Sunday, January 3, 2010

Muslims and Muhammad and Umm Qirfa

At Muslims and Muhammad: the Impossible Task, I posted, "It is impossible that a man could sentence a woman to death by having her limbs attached to camels that moved in opposite direction pulling her apart, then behead her and parade her severed head through Medina, and be a prophet of God."

The story of Umm Qirfa has been dramatized at this link. For the historian, what is of significance is not the dramatization of her death, but its documentation in Islamic history.

In a lengthy account of all the raids led or ordered by Muhammad, historian Ibn Ishaq reports that the Prophet sent a force led by Zayd bin Haritha against the Beni Fazara tribe. It is interesting that Ibn Ishaq now describes Zayd as "the freed slave" of Muhammad; earlier in his book he had identified Zayd as "Zayd bin Muhammad", or Zayd the son of Muhammad. This changed when Muhammad claimed he had received a revelation making adoption illegal so he could marry Zayd's wife Zainab and adopted sons could no longer carry the names of their adopted fathers. At any rate, some of Zayd's soldiers were killed in the battle and he himself was wounded and carried from the field. Zayd swore he would not rest until he had gained revenge on the Beni Fazara, and as soon as he recovered from his wounds he again attacked them. This time he was successful and killed or captured the members of the tribe. One of the prisoners, described by Ibn Ishaq as "a very old woman", was Umm Qirfa whose family led the tribe. Ibn Ishaq limits himself to saying that "Zayd ordered Qays to kill Umm Qirfa, and he killed her cruelly". Historian al-Tabari adds the detail that "Qays put a rope to her two legs and to two camels, and drove them apart until they tore her apart". Muslim historian Kamel Najar informs us that Umm Qirfa's head was presented to Muhammad, who ordered it to be paraded throughout Medina.

A Muslim warrior named Salama took the beautiful daughter of Umm Qirfa as a captive. When Muhammad saw her, he asked Salama to give the girl to Muhammad's uncle Hazan. Hazan then "married" her and she gave birth to a son.

There are numerous other examples in Muhammad's life where wantom cruelty was expended on his enemies. One such account is given by a man named Amr bin Umayya, who was sent by Muhammad to kill arch-enemy Abu Sufyan before Abu Sufyan himself became a Muslim and subsequent leader of the Muslim armies. Amr and his companion tried to approach Abu Sufyan's house in Mecca, but were recognized and forced to flee for their lives with their Meccan pursuers close behind. They made their way back to Medina travelling by day and spending the nights in caves. Ibn Ishaq continues the account with Amr speaking as follows:

I went into a cave, and while I was there a one-eyed man also came into the cave with a sheep of his and asked me who I was. When we discovered we were from the same tribe, he laid down and began to sing, "I will not become a Muslim as long as I live." I said to myself, "I'll teach you", and as soon as he fell asleep 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 one eye, and pushed it down until it came out at the back of his neck. After I left the cave, I came across two Meccans whom the Quraysh had sent to spy on the Apostle. I killed one of them, and bound the thumbs of the other together with my bow string and took him to the Apostle. When the Apostle looked at him, he laughed so hard you could see his back teeth. He asked my news, and when I told him what had happened he blessed me.

Another well-known incident of cruelty occured during Muhammad's raid upon the Jews of Khaybar. Believing that a young man named Kinana had access to hidden treasure, Ibn Ishaq writes: The Apostle asked Kinana where the rest of the treasure was, but he refused to produce it. The Apostle then gave the order to Zubayr to torture him until they extracted what he had. Zubayr kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the Apostle delivered him to Muhammad bin Maslama, who cut off his head.

Still another incident is contained in the authoritative Bukhari collection of Hadiths. A group of eight men from the Ukil tribe came to Medina and professed to accept Islam. When they complained to Muhammad that Medina's climate was not good for them, Muhammad advised them to join the city's camel herders so they could regain their health by drinking an abundance of fresh camel milk. The men followed his advice but then murdered a herder, stole his camels and fled. Muhammad quickly pursued and captured them, and in punishment cut off their hands and feet, branded out their eyes with hot nails, and left them to die without water in the desert outside Medina.

There are some Muslims who recognize that these stories are troublesome. On an Egyptian talk show a few years ago one participant noted that militant Muslims such as the late Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi justified the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl because Muhammad himself beheaded people. The participant then said, "The problem is that the Ulema (Islamic scholars) have no answer for the militants who base their violence on Muhammad's actions. When these people say that Muhammad himself branded and plucked out the eyes of the thieves and cut off their hands and legs, what is the response (of the Ulema)? And this is what Muhammad did in some small peacetime conflict. What would he do in war?"

It's a good question, and one that can be answered by seeing what Muhammad's followers do to each other, let alone to the enemy, in places such as Baghdad where for months the Shia Jaysh al-Mahdi would bind the hands of their Sunni enemies behind their backs before drilling holes into their skulls, shooting them in the back, and dumping their bodies into the streets. It doesn't take much analysis to understand how they justify their actions based on the example of their Prophet.

I can't do that. It is impossible to me that a man who would treat his opponents with the cruelty that Muhammad did could possibly be a prophet of God.


Anonymous said...

I love how ignorant people like yourself put out petty arguments to defame the last Prophet sent to mankind. Anyone who can read Arabic knows this account of Umm Qirfa has been refuted by scholars many times, past and present. And anyone with ABC knowledge of Islam knows that books of seerah contain authentic and non-authentic accounts of the Prophet's life especially Ibn Hisham. That's what you learn in Seerah 101. Please teach yourself Arabic and do proper research. And he WAS a prophet whether you like it or not. The best human being ever to walk the face of the planet :)

Anonymous said...

Also, you tell half truths and twist the story to support your view point. For example, in the story of Khaybar you did not tell or know the whole account. People of Khaybar were hostile towards the Muslims and were responsible for encouraging attack against Medina. As for the specific incicdent you mentioned, here is what it says in its COMPLETE form in the famous seerah book "The Sealed Nectar:"

"The Prophet [pbuh] agreed to spare their lives on condition they evacuate Khaibar and the adjacent land, leaving whatever gold and silver they had in their possession. However, he stipulated that he would disavow any commitment if they concealed anything. Shortly afterwards, the forts were handed over to the Muslims and all Khaibar was reduced and brought under the sway of Islam.

This treaty notwithstanding, Abi Al-Huqaiq’s two sons concealed a leather bag full of jewels, and money belonging to Huyai bin Al-Akhtab, who carried it with him when Banu Nadir had been banished. Kinanah bin Ar-Rabi‘, who had hidden the musk somewhere, was obdurate in his denial and so he was killed when the musk was discovered and his dishonesty was proven."

How do you expect us to take you seriously when you lie and hide the facts and twist the story to put forth your viewpoint. As for me, you've lost all your credibility.

Anonymous said...

Finally here is the real account of the Umm Qirfa incident from the sealed nectar (this does not even include all the refutations made by scholars on the dramatized versions found in some books of seerah):

"An expedition led by Abu Bakr As-Siddiq or Zaid bin Haritha was despatched to Wadi Al-Qura in Ramadan 6 Hijri after Fazara sept had made an attempt at the Prophet’s life. Following the morning prayer, the detachment was given orders to raid the enemy. Some of them were killed and others captured. Amongst the captives, were Umm Qirfa and her beautiful daughter, who was sent to Makkah as a ransom for the release of some Muslim prisoners there.[] Umm Qirfa’s attempts at the Prophet’s life recoiled on her, and the thirty horsemen she had gathered and sustained to implement her evil scheme were all killed."

If someone made attempts to assasinate members of my family/friends, I'd want them killed too :)

Anonymous said...

The people who wrote the articles on Umm Qirfa have done so with Hadith from Sahih Muslim. Please refer to the websites clarifying the facts and lies.
and › Research › History

these sites "Do NOT DENY THE RIPPING APART OF UMM QIRFA TOOK PLACE" they instead confirm it. I dont think your worst enemy deserves whatever they have done.

they also say that "UMM QIRFA'S DAUGHTER WAS NOT RAPED". After seeing your mother ripped apart would she go willingly with her captors or would she have recurring nightmares.

If Islam teaches forgiveness what kind of barbaric behavior is this.

Unfortunately it cannot be explained away.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's how Islam is. Someone insults a Muslim, and the Muslim return that someone with violence. It's the same as when we were kids, Boy A steals Boy B's toy. Boy B isn't happy and a fight breaks out. And the moral of the story? Nothing is settled. In fact, somebody gets hurt. This is what sin does to people who are still blinded.

Do you think God would want His people to turn against each other? No! Otherwise, why would He create us for?

It doesn't take a super intelligent person to see/know that violence and revenge is already wrong and the Quran is full of it. Try having a slave in modern times, try having sex with your slaves in modern times, try killing as an act of revenge in modern times. What do u get? I can promise you, JAIL TIME. So tell me, how can what Muhammed be doing, of God?