What Ahlam Tamimi Teaches Us about Islam

What Ahlam Tamimi Teaches Us about Islam

You learn more from what people do or don’t do than from what they say

“If Islam were truly against killing, one could hardly imagine a scenario more tailored to evoke Muslim outrage than unrepentant child killers literally receiving the royal treatment at Islam’s holiest site…”

Is Islam really against killing people?  That’s what we always hear in the wake of high-profile terror attacks, even if it contradicts what we usually see.  Sometimes we’re even told that the terrorists aren’t Muslim (despite what the terrorists themselves think and say).

But talk is cheap.  Actions speak louder.  Do Muslims really act as if killing is against their religion?  Consider the case of Ahlam Tamimi:

Terrorists could hardly make it more obvious that innocent civilians are being targeted than when they bomb a restaurant packed with dozens of women, children and babies.  This is exactly happened on August 9, 2001 at a Sbarro’s pizzaria in Jerusalem.

The monster who picked out this target was Ahlam Tamimi, a female journalism student from Jordan who also planted a bomb at a grocery store in the same area.  Tamimi was not shy about her religious motivation in murdering innocent people:

This is the path. I dedicated myself to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and Allah granted me success. You know how many casualties there were. This was made possible by Allah.

Among those casualties whose murder was “made possible by Allah” were at least seven children and a pregnant woman, along with eight others.  Nearly 130 suffered injury, some maimed for life.

It’s hard to imagine a purer example of innocent people being killed in the name of Allah than this.  Were it truly an offense to Islam, what better opportunity for Muslims to prove it by demonstrating their outrage.

Here’s what happened instead (in Ahlam Tamimi’s own words):

Afterwards, when I took the bus, the Palestinians were all smiling. You could sense that everybody was happy. When I got on the bus, nobody knew that it was me who had led [the suicide bomber to the target]… inside the bus, they were all congratulating one another. They didn’t even know one another, yet they were exchanging greetings… As the number of dead kept increasing, the passengers were applauding.

Ahlam Tamimi received 16 life sentences for her role in the attack.  From an Israeli prison, she snubbed her victims and made it quite clear that she had no remorse or sympathy for them.  Her only regret was that there were not more of them:

I admit that I was a bit disappointed, because I had hoped for a larger toll. Yet when they said “three dead,” I said: ‘Allah be praised’…Two minutes later, they said on the radio that the number had increased to five. I wanted to hide my smile, but I just couldn’t. Allah be praised, it was great.

Even during that interview, over 10 years later, Ms. Tamimi expressed joy when hearing for the first time that eight children had been killed – one more than what she had previously thought.  In fact, she could not stop smiling at the news.

So, here is a devout Muslim not only killing people explicitly in the name of Islam, but openly praising Allah for the slaughter of children… just the sort of thing that Muslim leaders in the West claim “horrifies” them.  Yet, what was their reaction?  Total silence.

At this point, apologists might say that there was no point in expressing outrage at the time because it was a localized event in which justice was served.  How does it affect them, they might ask.  Terrorists aren’t even Muslim, remember?  Some nut does something bad somewhere in the world and Muslims elsewhere have to answer for it?  Why, that sounds like “Islamophobia!”

But wait… that isn’t the end of the story.

Despite her crime, Ahlam Tamimi was part of a group of terrorists released in an October 2011 swap for an Israeli prisoner of Hamas.  Muslims could have protested her release if they felt that she were guilty of “horrifying” crimes in the name of their religion.  None did.

Instead of being outraged, some Muslims actually celebrated Ms. Tamimi’s release.  In fact, she was treated like a hero – and not just by Palestinians.  The keepers of Islam’s holiest sites subsequently invited her to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca along with the other terrorists as guests of the Saudi king!

The pilgrimage known as the Haj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.  It is so important to the religion that tens of millions of impoverished Muslims, some disabled, scrimp and save for decades to be able to afford it.  The waiting list in Indonesia can be up to 39 years – and that’s after spending an average of one month’s income just to be in the lottery.

Despite the tremendous oil wealth of the Arab world (and the pretentious fashion in which it is squandered), most of the world’s pious Muslims never make the haj due to cost or lack of space

They should try killing innocent people in the name of Allah, because that’s exactly what earned Ahmal Tamimi and her fellow terrorists an all-expense paid trip to Mecca on a private Saudi jet!

If Islam were truly against killing, one could hardly imagine a scenario more tailored to evoke Muslim outrage than unrepentant child killers literally receiving the royal treatment at Islam’s holiest site.  So, how much outrage was there?  Zero.  Absolutely none.

If Muslims want people to believe that they believe terrorism is an offense to Islam, then they completely blew the moment of truth test. The religion notorious for throwing deadly tantrums over hijabsfilmsbookscartoonschurch buildingsstuffed teddy bears and monkeys couldn’t bring itself to even go through the motions of outrage when terrorists butcher innocents in the name of Allah and then get feted at the expense of other Muslims at Islam’s holiest site.

(The episode also belies the aphorism that “terrorists aren’t Muslim”, since it is a fact that non-Muslims aren’t allowed to set foot in Mecca, much less live large there while pilgrims elsewhere in the city are almost literally starving in horrid conditions).

Clearly, when we are told that Islam is “against terrorism and the killing of innocent people,” all is not what it seems.  The truth is that Islam has its own definition of “innocent people” in which heretics, apostates, ‘hypocrites’, consenting adults and non-submissive infidels do not qualify, and so killing them isn’t “terror”, but divinely sanctioned punishment or jihad.  In fact, Muhammad said he had been “made victorious through terror,” and the Quran prescribes harsh treatment of both non-practicing Muslims and unbelievers.

This doesn’t mean that most Muslims agree with the violence, but the contradiction between what their religion teaches and what their hearts tell them accounts for their ambivalence – and our skepticism.  Empathy for those outside the faith is never encouraged by Islam, explaining why the Muslim community acts almost the opposite of how it is expected to much of the time, and why the passion and outrage in denouncing Islamic terror is largely absent in comparison to what we see when Muslims are genuinely offended over something relatively trivial.

Non-violent Muslims are fond of saying that they can’t be held responsible for what another person does.  Fair enough.  But aren’t they responsible for what they choose?  The case of Ahmal Tamimi isn’t about what one person or one group teaches us about Islam.  It is about what all Muslims teach us by choosing to stay quiet in such glaring circumstances.

Muhammad  Raided Caravans to  Retrieve Stolen Property

Muhammad  Raided Caravans to  Retrieve Stolen Property

“Our Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade his people from attacking innocent caravans and only took what had been taken from his people by the polytheists.” 

 

The Truth:

After his eviction by the Quraish in Mecca, Muhammad and his Muslims found refuge many miles away in Medina where they were not being bothered by their former adversaries.  Despite this, Muhammad sent his men on seven unsuccessful raids against Meccan caravans before finally finding one – whereupon they murdered the driver and plundered the contents. This particular caravan was especially vulnerable because the attack came during the holy months, when the merchants were least expecting it due to the generally agreed upon rule that the tribes of the area would not attack each other during that time:

[A Muslim raider] who had shaved his head, looked down on them [the Meccan caravan], and when they saw him they felt safe and said, “They are pilgrims, you have nothing to fear from them.”  (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 424, Ibn Kathir V.2 p.242)

The shaved head caused the Muslims to look like pilgrims rather than raiders, which instilled a false sense of security in the drivers.  However, Islam was a different sort of religion from what the Meccans were used to:

[The Muslim raiders] encouraged each other, and decided to kill as many as they could of them and take what they had.  Waqid shot Amr bin al-Hadrami with an arrow and killed him…  (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 425; see also Ibn Kathir V.2 p.243)

According to Ibn Kathir, the Muslims living in Mecca did not dispute that their brethren in Medina had killed, captured and stolen from the Quraish, but they were reluctant to accept that this had occurred during the sacred months:

The Quraysh said that Muhammad and his Companions violated the sanctity of the Sacred Month and shed blood, confiscated property and took prisoners during it. Those who refuted them among the Muslims who remained in Makkah replied that the Muslims had done that during the month of Sha`ban (which is not a sacred month). (Ibn Kathir)

Faced with losing face by admitting his error, Muhammad went into his hut and emerged with a convenient and timely revelation “from Allah” that provided retroactive permission for the raid (and, of course sanctioned the stolen possessions for his own use):

They ask you concerning the sacred month about fighting in it. Say: Fighting in it is a grave matter, and hindering (men) from Allah’s way and denying Him, and (hindering men from) the Sacred Mosque and turning its people out of it, are still graver with Allah, and persecution is graver than slaughter (Quran 2:217)

Notice that the Quran does not say that the Meccan Quraish were guilty of killing Muslims, only that they were “persecuting” them by preventing them from the ‘sacred mosque’ (the Kaaba).  The killing of the Meccan driver by the Muslims was the first deadly encounter between the two adversaries.  This is of acute embarrassment to contemporary Muslim apologists, who like to say that Islam is against killing for any reason other than self-defense.

For this reason, there has arisen the modern myth that the Muslims of that time were simply “taking back” what was theirs – rather than exacting revenge and stealing.  Contemporary apologists like to say that Muhammad and his followers were basically robbed by the Meccans on their way out of town.  (The 1976 movie, “The Message,” perpetuates this misconception).

Apologists are somewhat vague as to how property theft justifies killing (particularly on the part of someone they otherwise like to portray as a paragon of virtue); nor do they attempt to explain how the particular victims of subsequent Muslim raids (usually the caravan drivers and laborers) were directly responsible for this supposed theft.  A larger problem is that there is no evidence to support the misconception that the Muslims were “taking back what was theirs”; in fact, it is specifically contradicted by the early historical record.

The event of the first attack on Meccan caravans is detailed quite well by Muhammad’s biographer, Ibn Ishaq/Hisham, but nowhere does he mention the contents of the caravan as being Muslim property.  In fact, Ishaq explicitly describes the goods as belonging to the Meccans:

A caravan of Quraish carrying dry raisins and leather and other merchandise of Quraish passed by…” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 424)

Note also that the cargo plundered from the caravan included raisins, which would have long since perished had they been from grapes grown and dried by the Muslims before they left Mecca nearly a full year earlier.  Moreover, a fifth of the loot was given to Muhammad as war booty, which would not have been the case if it rightfully belonged to another Muslim (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 425).

Most of the Muslims living in Mecca had few assets to begin with, having come largely from the lower rungs of the social ladder, but those who did would have had several years to liquidate their assets or transport them to a new location.  As the instigator of the discord, Muhammad was the only Muslim literally forced to flee Mecca in the dead of night, but even his business affairs were sewn up on his behalf by Ali, his son-in-law:

Ali stayed in Mecca for three days and nights until he had restored the deposits which the apostle held.  (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 335, also Ibn Kathir v.2 p.155)

” Restoring deposits” means returning property to people who had left them in Muhammad’s care, similar to a bank returning money to depositors.  This would not have been possible had Muhammad’s wealth been confiscated.  Given that his had not been, it is unlikely that anyone else’s was either, since he was the primary interest of the Quraish.

So, if the Muslims at Medina weren’t trying to recover stolen goods, why were they plundering Meccan caravans?  Muhammad explains the real reason for the looting and the killing:

“If you have killed in the sacred month, they have kept you back from the way of Allah with their unbelief in Him, and from the sacred mosque, and have driven you from it when you were its people.  This is a more serious matter with Allah then the killing of those of them whom you have slain. ‘And seduction is worse than killing.’   They used to seduce the Muslim in his religion until they made him return to unbelief after believing, and that is worse with Allah than killing.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 426)

Thus, the justification for killing the Meccans and stealing their goods is purely religious. The only thing stolen from the Muslims was their ability to enter the sacred mosque (ie. complete the Haj ritual at the Kaaba).  The innocent caravan drivers were fair game for Muhammad’s deadly raids simply because Muslims felt “kept back from the way of Allah” by the “unbelief” of the Meccan leadership. This is all the more apparent by the next major episode in which Muhammad sent his men to plunder caravans, which precipitated the Battle of Badr:

When the Apostle heard about Abu Sufyan coming from Syria, he summoned the Muslims and said, “This is the Quraish caravan containing their property. Go out to attack it, perhaps Allah will give it as a prey.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 428)

In this case the Meccans were returning to Mecca from a business trip to Syria.  Any goods they were carrying would have been purchased from the Syrians.

Over the next nine years, the principle source of income for Muslims was wealth forcibly extracted from others.  The targets of misfortune expanded well beyond the Meccans.  By the time Muhammad died, his men were finding excuse to raid and steal from many other Arab tribes, Jews and even Christians.  Like the mafia, a protection racket gradually evolved where other tribes were allowed to live peacefully provided they paid tribute to Muslim rulers.

Sex and Muhammad

Sex and Muhammad

Was Muhammad, whom the Quran says is the perfect model for mankind, sexually restrained?

The Quran (which was narrated by Muhammad) refers to Muhammad’s life as “a beautiful pattern of conduct for anyone whose hope is in Allah” (33:21) and “an exalted standard of character” (68:4). Yet, thanks to Allah’s extraordinary interest in his personal sex life (as immortalized in the Quran) the prophet of Islam had sex with just about anyone he pleased.Although the Quran didn’t appear to have enough space for topics like universal love and brotherhood (which neophytes sometimes insist are there, but aren’t), the list of sexual partners that Muhammad was entitled to is detailed more than once, sometimes in categories and sometimes in reference to specific persons (ie. Zaynab and Mary).

Muhammad was married to thirteen women, including eleven at one time. He relegated them to either consecutive days or (according to some accounts) all in one night. He had sex with a 9-year-old girl and married his adopted son’s wife (after arranging a quick divorce). On top of that, Muhammad had a multitude of slave girls and concubines with whom he had sex – sometimes on the very days in which they watched their husbands and fathers die at the hands of his army.

So, by any realistic measure, the creator of the world’s most sexually restrictive religion was also one of the most sexually indulgent characters in history.

Quran

Allah managed to hand down quite a few “revelations” that sanctioned Muhammad’s personal pursuit of sex to the doubters around him. Interestingly they have become part of the the eternal, infallible word of the Quran, to be memorized by generations of Muslims for whom they have no possible relevance. Quran (33:37) – “But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them; and Allah’s command shall be performed.” No doubt millions of young Muslims, trying to outdo one another at memorizing the Quran, have wondered about what this verse means and why it is there. In fact, this is a “revelation” of convenience that Allah just happened to hand down at a time when Muhammad lusted after his daughter-in-law, Zaynab, – a state of affairs that disturbed local customs. The verse “commands” Muhammad to marry the woman (following her husband’s gracious divorce). As for why this should be part of the eternal word of God…?Quran (33:50) – “O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her– specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; ” This is another special command that Muhammad handed down to himself that allows virtually unlimited sex, divinely sanctioned by Allah. One assumes that this “revelation” was meant to assuage some sort of disgruntlement in the community over Muhammad’s hedonism.

Quran (33:51) – “You may put off whom you please of them, and you may take to you whom you please, and whom you desire of those whom you had separated provisionally; no blame attaches to you; this is most proper, so that their eyes may be cool and they may not grieve, and that they should be pleased” This is in reference to a situation in which Muhammad’s wives were grumbling about his preference for sleeping with a slave girl (Mary the Copt) instead of them. Accordingly, Muhammad may sleep with whichever wife (or slave) he wishes without having to hear the others complain… as revealed in Allah’s literal and perfect words to more than a billion Muslims.

Quran (66:1-5) – “O Prophet! Why do you ban (for yourself) that which Allah has made lawful to you, seeking to please your wives?… Allah has already ordained for you, the dissolution of your oaths “ Another remarkably personal passage of sexual convenience in a book billed as Allah’s perfect and eternal message to mankind. Muhammad was caught sleeping with a slave woman on the night that he was supposed to be with one of his wives. Initially promising to be faithful, “Allah” tells his prophet to break that promise and enjoy sex with his slaves. If his wives objected then “it may be if he divorced you (all) that his Lord will give him instead of you, wives better than you.”

Quran (4:24) – “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” Allah even permitted Muhammad and his men to have sex with married slaves, such as those captured in battle.

Hadith and Sira

Sahih Muslim (8:3309) – Muhammad consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was only nine. (See also Sahih Bukhari 58:234 and many other places). No where in the reliable Hadith or Sira is there any other age given. Other references are Sahih Bukhari 3896, 5158 and 3311.

Sahih Bukhari (62:18) – Aisha’s father, Abu Bakr, wasn’t on board at first, but Muhammad explained how the rules of their religion made it possible. This is similar to the way that present-day cult leaders manipulate their followers into similar concessions.

Sahih Muslim (8:3311) – The girl took her dolls with her to Muhammad’s house (something to play with when the “prophet” was not having sex with her).

Sahih Bukhari (6:298) – Muhammad would take a bath with the little girl and fondle her.

Sahih Muslim (8:3460) – “Why didn’t you marry a young girl so that you could sport with her and she sport with you, or you could amuse with her and she could amuse with you?” Muhammad posed this question to one of his followers who had married an “older woman” instead of opting to fondle a child.

Sahih Bukhari (4:232) – Muhammad’s wives would wash semen stains out of his clothes, which were still wet from the spot-cleaning even when he went to the mosque for prayers. Between copulation and prayer, it’s a wonder he found the time to slay pagans.

Sahih Bukhari (6:300) – Muhammad’s wives had to be available for the prophet’s fondling even when they were having their menstrual period.

Sahih Bukhari (93:639) – The Prophet of Islam would recite the ‘Holy Quran’ with his head in Aisha’s lap, when she was menstruating.

Sahih Bukhari (62:6) – “The Prophet used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.” Muhammad also said that it was impossible to treat all wivesequally – and it isn’t hard to guess why.

Sahih Bukhari (5:268) – “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, ‘Had the Prophet the strength for it?’ Anas replied, ‘We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty men.’ “

Sahih Bukhari (60:311) – “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.” These words were spoken by Aisha within the context of her husband having been given ‘Allah’s permission’ to fulfill his sexual desires with a large number of women in whatever order he chooses. (It has been suggested that Aisha may have been speaking somewhat wryly).

Sahih Muslim (8:3424) – One of several narrations in which a leering Muhammad orders a clearly startled woman to suckle a grown man with her breast so that he will become “unlawful” to her – meaning that they can live under the same roof together.

Tabari 9:137 – “Allah granted Rayhana of the Qurayza to Muhammad as booty.” Muhammad considered the women that he captured and enslaved to be God’s gift to him.

Tabari 8I:117 – “Dihyah had asked the Messenger for Safiyah when the Prophet chose her for himself… the Apostle traded for Safiyah by giving Dihyah her two cousins. The women of Khaybar were distributed among the Muslims.” He sometimes pulled rank to reserve the most beautiful captured women for himself.

Tabari 9:139 – “You are a self-respecting girl, but the prophet is a womanizer.” Words spoken by the disappointed parents of a girl who had ‘offered’ herself to Muhammad (he accepted).

Notes

Muhammad’s sexual antics are an embarrassment to those Muslims aware of the truth. This is particularly so with their prophet’s consummation of his marriage to Aisha when she was only nine years of age. The thought of a 53-year-old man sleeping and bathing with a young girl is intensely unpleasant and it reflects the disgusting character of a sexual glutton rather than a holy man. Critics even allege that Muhammad was a pedophile.

Some Muslims respond by denying the hadith itself, which is a mistake. The accounts of Muhammad sleeping with a 9-year-old are no less reliable than those on which the five pillars of Islam are based. They have been an accepted part of tradition and did not become controversial until social mores began to change with the modern age.

The charge of pedophilia may or may not be true, depending on how it is defined. Technically, Muhammad did have a sexual relationship with a child, but Aisha was also the youngest of his twelve wives. Zaynab was in her 30’s when she attracted the unquenchable lust of the prophet. We don’t know the age of Muhammad’s sex slaves. They may or may not have been as young as Aisha, but there is no point in speculating.

Prior to the medical advances of the last century, marriage occurred at a much younger age across all societies. When life expectancy was in the mid 20’s (or lower), it made no sense to wait until 19 to start having children; otherwise, one ran the risk of not being around to raise them. In short, childhood as we know it was abbreviated by the reality of the times.

Another strong piece of evidence against Muhammad being a pedophile is that, according to the same Hadith, he waited from the time Aisha was six (when the marriage ceremony took place) until she turned nine to consummate the relationship. Although the text doesn’t say why, in all probability it was because he was waiting for her to begin menstrual cycles – thus entering into “womanhood.” It is unlikely that a pedophile would be concerned about this.

