By Keith Thompson
Juxtaposing Jesus’ life and deeds with Muhammad’s reveals the latter’s truly falls short morally speaking. There really is no debate on the matter. While Jesus healed people, loved and forgave his enemies, preached peace and love, healed the sick, raised the dead, promoted holiness and willingly died for his people, Muhammad taught offensive war and conquest, hatred of Jews, promoted rape and lying, committed adultery, had sex slaves, permitted prostitution (mutah), was a pedophile and idolater, and engaged in and approved of many brutal instances of senseless murder, etc. I have documented such facts in past essays (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).
In this essay I will compare the lives and deeds of the first leading followers of Jesus and those of Muhammad. For, if the bible is correct that a good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit (Matthew 7:17-18), these early major followers should pattern the morality of their leaders. I will therefore examine the morality of Jesus’ leading apostles (Peter, John, James and Paul) as well as Muhammad’s earliest major Caliph companions. The four companion Caliphs of Muhammad I will be investigating are Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Muawiya. I will also include a discussion on Aisha, since she was Muhammad’s favorite wife, as well as some miscellaneous comments about other companions at the end. Indeed, there is a hadith stating Muhammad guaranteed paradise to a number of these companions ( , Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3747). So, their lives should have been quite moral as people guaranteed eternal life by God, right?
Peter was a fisherman from the town of Bethsaida (Matthew 4:18; John 1:44). He lived a common working-class life with his wife (Mark 1:30) until he met Jesus. After that he persevered as a preacher, evangelist and leader of the Christian communities (Acts 15:7-11; Galatians 2:8) until his martyrdom in Rome (see below). John was the son of Zebedee and was the younger brother of James son of Zebedee. Prior to being called by Jesus at a young age he was a regular working-class fisherman (Matthew 4:21). For the remainder of his life, he was an evangelist and leader of the early Christian church (Galatians 2:9) up until his exile to the Island of Patmos (see below). James was Jesus’ brother (Galatians 1:19) and lived a life of evangelism and leadership over the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:13-19; Galatians 1;19; 2:9) until his martyrdom (see below). Paul was from Tarsus and was a Pharisee trained theologian who studied under the learned scholar Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). His academic religious group ended up persecuting Christians (Acts 8:3; Philippians 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:13). But after his miraculous conversion to Christianity (Acts 9:1-18; 22:7-21; Galatians 1:11-24) he was a changed man who was accepted by Jesus’ apostles (Acts 9:17; 15:12; 22:12-13; Galatians 1:18-19; 23-24; 2:9; Ignatius, Letter to the Romans, 4; Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.3.2). He evangelized the lost around the world and helped lead, teach and care for the early Christian churches (Acts 15:12; Galatians 2:8) up until his martyrdom for Christ in Rome (see below).Concerning their consistently moral teachings, Peter taught, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). 1 Peter 2:17 also says to “honor everyone” (1 Peter 2:17). John stated, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). He also wrote, “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11). James commanded, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well” (James 2:8). In 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul said, “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). He also laid out the way Christians are to live with others:
“19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:19-23).
Ignatius testified Paul was a “holy” man (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 12). Clement confirmed Jesus’ apostles were “illustrious” and wrote that Peter first “endured not one but many labors” (Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, 5). He also said Paul was a good example of “patient endurance” and that “he had been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in the East and in the West . . . [and] taught righteousness unto the whole world” (Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, 5). In the early second century Polycarp affirmed Paul was “blessed and glorified” and that he “accurately and steadfastly taught the word of truth” (Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians, 3). He also stated Paul and the other apostles were obedient and patient people (Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians, 9). William Lane Craig correctly points out the disciples were “simple, common men, not cunning deceivers” and had nothing to gain in worldly terms by proclaiming what they did (William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), p. 340).
Instead of ruthlessly and unnecessarily putting people to death like Muhammad and his Caliph companions, Jesus’ disciples would instead heal people of illnesses, disabilities and death. In Acts 3:1-9 Peter and John healed a disabled man who could not walk. In Acts 5:12-16 Peter healed sick bedridden people with his shadow. What is more, in Acts 20:7-12 Paul raised a man from the dead who fell out of a window.
