Violence in earliest Islam

Maribat

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,924
#31
First, the development of the protagonist. Probably born in Mecca in 570, Muhammad was raised after early orphanage by desert bedouins and then admitted by relatives in Mecca, where he worked as a camel driver. At the age of 25 he met the rich and much older Chadidja, became her lover and ran her business. Khadidya's desire to marry Muhammad was rejected by her father, who suspected him of being an heirloom. Thereupon the drinking father was put into an alcohol stupor, in which he agreed to the marriage. Back to his senses, he vowed bloody revenge on his son-in-law, but died before it could come to that. Now rich, Muhammad has become part of the social elite of Mecca. His faith was Arab polytheistic at the time.

From 610, i.e. from the age of 40, there were drastic changes in his personality. He deteriorated physically, neglected his appearance, ate hardly anything, wandered around the Meccan countryside and claimed to be haunted by "visions" and threatened by screaming rocks and stones. He was seen shivering in fear, sitting around in caves. Shortly before he wanted to throw himself out of desperation from a high rock, he heard someone who called himself "Allah" say to him that he was chosen to proclaim "the truth".
I like all the details. But what are the primary sources of them all? How do we know that he "deteriorated physically" by the age of 40, that he was suicidal at some point of his life, that his father-in-law was a heavy drinker?
Are there some academic monographs on the life of Muhammad?
 
Nov 2016
400
Munich
#32
This old source is, regarding historical liability, of a rather good reputation, see also the bold highlighted passage in the quote below:

(the website´s name "the religion of peace" is certainly debatable)

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/Guillaume--Life%20of%20Muhammad.pdf

Quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica (keyword "Muhammad"):

Most of the biographical information that the Islamic tradition preserves about Muhammad thus occurs outside the Qurʾān, in the so-called sīrah (Arabic: “biography”) literature. Arguably the single most important work in the genre is Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq’s (died 767–768) Kitāb al-maghāzī (“Book of [the Prophet’s] Military Expeditions”). However, this work is extant only in later reworkings and abridgements, of which the best known is ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Hishām’s (died 833–834) Sīrat Muḥammad rasūl Allāh (“Life of Muhammad, the Messenger of God”). Ibn Isḥāq’s original book was not his own composition but rather a compilation of autonomous reports about specific events that took place during the life of Muhammad and also prior to it, which Ibn Isḥāq arranged into what he deemed to be their correct chronological order and to which he added his own comments. Each such report is normally introduced by a list of names tracing it through various intermediaries back to its ultimate source, which in many cases is an eyewitness—for example, the Prophet’s wife ʿĀʾishah. Variants of the material compiled by Ibn Isḥāq, as well as further material about events in Muhammad’s life, are preserved in works by other authors, such as Abd al-Razzāq (died 827), al-Wāqidī (died 823), Ibn Saʿd (died 845), and al-Ṭabarī (died 923).
The fact that such biographical narratives about Muhammad are encountered only in texts dating from the 8th or 9th century or even later is bound to raise the problem of how confident one can be in the sīrah literature’s claim to relay accurate historical information. This is not to suggest that there was necessarily an element of deliberate fabrication at work, at least at the level of a compiler like Ibn Isḥāq, who was clearly not inventing stories from scratch. Nonetheless, some accretion of popular legend around a figure as seminal as Muhammad would be entirely expected. At least to historians who are reluctant to admit reports of divine intervention, the problem is reinforced by the miraculous elements of some of the material included in Ibn Isḥāq’s work. Moreover, some of the narratives in question are patently adaptations of biblical motifs designed to present Muhammad as equal or superior to earlier prophetic figures such as Moses and Jesus. For example, before Muhammad’s emigration to Medina he is said to have received an oath of allegiance by twelve inhabitants of the city, an obvious parallel to the Twelve Apostles, and during the digging of a defensive trench around Medina Muhammad is said to have miraculously sated all the workers from a handful of dates, recalling Jesus’ feeding of the multitude. Finally, it is distinctly possible that some reports about events in Muhammad’s life emerged not from historical memory but from exegetical speculation about the historical context of particular verses of the Qurʾān.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
#34
This old source is, regarding historical liability, of a rather good reputation, see also the bold highlighted passage in the quote below:

