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The Daughters of Allah

The Daughters of Allah 
July 2010 version

Muslims often are very quick to tell others that God allowed the Bible to be corrupted. What they are implying is that the Qur'an today is the reliable word of God while the Bible is not. The Bible has many minor textual variants, but the evidence of any doctrinal changes in negligible. The Qur'an has more evidence of corruption in light of Ubai, abrogated verses, 'Uthman, and other Qur'anic problems. However, the most drastic Qur'anic doctrinal variation, brought up by Muslims themselves, is "the daughters of Allah".


The Christian web site says, "One of the most embarrassing events in Muhammad's life occurred when Satan put his words in Muhammad's mouth. Muhammad spoke Satan's words as the word of God. This event is documented by several early Muslim scholars and referenced in the Hadith and Qur'an. Later Muslims, ashamed that their self declared prophet spoke Satan's words, denied the event occurred. A myriad of excuses and denials have been put forth by these later Muhammadans to cover up Muhammad's sinful error.

It must be pointed out again that the 'Satanic Verses' event is not something made up by non-Muslims. The event is recorded by the earliest Islamic sources available on Muhammad's life. No one should think that it is a story made up by people who are critical of Islam. It is an episode directly found in the early Islamic records.

This topic is one of the most controversial in Islam. Satan caused Muhammad to recite his words as God's words."

What Did the Qur'an Originally Say?

The Star Sura (Sura 53) verses 19-20 say, "Have ye seen Lat, and 'Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?"

Allah was prominent in Pre-Islamic Arabia, as a god with three daughters: al-Lat, al-Uzza, and Manat. (Note that al- means "the".)

The four early biographers of Mohammed wrote that they verses originally were followed by:

"These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for."

Interpretation: Allah's daughters were considered heavenly beings of intercessors. High altitude Numidian cranes were a metaphor for them. An alternate reading for "is to be hoped for" (turtaja) is "is accepted with approval" (turtada). (From Alfred Guillaume's translation of Ibn Ishaq's The Life of Mohammed p.166.

Later, this passage was taken out and the following was put in its place:

"What! For you the male sex, And for him, the female? Behold, such would be Indeed a division Most unfair." (verses 53:21-22 today)

Interpretation: Those who believed in Allah's three daughters were unfair toward Allah, since they all preferred sons yet said that Allah had only daughters.

These are what have been termed "The Satanic Verses". In modern times Salmon Rushdie used only this term as the title in his unrelated and fictional "novel", and this paper does not discuss that modern tale. As for the original Satanic verses, how can an objective Muslim or non-Muslim tell which verses were originally in? The rest of this paper gives direct and indirect evidence that the Satanic verses were originally there, and nine Muslim objections.

The Four Biographers:

Direct Evidence of the Satanic Verses

While not everything early Muslims said about Mohammed was true, Islamic scholars are more likely to accept things Mohammed said that are evidenced by three or more sources. We know of the Satanic verses not from non-Muslim sources, but from four different early Muslim scholars who were biographers of Mohammed. Note that three of the biographers documented Mohammed's life even earlier than the famous Hadith collections upon which Sunni Islam rests.

Al-Wahidi/Wakidi (died 207/823 A.D.) wrote Asbab al-Nozul. "On a certain day, the chief men of Mecca, assembled in a group beside the Kaaba, discussed as was their wont the affairs of the city; when Mahomet appeared and, seating himself by them in a friendly manner, began to recite in their hearing the 53 Sura.... 'And see ye not Lat and Ozza, and Manat the third besides?' When he had reached this verse, the devil suggested an expression of the thoughts which for many a day had possessed his soul; and put in to his mouth words of reconciliation and compromise, the revelation of which he had been longing for from God, namely; 'These are the exalted Females, and verily their intercession is to be hoped for.' The Coreish were surprised and delighted with this acknowledgement of their deities; and as Mahomet wound up the Sura with the closing words 'Wherefore bow down before God, and serve him' the whole assembly prostrated themselves with one accord on the ground and worshipped. ... In the evening Gabriel visited him; and the prophet recited the Sura unto him. And Gabriel said, 'What is this that thou has done? Thou has repeated before the people words that I never gave unto thee'. So Mahomet grieved sore, ..."

Ibn Sa'ad/Sa'd (died 230/845 A.D.), was aware of al-Wahidi's work, but he himself was a biographer who wrote a 15-volume Kitab al Tabaqat al Kabir.

Ibn Isaq/Ishaq (died 145/767 or 151/773 A.D.) was a Shafi'ite Sunni who later started his own short-lived school. He wrote Sirat Rasullallah (The Life of Allah's Prophet). "[The emigrants] remained where they were [in Ethiopia] until they heard that the people of Mecca had accepted Islam and prostrated themselves. That was because the chapter of The Star [Sura 53] had been sent down to Mohammed and the apostle recited it. Both Muslim and polytheist listened to it silently until he reached his words 'Have you seen al-Lat and al-uzza?' They gave ear to him attentively while the faithful believed [their prophet]. Some apostatized when they heard the 'saj' of the Satan and said, 'By Allah we will serve them (the cranes) so that they may bring us near to Allah'. The Satan taught these two verses to every polytheist and their tongues took to them easily. This weighed heavily upon the apostle until Gabriel came to him and complained...." (He mentions the chain of transmission as Yazid bin Ziyad -> Mohammed bin Ishaq -> Salama -> Ibn Hamid -> ibn Isaq

Ibn Jarir al-Tabari (died 923 A.D.) was a Shafi'ite Sunni who wrote a 38-volume Islamic History of the world until 915 A.D. He has been titled "the sheikh of commentators". He writes in volume 6 p.108-110, "When the messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe.... And when he came to the words: 'Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?' Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words: 'These are the high flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval [alternately: to be desired or hoped for].' When the Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced and were happy and delighted at the way in which he spoke of their gods, and they listened to him, while the Muslims, having complete trust in their prophet in respect of the message which he brought from god, did not suspect him of error, illusion, or mistake. ... Then [later] Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, 'Mohammed, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, ...'"

Later Muslim scholars who mention this are:

Œ Abu Ma'shar from Chorassan (787-885 A.H.)

 Ibn Abi Hatim

Ž Ibn al-Mundhir

 Ibn Hajar from Asqalaan (773-852 A.H)

 Ibn Mardauyah

 Musa ibn 'Uqba

 Zamakhshari's famous commentary, on Sura 22:52. (1070-1143 A.D.)

The first six are according to The Book of the Major Classes, translated by S. Moinul 'Haq.

Earlier Muslims scholars who also mentioned this are:

Ka'b al-Qurazi, one of Islam's greatest early Qur'anic scholars.

Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, an early Meccan scholar who's known as the founder of the study of the life of Muhammad. He was also Aisha's nephew and the son of Abu Bakr's daughter Asma—one of the first twenty converts to Islam.

Abu Bakr ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Harith, one of the top scholars in Islamic Law during the first century.

Abu al-Aliyah al-Basri, another of the greatest Qur'anic scholars of the first century. He studied the Qur'an with Caliph Umar, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Zayd ibn Thabit, and Ibn Abbas.  

al-Suddi, another early scholar who studied with Ibn Abbas.

Muhammad ibn al-Sa'ib al-Kalbi, an early commentator who composed the longest Tafsir that had been written up until his time.

Qatadah ibn Di'amah, one of Islam's greatest early commentators.

al-Dahhak ibn Muzahim al-Balkhi, a first century expert in Tafsir.

Ikrimah, a slave of Ibn Abbas and an expert on the life of Muhammad.

Ibn Abbas himself, the founder of Qur'anic studies.

Sa'id ibn Jubayr, one of the leading Qur'anic scholars of his time and one of the top students of Ibn Abbas. Some of Ibn Abbas's narratives go through Sa'id ibn Jubayr.

Indirect Evidence of the Satanic Verses:

The Qur'an and Bukhari Hadiths

Bukhari died around 870 A.D. (even later than three of the four sources listed.) When Mohammed spoke the Star Sura, pagans as well as Muslims bowed. (Bukhari vol.3 book 19 no.173 p.100 vol.3 book 19 no.176 p.101; vol.6 book 60 no.385-386 p.364-365; Abu Dawud vol.1 book 2 ch.481 no.1401 p.369) Pagans were not said to bow for any of Mohammed's other recitations, why would they be so agreeable to this Sura, especially since Bukhari and Abu Dawud do NOT say those pagans ever became Muslims, and this was prior to battles with these Meccan pagans!

