Seeking Sacred Sunni Knowledge

Response to Robert Spencer Regarding Islam's View on Killing Children As Well As His Lie Upon Ibn Taymiyya

Robert Spencer is at it again. Yes, as you all know, manipulating texts to promote his islamophobic dogma or misinformation (if you would like to say “lies” as that may be more accurate). I have read several of his worthlessly inaccurate (as well as a waste of money) books and each time have been made to chuckle at his ignorance regarding Islamic scripture. As I was looking through sites that link Seekingilm.com, I happen to cross one of his articles that he so poorly wrote as of recent. Apparently he used a reference on Al-Khadir that Ibn Sa’ad prepared for Seekingilm.com. So I went to the ridiculously researched article that can be found here and decided to respond to two things that made me chuckle.

First: Lie Upon Ibn Taymiyya

R. Spencer, showing how intellectually lacking he is states,

“Some consider Khidr to be immortal (Ibn Taymiyya thinks so).”

The article reproduced by Ibn Sa’ad quoting Ibn Taymiyyah does not state that he is immortal at all. What does it mean to be immortal? Since R. Spencer is American, we shall quote the American Heritage dictionary:

  1. One not subject to death.
  2. One whose fame is enduring.

Another American dictionary Merriam-Webster:

1 : exempt from death
2 : exempt from oblivion : imperishable
3 : connected with or relating to immortality
4 : able or tending to divide indefinitely

So what context did R. Spencer utilize “immortal” in? Read his worthless article, and I am certainly sorry that you may have to, and you will see that he means it in “exempt from death” or “imperishable”. Such was not stated by Ibn Taymiyya in the article produced by Ibn Sa’ad. In fact Ibn Taymiyya stated:

And as for [the question regarding] his life: then he is alive. And the hadith is question [my note: the hadith in the question posed to the Sheikh] has no basis, and no isnad is known for it either. On the contrary, what has been narrated in Musnad Al-Shafi’i and other books is that [Khidr] did meet the Prophet (s). And as for he who says he did not meet the Prophet (s) then he has stated what he has no knowledge of, for this is from the knowledge that he does not encompass. And he who claims he died relying on the hadith “Have you seen this night of yours? At the end of one hundred years after this none would survive on the surface of the earth” then there is no proof for him in it, for it it is possible that Khidr was not on the surface of the earth at that moment [my note: also, there were Muslims in Abyssinia and Muslim women and children back in Madinah. Hence this was not a general statement] .

Ibn Taymiyya did not argue that he is immortal – free of death. Rather, he simply stated that “he is alive”. Having extended life, as argued on our site, does not mean that he will not experience death, but that he simply is alive at the moment. I quoted in the comments to this article Shaykh Nuh Keller on this issue stating,

Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Qaddas Allahu sirrh, states in his biographical entries in the back of his translation of Umdatus-Saalik,

“…Scholars disagree as to whether he is presently alive, though most believe he is and will remain so until the Day of Judgementbecause of having drunk of the water of life – and also as to whether he is a prophet, angel or friend of Allah (wali), ther majority holding him to be a prophet. (al Futuhaat Al Ilahiyya, Siraj Al Munir)

[Page 1067 of Reliance]

Meaning he shall taste death at the time of the day of judgement. Would that make him immortal? It is interesting to note that I actually made this point clear on January 19th 2008, months before Spencer even wrote the article. I stated in response to “ninja”,

Immortality has nothing to do with the issue, as immortality refers to one who will never taste death! No one is saying that at all! We believe he is mortal and has been given an extended life. Simple!

Yet somehow the prolific author and according to some idiot westerners “Expert on Islam”, Robert Spencer lied upon Ibn Taymiyya and in reality upon Islam. Nothing new though!

 

Second: Claiming that the Story of Al-Khadir Justifies Killing Children

He begins by stating,

Khidrkilled the young man because he would grieve his pious parents with his “rebellion and ingratitude” (v. 80), and Allah will give them a better son (v. 81).

…[further down states]…

Another point emerges in Islamic tradition: don’t kill children, unless you know they’re going to grow up to be unbelievers. “The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used not to kill the children, so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside.” The assumption thus enunciated may help explain the persistence of the phenomenon of honor-killing in Islamic countries and even among Muslims in the West.

Such an explanation is not at all mentioned by the scholars of old or of late. None understood this story to mean that it is permitted to kill children if they will be an unbeliever. The hadith he has mentioned is found in the Sahih of Imam Muslim as such:

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ أَخْبَرَنَا وَهْبُ بْنُ جَرِيرِ بْنِ حَازِمٍ حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي قَالَ سَمِعْتُ قَيْسًا يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ هُرْمُزَ ح و حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَاتِمٍ وَاللَّفْظُ لَهُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا بَهْزٌ حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرُ بْنُ حَازِمٍ حَدَّثَنِي قَيْسُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ هُرْمُزَ قَالَ كَتَبَ نَجْدَةُ بْنُ عَامِرٍ إِلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ فَشَهِدْتُ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ حِينَ قَرَأَ كِتَابَهُ وَحِينَ كَتَبَ جَوَابَهُ وَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ وَاللَّهِ لَوْلَا أَنْ أَرُدَّهُ عَنْ نَتْنٍ يَقَعُ فِيهِ مَا كَتَبْتُ إِلَيْهِ وَلَا نُعْمَةَ عَيْنٍ قَالَ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّكَ سَأَلْتَ عَنْ سَهْمِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى الَّذِي ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ مَنْ هُمْ وَإِنَّا كُنَّا نَرَى أَنَّ قَرَابَةَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ هُمْ نَحْنُ فَأَبَى ذَلِكَ عَلَيْنَا قَوْمُنَا وَسَأَلْتَ عَنْ الْيَتِيمِ مَتَى يَنْقَضِي يُتْمُهُ وَإِنَّهُ إِذَا بَلَغَ النِّكَاحَ وَأُونِسَ مِنْهُ رُشْدٌ وَدُفِعَ إِلَيْهِ مَالُهُ فَقَدْ انْقَضَى يُتْمُهُ وَسَأَلْتَ هَلْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقْتُلُ مِنْ صِبْيَانِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَحَدًا فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَقْتُلُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا وَأَنْتَ فَلَا تَقْتُلْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تَعْلَمُ مِنْهُمْ مَا عَلِمَ الْخَضِرُ مِنْ الْغُلَامِ حِينَ قَتَلَهُ وَسَأَلْتَ عَنْ الْمَرْأَةِ وَالْعَبْدِ هَلْ كَانَ لَهُمَا سَهْمٌ مَعْلُومٌ إِذَا حَضَرُوا الْبَأْسَ فَإِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمْ سَهْمٌ مَعْلُومٌ إِلَّا أَنْ يُحْذَيَا مِنْ غَنَائِمِ الْقَوْمِ و حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو كُرَيْبٍ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو أُسَامَةَ حَدَّثَنَا زَائِدَةُ حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ الْأَعْمَشُ عَنْ الْمُخْتَارِ بْنِ صَيْفِيٍّ عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ هُرْمُزَ قَالَ كَتَبَ نَجْدَةُ إِلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ فَذَكَرَ بَعْضَ الْحَدِيثِ وَلَمْ يُتِمَّ الْقِصَّةَ كَإِتْمَامِ مَنْ ذَكَرْنَا حَدِيثَهُمْ

 Let us first put this quote into context. There are different wordings to this narration in Sahih Muslim. The first narration of this incident reported by Imam Muslim in his Sahih does not mention these words regarding Khadir at all. In fact the narration states,