On the other hand, Muhammad passed down revelations from Allah that clearly condoned sleeping with underage girls, even by the standard of puberty. Quran (65:4) relates rules for divorce, one of them establishing a waiting period of three months to determine that the woman is not pregnant. But the same rule applies to “those too who have not had their courses,”meaning girls who have not begun to menstruate. (In our opinion, this would have been a great time for Allah to have said something else instead like, “a real man is one who marries an actual, grown woman”… but that’s just us).

Thanks to Muhammad’s extremely poor judgment (at best) and explicit approval of pedophilia, sex with children became deeply ingrained in the Islamic culture. For many centuries, Muslim armies would purge Christian and Hindu peasant villages of their menfolk and send the women and children to harems and the thriving child sex slave markets deep in the Islamic world.

When it comes to child marriage, contemporary clerics warn fellow Muslims against succumbing to the disapproval of the Christian West: “It behooves those who call for setting a minimum age for marriage to fear Allah and not contradict his Sharia, or try to legislate things Allah did not permit. For laws are Allah’s province; and legislation is his excusive right, to be shared by none other. And among these are the rules governing marriage.”

The Ayatollah Khomeini, who married a 12-year-old girl, even gave his consent to using infantsfor sexual pleasure (although warning against full penetration until the baby is a few years older). In April, 2010, a 13-year-old Yemeni girl died from injuries suffered to her womb during “intercourse”.

Some clerics propose relative mercy on underage girls by endorsing a process known as “thighing” (also known as “child molestation” in the West). According to a recent fatwa (number 23672), an imam answers this question: “My parents married me to a young girl who hasn’t yet reached puberty. How can I enjoy her sexually?” by telling the ‘man’ that he may “hug her, kiss her, and ejaculate between her legs.”

A prominent member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council said in 2012 that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle,” then went on to explain that intercourse may occur whenever “they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the man.”

Muhammad’s penchant for girls so much younger than himself was such that at least two of his father-in-laws (Abu Bakr and Omar, the first two caliphs) were actually younger than he was. This disappointing pattern is very much at odds with the sort of sexual discipline that one might expect of a true “prophet of God.”

Muhammad’s pursuit of Zaynab, the wife of his adopted son is almost as tough to stomach. This is because it not only raises a similar question of moral character, but also casts suspicion on whether his so-called prophecies were really divine revelation or dictates of personal convenience. According to one biographer, even Aisha appears to be somewhat doubtful of Muhammad’s claim that Allah commanded him to marry Zaynab, wryly remarking, “Truly Allah seems to be very quick in fulfilling your prayers.”

So controversial was Muhammad’s desire to marry his adopted son’s wife that he had to justify it with a stern pronouncement from Allah on the very institution of adoption, which has had tragic consequences to this day. Verses 33:4-5 are widely interpreted to imply that Islam is against adoption, meaning that an untold number of children in the Islamic world have been needlessly orphaned – all because Muhammad’s lustful desires for a married woman went beyond even what the other six wives that he possessed at the time and a multitude of slaves could satisfy.

Some Muslims deny that Muhammad was married to more than four women at a time, merely on the basis that the Quran only gives permission for marrying four. Unfortunately, Muslim historians disagree. Only one of Muhammad’s last eleven wives died before him (Zaynab bint Khuzayma). The rest outlived him by many years.

Muhammad forbade his ten widows from remarrying, even making sure that this “divine” order was forever preserved in the eternal word of Allah – Quran (33:53). To add insult to injury, they were all summarily disinherited from Muhammad’s estate by his successor (courtesy of another divine order “given” to Abu Bakr from Allah).

In summary, Islam’s holiest texts portray Muhammad not as a perfect man, but as a sexual hedonist. Not only did he become fat from indulging in food, but his pursuit of sex was no less gluttonous. On top of it all, he used personal “revelations” from Allah to justify his debauchery to the gullible masses which, to this day, continue to be venerated and memorized as if they are the holiest of utterances.

Myths of Muhammad – Muhammad was Attacked  by a Byzantine Army: The Tabuk Expedition and  Verse 9:29

Myths of Muhammad – Muhammad was Attacked by a Byzantine Army: The Tabuk Expedition and Verse 9:29

“In chapter 9, verse 29 of the Quran, God Almighty only permitted the fighting in the context of Byzantine (Roman) Empire’s impending army to attack the Muslims… For some to claim that the verse allowed aggression and warfare against innocent people has no historical truth to it.”
(“Discover the Truth: Answering Jihad”)

The Truth:

Verse 9:29 of the Quran reads:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

The verse literally tells Muslims to fight Jews and Christians until they convert, pay the jizya or die.  It is from one of the final chapters of the Quran and dramatically clashes with the platitude that Islam is a peaceful religion.  The sura even goes on to say: O you who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you (9:123)

As they often do when challenged with inconvenient Quran verses, apologists (such as the notorious “Discover the Truth” website) immediately insist that there is a mitigating historical context that filters the real meaning of the verse so that it is much different than what it appears.

In this case, the argument goes that 9:29 was narrated when Muslims were “under attack” (from an aggressive Byzantine army at Tabuk), and the verse applies only to that particular situation (of self-defense).

The most obvious problem with this argument is that verse 9:29 bluntly says to fight Jews and Christians on the basis of their religious belief.  Not only is there no mention of a Byzantine army in this divine order, there is not even a rationale hinting that it is limited to matters of self-defense.  The enemy is defined simply as those who “believe not in Allah” nor acknowledge the superiority of Islam.

This is extremely important because the Quran is claimed by Muslims to be perfect and complete.  Why would Allah neglect to mention an opposing army if it is critical to interpreting the passage? What’s worse is that instead of laying out the case for self-defense, Allah explicitly curses Jews and Christians in the next verse (9:30):

And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!

What a strange way for Allah to make the point that targets are defined by acts of aggression and not by religious belief!  (For that matter, why even bring believing Jews into this if he is speaking of a Byzantine army?)

Clearly, the most honest and straightforward interpretation of this passage in the Quran is that it refers to religious members of Judaism and Christianity.  To declare that it is “bound” to an historical context that must be gleaned elsewhere is a very subjective ploy that clearly falls into the realm of wanting to read more into the Quran than what Allah chose to include.

Given that there is no textual context for self-defense in Sura 9, the next problem for apologists is that the historical record is not terribly cooperative either, even from Muslim sources.  In the first place, there is no independent confirmation that there was ever a military advance at Tabuk on Muhammad’s tribe.  In other words, there is not a shred of historical evidence that a Byzantine army had been assembled at that time, much less that it was attacking Muslims.

The two most reliable Muslim sources (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) reference the Tabuk campaign in several places, but there is only one mention in each of an opposing army.  The context is not necessarily that one exists, but that Muhammad is preparing to meet one as a precaution (both verses use Badr as an example, in which the Muslims set out for a looting raid unprepared for the battle that ensued).

Even the more questionable sources do not say that there was a real army at Tabuk, just a possible rumor that one was being put together.  [Apologists such as “Discover the Truth” routinely interchange reliable and weaker sources to make it appear that Muslims at Medina were in imminent danger at the time.  They also alter the wording from the original verse and introduce events that occurred after Tabuk as if they preceded it].

The only connection between the Tabuk expedition and the notion of self-defense is from commentary drawn several hundred years after the fact – not from the earlier more reliable sources, which make no mention of an actual threat.  In fact, if the Tabuk expedition is famous for one thing, it is that many Muslims did not want to join it.  In other words, there was no sense of urgency or danger.

Muhammad had difficulty rallying the faithful, because the people at Medina did not want to travel such a great distance through wilting heat and unreliable sources of water.  This belies a critical element to the story: Muslims were not under attack.

Muhammad was actually going off to fight Byzantines in Byzantine territory, which sounds a lot more like offensive warfare for the cause of Allah than self-defense!  (Verse 9:33 reads: He sent His Messenger (Muhammad ) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions).  From a tactical standpoint, it is usually better to let the enemy deal with oppressive conditions and great distance, particularly when it means having the defensive advantage.

What everyone also agrees to, ironically, is that there was no Byzantine army at Tabuk when Muhammad arrived – and thus, no battle.  In other words, the rumor was false, making the apologist argument all the less credible.

If 9:29 (and the balance of Sura 9) were really about self-defense in the face of aggression, then one would expect it to plainly say so.  Barring that, it would at least be convenient if the passage was revealed at a time of imminent danger – say when an enemy was breaking through the gates of Medina during a siege of hapless Muslims who had exhausted all avenues for peace.

Instead, the real historical context turns out to be a Muslim military expedition across a great distance to attack a people in that people’s territory when the victims do not have any defense.  Once there, Muhammad kills a few Christians, and bullies the rest into handing over their possessions before heading back.

What the apologists also don’t tell you is that there is a far more credible explanation for the Tabuk expedition that comes from a reputable Muslim source.  Ibn Kathir is one of Islam’s most respected historians, which even the apologists admit.  He worked at a time when Islamic scholars were far less concerned about spin than fact.  His research determined that the expedition to Tabuk was about loot and tribute to compensate for the loss of pilgrimage revenue:

When God Almighty decreed that the polytheists should be prevented from approaching the Sacred Mosque, whether in the pilgrimage or at other times, the Quraysh said they would be deprived of the commercial activity that took place during the pilgrimage, and that they would therefore suffer financial loss. And so God compensated them for that by ordering them to battle the people of the scriptures so that they either accepted Islam or paid the jizya tax (“being in a state of submission”).

The Messenger of God (SAAS) therefore decided to battle the Byzantines. This was because they were the people nearest to him and those most appropriate to invite to the truth because of their proximity to Islam and to those who believed in it. God Almighty had stated, “0 you who believe, fight those unbelievers who are near you. Let them see severity in you; and know that God is with those who are pious.”  (Ibn Kathir Vol.4 p.1)

This is the opposite of what modern-day apologists tenuously argue.  It also makes more sense and agrees perfectly with the Quran.  The Muslims were not under attack when verses 9:29 and 9:123 were narrated.

“Discover the Truth” adds a few other embellishments to the story, such as claiming that the opposing army had fled (supported by neither Muslim nor independent accounts) and also that “no harm was inflicted on any Christian or Jews” once Muhammad arrived at Tabuk.  This is what is called a bald-faced lie.  Here is the actual account of what Muhammad did:

The Messenger of God then called for Khalid bin Walid and dispatched him to Ukaydir Duma, a man of Banu Kinda who had been their king; he was a Christian. The Messenger of God (SAAS) told Khalid, ‘You will find him hunting for cattle.’

Khalid travelled until Ukaydir’s fortress was in sight. Ukaydir was on the roof of his fortress with his wife. He then went down and ordered that his horse be brought. It was saddled for him. A number of his family then rode out with him, including a brother of his named Hassan. They all left on the hunt. When they came out, the cavalry of the Prophet (SAAS) engaged them, capturing Ukaydir and killing his brother.

…When Khalid brought Ukaydir to the Messenger of God the latter spared his bloodand made a treaty with him on condition that he pay the jizya. (Ibn Kathir Vol.4 p.21)

So there’s that.  A Christian family going about their business is ruthlessly attacked and robbed on Muhammad’s order.  At least one member is killed and the others save their lives by agreeing to pay jizya (ie. extortion)… odd how that got overlooked.

The final nail in the coffin that verse 9:29 and the rest of Sura 9 mean something other than what it says comes from the example of Muhammad’s own companions.  Presumably, they would best know if the verses were either limited to self-defense or a call to wage war against Jews and Christians in their own lands.

Needless-to-say, these companions of Muhammad did not spread out from the Arabian peninsula on humanitarian missions of kindness and charity after their prophet’s death.  They engaged in brutal military campaigns to establish Islamic hegemony, capture slaves and extort jizya from populations unable to adequately defend themselves.  In just a few decades, the Islamic reach extended from Spain to the Indian sub-continent.  No serious historian believes that this had anything to do with self-defense.

Myths of Muhammad – Muhammad Would Never  Do Harm to a Child

Myths of Muhammad – Muhammad Would Never Do Harm to a Child

“Our Prophet (peace be upon him) was a great man who would never order any measure that might do harm to an innocent child.” 

The Truth:

It is probably fair to say that Muhammad did not approve of killing children intentionally.  A verse from the Quran laments the pre-Islamic Arab practice of infanticide against baby girls, for example.  Other evidence from the Hadith suggests that he instructed his men not to kill children in battle if it could be avoided, but to capture them for slavery.

He also gave children a reprieve, when telling his people to “kill those who disbelieve in Allah”:

[Muhammad said] “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.  Do not be deceitful with the spoils; do not be treacherous, nor mutilate nor kill children.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992)

But Muhammad’s definition of a child was not the same as contemporary understanding.  Following the surrender of the Qurayza stronghold, he ordered the execution of every male child who had reached puberty.  His men had the boys drop their pants so that that anyone with pubic hair could be beheaded (Abu Dawud 4390).

Keep in mind that many Muslims also insist that Aisha reached puberty at age nine, since that is the age that Muhammad began having sex with her.  If so, then he might have considered the age for “manhood” among boys to be around twelve.

Muhammad also played a bit loose with the lives of women and children during wartime.  As recorded in both Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:

It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: “They are from them. (Sahih Muslim 4322, see also Bukhari 52:256)

This does not justify the targeted killing of women and children per se, but it does prove that collateral damage is entirely acceptable if it accomplishes the military goal of spreading Islamic rule.  The Quran, in verse 9:36, states that unbelievers should be fought “altogether” or “collectively.”

Muhammad used a catapult against the city of Taif – a catapult kills indiscriminately.  The only crime those citizens were guilty of was rejecting his claims of being a prophet and evicting him.

Muhammad drew a distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim children and implied that it would be permissible to kill a child who has no prospect of accepting Islam:

The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used not to kill the children, so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside. (Sahih Muslim 4457)

After capturing Mecca, the prophet of Islam also ordered the execution of two “singing girls” who had mocked him in verse:

“…two singing-girls Fartana and her friend who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed…” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 819, Ibn Kathir v.3 p.403)

Myths of Muhammad: Muhammad was an Abolitionist  who Purchased the Freedom of Slaves

Myths of Muhammad: Muhammad was an Abolitionist who Purchased the Freedom of Slaves

“Our Prophet (peace be upon him) never approved of slavery. He once purchased the life of a slave who came to him, liberating him from his master!” 

The Truth:

Here is the real story on which that excerpt (of Muhammad ‘liberating a slave’) is based:

There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle on migration; he (the Holy Prophet) did not know that he was a slave.  Then there came his master and demanded him back, whereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me.  And he bought him for two black slaves, and he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man) (Sahih Muslim 3901).

Muhammad actually “purchased” the slave by trading two black slaves, which is hardly a shining example of emancipation.  Not only that, it establishes the fact that Muhammad owned and traded African slaves.  As a wealthy businessman, he certainly could have liberated all three slaves, but chose instead to sell the two Africans into an uncertain future.

It is also obvious from the passage that Muhammad felt he had been conned into liberating the slave who had come to him, since he was not told of his status as a slave.  Because, of this, Muhammad decided that he would not be duped again.  In the future, he would always ask first about whether a man was free or not before deciding whether to accept allegiance.

There is also no record of Muhammad “liberating” slaves captured in battle, unless there was something to be personally gained from it.  In fact, he made slaves out of those who were previously free people, particularly if they were women and children.  Sometimes he used families as leverage to force their men into accepting Islam:

The apostle told them to tell Malik that if he came to him as a Muslim he would return his family and property to him and give him a hundred camels. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 879)

Captured women were passed out like party favors to his men, some of whom were then passed along to others (just like the Islamic State does with Yazidi women).  This passage tells of Muhammad giving women as sex slaves to the three men who would become his successors, the future caliphs Umar, Uthman and Ali:

The apostle gave Ali a girl called Rayta; and he gave Uthman a girl called Zaynab; and he gave Umar a girl whom Umar gave to his son Abdullah. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 878, Ibn Kathir v.3 p.481)

Allah gave Muslim men a divine mandate to keep as many sex slaves as they wished (Quran 4:24,33:52…).  Contemporary apologists sometimes pretend that this applies only to women captured in battle (see also Myth: Muhammad Would Never Approve of Rape), but the same privilege is granted to believing men in 70:30, a passage “revealed” to the Muslims in Mecca, when there had been no battles.

Much could be written about Muhammad’s prolific and well-documented relationship with slaves, but one of the most insightful examples comes from this hadith (which is repeated elsewhere):

The Prophet sent for a woman from the emigrants and she had a slave who was a carpenter.  The Prophet said to her “Order your slave to prepare the wood (pieces) for the pulpit.”  So, she ordered her slave who went and cut the wood from the tamarisk and prepared the pulpit, for the Prophet.  When he finished the pulpit, the woman informed the Prophet that it had been finished.  The Prophet asked her to send that pulpit to him, so they brought it.  The Prophet lifted it and placed it at the place in which you see now. (Bukari 47:743)

According to this hadith, the very pulpit that Muhammad preached Islam from was constructed from slave labor on his command!  Now does this sound like Muhammad had a problem with slavery?

What Does Islam Teach About…Slavery

What Does Islam Teach About…Slavery

Does Islam condone slavery? Does Islamic teaching allow Muslim men to keep women as sex slaves? 

Islam neither ignores nor condemns slavery. In fact, a large part of the Sharia is dedicated to the practice.

Muslims are encouraged to live in the way of Muhammad, who was a slave owner and trader. He captured slaves in battle; he had sex with his slaves; and he instructed his men to do the same. The Quran actually devotes more verses to making sure that Muslim men know they can keep women as sex slaves (4) than it does to telling them to pray five times a day (zero).

Quran

Quran (33:50) – “O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee” This is one of several personal-sounding verses “from Allah” narrated by Muhammad – in this case allowing a virtually unlimited supply of sex partners. Other Muslims are restricted to four wives, but they may also have sex with any number of slaves, following the example of their prophet.Quran (23:5-6) – “..who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess…” This verse permits the slave-owner to have sex with his slaves. See also Quran (70:29-30). The Quran is a small book, so if Allah used valuable space to repeat the same point four times, sex slavery must be very important to him. He was relatively reticent on matters of human compassion and love.

Quran (4:24) – “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” Even sex with married slaves is permissible.

Quran (8:69) – “But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good” A reference to war booty, of which slaves were a part. The Muslim slave master may enjoy his “catch” because (according to verse 71“Allah gave you mastery over them.”

Quran (24:32) – “And marry those among you who are single and those who are fit among your male slaves and your female slaves…” Breeding slaves based on fitness.

Quran (2:178) – “O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.” The message of this verse, which prescribes the rules of retaliation for murder, is that all humans are not created equal. The human value of a slave is less than that of a free person (and a woman’s worth is also distinguished from that of a man).

Quran (16:75) – “Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah.’ Yet another confirmation that the slave is is not equal to the master. In this case, it is plain that the slave owes his status to Allah’s will. (According to 16:71, the owner should be careful about insulting Allah by bestowing Allah’s gifts on slaves – those whom the god of Islam has not favored).

Hadith and Sira

Sahih Bukhari (80:753) – “The Prophet said, ‘The freed slave belongs to the people who have freed him.'” 

Sahih Bukhari (52:255) – The slave who accepts Islam and continues serving his Muslim master will receive a double reward in heaven.

Sahih Bukhari (41.598) – Slaves are property. They cannot be freed if an owner has outstanding debt, but they can be used to pay off the debt.

Sahih Bukhari (62:137) – An account of women taken as slaves in battle by Muhammad’s men after their husbands and fathers were killed. The woman were raped with Muhammad’s approval.

Sahih Bukhari (34:432) – Another account of females taken captive and raped with Muhammad’s approval. In this case it is evident that the Muslims intend on selling the women after raping them because they are concerned about devaluing their price by impregnating them. Muhammad is asked about coitus interruptus.

Sahih Bukhari (47.765) – A woman is rebuked by Muhammad for freeing a slave girl. The prophet tells her that she would have gotten a greater heavenly reward by giving her to a relative (as a slave).

Sahih Bukhari (34:351) – Muhammad sells a slave for money. He was thus a slave trader.

Sahih Bukhari (72:734) – Some contemporary Muslims in the West (where slavery is believed to be a horrible crime) are reluctant to believe that Muhammad owned slaves. This is just one of many places in the Hadith where a reference is made to a human being owned by Muhammad. In this case, the slave is of African descent.

Sahih Muslim 3901 – Muhammad trades away two black slaves for one Muslim slave.

Sahih Muslim 4345 – Narration of a military raid against a hapless tribe trying to reach their water hole. During the slaughter, the women and children attempt to flee, but are cut off and captured by the Muslims. This story refutes any misconception that Muhammad’s sex slaves were taken by their own volition.

Sahih Muslim 4112 – A man freed six slaves on the event of his death, but Muhammad reversed the emancipation and kept four in slavery to himself. He cast lots to determine which two to free.

Sahih Bukhari (47:743) – Muhammad’s own pulpit – from which he preached Islam – was built with slave labor on his command.

Sahih Bukhari (59:637) – “The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave-girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, ‘Don’t you see this (i.e. Ali)?’ When we reached the Prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, ‘O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumlus.'” Muhammad approved of his men having sex with slaves, as this episode involving his son-in-law, Ali, clearly proves. This hadith refutes the modern apologists who pretend that slaves were really “wives.” This is because Muhammad had forbidden Ali from marrying another woman as long as Fatima (his favorite daughter) was living.

Abu Dawud (2150) – “The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Quran 4:24) ‘And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.'” This is the background for verse 4:24 of the Quran. Not only does Allah give permission for women to be captured and raped, but allows it to even be done in front of their husbands. (See also Muslim 3432 & Ibn Kathir/Abdul Rahman Part 5 Page 14)

Abu Dawud (1814) – “…[Abu Bakr] He then began to beat [his slave] him while the Apostle of Allah (pbuh) was smiling and saying: Look at this man who is in the sacred state (putting on ihram), what is he doing?” The future first caliph of Islam is beating his slave for losing a camel while Muhammad looks on in apparent amusement. 

Ibn Ishaq (734) – A slave girl is given a “violent beating” by Ali in the presence of Muhammad, who does nothing about it.

Abu Dawud 38:4458 – Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: “A slave-girl belonging to the house of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) committed fornication. He (the Prophet) said: Rush up, Ali, and inflict the prescribed punishment on her. I then hurried up, and saw that blood was flowing from her, and did not stop. So I came to him and he said: Have you finished inflicting (punishment on her)? I said: I went to her while her blood was flowing. He said: Leave her alone till her bleeding stops; then inflict the prescribed punishment on her. And inflict the prescribed punishment on those whom your right hands possess (i.e. slaves)”. A slave girl is ordered by Muhammad to be beaten until she bleeds, and then beaten again after the bleeding stops. He indicates that this is prescribed treatment for slaves (“those whom your right hand possesses”).

Abu Dawud 1:142 – “Do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl

Ibn Ishaq (693) – “Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu’l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.” Muhammad trades away women captured from the Banu Qurayza tribe to non-Muslim slave traders for property. (Their men had been executed after surrendering peacefully without a fight).

Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller) (o9.13) – According to Sharia, when a child or woman is taken captive by Muslims, they become slaves by the mere fact of their capture. A captured woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled. This would not be necessary if she were widowed by battle, which is an imaginary stipulation that modern apologists sometimes pose.

Notes

Slavery is deeply embedded in Islamic law and tradition. Although a slave-owner is cautioned against treating slaves harshly, basic human rights are not obliged. The very fact that only non-Muslims may be taken as slaves is evidence of Islam’s supremacist doctrine.

Of the five references to freeing a slave in the Quran, three are prescribed as punitive measures against the slaveholder for unrelated sin. They limit the emancipation to just a single slave. Another (24:33) appears to allow a slave to buy their own freedom if they are “good.” This is in keeping with the traditional Islamic practice of wealth-building through taking and ransoming hostages, which began under Muhammad.

A tiny verse in one of the earliest chapters, 90:13, does say that freeing a slave is good, however, this was “revealed” at a time when the Muslim community was miniscule and several of their new and potential recruits were either actual slaves or newly freed slaves. Many of these same people, and Muhammad himself, later went on to become owners and traders of slaves, both male and female, as they acquired the power to do so (there is no record of Muhammad owning slaves prior to starting Islam). The language of the Quran changed to accommodate slavery, which is why this early verse has had negligible impact on slavery in the Islamic world.

The taking of women and children as slaves, particularly during the conquests outside Arabia, belies the notion that Jihad was being waged in self-defense, since the enemy’s families reside neither with the Muslims nor (generally) on the battlefield. These were innocent people captured from their homes and pressed into slavery by Muhammad’s companions and successors.

Contrary to popular belief, converting to Islam does not automatically earn a slave his freedom, although freeing a believing slave is said to increase the master’s heavenly reward (Muslim slaves are implied in Quran (4:92)). As far as the Islamic courts are concerned, a master may treat his slaves however he chooses without fear of punishment.

By contrast, Christianity was a major impetus in the abolishment of slavery. Abolition had to be imposed on the Islamic world by the European West.

Given that there have never been abolitionary movement within the Islamic world, it is astonishing to see contemporary Muslims write their religion into the history of abolition. It is a lie.

There was no William Wilberforce or Bartoleme de las Casas in Islam. As mentioned, Muhammad, the most revered figure in the religion, practiced and approved of slavery. Even his own pulpit was built with slave labor. Caliphs since have had harems of hundreds, sometimes thousands of young girls and women brought from Christian, Hindu and African lands to serve Islam’s religious equivalent of the pope in the most demeaning fashion.

One of Muhammad’s closest companions was Umar, who became the 2nd caliph only two years after the prophet of Islam died. It is fair to say that he would have known Islam better than any contemporary apologist – those who say that slaves can only be captured in war and wars can only be waged in self-defense. He obviously did not agree with this.

Under Umar’s authority, Arab armies in Egypt invaded Black Africa to the south and attempted to conquer the Christian Makurians who were living there peacefully. Although the Muslims were held off, the Makurians had to sign a treaty to prevent recurring invasions. The terms of the Baqtincluded an annual payment of 360 “high quality” African slaves. The treaty stood for 700 years with no mention of the slightest opposition from generations of Muslim clerics and scholars.

Umar himself was stabbed to death by a slave whose liberty he refused to grant. In this case, the slave was captured during the campaign against a Persia, one of many offensive wars waged by the Muslims against people who were not attacking them.

Modern day apologists trying to defend slavery under Islam generally ignore the basic fact that reducing people to property is dehumanizing. They distract from this by comparing the theoretical treatment of slaves under Sharia with the worst examples of abuse from the era of European slavery.  (“Fatwa 64 from ISIS instructs slave owners to “show compassion” and “kindness” to the women they rape.)

The first problem with this is that the actual practice of Muslim slavery was often remarkably at odds with the relatively humane treatment prescribed by Sharia. For example, according to the Ghanan scholar John Azumah, nearly three times as many captured Africans died in harsh circumstances related to their transport to Muslim lands than were ever even enslaved by Europeans.

A more insurmountable problem for the Muslim apologist who insists that slavery is “different” under Islam are the many examples in which Muhammad and his companions sold captured slaves to non-Muslim traders for material goods. The welfare of the slave was obviously of no consequence.

Some contemporary apologists interpret sex slavery as a favor done to the subject – a way in which women and children are taken care of in exchange for their sexual availability to the pious Muslim male.  Although morally repugnant in its own right, this is easily belied by the fact that slavery would be unnecessary if the arrangement were of benefit to the slave.

Another myth about Islamic slavery is that it was not race-based. It was. Muhammad’s father-in-law, Umar, in his aforementioned role as caliph, declared that Arabs could not be taken as slaves and even had all Arab slaves freed on his deathbed. This helped propel the vast Islamic campaign to capture slaves in Africa, Europe and Asia for import into the Middle East.

The greatest slave rebellion in human history took place in Basra, Iraq beginning in 869. A half-million African slaves staged a courageous uprising against their Arab-Islamic masters that lasted fifteen years before being brutally suppressed. (See Zanj Rebellion)

Literally millions of Christians were captured into slavery during the many centuries of Jihad. So pervasive were the incursions by the Turks into Eastern Europe, that the English word for slave is based on Slav.

Muslim slave raiders operated as far north as England. In 1631, a French cleric in Algiers observed the sale of nearly 300 men, women and children, taken from a peaceful English fishing village:

“It was a pitiful sight to see them exposed in the market…Women were separated from their husbands and the children from their fathers…on one side a husband was sold; on the other his wife; and her daughter was torn from her arms without the hope that they’d ever see each other again.” (from the book, White Gold, which also details the story of English slave, Thomas Pellow, who was beaten, starved and tortured into embracing Islam).

The Indian and Persian people suffered greatly as well – as did Africans. At least 17 million slaves (mostly black women and children) were brought out of Africa by Islamic traders – far more than the 11 million that were taken by the Europeans. However, these were only the survivors. As many as 85 million other Africans are thought to have died en route.

Most telling, perhaps, is that slavery is still practiced in the Sudan, Niger, Mauritania and a few other corners of the Muslim world – and you won’t see any of those Muslim apologists (who shamelessly repeat the lie that Islam abolished slavery) doing or saying anything about it! 

In fact, a fatwa (Islam Q&A 33597 originally at http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/33597) was recently issued by a mainstream Islamic source reminding Muslim males of their divine right to rape female slaves and “discipline” resisters in “whatever manner he thinks is appropriate”.  Not one peep of protest from Islamic apologists was recorded.  In 2013, the same site prominently proclaimed (Islam Q&A 10382 originally at http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/10382) that “there is no dispute (among the scholars) that it is permissible to take concubines and to have intercourse with one’s slave woman, because Allah says so.”

In 2011, what passes for a women’s rights activist in Kuwait suggested that Russian women be taken captive in battle and turned into sex slaves in order to keep Muslim husbands from committing adultery.

in 2016, a British imam who claims to be anti-extremist, affirmed the legitimacy of sex slavery to his followers. There have also been several modern-day fatwas endorsing the sexual abuse of non-Muslim women following capture.

After the Islamic State kidnapped and pressed into slavery thousands of Yazidi women and children in 2014, the caliphate issued an FAQ of sorts on slavery, which included rules on sexually molesting children: “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however, if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.” The best that “mainstream” apologists could muster in response was a letter appealing to “the reality of contemporary times”, meaning that Islam hasno fixed moral position on the rape of woman and children.

In 2016, a scholar at Egypt’s al-Azhar, the most prestigious Islamic school in the Sunni world, stated that non-Muslim women could be captured in a time of war become “property” and can be raped “in order to humiliate them.

A 12-year-old girl taken captive by the Islamic State explained that her ‘master’ would pray before he raped her: “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to Allah.” Other sex slaves have been forced to praybefore the rape or recite passages from the Quran during. When a Yazidi woman begged a caliphate member not to rape a little girl, he responded, “She’s a slave… and having sex with her pleases God.”

A Quran memorization competition in 2015 offered slave girls as the top three prizes. Again, there were no voices of Muslim protest from elsewhere. As Uzy Bulut keenly observed, “A religion that encourages destructive rioting and killing over cartoons, but shows no sign of sorrow as little girls are sold and raped, does not have much to contribute to advancing civilization.”

Since Muhammad was a slave owner and slavery is permitted by the Quran, the Muslim world has never apologized for this dehumanizing practice. Even Muslims in the West will often try to justify slavery under Islam, since it is a part of the Quran.

See also:
Islamic Slavery and Denial
Answering-Islam: Slavery
Myth: Muhammad was an Abolitionist

Video of Islamic State members at one of the caliphate’s sex slave markets in November, 2014. A price list was released setting the rate Yazidi and Christian girls between ages 10 and 20 at $130. Women between the ages of 20 and 30 were being sold for $86; a 30 to 40 year was being sold for $75 and 40 to 50 year old women were listed for sale at a price of $43.
The price list began with these words: “In the name of Allah, most gracious and merciful. We have received news that the demand in women and cattle markets has sharply decreased and that will affected Islamic State revenues as well as the funding of the Mujaheddin in the battlefield. We have made some changes. Below are the prices of Yazidi and Christian women.”

The Myth of the Non-Muslim Terrorist

The Myth of the Non-Muslim Terrorist

Countering Islamic Propaganda 

The notorious Loonwatch.com site has been claiming that 94% of all terror attacks have nothing to do with Islam.  What they aren’t saying is that according to their own source, Muslims are 35 times more likely to commit acts of deadly terror – and that’s just in the United States.

Since January, 2010 the Islamic propaganda outlet, Loonwatch.com, has prominently posted an article with the title “All Terrorists are Muslim… except the 94% that aren’t.”  Although not saying exactly who it is that believes “all terrorists are Muslim”, the gist of the piece is that an FBI report from seven years ago concluded that the vast majority of attacks have nothing to do with Islam.

As Loonwatch puts it:

  • Only 6% of terror attacks are by Muslims
  •  7% of terrorism is by Jewish extremists
  • 66% of terror attacks are by leftists and Latinos

This would appear to defy common sense.  Reports of bombings, shootings, stabbings and even beheadings by terrorists cross the newswire each day.  Some are indeed the work of communist groups or nationalists, but the vast majority are clearly the product of Islamic extremists who kill in the name of religion.

Loonwatch is playing a couple of tricks here – the biggest being that they are drawing on domestic data only.  In other words, when they say that 94% of terrorists aren’t Muslim, they actually mean in the United States, where terror attacks are relatively rare and Muslims make up only 1% of the population.

So, if we ignore the overwhelming bulk of attacks across the globe, Muslims are “only” six times more likely to commit acts of terror than the general population.  The numbers get even worse for Loonwatch on closer examination.

As it turns out, much of the FBI list includes “violence” against property rather than people. In fact, the formula used by the agency to define terrorism is somewhat fuzzy.  While it includes tree-spiking and bank robbery, for example, it somehow omits the Arizona assassination of a Sunni cleric by Iranian terrorists in 1980, the 1990 murder of Rabbi Kahane by an Islamic radical at a New York hotel, and even the killing of two CIA agents by a Muslim extremist at Langley in 1993.

When Americans hear the word ‘terrorism’, however, what comes to mind isn’t vandalism, but rather those acts of genuine violence that are intended to cause loss of life.  So, how do we focus on these incidents and filter out the rest?

Well, perhaps the best way of knowing whether terrorists are serious about killing people is if they actually do.  Since Muslims and non-Muslim terrorists have equal opportunity to kill, Loonwatch shouldn’t object to an analysis of only those attacks which cause deaths.  What does the data have to say when we exclude non-lethal attacks?

Even by the FBI’s curious standard, the sort of truly violent terrorism that most concerns Americans is extremely rare in the United States.  Only 29 attacks on their list of incidents between 1980 and 2005 resulted in actual death.  Of these 29 attacks, Islamic extremists were responsible for 24%, accounting for 2,981 kills (civilians only), while the non-Muslim attack body count is 196.

Thus, what the FBI report is really saying is that a demographic which makes up only 1% of the American population accounts for one-fourth of all deadly terror attacks in the U.S. and 94% of related casualties!  (The 94% statistic is somewhat ironic because it is the same figure than Loonwatch is touting to dispel concerns).  The Jewish population in the U.S. is more than twice that of Muslims, but there were only three so-called Jewish attacks during the entire 25 years (all by the “Jewish Defense League”) with a total of three killed.

Since 2005, there have been at least six additional deadly attacks that would probably qualify as terrorism in the U.S. even to the FBI.  One was the 2012 shooting by a skinhead that resulted in six deaths at a Sikh temple and the other five were by Muslims, which left 19 dead.  This means that since 1980, Muslims in the U.S. have been 35 times more likely to commit terror than all other demographics combined.

Now, the point of all this isn’t to “prove” that any particular person is dangerous.  The numbers are quite low and it is unlikely that the Muslim you know personally is all that different from you, much less plotting mass murder. A person’s nominal religion is not grounds for thinking a certain way about them or for reaching conclusions that are based on anything other than their own words or deeds.

What we are demonstrating is how Muslim propaganda groups like Loonwatch and CAIR knowingly manipulate the public into false conclusions about Islam using disingenuous methods.  They are also dishonest when they try to confuse people into thinking that criticism of Islamic bigotry means hatred for Muslims.

Taqiyya may be a part of Islamic law, but a noble cause never requires a lie.

Then again… how noble can a religion really be when it’s most vocal members are far more concerned about image rather than the dead and dismembered victims of its most devout?

Note: A 2013 study by the Brookings Institute found that 77% of terror attack plots in the United States were motivated by Islam.  A 2015 study found that 99.5% of all suicide attacks worldwide were also motivated by Islam.


Editor’s Note:
The well-funded Loonwatch previously analyzed our own list of Islamic terror attacks looking for reasons to discount the extent of the violence and the moral obligation of Muslims to act.  Not surprisingly, the terror continues – and will until vocal Muslims like these direct their efforts toward ending Islamic terror rather than trying to make the rest of us think it doesn’t exist.

What Does Islam Teach About…Violence

What Does Islam Teach About…Violence

Does the Quran really contain over a hundred verses promoting violence?

The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by historical context contained in the surrounding text (although many Muslims choose to think of them that way). They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subject to interpretation as anything else in the Quran.

The context of violent passages is more ambiguous than might be expected of a perfect book from a loving God. Most contemporary Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book’s call to arms according to their own moral preconceptions about justifiable violence. Their apologists cater to these preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.

Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad’s own martial legacy, along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran, have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.

Quran

Quran (2:191-193)“And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”(Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to claim that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families.  The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries.  In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did).  Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous – the actual Arabic words for persecution (idtihad) – and oppression (a variation of “z-l-m”) do not appear in the verse.  The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation.  This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

Quran (2:244)“Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

Quran (2:216)Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

Quran (3:56)“As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

Quran (3:151)“Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

Quran (4:74)“Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, who were led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. This is the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers.

Quran (4:76)“Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

Quran (4:89)“They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Quran (4:95)“Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward ” This passage criticizes “peaceful” Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah’s eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that “Jihad” doesn’t mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is this Arabic word (mujahiduna) used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man’s protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad, which would not make sense if it meant an internal struggle).

Quran (4:104)“And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…” Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

Quran (5:33)“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

Quran (8:12)“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.  The targets of violence are “those who disbelieve” – further defined in the next verse (13) as “defy and disobey Allah.” Nothing is said about self-defense.  In fact, the verses in sura 8 were narrated shortly after a battle provoked by Muhammad, who had been trying to attack a lightly-armed caravan to steal goods belonging to other people.

Quran (8:15)“O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”

Quran (8:39)“And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion is all for Allah” Some translations interpret “fitna” as “persecution”, but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported by the historical context (See notes for 2:193). The Meccans were simply refusing Muhammad access to their city during Haj. Other Muslims were allowed to travel there – just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction. The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad’s intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did). Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until “religion is only for Allah”, meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the opposition. According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that “Allah must have no rivals.”

Quran (8:57)“If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”

Quran (8:67)“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…

Quran (8:59-60)“And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

Quran (8:65)“O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight…”

Quran (9:5)“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.” According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence at the time of Muhammad was to convert to Islam: prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion’s Five Pillars. The popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack. Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months). The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by Muhammad and posed no threat. Once the Muslims had power, they violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

[Note: The verse says to fight unbelievers “wherever you find them“. Even if the context is in a time of battle (which it was not) the reading appears to sanction attacks against those “unbelievers” who are not on the battlefield.  In 2016, the Islamic State referred to this verse in urging the faithful to commit terror attacks: Allah did not only command the ‘fighting’ of disbelievers, as if to say He only wants us to conduct frontline operations against them. Rather, He has also ordered that they be slain wherever they may be – on or off the battlefield. (source)]Quran (9:14)“Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people.” Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even “healing” the hearts of Muslims.

Quran (9:20)“Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.” The Arabic word interpreted as “striving” in this verse is the same root as “Jihad”. The context is obviously holy war.

Quran (9:29)“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews. According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status. Verse 9:33 tells Muslims that Allah has charted them to make Islam “superior over all religions.” This chapter was one of the final “revelations” from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad’s companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years. Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30)“And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”

Quran (9:38-39)“O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.” This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

Quran (9:41)“Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.” See also the verse that follows (9:42) – “If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them” This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).

Quran (9:73)“O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.” Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that unbelievers are merely firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter. It explains why today’s devout Muslims generally have little regard for those outside the faith.  The inclusion of “hypocrites” within this verse also contradicts the apologist’s defense that the targets of hate and hostility are wartime foes, since there was never an opposing army made up of non-religious Muslims in Muhammad’s time.  (See also Games Muslims Play: Terrorists Can’t Be Muslim Because They Kill Muslims for the role this verse plays in Islam’s perpetual internal conflicts).

Quran (9:88)“But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.”

Quran (9:111)“Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.” How does the Quran define a true believer?

Quran (9:123)“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”

Quran (17:16)“And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.” Note that the crime is moral transgression, and the punishment is “utter destruction.” (Before ordering the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden first issued Americans an invitation to Islam).

Quran (18:65-81) – This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion. The story (which is not found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with “special knowledge” who does things which don’t seem to make sense on the surface, but are then justified according to later explanation. One such action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74). However, the wise man later explains that it was feared that the boy would “grieve” his parents by “disobedience and ingratitude.” He was killed so that Allah could provide them a ‘better’ son. [Note: This parable along with verse 58:22 is a major reason that honor killing is sanctioned by Sharia. Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills their offspring (o.1.12).]

Quran (21:44)“We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?”

Quran (25:52)“Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness…” “Strive against” is Jihad – obviously not in the personal context. It’s also significant to point out that this is a Meccan verse.

Quran (33:60-62)“If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.” This passage sanctions the slaughter (rendered “merciless” and “horrible murder” in other translations) against three groups: Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to “fight in the way of Allah” (3:167) and hence don’t act as Muslims should), those with “diseased hearts” (which include Jews and Christians 5:51-52), and “alarmists” or “agitators who include those who merely speak out against Islam, according to Muhammad’s biographers. It is worth noting that the victims are to be sought out by Muslims, which is what today’s terrorists do. If this passage is meant merely to apply to the city of Medina, then it is unclear why it is included in Allah’s eternal word to Muslim generations.

Quran (47:3-4)“Those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord… So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives)… If it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.” Those who reject Allah are to be killed in Jihad. The wounded are to be held captive for ransom. The only reason Allah doesn’t do the dirty work himself is to to test the faithfulness of Muslims. Those who kill pass the test.

Quran (47:35)“Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost (Shakir: “have the upper hand”) for Allah is with you,”

Quran (48:17)“There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.” Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means ‘spiritual struggle.’ Is so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted? This verse also says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

Quran (48:29)“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves” Islam is not about treating everyone equally. This verse tells Muslims that there are two very distinct standards that are applied based on religious status. Also the word used for ‘hard’ or ‘ruthless’ in this verse shares the same root as the word translated as ‘painful’ or severe’ to describe Hell in over 25 other verses including65:10, 40:46 and 50:26..

Quran (61:4)“Surely Allah loves those who fight in His cause” Religion of Peace, indeed!  The verse explicitly refers to “rows” or “battle array,” meaning that it is speaking of physical conflict. This is followed by (61:9), which defines the “cause”: “He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist.” (See next verse, below). Infidels who resist Islamic rule are to be fought.

Quran (61:10-12)“O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of’Adn- Eternity [‘Adn(Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success.” This verse refers to physical battle in order to make Islam victorious over other religions (see verse 9). It uses the Arabic root for the word Jihad.

Quran (66:9)“O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end.” The root word of “Jihad” is used again here. The context is clearly holy war, and the scope of violence is broadened to include “hypocrites” – those who call themselves Muslims but do not act as such. Other verses calling Muslims to Jihad can be found here at AnsweringIslam.org

Hadith and Sira

Sahih Bukhari (52:177)Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

Sahih Bukhari (52:256)The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy. This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings.

Sahih Bukhari (52:65)The Prophet said, ‘He who fights that Allah’s Word (Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause. Muhammad’s words are the basis for offensive Jihad – spreading Islam by force. This is how it was understood by his companions, and by the terrorists of today. (See also Sahih Bukhari 3:125)

Sahih Bukhari (52:220)Allah’s Apostle said… ‘I have been made victorious with terror’

Sahih Bukhari (52:44) – A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” He replied, “I do not find such a deed.”

Abu Dawud (14:2526)The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Three things are the roots of faith: to refrain from (killing) a person who utters, “There is no god but Allah” and not to declare him unbeliever whatever sin he commits, and not to excommunicate him from Islam for his any action; and jihad will be performed continuously since the day Allah sent me as a prophet until the day the last member of my community will fight with the Dajjal (Antichrist)

Abu Dawud (14:2527)The Prophet said: Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious

Sahih Muslim (1:33) the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah

Sahih Bukhari (8:387) – Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’. And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally.”

Sahih Muslim (1:30)“The Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”

Sahih Bukhari (52:73) – “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords’.”

Sahih Bukhari (11:626) [Muhammad said:] “I decided to order a man to lead the prayer and then take a flame to burn all those, who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.”

Sahih Muslim (1:149)“Abu Dharr reported: I said: Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best? He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause…”

Sahih Muslim (20:4645)“…He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!”

Sahih Muslim (20:4696)“the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: ‘One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.'”

Sahih Muslim (19:4321-4323) – Three separate hadith in which Muhammad shrugs over the news that innocent children were killed in a raid by his men against unbelievers. His response: “They are of them (meaning the enemy).”

Sahih Muslim (19:4294)“When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him… He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”

Sahih Muslim (31:5917)“Ali went a bit and then halted and did not look about and then said in a loud voice: ‘Allah’s Messenger, on what issue should I fight with the people?’ Thereupon he (the Prophet) said: ‘Fight with them until they bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger’.” The pretext for attacking the peaceful farming community of Khaibar was not obvious to the Muslims. Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali asked the prophet of Islam to clarify the reason for their mission to kill, loot and enslave. Muhammad’s reply was straightforward. The people should be fought because they are not Muslim.

Sahih Muslim (31:5918)“I will fight them until they are like us.” Ali’s reply to Muhammad, after receiving clarification that the pretext for attack Khaibar was to convert the people (see above verse).

Sahih Bukhari 2:35 “The person who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty ( if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise ( if he is killed).”

Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.” Ashraf was a poet, killed by Muhammad’s men because he insulted Islam. Here, Muhammad widens the scope of his orders to kill. An innocent Jewish businessman was then slain by his Muslim partner, merely for being non-Muslim.

Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.

Tabari 17:187 “‘By God, our religion (din) from which we have departed is better and more correct than that which these people follow. Their religion does not stop them from shedding blood, terrifying the roads, and seizing properties.’ And they returned to their former religion.” The words of a group of Christians who had converted to Islam, but realized their error after being shocked by the violence and looting committed in the name of Allah. The price of their decision to return to a religion of peace was that the men were beheaded and the woman and children enslaved by the caliph Ali.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 484: – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 990: Cutting off someone’s head while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ is not a ‘perverison of Islam’, but a tradition of Islam that began with Muhammad.  In this passage, a companion recounts an episode in which he staged a surprise ambush on a settlement: “I leapt upon him and cut off his head and ran in the direction of the camp shouting ‘Allah akbar’ and my two companions did likewise”.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992: – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” Muhammad’s instructions to his men prior to a military raid.

Saifur Rahman, The Sealed Nectar p.227-228“Embrace Islam… If you two accept Islam, you will remain in command of your country; but if your refuse my Call, you’ve got to remember that all of your possessions are perishable. My horsemen will appropriate your land, and my Prophethood will assume preponderance over your kingship.” One of several letters from Muhammad to rulers of other countries. The significance is that the recipients were not making war or threatening Muslims. Their subsequent defeat and subjugation by Muhammad’s armies was justified merely on the basis of their unbelief.

Notes

Other than the fact that Muslims haven’t killed every non-Muslim under their domain, there is very little else that they can point to as proof that theirs is a peaceful, tolerant religion. Where Islam is dominant (as in the Middle East and Pakistan) religious minorities suffer brutal persecution with little resistance. Where Islam is in the minority (as in Thailand, the Philippines and Europe) there is the threat of violence if Muslim demands are not met. Either situation seems to provide a justification for religious terrorism, which is persistent and endemic to Islamic fundamentalism.

The reasons are obvious and begin with the Quran. Few verses of Islam’s most sacred text can be construed to fit the contemporary virtues of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood. Those that do are earlier “Meccan” verses which are obviously abrogated by later ones. The example of Muhammad is that Islam is a religion of peace when Muslims do not have the power and numbers on their side. Once they do, things change.

Many Muslims are peaceful and do not want to believe what the Quran really says. They prefer a more narrow interpretation that is closer to the Judeo-Christian ethic. Some just ignore harsher passages. Others reach for “textual context” across different suras to subjectively mitigate these verses with others so that the message fits their personal moral preference. Although the Quran itself claims to be clear and complete, these apologists speak of the “risks” of trying to interpret verses without their “assistance.”

The violent verses of the Quran have played a key role in very real massacre and genocide. This includes the brutal slaughter of tens of millions of Hindus for five centuries beginning around 1000 AD with Mahmud of Ghazni’s bloody conquest. Both he and the later Tamerlane (Islam’s Genghis Khan) slaughtered an untold number merely for defending their temples from destruction. Buddhism was very nearly wiped off the Indian subcontinent. Judaism and Christianity met the same fate (albeit more slowly) in areas conquered by Muslim armies, including the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe, including today’s Turkey. Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion of a proud Persian people is despised by Muslims and barely survives in modern Iran.

Violence is so ingrained in Islam that it has never really stopped being at war, either with other religions or with itself.

Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns, massacring the men, raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking the property of others as his own. On several occasions he rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and even butcheredcaptives. He inspired his followers to battle when they did not feel it was right to fight, promising them slaves and booty if they did and threatening them with Hell if they did not. Muhammad allowed his men to rape traumatized women captured in battle, usually on the very day their husbands and family members were slaughtered.

It is important to emphasize that, for the most part, Muslim armies waged aggressive campaigns, and the religion’s most dramatic military conquests were made by the actual companions of Muhammad in the decades following his death.

The early Islamic principle of warfare was that the civilian population of a town was to be destroyed (ie. men executed, women and children taken as slaves) if they defended themselves and resisted Islamic hegemony. Although modern apologists often claim that Muslims are only supposed to “attack in self-defense”, this oxymoron is flatly contradicted by the accounts of Islamic historians and others that go back to the time of Muhammad.

Some modern-day scholars are more candid than others. One of the most respected Sunni theologians is al-Qaradawi, who justifies terror attacks against Western targets by noting that there is no such thing as a civilian population in a time of war:

“It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar al-Harb [ie. non-Muslim people who resist Islamic conquest] is not protected… In modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in the war, to aid its continuation, and to provide it with the material and human fuel required for it to assure the victory of the state fighting its enemies. Every citizen in society must take upon himself a role in the effort to provide for the battle. The entire domestic front, including professionals, laborers, and industrialists, stands behind the fighting army, even if it does not bear arms.”

Consider the example of the Qurayza Jews, who were completely obliterated only five years after Muhammad arrived in Medina. Their leader opted to stay neutral when their town was besieged by a Meccan army that was sent to take revenge for Muhammad’s deadly caravan raids. The tribe killed no one from either side and even surrendered peacefully to Muhammad after the Meccans had been turned back. Yet the prophet of Islam had every male member of the Qurayza beheaded, and every woman and child enslaved, even raping one of the captives himself (what Muslim apologists might refer to as “same day marriage”).

One of Islam’s most revered modern scholars, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, openly sanctions offensive Jihad: “In the Jihad which you are seeking, you look for the enemy and invade him. This type of Jihad takes place only when the Islamic state is invading other [countries] in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove obstacles standing in its way.” Elsewhere, he notes:“Islam has the right to take the initiative…this is God’s religion and it is for the whole world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions … it attacks institutions and traditions to release human beings from their poisonous influences, which distort human nature and curtail human freedom. Those who say that Islamic Jihad was merely for the defense of the ‘homeland of Islam’ diminish the greatness of the Islamic way of life.”

The widely respected Dictionary of Islam defines Jihad as “A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the Traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims…[Quoting from the Hanafi school, Hedaya, 2:140, 141.], “The destruction of the sword is incurred by infidels, although they be not the first aggressors, as appears from various passages in the traditions which are generally received to this effect.”

Dr. Salah al-Sawy, the chief member of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America, stated in 2009 that “the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time,” tacitly affirming the legitimacy of violence for the cause of Islamic rule – bound only by the capacity for success. (source)

Muhammad’s failure to leave a clear line of succession resulted in perpetual internal war following his death. Those who knew him best first fought afterwards to keep remote tribes from leaving Islam and reverting to their preferred religion (the Ridda or ‘Apostasy wars’). Then the violence turned within. Early Meccan converts battled later ones as hostility developed between those immigrants who had traveled with Muhammad to Mecca and the Ansar at Medina who had helped them settle in. Finally there was a violent struggle within Muhammad’s own family between his favorite wife and favorite daughter – a jagged schism that has left Shias and Sunnis at each others’ throats to this day.

The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about Islam is that it is a religion of peace. If every standard by which the West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, misogyny, sexual repression, warfare…) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be devastating. Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion, culture, language or life. Neither does it make apologies or any real effort at moral progress. It is the least open to dialogue and the most self-absorbed. It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns self-examination and represses criticism.

This is what makes the Quran’s verses of violence so dangerous. They are given the weight of divine command. While Muslim terrorists take them literally, and understand that Islam is incomplete without Jihad, moderates offer little to contradict them – outside of personal opinion. Indeed, what do they have? Speaking of peace and love may win over the ignorant, but when every twelfth verse of Islam’s holiest book either speaks to Allah’s hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death, forced conversion, or subjugation, it’s little wonder that sympathy for terrorism runs as deeply as it does in the broader community – even if most Muslims prefer not to interpret their personal viewpoint of Islam in this way.

Although scholars like Ibn Khaldun, one of Islam’s most respected philosophers, understood that “the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force”, many other Muslims are either unaware or willfully ignorant of the Quran’s near absence of verses that preach universal non-violence. Their understanding of Islam comes from what they are taught by others. Believers in the West are often led to think that their religion is like Christianity – preaching the New Testament virtues of peace, love, and tolerance. They are somewhat surprised and embarrassed to find that the Quran and the bloody history of Islam’s genesis say otherwise.

Others simply accept the violence. In 1991, a Palestinian couple in America was convicted of stabbing their daughter to death for being too Westernized. A family friend came to their defense, excoriating the jury for not understanding the “culture”, claiming that the father was merely following “the religion” and saying that the couple had to “discipline their daughter or lose respect.” (source). In 2011, unrepentant Palestinian terrorists, responsible for the brutalmurders of civilians, women and children explicitly in the name of Allah were treated to a luxurious “holy pilgrimage” to Mecca by the Saudi king – without a single Muslim voice raised in protest.

The most prestigious Islamic university in the world today is Cairo’s al-Azhar.  While the university is very quick to condemn secular Muslims who critique the religion, it has never condemned ISIS as a group of infidels despite horrific carnage in the name of Allah.  When asked why, the university’s Grand Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb explained: ” Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity.

For their part, Western liberals would do well not to sacrifice critical thinking to the god of political correctness, or look for reasons to bring other religion down to the level of Islam merely to avoid the existential truth that this it is both different and dangerous.

There are just too many Muslims who take the Quran literally… and too many others who couldn’t care less about the violence done in the name of Islam.

Originally posted 2017-02-13 22:30:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Why the Quran is Not from Allah: 10 Reasons

Why the Quran is Not from Allah: 10 Reasons

Timeless… unchangeable… perfect?  Mmm… maybe not.

The Quran makes a lot of claims about itself. It says that it is the perfect and incorruptible revelation of God to man, and that it is so important that it has existed eternally on tablets in heaven.

Critics claim that it is a badly-arranged collection of quotations from one man, passed off as the word of God to a gullible audience in a primitive society.  When accused of being a madman, for example, Muhammad would go into his tent and then emerge with a pearl ‘from Allah’ like, “You (Muhammad) are not a madman” (68:2). The people would then take this as proof that he was not.

Some Muslims say that the Quran would not be believed by so many today if it were not true. But belief does not make truth – particularly when it has to be shamelessly enforced with discrimination, maiming and death.

In fact, most Muslims have never read the Quran, a book they (nonetheless) are willing to kill and die over.  Their conviction is based on what they hear from other Muslims, particularly as they are growing up.

An objective reader would almost certainly conclude that the Quran is less a product of divine origin than Muhammad’s imagination and the circumstances in which he found himself.
Here are ten quick examples:

#10

Verse 27:91 reads “For me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord of this city.” If these are the words of Allah, then it would mean that someone is ‘commanding’ him to serve another god. The verse only makes sense if Muhammad is speaking from his own perspective.

(This would also explain why “Allah” takes an oath to Allah in no fewer than seven other verses).

#9

Verse 5:3 says that the Islamic religion was “perfected” and “completed” on “this day”, yet 249 more verses follow it, including two additional Suras (9 and 110).

Also, how could the Quran be eternal if there was a time when it was not completed?

#8

So much of the Quran is devoted to redundant claims and threats about Muhammad’s status as a prophet, yet there is not a single original moral value. Nowhere does it tell men not to rape women or refrain from sex with children.  In fact, it gives men permission to rape their slaves and implies that sex with children is permissible (verse 65:4).

Wouldn’t a perfect book teach perfect morality?

#7

Despite being a relatively small book, the Quran contains unnecessary repitition.  Moses is mentioned 136 times.  Some passages of misquoted Bible stories are nearly word-for-word identical (eg. Suras 20 & 26).

Why would God waste space saying essentially the same thing about something obscure when he could have offered clear moral principles about peace, tolerance (or sex with children)?

#6

The Quran confuses Mary the mother of Jesus with Mary the sister of Aaron (and Moses) in Sura 19.

Despite tortured apologetics, the simplest and most obvious explanation is that Muhammad was mistaken. This would also explain why the Quran that he narrated erroneously states that Christians worship the Virgin Mary as a god (5:75, 5:116) when they never have.

#5

The Quran tells Muslim men that they may have sex with women captured as slaves.  Even worse: the passage is repeated in four different places.  By contrast, there is not a single verse that tells Muslims that they are to pray five times a day.

#4

The Quran says that it is “clear”, but then says elsewhere (3:7) that only Allah understands the meaning of some verses (which begs the question of why they are there).  It says that it explains “all things” (16:89), but then tells Muslims to follow the example of Muhammad (33:21) – without saying what that is.

In practical terms, it is impossible to understand the Quran without references to external sources such as the Hadith and Sira (usually laid out in voluminous footnotes).  Yet these sources are often contradictory and almost never agreed on.

Even in the Quran, devout Muslim scholars infer dramatically different meanings from the same verses.  For example, most interpretations of 38:33 say that Solomon slashed at his own horses, severing their legs and necks.  However, some contemporary translators, including one of the most respected (Yusuf Ali) say that Solomon really just passed his hand over their bodies in a loving way.

More alarming (and unfortunately more typical) are verses like 5:33, which mandates crucifying those who “wage war on Allah”… without really explaining what this means.

#3

Unlike the Old Testament prophets, Muhammad narrated petty defenses of his claim as a prophet (and even his own sanity) that are remarkably redundant.

For example, no fewer than 8 passages (83:13, 27:68, 46:17, 16:24, 6:25, 26:137, 25:5 and 23:83) say that “Allah’s messenger” is accused of repeating “tales of the ancients,” but that anyone who doesn’t believe him will burn in Hell. Why wouldn’t Allah just say it once and then use the remaining space for something more edifying?

Isn’t this more of what one would expect from an overly-defensive poseur than from an eternal revelation of God to man?

#2

The Quran says that written copies of the Bible (Torah and Gospel) existed at the time of Muhammad (29:46, 3:3, 3:78) and a great many verses “confirm” that those copies are true (even if the Jews and Christians were later accused of misinterpreting them “with their tongues”).  Parts of the Quran obviously rely on the Bible for completeness and many verses insist that the Word of God cannot be changed or corrupted.

Here’s the problem:

There are hundreds of New Testament manuscripts that pre-date the time of Muhammad, all discovered at different times and different places by different people.  There are hundreds more of the Torah.  All agree almost perfectly with the modern version of the Bible, which contradicts the Quran.

At the same time, not a single copy or fragment of either the Torah or Gospel from any era has ever been found which deviates in a way that agrees with the Quran.

How is that the “true” Bible – the one that supposedly confirms the Quran – never survived in any form, while so many “corrupted” copies did?

Isn’t it more likely that Muhammad simply made it up as he went along and later accused Christians and Jews as a cover story for his own mistakes?

#1

As mentioned, despite being a small book, the Quran is supposed to be the timeless, unchangeable word of God.  Why would God use precious and valuable space on the personal life of one man – the same one who happens to be narrating the “revelation”?

Consider verse 33:53:

O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, except when leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go), but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth.

That has to be immortalized on a tablet in heaven?

Substantial portions of the Quran (particularly suras 33 and 66) are equally self-serving and address the sex, money or respect from his wives to which Muhammad is entitled.  Moreover, several such passages are repetitive.

Couldn’t Allah have thought of a more important message for mankind than telling us (several times over) that Muhammad may sleep with an unlimited number of women?

Originally posted 2017-02-15 12:45:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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