Fabrications Involving the Qur’an

Some of the Umayyah clan went so far as to claim that some of the Qur’anic verses descended because of Umar’s wishes, actions, and suggestions. For instance, al-Suyuti says:

When Umar gave his opinion about something, the Qur’an would come with a verse supporting his opinion. Whenever there was a disagreement between the people and Umar, the Qur’an came and supported what Umar said… Allah supported Umar and confirmed his views in 21 places in the Qur’an.[38]

Such narrations claim that because Umar had instructed the Prophet not to seek forgiveness for the hypocrites that Allah revealed the following verse, “Whether you seek forgiveness for them or not, Allah will never forgive them.” (c. 9:80) They also say that Umar suggested to the Muslims to prepare themselves for the Battle of Badr, and the Qur’an came in support of Umar’s idea. However, these reports ironically neglect the fact that Umar is recorded to have been against the military engagement for the Battle of Badr. In addition, it is alleged that Allah revealed, “And whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His Messengers and Gabriel and Michael, Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject faith,” (c. 2:98) because Umar was defending the Angel Gabriel against a Jewish man who called the angel their enemy. Moreover, they maintain that the verse requiring people to seek permission before entering a person’s chamber also came at the request of Umar.[39] These are all blatant tales trying to raise the status of Umar.

Imam al-Nawawi attributes many verses to Umar and says, “The Qur’an descended in conformance with Umar in many places, such as the prisoners of Badr, the verse of hijab, the station of Ibrahim, and the prohibition of wine.”[40] However, the latter statement is extremely doubtful, since historians agree that Umar gradually ceased drinking.[41] In fact, the final verse prohibiting alcohol was revealed after Umar became drunk and injured the head of Abd al-Rahman b. Auf.

[38] Al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, p.122-123
[39] Ibid., p.124
[40] Al-Imam al-Nawawi, Al-Tahdheeb
[41] Al-Abshihi, Al-Mustadraf, 2:260; Ibn Shabbah, Tarikh al-Madinah al-Muhawarah, 3:863

When Power and Piety Collide by Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini