Why I don't convert to Islam (2)

[Part One may be read here.]

(9) The Quran orders the mutilation of male and female thieves.

Sura 5:38 says:

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

This hadith says that the repentance of a thief is accepted after the hand is cut off.

Narrated 'Aisha:

The Prophet cut off the hand of a lady, and that lady used to come to me, and I used to convey her message to the Prophet and she repented, and her repentance was sincere. (Bukhari)

And this hadith just below the linked one to Bukhari says the same—after the penalty:

Abu Abdullah said: 'If a thief repents after his hand has been cut off, then his witness will be accepted. Similarly, if any person upon whom any legal punishment has been inflicted, repents, his witness will be accepted.'

Go here in Bukhari, and then scroll down to find out the minimal value of a stolen item before the penalty is imposed.

Muhammad says that in the days of old, justice favored the rich. But he now imposes this penalty on them, even if the thief were his own daughter Fatima. So no one should intercede on behalf of any thief to prevent the penalty. It shall be imposed.

Do you intercede regarding one of the punishments prescribed by Allah? He then stood up and addressed (people) saying: O people, those who have gone before you were destroyed, because if any one of high rank committed theft amongst them, they spared him; and it anyone of low rank committed theft, they inflicted the prescribed punishment upon him. By Allah, if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off. (Muslim no. 4188)  See a shorter parallel hadith in Bukhari. 

(10) The Quran allows slavery, and Muhammad himself traded in slaves.

Sura 47:4 says:

So, when you meet (in fight—Jihad in Allah's cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their)necks till when you have killed or wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until war lays down its burden . . . . (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Quran, Riyadh: Darussalam, 2002; all insertions are theirs)

These two conservative translators accurately catch the essence and spirit of early historical Islam in battle and in taking prisoners of war. The Muslim victor has two options for prisoners: free release or ransom—according to what benefits Islam, add Hilali and Khan. The third option in other passages is for the raider to keep prisoners for himself, especially women with whom he may have sex (see point no. 11).

Sura 4:24 says:

And forbidden to you are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands (as prisoners of war) . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 319).

The following hadith shows a sad snapshot of abuse in original Islam. The passage matter—of—factly talks about disrobing a recently captured female prisoner of a Muslim raid. Salamah the Muslim raider was 'fascinated' by her. But Muhammad wants her for himself. Why?

So we [Salamah and his captured girl] arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah . . . met me in the street and said: Give me that girl, O Salamah. I said: Messenger of Allah, she has fascinated me. I had not yet disrobed her. When on the next day, the Messenger of Allah . . . again met me in the street, he said: O Salama, give me that girl, may God bless your father. I said: she is for you, Messenger of Allah . . . By Allah, I have not yet disrobed her. The Messenger of Allah . . . sent her to the people of Mecca, and surrendered her as ransom for a number of Muslims who had been kept as prisoners in Mecca. (Muslim no. 4345)

Dear Muslim missionary, though Muhammad also manumitted some slaves, he did not in this case. He did not give her family the option of ransoming her. He did not give her back freely, as an example for the world to stop the slave trade. "I hereby give the girl back as an example that all Arabs must stop this trade! I do this especially as an example to the new community of Muslims I'm founding!"

Instead, he is depicted here as ravenously wanting the hapless girl. "Give me that girl!" And he trades her for some Muslims who had been kept as prisoners in Mecca, which was not involved in the raid or in her life. So trade or exchange is a fourth option for a slave—owner, even if this means selling a slave far away from her family.Though it may hurt your feelings to acknowledge this, your Prophet was nonetheless a slave trader. How does this set the example for the whole world? Why should I convert to a religion whose founder did this?

Early Islam—the one that Muhammad founded—trafficked in slavery and allowed sex with women prisoners of war, in their most helpless condition, as this next point demonstrates. This longer article cites the Quran, many hadiths, and scholars.

(11) The Quran says that slave—girls are sexual property for their male owners.

Sura 4:24 says:

And forbidden to you are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands (as prisoners of war) . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 319).

See also Suras 4:3; 23:5—6; 33:50; 70:22—30, all of which permit male slave—owners to have sex with their slave—girls. Suras 23:5—6 and 70:22—230 allow men to have sex with them in the Meccan period, during times of peace before Muhammad initiated his skirmishes and wars in Medina.

As for the hadith, Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son—in—law, just finished a relaxing bath. Why? (Khumus is one—fifth of the spoils of war.)

The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and . . . Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave—girl from the Khumus).

What was Muhammad's response to the person who hated Ali for this sexual act?

Do you hate Ali for this? . . . Don't hate him, for he deserves more than that from [the] Khumus. (Bukhari)

This hadith shows that Muhammad was intimate with his slave—girls.

Moreover, Muhammad prohibited jihadists from practicing coitus interruptus with the women they capture, but not for the reason that the reader may expect. The jihadists asked the Prophet about this, and it is important to note what he did not say. He did not scold them or prohibit any sex whatsoever. Rather, he invokes the murky, quirky doctrine of fate:

It is better for you not to do so [practice coitus interruptus]. There is no person that is destined to exist, but will come to existence, till the Day of Resurrection. (Bukhari; also go here  and here)

That is, these enquiring Muslims should stop doing coitus interruptus, but instead go all the way with the enslaved sex objects. Fate controls who should be born. (See no. 4, above.)

Dear Muslim missionary, this is another of the strongest reasons why I do not convert to Islam. I have read the explanations of your apologists (see the links immediately below), but they do not overcome this problem. So I do not convert to Islam.

This article quotes the Quran and many hadith passages on sex with prisoners of war. It also analyzes modern Islamic scholars on the topic. They support this practice. In Appendix One, the author answers a Muslim charge that the Old Testament allows the practice. This article provides further details on Muhammad's encouragement to his soldiers to 'do it.' For more information on this, see this short article.

(12) The Quran orders torture (crucifixion) and mutilation.

Sura 5:33 says:

5:33 Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter, 34 unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

This hadith says that Muhammad tortured some tribesmen before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33—34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:

Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away . . . The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari; here are parallel hadiths; and read the passages below this linked one; Muslim nos. 4131—4137; Sunan Abu Dawud nos. 4351—4359; online source)

This hadith shows Allah reprimanding Muhammad for his cruelty.

When the Apostle of Allah . . . cut off (the hands and feet of) those who had stolen his camels and he had their eyes put out by fire (heated nails), Allah reprimanded him on that (action), and Allah, the Exalted, revealed: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution or crucifixion." (Abu Dawud, no. 4357)

The problem with this reprimand is that it makes Sura 5:33 appear as if it were a vast improvement on the Prophet's ungodly actions. Though the verse may improve on them a little, it still legalizes torture by crucifixion and mutilation. Both methods of punishing criminals are still excessive and therefore unjust.

Here is a back—up article.  It answers Muslim defenses. This shorter article examines the topic, linking to more hadiths. This shorter article cites further hadiths, and this one replies to Muslim defenses of this atrocity.

(13) The Quran orders sexual sinners to be whipped.

Sura 24:2:

The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah's law]. (Hilali and Khan; the additions in parentheses and brackets are theirs).

The hadith commands that adulterers should be stoned to death.

Then the Prophet said, 'Take him away and stone him to death." Jabir bin 'Abdullah said: I was among the ones who participated in stoning him and we stoned him at the Musalla. When the stones troubled him, he fled, but we overtook him at Al—Harra [rocky place near Medina] and stoned him to death. (Bukhari; insertion added)

This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death, her blood spurting:

And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al—Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her . . . (Muslim no. 4206)

The hadith commands that homosexuals should be executed.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad's cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad's punishment of homosexuals:

 . . . If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done (Abu Dawud no. 4447, and see the hadith below this linked one.)

This hadith says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have a wall pushed on them:

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God's messenger as saying, 'Accursed is he who does what Lot's people did.' In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad's cousin and son—in—law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad's chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

This article explains Sura 24:2 more thoroughly.

Dear polemicists, sometimes you assert that the Old Testament commands these punishments, so who are Christians to complain? In reply, however, the New Testament teaches that Christ has fulfilled this older sacred text. Also, see this article,  which offers guidelines on how to interpret the Old Testament in light of the New. Why would I want to go backwards to a Quranic version of an Old Law?

(14) The Quran says that a woman's testimony counts half of a man's testimony because of her 'forgetfulness.'

Sura 2:282 says:

And let two men from among you bear witness to all such documents [contracts of loans without interest]. But if two men be not available, there should be one man and two women to bear witness so that if one of the women forgets (anything), the other may remind her. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 205; insertion in brackets is mine).

This verse implies that a woman's mind is weak, and this hadith removes any ambiguity about women's abilities in the verse:

The Prophet said, 'Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?' The women said, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind.' (Bukhari, emphasis added)

Both this article and this one cite the hadiths that say there will be more women than men in Islamic hell, not because women make up a numerical majority on earth, but because of their (alleged) harshness and ingratitude.

(15) The Quran allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye, literally.

Sura 5:45 says:

5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and  wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan)

Though the verse promotes forgiveness or remitting retaliation, which is positive, the problem lies in literal retaliation.

This hadith says that Muhammad's household gave him bitter medicine, which he did not want, so in retaliation he will watch them squirm as they are forced drink the same medicine.

Narrated 'Aisha:

We poured medicine into the mouth of the Prophet during his ailment. He said, "Don't pour medicine into my mouth." (We thought he said that) out of the aversion a patient usually has for medicines. When he improved and felt better he said, "There is none of you but will be forced to drink medicine, except Al—'Abbas, for he did not witness your deed."
(Bukhari)

This hadith says that Muhammad stealthily tried to poke a Peeping Tom in the eye.

Narrated Anas:

A man peeped into one of the dwelling places of the Prophet. The Prophet got up and aimed a sharp—edged arrow head (or wooden stick) at him to poke him stealthily. (Bukhari)

The second hadith just below this linked one declares that no one will be blamed if he pokes and injures the eye of a peeper. Though the Peeping Tom should be punished, here the punishment is more severe than the crime because a damaged eye cannot be replaced.

For a more thorough analysis and examples of literal eye—for—eye, see this article.  This article  summarizes unjust punishments in Islam.

(16) The Quran orders death for individual critics and opponents of Muhammad.

Sura 33:59—61 says:

Prophet, tell you wives, your daughters, and women believers to make their outer garments hang low over them so as to be recognized and not insulted [aa—dh—aa]: God is most forgiving, most merciful. 60 If the hypocrites, the sick of heart, and those who spread lies in the city [Medina] do not desist, We shall arouse you [Prophet] against them, and then they will only be your neighbors in this city for a short while. 61 They will be rejected wherever they are found, and then seized and killed. (Haleem)

Muhammad had already assassinated some opponents for their insults and mockery before these verses were sent down, but now they give him divine endorsement. The word 'insulted' comes from the Arabic three—letter root aa—dh—aa that has the semantic range of hurt, suffer, damage, injure, abuse, or harm. 'The word . . . signifies a slight evil . . . or anything causing a slight harm' (Abdul Mannan Omar, ed., Dictionary of the Holy Qur'an, Noor Foundation, 2003, p. 19).

These hadiths show Muhammad wishing revenge and death on a mocker from Mecca, whom Muhammad gets to execute after the Battle of Badr in AD 624: Bukhari ; Muslim nos. 4421, 4422, and 4424.

Dear Muslim emailer, this rule of death for critics that exists even today in Islamic societies prevents critical thinking about your Prophet. What would happen if these countries were permitted to question early Islam without fear? The list you're reading should give you a hint.

This article contrasts Muhammad's practice of assassination and extermination (see no. 17) with the way of Jesus, who trusted in God, not in ungodly methods; Muhammad's Dead Poets Society (which has Quranic references); and Muhammad and the Jews.  Both articles also reply to standard Muslim defenses.

(17) The Quran celebrates Muhammad's slaughter and enslavement of a thriving Jewish tribe (Qurayza) and his confiscation of their property.

The Quran in Sura 33:25—27 says:

25 Allah turned back the unbelievers [Meccans and their allies] in a state of rage, having not won any good, and Allah spared the believers battle [q—t—l]. Allah is, indeed, Strong and Mighty. 26 And He brought those of the People of the Book [Qurayza] who supported them from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts, some of them you slew [q—t—l] and some you took captive. 27 And he bequeathed to you their lands, their homes and their possessions, together with land you have never trodden. Allah has power over everything. (Fakhry)

The three—letter Arabic root q—t—l means killing, warring, fighting, or slaughtering. Polemicists understandably rush to defend this atrocity: (1) a pro—Jewish Muslim is the one who 'adjudicated' this sentence, not Muhammad, so the Prophet is off the hook. (2) The Jewish tribe broke a treaty of neutrality and fought with him.

But these are easily answered. Muhammad could have called off the 'trial' at any time, so he is not off the hook. And even if we assume that the tribe did break the treaty (and that is a big assumption, despite the hadith, since it has to make the Prophet seem justified in everything)—even if we assume this, he had just witnessed Allah turning back a coalition of 10,000 Meccans and their allies (see verse 25). Some hadiths say that he was taking a bath after the battle. Evidently, Muhammad felt relaxed and not threatened, so how were the Jews strong enough to fight him? Reputable historians say that they did not fight, but that the hadiths must make every effort to justify his atrocity by making the Jews appear extra—bad. Regardless, did the Prophet for all of humanity have to exterminate the entire tribe? Could he not have expelled them or executed only the leaders?

Dear Muslim missionaries, I have read your explanations of this atrocity. They do not work. Muhammad's actions here cannot reasonably and seriously be defended.

This hadith says that a pro—Jewish Muslim made the decision, not Muhammad (Bukhari; see a parallel hadith here). 

Here is an article which replies to Muslim polemics of this indefensible atrocity.

James M. Arlandson can be reached at jamesmarlandson@hotmail.com.

[Part One may be read here.]

(9) The Quran orders the mutilation of male and female thieves.

Sura 5:38 says:

5:38 Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done—a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise. 39 But if anyone repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, God will accept his repentance: God is most forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

This hadith says that the repentance of a thief is accepted after the hand is cut off.

Narrated 'Aisha:

The Prophet cut off the hand of a lady, and that lady used to come to me, and I used to convey her message to the Prophet and she repented, and her repentance was sincere. (Bukhari)

And this hadith just below the linked one to Bukhari says the same—after the penalty:

Abu Abdullah said: 'If a thief repents after his hand has been cut off, then his witness will be accepted. Similarly, if any person upon whom any legal punishment has been inflicted, repents, his witness will be accepted.'

Go here in Bukhari, and then scroll down to find out the minimal value of a stolen item before the penalty is imposed.

Muhammad says that in the days of old, justice favored the rich. But he now imposes this penalty on them, even if the thief were his own daughter Fatima. So no one should intercede on behalf of any thief to prevent the penalty. It shall be imposed.

Do you intercede regarding one of the punishments prescribed by Allah? He then stood up and addressed (people) saying: O people, those who have gone before you were destroyed, because if any one of high rank committed theft amongst them, they spared him; and it anyone of low rank committed theft, they inflicted the prescribed punishment upon him. By Allah, if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off. (Muslim no. 4188)  See a shorter parallel hadith in Bukhari. 

(10) The Quran allows slavery, and Muhammad himself traded in slaves.

Sura 47:4 says:

So, when you meet (in fight—Jihad in Allah's cause) those who disbelieve, smite (their)necks till when you have killed or wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until war lays down its burden . . . . (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Quran, Riyadh: Darussalam, 2002; all insertions are theirs)

These two conservative translators accurately catch the essence and spirit of early historical Islam in battle and in taking prisoners of war. The Muslim victor has two options for prisoners: free release or ransom—according to what benefits Islam, add Hilali and Khan. The third option in other passages is for the raider to keep prisoners for himself, especially women with whom he may have sex (see point no. 11).

Sura 4:24 says:

And forbidden to you are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands (as prisoners of war) . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 319).

The following hadith shows a sad snapshot of abuse in original Islam. The passage matter—of—factly talks about disrobing a recently captured female prisoner of a Muslim raid. Salamah the Muslim raider was 'fascinated' by her. But Muhammad wants her for himself. Why?

