Inaccurate, Twisted & Fabricated Stories about Prophet Mohammad
Because the principles of Islam are so great, haters of Islam find it difficult to attack Islam directly so they resort to attacking Prophet Mohammad by bringing up fabricated stories from unreliable history books such as Ibn IssHaq's Sirat Rasul Allah (Biography of Allah's Messenger), Al-Waqidi's Kitab al-Tarikh wa al-Maghazi, Ibn Sa'd's Kitab Tabaqat Al-Kubra, and Al-Tabari's Tarikh Al-Tabari.
Ibn IssHaq wrote a history book, not a Hadith book. Such history books at his time did not pay attention to tracing the chain of transmitters for their stories.
Ibn IssHaq's (also spelled as Ibn Ishaq) name means the Son of Isaac.
Ibn IssHaq (born in 704 - died in 770) is unreliable for several reasons:
- Stories he narrated did not have proper chain of transmitters.
- He was Shiite. Shia lie a lot and justify it using Taqiya doctrine.
- He made favorable statements about Jewish tribes which were hostile to the Muslims.
- He accepted Jews as sources for transmitted stories.
Imam Malik, the founder of one of the 4 Sunni Mazhabs (Schools of Thought) called Ibn IssHaq a liar. Some Muslim scholars claim Ibn Ishaq included verses in his book that he knew were not authentic.
Western non-Muslim researchers also criticized Ibn IssHaq:
"False ascription was rife among the 8th century scholars (versus Bukhari who lived in the 9th century) and that in any case Ibn Ishaq and contemporaries were drawing on oral traditions." ( Cook, M: Muhammad, Oxford 1983. pg. 65)
Even the famous Polemist and anti-Islam author Robert Spencer admits in his book The Truth about Muhammad , that "However, Ibn Ishaq's life of Muhammad is so unashamedly hagiographical that its accuracy is questionable." (Spencer, Robert: The Truth about Muhammad, Regnery Publishers, 2006 pg. 25) Despite his negative opinion regarding Ibn IssHaaq, out of the 400 footnotes of Robert Spencer's book, 120 footnote refer to fabricated stories from Ibn Ishaq's book. Because Robert Spencer hates Islam so much that he is willing to present these stories as if they are true, even though he knows that their source is unreliable.
Al-Waqidi is one of the least respected Historian. The following is the opinions of Muslim scholars about Al-Waqidi:
- Abd Allah Ibn Ali al-Madini and his father said: "Al-Waqidi has 20,000 Hadith I never heard of." And then he said: "His narration shouldn't be used." and considered it weak.
- Yahya Ibn Muaen said: "Al-Waqidi mentioned 20,000 false hadith about the prophet."
- Al-Shafi'i said, "Al-Waqidi is a liar."
- Ibn Hanbal said, "Al-Waqidi is a liar."
- Al-Bukhari and Abu Hatim al-Razi said: Al-Waqidi's work should be discarded. Al-Bukhari said he didn't write a single letter by transmitted by Al-Waqidi.
- Ibn al-Madini said: "He forges Hadiths".
- Al-Dhahabi said: "Consensus has settled on his weakness."
Al-Tabari who included Ibn IssHaq's book in his multi-volume Tarikh Al-Tabari has the following disclaimer in the introduction to the book:
"...if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us."
All of the following stories appear in Ibn IssHaq's book and some of them also appear in other history books:
1. The alleged murder of Abu Afak
Abu Afak was allegedly an old Jewish Poet who lived in Madina at the time of the Prophet Mohammad and wrote a poem making fun of Prophet Muhammad and the Early Muslims. The story alleges that Prophet heard of these verses and ordered killing of Abu Afak. A Muslim man named Salim Ibn Umayr went forward and killed Abu Afak with a sword (Ibn IssHaq, page 675).
This story was mentioned in Ibn IssHaq and Al-Waqidi’s history books. The chain of reporters of the story from eye-witnesses of the event till Ibn IssHaaq or Al-Waqidi must be examined and verified. So, our legitimate question is: where is the Isnad (chain of reporters)? There is no Isnad for this story. This story has no isnad at all; neither Ibn IssHaq (or his disciple Ibn Hisham) nor Al-Waqidi (or his disciple Ibn Sa'd) provided such Isnad! In this case, the story is rated by Hadith scholars as "...of no basis", indicating that it has reached the lowest degree of criticism regarding its Isnad. This is in fact a proper scientific position because we cannot accept such a problematic story without evidence or reliable chain of reporters.
In brief, we cannot accept such a baseless story - according to scientific criteria of Hadith criticism. We are therefore obliged to reject the story of the killing of Abu 'Afak. So, again this story is 100% false and fictional. Furthermore, this story is not found in Hadith books .
2. The alleged torture of Kinana Ibn Rabi Ibn Al-Huqaiq
The story as narrated in Ibn IssHaq’s book: Kinana al-Rabi (a Jew), who had the custody of the treasure of Banu Nadir (Jewish Tribe), was brought to the Messenger (Prophet Mohammad) who asked him about it. He denied knowing where it was. A Jew came (Tabari says "was brought"), to the Messenger and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every early morning. When the Messenger said to Kinana, "Do you know that if we find you have it, I shall kill you?" He said "Yes". The Messenger gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest, he refused to produce it, so the Messenger ordered Al-Zubayr Al-Awwam, "Torture him until you extract what he has." So he (Al-Zubayr) kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he (Kinana) was nearly dead. Then, the Messenger delivered him (Kinana) to Muhammad bin Maslama who struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud. (Ibn IssHaaq, page 515)
There is no Isnad (chain of transmitters) for this story. Islam prohibits torture so it is impossible that he was tortured. Most likely, this false story was circulated by the Jews to discredit Islam. Only Ibn IssHaq and Tabari (Historian) narrated it in their books.
3. The killing of Salam Ibn Abul-Huqaiq
According to this story, Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) allegedly wanted a man called Sallam ibn Abul-Huqaiq (who was a Jew) to be killed. So a group of Muslims broke into his house, pushed his wife away and killed Sallam. (Ibn IssHaq, p. 482-483 )
The Isnad (chain of transmitters) of this story contains untrustworthy individuals so it cannot be relied upon. Furthermore, this story doesn't appear in Hadith collections.
4. The killing of Sarah, a freed slave
Another fake story claims that Prophet Muhammad allegedly commanded his men to kill a freed slave named Sara, who used to make fun of him, wherever they find her. She was eventually found and trampled to death by a mounted soldier. (Ibn IssHaq p. 551)
It seems that this woman, Sarah, was probably Jewish, so this story was most likely fabricated by the Jews or Jews who pretended to be Muslims. This story is not found in Hadith books such as Bukhari, Muslim, etc.
5. The killing of the Ten Meccans
Another false story being circulated by haters of Islam is Prophet Muhammad's alleged killing of ten Meccans (six men and four women) just for making fun of him.
This story is also found in both Ibn IssHaaq's book as well as in Ibn S'ad's "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir". Ibn Sa'd was known to be the scribe of Al-Waqidi, Ibn Sa'd's book is derived from Al-Waqidi's book. Al-Waqidi, as we have stated in the beginning of this article, is one of least respected historians at his time.
Neither Al-Waqidi nor Ibn Sa'd were eye-witnesses to the killing of the Meccan Ten; they were simply collectors of stories.
It is also worthwhile mentioning that: “ ... Al-Waqidi was attacked by strict practitioners of Hadith for his loose Isnad usage ...” (Tarif Khalidi, Arabic Historical Thought in the Classical Period, 1994, Cambridge University Press, p. 48)
According to Encyclopedia of Islam, Al Waqidi has been frequently criticized by Muslim writers, who say that he is unreliable. Even Imam Shafi, founder of one of the 4 Sunni Mazhabs (Schools of Thought) says that "the books written by Al-Waqidi are nothing but heaps of lies".
This story about the killing of ten Meccans is not mentioned in any Hadith book.
6. The killing of al-Huwayrith
According to this story, Al-Huwayrith insults and makes fun of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad allegedly orders that Huwayrith be killed and allegedly Ali kills Huwayrith. (Ibn IssHaq, p. 551)
This story is found in Ibn IssHaaq and Al-Tabari's history book. Al-Tabari acknowledges that some of the stories in his book could be false or inaccurate. No chain of transmitters is listed for this story. It has not been mentioned in Hadith books.
