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Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:46 am
by Truthsayer
This is a continuation from this thread viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2927&start=0
And is a debate between Khalil Fariel and I.
I’ll argue that the earliest Muslims were persecuted in Meccah, because they preached monotheism and thereby told the pagans to abandon the religion of their ancestors. Im sorry this got a little long, but there was alot of persecution...
The first signs of persecution started when Muhammad was 43, three year after his first revelation. He made a bold call to the people and started preaching in public for the first time, as was recorded in Bukhari, Muslim and the Qur’an. Already from the very beginning, he was faced with hostility:

Sahih Muslim; Book 001, Number 0406:
It is reported on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that when this verse was revealed:" And warn thy nearest kindred" (and thy group of selected people among them) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) set off till he climbed Safa' and called loudly: Be on your guard! They said: Who is it calling aloud? They said: Muhammad. They gathered round him, and he said: O sons of so and so, O sons of so and so, O sons of 'Abd Manaf, O sons of 'Abd al-Muttalib, and they gathered around him. He (the Apostle) said: If I were to inform you that there were horsemen emerging out of the foot of this mountain, would you believe me? They said: We have not experienced any lie from you. He said: Well, I am a warner to you before a severe torment. He (the narrator) said that Abu Lahab then said: Destruction to you! Is it for this you have gathered us? He (the Holy Prophet) then stood up, and this verse was revealed:" Perish the hands of Abu Lahab, and he indeed perished" (111:1). A'mash recited this to the end of the Sura.


The enmity showed by Abu Lahab towards Muhammad at the very beginning of his public call is also confirmed in Sahih Bukhari:

Sahih Bukhari; Volume 2, Book 23, Number 477:
Narrated Ibn Abbas.:
Abu Lahab, may Allah curse him, once said to the Prophet (p.b.u.h), "Perish you all the day."
Then the Divine Inspiration came: "Perish the hands of Abi Lahab! And perish he!" (111.1).

According to later, but reliable, source (Ibn-athir), Abu Lahab also took further steps against Muhammad after his public call, which included throwing rocks at him, and forcing his sons to divorce two of Muhammad’s step daughters. (Usdul-Ghabah, volume 6, the biographies of ruqaiyah and umm khultum)
Abu Lahab also rejoiced and mocked Muhammad when his son died. This was explained by Ibn Kathir, with a sahih hadith:

(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.)'' This is how Al-Bazzar recorded this incident and its chain of narration is authentic. It has been reported that `Ata' said, "This Surah was revealed about Abu Lahab when a son of the Messenger of Allah died. Abu Lahab went to the idolators and said, `Muhammad has been cut off (i.e., from progeny) tonight.' So concerning this Allah revealed,
(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.)'' As-Suddi said, "When the male sons of a man died the people used to say, `He has been cut off.' So, when the sons of the Messenger of Allah
died they said, `Muhammad has been cut off.' Thus, Allah revealed,
(For he who hates you, he will be cut off.)'' So they thought in their ignorance that if his sons died, his remembrance would be cut off. Allah forbid!

In a hadith from kanzalummal, a shia hadith collection, Abu Lahab also threw stones at Muhammad’s ancles until they started bleeding. (hadith 12.449)
This persecution by Abu Lahab shows just how much distain they had for his message, because Abu Lahab was not only Muhammads neighbor, but also his uncle!
What really pissed these people off was that Muhammad warned against polytheism, as we can see in the Qur’an:

"Therefore proclaim openly (Allâh’s Message — Islamic Monotheism), that which you are commanded, and turn away from Al-Mushrikûn (polytheists)." (15:94)

And

"Nay! (Man denies Resurrection and Reckoning. So) he desires to continue committing sins." (75:5)

Much of the Meccans economy was based on religion and pilgrims, so this public call to monotheism could also end up hurting their economy. They knew Muhammad was under protection from his powerful uncle, who they approached in an attempt to silence Muhammad in public. Ibn Ishaq (p. 265) narrates:

Several nobles of the Quraysh, including Utba and Abu Sufyan, went to Abu Talib and said, 'Your nephew has insulted our gods and condemned our religion. He considers our young men to be fools, and our fathers to have erred. You must either restrain him or allow us free action against him, since your religion is the same as ours, opposed to his.'


So while Muhammad was opposed to their religion, he never hurt them, nor he was he in a position to do so. Notice the bolded part: “You must either restrain him or allow us free action against him” As we know, Muhammad did not stop preaching, therefore, according to the pagans, they were allowed free action against him.
Muhammad preached on, and the pagans approached Abu Talib again (Ishaq p. 265):

'You are aged, noble, and highly respected among us, and we have already asked you to prohibit your nephew from offending us. But you have not prohibited him, and, by Allah, we shall not overlook his insults unless you guarantee his future good behaviour. Otherwise, we shall fight both him and you.' After this they departed, and Abu Talib was much grieved by the enmity of his tribe; but he could not surrender or desert the apostle of Allah.

Again, Muhammad did not abandon his call, and thus, the pagans promised and they will fight him. Ibn Ishaq (p. 267) also relates the propaganda the pagans started spreading against Muhammad:

When the season of pilgrimage was at hand, the Quraysh as¬sembled to agree on the attitude they should display about the apostle. They asked, 'Shall we call him a soothsayer?' but al Walid, the chief, replied, 'He is not a soothsayer. We have seen soothsayers; he does not murmur and rhyme as they do.' They continued, 'Then we shall say that he is possessed by djinns.' He replied, 'He is not possessed. We have seen lunatics and know them. He does not gasp, nor roll his eyes, nor mutter.' They said, 'Then we shall say that he is a poet. 'Al Walid replied, 'He is not a poet. We know all the poets and their styles. He is not a poet.' They asked, 'Then what shall we say?' Al Walid replied, 'You cannot say any of these things, for it will be known that they are false. The best will be to say that he is a sorcerer, because he has come with words which are sorcery and which separate a man from his father or from his brother, or from his wife, or from his family.'

The propaganda tactics of the Quraysh is also reported in the Qur’an:

Woe to every slanderer and backbiter. (104:1)

It was a this time the real persecution began, as increasingly large number of people were accepting islam. It was also at this time the first attempt was made on Muhammad’s life.

From Ibn Ishaq (P. 268):
When the apostle had left them, Abu Jahl said, 'I now make a vow to Allah, that I shall wait for him tomorrow with a stone as large as I can carry and when he prostrates himself in prayer, I shall smash his head with it! After that you may either surrender me or defend me.' They replied, 'We shall never surrender you!' Next morning, Abu Jahl took a stone as he had said, and waited for the apostle of Allah, who arrived and prayed as usual at Mecca with his face towards the Kaba and Syria beyond. Abu Jahl approached him; but suddenly he turned back and fled, his countenance altered, so frightened that his hands could not hold the stone. 'When I approached,' he said, 'a stallion camel appeared before me with a skull, a collar bone, and teeth the like of which I have never seen. It rushed to devour me.'

This murder attempt was planned with the blessing with several people, and many asksed disappointed; why didn’t you kill him? This really show that there was in fact systematic persecution of Muhammad at one time.
By the pagans’ own admission actually, they were persecuting Muhammad:

We shall not cease to persecute you until we destroy you or you destroy us. (Ishaq)

Some lighter abuse toward Muhammad is also reported. ‘Uqbah bin abi Mu’ait Spat Muhammad in the face during one of his sermons, and blew the powder of decomposed bones on him (Ibn Hisham, p. 356-357)

Abu Jahl wasn’t done with Muhammad though. Bukhari narrates that he threatened him on another occasion:

Bukhari; Volume 6, Book 60, Number 482:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Abu Jahl said, "If I see Muhammad praying at the Ka'ba, I will tread on his neck." When the Prophet heard of that, he said, "If he does so, the Angels will snatch him away."


And as Abu Jahl previously demonstrated, this wasn’t just empty words, and his actions were approved of by many. In another incident, he, in a quite vicious way mocked him as Muhammad was praying at the Kabah:

Sahih Bukhari; Volume 1, Book 4, Number 241:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:
Once the Prophet was offering prayers at the Ka'ba. Abu Jahl was sitting with some of his companions. One of them said to the others, "Who amongst you will bring the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of a camel of Bani so and so and put it on the back of Muhammad, when he prostrates?" The most unfortunate of them got up and brought it. He waited till the Prophet prostrated and then placed it on his back between his shoulders. I was watching but could not do any thing. I wish I had some people with me to hold out against them. They started laughing and falling on one another. Allah's Apostle was in prostration and he did not lift his head up till Fatima (Prophet's daughter) came and threw that (camel's abdominal contents) away from his back. He raised his head and said thrice, "O Allah! Punish Quraish." So it was hard for Abu Jahl and his companions when the Prophet invoked Allah against them as they had a conviction that the prayers and invocations were accepted in this city (Mecca). The Prophet said, "O Allah! Punish Abu Jahl, 'Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaiba bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin 'Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, and 'Uqba bin Al Mu'it (and he mentioned the seventh whose name I cannot recall). By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, I saw the dead bodies of those persons who were counted by Allah's Apostle in the Qalib (one of the wells) of Badr.

