EXPOSING MORE OF MUHAMMAD’S FAIRYTALES

A SQUEAKY THRONE, AN ANCIENT WHALE AND HEAVENLY GOATS

In this post I will be citing specific extracts from an important and valuable work on Islamic “history” by Ibn Kathir titled Al-Bidayah wa-Nihayah (“The Beginning and the End”). The excerpts will give the readers an idea of how unbelievable, incoherent, and just plain silly the Islamic view of reality is.

I begin by quoting what Ibn Kathir claims in regards to Allah’s whereabouts prior to the creation of the heavens and earth.

Imran ibn Husayn narrated that there was Allah and there was nothing that preceded Him. His throne was upon the water. He inscribed everything on the Preserved Tablet, and THEN created the heavens and the earth.

WHERE WAS ALLAH: Abu Razin Laqit ibn Aamir narrated that he asked, “O Messenger of Allah, where was our Lord before He created the heavens and the earth? He said, “He was in ama… there being no air above Him. Then He created His throne over the water. (The word ama’ is said to be: a vacuum, fine cloud, something incomprehensible to men).

THE FIRST THING CREATED: The ulama (Scholars) differ on what was created first. Some say that the pen was created before all these things. Ibn Jarir and Ibn Jawzi and others have this opinion. Ibn Jarir said that, after the pen, fine cloud was created. Ubadah ibn Samit narrated that Allah’s Messenger said, “The first thing Allah created was the pen. Then He said to it, “Write!” So, at that very moment it began to write what was to transpire till the Day of Resurrection.

However, the majority concur with Hafiz Abul Ula Hamdani and others (that the arsh, throne, was a creation before it). This is what Ibn Jarir reported from Ibn Abbas. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Aas narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger say, “Allah recorded the destiny of the creatures before He created the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years. And His throne was on the water”. This is the destiny that the pen wrote down. Thus, it is established that the throne preceded the pen. It is possible that the pen was the first creation in the universe, and we have support for it in the hadith narrated by Imran ibn Husayn that the people of Yaman said to Allah’s Messenger, “We have come to you to attain comprehension of the religion and to ask about THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION”. He said, “There was Allah and there was nothing before Him or with Him or other than Him”. Next, “He recorded on the preserved tablet everything. THEN He created the heavens and the earth”. Since they had asked about the beginnings of the creation of the heavens and the earth, he told them only what concerned them and did not speak the creation of the throne, as he informed in the preceding the hadith of Abu Razin.

Ibn Jarir also reported that it is said, “Surely, our Lord created–after the pen–kursi (chair). Then–after the kursi–He created the arsh (throne). Then, after that, He created the air and the darkness. Then He created water and placed His throne on water.” Allah, Glorious and Exalted, knows best. (Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (700-774 AH), Al Bidaayah Wannihaayah (From the Beginning to the End), translated by Rafiq Abdur Rahman [Darul-Ishaat, Karachi, Pakistani, First edition 2014], Volume 1. The Story of Creation, Ummah of the Past, The Life of Muhammad up to 9. AH, pp. 48-49; capitalized, italicized underline emphasis mine)

Notice just how confusing and unintelligible all of this is. Before creation Allah supposedly created the pen and the throne, and his throne was suspended on water!

The problem with this assertion is, how can there be any created thing before the creation of the heavens and earth, which even the above reference identifies as the beginning of creation? I.e., the beginning of creation is the moment when the heavens and earth were created.

Therefore, how can the throne, water and pen exist or have been created prior to creation, when these objects would also have to be a part of creation itself?  

It gets worse since Ibn Kathir goes on to say:

Abbas ibn Muttalib narrated: We were sitting with Allah’s Messenger when a cloud passed overhead and he asked us, “Do you know what it is?” We said, “The cloud.” He said, “The muzn (the white, rain cloud).” So we repeated, “The white cloud.” He said, “And the inan or anan (meaning, the cloud),” but we kept quiet. He asked, Do you know how much distance there is between the heaven and the earth?” We said that Allah and His Messenger know.” He said, “Between them is a distance of five hundred years and between every two heavens is a distance of five hundred years the opening of every heaven is a distance of five hundred years. Above the seventh heaven is a sea between whose surface and floor is like between the heaven and the earth. Beyond that are eight (angels like) mountain goats between whose hoofs and haunches is like the distance between the heaven and the earth. Above that is the arsh (throne) between whose bottom and top is as the distance between the heaven and the earth. Allah is above that and nothing is hidden from Him from the deeds of the children of Aadam.  

This hadith is transmitted through Simak in similar words.  

Jubayr ibn Mut’im narrated that a villager came to Allah’s Messenger and said, “O Messenger of Allah, people are in distress, the families are hungry, the properties are exhausted and the animals are perishing. Do pray to Allah to give us rain for, we place you as an intercessor with Allah, and Allah as an intercessor with you.” Allah’s Messenger said, “Woe to you. Do you realise what you say?” And he glorified Allah and kept glorifying Allah till that was obvious on the faces of the sahaba (companions). Again he said, “Woe to you! Allah is not sought as an intercessor for anyone of His creatures. His state is greater than that. Woe to you! Do you realise what (mighty) Allah is? His arsh (throne) is over His heavens like this and he showed with his fingers something like a dome–AND IT SQEAKS BECAUSE OF HIM LIKE THE SQUEAKING OF A SADDLE BECAUSE OF THE RIDER.

Ibn Bishar narrated in his Hadith, “Surely Allah is above His heavens,” and (narrated the hadith) to the end. However, Ibn Asakir has composed a booklet rejecting this hadith and questioned Muhammad ibn Ishaq for narrating it, but these words are narrated also through other lines of transmission and cited by Abu ibn Humayd and Ibn Jarir in their tafsirs, and Ibn Abu Aasim and Tabarani in their books on the sunnah. Bazzar in his musnad and Hafiz Diya Muqadisi in Muktar transmitted from Umar ibn Khattab that a woman came to the Prophet and requested him to pray to Allah that He admit her to Paradise. He extolled Allah and said, “His kursi (chair) extends over the heavens and the earth and IT SQUEAKS AS SQUEAKS THE NEW SADDLE UNDER THE WEIGHT (OF THE RIDER). However there is doubt on the reliability of a sub-narrator.

The Prophet Muhammad said, “When you ask Allah for Paradise, ask Him for the Firdaws, for it is the highest of Paradise and its centre, and above it is the throne of Ar-Rahman. According to some aathar, “The people of the Firdaws will hear THE SQUEAK OF THE ARSH (THRONE). That will be its glorifying and extolling Allah”. They will hear it because of their nearness to it. The Prophet Muhammad said, “THE THRONE of Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate with pleasure) SHOOK on the death of Sad ibn Muadh. (Ibid., pp. 50-51; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Not only did Muhammad believe that there were eight mountain goats living beyond some celestial sea which is located above the seventh heaven, he even thought that Allah’s throne is an actual material object that squeaks from carrying Allah’s body mass!

The fact that the throne literally squeaks as a saddle does from the weight of Allah proves that Allah is a spatial, corporeal being with a body small enough to fit within a material object.

In other words, the throne must be large enough and Allah’s shape must be small in enough for him to be able to seat himself upon it. And yet for Allah to have a material body he must by necessity be bound to space and matter, since a shape requires space and place for it to exist.

This in turn means that Allah did not create all dimensions of space and place since the body he possesses, and the space and place required to contain it, are uncreated. And if they are uncreated then he has no control over them, but rather they control him since he is bound to them by necessity.     

