Arid Environment

Yahya Snow Advocates Sucking on the Tongues of Children

David Wood:

Say what you want about Yahya Snow’s juvenile arguments and childish personal attacks, but at least he tries to respond to some of the odd things we read about Muhammad. Take, for instance, Muhammad’s practice of sucking on the tongues of children, and letting them suck on his tongue:


Read it all…. (below the fold)

Al-Adab al-Mufrad al-Bukhari 1183—It is related that Abu Hurayra said, “I never saw al-Hasan without my eyes overflowing with tears. That is because the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went out one day and I found him in the mosque. He took my hand and I went along with him. He did not speak to me until we reached the market of Banu Qaynuqa. He walked around it and looked. Then he left and I left with him until we reached the mosque. He sat down and wrapped himself in his garment. Then he said, ‘Where is the little one? Call the little one to me.’ Hasan came running and jumped into his lap. Then he put his hand in his beard. Then the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, opened his mouth and put his tongue in his mouth. Then he said, O Allah, I love him, so love him and the one who loves him!'” (Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari, Number 1183)

Musnad Ahmad 16245—[Mua’wiya said]: I saw the prophet sucking on the tongue or the lips of Al-Hassan son of Ali, may the prayers of Allah be upon him. For no tongue or lips that the prophet sucked on will be tormented (by hell fire).

Most Muslims simply avoid passages like these, hoping that, by ignoring them, the world will never ask questions about them. But not Yahya Snow! Yahya takes the issue head-on:

So far, Yahya has given us two reasons for letting children suck on someone’s tongue: (1) to quench their thirst, and (2) to calm them down.

Yahya claims that if Jesus or Mother Theresa had allowed children to suck on their tongues, they would have been praised for it. I have to disagree with Yahya here: it would still be weird no matter who was doing it. But let’s grant that it’s a “genuine act of devotion” to let children suck on your tongue in order to quench their thirst. Notice that, in the passage from Musnad Ahmad above, Muhammad was sucking on the tongue of al-Hasan. But this would mean that Muhammad wasn’t giving al-Hasan his saliva in the arid environment; instead, he was taking saliva from al-Hasan. How is it a “genuine act of devotion” to steal a child’s moisture in an arid environment?

But Yahya isn’t finished.

Instead of giving these hungry children milk or water, Muhammad would spit in their mouths enough to satisfy them. Here Yahya may appeal to the arid environment, but this is the prophet who used to shoot water from his fingers, isn’t it? Muhammad is passing out female captives left and right, and dividing the spoils of war with his followers. But all the children get is a mouthful of spit?

Yahya also mentions the “blessings within the Prophet’s saliva.” Apparently, Muhammad’s spit was miraculously sweet, with the power to sweeten an entire well:

Unfortunately, Yahya has ignored the most important reason Muhammad sucked on children’s tongues. As we read in Musnad Ahmad, “no tongue or lips that the prophet sucked on will be tormented (by hell fire).” In other words, Muhammad had the power to guarantee salvation simply by sucking on a child’s tongue. Since Muhammad himself didn’t know whether he was going to heaven or to hell, this is an amazing power. Even if a child grows up to be an axe-murderer, the child will not go to hell, so long as Muhammad sucked on his tongue or lips. (Note: According to Muhammad, drinking his urine would also guarantee salvation, not to mention forever cure a person of stomach ailments.)

So we have five reasons for sucking on the tongues of children, letting them suck on someone’s tongue, and spitting in their mouths:

(1) Taking saliva from them, or giving them saliva.
(2) Calming them down.
(3) Satisfying them until evening.
(4) Sharing miraculous sweetness.
(5) Ensuring their salvation.

Obviously, reasons (4) and (5) only apply to Muhammad (since he’s the only one with the miraculously sweet spit and the power to grant salvation by sucking on a child’s tongue), but the other three are still in play. Reasons (1) and (3), Yahya may suggest, only apply in arid environments, but they would clearly apply even today. So if you see a thirsty or hungry child and you live in a dry area, Yahya’s advice is to let the child suck on your tongue and to spit in his mouth. Of course, if you’re thirsty, and you want some of the child’s saliva, Yahya must also think that you should suck on the child’s tongue.

Interestingly, reason (2) would be relevant in any environment. According to Yahya, if you want to calm down a child, simply stick your tongue in his mouth and let him use it as a pacifier.

I suppose we should all thank Yahya for showing us how rational and practical Islam is. Shame on us for thinking that Muhammad’s teachings are absurd and that his earliest followers were shockingly gullible for mindlessly accepting everything he said.

Welcome to Islam, my friends, and to the wild and wonderful world of Islamic apologetics!