Thursday, 30 March 2017

Prophet of Islam himself ordered his supporters to kill his insulters, says Pakistani academic

In Medina, the Prophet of Islam himself called for and ordered his companions (Sahaba) to kill many of the people who had insulted him, says Rana Tanveer Qasim, who teaches Islamic Studies at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, in a video posted on YouTube on 16 January 2017.

"You (Prophet) not only encouraged such self-surrendering Sahaba (as those who stepped forward to carry out your order to kill your insulters) but also prayed for divine help to be rendered to them," writes Qasim in a scrolling Urdu text message in the video clip that runs for 8.33 minutes.

"For instance, Ahadith narrate incidents that insulters of the Prophet, put to death by Khalid bin Waleed, Hazrat Zubayr, Umayr bin Adiy, and Muhammad bin Muslima, were sought to be killed by you (Prophet) through an open invitation," he writes.

('Ahadith' is the plural form of Arabic word 'Hadith' which, according to Wikipedia, is one of various reports describing the words, actions, or habits of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam.)

"You (Prophet) yourself prayed for Allah to render assistance through Rooh al Quds (the holy spirit) to Muhammad bin Muslima while sending him on a mission to kill Ka'b bin Ashraf.

("Ka'b bin Ashraf, according to Wikipedia, was a Jewish leader in Medina and a poet. He died on the order of the Islamic prophet after the battle of Badr.)

Qasim has meant his Urdu text message as a counterblast to an article written by Imtiaz Alam, the Secretary General of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), in which he sees the latter as wrongly siding with Salman Haider and others being accused of running Facebook pages such as 'Bhensa', 'Mochi' and 'Roshni' that allegedly insult the Prophet.

In Pakistan, showing disrespect to the Prophet of Islam carries death penalty if guilt is established in a trial that must take place with a Muslim judge presiding

Salman Haider, Ahmad Waqass Goraya and Aasim Saeed, who were allegedly critical of Islam as well as policies of the Pakistani state, went missing in early January in Pakistan.

They were later found and are now facing investigation into allegations that they used Facebook pages to insult Islam and its Prophet.

(Learn more about their case by reading this news report.)  

Alam's article was published on January 15 as one of his regular columns in Jang, an Urdu newspaper.

In the article, Alam calls for shutting down of "factories that manufacture Takfeer (branding someone a Kafir through a fatwa) and Tauheen (affirming through a fatwa that someone has insulted the Prophet and other revered figures of Islam)".

"Mr. Imtiaz Alam, how on earth did you assume that Salman Haider and his associates are clean when the reports show that controversial and insulting material is being found on their (Facebook) pages," writes Qasim of UET-Lahore.

"Instead of calling for an investigation into the matter and for lawful punishment if they are found to be involved in the alleged acts, you have taken a one-sided view that endorses their perspective and censures those who are commenting on their insulting actions," writes Qasim in his video message.

In terming the critics of the alleged blasphemers as Takfeeri, Alam, according to Qasim, has in a rather "philosophical style" made the assumption that the Prophet never used violence against his adversaries and those who abandoned him.

"While the Prophet's disposition to have mercy and to condone (an offence) is very clear, the unambiguous parts of Quran and Sunnat as well as the incidents involving the Sahaba bear out the basic principle that the punishment for offending against the glory of the Prophet is only death," writes Qasim, who did his PhD at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and has been associated with UET-Lahore since 2002.

Qasim contrasts Muhammad's life in Mecca when he had little power and little choice other than to put up with his adversaries with his life in Medina when the Islamic state had been established and Shariat (Islamic law) had been imposed.

"In this situation (in Medina), it was the state's responsibility to protect with force the Namoos (honour) of the rulers and religious leaders of the Muslims.

"Some Ayats (of Quran) tell us that Muslims did not have the power (in Mecca) to crush the heads of those who insulted the Prophet. So, during that period, Allah the Highest exhorted the Muslims to act with patience and forbearance, and Himself consoled you (Prophet) with the assurance that those bad mouthing you actually deny the Allah Himself -- and that Allah alone is adequate in dealing with them," writes Qasim.

"So, in the initial years of Mecca and Medina, Allah Himself made an example of those slandering the Prophet by making them meet their deaths."

Qasim says Quran's Surah Al Imran 186 represents Allah's call for Muslims to embrace patience and forbearance while being subjected to the great agony of being reviled by the "people of the book" as well as Mushrikeen. 

(Read English renderings of this Surah here.)

'Mushrikeen' is the plural of Arabic word 'Mushrik,' meaning a person who commits the sin of 'Shirk'. 

Anyone who violates the exclusive status of the singular God (Allah) by including others in that sacred space as worthy of reverence or worship is deemed to have committed 'Shirk', an unforgivable crime in Islam.

'Mushrik' is often translated into English as 'polytheist'. It's also a word that Muslims apply primarily to those whom they deem 'idolaters'. 

Read more about 'Shirk' in this Wikipedia entry.)

Usama bin Zaid narrates (in Hadith) that the Prophet did act with a condoning attitude (in the matter of those who called him names) in line with the Allah's command, writes Qasim in his video message.

"And then when you (Prophet) fought the battle of Badr, Allah the Highest had killed all those Kafir leaders of Quraish that He intended to kill." 

(According to the Wikipedia, the Battle of Badr, fought in 624 CE in western Arabia, was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca.)

Qasim says the policy of overlooking those who offended against the glory of the Prophet continued until the end of the initial years of Medina.

"There were a number of incidents of that period (coinciding with the policy of forbearance) during which you (Prophet) were also called Raa'ena, among other names," writes Qasim.

(Apparently, 'Raa'ena' meaning "be our shepherd" was a word Jews used to mock Muhammad. So Allah directed the Muslims not to address the Prophet as such and use the more respectable word 'Unzurna'.)

"People give a wrong impression (by citing the incidents of the period of forbearance). They cite incidents of the initial period of Mecca while overlooking the incidents following the establishment of the Islamic state," says Qasim.

"There are instances of the Prophet's responses to such incidents after Muslims got the power. The generous Prophet had Ka'b bin Ashraf the Jew killed under his own supervision, got Abu Rafi Salam bin al Huqayq the Jew killed under his own order. You (Prophet) tasked Abdullah bin Atik with the job of killing that Jew (al Huqayq)."

(Wikipedia says al-Huqayq was a chieftain of the Jewish tribes of the Khaybar oasis. 

When Al-Huqayq approached neighbouring tribes to raise an army to attack Muslims, they assassinated him, aided by an Arab who spoke a Jewish dialect. 

His brothers the famous poets Al-Rabi ibn Abu al-Huqayq and Sallam ibn Abu al-Huqayq were also assassinated at Muhammad's orders.)

Qasim continues: "You (Prophet) sent Hazrat Zubayr to kill a Mushrik who insulted you."

(Zubair was a nephew of Khadijah, the first of Prophet's many wives, and one of the earliest converts to Islam, according to Wikipedia.

It is said that Zubayr joined all of Muhammad's military expeditions.

After the Muslims had conquered Al-Qamus, the Jewish treasurer, Kinana, was brought to Muhammad, but he refused to reveal where their money was hidden. 

Muhammad then ordered Zubayr to "torture him until you extract what he has". Zubayr "kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead".)

"Amir bin Amiya killed his Mushrik sister who had insulted the Prophet and you (Prophet) deemed her blood as futile," writes Qasim.

Umayr bin Adiy Khatmi killed Banu Khatma's defiant wife Asma bint Marwan and the generous Prophet applauded this act of Umayr bin Adiy Khatmi.

(According to Wikipedia, Aṣma bint Marwān was a female member of the Ummayad clan who lived in Medina in 7th century Arabia. 

After the Muslim victory over the Quraysh in Mecca in 624 in the Battle of Badr, a number of Muhammad's opponents were killed. 

She composed poems attacking the local tribesmen who converted to Islam and allied with Muhammad, and called for his death.

Upon hearing that, Muhammad then allegedly called for her death in turn, saying "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?" 

Umayr bin Adiy al-Khatmi, a blind man belonging to the same tribe as Asma’s husband (i.e., Banu Khatma) responded that he would. 

He crept into her room in the dark of night where she was sleeping with her five children, her infant child close to her bosom. 

Umayr removed the child from Asma's breast and killed her.)

Qasim writes that during the Prophet's time a Yahudia (Jewess) would insult and slander Nabi Kareem (Prophet). So when a Muslim strangled her to death, you (Prophet) deemed her blood to be of no use.

One should distinguish between those who caused pain to the Prophet on a personal basis and those who mocked the Prophethood, says Qasim.

"Being greatly merciful, you (Prophet) forgave those who inflicted physical torment on you. But you did not forgive those who ridiculed your status as a prophet. That is because disrespect shown to the Prophethood is actually a slur on the Allah Himself as is borne out by scores of places in Quran where the Allah has talked about Himself together with His prophet."

Returning to his denunciation of people like Imtiaz Alam of SAFMA, Qasim adds that terrorism has already been trying to disfigure the beautiful face of Islam and now the Quam (nation) has had to deal with "intellectual terrorists".

Qasim signs off by calling for strongly countering this "intellectual terrorism". 

"We need noble and Muwahid (displaying unwavering adherence to the Muslim creed of one God) intellectuals who can guide and hand-hold the Ummah through this most ruthless of the clash of civilizations and take us forward."

The following web-links have been used in this post in the order of occurrence.












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