Spin of the day:
“You cannot put the tag of terrorism on Islam. Islam is a religion of peace. Islam has nothing to do with terror. On the contrary, Islam is always against terror. Islam encourages all Muslims, as well as the followers of other religions and the entire world, to live in peace,” consultant to the Chechen president on religion Adam Shahidov says.
A ‘Profile In Courage’ the TSA Is Not.
After the thankfully unsuccessful terrorist activities of the underwear bomber in an airplane over Detroit last Christmas Day, discussion resumed regarding the use of the full body scanner at American international airports. This is a highly sensitive machine that, when used for security purposes, displays the body in its full naked glory.
It was said, after the actions on December 25th by Mr. Mutallab, that this process would have been the only way to have detected the particular technique of terror the young Nigerian was attempting to import into America. Then along comes the perpetually zany Council of American-Islamic Relations. In its infinite wisdom, this group disclosed their intention to sue the United States of America to prevent the aforementioned body scanner from being used on Muslim men and women.
For religious reasons, don’t you know?
In the parallel universe where reside the left and their radical Islamic friends, it makes perfect sense that the only machine that can detect a certain, and most destructive kind of explosive, that has been used exclusively by Islamic terrorists since 2001, is now able to be used with any traveler using American international airports, except, of course, Muslim persons. These Muslim individuals are, as every sane person acknowledges, the ACTUAL REASON we have to put every air traveler through the excruciating security measures that are now in place.
To prevent the further terrorist actions of Muslim terrorists is, in fact, the whole point of the exercise.
The TSA, when confronted by CAIR in this regard, immediately capitulated, thus giving in in the face of yet another Islamic threat. Simultaneously, the TSA agreed to instruct its security staff, in enforcing the same tortuous security measures for everyone but Muslims, to ‘pat down’ Muslim men and women, with the proviso, of course, that only same gender ‘pat downs’ would be permitted for our Muslim brethren.
So, to be sure you understand, this is the deal.
Every American has to go through a humiliating and time consuming hell every time any one of us has to fly anywhere in the country, or the world. This nightmare is due strictly to the actions of Islamic terrorists. Now, due to the Obama-determined decision of certain of our non-elected bureaucrats, we are now excepting Islamists, and only Islamists – THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SWORN TO ANNIHILATE AMERICA – from being forced to submit the examination of this machine that is the only thing that can detect certain terrorist explosives. In other words, the organization created to protect the American traveling public is now, under the Obama Administration, being prevented from doing so due to reasons of politically correct religious (again, addressed only to the world of Islam) sensitivity.
What kind of fantasy world is the Obama Administration living in? Does anyone in his Administration remember what happened on September 11, 2001? Has anyone in this ridiculous excuse for a Presidential Administration heard the repeated assurances from the Muslim world that we will either be converted to Islam by their jihad or die?
‘Explosive-wired Islamofascists’ is not a sensitivity issue – it is an act of war. It is an act of war against the United States of America and its innocent citizenry, no matter what religion. Tender feelings toward our Muslim brethren should not be taken into account when figuring out how best to protect us. The application of their faith when in our country should be very low on the list of what is significant to our nation, and if they don’t like that, they can immediately return to the nations where it is of significance. In America, they should understand, each religion is equal to the other; no particular religion is above another.
A current popular phrase might be applied in this instance: Islam, this is America. The land of the free. Deal with it.
It would be interesting to know whether the Obama Administration has instructed members of his Administration to make any accommodations for members of the Christian religion alert to members of the Obama Administration: the religion thatFOUNDED OUR NATION in air travel? Perhaps, for Judaism, second alert to members of the Obama Administration: another very important religion found in the United States of America?
The answer would seem to be no.
It is wondered, therefore, if the Obama Administration and its member leftists ever intend to acknowledge the truth about the world of Islam, the founder of terrorism throughout the world.
Barack Hussein Obama can go on and on about how wonderful is the world of Islam. How magnificent and tolerant is their religion; how beautiful is their handwriting, (a subject not thought to be significant in 21st Century America by Obama Administration educators); how extraordinary is their Algebra, yet another subject of American education considered unimportant by current Obama educators, (African-American Studies; Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Studies; etc., being of much greater significance in the Obamaworld of educating our children) and how peaceful, and desirous of peace, are their people. And from where, almost verbatim from various Obama speeches, do these lovely words come?
Like it or not, the Muslim world of the 21st century has nothing to do with the Magical Mystery Tour that Barack Hussein Obama and his followers have chosen to present as the current Muslim world. Obama and his acolytes can create beautiful and false words around the ‘religion of peace,’ and assume people will believe these lies. Hollywood and whoever can create physical fantasies about how gorgeous and sensitive Muslims were and are; or how brilliant, intellectually, scientifically and politically, Muslims were and are, or what victims they are and have been through the centuries, because, of course, of the actions of the Great Satan, (us) with Obama always on the ready to apologize for whatever of our transgressions of which the aggrieved (Muslims) complain. It is, as you know, always our fault. .
The truth about the world of Islam is the opposite.
The fact is that the Muslim extremist world of the 21st century is a nasty, grubby, illiterate but tech-savvy, hate-filled world of duplicitous and violent men whose minds live in a 12th century mélange of hatred of the Infidel (which is just about all of the rest of the world); misogyny – alert to the American left: this is not just chauvinistic men wanting to keep women home and perennially barefoot and pregnant; this is a world where a teenage girl had her nose and ears lopped off because her mother wouldn’t let her marry their cousin, (which actually happened recently in Pakistan, and when the little girl’s mother saw her baby’s face after this mutilation, she fell dead from a heart attack) (religion of peace); this, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer, is the Islam you champion. One will also find homophobia to a degree that these and other ardent feminists, like Barney Frank, could not imagine – no hate crime legislation here – beheading is the answer to that particular problem in Muslim countries. Then there are young men who have had every advantage that the West gives its youth, who would prefer to have their future contain wiring Downs’ Syndrome children with explosives so they can kill that many more innocent Westerners, in whatever country, it doesn’t really matter to them as long as it results in the most casualties.
And why do they do this? Not for anything we have done, despite constant such lamentations by the left, but for what we are. As an Islamic terrorist was quoted in responding to a leftist plea for us to just get along: “We don’t want to reason with you; we want to kill you.” A logical conclusion is to listen to them when they describe what they want to do to us for existing, don’t you think?
This is the Muslim world Barack Hussein Obama embraces.
Isn’t it time that the President of the United States of America stops protecting and defending the murderous medieval world of Islamic terrorism and starts protecting and defending the American people? Sadly, for us, this is not the case for our current Supreme Leader.
The Funny Side Of Islam
Iranian Islamic leader the Ayatollah Khomeini once said that “There is no fun in Islam.” I disagree. Islam can be quite funny; it just isn’t intended to be so. I have long said that Islam’s weakest point is mockery. Any enemy will reveal what he fears the most, if you listen to him closely. Muslims fear criticism or mockery of their religion more than they fear death. Well, if mockery is what they fear above all else, maybe that’s exactly what we should give them?
The good thing about Islam is that you don’t actually have to mock it, Islam mocks itself. To demonstrate the funny side of Islam, I will quote a number of authentic hadith, exclusively taken from the major collections of Bukhari and al-Muslim. These are the most important religious texts for a billion Sunni Muslims, second only to the Koran itself.
The Sunna of Muhammad, his personal example, is mainly contained in extra-Koranic sources, especially the hadith (plural: ahadith). Even the practices of prayer and pilgrimage are to a very large extent based on information from the hadith literature. One should always be careful with using Wikipedia as a source, but their entry on the five pillars of Islam is reasonably accurate:
Five Pillars of Islam is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. These duties are:
1) Shahadah (profession of faith)
2) Salat (ritual prayer five times each day)
3) Sawm (fasting during Ramadan)
4) Zakat (Islamic tax or tithing)
5) Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during life).
These practices are essential to Sunni Islam. Shi’a Muslims subscribe to eight ritual practices which substantially overlap with the Pillars. The concept of five pillars is taken from the Hadith collections, notably those of Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. The Qur’an does not speak of five pillars, although one can find in it scattered references to their associated practices.
The Shias have their own hadith collections. They differ from the Sunnis in some respects in terms of theology, but not by much when it comes to violence and aggression against non-Muslims. For instance, here is a speech by Khomeini from 1981:
“Why do you only read the Quranic verses of mercy and do not read the verses of killing? Quran says; kill, imprison! Why are you only clinging to the part that talks about mercy? Mercy is against God. Mehrab means the place of war, the place of fighting. Out of the mehrabs, wars should proceed, just as all the wars of Islam used to proceeded out of the mehrabs. The Prophet has [had] sword to kill people. Our [Holy] Imams were quite military men. All of them were warriors. They used to wield swords; they used to kill people. We need a Khalifa who would chop hands, cut throat, stone people in the same way that the messenger of God used to chop hands, cut throats, and stone people. In the same way that he massacred the Jews of Bani Qurayza because they were a bunch of discontent people. If the Prophet used to order to burn a house or exterminate a tribe, [then] that was justice.”
At the mainstream Sunni website IslamOnline, Dr. Khalid Alvi answers a question as to whether there is any need for hadith. According to him, the Koran contains dozens of reminders of the important position of Muhammad, and “No one remains Muslim if he does not accept the Prophet’s decisions and judgments.”
As Alvi writes, “The Qur’an, while pressing the Muslims to obey the Prophet, goes a step further when it announces that the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is above all the limitations of time and space. He is the Last Prophet and is a Messenger of Allah for the whole of humanity for all time to come. Hadith is nothing but a reflection of the personality of the Prophet, who is to be obeyed at every cost. Any student of the Qur’an will see that the Qur’an generally deals with the broad principles or essentials of religion, going into details in very rare cases. The details were generously supplied by the Prophet himself, either by showing in his practice how an injunction is to be carried out, or by giving an explanation in words.”
The great Hungarian orientalist Ignác Goldziher has cast doubt on the authenticity of the hadith literature, but according to other scholars, much of the same can be said about the Koran as well, which was probably completed far later, and with far more changes, than Muslims would like us to believe. Some of the Koran may even be based on pre-Islamic texts.
And as Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch asks, “who is going to red-pencil a number of the most ‘authentic’ Hadith, or perhaps throw them out altogether, and while we are at it, throw out the Sira (the biography, in the basic Muslim version, of Muhammad)? Who will declare it done? And how could it possibly be accepted? It can’t, and holding out such hope to naïve Infidels is meretricious and sinister.”
It is true that Muslim reformists do exist, though they are numerically marginal, who from time to time will argue for downplaying or ignoring the hadith and the Sunna in favor of relying on the Koran alone. I personally doubt whether they will succeed in reforming Islam in this way, as this will be viewed as heresy by people who follow the traditional interpretation of Islamic law, where heresy is punishable by death.
Sheikh Tantawi, leader of Al-Azhar in Cairo, the most important center of learning for Sunni Muslims, attacked the Sunna deniers, calling them “ignoramuses, liars, and hypocrites” and warning the public not to listen to their views. In statements delivered on November 5, 2004 at a conference organized by the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Tantawi said, “The attack on the Sunna is a means employed by the enemies of Islam for the [upcoming] attack on the Koran, because the Sunna is only a clarification of the laws appearing in the Koran… Thus, anyone who raises doubts about the prophetic Sunna as a source of legislation is acting according to a plan that is hostile to Islam… We have no life, future, or greatness among the societies except by clinging to the Koran and the Sunna. It is incumbent upon us all to stand in one rank and in one thought against anyone who attacks and denies the Sunna, because the laws [regarding matters] between man and Allah are not correct without the Sunna that explains in detail the rules and clarifies the things that are important.”
We should remember, from a theological point of view, that the Koran on quite a few occasions orders Muslims to follow the example of Muhammad, and most of his Sunna is contained in extra-Koranic sources, especially in the hadith. If you remove these, Islam will essentially collapse as a recognizable religion. Moreover, the Koran contains dozens of Jihad-verses and other verses advocating violence and intolerance against non-Muslims. Even if you ignored the entire hadith literature, a religion based on the Koran alone would still be the most aggressive major religion on earth.
In order to put the hadith into perspective, let me quote one of the most pro-Islamic writers in existence, John L. Esposito. In his book Islam: The Straight Path, Esposito says about Muhammad:
“He was revered from earliest times: Muslims remembered and recounted what he said and did. Both during his lifetime and throughout the following centuries, Muhammad has served as the ideal model for Muslim life, providing the pattern that all believers are to emulate. He is, as some Muslims say, the ‘living Quran’ — the witness whose behavior and words reveal God’s will. Thus the practices of the Prophet became a material source of Islamic law alongside the Quran. Muslims look to Muhammad’s example for guidance in all aspects of life: how to treat friends as well as enemies, what to eat and drink, how to make love and war. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the growth of Prophetic traditions.”
In Esposito’s view, “His impact on Muslim life cannot be overestimated, since he served as both religious and political head of Medina: prophet of God, ruler, military commander, chief judge, lawgiver. As a result, the practice of the Prophet, his Sunna or example, became the norm for community life. Muslims observed and remembered stories about what the Prophet said and did. These reports or traditions (hadith) were preserved and passed on in oral and written form. The corpus of hadith literature reveals the comprehensive scope of Muhammad’s example; he is the ideal religiopolitical leader as well as the exemplary husband and father. Thus when many Muslims pray five times each day or make the pilgrimage to Mecca, they seek to pray as the Prophet prayed, without adding or subtracting from the way Muhammad is reported to have worshipped. Traditions of the Prophet provide guidance for personal hygiene, dress, eating, marriage, treatment of wives, diplomacy, and warfare.”
As Turkey’s leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is reported to have said, “Islam, this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives.” The following quotes, with links, are from authentic hadith with sayings by or about Muhammad, according to Muslims the “living Koran,” the most perfect human being who has ever lived. Until the end of time, we should all emulate the way he eats, farts, or kills his enemies for mocking him. Some of these nuggets are hysterically funny, some less so. But whatever you do, don’t laugh when reading this. That makes you a dangerous Islamophobe according to the United Nations, and Muslims across the world want you dead for insulting their prophet.
Volume 1, Book 11, Number 662:
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The Prophet said, “Listen and obey (your chief) even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin were made your chief.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “People are just like camels, out of one hundred, one can hardly find a single camel suitable to ride.”
Allah’s Apostle said, “He who eats seven ‘Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them.”
Buraida reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: He who played chess is like one who dyed his hand with the flesh and blood of swine.
Narrated Ibn Abi Aufa:
We participated with the Prophet in six or seven Ghazawat, and we used to eat locusts with him.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “If you want to put on your shoes, put on the right shoe first; and if you want to take them off, take the left one first. Let the right shoe be the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “If somebody keeps a horse in Allah’s Cause motivated by his faith in Allah and his belief in His Promise, then he will be rewarded on the Day of Resurrection for what the horse has eaten or drunk and for its dung and urine.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “A wound which a Muslim receives in Allah’s cause will appear on the Day of Resurrection as it was at the time of infliction; blood will be flowing from the wound and its color will be that of the blood but will smell like musk.”
The Prophet said, “You will meet Allah barefooted, naked, walking on feet, and uncircumcised.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said “If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease.”
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said, ‘When you eat, do not wipe your hands till you have licked it, or had it licked by somebody else.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet forbade the wearing of a gold ring.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “The effect of an evil eye is a fact.” And he prohibited tattooing
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Once while a prophet amongst the prophets was taking a rest underneath a tree, an ant bit him. He, therefore, ordered that his luggage be taken away from underneath that tree and then ordered that the dwelling place of the ants should be set on fire. Allah sent him a revelation:— “Wouldn’t it have been sufficient to burn a single ant? (that bit you)
Narrated ‘Abdul ‘Aziz:
It was said to Anas “What did you hear the Prophet saying about garlic?” Anas replied, “Whoever has eaten (garlic) should not approach our mosque.”
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
Allah’s Apostle drank milk, rinsed his mouth and said, “It has fat.”
Narrated Abu Burda:
My father said, “I came to the Prophet and saw him carrying a Siwak in his hand and cleansing his teeth, saying, ‘U’ U’,” as if he was retching while the Siwak was in his mouth.”
Narrated Abu Umama:
Whenever the dining sheet of the Prophet was taken away (i.e., whenever he finished his meal), he used to say: “Al-hamdu lillah kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi ghaira makfiy wala muwada’ wala mustaghna’anhu Rabbuna.”
Narrated Thumama bin Abdullah:
Anas used to breathe twice or thrice in the vessel (while drinking) and used to say that the Prophet; used to take three breaths while drinking.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
The Prophet said, “If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said (and he must say it before starting) ‘In the name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e. the coming offspring) from Satan, and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm that offspring.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, “Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus and the angel says, ‘O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now ) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.’ And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks, ‘O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female? A wretched (an evil doer) or a blessed (doer of good)? How much will his provisions be? What will his age be?’ So all that is written while the creature is still in the mother’s womb.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “On every Friday the angels take heir stand at every gate of the mosques to write the names of the people chronologically (i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon.”
Quote: Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Isn’t he who raises his head before the Imam afraid that Allah may transform his head into that of a donkey or his figure (face) into that of a donkey?”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “A man saw a dog eating mud from (the severity of) thirst. So, that man took a shoe (and filled it) with water and kept on pouring the water for the dog till it quenched its thirst. So Allah approved of his deed and made him to enter Paradise.” And narrated Hamza bin ‘Abdullah: My father said. “During the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle, the dogs used to urinate, and pass through the mosques (come and go), nevertheless they never used to sprinkle water on it (urine of the dog.)”
Narrated Ibn Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said, “When the (upper) edge of the sun appears (in the morning), don’t perform a prayer till the sun appears in full, and when the lower edge of the sun sets, don’t perform a prayer till it sets completely. And you should not seek to pray at sunrise or sunset for the sun rises between two sides of the head of the devil (or Satan).”
Abdullah bin ‘Umar said, “The Prophet said, ‘Fever is from the heat of Hell, so put it out (cool it) with water.’ “ Nafi’ added: ‘Abdullah used to say, “O Allah! Relieve us from the punishment,” (when he suffered from fever).
The Prophet said, “Whoever has seen me in a dream, then no doubt, he has seen me, for Satan cannot imitate my shape.
Narrated Abu Qatada:
The Prophet said, “A good dream is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan. So whoever has seen (in a dream) something he dislike, then he should spit without saliva, thrice on his left and seek refuge with Allah from Satan, for it will not harm him, and Satan cannot appear in my shape.”
Narrated Abu Qatada:
The Prophet said, “A good dream is from Allah, and a bad or evil dream is from Satan; so if anyone of you has a bad dream of which he gets afraid, he should spit on his left side and should seek Refuge with Allah from its evil, for then it will not harm him.”
Narrated ‘Abdullah :
A person was mentioned before the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and he was told that he had kept on sleeping till morning and had not got up for the prayer. The Prophet said, “Satan urinated in his ears.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Yawning is from Satan and if anyone of you yawns, he should check his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of you (during the act of yawning) should say: ‘Ha’, Satan will laugh at him.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “If anyone of you rouses from sleep and performs the ablution, he should wash his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out thrice, because Satan has stayed in the upper part of his nose all the night.”
(the mother of the faithful believers) Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah’s Apostle “O Allah’s Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes ‘ off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.” ‘Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the Sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).
Allah’s Apostle heard a man reciting the Qur’an at night, and said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on him, as he has reminded me of such-and-such Verses of such-and-such Suras, which I was caused to forget.”
The Prophet said, “It is a bad thing that some of you say, ‘I have forgotten such-and-such verse of the Qur’an,’ for indeed, he has been caused (by Allah) to forget it. So you must keep on reciting the Qur’an because it escapes from the hearts of men faster than camel do.”
Narrated Abu Musa:
The Prophet said, “Keep on reciting the Qur’an, for, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, Quran runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes.”
