Lies and More Lies Against the Prophet
Some Muslim and non-Muslim historians allege that the prophet also ordered the assassination of Abu Afak, Sofian
Abu Rafi, Oseir bin Zarim, Abu Sufian, Nadhir bin Harith, Okba, Abdul Ozza and
Moawiya bin Mughaira. They also allege without providing any evidence that at the command of the Prophet Umm Kirfa was executed
and Urnee robbers’ bodies were mutilated
after the killing. They also say that Kinana, chief of the Jews of Khyber and
his cousin were tortured in addition to the killing of Abu Basir.
The non-Muslims pick up these events from Muslim historians and add their own details and promote lies against the prophet propagating that he was a prophet of terror and Islam originated in violence. Much of the propaganda revolves around these lies. Earliest Muslim historians or writers included whatever they heard from their contemporaries without verifying their claims. None of their contemporaries were present at the time of the Prophet and whatever is attributed to them is what they heard from someone.
Most of these allegations are based on one narration and in none of the allegations, any solid evidence is given. These accounts contradict each other and whatever is attributed to the Prophet defies his character and the Quranic teachings. It is strange that the historians did not apply the Quranic criterion to analyze the reported incidents. Moreover, they also ignored the teachings of the Prophet in dealing
in matters they were
reporting. A cursory analysis of the reported events reveals that the prophet
had no part in any of the events attributed to him. Here is a brief description
of some of the incidents alleged attributed to the Prophet.
The Prophet is accused of asking his companions to kill Abu Afak, a poet who reportedly was very vocal in his criticism of Islam. He is said to be 120 years old. Ibn Ishaq, in his work Life of Muhammad, (lost and rewritten from memory by Ibn Hisham some 50 years after it was reportedly first jotted down) and Ibn
Sa’d compiling reports on the
basis of oral narrations conclude that the prophet was upset at his criticism
and commanded his companions to get rid of him. It is said that the prophet
reportedly used the following expression: “who will get rid of that rascal.” The two early historians did not identify the
sources. The reported incident contradicts the Quranic teachings of forgiveness
and dealing with those critical of others. The Quran says: “Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what
is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy
friend and intimate!” (41:34)
It is unimaginable that the one who is preaching the above divine teaching would be the first one to violate it.
The Quran further says: “Let those (disposing of an estate) have the same fear in their minds as they would have for their own if they had left a helpless family behind: Let them fear Allah, and speak words of appropriate (comfort).” (4:9)
Or “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right: (33:70)
The language attributed to the Prophet is very vulgar. Nowhere in the authentic literature had we read that the Prophet ever used a vulgar or foul word even to describe his enemies. Based on a simple comparison with the Quranic message, this incident should have been thrown out of the books. It is false and at best can be called a forgery.
Let us examine the narrations in Ibj Isha and Ibn Sa’d’s words.
Ibn Ishaq's account
expedition to kill Abu Afak".
Abu Afak was one of the B.
Amr b. Auf of the B. Ubayda
clan. He showed his disaffection when the apostle [Muhammad] killed al-Harith
b. Suwayd b. Samit and said:
Long have I
lived, but never have I seen
An assembly or collection of people
More faithful to their undertaking
And their allies when called upon
Than the sons of Qayla when they assembled,
Men who overthrew mountains and never submitted,
A rider who came to them split them in two (saying)
"Permitted", "Forbidden", of all sorts of things.
Had you believed in glory or kingship
You would have followed Tubba
The apostle [Muhammad] said, "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" Whereupon Salim b. Umayr, brother of B.
Amr b. Auf, one of the "weepers", went forth and killed
him. Umama b. Muzayriya said concerning that:
You gave the lie to God's religion and the man Ahmad [the prophet]!
By him who was your father, evil is the son he produced!
gave you a thrust in the night saying
Take that, Abu Afak, in spite of your age!
Though I knew whether it was man or jinn
Who slew you in the dead of night (I would say naught).
Ibn Sa'd's account
Another description of this story comes from The Major Classes by
ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi,
although this work is based on the former source:
"Then occurred the "sariyyah" [raid] of Salim Ibn Umayr al-Amri against Abu Afak, the Jew, in [the month of] Shawwal in the beginning of the twentieth month from the
hijra, of the Apostle of Allah. Abu
Afak, was from Banu Amr Ibn Awf, and was an old man who had attained the age of
one hundred and twenty years. He was a Jew, and used to instigate the people
against the Apostle of Allah, and composed (satirical) verses [about Muhammad].
Salim Ibn Umayr who was one of the great weepers and who had participated in
Badr, said, "I take a vow that I shall either kill Abu Afak or die before
him. He waited for an opportunity until a hot night came, and Abu Afak slept in
an open place. Salim Ibn Umayr knew it, so he placed the sword on his liver and
pressed it till it reached his bed. The enemy of Allah screamed and the people
who were his followers rushed to him, took him to his house and interred
The two accounts differ in their narrations. Ibn Ishaq’s account attributes the killing
to the Prophet
while Ibn Sa’d say that it was committed by the companions on their own
Ibn Ishaq also accuses the prophet of killing one al-Harith b.
