In this series of posts, I am going to share another text, which further ends up exposing Muhammad as a fraud and a false prophet.
The following text mentions a servant of Allah that was taken from one mosque to another:
Exalted (is) the One Who took His servant (by) night from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam, to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa which We blessed its surroundings, that We may show of Our Signs. Indeed He, He (is) the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. S. 17:1
My First Challenge to the Muslims
The Quran repeatedly claims to be a revelation that is perfectly clear, and explains all things in detail:
And thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) IN DETAIL, that the way of the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners), may become manifest. S. 6:55 Hilali-Khan
It is He Who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea. We have (indeed) explained IN DETAIL Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, Revelations, etc.) for people who know. It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and has given you a place of residing (on the earth or in your mother’s wombs) and a place of storage [in the earth (in your graves) or in your father’s loins]. Indeed, We have EXPLAINED IN DETAIL Our revelations (this Qur’an) for people who understand. S. 6:97-98
Thus We explain variously the Verses so that they (the disbelievers) may say: “You have studied (the Books of the people of the Scripture and brought this Qur’an from that)” and that We may make the matter clear for the people who have knowledge. S. 6:105 Hilali-Khan
[Say (O Muhammad)] “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (The Qur’an), EXPLAINED IN DETAIL.” Those unto whom We gave the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth. So be not you of those who doubt. S. 6:114 Hilali-Khan
And this is the Path of your Lord (the Qur’an and Islam) leading Straight. We have DETAILED Our Revelations for a people who take heed. S. 6:126
Say (O Muhammad): “Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) things] of food?” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them).” Thus We explain the Ayat (Islamic laws) IN DETAIL for people who have knowledge. S. 7:32 Hilali-Khan
Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur’an) which We have explained IN DETAIL WITH KNOWLEDGE, – a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. S. 7:52 Hilali-Khan
Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) IN DETAIL, so that they may turn (unto the truth). S. 7:174 Hilali-Khan
And this Qur’an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Taurat (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.], and A FULL EXPLANATION of the Book (i.e. laws and orders, etc, decreed for mankind) – wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists). S. 10:37 Hilali-Khan
But if they repent, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion. (In this way) We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) IN DETAIL for a people who know. S. 9:11 Medina
Alif Lam Ra. This is a Book, whose verses have been made firm and free from imperfection and then they have been expounded in detail. It is from One Wise, and All-Aware. S. 11:1 Shakir Mecca
Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the Qur’an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of Allah’s existing Books [the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah] and A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF EVERYTHING and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe. S. 12:111 Mecca
One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book EXPLAINING ALL THINGS, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. S. 16:89 Y. Ali
He sets forth for you a parable from your ownselves, – Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your slaves) to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you? Whom you fear as you fear each other? Thus do We explain the signs IN DETAIL to a people who have sense. S. 30:28 Hilali-Khan
A Book whereof the Verses are explained IN DETAIL; A Qur’an in Arabic for people who know. S. 41:3 Hilali-Khan
Here is another version of this last passage:
A scripture whose verses PROVIDE THE COMPLETE DETAILS, in an Arabic Quran, for people who know. Khalifa
In light of the foregoing here are my challenges to the Muslims. Using the Quran alone, please answer the following questions:
Who was the servant that Allah took by night?
Where is the location of masjid al-haram?
Where is the location of masjid al-aqsa?
Now if a Muslim goes outside of the Quran to answer these questions then s/he is basically admitting that the Muslim scripture is anything but fully detailed, and fails to adequately explain all things, which in turn proves that the Quran is wrong. The failure to answer these questions from their scripture itself shows that the Quran is an incoherent, unintelligible book that fails to provide sufficient details to properly understand the meaning of its passages.
The Muslim woes are just beginning.
What the Islamic sources say
The Islamic literature identifies the farthest Mosque as the Temple of Jerusalem, which is called Bayt ul-Muqaddas in Arabic (spelled variously by different translators):
And from his own narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah’s saying (Glorified be): ‘(Glorified be) He says: He is far exalted above and exonerated from having a son or partner (He Who carried His servant) He Who took His servant Muhammad (by night) at the beginning of the night (from the Inviolable Place of Worship) from the Sacred Precinct, from the house of Umm Hani’ the daughter of Abu Talib (to the Far Distant Place of Worship) far in distance, but close to heaven, i.e. THE MOSQUE OF JERUSALEM (the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed) with water, trees and fruits, (that We might show him) that We might show Muhammad (of Our tokens!) of Our marvels, for all the things He saw that night were marvels of Allah. (Lo! He, only He, is the Nearer) of what the Quraysh say, (the Seer) He sees them just as He sees His servant Muhammad. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Ziyad b. ‘Abdullah al-Bakka’i from Muhammad b. Ishaq told me the following: Then the apostle was carried by night from the mosque at Mecca to the Masjid al-Aqsa WHICH IS THE TEMPLE OF AELIA, when Islam had spread in Mecca among the Quraysh and all the tribes… His companion (Gabriel) went with him to see the wonders between heaven and earth, UNTIL HE CAME TO JERUSALEM’S TEMPLE… In his story al-Hasan said: “The apostle and Gabriel went their way until they arrived AT THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM”… (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], pp. 181, 182; bold and capital emphasis ours)
<from Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa> means the Sacred House which is in Jerusalem, the origin of the Prophets from the time of Ibraham Al-Khalil. The Prophets all gathered there, and he (Muhammad) led them in prayer in their own homeland. This indicates that he is the greatest leader of all, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon them. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 17:1 http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2865&Itemid=72; bold emphasis ours)
The problem with these fables is that the first Temple was built by Solomon and subsequently destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian armies in 586 BC. Furthermore, general Titus and his Roman soldiers leveled the Second Temple in AD. 70, more than five centuries before this alleged night journey to Jerusalem took place.
Moreover, the place that was eventually called masjid al-Aqsa was not constructed until AD 690-691 when ‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan built it (or, as some believe, reconstructed and expanded it). As the late Muslim translator and commentator Abdullah Yusuf Ali states in his footnote 2168:
The Farthest Mosque must refer to the site of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem on the hill of Moriah, at or near which stands the Dome of the Rock, called also the Mosque of Hadhrat ‘Umar. This and the Mosque known as the Farthest Mosque (Masjid-ul-Aqsa) were completed by the Amir ‘Abd-ul-Malik in A.H. 68. Farthest because it was the place of worship farthest west which was known to the Arabs in the time of the Holy Prophet: it was a sacred place to both Jews and Christians, but the Christians then had the upper hand, as it was included the Byzantine (Roman) Empire, which maintained a Patriarch at Jerusalem. The chief dates in connection with the Temple are: it was finished by Solomon about BC. 1004; destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar about 586 B.C.; rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah about 515 B.C.; turned into a heathen idol-temple by one of Alexander’s successors, Antiochus Epiphanes, 167 B.C.; restored by Herod, B.C. 17 to A.D. 29; and completely razed to the ground by the Emperor Titus in A.D. 70. These ups and downs are among the greater Signs in religious history. (Ali, The Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary (English and Arabic Edition) [Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Elmhurst NY: Hardcover Edition, January, 1987] p. 693; bold emphasis ours)
Knowing this, Ali claimed that the text is actually referring to the site of the Temple, as opposed to the building itself, since he knew that no such Temple existed during Muhammad’s time. The circularity of his reasoning is apparent since Ali erroneously assumed that Muhammad was a true prophet, and therefore could not have been so foolish as to think that there was an actual building still in existence at that time!
Ali does, however, confirm that masjid al-haram refers to an actual physical building, namely the Kabah, and not merely to a site or place:
… Masjid is a place of prayer: here it refers TO THE KAB’AH at Mecca. It had not yet been cleared of its idols and rededicated exclusively to the One True God. It was symbolic of the new Message which was being given to mankind. (Ali, p. 693, f. 2167; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Yet in acknowledging this fact Ali provides the refutation to his own assertion since if the word masjid in its first occurrence refers to a building, then this means that the second occurrence of this very term must also be referring to a physical building, and not merely a site or place.
My Second Challenge to the Muslims
With the foregoing in view, here is my challenge to any Muhammadan reading these series of posts. I list here all the places where the word masjid appears in the Quran: Q. 2:114, 2:144, 2:149-150, 2:187, 2:191, 2:196, 2:217; 5:2; 7:29, 7:31, 8:34, 9:7, 9:17-19, 9:28, 9:107-108; 17:1, 17:7; 18:21, 22:25; 22:40; 48:25; 48:27; 72:18.
My challenge is therefore quite simple. Cite a single verse where the Quran employs the term masjid to reference something other than an actual building where people gather to worship. The problem is that they won’t be able to quote such a text.
