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THE PENTATEUCH

GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---

NAHUM--- HABAKKUK---ZEPHANIAH ---ZECHARIAH --- THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW ---THE GOSPEL OF MARK--- THE GOSPEL OF LUKE --- THE GOSPEL OF JOHN --- THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES --- 1 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-16 --- 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-13 -- -GALATIANS --- EPHESIANS --- COLOSSIANS --- 1 THESSALONIANS --- 2 THESSALONIANS --- 1 TIMOTHY --- 2 TIMOTHY --- TITUS --- HEBREWS 1-6 --- 7-10 --- 11-13 --- JAMES --- JOHN'S LETTERS --- REVELATION

--- THE GOSPELS

Contra Islam

Chapter One

The Apostate - Relinquishing the Faith

Regardless of whether the Muslim embraces Christianity (as is happening today with millions of the Indonesians) or becomes an atheist, Islamic law declares that he must be killed. Also, anyone who rejects any of the basic ordinances of Islam or insults the prophet or the Qur'an (as Salman Rushdie did) will be regarded as an apostate and must be killed. It is well-known that all Muslim scholars agree upon these points without exception. They also avow that the prophet Muhammad said it, and they practice it with those who relinquish Islam and become apostate. The scholars also teach that this is what all the Caliphs (Muhammad's successors) did after him. Contemporary scholars declare without any shame that the Muslim's freedom to change his faith is non-existent and is not recognized by Islam.

 

Contemporary Scholars

 The Azhar University in Egypt 

It is well-known that Egypt is the largest Arab/Islamic country in the world. The University of Azhar has been regarded through the years as the Mineret (light) of Islam for the entire Islamic world. The Legislative committee at the Azhar issued "The Bill of Legal Punishments. This book has been sent to all the Mosques in the West accompanied by a descriptive memorandum for these laws. The legislative committee requested Muslims to implement these penalties and comply with Islamic law. This bill was written both in Arabic and in English. It deals with the penalties imposed by Islamic law such as amputation of the thief's hand and the scourging of the wine drinker. However, we would like to deal here with the penalty for the apostate who relinquishes the Islamic faith.

 

Provisions Specific to Apostasy 

The "Bill of Legal Punishments" says (p.12),

"A person guilty of apostasy (man or woman) shall be put to death if repentance is not made within the period allowed which shall not exceed sixty days. Repentance of a person who commits apostasy more than twice shall not be accepted.

"An apostate is that Muslim who has renounced the faith of Islam irrespective of his adoption of another creed.

"The crime of apostasy is committed in the following ways:

  1. making an explicit statement or committing an act definitely indicating renunciation of Islam,
  2. denial of essential tenets of the faith,
  3. bringing into ridicule through word or action, the Gracious Koran."

 On page 30, we find this explanatory note:

"The ordained penalty for apostasy is based on the Sunnahh. The prophet, peace be on him, said, ‘One who changes his faith is to be killed' (al Bukhari). It is also narrated by Al Dar Qutni that when a woman called Umm-Marwan had renounced Islam, the Prophet ordered that if she failed to repent she should be put to death. The rightly guided Caliphs continued this practice. It is fully known that Abu-Bakr the truthful fought against those who had deserted from the religion of Islam and killed many. The Gracious Companions were of the same view, and a consensus emerged on this issue." 

These are the verdicts of the contemporary Azhar scholars. They are the most knowledgeable people in the laws of the Islamic traditions of Muhammad and the actions taken by his successors.

The Scholars of Saudi Arabia 

In one of his speeches which was published by the Tunisian newspapers, the former President of that country assaulted the Qur'an and said it is full of contradictions. He also said that Muhammad was a desert man who wrote myths in the Qur'an. The Saudi scholars wrote a book in which they threatened him. On the cover of the book, the following was printed:

"From the publications of the Islamic League of the Madina Munawwara in Saudi Arabia:

"The Verdict of Islam: ‘To him who alleged that the Qur'an is contradictory and includes some myths, who described the apostle Muhammad to imply that he was inflicted with vices or one who attacked his message...'

 In page 13 of this book, Sheikh 'Abdul-'Aziz, along with all the Sheiks of Saudi Arabia, said:

"The verdict of Islam is to sentence to death anyone who commits such things. Thus the president Abu Ruqayba must haste to repent."

 They assured him (pages 14 and 15) that all Muslim scholars have agreed that anyone who does these things must be killed. They said this is also the opinion of the heads of the four major Islamic schools. The major Islamic schools are the Shafi'i, Malik, Abu Hanifa, and Ahmad. It is well-known that the former president of Tunisia did not change his liberal opinions regarding Muhammad and the Qur'an which he mentioned in his speeches.

It is public knowledge in Tunisia that it is forbidden for a man to marry more than one woman. Thus, Western society should not have been surprised when Khomeini ordered the execution of Rushdie because this is the opinion of all Muslim scholars as well as the heads of the four leading schools.

The Egyptian State Assembly: The Highest Judicial Authority

On August 6, 1977, the most prestigious newspaper in Egypt, al-Ahram, published the following statement:

"The state assembly has approved a bill to enact the penalty for apostasy. The apostate who intentionally relinquishes Islam by explicit declaration or decisive deed must be put to death. Apostasy is established by one confirmation or by the testimony of two men. The apostate is forbidden to administer his properties. He will be given 30 days to repent before the execution of the sentence of death. But if one converted to Christianity was 10-14 years old, he will only be scourged fifty times."

 This law has not been implemented in Egypt up to now. This is because of the objection of some liberal, enlightened writers such as Mustafa Amin who published an article in the Akhbar newspaper during the same month, in which he said,

"We have to think one thousand times before we approve such a law because any divine religion does not need a gallows to protect it. It does not need a sword to cut off the necks of those who disagree with it."

 Mustafa Amin is a very famous person in all the Arab world for his noble character, knowledge, and boldness, but he does not know (or maybe he does know) that the religion of Islam surely does need a gallows to protect it because the law of apostasy is an Islamic law.

The most astonishing part of the statement of the Egyptian state assembly is this: "The apostasy is established by the testimony of two men." Yet it is possible that two Muslim

men may come forward and testify that they heard such-and-such a Christian man saying, "I am converted to Islam and I testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God." They may say that while actually the man has never made that claim. Still, the testimony of the Muslim witness will be accepted. In this case, that poor man has no choice but either to embrace Islam or be put to death.

It is a detestable law which is rejected by the Egyptian government (they do not implement it) though many Muslims in Egypt have already become Christians. This is because the government is a secular government and not an Islamic one, but the government is subject to increasing pressure, day after day, from the terroristic Islamic forces.

What Happens To Muslims in Egypt Who Become Christians

In January of 1986, the Egyptian authorities arrested eight people (males and females) whose ages ranged from 20-30 years. The charge was that they had embraced Christianity several years before. Eight months later, they were released from jail after their story was publicized in many of the Western newspapers and magazines. What is important to us here is that while the eight Christians were in prison, a Muslim leader wrote to the government demanding that they execute them—not just keep them under arrest. On the second of July 1986, "The Islamic Light" newspaper which is published by the Ahrar party (the freemen party), said in an article titled, "Point of Absurdity":

"Two things we find absurd. The first one is that the Egyptian church is demanding their immediate release and has contacted the International Amnesty Committee to convey its indignation for the imprisonment of eight people because of their apostasy from Islam. The second thing which we call absurdity is that the Egyptian government was content to arrest them only. It was supposed to execute Islamic law upon them; namely, death if they do not repent. The government must make this clear to all the world and be proud of this law because it is God's verdict. "

Maybe such a verdict honors this newspaper, but it does not honor the Egyptian government. It does not even honor her

to hold them in jail; that is why she released them.

This is not God's verdict, my friend. God is love and respects man's decisions. God wants to set you free from your delusions in order to bring you to the light of the truth. What really amazes us is the common impression that God is vindictive like the law would imply. What adds to our amazement is that the name of the newspaper is "The Journal of Light" and the name of your party is "The Party of the Freemen." What light and what freedom are these? This Islamic law is a shame!

The United States—Land of Freedom and Human Rights— and the United Nations  

The Muslim Youth in New York publish a weekly Islamic magazine called al-Tahrir ("Liberation"). In its issue of February 5, 1983, the chief editor wrote an article under the title, "The Symptoms of Apostasy in the Islamic Society". On page 15, he said:

"The apostate is not only the person who relinquishes Islam and embraces another religion, but the symptoms of apostasy are many, and those who practice them are regarded as infidels and apostate and deserve to be killed. The symptoms of apostasy are: when the ruler does not govern by God's law (most of the Muslim rulers do that), or when the ruler derides some aspect of the religion or one of the Islamic laws as the ex-president of Egypt, al-Sadat, did when he said that the dress of the Muslim women is like a tent.

"Another symptom of apostasy is that a Muslim believes in the Qur'an only and rejects tradition; namely, the sayings and deeds of Muhammad (the Sunnahh) and attacks the apostle Muhammad by any insult or criticism of the Qur'an. Also among the symptoms of apostasy is the promotion of mottoes which may contradict the Qur'an, such as the mottoes of nationalism, patriotism, and humanism! Anyone who calls for these mottoes is regarded as an infidel and an apostate and deserves to be killed if he does not repent. Also, anyone who believes in Masonianism. "

 We respond by saying that the writer is right according to the Islamic tenets, but what is the view of the American police of these claims and of this newspaper, especially since many Iranians and

Arabs in the U.S. have become Christians and American citizens. They are under the threat of death in accordance with the Islamic law.

 

The Former Scholars

Without exception, all the former scholars agree on depriving any person the right of freedom to change his religion and they call for the death penalty for anyone who does so. I have chosen the most important and famous scholars—those who are acknowledged by all Muslims.

The Imam al-Shafi'i 

In his book, "The Ordinances of the Qur'an" (part 1, p. 289), he remarks:

"If someone becomes a Muslim then apostatizes, he would be asked to repent; if he does not repent, he should be killed."

Al-Shafi'i is one of the four founders of the jurisprudence schools who (the Saudi scholars said) have agreed that the apostate must be put to death.

Ibn Hazm 

In Vol. 4, p. 316 of his volume, "The Sweetened" (Al Muhalla), Ibn Hazm says:

"Any of the infidels who said, ‘There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the apostle of God', he became a Muslim obligated to Islamic laws. If he rejected that later on, he would be subject to death. But if he was one of the people of the Book (namely, from the Jews or Christians), in order to become a Muslim, he must say, ‘I have embraced Islam.' Then he becomes a Muslim obligated to the Islamic laws. If he rejected them, he would be killed."

Ibn Taymiyya 

This famous scholar, who is called Sheikh al-Islam, says under the title of the law pertaining to the apostate,

"The Muslim who does not pray must be ordered to pray; if he refuses to pray, he must be put to death, because he would be an infidel and apostate, according to the scholars and Imams, even if he said that Muhammad is the apostle of God, and even if he was convinced of the purposes of prayers" (Vol. 35, pp. 105-106).

 In Vol. 32, pp. 276 and 279, he addresses this matter, namely, the killing of one who abandoned prayers. Then he speaks to husbands:

"If a wife abstain from praying, she would be asked to repent. The husband may scourge her to repent, otherwise she must be killed."

 It is well-known that the majority of Muslims do not pray the daily five prayers, especially t

he wives who do not have enough time to do so. Thus, in this case, if the husband is a true Muslim, he would beat his wife to force her to pray, and if she declined to obey he must condemn her to death! God, have mercy upon us!

This judgment is not the verdict of Ibn Taymiyya only, but (as he frequently claimed), it is a verdict which all the scholars and Imams recognize. Actually our research has led us to believe Ibn Taymiyya's claim. In part 11, Vol. 8, Ibn Hazm in his book, "al-Muhalla" ("The Sweetened", p. 378), repeats the same words and declares to us that this is also the opinion of the Shafi'i and Malik, both of whom emphasize that the one who abandons prayers and does not repent must be killed. Sahih of Muslim (Vol. 1, p. 267 ) indicates that this is also the view of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib. Yet Abu Hanifa has a slightly different opinion. He says that the one who ignores prayer will not be killed but must be scourged until he repents. If he does not repent, he must be continuously, beaten even if he dies under the punishment.

 

From the Inception of Islam 

Sayings of Muhammad and His Successors

Prophet of Mercy and Freedom 

We have already seen how the scholars of the Azhar based their resolution concerning the death penalty of the apostate on Muhammad's saying: "Who relinquishes his faith, kill him." This is quoted on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas as it is recorded in Sahih of al-Bukhari (part 9, p. 19). Not only al-Bukhari but the following scholars also ascribe this famous statement to Muhammad!

Ibn Hazm, pp. 129 and 401, part 8 Vol. 11

Ibn Hisham, p. 284, part 3, of Muhammad's biography, al rawd al-Anaf.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, p. 45, part 5 of his book Zad al-Ma'ad in which he asserts that Muhammad uttered these words and condemned anyone who relinquished his faith.

Other statements by Muhammad Related to this Issue:  

In a very famous declaration, Muhammad defines three cases in which a Muslim must be killed:

"The blood of the Muslim is not lawful [to be shed] except in three cases: Infidelity after faith, adultery after marriage, and killing a soul without any right."

 What is important to us here is his phrase "Infidelity after faith." If you ask me who claimed that Muhammad said this, I will respond: All former and contemporary scholars, without exception, attest to that.

When 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan, the third caliph and the husband of Ruqayya the daughter of Muhammad, was besieged by some famous Muslim companions of the apostle, he reminded them of Muhammad's sayings and asked them: "For which of these three reasons do you intend to kill me?" and "Am I not the prince of believers?" Yet they killed him. Among those who were involved in his assassination were Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr El Seddik and 'Ammar Ibn Yasir. (Refer to the Chronicle of al-Tabari Vol. 2, p. 669, and all the books of the Islamic history such as the "Chronicle of the Caliphs" by the as-Suyuti and Ibn Kathir).

This statement is also recorded in the following:

Sahih of Muslim Vol. I, p. 267 (the interpretation of Nawawi).

Shafi'i, "The Ordinances of the Qur'an", part 2, p. 46.

Ibn Hazm, part 11, Vol. 8, p. 377 and restated also on p. 400.

The Sheikh Shaltute in his famous book, "Islam: a Dogma and a Law", p. 322.

Dr. Afifi 'Abdul-Fattah, in his widespread book, "The Spirit of the Islamic Religion", p. 408.

It is obvious then, that this statement is well documented and unquestionably ascribed to Muhammad. It is also well-known that the Sahih of al-Bukhari has recorded in part 9, p. 18 that:

"The apostate has to be killed based on God's saying in the Qur'an: ‘And whosoever of you turns from his religion and dies disbelieving..."' (the Chapter of Cow: 217).

Deeds of Muhammad, Prophet of Mercy and Freedom 

The Supreme committee of law in the Azhar mentioned that a woman by the name of Um Mirwan relinquished her Islamic faith. Muhammad ordered her to repent or to be killed. Islamic history books record also that when Muhammad conquered Mecca, he sentenced to death all who apostatized or insulted him (refer to the Chronicles of Tabari, part II, p. 160 and Ibn Hisham part 4, pp. 15, 16 in "The Biography of the Prophet").

Muhammad's Companions and Successors: What Did They Do?  

Mu'adh Ibn Jabal and the Jewish Man  

He was one of Muhammad's greatest companions among the "helpers." Even Muhammad himself said, "Learn (to take) the Qur'an from four (people): Mu'adh Ibn Jabal and ..." (refer to the Bukhari, part 6). The following terrifying incident is recorded in the Sahih of al-Bukhari (part 9, p. 19):

"Mu'adh Ibn Jabal went to visit Abu Musa the governor of Yemen. He offered him a cushion to sit on. A man tied with ropes was there. Mu'adh asked Abu Musa: ‘What is this?' He answered, ‘This man was a Jew, then he was converted to Islam, later he apostatized and turned a Jew again.' Mu'adh said to him: ‘I will never even sit down on a cushion until this man is put to death. (This is) the verdict of God and His apostle.' (The governor) ordered him to be killed. (Only after that) Abu Mu'adh sat."

 Here we see a Jewish man who was converted to Islam and later was convinced that he made a mistake. Thus, he returned to his old faith and was tied with ropes like an animal. Then Mu'adh came in and refused to sit down on a cushion unless this man was put to death immediately; so they executed him. Then, and only then, Mu'az sat, ate and drank with Abu Musa who felt at peace with himself because he believed that he had implemented the command of God and His apostle, Muhammad. His apostle and the lord of the messengers, the prophet of mercy and freedom, said, "Whosoever relinquishes his faith, kill him." 

Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Some Christians 

This brutal man used to burn apostates whether they were alive or dead. He was the cousin of Muhammad and his son-in-law. He was Muhammad's favorite friend and one of the ten to whom Muhammad granted paradise. Muhammad reared him before and after the death of his father and said that Ali was the best one to judge according to Islamic law.

Now let us see what was recorded about Ali Ibn Abi Talib, the fourth Caliph, who is admired by both the Shi'ites and Sunnis. In his eighth volume, part eleven of his book, "The Sweetened", Ibn Hazm says (page 189),

"Ali brought apostates and burned them. When Ibn 'Abas received the news he said: ‘If it were me instead of (him), I would not have burned them but

I would rather have killed them in another way because the apostle of God said: "Whosoever relinquishes his faith, kill him.""'

This same incident is recorded in Sahih of al-Bukhari (part 9, page 19). Ibn Hazm (in the same previous source, p. 190) also relates what 'Ali did to some ex-Muslims who were converted to Christianity. He narrates the following three episodes:

Ibn Hazm says:

"They brought an old man to 'Ali who was originally a Christian, then embraced Islam, and later reconverted to Christianity. 'Ali told him: ‘Maybe you apostatized to Christianity in order to acquire an inheritance, and after that you would come back to Islam.' The (old man) said: ‘No.' 'Ali asked him: ‘Maybe you apostate to Christianity in order to get married to a Christian girl and after that you would return to Islam.' The old man said: ‘No.' 'Ali told him: ‘Then, re-embrace Islam.' The old man said: ‘No, not before I meet Christ.' 'Ali ordered him (to be killed). They beheaded him.

"Another Muslim apostatized and became a Christian. 'Ali ordered him to repent but he refused. 'Ali killed him and did not deliver his corpse to his family. They offered him a lot of money (to do so), but 'Ali refused and burned the corpse.

"Another man from the tribe of bany 'Ijl became a Christian. They brought him to 'Ali chained in irons. 'Ali talked to him for a long time. The man said to him: ‘I know that Isa (Jesus) is the son of God.' Ali stood up and stepped on him. When the people saw that, they, too, stood up and stepped on him. Then 'Ali told them: ‘Kill him.' They killed him. Then 'Ali ordered them to burn him."

For God's sake, 'Ali! Is it because the minds of those men (young and old) have been convinced by Christianity that you ordered them to change their convictions? When they refused to do so you tortured them ... or killed them ... or burned them. 

'Uthman Ibn 'Affan 

He is the third Caliph and the husband of Raqiyya and then om Kalthom, the daughters of Muhammad. He is also one of the ten to whom Muhammad granted paradise. Someone came to 'Uthman and conveyed to him that some people from Iraq had apostatized. 'Uthman wrote to the governor there and ordered him to command them to repent and re-embrace Islam. If they refused to do so, they all were to be killed. Some of them were actually killed because they refused to return to Islam, while others yielded and returned to Islam because of fear (refer to Ibn Hazm, part 11, p. 190). 

Abu Bakr and the Wars of Apostasy 

All the civilized world along with people of free conscience regard these wars as tyrannical, savage and barbaric. Wars which were waged without any justification. The world will always wonder what the crime of these poor Arab tribes was and what they did that made Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, wage such long and brutal wars against them, killing tens of thousands of people. All Muslims are quick to answer that Abu Bakr was carrying out Muhammad's orders, as he himself claimed, because these Arab tribes deserted Islam as soon as Muhammad died. Therefore, the fight with them was inevitable.

Advanced countries and free human beings do not comprehend or accept this answer which ignores the simplest principles of human rights and personal freedom to believe in the religious doctrine of their choice. If the reader were given the opportunity to read any of the Islamic history books, he would discover by himself the outrageous brutality which was committed in these wars. Multitudes were massacred, and the survivors were forced to re-embrace Islam and pay alms to Abu Bakr El Seddik, the father of A'isha wife of Muhammad. Of course, Abu Bakr was the first to whom Muhammad granted paradise. He said about him, "Abu Bakr is the most favorite to me among men, and his daughter A'isha is the most beloved among women."

The wars of apostasy are taught in all the schools of Arab and Islamic countries for all famous Islamic chroniclers such as the Tabari, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Kathir and Suyuti recorded them in detail. In the Chronicles of the Tabari (part 2, pp. 258, 272), we read that Abu Bakr used to tell those whom he sent to fight the apostatized tribes:

"Call them to re-embrace Islam; if they refuse, do not spare any one of them. Burn them with fire and kill them with force and take the women and children as prisoners of war." 

Abu Bakr frequently re-iterated these famous words to Muslim warriors 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab used to tell him that some of the tribes had returned to Islam, but they refused to pay him alms. They said that alms should be paid only to Muhammad, though they were ready to return to Islam. Abu Bakr would respond: "By God, if they refrain from giving me a rope which they used to pay to the apostle of God, I will fight them for refusing" (refer to p. 175 of Vol. I of Sahih of Muslim, interpretation of the Nawawi. Also refer to any book about the wars of the apostasy).

There is a most important contemporary book which was published by the Azhar University, entitled, "The khulafa' al-Rashidun" ("The Rightly Guided Caliphs") by Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi, professor of Islamic civilization at the College of Arabic language . The book was published in 1967. The author presented detailed information about the Wars of Apostasy which covered 20 pages (pp. 41-60). We would like to quote the following here:

"Abu Bakr sent eleven Muslim generals against eleven cities to fight the apostates. Many were forced to re-embrace Islam. Among those countries were Bahrin which was invaded by al-'Ala' Ibn al-Hadrami, and Yemen which was attacked by Suwayd Ibn Maqrin. Kalid Ibn al-Walid went to fight against Tulayha, the tribe of Bany Asad and its neighboring Arab tribes." 

Then, Abu Zayd comments on these wars on page 60:

"The victories gained by Muslims in the wars of apostasy had one very significant result: These victories deterred anyone who intended to apostatize from Islam." 

The point, then, Dr. Shalabi, is that by threat of death, Islam attempted to keep people against their will, in the realm of Islam. Aren't you also ashamed to record in your book, that by means of offensive wars, Islam spread all over the Middle East! Does not that motivate you to re-examine your religion? Your logic is very strange. These wars deterred anyone who intended to relinquish Islam because he would face the same fate which other Arab tribes had faced. Yet the people of Indonesia will not be deterred or intimidated; their civilized government protects them. They come to Christ by the millions and we pray that you, too, will come. 

Ibn Hisham 

Ibn Hisham, in "Muhammad's Biography "(Al-Sirat El Nabawia, part 4, p. 180 ), says:

"When Muhammad died, most Meccans were about to turn away from Islam and wanted to do so. Suhayl Ibn 'Amru stood up and said: 'Anyone who relinquishes Islam, we will cut his head off.' People changed their minds and were afraid."

This was in regard to Meccans, but the majority of the Arab tribes actually turned away from Islam. Abu Bakr fought them. The ruthlessness of Khalid Ibn al-Walid was very apparent. Dr. Abu Zayd said about Khalid Ibn al-Walid that he was the one who gouged out the eyes of apostates.

Still, there are important questions in this regard which beg our attention and they are: Why did the Arabs become apostate after the death of Muhammad? Why did the Meccans intend to turn away from Islam? The familiar answer is that they had embraced Islam under the threat of the sword because Muhammad forced them to choose between Islam or death.

There are two important questions to which a large number of people would like to have answers.

 

The First Question  

How Do Muslims Justify Killing Apostates? 

The assassination of an apostate (one who turns away from his faith) is considered to be a breach of freedom of religious belief as well as an obvious contradiction of the International Declaration of Human Rights (item 18) which most of the Arab countries have signed. What do contemporary Muslim scholars say about this serious matter?

The scholars of Kuwait and Qatar dealt with this question. The weekly Kuwaiti Magazine, "The Islamic Society" in its issue of April 17,1984, p. 26 said:

"Somebody may say: ‘Do you want to deny freedom to people?' We say to him: ‘If what is meant by freedom is to disbelieve in God's religion, or the freedom of infidelity and apostasy, then that freedom is abolished and we do not recognize it; we even call for its eradication, and we strive to oppress it. We declare that publicly and in daylight"' (Quoted from Dr. Taha Jabir's article). 

Then Dr. Jabir goes on to explain that Islam does not acknowledge this sort of freedom at all; namely, the freedom of apostasy. He then begins (on page 26) to criticize Islamic governments which allow the media means to make apostasy easier, to regard it as a personal right to anyone who seeks it.

The International Declaration of Human Rights 

In order to understand the response of Islam to this declaration, let us go to another Arab Islamic country. Dr. Ahmad from Qatar has a response to this declaration. Dr. Ahmad is a contemporary Muslim scholar and a reputed professor of Islamic law at the University of Qatar. In 1981, he published a famous book under the title, "Individual Guarantees in Islamic Law". If we turn to pages 15 and 16 of this book, we find him saying:

"Item 18 of the International Declaration of Human Rights states that each individual has the full right to change his faith or to relinquish it as he wishes in order to protect the freedom of thought and the freedom of belief. We wonder if this freedom of changing one's faith would be conducive to harm him along with others? Or even if the purpose of changing the faith is to sow the seeds of riots and spread viciousness in the land or to waver the faith from the hearts of others?"

 What did you mean, Dr. Ahmad, when you said: "Even if changing one's faith would be conducive to harm one's self?" Is this your personal point of view or is it the point of view of the person himself? Why do you impose your personal point of view on all people—because you think that it is a sound view? You believe that relinquishing Islam causes harm to the person who does it, but this is your own conviction. What if somebody else believes differently and is convinced that to continue as a Muslim will bring him harm? If for his own welfare, he wants to be converted to Christianity and to believe in the One who died for him so that he may live a life of peace, joy, love and holiness, why do you come to that person and tell him, "We forbid you! We do not grant you the freedom to change your faith. If you do that, we will kill you lest you harm yourself!"

Maybe it was for this reason that Muhammad, Ali and 'Uthman killed the apostates and Abu Bakr fought those who turned away from Islam, killing tens of thousands ... "lest they harm themselves" !

In regard to your statement that the one who relinquishes his faith will shake faith in the hearts of others: this has nothing to do with his conviction. It is their problem with their own creed and not with him. He is seeking his own spiritual welfare and is persuaded to embrace another religion. Maybe it is better for those people to doubt their faith or even to have it uprooted from their hearts, because it may be a mere fruitless illusion which would lead to destruction.

There is something called human rights, Dr. Ahmad. That is, a man has the right to be freely and intellectually convinced to embrace the creeds he wants and to worship God according to his own persuasion. The civilized countries as well as the United Nations have acknowledged that, ignoring of course, the command of your prophet: "Whoever changes his faith, kill him!"

You said that the apostate spreads viciousness in the land. Does the one who is converted to the Christianity with its noble spiritual principles included in the Gospel spread corruption on earth, or is it the one who holds to Islam that kills those who change their faith? Christianity is clearly manifest in the Gospel. It calls us to worship the one God and it emphasizes love—even for our enemies. It calls for a life of holiness and peace.

 

The Second Question 

How Can Muslims Deny the Compulsion of Force? 

Most often Muslims who really desire to know the truth and who believe that their faith respects man's freedom, cite the Qur'anic phrase, "There is no compulsion in faith" as an evidence to their claim. Those people do not know its meaning as it was interpreted by the Muslim scholars. We have already seen that Islam states that the apostate must be killed, but in order to understand the meaning of "There is no compulsion in faith," refer to the answers of the contemporary and former scholars of Islam.

 

The Sheikh Muhammad Mutawilli al-Sha'rawi  

He is one of the most famous contemporary scholars in Egypt. Millions of people in the Islamic world watch his television programs as he constantly attacks Christianity. He claims that Christians are infidels, and he stirs Muslims in Egypt to attack Christian churches, burn them and kill the infidels. Local Egyptian newspapers and magazines report this, too. I have not met this man nor have I watched his program, but I have read all of his books. In one of his famous books, "You Ask and Islam Answers", I found the following (page 52 of part 2):

"Some ask: How does Islam say that there is no compulsion in faith, and yet it commands the killing of the apostate? We say to them: You are free to believe or not to believe, but once you embrace the faith you are not free (anymore) and you should be bound to Islam otherwise you will suffer punishment and the restrictions, among them is the killing of the apostate; that is, there is no compulsion in embracing the faith but, if you do, you are not free to relinquish it."

 Sha'rawi's statement is in full conformity with the law of killing the apostate. It acknowledges the law and validates it. In his interpretation of this verse, Ibn Hazm, al-Baydawi agrees fully with the Sha'rawi. A man (be he a Christian or a Jew) is free to believe or disbelieve; that is, he has the option either to accept Islam or to pay the poll tax. If he is not religious, he is not free to choose another religion, but must become a Muslim. Ibn Hazm remarks that:

"It was truly related to us that Muhammad used to force the Arab pagans to embrace the faith. He used to give them the option either to accept Islam or death. That is forcing people to accept Islam (refer to Vol. 8, part 11, p. 196, "The Sweetened" Al Mohalla)."

