Polemical Rebuttals Muhammad

Faith­free­dom Inter­na­tion­al : Islam and the False Alle­ga­tions of Atrocities

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Euro­pean crit­i­cism seems to have lost its sense of jus­tice in deal­ing with the Prophet(P). All the rates of that crit­i­cism seem to be sub­ject to the one con­sid­er­a­tion that what­ev­er is unfavourable and dam­ag­ing to the Prophet’s rep­u­ta­tion must be accept­ed as true. For exam­ple, Answer­ing Islam, a web­site which is full of lies and decep­tion fol­lows in this tra­di­tion as per the meth­ods of their satan­ic apos­tle from Tar­sus by col­lect­ing a series of so-called assas­si­na­tion” orders. Not the least attempt has been made on their part to con­sid­er them crit­i­cal­ly before base­less­ly con­demn­ing a man who is looked upon as a mod­el of virtue and kind­ness by 1.6 bil­lion Mus­lims around the world.

In this arti­cle, the cas­es of the alleged assas­si­na­tions” are five in all, and a sixth case is that of Banu Qurayzah, which had already been dealt with else­where. The last charge is that of per­mis­si­bil­i­ty of rape, a charge prop­a­gat­ed by the athe­ist web­site Faith­free­dom Inter­na­tion­al and false even on the face of it and unknown even to one such as Muir. 

A brief dis­cus­sion of these cas­es is giv­en below.

How Mus­lims Bore Abuses

The first thing that strikes us here is that five out of the six alleged cas­es of assas­si­na­tion” and mas­sacre” relate to Jews. The Jews were the peo­ple of the Book,” and ordi­nar­i­ly the deal­ings of Mus­lims with the peo­ple of the Book were much more lenient than their deal­ings with Arab idol­aters. How was it then that the peo­ple of the Book, peo­ple whose Prophets are fre­quent­ly men­tioned with the utmost respect in the Holy Qur’an — how was it that these very peo­ple were cho­sen for assas­si­na­tion and such crimes were not per­pe­trat­ed against the Arab idol­aters who had most relent­less­ly per­se­cut­ed the Mus­lims for thir­teen years at Makkah, and had tak­en up the sword to deal a deci­sive blow at Mad­i­nah ? Sir William Muir assert that all these per­sons were mur­dered for no offence oth­er than that of com­pos­ing vers­es which annoyed the Mus­salmans.” Poet­ry was not a spe­cial voca­tion of the Jews, and vers­es abus­ing Islam and the Mus­lims were pro­duced in much greater abun­dance by idol­a­trous Arabs than by Jews. In fact, it was the Arab, not the Jew, whose par­tic­u­lar voca­tion was poet­ry, and satire and abu­sive poet­ry were used as weapons to dis­cred­it and defame Islam spe­cial­ly by the Arabs. Nei­ther Muir nor the mis­sion­ar­ies has tak­en the trou­ble of test­ing the reli­a­bil­i­ty of the record on whose basis he has dared to con­demn the most mer­ci­ful and truest of men as cru­el and treach­er­ous. If the writer had gone to the root of the ques­tion, he would have found that the Prophet(P) and the Mus­lims bore patient­ly the sever­est abus­es and the annoy­ing vers­es of all their oppo­nents, whether Jews or idol­aters. Indeed, the Holy Qur’an had plain­ly enjoined on them that they should bear all abus­es patient­ly, whether they came from idol­aters or from Jews and Chris­tians. Here is a verse belong­ing to a peri­od when the Mus­lims had already entered on a state of war with their opponents :

And you will cer­tain­ly hear from those who have been giv­en the Book before you and from the idol­aters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, sure­ly this is an affair of great res­o­lu­tion” (Q3:186)

