Did Muhammad rape Safiyah?
Amir was one of many Muslims who write to me challenging me to a debate. I told him that I debate either with scholars who have a recognizable name, or with those who read my book. Amir agreed to read my book. I sent him the fourth edition in PDF. After reading it, Amir has either left Islam or is about to. No one can read my book and still believe in Islam.
Most Muslims who receive my book never write back. I am of the belief that they become scared and stop reading. Some of them summon the courage and finish it. Amir is one of them.
He asked me several questions. He basically wants me to answer the “rebuttals” of Bassam Zawadi. I had so far ignored Zawadi because his articles actually incriminate Muhammad more and confirms what I say. However, for the benefit of those who can’t see that I will dedicate the following months responding to Mr. Zawadi.
Here is Amir’s email and my answer to his first question. It’s about Safiyah, the Jewish wife of Muhammad. Her story is here.
Hi Mr. Ali Sina.
To be honest with you all I can say is this: YES your book has shaken my little and shallow faith in Islam. So now what I want is either you give me your response, one by one, for all the following arguments, which is done by persons who has more and in-depth knowledge of Islam, for each assertion, as you have promised to do so and lead me to leave Islam once and for all, OR leave me with the doubtful and dismal life which leads me to confront my mind, family and society. But Mr. Sina I urge you to do the first.
It is interesting to note that the person who Ali Sina thinks was “raped” is Safiyyah, a wife of the Holy Prophet (S). We need not reply to such stupid claims, we will just move on to the more important things. Still, if anyone is interested in learning about Safiyyah please visit this wonderful article written by Brother Bassam Zawadi:
In this response, Basam Zawadi quotes various hadiths to prove that it is unfair to say Muhammad’s marriage to Safiyah was rape and that she actually loved him. Here is what he wrote.
Zayd ibn Aslam said, “When the Prophet was so sick and on the verge of death his wives gathered around him. Safiyyah bint Huyayyay said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, by Allah, I would like to be in your place.’ Hearing her utterance, the Prophet’s wives winked at her. The Prophet saw them and said, ‘Rinse your mouths.’ They said, ‘For what, Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘For your winking at her, by Allah, she is telling the truth.'” (Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p.101, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.175)
In order to understand the dynamism of the situation we have to go beyond the words stated in the hadith. Each episode or hadith, taken in isolation, conveys very little. It’s when we put all of them together, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, that the real picture emerges.
Safiyah was by all accounts a captive. Her father and uncle had been beheaded, and her husband was tortured to death. All her brothers and male relatives were massacred and his female relatives were enslaved by Muslims. She was alone. She was caught among the enemy.
Does it make any sense that a sane person in her situation feels love for her captor and the murderer of her loved ones? Certainly it doesn’t.
Science is advancing in every field including psychology. Many enigmas that puzzled people for centuries, particularly about Muhammad and his life, can now be explained through discoveries in psychology. My book, Understanding Muhammad, is a psychoanalysis of Muhammad. As far as I know it is the first on this subject.
The answer to this question is in the chapter eight of the fifth edition of my book. You, Amir, read the fourth edition. So I will explain it briefly.
Cameroon Hooker, a sociopath, kidnapped Colleen Stan, a 20 years old girl, and kept her in a coffin-like box under his bed for seven years. After she managed to escape, she did not report Hooker to authorities. He was captured after his wife confessed what her husband had done to a priest who advised her to tell that to police.
During Hooker’s trial, Colleen was not cooperative. To make the matters worse, the defendant’s lawyer presented a love letter written by Coleen to Hooker.
The facts were clear. Colleen had been kidnapped, her life was threatened and she was kept in a box for seven years.
So why was she not cooperating with the prosecutors? What was that love letter about? The jury could not convict Hooker because Coleen did not seem to be upset for what she had undergone. The strange puzzle was solved by a psychologist who explained, that under duress; captives often develop a feeling of love and loyalty towards their captors. This is called Stockholm syndrome.
It’s a coping mechanism. Hooker was sentenced to life without parole.
Only under the light of the new understanding of human psychology can we understand the bizarre expression of Safiyah’s love for the murderer of her nearest and dearest.
