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The Dark Side of ISLAM

The following verses in the Koran explicitly exhort Muslims to kill, torture and plunder non-believers.

"Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush." (Koran 9:5)

"Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." Sahih Al-Bukhari (9:57)

 "Take him and fetter him and expose him to hell fire. And then insert him in a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits." (Koran 69:30-37)

"I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them." (Koran 8:12)

 "Know that paradise is under the shades of swords." Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 4 p55

 "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends." [al-Ma'idah 5:51.11]"

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day (Qayamat), nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth (Islam), out of those who have been given the Book (Jews & Christians), until they pay the tax( jizyah) in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection." [Koran 9.29]

 No matter what rationale may be given the immediate objects of jihăd are four in number: (1) spread of Islam by war; (2) the destruction of infidels; (3) jizyah; and (4) plunder.“Eat ye the spoils of war. They are lawful and pure.”

Altogether, Mohammed fought or led in 66 battles, including raid of Uhud, battle at Badr, raid of Hunayn, raid of Tabuk,etc. And in most of them he dealt ruthlessly and cruelly with his foes.

Number 280 in volume 4 of Bukhari's hadith recounts the following:

When the tribe of Banu Quraiza was ready to accept Sad's judgement, Allah's Apostle sent for Sad who was near to him. Sad came, riding a donkey and when he came near, Allah's Apostle said (to the Ansar), "Stand up for your leader." Then Sad came and sat beside Allah's Apostle who said to him. "These people are ready to accept your judgement." Sad said, "I give the judgement that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as prisoners." The Prophet then remarked, "O Sad! You have judged amongst them with (or similar to) the judgement of the King Allah."

At the Battle of the Trench in 627 AD, the last Jewish tribe in Medina, the Banu Qurayza had been neutral. (Banu means 'sons of'). On the day the Battle finished, Muhammad turned against them. After a siege they surrendered. Muhammad appointed Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, who had been wounded in the battle, as their judge. He gave the judgement recorded as above in the Islamic sources - a judgement which Muhammad said Allah approved of. The next day, at least 600 Jewish men were beheaded in public on the edge of trenches and their bodies thrown in.

The Qu'ran mentions this event briefly in Sura 33:25-27

Muhammad himself kept part (one fifth) of the booty collected in raids, and also sold his enemies into slavery after defeating them. For example, the men of Banu Qurayza were massacred, and the women and children sold as slaves. Muhammad took one of the women - Rayhana, whose husband had been beheaded, as a concubine.

Then the apostle divided the property, wives and children of B. Qurayza among the Muslims, and he made known on that day the shares of horse and men, and took out the fifth. [1/5 of all booty in all raids/wars was the personal property of Muhammad.] ... Then the apostle sent Sa`d b. Zayd al-Ansari brother of b. `Abdu'l-Ashhal with some of the captive women of B. Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons. [page 466] ibn Hisham's "Life of Muhammad", tr. Guillaume).

 Muhammad aggressively attacked several groups of people around him. One of these groups were the Jews of Khaibar. Muhammad believed God led him to attack Khaibar. After Khaibar was conquered, the Jews were either enslaved, executed, or allowed to live there provided they gave the Muslims one half of all they produced.

This event occurred about 3 years before Muhammad's death due to poisoning. Khaibar was a large Jewish settlement about 95 miles north of Medina. The Jews there were primarily farmers. Khaibar was known to have some of the best date palms in the region. The Jews there were well to do because they had worked hard and earned it. Prior to Muhammad's conquest of Khaibar, he had just been stopped by the Meccans from performing a pilgrimage to Mecca. Outside of Mecca, he also signed a humiliating treaty with the Meccans - a treaty that a number of his leading followers didn't like. To placate them Muhammad claimed to have a "revelation" that God would give them the possessions of the Jews of Khaibar. Six weeks later he marched on Khaibar with the intent to conquer and plunder.