This verse occurs in a chap­ter which con­tains an account of the bat­tle of Uhud, fought in the 3rd year of Hijrah, and could not there­fore have been revealed ear­li­er than that year, and this is just the peri­od to which most of the alleged assas­si­na­tions relate. How was it pos­si­ble for the Prophet(P) and his fol­low­ers to go direct­ly against the plain injunc­tion of the Holy Qur’an ? The Prophet(P) could not go against any Quran­ic injunc­tion, and the Qur’an says plain­ly, and says it at a time when war was going on with both the poly­the­is­tic Arabs and the Jews, that Mus­lims shall have to hear such abuse, and they must not only bear the abuse patient­ly but should even guard against doing sim­i­lar evil, to say noth­ing of mur­der­ing their abusers. How could the Prophet in the face of such a plain injunc­tion order the mur­der of those who abused him, and how could the Mus­lims car­ry out an order which was direct­ly opposed to the Holy Qur’an ? It was sim­ply impos­si­ble, and if Ibn Hisham or Waqi­di says that the Prophet(P) ordered the assas­si­na­tion of his abusers, it is Ibn Hisham or Waqi­di — a frail author­i­ty after all — that must be reject­ed, and not the Qur’an, which is admit­ted­ly the most reli­able source of infor­ma­tion as to the doings of the Prophet. The Qur’an had allowed fight­ing against an aggres­sive ene­my, yet it refused to give sanc­tion to the mur­der of any who abused the Prophet(P) and Islam ; nay, it plain­ly required such abuse to be borne patient­ly. It is sim­ply incon­ceiv­able that the Prophet(P) should order the mur­der of peo­ple for annoy­ing poems and, at the same time and in the same breath, for­bid that abuse should be met with oth­er­wise than by patient endurance.

Asma’ Bint Marwan

Let us now take the cas­es indi­vid­u­al­ly. The first case cit­ed is that of Asma’ of the tribe of Aus. She is said to have been a poet­ess who wrote some vers­es stat­ing that the Prophet(P) was an upstart who had slain many of their chiefs, refer­ring to the bat­tle of Badr. It is stat­ed that she was bru­tal­ly mur­dered for this abuse by a Mus­lim named Umair, and that the Prophet not only approved of this mur­der but also praised Umair for the deed. The author­i­ties quot­ed are Waqi­di, Ibn Hisham and Ibn Sa’d. That this is not a reli­able record is shown not only by what has been stat­ed above — that the Holy Qur’an nev­er allowed the mur­der of an abuser — but also by clear direc­tions repeat­ed­ly giv­en by the Prophet(P) that no woman was to be killed even though she took part in actu­al war with the Mus­lims. No less an author­i­ty than Bukhari has a chap­ter on the Mur­der of Women dur­ing War” (Kitab al-Jihad) in which the fol­low­ing report from Ibn Umar is recorded :

A woman was found killed in one of the bat­tles fought by the Prophet(P), so the Prophet(P) for­bade the killing of women and children.” 

If the Prophet(P) for­bade the killing of women even when they were actu­al­ly accom­pa­ny­ing the ene­my forces, how could he approve or applaud the killing of a woman for sim­ply abus­ing or com­pos­ing some annoy­ing vers­es ? Even the Com­pan­ions of the Holy Prophet were so well aware of his strict orders against the killing of women that when Abul Huqaiq’s wife inter­posed her­self between them and Abul Huqaiq, they had to with­hold their raised swords because they remem­bered that the Holy Prophet had for­bid­den the killing of a woman“1. In the face of this clear tes­ti­mo­ny, none but a biased mind can accept as reli­able a report which relates that the Holy Prophet had ordered and applaud­ed the killing of a woman sim­ply for the offence that she com­posed annoy­ing vers­es. This report is undoubt­ed­ly a forgery.

The fact is thus estab­lished beyond the shad­ow of a doubt that the Holy Prophet gave a clear inter­dic­tion against the mur­der of women even in wars. In this con­nec­tion, a say­ing of the Holy Prophet has been quot­ed from the most reli­able tra­di­tion­ist of Islam, the Imam Bukhari. The head­ing under which Bukhari quotes this say­ing is Mur­der of Women dur­ing Wars,” thus show­ing that the inter­dic­tion against the mur­der of women was to be observed even in wars. Bukhari is not alone in report­ing the inci­dent and the inter­dic­tion ; it is con­tained in all the books of the Sahih as-Sit­tah2 with the excep­tion of only one, and there­fore its authen­tic­i­ty is beyond dis­pute. More­over, their inter­dic­tion is accept­ed as a basic prin­ci­ple by lat­er jurists. Thus accord­ing to Malik and Auza­’i, the killing of women and chil­dren is not allowed under any cir­cum­stances what­so­ev­er, and accord­ing to Shafi’i and Kufis, a woman may be killed only when she is a com­bat­ant, while accord­ing to one author­i­ty, even when a woman is a com­bat­ant it is not law­ful to kill her inten­tion­al­ly unless she is about to kill or attack a man with the inten­tion of killing him.3.

Accord­ing to Malik and Auza­’i, how­ev­er, as already stat­ed, a woman should not be killed under any con­di­tion, so much so that if a fight­ing force takes the shel­ter of women and chil­dren or takes shel­ter in a fort or a boat in which there are also women and chil­dren with them, it is not law­ful to shoot at or set fire to the fort or the boat4. In the face of these facts it is sim­ply unthink­able that the Prophet should have ordered the assas­si­na­tion of a woman, under peace­ful con­di­tions, for no oth­er fault than singing cer­tain annoy­ing verses.

Abu Afak

The next inci­dent is that relat­ing to the alleged assas­si­na­tion of Abu Afak, an aged Jew­ish pros­e­lyte, whose offence was sim­i­lar to that of Asma’.” We have no hes­i­ta­tion in call­ing this sto­ry as base­less a fab­ri­ca­tion as that relat­ing to the mur­der of Asma’. Our rea­son for doing this is that the inter­dic­tion against the mur­der of women also includ­ed two oth­er class­es, viz., chil­dren and old men. It is true that the say­ing of the Prophet(P) as report­ed in the Bukhari men­tions only women and chil­dren, and not aged per­sons, but there is a hadith in Abu Dawud5 report­ed by Anas, son of Malik, accord­ing to which the Prophet(P) said :

Do not kill an aged per­son, nor a child, nor a minor, nor a woman.”

That the Prophet(P) express­ly for­bade the killing of old men appears also from the direc­tions giv­en by Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, to Yazid, son of Abu Sufyan, when he sent him in com­mand of an army to Syr­ia. In the direc­tions giv­en to him the fol­low­ing relates to our subject :

Do not kill chil­dren, nor women, nor old men.“6

It is clear that Abu Bakr could give such direc­tions only on the author­i­ty of the Prophet(P). Hence there was an inter­dic­tion against the killing of old men as there was against the killing of women. And it is impos­si­ble, we repeat, that the Holy Prophet should have giv­en such clear injunc­tions and then him­self ordered the killing of an aged Jew­ish pros­e­lyte,” as Abu Afak is said to have been, and for no offence but that he com­posed some annoy­ing verses.

In fact, as the Hidayah has put it clear­ly, a per­son­’s life, unless he is a mur­der­er, can­not be tak­en on any ground oth­er than that he is a com­bat­ant : And they should not kill a woman, nor a child, nor an aged per­son, nor one who does not take part in a war, nor a blind man, because what makes it law­ful to take a man’s life, accord­ing to us, is his being a com­bat­ant, and this is not true in their case“7. In fact, this con­clu­sion, which is the basic prin­ci­ple of the Han­i­fite law, is based on the express words of the Prophet(P) him­self. As Abu Dawud reports on the author­i­ty of Rabah, son of Rabi‘:

We were with the Prophet in a cer­tain bat­tle, and he saw the peo­ple gath­er togeth­er in one place. So he sent a man to make an inquiry as to why the peo­ple had gath­ered togeth­er. The mes­sen­ger came back and said, There is a woman killed.” The Prophet said, She was not fight­ing. The reporter says that Khalid was lead­ing at the time. So the Prophet sent a man to Khalid and asked him to tell Khalid that he should not kill a woman nor a hireling”.8.

By remark­ing that she was not fight­ing”, the Prophet(P) made it plain that even in bat­tle only such per­sons could be killed as actu­al­ly took part in fight­ing, and along with women he except­ed hirelings, because they were only hired for oth­er work and did not take part in actu­al fight­ing. It is on this basis that the Han­i­fite law excepts, along with women, chil­dren and old men, all such per­sons as can­not take part in fight­ing. And the con­clu­sion is inevitable that accord­ing to the Prophet’s own injunc­tions the killing of a per­son was not law­ful unless he took part in fight­ing, and any report to the effect that a per­son was killed though he was not a com­bat­ant is either untrue or defec­tive, even if it is met with in a reli­able col­lec­tion of tra­di­tions. And as for biogra­phies, they can­not be trust­ed at all in such mat­ters, and the case of Ibn Sunainah’s mur­der must be reject­ed as untrue. The state­ment that this mur­der was due to the Prophet(P) giv­ing a gen­er­al order for the slaugh­ter of the Jews is suf­fi­cient to dis­cred­it this report, for not only would such an order be against the clear injunc­tions of the Qur’an, but also because if such an order were giv­en it would not have result­ed in the mur­der of a sin­gle Jew.

Ka’b ibn Ashraf

We now come to the gen­uine cas­es which are men­tioned in col­lec­tions of hadith. The first of these is the case of Ka’b ibn Ashraf. We pro­pose to dis­cuss it in detail, for this one case would show how the Holy Prophet has been mis­rep­re­sent­ed. Ka’b’s father belonged to the tribe of Tayy, but com­ing over to Mad­i­nah he became an ally of the Jew­ish tribe of Bani Nadir and became so influ­en­tial that be suc­ceed­ed in mar­ry­ing the daugh­ter of a Jew­ish leader. Ka’b thus stood in a very near rela­tion­ship to both Jews and Arabs. When the Holy Prophet came to Mad­i­nah, the Jews made an agree­ment with him, by the terms of which Jews and Mus­lims were to live as one peo­ple, both retain­ing their own faith, and in the case of an attack on Mad­i­nah or an unag­gres­sive war with a third par­ty they bound them­selves to help each oth­er. The Prophet was accept­ed as the final court of appeal in all disputes.

When, how­ev­er, a Makkan army advanced on Mad­i­nah in the 2nd year of Hijrah, the Mus­lims had to meet them alone, and notwith­stand­ing that they were less than a third of the Makkan army and very infe­ri­or in effi­cien­cy and arms, they inflict­ed a crush­ing defeat on the invad­ing army at Badr. The Mus­lim vic­to­ry only added to the Jew­ish spite against Islam. Ka’b, who was bound by the Mad­i­nah treaty, now used his poet­ic gift freely to excite hatred of Islam and the Mus­lims. Not con­tent with this, he pro­ceed­ed to Makkah and open­ly joined hands with the ene­mies of Islam. He urged upon the Quraish the neces­si­ty of attack­ing Mad­i­nah with a strong force at an ear­ly date, and swore in the Ka’bah that he would fight against the Mus­lims when Mad­i­nah was invad­ed. Not only this ; he returned from Makkah with a plan to put an end to the Prophet’s life by under­hand means. It is only in the true Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ary spir­it that Muir, in his Life of Mahomet, has no place for these acts while he has suf­fi­cient room for the minut­est details as to how Ka’b was put to death, and he gives vent to his inner feel­ings when he con­cludes his descrip­tion of one of the alleged assas­si­na­tions” in the fol­low­ing words :

The progress of Islam begins to stand out in unen­vi­able con­trast with that of ear­ly Chris­tian­i­ty. Con­verts were gained to the faith of Jesus by wit­ness­ing the con­stan­cy with which its con­fes­sors suf­fered death, they were gained to Islam by the spec­ta­cle of the readi­ness with which its adher­ents inflict­ed death. In the one case con­ver­sion imper­illed the believ­er’s life ; in the oth­er, it was the only means of sav­ing it.”

And if Muir con­ceals the facts which show that from an ally Ka’b had turned into a com­bat­ant, The mis­sion­ar­ies, notwith­stand­ing their parad­ing the orig­i­nal author­i­ties, is guilty of the same offence. That there was a war between Mus­lims and non-Mus­lims at the time of the alleged assas­si­na­tion,” in the third year of the Hijrah, is an unde­ni­able fact. The ques­tion is whether Ka’b was among the com­bat­ants or the non-com­bat­ants. If he actu­al­ly joined hands with the ene­mies of Islam and placed him­self among those who were fight­ing with the Mus­lims, and he was killed by the Mus­lims, can this be called a case of treach­ery, cru­el­ty or butch­ery ? That Ka’b had open­ly joined the com­bat­ants and become their ally is borne out by all his­tor­i­cal accounts ; nay, some of them go so far as to say that he had planned to mur­der the Prophet(P) treacherously. 