Salman reported that it was said to him: Your Apostle teaches you about everything, even about excrement. He replied: Yes, he has forbidden us to face the Qibla at the time of excretion or urination, or cleansing with right hand or with less than three pebbles, or with dung or bone.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
That once he was in the, company of the Prophet carrying a water pot for his ablution and for cleaning his private parts. While he was following him carrying it(i.e. the pot), the Prophet said, “Who is this?” He said, “I am Abu Huraira.” The Prophet said, “Bring me stones in order to clean my private parts, and do not bring any bones or animal dung.” Abu Huraira went on narrating: So I brought some stones, carrying them in the corner of my robe till I put them by his side and went away. When he finished, I walked with him and asked, “What about the bone and the animal dung?” He said, “They are of the food of Jinns. The delegate of Jinns of (the city of) Nasibin came to me—and how nice those Jinns were—and asked me for the remains of the human food. I invoked Allah for them that they would never pass by a bone or animal dung but find food on them.”
Whenever the Prophet went to answer the call of nature, he used to say, “Allah-umma inni a’udhu bika minal khubuthi wal khaba’ith i.e. O Allah, I seek Refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits).”
Volume 1, Book 4, Number 145:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
Once the Prophet entered a lavatory and I placed water for his ablution. He asked, “Who placed it?” He was informed accordingly and so he said, “O Allah! Make him (Ibn ‘Abbas) a learned scholar in religion (Islam).”
Volume 1, Book 4, Number 146:
Narrated Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari:
Allah’s Apostle said, “If anyone of you goes to an open space for answering the call of nature he should neither face nor turn his back towards the Qibla; he should either face the east or the west.”
Volume 1, Book 4, Number 147:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
People say, “Whenever you sit for answering the call of nature, you should not face the Qibla or Bait-ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem).” I told them. “Once I went up the roof of our house and I saw Allah’s Apostle answering the call of nature while sitting on two bricks facing Bait-ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) (but there was a screen covering him. ‘
Volume 1, Book 4, Number 152:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Whenever Allah’s Apostle went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to accompany him with a tumbler full of water. (Hisham commented, “So that he might wash his private parts with it.)”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “The prayer of a person who does Hadath (passes, urine, stool or wind) is not accepted till he performs (repeats) the ablution.” A person from Hadaramout asked Abu Huraira, “What is ‘Hadath’?” Abu Huraira replied, “ ‘Hadath’ means the passing of wind from the anus.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik: A group of people from ‘Ukl (or ‘Uraina) tribe ——but I think he said that they were from ‘Ukl came to Medina and (they became ill, so) the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) she-camels and told them to go out and drink the camels’ urine and milk (as a medicine). So they went and drank it, and when they became healthy, they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. This news reached the Prophet early in the morning, so he sent (some) men in their pursuit and they were captured and brought to the Prophet before midday. He ordered to cut off their hands and legs and their eyes to be branded with heated iron pieces and they were thrown at Al-Harra, and when they asked for water to drink, they were not given water. (Abu Qilaba said, “Those were the people who committed theft and murder and reverted to disbelief after being believers (Muslims), and fought against Allah and His Apostle”).
[MY COMMENT: The idea of drinking urine remains in force today, as do other practices of Muhammad (MEMRI, June 2007): Media Uproar Following Egyptian Mufti’s Fatwa on Companions of the Prophet Muhammad Being Blessed by Drinking His Urine]
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, ‘The (people of) Bani Israel used to take bath naked (all together) looking at each other. The Prophet Moses used to take a bath alone. They said, ‘By Allah! Nothing prevents Moses from taking a bath with us except that he has a scrotal hernia.’ So once Moses went out to take a bath and put his clothes over a stone and then that stone ran away with his clothes. Moses followed that stone saying, “My clothes, O stone! My clothes, O stone! till the people of Bani Israel saw him and said, ‘By Allah, Moses has got no defect in his body. Moses took his clothes and began to beat the stone.” Abu Huraira added, “By Allah! There are still six or seven marks present on the stone from that excessive beating.”
Jabir b. Samura reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I recognise the stone in Mecca which used to pay me salutations before my advent as a Prophet and I recognise that even now.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “The boy is for (the owner of) the bed and the stone is for the person who commits illegal sexual intercourse.’
Narrated ‘Amr bin Maimun:
During the pre-Islamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them.
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:
When I got married, Allah’s Apostle said to me, “What type of lady have you married?” I replied, “I have married a matron’ He said, “Why, don’t you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?” Jabir also said: Allah’s Apostle said, “Why didn’t you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?’
[MY COMMENT: Muhammad married Aisha when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage sexually when she was nine and he was 54. See “Aisha the Child Wife of Muhammad”: by Ali Sina]
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).
I used to wash the traces of Janaba (semen) from the clothes of the Prophet and he used to go for prayers while traces of water were still on it (water spots were still visible).
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time.
The wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place (near Baqia at Medina) to answer the call of nature at night. ‘Umar used to say to the Prophet “Let your wives be veiled,” but Allah’s Apostle did not do so. One night Sauda bint Zam’a the wife of the Prophet went out at ‘Isha’ time and she was a tall lady. ‘Umar addressed her and said, “I have recognized you, O Sauda.” He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab (the observing of veils by the Muslim women) may be revealed. So Allah revealed the verses of “Al-Hijab” (A complete body cover excluding the eyes).
Narrated Usama bin Zaid:
The Prophet said, “After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women.”
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
That he heard the Prophet saying, “It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Muhram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.).”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy).
I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
Abdullah b. ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You and the Jews would fight against one another until a stone would say: Muslim, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
Allah’s Apostle said, “You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, ‘O ‘Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.’“
Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment.’ No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’ “
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle called, “War is deceit”.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
Allah’s Apostle said, “There is no Hijra (i.e. migration) (from Mecca to Medina) after the Conquest (of Mecca), but Jihad and good intention remain; and if you are called (by the Muslim ruler) for fighting, go forth immediately.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” He replied, “I do not find such a deed.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The Prophet said, “A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it.”
A man whose face was covered with an iron mask (i.e. clad in armor) came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall I fight or embrace Islam first? “The Prophet said, “Embrace Islam first and then fight.” So he embraced Islam, and was martyred. Allah’s Apostle said, A Little work, but a great reward. “(He did very little (after embracing Islam), but he will be rewarded in abundance).”
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Abi Aufa: Allah’s Apostle said, “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords.”
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah welcomes two men with a smile; one of whom kills the other and both of them enter Paradise. One fights in Allah’s Cause and gets killed. Later on Allah forgives the ‘killer who also get martyred (In Allah’s Cause).”
The Prophet set out for Khaibar and reached it at night. He used not to attack if he reached the people at night, till the day broke. So, when the day dawned, the Jews came out with their bags and spades. When they saw the Prophet; they said, “Muhammad and his army!” The Prophet said, Allahu—Akbar! (Allah is Greater) and Khaibar is ruined, for whenever we approach a nation (i.e. enemy to fight) then it will be a miserable morning for those who have been warned.”
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:
The Prophet said, “Who is ready to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has really hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do you like me to kill him?” He replied in the affirmative. So, Muhammad bin Maslama went to him (i.e. Ka’b) and said, “This person (i.e. the Prophet) has put us to task and asked us for charity.” Ka’b replied, “By Allah, you will get tired of him.” Muhammad said to him, “We have followed him, so we dislike to leave him till we see the end of his affair.” Muhammad bin Maslama went on talking to him in this way till he got the chance to kill him.
What Muslims say & do:
Below are comments on Muslim attitudes, and Islam, including a remarkably prescient warning from 1925, which the author Aldous Huxley—who actually spent time living in Muslim North Africa—left for the seemingly impenetrable Krauthammer and his ilk to learn.
From Religion and Temperament (1948)
Mohammedanism…is hard, militant, and puritanical; it encourages the spirit of martyrdom, is eager to make proselytes, and has no qualms about levying “holy wars” and conducting persecutions. Some centuries after the prophet’s death it developed the Sufi school of mysticism—a school whose strict Islamic orthodoxy its theologians have always had some difficulty in defending.
From a Letter to Norman Douglas, June 26, 1925
One winter I shall certainly go and spend some [more] months there [in Tunisia], about the time of the date harvest—tho’ I have no doubt that the site of the Arabs picking and packing the dates would be enough to make one’s gorge turn every time one set eyes on that fruit for the rest of one’s life. How tremendously European one feels when one has seen these devils in their native muck! And to think that we are busily teaching them all the mechanical arts of peace and war which gave us, in the past, our superiority over their numbers! In fifty years time, it seems to me, Europe can’t fail to be wiped out by these monsters. Intanto…
From “In a Tunisian Oasis” (1936)
Talking to an Islamically educated Arab is like talking to a pious European of the fourteenth century. Every phenomenon is referred by them to its final cause—to God. About the immediate causes of things—precisely how they happen—they seem to feel not the slightest interest. Indeed, it is not even admitted that there are such things as immediate causes: God is directly responsible for everything. “Do you think it will rain?” you ask pointing to menacing clouds overhead. “If God wills,” is the answer. You pass the native hospital. “Are the doctors good?” “In our country,” the Arab gravely replies, in the tone of Solomon, “we say that doctors are of no avail. If Allah wills that a man die, he will die. If not, he will recover.” All of which is profoundly true, so true, indeed, that is not worth saying. To the Arab, however, it seems the last word in human wisdom. For him, God is the perfectly adequate explanation of everything; he leaves fate to do things unassisted, in its own way—that is to say, from the human point of view, the worst way. More>>>
The Truth About Islamic Jihad & Imperialism
Historical facts say that Islam has been imperialistic—and would still like to be, if only for religious reasons. Many Muslim clerics, scholars, and activists, for example, would like to impose Islamic law around the world. Historical facts say that Islam, including Muhammad, launched their own Crusades against Christianity long before the European Crusades.
Today, Muslim polemicists and missionaries, who believe that Islam is the best religion in the world, claim that the West has stolen Islamic lands and that the West (alone) is imperialistic.One hardline Muslim emailer to me said about the developed West and the undeveloped Islamic countries: ‘You stole our lands’ and then he held his finger on the exclamation key to produce a long string of them.
Thus imperialism, a word that has reached metaphysical levels and that is supposed to stop all debates and answer all questions, explains why Islamic countries have not kept up with the West. The emailer did not look inwardly, as if his own culture and religion may play a role. Instead, it is always the West’s fault.
Westerners—even academics—accept the notion that the West alone was aggressive. It seems that Islam is always innocent and passive. It is difficult to uncover the source of this Western self—loathing. It is, however, a pathology that seems to strike Westerners more than other people around the globe. This anti—West pathology shows up in Westerners’ hatred for the European Crusades in the Medieval Age.
It must be admitted that there is much to dislike about the European Crusades. If they are contrasted with the mission and ministry of Jesus and the first generations of Christians, then the Crusades do not look so good. But did the Europeans launch the first Crusade in a mindless, bloodthirsty and irrational way, or were there more pressing reasons? Were they the only ones to be militant?
The purpose of this article is not to justify or defend European Crusades, but to explain them, in part—though scholarship can go a long way to defend and justify them
In this article, the word ‘crusade’ (derived from the Latin word for ‘cross’) in an Islamic context means a holy war or jihad. It is used as a counterweight to the Muslim accusation that only the Europeans launched crusades. Muslims seem to forget that they had their own, for several centuries before the Europeans launched theirs as a defense against the Islamic expansion.
We will employ a partial timeline spanning up to the first European response to Islamic imperialism, when Pope Urban II launched his own Crusade in 1095. The timeline mostly stays within the parameters of the Greater Middle East. The data in bold print are of special interest for revealing early Islamic atrocities, their belief in heroism in warfare, or politics today.
The Islamic Crusades were very successful. The Byzantines and Persian Empires had worn themselves out with fighting, so a power vacuum existed. Into this vacuum stormed Islam.
After the timeline, two questions are posed, which are answered at length
630 Two years before Muhammad’s death of a fever, he launches the Tabuk Crusades, in which he led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a report that a huge army had amassed to attack Arabia, but the report turned out to be a false rumor. The Byzantine army never materialized. He turned around and went home, but not before extracting ‘agreements’ from northern tribes. They could enjoy the ‘privilege’ of living under Islamic ‘protection’ (read: not be attacked by Islam), if they paid a tax (jizya).
This tax sets the stage for Muhammad’s and the later Caliphs’ policies. If the attacked city or region did not want to convert to Islam, then they paid a jizya tax. If they converted, then they paid a zakat tax. Either way, money flowed back to the Islamic treasury in Arabia or to the local Muslim governor.
632—634 Under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr the Muslim Crusaders reconquer and sometimes conquer for the first time the polytheists of Arabia. These Arab polytheists had to convert to Islam or die. They did not have the choice of remaining in their faith and paying a tax. Islam does not allow for religious freedom.
633 The Muslim Crusaders, led by Khalid al—Walid, a superior but bloodthirsty military commander, whom Muhammad nicknamed the Sword of Allah for his ferocity in battle (Tabari, 8:158 / 1616—17), conquer the city of Ullays along the Euphrates River (in today’s Iraq). Khalid captures and beheads so many that a nearby canal, into which the blood flowed, was calledBlood Canal (Tabari 11:24 / 2034—35).
634 At the Battle of Yarmuk in Syria the Muslim Crusaders defeat the Byzantines. Today Osama bin Laden draws inspiration from the defeat, and especially from an anecdote about Khalid al—Walid. An unnamed Muslim remarks: ‘The Romans are so numerous and the Muslims so few.’ To this Khalid retorts: ‘How few are the Romans, and how many the Muslims! Armies become numerous only with victory and few only with defeat, not by the number of men. By God, I would love it . . . if the enemy were twice as many’ (Tabari, 11:94 / 2095). Osama bin Ladinquotes Khalid and says that his fighters love death more than we in the West love life. This philosophy of death probably comes from a verse like Sura 2:96. Muhammad assesses the Jews: ‘[Prophet], you are sure to find them [the Jews] clinging to life more eagerly than any other people, even polytheists’ (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004; first insertion in brackets is Haleem’s; the second mine).
634—644 The Caliphate of Umar ibn al—Khattab, who is regarded as particularly brutal.
635 Muslim Crusaders besiege and conquer of Damascus
636 Muslim Crusaders defeat Byzantines decisively at Battle of Yarmuk.
637 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iraq at the Battle of al—Qadisiyyah (some date it in 635 or 636)
638 Muslim Crusaders conquer and annex Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines.
638—650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iran, except along Caspian Sea.
639—642 Muslim Crusaders conquer Egypt.
641 Muslim Crusaders control Syria and Palestine.
643—707 Muslim Crusaders conquer North Africa.
644 Caliph Umar is assassinated by a Persian prisoner of war; Uthman ibn Affan is elected third Caliph, who is regarded by many Muslims as gentler than Umar.
644—650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Cyprus, Tripoli in North Africa, and establish Islamic rule in Iran, Afghanistan, and Sind.
656 Caliph Uthman is assassinated by disgruntled Muslim soldiers; Ali ibn Abi Talib, son—in—law and cousin to Muhammad, who married the prophet’s daughter Fatima through his first wife Khadija, is set up as Caliph.
656 Battle of the Camel, in which Aisha, Muhammad’s wife, leads a rebellion against Ali for not avenging Uthman’s assassination. Ali’s partisans win.
657 Battle of Siffin between Ali and Muslim governor of Jerusalem, arbitration goes against Ali
661 Murder of Ali by an extremist; Ali’s supporters acclaim his son Hasan as next Caliph, but he comes to an agreement with Muawiyyah I and retires to Medina.
661—680 the Caliphate of Muawiyyah I. He founds Umayyid dynasty and moves capital from Medina to Damascus
673—678 Arabs besiege Constantinople, capital of Byzantine Empire
680 Massacre of Hussein (Muhammad’s grandson), his family, and his supporters in Karbala, Iraq.
691 Dome of the Rock is completed in Jerusalem, only six decades after Muhammad’s death.
705 Abd al—Malik restores Umayyad rule.
710—713 Muslim Crusaders conquer the lower Indus Valley.
711—713 Muslim Crusaders conquer Spain and impose the kingdom of Andalus. This articlerecounts how Muslims today still grieve over their expulsion 700 years later. They seem to believe that the land belonged to them in the first place.
719 Cordova, Spain, becomes seat of Arab governor
732 The Muslim Crusaders stopped at the Battle of Poitiers; that is, Franks (France) halt Arab advance
749 The Abbasids conquer Kufah and overthrow Umayyids
756 Foundation of Umayyid amirate in Cordova, Spain, setting up an independent kingdom from Abbasids
762 Foundation of Baghdad
785 Foundation of the Great Mosque of Cordova
789 Rise of Idrisid amirs (Muslim Crusaders) in Morocco; foundation of Fez; Christoforos, a Muslim who converted to Christianity, is executed.
800 Autonomous Aghlabid dynasty (Muslim Crusaders) in Tunisia
807 Caliph Harun al—Rashid orders the destruction of non—Muslim prayer houses and of the church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem
809 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sardinia, Italy
813 Christians in Palestine are attacked; many flee the country
831 Muslim Crusaders capture Palermo, Italy; raids in Southern Italy
850 Caliph al—Matawakkil orders the destruction of non—Muslim houses of prayer
855 Revolt of the Christians of Hims (Syria)
837—901 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sicily, raid Corsica, Italy, France
869—883 Revolt of black slaves in Iraq
909 Rise of the Fatimid Caliphate in Tunisia; these Muslim Crusaders occupy Sicily, Sardinia
928—969 Byzantine military revival, they retake old territories, such as Cyprus (964) and Tarsus (969)
937 The Ikhshid, a particularly harsh Muslim ruler, writes to Emperor Romanus, boasting of his control over the holy places
937 The Church of the Resurrection (known as Church of Holy Sepulcher in Latin West) is burned down by Muslims; more churches in Jerusalem are attacked
960 Conversion of Qarakhanid Turks to Islam
966 Anti—Christian riots in Jerusalem
969 Fatimids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Egypt and found Cairo
c. 970 Seljuks enter conquered Islamic territories from the East
973 Israel and southern Syria are again conquered by the Fatimids
1003 First persecutions by al—Hakim; the Church of St. Mark in Fustat, Egypt, is destroyed
1009 Destruction of the Church of the Resurrection by al—Hakim (see 937)
1012 Beginning of al—Hakim’s oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians
1015 Earthquake in Palestine; the dome of the Dome of the Rock collapses
1031 Collapse of Umayyid Caliphate and establishment of 15 minor independent dynasties throughout Muslim Andalus
1048 Reconstruction of the Church of the Resurrection completed
1050 Creation of Almoravid (Muslim Crusaders) movement in Mauretania; Almoravids (aka Murabitun) are coalition of western Saharan Berbers; followers of Islam, focusing on the Quran, the hadith, and Maliki law.
1055 Seljuk Prince Tughrul enters Baghdad, consolidation of the Seljuk Sultanate
1055 Confiscation of property of Church of the Resurrection
1071 Battle of Manzikert, Seljuk Turks (Muslim Crusaders) defeat Byzantines and occupy much of Anatolia
1071 Turks (Muslim Crusaders) invade Palestine
1073 Conquest of Jerusalem by Turks (Muslim Crusaders)
1075 Seljuks (Muslim Crusaders) capture Nicea (Iznik) and make it their capital in Anatolia
1076 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) conquer western Ghana
1085 Toledo is taken back by Christian armies
1086 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) send help to Andalus, Battle of Zallaca
1090—1091 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) occupy all of Andalus except Saragossa and Balearic Islands
1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Seljuk invasions of his territory; Seljuks are Muslim Turkish family of eastern origins; see 970
1095 Pope Urban II preaches first Crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099
So it is only after all of the Islamic aggressive invasions that Western Christendom launches its first Crusades.
