Islam and Rushdie

Are Muslims allowed to read The Satanic Verses? Have any of the Muslims here read it? What exactly do you find particularly offensive there?

Please, no fighting, esp. about things that have little to do with the book! :o I actually want a real answer to this.

Thank you.

I’m not muslim, but what I understand about the book is that Rushdie claimed that some of the verses in the Koran have a satanic origin…

I might be wrong, but that’s what the discussion on the radio was about this morning…


I would think that the fact that nearly all Muslim nations (except Turkey) have banned or severely restricted this book, and even those with sizeable minorities of Muslims have followed suit, indicates that reading the book is highly discouraged, but I don’t know about forbidden, with Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa still in effect I should think the average Muslim would not consider it for reading material anyway.

It’s not just a “claim.” Do a search.

I’m using the word “claim” for the simple fact that I’m ignorant of the actual information…LOL

But trust me, it has sparked enough interest that I’ll probably research it some…


In my recollection it is banned in a number of Islamic countries including Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. I imagine people could get their hands on a copy though, if they had the money and right connections (as the List of Prohibited Books did little in the face of the printing press in Europe).

I’ve read about a quarter of it, didn’t have the will power to read more than that though as I found it boring. Honestly I’m not just saying this because he’s anti-Islamic, Rushdie really isn’t a good writer; the only reason this book is famous is because of it’s provocative nature, other than that it’s quite poor.

I don’t know if the Satantic verses were even mentioned in the book, the only provocative things I found was naming prostitutes after all the Prophet’s wives, and — may God forgive me! — depicting the Angel Gabriel and Muhammad having sex.

Hardly any *intelligent *criticism you’ll note…

I have to agree. He really does stink.

I haven’t read it, but it’s nice to see people from the Balkan here

Actually, all of the Qur’an verses in the book are coming through a 20th century actor who somehow turns into the angel Gibreel in his dreams. Where he gets them from is unknown. This is a silly Postmodernist frivolity that I don’t find too appealing, but not enough to warrant a fatwa. Is this the main problem?

Did Rushdie totally invent the “Satanic verses” story (that Muhammad allegedly received verses about worshipping goddesses as a temptation from Satan and rebuked them later) or does it have some sort of correspondence in the Hadith or Qur’an?

Thank you!

I found parts of it really interesting and well written. Usually these were NOT the provocative parts at all. I actually forgot the sex scene - are you SURE it’s there?

There are quite a few Western literary critics who would agree with you that the book only became famous b/c of its provocative nature.

I can’t remember it that well, but it’s not a ‘sex scene’, just has Mahound waking up in other people’s beds; the implied meaning is obvious anyway

Thats disgusting. I can see why the book has been banned in so many places. On a lighter note Kadaveri I like your answer I’ve heard the same from a lot of people, that as ‘controversial’ as it may be, at the end of the day its just a boring, poorly written book. I’m not reading it because I haven’t read the Q’uran yet and I don’t want a book like that to affect my opinion of Islam-but if its that boring I doubt I’ll ever bother :shrug: .

No Rushdie didn’t invent the Satanic Verses, it’s a (fabricated) story that’s been in circulation for centuries, and no it doesn’t have any correspondence with the Qur’an or any Hadith collection. There a good article on it HERE for you if you’re interested.

Hey didn’t Mohammed engage in sexual intercourse with all his wives in the same night? Nine wives I believe? He had the sexual prowess of 10 men or something like that?

I remember reading book reviews that were luke warm. Except for the political publicity, it would probably be gathering dust in the bargain bin 3 weeks after it was released.

Thank you! I’m not only interested out of curiosity, I’m an MA student of Literature writing a paper on this (I still haven’t re-read the book, and I read it 10 yrs. ago, so I forgot a lot). This link is very useful.

I DON’T like the way PoMo toys with religion and uses it as superficial decoration, if you know what I mean. The only reason I’m “forgiving” (in purely literary terms) Rushdie’s pretty tasteless attack on Islam is that he is a Muslim himself. It must be, at least on some level, a personal question/quest/problem for him. If a non-Muslim, however, had written something like this, I would simply find it nauseating.

Rushdie is a committed atheist.

Oh. There are different collections? Didn’t know that. Do you perhaps have a good link on that too? The site I use for my search is called “A Compendium of Muslim Texts” or something to that effect, and it doesn’t mention different collections, as far as I’ve seen…

Thank you for your help!

True, but he was born as a Muslim, and said on one occasion that he has felt a “God-shaped hole” inside him since he became an atheist. So, he’s not JUST toying with it all.

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