Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

The Root of Terrorism a la Islamic style
Chapter 5

'Fascism is a religion; the twentieth century will be known in history as the century of Fascism'---Benito Mussoline (1883-1945)

Terror Fifteen

Raid on Ghatafan at Dhu Amarr in Nejd by Muhammad - June, 624CE

A month after the operation of al-Sawiq Muhammad learnt that some clans of the Ghatafan tribesmen had gathered troops at Dhu Amarr in Nejd with aggressive design. So, Muhammad led an expedition of four hundred and fifty fighters to search out the enemy and disperse them. This was the largest military exercise led by Muhammad prior to the battle of Uhud. However, the enemy got wind of Muhammad's departure and took to hiding. Muhammad's army was able to capture one man who gave information about the Ghatafan's hideout; the Jihadists proceeded to capture them. The captured man was forced to convert to Islam and Muhammad used him as a guide. The enemy soon heard of Muhammad's approach and they took sanctuary on the tops of hills. No fighting took place. Muhammad spent eleven days on this expedition and then returned to Medina. Ibn Sa'd reports that a man threatened to kill Muhammad when he (Muhammad) was sleeping and Allah revealed verse 5:11 when he was unsuccessful, as Muhammad sought the protection of Allah.

Terror Sixteen

Second Raid on Banu Sulaym at al-Qudr in Buhran by Muhammad - July, 624CE

Soon after the expulsion of B. Qaynuqa Jews from Medina, Muhammad heard that a great force of Banu Sulaym tribesmen from Buhran in al-Qudr was advancing on Medina. The call for Jihad went out once again, and soon a Muslim army of between three hundred to three hundred and fifty men marched out to attack the B. Sulaym at Buhran. Muhammad failed to track them, and when he arrived there, he found that the enemy had broken up. So, after staying there for three nights (or ten nights, as per Ibn Sa'd) he returned without meeting the enemy. After returning to Medina he accepted all ransoms for the Quraysh prisoners captured during Badr II war.

Terror Seventeen

The Murder of Ka'b b. Ashraf at Medina by Muhammad b. Maslama - August, 624CE

Ka'b, a poet was the son of a Jewess of B. Nadir. He was greatly saddened by the victory of Muslims at Badr II. He made no attempt to conceal his discontent on the sudden ascent of Muslim power in Medina. He went to Mecca, and through his poetry, enticed the Quraysh for revenge. On his return, he further angered the Muslims by composing lampoons against Muslim women. Muhammad was greatly distressed that this kind of free expression might subdue the morale of his followers. He prayed to Allah for the destruction of Ka'b. Allah, in verse 4:52 also cursed those who dared to criticize Muhammad. In his mosque, he requested for volunteers to get rid of Ka'b b. Ashraf. Muhammad b. Maslama, belonging to B. Aws stood up and vowed to slay Ka'b b. Ashraf. He chose four other men from B. Aws as his accomplices. When the leader of this assassination squad told Muhammad that to murder Ka'b they might have to resort to deceit and to tell lies, Muhammad unhesitatingly permitted them to do so (read the Hadith quoted below).

