There have been several efforts by Muslim apologists – with much intellectually dishonesty of course – to paint Islam as a religion of peace, but not much to present it as a religion of love. This is a no brainer. Why try to convince others of a quality that is obviously missing from your religion?
William Chittick, a Western scholar, assures us that: “Part of Islam’s intellectual heritage is a vast literature exploring and elucidating the nature of love.” He quotes Rashid Maybudi who calls the Quran “the story of love and lovers.” He brandishes the views of 13th century Muslim writers like Tabrizi, Ibn Qayyim and Rumi, but quotes no part of the Quran or hadiths to back up his argument.
Chittick was actually quoting the works of Sufis (and Medieval free thinkers) as representative of mainstream Islam. Sufism, a system of Islamic mysticism, emphasizes love, inner meditation and spiritual union with Allah. It was a sect developed when Orientalists realized that Islam was inferior to their religions and cultures, so rather than rejecting it, they tried to hide its savagery with philosophy; mask its beastly face with mysticism and mollify its crude deity with spirituality.
But love is the foundation of this universe and God is love (1 Jn. 4:8). A religion that claims to be from God must have love as its hallmark. To understand Islam, however, we need to understand Muhammad. And to understand Muhammad is to understand Muslims. Do Muhammad’s teachings and lifestyle reflect God’s love?
The Quran attaches a negative notion to love in several places:
“This is because they love the life of this world better than the hereafter: And Allah will not guide those who reject faith” (16:102)
“And ye love wealth with inordinate love!” (89:20)
“Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet. Women and sons, heaped up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well tilled land … but in nearness to Allah is the best of goals.” (3:14)
These verses reduce love to something carnal or evil. They demand that Muslims detach themselves from all things including love for their spouses, parents, or children so as to get close to a distant Allah.
This twisted idea of love shines brightly in a Muslim leader’s article about Ibrahim’s pure submission by his willingness to sacrifice his son:
“So that he would leave nothing of attachment except to Allah. That is what we must do – kill our drives, volitions, desires, and our love- nullify everything but Allah. You and I need to annihilate the demons inside of us, and the evil inclinations that we sometimes disguise and claim as beautiful intentions” (The Message International, April 12, 2012)
Love for non-Muslims is also condemned:
“O ye who believe! Take not My enemies and yours as friends (or protectors) – offering them (your) love even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), because ye believe in Allah your Lord!…” (60:1).
“Ah! Ye are those who love them, but they love you not,- though ye believe in the whole of the Book. When they met you they say, ‘We believe.’ But when they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say: ‘Perish in your rage…” (3:119)
To anyone who knows the historical context, that first verse is a manipulative lie. The second one is meant to keep Muslims from giving or receiving love from non-Muslims. I call it the windscreen syndrome. When a person driving a car views outside through a dirty or dusty windscreen, it will appear as if everyone else is dirty or the weather is foggy, whereas he only needs to wipe his screen.
Muslims are programmed to hate and distrust non-Muslims because their mind windscreen is befogged with hate and needs to be cleaned. There are other in-house rules:
“And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves…for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace, ye became brethren” (3:103)
How convenient. Anyone can love his co-religionists. Even a pack of hyenas have love for themselves. True love is the ability to love those outside your religious, racial, ethnic and social circle. How can a purported “book of love and lovers” omit this fundamental principle of love?
Jesus Christ asked “If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward?… Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that!” (Matt. 5:46-47) Even the Quran admits Christians love their Muslim haters: “…and nearest among them in love to the Believers [Muslims] wilt thou find those who say, ‘We are Christians’…” (5:85).
True Christians love those who hate them because they are of the Father in heaven who “makes his sun to rise on people whether they are good or evil” (Mt. 5:45).
On the other hand, Islam has no concept of fatherhood. Nowhere in the Quran is Allah is introduced as a “father.” None of his “99 beautiful names” includes the word “father.” Allah has “neither sons nor daughters” (6:100). Sura 5:15 is quite revealing:
“And (both) the Jews and the Christians say ‘We are the children of Allah and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?’ Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created, He forgives who He wills and He punishes whom He wills…”
From this, it can be inferred that:
1. The Allah of Islam had a master-slave, rather than a Father-son relationship with Muhammad. The relationship between a father and son is more loving and intimate than a relationship between a master and his slave. This proves the god of Islam is not the God of the Bible who is revealed as “our father, our redeemer” (Is. 63:16).
Christians have not “received the spirit of bondage again to fear” but have “received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father” (Rom. 8:15). In Islam, the greatness of Allah trumps out relationship or love. Muslim slaves live in a state of bondage to fear to earn Allah’s acceptance. Thus, the more Muslims love Allah, the lesser they love people.
2. Muhammad had a skewed view of fatherhood. He didn’t understand spiritual adoption and also assumed that a father shouldn’t discipline his children. But the Bible says “Endure your discipline. God corrects you as a father corrects his children. All children are disciplined by their fathers” (Heb. 12:7). Discipline doesn’t negate fatherhood.
Muhammad didn’t seem to know much about fatherhood. His own father died before he was born. He lived with his grandfather and later his uncle Abu Talib, and thus didn’t experience a father-son relationship. His ideas about fatherhood came from his experiences. This is why he tailored his Allah along that line.
3. Muhammad’s god has a warped sense of justice. He forgives whom he wills and punishes whom He wills. His forgiveness is not guaranteed for the guilty and his vengeance can fall on the innocent. This is sadism. God’s judgement will fall only on those who deserve it. He will not “slay the righteous with the wicked” (Gen. 18:25).
The Prophet’s love stories?
A Muslim wrote an article saying:
“I can find no love story more powerful, more spiritually uplifting, more awe-inspiring as that of Prophet Muhammad and Khadijah. It is a shining example of what an ideal marriage is, and if I ever claim that I love my wife, I must gauge my actions with that of the Prophet” (Dr. Hesham Hassaballa, Daily Sun, Feb. 15, 2008, 38).
How “powerful” was their love story? Khadija was a wealthy widow, aged 40 who had many servants, including Muhammad aged 25. According to Tabari’s biography (3:832), she “sent a message to Muhammad inviting him to take her” as a wife. Muhammad was reluctant, so she brought her own father, made him drunk, then sent for Muhammad and his uncles and her father married them while still intoxicated. It was such an unusual marriage that could only be contracted under the influence of alcohol!
Women who emulate Khadija today are called “sugar mummies” of the manipulative variety. There is no report of Muhammad ever working after marrying Khadija. His fingers were all dipped in mama’s feasts. This is why he became poor after her death. In fact, there wasn’t a single instance where Muhammad took care of the 10 children they had. He was too busy retreating into his physical and mental caves. The same emotional detachment and apathy with which he was raised was the same he gave his own children.
Dr. Hesham informs us that: “At a time when it was a common custom to have multiple wives, the Prophet did not marry anyone else while he was with Khadijah.”
Of course, since Khadija was the one who had the money and was older. Muhammad was just a poor employee of hers. It was his marriage to her that made him wealthy, so he had to comply. It was like a contract marriage; what’s love gotta do with it? It was after her death he threw off his mask and became a sexual butterfly.
Dr Hesham continues: “Most of these wives were widows, whom the Prophet married to care after them, or they were the daughters of prominent Arab chieftains, so that the Prophet could form a cohesive Muslim society out of fiercely (barbaric) Arab culture.”
Yes, most of his wives were widows. But why did he have to marry them to care after them? For example, if the president of Nigeria is going to help all the widows in his country, does he have to take them to his bed? The Muslim mind reasons in an amazing way.
If Muhammad married his wives because of their Arab pedigree, that means he didn’t marry them for love. He only saw them as tools to further his own political and sexual conquests. After Khadija’s death, he married Sawda, apparently to cater for his home needs. She wasn’t his favourite because the hadiths later described her as “old and fat.” Hafsa was also given to him by Umar.
Apart from these two, every other woman Muhammad married was either a beautiful virgin or a beautiful divorcee or widow. In Aisha’s case, she was barely 6 years old when Muhammad had a (wet?) dream about her (Bukhari 9:140). By the way, how did Muhammad’s sex with a toddler “form a cohesive Muslim society?”
He married Zaynab because of her beauty. The same for Mariyah and others. Most islamic marriages follow this trend; the “powerful” husband always wants a younger wife to satisfy his lust while the older wife gets dumped like garbage.
Sura 4:129 says in part “And if you must marry another wife, do not incline excessively to one and leave the other like a thing suspended.” Muhammad didn’t live up to this verse. He didn’t equally love his wives as he had favourites.
Islamic scholar, Muhammad Haykal, wrote that he “loved her [Aisha] more than any of his wives” (Life of Muhammad, Islamic Publications Bureau, 1982, 336). It was recorded that Muhammad “often ignored some of his wives, and avoided others on many occasions, precisely in order to discourage their abuse of his compassion” (p. 436).
Haykal also noted that there were constant fights in Muhammad’s home due to the pocket money he allocated, or the honey Zaynab served. One day while he was with Aisha, “his other wives delegated Zaynab, daughter of Jahsh, to go in and, in their name, to accuse him of injustice and unfairness to them, and to plead that his love for Aisha was a violation of the code which he himself has set down of a day and night for each of his wives” (Ibid, 437).
Ideal marriage anyone? Does this even look like a happy home? In a Christian marriage, a husband is to love his wife as his own body (Eph. 5:27). And it takes a person who has received God’s love to show love.
This is why there is a crisis of love in Islam, because a person who has not been shown love from childhood or taught how to love, or is trying to appease a god of fear cannot give love. Many Muslim parents are not even capable of loving their own children. This is why many Muslims are devoid of humanity, filled with hate, torn apart and bereft of love.
The more devoted to Islam a person is, the less he is able to love others. Muhammad said: “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his child, his father and all the people” (Muslim 1:71)
Devoted Muslims have their minds and emotions taken away. This is why they strap explosives on their own children. When a Christian woman now marries a Muslim out of shallow sentiments or for money, he will suck her dry until she is bereft of life and reduced to a shell. Knowing Jesus Christ is the only key to true love. There is no love in Islam.