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In this post I am going to list sahih (so-called sound) reports from al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim which contradict each other.

First Contradiction

Narrated Ibn Abbas:
The Prophet was cupped while he was in the state of lhram, and also while he was observing a fast. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 159

The translator states:

Hadith No. 159 CONTRADICTS the Hadith of Al-Hasan. Apparently the Muslim jurists have given VARIOUS INTERPRETATIONS to discard THIS CONTRADICTION: Ash-Shafi’i says, “Both Ahadith are correct, but the one narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas is stronger as regards its series of narrators; yet it is better to avoid cupping while observing Saum (fast). But the verdict is to be taken from the Hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas. I have the knowledge that the Prophet’s companions and their followers and all Muslim scholars think that cupping does not break one’s Saum (fast).” Ibn Hazm thinks that Al-Hasan’s Hadith is INVALIDATED by another authentic Hadith narrated by Abu Sa’id which goes: “The Prophet permitted cupping for a person observing Saum (fast).” (Fath Al-Bari, Vol. 5, Pages 79-81). (Al-Imam Zain-ud-Din Ahmad bin Abdul Lateef Az-Zubaidi, The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari Arabic-English, Translated by: Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan [Maktaba Dar-us-Salam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh Saudi Arabia], p. 446; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Second Contradiction

Did Muhammad wash only once or twice?

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet performed ablution by washing the body parts only once. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 159

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Zaid:
The Prophet performed ablution by washing the body parts twice. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 160

Third Contradiction

Did Muhammad see his Lord?

Reports that say he didn’t:

Narrated Masruq:
I said to ‘Aisha, “O Mother! Did Prophet Muhammad see his Lord?” Aisha said, “What you have said makes my hair stand on end! Know that if somebody tells you one of the following three things, he is a liar: Whoever tells you that Muhammad saw his Lord, is a liar.” Then Aisha recited the Verse:

‘No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Courteous Well-Acquainted with all things.’ (6.103) ‘It is not fitting for a human being that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil.’ (42.51)

‘Aisha further said, “And whoever tells you that the Prophet knows what is going to happen tomorrow, is a liar.” She then recited:

‘No soul can know what it will earn tomorrow.’ (31.34) She added: “And whoever tells you that he concealed (some of Allah’s orders), is a liar.” Then she recited: ‘O Apostle! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord…’ (5.67) ‘Aisha added. “But the Prophet saw Gabriel in his true form twice.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 378

Narrated Masruq:
’Aisha said, “If anyone tells you that Muhammad has seen his Lord, he is a liar, for Allah says: ‘No vision can grasp Him.’ (6.103) And if anyone tells you that Muhammad has seen the Unseen, he is a liar, for Allah says: ‘None has the knowledge of the Unseen but Allah.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 477

Reports that say he did:

It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that he (the Holy Prophet) saw (Allah) with, his heart. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0334

It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the words: “The heart belied not what he saw” (al-Qur’an, Iiii. 11) and “Certainly he saw Him in another descent” (al-Qur’an, Iiii. 13) imply that he saw him twice with his heart. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0335

Fourth Contradiction

Do women nullify prayers or not?

Yes they do:

Abu Dharr reported: THE MESSENGER OF ‘ALLAH SAID: When any one of you stands for prayer and there is a thing before him equal to the back of the saddle that covers him and in case there is not before him (a thing) equal to the back of the saddle, HIS PRAYER WOULD BE CUT OFF BY (passing of an) ASS, WOMAN, AND BLACK DOG. I said: O Abu Dharr, what feature is there in a black dog which distinguish it from the red dog and the yellow dog? He said: O, son of my brother, I asked the Messenger of Allah as you are asking me, and he said: The black dog is a devil. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1032

Abu Huraira reported: THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH SAID: A WOMAN, AN ASS AND A DOG DISRUPT THE PRAYER, but something like the back of a saddle guards against that. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1034

No they don’t:

Narrated ‘Aisha:
The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey AND A WOMAN (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, “You have made us (i.e. women) dogs. I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away, for I disliked to face him.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 9, Number 490

Fifth Contradiction

How many wives did Solomon sleep with?

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Prophet Solomon who had SIXTY WIVES, once said, “Tonight I will have sexual relation (sleep) with all my wives so that each of them will become pregnant and bring forth (a boy who will grow into) a cavalier and will fight in Allah’s Cause.” So he slept with his wives and none of them (conceived and) delivered (a child) except one who brought a half (body) boy (deformed). Allah’s Prophet said, “If Solomon had said; ‘If Allah Will,’ then each of those women would have delivered a (would-be) cavalier to fight in Allah’s Cause.” (See Hadith No. 74 A, Vol. 4). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 561

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Solomon (the son of) David said, ‘Tonight I will sleep with SEVENTY LADIES each of whom will conceive a child who will be a knight fighting for “Allah’s Cause.”’ His companion said, ‘If Allah will.’ But Solomon did not say so; therefore none of those women got pregnant except one who gave birth to a half child.” The Prophet further said, “If the Prophet Solomon had said it (i.e. ‘If Allah will’) he would have begotten children who would have fought in Allah’s Cause.” Shuaib and Ibn Abi Az-Zinad said, “NINETY (women) IS MORE CORRECT (than seventy).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 635

Narrated Abu Huraira:
(The Prophet) Solomon said, “Tonight I will sleep with (my) NINETY WIVES, each of whom will get a male child who will fight for Allah’s Cause.” On that, his companion (Sufyan said that his companion was an angel) said to him, “Say, ‘If Allah will (Allah willing).’” But Solomon forgot (to say it). He slept with all his wives, but none of the women gave birth to a child, except one who gave birth to a half boy. Abu Huraira added: The Prophet said, “If Solomon had said, ‘If Allah will’ (Allah willing), he would not have been unsuccessful in his action, and would have attained what he had desired.” Once Abu Huraira added: Allah apostle said, “If he had accepted.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 79, Number 711

Narrated Abu Huraira:
(The Prophet) Solomon son of (the Prophet) David said, “Tonight I will go round (i.e. have sexual relations with) ONE HUNDRED WOMEN (my wives) everyone of whom will deliver a male child who will fight in Allah’s Cause.” On that an Angel said to him, “Say: ‘If Allah will.’” But Solomon did not say it and forgot to say it. Then he had sexual relations with them but none of them delivered any child except one who delivered a half person. The Prophet said, “If Solomon had said: ‘If Allah will,’ Allah would have fulfilled his (above) desire and that saying would have made him more hopeful.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 169

To make matters worse, the Muslim commentators also contradict themselves regarding the exact number of wives and concubines that David and/or Solomon actually had:

Or nay are they jealous of people namely of the Prophet s for the bounty that God has bestowed upon them in the way of prophethood and abundance of women? In other words they wish that he be deprived of such things saying ‘If he were truly a prophet he would not be concerned with women’. For We gave the House of Abraham his forefather the likes of Moses David and Solomon the Book and wisdom and prophethood and We gave them a mighty kingdom David had ninety–nine women and Solomon had a thousand free women and slavegirls. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Q. 4:54; bold emphasis mine)

(Or are they jealous) nay, they are jealous (of mankind) of Muhammad and his Companions (because of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them?) the Scripture, prophethood and marrying many wives. (For We bestowed upon the house of Abraham) David and Solomon ((of old) the Scripture and Wisdom) knowledge, understanding and prophethood, (and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom) We honoured them with prophethood and Islam and bestowed upon them sovereignty over the Children of Israel. David had 100 legitimate wives, and Solomon had 300 legitimate wives plus 700 concubines. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold emphasis mine)

Sixth Contradiction

How many years did Muhammad stay in Mecca once he claimed to be a prophet, and how old was he when he died?

Was it thirteen years and was he 63 at the time of death?

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

Allah’s Apostle started receiving the Divine Inspiration at the age of forty. Then he stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, receiving the Divine Revelation. Then he was ordered to migrate and he lived as an Emigrant for ten years and then died at the age of sixty-three (years). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 242)

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:

Allah’s Apostle was inspired Divinely at the age of forty. Then he stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, and then was ordered to migrate, and he migrated to Medina and stayed there for ten years and then died. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 190)

Narrated ‘Aisha:

Allah’s Apostle died when he was sixty-three years of age. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 742)

Or was it only ten years and did he die at the age of 60?

Narrated Rabia bin Abi Abdur-Rahman:

I heard Anas bin Malik describing the Prophet saying, “He was of medium height amongst the people, neither tall nor short; he had a rosy color, neither absolutely white nor deep brown; his hair was neither completely curly nor quite lank. Divine Inspiration was revealed to him when he was forty years old. He stayed ten years in Mecca receiving the Divine Inspiration, and stayed in Medina for ten more years. When he expired, he had scarcely twenty white hairs in his head and beard.” Rabi’a said, “I saw some of his hairs and it was red. When I asked about that, I was told that it turned red because of scent.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 747)

Narrated Anas:

Allah’s Apostle was neither very tall nor short, neither absolutely white nor deep brown. His hair was neither curly nor lank. Allah sent him (as an Apostle) when he was forty years old. Afterwards he resided in Mecca for ten years and in Medina for ten more years. When Allah took him unto Him, there was scarcely twenty white hairs in his head and beard. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 748)

Narrated Aisha and Ibn ‘Abbas:

The Prophet stayed for ten years in Mecca with the Qur’an being revealed to him and he stayed in Medina for ten years.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 741)

Anas b. Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger was neither very conspicuously tall nor short-statured, and his color was neither glaringly white nor brown; his hair was neither very curly nor very straight; Allah commissioned him (as a Prophet) when he had reached the age of forty years, and he stayed in Mecca for ten years and for ten years in Medina; Allah took him away when he had just reached the age of sixty, and there had not been twenty white hair in his head and beard. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5794

Or did he actually remain in Medina for 15 years?

‘Ammar, the freed slave of Banu Hashim, reported: I asked Ibn ‘Abbas how old was he when death overtook the Messenger of Allah. He said: I little know that such a thing is not known to a man like you who belong to his people. He said: I asked people about it but they differed with me, and I liked to know your opinion about it. He said: Do you know counting? He said: Yes. He then said: Bear this in mind very well that he was commissioned (as a Prophet) at the age of forty, and he stayed in Mecca for fifteen years; sometime in peace and sometime in dread, and (lived) for ten years after his migration to Medina. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5805

The foregoing demonstrates that even the most authentic narrations attributed to Muhammad and/or his companions are filled with irreconcilable contradictions, which in turn highlights just how shaky and fragile Islam’s foundations happen to be.

After all, if the most authentic hadiths are found to be filled with errors, then the Quran’s entire foundation which is based entirely on the ahadith topples to the ground since a Muslim is dependent entirely upon them to know the history and compilation of the Islamic scripture. The Quran is only as reliable as the hadiths are and, therefore, if the veracity of the ahadith go then the Muslim scripture collapses along with them.

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