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Rebuttal to "Muhammad and the Ten Meccans"

By Umar

 

 

This Article is located at: http://www.answering-islam.org/Muhammad/Enemies/meccan10.html

  

 

           Before getting to the Critic's article, I would like to show the reader, the kindness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S):

 

" There are many practical examples of the Prophet's kind and magnanimous treatment with his enemies. Here we give only a few examples of the world's greatest preacher of Islam.

 

   The most suitable occasion for taking revenge on his enemies was the conquest of Makkah, when he entered the city as a victor and not as a vanquised and his blood thirsty enemies were standing before him, but he granted them general amnesty.

 

   On the day of migration, Suraqah mounted a swift horse in pursuit of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) so that he could seize him and get the reward one hundred camels but repeated stumbling off his horse gave him a warning to desist from this evil design. He asked forgiveness and Allah's Messenger (peace be and blessings of Allah be upon him) forgave him.

 

   A Jewess put poison in the food of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He felt the effect of the poison and called the Jews who made the confession of guilt; but he did not say anything. He forgave the savage who had killed Hamza, his uncle.

 

   He forgave Hinda, the wife of Abu Sufyan who tore out the heart and liver of his (the Holy Prophet's) loving uncle.

 

   He forgave Habbar b. Al. Aswar who had inflicted severe injury to the Prophet's loving daughter Zainab (May Allah be pleased with her).

 

    During the Treaty of Hudaibya, a band of sixty men descended the mount of Tanim at dawn, with an intention to kill he Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). They were arrested; but the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) let them off.

 

    A person intended to kill him. The companions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) caught hold of him and brought him to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He trembled out of fear. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him : Do not be afraid, even if you intended to kill me, you could not do so.

 

    The people of  Ta'if hooted him through the streets listening to the call of Islam and refused to give him shelter. They pelted him with stones and blood flowed down upon his legs. The angel said to him: If he desired we cause the mountain to fall upon them. He said: No, perhaps any believer of Allah may be born from their progeny.

 

     Once a person asked him to invoke cure, he said: I have not been sent to curse, but I have been sent as a mercy unto the worlds. Once he was returning from the battle. He passed by a plain. The sun was hot and the people were resting under the shades of the trees. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went to sleep under the shade of a tree hanging his sword to a branch. A bedouin came there and took off his sword intending to kill him (the Holy Prophet). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was startled to see a bedouin standing on the side of his head with an unsheathed sword in his hand. He (the bedouin) said: Tell me, who can save you now from me? He said: (It is) Allah. This impressive reply had its effect and he put the sword back into its sheath.

 

     The Quraish confined him (the Holy Prophet) and his family in Shi'b Abi Talib, so that wheat and corn could not reach them. The children cried of hunder but the callous Quraish didnot listen to their cries. As against this what was the treatment which the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) accorded to the Quraish? Makkah used to receive corn from Yamama. Thumama b. Uthal, the cheif of Yamama had embraced Islam. He said to the Quraish : By Allah, you will not get a single grain of wheat from Yamama until it is permitted by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). At last the Quraish came to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and requested him to ask the cheif to continue the supply. He (the Holy Prophet) sent a message and its supply was restored as usual."

 

(Source: Sirat-Un-Nabi, Vol.5 by Syed Sulaimain Nadwi, rendered into English by Mohd. Saeed Siddiqi, Kitab Bhavan New Delhi, p.229-230)

 

The above quotes from the book, shows the kindness of the Messenger of Allah (S).

 

I also want to inform the reader, that the Christian critic, claims that only because they were apostates they were executed. The scholars of Islamonline.net, further sheds light on this claim of his:

 

"  Moreover, it is incorrect to say that everyone who leaves Islam is automatically killed. Thus, if an apostate causes no harm to the Muslim community and does not call for spreading hostility towards Islam, he is not to be punished, rather he is to be advised kindly and wisely to let him know the true image of Islam."

 

(Source: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503548996 , bold and underlined emphasis ours)

 

Now that we touched one some minor points, let us go to the Critic's article.....

 

 

 

 

He Wrote:

 

 Muhammad And The Ten Meccans

As Muhammad grew in power, he began to use violence to obtain his desires. He ordered the murder of many people. He himself did not go out and commit the murders; he had men who were willing to do his killing for him.

This paper deals only with the people Muhammad ordered to be executed (murdered) after Mecca peacefully surrendered to him. During his lifetime, he had a number of people murdered, but in this paper we will examine the 10 people he ordered to be killed the day he took Mecca.

He had marched upon Mecca with an army of 10,000 soldiers. These men were tough, dedicated Muslims. The Meccan leaders did not think they could defeat Muhammad's army, so they surrendered to him. Muhammad did not destroy Mecca, or massacre it's inhabitants, but he remembered some of his personal enemies, and ordered their execution. As you will see, Muhammad hated some of these people only because they had mocked him years earlier.

 

I want to give you some background on the sources I am using. Primarily I am using three Muslim sources:

1) the "Hadiths" (Traditions) of Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud,

2) the "Sirat Rasul Allah" originally written by Ibn Ishaq and later rescended by Ibn Hisham,

3) and the "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir" written by Ibn Sa'd.

4) "23 Years - A study of the prophetic career of Muhammad", by Ali Dashti. Dashti was a Shia Muslim scholar. He was murdered when he was about 85 years old by the Muslims who took over Iran. Although Dashti doesn't represent the Sunni branch of Islam, he addressed the issues I am addressing in this paper, and I've found his scholarship substantial, and well founded.

No doubt he had access to far more Islamic sources than I have. So, while Sunni Muslims may object to me quoting a Shia scholar, I find that his comments regarding the murders at Mecca to be in accordance with the info I've found in the Hadith, Sirat, and Tabaqat. In any case, his comments are only frosting on my cake; my points are not based on Dashti's work, his work is only an embellishment of my case.

All of the writers of these sources were Muslim, and all of the first 3 works are recoginzed by the Sunni branch of Islam. Of course none of these are recognized equal to the Qur'an. I would say that the order of authentic recognizition is 1) Hadiths, 2) Sirat, 3) Tabaqat.

The Hadith are the traditions, sayings, and actions of Muhammad. Both the Sirat and Tabaqat are biographies of Muhammad. Both biographies were written well before the Hadith. Both contain much material corroborated by the Hadith and Qur'an.

As I continue to quote these sources, at times I will interject my own notes, as a short explanation, to keep the context clear for you. My own notes will be bracketed by [ ] type brackets.

NOTE that frequently, in these sources, the original writers or translators used parenthesis. I will type their parenthesis as standard ( ) parenthesis brackets, just as they appear in their text.

 

NOTE ON THE SIRAT RASULALLAH:

The Sirat was translated into English by A. Guillaume. He was a recognized Islamic scholar. He wrote many books on Islam. He was the professor of Arabic at the University of London, a member of the Arab Academy of Damascus, and Royal Academy of Baghdad. A number of Arab Muslim scholars worked with him on his translation of the Sirat. Guillaume was a professional, he was not trying to discredit Muhammad in any way. He just wanted to produce the best translation possible. Further, I have a book written by Muslim apologists that quote from his translations of the Sirat.

 

NOTE ON THE TABAQAT:

The Tabaqat was translated into English by Moinul Haq, a Pakistani. His work was published by the Pakistan Historical Society. It is published in two volumes. The title means "Book of the Major Classes". It also is basically a biography of Muhammad.

 

MUHAMMAD AND MURDER IN MECCA

Muhammad ordered the execution of 10 people when he took Mecca. Here is the list of names found in Ibn Sa'd "Tabaqat".

The quote is from the Tabaqat, Vol 2, page 168.

"The apostle of Allah entered through Adhakhir, [into Mecca], and prohibited fighting. He ordered six men and four women to be killed, they were (1) Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl, (2) Habbar Ibn al-Aswad, (3) Abd Allah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh, (4) Miqyas Ibn Sababah al-Laythi, (5) al-Huwayrith Ibn Nuqaydh, (6) Abd Abbah Ibn Hilal Ibn Khatal al-Adrami, (7) Hind Bint Utbah, (8) Sarah, the mawlat (enfranchised girl) of Amr Ibn Hashim, (9) Fartana and (10) Qaribah.

Occasionally, the Sirat, and the Tabaqat use a different name for the same person. #3 in the list given above is such a case. The differences in the name is due to the amount of family lineage given for the man's name, and the English translation.

Let's start with #3 in the list. The Sirat corroborates the Tabaqat's list, a few at a time. And the Sirat gives much more detail concerning #3. You'll see that in the end, this man was almost executed, but he got lucky because Muhammad's men couldn't read Muhammad's mind! This case will give you a glimpse into how Muhammad's mind worked.

 

QUOTING FROM THE SIRAT, PAGE 550.

