Muhammad’s Profession: Booty Ahoy!
21 Feb, 2007
- What exactly was the profession of Mohammed, the founder of Islam? Did he work at Wal-Mart? Did he flip burgers at McDonald’s? Did he at least work for a Jew jeweler, making ornaments for the beautiful women of Medina?
- The correct answer is, ‘None of the above’. Sure enough, there was no Wal-Mart or McDonald’s 1400 years ago. Even if there was one, he would not have worked as a blue-collar laborer because he was involved in a lucrative business that did not require any investment. Although, in his childhood, Mohammed briefly worked as a shepherd and made a few business trips on behalf of his ‘soon to be wife’ Khadija, he spent the rest of his life looting, kidnapping and slave-trading when he ran out of Khadija’s wealth.
It is an Islamic fact that Mohammed’s early delusion of preaching peaceful Islam did not work very well; in fact, it was as bad as one of the flop movies of Hollywood. Like a spoiled brat, he lived on his wife’s money, and, with a handful of followers, roamed around the city of Mecca – aimlessly. When he moved to Medina, he became a professional mobster.
However, contemporary Islamic scholars, the gadflies who relentlessly promote peaceful Islam, do not admit that Mohammed’s sole intention was robbing; rather, they find Mohammed’s action as a means to promote Islam. They try to believe (and attempt to make others believe) that it was necessary for Mohammed to fight with disbelievers, precisely those unclean polytheists in order to establish Islam, and often as self-defense. Was the fight aimed to abolish polytheism and establish Islam, or did the raids committed by Mohammed have one simple purpose – robbing? Let’s read one of the Ahadith to find the truth.
“Aisha said (this is the version of narrator Yahya): A man from the polytheists accompanied the Prophet (may peace be upon him) to fight with him. He said (Go back. Both the narrators (Musaddad and Yahya) then agreed. (The Prophet said): We do not want any help from a polytheist.” (2276, Sunan Abu Dawud)
Strange! Do you see the problem? Mohammed supposedly fought with polytheists, yet one of those polytheists wanted to accompany the prophet. Though Mohammed refused to take the guy with him, why should a polytheist dare to ask? Obviously, Mohammed’s adventures had nothing to do with preaching Islam or subduing polytheists, but making money from the raid. That’s why the polytheist wanted to join Mohammed and make some easy money.
Most Muslims claim and believe a myth – ‘Mohammed only fought defensive wars; he never harmed anyone unless he was attacked.’ Surprisingly, the Ahadith, Quran and Sirat Rasul Allah repeatedly prove otherwise. Here are a few examples from Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasullah, out of many incidents.
“THE RAID ON WADDAN WHICH WAS HIS FIRST RAID: ….until he reached Waddan, which is the raid of al-Abwa…” (p 281).
“THE RAID ON BUWAT: …Then the apostle went raiding in the month of Rabiul-Awwal making for Quraish…” (285).
“THE RAID ON SAFAWAN, WHICH IS THE FIRST RAID OF BADR: The apostle stayed only a few nights, less than ten, in Medina when he came back from raiding Al-‘Ushayra….(286)
“THE RAID ON B.SULAYMAN IN AL-KUDR: The apostle stayed only seven nights in Medina before he himself made a raid against B.Sulayman…” (360).
“THE RAID OF DHU AMARR: When the apostle returned from the raid of al-Sawiq he stayed in Medina for the rest of Dhu’l-Hijja, or nearly all of it. The he raided Najd…..” (362).
See how busy Mohammed’s schedule was? He had to work hard, much harder than any top rated CEO of a big corporation. He really did not have any choice; after all, he had to support a dozen wives, an unknown number of slaves and numerous jobless bohemians – his followers that is. Unlike the legendary Robin Hood or Zorro, Mohammed did not go out and fight with the rich people; rather, his companions did most of the ugly work. However, Mohammed had a responsibility to make sure that looted wealth was equally distributed. He merely charged one-fifth of the looted goods, known as Khumas, for his service, which of course was a sizable amount for his living.
Obviously, handy-dandy Allah was very helpful in legalizing the robbing business. Mohammed, in fact, made his Allah involved in it, and had him declare…
“And know that whatever ye take as spoils of war, lo! a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger…” (Q 8:41).
“That which Allah giveth as spoil unto His messenger from the people of the townships, it is for Allah and His messenger…” (Q 59:7).
Is it not amazing how Allah asked for his share of booty? How the heck a god, supposedly an all merciful god, would do with the booty is the question. It’s not only the Quran, but several Ahadith also confirm how Mohammed took it upon himself to distribute the looted wealth.
