Studies in Islam: The Self-Destructive Koran and the Man Who Would Be God, Muhammad – PART THREE by Peter Burrows firstname.lastname@example.org – silvercityburro.com. 9/3/17 (The Sunni book of sharia law, Reliance of the Traveller (sic), referred to is the 1994 revised edition, published in 2015.)
In Part One, I showed that the Koran is not God’s eternal creation but is instead the creation of Muhammad, a Seventh Century warlord. Part Two examined some self-serving “revelations” in the Koran giving Muhammad God-like status that are a plague on humanity to this day. The two verses that are especially damaging are verses 33:21 and 4:80, in which Allah, respectively, proclaims Muhammad is a good example for Muslims to emulate and that Muslims must obey Muhammad.
This article will look at what the Koran‘s order to “obey Muhammad” means. This is important because Islamic law, sharia, is based not just on what is found in the Koran, but also on what Muhammad said and did. What Muhammad said and did are not in the Koran, but are to be found in what I call “the Gospels of Islam,” the hadith, which are collections of stories about Muhammad as remembered and passed down by his contemporaries.
As you can imagine, after Muhammad’s death, a lot of people gamed the system. To obey Muhammad is commanded by the Koran, so picture an Arab with three goats being approached by another Arab with only one goat, who proclaims: “Muhammad, peace be upon Him, said he who has three goats must give one to he who has only one goat.”
That sort of thing led a number of early Islamic scholars to spend years gathering stories passed down after Muhammad’s death and culling them for the “authentic” sayings of Muhammad. These were then compiled into collections that are somewhat comparable to the Gospels in the Bible, but instead of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, Sunni Islam has Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja and Nasa’i.
Of those six collections, the one that is considered to be the most authentic, with a status second only to the Koran, is Bukhari. Imam Bukhari (810-870) spent 16 years collecting and analyzing stories about Muhammad and authenticated over 7000 of them. This was some 200 years after Muhammad’s death, and was a monumental task. His work, Sahih Al-Bukhari, sahih meaning “reliable,” is available on Amazon. The 9-volume set, 4000 pages or so, was $128 the last I looked.
The other five also total thousands of pages. Don’t waste your time on any of them. You can safely assume that any law found in the Sunni text of sharia law, Reliance of the Traveller (R of T), that is based upon something Muhammad said or did is from a thoroughly vetted hadith, which is usually cited. (I know of one Muhammad quote in R of T that is questionable, but it is not a law-making quote.) For practical purposes, The R of T incorporates all we need to know from the collections of hadith.
Reliance of the Traveller (that’s how it’s spelled) on page iii describes itself as “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.” Because it is “Sacred,” it has an authority that surpasses any law passed by mortals. That’s important to remember. Not counting the index, R of T is over 1100 pages of mind boggling detail covering not just law and order, but how Muslims should lead their lives, from personal hygiene to “Holding One’s Tongue,” as one chapter is titled.
I confess that I find it fun to browse through, mainly because so much of it is so bizarre, so macabre. In spite of updates that Islamic authorities effect to account for such things as watching television (“a violation of Sacred Law” pg. 964), the book is essentially a time capsule. The last time I looked, you could buy a copy on Amazon for $37.85.
Because so much sharia law comes from the writings and sayings of an Arab war-lord who died in AD 622, it shouldn’t surprise us to find things in the R of T that are a reflection of the time. For example, in section o5.O page 593, we find the expiation due to Allah for killing somebody unlawful to kill is to free a slave, or if none owned, fast for two months. Free a slave? And, if the one who kills is not legally accountable, e.g. a child, then the guardian must free a slave on the child‘s behalf. Obviously, Allah condones (requires?) slavery.
Also, certain barbaric punishments extent in Muhammad’s time are still in force today. For example, in some Muslim ruled countries homosexuals are thrown off of tall buildings and adulterers are stoned to death. We might think that’s horrid but how can something commanded by Allah or His Messenger be horrid? In R of T, section p17.3, page 665: “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”
The Muslim who killed 49 at the gay nightclub in Florida over a year ago was simply obeying Muhammad, which the Koran commands him to do. We can expect many more attacks against gays, and others, if we continue to allow political correctness to call what you are now reading “hate speech.”
R of T p17.3 has this further quote by Muhammad: “Lesbianism by women is adultery between them.” The punishment for this is something I’m confused about. As I read it, if a lesbian is married, which in the context of Islam could only be to a man, she is guilty of adultery and is stoned to death. (See R of T o12.2 and o4.17.) If not, she is “scourged one hundred stripes” to be administered as described in o12.5, which includes: “The whip used should neither be new nor old and worn-out, but something in between.” Women are allowed to sit, men are scourged standing up. (As an aside, can lesbianism NOT be by women?)
Rule o12.6 on page 611 shows us the compassionate side of sharia: “A pregnant woman is not stoned until she gives birth and the child can suffice with the milk of another.” Isn’t that sweet. I bet NOW approves of that.
Regardless, as someone with two beloved relatives who are lesbians, I am offended by the above, and if anybody tries to lash either my cousin or my niece, I will shoot them. Oh, my. There I go again, spewing hate speech and being an Islamophobe. Making violent threats, too. Sigh. I bet the ACLU will want my scalp, tout suite. Which reminds me, silvercityburro.com has an article you may find interesting: Does the ACLU Condone Killing Homosexuals and Flogging Lesbians? 3/18/17.
Murdering people, that’s what you and I would call it, is something Islam is good at. In fact, without God-sanctioned murder, Islam would not be the force it is today. That’s because the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death, and apostasy is so broadly defined otherwise decent Muslims living in Islamic societies are afraid to be critical of ANYTHING about Islam. Unfortunately, the same is becoming true for non-Muslims in non-Islamic societies.
There are at least three passages in Bukhari in which Muhammad declared apostasy to be a capital crime, the most succinct being: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Sahih Bukhari 84:57) Nothing too subtle about that, is there?
References to killing apostates can be found in the R of T in numerous places, e.g., f1.3, o8.1, and o8.4. Section o8.7 lists 20 “things that entail apostasy from Islam,” all of which will get you killed, and this is only a partial list: “There are others, for the subject is nearly limitless. May Allah Most High save us and all Muslims from it.” Unsurprisingly, “to revile the religion of Islam” is on the list. What you are reading now qualifies.
Interestingly, a devout Muslim doesn’t have to commit apostasy to earn the death penalty. Just neglecting to pray at the correct time can get you “executed, washed, prayed over, and buried in the Muslim cemetery.” (f1.4 page 109.) Last year, Swiss authorities closed a mosque in Zurich after the Imam threatened his tardy flock with that divine penalty. I guess Switzerland doesn’t have a First Amendment protecting the free exercise of religion.
Murdering apostates, as bad as it is, is small potatoes next to murdering unbelievers. Section o9.0, “Jihad,” beginning on page 599, makes it quite clear that all Muslims who are able to are obligated to wage warfare to establish the rule of Islam, which means to slay everyone who doesn’t become a Muslim or who doesn’t agree to pay a non-Muslim poll tax (o9.1, o9.2, o9.3, o9.8 and o9.9). The insistence that ”Islam is peace” is thus contradicted by Islam’s sacred laws. In fact, it is a sin NOT to wage war against unbelievers (o9.1).
This obligation to wage jihad, an obligation which is continuous and ongoing, combined with Muhammad’s decree that lying was permissible in war, means virtually nothing a devout Muslim tells an infidel can be believed. This is because lying is obligatory for Muslims when it helps achieve a goal that is obligatory, the most important such goal being to propagate Islam, although such lying should be carefully done, in a manner that “deceives the hearer” (r8.2 page 745).
The most obvious example of this today is the routine condemnation of terrorism from Islamic leaders whenever there is a terrorist attack in a Western country. However, to a Muslim, terrorism is something that condemned when it is done to Muslims, not to unbelievers, a distinction left unsaid. Muhammad said, “I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy)” (Bukhari 4.52.220).
The R of T contains a wealth of other interesting rules that are applicable wherever sharia is the law of the land, e.g. there is no “retaliation,” i.e. punishment, for a Muslim killing a non-Muslim and there is no punishment for killing one’s children or grandchildren (o1.2(2) and o1.2(4) page 584). Little tidbits like that should make one pause before welcoming a Mosque into the neighborhood.
Finally, before this gets WAY too long, something that shows what a petty tyrant Muhammad was. He thought music distracted from one’s religious fervor, ergo these gems from Muhammad, as quoted in the R of T, pages 774 and 775:
r40.1 (1) “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments —-.”
r40.1 (2) “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” (I suppose, given the literalness of Islam, that if somebody were STANDING while listening to a songstress, that would be OK.)
r40.1 (3) “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”
There are a couple of other similar quotes, but now you know why you’ve never heard a Muslim Renee Fleming, or an NPR broadcast of the Riyadh Symphony Orchestra, or seen the Medina Children’s Choir on TV or anything like that. And you never will.
Think of that, ladies and gentlemen: no music from over a billion people. They need to be freed.