One of Muhammad's most brutal acts involved a prisoner named Kinana. Kinana was one of the leaders of Khaibar. Muhammad wanted him to reveal where some buried treasure was hidden. Kinana refused. Muhammad had him tortured to the point of death, then had him beheaded.

On page 515 of "The Life of Muhammad", which is basically a translation of Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasul Allah", (The Life of the Prophet of God), the events of the conquest of Khaibar are detailed.

"Kinana al-Rabi, who had the custody of the treasure of Banu Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came (Tabari says "was brought"), to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, "Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?" He said "Yes". The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr Al-Awwam, "Torture him until you extract what he has." So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud."

The Great Prophet of Allah (Pbuh) killed people not only to rid the earth of non-believers but to plunder their wealth. He also had people who opposed him murdered by deceitful means as the following incidents show.

Ka`b ibn Ashraf, a Jew who was resident in Medina and who had long been a nuisance to the Prophet in composing satirical verses against him. After the Battle of Badr he became a real threat as he visited Mecca and stirred up the Quraysh to mount a reprisal raid against the Muslims in the hope of neutralising their gains and nullifying the increased prestige Muhammad had obtained in his new city. He composed poems lamenting the leaders of the Quraysh who had been slain at Badr and, when Muhammad learnt of his plans, he made it clear to his followers that he wanted him out of the way. What followed is narrated in many of the early traditions.

Narrated Jabir:

The Prophet said, "Who is ready to kill Ka'b ibn Ashraf?". Muhammad bin Maslama replied, "Do you like me to kill him?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say what I like". The Prophet replied, "I do". (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.4, p. 168).

 It is clear from this narrative that Muhammad not only sanctioned the murder of his opponent but also permitted his followers to use whatever deception they considered necessary to achieve their purpose. In another tradition Muhammad ibn Maslama's statement "allow me to say what I like" is interpreted to mean that he should be allowed to say a "false" thing to deceive Ka'b (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.5, p.248). This was the first occasion that Muhammad, now in a state of actual warfare with those who withstood him, had to prescribe a policy in dealing with them and his licence to his companions to not only assassinate but also to deceive them became a precedent in his future attitudes towards his foes. An early biographer is quite emphatic in his record of this commission:

The apostle said, "All that is incumbent upon you is that you should try". He answered, "O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies". He answered "Say what you like, for you are free in the matter". (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.367).

It cannot be denied that this was a direct order to one of his followers to murder one of his opponents and to use any manner of lies to achieve his purpose. It is hardly surprising to find that his companion of the same name duly took advantage of his commission to despatch the offending Jew and kill him under the cover of darkness:

Muhammad b. Maslama came to Ka`b and talked to him, referred to the old friendship between them and said: This man (i.e. the Holy Prophet) has made up his mind to collect charity (from us) and this has put us to a great hardship. When he heard this, Ka`b said, By God, you will be put to more trouble by him. Muhammad b. Maslama said: No doubt, now we have become his followers and we do not like to forsake him until we see what turn his affairs will take. (Sahih Muslim, Vol.3, p.991).

Muhammad's companion had only persuaded Ka`b to leave the security of his home by deceiving him into thinking that his group was disillusioned by Muhammad's intention to financially burden the Muslims. As Ibn Maslama was of the Aus tribe who were resident in Medina, he succeeded in convincing him that he meant him no harm. His own foster brother Abu Na`ilah who was also one of the group was even more persuasive in using dishonest tactics to lure him unsuspectingly into the darkness:

He said: I am Abu Na`ilah, and I have come to inform you that the advent of this man (the Prophet) is a calamity for us. The Arabs are fighting with us and they are shooting with one bow (i.e. they are united against us). We want to keep away from him (the Prophet). (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol.2, p.36).

