CAIRO, December 13 (IslamOnline.net) – A Daily Telegraph’s “repulsive” article on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam gave Muslims in Britain quite a shock, calling it a telling example of ignorance and arrogance borne by “only the most zealous of racists.”
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), one of the leading Muslim organizations in Britain, said the article, written by Charles Moore, was a “clear incitement to religious hatred and division.”…
The MAB said that Moore’s article was “full of falsehoods, lies, skewed interpretations and poisonous remarks.”
He said that during the era of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) “women were treated more as property and less as autonomous beings.”
Moore cited Prophet Muhammad’s marriage to `A’shah (may Allah be pleased with her), claiming that she was only nine-year-old with an offending lead reading “Was the prophet Mohammed (sic) a pedophile?”
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County, Garden Grove, California, told IslamOnline.net that the age of `A’shah, when she got married to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was far from being confirmed.
“Historically, it is not confirmed that she was nine years old when she came in the household of the Prophet. There are various reports from age nine to age 24. Her maturity, knowledge, intelligence, and contributions during the life of the Prophet and afterwards all indicate that she was either an exceptional nine-year-old or must have been older than that.”
Now wait a minute, Muzammil. The assertion that she was nine is made (more than once) in Bukhari, the hadith collection considered most reliable by Muslims. Here are the passages:
Narrated Hisham’s father:
Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 236)
That “consumed” is a typo for “consummated.”
The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became Allright, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age. (Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234)
Do you, Professor Siddiqi, reject these statements as unreliable? If so, are you then willing to reject Bukhari as a source of Islamic faith and practice? If so, there are many wide-ranging implications. Also, what would you say to the Muslim apologist AbdurRahman R. Squires, who states: “Needless to say, this evidence is–Islamically speaking–overwhelmingly strong and Muslims who deny it do so only by sacrificing their intellectual honesty, pure faith or both.”
Have you, Professor Siddiqi, sacrificed your intellectual honesty, your pure faith, or both?
IslamOnline also says:
Professor Siddiqi further said that the Prophet (PBUH) was not the first suitor.
“According to many historians, Jubair ibn Mut`am proposed to her before the Prophet (PBUH). This gives an indication that `Aisha was mature enough for marriage at that age.”
No, it doesn’t. All it indicates is that there was more than one man in 7th century Arabia who wanted to marry a child.
“Whatever the case may be about her age, one thing is certain: she was a most compatible spouse of Prophet Muhammad. None of the contemporaries of the Prophet, his friends or foes, are reported to be surprised by this marriage or made objections to it,” Professor Siddiqi added.
No, because it was common practice then. But today it has become the justification for a scandalously high rate of child marriages in the Islamic world, sanctified by the example of Muhammad. Siddiqi doesn’t mention that.
IslamOnline also gives us a generous helping of politically motivated historical whitewash about dhimmitude:
The Daily Telegraph writer also wrote that in Muslim countries Christians and Jews were being treated as “second-class citizens who must pay the jiyza, a sort of poll tax, because of their beliefs” and that intolerance was the main hallmark of the Muslim faith.
However, one of the cornerstones of Islam is that “there is no compulsion in religion” as enshrined by the Noble Qur’an.
Non-Muslims under a Muslim state enjoy their full rights. A very clear example of how non-Muslim minorities were treated is that Caliph `Umar ibn Al-Khattab on his deathbed dictated a long will consisting of instructions for the next caliph.
Umar said: “I instruct you on behalf of the people who have been given protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet [i.e. the non-Muslim minorities within the Islamic state known as dhimmis]. Our covenant to them must be fulfilled, we must fight to protect them, and they must not be burdened beyond their capabilities.”
History book shows that Islam protected Jews from Christians and Eastern Christians from Roman Catholics.
In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Caliphs, Christians and Jews enjoyed a freedom of religion that they did not allow each other or anyone else.
Imposing Jizyah on non-Muslims was not a kind of religious-based discrimination against them and if the word Jizyah is too offensive to non-Muslims, it can always be changed as when Al-Khattab levied the Jizyah upon the Christians of Bani Taghlib and called it sadaqah (alms) out of consideration for their feelings.
All the Jizyah amounts are to be a financial obligation placed upon those who do not have to pay the Zakah.
As the ratio of these two taxes is the same, it is obvious that the jizyah is simply a technique used by Islamic governments to make sure that everyone pays his fair share.
The Jizyah was also imposed on Muslim men who could afford to buy their way out of military service.
Since Christians joined the armies in Muslim countries they had no longer to pay Jizyah.
Not to mention that Islam came to save humanity from ignorance and oppression. Islam is not a threat to any society. Islam calls for harmony and peaceful co-existence with other religions.
It does not permit aggression, violence, injustice, or oppression. At the same time, it calls to morality, justice, tolerance, and peace.
All this is historically ridiculous — especially the assertion that jizya and zakat were essentially the same. Innumerable respected historians (including A.S. Tritton, Maxime Rodinson, and Bat Ye’or) have noted that it was money from the dhimmis, not from Muslims, that financed the early Islamic empires; indeed, Muslims paid nothing at all into the state treasury in the days when there were large populations (i.e., in Egypt and Syria) of conquered dhimmi Christians. Rodinson even points out in his biography of Muhammad that at certain times conversions to Islam were forbidden, as they were destroying the tax base! If the jizya had really been equivalent to or less than zakat (as other Muslims argue), human nature being what it is, we would have seen large-scale conversions of Muslims to Christianity in the great Islamic empires — but of course we don’t, because who would want to exchange the position of the dominator for that of the dominated?
Nevertheless, today people read propaganda like Edward Said instead of history like Bat Ye’or, Tritton, and Rodinson, so they most likely don’t know that for non-Muslims in Muslim societies, there was not just jizya, but kharaj, the land tax. Tritton in The Caliphs and Their Non-Muslim Subjects equates the two: “Hafs, another governor of Egypt, announced that all dhimmis who abandoned their religion would be free from kharaj, which is jizya” (pp. 35-6). It is important to remember the two names because while the jizya was generally set at a fixed amount by the jurists (although this was highly adjustable), the kharaj was another matter. In the Hedaya, an Islamic legal manual, in a discussion about the purchase of land by a dhimmi, it declares: “it is lawful to require twice as much of a Zimmee [dhimmi] as of a Mussulman [Muslim], whence it is that, if such an one were to come before the collector with merchandise, twice as much would be exacted of him as of a Mussulman” (Hedaya I.vi).
Also, see these illuminating extracts:
The voluntary character of the zakat contribution as a religious duty is emphasized by Qudama in the beginning of Chapter Thirteen, where he states that Muslims are trusted with the declaration of what is due from them, in contradistinction to other taxes which are compulsory and pursuable. The Saudi law by charging Muslims with this religious tax is following the old precepts who lay down that the rate of the tax is fixed in accordance with the persons from whom it is collected, i.e., from a Merchant of a foreign country 10 per cent, from a merchant of an allied country 5 per cent, and from a Muslim 2.5 per cent.
That’s from A. Ben Shemesh, Taxation in Islam Volume II, Qudama b. Ja’far’s Kitab Al-Kharaj. Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1965, p. 14.
There is a desire to equate Zakat with Jiziyah to emphasize the fairness of the Islamic fiscal system. The Muslims pay Zakat and the non-Muslims Jiziyah. But the analogy is fallacious. The rate of Zakat tax is as low as 2.5 per cent and that on the apparent property only. All kinds of concessions are given in Zakat with regard to nisah or taxable minimum. In its collection no force is applied because force vitiates its character. On the other hand, the rate of Jiziyah is very high for the non-Muslims- 48, 24, and 12 silver tankahs for the rich, the middling and the poor, whatever the currency and whichever the country. Besides, what is central to Jiziyah is the humiliation of infidel always, particularly at the time of collection. What is central in Zakat is that it is voluntary; at least it cannot be collected by force. In India Zakat ceased to be a religious tax imposed only on the Muslims. Here Zakat was levied in the shape of customs duties on merchandise and grazing fee on all milk-producing animals or those which went to pasture, and was realized both from Muslims and non-Muslims. According to the Islamic law, ‘import duties for Muslims were 5 per cent and for non-Muslims 10 per cent of the commodity’. For, Abu Hanifa, whose Sunni school of law prevailed in India, would tax the merchandise of the Zimmis as imposts at double the Zakat fixed for Muslims.
From K.S. Lal, Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India, Delhi, 1999, pp. 139-140.
Note that both have jizya as double the rate of zakat, as per The Hedaya.
And of course the bottom line is that jihadists who are working to impose Sharia on Muslim and non-Muslim states will endeavor also to reimpose the jizya. In the name of the equality of rights of all people, this must be resisted.