(the website´s name "the religion of peace" is certainly debatable)

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/muhammad/Guillaume--Life%20of%20Muhammad.pdf.
Reading the introduction of the translation, one would not know that we do not have Ishaq's original biography, and that the translation was created by what was pieces together from quotes of later writers. That rather symbolizes the poor quality of what we know of Muhammad, and the rather poor scholarship. Good scholarship would have made it very clear that this translation was based on quotes by later writers, not a direct text.

Quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica (keyword "Muhammad"):

Most of the biographical information that the Islamic tradition preserves about Muhammad thus occurs outside the Qurʾān, in the so-called sīrah (Arabic: “biography”) literature. Arguably the single most important work in the genre is Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq’s (died 767–768) Kitāb al-maghāzī (“Book of [the Prophet’s] Military Expeditions”). However, this work is extant only in later reworkings and abridgements, of which the best known is ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Hishām’s (died 833–834) Sīrat Muḥammad rasūl Allāh (“Life of Muhammad, the Messenger of God”). Ibn Isḥāq’s original book was not his own composition but rather a compilation of autonomous reports about specific events that took place during the life of Muhammad and also prior to it, which Ibn Isḥāq arranged into what he deemed to be their correct chronological order and to which he added his own comments. Each such report is normally introduced by a list of names tracing it through various intermediaries back to its ultimate source, which in many cases is an eyewitness—for example, the Prophet’s wife
The fundamental flaw about Muslim claim to authenticity is that the list of names that the tradition was passed through could have just as easily been invented as the tradition itself. The isnad don't really guarantee authenticity as Muslims like to think.

The fact that such biographical narratives about Muhammad are encountered only in texts dating from the 8th or 9th century or even later is bound to raise the problem of how confident one can be in the sīrah literature’s claim to relay accurate historical information. This is not to suggest that there was necessarily an element of deliberate fabrication at work, at least at the level of a compiler like Ibn Isḥāq, who was clearly not inventing stories from scratch


I don't see any evidence supporting the claim that Ishaq was not inventing stories from scratch. I don't see how we can assume that Ishaq didn't invent some of his stories or whether he was sincere of not.

Ishaq wasn't even born until 75 years after Mohammed died, in around 85 AH (707 AD or so). If the 40 years or so of the Gospels were written after Jesus represent an issue, the 100 years that Ishaq's text was written after Mohammed should be much a much bigger concern.

legend around a figure as seminal as Muhammad would be entirely expected. At least to historians who are reluctant to admit reports of divine intervention, the problem is reinforced by the miraculous elements of some of the material included in Ibn Isḥāq’s work. Moreover, some of the narratives in question are patently adaptations of biblical motifs designed to present Muhammad as equal or superior to earlier prophetic figures such as Moses and Jesus. For example, before Muhammad’s emigration to Medina he is said to have received an oath of allegiance by twelve inhabitants of the city, an obvious parallel to the Twelve Apostles, and during the digging of a defensive trench around Medina Muhammad is said to have miraculously sated all the workers from a handful of dates, recalling Jesus’ feeding of the multitude. Finally, it is distinctly possible that some reports about events in Muhammad’s life emerged not from historical memory but from exegetical speculation about the historical context of particular verses of the Qurʾān.
It is often overlooked for those that accept the biographies of Mohammed uncritically that they have elements in them that appear to be just as invented and ahistorical in them as things in the Gospels.

There is nothing in these stories about Mohammed that is at odds with the beliefs and views of the ancient Muslims. While for modern person's there are elements of Mohammed life in these biographies that they find objectionable, that wasn't the case for Muslims before modern time. Muslims felt no need to justify Mohammed's butchering of the Jewish men of Banu Qurayza, and enslaving the women and children, or sanction the killing of a poetress so.ply because she criticized him. Only modern readers have a problem with those actions, Muslims before modern times did not.

The mere fact that nothing in the early biographies of Mohammed run counter to what Muslims expected of a religious leader should perhaps raise our suspicions of the accuracy of them. A real person would likely do things that ran counter to Muslim beliefs and polich, of what a good Muslim was expected to do, to not always be what was expected.
 
Aug 2014
1,003
pakistan
#35
Kindly provide citations from primary sources for your following sentences in the quotes ;

Khadidya's desire to marry Muhammad was rejected by her father, who suspected him of being an heirloom. Thereupon the drinking father was put into an alcohol stupor, in which he agreed to the marriage. Back to his senses, he vowed bloody revenge on his son-in-law, but died before it could come to that.
His faith was Arab polytheistic at the time.

One year later, Muhammad's army was defeated by the Meccans in the desert. Back in Medina Muhammad abandoned all scruples and killed every non-Jewish man who did not want to convert to Islam. The families left behind were sold as slaves.

He used to have fleeing "unbelievers" cut off their hands and pierce their eyes and set them out in the desert.
 
Nov 2016
400
Munich
#36
Kindly provide citations from primary sources for your following sentences in the quotes ;
His faith was Arab polytheistic at the time.

My post is a translation from a German article of mine from 2015, and I`ve of course forgotten which sources I then used. As to that statement, there is in fact no consensus about Muhammad´s faith before the ´revelations´. Traditional Muslim scholars of course think he had since his youth a strong inclination to monotheism, however there is no solid evidence supporting this. In Quran 93:7 it says:

And he (=Allah) found you (=Muhammad) lost and guided you.

This sentence can rather clearly be interpreted as stating that Muhammad was quite polytheistically oriented before the revelations, since a Abrahamic Hanif position which is attributed to Muhammad by traditional Muslim scholars certainly wouldn´t be described by the term ´lost´ which is in Muslim view rather characteristic for a polytheistic attitude. ´Lost´ is the translation of what is expressed by ´dallen´ meaning ´errant´ in the Arabic original text. ´Errant´ is as strong as ´lost´ and surely wouldn´t have been used to describe a Hanif position.

So, most probably 93:7 is a decisive clue to the question what was the faith of Muhammad before his invention of Islam.

Khadidya's desire to marry Muhammad was rejected by her father, who suspected him of being a heirloom. Thereupon the drinking father was put into an alcohol stupor, in which he agreed to the marriage. Back to his senses, he vowed bloody revenge on his son-in-law, but died before it could come to that.

The authenticity of this story is not fully accepted, what doesn´t automatically mean that it is wrong.

From
https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Khadijah_bint_Khuwaylid#Controversial_Wedding

Marriage required the consent of the bride’s guardian, and Khadijah’s father Khuwaylid had refused her previous suitors. She therefore plotted to secure his permission through trickery. She plied her father with wine until he was drunk. Then she slaughtered a cow, covered his shoulders with a new striped robe and sprinkled him with perfume, whereupon Muhammad and his uncles entered the house. Khadijah extracted the legally binding words from her father while he was too inebriated to know what he was saying. As the day wore on and the wedding party was in full swing, Khuwaylid recovered his sobriety enough to ask, “What is this meat, this robe and this perfume?” Khadijah replied, “You have given me in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah.” Khuwaylid was as furious as his daughter had expected, protesting that he had never consented to any such thing and even unsheathing his sword. Muhammad’s kin also brandished weapons before everyone realised that the matter was not worth actual bloodshed. It was too late. Muhammad was Khadijah’s husband.[74]
Although the Muslim historian Waqidi denied this embarrassing story (even while reporting it), the British historian Muir points out that nobody had any reason to fabricate it. The tradition is from two independent sources, both of whom were biased in Muhammad’s favour and neither of whom had any reason to disparage Khadijah’s father or his clan. Two further independent sources, without mentioning the drunken party, state that it was Khuwaylid who married Khadijah to Muhammad. Although Waqidi claims that it was Khadijah’s uncle who gave her away because her father had died before the Sacrilegious War (591-594), his pupil Ibn Saad names Khuwaylid as a commander in that war. Muir therefore concludes that the tradition of Khuwaylid’s death “has been invented, to throw discredit on the story of his drunkenness.”[75]

+++

I´ll soonly deal with your other inquries.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
#37
His faith was Arab polytheistic at the time.

My post is a translation from a German article of mine from 2015, and I`ve of course forgotten which sources I then used. As to that statement, there is in fact no consensus about Muhammad´s faith before the ´revelations´. Traditional Muslim scholars of course think he had since his youth a strong inclination to monotheism, however there is no solid evidence supporting this. In Quran 93:7 it says:

And he (=Allah) found you (=Muhammad) lost and guided you.

This sentence can rather clearly be interpreted as stating that Muhammad was quite polytheistically oriented before the revelations, since a Abrahamic Hanif position which is attributed to Muhammad by traditional Muslim scholars certainly wouldn´t be described by the term ´lost´ which is in Muslim view rather characteristic for a polytheistic attitude. ´Lost´ is the translation of what is expressed by ´dallen´ meaning ´errant´ in the Arabic original text. ´Errant´ is as strong as ´lost´ and surely wouldn´t have been used to describe a Hanif position.

So, most probably 93:7 is a decisive clue to the question what was the faith of Muhammad before his invention of Islam.

Khadidya's desire to marry Muhammad was rejected by her father, who suspected him of being a heirloom. Thereupon the drinking father was put into an alcohol stupor, in which he agreed to the marriage. Back to his senses, he vowed bloody revenge on his son-in-law, but died before it could come to that.

The authenticity of this story is not fully accepted, what doesn´t automatically mean that it is wrong.

From
https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Khadijah_bint_Khuwaylid#Controversial_Wedding

Marriage required the consent of the bride’s guardian, and Khadijah’s father Khuwaylid had refused her previous suitors. She therefore plotted to secure his permission through trickery. She plied her father with wine until he was drunk. Then she slaughtered a cow, covered his shoulders with a new striped robe and sprinkled him with perfume, whereupon Muhammad and his uncles entered the house. Khadijah extracted the legally binding words from her father while he was too inebriated to know what he was saying. As the day wore on and the wedding party was in full swing, Khuwaylid recovered his sobriety enough to ask, “What is this meat, this robe and this perfume?” Khadijah replied, “You have given me in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah.” Khuwaylid was as furious as his daughter had expected, protesting that he had never consented to any such thing and even unsheathing his sword. Muhammad’s kin also brandished weapons before everyone realised that the matter was not worth actual bloodshed. It was too late. Muhammad was Khadijah’s husband.[74]
Although the Muslim historian Waqidi denied this embarrassing story (even while reporting it), the British historian Muir points out that nobody had any reason to fabricate it. The tradition is from two independent sources, both of whom were biased in Muhammad’s favour and neither of whom had any reason to disparage Khadijah’s father or his clan. Two further independent sources, without mentioning the drunken party, state that it was Khuwaylid who married Khadijah to Muhammad. Although Waqidi claims that it was Khadijah’s uncle who gave her away because her father had died before the Sacrilegious War (591-594), his pupil Ibn Saad names Khuwaylid as a commander in that war. Muir therefore concludes that the tradition of Khuwaylid’s death “has been invented, to throw discredit on the story of his drunkenness.”[75]

+++

I´ll soonly deal with your other inquries.
By some accounts, Khadidya was 40 years old and asuccessful merchan, and a widow. I am surprised she would need her father's permission. In other accounts, Khadidya was only 28.

I don't think we can put much credit on the account given. Keep in mind, the oldest written accounts would be more than a hundred years after the event occurred. Of course, that. Probably is true for much of the biography of Muhammad.
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,331
USA
#38
Let me put it this way. Islam without violence is not Islam. The more pious a Muslim becomes, the more violent a Muslim becomes. Violence has been an integral part of Islam from its beginning.
 
Aug 2014
1,003
pakistan
#39
His faith was Arab polytheistic at the time.

My post is a translation from a German article of mine from 2015, and I`ve of course forgotten which sources I then used. As to that statement, there is in fact no consensus about Muhammad´s faith before the ´revelations´. Traditional Muslim scholars of course think he had since his youth a strong inclination to monotheism, however there is no solid evidence supporting this. In Quran 93:7 it says:

And he (=Allah) found you (=Muhammad) lost and guided you.

This sentence can rather clearly be interpreted as stating that Muhammad was quite polytheistically oriented before the revelations, since a Abrahamic Hanif position which is attributed to Muhammad by traditional Muslim scholars certainly wouldn´t be described by the term ´lost´ which is in Muslim view rather characteristic for a polytheistic attitude. ´Lost´ is the translation of what is expressed by ´dallen´ meaning ´errant´ in the Arabic original text. ´Errant´ is as strong as ´lost´ and surely wouldn´t have been used to describe a Hanif position.

So, most probably 93:7 is a decisive clue to the question what was the faith of Muhammad before his invention of Islam.

Khadidya's desire to marry Muhammad was rejected by her father, who suspected him of being a heirloom. Thereupon the drinking father was put into an alcohol stupor, in which he agreed to the marriage. Back to his senses, he vowed bloody revenge on his son-in-law, but died before it could come to that.

The authenticity of this story is not fully accepted, what doesn´t automatically mean that it is wrong.

From
https://wikiislam.net/wiki/Khadijah_bint_Khuwaylid#Controversial_Wedding

Marriage required the consent of the bride’s guardian, and Khadijah’s father Khuwaylid had refused her previous suitors. She therefore plotted to secure his permission through trickery. She plied her father with wine until he was drunk. Then she slaughtered a cow, covered his shoulders with a new striped robe and sprinkled him with perfume, whereupon Muhammad and his uncles entered the house. Khadijah extracted the legally binding words from her father while he was too inebriated to know what he was saying. As the day wore on and the wedding party was in full swing, Khuwaylid recovered his sobriety enough to ask, “What is this meat, this robe and this perfume?” Khadijah replied, “You have given me in marriage to Muhammad ibn Abdullah.” Khuwaylid was as furious as his daughter had expected, protesting that he had never consented to any such thing and even unsheathing his sword. Muhammad’s kin also brandished weapons before everyone realised that the matter was not worth actual bloodshed. It was too late. Muhammad was Khadijah’s husband.[74]
Although the Muslim historian Waqidi denied this embarrassing story (even while reporting it), the British historian Muir points out that nobody had any reason to fabricate it. The tradition is from two independent sources, both of whom were biased in Muhammad’s favour and neither of whom had any reason to disparage Khadijah’s father or his clan. Two further independent sources, without mentioning the drunken party, state that it was Khuwaylid who married Khadijah to Muhammad. Although Waqidi claims that it was Khadijah’s uncle who gave her away because her father had died before the Sacrilegious War (591-594), his pupil Ibn Saad names Khuwaylid as a commander in that war. Muir therefore concludes that the tradition of Khuwaylid’s death “has been invented, to throw discredit on the story of his drunkenness.”[75]

+++

I´ll soonly deal with your other inquries.
Thanks. However the part about Khuwaylid unsheathing his sword and Muhammad's kin unsheathing swords in response, are additions of WikiIslam, it does not exist in Tabari.

Here is the relevant part from English translation of Tabari (Volume 6, page-49)



It can be verified here in the ebook https://archive.org/stream/TabariEnglish/Tabari_Volume_06#page/n97
 
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Apr 2018
1,327
Mythical land.
#40
Thanks. However the part about Khuwaylid unsheathing his sword and Muhammad's kin unsheathing swords in response, are additions of WikiIslam, it does not exist in Tabari.

Here is the relevant part from English translation of Tabari (Volume 6, page-49)



It can be verified here in the ebook https://archive.org/stream/TabariEnglish/Tabari_Volume_06#page/n97
wikiislam mentioned two sources,so i don't think its addition done by them.
ibn saad's account does state this
Ibn Sa'd's (public_html/religie/hadith)
check 4 and 5.

although both the commentators say that story is wrong,and hence must be taken as such.
 

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