About Samson


Salam wa aleykum ya Mawlana!

I would like to know the position that Islam gives to Samson, he was the Prophet as quoted in the Bible? Is there any religious tradition to confirm that he was a Prophet? One person told me that he was not a prophet but he is ignorant of religion and another told me that he was. I’d love to know if he was or not and what his story is possible under Islam. Could you please answer me this question?

Jazakallahu Khayr


wa `alaykum salam,

There is no reason to doubt the sanctity of Samson or Shamsun, peace be upon him, in the understanding of Classical Islam. This is not to say that the Biblical account of Samson is accepted in all its details by Muslim authorities. To clarify the differences between the Bible and the Islamic perspective, please consult the account transmitted by Tabari in his History of Prophets and Kings.

According to the historian Tha`labi, the heroic example of Shamsun was held up by the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and a comparable narration appears in Shaykh as-Sufuri’s Nuzhat al-majalis wa mutakhab al-nafa’is. In California, Hajjah Amina `Adil – may Allah sanctify her secret – took this subject as the focus of a remarkable sohbet. The following is from Tha`labi’s Lives of the Prophets:

Abu `Amr al- `Iraqi told us according to his isnad on the authority of Ibn Abi Najih that the Prophet mentioned a man from the Children of Israel who wore armour (striving) in the way of God for one thousand months. The Muslims were amazed at that, so God revealed: “Lo, He revealed it on the Night of Power. And what will explain to you the Night of Power? The Night of Power is better than one thousand months“, during which that man wore armour (striving) in the way of God.

Tabari relates that the weapon of Shamsun, peace be upon him, was the jawbone of a camel. It is therefore of interest to recall that the first blow struck in defense of Islam was with the jawbone of a camel, wielded by the Cavalier of Islam Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him, seemingly by force of circumstance. Yet since the Last Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to have said: “The wise of this community are like the prophets of the Children of Israel,” this conformity of signs may very well be a simple confirmation of this tradition.

Mahmoud Shelton

About Ustadh Mahmoud Shelton

Mahmoud Shelton studied at the University of Edinburgh before taking a degree in Medieval Studies at Stanford University. Shelton is the author of Alchemy in Middle Earth: The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Balance of George Lucas' Star Wars, and numerous articles. He is also a contributor to The Royal Book of Spiritual Chivalry and The Sufi Science of Self-Realization. Contributions by Mahmoud Shelton * Chivalry of the Night and Day * Alchemy in Middle Earth * contributor, The Royal Book of Spiritual Chivalry
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