Muhammad the Prophet (continued)

Islam          Session Seven

Item # 3, bullet #3 of Outline continued:  Muhammad the Prophet

Before we continue with “Muhammad the Prophet”, I need to add a citation to Session Six.

Six paragraphs down I cite a passage from Gregory M. Davis’ book, “Religion of Peace?” which begins and ends with “Islam teaches . . . any faithful Muslim.”  After that passage, add: (#2, P. 41)

In the previous session we left Muhammad in 625 AD convinced that he had been chosen by Allah to begin the inevitable spread of Islam and, as the virtual ruler of Medina, the settlement about 210 miles north of Mecca to which Muhammad and his followers had fled in 622 AD.  In addition to establishing his rule in Medina; Muhammad had, after several failed attempts, successfully raided Meccan caravans in pursuit of his obsession to gain revenge on those who had driven him out of Mecca.

These successful raids and their aftermath were critical in establishing Muhammad’s military might and setting various battle-associated precedents as sanctioned by revelations from Allah.  The battle of Badr stands out in these respects.

The battle of Badr occurred about 80 miles SW of Medina on March 15, 624 AD (The Ides of March!) and was the turning point in Muhammad’s war against Mecca. The Meccan force of over 600 men (from Muhammad’s former tribe – the Quraysh), led by Abu Jahl (one of Muhammad’s enemies from Mecca) was protecting a caravan when Muhammad’s numerically inferior force of over 300 men attacked.  The Meccans were shocked when Muhammad’s smaller force overwhelmed them, killing  more than 40 and taking more than 60 prisoners.

Following the battle of Badr, Muhammad put into practice several revelations from Allah and established precedents which are still observed, 1400 years later:

  •  Booty and ransom were made lawful and good  (Sura 69: 30-37)
  •  One-Fifth of booty belonged to Muhammad (Sura 8: 41)
  •  Kill and maim captives: “. . . smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips of them.” (Sura 8: 12)
  •  Divinely sanctioned killing and enslaving: “. . . it is not for the Prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land.” (Sura 8: 68)
  •  Unbelievers described as “the worst animals”. (Sura 8: 55)
  •  Muhammad designated as “enemy of the infidels”. (Sura 2: 90)
  • The Suras cited in the paragraph above are from “The Sword of the Prophet”. (#18, PP. 36-38)

Abu Jahl, leader of the Meccans served as an  example of decapitation as the preferred means of execution as his severed head was presented to Muhammad. (#18, P. 37)

Al-Nadr, another old enemy from Mecca, sought to spare his life by telling Muhammad that if they (the Meccans) had been the victors they would not kill their captives.  Muhammad replied, “I am not as thou and Islam hath rent all bounds asunder.”  Al-Nadr was summarily beheaded. (#18, P. 38)

Emboldened by his success, Muhammad returned to Medina and completed his control by getting rid of all opposition there.  The Medinans were given limited choices:  conversion, expulsion or death. (#18, P. 39)

While Muhammad was consolidating his power in Medina and attacking Meccan caravans, he was also eliminating the Jews in and around Medina and Mecca.  Shortly after Badr, Muhammad subdued the Jewish tribe of Ban Qaynuqa  and allowed them to leave the area. (#2, P. 50)   In that same time frame a Jewish  poet who had written some unflattering poems about Muhammad was beheaded.

After that atrocity, Muhammad’s next act against the Jews, “was to instruct his followers to kill any Jew who fell into their hands.” (#18, P. 40)  “After one Jewish town had surrendered, 700 to 1,000 men were beheaded in one day while all the women and children were sold into slavery and the possessions of the town looted!” (#13, P. 83)

In 627 AD, after repelling a Meccan army of 10,000 who attacked Medina, Muhammad decided to eliminate the last Jewish opponent in the Medina area.  After a lengthy battle, he accepted the surrender of the tribe of Banu Qurayzah and ordered the captives to convert of Islam.  They refused and up to 900 of the men were beheaded and the women were raped.  These barbaric acts were in accord with recently received revelations:

  •   Sura 33:25  “. . . and he struck terror into their hearts.  Some you slaughtered and some your took prisoner.”
  •   Sura 5: 33-34  . . . others “will be crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off.”
  •   Sura 76:4   In this world, for the captured infidel, “we have prepared chains, yokes and a blazing fire.”

The paragraph above is paraphrased from “The Sword of the Prophet.”  (#18, P. 44)

In 628 he made a treaty with Mecca, one of the provisions of which allowed him and his Muslims to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.  In 629 Muhammad broke the treaty and with his army of 10,000 men rode into the city unopposed and accepted its surrender.

After destroying some 360 idols in the Kaaba which were worshipped by the various tribes, Muhammad declared the Kaaba to be the temple of Allah. (#18, PP. 48-49)

Before Muhammad died in 632 he, in the name of Allah,  through military might expanded his control over most of the Arabian peninsula.  Muhammad’s initial successor, Abu Bakr, completed the control of Islam over all of Arabia.

Serge Trifkovic in his book, “The Sword of the Prophet” (#18, P. 51) gives the following eloquent description of Muhammad the Prophet and warrior:

“Muhammad’s practice and constant encouragement of bloodshed are unique in the history of religion.  Murder, pillage, rape, and more murder are in the Koran and in the Traditions “seem

to have impressed his followers with a profound belief in the value of bloodshed as opening the gates of Paradise” and prompted countless Muslim governors, caliphs, and viziers to refer to

Muhammad’s example to justify their mass killings, looting, and destruction.  “Kill, kill the unbelievers wherever you find them” is an injunction both unambiguous and powerful. (Sura 2: 191)

The bloody and atrocious precedents set by Muhammad are still observed today, 1400 years later!