Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Medina

Book review of Genevieve Chauvel

Posted on October 11, 2008 (Written in November 19, 2007)

“Aïcha la bien-aimée du Prophet” by Geneviève Chauvel

Note: This review is very large and I opted to split it into 2 parts. The second part will start when Prophet Muhammad died.

I decided to review “Aicha, the most beloved wife of the Prophet” for the chronicles of the active life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the specific circumstances that revealed the messages from Archangel Gabriel.  Aicha lived to be 67 of age and experienced Islam since she was born, and she died as Islam was splitting into schisms.

Aicha was born in 616 in Mecca and she was redheaded like her maternal grandmother.  Her father Abu Bakr, later the first Caliph, spared her life because Khadija, the wife of Mohammad, played a part in this difficult and life threatening birth.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Hachim was an orphan brought up by his uncle Abu Talib, the father of Ali. The father of Muhammad died before his birth and his mother passed away as Muhammad was only 6 of age.  Ali was to be the fourth Caliph.

(Islam would like us to believe that Muhammad was illiterate to exaggerate his divine message, but I beg to differ. Read link in note #4).  

Khadija, a wealthy caravan trader, hired Muhammad to lead her caravans to Damascus.  Khadija was almost 8 years older than Muhammad (A large difference at that time with low life expectancy) when her uncle urged her to marry his nephew Muhammad. She was widowed twice and Muhammad was 25 year-old.  Khadija gave  him a son Al Qasem, who died at age two, and four daughters. Two of the in-laws became later Caliphs, Uthman and Ali.

Khadija was the first person to believe in Muhammad “prophecies/messages” and for 11 years protected him from the mockeries and sarcasms of the inhabitants of Mecca and cared for him during his fits of epilepsy when Archangel Gabriel used to appear to him.

Two of Muhammad’s daughters were repudiated by their husbands because they refused to be married to girls who converted to Islam.  Fatima, the youngest one, married Ali, Muhammad’s nephew, and gave Muhammad two grand boys, Hassan and Hussein and two granddaughters. 

Zainab, one of the daughters of Muhammad, was married to Aboul-As whom she loved so much that she preferred to stay with him in Mecca. Aboul-As fought against Muhammad at the battle of Badr and was made prisoner and later decided to convert in order to keep Zainab.

Rukaya was married to Uthman ibn Affan, later the third Caliph, and when she died, Muhammad married his daughter Oum Kulthum to Uthman because he needed his Kureich clan on his side. 

Uthman abandoned the position of his archery contingent during the lost battle of Uhud and thus had vacated a strategic position held by the archers, which allowed the cavalry of Khaled bin Al walid to defeat the Muslims in this battle and forced them to retreat..

Muhammad adopted Zaid ibn Haritha who was Khadija’s slave at the age of twelve and he used him to be his personal messenger to his wives after each battle.  Zaid was very learned and translated and interpreted the Jewish Books to Muhammad and was devoted to his adoptive father.

Muhammad married Sawda (Black) after Khadija died because he needed an experienced woman to run and maintain the household.  Sawda was widowed to a convert who fled to Ethiopia from the Quraish tribes’ persecution.

After the death of Khadija, Muhammad realized that he won’t be protected anymore from certain death; he fled Mecca to Yathrib in the year 622 (later called Medina or the first city-state of the Muslims) after foiling an assassination attempt on his life. 

It took him and Abu Bakr almost four months to arrive at Yathrib, a six days travel, to avoid the headhunters of the tribes of Quraish.  Most of the Prophet’s followers had preceded him to Yathrib and welcomed him as a hero.

Muhammad married Aisha in Yathrib when she was ten years old. 

Abu Bakr (father of Aisha) was the first adult male to convert to Islam and he was Muhammad’s closest Companion and guide.  Aicha was 8-years old when Muhammad officially asked her hand and waited to marry her at age ten.

The mother of Aicha, Oum Roummane, almost died when giving birth to Aisha and Khadija was called upon to deliver her and Muhammad saw Gabriel at the same time he was contemplating to commit suicide by throwing himself off a cliff because of the miserable life that Gabriel forced upon him. 

After the death of Khadija, Mohammad saw Aicha three times in his dreams, as a baby wrapped in green blanket and the third time it was Gabriel who removed the blanket for Muhammad to recognize the face of baby Aicha, and ordered to obey the request of Gabriel to take her as wife.  Aicha had a vast memory and was educated to read and write and she was the person who transposed the verbal messages into written verses during the revelations.

