On Good and Evil
31 Jan, 2008
This paper discusses the Nakhla raid in the history of Islam and its moral lessons; Yes Sir, its moral lessons for us in the twenty first century. The Nakhla raid was probably the first successful raid the Muslims conducted after their move to Medina.
After Muhammad went to Medina, known in history as Al-Hijra, with a group of Muslims, known in history as Al-Muhajiroon, things got really tough for him and his followers. The rich Jewish tribes knew he was an imposter and did not believe that he was a prophet, a decision, though correct, proved to be of fatal consequences to all the Jews of Arabia later on. To try to survive, Muhammad set out to attack the rich caravans of Quraysh. After all, they were the ones who pestered him many years in the past, day in and day out. His first few attempts were flat out failures. However, through them, he managed to sign treaties with some tribes that lived in the areas where he was attempting to attack the caravans of Quraysh. This, in the long run, helped him roam freely attacking caravans, killing the men in those caravans, and stealing everything else. As one would expect, such “blessed” acts cannot be as such without the sanctioned divine revelation through the Qur’an. After all, Muhammad is none but the messenger. The following is a hadith from Sahih El-Bukhari. The hadith comes to us, supposedly, from a time after one of the earlier raids, Al-Abwa. The raid itself was a failure, but during the process of the raid, Muhammad forced one of the tribes to sign a treaty not to attack Muhammad or his gang of thieves during their ambushes and attacks to the Qurayshy caravans. Here is the hadith:
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256:
Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama:
The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." I also heard the Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle."
The above hadith is a very interesting one indeed. It establishes the following rules right from Islam’s very beginnings:
- Official sanctioning of theft from the non Muslims and killing
the men and, if needed to, killing the women and children.
- This idea of “Us the Muslims” against “Them the non Muslims”
has marked the history of Islam since that time until our twenty
first century. Time and again, results of this Islamic creed
proved disasterous for human beings everywhere, throughout the
last 1400 years. Do you then blame people like Ali Sina, Abul
Kasem, Wafa Sultan and many many others who pretty much say in
their own words something like: “The only good Islam, is a Dead
- Right from the beginning, Muhammad established, as a mandate, His and Allah’s protection. “Hima” means “Protection” in Arabic, even by brute force if necessary. No wonder modern day jihadists go bizerk if you doubt Allah, the Qur’an, or his pedophile murderer prophet!
The Nakhla Raid
This sets the tone for the main topic of this article; the Nakhla raid.
Muhammad sent Abdallah Bin Jahsh, along with a party of between seven and twelve men of the Muhajireen (those are the people who left Mecca and went to Medina with Muhammad when he left), to a valley east of Mecca called Nakhla. This valley was approximately half way between Ta’ef and Mecca. The valley was on the Meccan route toward Syria. Abdallah, the party leader did not know of his final destination until two days after the start of his trip. Muhammad had given him al letter with instructions where to go. The letter was not to be opened until two days after the start of the trip have passed. The letter included Muhammad’s instructions to the party to go and hide in that valley to observe a rich Quraysh caravan that will be passing through. The letter, according to historians, did not include Muhammad’s instructions to attack during a holy month.
My own suspicion is that Muhammad knew the psyche of the people he is sending out, and the personality of Abdallah, the leader. The history of Islam supports my suspicion here. The names of Abdallah and all his companions on that raid are mentioned again and again in the early Islamic history as battle and attack leaders. For instance, does the name Sa’d Bin Waqqas ring a bell? The same applies to the other names. I won’t bother the reader with more details on this issue, and will continue with my current topic. Sure enough a rich caravan was passing through. The caravan had a lot of goods (raisins, leather, ..etc.) and was lightly guarded. Only four men guarded it. Since the caravan was moving during a holy month, Quraysh leaders did not bother putting more protection to their goods. After all, it is a holy month, and no one will attack them! It was a practice that Arabs honored all the time, that’s until Muhammad and his cronies came to the seen.
Needless to say that the Muslim gang attacked the caravan, with some hesitation off course, since it was the holy month. The leader of the caravan was killed. Another man escaped, and the other two men were captured by the gang. The booty and the prisoners were brought back to Medina. Abdallah bin Jahsh gave a fifth of the booty to Muhammad who initially refused it. After all, the Muslims had attacked during a sacred time, and this would make Muhammad and the Muslims look bad in the eyes of the rest of Arab tribes. But Muhammad really wanted his share after all. Yes, true, the attack against Quraysh was unprovoked, and was badly timed. But hey, a booty is a booty. Muhammad and his followers have been struggling for a while in Medina, and it is time for them to show something for it. And so, Allah intervenes and tells Muhammad: What are you? A moron! Take the booty. Here is the Quar’anic blessing:
YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.
So, Muhammad took the khums (20%), his cut of the deal. They also made a good amount of ransom money from the two prisoners before sending them back to Quaraysh. Muhammad had his cut of the deal on that one also. All in all, it was a success for the Muslim umma. They plundered, killed, stole, violated the sacred, and made a goodly amount of ransom money. Such practice by the Muslims persists on even nowadays. Did you see pictures of the destroyed churches in Egypt? Did you see the airplane hijackers? I could name more names and places, but the list is too long. This is TRUE Islam at its core and in its purest form.
When the news of the raid reached Mecca, the Meccans realized that Muhammad’s evil intentions are materializing in a major threat to their livelihood; their commerce, especially with Syria. At the time, Zainab, Muhammad’s daughter, and also some of his followers, were living in Mecca. None of them were threatened or hurt by the Meccans when the news of the evil raid broke.
Does that give you an idea about the contrast between Muhammad and his followers’ ethical standards as compared to the ethical standards of the Pagan Meccans? If you are siding with Muhammad and his ethical standards, think again, and this time let your critical mind do some work. If you are siding with the Pagans and their ethical standards,.. well, welcome to Humanity. You have proved that goodness will triumph over evil, even if it takes 1400 years!
Ibn Kamuna an Arabic-speaking writer. He can be contacted at email@example.com.