Suwayd b. Samit, while Ibn Sa’d does not mention that at all. One does not find
any reference to the killing of Harith except in Ibn Ishaq’s work. Obviously,
Ibn Sa’d must have strong reasons not to include the details given by Ibn Ishaq, who did not provide any source for his information. The writings were lopsided
as is also evident from the discrepancy between the accounts of Wakidi and his
secretary on this incident. Wakidi says that Salim had taken a vow to kill Abu
Afak or die himself while his secretary as reported by Sir W. Muir, says “this
was was the command of the Prophet.”
Based on the discrepancies, there is no reason to believe that the Prophet knew about the incident attributed to him.
It is reported in some books of history that Sofian bin Khalid, leader of the Bani Lahyan tribe vowed to wage war against Muslims. Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham and Ibn Sad did not report that the Prophet instructed his companions to kill him. Abu Dawood’s collection of the Prophet’s sayings mentions that “belief is the restraint to assassination and no believer should commit
assassination. How can the
Prophet act contrary to his own words? The story is a concocted one.
Abu Rafe was known as Sallam Ibn Abul Hozeiq, was the chief of bani Nazeer. He was a prominent leader in the war against Muslims in the battle of confederates. There is no evidence to suggest that the Prophet asked his companions to kill him. Ibn Ishaq does not give any account of that. However, the secretary of Waqidi says that the Prophet gave the command to kill him. It is strange that the earlier writers did not find any report of such an act while the later ones wrote about it in great details.
He was the chief of Bani Nazeer. It is reported that he was mobilizing tribes against Muslims and the Prophet commanded his companions to get rid of him. There is nothing in the writings of early writers that the
Oseir’s death had anything to do with the Prophet. The
later narratives are incomplete and imperfect and do not give any evidence that
the Prophet knew about the killing.
It is reported by Ibn Sad, secretary of Waqidi that Abu Sufian sent a Bedouin to Medina to assassinate the Prophet. The plot was discovered and the prophet allegedly retaliated by sending one
Amr to assassinate
Abu Sufian. Ibn Ishaq and Waqidi are silent on this and there is nothing to prove
that this report is accurate.
It is also alleged that Nadhr bin Harith, one of the prisoners of war was killed after the battle of Badr. However, there are other reports given by Ibn Manda and Abu Naeem say that
Nadhr bin Harith was
present at the battle of Honain, eight years after the battle of Badr. They
also say that the Prophet gave him one hundred camels. It is also said that Nadhr
was among the earliest Muslims who had migrated to Abyssinia.
Abdul Ozza is another prisoner who, according to some historians was killed after the battle of Badr. However, there are reports that the Prophet released him by way of his compassion for his five daughters and freed him without any compensation. But Abdul Ozza went back to his people and exhorted his supporters to bear up arms against the Prophet and joined the Makkan army. He was killed in a skirmish that took place at Hamra in the battle. He was not killed at the command of the Prophet as was alleged.
The name of Um Kirfa is mentioned as the one who was killed at the command of the prophet with her each leg tied to a separate camel. Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, and Waqidi did not give any account of that. The prophet was not even aware of her or her killing.
One of the allegations against the prophet is that he ordered his companions to kill
Urnee robbers who had plundered the
camels of Medina and cut off the hands and legs of their herdsman. This again
is a lie against the Prophet who warned his companions against the mutilation.
The prophet showed magnanimity, and kindness to the prisoners of war. There are reports that talk about this treatment of prisoners. We read in the hadith literature accounts saying: “Blessing be on the men of Medina. They made us ride, while they themselves walked, they gave us wheat bread to eat, when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates.”
Prisoners were generally freed by the prophet. For example the prisoners of the Bani Mustalik were released by the prophet without any ransom. The Bani Hawazin’s six thousand prisoners at Honain were set free. Even those who had plotted to kill the Prophet at the Hudaibiya were freed. It is reported that they were 80 in numbers.
With so much evidence about his kindness it is a lie to accuse the prophet of killing his opponents or asking his companions to mutilate the bodies of criminals.
Lies have been woven without any evidence. The Prophet’s life is an example of mercy and magnanimity. It is unimaginable to even think that that prophet would indulge in an act of violence and torture even against his own enemies. It is true that some Muslim historians have written accounts to suggest revenge and violence against the enemies of Muslims. Yet, when judged on the basis of evidence, none of them qualify to be called authentic or accurate.
One must never lose sight of the fact that the identity of the Prophet is built around the Quranic concept of “mercy to the worlds” and anything that challenges that identify is false, wrong and utter lie no matter who says and where it comes from. This simple principle will liberate us from scores of lies that are presented to us as part of the statements and actions attributed to our prophet.