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Bizarre story of Muhammad's daughter Zainab

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in response to reader comment: good posting!

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Jul 20, 2021 at 02:42

Dear Dr Pipes: I came to know about the story how Muhamad's son-in-law Abu al-As converted to Islam from non-Islamic sources. When I heard this story my first thought was that my non-Muslim sources were intentionally defaming Islam by concocting the events of the story but such was not the case. In fact, the story was confirmed almost verbatim by the Islamic sources as well.
The more you read the story the weirder it gets. Unlike the stories of Hindu or Greek epics, in this story there were no major moral dilemmas. Actions were taken with full knowledge and decisiveness and desired results were achieved. Quranic verses were revealed to Muhamad at convenience to suit his purpose. If we judge the events by non-Islamic standards, Muhammad's behavior was unacceptable. But, Islamic sources present these events as if Muhammad was the kindest soul on earth. The story, in brief, goes as follows.

Zainab was born when Muhammad was still in Mecca and was not yet the chosen prophet. Zainab married a rich and noble polytheist and had two children with him. By my logic, these children should have been Muhammad's beloved first-born grandchildren. But, unfortunately for everybody, Muhammad became a prophet and the trouble started. Zainab quickly became a Muslim but the son-in-law declined to be one. He was very loyal to his polytheistic friends and family. Most people will become kind and gentle at this stage and will like to build bridged with the community in which their daughter is married. But Most people are not Muhammad! Allah quickly sent a revelation to Muhamad and prohibited marriages between a Muslim and non-Muslims. So, muhammad demanded his daughter back. Building bridges was not Muhammad's habit. He went into wars with the Meccans and his exit to Medina happened. He settled in Medina but kept on attacking the Meccan caravans and looting them (no consideration to his daughter and son-in-law!!). The famous battle of Badr happened and the son-in-law was captured. Zainab paid a ransom to her own father for the release of her husband. He was released but the pressure was still on Zainab to leave her husband!! There was a small skirmish when Muhamad sent his son to fetch is sister and Zainab had a miscarriage (no mercy from the father yet). After a couple of months, Muhammad secured the release of the Muslimah from her polytheist husband. The matter must have closed now but let us not forget that we are dealing with Muhamad.

Muhamad's raiding of Meccan's caravans continued (ladies and gentlemen, are we dealing with a prophet here!). By design or by chance, at one point Muhammad captured his son-in-law's caravan and stole goods of other good people that the honorable son was carrying with him (by modern standards this is like looting a FedEx truck). So what happened next? The poor son-in-law went to his separated wife's house in the middle of the night. Muhamad was told and Allah's messenger (PBUH) allowed the son-in-law to take his things back (I wish, we all could loot our estranged son-in-laws!). The son-in-law was so thankful that on his return to Mecca, he declared his faith in Allah. I guess, if he had not converted, his wealthe would have been looted again.

Islamic sources use these events to spin that Muhamad was the kindest soul on earth. But, Islam needs to be judged by human standards and this story violates human sensibilities all over. I guess even in those times people must have had sense not to wage wars with the cities in which their daughters and grand children lived and not to loot the caravans of their son-in-laws. But, Bizarre are the ways of Islam. I encourage people to verify the facts reported here.

Submitting....

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