“There is a reason why they called it the untold stories- it’s because they made it all up”
On the 28th August 2012 Channel 4 broadcasted a documentary called “Islam – The Untold Stories”.
Since it was Channel 4 that were behind this documentary most of the Muslims were well aware that it would be some form of propaganda against Islam long before it was even aired on television.
However, the claims that were made in this documentary were somewhat ridiculous even from a Non-Muslim perspective and it seemed like they had shot themselves in the foot with this one. When I first viewed this documentary on YouTube it had 52 likes and 48 dislikes and by the time I had finished producing this piece of text this had changed to 191 likes and 245 dislikes. Channel 4 have also received over a thousand complaints because of Tom Holland.
Tom Holland tried to give us the impression that the beginnings of Islam were some sort of conspiracy that history does not have any traces of. He made some very bold claims about the history of Islam with the help of Patricia Crone (a historian that has been severely criticised by other historians in the field).
Islam was presented as a blind spot in history and as something that the Arabs created or made up for their own interests. It did not seem that they denied the existence of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) but they presented the Prophet(saw) as some form of tool or pawn that the Arabs used to “create” Islam.
His claims were indeed bold and his negligence and denial of appropriate and relevant historical sources were nothing but arrogance, bias and propaganda.
Tom Holland says a few things about Islam and its history in the documentary:
“When it comes to Islam’s beginnings, there is no full light of history, only a kind of darkness”– Tom Holland (1:44)
“I had expected Muslim testimony from the 7th century but there was nothing there, I can’t find anything, there’s a problem here, you’re dwelling into the origins of Muslims deepest beliefs but where is the historical evidence”– Tom Holland (2:25)
“History is like a labyrinth, once you’re inside who knows where it may lead”– Tom Holland (5:47)
The beginning of the documentary has a disturbing conspiracy music theme going through and Tom Holland speaks about how there is a lack of evidence for the beginnings of Islam from a historical perspective. He says that there is a kind of darkness or “black hole” when it comes to the roots of Islam.
For the Muslim these claims are overwhelming. Even for the historian these claims are new and strange. Islam with it’s 2.2 billion followers today, Islam that once conquered two thirds of the world from Africa to China- that religion does not even have any traces or records of it’s beginnings in history?
Something is wrong here. That’s strange- too strange.
We are fully aware of the lengths and measures that the earliest scholars took to preserve every word and detail of the Prophet Muhammad(saw). “Every detail” to the extent they had documented the number of white hairs on the head of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) after his death, they had documented the way that he walked, the colour of his clothes and the food that he liked and so on (this can be found in Shamail Tirmidhi).
They had preserved his sayings, his teachings and they had even written biographies on the people who transmitted those sayings- there was no room for error; they went to extreme measures to ensure authenticity- far more extreme than any historian would go to ensure the reliability of historical sources today.
For the Muslim scholars this religion was more important than their own lives.
On the right there is a refutation from IERA of this documentary and it includes all the historical evidence that Tom Holland chose to neglect so that he could shape Islam into something that pleased him, so that he could write that book he wanted to write.
A labyrinth is a complex path or a set of irregular complicated passages. Tom Holland will find history to be like a labyrinth when it concerns Islam because he sees only what he wants to see and he turns a blind eye to the evidences that cover those “black holes” he refers to.
The history of Islam is a labyrinth to Tom Holland because he wants it to be a labyrinth.
Allah(swt) revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad(saw) as guidance to the whole of mankind and it is together with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) that we have Islam- the way of life that Allah(swt) has prescribed for us. The Quran is the book of Allah and the messenger Muhammad(saw) is the practical example of how we should live.
The truth is unacceptable to Tom Holland. He continues to expand on his claims and he takes the documentary towards new directions. He claims that the Islam that Muslims know today doesn’t even exist. He starts with some subtle insinuations expanding on his theory that it was the Arabs that gave birth to Islam, that the Arabs “created” Islam for their own worldly interests:
“Everything was for Islam, that’s what they say today- the victories, the conquests and the empire but how do we know that Islam even existed back then”– Tom Holland (10:10)
“No one doubts the conquests really took place, but the question is- was it because of Islam”– Tom Holland (13:13)
“We have nothing, we have this one book out of nothing, there’s complete darkness” -Patricia Crone (15:52)
Before the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad(saw), Arabia was a land of tribal warfare and constant bloodshed. For more than 5 generations the Aus and Khazraj tribes had been in war with one another before they became Muslim and gave their allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad(saw). They were later known as the Ansar- the helpers who gave victory to this religion.
The Arabs were the most backwards of people. There was a time when a man would hold the hand of his 5-year-old daughter and he would walk with her into the middle of the desert. He would then dig a hole and then he would start to bury his own daughter alive.
Their concept of marriage was sickening and indecency was a trend amongst society.
The Jews would openly ridicule the Arabs for their insane practices and they would openly say that when their Prophet would come they would destroy these Arabs.
There were very few people in the whole of Arabia that could read and write.
Who would dare to take the Arabs on in the desert heat?
A self-destructing nation that specialised in killing each other. They were a liability and a lost cause for anyone who would take them on. Nobody cared about them.
This was the state of Arabia at the time. If one were to refer to a book called “The Sealed Nectar” they would get a better idea of the traditions and social situation of the Arabs of that time.
Tom Holland tells us a different story about Islam. His story is very difficult to believe if you are to consider the situation of the Arabs of that time. He tells us that the Arab empire created Islam for their own benefits. In this way he presents the Arabs as a very cunning and inventive people.
A people who were killing each other for many centuries, burying their daughters alive and following many other inhumane and strange practices- those are the people who somehow managed to unite and invent a new way of life and a new comprehensive religion only to take over two thirds of the world all by themselves?
Most of them could not even read or write and they “invented” Islamic economics, Islamic Fiqh, Islamic politics and Islam as a way of life?
I have never heard of such amazing history but Tom Holland tells me that it happened.
What are the views of a Pirate Journalist worth when they are compared to the views of a historian who can get his face on Channel 4?
Tom Holland is a specialist, a historian and also one of the best scholars of Quran that we have and he demonstrates this later on in the documentary.
He continues with his claim that there is no evidence for the beginnings of Islam and he says that the earliest biographies were written nearly 200 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad(saw):
“Was Muhammad even a travelling merchant, the evidence is nearly non existent, the earliest biographies we have were written nearly 200 years after Muhammad’s lifetime”– Tom Holland (17:26)
“The problem about writing about the rise of Islam is that we have absence of evidence and we have nothing in which to tell a story”– Patricia Crone (2:07)
“Well, oral tradition means that you remember what you want, some of it must be history and most of it is clearly not history. It’s just they have been reshaped, re-thought and they have been taken out of their original context, serving new functions, they’ve been cleaned up or messed up if you like by all kinds of interests that people have in the memory”– Patricia Crone (18:12)
A hadith is a saying or teaching of the Prophet Muhammad(saw). Seerah is the collection of hadith in a chronological order to form the biography of the Prophet Muhammad(saw). This would then help to “tell a story” for Islam’s beginnings.
So in order to justify the rejection of this history you have to criticise the sources from which this history is derived. This is why this part of the documentary has Tom Holland and Patricia Crone trying to devalue and undermine the authenticity of ahadith or the “oral tradition” so that they can justify their rejection of these historical sources.
The basis for rejecting ahadith by Patricia Crone is that these were oral traditions and she says that they could have been tampered with by people of different interests so this could be inaccurate or reliable.
There is no mention of the science of hadith and the strict conditions that were exercised by the early scholars for a certain narrator and hadith to be trusted. The ahadith are presented as though the early scholars were careless in preserving these sources and they didn’t take this seriously.
Many historians would disagree with Patricia Crone in this regard and the IERA refutation discusses these conditions and the science of hadith in much more detail. One can also refer to a book called “The Differences Of The Imams” by Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi for more detail about the strict rules and conditions the collectors of hadith applied.
Patricia Crone is right that oral traditions can be tampered with but her ignorance as a historian of the science of hadith and the strict conditions put in place by the early scholars of hadith seems to be quite strange.
& What kind of historian simply ignores all orally transmitted historical evidences without any effort to investigate the matter first? Is this a general principle of history or does this rule only apply when Islam is concerned?
This is then followed with a scene of Tom Holland offering Salah with the Arab Bedouins. He seems to find it difficult to perform Sajidah; perhaps he doesn’t want to get sand in his hair. This scene has a purpose. It is to send out a message that this was an unbiased documentary and a genuine effort to discover the truth. The viewer is left thinking “He went out of his way to live like a Muslim for a day, he even tried to pray like them; this must be a truthful unbiased approach”. It was a media stunt.
Tom Holland continues to tell us that there are no historical records of a new religion called Islam in the 7th century. Again, these historical records that Tom Holland conveniently forgot to mention can be found in the IERA refutation. Insha’Allah it will help to fill those “black holes” he keeps talking about. His quest then leads him to Jerusalem…
“At less than 5 years after the death of Muhammad, they set their eyes upon the promised land, the land flowing with milk and honey, the land God promised to the Jews, now the Arabs came to claim that birth right for themselves”– Tom Holland (27:26)
“Why would these populations not risen up in rebellion against their “Muslim rulers” if these Muslim rulers were trying to impose something totally different that was hostile to their own belief”– Fred Donner (29:24)
There is a constant emphasis on the fact that this movement was an Arab movement and not a Muslim movement. Fred Donner even puts a hint of sarcasm when he calls them “Muslim rulers”. The theme that Islam was an invention was still ongoing…
The claim that Islam was just an Arab movement is baseless. The final sermon of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) was heard by so many people so it is very difficult to reject this even from a historical angle.
In the final sermon the Prophet Muhammad(saw) said “An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood”.
We know that Bilal al Habashi(ra) was a companion of the Prophet(saw) and he was a black African from Ethiopian heritage. We know that Salman Al Farsi(ra) was also a companion of the Prophet(saw) and he was from Persia. Today, we offer our prayers next to black people, white people, brown people and whatever people Allah has blessed with Islam. This is not a religion just for “Arabs” and we have never seen a single hadith to suggest that this is a racially restricted religion. Islam came for the whole of mankind.
Tom Holland says that Palestine was the Promised Land for the Jews and the “Arabs” came to later “claim this birth right” for themselves. It seems to be an insinuation that we Muslims have no basis for our claim over Palestine and the Jews have more right over this land.
From Umar ibn Khattab(ra) to Salahuddin Ayoubi(ra) to whatever the future holds, we will never forget Palestine. This is the land where the Prophet Muhammad(saw) descended to lead all the Prophets(as) in Salah as their Imam and their leader. Masjid Al Aqsa was the first Qibla of the Muslims and it was the second house of Allah to be created on Earth. Palestine will never be forgotten regardless of how many government strategies are in place to “deradicalise” the Muslim mentality.
Fred Donner talks about the very small population of Muslims who conquered Jerusalem, which had a larger population of Jews and Christians. He suggests that this is rather strange and these people should have rebelled if the Muslims were trying to impose something that was hostile to their own beliefs. It is a subtle suggestion that these Arabs made up some sort of Islam that would keep everyone stable and peaceful.
Rebellions did take place after Muslims had taken over land in some places. For example, we know that Afghanistan rebelled twice before things became more stable. However the fact that there was no rebellion in Jerusalem tells us a few things.
Firstly, the Muslims were not the crazy terrorists and extremists the media makes them out to be today. The Islamic system did not restrict religious practices from other religions and the people did not see it to be a great threat. There was religious freedom and Islam was not spread by the sword. We did not force people to become Muslims.
Non-Muslims enjoyed peace and security during the time they were living under Muslim rule. When the Crusaders came for Palestine they believed that the Christian population would uprise and quickly shift sides when they sensed that the Crusaders would be coming in. This did not happen and the Crusaders were quite confused by this.
Why would their fellow Christian brothers not support them?
It turned out that the Christians enjoyed much peace and security living with the Muslims and they felt as though the Crusaders were coming in to take that away from them. Many of the Christians living in the Islamic state chose to fight with the Muslims against the Crusaders even though this was not an obligation for them to do so as they were citizens of the state paying the Jizya.
“What were the Arabs up to, what were their motives, we know they called themselves believers but believers in what?”– Tom Holland (29:38)
“Certain Christian contemporaries tell us that the Arabs believed in a single God and they followed a guide or instructor but in general their understanding of what the Arabs believed was deeply confused. Was it a form of Judaism or some kind of Christianity or did they have a whole new religion of their own?”– Tom Holland (29:48)
We can see how the conspiracy theme continues painting us that picture of clever cunning Arabs who had made up a very comprehensive religion in order to aid them to take over the world. The guide or instructor that Tom Holland refers to from Christian testimonies is the Prophet Muhammad(saw) and his claim that Christian contemporaries were confused about the religion of the Muslims is contradictory to the historical evidences highlighted in the IERA refutation.
“Mecca is where Muslims believe everything began, the crossroads of faith and history. Surely here then you would think we would find solid evidence for Islam’s beginning but there is a problem- aside from a single ambiguous mention in the Quran itself there is no mention of Mecca in any dateable text for over 100 years after Muhammad’s death”– Tom Holland (38:51)
Tom Holland says that there is no dateable text for over 100 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) mentioning Makkah. Again this is another claim that can be very difficult to believe.
However, I was going through the Quran using a search engine and I was only able to find one reference for the word “Makkah” being mentioned by name in the Quran:
“And He it is who hath withheld men’s hands from you, and hath withheld your hands from them, in the valley of Mecca, after He had made you victors over them. Allah is Seer of what ye do”– Surah Al Fath (48:24)
The following has been taken from Ibn Kathir as a commentary of this verse:
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said,
“On the day of Hudaybiyyah, eighty armed men from Makkah went down the valley coming from Mount At-Tan`im to ambush the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger invoked Allah against them, and they were taken prisoners.”
Hudaybiyyah was the peace treaty between the Prophet(saw) and the people of Quraysh.
Tom Holland says that this is a “single ambiguous mention” of the word “Makkah”. To understand the context of the verses of Quran one must refer to Seerah because the commentary of Quran is in Seerah- the same Seerah and oral traditions that Tom Holland chose to reject fully so that he could continue with his irrational claims. This mention of Makkah is clear and it is not ambiguous at all.
It seems that the claim here is that the city of Makkah didn’t even exist and there is no evidence that Islam originated from Makkah. Throughout the documentary there were some references about Bakkah being preferred over Makkah.
There is one reference of Bakkah being mentioned in the Quran:
“The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakkah: Full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings”– Surah Al Imran (3:96)
Bakkah is a reference to the Kaaba and the holy site surrounding this in the city of Makkah. Makkah is the name of the city where Bakkah can be found. Bakkah is specific to a place within Makkah.
Tom Holland’s total rejection of ahadith takes him towards some strange places and even more strange theories.
He then starts to go by the assumption that the Prophet Muhammad(saw) was not from Makkah and thus the origins of Islam were further away from Makkah. The documentary then has its few historians speculate on a new place that would suit them better for the beginnings of Islam.
Tom Holland with the help of an Israeli guide, then takes us into the middle of nowhere and he claims that this is where one of the earliest Masjids was situated. I have no idea where or what this place is and I have still not been able to figure it out… the journalist is confused.
However, this is where he starts to question the change of direction of the Qibla in the early days of Islam and he starts to suggest that things were not well established yet. This is an insinuation that the Muslims were still shaping Islam into something that was convenient to themselves. Tom Holland even says “you can still play with it and you can fiddle around with it”.
Allah(swt) talks about the change of the direction of the Qibla in Surah Al Baqarah, verses 142-145. It would be good if one referred to Tafsir Ibn Kathir for commentary on these verses:
“And We made the Qiblah which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy, difficult) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind“- Surah Al Baqarah (2:143)
It is true that the first Qibla was towards Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem. The Muslims did not like to turn their back towards Al Kaaba and they loved Makkah. The Jews were starting to feel strong because Muslims at the time faced the same Qibla as them when they offered their prayers. Some of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) wanted to change their Qibla but they were not granted permission to do this until the command came in Quran.
The Muslims did not change their Qibla even though they felt extremely sad upon turning their back towards Makkah; they did not change their Qibla until Allah(swt) gave them permission to do so. This is the essence of Islam: submission. We will submit to the commands of Allah(swt) and we will do what Allah(swt) has ordered for us to do regardless of what our emotions dictate and what the people say. Only Allah(swt) is sovereign.
Tom Holland’s claim that the Muslims were shaping and inventing Islam as they went along has absolutely no evidence to support it. He is full of speculation and at the same time he accuses Islam of having a lack of evidence. He contradicts his own principles in the study of history.
The next few parts of the documentary were the most amazing parts. We find out that Tom Holland is more than any ordinary historian- he is also a scholar of Quran. We have had Ibn Kathir, Maududi, Sayyid Qutb and now it’s time for Tom Ibn Holland.
He gives us some strange Tafsir that most Muslims have never heard before…
“The people the prophet addresses in the Quran were farmers and agriculturalists but there was no agriculture in Makkah”– Tom Holland (44:09)
“But if the people being addressed by the prophet are passing this place by day and by night then what’s it doing here a thousand kilometres from Makkah”– Tom Holland (49:14)
Tom Holland makes some new assumptions here. He assumes that the Prophet Muhammad(saw) wrote the Quran and it is the Prophet(saw) who is addressing the people in the verses that he seems to be doing Tafsir of. The Prophet Muhammad(saw) did not read or write but Tom Holland believes that this Quran that allowed the Muslims to make many early advances in the field of science and astronomy was the work of the Prophet Muhammad(saw).
He uses a verse from the Quran to “prove” that the people being addressed are much further away from Makkah:
“And indeed, Lot was among the messengers. [So mention] when We save him and his family, all, except his wife among those who remained [with the evildoers]. Then We destroyed the others. And indeed, you pass by them in the morning. And at night. Then will you not use reason?”– Surah As Saffat (37: 133-138)
His second assumption is a very bad one and he assumes that the Arabs didn’t travel. He speaks about how vines and olives can be found in Syria and with this he continues and says that Makkah wasn’t the starting point of Islam. He starts to suggest that Avdat was a better-suited place for the beginnings of Islam although there is no evidence for his claim; only speculations.
Even the Quran suggests that the Arabs of that time did travel as it engages with the reader in a positive manner. Tom Holland’s Tafsir of the Quran is something new to us Muslims. The IERA refutation discusses this in much more detail bringing evidences forward to refute the claims of Tom Holland in this regard.
“My greatest fear is that I am completely wrong, I do wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and think I’ve got it completely wrong”– Tom Holland (51:33)
If you have a car with no petrol, no wheels and no keys then the chances are that you’re not going anywhere. Your car is lacking the bare essentials for it to be a car.
If you hope to study the history of Islam by rejecting most of the historical sources then that’s not history. You are in your full right to feel scared that you might have got it wrong.
Again, this is nothing but a media stunt. I strongly doubt that Tom Holland “thinks” he got it wrong- he knows he got it wrong. I strongly doubt that he wakes up in the middle of the night with his deep concern for half the history he neglected in this strongly biased documentary.
