Sunday, October 28, 2012

Test the message! - Read the ahadith!

Back to the major dawah initiative of the moment at iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy) : Don't shoot the messenger!Test the Message! Here's a typically rebarbative article in which the guys set out to protect the Prophet's reputation by telling us why it's impossible not to believe the ahadith (the actions and saying of Muhammad). It starts with a decidedly questionable statement:
The main contention against Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) prophet-hood is that the narratives concerning his life are not valid sources of knowledge.
Not at all, chaps... The main contention against Muhammad's prophet-hood is:
i.  the bizarrely repetitive, sometimes homophobic and misogynistic, and often plagiarised content of his message as found in the Qur'an and 
ii. those very narratives concerning his life and sayings you seem intent on having us believe
In other words, most of us are quite happy to accept, if you insist, that these narratives are genuine. We will even follow your expertise in distinguishing the genuine (sahih) narrations (or ahadith) from those with a less than perfect chain of narration, since so many of even the "genuine" (sahih) ahadith contain damning insights into Muhammad's strangely pagan-like beliefs and dubious character.

Never ones to under-sell their message, iERA then go on to list in excruciating detail why the ahadith are beyond doubt, and finish with the following (truly wonderful) claim:
In light of the above, to reject the narratives that elucidate on the life of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) would be tantamount to rejecting all known historical truths because the science of hadith is far more thorough than the methodologies used is western history.

OK! OK! - calm down, fellas! I'll read and believe in the authenticity of the ahadith, as you're so insistent. So let's have a look at some of them...

The following sahih hadith are taken from Islam Review and are solely from Sahih Al-Bukhari, regarded by Sunni Muslims (like the chaps at iERA) as the most reliable and authentic collection of ahadith. I'll just reiterate: these are the ahadith that iERA insist are as true (or truer) "than all known historical truths" and help to prove that Muhammad was God's prophet...

  1. WOMEN
  2. Women are deficient in mind and religion.

    • Mohammed asked some women, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?" The women said, "yes," He said,"This is because of the deficiency of the woman's mind. " Vol. 3:826
    • Mohammed to women: "I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you*." Vol. 2:541
    The majority of people in hell are women.
    • Mohammed said, "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women. " Vol. 1:28, 301; Vol. 2:161; Vol. 7:124
    Women are a bad omen.
    • Mohammed said, " Bad omen is in the woman, the house and the horse." Vol. 7:30
    Women are harmful to men.
    • Mohammed said, "After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women." Vol. 7:33
    Women may not wear wigs.
    • Mohammed said, " Don't wear false hair for Allah sends His curse upon such ladies who lengthen their hair artificially." Vol. 7:133

  2. Mohammed's sexual strength is equal to 30 men.
    • Anas said, "The prophet used to visit all his wives in an hour round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the prophet the strength for it?"Anas replied, "We used to say that the prophet was given the strength of thirty (men). " Vol. 1:268
    Mohammed married a 9 year old girl.
    • "Narrated Aisha that the prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nineyears old."Vol. 7:64
    Allah hurries to please Mohammed's sexual desires.
    • When the Quranic verse that allows Mohammed to postpone the turn of any wife was revealed, and when Mohammed said that Allah allowed him to marry his adopted son's wife, Aisha (one of his wives) told him, "O Allah's Apostle I do not see but that your Lord hurries in pleasing you. " Vol. 7:48
    When a woman is divorced irrevocably, she cannot return to her husband until she marries (including having sexual intercourse) with another man.
    • "Narrated Aisha: The wife of Rifaa Al-Qurazi came to Allah's Apostle and said, 'O Allah's Apostle, Rifaa divorced me irrevocably. After him I married Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi who proved to be impotent.' Allah's Apostle said to her, 'Perhaps you want to return to Rifaa? Nay (You cannot return to Rifaa) until you and Abdur-Rahman (the impotent man) engage in sexual intercourse!" Vol. 7:186  

  2. Islam is to be imposed by force.
    • Mohammed said, "I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and whoever says, " None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, his life and property will be saved by me." (otherwise it will not). Vol. 4:196
    Apostasy is punishable by death.
    • Mohammed said, "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." Vol. 9:57
    A Muslim must not be killed if he kills a non-Muslim.
    • Mohammed said, " No Muslim should be killed for killing a Kafir" (infidel). Vol. 9:50
    Ethnic cleansing is practiced.
    • Mohammed said to the Jews, "You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle (Mohammed) and I want to expel you from this land (The Arabian Peninsula), so, if anyone owns property, he is permitted to sell it." Vol. 4:392
    • Mohammed's last words at his deathbed were: "Turn the pagans (non-Muslims) out of the Arabian Peninsula." Vol. 5:716  

  2. No assurance of Salvation.
    • Mohammed said. "By Allah, though I am the apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me." Vol. 5:266
    God punishes a deceased if his relatives weep.
    • Mohammed said, "The deceased is punished because of the weeping of his relatives." Vol. 2:375
    When you speak badly about a deceased, the deceased will go to hell.
    • Mohammed said, "You praised this, so Paradise has been affirmed to him, and you spoke badly of this, so hell has been affirmed to him. You people are Allah's witnesses on earth." Vol. 2:448
    Urine on your clothes will bring punishment from God.
    • Mohammed said, "The deceased person is being tortured in the grave not for a great thing to avoid, it is for being soiled with his urine. " Vol. 2:460
    Holy war (Jihad) is a guarantee of heaven.
    • Mohammed said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed). " Vol. 1:35

