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Debate on Looting  Part II 

This is the continuation of the previous discussion on looting. My argument accusing Muhammad of looting was contested by Mr. Bassam al Zawadi. This is my response to him.

Don't miss the conclusion of this debate in page 5  

Mr. al Zawadi wrote:

Islam promotes nothing but kindness to prisoners of war. Read this article for the evidence http://www.answering-christianity.com/prisoners_of_war.htm

The link I just posted proves from the Quran and Hadith that prisoners of war should be treated well. If there is any incident of Muhammad which goes against the Quran, then it should be disregarded. Even Ali Sina agrees with me. He says later on in this article 

I donít know what constitutes kindness for Muslims. Raiding innocent civilians, killing unarmed people taken by surprise, or massacring their entire male population and enslaving their women and children and even raping them are not acts of kindness. The claim that Islam promotes kindness is an insult to human intelligence. This is like saying Nazism promotes kindness. Islam has advanced by terror and not by kindness. The order to cast terror in the heart of the enemy is mandated in the Quran 3.151, 8.12. The enemy is anyone who Muhammad chose to attack. These people did not have to be hostile to Muhammad or have done anything against him. He decided that those who do not submit to his cult are the enemy and must be subdued. Or those who are wealthy are the enemy.  Muhammad boasted "I have been made victorious with terror" Bukhari 4:52:220   

Yes, if a law in a hadith is contradicts the Quran, the latter is to be taken as authority. However here we are not talking about laws but about events and the actions of Muhammad. The Quran is the collection of Muhammadís sayings attributed to Allah and the hadith is the collection of Muhammadís sayings and his deeds as reported by his companions. Sometimes Muhammadís words are good, but often his actions are not.  Any criminal will tell you doing evil is wrong. Such statement does not make him a good person. He is simply a man whose actions and words do not match. When I was a boy, back in my country of birth, there was a radio program called 'A City within Our City'. Every week the producer interviewed one prisoner, often on death roll. The prisoners explained what made them become attracted to crime. At the end of each interview he would ask the inmates if they had an advice for the youths. The advices of these criminals were all good. I thought sarcastically, if we only listened to the advices of these criminals, the world would become paradise. 

Words are cheap. Actions are what matter. A man who does not walk his own talk is a despicable man. In matters of law, if there is discrepancy between the Quran and the Haidth, the former is the authority. But if  you find in the Quran Muhammad says it is meritorious to manumit the slaves and then you read in the Hadith that he raided people, looted them, massacred them and reduced thousand upon thousands of them into slaves, what shall we make of it? We canít dismiss the Hadith and deny that they are not true just because in the Quran Muhammad says something else. We can conclude that he was a contemptible man whose words and deeds did not match. We canít disregard all the gory stories of crimes committed by this degenerate fiend just because somewhere he said; ďbe kind to othersĒ. The question is why he did not walk the talk? If he knew kindness is better than cruelty, why he acted so ruthlessly? Did he really mean it or he said it to feign holiness?  

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In response to me saying the battles of Muhammad were raids (qazwah) Mr. al Zawadi wrote:  ď Battle of Uhud was not a raid. Battle of the Trench was not a raid. Battle of Badr was not a raid.Ē

Muhammad waged over sixty wars according to Tabari.  With the exception of Uhud and Khandaq (Trench), all of them were incursions. The Battle of Badr was intended to be an inroad against the caravan of the Quraish. Abu Sufyan, the head of the caravan dodged the attack by detouring the caravan. The Meccans learned about Muhammadís intention and they came to defend their caravan. The battle of Uhud and Khandaq were legitimate wars. After the Meccans had enough of Muhammadís forays, they came to punish him for his constant taunting of their caravans and his lootings. Unlike Muhammad's raids that were unannounced, the Meccans informed their enemy of their intention,  giving him plenty of leeway to prepare. The war of Khandaq was not fought and the Meccans went back. So what if two out of 67 wars of Muhammad were not raids? Does this acquit him of being a highway robber and a marauding gangster? This is like a criminal accused of more than three scores of armed robberies, murders and assassinations plead innocence on the ground that in two occasions he had to fight back in self defense when his victims turned against him.

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Mr. al Zawadi wrote: 

The only incident that I can recall unless Ali Sina refreshes my memory where Muhammad attacked his enemies by surprise was the Banu Mustaliq.Ē 

In that case Mr. al Zawadi should read the Sira again. With the exception of Khandaq and Uhud, virtually all the wars of Muhammad were depredatory. The attack on Mecca was also technically a raid. In this case the population was taken by surprise. A deal was made between the traitor Abbas who was the fifth column in Mecca spying for Muhammad from the start, Abu Sufyan who felt that with 10,000 men at the gates of Mecca there is no chance to win the war, and Muhammad. This deal was agreed outside the town in Muhammad's tent. The people of Mecca did not know about it and when Abu Sufyan said the city must capitulate to avoid bloodshed, his wife cursed him and said he is not a man. The Meccans were taken by surprise. They had singed a treaty with Muhammad and did not expect a war. Muhammad suddenly appeared at their gates with his army demanding them to surrender or face death.  

The killing of the Jews of Medina technically were not raids. He did not raid them but he laid siege on their quarters and cut the supply of water to them until they surrendered and then he banished them or massacred them.

Muslim, in his collection of Sahih Hadith narrates the following:

Ibn 'Aun reported: I wrote to Nafi' inquiring from him whether it was necessary to extend (to the disbelievers) an invitation to accept (Islam) before meeting them in fight. He wrote (in reply) to me that it was necessary in the early days of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned others. On that very day, he captured Juwairiya bint al-Harith. Nafi' said that this tradition was related to him by Abdullah b. Umar who (himself) was among the raiding troops.Ē  Muslim 19, 4292  

Here the phrase "he killed those who fought" is misleading. This may give the idea that these people were armed and prepared to fight. Not so! People were caught by surprise and unarmed. This was an act of terrorism and not a war.  

 

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