To readers of translations

For those many who have rejected the Hadith books written by men, this book represents another step in their journey on the path of God.

But the Devil says: ‘I am waiting for them on your Straight Path and I will mislead all of the without exception’. It would be inefficient of him to waste his time waiting for people who are already on the wrong path.

Those who have read the Reading may be able to recall the verse in 7:16-17:-

He (the devil) said, “Since You willed that I go astray, I will always skulk on Your right path to mislead all of them. Then I will come to them from their front, from behind them, from their right and from their left. You will find the majority of them are unappreciative”.

If such people are gratified with what they understand from the translations without any careful study or verification, they are likely to be frozen along with the translator’s personal understanding and beliefs which – as a rule – are taken wholesale from the very Hadith books the reader has rejected.

The only way to know about the true Islam is to read the Reading in its purity and use it as the criterion to judge the religionist’s teachings. Do your own research to discover the distortions in the translations and put your trust in God. He is our only protector.

Do not accept anything that you yourself cannot ascertain. Your hearing, eyesight, and your heart each of them will be questioned about it. (17: 36)

Thus, if you are unable to verify, stay away from organised religion. Live a full life. The moral rule to attain a peaceful life in this world is to believe with the unseen God and be an upright person for your own good. To qualify, all we need to do is to be observant of the natural laws, lead a virtuous life by doing good deeds and do what is obvious as a normal human being. God created men and women with basic instinct to understand what is good or bad. When He says ‘honour your parents’, we don’t need any rabbis, priests, monks, or mullahs to tell us how to honour our own parents.

Lastly, ‘The God our Lord needs no one‘ – including the rabbis, pope, ayatollahs, priests, monks, mullahs, theologians or religious scholars, saints, and spiritual leaders who think they know what God wants. These are names that we have invented – our forefathers and us. These names are clusters of walking time bombs – ready to explode at anytime or place. They follow nothing except conjecture and their own opinions about the one God. God never placed any power in them. It is people who make them what – and who they are. If we exercise our right to put them in power – they will remove our right instantly – then say – “if you speak against us you are an apostate”, or “you are an infidel”, or “you are doomed“, and render you to be stoned to death by a true believer.

Thus, we need only God – not morons. Is God alone worthy to be followed or these earthly gods who need the guidance themselves?

Think about this carefully. Why should we be a member of any organised religion when we can be what – and who we want to be – by ourselves? What if you a peaceful man or woman who is truthful, kind, caring, sincere, humble, compassionate, charitable, steadfast, and loving individual – does it matter to God if you are NOT a member any of these clubs? Must you call yourself a Muslim or a Jew, a Hindu or a Christian, a Buddhist or a Bahai?

When we reject these earthly lords – are we rejecting GOD? Not at all! We have made the best decision in our life to severe the relationship with these flagitious gods and return to the true God who created us. We have more reasons to believe in Him as it opens the possibility of His system playing a role in our life. He promised that if we believe in Him alone and be committed to do good deeds and uphold our obligations sincerely, He will liberate us (men and women) as frontiers of peace on earth and endows us the ‘Peacefulness’.

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Wildlife conservation sabotaged

It is not surprising to find a chapter about wildlife conservation in a book such as this. Again, a sensible and nurturing injunction in the Reading has been twisted out of all recognition in order to fit the requirements of a pagan cult. This will be of particular interest to those who have undertaken the ritual known as Haj or ‘pilgrimage’.

I stumbled upon this important subject while compiling verses about food. After reading 5:1 several times over in conjunction with the subsequent verses, I was confronted with a serious problem when I tried to understand how the word ‘restricted’ could be rendered as ‘religious dress’. All the twelve translations in my possession, the lexicons and the concordance say that Hurumun is either the pilgrimage garb, or the state of sanctity during the pilgrimage (ihram).

The non-Arab Muslims depend on the religionists to explain the religious rituals and other aspects of ‘worship’. For many years I had been aware that there was not a single Arabic ritual that came from the Reading, and that the source for of all these rituals was the so-called Hadith – a vast collation of hearsay and old wives tales falsely attributed to the Prophet. Whilst re-marketing their Arab religion, it seems that the religionists determined to maintain the characteristic of the Arabs’ previous pilgrimage, and they distorted the sense of two verses in the fifth surah of the Reading to support their claims.

Before looking at the verses in question, we should remind ourselves that – according to the Reading – no other sources are needed in order to understand the important points that it wants to make. No tafsiir, no Hadith1 are necessary. In 39:23, God proclaims the Reading the best Hadith and a consistent Scripture. The Book also states that it is self-explanatory. This, of course, is directly contradicted by the entire Arab religion community of whatever flavor. If we are to take the Reading at its word, we can investigate further.

God revealed the best narration (Hadith), a Scripture that is consistent. (39:23)

They never come to you with any example, except We provide you with the truth and the best interpretation (aHsana tafsir). (25:33)

Hurumun appears in the Reading four times. This word was twisted to mean the silly habit of wearing two pieces of seamless white cloth (for males) as the mandatory garb of pilgrims that the religionists say is the ihram. The two pieces of white cloth are actually remnants of a pagan heritage from the times preceding Rome and Greece when priests and nobles wore pieces of white cloth to signify ‘holiness’ or their station in society (such as the Roman toga).

The subject in verses 5:1-5 is food. There is absolutely nothing about pilgrimage here.

The translators do justice to the first part of 5:1. This is generally the case when their personal beliefs are not at stake:

Ya-aiyu-hal lazi na-amanu aufu-bil ‘uqadi

O you who believe, you shall fulfil your covenant

Uhil-lat lakum bahi-matul an-aam

Permitted for you is the meat of all livestock

il-laa ma-utla alai-kum

Except those recited to you

This is the first part of 5:1 and the subject is about God’s covenant, and the covenant is about food. The rest of the verse says:

Ghoi-ro mu-hil-lis soii-di

Do not permit the hunting of game

Wa-antum-Hurumun

(usually translated) While you are in pilgrim garb / ihram.

Herein lays the corruption. Such flagrant misreading of this verse requires an abrupt change of topic within a short space. Such anomalies do not happen anywhere in the Reading.

The first part of the verse gives us total freedom to consume the meat of all livestock, except those recited to us. The second part specifies consumption of the meats of wildlife under a specific condition: wa-antum Hurumun.

The words wa-antum mean ‘and when you’ or ‘and that which you’ or ‘while you are’.

Wa-antum-hurumun means ‘and when you are restricted’.

