The Satanic Verses in Qur’an

The Satanic Verses in Qur’an

Sura an-Najm (Star) 53:19-22

Now tell me about Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat,
The third one, another goddess.
What! For you the males and for him the females!
That indeed is an unfair division.
أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ اللَّاتَ وَالْعُزَّى
وَمَنَاةَ الثَّالِثَةَ الْأُخْرَى
أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الْأُنثَى
تِلْكَ إِذًا قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى. سورة النجم – سورة ‏٥٣: ١٩-٢٢‏

When Muhammad and his community came under severe persecution, eighty-three of his followers who had no protection emigrated from Mecca to Ethiopia, taking refuge in the ancient Christian country, Abyssinia.1 Under increasing boycotts and pressure, Muhammad went through a time of weakness and compromised with the Meccan pagans by acknowledging the existence of three pagan goddesses alongside Allah: Lat, Uzza, and Manat.2 The Arabian goddesses are mentioned in Sura an-Najm (Star) 53:19-22.

The statement that Allah was involved with female goddesses while Muhammad and his people were left with men, was cynically discussed by author Salman Rushdie.3 He made the impure account even more obscene. His book was regarded as utterly blasphemous by all Muslims.

When the inhabitants of Mecca heard Muhammad’s confess the importance of the ancient goddesses inside the Ka’aba, they immediately revoked their ban on him. Those who had immigrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) started to return home after hearing  Muhammad’s confession and his acceptance in Mecca. But when they arrived, they were shocked to hear that Muhammad had retracted his confession and admitted that he had fallen prey to the whispering of Satan. Thus, today Islam considers Sura an-Najm (Star) 53:19-22 are related to the time when Muhammad spoke the the Satanic Verses. Salman Rushdie did not invent the Satanic verses.4

In Sura Hajj (Pilgrimage) 22:52-53, Muhammad confessed his mistake, alleging that all prophets were tempted by Satan who inspire them with demonic verses, as if they were actually revealed by God. But later on Allah abrogated those Satanic Verses with new revelations and instructs his prophets with new verses. According to Islam, Allah permits such demonic inspiration to test weak believers and to cut off those with hardened hearts.

   Never did We send a messenger or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom:
   That He may make the suggestions thrown in by Satan, but a trial for those in whose hearts is a disease and who are hardened of heart: verily the wrong-doers are in a schism far (from the Truth): Hajj (Pilgrimage) 22:52-53. Yusuf ‘Ali’s translation

The true, vital issue about the Satanic verses is this. If Muhammad were unable to distinguish Satan’s voice from God’s voice, then could there be verses in the Qur’an that Muhammad assumed were from God but were really from Satan? Maybe much of the Qur’an is Satanic in origin, in spite of Muhammad’s conviction that it was entirely from Allah.

The Qur’an clearly states that Muhammad spoke in the name of God and that he said things that God had not commanded him!  Next, he charges that all the prophets of God voiced Satanic statements! According to the holy law of God, Muhammad ought to have been put to death as a false prophet! According to the Holy Scriptures, if a prophet spoke anything in the name of LORD that was not from Him, the prophet must be put to death! Muhammad spoke in the name of Allah and then admitted that he had really spoken the words of Satan.

But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. Deuteronomy 18:20 (NIV)

Ibn Ishaq

The complete text of Muhammad’s episode with Satan is found in writings of the most ancient Muslim historian, Ibn Ishaq.2 The text follows with its footnotes. (T. is an abbreviation for the Muslim historian, at-Tabari.)

The Life of Muhammad


(T. 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 own desire,’ and when he reached His words ‘Have ‎you thought of al-Lat and al-‘Uzza and Manat the third, the other’,‎ 5 Satan, when he was ‎meditating upon it, and desiring to bring it


The Life of Muhammad

(sc. reconciliation) to his people, put upon his tongue ‎‎’these are the exalted Gharaniq 1 ‎whose intercession is approved.’ 2 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 brought them from their ‎Lord was true, not suspecting a mistake or a vain desire or a slip, and when he reached the ‎prostration ‎3 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 exalted Gharaniq whose intercession is ‎approved.’‎

The news reached the prophet’s companions who were in Abyssinia, it being reported that ‎Quraysh had 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 these ‎people something I did not bring 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, comforting 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 and 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.’ ‎4 Thus God relieved his prophet’s grief, and ‎made him feel safe from his fears and annulled what Satan had suggested in the words used ‎above about their gods by his revelation ‘Are yours the males and His the females? That were ‎indeed an unfair division’ (i.e. most unjust); ‘they are nothing but names which your fathers gave ‎them as far as the words ‘to whom he pleases and accepts’,‎5‎ i.e. how can the intercession of their ‎gods avail with Him?‎

