Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Muhammad and the Natural Law: Murder for Prophet-Umm Qirfa

DEATH OF ENEMIES WAS NOT SUFFICIENT to satisfy the blood-lust of Muhammad, the self-acclaimed prophet of Allah, and his Muslim followers whom he encouraged by his vicious Medinan surahs, "revelations" which got progressively more and more vicious against the كفّار, the kuffar or non-believers, and the أهل الكتاب‎, the‎ ′Ahl al-Kitab or Jews and Christians. The pandora's box of violence which Muhammad opened could not be shut, and never has been shut. The gates of ijtihad and the gates of reason may have closed in Islam; but the gates of jihad (which comes in all forms, subtle and vicious and violent as they showed themselves with Umm Qirfa who is the subject of this posting) opened by the barbaric Muhammad remain open and they threaten all civilization today.

In his life of Muhammad, the early Muslim historian Ibn Ishaq tells us of a brutal torture and murder of the leader named Umm Qirfa (or Umm Kirfa), also known as Fatima bint Rabi'a bin Badr. She was the ruler of a small town called Wad'l-Qura occupied by the tribe known as the Banu Fazara. The event would have occurred around 622 A.D., almost six years after Muhammad's emigration from Mecca to Medina.

The Quartering of Umm Qirfa

The excerpt quoted below seems to incorporate Ibn Ishaq's version with al-Tabari's version. The Zayd mentioned by Ibn Ishaq is Muhammad's son in law, Zayd ibn Haritha.

Zayd also raided Wadi'l-Qura, where he met B[anu] Fazara and some of this companions were killed; he himself was carried wounded from the field. Ward b. 'Amr b. Madash, one of the B[anu] Sa'd b. Hudhayl, was killed by one of B[anu] Badr (whose name was Sa'd b. Hudhaym—T. and I.H.) When Zayd came he swore that he would use no ablution until he raided B[anu] Fazara; and when he recovered from his wounds the apostle sent him against them with a force. He fought (T. He met) them in Wadi'l-Qura and killed some of them. Qays b. Al-Musahhar al-Ya'muri killed Mas'ada b. Hakama b. Malik b. Hudhayfa b. Badr, and Umm Qirfa Fatima d. Rabi'a b. Badr was taken prisoner.

She [Umm Qirfa] was a very old woman, wife of Malik. Her daughter and 'Abdullah b. Mas'ada were also taken. Zayd ordered Qays b. Al-Musahhar to kill Umm Qirfa and he killed her cruelly (T. By putting a rope to her two legs and to two camels and driving them until they rent her in two). Then they brought Umm Qirfa's daughter and Mas'ada's son to the Apostle. The daughter of Umm Qirfa belonged to Salama b. 'Amr b. Al-Akwa' who had taken her. She held a position of honour among her people, and the Arabs used to say, "Had you been more powerful than Umm Qirfa you can have done no more." Salama asked the apostle to let him have her and he gave her to him and he presented her to his uncle Hazn b. Abu Wahb and she bare him 'Abdu'l-Rahma b. Hazn.
Life, 664-65.*

While from the sources this evil cannot be placed directly upon Muhammad as if he ordered it to occur in the manner that it occurred, there certainly is no indication that he disapproved of it. Muhammad would have certainly been aware of it since he was the recipient of Umm Qirfa's daughter and apparently confirmed title of Qirfa's daughter in Salama bin 'Amr. The latter had taken Qirfa's daughter as war booty, changing her from a free woman to a slave and concubine to a Muslim's chattel slave, which he later transferred--in perfect consonance with Islam's ethical teachings--as a gift to his uncle Hazn bin Abu Wahb. We can be sure that the daughter of Umm Qirfa did not have a say in all of this, and that she wondered at this religion which justified her mother's death, her capture, her sexual enslavement, and her treatment as a commodity made to cater to the sexual appetites of barbaric men.

Is Muhammad's encouragement of this war ethic and participation in the capture and trading of women a perfection to imitated? A normal man, heeding his conscience, listening to reason, and trained in virtue, would find such behavior abhorrent, against the natural moral law. But he who has been taught that Muhammad is the perfect man, al-insan al-kamil, الإنسان الكامل, and the uswatun hasanatun, أسوة حسنة ,the "good example," will be corrupted by a positive falsehood. He will be told all his life الله ورسوله أعلم, Allah and his messenger know best, the natural law notwithstanding. And without the light of reason or without the light of the Gospel denied him by the same shari'a which misinforms him, our poor Muslim will have a difficult time ever getting out of the dark dungeon that his culture and religious forbears have put him in under the name of Allah. He would have to learn to open some gates, and close others. And to do that he would have to learn that such gates even exist.

Golden Gate, Jerusalem

It is said that the Muslims sealed the Golden Gate in the city of Jerusalem's eastern city walls because it was foretold by the prophet Ezekiel that the Messiah would enter through that gate. In a similar manner, the Muslim has bricked up that part of his heart through which that first grace, the natural law, enters: reason. Before he can accept Christ, the Messiah, he will have to dislodge those rocks that block his access to the first grace, the natural law. He would have to close the gates of jihad and reject the example of Muhammad which leads to and justifies such atrocities as the quartering of Umm Qirfa. Yet he will have to open other gates:
ارفعن ايتها الارتاج رؤوسكنّ وارفعنها ايتها الابواب الدهريات فيدخل ملك المجد

Lift up your heads, ye gates; yea, lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.
Psalm 24:9.

Who is the King of Glory? Why, He who said he was the Truth, the Lord Christ!

Take out the stones that plug up the openings of your heart to the natural moral law, brothers! Then open up the gates of your hearts to the cross of Christ, and close the gates of your heart to the sword of Muhammad. For it is not the sword that lifts you up, but the cross that does, the cross which is the law of Christians: Lex Christianorum crux est sancta Christi, filii Dei vivi. "The law of the Christians is the holy cross of Christ, the living son of God."

*A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2006).

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