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Satanic Verses

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i have read the reviews but still see nothing too contraversial.

i have read alot of it and agree that their are similarities to islam and the prophet with the house of stone in mecca and the worship of the one god (she goddes) Al lat.

to me it is an idea of what happened if mohammed used the name of the other pre islamic gods instead of Allah. Before the 99 names given by mohammed to the meccans there was the worship of the divine female goddess Al Lat.

it is a view point in a book just as the da vinci code from what i understand of the book so far

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Guest Javanmard

The book is about Indian immigration in the UK and the dream sequence of Jibril Farishta about Mecca cannot from strictly speaking fiqh point of view be called blasphemy as it is a dream by one of the protagonist and not necesseraly the author Salman Rushdie. Strangely enough it was Sunnis in Leicester who started the fuss and of course Iranians with their stupidity to try to prove to the whole world that Sunni-Shi'a unity exists jumped on the wagon. That really was the most stupid move by the Iranians. In any case the real tragedy is that most people read the book because of the affair and not because of its literary merit. It's very well written and as I said before deals much more with the immigrant experience than Islam...

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The title of Rushdie's novel refers to a story found in both the authoratative biography of Mohammed and in the works of al-Tabari, the great early muslim historian and compiler of Qur'an commentaries. While many muslim scholars regard this story as a forger, it would nevertheless be an early one. Western scholars of Islam, such as W M Watt, argue that a story like this, which is so contrary to subsequent belief, is more likely to be true then to have been invented.

Muhammed met opposition in part because in attacking polytheism, he was implicitly attacking the religious belief of his contemporary's ancestors. One of al-Tabari's accounts says that Muhammed was wishing for a revalation, which would make his situaion with his fellow citizens of Mecca less contentious. At this point he recited Sura 53:19-20, "Have you considered al-Lat and al-'Uzza and Manat the third, the other." Al-Lat simply means "the Goddess." Al -'Uzza means "the mighty one" - equated with Venus (the morning star), and very popular among the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. Manat means fate or destiny, which is key concept of pre-Islamic Arabic religion.

These goddesses are referred to as the daughters of Allah, which may originally simply mean "femanine divine beings." They had shrines in the area of Mecca in pre-Islamic times. According to al-Tabari's version - Muhammed added, "these are exhalted females (or litearally, great birds) whose intercession is to be desired," which seems to allow a subordinate role for the three goddesses.

And why not after all? Islam accepted the existance of various beings between people and God, such as angels and jinn so why not accept these beings as a conciliatory measure to the inhabitants of Mecca who were delighted by Muhammed's words. However, this would have been to return to polytheism. Subsequently, Gabriel informed Muhammed that he'd been led astray by Satan. Muhammed deleted the statement about the intercessory role of the goddess and substituted newly revealed verses including verse 53:23 that says that the three goddesses are mere names and do not truly exist. The deleted verses are known as the Satanic Verses. Whether the story goes back to Muhammed himself or not, it reflects struggles with the issues of "unity" and "association."

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