The Cruelty of the Prophet

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Muhammad is introduced in the Quran as thus: “And We [Allah] have not sent you forth but as a mercy to mankind” (Sura 21:107).

In this series exposing the disturbing facets of the prophet of Islam, you must have observed how the Quran attempts to present a very clean image of Muhammad, but reading the Hadiths and the biographies which record his deeds quickly rips off that sweet, merciful image.

Muslims use diverse excuses to escape this dilemma. Some will say “Those hadiths are not sound!” or “Those hadiths have been corrupted by the Jews!” or the common one: “You are taking them out of context!”

The Quran-only Muslims will say “All the hadiths are fake!” Why are they saying these? It’s because they see that the image of Muhammad emanating from the hadiths is not of a prophet, but of a monster; but they still want to cling to him. So they have to repudiate their own sources.

The hadiths were collected by Muslims who were devoted to Islam and they have been in use for 12 centuries.

No real, consistent Muslim denies the Hadiths. If these accounts were reliable sources of what Muhammad did back then, they are to a large extent reliable today as well. Let’s then look at Muhammad’s actions.

1. He was a vengeful man

The concept of forgiveness was alien to Muhammad. After he gained enough military might and captured Mecca, he killed those he had a grudge with while he was living in Mecca:

“The Apostle of Allah entered through the Adhakhir (into Mecca) and prohibited fighting, he ordered six men and four women to be killed: Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl, Habbar ibn al-Aswad, AbdAllah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh, Miqyas ibn Sababah, al-Huwayrith ibn Nuaqydh, Abd Abbah ibn Nilal ibn Khatal, Hind bint Utbah, Sarah the mawlat, Fartana and Qaribah” (Ibn Sa’ad, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-kabir, 2:168).

One of the men killed above, Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh, was formerly one of Muhammad’s scribes who used to help him amend, rephrase, add to and subtract from the chapters of the Quran which Muhammad told people he was receiving hot from the sky. When Abi Sarh could no longer stomach the falsehood, he left Islam.

Islamic scholar, Ali Dashti noted:

“Abdollah renounced Islam on the ground that the revelations, if from God, could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as he. After his apostasy, he went to Mecca and joined the Qorashites.” (23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Muhammad,  London, 1985, p. 98)

Muhammad never forgave him for leaving his cult, so he had him killed when he captured Mecca.

In another instance in Mecca, while Muhammad and his followers were reciting Sura al-Najm and prostrating (the emphasis of Islamic prayer was to knock your head on the ground. The dirtier your forehead, the more Muslim you were), an old Muslim man “took a handful of small stones or earth and lifted it to his forehead and said, ‘This is sufficient for me'”

He felt that if a dirty forehead was the essence of rakat, why not just make it easier, rub the dirt on your forehead! But he was killed for that joke (Bukhari 2:173).

2. A Man without sympathy

One of his soldiers, Ja’far, died at the battle of Mouta and women came to Muhammad’s place mourning.

“A man went to him and said, ‘The women trouble and disturb us.’ He told him to go back and quieten them’… [The man returned again] The apostle said, ‘Go and tell them to be quiet, and if they refuse throw dust in their mouths” (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulallah, translated by Alfred Guillaume, 1998, pp. 535-6).

Who would lose a friend or lover and not weep? The man expected Muhammad would follow him to comfort the grieving women and must have been shocked when Muhammad ordered him to throw some sand in the women’s mouth if they won’t keep quiet.

Yet this was a soldier who gave his life fighting for Islam, while Muhammad sat back in the comfort of his home. The “prophet” didn’t shed a single tear.

A similar thing happened to Jesus Christ when His close friend Lazarus died. When He arrived there, Mary knelt at His feet and said “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who were crying with her, he was deeply moved and troubled…Jesus cried” (John 11:32-35).

Even though Jesus knew He was still going to raise Lazarus from the dead, He still wept with them. He identified with human suffering and displayed godly compassion. What a big difference from the prophet of Islam!

When Uqba the Persian poet, who used to recite poems to ridicule Muhammad was captured by his army in Medina and knew he was going to be killed, he looked at Muhammad and pleaded:

“O Muhammad, if you kill me, who will take care for my children?” The prophet coldly replied “Hell would take care of them!” And he was killed (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulullah, 308).