He then develops a passion for coins so he follows the footsteps of Sherlock and becomes a detective. He takes us to a place that seems to be a coin collectors gallery:
“Trying to track the origins of Islam has been like chasing a mirage, the Arabs conquer half the world but they don’t talk about Muhammad. There’s no mention of Mecca so what do they do in detective stories- they follow the money”– Tom Holland (52:34)
“For 60 years the rulers of the Arab empire didn’t put Muhammad on their coins and then they did. Maybe 60 years was what they needed to work out what the story really was”– Tom Holland (53:48)
“What if it wasn’t Islam that gave birth to the Arab empire? What if it was the Arab empire that gave birth to Islam”– Tom Holland (54:23)
I don’t see why the Prophet Muhammad(saw) should have to have his face or name on a coin to show that he is indeed the Prophet of Islam. One can argue that such a thing could be a reflection of pride or arrogance. There are some things that are halal and acceptable but they may not be appropriate for the scholars and the leaders.
Whether or not the name of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) was on a coin 60 years later or 1000 years later proves absolutely nothing. Tom Holland is desperately searching for anything that would help to feed his conspiracy theory about Islam.
“It’s an Arab story, Arabs come from the desert, God is speaking to the Arabs, They don’t want Jews or Christians having any influence on Muhammad”– Tom Holland (1:02:01)
“The Quran is in Arabic, the Quran is full of characters from the bible, if the book came out of the desert then how did these characters get there”– Tom Holland (1:02:41)
It’s strange but it almost seems here that Tom Holland acknowledges that the Quran is indeed the book of Allah. He tries to further evaluate on Islam being an Arab religion that excludes all other races from becoming Muslim.
The Quran is the book of Allah, the speech of Allah and it is the book that the Muslims follow.
In that book we have the following:
“We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as a universal (Messenger) to men giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin) but most of them do not understand”– Surah Saba (34:28)
The following has been taken from Ibn Kathir as a commentary for part of this verse:
(And We have not sent you except to all mankind) meaning, to all the people. Qatadah said concerning this Ayah, “Allah, may He be exalted, sent Muhammad to both the Arabs and the non-Arabs, so the most honored of them with Allah is the one who is most obedient to Allah.”
If Allah(swt) is speaking to the Arabs exclusively then it is strange that we have verses like this in the Quran. The doors were not closed for the Christians or the Jews; Islam is not a racial religion. Islam is a universal religion. We know that Abdullah ibn Salam(ra) was a Jewish rabbi before he reverted to Islam.
Tom Holland questions how characters from the Bible are also in the Quran. By “characters” I am assuming that he is talking about the Prophets who have also been mentioned in the Bible. The Prophet Muhammad(saw) did not read or write and it would be an extremely strange theory if one was to suggest that he “borrowed” ideas from the Christians and Jews only to produce Arabic literature that the greatest poets of Arabia could not compete with.
Indeed, if the book came out from the desert how did these Prophets get into the Quran?
This is a very good point and it is a question for those who reflect.
There are about 72 versions of the Bible and different Christians accept different versions of the Bible to be the word of God. The fact that the Quran is accepted as the word of Allah(swt) by every single Muslim without disagreement is enough proof that this was not a book that was changing over time to suit the whims and desires of the Arabs- it is a miracle and it is from Allah(swt) as it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(saw).The video on the top right section of this page discusses this matter in more depth.
It almost seems that Tom Holland even tries to use the fact that the Quran is in Arabic to justify his conspiracy theories.
“Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand“- Surah Yusuf (12:2)
It would be no good if the revelations from Quran came down in Chinese to address the Prophet Muhammad(saw) and the people around him who spoke Arabic. This issue is too simple and I cannot see how one can use this to feul some conspiracy theory about Islam. The Quran was revealed in Arabic because the Prophet Muhammad(saw) understood Arabic.
