Blame it on the Gecko! Muhammad’s Skewed Understanding of Original Sin

Not only did Muhammad hold to a doctrine of original sin, as I documented in the following articles and rebuttals,

Original Sin In Islam Revisited (

Original Forgiveness – Did Original Sin Really End with Adam? Pt. 1 (, Pt. 2 (

Islam and the Doctrine of Original Sin (

He even extended such a concept to both animals and insects!

For instance, the Quran recounts a fairytale concerning Abraham being thrown into fire for destroying the idols of the people and for refusing to worship their gods and goddesses:

They said: “Burn him and help your aliha (gods), if you will be doing.” We (Allah) said: “O fire! Be you coolness and safety for Ibrahim (Abraham)!” S. 21:68-69 Hilali-Chan

But the answer of his folk was only that they said: “Kill him” or “Burn him.” Then Allah saved him from the Fire. Lo! herein verily are portents for folk who believe. S. 29:24 Pickthall

He said: Worship ye that which ye yourselves do carve When Allah hath created you and what ye make? They said: Build for him a building and fling him in the red-hotfire. And they designed a snare for him, but We made them the undermost. And he said: Lo! I am going unto my Lord Who will guide me. My Lord! Vouchsafe me of the righteous.S. 37:95-99 Pickthall

Here’s where it gets rather silly and ridiculous, in fact quite shocking. The Islamic sources indicate that Muhammad ordered the killing of all lizards for the simple fact that he actually believed that a chameleon was the only animal that blew on the fire that Abraham was flung into, instead of trying to extinguish it!

How Ibrahim was thrown into the Fire and how Allah controlled it

When their arguments were refuted and their incapability became clear, when truth was made manifest and falsehood was defeated, they resorted to using their power and strength, and said:

(“Burn him and help your gods, if you will be doing.”) So they gathered together a huge amount of wood. As-Suddi said, “I if a woman was sick, she would make a vow that if she recovered she would bring wood to burn Ibrahim. Then they made a hole in the ground and set it aflame, and it burned with huge sparks and immense flames. There had never been a fire like it. They put Ibrahim, peace be upon him, into a catapult, at the suggestion of a nomadic Kurdish man from Persia.” Shu`ayb Al-Jaba’i said, “His name was Hayzan, and Allah caused the earth to swallow him up, and he will remain sinking into it until the Day of Resurrection. When they threw him he said, `Sufficient for me is Allah, and He is the best disposer of affairs.’” This is similar to what Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that Ibrahim said, “`Sufficient for me is Allah, and He is the best disposer of affairs,” when he was thrown into the fire, and Muhammad said it when they said…

(Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore, fear them. But it increased them in faith, and they said: “Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.”) (3:173). Sa`id bin Jubayr reported that Ibn `Abbas said: “When Ibrahim was thrown into the fire, the keeper (angel) of the rain said: `When will I be commanded to send rain’ But the command of Allah was more swift. Allah said…

(O fire! Be you cool and safety for Ibrahim!), and there was no fire left on earth that was not extinguished.” Ibn `Abbas and Abu Al-`Aliyah said: “Were it not for the fact that Allah said…

(and safety), Ibrahim would have been harmed by its coldness.” Qatadah said: “On that day there was no creature that did not try to extinguish the fire for Ibrahim, EXCEPT FOR THE GECKO.” Az-Zuhri said: “The Prophet commanded THAT IT SHOULD BE KILLED, and called it a harmful vermin.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; capital emphasis mine)

Narrated Um Shark: Allah’s Apostle ordered that the salamander should be killed and said, “It (i.e. the salamander) blew (the fire) on Abraham.”  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 579

It was narrated from Saeed bin Al-Musayyab that:

a woman enter upon Aishah, and in her hand was an iron-footed stick. She said: “What is this?” she (Aishah) Said: “It is for these geckos, because the Prophet of Allah told us, that there was nothing that did not try to extinguish the fire for Ibrahim EXCEPT FOR THIS ANIMAL, SO HE TOLD US TO KILL IT. And he forbade us to kill harmless snakes, except for the snake with two lines on its back, and the snake with a short tail, for the snatch away the eyesight and cause tat which is in women’s wombs to be miscarried.

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa’i 2831

In-book reference: Book 24, Hadith 0

English translation: Vol. 3, Book 24, Hadith 2834 (; capital emphasis mine)

19 The Book of Miscellaneous ahadith of Significant Values

Umm Sharik said: The Messenger of Allah ordered me TO KILL THE CHAMELEON. He also said, “IT BLEW (fire) ON PROPHET IBRAHIM.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. reference: Book 19, Hadith 56

Arabic/English book reference: Book 19, Hadith 1863 (Riyad as-Salihin; capital emphasis mine)

Chapters on Hunting

It was narrated from Sa’ibah, the freed slave woman of Fakih bin Mughirah, that she entered upon ‘Aishah and saw a spear in her house. She said:

“O Mother of the Believers, what do you do with this?” She said: “We kill these house lizards with it, for the Prophet of Allah told us that when Ibrahim was thrown into the fire, there was no beast on earth that did not try to put it out, APART FROM THE HOUSE LIZARD THAT BLEW ON IT. So the Messenger of Allah commanded that they should be killed.”

Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)

English reference: Vol. 4, Book 28, Hadith 3231

Arabic reference: Book 28, Hadith 3353 (Sunan Ibn Majah; capital emphasis mine)

Note how silly and inhumane this is! Muhammad erroneously took some fairytale about Abraham being hurled into a fire as actual history, and further bought into the fable that a gecko chose not to turn out the fire but to help make it hotter! And on the basis of this fable he then ordered the killing of all lizards who had nothing to do with some imaginary, fanciful salamander’s decision to blow on the fire Abraham was flung into!

This, in turn, means Muhammad thought that even animals share in the guilt and sins committed by one of their own. Muhammad apparently believed in a sort of federal headship and corporate solidarity for the animal kingdom, where one member represents the many, and whose actions, therefore, could affect and even be imputed to the others!

Further Reading

A Showdown With Nimrod? (

Legends, Myths and Fables In the Qur’an and Islamic Tradition (

Muhammad’s Silly and Ridiculous Teachings Pt. 1(, Pt. (

The Problem of Divine Sovereignty, Predestination, Salvation and Human Free Will (

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