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The Miracle of Angels in the Battle of Badr

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Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Interfaith Dialogue
Forum Discription: It is for Interfaith dialogue, where Muslims discuss with non-Muslims. We encourge that dialogue takes place in a cordial atmosphere on various topics including religious tolerance.
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Printed Date: 31 October 2014 at 1:59pm


Topic: The Miracle of Angels in the Battle of Badr
Posted By: Beebok
Subject: The Miracle of Angels in the Battle of Badr
Date Posted: 14 October 2012 at 3:28pm

Non-Muslims may ask how we can know that Muhammad really saw the angel Gabriel in the cave.

 

Here follows an event from a different time in Muhammad’s life to illustrate his veracity from which we can add to other events to form a foundation for determining Muhammad’s reliability.

 

The event of the battle in Badr valley:

 

Just the facts,

 

  1. The army of the Quraysh pagans was about 1000 strong.
  2. The Muslim army had about 300 to 315 fighters.
  3. As the Quraysh pagan army was winning, they suddenly turned around and fled in chaos.
  4. The Badr valley is surrounded by mountains on all sides. There are only three narrow ways in and out of the valley.
  5. The night before the battle, there had been a substantial rain and the ground was damp on the day of the battle.

 

Part 1, The Battle of Badr, a quick summary:

 

A, Muhammad predicts what was going to happen.

 

After losing some man to man duels against the Muslims, the pagan Quraysh descended on the Muslims with a fury and the Muslims were hard pressed to defend their line.

 

Muhammad was commanding from behind the Muslims, and the following verse of the Quran was then revealed from God to Muhammad,

{ I will help you with a thousand angels in succession, one following behind the other. } (Quran: 8,9)

 

Muhammad then said to his friend, Abu Bakr, “. . . I can see the angel Gabriel on his mare in the thick of a sand storm.”

But there was no sand storm that anyone else could see, . . . yet.

 

Then the following verse of the Quran was revealed,

{ Their (the pagan’s) multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.” } (Quran: 54:45)

 

Then Muhammad picked up a handful of gravel and threw it in the direction of the pagans and said, “confusion seize their faces!”

Just as he threw the gravel, a violent sandstorm blew into the faces of the enemies.

This was very strange since it was difficult for any strong wind to blow into the valley, and the ground was wet from the rain the night before.

 

B, An unexpected sand-storm blows from the rock mountains.

In the Valley of Badr, the Muslims were based on the South West part of valley. The Quraysh disbelievers were based on the North East part of the valley.

The Muslims had their backs to the Al-Asfal Mountains, which is the lower mountain chain to Makkah. 

So, the wind, if it was from natural causes, would have had to blow through a mountain chain when the ground was damp from the rain and had no loose dust to pick up, and would have had to appear just moments after Muhammad predicted it while no one else could see it, and just as Muhammad through the gravel at the Quraysh with his prayer.

Since the Muslims had the mountains just behind them, the sand storm would have had to appear through a wall of wet rock, go just in the right direction, and just at the right time. Then there would have had to have been reports of seeing or noticing the effects of angels from both sides. 

As the pagans were blinded by the sand storm, the Muslims immediately regained the upper hand and the pagans were thrown into confusion. They turned around and fled in disorder and panic as the Muslim army gave pursuit.

 

After the battle was over, the following verse was revealed by God to Muhammad,

{ And you (Muhammad) did not throw when you threw, but it was God who threw. } (Quran: 8:17)

 

Before the pagans fled, the Muslims were busy fighting and had not heard Muhammad say that he saw Gabriel, nor had the Muslims heard the verse in which God promised the help of angels.



 

Part 2, People report seeing angels:

 

But the Muslims later reported various sightings. Some said that they saw unknown horsemen whose horses’ hoofs did not touch the ground.

Some Muslims did not see the angels directly, but saw the effects of the angels such as one Muslim named Hazuim who reported seeing the head of a fleeing pagan get mysteriously cut off before he could reach him. Hazuim had been giving chase and he heard a swashing of a horse whip and then a detached voice say, “forward Hazuim!”

When he reported the incident to Muhammad, he said to Hazuim, “You have said the truth. This was help from the third heaven.”