Concerning Jesus’ apostles being martyred instead of murdering people, I will get to them shortly. But even with leading apostle authors like John where we do not have evidence of his martyrdom (John who suffered exile according to Revelation 1:9 and patristic tradition), he nevertheless gives evidence he believed and taught he and other Christian ought to be prepared to be murdered for their views (e.g. John 12:25; 15:18-20; 16:2; 1 John 3:11, 16; Revelation 2:10, 13; 12:11; 17:6).
Peter was martyred under Nero in Rome in the early-to-mid 60’s A.D. for being a Christian. (Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, 5; John 21:18-19; Tertullian, Antidote for the Scorpion's Sting, 15; idem, Prescription Against Heretics, 36; idem, Caius and Dionysius quoted in Eusebius, Church History, 2.25.4-8). Clement’s Letter to the Corinthians was written somewhere between A.D. 81 – 96 during Domitian’s persecutions. It says, “There was Peter who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one but many labors, and thus having borne his testimony went to his appointed place of glory” (Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, 5). Chapter 6 of Clement’s letter demonstrates this death occurred in Rome (see below on Paul’s martyrdom for the evidence). John 21:18-19 also exhibits knowledge of Peter’s martyrdom: “‘When you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’ This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God. And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me’” (John 21:18-19) The Greek ἐκτενεῖς τὰς χεῖράς σου (“you will stretch out your hands”) refers to the initial stage of crucifixion where one had to stretch their hands while carrying their cross-beam to their death site (Beasley-Murray John, (WBC, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), pp. 408-409). This is how classical writers used the phrase. According to ancient Roman practice, the cross-beam was set on the back of the person’s neck. To hold it in position and balance it while walking, they had to “stretch out their hands” side-to-side. Hence, we are indeed looking at a Roman martyrdom of Peter as later patristic traditions also explicitly evidence.
Paul’s Roman martyrdom under Nero in the mid-to-late 60’s A.D., like Peter’s, is also attested in Clement’s first century Letter to the Corinthians. It says Paul “reached the farthest limits of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went unto the holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patient endurance” (Clement, Letter to the Corinthians, 5). This is precisely where Paul was martyred according to two other important early writers: Caius and Dionysius of the second century (Caius quoted in Eusebius, Church History, 2.25:5-6 and Dionysius of Corinth, Fragments of the Letter to the Romans, 6). A little later Tertullian also affirmed Paul’s death in Rome (Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics, 36). So, this tradition is quite strong. That Paul was in fact martyred is also presupposed by Acts 20:25. It says, “behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again” (Acts 20:25). Another primitive source affirming Paul’s martyrdom is Ignatius of Antioch. He wrote during Emperor Trajan’s reign between A.D. 107 – 117, and to the Ephesian Church said, “I am in danger, you are secure. You are a passageway for those slain for God; you are fellow initiates with Paul, the holy one who received a testimony and proved worthy of all fortune. When I attain to God, may I be found in his footsteps” (Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 12). In context Paul is here given as an example of one slain for God. Ignatius was on his way to die and wanted to be found in Paul’s footsteps as one martyred thereby being proved worthy. The early second-century writer Polycarp also listed Ignatius, Zosimus, Rufus, Paul and other apostles as believers who were martyred. He said “they are [now] in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not this present world” (Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians, 9).
James the Just was thrown off the Temple pinnacle and then stoned to death by the Jewish leaders according to the second century chronicler Hegesippus (Hegesippus in Eusebius, Church History, 2.23:8-18). In the late second century, Clement of Alexandria stated, “he was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple, and was beaten to death with a club” (Clement of Alexandria in Eusebius, Church History, 2.23.3). In the first century Josephus confirmed James’ death by stating the Jewish Sanhedrin had him stoned: “Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 20.9.1:200-201). Although one may doubt various particulars in these statements, the existence of the three related accounts bears witness to a reality which was being drawn from. As Patrick Hartin concluded after his study on the matter: “Taking the traditions of Josephus together with those of Hegesippus, Clement and Eusebius himself, one concludes that there is a basic historical core that testifies to the fact that James did indeed die the death of a Christian martyr” (Patrick Hartin, James of Jerusalem: Heir to Jesus of Nazareth, (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004), p. 147).
