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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Muhammad and the Natural Law: Murder for Prophet-Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf

MUHAMMAD WAS DRIVEN BY POWER, however justified by invocation of Allah, and the Jews simply got in the way. No matter, the Jew that got in the way, that opposed the will or whim of this vicious man who covered it with Allah's mantle, was promptly dispatched. The Fifth Commandment did not apply to Muhammad. He doubtfully read Exodus, since he was supposed to be illiterate. It might have done him some good had he read:
لا تقتل, Thou shalt not kill.
Exodus 20:13; Deut. 5:17.

After all there was no need to read the Scriptures, they were corrupted on Muhammad's account, Qur'an 5:13, 41, and whatever was therein contained was of no moment since whatever Muhammad did was perfect, and if the Fifth Commandment has to take a back seat to Muhammad's perfect desires, then so be it: Allah and his messenger know best. God did not say, "Thou shalt not kill." Rather, God said, "Thou shalt kill." Or so Muhammad would have it.

The name Muhammad in Arabic

Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf (كعب بن الاشرف‎), a chief of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadi, was another victim of Muhammad's rise to power and moral failings. Once Muhammad gained in political power, some of the Jewish tribes around him grew mistrustful and opposed both his message and his rising influence. Though Muhammad had ostensibly entered into an informal treaty with the Jewish tribes, there was tension between Muhammad's followers and the Jewish tribes, including the Banu Nadi. Al-Ashraf, it's true, was an opponent of Muhammad, believed Muhammad a false prophet, and opposed himself to Muhammad's rise. After Muhammad's victor at the battle of Badr, al-Ashraf grew particularly concerned. But is that a crime? In Muhammad's eyes, opposition to him and his doctrine was anathema: nay, it was more than that; it was a virtual death sentence.

Moreover, Muhammad was like the devil, "the proud spirit [who] cannot endure to be mocked,"* and al-Ashraf mocked both Muhammad and the Muslim women: "He inveighed against the apostle," wrote a plaintive poem at the loss by the Quraysh tribe defeated at Badr, and "composed amatory verses of an insulting nature about Muslim women" Muhammad's biographer Ibn Ishaq tells us.**

The enmity between al-Ashraf and Muhammad and Muhammad's response to it is found in several sources, including Sahih Bukhari 3.45.687 and 5.59.369. The second hadith is particularly long, so only parts will be quoted here.

The hadith begins:
Allah's messenger said "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His apostle?"**
Thereupon Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's messenger! Would you like that I kill him?"
The prophet said, "Yes".
Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Ka'b). The prophet said, "You may say it."

So here we have two questionable moral lapses by Muhammad. The first, a willingness to put a political opponent to death. The second, a willingness to use all manners of deceit. Here we find the questionable doctrine of taqiyya (تقیة) or dissimulation approved by the alleged prophet of Allah, of the Arab war idol who--unlike Christ who says, "I am the truth" (John 14:6)--says of himself that he is the "best of deceivers," Allahu khayru al-makirina, اللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ (Qur'an 3:54).

Based on the pretense that, as an opponent of Muhammad, he wanted to borrow a camel load or two of food, Maslama visits al-Ashraf at night and, together with his foster brother Abu Naila, is invited into Maslama's fort. The plan is to compliment al-Ashraf on his perfumed hair, and when he is distracted to cut off his head. The plan worked, and together Maslama and Abu Naila cut of Muhammad's enemy's head. The poet Ka'b bin Malik said:
Sword in hand we cut [Ka'b] down
By Muhammad's order when he sent secretly by night
Ka'b's brother to got to Ka'b.
He beguiled him and brought him down with guile
Mahmoud [bin Maslama] was trustworthy, bold.**
Ibn Sa'd's Tabaqat records Muhammad's delight:
Then they cut his head and took it with them [and] . . . they cast his head before him [Muhammad]. He (the prophet) praised Allah on his being slain.***
The pseudo-prophet can rejoice at an innocent's man's death, just like many of his followers could rejoice at the attack of the Twin Towers on 9/11, and the deaths of thousands who did none of their killers wrong. This is what happens when you are the prosecutor, the alleged victim, and the judge. The defendant, even if innocent, has no voice. This is because, in Islam, الله ورسوله أعلم, Allah and his messenger know best, the natural law notwithstanding.
*St. Thomas More, Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (London: Charles Dolman, 1847), II.XVI, p. 160.
**The matter is extensively treated in Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad, on pages 364-69 of A. Guillaume's translation. Muhammad is related to have said: "Who will rid me of Ibnu'l-Ashraf?" To which, Muhammad bin Maslama said that he would kill him. Muhammad, for his part, responded "Do so if you can." With respect to the lying, Ibn Ishaq puts it this way: "'O apostle of God, we shall have to tell lies.' He answered, 'Say what you like for you are free of the matter.'" A. Guillaume,
Life of Muhammad: Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2006), 367.
***Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir (Pakistan Historical Society, 1967), II, p. 37.

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