As-Saamiri in the Quran
Fatwa No: 92153

  • Fatwa Date:12-6-2006 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 16, 1427
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Question

Peace be upon you and Thanks for your help,
I have a question a Christian has been bothering me about. I have no knowledge on this issue so I thought to write you. It is as follows:
He [Allah] said, "We have tempted thy people since thou didst leave them. The Samaritan has led them into error." Then Moses returned .... and we cast them [(gold) ornaments], as the Samaritan also threw them, into the fire." (Then he brought out for them a Calf, a mere body that lowed; and they said, "This is your god, and the god of Moses, whom he has forgotten.") ... Moses said, "And thou, Samaritan, what was thy business?" ... -- Sura 20:85-88, 95
How can a Samaritan have led the Israelites astray at the time of Moses [about 1400 B.C.] when the city of Samaria was founded by King Omri in about 870 B.C. (see 1 Kings 16:24)? But "the Samaritans" as a distinct people only emerged after the exile of the Northern kingdom of Israel and the resettlement of the area under king Sargon II in after 722 B.C. with non-Israelites which then adopt a syncretism [mixture] between the religion of the Jews and their own polytheistic background. Hence, it is historically impossible that a Samaritan could have led the Israelites into idolatery in the time of Moses. This is another time compression of at least 500, but rather 700 years.
If "as-Samirii" does not mean "the Samaritan", how else would you express "the Samaritan" in Arabic?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

First of all, we advise you to stay away from debating the Christians and other non-Muslims unless you have enough knowledge about the subject matter so that you will not be in doubt and loss because of the unfounded misconceptions or allegations they might direct to you.

Among these misconceptions is that they do not believe in the Quran because it mentioned that As-Saamiri has led the people of Moosaa (Moses) astray, bearing in mind that the city of Saamirah to whom he is attributed as they claim was founded a long time after him. But they did not know that As-Saamiri is not attributed to this town, rather he is attributed to one Israelite tribe called As-Saamirah. It was also said that he was an infidel from Karman and his name was Moosaa Ibn Thafar. Anyway according to both interpretations, he is not attributed to the town of Saamirah, so their misconception is refuted.

In addition to this, the resources he took the information from are not trustworthy so that it would contradict what the Quran says, which is the truth without any doubt.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 86249, 90449 and 83344.

Allaah Knows best.

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