Noha Yousri: Here is the story with context and word for word. Now give us your frank opinion
Submitted by Plato (India), Mar 13, 2008 at 02:07
I will give you the full story and its context. If it embarrasses you don't blame me, you wanted the entire story including the context, which is equally gory.
Before we proceed I have to tell you that the story is from the first and earliest biographer of your prophet, Ibn Ishaq, who is quoted extensively by all other LATER biographers. So you can choose to believe the stories in his biography or choose to reject them as lies by an admiring believer. In the second case your prophet disappears into the realm of fantasy and he becomes just another unhistorical character in a story written by Ibn Ishaq. Since you asked here is the full story.
From the Life of Muhammad, a translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, by A Guillaume, Printed by Oxford University Press, Pakistan.
The context is the killing of Kab b Al Asharaf, who composed amatory verses about Muslim women, by a gang of Muslims who are honoured as Companions of the Prophet. According to Ibn Ishaq (Page 368): Our attack upon God's enemy cast terror among the Jews, and there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life…
The Affair of Muhayyisa and Huwayyisa (Page 369):
The Apostle said, ‘Kill any Jew that falls into your power.' Thereupon Muhayyisa b. Masud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed him Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, ‘You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?' Muhayyisa answered, ‘Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head of.' He said this was the beginning of Huwayysia's acceptance of Islam. The other replied, ‘By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?' He said, ‘Yes, by God, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.' He exclaimed, ‘By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvellous!' and he became a Muslim.
I (not me, Ibn Ishaq) was told this story by a client of B. Haritha from the daughter of Muhayyisa from Muhayyisa himself.
Now do you see any problem with the context or the content of the story? I have quoted it using every comma, full stops etc. that I found. Study it with care, it has a lot to tell about Islam. If your mind has blanked out after reading the full story let me help you.
The context is the terrorising of the Jews of Madina with the brutal murder of an old poet for writing about the Prophet and muslim women. The killing emboldens Muhammad and he orders the indiscriminate killing of Jews who are in the power of Muslim. The unfortunate Jew Ibn Sunayana was in the power of (probably within striking distance of Muhayyisa's sword) a person whom he employed and helped feed and clothe.
The power (baleful influence?) of your prophet was such that Muhayysia beheaded a Jew who had done nothing to him except give him employment. Note that Muhayysia was a Muslim at the time he beheaded the poor Jew.
Unlike his brother, Huwayysia was even then a pagan. The pagan was moved and horrified by his brother's act and asked his brother what made him kill a man who had done nothing to him but had filled his belly, an ungrateful and heinous act if ever there was one. Read the reply the murderer of an innocent man gave. If you approve of that reply you are a true Muslim, Noha Yousri.
And read again what the pagan brother did later on hearing the murderer's reply. Why do you think he too converted? Was it because Allah had cast terror into Huwayyisa's heart through the murder of an innocent. If on becoming a Muslim one can mindlessly kill your benefactor would the killer bother about a blood relationship? Muhayyisa cheerfully admitted he would gladly behead his brother if ordered by his prophet.
You tell me, ‘if you want to investigate the truth be frank with yourself'. I have tried to do as you say and given you my view of the incident. Now can you be frank with yourself and tell us what you think of this incident from the life of the prophet Muhammad?
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
Reader comments (748) on this item
Comment on this item
Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes