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HIGH FLYING CRANES: MUHAMMAD’S SATANIC INSPIRATION PT. 2

This is a follow up to my previous post on this subject: https://answeringallah.com/high-flying-cranes-muhammads-satanic-inspiration/

I am going to address a few of the typical objections that Muhammadans have raised to cast doubt on the historical veracity of Satan inspiring Muhammad to utter verses glorifying the three pagan goddesses whom the Arabs believed were the daughters of Allah.

RECORDED IN ISLAM’S EARLIEST SOURCES

Note once again how some of Islam’s earliest and most reliable sources narrate this episode:

It is narrated on the authority of Muhammad Ibn Ka’b Al-Qurathi that the Messenger of Allah recited Surat An-Najm to Allah’s saying (what means): {So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? And Manat, the third – the other one?} [An-Najm, verse 19-20] THEN SATAN INSPIRED HIM TO SAY: “Those are the high goddesses whose intercession is expected”. Then Allah revealed what means: {Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you to fabricate something other than it against Us, and (had you done so) then they would surely have taken you an intimate friend! And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little}. [Al-Isra’, verse 73-74] The Messenger of Allah then kept distressed till Allah revealed (what means): {And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke (or recited), Satan threw into it (his recitation some misunderstanding). But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise}. [Al-Hajj, verse 52] [Abu Ash-Shaykh] (Jalal Al-Din Al-Suyuti, Reasons and Occasions of Revelation of the Holy Qur’an (Lubab An-Nuqul Fi Asbab An-Nuzul), translated by Dr. Muhammad Mahdi Al-Sharif [Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, Beirut 2015], Q. 17:73, pp. 235-236; capital emphasis mine)

It is narrated on the authority of Sa’id Ibn Jubayr that The Messenger of Allah recited Surat An-Najm to Allah’s saying (what means): {So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? And Manat, the third – the other one?} [An-Najm, verse 19-20] THEN SATAN INSPIRED HIM TO SAY: “Those are the high goddesses whose intercession is expected”. The polytheists said: “He (Muhammad) has never mentioned our gods with good before this day”. Then he prostrated AND THEY PROSTRATED WITH HIM. On that occasion, Allah revealed this Qur’anic Verse. [Ibn Abu Hatim; Ibn Jarir and Ibn Al-Mundhir]

The same is narrated ON THE AUTHORITY OF IBN ‘ABBAS. [Al-Bazzar and Ibn Mardawayh] (Ibid., Q. 22:52, p. 260; capital emphasis mine)

In fact, evidence shows that Ibn Ishaq, the man who wrote the earliest extant biography on Muhammad’s life in the eighth century, e.g., Sirat Rasulullah (“The Life of the Messenger of Allah”), included this report in his work. However, it was later expunged by Ibn Hisham, the Muslim who edited and reworked Ibn Ishaq’s sirah in the ninth century AD.

Ibn Hisham candidly acknowledged omitting material that he felt was either weak or too embarrassing to the character of Muhammad:

“… There is, in the Qarawiyun mosque library at Fez in Morocco, a manuscript entitled Kitab al-Maghazi (Book of the Campaigns) which, among other sources, contains a record of lectures given at one time by Ibn Ishaq on the life of Muhammad which includes the story of the concession made by Muhammad to the pagan Meccans. The narrative is very similar to that in Tabari’s work except that the actual ‘satanic verses’ are only referred to and not actually quoted in the text.” (John Gilchrist, Muhammad and the Religion of Islam, 3. The Nature of Muhammad’s Prophetic Experience, Satan’s Interjection and its Implications, pp. 117ff.)