  2. Drinking camel's urine will make you healthy.
    • "The prophet ordered them to follow his camels, and drink their milk and urine , so they followed the camels and drank their milk and urine till their bodies became healthy." Vol. 7:590
    Fever is from the heat of hell.
    • Mohammed said, " Fever is from the heat of hell, so put it out (cool it) with water." Vol. 7:619
    A fly in your drink is a cure.
    • Mohammed said, "If a housefly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease. " Vol. 4:537
    How the baby's looks are determined.
    • Mohammed said, "As for the child, if the man's discharge precedes the woman's discharge, the child attracts the similarity of the man, and if the woman's discharge precedes the man's, then the child attracts the similarity of the woman." Vol. 5:275

  2. If you eat garlic don't come to the place of worship.
    • Mohammed said, "Whosoever ate from this plant (i.e. garlic) should not enter the mosque." Vol. 1:812
    Effect of evil eye
    • Mohammed said, "The effect of an evil eye is a fact. " Vol. 7:636
    Which shoe you should put on first.
    • Mohammed said, "If you want to put on your shoes, put on the right shoe first, and if you want them off, take the left one first."Vol. 7:747
    Breathing in your drink is bad.
    • Mohammed said, "Don't breath into your drinking utensil."Vol. 1:156
    God frightens his devotees with eclips.
    • Mohammed said, "The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah and they do not eclipse because of the death of someone but Allah frightens His devotees with them. " Vol. 2:158

    Satan urinates in people's ears, when they don't wake up for prayer.
    • Narrated Abdullah: the prophet was told that a person had kept on sleeping till morning and had not got up for the prayer. The prophet said, "Satan urinated in his ears." Vol. 2:245

    Yawning is from Satan.
    • The prophet said, "Yawning is from Satan and if anyone of you yawns, he should check his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of yuo (during the act of yawning) should say: "Ha", Satan will laugh at him." Vol. 2:158

    Stars are missiles which God uses to hit the devils.
    • The creation of stars is for three purposes, i.e., as decoration of the sky, as missiles to hit the devils, and as signs to guide travelers. Vol. 2:15

 Let's not forget, lest we are tempted to regard these sayings and actions as a bizarre but ultimately unreliable and therefore unimportant part of Islam, that if we do, then according to iERA,
all other established historical narratives must be rejected, including World War One, the battle of Hastings and the Norman invasion of Britain! 
So let me get this clear. If we DON'T believe that Muhammad had sex with a nine year-old, or told his followers to kill apostates, or thought that a fly's wing was a curative or that women have deficient minds.... then we might as well deny WWI happened?

Goodness - I truly love you guys at iERA sometimes!

*for an Islamic explanation this "most misquoted and misunderstood hadith" (the one where Muhammad says women are deficient in intellect etc) please click here. No really, PLEASE do.


  1. all of these ahadith are taken out of context to belittle the religion of Islam.
    Islam is a great religion and you will suffer for your insults

    1. *Stars are missiles which God uses to hit the devils.*

      * "The creation of stars is for three purposes, i.e., as decoration of the sky, as missiles to hit the devils, and as signs to guide travelers." Vol. 2:15

      how is this taken out of context

  2. this is a figurative notion which you would realise if you understood Islam

  3. I was a muslim and never understood it.
    What about this verse?

    * Mohammed said," "As for the child, if the man's discharge precedes the woman's discharge, the child attracts the similarity of the man, and if the woman's discharge precedes the man's, then the child attracts the similarity of the woman."" Vol. 5:275top

  4. and what if science proves to be true? will you then believe? of course not!

    1. I will, please explain

      What if science proves the story of adam and eve to be a load of nonsense made up by primitive humans?
      will you believe it then?
      of course not

    2. Of course none of this makes sense in this day and age. The Wife of Bath is one example of a fictional work in which dozens of words and phrases are used that make no sense whatsoever if you read it with today's brain and language use. Approaching the Quran in this way is no way to understand it.

      God or no God argument to one side: if you look at the Quran as "a highly influential book" and try to understand it in it's own context, like we do with other literature, then it will all make much more sense (in and of itself).

      Then, once it has been understood - THEN it can be pulled apart and analysed, assessed and problem shot.

      Sidenote: there is plenty "wrong" in the Quran, plenty contradictions and everything else as Spinoza says, but these arguments are elementary level arguments and assessments because they are coming from a place with very basic knowledge and depth. These make for weak arguments because they have already been "answered" or "accepted" to a level within the community - so telling a muslim these things will not shift, amend or even touch them: they have already been trained to withstand it.

      You need something significantly more profound to even scratch the surface of the true, real, Islamic belief. A belief that is extremely hardwired into the Islamic consious. You have to go waaaaay down, waaaaay deep into the thinking to unravel that level of acceptance of the Quran as fact.


  5. The Hadith is responsible for a LOT of problems - and everytime an Islamic scholar comes along and tries to argue for a change and a new way of understanding them - they get threatened with violence, their life becomes in danger and they are quickly silenced by the established ruling class of the Islamic world.

    Fazlur Rahman is such an Islamic Scholar (please google for more info). The short version of his story is that he was a Hafiz (one who knows the Quran off by heart), and came from a line of Imams in his family. He studied Islam all of his life and concluded that the Hadith was wriongly understood, wrongly used and that the whole Sharia was incorrect because of the way historical scholar interpreted the Quran (using the Hadith instead of the Quran itself) and argued for change.

    He was quickly silenced by violence however.

    And the whole reason I am telling you this is to highlight that there are Muslim movements, scholars, Imams etc who share most of your views, but they are not allowed to speak: because they threaten the very lucrative and dictatorial hold that the established ruling classes of Islam have in the Arab world.

    1. The whole lot of them are full of it...

    2. I shall look into Fazlur Rahman.
      Thanks Jasmine - thought-provoking as ever.

  6. Here's a link to a different kind of Muslim thought, discourse and thinking: