3. Blasphemy Laws
“If the hypocrites, the sick of heart, and those who spread lies in the city [Medina] do not desist, We shall arouse you [Muhammad] against them, and then they will only be your neighbors in this city for a short while. They will be rejected wherever they are found, and then seized and killed” (Sura 33:60-61)
This was recited to legitimise the genocide and banishment Muhammad executed on the Jews in Medina. He says further:
“Those who insult God and His Messenger will be rejected by God in this world and the next – He has prepared a humiliatory punishment for them and those who undeservedly insult believing men and women will bear the guilt of slander and obvious sin” (Sura 33: 57).
Verse 63 says “Do they know that whoever opposes God and His Messenger will go to the Fire of Hell and stay there? That is the supreme disgrace.”
“But if they violate their oaths after their covenant and attack your religion with disapproval or criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish – pagans of Makkah)...” (Sura 9:12)
In essence, any mockery or criticism against Muhammad or Islam is deemed as unforgivable blasphemy.
Uqba bin Abu Muayt mocked Muhammad and wrote derogatory verses about him in Mecca. When he was captured at the Battle of Badr in 624 AD, Muhammad ordered him to be executed. “But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?” Uqba cried with anguish. “Hell,” retorted the prophet coldly. Then the sword of one of his followers cut through Uqba’s neck (Bukhari 4:2934).
A blind man also had a slave mother who used to insult Muhammad. The man tried to stop her but she didn’t quit:
“One night she began to slander the Prophet … and abuse him. So he [the blind man] took the dagger, placed it on the belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who was between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there.” When Muhammad heard this and that the victim used to insult him, he said “Oh be my witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood” (Bukhari 3:4348)
This reflects the calibre of people in Islam right from its inception – people who have no qualms murdering their own family for speaking against Muhammad. Interestingly, Muhammad made it legal for Muslims to insult non-Muslims, assuring them of angel Gabriel’s protection (Bukhari 5:4123).
Under Sharia law, a Muslim can receive a death penalty for uttering statements of unbelief; sarcastic comment about Allah’s name or command; slander against Muhammad; denying any part of the Quran; reviling Islam or being sarcastic about Islamic laws (Ahmad al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveler, 597-98).
Some jurists stipulate death for non-Muslims who insult Muhammad or attempts to lead a Muslim away from Islam. Generally, the punishment ranges from imprisonment, paying fines, hanging, beheading or immediate conversion to Islam to avoid death.
Some Muslim countries have even petitioned the United Nations to limit freedom of speech because “unrestricted and disrespectful opinions against Islam creates hatred” (Brian Winston, The Rushdie Fatwa and After, 2014, 74).
In the Muslim mind “hatred” is any criticism against Islam or Muhammad. This is why Sharia must be barred from the free world, because it opposes freedom of speech and conscience. This law has been the grounds of lynching, killing and imprisoning religious minorities over flimsy accusations of insulting Islam.
In contrast, Jesus wasn’t retaliatory and when He was mistreated, He “didn’t make any threats but left everything to the one who judges fairly” (1 Pet. 2:23). His example is the best for mankind to follow.
4. The Status of women
The Quran’s view of women has been dealt with here. Under Sharia, females inherit half that of males and a childless widow will inherit only 1/4 of her husband’s estate (Q 4:11-12). Women are also regarded as unreliable witnesses in the Sharia court because Muhammad says they are “deficient in intelligence.”
In the hadith, when a woman came to freely offer herself to Muhammad as a concubine, “he cast a glance at her from head to feet” and she sat down in shame. One of his companions said “Messenger of Allah, marry her to me if you have no need of her.” When asked what he can give as a dowry, he couldn’t find anything tangible, but when Muhammad saw he had memorised the Quran, he said “Go, I have given her to you in marriage for the part of the Quran you know” (Muslim 2:717-718).
The value of a Muslim woman only goes so high. As shown in the above link, the Quran sanctions a husband to beat his wife on the grounds of disobedience.
“Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur- Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s messenger came, Aisha said ‘I have not seen any woman suffering as the believing women. Look! her skin is greener than her clothes!”
Her husband admitted his reason for beating her was because she was “disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa” (Bukhari 7:715). Muhammad didn’t rebuke the man for this. Aisha’s remarks also indicates that pre-Islamic Arabia respected women more than Islam.
Iyas Dhubab reported Muhammad saying “Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens [or female slaves] but when Umar came to the apostle of Allah and said ‘Women have become emboldened towards their husbands,’ he [Muhammad] gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of Allah complaining against their husbands” (Abu Dawud 709:2141).
In this same hadith, Umar reported that “A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife” (No. 2142). Ash’ath b. Qais said “One night Umar arranged a feast. When it was midnight, he got up and went towards his wife to beat her. I separated them both.” (Ibn Majah 1985)
Aisha narrated: Abu Bakr came towards me and struck me violently with his fist and said, “You have detained the people because of your necklace.’ But I remained motionless as if I was dead lest I should awake Allah’s Apostle although that hit was very painful” (Bukhari 8:828).
The Hanafi law code stipulates that a Muslim husband can divorce his wife by saying so 3 times (even if he is drunk), but the woman can never divorce her husband on any ground unless the husband gives her permission. Nor can she get a judicial dissolution of marriage for neglect, ill-treatment or cruelty” (Alfred Guillaume, Islam, 1998, 172).
In other words, even when Muslim women are being battered, they are still not free to escape for their lives! In contrast, the NT commands husbands to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph. 5:28).
5. An Eye for an Eye
Sura 5:45 “And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation.”
The law of retaliation (Qisas) is a punishment levied on an offender for injuring another. Sura 2:178 says to Muslims “Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered.”
An alternative is if the injured party decides to forgo retaliation and remit by taking a compensation or blood-wit (diya) in form of money, goods or livestock. For instance, when an aunt of Anas bin Malik slapped a girl and broke her tooth, the girl’s family demanded equal retaliation, tooth for tooth.
Anas exclaimed ‘O Allah Messenger! By Allah, her tooth will not be broken.’ Muhammad replied that this is a Quranic law. The girl’s family eventually gave up their claim and instead accepted payment (Bukhari 9:6894).
This law mirrors Muhammad’s unforgiving spirit. In another instance when he “was distributing something, a man came towards him and bent down on him. The Apostle of Allah … struck him with a bough and his face was wounded. The Apostle of Allah…said to him: Come and take retaliation. He said No, I have forgiven, Apostle of Allah!” (Abu Dawud, 4521).
Sometimes a follower can be more virtuous than his leader. Islamic jurists rule that if an eye sight is lost because of a head wound “a similar kind of punishment is prescribed…which may be by having a red-hot iron held close to his eye balls” (Shafi law code, 116, note 17).
Now, try to imagine what would happen if this law is being applied worldwide. We would disintegrate into an ever-intensifying series of vendettas. If you made someone lose his teeth, yours too would have to be knocked out. This is a monstrous mentality and a twisted law of the jungle.
The concept of forgiveness is alien to Islam. But Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt. 5:44). Jesus emphasized and demonstrated the virtues of grace and forgiveness.
6. Amputation and Crucifixion
Sura 5:38-39 “Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done – a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance…”
Muhammad said: “God curses the thief who steals an egg, for which his hand is to be cut off, or steals a rope for which he has his hand cut off!” (Bukhari 8:6799). Repentance can only be accepted after amputation. Abu Abduallah said “If a thief repents after his hand has been cut off, then his witness will be accepted” (8:9801).
The Encyclopedia of Islam says amputation of hands for theft was a pagan custom introduced into Arabia by Walid bin Mughira before Muhammad was born. This man never claimed to have received a divine inspiration for such law – he was a pagan – yet Muhammad followed this heinous practice. Even the Torah didn’t prescribe amputation for thieves, but restitution (see Ex. 22:3, Lev. 6:4).
Sura 5:33 says “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”
These penalties are also levied on highway robbers. The above verse was recited after Muhammad tortured 8 Arab men to death. These men embraced Islam, but later drifted into apostasy, killed Muhammad’s shepherd and stole his camels. They were caught, however, and Muhammad had their hands and feet cut off and went extra-mile:
“Then he ordered for nails which were heated and were branded with those nails, their eyes, and they were left in the Harra (i.e rocky land in Al-Medina). And when they asked for water, no water was given them till they died…” (Bukhari 4:3018)
In the Quran, Pharaoh levied this same penalty on his followers who left paganism: “Be sure I will cut you off your hands and your feet on opposite sides and I will cause you all to die on the cross.” (7:124). Indeed, the deity that put this idea in Pharoah’s mind could be the same Allah inspiring Muhammad.
Muhammad himself attacked and robbed Meccan caravans without provocation and murdered people, so why was his hand not amputated? A number of Islamic aristocrats today loot the treasuries of their countries, how many of them have been chopped into bits? It seems to me that this law is made only for the poor and weak.
In primitive societies, amputating or physically torturing criminals was observed because they didn’t have prisons. But as nations became civilized, criminals were sent to prisons rather than being maimed, and modern punishments are more humane.
As societies advance, laws must also change. But Muhammad and his Allah couldn’t see beyond their time, hence Islamic laws are retrogressive, barbaric and frankly, devilish, because they fail to deal with the roots of sin. A person can be amputated or nailed to a tree as the Quran prescribes and still end up in hell.
The New Testament shows us that all sins are “from within, out of the heart.” Once a sinner is changed from within by Christ, rather than stealing, he would find joy “working with his hands what is good” and giving to others (Mk. 7:23; Eph. 4:28).