The same biographer records that these men had claimed that they had come to visit him purely to purchase dates and food. When Ka`b was lured into talking freely with them and was "pleased with them and became intimate with them" (op.cit., p.37), they came closer to him on the pretext that they wished to smell his perfume. Drawing near to him, they suddenly drew their swords and thrust him through and, having killed him, they immediately returned to Muhammad uttering the takbir ("Allahu Akbar" - Allah is Most Great). Muhammad's reception of them is recorded in this narrative:

When they reached the Apostle of Allah, Allah bless him; he said (Your) faces be lucky. They said: Yours too, O Apostle of Allah! They cast his head before him. He (the Prophet) praised Allah on his being slain.When it was morning, he said: Kill every Jew whom you come across. The Jews were frightened, so none of them came out, nor did they speak. They were afraid that they would be suddenly attacked as Ibn Ashraf was attacked in the night. (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol.2, p.37).

This whole affair has an atmosphere of conspiracy and intrigue, of deception and treachery, of murder and assassination. Muslim writers, in trying to clear Muhammad of blame in the whole sordid affair, have used a number of arguments in his defence. At times Muhammad's own part in it has been totally ignored and it has been suggested that it was solely the reaction of some of his companions to Ka`b's false accusations against the Muslim women of Medina that led to the offence while others have argued that Ka`b was legally "executed" by the Prophet for treason against him. Legal terminology has been used to justify his action by saying that a just sentence had been performed upon a traitor who, of necessity, was summarily despatched in a swift and secret execution. The clandestine murder of the poet under cover of darkness is rationalised as an attempt to execute him silently and without any fuss rather than in a public execution which might attract unwanted attention. It has also been argued that Muhammad had already decreed that deception was an art in warfare and, as Ka`b had declared war on the Muslims by stirring up opposition to them, the lies of his murderers were vindicated as a legitimate strategy in disposing of him.

It is hard to view the incident as anything other than a coldblooded murder. The band of assassins creeping through the darkness to unleash their swords against an unsuspecting foe who is lured into their clutches by lies hardly fit the role of executioners legally commissioned to despatch a criminal properly condemned after a proper trial in the spirit of true justice. Yet another defence of Muhammad's action has been raised, namely that a traitor is no more than an outlaw who can be killed by anyone without any special authority. When one considers that Ka`b never swore allegiance to Muhammad's cause at any time it is hard to see how he could be accused of being a traitor. Nonetheless, the licence to all and sundry to lynch anyone suspected of being a renegade does tend to point to the Prophet of Islam of being an accomplice in murder and falsehood.

The story of Ka`b ibn Ashraf does not stand alone. Numerous other Arabs who ventured to oppose Muhammad were cunningly murdered once he had an opportunity to despatch them. Another Jew named Abu Rafi, who was one of the chiefs of a Jewish tribe, the Banu Nadhir, was also killed in much the same way. After being exiled from Medina Abu Rafi moved to Khaibar north of the city and what happened to him is once again set out in bland language in the early records of Islam:

Narrated Al-Bara:

Allah's Apostle sent Abdullah bin Atik and Abdullah bin Utba with a group of men to Abu Rafi (to kill him) ... (Abdullah said) "I called, 'O Abu Rafi!' He replied 'Who is it?' I proceeded towards the voice and hit him. He cried loudly but my blow was futile. Then I came to him, pretending to help him, saying with a different tone of voice, 'What is wrong with you, O Abu Rafi?' He said 'Are you not surprised? Woe on your mother! A man has come to me and hit me with a sword!' So again I aimed at him and hit him, but the blow proved futile again, and on that Abu Rafi cried loudly and his wife got up. I came again and changed my voice as if I was a helper, and found Abu Rafi lying straight on his back, so I drove the sword into his belly and bent on it till I heard the sound of a bone break." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.5, pp. 253,254).

The story has much the same character as the assassination of Ka`b ibn Ashraf. Once again the coldblooded murder of Muhammad's enemy was accomplished with pretence and deceit. Another record of the incident adds that, when Abu Rafi's wife enquired who they were, they replied that they were simply a group of "Arabs in search of supplies" (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, p.483).

