Ibn Ishaq

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Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (Arabic pronunciation: [ɪsˈħɑːq]; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار‎, or simply ibn Isḥaq, ابن إسحاق, meaning "the son of Isaac" (died 767) was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer. Ibn Ishaq collected oral traditions that formed the basis of an important biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ibn Ishaq (693) - "Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu'l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons."
  • Ibn Ishaq (970) - "The adulterer must be stoned."
  • Ishaq 956 & 962 - "He who withholds the Jizya is an enemy of Allah and His apostle."
  • Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 879: The apostle told them to tell Malik that if he came to him as a Muslim he would return his family and property to him and give him a hundred camels.
  • Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484: - “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”
  • Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 990: "I leapt upon him and cut off his head and ran in the direction of the camp shouting 'Allah akbar' and my two companions did likewise".
  • Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: - "Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah."
  • Ibn Ishaq 436 - “…they brought them along and questioned them while the apostle was standing praying… The people were dismayed at their report…and so they beat them. When they were beaten soundly…"
  • Ibn Ishaq 734 - "So the apostle called Burayra to ask her, and Ali got up and gave her a violent beating, saying “'Tell the Apostle the truth.'”
  • Ibn Ishaq 764 - “Torture him until you extract what he has.” So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad bin Maslama and he struck off his head.”
  • If you come upon them, deal so forcibly as to terrify those who would follow, that they may be warned. Make a severe example of them by terrorizing Allah’s enemies.
    • Ishaq:326
  • Allah said, ‘No Prophet before Muhammad took booty from his enemy nor prisoners for ransom.’ Muhammad said, ‘I was made victorious with terror. The earth was made a place for me to clean. I was given the most powerful words. Booty was made lawful for me. I was given the power to intercede. These five privileges were awarded to no prophet before me.’
    • Ishaq:326
  • They say that the beginning of stone worship among the sons of Ishmael was when Mecca became too small for them and they wanted more room in the country. Everyone who left the town took with him a stone from the sacred area to do honour to it. Wherever they settled they set it up and walked round it as they went round the Ka‘ba. This led them to worship what stones they pleased and those which made an impression on them. Thus as generations passed they forgot their primitive faith and adopted another religion for that of Abraham and Ishmael. They worshipped idols and adopted the same errors as the peoples before them. Yet they retained and held fast practices going back to the time of Abraham, such as honouring the temple and going round it, the great and little pilgrimage, and the standing on ‘Arafa and Muzdalifa, sacrificing the victims, and the pilgrim cry at the great and little pilgrimage, while introducing elements which had no place in the religion of Abraham.
    • Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression.Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [1]
  • “Every household had an idol in their house which they used to worship. When a man was about to set out on a journey he would rub himself against it as he was about to ride off: indeed that was the last thing he used to do before his journey; and when he returned from his journey the first thing he did was to rub himself against it before he went in to his family…
    • Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression.Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [2]
  • “Now Ri’ãm,” reports Ibn Ishãq, “was one of the temples which they venerated and where they offered sacrifices and received oracles when they were polytheists. The two rabbis told Tubba‘ that it was merely a shayTãn which deceived them in this way and they asked to be allowed to deal with it. When the king agreed they commanded a black dog to come out of it and killed it-at least this is what the Yamanites say. Then they destroyed the temple and I am told that its ruins to this day show traces of the blood that was poured over it.”
    • Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression. Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [3]
  • “At this time,” reports Ibn Ishãq, “the people of Najrãn followed the religion of the Arabs worshipping a great palm-tree. Every year they had a festival when they hung on the tree any fine garment they could find and women’s jewels. Then they sallied out and devoted the day to it.” Faymiyûn reported to the nobles that the palm-tree “could neither help nor hurt” and that “if he were to curse the tree in the name of God, He would destroy it, for He was God Alone without companion.” The nobles agreed. Faymiyûn “invoked God against the tree and God sent a wind against it which tore it from its roots and cast it on the ground.” The miracle helped the people of Najran to adopt the “law of Îsã b. Maryam” in which Faymiyûn “instructed them.”
    • Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression.Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [4]
  • In Qubã’ there was an unmarried Muslim woman and he noticed that a man used to come to her in the middle of the night and knock on her door; she would come out and he would give her something. He felt very suspicious of him and asked her what was the meaning of this nightly performance as she was a Muslim woman without a husband. She told him that he was Sahl b. Hunayf b. Wãhib who knew that she was all alone and he used to break up the idols of his tribe at night and bring her the pieces to use as fuel…
    • Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression.Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [5]
  • Had you seen Muhammad and his troops