This incident is also narrated by others. See Sahih Bukhari 1.9.499; 4.52.185 and 5.58.193

Abu Jahl however, was not alone in his persecution. The worst attack on Muhammad was done by ‘Uqba, the man who previously said that he would fight Muhammad and who also participated in the above incident

Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 339:
I asked 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As to inform me of the worst thing the pagans had done to Allah's Apostle. He said: "While Allah's Apostle was praying in the courtyard of the ka'ba, 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and seized Allah's Apostle by the shoulder and twisted his garment round his neck and throttled him severely. Abu Bakr came and seized 'Uqba's shoulder and threw him away from Allah's Apostle and said, "Would you kill a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah,' and has come to you with clear Signs from your Lord?"

Khalil claimed this wasn’t a real murder attempt, because of how easy Abu Bakr could thwart it, and because he didn’t use a sword. However, this really just shows that it was compulsive – done out of anger. When you strangle someone, it’s because you want to kill them, otherwise you simply beat them. Abu Bakr, who was present at the incident, also knew exactly why ‘Uqba’s intention were, and why: “Would you kill a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah?”

Abu Jahl had more to offer though. He forbade Muhammad from praying at the Kabah and threatened him once more, as was explained by al-Jalalayn in his tafsir of 96:17:

Let him, then, call upon [the henchmen of] his council, the members of his council (nādin) — a place of assembly where people gather to talk. He [Abū Jahl] had said to the Prophet (s) in reproof, having forbidden him from prayer, ‘You are well aware that there is none in this [town] who has [recourse to] as large a council [of men] as I do. Verily, I shall fill this [entire] valley with mature steeds and young men [in battle] against you if you so wish!’

Considering all this, it’s no wonder Muhammad proclaimed: “I was subjected to physical hardship when none other than me was subjected to it; and I was placed in fear when no one was in fear; and I passed thirty days and nights when Bilal and I had nothing that could be eaten by any creature other than what Bilal carried under his arm.” (Reported in Musnad Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.)

At another time when the pagans approached Abu talib, ishaq relates

And the nobles went once more to Abu Talib and offered him the brilliant youth Umara in exchange for Muhammad, but he replied, 'It is a wicked thing you propose, that you give me your son to feed, and I give you mine to kill! This shall never be.'

Their intention with Muhammad was quite clear.
Considering all this, it’s no wonder Muhammad proclaimed: “I was subjected to physical hardship when none other than me was subjected to it; and I was placed in fear when no one was in fear; and I passed thirty days and nights when Bilal and I had nothing that could be eaten by any creature other than what Bilal carried under his arm.” (Reported in Musnad Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.)

The persecution however, was not limited to Muhammad. Many of his companions were also persecuted.
Ibn Ishaq (p. 267) relies:

When Islam began to spread in Mecca, the Quraysh imprisoned its believers or sought to turn them away from Islam.

And;

The apostle had not been given permission to fight, or allowed to shed blood…He had simply been ordered to call men to God and endure insult and forgive the ignorant. The Quraysh had persecuted his followers, seducing some from their religion, and exiling others from their country. They had to choose whether to give up their religion, be maltreated at home, or to flee the country, some to Abyssinia [Ethiopia], others to Medina. (p. 212)

Also, we find that several slaves were tortured. From Ishaq:

Bilal, a black Ethiopian slave who converted to islam was severely tortured:
The followers of Muhammad were often subjected to torture and some gave up their belief through weakness, some because of their great sufferings; but others were protected and strength¬ened by Allah so that they remained steadfast.
Bilal, a slave to one of the Banu Jumah, was of a pure heart and sincere in his profession of Islam. He was dragged out by Ummaya when the midday sun was hot and thrown on his back out in the valley of Mecca. A great stone was placed on his breast, and he was told, 'Remain thus until you expire, or until you re¬nounce Muhammad and worship al Lat and al Uzza.' But during all this pain he merely repeated, 'One God! One!' Abu Bakr chancing to pass by on a day when Bilal was suffering thus, said to his torturer, Ummaya, 'Do you not fear Allah?' but he replied, 'You have corrupted the slave! You can pull him out from under his burden!' Abu Bakr said, 'I shall do so; I have a black boy, smarter and stronger in your faith than this; I shall give him to you in exchange.' Accordingly Abu Bakr gave Ummaya his slave and took Bilal, whom he presented with his freedom, as he did six other slaves who professed Islam.


These six slaves were

Abu Fakih
Ammar ibn Yasir
Abu Fuhayra
Lubaynah
Al-Nahdiah
Umm Ubays

These were all tortured to some extent!

Khalil claimed that it was common to torture slaves who rebelled against their masters. But all they really did was to adopt a new religion. This didn’t make them any less useful to their master. There really is no excuse for this kind of punishment, it’s inhumane, cruel and unnecessary.
Another slave family was tortured, a family of three, namely Sumayyah, Yasid and their son Ammar. Ibn Ishaq relates:

The B. Makhzum used to take out Ammar bin Yasir with his father and mother, who were Muslims, in the heat of the day and expose them to the heat of Mecca, and the Apostle passed by them and said, so I have heard, 'Patience, O family of Yasir! Your meeting place will be paradise." They killed his mother, for she refused to abandon Islam ( p. 206)

So according to Ishaq, Summayah, the first martyr of islam, was killed here. The reason for this has been disputed, it seems as if she died under torture (being forced to walk in the sun) where later reports suggests she was stabbed with a spear in the vagina. Whatever it was, it’s a fact that Summayah died because she was a muslim. There are also reports that her husband, Yasir was killed, however there doesn’t seem to be anything concrete so I’ll leave it for now. Their son, Ammar, managed to survive, unlike his parents, by concealing his muslim faith. It was for him the following ayah was revealed:

Those who disbelieve in GOD, after having acquired faith, and become fully content with disbelief, have incurred wrath from GOD. The only ones to be excused are those who are forced to profess disbelief, while their hearts are full of faith (16:106)

As was explained by Ibn ‘Abbas in his tafsir:

(Whoso disbelieveth in Allah after his belief) in Him, deserves Allah's wrath (save him who is forced thereto) except the person who is coerced into disbelief (and whose heart is still content with Faith). This verse was revealed about 'Ammar Ibn Yasir (but whoso findeth ease in disbelief) whosoever utters words of disbelief willingly: (On them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom) the most awful torment in this worldly life. This verse was revealed about 'Abdullah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh.


Ibn Kathir, in his tafisr of this verse, also reports another horrible story of torture:

Similarly, when the Liar Musaylimah asked Habib bin Zayd Al-Ansari, "Do you bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah'' He said, "Yes.'' Then Musaylimah asked, "Do you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah'' Habib said, "I do not hear you.'' Musaylimah kept cutting him, piece by piece, but he remained steadfast insisting on his words.


Prior to his conversion, Umar bin khattab was also quite the persecutor. It is reported in Ibn Ishaq that he was an enemy of Muhammad:

Another valuable convert at this time was Umar, hitherto a vociferous enemy of the apostle.


We read from his biography, Tareekh 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, that he actually intented to kill Muhammad at one point:
His sharp temper and excessive enmity towards the Prophet [pbuh] led him one day to leave his house, sword in hand, with the intention of killing the Prophet [pbuh] . He was in a fit of anger and was fretting and fuming. Nu‘aim bin ‘Abdullah, a friend of ‘Umar’s, met him accidentally half way. What had caused so much excitement in him and on whom was the fury to burst, he inquired casually. ‘Umar said furiously: "To destroy the man Muhammad ([pbuh]) this apostate, who has shattered the unity of Quraish, picked holes in their religion, found folly with their wise men and blasphemed their gods." "‘Umar, I am sure, your soul has deceived you, do you think that Banu ‘Abd Munaf would let you walk on earth if you slain Muhammad [pbuh]?
(Tareekh 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, p. 7)

He also beat his family because they became muslims:

‘Umar read the verses with great interest and was much entranced with them. "How excellent it is, and how graceful! Please guide me to Muhammad [pbuh] ." said he. And when he heard that, Khabbab came out of concealment and said, "O ‘Umar, I hope that Allâh has answered the prayer of the Prophet [pbuh] , for I heard him say: ‘O Allâh! Strengthen Islam through either ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab or Abu Jahl bin Hisham.’" ‘Umar then left for a house in Safa where Muhammad [pbuh] had been holding secret meetings along with his Companions. ‘Umar reached that place with the sword swinging by his arm. He knocked at the door. The Companions of the Prophet [pbuh] turned to see who the intruder was. One of them peeped through a chink in the door and reeled back exclaiming: "It is ‘Umar with his sword." Hamzah, dispelling the fears of his friends, said: "Let him in. As a friend he is welcome. As a foe, he will have his head cut off with his own sword." The Prophet [pbuh] asked his Companions to open the door. In came the son of Khattab. The Prophet [pbuh] advanced to receive the dreadful visitor, caught him by his garment and scabbard, and asked him the reason of his visit. At that ‘Umar replied: "O Messenger of Allâh [pbuh] , I come to you in order to believe in Allâh and his Messenger and that which he has brought from his Lord." Filled with delight, Muhammad [pbuh] together with his Companions, cried aloud: ‘Allâhu Akbar’ (Allâh is Great) (Tareekh 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, p. 8-9)

While this isn’t from an authentic source, it’s considered reliable, and it is very unlikely that muslims would have invented these things against Umar, as he became one of the muslims highest in rank after his conversion.

Muslims were also discriminated against, as is reported in Bukhari:

Bukhari; Volume 3, Book 34, Number 304:

Narrated Khabbab:

I was a blacksmith in the Pre-lslamic period, and 'Asi bin Wail owed me some money, so I went to him to demand it. He said (to me), "I will not pay you unless you disbelieve Muhammad." I said, "I will not disbelieve till Allah kills you and then you get resurrected." He said, "Leave me till I die and get resurrected, then I will be given wealth and children and I will pay you your debt." On that occasion it was revealed to the Prophet:

'Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our signs and says: Surely I will be given wealth and children? Has he known the unseen, or has he taken a covenant from the Beneficent (Allah)? (19.77-78)

This blacksmith eventually had enough of this persecution, and complained to Muhammad:

Bukhari; Volume 4, Book 56, Number 809:

Narrated Khabbab bin Al-Arat:

We complained to Allah's Apostle (of the persecution inflicted on us by the pagans) while he was sitting in the shade of the Ka'ba, leaning over his Burd (i.e. covering sheet). We said to hi-m, "Would you seek help for us? Would you pray to Allah for us?" He said, "Among the nations before you a (believing) man would be put in a ditch that was dug for him, and a saw would be put over his head and he would be cut into two pieces; yet that (torture) would not make him give up his religion. His body would be combed with iron combs that would remove his flesh from the bones and nerves, yet that would not make him abandon his religion. By Allah, this religion (i.e. Islam) will prevail till a traveler from Sana (in Yemen) to Hadrarmaut will fear none but Allah, or a wolf as regards his sheep, but you (people) are hasty.
The persecution became so severe, that many Muslims in Meccah migrated to Abyssinia to escape it.

Muhammad said: "If you travel to Ethiopia it will be very profitable for you, because, on account of the presence of a mighty and just ruler, nobody is oppressed there and the land of that country is good and pure and you can live there till Almighty Allah provides you relief." (Ibn Hisham, p. 321 and Tarikh-i Tabari, volume 2, p. 70.)
This also clearly testifies to the fact that Muslims were indeed oppressed and persecuted and had to escape to Ethopia.
According to Ibn Ishaq, the number of persons who left for Ethiopia to escape the persecution in Meccah numbered 83 This migration, and the reasons for it, is also attested by Abu Bakr as reported in Bukhari:

Sahih Bukhari, Book 37, number 494: (It’s pretty long, so I removed parts of it. )

Narrated Aisha: (wife of the Prophet)
When the Muslims were persecuted, Abu Bakr set out for Ethiopia as an emigrant. When he reached a place called Bark-al-Ghimad, he met Ibn Ad-Daghna, the chief of the Qara tribe, who asked Abu Bakr, "Where are you going?" Abu Bakr said, "My people have turned me out of the country and I would like to tour the world and worship my Lord." Ibn Ad-Daghna said, "A man like you will not go out, nor will he be turned out as you help the poor earn their living, keep good relation with your Kith and kin, help the disabled (or the dependents), provide guests with food and shelter, and help people during their troubles. I am your protector. So, go back and worship your Lord at your home." Ibn Ad-Daghna went along with Abu Bakr and took him to the chiefs of Quraish saying to them, "A man like Abu Bakr will not go out, nor will he be turned out. Do you turn out a man who helps the poor earn their living, keeps good relations with Kith and kin, helps the disabled, provides guests with food and shelter, and helps the people during their troubles?" The women and the offspring of the pagans started gathering around him and looking at him astonishingly. Abu Bakr was a softhearted person and could not help weeping while reciting Qur'an. This horrified the pagan chiefs of Quraish. They sent for Ibn Ad-Daghna and when he came, they said, "We have given Abu Bakr protection on condition that he will worship his Lord in his house, but he has transgressed that condition and has built a mosque in the court yard of his house and offered his prayer and recited Qur'an in public. We are afraid lest he mislead our women and offspring. So, go to him and tell him that if he wishes he can worship his Lord in his house only, and if not, then tell him to return your pledge of protection as we do not like to betray you by revoking your pledge, nor can we tolerate Abu Bakr's public declaration of Islam (his worshipping)."

The meccans were however extremely upset at this, and went to Ethiopia to retrieve the Muslims. This didn’t work out, and they were rejected by the king. This caused them great embarrassment, and made them even more angry at the Muslims, who they persecuted even more after they came home to Meccah. (Ibn Hisham, p. 338)

Among other things, this caused the Quraysh to place four extremely discriminating commandments on all Quraysh, commanding that:

    1. Every sort of trade and business with the supporters of Muhammad shall be banned.
    2. Association with them is strictly prohibited.
    3. Nobody is entitled to establish matrimonial alliances with the Muslims.
    4. Opponents of Muhammad should be supported in all circumstances.
These were hung in the kabaa, and all prominent people among the quraysh supported them
These lasted for three years.
(Ibn Hisham p. 350 and Tarikh-i Tabari, volume 2, p. 78.)

Alright, I think that’s enough. Looking forward to your reply :)

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:07 am
by KhaliL
__________________________________

Hello Truthsayer,

Thank you for opening a separate thread; and instead of quoting each and every part of your post, I feel like answering you in a presentation. In doing so, I will not omit any pertinent part of your post and if I do, you may kindly notify me of it

Our topic is Meccan persecution of Muhammad and his followers. I am not arguing there was not any kind of persecution but apart from some isolated incidents, there was not any systematic persecution from Meccans (Quraish tribe) part.

Muhammad gained followers and enemies too when he started preaching his new religion. There is nothing odd in it because he started his preaching by insulting the family values of Meccans. He insulted their gods and way of living. Meccans were not against Muhammad being a monotheist but they were against Muhammad abusing their gods. Still they did not go on persecuting him. That being said; apart from quite a few of Meccans, none really cared Muhammad's affairs but held him in high regard even after he became quite abusive.

Reason for me to say this is there is evidence for Quraish people using Muhammad as their depository. We know it from Ibn Ishaq (335). This makes it hard to believe Quraish people were systematically persecuting this man. It is impossible to use a man as their bank and persecute him at the same time.

This does not mean all of Quraish people were in harmony with Muhammad. Abu Lahab, Uqba and Abu Jahl were those among Meccans who considered Muhammad as their enemy thus was not for tolerating Muhammad destroying their gods and way of living.

Abu Lahab had a peculiar grudge against Muhammad and we see Muhammad’s god intervening with holy verses concerning to him. (Quran Sura 111) But it is not making much sense to believe enmity is tantamount to persecution. You argued in your post Abu Lahab was throwing stones at Muhammad and his followers. But we don’t see those stones doing any harm to Muhammad. Was Abu Lahab a poor persecutor? I am afraid it is the truth about him.


You argued Muhammad had to suffer persecution just because he preached monotheism in that society. But I will only take it with a grain of salt because there was already a tendency among some Meccans to shed polytheism for the sake of being monotheistic. A group called themselves Hanifs were living among Meccans then. If Quraish was intolerant to monotheism, this would not have been possible.

Besides, Islamic sources tell us Muhammad was monotheistic even before his prophethood. That means he could live a monotheist life for a good forty years without any problems. Pagans tolerated him. Then what happened after Muhammad crossing the forty years mark?

Muhammad should have done something gravely offensive to pagans of Mecca. It is what we understand; period.

About the Sahih Muslim hadith you quoted: All I could see in it is Muhammad provoking Quraish people and one of them (Abu Lahab) abusing him verbally. Abu Lahab became an enemy of Muhammad and Muhammad’s god cursed him. But I fail to see any persecution in this. Do you think Meccans would stand still without even showing any disdain to Muhammad especially when the latter abuses their gods and their way of life?

Of Ibn Ishaq’s account in which we see Abu Jahl plotting against Muhammad by trying to smash his head with a stone: But if it was well planned attempt, there would not have been any way for Muhammad to escape it because Abu Jahl would not have gone alone in the mission. He must have asked for his people’s support so that he could have carried out the task easily without being thwarted. Again we fail to see any systematic persecution here.

The attempt to implicate the whole of Quraish tribe because of Abu Lahab’s and Abu Jahl’s enmity towards Muhammad does not pay. Any preacher can gain followers as well as enemies. In the case of Muhammad, it was Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl, but the whole of Quraish tribe can not be blamed for these two or three men’s actions. What if we infidels accuse you all Muslims for the actions of Osama Bin Laden and Aiman Al-Zawahri?

I have to bring the Sahih Hadith again here to prove my points.