And lest a Muhammadan argue that the throne isn’t a literal object that Allah literally sits upon, note what Ibn Kathir went on to write:

LITERAL MEANING OF ARSH: The word arsh is a throne used by kings as is evident from the words of Allah…

And she has a mighty throne (27:2, 3)

It is not falak or sky, neither do the Arabs understand it to mean that. The Qur’an when it was revealed, made it clear that it is a throne with stands on pillars borne by angels and it is dome-shaped over the universe and a ceiling over the creation. Allah says…

THOSE WHO BEAR THE THRONE, and those who are around it glorify the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying), “Our Lord! You embrace everything in mercy and knowledge. Sura al-Ghafir, 40:7

According to the hadith narrated already, eight angels who carry the arsh on their backs. Allah says…

And EIGHT OF THEM SHALL CARRY ABOVE THEM THE THRONE of your Lord… al-Haqqah. (69:17)

Shahr ibn Hawashab narrated that the bearers of the arsh (throne) are eight, four of them pray…

Glory be to You, O Allah, and with Your praise. All praise belongs to You for Your clemency in spite of Your knowledge.

The other four say…

Glory be to You, O Allah, and with Your praise. All praise belongs to You for Your forgiveness in spite of Your power.

Ibn Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger confirmed Umayyah ibn Salt as true, when he said in his poetry…

The Prophet Muhammad said again, “He spoke the truth”.

Since he asserted THAT FOUR ANGELS CARRIED THE THRONE AND THE prophet MUHAMMAD CONFIRMED HIM, it follows that the arsh IS CARRIED BY FOUR ANGELS IN TURNS. Even if we concede to this explanation, the numbers are not contradicted.

Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated that the Prophet said, “I have been permitted to narrate about an angel among THE ANGELS of Allah WHO BEAR THE ARSH that between his earlobe and his shoulders is a distance of seven hundred years journey.” (Ibn Kathir, Al Bidaayah, pp. 52-53; capital emphasis mine)    

It makes absolutely no sense to speak of eight angels in total bearing or carrying a metaphorical throne, unless we assume that the term angels is also a metaphor that does not refer to actual beings which exist.

It also seems that Muhammad may have based his fable of eight extraterrestrial mountain goats on his belief that there are eight throne bearing angels.  

Speaking of these eight mountain goats from outer space, Ibn Kathir wasn’t the only Sunni scholar that mentioned them:

Al-‘Abbas b. ‘Abd al-Muttalib asserted that he was sitting in al-Batha’ with a company among whom God’s messenger was sitting when a cloud passed. They looked at it and God’s messenger asked, “What do you call this?” and they received the reply “Clouds (sahab).” He said, “And rain-clouds (muzn),” to which they agreed. He asked, “Do you know the distance between heaven and earth?” and when they replied that they did not, he said, “The distance between them is seventy-one, seventy-two, or seventy-three years, the heaven which is above it is at a similar distance (going till he counted seven heavens). Above the seventh heaven there is a sea the distance between whose surface and bottom is like that between one heaven and the next. Above that there are EIGHT MOUNTAIN-GOATS the distance between whose hoofs and haunches is like that between one heaven and the next. On their backs is the Throne the extent of which from top to bottom is like the distance between one heaven and the next. Then God is above that.” Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud transmitted it. (Mishkat Al-Masabih English Translation With Explanatory Notes by Dr. James Robson, Volume II [Sh. Muhammad Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore-Pakistan, Reprint 1994], p. 1226; bold and italicized emphasis mine)

Narrator: Al-Abbas ibn AbdulMuttalib

I was sitting in al-Batha with a company among whom the Apostle of Allah was sitting, when a cloud passed above them. The Apostle of Allah (looked at it and said: What do you call this? They said: Sahab. He said: And muzn? They said: And muzn. He said: And anan? They said: And anan. AbuDawud said: I am not quite confident about the word anan. He asked: Do you know the distance between Heaven and Earth? They replied: We do not know. He then said: The distance between them is seventy-one, seventy-two, or seventy-three years. The heaven which is above it is at a similar distance (going on till he counted seven heavens). Above the seventh heaven there is a sea, the distance between whose surface and bottom is like that between one heaven and the next. Above that there are eight mountain goats the distance between whose hoofs and haunches is like the distance between one heaven and the next. Then Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, is above that. (Sunan of Abu Dawood – 2205 https://www.alim.org/hadith/sunan-of-abu-dawood/2205)

(13) Chapter: Concerning what the Jahmiyyah denied (i.e., seeing Allah in the Hereafter, etc.)

