Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Concept of Infallibility

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The Concept of Infallibility

    I am starting a new thread to discuss the concept of Infallibility of the Prophet PBUH and the 12 Imams after him.

    Shi'as maintain that the Prophet PBUH was not an ordinary mortal: he was incapable of committing sin. His character was free from any defect, he was Infallible.

    Sunnis contradict this.

    Let us start with proof that the Prophet PBUH was indeed infallible, incapable of committing sin, refuting the false allegation against the Prophet PBUH by some Sunni "ulema" who claim that the Prophet PBUH committed the sin of ignoring a blind man.

    (then we shall come to the 12 Imams)


    Who Offended the Blind?


    Holy Quran, Surah 80 (Abas)


    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

    80:1 He (a certain Umayad chieftain) frowned and turned away (while he was with the Prophet).
    80:2 Because there came to him the blind man (Ibn Um-Maktoom).
    80:3 And what would make you know, but that, per chance, he (the blind man) might grow in purity,
    80:4 Or become reminded so that the reminder should profit him? (the blind man)
    80:5 As for him (the Umayad chieftain) who considers himself free from need (rich),
    80:6 To him do you address yourself?
    80:7 And it is not necessary for you (to preach that arrogant chieftain) if he does not purify himself.
    80:8 And as to him who comes to you striving hard,
    80:9 And he fears (Allah),
    80:10 To him (his question) you did not pay attention?
    80:11 Nay! surely this is (this chapter) a reminder.

    =============================
    The occasion for the revelation of this Chapter was a historic event which took place. Once the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) was with some the rich individuals of Quraish from the tribe of Umayad, among them was Uthman Ibn Affan, who took the office of caliphate later. While the Messenger of Allah was preaching them, Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktoom who was blind and was one of the companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) came to see him. The Holy Prophet received him with honor and pleasure and gave him the closest place to himself. However, the Prophet did not answer the question of the blind immediately Since he was at the middle of his speech with the Qura****es. Since Abdullah was poor and blind, the chieftains of the Quraish looked down upon him and they did not like the honor and the respect bestowed upon him by the Prophet (PBUH&HF). They also did not like the presence of the blind among themselves and his interrupting their conversation with the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Finally one of the wealthy Umayad (namely Uthman Ibn Affan) frowned at Abdullah and turned his back to him.

    This act of the chieftains of Quraish displeased Allah and thus He revealed the Chapter 80 (Abas) through Gabriel at the same time. This Chapter commended Abdullah's position though poor and blind. In the first 4 verses, Allah denounced the detesting attitude of the chieftain of the Quraish. And in the later verses, Allah * reminds * his Prophet (PBUH&HF) that preaching an unbeliever is not necessary if the unbeliever does not intend to purify himself and offenses a believer just because of his lack of wealth and health.

    There are some Sunni commentators who align the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) along with below-average ordinary morals, and accuse him of insulting Abdullah, and by that, they try to say that he was not free from the weakness of character and conduct. This is while the one who insulted the poor man was a wealthy member of Umayad who was either still non-Muslim, or had recently joint the companions (namely Uthman). Yet some people, in order to clear the face of Uthman from such misconduct, do not have any hesitation to accuse the Prophet of such action, and to put down the Prophet in favor of Uthman. Such twist of the event was done by the Umayad during their reign through pay-roll narrators. It is well-known that Umayad were the most ardent enemies of the family of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and Islam; as such, it was not befitting of them that their leader, Uthman, be reprimanded in the Quran; thus, the scholars who worked for the Umayad were forced to write that this verse was revealed to reprimand the Prophet (PBUH&HF), not Uthman. Such flat-out lie was to preserve the dignity of Uthman with the price of humiliating the master of all the prophets. Here is the opinion of some Sunni commentators:

    It is said that these verses came down concerning Abdullah Ibn Maktoom, he is Abdullah Ibn Shareeh Ibn Malik Ibn Rabi'a al-Fihri from (the tribe of) Bani 'Amir Ibn Louay. He came to the Messenger of Allah while he was trying to convert these people to Islam: Utbah Ibn Rabi'ah, Abu Jahl Ibn Husham, al-Abbas Ibn Abd al-Muttalib, Ubay and Umayyah sons of Khalaf. The blind man said: "O Messenger of Allah read me and teach me from what Allah has taught you." He kept calling the Prophet and repeating his plea, not knowing that the Prophet was busy facing someone else, until the hatred appeared on the face of the Messenger of Allah for being interrupted. The Prophet said to himself these great people will say that his followers are but the blind and the slaves, so he turned away from him and faced the people he was talking to. Then the verses were revealed.
    After that the Messenger used to be kind to him and if he sees him he would say "welcome to the one whom my God reproached me in him". He used to ask him if he needed anything and kept him behind as the deputy on Medina twice during wars.
    The above Sunni commentary has also been mentioned in "al-Durr al- Manthoor", by al-Suyuti, with some minor differences. Abul Ala Maududi who is another Sunni commentator of Quran has a more moderate view. Here is his interpretation of Verse 80:17:

    Here displeasure has been expressed directly for the disbelievers who were being indifferent to the Message of truth. Before this, from the beginning of the Chapter to the Verse 16, the address though apparently directed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF), was actually mean to reprimand the disbelievers.
    Sunni reference:

    Commentary of Quran, by Abul Ala Maududi, p1005, under the commentary of verse 80:17 (Islamic Publications (Pvt.), Lahore)
    However, the fact is that Quran does NOT give any evidence that the person who frowned at the blind was the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and does not state who is being addressed. In the above verses of Quran Allah (SWT) did NOT address the Prophet either by name or title (i.e. O Muhammad, or O Prophet, or O Messenger). Moreover, there exists switching in the pronoun from "he" in the first two verses to "you" in the later verses of the chapter. Allah did NOT state: "You frowned and turned away". Rather, Almighty stated:

    80:1
    He frowned and turned away (while he was with the Prophet),
    80:2
    Because there came to him the blind man.
    80:3
    And what would make you know, but that, per chance, he (the blind man) might grow in purity,

    [i]Even if we assume that "you" in the third verse addresses the Prophet (PBUH&HF), then it is clear from the above three verses that the words "he" (the one who frowned) and "you" address two different individuals.

    The following two verses support this as well: [i]

    80:5 As for him who considers himself free from need (rich),
    80:6 To him do you address yourself?

    Thus the one who frowned was other than the Prophet himself due to distinction between "him" and "you". In Verses 80:6 Allah addresses his Prophet (PBUH&HF) saying that preaching arrogant members of Quraish who frown at a blind is not worthy and is not necessary to be preferred over preaching a blind, even though the blind came later. The reason is that preaching anyone who does not intend to purify himself (to the extend that he frowns at a believer) is not fruitful.

    Moreover, frowning is not from the manners/descriptions of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) even with his obvious enemies, let alone believers seeking guidance! One may question how can a Prophet (PBUH&HF) who was sent as a mercy to mankind be cruel when an AVERAGE believer does not in such behavior? This allegation is also in contradiction with the announcement of the sublime morals and the ethics of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) by God himself:

    "And most certainly you are on sublime morality (exalted standard of character)." (Quran, al-Qalam 68:4).
    A man who insult others does not deserve such compliments. It is agreed that Chapter al-Qalam (Ch. 68) came before Chapter Abas (Ch. 80). It was even revealed next after Chapter Iqra' (Ch. 96 -- the first revealed chapter). How could it be reasonable that Allah bestow greatness on his creature in the very beginning of his prophethood, declares that he is in the sublime morality, and thereafter reverts to reproach and criticize him on some apparent misgiving in his moral actions.

    Also Almighty said:

    And warn your near tribe, And be kind to him who follows you of the believers. (Quran 26:214-215)
    It is well known that these verses are early Meccan revelation. The same words can be found in the tail of verse 15:88. Allah, Exalted He is, furthermore said:

    Therefore declare openly what you are bidden and turn aside from the polytheists. (Quran 15:94)
    He was ordered to turn away from the unbelievers in this verse which is known to have been revealed at the beginning of the "open call to Islam" (after the initial secrecy period).

