Christian lies about Muhammad

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Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim

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May 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/1/99
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I found the following on a website linked to by the BBC. The name of the
website is http://www.islamreview.com, and it is also linked to by
Jochen Katz. May Allah forgive me if I do wrong in posting this
misinformation to show the extent to which some so-called Christians
will go to wage war against their Creator.

"Mohammed referred to Blacks as slaves. He even owned several black
slaves. Bilal, Abu Hurairah, Usamah Ebn Zaayed, and a "Ghullaam" (youth)
named Rabbah, were among Mohammed's slaves".
http://www.islamreview.com/html/black.htm

Every Muslim, as well as every non-Muslim Orientalist of any
intellectual stature, will know that this statement is a blatent
historical lie. Bilal was a slave of the pre-Islamic Arabs, who was
freed by Abu Bakr after he embraced Islam. Abu Hurairah, as far as I
know an Arab, was certainly not a slave in Madina. Usama bin Zayd was
the son of Muhammad's adopted son (an Arab), and was appointed to lead
the Muslim army by the Prophet much to the shock of a number of the
sahabah, because he was only a youth.

The most relevant point for this newsgroup and its regular readers is
that the same lie is written on Jochen Katz's site :

Muhammad owned many black slaves, among the Bilal, Abu Hurairah, Usamah
ibn Zayd and Rabbah.
http://www.answering-islam.org/index/b/blacks.html

Jochen, you have many challenging points on your site. But this comment
shows your seething hatred overcomes your attempts to be objective. I
give you this challenge: produce your proof, if what you say is true! Of
course you cannot, because there is not a single reputable Orientalist
(even), no matter how prejudiced, who would write or agree with such
obvious inaccuracy. Jochen, fear God, and the Day when you will be
punished for this untruth, if you do not repent and ask for the mercy of
your Lord.

I hope that others who have more time than I will devote their energy to
exposing the lies of those who are lost in their own arrogance, and who
keep the millions of honest, well-meaning Christians from finding the
truth. May God reward those who do.

Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim

--
If you want to know the truth about Islam, the religion of one billion
men and women of all races and cultures, come to
http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/4118
May the peace and blessings of our Creator be upon you!


MGhounem

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May 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/3/99
to
salaam brother Yahya,

>Jochen, fear God, and the Day when you will be
>punished for this untruth, if you do not repent and ask for the mercy of
>your Lord.

he doesn't and he won't, it's been many years that he knowingly spreads
un-truths, and has been emotionally asked to repent, those here who have delt
with this person know by now to only pity him.

The important thing to do is to Demand BBC removes the link due to it's blatent
lies, BBC may be influenced by these lies and hence influence their non-Muslim
audiance.

Furthermore, you can ask Katz to link your response to his site rather than
let it fade away on SRI, occasionally he will allow a response, reluctantly.

Peace


Jochen Katz

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May 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/3/99
to
In article <7ggh5u$jv5$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
"Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim" <yahya...@geocities.com> writes:

> I found the following on a website linked to by the BBC. The name of the
> website is http://www.islamreview.com, and it is also linked to by
> Jochen Katz. May Allah forgive me if I do wrong in posting this
> misinformation to show the extent to which some so-called Christians
> will go to wage war against their Creator.

Christians are not waging war against their Creator.
However, Christians as everyone else, are fallible and make mistakes.
I am not sure what purpose is served with this kind of polemics and
personal attacks.

> "Mohammed referred to Blacks as slaves. He even owned several black
> slaves. Bilal, Abu Hurairah, Usamah Ebn Zaayed, and a "Ghullaam" (youth)
> named Rabbah, were among Mohammed's slaves".
> http://www.islamreview.com/html/black.htm
>
> Every Muslim, as well as every non-Muslim Orientalist of any
> intellectual stature, will know that this statement is a blatent
> historical lie.

I agree, the above is clearly wrong. I want to thank you very much
for pointing out this error to us.

> The most relevant point for this newsgroup and its regular readers is
> that the same lie is written on Jochen Katz's site :
>
> Muhammad owned many black slaves, among the Bilal, Abu Hurairah, Usamah
> ibn Zayd and Rabbah.
> http://www.answering-islam.org/index/b/blacks.html

Thank you again, for bringing this to my attention. Although I would
have prefered you bring it to my attention by email (whether in
addition or in alternative to the newsgroup posting) and request
to correct it, I am glad I was reading this newsgroup this week.
It would have been sad to miss this.

Note that I welcome ALL corrections of any errors made in the content
of the "Answering Islam" website as you should know from the statement
on the entry page to the site:

If you find any factual mistakes [whether misprints or a false
representation of doctrines] on these pages or things are worded
in an offensive way, I would like to correct that.

This statement has been there from the very beginning of this web
site. Again, thank you very much. I am not the author of this page,
I was not aware of this statement. The error has been corrected,
the corrected page http://answering-islam.org/Index/B/blacks.html
is uploaded and your kind contribution to the improvement of the
site is noted at http://answering-islam.org/Hoaxes/removed.html
as the second such Muslim contribution.

> Jochen, you have many challenging points on your site. But this comment
> shows your seething hatred overcomes your attempts to be objective.

I attempt to be objective, but nobody is always and only objective.
I certainly am not, and therefore I welcome with all my heart that
people correct my personal errors, as well as errors in any other
articles that are on my site. I inherited the Comparative Index
to Islam from its author in its entirety of nearly 1000 pages.
It is generally very well done, factual and informative. I have
not read yet every single one of its pages though. Thank you for
helping the site to be more objective. I invite that you continue
to point out any other mistakes you may find.

> I give you this challenge: produce your proof, if what you say is true!

No proof possible, because it was wrong.

> Of course you cannot, because there is not a single reputable Orientalist
> (even), no matter how prejudiced, who would write or agree with such
> obvious inaccuracy.

I agree.

> Jochen, fear God, and the Day when you will be
> punished for this untruth, if you do not repent and ask for the mercy of
> your Lord.

I do fear God and always have tried to speak and write truth the best
of my knowledge on this newsgroup and on my website as well as in
private correspondence.

> I hope that others who have more time than I will devote their energy to
> exposing the lies of those who are lost in their own arrogance, and who
> keep the millions of honest, well-meaning Christians from finding the
> truth. May God reward those who do.

I welcome all of their contributions, even if they might be done for
the wrong motives, not to learn truth and to help spread it, but to
assault and denigrate a fellow truthseeker.

Though I am not responsible for the above mentioned page
http://www.islamreview.com/html/black.htm which clearly was the
source of the error (quoted verbatim on the page) in the Comparative
Index to Islam, I have informed them, and have already received an
encouraging response:

Dear brother Jochen Katz:
We, too, share your belief of the importance of being scholarly
accurate. We wouldn't intentionally make claims that we know
they are false. We made contacts with the person who wrote the
quote in question, he told us that he got it from the Prophet's
Biography by Ibn Hisham. He promised to give us the volume and
page where this can be found. We will forward it to you as
soon as we receive it. ...

I am sure that the author will realize as well, that he made a
mistake and will (hopefully) change the article accordingly. This,
however, is not in my hands.


May the Lord bless you and guide you as you seek to know
His Truth and follow Him in obedience.

Jochen Katz

----
«If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private;
if he listens to you, you have won your brother.»
(Jesus, Matthew 18:15)

I realize that you are not my Christian brother, nor am I your
Muslim brother, but I think this is Godly advice beyond the
boundaries of religious loyalties. The principle is the same,
and this command was never intented to be restricted to its
most literal sense.

Jochen Katz

unread,
May 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/4/99
to
My response to article <7ggh5u$jv5$1...@waltz.rahul.net> titled
"Re: Christian lies about Muhammad" was submitted Sunday
afternoon, and acknowledged for posting on Monday morning.

My other posting acknowledged at the same time showed up on
my server and on dejanews, but this one did NOT appear.

Certainly this is a conspiracy of Mohammed Ghounem in collaboration
with the SRI moderators to sabotage my articles (see discussion at
http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=471820197
http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=472201724
http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=472563288 )

Proof: Muhammad Ghounem's message was posted just some seconds
AFTER the acknowledgement of my article. It has appeared on the
newsgroup and my newsserver gives this time stamp:

>From mgho...@aol.com (MGhounem)
Subject: Re: Christian lies about Muhammad
Date: Mon May 03 11:30:08 EDT 1999

http://www.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=473537259


On the other had, the moderator acknowledgement to me reads:

>From sri-...@hrweb.org Mon May 3 11:30:56 1999
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 08:32:30 -0700
To: jk...@math.gatech.edu (Jochen Katz)
From: SRI Moderator <sri-...@hrweb.org>
Subject: Soc.religion.islam acknowledgement
Content-Length: 6449

as salaamu a'laykum (hello),

This note is to inform you about your submission to soc.religion.islam
(SRI). I have posted your article. It will appear at your site
shortly.

Thank you for your contribution to SRI. Your involvement is very
important and makes the newsgroup worth reading.

Zaharuddin Fikri
SRI Co-Moderator
-------------------------------------
Path: ahm
Moderator: SRI Moderator <sri-...@hrweb.org>
Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam
From: jk...@math.gatech.edu (Jochen Katz)
Subject: Re: Christian lies about Muhammad
Organization: School of Mathematics, Ga. Tech.
References: <7ggh5u$jv5$1...@waltz.rahul.net>
Reply-To: jk...@math.gatech.edu
Approved: sri-...@hrweb.org

In article <7ggh5u$jv5$1...@waltz.rahul.net>,
"Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim" <yahya...@geocities.com> writes:

> I found the following on a website linked to by the BBC. The name of the
> website is http://www.islamreview.com, and it is also linked to by
> Jochen Katz. May Allah forgive me if I do wrong in posting this
> misinformation to show the extent to which some so-called Christians
> will go to wage war against their Creator.

Christians are not waging war against their Creator.
However, Christians as everyone else, are fallible and make mistakes.
I am not sure what purpose is served with this kind of polemics and
personal attacks.

> "Mohammed referred to Blacks as slaves. He even owned several black
> slaves. Bilal, Abu Hurairah, Usamah Ebn Zaayed, and a "Ghullaam" (youth)
> named Rabbah, were among Mohammed's slaves".
> http://www.islamreview.com/html/black.htm
>
> Every Muslim, as well as every non-Muslim Orientalist of any
> intellectual stature, will know that this statement is a blatent
> historical lie.

