Satanic Verses

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For the novel by Salman Rushdie, see The Satanic Verses.

The Satanic Verses are a small number of apparently pagan verses that, in traditional Islamic interpretation, were said to have been temporarily included in the Qur'an by the Islamic prophet Muhammad, only to be later removed. Narratives derived from hadith involving these verses can be read in, among other places, the biographies of Muhammad by al-Wāqidī, Ibn Sa'd (who was a scribe of Waqidi), al-Tabarī, and Ibn Ishaq (the last as reconstructed by Alfred Guillaume).


The first use of the expression 'Satanic Verses' is attributed to Sir William Muir (1858).[1]

Basic narrative[edit]

See the complete text of Tabarī's account below

There are numerous accounts reporting the incident, which differ in the construction and detail of the narrative, but they may be broadly collated to produce a basic account.[2] The different versions of the story are all traceable to one single narrator Muhammad ibn Ka'b, who was two generations removed from biographer Ibn Ishaq. In its essential form, the story reports that Muhammad longed to convert his kinsmen and neighbors of Mecca to Islam. As he was reciting Sūra an-Najm,[3] considered a revelation by the angel Gabriel, Satan tempted him to utter the following lines after verses 19 and 20:

Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzzá
and Manāt, the third, the other?
These are the exalted gharāniq, whose intercession is hoped for.

Allāt, al-'Uzzā and Manāt were three goddesses worshipped by the Meccans. Discerning the meaning of "gharāniq" is difficult, as it is a hapax legomenon (i.e. only used once in the text). Commentators wrote that it meant the cranes. The Arabic word does generally mean a "crane" - appearing in the singular as ghirnīq, ghurnūq, ghirnawq and ghurnayq, and the word has cousin forms in other words for birds, including "raven, crow" and "eagle".[4]

The subtext to the event is that Muhammad was backing away from his otherwise uncompromising monotheism by saying that these goddesses were real and their intercession effective. The Meccans were overjoyed to hear this and joined Muhammad in ritual prostration at the end of the sūrah. The Meccan refugees who had fled to Abyssinia heard of the end of persecution and started to return home. Islamic tradition holds that Gabriel chastised Muhammad for adulterating the revelation, at which point [Quran 22:52] is revealed to comfort him,

Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise.

Muhammad took back his words and the persecution of the Meccans resumed. Verses [Quran 53:21] were given, in which the goddesses are belittled. The passage in question, from 53:19, reads:

Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-'Uzza


And Manat, the third, the other?
Are yours the males and His the females?
That indeed were an unfair division!


They are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath revealed no warrant. They follow but a guess and that which (they) themselves desire. And now the guidance from their Lord hath come unto them.

Reception in Muslim exegesis[edit]

Early Islam[edit]

The Satanic Verses incident is reported in the tafsir and the sira-maghazi literature dating from the first two centuries of Islam, and is reported in the respective tafsīr corpuses transmitted from almost every Qur'anic commentator of note in the first two centuries of the hijra. It is generally considered a fabricated incident as the chains of narration are weak. [2] The earliest biography of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq (761-767) is lost but his collection of traditions survives mainly in two sources: Ibn Hisham (833) and al-Tabari (915). The story appears in al-Tabari, who includes Ibn Ishaq in the chain of transmission, but not in Ibn Hisham. Ibn Sa'd and Al-Waqidi, two other early biographers of Muhammad relate the story.[5] Scholars such as Uri Rubin and Shahab Ahmed and Guillaume hold that the report was in Ibn Ishaq, while Alford T. Welch holds the report has not been presumably present in the Ibn Ishaq.[6]

Later medieval period[edit]

Due to its defective chain of narration, the tradition of the Satanic Verses never made it into any of the canonical hadith compilations (though see below for possible truncated versions of the incident that did).[6] The reference and exegesis about the Verses appear in early histories.[7][8][9] In addition to appearing in Tabarī's Tafsīr, it is used in the tafsīrs of Muqātil, ‘Abdu r-Razzāq and Ibn Kathir as well as the naskh of Abu Ja‘far an-Nahhās, the asbāb collection of Wāhidī and even the late-medieval as-Suyūtī's compilation al-Durr al-Manthūr fil-Tafsīr bil-Mathūr.

Objections to the incident were raised as early as the fourth Islamic century, such as in the work of an-Nahhās and continued to be raised throughout later generations by scholars such as Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1157), Fakhr ad-Din Razi (1220) as well as al-Qurtubi (1285). The most comprehensive argument presented against the factuality of the incident came in Qadi Iyad's ash-Shifa‘.[2] The incident was discounted on two main bases. The first was that the incident contradicted the doctrine of isma‘, divine protection of Muhammad from mistakes. The second was that the descriptions of the chain of transmission extant since that period are not complete and sound (sahih).[2] Ibn Kathir points out in his commentary that the various isnads available to him by which the story was transmitted were almost all mursal, or without a companion of Muhammad in their chain.[10] Uri Rubin asserts that there exists a complete version of the isnad continuing to ibn ‘Abbās, but this only survives in a few sources. He claims that the name of ibn ‘Abbās was part of the original isnad, and was removed so that the incident could be deprived of its sahih isnad and discredited. There is however no evidence of this.[11]

Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi commenting on Surah 22:52 in his Tafsir al-Kabir stated that the “people of verification” declared the story as an outright fabrication, citing supporting arguments from the Qur’an, Sunnah and reason. He then reported that the preeminent Muhaddith Ibn Khuzaymah said: “it is an invention of the heretics” when once asked about it. Al-Razi also recorded that al-Bayhaqi stated that the narration of the story was unreliable because its narrators were of questionable integrity.[12]

Those scholars who acknowledged the historicity of the incident apparently had a different method for the assessment of reports than that which has become standard Islamic methodology. For example, Ibn Taymiyya took the position that since tafsir and sira-maghazi reports were commonly transmitted by incomplete isnads, these reports should not be assessed according to the completeness of the chains but rather on the basis of recurrent transmission of common meaning between reports.[2]

Al-Qurtubi (al-Jāmi' li ahkām al-Qur'ān) dismisses all these variants in favor of the explanation that once Sūra al-Najm was safely revealed the basic events of the incident (or rumors of them) "were now permitted to occur to identify those of his followers who would accept Muhammad's explanation of the blasphemous imposture" (JSS 15, pp. 254–255).

Modern Islamic scholarship[edit]

While the authors of the tafsir texts during the first two centuries of the Islamic era do not seem to have regarded the tradition as in any way inauspicious or unflattering to Muhammad, it seems to have been universally rejected by at least the 13th century, and most modern Muslims likewise see the tradition as problematic, in the sense that it is viewed as "profoundly heretical because, by allowing for the intercession of the three pagan female deities, they eroded the authority and omnipotence of Allah. But they also hold... damaging implications in regard to the revelation as a whole, for Muhammad’s revelation appears to have been based on his desire to soften the threat to the deities of the people."[13] Different responses have developed concerning the account.

Almost[citation needed] all modern Muslim scholars have rejected the story. Arguments for rejection are found in Muhammad Abduh's article “Masʾalat al-gharānīq wa-tafsīr al-āyāt”,[year needed] Muhammad Husayn Haykal's "Hayat Muhammad",[year needed] Sayyid Qutb's "Fi Zilal al-Quran",[year needed] Abul Ala Maududi's "Tafhim al-Quran"[year needed] and Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani's "Nasb al-majānīq li-nasf al-gharānīq".[year needed][2]

Haykal points out the many forms and versions of the story and their inconsistencies and argues that "the contextual flow of Surah 'al Najm' does not allow at all the inclusion of such verses as the story claims". Haykal quotes Muhammad Abduh who pointed out that the "Arabs have nowhere described their gods in such terms as 'al gharaniq'. Neither in their poetry nor in their speeches or traditions do we find their gods or goddesses described in such terms. Rather, the word 'al ghurnuq' or 'al gharniq' was the name of a black or white water bird, sometimes given figuratively to the handsome blond youth." Lastly, Haykal argues that the story is inconsistent with Muhammad's personal life and is completely against the spirit of the Islamic message.[14]

Aqa Mahdi Puya has said that these fake verses were shouted out by the Meccans to make it look like it was Muhammad who said it; he writes:

Some pagans and hypocrites planned secretly to recite words praising idolatry alongside the recitation of the Holy Prophet, while he was praying, in such a way that the people would think as if they were recited by him. Once when the Holy Prophet was reciting verses 19 and 20 of Najm one of the pagans recited: "Tilkal gharani-ul ula wa inna shafa-atahuma laturja"-(These are the lofty (idols), verily their intercession is sought after.) As soon as this was recited the conspirators shouted in delight to make the people believe that it was the Holy Prophet who said these words. Here, the Quran is stating the general pattern the enemies of the messengers of Allah followed when they were positively convinced that the people were paying attention to the teachings of the messengers of Allah and sincerely believing in them. They would mix their false doctrines with the original teachings so as to make the divine message a bundle of contradictions. This kind of satanic insertions are referred to in thus verse, and it is supported by Ha Mim: 26. It is sheer blasphemy to say that satanic forces can influence the messengers of Allah.[15][16]

This entire matter was a mere footnote to the back-and-forth of religious debate, and was rekindled only when Salman Rushdie's 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, made headline news. The novel contains some fictionalized allusions to Islamic history, which provoked both controversy and outrage. Muslims around the world protested the book's publishing, and Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa sentencing Rushdie to death, saying that the book blasphemed Muhammad and his wives.

Historicity debate[edit]

Since William Muir the historicity of this episode has been largely accepted by orientalists.[17]

William Montgomery Watt and Alfred Guillaume claim that stories of the event were true based upon the implausibility of Muslims fabricating a story so unflattering to their prophet: "Muhammad must have publicly recited the satanic verses as part of the Qur'ān; it is unthinkable that the story could have been invented by Muslims, or foisted upon them by non-Muslims."[18] Trude Ehlert in Encyclopaedia of Islam finds Watt's reason to be insufficient stating "The story in its present form (as related by al-Ṭabarī, al-Wāḳidī, and Ibn Saʿd) cannot be accepted as historical for a variety of reasons".[19]

Regarding this argument, Shahab Ahmed in the Encyclopaedia of the Qur'ān counters that "the widespread acceptance of the incident by early Muslims suggests, however, that they did not view the incident as inauspicious and that they would presumably not have, on this basis at least, been adverse to inventing it."[2] Similarly, Alford T. Welch, in the Encyclopaedia of Islam, argues that the "implausibility" argument alone would be insufficient to assert the tradition's authenticity.[20] He says that the story in its present form is certainly a later, exegetical fabrication despite the fact that there could be some historical basis for the story. Welch states that the story falsely claims that the chapter 53:1-20 and the end of the chapter are a unity, and that the date for the verse 22:52 is later than 53:21-7, and almost certainly belongs to the Medinan period. Further several details in the setting of the story such as the mosque and the sajda do not belong to the Meccan phase of Muhammad's career.[21] Welch also points out that the story was not mentioned in the Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad. He says that the above analysis does not rule out "the possibility of some historical kernel behind the story." One such possibility, Welch says, is that the story is of a historical telescoping nature: "that a situation that was known by Muhammad's contemporaries to have lasted for a long period of time later came to be encapsulated in a story that restricts his acceptance of intercession through these goddesses to a brief period of time and places the responsibility for this departure from a strict monotheism on Satan."[20]

John Burton argued for its fictitiousness based upon a demonstration of its actual utility to certain elements of the Muslim community – namely, those legal exegetes seeking an "occasion of revelation" for eradicative modes of abrogation. Burton supports his theory by the fact that Tabari does not discuss the story in his exegesis of the verse 53:20, but rather in 22:52. Burton further notes that different versions of the story are all tracable to one single narrator Muhammad ibn Ka'b, two generations removed from Ibn Ishaq, but not contemporary with the event.[22] G.R. Hawting writes that the satanic verses incident would not serve to justify or exemplify a theory that God reveals something and later replaces it himself with another true revelation.[23] Burton, in his rejection of the authenticity of the story, sided with Leone Caetani, who wrote that the story was to be rejected not only on the basis of isnad, but because "had these hadiths even a degree of historical basis, Muhammad's reported conduct on this occasion would have given the lie to the whole of his previous prophetic activity."[24]

Maxime Rodinson finds that it may reasonably be accepted as true "because the makers of Muslim tradition would never have invented a story with such damaging implications for the revelation as a whole."[25] He writes the following on the genesis of the verses: "Obviously Muhammad's unconscious had suggested to him a formula which provided a practical road to unanimity." Rodinson writes that this concession, however, diminished the threat of the Last Judgment by enabling the daughters of Allah to intercede for sinners and save them from eternal damnation. Further, it diminished Muhammad's own authority by giving the priests of Uzza, Manat, and Allat the ability to pronounce oracles contradicting his message. Disparagement from Christians and Jews who pointed out that he was reverting to his pagan beginnings and rebelliousness and indignation from among his own followers influenced him to go back on his revelation. However, in doing so he denounced the gods of Mecca as lesser spirits or mere names, cast off everything related to the traditional religion as the work of pagans and unbelievers, and consigned the Meccan's pious ancestors and relatives to Hell. This was the final break with the Quraysh.[26]

Fred Halliday states that rather than having damaging implications, the story is a cautionary tale, the point of which is "not to malign God but to point up the frailty of human beings," and that even a prophet may be misled by shaytan — though ultimately shaytan is unsuccessful.[27]

Since John Wansbrough's contributions to the field in the early 1970s, though, scholars have become much more attentive to the emergent nature of early Islam, and less willing to accept back-projected claims of continuity:

To those who see the tradition as constantly evolving and supplying answers to question that it itself has raised, the argument that there would be no reason to develop and transmit material which seems derogatory of the Prophet or of Islam is too simple. For one thing, ideas about what is derogatory may change over time. We know that the doctrine of the Prophet's infallibility and impeccability (the doctrine regarding his 'isma) emerged only slowly. For another, material which we now find in the biography of the Prophet originated in various circumstances to meet various needs and one has to understand why material exists before one can make a judgment about its basis in fact... [28]

In Rubin's recent contribution to the debate, questions of historicity are completely eschewed in favor of an examination of internal textual dynamics and what they reveal about early medieval Islam. Rubin claims to have located the genesis of many prophetic traditions and that they show an early Muslim desire to prove to other scriptuaries "that Muhammad did indeed belong to the same exclusive predestined chain of prophets in whom the Jews and the Christians believed. He alleges that the Muslims had to establish the story of Muhammad's life on the same literary patterns as were used in the vitae of the other prophets".[29] The incident of the Satanic Verses, according to him, conforms to the common theme of persecution followed by isolation of the prophet-figure.

As the story was adapted to include Qur'ānic material (Q.22:50, Q.53, Q.17:73-74) the idea of satanic temptation was claimed to have been added, heightening its inherent drama as well as incorporating additional biblical motifs (cf. the Temptation of Christ). Rubin gives his attention to the narratological exigencies which may have shaped early sīra material as opposed to the more commonly considered ones of dogma, sect, or political/dynastic faction. Given the consensus that "the most archaic layer of the biography, [is] that of the stories of the kussās [i.e. popular story-tellers]" (Sīra, EI²), this may prove a fruitful line of inquiry.

Although there could be some historical basis for the story, in its present form it is certainly a later, exegetical fabrication. Sūra LIII, 1-20 and the end of the sūra are not a unity, as is claimed by the story; XXII, 52, is later than LIII, 21-7, and is almost certainly Medinan (see Bell, Trans., 316, 322); and several details of the story- the mosque, the sajda, and others not mentioned in the short summary above- do not belong to the Meccan phase. Rubin also claimed that the supposed temporary control taken by Satan over Muhammad made such traditions unacceptable to early hadith compilers, which he believed to be a unique case in which a group of traditions are rejected only after being subject to Qur'anic models, and as a direct result of this adjustment.[6]

Related traditions[edit]

Several related traditions exist, some adapted to Qur'ānic material, some not. One version, appearing in Tabarī's Tafsīr[30] and attributed to Urwah ibn Zubayr (d. 713), preserves the basic narrative but with no mention of satanic temptation. Muhammad is persecuted by the Meccans after attacking their idols, during which time a group of Muslims seeks refuge in Abyssinia. After the cessation of this first round of persecution (fitna) they return home, but soon a second round begins. No compelling reason is provided for the caesura of persecution, though, unlike in the incident of the satanic verses, where it is the (temporary) fruit of Muhammad's accommodation to Meccan polytheism. Another version attributed to 'Urwa has only one round of fitna, which begins after Muhammad has converted the entire population of Mecca, so that the Muslims are too numerous to perform ritual prostration (sūjud) all together. This somewhat parallels the Muslims and mushrikūn prostrating themselves together after Muhammad's first, allegedly satanically infected, recitation of Sūra al-Najm, in which the efficacy of the three pagan goddesses is acknowledged (Rubin, pp. 157–158).

The image of Muslims and pagans prostrating themselves together in prayer in turn links the story of the satanic verses to very abbreviated sūjud al-Qur'ān (i.e. prostration when reciting the Qur'ān) traditions found in the authoritative mussanaf hadīth collections, including the Sunni canonical ones of Bukhāri and Tirmidhī. Rubin claims that apparently "the allusion to the participation of the mushrikūn emphasises how overwhelming and intense the effect of this sūra was on those attending". The traditions actually state that all cognizant creatures took part in it, humans as well as jinns.[31]

Rubin further argues that this is inherently illogical without the Satanic Verses in the recitation, given that in the accepted version of verses Q.53:19-23, the pagans' goddesses are attacked. The majority of traditions relating to prostration at the end of Sūra al-Najm solve this by either removing all mention of the mushrikūn, or else transforming the attempt of an old Meccan to participate (who, instead of bowing to the ground, puts dirt to his forehead proclaiming "This is sufficient for me") into an act of mockery. Some traditions even describe his eventual comeuppance, saying he is later killed at the battle of Badr. [2] Thus, according to Rubin, "the story of the single polytheist who raised a handful of dirt to his forehead… [in]… attempt of an old disabled man to participate in Muhammad's sūjud… in… a sarcastic act of an enemy of Muhammad wishing to dishonor the Islamic prayer". And "traditions which originally related the dramatic story of temptation became a sterilized anecdote providing prophetic precedent for a ritual practice".[32]

Tabarī's account[edit]

An extensive account of the incident is found in al-Tabāri's history, the Ta'rīkh (Vol. I):

However in the introduction of his book he states:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John L. Esposito (2003). The Oxford dictionary of Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 563. ISBN 978-0-19-512558-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ahmed, Shahab (2008), "Satanic Verses", in Dammen McAuliffe, Jane, Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, Georgetown University, Washington DC: Brill (published 14 August 2008) 
  3. ^ (Q.53)
  4. ^ Militarev, Alexander; Kogan, Leonid (2005), Semitic Etymological Dictionary 2: Animal Names, Alter Orient und Altes Testament, 278/2, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, pp. 131–132, ISBN 3-934628-57-5 
  5. ^ Tabari's works are often filled with weak and fabricated narrations as he stated in his introduction to his tareekh that he had collected every account that he came across without considering any verification. Most of the later narrations of the 'satanic verses' incident stem from the works of Tabari. Rubin, Uri (14 August 2008), "Muḥammad", in Dammen McAuliffe, Jane, Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, Georgetown University, Washington DC: Brill 
  6. ^ a b c Rubin, Uri (1997), The eye of the beholder: the life of Muḥammad as viewed by the early Muslims: a textual analysis, Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press (published 1995), p. 161, ISBN 0-87850-110-X 
  7. ^ ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār, Muḥammad; Ibn Hishām, ʻAbd al-Malik, Sīrat Rasūl Allāh 
  8. ^ Ṭabarī, Ṭabarī, Tārīkh ar-Rusul wal-Mulūk 
  9. ^ Ṭabarānī, Sulaymān ibn Aḥmad, al-Mu'jam al-Kabīr 
  10. ^ The isnad provided by Ibn Ishaq reads: Ibn Mumayd-Salamah-Muhammad Ibn Ishaq-Yazid bin Ziyad al-Madani-Muhammad bin Ka’b al-Qurazi. [1] Tafsir ibn Khatir on Sura 22
  11. ^ Rubin, Uri (1997), The eye of the beholder: the life of Muḥammad as viewed by the early Muslims: a textual analysis, Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press (published 1995), p. 256, ISBN 0-87850-110-X 
  12. ^ Al-Rāzī, Fakhr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn ʻUmar (1981), Tafsīr al-Fakhr al-Rāzī : al-mushahhar bi-al-Tafsīr al-kabīr wa-Mafātīḥ al-ghayb 23, Dār al-Fikr, p. 51 
  13. ^ John D. Erickson (1998), Islam and Postcolonial Narrative, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press 
  14. ^ Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Hayat Muhammad, 9th edition (Cairo, Maktaba an-Nahda al-Misriya, 1964, pp.164-7)
  15. ^ Puya, Aqa Mahdi. (2008), Aqa Mahdi Puya view, Satanic Verses, Mahdi Puya [dead link]
  16. ^ http://www.al-islam.org/quran/
  17. ^ EoQ, Satanic Verses. For scholars that accept the historicity, see
    • Michael Cook, Muhammad. In Founders of Faith, Oxford University Press, 1986, page 309.
    • Etan Kohlberg, A Medieval Muslim Scholar at Work: Ibn Tawus and His Library. Brill, 1992, page 20.
    • F.E. Peters, The Hajj, Princeton University Press, 1994, page 37. See also The Monotheists: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conflict and Competition, Princeton University Press, 2003, page 94.
    • William Muir, The Life of Mahomet, Smith, Elder 1878, page 88.
    • John D. Erickson, Islam and Postcolonial Narrative. Cambridge University Press, 1990, page 140.
    • Thomas Patrick Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam, Asian Educational Services, page 191.
    • Maxime Rodinson, Prophet of Islam, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2002, page 113.
    • Montgomery Watt, Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman. Oxford University Press 1961, page 60.
    • Daniel J. Sahas, Iconoclasm. Encyclopedia of the Qur'an, Brill Online.
  18. ^ Watt, Muhammad at Mecca
  19. ^ "Muḥammad." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2014. Reference.
  20. ^ a b "Muhammad", Encyclopedia of Islam Online.
  21. ^ Encyclopedia of Islam, "al-Kuran"
  22. ^ Burton, "Those are the high-flying cranes", Journal of Semitic Studies (JSS) 15
  23. ^ G.R. Hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam. Cambridge University Press, 1999, page 135.
  24. ^ Quoted by I.R Netton in "Text and Trauma: An East-West Primer" (1996) p. 86, Routledge
  25. ^ Maxime Rodinson, Mohammed. Allen Lane the Penguin Press, 1961, page 106.
  26. ^ Maxime Rodinson, Mohammed. Allen Lane the Penguin Press, 1961, pages 107-8.
  27. ^ Halliday, Fred, 100 Myths about the Middle East,
  28. ^ G. R. Hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History, pp. 134-135
  29. ^ Eye of the Beholder, p. 21
  30. ^ Tafsir, Vol. IX
  31. ^ Rubin, p. 165.
  32. ^ Rubin, p. 166
  33. ^ translated in G. R. Hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History, pp. 131-132
  34. ^ Ibid, pp. 13

References[edit]

  • Fazlur Rahman (1994), Major Themes in the Qur'an, Biblioteca Islamica, ISBN 0-88297-051-8 
  • John Burton (1970), "Those Are the High-Flying Cranes", Journal of Semitic Studies 15 (2): 246–264, doi:10.1093/jss/15.2.246. 
  • Uri Rubin (1995), The Eye of the Beholder: The Life of Muhammad as Viewed by the Early Muslims: A Textual Analysis, The Darwin Press, Inc., ISBN 0-87850-110-X 
  • G. R. Hawting (1999), The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-65165-4 
  • Nāsir al-Dīn al-Albānī (1952), Nasb al-majānīq li-nasfi qissat al-gharānīq (The Erection of Catapults for the Destruction of the Story of the Gharānīq) 

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