It was narrated that ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Mutallib said:

“I was in Batha with a group of people, among them whom was the Messenger of Allah. A cloud passed over him, and he looked at it and said: ‘What do you call this?’ They said: ‘Sahab (a cloud).’ He said: ‘And Muzn (rain cloud).’ They said: ‘And Muzn.’ He said: ‘And ‘Anan (clouds).’ Abu Bakr said: “They said: ‘And ‘Anan.'” He said: ‘How much (distance) do you think there is between you and the heavens?’ They said: ‘We do not know.’ He said: ‘Between you and it is seventy-one, or seventy-two, or seventy-three years, and there is a similar distance between it and the heaven above it (and so on)’ until he counted seven heavens. ‘Then above the seventh heaven there is a sea, between whose top and bottom is a distance like that between one heaven and another. Then above that there are eight (angels in the form of) mountain goats. The distance between their hooves and their knees is like the distance between one heaven and the next. Then on their backs is the Throne, and the distance between the top and the bottom of the Throne is like the distance between one heaven and another. Then Allah is above that, the Blessed and Exalted.”

Grade: Da’if (Darussalam)

Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 193

In-book reference: Introduction, Hadith 193

English translation: Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 193 (Sunan Ibn Majah 193 – The Book of the Sunnah)

What is meant by this layering of the heavens, with the lowest of the seven heavens having been adorned by stars?44 This layered space definitely refers to the physical structure of the cosmos, but is not limited to it, for there are unfathomable worlds in these seven heavens which were made from steam or smoke (dukhan).45 Each of these heavens is separated from each other by a distance of 500 years, we are informed in A SOUND TRADITION. “We were with the Prophet,” al-‘Abbas bin ‘Abd al-Muttalib narrates, “when he asked: ‘Do you know what is the distance between heaven and earth? We answered: ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said: ‘Between them there is a distance of 500 years; and from every heaven to another heaven there is a distance of 500 years. The diameter of every heaven is 500 years. Above the seventh heaven there is a sea, the distance from its surface to its greatest depth is as much as the [distance] between the heaven and the earth. Then, above that, there are eight mountain goats (aw’al); the distance between their knees (rukba-hunna) and their hoofs (azlafa-hunna) is like the distance between the heaven and the earth. Still above this, there is the Throne; the distance between its lowest and uppermost part is like the distance between the heavens and the earth. Above that, there is Allah, the Praised and Exalted.’”46

46. Reported by Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi–who declared it to be hasan–Ibn Majah, Ibn Abi Asamm in his Sunna, Abu Ya’la, Ibn Khuzayma, al-Tabarani, al-Hakim–who classified it AS SAHIH–and Abu al-Shaykh. al-Hay’a as-Saniyya, 8. (Contemporary Issues in Islam and Science, ed. Muzaffar Iqbal [Routledge, 2016], Volume 2, Part III. Islamic Cosmology. 14. Muzaffar Iqbal (2006), “’In the Beginning: Islamic Perspectives on Cosmological Origins – II’, Islam & Science, 4, pp. 61-78”, p. 392; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Let the readers pay close attention to the foregoing author’s admission that this fairytale of eight celestial mountain goats is based on hasan (“good”) and sahih (“sound”) sanad (“chains of transmission”). Therefore, a Sunni Muslim cannot simply toss this fable aside on the grounds that it is a weak or fabricated hadith.

Suffice it to say, Muhammad’s fairytale of extraterrestrial mountain goats caused quite a stir among the “learned” Muslims:

Because Simaak’s report is not to be accepted when he is the only one narrating it, and because we find that there are some doubts about ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umayrah, the scholars differed as to whether the hadeeth should be classed as saheeh or da’eef

Al-Tirmidhi said concerning the hadeeth: it is HASAN ghareeb. It was classed as SAHEEH by Ibn Khuzaymah in his report in his book al-Tawheed where he stipulated some conditions for its soundness. Al-Haakim said in al-Mustadrak: it is SAHEEH according to the conditions OF MUSLIM although they (al-Bukhaari and Muslim) did not narrate it.

