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Muhammad the prophet part IV

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in response to reader comment: Servant of Allah, What about music and TV ?

Submitted by Richard the Lion heart (United States), Feb 1, 2006 at 13:43

While Muhammad was in Mecca he tried to persuade the Quraysh (Meccans) to accept Islam. They were not receptive to him and made life difficult for him and his followers, and so Muhammad's desire to see his people accept him and Islam was unfulfilled. This was until Muhammad recited the following verse.

Have you thought of al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third ... these are the exalted Gharaniq [3] whose intercession is approved. (Ibn Ishaq, pp. 165-166)
Al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat were some of the local idols worshiped in Mecca. Previously Muhammad had spoken against them in his monotheist preaching but now Muhammad accepted the idols and recited that their "intercession is approved". The Islamic explanation as to why Muhammad accepted the idols is that Satan put these words on Muhammad's lips.

Satan ... put upon his (Muhammad's) tongue "these are the exalted Gharaniq whose intercession is approved". (Ibn Ishaq, pp. 165-166)
Muhammad recited these words as if they were from God when in fact they were from Satan. This is what is meant by the phrase, the Satanic verses: they are verses from Satan that Muhammad recited as if they were from God. Now that Muhammad had recited that the idols were acceptable the Quraysh accepted him.

When Quraysh heard that, they were delighted and greatly pleased at the way in which he spoke of their gods and they listened to him ... Then the people dispersed and Quraysh went out, delighted at what had been said about their gods, saying, "Muhammad has spoken of our gods in splendid fashion". (Ibn Ishaq, p. 166)
Muhammad's desire had been realised; the Quraysh accepted him. The Quraysh accepted Muhammad because he had accepted their gods and idols. However, after some time Muhammad realised the error of what he had said. The Islamic explanation is that Muhammad was rebuked by the angel Gabriel.

Then Gabriel came to the apostle and said , "What have you done, Muhammad? You have read to these people something I did not bring you from God and you have said what He did not say to you." (Ibn Ishaq, p. 166)
Muhammad now changed his mind and said that God had told him to speak against the idols and to reject them.

When the annulment of what Satan had put upon the prophet's tongue came from God, Quraysh said: "Muhammad has repented of what he said about the position of your gods with Allah, altered it and brought something else." (Ibn Ishaq, p. 166-167)
Muhammad now had to explain both to his followers and to the Quraysh why he had changed his mind about their idols and no longer accepted them. The reason he gave was the following verse of the Qur'an.

Never have We sent a single prophet or apostle before you with whose wishes Satan did not tamper. But God abrogates the interjections of Satan and confirms His own revelations. (Qur'an 22:52, Dawood)

Muhammad's explanation was that his momentary acceptance of the idols was because Satan had tampered with his wishes and given him words that he thought were from God, but that God had now removed these verses and corrected the whole situation.
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