Narrated 'Urwa bin Az-Zubair: I asked Ibn Amr bin Al-As, "Tell me of the worst thing which the pagans did to the Prophet." He said, "While the Prophet was praying in the Hijr of the Ka'ba; 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and put his garment around the Prophet's neck and throttled him violently. Abu Bakr came and caught him by his shoulder and pushed him away from the Prophet and said, "Do you want to kill a man just because he says, 'My Lord is Allah?' " [Sahih Bukhari: Book: 58, Hadith:195]

This hadith important in this debate because it is from the most authentic Sahih Bukhari. Urwa bin Al-Zubair asks his companion what was the worst thing pagans did to Muhammad. It falls well short of a murder attempt so we have no reason to believe Meccans tried to kill Muhammad just because he preached monotheism. When Muhammad migrated to Medina; Quraish gone panic because they found the real threat in such an attempt of Muhammad. If Muhammad gains followers in Medina; that would be enabling him to conquer the Quraish Mecca. That was the worst thing to happen to pagans because Muhammad was not willing for any compromise with paganism. Nothing short of joining Muhammad’s religion was acceptable for him.

If there was any systematic persecution from Quraish, we should have seen great deal of casualties among Muhammad’s followers but surprisingly enough; quite a few people were martyred. Not to say those killed were slaves of Quraish masters.

Slaves do not become useless for their masters just because they choose monotheism over paganism. But joining a man who has been consistently abusing paganism and gods of pagans was intolerable to slave-masters. It was the reason for Quraish masters turning violently towards their slaves.

Muhammad preached more than ten years in Mecca and all this time but his life has been spared. If Meccans were willing to end up his life, they could have done it within this period. But they didn’t. What should we understand from this?

I would wind this up asking some questions to Truthsayer.

There is evidence for Quraish people in Mecca using Muhammad as their bank. Do you think it make sense that pagans will use a man as their bank and persecute him at the same time?

If Quraish were serious in their persecution of Muslims, why did they spare Muhammad’s life?

If Quraish were intolerant to monotheism, how could pure monotheists like Waraqa bin Naufal live in that society without facing any persecution?

From the Sahih Bukhari hadith, we see the worst thing Quraish people did to Muhammad was trying to suffocate him while he was praying in Ka’aba. An attempt which Abu Bakr; one of Muhammad’s followers could thwart easily. If this is the worst thing Quraish did to Muhammad, we understand there was never any systematic persecution from the tribe’s part. Do you agree with this?

(If you disagree, that will end up in trashing Sahih Bukhari account. But it would be quite damaging to you as a Muslim because Sahih Bukhari is second only to Quran in its authenticity.)

That’s all from me at the moment. I will wait for Truthsayer to address my points in brief.

Regards
KF

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:43 am
by Truthsayer
Hello KhaliL. Thank you for your reply. I think I need to clarify what I believe the motives of the Quraysh were. I'm not claiming the alleged persecution only happended because of Muhammad's beliefs. He called to his religion publically - a monotheistic religion. Preaching monotheism natually entails renouncing polytheism. So while there may have been other monotheists in Meccah, did they preach publicly, and manage to gain a somewhat large following? I believe the Quraysh were worried about Muhammad gaining a bigger and bigger follow. The sources tell us that religion was a rather large part of the meccan society, this new religion would be problem for their identity, especially as the ones converting were from the Quraysh, both slaves and more influental people such as Hamza, Umar, Abu Bakr and Uthman.

Lets have a look at one of the reports in Ibn Ishaq

Bilal, a slave to one of the Banu Jumah, was of a pure heart and sincere in his profession of Islam. He was dragged out by Ummaya when the midday sun was hot and thrown on his back out in the valley of Mecca. A great stone was placed on his breast, and he was told, 'Remain thus until you expire, or until you re¬nounce Muhammad and worship al Lat and al Uzza.' But during all this pain he merely repeated, 'One God! One!'


So not only did the slave master want his slave to abandon the religion of Muhammad, but also belief the same as him. This doesn't seem to fit the claim that the torture was only because of their hatred of Muhammad.

Muhammad was able to preach openly in Meccah for 10 years because of his powerful uncle and the protecton of his tribe. We've seen what happended to the slaves who had no such protection, other than the good will of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. This took the edge of the persecution of Muhammad, although, many impulsive acts were done against him. So in that way, there was no systematic persecution of Muhammad, althoguh he certainly felt their anger.

Of Ibn Ishaq’s account in which we see Abu Jahl plotting against Muhammad by trying to smash his head with a stone: But if it was well planned attempt, there would not have been any way for Muhammad to escape it because Abu Jahl would not have gone alone in the mission. He must have asked for his people’s support so that he could have carried out the task easily without being thwarted. Again we fail to see any systematic persecution here.


I will repost the report:

When the apostle had left them, Abu Jahl said, 'I now make a vow to Allah, that I shall wait for him tomorrow with a stone as large as I can carry and when he prostrates himself in prayer, I shall smash his head with it! After that you may either surrender me or defend me.' They replied, 'We shall never surrender you!' Next morning, Abu Jahl took a stone as he had said, and waited for the apostle of Allah, who arrived and prayed as usual at Mecca with his face towards the Kaba and Syria beyond. Abu Jahl approached him; but suddenly he turned back and fled, his countenance altered, so frightened that his hands could not hold the stone. 'When I approached,' he said, 'a stallion camel appeared before me with a skull, a collar bone, and teeth the like of which I have never seen. It rushed to devour me.'

We see that a chief concern was the vengance of Muhammad's tribe. So it seemed that the other were not as courages as Abu Jahl, they however supported him enough to say "We shall never surrender you!" It was planned the night before, and Muhammad didn't exactly escape. Most likely, Abu Jahl got cold feet.

You're right that we can't hold all the Quraysh accountable for the actions of Abu Jahl, 'Uqbah, Ummayah, Abu Lahab and others, and that really isn't what the muslims did. When they conquered Meccah, only these people were executed. Like the US launched a 'war on terror' because of the actions of Osama bin laden. Only a few were at fault, however hundreds of thousands of innocents have died because of it. It's war, and it sometimes costs the lives of innocents.

As for your objection to the hadith in Bukhari about 'Uqbah throttling Muhammad, I disagree. When you throttle someone, you're attempting to kill them. If you just want to cause them harm, you beat them. It was a bad, unplanned murder attempt done out of anger, but still a murder attempt.

If there was any systematic persecution from Quraish, we should have seen great deal of casualties among Muhammad’s followers but surprisingly enough; quite a few people were martyred. Not to say those killed were slaves of Quraish masters.

There is, of course, a limit to how much you can persecute people, especially people under the protection of a tribe. We see that two slaves were killed, and the number could have been higher if it weren't for Abu Bakr buying free the tortured slaves.

Muhammad preached more than ten years in Mecca and all this time but his life has been spared. If Meccans were willing to end up his life, they could have done it within this period. But they didn’t. What should we understand from this?

That such a thing would have been suicide, so a decision to kill Muhammad would be completely irrational and out of anger, as we see with 'Uqbah's attempt. Or Umar's intention before he became a muslim.

I feel that you haven't responded to the most important point however. That is the mass migration of around 80 muslims to Ethiopia. They left their homes to go live in an unknown society. Ishaq also mentions that some of these returned to Meccah immediately when they heard false reports of the meccans embracing islam. After returning to Meccah and learning these rumors were false and that the persecution had not stopped, they returned again to Ethiopia. That really is pretty conclusive in my opinion.

There is evidence for Quraish people in Mecca using Muhammad as their bank. Do you think it make sense that pagans will use a man as their bank and persecute him at the same time?

There are different people in every society. Religion and tradition doesn't mean as much to everyone, to whom money is more important. I'm not claiming every single pagan persecuted Muhammad and his followers.

If Quraish were intolerant to monotheism, how could pure monotheists like Waraqa bin Naufal live in that society without facing any persecution?

I don't believe they had any problem with a few people, but when a religion started to gain a rather large follow, both influental people, and their own property (slaves) some conservative people will want to stop it.

From the Sahih Bukhari hadith, we see the worst thing Quraish people did to Muhammad was trying to suffocate him while he was praying in Ka’aba. An attempt which Abu Bakr; one of Muhammad’s followers could thwart easily. If this is the worst thing Quraish did to Muhammad, we understand there was never any systematic persecution from the tribe’s part. Do you agree with this?

I agree there wasn't a full blown systematic persecution of Muhammad, as he was protected. That didn't stop people from reacting in anger, however. His weaker followers were not so lucky. Also, these commandments, which were placed on all Quraysh for 3 years,

1. Every sort of trade and business with the supporters of Muhammad shall be banned.
2. Association with them is strictly prohibited.
3. Nobody is entitled to establish matrimonial alliances with the Muslims.
4. Opponents of Muhammad should be supported in all circumstances.

Doesn't that seem systematic?

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:22 pm
by KhaliL
________________________

Truthsayer,

Thank you for this late appearance. I will answer you in an article but can't say when because I am busy at the moment. If you may wait please,

Regards
KF

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:21 pm
by Truthsayer
I just noticed some interessting reports in Ibn Ishaq that are relevant to this discussion. I encourage people to read ALL of Ibn Ishaq, rather then just the tidbits presented to you by various distorters.

Abu Jahl at last exclaimed, ‘By Allah I I have a plan which none of you has yet thought of’, and they asked, ‘What is it, o father of wisdom?’ He said, ‘I propose that from every tribe we should take one young, powerful, well‑born man. To each of these, we should give a good sword with which to strike Muham­mad. So we shall be delivered of him, his blood will be divided among all the tribes, and his followers will not have the strength to make war on so many.’ The sheikh said, ‘I see no other plan and the people adopted the proposal and then dispersed.


So there was a representative from every tribe who tried to murder him when he agreed to come to Medinah. And by "the father of wisdom's" own admission, the muslims were in their good right to wage war against every single tribe and every single pagan (but they didn't) He just hoped they were to weak to seek justice. And you cry because the muslims raided a caravan... :ermm:

And this completely conclusive assesement from Ibn Ishaq, which really should stop any debate about this subject:

Allah had not then given His apostle permission to fight. He had given permission neither to wage war nor to shed blood, but only to call men to Allah, to endure insults patiently, and to pardon the ignorant. Some of the followers of the apostle had therefore been forced to flee from persecution into the countryside, some to Abyssinia, others to Medina and elsewhere. When the Quraysh rejected the mercy of Allah and spurned His prophet, they tormented or drove away men who proclaimed the One‑ness of Allah, believed in His prophet, and adhered to His religion.


From my point of view, you have 2 choices; reject Ibn Ishaq (which also means rejecting the bits you like) or agree muslims were persecuted because of their beliefs which were spreading to a somewhat large number of former pagans.

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:20 pm
by KhaliL
__________________

Truthsayer,

Reason for you to come up with this when I requested you to wait for me to answer you in an article?


Truthsayer wrote:I just noticed some interessting reports in Ibn Ishaq that are relevant to this discussion. I encourage people to read ALL of Ibn Ishaq, rather then just the tidbits presented to you by various distorters.


Alright, but…

Truthsayer wrote:
Abu Jahl at last exclaimed, ‘By Allah I I have a plan which none of you has yet thought of’, and they asked, ‘What is it, o father of wisdom?’ He said, ‘I propose that from every tribe we should take one young, powerful, well‑born man. To each of these, we should give a good sword with which to strike Muham­mad. So we shall be delivered of him, his blood will be divided among all the tribes, and his followers will not have the strength to make war on so many.’ The sheikh said, ‘I see no other plan and the people adopted the proposal and then dispersed.


Did you notice the first part of this quote? Abu Jahl AT LAST exclaimed. It was when he knew Muhammad is fleeing to Medina to fuel. The important issue here is Quraish knew of the violent nature of Muhammad’s preaching. He was preaching something in which there is no choice for polytheists other than embracing what Muhammad preached or being killed. It was the reason Abu Jahl proposed to end up Muhammad’s life before he is getting enough followers in Medina.

Truthsayer wrote: So there was a representative from every tribe who tried to murder him when he agreed to come to Medinah. And by "the father of wisdom's" own admission, the muslims were in their good right to wage war against every single tribe and every single pagan (but they didn't) He just hoped they were to weak to seek justice. And you cry because the muslims raided a caravan... :ermm:


But why was it Meccans turned towards Muhammad so violently? Wasn’t Muhammad monotheistic before his prophet-hood? Or was he pagan? If Muhammad was a monotheist and if he could live in Mecca for forty good years without any problem, what made Meccans aggressive when he preached monotheism?

The guy was not preaching monotheism. He was preaching “believe it or else”. That is the core of the matter. Meccans recognized it and tried to salvage their lives and beliefs. This matter needs to be scrutinized carefully. (The reason I requested you to be patient)

Truthsayer wrote: And this completely conclusive assesement from Ibn Ishaq, which really should stop any debate about this subject:


Do not make hasty conclusions please, I requested you to wait and renew my request. Please wait;

Spoiler! :
Allah had not then given His apostle permission to fight. He had given permission neither to wage war nor to shed blood, but only to call men to Allah, to endure insults patiently, and to pardon the ignorant. Some of the followers of the apostle had therefore been forced to flee from persecution into the countryside, some to Abyssinia, others to Medina and elsewhere. When the Quraysh rejected the mercy of Allah and spurned His prophet, they tormented or drove away men who proclaimed the One‑ness of Allah, believed in His prophet, and adhered to His religion.


Truthsayer wrote: From my point of view, you have 2 choices; reject Ibn Ishaq (which also means rejecting the bits you like) or agree muslims were persecuted because of their beliefs which were spreading to a somewhat large number of former pagans.


In fact, it is for you to make up your mind. You have two choices. Either reject your Sahih Bukhari which says of the most horrible thing pagans ever did to Muhammad. It was one ‘Uqba’ trying to suffocate him. (Falling well short of a murder attempt for reasons I already stated).

If Sahih Bukhari is more authentic than Ibn Ishaq, then you will have to desert Ibn Ishaq and accept Bukhari and concede the point, there were not even a murder attempt from the part of pagans.

But we treat history as it is. I am not proposing to suspend any part of history to prove something. We can carefully analyze all available accounts and please wait for Allah’s three daughters’ sake. :worthy: As I promised, I will come up answering you in a brief article shortly.

Regards
KF

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:49 pm
by Truthsayer
Hello KhaliL, I regret if I sounded impatient. Actually, the point was that I forgot to talk about the migration to Medinah, which is of course an important topic in this debate. I will wait for your article before responding to your points.

Be well, Truthsayer

Quraish persecution of Muhammad: Alleged or True?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:35 am
by KhaliL
____________________________________

Quran Surah Al-Najm is supposedly revealed to Muhammad in Mecca. In a Sahih Hadith from Bukhari, we know once Muhammad prostrated while reciting the verses of this chapter, all polytheists of Mecca too joined him in prostration. To quote Bukhari:

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet prostrated while reciting An-Najm and with him prostrated the Muslims, the pagans, the jinns, and all human beings. [Sahih Bukhari: Book: 19, Hadith: 177]

The above said incident occurred while Muhammad was in Mecca calling people to monotheism. When we read it in conjunction with the alleged persecution stories, it raises an important question:

If Quraish polytheists were indeed persecuting Muhammad and his followers because he started preaching monotheism to them, why did they join him in prostration to the one and only God of Muhammad?

If satanic verses incident is not true as many Muslims claim, (I concede to Muslims’ claim for the purpose of this debate only) we should conclude polytheists of Mecca were indeed supportive of Muhammad to the extent of joining him in worshipping his God. Otherwise, they should not have prostrated with Muhammad while the prophet did. This incident is also indicative of peaceful coexistence between Quraish polytheists and Muhammad. In such a peaceful helpful coexistence, how far true can be the stories of Quraish persecution of Muhammad?

I am not denying there were not any kind of persecutions from Quraish people’s part to Muhammad and his followers. Some sources of Islam confirm some kinds of persecution. Most of such stories come from Ibn Ishaq, a historian Muslims view with doubtful eyes. And these stories in Ibn Ishaq are in fact highly embellished accounts of actual incidents took place. There was not any systematic persecution of Muhammad or his followers from Quraish people’s part. On the other hand, we saw how supportive they were to Muhammad to join him in prayers even though they did not believe in the god Muhammad preached.

In fact, the incident of Quraish polytheists joining Muhammad in prostration should be counted as their attempt to negotiate or lessen the existing antagonism between Muhammad and Meccans. The very source Muslims quote to establish Quraish persecution points to such many negotiation attempts made by Quraish. They were desperately trying to salvage their beliefs and perhaps more importantly their lives too. Because what Muhammad preached was not solely monotheism. He was preaching his notorious “believe it or else”. The choice he gave to Quraish was to either embrace the God he sermonizes or to wait for his God’s judgment in their affairs. Quraish did understand the undertone. They recognized Muhammad is not going to compromise but on the other hand, if his version wins in Mecca, they understood not only their beliefs but their lives too are in peril.

Yet even in Ibn Ishaq, we understand there was not much animosity of persecutions from the part of Quraish to Muhammad. If to quote Ibn Ishaq:

Yahya b Urwa bin Al-Zubair on the authority of his father from Abdullah b. Amr al-As bin al-As told me that the latter was asked what was the worst way in which Quraish showed their enmity to the apostle. He replied: I was with them one day when the notables had gathered in the Hijr and the apostle was mentioned. They said that they had never anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow (Muhammad). He had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community, and cursed their gods. What they had borne was past all bearing or words to that effect.
While they were thus discussing him the apostle came towards them and kissed the black stone, then he passed them as he walked round the temple. As he passed they said some injurious things about him. This I could see from his expression. He went on and as he passed them the second time they attacked him similarly. This I could see from his expression. Then he passed the third time and they did the same. He (Muhammad) stopped and said. Will you listen to me O Quraish? By him who holds my life in his hand, I bring you SLAUGHTER

This word struck the people that not one of them but stood silent and still; even one who had hitherto been most violent spoke to him in the kindest way possible, saying “Depart O Abul Qasim (Muhammad’s nickname) for by god you are not violent”. So the apostle went away, ad on the morrow they assembled in the HIjr. I being there too, and they asked one another if they remembered what had taken place between them and the apostle so that when he openly said something unpleasant they let him alone. While they were talking thus the apostle appeared, and the leaped upon him as one man and encircled him, saying “Are you the one who said so-and-so against our gods and our religion? The apostle said “yes, I am the one who said that’. And I saw one of them seize his robe. Then Abu Bakr interposed himself weeping and saying ‘would you kill a man for saying Allah is my lord?’. Then they left him. This is the worst I ever saw Quraish do to him.
[Ibn Ishaq: 183-184]

Analysis of Ibn Ishaq’s account

The above account of Ibn Ishaq is in fact the context of the Sahih Bukhari hadith:

Narrated 'Urwa bin Az-Zubair: I asked 'Abdullah bin 'Amr, "What was the worst thing the pagans did to Allah's Apostle?" He said, "I saw 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait coming to the Prophet while he was praying.' Uqba put his sheet round the Prophet's neck and squeezed it very severely. Abu Bakr came and pulled 'Uqba away from the Prophet and said, "Do you intend to kill a man just because he says: 'My Lord is Allah, and he has brought forth to you the Evident Signs from your Lord?" [Sahih Bukhari: Book: 57, Hadith: 27]

Both Ibn Ishaq and Bukhari confirm the worst thing Quraish polytheists ever did to Muhammad was seizing his robe. In reality;, an insignificant incident, very much laughable because what led to this incident is more important than it. If to focus in the bolded part of Ibn Ishaq’s account; Muhammad was being provocative, utterly confrontational to a group of Quraish polytheists who were stationed in their temple (house of worship). Muhammad was indeed swearing in Arabic style, he is going to bring them slaughter. Muhammad provokes Quraish polytheists in their house of worship. He challenges them that his is going to bring them slaughter. Yet polytheists were very composed to Muhammad’s provocation. They let him go without doing any harm to him when they were openly warned of getting slaughtered if Muhammad wins over them. They did not even exchange harsh words in return.

When we follow Ibn Ishaq carefully, it is understood the alleged persecution of Muhammad’s followers by Quraish polytheists began or reached to its paramount after this incident. What else one can expect from a group of people to the followers of a man who warned them publicly that he is going to bring them slaughter? Quranic verses revealed then to Muhammad were filled with all warnings to polytheists that there awaits a painful doom to them. (Muslims argue this was about the doom in their afterlife but when we read them in conjunction with Muhammad’s threat there is enough justification for Quraish fear that Muhammad and his followers are for bringing them slaughter).

Abu Talib's Protection and How Muhammad thanked it

Muslims will defend this on the account ‘Muhammad was under the protection of Abu Talib’. But who was this Abu Talib? He was none other than one among the polytheists of Mecca. If there was an Abu Talib to protect Muhammad, that would again emphasize the point, there was not any systematic persecution of Muhammad. Not to say, Muhammad was not even grateful to the man who protected him. Allah, Muhammad’s alter ego did not let Muhammad to pray for the man who protected him. This is evident in Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab from his father: When the time of the death of Abu Talib approached, Allah's Apostle went to him and found Abu Jahl bin Hisham and 'Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya bin Al-Mughira by his side. Allah's Apostle said to Abu Talib, "O uncle! Say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, a sentence with which I shall be a witness (i.e. argue) for you before Allah. Abu Jahl and 'Abdullah bin Abi Umaiya said, "O Abu Talib! Are you going to denounce the religion of Abdul Muttalib?" Allah's Apostle kept on inviting Abu Talib to say it (i.e. 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah') while they (Abu Jahl and Abdullah) kept on repeating their statement till Abu Talib said as his last statement that he was on the religion of Abdul Muttalib and refused to say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' (Then Allah's Apostle said, "I will keep on asking Allah's forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden (by Allah) to do so." So Allah revealed (the verse) concerning him (i.e. It is not fitting for the Prophet and those who believe that they should invoke (Allah) for forgiveness for pagans even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the fire (9.113). [Sahih Bukhari: Book: 23, Hadith: 442]

Allah and Muhammad are the same. There is no difference; so no blame for Allah in this matter. Blame should go to Muhammad and Muhammad alone;

[This article is not complete. There are more points to address like the Abyssinian migration of Muhammad’s followers. If Truthsayer can wait, I will finish off this soon omitting not any pertinent point Muslims bring on of the alleged persecution]

Regards
KF

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:10 pm
by KhaliL
______________________

This is the second part of the article which is meant to refute all of arguments put forward by my contester “Truthsayer”.

Truthsayer first came up with Abu Lahab and his enmity towards Islam. But we were not discussing of whether Quraish polytheists were a friendly people to Muhammad even after the latter began to abuse all that were sacred to polytheists. Indeed a person like Abu Lahab who was also a staunch polytheist can not be in good terms with a man who is abusive of Mr. Lahab’s beliefs.

There is nothing of persecution in it. It was enmity which is quite natural.

Truthsayer wrote:What really pissed these people off was that Muhammad warned against polytheism, as we can see in the Qur’an:

"Therefore proclaim openly (Allâh’s Message — Islamic Monotheism), that which you are commanded, and turn away from Al-Mushrikûn (polytheists)." (15:94)

And

"Nay! (Man denies Resurrection and Reckoning. So) he desires to continue committing sins." (75:5)


Not true; if Muhammad was merely warning people against polytheism, they would not have any problems in it. But Quraysh understood Muhammad was about to bring them “Believe it or else get slaughtered”. My previous article attests to this.

Truthsayer wrote:Much of the Meccans economy was based on religion and pilgrims, so this public call to monotheism could also end up hurting their economy.


Very lame argument from a Muslim like you because your sources say Quraish polytheists of Mecca approached Muhammad to seek compromise and put forward many offers. One of the offer was they can make Muhammad their chief. If Quraish were afraid of losing money, they would not have presented such an offer because chief means the chief of their temple too who can use the money that the temple generates.

Truthsayer wrote:They knew Muhammad was under protection from his powerful uncle, who they approached in an attempt to silence Muhammad in public. Ibn Ishaq (p. 265) narrates:

Several nobles of the Quraysh, including Utba and Abu Sufyan, went to Abu Talib and said, 'Your nephew has insulted our gods and condemned our religion. He considers our young men to be fools, and our fathers to have erred. You must either restrain him or allow us free action against him, since your religion is the same as ours, opposed to his.'


Is it thus persecutors in your land speak up? We see here Quraish people pleading to Abu Talib. If those Quraish were indeed serious in their persecution of Muhammad, there was no need of them to approach to Abu Talib. They could have simply performed the task of ending up Muhammad once and forever without ever consulting Abu Talib.
And killing was not a technology unknown to then Meccans.

<Snip> [I omit some parts of Truthsayer’s post because they are not making much importance to address and refute.]

Truthsayer wrote:It was a this time the real persecution began, as increasingly large number of people were accepting islam. It was also at this time the first attempt was made on Muhammad’s life.

From Ibn Ishaq (P. 268):
When the apostle had left them, Abu Jahl said, 'I now make a vow to Allah, that I shall wait for him tomorrow with a stone as large as I can carry and when he prostrates himself in prayer, I shall smash his head with it! After that you may either surrender me or defend me.' They replied, 'We shall never surrender you!' Next morning, Abu Jahl took a stone as he had said, and waited for the apostle of Allah, who arrived and prayed as usual at Mecca with his face towards the Kaba and Syria beyond. Abu Jahl approached him; but suddenly he turned back and fled, his countenance altered, so frightened that his hands could not hold the stone. 'When I approached,' he said, 'a stallion camel appeared before me with a skull, a collar bone, and teeth the like of which I have never seen. It rushed to devour me.'


I mentioned in my previous post when the persecution actually began. It was when Muhammad mentioned he is about to bring slaughter to Quraish polytheists.

Now, the account of Abu Jahl trying to assassinate Muhammad: Laughable..!!! Because Muhammad said about the stallion camel as it was Gabriel the angel who used to visit him at regular intervals or whenever he needed. So, this account is coming from Muhammad the real culprit. How true this account can be on rational grounds? Not many are seen angels in their lives. I haven’t seen one who saw one. Have you?
The interference of a supernatural Gabriel trashes the above story as a true fabrication. Muhammad should have invented this story to give Abu Jahl a bad name to hang him. Because his animosity towards Abu Jahl who never gave a hoot to either Muhammad or to his preaching is very much known from Islamic sources.

Truthsayer wrote:This murder attempt was planned with the blessing with several people, and many asksed disappointed; why didn’t you kill him? This really show that there was in fact systematic persecution of Muhammad at one time.


I would have believed in this story if there was no Gabriel involved in it. But the involvement of Gabriel turns the account a real fairytale. In a logical debate, not many entertain fairytales.

