Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2:67-73 The Cow

And remember Moses said to his people: "Allah commands that ye sacrifice a heifer." They said: "Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?" He said: "Allah save me from being an ignorant (fool)!" They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!" He said; "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!" They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour." He said: "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!" They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if Allah wills." He said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will. Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But Allah was to bring forth what ye did hide. So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand. (YUSUFALI)

It sound like 2 separate stories,The command on sacrifice a cow and the story about The dead man so what is the connection between them?

The tafsir of Ibn Kathir explain:

"There was a man from among the Children of Israel who was impotent. He had substantial wealth, and only a nephew who would inherit from him. So his nephew killed him and moved his body at night, placing it at the doorstep of a certain man. The next morning, the nephew cried out for revenge, and the people took up their weapons and almost fought each other. The wise men among them said, `Why would you kill each other, while the Messenger of Allah is still among you' So they went to Musa and mentioned the matter to him and Musa said,("Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow.'' They said, "Do you make fun of us'' He said, "I take Allah's refuge from being among Al-Jahilin (the ignorant or the foolish)).'' "Had they not disputed, it would have been sufficient for them to slaughter any cow. However, they disputed, and the matter was made more difficult for them, until they ended up looking for the specific cow that they were later ordered to slaughter. They found the designated cow with a man, only who owned that cow. He said, `By Allah! I will only sell it for its skin's fill of gold.' So they paid the cow's fill of its skin in gold, slaughtered it and touched the dead man with a part of it. He stood up, and they asked him, `Who killed you' He said, `That man,' and pointed to his nephew. He died again, and his nephew was not allowed to inherit him. Thereafter, whoever committed murder for the purpose of gaining inheritance was not allowed to inherit.'' (http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=2&tid=2258)

So the whole story of the cow was to revel who was the murder...

This story is another example of Muhammad mixing Biblical stories!

How to become purified from the impurity of the death?

And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: This is the statute of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer, faultless, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke. And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, and she shall be brought forth without the camp, and she shall be slain before his face. And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. And the heifer shall be burnt in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall be burnt. And the priest shall take cedar-wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.
And for the unclean they shall take of the ashes of the burning of the purification from sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel
And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify him; and he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.
(Numbers 19:1-19)

So in order to become purified ,It need to sacrifice a red cow with unique criterion's .
It's a command from Moses,there's no dispute between Moses to Israel about it!!!

What is the procedure when finding a Murdered body?

If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him; then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain.And it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke. And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which may neither be plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley. And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near--for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be. And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. And they shall speak and say: 'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.Forgive, O LORD, Thy people Israel, whom Thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood to remain in the midst of Thy people Israel.' And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the innocent blood from the midst of thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 21:1-9)

When finding a dead body in field and no one knows who killed him,there's a procedure in order to clean the sin of the murder which involve a cow- not red nor yellow.
Again it's a command from Moses,there's no dispute between Moses to Israel about it!!!

As we can see Muhammad took elements from both 2 stories and mixed them into one story!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2:65 The Sabbath

YUSUFALI: And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."

So Muhammad tell us about Jews who broke the Sabbath and became apes.
What did they do?

In another place there's more info:
YUSUFALI: Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression. (7:163)

The full explain on what happened we can hear from Tafsir Ibn Kathir :

They began using deceitful means to avoid honoring the Sabbath by placing nets, ropes and artificial pools of water for the purpose of fishing before the Sabbath. When the fish came in abundance on Saturday as usual, they were caught in the ropes and nets for the rest of Saturday. During the night, the Jews collected the fish after the Sabbath ended.

This Story,which repeat itself several times in Quran,Sound like a very non-authentic legend.

Is there a Story like this in Jewish tradition?

Yusuf Ali say:
There must have been a Jewish tradition about a whole fishing community in a seaside town, which persisted in breaking the Sabbath and were turned into apes; (Yusuf Ali's Commentary from QuranTrans)

But there's no such story in Jewish tradition!!!

Same story that end differently

And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him.And the LORD said unto Moses: 'The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.' (Numbers 15:32-35)

So the punishment of breaking the Sabbath is death by the Jewish court of justice,this man didn't became to an ape!

Did The Jewish fishermen indeed broke the Sabbath?

According to Tafsir Ibn Kathir ,the Jews put the net before Shabbath,the fish were caught during the Sabbath and the Jews collected the fish after Shabbath,is that forbidden?

In Jewish law there's a debate weather it's allowed or not:
BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: SNARES FOR WILD BEASTS, FOWLS, AND FISH, MAY NOT BE SPREAD UNLESS THEY CAN BE CAUGHT WHILE IT IS YET DAY; BUT BETH HILLEL PERMIT IT. (Mishna of Shabbath brought in Talmud Shabbath 17b - http://www.come-and-hear.com/shabbath/shabbath_17.html )

Hillel who was the Head of the Jewish court of justice about the 0 AC( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillel_the_Elder ) said that one can put net before Shabbath to catch fish-cause he don't work during the Shabbath.

When Hillel and Shamai debate ,unless it said explicit ,The decision is by Hillel.
So according to the Jewish law it's allowed to put net before Shabbath,so fish will be caught during the Shabbath!!!

So this authentication of this story smell like a fish...

Friday, January 12, 2007

2:63 Mount Sinai

And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah." (YUSUFALI)

In this verse Muhammad describe How God did the covenant with Israel:

The Israelis were rebellious so God raised the mountain above them,to scare them and to convince them to accept the covenant.

Strange,There is no such story in Bible:

And when they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain...And all the people answered together, and said: 'All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.' And Moses reported the words of the people unto the LORD...And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. Now mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. . . (Exodus 19:2-18)

But there's such story in Talmud:

And they stood under the mount: R. Abdimi b. Hama b. Hasa said: This teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, overturned the mountain upon them like an [inverted] cask, and said to them,'If ye accept the Torah, 'tis well; if not, there shall be your burial.' (Babylonian Talmud Shabbath 88a http://www.come-and-hear.com/shabbath/shabbath_88.html#88a_16 )

The Talmud was written way before Quran,so i wonder did God started to teach his prophet the Talmud?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2:60 - Water from the Rock

YUSUFALI: And remember Moses prayed for water for his people; We said: "Strike the rock with thy staff." Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each group knew its own place for water. So eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth.

Interesting story that mix up 2 bible stories:
1.The twelve springs - And they came to Elim, where were twelve springs of water, and three score and ten palm-trees; and they encamped there by the waters. (Exodus 15:27)

2.Water from the Rock - And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink...And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thy hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.' And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exodus 17:1-6)

So there where 2 different stories that took place in 2 different places(Elim-Rephidim) that mixed into one story in Quran.
Muslims usually claim that the Bible was changed and not authentic,one should ask himself what is more likely to happen, 2 stories that mix into one or the other way round?