Satanic Verses: Explained

QUESTION

What are satanic verses? what was that event in real? here is the wiki link for your reference,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_Verses

Elaborate the event detail

ANSWER

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The “satanic verses” refers to a story reported from the life of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam). The story goes that Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) was reciting Sūrah al-Najm in Makkah in the presence of some idolaters, and when he reached the verses:

أفرأيتم اللت والعزى ومنوة الثالتة الأخرى

“Have you then considered (the idols) al-Lāt and al-‘Uzzā, and Manāt, the other, the third?”

The Shaytān caused these words to appear:

تلك الغرانيق العلى وإن شفاعتهن لترتجى

“Those are the high cranes, and indeed their intercession is desired.”

The idolaters appreciated that their idols were mentioned positively, so they fell in prostration. When this caused distress to Rasūlullāh (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), these verses were revealed:

وما أرسلنا من قبلك من رسول ولا نبي إلا إذا تمنى ألقى الشيطان في أمنيته فينسخ الله ما يلقى الشيطان ثم يحكم الله آياته

“We did not send any messenger before you nor a prophet, but when he recited (the revelation), the Shaytān cast (doubts in the hearts of his opponents) about what he recited. So, Allah nullifies what the Shaytān casts, then Allah makes His verses firm.” (22:52)

This is the outcome of the various accounts in which the story was narrated. The story has been transmitted through a number of chains of transmission which were collected by Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Jarīr al-Tabarī, al-Bazzār, Ibn Abī Hātim and others.[1]

This story is not found in any of the well-known collections of hadith. Moreover, although some scholars considered it to have some basis[2], the vast majority of the scholars of hadith and other fields regarded it as being inauthentic or a baseless forgery.[3] The major imams and scholars who concluded that it is weak or baseless include: Muhammad ibn Ishāq ibn Khuzaymah, Qādī ‘Iyād, Ibn al-‘Arabī, al-Bayhaqī, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, al-Qutubī and Badr al-Dīn al-‘Aynī[4]. The recent scholar of Tafsīr and hadith, Mawlana Idrīs Kandhlewī, concludes in his Tafsīr: “That this tale is forged and baseless is established by transmitted and rational proofs.”[5]

The small number of scholars that did consider the story to have some basis did not accept its apparent meaning. At the most, this report is a khabar al-wāhid (a solitary report), and thus does not have the authority to override established beliefs and principles that are known through overwhelming evidence and the consensus of the scholars.[6] The implication that Shaytān could have caused words to appear on the tongue of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) cannot be accepted, as this contradicts a number of established doctrines and principles, including the‘ismah (divine protection) of the Anbiyā’ (‘alayhimussalām). Hence, those scholars that considered the report to have a basis offered a number of interpretations to make the meaning of the report acceptable. The most favourable of these interpretations is that these words did not appear on the tongue of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam); rather, the Shaytān uttered these words during the recitation of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), imitating his voice in such a way that it appeared to the idolaters that they were part of his recitation.[7] Nonetheless, as explained earlier, the favoured view is that the story is unsound, so there is no need to find an acceptable meaning for it.

Finally, the tafsīr (explanation) of the verse in question (i.e. 22:52) is not dependent on this story. The verse simply means that when the Anbiyā’ of Allah Ta‘ālā recited His verses to their peoples, the Shaytān cast doubts and aspersions in the hearts and minds of the idolaters, upon which Allah Ta‘ālā obliterated these doubts and made His verses firm. This explanation is found in Tafsīr Abū Hayyān and other reliable Tafsīrs.[8]

In conclusion, the vast majority of the scholars have regarded this story as being unreliable, and the few that regarded it as having some basis did not accept its apparent implication and interpreted it to accord with the decisive principles established in the Qur’an, Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah. Moreover, understanding verse 22:52 of the Qur’an is not dependent on this story. Rather, the verse has the straightforward meaning explained above.[9]

And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa
UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1]

فتح الباري، دار السلام، ج. ٨ ص. ٥٥٨

بذل المجهود، دار البشائر الإسلامية، ج. ٦ ص. ٧١-٤

تفسير الطبري، دار هجر، ج. ١٦ ص ٦٠٣-١١

تفسير ابن كثير، قديمي كتب خانه، ج. ٣ ص ٣٠٦

[2]

ومعناهم كلهم في ذلك واحد وكلها سوى طريق سعيد بن جبير إما ضعيف وإلا منقطع لكن كثرة الطرق تدل على أن للقصة أصلا مع أن لها طريقين آخرين مرسلين رجالهما على شرط الصحيحين

فتح الباري، دار السلام، ج. ٨ ص. ٥٥٨

بذل المجهود، دار البشائر الإسلامية، ج. ٦ ص. ٧٢

[3]

معارف القرآن، إدارة المعارف، ج. ٦ ص. ٢٦٥

[4]

معارف القرآن، مكتبة المعارف، ج. ٥ ص. ٣١٩

نصب المجانيق لنسف قصة الغرانيق، المكتب الإسلامي، ٤٦-٤٨

[5]

معارف القرآن، مكتبة المعارف، ج. ٥ ص. ٣٢٣

[6]

معارف القرآن، إدارة المعارف، ج. ٦ ص. ٢٦٥

[7]

وقيل كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يرتل القرآن فارتصده الشيطان في سكتة من السكتات ونطق بتلك الكلمات محاكيا نغمته بحيث سمعه من دنا إليه فظنها من قوله وأشاعها. قال: وهذا أحسن الوجوه ويؤيده ما تقدم في صدر الكلام عن ابن عباس من تفسير تمنى بتلا وكذا استحسن ابن العربي هذا التأويل

فتح الباري، دار السلام، ج. ٨ ص. ٥٥٩

ثم حكى أجوبة عن الناس من ألطفها أن الشيطان أوقع في مسامع المشركين ذلك فتوهموا أنه صدر عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، وليس كذلك في نفس الأمر بل إنما كان من صنيع الشيطان لا من رسول الرحمن صلى الله عليه وسلم والله أعلم

تفسير ابن كثير، قديمي كتب خانه، ج. ٣ ص ٣٠٧

[8]

معارف القرآن، إدارة المعارف، ج. ٦ ص. ٢٦٥

[9]

معارف القرآن، إدارة المعارف، ج. ٦ ص. ٢٦٥

Source

Mawlana Zameelur Rahman

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