Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 33, “The Confederates,” verses 1-27

posted at 7:50 am on July 6, 2008 by Robert Spencer

This Medinan sura provides a principal foundation for the central role of Muhammad, and hence of the Hadith (traditions of his words and deeds), in the formulation of Islamic law. It also contains a dramatic example of Allah’s solicitude for his prophet, further solidifying his pivotal role.

In verses 1-8, Allah tells Muhammad not to listen to the unbelievers and hypocrites (v. 1), but rather to follow divine inspiration (v. 2). We get a hint of what this is about when Allah says that no man has two hearts, a man cannot make his wife his mother, and a man cannot make an adopted son a real son (v. 4). In those days men would divorce their wives by telling them, “You are to me like the back of my mother” – the Qur’an is here saying that this doesn’t affect any real change or make them actually into their mothers, but the point here is not about divorce. Rather, the passage is intended to end the practice of adoption, starting with Muhammad’s own family. Ibn Kathir explains: “This was revealed concerning Zayd bin Harithah…the freed servant of the Prophet. The Prophet had adopted him before prophethood, and he was known as Zayd bin Muhammad. Allah wanted to put an end to this naming and attribution.” An adopted son should be known by the name of his natural father: he can never truly enter into his adoptive household (v. 5).

Why was Allah so intent on ending the practice of adoption? Because Muhammad wanted to marry Zayd’s ex-wife, Zaynab bint Jahsh — and as a result of his dalliance with his former daughter-in-law, says Maududi, “the hypocrites and the Jews and the mushriks [unbelievers] who were already bent on mischief would get a fresh excuse to start a propaganda campaign against Islam.” So Allah here emphasizes that an adopted son cannot be a true son, and so by extension Zaynab was never really Muhammad’s daughter-in-law at all, and there is no cause for scandal.

This sura will return to this subject later, but at this point it turns, in verses 9-27, to a discussion of the Battle of the Trench. Anticipating an attack by the pagan Arabs, whereupon Muhammad had a trench dug around Medina. According to Muhammad’s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, once when Muhammad was helping the trench diggers, he wielded a pick at a large rock, and every time he hacked at the rock, lightning shot from the pick. One of the Muslims asked Muhammad: “O you, dearer than father or mother [cf. v. 6], what is the meaning of this light beneath your pick as you strike?”

Muhammad replied: “The first means that God has opened up to me the Yemen; the second Syria and the west; and the third the east.”

As the Quraysh, along with another tribe, the Ghatafan (known collectively in Islamic tradition as “the Confederates,” as in v. 20), laid siege to Medina, the trench prevented the invaders from entering the city. Yet the Muslims were unable to force them to end the siege. Then to make matters even worse, a tribe of Jews in Medina, the Banu Qurayzah, broke their covenant with Muhammad (perhaps after seeing how Muhammad had exiled two other Jewish tribes, the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir) and began collaborating with the Quraysh.

As the siege dragged on, according to Ibn Ishaq, one Muslim remarked bitterly about Muhammad’s designs on the Persian empire of Chosroes and the Byzantine empire of Caesar: “Muhammad used to promise us that we should eat the treasures of Chosroes and Caesar and today not one of us can feel safe in going to the privy!” Allah responded by saying that those who complain that “Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!” have diseased hearts (v. 12). Allah accused these hypocrites of demoralizing the Muslims and of treasonous plotting with the enemies of Islam (vv. 13-14). Allah also told Muhammad to tell the people that desertion would be useless (v. 16).

The Qurayzah agreed to attack the Muslims from one side while the Quraysh besieged them from the other. But then a new convert to Islam, Nu’aym bin Mas’ud, came to Muhammad offering to trick the Confederate tribes, since his own people, the Ghatafan, did not know that he had become a Muslim. Muhammad responded, according to Ibn Ishaq: “You are only one man among us, so go and awake distrust among the enemy to draw them off us if you can, for war is deceit.” Nu’aym’s deception turned the Confederates against each other and against their Jewish allies; soon afterward, they ended the siege. Nu’aym’s deception had saved Islam.