I agree, the above is clearly wrong. I want to thank you very much
for pointing out this error to us.


... etc. read the posting itself in the thread it belongs to....

[In case it should get posted eventually ... after resubmission]

I hope it is clear to everyone that this is a _parody_. I have
no doubt about the integrity of our moderators regarding their
moderation duties. I trust them all and thank them all for the
good job they are doing, despite some human or computer failures
at times.


Jochen Katz


Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim

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May 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/5/99
to
MGhounem wrote:

> salaam brother Yahya,

wasalaam wa rahmat Allah,

>
> The important thing to do is to Demand BBC removes the link due to it's blatent
> lies, BBC may be influenced by these lies and hence influence their non-Muslim
> audiance.

Thanks for your advice, I have already done so and the BBC-online have looked at
the site and agreed that it is unsuitable. The link has been removed. I thank the
BBC for continuing to ensure that their journalistic standards remain above some
others in the world's media, and head and shoulders above most of the garbage on
the internet.

MGhounem

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May 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/5/99
to
>Certainly this is a conspiracy of Mohammed Ghounem in collaboration
>with the SRI moderators to sabotage my articles

according to deja news alone:

http://www.dejanews.com/[ST_rn=qs]/profile.xp?author=jk...@math.gatech.edu
%20(Jochen%20Katz)&ST=PS

you've posted 3,554 times on SRI, if 80% of your posts are not posted for
various mysterious reasons as done with me when dealing with Catherine, then I
would agree with you that it is intensional.

But that is not the case with you, so don't compare your bus with my bicycle.

I've posted a total of 111 times to SRI, when reviewed by Catherine, they are
almost always initially rejected, even if most of the post pertained to Islam,
or they simply disappear.

so when it happens to me nearly every time I enter this newsgroup (while
Catherine is moderateing) then, the fact is clear, that indeed it may be
intensional.

If you too only posted 111 times here, then your Christian defense of the
fellow Christian moderator would be unsuspicious, but since most of your posts
are allowed, then your simply trying gaurd the golden goose.

why would you critisize someone who trys to keep out people like me :-)

Peace

Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim

unread,
May 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/5/99
to
I don't really want to get involved in a long thread, but I thought I had
better post this lest I give the impression I felt the webpage in question was
now fair:

Jochen Katz wrote:

>
> Christians are not waging war against their Creator.
> However, Christians as everyone else, are fallible and make mistakes.
> I am not sure what purpose is served with this kind of polemics and
> personal attacks.
>

To deliberately tell lies, as the author of the page on "Islam review" has
clearly done, is, in my view, to wage war against al Haqq, that is God, the
source of all truth. I refuse to believe that the original author could have
known enough about Islam to write this article, and not know who Bilal was, for
example. God alone knows the motives of each of us and will judge us in perfect
justice, but I can only call it as I see it. Some Christians are genuinely
seeking the truth, others (I believe) are not (the same could of course be said
about people who call themeselves Muslims, but they are not the guilty party on
this occasion).

>

(snipped) I thank you for your admission that this information was/is false.

>
>
> This statement has been there from the very beginning of this web
> site. Again, thank you very much. I am not the author of this page,
> I was not aware of this statement. The error has been corrected,
> the corrected page http://answering-islam.org/Index/B/blacks.html

I strongly suggest that you remove this page entirely, or rewrite it yourself.
In my opinion, you cannot simply edit out the obvious lie from another's
writing and then leave the half-truths there. If you don't mind, I'll deal with
them quickly, one by one:

>There had been claims by some Muslims, especially the Nation of Islam, that
Muhammad was a black African.

Firstly, both you and I know that the "Nation of Islam" are not Muslim. This
has been discussed innumerable times on this website, they have had fatwa made
against them by reputable scholars, and you know enough about the Qur'an to
know that if they are Muslims, then so are you (in as much as they believe in
the incarnation of the Deity). Many non-Muslims do not know that they are
mushrik, thanks to the media which gives NOI and the apostate Farrakhan a great
deal of publicity. But you and I both know they are about as representative of
Islam as David Koresh (not sure of the spelling) is of Christianity. So why
don't you tell your readers this?

>Muhammad owned many slaves, including a black slave.

What is "many"? Are you aware that some Muslim sources say that Muhammad did
not own any slaves? Myself, I believe that he probably did have some captives
of war under his responsibility, but they were all manner of colours and he
immediately freed them if they embraced Islam. Bernard Lewis, hardly a fan of
Islam, has described how slavery in early Islam (at least) held no racial
overtones and was a temporary institution, and that slaves were frequently
freed or earnt their own freedom. This is completely different to the kind of
slavery practiced by White Americans, which was clearly racially based (which I
presume is the issue here), since the page is talking about blacks.


>In modern Saudi Arabia, the common word for "black" and "slave" is abd.

I don't want to discuss this because I haven't lived in Saudi Arabia. But I
have never heard a Saudi call a Black man this in the other places I have
lived. Besides, it is irrelevant to the issue. You might as well say "In the
US, a common word for "black" is nigger". Would that be relevant to the way
Christianity or Jesus viewed black people?


Muhammad not black nor African,

white armpit, Sahih Bukhari 2.141.

white man, Sahih Bukhari 1.63, Sahih Bukhari 2.122

What is black and what is white? Surely these are subjective? Have you seen
natives of Makkah, and what colour would you say they are? I seriously doubt
that what is called "white" by those people in that time would be considered
"white" today, especially in the US, where the term is exclusively for those of
European origin. While this the above is not a straight lie, it is certainly
misleading. No, Muhammad was not an African (and no intelligent Muslim would
claim that he was), but, I'd imagine, if he went to the US today he would be
considered black long before he was regarded as white. Not that his colour is
relevant to Muslims anyway.

Muhammad's description of Blacks :

are "pug nosed", Sahih Muslim vol 9., pgs. 46-47

I can't find this anywhere. In any case, if it exists, it may have been merely
descriptive (in the manner of 'flat-nosed') rather that having offensive
undertones.

like "raisin heads", Sahih Bukhari 1.662, Sahih Bukhari 9.256

What does this hadith actually say? Please Jochen, read the hadith and tell me
whether it is a general description of blacks, or rather a plain statement that
"even if your ruler is Ethiopian with a head like a raisin (i.e. not an Arab,
and ugly to boot) you should follow him" (unlike the pre-Islamic days, when you
were racially arrogant and looked down on such people).

Why don't you show this hadith, reported by the same sahaba by Bukhari, to
provide more balance to your page (I cannot find a reference, other than Yusuf
Qaradawi's "lawful & prohibited in Islam"):

Al Bukhari reported that Abu Dharr and Bilal, the Abyssinian, both of whom were
among the earliest Muslims, once quarrelled and insulted each other. Carried
away by his anger, Abu Darr said to Bilal, "You son of a black woman!" Bilal
complained about this to the Prophet (s.a.a.s) who turned to Abu Dharrm saying,

"Are you taunting him about his mother? There is still some influence of
jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance) in you!.
Qaradawi, "The Lawful & Prohibited in Islam", p. 249.

This shows that racial villification is considered ignorance in Islam, and is
not tolerated. Each Muslim is a brother to every other Muslim, regardless of
race or colour.


>will steal when hungry, when full, promiscuous, Sahih Muslim.

No reference whatsoever for this one, however, we can be confident it is
probably taken out of context, if not an out and out lie like the one about the
"slaves". Since these comments are taken from the same source, shouldn't you be
suspicious of an unverified statement such as this? Surely you can do better
than this.

The whole point is, surely even you know that, whatever else you might say
about him, Muhammad was not a racist. Bilal was one of his closest companions
and the muezzin is a position of honour. This is what I am talking about, no
fair-minded person can claim that the image portrayed on this webpage of yours
is honest and accurate.

In the words of Muhammad taken from the Farewell Pilgrimage, and witnessed by
thousands (reported by Ahmad and cited in Qaradawi as above):

"O people, your Lord is One. Know that there is no superiority of an Arab over
a non-Arab or of non-Arab over an Arab, nor of a white over a black or of a
black over a white, except through conciousness of Allah (taqwa). Verily, the
most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is the one who has the most
taqwa".

Jochen, you know this is the truth. Please honour it.

> is uploaded and your kind contribution to the improvement of the

> site is noted at http://answering-islam.org/Hoaxes/removed.html
> as the second such Muslim contribution.

The problem is that it is not my or other Muslims' responsibility to check the
accuracy of information on an anti-Muslim website. As the webmaster, it is your
responsibility to ensure that misinformation is not spread from your site,
whether you wrote the particular page or not.

> I inherited the Comparative Index
> to Islam from its author in its entirety of nearly 1000 pages.
> It is generally very well done, factual and informative.

This is highly debatable. I think that (of the pages I have visited) there is
great varience in the academic quality of individual pages. Some are quite
credible, while others contain interpretations no Muslim and no open-minded
non-Muslim would agree with. However, nearly every page is also evaluative, and
(almost always) evaluated from a single perspective. You should never use the
word "objective" to describe your site, for very little of it is. This is not
an insult, most of my site is written from a Muslim perspective and so cannot
be completely objective, whatever that means, anyway. I suppose that objective
can only be acheived by someone disinterested in the topic, which of course
neither you nor I are.

> I have
> not read yet every single one of its pages though.

I strongly suggest that you do. As a webmaster (admittedly of a far smaller
site), I take extreme care that everything on my site is honest and in
accordance with my standards. To a large extent, I also try to do this with my
external links. I suggest that you need to look through your site and remove
any falsehood, for which imho you are to be held responsible for.

May God guide us all to the path of truth and justice,

Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim

Co-Moderator - SRI

unread,
May 5, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/5/99
to
as salaamu a'laikum

On 4 May 1999 03:26:22 -0700, jk...@math.gatech.edu (Jochen Katz)
wrote:

>My response to article <7ggh5u$jv5$1...@waltz.rahul.net> titled
>"Re: Christian lies about Muhammad" was submitted Sunday
>afternoon, and acknowledged for posting on Monday morning.

[...]


>Certainly this is a conspiracy of Mohammed Ghounem in collaboration

>with the SRI moderators to sabotage my articles (see discussion at
[...]


>
>I hope it is clear to everyone that this is a _parody_.

I'm glad you cleared that up. All I hope is that everyone read to
the end of your message. :-)

>I have
>no doubt about the integrity of our moderators regarding their
>moderation duties. I trust them all and thank them all for the
>good job they are doing, despite some human or computer failures
>at times.