This is what Muhammad said about the incident as recorded by Ibn Ishaq:

Abu Jahl said: ‘By god, I have never seen anything like his (camel’s stallion) head, shoulders and teeth on any stallion before and he made as though he would eat me.
Apostle said “That was Gabriel. If he (Abu Jahl) had come near, he would have seized him
”[Ibn Ishaq: 191]

Get the angels out of this business. We are discussing of actual incidents took place where angels do not involve in the business.

Truthsayer wrote:By the pagans’ own admission actually, they were persecuting Muhammad:

We shall not cease to persecute you until we destroy you or you destroy us. (Ishaq)


YUP, look at what pagans said: “We shall not cease to persecute you until we destroy you or you destroy us”. How apposite is this sentence? Pagans were indeed very patient as the above statement denotes. They were ready to get destroyed if their persecution goes wrong and the persecuted one is gaining enough power to destroy them.

Hmm… I am not a huge fan of Meccans in the case of persecution. They did not know the business well. Not at all;

Truthsayer wrote:Some lighter abuse toward Muhammad is also reported. ‘Uqbah bin abi Mu’ait Spat Muhammad in the face during one of his sermons, and blew the powder of decomposed bones on him (Ibn Hisham, p. 356-357)


What do you expect from Meccans’ side when their gods are coming under consistent verbal abuse by Muhammad? In fact, Muhammad deserved more than the abuse mentioned above.

Truthsayer wrote: Abu Jahl wasn’t done with Muhammad though. Bukhari narrates that he threatened him on another occasion:

Bukhari; Volume 6, Book 60, Number 482:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Abu Jahl said, "If I see Muhammad praying at the Ka'ba, I will tread on his neck." When the Prophet heard of that, he said, "If he does so, the Angels will snatch him away."


And you want to protrude this as an example of Meccan persecution? Someone threatening Muhammad because the guy who abuses the idols in it (there were 360 idols in Ka’aba at that time according to Bukhari) is making that place to worship his god..!!!
Can’t you bring something solid?

Truthsayer wrote: And as Abu Jahl previously demonstrated, this wasn’t just empty words, and his actions were approved of by many. In another incident, he, in a quite vicious way mocked him as Muhammad was praying at the Kabah:

Sahih Bukhari; Volume 1, Book 4, Number 241:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud:
Once the Prophet was offering prayers at the Ka'ba. Abu Jahl was sitting with some of his companions. One of them said to the others, "Who amongst you will bring the abdominal contents (intestines, etc.) of a camel of Bani so and so and put it on the back of Muhammad, when he prostrates?" The most unfortunate of them got up and brought it. He waited till the Prophet prostrated and then placed it on his back between his shoulders. I was watching but could not do any thing. I wish I had some people with me to hold out against them. They started laughing and falling on one another. Allah's Apostle was in prostration and he did not lift his head up till Fatima (Prophet's daughter) came and threw that (camel's abdominal contents) away from his back. He raised his head and said thrice, "O Allah! Punish Quraish." So it was hard for Abu Jahl and his companions when the Prophet invoked Allah against them as they had a conviction that the prayers and invocations were accepted in this city (Mecca). The Prophet said, "O Allah! Punish Abu Jahl, 'Utba bin Rabi'a, Shaiba bin Rabi'a, Al-Walid bin 'Utba, Umaiya bin Khalaf, and 'Uqba bin Al Mu'it (and he mentioned the seventh whose name I cannot recall). By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, I saw the dead bodies of those persons who were counted by Allah's Apostle in the Qalib (one of the wells) of Badr.

This incident is also narrated by others. See Sahih Bukhari 1.9.499; 4.52.185 and 5.58.193


This incident amounts to persecution?

Ka’ba was the shrine of Quraish polytheists. Yet they allowed Muhammad to practice his gory religion there. The true example of pagan tolerance;

As I mentioned earlier in my article, Quraish polytheists understood the undertone of Muhammad’s preaching. The guy was not merely preaching monotheism but was about to bring them SLAUGHTER. One Abu Jahl reacted to it by garlanding him in the most befitting manner. A man who was working to slaughter Quraish polytheists is garlanded adequately.

There is nothing for Muslims to whine over this incident. Moreover, Muhammad treated the corpse of Abu Jahl in his own Islamic way by letting the corpses decayed in the battlefield of Badr and later throwing it in the dirty dry well of Badr. Oh… I see you are omitting that part while quoting the hadith. Too convenient or?
(skynightblaze has already quoted the relevant hadith in the comment section of this debate. It is Sahih Bukhari: book 59, Hadith: 314)

Truthsayer wrote: Abu Jahl however, was not alone in his persecution. The worst attack on Muhammad was done by ‘Uqba, the man who previously said that he would fight Muhammad and who also participated in the above incident

Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 339:
I asked 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'As to inform me of the worst thing the pagans had done to Allah's Apostle. He said: "While Allah's Apostle was praying in the courtyard of the ka'ba, 'Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and seized Allah's Apostle by the shoulder and twisted his garment round his neck and throttled him severely. Abu Bakr came and seized 'Uqba's shoulder and threw him away from Allah's Apostle and said, "Would you kill a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah,' and has come to you with clear Signs from your Lord?"

Khalil claimed this wasn’t a real murder attempt, because of how easy Abu Bakr could thwart it, and because he didn’t use a sword. However, this really just shows that it was compulsive – done out of anger. When you strangle someone, it’s because you want to kill them, otherwise you simply beat them. Abu Bakr, who was present at the incident, also knew exactly why ‘Uqba’s intention were, and why: “Would you kill a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah?”


YUP, I claimed it wasn’t a murder attempt and I brought up reasons for my claim too. Besides, I have given context of this hadith in my previous article above to this post. If you may please read it carefully;

And if you concede the point this was the worst thing pagans ever did to Muhammad, then pagans did nothing against Muhammad. Sure, they did nothing but this was something that is done out of anger, or a natural reaction one “Uqba” did because Muhammad threatened Uqba’s folks with slaughter preceding to this incident. It was what made Uqba angry, and seizing rob of Muhammad was the display of short-lived anger. Muhammad could escape it unharmed.

Abu Bakr too was expressing his anger on ‘Uqba’s angry reaction. “Will you kill a man just because……” It is not evidentiary of Uqba attempting to murder Muhammad on that occasion. There was more convenient and easy ways to do if ‘Uqba’ indeed intended murder.

Truthsayer wrote: Abu Jahl had more to offer though. He forbade Muhammad from praying at the Kabah and threatened him once more, as was explained by al-Jalalayn in his tafsir of 96:17:

Let him, then, call upon [the henchmen of] his council, the members of his council (nādin) — a place of assembly where people gather to talk. He [Abū Jahl] had said to the Prophet (s) in reproof, having forbidden him from prayer, ‘You are well aware that there is none in this [town] who has [recourse to] as large a council [of men] as I do. Verily, I shall fill this [entire] valley with mature steeds and young men [in battle] against you if you so wish!’


Allowing Muhammad to pray in Ka’aba was a favor pagans did to Muhammad. You should read it in conjunction with Muhammad’s Quranic injunction “O ye who believe, idolaters are unclean so you should not let them even in close proximities of Masjid al-Haram”. (Quran chapter 9)

And yup, Abu Jahl said “if Muhammad is willing to battle against the Quraish Meccans, he will fill the entire valley with mature seeds of young men”. What else he should have had to say? You mean Abu Jahl should have conceded defeat if Muhammad comes up to slaughter him and his companions?

Truthsayer wrote: Considering all this, it’s no wonder Muhammad proclaimed: “I was subjected to physical hardship when none other than me was subjected to it; and I was placed in fear when no one was in fear; and I passed thirty days and nights when Bilal and I had nothing that could be eaten by any creature other than what Bilal carried under his arm.” (Reported in Musnad Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.)


What physical hardship is Muhammad talking about? If Muhammad was indeed speaking the truth, we must conclude not even Muhammad’s followers are persecuted by Meccans because we have Sahih Bukhari hadith to attest on the most horrible thing pagans ever did to Muhammad. Even if to concede your point it was a murder attempt, all Meccans did to Bilal who comes in your quote above was attempted murders.
Feeble, because Bilal was a slave; he was supposed to follow his master not to join a man who is wandering all over Mecca to gain followers to slaughter polytheists in case the latter do not desert their beliefs and ways of lives.

Bilal was freed because Abu Bakr gave his slave in return to Bilal’s master. If the Quraish master was sincere in persecuting Bilal, he should not have freed the slave. Would he?

{To be continued……..}

Re: Quraysh persecution, KhaliL FarieL/Truthsayer

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:20 pm
by KhaliL
__________________________

Truthsayer wrote:I think I need to clarify what I believe the motives of the Quraysh were. I'm not claiming the alleged persecution only happended because of Muhammad's beliefs. He called to his religion publically - a monotheistic religion. Preaching monotheism natually entails renouncing polytheism.