“Here is Umm al- Mu’minin, Safiyyah, relates those moments when she hated the Prophet for killing her father and her ex-husband. The Prophet apologized to her saying, “Your father charged the Arabs against me and committed heinous act,” he apologized to the extent that made Safiyyah get rid of her bitterness against the Prophet. (Al-Bayhaqi, Dala’il an-Nubuwwah, vol. 4, p. 230, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.166)
Does this make sense? Muhammad butchered her father and husband and then justified his actions, and as Zawadi says apologized (which he didn’t) and she forgave him? I am not sure what substance Zawadi is smoking, (well actually I know. His brain is on Islam) but his argument makes no sense. You murder someone’s father and husband and her entire family and then you explain why you had to do it and she forgives you? It’s this kind of thinking that allows Muslims to believe in any absurdity. If Muslims used a little commonsense, they would leave Islam.
Yes, indeed Safiyyah was angry at the Prophet at first but she forgave him later on. This is mainly due to the fact that she always knew that Muhammad was indeed a Prophet.
Saffiyah says, “I was my father’s and my uncle’s favorite child. When the Messenger of Allah came to Madinah and stayed at Quba, my parents went to him at night and when they looked disconcerted and worn out. I received them cheerfully but to my surprise no one of them turned to me. They were so grieved that they did not feel my presence. I heard my uncle, Abu Yasir, saying to my father, ‘Is it really him?’ He said, ‘Yes, by Allah’. My uncle said: ‘Can you recognize him and confirm this?’ He said, ‘Yes’. My uncle said, ‘How do you feel towards him?’ He said, ‘By Allah I shall be his enemy as long as I live.'” (Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah an-Nabawiyyah, vol. 2, pp. 257-258, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.162)
The story above illustrates Safiyyah’s awareness and intelligence. It also shows that the Jews had known of the Prophet’s prophethood, and knew him as well as they knew their children. Nevertheless they harbored feelings of hatred and bitterness for Islam and for the Prophet. The story in addition to this shows the great enmity and hatred that Huyayy felt against the Messenger of Allah. Safiyyah did not inherit anything from her father because Allah made her heart ready for Islam and prepared her soul for faith. (Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.162-163)
This hadith reveals the sick mind of Muslims, who as I have repeatedly said and shown in my book, have inherited the insanity of their prophet.
Narcissists are under the delusion that everyone knows about their greatness and if anyone opposes them it is because of envy. The above hadith is one example of the narcissistic mind of Muslims.
How can people possibly be convinced that someone is a messenger of God and decide to reject him vehemently? Does it make sense at all? It doesn’t. Not to a normal person. But it does to narcissists. Narcissism is a mental disorder. The function of the brain is altered. The narcissist has a distorted understanding of reality.
People believe they are right and those who disagree with them are not. It’s never the other way around. How can anyone come up with such a stupid argument?
Furthermore, how could the Jews in Medina know that Muhammad was the messiah they were expecting? Where is the evidence that they saw? How come that evidence does not exist anymore?
Muslims claim that Muhammad is mentioned in verse 5:16 of Song of Songs in the Bible? Please read my response to see the ridiculousness of their mind. There is no mention of Muhammad in the Bible. There is no evidence whatsoever about him in any religious book prior to him. So how could Safiyah’s father and uncle know that Muhammad is “him?” Unless they thought him to be the Devil. There are plenty of indications in the Bible that show Muhammad is the Devil, but there is none that would make us believe he is mentioned in that book as a promised one of the Jews.
Anyone who believes in this balderdash must be deficient in intelligence. Muslims hate Baha’u’llah gutturally. Will anyone of them refuse to believe after he becomes convinced that Baha’u’llah is a messenger of God? Of course not! Such an argument goes against reason. Only a Muslim can believe in this blatant absurdity. Show me one Muslim who accepts Baha’u’llah to be a true prophet and does not believe in him? It’s impossible. This is the stupidest argument one can make.
The tragedy is not that Islam is a lie, it is the fact that it has damaged the brains of its adherents to such an extent that they can no longer think rationally. They see everything jaundiced. Reality is distorted for them. When you are a Muslim you live in a universe of concave and convex mirrors. You see the world warped. Once you come out of Islam you will start seeing things in their real dimensions. It’s not just your opinion that changes, your entire weltanschauung, your fundamental cognitive orientation changes.
Muslims believe that everyone is already convinced that Islam is true and the reason they are not Muslims is because they are envious, or have disease in their heart. They don’t see any necessity to prove the claim of Islam. For them, that is not needed, because it is obvious like the sun. If you don’t see it, it is because you don’t want to see it. As the result, anyone who disagrees with Islam is dehumanized and demonized. Therefore it is justified to take away from them their human rights.
Zawadi quotes another Islamic site
“the next and last Prophet was accurately described in the Torah, which also contained signs by which the Jews could easily recognize,” but the Jews rejected him because he was an Arab and they were expecting a Jew.
Well show us where? Where in the Torah is Muhammad accurately described so that people can easily recognize?
Lies are the foundation upon which Islam is built. This claim, like all other claims of Muslims, is a lie. When Muhammad said he was mentioned in the Bible, his ignorant followers did not have Bibles to read and verify. They believed in what he told them. Today everyone has access to the Bible. It is online. Show us where Muhammad is mentioned? No shame! When you think your honor will be restored if you murder your own daughter, you cannot possibly have shame for lying.
This shows how much of a sincere worshipper to God Safiyyah was.
Abd Allah ibn Ubaydah said, “A group of people gathered in the room of Safiyyah, a wife of the Prophet. They remembered Allah, recited the Qur’an and prostrated. Saffiyah called them saying, ‘You prostrated and recited the Quran but where is your weeping (out of fearing Allah)?” (Abu Nu’aym al Asbahani, Hilyat al-Awliya‘, vol. 2, p. 55, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad,The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.177)
No, it does not show she was sincere. Since this episode happened after Muhammad’s death and she was no longer a teenager, it is likely that she had recovered from her Stockholm syndrome and was being sarcastic. Obama performed a genuflection to kiss the hand of the Saudi King. I suggested next time he should prostrate and kiss his shoes. Does that show I am a devout worshiper of the Saudi king? Common-sense and rational thinking is what Muslims need badly.
She still underwent difficulties after the death of the Prophet. Once a slavegirl she owned went to the Amir Al Muminin Umar and asked, “Amir al Muminin! Saiffya loves the Sabbath and maintains ties with the Jews!” Umar asked Safiyya about that and she said, “I have not loved the Sabbath since Allah replaced it with Friday for me, and I only maintain ties with those Jews to whom I am related by kinship.” She asked her slavegirl what had possessed her to carries lie to Umar and the girl replied, “Shaitan!” Safiyya said, “Go, you are free.”
This shows and proves that Safiyyah remained a loyal Muslim even after the Prophet’s death.
This hadith is quite revealing. Safiyah’s slave saw that she was observing the Sabath and associating with the Jewish slaves in Medina. The poor girl was herself a slave. God knows what trauma she had endured. Maybe she was captured from Iran or Egypt. Now she found herself a slave among a hostile people who thought she was filthy. She reported what she saw to Omar, perhaps in the hope to gain some favor. What could Safiyah say when interrogated? Could she confront the Commander of the Faithfuls, a man known for his short temper and violence and tell him she did not believe in the lies of Muhammad? She had to hide her belief for her safety. The slave girl, realizing that it’s now her word against the word of an Ummul Mo’menin, feared for her life and blamed Satan for making her do this. Islam is a tragedy. Every story is a tragedy within another tragedy. Everyone is a victim and everyone a victimizer. Satan must be proud of his success.
When we read a hadith it helps also to think rationally. The truth is there, not in what the words say, but in what they imply. To understand the hadith, read what is not written, between the lines.
I read the Quran and the hadith, the same books that Muslims read. Yet, I saw what they haven’t for 1400 years. It’s because I did not gobble everything mindlessly. I pondered and analyzed them too. Everyone can do that. It’s important that when we read a book, whether religious or not, we read it critically.
Safiyyah established a warm and sympathetic relation with the Prophet’s household. She presented Fatimah az-Zahra’ a gift of jewels expressing her affection to her, and she also gave some of the Prophet’s wives gifts from her jewels that she brought with her from Khaybar. (Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, vol.8, p.100, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.172)
In other words she tried to buy their affection so they reduce their hostility towards her. Appeasement is the strategy of the weak for survival.
The Prophet’s Marriage to Safiyyah and It’s Wisdom
As for the accusation that Safiyyah was coerced into marriage or taken advantage of, as alleged by a known Islamophobic, [that would be me, but this Islamist is reluctant to mention my name] this claim has no basis at all. It is known that Safiyyah (R) remained loyal to the Prophet until he passed away.