Also, Sura 22:52 says, "Never did We send An apostle or a prophet Before thee, but, when he Framed a desire, Satan Threw some (vanity) Into his desire: but God Will cancel anything (vain) That Satan throws in, And God will confirm (And establish) His Signs;..."

Sura 17:73-75 says, "And their purpose was To tempt thee away From that which We Had revealed unto thee, To substitute in Our name Something quite different: (In that case), behold! They would certainly have Made thee (their) friend! And had We not Given thee strength, Thou wouldst nearly Have inclined to them A little. In that case We should Have made thee taste Double portion (of punishment) In this life, and an equal portion In death: and moreover Thou wouldst have found None to help thee against Us!"

Note that even though some claim Sura 17:73-75 was revealed at the time of the "Ascent of the Prophet", Tabari and Ibn Sa'd wrote that Sura 17:73-75 was revealed about the time of the Satanic verses. Muslims even have a special term for the whisperings of Satan, roughly pronounced "wiswas".

Nine Muslim Objections and Responses

Muslim Objection 1: Some Muslim scholars who were silent about the Satanic verses are Imam Muslim who wrote Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nas'ai, Ahmad bin Hanbal, and ibn Hisham.

Response: There are numerous things in one collection of Hadiths that are not in other collections. For example, the longer Bukhari Hadiths do not have the material on why to pay zakat, the punishment of hoarding, and two angels visiting a Muslim every morning as found in Sahih Muslim vol.2 ch.371 no.2205 p.484. As a second example, we know that Ibn Hisham used Bukhari, but he left out the part about the Satanic verses. In Ibn Hisham's copy of Ibn Ishaq, he said he edited out things he thought inappropriate. If he was too embarrassed to put it in, that is not proof that it did not happen.

Muslim objection 2: The alleged Satanic verses do not fit in with the rest of Sura 53.

Response: Remember that the modern part did not follow the Satanic verses, but rather replaced them. Also, there are cases where different parts of one Sura were given at different times. On one hand al-Wahidi said Mohammed recited through the closing words. On the other hand, we do not know that all of the Star Sura (53) after verse 22 was written at the same time either. Verses 51-53 appear out of place since address Mohammed personally.

Muslim objection 3: Sura 53:19-21 might have been written much earlier than the Suras which speak of the whisperings of Satan.

Response: Tabari and ibn Sa'ad say they were revealed at the same time as Sura 17:73-75. Nobody today knows for sure when many Qur'anic verses were written. On the other hand, even if it was written earlier, it would not negate what it said. If a devout Muslim really believes the Qur'an, including Suras 17:73-75 and 22:52, then they have to believe that Satan adds things to the Qur'an. John Gilchrist in Muhammed and the Religion of Islam p.120 says, "The other argument is weak in that there is no concrete proof that the first part of Surah 53 refers to the miraj [ascent of Mohammed] which followed the emigration to Abyssinia. As shown already, it almost certainly refers to one of Muhammad's initial visions, limited by the Qur'an itself to the two he had when the ministry began. Unfortunately one finds that virtually all Muslims arguments of a factual nature against this story are equally weak."

Muslim objection 4: The Satanic verses go against the core teachings of One God that Mohammed consistently taught.

Response: Mohammed has not been proven to be consistent on everything. Remember, Bukhari vol.4 book 54 ch.10 no.490 p.317, vol.4 book 53 ch.38 prior to no.400 p.266, vol.8 book 53 ch.38 no.400 p.267 record that Mohammed was actually bewitched by evil for a period of time. Furthermore, the biographers and others who recorded this were still Muslims, so these historians prove that at least some would follow Mohammed even if he spoke lies.

Muslim objection 5: Many passages in the Qur'an say Mohammed could not say any false sayings, and thus this is incompatible with the interpretation that Satan interjects things. For example,

Sura 10:15b: "Say; It is not for me, Of my own accord, To change it: I follow Naught but what is revealed unto me..."

Sura 41:42: "No falsehood can approach it From before or behind it: It is sent down By One Full of Wisdom Worthy or all Praise."

Sura 15:9: "We have, without doubt, Sent down the Message; And We will assuredly Guard it (from corruption)."

