By Ali Sina
the time of the Prophet Muhammad, there was a young and handsome man who
was the chief of his tribe. His name was Ka’b ibn Ashraf. He used to
malign the Prophet. He even composed some poetry vilifying the messenger
of Allah reciting them in Mecca a town that was hostile to the Prophet.
Ibn Ashraf was in fear for his own tribe because he had seen that Muhammad
had banished another Jewish tribe, the Bani Qainuqa from Medina after
confiscating all their possessions. Muhammad was very much annoyed by Ibn
Ashraf’s insolence and one day he addressed his companions and said:
"Who is ready to kill
Ka'b bin Ashraf (i.e. a Jew)." Muhammad bin Maslama replied, "Do
you like me to kill him?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative.
Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say what I like."
The Prophet replied, "I do (i.e. allow you)." Bukhari: Volume
4, Book 52, Number 271
Ibn Maslama lied to Ibn Ashraf and treacherously
gained his trust, then stabbed him to death. Tabari, the great historian of Islam, reports,
(volume 3, p. 1006 Persian edition Entesharat-e Asatir) that the death of Ibn Ashraf threw fear in the hearts
of the Jews residing in Medina and the next day the Apostle of Allah said:
“If you gain a victory over the men of
Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over Shubaybah, a man of the
Jewish merchants. He had close relations with them. He then killed him.
At that time Huwayyisah (brother of Muhayyisah) had not embraced Islam.
He was older than Muhayyisah. When he killed him, Huwayyisah beat him
and said: O enemy of Allah, I swear by Allah, you have a good deal of
fat in your belly from his property. Muhayysah told him “By Allah if
the one who has ordered me to kill him orders me to kill you, I will do
it”. Huwayyisah was stupefied and asked: “By Allah would you really
kill me?” Muhayyisah answered “Yes by Allah if he orders me to kill
you, I will kill you”. Huwayyisah, the older brother, said: “By
Allah, the religion that has made you thus is strange” and he embraced
story is also partially recorded in collection of hadith: Sunan Abu Dawud
19, Number 2996:
interview broadcast last week on the CBS program 60 Minutes, Rev. Jerry
Falwell said, “I think Muhammad was a terrorist”. Pat Robertson and
Franklin Graham also made similar remarks about the Prophet of Islam.
These remarks outraged the Islamic community around the world to the
point that some Islamic clerics like Shabestari, a representative of
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted saying: "The
death of that man (Falwell) is a religious duty”. And Sheikh
Muhammed Hussein Fadlullah, a Lebanese top cleric said: “Muslims all
over the world ought to remain vigilant and rise up to defend their faith
against this new wave of wars and crusades against Islam.”
Muslims in India rioted over
Falwell's remarks and five people were killed. Things got so scary that the Executive Board
of the (U.S.) National Council of Churches, fearing that Falwell’s
statements would endanger the lives of Christians around the world
condemned and repudiated the Reverend’s statements.
The pressure mounted: "This is a war against
Islam, against the Prophet Muhammad, against the Qura'an" said Sheikh
Walid al-Haj, a popular speaker in Hebron.
"Don't you believe them when they tell you they are only against
terror, they are against every thing Islamic. Didn't you see how Bush and
his gang remained silent when one of the pigs (Jerry Falwell) described
the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist," said al Haj during Friday
the preacher was forced to swallow his pride and take back his words. On
one hand there was a real threat to his life, on the other, the lives of
many Christians around the world was in jeopardy. The President of USA,
who unwillingly had been dragged into the controversy, and placed under
the spotlight, in such delicate situation when he has to walk on
eggshells or else, might also be one of the reasons behind Falwell’s
As the result everything went back to normalcy. Falwell apologized and the
media reassured the public that Islam is a religion of peace.
Although some clerics like Ayatollah Hussein Mousavi
Tabrizi accepted the Evangelist's apology and called him "worthy of
praise" for his courageous apology, others like Sheik Zuheir
Jaaed, deputy head of the Islamic Ulama Gathering, a Lebanon-based
association of Sunni and Shiite Muslim scholars, said Falwell's comments
"will not calm us" and added: One "cannot insult the prophet then
Yet I still do not understand how through threats,
murder and acts of terrorism one can prove that his religion is not a
religion of terror. Don't these very threats prove that Islam is not a religion at
all? When I read the story of the conversion of Huwayyisah I was amazed at
the low moral intelligence of the Arabs of the 7th century. Huwayyisah saw
the evil in killing a friend especially one who feeds you, yet he mistook his brother's zealotry
sign of the greatness of his Faith. What is disappointing is that 1400 years
later the moral intelligence of Muslims has not surpassed that of Huwayyisah.
Many called Falwell’s remarks, “historically untrue” and
“factually uninformed”. I wonder based on which history they made such
claims! The history
of Islam, as was recorded by Waquidi, Tabari, Ibn Hesham and other early
historians portray the Prophet of Islam as a terrorist. For how long can
we continue with our denial? What we gain by
lying to ourselves? Isn’t it time that we read the history of Islam
and learn the facts? For how long shall we keep denying that Islam and the
examples laid by its founder are the real cause of Islamic terrorism? Perhaps we should ask
apologists of Islam such as Karen Armstrong and
John Esposito, which historic books do they read? Where do they get their facts
from? How they came to the conclusion that Islam is a religion of peace?
We are a society living in denial. Only we, will suffer the consequences
of our unwillingness to face the truth. More lives will be lost while we
try to rewrite the history negating it.