Timeline of Muhammad's Life
570 - Born in
576 - Orphaned upon death of mother
595 - Marries Kadijah - older, wealthy widow
610 - Reports first revelations from angel at age of 40
619 - Protector uncle dies
622 - Emigrates from Mecca to Medina (the Hijra)
623 - Orders raids on Meccan caravans
624 - Battle of Badr (victory)
624 - Evicts Qaynuqa Jews from Medina
624 - Orders the assassination of Abu Afak
624 - Orders the assassination of Asma bint Marwan
624 - Orders the assassination of Ka'b al-Ashraf
625 - Battle of Uhud (defeat)
625 - Evicts Nadir Jews
627 - Battle of the Trench (victory)
627 - Massacre of the Qurayza Jews
628 - Signing of the Treaty of Hudaibiya with Mecca
628 - Destruction and subjugation of the Khaybar Jews
629 - Orders first raid into Christian lands at Muta (defeat)
630 - Conquers Mecca by surprise (along with other tribes)
631 - Leads second raid into Christian territory at Tabuk (no battle)
632 - Dies
"Muhammad is a
narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer,
a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman
a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter."
Former Muslim Ali Sina offered $50,000 to anyone
who could prove otherwise based on Islamic texts.
The reward has gone unclaimed.
What if a man you knew began
telling people that God was routinely speaking to him and only him - and that
the "revelations" he claimed to be receiving were mostly about him and his
relative importance to all other people? Say, for example, that this
self-proclaimed prophet insisted that God had declared him to be the 'excellent
pattern of conduct' for mankind (Quran 33:21) and that others were therefore to accord him with special
privilege, unwavering obedience (Quran 4:80) , wealth and earthly desires, including all of the slaves and
more women than
his lust could handle.
Such figures still arise from
time to time. Some of the more dynamic manage to develop a small group of
followers so taken with their leader's self assurance that they willingly offer
their own children to him for "marriage" or even kill on his behalf.
Would it really validate the
message of any such cult leader if his followers did successfully kill and seize
the property of anyone who dared disagree? What if they gradually expanded
their power and numbers in such fashion that eventually they were recognized as a major world religion?
Would that make the cult leader's claims about himself true? Would it really change the fact that what they
believe ultimately sprang from the imagination of a narcissist?
In 610, an Arab salesman with a
commanding personality attracted a small cult of credulous fanatics by claiming
to be a prophet. Though his "revelations" were self-referential and
occasionally contradicting, he was successful in manipulating his followers with
promises of heavenly reward and threat of divine wrath. The god heard
only by him told them to lie and steal for him, to give their children to him for
sexual pleasure and, eventually, to gruesomely murder his detractors.
There are two ways to approach
a study of Muhammad. One is with reverence and the other is with
skepticism. Thinking persons choose the latter. They are not
influenced by the number of Muslim believers in the world today or by their
force of belief because these are meaningless for determining truth. They
care only about fact.
The facts presented here about
the life of Muhammad and the origins of Islam are fully supported by the works
of early Muslim biographers upon which all later historians rely.
To understand Islam, you must
understand the harsh circumstances into which the religion was born. The
Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad (b.570 AD) was a barren and desolate
region with scorching sun and oppressive heat by day, and chilling cold at
night. There was little vegetative growth, and the nomadic inhabitants
lived between jagged rocks and shifting sand dunes.
While Europe and much of the Middle
East was transitioning from the Roman to the Byzantine Empire, with roads,
irrigation canals, aqueducts, and a culture that included philosophical
discourse and theater, the Arabians lived short and brutal lives in warring
tribes with little to offer the rest of the world beyond their own harsh
This partly explains
Islam's inherent hostility
to music and art, which some extremists, such as the Taliban, take
quite literally. Islam does not encourage the pursuit of knowledge
outside of itself. It is, as Oriana Fallaci puts it, it is “the religion which
has produced nothing but religion."
The inhospitable climate protected
the peninsula from conquest and cultural influence. No foreign army felt that sheep and goats were
worth taking from the desert fighters, so the area was relatively isolated, with
the exception of certain trading routes. The renaissance of knowledge that the rest of the world had been experiencing
since the Greek revival was largely missed out on by the Arabs, whose entire
energies were devoted to daily survival against the ruthless environment and
For these people, morality was
dictated merely by necessity, and obligations did not extend beyond one’s tribe.
This is a critical basis for the development of the Islamic attitude toward
those outside the faith, including the moral principle that the ethics of any
act are determined only by whether or not it benefits Muslims.
There were pagan
religious traditions in
Arabia, particularly among those based in the trading centers such as Muhammad's
birthplace of Mecca. Some of these towns had Kaabas - cube-like
structures that would attract pilgrims during holy months. The Kaaba at
Mecca housed various idols, including the black meteorite that remains to this
In addition to the black rock,
Muhammad's Quraish tribe worshipped a moon god called Allah. Other gods
were recognized as well. In fact, the town of Mecca was renowned for religious
tolerance, where people of all faiths could come and pray at the Kaaba. (This
would later change once Muhammad gained the power to establish his authority by
created both from these crude pagan practices and from the basic theological elements of
Christianity and Judaism as Muhammad [often
erroneously] understood them (his inaccurate interpretation of
Christianity, for example, is often attributed to an early experience with
fringe cults in the Palestinian region, then known as Syria).
Early Life at Mecca
Muhammad was born around 570 AD
to a widowed mother who died just six years later. He grew up poor and orphaned on the margins of society, which was
controlled by tribal chiefs and trading merchants. He worked for his uncle,
as a camel herder. Although his uncle had some standing in the community,
Muhammad himself did not rise above his lowly station until he was 25, when he
met and married a wealthy widow, Khadija, who was 15 years older.
His wife's trading business
not only nurtured Muhammad's natural talents of persuasion, but it also gave the
successful salesman an opportunity to travel and acquire knowledge that was not as accessible to the
local population. He would later use this to his advantage by
incorporating the stories that he had come across into his "revelations" from Allah, particularly the tales from
the earlier religions, Judaism and Christianity.
Having attained a comfortable
lifestyle and the idle time that wealth affords, Muhammad would wander off
occasionally for periods of meditation and contemplation. It is quite
likely that he was experiencing the symptoms of a midlife crisis, including a
desire for personal accomplishment and meaning.
One day, at the
age of 40, he told his wife that
he had been visited by the angel Gabriel in a dream. Thus began a series of
"revelations" which lasted almost until his death 23 years later. The Qur’an
is a collection of words that Muhammad attributed to Allah. The Hadith
is a collection of narrations of the life and deeds of Muhammad. The
Sira is his recorded biography. The
Sunnah is said to be Muhammad's way of life, on which Islamic law (Sharia)
With his wife’s influence and
support, Muhammad proclaimed himself a prophet in same "lineage" as that of
Abraham and Jesus, and began trying to convert those around him to his new
religion. He narrated the Quran to those who believed him, telling them
that it was the word of Allah (heard only by himself, of course).
Muhammad's Quran did not
contain a single original moral value and it contributed only one new idea to world
religion - that Muhammad is Allah's prophet. In fact, Muhammad's
seemed oddly preoccupied with making sure Muslims knew to obey Muhammad's every
earthly wish, as this mandate is
repeated at least twenty times in the narration of the Quran.
beginning, Muhammad did his best to compromise his teachings with the
predominant beliefs of the community’s elders, such as combining all 300 of
their idols under the name “Allah.” His amalgamation of Judeo-Christian
pagan tradition grew more sophisticated over time.
He also used his "revelations from Allah" to repeatedly affirm his own position.
Even if he did not remember the Biblical stories correctly, for
example, each one was conspicuously modified to incorporate a common theme:
"Believe in the Messenger (Muhammad) or suffer the consequences."
Preaching and Persecution at Mecca
According to early Muslim historians,
the Meccans did not mind Muhammad practicing his religion, nor did
they feel threatened by his promotion of it. This changed only after the
self-proclaimed prophet began attacking their religion, including the
customs and ancestors of the people (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 167). This was enough to stir
up the resentment of the influential leaders of Mecca, who then mocked
his humble background against his pretentious claims. (See also
Muhammad was Persecuted for Preaching Islam)
Still, Mecca at the time was a
remarkably tolerant society. Muhammad was allowed to attack the local customs for
thirteen years, even though the town's economy depended on the annual
pilgrimage attended by visiting pagans, whose religion he actively disparaged.
At first, Muhammad was only
successful with friends and family. After thirteen years, “the street
preacher” could boast of only about a hundred determined followers, who called
themselves Muslims. Outside of his wife, his first convert was his young
cousin Ali (who would later become his son-in-law and the fourth caliph of
Islam). Another early convert was Abu Bakr, a wealthy merchant whose money
and credulous acceptance of
Muhammad can be credited with the survival of the fledgling cult.