In sum, Jesus’ leading apostles first lived simple lives and then after conversion taught love, peace, goodness, they healed people instead of murdering them, they peacefully evangelized and responsibly maintained Jesus’ early church communities. Finally, they willingly died for their Lord and his message as opposed ruthlessly putting people to death like Muhammad and his Caliph companions. This is very godly and positive. It definitely shows the Holy Spirit and the love of the true God was very active in their lives. But what about Muhammad’s leading followers?
Muhammad’s Caliph Companions
I. Abu Bakr
The father of Muhammad’s child bride Aisha was named Abu Bakr. He was a companion of Muhammad and the first Caliph after him. He would violently strike his daughter Aisha causing her great pain as even she testified (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 828). He also derived enjoyment from slapping her on the neck for allegedly asking Muhammad for money he didn’t have, even though Aisha denied she did this (Sahih Muslim, 3506). This caused Muhammad to laugh (Ibid.). Instead of agreeing with Paul on avoiding foul language (Ephesians 5:4; Colossians 3:8; 4:6), Abu Bakr would often engage in filthy speech. For example, when a man named Urwah asked Muhammad why he was murdering so many members of his own Arab race, Abu Bakr responded saying, “Go suck the clitoris of al-Lat!” (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 8, (SUNY Press, 1997), p. 76; Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 50, Hadith 891). Al-Lat was a goddess the pagan Arabs worshiped. Abu Bakr also owned slaves (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book 58, Hadith 182) and would ruthlessly beat them for small matters like accidently losing a camel (Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 4, Book 25, Hadith 2933). This caused Muhammad to smile (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, trans. Rafiq Abdur Rehman, (Darul-Ishaat, 2010), p. 641). Abu Bakr was also present in Muslim contexts where black slaves were displayed in mosques as property (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 2, Book 15, Hadith 103). Abu Bakr was at first hesitant to marry off his six-year-old prepubescent daughter Aisha to Muhammad who was in his fifties. But he eventually acquiesced in a cowardly manner and allowed the marriage (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 18). He also promoted a god who he admitted was a deceiver: “By Allah! I would not rest assured and feel safe from the deception of Allah (la amanu limakr Allah), even if I had one foot in paradise” (Khalid Muhammad Khalid, Successors of the Messenger, (Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, 2005), p. 99). When the Amir (governor) of Yemen named Al-Mujahir ibn Abi Umayya told Abu Bakr that he sliced off the hand and pulled out the teeth of a woman who criticized Muhammad, Abu Bakr replied by saying, “If you had not done what you already did, I would have commanded you to kill her” (Qadi Iyad ibn Musa al-Yahsubi, Muhammad: Messenger of Allah: Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad, trans. Aisha Bewley, Part 4, Section 2). Abu Bakr also ordered a man be put to death merely for the crime of theft (Sunan an-Nasa'i, Vol. 5, Book 46, Hadith 4980). This is very excessive.
In A.D. 628 Abu Bakr led an offensive unprovoked war against the Arab Banu Kilab tribe (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab Al-tabaqat Al-kabir, Vol. 2, [Kitab Bhavan, 2009], p. 146). The Muslims began the hostilities with this tribe by murdering some of their innocent men (Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar, [Darussalam, 2002], p. 353). In Sunan Abu Dawud we read about the later Muslim attack after those innocent men were murdered: “The Apostle of Allah appointed Abu Bakr our commander and we fought with some people who were polytheists, and we attacked them at night, killing them. Our war-cry that night was ‘put to death; put to death.’ Salamah said: I killed that night with my hand polytheists belonging to seven houses” (Sunan Abu Dawud, 2632). After Abu Bakr became Caliph in A.D. 632 there was the conquest of Iraq (also known as “the battle of the chains”) where he ordered Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed to march to Iraq in the region of Uballah with a Muslim force. The governor of this district of Iraq was Hormuz. Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed sent Hormuz a letter telling them to surrender to Islam or die (Biographies of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, eds. M. Ibrahim Kamara, Joanne McEwan, [Dar Al-Manarah, 2001], p. 90). This offensive battle led to thousands of non-Muslims being murdered (Biographies of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, eds. M. Ibrahim Kamara, Joanne McEwan, [Dar Al-Manarah, 2001], p. 101).