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ بْنِ قَعْنَبٍ حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ يَعْنِي ابْنَ بِلَالٍ عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ هُرْمُزَ أَنَّ نَجْدَةَ كَتَبَ إِلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ يَسْأَلُهُ عَنْ خَمْسِ خِلَالٍ فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ لَوْلَا أَنْ أَكْتُمَ عِلْمًا مَا كَتَبْتُ إِلَيْهِ كَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ نَجْدَةُ أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَأَخْبِرْنِي هَلْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَغْزُو بِالنِّسَاءِ وَهَلْ كَانَ يَضْرِبُ لَهُنَّ بِسَهْمٍ وَهَلْ كَانَ يَقْتُلُ الصِّبْيَانَ وَمَتَى يَنْقَضِي يُتْمُ الْيَتِيمِ وَعَنْ الْخُمْسِ لِمَنْ هُوَ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيْهِ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ كَتَبْتَ تَسْأَلُنِي هَلْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَغْزُو بِالنِّسَاءِ وَقَدْ كَانَ يَغْزُو بِهِنَّ فَيُدَاوِينَ الْجَرْحَى وَيُحْذَيْنَ مِنْ الْغَنِيمَةِ وَأَمَّا بِسَهْمٍ فَلَمْ يَضْرِبْ لَهُنَّ وَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَقْتُلُ الصِّبْيَانَ فَلَا تَقْتُلْ الصِّبْيَانَ وَكَتَبْتَ تَسْأَلُنِي مَتَى يَنْقَضِي يُتْمُ الْيَتِيمِ فَلَعَمْرِي إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَتَنْبُتُ لِحْيَتُهُ وَإِنَّهُ لَضَعِيفُ الْأَخْذِ لِنَفْسِهِ ضَعِيفُ الْعَطَاءِ مِنْهَا فَإِذَا أَخَذَ لِنَفْسِهِ مِنْ صَالِحِ مَا يَأْخُذُ النَّاسُ فَقَدْ ذَهَبَ عَنْهُ الْيُتْمُ وَكَتَبْتَ تَسْأَلُنِي عَنْ الْخُمْسِ لِمَنْ هُوَ وَإِنَّا كُنَّا نَقُولُ هُوَ لَنَا فَأَبَى عَلَيْنَا قَوْمُنَا ذَاكَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ وَإِسْحَقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كِلَاهُمَا عَنْ حَاتِمِ بْنِ إِسْمَعِيلَ عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ هُرْمُزَ أَنَّ نَجْدَةَ كَتَبَ إِلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ يَسْأَلُهُ عَنْ خِلَالٍ بِمِثْلِ حَدِيثِ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ بِلَالٍ غَيْرَ أَنَّ فِي حَدِيثِ حَاتِمٍ وَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَقْتُلُ الصِّبْيَانَ فَلَا تَقْتُلْ الصِّبْيَانَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تَعْلَمُ مَا عَلِمَ الْخَضِرُ مِنْ الصَّبِيِّ الَّذِي قَتَلَ وَزَادَ إِسْحَقُ فِي حَدِيثِهِ عَنْ حَاتِمٍ وَتُمَيِّزَ الْمُؤْمِنَ فَتَقْتُلَ الْكَافِرَ وَتَدَعَ الْمُؤْمِنَ

Specifically:

وَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَقْتُلُ الصِّبْيَانَ فَلَا تَقْتُلْ الصِّبْيَانَ

“And verily the Messenger of God (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not kill children, so do not kill children.” Then he continued discussing the orphan without mention of the issue of Al-Khadir. I mention this because several possibilities exist regarding this issue according to the laws of hadith:

1) The first report is being narrated by meaning, ad sensum, not word-for-word (ad litteram). This was a common practice amongst the early Muslims as Dr. G.f Haddadis discussed in length within his Sunna Notes and I need not delve into this issue deeply, however, for sake of knowledge we shall quote Imam As-Suyuti’s words from his tome “Tadrib Ar-Raawi”,

“At any rate, the vast majority of the salaf and khalaf from the various groups, among them the four Imams, permit narration in terms of meaning in all the above cases provided one adduces the meaning.” ((See Sunna Notes Vol. 1 page 136 ))

Basically, the scholars conclude that narrating the meaning is only permitted when the narrator is conveying the meaning of the hadith, undistorted and is of the highest trustworthiness. In other words, what is meant by this narration from the disciple of the Prophet Muhammad, Ibn ‘Abbas, is that children are not to be killed period. This will be made clear when we get to the explanation of this hadith by Imam An-Nawawi. Keep this point in mind as I will allude to it later in the article.

2) That the other narrations are in fact weaker and thus take the ruling of shaadh  and can not be accepted. We really do not even need to discuss this point as it would take too much time and space, and quite frankly I prefer to simply deal with this issue based upon point one as it is simpler for the layman to understand. However, if this were the case the blunder of Robert Spencer would be even greater.

