Jan 3, 2005
Sir— "It was Mohammad who taught people the lesson of brotherhood," wrote Mr Obaidur Rahman Nadwi in his letter, "Mohammad, the saviour" (December 24, 2004). I believe Mr Nadwi is stretching it a bit far. The truth is, Mohammad’s message of brotherhood was only for Muslims. Non-Muslims had no room in his scheme of things. Their lives were spared only at the cost of their becoming "zimmis" — the protected people who would lose their freedom. The fate of Beni Koreiza—a Jewish tribe of Medina—is well documented in history. All men of this tribe were slain in daytime and the same night the Prophet proposed marriage to Rahana, a Jew, who had lost all her male relatives the same day (Muir, pp 319). The message in the Quran is clear: "Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people" (3:118), and, "As for unbelievers, neither their riches nor their children shall in the least protect them from God’s scourge" (3:116). What is their fate in Islam? "They are the heirs of the fire, and there they shall remain for ever" (3:116). These should not be treated as stray verses from the holy scripture. They are, in fact, the recurring theme of the Islamic faith. In Islam the "the unbelievers are like beasts..." (2:171). The Prophet’s last message before his death was to "expel all pagans from the Arabian peninsula" (Sahih Bukhari, vol 4, pp 261). Mr Nadwi goes on to write, "Because of his (Mohammad) exalted character, the people of Mecca reposed faith in him." Who is he trying to mislead? Everyone knows that Mohammad was rejected by the Meccans. It was because of this that he left Mecca for Medina. The Prophet violated the treaty of Hudaibaya and waged war on Meccans when they were least expecting it. The Meccans lost, their idols were destroyed and they were given no option but to accept Islam. So much for spreading the lesson of brotherhood!
USA, via e-mail