Sunday, 29 January 2017

Jonathan Brown on the sahaba

By Abd al-Nur ibn Ahmed

Jonathan Brown released the following statement:

Jonathan Brown has replied on why he put a forged report about the sahabi Mu’awiya (RA) in various of his books about hadith and Islam.
Firstly, never did he ever mention to me that he will edit his book in the future about this incident.

Secondly, his reply on Facebook is very useful. He is openly admitting that he is an Orientalist in his method, even if he immediately tries to take it back by saying he, too, has a problem with that method. He tries to play in both camps in order not to lose one of his two markets. But to be more precise he is a Muslim Orientalist, so his split personality is not only motivated by marketing one's knowledge of Islam but by trying to justify to oneself why one continues to write as if the Qur'an and the Prophet are liars (wal-`iyadhu billah), or at least the scholars. Think Amina Wadud, Khaled Aboul Fadl, The Study Quran. He wants to rank with them.

Al-Mada'ini is an akhbari and only a semi-reliable historian. On the one hand, Ibn `Adi describes him as "not strong in hadith, with very few supported (musnada) narrations." Al-Dhahabi is of two minds about him, he describes him as "giving the appearance of truthfulness" (saduq fi-ma yubdih) and "given credence in what he reports" (musaddaq fi-ma yanquluh), but then also as "truthful" (saduq) in absolute terms, probably because of his endorsement by Yahya b. Ma`in and al-Tabari. Shiis consider Mada'ini reliable when it comes to reports deprecating Mu`awiya, `Amr b. al-`As and the people of Syria; then they consider him unreliable in reporting that al-Hasan b. Abi Talib married and divorced 90 women. In practice scholars did not endorse al-Mada'ini's knowledge as nothing remains of his 80 books except one: Nasab Quraysh.

Brown has refused to apologise for his lie about the Sahaba. He refused to remove the lie from his future edition of the book. However he said that he will change it to "there are reports that.." because he doesn't know that it actually happened. The Qur'anic verse applies "They follow nothing but conjecture..." (6:116) and "O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done." (49:6). An authentic hadith in Sahih Muslim states “It is enough falsehood for someone to speak of everything he hears.”

Just because there are false reports, doesn't mean it should be mentioned when talking about history or hadith (however it is acceptable to mention it when one says that it is false). Despite this, he wants shaykh GF Haddad to apologise to him...

Back to Mu`awiya, he deliberately obscures the issue of the uprightness of the Sahaba in Islam, as no Sunni Muslim ever claimed that the Sahaba "are incapable of lying." He uses that phrase only to pull the wool over the eyes. The issue is not lying, but lying about the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace which is a much graver issue and a different one as explicitly stated by the Prophet himself.

The "there are reports that..." is a convenient excuse to inject any type of disinformation into the mainstream. It is the essence of duplicity because the common reader will not discern the difference between such reports being from Bukhari and Muslim, or from 1,001 Nights.

The more Brown talks, the more he reveals himself.

Some other discussions on his claims about the sahaba are found here:

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