Lies About Muhammad (2)

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Misquoting Muhammad (Part 2)

"Read this important information to learn how the "liars" twist other people's sayings to look as if these are hadeeth from Bukhari - I was shocked!" - Yusuf Estes Active Image

  [Part 1] Introduction: Understanding Misquoted Narrations
1. "such a deed as equals Jihad..."
2. "There is no migration now, only Jihad..."
3. "Paradise is under the shade of swords..."
4. "...I am bringing to you slaughter!"
5. "I have been made victorious with terror..."
 

[Part 2]   

6. "Expel them all from Arabia . ."
7. "Whoever leaves his religion - execute him"
8. Regarding women & children in war "they are from them . ."
  Conclusion

"Misquoting Muhammad" - by Yusuf Estes

Misquoted narration #6

Expel all non-muslims from the arabian peninsula...
The statements of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) concerned are as follows:
Expel pagans from the Arabian Peninsula (Ar. Jazîrat Al-'Arab); respect and give gifts to the foreign delegates as you have seen me dealing with them. (Sahîh Bukhârî)

I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula (Ar. Jazîrat Al-'Arab) and will not leave any but Muslims. (Sahîh Muslim)

Two religions shall not coexist in the Arab lands (Ar. Ard Al-'Arab). (Muwatta Mâlik)
First let us discuss the meaning of Jazîrat Al-'Arab and Ard Al-'Arab. We shall examine how these terms are geographically defined in connection to their context in the aforementioned Ahâdîth.

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave commands to his companions he spoke using the terminology and the language that they were familiar with. Thus, the regions mentioned were defined according to the cultural and geopolitical setting in Arabia. If we look at how the Prophet's comnpanions understood and implemented his directives, we are able to develop a better understanding of what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) intended.

The prominent companion of the Prophet, 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, relocated the Jewish tribes of Khaybar and Fadak, sending them to other regions in Arabia such as Taymâ and Arîhâ. Scholars have used this, amongst other narrations, as evidence when interpreting the saying of the Prophet Muhammad on the arabian peninsula. Shaykh Sâmî Al-Mâjid writes in his discussion of these Prophetic sayings:
Furthermore, many scholars understand the hadîth to refer only to the Hijâz region surrounding Makkah and Madînah.
The proof for this is that `Umar expelled the Jews from Khaybar and Fadak, but did not expel the inhabitants of Taymâ, though it is also located on the Arabian peninsula. (IslamToday Fatwâ)
Commenting on this action of 'Umar, Imâm Abu Zakariyyah An-Nawawî (d. 1300CE) writes:
`Umar sent them to Taymâ and Arîhâ. This is proof that the Prophet (peace be upon him) intended that the Jews and Christians should be evicted from only part of the Arabian Peninsula, specifically the region of Hijâz.
This is because Taymâ is part of the Arabian Peninsula but outside of Hijâz.
(Sharh Sahîh Muslim 10/212-213)

He also says:
Al-Shâfi`î understood the ruling to apply to part of the Arabian Peninsula, namely the Hijâz region.
For him this is Makkah, Madînah, al-Yamâmah and their environs. It does not include Yemen and other areas of the Arabian Peninsula.
(Sharh Sahîh Muslim 11/93-94)
Likewise, the Hanbalî scholar Imâm Ibn Qudâmah Al-Maqdisî (d. 1223CE) mentions Imâm Ahmad b. Hanbal's (d. 855CE) opinion that the Arabian Peninsula refers to Madinah and its environs. He then goes on to say:
This means that what is forbidden is for unbelievers to settle in "Madinah and its environs" which includes Makkah, al-Yamâmah, Khaybar, al-Yanbu`, Fadak and their outlying areas. This is the opinion of al-Shâfi`î.
It is as if the Arabian Peninsula referred to in those hadîth is intended to mean the Hijâz region.
The reason for say Hijâz, is - it is a word implying a boundary or division, is because it divides between the regions of Tihâmah and Najd.
It is not forbidden for them to live in the borderlands of Hijâz, like Taymâ and Fayd, since `Umar did not prohibit this.
(al-Mughnî 13/242-244)
This is again repeated by Imâm Ibn Hajar Al-'Asqalânî (d. 1449CE):
The pagans are not allowed to settle specifically in the Hijâz region, meaning Makkah, Madînah, al-Yamâmah, and their environs.
It does not apply to other regions that are considered part of the Arabian Peninsula. This is because everyone is agreed that they may live in Yemen, though it is part of the Arabian Peninsula. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars.
(Fath al-Bârî 6/198)
The conclusion of these quotations is that the Prophet's directive concerning the removal of Non-Muslim groups referred specifically to the Hijâz region (the surroundings of Makkah and Madînah) and not the entire 'Arabian peninsula'.

Having understood the geographical aspect of the directive, the legal aspect may be examined. What is the conclusion of the removal of Non-Muslims from the Hijâz region? The scholars have explained that this removal implies only the prohibition of permanent non-muslim settlements in the region. It does not preclude the presence of all non-muslim activities, so long as permanent settlements are not taken up. As Shaykh Sâmî Al-Mâjid writes:
There are some things that need to be understood about this hadîth. It does not prohibit non-Muslims from residing in the Arabian Peninsula without the intention of permanent settlement. They may live within it for purposes of business, study, or work. There is no prohibition against it. (IslamToday Fatwâ)
Therefore the hadîth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited the presence of Non-Muslim settlements, in the Hijâz region.

It may be asked as to why the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave such a directive. A number of reasons can be offered. Makkah and Madînah became established as the heart of the Muslim world. The presence of non-muslim settlements in the surrounding region posed a threat if these settlements would grow, gain control and dominate the area, allowing their unislamic customs and beliefs to prevail in the nucleus of the Islamic empire. Even worse, they may turn against the Muslims in the area and eradicate them. Such a fear was quite valid as the Muslims were no foreigners to hostility and agression from non-muslim tribes who sought to wipe them out. Thus, it was crucial that Islam remained the sole power and influence in these lands to ensure the stability of the Islamic nation. The companions implemented the Prophetic commands without violence. There was no destruction of homes or property involved; the Muslims fought only those who initiated the agression against them. They retained peaceful ties with many non-muslim tribes and groups. There were many Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian groups who continued to live peacefully under the Islamic state undisturbed.

Misquoted Narration #7
The Prophet said, "Whoever replaces his religion, execute him."
In order to understand this issue, we need to examine the Islamic law on apostasy. Since religion is looked on as a personal affair in western society, the notion of state intervention in one's personal choice would naturally seem excessive. However, from the Islamic perspective, a number of points must be observed with regard to apostasy:
1. Islam has never compelled anyone to accept the religion. Anyone who becomes a Muslim does so purely through objective study of the religion. As Allah has informed us in the Qur'an:

2:256 There is no compulsion in religion.
10:99 So would you (O Muhammad) then compel people to become believers?


Likewise, Islam encourages its followers to reflect and contemplate upon the universe around us and to ponder over the beauty of the Qur'anic message:

47:24 Do they not ponder over the Qur'an or are their hearts locked up?

51:20-21. And on earth are signs for those endowed with inner-certainty; and [likewise there are signs] in yourselves, do you not observe?

29:20 Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.


Thus, Islam requires that one's faith be constructed upon logical investigation and study of the universe in which we live. Through logical contemplation, one realizes the supreme authority of the Creator and the veracity of Muhammad's (saws) claim to prophethood. Thus we find that, in the history of Islam, no knowledgeable Muslim has ever left Islam. The only cases we find of former Muslims are people who were never practicing Muslims in the first place, nor did they ever have a good understanding of Islam. Yet on the other hand, the list of educated
converts to Islam is immense, and it includes educated leaders such as priests, rabbis and atheists.

