Dan’s Course on Islam



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Kab ibn al-Ashraf, the son of a Jewess of the Banu Nadir,

who had composed poems in praise of the dead, trying to stir

up the Meccans to avenge their heros of Badr. Rather

foolishly he retuned to Medina, where Muhammad prayed aloud,

“O Lord, deliver me from the son of Ashraf, in whatever way it

seems good to you, because of his open sedition and his verses.”

The conspirators met at Muhammad’s house, and as they emerged

at night, the Prophet gave them his full blessing. Pretending

to be Kab’s friends, the Muslims lured him out into the night and, in a suitable spot near a waterfall, murdered him. They threw Kab’s head at the Prophet’s feet. Muhammad praised their good work in the cause of Allah saying “It is more acceptable to me than the choicest camel in all Arabia.”
İbn Warraq, Why I’m Not a Muslim, p. 93 & 95.





The Case of Ibn Sunayna 

Ibn Sunayna was a Jewish merchant whose only crime seems to be that he was in town when the Muslims went on a killing spree: 

The apostle said, “Kill any Jew that falls into your power.” Thereupon Muhayyisa bin Mas’ud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, “You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?” Muhayyisa answered, “Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.” He said that this was the beginning of Huwayyisa’s acceptance of Islam. The other replied, “By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?” He said, “Yes, by God, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.”  He exclaimed, “By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvelous!” And he became a Muslim.[11] 
[11] Ibid., p. 369. This account is corroborated in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), Number 3032.
The Case of blind man Mirba bin Qayzi 

News of Muhammad’s victories and assassinations spread rapidly, and many people became angry at him. One such person was a blind man named Mirba bin Qayzi:

[The Muslims] came out in the territory of Mirba bin Qayzi who was a blind man, a disaffected person. When he perceived the approach of the apostle and his men he got up and threw dust in their faces saying, “You may be the apostle of God, but I won’t let you through my garden!” I was told that he took a handful of dust and said, “By God, Muhammad, if I could be sure that I should not hit someone else I would throw it in your face.” The people rushed on him to kill him, and the apostle said, “Do not kill him, for this blind man is blind of heart, blind of sight.” Sa’d bin Zayd . . . rushed at him before the apostle had forbidden this and hit him on the head with his bow so that he split it open.”[12]

In Muhammad’s defense, he did order his men not to kill Mirba. Nevertheless, the passage shows how quick the Muslims were to kill anyone who insulted Muhammad, and that they were growing accustomed to doing so. Further, we have no evidence that Muhammad so much as reprimanded Sa’d for bludgeoning the man. 



[8] Ibid., pp. 372-373. This account is corroborated in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), Number 3032.
The Case of the Qurayza Jews 

The men of Qurayza resisted Muhammad and attempted to form an alliance against him. When the alliance faltered, Muhammad acted quickly. His armies surrounded them and “besieged them for twenty-five nights until they were sore pressed and God cast terror into their hearts.”[13] Muhammad selected Sa’d bin Mu’adh to decide their punishment, and al-Aus, an ally of Qurayza, agreed to let Sa’d choose the punishment. Sa’d declared that “the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives.”[14] 

Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina. . . . Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. . . . There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka’b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, “Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!” This went on until the apostle made an end of them.[15] 

Every male who had reached puberty was killed.[16] A woman named Bunanah was beheaded because she had dropped a millstone on one of Muhammad’s men.[17] Muhammad divided the women, children, and property among his men (taking a fifth of everything for himself). Some of the women were sold for horses and weapons, and Muhammad kept one of the captive women, Rayhana, for himself.[18] 


[13] Ibid., p. 461. This account is corroborated in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), Number 3032.

[14] Ibid., p. 464.

[15] Ibid., p. 464. See also Al-Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari: Volume 8, Michael Fishbein, tr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), pp. 27-41.

[16] Al-Tabari, Volume 8, p. 38.

[17] Ibid., p. 41

[18] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 466.


The Case of Sallam Ibn Abu’l-Huqayq 

The events surrounding the death of Sallam are interesting. Two tribes were competing with one another to see who could do the most for Muhammad: 

One of the things which God did for His apostle was that these two tribes of the Ansar, Aus and Khazraj, competed the one with the other like two stallions: if Aus did anything to the apostle’s advantage Khazraj would say, “They shall not have this superiority over us in the apostle’s eyes and in Islam” and they would not rest until they could do something similar.[19]

The men of Aus had received the honor of assassinating Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, so the men of Khazraj longed to boast of a similar achievement. Hence, they went to Muhammad and asked for permission to murder Sallam Ibn Abu’l-Huqayq, and Muhammad granted their request. 

When they got to Khaybar they went to Sallam’s house by night, having locked every door in the settlement on the inhabitants. Now he was in an upper chamber of his to which a ladder led up. They mounted this until they came to the door and asked to be allowed to come in. His wife came out and asked who they were and they told her that they were Arabs in search of supplies. She told them that their man was here and that they could come in. When we entered we bolted the door of the room on her and ourselves fearing lest something should come between us and him. His wife shrieked and warned him of us, so we ran at him with our swords as he was on his bed. . . . When we had smitten him with our swords Abdullah bin Unays bore down with his sword into his belly until it went right through him.”[20] 
[19] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 482.

[20] Ibid., pp. 482-483.


The Case of Kinana bin al-Rabi 

Muhammad and his men conquered a town called Khaybar and distributed its riches and women among themselves.[21] They captured Kinana bin al-Rabi, who was in charge of the treasure of one of the conquered tribes. Muhammad demanded the treasure, but Kinana refused to tell him where it was hidden. 

When [Muhammad] asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr bin 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, in revenge for his brother Mahmud [who had been killed in battle while conquering the town].[22] 
[21] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 510-517.

[22] Ibid., p. 515.


The Case of an Anonymous One-Eyed Shepherd 

After failing at one of their assassination attempts, some Muslims were returning to Muhammad when one of them, an assassin named Amr, went into a cave. [23]  He soon encountered a one-eyed shepherd driving a sheep. The one-eyed man laid beside Amr (not realizing that he was a Muslim) and began to sing: 

 I won’t be a Muslim as long as I live,

 Nor heed to their religion give.[24] 

Amr didn’t miss his chance to kill an infidel: 

I said (to myself), “You will soon know!” and as soon as the badu was asleep and snoring I got up and killed him in a more horrible way than any man has been killed. I put the end of my bow in his sound eye, then I bore down on it until I forced it out at the back of his neck.[25] 

A couple of other people were killed during this failed expedition, yet when Amr reported the details to Muhammad, the Prophet blessed him for his work. [26] 
[23] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Matraji, tr. (New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002), Number 3022. This assassination is confirmed in Numbers 3023, 4038, 4039, 4040.

[24] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 674.

[25] Ibid., p. 674.

[26] Ibid., p. 675.
The Case of Abu Afak 

Abu Afak, saddened because Muhammad had killed someone named al-Harith, composed the following song in memory of the departed: 

Long have I lived but never have I seen

An assembly or collection of people

More faithful to their undertaking

And their allies when called upon

Than the sons of Qayla when they assembled,

Men who overthrew mountains and never submitted.

A rider who came to them split them in two (saying)

‘Permitted’, ‘Forbidden’ of all sorts of things.

Had you believed in glory or kingship

You would have followed Tubba.[27] 

These words were too much for Muhammad to bear, so the Prophet of Islam flew into a rage that ended with the death of Abu Afak.[28] 
[27] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 675.

[28] Ibid., p. 675.

Similarly the Prophet commanded that a group of unbelievers who used to injure and

curse him, like an-Nadr ibn al-Harith and 'Uqba ibn Abi Mu'ayt, be killed. He promised

that a group of them would be killed before and after the conquest. They were all killed

except for those who hurried to become Muslim before they were overpowered.

Al-Bazzar related from Ibn 'Abbas that 'Uqba ibn Abi Mu'ayt cried out, "O company of

Quraysh, why is it that I alone among you am to be killed without war?" The Prophet

said, "For your disbelief and your forging lies against the Messenger of Allah."

Ash-Shifa by Qadi 'Iyad ibn Musa al-Yahsubi , Muhammad Messenger of Allah.


The Case of Asma Bint Marwan from Khatma 

A woman named Asma (who had five sons) was appalled at the murder of Abu Afak, so she wrote a poem against the Muslims in retaliation. Ibn Ishaq relates the account of what followed: 

When the apostle heard what she had said he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” Umayr bin Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he said, “You have helped God and His apostle, O Umayr!” When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads about her,” so Umayr went back to his people.[29] 
[29] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 676.
Ibn 'Abbas said that a woman from Khatma[9] satirised the Prophet and the Prophet said,

"Who will deal with her for me?" A man from her people said, "I will, Messenger of Allah."

The man got up and went and killed her. He told the Prophet who said, "Two goats will not

lock horns over her."[10]

Ash-Shifa by Qadi 'Iyad ibn Musa al-Yahsubi , Muhammad Messenger of Allah.