Sura 60:44-46: "If he (Messenger) were to invent any saying in our name, We should certainly have seized him by the right hand and We should then have surely cut off the artery of his heart"
Response: On one hand, it is claimed that Satan, not Mohammed invented the Satanic verses, and protection for the Qur'an does not negate a false teaching slipping in and Allah correcting it. On the other hand, if a Muslim interprets these verses as saying nothing false would ever get in a prophet's message, then regardless of the Satanic verses, this would be a contradiction of Satan's whisperings mentioned in the Qur'an.

Also, this is not the only instance of a verse of the Qur'an "disappearing completely" because it was abrogated. Sahih Muslim vol.1 ch.244 no.1433 p.329-330 is an important hadith because it shows that a verse not only was abrogated, but after it was abrogated it disappeared completely. Thus either:

a) The Qur'an on a tablet [in heaven] contained the earlier version, and the later version differs from the tablet. Qur'ans today differ from the heavenly tablet.

b) The Qur'an on a tablet in heaven contained the later version, and the earlier version differs. Thus the original recitation was given as representing the tablet in heaven when in fact that was a lie.

Which is it? The tablet [in heaven] in Sura 85:20-22 presumably is not made out of silly putty.

Muslims Objection 6: Perhaps Tabari collected information uncritically.

Response: While we have no proof of this speculation, the other three biographers also wrote of this. Two of them were definitely earlier than Tabari, so even if Tabari were found to be uncritical, that would not significantly affect anything as we still have the other three. A Muslim might wish all the early biographers of Mohammed were so severely flawed, but multiple sources indicate their accuracy.

In addition, Tabari did not accept everything uncritically. For example, in volume 1 p.532 he relates many Muslim traditions of Adam and Eve that he had learned from the people of the Torah. He quotes many of them, but says that he is cautious about the reliability of these hadiths. (From Barbara Freye Stowasser's book Woman in the Qur'an, Tradition, and Their Interpretation p.28.)

Sunni Muslim Objection 7: The authoritative hadiths do not directly mention it.

Response: Bukhari vol.3 book 19 ch.42 no.173 p.100 vol.3 book 19 ch.43 no.176 p.101; vol.6 book 60 ch.286-287 no.385-386 p.364-365; Abu Dawud vol.1 book 2 ch.481 no.1401 p.369 mention the situation of Meccans bowing when hearing Sura 53. It is difficult to otherwise explain what there was about this Sura that pagans bowed for this sura, when they bowed for no other. The Qur'an itself also mentions the "whisperings" of Satan.

Sunni Muslim Objection 8: Shaykh al-Albani, in his books on the train of transmitters of traditions, said the evidence of the Satanic verses has a bad chain of transmission (isnad).

Response: Saifullah/sverses.htm says, "Regarding al-Albani, I'm informed that these days al-Albani is discredited badly for being wrong on isnads, he even writes in one book that one is correct, and in another book, he writes that it is wrong! The book Al-Albani Unveiled by Sayf ad-Din Ahmed Ibn Muhammad Amirul Islam gives plenty of examples. The back cover states: This book is an analytical study of one of the foremost Hadith Shaykh's (Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albani) of the modern Islamic Movement known as 'Salafiya'. The author has clearly demonstrated the contradiction of Al-Albani by recoursing to the original work in Arabic (Tanaqadat al-Albani al-Wadihat), by the well-known Jordanian scholar of Hadith - Shakh Hasan ibn Ali al-Saqqaf."

Muslim Objection 9: Non-Muslims are being critical of Mohammed and Islam.

Response: This event was not made up by non-Muslims, but was documented by Muslims themselves. These devout Muslims had access to earlier sources than Muslims have today. Closing your eyes to something critical of your viewpoint, solely because it is critical of your view, is not compatible with wanting to follow the truth. Since Christians claim to teach the truth, we have a responsibility to point out a false prophet. We do not do this from hate or selfish motives, but out of love and a desire to see Muslims turn from their false teaching, turn to the real Jesus and join us in joy in Heaven with the God of truth.

Where Do You Go From Here?

Muslims themselves have not been agreed whether the Satanic words were originally in the Qur'an.

Alternative 1: What if Mohammed did in fact speak as a prophet about the intercession of the daughters of Allah? Then at the very least, that would make Mohammed for a period of time a false prophet.

Alternative 2: What if Mohammed never did speak the Satanic verses? Then all four early biographers of Mohammed agreed on an error that Mohammed was a false prophet. Some people willfully choose to follow something, even if they believe the leader spoke things of Satan. Even if this were true, what do you do with the Qur'anic verses about the whisperings of Satan Mohammed received?

Regardless, Islam teaches that Allah allows His words to be terribly twisted anyway, and Allah allows his sincere followers to learn false ways as the way of truth. This is because the Qur'an in Sura 43:44-45, indicates that all previous prophets had the same message. In fact, Sura 41:43 says that nothing was sent to Mohammed that was not also sent to earlier prophets. Thus for a Muslim, either

a) Allah allowed His corrupt message prior to this,

b) Or it is the Qur'an that is a corrupted message.

Either way, says Islam, Allah cannot be trusted to preserve his Word from big doctrinal changes.

Be Trusting of God

God Almighty has the power to preserve His message. People should be more trusting of God.

Be trusting that God has preserved His word. Sura 5:46-48 says that Jesus confirmed the Torah (in His time], God sent the Scripture to Jews and Christians, and even in Mohammed's time they could test the truth by it. Suras 3:48 and 5:110-111 show the Jesus had the Torah and the Gospel. Jesus' disciples were also inspired. In the Bible, Isaiah 59:21; 40:8; Ps. 119:89 show God's word stands firm forever. His Word was originally without any error, and it is preserved infallibly (without significant error) up to today. (Isa. 55:11; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Psalm 119:89,91,144,160).

Be trusting that God wants you to follow the truth and come to Him. God desires that none perish (Ezekiel 18:23,32; 2 Peter 3:9). All are to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

Do not be trusting of mortal man. Do not trust others who would turn you from God. In fact, do not be wise in your own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). Rather, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6) Do you trust God to make your paths straight if you acknowledge Him?

Trust in Jesus; He is from God and God's message is preserved. Jesus is no thief or robber (John 10:8-10). Trust that Jesus gave His life as a ransom (Matthew 20:28), to be a sin offering (Romans 8:3), through His blood shed on the cross (Heb. 10:19).

Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). "... 'Everyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame'" (Romans 10:11). So trust God, and trust that He guides faithfully. He did not tolerate His eternal word to be corrupted, so the Bible is reliable. Turn your life to Christ, and He will give you peace and comfort.

claim that "have you not heard" can only be derogatory, I cited a verse from the Qur'an that uses the phrase with "clear proof from God," and I said that the Qur'an can't be speaking negatively about clear proof from God. In response to his claim that Muslims never lived in Abyssinia during the Meccan period, I said that this is a well known fact of Muslim history. Then I gave a list of eight sources that report the Satanic Verses, and I noted the verse in al-Bukhari which confirms the event (which refuted his claim that the event can't be located in the Hadith). 

Ka'b al-Qur azi was one of Islam's greatest early Qur'anic scholars.

Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, an early Meccan scholar who's known as the founder of the study of the life of Muhammad. He was also Aisha's nephew, Abu Bakr's grandson, and the son of Abu Bakr's daughter Asma—one of the first twenty converts to Islam.

Abu Bakr ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Harith, one of the top scholars in Islamic Law during the first century.

Abu al-Aliyah al-Basri, another of the greatest Qur'anic scholars of the first century. He studied the Qur'an with Caliph Umar, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Zayd ibn Thabit, and Ibn Abbas.  

al-Suddi, another early scholar who studied with Ibn Abbas.

Muhammad ibn al-Sa'ib al-Kalbi, an early commentator who composed the longest Tafsir that had been written up until his time.

Qatadah ibn Di'amah, one of Islam's greatest early commentators.

al-Dahhak ibn Muzahim al-Balkhi, a first century expert in Tafsir.

Ikrimah, a slave of Ibn Abbas and an expert on the life of Muhammad.

Ibn Abbas himself, the founder of Qur'anic studies.

Sa'id ibn Jubayr, one of the leading Qur'anic scholars of his time and one of the top students of Ibn Abbas. Some of Ibn Abbas's narratives go through Sa'id ibn Jubayr.


Shahab dissertation p.17

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-- Edited by Admin on Sunday 22nd of July 2018 12:20:29 PM

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