Muhammad did more than what is merely calling to monotheism. If his intention was pure monotheism and inviting people to it, there would not have been any problems in it for Quraish polytheists. But as what I suggested earlier, Muhammad’s “believe it or else” kind of attitude was what stirred then Meccans.

Truthsayer wrote:So while there may have been other monotheists in Meccah, did they preach publicly, and manage to gain a somewhat large following?


Of course yes, otherwise both Judaism and Christianity (two monotheistic religions) should not have found their way to Mecca and gained a lot of followers there. Christianity was prevalent in Mecca while Jews stationed in Medina because they were more agriculturists. The climate of Medina was suitable for their needs and that was the only reason Jews settling in Medina.

We do not know of any persecution either Jews or Christians had to face from Meccans. No indication to it from any sources. If you have any, please bring them up;

Truthsayer wrote: I believe the Quraysh were worried about Muhammad gaining a bigger and bigger follow.


Because: that would effectively end them up. They recognized the danger in Muhammad’s new religion. And they were dead right as Muhammad’s actions later confirmed. There was no room for paganism in Muhammad’s religion though the Jews and Christians and to some extent Magians were allowed to live under Islam paying poll-tax. In the case of polytheism, there was no compromise from Muhammad’s part. He did not allow it under any pretexts.

Truthsayer wrote: The sources tell us that religion was a rather large part of the meccan society, this new religion would be problem for their identity, especially as the ones converting were from the Quraysh, both slaves and more influental people such as Hamza, Umar, Abu Bakr and Uthman.


LOL…, then what made Quraish allow very influential persons like Waraqa bin Naufal Ubaidulla bins Jahsh, Uthman b. Al-Huwayrith live as monotheists? Who was Waraqa b Naufal? He was Cousin of Khadija, Muhammad's first wife.

Truthsayer wrote: Lets have a look at one of the reports in Ibn Ishaq

Bilal, a slave to one of the Banu Jumah, was of a pure heart and sincere in his profession of Islam. He was dragged out by Ummaya when the midday sun was hot and thrown on his back out in the valley of Mecca. A great stone was placed on his breast, and he was told, 'Remain thus until you expire, or until you re¬nounce Muhammad and worship al Lat and al Uzza.' But during all this pain he merely repeated, 'One God! One!'


So not only did the slave master want his slave to abandon the religion of Muhammad, but also belief the same as him. This doesn't seem to fit the claim that the torture was only because of their hatred of Muhammad.


Quraish slave-masters tortured their slaves because their slaves followed the teachings of a man whom they considered the biggest threat to not only their beliefs but their lives too. It was only a master-slave affair because when Abu Bakr exchanged his slave to the master of Bilal, master readily released him. You can read it in Ibn Ishaq (reference is the same)

Truthsayer wrote: Muhammad was able to preach openly in Meccah for 10 years because of his powerful uncle and the protecton of his tribe.


Why was such a predicament for Muhammad only when we have sources and evidences to suggest other monotheistic religions had no such problems in Mecca?

If Muhammad could live the life of a monotheist since his birth, (if Meccans allowed him to be so) what made them hostile towards him after the guy is getting trapped in the cave of Hira at the age of 40?

(Answer is already given.)

Truthsayer wrote: We've seen what happended to the slaves who had no such protection, other than the good will of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him.


What happened to the slaves? How many have been martyred for their Islamic belief in Mecca during that period?

Truthsayer wrote: This took the edge of the persecution of Muhammad, although, many impulsive acts were done against him. So in that way, there was no systematic persecution of Muhammad, althoguh he certainly felt their anger.


I have bolded the part in your quote. Because it is what I am arguing;


Truthsayer wrote: You're right that we can't hold all the Quraysh accountable for the actions of Abu Jahl, 'Uqbah, Ummayah, Abu Lahab and others, and that really isn't what the muslims did. When they conquered Meccah, only these people were executed. Like the US launched a 'war on terror' because of the actions of Osama bin laden. Only a few were at fault, however hundreds of thousands of innocents have died because of it. It's war, and it sometimes costs the lives of innocents.


Abu Jahl did not kill anyone on the account of being Muslim. The story of Sumayya being killed by Abu Jahl can not be confirmed through authentic sources. But this Abu Jahl was killed in the battle of Badr which was a pure offensive onslaught perpetrated by Muhammad after he raiding one of the Quraish caravans. Uqba had been taken as a captive and later killed on the order of Muhammad.

And of Muslims winning Mecca, Surah Al-Nasr was revealed in connection to this incident. It mentions people entering in Islam in groups. There was none other one Abu Sufyan left for Muhammad to bribe or kill at that time. And of Meccan Fatah, it is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Truthsayer wrote: As for your objection to the hadith in Bukhari about 'Uqbah throttling Muhammad, I disagree. When you throttle someone, you're attempting to kill them. If you just want to cause them harm, you beat them. It was a bad, unplanned murder attempt done out of anger, but still a murder attempt.


Addressed this several times;

Truthsayer wrote: There is, of course, a limit to how much you can persecute people, especially people under the protection of a tribe.


Not true; Muhammad persecuted Jews of Medina that effectively ended up three chief Jewish tribes of Medina namely Banu Qainuqa, Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayza. Nine hundred people were killed in one day because of Muhammad’s persecution.

You imply Meccans did not know how to persecute.., again and again it is the impression I get;

Truthsayer wrote: We see that two slaves were killed, and the number could have been higher if it weren't for Abu Bakr buying free the tortured slaves.


How many slaves Abu Bakr bought? Ibn Ishaq mentions of six or seven. And if the persecution was sincere (I often use the word ‘sincere’ sardonically) enough, no masters would have been willing to sell their slaves.

Truthsayer wrote:
Muhammad preached more than ten years in Mecca and all this time but his life has been spared. If Meccans were willing to end up his life, they could have done it within this period. But they didn’t. What should we understand from this?

That such a thing would have been suicide, so a decision to kill Muhammad would be completely irrational and out of anger, as we see with 'Uqbah's attempt. Or Umar's intention before he became a muslim.


You mean killing Muhammad would have been suicidal for Meccans? How exactly? Can you please elaborate a little? Killing was not an art that was strange to Meccans. And ending up Muhammad once and forever was a small matter. Isn’t it so?

Truthsayer wrote: I feel that you haven't responded to the most important point however. That is the mass migration of around 80 muslims to Ethiopia. They left their homes to go live in an unknown society.


These eighty people not only left their homes but most among them left their entire families too in Mecca while migrating to Ethiopia. Yet, (LOL)Quraish polytheists were stupid enough to not to do any harm to those left in Mecca.

Ethiopian migration (if that is historically accurate) should have motives other than escaping the persecution of Meccans. That should be thoroughly investigated.

Truthsayer wrote: Ishaq also mentions that some of these returned to Meccah immediately when they heard false reports of the meccans embracing islam. After returning to Meccah and learning these rumors were false and that the persecution had not stopped, they returned again to Ethiopia. That really is pretty conclusive in my opinion.


Before making your opinions conclusive, can you please source the part I bolded in your quote? This is in fact what I see in Ibn Ishaq:

The apostle’s companions who had gone to Abyssinia heard that the Meccans had accepted Islam and they set out for the homeland. But when they got near Mecca, they learned that report was false, so that they entered the town under the protection of a citizen or by stealth. Some of those who returned to him stayed in Mecca until they migrated to Medina.[Ibn Ishaq: 241]

Truthsayer wrote:
There is evidence for Quraish people in Mecca using Muhammad as their bank. Do you think it make sense that pagans will use a man as their bank and persecute him at the same time?

There are different people in every society. Religion and tradition doesn't mean as much to everyone, to whom money is more important. I'm not claiming every single pagan persecuted Muhammad and his followers.


The account is not like that. Hamidulla’s biography of Muhammad tells us almost all pagans were trusting Muhammad as their bank.

Truthsayer wrote:
If Quraish were intolerant to monotheism, how could pure monotheists like Waraqa bin Naufal live in that society without facing any persecution?

I don't believe they had any problem with a few people, but when a religion started to gain a rather large follow, both influental people, and their own property (slaves) some conservative people will want to stop it.


There was presence of Christianity in Mecca and many influential people converted to it. No source says there ever was a war or persecution of Christians in Mecca. All those Christians were not emigrants from any distant or nearest land. Some people were emigrants but these emigrants gained followers too from then Meccan population. Your argument does not stand for the very reason.

Truthsayer wrote: I agree there wasn't a full blown systematic persecution of Muhammad, as he was protected. That didn't stop people from reacting in anger, however. His weaker followers were not so lucky. Also, these commandments, which were placed on all Quraysh for 3 years,

1. Every sort of trade and business with the supporters of Muhammad shall be banned.
2. Association with them is strictly prohibited.
3. Nobody is entitled to establish matrimonial alliances with the Muslims.
4. Opponents of Muhammad should be supported in all circumstances.

Doesn't that seem systematic?


Yes, this sound systematic, but NOT persecution but a mere boycott. Just like some of you Muslims want to do with Israel and America. Are you Muslims persecuting Americans by boycotting their products?

Regards
KF