So we [Salamah and his captured girl] arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah . . . met me in the street and said: Give me that girl, O Salamah. I said: Messenger of Allah, she has fascinated me. I had not yet disrobed her. When on the next day, the Messenger of Allah . . . again met me in the street, he said: O Salama, give me that girl, may God bless your father. I said: she is for you, Messenger of Allah . . . By Allah, I have not yet disrobed her. The Messenger of Allah . . . sent her to the people of Mecca, and surrendered her as ransom for a number of Muslims who had been kept as prisoners in Mecca. (Muslim no. 4345)

Dear Muslim missionary, though Muhammad also manumitted some slaves, he did not in this case. He did not give her family the option of ransoming her. He did not give her back freely, as an example for the world to stop the slave trade. "I hereby give the girl back as an example that all Arabs must stop this trade! I do this especially as an example to the new community of Muslims I'm founding!"

Instead, he is depicted here as ravenously wanting the hapless girl. "Give me that girl!" And he trades her for some Muslims who had been kept as prisoners in Mecca, which was not involved in the raid or in her life. So trade or exchange is a fourth option for a slave—owner, even if this means selling a slave far away from her family.Though it may hurt your feelings to acknowledge this, your Prophet was nonetheless a slave trader. How does this set the example for the whole world? Why should I convert to a religion whose founder did this?

Early Islam—the one that Muhammad founded—trafficked in slavery and allowed sex with women prisoners of war, in their most helpless condition, as this next point demonstrates. This longer article cites the Quran, many hadiths, and scholars.

(11) The Quran says that slave—girls are sexual property for their male owners.

Sura 4:24 says:

And forbidden to you are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen in your hands (as prisoners of war) . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 319).

See also Suras 4:3; 23:5—6; 33:50; 70:22—30, all of which permit male slave—owners to have sex with their slave—girls. Suras 23:5—6 and 70:22—230 allow men to have sex with them in the Meccan period, during times of peace before Muhammad initiated his skirmishes and wars in Medina.

As for the hadith, Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son—in—law, just finished a relaxing bath. Why? (Khumus is one—fifth of the spoils of war.)

The Prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (of the booty) and . . . Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave—girl from the Khumus).

What was Muhammad's response to the person who hated Ali for this sexual act?

Do you hate Ali for this? . . . Don't hate him, for he deserves more than that from [the] Khumus. (Bukhari)

This hadith shows that Muhammad was intimate with his slave—girls.

Moreover, Muhammad prohibited jihadists from practicing coitus interruptus with the women they capture, but not for the reason that the reader may expect. The jihadists asked the Prophet about this, and it is important to note what he did not say. He did not scold them or prohibit any sex whatsoever. Rather, he invokes the murky, quirky doctrine of fate:

It is better for you not to do so [practice coitus interruptus]. There is no person that is destined to exist, but will come to existence, till the Day of Resurrection. (Bukhari; also go here  and here)

That is, these enquiring Muslims should stop doing coitus interruptus, but instead go all the way with the enslaved sex objects. Fate controls who should be born. (See no. 4, above.)

Dear Muslim missionary, this is another of the strongest reasons why I do not convert to Islam. I have read the explanations of your apologists (see the links immediately below), but they do not overcome this problem. So I do not convert to Islam.

This article quotes the Quran and many hadith passages on sex with prisoners of war. It also analyzes modern Islamic scholars on the topic. They support this practice. In Appendix One, the author answers a Muslim charge that the Old Testament allows the practice. This article provides further details on Muhammad's encouragement to his soldiers to 'do it.' For more information on this, see this short article.

(12) The Quran orders torture (crucifixion) and mutilation.

Sura 5:33 says:

5:33 Those who wage war against God and His Messenger and strive to spread corruption in the land should be punished by death, crucifixion, the amputation of an alternate hand and foot or banishment from the land: a disgrace for them in this world, and then a terrible punishment in the Hereafter, 34 unless they repent before you overpower them: in that case bear in mind that God is forgiving and merciful. (Haleem)

This hadith says that Muhammad tortured some tribesmen before he executed them. This scenario provides the historical context of Sura 5:33—34. The explanations in parentheses have been added by the translator:

Narrated Anas: Some people . . . came to the Prophet and embraced Islam . . . [T]hey turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away . . . The Prophet ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they died. (Bukhari; here are parallel hadiths; and read the passages below this linked one; Muslim nos. 4131—4137; Sunan Abu Dawud nos. 4351—4359; online source)

This hadith shows Allah reprimanding Muhammad for his cruelty.

