The Companions and the Jewish Influence Part 1

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ


Putting the fictitious Abdullah Ibn Saba aside, there have been some non-fictitious Jews who influenced the companions in a great deal. The attitude of Imam ‘Ali (as) towards new converts from the people of the Scriptures was very alert, as he (as) preserved the purity of the Islamic Teachings. They didn’t listen to allegations from those who adopted Islam and claimed to have knowledge in religion through the Old Testament and wanted to pass it on to Islam.

This sober attitude was taken by Imam ‘Ali (as), while the prominent companions (in the eyes of the the Sunnis), were decieved by these scriptural scholars. I shall mention some of them in my discussion.

Kaab Al-Ahbar

A man named from Yemen named Kaab Ibn Mati al-Humyari also nicknamed as Abu Ishaq, from the Clan of Thee Ra-een (or the Clan of Thee al-Kila a) came to Medina during the time of Umar. He was a prominent Rabbi and came to be known as Kaab al-Ahbar. He declared his Islam and resided in Medina until the days of Usman. In this first part (Part I) I shall examine some of the claims that he made, his deceiving Caliph Umar, his participation in the plot of Caliph’s assination and Imam ‘Ali’s (as) attitude towards him.

This new Muslim was not an imaginary person as the Jew Abdullah Ibn Saba, indeed Kaab was a real person, since he resided in Medina and was looked upon with hight prestige by the second and the third Caliphs. He narrated many stories claiming that they were from the Old testemant. Many famous companions such as

- Abu Huraira
- Abdullah Ibn Umar
- Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-Aas
- Muawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan

reported his stories. This international Rabbi had reported many strange tales, the contents of which testify for their own lack of authenticity.

One such tale is as follows:-

A companions named Qais Ibn Kharshah al-Qaisi reported that Kaab Al

Ahbar said:

Every event that has taken place or will take place on any foot of the earth, is written in the Tourat (Old Testament), which Allah revelaed to his Prophet Moses (as).

Sunni Reference:

Ibn Abdul Barr - al-Istiab, v3, p1287
Printed in Cairo 1380 A.H

Such a report should arouse the attention of the readers, because it states that which is in-conceivable. The earth contains billions of square miles, each mile contains millions of cubic feet (for lack of proper arithmetic), and each part of the earth may become a place of thousands of events from the time of Prophet Moses (as) untill the Day of Judgement. Yet, Kaab claimed that all these events are recorded in the Old Testament.

The parts of the Old Testament which were dictated or written by Prophet Moses (as), don’t come to 400 pages. Recording all the events of the World bewteen the time of Moses (as) till the day of Judgement, may take millions of pages.

Furthermore, the pages of the Old Testament do not record future events. All they contains are some past events which took place during or before the time of the biblical Prophets. Considering these aspects, the claim that Kaab made belies itself.

Ka’b Al-Ahbar Counts The Days Of The Caliph Umar

This rabbi was able to deceive many companions through his trickery. Ka’b’s influence had grown during the days of Umar’s caliphate to such a degree that he was able to say to Umar:

Ka’b: Amir al-Mu’minin, you ought to write your will because you will die in three days.

Umar: How do you know that ?

Ka’b: I found it in the Book of God, the Taurat (Old Testament).

Umar: By God do you find Umar Ibn al-Khattab in the Old Testament ?

Ka’b: By God, no. But I found your description in the Old Testament and your time is coming to an end.

Umar: But I do not feel any pain or sickness

On the following day Ka’b came to Umar and said: Amir al-Mu’minin, one day has passed and you have only two more days.

The following day Ka’b came to him and said: Amir al-Mu’minin, two days have gone and you have only one day and one night remaining.

The following morning Abu Lulu appeared carrying a dagger with two heads and a handle in the middle. He hit Umar six times, one of them hit the Caliph in the navel, killing him.

