Thursday, June 12, 2008

Muhammad the Buddha?

Popular Saudi cleric Salman Al-Odeh (or Al-Ouda) in a well-publicized TV speech last year addressing Osama Bin Ladin said that Muhammad was so peace-loving that anyone who unjustly killed a bird or destroyed an anthill would be judged by Allah. When Muhammad heard of a man named Abu Harb (Father of War), he changed his name because he hated war.

Wait a minute! The man who financed his community by raiding trading caravans hated violence? The leader who personally led 27 raids and sent out others at the average of one every seven weeks for the last ten years of his life despised fighting? The Prophet who beheaded 800 Jews in one day because they did not accept his prophethood lost sleep over an anthill?

Here's the thing. If you find a "red-letter edition" of the Bible, all the words of Jesus are underlined in red. There aren't that many. Apart from the Sermon on the Mount and a few other discourses, and eliminating repitition in the four Gospels, his words are limited to short stories and similarly brief comments about various issues.

Islam is much different. There are volumes of hadith containing what Muhammad is reported to have said about almost everything under the sun. The most authoritative collections of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim contain 645,745 and 576,594 words. There are four more collections considered authoritative by Muslims, in addition to other collections said to be less reliable. In addition, the Shia and the Sunnis place emphasis upon different sets of traditions. Put these all together, and you have millions of words. You can find almost anything you want. And that's exactly what Muslim preachers and apologists do.

1 comment:

Always On Watch said...

Excellent post!

I found your site via a Google alert. Glad that I did.