Here is what renowned Islamist and the scholar who translated Ibn Ishaq’s sirah into English, Alfred Guillaume wrote in respect to this manuscript found in the library at Fez:

The Verse Inserted into the Koran at the Instigation of Satan

Ms. fo. 56b; T. pp. 1192f.; S. p. 229; I.H. p. 241; L. p. 161

There can be little doubt that Ibn Hisham cut out some of the text which came to him because he gives no reason for the sudden conversion of the people of Mecca and leaves it unexplained. The full story hitherto has been known only from Tabari’s who quoted Ibn Ishaq on the authority of Salama. In that version it is made clear that it was the prophet’s desire to end the estrangement between him and his people and to make it easier for them to accept Islam that prompted him to yield to the suggestion of Satan and add the words “These are the exalted cranes (gharaniq) whose intercession is to be hoped for” (or, in another version, “approved”).

The manuscript agrees with Salama’s report from Ibn Ishaq that the emigrants returned from Abyssinia because they heard of the conversion of Quraysh in consequence of the concession to polytheism, but strangely enough it does not quote the offending words. Presumable they were deliberately omitted and readers must have known what they were because otherwise the narrative would be unintelligible. Two verses are referred to, but the second is not quoted. In view of its interest I give a translation of the manuscript: “(The emigrants) remained where they were until they heard that the people of Mecca had accepted Islam and prostrated themselves. That was because the chapter of The Star (53) had been sent down to Muhammad and the apostle recited it. Both Muslim and polytheist listened to it silently until he reached his words ‘Have you seen (or, “considered”) al-Lat and al-Uzza?’ They gave ear to him attentively while the faithful believed (their prophet). Some apostatized when they heard the ‘saj’ of the Satan and said ‘By Allah we will serve them (the Gharaniq) so that they may bring us near to Allah’. The Satan taught these two verses to every polytheist and their tongues took to them easily. This weighed heavily upon the apostle until Gabriel came to him and complained to him of these two verses and the effect that they had upon the people. Gabriel declined responsibility for them and said ‘YOU RECITED to the people something which I did not bring you from God and YOU SAID what you were not told to say’. The apostle was deeply grieved and afraid. Then God send down by way of comfort to him: ‘Never did we send an apostle or a prophet before you but when he wished Satan cast a suggestion into his wish’ as far as the words ‘Knowing, Wise’’ (Sura 22:51).

Ibn Kathir gives a fantastic reason for the conversion of the Meccans and says that Ibn Ishaq’s tradition is not sound. He says that he himself has not quoted the story of the gharaniq because there might be some who heard it for the first time and would not be able to take a right view of it.

Suhayli with his customary honesty makes no bones about it. He says that the cause of the return of the emigrants was as we have heard, and he also tells that besides Ibn Ishaq, Musa ibn ‘Uqba handed on the tradition. He says that traditionists reject this hadith, and those who accept it have ways of explaining it. One of these, he says, namely that Satan spoke of the words which were broadcast through the town but the apostle did not utter them, would be excellent were it not for the fact that the tradition asserts that Gabriel said to Muhammad “I did not bring you this”. (Alfred Guillaume, New Light on the Life of Muhammad [Manchester University Press], pp. 38-39 https://books.google.com/books?id=tNHnAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=instigation%20of%20satan&f=false; bold and capital emphasis mine)

FIRST OBJECTION

One reason Muslims raise against the veracity of this report is that none of the major works of hadith, especially the sahih collection of al-Bukhari and Muslim, narrate this episode.

There are two major problems with this argument.

With the exception of Malik’s Muwatta all the major Sunni works of hadith that currently exist were compiled over two centuries after the reported death of Muhammad in the year 632 AD.

They were composed during a time when Muslim scholars had developed the notion that none of the messengers and prophets of Allah could fall into major sins or commit serious transgressions since they were divinely protected (masum) from doing so. This became known as the doctrine of ‘Isma.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the later hadith compilers would reject and/or refuse to include an event which shows their beloved prophet lapsing into idolatry, wherein he acknowledged the reality and exalted status of the three major goddesses whom the pagans worshiped, thereby committing shirk, which is the one sin Allah will never forgive:

Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know (that He Alone has the right to be worshipped). S. 2:22 Hilali-Khan