According to Aisha, “When Allah’s Apostle returned on the day (of the battle) of Al-Khandaq (i.e. Trench), he put down his arms and took a bath. Then Gabriel whose head was covered with dust, came to him saying, ‘You have put down your arms! By Allah, I have not put down my arms yet.’ Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Where (to go now)?’ Gabriel said, ‘This way,’ pointing towards the tribe of Bani Quraiza. So Allah’s Apostle went out towards them.”

Ibn Ishaq recounts that Muhammad addressed the Qurayzah Jews contemptuously: “You brothers of monkeys, has God disgraced you and brought His vengeance upon you?” (The Qur’an three times — 2:62-65; 5:59-60; and 7:166 — says that Allah transformed the disobedient Jews into pigs and monkeys.) The Muslims laid siege to the Qurayzah strongholds until, said Ibn Ishaq, the Jews “were sore pressed” and Allah “cast terror into their hearts.” Muhammad entrusted the fate of the tribe to the Muslim warrior Sa‘d bin Mu’adh, who decreed: “I give the judgment that their warriors should be killed and their children and women should be taken as captives.”

Muhammad exclaimed: “O Sa‘d! You have judged amongst them with the judgment of the King Allah.” According to Ibn Ishaq, “The apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of the Qurayzah] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” Ibn Ishaq puts the number of those massacred at “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.” Ibn Sa‘d says “they were between six hundred and seven hundred in number.”

One hadith summarizes Muhammad’s dealings with the three Jewish tribes of Medina: “Bani An-Nadir and Bani Quraiza fought (against the Prophet violating their peace treaty), so the Prophet exiled Bani An-Nadir and allowed Bani Quraiza to remain at their places (in Medina) taking nothing from them till they fought against the Prophet again). He then killed their men and distributed their women, children and property among the Muslims, but some of them came to the Prophet and he granted them safety, and they embraced Islam. He exiled all the Jews from Medina.”

The Qur’an refers obliquely to the massacre, saying that Allah “cast terror” into the hearts of the People of the Book who aided the pagans, “(so that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners” (v. 26). Victory came from Allah alone (vv. 9-11).

Next week: Allah scolds Muhammad for his reluctance to marry the former wife of his adopted son.

(Here you can find links to all the earlier “Blogging the Qur’an” segments. Here is a good Arabic Qur’an, with English translations available; here are two popular Muslim translations, those of Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, along with a third by M. H. Shakir. Here is another popular translation, that of Muhammad Asad. And here is an omnibus of ten Qur’an translations.)


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Comments

What caused the Confederate tribes to join together to attack Medina?

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 8:42 AM

“Big bottom; big bottom; talk about bun cakes, mo’s mom’s got ’em…”

Krykee.

But for adoption to be ‘flushed down the toilet’ in mohammedan philosophy explains even further the wide divide between islamic and Western thought.

The concept of adoption is a core operating principle in Christian belief: through the three ‘tions’, the Christian is adopted as a child of God and into The Lord’s eternal family.

And islamists reject this?? I’m offended. Nay, outraged!

I demand violent riots, and calls for everyone’s death worldwide!

This strikes me as another one of those slavish dictates of an oppressive code of laws which shackle even further those followers of mohammed.

Or it’s all about the ex-daughter-in-law bootay.

And what medinan sura is not complete without blood, battle, and blaming the jooooozs??

Another good lesson. TY R.S.!

locomotivebreath1901 on July 6, 2008 at 10:04 AM

So Allah here emphasizes that an adopted son cannot be a true son, and so by extension Zaynab was never really Muhammad’s daughter-in-law at all, and there is no cause for scandal.

Convenient. In other words, it’s good to be the king.

crazy_legs on July 6, 2008 at 10:19 AM

a man cannot make his wife his mother

…but a woman can make her father-in-law her husband, as Zainab found out. Lucky her, I think???

Allah scolds Muhammad for his reluctance to marry the former wife of his adopted son.

Poor Mohammed! He was such a sweetheart, until Allah came along and corrupted him

What caused the Confederate tribes to join together to attack Medina?

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Must have been something to do with either ending, or perpetuating slavery. And Lincoln or Jeff Davis weren’t even around!