Very gracious of you. :-)

The background to this episode is that at various times the whole
of last week, I had been having connection problems with the
moderation server. These hiccups (I call them) have been the
major reason why some of you might have had problems last week
with receiving late approvals or as in Jochen's case, receiving
an approval but not getting the post showing up on the newsgroup
at all. In his case, fortunately for me I still had the backup
which contained the missing article and managed to re-submit the
post to the n.g.

What is unfortunate is that this is a technical issue since the
approval notice went through, and the backup existed, although
the actual post did not appear. It also appears to be a
continuation of the same problems Catherine faced while she was
on duty the week before last.

wassalam,
Zaharuddin Fikri

MGhounem

unread,
May 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/6/99
to
Salaam brother,

>The link has been removed

excellent!

Jazak Allah Khair


khal...@hotmail.com

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May 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/6/99
to
On 3 May 1999 21:06:58 -0700, jk...@math.gatech.edu (Jochen Katz)
wrote:

>I agree, the above is clearly wrong.

[....]

>If you find any factual mistakes [whether misprints or a false
> representation of doctrines] on these pages or things are worded
> in an offensive way, I would like to correct that.

This message is to examine the mistakes mentioned in this thread
whether they can be "misprints" or "false representation of doctrine"
and to check what category they best fit in.

first:

# one can be mistaken with a name of a person he have not met for a
long period of a time.

# one can be mistaken in explaining a certain event that even had took
place in front of his eyes.

# one can be mistaken in quoting a single or a couple of words from a
long passage.

But to claim that a group of mentioned people to be slaves as if it
was a *fact* without any foundation doesn't fall in the category of
misprints nor false representation of a doctrine because there is no
pattern of mistakes here the pattern that is found here is intentional
using of lies as a tool of misrepresenting Islam, and everybody on
this group are no strangers of these methods

http://www.unn.ac.uk/societies/islamic/about/respond/mission.htm

and this is yet *just* one of it faces not that it is a new thing!. to
make it clear for the non Muslim reader; what is the foundation of
the falsehood about these mentioned people? there isn't any! just
pure imagination. and the author have acknowledged it yet on another
subject.

so what category they best fit in? I'll leave this for the judgment of
the readers.

salam

jk...@math.gatech.edu

unread,
May 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/11/99
to
This thread started out with Yahya pointing out the incorrect
statement:

> "Mohammed referred to Blacks as slaves. He even owned several black
> slaves. Bilal, Abu Hurairah, Usamah Ebn Zaayed, and a "Ghullaam"
> (youth) named Rabbah, were among Mohammed's slaves".
> http://www.islamreview.com/html/black.htm

which sadly also made it into one entry on my site.
There is quite a bit of follow up discussion in this long posting,
but at the end I will present a number of hadith where I have found
black slaves of Muhammad mentioned. So, the above list of names is
mostly wrong, but the claim as such that he had black slaves is
true, as those hadiths will show. But first to the issues that
Yahya brought up in his response to my answer regarding his first
posting.

In article <7gpe3m$e0h$1...@bolero.rahul.net>,

"Yahya 'Abd al 'Alim" <yahya...@geocities.com> writes:

> I don't really want to get involved in a long thread, but I thought I had
> better post this lest I give the impression I felt the webpage in question was
> now fair:

The Quranic statement comes to mind: never will they be satisfied ...
I have removed what you had (rightfully) complained about. I have done
even more, I have brought this error to the attention of the other site
which was the source of the error for us. But I am a finite human being
who cannot do everything at once and in particular cannot know what you
might find next, and investigate everything at once beforehand.

> > Christians are not waging war against their Creator.
> > However, Christians as everyone else, are fallible and make mistakes.
> > I am not sure what purpose is served with this kind of polemics and
> > personal attacks.

> To deliberately tell lies, as the author of the page on "Islam review" has
> clearly done, is, in my view, to wage war against al Haqq, that is God, the
> source of all truth. I refuse to believe that the original author could have
> known enough about Islam to write this article, and not know who Bilal was, for
> example. God alone knows the motives of each of us and will judge us in perfect
> justice, but I can only call it as I see it. Some Christians are genuinely
> seeking the truth, others (I believe) are not (the same could of course be said
> about people who call themeselves Muslims, but they are not the guilty party on
> this occasion).

I find it very strange how Muslims expect Christians to be perfect, and
whenever they make a mistake, it clearly is a deliberate lie. But when
Muslims make mistakes and false statements about Islam - we are not even
talking about all the false statements about Christianity -, be it on this
newsgroup or on Islamic websites (and don't tell me there are no mistakes),
then it probably was an honest mistake, a slip of carelessness. I wonder
why you can't accept that Christians are just as fallible as Muslims and
might make mistakes? I agree, it was wrong. I even agree, that this
particular page has a very aggressive style and I don't like it very much
myself. But I don't think you have enough of a basis to accuse them of
deliberate lying and waging war against the truth.

Will you react to the posting http://www.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=476031787
also with "they are telling deliberate lies about Christian history" or
will you assume this is just an honest mistake? He didn't know better?
See my other posting in response to it if you don't find what is wrong
with the posting yourself.