“We have nothing, we have this one book out of nothing, we don’t have the key that can unlock the tradition”– Patricia Crone (1:02:52)
“But maybe that’s the point, we’re not supposed to unlock the tradition, God’s message comes to a prophet, the prophet lives in a desert. there is no room for anyone else”– Tom Holland (1:03:00)
“Its remote its uncontaminated its pure and its a place where we can rule out that Muhammad got his ideas from others but god”– Patricia Crone (1:03:13)
“You begin by looking into the record and all you find is emptiness and you end up in the desert and all you see is emptiness but perhaps emptiness is the answer. Maybe Mecca gave Islam what it most needed, a blank sheet where Muslims could put their prophet beyond the reach of history”– Tom Holland (1:04:03)
Patricia Crone seems to be trying to say that Islam covered its back against history so that it would never get “found out”. An uncontaminated remote place where history could not reach the Prophet Muhammad(saw) so that the historian could not study the beginnings of Islam.
Tom Holland picks off from this with his new theory that Islam was an Arab desert religion and there’s no need for us to think further than that.
Again, these theories are only the result of the neglect of historical sources for the sake of bias and propaganda. This documentary was an attempt to brainwash the people.
Tom Holland closes the documentary questioning religion in general suggesting that if there is no historical evidence about something then everything can be questioned and there is no real reason to believe. He then talks about Palestine and how different religious movements had been fighting over this land for such a long time.
This piece of text included many evidences from Quran and hadith even though Tom Holland rejected these evidences. Just because he was able to get his face on Channel 4 to make a documentary about Islam, this does not mean he is a credible historian and this does not mean that the Muslims should follow his trend of rejecting all hadith without any real basis. There is no need for any Muslim or Non-Muslim to bend over backwards for Tom Holland.
This was not written with the belief that history should be the sole basis for trying to establish what the truth is. The approach that Tom Holland took in the topic of history is one that will only lead towards confusion because that is not history- that is bias and propaganda.
“Even today more people die for visions of heaven than they do for historical facts, stories that never happened can be infinitely more powerful than stories that did”– Tom Holland (1:09:27)
Why should history and history alone be the principle to establish the truth? Is everyone a historian? If historical sources are unable to cover a certain event in time does this mean that such a thing did not happen?
I am not a historian and this is why I did not give sources and evidences from the history books. The Pirate Journalist is not a specialist in Islamic history. Most Muslims did not accept Islam after looking at coins in some coin collectors gallery. The IERA Refutation has done a brilliant job in highlighting the historical evidences that Tom Holland chose to neglect.
History is a specialist subject. You don’t go to bedouins in the desert to tell you about the history of Islam expecting them to quote historical sources and evidences. You go to a Muslim specialist in the history of Islam and this is something Tom Holland failed to do.
“They said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, indeed Gog and Magog are [great] corrupters in the land. So may we assign for you an expenditure that you might make between us and them a barrier?”– Surah Al Kahf (18:94)
In the Quran in Surah Al Kahf there is the story of Dhul Qarnayn and how he built a barrier between the people and Ya’juj(Gog) and Ma’juj(Magog). This happened thousands of years ago and history is unable to cover the story of Dhul Qarnayn. It does not exist in historical sources but it exists in the Quran.
Should we now say that history did not cover this so it can’t have taken place?
That would be irrational.
We cannot restrict ourselves to the principles of History in hope to establish what the truth is. In the same way we cannot restrict ourselves to the principles of Science to establish what the truth is.
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah. Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them”– Surah Al Baqarah (2:2-3)
Yes, we have historical sources and we have scientific miracles but these subjects have their limits in comparison to how vast Islam is. We will never be able to prove that hellfire and paradise exist using Science. We will never be able to prove the authenticity of the story of Dhul Qarnayn using the limits of History. This is knowledge of the unseen.
The one who looks for the truth will find the truth Insha’allah. The one who looks for doubt out of his own bias; he will find things that he believes to be doubtful but in reality he is confused.
The intellect and knowledge of man is limited and it is Allah(swt) that has made it limited.
Allah(swt) has given us the free thinking mind.
Our basis should be rational thinking.
We must be able to approach a matter without bias and we should have an open and receptive heart in order to reach the truth.