7. The Killing of an anonymous One-Eyed Shepherd
The story alleges that a one-eyed Shepherd authored a poem making fun of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and Islam. A Muslim man, called Amr, after hearing this poem, killed the one-eyed Shepherd while he was sleeping. Amr later told Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) who allegedly praised Amr for his deed. Like the rest of these stories from Ibn IssHaq’s book, this story is most likely false. It doesn’t have a chain of transmitters (Isnad). This story is only narrated in Ibn IssHaq’s book. It is not mentioned in Hadith books.
8. The Killing of Abdullah bin Khatal and His Two Singing Girls
The story goes like this. Abdullah bin Khatal was a convert to Islam. He later apostated and his two singing girls start singing songs making fun of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). The Prophet did not like this and allegedly ordered all three of them to be killed. Abdullah was allegedly killed by two Muslims. One of his girls was also allegedly killed too. However, the other girl managed to get away and survive. (Ibn IssHaq, p. 551)
This story is only found in Ibn IssHaq and is not mentioned in any Hadith book. The Isnad (chain of transmissions) for this story is broken and very weak. Thus, we can safely say that this story like the rest is false. And we've already seen that Prophet Muhammad did not order the killing of women from the above quoted Hadith. This story was most likely made up by Jews of Madinah and Ibn IssHaq probably got this fabricated tale from them.
9. The alleged killing of Asma bint Marwan
The first story that critics of Islam spread around is the killing of Asma bint Marwan, a woman from the tribe of Aus. She is said to have been a poetess who made fun of Prophet Muhammad saying that he killed many of their chiefs (not true). According to the story, when Prophet Muhammad heard this, he allegedly asked a Muslim named Umair to kill her. He brutally murdered her and Prophet Muhammad praised him for this deed.
The story of the killing of Asma' bint Marwan is mentioned by Ibn Sa'd in Kitab At-Tabaqat Al-Kabir and by the author of Kinz-ul-'Ummal under number 44131 who attributes it to Ibn Sa'd, Ibn 'Adiy and Ibn 'Asaker.
What is interesting is that Ibn 'Adiy mentions it in his book Al-Kamel on the authority of Ja'far Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn As-Sabah on authority of Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Ash-Shami on authority of Muhammad Ibn Al-Hajjaj Al-Lakhmi on authority of Mujalid on authority of Ash-Shu'abi on authority of Ibn 'Abbas, and added that: “...this isnad (chain of reporters) is not narrated on authority of Mujalid but by Muhammad Ibn Al-Hajjaj and they all (other reporters in the chain) accuse Muhammad Ibn Al-Hajjaj of forging it.” (Ibn 'Adiy, Al-Kamel, Vol. 6, p. 145)
It is also reported by Ibn al-Gawzi in Al-'Ilal (Vol. 1, p. 279) and is listed among other flawed reports.
So according to its Isnad (chain of transmitters), the report is forged - because one of its reporters is notorious for fabricating Hadith. Hence, such this story is rejected and 100% false. Moreover this story is not mentioned in reliable Hadith books like Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, etc.
10. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said: "Will you listen to me O Quraish? By him who holds my life in His hand, I bring you slaughter." (Ibn IssHaq, p. 130)
Prophet Mohammad made this statement to a group of pagan men from Quraish Tribe who were very hostile toward Muslims. They viciously abused and insulted the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and Muslims for no reason. Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.) tried to be patient and did not respond for a while, but the pagans did not stop their attacks. Eventually, the prophet Muhammad broke his silence and rebuked these vile pagans.
Given the fact that this story appears only in Ibn IssHaq, and as we have proved above, this book is very unreliable, it possible that the Prophet did not actually make that statement.
However, even if he did make that statement, it is a reasonable statement, in light of the fact that pagans were initiating and continuing their insults against Muslims, so his response was to frighten them a little so that they think twice before attacking Muslims.
It is well known that Prophet Mohammad (p) & the Muslims, coming from his exile in Medina, eventually managed to conquer Mecca bloodlessly and he granted amnesty to Quraish Tribe and the pagan people of Mecca who had been very hostile to Muslims for many years.