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Visions of Ezekiel - What does the Quran say about it?


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Author Topic: Visions of Ezekiel - What does the Quran say about it?  (Read 4954 times)
Zeynab
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« on: June 29, 2008, 11:37:50 pm »

 



BismEm


Ezekiel is a Biblical personality.  As per the Bible, Ezekiel was a prophet who had visions of the Almighty God.  This is according to the Biblical version, Ezekiel  37:1-14.  By the way, the Bible comprises of lengthy stories on the Vision of Ezekiel.

Now, what does the Quraan say on Ezekiel (Hizqeel)?  This name has not been mentioned in the Quraan at all.  However, some old commentators (namely Ibn Kathir) who feel comfortable taking information from Hadith cite Verses 2:243 and  2:259 of  Surah Al-Baqrah, as references to the vision of Hizqeel (Ezekiel).  But the details of the interpretations of these writers are not reliable from the view point of the Quraan.

For an easier comparison of the Quraan on one side, with the Hadith and Bible on the other, I'll start with Ezekiel's stories according to the Hadith and the Bible.  As you will see, the Hadith interpretations have a striking resemblance with the Biblical version of the story of Ezekiel resurrecting the dead.  Very obviously, the Hadith narrations have been taken directly from the Bible with slight changes here and there.

I am quoting below Ibn Kathir's interpretation of Verse 2:243 on the basais of the Hadith.  Though Allah is capable of performing ALL MIRACLES, since the Quraan does not give any information on Ezekiel, nor does it mention the name 'Ezekiel' and neither does the Quraan confirm that Ezekiel resurrected the dead, therefore there's no guarantee of the authenticity of the interpretations of Hadith narrations on it.  Particularly in view of the large scale contradictory information within the Hadith itself and its plagiarism of the altered Biblical stories, these interpretations can only be taken as presumptions similar to the presumptions of the Bible narrations.  Only Allah knows the exact truth. 

I am stating the Hadith interpretations only for the purpose of reading and getting acquainted with the extra Quraanic explanations put forth by medieval ulemas.  I repeat, Only Allah knows the actual truth.

Hadith on Ezekiel

Ibn Kathir referring entirely to the Hadith narrations writes ..

'Mohammad Ibn Ishaq stated of Wahb ibn Munbah that when Allah took Kalih ibn Yofra (Jephtha) after Joshua, Ezkeil ibn Buzi succeeded him as the prophet of the Israelites.  People had fled from Palestine for fear of plague and settled in a plateau.  Allah said to them:  "Die you all" and they all perished.  A few centuries passed and then Ezekiel passing by stopped over them wondering.  There came a voice "Do you want Allah to resurrect them while you watch?"  He said "Yes."  Then he commanded to bones to join one to the other and to be covered with flesh.  So he called them by the power of Allah, and the people arose and glorified Allah.'

Ibn Kathir further writes with references to narrations of Ibn Abbas:

'Allah resurrects the dead through Ezekiel.  According to Ibn Abbas this place was called "Damardan."  It's people were inflicted with plague so they fled.  The Angel of Death called to the survivors "Die you all" and they perished.  After a long time a prophet called Ezekiel passed by and stood wondering over them.  Allah revealed to him "Do you want Me to show you how I bring them back to life?"  He said "Yes."  His idea was to marvel at the power of Allah over them.  A voice said to him "Call: O you bones, Allah commands you to gather up."  The bones began to fly one to the other until they became skeletons.  Then Allah revealed to him to say "Call: O you bones, Allah commands you to put on flesh and blood and the clothes in which they had died."  And a voice said "Allah commands you to call the bodies to rise."  And they rose.  When they returned to life they said "Blessed are You, O Lord, and all praises is Yours."  Ibn Abbas reported that the dead who were resurrected wer four thousand while Ibn Salih said they were nine thousand.'

Here's the source of this information.  It's on PDF format.  You need to scroll down to find the story you're looking for.  Also you need to sign-in or register.  That's why I copied the contents above for your convenience.

Bible on Ezekiel

Ezekiel 37:1-14 - The Valley of Dry Bones

Quote -----

1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
      I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."

 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath [a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "

 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

 9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "


Unquote -----


And now the The Glorious Quran

"Bethink you (O Muhammad) of those of old, who went forth from their habitations in their thousands, fearing death, and Allah said unto them: Die; and then He brought them back to life. Lo! Allah is a Rab of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks." (2:243) 

"Or (bethink you of) the like of him who, passing by a township which had fallen into utter ruin, exclaimed: How shall Allah give this township life after its death?  And Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life.  He said: How long have you tarried ? (The man) said: I have tarried a day or part of a day. (He) said: Nay, but you have tarried for a hundred years. Just look at your food and drink which have not rotted! Look at your donkey! And, that We may make you a token unto mankind, look at the bones, how We adjust them and then cover them with flesh! And when (the matter) became clear unto him, he said: I know now that Allah is Able to do all things." (2:259)


In the above verses, since the Quran does clearly refer that those who were dead were brought back to life, therefore, that surely did happen.  But according to these Verses 2:243 and 2:259, the Quran does not refer to any person being responsible for resurrecting the dead, rather these Verses quite apparently indicate that Allah Himself performed this miracle.  Hence, the Quran does not state the name of anyone being given the power or authority by Him to raise those who were dead.  Considering this, many of the details described in Hadith and Bible are likely to be the presumptions of narrators.  Only Allah knows the exact truth.   

All narrations from extra Quranic literature stating details concerning issues or persons that have not been categorically specified nor mentioned in the Glorious Quran cannot be confirmed nor accepted as the final truth.

By the way, as mentioned by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, some researchers and readers take Verse 2:243 as referring to the Exodus.  In that case, this would refer to the time of Prophet Moses (pbuh).  But again, Allah knows best.

Any information not confirmed in the Quran must be left open by commentators.



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AceOfHearts
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2008, 04:34:28 am »



Peace,

Excellent piece of work sister Zeynab. I agree completely with what you said. I dont think I can add any more to what you stated there. Like you say, the Qur'an gives the information that we need to know...only as much detail as to meet the purposes and goal of Quranic Verses, which is to bring people to guidance. And we cannot take content from outside the Qur'an and muddle it up like the vast majority of so-called followers of the Qur'an do ie. from Hadith and Bible (No wonder people will say things are in the Qur'an yet have no clue that it mentions nothing of it).

Thanks for writing this and putting it up sister Zeynab.

Take care. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 08:29:40 pm »

Very well written sister.  Other than your correct finding that there's no evidence that those two verses of Surah Al-Baqra refer to a prophet called Hizqeel, this post is a good example to show the similarities of Hadith and Gospel.  I think the Hadith quoted above has been written by Ibn Kathir himself.  This is the standard Hadith that narrates the story of Hizqeel that has an identical theme to the one in the Bible.  It can also be found in other sites where readers don't need to sign-in.  The 2 sites where I read it before were 2Muslims and WitnessPrisoner.

Coming to what's really important here - the violation that's carried out by people who write such stories not supported by the Quran has been pointed out in plain terms in the Ayat 3:7 (Surah Al-Imraan). 

He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. 3:7

The term "allegorical" carries the same meaning as 'metaphorical' here, that is, a meaning other than the literal one.  Or, description of one thing under image of another.  You will often find that different people interpret the metaphorical verses of the Quran in different ways.  There are people who also misinterpret metaphorical verses either ignorantly or deliberately.  "But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it."  These Divine Words are a clear indication of the violation of writing long stories on Quranic verses from one's imagination.

There are also folks who accept only metaphorical or allegorical verses with the purpose of changing their interpretations, while they purposely ignore the direct commandments of Allah in the Quran.  "We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord;" I would say that these words are a direct reference on those who study the Quran by choosing what they like and ignoring what they don't like. 

"None knoweth its explanation save Allah." - that is, Allah knows best.  Alhumdulilah.

Thanks and peace
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 03:07:10 am »

Many thanks brothers Ace and TS.   br. Persian, also thanks for quoting V.3:7.  This is a very apt verse to quote in order to warn those who write their own stories on Quraanic ayats. 
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 04:03:53 am »

By the way, after putting this post, I sent a question to Br. Shabir Ally of the Islamic Information Center asking him if Verses 2:243 and 2:259 refer to the vision of prophet Hizqeel (Ezekiel), and if so, to quote some references.

I quote his brief response as follows:

"The English translation of the summarized Tafsir Ibn Kathir vol. 1, pp. 680-683 says that 2:243 involves Ezekiel. But the same source connects 2:259 not with Ezekiel but with Uzair (vol. 2, pp.38-41. In any case this is the sort of story that scholars classify as Israiliyyat and hold to be unreliable."

Uzair is the same as Ezra in Hebrew.  As Pickthall has mentioned in one of his brief commentaries that some 'ulemas' do take verse 2:259 as referring to Ezekiel (though the Quraan hasn't given any reason to think that), Br. Shabir is right in saying that Ibn Kathir refers verse 2:259 to Ezra, though again, the Quraan does not give any reason to think that.  Ezra was quite certainly not a prophet.  The Quraan mentions about him very briefly only in Verse 9:30

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! 9:30  At-Taubah

Ezra was said to be a Jewish spiritual leader.  According to Jewish history, he was probably a descendent of Prophet Moses' brother, Aaron (Haroon).  Allah knows best. 

Ibn Kathir's story on Ezra is again very far-fetched with no connections with the Quraan.  At the moment, I cannot find the Biblical version of Ibn Kathir's writing on Ezra (Uzair) but I'm sure his source is somewhere within the manipulated Jewish and Biblical history.

To read Ibn Kathir's fabricated story on Uzair (Ezra), visit the following link at Islam Awareness.  It's interesting to note that Br. Shabir Ally admitted that these stories are "unreliable."  However, he tried to sound a little diplomatic to appease the "scholars" which frankly didn't make much sense. He said in his response that "this is the sort of story that scholars classify as Israiliyyat and hold to be unreliable."  But according to Hadith traditionalists, Ibn Kathir is supposed to be "one of the great scholars" and he is the one who is writing these fabrications. 

Story of Uzair/Ezra by Ibn Kathir
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 05:40:14 pm »

This looks to be a great thread.  I'll return later to read it carefully Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2008, 11:43:38 pm »

Salaams and hi sister Heba Smiley  Welcome back!  Hope you and your family had an enjoyable vacation Smiley  Take your time to read this thread sis, it would be nice to go thru your feedback.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 02:26:14 am »

Great post and thread.  I've indeed learnt a lot that I didn't fully know before.  That comparision and similarities of Hadith and Bible are once again an eye-opener and a proof of the origins of Hadith.

What Br. Shabbir means is that many of such writings of medieval "scholars" are nonsense.  But it's interesting to note his cool. 

Br. Shabbir is basically a rational man.  He is one of the very few Imams who can be called that.  I can make out that he personally realises the stupidity of majority of the Ahadith.  However, in his situation, he cannot openly express his discontent and disagreement with many senseless traditionalisms otherwise he will lose his job.  So he tries to follow a road in between very carefully, as if walking on glass. 

His diplomatic answer in a recent television show was amusing.  He was asked to comment on some very awkward Hadith which I can't recall now, along with a question on the status of Hadith.  He tried to say that only good Hadiths should be accepted and bad ones should be discarded.  But fearing the wrath of the mainstream Imams, he stated it metaphorically saying:  "Some people throw away the baby with the bath water while some keep the bath water along with the baby" meaning that only the baby (i.e. acceptable Hadiths) should be kept and the dirty bath water (i.e. the bad Hadiths) should be thrown away.  Well, at least he had the guts to admit that bad Hadiths oughta be trashed. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2011, 01:44:05 am »

And a belated thanks from me too.  I needed the explanation now after I came to Verse 2:259.  This time I thought I must study the possible tafsirs of this verse and the preceding Verse 2:243 in detail.  It took me a while to find it here.  But thanks to Allah I found it. 

JazekAllah khayr.  This thread was extremely helpful.
 
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2011, 05:39:53 am »

Tafsir by Allama Asad  (2:259)

The story told in this verse is obviously a parable meant to illustrate God's power to bring the dead back to life: and, thus, it is significantly placed between Abraham's words in verse {258}, "My Sustainer is He who grants life and deals death", and his subsequent request, in verse {260}, to be shown how God resurrects the dead. The speculations of some of the earlier commentators as to the "identity" of the man and the town mentioned in this story are without any substance, and may have been influenced by Talmudic legends.
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2011, 12:05:50 am »

Thanks brother Salam.  good feedback. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2019, 02:30:19 pm »



We had a thorough discussion on this topic last Thursday, comparing the Quranic content with non-Quranic works.  This post which I showed to everyone on the projector was a huge help. 
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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2019, 02:31:26 pm »



I'm so glad to know that, brother   Smiley
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