Misquoting the Messenger

Jonathan Brown


Channel: Jonathan Brown

File Size: 11.83MB

Share Page

Episode Notes

2016 Pearls of the Quran


WARNING!!! AI generated text may display inaccurate or offensive information that doesn’t represent Muslim Central's views. Therefore, no part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever.

AI Generated Summary ©

The speaker discusses the use of "has" in Hadeeth's writing, citing studies on the use of the word "by" in actions and deeds. They stress the importance of belief in legal rulings in Islam, particularly in relation to actions and deeds. The speaker also discusses confusion surrounding the idea of eating raw meat and the use of "monster" filters in Islam. They emphasize the importance of the Prophet's use of the "ledger" in Islam and the need for a consistent message. Finally, they discuss the use of "has" in Islam and the potential negative impact on one's faith.

Transcript ©

00:00:14--> 00:00:15

Bismillah R Rahman r Rahim

00:00:19--> 00:00:22

said and we're studying why the army he was so happy

00:00:25--> 00:00:32

to have this thing that's gonna tell me when to stop talking which is great. It's or when I'm gonna die. I'm not sure what this sign

00:00:33--> 00:00:46

first of all two pieces of news one. I saw Christian Bale yesterday in a restaurant and he's not any taller than me which is good news. And second issue oh I saw in the airport the other day the New York

00:00:48--> 00:01:04

NYPD police chief. And I said, I really appreciate what you said regarding Muslims is very courageous. And then his assistant said he didn't even have to think about it. I didn't bring up the whole surveillance thing. But, you know, let bygones be bygones. Okay.

00:01:06--> 00:01:12

And that's weird looking at myself, look at something. Is there? Is this the PowerPoint working? Right? Okay, there we go. So

00:01:16--> 00:01:25

I know this may be a weird beginning of this day, but I'll do my best. There's something that very fascinating study, I came across a map two years ago,

00:01:26--> 00:02:03

author discrimination between the Holy Quran and the Prophet statements. This is by Algerian scholar. He's a scholar of computational linguistics, I think. And so it's actually really interesting study. And basically what he did is he looked at the Quran, he looked at Sahil Buhari, and he analyzed, you know, the number, the number of times certain words are used, how phrases are used, needed, did so in a computational linguistics way that I don't understand. But the end result was that surprise, surprise, the two books come from two different speakers. Now, I think that's not a big surprise for Muslims.

00:02:04--> 00:02:46

I mean, it's certainly nice to know. But what I thought what really interested me was, and by the way, here's just an example of, for example, Hadeeth words present in the Quran Hadeeth words absent in the Quran crann words present. So you can see, there's actually a tremendous difference in the words that are used between the Hadees. But that's not what interested me about this, this study, or what it made me think about what made me what made me think about was that the Hadeeth corpus really has its own style of language. And this is something that you'll notice, even if you don't have a lot of experience reading Hadeeth, but it's something that you'll get a sense of very quickly, which

00:02:46--> 00:02:51

is that the Prophet lays out some of them really has his own way of speaking. And

00:02:52--> 00:03:35

although obviously, even in like a book, like the son of Edmund magia, you know, some scholars like either heavy said that up to a quarter of the Hudson sun, even magia are unreliable. But when you look even at a, like a book, like widowed or bucarest, a Muslim, you do get a very strong sense of Prophet speaks in a certain way, a certain way of speaking. And that's actually one of the sort of as I get older, and think about these things in different ways, one of the things that, for me is a really strong indication of the overall authenticity of the heady tradition, the overall reliability, the Hades tradition, is that there is a consistent mode of style of speech, an idiom of

00:03:35--> 00:03:48

expression in the Hadeeth corpus, of course, lots of individual deeds can be unreliable or even forged. But overall, when you have this strong sense of stylistic continuity, and homogeneity, I think that's a very strong indication of reliability.

00:03:49--> 00:03:50


00:03:52--> 00:04:21

one of the things that I find very interesting, and this it's, it's interesting, it's important, but it's also it also presents problems is when you say the Prophet has a certain way of speaking and is awesome. What is that way of speaking. And the fact of the matter is, I think one of the major characteristics of the way the Prophet speaks to that so long as he speaks in the language of hyperbole. For those of you don't know what that means, you can look it up on your phones or something right now, hyperbole means in effect, you exaggerate.