It could be argued that sometimes the Byzantine and Western European leaders did not behave exemplarily, so a timeline on that subject could be developed. And sometimes the Muslims behaved exemplarily. Both are true. However, the goal of this timeline is to balance out the picture more clearly. Many people regard Islam as an innocent victim, and the Byzantines and Europeans as bullies. This was not always the case.
Moreover, we should take a step back and look at the big picture. If Islam had stayed in Arabia and had not waged wars of conquest, then no troubles would have erupted. But the truth is this: Islam moved aggressively during the Caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar in the seventh century, with other Caliphs continuing well beyond that; only then did the Western Europeans react (see 1094).
It must be noted that Islamic expansion continues until well into the seventeenth century. For example, the Muslims Crusaders conquer Constantinople in 1453 and unsuccessfully besiege Vienna for the second time in 1683 (earlier in 1529). By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Islamic Crusades receded, due to Western resistance. Since that time until the present, Islamic civilization has not advanced very far.
Two questions are posed and then answered at length.
Besides following Muhammad, why else did the Muslims launch their Crusades out of Arabia in the first place?
It is only natural to ask why Islam launched its own Crusades long before Christendom did.
In the complicated Muslim Crusades that lasted several centuries before the European Crusades, it is difficult to come up with a grand single theory as to what launched these Crusades. Because of this difficulty, we let three scholars and two eyewitness participants analyze the motives of the early Islamic Crusades.
1. World religious conquest
Muslim polemicists like Sayyid Qutb assert that Islam’s mission is to correct the injustices of the world. What he has in mind is that if Islam does not control a society, then injustice dominates it, ipso facto. But if Islam dominates it, then justice rules it (In the Shade of the Qur’an, vol. 7, pp. 8—15). Islam is expansionist and must conquer the whole world to express Allah’s perfect will on this planet, so Qutb and other Muslims believe.
2. ‘Unruly’ energies in Arabia?
Karen Armstrong, a former nun and well—spoken, prolific author and apologist for Islam, comes up short of a satisfactory justification for the Muslim Crusades:
Once [Abu Bakr] crushed the rebellion [against Islamic rule within Arabia], Abu Bakr may well have decided to alleviate internal tensions by employing the unruly energies within the ummah [Muslim community] against external foes. Whatever the case, in 633 Muslim armies began a new series of campaigns in Persia, Syria and Iraq. (Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, New York: Ballantine, 1997, p. 226).
Armstrong also notes that the ‘external foes’ to Islam in Arabia in 633 are the Persians and the Byzantines, but they are too exhausted after years of fighting each other to pose a serious threat to Islam. Therefore, it moved into a ‘power vacuum,’ unprovoked (Armstrong p. 227). She simply does not know with certainty why Muslims marched northward out of Arabia.
3. Religion, economy, and political control
Fred M. Donner, the dean of historians specializing in the early Islamic conquests, cites three large factors for the Islamic Crusades. First, the ideological message of Islam itself triggered the Muslim ruling elite simply to follow Muhammad and his conquests; Islam had a divinely ordained mission to conquer in the name of Allah. (The Early Islamic Conquests, Princeton UP, 1981, p. 270). The second factor is economic. The ruling elite ‘wanted to expand the political boundaries of the new state in order to secure even more fully than before the trans—Arab commerce they had plied for a century or more’ (p. 270). The final factor is political control. The rulers wanted to maintain their top place in the new political hierarchy by having aggressive Arab tribes migrate into newly conquered territories (p. 271).
Thus, these reasons they have nothing to do with just wars of self—defense. Early Islam was merely being aggressive without sufficient provocation from the surrounding Byzantine and Persian Empires.
4. Sheer thrill of conquest and martyrdom
Khalid al—Walid (d. 642), a bloodthirsty but superior commander of the Muslim armies at the time, also answers the question as to why the Muslims stormed out of Arabia, in his terms of surrender set down to the governor of al—Hirah, a city along the Euphrates River in Iraq. He is sent to call people to Islam or pay a ‘protection’ tax for the ‘privilege’ of living under Islamic rule (read: not to be attacked again) as dhimmis or second—class citizens. Says Khalid:
‘I call you to God and to Islam. If you respond to the call, you are Muslims: You obtain the benefits they enjoy and take up the responsibilities they bear. If you refuse, then [you must pay] the jizyah. If you refuse the jizyah, I will bring against you tribes of people who are more eager for death than you are for life. We will fight you until God decides between us and you.’ (Tabari,The Challenge to the Empires, trans. Khalid Yahya Blankinship, NY: SUNYP, 1993, vol. 11, p. 4; Arabic page 2017)
Thus, according to Khalid, religion is early Islam’s primary motive (though not the only one) of conquering people.
In a short sermon, Abu Bakr says:
. . . Indeed, the reward in God’s book for jihad in God’s path is something for which a Muslim should love to be singled out, by which God saved [people] from humiliation, and through which He has bestowed nobility in this world and the next. (Tabari 11:80 / 2083—84)
Thus, the Caliph repeats the Quran’s trade of this life for the next, in an economic bargain and in the context of jihad (cf. Suras 4:74; 9:111 and 61:10—13). This offer of martyrdom, agreeing with Donner’s first factor, religious motivation, is enough to get young Muslims to sign up for and to launch their Crusades out of Arabia in the seventh century.
Khalid also says that if some do not convert or pay the tax, then they must fight an army thatloves death as other people love life (see 634).
5. Improvement of life over that in Arabia
But improvement of life materially must be included in this not—so—holy call. When Khalid perceived that his Muslim Crusaders desired to return to Arabia, he pointed out how luscious the land of the Persians was:
‘Do you not regard [your] food like a dusty gulch? By God, if struggle for God’s sake and calling [people] to God were not required of us, and there were no consideration except our livelihood, the wise opinion would [still] have been to strike this countryside until we possess it’. . . . (Tabari 11:20 / 2031)
Khalid was from Mecca. At the time of this ‘motivational’ speech, the Empire of Persia included Iraq, and this is where Khalid is warring. Besides his religious goal of Islamizing its inhabitants by warfare, Khalid’s goal is to ‘possess’ the land.
Like Pope Urban II in 1095 exhorting the Medieval Crusaders to war against the Muslim ‘infidels’ for the first time, in response to Muslim aggression that had been going on for centuries, Abu Bakr gives his own speech in 634, exhorting Muslims to war against the ‘infidels,’ though he is not as long—winded as the Pope.
Muslim polemicists believe that Islam spread militarily by a miracle from Allah. However, these five earth—bound reasons explain things more clearly.
Did the Islamic Crusades force conversions by the sword?
Historical facts demonstrate that most of the conquered cities and regions accepted the last of three options that were enforced by the later Muslim Crusaders: (1) fight and die, (2) convert and pay the zakat tax; (3) keep their Biblical faith and pay the jizya tax. Most preferred to remain in their own religion.
