The Hashwiyya, Mujassima, and Mushabbiha

(a) According to some of the Hashwiyya, the Prophet was a disbeliever (kafir) before his prophethood on the basis of the verses: “Did He not find you wandering and direct you?” (93:7), “Before this, you were among the heedless” (12:3), and “You knew not what the Scripture was, nor what was the Faith” (42:52). This is stated in Fakhr al-Din al-Razi’s al-Tafsir al-Kabir under the verses cited. Their claim was rejected by the scholars as there is consensus, apart from the Hashwiyya, whereby the Prophet was made immune to sin (ma`sum) both before and after prophethood in the light of the verse “Your companion errs not, nor is deceived” (53:2).[29] Note that this belief of the Hashwiyya remains a staple of diehard Orientalist historians to the present day.[30]

(b) The Hashwiyya hold, like Jews and Christians, that it is possible for Prophets to intentionally commit all sorts of major and minor sins after prophethood. Some of them specified “openly,” others, “secretly.”[31] This claim was also rejected by the vast majority of the scholars (al-jumhur) on the basis of the consensus of the Predecessors (ijma` al-salaf) whereby it is impossible for Prophets to deliberately commit major sins or contemptible minor ones (al-saghuEEra al-khasuEEsa).[32]


[22] As quoted in Hujjiyyat al-Sunna (p. 110).

[23] This is related with fair (hasan) or sound (sahuEEh) chains by Ibn Abi `Asim in his Kitab al-Sunna from `Ikrima (p. 299 #667), Mujahid (p. 300 #673-675), al-Hasan al-Basri (p. 301 #680), al-Sha`bi (p. 302 #682-683), Sa`id ibn Jubayr (p. 302 #685-686), al-Dahhak ibn Muzahim (p. 303 #688-689), and with weak chains from Ibn `Abbas (p. 299 # 665) and from the Prophet through Burayda in Tabarani.

[24] See the section entitled “Allah’s Speech” of al-Bayhaqi’s al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat, translation forthcoming.

[25] Al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id said: “Its chain contains Yahya ibn Sabiq who is weak.”

[26] In Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (3:421-422).

[27] Op. cit. (9:39).

[28] Op. cit. (8:89) as translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller in Reliance of the Traveller (p. 1046).

[29] Consensus is reported in Razi’s Muhsal Afkar al-Mutaqaddimin wa al-Muta’akhkhirin (p. 160-161) and al-Tafsir al-Kabir (7:506, 8:451-452), Abu Muhammad al-Bataliusi’s (d. 521) al-Insaf fi al-Tanbih `ala al-Asbab al-Lati Awjabat al-Ikhtilaf (“Equity in Signalling the Causes Which Necessitate Disagreement”) p. 71-74, Muhammad `Abduh’s Tafsir Juz’ `Amma (p. 110-112), and others such as al-Qadi `Iyad (d. 544) in al-Shifa’, al-Qastallani (d. 923) in al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya, and Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Alawi al-Maliki in Muhammad al-Insan al-Kamil (“Muhammad the Perfect Human Being”).

[30] Cf. F.E. Peters’ book on the Prophet and what he named “The Quest for the Historical Muhammad.”

[31] This is reported in al-Razi’s `Isma al-Anbiya’ (“The Immunity of Prophets” p. 27), al-Sharif al-Murtada’s Tanzih al-Anbiya’ (“The Sanctification of Prophets” p. 2-3) and in Sharh al-Maqasid (2:142). [32] See al-Qadi `Iyad’s al-Shifa’ (2:137-139), al-Razi’s al-Muhassal (p. 161) and `Isma al-Anbiya’, al-Iji’s (d. 756) al-Mawaqif (p. 359), and Sharh al-Mawaqif (3:205).

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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