Here are a few authorities :

    He went to the Quraish weep­ing over their killed (at Badr) and incit­ing them to fight with the Prophet.“9

    (The Prophet said): He (Ka’b) has open­ly assumed enmi­ty to us and speaks evil of us and he has gone over to the poly­the­ists (who were at war with Mus­lims) and has made them gath­er against us for fight­ing“10

    And accord­ing to Kalbi, he unit­ed in a league with the Quraish before the cur­tains of the Ka’bah, to fight against the Mus­lims.“11

    And he pre­pared a feast, and con­spired with some Jews that he would invite the Prophet and when he came they should fall on him all of a sud­den.“12

Com­ment­ing on Bukhar­i’s report relat­ing to the killing of Ka’b, the author of Fath al-Bari relates the reports which we have quot­ed above from Zurqani, viz., Ka’b’s going to Makkah and incit­ing the Quraish enter­ing into a league before the cur­tains of the Ka’bah to fight against the Mus­lims, the Holy Prophet’s dec­la­ra­tion that he had assumed open enmi­ty, and his plan to kill the Prophet(P) by invit­ing him to a feast. Bukhari him­self speaks of the inci­dents relat­ing to the killing of Ka’b under head­ings in which the word harb (fight­ing) occurs, thus show­ing that he was looked upon as a com­bat­ant. Abu Dawud speaks of the inci­dent under the head­ing, When the ene­my is attacked and he is unpre­pared,” show­ing that Ka’b was dealt with as an ene­my at war with Mus­lims. And the com­ment on this is that Ka’b used to incite peo­ple to mur­der the Mus­lims”; and dis­cussing the legal­i­ty of what the par­ty sent out for the pun­ish­ment of Ka’b did, the same com­men­ta­tor adds : This is not allowed in the case of an ene­my after secu­ri­ty has been giv­en to him or peace has been made with him … but it is allowed in the case of one who breaks the covenant and helps oth­ers in the mur­der of Mus­lims.” And Ibn Sa’d tells us that when the Jews com­plained to the Holy Prophet that their leader was killed, he remind­ed them of his deeds and how he urged and incit­ed (the Quraish) to fight against them,” and adds that the Prophet then called upon them to make an agree­ment with him”, and this agree­ment was after­wards in the pos­ses­sion of Ali.” All this evi­dence is too clear to show that Ka’b was put to death for hav­ing bro­ken the agree­ment with the Prophet and join­ing his ene­mies who were at war with him and he was there­fore treat­ed as a com­bat­ant, while the oth­er Jews who did not go to this length, though they were not less active in speak­ing evil of the Holy Prophet, still lived at peace with him and all that they were required to do was to sign an agree­ment that they would not join hands with those who were at war with the Muslims.

The only ques­tion that is worth con­sid­er­ing is why Ka’b was put to death by cer­tain Mus­lims attack­ing him sud­den­ly and unawares. In the first place, it must be clear­ly under­stood that respon­si­bil­i­ty for the man­ner in which he was put to death can­not lie with the Prophet. That the Prophet con­sid­ered Ka’b as deserv­ing death is quite true, but there is no proof at all that he gave any direc­tions as to the man­ner in which that sen­tence was to be car­ried out. On the oth­er hand, accord­ing to one report, when the Prophet was asked by Muham­mad ibn Maslamah whether he should kill him he assumed silence, while accord­ing to anoth­er he said : If you are going to do it, be not in a hur­ry until you have con­sult­ed Sa’d ibn Mu’adh“13. At any rate he knew noth­ing about the details, and it is even doubt­ful whether the details as giv­en are true, the Holy Prophet had noth­ing to do with them. And leav­ing aside the ques­tion of the Prophet’s respon­si­bil­i­ty, there was no oth­er method to which resort could be had under the cir­cum­stances. The hos­tile crit­ic takes it for grant­ed that the con­di­tions under which the Mus­lims lived at Mad­i­nah were very like those under which he lived in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. They had to deal with an ene­my, and they dealt with him in the only way in which it was pos­si­ble to pro­ceed under cir­cum­stances then exist­ing. Ka’b had cho­sen to enter into a league with an ene­my at war with Mus­lims, and accord­ing to all human and Divine laws he could not but be treat­ed as an ene­my at war. And deal­ing with him as a com­bat­ant, the Holy Prophet(P) sent a par­ty against him ; it is def­i­nite­ly called a sariyyah (lit. a por­tion of an army) in all bio­graph­i­cal works, thus show­ing that the par­ty was sent to fight with him ; but it rest­ed with the leader of the par­ty to choose the best way in which he could deal a blow at the ene­my. And Muham­mad ibn Maslamah, the leader, chose a method which was recog­nised among the Arabs and which in his opin­ion was the best and most effec­tive way under the cir­cum­stances. If the leader of the par­ty had cho­sen to attack Ka’b open­ly, there would have been much more blood­shed, and prob­a­bly the whole Jew­ish tribe of Bani Nadir would have suf­fered along with Ka’b. Ka’b had bro­ken his agree­ment with the Prophet, he had revolt­ed against him, he had entered into a league to fight against the Mus­lims till they were extir­pat­ed, and he had secret­ly planned to take away the Prophet’s life. For every one of these offences he had for­feit­ed his life. A par­ty was sent to exe­cute this decree and his life was tak­en in a man­ner which, if it had the fault of being secret, had also the mer­it of not involv­ing inno­cent peo­ple along with the cul­prit, which would sure­ly have been the result in the case of an open attack. But the­P­rophet was not in any way respon­si­ble for the method of the execution.

Abul Huqaiq

Hav­ing dis­cussed the case of Ka’b at length, the case of Abul Huqaiq (Abu Rafi‘) need not detain us long. In fact, Muir had admit­ted his guilt with a sup­pressed tongue. Thus under the head­ing, Assas­si­na­tion of Abul Huqaiq, a Jew­ish Chief”, he says :

A par­ty of the Bani Nazir, after their exile, set­tled down among their brethren at Khaibar. Abul Huck­e­ick, their chief, hav­ing tak­en a promi­nent part to the con­fed­er­ate force which besieged Med­i­na, was now sus­pect­ed of encour­ag­ing cer­tain Bedouin tribes to their depre­da­tions. An expe­di­tion was there­fore under­tak­en by Ali against the Jews of Khaibar … As a sur­er means of stop­ping these attacks, Mahomet resolved on rid­ding him­self of their sup­posed author, the Jew­ish chief … The assas­si­na­tion of Abul Huck­e­ick did not relieve Mahomet of his appre­hen­sions from the Jews of Khaibar ; for Oseir, elect­ed in his mom, main­tained the same rela­tion with the Ghatafan, end was even report­ed to be design­ing fresh move­ments against Medina.”

The Bani Nadir, a Jew­ish tribe, orig­i­nal­ly lived at Mad­i­nah, and were in alliance with the Prophet(P), but being sus­pect­ed of keep­ing up cor­re­spon­dence with the Quraish and one of the Arab tribes in alliance with them hav­ing mur­dered some Mus­lims treach­er­ous­ly, they were asked to renew the alliance, which they refused, and were ulti­mate­ly ban­ished from Mad­i­nah. They set­tled at Khaibar, a Jew­ish strong­hold and became a source of immense trou­ble to Mus­lims, con­stant­ly incit­ing the tribes around Mad­i­nah to com­mit depre­da­tions on the Mus­lims. Abul Huqaiq, their head, was also a leader in the Bat­tle of the Allies” in which the Ara­bi­an and Jew­ish tribes had gath­ered togeth­er to give a crush­ing blow to Islam. Abul Huqaiq and the Jews had thus come out into the field of bat­tle against the Mus­lims, and even after the allies had to go back in dis­com­fi­ture, Abul Huqaiq con­tin­ued to excite and help the Arab tribes liv­ing around Mad­i­nah in their depre­da­tions against the Mus­lims. The Prophet(P) was thus jus­ti­fied in send­ing an expe­di­tion against the Khaibar Jews, but before doing this in the 7th year, he sent a small par­ty to deal with Abul Huqaiq alone in 6 A.H. Undoubt­ed­ly the under­ly­ing idea was that blood­shed might be avoid­ed, as far as pos­si­ble, and that if the ring-leader was tak­en away, the mis­chief might cease. But even Abul Huqaiq’s death did not bring peace to the Mus­lims, and, accord­ing­ly, Khaibar had ulti­mate­ly to be attacked and con­quered. That the par­ty sent against him chose to adopt the method which was suc­cess­ful­ly adopt­ed against Ka’b, again throws no blame on the Prophet(P).