Now, briefly let us review the context of this hadith. A person known as Najdah is sending Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiya Allahu Anhu), a man who was a disciple of the Prophet Muhammad, a letter asking him five things about Jihad: 1) Can women fight in Jihad, 2) If so do they receive some of the spoils of war 3) Are children to be killed 4) The issue of entitlement of an orphan 5) Whom the Khums was meant for.

Ibn ‘Abbas answers accordingly and according to the first narration of this hadith, as we stated prior, he simply states that children are not to be killed period because the Prophet Muhammad did not do so.

In the second report of this narration Ibn ‘Abbas is recorded to have said:

وَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَقْتُلُ الصِّبْيَانَ فَلَا تَقْتُلْ الصِّبْيَانَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تَعْلَمُ مَا عَلِمَ الْخَضِرُ مِنْ الصَّبِيِّ الَّذِي قَتَلَ

“Verily the Messenger of God (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not kill children, so do not kill children, unless you know what Al-Khadir knew when he killed the child.”

The fact is it is impossible to know what Al-Khadir knew. Imam An-Nawawi (1234-1278 CE), recognized as one of the most brilliant Muslim jurists and judges to have lived, explained these words in his commentary upon the Sahih of Imam Muslim:

مَعْنَاهُ : أَنَّ الصِّبْيَان لَا يَحِلّ قَتْلهمْ , وَلَا يَحِلّ لَك أَنْ تَتَعَلَّق بِقِصَّةِ الْخَضِر وَقَتْله صَبِيًّا ; فَإِنَّ الْخَضِر مَا قَتَلَهُ إِلَّا بِأَمْرِ اللَّه تَعَالَى لَهُ عَلَى التَّعْيِين , كَمَا قَالَ فِي آخِر الْقِصَّة : { وَمَا فَعَلْته عَنْ أَمْرِي } فَإِنْ كُنْت أَنْتَ تَعْلَم مِنْ صَبِيّ ذَلِكَ فَاقْتُلْهُ , وَمَعْلُوم أَنَّهُ لَا عِلْم لَهُ بِذَلِكَ , فَلَا يَجُوز لَهُ الْقَتْل

“It means: Verily it is not permitted to kill them (i.e. children), nor is it permitted for you to make a connection to the story of Al-Khadir utilizing it to kill children. For verily, Al-Khadir did not kill except by the command of God, the exalted, as this was specifically allotted to him just as was mentioned in the end of the story [of khadir], “And I did it not of my own accord.” So [Ibn ‘Abbas is saying] if you came to know of such from a child then he is to be killed. And it is known such cannot be known [by a person] and so it is not permitted to kill him.” ((Sharh Sahih Muslim: Translated by Seekingilm team ))

What is also important to mention is that Imam Nawawi himself, the great Dr. in Hadith and commentator of the Sahih, places this hadith beneath the chapter title, “Women Participants in Jihad are to be Given Reward but not Part of the Spoils, and the Prohibition of Killing Children of the People of War.” This fact stresses our point that the Muslims  did not extract the meaning claimed by Robert Spencer. If Robert Spencer and crew did not get all of what we just stated, let us sum it up for the idiots out there: one of the most prominent scholars for all Muslims is clearly stating that killing children is not permitted based upon this verse, as knowledge of the child’s future is not certain save by revelation from God, as was received by Al-Khadir. Even Moses, according to the story, did not know of the plight of the child, so how is it that a layman is to know of such? Furthermore, Imam An-Nawawi known as the second Imam Ash-Shafi’i, is stating that it is totally forbidden to kill children. The fact is Spencer’s null attempt at utilizing this statement for his own fear-mongering and islamophobic agenda only shows anyone with any knowledge of Islamic law how horridly ignorant Robert Spencer is of Islam.

We have compiled a thorough article on the forbiddance of killing children in war. Please read it before lying upon Islam!

Now, if the liar Robert Spencer was fair in his explanation he would have at least supported his claim with a substantiated statement from an established Islamic scholar of old; mainly that this narration was utilized to justify “honor killings”. So back to Spencer’s non-sense claim:

The assumption thus enunciated may help explain the persistence of the phenomenon of honor-killing in Islamic countries and even among Muslims in the West.

Get off the crack Mr. Spencer! If Muslims do such things, it has nothing to do withIslamic law and has everything to do with pagan culture or personal issues. There is scholarly consensus that punishments by Islamic law must be carried out by an established legal scholar, Qadhi, who has the authority to issue verdicts. For example: The claim of fornication and lashing or stoning must be brought to a court of Islamic law and, hopefully, as you know, witnesses must be produced or testification against one’s self must occur. One cannot take the law into their own hands, and this was the belief of the earliest Muslims. It stems from the words of Qur’an, “Obey Allah and His Messenger, and those in authority over you!” According to Spencer’s flawed logic, if any Muslim commits a crime it is therefore Islam’s fault. So if American soldiers rape Japanese women, it is the American constitution as well as all of America’s fault? If a priest rapes a nun it is Catholicism’s fault. If a priest molests children, it is thus every catholics fault, as well as justified by Catholic law, according to Spencer’s twisted logic. I hope the point is clear. Stop your lying and fear mongering Robert Spencer.

Robert Spencer = Liar

 

22 Responses to “Response to Robert Spencer Regarding Islam's View on Killing Children As Well As His Lie Upon Ibn Taymiyya”

  1. Abul Layth says:

    What is even more laughable is that the liar said when asked why one should believe what he has to say:

    RS: Because I draw no conclusions of myself, and I do not ask anyone to take anything on my word. Pick up any of my books, and you will see that they are made up largely of quotations from Islamic jihadists and the traditional Islamic sources to which they appeal to justify violence and terrorism. I am only shedding light on what these sources say.

    I present the work on the basis of the evidence I bring forth, and invite readers to evaluate it for themselves. Critics have again and again mounted ad hominem attacks in response; they do not (and cannot) bring forth even a single example of a supposed inaccuracy in my work. I would, of course, be happy to debate any scholar about Islam and jihad; this is a standing invitation. Also, as this site has shown, I am always open to new information.

    Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

  2. Umm Layth says:

    Is spencer a Jew or Catholic? Whatever the case, I would say that he also needs to look at the bible and look at the story of Abraham and how he was told to sacrifice his son, Ishmael (though for them it was Isaac). Maybe to Spencer this was an attempt of ‘murder’?

  3. Ibrahim as-Sufi says:

    As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Great article.

    Unfortunately, the apologetics issued forth by Spencer and his ilk make it “impossible” to seriously debate him; as he is a supposed Christian, all he has to do is point to a couple of verses in the New Testament where Jesus–alaihi salam–said something about turning the other cheek and thou without sin throw the first stone, and, poof, he is in the clear. So, pointing out the biblical stories of Abraham–alaihi salam–and Moses–alaihi salam–will not make any difference.

    It seems that it is something of a rule for today’s Christians to exclude 99 percent of the canonical Bible; it is amazing how these people can condemn Islamic norms and laws that can be found in the very book they hold dear, simply by pointing out that they use “logos”, reason, to apply scripture where they see fit. “I don’t like this, I think I’ll ignore it! No, no. The Bible is descriptive, but the Koran is prescriptive–Christianity got that whole ‘deduce laws from the canon’ thing wrong for over a thousand years!” Amazing, indeed.

    I apologize for the OT rant. Again, great article.

  4. Dawud says:

    Ya know this can be an issue sometimes. Having stupid Islamophobes come and take our material and twist it to use it against us.

    One strategy is to show the idiotic nature of kufr within your work and work it into it so it cannot be separated from it. In this way it becomes useless to them and since they are a bunch of idiots they will only pick out the things that are most obvious to them (i.e. the example in this article) so they won’t be able to do anything if everything is unobvious right?

  5. Ibn Saad says:

    I think Robert Spencer, should be reading the Bible first:

    Deuteronomy 21
    18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

  6. Ibn Ahmad says:

    Sidi Ibn Saad,

    While you’re at it, why don’t you refer Mr. Spencer to Deuteronomy 21:10-21:17 as well!
    :)

  7. Abu-Usaama says:

    it seems robert spencer has a crush on you abul layth.

  8. Abul Layth says:

    Whatever the case, the liar has just been squelched. Let him be placed on Keth Olbermann’s list of “Worst People In the World”….

