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Myths of Muhammad

The Myth:

Muhammad Did Away
with Primitive Superstition
 and Belief in Magic


"Our Prophet (peace be upon him) enlightened the world and replaced Arab mythology and supersition with scientific inquiry and truth."

The Truth:

Although contemporary Muslims like to believe that Islam is a mature Abrahamic religion that has no place for archaic superstition, the truth is that Muhammad believed in black magic and curses.  This is documented in the Quran and Hadith.

The Quran, Islam’s holiest book, actually contains several references to magic and witchcraft.  According to 2:102, magic was taught to men by demons.  Moses himself was able to practice magic (7:116).  Muhammad was told to “seek refuge” from witchcraft in Sura 113, a passage that is supposed to be recited six times a day by devout Muslims.

In the Hadith, Muhammad establishes the “evil eye” as a fact:
Ibn 'Abbas reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The influence of an evil eye is a fact; if anything would precede the destiny it would be the influence of an evil eye, and when you are asked to take bath (as a cure) from the influence of an evil eye, you should take bath. (Muslim 5427)
The enemies of Muhammad were even able to cast spells over him (or so he claimed):
A'isha reported that a Jew from among the Jews of Banu Zuraiq who was called Labid b. al-A'sam cast spell upon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) with the result that he (under the influence of the spell) felt that he had been doing something whereas in fact he had not been doing that.  (This state of affairs lasted) until one day or during one night Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) made supplication (to dispel its effects. (Muslim 5428). (Bukhari 54:490 repeats the same story and adds that Muhammad was “bewitched”).
Bukhari 71:660 also goes into further detail, saying that Muhammad was made to think that he had sexual relations with his wives when he had not (due to the magic).  the passage also lists the materials used to cast the spell, which included a lock of his own hair – reminiscent of voodoo practices.

Muhammad prescribed eating seven dates in the morning to ward off evil spells (Muslim 5081, Bukhari 65:356).

To this day, women are sometimes arrested or even killed in hard-line Islamic countries on suspicion of “black magic.”

The prophet of Islam actually claimed to have super powers over invisible demons:
"The Prophet said, "Last night a big demon (afreet) from the Jinns came to me and wanted to interrupt my prayers (or said something similar) but Allah enabled me to overpower him.  I wanted to fasten him to one of the pillars of the mosque so that all of you could See him in the morning but I remembered the statement of my brother Solomon (as stated in Quran): My Lord! Forgive me and bestow on me a kingdom such as shall not belong to anybody after me (38:35)." (Bukhari 8:450)
His credulous followers believed that it was more important fro Muhammad to forgive and release the demon, rather than keep him tied to a pillar for a period of time so that they might verify his fantastic story.

Muhammad was also extremely superstitious. He believed:
  • A child resembles whichever parent climaxed first (Bukhari 55:546)
  • Satan causes yawning (Bukhari 73:245)
  • Spoons should be covered before going to bed (Bukhari 69:527)
  • Oversleeping is caused by Satan urinating in one’s ear (Bukhari 54:492)
  • The bathroom should be entered with the left foot first. (Fiqh - Islamic law)
  • Keeping a dog as a pet will cost the owner a celestial reward (Bukhari 67:389)
  • A man should spit only to his left (Muslim 7149)
  • The penis should be held with the left hand only when urinating (Muslim 512)
  • A person should wipe their butt with an odd number of stones after defecating (Bukhari 4:163)
  • Satan sleeps in ones nose, so water should be snorted each day (Bukhari 54:516)
  • No one should lie on their back with one foot crossing the other.
  • Bad dreams can be warded off by spitting over the left side of the bed (Bukhari 87:115)
  • The right shoe should be put on before the left (Muslim 514)
  • No one should enter the house through the back door (Quran 2:189)
Muhammad also told Muslims which way to face when they defecate (back towards Mecca, per Sahih Muslim 507) and which direction they should be buried (facing toward Mecca). 

Perhaps the biggest superstition (which has caused untold monetary expense and loss of life to Muslims) is that believers need to travel to Mecca and circle a meteorite seven times.  This practice was borrowed directly from the Arab pagans, which even Muhammad's successors found odd (Muslim 2915).

Of the idols worshipped by the pagans at Mecca in Muhammad's time, only the black rock was allowed to remain, since it was holy to his Quraish tribe.


Further Reading:

 

Myths of Muhammad Index

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