2. Those who have left Islam have historically fallen under three categories: those who left having never properly understood the religion often due to social circumstances, those who faked a conversion into Islam in order to undermine the Islamic community from within, and those who left to support opposing forces in battle against the Muslims. Because of the first category, Islam requires that the person who has chosen to forsake the religion be consulted with in order that his doubts may be clarified to him if there is any specific issue of confusion, or so that he may learn the proper Islamic teachings that he may otherwise have not been exposed to. As for the second and third category, this was the original reason behind the Prophet's statement on apostasy. The Qur'an records (3:72) that the Jews of Madinah decided to initiate the practice of pretending to accept Islam and then publicly declare their rejection of it, so as to destroy the confidence of the newly-converted Muslims. Thus, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh ruled that a punishment should be announced so that those who decide to accept Islam do so because of a firm conviction not in order to harm the Muslim community from within.

3. Coming to the actual law of apostasy, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh did say, in the above historical context, "Whoever replaces his religion, execute him" (Bukhari, Abu Dawud) but how exactly do we understand this statement and does it conflict with the principles of freedom? The Prophet Muhammad pbuh himself clarified this statement in another hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim where he mentioned that the one who was to be fought against was the one who "abandons his religion and the Muslim community". It should be noted that every country has maintained punishments, including execution, for treason and rebellion against the state (See Mozley and Whitley's Law Dictionary, under "Treason and Treason Felony," pp. 368-369). Islam is not just a set of beliefs, it is a complete system of life which includes a Muslim's allegiance to the Islamic state. Thus, a rejection against that would be akin to treason. Rebellion against God is more serious than rebellion against one's country. However, one who personally abandons the faith and leaves the country would not be hunted down and assassinated, nor would one who remains inside the state conforming to outward laws be tracked down and executed. The notion of establishing inquisition courts to determine peoples' faith, as done in the Spanish Inquisition, is something contrary to Islamic law. As illustrated by the historical context in which it was mandated, the death penalty is mainly for those who collaborate with enemy forces in order to aid them in their attacks against the Islamic state or for those who seek to promote civil unrest and rebellion from within the Islamic state. When someone publicly announces their rejection of Islam within an Islamic state it is basically a challenge to the Islamic government, since such an individual can keep it to themselves like the personal affair it is made out to be.

4. From Islamic history, we can gain a better understanding of how this law has been implemented. Although the Prophet Muhammad pbuh threatened the death penalty in response to the attempts against the Muslim community, no such executions took place in his time (Imam Shawkani, Nayl Al-Awtar, vol. 7, p. 192) even though there is a report that a Bedouin renounced Islam and left Madinah unharmed in his time (Fath Al-Bari vol. 4, p.77 and vol. 13 p. 170; Sahih Muslim biSharh An-Nawawi, vol. 9, p. 391). Thus, we find that context plays an important role in determining how to deal with apostates. The case of one who enlists nations to fight against the Islamic state is more serious, for example. That is why the scholars of the Hanafi school of thought felt that the punishment only applies to the male apostate and not the female apostate because the latter is unable to wage war against the Islamic state. If someone simply has some doubts concerning Islam, then those doubts can be clarified.
So an Islamic state is certainly justified in punishing those who betray the state, committing treason and support enemy forces. As for anyone else, if they do not publicly declare their rejection of Islam, the state has no interest in pursuing them; if their case does become public, however, then they should be reasoned with and educated concerning the religion so that they have the opportunity to learn the concepts they may not have understood properly and they can be encouraged to repent.

Misquoted Narration #8
When asked about the possibility of women and children of the polytheists being exposed to danger during a night raid, the Prophet Muhammad said, "They are from them."
Before addressing the specific narration in question, let us first emphasize the fact that Islam prohibits the killing of women and children.

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: A woman was found killed in one of these battles, so the Messenger of God forbade the killing of women and children. (Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim)

Ibn `Abbas says: The Messenger of Allah, when dispatching his troops, would tell them, " ..Do not behave treacherously, nor misappropriate war-booty, nor mutilate [those whom you kill], nor kill children, nor the people in cloisters."
(Musnad Ahmad, Sunan At-Tirmidhî)

Another narration records that he said, "…Do not kill a woman, nor a child, nor an old-aged man(Sharh as-Sunnah Al-Baghawî)

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet said: Go in Allah's name, trusting in Allah, and adhering to the religion of Allah's Apostle. Do not kill a decrepit old man, a young infant, or a child, or a woman; do not be dishonest about booty, but collect your spoils, do right and act well, for Allah loves those who do well. (Sunan Abî Dawûd)

