By Peter Burrows firstname.lastname@example.org - silvercityburro.com. 9/28/17 (The Koran used for and referenced in this article, unless otherwise noted, is the Khan-Hilali translation published by Darussalam, revised edition, March 1999.)
In Part One, I tried to show that the Koran itself proves that it was the creation of Muhammad, not Allah. In Part Two, we’ll examine some self-serving “revelations” that support that contention. These self-serving revelations should, but don’t, strain the credulity of devout Muslims. In order of their chronology:
33:21: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day ---.” I call this the verse of the ego. Essentially, Muhammad said that whatever he did was approved by God. From this Muslims have come to believe, to this day, that Muhammad was the “perfect man.”
To illustrate this, let’s look at verse 3:70 from Sayyid Mawdudi’s highly respected, 20th Century translation of the Koran, and his footnote thereto. The verse says: “People of the Book! Why do you reject the signs of Allah even though you yourselves witness them?”
“People of the Book” refers to Jews and Christians, the book being the Bible. Muhammad was obviously frustrated that he wasn’t convincing Jews and Christians that he was God’s Prophet. Here is Mawdudi’s footnote, somewhat condensed:
“Another rendering of this could be, ‘and you yourselves bear witness’ to Muhammad’s prophethood. However it is translated, the sense remains the same. In fact, the impeccable purity of the life of the Prophet --- and the loftiness of the teachings of the Qur’an all constituted such illustrious signs of God that it was very difficult for anyone --- to doubt Muhammad’s prophethood.”
IMPECCABLE PURITY??? How could anyone, in light of Muhammad’s many, well documented atrocities, believe such a thing? The key is that the atrocities were committed against unbelievers, at the command of Allah, therefore they are not despicable but COMMENDABLE. For non-Muslims, then and now, it is not difficult to doubt Muhammad’s prophethood.
33:36: “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.”
What this means is that whatever Muhammad decided, that was it. No dissention. Don’t argue with the boss. Notice the “Allah and His Messenger” phrase essentially makes Muhammad equal to Allah, and who determines where one stops and the other begins? If you said, “Muhammad,” go to the head of the class.
33:50: This revelation came about because Muhammad was criticized for taking a fifth wife when only four were allowed. It’s long, but essentially says Muhammad, and only Muhammad, can have as many wives as he can afford, including any first cousins he wants to marry. This was in addition to all the slave women he possessed. All other Muslim men are limited to four wives, plus slave women.
It’s my understanding that marriage to first cousins had been verboten until this revelation, which combined with verse 33:21, has led to lots of marriages being arranged between Muslim first cousins in the last 1,400 years, something some have said has caused some unfortunate genetic consequences. Regardless, I think it is probable that Muhammad had an attractive cousin or two that he had his eye on, or maybe they had their eye on him, ergo the “revelation.” Allah was ever so accommodating to His man, Muhammad.
4:65: “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decision, and accept (them) with full submission”
The message here is that faithful Muslims must unquestioningly accept Muhammad’s decisions, with “full submission,” no less. No thinking allowed. This revelation was in the context of advice to “hypocrites,” who are those who lack sufficient faith in Muhammad’s religion, in one way or another, and probably arose because somebody disagreed with Muhammad over something. Can’t do that!
Interestingly, verse 4:63 says hypocrites shouldn’t be punished, only admonished. Verses 9:73 and 9:123 abrogate that with commands that Muslims fight hypocrites, i.e. kill them. Also, note that while this verse is very similar to verse 33:36 there is no “Allah and His Messenger,” just Muhammad. Poor Allah. Starting to become redundant in the religion of Islam.
4:80 “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad) has indeed obeyed Allah ---.” There are quite a few “Allah and His Messenger” verses but none as explicit as this one, which quite specifically says Muhammad speaks for God.
This verse illustrates the circular reasoning so evident in Islam. We know the Koran came from God because Muhammad said so, and we know Muhammad is God’s Messenger because the Koran says so. We know Muhammad speaks for God because the Koran says so and because that‘s what Muhammad says the Koran says.
I especially like verse 4:80 because of its monumental chutzpah! Can you imagine Muhammad standing in front of a group of people, eyes closed, arms outstretched, hands quivering, head turned upward, and saying essentially: “Obey me for I am God”? Oh, my. Well, it is what it is and people believe in it and behave accordingly, which has been a problem for us non-Muslims for 1,400 years.
Let’s summarize: Allah -- GOD!! -- told Muhammad’s followers that whatever Muhammad did was “a good example” for other Muslims to follow. That meant that everything Muhammad did was commendable, above criticism. In fact, criticism of Muhammad carried the death penalty. Still does.
So, when Muhammad ordered the beheading of as many as 900 captives after the battle of Banu Qurayza, he set an example emulated today by ISIS, which regularly beheaded captives. As an aside, my reading of the beheadings in Banu Qurayza is that Muhammad himself did them all. (Page 464, “Life of Muhammad” by Ibn Ishaq.)
In addition to what Muhammad did, the Koran gives his decisions and his orders the Heavenly imprimatur of Allah. Allah -- GOD!! -- did not and does not allow disagreement with His Messenger. To do so is to turn your back on Islam, apostasy, or to be a hypocrite, both of which will earn you death on Earth and eternal damnation in Hell.
Finally, good ol' Allah made sure Muhammad never had any sexual frustrations. Essentially, just about any Muslim woman he wasn’t related to by blood or marriage was fair game, plus, of course, any slave woman he wanted, no restrictions whatsoever. It was even OK for Muhammad to have sex with a nine-year-old, Aisha, as long as he was married to the little girl. That’s why the legal age of marriage for girls is nine -- NINE -- in Iran today.
In Part Three, we’ll take a look what obeying Muhammad means.