“Abd Allah b. Amr said: When the Apostle of Allahs (May peace be upon him) gained a booty he ordered Billal to make a public announcement. He made a public announcement, and when the people brought their booty, he would take a fifth and divide it…..”(2706, Sunan Abu Dawud).
If you have seen, for instance, one of those action Hollywood movies, which also happen in real life, you may have noticed how the criminals fight with each other after robbing a bank. Often, the robbery is successful, but each of the criminals tries to gulp the whole treasure, depriving others and, in most cases, they kill each other in a tense moment. Mohammed indeed had a tough job of controlling those robbers and maintaining the discipline. He did not hesitate to implement tough punishment for those who stole from the booty. Here’s another Ahadith from Suan Abu Dawood:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-’As: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him), AbuBakr and Umar burned the belongings of anyone who had been dishonest about booty and beat him.
Ah booty! What a sweet word for Mohammed!
The word ‘booty’ refers to spoils of war; in other words, it is the treasure that was received after a raid or so-called expedition. The treasure often included money, jewelry, swords, and camels, and even women and children could be sold as slaves. Seemingly, according to Mohammed, consuming booty was a special privilege that was never permitted to any other prophet. At a later time, Khalifah Umar, as recorded in Bukhari, testified this fact proudly and did not see any problem in such heinous acts.
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: The Prophet said, “I have been given five things which were not given to anyone else before me.
1. Allah made me victorious by awe (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.
2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.
4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).
5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.
Though all five claims deserve a careful examination and they speak volumes of an insane person, considering our main focus on booty, I will resist the temptation. Let’s discuss claim number three that proclaims a special privilege for Mohammed. Apparently, by saying ‘anyone else’ he meant other prophets who came before Mohammed. Despite having a low rate of success, prophecy always had been a lucrative business. There is no record of how many people failed in this ‘no money down’ business and left quietly. However, our prophet of Islam took the challenge personally when most of the people of the then Arabia refused him. Other successful prophets did not go for looting because they were either supported by their followers or considered looting as an immoral act. Mohammed not only glorified robbing, he also fused robbing into Islam in such a manner that it became a holy act.
One thing is for sure–Mohammed took care of his mercenaries very well. One of his members married a woman to whom he promised two hundred dirhams as dowry. When he asked Mohammed to help him out, Mohammed declined this request because he did not have that much money either. After a few days, Mohammed was informed that a tribe named Qays b Rifa was planning to attack him with a huge army, which Ibn Ishaq mentioned in Sirat Rasul Allah as ‘numerous’. Mohammed sent two other Muslims along with this guy to take care of the problem. Ibn Ishaq reports,
“I hid at one end and ordered my companions to hide at the other end….There we were waiting to take the enemy by surprise…and when he came in range I shot him in the heart with an arrow…I leapt upon him and cut off his head and ran in the direction of the camp shouting ‘Allah Akber’ and my two companions did likewise…they all fled….We drove off a large number of camels and sheep and brought them to the apostle and I took Rifaa’s head to the apostle, who gave me thirteen of the camels to help me with the woman’s dowry, and I consummated my marriage.”
First, one needs to understand the divine grace of the shouting ‘Allah Akber’ while holding a slit head in his hand. Secondly, how a mere three people could defeat an army of numerous soldiers is a miracle. Obviously, there was no huge army but a small tribe who was lurking around the desert. Mohammed did not mind sending three people to rob this poor tribe and help his companion to fulfill his desire of marriage.
In many countries, a person is honored for an honorable deed with a certain title such as Lord, Baron, Knight, Samurai, etc. In Islam, Ghazi is one of those titles that make a Muslim proud. Unsurprisingly, the term Ghazi came from another word Ghazwa, which means a raid (the politically correct phrase is holy battle) under the leadership of Mohammed. Those who died in the process of looting were called Shahid (Martyr) and those who survived were honored as Ghazi.
So, in Islam, stealing is a grave offense, subject to cutting of hands, but robbing is a holy mission. When a Muslim returns with looted wealth, he is honored as a Ghazi. On the other hand, if he dies, he becomes a martyr and takes an easy route to heaven, which is full of virgin belly dancers.
In the age of up periscope – down periscope and sonar technology, sailors of a ship know their exact position and how far the land is. However, long ago, when sailors had to spend months on the ocean, they hunkered on the deck to see the land. Usually, each ship had an Eagle’s nest, built on top of a mast, where an observer would sit and watch the ocean or look for possible land. If a strip of land was seen on the horizon, the sailor would scream, “Land Ahoy!”. It was the sweetest scream that all sailors wanted to hear. The land had many meanings for a sailor. It meant a possible seaport, barrels of wine in a salon and plenty of cheap hookers.
Did Mohammed scream, with glittering eyes, “Booty Ahoy!” before he went on a raid?
The following Ahadith from Sunan Abu Dawood proves the case:
Narrated Sahl ibn al-Hanzaliyyah: “….. A horseman came and said: Apostle of Allah, I went before you and climbed a certain mountain where I saw Hawazin all together with their women, cattle, and sheep, having gathered at Hunayn…The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) smiled and said: That will be the booty of the Muslims tomorrow if Allah wills. He then asked: Who will be on guard tonight…?”
Mohammed loved to have Fai. I see that some readers are wondering how Mohammed could have loved a Chinese food. Not really! Fai is not a Chinese food. It is the easiest money that came without fighting. One Ahadith narrates:
“Marwan bin Al-Hakim and Miswar bin Makhrama: ……and we will compensate him from the very first Fai’ (i.e., war booty received without fight which Allah will give us…….”
Consider what it would be like to walk through a dark alley on a quiet night. You are looking back every few minutes, hoping no one is following you. You are close to the next illuminated street, but, almost magically, two tall musclemen block your way and ask for your wallet. You hand them your wallet and give up your wrist watch and the expensive jacket that you bought recently. Yes, you just made your contribution to Fai.
Mohammed, as Muslims argue, fought defensive wars, meaning he only combated to save his precious life. Yet he earned booty without a fight. Apparently, enemies of Mohammed attacked him maliciously, but brought their wealth with them, and delivered it to Mohammed upon defeat. They even rewarded Mohammed with their own wives and children to become slaves, while Mohammed was busy saving his life. Such belief, though, seem absurd to any sane person. Muslims and the non-Muslims who are itching to sacrifice themselves as dhimnies desperately cling to this kind of fallacy. It’s true that some tribes had their families with them at the time of the conflict, but no civilized person would think of making children and women slaves.
Anyway, let’s continue with Mohammed’s business deals. At the end of Mohammed’s life, he invaded Khyber where the Jewish tribe B. al-Nadr lived, and Kinana b. al-Rabi was the custodian of all the treasures that the tribe had. When inquired by the prophet of Islam, being a responsible person, he refused to disclose the whereabouts of the treasure. Ibn Ishaq reports in Sirat Rasul Allah,
“When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam, ‘Torture him until you extract what he has,’ so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead…” (515) . Tabari, another famous historian, describes the same event with more details:
“…the Messenger of God gave orders concerning him to al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam, saying, ‘Torture him until you root out what he has.’ Al-Zubayr kept twirling his fire stick in his breast until Kinanah almost expired…” (123).
Oddly, the prophet of Islam knew when the world would fall apart, and he had the ability to split the moon, yet he did not know where the treasure was hidden. Besides his inability, he did not hesitate to order torturing an innocent person. So much for defensive war!
Think of a real life drama: a kidnapper has just kidnapped your loved ones, perhaps your daughter or your wife, and is asking for ransom. How would you feel? How would you judge the characteristics of the kidnapper? The very first thing you would think of the kidnapper is that he does not possess any humanistic quality. Well, you will be glad to hear that Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, proudly lacked such quality.
In Mohammed’s age, the relatives of captured people had a heart, a much better one than the prophet. Those who could afford to pay the ransom paid the amount and brought back their loved ones. Mohammed even set an amount for the ransom.
“Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) fixed the ransom of the people of pre-Islamic Arabia at four hundred dirhams per head on the day of the battle of Badr” (Bukhari, Kitab al-Jihad).
The Quran, Mohammed’s best selling book, clearly encourages the acceptance of ransom. Read the following verse.
“So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates” (Q 47:04).
Of course, so-called Islamic scholars, living under infidel rule, will disagree, and might break their necks from shaking them. They will deliberately argue that this verse talked about a war situation; hence, it is not kidnapping. However, Mohammed’s alleged wars were nothing but raids for financial gain. If he was sincere about spreading a peaceful religion, he should not have to fight with anyone. Even if he had to fight for self-defense, why have ransom? Though Mr. Allah gave a choice of showing generosity or accepting ransom, a peaceful god of a peaceful religion should have forbidden taking ransom, and strictly ordered to free the captives.
Allah, a haughty imaginary puppet played by the puppet master Mohammed, said exactly what Mohammed said. Mohammed needed money to survive and keep his gang members happy. So, accepting ransom from the relatives of captives, captured in a war or from a sudden raid, became a benchmark of Islam. When the pious Muslims of Iraq and Afghanistan kidnap Americans, they are merely following the ideal of their prophet.
Slavery is an integral part of Islam because Mohammed himself practiced such deeds. Those who are familiar with Quranic liturgy may know the meaning of ‘Right hand possess’, which refers to slave women. The famous verse that allows a Muslim man to marry up to four wives also gives a blanket permission to enjoy his slave women, and, ironically, it prevents the Muslim from doing injustice. At least, the Quran deliberately claims this to be true.
“If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice” (Q 4:03).
For a few skeptics, the verse may be questionable because some Muslims, without knowing other verses, bicker about this verse, and may claim that it asks Muslims to marry one of those slave girls. Don’t be disheartened! There are more verses to confirm the risqué business of Mohammed, which explicitly allowed him, and subsequently his followers, to enjoy the slave girls.
“O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee;…” (Q 33:50).
Please note the use of an important conjunction “and”, which I highlighted in red. It is mind boggling how a god could allow a man to have sex with a helpless woman who has been snatched from her loved ones–her husband, her parents and children. Yet Muslims blatantly believe Allah is merciful. Many Muslims ague Mohammed had a master plan of freeing slaves gradually because he encouraged his followers to free their slaves. The notion is partially true. According to the Quran:
“Never should a believer kill a believer; but (If it so happens) by mistake, (Compensation is due): If one (so) kills a believer, it is ordained that he should free a believing slave, and pay compensation to the deceased’s family, unless they remit it freely. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (Is enough). If he belonged to a people with whom ye have treaty of Mutual alliance, compensation should be paid to his family, and a believing slave be freed…” (Q 4:92).
Note the highlighted words “believing slave”, which explicitly denote Muslim slaves. In other words, those slaves who decide to sing the magic spell and embrace Islam should be freed. It surely does not mention non-believing slaves. It was, indeed, a nice strategy. A freed Muslim slave will go nowhere but join Mohammed’s army and participate in robbing.
Mohammed’s command varied from time to time and situation to situation. Though there are several Ahadith that encourage freeing slaves, Mohammed himself did just the opposite. The following two ahadith from Shahi Bukhari prove that he did not miss an opportunity to make a few extra bucks or help a relative with a (slave) gift.
“Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: A man amongst us declared that his slave would be freed after his death. The Prophet called for that slave and sold him. The slave died the same year.”
“Narrated Kuraib: the freed slave of Ibn ‘Abbas, that Maimuna bint Al-Harith told him that she manumitted a slave-girl without taking the permission of the Prophet. On the day when it was her turn to be with the Prophet, she said, ‘Do you know, O Allah’s Apostle, that I have manumitted my slave-girl?’ He said, ‘Have you really?’ She replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘You would have got more reward if you had given her (i.e., the slave-girl) to one of your maternal uncles.’”
Apparently, slaves were treated as commodities, and there was no harm in giving a slave to a relative as a gift. Mohammed, in fact, prescribed heavenly reward for such action instead of freeing the slave.
However, we must give credit where it is due. Mohammed established a good ethic of slave trading. In the modern world, ‘No return policy’ is not a very good way to do business, and most of the stores allow consumers to return or exchange within a certain period of time. The Human Rights Association may not like it and any human with an iota of humanity will oppose, but Mohammed had a very good policy of slave trading. Read the hadith from Sunan Abu Dawood:
“The contractual obligation of a slave is three days. If he finds defect in the slave within three days, he may return it without any evidence; if he finds a defect after three days, he will be required to produce evidence that the slave had the defect when he brought it.”
After massacring the Jewish tribe of B. Qurayza, Mohammed divided their property, wives, and children among the Muslims. Ibn Isaq reports in Sirat Rasul Allah,
“Then the apostle sent Sad b. Zayd al-Ansari brother of b Abdul-Ashhal with some of the captive women of B. Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.”
On one occasion, Mohammed exchanged seven slaves for a beautiful slave girl. His reason for such generosity remains questionable, and only a director of a porno movie will be able to explain vividly.
Over the centuries, Muslims have attributed many altruistic virtues to Mohammed’s character, much of which were either invented or twisted from Islamic scriptures. Some of the commands made by Mohammed were specifically constructed for Muslims, yet moderate Muslims and Muslim scholars who have vested interest in the Kafir world, misconstrued the verdicts, and declared that they are for all humans. Nevertheless, there are abundant records of barbarity caused by Mohammed that ought to be taken under consideration. Any sane human would reject such perilous characteristics of Mohammed, but preconditioned minds of Muslims refuse to face the reality and remain clueless of real Islam.
Granted, there are many educated Muslims, but it is a shame that instead of engaging in a dialectical discussion, they conveniently ignore the dark side of Mohammed and often defend such inhuman behavior. They are educated, but they have not educated their thinking. Often, traditional education does not open a person’s mind unless he educates his thinking.