When the Apostle of Allah . . . cut off (the hands and feet of) those who had stolen his camels and he had their eyes put out by fire (heated nails), Allah reprimanded him on that (action), and Allah, the Exalted, revealed: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution or crucifixion." (Abu Dawud, no. 4357)

The problem with this reprimand is that it makes Sura 5:33 appear as if it were a vast improvement on the Prophet's ungodly actions. Though the verse may improve on them a little, it still legalizes torture by crucifixion and mutilation. Both methods of punishing criminals are still excessive and therefore unjust.

Here is a back—up article.  It answers Muslim defenses. This shorter article examines the topic, linking to more hadiths. This shorter article cites further hadiths, and this one replies to Muslim defenses of this atrocity.

(13) The Quran orders sexual sinners to be whipped.

Sura 24:2:

The fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. [This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime (illegal sex), but if married persons commit it (illegal sex), the punishment is to stone them to death, according to Allah's law]. (Hilali and Khan; the additions in parentheses and brackets are theirs).

The hadith commands that adulterers should be stoned to death.

Then the Prophet said, 'Take him away and stone him to death." Jabir bin 'Abdullah said: I was among the ones who participated in stoning him and we stoned him at the Musalla. When the stones troubled him, he fled, but we overtook him at Al—Harra [rocky place near Medina] and stoned him to death. (Bukhari; insertion added)

This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death, her blood spurting:

And when he had given command over her and she was put in a hole up to her breast, he ordered the people to stone her. Khalid b. al—Walid came forward with a stone which he threw at her head, and when the blood spurted on his face he cursed her . . . (Muslim no. 4206)

The hadith commands that homosexuals should be executed.

Ibn Abbas, Muhammad's cousin and highly reliable transmitter of hadith, reports the following about early Islam and Muhammad's punishment of homosexuals:

 . . . If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done (Abu Dawud no. 4447, and see the hadith below this linked one.)

This hadith says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have a wall pushed on them:

Ibn Abbas and Abu Huraira reported God's messenger as saying, 'Accursed is he who does what Lot's people did.' In a version . . . on the authority of Ibn Abbas it says that Ali [Muhammad's cousin and son—in—law] had two people burned and that Abu Bakr [Muhammad's chief companion] had a wall thrown down on them. (Mishkat, vol. 1, p. 765, Prescribed Punishments)

This article explains Sura 24:2 more thoroughly.

Dear polemicists, sometimes you assert that the Old Testament commands these punishments, so who are Christians to complain? In reply, however, the New Testament teaches that Christ has fulfilled this older sacred text. Also, see this article,  which offers guidelines on how to interpret the Old Testament in light of the New. Why would I want to go backwards to a Quranic version of an Old Law?

(14) The Quran says that a woman's testimony counts half of a man's testimony because of her 'forgetfulness.'

Sura 2:282 says:

And let two men from among you bear witness to all such documents [contracts of loans without interest]. But if two men be not available, there should be one man and two women to bear witness so that if one of the women forgets (anything), the other may remind her. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 205; insertion in brackets is mine).

This verse implies that a woman's mind is weak, and this hadith removes any ambiguity about women's abilities in the verse:

The Prophet said, 'Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?' The women said, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind.' (Bukhari, emphasis added)

Both this article and this one cite the hadiths that say there will be more women than men in Islamic hell, not because women make up a numerical majority on earth, but because of their (alleged) harshness and ingratitude.

(15) The Quran allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye, literally.

Sura 5:45 says:

5:45 And We ordained therein for them: Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by that which Allah has revealed, such are the Zalimun (polytheists and  wrongdoers . . .). (Hilali and Khan)

Though the verse promotes forgiveness or remitting retaliation, which is positive, the problem lies in literal retaliation.

This hadith says that Muhammad's household gave him bitter medicine, which he did not want, so in retaliation he will watch them squirm as they are forced drink the same medicine.

Narrated 'Aisha:

We poured medicine into the mouth of the Prophet during his ailment. He said, "Don't pour medicine into my mouth." (We thought he said that) out of the aversion a patient usually has for medicines. When he improved and felt better he said, "There is none of you but will be forced to drink medicine, except Al—'Abbas, for he did not witness your deed."
(Bukhari)

This hadith says that Muhammad stealthily tried to poke a Peeping Tom in the eye.

