This question was asked by a Muslim in the process of leaving Islam. Here is my response.
Amir was one of many Muslims who write to me challenging me to a debate. I told him that I debate either with a scholar of Islam with a recognizable name, or with those who read my book. Amir accepted to read my book. I sent him the fourth edition in PDF. After reading my book Amir has either left Islam or is in the process of doing do. As I have repeated, no one can read my book and still believe in Islam. Anyone who does not believe me, read my book.
Few of the people who receive my book reply. Amir is one of them.
He asked me several questions. These questions require long explanation. I promised him to answer then all, but only one per week. Here is his letter and my answer to his first question. It’s about Safiyah, the Jewish wife of the prophet.
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. I will quote him and will respond.
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 whole 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 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 entirely based on the 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 never reported Hooker to authorities. He was captured after his wife confessed her husband had done, to a priest who advised her to tell that to police.
During his trial, Colleen was not cooperative. To make the matters worse, the defendant’s lawyers 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? 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 in 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 is because they are envious of him. The above hadith is one example of the narcissistic mind of Muslims.
How can possibly people 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 others are not. It’s never the other way round. 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 such 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, being the devil. There are plenty of indication in Bible that show Muhammad is 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. It makes no sense at all. Muslims hate Baha’u’llah gutturally. Will anyone of them decide to remain his enemy after he is convinced that Baha’u’llah is a messenger of God? Of course not! Such an argument goes against reason. Only a Muslims can believe in such a blatant lie.
The tragedy is not that Islam is a lie, but the fact that it has damaged the brains of Muslims 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 is 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.
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 Muhammad is accurately described 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. But Muslims have no shame. When Muhammad said I am mentioned in the Bible, his ignorant followers did not have Bibles to read and verify. They believed in what he told them. But today everyone has access to the Bible. It is online. Show us where Muhammad is reported in the Bible? No shame! When you think your honor will be restored if you murder your own daughter, you cannot possibly have shame for lying.
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)
This shows how much of a sincere worshipper to God Safiyyah was.
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.
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 Median. The poor girl was herself a slave. God knows what trauma she had endured. She reported what she saw to Omar, perhaps in the hope to gain some favor. What could Safiyah say in when interrogated? Could she confront Omar, a man known for his short temper and violence and tell him she does not believe in the lies of Muhammad? This woman had learned the art of survival. 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, fears for her life and blames Satan for making her do this.
When we read a hadith it helps also to think rationally. The truth is there, but it is often in what the words imply. To understand the hadith, read also 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, but 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 and to 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 killed. Her father and uncle were killed. Here entire male relatives, including her brothers were killed. Her female relatives were 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 Muhammad wanted 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. That is exactly what I said. However, see how this apologist of Islam contradicts himself? Earlier he wrote that Muhammad offered Safiyah her freedom. Now he is acknowledging that her only other choice 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, take your daughters and wife as slave and then have 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, her shame is covered. Once married, she can be raped. According to Islamic law it is not rape.
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 married a Jewess, forget the fact that it was after massacring 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 pat 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 to death Kinana. 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 in thinking that she loves him. Despite all his successes, which as I explained in book were due to his sheer evilness, he was a very stupid man. Who but a very stupid man would ask a woman in Khaibar 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 is special and must be loved naturally by everyone, unless that person has some evil in his heart. Muslims suffer from the same mental disorder that he suffered. 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 a man who had destroyed her life and massacred her loved ones.
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 you loved one. 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 beloved 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 fell sick. She was weeping for herself. At seventeen or eighteen she was still too young. I left my country when I was sixteen. My parents were alive and well. Yet I felt very nostalgic. Only God knows the pain that that young woman had in her heart.
And then the very man who has done this to you comes to wipe her tears. What a sad an irony! You have no one in the world except the murderer of your loved ones to console you. If you have a seventeen years old daughter, think of her in placed of Safiayh. Wouldn’t you cry too?
This article appeared in Ali Sina own site alisina.org.
written by jai kafir hind , January 04, 2011
written by non believer , January 05, 2011