Saturday, December 5, 2015
The Islamic State: Nothing To Do With the Prophet of Islam?
According to a recent "spoken word" video, that has been making the rounds on the internet of late, the Islamic State has nothing to do with the prophet of Islam. Take five minutes of your day to watch the above video. This is the reaction of the vast majority of western Muslims to the actions carried out by the Islamic State in the name of their religion. The video cites various ahadith which purportedly show that Muhammad was a man of peace.
I commend this video's producers, as well as the many Muslims who condemn the appalling atrocities that have been carried out by the Islamic State. However, the problem is that the portrayal of Muhammad presented by the video is very selective, and there is no set of principles offered for consistently selecting the seemingly peaceful ahadith over the less peaceful ones -- much less any kind of justification for such a set of principles. The method of authenticating ahadith from so-called isnad (chains of narration) is farcical, and not employed in any kind of consistent manner. Short of such a methodology, the selection of ahadith by the gentleman in the video is no more valid than the selection of ahadith by the Islamic State.
Here is a sample of just four ahadith that the video did not mention. All of the following have been selected from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, regarded as the two most authoritative Hadith collections for Sunni Muslims (representing around 85% of the global Muslim population):
Sahih Bukhari chapter 2, no. 35: "Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah's cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then martyred in His cause."
Sahih Bukhari chapter 8, no. 387: "Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah.""
Sahih Bukhari chapter 52, no. 176: "Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "You will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."
Sahih Muslim chapter 19, no. 4366: "It has been narrated by Umar bin al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims."
There are a lot more where those came from. A lot more. So why is the selection of ahadith in the video any more valid than the selection given above?