Hurumun is a derivative of the root H-r-m or Harama. All derivatives generated from this root word can have different shades, but the essence of the meaning of the word is the same.

They can mean forbidden, restricted, sanctioned, limited, controlled or constrained but each time different and distinct derivatives are used for them such as Haram, Hurum, Hurumat, Harrama, yuHarrimu, Hurima and muHarram.

We can discover the meaning of these derivatives by making comparative reference to the contexts in which they appear. This is a simple yet important procedure and we don’t need any long commentaries outside the Qur’anic injunction to understand or provide long commentaries or tafsir2 the meaning of certain words.

For example, in 3:93 all food was permitted (Halal) to the Children of Israel except what they forbade or constrained (Harrama) themselves before the Torah was revealed.

Kulluu tha-ami kaana hillan li bani israiila

All food was permitted for the Israelites

Illa maa Harrama israa iilu alaa nafsihi

except what Israel forbade for itself

min qabli an tunazzila tauraatu

from before the Torah was revealed

The Children of Israel forbade/constrained (Harrama) certain foods before the Torah was revealed.

Therefore, in 5:1 the phrase wa antum Hurumun means while you are restricted.

In other words, in 5:1 it is we, who must restrict ourselves from hunting. In 5:94 it is said Game hunting is a test for us (the verse will be quoted later). The subject of wild life conservation is now sanctioned by God within the passages of His decrees on matters of food.

The Reading does not say how long we ought to make the hunting of wild game restricted, but the Reading says it is part of God’s decrees. Therefore it is up to us to decide. If the mountain goats in Afghanistan need five months to breed, then we must refrain from hunting the goats for those five months.

If the great leatherback turtles carry their eggs for two months and then lay their eggs on one particular night of the full moon in a year in Nicaragua, we must restrict the hunting for, say, three months before that particular full moon. If the deer is almost extinct and needs years to increase its population, then we must not hunt ghoi-ro-soi-di the deer for that number of years. ‘Wa antum Hurumun’ means ‘and that which you are restricted’.

5:1 stresses strongly not to allow hunting:

ghoi-ro     do not
mu-hil-li   make permissible
soi-di      game hunting

The prohibitions of hunting should be enshrined in state law to protect different species of animal. The law of the land must impose the restrictions on hunting at the right time.

To grasp the meaning of this message, we should pay a visit to the wildlife department in any country to find out why they impose different types of restrictions on hunting various animals during specific months. The deer-hunting season in India may differ from the goat-hunting season in Yemen. There are seasons for different animals. It is we who must decide when to restrict hunting, and we must respect these laws if we fear God.

This is the true meaning of the message in 5:1. It has nothing to do with wearing a two-piece white cloth dress known as ihram and walking in circles around a cube-shaped stone idol in the centre of a mosque crying out for God to hear us.

We do not make any of the wildlife meat forbidden (or Haram), but we are not allowed to hunt them during a specific periods.

If we wish to observe the will of the Lord of the Universe, we are not to violate His decrees on the hunting of wildlife during the restricted months:

Do not violate God’s decrees (sha’iral-lah), or the restricted months (on hunting), and the guidance (about hunting), or the indicators (of hunting) or the harmony that is sanctioned in the system (aminal-bai-tal-Harama) when seeking the grace and pleasure of God. But when you are permitted (Halal-tum) (after the ban is lifted), you may hunt. Do not be provoked by the enmity of those who prevent you in observing the sanctions of the consented decree (anil-mas-jidil-Harami) that you may transgress. And co-operate with each other in righteous deeds and piety, and do not co-operate with those committing sins and aggression. (5:2)

We are to co-operate with the lawmakers to protect the wildlife and by doing so we demonstrate our observation to the sanctions prescribed by God in His system. We must not co-operate with illegal hunters. However, if we kill wildlife during the restricted months (shahrul-Harrama) on purpose, the food is still permitted for us to eat, but we pay a fine.

O you who believe, do not kill wildlife when you are restricted (Hurumun). If anyone kills on purpose, he shall expatiate with an equivalent livestock to be judged by two equitable persons from among you to point out the maturity of the ‘ankles’ (ka’bati). Or expiation by feeding the poor or impose a self-discipline3 (siyaman) so that he regrets the consequences of his actions. God has pardoned his previous offences. Whoever reverts to his offence, God will avenge it from him. God is Almighty, Avenger. (5:95).

The right meaning of the word Hurumun can be verified from other verses of the Reading. For example, in 9:36 it is impossible to change the meaning of this word to none other than restricted.

Surely the count of months according to God is twelve months in God’s reckoning (fil-kitaabi-llaah) since they day He created the heavens and the earth. Of these, four are restricted (ar ba’atun Hurumun). That is the upright way of life (deen-nul qayyimu). (9:36)

The word arba’atum Hurumun means that there are restrictions on four of the months.

The four restricted months refer to the cooling-off period after a declaration is announced to the idol-worshippers that God and His messenger disown them for their idol-worshipping practices. The day the announcement is made is known as the day of the Big Challenge or Haji akbar. In 9:1-4, the idol-worshippers and the non-believers are given four months to ‘roam the earth’ to decide their position on the deen.

Today, more than a billion people on earth believe they must make themselves ‘holy’ for a few days. Each year, several million of them don indecent two-piece suits which they have named ihram and walk in circles around a cubical stone idol. And this when all God wanted them to do was to observe the sanctions in the system of not hunting the wildlife during restricted periods.

Just a slight twist to one simple word like this can cause disaster to a person’s life in this world and the Hereafter.

The majority of ‘Muslims’ could not care less about observing the sanctions protecting wildlife, however. The religionists have generally succeeded in deflecting them from beneficial actions related to wildlife conservation and misled them towards jumping up and down in front of an empty stone box. Somebody, somewhere, must be having a really good laugh.

God created all living creatures on earth, and mankind is expected to co-exist with them in perfect harmony:

Wa-mamin dab-batin fil-ardi wala-thor ‘iri yathi-ru bijana-haihi il-laa um-matin amshalakum (6:38)

Any creature on earth including the birds that fly with their wings are nations like you. (6:38)

Humans are not allowed to kill at random. Killing is allowed only when justified:

Wala-taq-tulu nafsal-lati Haramal-lah il-la-bil-haq (17:33)

You shall not kill the life, it is forbidden by God except in truth. (17:33)

The presence of other living creatures is part of God’s creation. Humans cannot simply go around killing and destroying anything they like.

