DOES SURAH BAQARAH VERSE 89 JUSTIFY TAWASSUL THROUGH THE PROPHET MOHAMMED?

Surah Baqarah Verse 89

Allah says “And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Quran) from Allah confirming what is with them (the Torah) and the Injil (Gospel), although a foretime they had invoked Allah (for the coming of Muhammad) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came to them that which they had recognised, they disbelieved in it. So let the curse of Allah be on the disbelievers”

Sufi Understanding Of The Verse

The Sufis claim that this verse is proves that Jews made tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed in order to gain victory over the Arabs. This was done before the prophet was sent. So they believe in the actions of the Jews there is a proof that Muslims of today can also do the same type of tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed like the Jews.

Correct Understanding Of The Verse

The Jews never made tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed in order to gain victory over the Arabs. They use to ask Allah to send the prophet Mohammed, so they could gain victory over the Arabs.

The sahaba knew the Jews use to ask Allah to send the prophet Mohammed, so they could gain victory over the Arabs. That’s why when they became Muslim they used to say to them, “O Jews! Fear Allah and embrace Islam. You used to invoke Allah to gain victory over us with the coming of Muhammad when we were still disbelievers and you used to tell us that he would come and describe him to us.” From Muadh bin Jabal and Bishr bin Al-Bara bin Marur, from Bani Salamah recorded in Tafsir at-Tabari and Tafsir Ibn Kathir.

Abu Al-Aliyah (one of the early scholars of Islam) said, “The Jews used to ask Allah to send Muhammad so that they would gain victory over the Arab disbelievers. They used to say, ‘O Allah! Send the Prophet that we read about – in the Tawrah – so that we can torment and kill the disbelievers alongside him.’

In Tafsir at Tabari he states “Ibn Abbas said about Allah saying “although a foretime they had invoked Allah in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved” They (the Jews) sought help with (Allah through) the coming of the messenger……””

Ibn Kathir said in his tafsir “Ibn Abbas said “The Jews used to invoke Allah through the messenger (Ibn Abbas explained this saying “They (the Jews) sought help with (Allah through) the coming of the messenger”) in order to gain victory over the Aws and Khazraj, before the Prophet was sent. When Allah sent him to the Arabs they disbelieved in him and denied what they use to say.”

Tafsir Nasafi he said the Jews use to say “O Allah help us through the coming of the Prophet at the end of time, whose description we find in the torah.”

In Shawkanis tafsir he said “They (the Jews) used to seek help from Allah against there enemies, through the coming of the Prophet at the end of time, whose description they found with them in the torah.”

In al-Badawis tafsir he said the Jews use to say “O Allah help us through the coming of the Prophet at the end of time, who we find in the torah.”

In tafsir al-Jalalayn it was state that the Jews use to say “O Allah help us against them (idol worshiping Arabs) through the coming of the Prophet at the end of time.”

From the above it is clear that the Sufis have completely misunderstood this verse. This verse only informs that the Jews used to make duaa to Allah for him to help them against the Arabs. The Jews thought that when the messenger came they would gain this victory. So they asked Allah to grant them victory through (when) the messenger was sent to them. The Jews believed that before the messenger came to them they would be unable to defeat the Arabs.

Narration of Ibn Abbas In Tafseer Qurtubi

Sufis often bring a narration in tafsir Qurtubi, which backs up there incorrect understanding of this verse. The narration is:

“Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The Jews of Khaybar were fighting the tribe of Ghatfan. When they met in battle, the Jews were defeated so the Jews supplicated with this supplication: “Indeed we ask you by the right of the unlettered Prophet who you promised to send to us at the end of time, that you give us victory against them.” When they met (the tribe) of Ghatfan in battle again, they called out with this supplication and defeated them. When the Prophet was sent, they disbelieved in him, so Allah revealed: (Though before that they were asking for a signal triumph over those who disbelieved -and when there came to them that which they know (to be the truth) they disbelieved therein. The curse of Allah is on disbelievers.) (al-Baqara: 89)”

This was narrated by Al-Hakim in his “Mustadrak” v 2 p 263 and Al-Bayhaqi in his “Dalail un Nubuwwah” v 2 p 76. Al-Hakim said after narrating this Hadeeth: “There is a need of quoting it in (books of) tafsir and it is gharib.” A hadeeth is termed gharib (“scarce, strange”) when a only a single reporter is found relating it at some stage of the isnad. If at any stage in the isnad, only two reporters are found to narrate the hadeeth, it is termed ‘aziz’ (“rare, strong”). Most gharib ahadeeth are weak, Imam Ahmad said in al-San’ani, 2:409 , “Do not write these gharib ahadeeth because they are unacceptable, and most of them are weak.”

 Hafiz Az-Zahabi said in his “Talkhis”: “There is no such need because (the narrator) AbdulMalik is matruk halik (abandoned destroyed)” referring to Al-Hakims statement “there is a need of quoting it (narration above) in (the books of) tafsir and it is gharib.”

Hafiz As-Suyuti weakened this narration in his “Dur ul Manthur”.

This narration from Ibn Abbas in Qurtubi contradicts Ibn Abbases other narrations. The other narrations are:

Ibn Kathir said in his tafsir “Ibn Abbas said “The Jews used to invoke Allah through the messenger (Ibn Abbas explained this saying “They (the Jews) sought help with (Allah through) the coming of the messenger”) in order to gain victory over the Aws and Khazraj, before the Prophet was sent. When Allah sent him to the Arabs they disbelieved in him and denied what they use to say.”

In Tafsir at Tabari he states “Ibn Abbas said about Allah saying “although a foretime they had invoked Allah in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved” They (the Jews) sought help with (Allah through) the coming of the messenger……””

The reason the narrations contradict each other is because the narration in Qurtubi states the Jews asked Allah for victory by the right of the prophet. On the other hand the narrations in at-Tabari and in Ibn Kathir indicate that the Jews asked Allah for victory through (due to) his sending of the prophet to them.

Also the narration in Ibn Kathir is about the Jews in Madeenaah (Ibn Taymiyah said in his “Tawassul wal Wasilla” that there is agreement between scholars of Tafsir and history that this verse came for Jews of Madeenah.) However the narration in Qurtubi is about the Jews of Khaybar.

Additionally because the narration in Ibn Kathir is about the Jews in Madeenaah it highlights the fact that these Jews want order to victory over the Aws and Khazraj, two Arab tribes from Madeenaah. But the narration in Qurtubi indicates the Jews want victory over the Ghatfan tribe and not the Aws and Khazraj tribe

These contradictions make these narrations mudtarib, because the texts of these narrations have irreconcilable differences in them even though they are all reported from Ibn Abbas.

Conclusion

This narration is very weak because one of the narrators in this chain of narration is matruk halik (abandoned destroyed) (AbdulMalik).

It is also very weak because it is not possible that Ibn Abbas would make a statement about this verse (2:89) which was concerning the Jews of Madeenaah (Banu Nadhir, Banu Qaynuqah and Banu Quraydhah) but think it was about Jews of Khaybar. He said I the above narration “The Jews of Khaybar were fighting the tribe of Ghatfan. When they met in battle, the Jews were defeated so the Jews supplicated…..”

The reason it is impossible for him to make this basic mistake when giving the tafsir of a verse is because the Prophet invoked Allah for the benefit of Ibn `Abbas, the prophet said “O Allah! Teach him Fiqh (understanding) in the religion and interpretation (tafsir of the Quran)” Authentic narrated in Fath Al-Bari (Ibn Hajars Explanation of Saheeh Bukhari).  Furthermore, Ibn Jarir At-Tabari reported that `Abdullah bin Masud (who was a scholar of tafsir among the sahaba) said, “Yes, Ibn ‘Abbas is the interpreter of the Quran.” Narrated by Tabari, this narration has an authentic chain of narrators.

Plus as the narration is mudtarib it is weak. All mudtarib hadeeth and narrations are classed as weak.

Side Point

If weak hadeeth can not be used to explain verses in the Quran that contain fiqh ruling how can the Sufis justify using a weak athar (narration of a sahaba) to explain such verses.

Proof: Tawassul through the prophet Mohammed is related to duaa ul-Masalah (duaa of request) which is an act of worship, so everything to do with duaa comes under the category of fiqh like all other acts of worship.