    How could it be imagined that after all these earlier commandments that the great, kind Prophet would err in such a way that would require pronounced interdiction?

    The commentators of Quran from the school of Ahlul-Bayt further argue that even the questioning in the third and forth verses of the Chapter concerning the doubt about Abdullah being benefited by the talk with the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) or not, has been in the mind of one who had not yet embraced Islam, and was not aware of the sprite of Islam. This could never have occurred in the mind of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) who has been sent to preach the faith to every one and all, irrespective of any worldly position of the People. Based on that, they conclude that the word 'you' in the third verse does not still apply to the Prophet, rather it applies to one of the Umayad attendees, and that NONE of the first four verses of this chapter (80:1-4) addresses the Prophet (PBUH&HF) even though the latter verses address the Prophet (PBUH&HF).

    Those who are familiar with the language of Quran and read the original Arabic Quran are aware of the constant jumping between the first, second, and third person writing style of Quran. In many verses in Quran Allah changes the address sharply, and as such, it is not always easy to figure out who is being addressed when the name of addressee is not mentioned. That's why the Prophet has ordered us to refer to Ahlul-Bayt (AS) for the interpretation of the verses of Quran since they are "firmly grounded in knowledge" (Quran 3:7) and are "The People of Reminder" (Quran 16:43, 21:7) and the are the purified people who have touched the meaning of Quran (see 56:79).

    It is narrated that Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (AS) said:

    It came down regarding a man from the Umayad; he was at the Prophet's (PBUH&HF) presence, then Ibn Umm-Maktoom came, when he saw him he despised him, withdrew himself, frowned and turned his face away from him. So Allah said what He said in disapproval of his action.
    Also it is told that Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said:

    "Whenever the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) saw Abdullah Ibn Umm- Maktoom, he said: Welcome, welcome, by Allah, you won't find Allah reproaching me in you ever (80:5-11). He used to get kindness from the Prophet so much that he used to avoid from (being in the presence of) the Prophet (PBUH&HF), because of what the Prophet used to do to him." Out of shyness.
    In Tafsir of Sayyid Shubbar it is reported from al-Qummi that:

    The verse was revealed about Uthman and Ibn Umm-Maktoom, and he was blind. He came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF), while in the company of companions, and Uthman was there. The Messenger introduced him to Uthman and Uthman frowned and turned his face away.
    Allah Almighty said in Quran about Prophet Muhammad that:

    Nor does he (Muhammad) speak out of his desire. It is nothing but revelation that is revealed. (Quran 53:3-4).
    | | | | | | :| . |
    _7 q_, _7 q |_| | q_8 . | q_8_| | . _c q_D_,_, |_o q
    (_S /: (_S / / (_) (_S / (_) (_/ : /

    So how can the Prophet (PBUH&HF) say something offensive if his speeches are revelation or inspiration?! The Prophet never speaks out of his own desire. Interestingly, Sunnis confirm that Chapter Abas (Ch. 80) was revealed RIGHT AFTER Chapter al-Najm (Ch. 53) where it states the Prophet does not speak out of his desire.

    Also Verse 33:33 of the Holy Quran confirms that Ahlul-Bayt are perfectly pure and flawless. We all know that the virtue of the Prophet was higher than that of his family. He is also counted among Ahlul-Bayt. Then how can he offend a believer and yet maintains PERFECT purity?!

    Also note that in the revealed verses Allah states:

    And it is not necessary for you (to preach that arrogant chieftain) if he does not purify himself. (Quran 80:7)
    The above does NOT mean that what the Prophet did was a mistake, because Allah uses the phrase "it is not necessary for you". This means the Prophet's choice was not wrong, but it was not something necessary to do.