 

Even one of the captured pagan disbelievers named Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib reported, “this man did not capture me. I was captured by a different man who was bald and handsome and who was riding a piebald horse. I do not see him here among the people.” The Muslim holding Abbas captive then interrupted Abbas and proclaimed to Muhammad, “I captured him, O Messenger of Allah.”

Muhammad then said to him, “Be quiet, God the All-Mighty strengthened you with the help of a noble angel.”

Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib had brought 100 gold coins with him, and had left a secret savings with his wife in Mecca.

When the time for ransom came, Abbas said that he had no other wealth than what he had brought, and then Muhammad asked Abbas about the gold that he had left with his wife. Abbas was stunned and asked Muhammad how he knew about that, and Muhammad responded that the angel Gabriel had told him.

 

To add more to the miracle of angels in the Battle of Badr, I will quote Martin Lings’ biography of Muhammad where Lings summarizes the hadith,

Others had brief glimpses of the Angels riding on horses whose hooves never touched the ground, led by Gabriel wearing a yellow turban, whereas the turbans of the other angels were white, with one end left streaming behind them.”

page 152.

 

Here is another example of a non-Muslim disbeliever reporting the angels.

One of the defeated non-Muslim survivors named Abu Sufyan bin Al-Harith fled back to Mecca. He narrated the events of the defeat to another disbeliever named Abu Lahab who had not been present at the battle.

Abu Sufyan’s account emphasized the angels as being the cause of the defeat.

When a poor Muslim named Abu Rafi over heard the discussion, he began to repeat the event with the miraculous role of the angels, and Abu Lahab became so angry that he began beating up the destitute Abu Rafi. 

The above is only one event from the life of Muhammad. There were others. The combination of such incidents along with the miracles of the Quran, the excellence of the personality of Muhammad, and many other things attest that Muhammad was indeed telling the truth when he spoke of having seen the angel Gabriel in the night of the first revelation, as Matt Browne has asked about.

 

 

Part 3, Review:

A,  The disbeliever’s challenge has been met: Others did see the angels.

The disbelievers raised the challenge, “did others besides Muhammad see the angels?”

So, in answer to the disbeliever’s challenge of anyone else seeing angels, we have as one example, the Battle of Badr where other people saw the angels also.

1,  Some other Muslims witnessed the angels.

The Muslims later reported various sightings. Some said that they saw unknown horsemen whose horses’ hoofs did not touch the ground.”

2,  Some examples of non-Muslims seeing the angles.

Remember that an angel that told Muhammad about the gold that Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib had secretly given to his wife, and that Abbas also reported being captured by one invisible to others. That was a case where a disbeliever saw an angel, but a Muslim standing next to him didn’t see it.

I had also mentioned the report of a Muslim named Hazuim who reported seeing the head of a disbeliever get cut off by no means that he could see while at the same time he heard a detached voice encouraged him on.

I had written:

Some Muslims did not see the angels directly, but saw the effects of the angels such as one Muslim named Hazuim who reported seeing the head of a fleeing pagan get mysteriously cut off before he could reach him. Hazuim had been giving chase and he heard a swashing of a horse whip and then a detached voice say, “forward Hazuim!”

When Hazuim reported the incident to Muhammad, he said to Hazuim, “You have said the truth. This was help from the third heaven.”

B, Other examples of Muhammad’s knowledge of the unknown.

1, Muhammad’s knowledge of death of the Persian king before the king’s own agents knew:

Muhammad’s knowledge of Abbas’s secret gold at the Battle of Badr was not the only example of Muhammad having knowledge unknown to others. On a different occasion, the king of Persia, Khosroe, once ordered the governor of Yaman, a man named Bazan, to arrest Muhammad. Bazan sent to agents to arrest Muhammad. When they arrived in Medinah, Muhammad informed them that Khosroe was dead. They returned to Yaman empty handed and later word arrived that king Khosroe had been murdered by his son the very night of the agents’ meeting with Muhammad.

Bazan, the governer of Yaman, converted to Islam upon learning this and succeeded from Persia.

 2, Muhammad’s knowledge of the secret mission of Umair:

Umair bin Wahb Al-Jumahi was one of the hardened polytheists who had gone further and further astray.
After the battle of Badr, he went on a secret mission from
Mecca to Medina to murder the holy prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Safwan bin Umaiyah had quietly offered to pay Umair’s debts and family financial obligations so that Umair could go on that assassination attempt.

