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Hamad, you are missing the point

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]
in response to reader comment: Been there, Done that

Submitted by Jan (Austria), Oct 6, 2006 at 05:46

Hamad,

You are either completely missing the point or I did not make my point clear enough.

What I am trying to say is that Islamic bookshops are selling books that are an insult to the Prophet by depicting him as a killing machine. Those books claim to be the most reliable sources about the life of the Prophet and the start of Islam.

Why is there no violent reaction from the muslim community? Why are those bookshops not burnt down? This is a question for you to answer.

My view is that there is a general belief in the islamic religious society that those books are close to the truth. One of the books that I read, the earliest still available biography by Ibn Ishaq is even used as a syllabus for teaching islamic history. I saw a website from an islamic institute with a picture of the course leader with a hijab and explaining that her course about islamic history is based on Ibn Ishaq. And she is not afraid that she will be killed for spreading lies about the Prophet or slandering him. No muslim will hunt her down.

There are several points to be made about the biographies of Ibn Ishaq, Tabari, Ibn Sa'd and Waqidi:

- no book is claiming that it is 100 % accurate

- all books agree about the major events and their background

- there are deviations concerning the timing, some biographers give a different sequence of events

- there are deviations concerning numbers and names: for example there is a difference in the number of Banu Qurayza men whom the Prophet had beheaded after the battle of the ditch, some say 700, some say 900. However all agree that the Banu Qurayza did not actually help the Quraysh, there is an assumption that they "considered" helping the ennemies of the Prophet, but they didn't. So there was no reason for the Prophet to commit his genocide.

Now if I copy the book of Ibn Ishaq with a personal introduction, saying that I merely copied the book by Ibn Ishaq and I state that I wonder why soo many people follow such a bad man as you will see when you read the book, then I will receive death threats.

And that is the point. A muslim scholar who explains the attrocities committed by the prophet as courage, self-defense, following the order of Allah, spreading Islam is OK. A non-muslim or muslim critic, who talks about the same attrocities and says that in our 2006 way of thinking, those actions would be considered as crimes against humanity, will receive death threats.

YOU WROTE:

" Prophet Mohammad is supposed to have pardoned Hind, who ate his uncle's liver after killing him. On the other hand he is supposed to have killed a pregnant woman who has bad mouthed him."

MY OBSERVATION:

There is no conflict in what you wrote. The prophet pardoned EVERYBODY on condition that they became muslim. He pardoned Abu Sufyan, who was fighting against him for over 8 years, he pardoned only the people from Banu Qurayza who became muslim and beheaded the rest. There were 2 girls who used to sing satirical songs about the Prophet in Mecca. 10 years later, he pardoned the one who became muslim and beheaded the other. The Prophet was quite consistent in this point.

YOU WROTE:

"There are thousands of Hadiths, most were written to serve a personal or political purpose. There are very few that are agreed upon to be authentic compared to the whole number, one being the hadith about the five pillars of Islam."

MY OBSERVATIONS

1. There is consensus about Bukhari and Muslim for all sunni muslims. I have them at home, I have read them and they also mention the same attrocities as the biographies do. The Hadith however do not give the historical context or the time frame. They only give short stories. Please do not pick the ones that you like and discard the others that contradict your intuition. Either you accept the Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim or you don't.

2. The Hadith are the basis for Islamic law in many muslim countries. And you say that they are not reliable. So what you say is that Islamic law is based on quake-sand?

3. There is no way for you to know that you have to pray 5 times a day, what are the rules for praying, fasting, how much somebody has to steal to have his hand cut off, ... apart from consulting the hadith. And you say they are not reliable. So your religious practice is based on quake-sand.

4. In the Quran it is mentioned over 20 times : "Obey Allah and his messenger". How do you obey the Prophet without reliable hadith? The muslim scholars know this and they have developed the science of hadith which I have always found amazing in their thoroughness.

5. I have seen lots of discussions with muslims and they always go in the same way. The muslim tells: We follow the Quran and the sunnah. Q: how do you know about the Sunnah. A: by the hadith sahih. Q: are those hadith reliable? A: there are a lot of fabricated hadith but there is consensus about the hadith sahih from Bukhari and Muslim.

After that a discussion follows about a certain topic for example intercession. It proves that there are contradictions inside the Quran, inside the hadith and inbetween Quran and Hadith. Then the muslim tells that the same hadith of Bukhari and Muslim that were reliable one minute ago are not reliable on this point and the muslim develops a brand new theory based on his own imagination.

YOU WROTE:

"Islam however, is perserved by the Quran which can't be modified. If I take your view, then Mohammad contradicted his philosophy in the Quran and went ballistic. One would wonder why Islam is so universally accepted by many when it had such a horrible prophet."

MY OBSERVATIONS:

I accept that the Quran is preserved with the same rigidity as the Sahih Hadith. That's what has been told generation to generation. Quran can't be modified and hadith can't be modified as well. That is my starting point for discussion. If you do not accept this, there is no Islam to talk about.

As you might know there are a great number of contradictions in the Quran. There are peaceful verses and violent ones. Surah 9 is one of the last ones to be revealed and it is a very violent one. Scholars agree that the later ones abrogate the earlier ones. Surah 9 should be the most true one based on this logic. So what is the philosophy in the Quran? Please read surah 9 and tell me what is the philosophy of the Quran!

Do not mistake your own peaceful character for the violent character of the Quran and Islam.

I can summarize the message of Islam as follows: Islam comes down to say "LA ILLAH ILLA ALLAH" and this is so important that you should force other people to say the same. Otherwise their is injustice from islamic perspective. If muslims say islam brought justice, they mean this. Bringing people away from the path of ALLAH is worse than killing as indicated in

Ayah 2.217

"They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein. "

Muslims call this self-defense and Allah wants you to fight whenever you feel insecure.

Now, you may have heard about the Amish girls in the US who got shot this week. What did their families ask to do? Did they ask for revenge against the family of the killer? Did they go on a killing spree against their enemies? NO. They ask forgiveness for the killer who committed suicide and are collecting money for the widow and the children who are without income after their husband and father killed himself. This is the REAL CHRISTIAN attitude: pray for your enemy, love your enemy, turn the other cheek. And I assure you that only a small percentage of the Christians follow the teachings of christ to this extent. In Islam such principles do not exist. Islam has the principle of revenge and this is a guarantee for continued violence.

Peace be with you HAMAD.

Submitting....

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