II. Umar B. al-Khattab
The second Caliph after Abu Bakr was named Umar. He was a companion of Muhammad who converted to Islam four years before the Hijra. He is the one who “instituted scourging as punishment for certain crimes” (Cyril Glasse, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, (AltaMira Press, 2002), p. 462) and was an uncompromising and violent person (Ibid.). Umar thought it was funny that he physically abused the daughter of Khadija when she asked him for some money (Sahih Muslim, 3506). This caused Muhammad to laugh (Ibid.). In the same hadith he promoted men having female sex slaves as well as wife beating (Imam Malik’s Muwatta, Book 30, Number 30.2.13). But on the other hand, Umar violently scourged a woman and wanted to put her to death simply because she chose to wed her male slave (Ibn Hazm, The Sweetest, Vol. 8, Part 11, (Beirut, Lebanon), pp. 248-249). This is quite hypocritical and misogynistic – a clear double standard. After spying on Muhammad’s wife Sauda as she went to the toilet in the desert at night, Umar confronted her and told her he saw her. This was the context for the Niqab (i.e., full body covering excluding the eyes) being implemented in Islam (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 4, Hadith 148; Sahih Muslim, Book 26 Hadith 5397). Umar also advocated female genital mutilation (i.e., the cutting off of the young girl’s clitoris) (Malik's Muwatta, Book 2, Number 2.19.77). This is now an accepted Muslim doctrine contained in official Islamic Law manuals. Hence why it is practiced in so many Muslim countries. Umar recognized kissing the Kaba’s black stone was senseless idolatry, but in a cowardly manner he kissed it anyway because he saw Muhammad doing so (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, Book 26, Number 66). While on the one hand Umar dealt out eighty lashes to those caught drinking alcohol (Malik's Muwatta, Book 31 Hadith 1558), at the same time he would drink alcohol himself (Shahabuddin Ahamd al-Abshahei, Al-Mustatraf, Vol. 2 p. 499). Abu Bakr’s son Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr had a wife named Attika Bintu Zayd. Before he died, he told her not to marry anyone else. She accepted his request. Many men tried to marry her but she always refused. However, Umar ordered her guardian to marry her off to him. So, it was so. But she was unwilling so Umar forcefully raped her and consummated the marriage that way (Ibn Sa’ad, ).
Umar was very harsh towards the Christians of Ash-Sham after they were forced to be under Muslim rule with the threat of submission or death. Ibn Kathir provides us with terms of his treaty with these Christians. Under these terms the Christians could not erect churches, monasteries, or sanctuaries for monks. They could not restore any place of worship that needed restoration so that churches would eventually crumble. They could not publicly practice shirk (i.e., teach Jesus and the Holy Spirit are divine), or invite anyone to such beliefs (i.e., evangelism). If a Muslim wanted to sit where a Christian was sitting, the Christian had to move and let the Muslim sit there. They could not erect crosses on the outside of their churches. And they could not bury their dead next to Muslim dead, etc (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Vol. 4, [Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2003], pp. 406-407). Ibn Kathir reports Umar exclaimed that if the Christians failed to follow these conditions and pay the crippling jizya tax to the Muslims, they would be murdered (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Vol. 4, [Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2003], p. 407). This is brutal apartheid.
Uthman was a companion of Muhammad and the third Calipha after him. He would not speak on any Friday unless he first killed dogs and doves (, Book 55, Hadith 1301). He supported the Muslim slave-trade (Imam Malik’s Muwatta, Book 19 Hadith 1288). He dishonestly burnt variant copies of the Quran to allegedly produced a standardized version and make it appear as though the text was uncorrupted (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, book 61 Number 510). For more on the early Quran’s being at odds with each other before they were burnt, see the following essays (1, 2).
Uthman’s “reign was marred by nepotism in favour of his clan, the Umayyad’s. Dissatisfaction with the tyranny of Umayyad governors and the Umayyad conspiracy . . . against the son of Abu Bakr, who had impugned Umayyad usurpation of power, led the latter to stage a revolt against the Caliph and murder him after twelve years of rule” (Cyril Glasse, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, (AltaMira Press, 2002), p. 466).