The migrating Muslims in Yathrib were suffering from miseries.

First, they were not used to the humid climate and the marshes: Many died of the malaria fever.  Aicha almost died as she arrived in Yathrib. 

Second, the emigrants could not find suitable employments and had to accept temporary jobs at the Jewish households and farms.  Consequently, the emigrants had to revert to what the tribes did when they were hungry and penniless.  They decided to raid a major caravan coming from Damascus and lead by Abu Sufyan (a chief of the Quraysh clan in Mecca). The caravan was to stop at an oasis called Badr but Abu Sufyan got wind of the raid and diverted its route and sent for troops from Mecca.  The Muslims won the battle of Badr, their first.

Sawda father and brother were killed in the battle of Badr fighting against the Muslims.  Sawda was greatly grieved and lambasted the prisoners parked in front her house and told them that they should have fought instead of being taken prisoners. Mohammad repudiated her for a while until she asked forgiveness and she opted not to have intercourse with him as the tradition regulated Mohammad nights among his wives.

Mohammad encircled the fortified castle of the Jewish tribe Banu Qaynuqa because the tribe decided to break the treaty with Mohammad rather than pay the ransom for a murdered emigrant.  The tribe capitulated when it realized the succor from Banu Khazraj was not forthcoming. 

Muhammad had set his mind to beheading all the males of the defeated Banu Qaynuqa tribe as the revelation dictated, but the chief of the Ansar (supporters) tribe of Khazraj prevented him saying: “I am a man who fears the reversal of circumstances”

The Banu Qaynuqa were allowed to leave the city and it settled in the Jewish town of Khaibar, around 20 miles north west of Yathrib.

Mohammad married Afsa (3afsa), the widowed daughter of Omar ibn Khattab, the second Caliph, because he needed Omar total loyalty.  She was eighteen. Actually, Omar insisted on Uthman to marry Afsa but he declined the request repeatedly. Muhammad had set his mind to marry his second daughter Um Kulthum to Uthman to secure the Ummaya powerful clan.  Aicha was crest fallen and suffered her first jealousy attacks.

The Muslims lost the battle of Uhud, but the forces of Quraish did not pursue their objective to enter Medina and retreated to Mecca.  Muhammad directed his angst against the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadhir that secretly supported Quraich.  He ordered this Jewish tribe to leave Medina; the eye witness accounts related that the citizens in Medina never saw a caravan as opulent, rich and luxurious in their lives.

Mohammad married Zainab, the daughter of the clan leader of Bani Assad, who was widowed and 30 years of age. Zainab died three months after her wedding.

Mohammad married Hind, daughter of Abi Ummayah, a recent widow of Abu Salama who was mortally injured during the battle of Ohud, the first defeat of the Moslems against the tribe of Quraich and their allies outside the walls of Yathreb and now called Medina. 

Hind or Um Salama was about thirty of age and had many children and declined to marry Abu Bakr and Omar and even Muhammad.  Muhammad asked her hand a second time and promised to care for her many offspring.

Muhammad married Zainab bint Jahsh, a cousin thirty of years of age and of great beauty.  Zainab was the wife of his adoptive son Zaid ibn Haritha who separated from her when she welcomed Mohammad almost nude to entice him and throw trouble in his heart. 

She roamed after Muhammad reminding him that she separated because of him.  The Koran was very strict on the number of only 4 wives for the believers but Mohammad received a message from Gabriel telling him that Zainab is an offer from God that cannot be rejected.  The aggrieved Aicha interjected that God has a tendency to accord his Messenger all his desires.

Mohammad repulsed a fresh attack by Quraich on Medina by following the suggestion of Salame the Persian; Salame supervised the digging of a large and deep trench around Medina that the cavalry could not jump over. 

A violent wind followed by a torrential rain convinced the Quraishi armies to retreat.  Then, Mohammad surrounded the hold up of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza for 25 days because they were tacitly allied to Quraich. 

The Prophet beheaded 700 of the male captives and dumped their bodies in a large hole and ordered Ali and Zubair (the husband of Aicha’s sister Asmat) to participate in the performance of the executions.

(This 700 could be a magical number in tales. Even 70 beheading executions is too large a number in a single day. Why Muhammad made Ali to have blood on his hand is to be examined. Actually, the hatred of the Jews for Ali is a consequence of this narrative)

Muhammad asked the hand of Rihana, a Jewish captive girl, to marry him but she declined. After she converted, Mohammad asked her hand again and she preferred to remain slave than marry someone with several wives but she became his concubine.

