The following is an examination of some more of the legends and myths of the Quran and Muhammadan Muslim traditions. According to the Quran, the DISBELIEVERS accused Muhammad of reproducing the fables of the ancients in his Quran:
68:15 "When Our signs are recited to him, he says, 'Fairy-tales of the ancients!"
83:13 "When Our signs are recited to him, he says, 'Fairy-tales of the ancients! "
I am going to share with you readers and provide you with some more evidence proving that the UNBELIEVERS were perfectly correct in their conclusion because the Quran
- and Muhammadan Islam - presents rehashed myths and ancient tales as Allah's words.
You will also read the enormous 'intellectual' efforts made by the interpreters of the Quran in attempting to decipher and explain the UNEXPLAINABLE.
The particular fairytale we are about to share in this article also affect the perspicuity of the Quran. This particular legend - as well as numerous others - call into question the clarity of the Quran because they are directly related to some verses which make little to no sense.
In fact, the only way that even the best authority on the Arabic language can possibly understand or begin to comprehend what these texts are talking about, is by consulting the Muhammadan Muslim commentaries and/or literature such as the Hadith or the Sira.
I shall be sharing with you the citations of more than one Muhammadan Muslim source so as to avoid the accusation that we are merely depending on the opinion of a single person, or that the interpretation is an isolated one, not shared by others.
6: 103 It was not Allah Who instituted (superstitions like those of) a slit-ear she-camel or a she-camel let loose for free pasture or idol sacrifices for twin-births in animals or stallion-camels freed from work; it is blasphemers who invent a lie against Allah but most of them lack wisdom.
# 809 A number of Arab Pagan superstitions are referred to. The Pagan mind, not understanding the hidden secrets of nature, attributed certain phenomena to divine anger and were assailed by superstitious fears which haunted their lives. If a she-camel or other female domestic animal had a large number of young, she (or one of her offspring) had her car slit and she was dedicated to a god: such an animal was a bahira. On return in safety from a journey, or on recovery from an illness a she-camel was similarly dedicated and let loose for free pasture: she was called a saiba. Where an animal bore twins, certain sacrifices or dedications were made to idols: an animal so dedicated was a wasila. A stallion-camel dedicated to the gods by certain rites was a ham. The particular examples lead to the general truth: that superstition is due to ignorance, and is degrading to men and dishonouring to Allah #
7: 73To the Thamud people (We sent) Saleh one of their own brethren: he said: "O my people! worship Allah; ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (sign) from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you: so leave her to graze in Allah's earth and let her come to no harm or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment.
77Then they ham-strung the she-camel and insolently defied the order of their Lord saying: "O Saleh! bring about thy threats if thou art an apostle (of Allah)!"
#1044 The story of this wonderful she-camel that was a sign to the Thamud, is variously told in tradition. We need not follow the various versions in the traditional story. What we are told in the Qur-an is: that (1) she was a Sign or Symbol, which the prophet Salih, used for a warning to the haughty oppressors of the poor: (2) there was scarcity of water, and the arrogant or privileged classes tried to prevent the access of the poor or their cattle to the springs, while Salih intervened on their behalf (xxvi. 155, liv. 28); (3) like water, pasture was considered a free gift of nature, in this spacious earth of Allah (vii. 73), but the arrogant ones tried to monopolise the pasture also; (4) this particular she-camel was made a test case (liv. 27) to see if the arrogant ones would come to reason; (5) the arrogant ones, instead of yielding to the reasonable rights of the people, ham-strung the poor she-cameland slew her, probably secretly (xci. 14, liv. 29): the cup of their iniquities was full, and the Thamud people were destroyed by a dreadful earthquake, which threw them prone on the ground and buried them with their houses and their fine buildings#
11: 64"And O my people! thisshe-camel of Allah is a symbol to you: leave her to feed on Allah's (free) earth and inflict no harm on her or a swift Penalty will seize you!
