Editor's Note: We have removed some words that cast aspersions on Dr. Kirby, as if he is against peace. He is only against what he feels is the incorrect use of the Koran in attempts to show it is pro-Jews and Christians. Dr. Kirby responds to the accusations that he relies on what the writer claims below are false hadiths in another article that quotes the Koran itself and links to his previous articles on the subject.
Arutz Sheva’s website has been home to some interesting exchanges over the past few weeks.
After my article that explained how according to the Qur'an, there can be no enmity towards the Jews, several articles by expert on Islam, Dr. Stephen Kirby, were published, all determinedly set on claiming that this is not the case.
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.
In truth, Dr. Kirby is not alone in his endeavors. There are indeed quite a few people who, for reasons best known to themselves, choose to propagate an insurmountable prejudice towards the Qur'an and the religion of Islam, no matter how much evidence they are shown to the contrary.
Seeing this strange effort, one can’t help but wonder if these individuals are a part of some concerted effort designed to strengthen Islamophobia around the world.
Regardless of the reasons behind this picture one thing is certain: These efforts will assuredly fail. And our efforts for peace, our desire to bring love will surely win. This is what has invariably happened throughout history and will happen again.
Looking at his article and how he attempted to challenge the facts, one thing becomes obvious: Mr. Kirby tries desperately to cling to his one supposed weapon against Islam; hadiths which we claim are fake. There was no other way he could attempt to do that, since there are no grounds in the Qur'an for his obvious opposition to the religion of Islam. Interestingly, as we continued to refer to the Qur'an, he continued to refer to these hadiths and historical accounts that contradict the Qur'an. However, as we have explained so many times before, if something contradicts the Qur'an, it is not true, not to be followed, abided by or believed in by a Muslim.
Nevertheless, let us take this opportunity to further clarify certain points and strengthen the bridge of peace we began to build. Mr. Kirby started explaining how the hadiths were formed, saying that the hadiths were formed centuries after the demise of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). Normally this fact alone would be sufficient to make an unbiased and objective person seriously doubt the reliability of words that are attributed to a person that lived centuries ago. Yet, he is not even stirred by the fact that those hadiths believed to be genuine by some hadith scholars are refuted by others. (Please see here for a detailed explanation) As he tries to show the hadiths as the source of Islam, there is one glaring fact he persistently ignores: the Qur'an is the sole guide for a Muslim, so much so, only what is preached in the Qur'an is indisputable. If a hadith is in agreement with the Qur’an, then we can consider this as true. If a hadith that refers to the future has already come about, then it is also true. If, however, the hadith in question conflicts with the Qur’an, then there is no room for doubt; that hadith cannot be regarded as true.
In another attempt to make the hadiths look credible, he 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:
‘… This (Qur'an) is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Qur'an, 12/111)
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)
And certainly We have brought them a Book (Qur'an) which We have made clear with knowledge, a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe. (Qur'an, 7/52)
He claims that ablution, pilgrimage or prayer are not explained in the Qur'an, demonstrating a lack of knowledge about the Holy Book of the Muslims. In fact, these practices are well explained in the Qur'an (please see below). Furthermore, prayer is an ancient religious observation that is also referred to in the Torah and the Gospel; for thousands of years, it has been observed in the same way. The Qur'an confirmed those practices with the following verses:
Prayer (the Holy Qur'an: 2/144, 17/110, 2/238, 17/78, 11/114, 2/43, 2/125, among others)
Ablution (the Holy Qur'an: 5/6)
Pilgrimage (the Holy Qur'an: 2/196, 2/203, 3/97, 22/27-28)
He believes that verses where God commands Muslims to obey the Messenger could prove his point. Muslims are of course obliged to obey the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), who is obeying the Qur'an only, as he would do or say nothing that strayed from the Qur'an. Please see the following verse:
If he had made up any sayings and ascribed them to Us, We would have seized him by force, and then We would have cut off his life-blood and not one of you could have protected him. (Qur'an, 69/40-47)
One point worth mentioning is how he erroneously claims that I have said something in my book, which I haven’t: “‘But as you read through Oktar’s book, you find that for him to consider a hadith legitimate, it has to be not only in agreement with the Koran, but the subject matter of that hadith needs to be specifically mentioned in the Koran.’”
Anyone reading my book will find that I have never said ‘the subject matter of the hadith needs to be specifically mentioned in the Qur'an’. What I have repeatedly said is that in order for us Muslims to believe that a hadith is genuine, it has to be in compliance with the Qur'an. We don't assess the hadiths based on the criteria of their subject being discussed in the Qur'an or not. If there is a hadith, and if it preaches something that is against the Qur'an, then it is inaccurate.
Mr. Kirby then went on to narrate a notorious story that is frequently rehashed by Islamophobes of all stripes. To repeat our point one more time, we Muslims accept only the Qur'an and only those hadiths that are in line with the Qur’an; anything that goes against the Qur'an, including those hadiths or historical accounts, is wrong and is therefore invalid for Muslims. Furthermore, if he wishes to refer to history, he can look at the Constitution of Medina dictated by the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) as the first written and a genuinely democratic constitution and the Treaty with the Najran Jews. These documents both showed exemplary protection of the rights of the Jews by the Muslims.
Also the compassion and gentle character of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is a famous historical fact, accepted by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. By claiming that the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) carried out acts in violation of the Qur'an and his own gentle nature serves to cast further doubt as to Mr. Kirby’s credibility.
Mr. Kirby concluded his article with a list of all the fake hadiths that preach anti-Jewish sentiment. We are working to solve the problem of fake hadiths with the true religion of the Qur'an; the religion of peace and brotherhood. The hadiths he is referring to are not genuine as they are against the Qur'an. Regrettably, those fake hadiths lead a majority of Muslims down a path that God doesn't approve of. We know that only the Qur'an can save them from this dark path and only the Qur'an can pave the way for peace.
Anyone supporting peace between the Abrahamic religions should be the defender of this truth and act in concert with the Muslims obeying the Qur'an only. Indeed, despite relentless pushback and resistance from opposite views, those who seek love, peace and conciliation will continue to connect and set the stage for peace in the world.