|Are the prophets sinless?
Editor’s note: The following is from “Farrakhan: God’s Man on the Straight Path.”
Consider these simple illustrations. Two men are walking down the street. One knows where they are going. The other doesn’t. The first one knows how to get there. The other doesn’t. The first one knows the full reason for their trip. The other doesn’t.
Is the one who does not know like the one who knows? Do they see the same? Suppose the one who does not know decides to set out on a path of his own making? What are the chances they will arrive at the same destination? Not much. What is the difference in their knowledge with respect to the right and best way to their destination?
The Nation of Islam is not going to fall again. Enough of us will follow the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, through Minister Louis Farrakhan, better than we followed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The believers won’t believe the lies the wicked have told on them. This is due to the mercy of Allah.
When we look in the Bible, we see incidents in the lives of God’s prophets, which seem immoral. The scholars of the Jews, Christians and the Muslims have differing views on this subject. For instance, Muslims cite the fact that the Holy Qur’an, unlike the Bible, makes very clear that the prophets were sinless men. The Holy Qur’an not only refuses to mention that which the Bible writers openly state (of the supposed sins of those representing God) the slander against these men—that they were wicked or evil, was refuted in the strongest terms.
Now, did the prophets do what the Bible writers claimed they did? If they did that which the Bible writers say they did, they would be judged as wicked men, by this so-called civilized world, even though the Holy Qur’an clears them. But are they really so charged, by the learned of this world, or by the masses of the people in America? Is it because the truly learned know better and the masses don’t care? Is it due to ignorance, or as some claim, the drug like effect of “religion,” and by other factors? Most people really don’t understand the Bible. So how can they understand the Holy Qur’an, which verifies the truth of the Bible?
There are Christian scholars who have said over radio that David violated nine of the Ten Commandments given by God through Moses. What is important, about this, is God’s view of David. Moreover, what we are to learn from this material, which is in the Bible? These Christians scholars teach that David is yet honored as a man after God’s own heart and a great forerunner of Jesus.
The position of the Holy Qur’an, written by Him Who outright tells the reader—and the world—that He is the Best Knower, declares all of His prophets to be sinless. So, let us ask, which view is right: the view of this world, which condemns the acts their evil ancestors accuse the prophets of committing? Or, is the view of the Holy Qur’an, respecting the moral lives of the prophets, the right one?
If Allah is right—and He certainly is—then what seemed wicked, in the lives of the prophets, was not. Makes sense? Does it really? Hopefully, we will see, better by going deeper, or higher, or both.
Consider two men sitting on a log. Each has his chin in his hand. Each has his eyes closed. Each sits very still. Are they the same? One may be daydreaming or sleeping. The other may be deep in thought; planning his next move. So what seems alike may not be alike at all.
Three men in three parts of the same city, on the same day, run over three other men. All three die. The first driver, after a full investigation and a fair trial, is sent to the electric chair. The second driver is also arrested, but later is acquitted. The last driver is allowed to leave the scene, right after questioning. What accounts for these different outcomes in these cases?
Was it a matter of such factors as the prevailing circumstances and the intentions of each driver? If actions are to be judged, evaluated and understood, in terms of the intentions or the motives—the very spirit out of which the acts were done—and if this was the criterion used in these cases where the three men were killed, this would account for the different ways each driver was treated by those invested with authority to judge and execute judgment.
If the first driver fully intended to hit the other, and the victim was properly crossing the street, and if intent to commit murder was established, the driver should be punished severely. If the second driver did not intend to hit the man, but in some regard was negligent; he should be dealt with far greater leniency than the first driver. In the third case, if the driver was doing all the proper things with and in his car, but the victim ran out from between parked cars unexpectedly, and if there was no way for the driver to stop in time, and if there were also eyewitnesses to verify this event, this would explain why this driver would be permitted to leave the scene, tragic though it was, without even being cited for wrong doing.
It was their intentions, their motives, their respective states of minds, and the overall circumstances, that determined the truth. This is what enabled the authorities to tell what was the most equitable thing to do in each case. Notice: the use of the word “equitable” rather than the simpler concept in the word “just.”
Yes, all three hit three others. All three were killed. But, is that the whole of the truth? In all three cases, we would come to unjust verdicts—certainly in two of the three cases if we sent all three drivers to the electric chair solely on the basis of the “truth,” or the clear fact, that all three killed three others.
Now, would the courts, and the judges of this world, accept the wise man’s statement, as given in Holy Qur’an? Here are his words, in 18:79:
“As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I intended to damage it for there was behind them a king who seized every boat by force.” (Muhammad Ali translation.)
Would they accept this statement as grounds to exonerate and absolve the wise man from the charge of “Moses,” to the effect, that his teacher intended to drown its owners of the boat, (18:71) in addition to damaging their property?
Which of the legal systems of this world (especially in the Western world) would accept the wise man’s position, as to why he killed the boy, in verse 80:
“And as for the boy, his parents were believers and We feared lest he should involve them in wrongdoing and disbelief. So We intended that their Lord might give them in his place one better and nearer to mercy.” (Muhammad Ali translation 18:80.)
Mr. Asad translates the Arabic of this verse this way:
“And as for that young man, his parents were (true) believers—whereas we had every reason to fear that he would bring bitter grief upon them by (his) overweening wickedness and denial of all truth: and so We desired that their Sustainer grant them in his stead (a child) of greater purity than him, and close (to them) in loving tenderness.”
Here we must take our time and read carefully. Here is Mr. Asad’s footnote #78 wherein he wrote: “Literally, ‘we feared’—but it should be borne in mind that, beyond this primary meaning, the very khashiya sometimes denotes ‘he had reason to fear’ and, consequently, ‘he knew’, that is, that something bad would happen … and so we may assume that the sages’ expression of ‘fear’ was synonymous with positive ‘knowledge’ gained through outward evidence or through mystic insight (the latter being more probable, as indicated by his statement in the second paragraph of the next verse, ‘I did not do (any of) this of my own accord’.”
Let us remember, what may be mystic to some, or most, may be commonplace to others. To state it another way what may either confuse or be paradoxical to one may be relatively simple to another.
Now, “Moses” charged:
“You have killed an innocent man who has done no harm. Surely you have committed a wicked crime.” (Dawood’s translation.) He charged his teacher with murder.
A few other translations, include words, to the effect that “Moses” said the youth was innocent of having slain another and that he, the teacher, had done a hideous or horrible thing. On what was he basing his view of the boy?
How would the judges of this world judge this matter if it were brought to them, in their courts? Is there sufficient wisdom—legal and otherwise—to provide the means by which justice (if not equity) could be achieved in these matters? Suppose this “Moses” could bring his teacher into the courts of this modern “sophisticated” world? Would the standards implied in the charges of the student, be adequate to find the wise man guilty as charged?
More next issue, Allah willing.