Narrated Anas:

A man peeped into one of the dwelling places of the Prophet. The Prophet got up and aimed a sharp—edged arrow head (or wooden stick) at him to poke him stealthily. (Bukhari)

The second hadith just below this linked one declares that no one will be blamed if he pokes and injures the eye of a peeper. Though the Peeping Tom should be punished, here the punishment is more severe than the crime because a damaged eye cannot be replaced.

For a more thorough analysis and examples of literal eye—for—eye, see this article.  This article  summarizes unjust punishments in Islam.

(16) The Quran orders death for individual critics and opponents of Muhammad.

Sura 33:59—61 says:

Prophet, tell you wives, your daughters, and women believers to make their outer garments hang low over them so as to be recognized and not insulted [aa—dh—aa]: God is most forgiving, most merciful. 60 If the hypocrites, the sick of heart, and those who spread lies in the city [Medina] do not desist, We shall arouse you [Prophet] against them, and then they will only be your neighbors in this city for a short while. 61 They will be rejected wherever they are found, and then seized and killed. (Haleem)

Muhammad had already assassinated some opponents for their insults and mockery before these verses were sent down, but now they give him divine endorsement. The word 'insulted' comes from the Arabic three—letter root aa—dh—aa that has the semantic range of hurt, suffer, damage, injure, abuse, or harm. 'The word . . . signifies a slight evil . . . or anything causing a slight harm' (Abdul Mannan Omar, ed., Dictionary of the Holy Qur'an, Noor Foundation, 2003, p. 19).

These hadiths show Muhammad wishing revenge and death on a mocker from Mecca, whom Muhammad gets to execute after the Battle of Badr in AD 624: Bukhari ; Muslim nos. 4421, 4422, and 4424.

Dear Muslim emailer, this rule of death for critics that exists even today in Islamic societies prevents critical thinking about your Prophet. What would happen if these countries were permitted to question early Islam without fear? The list you're reading should give you a hint.

This article contrasts Muhammad's practice of assassination and extermination (see no. 17) with the way of Jesus, who trusted in God, not in ungodly methods; Muhammad's Dead Poets Society (which has Quranic references); and Muhammad and the Jews.  Both articles also reply to standard Muslim defenses.

(17) The Quran celebrates Muhammad's slaughter and enslavement of a thriving Jewish tribe (Qurayza) and his confiscation of their property.

The Quran in Sura 33:25—27 says:

25 Allah turned back the unbelievers [Meccans and their allies] in a state of rage, having not won any good, and Allah spared the believers battle [q—t—l]. Allah is, indeed, Strong and Mighty. 26 And He brought those of the People of the Book [Qurayza] who supported them from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts, some of them you slew [q—t—l] and some you took captive. 27 And he bequeathed to you their lands, their homes and their possessions, together with land you have never trodden. Allah has power over everything. (Fakhry)

The three—letter Arabic root q—t—l means killing, warring, fighting, or slaughtering. Polemicists understandably rush to defend this atrocity: (1) a pro—Jewish Muslim is the one who 'adjudicated' this sentence, not Muhammad, so the Prophet is off the hook. (2) The Jewish tribe broke a treaty of neutrality and fought with him.

But these are easily answered. Muhammad could have called off the 'trial' at any time, so he is not off the hook. And even if we assume that the tribe did break the treaty (and that is a big assumption, despite the hadith, since it has to make the Prophet seem justified in everything)—even if we assume this, he had just witnessed Allah turning back a coalition of 10,000 Meccans and their allies (see verse 25). Some hadiths say that he was taking a bath after the battle. Evidently, Muhammad felt relaxed and not threatened, so how were the Jews strong enough to fight him? Reputable historians say that they did not fight, but that the hadiths must make every effort to justify his atrocity by making the Jews appear extra—bad. Regardless, did the Prophet for all of humanity have to exterminate the entire tribe? Could he not have expelled them or executed only the leaders?

Dear Muslim missionaries, I have read your explanations of this atrocity. They do not work. Muhammad's actions here cannot reasonably and seriously be defended.

This hadith says that a pro—Jewish Muslim made the decision, not Muhammad (Bukhari; see a parallel hadith here). 

Here is an article which replies to Muslim polemics of this indefensible atrocity.

James M. Arlandson can be reached at jamesmarlandson@hotmail.com.