#1560 Salih does not merely take up a negative attitude. He puts forward the she-camel as a sign see n. 1044 to vii. 73. "Give up your selfish monopoly. Make Allah's gifts on this free earth available to all. Give the poor their rights, including grazing rights on common lands. Show your penitence and your new attitude by leaving this she-camel to graze freely. She is a Symbol, and therefore sacred to you." But their only reply was to defy the appeal and ham-string the camel. And so they went the way of all sinners-to total perdition #
17: 59And We refrain from sending the Signs only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel : to the Thamud to open their eyes but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror (and warning from evil).
# 2246 An example is cited from the story of Thamud. A wonderful She-camel was sent among them as a Portent and a Symbol. In their wickedness they hamstrung her. So instead of her reclaiming them she was a cause of their destruction, as their sin and rebellion were laid bare. For the story of the She-camel and the references to the passages in which she is mentioned, see n. 1044 to vii. 73 #
54: 27 For We will send the she-camel by way of trial for them. So watch them (O Saleh) and possess thyself in patience!
# 5149 See n. 1044 to vii. 73, for the she-camel as a trial or test case among selfish people who tried to monopolise water and pasture as against the poor #
91: 13But the apostle of Allah said to them: "It is a she-camel of Allah! and (bar her not from) having her drink!"
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 6.147Narrated bySaid bin Al Musaiyab
Bahira is a she-camel whose milk is kept for the idols and nobody is allowed to milk it; Sa'iba was the she-camelwhich they used to set free for their gods and nothing was allowed to be carried on it. Abu Huraira said: Allah's Apostle said, "I saw 'Amr bin 'Amir Al-Khuzai (in a dream) dragging his intestines in the Fire, and he was the first person to establish the tradition of setting free the animals (for the sake of their deities)." Wasila is the she-camelwhich gives birth to a she-camel as its first delivery, and then gives birth to another she-camel as its second delivery. People (in the Pre-Islamic periods of ignorance) used to let that she-camel loose for their idols if it gave birth to two she-camels successively without giving birth to a male camel in between. 'Ham' was the male camel which was used for copulation. When it had finished the number of copulations assigned for it, they would let it loose for their idols and excuse it from burdens so that nothing would be carried on it, and they called it the 'Hami.' Abu Huraira said, "I heard the Prophet saying so."
The Rock that Gave Birth-
The Quran refers to a 'prophet' named Salih who was sent to a people called Thamud in order to call them to repentance. In order to convince his people that he was Allah's spokesperson, Salih brought forth a she-camel as a miraculous sign:
"And to Thamood their brother Salih; he said, 'O my people, serve Allah! You have no god other than He; there has now come to you a clear sign from your Lord -- this is the she-camel of Allah, to be a sign for you. Leave her that she may eat in Allah's earth, and do not touch her with evil, lest you be seized by a painful chastisement. And remember when He appointed you successors after Ad, and lodged you in the land, taking to yourselves castles of its plains, and hewing its mountains into houses. Remember Allah's bounties, and do not mischief in the earth, working corruption.' Said the Council of those of his people who waxed proud to those that were abased, to those of them who believed, 'Do you know that Salih is an Envoy from his Lord?' They said, 'In the Message he has been sent with we are believers.' Said the ones who waxed proud, 'As for us, we are unbelievers in the thing in which you believe.' So they hamstrung the she-camel and turned in disdain from the commandment of their Lord, saying, 'O Salih, bring us that thou promisest us, if thou art an Envoy.' So the earthquake seized them, and morning found them in their habitation fallen prostrate.
Since there is nothing miraculous about having or bringing forth a she-camel we are left baffled as to how this sufficed as a satisfactory sign. It isn’t until we turn to the Muhammadan expositors that we are able to fully appreciate just how truly amazing and supernatural the she-camel was.
Renowned Sunni commentator Ibn Kathir, commenting on these verses from Sura 7, stated:
Thamud asked that a Camel APPEAR FROM A STONE, and it did
Prophet Salih said, …
"Indeed there has come to you a clear sign from your Lord. This she-camelof Allah is a sign unto you;" meaning, a miracle has come to you from Allah testifying to the truth of what I came to you with.
Salih's people asked him to produce a miracle and suggested a certain solid rock that they chose, which stood lonely in the area of Hijr, and which was called Al-Katibah. They asked him to bring a pregnant camel out of that stone. Salih took their covenant and promises that if Allah answers their challenge, they would believe and follow him. When they gave him their oaths and promises to that, Salih started praying and invoked Allah (to produce that miracle). All of a sudden, the stone moved and broke apart, producing a she-camel with thick wool. It was pregnant and its fetus was visibly moving in its belly, exactly as Salih's people asked. This is when their chief, Jundu` bin `Amr, and several who followed him believed.
The rest of the noblemen of Thamud wanted to believe as well, but Dhu'ab bin `Amr bin Labid, Al-Habbab, who tended their idols, and Rabbab bin Sum`ar bin Jilhis stopped them. One of the cousins of Jundu` bin `Amr, whose name was Shihab bin Khalifah bin Mikhlat bin Labid bin Jawwas, was one of the leaders of Thamud, and he also wanted to accept the message. However, the chiefs whom we mentioned prevented him, and he conceded to their promptings. The camel remained in Thamud, as well as its offspring after she delivered it before them. The camel used to drink from its well on one day and leave the well for Thamud the next day. They also used to drink its milk, for on the days she drank water, they used to milk her and fill their containers from its milk. Allah said in other Ayat, …
" And inform them that the water is to be shared between (her and) them, each one's right to drink being established (by turns)" [54:28] and, …
"Here is a she-camel: it has a right to drink (water), and you have a right to drink (water) (each) on a day, known "[26:155]
The camel used to graze in some of their valleys, going through a pass and coming out through another pass. She did that so as to be able to move easily, because she used to drink a lot of water. She was a tremendous animal that had a strikingly beautiful appearance. When she used to pass by their cattle, the cattle would be afraid of her. When this matter continued for a long time and Thamud's rejection of Salih became intense, they intended to kill her so that they could take the water for themselves every day. It was said that all of them (the disbelievers of Thamud) conspired to kill the camel. Qatadah said that he was told that, "The designated killer of the camel approached them all, including women in their rooms and children, and found out that all of them agreed to kill her." This fact is apparent from the wording of the Ayat, …
"Then they denied him and they killed it. So their Lord destroyed them because of their sin, and made them equal in destruction!" [91:14], and, ...
"And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong" [17:59]Allah said here, ...So they killed the she-camel "
Therefore, these Ayat state that the entire tribe shared in agreeing to this crime, and Allah knows best. (Source)
Thamud kills the She-Camel
Imam Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir and other scholars of Tafsir said that the reason behind killing the camel was that a disbelieving old woman among them named Umm Ghanm `Unayzah, the daughter of Ghanm bin Mijlaz, had the severest enmity among Thamud towards Salih, peace be upon him. She had beautiful daughters and she was wealthy, and Dhu'ab bin `Amr, one of the leaders of Thamud, was her husband. There was another noblewoman whose name was Saduf bint Al-Muhayya bin Dahr bin Al-Muhayya, who was of noble family, wealthy and beautiful.
She was married to a Muslim man from Thamud, but she left him. These two women offered a prize for those who swore to them that they would kill the camel. Once, Saduf summoned a man called Al-Habbab and offered herself to him if he would kill the camel, but he refused. So she called a cousin of hers whose name was Musaddi` bin Mihraj bin Al-Muhayya, and he agreed. As for `Unayzah bint Ghanm, she called Qudar bin Salif bin Jundu`, a short person with red-blue skin, a bastard, according to them. Qudar was not the son of his claimed father, Salif, but the son of another man called, Suhyad. However, he was born on Salif's bed (and thus named after him). `Unayzah said to Qudar, "I will give you any of my daughters you wish, if you kill the camel." Qudar bin Salif and Musaddi` bin Mihraj went along and recruited several mischievous persons from Thamud to kill the camel. Seven more from Thamud agreed, and the group became nine, as Allah described, when He said, ...
"And there were in the city nine men, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform"
These nine men were chiefs of their people, and they lured the entire tribe into agreeing to kill the camel. So they waited until the camel left the water well, where Qudar waited beside a rock on its path, while Musaddi` waited at another rock. When the camel passed by Musaddi` he shot an arrow at her and the arrow pierced her leg. At that time, `Unayzah came out and ordered her daughter, who was among the most beautiful women, to uncover her face for Qudar, encouraging Qudar to swing his sword, hitting the camel on her knee. So she fell to the ground and screamed once to warn her offspring. Qudar stabbed her in her neck and slaughtered her. Her offspring went up a high rock and screamed.
`Abdur-Razzaq recorded from Ma`mar that someone reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basari that the offspring said, "O my Lord! Where is my mother" It was said that her offspring screamed thrice and entered a rock and vanished in it, or, they followed it and killed it together with its mother. Allah knows best. When they finished the camel off and the news reached Prophet Salih, he came to them while they were gathered. When he saw the camel, he cried and proclaimed, ...
"Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days." [11:65]
Al-Tabari wrote in his History-
What happened then regarding them and Salih was told by al-Hasan b. Yahya- ‘Abd al-Razzaq- Isra’il- ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Rufay‘- Abu al-Tufayl: Thamud said to Salih, "Bring us a sign if you are indeed truthful." Salih said to them, "Go to an elevation on the land," and it shook violently as a woman in labor shakes, and it opened up, and from its midst a camel came forth. Salih said, "This is Allah's camel, a token unto you. Let her feed in Allah's, land, and do not hurt her, lest a painful torment seize you…"
One of the people came to Salih and said, "Hurry, go to your camel, it has been hamstrung." At this he went to them, and they came forth to meet him and sought his forgiveness, saying, "O prophet of Allah, only so-and-so hamstrung her, so it is not a sin of ours." He said, "See if you can overtake her young. If you overtake him perhaps Allah, will remove the punishment from you." So they went forth seeking him. But when the young camel saw his mother upset, he went to a low mountain called al-Qarah and ascended it. They went to seize him, but Allah gave command to the mountain and it grew so tall in the sky that not even the birds could reach it. Salih entered the city, and when the young camel saw him, he wept until his tears flowed. Then he approached Salih and grumbled once, then again, then again. Salih said, "Each grumble is the term of one day. Enjoy yourselves in your homes for these three days. This is no false promise. The sign of punishment is that on the first day your faces will become yellow in the morning, on the second day they will become red, and on the third day black."
(The History of Al-Tabari: Prophets and Patriarchs, translated by William M. Brinner [State University of New York Press (SUNY), 1987], Volume II, pp. 41, 44)
Here are the comments of the two Jalals in their Tafsir on Sura 7:73-
And, We sent, to Thamud (Thamuda, read without declining [the noun], as denoting the tribe [of Thamud] itself) their brother Salih. He said, 'O my people, worship Allah! You have no god other than Him. Truly there has come to you a clear proof, an illustration, from your Lord, of my truthfulness - this is the she-camel of Allah, a sign for you (lakum ayatan is a circumstantial qualifier operated by the import of the demonstrative noun [hadhihi, 'this']) - they had asked him to make it come out of a [specific] rock which they had designated. So leave her to feed throughout Allah's earth, and do not touch her with harm, either by hamstringing or beating her, lest you be seized by a painful chastisement.