Weak hadeeth can not be used to explain fiqh ruling in the Quran Imam Nawawi said in the …’Adhkar’:  “As for legal (fiqh) rulings such as what is permitted and what is forbidden, or the modalities of trade, marriage, divorce and other than that: one’s practice is not based upon anything other than authentic (saheeh) or good (hasan) hadeeth…..”

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/250: It is not permissible in Islam to rely on weak ahaadeeth that are neither saheeh nor hasan………… None of the imams said that it is permissible to regard something as obligatory or mustahabb (recommended) on the basis of a weak hadeeth; whoever says that is going against scholarly consensus (ijma)……

Some scholars allowed the use of weak hadeeth but only for encouraging good deeds or forbidding haraam actions (targheeb wa al-tarheeb) and for (fadail amal) good deeds and character and even when these scholars use these hadeeth there are strict conditions that they adhere to.

Ibn Hajar al-Askalani gives the conditions which all the scholars who allow weak hadeeth to be used give.

  1. It should not be very weak, and one should not act upon a hadeeth which was narrated only by one of the liars or those who are accused of lying, or whose mistakes are serious. 
  2. It should mention a good deed for which there is a basis in the Shareah. 
  3. When acting upon it one should not believe that the action is well-founded, rather he should do it on the basis of erring on the side of caution. 

From what Ibn Hajar al-Askalani as said it is clear that even the scholars who accepted weak hadeeth in relation to encouraging good deeds or forbidding haraam actions (targheeb wa al-tarheeb) and for (fadail amal) good deeds and character do not accept very weak or fabricated hadeeth.

Other Beneficial Points

If Jews did make tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed in order to gain victory over the Arabs. There is no evidence that Allah or the prophet Mohammed commanded or recommended that Muslims should copy the actions of these Jews

There is no evidence that Allah or the prophet Mohammed praised the actions of these Jews.

If Jews did make tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed in order to gain victory over the Arabs. Muslims can not copy the actions of those who Allahs anger is upon. As Muslims we say in our five prayers (when we recite surah al-Fatiha), “guide us to the straight path. The way of those on whom you have granted your grace, not (the way) of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray.”

In this verse it is agreed upon by all scholars that Allah is referring to the Jews in this verse when Allah says ‘not (the way) of those who earned your anger’, the Jews abandoned practicing there religion so they earned Allahs anger. This is why the prophet Mohammed said ‘those who have earned the anger are the Jews…’ recorded by Tirmidhi who said that it is hasan gharib.

Since the Jews have earned Allahs anger for not practising there religion only an ignorant person would copy the Jews tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed.

Furthermore we ask Allah in this verse to guide us away from the path of those who earned his anger so how can at the same time copy the actions of those who earned Allahs anger. Their (the Jews) action which is copied is tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed.

If Jews did made tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed in order to gain victory over the Arabs. Then we should not do this type of tawassul because we have bee commaded by the Prophet to be different from the mushrikeen (Polytheists). The Prophet said: “Be different from the Mushrikeen…” Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim

The Jews are disbelievers (Kufar) because they disbelieve in the Quran ad the prophet, they are also People of the book (Ahlu Kittab) because Allah sent them the Torah plus they are Mushrikeen (Polytheists) because they do shirk with Allah.

Allah says “…those who incurred the curse of Allah…” (5:60) This refers to the Jews, they were cursed because they disobeyed there prophets, killed the prophets, disbelieved in prophet Mohammed even though they recognized him because he was mentioned in their book (Torah) ad for may other reasons. Being cursed means being expelled from Allahs mercy. So If Jews did make tawassul through the right of Prophet Mohammed no sensible Muslim would copy there actions knowing Allah has cursed these people.

Lastly the Prophet said, “Surely, you will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, in everything as one arrow resembles another, (i.e. just like them), so much so that even if they entered a hole of a sand-lizard, you would enter it.” They said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Do you mean to say that we will follow the Jews and the Christians?” He replied, “Whom else?” (meaning the Jews and Christians) recorded by Bukhari and Muslim

Therefore it is no surprise that Sufis copy the type of tawassul these Jews made.

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About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTATIONS OF THE SUFI CREED and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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