00:04:22--> 00:04:53

We actually oftentimes communicate with each other in a language of hyperbole. I mean, if you go around, always speaking accurately, to your friends, you know, you're not going to have very interesting conversation. So when people are upset, they say, you know, this is the worst thing that ever happened to me or I just saw the coolest thing ever. Or I'm so I'm so hungry. I'm literally going to starve to death in five minutes. If I don't eat something. That's how we speak to each other. And this is not uncommon for human beings to speak. What's interesting about the way the Prophet speaks of Islam is that he doesn't he doesn't speak like a lawyer. So I think it's

00:04:53--> 00:04:59

interesting because we're oftentimes, when we think about Sharia and Islamic law, we think about

00:05:00--> 00:05:41

The way in which we derive very specific rule, the very specific tenets of faith from the Quran and from the words of the Prophet lays out to them. So often we think about the Prophet lays out some as as legal as a shout out the lawgiver, the lawgiver. But that's not the way he spoke. Sometimes he did, especially when he was speaking as a judge when he was ruling on a case or talking about, you know exactly how much inheritance someone should get or exactly how much compensation somebody owed for an injury. But when he's speaking, most of the time, he's speaking as a prophet, as a preacher, as someone who's inspiring followers. And if you think about this, he's from 610 until 622, the

00:05:41--> 00:06:20

Common Era when the Prophet makes a hedra to Medina and sets up his community. He's not a lawyer, he's not a legal figure. He's an he's an inspirational leader, who is convincing and inspiring a group of followers who are living under oppressive persecution of the of the Qureshi elite. And if you think about this, no one is going to no one is going to have you ever heard of a lawyer? You know, starting a religious movement? I don't know, I'd have to look into that. But I'm, you know, lawyers are not very Nasir is my friend, his last student, maybe he won't be like this, but you know, you're not going to get really excited this into a lawyer speak, they're gonna say, I was

00:06:20--> 00:06:25

substantially convinced by a compelling argument, that

00:06:26--> 00:07:04

that certainly seemed to mitigate, you know, things like that, you're gonna start hearing things like that, no one's gonna, no one's gonna go and risk being tortured and killed. For a belief when someone's speaking to me like that. The Prophet when he speaks, he speaks in a language that's meant to make a point, it's meant to impress upon you the import of what he's saying, the import of the message he brings. So Muslim scholars are in this kind of ironic situation, where they're trying to derive oftentimes very specific legal rulings from language that is not legally that is not the language of a lawyer a lot of the time, so that you can see Muslim scholars, even the very early

00:07:04--> 00:07:48

period of Islam, going back to the generation that compared to this companions, and the successors, you see them developing these filters. They're sort of like legal filters for for processing, prophetic speech. And I want to give some examples of that. I mean, a great example of this is oftentimes, you know, you'll come across studies that say, for example, in Sahih, Muslim, often Allah man, the best of actions is doing your prayers on time, following by followed by obedience to your parents, or you'll see in Sahih Bukhari the Prophet saying, the worst of people is the person who is insistent and and what's the word?

00:07:49--> 00:08:26

My wife's always calling me the stubborn stubborn in argument. So the best of deeds is prayer on time. But then in Sahih, Bukhari and Sahih Muslim you find it the best of deeds title, have been mad at Allah, a demo ha, the the deeds that are most beloved to God or deeds done consistently over time, whatever you like, the best workout is the one you stick to basically, right. So you have the Prophet saying the best deeds is prayer on time than being good your family, it must have been handled, the Prophet says, the best deeds are striving in the past the path of God.

00:08:27--> 00:09:02

So what which one is it or the worst deed is is the worst deed really being inveterate and stubborn in your, in your argumentation? Is that worse than murdering somebody is that worse than than shirk? So, the prophet doesn't say, this is a good thing to do, this is a bad thing to do. He says, This is the best thing to do, this is the worst thing to do. And so when Muslim scholars look at the attendees, they take them all together, and they say, wait a second, how do we make sense of this, and there there are a couple of different approaches they took. One is to say, the Prophet would say what the person he was speaking to needed to hear. So if you come if someone comes to you, who's a

00:09:02--> 00:09:44

good person, but is inconsistent, and following through, maybe the Prophet would say to them, the best deed is the one done consistently. If someone comes to the prophet who, who's a very good person, but he doesn't do his prayers on time or her prayers on time, he might say the best deed his prayers done on time. So one approach is to say he's saying this to the person nor to encourage them in the way that they need. The second possibility is simply that this means that this is amongst the best things you can do or this is amongst the worst things you can do. So I think this is important because I can imagine you know, young Muslims or even old Muslims saying I'm very confused because

00:09:44--> 00:09:58

I'm reading this hadith book and it says, you know, the Prophet saying that two or three different things are the best thing you can do. So how does that work? I mean, this doesn't seem very accurate. This, what's the best thing you can do is it has only been one thing

