The following is a response to a comment by Mr. Jochen Katz on the foregoing article.
Mr. Katz, while providing a link to my response on “Quick or Slow Creation?” on his page, writes:
A Muslim response which forgets to take into account that the understanding of “yawm” as ordinary week days are not just those of fallible scholars, but the understanding of Muhammad himself as pointed out in the link above.
I would like to clarify here that my response dealt with whether “kun fayakun” necessarily implies instantaneous creation or not. I have not explicitly negated the chance that the creation could have taken place in ‘six days of a week’ rather than ‘six stages’. Although, in view of the current findings, it seems more likely, in my opinion, that it was ‘six stages’ rather than ‘six days of a week’. In either case, the fact remains that the referred statement due to which Mr. Katz has given the stated comment is not a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) but a saying ascribed to him. It comes through a number of narrators. Each telling the other about it.
Muslim (the compiler of “Sahih Muslim”) was told by Suraij ibn Yunus and Haroon ibn `abd Allah who say:
that Hajjaj ibn Mohammad told them:
that Ibn Juraij said:
that Ismail ibn Umayyah told me
from Ayub ibn Khalid
from `abd Allah ibn Rafe`
from Abu Hurairah…
So, when Muslim quotes this narrative, it is not the Prophet (pbuh) who told him in person about it, it was Suraij and Haroon, whom Muslim believed to be trustworthy, who told him that such such person told them and so on… upto the Prophet (pbuh). In view of this fact, it is quite obvious that the referred statement could not be said to a statement of the Prophet (pbuh), but a statement ascribed to him. If it really was the Prophet (pbuh) who said it, its truth shall be known to the world, sooner or later, but if it was wrongly ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh) [simply because of a misperception or a misunderstanding on the part of JUST ONE narrator], the statement loses all its importance.
I, therefore, do not agree with Mr. Katz when he says that such and such was the understanding of Mohammad [pbuh]. It was not the understanding of Mohammad (pbuh), but the understanding ascribed to Mohammad (pbuh), with a chance, obviously, that the ascription is wrong.
Moreover, Mr. Katz seems to have forgotten in his comment that at the moment we are discussing the “proposed” contradictions in the Qur’an, not contradictions in “Science and Hadith”…
© Copyright December 1998. All Rights Reserved with the Author