Should peace efforts be based on Muhammad's Islam or Adnan Oktar's?

One must differentiate between Muslims and their faith. And their faith does not leave room for loving Jews.

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby,

Dr. Stephen Kirby
Dr. Stephen Kirby
INN:SK

I appreciated Adnan Oktar responding to my first article about his book Bigotry: The Dark Danger.  As I had pointed out in that article, Mr. Oktar, meaning well and sincerely striving for peace, seemed to be playing Fantasy Islam:

Fantasy Islam: A game in which an audience of non-Muslims wish with all their hearts that Islam was a “Religion of Peace,” and a Muslim strives to fulfill that wish by presenting a personal version of Islam that has little foundation in Islamic Doctrine.

Unfortunately, in his response he continues to play that game and present his own version of Islam.

Differentiating Between Muslims and Islam

Mr. Oktar stated:

Stephen Kirby seems oddly intent on convincing himself and anyone he can find that Muslims cannot love Jews and that peace between these two faiths is impossible. It seems that clear facts and evidence don't have any effect on the way his mind works.

Mr. Oktar conflated Muslims and Jews with their respective religions.  Muslims and Jews come in all degrees of devotion and adherence to their respective religions; some are very devout while others are only nominal in their faiths.  Some are even Muslim/Jewish-in-name-only and have nothing to do with their faiths.  So I would never claim, or try to convince anyone that Muslims cannot love Jews.  It is up to the individual Muslim.

But Islam is the “faith” of Muslims.  Clear facts and evidence found in the Koran show us that Allah says the Jews are among the worst enemies of the Muslims (5:82) and he forbids Muslims from being friends with Jews (5:51).  Allah curses Jews (9:30), commands Muslims to fight them (9:29), and says that the Jews are among the worst of creatures (98:6).

Clear evidence and facts show us that individual Muslims are perfectly free to love Jews, but it is Islam that prohibits it.

So-called “Fake” Hadiths

On p. 81 of his book Bigotry: The Dark Danger, Mr. Oktar stated that the

religion of the fanatics lies in traditions and superstition spread by word of mouth, but mainly in fabricated hadiths, which have been invented but presented as the words of our Prophet (pbuh).

And in his book he listed many hadiths that he considered to be fabricated.

In his recent article, he stated that my “one supposed weapon against Islam” consisted of hadiths which he claims are “fake.”  But the examples of “fake” hadiths from his book that I used in my article are actual hadiths largely found in sources that are listed among “the traditional Sunni Islamic Canon” by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC)[1].  If Mr. Oktar really thinks these particular hadiths are “fake,” then he needs to take the matter up with the folks at the Centre.

Only the Koran

In his article Mr. Oktar wrote:

In another attempt to make the hadiths look credible, he [Kirby] says that not everything is explained in the Qur'an. He is once again wrong as God says that the Qur'an is sufficient and Muslims will be responsible only for the Qur'an:

He then lists three verses to support his claim that Muslims are responsible only to the Koran: 12:111, 16:89, and 7:52.

It is interesting that he chose to use the last half of 16:89:

We have revealed the Book (Qur'an) to you explaining clearly everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit. (Qur'an, 16/89)

The 14th Century Tafsir Ibn Kathir, listed among the RISSC’s traditional Sunni Islamic Canon, explained this verse:

Al-Awza’i said: “And We have revealed the Book (the Qur’an) as an explanation of everything,” meaning, with the Sunnah.[2]

The Sunnah is the Way of Muhammad, consisting of the examples, ways, and teachings of Muhammad that have become rules to be followed by Muslims.  The authoritative hadith collections listed by RISSC are a major source for the Sunnah.

The 20th Century Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan provided a similar explanation:

Moreover, it [the Koran] contains the Law, that is, what is permissible and what is forbidden, the injunctions and the interdictions, and all that which relates to man’s temporal and spiritual life.  All these details are to be found in the Qur’an and hadeeths [my emphasis].[3]

So here we have two Koran commentaries stating that in order for “everything” to be understood, one must consult both the Koran and the Sunnah.

And as I noted in an earlier article, Allah specifically commands Muslims to obey and follow the Sunnah:

He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah...            (4:80)

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.          (33:21)

...And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).  And fear Allah; verily, Allah is Severe in punishment. (59:7)

In that same article I also pointed out that even Oktar’s prophet Muhammad said there was more to Islam than just the Koran:

Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I have left two things with you.  As long as you hold fast to them, you will not go astray.  They are the Book of Allah and the sunna [sic] of His Prophet.[4]

This hadith is found in Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas, also listed among “the traditional Sunni Islamic Canon” by RISSC.

Mr. Oktar wrote that I had claimed that

ablution, pilgrimage or prayer are not explained in the Qur'an, demonstrating a lack of knowledge [on my part] about the Holy Book of the Muslims.

Mr. Oktar then listed verses of the Koran that explained and confirmed “those practices.”

Here is what I had actually written:

But there are things required of Muslims that are not specifically mentioned in the Koran.  A prime example of this is what a Muslim is expected to do during each cycle of prayer.  For that one must turn to the teachings and examples of Muhammad.  Muhammad said,

offer your Salat (prayers) in the way you saw me offering my Salat (prayer).[5]

And in terms of what is to be done during Hajj, Muslims are expected to following [sic] the teachings and examples of Muhammad (Hajj Mabrur), which is not in the Koran either.  Adding in the procedures for ablution, again demonstrated by Muhammad and not in the Koran, we can see that there is a lot about Islam that is not in the Koran. 

With regard to prayer, the Koran certainly does list verses dealing with prayer.  But as I had pointed out, there are details about the cycles of prayer that are not in the Koran.  For example, a rak’ah is the basic cycle of prayer and includes standing, bowing, and prostration.  The Koran does not specify when or how often these are to take place during the prayer; the Sunnah does.

With regard to the Hajj, there are numerous verses in the Koran about it.  But the Koran does not explain a number of things, including: 1) The miqats, the places at which pilgrims assume a state of physical and spiritual purification to begin the Hajj; 2) Hajj is required only once in a lifetime; and 3) The garments worn by pilgrims.  The Sunnah explains these things and more.  It was well summed up in an article about Muhammad’s Farewell Pilgrimage:

The Muslims learned the rituals of the hajj from the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said: "Take your rituals from me." His hajj was full of laws pertaining to the Shari'ah, especially matters pertaining to the hajj, and general advice and laws which were mentioned in the Sermon of Arafat. For this reason, the scholars showed great interest in the farewell pilgrimage and derived many laws from it, dealing with the rituals of hajj and other matters…

With regard to ablution, the Koran does mention it in 4:43 and 5:6.  But the Koran does not go into details such as rinsing out one’s mouth and how to clean one’s nose; the Sunnah does.

So in spite of Mr. Oktar’s claim, the Koran itself states that Muslims are expected to follow the Sunnah, which is found largely in the authoritative hadith collections from which I have quoted.  And we have some examples of where the Sunnah is the only source for certain information.

Hadiths have “to be in compliance” with the Koran

Mr. Oktar has repeatedly stated that for a hadith to be genuine it has to be “in compliance” with the Koran.  I have already pointed out that hadiths he considers “fake” have actually come from works considered to be a part of “the traditional Sunni Islamic Canon.”  Here I will show that the five hadiths I used in my previous article are in compliance with the message of the Koran; each hadith is followed by some Koran verses, sometimes used more than once as they are compliant with several hadiths, showing that compliance.

This first hadith is referring to the fact, reported in multiple Muslim sources, that after the Muslims defeated the Jewish Banu Quraizah tribe, Muhammad supervised the beheading of 600-900 captured Jewish males, combatants and non-combatants.  The only prerequisite for execution was that they had reached puberty.

IIt was narrated from Sufyan: “Abdul-Malik bin ‘Umair narrated to us; “Atiyyah Al-Qurazi narrated to me, he said: I was among the captives of Banu Quraizah, and they examined (us).  Those whose pubes had started to grow were executed, and those whose pubes had not started to grow were not executed.  I was among those whose pubes had not started to grow.”[6]       

4:101 – The disbelievers (non-Muslims) are ever to you open enemies.

5:82 – Jews are among the worst enemies of the Muslims.

8:57 – If you gain mastery over them, punish them severely in order to disperse those behind them.

8:67 – It is not for a Prophet to have prisoners until he has made a great slaughter in the land.

9:30 – Allah curses Jews.

9:123 – Fight disbelievers and let them find harshness in you.  Also 9:14, 9:73, 48:29, and 66:9.

98:6 – Jews are among the worst of creatures and will abide in Hell.

II:  Narrated Abu Musa: Allah's Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups...Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains.  Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people?  They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours.  He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians; then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.[7]

3:85 – The only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam.

9:28 – Non-Muslims are impure.

9:30 – Allah curses Jews and Christians.

9:33 and 48:28 – Islam is to be made superior over all other religions.

98:6 – Jews and Christians are among the worst of creatures and will abide in Hell.

III: It has been narrated by 'Umar b. Al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) saying: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.[8]

3:85 – The only religion acceptable to Allah is Islam.

9:33 and 48:28 – Islam is to be made superior over all other religions.

IVAbu Huraira reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.[9]

5:51 – Allah forbids Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians.

5:82 – Jews are among the worst enemies of the Muslims.

9:30 – Allah curses Jews and Christians.

98:6 – Jews and Christians are among the worst of creatures and will abide in Hell.

V: Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them will [sic] the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.[10]

4:101 – The disbelievers (non-Muslims) are ever to you open enemies.

5:82 – Jews are among the worst enemies of the Muslims.

8:57 – If you gain mastery over them, punish them severely in order to disperse those behind them.

8:67 – It is not for a Prophet to have prisoners until he has made a great slaughter in the land.

9:30 – Allah curses Jews.

9:123 – Fight disbelievers and let them find harshness in you.  Also 9:14, 9:73, 48:29, and 66:9.

98:6 – Jews are among the worst of creatures and will abide in Hell.

So we can see that not only are these hadiths from authoritative sources, but they are also in compliance with the message of the Koran.

Conclusion

Mr. Oktar and I appear to have a common interest in there being peace between Jews and Muslims.  Our major difference is that I think efforts to achieve such peace need to be based on the Islam of Muhammad; Mr. Oktar appears to think it can be based on his own version of Islam.

And until such time as Mr. Oktar gets his obvious differences over authenticity issues worked out with the folks at the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, I’ll continue to rely on the Centre, not Mr. Oktar, for authoritative sources.

Sources:

[1]              The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2016, The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Amman, Jordan, p. 24.

[2]              Abu Al-Fida' 'Imad Ad-Din Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir Al-Qurashi Al-Busrawi, Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), trans. Jalal Abualrub, et al. (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2000), Vol. 5, p. 511.

[3]              Salahuddin Yusuf, Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, trans. Mohammad Kamal Myshkat (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2010), Vol. 3, p. 236.

[4]              Malik ibn Anas ibn Malik ibn Abi 'Amir al-Asbahi, Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik ibn Anas: The First Formulation of Islamic Law, trans. Aisha Abdurrahman Bewley (Inverness, Scotland: Madinah Press, 2004), 46.3.

[5]              Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah Al-Bukhari, Sahih Al-Bukhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 1997), Vol. 8, Book 78, No. 6008, p. 35.

[6]              Abu Dawud Sulaiman bin Al-Ash'ath bin Ishaq, Sunan Abu Dawud, trans. Yaser Qadhi (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2008), Vol. 5, No. 4404, p. 45.  Oktar referred to this as Hadith No. 4390.

[7]              110 Ahadith Qudsi: Sayings of the Prophet Having Allahs Statements, 3rd ed., trans. Syed Masood-ul-Hasan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2006), No. 8, titled Superiority of the believers in the Oneness of Allah and the punishment of Jews and Christians, pp. 19-20.

[8]              Abu'l Hussain 'Asakir-ud-Din Muslim bin Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naisaburi, Sahih Muslim, trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqi (New Delhi: Adam Publishers and Distributors, 2008), Vol. 5, No. 1767, p. 189.

[9]              Sahih Muslim, Vol. 6, No. 2167, p. 439.  Oktar referred to this as Hadith No. 5389.

[10]            Sahih Muslim, Vol. 8, No. 2922, p. 349.




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