Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Fake Story of Prophetﷺ Attempting to Throw Himself from a Mountain

In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
Salutations of prayers and peace upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad; and upon his family, progeny and companions

It is foundational principle of our faith Islam that we respect and honor our beloved Prophet Muhammad and regard him as the epitome of human perfection, virtue, and piety.

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّـهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ
There is for you in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful example
(Sura 33:21)

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ
And verily you (My beloved Prophet) are on an exalted standard of character
(Sura 68:4)

The enemies of Islam, inspired by their devils and demons, seek to harm this faith and break the hearts of the faithful by assaulting the character and moral integrity of our beloved Prophet. Regrettably, they may get an opportunity for such satanic activity due to the ignorance of ordinary Muslims concerning the technical sciences of the Hadith. This is why it is said that it is easier for Satan to beguile a devoted worshiper who is engrossed in his worship than it is for him to beguile and deceive a person grounded in knowledge. Getting to the specific matter, the enemies of Islam allege that our beloved Prophet, during the initial phase of his Revelations from Allah, attempted suicide several times معاذ الله. Before we refute this false accusation, let us quote the narration that forms the basis for this misunderstanding and deliberate deception by the enemies of God:

Narrated `AishaRA: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Messenger () was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship(Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet () replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet () added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to..... ..that which he knew not." (96.15) Then Allah's Messenger () returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, 'Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamityafflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin `Abdul `Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet () described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Messenger () asked, "Will they turn me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet () became so sad

*Note: Whatever has been quoted above is an authentic Hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari, narrated by the Prophet’s wife A’isha (Allah be pleased with her). What proceeds in this text then forms the basis for the false accusation that the Prophet had attempted suicide several times:

“It has reached us that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Messenger () in truth" whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before.”

To someone unfamiliar with the technical sciences of Hadith, they can easily and understandably misinterpret the above quoted text as a continuation of the narration of A’ishaRA. However, the truth is that the word بَلَغَنَا “it has reached us” is being uttered by the narrator ibn Shihab al-Zuhri. Now it is obvious that Imam al-Zuhri doesn’t specify the source through which this narration reached him or anyone else. Hence, this is considered Irsal in the Hadith terminology, and generally speaking, a narration that is Mursal cannot be considered authentic or sound. This fact has been clarified by the great Muhaddith, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani in his explanation of Sahih al-Bukhari known as FatH al-Bari:

ثم إن القائل " فيما بَلَغَنا " هو الزهري ، ومعنى الكلام : أن في جملة ما وصل إلينا من خبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في هذه القصة . وهو من بلاغات الزهري وليس موصولاً ، وقال الكرماني : هذا هو الظاهر .
" فتح الباري " ( 12 / 359 )

Some may mistakenly think that every Hadith in the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari is authentic. However, those who hold this view based on rigourous research know that the claimed authenticity for every Hadith in the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari is restricted to the Mustanad (possessing a chain) and Marfu’ (attributed to the Prophet through one of his companions) narrations in that book.

While it is true that there was a considerable pause in the divine Revelation to the Prophet, but the story of him intending to throw himself from the top of a high mountain not only contradicts the well known and praiseworthy character of the Prophet, but is simply not authentically established from any Hadith. Other, authentic Hadith establish the fact that the continuation of the visitation of the Angel to the Prophet during this period of pause in the Revelation did not occur when he climbed upon a mountain intending to throw himself from it (God forbid):

Narrated Jabir bin `AbdullahRA: That he heard Allah's Messenger () saying. "Then there was a pause in the revelation of the Divine Inspiration to me. Then while I was walking all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky, and I raised my sight towards the sky and saw the same angel who had visited me in the cave of Hira,' sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth." (Sahih al-Bukhari)
So this narration of the companion Jabir b. Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) is authentic and clearly contradicts the Mursal narration of Imam al-Zuhri. In conclusion, there is no basis to accept the idea that the Prophet intended to do what the satanic enemies of Islam accuse him of attempting to have done.

1 comment:

  1. *Note: It appears that this fabricated story must have seeped in from the famous story of Satan's temptation of Christ. The two stories are remarkably similar, both are during the period just before the two set off for the respective ministries. In the temptation of Christ, when Jesus was in the desert for forty days: The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ (Luke ch.4 with Satan quoting from Psalm 91)
    It is therefore perhaps in the similar vein that such a false story was attributed to the Prophet Muhammad intending to show that he believed that by throwing himself off of the cliff God would come to his rescue. This is why mention of the Angel appearing at the cliff is mentioned as having occurred several times whenever the Prophet climbed up that mountain intending to throw himself from it.

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