(Muhammad would later "marry" Abu Bakr's 6-year-old daughter).
the Meccans turned particularly sour after an episode known as "the Satanic
Verses" in which Muhammad agreed to recognize the local gods in addition to
Allah. This delighted the Meccans, who generously extended their welcome.
But Muhammad soon changed his mind after his own people began to lose
faith in him. He claimed that Satan had spoken through him, and he
rescinded recognition of the Meccan gods (Tabari 1192, Quran
The locals intensified their mockery
of Muslims and made life particularly difficult for some of them. Although Muslims today often
use the word "persecution" to describe this ordeal (justifiably, in some cases),
it is important to note that the earliest and most reliable biographers (Ibn Ishaq
and al-Tabari) record the death of only one Muslim during this period, an older
woman who died from stress.
This fact is a source of
embarrassment to modern apologists, who do not like admitting that Muslims were
the first to become violent at Mecca (see
Meccans Drew First Blood against Muhammad) and that Muhammad was the first to
resort to militancy...
and at a later time, when it was
To deal with this unpleasant
truth, sympathetic narratives of the early Meccan years usually exaggerate the struggle of the
Muslims with claims that they were "under constant torture."
They may also include apocryphal accounts that are unsupported by earliest and
most reliable historians (see
MYTH: Persecution of Muslims at Mecca - Many Deaths).
Modern storytellers and filmmakers
(such as those behind 1976's The Message) have even been known to invent
fictional victims of Meccan murder, either to dramatize their own tale or to
provide justification for the "revenge killings" that followed. But, in fact, the only Muslim
whose life was truly in danger was that of Muhammad - after 13 years of being
allowed to mock the local religion. (See also
Muhammad was Tortured at Mecca).
The Hijra - Flight from Mecca to Medina
The death of his uncle, Abu Talib, in
619 left Muhammad without a protector against the Meccan leadership, which was
losing patience with him. The true agitator in this situation, however, is
quite clearly Muhammad himself, as even Muslim historians note. Consider
this account of what happened at Abu Talib's deathbed, as the Meccans implored
him a final time for peace with his nephew:
chief adversary] Abu Sufyan, with other sundry
notables, went to Abu Talib and said: "You know the trouble that exists between
us and your nephew, so call him and let us make an agreement that he will leave
us alone and we will leave him alone; let him have his religion and we will
have ours." (Ibn Ishaq 278)
rejected the offer of peaceful co-existence. His new religion was
obviously intended to dominate the others, not be on equal standing with them.
Meanwhile, the Muslims were beginning to become
violent with the people
Muhammad's search for political alliance led
him to make a treaty of war against the Meccans with the people of Medina,
another Arab town far to the north (Ibn Ishaq 299-301). This was the last straw
for the Meccans, who finally decided to capture Muhammad and put him to
death. (see also
and his Muslims Fled Mecca because of Persecution)
Although this sounds harsh against
Western standards, it is important to note the contrast between the Meccan
reaction and that of Muhammad when he had the opportunity to deal with perceived
treachery in Medina at a later date on the part of those who hadn't even harmed
The Meccans limited their deadly
aggression to Muhammad himself. This is quite clear from the episode in
which Muhammad escapes his home by using his son-in-law, Ali, to trick his
would-be assassins into thinking that they had him trapped (Ibn Ishaq 326). No
harm was done to Ali or his wife, both of whom subsequently remained in the city
for several days to complete the transfer of Muhammad's family business to
Compare this to the episode of the
Banu Qurayza (below), in which Muhammad slaughtered an entire tribe of
people based on their leader having switched loyalties in a conflict in which
none of them even participated.
The year that Muhammad fled Mecca for
Medina was 622, which marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
Medina and the Origin of Jihad
Stinging from the rejection of his
own town and tribe, Muhammad's message quickly become
more intolerant and ruthless - particularly as he gained power. Islam's
holiest book clearly reflects this contrast, with the later parts of the Quran
adding violence and earthly defeats at the hands of Muslims to the woes of
eternal damnation that the earlier parts of the book promises those who will not
believe in Muhammad.
It was at Medina that Islam
evolved from a relatively peaceful religion borrowed
from others and into a military force that was intended to govern all aspects of
society. During these last ten years of Muhammad's life, infidels were evicted or enslaved, converted upon
point of death and even rounded up and slaughtered depending on expediency.
