opinion. In his commentary he said:

There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah.

Abu Dawud narrated in his collection that Ibn Umar said:

A group of Jewish people invited the messenger of Allah to a house. When he came, they asked him: O Abu Qasim, one of our men committed adultery with a woman, what is your judgment against him? So they placed a pillow and asked the messenger of Allah to set on it. Then the messenger of Allah proceeded to say: bring me the Torah. When they brought it, he removed the pillow from underneath him and placed the Torah on it and said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you, then said: bring me one of you who have the most knowledge. So they brought him a young man who told him the story of the stoning.

The scholars said: if the Torah was corrupted he would not have placed it on the pillow and he would not have said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you. This group of scholars also said: Allah said:

And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

And the Torah is Allah’s word.

Note how these Muslim authorities employed the following Quranic verse to argue for the Torah’s perfect preservation:

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. S. 6:115 Y. Ali – Cf. 18:27

They reasoned that since the Torah is Allah’s word, and since Allah’s words can never be changed, this means that the Torah has never been and can never be changed.

Muhammad further told people to consult the Jews and Christians if they wanted to know about their sacred history, or if they had any doubts about the revelation of the Quran:

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall – Cf. 16:43; 21:7

And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses. S. 17:101 Pickthall

Herein lies the problem. Muhammad taught that the revelation that Allah gave Moses is a perfectly detailed  Scripture that fully explains everything:

Again, We gave the Scripture unto Moses, COMPLETE for him who would do good, AN EXPLANATION OF ALL THINGS, a guidance and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. S. 6:154-157 Pickthall

He said: O Moses! I have preferred thee above mankind by My messages and by My speaking (unto thee). So hold that which I have given thee, and be among the thankful. And We wrote for him, upon the tablets, the lesson to be drawn from all things AND THE EXPLANATION OF ALL THINGS, then (bade him): Hold it fast; and command thy people (saying): Take the better (course made clear) therein. I shall show thee the abode of evil-livers. S. 7:144-145 Pickthall

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: There was an argument between Adam and Moses in the presence of their Lord. Adam came the better of Moses. Moses said: Are you that Adam whom Allah created with His Hand and breathed into him His spirit, and commanded angels to fall in prostration before him and He made you live in Paradise with comfort and ease. Then you caused the people to get down to the earth because of your lapse. Adam said: Are you that Moses whom Allah selected for His Messengership and for His conversation with him and conferred upon you THE TABLETS, IN WHICH EVERYTHING WAS CLEARLY EXPLAINED and granted you the audience in order to have confidential talk with you. What is your opinion, how long Torah would have been written before I was created? Moses said: Forty years before. Adam said: Did you not see these words: Adam committed an error and he was enticed to (do so). He (Moses) said: Yes. Whereupon, he (Adam) said: Do you then blame me for an act which Allah had ordained for me forty years before He created me? Allah’s Messenger said: This is how Adam came the better of Moses. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6411; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Therefore, had there been an Egyptianized Hebrew by the name of Shemer, or if there actually was some watchman/guardian that fashioned the golden calf, then the Hebrew Bible would clearly have mentioned this fact. Instead, we find the Torah which the Jews possessed during the time of Muhammad, and which he praised as the incorruptible revelation of God, contradicting this Quranic fairytale since it says that Aaron was the one who helped build the golden calf for the Israelites:

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the LORD.’ They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel… Moses said to Aaron, ‘What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?’ And Aaron said, ‘Do not let the anger of my lord burn hot; you know the people, that they are bent on evil. They said to me, “Make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So I said to them, “Whoever has gold, take it off”; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!’” Exodus 32:1-6, 21-24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

This in itself is irrefutable proof that the story of the Samaritan is nothing more than a myth, a fable, that Muhammad mistakenly garbled up and passed off as historical fact.

Therefore, the late Dr. Robert A. Morey was correct when he wrote:

  1. In Sura 20:87, 95 we are told that the Jews made the golden calf in the wilderness at the suggestion of “the Samaritan.”

This is a clear historical error as such a country and a people by that name did not exist during the time frame of the passage.

Samaria did not come into existence for many centuries, until after the captivity of Israel first by the Assyrians and then by the Babylonians.

Yusuf Ali tries to get away from this error by obscuring the translation of the name, but the Arabic is clear. (Morey, The Islamic Invasion: Confronting the World’s Fastest Growing Religion [Christian Scholars Press, 1992], pp. 163-164)

Hence, contrary to the assertions of many a Muhammadan polemicist (, the Quran doesn’t correct the Torah, but plainly contradicts it, even though it is supposed to confirm its textual veracity and divine authority. As such, this proves that Muhammad was a fraud, a false prophet, and an antichrist who stands condemned by the one true God revealed in the Holy Bible.

Further Reading

The “Samaritan” Error In The Qur’an (

Moses and the Samaritan (

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