And again, "Do not kill a child, nor a woman, nor an old man, nor obliterate a stream, nor cut a tree…" (Sunan Al-Bayhaqî)

The strict conditions that Islam has laid out in the event of warfare are referred to in the verse:
2:190 Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
The companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) continued to abide by these conditions in all the military campaigns they undertook after his death. The first caliph, Abu Bakr, advised his military commander:
"I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly."
(Muwatta Mâlik)
Having established that Islam forbids the killing of women and children and all devastation during war, the narration concerning the night raid may now be examined. In this narration the Prophet Muhammad was asked about the potential injuries which may unintentionally befall non-combatants during a night raid. The narration is as follows:
Narated By As-Sab bin Jaththama : The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the polytheist warriors at night with the possibility of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them." (Sahîh Bukhârî)
In other words, the Prophet (peace be upon him) acknowleged the unfortunate yet inescapable possibility of what is today referred to as "collateral damage". In military campaigns, women and children are never to be targeted and their deaths are to be avoided at all costs. Nevertheless, it remains a fact that such deaths do occur as an unintentionally during the fighting. As Shaykh Abdullah Al-Manî'î writes concerning the narration in question:
Those who are not generally engaged in fighting – like women, children, the elderly, the handicapped, and others who do not participate in the fighting – are not to be killed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited this. His prohibition of the killing of women and children is clearly related by Ibn `Umar in Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3015) and Sahîh Muslim (1744).

The only exception to this is where such people participate directly in the fighting or are so intermixed with the fighters that it is impossible to separate them from those who are fighting. This exception is indicated by the hadîth of al-Sa`b b. Jathâmah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about the women and children of the polytheists who were among them and who would be injured if the enemy was attacked. He said: “They are of them.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3021) and Sahîh Muslim (1475)]

In short, non-Muslims living in Muslim lands, those who are under covenant, and those with whom we have peace cannot be attacked. As for those who are at war with us, the combatants may be fought and killed. Those who are not combatants cannot be killed or targeted for killing. The only way that they can be killed is as an unintentional consequence of fighting against the enemy combatants.

Indeed, the hadîth in question actually shows us that the general rule is not to kill non-combatants, even when they are present on the battlefield. The only exception is when the non-combatants are so mixed in with the fighters in the theatre of combat that it is impossible to fight against the combatants without the possibility of some non-combatants inadvertently being killed. This is only out of dire necessity.

Ibn Hajar writes in his commentary on this hadîth in Fath al-Bârî (6/146):

His statement “They are of them” means that they are construed as such under those circumstances. It does not mean that it is permissible to deliberately target them.

It is a matter of agreement among scholars that a person’s unbelief is not reason for that person to be killed. There is considerable evidence for this. Aside from the Prophet’s prohibition of killing non-combatants, we have where Allah says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 256]

And Allah knows best.
Imâm Abu Zakariyyah An-Nawawî (d. 1300CE) explains that this may occur during a night raid because one's ability to see is impaired by the dark (Sharh Sahîh Muslim 2790). This does not negate the fact that such unfortunate accidents remain just as abhorrent.

Conclusion

Islam is all about "Rights & Limits" and it is a religion of mercy and justice.

Islam calls all human beings to the worship of the One God who created us all. What many people falsely present as Islam has actually been proven to be diametrically opposed to the values and laws of Islam.

The narrations and verses explained in this article are frequently misquoted by those who seek to malign Islam and spread hatred towards its followers. In doing so, they follow in the footsteps of historical tyrants who performed ethnic cleansing by painting a certain group as evil.

This was the way used by Nazis who slaughtered millions of Jews by labelling them as Christ-killers. History repeats itself, and it is unfortunate that people have not learnt from previous atrocities.

Today, Muslims are experiencing the same hatred, as people become more tolerant of attacks on Islam. The only cure to this problem is education. Everyone must strive to spread the truth about a misunderstood religion.

Islam is not the enemy - Hatred, Intolerance and Ignorance are the enemies of all humanity today.

May Allah protect us! Ameen.

 


End of Part 2

For Part 1 [click here]



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