To fund his quest for control,
Muhammad first directed his followers to raid Meccan caravans in the
holy months, when the victims would least expect it. This was despite
the fact that the Meccans were not bothering him in Medina (see
MYTH: Muhammad and his Muslims were Persecuted by the Meccans at Medina).
provided his people with convenient revelations "from
Allah" which allowed them to murder innocent
drivers and steal their property (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 426). The people around him gradually
developed a lust for things that could be taken in battle, including material
comforts and captured women and children. (See also
Muhammad Raided Caravans to Retrieve Stolen Property).
Often the people captured in battle
would be brought before the self-proclaimed prophet, where they would plead for
their lives, arguing, for example, that they would never have treated the
Muslims that way. The traditions are quite clear in portraying Muhammad as
largely unmoved by their pleas, and ordering their deaths anyway, often by
horrible means. In one case, he orders a man slain, telling him that
“Hell” will take care of the poor fellow’s orphaned daughter (Ishaq 459).
Muhammad Never Killed Captives)
The raids on caravans preceded the
first major battle involving a Muslim army, the Battle of Badr. This was
the spot where the Meccans had sent their own army to protect their caravans
from Muslim raiders. Although, Muslims today like to claim that they only
attack others in self-defense, this was clearly not the case in Muhammad's time.
In fact, he had to compel his reluctant warriors with promises of paradise and
assurances that their religion was more important than the lives of others.
(See also MYTH:
The Battle of Badr was Defensive).
The Consolidation of Power
Muhammad defeated the Meccan army at
Badr, which emboldened him to begin dividing and conquering the three local
Jewish tribes at Medina. Their mistake was to accept the Muslim presence,
but reject Muhammad's claim that he was in the line of Jewish prophets.
His stories from the Torah simply did not agree with their own. (Muhammad's
recited version of Bible stories sounds more like fragmented fairy tales with the same moral -
believe in his personal claim to be a prophet or else).
these three tribes, the Banu Qaynuqa, the
Banu Nadir, and the Banu Quyrayza met their fate
is insightful into the Muslim mindset, which employs an inherent double standard
in its relations with those outside the faith.
First, to try and gain their favor, Muhammad
briefly preached that Christians and Jews could attain salvation through their
own faith. In fact, he changed his followers' direction for prayer from
Mecca to Jerusalem, which prompted the Jews' tolerance of him while he worked
surreptitiously for the power to evict them. These earlier concessions
and teachings were later revoked by Muhammad, since the Jews ultimately refused
his religion. The rare early verses of tolerance in the Quran are
abrogated by later verses such as
knowledge of the Torah naturally threatened the Muslim leader's credibility, since
it easily refuted the claims that he made about himself as a prophet of God.
They also saw through the Biblical narrations that he had picked up from
secondhand sources and knew that these contradicted established revelation.
Conveniently, Allah stepped in to tell Muhammad that the Jews had deliberately
corrupted their own texts to hide the very evidence of his own prophethood that
he had previously insisted existed. (To this day, Muslims have never been
able to produce a copy of the "true" Torah or Gospel to which their own Quran
While the Jews remained
unconvinced by such gimmickry, Arab
polytheists converted to Islam in
numbers, which soon gave Muhammad the power to make his intentions clear
that Islam would be imposed by force:
While we were in the Mosque, the
Prophet came out and said, "Let us go to the Jews" We went out till we reached
Bait-ul-Midras. He said to them, "If you embrace Islam, you will be safe.
You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want
to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property,
he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to
Allah and His Apostle."
The Jews of Mecca were the first in a
very long line of unfortunate people to be offered the opportunity to convert to
Islam under obvious duress. Forcible conversion is very much a Muslim
tradition started by Muhammad (see
MYTH: Muhammad Rejected Conversions to Islam made under Duress)
Since they chose to hold
on to their
religion (and their property) Muhammad looked for reasons to go to war against
the Jews at Medina. According to some Muslims, the first tribe, the
Qaynuqa, were driven from their homes and land on the
pretext that one of their own had harassed a Muslim woman. Although the
offender was killed prior to this by a Muslim, the Muslim was also killed by
Jews in retaliation for the first murder.
After laying siege to the entire
community and defeating the tribe, Muhammad wanted to put every male member to
death, but was talked out of it by an associate - something that Allah later
"rebuked" him for. The Qaynuqa were forced into exile and the Muslims
took their possessions and property, making it their own. Muhammad
personally reserved a fifth of the ill-gotten gain for himself (a rule that he
was sure to include in the Quran).
This episode helped ingrain within
Islam the immature principle of group identity, whereby any member of a religion
or social unit outside of Islam is just as guilty as any of their peers who
insult or harm a Muslim - and just as deserving of punishment. (Muhammad's
punishments usually did not fit the crime).
Members of the second tribe, the
Nadir, were accused by Muhammad of plotting to kill
him. What is most intriguing about this episode is that it occurred
after the Muslims had killed several prominent Jews on Muhammad's order,
including a leader of the Banu Nadir (named Ka'b al-Ashraf). (See also
Never Approved of Murder)
When the prophet of Islam learned
that he might be targeted in retaliation (something that he claimed was
"revealed" to him by Allah), he promptly laid siege to the Banu Nadir community.
After forcing them to surrender, these
original inhabitants of Medina were then banished from their homes and land by
the Muslim newcomers, who again started to take as much as they could for themselves (Ibn Ishaq
653). (To the disappointment of his people, this time Muhammad produced a
revelation from Allah that allowed him to confiscate the entire portion for
In a critical example of how
deception is sanctioned under Islam, a surviving contingent of the Banu Nadir
(under Usayr ibn Zarim) was later tricked into leaving their fortress by promise of
peace talks. The contingent of Muslims sent by Muhammad to "escort" them,
however, easily slaughtered the victims once they let down their guard (Ibn Ishaq
981). (See also
Muhammad always Disapproved of Dishonesty).
The Qurayza Massacre
By the time the Banu Qurayza met
their fate, Muhammad was wealthy and powerful from his defeat of the other two
The Jews of the
Banu Qurayza tasted Muhammad's wrath after their
half-heartedly sided with the Meccan army during a siege of Medina (the Battle of
the Trench). By then, Muhammad had evicted the other Jews and declared
that all land at Medina belonged to him, so the original constitution of the
town was no longer in effect. It is important to note that the Qurayza did
not attack the Muslims, even after switching loyalties (contrary
to another popular myth).
Although the Qurayza surrendered
peacefully to the Muslims, Muhammad determined to have every man of the tribe
executed, along with every boy that had reached the initial stages of puberty
(between the ages of 12 and 14). He ordered a ditch dug outside of the town
and had the victims brought to him in several groups. Each person would be forced
to kneel, and their head would be cut off and then dumped along with the body
into the trench.
Between 700 and 900 men and boys were
slaughtered by the Muslims after their surrender.
The surviving children of the men
became slaves of the Muslims, and their widows became sex slaves. This included the Jewish girl, Rayhana, who became one of
Muhammad's personal concubines the very night that her husband was killed.
The prophet of Islam apparently "enjoyed her pleasures" (ie. raped her) even as
the very execution of her people was taking place.
In some ways, women were much like any other
possession taken in battle, to be done with however their captors pleased.
But Muslims found them useful in other ways as well. In fact, one of the
methods by which Islam owed its expansion down through the centuries was through
the reproductive capabilities of captured women. In addition to four
wives, a man was allowed an unlimited number of sex slaves, with the only rule
being that any resulting children would automatically be Muslim.
Muhammad ordered that a fifth of
the women taken captive be reserved for him. Many were absorbed into his
personal stable of sex
slaves that he maintained in addition to his eleven wives. Others were doled out
like party favors to
MYTH: Muhammad was an Abolitionist)
At one point following a battle,
provided instructions on how women should be raped
after capture, telling his men not to worry about coitus interruptus, since
"Allah has written whom he is going to create." (See also
Never Approved of Rape)
Following the battle against the
Hunain, late in his life, Muhammad's men were reluctant to rape the captured
women in front of their husbands (who were apparently still alive to witness the
abomination), but Allah came to the rescue with a handy "revelation" that
allowed the debauchery. (This is the origin of Sura 4:24 according to Abu Dawud
The Origin of Islamic Imperialism
From Medina, Muhammad waged a
campaign of terror, to which he openly attributed his success
52:220). His gang of robbers launched raids in which hapless
communities were savaged, looted, murdered and raped. The tribes around the Muslims began
to convert to Islam out of self-preservation.
The excuse for military campaign
began to shrink to the point that it hardly existed at all. Muhammad
told his followers that
Muslims were meant to rule over other people. Supremacist teachings
driving force behind Jihad (see also
Muhammad Waged War Only in Self-Defense) and Jihad became the driving force
The brutal conquest of the people of Khaybar, a peaceful farming community that
was not at war with the Muslims, is a striking example. Muhammad marched
in secret, took them by surprise and easily defeated them. He had many of the men
killed, simply for defending their town. He enslaved women and children and had
surviving men live on the land as virtual serfs, paying Muslims an ongoing share of their crops not to
attack them again.
Muhammad suspected that the town's
treasurer was holding out and had his men barbarically
torture the poor fellow by building a fire on his
chest until he revealed the location of hidden treasure. (See also
Never Approved Torture).
prophet of Islam beheaded the man and "married" his widow on the same day (she
first had to pass through the hands of one of his
lieutenants). Given that the woman's father was also killed by Muhammad,
it isn't much of a stretch to say that true love had very little to do with this
A Life of Hedonism and Narcissism
Muhammad's personal life became the
picture of hedonism and excess, all justified by frequent “revelations” from an
increasingly arbitrary and capricious god. Much like a cult leader, he
demanded strict obedience from his followers, telling them that they
obey Allah by obeying him (Quran 4:80, Sahih Bukhari
circular reasoning in
which the premise and conclusion each depend on the other: A is true
because B is true; B is true because A is true. Surprisingly,
this simple and obvious defect in thinking persists to this day among believers:
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah because the Quran says so.
2) The Quran is from Allah
because the messenger says so.
his later years, Muhammad shamelessly exploited his influence for personal goals,
including sex, wealth and power. Allah's authority for him to pursue these
earthly ambitions is actually immortalized in the Quran (suras 33 and 66,
The same man who earlier in his career
had justified his claims as a prophet by
saying that he "asked for no reward" from others,
reversed course and began to demand a fifth or more of all booty taken from conquered
tribes. According to his biographers, he became
fat from living off this enormous share of ill-gotten
gain. (See also MYTH:
Muhammad was a Brave Warrior who Trusted in Allah to Protect him)
In the span of a dozen years, he
married eleven women and had access to an array of sex slaves (see
Muhammad Married Multiple Women as a Favor to them). When he
wanted a woman, even if she were the wife of another man, his own
daughter-in-law, or a child as young as 6-years-old (see
Muhammad Condemned Pedophilia), Muhammad was able to justify his lust and
inevitable consummation with an appeal to Allah’s revealed will
for his sex
life - which was then preserved forever in the Quran,
to be faithfully memorized by future generations for whom it has no possible
The first verse of Sura 66 is a
good example of this. It was narrated by Muhammad to his wives shortly after two of
them pressured him into not visiting a favorite sex slave:
O Prophet! why do you forbid
(yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your
wives? (Quran 66:1)
Allah (according to Muhammad)
was so upset with his prophet for denying himself an afternoon of pleasure with
the concubine that Allah had provided for him that it was a good thing for
Muhammad that Allah was a forgiving and merciful god!
(For the Muslim faithful, it must
surely be a source of embarrassment that Allah evidently had more interest in
Muhammad's personal sex life than he did about tolerance or universal love.
The god of Islam encourages sex with slaves in several other places as well).
Muhammad used eternal paradise
and damnation to solicit strict obedience to his every command: "Allah’s
Apostle said, ‘Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me
will not enter it’” (Bukhari
Islam became centered
completely around its founder. Of all the prophets, new converts are
required to affirm only the legitimacy of Muhammad. The Muslim leader even
shares the Shahada with Allah ("There is no god but Allah and Muhammad
is his messenger"). To this day, every Muslim must bow down five times
a day "toward" Muhammad's birthplace (Islam's "prophet" did not know the earth
The prophet of Islam was
also an extremely
superstitious person, leaving many bizarre rules for Muslims to follow,
including which direction they should defecate and how many stones they should
wash their anus with afterwards (any odd number... for anyone who's curious). (See also
Muhammad did Away with Superstition). Sketchy hygiene apparently left
him with an annoying
with waiting for Allah to act on his behalf, Muhammad had personal critics
executed, including poets. One of these was a mother of five children, who
was stabbed to death by Muhammad's envoy after a suckling infant was removed
from her breast (see
Muhammad Never Killed Women). Other innocent people were killed merely because they
were of a different religion, sometimes including children (see
Muhammad Never Killed Children).
The glaring double standards of Islam were ingrained by the prophet of Islam during his
lifetime. This included commands to execute apostates (those who wish to
leave Islam) and evict people of other religions from their homes.
An elderly woman named Umm
Qirfa once ran afoul of Muhammad merely by fighting back when her tribe was
targeted by Muslim
tied the woman's legs separately to two camels, then set the camels off in opposite directions,
tearing the woman's body in two. He also killed her two sons -
presumably in gruesome fashion - and made her daughter into a sex slave. (See also
Never Killed the Elderly).
Today's Muslims inherit this legacy of self-consumption and disregard for those
outside the faith. They may or may not agree with terrorist attacks on
non-Muslims, but they are nearly united in their belief that the victims have no
right to strike back, even if it is in self-defense.
The Quran distinguishes Muslims from
others, bestowing the highest praise for believers while heaping the vilest
condemnation on those outside the faith. Islam is a true supremacist
ideology. (See also Is the
Quran Hate Speech?)
The Taking of Mecca
Though many of the Arab and Jewish
tribes were eliminated and absorbed through military victory and forced
conversion, the city of Mecca remained.
In 628, six years after fleeing,
Muhammad’s followers were allowed to re-enter the city under an agreement
whereby he set aside his title as “Prophet of Allah.” This was a temporary
ploy that enabled him to gain a political foothold in the city through the same
“fifth column” activities that are still used today
by organizations such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which
use their host’s language of religious tolerance to disguise an ulterior agenda
that includes systematic discrimination against non-Muslims.
Many of his followers were
disappointed that Muhammad had made concessions to the Meccans, not
understanding how it actually fit perfectly with his ultimate agenda of
domination. It was during this time that he led the campaign against the
Khaybar, to assuage their lust for blood, women and loot.
Technically, Muhammad was the first
to break the treaty with the Meccans when he violated the
portion of it that restricted him from accepting members of the other tribe into
his camp. His own people also staged deadly raids on Meccan caravans (see
Meccans were the First to Break the Treaty of Hudaibiya). Although he
evidently had no personal obligation to the treaty, the
prophet of Islam held the other party to the letter of the law, particularly
after he amassed the power to conquer in overwhelming fashion.
The excuse that Muhammad eventually
used to march his armies into Mecca was provided when a tribe allied to the
Meccans conducted a raid on a tribe allied with the Medinans. Although a
true man of peace would have heeded the fact that his enemy did not want war,
and used non-violent means to resolve the tension while respecting sovereignty,
Muhammad merely wanted power and vengeance. (See also
Muhammad always Chose Peace over War).
In just under a decade,
Muhammad had evolved from trying to sell himself as a Judeo-Christian prophet,
seeking followers, to an Arab warlord, seeking subjects, slaves and total
dominance. The early Quran (of Mecca) tells unbelievers to 'follow the
example' of Muhammad or suffer Hell. The later Quran (of Medina) tells
unbelievers to 'obey' Muhammad or suffer death.
Following Mecca's surrender, Muhammad
put to death those who had previously insulted him (see also
Muhammad was a Forgiving Man). One of the persons
sentenced was his former scribe, who had written revelations that Muhammad said
were from Allah. The scribe had previously recommended changes to the
wording that Muhammad offered (based on some of the bad grammar and ineloquent
language of "Allah") and Muhammad agreed. This caused the scribe to
apostatize, based on his belief that real revelations should have been
Although the scribe escaped death by
"converting to Islam" at the point of a sword, others weren't so lucky.
One was a slave girl who was executed on Muhammad's order because she had
written songs mocking him.
In what would
also become the model for future Muslim military conquests, those Meccans who
would not convert to Islam were required to accept third-class
status. Not surprisingly, almost the entire city - which had previously
rejected his message - immediately "converted" to Islam once Muhammad came back
with a sword in this hand. This included has adversary, Abu Sufyan, who
was bluntly ordered to "Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and
that Muhammad is the apostle of Allah before you lose your head."
Those who would not convert to Islam
were banned from the city a few months later - again underscoring the dual ethics of Islam.
When Muhammad was previously banned from Mecca, he described it as a
"persecution" that justified his "slaughter" of those who prevented him from
performing the Haj. Yet, when he attained power, he immediately chased
anyone who would not convert to Islam from Mecca and prevented them from
performing the Haj.
To this day, people of other
religions are barred even from entering Mecca, the city where Muhammad was free
to preach in contradiction to the established religion. Islam is far less
tolerant even than the more primitive Arab religion that it supplanted. A person
preaching the original Arab polytheism on the streets of Mecca today would be
Jihad and Jizya
Tellingly, some of the most violent
verses in the Quran were handed down following Muhammad's ascension to power,
when there was no threat to the Muslim people. The 9th Sura of the Quran
exhorts Muslims to Jihad and dominance over other religions:
"Fight those who do not believe in
Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger
have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been
given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they
are in a state of subjection." (9:29)
The verse that follows curses
Christians and Jews by name and says "May Allah destroy them" (as with other
sections of the Quran, it is unclear whether it is Allah or Muhammad speaking).
death, Muhammad ordered 30,000 men to march
on Christian lands (which were Byzantine at the time). It is possible that
he believed false rumors of an army amassed against him, but there is absolutely
no evidence of such a force having been assembled. Instead, Muhammad
subjugated the local people and extorted "protection" money from them -
something that has come to be known as the jizya (a tax that non-Muslims
pay to Muslims).
Another episode from this period that
offers insight into the legacy of Muhammad is the forced conversion of the
al-Harith, one of the last Arab tribes to hold out against Muslim hegemony.
Muhammad gave the chief of the tribe three days to accept Islam before sending
his army to destroy them.
Not surprisingly, the entire people
immediately embraced the Religion of Peace!
Most Arab tribes recognized
Muhammad's quest for power and wisely pledged their political allegiance without
a fight. This quickly presented a problem for his core band of followers,
however, since they had become used to living off of what could be stolen from
others via raids and battle.
Since it was against the rules
to attack fellow Muslims, Muhammad began demanding tribute from his new
"converts" instead, but this proved to be less profitable than the jizya
- not to mention that it carried the risk of internal resentment and strife.
Khaybar, the remote Jewish city
that had been turned into a sharecropper state on behalf of its Muslim masters
was a more preferable economic model for a growing Islamic empire that had
become dependent on extortion justified by religious superiority.
Years before attacking
Christian and Persian lands, Muhammad wrote to governors in each, telling them,
"embrace Islam and you will be safe." There was no mention of
oppression or liberation cited as a justification. The only threat these
people faced would be from Muslim armies. (Only six years later, 4,000
peasants in the modern-day Palestinian region would be slaughtered for defending
At the time, the wealth of
other nations was an open source of envy among Muhammad's followers, which he
promised to rectify. The subsequent military expansion that he set in motion may have been sanctioned by Allah and powered by religious
zealotry, but the underlying motives of money, sex, slaves and power were no
less worldly than any other conqueror of the time.
The Legacy of Islamic Imperialism
Muhammad died of a fever
in 632 at the age
of 63, with his violent religion spread over most of Arabia. His method of
forcing others to convert under duress had several negative consequences,
beginning with the civil wars that were immediately engaged in following his
death. Many tribes wanted out of Islam and had to be kept in the empire
via horrific violence.
Abu Sufyan, the Meccan leader
who was literally forced to "embrace" Islam at the point of a sword actually had
the last laugh. He skillfully worked his own family into the line of
succession and his son, Muawiya, became the heir to Muhammad's empire at
the expense of the prophet's own family. In fact, Abu Sufyan almost lived
to witness his son and grandson kill off Muhammad's own grandchildren and
assume control of the Islamic empire.
Muhammad's failure to leave a
clear successor resulted in a deep schism that quickly devolved into violence
and persists to this day as the Sunni/Shia conflict.
His own family fell apart and literally went to war with each other in the first
few years. Thousands of Muslims were killed fighting each other in a
battle between Muhammad's favorite wife, Aisha, and his adopted son, Ali.
no better. Through Muhammad's teachings and
example, his followers viewed worldly life as a constant physical
battle between the House of Peace (Dar al-Salaam) and the House of War (Dar
al-Harb). Muslims are instructed to invite their enemies to either embrace
Islam, pay jizya (protection money),
Over the next fourteen centuries, the
bloody legacy of this extraordinary individual would be a constant challenge to
those living on the borders of the Islam’s political power. The violence that
Muslim armies would visit on people across North Africa, the Middle East, Europe
and into Asia as far as the Indian subcontinent is a tribute to a founder who
practiced and promoted subjugation, rape, murder and forced conversion.
In Muhammad's words: "I have been
ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped
but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and
slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us
and we will not interfere with them..." (Bukhari
It is certainly the basis not just
for modern day terror campaigns against Western infidels (and Hindus and
Buddhists) but also the broad apathy that Muslims across the world have to the
violence, which is an obvious enabler.
As Indonesian cleric, Abu Bakar
Bashir recently put it, "If the West wants to have peace, then they have to
accept Islamic rule."
Go back to
the List of Islamic Terrorist Attacks