Sunday, 25 June 2017

Is the Earth on a Whale's Back Narration Explained - Adnan Rashid

Here's Muslim apologist Adnan Rashid's message on this following his discussion with an ignorant man at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park (the comment is taken from the comment section).

Hello everyone,

I am Adnan Rashid, one of the debaters in the video. Now that none of the Islam-haters are willing to take up our challenge to debate this topic further, I will share few points to do away with this hilariously desperate attempt to attack Islam. Please see the following:

1. None of the Muslim scholars accept the whale story to be true. Just because they document it does not make it true. In fact many of them (including Ibn Kathir) highlighted the absurdity of this story. There is not even one report from the Prophet Mohammad on it. Ever wondered why? If the Prophet did not say it then we don't have to accept it.

2. Even Abdullah bin Abbas did not say this story is from the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him). Rather it was a story he learnt from a Jewish convert to Islam called K'ab al-Ahbaar. This is clearly mentioned in the very article some Islamophobes used to make their point. Why did they hide that information?

See the article here (must read):

3. Abdullah bin Abbas, despite his authority in Tafsir, was not infallible. He was indeed the greatest scholar of Tafsir who ever lived. He held some erroneous opinions also and occasionally quoted from Jewish/Christian sources. His knowledge and authority, no doubt, is paramount but he never claimed to be infallible. To highlight his fallibility, he pleaded ignorance of certain topics such as he did not know the meaning of the word "fatir" the Quran:

Ibn `Abbas said, "I did not know what Fatir As-Samawati wal-Ard meant until two bedouins came to me disputing over a well. One of them said to his companion, `Ana Fatartuha,' meaning, `I started it.''' (Ibn Kathir Surah Fatir)

He held, until near the end of his life, that muta' marriage (temporary marriage) may be an option in Islam. This was an opinion he was rebuked for severely. He also presented a possible understanding of the crucifixion story, based upon Christian sources, stating it might be another person who was crucified instead of Jesus. Many more examples can be given to show how Abdullah bin Abbas had sometimes used extra-Islamic material to contextualise some of the Quran. Was he always right? The answer is no. Was he always wrong? The answer is an emphatic no. He was mostly correct, especially when he narrated from the Prophet Mohammad directly. Using Abdullah bin Abbas as the only authority in Islam, despite his occasional errors, is the peak of desperation.

4. Islam-haters selectively choose opinions from Islamic literature and present them as the only option. Anyone reading through the tafsir literature will realise that the scholars of Islam expressed opinions and brought supporting evidences to substantiate their claims. They would highlight what opinions they preferred. Amazingly, none of the tafsir scholars, despite mentioning it, took the whale story seriously. In fact many highlighted the fact that this story originates in "israiliyaat" i.e. Judeo-Christian literature. In other words it is not trustworthy.

5. Even if the reports reach Ibn Abbas via an authentic chain (which is not the case in most reports on this topic) the fact remains that he adopted the story from Jewish sources and presented it to contextualise the Quran. The part that the first thing created (before the creation of the heavens and the earth) was pen is authentic and is known from the Prophet Mohammad. Amazingly the whale part cannot be traced back to the Prophet.

6. The fact that Islam-haters ignore all other opinions and focus on only one shows how disingenuous they are. "Nun" is thought to be an ink-pot but the spin-doctors will completely ignore that opinion and jump to the one that sounds most controversial. Hence we cannot trust Islam-haters and their twisted view on Islamic theology.

7. Note how the Islamophobes completely ignore the very beginning of the relevant portion in Tafsir Ibn Kathir where he mentions the fact that these letters are from the "huruf muqatt'aat". We know that all scholars of Tafsir are unanimous that we do not find anything authentic from the Prophet Mohammad on the exact meaning of these alphabets in the beginning of certain suras (chapters), hence we cannot be certain about their exact meaning. That does not mean they do not have a meaning at all, rather we believe God has put these alphabets there for some purpose which remains hidden from us thus far. Some scholars, however, have attempted to attribute meanings to these alphabets and they expressed these opinions in their tafsirs.

8. Islam-haters are usually unable to have a decent discussion and often resort to insults and mockery. They will usually hide behind screens and not show their faces, as they lack confidence in their own content. Haters are good at mocking but bad at having decent academic discussions. So, if they wish to attack Islam truthfully then they should do so in a public debate, where their absurdities and ignorance (or even lies) can be exposed. But they will continue to hide behind screens unfortunately.

Finally, I encourage a decent dialogue with anyone interested in this topic. Not all the details can be shared on a YouTube comment. A face to face discussion is the best way to get the bigger picture :)

Kindest regards. Adnan.