By Mohammad Asghar
Most humans consider lying to be a despicable act. To prevent them from lying, some nations have enacted laws with a view to punishing the liars. In the United States , liars are punished by imprisonment. Yet, many Americans do not hesitate to lie, if it is likely to bring them power, monetary gains and the accolades and respect of their families and societies.
Criminals of all colors, caste and creed also lie to escape punishments for their crimes; petty thieves do the same for the same reason. There are many others who, though appear to have gentle and attractive countenances, feel no qualm in using the venom of their lies, when the use of it is likely to destroy their real and perceived enemies.
The severity of lies depends on the magnitude of success that lies are expected to bring to the liars. Therefore, the world has seen a large number of both small and big liars ever since humans started walking on earth’s surface. It would continue to hold liars on its bosom until the time it disappears from the solar system of our universe.
Throughout human history liars were able not only to bring wealth, fame and power to themselves, they also succeeded in enslaving a large number of mankind by combining lies with their power of manipulation. In support of my statement, I cite a few examples of lies, which had been impacting our lives from the time humans began treating those lies, not as lies, but as truths.
When, over 3,300 years ago, some manipulative Hebrews wanted to establish their hegemony over their fellow religionists, they concocted the story of their exodus from Egypt , supposedly under the leadership of a leader, they named only Moses, together with clothing him with the garb of a prophet. They projected him as being the only human being with whom Allah (God in English) spoke in person on the summit of Mount Sinai , and gave him the Book, now called the Torah.
Some 2,000 years ago, when another group of manipulative people wished to subject the Jews to their rule, they had a virgin girl given birth to a son, who is now known as Jesus Christ. In his manhood, this son of a virgin mother, rightly claiming that he was a “Son of God,” declared that many of the things the Jews had been doing for ages were wrong and that he was sent by his Father to set them on the path of righteousness and honorable living. He wore the mantle of a religious reformer to seize power from the rabbis, and to declare himself the King of the Jews, if he succeeded with his ploy.
In the struggle for power, Jesus lost. When the powerful Jewish rabbis succeeded in securing, for him, a death sentence, which was to be carried out through crucifixion, his All-Powerful Father i.e. Allah did not intervene; instead, He permitted his son’s enemy to execute him brutally so that He could use his holy blood for the expiation of his followers’ sins.
Approximately seven hundred years after Christ’s crucifixion, an illiterate but highly intelligent man by the name of Muhammad, rose from the desert of Arabia to shackle a large number of human beings to a creed he called Islam. Since he lacked the credentials of Moses, who claimed to have talked to Allah, and of Jesus Christ, who claimed he was sired by Allah Himself, Muhammad needed something “unimaginable” to happen to him so that he could set himself above all the so-called prophets of the yore.
An amorous affair afforded him the opportunity to excel the credentials of the previous prophets: After missing the company of his wife for sometime, Muhammad was sleeping one night in the house of his cousin, who was a widow and who lived by herself. When in the morning his Companions wanted to know from him where he had been all night, he came up with the story of the night journey, which could not have been witnessed by any human being, in order to hide his whereabouts from his inquisitors.
None of Muhammad’s acolytes (known as “Companions” to his followers) believed him. To convince them, he made Allah to give him the following revelation:
17:1: “Glory to (Allah) who did take His Servant for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless, – in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things)”
His Companions, excepting Abu Bakr, remained unconvinced by the revelation, as it talked only about Muhammad’s so-called journey by night from the Mosque of Mecca to the Farthest Mosque, which, according to the verse, must have existed at an unnamed location in 620 A.D. Abu Bakr came to his rescue and declared that he believed in what he had told them about his journey, thus earning for himself the title of “Siddique” i.e. “the speaker of the truth” from his friend, the Prophet of Islam.
Apart from trying to know something about the purported location and the existence of the Quran’s Farthest Mosque, let us examine briefly the quality of language Allah has used in His above revelation.
Allah used the word “We” in the verse for Himself, knowing well that Emperors and Kings, too, used it for identifying themselves in and before their courts and subjects. When they identified themselves in plural, it was believed to have convinced their audience with the power they carried simultaneously with the power of forgiveness and mercy with which Allah had endowed them. They are known to have remained constant with the use of the word “We” to identify themselves; even in their private lives, they avoided the use of the word “I” during their conversations. This habit of theirs showed constancy not only in the use of their words, but also in their actions.
But adherence to certain principles does not seem to have remained a hallmark of Allah, for, in one sentence of His conversation, He addresses Himself as “We” and in the next, He changes it to “He” thus giving us the impression that there are two Allahs- one, who, as stated in the above verse, blessed the precincts of the Farthest Mosque; the other, who hears and sees everything humans do in their lives.
Scholars, irrespective of their religious affiliations and geographical locations, have never questioned the quality of language using which, Allah has spoken to the Muslims through the Quran. On the other hand, the same scholars have chastised many among them, who, they thought, had violated their well formulated linguistic norms, which all of them are required to follow, while expressing themselves through their speeches and writings. This attitude of theirs is hypocritical, to put it mildly. They need to change it, if they wish to bring credibility to themselves as well as to what they say and write in their treatises and books.
The Quran infers and Muslim scholars take this inference to mean that Muhammad had traveled to the Masjid-ul-Aqsa (literal meaning of the words “Furthest Mosque”), which was supposed be located where its namesake stands today in Jerusalem , on the back of an animal that wore the face of a beautiful woman. Here, he is reported to have led all the prophets of the past into a congregational prayer. Without explaining why this animal had a woman’s face, they insist that their Prophet had ridden it through all the seven heavens without a saddle and rein (see Jami’s original fifteenth century painting preserved in the British Museum ).
Muhammad’s ability to ride on the back of an animal without a saddle and rein, and then to gallop through the vast expanse of the space, makes him an exceptional rider of the world. It was only he who could have performed this extraordinary and unheard of feat; others attempting it would have slipped off from the back of their rides, and become forever a part of our universe’s gravitational activities.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali had to say the following on this issue: “The Farthest Mosque must refer to the site of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem on the hill of Moriah, at or near which stands the Dome of the Rock, called also the Mosque of Hadhrat Umar. This and the Mosque known as the Farthest Mosque (Masjid-ul-Aqsa) were completed by the Amir “And-ul-Malik in A. H. 68.”” (The Holy Quran, Vol. 1, p. 693).
Other sources also tell us almost an identical story: That the Dome of the Rock, also known as “Qubbat As-Sakhra” in Arabic, came into being between 687 and 691 A.D. through the initiatives of Caliph Abd-ul- Malik.
From the above historical references, it becomes crystal clear that at the time, Muslims believe, Muhammad had landed in Jerusalem on his way to the 7th heaven, there existed no mosque on the hill of Moriah. It could not have existed there then, because in 620 A.D., Islam was still in its cradle; its tranquilizing fangs still remaining un-developed and the sword it needed to expand its influence throughout the earth still sheathed.
The truth being the above, Muslims need to ask themselves: Why the Quran says that there existed a mosque in Jerusalem in 620 A.D., when there was no possibility for one to be built, and maintained, by the Muslims on the soil of a Jew-dominated land?
The truth lies in the fact that Muhammad had never traveled to Jerusalem on the back of a woman, having the body of a horse; that he never ascended to the seventh heaven corporeally and that he made up the story of a mysterious journey to fool his Companions on the question they had raised on his whereabouts during the night he was spending in the company of his cousin, Umm Hani. This was the greatest lie ever spoken by a man; without it, Islam would have died its natural death a long, long time ago. And without Islam, the earth would have remained much better a place for all humans to live together in peace and harmony.