February 11, 2006
Why I don't convert to Islam (2)By James Arlandson
(9) The Quran orders the mutilation of male and female thieves.
Sura 5:38 says:
This hadith says that the repentance of a thief is accepted after the hand is cut off.
And this hadith just below the linked one to Bukhari says the same—after the penalty:
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.
(10) The Quran allows slavery, and Muhammad himself traded in slaves.
Sura 47:4 says:
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:
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?
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:
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.)
What was Muhammad's response to the person who hated Ali for this sexual act?
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:
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.
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.
The hadith commands that adulterers should be stoned to death.
This gruesome hadith passage reports that a woman was buried up to her chest and stoned to death, her blood spurting:
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:
This hadith says that homosexuals should be burned alive or have a wall pushed on them:
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:
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:
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.
This hadith says that Muhammad stealthily tried to poke a Peeping Tom in the eye.
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.
(16) The Quran orders death for individual critics and opponents of Muhammad.
Sura 33:59—61 says:
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).
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:
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.
Here is an article which replies to Muslim polemics of this indefensible atrocity.
James M. Arlandson can be reached at email@example.com.