The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: The Quartering of Umm Qirfa
Is Muhammad's encouragement of this war ethic and his participation in the capture and trading of women, and in their brutal killing, a perfection to imitate?
Is Muhammad's encouragement of this war ethic, and his participation in the capture and trading of women, and in their brutal killing, a perfection to imitate? A normal man, heeding his conscience, listening to reason, and trained in virtue, would find such behavior abhorrent, against the letter and the spirit of the natural moral law. But he who has been taught that Muhammad is the perfect man, al-insan al-kamil, and the uswatun hasanatun, the "good example," will be corrupted by a positive falsehood.
The pandora's box of violence which Muhammad opened cannot be shut unless Muhammad's prophethood is rejected by the Muslims, which is a near impossibility because it would be the death knell of their religion, culture, and way of life. It would mean accepting that they have lived a fourteen-centuries-long lie. And so, though the gates of ijtihad and the gates of reason may have closed in Islam, the gates of jihad (which comes in all forms, subtle, vicious, or violent as they showed themselves with Umm Qirfa who is the subject of this article) opened by the barbaric Muhammad remain open and they threaten all civilization today.
In his biography 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 excerpt quoted below from Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad as translated by Guillaume seems to incorporate the historian Ibn Isham's version with the version of al-Tabari. The Zayd mentioned by Ibn Ishaq is Muhammad's son in law, Zayd ibn Haritha. We shall quote Ibn Ishaq's history entire, except where I have added parts for explanation (which are shown in italics and enclosed in brackets).
"Zayd also raided Wadi'l-Qura, where he met [the tribe of] B[anu] Fazara and some of his companions were killed; he himself was carried wounded from the field. Ward b. 'Amr b. Madash, one of the [tribe of] B[anu] Sa'd b. Hudhayl, was killed by one of [the] B[anu] Badr [tribe] (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 [the tribe of] 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."
(Ibn Ishaq, pp. 664-65)
While from the sources themselves 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. Unquestionably, Muhammad would have been aware of it since he was the recipient of Umm Qirfa's daughter and apparently confirmed title of Umm Qirfa's daughter in Salama bin 'Amr. The latter had taken Umm Qirfa's daughter as war booty, changing her from a free woman to a slave and concubine and 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 who saw themselves as virtuous, and, indeed, the "best of all peoples ever raised up for mankind." (Qur'an 3:110)
Is Muhammad's encouragement of this war ethic and his participation in the capture and trading of women, and in their brutal killing, a perfection to imitate? A normal man, heeding his conscience, listening to reason, and trained in ...
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