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Al-Isaeeliyyaat -Narratives Originating from Jewish and Christian Traditions in Tafsir Books

MIT
1/10/2015
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1-That which collaborates the statements of Allah and His messenger is correct and must be accepted even if the collaboration is just in an aspect of possible aspects. There is no harm in transmitting such. It can also be used as a proof. So was the action of the companions of the prophet (PBUH). It is reported that Ali bin Abu Talib (Allah be pleased with him) once met a Jew and asked him: Where is Hell Fire? And the Jew replied saying: "In the sea." Ali accepted and agreed to that, saying it collaborated the statement of Allah {And when seas are filled with flames} [a translation from At-Takweer: 6] Whether the seas are those of this world and where exactly they will be in the hereafter did not matter. The fact is that there was a collaboration from an aspect at all and thus was accepted.

2- That which contradicts texts or is irregular with evident fundamentals of the religion and its general objectives is refuted. This is actually the category the bulk number of these Israelites tales fall.

One of such popular stories is the story narrated about prophet  Sulaiman (PBUH) that he once pulled off his ring on entering the bathroom to bath. Satan took his look and came to the wife, collected the ring, wore it and acted as Sulaiman, judging between people. When Sulaiman (PBUH) finally came out and wanted his ring back, he was denied by his wives and people that he was fake and a liar. Satan was accepted as the true Sulaiman and the real Sulaiman denied by the wives and people. Satan took over the throne, acted like Sulaiman and even met with the wives.  This continued for a while until Sulaiman (PBUH) had to retire to the riverside and took to fishing. When the deeds and actions of the Satan (now Sulaiman the King) became unbearable with obvious inconsistencies with the Sulaiman known to them before, the people complained and resolved to come find out from his wives. The wives also gave their side of the story that they are being unsettled with the new character of him having intercourse with them while in their menses, which was never the case…. This is a fake unaccepted narration found abound in tafsir books in the verse 34 of Sad'.

 Refuting any narration is to be based on explicit texts and fundamentals of the religion and not mere literary taste of the story. This is because the human intelligence can not in any way contradict clear n authentic texts for its weakness as being human. Nonetheless, if such narrations from the past nations are from authentic sources, they are to be accepted because they could be miracles from Allah. So whether the human comprehension understands it or not, as long as it is authentic, it is accepted for the human brain is weak and can never comprehend all the Divine phenomena.

Of such narrations is the story of prophet Musa (PBUH) when Allah said: "O you who have believed! Be not like those who abused Musa; then Allah cleared him of what they said." [a translation of al-Azab: 69]. It is narrated that Musa (PBUH) was very shy and always took his bath in a way that none saw any part of his skin or body. He thus was being abused by the people of Israel that he had disease in his skin. So one day, Musa (PBUH) kept his cloths on a stone and hid to take his bath. After taking the bath and as he was about taking his cloths from the top of the stone, the stone started running away with the cloths. He ran angrily after the stone shouting: my cloths! Stone! Stone! My cloths. As he chased the stone, the Israelites saw him and found that he had a very beautiful skin without any ailment. When he finally met up with the stone, he hit it with his stick that it left on in marks from the hit. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) affirmed this from the narration of Bukhari. This is an accepted story even if may sound somehow to the ordinary human brain. But it is a miracle from God in the hands of prophet Musa (PBUH).

However, it is not advisable to be too lenient in accepting tales from the  Israelites. Umar bin al-Khattab once saw Ubay bin Ka'b narrating tales from the Israelites and he told him to either stop or be ready to get punished. Umar meant herein that there should be no too much leniency in narrating their tales, because he Umar was also known for narrating them. He once asked Ubay: what was the first thing Allah started his creation with?

3- That which does not contradict any text from the Qur'an or hadith. This category can be narrated in all ways because it falls within the statement of the prophet (PBUH): "There is no problem, you can narrate (tales) from the people of Israel".

 






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