Is being gracious and giving even non-Muslims the benefit of the doubt
not a virtue of Muslim character? You don't see me go around and claim
about every Islamic web page that makes wrong statements about Christianity
that their goal is to wage war against the truth and they clearly lie
deliberately even though they know it is wrong.

So, why do you feel the urge to this approach? Why do you publically
make this accusation on a forum where the maintainers of that website
are not present? Did you first try to contact them and inform them
about the mistake or did you first/only make a big commotion on SRI?
Why?

> > I was not aware of this statement. The error has been corrected,
> > the corrected page http://answering-islam.org/Index/B/blacks.html
>
> I strongly suggest that you remove this page entirely, or rewrite it yourself.

> In my opinion, you cannot simply edit out the obvious lie from another's
> writing and then leave the half-truths there. If you don't mind, I'll deal with
> them quickly, one by one:

Since you ask so politely and even make suggestions, I have taken this
issue on faster than it might have been done otherwise. So, thank you
again.

> >There had been claims by some Muslims, especially the Nation of Islam, that
> Muhammad was a black African.
>
> Firstly, both you and I know that the "Nation of Islam" are not Muslim. This
> has been discussed innumerable times on this website,

Which website is THIS web site? Probably you meant "this newsgroup".

> they have had fatwa made
> against them by reputable scholars, and you know enough about the Qur'an to
> know that if they are Muslims, then so are you (in as much as they believe in
> the incarnation of the Deity). Many non-Muslims do not know that they are
> mushrik, thanks to the media which gives NOI and the apostate Farrakhan a great
> deal of publicity. But you and I both know they are about as representative of
> Islam as David Koresh (not sure of the spelling) is of Christianity. So why
> don't you tell your readers this?

In this page I intended it to mean: by some Muslims, and especially by the
Nation of Islam. I know that NoI is not orthodox, but the Ismailis are not
orthodox either, and some Sunnis deny that Shia are Muslim, etc. etc.
I am not going to make lots of discriminations and qualifications in a
short dictionary entry. They claim to be Muslim, they call people to Islam,
and in fact, a large proportion of African American Muslims came to orthodox
Islam through to door of the Nation of Islam. Various Arab countries happily
sponsor Farrakhan for this very reason.

However, they are not the only ones. Similar arguments as "Islam as the
natural religion of Africans" are made in Islamic dawah in black Africa.
The argument that Muhammad is an African is made by some of them as I
have heard (but I don't have any clear documentation). So I am not going
to claim this in the web page entry. But as I am in a good mood, to
accomodate you, I have formulated it slightly different again, and just
say "some people claim". Who those people are is rather irrelevant.
The point is to show the claim is wrong. If you don't claim it, then
you don't need to feel attacked.

> >Muhammad owned many slaves, including a black slave.
>
> What is "many"?

I dropped "many". You are right, for some people, 20 slaves might
not be many, so let's just keep it by 'traded in and owned slaves'

> Are you aware that some Muslim sources say that Muhammad did
> not own any slaves?

Please quote these sources with references, in particular given
the references you will find below from the hadith.

Also, what do you say about the source we quote that clearly
lists over twenty of these slaves by name?

> Myself, I believe that he probably did have some captives
> of war under his responsibility, but they were all manner of colours and he
> immediately freed them if they embraced Islam.

He might have freed some or many of them, but he also sold a lot
of people into slavery. Have you read the source material that we
provide? Also, if they embraced Islam, they basically become his
obedient servants by way of religious obligation. I doesn't loose
anything by freeing them.

> Bernard Lewis, hardly a fan of
> Islam, has described how slavery in early Islam (at least) held no racial
> overtones and was a temporary institution, and that slaves were frequently
> freed or earnt their own freedom. This is completely different to the kind of
> slavery practiced by White Americans, which was clearly racially based (which I
> presume is the issue here), since the page is talking about blacks.

Well, lets compare early Islam with early Christianity and later Arab
slavery with later American slavery. Okay? Various researchers have
come to the conclusion that there were probably more people enslaved
by the Muslim slave traders than by the European ones.

> Muhammad not black nor African,
>
> white armpit, Sahih Bukhari 2.141.
>
> white man, Sahih Bukhari 1.63, Sahih Bukhari 2.122
>
> What is black and what is white? Surely these are subjective?

To a degree yes. However, we do assume some intelligence on the part
of the reader, and expect that s/he would understand this is not an
absolute measure, but a relative one. It certainly doesn't mean he
was white as chalk or snow. Nor that he looked like a Scandinavian.
But it does mean that among the people of Arabia, he was discernably
of lighter complexion than most. Otherwise, the referenced hadiths
would not make any sense. And it certainly means, he was not black.
That was the issue to be established. I hope you will not contend
that fact?

> Have you seen
> natives of Makkah, and what colour would you say they are? I seriously doubt
> that what is called "white" by those people in that time would be considered
> "white" today, especially in the US, where the term is exclusively for those of
> European origin. While this the above is not a straight lie, it is certainly
> misleading.

Excuse me. Nothing but a quote of a term and a link to the hadith where
it appears is given. Is it now a lie to quote the hadith?? The page does
not say he was Caucasian.

> Muhammad's description of Blacks :
>
> are "pug nosed", Sahih Muslim vol 9., pgs. 46-47
>
> I can't find this anywhere. In any case, if it exists, it may have been merely
> descriptive (in the manner of 'flat-nosed') rather that having offensive
> undertones.

