By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
21 January, 2015
(Muhammad Yunus, co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009)
Last night an e-mail landed at my inbox from someone with a Christian name with the title “She was only six and he in 50’s……. asking me to give up Islam as this was too perverted a religion.
I am neither putting the heading in full nor its content, but the reader can imagine what kind of a story a maligner of the Prophet may spin around the Prophet’s marriage with young Aisha quoting Islamic sources.
I couldn’t remain silent as he could take it as my consent, and I couldn’t return abuse with abuse as that fellow might have written to me to save me from perdition like the Charlie Hobo cartoonists claiming to have good intentions behind the cartoons they publish. So I had to brief him as follows, which I want to share with other Muslim readers who may receive similar mails quoting the most vulgar of Hadith accounts and go beside themselves not knowing what to say.
1. The truth is the simple Muslims in early Islam created fanciful imageries around the person of the Prophet to make him a legendary and extra-ordinary figure. That included, among other things, colourful details about some of his marriages, which may sometimes be as imaginative as the stories surrounding the birth of the Prophet: a blaze of white light on Abdullah’s forehead as he went to consume marriage with his bride that led to the conception of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), light from Amina’s pregnant belly illuminating the night sky right up to Syria, a violent earthquake made the palace of Chosroes the Great tremble, and shattered fourteen of its towers; the sacred fire, kept alight for more than a thousand years by Persian worshippers went out, all the idols of the universe were found with their heads bowed down in great shame and so forth. The early listeners of these accounts listened to them with awe and admiration as the bizarre and the fantabulous fired their imagination. Narrated today, they are simply gossipy or Islamic mythology rubber stamped as theology or weak Hadith.
2. The Qur’an describes the Prophet as a noble messenger (81:19) and a man of sublime character (68:4) and that is enough for the Muslims for they have no doubt that the Qur’an is the uncorrupted word of God and its description of the Prophet must be true, without an iota of doubt. The obvious proof of its being uncorrupted lies in its unqualified veneration of Jesus and Mary (Peace be upon them).
Thus, the Qur’an distinguishes Jesus Christ with honorific titles among all its prophets. It refers to him as a Sign (ayah, 19:21, 21:91, 23:50), a Mercy (Rahmah, 19:21), a Word (Kalimah, 3:45, 4:171), and a Spirit from Him (Ruhum Minhu, 4:171), one who was strengthened by the Sacred Spirit (Ruhul Qudus, 2:87, 2:253, 5:110), and parallels his birth with the creation of Adam – both a result of divine decree: ‘God spoke and it was done’(3:59). It extols Mary to have been divinely chosen and purified and the most elevated among all ladies in all eras (3:42) and distinguished as a sign jointly with Jesus (ayah, 21:91, 23:50). She is the only woman named in the Qur’an, which refers to all other female figures by their male representatives: wife of Noah, Abraham, Lot, Moses, Pharaoh, Abu Lahab, the Egyptian master of Joseph; wives of Muhammad; daughters of Lot; mother and sisters of Moses, house (descendant) of Imran; and by their mark of distinction (the Queen of Sheba, the woman complainant to Muhammad). [Geoffery Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’an, One world Publications, U.S.A.]
If the Qur’an were corrupted, at least one word would have been written against Jesus or Mary over the last millennium against probably millions of malicious and vulgar words, slanders and calumnies hurled at the Prophet over this long period.
3. Many sexually loaded, deeply misogynic, sadistic and hatred inducing Ahadith are also attributed to the Prophet. They are no more than human imageries of a later era that found expression in the ever expanding Hadith corpus in the first two centuries of Islam. Muslim Ulema never quoted them as they knew they were simply forged and fabricated (technically ‘weak’). Today they are quoted both by non-Muslims and radical Muslims to conflate them with Islamic message. But the truth is the Hadith is not a divine scripture of Islam as expounded in the following article:
3. The Christian West has maligned the Prophet of Islam for well over a millennium to this very day. This only shows the truth of the following prediction of the Qur’an made almost fifteen centuries ago (Qur’anic revelation spanned 610-632 C.E.) and reinforces my belief in the truth of what the Qur’an says about the Prophet than what the story tellers, say about him having nothing better to do in their leisure or to fire the imagination of people for all times:
“Thus we made for every messenger an enemy - Satans from among men and jinn, some of them inspiring others with seductive talk (in order to) deceive (them), and had your Lord pleased, they would not have done it. Therefore, leave them and what they forge” (6:112)
“Thus we made for every messenger an enemy among the criminals - but enough is your Lord (O Muhammad,) as a Guide and Helper” (25:31)
Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.