The Satanic Veses


Author: Salman Rushdie

From the editorial review, “No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta (“for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies”) and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie’s powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.” To which I would add that the Fatwa, which I would mention later, was behind its staying on the best-seller racks for years.
The book is of 576 pages and was Salman Rushdie’s fourth novel. It was first published in 1988 and inspired by the life of Muhammad. And from Wikipedia, “The title refers to what are known as the satanic verses, a group of apocryphal Qur’an verses that allowed for prayers of intercession to be made to three Pagan Meccan goddesses: Allāt, Uzza, and Manat.” And “ The part of the story that deals with the “satanic verses” in the book was based on the accounts of the historians al-Waqidi ( ; c. 748 – 822 AD) and al-Tabari ( 838-923 AD)” quoted from Ibn Ishaq ( died 767, or 761) whose book did not survive.Which indicates the first interpretation.

This book was behind a death sentence issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a FATWA issued on February, 1989 against Salman Rushdie which was decreed as, “I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of the Satanic Verses book which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.”
The objective of this post is not a review of the book, nor a call or an advice to read it, it does not need my ad. But it is rather  an atempt to reveal the original story that inspired the writer of most controversial debate in modern history, and the shallowness of the Fatwa against the writer who was inspired by the original story written by the first writer of the Islamic history, indicating the purpose of the revelation of the verse, ““We have not sent a prophet or apostle before you but when he longed Satan cast suggestions into his longing. But God will annul what Satan has suggested. Then God will establish his verses , God being knowing and wise.”
And therefore I would write here the original story, as was scripted by AlTabari writings from Ibn Ishaq, and gathered, as well as, translated by A. Guillaume in a book he titled as “The Life of Muhammad/ A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah”.


This is the story:
( AlTabari):
Now the apostle was anxious for the welfare of his people, wishing to attract them as far as he could. It has been mentioned that he longed for a way to attract them, and the method he adopted is what Ibn Hamid told me that Salama said M. b. Ishaq told him from Yazid b. Ziyad of Medina from M. b. Ka’b al-Qurazi: When the apostle saw that his people turned their backs on him and he was pained by their estrangement from what he brought them from God he longed that there should come to him from God a message that would reconcile his people to him. because of his love for his people and his anxiety over them it would delight him if the obstacle that made his task so difficult could be removed; so that he meditated on the project and longed for it and it was dear to him. then God sent down ‘By the star when it sets your comrade errs not and is not deceived, he speaks not from his desire,’ and when he reached His words ‘have you thought of al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza and Manat the third, the other’, Satan, when he was meditating upon it, and desiring to bring it (sc. Reconcillian) to his people, put upon his tongue ‘these are the exulted Garaniq* whose intercession is approved.’ 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; while the believers were holding that what their prophet from their Lord was true, not suspecting a mistake or a vain desire or a slip, and when he reached the prostration and the end of the Sura in which he prostrated himself the Muslims prostrated themselves when their prophet prostrated confirming what he brought and obeying his command, and the polytheists of Quraysh and others who were in the mosque prostrated when they heard the mention of their gods, so that everyone in the mosque believer and unbeliever prostrated , except al-WAlid b. al-Mughira who was an old man who could not do so, so he took a handful of dirt from the valley and bent over it. 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. He alleged in what he read that they are the exulted Ghararaniq whose intercession is approved.”
The news reached the prophet’s companions who were in Abyssinia, it being reported that Quraysh accepted Islam, so some men started to return while others remained behind. Then Gabriel came to the apostle and said, ‘What have you done, Muhammad? You have read to those people something I have not brought you from God and you have said what He did not say to you. the apostle was bitterly grieved and was greatly in fear of God. So God sent down (a revelation), for He was merciful to him, conforting him and making light of the affair and telling him that every prophet and apostle before him desired as he desired and wanted what he wanted and Satan interjected something into his desires as he had on his tongue. So God annulled what Satan had suggested. God established his verses i.e. you are just like the prophets and apostles. Then God sent down: “We have not sent a prophet or apostle before you but when he longed Satan cast suggestions into his longing. But God will annul what Satan has suggested. Then God will establish his verses , God being knowing and wise.”

* The word is said to mean” Numidian cranes” which fly at great height.

للنسخه العربيه إضغط علي الربط تحت

المنتدي الليبرالى الكويتى

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KTDP
    May 19, 2009 @ 09:56:13

    Read satanic verses a while back. Have to say it isn’t as good as people think, I think the fatwa may have added to the hype. In 50-60 years people will argue about how over-rated it was as a piece of 20th century literature.


  2. chaoticposha
    May 29, 2009 @ 22:39:34

    I read it in Arabic. What’s the big fuss about it?
    people died because of this Fatwa thingy. Seriously! don’t they have brains???

    anyhow, You might wanna correct the title of this post from veses to verses.

    peace! 🙂


  3. AyyA
    May 30, 2009 @ 05:36:58

    Thanks Chaoticposha (wow…what a name!) for bringing the title issue to my attention. I’ll fix it soon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: