The timing of some of Mohammad’s Koran deliveries was suspiciously convenient! To us, they cast serious doubt on his ethical integrity. Why would this be so? Because Mohammad claimed that the Koran is an eternally-existing heavenly book with relevance to all people for all ages. Why would such a book deal with specific problems or issues in the life of any prophet – even the “last and greatest” of the prophets? And why would it only deal with these issues shortly after problematic events in the life of the so-called prophet rather than before these events. There are several examples where the Koran dealt in a very convenient way with then-recent events. It was always risky to point out Mohammad’s weaknesses but even Mohammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, is on record as saying, with fairly obvious but veiled sarcasm that “I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires.”
As Mohammad delivered more and more Koranic verses, some of his followers noticed discrepancies between his actions and his so-called revelations or between his actions and Arabic tradition. Bolder followers would question him on these issues. Often, following these discussions, Mohammad would claim to receive another Koranic verse that clearly dealt with the then-current issue and, with only one exception, they supported Mohammad’s actions. Some of these verses specifically mentioned individuals by name – a surprising thing when we consider that the Koran was supposed to be an eternal book written for all the ages!
One early example of these convenient “revelations” is given by the events surrounding the caravan raid at Nakhla. This event occurred at the beginning of Mohammad’s economic warfare with the Quraysh tribe. Up until the raid at Nakhla, the Muslims had carried out six unsuccessful raids on Qurayshi caravans from their new base of operations in Medina. Before the ascendancy of Islam, all the Arab tribes apparently had a common tradition that forbade fighting in four of the Islamic calendar months, the first, seventh, eleventh and twelfth. Rajab is the seventh month. In Rajab Mohammad sent out a detachment of Muslims on what is now commonly called by Muslims a “reconnaissance mission”. Of course, this implies that no actual fighting was contemplated although Arabic traditions forbade warfare until the next month, making a reconnaissance mission on moving caravans seem rather pointless. These raiders came across a small Qurayshi caravan and decided to attack it by stealth even though it was during a month when warfare was forbidden. They killed one man, captured two and took the caravan cargo as loot back to Mohammad. Some of Mohammad’s followers questioned their actions because of the Arabic tradition mentioned above. Initially Mohammad appeared, at least publicly, to be upset that the attack had been carried out during a forbidden month but he soon claimed to receive a revelation from Allah (Koran 2:217) that said that it was wrong to fight in the forbidden months but it was even worse to allow the polytheist Qurayshi to escape the attack. Then Mohammad accepted his 20% share of the loot from the captured caravan.
Here is another example. Mohammad had an adopted son named Zaid who was married to a beautiful woman named Zainab. Under Arabic standards of the time, Zainab’s close relationship to Mohammad through his son, even though is was through marriage, would never have allowed Mohammad to marry her. However, Mohammad’s desire for the wife of his adopted son quickly led to the delivery of verses in Surah 33 of the Koran which authorized Zaid to divorce his wife and give her to Mohammad. To many non-Muslims, this is one of the most scandalous of Mohammad’s actions. Recently, we read an article by an Imam who was attempting to defend Mohammad’s actions in this event. He used two main arguments. First, he declared that Zainab wanted to marry Mohammad. One would question whether and how this supposed fact would in any way excuse the sin of Allah’s prophet. Second, the Imam said that Islam and Allah do not recognize adoption. Until that time, all of the Arabian tribes had accepted an adopted child the same as a natural one. As we will see shortly, it was Mohammad’s actions after that event that abolished adoption for Muslims. A dishonest and circular argument if ever there was one!
In another example, Mohammad’s wife Hafsa was apparently away from home one day. When she returned, she found Mohammad in her bed with a Coptic slave girl named Mary. Although she had to have been used to Mohammad having sex with other women, Hafsa was angered by this intrusion into her home and that Mary was not one of Mohammad’s so-called legitimate wives. In company with Aisha, she requested and received a promise from Mohammad not to have sex with Mary any more. However, shortly there-after Mohammad claimed to receive a revelation from Allah through Gabriel that he shouldn’t deny himself just to please his wives (see surah 66: beginning at verse 1). Conveniently, Allah went so far as to specifically allow and instruct Mohammad to break his promise to his wives.
One final example. The child bride Aisha was supposedly Mohammad’s favorite wife. This may have been influenced by the fact that her father, Abu Bakr, was Mohammad’s first convert outside his own family and that he was also a powerful fighter and Mohammad’s strongest supporter. Following a military campaign where Mohammad massacred the men of another tribe of Jews, he immediately took the wife of the tribe’s leader as a wife and raped her that very night. Later, when the Muslim troops were packing up to head homewards, the 13-year-old Aisha seems to have been left behind because she claimed she had left the camp to relieve herself. She claimed to have lost her necklace and searched for it until she found it. Meanwhile, the troop moved away and Aisha claimed that she laid down to wait till they came back to get her and she fell asleep. A young soldier named Safwan, found her and brought her back to the caravan about noon the next day. Today, nobody can know for certain what happened that night but this event caused quite a stir among the Muslims and a group of them started questioning her fidelity. She moved back to her parent’s place for about a month and Mohammad had nothing to do with her during that time. After about a month, the appearance of Aisha’s monthly menstrual period would have made it obvious that she was not pregnant. Shortly thereafter Mohammad had one of his spells after which he delivered verses in Surah 24 confirming that Aisha was innocent and that the people who had been gossiping about her were the ones who were guilty. These people were whipped as punishment for their offence. As a result of this event and of the verses he delivered to exonerate Aisha, Sharia law now requires 4 Muslim male witnesses to confirm a sexual transgression such as fornication or even rape.
- Mohammad - Verses of Convenience