Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Abu Bakra

Islam first civil war: Battle of “The Camel”

“Where is my right to vote?” asked a Moslem from Basra

The Prophet Muhammad was buried humbly under Aicha’s bed, the youngest and most beloved of spouses. Muhammad was sick for 13 days but was conscious.

His only political symbol for his succession was to demand that Abu Bakr lead the prayer in the mosque when bed ridden.

Aicha realized that the Prophet wished her aging father Abu Bakr to succeed him; and Aicha knew that this task is too hazardous for her aging father and asked Omar ibn al Khattab to lead the prayer instead.

The Prophet was surprised to hear Omar leading the prayer and chastised Aicha. She explained that the voice of Omar is stronger and more virile. Abu Bakr resumed leading the prayers instead of Omar.

Abu Bakr died two years later and was also buried under Aicha’s bed by his friend Muhammad.

Ten years later, the second Caliph Omar was assassinated in the mosque while leading the prayer, and Aicha granted his wish to be buried under her bed.  Consequently, two caliphs were buried under Aicha’s bed, by their beloved Muhammad.

After Aicha’s death, the governor of Medina (during the Omayyad dynasty) destroyed all the apartments of the Prophet’s wives on the left side of the mosque on the pretence of expanding the mosque.  It was the period of vast victorious conquests, fast, and luxury and it was time to “modernize” Medina.

The third caliph of the Moslems, Othman Bin Affan, started his reign well and then discontent grew dramatically after he started to appoint most governors and high posts officials from his own clan of Umayyah, of the tribe of Quraich.

To make things worse, Othman built a lavish Palace in Medina (less than 25 years after the Prophet’s death in this city).

Aicha got wind that the political climate is deteriorating and opted to go on pilgrimage to Mecca. While in Mecca, angry mob coming from Basra (Iraq) entered the palace and assassinated Othman.

Aicha demanded from the newly designated Caliph Ali Bin Abi Taleb to put the assassins to trial, but Ali didn’t react in a manner that promised proper “revenge”.

Many Quraichi leaders in Mecca such as Talhat and Zubeir (from the tribes of Quraich) managed to incite Aicha to take the lead and to march against Ali.

It is hinted that Aicha kept a grudge against Ali during the collar problems and the rumors that Aicha might have cheated on the prophet with a younger man. (Read link in note #3).

For example, when Muhammad asked Ali for inputs, Ali’s response sounded to Aicha (as reported to her) that he was suspicious too, and was inclined to give credence to the veracity of the rumors, something to the effect that women are limited…. (Later, a verse was pronounced that proved the innocence of Aicha and rumor mongers were whipped 80 times…)

Aicha emulated the same tactics as the Prophet did before any military excursion: She negotiated with notables in Basra, explained the reasons of her dangerous move (it was to be the first civil war in Islam) and she opened free discussions for people to express their opinions in the mosque.

Mosques were the proper locations for open discussions under the protection of Allah.  A young man took the podium and talked. He said:

You the immigrants (converts to Islam who moved from Mecca to Medina); it is true that you were the first to embrace Islam.  But everyone later received the same privilege.  After the prophet death (632 AC) you have designated a man among you (first caliph Abu Bakr) to become the first successor; we, the common Moslems, were not consulted. Again, you the elite immigrants have met in council (Shawra) and designated the second Caliph (Omar bin al Khattab) and we were not asked our opinion.  You voted for the third Caliph (Othman Bin Affan) without our input.

You didn’t like Othman after 13 years of ruling us, and you assassinated him.  You again designated Ali for fourth caliph and the common Moslems were not invited to extend their opinions and preferences.  Now you don’t like Ali.  What are you reproaching him for? Why have you decided to fight him by the sword?  Has he done any reprehensible acts?  Is his election illegal, illicit or fraudulent? Tell us why you want us to start a civil war (fitna)? You have got to surely convince us to join the battle.  Tell us what it is all about? Why are you fighting?”

Unfortunately, this young man ended paying his life for expressing his bold opinion and position after the dust settled.

What would later generally be called “Sunni Moslems” were those who preferred peace and stability instead of deciding for civil wars to changing wrong doings.  The Chiaa Moslems were categorized as those who abided by the Hadith injunction: “The one who witness a reprehensible situation and injustice (al munkar) and does not try to prevent it and change the situation will encounter Divine punishment”

Paradoxically, in the battle of “The Camel”, the first civil war, the Sunnis backed Ali (reasonable position) and the Chiaa backed Aicha.

