Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Bukhara

The mainstream Islam story: How the divine message was handed over to Prophet Muhammad?

I am recounting the stories of early Moslems on how the Prophet Muhammad received the grace to spread the message of Islam, delivered by Ibn Hisham, Wahb bin Kaissan, and Bukhara.

Muhammad used to join his uncle, (the Patriarch of a Christian-Jewish sect in Mecca), during Ramadan and fast and pray for 30 days every year in the cave of Ghar Hira2. Muhammad visited this cave for 15 years, in the company of his Patriarch uncle Warkat bin Nawfal bin Abd 3ezza.

One day, Muhammad was about 40 in age, and as he was heading alone to the cave, he started hearing “al salam 3aleika ya rasul allah” (peace be with you, o messenger of God). Muhammad would look around in disarray and see only rocks and small trees. As Muhammad sat listening and looking, Archangel Gabriel (Jibreel) appeared saluted Muhammad.

Archangel Gabriel said: “Read

And Muhammad would reply “I am not reading”.  This conversation was repeated three times and Gabriel said: “Read in the name of your God (rabbika) who created, created man from mud, read and your God is the most benefactor…” Read means spread the message in this sentence.

Muhammad returned home shivering and demanded from his wife Khadija to cover him tight.

After Muhammad regained his composure, he told Khadija what has happened and said that he got scared for his life.  Khadija replied: “Do not worry. God is on your side and seeks your safety, and God expects from you to shoulder the burden and keep helping the downtrodden…”

Khadija accompanied Muhammad to Patrirach Warkat who was studiously transcribing from the “Hebrew New Testament” to the Arabic Kuraich dialect. The Patriarch listened and said: “What you heard is the identical message that Moses (Moussa) heard. No one else received that glory and I am fully supporting you new message...”

The Patriarch lived for another 4 years and continued translating the Bible particular to his sect, and Muhammad aided him in the translation and also receiving the message from Gabriel.

Gabriel showed up or handed down the verses 20 years to Muhammad: 13 years while Muhammad was in Mecca and 7 years during his stay in Medina (yathreb) where Muhammad established the first Islamic City-State.

In the last couple of months before Muhammad’s death, Gabriel ceased to appear to Muhammad.

The Prophet used to revise and edit the Surats on Ramadan every year and edit and shuffle around the verses within the Surats.

As one major tribe allied to his message, Muhammad translated the verses to the particular Arabic dialect of the tribe so that the tribe members feel comfortable reading and listening to the message. All in all, it is reported that the verses were translated to seven various Arabic dialects, until the third caliph Othman bin Affan codified and unified the Coran into the Kuraich dialect, whenever that was appropriate.

Note 1: Khadija was a close relative to the Patriarch who encouraged her to marry Muhammad who was 25 year-old, and about 7 years younger than her.  Khadija was twice widowed from rich traders and she was very wealthy and dispatched caravans to Damascus and Iraq.  Muhammad was orphaned since the age of 10 and his uncle Abi Taleb (father of Ali) adopted him. As a member of Khadija clan, Muhammad worked for Khadija and lead caravans.

Note 2: The early refusal of Muhammad to engage into spreading a new message is understandable: He was a respected rich member in Mecca, had three daughters and his son died at the age of two. Muhammad didn’t see the reason for instituting a new message since his uncle Warakat had already the message, written in a holy book that Muhammad believed in it and all its stories.

Note 3: The verses in the Coran in the first 13 years are practically transliteration of the holy book that Muhammad was very familiar with.  The remaining verses of the Medina period focused on the laws, the administrative, and management responsibilities for a community of Moslems and the endeavor of disseminating the message to all the Arabic Peninsula.

Note 4: The Empire of Byzantium had banned all versions of the New Testaments around the year 325, except four.  The scores of Christian-Jewish sects in Syria, Egypt, and Palestine had to flee to Iraq (under the Persian Empire) and beyond, and to the Arabic Peninsula, and read in their particular holy books.

Note 5: Among the close scribs who followed the Prophet and recorded the verses and wrote their own version of the Coran are: Salem Bin Ma3kal, Abdullah Bin Abbas, 3akaba bin 3amer, Mekdad bin Omar (disseminated his version in Homs), Abi bin Abi Taleb, Abi Moussa Ash3ary (disseminated his version in Basra), Ubay bin Ka3b (disseminated his version in Medina), Abdullah bin Massoud, Aicha (the most beloved wife and daughter of first caliph Abu Bakr), Hafsa (wife of the Prophet and daughter of second caliph Omar bin Khattab)…

Democracy in Islam: What kinds? (Mar. 23, 2010)

A little history to preparing the ground for understanding whether the appreciation of modern kinds of democracy is within Moslem traditions and customs.  The third caliph of the Moslems, Othman Bin Affan, started his reign well.  The pressures from Mecca oligarchic clans in his Quraich tribe encouraged Othman to appointing most governors and high posts officials from his own clan of Umayyad.  Thus,  discontent grew drastically; to make things worse, Othman built a lavish Palace in Medina (less than 25 years after the Prophet death in this city where he was buried).  Aicha (the youngest and most beloved of spouses) got wind that the political climate is deteriorating and opted not to intervene politically at this junction and gave the excuse of going on pilgrimage to Mecca:  People knew that she didn’t appreciate the fraudulent lies that this caliph introduced to the official Koran.

While in Mecca, angry mob coming from Basra (Iraq) entered the palace and assassinated Othman.  Aicha demanded from the newly designated Caliph Ali Bin Abi Taleb to put the assassins to trial but Ali didn’t react immediately.  While in Mecca, Aicha was approached by many Quraichi leaders such as Talhat and Zubeir (from the tribes of Othman); they managed to incite Aicha to take the lead and to march against Ali.

Aicha emulated the same tactics as the Prophet did before any military excursion: She drummed up support in the city of Bassora, negotiated with notables, explained the reasons of her dangerous move (it was to be the first civil war in Islam) and she opened free discussions for people to express their opinions in the mosque.  Mosques were the proper locations for open discussions under the protection of Allah.  A young man took the podium and talked. He said:

“You the immigrants (converts to Islam who moved from Mecca to Medina); it is true that you were the first to embrace Islam.  But everyone later received the same privilege.  After the prophet death (632 AC) you have designated a man among you (first caliph Abu Bakr) to become the first successor; we the common Moslems were not consulted. Again, you the elite have met in council (Shawra) and designated the second Caliph (Omar bin al Khattab) and we were not asked our opinion.  You voted for the third Caliph (Othman Bin Affan) without our input; you didn’t like Othman after 13 years of ruling us and you assassinated him.  You again designated Ali for fourth caliph and the common Moslems were not invited to extend their opinions and preferences.  Now you don’t like Ali.  What are you reproaching him for? Why have you decided to fight him by the sword?  Has he done any reprehensible acts?  Is his election illegal, illicit or fraudulent? Tell us why you want us to start a civil war (fitna)? You have got to surely convince us to join the battle.  Tell us what it is all about? Why are fighting?” Unfortunately, this young man ended paying his life for expressing his bold opinion and position

What would generally be called Sunni Moslems were those who preferred peace and stability instead of deciding for civil wars to changing wrong doings.  The Shiaa Moslems were categorized as those who abided by the Hadith injunction “The one who witness a reprehensible situation and injustice (al munkar) and does not try to prevent it and change the situation will encounter Divine punishment”

Paradoxically, in the battle of “The Camel”, the first Islam civil war, the Sunnis backed Ali (it was a reasonable position since Ali was just in his pronouncements ) and the Shiaa backed Aicha.  Caliphate Ali destroyed the unprofessional troops lead by Aicha:  13, 000 Moslems perished in that battle.  Ali spent many days in the battle field burying the dead from both sides.  Aicha was sent back to Medina where she kept her residence and focused her energy on gathering all of the Prophet’s sourats and verses and was the main pole for clarifications on legal issues and attacking the countless fraudulent Hadith (what the Prophet had said).

It was after the defeat of Aicha that Abu Bakra, a Moslem who was whipped by the second Caliph Omar for calumny, resumed his misogynist behavior and claimed hearing this Hadith from the Prophet Muhammad: “No prosperity for any society can come when a woman is in command.”  The next phase in Islam political structure was based on hereditary successions of the Caliphate with all the power that any monarch could dream of.

Note: Fatema Mernissi in her book “The political Harem” re-examined the mostly fraudulent Hadith related to women and male misogyny. Bukhara catalogued the Hadith and kept only 7275 as potentially valid (sahih) out of 600, 000 Hadith recognized as plainly fraudulent.




June 2023

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