"The apostle had instructed his commanders when they entered Mecca only to fight those who resisted them, except a small number who were to be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Kaba. Among them was Abdullah Sa'd, brother of the B. Amir Luayy. The reason he ordered him to be killed was that he had been a Muslim and used to write down revelation; then he apostatized and returned to Quraysh [Mecca] and fled to Uthman Affan whose foster brother he was. The latter hid him until he brought him to the apostle after the situation in Mecca was tranquil, and asked that he might be granted immunity. They allege that the apostle remained silent for a long time till finally he [Muhammad] said yes [granting Abdullah immunity from the execution order].

When Uthman had left he [Muhammad] said to his companions who were sitting around him, "I kept silent so that one of you might get up and strike off his head!" One of the Ansar said, "Then why didn't you give me a sign, O apostle of God?" He answered that a prophet does not kill by pointing."

Ibn Sa'd corroborates Ibn Ishaq and says on page 174:

"A person of al-Ansar had taken a vow to kill Ibn Abi Sarh [the already mentioned Abdullah] if he saw him. Uthman whose foster brother he (Ibn Abi Sarh) was, came and interceded for him with the prophet. The Ansari was waiting for the signal of the prophet to kill him. Uthman interceded and he [Muhammad] let him go. The apostle of Allah said to the Ansari, "Why did you not fulfil your vow?" He said, "O apostle of Allah! I had my hand on the hilt of the sword waiting for your signal to kill him. The prophet said signalling would have been a breach of faith. It does not behave the prophet to make signal.""

DISCUSSION

Okay lets examine this one. Abdullah Sa'd used to write down Muhammad's revelations, i.e., the Qur'an. Later, he apostatized, left Islam, and went back to Mecca. As Muhammad took Mecca, he gave a general amnesty, except for a number of people. Abdullah Sa'd is the first of this group mentioned. Muhammad ordered that Abdullah be killed.

Ali Dashti provides additional comments. I do not have all of the source references Dashti had, but this will give you more insight into the reason Muhammad ordered to have Abdullah killed.

From Ali Dashti's "23 Years, A study of the prophetic career of Muhammad", page 98.

"The last man named [in the list of people to be killed] had been one of the scribes employed at Medina to write down the 'revelations'. On a number of occassions, with Muhammad's consent, he changed the closing words of verses. For example, when Muhammad said "And God is mighty and wise", Abdullah Sarh suggested 'knowing and wise', and the prophet answered that there was no objection. Having observed a succession of changes of this type, Abdullah renounced Islam on the ground that the revelations, if from God, could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as himself. After his apostasy, he went to Mecca and joined the Qorayshites."

So you see the background behind the order to murder Abdullah. He was a threat to the credibility of the Qur'an. He was a Muslim, worked with Muhammad in writing down the Qur'an, and, from time to time he suggested some minor changes. Finally Abdullah realized that if this were truly from God, no changes would be made at the suggestion of a mere scribe. So, he realized Islam was false, and went back to Mecca. After Muhammad took Mecca, and issued the order to kill him, he hid out with Uthman who was one of Muhammad's closest companions. Later Abdullah pled for amnesty. Muhammad wanted one of his men to kill him on the spot, but they didn't know, because they couldn't read Muhammad's mind. So, finally Muhammad gave him amnesty.

Note here that Ibn Hisham notes [note #803] that Abdullah became a Muslim again, and obtained a political position in time. Surely you see that this was a case of "If you can't beat em, join em."

Muslims may say 'well, Muhammad ordered him to be killed, but Muhammad accepted his repentance and let him live.' That is besides the point. Muhammad really wanted him to die, it just didn't happen the way Muhammad wanted.

I have to comment here. Muhammad's reasoning is really stupid. Muhammad issues an edit to have a man executed, but fails to have it carried out because he doesn't want to make a signal with his hand??? Why didn't Muhammad kill him himself? If this man had committed such a crime as to cost him his life, why didn't Muhammad see that his death sentence be carried out?

This shows that Muhammad ordereds were made willy-nilly. This man committed no major crime. Muhammad just wanted this man killed for personal reasons. People lived or died depending on Muhammad's frame of mind.

 

So far, we have examined one execution order. Muhammad ordered that Abdullah be executed, but Abdullah got lucky because Muhammad's men were not mind readers.

0 for 1.

 

Now lets go on with the Sirat, picking up where I left off on page 550.

