Curse of Ham part 2

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In  the last article we discussed the christian narrative and the incorrect points that had been propagated throughout History. Unfortunately a few Muslim writers adopted the belief. The two main areas that suffered under the myth were historiography and ethnography of Muslim literature. scholars and writers wanted to know causes for the dark skin, and sometimes borrowed from the story of ham in the from the people of the book. One of them is jarir at tabri in his masterpiece Tarik ar Rasul  wal muluk.

The story however had a twist. Noah’s curse against his son Ham was a result of him seeing the nakedness of his father. Similar to the story in Genesis, Nuh Aley selam is being shown in a bad light and the majority of the classical scholars opposed the idea.  Among scholars we have the likes of As-suyti, Al jahiz and Ibn khaldun.David M. Goldenberg’s mentions something similar  his study of representation of Black  Africans in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by saying

” The Biblical story ( curse of Ham) has been the single greatest justification for black Slavery for more than thousand years, It’s a strange justification  for black slavery for there is no reference in it to blacks at all”.

The major problem in the story is the lack of evidence there is no supporting pillar to back up the claim , and we tried  to show the flaws in he story in part of the cure of Ham. The advice of the Prophet SaS was to not acknowledge the stories nor disagree. There are a few traditions that allow Muslim to narrate the stories of the Jewish, but there are of course conditions. For example the narration on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr RD.  narrates

that the Prophet sas said convey from me, even if it is one ayah. Narrate from the Children of Israel without fear of reproach and whoever lies about me deliberately  should prepare his seat in the Fire”

(Al-Bukhari kitab al -anbiya. bab ma dhukira an Bani Israil No. 3274)

Abu Hurayrah RD. narrates ” The  People of the Book used to read the Tawrah in Ibraniyyah ( Hebrew) and explain it in Arabic to the  people of Islam, so the Messenger of Allah swt  said, Do not believe the People of the Book , nor disbelieve them, but rather” Say  ” We belive in Allah  and what has been revealed to us( Surat al Baqarah 2:135) Hadith is found in ( Al-Bukhari, kitab at tafsir, bab qulu amanna billahi wa ma unzila ilayna No, 4215, see also Nos 6928 and 7013)

So what is the lesson we can take from here ? Prophetic tradition is superior to any statements any other human makes providing the tradition is thoroughly understood, and goes hand with the consensus of the majority of scholars. Then of course the ability to categorize  the Israel narration  is vital to understand. There are narration that there confirmed by Qur’an and Sunnah, then there are narration which contradict  Qur’an and Sunnah. And then those one who are no found in Islam teaching which the Hadith above gives us guidance how to deal with it. These Hadith we mentioned should be enough to understand that there is a way of filtering away Non- Islamic principles. Furthermore we can learn from our past mistake and see what could once we adopt beliefs that outside Islam. Why does it matter what people in the past said or did. Well the 9th century represented the century of slavery in Iraq and around that time many racial slurs were motivated by these teachings.

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