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"Discover the Truth's" Game

Umaiya bin Khalaf:
Killed for Beating His Slave?


From Discover the Truth:

An order was given for Umaiya bin Khalaf Abi Safwan to be killed for persecuting Muslims.
(March 30, 2015)

What the Apologists Want You to Believe

Umaiya was a Quraish leader who was brutally murdered after he surrendered to the Muslims following a battle.  DTT has this to say about him:
An order was given for Umaiya bin Khalaf Abi Safwan to be killed for persecuting Muslims. He was so evil, he used to torture Muslims. Bilal was one of his victims. In the end he got killed.
Thus, Discover the Truth contends that Umaiyya was killed because he tortured a slave.

DTT also points out that Umaiya was present at the Battle of Badr, from this concluding that he was "involved in wars against the Muslim community."

What They Offer as Proof

DTT finds two recent scholars who provide a seemingly agreeable version of events, along with one authentic hadith verse.  The verse does not talk about the killing of Umaiya or why, but simply says that he was present at the Battle of Badr.

What They Leave Out and Why They are Wrong

Short as it is, DTT's 'Umaiya' article contains all of the elements of good propaganda.  Evidence for the real reason he was killed is completely omitted while the opinion of modern-era apologists are brought in to confuse the reader.  Obvious mitigations are hidden with ellipses.  People on the Internet find the article and either don't know or don't care they are being misled.

First, let's quickly get DTT's last point out of the way.  Umaiya was present at Badr, but it was the first battle between the Muslims and the Quraish.  The Quraish came out simply to defend their caravan.  Given that Umaiya was killed, it would have been impossible for him to have been "involved in wars."  (Muhammad had also decided to kill Umaiya well before this).

The balance of DTT's article is a case study in deception by omission.  There are several reliable hadith verses which explain Umaiya's crime and punishment:
While the Prophet was in the state of prostration, surrounded by a group of people from Quraish pagans. `Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and brought the intestines of a camel and threw them on the back of the Prophet. The Prophet did not raise his head from prostration till Fatima (i.e. his daughter) came and removed those intestines from his back, and invoked evil on whoever had done (the evil deed). The Prophet said, "O Allah! Destroy the chiefs of Quraish, O Allah! Destroy Abu Jahl bin Hisham, `Utba bin Rabi`a, Shaiba bin Rabi`a, `Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait, Umaiya bin Khalaf." Later on I saw all of them killed during the battle of Badr and their bodies were thrown into a well except the body of Umaiya or Ubai, because he was a fat person, and when he was pulled, the parts of his body got separated before he was thrown into the well. (Sahih Bukhari 53:409)
The real story, then, is that Umaiya was killed because he mocked Muhammad at Mecca.  He participated in a practical joke, whereby camel intestines were thrown onto Muhammad's back while he prayed.  As further proof, the others involved in this were killed as well.

Five other sahih hadith verses confirm the story.  One even says that Umaiya was "killed as an infidel."  None say that he was killed because he tortured a slave.  Several even say that he protected another Muslim from the Quraish.

It is true that Umaiya once tortured a slave named Bilal until Bilal was "purchased" by Abu Bakr.  He forced Bilal to lay in the hot sun with a rock on his chest until he recanted his faith.  While DTT says that this was but one of several of Umaiya's victims, even the other apologists cited cannot think of another... leading one to believe that this, too, is a product of DTT's imagination.

The circumstances of Bilal's torture are also mitigating.  He was not mistreated because he was a slave, per se, but because he was a Muslim slave.  Muhammad was stirring up anger in the community, while enjoying his uncle's protection from retaliation.  Umaiya took his frustration out on a slave of his who outwardly supported Muhammad. 

Evidently Umaiya was not a habitual torturer of slaves because, rather than buy Bilal, Abu Bakr simply traded another slave for him.

Torturing a slave, albeit for a temporal period, is indefensible (so is owning one).  Whether it is grounds for killing the person responsible is highly questionable (Bilal himself participated in the slaughter).  In this case, not only was Umaiya killed, but his unarmed son as well.  If this was revenge, then it was certainly excessive and inexcusable.

As it is, the best proof that Discover the Truth is being less than truthful about the reason for Umaiya's slaughter comes from the very sahih hadith they quote. 

If you look at this screenshot from DTT's own article, there are ellipsis in the text quoted from Sahih Muslim.  The proper use of ellipsis is to to protect the reader from superfluous or non-relevant information.  But here is the text omitted by DTT:
When he said this, they beat him. Then he said: All right, I will tell you about Abu Sufyan. They would stop beating him and then ask him (again) about Abu Sufyan. He would again say', I know nothing about Abu Sufyan, but Abu Jahl. 'Utba, Shaiba and Umayya b. Khalaf are there. When he said this, they beat him likewise. (Sahih Muslim 4394)
Yes, it turns out that the black slave captured by "the Messenger of Allah" in DTT's condensed version of events was relentlessly beaten for information in the full version - something known as torture.  What's irrelevant about a slave being tortured when the topic, according to DTT, is a slave being tortured?

Laid bare, then, is the frustration of the Muslim apologist, who desperately wants Islam to be different than what it is.  Yet, the very hadith verse quoted in an article contending that Umaiya was killed because of a slave he tortured is a reference to a slave tortured by Muhammad and his companions.  Ay caramba!

Small wonder that Discover the Truth relies so heavily on the opinion of other apologists rather than the early Sira and Hadith.

Further Readinge">Further Reading

Discover the Truth Propaganda Index

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