God has created livestock as a provision for mankind. Killing livestock for food is justified according to need. God also allows mankind to enjoy the meat of wildlife. Therefore killing animals is justified subject to certain conditions.

There are two kinds of wildlife: that in water and that on land. We do not have to impose any restrictions to protect the water game but we must impose some restrictions to protect the wildlife on land. For as long as we observe the restrictions that, for us, is the state of Hurumun. 5:96 says:

uhil-laa lakum soi-dul bah-ri

Permitted for you (uhil-la-lakum) is the hunting of water game (soi-dul bah-ri)

wathor-‘amuhu mata-‘al-lakum walis-syai-roti

Eat from them as provision, for you and those who are travelling

Wa-hur-rima alaikum soi-dul bar-ri ma’dumtum huruman

And prohibited (Hurrima) upon you is the hunting of game on land for as long as (mu’dumtum) you restrict them (Huruman).

wat-taqul-lah hal-lazi ilaihi taq-syarun.

You shall observe God, to Whom you will be gathered.

In 5:96, we are permitted to eat game from the sea (baHri) but as for the game from the land (baRri) hunting is forbidden for as long as (mu’dumtum) we make their hunting restricted (Huruman).

We can see that the corruption by the innovators of the Arab religion is exposed again. Here, both the words Hurrima and Hurumun are found. Both come from the same root H-r-m or Haram.

They say that Hurrima in the first part of the sentence means prohibited but Hurumun in the latter part of the same sentence means a state of sacredness. They claim it means the ihram – the two piece white cloth worn during the act of walking around a cubical stone idol at the centre of their mosque. As we have seen, these verses have nothing to do with a pilgrimage of any kind.

The killing of wildlife is done everywhere. Such activity is called game-hunting. The Reading calls upon hunters to exercise self discipline by not killing wildlife out of season:

Ya-aiyuhal-lazi na-amanu la-yub-luwa-nakumul-lah bi-shai’ain minal-soi-di tana-luhu ai-diyakum wa-rimahukum li-yak-lamal-lah man-yu-ghor-fuhu bil-ghaib. Fa-manikh-tada ba’da zalika falahu azaban alim (5:94)

O you who believe, God may test you through game-hunting within the reach of your hands and means. God wants to ensure those among you who fear Him (while He is) unseen. Anyone who transgresses after this has deserved painful retribution. (5:94)

The majority of civilised governments impose laws to protect wildlife. They do not know they are preserving the harmony of the sanctions in God’s system (or the baytil-Harama). For them, it is simply a matter of good sense. They have studied the environment and life patterns in the animal kingdom and have realised that it is their obligation to protect living creatures – if only out of self-interest. As far as the Reading is concerned, such a perception is an act of righteousness.

Without doubt, wa-antum Hurumun does not mean during pilgrimage, neither does it signify the two piece pilgrim’s clothes which they call the ihram4. Moreover, the word ihram is nowhere found in the Reading.

We must realise the beauty of the composition of the Reading. In most cases, a subject is detailed in sequential verses and then it is mentioned elsewhere. The prohibitions on food detailed in the Reading are part of the sanctions in the system (baytal-Harami) to be observed by those who consented themselves to what was sanctioned.

The details of the prohibition are expanded in 5:1-5. In 5:3 in the midst of detailing the food God says:

Today, I have perfected the deen for you, and completed My favour upon you. And decreed Islam as the deen. (5:3)

God’s prescribed way of life is perfected by the revelation pertaining to details of the restriction on food. A true person who is at peace must not consent themselves to any restrictions beyond the limits set by God. The verse, however, ends with an exception:

However, if one is forced to eat any of these without malice, then God is Forgiver, Merciful.

The same topic continues in the next two verses before a new subject is dealt with. The subject of food is repeated in eight straight verses (6:141-150) to corroborate the restrictions mentioned in the earlier chapters. The final part is mentioned again in eight straight verses (16:112-119).

As a matter of interest, the composition of the Reading is such that any isolated subject is always revealed in a verse of its own. Never are two unrelated subjects touched upon in the same verse.


1 Hadith: are tales about the Prophet from various unverifiable sources.

2 Tafsir is long commentaries to explain the Qur’an based on tradition and tales found in the various hadith books written by so-called learned people. It is equivalent to the Jewish Tosefta a compilation of traditions and sayings closely related to the Misnah, deriving from many authorities represented in it.

3 The Arabic word Siyaman is traditionally translated as fasting. There is no mention about the duration period for the fast. Hence, it is logical to say the meaning is to discipline oneself from hunting until the animals are matured. It is not about fasting from eating or drinking.

4 A man’s pilgrimage is nullified if he wears anything under the ihram clothing. Imagine the heat and I have to struggle applying creams in between my thighs.


Related posts:

Sol-laa (commitments) is not ritual prayer

 

When looking at other words which have had their meanings twisted in the Qur’anic context, we can usually get back to the true meaning by looking at extant words in modern Arabic surrounding the root. Zakaa is a good example. All the root meanings of zakaa refer to purity and sincerity. This can be verified by looking at any good dictionary. As we shall see – the Arab religion has created the un-Qur’anic tax and ascribed this to the word zakaa. The deception is relatively easy to spot since the key meanings of the word zakaa have remained intact.

Sol-laa is no different. Before we continue let me clarify why I use the word Sol-laa instead of the common term Salaat. Firstly, when we read the Reading in Arabic it is always pronounced as ‘Aqimus-Sol-laa– taa-wa-aatuz-Zakaa’ – nobody says ‘Aqimus-Salaat-taa-wa-aatuz-Zakat’. This is evident even during the call of prayer. All over the world – the person who announces the prayer will shout on top of his voice with ‘Hai-ya-‘alas-Sol-laa’ – never as ‘Hai-ya-‘alas-Salaat’. Muslims know this word is pronounced the way it is spelt in the Reading – Arabs or not.

This is only to demonstrate that – there is a difference between God’s Arabic in the Reading and the Arabic language spoken by the Arabs, and for this study I have chosen to use the former i.e. God’s Arabic

When we look up the word in a dictionary we find a word that is mispronounced by the Muslim world – Salaat – under the root S-l-w. It is worth noting that this root has no other meaning directly ascribed to it other than the ‘ritual prayer’. There is nothing else.

Whereas almost any key Qur’anic term has related terms which balance and integrate it into the waft and web of the language (and by means of which we can sense deceptions as and when they occur) this important – some would say central – Qur’anic concept has no ‘context’ in the language by which to verify the claims made for it by the Arab religionists other than the one created for it by those self-same religionists.

There are no related meanings that one can point to and say: Sol-laa must mean what such-and-such because it integrates into the language on the basis of the sense we derive from the word. This is not possible because the word simply has no semantic context in the religion of the Arabs as we know.

Now, it could be argued that the reason for this is that this word has only one meaning – unconnected to anything else in the vast and interconnected web of Arabic semantics – and that the meaning the Arab religionists ascribe to it is, in fact, the correct one. In this case, we would respond by pointing out that since the ritual prayer or Salaat (by the religionists’ own measure and admission) is not in the Reading, their own definition of it is of no special value.

The situation we find ourselves in is: there is a word – ‘Sol-laa– that exists in a semantic vacuum, and the leaders of the religious system say it means X based on their non-Qur’anic writings (the Hadith). Since their non-Qur’anic writings say some patently ludicrous things, and given that the religious elite promotes these non-Qur’anic sources to achieve ends which are usually advantageous only to the religious elite, a thinking person is left wondering what possible use their definition of this word can be to anyone except them.

Just to clear up the point of roots. The root of Sol-laa is S-L. It is a two-root word. They are many such words in the Reading. Examples of other two-root words found in the Reading are haq (truth, root: h-q), abu (father, root: a-b) or yad (hand, root: y-d) or Qama (the keep vigil or attentive, root: q-m).

However, knowing that the word Sol-laa does not come from S-l-w or S-l-y but from S-L it does not help us a great deal. S-L is not in the dictionary and S-l-w has only the ‘ritual prayer’ meaning ascribed to it. In the Reading S-l-w means ‘to roast’ and (S-l-y) refers to ‘fry or burn’.

The root word for S-l-w is found in 69:31 meaning ‘to roast’ not ritual prayer. It generates yaslau (4:10, 14:29, 17:18 and eight other verses). islau in 36:64 & 52:16, siliya in 19:70 spelt with S-l-alif-y. Here we must pronounce the word with the third letter ‘waw’ or ‘ya’. Therefore it is wrong to assign a third letter to the root of S-L to read as S-l-w.

To recap: Sol-laa comes from the root S-L which does not exist in modern Arabic and which defies definition by modern methods. Yet the Reading treats its meaning as self-evident. The religious elite have ascribed its own meaning to this word, a meaning which fails appallingly in certain Qur’anic contexts.

Since the Reading is the only place we know of which knows what this word means we have to look to it for the ways it uses this word and derive its meaning from the multitude of contexts. God says the Arabic in His Book is perfect. Thus, nobody should try to change its word constructions, spelling and grammatical forms.

A reading in Arabic without any crookedness therein so that they might observe. 39:28

The word Sol-laa[1]  or any of the derivatives from the same root word is never used in the Reading to refer to the act of worship or the performance of a set of body movements.

Its use always refers to the act of honouring, upholding, dedicating or observing of commitments, obligations, accountabilities, responsibilities etc. by consenting person or persons when the phrase ‘aqi-mu‘ is used. Literally the word Sol-laa means to ‘commit’.

This root word (like all roots in Arabic) forms its various functions by use of vowels, prefixes and suffixes. The short vowels “i” or “u” (9:103,108:2 and 33:56) can be added resulting in ‘Sol-lee’ or ‘Sol-luu’ without changing the underlying, fundamental meaning of the word.

The word pronounced with a short vowel ‘a’ appears in the Reading twice, in 75:31 and 96:10 respectively.

In 96:10 it appears as “ ‘Abdan Ezaa Sol-laa” which means “A servant who is committed”. The context of this verse begins from 96:8-12 with the message “Indeed to your Lord is the final return. What do you think of those who prevent a servant who commits? What if he is actually on the right path, advocating people to be observant?” The message is clear. But translators give different meanings to this word for reasons only known to them.

In 75:31 it is written as Falla-sod-daqor-wa-Sol-laa and translators insist the word Sol-laa in both verses refers to ritual prayers. Obviously when we read the context, they do not make any sense at all.

This word pronounced with different vowels or prefixes appear in other passages of the Reading, and no religionists or Arabic scholars dare translate them as ‘ritual prayers’.  So the best one can say is, consistencies exist because the leaders of the Arab religion interpret this root concept in various ways. The paragraphs following will attempt to explain this particular quirk.

As mentioned, the Arabic language derives its vocabulary from the root words. Conjugations of the root word can produce new derivatives and generally, these derivatives are constructed in accordance with established vocalic moulds or patterns to which certain prefixes or suffixes are added. The Arabic verbs have two ‘voices’ – active and passive.

Derivational and inflexional forms make the Arabic language extensive. This complexity is matched by the regularity and symmentry of the form and is very logical and regular. There are almost no regular forms in the language. In addition to two tenses, perfect and imperfect, there are imperative forms, active and passive, and also energetic forms. Sol-laa or commit for example has many derivatives to form other words with the same shades of meaning like, binding, obligations, compulsion, pledge or promise etc.

Sol-laa                    Commit

Sol-luu                    Be committed

Sol-lee                    Binding

Mu-Sol-lan             A person who is committed

Mu-Sol-leen           Many people who are committed

Yu-Sol-laa              They commit

Yu-Sol-lee              Their commitments

Yu-Sol-luu              They have committed

Ya-sil-luu                Bind

Solaa-ta                   Commitment (singular)

Solaa-tee                Commitments (dual)

Solaa-tu                  Commitments (Aorist)

Solaa-waa-tee         Obligatorily

Solaa-waa-tun         obligatory

Arabic in the Reading then, it is fair to say, is a highly developed language with a complex grammar via which it is possible to express concepts with a high level of accuracy. Unlike Latin, Old Greek, Aramic, or Sanskrit, Arabic of the Quran is a living language, spoken, written and understood by millions people around the globe. There are scholars and religionists who insist that Arabic in the Reading lacks the ability to define sense exactly because they realize – once the message of the Quran is made clear to the people all their belief and preaching will be in vain, for example they translated the word Sol-laa-ta as the mandatory Arab ritual prayers to be observed by Muslims only. But in the Quran the same word is also attributed for people of the past like Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, the disbelievers, strangers and others including the animal kingdom. I will explain in the next chapter how they shuffle this word by creating absurd meanings.       