What is of greatest significance to us in the Sha'rawi's claim is that whoever believes in Islam does not have freedom to relinquish it, otherwise he must be put to death.

Chapter Two

 Offensive War to Spread Islam 

Muhammad and his successors initiated offensive wars against peaceful countries in order to impose Islam by force as well as to seize the abundance of these lands. Their objective was to capture women and children and to put an end to the poverty and hunger from which Arab Muslims suffered. So, Islam was imposed upon Syria, Jordan, Palestine (Jerusalem), Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Iran, all of North Africa, some parts of India and China, and later Spain.

Undoubtedly, the concept of an offensive war to spread the faith is a genuine Islamic concept; it is known as a Holy War for the sake of God. We will see what Muslim scholars have explicitly determined that this is the essence of Islam. They also indicate that if sufficient military power is available to Islamic countries, they ought to attack all other countries in order to force them to embrace Islam, or pay the poll tax and be subject to Islamic rule. Muhammad (as well as all the Caliphs who succeeded him) called for holy wars . All scholars and lawyers acknowledge that.

Those who say that the Islamic wars were always defensive do not understand Islam and have not read sufficient history. It should be evident that offensive wars to spread Islam are the heart of the entire religion of Islam. They embody the meaning of "Striving for the cause of God"—holy war to make the Word of God supreme over the whole world. Our study will be filled with objective quotes from the statements of scholars, along with a throng of true stories.

 

The Sayings and Deeds of Muhammad and His Companions 

One of Muhammad’s popular claims is that God commanded him to fight people until they become Muslims and carry out the ordinances of Islam. All Muslim scholars without exception agree on this. Muhammad said:

"I have been ordered by God to fight with people till they bear testimony to the fact that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his messenger, and that they establish prayer and pay Zakat (money). If they do it, their blood and their property are safe from me" (see Bukhari Vol. I, p. 13).

 Scholars understood this claim to mean the waging of offensive wars against unbelievers in order to force them to embrace Islam as individuals or communities. This is exactly what Muhammad himself did in carrying out God’s commandment to him.

 

Azhar’s Scholars in Egypt 

In his book, "Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography", the Azhar scholar, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti says the following (page 134, 7th edition):

"The Holy War, as it is known in Islamic Jurisprudence, is basically an offensive war. This is the duty of Muslims in every age when the needed military power becomes available to them. This is the phase in which the meaning of Holy War has taken its final form. Thus the apostle of God said: ‘I was commanded to fight the people until they believe in God and his message ..."’

 Dr. Buti deduces from Muhammad’s statement that this is the concept of offensive war—this is Holy War as it is known in Islamic jurisprudence. Notice by his statement also that this matter is a duty incumbent on every Muslim in every age. The time will come when East and West, as well as politicians and military personnel all over the world will realize that the real military danger is the Islamic community. When the needed military power becomes available to them, they will wage wars and invade other countries !

Saudi Scholars In his book, "The Method of Islamic Law", Dr. Muhammad al-Amin clearly indicates:

"No infidel [unbeliever] should be left on his land as it is denoted from Muhammad’s statement: ‘I was commanded to fight the people ’"

This claim by Muhammad and its generally-accepted meaning are recorded not only by these contemporary scholars in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but are also quoted in the following sources:

The Sahih of al-Bukhari, part I, p. 13.

The Sahih of Muslim, part I, p. 267 (The Interpretation of the Nawawi).

The Commentary of Ibn Kathir, p. 336

The Muhalla (the Sweetened), Vol. 4, p. 317

"The Ordinances of the Qur’an" by al-Shafi’i, p. 51, part II (on the authority of Abu Huraira).

Mishkat of al-Masabih, part 1, p. 9.

 Almost all major Islamic references have quoted this statement because it is one of the most famous sayings of Muhammad which he followed and which he commanded his followers to implement.

Many provocative and painful events were inflicted on individuals and tribes in the course of Muhammad’s life. Muhammad, as we will see, used to exhort his followers:

"Invitation first (that is, call them first to embrace Islam). If they refuse, then war."

In other words, he told his followers not to kill anybody unless you first invite him to embrace Islam. Only if he rejects it, must he be killed. This is evident in the story of Abu Sufyan:

When Muhammad and his followers were about to attack Mecca to subjugate it to Islam, his adherents arrested Abu Sufyan, one of Mecca’s inhabitants. They brought him to Muhammad. Muhammad told him: "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to realize that there is no God but the only God?" Abu Sufyan answered: "I do believe that." Muhammad then said to him: "Woe to you, O Abu Sufyan. Is it not time for you to know that I am the apostle of God?" Abu Sufyan answered: "By God, O Muhammad, of this there is doubt in my soul." The ’Abbas who was present with Muhammad told Abu Sufyan: "Woe to you! Accept Islam and testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God before your neck is cut off by the sword." Thus he professed the faith of Islam and became a Muslim.

There are many sources which record this story:

Ibn Hisham, part 4, p. 11 ("Biography of the Prophet’)

"The Chronicle of the Tabari", part 2, p. 157

Ibn Kathir, "The Prophetic Biography", part 3, p. 549, and "The Beginning and the End"

Ibn Khaldun, the rest of part 2, p. 43 and on

Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Vol. 3. p. 18

Al Road Al Anf, part 4, p. 90, by Al Sohaily

It is also mentioned and attested to by contemporary scholars such as Dr. Buti in his book, "The Jurisprudence of Muhammad’s Biography", p. 277. He repeated it on page 287 because such stories incite the admiration of the Buti and bring him joy. Yet Dr. Buti feels that some people will protest, especially liberals and the civilized international society, who believe that faith in a certain creed ought not to be imposed by the threat of death. Therefore, he said (p. 287) the following:

"It may be said, ‘What is the value of a faith in Islam which is a result of a threat? Abu Sufyan, one moment ago, was not a believer, then he believed after he was threatened by death.’ We say to those who question: ‘What is required of an infidel or the one who confuses other gods with God, is to have his tongue surrender to the religion of God and to subdue himself to the prophethood of Muhammad. But his heartfelt faith is not required at the beginning. It will come later."’

This is God in Islam, my dear friends—a God who is satisfied with the testimony of the tongue of a person who is under the threat of death. But "the heartfelt faith" will come later! The important thing is to increase the number of Muslims either by threat or by propagation!

Dr. Buti was more than frank, and we would like to thank him for that, yet we would like to tell him that Christianity rejects the testimony of the mouth if it does not stem from faith that is rooted in the heart first. In Christianity, a person has sufficient time to think quietly before he makes his decision, as the Gospel says:

"Let each be fully convinced in his own mind" (Rom. 14:5).

God reveals His attitude in the Bible when He says:

"My son, give me your heart" (Prov. 23:26).

When the Ethiopian eunuch expressed his desire to be baptized, the evangelist Philip told him:

"If you believe with all your heart, you may" (Acts 8:37).

God even rebukes the people of Israel and says:

"These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me" (Isa. 29:13).

The story of Abu Sufyan reveals clearly that Muhammad does not care much about the faith of the heart, especially at the beginning, as Dr. Buti suggests. What is really important is that professing faith is a natural response to the threat of death. The threat is very clear: Testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God or you will be beheaded. The story concludes: Abu Sufyan professed the testimony of "truth" immediately!

In his book, "The Biography of the Apostle", part 4, Ibn Hisham says (page 134):

"Muhammad sent Khalid Ibn al-Walid to the tribe of the children of Haritha and told him: ‘Call them to accept Islam before you fight with them. If they respond, accept that from them, but if they refuse, fight them.’ Khalid told them: ‘Accept Islam and spare your life.’ They entered Islam by force. He brought them to Muhammad. Muhammad said to them: ‘Had you not accepted Islam I would have cast your heads under your feet"’ (refer to page 134, and also see Al Road Al Anf, part 4, pp. 217, 218. You will find the same incident).

We see in this story the main Islamic concept: First, an invitation to accept Islam, then war against those who refuse to do so. This was Muhammad’s order to Khalid Ibn al-Walid. It is also noteworthy to examine Ibn Hisham’s statement that "they entered Islam by force." Muhammad himself told them later: "Had you rejected Islam, I would have beheaded you and cast your heads under your feet." This was an undisputed threat: Either they accepted Islam or they would have been beheaded.

The brutal irony is that he uttered these words with ruthlessness and relentlessness instead of congratulating them on their new faith! What a strange man who failed to show any love or genuine compassion. His act was an act of a first-class terrorist. He did not congratulate them because he knew that they entered Islam by force. Is this man really the prophet of freedom, compassion, and human rights? Listen carefully! These oppressive attitudes and actions are as clear as the sun on a bright summer day. Muhammad’s words are self-explanatory:

"Had you not accepted Islam I would have beheaded you and cast your heads under your feet!"

What human rights! What compassionate, kind, meek and noble characters! Undoubtedly, this alone is enough to uncover the dreadful dark side of Muhammad’s character and his religion.

Azhar scholar Dr. Buti adds on p. 263 of his book:

"The apostle of God started to send military detachments from among his followers to the various Arab tribes which were scattered in the Arab Peninsula to carry out the task of calling (these tribes) to accept Islam If they did not respond, they would kill them. That was during the 7th Higira year. The number of the detachments amounted to ten."

Would God’s help be sought, Oh Muhammad, to fight peaceful tribes whose only crime was that they could not believe that you are an apostle of God? Satan (not God) assists wicked people to commit these things!

No wonder all these tribes so quickly became apostate and relinquished Islam after the death of Muhammad. Abu Bakr Al Sadiq waged the aforementioned wars to force them to re-embrace Islam. Dr. Buti states this in chapter six of his book, under the title, "New Phase of the Mission". He quotes a statement made by Muhammad which proves that those wars were offensive wars. Muhammad said, "From now on, they will not invade you, but you will invade them."

Now let us see what Muhammad’s followers did who implemented the same principle:

 

Ali Ibn Abi Talib

In his book, "The Biography of the Prophet" (part 3, p. 113), Ibn Hisham relates this episode:

"Ali Ibn Abi Talib encountered a man called ’Umru and told him, ‘I indeed invite you to Islam.’ ’Umru said, ‘I do not need that.’ ’Ali said, ‘Then I call you to fight.’ (This was the same policy Muhammad used with those who rejected his invitation.) ’Umru answered him, ‘What for my nephew? By God, I do not like to kill you.’ ’Ali said, ‘But, by God, I love to kill you"’ (see Al Road Al Anf part 3, p. 263).

It is obvious from the dialogue that ’Umru does not like fighting because he does not want to kill ’Ali while he is defending himself. He wonders, "What for? I do not want to embrace Islam." But ’Ali says to him, "By God I love to kill you," and he did kill him.

We would like to conclude these stories by relating another moving episode which the Muslim Chroniclers recorded, among them, Isma’il Ibn Kathir in his book, "The Prophetic Biography" (part 3, p. 596). Ibn Kathir says that Muhammad’s followers met a man and asked him to become a Muslim. He asked them, "What is Islam?" They explained that to him. He said, "What if I refuse it? What would you do to me?" They answered, "We would kill you." Despite that, he refused to become a Muslim and they killed the poor man after he went and bade his wife farewell. She continued to weep over his corpse for days until she died of grief over her slain beloved who was killed for no reason.

 

Dr. ’Afifi Abdul-Fattah 

On the cover of his famous book, "The Spirit of Islamic Religion," which was reprinted more than nine times, it says the following, "It has been revised by the committee of Azhar scholars with introductions made by the greatest Muslim professors and judges of Islamic legal courts."

On page 382 Dr. ’Afifi says:

"Islam has approved war so that the Word of God becomes supreme. This is war for the cause of God (Holy War). Muhammad, therefore, sent his ambassadors to eight kings and princes in the neighborhood of the Arab Peninsula to call them to embrace Islam. They rejected his call. Thus, it became incumbent on the Muslims to fight them."

On page 384, we read the following:

"Islamic law demands that before Muslims start fighting infidels (unbelievers), they first deliver the message of Islam to them. It was proven that the prophet never fought people before he called them to embrace Islam first. He used to command his generals to do so also."

Dr. ’Afifi (along with the Azhar scholars who revised his book) boasts that the prophet never fought anybody before he called them to Islam first! Those people fail to realize that human rights emphasize that when you call people to embrace any religion and they refuse to do so, you must leave them alone! You are not to fight them in order to force them to accept the new religion as Muhammad and his followers did.

We did not say that Muhammad did not call them to believe in Islam first. We acknowledge that, but we blame him because whenever they rejected his invitation, he fought and killed them Are these the human rights? Don’t you understand, Dr. ’Afifi? Do Muhammad’s teachings make you so blind that you fail to see the simplest principles of human rights? Do you not respect man’s freedom to believe in whatever he wants? Muhammad had the right to call people to embrace Islam and to commission Khalid along with his followers to carry out this task; but he did not have the right to kill them if they refused to accept Islam.

Dr. ’Afifi says that eight kings and princes declined to accept Muhammad’s mission; thus it was incumbent on the Muslims to fight them. We ask him: Why it was incumbent on them to fight those kings and princes? Is their refusal to accept Islam a reason for the Muslims to fight them? "Yes!" This is what all Muslim scholars say, without exception.

Let the people of the West and of the East ponder these events which took place in the course of Islamic history and during the life of Muhammad and after his death. Beware, nations of the world, for any strong Islamic country would implement the same policy of war to obey God’s order and his messenger! !

 

The Saudi Scholars 

In his book, "The Methodology of Islamic Law", Dr. Muhammad al-Amin says (page 17):

"God had made it clear to us that (we should) call for acceptance of Islam first, then wage war. It is not admissible to wage war before extending the invitation to embrace Islam first, as the Qur’an says. ‘We verily sent our messenger with clear proofs and revealed to them the scripture and the balance, that mankind may observe right measure, and he revealed iron, wherein is mighty power and uses for mankind and that Allah (God) may know him who helps Him and his messengers—Allah is strong, Almighty"’ (Surah Iron 57:25).

Thus, God’s words are, "We sent down iron, which has powerful might", followed His saying, "We have sent our apostles with signs." This denotes that if the signs and books fail, then unleash the sword against them, as the Muslim poet said, "The Book (Qur’an) offers guidance, and he who does not turn away (from evil) by the guidance of the book, He will be kept straight by the squadrons."

The reader may be confused and want to inquire about Muhammad’s policy in spreading his mission. They may question his orders to his generals and his explicit attitude towards Abu Sufyan and say, "These attitudes prove to us that Islam forces people to accept it. The case is not limited to ignoring people’s freedom and confiscating their properties only or sentencing the apostate to death, but it also calls for slaying whoever rejects Islam. What is the opinion of the scholar about that? Is force used as compulsion in accepting this religion?"

The Muslim scholars say, "Yes." There is compulsion used in accepting Islam, but this applies only to pagans and those who are irreligious. For Christians and Jews, the orders are to fight them and subject them to the ordinances of Islam, making them pay a poll-tax. In this case, they are spared death and are allowed to keep their faith. They are not forced to embrace Islam because they have three options—become Muslims, fight, or pay the poll-tax. The irreligious have two options only: death or Islam. This is what the Muslim scholars say, and the Qur’an itself teaches the same.

 

Ibn Hazm and al-Baydawi 

In volume 8, part 11, on page 196 Ibn Hazm remarks decisively,

"The prophet Muhammad did not accept from the Arab heathens less than Islam or the sword. This is compulsion of faith. No compulsion in faith (or religion) applies only to Christians or Jews because they are not to be forced to embrace the religion. They have the option either to embrace Islam, the sword, or to pay the poll-tax. In this case they can keep their own faith. It was truly said on the authority of the apostle of God that there is no compulsion in the faith.

"When the sacred months elapse, kill those who associate other gods with God, wherever you find them" (Surah 9:5).

The Imam al-Baydawi offers us (page 58 of his commentary) exactly the same interpretation.

 

Abu Bakr El Sadiq 

In Al Road Al Anf (part 4, p. 240), Ibn Hisham indicates that Abu Bakr (the daily companion of Muhammad and among the first who believed in him) used to converse with Ibn Abu Rafi al-Ta’i and to say to him:

"God—to whom belong the might and exaltation—has sent Muhammad with this religion for which he fought until people entered this religion by hook or by crook."

 This phrase, I believe, is self-explanatory—"by crook" !

 

The Imam al-Shafi’i 

In his famous book, "The Ordinances of Qur’an" (page 50 of the second part), the Shafi’i says:

"The apostle of God defeated the people until they entered Islam by hook or by crook."

Again we have this clear declaration—"by crook". This is what actually happened.

 

The Qur’an Exposes the Aggressive Nature of Islam 

The Qur’anic verses reveal to us the aggressive, hostile nature of the Islamic mission and of Muhammad. The Qur’an includes verses pertaining to fighting against infidels, as well as other verses related to Holy War against Christians and Jews.

Pertaining to the Infidels

  "But when the sacred months elapse, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them and seize them, besiege them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent and establish regular prayers, and practice regular charity, then open the way for them for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful" (Surah 9:5).

 How did Muslim scholars and chroniclers interpret this verse in order to understand what Muhammad did after the conquest of Mecca and its occupation?

The Jalalan

In this commentary, which was published by the Azhar in 1983 (page 153), the authors say decisively,

"The chapter of Repentance was revealed to raise the level of security which the infidels enjoyed because Muhammad had earlier made a covenant with them not to kill them. After that, this verse was given (9:5) in order to free God and Muhammad from any covenant with the infidels. It gives them four months in which they will be protected, but by the end of the four months (the end of the grace period), the order comes: Kill the infidels wherever you find them. Capture them, besiege them in their castles and fortresses until they are forced to accept Islam or be killed."

 As you see, this verse was inspired in order to free Muhammad (and God) from any peaceful and protective covenant which Muhammad made with the people of Mecca, as if the covenant were shameful behavior from which Muhammad (and his God) must free themselves. Nothing remains after that, except the pledge of war and massacre, as Ibn Hisham says later.

 

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. 

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya’s book was published in Saudi Arabia (second edition) in 1981. In part 5, p. 90, this famous scholar tells us the following:

"When the prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina, God ordered him to fight those who fought him only. Then when the chapter of Repentance was revealed, God commanded His prophet to fight anyone who did not become a Muslim from among the Arabs, whether (that person) fought him or not. He did not command him to take the poll-tax from infidels."

 This means that Arabs did not have a choice. They either had to embrace Islam or die by the sword. It is obvious then that God (according to the above interpretation) had ordered His prophet to fight anyone from among the Arabs who refused to become a Muslim whether he fought against Muhammad or not. This is overt aggression and unjustified attack against peaceful people.

 

Ibn Hisham: - Al Sohaily 

In his book, "al-Rawd al-Anaf" which is the most famous book about Muhammad’s life (part 4, p. 194), we read the following text:

"When Muhammad conquered Mecca and the Arabs realized that they were not able to wage war against Muhammad, they accepted the Islamic faith. But some of the infidels continued to be as they were. (They used to make pilgrimages also because this practice was in vogue among the people hundreds of years before Muhammad). Then suddenly Muhammad sent someone to announce to the Tribe of Quraysh that no pilgrimage would be allowed for the infidels after that year (9H); none would enter paradise unless he were a Muslim. Muhammad was going to give the infidels a respite for four months, and after that there would not be a covenant except the covenant of the sword and war (lit: piercing and the strike of the sword). After this period, people entered Islam by hook or by crook, and anyone who did not become a Muslim fled the Arabian Peninsula."

 Ibn Hisham already quoted Muhammad’s famous words: 

"No two religions are to exist in the Arab Peninsula" (pp. 50, 51).

 

Ibn Kathir, Al-Baydawi-al-Tabari (The Pillars of Islam) 

Isma’il Ibn Kathir reiterates the above interpretation on page 336 of his commentary. He also asserts that this verse (9:5) is the verse of the sword which abrogated any previous covenant between the prophet and the infidels. On pp. 246 and 247, the Baydawi borrows Ibn Kathir’s explanation and indicates to us the four months which were Shawal, Dhu al-Qu’da, Dhu al-Hijja and Muharram. The Baydawi adds that after the elapse of these four months, the infidels must be taken as prisoners lest they enter Mecca. In this case, they don’t have any choice except either to embrace Islam or to be killed. Al Tabari said the same words and the same explanation on p. 206, 207 of his commentary dar-el-Sheroq.

 

Dr. Muhammad Sa’id al-Buti 

We would like to conclude our discussion about this verse by referring to the opinion of one of the most eminent scholars of Azhar and the Islamic world. In his book, "The Jurisprudence of the Biography", he says,

"The verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that Holy War which is demanded in Islamic law, is not defensive war (as the Western students of Islam would like to tell us) because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all Holy wars" (pp. 323, 324).

 Dr. Sa’id, I wish that Westerners would actually believe your statement! I wish that Western people would drop any notion that Holy war is a defensive war! You really astonish me, though, because you regard the offensive war designed to spread the faith to be legal as if you had never heard of an agency in New York called the United Nations or of human rights. You even say that offensive war is "the apex and the most honorable Holy War" among all wars!

 

Pertaining to the People of the Book 

Explicitly and shamelessly, the Qur’an declares (Chapter of Repentance, 9:29),

"Fight against those who have been given the scripture but believe not in Allah nor the last day, and who forbid not that which Allah has forbidden by His messenger, and who follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute willingly, being brought into submission" (p. 182, English copy by Saudi Arabian scholars).

 Muslim scholars have agreed on the interpretation of this transparent verse by which all the Muslim warriors were guided in their offensive, violent wars against peaceful people.

 

The Baydawi  

In his book, "The Lights of Revelation", a commentary on the Qur’an, he remarks,

"Fight Jews and Christians because they violated the origin of their faith and they do not believe in the religion of the truth, namely Islam, which abrogated all other religions. Fight them until they pay the poll-tax with submission and humiliation" (page 252).

The Tabari 

On page 210, the Tabari declares in his commentary that this verse is referring in particular to the people of the Book and has direct relation to the preceding verse (9:28). He said that the reason for the revelation of this verse (9:29) was that God had prohibited infidels from coming to the mosque for pilgrimage any more. They used to come with food and to trade. Muslims said, "Then, where we can get food?" They were afraid of poverty; thus God gave this verse so that they could collect money (the poll-tax)from the people of the Book.

This same interpretation is also found in the "Biography of the Apostle" by Ibn Hisham (p. 104 in part 4), and in the Jalalan. The rest of the scholars agree upon this interpretation. I would like to quote here the text of the two verses (9:28-29) because they really complement each other. The Qur’an says:

"O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean, so let them not approach the sacred Mosque after this year, and if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you (if He wills) out of His bounty for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise ... fight against the people of the Book ...." (to the end of verse 29).

 The Tabari adds:

"The meaning of the Qur’anic statement: ‘... until they pay the poll-tax with submission and humiliation’ (literally: to pay by hand and with forced submission) is that the Muslim will receive the tax imposed on Christians and Jews while he is sitting and they are standing. He will take it from their own hands since the Christian or the Jew should not send the money with a messenger but come himself and stand to pay it to the Muslim who will be sitting. The saying, ‘with forced submission’, also means with humiliation" (page 210).

The Jalalan (Al Suyti and ’Al Mahally)

On page 156, we find the same words and interpretation stated by the Tabari. Then he adds:

"The order to fight the people of the Book is because they do not prohibit what the apostle had forbidden such as wine."

 Then he explains the humiliating procedure by which Christians have to pay the poll-tax—exactly as the Tabari described it.

 

Ibn Hisham Al Sohaily 

In his book, "The Biography of the Apostle" (Al Road Al Anf, part 4, p. 201), Ibn Hisham repeats the above-mentioned quotation and adds,

"The poll-tax is to be paid by the Christian or the Jew forcibly and submissively. It is to spare their lives; that is, they pay it in lieu of being killed because if they did not pay it, they would be killed unless they intended to become Muslims, then they would be exempted from paying it."

The Shafi’i:

Lastly, we would like to refer to the Shafi’i’s statement in his book, "The Ordinances of the Qur’an" (part 2, p. 50),

"The apostle of God killed and captured (many) of the people of the Book until some of them embraced Islam, and he imposed the poll-tax on some others."

For God’s sake, Muhammad! You killed and captured Jews and Christians, who believe in one God—the followers of Moses and Jesus—and forced them either to embrace Islam or to pay the poll-tax!

In the same book and part, the Shafi’i summarizes the entire situation, whether in relation to infidels or to the people of the Book. He says,

"From idolaters and those who associate other gods with God, the poll-tax is not to be accepted. Either they believe in Islam or be killed, but the people of the Book can pay the poll-tax with submission and humiliation whether they are Arabs or non-Arabs" (pp. 52,53).

The Shafi’i adds in the same source (pp. 62-64) saying,

"When the people of Islam became strong enough, God revealed the chapter of Repentance and ordained the fight against the people of the book until they pay the poll-tax."

If the reader wonders why, I would remind him of what the Tabari and Ibn Hisham said—Muslims were afraid of poverty and they wanted to acquire properties and bounties. Thus the Qur’an explained, "If you fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you if He wills, out of His bounty...Fight... the people of the Book... until they pay the poll-tax."

Isn’t this the same as crimes committed by bandits and pirates? Yet, this is exactly what Muhammad used to do. On various occasions, Muhammad himself attacked the caravans (or he would order his followers to do so) to plunder them.

In short, Islamic law calls for the death penalty for apostates and forces peaceful infidels (unbelievers)either to accept Islam or be killed. If they are the people of the Book, they have a choice either to be killed, to become Muslims, or to pay the poll-tax in humiliation.

Where are human rights? Where is respect for the individual’s freedom to choose the faith he wants?

 

Contemporary Muslim Scholars Concur on the Principle of Offensive War 

In addition to the foregoing quotations, I would like to add some statements which may have more bearing for international readers. I will include many other declarations quoted from publications of the Liberation Party in Jerusalem as made by another Muslim scholar.

"The Jurisprudence of the Biography" by al-Buti (7th ed.) published by the Azhar in Egypt

 This book was revised by Al Azhar, so it is accepted by all Muslims and is well-known all over the Islamic world. It deals with Muhammad’s biography, interprets it and comments on the most famous events of his life. The author states (page 324) that the offensive war is legal. He literally uses these words,

"The concept of Holy War in Islam does not take into consideration whether (the war is) a defensive or an offensive war. Its goal is the exaltation of the Word of God and the construction of Islamic society and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth regardless of the means. The means would be offensive warfare. In this case it is the apex, the most noble Holy War. It is legal to carry on a Holy War."

The implications are plain enough—there is no need for comment. Then he adds on p. 242,

"Defensive warfare in Islam is nothing but a phase of the Islamic mission which the prophet practiced. After that, it was followed by another phase; that is, calling all people to embrace Islam so that nothing less would be acceptable from atheists and those who associate other deities with God than that they embrace Islam. Also, nothing would be acceptable from the people of the Book except conversion to Islam or being subjugated to Muslim rule. In addition, there is the command to fight anyone who attempts to stand in its way. Now, after the domination of Islamic rule is in place, and its mission complete, it is meaningless (in regard to Holy War) to (talk about) defensive wars, as some of the researchers do. Otherwise, what does Muhammad’s statement mean (as it is related by the Bukhari), ‘They would not invade you, but you invade them ’?"

It is obvious that defensive warfare was a temporary phase in Muhammad’s strategy. After that, a second phase followed which was offensive war, a legal tool for holy war. In this phase, people were not left to enjoy their status quo, but were invaded and they suffered the horrors of the war, though they did not attempt to start a war or to invade the Muslims. It is as Muhammad said: "They will not invade you, but you are those who will invade them." Why? Is it an order to impose Islam on infidels or to kill them? Or (as is the case with the people of the Book) are they either to accept Islam, fight a war, or surrender and pay the poll-tax with humiliation?

This is an explicit declaration and Dr. Buti does not hide the truth. To the contrary, he boasts of it and asserts that it is wrong to regard Islamic wars as defensive wars. He insists that this is a false concept which some researchers have reiterated along with Western nations in order to halt the Islamic march.

Let the entire world listen to the opinion of one of the most famous Muslim scholars from the Azhar University as he demands the resumption of war to conquer the world. He says (pages 265 and 266),

"The concept by which the mission directed itself from the beginning of Muhammad’s migration to Medina to the Hudaybiyya treaty, was simply a defensive phase of the plan. During this stage, the prophet did not initiate an attack or start an invasion, but after the treaty of Hudaybiyya, the prophet intended to enter a new, essential phase in accordance with Islamic law. This was the phase of fighting those who heard the message but arrogantly rejected it. This phase, by the act of Muhammad and his word, has become a legal decree, according to Muslims in every age until the day of resurrection!"

I wonder, "Why should Muhammad fight them? Is it because they rejected his faith that he should fight with them?" The Azhari scholar answers, "Yes, because they arrogantly refused to believe in him, so he added that this new stage of war; that is, the phase of fighting unbelievers. This came after the completion of the defensive period which followed the treaty of Hudaybiyya. It has become (according to Muslims) legal in every age until the day of resurrection."

Dr. Buti continues:

"...This is the concept which professional experts of thought attempt to conceal from the eyes of Muslims by claiming that anything that is related to a holy war in Islamic law is only based on defensive warfare to repel an attack" (page 266).