Since this mass cruel beheading, troops of Muhammad had easier tasks convincing the neighboring tribes to join Islam and plundering the caravans arriving from Damascus or Alexandria.

Mohammad married Juwayriah, the daughter of the chief clan of Harith, which his last raid brought her as captive.  The Harith tribe and their allies convert to Islam. 

A turning point was reached when Aicha lost her favorite collar that her mother Em Rumana gave her for her wedding. 

Aicha joined that raid and lost her favorite collar that the Prophet had offered her during their wedding. The fighters were utterly upset for wasting precious time searching for the collar and the time for prayer was close and they were far from the nearest oasis. 

Muhammad had to receive a message allowing ablution with sand when water is not available. This revelation allowed the Muslim armies to expand its raids in the desert and later in their territory expansion.

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. 

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 to her tent/hawdaj didn’t realize that she was Not in the cabin that was raised over the camel.  Aicha lay down.  Safwan, a young and handsome convert was a little behind the caravan, and found Aicha and mounted her on his horse. Safwan was confident that the troops will retrace their path searching for her as they reached the camp. 

Later, rumors spread that, while the 60 years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, and that his younger of wives is cheating on him.  Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ quarter 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 forward 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 100 times for their crimes of calumny without having 4 witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen”. (The Mother of the Believers). It is said that Aisha kept a deep grudge for Ali who seemed to believe the rumors of her cheating.

Mohammad had a dream while sleeping with Aicha that he shaved his head and performed the pilgrimage to Al Kaaba in Mecca.  Aicha encouraged him and Muhammad left Medina with 700 unarmed men to Mecca. 

The favorite camel of Muhammad named Qaswa parked in Hudaibiya, close to Mecca, and would not move.  By the way, Qaswa was the camel that selected the location for the Prophet house and the Mosque in Yathrib.

The Quraichi’s tribes sent delegations and they reached a 10-year non-belligerence treaty and promised Muhammad that they would permit the Muslims for pilgrimage starting next year. 

Although Muhammad was not allowed to enter Mecca, he wanted to perform the rites in Hudaibiya but the Companions refused. Um Salama encouraged Muhammad to perform the sacred rituals and shaved Muhammad’s head and then slaughtered his sacrificial camel and the believers hurried to follow suit; the party returned to Medina sanctified.

Mohammad married Safiya, a Jewish beauty and of high grace from Khaibar who was married to a brute of a husband that died during the battle of Khaibar.

Muhammad had just conquered the fortified Jewish town of Khaibar, North West of Madina in the year 630.  The lands were turned over to Mohammad and his closest Companions and the Jews agreed to cultivate the land as serfs for 50% return for their subsistence and relinquished their treasures.

Um Salama escorted the Prophet in this raid and recounted to the harem that a Jewish girl roasted a lamb for Mohammad and then he realized it was poisoned; when asked why she poisoned the lamb she replied: “You killed my father, brother and husband. If you are a King then good riddance; if you are a Prophet then you must discover the plot.” 

The girl was not punished for the rationale that she will spread her conviction that Muhammad is indeed a prophet.  Un Salama added that Muhammad liked his new wife Safia very much: he didn’t wait the customary 40 days grievance and married her on the way back to Medina and spent four whole days and nights with Safiya.  With virgins, the husbands spend 7 entire days and nights!  Aicha thought that Um Salama could have spared her added anxieties.

Mohammad married Um Habiba, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, his arch enemy of Quraish.  Um Habiba was a recent widow and 40-year old and living in Ethiopia with her husband who converted to Christianity; she was one of the first converts to flee to Ethiopia after the Quraish persecutions.

The governor of Coptic Egypt sent Muhammad gold and fine gifts and two Christian girls as slaves, Maria and Sirine.  Maria became immediately the concubine of the Prophet until she converts to Islam and he spent most of his time with Maria, raising a revolt within his harem.

Aicha took a definite advantage over the remaining wives.

Individuals who wanted to offer the Prophet gifts learned that the best moments were when he is with Aicha.  Aicha thus enjoyed the best fabrics and gifts and the other wives revolted again wanting fair distribution of the gifts. 