There are many lessons to be learned from the Quran especially about the previous people who received God’s revelations. One such community is the Children of Israel, who agreed to uphold their commitments upon receiving God’s covenant, and we are told they violated it by distorting ‘His words’ in the scripture (2:59) to create a new religion of Judaism. We see the Arab religionists are doing exactly the same when they translate the Arabic words in the Quran to other languages. Although they have successfully introduced the manipulated meanings of many words into the translated Quran, but certainly they cannot change the original Arabic in the Quran, no matter how hard they try. God in His wisdom gave us His assurance in 15:9 that “He will preserve what He revealed”. The outcome of any attempt to change His words, the spellings, or even modifying its grammar will result the translations riddled with contradictions defying all logics.

However, the subsequent twisting of the meanings of the original Arabic in the Quran by those who would force it into a pre-prescribed shape has marred many people’s reading of the book. For instance, we read in 75:31: falaa soddaqor walaa Sol-laa. The patrons of the Arab religion say it means ‘He was not truthful and not praying’. The true meaning is ‘He was not truthful and not committed’. Let us examine this word “Sol-laa” when it is used in other passages.

 

For example, in 2:43 God tells us that He instructed the Children of Israel: Wa-aqimus Sol-laa-ta wa-atuz zakaa. The religionists say it means: ‘Observe the ritual prayers and pay the religious tithes’. This instruction is spoken in the present tense, and if we read the context from 2:40 to 2:43 we will realize that God reminds the Children of Israel to commit to what they have committed before – i.e to uphold the covenant and maintain the purity of its tenets. He calls them to believe in what is revealed in the Quran confirming what they have, and do not trade away God’s revelations for a cheap gain. The message is simple and straightforward. God never asked the Children of Israel to perform the ritual prayers as suggested by the religionists. As a matter of fact if we ask the Jews if they had at any time in history performed the five daily ritual prayers, they will answer in the negative.  Even the Jews who received the earlier Scripture knew that five the ritual prayers were not part of the deen revealed by God. It is not in the Torah and it is also not the Reading. Our common sense can easily tells us the true meaning of this particular passage is: ‘Uphold the commitments and keep them pure’. The Children of Israel understand this instruction very well because they have committed themselves to God’s deen through the Torah long before the Quran was revealed.

In 6:162, the Prophet and those who consented themselves to God are encouraged to remind themselves of their obligation as servants of God: In-naa Sol-laa-ti wa-nusuki wamaa yahya wamamamati lilahi robil a’lameen. This means: My commitments and my sacrifices and my life and my death are for God the Lord of the Universe. The religionists twist their tongue and say this verse means, ‘My ritual prayers and my sacrifices and my life and my death are for God the Lord of the Universe’.

Among the previous people who use the word Sol-laa in the Reading are the people of Shuaib. At 11:87 they say, ‘Ya-shu-’aib aa-Sol-laa-tu-ka…..’ which means, ‘O Shuaib, does your commitment…?’.  But in the Arab religion they say the people of Shuaib said, ‘O Shuaib, does your ritual prayer..…..?’, even though the context of this passage says that Shuaib was calling his people not to cheat but to trade equitably among themselves.

The history of Jesus in the Reading is another clear example. Jesus mentions the word Sol-laa as an infant. In 19:23 we are told that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and he spoke to his mother soon after the pangs surprised her. The religionists ridiculously claim that Jesus performed the ritual prayer and paid the alms tax from the day he was born. At 19:31 whilst in his mother’s arms Jesus says, “I was enjoined with the commitments maintain it pure for as long as I live” (‘Wa-asoy-na bi-Sol-laa-ti wa zakaa-ti ma dumtum hai-yan’) which clearly implies that he will uphold his obligation diligently in reforming the Children of Israel.

Different words were used in various languages during over the centuries of prophets calling people to uphold their commitments or obligations. In the language of the Last Prophet it is called Sol-laa (or its derivatives). Abraham, the people of Midyan, the Children of Israel and Jesus were non-Arabs, but the Reading quotes interaction with them on the basis of an equivalent word in their own language to Sol-laa. In 21:73, for example, God instructs Isaac and Jacob with the same word, ‘wa-iqama-Sol-laa-ti-wa-ie-ta-zakaa-ti[2]’ which means: uphold your commitments and keep them pure after their father Abraham.

None of the prophets before Muhammad were talking about ritual prayers when they uttered the equivalent of Sol-laa in their own language. Therefore, the word Sol-laa or its derivatives cannot be translated to mean ritual prayers. To think otherwise is to err on a very large scale contextually. The word Sol-laa and its derivatives appear in many verses in the Reading. Modern Arab ‘translations’ will have us believe that there are many different meanings for the same word in different verses.

This ambiguity has generated much confusion. As a result, the word Sol-laa revolves around the ritualistic prayer performed according to a timetable accompanied by ritualistic physical movements. It is presumptuous to think that God would enjoin on us something quite so mundane. 

The priests of the Arab religion will ask: So how can we pray if we depend on the Qur’an alone? This is absolutely beside the point. Was there ever any question that we should need more than the Reading?

Many religions around the world have in common the fact that their priests have the right to question their followers but the followers do not have the right to question the priests on religious matters.

If we ask the Christian priest why they say Jesus is God whereas the Bible says he was serving God who created him, the Christian priest will jump. Similarly, if we ask the priests of the Arab religion why they pray ritually five times a day when it is not specified in the Reading, they will likewise find themselves on the back foot.

This amounts to the beginning of an acknowledgement by the priests of the Arab religion (soon to be remedied by the use of other ‘authentic’ sources) that there is no ritual prayer in the Reading. The truth is their ritual prayer was not revealed to the Last Prophet in God’s prescribed way of life. We know because we read the Reading. Sol-laa as it appears in the Reading simply implies a person’s commitment to observe his or her obligations as prescribed in the Reading. Nowhere does the Reading state that humans must perform any ritual prayer to God.  This is a fact that Muslims need to bear in mind. 


[1] This word is erroneously pronounced as ‘Salaat’ by the followers of the Arab religion although the consonant of the root word is Sod Lam is found in 96:10 and 75:31, which is pronounced as ‘Sol-laa’. Muslims who are shackled by their religious masters are shocked when I used the word ‘Sol-laa’ instead of ‘Salaat’.

[2] Although this word is to be pronounced as zakaa the Arabs twist the meaning and also the pronunciation and call it zakat. For Sol-laa they say Salaat and for zakaa they say zakaat (misconstrued in both cases) Please see chapter six.