The Arabian Civil War!

infidelpride on July 6, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Does anyone think Islam deserves respect on learning of it’s cynical and self serving construction?

Destruction to Islam and freedom to it’s slaves. Render it no respect or admiration. Denigrate and mock it’s absurdity. Be insulted by it falsely associating itself with Christianity and Judaism.

We have an Allah myth, we call him Satan.

[email protected] on July 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Why is it that the Koran, although it is hard on all “unbelievers” and the Christian “people of the book”, seems to have a particular disdain for the Jews?

Judaism was probably the first major religion to suggest monotheism…and much of Islam relates to Judaism, and Old Testament Biblical teachings of Abraham, Moses, etc.

Why is Judaism seemingly taking the brunt of Islamic battering?

JetBoy on July 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM

If you ever hit range balls in the evening with a metal driver, you’ll see the magical lightning too. We’re all land-grabbing ‘prophets’ as it turns out!

Beagle on July 6, 2008 at 12:09 PM

TheBigOldDogh:

What caused the Confederate tribes to join together to attack Medina?

By this time antagonism was well-developed between the Muslims and the pagan Arabs. They had already met in the Battle of Badr and the Battle of Uhud, and it was clear that ultimately one group was going to prevail and conquer the other.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 12:22 PM

JetBoy

The Quran and ahadith are filled with Jew hatred — dozens of examples. As you’ve read, Mohammed was always fighting Jewish tribes. “Apes and pigs” is just scratching the surface. Saudi Arabia is, after all, occupied Jewish land. The Hamas Charter contains the widely disseminated and extremely popular (when nobody’s looking) hadith which encourages genocide of the Jews.

Article Seven:

…”The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

Article Eight is the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood:

The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement:

Article Eight:
Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.

Beagle on July 6, 2008 at 12:22 PM

JetBoy:

Why is it that the Koran, although it is hard on all “unbelievers” and the Christian “people of the book”, seems to have a particular disdain for the Jews?

There were originally three powerful Jewish tribes in Medina, and Muhammad earnestly courted their favor. When it became clear that they were not going to accept his prophetic claim, he turned against them with particular ferocity.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Dog, not Dogh.

Sorry.

Perhaps you should move to Venice and call yourself The Big Old Doge.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Beagle on July 6, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Good link, thanks. I particularly like the disclaimer:

Please Note – MidEastWeb provides this document and introduction for your information. MidEastWeb does not support Hamas!!

There were originally three powerful Jewish tribes in Medina, and Muhammad earnestly courted their favor. When it became clear that they were not going to accept his prophetic claim, he turned against them with particular ferocity.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 12:25 PM

I assume at the time of Muhammed, Judaism was the predominant religion in the Middle East, and the the most powerful. So it would make sense that Muhammed would single them out as the worst, since he was trying to promote his visions. But didn’t Christians at the time also reject the Koran? I know I’m veering off-topic a bit, but it seems the anti-Jewish fervor of Islam holds as true today as it did in the early days of Muhammed…

JetBoy on July 6, 2008 at 1:30 PM

You know with CAIR and the other pro-islamic bleeding hearts I bet this is just right up their alley:

Muhammad responded, according to Ibn Ishaq: “You are only one man among us, so go and awake distrust among the enemy to draw them off us if you can, for war is deceit.” Nu’aym’s deception turned the Confederates against each other and against their Jewish allies; soon afterward, they ended the siege. Nu’aym’s deception had saved Islam.

Keep up the good fight, RS, we need you.

OkieDoc on July 6, 2008 at 2:10 PM

JetBoy:

But didn’t Christians at the time also reject the Koran?

There were Christians in Arabia who likewise rejected Muhammad’s claim of prophetic status. This earned them condemnation in the Qur’an, which criticizes them repeatedly for saying that God has a Son, and says they are under Allah’s curse for making this claim (9:30). But they were not as numerous or powerful in Arabia at the time of Muhammad as the Jews were, and so in the Qur’an they are decidedly supporting villains.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Why is it that the Koran, although it is hard on all “unbelievers” and the Christian “people of the book”, seems to have a particular disdain for the Jews?

Judaism was probably the first major religion to suggest monotheism…and much of Islam relates to Judaism, and Old Testament Biblical teachings of Abraham, Moses, etc.

Why is Judaism seemingly taking the brunt of Islamic battering?

JetBoy on July 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Here’s what I think. Keep in mind, what I think is based on the fact that there is no God, never has been a God, and anybody who believes that kind of nonsense is dumber than dirt and will believe anything.

Imagine you’re a middle aged man who’s greedy, selfish, brutal, and thinks the world owes you anything you want because you think you deserve it. Your whole life you have to put up with stupid people who believe in either a bunch of stupid gods, or worse, ONE God who tells them they are “special” and will be His specially “chosen” few who will reap all the rewards because He chose them. And you’re not one of them.

Muhammad must have spent the better part of his life being perpetually pissed off.

Then, one day, he hears about this new religion called Christianity. It’s new, only a few hundred years old, but BOY is it spreading! And what a story! He must have laughed his ass off the first time he heard about it. “a man, who is also a God?” no wait…. “the Son of God who was a man?” no wait… “virgin birth?”

Hold on a second! EXPLAIN THIS TO ME AGAIN? A man who was born to a virgin who lived as a man and died a mortal death, and then was resurrected and ascended to heaven? And people BELIEVE it? And he has HOW MANY followers now?

How he must have laughed. He must have thought “Hell! I can do that!”

So he did. Pretty smart, too, because he knew enough about human nature to make it VERY attractive to anybody who had any kind of selfish streak in them at all, which all of us do, and he made that selfishness not only perfectly acceptable, but mandated by this God he claimed as his own.

He couldn’t invent a new God. He knew that much. Muhammad may have been illiterate but he wasn’t stupid. He was never going to have all the power he wanted if he couldn’t claim his God was the same as the others. Except for the pagans, who he didn’t really care about too much because they didn’t have a god to unite them like the Christians and Jews did.

No, the Christians and Jews were his real problem. The Christians not so much because he knew he could compete with their version of god because they already believed there was only one god and it was the same god the Jews believed in. And the Jews didn’t believe that Jesus was the messiah so the Christians already had pretty valid opposition to what they believed.

Muhammad probably thought the Christians would be a very easy sell. Hey, they already believed a fantastic story, why not try out one more on them?

The Jews were a real problem, though. They weren’t that easy to convince. Hell, there was nothing to convince them of. They were the chosen people and nothing anybody could ever say could ever change that.

See, Muhammad was not a believer himself. He knew a lot about human nature but he thought everyone thought the way he did. He didn’t understand two things about human nature that were totally foreign to him: the need to understand the meaning of life, and the innate goodness of the average person to be kind towards others.

It probably didn’t take him too long to figure out that the Jews and Christians were not going to come along with him. But he had something they didn’t have. Brutal followers. All he had to do was convince his followers that the Jews and Christians were the enemy, and if he couldn’t convert them he could at least conquer them. Which, for a man like him, was probably even better. Muhammad was not a nice guy.

Like any neighborhood bully, he knew he was nothing without his pack. So he picked the Jews as his most difficult enemy and he convinced his pack that they were the worst of the worst.

That’s the one thing Muslims will always have on us. They are not afraid to name their enemies.

So here we are 14 hundred years later. He was right about the Jews and that’s why they are still so hated by Muslims. He was wrong about the Christians but the modern day version of the pagans are taking care of them.

Who are the modern day pagans? Liberal multiculturalists.

Jaynie59 on July 6, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Jaynie59:

…there is no God, never has been a God, and anybody who believes that kind of nonsense is dumber than dirt and will believe anything.

Sure, you just condemned most of the human race now on the planet and most of the people who ever lived, including the progenitors of modern science and people far more accomplished than you or I will ever be. The arrogance of this is beyond breathtaking.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Jaynie59 on July 6, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Wow. I agree with Mr. Spencer that:

The arrogance of this is beyond breathtaking.

I understand you were trying to make a point on how Islam may have been created, and why. But to begin your point by bashing anyone and everyone who believes in God is an absurd way to make it.

JetBoy on July 6, 2008 at 4:27 PM

JetBoy:

I understand you were trying to make a point on how Islam may have been created, and why. But to begin your point by bashing anyone and everyone who believes in God is an absurd way to make it.

Yes.

Jaynie59:

Since you think I am “dumber than dirt,” I doubt you are interested in discussing these matters, but I took issue last week with your claim that Christians could not speak accurately about Islam. If that were true, it would also seem to disqualify atheists from speaking about Islam as well.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Why was Allah so intent on ending the practice of adoption? Because Muhammad wanted to marry Zayd’s ex-wife, Zaynab bint Jahsh — and as a result of his dalliance with his former daughter-in-law, says Maududi, “the hypocrites and the Jews and the mushriks [unbelievers] who were already bent on mischief would get a fresh excuse to start a propaganda campaign against Islam.”

OK, so I’m trying to figure out…is Islam more anti-adoption per se, or merely against an adoptive child taking the adoptive father’s name?

JetBoy on July 6, 2008 at 4:47 PM

JetBoy:

Adoption is allowed under restricted circumstances. As I mentioned in this week’s installment, in Islamic law an adopted child keeps his biological family name, and is not considered related to his adoptive family. Also, inheritance from the adoptive family is forbidden; he inherits from his biological family.

Islamic apologists justify the Zaynab incident by explaining that Allah wanted to reform Arabic adoption practices — an example of this comes from Maududi here, and there are many such. This seems to me to be one of the most egregious examples of special pleading to be found in a field that is filled with special pleading, and it carries a human cost: left unexplained is what exactly was so wrong about adoption that it had to be restricted in this way (as well as why the only way to accomplish this reform was to give Muhammad another wife, and a comely one at that). The only losers are the children who are not adopted, or who have no living biological parents to give them an inheritance, etc.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 5:23 PM

It’s interesting to see just how solicitous Allah was of all Muhammad’s needs. Always ready with a convenient revelation.

irishspy on July 6, 2008 at 7:07 PM

irishspy:

Aisha herself, Muhammad’s favorite wife, said it: “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.”

That’s here.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 8:16 PM

Bostom just wrote another book on Islamic antisemitism.

“Whenever a Jew is killed it is for the benefit of Islam.”
If Nazis didn’t eat pork…

Beagle on July 6, 2008 at 8:43 PM

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Few people seem to know why the Muslims hate the Jews. Most people think it has to do with Israel and have no idea how it’s codified in the Qur’an.

Like most Americans, I was at a Cookout for the 4th and began explaining this to people when the subject came up and they were truly surprised. These were otherwise educated, middle aged adults who simply had no clue.

Several years ago I was corresponding with a popular conservative radio personality in Boston. I asked him the question and he simply did not know.

Unfortunately, few people seem eager to learn the truth. When this series first started I was trying to spread the word via FreeRepublic and basically got flamed for it. It seemed most people were content to be against something without at least fully appreciating what is was.

Anyway, that’s my rant for today. I appreciate all the effort you’ve put into this Robert. You’ve truly enlightened me thus far and those around me who are willing to listen.

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 8:46 PM

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 8:46 PM
When this series first started I was trying to spread the word via FreeRepublic and basically got flamed for it.

No kidding! When Blogging the Quran first started, I spread the word on a blog I was contributing to at the time – and I was similarly flamed for it. I was excited to learn about the religion and scripture that continues to influence *billions*, but I guess not. In fact, QBlog was the sole reason I signed up for HotAir.

What gives??

HeIsSailing on July 6, 2008 at 9:11 PM

Beagle:

Bostom just wrote another book on Islamic antisemitism.

It’s a great book, too. It destroys, by sheer weight of evidence, the fashionable notion that Islamic antisemitism is an import from Christian Europe, and is not intrinsic to Islam itself.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 9:22 PM

TheBigOldDog:

Few people seem to know why the Muslims hate the Jews. Most people think it has to do with Israel and have no idea how it’s codified in the Qur’an.

Indeed.

Like most Americans, I was at a Cookout for the 4th and began explaining this to people when the subject came up and they were truly surprised. These were otherwise educated, middle aged adults who simply had no clue.

Educated, middle aged adults in the U.S. generally learn nothing about Islam except possibly the five pillars and the fact that it is one of the World’s Great Religions. And since Americans generally assume that religions are generically things that teach universal benevolence and charity, they can’t conceive of the possibility of a religion that would not extend that benevolence and charity to those outside the fold.

Unfortunately, few people seem eager to learn the truth. When this series first started I was trying to spread the word via FreeRepublic and basically got flamed for it. It seemed most people were content to be against something without at least fully appreciating what is was.

You got flamed for it on what grounds? Can you possibly point me to the Free Republic thread? Was it because it would be boring? The Qur’an certainly can be — or, that is, I can understand people who find it such, although I never have. Or was it because of the common conservative view that it is wrong and counterproductive to explore Islam in order to understand what is going on in the world today, since some Muslims are on our side, and to do so might offend them? Or because all things called religions are good, or because all religions are irrelevant, or because of some variant on these?

Or was it because I myself am supposed to be incorrigibly biased, although no one who makes that charge has ever come up with the contrary material I am allegedly leaving out?

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 9:28 PM

HeIsSailing:

No kidding! When Blogging the Quran first started, I spread the word on a blog I was contributing to at the time – and I was similarly flamed for it. I was excited to learn about the religion and scripture that continues to influence *billions*, but I guess not. In fact, QBlog was the sole reason I signed up for HotAir.

Same questions as I addressed above to TheBigOldDog. I’d be interested to know what reaction people had to this, as generally I’ve gotten virtually no feedback outside of the comments here.

There is a prevailing assumption, even among some people you might expect to be friendly to this enterprise, that it is somehow “bigoted.” I fail to see how it is “bigoted” to report accurately on what Islamic teachings are, and I refer you to Jihad Watch for daily reports showing Muslims around the world taking those Islamic teachings seriously.

Nevertheless, some even say that to explore Islamic teachings with an eye toward understanding the sources of Islamic violence and supremacism would be only to enflame Muslims further, and that these things are better off ignored. They have not learned their Sun Tzu. Others believe that with U.S. victories in Iraq, the “war on terror” will soon be over and Islam will resume being a “religion of peace,” and that therefore this exercise is useless at best. I invite them to look in again in a year’s time.

In the meantime, however, venues for this point of view continue to shrink, the fogs of political correctness and naive complacency continue to spread and mingle, and I thank Michelle Malkin for her ongoing kindness and support.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 9:38 PM

…venues for this point of view continue to shrink, the fogs of political correctness and naive complacency continue to spread and mingle

And that is to our shame. Much thanks to Michelle for hosting this series on HotAir, and much thanks to you as well, Mr. Spencer, for doing this incredibly educational series…not to mention your good work at JihadWatch, and for coming back to answer our questions.

I feel like I’m getting a free college course!

Again, many thanks!

JetBoy on July 6, 2008 at 9:50 PM

Few people seem to know why the Muslims hate the Jews. Most people think it has to do with Israel and have no idea how it’s codified in the Qur’an….

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 8:46 PM

Earlier in the series Mr. Spencer discussed something about once a country becomes “Islamic” (think Palistine) it must remain that way or there will be discord. I believe that is part of it, but I do not remember what it is called. Spain is also used as an example of this.

dentalque on July 6, 2008 at 10:00 PM

dentalque

That idea is indeed part of it, regarding Israel, but by no means all. Qur’an 5:82 says that the worst enemies of the Muslims will be the Jews — this will still be taken seriously by some Muslims even if Israel disappeared tomorrow.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 10:01 PM

since Americans generally assume that religions are generically things that teach universal benevolence and charity, they can’t conceive of the possibility of a religion that would not extend that benevolence and charity to those outside the fold.

precisely.

You got flamed for it on what grounds? Can you possibly point me to the Free Republic thread?

I just went over and searched for them and they aren’t even showing up in their search engine. Even searching the archives. I found one of them here using Google. This one wasn’t a problem. Usually the reaction was on of indignation that anyone would bother studying the Qur’an. I think a lot of them must have assumed, as you mentioned above, the book would be filled with universal benevolence and hence was propaganda. Between that and the general apathy, I gave up.

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 10:03 PM

TheBigOldDog:

Usually the reaction was on of indignation that anyone would bother studying the Qur’an.

Odd. Did you see the movie Patton with George C. Scott? Remember when he read Rommel’s book on military strategy? I know that part of the movie is familiar to some people who are not friends or supporters of what I am doing. Yet the principle is the same.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Yet the principle is the same.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 10:10 PM

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.

–Sun Tzu

They missed the opportunity to be surprised.

TheBigOldDog on July 6, 2008 at 10:16 PM

TheBigOldDog:

They missed the opportunity to be surprised.

Oh, they’ll be surprised, all right. A lot of very self-satisfied people will be very surprised. But it won’t happen soon, and I am not talking about a terrorist attack, either, or any act of violence.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Robert:

Aisha herself, Muhammad’s favorite wife, said it: “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.”

From what I’ve read of Aisha’s words these last few years, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions about her: first, she was a very perceptive and at least mildly cynical woman. Second, she had a very dry, very funny wit. :)

irishspy on July 7, 2008 at 8:47 AM

I understand now that even a cursory review of the Islamic texts, with some unbiased commentary by Robert, shows the intolerance towards the unbeleievers, especially the Jews. Such was the case as Islam evolved to suit Muhammad’s personal needs.

It adequately blows a gaping hole in the rationalization of the Islamic apologists who attempt to attribute the violence we see today commited by Muslims solely as a by-product of the existence of Israel and US imperialism.

Unfortunately for them, the Qur’an is not a classified document.

Thank you, Robert.

awake on July 7, 2008 at 9:28 AM

irishspy:

From what I’ve read of Aisha’s words these last few years, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions about her: first, she was a very perceptive and at least mildly cynical woman. Second, she had a very dry, very funny wit. :)

Yes, I’ve always found Aisha a fascinating figure, much more complex and interesting than dull-witted fanatics like Abu Bakr. She seems to have been a true believer, with perhaps (as this comment shows) a trace of wry skepticism about her husband — all the more remarkable since he took her when she was six, clutching her dolls, and consummated the marriage when she was nine. One may have assumed that she would have remained in awe and fear of him ever after.

Aisha was strong enough, after Muhammad’s death, and in a time when women were essentially commodities, to lead an army against Ali in one of the early Sunni-Shi’ite clashes. She never forgave Ali for remarking to Muhammad, when she was accused of adultery, that he shouldn’t be pining away over Aisha, since women were not hard to come by, and they could always get him another one.

Robert Spencer on July 7, 2008 at 9:58 AM

For the idiots in the liberal media who ask why can’t we all just get along and believe if we’re nice to them, they’ll be our best friends … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZsgPVD0awk&feature=related

PatriotPete on July 7, 2008 at 10:13 AM

Aisha was strong enough, after Muhammad’s death, and in a time when women were essentially commodities, to lead an army against Ali in one of the early Sunni-Shi’ite clashes.

Thanks for pointing that out, Robert. After my last comment, I wondered what became of her after Muhammad’s death. She was only in her teens at the time, as I recall, and so could easily have lived another 40 years. One wonders what she thought of her husband’s successors. (Aside from Ali. Her feelings there are clear. :) )

irishspy on July 7, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Since you think I am “dumber than dirt,” I doubt you are interested in discussing these matters, but I took issue last week with your claim that Christians could not speak accurately about Islam. If that were true, it would also seem to disqualify atheists from speaking about Islam as well.

Robert Spencer on July 6, 2008 at 4:29 PM

I think all religious people are dumber than dirt. I’m sure you’ve had enough arguments with atheists, as I have had with believers, to know it’s a waste of time to argue about it.

I never said that Christians can’t “speak accurately about Islam”. I don’t think there is any other writer I have ever read that writes more accurately about Islam than you do.

But you’re never going to get anywhere. The people who really need to read you won’t. Why? Because most people seem to think you’re Jewish, and once they find out you’re a Christian that just gives them more reason to take everything you write as being biased. They don’t care that you are actually quoting Islamic sources. They won’t even get that far.

As far as how all of you religious people think of atheists who think you’re dumb? You know what? When you can all summon up the same amount of outrage and offense against the people who want you dead as you can about being called stupid, then maybe we might have a chance.

But that won’t happen. I suspect that is because none of you can bring yourselves to admit that another religion might not be true. Might make you think about your own too much. And we can’t have that, can we?

Jaynie59 on July 7, 2008 at 2:09 PM

PETITION SIGNING REQUEST

For the interested, please sign a petition demanding Barack Hussein Obama furnish America with a legal, certified, readable birth certificate. Because, the images of Barack Hussein Obama’s birth certificate that have been posted on the Daily KOS, and on Obama’s web sites, have been analysed as being FORGED.

Birth Certificate Now

byteshredder on July 7, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Jaynie59:

I think all religious people are dumber than dirt.

Very well. You have made it very clear that you think I’m dumber than dirt. Now: are you aware that you’re contradicting yourself below when you say that I write accurately about Islam? How could I do that, being “dumber than dirt”?

I’m sure you’ve had enough arguments with atheists, as I have had with believers, to know it’s a waste of time to argue about it.

Actually, no, I am not interested in arguing with atheists.

I never said that Christians can’t “speak accurately about Islam”. I don’t think there is any other writer I have ever read that writes more accurately about Islam than you do.

What you said was this: “When Christians argue with Muslims, or criticize Islam, you’re like Superman fans arguing about Batman.” Your position in that statement as well as here below seems to be that someone who believes in one religion cannot speak about another, for to do so would be simply to jockey for market share.

But you’re never going to get anywhere. The people who really need to read you won’t. Why? Because most people seem to think you’re Jewish, and once they find out you’re a Christian that just gives them more reason to take everything you write as being biased. They don’t care that you are actually quoting Islamic sources. They won’t even get that far.

So I guess I should just give up, eh?

What you apparently fail to realize is how thorough and indefatigable is the Islamic apologetic propaganda machine. If they weren’t saying I’m doing this because I’m Jewish, or Christian, they’d be saying something else. They say anything that they think will get people to turn away. Does it work? Certainly. But I would say that I’ve already “gotten somewhere,” and I’m certainly not going to give up because there are obstacles.

Or perhaps you would have me discard my own religion in order to be able to resist the jihad more effectively. Well, sorry. I just don’t see atheists, with the exception of a few like my friend Hugh Fitzgerald, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, etc., on the front lines of this battle. And it just doesn’t keep me up nights that you think I’m “dumber than dirt.”

As far as how all of you religious people think of atheists who think you’re dumb? You know what? When you can all summon up the same amount of outrage and offense against the people who want you dead as you can about being called stupid, then maybe we might have a chance.

I don’t spend any outrage on atheists at all. You got the wrong the guy.

But that won’t happen. I suspect that is because none of you can bring yourselves to admit that another religion might not be true. Might make you think about your own too much. And we can’t have that, can we?

I’ve thought about my own religion a great deal, thank you. But of course, I’m “dumber than dirt,” so that’s what I get for thinking.

Robert Spencer on July 7, 2008 at 2:22 PM

Sorry:

You got the wrong the guy.

That should of course be:

“You got the wrong guy.”

There I go again! Dumber than dirt!

Robert Spencer on July 7, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Those good folks are so tolerant and loving. I guess I understand why the left loves them so.

TheSitRep on July 7, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Shouldn’t we be discussing the importance of 33.21 this week?

That being Mohammed as perfect exemplar of conduct, “al-insan al-kamil” (thanks Hugh for repeating it) the foundation of the Sunnah, or “Prophet’s Traditions”. Pious Muslims ofter refer to the Quran and Sunnah, sometimes before a “martyrdom operation” for example.

Beagle on July 8, 2008 at 1:34 AM

033.021
YUSUFALI: Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

Beautiful beheadings of POWs for example.

Beagle on July 8, 2008 at 1:39 AM

Beagle:

There was so much to fit in on this sura that I had to push that to next week. So, as you will see, this week covers verses 1-27, and next week verses 21-73. A small bit of overlap. I left Zaynab for next week also, although she is foreshadowed in verses 1-8 and so I had to give a hint of what is to come in this week’s entry.

Robert Spencer on July 8, 2008 at 6:29 AM