It may be that Muhammad in his day was acting out the rather conventional role of a Bedouin warlord, perhaps even in a relatively more humane way than his opponents. But if Muhammad is going to be touted as a universal moral model, al-insan al-kamil, the perfect man, then his morality has to be more than relatively better than the conventions of his day.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - In this series entitled The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad, we now turn away from individual murders of Muhammad's political, prophetic, or poetic rivals. (There are others murders we could mention, but we are wearied with the sad subject.) We turn now to murder at a large scale, what today we would call genocide.
We must recall our theme. It may be that Muhammad in his day was acting out the rather conventional role of a Bedouin warlord, perhaps even in a relatively more humane way than his opponents. (The point is arguable either way depending on what one wants to stress as evidence, but the issue does not really matter.)
The point is that if Muhammad is going to be touted as a universal moral model, al-insan al-kamil, the perfect man, then his morality has to be more than relatively better than the conventions of his day.
Someone unable to overcome the limits of the conventions of his day, especially where they contravene the natural moral law, is unable to legislate a universal morality. He is not a trustworthy messenger, and not a universal lawgiver, and most certainly not the model for mankind.
The natural law is the law of God and it is binding upon all men without exception. So it serves as a canon, the rule, the normative standard by which to measure a man's message regarding God and the playing out of his life. The natural law stands as a measure against which even God's alleged commands can be measured. God will not order something against the natural law, a law based upon right reason, since the natural law is participation in the eternal law, which is God himself.
Historically, the setting of the genocide of the Abu Qurayza tribe is rather complex, but we need to address it as an introduction, even though we risk simplifying the situation.
Muhammad was born and for the greater part of his life lived in Mecca, which was largely a pagan trading town. The neighboring town of Yathrib (later to be called Medina) was a largely agricultural town populated by Jewish tribes that were divided into three: the Banu Qaynuqa, the Banu al-Nadir, and the Banu Qurayza. When Muhammad and his "tribe" of Muslims left Mecca to Medina (in the emigration known as the Hegira or Hijra), he entered into treaties with these tribes.
The Muslims either concocted or suffered real grievances from the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu al-Nadir (we work with Muslim sources which display strong biases in favor of Islam, and are strongly anti-Semitic, so it is hard to determine whether something the historian says is true or not) resulting in fighting between the Muslims and these tribes, with the further result that the two tribes were forced to leave Medina. This left Medina occupied by the Muslims, their non-Jewish allies, and the Jewish Banu Qurayza.
Muhammad was not interested in settling down to the life of the farmer or trader and earning honest money. Somewhere between the end of life in Mecca and the beginning of life in Medina, after the death of his protector Abu Talib and his wife Khadija, intravit autem satanas in Mahometum, and he began a policy of raiding the Meccan caravans which were the lifeblood of the economic wealth of Mecca.
Beginning inauspiciously with the first unsuccessful raid at al-Is, and a second unsuccessful raid at Buwat, where Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas shot the "first arrow of Islam," Muhammad's raids got bolder and better, and eventually began spurring the Banu Quraysh at Mecca to do something about it. This confrontation between the Banu Quraysh of Mecca and their allies, on the one hand, and Muhammad's followers, on the other hand, is called the Battle of the Trench.
So the Banu Quraysh at Mecca, along with a group of other tribes, some Jewish (like the Banu al-Nadir that Muhammad had thrown out of Yathrib or Medina), planned their campaign against the raiding Muslim bandits in Medina. This, of course, presented Muhammad with a great threat, and he sought to gain the support of the last Jewish tribe remaining in Medina, the Banu Qurayza.
With respect to the response of the Banu Qurayza, the sources are a little inconsistent here. Some suggest that Ka'b bin Asad, the leader of the Banu Qurayza, allied himself with the attacking Banu Quraysh from Mecca. Others suggest that Ka'b bin Asad saw the Banu Qurayza between a rock and a hard place and so tried he tried to take a neutral role in between the battling Muslims led by Muhammad and the Banu Quraysh from Mecca. In either event, Ka'b bin Asad and his Banu Qurayza tribe incurred Muhammad's wrath.
After the Battle of the Trench, which essentially was a 27-day siege and resulted in a stalemate---Muhammad's clever defensive tactic of digging trenches rendering the Meccan cavalry useless--the Meccans departed. The threat of the Meccans gone, Muhammad turned his sights against the Banu Quraysh. We shall let Muhammad's wife 'A'isha speak to us through the hadith in Sahih Bukhari 4.52.68.
"Narrated 'Aisha: When Allah's Apostle returned on the day (of the battle) of Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench), he put down his arms and took a bath. Then [the angel] Gabriel whose head was covered with dust, came to him saying, 'You have put down your arms! By Allah, I have not put down my arms yet.' Allah's Apostle said, 'Where (to go now)?' Gabriel said, 'This way,' pointing towards the tribe of Banu Quraiza. So Allah's Apostle went out towards them."
Muhammad subjected the Banu Qurayza to a lengthy siege. Eventually they capitulated, surrendering to Muhammad's forces. Their possessions and their women were seized by the Muslims and divided among them, and Sa'ad ibn Mu'adh (a Muslim convert from the Jews) was appointed the arbitrator to pronounce the judgment in the "war trial" against the Banu Qurayza. It was, of course, a farce.
It was Sa'ad's sentence to behead all the men and enslave the women and children, a decision confirmed by Muhammad as consonant with Allah's will. Ibn Ishaq, one of the earliest of the Muslim historians, relates how the men were marched out to the market, trenches were dug, and then their heads were lopped off. According to Ibn Ishaq, somewhere around 600 to perhaps as many as 900 Jewish men were decapitated, Muhammad personally participating in at least one such decapitation, a man named Huyayy. Somewhere close to Medina, underneath Saudi Arabian sands, there is a mass grave with about 800 Jewish skeletons in it with about 800 skulls nearby, silent witnesses to Muhammad's inhumanity.
A hadith in the Sunan Abu Dawud by an eye-witness, a survivor, tells us how the men were distinguished from the boys. Where there was a question, the boys were made to pull down their trousers, and those with pubic hair were killed. Those without were spared. Abu Dawud, 38.4390:
"Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: 'I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.'"
One woman was killed with the hundreds of her masculine compatriots. The poor woman had lost her mind, and was laughing uncontrollably at the horribleness of the whole thing, something the young 'A'isha, Muhammad's child wife, would never forget. So relates one hadith in the Sunan Abu Dawud 14.2665:
"Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: 'No woman of Banu Qurayzah was killed except one. She was with me, talking and laughing on her back and belly (extremely), while the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was killing her people with the swords. Suddenly a man called her name: 'Where is so-and-so?' She said 'I.' I asked: 'What is the matter with you?' She said: 'I did a new act.' The man took her and beheaded her. She said: I will not forget that she was laughing extremely although she knew that she would be killed."
Genocide. Pure and simple. And each young Muslim child at his madrasah, when he recites the Al-Ahzan surah in his Qur'an, recalls the glory days of the siege of the Abu Qarayza, and the beheading of the 800 or so Jews at the order of their beloved Muhammad, the hasua hasana, the "good example," as they read in the surah Al-Ahzab, ayah 21, immediately before the Qur'anic description of this genocide of Jews in ayats 26 and 27:
"And those of the people of the Scripture [the Jewish Banu Qurayza] who backed them (the disbelievers) [the Quraysh from Mecca] Allah brought them down from their forts and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) a group (of them) you killed [the men and pubescent boys and one woman], and a group (of them) [the women and prepubescent boys] you made captives.
And He caused you to inherit their lands, and their houses, and their riches, and a land which you had not trodden (before). And Allah is Able to do all things."
(Qur'an (Al-Ahzab) 33:26-27)
So they celebrate the beheading of around 800 Jews as a prodigy of Allah and act of human perfection by the perfect, universal man, al-insan al-kammil, Muhammad, the good example of all Muslim males.
From the very beginning, something is rotten in the State of Islam. And Muslims cannot cover it up with that mantra, as if it were a cover and excuse for all kind and manner of sins, that Allah and his messenger know best, the natural law notwithstanding. The natural law is being suppressed here, but we hope that its witness in the Muslim's heart is not altogether extinguished, and there has to be a part in every Muslim that knows that something was wrong in the heart of Muhammad and in his claimed revelation.
(This article is adapted from the book written by the author entitled, The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: Why the Natural Law Proves Muhammad False.)
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at email@example.com.
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