Indeed, Uthman was assassinated by Egyptian Muslims and Abu Bakr’s son who supported Ali as the rightful Caliph (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 15, [State University of New York Press, 1990], pp. 160, 165-166; Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: The Age of Faith, [MJF Books, 1950], p. 191). Tabari reports, “Muhammad b. Abi Bakr [Abu Bakr’s son], came with thirteen [Egyptian] men and went up to Uthman. He seized his beard and shook it until I heard his teeth chattering. Muhammad b. Abi Bakr said, ‘Muawiyah was no help to you, nor was Ibn Amir, nor your letters.’ Uthman said, ‘Let go of my beard, son of my brother! Let go of my beard!’ Then I saw Ibn Abi Bakr signaling with his eye to one of the rebels. He came over to him with a broad iron headed arrow and stabbed him in the head with it. . . . They gathered round him and killed him” (The History of al-Tabari, The Crisis of the Early Caliphate, Vol. 15, [State University of New York Press, 1990], pp. 190, 191).
Muawiyah was a relative of Muhammad and a writer of the Koran who was close to Uthman. He accused Ali, the fourth Caliph, of harboring the murderers of Uthman, the third Caliph (Gordon D. Newby, A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, [Oneworld Publications, 2002], p. 25). This led to the Battle of Saffain between Ali and Muawiyah where many Muslims died fighting each other. Then later a Muslim assassinated Ali and Muawiyah proclaimed himself Caliph (Gordon D. Newby, A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, [Oneworld Publications, 2002], pp. 25, 153).
Muawiyah had Muhammad’s companion Hujr murdered because he disagreed with Muawiyah’s policy of publicly cursing Ali (History of al-Tabari, Vol. 18, (State University of New York Press, 1987), pp. 122-127). Muawiyah was also known for supporting the murder of infants. For example, he was fine with his military commander Busr b. Artat murdering the two infant sons of Ubayd Allah Ibn 'Abbas. This man was a supporter of Ali during the war between Ali and Muawiyah (Dhahab, Tarikh Islam (“Major History of Islam”), Vol. 2, p. 187). Muawiya also committed adultery by marrying Umar’s ex-wife (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 50, Hadith 891). Jesus said, “. . . whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32). Muawiyah also promoted the sexual abuse of children. For, he advocated that Muhammad suck the tongues of children such as Ali’s son in order that they avoid hell (Musnad Ahmad, 16245).
Aisha was Muhammad’s child bride. She was married off to him at the age of six. And he sexually molested her when she was nine (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236). He was in his fifties. This damaged her psychologically and sexually as the ensuing discussion will show. First, it is important to note Muhammad instituted the doctrine of adult breastfeeding. That is, in order for a woman to be seen inside her house without a veil, Muhammad commanded the woman breastfeed the man or teenage boy so that they would be considered family and thus being seen unveiled would no longer be unlawful (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3424). Because of this doctrine, “Aisha took that as a precedent for whatever men she wanted to be able to come to see her” (Imam Malik’s Muwatta, Book 30, Hadith 12). In other words, whenever Aisha wanted a man to come see her in her home, she would first allow him to suck her breasts so that the meeting would become “lawful.” This is very perverse and clearly a result of her being sexually molested as a child. Aisha also supported black slaves being owned and paraded in mosques as property (). Aisha may have also committed adultery against Muhammad. The story is that during the campaign against the Banu Mustaliq, she lost her necklace and went alone to find it leaving her traveling caravan to go ahead. A man named Safwan then found her wondering alone in the desert, so he put her on his camel and brought her back to the caravan. She was then accused of committing adultery with Safwan before arriving. Muhammad was ready to divorce her as Ali suggested this was the best option. But Muhammad decided not to because she was his favorite wife (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 274).