Many have thought as much, but it is obvious from this statement that defensive warfare is an attempt made by Western thinkers to hide from the eyes of Muslims the reality of offensive warfare. If we wonder why Western thinkers do that, Dr. Buti answers this question on the same page 266 saying,

"It is no secret that the reason behind this deception is the great fear which dominates foreign countries (East and West alike) that the idea of Holy War for the cause of God would be revived in the hearts of Muslims, then certainly, the collapse of European culture will be accomplished. The mind set of the European man has matured to embrace Islam as soon as he hears an honest message presented. How much more will it be accepted if this message is followed by a Holy War?"

Have European, American and Eastern people—as well as the governments of the World—read these obvious words? We have been led to believe that Muhammad and his followers only waged defensive wars. Yet here they declare that defensive warfare was a temporary strategy at the beginning of Islam. Six years after Muhammad’s departure from Mecca to

Medina, a new phase has begun; namely, offensive warfare. Muslims are concerned that the popular notion that Islamic wars were nothing more than defensive wars is a deception invented by the people of the West to divert Muslims away from allowing the dream of Holy War to be revived in their hearts. The West is afraid that the Islamic dream would set off a holy, offensive war in order to establish God’s state on Earth (an Islamic government) and to make God’s word supreme. Then Western civilization would collapse.

There is no need to comment further on these statements, but I would like to tell Dr. Buti something: If the mind set of the European man is potentially ready to embrace Islam, it is because he is not exposed to the reality of Islam or who Muhammad really was. Only such books as ours will remove the Islamic deceptive veils. If real Islam is truly exposed, it will be eradicated not only in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, but also in Arab countries as well. People will re-examine the reality of this religion and the prophethood of this Arabic man called Muhammad.

We tell you, Dr. Buti, that powerful foreign countries are not afraid of Arab countries and Islamic states which do not have modern technology because one strong foreign country can annihilate all these countries. If the state of Israel alone is able to exhaust all the Arab countries, how much more can other powerful foreign countries do so? If foreign countries claim that Islamic wars were defensive wars, that is because they have been deluded and have believed the deception, but praise be to God for people like you who expose the ugly truth to them.

You have demonstrated to them that holy war in Islam is a continuing ideal which will last to the day of resurrection. It is a plan in which it is incumbent on all Muslims to fight (in the cause of God) those who reject Islam. This concept started in the sixth year of the Hegira and continues to the present.

As Dr. Buti endeavors to justify the principle of offensive warfare, he remarks that offensive war is the most noble of all wars and the verses (chapter 9:29 and 9:5) do not leave any room in the imagination for defensive warfare. He addresses his readers,

"You may wonder now: Where is the wisdom of forcing infidels and their associates to embrace Islam? How could the mind set of the twentieth century understand such matters? The answer is: We wonder where the wisdom is when the state forces an individual to be subjugated to its system and philosophy despite the freedom he possesses? How can it be reasonable for the state to have the right to subjugate its citizens to the laws, principles, and ordinances it enacts, while the creator of all does not have the right to subjugate them to His authority and to convert them from every creed or faith to His religion?" (pages 266 and 267).

I would like to ask you, Dr. Sa’id El Buti, you who are a contemporary scholar at the Azhar University: How can people of the twentieth century understand and accept your logic of imposing a certain religion on a person with the death penalty as the only alternative? Would it not be more reasonable for Muslims to understand and accept the concept of human rights and the freedom to embrace the creed a person wishes to believe, in accordance with his conviction? We take into consideration your circumstances and we understand that you would be likely to defend Islam and the Qur’an. You would be likely to defend Muhammad’s behavior, sayings and all that his companions and successors did, but let me tell you that twentieth century thinking rejects your attitude.

On the other hand, who told you that the state and its rulers have the right to impose regulations and systems on their citizens as they wish? Don’t you know that the people of modern countries in Europe and America vote on the constitution they feel is appropriate for them? They even elect their rulers as well as the people’s assemblies, such as parliament. The people in these democratic countries have the authority to remove the leaders of the state if they fail to act in accordance with their constitutions which were established by free elections and public vote.

Maybe you are comparing yourself to the governments of underdeveloped countries (like most of the Arab and Islamic countries) which are characterized by the rule of one individual, tyranny, terrorism and the neglect of human rights. Woe to the one who opposes the ruler or dares to change his Islamic religion! Some Islamic countries subject him to Islamic law, and carry out the orders of Muhammad and his successors by sentencing him to death immediately. Other countries are content to put him in jail and torment him for a while.

Dr. Sa’id, what makes you think that God’s character is similar to the character of the rulers of these tyrannical states? We pray that the time will come when there is freedom for evangelism and the preaching of the Gospel in the Arab world for the benefit of the Arab people—first and last. We also pray that the rulers of the Arab countries will become like Gorbachev, the former ruler of Russia, who guaranteed religious freedom and opened wide the door of human rights and individual freedom.

God (the only eternal, true God) is not the one who exists in your mind or the one about whom Muhammad preached, but He is the God of love and freedom. He is the God of Christian revelation. The true God is not a God who demands that a poll-tax be paid to Muhammad, or a God of capturing women and children, or of slaughtering the men of peaceful towns if they do not become Muslims Yours is an imaginary God who does not exist. The true God says,

"Let the one who thirsts, come. And the one who desires, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22: 17).

He also says,

"Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, "Come, buy and eat ... let your soul delight itself in abundance" (Isa. 55:1-2).

Arab Scholars in Jerusalem 

"The Book of the Islamic State" by Taqiy al-Din al-Nabahan was published in 1953. It encapsulates the entire issue in simple, plain style and in explicitly few words. It will suffice to quote four self-explanatory paragraphs which need no comment because they are obvious.

On pages 112, 113, and 117, Taqiy al-Din says,

"The foreign policy of Islamic states must be to carry the Islamic mission to the world by way of holy war. This process has been established through the course of the ages from the time the apostle settled down until the end of the last Islamic state which was ruled by Islamic law. This process has never been changed at all. The apostle Muhammad, from the time he founded the state in the city Yathrib, prepared an army and began holy war to remove the physical barriers which hinder the spread of Islam.

"He subdued the tribe of Quraysh as a body, along with other similar groups until Islam prevailed all over the Arabian peninsula. Then the Islamic state started to knock at the doors of other states to spread Islam. Whenever it found that the nature of the existing system in these states was a barrier which prevented the spread of the mission, they saw it as inevitable that the system be removed. So holy war continued as a means of spreading Islam. Thus by holy war, countries and regions were conquered. By holy war, kingdoms and states were removed and Islam ruled the nations and peoples.

"The glorious Qur’an has revealed to Muslims the reasons for fighting and the ordinance of holy war and it declares that it is to carry the message of Islam to the entire world. There are several verses which command the Muslims to fight for the cause of Islam. Therefore, carrying the Islamic mission is the basis on which the Islamic state was established, the Islamic army was founded, and holy war was ordained. All the conquests were achieved accordingly. Fulfilling the Islamic mission will restore the Islamic state to the Muslims."

Then he adds on pages 113, 114, and 115,

"If holy war is the established, unchangeable means of spreading Islam, then political activities become a necessity before initiating the fight. If we besiege the infidels, we would call them to embrace Islam first. If they accept Islam, they become part of the Islamic community, but if they reject Islam, they have to pay the poll-tax. If they pay it, they spare their blood and properties, but if they refuse to pay the poll-tax, then fighting them becomes lawful."

Readers, please note that these same words and principles are confirmed by all the Muslim scholars who are well acquainted with the saying and deeds of Muhammad and his successors.

On pages 115 and 116 Taqiy al-Din indicates again this historical statement,

"The Islamic system is a universal system, thus it was natural that it would spread, and natural that countries would be conquered. Here the apostle is receiving from Muslims the pledge of ’aqaba the Second, making a pact with him to fight all people. Those Muslims were the core of the army of the Islamic state whose military task was to carry the Islamic mission. The apostle of God had designed the plan of conquest before his death, then after him, his successors undertook the responsibility of implementing this plan when they started conquering the countries. Later, the Islamic conquests followed successively on this basis. People’s resistance or rejection does not matter because the Islamic system is for all people in all countries."

 Let the reader ponder these words and judge for himself. "People’s resistance or rejection does not matter because Islam is for all people"; namely, by force, conquest, and war.

But I would like to state here that Christianity is also a universal system, and it is for all people. Christ said,

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature..." (Mark 16:15). 

Anyone who believes will be saved and whoever does not believe, God will judge. Christ did not say, "Go into the world and preach. Whoever believes becomes one of us, and whoever does not believe should pay the poll-tax to the Christian army or be put to death." He did not say that! This is a crucial difference, my dear reader, between Christ and Muhammad, between Christianity and Islam.

 

The Bloody History of Islam 

Having surveyed the incidents which took place during the life of Muhammad, it is appropriate to mention the events which occurred after his death and how the Caliphs who succeeded him carried out the same Muhammadic principle and the Qur’anic instructions The history of Islam talks to us with two bloodied hands—first is the blood of peaceful people who safely inhabited the land until they were invaded by the Muslim armies which marched from the Arab Peninsula after the death of Muhammad. In the name of spreading the religion, they killed millions of people, and in the name of exalting the word of God, they plundered properties and divided the "booty" of women and children among themselves, the same as Muhammad did in the course of his campaigns. These Arab Islamic armies obeyed Muhammad’s orders and the Qur’anic commands. They believed that spreading Islam and taking the material abundance came from God. The Qur’an explicitly says,

"Allah promises you much booty (spoils of war) that you will capture" (Chapter 48:20).

 Muslim scholars do not negate these historically confirmed facts, but rather they brag about them, and their books (both old and modern) are filled with the details of these events. They mention them with pride, and they are glad to explain and demonstrate how the Arab Islamic armies attacked all the Persian lands and part of the Byzantine territories and occupied them. They could tell you how these armies took over Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, and, of course, Libya and all of Africa until the Muslim army reached the borders of China and the regions of Iran. Even Spain had fallen into their hands for hundreds of years. They proceeded then toward France, but they were stopped in the battle of Tours at the hands of Charles Martel. These wars were offensive wars of the first degree. Islam dominated these countries. Nowadays, all Muslim countries belong to the under-developed third world.

Before we let the Muslim chroniclers narrate to us what happened, it is fit here to clarify a very significant issue about which many people inquire.

The Cross Denounces the Crusades 

These were bitter wars led by the princes of Europe for a period of time without any justification except ruthlessness of the heart and faithlessness of those leaders, who (despite their claims that they were attempting to deliver the Christians in the Islamic East from the persecution of the Muslims) were not true believers in Christ or in His teachings. Where in the Gospel do we find any call for war? In this study, we compare Christ with Muhammad, the Gospel with the Qur’an, the sublime teaching of Christianity with the clear teachings of Islam.

  • Did Christ lead any war to spread the faith, to divide the booty and to capture women to enslave them for himself and for his followers?
  • Did Christ order His followers to do so?
  • Did he order Peter to sheath his sword when he unsheathed it and struck the servant of the Jewish high priest when Christ’s enemies hastened to arrest him?
  • Did Christ’s successors and disciples wage wars and march into battle to take poll-taxes and to spread Christianity?

These are the conclusive questions which reveal the difference between Christ and Muhammad, between Christianity and Islam. If some Christians came after hundreds of years had elapsed and committed such detestable things, Christ and Christianity would certainly denounce such deeds. On the other hand, the Islamic wars were waged by Muhammad himself, then by his relatives and companions who lived with him day after day and to whom he promised paradise.

The other important thing is that they were executing the unequivocal teachings of both Muhammad and the Qur’an which we mentioned previously in this chapter. We have many books which all talk thoroughly and in detail about the offensive wars. The most famous of these books is "The Chronicles of Al-Tabari, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Kathir" and "The History of the Caliphs" by the Suyuti. The entire Islamic world relies on these books.

Among the contemporary scholars who rely on these sources and quote from them is Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi, professor of civilization at the Azhar University. His respected book, "al-Khulafa’ al-Rashidun" The Rightly Guided Caliphs", or successors) from which we quoted when we discussed the wars of apostasy, examines these things. We have selected a few quotations from these sources and references because they almost all repeat each other. These events are well-known and confirmed by all Muslims. They are taught in the public schools in all the Islamic countries, especially in the Arab world.

"The Rightly Guided Caliphs" by Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi 

Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi discusses the Islamic wars which were initiated by the four caliphs who succeeded Muhammad and who, at the same time, are his favored relatives. These caliphs are: Abu Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthman and ’Ali. Muhammad married ’Aisha, daughter of Abu Bakr, and Hafesa, daughter of ’Umar. ’Uthman married Ruqayya, the daughter of Muhammad, then after her death, he married her sister Um Kalthum. ’Ali was married to Muhammad’s youngest daughter, Fatima al-Zahra.

On pages 35-38, Dr. Abu Zayd remarks,

"Muhammad had prepared an army to invade the borders of Syria. When Muhammad died Abu Bakr sent an army headed by Usama Ibn Zayd and ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab. The army marched towards southern Palestine and invaded some parts of the land, frightened the people and captured some booty."

At the beginning of page 70, Dr. Abu Zayd talks about the Islamic conquests and indicates that at the inception of the year 12 of Hajira, Abu Bakr ordered Khalid Ibn al-Walid to invade Persian lands and to seize the ports near Iraq. Khalid marched with the army, but before he started the war, he sent his famous message to Hermez, one of the Iraqi generals, "Embrace Islam, or pay the poll-tax, or fight." The Hermez declined to accept any of these terms but war. The Persians were defeated in this battle and Khalid seized the booty and sent Abu Bakr one-fifth of the spoils of war, exactly as they were accustomed to send to Muhammad. One-fifth of the booty belonged to God and to Muhammad.

Abu Bakr presented Khalid with the Hermez’s tiara which was inlaid with gems. Dr. Abu Zayd says the value of the gems amounted to 100,000 dirham (p. 73). After that, the successful, savage invasions continued against other countries which could not repel the forces of Islam. This Azhar scholar tells us that in the battle of Alees which took place on the border of Iraq, Khalid killed 70,000 people! He was so brutal in his attack that the nearby river was mixed with their blood (p. 75).

On p. 77, Dr. Abu Zayd mentions another country which surrendered to Khalid. Khalid demanded that they pay 190,000 dirhams. When he attacked Ayn al-Tamr in Iraq, its people took shelter in one of the fortresses. Khalid laid siege to the fortress and forced them to come out. He killed all of them mercilessly. They had done nothing against him or against the Muslims except that they refused to embrace Islam and to recognize Muhammad as an apostle of God. The Muslims seized all that they found in the fortress along with forty young men who were studying the Gospel. Khalid captured them and divided them among the Muslims (refer to p. 81).

It is well-known that Khalid Ibn al-Walid was a very brutal, vicious man. His relentlessness made ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab ask Abu Bakr to kill him or at least to depose him because he killed another Muslim in order to marry his wife! Abu Bakr did not listen, but when ’Umar became the second caliph, he deposed him immediately This was ’Umar’s opinion about Khalid. Yet, to Muhammad, the prophet of Muslims, Khalid was one of the best among his relatives and warriors.

On page 134, Abu Zayd relates that when Khalid besieged another town called Qinnasrin which belonged to the Byzantine Empire, its people were so afraid that they hid themselves from him. He sent them a message in which he said: "Even if you hide in the cloud, God will lift us up to you or He will lower you down to us." They asked for a peace treaty, but he refused and killed them all. Then he eradicated the town. These are the words of Dr. Abu Zayd which we faithfully relay to you.

Dr. Abu Zayd continues to list the names of the towns and the regions which the Islamic army invaded after the fall of ’Ain al-Tamr. He says:

"By the end of the year 12, Hajira Abu Bakr became interested in Syria (Al Sham). He issued orders to four of his great generals and designated for each one of them a country which he was given to invade. He assigned Damascus to Yazid, Jordan to Sharhabil, Homs to Abu ’Ubayda and Palestine to ’Umru Ibn al-’As.

We wonder: Are these wars defensive wars or are they definitely offensive wars and unjustified military invasions? Abu Bakr’s era ends during the famous battle of Yarmick in which tens of thousands were slain for no reason except to impose religion by force, capturing women and plundering the properties. Muslims claim that Abu Bakr died from eating poisoned food a few months before.

When ’Umar was elected to the Caliphate, he deposed Khalid Ibn al-Walid and replaced him immediately with Abu ’Ubayda.

 

The Caliphate (ruling period) of ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab 

The Invasion of Persia  

’Umar Ibn al-Khattab sent Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas to invade Persia. He camped in al-Qaddisia near the river Euphrates. Dr. Abu Zayd narrates for us a very important incident (pages 117-118) which we would like to examine. The author says:

"Sa’d sent some of his followers (among them the Mu’man Ibn Maqrin to Yazdagird, one of the Persian generals) who asked him, ‘What enticed you and brought you to invade us?’ (Ibn Maqrin) said to him, ‘Choose for yourself either Islam or the poll-tax or the sword.’ The Persian general became very angry and said to him, ‘Had it not been (the custom that messengers should not be killed), I would have killed you. Go; you have nothing to do with me."’

Ibn Khaldun confirms this incident in the end of the second volume of his famous history book (pages 94-96). He says,

"Rustan, the Persian general, said to one of Sa’d’s messengers, ‘You were poor and we used to provide you with plenty of food. Why do you invade us now?"’

It was obvious that the Persians had never thought to invade the Arabs, but they used to send them plenty of food because of the poverty of the Arab peninsula. Never-the-less, the Arabs seized the opportunity to invade Persia after they realized that the Persians had been weakened by its wars with the Byzantine Empire and their own internal problems. Thus, they repaid compassion with wickedness and goodness with evil. The question which the Persian general Sa’d asked was a logical one, "Why do you attack us? Did we mistreat you?" The answer was also very clear, "You have three options!" Dr. Abu Zayd says on in p. 123:

"Sa’d seized (after the battle of Qadisiyya) all that was in the treasury of Khusro of money and treasure. It was so plentiful that each Arab horseman received 12,000 dirham."

The Invasion of Damascus

On pages 131 and 132 of the same book, "The Rightly Guided Caliphs," the author indicates,

"Abu ’Ubayda marched towards Damascus and besieged it for seventy nights. He cut off all supplies while its inhabitants were pleading for help and assistance. Then Khalid attacked the city and massacred thousands of people. (They were forced) to ask for a peace treaty. Abu ’Ubayda turned over the rule of Damascus to Yazid and ordered him to invade the neighboring (cities). He attacked Sidon, Beirut, and others."

The Attack on Jerusalem 

On pages 136 and 137, we read about the attack of ’Umru Ibn al-’as on Jerusalem. He besieged it for four months. Then its Christian inhabitants agreed to pay the poll-tax and to surrender to ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the caliph. ’Umar made the trip to Jerusalem and laid the foundation of the mosque. With that, the conquest of Syria was accomplished, but as the pestilence (plague) raged, many of the high-ranking generals of the Islamic army died, among them Abu Ubayda, Yazid and Sharahbil.

The Invasion of Wealthy Egypt

On pages 141 and 142, the author narrates how the invasion and occupation of Egypt were accomplished. Among the justifications which ’Umru Ibn al-’As presented to ’Umar which convinced him to allow ’Umru to attack Egypt were the following:

"Egypt’s abundance and yields are plentiful. The conquest of Egypt would gain for the Muslims a foothold in Syria and make it easier for them to invade Africa to spread Islam."

It is important to mark ’Umru’s statement that "Egypt’s abundance and yields are plentiful." Eventually Egypt and Africa were both conquered.

On pages 145 and 146, the professor of civilization at the Azhar relates how ’Umru besieged the Fortress of Babylon (south of ancient Egypt) for a full month, and that he said to the messengers of the Muqawqis, the governor of Egypt,

"There is nothing between us and you except three things:

(1) Embrace Islam, become our brethren and you will have what we have and you will be subjected to what we are subjected (in this case they would pay alms to the treasury of the state).

(2) If you refuse that, you are obligated to pay tribute with humiliation.

(3) War.

"The Muqawqis attempted to offer them something different, but they rejected it. At last, after a fight, he accepted the second condition, namely to pay tribute and to be subjugated to Islamic rule. The Muslims entered Egypt. "

 On page 147 and 148 Abu Zayd describes the conquest of Alexandria and denies that the Muslims burned the famous library of Alexandria. Yet he admits that many chroniclers have mentioned that ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab ordered ’Umru to burn it entirely.

After the conquest and the occupation of Egypt, the author says (page 151) that ’Umru wanted to secure this conquest from the west by conquering Tripoli of Libya, and from the south by seizing Ethiopia. Thus at the close of the year 21 H. as Ibn Khaldun and Yaqut al-Kindi remarked (that is in the first half of the year 643 A.D. as Ibn al Athir and other chroniclers said), "’Umru marched on with his horsemen towards Tripoli."

On page 153 he adds:

"’Umru besieged Tripoli for a month. It was a well-fortified city. At last a group of Muslims infiltrated the city and fought some of the Byzantines who soon fled. ’Umar entered the city and captured all that was in it, then he assailed the city of Sabra without warning and conquered it by force. He seized all that could be seized from it. Then he sent his army to Ethiopia, but he failed to enter it and suffered great losses. The skirmishes continued until a peace treaty was signed during the time of ’Uthman Ibn ’Affan."

 Are these wars considered defensive? What is an offensive war then?

 

During the Caliphate of ’ Uthman Ibn ’Affan 

On pages 167 and 168, the book tells us:

"’Uthman ordered ’Abdalla Ibn Abi al-Sarh to invade Africa, then he sent Abdalla Ibn al-Zubayr. They slaughtered thousands of the people among them their king, Jayan, and they captured booty."

 These are the words of Dr. Abu Zayd in his famous book, "The Rightly Guided Caliphs". We have quoted him word for word. Let the reader ponder these words and judge for himself. What is the crime of these people, whether in Africa or Syria or Egypt or in other countries? Muslims say—That was for the exaltation of God’s word. God the compassionate, the Merciful!

 

The Wars to spread Islam 

On pages 66 and 67 Dr. Abu Zayd confesses clearly,

"The thing which compelled Abu Bakr to invade Persia and the Byzantine Empire was not to seize their abundance, but rather to spread Islam. This claim is based on evidence that the generals of the Islamic armies used to call the countries to embrace Islam before they started fighting them. Khalid Ibn al-Walid sent a message to the princes of Persia saying:

"After all, accept Islam and you will be safe, or pay the tribute; otherwise I will come to you with a people who desire death as you desire drinking wine."

 Yes and no, Dr. Abu Zayd! Yes, we accept your confession that the war was to spread Islam. We agree that spreading Islam was an essential incentive for war. We are content with your unequivocal confession in regard to this matter. We have written these pages in order to denote these facts and nothing more—to prove that Islam was spread by sword and that the Islamic wars were offensive wars. Your confirmation and faithful narration of history in "The Rightly Guided Caliphs" have helped us to prove this fact. Thank you.

Yet, we disagree with you when you claim that material abundance was not another reason for these wars. We will not allow you to conceal this obvious fact because you yourself have unintentionally alluded to it when you listed the reasons for the invasion of Egypt—among them were "the abundance of Egypt and its yields". More than that, ponder what the Qur’an says in Chapter 48 :20:

"Allah (God) promises you much booty that you will capture" (Qur’an).

 Or let us listen to Muhammad’s explicit statement in which he (after exhorting his warriors to fight bravely) promised the plunder of the country. Did you forget, Dr. Abu Zayd, what Muhammad said? Let me remind you. Muhammad said,

"You see, God will soon make you inherit their land, their treasures and make you sleep with their women" (Lit: make their women’s beds for you).

 These plain, disgraceful words are recorded by Ibn Hisham on page 182 Vol. II, of his famous book, "Al Rod Al Anf", which all the researchers regard as a reliable reference. Thus, when Muslims invaded a certain land incited by the desire to possess the land, treasures, and women, they were actually fulfilling God’s promise as it was stated in the Qur’an and in Muhammad’s pledge.

 

"The Beginning and the End," by Ibn Kathir (vol. 7) 

We would like to quote a few incidents from this book by Ibn Kathir who is one of the ancient Muslim scholars and chroniclers and a reliable source for all students of Islamic history. On page 2, we read the following,

"At the inception of the year 13 of the Hajira, Abu Bakr was determined to draft soldiers to send them to Syria in compliance with the words of the Qur’an: Fight... those who were given the Scripture (Chapter 9:9); and also follow the example of the apostle of God who gathered the Muslims together to invade Syria before his death."

 He also adds on page 9:

"When Abu Bakr sent Khalid to Iraq, Abu Hurayra, who was one of Muhammad’s companions, he used to exhort Muslims to fight by telling them: ‘Hasten to the Houris’ (fair, black-eyed women)."

 Those Houris are the nymphs of paradise who are particularly designated for the enjoyment of Muslims.

"‘The Blood of the Byzantine is more delicious’, Khalid said!"

On page 10, Ibn Khathir tells us that when the Byzantine leaders rejected Islam or paying tribute, Khalid told them,

"We are people who drink blood. We were told that there is no blood that is more delicious than the blood of the Byzantines."

 Such words well suit people like Khalid, Muhammad’s beloved friend and relative.

On page 13 we read the following,

"Gregorius, one of the great princes of the Byzantines, said to Khalid: ‘What do you call us for?’ Khalid answered him: ‘That you testify that there is no God but the only God and that Muhammad is His messenger and apostle, and to acknowledge all that Muhammad received from God (namely pilgrimage, fasting of Ramadan, etc.).’ Gregorius said to him: ‘And if these are not accepted?’ Khalid responded, ‘Then pay the tribute.’ Gregorius said to him: ‘If we do not give the tribute?’ Khalid said: ‘Then war!"’

 Ibn Kathir acknowledges (on page 21) that when the Muslims conquered Damascus, they seized St. John’s church and converted it into the largest mosque in Damascus today (The Umayyad Mosque). On page 55, we read also about the invasion of Jerusalem. On page 123, he states,

"Umar Ibn al-Khattab wrote to Abdil-Rahman Ibn Rabi’a ordering him to invade the Turks (Turkey today)."

The Second Invasion of Africa 

In page 165 Ibn Kathir records for us that:

"The second invasion of Africa was accomplished because its people broke their pledge. That was in year 33 of the Hajira (The Moslem Calendar)."

 Of course, the people of Africa broke the pledge because that pledge was imposed on them by force in lieu of death. Yet Muslims killed thousands of them. Ibn Kathir already mentioned in page 151 that,

"’Uthman Ibn ’Affan ordered ’Abdalla Ibn Sa’d to invade Africa. [He told him] ‘If you conquer it take 1/25 of its booty.’ ’Abdalla Ibn Sa’d marched towards it at the head of an army of 20,000 soldiers. He conquered it and killed multitudes of people from among its inhabitants until the remnant were converted to Islam and became subject to the Arabs. ’Abdalla took his portion of the booty as ’Uthman told him, then he divided the rest."

 How unfortunate were the African people! They were invaded by the Arabs who killed thousands of them, divided the booty, and forced the remnant to embrace Islam. When they broke the pact, the Muslims attacked them again. But are the black African people the only unfortunate people? Or are all the people of Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, all the Arab tribes, Spain, even the people of China and India, Cyprus and the Kurds, all the unfortunate peoples? All of these are unfortunate nations who became the victims of Islamic Law which detests human rights and persistently ignores their freedom.

 

The Invasion of Cyprus and the Kurds 

Ibn Kathir tells us that in the year 28 of the Hajira, the conquest of Cyprus was accomplished after ’Abdulla Ibn al-Zubayr slaughtered a multitude of people—as usual. Ibn Khaldun also tells the story of the Kurds. In page 124 of Vol. II, he says,

"Muslims met a number of Kurds. They called them to embrace Islam or pay the tribute. When they refused to do so they killed them and captured their women and children, then divided the booty."

As we see, Ibn Khaldun along with Ibn Kathir, al-Tabari and other chroniclers, ancient and contemporary such as Dr. Abu Zayd, recorded all the Islamic historical events in detail. Moreover, on every occasion Arab newspapers allude boastfully to these memorial episodes of Islamic history and shed light on these savage, wild offensive wars. For instance, we read in the prestigious Ahram newspaper which is published in Egypt, the following,

"During the era of the Caliph ’Umar Ibn ’Abdul-’Aziz, Ibn Qutayba in the year 88H, he invaded some of the neighboring countries of Iran such as Bukhara, and Samarq and marched close to the Chinese border" (refer to the Ahram, Mary 26, 1986, p. 13).

In his book, "The Beginning and the End" (part 9), Ibn Kathir narrates in detail the history of this belligerent general, Ibn Qutayba. He records the story of his campaigns and refers to his biography.

We would like to conclude this chapter with a brief summary which Taqiy al-Din al-Nabahani presents in his book, "The Islamic State" (pp. 121 and 122). He summarizes the history of Islamic offensive wars against the neighboring peaceful countries by saying,

"Muhammad had begun to send troops and initiate campaigns against the Syrian borders such as the campaign of Mu’ta and Tabuk. Then the rightly guided caliphs ruled after him and the conquest continued. (The Arabs) conquered Iraq, Persia, and Syria whose faith was Christianity and which were inhabited by the Syrians, Armenians, some Jews and some Byzantines. Then Egypt and North Africa were conquered. When the Umayyad took over after the rightly guided caliphs, they conquered the Sind, Khawarizm, and Samarqand. They annexed them to the lands of the Islamic state."

According to all Muslim chroniclers, it is well documented that Armenia and Morocco were conquered during the era of ’Abdul-Malik Ibn Marwan. When his son, al-Walid, assumed the throne, he invaded India and Andalusia.

Also, Dr. ’Afifi Abdul-Fattah, the Muslim scholar, encapsulates the whole principle in a few explicit, straightforward words, as he says (page 382 of his famous book "The Spirit of the Islamic Religion"),

"Islam has acknowledged war in order to exalt the word of God. This is a fight for God’s cause."

 He also adds in p. 390,

"Before the Islamic state declares war against another state, it should give (the other state) the choice between Islam, tribute or war."

We need not say anything more than that. Maybe this is what Muslims mean when they say, "We believe in human freedom and man’s right to choose according to his own will! We present him with three options, and he has the right to choose as he wishes — either to become a Muslim and pay alms to the Caliph of the Muslims, or pay the tribute and submit to Islamic rule, or we kill him."

Let the reader ponder the Muslim contradiction that a man has the right to choose whatever he wants within the Islamic context of individual freedom.

 

Conclusion 

These are the Islamic offensive wars, my dear reader. We have already surveyed the Qur’anic verses which were expounded by both the great ancient and the contemporary Muslim scholars. We also alluded to the sayings of Muhammad, his own deeds and his orders to his companions, relatives and successors. We witnessed the bloody events of Islamic history narrating for us what Muslims did after the death of Muhammad and how they carried out his orders and the commandments of the Qur’an—how they fought with the People of the Book, the Jew and the Christian, until they paid tribute with humiliation and defeat. We have witnessed how they plundered the lands, killed the unfortunate, and captured women and children for no reason.

Moreover, we have already discussed all the matters pertaining to the death penalty of an apostate who dares to relinquish the Islamic faith and to embrace another religion, or to become an atheist. We also referred to an abundance of evidences and interpretations of Muslim scholars along with the deeds and sayings of Muhammad in this respect. He himself gave orders to kill anyone who is an apostate from Islam such as Umm Mirwan as the Azhar and all the Chroniclers denoted, and all those apostates who fled to Mecca.

Regarding offensive wars or imposing the Islamic religion on people by war, Muhammad said: "I was commanded to fight people until they say there is no God but the only God, and Muhammad is the apostle of God, and they perform all the Islamic ordinances and rituals."

We also examined Muhammad’s attitude towards the apostate. He made it clear that the apostate must be sentenced to death. He said about those who relinquish Islam: "Whoever changes his faith...kill him!"

Muhammad indicated that is it unlawful to shed the blood of a Muslim except in three cases: Unbelief after belief, adultery after integrity (or being married) and killing a soul without any right. The first case refers to the death penalty of the apostate and the oppression of his freedom and right to embrace any religion other than Islam Those are the clear claims of the Islamic religion as well as of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, who always uttered at the beginning of every prayer or sermon, the following phrase,

"In the name of Allah—the Compassionate, the Merciful!"

We talked about individual freedom and human rights! This is the prophet of freedom, mercy, tolerance and human dignity!

Has the veil been removed?

Is the deception over?

Judge for yourself.

Section Two

The Veil of

Equality

and Justice

Muslim propagandists take advantage of the fact that Westerners do not read Arabic and therefore (out of ignorance) do not know the reality of Islamic faith as recorded in the books of Muslim scholars. Therefore, Muslim missionaries roam across Europe and America, East and West, writing a throng of books, declaring with a loud voice: "How great Islam is! It is the religion of social justice, equality, women’s rights and dignity." Many naive and superficial people believe these claims and are deceived by this message, but this deceit should end. This veil should be removed.

We have found in Muhammad’s sayings (as well as of those of all Muslim scholars – intentionally or unintentionally – that both Islam and Muhammad discriminate between human beings. It matters whether they are males or females, Muslims or non-Muslims. We even find discrimination between Muslims because slavery (as we will see) is an Islamic principle.

Slavery in Islam has regulations and laws which differ from those for freemen, the masters. Actually, Muhammad, his wives, his successors, companions and his relatives owned slaves—males and maids. We can list the names of Muhammad’s slaves: men and women, whites and blacks, and we will show that Muhammad himself was a slave merchant especially after he claimed to be a prophet.

After reading these pages it should become very evident to all (including the most fanatical and tenacious Muslim) that Islam is a religion of social injustice, inequality, and racial discrimination.

Before we start our discussion, it is relevant to quote one verse from the Holy Gospel which emphasizes equality in Christianity,

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

 

Chapter Three

The Status of Women in Islam

 Some mistakenly believe that Islam honors women and dignifies them for the simple reason that they have not read the Qur’anic verses, and the sayings of Muhammad and all Muslim scholars concerning women. Thus they take at face value all the claims of Muslim missionaries in this respect. We seek to excuse those who have converted to Islam and are deceived because no one would expect a religion which claims to be divine (at the same time) to treat women so disgracefully.

We found on the other hand, some thinkers (even among Muslim Arabs) who have realized that women are not treated equal to men in Islam, though only a few of them occasionally dare to claim that publicly. Still, since their knowledge of Muhammad’s sayings and the commentaries of the scholars is limited, they present a few examples related only to the subjects of polygamy (marrying four women) and easy divorce. Therefore, we seek to discuss here several issues to clarify the point under discussion and to remove the deceitful veil of Islam concerning women.

 

The Qur’an Commands Men To Beat Women 

While the New Testament commands men to love their wives and even to sacrifice their own lives for their sake as Jesus gave His life for us (Ephesians 5), we see that the Qur’an plainly and disgracefully commands men to beat their women as soon as they show any sign of disobedience to man’s authority and orders. It states in Chapter 4:34:

"As for these from women, fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart and scourge them."

 Without any exception, all the Qur’anic expositors agree upon the meaning of this verse because it is so obvious. In their famous commentary, page 69, the Jalalan said:

"Those of you who are afraid of their disobedience which symptoms become evident to you, threaten them with the fear of God and banish them to beds apart and scourge them."

 The Zamakhshari reiterates the same opinion (al-Kash-Shaf Vol. 1, p. 524). Both Imam Baydawi (p. 111), and Al-Tobari (p.92) repeat the same explanation. If we also search Ahkamal-Qur’an (the Ordinances of the Qur’an) by the Imam Shafi’i (Vol. 1, p.211), we read:

"In case of a husband’s ill-treatment [of his spouse], the Qur’an permits reconciliation of the spouses and arbitration, but in the case of the wife it allows scourging her."

 At the inception of Islam, we come across a very famous incident which all the Muslim chroniclers record (refer to Imam al-Nawawi: Riyad al-Salihin, "The Orchards of Righteous Men", p. 107-108),

"Umar Ibn al-Khattab came to Muhammad saying, ‘Women have dared to disobey husbands.’ He allowed their husbands to scourge them. Many women approached Muhammad complaining against their husbands because Muhammad received a verse for the Qur’an which commands their husbands to scourge them."

 In the Kash-shaf (the revealer) of al-Zamakhshari (Vol. 1, p. 525), we read the following,

"On the authority of Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), he said: ‘Hang up your scourge in a place where your wife (or wives) can see it.’

 Also, on the authority of Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr El Sedik:

"I was the fourth wife (among four) of al-Zabayr Ibn al-Awwam. Whenever he became angry at one of us he struck us with a hook rod until it was broken."

 This hemistich was composed by al-Zabayr:

"If it were not for her children, I would have hit her."

 The command to scourge women is repeated in Sahih al-Bukhari, "The Sound Tradition of al-Bukhari" (Vol. 7, p. 100). Ponder for a moment over Muhammad’s order to the husband: "Hang up your scourge where your wife can see it." This is intimidation and threat, as if a husband were telling his wife: "Beware of disobedience, for this is the scourge which is ready to fall upon you!"

There is no security or love in Muhammad’s words or in the deeds of al-Zobayer Ibn al-Awwam, who was a relative of Muhammad, one of his companions, and one of those models whom every Muslim imitates and vies with all over the world. He was one of the ten whom Muhammad assured of paradise and one of the six whom Umar recommended for the Caliphate. This man used to scourge his wife until the wooden hook was broken, as Asmaa (the daughter of Abu Bakr El Sedik who was one of his four wives) tells us. Is there greater wife abuse than that?

Contemporary Scholars 

All contemporary scholars attest to this fact which is obvious in the Qur’an. In the book, "You Ask and Islam Answers" (p. 94 for example), Abdul–latif Mushtahiri says,

"If admonishing and sexual desertion fail to bring forth results and the woman is of a cold and stubborn type, the Qur’an bestows on man the right to straighten her out by way of punishment and beating provided he does not break her bones nor shed blood. Many a wife belongs to this querulous type and requires this sort of punishment to bring her to her senses!"

 In his book, "The Individual Guarantee In the Islamic Law" (p. 63), Ahmad Ahmad, a professor at the college of Law at the University of Qatar, denotes the following under the title of "Family Problems’ Solution",

"If a woman is afraid that her husband may turn away from her or detest her, she will hasten to bring understanding and reconciliation. But if the husband is afraid that his wife may rebel against him, he hastens to bring mutual understanding by means of exhortation, then by abandonment of the bed, then by the scourging which deters."

 Did you read it?—"By the scourging which deters" This is if the symptoms of disobedience became apparent exactly as the Jalalan, Baydawi, Zamakhshari have said and as the Saudi scholars indicated in Al-Muslimun magazine in its issue of March 17, 1989 (page 12). I can also easily list dozens of references, both ancient and contemporary, which explain this verse (4:34). Actually, it does not need any exposition because it is self-explanatory—"and scourge them." It is evident that Christian countries regard wife abuse as a crime punishable by law because nature itself (as well as the simplest human principle) teaches us that it is not permissible for a man to beat an animal—much less his wife!

Yet according to the Islamic faith and by distinct orders issued by the Qur’an and Muhammad, a man is allowed to scourge his wife with a peaceful conscience because he is carrying out God’s command as recorded in the Qur’an. "God the compassionate, the Merciful" and the Glorious Qur’an—and Muhammad, the prophet of mercy and humanity who claimed that he honored women, yet said: "Hang up your scourge where your wife can see it."

The Story of Job and his Wife in the Qur’an 

In Chapter 38:44, the Qur’an declares that God has commanded righteous Job to beat his wife. We read:

"And (it was said unto him), ‘Take in thine hand a branch and smite therewith and break not thine oath."’

 All Muslim scholars agree on the exposition of this verse. Both Jalalan (page 383), and Baydawi (page 604) say:

"When Job’s wife was slow (to do something for him) one day, he swore to scourge her one hundred times. God told him, ‘Do not break .... oath, but take a bundle of grass in your hand or rods to beat her up with."’

 The Jalalaan say that Job took one hundred sticks and scourged her once. The Baydawi says that Job’s wife’s name is Liyya, daughter of Jacob or Rahmeh, daughter of Aphraim, son of Joseph.

Who among us would believe this ridiculous story of the Qur’an about Job, the righteous man, who was famous for his patience? Who among us would believe that God encouraged him to beat his wife with a bundle of grass or sticks so that he would not break his oath?

Forcing the Virgin to Marry 

Most people believe that this was merely a detestable habit practiced by some Arabs and Muslims who lived in some underdeveloped countries. However, we must realize that this practice has its roots deep in Islamic law and that it is a principle applied by Muslim scholars. Yet, I myself have read this ordinance in the main sources of Islam acceptable to all Muslim commentators. Let us study together the ordinances and the statements of scholars of exposition and the Islamic law.

Ibn Timiyya and Ibn Hazm, Famous Legists 

Muslims regard Ibn Timiyya as the Sheikh of Islam. He truly is. He is the author of great many huge volumes on various subjects If we open Vol. 32, pp. 29 and 30, we read,

"Even if the virgin is an adult, her father may force her to get married. This is in accordance with Malek Ibn Ons, al-Shafi and Ibn Hanbal’s."

 On page 39, he also states:

"The young virgin can be forced by her father to get married without being consulted."

 This is the verdict of Ibn Timiyya who was joined by some great Legists such as the Shafii, Malek, Ibn Hanbal, and the professors of Islamic law at the inception of Islam in Mecca and Medina. Most Arabs and most Islamic countries embrace their teaching. Actually, if we study Malek Ibn Ons book (Vol. 2, p. 155), we read,

"A father can force his virgin daughter, his maid-slave and his male-slave to get married."

 What is Ibn Hazm’s opinion concerning the daughter’s marriage? How can we ignore the opinion of the chief Legists of Islam in this respect? It is well known that Ibn Hazm also composed huge volumes of books on various topics on which all contemporary Muslim scholars rely because he is one of the greatest scholars of the Islamic law through the ages. In his sixth volume, part 9 of his book al-Muhalla ("The Sweetened", pp. 458-460), he says,

"A father may give his consent to have his young virgin daughter married without obtaining her permission, for she does not have a choice, exactly as Abu Bakr El Sedick did to his daughter, Aisha, when she was six years old. He married her to the prophet Muhammad without her permission."

 Then Ibn Hazm adds:

"Even if she was deflowered (previously married and divorced, or a widow) as long as she is young and has not reached the legal age, her father may force her to marry without obtaining her permission."

 As long as she is a virgin or just still young, she can be forced to get married without her consent. These are unequivocal, plain words. "Without her consent", and "does not have any choice." These are cruel, hard words and iniquitous Islamic principles which the free human conscience utterly rejects and detests because it is related to the most important subject in the girl’s life, that is, her body and her future.

If enrolling in a certain school or seeking employment for a particular job, even buying a house or a car, should be in accordance with person’s choice, how much more should choice control the issue of a girl’s marriage? We acknowledge that a girl should consult with her parents in this matter, and their duty is to offer their sound opinions to protect her interest and future, but we cannot understand or even imagine that a father may force her to get married to a man she does not know and has never met. This is Islam!

These are not just mere words. This is actually what happened to the prophet of Islam because Abu Bakr, El Sedick who was Muhammad’s friend, wed him to his daughter, Aisha, when she was six years old, though the actual marriage took place when she was nine years old, according to all the Muslim scholars and Chroniclers, without exception. Even Aisha related the story of her marriage, which we will review shortly.

The difference in their ages was 45 years! Muhammad at that time was 54 years old, the age of her grandfather, but what is significant for us now is not the great difference in age, but rather Aisha’s marriage without her permission. Even she was taken by surprise when she found out about it.

What about a son? In part nine, page 462, Ibn Hazm stresses that it is not permissible for the father to force his son to get married.

The reader may be interested to read the text recorded in Sahih Muslim (Vol. 3, p. 577) with the commentary of al-Nawawi, because this book is a basic, indispensable book. Aisha said,

"The messenger of God betrothed me when I was six years old and then married me when I was nine years old."

 In another story, he married her when she was seven years old. This is a clear text which makes it permissible for a father to make his daughter marry without obtaining her permission. All Muslims consent to that, and she did not have the option of nullifying this marriage which her father planned. This is according to Malek, al-Shafi’i and the rest of Hedjaz legists.

This was from Sahih Muslim, and a similar text is reiterated several times in Sahih al-Bukhari, part 7.

 

The Temporary Contractual Marriage

What a disgraceful and degrading thing a temporary, contractual marriage is for a woman! This is something which Muhammad made lawful according to all the scholars and chroniclers without exception. What an insult to a woman whom Muhammad stripped of her humanity and dignity in order to become a mere instrument for man’s enjoyment! Can contemporary Muslim scholars who would die defending Islam answer this specific question and tell us why Muhammad allowed men to have sexual relationships with women merely for the sake of enjoyment? According to Muhammad’s statement, it could be for some money, or a dress, as Muhammad said to his followers, then he could desert her, leaving her without any rights. What is the difference between this and adultery and debauchery? Could Muhammad and the scholars solve this problem by calling it a temporary marriage or marriage of enjoyment?

Muhammad made it lawful for his followers at first, then prohibited it! Then he made it legal again! Therefore, as soon as he died, the most famous Muslim scholars and relatives of Muhammad (such as Abdulla Ibn -Abbas and Ibn Mas’ud) made it lawful It was also in practice during the era of Abu Bakr and Umar, as is recorded in Sahih Muslim.

At present, the Shi’ite sects are accustomed to it and practice it in different parts of the world because the Shi’ite leaders claim it. There are more than one hundred million Shi’ites worldwide. Ibn Abbas, who defends the legality of the temporary marriage of enjoyment and its continued practice, is well known among all the Muslim scholars. He occupied a very esteemed position with Muhammad and the caliphs who used to seek his legal opinion and call him the interpreter of the Qur’an.

Sahih al-Bukbari 

In part 7, page 37, we read the following,

"While we were in the army, Allah’s Apostle came to us and said, ‘You have been allowed to have pleasure (Muta), so do it.’ If a man and a woman agree to marry temporarily, their marriage should last for three nights, and if they want to continue, they may do so."

 There is also a very famous story related to us by Ibn Mas’ud and recorded in all the Islamic sources. We will allude to some aspect of it as it as mentioned in al-Bukhari, part 7, pp. 8,9, (also in section 6 of the interpretation of Sura, Chapter, "The Table," p.66- Arabic edition). Ibn Mas’ud said,

"We used to participate in holy battles led by Allah’s Apostle and we had no wives with us. At that time, he allowed us to marry women with a temporary contract and recited to us this verse, ‘Oh you who believe, make not unlawful the good things which Allah (God) has made lawful for you"’ (5:87).

 This famous story is recorded also in Zad al-Ma’ad by Ibn Qayyimal-Jawziyya (part 5, p. 111). In Sahih Muslim, exposition of Nawawi (Vol. 3 pp. 553, 554), he indicated that Muhammad had allowed his followers to have sexual intercourse with women for a dress !

Sahih Muslim

It was proven that contractual marriage was permissible at the beginning of Islam. It used to be practiced during a journey or a raid, or when it was "necessary" and there was a lack of women. In one of Ibn Abu’Umar’s episodes, it said that it was admissible at the inception of Islam, especially when "there was a need for it".

Also, we read the following,

"The contractual marriage was lawful before the campaign of Khaybar; then it became unlawful in the day of the campaign. Then it was made lawful again in the day of Mecca’s conquest. After three days, it was prohibited. The episodes concerning the lawfulness (of the contractual marriage) in the day of the conquest are not ambiguous and it is not permissible to forfeit it. There is nothing that may inhibit the repetition of practicing the contractual marriage again, and God is the omniscient, and the scholars have agreed to regard the contractual marriage as a temporary legal marriage, which does not entail any inheritance. The separation occurs as soon as the date of the agreement expires, and it does not require any legal divorce. Ibn’Abbas used to preach its lawfulness" (pp. 553,554 volume 3 Sahih Moslem).

Actually Sahih of Muslim (in the same volume 3) records for us what Muhammad’s followers did when he allowed them to practice this. They used to meet a woman who belonged to one of the tribes (children of Amir) and attempt to seduce her by offering her either a dress or some dates or flour (p. 556). They spent three days with the harlot. Also sahih of Muslim describes for us in detail some moral scandals of which Muhammad approved. It also recounts that Muhammad himself used to bring the women to his followers or send a heralder to proclaim that it is permissible to sign contractual marriages (p.555 Vol. 3).

Ismail Ibn Kathir 

In his famous book, "The Prophetic Biography", he tells us the following in part 3:

"The prohibition of the contractual marriage took place in the day of the Khaybar campaign. Yet it had been established in Sahih of Muslim that Muhammad allowed them again to (sign) a contractual marriage in the Day of Mecca’s conquest. Then he prohibited it. The Shafi’i said: ‘I do not know any other thing which was made lawful, then prohibited, then made lawful again, then unlawful except the contractual marriage, which was prohibited in the year in which Mecca was conquered, then after that it became lawful"’ (pp. 365,366).

 Ibn Hisham recorded the same text in part 4, p.55.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya 

In part 3, pp. 459, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya repeated this same statement of al-Shafi’i. He also said on p.345:

"After the death of Muhammad, Ibn’Abbas made it lawful when there was a need for it. He used to say that the apostle prohibited it when it was dispensable, but it was made lawful when it became a necessity."

 He also says on p.46 1:

"Ibn Mas’ud said: ‘I made it lawful when it became indispensable for a man."’

Imam al-Baydawi 

He agrees with all the above in his famous book, "The Interpretation of the Baydawi". He says,

"The purpose of the contractual marriage is the mere pleasure of intercourse with a woman, and her own enjoyment in what she has given" (p. 108).

 I believe that all those scholars were very lucid in their statements and it is sufficient for us. They are Ibn’Abbas, Ibn Mas’ud, Sahih al Bukhari, sahih Muslim, Ibn Hisham Ibn Kathir, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and al-Imam al-Baydawi. Those scholars are recognized by all. Muslims and all contemporary scholars agree absolutely.

The Contemporary Scholars 

1. The Saudi scholars: In the context of their interpretation of the Sahih al Bukhari (Vol. 7, p.36), they indicate:

"Nikah-al-Muta (marriage of pleasure) means temporary marriage for a limited period of time. This type of marriage was allowed in the early days of Islam." 

2. In his book, "Nur al-Yaqin" ("The Light of Certainty"), the Sheikh al-Khudary says,

"The contractual marriage, which was a marriage for a definite time, had been practiced since the inception of Islam" (p. 207). 

3. The scholar Musa al-Musawi

In his famous book, "The Shi’ites and the Reformation", he lucidly tells us:

"All the legists believe that Muhammad made this matter lawful at the inception of Islam" (p. 108).

 4. The current Sheikh of Islam, Muhammad Mutawalli al-sha-rawi, indicates in his book, "al-Fatawi" ("The Legal Opinions"),

"The Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, leading other scholars, mentioned that contractual marriages were made lawful by the prophet and they were not abolished nor rescinded, but many scholars said that this matter was abolished later and that Muhammad, after making it lawful for a particular time during Islamic history, prohibited it" (p. 26).

 We say to Dr. Musawi and to Sheikh al-Sha’rawi: Your statement that all the legists believe that Muhammad made it lawful at the inception of Islam is sufficient for us. This statement and this acknowledgment are what we want the reader to know. It is evident, however, that the scholars who said that this practice was not abolished or prohibited were among the most esteemed scholars such as Ibn’Abbas, Ibn Mas’ud, and the Imam Fakhr al-Razi. In his book, "The History of Islamic Law", Dr. Ahmad Shalabi states that Ibn’Abbas said that it is possible to allow contractual marriages when they are necessary (p. 190). Ibn Kathir also emphasizes in his book, "al-Bidaya Wa al-Nihaya" ("The Beginning and the End"), Vol. 8, p.300, that Ibn’Abbas was of the opinion that contractual marriage should be made lawful. In his Sahih, al-Bukhari records this dialogue,

"I heard Ibn Abbas when he was asked about Muta (pleasure) with women, and he permitted this kind of marriage. Only a slave of his said to him, ‘That is only when it is badly needed and women are scarce.’ At that Ibn Abbas said, ‘Yes"’ (Vol. 7, p. 37).

Who is Ibn Abbas?

 All the scholars acknowledge that he is of the opinion that the contractual marriage should be made lawful when it is needed, and he believes that its ordinance is still applicable and has not been abolished. If we open Vol. 8 of Ibn Kathir’s book, "al-Bidaya We al-Nihaya" (pp. 295-307), we come across ample references pertaining to Ibn’ Abbas’ highly esteemed status among Muhammad’s relatives and companions in regard to his knowledge and thought. We would like to allude briefly to some of what is said about him.

Ibn Kathir says:

"Ibn ’Abbas is the most knowledgeable person among the people as to what God has revealed to Muhammad. Umar Ibn al-Khattab used to say that the interpreter of the Qur’an is Ibn’Abbas. He was accustomed to telling him: ‘You have acquired a knowledge which we never received. You are the most expert in the book of God"’ (pp. 299, 300).

 Ibn’Abbas was the official legist of the Islamic law during the era of ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab, and ’Uthman Ibn ’Affan. When he died, Muhammad’s friend said,

"This nation has been afflicted with an incurable tragedy because Ibn’Abbas was the most knowledgeable among the people. We always needed him from sunrise to sunset."

 These references to Ibn’Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin, are sufficient to convince the most skeptical of the importance of Ibn’Abbas’ status. It is well known that the argument of Ibn’ Abbas was strong and it was conclusive to the continuation of the practice of temporary contractual marriage because Muhammad made it lawful then unlawful, then he made it lawful again when it was necessary.

Yet, even if we assume that Ibn’Abbas (who was the most knowledgeable among people of what God had revealed to Muhammad) was mistaken, as well as Ibn Mas’ud al-Razi and many other scholars, and that Abu Bakr was also wrong since he allowed people to practice this matter during his reign; even if we assume that Muhammad made it unlawful permanently after he made it permissible, and that all those people were wrong, we still have this pressing, unanswerable question: Why did Muhammad make this disgraceful matter lawful in the first place; i.e., adultery and immorality? Why, even for a short period of time, would he legalize prostitution and call it contractual marriage? Why did Muhammad tell his followers, "Make an agreement with any woman to make love to her for three days, then give her compensation, such as a robe." His companions did so. Later, Muhammad prohibited it, then made it lawful again according to the need!

We would like to refer to Dr. Musa al Musawi’s statement in his book, "The Shi’ites and The Reformation", in which he says:

"This contractual marriage contains a license for licentiousness and degradation of woman’s dignity, the thing which we do not find even among permissive societies in ancient and modern history" (p. 109).

 Then he adds (p. III), concerning the characteristics of this marriage:

"This marriage is carried out without a witness. The period of this marriage could be a quarter of an hour, or a day, or any period of time. In it, it is permissible for a man to have collectively an unaccountable number of women at the same time. The woman may not inherit her husband’s possessions, and a man does not give alimony to the spouse. Divorce is also carried out without a witness. This marriage is nothing but a license to practice sex provided that the woman is not married to another man."

 Dr. Musa has a Ph.D. in Islamic law from the University of Tehran He taught Islamic philosophy and was elected as President of the Supreme Counsel of West America. Of course, Dr. Musawi’s criticism of the contractual marriage is appropriate. He indicates that this type of marriage has been abolished, yet he acknowledges (p.108 of his book) that all the scholars and legists without exception say that Muhammad made it lawful for his companions from the very beginning.

My friend, we had to discuss the issue of contractual marriage, or "legal prostitution" (as some would like to call it) in detail, but this prolongation is significant because this is an important matter for our practical life. It is also related to the dignity of women and reveals Muhammad’s view of women as being nothing more than tools for pleasure.

 

Fire In Hell—Most Of Its Inhabitants Are Women 

Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, expresses clearly that most of those who enter hell are women, not men. None of the scholars deny these statements. We will quote only contemporary Azhar scholars of Egypt.

In the "Liwa al-Islami" magazine which was issued on August 13, 1987, under the title, "Women In Tradition", we read the following:

"The apostle of God said: ‘Oh assembly of women, give charity, even from your jewelry, for you (comprise) the majority of the inhabitants of hell in the day of resurrection’" (p. 21).

 Of course, the Azhar scholars are the people most acquainted with Muhammad’s sayings.

Ancient Scholars 

These scholars are quoted from Sahih of al-Bukhari (Vol. 7, p.96),

"Muhammad said: ‘I saw Paradise and I stretched my hand to pluck a bunch of grapes, then I saw Hell (fire), and I have never before seen such a horrible sight as that the majority of its dwellers were women.’ The people asked, ‘O Allah’s apostle, what is the reason for that?’ He replied, ‘Because of their ungratefulness.’ It was said, ‘Do they disbelieve in Allah (God)?’ He replied, ‘They are not thankful to their husbands and they are ungrateful for the favors done to them. Even if you do some good to one of them all your life when she sees some harshness from you she will say, "I have never seen any good from you."’"

 The same text is repeated in Vol. 1, p.83. In Vol. 7 of the same book (p.94), Muhammad says,

"I stood at the gate of the fire and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women."

 In the Mishkat al-Masabih (p. 14), we encounter the following exciting episode about Muhammad who, when met by some women, had the following conversation (Mishkat al Masabih p. 14),

"Allah’s messenger went out to the place of worship and he passed by the women and said to them, ‘O women, give charity, for I have been shown that the majority of the inmates of Hell are amongst you.’ They said: ‘Allah’s Apostle, wherefore?’ He said, ‘It is because of the fact that you curse one another very much and show ungratefulness to your husbands."’

 It seems that Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, utters meaningless statements because who can say that only women curse each other? Do not men behave the same way in their quarrels? Do not men kill each other in bitter wars? Who said that only women, if they suffer from their husband’s abuses, forget all the good characteristics of their spouses? Do not men cheat on their wives, abandon them and divorce them for the most insignificant reasons or for no reason at all? Do not Muslim men marry two, three, even four wives at a time, causing deep psychological pain and material loss for their wives? It is nonsense to say that the majority of the people in the fires of hell are women because they curse each other and they do not acknowledge the merits of their of husbands!

It is nonsense to make these accusations or to label women in general. Even if Muhammad had painful experiences with his various wives so that he almost divorced them (as we will see), he still should not have issued verdicts against all women.

How miserable women are in Muhammad’s view! He orders men to scourge them, forces young girls to marry against their will, and exploits single women as tools of pleasure. He also declares that the majority of people in hell are women!

