Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shadid Lewis, Ibn Kathir, and the Battle of Tabuk

Modern, Westernized, liberal Muslims are quite fond of rewriting history in order to make Islam more palatable to their consciences. This was clearly the case in my recent debate with Shadid Lewis, who claimed (without historical evidence of any kind) that Surah 9:29 was given as an order to confront a group of invading Romans! I correctly pointed out that it was the Muslims who were the aggressors, and that 9:29 is therefore a command to fight an offensive Jihad against unbelievers.

As anyone can see from our debate, historical evidence and Muslim sources mean virtually nothing to Shadid. Nevertheless, for those Muslims who respect their greatest scholars more than their own Westernized reinterpretations, I offer Ibn Kathir's account of what started the Battle of Tabuk. The following is taken from Ibn Kathir's Al-Bidayyah wan-Nihayyah (translated by Wa'il Abdul Mut'aal Shihab as The Battles of the Prophet).

Allah, Most High, ordered the believers to prohibit the disbelievers from entering or coming near the sacred Mosque. On that, Quraish thought that this would reduce their profits from trade. Therefore, Allah, Most High, compensated them and ordered them to fight the people of the Book until they embrace Islam or pay the Jizyah. Allah says,

"O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Surah 9:28-29)

Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) decided to fight the Romans in order to call them to Islam. (Ibn Kathir, The Battles of the Prophet, pp. 183-4)

Notice that there's absolutely nothing here about any Romans attacking the Muslims. The chain of events leading up to the Battle of Tabuk was:

(1) Muhammad prohibited non-Muslims from taking religious pilgrimages to Mecca. (Strange, isn't it, that Muslims condemned the polytheists when the polytheists prohibited Muslims from taking the pilgrimage to Mecca. Hypocrisy is rampant in early Islam.)

(2) The Quraish (now Muslims) were worried that this would interfere with their profits.

(3) Muhammad received a revelation, saying, in effect, "If you're worried about money, don't worry, because God's going to enrich you by sending you to fight the People of the Book, until they convert to Islam or pay the Jizya!"

Note: If the Roman Empire had converted to Islam, Mecca would have tons of pilgrims visiting the Ka'ba. If the Romans elected to pay the Jizya instead, Muslims would still be raking in tons of money.

Ibn Sa'd adds that word reached Muhammad "that Haraclius had disbursed one year's salary to his soldiers" stationed in Syria (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, p. 204). An army with a year's salary is an attractive target for a religion that funds itself by raids. Indeed, Ibn Ishaq titles his discussion on this topic "the Raid on Tabuk," rather than, say, "The Muslims defend themselves from the Romans."

It seems, then, that the motive for Allah's command in Surah 9:29 was simply to fight people until they started sending money to the Muslims. The early Muslims understood this. Islam's greatest commentators understood this. The only people who don't understand this are Muslims like Shadid Lewis, who view Islam through the lenses of Western Christian tolerance.

For more on the fighting verses of Surah 9, see Sam Shamoun's article here.

25 comments:

nma said...

Well, upon close scrutiny and analysis, it not difficult find that the Surah 9:28-29 is really about an orderto confront a group of invading Romans, only it is hidden like all those numerical and scientific miracles in the Quran. The order is a bit disorganized though, like the rest of the Quran. The complete order is given in bold below:
"O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Surah 9:28-29)

David Wood said...

Brilliant! That was straight out of the DaVinci Code!

nma said...

Thank you, Mr. Wood. Isn’t it wonderful that such miracles lie hidden in the Quran, some maybe forever? All it needs is a Zakir Naik to bring them out from the jumble!

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

If this is true, then islam is nothing but a global religious mafia movement.

george said...

dear david wood and friends,my name is george from india.Iam happy the way God is using you to defeat lie called islam.
its good to hear that debates are going well and to our side for the glory of God.i live in india and wish to have dvds of it for my own and for distribution,do u have any idea of how to get all debates in Cd format? please guide me thanks

minoria said...

The early history of Islam is different from that of the Jesus movement(as it is now called).What would Jesus have done if he had instead gone to Rome in 33 AD and converted the Roman Emperor?He would have been made prime minister,almost the philosopher-king dreamed by Plato.