Aisha hated the fourth Caliph Ali because he accused her of being unfaithful to Muhammad (Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, [Macmillan Education LTD, 1990], p. 179). Therefore, after Muhammad died and Ali was Caliph, she incited Muslims to fight against him as a grudge. At the same time Talha and al-Zubayr, companions of Muhammad, wanted Ali dead and did not recognize his succession as Caliph (Will Durrant, The Story of Civilization: The Age of Faith, [MJF Books, 1950], p. 191). This resulted in “The Battle of the Camel” where Aisha, Talha, al- Zubayr and thousands of Muhammad’s followers, family and friends fought Caliph Ali and the Muslims under his leadership. Thousands of Muslims died in the battle but Ali was eventually victorious. Talha and al-Zubayr were killed while Aisha, riding on a camel, was arrested (Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, [Macmillan Education LTD, 1990], pp. 179-180; Will Durrant, The Story of Civilization: The Age of Faith, [MJF Books, 1950], p. 191). Such grudges and infighting are clearly wicked.
VI. Other Companions
I will offer some miscellaneous comments about Muhammad’s other companions to end the essay. The companion Abu Hurairah turned out to be a corrupt governor who stole and lived off money he was not supposed to spend on himself. This led to Umar confronting him and scourging him in the back (). On Muhammad’s orders, the companions al-Zubayr and Muhammad b. Maslama tortured a Jewish man named Kinana with fire for refusing to give up the location of his hidden treasure. Then they beheaded him (The Life of Muhammad, (Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 145-146). The companion Zaid bin Arqam mischievously sold one of his slaves for 800 dirham, and then bought him back again for 600 dirham, thereby dishonestly obtaining 200 dirham in profit. This led to Aisha adjudicating, “Inform Zaid that he has nullified his Jihad performed along with Allah’s messenger, until he repents” (Ibn Hazm, ). On Muhammad’s orders, Muhammad bin Maslama agreed to lie or use deception so that he would be able to murder a Jewish leader named Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf. The companion Ali was fond of burning people alive (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, Number 260). In the middle of one of Muhammad’s Friday “sermons”, the majority of his Sahaba (companions) abandoned him to instead go shop at a Caravan from Syria which suddenly arrived (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1877). Caliph Ali appointed to the governorship of Basra, Iraq one of Muhammad’s cousins named Ibn Abbas. Ibn Abbas was also an early scholar of the Koran. However, he ended up stealing a large amount of money and provisions from the Muslim treasury in Basra for himself and then left to go live in Mecca (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 17, [State University of New York Press, 1996], 209-211). The companion Talha lusted after Aisha and devised a plan to marry her after Muhammad died (Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Al-Dur al-Manthur, Vol. 6 p. 644). Muhammad caught wind of this and the convenient revelation of Koran 33:53 was then sent down which says, “it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.” Interestingly, after Muhammad’s death Talha and Aisha nevertheless spent time together and were allies in the civil war against Ali. It is also important to note that the sons of Ali and Muawiya likewise engaged in a brutal civil war with each other, just as their father’s did. After Muawiyah’s Caliphate ended, his son Yazid became Caliph. Caliph Yazid then sent soldiers to attack Ali’s son Hussein in Iraq at the Battle of Karbala. They decapitated Hussein and also massacred his supporters (Gordon D. Newby, A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, (Oneworld Publications, 2002), p. 84). What a legacy Muhammad left behind.
Just as there is no comparison between the morality of Jesus and Muhammad, the same can be said about their followers. While Jesus’ leading apostles were moral, upstanding, non-violent healers and preachers who taught peace and willingly suffered tribulation and death for their Lord, Muhammad’s Caliph companions (and favorite wife) were immoral sexual deviants, barbaric ruthless savages, and extremely corrupt religionists on all kinds of levels. It should pain all Christians that people actually follow the trashy example of Muhammad and his “rightly guided Caliphs.” Indeed, in Islamic theology, Muslims are commanded to emulate the lives of Muhammad and his Caliph companions (Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith, Number 28; Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 652; Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 6159). But as we have seen, they were some of the evilest people who ever existed. Also, what does it say about Muhammad and “Allah” if they guaranteed paradise to most of these wicked companions (A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). Jesus the divine Son of God paid the penalty for the sins of those who repent and believe in Him as their Lord and Savior. He then rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father on high. , Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3747)? I must exhort Muslims to abandon Islam and turn to the true righteous path: the ways and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again, “