 

"Women Are Short Of Faith And Intelligence"— Muhammad Said 

The Egyptian contemporary scholar Sheikh al-Sha’rawi stresses the fact that Muhammad uttered this statement. This is recorded in Vol. 4, p.21 of his famous book, "You Ask And Islam Answers". Al-Sha’rawi, who is regarded as the Sheik of Islam, relies on the former recognized scholars. We encounter the following dialogue in the Sahih of al-Bukhari (Vol. l, p. 83) and in the Mishkat al-Masabih (p.15) which took place between Muhammad and some women:

"Muhammad said: ‘I have seen that you, in spite of being deficient in mind and religion, rob even a wise man of his senses.’ They said: ‘Allah’s messenger, where lies our deficiency of reason and faith?’ He said: ‘Is not the evidence (testimony) of a woman equal to half the evidence of a man?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘This is because of the deficiency of your minds (mental status). Is it not a fact that when you enter the period of menses, you neither observe prayer nor observe fast?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ Then he said: ‘This is the deficiency in your faith."’

 "Women are short of faith and intelligence!" A strange statement uttered by Muhammad which is an obvious insult to the women who asked him! Why, Why, Muhammad? He responds with the above-mentioned, weird reasons. If God does not command women to fast or to pray during their menstrual period, why should He regard this matter as a lack of faith and religion? Is it because they obey God’s orders? Or is prayer a mere physical exercise of standing up and prostrating? Or is it a matter of lifting the heart up to God at any time?

What about the woman’s testimony in court? According to Islamic law, the testimony of a woman is equal to one half of a man’s testimony. This is one of the incomprehensible, unjustifiable Qur’anic laws which is regarded as another insult to women. If Muhammad attempted to justify this on the basis of women’s lack of faith and intelligence, it would be an excuse which is worse than an offense. Thus, when Muhammad tried to justify his attitude, he really rendered women another insult especially by claiming that a woman is equal to half a man.

 

A Female Inherits Only Half Of A Male’s Portion 

A female inherits only half of a male’s portion and her testimony is regarded as half a man’s testimony. Though the general public is not aware of this fact, the Qur’anic text is very blunt concerning this matter, and is also acknowledged by all the Muslim scholars without exception.

First, concerning an inheritance, The Qur’an clearly indicates:

"Allah chargeth you concerning your children—to the male a portion equivalent to that of two females" (Chapter 4: 11).

 This is in regard to a man’s offspring, whether they are males or females. The same concept is applied to the brothers and sisters of a deceased person. The Qur’an says:

"If there be brethren - men and women - unto the male, the equivalent of the portion of two females" (Surah 4: 176).

 This matter is a well-known fact and practiced all over the Islamic world.

Al-Bukhari, al-Jalalan and al-Baydawi 

The Bukhari alluded to it (part 6, p.55), as well as the Jal-alan in their famous commentary (p.65). We read:

"A male may have the portion of two females if they are related to each other. He takes half of the inheritance and the two females take the other half. If the male has one sister only, she takes one-third of it and he takes two-thirds" (p.65).

 On page 66, the Jalalan says:

"If he leaves his parents an inheritance, his mother takes one-third and the father two-thirds."

 Al-Baydawi (page 104) and the rest of the scholars follow the same interpretation which is based on the indisputable Qur’anic verse.

The Contemporary Scholars 

1) In his book, "Islam in the Face of Modern Challenges", Abu al-a’la al-Mawdudi states conclusively:

"There is no room in Islam for the idea that a woman’s portion of an inheritance be equivalent to the man’s portion. The prohibitory reason is one of decisive Islamic laws" (p.264).

The Sheikh al-Sha’rawi 

He also acknowledges this fact in part II of his book, "You Ask and Islam Answers":

"The portion for a woman from an inheritance is half of the man’s portion because a woman is not responsible for her livelihood but rather the man is the responsible one (p 39, part 2).

French Philosopher, Roge Jaroudi 

Even the French philosopher, Roge Jaroudi, who was converted to Islam reiterates in the magazine, "The League of the Islamic World" (the issue of February/March, 1984), the same logic of al-Sha’rawi. Jaroudi says:

"Concerning the inheritance, it is true that the female inherits half of the portion her brother inherits, but in view of that, the responsibility of taking care of her falls on her brother’s shoulder" (p.39).

 Dr. Ahmad Shalabi repeated the same meaning in his book, "The History of Islamic Legislation" (p. 137).

The statement of al-Sha’rawi and the French philosopher that a woman should inherit half of the portion because man is the one who bears responsibility for her livelihood is a meaningless and unacceptable justification because it is very possible that a woman may be much more in need of the money than her brother. Why should she receive only half of what her brother inherits from his parents? Is it not possible that the sister may be married to a poor man and have many children, while her brother may be a rich businessman or single without responsibilities?

Even if the sister is still single, why should her brother receive double her portion from the inheritance and have control over her expenditures? He may spend the money on his own pleasures while his sister could be wiser and more prudent than her brother, who may be younger than she. These situations happen daily in Arab and Islamic countries. Any man takes twice what his sister receives. The only reason for it is the inequality between females and males. Why does this happen? Al-Mawdudi tells us it is because this is one of the decisive Islamic laws based on an indisputable Qur’anic verse in the Chapter of Women. This is the inequality of unfair Islamic law.

Secondly, what about a woman’s testimony before the court and in business contracts? In the Chapter of the Cow (282), we read:

"From among your men, two witnesses, and if two men be not at hand then a man and two women of such as you approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember (and we read about what Muhammad said about the testimony of a woman)."

The Ancient Scholars 

Scholars have agreed upon the interpretation of this verse which is recorded in the chapter of the Cow concerning the testimony of women because it is very conspicuous and unquestionable. We would like to refer briefly here to the statements of al-Baydawi and the Jalalan. The Jalalan says (on page 41):

"There must be two adult free Muslim witnesses. If they are not available then (let it be) a man and two women. (The reason for having) numerous women is that if one of them forgot something because of lack of intelligence, the other one would remind her."

 These are the same words of Muhammad and the Qur’an.

 On page 64, the Baydawi says:

"The two men must be two free Muslims, or one man and two women. (The reason for having) numerous women is because of their lack of intelligence and to obtain accurate information."

 But the statement of the Jalalan and Bawdawi that the witness should be "two free Muslims" is because Islam does not accept the testimony of non-Muslims or slaves, as we will see later.

Nobody denies this about Islam, including all the Azhar scholars as well as the Saudi and Pakistani scholars. Among them, the Grand Imam Dr. Mahmud Shaltut emphasizes this point in his book, "Islam: A Dogma And A Law" (p.237).

In its February/March, 1985 issue (p.17), the magazine, "The League of the Islamic World", records for us an incident which took place in Pakistan during the enactment of some of the Islamic laws. The magazine says:

"Three groups of women demonstrated against the new law which gives women only half of the men’s rights when they sign business contracts. These groups which are located in Lahore in Pakistan, say that this law, derived from Islamic Law, intends to insult women and debase their dignity."

It is obvious that any intelligent, thinking man who enjoys a sensitive conscience would object to this unfair Islamic law, just as these female groups objected. How could a woman’s testimony be regarded as half of a man’s testimony in court and when signing business contracts? The same magazine also published on the same page, the response of Dr. Aly Farrukha, Director of Islamic Studies in Chicago, in which he says:

"The issue of a woman’s testimony in court is a divine order which necessitates that a woman who is a witness should be accompanied by another woman in order to remind her if she forgets (some details) and to correct her if she makes an error. This verdict does not intend to insult women but rather to help them."

 This is the conclusion of Dr. Farruka, who senses that this law really does insult women, but tries to defend Muhammad, the Qur’an and Islamic law. However, the insult is inevitable and there is no way to avoid it. The statement of Dr. Aly that there is a need for two women in opposition to one man in the case of testimony in order to help the women not to forget or to be corrected if she makes an error, is a polite statement, though it does not negate that in Islam, women are treated as second class and cannot be trusted to be accurate when witnessing in court.

Actually Muhammad was more pointed than Dr. Aly Farrukha. He expressed his opinion without any vagueness. He says that the reason that a woman’s testimony is regarded as equal to one half of a man’s testimony is not to help her but because she is short of intelligence!

 

Men Belong To A Higher Level Than Women—They Are Better Than Women

 While the Bible assures us in I Corinthians 11:11 that man is not less than woman and woman is not less than man, the Qur’an declares to us in Chapter 2:22 that men are a degree above women. It also says in Chapter 4:34:

"Men are in charge of women because Allah has made the one of them excel the other."

 Of course, we do not believe that the God of "equality among people" says that men surpass women. If the reader wonders what these Qur’anic verses mean and why Islam says that men are a degree above women and they are better than them, we would like to refer him to the answer of the Muslim scholars.

The Ancient Scholars 

On page 79, the Jalalan says:

"Men have been given authority over women to discipline and control them by the merits of knowledge, intelligence and custody, etc., which God bestowed on some over others."

 In his commentary, page 111, the Baydawi says:

"God preferred man over woman, and the reason for the bestowing of this verse (4:34) is a well-known episode which says that a man from the helpers beat his wife, whose name was Habiba, the daughter of Zayd. Her father took her to the apostle of God (to complain). Muhammad said: "Let us punish him." But God sent down this verse 4:34. The woman returned home without having her husband punished. Muhammad said: ‘I intended to do something (that is, to punish the man), but God willed otherwise, and what God wills is better.’"

 This famous incident was the reason God sent down this verse which prefers men to women and prohibits the retribution of men if they abuse their wives. This episode is mentioned also in the commentary of the Jalalan (page 69) as well as in the suyuti’s book, "Reasons for Sending the Verses From God" (Asbab al-Nuzul, p.75). Suyuti tells us that the women said to Muhammad:

"My husband beat me and left some marks on my face. In spite of that, the man was not punished though Muhammad wanted to do so but the just God, the God of equality, declined and did not allow Muhammad to punish the man for abusing his wife."

 What a compassionate God who sympathizes with relentless men! Is this the God who honors women? This God revealed a verse which confirms that men are better than women and above them by one degree, and that they have the right to discipline them. However, what concerns us here is to stress the point that the Qur’an says that men are a degree above women and better than them.

The Contemporary Scholars 

It is sufficient here to quote the Azher scholars: Mrs. Iman Kamil corresponded with the Azhar scholars and Sheikhs inquiring about this critical subject in order to comprehend the meaning of the verse under discussion (4:34). The following is her question and the answer she received as they were published in "Liwa al-Islamic"("The Islamic Banner")in its issue of July 4, 1985, page 6. The question was:

"What is the interpretation of the Qur’anic verse: ‘Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God preferred in bounty one of them over another?"’

 The answer of the Azhar scholars was:

"Abu al-Hasan al-Basri said: ‘A woman came to the prophet complaining against her husband, who slapped her face. The apostle of God said: "(He must be) punished." But God sent down this verse, and the woman returned home empty-handed.’ The meaning of his saying: ‘Manager’ is that a man is the woman’s lord and her disciplinarian whenever she disobeys him. God has explained that the reason for this lordship is that men excel women."

 What more can be said after this issue has become so obvious? The reader can easily discern if God is the one who composed it to please the powerful men among his followers.

The Gospel in various places indicates that man is the head of the woman; that is, he sacrifices himself for her sake as Christ is the head of the church; that is, He gave himself for it. But it is obvious from the comment of the ancient scholars as well as the Azhar scholars that Islam does not penalize a man when he abuses his wife because men are superior to women! The story is well known, and it was cited by all the Muslim scholars without exception.

 

The Muhallil—Men Who Make Something Lawful 

Who is a Muhallil? A person who marries a divorced woman even for one night in order to make it possible for her ex-husband to reinstate her.

The Qur’an, as well as Muhammad say clearly that if a man divorces his wife, he can reinstate her, but if he said to her: "You are divorced three times" or if he divorces her three times, he would not be able to get her back easily. In order to reinstate her, she has to get married to another man and have sex with him at least once before the second man divorces her, then she can go back to her first husband. This practice is in vogue all over the Islamic world and is practiced whenever there is a need for it because there is a well-known Qur’anic verse on this subject.

Was this the verdict of Muhammad and the Qur’an? Muhammad not only supported it, but even ordered a woman to practice it if she wished to go back to her first husband. It is recorded in an episode which all Muslim scholars acknowledge as authentic. But let us first scrutinize the Qur’anic verse. It is recorded in the Sura of Cow:

"And if he divorced her, then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has wed another husband" (Surah 2:230).

This second husband is called by Islam "The Muhallil" because he makes the woman lawful to go back to her ex-husband by marrying her for only one night, then later divorcing her so that she can go back to her first husband. All the scholars agree on this interpretation of that verse. An example is found in the Zomokchory (Vol. 1, p.368, Alkashaf), Jalalan (page 32), and al-Baydawi (page 50). The Baydawi says plainly that a real marriage (not a marriage in name only) must take place between the Muhallil and the wife. Also, the Baydawi recounts for us the famous episode which occurred between Muhammad and the wife of Rafa’a. This incident is recorded in most of the Islamic books such as Asbab al-Nuzl by al-Suyuti (pages 45,46), also Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya alluded to it several times in part 5 of his book, "Zad al-Ma’ad". In part seven (page 136) Sahih al-Bukhari quoted it several times. This is the story as it is recorded in the Shih and other books:

"The wife of Rifa’a Al-Qurazi came to Allah’s apostle and said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle, Rifa’a divorced me irrevocably. Afterward, I married Abdul-Rahman bin Az-Zubair, who proved to be impotent.’ Allah’s apostle said to her, ‘Perhaps you want to return to Rifa’a? Nay, you cannot, until you and Abdul-Rahman consummate your marriage.’"

 In his book, "Asbab al-Nuzul" (p.46), the Suyuti states that this woman came to Muhammad and told him:

"‘Abdul-Rahman (the Muhallil whom she wed after she was divorced) has divorced me without having any sexual intercourse with me. May I go back to my ex-husband?’ Muhammad said to her: ‘No, that is not permissible until Abdul-Rahman has sex with you first, then you may go back to Rafa’a."’

 This incident is confirmed and recorded in al-Baydawi, al-Suyuti, al-Bukhari and the rest of the sources. Al-Bukhari mentions another similar story in which the woman receives the same answer from Muhammad because the order of the Qur’anic verse is very plain: "... until she has wed another husband."

We wonder (and the free human conscience wonders with us) if there is more insult and more humiliation to the dignity and honor of a woman and her husband than this? Muhammad is supposed to either allow her to return to her husband, Rafa’a, or to stay away from him, but to impose such a condition on her is to humiliate her, her husband and children, for who is the man who would allow such things to happen to his divorced wife? Or is there a respectable woman who would be inclined to carry out such a practice?

The contemporary scholars who defend this verdict argue that Muhammad enacted this law to make it difficult for a husband to divorce his wife three times. A man, according to Islamic law, may divorce his wife by saying: "You are divorced... you are divorced... you are divorced" or "You are divorced by three" in a moment of anger which he later regrets and makes every effort to restore her for himself and her children. Of course, she would like to go back to her husband and her children who might be still very young or teenagers. Thus, is it comprehensible, according to all standards of mercy, chastity, purity and dignity of a woman, her husband and children, for Muhammad to state that it is not permissible for her to return to her husband and children unless she has sexual intercourse at least once before she is restored to her husband and children. Would the reader agree with this verdict imposed on a mother, wife or daughter? Oh God have mercy on these people and protect them from the laws of the Islamic religion.

You may say, "All the evidence which you have presented concerning the alleged claim that Islam honors women is sufficient to remove this deceptive veil. Muhammad’s perspective towards women has become very apparent. Why do you want to present additional arguments?" True, the aforementioned issues are sufficient, but after you read the following discussions, the picture will become even clearer concerning this vital and basic issue in every religion, that is women.

 

Polygamy, Mistresses and Concubines 

The Islamic religion is very lenient when it comes to the issue of marriage and divorce which causes serious emotional, psychological and economic disasters to women, in order to satisfy man’s desires. The Qur’an allows a man to be married to four women at the same time. If he wishes to marry other women, all he has to do is to divorce one of them and to replace her with another. Several verses emphasize this point. However, the reader might not be aware that the Qur’an allows a man to own as many women as he wants in addition to the four legal wives; that is, he is permitted to have concubines, mistresses and maid-slaves. In this respect, Ibn Hazm indicates (Vol. 6, part 9, pp. 441 and 467) that,

"No one is allowed to wed to more than four women, but he is permitted however, in addition to them. to buy (women), as many as he wants."

 Thus, we are going to see that Muhammad, his successors and his relatives owned (in addition to their many wives) concubines and maid-servants who were taken as prisoners of war or purchased. They had sexual intercourse with them as they willed. This is, of course, in addition to the contractual marriages which Muhammad permitted when it was "necessary". A Muslim is not allowed lawfully to have more than four wives at the same time. Only Muhammad had the right to marry as many as he wanted because this was one of his distinctive privileges because he was a prophet and an apostle! There are various indisputable verses which the angel Gabriel supposedly revealed to Muhammad, allowing him to enjoy this status; however, we will confine our study to the general practice of polygamy and easy divorce.

The Qur’anic Verses And The Comments Of The Scholars 

The Sura of the Parties: 50 

The Qur’an stresses that it is lawful for a man to have several wives and to own concubines. The Qur’an says,

"We are aware that we enjoined on them (the believers) concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess."

 We read the same text in Sura of Women: 3 and Sura of the Believers: 5 which indicates:

"The captive from war that your right hand possessed" (Sura 4:3).

 War bounties, whether they were women or children or money, used to be distributed among Muslim fighters after Muhammad received one-fifth. Therefore, most Muslims (led by Muhammad the prophet) had many captive women who were regarded as owned slaves and concubines. It happened that in one of the invasions (Awtas Hunayn) that some Muslim warriors among Muhammad’s companions captured some women whose husbands were still alive. Some Muslims refrained from having sex with them out of shame, but Muhammad told them that it was lawful for them to sleep with them because they were what "their right hand possessed". Then God sent a Qur’anic verse (chapter 4:24) making it lawful.

In regard to the concubines, the Baydawi, on page 102 says:

"A man is not forced to treat the concubines equally as he is obliged to do with the (legal) wives."

 A little provision (food and clothes) were sufficient.

The Jalalan says on page 64:

"The maid-slaves do not have rights as the wives."

 If we examine the volumes of Ibn Timiyya, we read in volume 32, p.7 I the following plain text:

"It is lawful for a Muslim to (have sex) with as many as he wishes of those whom his right hand possesses, but he is allowed to wed four women only. Yet, God has bestowed on the apostle of God (enough) strength to marry more than four women. Also God allowed him to marry without paying a dowry. Muslims are not prohibited from having more than four concubines provided that no two sisters are among them."

 This is similar to the above mentioned quotation from Ibn Hazm. In the same volume (page 89), Ibn Timiyya says boastfully,

"Islam has made it lawful to its followers to have sex through marriage as well as with what the right hand possesses, while (for Jews and Christians) they may have sex through marriage only. They are not (allowed to have sex with) what their hand possesses. The beginning of slavery were the captives of war.

"The war bounty has not become lawful for any nation except the nation of Muhammad by the evidence of sound tradition. Muhammad said, ‘God has preferred me over the prophets by making the bounties of war lawful to me. This was not made lawful to anyone before me."’

 In this respect, the Gospel is very clear and denotes that a man must have only one wife on whom he bestows all his love. Therefore, we read:

"Let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband ... let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband" (I Cor. 7:2-3).

To be wed to one woman is a natural thing because God created Adam then one Eve. He did not create four women for Adam plus a number of concubines. Some famous men of the Old Testament such as Solomon, wed many women, but that was against God’s plan. God regarded that as a perversion from the right worship, and admonished him for his sins. God did not allow this practice in the Holy Scriptures, whether in the Old Testament or in the Gospel. If some biblical characters deviated from God’s plan, they committed a sin, and they were subject to God’s disciplinary action—they harvested problems. This took place before Christ, but after the coming of Christ we do not know about any of God’ s men who married more than one women or who had concubines or who was allowed to divorce his wife to replace her with whomever he wanted until the rise of Muhammad and the inception of Islam.

The Harmful Consequences of Polygamy 

The consequences of polygamy such as jealousy, envy, quarrels, and conflict among the wives are evident. A woman has to wait for several days for her turn to enjoy the love and the care of her husband; that is, if he has preserved some of his love for her and for the children. A man who has four wives and numerous concubines begets, of course, many children. So what can he do to please all of them?

Muhammad himself was the first to know the nature of the quarrels which take place among the various wives as the result of his personal experiences with his wives, who used to join forces against him (Bukhari part 3, p. 204). Later, we will discuss Muhammad’s wives’ conspiracies, especially those of A’isha. This particular problem made Muhammad express his displeasure to his son-in-law, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who was married to Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, when he wished to marry a second wife besides Fatima. This incident is recorded by all the chroniclers such as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (part 5, p. 117); Ibn Hisham (part 4, p. 114); as well as al-Bukhari, who mentioned it twice (part 7, pp. 115 and 152). Let us read together what is recorded in the Bukhari:

"I heard Allah’s apostle who was in the pulpit saying ’Bano-hisham bin Al-Mughira have requested me to allow them to marry their daughter to Ali bin Abi Taleb, but I do not give them permission and will not give permission unless Ali divorces my daughter because Fatima is a part of my body, and I hate what she hates to see and what hurts her."

 So Muhammad knew well that marrying more than one woman hurts the first wife. Then, why did he wed so many women causing so much harm to each one of them? Why did he permit Muslims to practice polygamy? Ali’s incident is rather strange, but it also reveals Muhammad’s consuming selfishness. According to the account of Ibn Hisham, the girl’s name whom Ali intended to marry was Juwayriyya. Muhammad used to encourage people to practice polygamy. Bukhari tells us (Vol. 7, p. 124) that Muhammad, while talking to a man, discovered that he had just married a divorced woman. He told him to find himself another virgin girl.

It is obvious that polygamy was the rule practiced by Muhammad’s successors and companions. For example, Umar Ibn al-Khattab married seven women in the course of his life (including those whom he divorced), in addition to two maid-slaves who were called Fakhiyya and Lahiyya. Uthman Ibn Affan was wed to eight women. After the death of Fatima, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (to whom Muhammad denied permission to marry a second wife beside Fatima) married ten women and housed nineteen concubines and maid-slaves for a total of 29 women. This is Ali, the cousin of Muhammad and the fourth Caliph who assumed power after the death of Uthman.

When we indicate the number of wives as seven, ten, etc., we do not mean that those men housed them at the same time because it was not admissible for any Moslem to have more than four wives at any given time, but these men would "taste" the beauty of a woman and then plan to enjoy the "taste" of another woman without any regard to the feelings of the first wife. If it was necessary, he would divorce her for no reason but to be able to get married to another woman without exceeding a total number of four wives.

This situation accurately applies to al-Hasan Ibn Ali, of whom Muhammad said that he is the master of the youth of paradise. This Hasan (Muhammad’s grandson) during the course of his life, married seventy women and begot thirty-one children. Sometimes he used to divorce two women in a day. Even his father urged the residents of Iraq not to marry their daughters to him because he was a man who constantly divorced his wives, but the Kufa’s people continued to marry their daughters to him hoping that their daughters would bear children who would be descendants of the prophet Muhammad.

All these episodes are recorded in the biographies, such as the Bidaya and the Nihaya, by Ibn Kathir, V. VII and VIII; also, the Chronicles of the Caliphs, by Suyuti, who indicated that the Hasan was accustomed to divorcing four women and marrying another four instead. He also mentioned that the number of maid-slaves during the era of Yazid Ibn Abd-ul-Malik was in the hundreds, and grew into the thousands during the time of the Abbasid Caliphs. Al-Mutawakki, one of the Abbasid Caliphs, housed about four thousand maid-slaves.

The reader can refer to the "Book of Al-Aghani" ("The Book of Songs") by al-Isfahani; the "Akhbar al-Msa" ("The Necklace of the Dove") by Ibn Hazm, and "al-Imta wa al-Mu’anasa" ("Entertainment and Friendly Sociability") by Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi to obtain more information. In Vol. VIII of his book, Ibn Kathir reports that al-Mughira Ibn Shu’ba (who was one of Muhammad’s greatest friends and the ruler over some Islamic districts) had been wed to three hundred women!

The Qur’an states clearly that a woman is like a piece of property which a husband can replace easily. The Qur’an says in Sura of Women (20):

"If you wish to exchange one wife for another and you have given unto one of them a sum of money take nothing from it."

What a glorious Qur’an and what a merciful God is Allah! This is the only condition for the replacement: If a man intends to replace a woman with another, he is not allowed to take from the first woman an object or money he has already given her at the time of the marriage. No other conditions are stated. A man is free to divorce his wife for a reason or for no reason, and at any time he wishes And he has the right (if he divorces his wife) to reinstate her without her permission during a certain period of time (several months) as long as there are no other conditions pronounced in the marriage contract. In volume 32, p. 238, Ibn Timiyya taught that men can divorce their wives, but that women are not allowed to divorce their husbands.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya emphasizes in his book, "Zad al-Ma ad" (part 5, page 278) that the knot of marriage is in the hand of the man and only he has the right to divorce.

The Easiness of Divorce 

Divorce in Islam is made very easy. By uttering the phrase, "You are divorced," the divorce takes place. In part 7, page 145 of al-Bukhari we read, " A man can suddenly tell his wife, ‘I am not in need of you.’ Then the verdict is to be given according to his intention."

Most often, that wife would need his support and help, but that is no concern of Islamic law as long as the man does not need that wife. Thus, the Qur’an says: "It is no sin for you if you divorce women" (Sura 2:236).

[Comment: The above and the next one and a half paragraphs are NOT correct and unjust. The above verse continues "before consummation or fixation of their dower; but bestow on them (a suitable gift) .." Clearly, this partial quotation is out of context. The reality in Islamic countries may well be as bad as described below, but this cannot be based on this quotation from the Qur'an. Read everything in this book "Behind the Veil" with much caution. Much is good resource material, but too often it is twisting the meaning of the text. (Jochen Katz)]

Most probably the man felt bored with that wife or he lusted after another woman who was younger and more beautiful. Since he was not able to support two women at the same time, he divorced one to marry the other. If the great men of Islam, the famous companions of the prophet and the Caliphs did so, what remained for the public but to follow the example of those great men of their religion in dealing with the matters of marriage and divorce?

The Qur’an allows this easy divorce. It does not impose certain conditions or limits on this painful action which causes a great deal of suffering among women, treating her as if she were a piece of furniture. Let us listen to the al-Bukhari as he explains to us (Part VII, pages 145-146) how this easy divorce takes place:

"If a man says to his wife, ‘Go to your family,’ then his intention is to be taken into consideration. Or if someone says to his wife, ‘If you become pregnant, then you are divorced thrice’; then, if her pregnancy becomes apparent, she will be regarded as divorced irrevocably! If he wants her back she must marry another man first."

 It is that easy for a man to divorce his wife if he wishes, even if she does not commit any wrongdoing. This often happens in Arab and Islamic countries without any regard to the woman’s dignity. The husband says: "If this thing does not happen, my wife is divorced by three". These things actually happen, as the Bukhari said, and the wife finds herself divorced for reasons entirely unknown to her, because every divorce is lawful (except the divorce made in drunkenness) according to the Muslim scholars. As long as the husband was not drunk when he made the divorce, even if it was in a moment of anger, that divorce becomes lawful (refer to Bukhari, part VII, p. 145).

 The Azhar scholars, when they were asked about that, gave the same answer: Every divorce is admissible except the divorce made by a drunkard. What a joke! Or what a tragedy! Daily Arabic newspapers are filled with such tragic news and the courts are overloaded with thousands of divorce suits which causes the eviction of children and wives who are helpless and dependent mainly on their husbands. This tragic situation made an Egyptian Muslim lady, Dr. Nawal Sa’dawi (the great Egyptian writer and thinker), voice her objection loudly during a dialogue between her and the Azhar scholars by saying:

"I want to say that a Christian wife enjoys a secure married life compared to the Muslim woman because she is not afraid of a surprise divorce made by her husband in a day and a night" (Refer to al-Liwa al- Islami newspaper, issued on July 9,1987, page 6 ).

You are right Dr. Sadawi! You are acknowledging the truth as you describe the status of women in Islam. Your words have powerful effect because you are a Muslim and a woman also. But what could the Sheiks of Azhar tell you if this is the law of Islam and if Muhammad himself was allowed to divorce all his wives in one day and claimed that he received (through Gabriel) a verse inspired by God in which he threatened them. The verse:

"It may happen that His Lord—if he (the prophet) divorced you—will give him in your stead wives better than you" (Chapter 66:5).

What could the Azhar Sheikhs tell you if Muhammad himself had actually divorced one of his wives by telling her, "Go to your people?" She was the daughter of June, as the Bukhari remarked (page 131 of Vol. VII). He also divorced Hafasa, daughter of Umar Ibn al-Khattab, then brought her back, as well as his wife Sawda (daughter of Zam’a), then restored her to his household after she asked for his mercy, telling him: "I will give up my day (that is the day he allocated to Sawda) to A’isha," as we read in the "Book of Women of the Prophet "("Nisa’ al-Nabi") by Bint al-Shati (p. 125 and p.66 regarding Hafsa and Sawda).

This same author, who is a contemporary Muslim scholar and writer, said:

"When Muhammad intended to divorce Sawda or when he actually divorced her, she received the news with utmost bewilderment, and she almost fainted. She wept in the presence of Muhammad and said: ‘Keep me and I assign the right of my night and day to your young wife A’isha’ (p.66); he agreed. It is well known that this Sawda had served Muhammad very well and was very good to him and no one had accused her of any wrongdoing. But because of lack of beauty, he intended to divorce her."