Per­mit­ting Rape is a Griev­ous Calumny

The last charge against the Prophet(P) is one that is pro­mul­gat­ed by the Islam­o­pho­bic Faith­free­dom Inter­na­tion­al, i.e., hav­ing allowed rape of the women of Bani Mustaliq, which is a griev­ous calum­ny. And the alle­ga­tion that all the tra­di­tion­al books” men­tion it is a bold state­ment. Not a sin­gle col­lec­tion of hadith con­tains tes­ti­mo­ny estab­lish­ing the charge — a charge of which even a hos­tile writer like Muir is unaware. The only thing that is met with in the col­lec­tions of hadith is a report from Abu Sa’id al-Khu­dri14 that some peo­ple in the Mus­lim army intend­ed con­tract­ing tem­po­rary mar­riage rela­tions with some women who were pris­on­ers of war and mak­ing use of a birth con­trol device, but there is not the least evi­dence that they ever did it.

Abu Sa’id’s report, in fact, relates to the legal­i­ty of azl, a birth con­trol device, and it does not say at all how the women of Bani Mustaliq were treat­ed15. It is a fact that before the advent of Islam, tem­po­rary mar­riage rela­tions were allowed, The Holy Qur’an put an end to them, but all reform was, and had to be, grad­ual. The Qur’an is explic­it on mar­riage with pris­on­ers of war, and the verse quot­ed below is a clear rebut­tal of the Islam­o­phobes’ unfound­ed charge :

And who­ev­er among you can­not afford to mar­ry free believ­ing women, (let him mar­ry) such of your believ­ing maid­ens as your right hands possess…so mar­ry them with the per­mis­sion of their mas­ters, and give them their dowries just­ly, they being chaste, not for­ni­cat­ing, nor receiv­ing para­mours ; then if they are guilty of adul­tery when they are tak­en in mar­riage, they shall suf­fer half the pun­ish­ment for free mar­ried women. This is for him among you who fears falling into evil. And that you abstain is bet­ter for you. And Allah is For­giv­ing. Mer­ci­ful” (4:75)

As regards the treat­ment of the women of Bani Mustaliq in par­tic­u­lar, there is the clear­est his­tor­i­cal evi­dence in all hadith books that they were all set free with­out ran­som because one of them, Juwairiyah, was set free and mar­ried by the Prophet, peace and bless­ings of Allah(T) be upon him.

And only God knows best !Endmark

  1. Fath al-Bari, ch. Killing of Abul Huqaiq[]
  2. The six reli­able col­lec­tions of the Tra­di­tions of the Prophet(P)[]
  3. Aun al-Ma’bud, Com­men­tary on Abu Dawud, ch. Mur­der of Women[]
  4. Fath al-Bari, ch. Ahl al-dar‑i yabitun[]
  5. ch. Du’a al-Mushrikin[]
  6. Fath al-Qadir, vol. v, p. 202[]
  7. ibid., ch. Kaifiyy­at al-Qital[]
  8. ibid., ch. Qatl al-Nisa’[]
  9. Zurqani, vol. ii, p. 10[]
  10. ibid., vol. ii, p. 11[]
  11. ibid.[]
  12. ibid., p. 12[]
  13. Zurqani, vol. ii, p. 12[]
  14. Sahih Mus­lim, Vol­ume 8, Book 77, no 6001[]
  15. On this point see also the hadith from Jabir,Sahih Mus­lim, Kitab al Nikah (Book 8), no 3388. It should be not­ed that the hadith is placed under the chap­ter on nikah (mar­riage), which shows that it cer­tain­ly was not rape”![]

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