Posts tagged ‘Hadith’

June 2nd, 2011

Cracking the Five Daily Prayers (Salah): Did Allah Give the Command?

Have you ever encountered a Muslim who dismisses the authority of the Hadith, claiming to follow only the Qur’an? If so, you are not alone. I have met a lot of them. These Muslims are uncomfortable with the Hadith which contains information that are contradictory because they are based on the life of Prophet Muhammad who lived his life as he willed.
A Muslim I met online recently—a convert to Islam—particularly insisted all a Muslim ever needed to know was in the Qur’an. That prompted me to ask him if the command for Muslims to pray 5 times a day was in the Qur’an. He claimed it was. He pointed to some verses trying to prove his claim. Let us see if the Qur’an actually says Muslim must pray 5 times a day and if it doesn’t, where Muhammad got the idea.
The Qur’an mentions only two out of the five daily prayers by name namely, Fajr (dwan) and Isha (late evening) in Qur’an 24:58. The other three: Dhuhur (solar noon), Asr (mid afternoon) and Maghrib (right after sunset) are not mentioned in the entire Qur’an.
There are indirect references like “two ends of the day” and “approaches of the night” in Qur’an 11:114 which Muslims interpret to mean Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha prayers.
Qur’an 17:78 has “Establish regular prayers-at the sun’s decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer” which has Fajr directly and Isha indirectly mentioned.
Qur’an 30:18 “Yea, to Him be praise, in the heavens and on earth; and in the late afternoon and when the day begins to decline” has some Muslims commentaries trying to squeeze in Asr and Dhuhur as what this verse was alluding to even when the verse was not a command to pray. I thought Allah gave Muhammad the 5 daily prayers when he “ascended” to the heavens! What happened? Why does the Qur’an only mention two of these important daily prayers by name and does not command Muslim to pray at least 5 times a day?
My online Muslim friend continued to tell me in Qur’an 2:238 “middle prayer” apparently refers to Asr even when the verse does not say so. He just assumes since Muslims currently practice 5 daily prayers and Asr is the middle prayer, he sells out on the idea. Little does he know only at most three prayers are “mentioned” in the Qur’an at one time and even these three have a “middle prayer.” To make the matter even worse, this verse was revealed in Medina, years after the command for the 5 compulsory daily prayers were supposedly given in the Hadith. Qur’an chapter 17 contains Muhammad’s alleged ascension to the seven heavens and only mentions two daily prayers: Fajr (directly) and Isha (indirectly). The Hadith is the only source that has the number—five—and all the names of the compulsory daily prayers
If Allah really meant Muslims must observe the 5 daily prayers (Salat), shouldn’t he have made it clear in the Qur’an? He didn’t. Muhammad’s Hadith appear more lucid on the 5 daily prayers (Salah) than the Qur’an.
Prophet Muhammad must have borrowed the idea of the 3 daily prayers in the Qur’an from the Jews. Daniel 6:10:
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.
Daniel prayed toward Jerusalem. Muhammad prayed toward Jerusalem for the first 14 years of Islam. Daniel, like others who practice Judaism, prayed three times a day.
I have no doubt Muhammad borrowed the idea of the 3 daily prayers which are in the Qur’an from the Jews and the 5 daily prayers from Zoroastrians. He did not ascend to the heavens to get the command to pray five times. Even the Qur’an claims the “ascension” was a mere dream (Qur’an 53:13-18).
The Hadith is the only source where Muslims can find information on the 5 daily prayers and how to observe them. Though it is a boom for critics of Islam like me, it has answers to key issues in Islam as mundane as the 5 daily prayers without which a Muslim would not be granted paradise. That is another Crack in the Crescent for you.

May 15th, 2010

Desperate Muslims Ignorant Christians Part 2

Muslims are desperate to spread Islam. They capitalize on any opportunity they get, even “riding” on Christians’ ignorance to further their message. Do you know that March 2010 was one of the worst months for Islam in recent years? Most Christians don’t know it. Islam is in dire straits. Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian Muslim, had his autobiography, Son of Hamas published. Muslims are still infuriated about his “new birth.” Please visit the book’s page on Facebook to read their rage and frustration for yourself. Even their lifeline, Answering Christianity Dot Com, has run out of arguments and ideas to throw at Christians. Still, they have outsmarted Christians by employing a red herring in their attacks on Dr. Ergun Caner. While a lot of Muslims were seeking information about Jesus Christ online and looking for Christians to talk to, some of us have been busy on our blogs and webcasts entertaining Muslims who have an agenda.

The Kansas City Star reports that Muslim Public Affairs Council advertised openings for, “A calm, credible voice to soothe Americans’ fear of Islam.” These positions might still be open. Doesn’t this show how desperate American Muslims have become in their efforts to “market” Islam? We Christians don’t see the sign, instead we engage in public name calling. We have been devouring one another with Muslims as our cheerleaders.

My intention to get involved in this public discussion has nothing to do with attacking a Christian. I believe Dr. James White is a man of God, called to proclaim Him just like the Caner Brothers. I would like this public quarrel among Christians to stop. We can spin this discussion whichever way our hearts desire but in the end we will realize that there is no justification for it in the Word of God. Jesus Christ said, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6, NIV. Our theological differences do not warrant our attacks on each other. We need to wake up because our arrogance, bias, distractions, divisions, and ignorance are boom for the enemy of the Gospel.

We read information on Mr. Khan’s website “fake ex-Muslims dot com” and watched the videos but do we even question his mission, which is clearly stated in a verse from the Qur’an, 61:8, “They desire to extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His Light, though the unbelievers hate it.” Jews and Christians who rejected Prophet Muhammad were charged with attempts “to extinguish Allah’s light.” Do you now see how any Muslim would have a problem with a non-Muslim, especially one who rejected Islam and now exposes it?

Muslims started it with ex-Muslims, now they are taking it a step further in attacking Dr. White. He is already under a Muslim’s attack, being accused of denying “the doctrine of eternal security.” I bet there will be more of these attacks after the dust “settles” on the current discourse. His debates, podcasts, and speeches will be dissected. Muslims are on a mission and we are oblivious.

There is a lot of information to share and I do not want to confuse you with a long post today. I am not defending the discrepancies in Dr. Ergun Caner’s testimony but debunking the claim that the Caner Brothers cannot be experts on Islam. I would like to address the “hadith 9.57” issue that has been a staple for Dr. White’s discussion (Question 20 on his open letter to Liberty University) and deal with Mr. Khan’s accusations next week.

Dr. White appeared on Engaging the World radio program on Thursday and discussed the Caner Brothers’ first book, Unveiling Islam. He spent a great deal of his airtime on their “incorrect” citation of aHadith (plural for Hadith), the first one being on page 19. He highlighted how there are other aHadith, which are quoted the same throughout their book. For your information, there is no “official” way to cite Hadith. The most authentic Hadith collection is Sahih Bukhari. Many times when it is quoted, it comes without the name because it is the most authentic and widely referenced. I have checked some of the aHadith in question and they come from Sahih Bukhari. If there were any errors on the Caner Brothers’ part, it was very minor. A side note: Mr. Khan read through Unveiling Islam and if this argument about the “incorrect” citation of the Hadith were an issue, with them being galore, he would have jumped on it. I bet he is very smart and stayed out of it. Here we are grappling with it.

I have Hadith hardcopies at my disposal and it took me only a few minutes to find that “hadith 9.57” is from Sahih Bukhari and if the Caner Brothers had wanted to make it clearer it should have read “Bukhari hadith 9.57″ or “Bukhari 9.84.57” or “Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57.” You can tell there is more than one way to cite Hadith.

I prefer to quote the same Hadith “Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57,” because Muslims have always challenged my assertions of Islam and I do not want to give them a foothold, especially when they are suspicious of even the objectivity of my work. Sahih Bukhari has 9 volumes and when it is quoted, there is an option to leave out the Book Number, which was the case for the Caner Brothers.

Dr. White has been raising doubts about how an ex-Muslim and now an expert of Islam could make such an egregious mistake, an equivalent of an evangelical Christian quoting John 3:16 as Bible 3:16. He believes that there is only one “correct” way to cite “hadith 9.57,” which should be “Bukhari hadith 9.57.” He should have verified prior to airing his views. That would have averted the introduction of Bible 3:16 to our vocabulary. He is not justified to disparage the Caner Brothers solely based on his Islamic library, which surprisingly contains only books that cite Hadith a particular way.

There are other books in print that quote “Bukhari hadith 9.57” as “hadith 9.57” or “hadith 9:57.” If you can’t believe it, Google Books can answer your question. Please type these two options and read for yourself. Also, Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law Nashville: (Thomas Nelson, 2008), 231, uses the same Hadith and quotes it “hadith 9:57.” The same applies to a Pakistani Muslim scholar Maulana Muhammad Ali who quoted “Sunan Abu Dawud Volume 1 Book 1 Number 55” as (1.1.55). I do not see an attribution anywhere and if you want to read it, it is in public domain here. A Manual of Hadith Index (Public Domain, 1944), 40. Mark you; Sunan Abu Dawud ranks below Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and no Muslim made a fuss about this famous scholar just citing (1.1.55).

Unveiling Islam was not written for a scholarly audience. This book received great editorial reviews. The audience is evangelical Christians. I bet most of them do not even know what Hadith is. Hence, a trivial matter which is not worth arguing over unless of course someone has an agenda.