Divorce in Christianity 

In spite of escalating problems, and regardless of the nature of numerous causes (such as sickness or barrenness), it is not permissible for a divorce to take place among true Christians who learn from the Lord the meaning of love and humility. A conflict may exist, and the husband may lose his temper for all of us are human beings subject to making mistakes. We may scream or show anger or encounter conflicts, yet a true Christian will never think of divorce. Divorce does not exist in the dictionary of relationships between Christian couples.

The Christian wife can rest at peace concerning her future because the church will not allow her husband to divorce her except in one case; namely, adultery. In this case, Christ himself gives the man or the woman the right to divorce the guilty party and remarry another person. Yet even this circumstance is almost non existent among true Christians. In case of genuine repentance, the innocent party is encouraged to show forgiveness and shun a divorce. However, the innocent party has the right to divorce and to remarry whether this innocent party is a man or a woman.

In the Gospel, we read the following dialogue between Christ and some of the Pharisees from among the Jewish religious leaders:

"The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?’ And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate"’ (Matt. 19:4-6).

 Christianity does not say that "divorce is lawful but unfavorable," but rather that it is unlawful and is not allowable except for adultery. That is because the interests of the spouse, the children and society are above all other considerations and greater than any marital conflict. It is supposed that problems, struggles (whatever they are) can be solved by prayer, humility, and a deeper relationship with the Lord. God is able to sow love in human hearts, give the ability for forbearance and He is capable of changing the most wicked man or woman because Christianity believes in the experience of spiritual new birth and the work of the Spirit of God.

Divorce in the West...In the East 

It is obvious that the percentages of divorce in Europe and America is very high, but it is also obvious that most of those who divorce their spouses are (at best) nominal Christians who have not committed their lives to Christ. Christ and the Gospel are very clear in this regard. The Gospel is not guilty because of some practices of westerners, such as sexual corruption and the increasing number of divorces.

We do not blame Islam or the Qur’an for things committed by Muslims which are against their religion. We are examining Islam as it is manifested in the Qur’an and practiced by Muhammad and Muslim scholars. When we discuss Christianity, we quote Gospel references and Christ’s life. Certainly, there is sexual corruption in the East, though it is practiced in secrecy. Westerners, in this case, relinquish hypocrisy. They don’t seem to care what other people may say against them, contrary to Easterners.

If we take a quick glimpse at the Christian East, we will realize the rarity of divorce eases. I have lived dozens of years in Arab countries, especially in Egypt which has a population of thirteen million Christians, and yet I have heard about only one divorce in the Christian community. Westerners must recognize this fact in order to learn from the Eastern Christians this Christian biblical principle. Of course, premarital sexual relationships (which are in vogue in the West) are not practiced among Christian Easterners. It is possible to say that in the Christian East there is one divorce for every one hundred thousand marriages!

Yet even if a divorce takes place (whether in the East or in the West), the door of repentance is open to anyone who is ready to repent because every sin is forgivable if it is accompanied by repentance.

I would like to urge the leaders of Islamic and Arabic countries to enact laws and restrictions to solve marital problems, similar to those laws practiced by Tunisia, which do not allow polygamy or easy divorce—in order to protect the wife and the children from eviction and agony. If Muhammad and the Qur’an have failed to do so, the leaders of Arab and Islamic states are able to pass laws to protect women and children (and thus, the entire society) from tragedies and fragmentation. If these states would allow opportunity for the Gospel to be preached through radio and television. most of the problems of society would diminish because many Muslims would become Christians.

 

A Woman is the Husband’s Slave His Captive! 

Readers may wonder if this is true. Is it possible that Islam and Muhammad say that a woman is a man’s slave—his captive? Yes, my dear reader, this is a fact which no Muslim scholar denies. Let us scrutinize this matter which is really amazing when we read Muhammad’s unquestionable statements.

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya 

In Zad al-Ma’ad (part V, p. 189), we read:

"In sound tradition, Muhammad called woman a ‘aniya’. The ‘ani’ is a prisoner of war (or captive). The duty of the captive is to serve his master. There is no doubt that marriage is a sort of slavery as some of the former scholars indicated: Marriage is slavery, thus let each one of you be sure of the man to whom you would like to enslave your daughter."

This text tells us that according to sound Hadith (approved by all scholars), Muhammad said so. Therefore, scholars emphasize that a father must choose a good man for his daughter because marriage is slavery.

Ibn Qayyim states also (part V, page 188), "A woman must serve her husband because he has already paid the dowry, and if a man served his wife at home he would commit a grave sin."

Ibn Timiyya (Sheikh al-Islam) 

He was very plain when he discussed this issue. In Vol. 32, p.262, Ibn Timiyya unquestionably agrees with the statement of the former scholars that marriage is slavery. He states that Umar Ibn al- Khattab himself is the one who uttered those words. Also, on pages 305-307, he remarks,

"If a woman said to her husband, ‘Divorce me’ and he responded by saying, ‘I divorce you,’ then this divorce is final and irrevocable for the husband because it is regarded a ransom by which a woman redeems herself from her husband, as a captive redeems herself from captivity. It is also permissible for any person to redeem the wife, as in the case of the redemption of the captive. As it is admissible for anyone to pay a ransom to the master of a slave to set him free, it is also allowable for a woman to set herself free from the slavery of the husband. The purpose of that is to disclaim the ownership and slavery of the woman in order to be free from his slavery, as in the case of freeing the slave and redeeming the captive."

 Ibn Timiyya has repeated several times the phrase that the relationship of a wife to her husband is like a slave to his master—or like a prisoner of war.

Imam al-Nawawi 

In his book, "Ryad al-Salihin" ("The Orchards of the Righteous Men", p 107), he repeats Muhammad’s statement that "women are captives in your hands." He also adds:

"The apostle of God here likens the woman as she comes under the authority of her husband to a captive; and Muhammad uttered these words in his address to men in the farewell year."

These are the words of Muhammad himself concerning women, and these are the declarations of three of the greatest Muslim scholars: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Ibn Timiyya and the Imam al-Nawawi. These three confirm, according to tradition, that Muhammad is the one who said that a woman is like a prisoner and a slave to a man. Thus a woman is not only less than a man by a degree, and enjoys only half of his rights, but she is less than him by dozens of degrees. She holds the status of a slave or a captive.

 

A Donkey and a Dog 

This is exactly what A’isha said to the great Caliphs and companions when she remarked:

"You have put us on the same level with a donkey and a dog."

 The question is why did A’isha make this statement to those great companions and scholars of the time of Muhammad. A’isha said that to Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abdalla Ibn Abbas, Abu-zarr, Abu Hurayra, Anas Ibn Malik and others on whose authority most of Muhammad’s Hadith and interpretations of the Qur’an were handed down. Why did you say that A’isha?

She said it because those pillars of Islam assured people that Muhammad said that if a man is praying and a donkey, a dog, or a woman passes in front of him, his prayer will not be acceptable, and he has to perform ablution (washing) again and repeat his prayer. None of the scholars question this matter which is repeated daily—whenever a woman passes in front of a man while he is praying or if a dog or a donkey walks in front of him. In this case, he has to wash himself again and repeat his prayer; otherwise his prayer will not be counted.

Ibn Hazm Confirms and Quotes 

In his book, "al-Muhalla", "The Sweetened" (part 4, p. 8), Ibn Hazm says:

"A prayer is rescinded by a dog, whether it is passing by or not, and by a woman and a donkey!"

 At the beginning of page 9, Ibn Hazm emphasizes that all the great companions of the prophet without exception attested to that. Then he records for us (page 11) that A’isha told them: "You have put us on the same level with a donkey and a dog." Why is it that if a man passes in front of a praying man his prayer is not repealed, while if a woman walks in front of him, the prayer must be repeated? Why is the presence of a woman regarded as similar to the presence of a donkey or a dog? The above-mentioned discussion does not need more comment.

 

Women are the Cause of Evil Omen 

It is obvious that Sahih of al-Bukhari is a source upon which all of the Islamicists depend whenever they want to learn Muhammad’s Hadith (sayings), and consequently, to know Islamic laws and ordinances which the Qur’an doesn’t mention. If we open part VII of Sahih of al-Bukhari which is translated into English (page 21), we read:

"Allah’s apostle said: ‘Evil omen is in the woman, the house and the horse."’

 On the same page (21), we encounter the interpretation of the above statement as follows: "The evil omen of a woman is her bad character". The reader may wonder (if there is such a thing as an "evil omen") why it is said then that a woman who has bad character is the cause. Why it is not said that a bad person (in general, whether a male or female) may cause an evil omen; that is if there is such a thing as an evil omen since we do not believe in the existence of evil omen among true believers. Why is it always a woman? If a woman walks in front of a man while he prays, he has to repeat his prayer because it does not count. Since a woman has bad character, she causes an evil omen. In the first case, Muhammad equates her with a donkey and a dog. In the second case, he reduces her to the level of a horse and a house. The woman! Always the woman! She is always persecuted in Islam. Even Muhammad believed that the majority of the people in hell are women, as it was revealed to him.

 

Women have Crooked Characters 

All the scholars confirm that Muhammad said that women have crooked characters. He also said that a husband should not attempt to straighten his wife of the perversity. He must enjoy her though she is still subject to this waywardness. In Sahih of al-Bukhari (part 7, p. 80) the following is recorded,

"Allah’s Apostle said: ‘The woman is like a rib: if you try to straighten her, she will break; so if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some crookedness."’

Also in "Riyadh al-Salihim" by Imam al-Nawawi (p. 106), we find a quote by Sahih of Muslim,

"Muhammad said, ‘A woman was created from a crooked rib; thus she would never be straightened by any means. If you enjoy her, you do that along with her crookedness and if you endeavor to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her."’

We have here two questions: First, why is the woman the one who is crooked? Muhammad answers: "Because she is created from a crooked rib!" Is it possible that man is free from any crookedness? Can we not find one thousand women who would say, "My husband has many detestable characteristics. He is always drunk, gambling, or violent and abusive." Why is it always the woman who is crooked?

Then there is the other question which we cannot avoid: If there is a crookedness in a woman, why does the husband not attempt to straighten her in humility, love, prayer and understanding? Why does he have to leave her on her own without rendering any help lest the crooked rib breaks; namely, to be divorced? Why all this ill-advice by Muhammad? Do prophets tell the husband to scourge his wife or forsake her on the one hand and urge him to leave her alone with her crookedness on the other? Muhammad himself told his wives upon occasion that he would divorce them and replace them with other women.

The Sheikh al-Sharawi, the contemporary Sheikh of Islam in Egypt, acknowledges in his book, "You Ask and Islam Answers" (part II, p. 5) that Muhammad said this, but the Sharawi tries intelligently to justify Muhammad’s statement by saying that Muhammad meant that the woman usually shows compassion and is bent over her child like a crooked rib! If this is what Muhammad meant, then how are we to interpret his saying she will never be straightened by any means, it is impossible to change her, and men should not attempt to do so because that will be conducive to divorce, but they should rather enjoy women along with their crookedness? Is this crookedness a virtue, like showing tenderness towards a child? Crookedness is something bad and difficult to change or straighten.

The Sharawi also interprets Muhammad’s testimony that women lack intelligence and faith as being not required to perform all the duties and ordinances of the religion; they lack faith by way of commission! We tell him: Do they lack intelligence by way of commission also? What about their testimony being regarded equal to a half man’s testimony? Is that by way of commission also or lack of intelligence so that if one of them forgot something the other one would remind her? !

 

Women are Harmful to Men 

This is another statement which all the scholars agree that Muhammad uttered against women. In part 7, p.22 of Sahih al-Bukhari, we read,

"The prophet said: ‘I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women."’

 The Imam al-Nawawi in his book, "Riyadh al-Salihin" (p. 110), reiterates that these words were spoken by Muhammad. Of course, Christianity rejects such statements and disapproves of all these accusations against women.

Lastly, we have to ask: If this was Muhammad’s view of women, why then, did he possess so many wives, concubines and prisoners of war?

 

Conclusion 

This is the true status of women according to Muhammad and to Islam. We have presented this discussion so that no one will say that Islam honors females, whether they are daughters, single or married.

We have seen that the father has the right to force a daughter to marry without her permission. She does not have any choice.

Muhammad made it lawful for a man to have sexual relationships with a single woman in lieu of some presents, then leave her without any rights. This is what is called in Islam "contractual marriage".

As for married women, the mother of children, Muhammad, in the Qur’an, commanded men to scourge them (if they show any sign of disobedience) if instruction, admonishing, and abandoning their beds fail to bring forth any results. Scholars say that scourging should not lead to breaking bones, but to be a deterring element. A man scourged his wife and left some marks on her face. When she complained to Muhammad, he refrained from punishing him and claimed to have received a verse in which he declared that men are above women and better than them. Men are their custodians, entitled to discipline them and to deter them by punishment and beating.

We also see that a married woman is a slave to her husband; she is his captive, his prisoner because marriage is a type of slavery. Muhammad himself, the prophet of freedom, equality and honoring of women said so, as well as Umar Ibn al-Khattab.

We also discussed polygamy and how a man is allowed to marry as many as many as four women at the same time, in addition to what he owns of maid-slaves.

We have examined also the issue of easy divorce and replacement of wives as it is manifested clearly in the Qur’anic verses and exemplified by the behavior of Muhammad, the Caliphs and the companions. This divorce drives away the woman and her children and propagates corruption in society. Islam does not enforce any restriction or limitation against it (as Christianity does) to protect women, children and society. If a man divorced his wife by uttering three times, "You are divorced," then he wished to restore her and she agrees to do so, Muhammad insists that she should get married to somebody else first and actually have sexual intercourse; then she could go back to her first husband and her children as Rafa’a’s wife did when she wanted to return to her ex-husband. Muhammad told her that she had to have an actual marriage and full sexual intercourse with her new husband, Abdul Rahman, before she could return to her first husband. Muhammad relied on a clear text "revealed" to him through Gabriel the angel for this judgment. He said it was revealed that the divorced wife is not lawful for the first husband until she marries another man (Chapter 2:230).

Women in general (as Muhammad declared) are the majority of the people in hell on the day of judgment.

They are the cause of evil omens.

They lack intelligence and faith.

In regard to inheritance, they are entitled only to one-half of the man’s rightful inheritance.

Her testimony in courts and business contracts is equal to one-half of the man’s testimony and value.

Muhammad also said that women possess sinister characters.

Lastly, if a woman walks in front of a man while he is praying, she will invalidate his prayer and he has to repeat it. Muhammad said that a prayer would be nullified if a donkey, a dog or a woman pass in front of the praying man.

The greatest among the companions, such as Ibn Abbas, Abu Zarr, Abu Hurayra, as well as the Caliphs (like Ali Ibn Abi Talib) have confirmed these statements. All Muslims know who these famous personalities are and what position they occupy in transmitting the Hadiths. Such abuses made A’isha scream in their faces, "You have put us on the same level with a donkey and a dog!"

Chapter Four

Discrimination Between a Muslim and a Non–Muslim

In this short life, love is the most significant element. It is the most important thing to God. Christianity in its essence reveals to us God’s love as well as the thoughts of His heart; a heart which is aflame with love for mankind. For this reason, Christ came to our earth.

However, we must take note that love has varying degrees, levels, and phases. The most excellent degree and the highest level of love is the life of unconditional giving and sacrifice which we observe in Christianity from Christ Himself, who gave Himself for our sake. He also called upon us to give ourselves for the sake of others. The Gospel says:

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (I John 3: 16).

This is the highest degree—the highest expression of love. The lowest degree of love is nondiscrimination, justice and equality among people. This is the simplest fact of love. Its primary principle is to respect the other person in his capacity as a person, not to persecute or humiliate him, and not to harm him. If any one of these occurs, then love is non-existent and the person who commits such wickedness walks in darkness and does not know God, the only living God. God, in essence, is love. The Gospel indicates with finality:

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (I John 4:8).

When we discussed human rights in chapter one, we said that Islam and Muhammad do not have even one drop of love for others. Anyone who denies his faith, whether he is an old man or a weak woman, is subject to death, even a person such as Um Marawan, whom Muhammad ordered to re-embrace Islam or be killed. If the non-Muslim is an atheist, he will be offered two options—Islam or death. If he is a Jew or a Christian, he will be presented with three options—Islam, death, or paying the head tax and humiliation We will talk more about the ill treatment of non-Muslims In the previous pages, we have seen how women were persecuted, humiliated and inhumanely treated. We will also discuss the poor treatment of slaves. Frankly, Islam is devoid of the simplest facet of love.

 

Non-Muslims in Islamic Society 

Muslim propagandists use an attractive motto which says that Islam is the religion of justice and equality. It is the religion of freedom and women’s dignity, they say, but this cannot be proved by mere talk and a loud voice, especially among Occidentalists who do not know the reality of Islam. It is also true that even most Arabs don’t know the truth about Islam. However, a case is proved by presenting facts and empirical evidence.

When we discussed the issue of women and removed the beautiful (but deceptive) veil of Social Equality, we revealed the ugly face of Islam. Muslim propagandists claim that Islam is the religion of equality and justice! Where do you get that idea? Show us! How could that be if Islam says that Christians whose lands are invaded by Muslims and conquered by force are not allowed to build new churches or even to renovate the destroyed ones? This was what Islam said, and this was the verdict of Umar Ibn al-Khattab who was known as the Just Caliph, as he was called by Muslims.

Tell us where equality is if a non-Muslim’s testimony is not acceptable or even allowed in court against Muslims or even against other non-Muslims, as the most famous Muslim scholars indicate? And of course, non-Muslims do not have the right to assume leading jobs in the state.

Tell us where the justice and equality is in Islam when a Muslim’s life is spared even if he kills a Christian intentionally while a Muslim may only be required to die if he assassinates another Muslim. The reason, as Muhammad said is that "only Muslims’ blood is regarded equal." Thus, no Muslim should be killed for murdering a non-Muslim. If Muhammad says–according to all scholars–that "only Muslims’ blood is equal" (have the same value), we have the right to ask, "Where, then, is equality?" Muhammad says to us, "I meant the equality between a Muslim and another Muslim and not between a Muslim and a non-Muslim."

On the other hand, we will see that if a non-Muslim merely curses a Muslim, he must either be sentenced to death or be converted to Islam! However, if a Muslim murders a non-Muslim, he will only pay a fine.

Abu Al-Ala Al-Mawdudi’s View: Discrimination is Necessary!  

In his book, "Rights of Non-Muslims in Islamic States" which has been translated into many languages, this great scholar asserts that we should distinguish between the rights of non-Muslims and the rights of Muslims. On pp. 2-3, Abu Ala al-Mawdudi says:

"An Islamic state ... is by its very nature bound to distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims, and, in an honest and upright manner, not only publicly declares this state of affairs but also precisely states what rights will be conferred upon its non-Muslim citizens and which of them will not be enjoyed by them."

 Now let us analyze the rights which are not supposed to be conferred on non-Muslims We will witness the worst practices of racial discrimination and religious segregation.

A Muslim Must Not Be Sentenced To Death For Murdering A Non Believer  

Muhammad himself gives justification for this. He says only Muslims’ have blood that is alike; thus a Muslim should not be put to death for murdering a non-Muslim but must pay a blood feud to the family of the murdered man. As expected, the great Muslim legists and scholars such as Ibn Timiyya, Ibn Hazm, Al-Shafii, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Al-Jalalan, Al-Bukhari and Muslim agree on this important point.

 

Ibn Timiyya  

Ibn Timiyya emphasizes forcefully in Volume 14,

"Nothing in the law of Muhammad states that the blood of the disbeliever is equal to the blood of the Muslim because faith is necessary for equality. The people of the Covenant (Jews or Christians) do not believe in Muhammad and Islam, thus their blood and the Muslim’s blood cannot be equal. These are distinctive texts which indicate that a Muslim is not to be put to death for (murdering) one of the people of the covenant or an unbeliever, but a free Muslim must be killed for a free Muslim, regardless of the race" (Vol. 14, p. 85).

He reiterates the same statement (Vol. 20, p. 282) that a Muslim must not be killed for one of the people of the covenant; that is, a Christian or a Jew

 

The Imam al-Shafii 

In section one of "Ahkam al-Qur’an" ("The Ordinances of the Qur’an", page 275), he says: "A Muslim is not to be killed for an unbeliever". Then he says (page 284),

"If a believer murders an unbeliever, he has to pay blood feud to the Jew or Christian which is one-third of the blood feud of the believer, though Malik says it must be one half."

Ibn Timiyya inclines towards Malik’s opinion and indicates (Vol. 20, p. 385) that:

"The blood feud should be one half because this is what was transmitted by tradition about the prophet Muhammad and as the Sunnis said also." 

Whether the blood feud is one third or one half is not important. What really matters is that a Muslim is not to be put to death for a non-Muslim. Despite the disagreement among the Muslim scholars about the actual amount of the blood feud to be paid, the important thing is that the blood feud of the unbeliever is less than the blood feud of the believer, and that a Muslim is not to be put to death for a non-Muslim.

Of course, if a Muslim murders another Muslim, the murderer must be sentenced to death because he assassinated another Muslim. According to al-Shafii, in this case the victim’s relatives have the option either to accept a blood feud or to kill the criminal. However, if the murdered is non-Muslim, his relatives have no choice but to accept the blood feud ("The Ordinances of the Qur’an", Sect. I, pp. 180, 279).

 

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya 

In his book, "Zad-al-Maad" (Sec. III, p.124), he says:

"Muslim blood is alike (has the same value). A Muslim is not to be put to death for killing an unbeliever."

"Sahih" of Al-Bukhari and" Sahih of Muslim" 

These are two authorized books acknowledged by all Islam scholars pertaining to Muhammad’s sayings. We read in Part 9 of al-Bukhari’s book (p. 16,) "A Muslim is not to be sentenced to death for an unbeliever." He stresses that this is also the opinion of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

In "Sahih of Muslim" interpreted by Nawawi (Part 4, p. 244), we read,

"A Muslim is not to be sentenced to death for one of the people of the covenant nor for a free man or a slave."

The Jalalan 

In their famous commentary, in the context of their interpretation of Sura the Women, the Jalalan clearly and distinctly states the following (p. 178),

"On the topic of punishment, whether or not a man embraces the same religion will be considered. Thus a Muslim is not to be sentenced to death, even if he is a slave and the victim was a free man—not a Muslim.

It is obvious from these words that there is discrimination between a slave and a freeman. What matters to us is that if a Muslim slave murdered a non-Muslim freeman, he is not to be sentenced to death because he is a Muslim and the murdered man is a non-Muslim.

These are the scholars who have quoted the words of Muhammad himself in this regard: Ibn Timiyya, Shafii, al-Jalalan, Ibn-Qayyim al-Jawziyya, Sahih of Muslim and Sahih of al-Bukhari. They are more acquainted with his sayings and | traditions than anyone else.

 

Ibn Hazm

In part Twelve of Vol. 8 (page 39), he asserts and demonstrates by practical and empirical examples the same opinion we have already observed. He indicates,

"If one of the people of the covenant murdered another one of the people of the covenant, and then the murderer was converted to Islam, he would not be subject to punishment based on the prophet Muhammad’s saying, "A Muslim is not to be sentenced to death for an unbeliever." But if the injured was converted to Islam, and died as a Muslim, the murderer must be sentenced to death because believers’ blood is alike. If a Muslim injures a non-Muslim intentionally, he is not to be punished because the injured is a non-Muslim, based on the Qur’anic verse. But if the injured confessed Islam and then died, the Muslim must be punished."

It is obvious here that Ibn Hazm relies on Muhammad’s sayings and does not present his own personal opinion. He explains how a murderer can spare himself punishment, even if he is not a Muslim. He offers him an easy way to escape by embracing Islam after he murders his non-Muslim friend ! In other words, Islam tells a murderer frankly, "Confess: ‘There is no God, but God and Muhammad is the apostle of God’ and you spare yourself the sentence of death because you became a Muslim, and in this case you will only pay a fine.’’

Places Of Worship Are Not Allowed To Be Built Or To Be Renovated Or To Be Rebuilt If They Are Destroyed  

Can the reader believe this unjust verdict? This is practiced in countries which were originally Christian such as Syria and Egypt. These countries had been invaded and occupied by Muslims and tom by war. Because of the attitude of Islam against the Christian places of worship, we discover obvious persecution and inequality.

 

Umar Ibn al-Khattab 

Muslims claim that Umar was the most just Caliph. The title, "just", is his famous attribute. He was the second Caliph and the father of Hafasa, Muhammad’s wife. He was also one of the greatest companions of Muhammad who was responsible for enacting legislation because he received it directly from Muhammad. Muhammad himself used to say, "Take as examples those who come after me—Abu Bakr and Umar" (Ibn Timiyya Vol. 28, p. 651 as well as other sources).

Now what did Umar Ibn al-Khattab say? Ibn Hazm, Ibn Timiyya and all the Chroniclers assert that when Umar signed the peace treaty with the Christians of Syria, he dictated some conditions to be carried out by the Muslim governors throughout the conquered Christian countries. One of these conditions was that Christians were prohibited from building a monastery or a church, and from rebuilding those that were destroyed even the cell of a monk (Ibn Hazm, Vol. 4, part 7, p.346).

This same words (uttered by Umar) are quoted also by Ibn Timiyya (Vol. 28, p.652).

In his above-mentioned book, Abu al-ala al-Mawdudi, the contemporary scholar, says (page 28),

"In lands owned by Muslims, the non-Muslims are not entitled to build new places of worship."

 That refers to the countries which Muslims possessed by war. Christians are not permitted to build new churches in them. It happened that a ruined church was actually renovated, but what was the punishment? Ahmad Ibn Timiyya, the Sheikh of Islam and the Mufti of Muslims in his time, was asked about this matter (Vol. 28, p. 648).

"Question: A Christian priest lives in a house next to a site on which there is a ruined church without a roof. The priest bought the site and renovated it and made the church part of the building in which he gathered people (to pray). Is he allowed to do so?

"Answer: He does not have the right to do so even if there were the ruins of an old church because Muslims had conquered these places by force and possessed the churches, and it is permissible for them to destroy them according to Muslim scholars. Therefore, all those who helped him must be punished, and the Christian priest’s blood must be shed and his properties must be confiscated according to some legists because he violated the terms imposed on them by Muslims. "

Ibn Timiyya’s words are very clear. He says that it is not permissible to renovate a ruined church. Notice also Ibn Timiyya’s statement that all the scholars agree on the permissibility of Muslims destroying churches in countries which they conquer by war. Pertaining to the death sentence inflicted upon anyone who builds a church, this verdict is voiced by Umar Ibn al-Khattab after he imposed his terms on the Christians. Umar told them,

"Anyone who violates such terms will be unprotected. And it will be permissible for the Muslims to treat them as rebels or dissenters namely, it is permissible to kill them" (Ibn Timiyya Vol. 28:652).

Concerning demolishing the churches or confiscating them, Abu Ala al-Mawdudi in his above-mentioned book (p. 11), indicates,

"Muslims have the right to confiscate places of worship in such towns as have been taken by storm."

Another Important question reveals strange historical and eccentric events which took place in Cairo, Egypt. In the same volume of Ibn Timiyya (Vol. 28, p. 632), we find the answer to the following question

"Question: If Christians claim that the churches which had been closed by the rulers were unjustly closed and they have the right to re-open them, and if they made their request to the rulers, should the rulers approve their case? Re-opening those churches may incur a change in the hearts of Muslims in all the earth because Christians will rejoice and will be pleased to go to churches. This will cause annoyance to the righteous

Muslims and others so that they invoke God against whoever allowed that and assisted it.

Answer: Ibn Timiyya, the Mufti of the Muslims responded to this question at the beginning of page 634. He said,

"Praise be to God: The allegation of Christians that Muslims were unjust to them by closing their churches is contrary to the consensus of Muslims because Muslim Scholars who belong to the four schools of Abu Hanifa, Malik Al-Shafii and Ahmaad as well as others of the Imam, such as Sufyan al-Thawri, al-Uzai, al-Laith Ibn sad and others, and before them some of the companions (of the prophet) and their successors, have consented that the Muslim Imam, even if he destroyed every church in the conquered land by war (such as Egypt, Iraq, and Syria) that would not be regarded as injustice done by him, but rather he must be obeyed in that. If Christians refuse to accept the verdict of the governor, they would be violating the covenant, and their blood and their properties become lawful (to the Muslims).

"It is well known that Umar Ibn al-Khattab made it a condition that Christians are not to build a church even in a land that was conquered through a peace treaty. If they had a church and the Muslims erected a city, the Muslims have the right to confiscate the church. Even if there were churches on the lands of Cairo before it was built, the Muslims would have the right to seize them after the erection of the city, because the city which is inhabited by Muslims who own mosques in it should be free of tokens of ungodliness, churches or anything similar.