Really!? So she refused to see all the men sending her flowers and calling her on her cell phone? Did she have any choice? If you keep your wife imprisoned, you can’t say she is loyal to you. Safiyah did not have any freedom in Medina and had nowhere else to go.
(An account of how Safiyyah’s loyalty was affirmed by the Prophet(P) himself is recorded in Muhammad Husayn Haykal, op. cit., p. 374, of which an online document can be found, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)
We have in fact the Prophet (P) making the following offer to her, as recorded by Martin Lings:
He [the Prophet Muhammad – Ed.] then told Safiyyah that he was prepared to set her free, and he offered her the choice between remaining a Jewess and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. “I choose God and His Messenger,” she said; and they were married at the first halt on the homeward march. (Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based On The Earliest Sources (George Allen & Unwin, 1983), p. 269, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)
Set her free? Her husband was slain. Her father and uncle were killed. Her brothers were butchered. Her female relatives had become slaves in some Muslim household. Where could she go? If she did not marry Muhammad she would have become a sex slave of another Muslim.
The marriage to Safiyyah(R) has a political significance as well, as it helps to reduce hostilities and cement alliances. John L. Esposito notes that
As was customary for Arab chiefs, many were political marriages to cement alliances. Others were marriages to the widows of his companions who had fallen in combat and were in need of protection. (John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, pp. 19-20, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)
John Esposito has sold his soul for money. With whom did Muhammad want to solidify his political ties by marrying Safiyah? Her tribe was exterminated and her father was beheaded. Two ounce of rational thinking will demolish all these claims.
This significant act of marrying Safiyyah(R) was indeed a great honour for her, for this not only preserved her dignity, it also prevented her from becoming a slave.
Finally Zawadi says something I agree with. That is exactly what I said above. See how this apologist contradicts himself? Earlier he wrote that Muhammad offered Safiyah her freedom. Now he is acknowledging that her only other option was to become the sex slave of another Muslim.
Haykal notes that:
The Prophet granted her freedom and then married her, following the examples of great conquerors who married the daughters and wives of the kings whom they had conquered, partly in order to alleviate their tragedy and partly to preserve their dignity. (Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad (North American Trust Publications, 1976), p. 373, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)
I am truly at a loss to understand the Islamic mind. Imagine someone raiding your home and after killing you and your sons, takes your daughters and wife as slaves and then has sex with your daughter calling her his wife. Would that alleviate the tragedy or preserve your dignity?
This distorted thinking is due to the fact that for Muslims the very act of legalizing marriage is giving a woman and her family their dignity. Woman is awurat, an object of shame. Only if she marries, is her shame covered. Once married, she can be raped. According to Islamic law it is not rape. In fact when a girl is raped, the Islamic law prescribes ordering the rapist to marry the raped so her dignity is preserved. This is the mentality of Islam.
With marrying Safiyyah, the Prophet aimed at ending the enmity and hostility adopted by the Jews against him and against Islam, all the way long, but alas they went on with their hatred for Islam and for the Prophet simply because it was their natural disposition to be malicious and stubborn. ( See Muhammad M. as-Sawwaf, Zawjat ar-Rasul at-Tahirat wa Hikmat T’adudihinn, pp. 76-79, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.168)
This kind of thinking is sickening. Muslims really expect the Jews to love Muhammad because he raped a Jewess and called her his wife. So they must forget the fact that he had massacred her entire family and tribe. How can anyone be so cut off from reality? Muslims see nothing wrong in killing us and expect us to be grateful to them for raping our daughters after they read the verse of marriage. How can we co-exist with these people? They come from another world. We don’t have the same values.
The Prophet’s Attitude Towards Safiyyah
Indeed, when Bilal ibn Rabah(R), a Companion of the Prophet, brought Safiyyah along with another Jewess before him(P) by passing through the Jews that were slain in the battle, Muhammad(P) personally chided Bilal and said “Have you no compassion, Bilal, when you brought two women past their dead husbands?” (A. Guillaume (trans.), The Life of Muhammad: A translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah (Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 515, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)
Let us read the full passage from Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat.