But when Umair was caught, and the prophet revealed to Umair his secret mission, then Umair was taken by surprise. He converted to Islam, and then returned to
Mecca to spread the message, and many converted back to Islam. Such was the compassionate miracle of Allah through His prophet that brought Umair back.

I had also mentioned the report of a Muslim named Hazuim who reported seeing the head of a disbeliever get cut off by no means that he could see while at the same time he heard a detached voice encouraged him on.

I had written:

Some Muslims did not see the angels directly, but saw the effects of the angels such as one Muslim named Hazuim who reported seeing the head of a fleeing pagan get mysteriously cut off before he could reach him. Hazuim had been giving chase and he heard a swashing of a horse whip and then a detached voice say, “forward Hazuim!”

When he reported the incident to Muhammad, he said to Hazuim, “You have said the truth. This was help from the third heaven.” 

So, Muslims and non-Muslims had seen the angels.  

 

Part 4, Responding to some objections: 

 A, How can we trust the authenticity of the events?

Muslims believe that we must follow the Quran and the example of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) if we are to enter into heaven. So, it is to our advantage to copy the sayings and actions of Muhammad, as well as the contextual events surrounding his life, friends, and enemies, as closely as possible.

To that end, they followed an objective and complex set of standards to determine which hadith were reliable and which were not. They followed those standards with meticulous care. Those standards are preserved as well as the hadith. Their methodology can be reproduced at will.

B, The miracle was not just that the Muslims defeated a more powerful force.

Now, the disbelievers may object by claiming that the history of warfare is filled with examples against vastly superior forces; but that is not our standard for miracles, and the disbelievers would be just misrepresenting our point with such an objection.

C, The miracle was not just that an unexpected wind blew into the faces of the disbelievers at just the right time.

They might also object and say that it is not an impressive event for wind to blow into the face of the enemy. For example, Hannibal, the leader of an army from Carthage that fought Rome, arranged matters so that the wind blew dust into the faces of the advancing Romans.

There is a huge difference between Hannibal “arranging matters” so that a wind will blow dust in the faces of the enemy, and what happened in the valley of Badr, where as I had stated previously,

  1. The Badr valley is surrounded by mountains on all sides. There are only three narrow ways in and out of the valley.
  2. The night before the battle, there had been a substantial rain and the ground was damp on the day of the battle.

 

So, the ground was damp from a rain the night before, and the valley was surrounded by mountains such that a sand storm could not blow in. Muhammad could not have “arranged matters” for things to fall into place under such circumstances.

On top of that, the sand storm came just as Muhammad threw the gravel and made the prayer.

On top of that still, there was the reports of the angels from both the Muslims and the non-Muslim disbelievers, and this might have been the main miracle of all.

So, clearly the miracle was not at all merely that of inferior forces beating a vastly superior force.

In the Valley of Badr, the Muslims were based on the South West part of valley. The Quraysh disbelievers were based on the North East part of the valley.

The Muslims had their backs to the Al-Asfal Mountains, which is the lower mountain chain to Makkah.

 How could a wind blow through a mountain chain, especially when the ground around was wet and there was no dry dust to pick up? And what are the chances that such an inexplicable event would have happened just as the Muslims needed it to happen? And what are the chances that such an inexplicable wind happening at just the right time would have would have blown in just the right direction.

D, Why were the Muslims attacking an unarmed caravan to begin with?

The pagan Quraysh of Mecca, in their rage, had sent a letter to the Muslims in Medina promising to slaughter them.

In addition, Muslim intelligence sources in Mecca were reporting back to Muslims in Medina that the pagan Quraysh were openly plotting against them.

Muhammad at one time even called for volunteers to protect his family as they slept at night.

As the Muslims escaped from Medina to Mecca, the pagan Quraysh had seized much of the wealth that the Muslims left behind. In addition, the pagans persecuted those Muslims who had been unable to flee. The pagans had also sent an ultimatum to the leader of pagans in Medina to fight and expel the Muslims. To that effect, the pagans in Medina gathered to fight the Muslims, but backed down at the last second.

The pagan Quraysh of Mecca had even put economic sanctions, blockades, and embargoes against the Muslims in Medina. It was based on hostile actions such as the ones above that the permission to fight was given to the Muslims.

 

Part 5, What to think of such an event:

An appropriate response to the events of the miracles of angels at the battle of Badr is for one to think something like, “this is amazing and lends evidence to Muhammad’s help from God.”

So, when Muhammad narrates his seeing the angel Gabriel, we can add this event to many other things to see that Muhammad was true.

But then again, if someone like Abu Sufyan could be so hard hearted to reject Islam even after he saw the angels, it is not surprising then that others like Abu Lahab and the critics here would reject Islam upon hearing of the events.




Replies:
Posted By: Abu Loren
Date Posted: 22 October 2012 at 5:25am
As'alaamu Alaikkum bro Beebok

All muslims should know the following Hadith, so I will post it here for any non-Muslims who are interested.

I hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread....

It was narrated that 'Umar said:

"We were sitting with the Prophet () when a man came to him whose clothes were intensely white and whose hair was intensely black; no signs of travel could be seen upon him, and none of us recognized him. He sat down facing the Prophet (), with his knees touching his, and he put his hands on his thighs, and said: 'O Muhammad, what is Islam?' He said: 'To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that I am the Messenger of Allah, to establish regular prayer, to pay Zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to perform Hajj to the House (the Ka'bah).' He said: 'You have spoken the truth.' We were amazed by him: He asked a question, then told him that he had spoken the truth. Then he said: 'O Muhammad, what is Iman faith? He said: 'To believe in Allah, His angels, His Messengers, His books, the Last day, and the Divine Decree (Qadar), both the good of it and the bad of it.' He said' You have spoken the truth.' We were amazed by him. He asked a question, then told him that he had spoken the truth. Then he said: 'O Muhammad, what is Ihsan (right action, goodness, sincerity)? He said: 'To worship Allah as if you see Him, for even though you do not see Him, He sees you.' He asked: "When will the Hour be?' He said: 'The one who is being asked about it does not know more than the one who is asking.' He asked: 'Then what are its signs?' he said: 'When the slave woman gives birth to her mistress' (Waki' said: This means when non-Arabs will give birth to Arabs") 'and when you see barefoot, naked, destitute shepherds competing in constructing tall buildings.' The Prophet () met me three days later and asked me: 'Do you know who that man was? I said" 'Allah and his Messenger know best.' He said: 'That was Jibril, who came to you to teach you your religion.'"


Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 22 October 2012 at 4:59pm

Originally posted by Beebok

[4A] Muslims believe that we must follow the Quran and the example of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) if we are to enter into heaven. So, it is to our advantage to copy the sayings and actions of Muhammad, as well as the contextual events surrounding his life, friends, and enemies, as closely as possible.

Not necessarily.  http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pious_fraud - Pious fraud happens all the time, not just in Islam but in all religions.  If you believe something fervently enough, and believe that you have a duty to convince others of this belief, then it is easy to rationalize making up a story to achieve that good purpose.

To that end, they followed an objective and complex set of standards to determine which hadith were reliable and which were not. They followed those standards with meticulous care. Those standards are preserved as well as the hadith. Their methodology can be reproduced at will.

And the result?  Endless disputes over the reliability of not just individual hadith but whole collections of them.  Do not confuse precision with accuracy.  Your "standards of meticulous care" do not produce absolute certainty, but rather a hierarchy of authenticity, with varying levels of uncertainty.

And please note that this hierarchy is created and the authenticity of each hadith is evaluated, by men, not by God.  Therefore to the extent that your religion relies on this evaluation, then your religion is defined by men, not by God.  If men can be wrong (and they certainly can), then your religion can also be wrong.

[4D] It was based on hostile actions such as the ones above that the permission to fight was given to the Muslims.

To fight the aggressors, perhaps; but nothing can justify attacking unarmed civilians.  Not in caravans, and not in office towers in downtown Manhattan.



-------------
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.