  9. loveProphet says:

    Salam,

    Ah this is great, may Allah reward all those who helped in this compilation to refute the bigots and extremists(like Robert Spencer) who constantly lie against Islam.

  10. mawardi says:

    Click here. Someone cowardly commented this article.

  11. Abul Layth says:

    Funny how the author cannot respond to our criticisms and refutations of R. Spencer, the liar. Instead, this author rants and raves about the New York Times Bestseller, as if that has anything to do with the lies and misquotes of R. Spencer and his ridiculous works. Just because idiotic Americans read his material that contains lies, does not mean that he does not lie within them.

    Furthermore, Karen Armstrong, with all due respect, is not a scholar of Islam, not solidified in the studies of ahadith, ‘aqidah, language, or even fiqh. So her supposedly being “Refuted” does not matter to anyone who has any academic worth. The real issue, which the author avoided, is that R. Spencer lies and manipulates texts in ways that the earliest Muslims never utilized them. Then he makes claims that the orthodoxy uses them according to his claims. So when we care, oh “fitnah”, we will let you know. Instead, we will continue squelching your pagan liar R. Spencer and use his works to wipe our noses with.

  12. Abul Layth says:

    And oh that gratuitous insert by Abul Layth about the sins of the Catholic priests, unlike the honor killings practised by some Muslims, there is no basis for assumption for their evil deeds from the Bible!

    And no basis for such assumption in the law of Islam for “honor” killings.

  13. Wahine says:

    If Robert Spencer is indeed a Christian then he would not be using the Old Testament to quote from. To Christians, the OT is historical and allegorical – tales of the ancients that have no bearing on the New Testament of Jesus or in the practice of Christianity.

    As for the killing of children ‘The Reliance of the Traveller’ states that there is no retribution for killing your child or your children’s children – so Islamic law does allow this. We see honour killings reported so many times that I find your argument totally at odds with your own religious teachings.

    I realise that you must defend your religion but we are now in an era where there is intense interest in your theology and many people are now familiar with the Quran, ahadith and Sira. For those of us that are secular, they make disturbing reading and no amount of discombobulation on your part is going to change those immutable words. The twisted reasoning used by muslims to try to explain away many of your teachings is very acrobatic but only fools your muslim readers and not those who have taken the time to read the words in context.

    And if Islam outlaws the killing of children, why are they used as suicide bombers? Or do those muslims who pay the families of those innocents not fully understand their religion?

    You can argue all you want against men like Robert Spencer, but actions speak louder than words and what we see of the Islamic world tends to back up many of his claims, however much you try and explain them away by ambiguous weasel words.

  14. Yusuf Smith says:

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I left a comment on a recent Spencer post alleging that there was no penalty for killing one’s own children in Islam. I explained that what didn’t apply was qisas or the right of the victim to retaliate or forgive. In the case he mentioned, the father of the victim forgave his son for murdering his daughter in front of him. In other words, he approved of the killing. I explained that what applied in such cases was the discretionary penalty, because otherwise people like Fred West (a notorious British serial killer, one of whose victims was his daughter) could get away with killing their children for personal lust.

    Can you, or any of the scholars you know, tell us what penalty the state may impose in such cases? I am thinking of these in particular:

    (i) Honour killings, i.e. where the family kill a daughter (as is usually the case) for real or imagined sexual transgressions or indiscretions, particularly when the father is involved
    (ii) Cases where the family forgive the killer because they did not love their relative who was killed, possibly because of the above or because they had fallen out with them

  15. Abu Ammaarah says:

    Regarding Wahine very interesting what you say but am confused?
    Actions speak louder than words which is true because well,
    (Even if there is robert spencers out there who give certain section of the world community exactly what they want to hear obviously to make money . The community he appeals to are those probably who are in doubt over their own faith and when someone comes and tells them indirectly at times “that no dont have doubts and here are the reasons and then all the lies.)
    Why is it that so many people are accepting Islaam?

  16. Anthony Atkin says:

    To begin with, I’m trying to figure out who is the BS artist

    I’ve been looking at Spencer’s stuff and I’d like to know if any muslim out there can crush it. So to start, any criticism of his explanation of the first sura??

    Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 1, “The Opening”
    The Fatiha (Opening) is the first sura (chapter) of the Qur’an and most common prayer of Islam. If you’re a pious Muslim who prays the five requisite daily prayers of Islam, you will recite the Fatiha seventeen times in the course of those prayers. According to an Islamic tradition, the Muslim prophet Muhammad said that the Fatiha surpassed anything revealed by Allah (“the God” in Arabic, and the word for God used by Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews, as well as Muslims) in the Torah, the Gospel, or the rest of the Qur’an. And indeed, it efficiently and eloquently encapsulates many of the principal themes of the Qur’an and Islam in general: Allah as the “Lord of the Worlds,” who alone is to be worshiped and asked for help, the merciful judge of every soul on the Last Day.

    In Islamic theology, Allah is the speaker of every word of the Qur’an. Some have found it strange that Allah would say something like “praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds,” but the traditional Islamic understanding is that Allah revealed this prayer to Muhammad early in his career as a prophet (which began in the year 610 AD, when he received his first revelation from Allah through the angel Gabriel – a revelation that is now contained in the Qur’an’s 96th chapter) so that the Muslims would know how to pray.

    It is for its last two verses that the Fatiha is of most concern to non-Muslims, and for which it has been in the news lately. A Shi’ite imam, Husham Al-Husainy, ignited controversy by paraphrasing this passage during a prayer at a Democratic National Committee winter meeting, giving the impression that he was praying that the assembled pols convert to Islam. Then Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque prayed the Fatiha at the Texas State Senate, giving rise to the same concerns.

    The final two verses of the Fatiha ask Allah: “Show us the straight path, the path of those whom Thou hast favoured; not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.” The traditional Islamic understanding of this is that the “straight path” is Islam — cf. Islamic apologist John Esposito’s book Islam: The Straight Path. The path of those who have earned Allah’s anger are the Jews, and those who have gone astray are the Christians.

    The classic Qur’anic commentator Ibn Kathir explains that “the two paths He described here are both misguided,” and that those “two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. The path of the believers is knowledge of the truth and abiding by it. In comparison, the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why ‘anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as ‘led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians.”

    Ibn Kathir’s understanding of this passage is not a lone “extremist” interpretation. In fact, most Muslim commentators believe that the Jews are those who have earned Allah’s wrath and the Christians are those who have gone astray. This is the view of Tabari, Zamakhshari, the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, the Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, and Ibn Arabi, as well as Ibn Kathir. One contrasting, but not majority view, is that of Nisaburi, who says that “those who have incurred Allah’s wrath are the people of negligence, and those who have gone astray are the people of immoderation.”

  17. admin says:

    Though Spencer is a liar, sometimes a liar can quote correctly. Yes, The Prophet Muhammad (saaws) stated that “not of those who have evoked [Your] anger” is the Jews, “or of those who are astray” is in reference to the Christians.

    There is, however, some clarification needed. Muslims do not believe that the only ones to earn God’s anger are the Jews. God says in the Qur’an,

    “If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein, and the anger and curse of Allah are upon him.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 93]”

    So even if someone commits murder, they too earn God’s anger. There are other acts that warrant God’s anger, which results in removal of God’s mercy. In other words, Muslims too, fall into these categories. Even though the people are being mentioned, it is the characteristics ascribed to certain groups of them within the Qur’an that we seek God’s refuge from.

    The Qur’an states in many places why the Jews earned God’s anger. For example they worshiped the calf after truth was brought to them, they killed prophets, they were treacherous in their dealings etc.

    You can read here some of these reasons: http://quran.com/2/87-93

    Why do Muslims then, make this prayer? The reason, for the believer, is obvious. It is so that we do not adopt the characteristics ascribed to the Jews who took the path of betrayal of God’s commands, and that we abide by the law not for its sake but ultimately for God’s pleasure. Does this also mean that all Jews earn God’s wrath? Absolutely not! It means that a group of them did though, and we do not want to be like them.

    For example God says in the Qur’an as well:

    “Those who believe (in the Qur’an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians and who believe in Allah and the last day and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.” [2:62]

    and in another verse:

    “Those who believe (in the Qur’an) those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Sabians and the Christians, any who believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.” [5:69]

    The point here is that it is the attributes and characteristics of the specific Jews mentioned throughout the Qur’an from the past generations, during the time of the Prophets (saaws) that we do not want to imitate and so we pray not to be like them!