 


Arab Tales about the present Ka’aba

Perhaps in order to foster their many pagan associations, the religionists gave the square stone structure that they call the ka’aba a history of its own. The Qur’an’s mentioning of the word ka’aba relates only to the washing of one’s ankles in 5:6, and in 5:95 to the restriction of hunting young animals. Clearly, given the prevalent tradition-based interpretation of 5:95 to mean the stone building at Mecca, this elucidation of the text based on itself is going to come as a bit of a shock. Nevertheless, the subject it deals with is the conservation of wildlife stocks. Anyone who kills wildlife on purpose during the restricted period must pay a fine.

The key fact here is that a hunter can distinguish the maturity of animals by observing their movements before deciding whether to shoot. Animal conservation is part of God’s decrees as we shall see, and people are to uphold the decree not to hunt the animals during the restricted months. The ankles show both the way the animal moves when it is alive (and provide conclusive data when it is dead) and the state of maturity of the animal. This very important piece of information is found at 5:2 and repeated in 5:97. The word ka’abata simply means ankle. More is given on this in chapter eleven.

However, to return to the fictions of the Arab religion: according to their own traditions some mullahs (gurus) believe that the ka’aba was built by angels (a myth plagiarised from the Bible), whereas other mullahs say the Ka’aba was built by Adam (common conjectures in the Arab religion), destroyed in the flood of Noah, and rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael. The religionists claim that Abraham’s association with the stone idol in Mecca dates from the pre-Qur’anic period. According to their own tales, it remained a pagan pantheon until Muhammad destroyed all the images it housed except the black stone.

By their own testimony the temple has been subject not only to periodic flooding, but because of the use of lamps in the shrine, to fire as well. In the course of its long history it has been damaged and destroyed by flood and fire scores of times, and has often had to be rebuilt from its foundations up. Many alterations to its shape and size were made centuries before and after Muhammad. This is what the mullahs say. No story of any related sort is mentioned in the Reading.

Since the Reading denounces all kinds of physical rituals and worship, the idea of ‘God’s house’ and the cherishing of a black stone in Mecca are clearly fabrications by the religionists. An illuminating comparison can be made between the present-day pilgrimages at the square rock structure with the apparently older religion of Hinduism. Hinduism has travelled from India to many countries. Its influence can be found as far as Bali in Indonesia. Arabia was considered India’s immediate neighbour (requiring only a relatively short journey across the Arabian Sea). There was a claim by the Hindus that the present day Arab religion has many things in common with them. Among other things they say:

  • As the pilgrim proceeds towards Mecca he is asked to shave his head and to don special sacred attire that consists of two seamless sheets of white cloth. One is to be worn round the waist and the other over the shoulders. Both these rites are remnants of the old Vedic practice of entering Hindu temples clean and wearing seamless white sheets.

  • Muslim pilgrims visiting the Ka’aba go around it seven times anti clockwise. In no other mosque does such circumambulation prevail. Hindus invariably circumambulate their deities anti clockwise. This is another indication that the Ka’aba shrine is a pre-Qur’anic Indian Shivan temple where the Hindu practice of circumambulation is still meticulously observed.

  • Recital of the namaz five times a day is similar to the Hindu Vedic injunction of Panchmahayagna (five daily worship – Panch-Maha-Yagna) which is part of the daily Vedic ritual prescribed for all individuals.

Even without the Hindus claim it is an undeniable fact that the present day pilgrimage observed by the Arabs is the same ancient pagan religious practice focusing on stone and rocks in Mecca, Arafat and Mina. It lasts ten days and is hedged by many taboos of the pagan faith most of which have been retained until today. The rituals and exclamatory formulas as well as the ceremonies observed at the various locations signifying the ‘station‘, can be traced back to pre-Qur’anic times. Before entering the shrine pilgrims must be in a state of sanctity by donning the two seamless sheets of white cloth ihram, the pilgrims announce their readiness to the lord of the cube house. This is called the talbiya. It is demonstrated by the cry of the ihlal an ancient formula called the laa-baik followed by the rituals below:

  • Circumambulate (tawaf) the square rock structure anti clockwise seven times.

  • Each circuit the pilgrims must kiss the oval ‘Black Stone’ (Hajar Aswat) (some with flying kisses).

  • Upon completion of the seven rounds the pilgrims then perform the prayer body movements behind a gilded cage a few meters away from the stone house.

  • And then proceed to another location within the mosque precinct to perform the sa’ei Here the pilgrims have to run to and from two rock outcroppings seven times.

  • On the sixth day devotees travel to another location a few kilometres away called Arafat (another rock mountain). The wukuf, which is actually a remnant of pagan ritual of worshipping the sun is observed by pilgrims at this place by standing from midday to sunset. The pagan rite of standing is an essential part of the pilgrimage.

  • On the setting of the sun at Arafat the pilgrims will rush (another form of ritual call ifada) to Muzalifah an open area three miles away from Mina. The majority of the non-Arabs do not notice another rock tower in the vicinity that is regarded as sacred by the religionists. They follow blindly the ancient pagan ritual by lighting a fire and keep vigil through the night, raising a great shout from time to time like the old Red Indian warriors in the movies. This happens until today.

  • The concluding rite of the pilgrimage takes place on the tenth day in the valley of Mina. This is actually an ancient sacrificial site about half way back to Mecca. Here pilgrims will start throwing stones at some stone pillars conceiving mentally these stone pillars are the devils. This rite signifies the end of the state of sanctity and they can now return to normal life.

  • The climax to the proceeding is the livestock sacrifice. This is a custom of the ancient Arabs performing animal sacrifice at a granite block on the slope of Mount Thabir, a place falsely claimed as the spot of Abraham’s intended offering-up of his son. (The Reading condemns animal sacrifice 6:136)

  • The point of convergence of animal sacrifices is the blood not the meat. The three-day period from the eleventh to the thirteenth day, following the end of the pilgrimage is called ‘tashrik’ literally means ‘associating’ the ‘dry blood’. The drying of the blood signifies that their god has consecrated their pilgrimage for the year.

Words like ihram, talbiya, ihlal, laa-baik, hajar aswat, sa-ei, wukuf and ifada are not found anywhere in the Reading. These are terms used by the pagan Arabs from the pre-Qur’anic period that has crept into Islam. In 22:26 God told Abraham he should la-tushrik or NOT to associate the Supreme God with anything, but the religionists say they must associate (tashrik) God with animal blood.

