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About Aishah and Safiyah,

Reader comment on item: Islamophobia?
in response to reader comment: Aisha and Saffya (the truth)

Submitted by John Bastile (Malaysia), Nov 28, 2005 at 22:12


There can be rape even in marriages. Rape happens when one is forced to have sexual intercourse without consent.

You said that "It seems that you have not read my earlier post carefully. I said that Aisha's age could never be verified because there are conflicting reports about her age."

Reply: Of course I have read your statements. Hence the reply, duhh.. That's why I corrected you by giving your four verses that were clear statements on the age of Aishah. One from her own narration. I'm sure Aishah remembers the day she lost her virginity to your prophet. People mostly do. I used the word "lost her virginity" because from the verse quoted, you can see that she was not expecting sex. There's a verse that said that she was playing with her dolls when she were brought to the prophet for the consummation of her marriage.

About Safiya,

Yes. We heard of the advertisement jingle, also known as cover up story, of your prophet "saving" the life of Safiyah. Why only her? What happened to all other women of Khaybar? Why did your prophet saved only one beautiful girl and allowed all others to be raped or sold as slaves?

Let's look at your statements: "Muhammad married her to save her from becoming a slave after the defeat of her tribe in the battle of Khaybar. The marriage occurred after the battle of Khaybar. She was the daughter of Huyayy ibn Akhtab, the chief of Jewish tribe Banu Nadir, who were earlier expelled from Medina for allegedly plotting to kill Muhammad. She was married to Kinana ibn al-Rabi'a before the Muslims attacked Khaybar. Her husband was killed in the battle. Before that she was the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who had divorced her. Muhammad married her to save her from becoming a slave after the defeat of her tribe in the battle of Khaybar."

Let's dissect the issues:
1. First blood
In war, there's always two sides of the stories. Sometimes, the victor gets to rewrite history. Let's look at the muslims' view. Saffyia's father tried to kill Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) by throwing a stone on him while he was talking to his followers.

Is that the reason to annihilate the entire population of Khaybar? Why did the father of Safiyah tried to kill your prophet? What motivated him? Can't be money. He's richer that your prophet. Can't be religion because everyone else in Arab save some caravan robbers rejected what they believe to be a false prophet without miracles. Perhaps he tried to end the violent raids that your prophet led?

Let's look at other motivations. Ironically, sourced from muslims holy books.

a) Money. Khaybar was a rich town. Mohammed prayed to Lord of the Heavens, Lord of the Devils and Lord of the Winds for her wealth.

Ishaq:510 "When the Apostle looked down on Khaybar he told his Companions, ‘O Allah, Lord of the heavens and what they overshadow, and Lord of the Devils and what into error they throw, and Lord of the winds and what they winnow, we ask Thee for the booty of this town and its people. We take refuge in Thee from its evil and the evil of its people. Forward in the name of Allah.' He used to say this of every town he raided."

b) Mohammed attacked the town of farmers by military surprise and promised them that evil is with him.

Bukhari:V5B59N510"Allah's Apostle reached Khaybar at night. It was his habit that, whenever he reached an enemy at night, he would not attack them till it was morning. When morning came, the Jews came out with their spades and baskets. When they saw the Prophet, they said, ‘Muhammad! O dear God! It's Muhammad and his army!' The Prophet shouted, ‘Allahu-Akbar! Khaybar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a nation, evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.'"

c) Slave trade. Mohammed needed money by selling slaves

Bukhari:V5B59N512"The Prophet offered the Fajr Prayer [the Prayer of Fear] near Khaybar when it was still dark. He said, ‘Allahu-Akbar!' [Allah is Greatest] Khaybar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a hostile nation to fight, then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.' Then the inhabitants of Khaybar came out running on their roads. The Prophet had their men killed; their children and woman were taken as captives."

Evidence that Mohammed wanted money by raiding Khaybar. He tortured Safiyah's husband to get information when treasure was buried. Later, Safiyah's husband was beheaded.

Tabari VIII:122/Ishaq:515 "Abi Huqayq [Safiyah's father] held the treasure of the Nadir [the second Jewish tribe Muhammad exiled from Yathrib]. He was brought to Allah's Messenger, and he questioned him. But Huqayq denied knowing where it was. So the Prophet questioned other Jews. One said, ‘I have seen Kinanah [Safiyah's husband] walk around a ruin.' Muhammad had Kinanah brought to him and said, ‘Do you know that if we find it, I shall kill you.' ‘Yes,' Kinanah answered."