The text of the hadeeth of the mountain goats is as follows: 

It was narrated that al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib said: 

I was in al-Batha’ with a group of people, among whom was the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). A cloud passed over him, and he looked at it and said, “What do you call this?” They said, Sahaab (a cloud). He said, “And muzn (rain cloud).” They said, And muzn. He said, “And ‘anaan (clouds).” Abu Bakr said: they said, “And ‘anaan.” He said: “How much (distance) do you think there is between you and the heaven?” They said, We do not know. He said, “Between you and it is seventy-one or seventy-two or seventy-three years, and there is a similar distance between it and the heaven above it [and so on]” – until he has counted seven heavens. “Then above the seventh heaven there is a river, between whose top and bottom is a distance like that between one heaven and another. Then above that there are eight (angels in the form of) mountain goats. The distance between their hooves and their kneesis like the distance between one heaven and the next. Then on their backs is the Throne, and the distance between the top and the bottom of the Throne is like the distance between one heaven and another. Then Allaah is above that, may He be blessed and exalted… 

Among the later scholars, Ibn Taymiyah in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (3/192) and Ibn al-Qayyim in Mukhtasar al-Sawaa’iq (433) said its isnaad is jayyid. 

With regard to the scholars who classed it as da’eef: 

This is what is understood from the words of al-Bazaar in his Musnad (4/115), where he says: We do not know of these words being narrated except with this isnaad from al-‘Abbaas from the Prophet. We do not know of anyone who narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umayrah except Simaak ibn Harb. End quote.

Ibn ‘Adiyy said in al-Kaamil (9/27): it is not known. 

Al-Mazzi indicated that it is da’eef in Tahdheeb al-Kamaal (10/391). 

Al-Dhahabi said in al-‘Uluw (1/60): It was narrated only by Simaak from ‘Abd-Allaah, and ‘Abd-Allaah is somewhat unknown. End quote. But al-Dhahabi classed the hadeeth as HASAN in al-‘Arsh (24). 

Another of the later scholars who classed it as da’eef was al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (1247). (Islam Q&A, 88746.The hadeeth of the mountain goats is a weak hadeeth; bold and capital emphasis mine) 

Now in case the readers thought this was bad, Ibn Kathir explains the Quranic ayat which refer to the order of creation, and mentions a celestial whale that holds up the earth!   

The exegetes differ on the length of the six days. MOST OF THEM hold that they are like these our days. Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Dahhak and Ka’b Ahbar held that each of those days was like a thousand days ‘by your count’. Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abu Hatim reported this and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal also preferred the opinion in his book in which he rejected the Jahmiyah, and Ibn Jarir and some of the successors. We will see what leads them to this opinion. Dahhak ibn Muzahim and others gave the names of these six days as: Abjad, Hawwaz, Hutti, Kalaman, Sa’fas and qarashat. There are three views on the first of these days. Muhammad Ibn Ishaq said that the people of the Torah hold that Allah began the creation on Sunday, the people of the Injil (Bible) say that it was on Monday, while we the Muslims, say on the basis of what comes to us from Allah’s Messenger, “Allah began the creation on Saturday”. We will see a hadith of Abu Harayrah [sic] on this subject about the creation on Saturday or Sunday. Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas’ud and some other sahabah including Abdullah ibn Salaam also narrated ahadith on this subject, beginning the week on Sunday and ending it on Friday which the Muslims regard as their Eid (festival) of the week, we will see more on it soon, in sha Allah.

Allah, the Exalted, says…

He is (Allah) Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then He turned to the heaven and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is the Knower of everything. (2:29)…  

Say, “Are you indeed those who disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two days, and do you set up rivals to Him?” And He set therein firm mountains high above it, and blessed it, and He ordained therein its diverse sustenance in four days, alike for (all) seekers. Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke, and said it to it and to the earth, “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly”. They both said, “We come willingly”. Then He ordained them as seven heavens in two days, and revealed in every heaven its command. And we adorned the lower heavens with lamps, and made it guarded. That is the decree of the Mighty the Knower. (41:9-12)

This is evidence that the earth was created BEFORE the heaven because it was like the base for the canopy…

He says…

What are you the harder in creation or the heaven He built? He raised up high its canopy and perfected it.  And darkened its night and brought forth its bright moon. And after that He spread out the earth. He brought out therefrom its water, and its pasture, and the mountains He firmly fixed, a provision for you and for your cattle. (79:27-33)

Some people deduce from these verses that the heavens were created before the earth. They CONTRADICT THE CLEAR EVIDENCE of the earlier verses (Fussilat, 9-12) and do not understand this verse. Only the earth was spread out and water and pasture were brought out after the creation of the heaven (the creation of earth had PRECEDED). That was its measure and sustenance…  

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet took him by his hand and said, “Allah created the earth (soil) on Saturday and the mountains on Sunday the trees on Monday and the makruh (disliked) on Tuesday and the light on Wednesday and He scattered the beasts on Thursday and He created Aadam after asr on Friday. This last creation was created in the last moments of Friday between the asr and the night.

He also narrated that the Prophet said, “O Abu Hurayrah, surely Allah created the heavens and the earth and that which is between them in six days. Then He turned to the arsh on the seventh. And he created the soil on Saturday”. And he narrated the rest of the hadith (as the preceding). This hadith is also confirmed by Ka’b Ahbar. However it has some strangeness because it specifies the days too while speaking of the creation and this does not agree with the Qur’an which is explicit that the earth was created in four days and the heavens in two days and the heavens were created from smoke that must have been the steam arising from the excessive stirring of water which was created by Allah’s power as mentioned by Isma’il Abdur Rahman Suddi Kabir on the authority of Abu Maalik, Abu Salih, Ibn Abbas, Murrah Hamdani and Ibn Mas’ud and others in reference to the verse (2:29 al-Baqarah). He said:

Allah’s arsh was on water and He created nothing before water when He decided to create the creatures. He brought out smoke from the water. It rose above the water and was high above (… sama), so it was named … (sama, heaven). Then the water dried up and became solid earth a single solid earth. Then it split and became seven earths in two days (Sunday and Monday). He created the earth ON A FISH, and it was “nun” which Allah called … (Nun, by the pen and by that which they inscribe). (68:1)

THE FISH WAS ON THE WATER which was on a ledge which was ON THE BACK OF AN ANGEL WHO WAS ON A ROCK which was on (solidified) air. Luqman spoke of this rock that it is neither in the heaven nor on the earth. THE FISH STIRRED AND WAS RESTLESS, SO THE EARTH SHOOK. So, He firmly fixed the mountains and it became steady. Allah created the mountains on Tuesday with the advantages that accrue from it. On Wednesday He created the trees, the water, the cities and the ruins. THEN HE SPLIT THE HEAVEN INTO SEVEN HEAVENS IN TWO DAYS, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. (Ibid., pp. 55-58; capital emphasis mine)

And:

We have stated that the creation of the earth PRECEDED the creation of the heaven.

This is as Allah says…

He is (Allah) Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then He turned to the heaven and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is the Knower of everything. (2:29)…  

Say, “Are you indeed those who disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two days, and do you set up rivals to Him?” And He set therein firm mountains high above it, and blessed it, and He ordained therein its diverse sustenance in four days, alike for (all) seekers. Then He turned to the heaven when it was smoke, and said it to it and to the earth, “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly”. They both said, “We come willingly”. Then He ordained them as seven heavens in two days, and revealed in every heaven its command. And we adorned the lower heavens with lamps, and made it guarded. That is the decree of the Mighty the Knower. (41:9-12)

What are you the harder in creation or the heaven He built? He raised up high its canopy and perfected it.  And darkened its night and brought forth its bright moon. And after that He spread out the earth. He brought out therefrom its water, and its pasture, and the mountains He firmly fixed, a provision for you and for your cattle. (79:27-33)

The spreading out is post-creation and (though the earth WAS CREATED FIRST) it was spread out after the creation of the heaven. (Ibid., p. 70; capital emphasis mine)

Now it starts to make sense.

Allah initially created the earth but did not spread it out yet. He then turned to the heaven when it was smoke and fashioned the smoke into seven heavens. From there he returned his gaze to the earth in order to complete the job of forming it, along with the six other earths, into a flat surface with all the provisions required to sustain earthly life.

Allah then placed the earth on the back of a huge fish which started convulsing as a result. Allah then cast down mountains as tent pegs in order to keep the earth stabilized from the constant shaking caused by the whale.

Allah also made sure to place this fish inside of water which is suspended on a ledge placed on an angel, who himself is kept afoot by a rock held up by solidified air. And less the readers forget, this rock is neither in the heavens nor on the earth.

In case the readers think that Ibn Kathir is alone in narrating and/or believing such outlandish fairytales, I now cite a few more Sunni authorities to show that such is not the case:

Narrated Anas ibn Malik

Allah’s Messenger said, “When Allah created the Earth it began to oscillate, so He created the mountains, ordered them onto it, and it became steady. The angels marvelled at the strength of the mountains and asked their Lord whether there was anything in His creation stronger than the mountains, to which He replied that iron was stronger. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than iron, and He replied that fire was. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than fire and He replied that water was. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than water and He replied that wind was. They asked if anything in His creation was stronger than wind and He replied, “Yes, the son of Adam who gives sadaqah with his right hand which concealing it from his left.”

Tirmidhi transmitted it, saying this is a gharib tradition. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 602 https://www.alim.org/hadith/tirmidi/602)

This next tradition is taken from Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Kisa’i’s book Qisas al-Anbiya (Tales of the Prophets):

Kaab al-Ahbar said: When God wished to create the dry land, He commanded the wind to churn up the waters. When they had become turbulent and foamy, waves swelled and gave off vapor. Then God commanded the foam to solidify, and it became dry. In two days he created the dry land on the face of the waters, as He hath said: Say, do ye indeed disbelieve in him who created the earth in two days? (41:9). Then He commanded these waves to be still, and they formed the mountains, which He used as pegs to hold down the earth, as He hath said: And we placed stable mountains on the earth lest it should move with them (21:31). Were it not for the mountains, the earth would not have been stable enough for its inhabitants. The veins of these mountains are connected with the veins of Mount Qaf, which is the range that surrounds the earth.

Then God created the seven seas. The first is called Baytush and surrounds the earth from behind Mount Qaf. Behind it is a sea called Asamm, behind which is a sea called Qaynas, behind which is a sea called Sakin, behind which is a sea called Mughallib, behind which is a sea called Muannis, behind which is a sea called Baki, which is the last. These are the seven seas, and each of them surrounds the sea before it. The rest of the seas in which are creatures whose number only God knows, are like gulfs to these seven. God created sustenance for all these creatures on the fourth day, as He hath said: And he provided therein the food of the creatures designed to be the inhabitants thereof, in four days; equally, for those who ask (41:10).