Posted By: honeto
Date Posted: 24 October 2012 at 1:15pm
Ron,
Allah tells in the Quran to the believers to follow the prophet as an example of how a Muslim should be.
On the matter of Hadith, I can consider some of what you said as my view too. As there are some Hadiths that may go against the essence of the Quran.
At the same time the Sunnah or tradition of the prophet only reach to us what we follow generation after generation from his time to ours, and of course in form of narrations or hadiths. We just have to be very careful when using them.
I do see that a lot of us the Muslims forget to follow the Quran, but try to follow the Hadiths. Like many not practiciing the Faraidh, the essentials and Musts, but fulfilling only the Sunnahs of the prophet. I would like to give you all an example and it is a true example. Years ago, when I was not a practicing Muslim, a similar fiend of mine when drinking water would sit down and drink water in three gulps as to follow a Sunnah of the prophet. The same friend on weekend evenings would take bottles of beer and invite me to drink with him forgetting that the Quran forbids us to do so. When reminded he would just come up with excuses and I would join him thinking that I was not as hypocritical as he was, I use to drink water in one gulp standing then. Thank God that that time of ignorance is gone for me.

Certainly we need to follow the Sunnah of the prophet but we must not do it blindly nor by ignoring our duties set by the Quran, the Fraidhs or Musts.
May Allah Guide us All and forgive our Mistakes.
Hasan   

-------------
39:64 Proclaim: Is it some one other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?"


Posted By: Beebok
Date Posted: 04 November 2012 at 6:52am
Ron said, "If you believe something fervently enough, and believe that you have a duty to convince others of this belief, then it is easy to rationalize making up a story to achieve that good purpose."

That's completely different than what's happening here. Christians made up stories to get people to believe that Jesus is a god who died for their sins.

On the other hand, if we Muslims invent a story about Muhammad, it works against us because it makes it more difficult to enter heaven by following a false example.
Christians didn't need to follow Jesus' example to the t (or so they believed) so they had no motive to avoid making up stories.
So, your argument doesn't apply here.

And the extremely strict standards that we set for accepting a narrative such as checking the reliability of the narrators and having multiple chains of narration eliminate those stories that are merely fabricated.
The Christians on the other hand, had no such standards at all for determining which gospels would get accepted into the New Testament. Rather, the Roman emperror Constantine held a council at Nicea in 325 AD where he stated which documents he wanted to be accepted, and Christians accept those documents as the gospels of God.

-------------

Ron said, "And the result?  Endless disputes over the reliability of not just individual hadith but whole collections of them."

That just proves my point. Look how careful we are about what hadith we accept.

"Endless disputes" show that we are, with open minded attitudes, constantly scrutinizing, examining and re-examining, double checking and triple checking in an environment of open debate and honesty.
Can the Christians say that about their gospels scrutiney?
Look at what meticulous detail we put into scrutinizing and judging the hadith. That should increase everyone's confidence in the reliability since we are always ready to examine, reexamine and question them.

-----------

Ron said, "Your "standards of meticulous care" do not produce absolute certainty"

But we do put far more effort and strict standards than what normally gets accepted by historians, so if someone is looking for absolute certainty here when they are willing to accept less scrutinized standards for other history are just showing that they are making excuses to not believe.
So if there is a one in a million chance that one word in a hadith is changed, we are going to reject it and lose a chance to behave in a way to please God?

-------------

Ron said, "...but rather a hierarchy of authenticity, with varying levels of uncertainty."

Which works to our benefit because we can follow the ones of high certainty and reject the weaker ones.

----------

Ron said, “If men can be wrong (and they certainly can), then your religion can also be wrong.”

Men can also be right, and when they put in the massive intellectual effort and objective scrutiny on standards that are used to accept other ancient events, then they usually are right.

And if Ron is a man, then Ron can be wrong, and he certainly is because we can double check the work of the hadith collectors like Bukhari to see if they were right or not.

------------

Ron said, “…each hadith is evaluated, by men, not by God.”

But what he leaves out there is that the hadith are evaluated by sincere, intelligent, educated men who use a very strict and objective standard, not just a random assortment of men basing their judgment on their personal feelings and personal prejudices as occurred with the Christian gospels.

-----------

Ron said, “Therefore to the extent that your religion relies on this evaluation, then your religion is defined by men, not by God.”

That’s false reasoning. When Webster defies a word and I repeat it, then I’m not the one who defined it just by repeating it.

When God defines a religion, I’m not defining it by repeating God’s definition.

--------------

So, the disbelievers' argument is essentially that because there might be a miniscule chance that some hadith might be partially incorrect, they are going to disbelieve and ignore the mountains of evidence to believe.

