Islam: Religion of Peace? Part 1 of 7
Islam: Religion of Peace? Part 2 of 7
Islam: Religion of Peace? Part 3 of 7
Islam: Religion of Peace? Part 4 of 7
Islam: Religion of Peace? Part 5 of 7
VIOLENCE, VIOLENCE, AND MORE VIOLENCE
Muhammad continued to lead successful campaigns and increased in power and financial resources. After the nullification of a peace treaty between Muhammad and the city of Mecca, the Prophet and an army of ten thousand men invaded Mecca in the year 630 A.D. Ibn Ishaq says that “The apostle had instructed his commanders when they entered Mecca only to fight those who resisted them, except a small number who were to be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Ka’ba.”(1) Among those ordered to be killed was ʽAbdullah b. Saʽd because he had apostatized from the Muslim religion. However, ‘Abdullah was a foster brother of a close companion of Muhammad and was able to receive a hearing from the Prophet in order to request immunity. Muhammad remained silent for a long time until he reluctantly granted ‘Abdullah immunity. Afterwards Muhammad told his followers, “‘I kept silent so that one of you might get up and strike off his head!’ One of the Ansar said, ‘Then why didn’t you give me a sign, O apostle of God?’ He answered that a prophet does not kill by pointing."(2) Among the others ordered to be assassinated by Muhammad were those who had brought insults against him. Two of these were girls who “used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed,” and another was a man “who used to insult him in Mecca.”(3)
As Muhammad continued his raids he was preparing to send one of his commanders on an expedition. He instructed ‘Abdu’l-Rahman b. ‘Auf to “Fight everyone in the way of God and kill those who disbelieve in God. Do not be deceitful with the spoil; do not be treacherous, nor mutilate, nor kill children. This is God’s ordinance and the practice (sira) of his prophet among you.”(4) Muhammad here gave his commander explicit instructions to fight and kill all non-Muslims who disbelieve in Allah. Notice also that Muhammad says this has been ordained and is the common practice that he himself follows. If Muslims then are expected to follow the path of Muhammad it is easy to see where they get there justification for violence and oppression.
Assassinations continued throughout the last years of Muhammad’s life. Abu Sufyan, Muhammad’s uncle, was the leader of the pagan opposition to the Prophet in Mecca. Muhammad ordered that he should be killed and sent two of his followers, one of them being ‘Amr b. Umayya. Upon arriving at Mecca, ‘Amr and his companion were recognized and pursued, leaving them unable to assassinate Abu Sufyan. While hiding in a cave ‘Amr recognized an enemy and “went out and stabbed him under the breast with the dagger.” Continuing back to Medina ‘Amr met a one-eyed shepherd who sang “I won’t be a Muslim as long as I live, Nor heed to their religion give.” ‘Amr recounts that as soon as the man was “asleep and snoring I got up and killed him in a more horrible way than any man has been killed. I put the end of my bow in his sound eye, then I bore down on it until I forced it out at the back of his neck.”(5) ‘Amr fled and came across two Meccans sent to spy on the apostle. He shot and killed one and took the other captive. When ‘Amr finally reached Medina with his captive he stated that Muhammad “asked my news and when I told him what had happened he blessed me.”(6)
Immediately after this we are told of a man named Abu ‘Afak. He had shown disaffection toward the killings of Muhammad and wrote a poem against him. Muhammad responded, “Who will deal with this rascal for me?”(7) Salim b. ‘Umayr rose to the challenge and went forth and killed Abu ‘Afak. After this assassination we are told of a woman named ‘Asma’ d. Marwan. She did not like that Abu ‘Afak had been killed so she composed a poem against Muhammad and his followers. When Muhammad found out he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” Ibn Ishaq tells us that ‘Umayr “who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he said, ‘You have helped God and his apostle, O ‘Umayr!’” ‘Umayr then asks if he would have to suffer any consequences for his actions to which Muhammad responds “Two goats won’t butt their heads about her.”(8) So ‘Umayr returned to his people.
CONSISTENT ISLAM IS VIOLENT ISLAM
These examples of Muhammad’s involvement in warfare and killing and his approval of assassinations and torture are but a small example. Does this seem to be the life of a man who has been appointed by God to be the moral example for all mankind? If this is the sunna that modern day Muslims are expected to follow it is no wonder that 28 of the 32 Muslim states worldwide were classified as “Terror States” in 1991.(9) Do Muslims really still believe that this example of Muhammad is applicable to today? It seems that many do. One translation of the Qur’an titled “The Noble Qur’an” is published at the King Fahd complex in Saudi Arabia. Notice how they translate Sura 8:60. It states, “And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know.” The words in parenthesis are obviously not in the original Arabic. They were added by the translators because they believe that the words of the Qur’an are just as applicable today as they were when they were written. The life example of Muhammad is to be followed today just as it was during the first 100 years after the death of Muhammad when Islam proceeded to conquer nation after nation. Historians have commented that if it were not for Charles Martel stopping the Muslim advancement at the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D. there is a good possibility we might all be speaking Arabic right now. It is no wonder that Westerners are often skeptical when Islam is touted as a religion of peace. These “radical” or “extreme” Muslims seem to be the true Muslims who are following true Islam and the life example of Muhammad. It is easy to see where their authority comes from.
(1) Ibn Ishaq, 550.
(2) Ibid., 550.
(3) Ibid., 551.
(4) Ibid., 672.
(5) Ibid., 674.
(6) Ibid., 675.
(7) Ibid., 675.
(8) Ibid., 676.
(9) Lingel, Course Pack.