What is the principal ethical idea of Jesus?If I ask that almost all would say they do not know.I didn't know before.It is the Golden Rule or "Do to others as you would have them do to you".It appears in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:12 and in Luke 6:31.He also said "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Jesus didn't invent it.It appears in one form or another in Confucius,the Mahabharata,Buddhism,Leviticus 19,Tobit,Greek and Roman philosophers.You don't need supernatural revelation to discover it.It is the basis of human rights:freedom of speech,of assembly,of religion and from discrimination ( due to language,ethnicity,color,political beliefs,etc).

Taken to its logical conclusion the Golden Rule means you are against imperialism,sexism,racism,slavery,chauvinism,etc.In a debate Shabir Ally said that the reason the early Christians were peaceful was because they didn't have political power.

When they later did they began discriminating and persecuting in the 300's and later on.He was implying Jesus and his direct succesors would not have been peaceful if they had got political power,like converting the Roman Emperor.

Again Jesus with real political power would have applied the Golden Rule so he would have been against persecuting non-Christians,slavery,etc.Ally's argument is convincing is you don't know all the details.I don't think in all the years he has studied Christianity he doesn't know something so basic.Again,he is more interested in winning a debate than in being scholarly.

The Golden Rule doesn't mean you are to be 100% pacifist.If you see someone if going to kill innocent people and the only way is to actually kill the psychopath then one has to kill.If you were about to be killed you would want someone to rescue you.If your country is invaded and about to be pillaged and destroyed people have the right to fight militarily.But force is only in extreme cases.

Nakdimon said...

It should be painfully obvious to any one, even to Muslims, that the early Muslims supported themselves with booty gained by conquest. They didnt build anything, they didnt plant anything, they didnt produce anything, there is nothing in the sources about the Muslims supporting themselves by the work of their own hands and the sweat on their brows. All you see is them GOING OUT to other towns and countries to fight non-Muslims. And for what? To take from them zakaat and jiziyah to have some "money in the bank". I find this assessment from Tabari quite telling:

"'Prophet, this group of Ansar have a grudge against you for what you did with the booty and how you divided it among your own people.' 'Ansar, what is this talk I hear from you? What is the grudge you harbor? Do you think ill of me? Did I not come to you when you were erring and needy, and then made rich by Allah? Do you hold a grudge against me and are you mentally disturbed because of the worldly things by which I conciliate a people and win them over so that they will embrace Islam and become Muslims?" (Tabari IX:36)


This is nothing but bribery, paying mercenaries for their duties behind the curtain of religion. It is inconceivable to me, that if Muhammad was this kind and gentle man with impeccable behaviour that Muslims claim, we would see the offense and outrage of the Muslims in the generations of Ishaq and Tabari that we see today when people make these same claims about Muhammad. If anyone professing to be a Christian claimed that Yeshua bought people’s loyalty to join him in his raids to subjugate others, while that is just not true, those people would be anathemized and totally stripped of any reliability in all their works. But we don’t see that in Islam. Ibn Ishaq and Tabari are referenced as reliable sources by other major scholars such as Bukhari, Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir, etc. This means that these were considered reliable people doing good work in Islamic theology and exegesis. So to disregard their testimonies, especially that of Ibn Ishaq, as irrelevant and an inaccurate depiction of Muhammad. This is indefensible. There is no way what Muslims will not condemn somebody that maims the character of Muhammad into the pirate that Ibn Ishaq and Tabari describe him to be, unless that is the character of Muhammad that people were commonly familiar with.

If Muslims don’t agree with this assessment, I would like them to show us what the means was that the first generations of Muslims supported themselves by, complete with source material. If this can't be demonstrated, then the assessment stands and the first Muslims were nothing but pirates hiding behind the curtain of religion to gain wealth, Muhammad included.


Nakdimon

Nakdimon said...

Hogan said: If this is true, then islam is nothing but a global religious mafia movement.

Sharp observation. there is no other way to call it.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

George,

God bless you bro

I used to live in India for a while, and met a whole lot of muslim converts to Christianity there, it was dangerous stuff, I want post the stories here.

Can you please inform us about the state in India and Islam in connection with apologetics and debating. As I understand from a Christian Indian brother where I am based at the moment, Indian Christians are not so excited about apologetics.
Could you confirm that? Would you say there is a need of training in apologetics in India or that Indian churches are seeking training in his particular area of ministry.

The Fat Man said...

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...
If this is true, then islam is nothing but a global religious mafia movement.

Hogan your just now figuring that out? What took you so long? :)

The Fat Man said...

Nakdimon said...
"They didnt build anything, they didnt plant anything, they didnt produce anything,"

We have all heard the muslim mantra, that islam is a complete way of life. What I find funny about this "WAY OF LIFE" is there is nothing in the quran or the hadeeths on hordiculture. No rules no regulations on how to plant, grow and harvest crops. This is something so central to any civilization. But the quran and hadeeths are silent on this subject.

Instead you find in the quran and hadeeths laws and regulations governing every other aspect of human life. For instance how to properly beat your wife, what kinds of woman you can have sex with. And lets not forget the islamic way to urinate and defecate.

The last one is so important that Abu Dawood devoted most of the first chapter in his collection of hadeeths on this very subject.

It seems that when it comes to a way of life, war, sex and bathroom habbits are more important then growing your own food

Sepher Shalom said...

The Fat Man said: "What I find funny about this "WAY OF LIFE" is there is nothing in the quran or the hadeeths on hordiculture. No rules no regulations on how to plant, grow and harvest crops. This is something so central to any civilization. But the quran and hadeeths are silent on this subject."

That is a really good observation! I had never noticed that before. The minutiae of daily habits are prescribed, but the foundation of civilizational survival is not even mentioned. That in itself is enough to refute the Muslim claim that Islam is a "complete way of life".

nma said...

The Fat Man said...

Instead you find in the quran and hadeeths laws and regulations governing every other aspect of human life. For instance how to properly beat your wife, what kinds of woman you can have sex with. And lets not forget the islamic way to urinate and defecate.



Sounds like communism! Oh, wait...There was no communist way of urination and defecation.

Allah produced the reproductive, urinary and excretory systems. So it is only fair that the users must be provided the instruction manuals as well, hence the Quran and hadiths.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

The Fatman wrote:

Hogan your just now figuring that out? What took you so long? :)

Elijah replies:

Actually I am very thick headed.

The Fat Man said...

nma said...

"Allah produced the reproductive, urinary and excretory systems. So it is only fair that the users must be provided the instruction manuals as well, hence the Quran and hadiths."

You know its funny, I have been dog watching my sisters German Shepeard for the last week. And I noticed that when I take this dog out, she sniffs around scratching the grouond as she looks for the right place to do her buisness.

The following is from Abu Dawood.
Book 1, Number 0003:
Narrated AbuMusa:

AbutTayyah reported on the authority of a shaykh (an old man): When Abdullah ibn Abbas came to Basrah, people narrated to him traditions from AbuMusa. Therefore Ibn Abbas wrote to him asking him about certain things. In reply AbuMusa wrote to him saying: One day I was in the company of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He wanted to urinate. Then he came to a soft ground at the foot of a wall and urinated. He (the Prophet) then said: If any of you wants to urinate, he should look for a place (like this) for his urination.

Sounds like my sisters German Shepeard. Wow come to think of it, looks like this dog figure this out with out allahs apostle.

nma said...

The Fat Man said...

Sounds like my sisters German Shepeard. Wow come to think of it, looks like this dog figure this out with out allahs apostle.


Maybe it is from dogs our beloved apostle learned how to mark his territory!

Dhivehi Resistance said...

Islam is a criminal enterprise disguised as a religion

getrealman said...

NOTE TO CHRISTIAN BROTHERS:

The criticisms of Islam have turned into sinful pejorative. You need to be a little more careful with your tongue. There is no rationale whatsoever for some of the comments that have been made. Is this really the defense you offer against a false religion? Check your fruit, guys.

By the way, I am a shallow Christian but I can still spot flesh on parade when it's as blatant as this. Quit it. No Muslim will be won and you will only continue to engender animosity against Christ and his Church.

nma said...

getrealman said...
There is no rationale whatsoever for some of the comments that have been made. Is this really the defense you offer against a false religion? Check your fruit, guys.