Sunni reference:

Tabari - History of al-Tabari, v4, p191
Printed by Dar al-Maarif - Cairo

Looking at the Old Testament, one does not find any names or predictions of Umar. Also no Rabbi other than Ka’b claimed that the Old Testament predicted the existence of Umar, his murder, or defined the time of his death. Had information of this kind been contained in the Tourat, the Jews would have been proud of it and would have used it in an attempt to prove that the Jewish religion is the right religion.

If the above Sunni account were true, it would imply that Umar’s assassination was a conspiracy of Ka’b and his associates. Announcing the event before it took place would make the companions believe in what Ka’b predicted and what he claimed to be recorded in the Old Testament, therefore making him a reliable source for future information. Such confidence would enable him to interfere in major events and suggest the name of the future Caliph. A number of prominent companions believed the information that Ka’b used to fabricate pertaining to the past and the future.

On the other hand, if the above prediction of event, documented in the Sunni history, is false and a pure fabrication, then it shows how much Ka’b and his supporters among the Sunnis were able to fabricate historical documents to elevate Ka’b’s position, and to manipulate the history of Islam.

Kaab did not speak only about the events that happened on the earth, but he also gave information concerning the heavens and the Divine throne. Al Qurtubi in his Commentary on the Qur’anic Chapter of Ghafir reported that Kaab said:

When God created his throne, the throne said: ‘ God didn’t create any creature greater than me. ‘ The throne then shook itself to show it’s glory. God roped the throne with a snake which had 70 thousand wings; each wing had 70 thousand feathers; each feather had 70 thousand faces; each face had 70 thousand mouths, and each mouth had 70 thousand tounges.

Out of these mouths words glorifying Allah with a quantity equal to the number of drops of rain that have fallen, and the leaves on the trees, and the number of pieces of gravel and soil and the number of the days of the world, and the number of angels. The snake coiled around the throne, for the throne was much smaller than the snake. The throne was covered by only half the snake.

Imam ‘Ali’s (as) Attitude Towards Kaab

Umar and a number of prominent companions had a very positive attitude towards Kaab. However the most knowledgable and the most farsighted among them, namely, Imam ‘Ali (as) discredited Kaab. Kaab did not dare to come close to Imam ‘Ali (as), despite the fact that the Imam was in Medina for the duration of Kaab’s stay. It is reported that Imam ‘Ali (as) said about Kaab: Certainly he is a professional liar!

Ibn Abbas’s Attitude Towards Kaab

Tabari notes in his chronicles that Ibn Abbas (as) was told:

Kaab says that on the day of the judgement the sun and the moon will be brought forth like two (2) stupefide bulls and thrown to hell!

Upon hearing this Ibn Abbas (as) was enraged and retorted three (3) times:

Kaab is a liar!
Kaab is a liar!
Kaab is a liar!

This is a Jewish notion, and Kaab wants to introduce it into Islam. Allah is free from the things they attribute to Him. He never punishes those who obey. Have you not heard that Allah says in the Qur’an:

And He has made subject you the sun and the moon, both diligently pursuing their course (Ibrahim 33)

Ibn Abbas further said:
The word ‘Daibain’ used in this Verse denotes constant obedience to Allah.

Then he continued:

How can He punish these two (2) heavenly bodies whom He Himself praises for obedience. God curse the Jewish Scholar and his learning! What a shameless audacity to attribute Lies to Allah, and to impute guilt to the two (2) obedient creatures!

Having said this, Ibn Abbas said this three (3) times:

To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return!
To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return!
To Allah we belong and unto Him shall we return!

Then Ibn Abbas went on to narrate what the Prophet (Peace and Salutations to his cleansed and Pure Progeny) had actually said about the sun and the moon:

Allah created two sources of light! That which He named the Sun was like the Earth, between the points of rising and setting. And that which He ordained to be lustreless at times, He called the moon and made it smaller than the Sun. And both of them appear to be small because of their height in the sky and their distance from the earth.

Sunni reference:

Tabari - History of al-Tabari, v1, p62 - 63
European Edition

This concludes my first part of the discussion, Insha Allah in the future portions I shall further pursue these topics:

- Kaab’s interference in the Caliphate
- Kaab’s during the reign of the Third Caliph