A friend with an Arabic Hadith data base CD gave me this as answer:

Found in Numbers 1837 and 1838 (Abd AL-Baqi's Numbering System).
I am still waiting for him to give me a translation of the relevant
part, so that I can look at the context. But he stated that it is
not meant as an insult towards them. So I will accept that and most
probably remove the whole section with "Muhammad's description of Blacks".
My Arab (convert) friend wrote in response to me and in reference to
your posting:

} Do you know if these comments about are considered to be offensive
} or inoffensive in Mohammed's time?

I agree with almost all of what that post says. I think that if the
article is trying to prove that Mohammad was racist or something
like that then it should be removed. If not, then a purpose should
be stated clearly.

The original article on the Islamicreview site certainly wanted to
give the impression Muhammad was racist. So, this part will be
deleted as soon as the Web site is functioning again. But the issue
of his skin color is a regular claim by some, and will remain.

> like "raisin heads", Sahih Bukhari 1.662, Sahih Bukhari 9.256
>
> What does this hadith actually say? Please Jochen, read the hadith and tell me
> whether it is a general description of blacks, or rather a plain statement that
> "even if your ruler is Ethiopian with a head like a raisin (i.e. not an Arab,
> and ugly to boot) you should follow him" (unlike the pre-Islamic days, when you
> were racially arrogant and looked down on such people).

Well, I agree, it doesn't explicitly endorse the derogatory term. It is
a lesson on obedience. However, the expression itself is not repudiated
either. As you saw above, I inquired with my Arabic friends how they
read this and they confirmed your understanding. So, it will go (from
this page) but will be useful in a different context... as my friend
wrote:

As for him using descriptions such as "pug nosed" or "raisin heads",
he was trying to prove a point exactly like Jesus in the Gospel of
Matthew when he met the Canaanite women and compared her to dogs.
Mohammed's point in the Bukhari Hadeeth for example is to prove to
the Muslims that following the leader is important no matter what
your opinion of him is.

So, the term as such is offensive, but it is not used to offend, but
to make a point. As some Muslims take some strong words of Jesus as
evidence that the gospels cannot be from him (even though in the
above case, he commends that woman later as a great example of faith),
this will be a good counter story when this argument is made.

> >will steal when hungry, when full, promiscuous, Sahih Muslim.
>
> No reference whatsoever for this one, however, we can be confident it is
> probably taken out of context, if not an out and out lie like the one about the
> "slaves". Since these comments are taken from the same source, shouldn't you be
> suspicious of an unverified statement such as this? Surely you can do better
> than this.

My friend could not find that hadith. Unless the author of the other
article provides a full quotation and reference for it, it will be
deleted.

However, I took the occasion and did an extensive search for the word
"black" on the hadith database on the web, and came up with quite a
few black slaves of Muhammad. See below.

> The whole point is, surely even you know that, whatever else you might say
> about him, Muhammad was not a racist.

I would agree with you. He had many slaves, but he didn't make much of
a distinction about them on the basis of race.

> Jochen, you know this is the truth. Please honour it.

Where I know it, I will act accordingly. I told you various times
I welcome all corrections. I never make statements I know to be
false (unless in way of parody, but that should be clear as well
from the context).

> The problem is that it is not my or other Muslims' responsibility to check the
> accuracy of information on an anti-Muslim website. As the webmaster, it is your
> responsibility to ensure that misinformation is not spread from your site,
> whether you wrote the particular page or not.

I get so much material (and I received about 1000 pages for this
Comparative Index of Islam) which are 95% very solid. I cannot
possibly check everything myself. That is one reason I ask anyone
who finds mistakes to tell me about them. Most of those who do
are Christians. Muslims usually don't bother. They might tell
their friends, snear at it, and take it as the big evidence that
since one little detail was wrong, the whole site is a fraud,
but they won't tell us about it.

I take responsibility in that way, that I am going to correct
everything that is wrong and brought to my attention. And nowhere
do I claim that everything I say is true. I give thousands of
links to Muslim sites for the very reason so that people can
compare and check for themselves.

> > I inherited the Comparative Index
> > to Islam from its author in its entirety of nearly 1000 pages.
> > It is generally very well done, factual and informative.
>
> This is highly debatable.

Please do.

> I think that (of the pages I have visited) there is
> great varience in the academic quality of individual pages.

Yes, there are a lot of different people who contribute, some
of them academics, others just "simple believers" who have thought
about some issues and share their thoughts. But the Index pages
should be relatively even in quality as they come from one author.

> Some are quite
> credible, while others contain interpretations no Muslim and no open-minded
> non-Muslim would agree with. However, nearly every page is also evaluative, and
> (almost always) evaluated from a single perspective.

Well, why would you complain about this? It is after all a Christian
site, evangelical Christianity to be more precise. How many Muslim
sites do give "objective" articles or articles where the issues are
evaluated from many perspectives? E.g. Sunni AND Shia, or Salafi AND
reform-Muslim (like Jeremiah McAuliffe), or Sunni and Ahmadiyya? If
the other perspective is mentioned at all, then usually in the way
of ridicule and much more attacking the other group than anything
you will find on our site.

