Friday, June 14, 2024 AD / Dhul-Hijjah 7, 1445 AH
Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani
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Critique & Response

1- From page 250 to page 253 [of the book “Return to Islam”] the infallibility of the Prophets is discussed. The Imamiyyah Shia consider the Prophets infallible from any kind of mistake or sin, either major or minor, intentionally or inadvertently, before and after the prophecy, and consider the mentioned cases about sin or their honors asking forgiveness from the kind of failure to do the better. What is his honor’s opinion about this belief?

2- In page 252, it is mentioned about Prophet David (peace be upon him) having ninety-nine wives, asked his brother to divorce his only wife in order to marry her. The question that rises is how can an infallible Prophet have such a request from his brother?! What is the justification for such an action?!

 It is not mentioned like this in the Shia’s commentaries, but it is quoted by Imam Reza (peace be upon him) that his Excellency David (peace be upon him), since those two persons came up from the wall of his house and quickly came to him for judgment, became anxious and although he made a right judgment, he did not follow the principles of judgment due to the anxiety and uneasiness, meaning he questioned the accused and did not ask any question from the claimer. As a result, having noticed such an issue, he asked forgiveness. Please explain more about this issue.

Please pay attention to the following points:

No body, except for God, is infallible from any oversight, mistake and forgetfulness and with this description, considering the Prophets infallible from them is considered exaggeration; because the Prophets are not Gods, but they are humans and no matter how much faithful and competent human is, due to his inherent weakness, is not infallible from oversight, mistake and forgetfulness; as God has said: ﴿قَالَتْ لَهُمْ رُسُلُهُمْ إِنْ نَحْنُ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ[1]; “Their Prophets told them, ‘Indeed we are just human beings like yourselves” and has said: ﴿وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا[2]; “and human was created weak”. Accordingly, the book of God explicitly has announced oversight, mistake and forgetfulness of the Prophets, and it is obvious that He has had an intention of doing so, and indeed it has been prevention of regarding the Prophets infallible, like regarding God infallible. As one of our companions informed us and said:

«سَأَلْتُ الْمَنْصُورَ عَنْ عِصْمَةِ الْأَنْبیاءِ وَ ما فِي الْقُرآنِ مِنْ نَفْیِها، فَقالَ: إِنَّ الْقُرآنَ لا یُزَكِّي عَلَی اللّهِ أَحَداً فَلا تُزَكُّوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَ لا تُزَكُّوا عَلَی اللّهِ أَحَداً»; “I asked Mansoor about the infallibility of the Prophets and some verses in Quran which have negated it, then he said: Indeed Quran has not considered anyone pure over God, so do not consider yourselves pure, and do not consider anyone pure over God”!

It is hereby understood that the interpretation of some verses in the Quran which explicitly have announced oversight, mistake and forgetfulness of the Prophets, is an obvious example of esoteric interpretation and eisegesis[3] that is contrary to authority of Quran’s appearances.

Of course, oversight, mistake and forgetfulness are not considered as sin; because sin is disobedience of the commandment and prohibition of God intentionally and consciously, whereas there is not any intention and consciousness in oversight, mistake and forgetfulness and therefore, punishment for them is not appropriate; as He has said: ﴿رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِنْ نَسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا[4]; “Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or make mistakes”; such as forgetting personal matters or to make mistakes in permissible matters or to rush in permissible deeds or to become exhausted from regular works or to be unaware of unnecessary matters or to fail in involuntary deeds such as falling asleep during daytime as mentioned in the honorable Book “Return to Islam”[5] with respect to counting and exemplifying. Yes, the Prophets are infallible of oversight, mistake and forgetfulness in receiving and announcing the revelation and also of their conservation in performing the revelation; because oversight, mistake and forgetfulness in receiving and announcing the revelation defeat God’ purpose of sending them, as He has said: ﴿سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنْسَى ۝ إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ[6]; “we shall have you recite, then you will not forget, except for what God may wish” and oversight, mistake and forgetfulness in performing the revelation is resolved as soon as possible with God’s reminding; as He has said: ﴿وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَى مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ[7]; “And if satan makes you forget, then, after remembering, do not sit with oppressive group” and has said: ﴿وَاذْكُرْ رَبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَى أَنْ يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّي لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هَذَا رَشَدًا[8]; “And when you forget, remember your Lord, and say, ‘Maybe my Lord guides me to that which is closer to guidance than this” and has said: ﴿قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذْنِي بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرْهِقْنِي مِنْ أَمْرِي عُسْرًا[9]; “(Moses) said: do not take me to task for my forgetting, and do not be hard upon me”! Therefore, the possibility of the Prophet’s oversight, mistake and forgetfulness does not prevent relying on their sayings and deeds; because if their sayings and deeds arise from their oversight, mistake and forgetfulness, they themselves definitely announce it before the necessary time comes, and if they themselves do not announce it, their sayings and deeds are proof.

2. «نعجه» in Arabic language has been among common metonymy for referring to woman[10] and with this description, the appearance of the verse with this meaning is not deniable, and the appearance of Quran, as it is explained in the book “Return to Islam”[11], is author, and it is not possible to leave it with resorting to a Wahid narration; especially, if it be a weak and contradictory narration similar to the narration you referred; because your referred narration, with a clear affectation and contrary to the style and context of Quran, has sought to escape from a trouble, but it has been involved in a greater trouble! Given that issuing verdict before hearing the accused’s defense is an explicit and forbidden oppression, whereas proposing a friend to divorce his spouse in order to marry her after ending her periods of menstruation is not forbidden, although it be Makruh[12]; because divorcing a woman and marrying her, after ending her periods of menstruation, both are permissible and proposing a permissible matter is not forbidden; especially given that it is possible David peace be upon him, might have seen a benefit in the matter; as in the past, marriage, considering some political benefits including joining an ethnicity or preventing a war or reaching a peace, was prevalent especially among the rulers, to the extent that it is not improbable some marriage of God’s Messenger peace be upon him and his family, were from this type. It is hereby understood the Shia interpretation about this is like falling into a well in fear of a hole, and the interpretation of Allamah is in the extremity of firmness.

↑[1] . Ibrahim/ 11
↑[2] . An-Nisa/ 28
↑[3] . Eisegesis is the process of interpreting text in such a way as to introduce one’s own presuppositions, agendas or biases.
↑[4] . Al-Baqarah/ 286
↑[5] . p. 251
↑[6] . Al-A'la/ 6 and 7
↑[7] . Al-An'am/ 68
↑[8] . Al-Kahf/ 24
↑[9] . Al-Kahf/ 73
↑[10] . See: Khalil ibn Ahmad, al-Ayn, Vol. 1, p. 232; Ibn Anbari, al-Zahir Fi Ma’ani Kalamat an-Nas, p. 223; Ibn Manzoor, lesan al-Arab, Vol. 2, p. 380; Nawiri, Nahayat al-Arab Fi Fonun al-Adab, Vol. 14, p. 64; Zubaydi, Taj al-Erus, Vol. 3, p. 501.
↑[11] . pp. 233, 234
↑[12] . A deed which is disliked or offensive, not haram (forbidden) or subject to punishment; a person who abstains from such deed will be rewarded.
The website for the office of Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani The section for responding to critiques
Sub-critiques & responses
Sub-critique 1
Author: Masood Taheri

Regarding your response to the infallibility of the Prophets, I have a question that I would be grateful if, as always, explain for me with your clear and well-reasoned statement: If oversight, mistake and forgetfulness of the Prophets always be possible in their sayings and deeds, how can one rely on their sayings and deeds?! In addition, is this not contrary with the necessity of immediate obedience to them?! Because in every case one should wait that if they have any oversight and mistake and forgetfulness, correct them!

Answer to
sub-critique 1
Date: 2015 November 13

The principle is the correctness of Prophets’ sayings and deeds, and it is a rare and exceptional incident that oversight, mistake and forgetfulness be issued from them and with this description, all of their sayings and deeds are considered correct, except for a saying or deed which they themselves declare their incorrectness; because the correctness or incorrectness of sayings and deeds are typically recognized through the Prophets and their own sayings and deeds are not an exception to this rule. Moreover, if a saying or deed of them arises from oversight, mistake and forgetfulness, as a rule, they themselves declare its incorrectness before others follow it; because delaying expression in declaring the necessity is indecent, but before the necessity it is not considered indecent and with this description, there is no impediment to immediate obedience to the Prophets in cases where immediate obedience is required.

The website for the office of Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani The section for responding to critiques
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