The Christian writer ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi quoted renowned Muslim exegete Al-Baidawi’sAnwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta’wil who wrote:
It was reported [regarding Thamud] that, after ‘Ad, they reinhabited their lands and succeeded them. They multiplied their lands and succeeded them. They multiplied and lived very long lives, outliving even their own buildings, so that they hewed for themselves houses from the mountains. They had much fertility and affluence so that they did mischief in the lands and corrupted it by worshipping idols. Thereupon, Allah sent to them Salih, one of their nobility, who warned them. But they asked him for a sign. He said, "What sign do you want?" They said, "Go out with us to our feast." There, call upon your Allah, and we will call upon ours; and we will follow the one whose prayer will be answered." He went out with them, and they called upon their gods, but their prayer was not answered. Then their Lord Janda ‘Ibn Amr pointed to a secluded rock called al-Katiba ["the writer"], and said to Salih, "Bring forth out of this rock, a huge, hairy, dappled she-camel. Do that, and we will believe you." So Salih accepted their requests and said, "If I do that, will you believe?" They said yes. He, therefore, prayed and called upon his Lord, and the rock was in such labour as with a she-camel, great with child. [The rock] split apart, revealing a huge, hairy, dappled she-camel just as they described… Salih said to them "Catch up with the young camel, perchance the chastisement will be removed from you." But they could not prevail against it, since the rock opened after it had foamed, and the young camel went into it…
(Al-‘Fadi, Is the Qur’an Infallible? [Light of Life, P.O. Box 13, A-9503 Villach, Austria], pp. 260-261)
The translators of The Majestic Qur’an have a footnote to Sura 7:73 where they say-
When Allah sent Salih (peace be upon him) to the people of Thamud, his people asked him to prove he was a Prophet of Allah, by asking his Lord to bring a living, female camel out of a boulder. Salih (peace be upon him) duly prayed and Allah immediately granted his wish. Some of those who saw this miracle at once believed, but the rest continued to disbelieve, despite the proof they had demanded. Although the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) asked his people not to touch the camel, and to allow her to graze freely, they hamstrung and killed her. After this the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) and his followers left his people to the wrath of Allah, Who destroyed them.
(The Majestic Quran: An English rendition of its Meanings [The Nawawi Foundation (Chicago) & The Ibn Khaldun Foundation (London), 2000], p. 159, fn. 342)
They also repeat this in several places where Salih is mentioned, such as here:
Since the she-camel was a miracle created by Allah from a rock, as Salih’s people demanded, the Prophet Salih warned and told them not to harm her, lest Allah’s wrath descend upon them. (Ibid., p. 229, fn. 456)
The she-camel of Prophet Salih was a miraculous animal which Allah brought forth from a rock. The Prophet Salih agreed with his people that one day the tribe of Thamud and their animals would drink at the water, while the next day only the she-camel would drink. Thamud slaughtered the camel the tribe was destroyed.
(Ibid., p. 595, fn. 807)
The foregoing helps us appreciate the following statement:
88: 17 "What, do they not consider how the camel was created "
In the case of Salih, we can consider how truly amazing the creation of that camel was.
As we have seen above, the story of Salih in the Quran makes little sense without the added vital information from the commentators. Any reader would never arrive at the understanding of the Muhammadan expositors by consulting the Quran alone, since its foundational piece, the creation of that camel from a rock, is not mentioned in the Quran at all.
This is ONE example of the incoherence of the Quran.
Furthermore, the incompleteness of the Quran in regard to this incident proves that the author was able to build upon a known story. Asking the audience to
"consider how the camel was created" (88:17), a detail that is not supplied by the Quran itself, is strong evidence that the author was able to PRESUPPOSE the PRIOR familiarity and knowledge of his hearers, confirming that these were indeed ANCIENT FABLES (68:15, 83:13) that were known to his audience.
If the story had been new, or unknown, then neither would the listeners have understood it, nor would the commentators have been able to provide all those extra details that cannot be found in the Quran.
That is unless, of course, the Muhammadan expositors simply decided to make these stories up.