According to the Reading, Muhammad condemned all forms of idolatry. Therefore, performing rituals around a temple or devoting oneself to any form of rocks or stone was never part of the peacefulness propagated by him. The religionists mischievously portrayed the Last Prophet kissing the black stone. The religionists believe that people are able to communicate with the black stone. They say Caliph Omar whispered to the black stone, “I know you are nothing but a stone that neither can harm nor help.….. If I have not seen the Messenger of Allah kiss you, I would never kiss you myself.” This is meant to imply that the Last Prophet also kissed the black stone. By this and many other methods, the religionists attributed stupidity and idolatry to the Last Prophet.

The way of life promoted by Abraham as preached by the Last Prophet was to call the people to believe in One God, the Hereafter, and to work righteousness. This is the sine qua non of the prescribed way of life. Muhammad came to change the time-honoured elements of native paganism: stone worship and idolatry. He undermined the foundations of the original Arabic paganism and did not make any concession or compromise. He was the first messenger to warn the Arabs. They knew nothing about the monotheistic commitment sanctioned by God in His system pioneered by Abraham and Ishmael. Although the Reading does not go into the details of the idol-worship of the Arab tribes, it confirms the ignorance of the Arab race at that time and that of their forefathers.

A revelation from the Almighty, Most Merciful, to warn a race whose forefathers were not warned before, and they are unaware. Indeed it is truly said (haq-qul-khau-lu) that the majority of them will not believe. (36:4-6)

In no uncertain terms this verse indicates that the Arab community around the Last Prophet was a pagan society following their forefathers’ religion. It also says the majority of them (Arabs) will never believe the Reading after it had been revealed to the Messenger. Such an amazing statement is consistent with the statement in 9:97: that the Arabs were staunch in disbelief and hypocrisy.

The biography of the Last Prophet according to the Reading reveals that the Arabs rejected him soon after he recited the Qur’an to them. The Arabs refused to accept the Reading. They went as far as to say that the Reading was a fabricated falsehood. Instead, they accused the Prophet of trying to divert them from the idols served by their forefathers.

When Our revelations were recited to them they say, “This is a man who wants to divert you from what was served by our forefathers.” They also say, “This is fabricated falsehood.” (34:43)

Today, we observe the religionists praising, cherishing and honouring the very man they treated with such contempt at the time when he called them to demolish their forefathers’ stone idols. Contrary to the belief of those who idolise their messenger, the Last Prophet was not a popular man among the Arabs. The Arabs were hostile towards him and never acknowledged him en masse as the messenger of God. They despised the man, and they oppressed and banished him from his home. The same man who is glorified today was forced to take refuge in the cave to avoid the threat of death at their hands.

This is what is revealed of the life of the Last Prophet in the Reading. The Reading does not mention at all anything about the famous Arab tale of his purported migration to a place named Medina. Medina simply means a ‘city’ and is the same word used to refer to the city in Egypt where Moses lived. At one time, amongst all the people around him there was only one other man who believed him.

When you did not support, God supported him when the non-believers banished him. He was one of the two people in the cave when he said to his companion, “Do not worry, God is with us.” (9:40)

From the above, it is obvious the Arabs did not support him. Instead, during the peaceful period his people betrayed him by pretending to claim obedience but later plotting against him to change what he actually said to them. According to the Reading, God had appointed for every prophets enemies from among the human devils and jinn devils who invent and narrate fancy words in order to deceive the people (6:112). Thus, it becomes a system in God’s deen.

And they claim obedience. Thus, as soon as they move away from you – as of by a system (min-a’in-di-ka-Bay-yaa-ta) a group from among them say things that were not narrated to them. And God records whatever they had systematically (maa-yu-Bayitu-naa) invented. Therefore turn away from them and put your trust in God. God suffices as trustee. (4:81)

On the death of the Last Prophet, the pagan Arabs did not adhere to the peacefulness propagated by him. Instead, the black stone was reinstated as the central object of worship. They withdrew from the true Islam, abandoned the Reading, and then reanimated their ancestral faith focusing on stone idols. They then deceitfully gave Muhammad a prominent place in their forefather’s religion. Muhammad became a victim of their surreptitious designs. They simply worked him into a makeover of the previous cult.

The cornerstone of the Arab religion today is a slavish reliance on what is camouflaged as the custom (sunna) of the Prophet1. The term sunna was commonly used by the primitive Arabs to describe ancestral usage or model patterns of behaviour established by the forefathers of the tribe. They also introduced the consensus (ijma2) of the tribal assembly, which eventually embodied the beliefs and practices of the whole community.

The information incorporating these former principles and practices were falsely attributed to the Last Prophet along with the claim that they were divinely inspired to him. This ragbag of hearsay was then handed down from generation to generation as described above and now goes by the name of the Hadith of the Prophet. This catalogue of, frankly, fantastic and irrational myth forms the source of (and justification for) the widespread intolerance, fanaticism, terrorism, and extremism now attributed to this man of God. It also is the determining factor in the equally bigoted and pernicious meanings that the ‘scholars’ derive from the Reading (and upon whose pronouncements all popular translations of the Qur’an are based). The Reading anticipates this state of affairs:

God revealed the best message (ahsanal-hadis-thsi) in a form of a scripture that is consistent repeating itself. The skins of those who revered their Lord shudder from them and then the skins and their hearts soften towards remembering God. That (best message) is God’s guidance. He guides whomever He wills with it. But the one who is misguided by God will not be able to find any guidance. (39:23)

These are God’s revelation that we recite to you with the truth; which other stories (Hadis-thseen) besides God and His revelations do they believe? Woe to every inventor, the guilty. He hears God’s revelation recited to him, and then insists on his own way arrogantly, as if he never heard them. Promise him a painful retribution. (45:6-8)

The Creator who revealed the Reading did not leave any room for error. Obviously He knew in advance about His enemies who will invent false Hadith after the Reading was revealed. Like all previous messengers, the Last Prophet’s duty was to deliver God’s message. He had no authority to co-author the message. His job was restricted to delivering God’s message, committing himself to live by it and to conducting his daily life in accordance with it. His duty was to remind the people, call them to God and then take the challenge in promoting God’s consented decrees that had been revealed to him in written form in the Reading. He was warned in the strongest terms not to interfere with the message or utter any personal opinion in the name of God as far as the revelation was concerned.