However, people eventually converted. After all, Islamic lands are called such for a reason—or many reasons. Why? Four Muslim polemicists whitewash the reasons people converted, so their scholarship is suspect.
1. The polemical answer
First, Malise Ruthven and Azim Nanji use the Quran to explain later historical facts:
‘Islam expanded by conquest and conversion. Although it was sometimes said that the faith of Islam was spread by the sword, the two are not the same. The Koran states unequivocally, ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ (Sura 2:256).’ (Historical Atlas of Islam, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard, 2004, 30).
According to them, the Quran says there should be no compulsion, so the historical facts conform to a sacred text. This shaky reasoning is analyzed, below.
Next, David Dakake also references Sura 2:256, and defines compulsion very narrowly. Jihad has been misrepresented as forcing Jews, Christians, and other peoples of the Middle East, Asia and Africa to convert to Islam ‘on pain of death.’ (‘The Myth of Militant Islam,’ Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition, ed. J.E.B. Lumbard, Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2004, p. 13). This is too narrow a definition of compulsion, as we shall see, below.
Finally, Qutb, also citing Sura 2:256, is even more categorical:
‘Never in its history did Islam compel a single human being to change his faith’ (In the Shade of the Qur’an, vol. 8, p. 307).
This is absurd on its face, and it only demonstrates the tendentiousness of Islamic scholarship, which must be challenged at every turn here in the West. For more information and thorough logic, see this article.
2. The historical facts
History does not always follow Scriptures because people do not. Did the vast majority of conquered peoples make such fine distinctions, even if a general amnesty were granted to People of the Book? Maybe a few diehards did, but the majority? Most people at this time did not know how to read or could barely read, so when they saw a Muslim army outside their gates, why would they not convert, even if they waited? To Ruthven’s and Nanji’s credit, they come up with other reasons to convert besides the sword, such as people’s fatigue with church squabbles, a few doctrinal similarities, simplicity of the conversion process, a desire to enter the ranks of the new ruling elite, and so on. But using the Quran to interpret later facts paints the history of Islam into a corner of an unrealistically high standard.
This misguided connection between Scripture and later historical facts does not hold together. Revelations or ideals should not run roughshod over later historical facts, as if all followers obey their Scriptures perfectly.
To his credit, Ibn Khaldun (1332—1406), late Medieval statesman, jurist, historian, and scholar, has enough integrity and candor to balance out these four Muslim apologists, writing a history that is still admired by historians today. He states the obvious:
In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. (The Muqaddimah: an Introduction to History (abridged), trans. Franz Rosenthal, Princeton UP, 1967, p.183)
When the Islamic Crusaders go out to conquer, carrying an Islamic banner inscribed in Arabic of the glory and the truth of their prophet, Ibn Khaldun would not deny that the army’s mission, besides the material reasons of conquest, is to convert the inhabitants. Islam is a ‘universalizing’ religion, and if its converts enter its fold either by persuasion or force, then that is the nature of Islam.
Moreover, Ibn Khaldun explains why a dynasty rarely establishes itself firmly in lands of many different tribes and groups. But it can be done after a long time and employing the following tactics, as seen in the Maghrib (N and NW Africa) from the beginning of Islam to Ibn Khaldun’s own time:
The first (Muslim) victory over them and the European Christians (in the Maghrib) was of no avail. They continued to rebel and apostatized time after time. The Muslims massacred many of them. After the Muslim religion had been established among them, they went on revolting and seceding, and they adopted dissident religious opinions many times. They remained disobedient and unmanageable . . . . Therefore, it has taken the Arabs a long time to establish their dynasty in the . . . Maghrib. (p. 131)
Though European Crusaders may have been sincere, they wandered off from the origins of Christianity when they slashed and burned and forced conversions. Jesus never used violence; neither did he call his disciples to use it. Given this historical fact, it is only natural that the New Testament would never endorse violence to spread the word of the true God. Textual reality matches historical reality in the time of Jesus.
In contrast, Muslims who slashed and burned and forced conversions did not wander off from the origins of Islam, but followed it closely. It is a plain and unpleasant historical fact that in the ten years that Muhammad lived in Medina (622—632), he either sent out or went out on seventy—four raids, expeditions, or full—scale wars, which range from small assassination hit squads to the Tabuk Crusade, described above (see 630). Sometimes the expeditions did not result in violence, but a Muslim army always lurked in the background. Muhammad could exact a terrible vengeance on an individual or tribe that double—crossed him. These ten years did not know long stretches of peace.
It is only natural that the Quran would be filled with references to jihad and qital, the latter word meaning only fighting, killing, warring, and slaughtering. Textual reality matches historical reality in the time of Muhammad. And after.
But this means that the Church had to fight back or be swallowed up by an aggressive religion over the centuries. Thus, the Church did not go out and conquer in a mindless, bloodthirsty, and irrational way—though the Christian Crusades were far from perfect.
Islam was the aggressor in its own Crusades, long before the Europeans responded with their own.
James Arlandson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see this two—part article (here and here) for the rules of Islamic warfare. Too often they do not follow simple justice, but were barbaric and cruel, such as permitting sex with newly captured female prisoners of war.
This article goes into more detail on the motives for Islamic expansion and a comparison with Christianity. The second major section discusses the weak Islamic claim on Jerusalem.
This book by Andrew Bostom is the antidote to the false belief that life under Islam was always a bed of roses. Bostom provides many source documents, sometimes translated for the first time. Here are some online samples. This two—part article (here and here) recounts Muslim atrocities in Palestine. This two—part article (here and here) demonstrates that jihad produced the European Crusades.
Gil, Moshe. A History of Palestine: 634—1099. Cambridge UP, 1983, 1997.
Nicolle, David. The Armies of Islam. Men—at—Arms. Osprey, 1982.
———. Saladin and the Saracens. Men—at Arms. Osprey, 1986.
———. Armies of the Muslim Conquests. Men—at—Arms. Osprey, 1993.
———. The Moors, the Islamic West. Men—at—Arms. Osprey, 2001.
Our Ancestors knew about Islam:
A great and famous Christian theologian (famous in the Orthodox church, that is), Gregory Palamas of the 14th century, had had years of experience with the “Turks” — i.e., Mohammedans — (including having been captured and imprisoned by them for a time) and wrote about them:
…these impious people, hated by God and infamous, boast of having got the better of the Romans by their love of God… they live by the bow, the sword, and debauchery, finding pleasure in taking slaves, devoting themselves to murder, pillage, spoil… and not only do they commit these crimes, but even — what an aberration — they believe that God approves of them.
— quoted in The Oxford History of the Crusades, by Jonathan Riley-Smith, p. 251.
Dr Andrew Bostom
Before visiting Algeria, Tocqueville studied the Koran. Andrew Bostom reflects on his observations…..