Dr. White’s preferred way of citing Hadith, “Bukhari hadith 9.57,” had one mention in the Caner Brothers’ Unveiling Islam, page 249. I do not recall him saying on Engaging the World radio appearance that the brothers had cited Hadith “correctly” at least once. So, I asked him if he would issue an apology or correction and his response, “Your bias and irrationality is difficult to understand. Amazing double standard. Open your eyes.” I was just trying to point out to him that his preferred way to cite Hadith made it in their book. He should have acknowledged it on the national radio or apologize for the generalization. Instead, he blogged about my “irrationality” and blamed it on my cultural background. You can read his blog entry here.

Muslims are on a mission, please let us not aid and abet to their tactics that attempt to discredit the Caner Brothers, other Christians of Muslim background, Dr. James White, et al. We should give our brothers the benefit of the doubt before going global with what Muslims bring to our attention. We need to become aware of the desperate tactics Muslims employ even attempting to discredit the Bible, Jesus Christ, and etcetera. It is my prayer that this controversy surrounding the Caner Brothers ends according to the guidelines set forth in the Word of God. I hope we have learned from our “giving” and “throwing” of “what is sacred” to unbelievers. We have seen its ramification. Let us seek a biblical ending!

April 4th, 2010

Another Empty Grave for Jesus?

Christians are commemorating the passion of Jesus Christ. After all, without it culminating into his death and followed by resurrection three days later, our redemption would have been impossible. While our focus is on this momentous occasion, it is imperative that we do not forget to engage those who have different beliefs surrounding this Easter season.

Muslims believe that Jesus Christ was never crucified or died because Allah would not let his prophets suffer even though the Qur’an mentions at least three times how some of Allah’s messengers were slain. If one asks Muslims to provide the names of those slain, they wouldn’t. The Hadith also shows how Prophet Muhammad died an agonizing death, which spanned four years. (I discussed Muhammad’s death and also how Jesus Christ couldn’t be the same Jesus, Isa, Muslims refer to in an earlier post.)

They believe that Jesus is yet to die. The Hadith has references to how he is coming back to be married, have children, die and be buried according to Islamic customs. Muslims tell me to forget about the empty tomb in Jerusalem that Christians claim Jesus Christ vacated more than 2000 years ago. There is an empty grave next to Prophet Muhammad’s tomb, and it has been empty for about 1380 years and it does not belong to an Arab Muslim. Sunan Al-Tirmidhi states “Jesus, son of Mary, will be buried along with him [Muhammad]. …a place for a grave had remained in the house [a building that houses Muhammad’s tomb].”

Samuel Zwemer, the pioneer of Christian missionary work to the Arab world wrote, “The place of his [Jesus] future grave is already marked out between the graves of Omar, the caliph, and Fatuma, Mohammed’s daughter.” (Samuel Zwemer, Moslem World 1907 (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2003), 66.) Why it took the all-knowing Allah 600 years to refute the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a question we should ask Muslims. Also, why Allah took his time and did not consider the highly publicized death and resurrection of Jesus Christ a problem at least through the first 12 years since the advent of Islam, and only turned in opposition when Muhammad moved to Medina, is another issue we should take up with Muslims.

March 26th, 2010

One thing Muslims would not tell you

The Jesus Muslims believe in, the one mentioned in the Qur’an and the Hadith, is not Jesus Christ. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in Jesus Christ. They do not believe in Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross while the “Jesus of Islam” never suffered or died because as a prophet of Allah, he could not suffer or die a horrible death. That is the teaching of Islam.

However, one thing that you should know, and Muslims do not tell anyone, Prophet Muhammad died a horrible death. He was a prophet of Allah, and you think he was spared from anguish, right? Not quite. He suffered for more than three years and died. A Jewish woman poisoned him; he suffered from complications for more than three years and died a terrible death. Now there is a prophet of Allah who the Hadith shows died a horrible death.

Muslims should quit denying that Jesus Christ died and resurrected because Jesus Christ is not the “Jesus of Islam” who, in spite of all the excellent attributes he had more than Prophet Muhammad, played a second fiddle to Muhammad. What a joke! Only Muhammad would claim to be getting revelations from God to refute something like the death of Jesus Christ, which happened 600 years before Muhammad was even born, and then set the conditions for how a prophet of his god should live and die (honorably) and then die in a miserable way. That is Islam for you.

February 9th, 2010

Darajat

Who is a true Muslim?

إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ ثُمَّ لَمۡ يَرۡتَابُواْ وَجَـٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٲلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلصَّـٰدِقُونَ

“The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.” (Al-Hujraat, 49:15, Pickthall).

Muslims are ranked in three categories called darajat. Muhsin is the highest rank. The verse from the Qur’an mentioned above talks about the Muhsin who fought alongside Prophet Muhammad. They did not doubt the message of the Qur’an or what he said in the Hadith. Though the message was equivocal, they did not doubt but strove to understand it by employing the rule of abrogation. Today’s mainstream Muslims who doubt the message of the Qur’an, especially the one pertaining to the killing of infidels and apostates, are not true Muslims according to the Qur’an and the Hadith. What happens if every Muslim becomes a Muhsin?

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