What we see are the desperate attempts of disbelievers to find excuses to hold on to their disbelief.
They are going trash their own souls for eternity because there is a tiny chance that some part might be wrong.

Truly, God guides those who have sincerity in their hearts, and leaves to darkness those who have corruption in their hearts.

Quran 26:200
{
...
Thus do we put disbelief into the hearts of the guilty. They shall not believe in it until they see the woeful scourge.

...
}

They will not believe until it is too late.

-------

Ron said, "To fight the aggressors, perhaps; but nothing can justify attacking unarmed civilians.  Not in caravans, and not in office towers in downtown Manhattan."

For the caravan, the Muslims wanted to seize the goods. No one needed to get harmed. The caravan was not unarmed, just outnumbered, and back then and that place, warriors were civilians.
For Manhatten, the USA has no right to complain about anything after having bombed the water treatment facilities and murdered 500,000 Iraqi children from 1991 to 1995 as one of their many, many, uncountable crimes. The masters of slaughtering unarmed civilians, from native Americans, to 300,000 Philipine people,  to Hiroshima, to B-52 bombing Cambodia under Nixon killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, to My Lai type massacres in Vietnam, to drone strikes, to installing dictators to do the killing for them, and uncountable other instances of mass murder, have the audacity to complain when their victims strike back cause a microscopic fraction of a fraction of the damage done to them. Such is the nature of the oppressors.



Posted By: Beebok
Date Posted: 04 November 2012 at 7:13am
Abu Loren:
"I hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread.... "

Actually, I was hoping to see what Muslims had to say about the thread.
I still haven't heard any Muslims comment on it.
I've only seen one disbeliever actually comment on it.

--------

Muhammad said to Omar, "Do you know who that man was?"
Omar didn’t know.
Muhammad said: "That was Gabriel, who came to you to teach you your religion."


So, there was another example of other people seeing the angel Gabriel.


Posted By: Beebok
Date Posted: 04 November 2012 at 7:30am
Honeto, in my opinion, a Muslim is not a hypocrite just because he mixes good actions with bad.

A hypocrite (Munafiq) in the Islamic sense is someone who does not really believe, but pretends to be a Muslim to gain advantage.

On the other hand, sincere Muslims who sin out of weakness, addiction, confusion from stress, depression, ignorance, forgetfullness, or some other reason but then repent and try to do good in other places are not the same as those who only pretend to believe.

If a Muslim does sin, like drinking alcohol, then they had better do something good also like remembering God (zikr-Allah) through following the sunnah (example of Muhammad).
But then maybe, being too ashamed to follow the sunnah after sinning is also a form of zikr-Allah.

Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, when you and your friend sinned, God said something to the angels like, "you see how when even these two of my servants disobey me, one still remembers me by following the sunnah of my prophet to come back to Me, and the other still remembers me and tries to come back to Me by feeling ashamed."

I think that there is difference between a sincere Muslim who sins from weakness and then feels ashamed versus a person pretending to be a Muslim to gain advantage then committing a sin.

So, what I'm trying to say is, let's not be too hard on ourselves or our brothers. We're only human. God is the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.

This is one of the many reasons why we should try to get Islamic governments in our countries like Indonesia, Morrocco, and Jordan, etc, so we can organize the helping of each other, and strengthen each other, and forbid public temptations.



Posted By: Abu Loren
Date Posted: 04 November 2012 at 10:41am
The thing is we shouldn't be trying to convince these doubters because doubters will always doubt unless they have the guidance of Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala. One can scream and shout from the rooftops only to be in vain.
 
Also we've decided not to engage with this kufr Ron Webb as his intentions are less than honourable.


Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 04 November 2012 at 8:30pm

Originally posted by Beebok

Ron said, "If you believe something fervently enough, and believe that you have a duty to convince others of this belief, then it is easy to rationalize making up a story to achieve that good purpose."

That's completely different than what's happening here. Christians made up stories to get people to believe that Jesus is a god who died for their sins.

On the other hand, if we Muslims invent a story about Muhammad, it works against us because it makes it more difficult to enter heaven by following a false example.

Don't kid yourself, Beebok. Pious fraud happens in Islam, too:
"Narrated Um Kulthum bint Uqba: That she heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.'" http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/049-sbt.php#003.049.857 - (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 49, Number 857)

Besides, it's not necessary to deliberately lie in order to commit pious fraud.  Religious fervour can influence one's judgement and perceptions, leading witnesses to exaggerate events and misremember fantasies as reality.  In other words, people with the best of intentions can delude themselves without even realizing it.