Mohammad told Um Salama that his revelations descend when he is with Aicha, but the revolt went on and the Prophet decided to retreat from his harem for a whole month, sending fear and frustration in the community of the believers. 

After a month, Mohammad revealed a message placing men as superior to women and admonishing wives to obey their husband, and permitting husbands to punish their wives if they disobeyed.  Mohammad reconquered his authority in the harem, and wives had to pay the price of this revolt for centuries after.

In 630 or the 8th year of Mohammad emigration to Yathrib , the Prophet assembled ten thousand fighters for his pilgrimage to the Kaaba and entered Mecca and destroyed the pagan Gods and became the uncontested leader of all the tribes in the Arabian peninsula. (Too large a number to be credible)

Islam arch enemy Abu Sufian converted to Islam, before the troops of the Muslims entered Mecca.  The wife of Abu Sufian, Hind, reluctantly converted to Islam also.  Hind is the famous woman who opened the chest of Hamza in the Battle of uhud and ate his liver in order to avenge her father in the battle of Badr. Hamza (an uncle of Muhammad) had killed Hind’s father in a singular fight before the battle of Bard.

Mohammad married Maymouna, a relative of both tribes of Abi Taleb and Hashim to the fainting and shock of the harem. 

A revelation descended that the messenger is allowed all the women he desires. 

Besides his 9 wives, Muhammad had two concubines, Maria and Rihana, and uncounted numbers of women who wanted to offer themselves to him to gain Paradise. 

Once, Fatima told the harem that her husband Ali wanted to take another wife and she intervened with the Prophet; Aicha was beside herself to learn that this plain woman, and not as educated, could enjoy one husband and generate four offspring, two of them males.  Aicha realized that she could not get pregnant, even after her sexual expertise led to many successful full coital with Muhammad.

Rihana died shortly after as well as Mohammad’s eldest daughter Zainab. 

Maria gave Mohammad a male son called Ibrahim and thus, Maria was released from bondage. 

The blood family of the Prophet consisted of Ali, Fatima, his two grandsons, his two grand daughters and Ibrahim; his adoptive son Zaid died during a battle in the north against the Byzantine Empire.

Mohammad organized an army of 30,000 fighters in the year 631, recruited from all over Arabia and marched to Tabuk, a city within the Syrian borders, to avenge the death of his adoptive son Zaid; he took Aicha with him on this campaign. 

The Governor of Syria didn’t deign to challenge the Prophet and Muhammad returned to Medina after securing many treaties with the neighboring tribes and oasis in Syria (among them the more civilized and more urban of tribes that will later tip the balance in the war against Byzantium).  The whole of “Arabia” was converting to Islam.

Ibrahim, the son of Mohammad, aged 18 months, dies.  The Prophet cried and lamented, a behavior which was not the custom of the male believers.

The Prophet went on pilgrimage to Mecca the next year with 30,000 pilgrims and the entire harem went this time.  Mohammad gave a speech alluding that it might be his last pilgrimage.

Shortly after his return to Medina Muhammad suffered from terrible headaches for a month; he asked Abu Bakr to preach in his place when he was bedridden.  The Prophet dies on June 8, 632; he was 63 years old.

Notes:

  1. Muhammad was mortally sick for at least a month and he knew his days were counted because Gabriel gave him a choice between this world and the Other World and the Prophet opted for the Other World.  Muhammad had time to think about the succession of power and the appropriate processes but no revelations were forthcoming. 
  2. The tribal spirit was to dominate the political landscape, the same spirit that Muhammad intended to re-direct toward a Unique God and unite the “Ummat al Islam”.  The Arab and Muslim World were tribal in structure and ended up with a caste system when the Central Asian tribes overpowered the Quraishi tribal rights for leadership.
  3. The Prophet Muhammad was highly literate https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/the-parson-and-the-prophet-book-review/

My brother passed away

A poem by a poet of before Islam

Jamil Berry shared this translated poem

( Al MOHALHAL . Oraison Funèbre de son frère KULAYB)

Le poète Al Mohalhal pleurant son frère , tué dans un duel chevaleresque.

Le tableau, est celui d’une silhouette d’un homme seul , prosterné sur une plage, par une nuit étoilée .

Les yeux remplis de larmes, pensant fort à son frère.

DEUIL DANS LA NUIT

Tu es mort mon frère
Mes poèmes seront prières
Me prosternant à genoux
Implorant la mort cynique
Implorant un Dieu jaloux
Qui n’eut qu’un fils unique (Jesus?)