    Also when Allah states: Preaching him is not necessary "IF" the Qura****e does not purify himself. Well, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) did not know beforehand that the Qura****e is going to frown at the blind, as such, the "IF" condition has not been satisfied and therefore what the Prophet did was necessary before the time that man frowned (because the Prophet was at the middle of his speech with those Qura****es when the blind man arrived). And as soon as the Qura****e frowned, the Prophet stopped preaching, and the verses was revealed. As we can see, what the Prophet (PBUH&HF) did was his duty second by second.

    The reminder was for future, as is the case of another verse of Quran where Allah reminds his Prophet that it is not necessary for him to bother himself too much for guiding people since some of them can never be guided, and the Prophet should not be unhappy about those.

    In conclusion, we provided evidences from Quran, Hadith, History, and Arabic grammar, to support the fact that the very early verses of this chapter do NOT refer to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) and the one who frowned at the blind was not the Prophet (PBUH&HF). We also mentioned that Verses 80:5-11 were just a reminder for the future to the Prophet Muhammad that preaching an unbeliever is not fruitful if the unbeliever does not try to purify himself and when the unbeliever offends a believer just because of his lack of wealth and health.

    Wassalam.



    [This message has been edited by alizadeh2000 (edited July 15, 2001).]

    #2
    Dear Alizadeh,

    I think we differ on the interpretation of the above mentioned group of verses. (I do not proclaim to belong to any sect).

    My belief in Holy Prophet(sm)'s fallibity in fact stems from the following verses of At-Tahrim,

    [at-Tahrim 66:1] O Prophet! why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    [at-Tahrim 66:2] Allah indeed has sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths and Allah is your Protector, and He is the Knowing the Wise.

    Amongst many interpretations, the most powerful and the one that appeals most to me is the one that Muhammad(sm) forbade himself honey because one of his wives complained of bad smell. Muhammad(sm) had taken an oath, and Allah has clearly said in this verse why has he made something unlawful on him which God made lawful, and in the next verse asking him to break the oath. From the verse itself, and the context, it seems to me that Muhammad(sm) had done something not allowed as per Islam, and therefore God has asked him to reverse his actions.

    Almost all other interpretations also seem to suggest that Muhammad(sm) had taken a particular action, and God has asked him why he had done so, and then asked him to reverse the decision by making the expiation of breaking an oath.

    This is just my point of view, many people, as well as you, may differ and have the right to do so. I am trying to be objective at my best, and would advise everyone reading this thread to be so. We should not blindly adhere to our beliefs and believe that we are right. We should investigate through reason and understand the logic behind our decisions. If faith were blind, no one would ever convert to Islam- they would be blind in their faith.

    Best Regards,
    Muhammad Omer Iqbal

    Comment


      #3
      No human being is free of mistakes. it is a superficial idea to think that someone ever existed who neve committed any mistake. no one is exceptional. It is all in your mind.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by analyze it:
        No human being is free of mistakes. it is a superficial idea to think that someone ever existed who neve committed any mistake. no one is exceptional. It is all in your mind.
        Interesting Thought. I always wondered this myself. Did Maryam mother of Isa(jesus) ever commit any mistake? Has ISA(Jesus) ever committed any mistake?

        Comment


          #5
          It is impossible to tell if these personalities committed any mistakes or not because we dont know everything about their lives. Whatever is known is just a fraction of their whole life so you can not judge from partial knowledge about someone.

          Now I will give you an example to validate my point. What we know about history is narrated by historian who basically collected information from previous written books. The actual events were reprted by various people close to the events who actually saw the events and in most cases learned from other witnesses.

          Now consider an car accident which happens today in 2001. Collect information about the accident from witnesses. I will challenge that you will hear totally different views points from different witnesses about how the accident happened and who was responsible. Imagine how the events of several hundred years ago has been transferred to us albeit via books. It is impossible to vaidate what we read in history books that whether those events actually happened in the same way and thats why there is so much contradiction in history books.
          I hope I made my point clear.

          Comment


            #6
            Seems like the qur'an is not sufficient afterall, as Umar bin Khattab postulated. Otherwise, you all would not doubt the sinlessness of our holy prophet (pbuh).

            This is why the holy apostle (pbuh) has asked us to remain attached to both the Qur'an and his holy ahl-bait, who possess the true meanings of the qur'an.

            Allah (swt) has defended his holy messenger (pbuh) and guaranteed his infallibility by the following verse:

            [an-Najm 53:1] I swear by the star when it goes down.

            [an-Najm 53:2] Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray;

            [an-Najm 53:3] Nor does he speak out of desire.

            [an-Najm 53:4] It is naught but revelation that is revealed,

            [an-Najm 53:5] The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him,

            Without the guidance of the ahl-bait, the meanings of the holy qur'an can be made to fit whatever ideas we may hold ourselves.

            ws



            [This message has been edited by a1shah (edited July 15, 2001).]

            Comment


              #7
              [an-Nisa' 4:65] But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission.

              If ALL the decisions of the Prophet should be accepted unconditionally, then the Prophet should be protected from error in ALL his decisions.

              [an-Nisa' 4:80] Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah, and whoever turns back, so We have not sent you as a keeper over them.

              In the above verses as well as many other verses of the Quran, obedience of Allah has become synonymous with the obedience of the prophets. Such assertion would have been impossible if the prophets were not infallible (Ma'soom).

              [This message has been edited by a1shah (edited July 15, 2001).]

              Comment


                #8
                Please carefully note the following verse:

                [ad-Dahr 76:23] Surely We Ourselves have revealed the Quran to you revealing (it) in portions.

                [ad-Dahr 76:24] Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord, and obey not from among them a sinner or an ungrateful one.

                "The prophets are to be obeyed," and "the sinners are NOT to be obeyed."

                You can draw your own conclusion but the quran clearly tells us that the prophets were NOT sinners or wrong-doers.

                In other words, they were infallible (Ma'soom) and sinless.

                ws

                Comment


                  #9
                  to har baat par Hazrat Umer ki nafrat samne aa jati he..wohi Hazrat Umer jin ke musalmann hone par Prophet Muhammad was so happy and confident that muslims started praying openely.. whose just Islamic rule of 11 yrs brought Islam to all over the world.. hes much better tahn most of ur Imams whom no one knows..
                  Saints are fine for Heaven, but they are hell on earth.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Degas Bhai, salams

                    This is precisely the tragedy. That no one knows them.

                    If you did know, you wouldn't be saying these things. Your rulers have ensured that you stayed ignorant.

                    Originally posted by Degas:
                    to har baat par Hazrat Umer ki nafrat samne aa jati he..wohi Hazrat Umer jin ke musalmann hone par Prophet Muhammad was so happy and confident that muslims started praying openely.. whose just Islamic rule of 11 yrs brought Islam to all over the world.. hes much better tahn most of ur Imams whom no one knows..

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Degas,

                      My sincere advice to you is to be careful what you say about the holy ahl-bait, the pure itra, whom Allah (swt) has purified, lest you be punished for you mis-behavior.

                      You have the audacity to compare them to Umar, who spent most of life in jahiliyat ? The one who dis-obeyed the prophet (pbuh) on many occassions, doubted his prophethood, and brought innovations to Islam.

                      May Allah (swt) guide you.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Dear everyone,

                        I do not wish anyone to take offense to what I say, but I request that if a topic other than the fallibility of Muhammad(sm) is to be addressed, the originator please open up another thread, this would only help the readers understand theme of discussion from the title on the main forum page.

                        Dear a1shah,

                        I respect your point of view, however I do not necessarily agree to it. The way you have interpreted the above mentioned verses, the two groups of verses (the ones posted by me and the ones posted by you) seem to be contradictory. In one group, Allah is asking the Holy Prophet why did he commit a certain action, whereas in other He is saying that Muhammad(sm) does not make an error.