Caliphate Ali destroyed Aicha troops and 13, 000 Moslems in both camps perished in that battle.

It is said that negotiations were underway to avoiding the battle and a resolution was reached, but a few renegades (those that assassinated Othman killed many Ali’s soldiers during the night) in order to escape trials, thus fomented the next day war. This is a reasonable story, though Aicha had put to death the ones accused of murdering Othman as she entered Basra.

Ali spent many days in the battle field burying the dead from both sides.  Aicha was sent back to Medina where she kept her residence and focused her energy on gathering all of the Prophet’s sourats and verses and was the main pole for clarifications on legal issues and attacking the countless fraudulent Hadith (what the Prophet had said).

Othman was the Caliph who demanded from Aicha to deliver the Prophet’s verses and then discarded those that suited the new political climate after the victories on the Byzantium and Persian Empires.

This Koran is called the Medina Koran and the one currently in use.

Aicha was distraught to the many fraudulent editing of the verses.

For example, Othman invariably added Christians (nassara) every time Jews are mentioned in order to tax the Christian in his kingdom.  It is to be noted that the shortest verses that represent the faith in the first 13 years of proselytizing were relegated to the end of the Koran ,and thus annihilated the chronological appearances of the verses and obscuring the context.

It was after the defeat of Aicha that a certain Abu Bakra, a Moslem who was whipped by the second Caliph Omar for calumny, claimed hearing this Hadith “No prosperity for any society can come when a woman is in command”

Note 1: Fatema Mernissi in her book “The political Harem” re-examined the mostly fraudulent Hadith related to women and male misogyny. Bukhara catalogued the Hadith and kept only 7275 as potentially valid (sahih) out of 600, 000 Hadith recognized as plainly fraudulent.

Note 2:  It is reported that Aicha recounted that she was not jealous of Muhammad’s living wives.  Aicha was mostly jealous of the late first wife called Khadija:  Muhammad kept repeating the name of Khadija in conversations.

Once, the sister of Khadija visited Medina to see her son and paid a visit to Muhammad.  As Muhammad heard the voice he turned livid and started to shake violently.  Aicha guessed that the similarity of the voice to Khadija made Muhammad think that his beloved first wife came back from the dead to haunt him.  Muhammad admitted to Aicha that she guessed right.

Note 3: A turning point was reached when Aicha lost her favorite collar that her mother Em Rumana gave her for her wedding.  The story goes that Muhammad took Aicha on an expedition.  Aicha lost her collar as the troop were heading to the next water well and the caravan was very short on water for the ablution before prayer.  Aicha insisted on finding the collar and a verse was handed down that sand can be used for purification in dire moments.

On the way back from the expedition, Aicha stepped away from the troop for bodily relief.  As she reached the caravan, she realized that she dropped this loose collar again.  Aicha went back to search for the collar and the troop started without her.  Aicha would recount that she was so light that the attendants didn’t realize that she was not in the cabin that was raised over the camel.  Aicha lay down and was confident that the troops will retrace their path searching for her as they reached the camp.

Safwan, a young and handsome convert, a little behind the caravan, found Aicha and mounted her on his horse.

Later, rumors spread that, while the sixty years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, his younger wives are cheating on him.

Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ domicile and Mohammad didn’t pay her a visit for 28 days because he started to believe the rumors.

When Mohammad finally arrived to see Aicha, the Angel Gabriel showed up and revealed to the Prophet that Aicha was innocent. Um Roumana told Aicha to come foward and thank the Prophet.  Aicha retorted: “By God I will not!  I will praise but God who finally decided to declare me innocent”

Seventeen revelations were dedicated to these awful circumstances; calumny was revealed as a crime as dangerous as adultery and specific penalties prescribed.

Mistah, a cousin of Aicha, Hassan ibn Thabit, the poet of Islam, and Hannah bint Jahsh, the sister of one of the Prophet’s wives, were flogged 80 times for their crimes of calumny without exhibiting four witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen“.

