Leaving Islam




Wild Wild Arabia 

Sher Khan 



In an eerily quiet valley, a group of outlaws is leaning on scattered boulders and anxiously waiting for its prey. A stagecoach, full of money for railroad workers, is expected to pass through the valley. ‘Billy the Kid’ is carrying a dragon pistol at one hip and a sharp knife at the other. His colt rifle dangles at his back as he shifts his position. It’s Billy who first notices a cloud of dust whirling at the end of the trail. Within a minute, the stagecoach emerges and the gang of outlaws attacks the carriage. It does not take long for them to kill all armed guards and loot bags full of money. In the evening, ‘Billy the Kid’ and his outlaw friends are drinking in a saloon, cheering their audacity and the good fortune that they made today.  

It’s a typical scene of Western movies, where outlaws are semi-nomadic characters, wandering from town to town, riding horses, carrying guns and robbing stagecoaches or trains. Sheriffs and marshals are the good people working as police officers, who chase these bad guys and kill them in gunfights. The era of lawlessness--fights between outlaws and marshals--is commonly known as the ‘Wild Wild West’ of America .  

Fourteen hundred years ago, on the land of “Wild Wild Arabia”, there were no sheriffs or police officers, but a gang of evil people did exist. In the year of 624 AD, a group of bandits were waiting by a coastal road that linked Syria and Mecca . They had slept well that night because Mohammad, the commander of the group, ordered them not to worry. The following morning they were waiting for a caravan to arrive, full of gold and precious commodities. No, they didn’t have any plans to trade or buy; they wanted their wealth the easiest way--simply robbing them.  

They successfully robbed the caravan and returned home with an abundance of riches. This legendary robbery was known as the famous Battle of Badr. Later, they too, like the outlaws of the ‘Wild Wild West’, got drunk. Hamza, one of the members of the gang, was so drunk that he did not realize that he killed and cut two humps of a camel that belonged to Ali, the soon-to-be son-in-law of Mohammad. (Drinking alcohol was not prohibited in nascent Islam; it was banned at a later date.) There is a reference in Hadith, Narrated Ali: I got a she-camel in my share of the war booty on the day (of the battle) of Badr,..…. Allah's Apostle started rebuking Hamza for what he had done, but Hamza was drunk and his eyes were red……” (Khumus, Sahi Bukhari).   

Whereas the story of ‘Billy the Kid’ of the ‘Wild Wild West’ is somewhat fictitious, the Battle of Badr is a historical fact compiled in the Quran, Hadith and many Islamic books. Muslims always brag about the victory of Mohammad in this battle, assuming he fought against injustice to establish Islam. In reality, this raid had nothing to do with revenge for persecution, as claimed in the Quran. This war was not between oppressed and oppressor, or between good and evil. It was not a defensive war. It even should not be called a war or a battle because the whole conflict was about monetary gain for Mohammad. To put it simply, it was robbery.  Later, Muslim propagandists incorporated this raid into Islam as Jihad or holy war.    

In the month of September of 622 AD, Mohammad migrated from Mecca to Medina . He was not able to bring any money with him. His first wife, Khadiza, died in 619 AD, while he was in Mecca . What was the profession of Mohammad and his companions after the migration to Medina ? Did Allah send them food through overnight delivery? Did Mohammad use a credit card? He did not even have a house where he could acquire a home equity loan. So, how did they survive?  

Throughout the year of 623 AD, Mohammad and his companions made several attempts to rob Meccan caravans and kidnap innocent people. Muslims proudly claims these attacks as ‘military expeditions’, which, of course, are nothing but mugging. Those attacks are of two categories, ’Ghazawaat’ (plural of Ghazawah), and ’Saraayaa’ (plural of Sariya). When Mohammad took part in the action, it was called ‘Ghazawah’ and raids without Muhammad’s presence are known as ‘Sariya’. Islamic scholars vary on the number of these attacks, but it is estimated to be approximately 17 to 27 ‘Ghazawaat’ and 36 to 100 ‘Saraayaa’.  

Muhammad hit the jackpot in ‘the awful caravan robbery’, commonly known as Ghazawaat Al-Badr. According to ‘Sirat Rasul Allah 428’ and ‘Tabari VII:29’, “Then the apostle heard that Abu Sufyan b. Harb was coming from Syria with a large caravan of Quraysh, containing their money and merchandise, accompanied by some thirty or forty men.” Mohammad said,This is the Quraysh caravan containing their property, Go out to attack it, perhaps God will give it as prey,”   

The Battle of Badr was an offensive war from Mohammad’s side. He knew that his poor and needy Muhajiruns (those who migrated from Mecca ) would be happy to loot for wealth but he was doubtful about Ansars (Muslims of Medina who invited Mohammad). “So the apostle was afraid that the Ansar would not feel obligated to help him unless he was attacked by an enemy in Medina , and that they would not feel it incumbent upon them to go with him against an enemy outside their territory. (Ishaq 435). Eventually, they agreed and Mohammad was happy to have a group of skilled warriors on his side. They all proceeded towards Badr, hoping to change their fortune.  

Meanwhile, “When Abu Sufyan got near the Hijaz, he was seeking news, and questioning every rider in his anxiety, until he got news from some riders that Muhammad had called out his companions against him and his caravan. He took alarm at that and hired Damdam b. Amr al-Ghifari and sent him to Mecca , ordering him to call out Quraysh in defense of their property”. (Ishaq 428).  

Ibn Ishaq continues, “Abu Sufyan went forward to get in front of the caravan as a precautionary measure until he came down to the water, and asked Majdi if he had noticed anything. He replied that he had seen nothing untoward: merely two riders had stopped on the hill and taken water away in a skin. Abu Sufyan came to the spot where they had halted, picked up some camel dung and broke it in pieces and found that it contained date-stones. ‘By God,’ he said, ‘this is fodder of Yathrib.’ He returned at once to his companions and changed the caravan’s direction from the road to the seashore leaving Badr on the left, traveling as quickly as possible” (Ishaq 437).  

Does it look like Mohammad was playing a defensive game? Often, Muslims complain that their dearest Mohammad, ‘the propane of Islam’, had to fight because he was attacked. Poor Abu Sufyan was desperately trying to save the caravan and called for help. Indeed, help arrived in due course. Ibn Ishaq elaborates, “When Abu Sufayn saw that he had saved his caravan he sent word to Quraysh. ‘Since you came out to save your caravan, your men, and your property and God has delivered them, go back.’ Abu Jahl said, ‘By God, we will not go back until we have been to Badr’. Badr was the site for one of the Arab fairs where they used to hold a market every year. ‘We will spend three days there, slaughter camels and feast and drink wine, and the girls shall play for us. The Arabs will hear that we have come and gathered together, and will respect us in the future. So come on!’ (Ishaq: 438).


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