MUHAMMAD AND THE DEATH OF ASMA BINT MARWAN
by Silas

INTRODUCTION

After Muhammad came to Yathrib he began to grow in power. However, a number of people,

both Jew and Arab, opposed him. Muhammad began to silence his opposition by various

means. One of these means was to have them murdered.

Muhammad did have a number of enemies and critics, some were dangerous, others were

ordinary people who lived in the area and thought nil of Muhammad. Unfortunately for them,

hey spoke their minds.

One by one, they were silenced. Through treaties, intrigue, or outright terror, Muhammad

gained power in Medina. Eventually, he became the area’s master. He knew his followers

loved him, and would die for him. They were at his disposal and at times used them to do his bidding.

FROM THE SIRAT RASUL ALLAH, by Ibn Ishaq (A. Guilaume's translation

"The Life of Muhammad") page 675, 676.

"UMAYR B. ADIYY'S JOURNEY TO KILL ASMA B. MARWAN

"She was of B. Umayyya b. Zayd. When Abu Afak had been killed she displayed

disaffection. Abdullah b. al-Harith b. Al-Fudayl from his father said that she was married

to a man of B. Khatma called Yazid b. Zayd. Blaming Islam and its followers she said:

"I despise B. Malik and al-Nabit


and Auf and B. al-Khazraj.

You obey a stranger who is none of yours,

One not of Murad or Madhhij. {1}

Do you expect good from him after the killing of your chiefs

Like a hungry man waiting for a cook's broth?

Is there no man of pride who would attack him by surprise

And cut off the hopes of those who expect aught from him?"

Hassan b. Thabit answered her:

"Banu Wa'il and B. Waqif and Khatma

Are inferior to B. al-Khazrahj.

When she called for folly woe to her in her weeping,

For death is coming.

She stirred up a man of glorious origin,

Noble in his going out and in his coming in.

Before midnight he dyed her in her blood

And incurred no guilt thereby."

When the apostle heard what she had said he said, "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?"

Umayr b. Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her

house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had

done and he [Muhammad] said, "You have helped God and His apostle, O Umayr!"

When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said,

"Two goats won't butt their heads about her", so Umayr went back to his people.

Now there was a great commotion among B. Khatma that day about the affair of bint [girl]

Marwan. She had five sons, and when Umayr went to them from the apostle he said,

"I have killed bint Marwan, O sons of Khatma. Withstand me if you can; don't keep me

waiting." That was the first day Islam became powerful among B. Khatma; before that

hose who were Muslims concealed the fact. The first of them to accept Islam was Umayr

b. Adiy who was called the "Reader", and Abdullah b. Aus and Khuzayma b. Thabit.

The day after Bint Marwan was killed the men of B. Khatma became Muslims because

they saw the power of Islam."

{1} The note reads "Two tribes of Yamani origin."

FROM IBN SA'D'S "KITAB AL-TABAQAT AL-KABIR", translated by S. Moinul Haq,

volume 2, page 31.

"SARIYYAH OF UMAYR IBN ADI"

Then (occurred) the sariyyah of Umayr ibn adi Ibn Kharashah al-Khatmi against Asma

Bint Marwan, of Banu Umayyah Ibn Zayd, when five nights had remained from the

month of Ramadan, in the beginning of the nineteenth month from the hijrah of the apostle

of Allah. Asma was the wife of Yazid Ibn Zayd Ibn Hisn al-Khatmi. She used to revile Islam,

offend the prophet and instigate the (people) against him. She composed verses. Umayr

Ibn Adi 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 Umayr, "basir" (the seeing).

CORROBORATING WRITINGS

In "23 Years; A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad", by Ali Dashti, (Mazda Press,

1994), Dashti also references the murders of Abu Afak and Asma b. Marwan. He wrote (page 100):

"Abu Afak, a man of great age (reputedly 120 years) was killed because he lampooned

Mohammad. The deed was done by Salem b. 'Omayr 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 b. Marwan, to compose disrespectful verses about the Prophet, and she too

was assassinated."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISCUSSION

Let's sum this up and put it in perspective.

Muhammad had Abu Afak murdered. Asma b. Marwan spoke out against Muhammad for having

the old man murdered. She encouraged her fellow tribesmen to take action against the murderer.

When Muhammad heard of what she had said, he continued his killing spree and had her murdered.

How much of a threat was she to Muhammad? In all likely-hood, she would have great difficulty

in attacking Muhammad herself. She needed men to stand up to Muhammad. Look deeper at the

event and examine the context of Asma's relationship to her tribe.