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 Hilali-Khan – Cf. Q. 4:116

And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.” S. 39:65 Hilali-Khan

With that said, al-Bukhari actually provides tacit support for the historicity of the “Satanic Verses,” since he records a narration where all the pagans prostrated along with Muhammad when the latter finished reciting surat-Najm, chapter 53, the very surah that contained Muhammad’s praise of the three goddesses:

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet I prostrated while reciting An-Najm and with him prostrated the Muslims, the pagans, the jinns, and all human beings. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 19, Number 177 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=19&translator=1&start=0&number=177)

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet performed a prostration when he finished reciting Surat-an-Najm, and all the Muslims and pagans and Jinns and human beings prostrated along with him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 385 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=385)

It makes absolutely no sense to argue, as some Muslims do, that the reason why all the pagans fell down in worship at Muhammad’s recital of surah 53 is because of its beauty and majesty, since they had never done so before or afterwards for any other surah. The irrationality of such a claim is further seen from the fact that this surah in its current form contains a severe rebuke and condemnation of the pagans for their belief in and worship of female deities. Why, then, would they all bow down after hearing Muhammad renounce them and the three daughters of Allah?

The more sensible explanation is that Muhammad’s recital of surat-Najm initially included the praise of the three goddesses which Satan inspired him to recite:

“Surat-an-Najm” is the same Surah 53 which Muhammad was reciting according to the narratives we have quoted. What else could have prompted all present, both Muslims and pagans, to prostrate behind Muhammad but the concession made to the Meccan goddesses? One can understand the Muslims following any lead Muhammad gave (see the quote from Ibn Ishaq) but it is hard, if not impossible, to believe that the pagan Meccans would have joined Muhammad in worship at the end of the Surah if he had quoted it as it now stands with such a vehement denunciation of these same goddesses by name. The story does appear to have a compelling historical foundation. (Gilchrist, Muhammad and the Religion of IslamSatan’s Interjection and its Implications)

SECOND OBJECTION

According to the Muslim authorities that cited the episode of the “Satanic Verses,” the following passages were “sent down” to chasten and/ or console him for his momentary lapse into idolatry:

Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We have revealed (the Qur’an) unto you (O Muhammad), to fabricate something other than it against Us, and then they would certainly have taken you a friend! And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little. In that case, We would have made you taste a double portion (of punishment) in this life and a double portion (of punishment) after death. And then you would have found none to help you against Us. S. 17:73-75

Never did We send a Messenger or a Prophet before you, but; when he did recite the revelation or narrated or spoke, Shaitan (Satan) threw (some falsehood) in it. But Allah abolishes that which Shaitan (Satan) throws in. Then Allah establishes His Revelations. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise: S. 22:52

And yet there are those Muslims who argue that these texts could not possibly be referring to the “Satanic Verses,” despite the claims of many scholars and commentators that state otherwise, since these passages were supposedly revealed years later.

As the following Muslim polemical website puts it:

The verses of Surah al-Isra’ (17:73-5) which were revealed, according to the story, to ‘admonish’ the Prophet for allegedly reciting the ‘Satanic’ verses, in fact were not revealed until after the event of the Mi’raj. The Mi’raj or the Ascent of the Prophet, according to historical sources, occurred in the tenth or eleventh year of the Prophetic call, i.e., two or three years before the Hijrah to Madinah. If this is so, then it implies that the ‘Satanic’ verses were not detected or for some reason no mention was made about the alleged interpolation of the verses for five or six years and only afterwards was the Prophetadmonished for it. Can any sensible person believe that the interpolation occurs today, while the admonition takes place six years later and the abrogation of the interpolated verses is publicly announced after nine years. The relevant verse of Surah al-Hajj (22:52) according to the commentators of the Qur’an was revealed in the first year of Hijrah, i.e., about eight to nine years after the incident and about two and a half years after the so-called admonition of the Prophet (17:73-5). Can anybody who knows about the Qur’an, its history and revelation, understand and explain how the incident of interpolation was allowed to be tolerated for six years and also why the offensive ‘verses’ were not abrogated until after nine years?

