Refuting the story of Gharaaneeq
Fatwa No: 307792

  • Fatwa Date:13-12-2015 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 2, 1437
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Question

I know the story of Gharaniq and I also know that Sheikh Al-Albani said that it is not narrated reliably. Shaykh, I am struggling with severe depression ever since I learned that Imam Ibn Taymiyyah presented arguments in favour of that story. One of his arguments was that if he uttered something and later ordered that it be rectified - both instructions being Allaah. But Shaykh, does that not imply that for a specific period of time Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, and his Companions considered that intercession of goddesses is to be hoped for? How could the Prophet have forged and attributed something to Allaah when Allaah clearly said in verses (44-47) of Surah Al-Haqqa that he would never tolerate false attribution? If I were to accept the point of view of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah, why would it not have any theological implications? Please elaborate.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

We have previously highlighted in fatwa 119716 that the story of Gharaaneeq is fabricated and totally untrue.

A large group of researching scholars decisively stated that that story is false and quoted the fact that those who mentioned it from the righteous predecessors did not live during the lifetime of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, nor mentioned their sources with regards to this incident  as evidence. Accordingly, its authenticity is questionable. Moreover, the fact that the apparent indication of this story undermines the prophethood of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, emphasizes the doubts about its authenticity. How could Satan possibly incorporate his false words into the divine revelation while Allaah, The Exalted, preserved the revelation from any distortion, alteration, addition, omission, and error.

Ash-Shawkaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in his tafseer (interpretation of the Quran) book:

None of this has been authentically reported or proven true by any given chain of narration. Despite its inauthenticity, or rather falsehood, the researching scholars refuted it with the very Book of Allaah. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means):

- {And if Muhammad had made up about Us some (false) sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand; Then We would have cut from him the aorta.} [Quran 69:44-46]

- {Nor does he speak from (his own) inclination.} [Quran 53:3]

- {And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little.} [Quran 17:74]

The last verse negates that he almost inclined to them, let alone actually inclining to them. Al-Bazzaar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented, 'This is a report of which we do not know that it was attributed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, with a connected chain of narration.' 

Al-Bayhaqi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

“This story is unauthentic as far as the chain of narration is concerned, and one of the narrators is criticized by hadeeth scholars and his narration is rejected. The great Imaam Ibn Khuzaymah said, 'This story was fabricated by the heretics.' Al-Qaadhi ʻIyaadh said in Ash-Shifa, 'The Muslim nation has unanimously agreed that he (the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) is infallible against informing of something other than what it is, intentionally or unintentionally or mistakenly or forgetfully.'

Ibn Katheer said, 'Many commentators have mentioned the story of Gharaaneeq, and the return of many immigrants who had fled to Abyssinia after assuming that the disbelievers of Quraysh had converted to Islam; however, all such narrations have no connected chain of narration and none of them has an authentic chain of narration.'

Even if we assumed that the story is authentic, this would not mean that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said those words, recited those fabricated verses or believed in their authenticity, and neither did the honorable Companions. Rather, the Devil spoke such lies, and Allaah, The Exalted, annulled and abrogated them as He says (what means): {And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke (or recited), Satan threw into it (some misunderstanding). But Allaah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allaah makes precise His verses. And Allaah is Knowing and Wise.} [Quran 22:52]

Ash-Shawkaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “The verse means that Satan inspired those words to the disbelievers, and the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, did not speak them.

Al-Aloosi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in his tafseer book, underlining that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, did not utter those verses:

Claiming that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, uttered those verse because Satan appeared to him in the image of the angel communicating the divine revelation entails believing that Satan had control over the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam; whereas, he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is infallible according to the scholarly consensus, especially regarding the matters of divine revelation, communicating the message of Islam to people, and matters related to belief. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {Indeed, My servants - no authority will you have over them, except those who follow you of the deviators.} [Quran 15:42] He also says (what means): {Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord.} [Quran 16:99] In addition, holding such a claim also necessitates believing that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, made additions to the Quran that were not revealed by Allaah, which is inconceivable given his established infallibility. Moreover, it also entails believing that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, believed that certain statements are divinely revealed while they were not; believing that they were part of the Quran although they were far-fetched and self-contradictory. This is a terrible mistake, and attributing that to the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, must not be tolerated. Such a claim also necessitates believing that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, held the same false beliefs of the disbelievers when he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, uttered those verses, praising their idols with these words; and the other possibility is that he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, held a different belief contrary to what the disbelievers harbored and contrary to the apparent indication of the statement but that he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, did not show his disapproval of such a belief despite their joy and claim that he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, was praising their idols (gods). This entails believing that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, approved their disbelief and falsehood. Indeed, he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is far above such false claims. It also necessitates believing that he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, confused devilish inspirations with divine revelation; this entails believing that he, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, lacked insight as far divine revelation is concerned. It also entails believing that Satan can actually take the form of an angel and trick the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam. Indeed, such a claim is unacceptable and untrue. It also entails believing that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, attributed a lie to Allaah, The Exalted, either intentionally, erroneously, or inadvertently; all of which is inconceivable on part of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam. The whole Muslim nation has unanimously agreed on what Al-Qaadhi ʻIyaadh said about the infallibility of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, as far as communicating the divine revelation.

Moreover, holding such a claim necessitates undermining the confidence in the authenticity of the Quran; thus the possibility of alteration and distortion of the Quran emerges and becomes irrefutable.” [End of quote]

It should be noted that Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him never stated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, uttered something and later ordered that it be rectified, nor did he state that that was a divine revelation. Rather, he  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him underlined the difference of opinion in this regard and declared that this incident is inauthentic. He mentioned that some scholars held it to be authentic and others did not and that some maintained that Satan inspired these verses to the disbelievers and that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, did not utter them.

Allaah knows best.

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