This is in reference to Ventaka Swamy's letter of April 10th, in India
Post, titled "Here are the References". It is becoming obvious that he is
trying desperately to meet my challenge "...to provide one single incident with
documented evidence that the Prophet himself led raids on merchants caravan". He
himself has mentioned in his letter that "the sources of Islam are two revelations Wahy,
which is the Koran and customs which is Sunnah". In spite of mentioning
this, he goes on to cite a book: The Life of Muhammad, translated and edited by
A. Guillaume. Perhaps he is not aware of the fact that this book doesn't fall in either of
the two sources of Islam he has. His serious mistake is inexcusable, and brings down his
credibility. He does manage to site two Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon
him). The first hadith is from Sahih Muslim, # 4330. "It has been
narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar that the prophet (may peace be upon him) sent an
expedition to Najd and I was among the troops. They got a large number of camels as a
booty. Eleven or twelve camels fell to the lot of every fighter and each of them also got
one extra camel". (Translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, vol. 3, p. 949)
Venkata Swamy deliberately left out to fool the readers in believing that his hadiths have met my challenge. Three things about this hadith which will shatter his alleged references.
1. The title of this hadith in the book is 'Spoils of War', which means that this incident happened during a war and was not a raid on a caravan.
2. No mentions of caravans or raids are mentioned in this hadith.
3. The prophet himself didn't took part in this expedition, which was what Kris Mitel initially accused in his letter. Thus, his first evidence failed.
The second hadith is # 4340 from Sahih Muslim: "Abu Qatada reported: We accompanied the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) on an expedition in the year of the Battle of Hunayn. When we encountered the enemy, (some of) the Muslims turned back in (in fear)..." (Translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, vol. 3, pp. 950, 51). Two obvious things from this hadith:
1. This long hadith has no mention of a caravan or raids.
2. The expedition was against an armed enemy and not a peaceful caravan, or why else some Muslims would turn back in fear.
The only two references which he provided to meet my challenge
has evaporated like thin air, along with the false allegations of Kris Mitel and Ventakata
Towards the end of his letter he frivolously proclaims "So if Sabeel Ahmed states that Meccans were torturing Mohammed for 10 long years, we have to take it with more than a pinch of salt. History is different".
Well, I will let his own cited books put salt and spices on his wild imaginations:
"Then the Quraysh showed their enmity to all those who followed the apostle; every clan which contained Muslims attacked them, imprisoning them, and beating them, allowing them no food or drink, and exposing them to the burning heat of Mecca, so as to seduce them from their religion"
A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad [A translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah], (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press), p. 143).
Mr. Swamy, have you really read this book? And if this is their toleration of Meccans, I wonder what their hostility would be like!
"By degrees the persecution grew hot. Those who were citizens for the most part escaped serious injury, being protected as a point of honour by their families; but the slaves who had no such support were exposed to much suffering"
Sir William Muir, The Life of Mohamet, (Voice of India Publications, reprint, 1992), p. 62.
Mr. Swamy, I don't think you read this book either.
"From the very beginning of Islam, Muhammad had inculcated a sense of brotherhood and a bond of faith among his followers, both of which helped to develop among them a feeling of close relationship that was accentuated by their experiences of persecution as a nascent community in Mecca".
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998.
"Muhammad began preaching in Mecca about 610. He made slow progress at first. Most of the rich and powerful citizens scorned him and his preaching. His preaching angered and frightened the Meccans, and some of them even plotted to kill him".
World Book Encyclopaedia, 1998.
"The Meccans responded with hostility to Muhammad's monotheism and iconoclasm".
Grolier Encyclopaedia, 1998.
"The new religion aroused opposition in Mecca...The hostilities aroused in Mecca led Muhammad to encourage his followers to emigrate to the city of Medina".
Compton's Encyclopaedia, 1998.
"After some years of secret teaching, he openly declared himself the prophet, and, as the number of his followers increased, he was forced to flee to Medina"
Websters Encyclopaedia, 1996.
I believe that Venkata Swamy and his likes better look up the
words 'history', 'toleration', 'persecution' and 'reality' in a dictionary, before opening
their mouths and embarrassing themselves in front of the world. My challenges still stand,
and if A. Ghosh, Kris Mitel and Venkata Swamy cannot come with the references they should
sincerely come forward and apologise to the readers of India Post for their false
accusations against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), until then the ball is
in the court of the accusers of Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
[Currently, he is the co-chairman of the Da'wa Committee and Board of Director at the Muslim Community Center, Illinois. A student of Ahmed Deedat and now works for the 1-800-662-islam hotline of ICNA. His main interest is in comparative religion.]