The implication of this argument is that since the abrogating verses were revealed nine years after the original event, that would mean that for nine years Muslims had been asking Lat, Manat and Uzza for intercession! In other words outright idolatry resulting from compromised monotheistic beliefs. It is therefore quite pretentious to suggest any historicity in the notion that Muslims had been asking Lat, Manat and Uzza for intercession over the span of almost a decade. (Islamic-Awareness, “Those Are The High Flying Claims”)

To call this a rather deceitful and dishonest argument would be putting it mildly since these Muhammadans are fully aware that the Islamic tradition teaches that Muhammad would insert verses which he had recited earlier into surahs that had been composed many years later.

As Christian apologist John Gilchrist explains:

“… Another somewhat more credible defence is offered by a Muslim commentator on this verse:

Moreover, it is absolutely inconceivable that such an important incident as the Prophet’s having accepted the intercession of idols should have been mentioned in the Qur’an eight years after it happened. The 53rd chapter, in which the change is said to have taken place, was revealed before the fifth year of the Prophet’s call, while this chapter was revealed on the eve of the Prophet’s departure from Makkah. (Ali, The Holy Qur’an, p. 658).

“The argument, however, does not take into account the well-established fact that most of the Surahs of the Qur’an are composite chapters of various passages dating from different periods, often made up of both Meccan and Medinan verses. In an introduction to Surah 22 in his translation of the Qur’an, Richard Bell says:

The surah has in fact become quite disjointed. Vv. 51-53, addressed to the prophet personally, are quite out of connection. (Bell, The Qur’an Translated, Vol. 1, p. 316).

“He goes on to give possible occasions for the inclusion of the verses mentioned and allows for an earlier date than the main body of the Surah. It is therefore quite possible that Surah 22.52 dates prior to the rest of the Surah and refers directly to the occasion of the “satanic verses”. W. M. Watt, in another book, comments on the same verse:

This passage is a justification for some previous alteration in the text of the Qur’an; one strand of tradition holds that it applies to verses originally proclaimed as following 53.19,20. (Watt, Companion to the Qur’an, p. 156).

“The strand referred to is the Ibn Ishaq/Tabari source aforementioned. We must surely conclude that Surah 22.52 is a Qur’anic reference and clue to the story of the concession to the pagan Meccans when we consider that there is no other occasion suggested in the Islamic tradition literature for the revelation of this verse. Muslim commentators who reject the link identified in the Ibn Ishaq/Tabari strand nevertheless cannot suggest an alternative incident or event which can explain the statements made in the verse.” (Gilchrist, Satan’s Interjection and its Implications)

The following ahadith and Islamic sources corroborate this fact:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: “I said to ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan:

‘What was your reasoning with Al-Anfal – while it is from the Muthani (Surah with less than one-hundred Ayat), and Bara’ah while it is from the Mi’in (Surah with about one-hundred Ayat), then you put them together, without writing the line Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim between them, and you placed them with the seven long (Surah) – why did you do that?’ So ‘Uthman said: ‘A long time might pass upon the Messenger of Allah without anything being revealed to him, and then sometimes a Surah with numerous (Ayat) might be revealed. So when something was revealed, he would call for someone who could write, and say: “Put these Ayat in the Surah which mentions this and that in it.” When an Ayah was revealed, he would say: “Put this Ayah in the Surah which mentions this and that in it.” Now Al-Anfal was among the first of those revealed in Al-Madinah, and Bara’ah among the last of those revealed of the Qur’an, and its narrations (those of Bara’ah) resembled its narrations (those of Al-Anfal), so we thought that it was part of it. Then the Messenger of Allah died, and it was not made clear to us whether it was part of it. So it is for this reason that we put them together without writing Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim between them, and we put that with the seven long (Surahs).’”

Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)

English reference: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3086

Arabic reference: Book 47, Hadith 3366 (suunah.com https://sunnah.com/urn/640920; emphasis mine)

Narrated Uthman ibn Affan:

Yazid al-Farisi said: I heard Ibn Abbas say: I asked Uthman ibn Affan: What moved you to put the (Surah) al-Bara’ah which belongs to the mi’in (surahs) (containing one hundred verses) and the (Surah) al-Anfal which belongs to the mathani (Surahs) in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the first long surah or chapters of the Qur’an), and you did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them? Uthman replied: When the verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet, he called someone to write them down for him and said to him: Put this verse in the surah in which such and such has been mentioned; and when one or two verses were revealed, he used to say similarly (regarding them). (Surah) al-Anfal is the first surah that was revealed at Medina, and (Surah) al-Bara’ah was revealed last in the Qur’an, and its contents were similar to those of al-Anfal. I, therefore, thought that it was a part of al-Anfal. Hence I put them in the category of as-sab’u at-tiwal (the seven lengthy surahs), and I did not write “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful” between them.

Grade: Da’if (Al-Albani)

Reference: Sunan Abi Dawud 786

In-book reference: Book 2, Hadith 396

English translation: Book 3, Hadith 785 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/abudawud/2/396; emphasis mine)

Ahmad narrated in al-Musnad (4/218) with a hasan isnaad from ‘Uthmaan ibn Abi’l-‘Aas that he said: “I was sitting with the Messenger of Allaah when he fixed his gaze on something, then lowered his gaze until he was almost looking at the ground, then he gazed at something. He said, ‘Jibreel came to me and told me to put this aayah in this place in this soorah:

“Verily, Allâh enjoins Al-‘Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allâh Alone Islâmic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsân [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allâh, totally for Allâh’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allâh has ordered you to give them, e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help), and forbids Al-Fahshâ’ (i.e. all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right), and Al-Munkar (i.e. all that is prohibited by Islâmic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression). He admonishes you, that you may take heed.” [al-Nahl 16:90 – interpretation of the meaning].’”…

Al-Qaadi Abu Bakr said in al-Intisaar: “The order of the aayahs is something that is obligatory and binding. Jibreel used to say (to the Prophet), ‘Put such and such an aayah in such and such a place.’”…

Al-Baghawi said in Sharh al-Sunnah: “The Messenger of Allaah used to instruct his companions and teach them what was revealed to him of the Qur’aan in the order in which it appears in our Mus-hafs now, the order which Jibreel taught him. When each aayah was revealed, Jibreel would tell him, this aayah is to be written after such and such an aayah in Soorah such and such. Thus it is clear that the efforts of the Sahaabah were limited solely to gathering the Qur’aan in one place, not to arranging its order. The Qur’aan is written on al-Lawh al-Mahfooz in this order, then Allaah sent it down in its entirety to the first heaven, whence it was revealed in stages as it was needed, and the order in which it was revealed is not the order in which it is recited.” (Islamqa, The order of Soorahs and Aayahs in the Qur’aan)

And here are a couple of hadiths that affirm that, despite the ninth chapter being the last surah that Muhammad composed, the last verse he recited was actually Q. 4:176:

Narrated Al-Bara: The last Sura that was revealed was Bara’a, and the last verse that was revealed was: “They ask you for a legal verdict, Say: Allah’s directs (thus) about those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs.” (4.176) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 129 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=129)

Narrated Al-Bara: The last verse that was revealed was: ‘They ask you for a legal verdict: Say: Allah directs (thus) about Al-Kalalah (those who leave no descendants or ascendants as heirs).’ And the last Sura which was revealed was Baraatun (9).  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 177 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=177)

Other traditions state that the last verse Muhammad composed was the one on usury (Riba) in Q. 2:275:

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The last Verse (in the Quran) revealed to the Prophet was the Verse dealing with usury (i.e., Riba). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 67, https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=67)

11 Business Transactions

(4c) Chapter: Usury – Section 3

‘Umar b. al-Khattab said:

The last verse to be sent down was that on usury (Al-Qur’an 2:275) but God’s Messenger was taken without having expounded it to us; so leave aside usury and whatever is doubtful. Ibn Majah and Darimi transmitted it.