The murder team drew up an elaborate plan to dupe Ka'b b. Ashraf with sweet words and deceitful promises. They engaged Abu Naila, the foster brother of Ka'b b. Ashraf for this purpose. Abu Naila went to Ka'b pretending to borrow some money from him and talked bad about Muhammad, the Prophet. Ka'b believed him and demanded some security for the loan. Abu Naila agreed that they would pledge their arms, and an appointment for a late hour meeting at the house of Ka'b was organized. In the evening the band of conspirators assembled at the house of Muhammad, the Prophet. The Prophet accompanied them to the outskirts of the town. They took refuge in the low shrubs of the Muslim burial ground. The Prophet then parted, giving them blessing for the success of their mission. The killing team proceeded and arrived at Ka'b's house. Ka'b was then taking rest in his bedroom with his newly married bride. Abu Naila, his foster brother called out for him to come down. When Ka'b hastened to climb down, his wife caught him by his blanket and wanted him not to go. Ka'b comforted her by saying that it was his foster brother. He came down and was not alarmed as he found his callers were not armed. They then wandered along, conversing on the misfortunes of Medina since the arrival of Muhammad till they reached a waterfall. Ka'b's foster brother found some sweet smell in Ka'b's hair and Ka'b told him that it was the smell from his newly married bride. Suddenly, the traitor seized Ka'b's hair, and dragging him to the ground shouting, ''Slay him! Slay the enemy of God." All other conspirators then struck their swords on Ka'b while he died making a fearful scream. His assassins then cut off Ka'b's head and fled in haste. When they arrived at the burial ground, they chanted the Takbir (ie Allahu Akbar). Muahammad heard the Takbir and knew that the work had been accomplished. At the gate of the mosque the Prophet welcomed the assassins and praised them for their victory. The perpetrators threw the head of Ka'b b Asharf before Muhammad. One of the assailants was wounded in the mission. The Prophet praised Allah for what had been done and comforted the wounded man.

Here is the Hadith from Sahih Bukhari detailing the murder of Ka'b al-Ashraf.

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslamaa got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslamaa said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Ka'b). "The Prophet said, "You may say it." Then Muhammad bin Maslamaa went to Ka'b and said, "That man (i.e. Muhammad demands Sadaqa (i.e. Zakat) from us, and he has troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you." On that, Ka'b said, "By Allah, you will get tired of him!" Muhammad bin Maslamaa said, "Now as we have followed him, we do not want to leave him unless and until we see how his end is going to be. Now we want you to lend us a camel load or two of food." (Some difference between narrators about a camel load or two.) Ka'b said, "Yes, (I will lend you), but you should mortgage something to me." Muhammad bin Mas-lama and his companion said, "What do you want?" Ka'b replied, "Mortgage your women to me." They said, "How can we mortgage our women to you and you are the most handsome of the 'Arabs?" Ka'b said, "Then mortgage your sons to me." They said, "How can we mortgage our sons to you? Later they would be abused by the people's saying that so-and-so has been mortgaged for a camel load of food. That would cause us great disgrace, but we will mortgage our arms to you." Muhammad bin Maslamaa and his companion promised Ka'b that Muhammad would return to him. He came to Ka'b at night along with Ka'b's foster brother, Abu Na'ila. Ka'b invited them to come into his fort, and then he went down to them. His wife asked him, "Where are you going at this time?" Ka'b replied, "None but Muhammad bin Maslamaa and my (foster) brother Abu Na'ila have come." His wife said, "I hear a voice as if dropping blood is from him, Ka'b said. "They are none but my brother Muhammad bin Maslamaa and my foster brother Abu Naila. A generous man should respond to a call at night even if invited to be killed." Muhammad bin Maslamaa went with two men. (Some narrators mention the men as 'Abu bin Jabr. Al Harith bin Aus and Abbad bin Bishr). So Muhammad bin Maslamaa went in together with two men, and sail to them, "When Ka'b comes, I will touch his hair and smell it, and when you see that I have got hold of his head, strip him. I will let you smell his head." Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf came down to them wrapped in his clothes, and diffusing perfume. Muhammad bin Maslamaa said. " have never smelt a better scent than this. Ka'b replied. "I have got the best 'Arab women who know how to use the high class of perfume." Muhammad bin Maslamaa requested Ka'b "Will you allow me to smell your head?" Ka'b said, "Yes." Muhammad smelt it and made his companions smell it as well. Then he requested Ka'b again, "Will you let me (smell your head)?" Ka'b said, "Yes." When Muhammad got a strong hold of him, he said (to his companions), "Get at him!" So they killed him and went to the Prophet and informed him. (Abu Rafi) was killed after Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf."

