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Traditions Fabricated by the Jews

When the Muhammadan Da’wah (invitation) got so much valour and prowess, becoming much strong, with smash of all the powers and forces combating it, those opposing and restraining it found no choice but to hatch plans and conspire against it through trickery and deceit, after failing in weakening it through means of force and contest.

Since the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe are the Jews, as they allege to be God’s chosen people, recognizing no favour for any other nation, admitting no scripture for any prophet after Moses, their rabbis and monks found no other means – especially after being overcome and driven forth from their homes288 – but to resort to cunning and use finesse to attain to their sought desire. Hence the Jewish artifice led them to pretend and show Islam, concealing their religion inside their hearts, so as to hide their resentment, and deceive the Muslims. The influential and vehement in cunning among these priests were Ka’b al-Ahbar, Wahb ibn Munabbih and Abd Allah ibn Sallam.

When observing that their tricks have found way and prevailed among people, due to their false pretense of godliness and piety, and the Muslims having confidence in and being beguiled by them, they resolved first to direct a fatal blow to the Muslims, to the core of their religion. This was achieved by foisting into the foundations on which religion was established, the legends, superstitions, fancies and trifles in order to enfeeble and undermine these foundations and principles.

On failing to degrade the holy Qur’an due to its being preserved through tadwin (writing), memorized by thousands of Muslims, and immune against addition of one word or insertion of one letter, they resorted to fabricating and foisting so many traditions that were never uttered by the Prophet.239 What helped them to do so was the fact that the Prophet’s traditions were not of determined signs, nor of preserved roots and sources, since they were never inscribed during his life-time as was the case with the Qur’an, nor committed to writing by his Companions after his demise. This fact made it possible for every capricious or evil-intentioned one to foist into them as much as he liked, and assault them with falsity.

That which even facilitated and paved the way for their deception was the fact that the Companions used to refer to them to get the solutions for the questions regarding the affairs of the past world that were unknown to them. And the Jews, due to the Scripture they possessed, and the ulama’ they had, were considered teachers for the Arabs in respect of all the issues related to ancient religions, if they be sincere and honest. The sage Ibn Khaldun,240 when discussing the traditional (naqli) interpretation and stating that it included the meagre and the stout, the acceptable and disapproved, is reported to have said:

“The reason behind this is that the Arabs were not people of a scripture or knowledge, but most of them were bedouins and illiterate, who when desiring to have information about origin of the universe, beginning of creation and mysteries of existence, they would inquire people of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab) and get all the solutions from them.241 Among them were the Jews, followers of the Torah and those who followed their religion from among the Christians, like Ka’b al-Ahbar, Wahb ibn Munabbih and Abd Allah ibn Sallam and their likes. Then books of exegesis were filled with the traditions they reported, with the exegetes showing leniency toward such fabrications, the source of all of which was the Torah, or whatever they used to falsify and forge.”

In another place of his Maqaddimah242 he said:

“Most often the historians and exegetes have committed so many errors in the episodes and events they used to report with the leaders of transmission, due to their dependence on mere transmission whether be poor or authentic, without subjecting them to their sources, nor comparing with their likes, nor fathoming them with the criterion of wisdom, to comprehend the temperaments of the creatures, nor investigating the veracity of the reports, going astray from path of truth and wandering in the desert of deception and error.”

Dr. Ahmad Amin also said:

“Some of the Companions used to frequent to Wahb ibn Munabbih, Ka’b al-Ahbar and Abd Allah ibn Sallam, while the Tabi’un (Followers) used to refer to Ibn Jarih. All these men got information they used to report from the Torah and Gospel, with their expositions and margins, so the Muslims found no harm to relate them beside the Qur’anic verses, the fact leading to their becoming another source of overproduction.”243

For all this, the rabbis embarked on propagating within the Islamic religion, so many falsities and trifles claiming them once to be taken from their scripture or latent knowledge, and another time to be among what they heard from the Prophet (S), while they being in fact foisted and forged by them. How could the Companions discern between truth and falsity in the rabbis’ utterances, while they were on one hand unaware of the Hebrew244 language which was used in their books, and on the other they were less than them (rabbis) in sagacity and weaker in cunning. Therefore these falsities became so current and circulated among the Companions and their followers who used to take whatever those cunning men were relating without any investigation or verification, considering it to be certainly correct (sahih).

Before embarking on demonstrating some of the Jewish falsified traditions with which books of tafsir (exegesis) and hadith and history were replete, I would like to refer briefly to the biographies of the chiefs of these rabbis: Ka’b al-Ahbar, Wahb and Abd Allah ibn Sallam.


238. Umar evacuated the Jewsof Khaybar toward Adhra'at and other places in the year 20 H., and evacuated the Jews of Najran toward the Kufah, dividing then al-Qura Valley and Najran among the Muslims (Ibn Kathir's al-Bidayah wa al-nihayah, vol.VIII, p.108). He did so with those who had no covenant from the Messenger of Allah (S).

239. Ibn al-Jawzi says: When no one managed to foist into the Qur'an anything strange to it, some people started to add to the hadith and fabricate things that were never uttered in originj (Ta'rikh Ibn Asakir, vol.II, p.XIV).

240. Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldun, pp.439, 440.

241. Ibn Ishaq used to defend the Jews and Christians calling them in his books 'people of first knowledge (Mu'jam al-udaba', Vol.XVIII, p.8).

242. Al-Muqaddimah, p.9.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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