00:09:59--> 00:10:00

this is

00:10:00--> 00:10:33

Something that Muslim scholars were aware of in the very beginning of Islam. And they understood that either this means he's talking to a specific person giving them what they need to know, or that these things you think are amongst the most important things. Why is he doing this? Because no one is going to listen to you. If you say, No, you're not going to impress upon somebody, the point you're trying to make my saying, this is a, I suggest this, or this is a good thing to do. Maybe if you're really intelligent and refined like me, you will be able to appreciate that someone said, this is a good thing to do, I recommend this. But if you're

00:10:34--> 00:11:01

a Bedouin or an Arab who is illiterate, and who lives in a very rough culture, people need to really hammer points home, this is the best thing to do. This is the worst thing to do. Okay, the second thing, in the profit making point is what's called z ledger. This is very common in Hadeeth. Very common, Zig Ziglar means to rebuke somebody or to chastise somebody.

00:11:04--> 00:11:46

So, oftentimes the prophets language, especially when he's talking about something he doesn't approve of, he speaks very harshly, he speaks very harshly. And this means you really have this is a very important filter that Muslim scholars developed. It's just I call it the xojo filter. So and I remember, you know, Muslim came up to me when I was I think I was in Pittsburgh. And he said, You know, I'm, I'm I heard this a decent football, and I'm very like, it shakes my faith, it makes me unsure about my faith, and Hudson Sahih Bukhari and it's a, the language is complicated, so I'll just paraphrase it, basically, the Prophet says, they say Salaam, I would, if I could, I would set I

00:11:46--> 00:11:57

would Kindle a fire. And then I would call the do the call to prayer. And I would go and I'd see the people who didn't go to the mosque to pray. And if they didn't go, I'd burn their houses down.

00:11:58--> 00:12:00

That's what it that's effectively what it says.

00:12:02--> 00:12:29

And so this young listening came to me and he said, I don't understand this. The Prophet is saying he's gonna burn people's houses down if they don't go to the mosque to pray after that, then. I mean, he was you can see like, how, how is the How is this this misdeed? Even if it's not the best thing? And how does this warrant the severe punishment? Now, if you look at the way Muslim scholars discussed this Hadeeth, none of them think

00:12:30--> 00:12:51

none of them took this literally, as far as I know, no Muslim scholars have it's literally as far as I know, first of all, the prophet didn't do that. Right. He could, I mean, he was he's the leader of the community. If he wanted to, he could go and burn your houses down. He could go tell Omar Omar, go burn that guy's house down, and that guy's house down that guy's house, and he would have done it. But he never did that.

00:12:53--> 00:12:58

Second of all, at the end of the Hadith, the Prophet says,

00:12:59--> 00:13:06

if one of you received an invitation to a dinner with juicy fatty lamb meat, wouldn't you go?

00:13:08--> 00:13:46

So he goes from talking about potentially burning people's houses down, and then he makes this point of, when you get when you hear the call to prayer, it's like you're invit you're being invited to a dinner to taste the dinner with with luscious, fatty, delicious food. Wouldn't you take that invitation? Wouldn't you accept that invitation. And so if you're talking about burning someone's house down, literally, you're not going to then follow that by making an analogy to accepting a dinner invitation. So Muslims have always understood this is this is the profit doing judge says he's rebuking people he's saying, when I know when I when I hear people not going to the mosque,

00:13:46--> 00:13:55

when they even when they hear the call to prayer, it makes me so angry. Because I they're missing out. They're missing out on an invitation that's been given to them.

00:13:56--> 00:13:59

And I don't know I mean, I this is just my

00:14:01--> 00:14:37

thought, I have no evidence for this. Just my own impression, I must have this image of the Prophet Lisa said, I'm this first part, almost being said is sort of in a light way, almost in a joking way. You know, so if I were to say to one of my students, you know, sometimes when I see people using semi colons, it makes me just, I want to go to them to take their computer, and just smash it against the table. And they know I'm joking, and I'm joking, but you're getting the point that, you know, you really shouldn't use semi colon so often. That's the point you all need to keep in mind. There's something about your generation, you think semi colons are supposedly you know, take the

00:14:37--> 00:14:38

place of periods.

00:14:39--> 00:15:00

So this is a very important point, very important. And you see this in another Hadith. Also regarding prayer, where the Prophet says, If any of you inside Buhari if any of you go to pray, then put a sutra divider between you and the people in front of you know, in the mosque or passing around and if somebody wants to

00:15:00--> 00:15:05

You jazzy come between you your hands while you're praying. Put your hand out yet.