If he ever made up any utterances and attributed them to Us, We would hold him by his right hand and cut his artery. None of you can protect him. (69:44-47)

Contrary to popular belief, the Last Prophet was forbidden from providing any supplementary guidance to the Reading. But the religionists claim that they have in their possession thousands of utterances of the Prophet, utterances, which represent a catalogue of barbaric and pagan laws. For example, this body of extra-Qur’anic literature includes detailed instruction on all the accoutrement any self-respecting ‘religion’ will need:

  • the observance of ritual prayers

  • diverse forms of worship

  • pilgrimages

  • animal sacrifices

  • illogical and unfair punishments (e.g. stoning to death for adultery)

  • physical mutilation (e.g. male and female circumcision)

  • detailed instruction on the minutia of what constitutes the personal hygiene of the righteous

  • conduct of rituals to cure sickness

  • details of death rites and burials

  • restriction of women’s value and freedom (beginning with the mandatory covering of women’s heads and ending with their practical isolation from society)

Of course there is much, much more. But as all rational, intelligent seekers of ultimate truth will be glad to hear, not one of these teachings is to be found in the Reading.

Even the religionists agree there are no details of the ritual prayer – the first pillar of their faith – in the Reading. It seems that God somehow forgot to describe the kingpin of their religion in the Reading. This was quite some oversight on His part which they argue is why we need to give our consent to their priests’ interpretation of a hotchpotch of thousands of old wives’ tales: for how else are they going to know how to pray?


1 Non-Muslims may not realise quite how the so-called sunna (or ‘example’) of the prophet is used to dictate the pattern of life within ‘Islam’ – no matter how illogical, inappropriate or un-Qur’anic any given ‘example’ may happen to be.

2 Ijma is equivalent to the Jewish Halakhah a consensus of rabbis’ thought of how life should be lived, society should be organized and God should be served.

The Arab religion

There is no historical record written by the Arabs of their own race prior to the revelation of the Reading. The Reading, however, says that the Messenger was sent to a race whose forefathers were ignorant of God’s system. The people around the Last Prophet were gentiles (i.e those who had no prior knowledge of God’s scripture) – and at a total loss as far as God’s guidance was concerned (62:2).

The modern-day Arabs acknowledge that they belonged to a jahiliah1 race before the Reading was revealed to the Last Prophet. This is a subtle way of saying they were pagans. In 53:19-22 God questions the Arabs about the three idols Al-Manat, Al-Uzza and Al-Lat, which may have been connected to stone idols. Non-Arab historical sources indicate that the Arabs were commonly known to be polytheists many centuries before Muhammad went to them to deliver the message of the Reading.

Of their many deities, the principal sacred object in Arabian religion was the stone, either a rock outcropping or a large boulder, often a rectangular or irregular black basaltic stone without representative sculptural detail. Such stones were thought to be the residences of a god. The nomadic tribes refer to these deities as Hagar or ‘stone’. Often there would be a well or cistern with water for ablutions and a ‘sacred’ tree on which offerings to the gods or trophies of war would be hung.

In the Arabian temples the image of the deity sometimes stood in the open air and sometimes it was sheltered in a qubbah, or vaulted niche. Such a niche might be portable. Such a portable shelter is represented graphically on a Palmyrene relief. Not to be confused with the qubbah is the word ka’aba. The word ka’aba (which actually means ankles) was warped to come to mean a cube-shaped walled structure. Such an awkward-looking empty square house was constructed possibly in the shape of tents, and served as a shelter for the black Arabic sacred stones.

The principal public celebration of the nomadic tribes was an annual pilgrimage in which tribes who shared a common bond through worship of a particular deity would reunite at a particular sanctuary or station. The pattern of ceremonial procession around stone idols was common and is a pattern we see today continued in the Arab custom of the pilgrimage to Mecca. However, present scholarly knowledge of ancient Arabia remains fragmentary at best and there are many substantial gaps in the picture that has come down to us.

Unlike certain other Scriptures, the Reading does not give the details of the personal life of the person who delivered the message. It emphasises the significance of the message rather than that of the messenger. But the Arabs have promoted the opposite tendency.

Despite their claims to the contrary and the sheer tonnage of ‘learned’ books (supposedly about the life of the prophet) that the Arab religion now rests upon, in reality the religionists do not have a reliable biography of the ancestry and early life of the Messenger except what they themselves cobbled together from the conjectures of story-tellers and fragments of tribal myth. The information to hand2 was not compiled systematically but was manufactured years after the fact to insinuate that this man was a charlatan who behaved in an illogical and strange manner which inspired fanaticism in his followers and a fiercely intolerant way of life towards those who rejected the Arab religion.

By the Arab religionists’ own admission, this ‘information’ was transmitted orally for more than a century before being committed to writing. No one denies that not a single one of the known and revered biographers had any personal acquaintance with the Last Prophet whatsoever. Each of the fragments claims a pedigree of authenticity by dint of its alleged train of transmission. A typical formula goes something like: “According to so-and-so, who heard it from so-and-so who is the nephew or uncle of so-and–so, who overheard so-and-so being told by so-and-so that the messenger of Allah said such-and-such-and-such.” This smoke-and-mirrors trick is pulled off by means of this kind of ‘chain of transmission’. The ‘chains of transmission’ work wonders on the Arab mind given their obsession with their place and relatives within the tribal structure.

Despite all the uncertainty, it is a known fact that whatever the compilers claim to have heard (of what the Prophet is supposed to have said or done in his personal capacity) is always received from individuals who themselves honestly claimed to have received it from earlier sources. Beginning around two hundred years after the death of the Prophet, demented compilers began going from town to town asking people about the Prophet’s personal behaviour. They would have been served better by applying themselves to the message he delivered. Since the collections of the Hadiths are spurious at best and pernicious at worst, we must admit that the dates and details of the Prophet’s early youth and personal beliefs remain unknown.

The religionists have no details about the Prophet’s father. Even the date of Muhammad’s first revelation is debatable. Stories concerning important stages in his life are varied and contradictory, including the spreading of the revelation and even the circumstances of his death. Many of the events recorded are pure hearsay in which even the relater himself admits the frailty of the case, a frailty which the scholars will acknowledge using the formula: ‘Only God knows best whether this is false or true’.

What was finally recorded in writing from the mountain of material obtained from hearsay was decided by four major priests who led what are today the Sunni schools of thought. The Shiite had their own stories to tell. The relevant parts of each of their selections were in turn accepted or rejected by other schools, as they thought fit. Each priest sought to improve on his forerunners and supersede them as a standard authority.


1 Jahiliah: ignorance or fools

2 The information about the supposed practices of the prophet is called Hadith, and highly spurious biographies have been created based on the same.


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