“After the Messenger of God conquered al-Qamus, the fortress of Ibn Abi al-Huqyaq, Safiyyah bt. Huyayy b. Akhtab was brought to him, and another woman with her. Bilal, who was the one who brought them, led them past some of the slain Jews. When the woman who was with Safiyyah saw them, she cried out, struck her face, and poured dust on her head. When the Messenger of God saw her, he said, “Take this she-devil away from me!” she commanded that Safiyyah should be kept behind him and that the Messenger of God had chosen her for himself.”
Bilal brings Safiyah and her sister-in-law to Muhammad so he can choose one of them for the night while the “Mercy of Allah” PBUH had just finished torturing Kinana to death. Upon seeing her brother’s slain body, Kinana’s young sister becomes hysterical. The Mercy of Allah slaps her face and says, “Take this she-devil away from me.” That she-devil’s offence was to cry out upon seeing her brother’s corpse. Then this Ensaane Kaamel (perfect human) rebukes Bilal and says, “Have you no compassion, Bilal, when you brought these two women past their dead husband and brother?”
That is what Muslims mean when they talk about their prophet’s compassion.
There was once a situation when Zaynab bint Jahsh and Safiyyah went with the Prophet on one of his travels and the camel of Safiyyah fell sick. The Prophet said to Zaynab, “The camel of Safiyyah has fallen sick, what about giving her one of your camels?” She said, “Never should I give it to such a Jewish woman”. The Prophet became angry with her and he did not approach her for two months. (Ahmad, vol. 6, pp. 336-337, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.173)
What can be learned from this hadith? For Muslims, it is what is written. For rational people, this hadith shows how isolated Safiayh felt among Muhammad’s Arab wives. She did everything necessary to win her enemies’ affection. She gave them presents. She pretended to love Muhammad when it was clear to everyone except the narcissist Muhammad that she was not sincere. This young woman had a strong survival instinct.
Yes Muhammad could have been fooled into thinking that she loves him. Despite all his cunningness, this narcissist was a very stupid man. Who but a very stupid man would ask a woman in Kheibar to cook for him, after killing her loved ones? She tried to poison him, which unfortunately was uncovered.
Narcissists live in a world of fantasy. Muhammad thought that he was special and must be loved naturally by everyone, unless that person has some evil in his heart. Muslims suffer from the same mental disorder. However, the reality was much different. Safiyah was only trying to assure her own survival. Even with her Stockholm syndrome she was not fool enough to fall in love with an old impotent man who had destroyed her life and massacred her loved ones. Stockholm syndrome is not love.
The Prophet used to treat Safiyyah with courteousness, gentleness and affection. Safiyyah said, “The Messenger of Allah went to Hajj with his wives. On the way my camel knelt down for it was the weakest among all the other camels and so I wept. The Prophet came to me and wiped away my tears with his dress and hands. The more he asked me not to weep the more I went on weeping. (Ahmad, vol.6, p. 337, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus’ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.176)
This story is heart breaking. If you have a heart you too will weep. Put yourself in the shoes of this young girl. Imagine that you are captured and live among the very people who killed your loved ones. You have nowhere to go and no one to turn to for solace. You are despised by everyone around you. The only one who shows affection to you is the very man who killed your father and husband.
When Safiayh’s camel became sick, she broke down in tears. Her heart could no longer bear that much pain. It’s foolhardy to think that she was crying so inconsolably because her camel had fallen sick. She was weeping for her own lonely heart. At seventeen or eighteen she was too young. I left my country when I was sixteen. My parents were alive and well and I lived among supportive friends. Yet, I felt very nostalgic. Some nights I watched the moon and thought that my mother maybe watching it also at that very moment and weeped in silence. Only God knows the pain that Safiyah had in her heart. That young women must have stood in front of her window, in the darkness of her room and looked at the stars night after night, wondering, which one is her beloved husband, and which is her dad. Which ones are her brothers and which one is her uncle. I lived among friends who were my age. We did what young people do and had fun. Safiyah was all alone – all alone. When Safiyah told Muhammad at his death bed, that she wished to be in his place, maybe she meant it. She must have wished for death a million times.
Reading the Tabari was the most excruciating thing I have ever done. There is so much pain in that book. But you have to read between the lines. You have to be able to see yourself as one of the victims. This is something Muslims are unable to do. They even laugh and jeer. Under the influence of Islam they are reduced to something very evil – bereft of humanity, empathy and love.