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By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

11/17/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Our brothers in thrall to the teachings of Muhammad need our prayers, for God wants more for them than what Muhammad gave them.

If Muhammad's behavior cannot be criticized in the light of the natural moral law, then we are forced to conclude that assaulting men, killing them, stealing their goods is justified against anyone who opposes Muhammad or disbelieves his teaching, which is to say, the entire non-Muslim world. 

Article Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (

11/17/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Muhammad, theft, seventh commandment, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - The truth of Muhammad's claim to be a prophet or a messenger for God, and, what is more, the perfect man, al-insan al-kamil, the hasua hasana, is belied by his inability to climb out of the conventions of the culture in which he found himself.   

Muhammad and his followers have put Muhammad on a pedestal, and then they prohibit any judgment of him.  And yet by putting him on a pedestal as a perfect man, they invite judgment.  Even Jesus invited such a judgment regarding himself: "Who do men say that I am?"  "Who do you say that I am?" (Luke 9:18, 20) 

If we are to judge Muhammad, his alleged revelations, and his moral teachings then we are going to need a standard other than Muhammad with which to judge him.  We cannot allow Muhammad to be the judge of his own cause. 

We cannot adopt the circular reasoning of the Muslims which goes something like this: Muhammad is a self-acclaimed prophet and self-acclaimed perfect man.  Yet no one judges Muhammad but Muhammad and what Muhammad revealed Allah said about him.  The upshot is that there is no judgment.  It is like asking the question, "Who do I say that I am?" That is a vicious circle and no reasonable judgment. 

Some of this closed-loop case is a vicious defense mechanism, a sort of defensive fortification calculated to protect Islam from the criticism of the light of reason, including the natural law and the voice of conscience.  The moment that the natural moral law, which is the law of God found within the heart of man, is invoked and Muhammad contrasted to it, Muhammad falls short. 

We have seen in prior articles in this series how Muhammad's life with respect to polygamy, concubinage, the assassination of political and religious rivals, his torture of enemies, and genocide of rival tribes falls short of what the natural moral law would require.  To err (in doctrine and in morals) is human, Alexander Pope states, but to err (either in doctrine or in morals) is not the characteristic of a prophet, a mouthpiece of God, and certainly not one who is claimed to be the epitome, the paragon of human virtue, al-insan al-kamil.

In this article we will focus on another area of Muhammad which is inconsistent with natural law, specifically, his role in encouraging and leading raids against the caravans of the Meccans after he assumed political power in the neighboring town of Yathrib (later named Medina).

It seems clear that, in fleeing Mecca to Medina, Muhammad intended to raid the caravans of his former townsmen as a means for sustaining his fledgling Muslim band.  These raids are, from a moral point of view, nothing less than acts of brigandage or theft.  Frequently, they resulted in deaths, what we would characterize as felony murder. 

This aspect of Muhammad's life was so preeminent that the earliest biographical materials of Muhammad are called al-maghazi, that is, the "expeditions" or "campaigns," not Gospels.  An early biographer of Muhammad named al-Waqidi identified seventy-four such campaigns during the life of Muhammad at Medina.  It is impossible to believe that seventy-four battles and raids were defensive.  Since Muhammad lived ten years in Medina, this is an average of 7.4 raids a year.

Though Muslims argue to the contrary, it appears without question that most if not all of these campaigns were aggressive and were a central feature of the Islam and the subject of "revelations" of the Qur'an.  As is typical with Muhammad's "revelations," they seem to be rather opportune and convenient, and always seem to accord with the temporal or even sensual needs of Muhammad.

It certainly gives the impression that Muhammad is both self-revealing and self-justifying: "Permission to fight is given to those (i.e. believers against disbelievers), who are fighting them, (and) because they (believers) have been wronged, and surely, Allah is Able to give them (believers) victory." Qur'an (Al-Haj) 22:39.

Allah's gracious permission to engage in brigandage was, after the Battle of Badr, strengthened to an affirmative duty to engage in brigandage, rapine, and rape:  "And fight in the Way of Allâh and know that Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower." Qur'an (Al-Baqarah), 2:244.

Soon, it was not only an occasional affirmative duty, but something that was positively delightful to this war-like god called Allah.  Allah wanted (and wants, the Qur'an is supposedly the eternal and uncreated word of Allah, good for all times) all his Muslims out of their homes and onto the highways and byways of the Hijaz, out to the Arabian Peninsula, on from there all around the world to wage war on every human being on earth that is not under Islam's hegemony:

"Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward."  Qur'an (An-Nisa'), 4:95.

While the first few raids were hesitant and unsuccessful, this was largely as a result of the lack of adequate opportunity, or simple caution.  But it is significant to note that it was the Muslims who took the offensive.  After all, they were seeking the goods carried on the Meccan caravans to which they had no right.

The first such successful raid was the seventh, which took place at Nakhla and was headed by Abdullah ibn Jahsh.  It occurred at the express direction of Muhammad.  Although Muhammad intended the raid to occur if Abdullah thought it opportune, he probably did not expect it to occur when it did, since the raiding party got to Nakhla and found a caravan there on the "last day of [the sacred month of] Rajab," when fighting was prohibited by well-established Bedouin custom. 

When the raiding party got to Nakhla, it discovered a caravan manned by the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, "carrying dry raisins and leather and other merchandise of the Quraysh."  That the goods belonged to other men did not bother the Muslims one bit. 

The Muslims used tricks to overcome the defenses of the Meccan caravan.  One of Abdullah's men, Ukkash ibn Mihsan, shaved his head so as to give the appearance that he was a religious devotee on pilgrimage.  This was particularly clever, since it was the month of Rajab where, by convention or custom, hostilities between tribes were forbidden.  The caravan therefore put its guard down, thinking the raiding party to be just a bunch of pious devotees of the local idol-goddess al-'Uzza.

While the Meccans were setting up camp and preparing food, the Muslims engaged in a surprise attack.  The leader of the Meccan caravan, Amr ibn Hadrami, was killed.  One of the Meccans escaped, and the remaining two and all the booty were taken back to Medina.

When the Muslim brigands returned to Mecca, Muhammad was initially upset about the violation of the customary ban on fighting. "I did not order you to fight in the sacred month," he said to Abdullah.  But another convenient revelation from Allah set everyone's mind at rest.  Customs and conventions (like secular laws) do not really bind the Muslim if they are inconvenient to his need or want:

"They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say, "Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the Way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing."  Qur'an (Al-Baqarah) 2:217.

The reasoning goes like this: "They [the Meccans] used to seduce the Muslim in his religion until they made him return to unbelief after believing, and that is worse than killing."  Ergo all Meccans can be killed, and if they can be killed, certainly the lesser can be done to them: their goods taken.  This is the moral logic, the non-sequiturs of the Qur'an.

You count war in the holy month a grave matter,
But graver is, if one judges rightly,
Your opposition to Muhammad's teaching, and your
Unbelief in it, which God sees and witnesses,
Your driving God's people from His mosque
So that none can be seen worshipping Him there.
Though you defame us for killing him,
More dangerous to Islam is the sinner who envies.
Our lances drank of Ibn al-Hadrami's blood
In Nakhla when Waqid lit the flame of war,
'Uthman ibn Abdullah is with us,
A leather band streaming with blood restrains him.

Sirat Rasul Allah (Guillaume, trans.), pp. 286-89.

Not only was the booty kept, but the two prisoners were exchanged for ransom, a total of 1,600 dirhams.  No blood money was paid for the man killed.

It was the Nakhla raid where Islam drew its first blood, claimed its first victim, and stole its first gold, all three crimes against the natural moral law.  We could look at all seventy-four of these raids during Muhammad's remaining life at Mecca, but the task would be tedious, and it would only confirm what we already know: a true prophet, a truly excellent man, does not steal others' property, and certainly not by trick or violence.

If Muhammad's behavior cannot be criticized, then we are forced to conclude that assaulting men, killing them, and stealing their goods is justified against anyone who opposes Muhammad or disbelieves his teaching, which is to say, the entire non-Muslim world. 

No natural law restrains the Muslim in this logic, only the "leather band" of convenience, a "leather band streaming with blood," restrains the Muslim from his sanguinary ethic.  The Muslim terrorist simply unleashes himself from that leather band, and incurs no moral fault thereby according to their law. 

This is the teaching of Muhammad and the logic of his morals, manifestly against the customs and laws of men, the natural moral law, and the law of the God most high Himself.  And since, under the Islamic law of Shari'a, to criticize or insult Muhammad is punishable by death, the natural moral law--the law of conscience and of God--is squelched in this system which closes itself off from reason and from grace.

If the natural moral law, the law of reason, the law of human nature, the law of God ever makes it into the Islamic lands, then we will have cause to say with Isaiah, a real honest-to-goodness prophet:  "The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen." Isaiah 9:2.  Admitting reason will then allow grace to follow.  It may then be that they recognize the prophet of all prophets and the offer of his grace: Jesus Christ, whose Gospel they have a divine right to hear.

Our brothers in thrall to the teachings of Muhammad need our prayers, for God wants more for them than what Muhammad gave them.

(This article is adapted from the book written by the author entitled, The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: Why the Natural Law Proves Muhammad False.)


Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at


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