"Because of the same principle, the prophet said: ‘Expel the Jews and Christians from the Arab peninsula.’ So no Jews were left in Khaybar. The prophet (until then) had agreed to keep them there after he invaded Khaybar and conquered it. Later, he gave his order to expel the Jews and Christians from all the Arab peninsula. That happened after the Muslims began to inhabit it. Thus, some rulers such as Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz and Harun al-Rashid and others used to demolish the Christian churches to support God’s cause. May (God’s) support and victory be upon them ! "

We have quoted the text of Ibn Timiyya word for word, as we usually do. Do these words need any comment? The matter is very clear and the reader can re-read these words. Sheikh al-Islam here clearly states all the historical facts, and the consensus of all the scholars, and the companions (Muhammad’s friends) who call for the abolishment of the churches and prohibition of building a new church. Only during a weakened Islam when the rulers did not apply the Islamic law were some churches were built, but in case of a strong ruler, such as Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz and Harun al-Rashid and others, God’s order was carried out and churches were demolished!

Whenever Christians refused to obey the order, their blood and properties became lawful to Muslims. What an insult and injustice! Yet in spite of that they talk boastfully about justice and equality! Even during the time of the Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab, the Muslims confiscated the largest church in Damascus and converted it into a mosque which is now called the "Amawi Mosque" (Ibn Kathir, Part 7, p. 21).

The Inadmissibility of the Testimony of the People of the Covenant  

This simply means that a non-Muslim (whether they are Jews or Christians) is not allowed to give his testimony in any matter in a court. Basically, their testimony is not acceptable because they are not Muslims. Is it possible that an entire society does not accept the testimony of its citizens because they are not Muslims? How then, can court cases be justly conducted, and where is equality?

My dear reader, this is Islamic law which does not comprehend the meaning of equality. Equality in Islam is delusion and deception. Islam is nothing but the religion of inequality.

The Sayings of Muslim Scholars and Legists 

All Muslim scholars agree on this matter. I have chosen to show you the greatest and the most famous from among them, such as al-Bukhari, al-Shafi'i, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Timiyya and Malik Ibn Ons.

 

Malik Ibn Ons 

In Vol. 5, Section 13, p. 156, we read the following plain statement,

"Non-Muslims’ testimony is not permissible at all, even against each other! Of course, their testimony is not allowable against Muslims but Muslim testimony against them is acceptable."

Concerning non-Muslim women he says also,

"The testimony of the women of the people of the covenant is not permissible even in birth! But the testimony of the women of Muslims is acceptable provided two women testify. One woman’s testimony is not acceptable" (p. 157).

The statement is very clear. Christian or Jewish testimonies are not acceptable, even against each other. Their women’s testimony is not acceptable even in matters of birth!

 

The Imam Al-Shafi'i 

In his famous book, "The Ordinances of the Qur’an" ("Ahkam Al-Qur’an", Part 2, p.142), Al-Shafi'i says,

"The testimony of the people of the covenant is not permissible . The witness must be one who belongs to our religion and he must be a freeman not a slave. Testimony is acceptable only from our freeman who belongs to our religion."

This is an unquestionable statement—The witness must be a Muslim, a freeman not a slave.

 

The Bukhari 

In Part 3, p.237 of the Sahih, the Bukhari indicates,

"Polytheists are not to be asked for a testimony or anything else. The testimony of the people of other religions against each other is not allowable, based on the Qur’anic saying: ‘We caused enmity among them,’ and because the prophet Muhammad said: ‘Do not believe the people of the Book."’ 

That is, a Christian cannot testify against another Christian, according to al-Bukhari, one of the most famous scholars of Islam. He quotes a verse from the Qur’an which says that God has caused enmity to prevail among Christians, thus their testimony is not acceptable against each other—as if there is no hostility, homicide, war and destruction among Muslims! Then the Bukhari cites Muhammad’s saying: "Do not believe the people of the book." The non-Muslim’s testimony is not acceptable.

 

Ibn Hazm 

In Vol. 6, Part 9, pp. 405-408, Ibn Hazm remarks,

"The testimony of a Christian or a Jew is not permissible unless a Muslim man dies in a foreign land void of Muslims! Apart from this, the testimony of a Jew or a Christian is not acceptable against another Muslim or even against a Jew or a Christian like him."

In order to authenticate his statement Ibn Hazm quotes the most famous among the companions of Muhammad, such as Ibn Abbas and Abu Musa, as well as some of Muhammad’s wives.

 

Ibn Timiyya 

In Vol. 14, p. 87, Ibn Timiyya indicates plainly and decisively: "The testimony of the people of the covenant is not admissible."

I believe the texts quoted from the works of these prestigious Muslim authorities are sufficient to clarify this point. Otherwise, tell us, my dear Muslim friend, who are more famous than al-Bukhari, Malik, Ibn Timiyya? If you want to know the opinion of the Imam Abu Hanifa, he also declared that the testimony of a non-Muslim is not allowed against a Muslim. He agrees with all other scholars in this matter, but he adds that the testimony of a non-Muslim against another non-Muslim like him may be admissible because all of them are ungodly men. The rest of the scholars (without exception) disagree with him in this matter.

The Prohibition Against Employing non-Muslims 

There exists a prohibition against employing non-Muslims in certain jobs, such as management positions. All scholars and legists of Islamic law agree on this view.

 

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, (the "Just" Caliph) 

In Vol. 28, pp. 643, 644 Ibn Timiyya narrates the following significant events:

"Khalid Ibn Al-Walid wrote to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab saying: ‘In Syria there is a Christian secretary who is in full charge of accounting the taxes.’ Umar wrote to him: ‘Do not use him.’ Khalid answered: ‘He is indispensable and if we do not put him in charge of it, the treasury will be lost.’ Umar responded again: ‘Do not use him."’

 It was quoted in Sahih Al-Bukhari that Muhammad said,

"‘I will not ask the assistance of a polytheist.’

"One day, Abu Musa Al-Ashari came to Umar while he was in the mosque to lay before him the income of Iraq. Umar was pleased with the outcome and said: ‘Summon your secretary to read it for me.’ Abu Musa told him: ‘He would not enter the mosque because he is a Christian.’ Umar attempted to scourge Abu Musa with a whip. Had it touched him, it would have hurt him and Umar said: ‘Do not honor them after God has humiliated them. Do not believe them after God has disbelieved them"’ (Ibn Timiyya, Vol. 28).

Based on Ibn Timiyya’s volumes, it is well known that Umar Ibn al-Khattab used to command the Muslims and their governors saying, "Humiliate the Christians." This is the second Caliph who succeeded Abu Bakr. He refused to let Khalid appoint a Christian to take care of the taxes in spite of Khalid’s evaluation that no one knew better than he. When he also discovered that Abu Musa had employed a Christian to oversee the accounts of Iraq, he scourged him with a whip. Then Ibn Timiyya adds in the same volume (p. 646),

"Some who were less qualified than the Christians were appointed; that would be more useful to Muslims for their religion and earthly welfare. A little of what is lawful will be abundantly blessed, and abundance of what is unlawful will be wasted."

Ibn Timiyya meant here that regardless of how little the qualification of a Muslim, God will bless it because employing a Muslim is lawful; and no matter how great the qualification of a Christian, employing him is an unlawful matter which God has forbidden.

Of course, it is not allowed that any Christian be appointed to a position of leadership All scholars agree on that. Ibn Hazm says, "No one but a mature, sane Muslim should assume the office of judge" (Vol. 6, part 9, p.363). Umar Ibn al-Khattab said; "No one of them should hold a position in which he can have power over a Muslim."

 

Contemporary Scholars—The Azhar Scholars of Egypt 

It is sufficient to quote the Azhar Scholars of Egypt and the Mawdudi of Pakistan. Dr. Abdul Moumin says,

"All Muslims Jurists agree that a judge should be a Muslim and it is forbidden for a non-Muslim to be a judge according to the Qur’anic verse, ‘There is no authority of the infidels over the Muslims.’ Judgment is considered authority and judgment requires that the judge be a mature and wise Muslim. In addition, a non-Muslim should be humiliated as an infidel, whereas the position of judge requires respect, and he is ineligible even to be a witness."

This article is from the "Journal of the Administration of Governmental Judicial

Cases" (1979 July-September) concerning the general rules prohibiting non-Muslims from being judges in court according to Qur’anic verses and Islamic teachings. This article was written by Dr. Badr El Deen Abdel Moumin, teacher at the international university of Al-Azhar. The Journal is published by the Egyptian Government. This Islamic law is not applied now in Egypt, but it is an Islamic law according to the Qur’an and Muhammad’s teaching.

 

The Mawdudi 

In his previous book, "Rights of Non Muslims in Islamic State", the Mawdudi says, "They cannot become members of the Council and they do not have the right to participate in electing members to these positions" (Arabic version, p.31).

Also, in his book, "Islam and Encountering the Challenges", the Mawdudi also says,

"Non-Muslim sects must not be made equal to Muslims in political rights; even the right of election is prohibited for non- Muslims" (p. 268).

On the same page, the Mawdudi asserts that non-Muslims do not have the right to propagate their religion in Muslim lands.

It is apparent to everyone, therefore, that the position of a judge is prohibited for a non-Muslim or a woman because Muhammad said plainly,

"May God curse the people who appoint a woman to govern them" (Bukhari, Volume 6, p. 10, and Volume 9, p. 70).

What a significant saying of Muhammad! This is a tradition upon which scholars rely. It is even known to the ordinary man. This is why some Kuwaiti and Saudi newspapers warned the people of Pakistan against electing Mrs. Buto to be Prime Minister of Pakistan. Pakistani officials said that there is nothing in their constitution which prohibits it.

The People of the Covenant are Subject to the Qur’an 

In Vol. 6, part 9, p. 425, Ibn Hazm reiterates these auspicious words,

"The Jew and the Christian and the Magian are to be judged by the laws of the people of Islam in everything, whether they like it or not, whether they come to us or not. It is unlawful to refer them to the law of their faith. There is a verse in the Qur’an which says to Muhammad, ‘If they come to you, pass arbitrary judgment among them or turn away from them.’ Another verse was inspired which abrogated this verse. It says, ‘Pass your judgment on them according to what God revealed to you.’ This is what Ibn Abbas has said."

In his book, "The Islamic State" (p. 105), Taqiy al-Din al-Nabahani of Jerusalem attests to Ibn Hazms’s statement:

"The Islamic state was carrying out the laws of Islam in the Countries which were subject to its authority. It used to implement the ordinances, and apply the punishments as well as the business deals and to administer the people’s matters according to Islamic principles. Scholars of the foundation of jurisprudence believed that the one who was addressed by legal ordinances must comprehend the message, whether he is a Muslim or non-Muslim—all who embrace Islam and those who do not yield to its ordinances."

The important thing here is that Muslims attacked Christian lands and occupied them, then they imposed Islamic law on Christian inhabitants! !

 

The Remainder of Umar’s Terms 

We have already mentioned that Umar Ibn Al-Khattab made it mandatory that Christians not build a new church or renovate any of the ruined churches. Now let us complete the study of the restrictions which Umar imposed on Christians as they are recorded in the same reference (Ibn Timiyya, Vol. 28, and Ibn Hazm, Vol. 4). Umar says,

"Christians should not hinder any Muslim from staying in their churches for three days during which they offer them food and serve the Muslims. They ought to give them their seats if the Muslims wish to sit down. Christians should not resemble Muslims in anything, such as their dress, tiaras, turbans or shoes or parting of the hair. They should not ride a donkey with a saddle. They must shave their foreheads. They should not display any of their (religious) books on the streets of the Muslims. They should not bury their dead next to Muslims and must not read loudly in their churches. They should not mourn loudly over their dead. They should not buy slaves who fall under the portion of Muslims Not one of them should assume any position by which he has any authority over a Muslim. If they infringe any of these terms, they lose the right of protection and it is admissible for the Muslims to treat them as people of rebellion and quarrel; that is, it is permissible to kill them. Head tax must be imposed on them, free men as well as the slaves, male or female, poor and rich and on the monks" (cited from Ibn Hazm).

Ibn Timiyya asserts that these are the conditions which Umar Ibn al-Khattab actually made. He completely agrees with Ibn Hazm because this is the history of Islam. When Umar made a peace treaty with the Christians of Syria, he offered them these terms in a clear document. Sufyan al-Thawri who is one of the ancient Muslim scholars and chroniclers acknowledged by all Muslims, attests to this. Ibn Timiyya adds in the same volume (page 654):

"These terms are constantly renewed and imposed on the Christians by any one of the Muslim rulers who, God may be exalted, has bestowed on him success, as Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz did during his reign, who strictly followed the path of Umar Ibn al-Khattab. Harun Al-Rashid, Jafar al-Mutawakkil and others renewed them and ordered the demolishing of the churches which ought to be demolished, like the churches of the entire Egyptian lands."

Ibn Timiyya recorded the above after he praised the rulers who carried out these terms which Umar Ibn al-Khattab, father of Hafasa, wife of Muhammad and the second Caliph who succeeded Aby Bakr a imposed on Christians. Ibn Timiyya declares to us (Vol. 28, p.654):

"These terms are mentioned by the chief scholars who belong to the acknowledged schools. They alluded to the fact that the Imam ought to oblige the people of the book to subjugate them to these terms [because Muhammad said many times, ‘Follow Abu Bakr and Omar!’]."

Ibn Timiyya also indicated that Umar Ibn al-Khattab said about the people of the covenant, "Humiliate them," because the Qur’an said distinctly that they should pay the head tax with humiliation (9:29).

1. These unjust humiliating terms imposed on Christians are acknowledged not only by Ibn Timiyya and Ibn Hazm but also by the chief scholars (who belong to the four schools which are followed by the majority of the Muslims) among them Sufyan al-Thawri, who is one of the great companions and chroniclers. These terms were not only carried out during the era of Umar Ibn al-Khattab but were implemented by many Arab Muslim rulers during their occupation of the lands of Christian people.

2. After Umar Ibn Al-Khattab presented these terms to the inhabitants of Syria and Damascus, he told them plainly:

"If any Christian violates any of these terms, it will be permissible to kill him."

Imagine the extent of the relentlessness and injustice of this verdict. This means that if a Christian dressed like a Muslim, it would be permissible to kill him. If he refused to host the Muslims in the church for three days, or if he did not move from his seat to let the Muslim sit in his place, he could be killed. Also, if Christians pray loudly in the churches or mourn loudly over their dead, or if one of them renovated a ruined church he would be killed. What a just man, Umar Ibn Khattab! As all Muslims say about him, "The Just Caliph!"

A Christian Is Condemned To Death If He Curses A Muslim 

Who can believe this matter? No one, unless he reads it clearly in Ibn Hazm’s book (Vol. 8, part 11, p. 274). He said:

"It is mandatory to kill anyone of the people of the Covenant who curses a Muslim, whether he is a Jew or a Christian because God says, ‘Pay the tribute readily, being brought low [humiliated]’" (9:29).

"That is humiliation. If anyone violates this principle by cursing a Muslim, he must be killed or taken into captivity. His properties become lawful for Muslims nor does it matter whether the person who did it was a man or a woman. If any one of them cursed a Muslim, he would have no choice but either to embrace Islam or be killed" (p. 274).

 Ibn Hazm (page 275) added, "Of course, if a Muslim curses another Muslim like him, he would only be whipped."

Ibn Timiyya states that in general, any Christian who curses a Muslim must be killed immediately (Vol. 28:668).

It is easy for the reader to imagine all the situations in which a Christian who is humiliated in his own land might get angry, react impulsively, and curse a Muslim. However, if he does, there is nothing left for him but to accept Islam or to be killed, as Ibn Hazm indicated! What a merciful religion! A religion of equality and love and understanding—and justice!

Before we conclude this discussion, we would like to mention briefly three specific things out of dozens of other issues. What we have already discussed is sufficient for anyone who is interested in knowing the facts about equality and justice as they are practiced by Muhammad and Islam. It is enough to remove this veil, yet there are three more things:

1. If a Christian father executed or arranged a marriage for his Muslim daughter (even with her approval) that marriage is not permissible and is void because the rather is a Christian and she is a Muslim - even if the daughter approved of it (Malik Ibn Anas, Vol. 2, part 4, p. 176). That is, the father cannot be the legal guardian of his Muslim daughter even if she herself wants it! A Muslim who is a stranger to her will become her legal guardian!

2. Muhammad said, "Do not meet Jews or Christians with greetings. If you ever meet them in the street, force them to the narrowest part of it" (refer to Sahih of Muslim, "Interpretation of Nawawi", Vol. 5, p. 7; also Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya: Zad al-Ma’ad, Part 2, pp. 424, 425). This is a well-known statement of Muhammad.

3. Last, we would like to state here a remark made by one of the contemporary Muslim scholars, Dr. Ahmad ’Umar Hashim, in which he reveals the real face of Islam. He says,

"Islam does not prohibit [Muslims] from conducting business with non-Muslims, but Islam prohibits hearty friendships because hearty friendship should only be between a Muslim and his brother Muslim" (Al-Liwa al-lslami, issue no. 153 - Al Azhar).

What a sad statement! Yet, this is not foreign to Islam and, of course, Al Azhar knows exactly what Islam does and does not prohibit.

You may have a Muslim friend who tells you that Muhammad said of the people of the Book, "They enjoy the privileges we enjoy and they are subject to the duties to which we are subject." What does this statement mean? How does it agree with what we have already had which reveals clearly that there is a striking discrimination between the Muslim and the non-Muslim? Besides, we have seen that the people of the Book are subject to ill-treatment and contempt.

The answer is very simple. Muhammad spelled out this statement about the people of the Book provided that they became Muslims like them. In this case, they would be treated as Muslims without any discrimination and they would be subject to the same privileges and duties as other Muslims because they have become Muslims. If they do not embrace Islam, they will be subject to the head tax and all the terms which ’Umar Ibn al-Khattab mentioned in his document. It is relevant here, my friend, to know the situation concerning to which the above statement refers because many Muslims wrongly believe that it means equality between Muslims and non-Muslims.

 

They Have the Rights and Duties We Have  

If we open the "Biography of the Prophet" ("Al-Road Al Anf", Ibn Hisham and Al-Sohaly, part 4, p. 216), we read that Muhammad sent a letter to some of the Byzantines who accepted Islam saying,

"From Muhammad, the Apostle of God: I received what you have sent and I became aware of your acceptance of Islam and your fight against the infidels. You have to practice praying, pay the alms and give one-fifth of the bounty to God and to His apostle. Any one of the Jews or Christians who accepts Islam will enjoy the same rights we enjoy and will be subject to the same duties to which we are subject. But anyone who holds fast to his faith must pay the head tax."

What is important to us in this quotation is not Muhammad’s request that they send him one fifth of the bounty which was captured during their raids, but rather his plain statement that anyone who embraces Islam will have the same rights and will be subject to the same duties imposed on the Muslims. Those who hold fast to their own religion must pay the head tax (the tribute). This is what is recorded in Ibn Hisham’s biography which has become the most authoritative source about Muhammad’s life.

If we examine the "Chronicle of al-Tabari" (Part 2, pp. 145-196), we see the same principle. Muhammad himself says,

"Whoever prays our prayer is a Muslim, and will enjoy the same rights as Muslims and be subject to the same duties. But those who reject (Islam) must pay the head tax."

In Part One, we discussed the wars which Muslims waged in order to spread Islam and indicated that ’Amru Ibn al-’As, when he invaded Egypt, said to Maquqas who was the ruler at that time,

"If you accept Islam you will become our brothers, enjoying the same rights as we do and subject to the same duties to which we are subject" ("al-Khulafa al-Rashidun" by Dr. Abu Zayd Shalabi, p. 145).

Chapter Five

Slavery in Islam

All the ancient as well as the contemporary scholars acknowledge the fact of slavery in Islam and clarify the status of slaves. I have chosen the opinions of the most famous scholars to shed light on their position.

The Scholars of al-Azhar in Egypt

In his book, "You Ask and Islam Answers", Dr. 'Abdul-Latif Mushtahari, the general supervisor and director of homiletics and guidance at the Azhar University, says (pp. 51,52),

"Islam does not prohibit slavery but retains it for two reasons. The first reason is war (whether it is a civil war or a foreign war in which the captive is either killed or enslaved) provided that the war is not between Muslims against each other - it is not acceptable to enslave the violators, or the offenders, if they are Muslims. Only non-Muslim captives may be enslaved or killed. The second reason is the sexual propagation of slaves which would generate more slaves for their owner."

The text is plain that all prisoners of war must either be killed or become slaves. The ancient scholars are in full agreement over this issue, such as Ibn Timiyya, Ibn Hisham, Malik etc. Ibn Timiyya says (Vol. 32, p. 89),

"The root of the beginning of slavery is prisoners of war; the bounties have become lawful to the nation of Muhammad."

Then (Vol. 31, p. 380), he indicates clearly and without shame,

"Slavery is justified because of the war itself; however, it is not permissible to enslave a free Muslim. It is lawful to kill the infidel or to enslave him, and it also makes it lawful to take his offspring into captivity.

In Part 4, p. 177 of the "Prophet Biography" (Al-Road Al-Anf'), Ibn Hisham says,

"According to Islamic law concerning prisoners of war, the decision is left to the Muslim Imam. He has the choice either to kill them or to exchange them for Muslim captives, or to enslave them. This is in regard to men, but women and children are not permitted to be killed, but must be exchanged (to redeem Muslim captives) or enslaved - take them as slaves and maids."

This is the statement of Ibn Hisham, on whom all Muslims and students of Muhammad's biography rely. Of course, these matters which Ibn Hisham recorded used to take place continuously in all of Muhammad's wars and invasions. All of Muhammad's people (his wives, and Muhammad himself) owned many slaves - males and females. In his campaign against the children of Qurayza (the Jewish tribe), Muhammad killed all the males (700-900) in one day. Then, he divided the women and the children among his people.

The Caliphs across the ages followed Muhammad's footsteps and enslaved (by hundreds and thousands) men and women who were captured in wars. Many of them were Persians and Byzantines. All the Islamic Chroniclers without exception have recorded these facts. The way Arab Muslims invaded Africa and killed and enslaved Africans is a well-known, historical fact.

In Vol. 2, Part 3, p. 13, Malik Ibn Anas repeated the same text as did Ibn Hisham who is also quoted by Ibn Timiyya, and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in his book, "Zad al-Ma'ad" (part 3, p. 486). All of them taught the same principle and said the same words.

This question was delivered to Ibn Timiyya who was Mufti of Islam (Vol. 31, pp. 376, 377),

"A man married a maid-slave who bore him a child. Would that child be free or would he be an owned slave?"

Ibn Timiyya says emphatically,

"Her child whom she bore from him would be the property of her master according to all the Imams (heads of the four Islamic schools of law) because the child follows the (status) of his mother in freedom or slavery. If the child is not of the race of Arabs, then he is definitely an owned slave according to the scholars, but the scholars disputed (his status) among themselves if he was from the Arabs - whether he must be enslaved or not because when A'isha (Muhammad's wife) had a maid-slave who was an Arab, Muhammad said to A'isha, `Set this maid free because she is from the children of Ishmael.'"

Then Ibn Timiyya states (Vol. 31, p. 380) that the legist Abu Hanifa says, "Muhammad is an Arab; thus it is not admissible to enslave Arabs because of the nobility of this race since Muhammad is from them." Yet other scholars disagree with him, emphasizing that Muhammad (in one of his campaigns) enslaved Arabs, too. However, it is evident from Muhammad's traditions that he regarded Arabs to be the most noble race, especially the Quraysh, his tribe. His famous saying (that the caliphs must be elected from the Quraysh tribe) is acknowledged by all translators of the tradition without exception.

He should have told A'isha, "Set her free because she is a human being like you. It is not important whether she is a descendant of Ishmael or of Isaac!"

Islam Encourages Muslims to Keep Slaves - No Liberation

All Muslim scholars acknowledge that Islam has retained the principle of slavery, though some of them claim that Islam encourages the liberation of slaves. Maybe some of Muhammad's sayings and a few Qur'anic verses indicate so, yet from a practical point of view, we realize that the liberation of slaves was a rare occurrence. The reason is well known. Neither Muhammad nor his wives or companions were a good example in this regard. Sometimes, Muhammad used to talk about the merits of liberating a slave, yet he himself owned dozens of slaves and maid-slaves. However, we encounter a strange opinion spelled out by Muhammad's wives and his friends in which he encourages them to retain their slaves. In Vol. 33, p. 61 Ibn Timiyya says,

"Anyone who says, `If I do so (such a thing), every slave I own will become free' is not obligated by his oath and he can redeem his oath by any means and retain his slaves. (He can do that) by fasting a few days or by feeding some hungry people."

On the same page Ibn Timiyya stresses that this is what all Muhammad's friends said (such as Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn 'Umar) as well as his wives (such as Zaynab, A'isha, and Um Salama).

Is the liberation of slaves a bad thing so that it is possible for a man who swears he will liberate his slaves to renounce his oath and retain them? It should be said that whoever takes an oath to free his slaves if so and so happens, is obliged to fulfill his oath and liberate his slaves, but we see that Muhammad's wives, his great companions and his relatives say something different according to the testimony of Ibn Timiyya.

The Qur'an itself (in several places) approves of slavery and assures the Muslim the right to own dozens of male and female slaves either by purchasing them or as bounty of war. The Qur'an talks about the possession of slaves as "the possession of their necks" (Chapter 58:3, Surah Al-Mujadilah).

 

Slaves of Muhammad - Prophet of Freedom and Equality!

Muhammad himself owned numerous slaves after he proclaimed himself to be a prophet. I would like here to quote Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya who is one of the greatest scholars and chroniclers of Islam. In his book, "Zad al-Ma'ad" (Part I, p. 160), he says,

"Muhammad had many male and female slaves. He used to buy and sell them, but he purchased (more slaves) than he sold, especially after God empowered him by His message, as well as after his immigration from Mecca. He (once) sold one black slave for two. His name was Jacob al-Mudbir. His purchases of slaves were more (than he sold). He was used to renting out and hiring many slaves, but he hired more slaves than he rented out.

This trading used to take place in the slave market in the Arab Peninsula and in Mecca. Muhammad was accustomed to sell, purchase, hire, rent, and to exchange one slave for two. Thus, he had an increasing number of slaves, especially after he claimed to be a prophet, and after his immigration from Mecca to escape death at the hand of his tribe Quraysh. Also, the slaves of Muhammad and his followers were constantly increasing as the result of those who were captured in wars and not only by purchase. This should alert those who have accepted Islam - the Muslims of New York, Chicago, Georgia, Detroit, Los Angeles as well as all the Africans and all Muslims of the world. Even among the Arabs are Muslims who are not aware of these facts concerning Muhammad. Sadly, this is only a small part of the facts of which they are unaware concerning Muhammad.

The Names of Muhammad's Slaves

A) Male Slaves:

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya relies always on the prophet's biographies written by great ancient scholars. Therefore, he is regarded by Muslims as an authority, a primary source and a leader among the students of the Islamic religion. This scholar tells us in his book, "Zad al-Ma'ad" (part 1, pp. 114, 115, and 116), the following,

"These are the names of Muhammad's male slaves: Yakan Abu Sharh, Aflah, 'Ubayd, Dhakwan, Tahman, Mirwan, Hunayn, Sanad, Fadala Yamamin, Anjasha al-Hadi, Mad'am, Karkara, Abu Rafi', Thawban, Ab Kabsha, Salih, Rabah, Yara Nubyan, Fadila, Waqid, Mabur, Abu Waqid, Kasam, Abu 'Ayb, Abu Muwayhiba, Zayd Ibn Haritha, and also a black slave called Mahran, who was re-named (by Muhammad) Safina (`ship').

He himself relates his own story; he says:

"The apostle of God and his companions went on a trip. (When) their belongings became too heavy for them to carry, Muhammad told me, `Spread your garment.' They filled it with their belongings, then they put it on me. The apostle of God told me, `Carry (it), for you are a ship.' Even if I was carrying the load of six or seven donkeys while we were on a journey, anyone who felt weak would throw his clothes or his shield or his sword on me so I would carry that, a heavy load. The prophet told me, `You are a ship"' (refer to Ibn Qayyim, pp. 115-116; al-Hulya, Vol. 1, p. 369, quoted from Ahmad 5:222).

The story shows their ruthlessness and does not need explanation or clarification. The ill treatment Muhammad and his companions made of Mahran is very repulsive. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya is not the only one who recorded this episode and the list of names of Muhammad's slaves. The Tabari also (in his Chronicles, Volume 2 p. 216, 217, 218) presents us with these accounts. No one among the contemporary Muslim leaders denies these matters, especially if he is faced with the Tabari's and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya's records.

Still, in regard to Muhammad's slave Zayd Ibn Haritha, Muhammad set him free and adopted him, then he married him to his (Muhammad's) cousin Zaynab. Later Zayd divorced her after he realized that Muhammad was captivated by her. The scandalous story is documented by verses in the Qur'an, and Muslim scholars admit it.

B) Maid Slaves:

In this same Section (One, p. 116), Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya as well as other Muslim authors of chronicles recorded the list of names of Muhammad's maid-slaves. They are Salma Um Rafi', Maymuna daughter of Abu Asib, Maymuna daughter of Sa'd, Khadra, Radwa, Razina, Um Damira, Rayhana, Mary the Coptic, in addition to two other maid-slaves, one of them given to him as a present by his cousin, Zaynab, and the other one captured in a war.

 

The Status of the Slave Under Islam's Unjust Laws

Let us survey together some strange things embraced by Muhammad and Islam pertaining to slaves. Then let us shed some light on the attitude of Christianity towards this issue.

The Freeman Should Not Be Killed For A Slave

The Qur'an as well as Muslim scholars are explicit in this regard The Qur'an (the Chapter of the Cow:178) shamelessly says,

"O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered - the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female."

The reader does not need the interpretations of the scholars to understand these explicit words which indicate that the freeman should be killed only for another freeman, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female. Still, I promised to stick to the interpretations of the great expositors of these Qur'anic verses from among the Muslim scholars because they are more knowledgeable of their Book and its verses. We rely on their interpretations and not on our own. In the commentary of the Jalalan (p. 24), we read the following regarding the above mentioned verse,

"The same punishment was imposed on believers and what is similar to the act of the crime in the case of a homicide, by virtue of description or actuality. A freeman should be killed for another freeman but not for a slave, a female for a female, but a Muslim (even if he is a slave) must not be killed for an infidel, even if that infidel is a freeman."

What kind of equality is this between human beings!

To explain the aforementioned verse (2:178), the Baydawi relates what really happened with the prophet Muhammad, Abu Bakr and 'Umar. This is recorded in his book entitled, "The Commentary of al-Baydawi". On p. 36, we read,

"The Shafi'i and Malik prohibit the killing of a freeman if he slays his slave or other men's slaves. This is because 'Ali Ibn Abi-Talib mentioned that a man had killed his slave and Muhammad scourged him only; he did not kill him. It was related on the authority of Muhammad that he said a Muslim should not be killed for a non-Muslim, nor a freeman for a slave; also because Abu Bakr and 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab did not kill a freeman for a slave. (This was said) in the presence of all Muhammad's companions, and no one disapproved or objected to it."

These are the verses of the Qur'an and this is the attitude of Muhammad himself as well as Abu Bakr and 'Umar after him.

The Muslim legists

The Shafi'i, Malik and Ibn Timiyya, pronounce the same principle as in the Qur'an (2:187).

The Imam Shafi'i tells us plainly and decisively in Part I of his book, "Ahkam al-Qur'an" ("The Ordinances of the Qur'an", p. 275),

"A man is not to be killed for his slave nor the freeman for a slave."

On the same page he adds,

"A believer is not to be killed for a non-believer, nor a man for his son, or a man for his slave or for a woman."

What justice! What equality! Then he adds,

"The freeman is not to be killed for a slave according to the scholars."

Malik Ibn Anas was asked: "What is the punishment of a master who beats his slave to death?" He answered: "Nothing!" (Vol. 6, Part 15, p 164).

In Vol. 28, p. 378, Ibn Timiyya also says:

"What we mentioned in regard to the believers whose blood is treated equally is restricted to the free Muslim against another free Muslim."

I do not have better witnesses in this regard than these scholars: Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Ali and Muhammad's deeds, and all great, popular Muslim scholars.

A Slave Is Not Entitled To Property Or Money

Ibn Hazm says in Vol. 6, Part 9,

"The slave is not permitted to write a will when he dies, nor can he bequeath (anything) because his entire possessions belong to his master."

In part I, p. 180 of his book, "The Ordinances of the Qur'an", the Shafi'i also says,

"The Qur'anic verse; `Marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four are meant for the freeman only and not for the slaves because he says in it that the one who acts fairly is the person who owns money and slaves do not own money."'

He also indicates in Part II, p. 21, "The owned one does not have money." Besides, according to the Islamic law, all Muslims receive portions of war bounty except slaves and women. Malik Ibn Anas says (Vol. 2, Part 3, pp. 33,34),

"Slaves and women do not have any portion in the bounty."

This is true even if they have been fighting with the rest of the Muslims. In Part III of the "Prophetic Biography" (p. 386), Ibn Kathir says,

"The slave does not get anything from the bounty whether the bounty is money or women."

The Testimony Of The Slave Is Not Admissible

In Vol. 35, p. 409 Ibn Timiyya remarks,

"The Shafi'i, Malik, and Abu Hanifa, who are the legists of Islam, assert that the testimony of the slave is not acceptable."

If we also turn the pages of the "Ordinances of the Qur'an" by the Shafi'i (part II, p. 142), he determines,

"The witnesses must be from among our freeman, not from our slaves, but from freeman who belong to our religion! "

The testimony of a Jew or a Christian is not acceptable, as we have mentioned before, even if justice would be hindered for lack of their witness. This is not important. In his "Sahih" (Part III, p. 223), Al-Bukhari remarks,

"The testimony of a slave is not acceptable in marriages."

What is the meaning of the Shafi'i's statement,

"A witness should not be from our possessed slaves."

Does not Mr. Shafi'i know that God only is the One who owns people? How dare he utter the phrase, "our possessed slaves."

There Is No Punishment For One Who Makes False Accusation Against Slaves

It is well known that if a Muslim falsely accuses another free Muslim and slanders his honor, he will be punished by being flogged with eighty lashes. This is what happened when some of Muhammad's companions and relatives accused A'isha, his wife, of adultery with one of the young men because they stayed behind after the departure of the caravan, then later in the morning they arrived together. Muhammad ordered each one of them flogged with eighty lashes. But if a Muslim calumniates a slave, he would not be punished.

This is the opinion of all the scholars.

For instance (Vol. 8, Part II, p. 27 1), Ibn Hazm asserts that this is the opinion of Abu Hanifa, Shafi'i, Malik, and Sufyan al-Thawri and not only his own opinion. This is what the Sharawi shamelessly remarks,

"Female slaves are deprived of dignity and subject to abuse because they are not `an honor' to anyone (that is, they are not free, respectable women who belong to a free man). These are the same words reiterated by the Shafi'i (Part I, p. 307) in his book, `Ahkam of the Qur'an'; thus a female slave must not be veiled. When- ever Muhammad took a woman as a captive, if he imposed the veil on her, Muslims would say he took her as a wife, but if he left her unveiled they would say, `He owned her as a slave'; that is, she became a property of his right hand."

A good example is the incident of Safiyya, daughter of Hay, who was taken as a bounty in the war of Khaybar. All the chronicles (as well as the biographies without exception) have recorded, "We wonder why it is said about women and girls that they are of `shed dignity'." The Shafi'i and the Sharawi state this word for word. Is it necessary for us to repeat that Islam sheds the dignity of man under the pretense that he is a slave, that she is a woman, or that he is a non-Muslim?

On Matters Of Sex And Marriage - and About Black Slaves

1. The Slave cannot choose for himself.

This was confirmed by all the Muslim scholars on the authority of Muhammad. In Vol. 6, Part 9, p. 467, Ibn Hazm said,

"If a slave gets married without the permission of his master, his marriage will be invalid and he must be whipped because he has committed adultery. He must be separated from his wife. She is also regarded as an adulteress because Muhammad said, `Any slave who gets married without the approval of his master is a prostitute.'"

The same text is quoted by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (Part 5, p. 117 of "Zad al-Maad"), as well as Ibn Timiyya (Vol. 32, p. 201). Malik Ibn Anas relates (Vol. 2, Part 4) more than that. He says (pp. 199, 201, 206),

"The slave does not get married without the approval of his master. If he is a slave to two masters, he has to obtain the approval of both men."

 

2. The male slave and the female slave are forced to get married.

Malik Ibn Anas says explicitly,

"The master has the right to force his male or female slave to marry without obtaining their approval" (Vol. 2, p. 155).

Ibn Hazm says that Sufyan al-Thawri, too, has said that the master has the right to force his male or female slave to marry without securing their approval (Vol. 6, Part 9, p. 469). Ibn Timiyya is of the same opinion.

I must not fail in this regard to mention that Malik Ibn Ons, who (after agreeing with the other scholars that the master has the right to force his male or female slave to get married) added,

"The master does not have the right to force the female slave to wed to an ugly black slave if she is beautiful and agile unless in case of utmost necessity" (refer to Ibn Hazm, Vol. 6, Part 9, p. 469).

We wonder here, what did Malik Ibn Anas mean when he said, "An ugly black slave"? Is a man valued on the basis of the color of his skin? Do you say that, O Malik Ibn Anas, and you are one of the great four legists? Or is a man valued on the basis of his personality, reasoning, and heart? We also have the right to wonder why Mihran, the black slave, suffered the humiliation afflicted on him by Muhammad and his companions when they made him carry their belongings in the burning desert while Muhammad was saying to him, "Carry them, for you are a ship." Thus he became known by that surname. Did they not have dozens of other slaves?

Muhammad even discriminated (in Islam) between a black dog and a white dog! Yet, what concerns us here is what I pointed out about slaves in general, their masters treat them as if they are not human beings who have feelings, desires and self-will.

Let us continue our discussion in order to have a more complete picture about how the Islamic religion abuses the dignity of men and women under the pretense that they are slaves and not free human beings.

3. The Arab freeman does not marry a slave unless it is inevitable:

In Vol. 31, p. 383, Ibn Timiyya says,

"It is not permissible for the Arab freeman to marry an owned slave unless it is inevitable, such as being unable to get married to a free woman. If it happened and he were wed to a slave, her children would be slaves, too, because they follow (the status) of the mother in slavery."

Malik Ibn Anas notes,

"It is not allowable for a man to wed a slave besides his freewoman wife. In this case, his wife has the right to divorce him. Likewise, if he marries a freewoman while he is already married to a slave and he fails to tell her so, the freewoman has the right to leave him" (Malik, Vol. 2, p. 204).

I do not have any comment on these strange principles, yet I wonder why an Arab freeman cannot marry a slave. Is not he a man and she a woman? And why (if it is inevitable that he should marry her) should all her descendants be slaves? These are iniquitous and ruthless ordinances. It is obvious that Muhammad failed to change the traditions of the tribal society of the pre-Islamic period. Most Arab Muslims had slaves. His companions, wives and he himself owned and retained dozens of them. He bought more after he claimed his prophethood and declared his message - the message or equality, and freedom, and human rights!

What Would Happen If A Freewoman Married Her Slave?

She might be an open-minded woman who did not discriminate between one man and another. Thus she might have fallen in love with her slave who also loved her and they intended, officially, to get married. What is the attitude of Islam in this case? If something like that took place in Islamic society, it would be a disaster! Let us see the reaction of Umar Ibn Khattab in these situations. In Vol. 8, Part 11, pp. 248, 249, Ibn Hazm remarks,

"A woman was wed to her male slave. Umar intended to stone her, but instead he made them separate and sent the slave to exile. He told the woman, `It is unlawful for you to get married to your owned slave!' Another woman got married to her slave. Umar scourged her with a whip and forbade any man to marry her. Another time, a freewoman came to Umar and told him, `I am not a pretty woman and I have a slave to whom I would like to get married.' Umar refused to do so. He whipped the slave and ordered him to be sold in a foreign country. He told the woman, `It is unlawful for you to get married to what your right hand owns. Only men have the right to get wed to what their right hand owns. Even if you set him free in order to marry him and he becomes a freeman, the manumission will be invalid and the marriage is not valid."'

Is there any comment on the ruthlessness of this second caliph who was Muhammad's father-in-law and one of the ten to whom Muhammad promised paradise? He is one of the two whom Muhammad requested the people to follow as a model when he declared, "Emulate Abu Bakr and Umar." Yet Umar was a tyrant, a ruthless man without a heart who attempted to stone a woman for no reason except she married a man who was her slave. He also scourged another woman, forbidding any other man to marry her, and beat and exiled a slave. And when a third woman wanted to free her slave in order to marry him and live happily together, especially after she lost hope in getting married to a freeman, Islam and Umar intervened and said, "No, this is not permissible." He scourged the slave and sold him into a foreign country. By that, he became an example of relentlessness, a hard heart, and detestable oppression.

In matters of sex and marriage, Ibn Timiyya states:

"The one who owns the mother also owns her children. Being the master of the mother makes him the owner of her children whether they were born to a husband or they were illegitimate children. Therefore, the master has the right to have sexual intercourse with the daughters of his maid-slave because they are his property, provided he does not sleep with the mother at the same time" (Vol. 35, p. 54).

The Value Of The Slave - What Is His Price In Dinars?

"If an owned slave assaults somebody and damages his property, his crime will be tied to his neck. It will be said to his master, `If you wish, you can pay the fine for the damages done by your slave or deliver him to be sentenced to death.' His master has to choose one of the two options - either the value of the slave and his price or the damage the slave has caused" (Vol. 32, p. 202, Ibn Timiyya).

Is this how the value of a man is calculated? If the loss amounted, for example, to 600 dinars and the value of the slave in the estimation of the master did not exceed more than 400 dinars because he was sick or weak, his master would, in this case, deliver him to be killed!

We have looked at six points concerning the status of slaves in the Islamic religion. Actually, any one point, if we ponder it, is sufficient to clarify the truth. It reveals to us how human dignity is crushed in the practice of slavery. From the very beginning, we referred to the principle of slavery as it is manifested in this religion, and we have listed the names of Muhammad's slaves, the master and the "apostle of God!"

 

The Position of Christianity - the Teaching of the Gospel

Christianity is very decisive in this matter. The words and the spirit of the Gospel are very clear. From the very beginning, we have used a fundamental principle in this study and research; namely, the comparison must always be between the Gospel and the Qur'an - Christianity as religion and teachings and Islam as religion, in order to see which one of the two reveals the thoughts of the true, living God. Also, the comparison should be between Muhammad, his life and his sayings on the one hand, and Christ, His life and teachings on the other.

If we were to find (for example) some Europeans or Americans who allowed themselves to acquire slaves, we should not blame Christianity for that because we must realize that the Gospel teaches something different. We see that Jesus and His disciples did not possess slaves.

We do blame Islam in this regard because Muhammad himself acquired male and female slaves by dozens. All his friends, his wives and most Muslims of his time and after owned slaves. The Qur'an encourages that and the scholars do not negate it. We blame Islamic thought and the behavior of Muhammad in regard to this matter and other issues recorded in the most authentic Islamic sources.

We should not, in any subject, dwell on the behavior of some Christians or some Muslims but rather try to examine the attitude of Islamic thought (or Christian thought) toward the issues under discussion. Some people, for instance, believe that a man like Khomeini is an extremist because of Islam, the religion of tolerance, love, and reason. We, for our part, feel surprised to hear that, because who says that this statement is true? Islam is not the religion of tolerance, love, or reason. Not at all! Islam is the exact opposite of this claim.

Did we not see that this religion humiliates and persecutes women and non-Muslims as well as waging offensive wars and encouraging Muslims to kill apostates? Is Muhammad, who ordered the killing of a woman who insulted him, the prophet of tolerance? Why should we blame Khomeini when he issued an order to kill Rushdie? Does not Rushdie (according to the law of Islam and Muhammad, not the law of the United Nations) deserve death for attacking the Qur'an, Muhammad and his wives? Khomeini was never radical; he was always a true student of Muhammad. He intended to enforce the Islamic laws and to fight nations which do not comply with them - such as Iraq (even though Islam is its official religion).

When Muslims kill one another, it is because Muhammad's friends and disciples did so immediately after his death, each one of them trying to force his friend to go in the right way. Khomeini is a true Muslim who follows Muhammad and his friends. Thus, we hear about "exporting the Islamic revolution" to other countries. All these things are compatible with the views of Muhammad and the rightly guided Caliphs who succeeded him such as Abu Bakr, Umar and Ali. When Khomeini slaughtered his opponents, he was following the footsteps of Ali who killed the dissenters, like Talha, Al Zubair and Al Khwareg, even though they were faithful Muslims.

Now, what does the New Testament say about slaves? If we turn in the pages of the New Testament we read these verses:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28).

Christ was always warning his disciples and all believers from calling themselves masters. He said to them:

"But you, do not be called `Rabbi' [master]; for One is your Teacher [master], the Christ, and you are all brethren" (Matt. 23:8).

"But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be abased (humbled); and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Matt. 23:12).

By these last words Christ has turned over all the feeble human standards - The "... greatest among you shall be your servant." How profound and deep are these wonderful words!

This truth is clearly taught in the New Testament by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It happened that there was a slave called Onesimus who ran away from his master, Philemon. Onesimus met the apostle Paul in Rome and was converted to Christianity. Paul sent him back to Philemon with a very impressive letter which is included in the New Testament and in which we read these shining words,

"I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart. Receive him ... no longer as a slave but ... as a beloved brother, ..., both in the flesh and in the Lord" (Chapter 1).

Paul, Peter and the rest of the disciples did not have the authority to abolish slavery within the Roman Empire. Paul was not one of the Roman governors, but a fugitive and a persecuted man. Later he and most of the disciples were killed at the hands of the Romans along with thousands of their Christian brothers. Muhammad and his successors were rulers and could have outlawed slavery. Instead, they retained it and kept their slaves.

In another letter, Paul urged the Christians to "give your servants what is just and fair" (Col. 4:1). The text emphasizes these two words - brotherhood and justice - because there is neither slave nor freeman, but all are one in Christ.

Egyptian history relates a story about a courageous man who stood in front of his tyrannical rulers who mistreated people and wondered in agony, "Why have you enslaved people whose mothers gave birth to them as free persons?" This brave man did not know that he was addressing multitudes of people across the ages, whether ruthless Westerners in Europe and America or the prophet of Islam himself who failed to liberate the slaves because he himself had acquired dozens of them.

Christian religious leaders such as John Wesley and William Wilberforce boldly condemned slavery in Europe and sent strong messages to the rulers of Europe and America. They led the movement of slaves' liberation during the day of Abraham Lincoln. Now there are multiplied black men who hold various positions of honor and respect in America. They teach in colleges and universities. They sit on the bench of the courts of the land-even the Supreme Court. They are freely elected to local, county, state and federal positions. They hold high military offices. They build their own fortunes with which they do as they wish. They freely marry and raise their families without fear.

This is what Jesus taught - "There is no difference ...."

Section Three

 The Veil of

Divine Inspiration

of the Qur’an

Our Muslim brothers believe that the Qur’an is the book of God and that it pre-existed with God from eternity. They believe God then revealed it to Muhammad by the arch-angel Gabriel on different occasions through the course of several years. This was Muhammad’s claim which he related to them. At first, Muhammad was not sure of this process; he was unsure and afraid to make such claims. Later, however, he became very sure.

For now, however, we would like to shed some light on the Qur’an and its contents in order to reveal the amazing truth to our brethren, the Muslims, few of whom have read what the great authors of Islam have said about the Qur’an. They would also be very surprised to discover that Muhammad’s companions as well as the rightly guided Caliphs said that some parts of the Qur’an were lost. Moreover, the Qur’an was subjected to perversion and alteration and Muhammad’s companions disagreed over some chapters of the Qur’an, some verses and their meanings. It is almost impossible for Muslims to imagine such things about their book which they dearly regard and respect. The sacred halo which encompasses the Qur’an must be dispelled and the veil which covers its face must be removed. If this disturbs and annoys Muslims, it will also help them to wake up from the slumber of their delusion which does not benefit them at all, but rather hurts them instead Those who love the truth and would like to worship the only true God faithfully and truthfully will be filled with real joy.

 

Chapter Six

Scientific Errors of the Qur’an 

We will start by pointing out the Qur’an’s scientific, historical, and grammatical errors, namely those which deviate from the well-known rules of Arabic grammar. Muslims believe that the inimitability of the Qur’an is found in the eloquence and excellence of the Arabic language in which it is written; thus, it is impossible for them to imagine that the language of the Qur’an is full of errors. First, however, we will be content to allude to three scientific errors pertaining to the sun, earth and the two phenomenon of thunder and lighting.

 

The Sun 

In plain words, the Qur’an says that one of the righteous men of God’s servants saw the sun set in a certain place of the earth—in particular a well full of water and mud. There, this man found some people. Let us read what is recorded in the Qur’an (chapter "the Cave", verse 86),

"When he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring and found a people thereabout. We said: ‘O Dhul-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness"’ (Surah 18:86).

Lest I failed to understand what the Qur’an meant by these strange words, I referred to the famous students of the Qur’an as well as to the ancient scholars. I discovered that all of them concurred with this rendering and said that Muhammad’s friends inquired about the sunset and that he gave them that answer. All the scholars such as the Baydawi, Jalalan, and Zamakhshari confirm it. The Zamakhshari remarks in his book, "the Kash-shaf",

"Abu Dharr (one of Muhammad’s close companions) was with Muhammad during the sunset. Muhammad asked him: ‘Do you know, O Abu Dharr where this sets?’ He answered: ‘God and His apostle know better.’ Muhammad said: ‘It sets in a spring of slimy water"’ (3rd Edition, Volume 2 p. 743,1987).

In his book, "The Lights of Revelation" (p. 399), the Baydawi indicates,

"The sun sets in a slimy spring; that is, a well which contains mud. Some of the readers of the Qur’an read it, ‘...a hot spring’, thus the spring combines the two descriptions. It was said that Ibn ’Abbas found Mu’awiya reading it (as) hot. He told him, ‘It is muddy.’ Mu’awiya sent to Ka’b al-Ahbar and asked him, ‘Where does the sun set?’ He said in water and mud and there were some people. So he agreed with the statement of ibn al-’Abbas. And there was a man who composed a few verses of poetry about the setting of the sun in the slimy spring." 

The Jalalan (p. 251) says that the setting of the sun is in a well which contains a murky mud. We found the same interpretation and text in the Tabari’s commentaries (p. 339) as well as in "Concise Interpretation of the Tabari" (p. 19 of part 2) in which he remarks that the well in which the sun sets "contains lime and murky mud".

These are the comments of the pillars of Islam and the intimate companions of Muhammad such as ibn Abbas and Aba Dharr. Also it is obvious from the Qur’an (chapter 36:38) that the sun ran then settled down. The verse says:

"And the sun runs on into a resting place." 

On page 585, the Baydawi says,

"The sun runs in its course to a certain extent then it stops. It is similar to the passenger’s repose after he completes his journey" (refer also the book of al-Itqan by the Suyuti, p. 242). 

This is the story of the setting of the sun in the well and its course as a passenger!

 

The Phenomena of Thunder and Lightning 

It is common knowledge, as scientists teach, that thunder is a sound caused by the impact between electrical charges found in the clouds. Yet Muhammad, the prophet of Muslims, has a different opinion in this matter. He claims that the thunder and the lightning are two of God’s angels—exactly like Gabriel!

In the Qur’an there is a chapter under the title of "Thunder" in which it is recorded that the thunder praises God. We might think that it does not mean that literally because thunder is not a living being—although, spiritually speaking, all of nature glorifies God. The expounders of the Qur’an and its chief scholars, however, insist that Muhammad said that the thunder is an angel exactly like the angel Gabriel. In his commentary (p. 329), the Baydawi comments on verse 13 of chapter of the Thunder,

"Ibn ’Abbas asked the apostle of God about the thunder. He told him, ‘It is an angel who is in charge of the cloud, who (carries) with him swindles of fire by which he drives the clouds."’ 

In the commentary of the Jalalan (p. 206), we read about this verse:

"The thunder is an angel in charge of the clouds to drive them." 

Not only ibn ’Abbas asked Muhammad about the essence of the thunder, but the Jews did too. In the book, "al-Itqan" by Suyuti (part 4, p. 230), we read the following dialogue:

"On the authority of Ibn ’Abbas, he said the Jews came to the prophet (peace be upon him) and said, ‘Tell us about the thunder. What is it?’ He told them:

‘It is one of God’s angels in charge of the clouds. He carries in his hand a swindle of fire by which he pricks the clouds to drive them to where God has ordered them.’ They said to him, ‘What is this sound that we hear?’ He said: ‘(It is) his voice (The angel’s voice)."’ 

The same incident—the question of the Jews and Muhammad’s answer are mentioned by most scholars. Refer, for instance, to al-Sahih al-Musnad Min Asbab Nuzul al-Ayat (stories related to the verses of Qur’an, p. 11) and al-Kash-shaf by the Imam al-Kamakhshari (part 2, pp. 518, 519). He reiterates the same story and the same words of Muhammad. Thus, the incident is in vogue among all Muslim scholars, and the story and the dialogue between Muhammad and the Jews is well-known.

We have mentioned what the Baydawi, Jalalan, Zamakhshari, Suyuti, and ibn ’Abbas have said. We do not know (among the ancient scholars) any who are more famous than these. Concerning lighting, Muhammad affirms that it is an angel like the thunder and like Gabriel and Michael. On page 230 of the above references, Suyuti alludes to it. Also on page 68 of part 4 of the "Itqan", the Suyuti records for us the names of the angels, which are: "Gabriel, Michael, Harut, Marut, the Thunder and the Lightning (He said) that the lightning has four faces."

The Suyuti listed all these under the sub-title, "The names of God’s Angels". He also indicated that Muhammad said that the lightning is the tail end of an angel whose name is Rafael (refer to part 4, p. 230 of the Itqan).

 

The Earth 

Several thousand years ago, the Holy Bible clearly recorded that the earth is round and that it is hung on nothing.

"It is He who sits above the circle of the earth" (Isa. 40:22).

"He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing" (Job 26:7). 

Yet, the Qur’an challenges these established scientific facts. In many places, it alludes to the fact that the earth is flat and its mountains are like poles which create a balance so that the Earth does not tilt. Let us consider what the Qur’an says about the Earth:

In chapter 88:17,20, it is recorded,

"Will they not regard the camels how they are created...and the Earth how it is spread?" 

In page 509, the Jalalan says,

"In his phrase, ‘how it is spread’, he denotes that the earth is flat. All the scholars of Islamic law agree upon this. It is not round as the physicists claim." 

The Qur’anic teaching is obvious from the comment of Jalalan that "the earth is flat and not round as the scientists claim". What made Jalal al-Din say so is that the Qur’an hints in many chapters that the earth is flat(refer to 19:6, 79:30, 18:7, and 21:30). Also the Qur’an indicates that:

"We have placed in the earth firm hills lest it quake so as not to sway and hurt people" (21:31). 

Scholars who agree upon the meaning of this verse believe as the Jalalan states (pp. 270-271),

"God has founded firm mountains on earth lest it shake people." 

On page 429, al-Baydawi says,

"God has made firm mountains on earth lest it sway people and quake. He also made heaven as a ceiling and kept it from falling down!" 

The Zamakhshari agrees with the above authors and reiterates the same words (refer to Zamakhshari part 3, p. 114).

In the Qur’an (chapter 50:7), we find another verse which carries the same meaning,

"And the earth have we spread out, and have flung firm hills therein" (Surah Qaf: 7). 

This is accompanied by the same comment by the above Muslim scholars (refer to Jalalan, p. 437; Baydawi, p. 686, Tabari, p. 589, and Zamakhshari, part 4, p. 381). All of them assure us that "if it were not for these unshakable mountains, the earth would slip away."

Zamakhshari, the Baydawi and the Jalalan say: "God has built heaven without pillars but He placed unshakable mountains on Earth lest it tilts with people." Concerning chapter 50:7, the Suyuti says that scholars indicate that "Qaf is a mountain which encompasses the entire earth" (refer to Itqan, part 3, p. 29). Qaf is an Arabic L like K.

These are the comments of the ancient Muslim scholars word for word. Even some Saudi scholars wrote a book a few years ago to disprove the spherical aspect of the earth and they claimed that it is a myth, agreed with the above mentioned scholars, and said we must believe the Qur’an and reject the spherical aspect of the earth.

It is also well-known that the Qur’an proclaims that there are seven earths—not just one (refer to the commentary of the Jalalan, p. 476, al-Baydawi, p. 745 as they interpret chapter 61:12, Surah Divorce: 1 2).

It is very clear that the sun does not traverse the heaven and set down in a murky, muddy well, or slimy water, or a place which contains both of them as the Baydawi, Zamakhshari, and the Qur’an remark.

Nor is the earth flat and the mountains the pillars and the towerings which prevent the earth from moving as the Qur’an and the scholars said. Nor is there a mountain which encompasses the whole earth—nor are there seven earths.

Neither is the lightning an angel whose name is Rafael, nor is the thunder an angel. It never happened that the angel Gabriel inspired Muhammad to write a complete chapter about his friend the angel thunder! The thunder and lightning are natural phenomena and not God’s angels like Michael and Gabriel as the prophet of Islam claims.

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Part 2

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THE PENTATEUCH

GENESIS ---EXODUS--- LEVITICUS 1.1-7.38 --- 8.1-11.47 --- 12.1-16.34--- 17.1-27.34--- NUMBERS 1-10--- 11-19--- 20-36--- DEUTERONOMY 1.1-4.44 --- 4.45-11.32 --- 12.1-29.1--- 29.2-34.12 --- THE BOOK OF JOSHUA --- THE BOOK OF JUDGES --- PSALMS 1-17--- ECCLESIASTES --- ISAIAH 1-5 --- 6-12 --- 13-23 --- 24-27 --- 28-35 --- 36-39 --- 40-48 --- 49-55--- 56-66--- EZEKIEL --- DANIEL 1-7 ---DANIEL 8-12 ---

NAHUM--- HABAKKUK---ZEPHANIAH ---ZECHARIAH --- THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW ---THE GOSPEL OF MARK--- THE GOSPEL OF LUKE --- THE GOSPEL OF JOHN --- THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES --- 1 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-16 --- 2 CORINTHIANS 1-7 --- 8-13 -- -GALATIANS --- EPHESIANS --- COLOSSIANS --- 1 THESSALONIANS --- 2 THESSALONIANS --- 1 TIMOTHY --- 2 TIMOTHY --- TITUS --- HEBREWS 1-6 --- 7-10 --- 11-13 --- JAMES --- JOHN'S LETTERS --- REVELATION

--- THE GOSPELS 1