    It is here that I would like to make the point that the Qur’an is not teaching “anti-semitism” as some Islamophobes – particularly the cohorts of Robert Spencer – have claimed, meaning to hate Jews because they are “jews”. In fact, as you can see from the verse above, it says that those who abide by their texts will enter heaven. What it is saying, however, is that we do not want to adopt the evil characteristics that God has censored past nations for. The same is the case with the second part of the supposed “worrisome” part of the verse for Robert Spencer.

    Compare this to the anti-semitic writings of Martin Luther who blatantly hates jews because they are “jews”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_antisemitism

    In explanation as to why the Christians are misguided then the Qur’an makes such clear too. It is for their worshiping of a man, their belief in the trinity, and their open polytheism. Again, such does not mean that all Christians are misguided as the verses we quoted above show that those Christians who follow the tenants of what Christ taught sincerely, will enter heaven.

    The implications of Robert Spencer’s commentary is that Islam is anti-semitic, when in fact the Qur’an clearly states:

    “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [49:13]

    The goal then is that “mankind”, not just the Muslims, are to co-exist without transgressions against one another. Such is why the Qur’an orders that there is to be “no compulsion in Religion” [Qur'an 2:256] and that when ignorance and intolerance finds its way into the conversation, the believers say “peace” and go on. “And the servants of (Allah) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!” [Quran 25:63]

    The problem with Mr. Spencer’s take on the Qur’an is that he reads it line for line, taking only part of the book and leaving the other part. The Qur’an was revealed in a time frame of 23 years, in different situations and circumstances, and with intent and meaning. To chop parts up and not see the real meaning, and here I mean the fruit of the verses, is dishonesty.

    The Qur’an demands that it be taken as a whole, in a comprehensive manner, as God said,

    “…Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? but what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life?- and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.” [2:85]

    So the upshot is that yes that verse 7 does refer to the Jews and Christians, though it is in reference to those who did the crimes ascribed to them in the Qur’an, not all Jews in every generation. It also is general and means all of those who earn God’s anger – which could be Muslims as well, and all of those who are misguided – which could be Muslims as well. The point is these words are general, and the characteristics condemned in the Qur’an are general as well – and we ask Allah the exalted to save us from those characteristics.

    Hope that clarifies,
    Abu Layth

  18. Ibn Shihab says:

    Likewise with the “Apes and Pigs” issue in 7:166, 2:65, and 5:60.

    1. It wasn’t all the Jews who were transformed into Apes and Pigs. And;

    2. Nowhere does it say that subsequent Jews were descended from this group who were transformed, in whatever matter they were transformed, into Apes and Pigs.

    The problem isn’t what the Qur’an nominally says and means. It’s what angry Muslims deliberately interpret it to mean so they can vent their hatred for whichever group they may be fixated on at the given moment. Fellow Muslims aren’t safe from each other’s accusations of disbelief, apostasy, polytheism, or treachery. So why should non-Muslims be?

    Liars are the beneficiaries of these problems. Hence Robert Spencer can appeal to the fact that fanatical preachers in the Muslim world preach these interpretations, ergo these interpretations are the authoritative and final interpretations. And everything else is apologetics, with scant regard for logic and/or proofs underlying multiple rival claims to truth.

    Then again, Mr. Spencer doesn’t exactly get paid for nuance and objective scholarship, so one could praise him for being highly gifted at his job.

  19. Ibn Ismail says:

    If Robert Spencers standards are to be used than the torah itself would turn out to be anti-semitic.

  20. Maverick5 says:

    Excellent article followed by impressive responses. I sure did learn a lot!! Thank you all so much!

  21. Ibn Qutbiddin says:

    Hahaha, I’ve been to this idiot’s site before. Alhamdulillah, knowledgeable Muslims are refuting him. His influence is scary, though. He was once paid to educate some police officers on counterterrorism.

  22. Waseem says:

    People like Spencer are a stigma and an ugly spot on the name of true scholarship and humanity. They write out of a pathological hatred for Islam not for true objective enquiry.

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