"Another [to be killed] was Abdullah Khatal of B. Taym b. Ghalib. He had become a Muslim and the apostle sent him to collect the poor tax in company with one of the Ansar. He had with him a freed slave who served him. (He was Muslim). When they halted he ordered the latter to kill a goat for him and prepare some food, and went to sleep. When he woke up the man had done nothing, so he attacked and killed him and apostatized. He had two singing-girls Fartana and her friend who used to sing satirical songs about the apostle, so he ordered that they should be killed with him."

Let's stop here and examine this paragraph. Muhammad ordered that a man who apostasized, and his two slave girls, be killed. Khatal was ordered to be killed not because he killed his male slave, a Muslim, but because he apostasized. Islamic law does not allow a Muslim man to be put to death for killing a slave. Muhammad also ordered two slave girls to be killed for singing satirical songs about him. Remember, they sung these songs about Muhammad years earlier. Now it was Muhammad's payback time. Look, these slave girls were not threats to Islam, or to the new Islamic state. They were only slave girls. They were ordered to be executed only because they sang a silly song about Muhammad. More on them in a few paragraphs.

Note here that Khatal is #6 in Ibn Sa'd's list.

Now I will give you the info from Ibn Sa'd's book on Khatal, Vol 2, page 172 and on. I will not type out the chain of narrators.

p172:

"The apostle of Allah entered Makkah in the year of victory and on his head there was a helmet. Then he removed it. Ma'n and Musa Ibn Dawud said in their version: A person came to him and said, "O apostle of Allah! Ibn Khatal is holding fast the curtains of al-Kabah. Thereupon the apostle of Allah said: "Kill him."

p173:

"....kill him wherever you find him"

Now then on to Bukhari's Hadith about Khatal, volume 5 #582.

"Narrated Anas bin Malik: "On the day of the Conquest, the prophet entered Mecca, wearing a helmet on his head. When he took it off, a man came and said, "Ibn Khatal is clinging to the curtain of the Kaba." The prophet said "Kill him."

Khatal was not as fortunate as Abdullah. Ibn Sa'd says on page 174:

"Verily the apostle of Alah ordered (his followers) on the day of the Victory to kill Ibn Abi Sarh, Fartana Ibn al-Zibr'ra and Ibn Khatal. Abu Barzah came and saw him (Ibn Khatal) holding fast the curtains of al-Kabah. He (Abu Barzah) ripped open his belly.

Okay, now we have a man who only apostasized from Islam executed.

1 for 2.

 

Now I will jump ahead to page 551 of the Sirat to finish the story of the slave girls.

"As for Ibn Khatal's two singing girls, one was killed and the other ran away until the apostle, asked for immunity, gave it to her."

So, one girl was murdered, one ran away. When Muhammad eased up, she plead for forgivenss, and he gave her immunity.

 

So, one of the slave girls escapes, the other is executed. Later, the living slave girl begs forgiveness, and is forgiven. Again, this shows that Muhammad's death sentences were willy-nilly. They mocked him, they paid (one with her life). Later, as Muhammad felt more secure, he forgave the remaining slave girl.

2 for 4.

 

On page 551 of the Sirat:

"Another was al-Huwayrith Nuqaydh Wahb Qusayy, one of those who used to insult him in Mecca. ... Al-Huwayrith was killed by Ali. [Ali was Muhammad's son in law.]

What do you see here? This guy was murdered because he insulted Muhammad! Ibn Hisham notes [804] that Huwayrith goaded a camel that two of Muhammad's children were riding on. So, years later, he paid with his life.

3 for 5.

 

Continuing on page 551 of the Sirat:

"Another [ordered to be killed] was Miqyas Hubaba because he had killed an Ansari who had killed his brother accidentally, and returned to Quraysh as a polytheist."

There is a reference to this on page 492:

"Miqyas Subaba came from Mecca as a Muslim, so he professed, saying, "I come to you as a Muslim seeking the bloodwit for my brother who was killed in error." The apostle ordered that he should have the bloodwit for his brother Hisham and he stopped a short while with the apostle. Then he attacked his brother's slayer and killed him and went off to Mecca an apostate."

This guy evidently became a Muslim and wanted revenge on the man who had accidentlay killed his brother. Muhammad allowed him to take his revenge. Miqyas then killed the other Muslim who accidently killed his brother. He then left Islam as an apostate and returned to Mecca. Since the penalty for leaving Islam is death, Muhammad had him killed.

4 for 6.

 

Continuing on page 551 of the Sirat we read about Sara and Ikrima:

"And Sara, freed slave of one of the Abdul-Muttalib [a tribe], and Ikrima Abu Jahl. Sara had insulted him [Muhammad] in Mecca. As for Ikrima, he fled to the Yaman. His wife Umm Hakim Harith Hisham became a Muslim and asked for immunity for him and the apostle gave it. She went to the Yaman in search of him and brought him to the apostle and he accepted Islam." ...

"As for Ibn Khatal's two singing-girls, one was killed and the other ran away until the apostle, asked for immunity, gave it her. Similarly Sara, who lived until in the time of `Umar a mounted soldier trod her down in the valley of Mecca and killed her. Al-Huwayrith was killed by `Ali."

She was seemingly given immunity at the time, after Muhammad was more secure, but she is later killed nevertheless. The text gives too little detail. Was her death just an accident? Usually people don't die from accidentally being hit by the hoof of a horse or camel. This looks intentional, run over and then finished off, probably by the sword. She is killed and al-Huwayrith is killed. The construction of the two sentences in sequence is parallel and it gives the impression to be in consequence of Muhammad's earlier command.

Al-Tabari's text ("The History of Tabari", volume 8, SUNY, translated by Michael Fishbein, p. 179) states about this incident:

"She lived until someone in the time of Umar b. al-Khattab caused his horse to trample her at Abtah and killed her.

This confirms that this death was not an accident. It is again not stated why she was killed, but it is likely that her earlier songs against Muhammad are part of the ultimate reason for it.

5 (4) for 8.

For a side note, there is a hadith narrated by 'Ikrima, Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57:

Narrated 'Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

 

How do you feel about freedom of religion? Should people be killed just because they want to leave Islam? Muhammad said they should be killed. And the saying is related by the person who himself got spared.

 

From Ibn Sa'd's list, #2 is probably the man mentioned in Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 59, #662 and Volume 4, Book 56, #817. Habbar Ibn al-Aswad b. Ka`b al-`Ansi. He was murdered in Yemen.

In Sirat Rasul Allah, page 648, the section heading is: "... and Al-Aswad Al-`Ansi" and in the text he is called: al-Aswad b. Ka`b al-`Ansi. This makes the connection of "al-`Ansi" in the Hadith with al-Aswad in Ibn Sa`d likely.

6 (5) for 9.

 

Number 7 on Ibn Sa'd's list was Hind bint Utbah. She was Abu Sufyan's wife. Dashti notes that Muhammad had earlier ordered Sufyan to be killed. Sufyan was a big leader in Mecca. He fought against Muhammad in battle. Just before Muhammad took Mecca, Sufyan went out to Muhammad and was coerced into accepting Islam, or be killed. Sufyan accepted Islam. Afterwards, Hind bint Utbah accepted Islam and was spared. Hind had previously desecrated dead Muslim bodies after the battle of Uhud. She even cut the liver out of one dead Muslim and took a bite of it, and spit it out. She also mocked Muhammad and the other defeated Muslims as they left the field.

She asked forgivness and was forgiven.

6 (5) for 10.

 

SUMMARY

We see that some of these people were murdered simply because they had rejected Muhammad and mocked him. Other's were ordered to be executed because they had thought for themselves and left Islam. Most of these people never lifted a weapon against Muhammad. Years later, Muhammad in his bitter vengence, took revenge for the pain and humilation some of these people caused him and had these people killed.

 

 

 

 

My Response:

 

                  In reply to the critic's paper, I will quote from Abdul Hameed Siddiqui, in his book "The Life of Muhammad PBUH",  and I will quote from the book "Sirat-Un-Nabi" by Allama Shibli Nu'Mani. First, we will quote from Abdul Hameed Siddiqui's book:

 

" Only for persons out of the whole population of Mecca were executed. One of them was Abdullah b. Khatal of Banu Taym b. Ghalib. He had become a Muslim and had been deputed by the Holy Prophet to collect Zakat in the company of one of the Ansar. They had also a slave with them. 'Abdullah in a fit of rage, killed the helpless slave on account of mere trifling dispute and joined the pagan Arabs as an apostate. He also took with him the camels that he had collected as Zakat. He was never repentant at this heinous crime but employed two singing girls and incited them to sing satrical songs about the Holy Prophet. The other man who was put to death was Miqyas b. Hubaba. He was a Muslim. An Ansari accidentally killed his brother Hisham. The Holy Prophet had arranged the payment of blood money to him, which he had accepted. But his revengeful nature was never appeased, so he killed the Ansari and went to Mecca as an apostate. The Holy Prophet ordered his execution. Similarly, Huwayrith and one of his singing girls were put to death.

 

 Can history furnish such an example of peaceful conquest of a city which had been for years the hot bed of worst type of tyranny and oppression? Historical records have no instance to quote of such mananimous forgiveness as shown by the Prophet of Islam."

 

(Source: The Life of Muhammad PBUH, by Abdul Hameed Siddiqui, Islamic Publications LTD. p. 253-254, bold and underlined emphasis ours)

 

And now, Sirat Un Nabi:

 

  " Chroniclers name ten persons, who, notwithstanding the general amnesty granted to the Meccans, were declared to be punishable with death whenever found. Some of them like 'Abdullah Ibn Khatal and Miqyas Ibn Subaba, stood charged with murder and were executed to pay for the blood they had shed. But others had only been guilty of torturing and tormenting the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), while at Mecca or composing slanderous verses against him. One was a woman who had sung satirical songs against the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and was put to death.

 

    But this statement, when subjected to higher criticism as developed by the traditionists cannot stand scrutiny. Barring a few- not more then half a dozen- which of the Meccans had refrained from active participation in the persecution of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Yet they were all given their freedom. The victims alleged to have been put to death were answeable for crimes much less serious. Let us remember 'Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) saying that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never sought a personal revenge, a report that appears in all Six Books of Authentic Ahadith. A woman had put poison in his food at Khaibar, but when asked whether she was to be slain, the Prophet's answer was a clear "No". If a Jewess, guilty of attempting murder by poison could go unharmed, how, on earth could the offenders of Mecca fail to share his mercy, in spite of the fact that they were not charged with anything as black as that.

 

   But let alone this logical criticism, we shall have to admit that the story even if judged on the basis of reports, is unacceptable. Sahih-Al-Bukhari mentions the execution of Ibn Khatal alone, and this is admitted on all hands that he was executed for a murder. The execution of Miqyas too was a retaliatory sentence. All such reports, as ascribe the execution of others merely to their having harrased the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the past, have Ibn Ishaq as the last narrator at the top; and in the terminology of the traditionalists such reports are called Mursal and are not to be relied on.

 

  The most reliable report that can be referred to in this connection is the one mentioned in Abu Dawud, which says that on the day when Mecca fell, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) declared that four persons could not be promised immunity. But Abu Dawud, adds that for this report he could not find authoritative sources of desired merit. Then he quotes the report about Ibn Khatal. The report quoted earlier has Ahmad Ibn Mufaddal as one of the narrators, whom Azdi calls a narrator of Munkar traditions. Another link in the series has Isbat Ibn Nadr whom Nasa'i does not believe to be quite weighty. Certainly, flaws are not enough to make up good case for rejecting a narration. Yet in view of the importance of the issue in hand even this much of deficiency is enough to create doubts.

 

  It is certain that some Meccan notables who formed the vanguard of the opposition did flee away from Meccan, when the approach of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to be known. That they left because of a death sentence is a mere product of Ibn Ishaq's imagination. Ibn Ishaq names 'Ikrima, the son of Abu Jahl, as well as one of the proclaimed culprits. In Muwatta' by Imam Malik, which in accuracy and reliability has, according to Imam Shafi'i, no equal under the sun except the Qur'an, this incident has been narrated as below : Umm Hakin, daugher of Harith Ibn Hisham, was the wife of 'Ikrima, son of Abu Jahl. She embraced Islam on the day Mecca fell. But her husband 'Ikrima Ibn Abu Jahl fled to Yaman, to keep away from Islam. Umm Hakim went to Yaman, and invited him to Islam. He believed and came to Mecca. As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw him, he rose to his feet in joy and walked up to him in a hurry, even without the upper garment ( a sheet of cloth) on his body. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then initiated him into Islam.

 

  It must also be noted that those who were granted protection were not forced to embrace Islam. Historians and biographers have all stated that the Muslim force at the battle of Hunain, which took place a little after the Fall of Mecca, had in its ranks a good number of non-believers from Mecca who still stuck to their old beliefs. And it was their presence that brought on defeat, for they could not stand the first  assault, and this disorder forced the Muslims to follow suit. "

 

(Source: Sirat-Un-Nabi, by Allama Shibli Nu'Mani, rendered into English by M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni, Kazi Publications Lahore, Vol. II, p. 199-203, bold and underlined emphasis ours)

 

Even though Allama Shibli says that the flaws in the narrations aren not enough to dismiss the report, he shows that the narrations are mursal , and not be relied on.

 

And Allah SWT Knows Best!

 

 

 

 

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Rebuttals by Umar.


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