What they have written:
Here are reproduce the statement from a notorious site;
"According to al-Tabari,
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. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed out, and he debated within himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed:
By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire . . .
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. (Al-Tabari, p. 108)"
The polytheists were delighted that Muhammad had at last approved of their gods. To return the kindness, they "prostrated themselves because of the reference to their gods which they had heard, so that there was no one in the mosque, believer or unbeliever, who did not prostrate himself" (p. 109).
Muhammad’s friendly relations with the polytheists were short-lived, however, for he soon learned that his verses praising pagan idols came not from God, but from Satan. Saddened to recognize his treachery against Allah, Muhammad lamented: "I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken" (p. 111). Yet "Gabriel" comforted Muhammad, informing him that all prophets fall for Satan’s tricks from time to time. This staggering and unbelievable claim even found its way into the Qur’an:
"And We did not send before you any apostle or prophet, but when he desired, the Shaitan made a suggestion respecting his desire; but Allah annuls that which the Shaitan casts, then does Allah establish His communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise." (Surah 22:52)"
1-About the Book, Tarikh ar-Rusul wal-Maluk, commonly known as Tarikh al-Tabari:
First of all we ought to know that Tarikh al-Tabari is not a Hadith book but only a history book thus its authenticity level is far below than any Hadith book. Infact it is one of the earlier books giving much raw material about the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and generations immediately after him. Everything in it is not necessarily true. Imam Tabari himself writes in his preface (Muqaddama) to the book.
"Let him who examines this book of mine know that I have relied, as regards everything I mention therein which I stipulate to be described by me, solely upon what has been transmitted to me by way of reports which I cite therein and traditions which I ascribe to their narrators, to the exclusion of what may be apprehended by rational argument or deduced by the human mind, except in very few cases. This is because knowledge of the reports of men of the past and of contemporaneous views of men of the present do not reach the one who has not witnessed them nor lived in their times except through the accounts of reporters and the transmission of transmitters, to the exclusion of rational deduction and mental inference. Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us." (Tarikh al-Tabari Vol.1 page 3)
He has only rendered what he heard and he left it to us, the readers, to examine the truth of statements through internal & external examination and rational testing.
Now let’s try to read that words which according to this story Holy Prophet (PBUH) allegedly recited with its context. The words in blue are the words which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) allegedly recited;
"Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza, And another, the third (goddess), Manat?" "These are exalted goddesses; indeed their intercession may be accepted." "What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female? Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair! These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire! - Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!" (Al-Quran 53:19-23 with that supposed statement inserted)
Now any one can observe, unless he is a cynic, that these words no where fit in the context. How it be that first those pagan deities are praised and in the very next verse condemned that you attribute females to God? And if the story is true than were all the ever criticizing Pagans of Quraysh out of their senses that they prostrated along with Muhammad on the premise that he had praised their deities? What non-sense can be greater than this? This passage if read along with those alleged verses spoken by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is meaning less.
Now this incident happened just after the Emigration to Abyssinia that took place in the 5th year after the Holy Prophet (PBUH) announced his prophethood. And it was then when these verses of Surah an-Najam (#53) were revealed. (Maududi's Introduction to Surah 53)
And the verses of Surah Asraa, # 17, (also called Surah Bani Israel) i.e. verses # 73-75, in which as per the story the Holy Prophet was admonished, were obviously revealed after the incident of Mir'aj (Ascension to the Heavens) that took place in the 12th year after the Prophetic Call. (Maududi's Introduction to Surah 17)
And the verses of Surah al-Hajj (22:52) mentioned in the story wherein as it says the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was consoled later, were revealed in the first year after Hijrah. (Maududi's Introduction to Surah 22)
Now if we believe this whole account then it means that Holy Prophet (PBUH)-God Forbid-praised and worshiped the idols and so did his companions in 5th year of the prophetic Call and they were admonished some 6 years later in the year 12th year of the prophetic call and when Holy Prophet (PBUH) felt sorry for all this he was consoled again some two and half years later in the 1st year of Hijrah. Can anything be more ridiculous then this? Is it anyway possible?
And interestingly we don’t find any other such incident in which Holy Prophet (PBUH) or his companions ever uttered even a single soft word for the pagans or their deities before being admonished by ALLAH 6 years later. Do you remember what you read right in the beginning?
Just in case you don’t remember again see, Imam Tabari wrote;
"Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us."
4-What really happened and how the story got narrated?
Actually what happened was only what is recorded in Authentic Hadith books like Bukhari etc. where we read;
Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet (pbuh) prostrated while reciting An-Najm and with him prostrated the Muslims, the pagans, the jinns, and all human beings. (Bukhari, Book 19, Hadith 177)
Infact it was the eloquence and beauty of the Quran depicting its Divine Origin that made the pagans of Makkah to spontaneously fall down in prostration, on hearing the last verse of Surah 53.
"But fall ye down in prostration to Allah, and adore (Him)!"
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions prostrated as they were commanded so in the verse.
After the incident took place the Quraish later realized what they had done by prostrating on hearing the Glorious Quran. Now to hide their 'guilt' they concocted this story that Muhammad infact spoke something in favour of their deities and thus they agreed to make a patch-up. This was a really hypocrisy and sham that has been unveiled through internal and external examination of this fabricated story.
All these points are so strong and quieting that we need not to look for the reliability of its narrators as this cant be true in any case no matter how strong the chain of narrators may be. But only to give another blow to already fragile references of Christians who use this story let us have a look on the opinions of great scholars about its line of transmission;
Ibn Kathir said; ‘All the links of this Tradition are unauthentic and I have found no correct version of this with continuous links.’ (Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir 5/441-442)
Shaukani says, ‘There is nothing true in it and none of its links is proved.’ (Fath al-Qadeer 5/128)
Ibn Jawzi says: ‘This is not correct.’ (Zaad al-Muyassar 4/391)
When Ibn Khuzaimah was asked about it, he said, "This story has been invented by heretics". (Tafsir al-Raazi 11/134)
Baihaqi said; "This story has not been proved to be correct by the rules of reporting". (Tafsir a-Raazi 11/135)
Qazi `Ayad says, "The very fact that this tradition is neither contained in any of the authentic collections of Hadith nor has it been related in an authentic way by authentic reporters shows its weakness". (Al-Shifa 2/125)
Besides them, Imam Razi (in his Tafsir 11/135), Qazi Abu Bakr Ibn al-`Arabi (Al-Shifa 2/126), Alusi (in his Tafsir 13/99) etc. have rejected it altogether.
6-On the other two verses in the story:
Now some one may say that why than in other two verses Prophet Muhammad has been reproved and then later given a sort of consolation? Let us examine the other two verses as well so that we chase the evil to its utter helplessness.
According to the story Holy prophet was given a reproof in Surah 17 verses 73-75. the verse are;
"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 an equal portion (of punishment) in this life, and an equal portion in death: and moreover thou wouldst have found none to help thee against Us!" (Al-Quran 17:73-75)
This simply refers to the fact that the Quraish tried to tempt the Holy Prophet with worldly things so that he may become some what soft towards their disbelief just as they tried it when they send their delegation to his uncle Abi Talib but infact got the most resolute answer that;
"Even if they put Sun on my right hand and Moon on the left I'll not renounce my Message."
Then ALLAH tells him that the resolution shown on your part was also granted by ALLAH. And if you had fallen into their trap you would have erred and given a severe reproof. Now what most important here is "And had We not given thee strength thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little." This part of the verse explicitly rules out the notion that he anytime actually fell into their trap. This is plain enough to understand that with ALLAH's help never did he yield to any temptation and he was able to remain firm only with ALLAH's help who is the Greatest and the Most Glorious. This verse has indeed nothing to do with this fabricated story.
Further the fabricated story says that having being reproved the Holy Prophet was much grieved and sad and was later somewhat consoled by ALLAH Almighty in the following words of Surah Hajj;
"Never did We send a messenger or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom:" (Al-Quran 22:52)
The Significant Arabic word here is "Tamanna" about which eminent scholar Maulana Maududi writes in his commentary Tafhim-ul-Quran;
"The Arabic word tamanna has two meanings: "desire" and "to recite" something. If the first meaning is taken, it will imply: "Satan tried to prevent the fulfillment of his desire." If the second meaning is taken, it will imply: "When the Prophet recited the Revelations, Satan created different sorts of doubts about its truth and meanings in the minds of the people." If the first meaning is adopted, it will imply: "Allah fulfils the Prophet's desire and makes his Mission successful in spite of the obstacles of Satan and confirms the truth of His Revelations by fulfilling His promises to the Prophet". In case of the second meaning, it will imply: "Allah eradicates all the doubts and objections inspired by Satan in the hearts of the people and clarifies the confusion created about any verse of the Qur'an in subsequent Revelations".
This again proves that this verse also has no special relation with the story in question.
All these above points prove that the story is absolutely baseless and fabricated. Some earlier people did put into writing but they did subject its acceptance to rational examination & internal and external criticism which as we have seen prove its being fabricated & baseless.
8-Why Christians refer to such baseless traditions:
Actually the fact is that Christians try to prove that Jesus (peace be upon him) is God Incarnate. When they can’t do so even from their own book of authority, the Bible, they get frustrated. And ever-increasing number of reverts to Islam and homage paid to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) & Islam by some of their people frustrates them further. Then in order to deviate the attention of people and in vain attempts to get rid of their frustration they start speaking and yelling obscenities against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Islam and while doing so they use such baseless and dirty arguments which only proves that they are Devil Incarnates.
NOW LET ME TURN THE TABLES!!
We Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be Last & Final Messenger & Prophet of ALLAH. What these Christians are trying to do is to refute his status as Prophet of God by referring to such baseless stories. (I'll wish if someday some Christian ventures to argue me on this further).
Now let us make a counter argument;
Christians believe that Jesus (Peace be upon him) was God, a Divine Being. Now in the Bible we read that;
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."(Matthew 4:1) & "Being forty days tempted of the devil."(Luke 4:2)
Though he didn't fall into the trap of the Devil but he was tempted. No Christian can challenge this for it is in his own book of Authority. We Muslims don't even say this. Its Bible. And about God we know that Bible says;
"God cannot be tempted with evil." (James 1:13)
Now reading these three verses makes it clear that even according to the Bible Jesus (peace be upon him) is not God for God cannot be tempted with evil and Jesus was, according to the gospels, tempted of evil.
Remember Jesus (PBUH) said; "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
THE FACT IS THAT IT’S BIBLE WHICH REFUTES ELEMENTARY CHRISTIAN BELIEFS.
INDEED ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST!
....by Waqar Akbar Cheema