Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Criticizing Muhammad

The Prophet Muhammad forbade Freedom of Speech and ordered the Murder of those who dared to criticize him.

Asma Bint Marwan, of Banu Umayyah Ibn Zayd: Asma was the wife of Yazid Ibn Zayd Ibn Hisn al-Khatmi. She composed verses in which she criticized the Prophet. Muhammad sent Umar ibn Adi to go and kill her. Umar came to her in the night and entered her house. Her children were sleeping around her. There was one whom she was suckling. He searched her with his hand because he was blind, and separated the child from her. He thrust his sword in her chest till it pierced up to her back. Then he offered the morning prayers with the prophet at al-Medina. The apostle of Allah said to him: "Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?" He said: "Yes. Is there something more for me to do?" He [Muhammad] said: "No two goats will butt together about her. This was the word that was first heard from the apostle of Allah. The apostle of Allah called him 'Umar, "al-basir" (the seeing) (Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kobara, volume 2, p. 31).

Abu Afak, a man of great age (reputedly 120 years) was killed because he lampooned Mohammad. The deed was done by Salem bin 'Umar at the behest of the Prophet, who had asked, "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" The killing of such an old man moved a poetess, Asma bint Marwan, to compose disrespectful verses about the Prophet, and she too was assassinated.

Abdullah Ibn Sa'ad Ibn Abi Sarh: Muhammad had scribes write his revelations down for him. One scribe was Abdullah Ibn Sa'ad Ibn Abi Sarh. As Abi Sarh wrote these revelations down, he frequently made suggestions on improving their wording whenever he realized that the verses were poorly composed in wording and grammar. Muhammad often agreed and allowed the changes to be made. Eventually, Abdullah Ibn Sa'ad Ibn Abi Sarh left Islam, knowing it could not be from God if a mere scribe were allowed to change God's words. Later, after the conquest of Makah, Muhammad ordered Abi Sarh's death. "A person of al-Ansar had taken a vow to kill Ibn Abi Sarh [the already mentioned Abdullah] if he saw him. Uthman whose foster brother (Ibn Abi Sarh) came and interceded for him with the prophet. The Ansari was waiting for the signal of the prophet to kill him. Uthman interceded and he [Muhammad] let him go. The apostle of Allah said to the Ansari, "Why did you not fulfill your vow?" He said, "O apostle of Allah! I had my hand on the hilt of the sword waiting for your signal to kill him. The prophet said signaling would have been a breach of faith. It does not behave the prophet to make signal (Ibn Sa'ad in Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kobara p. 174).

Kinanah 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 bin Maslama and he struck off his head (Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasulallah 'Biography of the Messenger of Allah' p. 37).

Abdullah Khatal of Babu Taym Ibn Ghalib. He had become a Muslim and the apostle sent him to collect the poor tax in company with one of the Ansar. He had with him a freed slave who served him. (He was Muslim). When they halted he ordered the latter to kill a goat for him and prepare some food, and went to sleep. When he woke up the man had done nothing, so he attacked and killed him and apostatized. He had two singing-girls Fartana and her friend who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed with him. Khatal was ordered to be killed not because he killed his male slave, a Muslim, but because he apostatized. Islamic law does not allow a Muslim man to be put to death for killing a slave, a Jew, a Christian, or any non-Muslim. A person came to the Prophet and said, "O apostle of Allah! Ibn Khatal is holding fast on the curtains of al-Ka'aba. The apostle of Allah said: "Kill him." The Prophet ordered the two slave girls to be killed for singing satirical songs about him.

The Harlots of Hadramut: Twenty-six noble women in Hadramut, a city in Yemen, celebrated the death of the Prophet Muhammad joyfully. Muslim historians called them 'The Harlots of Hadramut." The celebration is narrated by Ibn Habib al-Baghdadi in his book, "Kitab al-Muhabbar": "There were in Hadramut six women, of Kinda and Hadramut, who desired the death of the Prophet of God; they therefore [on hearing the news] dyed their hands with henna and played on the tambourines. To them came out the harlots of Hadramut and did likewise so that some twenty-odd women joined the six". However, Ibn Habib contradicts his statement that the women were 'Harlots' when he describes them as "Two were grandmothers, one a mother, and seven were young girls. Three of the twelve belonged to the ashraf ("the noble class") and four to the tribe of Kindah, a royal tribe which provided Yemen with its kings."

Two Muslim leaders wrote to Caliph Abu Bakr and reported the event. When the news reached the first caliph, Abu Bakr, he wrote back ordering that the hands of the women should be cut off. The caliph Abu Bakr said, ''The two righteous servants [of God] who remained steadfast in their religion when the greater part of their tribes apostatized...have written to me that before them there are certain women of the people of Yemen who have desired the death of the Prophet of God, and that these have been joined by singing-girls of Kinda and prostitutes of Hadramut, and they have dyed their hands and shown joy and played on the tambourine in defiance of God and in contempt of his rights and those of His Prophet. When my letter reaches you, go to them with your horses and men, and strike off their hands.''

Following the order of the Caliph, the twenty-six women were punished in a gruesome manner and that by having their hands chopped off.

A quotation from my book, "Irshad and the Abuse of Muslim Women". Click on this link. It is available online.

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