Tabari VIII:122/Ishaq:515 "The Prophet commanded that the ruin should be dug up. Some treasure was extracted from it. Then Muhammad asked Kinanah for the rest. He refused to surrender it; so Allah's Messenger gave orders concerning him to Zubayr, saying, ‘Torture him until you root out and extract what he has. So Zubayr kindled a fire on Kinanah's chest, twirling it with his firestick until Kinanah was near death. Then the Messenger gave him to Maslamah, who beheaded him."

Evidence that Mohammed was initially rude to Safiyah before discovering her physical beauty:

Tabari VIII:121/Ishaq:515 "Ali struck the Jew with a swift blow that split his helmet, neck protector, and head, landing in his rear teeth. And the Muslims entered the city. Muhammad conquered Qamus, the [Jewish] neighborhood of Abi Huqayq. Safiyah bt. Huyayy was brought to him, and another woman with her. Bilal led them past some of the Jews we had slain including the woman's dead husband. When she saw them, the woman with Safiyah cried out, slapped her face, and poured dust on her head. When Allah's Prophet saw her, he said, ‘Take this she-devil away from me!'"

2. Did the prophet raided Kahybar, all just for money?

Yes. From the above verses, you can see that Safiyah's father held the treasure of the Nadir. Mohammed had the Jews tortured to squeeze information. Later, they were beheaded and the women distributed amongst the soldiers of Islam.

WHY you asked? Prophet was heavily indebted.

Bukhari:V4B52N143"The Prophet told an Ansar, ‘Choose one of your slave boys to serve me in my expedition to Khaybar.' So, he chose me, even though I was just nearing puberty. I served Muhammad when he stopped to rest. I heard him saying repeatedly, ‘Allah! I seek refuge with you from distress and sorrow, from helplessness and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, FROM BEING HEAVILY IN DEBT and from being OVERCOME BY MEN.'"

REASON for being heavily indebted? Well. He's generous. He gives out money. The sad thing is that many of his followers were poor. They're called Emigrants. If he doesn't give them money, there may be no muslims at the beginning. Until new sources of income from caravan raiding came. They were a bit too demanding. Even Mohammed can no longer tolerate their behavior by revealing a Surah called The Apartment to get them off his tent.

3. Why only Safiyah? Why not all the other women of Khaybar? Why mercy only to the most physically beautiful girl?

Tabari VIII:116/Ishaq:511 "So Muhammad began seizing their herds and their property bit by bit. He conquered Khaybar home by home. The first stronghold defeated was Naim. Next was Qamus, the community of Abi Huqayq. The Messenger took some of its people captive, including Safiyah bt. Huyayy, the wife of Kinanah and her two cousins. The Prophet chose Safiyah for himself."

The soldiers of Islam were initially not too sure whether Mohammed will take Safiyah as a wife or a sex-slave;

Bukhari:V5B59N524 "The Muslims said among themselves, ‘Will Safiyah be one of the Prophet's wives or just a lady captive and one of his possessions?'"

It was later learnt that Safiyah was to be a wife.

Tabari VIII:122/Ishaq:515
"Muhammad commanded that Safiyah should be kept behind him and he threw his cloak over her. Thus the Muslims knew that he had chosen her for himself."

4. WHY did I call it RAPE?

Rape is when a man had sexual intercourse without consent. Here's the evidence of rape:

Ishaq:517 "When the Apostle married Safiyah on his way out of town, she was beautified and combed, putting her in a fitting state for the Messenger. The Apostle passed the night with her in his tent. Abu Ayyub, girt with his sword, guarded the Apostle, going round the tent until he saw him emerge in the morning. Abu said, ‘I was afraid for you with this woman for you have killed her father, her husband, and her people."

Mohammed's bodyguard was afraid that Safiyah might take revenge. Wow, such mutually consenting marriage. Safiyah must be very grateful for her "knight is shining armour" saving her life from slavery.

5. Anyway, Justice was served

Ultimately, the raid on Khaybar caused her victims to seek justice. At the end, the prophet died prematurely as a result of poisoning.

Bukhari:V5B59N551 - "When Khaybar was conquered, a sheep containing poison, was given as a present to Allah's Apostle"

Tabari VIII:123/Ishaq:516"When the Messenger rested from his labor, Zaynab, the wife of Sallam, served him a roast sheep. She had asked what part Muhammad liked best and was told that it was the shoulder and foreleg. So she loaded it with poison, also poisoning the rest. Then she placed it before him. He took the foreleg and chewed it, but he did not swallow. With him was Bishr, who, like the Prophet, took some, but he swallowed it. The Prophet spat out the lamb saying, ‘This bone informs me that it has been poisoned.'"

Tabari VIII:124/Ishaq:516"The Messenger, during the illness from which he died, said to Bishr ‘s mother, ‘Umm, at this very moment I feel my aorta being severed because of the food I ate with your son at Khaybar.'"


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