It is significant to find that most of the individuals murdered at Muhammad's instance were those who had composed satirical legends against him or had invented poetic passages to rival the text of the Qur'an. It seems that the Prophet of Islam could not tolerate a challenge to his claim to be a divinely inspired messenger. Mention has already been made of An-Nadr ibn al-Harith who was put to death after the Battle of Badr for having formerly ridiculed the Qur'an and reciting Persian legends in their stead which he claimed were more beautiful than Muhammad's oracles. Although the Qur'an boldly invites anyone who challenges its authenticity to produce similar passages to rival it (Surah 11.13), Muhammad appears to have been severely troubled when some of his opponents set out to do just that.

When we compare Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) and Jesus we are struck by the contrast in their personality and teachings. Whereas Prophet Muhammed advocated the killing and murder of unbelievers (who also became his enemies) Jesus did not kill or harm anyone but healed those who were sick and gave life to the dead. Jesus, on the contrary, said, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) described heaven as a physical place where men will enjoy "abundant fruits, unforbidden, never-ending." There will be "gushing fountains" and everyone "shall recline on jeweled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine." Suras 55 and 56 of the Quran. "Therein are bashful virgins whom neither man nor jinnee will have touched before ... virgins as fair as corals and rubies," sura 55. The smallest reward for every believer who is admitted to Paradise is 72 wives! The Tafsir of Surah Al-Rahman (55), verse 72: mentions servants as well, "It was mentioned by Daraj Ibn Abi Hatim that Abu-al-Haytham Abdullah Ibn Wahb narrated from Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri, who heard the Prophet Muhammad saying: 'The smallest reward for the people of Paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine, and ruby, as wide as the distance from Al-Jabiyyah [a Damascus suburb] to Sana'a.'" Book of Sunan (volume IV, chapters on "The Features of Paradise as described by the Messenger of Allah," Chapter 21: "About the Smallest Reward for the People of Paradise," Hadith 2687).

 Jesus, on the other hand, says, "You are mistaken, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven." Matt.22:30-31;Luke12:24-25

Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) had 15 wives and an untold number of concubines. Many of the wives and concubines had been made captives after slaying their husbands. Aisha was only six years old when the Prophet Muhammed, then aged 53, married her. He consummated the marriage with Aisha when she was nine years old and he was nearly 60 years old! He had already married Sauda, daughter of Zamma after the death of Khadija. And he had already taken Rahayana as his concubine after slaying her husband. There was no urgent necessity of marrying again, and that too, a girl who was fit enough to be his grand-grand daughter? Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) permitted the men in his army to acquire "temporary wives" during their campaigns when they were away from their legal wives at home. He, however, did not permit believers to marry more than four wives.

 Jesus, however, said, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female' and said, 'for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate." Matt 19:4-6;Mark 10:6-9; Genesis 3:24,25. Jesus and the Bible speak of one man and one wife and the two (not three or more) become one flesh.

Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) laid great stress, outwardly, on the unity of Allah, public prayers, fasting and charity but, inwardly, with regard to his neighbours (enemies) he was unforgiving and cruel (unlike Allah who is merciful), and his personal life was full of greed (he took one fifth of all the loot) and lust (he picked the yougest and the most beautiful girls for himself after slaying their husbands or their fathers). He broke most of the commandments of Allah given to Moses viz. thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not covet thy neighbours goods (plunder & loot) and thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife (by marrying them after slaying their husbands). By following his example his followers are spreading terror and violence all over the world.

Jesus, on the other hand, made love of God and love of one's neighbour as the focal point of his preaching and he practised exactly what he preached, even his death on the cross was a fulfilment of his preaching," This is my commandment to you, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13,14. Jesus was outwardly what he was inside but he warned, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?" Matt 7:15,16. "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to decieve  even the elect. See I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you,'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it." Matt 24:24-26. So, according to Jesus, there is not a single true prophet to come after Him till His Second Coming at the time of Qayamat.

©2004:Robert P Minz,27 Nayatoli Lane, Old Hazaribag Road, Ranchi-834001, Jharkhand, India

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