Satanic Verses  

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Some accounts of the history of Islam say there were two verses of the Quran that were allegedly added by Muhammad when he was tricked by Satan (in an incident known as the "Story of the Cranes", later referred to as the "Satanic Verses"). These verses were then retracted at angel Gabriel's behest.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Satanic Verses incident, known as qissat al-gharaniq (Story of the Cranes), is the name given to the alleged occasion on which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad is said to have mistaken the words of "satanic suggestion" for divine revelation.

Narratives involving these alleged verses can be read in, among other places, the biographies of Muhammad by al-Wāqidī, Ibn Sa'd (who was a scribe of Waqidi) and Ibn Ishaq (as reconstructed by Alfred Guillaume), as well as the tafsir of al-Tabarī. The majority of Muslim scholars however have rejected the historicity of the incident on the bases of their weak isnads (chains of transmission) and the incompatibility of the incident with the theological doctrine of 'isma (Prophetic infallibility, divine protection of Muhammad from mistakes).

The first use of the expression 'Satanic Verses' is attributed to Sir William Muir (1858).

This entire matter was a mere footnote to the back-and-forth of religious debate, and was rekindled only when Salman Rushdie's 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, made headline news. The novel contains some fictionalized allusions to Islamic history, which provoked both controversy and outrage. Muslims around the world protested the book's publishing, and Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa sentencing Rushdie to death, saying that the book blasphemed Muhammad and his wives.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Satanic Verses" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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