Muhammad had scribes write his "revelations" down for him. One scribe
was Abdullah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh. As Sarh wrote these revelations down,
he frequently made suggestions on improving their wording. Muhammad often
agreed and allowed the revelation's changes to be made. Eventually, Sarh
left Islam, knowing it could not be from God if a mere scribe were allowed
to change God's word. Later, after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad ordered
During Muhammad's 23 years of "prophetic" ministry, Muhammad claimed to receive "revelations" from God, given to him by an angel. Muhammad used many men, functioning as scribes, to write down these assumed revelations. Different scribes wrote down different revelations. Abdullah Sarh was one of Muhammad's scribes. Evidently, Sarh had some literary skills, often suggesting improvements to Muhammad in the wording of the recited Qur'an. Muhammad often agreed with Sarh's improvements, and allowed the changes to be made.
Sarh eventually left Islam because he knew that no mere scribe should be allowed to change something that was proclaimed to be the word of God. The changes were frequent enough that it caused Sarh to realize that something was amiss. Upon leaving Islam, Sarh became a threat to the credibility of the Qur'an. It would no longer be believed to be the word of God if a man had been allowed to edit and change it. Sarh's threat to the credibility of the Qur'an was also a threat to Muhammad's credibility. No real prophet would allow the word of God to be changed.
Sarh left Islam and lived in Mecca. Some time later, Muhammad and his army moved on Mecca and took it without a fight. On that day, Muhammad ordered the murder of 10 people living in Mecca. Muhammad said "God forbid killing in Mecca, except for this one day." Sarh was one of the people Muhammad ordered to be murdered. His crime? He had left Islam, and he constituted a threat to the credibility of the Qur'an and the prophethood of Muhammad. No wonder then that Muhammad wanted him dead.
PRESENTATION OF ISLAMIC SOURCES
SIRAT RASUL ALLAH
Quoting from "The Life of Muhammad", A Guillaume's a translation of
Ibn Hisham's "Sirat Rasul Allah", from page 550: [words in brackets [ ]
The apostle had instructed his commanders, when they entered Mecca,
only to fight those who resisted them except a small number who were to
be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Kaba. Among
them was Abdullah b. Sa`d, brother of the B. Amir v. Lu'ayy. The reason
he ordered him to be killed was that he had been a Muslim and used to write
down revelation; then he apostatized and returned to Qurahysh [Mecca] and
fled to `Uthman b. `Affan whose foster brother he was. [`Uthman was one
of Muhammad's closest friends, and later became the Caliph of Islam]. The
latter hid him until he brought him to the apostle after the situation
in Mecca was tranquil, and asked that he might be granted immunity. They
allege that the apostle remained silent for a long time till finally he
said yes, [granting Abdullah immunity from the execution order]. When `Uthman
had left he [Muhammad] said to his compainions who were sitting around
him, "I kept silent so that one of you might get up and strike off his
head!" One of the Ansar [Muhammad's helpers from Medina] said, then why
didn't you give me a sign, O apostle of God?" He [Muhammad] answered that
a prophet does not kill by pointing.
NOTE: the Sirat Rasul Allah is the earliest and most authentic biography of Muhammad. It was even written before the Hadith were compiled.
KITAB AL-TABAQAT AL-KABIR
[note: words in [ ] brackets are mine]. I have also added ( ) brackets to associate numbers with the people in the list.
Muhammad ordered the execution of 10 people when he took Mecca. Here
is the list of names found in Ibn Sa'd "Tabaqat", Vol 2, page 168.
The apostle of Allah entered through Adhakhir, [into Mecca], and prohibited
fighting. He ordered six men and four women to be killed, they were (1)
Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl, (2) Habbar Ibn al-Aswad, (3) Abd Allah Ibn Sa`d Ibn
Abi Sarh, (4) Miqyas Ibn Sababah al-Laythi, (5) al-Huwayrith Ibn Nuqaydh,
(6) Abd Abbah Ibn Hilal Ibn Khatal al-Adrami, (7) Hind Bint Utbah, (8)
Sarah, the mawlat (enfranchised girl) of Amr Ibn Hashim, (9) Fartana and
Occasionally, the Sirat, and the Tabaqat use a different name for the same person. #3 in the list given above is such a case. The differences in the name is due to the amount of family lineage given for the man's name, and the english translation.
Ibn Sa'd corroborates Ibn Ishaq and says on page 174:
A person of al-Ansar had taken a vow to kill Ibn Abi Sarh [the already
mentioned Abdullah] if he saw him. `Uthman whose foster brother he (Ibn
Abi Sarh) was, came and interceded for him with the prophet. The Ansari
was waiting for the signal of the prophet to kill him. `Uthman interceded
and he [Muhammad] let him go. The the apostle of Allah said to the Ansari,
"Why did you not fulfil your vow?" He said, "O apostle of Allah! I had
my hand on the hilt of the sword waiting for your signal to kill him."
The prophet said signalling would have been a breach of faith. "It does
not behave the prophet to make signal."
NOTE ON THE TABAQAT:
The Tabaqat was translated into English by Moinul Haq, a Pakistani.
His work was published by the Pakistan Historical Society. It is published
in English in two volumes. The title means "Book of the Major Classes".
It is basically a biography of Muhammad.
From Al-Sira by al-'Iraqi
The scribes of Muhammad were 42 in number. Abdallah Ibn Sarh al-`Amiri
was one of them, and he was the first Quraishite among those who wrote
in Mecca before he turned away from Islam. He started saying, "I used to
direct Muhammad wherever I willed. He would dictate to me 'Most High, All-Wise',
and I would write down 'All-Wise' only. Then he would say, 'Yes it is all
the same'. On a certain occasion he said, 'Write such and such', but I
wrote 'Write' only, and he said, 'Write whatever you like.'" So when this
scribe exposed Muhammad, he wrote in the Qur'an, "And who does greater
evil than he who forges against God a lie, or says, 'To me it has been
revealed', when naught has been revealed to him." So on the day Muhammad
conquered Mecca, he commanded his scribe to be killed. But the scribe fled
to `Uthman Ibn `Affan, because `Uthman was his foster brother (his mother
suckled `Uthman). `Uthman, therefore, kept him away from Muhammad. After
the people calmed down, `Uthman brought the scribe to Muhammad and sought
protection for him. Muhammad kept silent for a long time, after which he
said yes. When `Uthman had left, Muhammad said "I only kept silent so that
you (the people) should kill him."
Al-Iraqi refers to Sura 6:93 above. From Dawud's translation Sura 6:93 reads:
Who is more wicked than the man who invents a falsehood about God, or
says: "This was revealed to me", when nothing was revealed to him? Or the
man who says, "I can reveal the like of what God has revealed"?
Al-Baidawi commenting on the Qur'an, Sura al-An`am 6:93
"'To me it has been revealed', when naught has been revealed to him" refers to Abdallah Ibn Sa`d Ibn Abi Sarh, who used to write for God's messenger. The verse (23:11) that says, "We created man of an extraction of clay" was revealed, and when Muhammad reached the part that says, "... thereafter We produced him as another creature (23:14), Abdallah said, "So blessed be God the fairest of creators!" in amazement at the details of man's creation. The prophet said, "Write it down; for thus it has been revealed." Abdallah doubted and said, "If Muhammad is truthful then I receive the revelation as much as he does, and if he is a liar, what I said is a good as what he said."
Above I presented the details and the context behind the order to murder Abdullah Sarh. He was a threat to the credibility of the Qur'an. He was a Muslim, worked with Muhammad in writing down the Qur'an, and, from time to time he suggested some minor changes, or made deliberate omissions or additions. Abdullah eventually realized that if this Qur'an were truly from God, no changes would be made at his suggestion. Sarh realized Islam and the Qur'an were false and went back to Mecca.
After Muhammad took Mecca, and issued the order to kill him, he hid out with `Uthman who was one of Muhammad's closest companions. Later Sarh pled for amnesty. Muhammad wanted one of his men to kill him on the spot, but they didn't know if they should, because they couldn't read Muhammad's mind. So, finally, Muhammad gave him amnesty.
We see here that Muhammad really wanted Sarh dead. But Muhammad handled this in a very irrational way. Muhammad issues an edict to have a man executed, but fails to have it carried out because he doesn't want to make a signal with his hand, or wink with his eye??? Why didn't Muhammad kill him himself? If this man had committed such a crime as to cost him his life, why didn't Muhammad see that his death sentence be carried out? What kind of law is that? "You committed a major crime, punishable by death, but I'm going to let you live because I am too proud to signal with my hand."???
Note here that the Qur'an itself, revealed in regard to Sarh in 6:93, calls Sarh extremely wicked.
This shows that Muhammad barked orders willy-nilly. This man committed no major crime, he just exposed Muhammad and the Qur'an. Muhammad just wanted this man killed for personal reasons. People lived or died based on Muhammad's frame of mind, not based on law and justice.
Many Muslims today proclaim that,
"the Qur'an is the speech from Allah, revealed in its precise meaning
and wording through the angel Gabriel, transmitted by many, inimitable,
unique and protected by Allah Himself against any corruption".
Ahmad von Deffer "Ulum al-Qur'an", p21.
Yet we find that the Qur'an has suffered corruption. Remember, all of the sources I presented are from early, sincere, dedicated, Muslim writers. There were devout Muslims, not moderates or liberals who would change real Islam for their own ease.
So, even in the historical writings of Islam, we find proof of the Qur'an's corruption.
1) Why did Muhammad so readily accept Sarh's fragrant addition to his "revelations"?
2) If Muhammad so easily accepted the input of Sarh, could he not have accepted the input of his other scribes and spliced them into the Qur'an?
Modern scholars have shown that the Qur'an's style has been broken, and re-combined together, (see Bell's "Introduction to the Qur'an" for additional details on textual and stylistic flaws within the Qur'an).
3) Since Muhammad liked Sarh's addition, could he not have also added other stories to embellish the Qur'an? Examining the composition of the Qur'an, we find that there are many stories borrowed from other religious sources: the Old Testament, the New Testament, other works of Judaism (the Mishnah, the Rabbi Pirke Elizar, etc., pre-Islamic religious stories, Sabeanism, other pagan religion, etc.. Could these also have been borrowed?
4) If this story about Sarh were a fabrication, why did so many early Muslim writers document it? Certainly devout Muslims would not document a lie that serves to undermine their faith.
Proof has been presented that the Qur'an has been tainted. Early Muslim writers have showed that there is corruption in the Qur'an. They have also displayed Muhammad's real motives. Sarh did add to the Qur'an; he realized that and left Islam. Muhammad then knew another threat to his credibility existed. After Muhammad took Mecca he ordered Sarh's death to erase the threat. Because of his vanity Muhammad did not have Sarh murdered but had to pardon him. To this day, this corruption in the Qur'an exists. Further, we have seen upon what principles Muhammad really operated on; principles of mood, not of law.
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