For further details on this gruesome murder consult Ibn Ishaq, p.368 or Tabari, vol.vii, pp.94-97

For further Hadith on Ka'b's murder consult Sahhi Muslim, Book 19, Hadith number 4436

Terror Eighteen

The Murder of Ibn Sunyanah at Medina by Muhayyish b. Masud - July, 624CE

Ibn Sunyanah was a Jewish merchant who was friendly and helpful to many Muslim converts. But that friendliness of Ibn Sunaynah did not prevent some fanatic Jihadists to finish him off, just because he was a Jew. This was how it all started:

In the morning after the murder of Ka'b b. Ashraf, Muhammad gave a general permission to his followers to slay any Jew whom they might chance to meet. Tabari describes this ordinance of gratuitous killing of any Jew thus:

The messenger of God said, "Whoever of the Jews falls into your hands, kill him." So Muhayyish b. Masud fell upon Ibn Sunaynah, one of the Jewish merchants who was in close terms with them and used to trade with them, and killed him. Huwayyish b. Masud (his brother) at that time had not accepted Islam; he was older than Muhayysih, and when (the latter) killed (the Jew), he began beating him saying, "O enemy of God, have you killed him? By God you have made much fat in your belly from his wealth." Muhayyish said, "I said to him, 'By God, if he who commanded me to kill him had commanded me to kill you, I would have cut off your head.'" And, by God, that was the beginning of Huwayyish's acceptance of Islam. He said, "If Muhammad had ordered you to kill me. You would have killed me?" and I replied, "Yes, by God, if he had ordered me to kill you I would have cut off your head." "By God," he said, "a faith which has brought you to this is indeed a marvel." Then Huwayyisah accepted Islam.

In this connection the readers may wish to recall the beheading of Daniel Pearl, the WSJ journalist. The Islamic Jihadists killed him the moment he uttered that he was a Jew. These fanatics simply carried out what Muhammad had ordained them with respect to the Jews!

From the Sahih Hadith of Sunaan Abu Dawud, we read the following:

Book 19, Number 2996:

Narrated Muhayyisah:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: If you gain a victory over the men of Jews, kill them. So Muhayyisah jumped over Shubaybah, a man of the Jewish merchants. He had close relations with them. He then killed him. At that time Huwayyisah (brother of Muhayyisah) had not embraced Islam. He was older than Muhayyisah. When he killed him, Huwayyisah beat him and said: O enemy of Allah, I swear by Allah, you have a good deal of fat in your belly from his property.

Terror Nineteen

Plunder of a Quraysh Caravan at Nejd by Zayd b. Haritha - September, 624CE

The Meccans lived on trade; it was their life-blood, especially the trade with Syria. Their economy could not survive if the marauding gang of Muhammad cut off their trade route. The interminable attack by the fanatic Muslim Jihadists literally imposed a blockade on their trade that could very well soon destroy Mecca and Arabia-the Quraysh and the other Meccans were very quick to realise this truth. The experience of Badr II had taught them a good lesson, and they did not want a repeat of it any more. Therefore, they sought out a new trade route for their richly laden caravan, plying between Mecca and Syria. This alternative route was right through the middle of Nejd, across the desert and through Iraq. Although this was a lengthy and arduous journey, this course was thought to be safe from Muhammad's hand.

Having decided on this alternative route, the Quraysh equipped a caravan to traverse the plain land of the central desert. Safwan headed the caravan. The caravan carried vessels and bars of silver. The guide was Furat b. Hayaan who claimed to be able to lead the caravan through a route unknown to Muhammad. Through intelligence however, Muhammad got wind of this caravan and immediately dispatched Zayd b.Haritha in pursuit of it. Zayd ibn Haritha was a freed slave of Muhammad and Muhammad adopted him as his son. Later, Muhammad married this adopted son's wife Zaynab.This was the first expedition led by Zayd b. Haritha He was equipped with one hundred battle-hardened men. He trailed the caravan and made a sudden attack on it. It was a success. The leaders of the caravan fled and Zayd took the booty as well as two prisoners to Medina. The booty was valued at one hundred thousand (100,000) Dirhams (using the conversion rate provided previously convert this to equivalent US$ of today and you will be surprised). Muhammad kept for himself one-fifth (i.e., 20,000 Dirhams, definitely a lot of money during those days). All others received eight hundred Dirhams per soldier. Furat became a prisoner. The Muslims said, "If you accept Islam, the Messenger of God will not kill you." He accepted Islam and was allowed to go free.

Terror Twenty

The Murder of Abu Rafi at Khaybar by Abd Allah b. Unays - December, 624CE

Abu Rafi (he was also known as Sallam ibn Abul-Huqayq) was a compatriot of Ka'b b. al-Ashraf. He was a leader of the Khaybar Jews and lived in Hijaj. Like Ka'b b. al-Ashraf, he lamented the coming of Muhammad in Medina and composed poems and satires to earn the ire of Muhammad. Muhammad was contemplating of eliminating Abu Rafi in the same manner as Ka'b, and was looking for volunteers to kill him. Soon this opportunity came to him on a golden platter.

We learnt in Terror 17 above that a death squad formed by the B. Aws people who murdered Ka'b b. al-Ashraf, the Jewish poet. When the Khazaraj people heard that al-Aws had killed Ka'b Ibn al-Ashraf, they wanted to match this killing by murdering another Jew, and Abu Rafi became their choice. Thus, a killing competition developed between the Aws and the Khazaraj. Soon they sought permission of Muhammad to kill Abu Rafi. Muhammad, of course, gladly approved their murder plan and gave them his blessing.

A five-member assassin squad was dispatched to finish off Abu Rafi. Muhammad selected Abd Allah b. Atik as the head of this assassin team. After the team arrived at Khaybar, they went to Abu Rafi's house by night and went upstairs through a spiral stair and sought permission to enter Abu Rafi's room. Abu Rafi's wife came out and enquired about the purpose of their call. They pretended to be Arab traders. So she let them in. They entered his room and bolted the door. Abu Rafi's wife gave a wild scream; they wanted to kill her too, but refrained from doing so when they remembered Muhammad's injunction to not to kill a woman. On their threat, Abu Rafi's wife had to keep her mouth shut while the assassins ran with open swords after their prey as Abu Rafi was still in his bed. Then Abdullah b. Unaya bore down and plunged his sword on the belly of Abu Rafi until it went right through him.

While escaping, Abd Allah b. Atik fell off the spiral stairway, bruising severely his leg. His comrades took him to a nearby water channel and treated him. The Jews made a futile search for the assassin of Abu Rafi and then returned to a dying Abu Rafi. To confirm Abu Rafi's death, his killer, Abd Allah b. Unays set off and mingled with the bereaving crowd. Abu Rafi's wife mentioned that she could recognize the voice of the assassin to be that of Abd Allah b. Atik but she was not certain that Abd Allah Atik would come from a far off place of Yathrib (Medina) to Khaybar to kill Abu Rafi. Then she announced the death of Abu Rafi. As per Abd Allah b. Atik, he had never heard any word more pleasing than the death of Abu Rafi. Once they were sure of their victim's death, the perpetrators returned to Muhammad and each of them claimed to be the assassin of Abu Rafi. Muhammad asked them to bring their swords for examination. From the blood in the sword he declared that Abd Allah b. Unays had killed Abu Rafi (Sallam Ibn Abi al-Huqayq). On this murder, Muhammad said, "This sword of 'Abd Allah b. Unays killed him. I can see the marks left by bones on it."

Hassan b. Thabit composed a poem glorifying the assassinations of Ka'b b. al-Ashraf and Sallam b. Abi al-Huqyaq (Abu Rafi).

The murder of Abu Rafi is recorded in Sahih Bukhari in Hadith 5.59.371

[Note: Some biographers mention that this murder took place just prior to Muhammad's invasion on Khaybar]

Continued in Chapter 6 >>>

(Introduction - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20)

Abul Kasem is an Bengali ex-Muslim and academic. He has contributed in Leaving Islam - Apostates Speak Out and Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside and Why We Left Islam.. He has also written extensively on Islam in various websites and is the author of five e-Books: A Complete Guide to Allah, Root of Terrorism ala Islamic Style, Sex and Sexuality in Islam, Who Authored the Quran? and Women in Islam. Mr. Kasem leaves in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted at