Friday, July 12, 2013

Muhammad's Last Sermon

A reader recently emailed me with a question. His fiancee is Muslim, he said, so he's been learning as much about Islam as he can. When he asked her about violence associated with the life of Muhammad, she had never heard of it and read him the following quotation from Muhammad's last sermon:

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. White has no superiority over black, nor does a black have any superiority over white (none have superiority over another) except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim, and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves."

Before getting to Muhammad's last sermon, I'm sure the reader knows that according to Islamic law he will need to convert to Islam before he can marry his fiancee. That's not in itself a problem - raising your right hand and proclaiming I testify there is no God but God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God to win the love of your life doesn't make you a convinced Muslim anymore than saying I accept Jesus into my heart as my Personal Savior makes you a good Christian, but it does illustrate in my viewpoint a lack of equality. Muslim men can marry Christian girls with the stipulation that the children are raised Muslim, but Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men.

(By the way, has anyone ever asked Anthony Weiner whether he converted to Islam before marrying Huma Abedin? What's that nice Jewish boy doing there in the mosque with his right hand raised to the sky? Again I have no problem with that - a man has to do what a man has to do - but it would be interesting if the former congressman's weiner tweets weren't his only secret).

Back to Muhammad's final sermon. This Wikipedia page notes that the reference to equality between Arabs and non-Arabs and blacks and whites is first seen from sources writing in the 9th and 12th centuries CE, 200 and 500 years after Muhammad. It is impossible to know where these writers received this information, since it was not recorded by earlier historians. It also goes against both the Koran (which states that Arabs are the best of creation and non-believers are the worst of creation) and the earliest biography of Muhammad in which Abu Bakr traded a non-Muslim black slave in order to set free a Muslim slave who was not as dark in skin. It is impossible to know whether the quote about ethnic and racial equality is from Muhammad, or whether someone later made it up.

It's similar to the famous story of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree. When his father asked who cut down the tree, Georgie replied, "I did it Father. I cannot tell a lie."

It's a great story but it never happened. Later biographers introduced the story into their accounts of Washington's life to embellish his personality. I suspect the same happened with those who wrote biographies of Muhammad.

I did find this quote from Muhammad's final sermon quite interesting as quoted in Wikipedia:

O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with his permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well, and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.

The above was a direct quotation from Muhammad's first biography as written by Ibn Ishaq - with a few notable exceptions. The original version reads as follows:

You have rights over your wives, and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and to beat them but not with severity. If they refrain from these things, they have the right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are prisoners with you having no control of their persons. You have taken them with the trust of God, and you have the enjoyment of their persons by the words of God.

Why would the Wikipedia article leave out the parts about beating your wives, and their being prisoners with no control of their persons? It's a rhetorical question of course - it is information the Muslim writers do not want you to have. At least my reader's fiancee will be fortunate enough to have a spouse who does not take her Prophet seriously when it comes to dealing with marital conflict. 

14 comments:

Sara k said...

You know that you can change that Wikipedia article, right?

Susanne said...

Some Muslim women go against their religion/culture and marry for love even if he isn't Muslim.

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aemish said...

*yawn*

http://aemish.blogspot.com/2010/11/couple-of-corrected-misconceptions-on.html

Hey, Reza Aslan has a new book out:

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

*yawn*

Hadith confirm the wife-beating translation is correct:

http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Qur%27an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Violence_Against_Women

Hey, Reza Aslan's new book contradicts the Qur'an.

Enjoy!

aemish said...

Hey, Anonymous, you may want to check out the Bible to crosscheck in the future. It is plainly clear that once Sarah chased Hagar out of Abraham's presence, an Angel appeared to her and appealed for her to return. Only after she did this and once again found herself leaving a second time did yet an Angel of the Lord appear AGAIN promising her that she would bear great nations.

aemish said...

Hey, Anonymous, you may want to check out the Bible to crosscheck in the future. It is plainly clear that once Sarah chased Hagar out of Abraham's presence, an Angel appeared to her and appealed for her to return. Only after she did this and once again found herself leaving a second time did yet an Angel of the Lord appear AGAIN promising her that she would bear great nations.

aemish said...

Not sure why that showed up twice but better that than me delete a duplicate post and be assumed some kind of flippant changer-of-mind person :p

I recall once before I tried to edit a post here and it wholly deleted it which was frustrating because it made it seemed like I was trying to change what I thought when all I was really trying to do was edit my grammar

aemish said...