There are seven earths. The first is called Ramaka, beneath which is the Barren Wind, which can be bridled by no fewer than seventy thousand angels. With this wind God destroyed the people of Ad. The inhabitants of Ramaka are a nation called Muwashshim, upon whom is everlasting torment and divine retribution. The second earth is called Khalada, wherein are the implements of torture for the inhabitants of Hell. There dwells a nation called Tamis, whose food is their own flesh and whose drink is their own blood. The third earth is called Arqa, wherein dwell mulelike eagles with spearlike tails. On each tail are three hundred and sixty poisonous quills. Were even one quill placed on the face of the earth, the entire universe would pass away. The inhabitants thereof are a nation called Qays, who eat dirt and drink mothers’ milk. The fourth earth is called Haraba, wherein dwell the snakes of Hell, which are as large as mountains. Each snake has fangs like tall palm trees, and if they were to strike the hugest mountain with their fangs it would be leveled to the ground. The inhabitants of this earth are a nation called Jilla, and they have no eyes, hands or feet but have wings like bats and die only of old age. The fifth earth is called Maltham, wherein stones of sulphur hang around the necks of infidels. When the fire is kindled the fuel is placed on their breasts, and the flames leap up onto their faces, as He hath said: The fire whose fuel is men and stones (2:24), and Fire shall cover their faces (14:50). The inhabitants are a nation called Hajla, who are numerous and who eat each other. The sixth earth is called Sijjin. Here are the registers of the people of Hell, and their works are vile, as He hath said: Verily the register of the actions of the wicked is surely Sijjin (83:7). Herein dwells a nation called Qatat, who are shaped like birds and worship God truly. The seventh earth is called Ajiba and is the habitation of Iblis. There dwells a nation called Khasum, who are black and short, with claws like lions. It is they who will be given dominion over Gog and Magog, who will be destroyed by them.

And the earth was tossed about with its inhabitants like a ship, so God sent down an angel of extreme magnitude and strength and ordered him to slip beneath the earth and bear it up on his shoulders. He stretched forth one of his hands to the East and the other to the West and took hold of the earth from end to end. However, there was no foothold for him, so God created from an emerald a square rock, in the middle of which were seven thousand holes. In each hole there was a sea, description of which is known only to God. And He commanded the rock to settle beneath the angel’s feet. The rock, however, had no support, so God created a great bull with forty thousand heads, eyes, ears, nostrils, mouths, tongues and legs and commanded it to bear the rock on its back and on its horns. The name of the bull is al-Rayyan. As the bull had no place to rest its feet, God created a huge fish, upon which no one may gaze because it is so enormous and had so many eyes. It is even said that if all the seas were placed in one of its gills, they would be like a mustard seed in the desert. This fish God commanded to be a foothold for the bull, and it was done. The name of this fish is Behemoth. Then He made its resting place the waters, beneath which is the air, and beneath the air is the Darkness, which is for all the earths. There, beneath the Darkness, the knowledge of created things ends. (Ibid., translated by Wheeler M. Thackston Jr. [Great Books of the Islamic World, Inc., Distributed by Kazi Publications; Chicago, IL 1997], pp. 8-10; bold emphasis mine)

Notice how in the foregoing fable, it isn’t solidified air which holds up the rock. Rather it is a humungous bull with forty thousand heads, eyes, ears, nostrils, tongues and legs which suspends the rock upon its back and horns, with the huge fish being made a foothold for this bull!

There you have it, folks. The wonderful, fanciful, fabulous world of Islamic Cosmology!

As I’ve said in the past, and will say it again.

The real miracle of Islam is that there are people who actually take this nonsense seriously due to their believing that a liar, deceiver, conniver, murderer, looter, womanizer, rapist, adulterer, pedophile, and outright sexual deviant was a prophet from God and a moral example to be emulated.

Now that is truly a miracle, albeit a satanic one at that!

FURTHER READING

The Quran and the Shape of the Earth

Revisiting Allah’s Cosmology

Hadith Cosmology

 Analysis and Refutation of The Alleged Scientific Claims Within the Quran

2 thoughts on “EXPOSING MORE OF MUHAMMAD’S FAIRYTALES

  1. What are the “goats” or “mountain goats”? Notice there are 8. That’s two groups of 4. They’re Romans, Byzantines, carriers of a Roman litter, four at the front and two at the rear, with Allah in between. Like this picture: https://hands-up-education.org/suburani_book/activebooks/activebook1/images/story2-v4.png
    Notice the white clothing.
    Muhammad was describing everyday things of his own time, and putting these marvellous things that he thought were magical into his mythical court for his idol, Allah.

    Like

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