Democracy in Islam: What kinds? (Mar. 23, 2010)

A little history to preparing the ground for understanding whether the appreciation of modern kinds of democracy is within Moslem traditions and customs.  The third caliph of the Moslems, Othman Bin Affan, started his reign well.  The pressures from Mecca oligarchic clans in his Quraich tribe encouraged Othman to appointing most governors and high posts officials from his own clan of Umayyad.  Thus,  discontent grew drastically; to make things worse, Othman built a lavish Palace in Medina (less than 25 years after the Prophet death in this city where he was buried).  Aicha (the youngest and most beloved of spouses) got wind that the political climate is deteriorating and opted not to intervene politically at this junction and gave the excuse of going on pilgrimage to Mecca:  People knew that she didn’t appreciate the fraudulent lies that this caliph introduced to the official Koran.

While in Mecca, angry mob coming from Basra (Iraq) entered the palace and assassinated Othman.  Aicha demanded from the newly designated Caliph Ali Bin Abi Taleb to put the assassins to trial but Ali didn’t react immediately.  While in Mecca, Aicha was approached by many Quraichi leaders such as Talhat and Zubeir (from the tribes of Othman); they managed to incite Aicha to take the lead and to march against Ali.

Aicha emulated the same tactics as the Prophet did before any military excursion: She drummed up support in the city of Bassora, negotiated with notables, explained the reasons of her dangerous move (it was to be the first civil war in Islam) and she opened free discussions for people to express their opinions in the mosque.  Mosques were the proper locations for open discussions under the protection of Allah.  A young man took the podium and talked. He said:

“You the immigrants (converts to Islam who moved from Mecca to Medina); it is true that you were the first to embrace Islam.  But everyone later received the same privilege.  After the prophet death (632 AC) you have designated a man among you (first caliph Abu Bakr) to become the first successor; we the common Moslems were not consulted. Again, you the elite have met in council (Shawra) and designated the second Caliph (Omar bin al Khattab) and we were not asked our opinion.  You voted for the third Caliph (Othman Bin Affan) without our input; you didn’t like Othman after 13 years of ruling us and you assassinated him.  You again designated Ali for fourth caliph and the common Moslems were not invited to extend their opinions and preferences.  Now you don’t like Ali.  What are you reproaching him for? Why have you decided to fight him by the sword?  Has he done any reprehensible acts?  Is his election illegal, illicit or fraudulent? Tell us why you want us to start a civil war (fitna)? You have got to surely convince us to join the battle.  Tell us what it is all about? Why are fighting?” Unfortunately, this young man ended paying his life for expressing his bold opinion and position

What would generally be called Sunni Moslems were those who preferred peace and stability instead of deciding for civil wars to changing wrong doings.  The Shiaa Moslems were categorized as those who abided by the Hadith injunction “The one who witness a reprehensible situation and injustice (al munkar) and does not try to prevent it and change the situation will encounter Divine punishment”

Paradoxically, in the battle of “The Camel”, the first Islam civil war, the Sunnis backed Ali (it was a reasonable position since Ali was just in his pronouncements ) and the Shiaa backed Aicha.  Caliphate Ali destroyed the unprofessional troops lead by Aicha:  13, 000 Moslems perished in that battle.  Ali spent many days in the battle field burying the dead from both sides.  Aicha was sent back to Medina where she kept her residence and focused her energy on gathering all of the Prophet’s sourats and verses and was the main pole for clarifications on legal issues and attacking the countless fraudulent Hadith (what the Prophet had said).

It was after the defeat of Aicha that Abu Bakra, a Moslem who was whipped by the second Caliph Omar for calumny, resumed his misogynist behavior and claimed hearing this Hadith from the Prophet Muhammad: “No prosperity for any society can come when a woman is in command.”  The next phase in Islam political structure was based on hereditary successions of the Caliphate with all the power that any monarch could dream of.

Note: Fatema Mernissi in her book “The political Harem” re-examined the mostly fraudulent Hadith related to women and male misogyny. Bukhara catalogued the Hadith and kept only 7275 as potentially valid (sahih) out of 600, 000 Hadith recognized as plainly fraudulent.

Sources of misogyny in Islam: not from the Prophet at all; (Mar 22, 2010)

Many misogynistic “disciples” to the Prophet Muhammad tried to calumny women in order to discard them from political and social leadership.

In a previous article we took care of the Hadith (a saying of the Prophet not included in the Koran) “No society will witness prosperity if commanded by a woman”.