And the extremely strict standards that we set for accepting a narrative such as checking the reliability of the narrators and having multiple chains of narration eliminate those stories that are merely fabricated.
The Christians on the other hand, had no such standards at all for determining which gospels would get accepted into the New Testament. Rather, the Roman emperror Constantine held a council at Nicea in 325 AD where he stated which documents he wanted to be accepted, and Christians accept those documents as the gospels of God.

How do you know what standards they used?  Do you think they just tossed dice or something?  Of course they had standards.  But the point is that by those standards they were largely able to agree on what belonged and what didn't belong in the Bible.  There are minor differences between the Catholic and the Protestant versions, for instance, but nothing like the differences between Sunni and Shia.  And that's not even considering the "weak" hadith, which by their own admission Muslim scholars are unable to decide.

That just proves my point. Look how careful we are about what hadith we accept.

Look how careful you need to be, and how even with such diligence you still have a whole boatload of hadith whose status is uncertain.  Good for you that you are open enough to admit it, but it doesn't remove the uncertainty.

Which works to our benefit because we can follow the ones of high certainty and reject the weaker ones.

But what if some of the weaker ones are actually legitimate?  How would that change your beliefs or your practices?  Can you just ignore the (alleged) word of Allah?

Men can also be right, and when they put in the massive intellectual effort and objective scrutiny on standards that are used to accept other ancient events, then they usually are right.

Is that the standard by which you define your religion?  "We're usually right?" LOL

For the caravan, the Muslims wanted to seize the goods. No one needed to get harmed. The caravan was not unarmed, just outnumbered, and back then and that place, warriors were civilians.

Oh, so that makes it okay? Confused

For Manhatten, the USA has no right to complain about anything after having bombed the water treatment facilities and murdered 500,000 Iraqi children from 1991 to 1995 as one of their many, many, uncountable crimes.

I'm going to assume that you are just lost in your own rhetoric, and are not actually condoning 9/11; but it sure sounds like you think that was okay too. Shocked



-------------
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.


Posted By: Beebok
Date Posted: 11 November 2012 at 2:03pm
The topic of hadith forgery is known as Wad al-Hadith, and are discounted by the scholars. "Even if this is done with a pious purpose in order to promote what is good, it would still count as a forgery and no credibility would be given to the motive and purpose of a deliberate forgery." quoted from "A Textbook of Hadith Studies, authenticity, compilation, classification, and criticism of hadith," by Mohammad Hashim Kamali.

Making peace, as in Ron's irrelevant example, is not the same as recording hadith. And the Quran explicitly states that it is an evil to make up something and say that it is from God, and elsewhere that whatever comes from the prophet is approved by God. So it works against a Muslim to invent a hadith. So, to compare it to Christianity is an incongruent analogy.

The standards of determining hadith are recorded by the collectors and other scholars and is an established field of study known as ulum al hadith, and there are established academic sub-branches of that such as al-jarh wal-tadil and ilal al hadith. And there are even principles of hadith criticism known as al-jarh wa al-tadil. And even the scholars are classified ranging from Muhadith to Hujja and Hakim. Thus the more one learns about Islam, the more one realizes that it is true.

The weaker hadith are labled weaker for a good reason.
The "uncertainty" is of a trivial degree, but the fact that we're willing to debate even over that shows how careful we've been.

The attempted attack on the caravan was legitimate because of the conditions I mentioned earlier.

What I said about the attacks on Manhatten is that the USA has no right to complain having committed exponentially greater damage on civilians, though based on Ron's own rhetoric it can be said that it sounds like Ron condones US atrocities.


Posted By: Beebok
Date Posted: 11 November 2012 at 2:39pm
Abu Loren,
Yes, it is clear from many previous examples in other posts as well that the disbeliever is just arguing for the sake of arguing and trying to convince himself and his attempt to find excuses to not believe.

The combination of built in disincentive to forge hadith along side with the established standards of scrutiney of the hadith mean that we have a higher standard of authenticity of the events of Muhammad's life than other similar ancient events that are regularly accepted by historians. For a disbeliever to reject all the hadith because there is a miniscule chance that some of them might be partially incorrect shows a definite lack of sincerity.

