69 million page views

The references you wanted

Reader comment on item: Salman Rushdie and British Backbone
in response to reader comment: To Henrik: Mohammad (Peace be upon him) taught us to live simple life, away from the thrust of worldly things.

Submitted by Henrik Ræder Clausen (Denmark), Jun 30, 2007 at 18:12

"Do you think these are in fact a truth? Provide reference."

I think we can agree to use the Islamic scripture as the final source of truth in this matter? Well, we have little choice, as no other sources exist.

So let's jump into the Hadith: "They said: "Muhammad, come let us worship what you worship, and you worship what we worship. You and we will combine in the matter. If what you worship is better than what we worship, we will take a share of it, and if what we worship is better than what you worship, you can take a share of that."" al-Tabari VI p. 106: "Quraysh promised Muhammad that they would give him so much wealth that he would become the richest man in Mecca, would give him as many girls as he wanted in marriage, and would submit to his commands." Power, sex and money, right?

The offer continues: "They said: "This is what we will give you, Muhammad, so desist from reviling our gods and do not speak evilly of them. If you will not do so, we offer you one means which will be to your advantage and to ours." "What is it?" he asked. They said: "You will worship our gods, al-Lat and al-Uzza, for a year, and we shall worship your god for a year."" It's interesting that the Meccans do not name the god of Muhammad. They were worshipping Allah, al-Lat, al-Uzza and others already. More on this later.

First the acceptance of the Quraysh offer: "Then God revealed: Quran 53:1-4: By the star when it goes down. Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of desire. It is only a Revelation revealed." Almost there. "Quran 53:19-20: Have you then considered Al-Lât, and Al-'Uzzâ And Manât, the other third? Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words: These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval." That's it! The Satanic verses in all their glory. Ibn Ishaq tells the same story, on page 165 in the English translation. The wording is a bit longwinded, but eventually Muhammad prostrates himself in the Kaaba to Allah, al-Lat, al-Uzza, Manat and the other stone idols in there. The Muslims followed the example of Muhammad and prostrated as well. Peace is restored, Muhammad is rich and respected. Khadijah died just at this time, and three weeks later Muhammad married Aisha (then 6 years of age) and another woman.

This change of gods on its own would be bad enough. But when you read the scripture before, you'll find that the Arabs were already worshipping Muhammad, and were on a regular basis exclaiming "Allah-u-Akbar" when something spectacular (like a child birth) took place. The 5th generation ancestor of Muhammad had made the worship an institution, including the Hajj, Umra and most other rituals we today think of as Islamic. They're actually pagan, from the pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance. You'll find this in Ibn Ishaq pages 52-57, and in al-Tabari as well. All told, the Satanic verses are a significant theological problem in Islam.

But they are not anything near as brutal and violent as what would follow, namely the entire Medina period. From the raid at Naklah through the battle of Badr, Banu Quanuqa, Banu Nadir, Khaybar, Mutah and others, the violence and plunder increased exponentially. The teaching of living away from worldly concerns are not from Muhammad and did not apply to him, having for instance a dozen wives, concubines and sex slaves, permitting plunder (8:69), ordering assassinations, endorsing rape of PoW's and even ordering the complete extermination of the Jews in the area. According to Islamic scripture, that is.

Did I satisfy your thirst for sources?


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".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)