A merciful prophet? Nope.

3. A teacher of hate and sedition

Apart from his many curses and vituperations, his teachings instilled a sense of hate against non Muslims.

Sura 9:113 “It is improper to ask for Allah’s forgiveness for the infidels even if they are your parents or loved ones…”

Sura 9:23 “O ye who believe! [Muslims] Take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong.”

This means that even if their own father or brother leaves Islam, they must be fought and alienated. This is how cults operate.

Muhammad himself didn’t spare Haakim ibn Hizam, Khadija (his first wife)’s cousin at the battle of Uhud.

Even today, Muslims have no qualms killing their own relatives or loved ones for leaving Islam. There have been many cases of Muslim parents “honour killing” their own daughters and Muslim families killing other relatives who have denounced Islam.

Ali ibn Abu Talib narrated:

“A Jewess who used to insult the prophet and disparage him was strangled to death by a man. When the case was reported to Muhammad, the apostle of Allah declared that no recompense was payable for her blood” (Sunan Abu Dawud 38:4349).

Recently, there was a mass grave of Boko Haram’s victims discovered in Borno State, Nigeria. Their bodies had been dumped in a pit after their throats were slashed.

These jihadists learnt this from their prophet: “On the day of Badr, the prophet ordered that the corpses of 24 leaders of Quraish should be thrown into one of the dirty dry wells of Badr…” (Bukhari 5:314).

4. He was a torturer

When Muhammad and his men invaded the Bani Nadir Jewish tribe, they captured their leader named Kinana. These Jews were very rich and Muhammad wanted their wealth.

“Kenana al-Rabi, who had custody of the treasure of Bani Nadir was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where he was.”

A Jew was brought who confessed seeing Kinana going to a certain ruin every morning. Muhammad warned that if they checked that place and found the treasure, he would be killed.

When the ruin was excarvated, some of the treasure was found. Muhammad “asked him about the rest [of the treasure] 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 a 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” (Sirat Rasulallah, 145-6).

Kinana’s wife, Safiyya was taken to Muhammad’s bed and raped that same night.

It’s strange how some Muslims read these insidious actions of their prophet and still have to guts to say “Muhammad was a merciful man.” They need to put themselves in the shoes of the “infidels” in Muhammad’s time.

A man calls on you to believe in him as a prophet without any proof but you don’t. Then all of a sudden he raids your town, kills all those who defend themselves, enters your house, ties you up, demands you surrender all your money, tortures you, beheads you, then rapes your wife and daughter that same night. What kind of god would send a prophet like that?

There was also the case of 8 men of Ukl (or Urynah) who came to Medina and embraced Islam but soon became sick due to the weather. Muhammad instructed them to drink camel urine and they became healthy (what a nice medical advice modern Muslims ought to follow!):

“Then they killed the shepherd and drove away away the camels, and they became unbelievers after they were Muslims. When the prophet was informed … he sent some men in their pursuit … they were brought and he [Muhammad] had their hands and feet cut off. Then he ordered for nails which he heated and passed over their eyes and they were left in the Harra (rocky land in Medina). They asked for water, and nobody provided them water till they died” (Bukhari 4:52:261).

Some Muslims have justified this savagery by saying that Muhammad “had no choice” but to gruesomely murder them because these men stole his sheep, killed the shepherd and betrayed the trust of Muslims. This stupid excuse doesn’t hold water.

First, Muhammad himself was a looter who stole other men’s property, so why couldn’t he take from them what he did to others? Second, these men were not really killed for stealing, rather for turning away from Islam.

After narrating this story, the Muslim commander Abdul Malik said asked Anas “Was that [punishment] for kufr (disbelief) or for sin [of stealing]?’ He said “for kufr” (Bukhari 4:52:50-51).

Third, Muhammad later justified this act by reciting Sura 5:33-34 which prescribed death, torture by crucifixion, maiming or banishment of anyone who opposes Islam. (Read this)

Nowhere did that Quran verse approves branding out the eyes of culprits and death by dehydration which Muhammad inflicted on the men. Technically, Muhammad went beyond Allah’s stipulated punishments.

It was unjustifiable and cruel, both by the moral standards of that time and of today. Anybody upholding this man and justifying his crimes may need to have his/her demons kicked out.

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