I leave this book in my car to read in the hour-long line it takes to pick up my daughter from school. What a treat.

http://www.amazon.com/Zealot-Life-Times-Jesus-Nazareth/dp/140006922X

Bukhari Muslim said...

MOHAMMEDANISM & ROMANISM ARE VERY ALIKE, WHEN YOU DIG DEEP?

WAS IT POSSIBLE THAT ROME CREATED THIS CULT TO PREVENT THE JEWS FROM EVER BEING ABLE TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE?

THERE WAS A CHRISTIAN CONNECTION:

some Muslims today, are totally ignorant of the fact that monotheism was widely preached before, during and after the rise of Muhammad, by the Christians. It was a well known theology and the Arabs were familiar with it. Amazingly, today Muslims criticize as polytheists, the very one's who taught Muhammad about monotheism!

The Meccans had numerous contacts with Christians. (Muhammad's Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia, p26-45)
Meanwhile the seed of monotheism had been sown all along the Arabian Peninsula. ... The time was ripe for a religious revival. (Islam and the Arabs, Rom Landau, 1958 p 11-21)
Muhammad was only one of several preachers of monotheism in the Arabia of his day. (Islam: Muhammad and His Religion, Arthur Jeffery, 1958, p 85)
"the religious situation of Arabia, and particularly of Mecca, as it was at the end of the sixth century, there must have been many serious-minded men who were aware of a vacuum and eager to find something to satisfy their deepest needs." (Muhammad at Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, 1953, p 23-29)
In brief, in the sixth century after Christ, the majority of the people of Arabia were still pagans, but monotheism was spreading steadily. The time was ripe for the Arabs to abandon their superstitions in favour of a more spiritual and monotheistic conception of God. (The Life and Times of Muhammad, John Bagot Glubb, 1970)

Bukhari Muslim said...

MOHAMMEDANISM & ROMANISM ARE VERY ALIKE, WHEN YOU DIG DEEP?

WAS IT POSSIBLE THAT ROME CREATED THIS CULT TO PREVENT THE JEWS FROM EVER BEING ABLE TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE?

THERE WAS A CHRISTIAN CONNECTION:

some Muslims today, are totally ignorant of the fact that monotheism was widely preached before, during and after the rise of Muhammad, by the Christians. It was a well known theology and the Arabs were familiar with it. Amazingly, today Muslims criticize as polytheists, the very one's who taught Muhammad about monotheism!

The Meccans had numerous contacts with Christians. (Muhammad's Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia, p26-45)
Meanwhile the seed of monotheism had been sown all along the Arabian Peninsula. ... The time was ripe for a religious revival. (Islam and the Arabs, Rom Landau, 1958 p 11-21)
Muhammad was only one of several preachers of monotheism in the Arabia of his day. (Islam: Muhammad and His Religion, Arthur Jeffery, 1958, p 85)
"the religious situation of Arabia, and particularly of Mecca, as it was at the end of the sixth century, there must have been many serious-minded men who were aware of a vacuum and eager to find something to satisfy their deepest needs." (Muhammad at Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, 1953, p 23-29)
In brief, in the sixth century after Christ, the majority of the people of Arabia were still pagans, but monotheism was spreading steadily. The time was ripe for the Arabs to abandon their superstitions in favour of a more spiritual and monotheistic conception of God. (The Life and Times of Muhammad, John Bagot Glubb, 1970)

celltech said...

There is a detailed and referenced article about the fabricated version of the last sermon here: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Fabricated_Hadith#cite_ref-23

"S.F.H. Faizi, an Indian, later Pakistani, Islamist is the author of "Sermons of the Prophet", the 1987 book[22] which first rendered this version of the sermon (in the 1991 edition, it can be found on p. 145).[23]"

"References which are often cited as sources for this fraudulent sermon, once checked, are either misrepresented (i.e. they have nothing to say on the sermon)[24] or in fact refer to the sermon that most fits al-Tabari's rendition.[25]"

Islam is filled to the brim with lies, and for the most part, Muslims really do not care about that.

Anonymous said...

"O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted."
Quran 49:13

@blogger Does that answer your question? Since you are so intent on criticizing Islam I'd suggest you research Islam from the view of it's scholarly proponents and detractors.

What's the point of misrepresenting Islam than finding fault with your misrepresentation?

"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do." [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 135]

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, AND DO NOT LET THE HATRED of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

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