Tu es mort mon frère
Et en souvenir de nous deux
Désormais tu seras poussière
Poussière qui fait larmoyer mes yeux

Et ces mille et mille étoiles
Des badauds bien curieux
Détournées par mon horrible mal
de l’immensité des cieux

Elles délaissent l’étendue des océans
Et lui préfèrent mon absurde néant
Faisant fi de mes pleurs et leur vacarme
Elles viennent se mirer dans mes larmes .

Tu es mort mon frère
Mes poèmes ne seront que prières
Me prosternant sur mes deux genoux
Implorant la mort cynique
Implorant ce puissant jaloux
Qui n’eut lui, qu’un fils unique

Note 1: This poem is from the period of before Islam, which was labelled Jahiliyya or period before recognizing that there is One God, and monotheistic religions like Christianity and Judaism…

The last sentence point to the fact that Al Mohalhal might have been a Christian and referring to Jesus.

Mecca had a large Christian community (Ebonite sect), a sect that orthodox Byzantium called heretic.

Note 2: The uncle of Muhammad was the bishop of this Christian sect, more inclined to the daily routine of Judaism and adopting its myths and stories. The Sourat of the first 13 years in Islam borrowed heavily of the dogma of this sect, before Muhammad founded his City-State in Yathreb. (Medina)

 

Aicha, youngest wife of prophet Mohammad, is most important person in Islam

1. She became the first de-facto Imam of the Moslems after Mouhammad death. Moslems flocked from everywhere to listen to her interpretations and facts
2. She was the most educated and knowledgeable person in matter of Fikh (shari3at)
3. She relentlessly put the civil rights and political rights of women first.

4. She educated and trained many generations of women to fight for their acquired rights and they wrote their own marriage contracts and clauses to divorce their husbands if any clause was not satisfied. Scores of strong females applied her teaching in the first century after the prophet death.


5. She was the main person who for decades demonstrated the falsehood of countless Hadith (What supposedly close persons to Mohammad recounted of his life after his death) that tried to degrade and denigrate women status and rob them of their acquired rights


6. When Mohammad became a political figure in the City-State of Medina, she made sure to remind him of the ignored women rights in his verses and to re-edit them.

7. She was upfront and told him of the verses that he enunciated to serve his desires

8. She confronted Ali ben Abi Taleb, 4th Caliph and son-in-law of the prophet, that he is dragging his feet to put on trial those who assassinated the 3rd Caliph Othman bin Affan in Medina

9. She was harsh in her frequent fasting and minimal life-style, dedicated to learning and teaching the thousands who flocked to her residence to listen and ask her questions

A mystic trip or voyage of pilgrims to sacred destinations requires a long preparation.  For Moslems, to be eligible for undertaking the haj to Mecca and Medina, he must have paid off all his debts; he must have reconciled with his neighbors; he must have put in order his relationship with the members of his family and business. 

A Moslem must have satisfied his civic duties; for example, be married and preferably with children, and earning a good living: not many people can afford going to pray at Al Kaaba.  If the neighbor or a member of the family is in distress then, it is sufficient cause to postponing the haj.

Before going on haj, a Moslem must have memorized all the required prayers during the 13 days of haj, have exercised the proper ways to the “zikr” or how to focus and meditate repeating the words and sentences “There is but one God Allah”, bismillah Allahu akbar, soubhan Allah for over an hour.  The goal is that on reaching the 10th level of zikr you should be thinking of God with every breath you take and go on with business as usual while God is present in your dealings.

The haj purifies you of all sins committed, but it does not necessarily render you a better person:  If you go to the haj a hypocrite, you return a hypocrite; if you go a scoundrel you return a scoundrel unless you prepared well for the haj.  The haj is not a goal in itself: a haj done with bad preparation and without proper piety is worse than not going to the haj.

A Moslem, regardless of genders, going to the haj must leave enough money to his family and leave no debts:  Thus, only the well-to-do can afford the expensive trip to Mecca.  When you board the plane, you are already dressed in the “ihram”; the ihram is a two-piece of white cloth with no sewing; one piece is wrapped around the loins and the other covering the left shoulder.  The ihram could be used to covering the dead body.  Many Moslem friends ask you to think of them in your prayers:  Prayers done on behalf of others (the sick and elderly) are more efficient for people in distress.

