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Offline Bassam Zawadi

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I was reading brother Joseph's article over here http://quransmessage.com/articles/history-hadith%20overlap%20FM3.htm and I was disappointed that brother Joseph didn't emphasize strong enough on the fact that orthodox Muslims don't accept the Sira and hadith literature whole sale and have thus argued against the stories of:

Kinana: http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/rebuttal_to_silas_s_article__muhammad_and_the_death_of_kinana_
Abu Afak and bin Marwan: http://islamicresponse.blogspot.com/2008/07/allegation-that-muhammad-killed-poets.html

Due to them not being proven to be authentic. And it's not for arbitrary reasons at all.

As for Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf. I don't see what the objection to this killing is. He was a war criminal. Deception in war is permitted. What Islam forbids however is treachery and there is a difference between deception and treachery.


Bassam

Offline Joseph Islam

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Dear brother Bassam,

May peace be with you.

Thank you for your post. Please see my recognition of where ancient scholars have questioned the 'sira' sources [1]. Also, please see my recognition of the caution they at times exercised [2] where I have contended with some of the overt criticisms levelled against them.

However, would you agree with me brother Bassam to some degree that any objection or otherwise based on a historic personality such as 'Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf’ would be an argument from the secondary sources in the first place (i.e. a circular argument)?

In other words, if the credibility / reliability of the secondary sources are in dispute, then arguably so would the judgment (good or bad) on any personality from that source.

One would be inclined to argue that later compilers (such as Imam Bukhari) were at the mercy of traditions already in situ at their time; traditions which had possibly already seen accretion since the time of earlier historians such as Ibn ishaq / al Waqidi.

So arguably, later compilers were not at any better liberty to assess the veracity of traditions, nor were later scholars, as they were even further removed from the earliest historians. Hence some of these earlier traditions were naturally absorbed by later compilers into their compilations.

With respect,
Joseph.


REFERENCES:

[1] IBN ISHAQ'S SIRA OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (pbuh)
http://quransmessage.com/articles/ibn%20ishaq%20FM3.htm
[2] UNWARRANTED PREJUDICE AGAINST PAST SCHOLARS, COMPILERS AND HISTORIANS
http://quransmessage.com/articles/unwarranted%20prejudice%20FM3.htm
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Bassam Zawadi

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Yes, I know you did, but as I said you didn't "emphasize strong enough". That's okay.

I think you aren't differentiating between the methodology of the historians and muhaditheen. The historians in generel acknowledged that they purposely collected almost everything they got their hands on and left the job of the verification to the muhaditheen.

As for those historians who did try to differentiate between weak and saheeh stories, well then they don't really have reputations for applying stringent methodologies for accuracy. Hence, Bukhari despite coming later could be more trustworthy and the recognition for the importance of an isnad long preceded Bukhari.

You see, the issues you are raising are things the scholars were already aware of. I think your main concern is your distrust and lack of confidence in the hadith sciences methodology.

As for your question about Ka'b, I think there are premises behind your question which I don't agree with. Hence, I don't think I could answer it.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Dear Bassam,

May peace be with you.

It is the very sources that speak of ‘methodology’ that are in dispute in the first place. I would feel that one cannot be intellectually honest by saying that Islamic secondary sources are reliable because the same secondary sources claim its reliability.

In other words, the same corpus of material is providing legitimacy which is in itself under dispute.

This would be a circular argument at best, as you will agree.

I would contend that a subjective enterprise based on primarily the 'trustworthiness' of a narrator communicating information based on hearsay is a flawed enterprise. This is arguably why we at times see the most incredulous reports which taint the Prophet's character and give rise to endless discussions and disputes.

You respectfully say that:

Quote
I think your main concern is your distrust and lack of confidence in the hadith sciences methodology.

With respect, this is not true.
 
My main contention is whether the Quran provides any 'religious authority' for these sources. The question of authenticity or reliability is secondary and relatively mute.

I hope this clarifies.

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

Offline Irfan

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Salam,
The Qur'an declares the Prophet (s) "the Mercy for all mankind/worlds".  That, in itself, says a great deal about the Prophet's character as leader and a reformist.  Ka'bs murder does not fit this profile of the Prophet. According to the narration, Ubai bin K'ab was not killed DURING the battle.  Rather he was assassinated by deceit.  The Qur'an does allow some "retreat" strategy under some warranted circumstances but these strategies are to considered during open conflicts/battles/wars. I suppose cold war surreptitious assassinations are considered illegal even under international law, but regardless, the point is that the Qur'an does not sanction such assassinations.  No prophet is shown to resort to assassination in the Qur'an, let alone the one who was to be the Mercy of the world. When I read about this story many years ago, I felt violates as a believer.

There are many other instances of this nature found in the Hadith literature.  Taliban and other extremists, in fact, use these instances to commit despicable murders of non-Muslims and Muslims alike. A prophet is not about assassinating enemies but giving them hope, good news and warning.  Yes, if the enemy comes  barging face to face, then of course the Qur'an allows self-defense.

Irfan

Offline Irfan

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My apologies for the typo.  Please read K'ab bin Ashraf instead of Ubai bin Kab in my earlier post. Thanks.

Irfan

Offline Mubashir

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These are horrifying stories attributed to the blessed Messenger which, to me, seem to have been fabricated to seek prophetic sanction for crimes by certain individuals.

It is true that the Taliban and other radicals find such stories inspiring to commit horrible crimes with no remorse.

Why discuss such stories when we have no way of verifying them as true?

The Boston Marathon bomber, according to some reports was inspired by a hadith mentioning a "revival" starting from Khorasan. Similarly there are some who commit terror acts seeking support from a hadith mentioning "Ghazwa e Hind".



Offline Irfan

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I think there are many scholars--both unorthodox and traditional scholars---can refute these dangerous trends effectively but they think they can talk because of overt or covert threats to their lives and their families. The reactionary forces are too strong.  Fortunately Pakistani media is daring, and can play a role in gathering these 'enlightened' scholars at one platform and put them work.  In these representations some scholars from the Pro-Taliban camp should also be included.  Frequent moderated debates with the extremist 'scholars' may open the way for understanding the intended peaceful spirit of Islam. In any case, I believe the solution lies somewhere along the line of educating masses.  I don’t see a military resolution of this problem.