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Offline 8pider

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Abraham lied three times
« on: August 14, 2015, 04:45:00 PM »
Quran clearly says, Abraham was a truthful man (19:41). I have no doubt in that. However, I cannot explain the versus quoted in the hadith below. Does anyone have an explanation? Thanks

Narrated Abu Hurairah:
that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Ibrahim, peace be upon him, did not lie about anything at all - except for three: 'Verily I am sick (37:89)' while he was not sick. And his saying about Sarah: 'She is my sister' and his saying: 'Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it (21:63).'"
حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى بْنِ سَعِيدٍ الأُمَوِيُّ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ لَمْ يَكْذِبْ إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ فِي شَيْءٍ قَطُّ إِلاَّ فِي ثَلاَثٍ قَوْلُهُ ‏:‏ ‏(‏إنِّي سَقِيمٌ ‏)‏ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ سَقِيمًا وَقَوْلُهُ لِسَارَةَ أُخْتِي وَقَوْلُهُ ‏:‏ ‏(‏ بلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَذَا ‏)‏ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ ‏.‏
Grade   : Sahih (Darussalam)   
English reference    : Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3166
Arabic reference    : Book 47, Hadith 3463

Offline Sleepysoul

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 03:02:11 AM »
21:59 They said: “Who has done this to our gods? He is surely one of the wicked.”
21:60 They said: “We heard a young man mentioning them. He was called Abraham.”
21:61 They said: “Bring him before the eyes of the people so that they may be witness.”
21:62 — 21:78
21:62 They said: “Did you do this to our gods O Abraham?”
21:63 He said: “It was the biggest one of them here who did it, so ask
them, if they do speak!”
21:64 So they turned and said to themselves: “It is indeed ourselves who have been wicked!”
21:65 Then they returned to their old ideas: “You know that they do not speak!”
21:66 He said: “Do you serve besides God that which does not benefit you at all nor harm you?”

You should probably read it in more context.
Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) was trying to make a point so does that even count as 'lying'?

Offline 8pider

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 09:45:09 AM »
21:63 He said: “It was the biggest one of them here who did it, so ask them, if they do speak!”

Yes indeed he was making a point. But the fact remains that if we believe he said  “It was the biggest one of them here who did it..." which we both no is not true. If it is not true then it is a lie.

It might be the wording in the translations that might not be right. Looking up the word for word translation

He said,   
bal                   "Nay,
faʿalahu           (some doer) did it.      
Kabīruhum       Their chief      
hādhā                (is) this.      
fasalūhum        So ask them      
in                       if      
kānū                   they (can)      
yanṭiqūna          speak."

Am not sure if "bal' means no....but from the above translation, it seems he doesn't deny the fact as he claims someone has done it, so ask them if they can speak.

Offline 8pider

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2015, 10:42:13 AM »
The other claim  'Verily I am sick (37:89)' cannot be deemed as a lie ....because he might have actually been sick.

And unlike the Bible, the story of Sarah pretending to be his sister is no where in the Quran.

I think this clearly shows the source of the stories are the Judeo-Christian beliefs inherited by the Hadiths with no support from the Quran.

I await other perspectives. Thanks

Offline Sardar Miyan

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 07:23:41 AM »
The narrations of Hadith are not correct which are concoction. In the Quran also Abraham says ask their main Idol to prove the a the Idol cannot talk.Abraham wante to assert the Idol can not talk.
May entire creation be filled with Peace & Joy & Love & Light

Offline Irfan

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 10:44:44 AM »
Salam Healerofworlds,

I totally agree with your line of argument---that Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh) was making a point that everyone in the audience understood, even though they detested it.

But...Ibraheem was not lying! How so?