Reference: Mishkat al-Masabih 2830

In-book reference: Book 11, Hadith 69 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/mishkat/11/69)

Whatever the case maybe, the fact that Q. 2:275 and 4:176 were only added after these respective surahs were composed confirms that Q. 17:73-75 and 22:52 were initially given in respect to the event of the “Satanic Verses,” and were therefore separate from the surahs which they are currently placed in.

In other words, these verses were only added much later into the surahs that presently contain them.

Moreover, Muhammad would even go so far as to correct and modify certain verses due to his changing circumstances and/or unforeseen problems that caught him by surprise, as we find in the following examples:

  1. 2:284-286

(The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord…) [2:285]. The Imam Abu Mansur ‘Abd al-Qahir ibn Tahir informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Ali ibn Ziyad> Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Bushanji> Umayyah ibn Bistam> Yazid ibn Zuray‘> Rawh ibn al-Qasim> al-‘Ala’> his father> Abu Hurayrah who said: “When Allah, exalted is He, revealed to His Messenger the verse (… and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide, Allah will bring you to account for it…) [2:284], the prophetic Companions found this hard to cope with. They went to the Messenger and said: ‘We have been entrusted with works that we can not bear: the prayer, fasting, Jihad, almsgiving; and now Allah has revealed to you this verse which we are not able to bear’. The Messenger of Allah said to them: ‘Do you want to say as the people of the two Scriptures said before you? — the narrator said: I think he quoted the verse (We hear and we rebel!) [2:93] — Say, rather, (We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying)’. When they heard this, they did not answer. Allah revealed after this (The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord…) the whole verse, and Allah ABROGATED it by His revelation (Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope…) [2:286] to the end of the verse”. This report was narrated by Muslim from Umayyah ibn Bistam. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya informed us> his father> Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Thaqafi> ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar and Yusuf ibn Musa> Waki‘> Sufyan> Adam ibn Sulayman who said: “I heard Sa‘id ibn Jubayr relating from Ibn ‘Abbas who said: ‘When the verse (… and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide, Allah will bring you to account for it…) was revealed, objection crept into the hearts of the prophetic Companions as it never did before. The Prophet said to them: Say, ‘we hear and we obey’. Allah then revealed (Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope), up to His saying (or miss the mark) upon which he said: You did. ( https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=86&tSoraNo=2&tAyahNo=285&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold and capital emphasis mine)

He repeated this with each sentence of this verse until the end of it’”. This was narrated Muslim from Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah from Waki‘. The commentators of the Qur’an said: “When the verse (and whether ye make known what is in your minds or hide, Allah will bring you to account for it) was revealed, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Mu‘adh ibn Jabal and a group from the Helpers all went to the Prophet. They kneeled down and then said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! By Allah no other revealed verse of the Qur’an is harder on us than this one. One of us speaks to himself with things that he does not like to remain in his heart even in exchange for the world and all that it contains. And now we are taken to task for the things that we speak to our own selves. By Allah, we are doomed’. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘This is how it was revealed!’ They said: ‘We are ruined; we have been bound by that which we cannot possibly bear’. The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Are you going to say as the Children of Israel said to Moses (We hear and we rebel!); say rather: We hear and we obey’. They said: ‘We hear and we obey’. This was extremely hard on them, and they remained in this situation FOR A YEAR upon which Allah, exalted is He, sent down relief and repose with His saying (Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope…) WHICH ABROGATED THE VERSE BEFORE IT. The Prophet said: ‘Allah has pardoned my community for the things with which they speak to themselves as long as they do not act upon them or speak about them to others’ ”. (Ibid. https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=86&tSoraNo=2&tAyahNo=285&tDisplay=yes&Page=2&Size=1&LanguageId=2; bold and capital emphasis mine)

  1. 4:95

Narrated Al-Bara: There was revealed: “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive and fight in the Cause of Allah.” (Q. 4:95) The Prophet said, “Call Zaid for me and let him bring the board, the inkpot and the scapula bone.” 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 and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah.” (Q. 4:95) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 512 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=61&translator=1&start=0&number=512)