When the annulment of what Satan had put upon the prophet’s tongue

The Life of Muhammad


came from God, ‎Quraysh said: ‘Muhammad has repented of what he said about the position of your gods with ‎Allah, altered it and brought something else.’ Now those two words which Satan had put upon ‎the apostle’s tongue were in the mouth of every polytheist and they became more violently ‎hostile to the Muslims and the apostle’s followers. Meanwhile those of his companions who had ‎left Abyssinia when they heard that the people of Mecca had accepted Islam when they ‎prostrated themselves with the apostle, heard when they approached Mecca that the report was ‎false and none came into the town without the promise of protection or secretly. Of those who ‎did come into Mecca and stayed there until he migrated to Medina and were present at Badr with ‎him was ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan . . . with his wife Ruqayya d. of the apostle and Abu Hudhayfa b. ‎‎’Utba with his wife Sahla d. of Suhayl, and a number of others, in all thirty-three men.‎ ‎1

5 Sura 53. 1-20.
1 The word is said to mean ‘Numidian cranes’ which fly at a great height.‎
2‎ Another reading is turtaja ‘to be hoped for’.‎
3‎ Mentioned in the last verse of the Sura.‎‎
4‎ Sura 22. 51. The following verse is not without relevance in this context: ‘that He may make what Satan suggested ‎a temptation to those whose hearts are diseased and hardened’.‎
5  Sura 53. 19-27.
1‎ A parallel tradition from M. b. Ka’b al-Qurazi and M. b. Qays is given by T. 1195-6.


The complete text of al-Tabari’s account of the Satanic verse follows.5 As can be seen from al-Tabari’s writings, the evidence is conclusive that Muhammad was used by Satan. To excuse his own conduct, Muhammad blamed Satan, and then he defamed all the prophets when he claimed that Satan casts words into the mouths of all the prophets. In other words, Muhammad charged that all the prophets uttered words under the inspiration of Satan!  This Qur’anic verse is itself a Satanic Verse woven into the very fabric of the Qur’an. Muhammad offered not the slightest proof to substantiate his wicked defamation of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, etc.

Never did We send a Messenger or a Prophet before you, but; when he did recite the revelation or narrated or spoke, Shait? (Satan) threw (some falsehood) in it. But All? abolishes that which Shait? (Satan) throws in. Then All? establishes His Revelations. And All? is All-Knower, All-Wise: Sura al-Hajj 22:52 (Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali & Muhammad Muhsin Khan’s Translation)

Other Events up to the Hijrah


Satan Casts a False Revelation on

the Messenger of God’s Tongue

The Messenger of God was eager for the welfare of his people and


Muhammad at Mecca

wished to effect a reconciliation with them in whatever ways he could. It is said that he wanted to find a way to do this, and what happened was as follows. 170

Ibn Humayd—Salamah–Muhammad b. Ishaq—Yazid b. Ziyad al-Madani—Muhammad b. Kali al-Qurazi: When the Messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed out, and he debated with himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed: 171

By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is

he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire .. .

and when he came to the words:

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-‘Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words:

These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval. 172

When Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced and were happy and delighted at the way in which he spoke of their gods, and they lis?tened to him, while the Muslims, having complete trust in their Prophet in respect of the messages which he brought from God, did not suspect him of error, illusion, or mistake. When he came to the prostration, having completed the surah, he prostrated himself and the Muslims did likewise, following their Prophet, trust?ing in the message which he had brought and following his example. Those polytheists of the Quraysh and others who were in the

Other Events up to the Hijrah


Mosque 173 likewise prostrated themselves because of the reference [1193] to their gods which they had heard, so that there was no one in the mosque, believer or unbeliever, who did not prostrate himself. The one exception was al-Walid b. al-Mughirah, who was a very old man and could not prostrate himself; but he took a handful of soil from the valley in his hand and bowed over that. Then they all dispersed from the mosque. The Quraysh left delighted by the mention of their gods which they had heard, saying, “Muhammad has mentioned our gods in the most favorable way possible, stat?ing in his recitation that they are the high-flying cranes and that their intercession is received with approval.”

The news of this prostration reached those of the Messenger of God’s Companions who were in Abyssinia and people said, “The Quraysh have accepted Islam.” Some rose up to return, while others remained behind. Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, “Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.” Then the Messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consol?ing him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who de sired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad’s tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast, and estab?lished his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers, and revealed:

Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he recited (the Message) Satan cast words into his recitation ( umniyyah ).God abrogates what Satan casts. Then God established his verses. God is knower, wise. 174


Muhammad at Mecca

Thus God removed the sorrow from his Messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared and cancelled the words [1194] which Satan had cast on his tongue, that their gods were the high-flying cranes whose intercession was accepted with approval. He now revealed, following the mention of “al-Lat, al-‘Uzza and Manat, the third, the other,” the words:

Are yours the males and his the females? That indeed were an unfair division! They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers …

to the words:

to whom he wills and accepts. 175

This means, how can the intercession of their gods avail with God?

When Muhammad brought a revelation from God cancelling what Satan had cast on the tongue of His Prophet, the Quraysh said, “Muhammad has repented of what he said concerning the position of your gods with God, and has altered it and brought something else.” Those two phrases which Satan had cast on the tongue of the Messenger of God were in the mouth of every polytheists, and they became even more ill-disposed and more violent in their persecution of those of them who had accepted Islam and followed the Messenger of God.

Those of the Companions of the Messenger of God who had left Abyssinia upon hearing that Quraysh had accepted Islam by prostrating themselves with the Messenger of God now approached. When they were near Mecca, they heard that the report that the people of Mecca had accepted Islam was false. Not one of them entered Mecca without obtaining protection or entering secretly. Among those who came to Mecca and remained there until they emigrated to al-Madinah and were present with the Prophet at Badr, were, from the Banu ‘Abd Shams b. ‘Abd Manaf b. Qusayy, ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan b. Abi al-‘As b. Umayyah, accompanied by his wife Ruqayyah the daughter of the Messenger of God; Abu Hudhayfah b. ‘Utbah b. Rabi’ah b. ‘Abd Shams, accompanied  by his [1195] wife Sahlah bt. Suhayl; together with a number of others number‑

Other Events up to the Hijrah


ing thirty-three men.

Al-Qasim b. al-Hasan—al-Husayn b. Daud—Hajja—Abu Ma-‘shar—Muhammad b. Ka’b al-Qurazi and Muhammad b. Qays: The Messenger of God was sitting in a large gathering of Quraysh, wishing that day that no revelation would come to him from God which would cause them to turn away from him. Then God revealed:

By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived …

and the Messenger of God recited it until he came to:

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-‘Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

when Satan cast on his tongue two phrases:

These are the high flying cranes; verily their intercession is to be desired. 176

He uttered them and went on to complete the surah. When he prostrated himself at the end of the surah, the whole company prostrated themselves with him. Al-Walid b. al-Mughirah raised some dust to his forehead and bowed over that, since he was a very old man and could not prostrate himself. They were satisfied with what Muhammad had uttered and said, “We recognize that it is God who gives life and death, who creates and who provides sustenance, but if these gods of ours intercede for us with him, and if you give them a share, we are with you.”

That evening Gabriel came to him and reviewed the surah with him, and when he reached the two phrases which Satan had cast upon his tongue he said, “I did not bring you these two.” Then the Messenger of God said, “I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken.” Then God revealed to him:

And they indeed strove hard to beguile you away from what we have revealed to you, that you should invent other than it against us …


Muhammad at Mecca

to the words:

and then you would have found no helper against us. 177

He remained grief-stricken and anxious until the revelation of the verse:

[1196]    Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you …

to the words

… God is knower, wise. 178

When those who had emigrated to Abyssinia heard that all the people of Mecca had accepted Islam, they returned to their clans, saying, “They are more dear to us”; but they found that the people had reversed their decision when God cancelled what Satan had cast upon the Messenger of God’s tongue.

170 This section is also omitted by Ibn Hisham, perhaps because he felt it was discreditable to the Prophet.
171 Surah 53; the verses quoted are 1-3 and 19-20.
172 An alternative reading to turtada is turtaja, meaning, “is to be desired or hoped for.”
173 The sacred area around the Ka’bah was not, of course, an Islamic mosque at this period, though the word masjid, “place of prostration, mosque,” seems to have been applied to it.
174 22-52. The translation deviates here from that of Pickthall in order to make it correspond with what is required by Tabari’s account. The meanings for tamanna and umniyyah, “recite” and “recitation,” are well attested (see Lisan s.v. M-N-Y). An alternative rendering for this verse would be: “Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he formed a wish Satan threw ( some vanity) into his desire ….”
175 53:21-23,26, Tabari explains diza, “unfair,” as meaning ‘ awja , ” crooked.”
176 Surah 53. This version of the false verses has la-turja, “to be desired or hoped for.”
177 17:73, 75.
178 22:52.

In Islam, the angel Gabriel is regarded as the Holy Spirit. For Muslims, no Holy Spirit exists as described in the Gospel. They believe that the spirit of God was originally created like angels and demons. The Muslim’s spirit of God has a beginning in time. There is no guidance by the spirit, no comfort, no everlasting life, and no spirit of Truth, because the Holy Spirit is only considered to be the Angel Gabriel.

The spirit in Islam, therefore, is not a divine one, but a spirit effecting deep devotion, repetitive worship, many prayers, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimages (Hajj). But there is no life or true Holy Spirit.

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
Have you suffered so much for nothing– if it really was for nothing?
Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Galatians 3:1-5 (NIV)

By means of deep religiosity and devotion, this false view of Allah has bound more than a billion Muslims in religious slavery, barring them from the gift of salvation in Christ. Indeed he has vaccinated them against the true understanding the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

May 7, 2004