In fact, since no Muhammadan denies that the first occurrence of the term masjid in the verse itself, namely masjid al-haram, refers to a physical structure, specifically, the Kabah in Mecca,
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The night Allah’s Apostle was taken for a journey from the sacred mosque (of Mecca) Al-Ka’ba: Three persons came to him (in a dreamy while he was sleeping in the Sacred Mosque before the Divine Inspiration was revealed to Him. One of them said, “Which of them is he?” The middle (second) angel said, “He is the best of them.” The last (third) angle said, “Take the best of them.” Only that much happened on that night and he did not see them till they came on another night, i.e. after The Divine Inspiration was revealed to him. (Fateh-Al-Bari Page 258, Vol. 17) and he saw them, his eyes were asleep but his heart was not—-and so is the case with the prophets: their eyes sleep while their hearts do not sleep. So those angels did not talk to him till they carried him and placed him beside the well of Zam-Zam. From among them Gabriel took charge of him. Gabriel cut open (the part of his body) between his throat and the middle of his chest (heart) and took all the material out of his chest and abdomen and then washed it with Zam-Zam water with his own hands till he cleansed the inside of his body, and then a gold tray containing a gold bowl full of belief and wisdom was brought and then Gabriel stuffed his chest and throat blood vessels with it and then closed it (the chest). He then ascended with him to the heaven of the world and knocked on one of its doors. The dwellers of the Heaven asked, ‘Who is it?’ He said, “Gabriel.” They said, “Who is accompanying you?” He said, “Muhammad.” They said, “Has he been called?” He said, “Yes” They said, “He is welcomed.”… (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 608 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=93&translator=1&start=0&number=608)
Tabarsi relates that “the House was called al-bayt al-haram [the sacred or forbidden house] because the associators were forbidden to enter it. It was also called al-Ka’bah [“the cube”] because it is a square structure. It is square because it was modeled on al-bayt ma’mur [‘the populous house’ in the fourth heaven, circumambulated by large companies of angels] which is square. The ‘populous house’ was made square because it was modeled on the Throne, which is also square. The Throne was made square because the words which Islam is founded on are four: glory to God, praise be to God, there is no god but God, and God is most great” (Tabarsi, I, p. 459). (Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Qur’an and Its Interpreters – Volume 1[State of University of New York Press, Albany 1984], p. 157; bold emphasis ours)
“… The Temple (al-bayt)– lit., ‘the House [of Worship]’- mentioned here is the Ka’bah in Mecca. In other places the Qur’an speaks of it as ‘the Ancient Temple’ (al-bayt al-‘atiq), and frequently also as “the Inviolable House of Worship” (al-masjid al-haram)…“ (Muhammad Asad, Message of the Qur’an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar reprint 1993], p. 26, f. 102 http://www.muhammad-asad.com/Message-of-Quran.pdf; bold emphasis ours)
1 The above short reference to the Prophet’s mystic experience of the “Night Journey” (al-isra’) to Jerusalem and the subsequent “Ascension” (mi’raj) to heaven is fully discussed in Appendix IV at the end of this work. – “The Inviolable House of Worship” (al-masjid al-haram is one of the designations given in the Qur’an to the Temple of the Ka’bah, the prototype of which owed its origin to Abraham (see surah 2, note 102) and was “the first Temple set up for mankind” (3:96), i.e., the first ever built for the worship of the One God. “The Remote [lit., “farthest”] House of Worship”, on the other hand, denotes the ancient Temple of Solomon – or, rather, its site – which symbolizes here the long line of Hebrew prophets who preceded the advent of Muhammad and are alluded to by the phrase “the environs of which We had blessed”. The juxtaposition of these two sacred temples is meant to show that the Qur’an does not inaugurate a “new” religion but represents a continuation and the ultimate development of the same divine message which was preached by the prophets of old. (Asad; bold emphasis ours)
Nor do they deny that the following passage from the same surah refers to an actual physical building that stood in Jerusalem, specifically the Temple,(1)
‘If you do good, it is your own souls you do good to, and if you do evil it is to them likewise.’ Then, when the promise of the second came to pass, We sent against you Our servants to discountenance you, and to enter the Temple, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy utterly that which they ascended to. S. 17:7 Arberry
Then on what consistent, contextual, exegetical grounds can any Muslim argue that masjid al-aqsa does not refer to a physical temple or building apart from begging the question?
This brings me to my next point, which I will pick up in the second part of my discussion (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/another-verse-that-exposes-muhammad-as-a-fraud-the-nonexistent-temple-pt-2/).
(1) It is rather ironic that this text shows the awareness of the author(s)/editor(s) that the temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed on two separate occasions, which is absolutely correct. And yet this/these same author(s)/editor(s) still erroneously assumed that an actual physical building still stood in Jerusalem at the time of the composition of this text. The implications of such a blunder will be brought out in the forthcoming sections of my discussion.