00:15:07--> 00:15:22

And if the person refuses and they keep trying to go in front of you find you caught it who then fight him? For anyone who shaytaan indeed, that person is the shaytaan. Now, if you take that he literally it means that you would, in the middle of your presser, you sit

00:15:23--> 00:15:23


00:15:25--> 00:15:28

And then you say, Okay, now it's time I break my prayer.

00:15:30--> 00:15:51

And then I actually fight the guy. That's literally what it means. Now, I as far as I know, I've not found any Muslim scholar who actually says you should do that any Muslim scholar in 1400 years, I've never I haven't come across anybody who says that you should actually fight the person. Why? Because they know from other Hadeeth. First of all, they know that nothing breaks your prayer.

00:15:52--> 00:15:54

So person talks in front of you, it doesn't break your prayer.

00:15:56--> 00:16:00

Muslim woman walks in front of a man doesn't break their prayer. Nothing breaks your prayer.

00:16:02--> 00:16:09

I mean, for the vast majority of Muslims, about some Muslim scholars say, you know, like a black dog passing in front of you break your prayer, but the

00:16:10--> 00:16:28

person has in front of you is not going to break your prayer. What is going to break your prayer is you breaking your prayer so that you can get a fight with somebody that is going to break your prayer? So if the objective here is for you to complete your prayer, why would you purposely break your own prayer to engage in an act of violence as another Muslim?

00:16:29--> 00:16:51

So nobody took this seriously, it simply means they said, Okay, what is this mean? Then? Why what isn't even the profits is fight fight them, it means, you know, push back harder, if they're really trying to walk in front of, you know, put your arm out hard. Don't just let them walk by Put your arm out hard, let them know that they're doing something wrong. So that's, that's the kind of example of hyperbole here.

00:16:53--> 00:16:57

And the last, the last point, I can't remember if I had another slide after this or not.

00:16:59--> 00:17:01

No, that was just

00:17:02--> 00:17:04

one of the examples I was going to be.

00:17:07--> 00:17:48

No. Oh, yeah. Okay, there we go. Sorry. I just want to make another point after this. The final thing you read, it's very, very common in heidy tradition, is, you'll see examples of what Muslim scholars deemed uncooperative, ottokar or lesser preferred. So there's COVID Akbar is actually becoming a Kaffir actually becoming an unbeliever, it's doing something or believing something that actually means you're no longer Muslim removes you from the fold of Islam. So if I start to believe in another prophet after the Prophet Mohammed laser slam, or I start worshipping the devil or something that would remove me from the fold of Islam. Now, that what what you find much more

00:17:48--> 00:18:33

commonly referred to in the Quran, and in the Hadees, is what Muslim scholars called COVID Azhar. This is an act that in and of itself, is the type of thing an unbeliever would do. But it doesn't make you an unbeliever. It's sort of like a little, a little incident of Cofer that your conduct manifests. But it doesn't mean you're a Catholic just means you're at that moment, your action and your belief or out of sync, sort of like a level of hypocrisy. And you find this very commonly in the Hindu tradition, where the prophet will say something for example, based on some Hadith and Sunnah widowed men, Akasha Felisa Minda, whoever cheats is not from amongst us. If you take that

00:18:33--> 00:18:58

literally it means whoever cheats, or praise a bribe, is not from the Muslim so he's not Muslim, or men, men, Hamada, Elena, sila, Felisa Mina, whoever carries weapons against us. He's not from amongst the Muslims. But we know again, we know we can't take these at ease, literally, because the Koran says the meaning of health, and if two different

00:19:00--> 00:19:03

parties are amongst the believers fight, then

00:19:04--> 00:19:25

try and reconcile between them. If Muslims fighting with each other with weapons, makes one of the, you know, makes them no longer Muslims. Why is the Quran referring to the two parties who are amongst the believers who are fighting, they're still believers. And we know that the companions of the Prophet fought two different civil wars against each other after the Prophet step, and they are still all Muslims.

00:19:26--> 00:19:28

So we know this is not literal.

00:19:30--> 00:19:50

Again, this is sort of the language of logic. This is that so that the filter that Muslim scholars set up for that particular phrase, whoever does XYZ is not amongst us is this is not whoever does XYZ is acting like somebody who is not a Muslim. It doesn't it doesn't mean they're not Muslim. They're still Muslim. Okay.

00:19:52--> 00:19:59

I also just wanted to this is kind of a different, actually, it's the same point but I was just reading the other day, this really

00:20:00--> 00:20:01

Annoying article

00:20:02--> 00:20:04

by actually a guy who's ex Muslim.

00:20:06--> 00:20:15

And he said it, we were all aware of this. It's constantly coming up now, since the whatever started in the Middle East started,

00:20:16--> 00:20:26

which is he said, You know that it's Islam scriptures are inherently violent. And as long as Muslims sit there and read their scriptures, basically they're gonna you're gonna have jihadi organizations,

00:20:28--> 00:20:43

which I think is ridiculous. First of all, because the people in Iraq and Syria were reading the Quran for 1400 years, and their reading heads for 1400 years. And ISIS only started in 2013.

00:20:44--> 00:21:05

In fact, ISIS, the organization has started from began in 2003, or 2004. And it wasn't started by the Quran, it was started by the US led invasion of Iraq and the destruction of all the institutions and economy and government of that country. So I know, you know, I talked to my wife about this the other day, and we're saying,

00:21:06--> 00:21:44

we're saying we're always so stressed out, I feel like a lot of stress all the time, why is what's going on? And then I said, you know, what, it's not normal, every day to wake up and all you hear all day about is how your religion is terrible, and how your sphere suspect and how you're a cancer and how all this other stuff. I mean, that's not normal. At least not for me, right? I don't know, I'm not used to waking up every day and have people tell me or watching TV how my religions terrible. That's not normal. That's very stressful. And it really is going to if you need to be aware of that because especially young Muslims, I feel really bad. You know, I'm older, I've

00:21:44--> 00:22:15

traveled I'm, you know, I'm jaded, whatever, I don't care about things anymore. I don't listen to the media, when you're young and really impressionable, this stuff is gonna, it's gonna start pressing, pressing in on you, you have to be aware, this is real stress. It's a real emotional stress for you. And you have to be strong in your faith. And you can't listen to people make bad arguments, you have to know how to identify bad arguments, when someone says, all this stuff that's happening in the world today with ISIS and San Bernardino and all this Belgium, this is because of the Quran or because of the heads or because of Islam.

00:22:16--> 00:22:18

You just have to keep one thing in mind.

00:22:20--> 00:22:41

People and Muslims in Europe, they had the Quran before last summer, okay, they had heads before last summer, and they weren't doing anything. Okay, then ISIS said, we're gonna, you know, us and its allies started attacking ISIS. And then he just said, we're gonna attack you and your homelands. And then sure enough, that's exactly what happened. So this is about a particular conflict,

00:22:43--> 00:22:53

that has political causes that didn't need to happen. It's not about the religion of Islam. It's not about the scriptures of Islam, because there's 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.

00:22:54--> 00:23:17

And even if you take the largest number of all the Taliban and all of Boko Haram, and all of ISIS and all these groups, and you add all this together, and you divide that by 1.6 billion Muslims, you know, the number you get, I calculated 0.006% 0.006%, absolutely, statistically insignificant.

00:23:19--> 00:23:36

So if really, if there's some problem with the Quran, or the Sunnah of the Prophet, if Muslims reading, it just can't understand it properly, and are inevitably to engage in violence. Why is it that in effect, no, statistically no Muslims actually engage in acts of violence in the name of their religion.

00:23:37--> 00:24:06

This is the best single best argument against what you constantly come across this idea that somehow your religion, something in its original foundational scriptures, is violent, and like a virus, it's going to spread through the Muslim community. It's just not true. And then, you know, this other this article I was reading, which really made me angry, it the guy also said that Islamic history is full of violence, Islamic history is full of violence. And then I looked at there's this great map. I can I think it's an I wrote, I wrote on my website,

00:24:07--> 00:24:21

Dr. Jonathan Brown, Jonathan AC Brown, I can't remember either Dr. Jonathan Brown, Dr. Johnson at Brown calm. The, this is a map someone did a map of all the different battles in world history. Does anyone notice any?

00:24:22--> 00:24:31

No, it's like it's focused in is that the Muslim world? I think, is that the Islamic world there? No, that actually that looks more like Europe and North America.

00:24:33--> 00:24:49

And what let's let's do this. Let's go back to the time of Islamic civilization. So let's say 630, the time of the death of the Prophet until let's just say around 1800. Let's try that. Oh, still really focused on on Europe. So again,

00:24:52--> 00:24:59

Islamic history is not full of violence. Muslims are people Muslims, fight wars, Muslims get an upset about things Muslims are

00:25:00--> 00:25:03

Muslims in a fight with their siblings about who's going to come to power.

00:25:05--> 00:25:14

No one's going to deny that. But the fact of the matter is that the most the most human bloodshed is not shared by Muslims.

00:25:15--> 00:25:24

And I don't blame any particular civilization. I don't think anyone's being judged by this. But it's inaccurate to say that Muslim history is somehow exceptionally violent. There's no law here.