    The day the idols were smashed when he entered,
    You would have seen God’s light become manifest
    And darkness covering the face of idolatry.”
    • FaDãla b. al-Mulãwwih al-Laythî , in : Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression.Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [6]
  • I smashed RuDã’ so completely that
    I left it a black ruin in a hollow.
    • Al-Mustaughir b. Rabî‘a, in : Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression.Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II [7]
  • [An] outrage had been committed by an Arab who came from the temple in Mecca where the Arabs went on pilgrimage, and that he had done this in anger at his threat to divert the Arabs’ pilgrimage to the cathedral, showing thereby that it was unworthy of reverence... [Abraha felt] “enraged and swore that he would go to the temple and destroy it.”
    • Abraha (the Abyssinian Christian governor). Ibn Ishãq, Sîrat Rasûl Allãh, translated into English by A. Gillaumne, OUP, Karachi, Seventh Impression. (Quoted in in Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II) [8]
  • "O people, listen to my words. I do not know whether I shall ever meet you again in this place after this year. O people, your blood and your property are sacrosanct until you meet your Lord, just as this day and this month of yours are sacred. Surely you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your deeds. I have [already] made this known. Let he who has a pledge return it to the one who entrusted him with it; all usury is abolished, but your capital belongs to you. Wrong not and you shall not be wronged. God has decreed that there will be no usury, and the usury of ‘Abbās b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib is abolished, all of it. All blood shed in the pre-Islamic days is to be left unavenged. The first such claim I revoke is that of Ibn Rabī‘ah b. al-Ḥārith b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib, who was nursed among the Banū Layth and was slain by the Banū Hudhayl. His is the first blood shed in the pre-Islamic days with which I shall set an example. O people, indeed Satan despairs of ever being worshipped in this land of yours. He will be pleased, however, if he is obeyed in a thing other than that, in matters you minimize. So beware of him in your religion, O people, intercalating a month is an increase in unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another, [in order] to agree with the number that God has hallowed, and so profane what God has hallowed, and hallow what God has made profane. Time has completed its cycle [and is] as it was on the day that God created the heavens and the earth. The number of the months with God is twelve: [they were] in the Book of God on the day He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred, the three consecutive [months] and the Rajab [which is called the month of] Muḍar, which is between Jumādā [II] and Sha‘bān."
    "Now then, O people, you have a right over your wives and they have a right over you. You have [the right] that they should not cause anyone of whom you dislike to tread on your beds; and that they should not commit any open indecency (fāḥishah). If they do, then God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from [evil], they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom (bi’l-ma‘rūf). Treat women well, for they are [like] domestic animals ('awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves. You have taken them only as a trust from God, and you have made the enjoyment of their persons lawful by the word of God, so understand and listen to my words, O people. I have conveyed the Message, and have left you with something which, if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray: that is, the Book of God and the sunnah of His Prophet. Listen to my words, O people, for I have conveyed the Message and understand [it]. Know for certain that every Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, and that all Muslims are brethren. It is not lawful for a person [to take] from his brother except that which he has given him willingly, so do not wrong yourselves. O God, have I not conveyed the message?" It was reported [to me] that the people said, "O God, yes," and the Messenger of God said, "O God, bear witness."
  • I was told that the last injunction the apostle [Muhammad] gave [before his death] was in his words `Let not two religions be left in the Arabian peninsula."
    • Source: Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. A. Guillaume (1955; reprint, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 689. [9]
  • Ishaq 734 - "As for Ali, he said, 'Women are plentiful, and you can easily change one for another."
  • Ishaq 969 - "Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons."

About[edit]

  • Even if modern day Muslims are prepared to reject the Mohammed as portrayed by Ibn Ishaq, the book has still been immensely powerful in shaping the Islamic view of the world, since Muslims throughout the last millennium did not reject Mohammed as portrayed in Ibn Ishaq: that is the Mohammed that Muslim cultures throughout the world have passed on by word of mouth to their children for generation after generation. Moreover, the current edition of this book was reissued in modern day Pakistan, a state whose full title is The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This Islamic state condemns to death those convicted of defaming the Prophet Mohammed. Since 1967 Oxford University Press have been selling this Guillaume edition of The Life of Muhammed, which is printed in Pakistan. No-one from that company has been charged with “defaming the Prophet Mohammed”, so we can take take from this continued publication and the lack of prosecutions, that contemporary Pakistani Muslims do not consider this work blasphemous. Thus we regard any rejection of the Sira of Ibn Ishaq by contemporary Muslims living in the West as either a sign of their duplicity or a sign of their ignorance about Islam.
    • Peter McLoughlin - Easy Meat_ Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal-New English Review Press (2016)

External links[edit]

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