1) First of all, her tribe was not under Muhammad's rule. Perhaps they had a treaty with

Muhammad, perhaps not. Either way, this women was free to speak her mind. If a treaty existed,

and she was out of line, Muhammad could have complained to her tribe's leaders, and they

could have commanded her to be silent.

2) What's more noteworthy about this event is that after she was murdered, Muhammad said

"Two goats won't butt their head about her", meaning no one will care about her death.

(Well except her children and her family).

Also note, that there were already people from her tribe who had become Muslims. Certainly

these people were not going to listen to her.

The point is this: if no one really cared about her being murdered, then no one really cared

about what she had to say. Her people also knew about Muhammad having Abu Afak murdered,

and they didn't seem to care about that either. Even in that light, no one would take her serious

enough to listen to her urgings to murder Muhammad, who was the leader of a powerful group

of people. None of her people were willing to put their lives on the line for her words.

The bottom line is this: Asma b. Marwan was not a legitimate threat to Muhammad.

ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS

1) What alarms me the most about Islam is its disposition to violence and use of violence as a

standard of God's will.

Umayr is a perfect example of this. Here is a Muslim man, a friend of Muhammad's, acting

upon Muhammad's request and going into a woman's home under the cover of night. He comes

upon the women, sleeping in her bed with her child, and murders her by plunging a sword

through her body.

Afterwards, Muhammad tells the man that he has "helped God and his apostle". If Allah were

really threatened by this woman, I think He could have killed her Himself, don't you? Does

God need men to sneak around in the night and murder sleeping women?

2) Further, what kind of religion is Islam really? Soon after Umayr murdered Asma, he went

to her family and mocked them! He was laughing in their faces that he had murdered their

mother and that they were powerless to do anything about it! Here is the quote again:

"She had five sons, and when Umayr went to them from the apostle he said, "I have killed

bint Marwan, O sons of Khatma. Withstand me if you can; don't keep me waiting."

3) I also have to criticize the non-Muslim Arabs in Muhammad's time. They did lack a sense

of the value of human life. Here one of their own woman was murdered, and instead of being

appalled, they began to convert to Islam because they "saw the power of Islam".

4) Finally, similar to observation #1, look at the power of Islam. Here is the quote:

"That was the first day Islam became powerful among B. Khatma..... The day after Bint

Marwan was killed the men of B. Khatma became Muslims because they saw the power

of Islam."

So then, the power of Islam is to go about and murder sleeping women in the night, and

get away with it?

Does "might make right" ring true in Islam? Is it "he who has the biggest sword is from Allah?

The only people I know who respect that kind of power are criminals, Mafia type people

who also go in the night and murder people while they sleep.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUESTIONS

1) What kind of a man was Muhammad? Did he really need to ask his men to murder a

mother of five, a women who was no legitimate threat to him?.

2) Why couldn't Muhammad murder her himself? Why is it that every time Muhammad

wanted someone killed, he always got someone else to do his killing?

3) Look at this dark side of Islam. This is the Islam Muhammad practiced. When the

founder of a religion has to have powerless women murdered in the night for opposing him,

how can that religion be described?

4) Where are "women's rights", or "human rights" now in Islam? If Muhammad denied

freedom of speech to others, how does that reflect upon Islam and what we see occurring in

the Islamic world today? Why is it that the more fundamentalist Muslim nations become,

the more oppressive they are toward all basic human rights?

5) Is this Muhammad a man that you could really trust?


The Case of Abdullah bin Khatal and His Two Singing Girls 

Abdullah bin Khatal was a Muslim who later apostatized. He had two singing girls who sang satirical songs about the Prophet. As soon as Muhammad had the power, he ordered that all three be killed. Abdullah was killed by two Muslims. One of the singing girls was killed. The other was later given immunity, for unknown reasons.[30] 


[30] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 551.
Similarly on the Day of the Conquest, he ordered the killing of Ibn Khatal and his two

slavegirls who used to sing his curses on the Prophet.

Ash-Shifa by Qadi 'Iyad ibn Musa al-Yahsubi , Muhammad Messenger of Allah.
The Case of al-Huwayrith 

All that is known of al-Huwayrith is that he insulted Muhammad, that Muhammad demanded he be killed, and that Ali carried out Muhammad’s wishes.[31] 


[31] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 551. See also Al-Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari: Volume 8, Michael Fishbein, tr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), pp. 179-181.
The Case of Sara, a Freed Slave 

Sara was a freed slave who had insulted Muhammad in Mecca. Muhammad commanded his men to kill her wherever they find her. She was eventually found and trampled to death by a mounted soldier.[32]


[32] Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah (The Life of Muhammad), A. Guillaume, tr. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 551.


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