What rationale do Muslim Comments have? Maybe not in your opinion, but most comments here are good defense against that false religion.

By the way, I am a shallow Christian

Something fishy here!

No Muslim will be won and you will only continue to engender animosity against Christ and his Church.

Maybe you don't know this, the websites, like faithfreedom.org and islam-watch.org, that relentlessly expose Islam and Mohammed are very successful in turning some muslims into non-muslims. Though many Muslims get disgusted with their religion when they realize how bad their prophet was, they are afraid that leaving Islam will get them murdered.

getrealman said...

nma,

I believe you may have misunderstood. I am not opposed to criticizing Islam and pointing out the very clear errors of this false religion. I believe that websites such as this are very helpful. What I am opposed to is the insulting that occurred a little bit higher up in this thread. Do you understand my position? Hate Islam, love the Muslim. Pretty much gospel 101. David and Nabel are very good at what they do. I think it is terrific. I disagree with insulting and belittling others--not the beliefs but the people that hold to the beliefs. We are not called to denigrate others but to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. There most definitely is a very necessary place for exposing falsehood, just make sure that you love the people you are reproving. I hope this makes things a little clearer.

GRM

nma said...

getrealman said...

Hate Islam, love the Muslim.
Couldn't agree more! But it is hard to forgive some muslims who are terrorists, but not impossible. Here are three examples of the unparalleled greatness of Christianity:

Parents of Beheaded Indonesian Girls Forgive Killers

Widow of Slain Christian: 'Forgive Them'

I have forgiven my father's killers


Thanks for the explanation, grm.

MrIslamAnswersback said...

I just happened to stumble across this BS while looking for some info on google.So let me respond. The title says I provided no proof what so ever ,and thats total BS. Typical though for David and other Christian liars. During the Debate I referenced The book " The Sealed nectar" by Safi ur Rahman al Mubarakpuri page 422-424 that spoke of reasons behind the battle of tabuk, Surah 9:29 , thus backing up my claim about the Roman Christians preparing to attack the muslims 1st. So your a damn liar.

Several translators of the Quran all say the same thing. Muhammad Asad in his commentary ,note 142 of Surah 9 say its. He references Tabari and ibn kathir on it.Ali Zahi Ramadan in his Book "No Compulsion in religion", says the same on page 7. Even ask Nabeel to check the ahmadiyah translation of the Quran and commentary by Muhammad Ali note 1049 of Surah 9:29 and he says the same. All say the Romans were preparing to attack the muslims 1st and this is the context of that verse. Here is a link about the history of Tabuk that gives further references.
http://www.al-islam.org/message/54.htm

The reference about the Romans preparing to launch a surprise attack is Tabaqat, vol.II, page 165.

So dont give me this , I gave no evidence what so ever BS. Good thing I saw this or you would have gotten away with a lie.

PS I saw you and Nabeels hate mongering video at the arab festival and muslim conventions.If I see you guys at an event, I'll be sure to call you out and embarrass your sorry asses.

Oh yeah and let me get this out. As usual during debates with David he always claims something that his opponent did'nt say. He said That I said, I never seen any where, where surah 2:256 was abrogated. Thats wrong. I said I never saw where anyone said Surah 60:8 was abrogated ,that he could'nt show, so I guess he made his own straw man. And He admitted none of the claims of abrogated verses have any support from Allah himself or Muhammad.

As I said before, I'm done with you liars and now let me add bigots. You wont spread your lies and mis-information on my watch.Your ambush style antics & fear & hatred mongering nonsense video( Joseph Goebbels would be proud of you) at the Arab festival and Islamic convention have you in a new category. Your no longer seen as just theological opponents, you are now in the same line as other lying , vile, anti islamic bigots. In other words you deserve no respect, and should be ignored when it comes to serious debate issues as you have proven yourselves to be just more hate filled bigots.

MrIslamAnswersback said...

Lastly as I said during the debate, its an insult to claim , we have the position we have because of being westernized and liberal. Many muslims in the west in fact have conservative values.I have conservative Islamic values. And to think that the west has some how caused us to view islam differently is just thinking too highly of yourselves.