Again, why would you put different demands on a Christian site than
you would put on Muslim sites? Yes, we offer our site as ONE perspective
and invite you to compare. At least we do that. How many Muslim sites
do invite you to compare their writings about Christianity with our
responses on "Answering Islam"? Show me one other site that is so
heavily interlinked for comparison. Not just one link to a Christian
site "somewhere" but interlinking on the level of all topics discussed
regarding the other faith.

> You should never use the word "objective" to describe your site,

Where did I do that? In the above, I certainly don't see you quote me
as using this word. I say 'factual'. And it strives to be factual. If
you find factually wrong statements, tell us and we correct them. We
won't accomodate you if you just disagree with our conclusions, but if
we are factually wrong, we will correct.

> for very little of it is. This is not
> an insult, most of my site is written from a Muslim perspective and so cannot
> be completely objective, whatever that means, anyway. I suppose that objective
> can only be acheived by someone disinterested in the topic, which of course
> neither you nor I are.

I am glad you see that. Now, what then was the reason for your
complaint in that paragraph?

Finally, I said I used this occasion to do some hadith searching and
here are a number which speak of black slaves of Muhammad. And it
speaks of slaves, not of former slaves that he freed.


Sahih Muslim, Book 9, Number 3901:

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:

There came a slave and pledged allegiance to Allah's Apostle
(peace_be_upon_him) on migration; he (the Prophet) did not know
that he was a slave. Then there came his master and demanded
him back, whereupon Allah's Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said:
Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves, and
he did not afterwards take allegiance from anyone until he
had asked him whether he was a slave (or a free man).


Now, it is very nice that Muhammad does insist on paying
the owner, and that he (probably even) frees this convert
(though this is not mentioned), but what about those two
black slaves?

This hadith also makes clear that Muhammad had two black
slaves at his disposal to trade in for the other man. And
presumably these two were Muhammad's property. If he had
to buy them first before he could exchange them, why would
he not just give the owner the value in money or whatever
else he would have given the man he got the two from?
Also, it seems that the black slaves were worth less than
this non-black slave, so that is the reason for the 2:1
rate. We do know this from historical documents (given
also by Bernhard Lewis) about slavery in Islamic history
that white slaves got a much higher price than black
slaves.


Malik's Muwatta, Book 21, Number 21.13.25:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Thawr ibn Zayd ad-Dili
from Abu'l-Ghayth Salim, the mawla of ibn Muti that Abu
Hurayra said, "We went out with the Messenger of Allah,
may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in the yearof
Khaybar. We did not capture any gold or silver except for
personal effects, clothes, and baggage. Rifaa ibn Zayd
presented a black slave boy to the Messenger of Allah,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
may Allah bless him and grant him peace, whose name was
Midam. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and
grant him peace, made for Wadi'l-Qura, and when he arrived
there, Midam was unsaddling the camel of the Messenger of
Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a
stray arrow struck and killed him. The people said, 'Good
luck to him! The Garden!' The Messenger of Allah said,
'No! By He in whose hand my self is! The cloak which he
took from the spoils on the Day of Khaybar before they were
distributed will blaze with fire on him.' When the people
heard that, a man brought a sandal-strap or two sandal-straps
to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him
peace. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant
him peace, said, 'A sandal-strap or two sandal-straps of fire!' "


Muhammad got a black slave boy (as a present?) and he starts
working for Muhammad. No mention is made that Muhammad freed him.


Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 91, Number 368:

Narrated 'Umar:

I came and behold, Allah's Apostle was staying on a Mashroba
(attic room) and a black slave of Allah's Apostle was at the
top if its stairs. I said to him, "(Tell the Prophet) that
here is 'Umar bin Al-Khattab (asking for permission to enter)."
Then he admitted me. ...

[Probably the same story is told in many other hadiths,
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 648:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas: ... a black slave of his...
cf. Volume 6, Book 60, Number 435, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 119].

It does not even say "THE black slave of Muhammad" it says
"a black slave" which is an indication there were more than
one.


Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 182:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Allah's Apostle was on a journey and he had a black slave
called Anjasha, and he was driving the camels (very fast, and
there were women riding on those camels). Allah's Apostle said,
"Waihaka (May Allah be merciful to you), O Anjasha! Drive
slowly (the camels) with the glass vessels (women)!"

In addition to the above I found a good number of other
black slaves mentioned which were owned by Aisha or some
of the companions of Muhammad.


The last one I want to mention today:

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 15, Number 103:

Narrated 'Urwa on the authority of 'Aisha:

On the days of Mina, (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah) Abu Bakr
came to her while two young girls were beating the tambourine and
the Prophet was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr scolded
them and the Prophet uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr,
"Leave them, for these days are the days of 'Id and the days of
Mina." 'Aisha further said, "Once the Prophet was screening me and
I was watching the display of black slaves in the Mosque and ('Umar)
scolded them. The Prophet said, 'Leave them. O Bani Arfida! (carry
on), you are safe (protected)'."

I am not completely clear what "display of black slaves" means,
I haven't been able to ask my Arabic friends yet, but I do have
the feeling that this was something like a slave market.
Fathom that: A slave market in the mosque.

I hope this has clarified many issues. No, it seems Muhammad
was not racist, and the statements which might imply this will
be removed shortly, but yes, Muhammad owned black slaves.
That seems to be a historical fact.

Best regards,

Jochen Katz

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