                        There is another interpretation for the verses in an-Najm, which is that Muhammad(sm) does not make an error in revelation of Qur'an. These verses, according to this interpretation, were revealed because Quraysh used to blame Holy Prophet(sm) of having hallucinations and seeing day-dreams. It was in answer to these objections that these verses were revealed. Therefore, what Allah is saying is that Muhammad(sm) does not make an error or makes false talks when it comes to Qur'an. I like this interpretation better because it is consistent with verses from Surah at-Tahrim.

                        Prophet Muhammad(sm) should be followed because as I interpret from at-Tahrim, and a few other verses of Qur'an, Muhammad(sm) was corrected whenever he made a mistake. Making a mistake does not necessarily make one a sinner. Consider someone eating by mistake during a fast, its a mistake but fast is not nullified. Similarly, Muhammad(sm) could make mistakes but did not necessarily commit sins.

                        Regards,
                        Muhammad Omer Iqbal

                        [This message has been edited by oiqbal (edited July 16, 2001).]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by a1shah:
                          Degas,

                          My sincere advice to you is to be careful what you say about the holy ahl-bait, the pure itra, whom Allah (swt) has purified, lest you be punished for you mis-behavior.

                          You have the audacity to compare them to Umar, who spent most of life in jahiliyat ? The one who dis-obeyed the prophet (pbuh) on many occassions, doubted his prophethood, and brought innovations to Islam.

                          May Allah (swt) guide you.
                          ..and my sincere advice is to be careful what u say about Hazrat Umer whose 11 years were best for Muslims and Islam after Prophets time..
                          .. and I cant compare any of those great personalities but my opinion is that Hazrat Umers contributions is greater tahn many of the people u consider as Imams .. but not all as I regard Hazrat Ali as one of the great muslims and Hazrat Imam Hussains sacrifice and Hazrat Imam Jaffer Sadiq contribbutions for Islamic law but for others I am not sure i can say they contributed any way more than Hazrat Umer..u might have diiferent opinion and I respect that..
                          ..plus if hazrat umer made anny innivations in Islam where were Hazrat Ali ..i cant believe he couldnt had stood aginst those as far as they were concerned with our religion..u seem to b knowing much more than Hazrat Ali.. please do recheck ur sources..

                          Saints are fine for Heaven, but they are hell on earth.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Iqbal;

                            Regarding the verse:

                            "Nor does he (Muhammad) speak out of his desire. It is no less than revelation that is revealed (Quran 53:3-4),"

                            your understanding that the above verse is only limited to Quran is in-correct.

                            Neither the above verses, nor the verses surrounding them specify limitation of any kind. There is no mention of "Quran" in the above verses nor the verses before and after, and therefore, your claim is unsupported, at least from the Quran.

                            The Verse 53:3 exactly talks about "the speech" of the Prophet and not necessarily Quran, and thus, the rule mentioned in the next verse covers ALL his speeches.

                            The pagan Arabs did not criticize the Prophet for the Quran alone. They also criticized him for his claim of prophethood as well as his teachings and ideas.

                            ws

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty states in Quran:

                              "And when Abraham was tested by his Lord with certain commands and he fulfilled them. Then He said: Lo! I appoint you an Imam for mankind. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring (will there be Imam)? He said: My covenant does not reach the wrong-doers (among them)." (Quran 2:124).

                              In the above verse Allah states that the position of God-assigned leadership does not reach to a person who is "Dhalim" (wrong-doer).

                              Now, there is no dispute that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) was a divinely appointed leader and a descendant of Abraham (AS). Not only him, but also Moses, Jesus, David, Sulayman (Solomon) were also descendants of Abraham and all of them were assigned by Allah as Imam.

                              This goes to prove that none of them were "Dhalim" (wrong-doer), otherwise the last sentence of Verse 2:124 will become untrue!

                              Remember that sin has a different meaning for those who are close to Allah. Their sins can only be interpreted as insufficient good deeds or worship before Allah in comparison to the infinite worship that Allah deserves.

                              Such type of sin --that is even unobservable to the righteous people-- does not cause the wrath of Allah, nor does it lead to punishment in the Hereafter.

                              The good deeds of the righteous people are sins for those who are close (to Allah).

                              ws

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X