Like I said during the debate, the west has shown me that problems are solved through violence. From Bush to George Washington. From The British to the French,Italians, Germans, all have shown the world what western values really are. They are racism, invasions, genocide, discrimination, greed, ethocentrisim, war and the development of war arsenals. The West entertains it self with violence, from UFC, to boxing, to Rambo, terminator, John Wayne and more. Violent video games and toys.

So what the hell do you mean being raised in the west makes us try to water down Islam. Please, you wish you and your demonic racist ass forefathers were that angelic, but they were'nt and neither are you!

MrIslamAnswersback said...

I just happened to stumble across this BS while looking for some info on google.So let me respond. The title says I provided no proof what so ever ,and thats total BS. Typical though for David and other Christian liars. During the Debate I referenced The book " The Sealed nectar" by Safi ur Rahman al Mubarakpuri page 422-424 that spoke of reasons behind the battle of tabuk, Surah 9:29 , thus backing up my claim about the Roman Christians preparing to attack the muslims 1st. So your a damn liar.

Several translators of the Quran all say the same thing. Muhammad Asad in his commentary ,note 142 of Surah 9 say its. He references Tabari and ibn kathir on it.Ali Zahi Ramadan in his Book "No Compulsion in religion", says the same on page 7. Even ask Nabeel to check the ahmadiyah translation of the Quran and commentary by Muhammad Ali note 1049 of Surah 9:29 and he says the same. All say the Romans were preparing to attack the muslims 1st and this is the context of that verse. Here is a link about the history of Tabuk that gives further references.
http://www.al-islam.org/message/54.htm

The reference about the Romans preparing to launch a surprise attack is Tabaqat, vol.II, page 165.

So dont give me this , I gave no evidence what so ever BS. Good thing I saw this or you would have gotten away with a lie.

PS I saw you and Nabeels hate mongering video at the arab festival and muslim conventions.If I see you guys at an event, I'll be sure to call you out and embarrass your sorry asses.

Oh yeah and let me get this out. As usual during debates with David he always claims something that his opponent did'nt say. He said That I said, I never seen any where, where surah 2:256 was abrogated. Thats wrong. I said I never saw where anyone said Surah 60:8 was abrogated ,that he could'nt show, so I guess he made his own straw man. And He admitted none of the claims of abrogated verses have any support from Allah himself or Muhammad.

As I said before, I'm done with you liars and now let me add bigots. You wont spread your lies and mis-information on my watch.Your ambush style antics & fear & hatred mongering nonsense video( Joseph Goebbels would be proud of you) at the Arab festival and Islamic convention have you in a new category. Your no longer seen as just theological opponents, you are now in the same line as other lying , vile, anti islamic bigots. In other words you deserve no respect, and should be ignored when it comes to serious debate issues as you have proven yourselves to be just more hate filled bigots.

Jabari said...

Shadid,

this is Jabari Jefferson. I'm an African-American Christian and I should tell you three things:

1) Thank you for showing everyone on this blog the true face of Islam. An evil religion which brings out the worst of people, whether it be Osama Bin Laden, Nadir Ahmed or hostile people such as yourself.

2) The book you appealed to "The Sealed Nectar" does the author have any scholarly background (I highly doubt that it does.)? You also realize you just appealed to a sect which you believe is heretical right? Be consistent for once in your life!!!

3) I think that David and Nabeel are going to ignore your threat. If you don't want them to do something don't threaten them. That's all.

P.S. I should let you know that not all churches worship in the way your church you use to go to did (if my Pastor pulled out a saxaphone, I wouldn't have left Christianity, I would've just simply looked for another church home).

Secondly, I see a contrast between Muslim apologist and Christian apologist. Muslim apologists are immature (Nadir
Ahmed), angry (like yourself), hostile (not unlike you) and on top of all that deceptive (I don't think you are being deceptive Shadid, you're being very sincere). Christian apologists, on the other hand, mature, honest and they keep a cool head.

So this is what Islam, a religion from Satan does to its adherents: makes into irate, hostile people. And this what Christianity, a religion from the one true God (not Allah, but Yahweh) does to its adherents: it makes them into people who are loving towards everyone (REGARDLESS of their color), honest and mature.

Come back to Christ, Shadeed.