Even the page he quoted mantioned the hadith: "Allah's Apostle said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected."

Claiming something which is not said by the prophet is not in harmony with our religion, but the disbeliever left that hadith out even though it was on the same page to which he linked.

So, we can see his deceptive insincerity again.


Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 11 November 2012 at 4:34pm

Originally posted by Beebok

The topic of hadith forgery is known as Wad al-Hadith, and are discounted by the scholars.

Oh good.  The scholars have declared themselves infallible.  Well, that settles it. Ermm

Making peace, as in Ron's irrelevant example, is not the same as recording hadith. And the Quran explicitly states that it is an evil to make up something and say that it is from God, and elsewhere that whatever comes from the prophet is approved by God. So it works against a Muslim to invent a hadith. So, to compare it to Christianity is an incongruent analogy.

But we weren't talking about making up hadith.  The topic is the  Battle of Badr, and you listed a whole lot supposedly eyewitness account of angels helping the Muslim army.  It doesn't occur to you that these witnesses might have been exaggerating, if not wholly inventing, these accounts, in order to gain status, and/or to bolster their own faith or that of others?

I especially liked your tale of the captured pagan Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib.  His pride probably would not allow him to admit that he had been captured by an ordinary Muslim, so he made up a story about being captured by a much superior Being.  The Muslim soldier declared that he had indeed captured Abbas himself.

One of them was not telling the truth.  So who are we to believe: the pagan captive, or the Muslim?  Ordinarily one might presume that the good Muslim would be a more reliable witness than the heathen -- but guess what?  Muhammad, who wasn't even there,, tells the Muslim soldier to "be quiet" and confirms the pagan's story about an angel.

You don't see any possibility of pious fraud going on here? LOL



-------------
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.


Posted By: Beebok
Date Posted: 18 November 2012 at 8:13pm
Ron said, "Oh good.  The scholars have declared themselves infallible.  Well, that settles it. "
Response: The existence of scholarship into the field of forgery does show even more strongly that hadith that are presented are extremely reliable.

Ron: "But we weren't talking about making up hadith."
Response: "Actually, you did turn the topic into the reliability of hadith. Now that it is evident that hadith are highly reliable, you want to turn the topic into the reliability of the eyewitnesses themselves."

Ron: "Abdul-Muttalib.  His pride probably would not allow him to admit that he had been captured by an ordinary Muslim, so he made up a story...."
Pride would not have been a problem there since so many other stronger Arab warriors had been killed, routed, or captured by the Muslims. Rather, by confirming the angels, he adds veracity to the Muslims' claim which is contrary to the Pagans' rage then against the Muslims.
Also, Abdul-Muttalib would have denied Muhammad's knowledge of Abdul-Muttalib's secret wealth that could be used as ransom. That had nothing to do with his pride.

Ron: "It doesn't occur to you that these witnesses might have been exaggerating, if not wholly inventing, these accounts, in order to gain status, and/or to bolster their own faith or that of others?"
Response: So, it doesn't occur to Ron that by Abdul-Muttalib stating this explanation, he is strengthening the case for the Muslims?
 
So, based on Ron's premises, Abdul-Muttalib's pride was such that he would create a story about angels, then the Muslims' pride would have been such to deny the help of angels and place the victory on themselves.
On the other hand, based on Ron's premises, if the Muslims' desire to increase the faith was such that they would invent the story, then Abdul-Muttalib would have denied such an event.

Ron is trying to have it both ways. Such do was see the insincerity of the disbelievers. They will imagine any excuse to not believe, no matter how contradictory.

Ron: "So who are we to believe: the pagan captive, or the Muslim?"
Both stated what they believed was true. In this case, the captive turned out to be correct as the Muslim had been too foccussed with the pursuit to notice the angelic assistance, unless God wanted him to notice it.

Ron: " Muhammad, who wasn't even there,, tells the Muslim soldier to "be quiet" and confirms the pagan's story about an angel."
Response: Muhammad didn't need to be there, just as he did not need to be present to see Abdul-Muttalib's plan with his wife concerning his secret wealth, or present to witness the secret assasination plots agaisnt him to know when, where, and who, was involved ahead of time.




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