  1. 8:65-66

Then He said: ‘O prophet, God is sufficient for thee and the believers who follow thee. O prophet, exhort the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast ones among you they will overcome a thousand unbelievers for there are hundred of you they will overcome a thousand unbelievers for they are senseless people,’ i.e. they do not fight with a good intention nor for truth nor have they knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Abdullah b. Abu Najih from ‘Ata’ b. Abu Ribah from ‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas told me that WHEN THIS VERSE CAME DOWN it came as a shock to the Muslims who took it hard that twenty should have to fight two hundred, and a hundred fight a thousand. So God relieved them AND CANCELED THE VERSE WITH ANOTHER SAYING: ‘Now has God relieved you and He knows that there is weakness amongst you, so if there are a hundred steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a thousand of you they shall overcome two thousand by God’s permission, for God is with the steadfast.’ (‘Abdullah) said, ‘When they numbered half of the enemy it was wrong for them to run from them; but if they were less than half they were not bound to fight and it was permissible for them to withdraw.’ (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Karachi Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth Impression 1995], p. 326; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Allah said next, commanding the believers and conveying good news to them…

<If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve.>

The Ayah says, one Muslim should endure ten disbelievers. Allah abrogated this part later on, but the good news remained. `Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said that Jarir bin Hazim narrated to them that, Az-Zubayr bin Al-Khirrit narrated to him, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, “When this verse was revealed…

<If there are twenty steadfast persons among you, they will overcome two hundred…> it became difficult for the Muslims, when Allah commanded that one Muslim is required to endure ten idolators. Soon after, this matter was made easy

<Now Allah has lightened your (task)>, until…

<they shall overcome two hundred…>

Allah lowered the number [of adversaries that Muslims are required to endure], and thus, made the required patience less, compatible to the decrease in numbers.” Al-Bukhari recorded a similar narration from Ibn Al-Mubarak. Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “When this Ayah was revealed, it was difficult for the Muslims, for they thought it was burdensome since twenty should fight two hundred, and a hundred against a thousand. Allah made this ruling easy for them and abrogated this Ayah with another Ayah

<Now Allah has lightened your (task), for He knows that there is weakness in you…>

Thereafter, if Muslims were half as many as their enemy, they were not allowed to run away from them. If the Muslims were fewer than that, they were not obligated to fight the disbelievers and thus allowed to avoid hostilities.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/8/64; bold and underline emphasis mine)

  1. 25:68-70

Narrated Said bin Jubair: Ibn Abza said to me, “Ask Ibn ‘Abbas regarding the Statement of Allah: ‘And whoever murders a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell.’ (4.69) And also His Statement: ‘…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) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 288 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=60&translator=1&start=0&number=288)

It, therefore, makes absolute sense and perfectly fits Muhammad’s pattern that he would immediately correct his glorification of the three chief goddesses of the Meccans, thereby lapsing into idolatry, by expunging his praise of them and replacing that with a strict denunciation of their existence and worship.

As it stands, the evidence is simply overwhelming that Muhammad did indeed magnify al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat as highly exalted divine beings whose intercession could be sought after. And all the objections to the contrary simply fail to adequately refute the fact of Islam’s prophet coming under the influence and control of Satan who caused him to lapse into idolatry, resulting in Muhammad committing the unforgiveable sin of shirk:

It is our opinion that this story is almost certainly genuine, not only because of its record in many early works, but perhaps even more because those records which seem to omit it, namely the Qur’an itself, the Sahih of Bukhari, and the present edited version of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat, contain elements obviously relative to it and otherwise unintelligible. Furthermore certain details in the story are strikingly factual, for example the note that one old man did not bow down but applied some of the dust of the ground to his forehead. This little incident is just the sort of thing an eye-witness would particularly observe, but it is hardly the sort of otherwise irrelevant evidence that a fabricator would think of or care to include. (Gilchrist, Muhammad and the Religion of IslamSatan’s Interjection and its Implications)

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