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Sirat Rasoul Allah

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10- Rajam  

Early in Muhammad's stay at Medina the rabbis had met to judge a married man who had committed adultery with a Jewish woman who was also married. They said, 'Send this man and this woman to Muhammad, ask him for a judgement of the case, and let him prescribe the penalty. If he decides to condemn them to the tajbih ‑ when criminals are scourged with a rope of date‑fibres dipped in resin, then have their faces blackened and are placed on two donkeys with their faces turned towards the rump ‑ 'then obey him, for he is a prince, and believe in him. But if he condemns them to be stoned, he is a prophet; then be on your guard against him, lest he deprive you of what you have.'

They had asked the apostle's judgement and he went to where the priests sat, and said to them, 'Bring me your learned men!” They brought him Abdullah b. Suriya, who was the most learned, though one of the youngest, among them. The apostle talked alone with him and had him confirm on oath that according to the Torah, Allah condemns to stoning the man who commits

adultery after marriage'. Suriya added, 'They know you are an inspired prophet, but they envy you!' Then the apostle went out and ordered the culprits to be stoned in front of the mosque. When the man felt the first stone he bent over his mistress to protect her from the stones, until they were killed. This is what Allah did for His apostle, to exact the penalty for adultery from these two persons.

The apostle asked the Jews what had induced them to abandon of stoning for adultery, when it was prescribed in the Torah. They said the penalty had been observed until a man of royal blood committed adultery, and 'the king would not allow him to be stoned. When, after this, another man committed adultery and the king desired that he be stoned, they said, "Not unless you also permit the first man to be stoned." Then all agreed to resort to scourging, and both the memory and practice of stoning died out.' Then the apostle of Allah said, 'I was the first to revive the command of Allah, His scripture, and obedience to it.


On another occasion a company of Jews came to the apostle 'Allah has created creation, but who created Allah?'


And the apostle became so angry that his colour changed, and he lept up in zeal for his Lord. But Gabriel came and quieted him, and said, “Calm thyself, Muhammad!” Gabriel brought a reply from Allah to what they had asked him. 'Say "He is the one god! Allah is self‑generating! He begetteth not, nor is begotten! And ther is none equal." 

After he had recited this to them, they said: 'Describe Him to us, o Muhammad! What is His shape? His arm ‑ what is the strength of His arm?' The apostle became even more wrathful and he leapt up once more; but Gabriel again came and told him to be calm and brought a reply from Allah. 'They have not properly unde­rstood the power of Allah! He will grasp the whole earth on the day of the resurrection, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand! Praised be He, and exalted above all their idols’.

A deputation of Christians from Najran, consisting of sixty riders, arrived on a visit to the apostle; among them were fourteen of their most respected men, three of whom were entrusted with the management of their affairs. The leader of the people, the chief councillor whose advice they always followed, was Abdul‑Masih. Their administrator was al‑Ayham. Their bishop, scholar, religious leader and master of their schools, was Abu Haritha, who was respected among them and a renowned student with an extensive knowledge of their religion; the Christian  princes of Byzantium had honoured him with gifts of goods and servants, built churches for him, and venerated him for his learning and religious zeal. On the way to visit the apostle, Abu Haritha said to his brother, 'This is the prophet whom we were expecting.' His brother rejoined, 'Then what hinders you from acknowledging him?' Abu Haritha replied, 'Those who have paid us respect, given us titles and shown us favours, are opposed to him; if I acknowledge him, they will deprive us of all we enjoy.'

When the delegation arrived in Medina they entered the mosque while the apostle was holding his afternoon prayers. When the time arrived for their own prayers they stood up in the mosque of the apostle and made their devotions; and the apostle of Allah said, 'It is permitted.' And they prayed with their faces towards the east.

The three leaders, although Christians, differed among themselves on some points. They said that He was God [or 'Allah'], because He brought the dead to life, healed the sick, made known the unknown, created a bird from clay, breathed on and gave it life; they said that He was also the Son of God because He had no known father and spoke in His cradle, which no other human had ever done before; and they said, too, that He was the third of the Trinity, because the word of God was always 'We have acted, We have commanded . . .'and if God were but one, His word would be 'I have commanded, I have created…’ Thus He is He, and He is Jesus and He is Mary.  

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