They said, "We heard a youth talk of them: He is called Abraham." - 21:60 (Y. Ali)
They said, "Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness." - 21:61 (Y. Ali)
So,  in this verse the people are saying that they heard Ibraheem "mentioning them" (which obviously means that he was already telling all these folks openly that hit was he who broke the little idols).  That's why the all these are being declared as "witnesses"!
So, the whole episode/drama was apparently all well-thought-of and per-planned by Ibraheem. That's why he confidently asks "the big one did it" (even though everyone is a witness to his doing it as by his own "mentioning" (admission of "guilt") of it!
Finally, Ibraheem scores the home run---forces the audience to think why they should worship something that  can neither speak, nor benefit, nor harm.
I hope I making sense. Thanks. 
He said: "Nay, this was done by - this is their biggest one! ask them, if they can speak intelligently!" - 21:63 (Y. Ali)

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 08:27:23 PM »
Dear respected 8pider / readers,

I do humbly believe that this matter of 'lying' has been unduly and unnecessarily laboured in Muslim exegesis and literature of yore and still persists to this day. Does a mother potentially lie to her son (to accrue a sin) when she tells her vulnerable child that there is a 'monster' behind the back door saving him from potentially walking out by himself and walking straight into a busy highway / road?

For example, even if we temporarily put aside Prophet Abraham's circumstances, did God lie when he showed Prophet Muhammad a few adversaries in number in a dream when there were actually many? (8:43) God forbid and of course not!

There was a purpose and God clearly states the reason that if he had showed a more accurate depiction of number, the believers would have faltered and quarrelled over the affair (8:43). God clearly had a wider purpose and truth to manifest.

Another example is Prophet Joseph and the incident with the cup. Did Prophet Joseph manufacture a lie when he placed the cup in his brother's saddlebag and then blamed his brothers? (12:70). Furthermore, the Quran makes it clear that it was actually God that contrived / devised the plan. [1]

“...Thus did We contrive / plot / scheme / plan (kidna) for Joseph. He had no right under the King’s law to detain his brother...” (12: 76 part)

* kada - contrive, devise, to plot, to trick or guile, circumvent, outwit, plot a scheme, wit, stratagem, cunning snare, strategy, plan, to do something clandestinely, to deceive.
I think we need to understand the concept of 'lying'. The key to be noted in my humble view is that a 'lie' can also arguably be seen as a deliberated attempt to sabotage or deny the truth. What prophet Abraham was doing was to manifest a particular truth. There was an end goal. From my humble perspective, it is always advisable not to see matters in a two tone (black and white) sense.


'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Aijaz

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Re: Abraham lied three times
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2018, 03:56:52 AM »

The link to above post discusses this topic.

Illah/gods are the ones with whom there is no two-way communication. When you call them they can't respond to you (46:5, 7:194, 13:14). While, Allah do communicate with people through His Book. You get to know about Allah, His orders, His likes and dislikes through His Book. When you don't know Allah through His Book, Allah is like an Ilah to you i.e there is no two way communication with Him. Those people who don't have communication with Allah, the biggest Illah in their minds is Allah.  While they do say that Allah is their Lord but they don't know what Allah is asking them to do. They don't have knowledge of His Book and His message to them. They keep putting their list of desires before Him, however they don't know what He is asking them to become or act like in order for their supplications to be accepted,  so Allah becomes the Biggest Illah for them.

Because, the majority of people who don't have knowledge of the Book and therefore don't know Allah's message, they fall prey to the syndrome of smaller ilah's/gods. These smaller ilahs are of various types; an introduction to them is given in previously published post . They can be in the form of emotions, physical idols, non physical idols, Jesus, Mary, Lofty personalities, stories of the past, etc. The first statement of All Messengers in the Book, is not to associate smaller illahs with Allah. The practice of Ibrahim A.S is to break the smaller illah's so that people can turn towards the real Allah. That is termed as the best practice in the eyes of the Lord (60:4). The smaller Illah's/gods/idols cannot be broken in people nafs without the leave of Allah as they are so deeply ingrained in people.

Therefore, when Ibrahim A.S, said that the Biggest one has broken the smaller idols, it is not a lie, its actually a true statement. Allah confirms in Quran that Ibrahim is truthful prophet (19:41) although story and history books may tell you that Ibrahim has told 3 lies in his life time. This can not be true in light of Quranic Ayat. These stories cannot relate the fact that when Ibrahim broke the Idols of his nation and told them that the Biggest Illah has done it, he actually means that the smaller Illah's can only be shattered by the leave of Allah, as they are so deeply ingrained in one's psyche.