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What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?

"Discover the Truth's" Game

Muawiyah bin al-Mugheerah:
 The Posthumous Spy

From Discover the Truth:

Here, we see Prophet Mohammed showing mercy to this enemy by giving him three days to leave and cease spying, yet after the days passed he was still in Madinah. He was killed for it
(March 29, 2015)

What the Apologists Want You to Believe

Everyone agrees that a man named Muawiyah bin al-Mugheerah was beheaded on Muhammad's order after he was given three days to leave Medina and did not. 

Here is how DTT explains this:
Muawiyah bin Al Mugheerah aided the pagans by spying on the Muslims. He was granted three days to leave the area where the Muslim community lived. Three days later, he was still in Madinah collecting info for the idolaters of Makkah so they use that information to attack the Muslim community. So the Prophet had him killed.
Discover the Truth thus makes three statements about Muawiyah bin al-Mugheerah:
  1. He was a spy
  2. He gathered information
  3. That information was used to attack Muslims

What They Offer as Proof

DTT cites two sources.

The first is a book written in 2002, which refers to al-Mugheerah as a "Meccan spy" and says that he was "spying for the Quraish."

The next book was written in 1885, and offers the theory that that al-Mugheerah "might be either a spy or scout seceretly seeking information."

Neither reference offers any detail about information gathered or "used to attack the Muslims."

What They Leave Out and Why They are Wrong

For a site that claims to rely on "sources which have been accepted and authentic in Islam for over a 1000 years" it is certainly odd that DTT fails to cite them. 

As mentioned, neither of the two contemporary sources substantiates points 2 and 3 for DTT.  We can also observe the evolution of the "al-Mugheerah was a Meccan spy" allegation:

The book written in 1885 clearly implies that it is not known whether or not al-Mugheerah is a spy.  Yet 117 years later, another author assures us that he was spying.  Hmmm...

Clearly the later book is an opinion passed off as fact.  There are no references to manuscripts or new research that came to light in the intervening time period, nor new detail provided.

What is known about Muawiyah bin al-Mugheerah hasn't changed from the first reference in the earliest Sira:
Abu 'Ubayda said: 'On that journey of his before he returned to Medina, the apostle seized Mu'awiya b. al-Mughira, who was the grandfather of 'Abdu'I-Malik b. Marwan, the father of his mother 'A'isha, and Abu Azza al-Jumaryi. The apostle had taken him prisoner at Badr and then released him. He asked the apostle to forgive him, but he said "You shall not stroke your cheeks in Mecca after this and say 'I have deceived Muhammad twice.' Strike off his head, Zubayr," and he did so.'

I have heard that Sa'id b. al-Musayyab said that the apostle said to him: 'The believer should not be bitten twice by the same snake. Cut off his head, 0 'Asim b. Thabit', and he did so.

It is said... He had taken refuge with 'Uthman b. Affan, who asked the apostle to give him sanctuary, and he did so on the condition that if he were found after three days he should be killed. He stayed there more than three days and hid himself. The prophet sent the two of them and said, 'You.' will find him in such-and-such a place.' They found him there and killed him.
To summarize, al-Mugheerah was captured after the Battle of Badr, begged for his life and was allowed to stay in Medina for three days with Uthman.  He tried to stay longer, but was found out and beheaded by Muhammad.

The historical account says nothing about "gathering information" or that information having been used to "attack the Muslims."  This is made up by Discover the Truth which, much like the author of the 2002 book, wants to imagine detail that is not there so as to fit the preferred narrative.

Here's a better theory: al-Mugheerah was a man who mocked Muhammad at Mecca, worshipped the wrong god and was killed largely on that basis after failing to leave Medina.  In fact, there is better proof for this than DTT's fictionalized account.

What was al-Mugheerah's earlier crime for which he had to beg forgiveness?  It wasn't because he had fought in battle, since others who had were ransomed.  The captives put to death were guilty of having mocked Muhammad.  That is the most likely explanation for al-Mugheerah.

Why was he killed after three days?  Because he wouldn't leave Medina.  Nothing is said about spying.  In fact, he was staying with Uthman, Muhammad's very close associate and father-in-law.  Why would Uthman have allowed a spy in his house?

To this day, in fact, non-Muslims are forbidden to set foot in Medina.  It has nothing to do with spying, but with their status as non-believers.  Where else did this tradition originate except with Muhammad?

So, the most likely explanation is the straight-forward interpretation of the account, which is probably why DTT doesn't cite it.  The chain of narration thus provides a case study in how apologists add embellishments over time to make the story sound more pleasing:
  • (760 AD - Ibn Ishaq) al-Mugheerah is a non-Muslim beheaded for not leaving town with the other polytheists after Muhammad had captives put to death.
  • (1885 - Cheragh Ali) Sounds harsh.  Maybe he was a spy.
  • (2002 - Safiur-Rahman) Yes, he was definitely a spy.  Take my word for it.
  • (2015 - Discover the Truth) He used to provide information to the Quraish that got Muslims killed.
Notice how the story evolves even though there is no new proof.

al-Mugheerah, by the way, was the father of at least one child.  His daughter Aisha would probably have been less then 6-years-old at the time, perhaps even an infant.  Perhaps this is another reason DTT wants to imagine what isn't there.

Further Reading

Discover the Truth Propaganda Index

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