This Hadith was said by Abu Bakra after the battle of “The camel” that was mainly lead by Aicha (The youngest and most beloved wife of Muhammad).  This battle represents the first instance of “civil war” among the Moslems, 25 years after the death of the Prophet in 633. It is interesting to state that Abu Bakra was sentenced to be whipped by the second caliph Omar bin Khattab for calumny that could have resulted in the lynching of an innocent man.

Another “disciple”, Abu Huraira, contributed to countless misogyny Hadith; he was a slave before submitting to Allah and just followed the Prophet and aided in cleaning the residences of Muhammad’s nine wives. The prophet’s nickname of Abu Huraira was because this new convert walked with his favorite female kitten. It is interesting to mention that the second Caliph Omar threatened Abu Huraira to be exiled back to Yemen if he resumed cranking Hadith so mindlessly.  Aicha discredited many of Abu Huraira Hadith and mocked him grandly, an attitude that exacerbated Abu Huraira’s misogyny.

Abu Huraira claimed hearing the Prophet saying “Dog, donkey, and women disturb prayer when they cross the praying visual field.”  Aicha said: “What, Abu Huraira considers women in the same category of dogs and donkeys? I used to be lying down in front of the Prophet when he said his prayers.  I didn’t move in order not to disturb his concentration while praying”

Abu Huraira also claimed that the Prophet said “Three things bring bad luck: the house, the wife, and the horse.” Aicha mocked Abu Huraira grandly and replied: “He has the tendency not to learn his lessons. Abu Huraitra entered as the Prophet was uttering the end part of his long sentence. The prophet was saying “May Allah fights the Jews: They claim that three things bring bad luck (the house, the wife, and the horse).”

Muhammad was fighting the Jewish tribes in Medina because they were complotting with the tribes of Mecca to discredit his message since Muhammad was winning more converts “at the expense of the Jewish prophets which were considered the sole properties of the Jewish sect”.

The Prophet could no longer comprehend the basic misogyny traditions of the Jewish sects in Medina; these Jewish teachings and attitudes toward women were giving arguments to the misogynistic Moslems in Medina who were not ready to abide by the new laws that reformed drastically pre-Islamic customs and traditions.

Abu Huraira cranked many Hadith related to what women in periods of menstruation should not do. For example, women should not fast the day they forget to wash their genitalia before morning prayers and things like that. One of the wives of the prophet Umm Maimouna had this to say: “Occasionally, the prophet recited his prayers his head on the knees of one of his wives who was in menstruation. We would spread the Praying Nat in the mosque for the Prophet while we had our periods. The prophet used to do his morning prayers before washing off after a night of intercourse.”

Indeed, for the first 6 years in Medina there were no dividing lines between the public and the private.  

The door of Aicha’s apartment opened to the mosque; Aicha used to wash Muhammad’s hair at the door while the prophet was in the mosque. The Moslems used to enter the Prophets residences without invitations and behaved as if they were close relatives and “faite comme chez vous” in the presence of his wives.

Finally, Muhammad had to put a stop to these inconsiderate behaviors and commanded that no one is to enter without invitations and instituted the dividing curtain; the curtain was to separate between men and him when in his residence. After the Prophet death, the misogynistic Moslems developed the custom of Muhammad’s wives wearing veils when stepping outside their residences and this tradition was extended to all women gradually.

Another misogynistic “disciple” is Ibn Omar (the son of the second caliph Omar) who was a recluse and ascetics:  most of his Hadith were retained as valid since he was the son of a caliph. For example, Ibn Omar said: “Women were to let down their hair before passing their wet hands over before purification.” Aicha corrected Ibn Omar saying: “How strange! Ibn Omar might as well order women to shave their head.  I used to pass 3 times my wet hands over my unloosened hair before praying with the Prophet. I even used to wash with the Prophet in the same bucket.”

This same Ibn Omar said: “The Prophet said: I had a look into paradise and the majority was of the poor communities. I had a look into hell and it was mostly crowded with women.”

There were so many misogyny pronouncements after the Prophet’s death that Moslems paid visits to Muhammad’s spouses for verifications and clarifications.

The Prophet knew that Moslems would visit his wives for questions that they would not dare ask him directly; Muhammad thus mostly behaved contrary to Jewish daily rituals and customs related to women so that Moslems would learn his behaviors and refrain from misogynistic attitudes.

Politics of interests closed the doors on women after the Prophet’s death, shamelessly and openly.

Note: This article is extracted from Fatima Mirnissi’s “The politics of Harem”


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