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AAAA Muhammad Professor AAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAA 12 February 2012 Arguments against a Moral Prophet According to a wide range of Muslim sources, Muhammad was probably the most moral man to ever live. Stories of the abuse he tolerated during his prophet hood are told to little children around the world. However, this version of Muhammad is a complete fantasy. Though it is true there was a man named Muhammad who lived during the early 7th century, it is not true that that man was moral by any stretch of the word. A cursory look at the Quran and Hadith, his religions most holy books, reveals him to be a cruel, arrogant and immoral human being. His conquest of Mecca may have been bloodless, but his persecution of those who failed to consider him the prophet of god was not. Before I begin however, it is necessary to explain the nature of the sources that I have cited. In Islamic terminology, the books that I have cited are considered to be compendiums of the hadith. Though these are not considered to be the words of God, they are the sayings and doings of the prophet. Since the Quran states Those who deny Allah and His messengers, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His messengers, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": And (those who) wish to take a course midway,- They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment. (Ali 4.150-51), it can be concluded that the hadith are on par with the Quran in importance. As such, accurate

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interpretations of the hadith are imperative. For this reason, Islamic scholars over the centuries have worked extra hard to ensure that the chain of oration between the prophet and them is reputable. In order to distinguish between hadiths of differing reliability, a hierarchical system was created. The top tier hadith were considered to be Sahih, with the entire chain of oration being documented and each individual being considered to be of a high moral fiber. The second level of hadith would be Hasan hadith. These are considered to be good, where one of the narrators may not be very competent. Any hadith weaker than Hasan, however, is discredited as a hadith. In this way, the hadith retain a degree of authenticity unknown to other ancient works. All of the hadith in this paper are considered Sahih, and given their subject matter, it is clear that they have been vetted far more frequently than other hadith. Though it might be possible that Muhammads behavior was perfectly acceptable in 7th century Arabia, his moral character, when judged with the modern mind would be found to be quite weak. Since Muhammad is supposed to be the last prophet of God, his behavior as a prophet must not be evaluated through ancient eyes, but modern eyes. A wise god would not trust his final and most sacred text to a man whose behavior would repulse moral people only a few centuries later. Muhammad was aware of this and certainly did try to do good deeds and give wise sermons. However, Muhammad was but a man bounded by his time period and lacked divine inspiration. As such, as his follower base grew, and as he gained prominence in his community, he began giving more and more unscrupulous orders. The prophet certainly makes a great deal of suspect orders during his time. Over the course of his twenty year rule, Muhammad had ordered at the very least, forty-three assassinations. Of these documented assassinations, five of them were for writing poetry against the prophet. The ruthless nature of his kills compelled some of his followers to become apostate.

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However, by converting out of Islam, these persons ensured they would be killed on sight by any of Muhammads followers. One man, however, was an exception to this rule. Abdullah ibn Saad was one of the earliest followers of Islam, having been brother to one of the Prophets closest companions. Unlike his brother, however, Abdullah was critical of the Prophet. He felt that the prophet had composed the Quran without Divine Intervention. Abdullah argued that the prophet has not stated anything no one already knew and that the prophet is getting undo attention. Since Abdullah was one of Muhammads scribes, he knew he had to make a choice. Either he continues to pretend that Muhammad was the messenger of god, or apostatize and run away as fast as he cant was at this point that Abdullah declared his apostasy and left Medina, the town that embraced Muhammad as prophet of god, in favor of Mecca, where Muhammad was disliked. Eventually, Muhammad gained a large enough following to be able to conquer Mecca. Since Uthman still felt loyalty to his apostate brother, he convinced Abdullah to come before the prophet and offer his loyalty. Not wanting to be beheaded for his apostasy, Abdullah obliged. However, Muhammad only looked up at him and then looked back down. Abdullah offered his loyalty again, but Muhammad did not accept. Abdullah offered his loyalty one last time. Finally, Muhammad accepted him. After Abdullah left, the prophet turned to his companions and hissed Was not there a wise man among you who would stand up to him when he saw that I had withheld my hand from accepting his allegiance, and kill him? The companions were shocked, They said: We did not know what you had in your heart, Apostle of Allah! Why did you not give us a signal with your eye? (Abu Dawud 38:4346).To the companions, accepting Abdullah in to Islam seemed the most reasonable route, but to Muhammad, Abdullah was not even worth the breath it takes to order an assassination.

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Muhammad was not the only man to kill another for insulting him. A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the prophet and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the prophet and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly and pressed it, killing her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there (Abu Dawud 38:4348) A man had slain his 7~9 months pregnant wife for slandering Muhammad. In any modern court system, this would count as a first degree murder, and might have earned the man decades in prison. However, this man lived during the time of the Prophet. The next morning, when the prophet heard of the grisly murder, he commanded the man to step forward and tell him what happened. He sat before the Prophet and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparages you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her (Abu Dawud 38:4348). Upon hearing this atrocity, the prophet commended the man, and said Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood. In other words, the man is free to go; the woman got what she deserved. It may be possible to argue that the blind man was merely a fanatic follower of the prophet and that the prophet himself was a very tender and forgiving man. An argument for this claim would be found in yet another hadith, Some people from the tribe of Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the prophet ordered them to go to the camels of charity and to drink, their milk and urine (Sahih Bukhari 8:82:794).

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Though the recommendation to drink urine is a bit silly, the prophets heart appeared to be in the right place. However, these travelers made a critical misjudgment of the prophets generosity. After they had recovered from their ailment they turned renegades and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away (Sahih Bukhari 8:82:794). Admittedly, these people were quite unscrupulous. The fate that awaited them when the prophet finally captured them though, was far more brutal than many modern people could stomach. Upon capturing the criminals, the Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and that their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they die (Sahih Bukhari 8:82:794). Though it is hard to tell if such a punishment were commonplace in those times, the prophet, as the supposed messenger of god, was expected to be at a moral high ground. Such cruelty is unheard of in most modern civilizations, especially considering the prophets political position at the time of that ruling. The prophets immoral actions do not end at being cruel and egotistical. To top his list of horrendous deeds, he also was a pedophile. Not to say that he was only interested in small children, but they most certainly were not off the table to him. By the time he married Aisha (the little girl); he already was married to Sawda bint Zama, a 55 year old mother of 6. According to Aisha, The prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six. However, soon after their engagement, Aisha fell sick and it took her a long time to regenerate her health. Later on my hair grew and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girlfriends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, Best wishes and Allahs Blessing and a good luck. Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me for the marriage. Unexpectedly Allahs Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother

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handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age (Sahih Bukhari 5:58:234). It is quite clear from Aishas testimony that she had no say in what was going on. She did not even know about her own wedding until the hour of marriage. The most disturbing part of this is that Muhammad was nearly 54 at the time of their marriage, 6 times her age, nearing the end of his own lifespan. Disturbingly enough, the prophets first wife, Khadija had died only 5 years before the marriage. That means the prophet was already looking for a third wife only 3 years after his first one died. Such behavior, though possibly commonplace in Arabia at the time does not bode well for the message of Islam hundreds of years later. In the modern age, Islam has gained a following of 1 billion adherents and counting. However most of these Muslims are not the type to gut their wives for slandering the prophet. Their interpretation of the Quran and the Hadith tends to leave out such grisly details. What these modern Muslims follow is not the same religion that the fanatics followed in the 7th century. Most Muslims only read the Quran once in their lives, and that too only as tradition. Very few Muslims bother to read the massive texts that contain the hadiths, sayings and doings of the prophet. The ones that do read the hadiths have a tendency of leaving the faith.

Works Referenced Hasan, Ahmad. "Prescribed Punishments." 38 4346-48. Partial Translation of Sunan AbuDawud. Web. 12 Feb 2012. <http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/hadith/abudawud/038sat.php>.

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Hasan, Ahmad. "Punishment of Disbelievers at War with Allah and His Apostle." 8.82 794. Sahih Bukhari. Web. 12 Feb 2012. <http://www.cmje.org/religioustexts/hadith/bukhari/082-sbt.php>. Hasan, Ahmad. "Merits of the Helpers in Madinah (Ansaar)." 5.58 234. Sahih Bukhari. Web. 14 Feb 2012. <http://www.cmje.org/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/058-sbt.php>. Ali, Yusuf. "Quran. 4.150-51. Web. 27 Feb 2012. < http://www.cmje.org/religioustexts/quran/verses/004-qmt.php>.