The most repeated chant is:

“Labbayka la homma labbayk (Here I am facing you my Lord)

“Labbayka la charika laka labbayk (You have no associate)

“Inna le hamda wa niaamata laka wal molk (To you praise, grace and sovereignity)

“La charika lak (You have no associates)

The first day of the 13 days of haj starts by the “tawaf” or walking around the Al Kaaba seven times and then drinking from the well Zamzam.  This is the mini-haj.  The greater haj is done in the desert to Mina, Muzdalifa, Mount Arafat, dilapidation of Satan with stones (and the consequent deaths by trampling), and then back to Mecca for more tawaf.  Many resume their trip to Medina,which requires more control to getting into that first city-state of Islam.  (The next part will describe in more details the haj).

When I hear people going on pilgrimage to a “sacred location” I assume that they know the consequences of being trampled and submitted to all kinds of humiliations in foreign lands.  It is normal human behavior to snap in a “sacred environment”, for example a football field, believing that whatever you do during the ceremony is holy and sins are forgiven.  When amid a crowd of million, there is high probability that many will snap, stab, rob, hurt, or trample people.

I prefer that every Moslem State build its own local copy of Al Kaaba for the pilgrims not able to afford this expensive and long pilgrimage to Mecca.  The local cube Kaaba will be shrouded with the black veil without the gold strings and tents erected all around the kaaba for an overnight sleep, at most.  Thus, the poorer Moslems and citizens of other religious denominations will be walking around the local kaaba, pray in their tents facing the Kaaba, and not having to stone any columns representing satan.  Since no sandals should be lost then, no sandal merchants should be allowed in the vicinity.

The only requirement for pilgrims is to sign an affidavit that, on returning from this mini-haj, they should return the favor to those kind-hearted people who were of service to them, instead of hating them.  If they insists on being called “haji” then, a certificate of “national haj” could be delivered, at no cost to the tax payers.

Darling, your insufferable love; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Blue sea eyes; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Cuddling in my arms; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Hiroshima is my City like; (Mar. 26, 2010)

 

Medina, the first Islam City-State; (Mar. 26, 2010)

 

First Islam civil war: Battle of ”The Camel”

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) failed in its mission; (Mar. 27, 2010)

 

Not a grain of faith in me darling; (Mar. 28, 2010)

 

In “Rainbow over the Levant (Near East)” novel: Dialogue

 

Militias covering all States in the USA; (Mar. 28, 2010)

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“.

Part Two: “When we befriend death”; (Mar. 23, 2010)

 

How Globalization can function adequately for the poorer countries? (Mar. 24, 2010)

 

Darling, your insufferable love; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Blue sea eyes; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Cuddling in my arms; (Mar. 25, 2010)

 

Hiroshima is my City like; (Mar. 26, 2010)

 

Medina, the first Islam City-State; (Mar. 26, 2010)

Medina, the first Islam City-State; (Mar. 26, 2010)

Many Moslems do not turn toward Mecca to get inspiration: They turn toward Medina where the Prophet Muhammad ruled, established his message, and was buried.  The Prophet Muhammad was buried in his green overcoat, in the ground, under the bed of Aicha, his most beloved wife, in this humble room apartment, a door opening directly to the first mosque.

The same small “apartment” where the Prophet head was in the mosque, extending his head through the door for Aicha to wash his long hair.

Muhammad had to flee Mecca in 622 after his powerful wife Khadija trespassed. Mecca had over 360 idols representing the Gods of countless tribes, paying pilgrimage every year and being scalped of every dime they carried with them on a week-long debauched festivities.

Muhammad was welcomed in Medina (Yathreb) as a prince after the two main tribes of Aws and Khazraj extended an invitation to settle after many years of negotiation. The immigrant Moslems from Mecca (the Muhajirun) had preceded their Prophet to Medina many months ahead of him.  The Muhajirun were the strangers and they were almost penniless; the tribes of Medina had to accommodate them within their residences and find them work in their fields to earn a living.

The first 4 years were glorious years: it was the period when recognition of individual rights and development as equal converts to Allah superseded tribal attachment and customs.  Women didn’t wear the veil and walked the streets unaccompanied my male relatives.

The veil was a custom in Mecca for the aristocratic women to be discriminated from common women and slaves.  Medina was an agricultural vast city extending for miles over several villages of clans and tribes. Women worked the field with men, and wearing veil was unheard of.

The women in Medina were working people and Medina was mainly a matriarchal society.  The wife had to simply lock the door of her tent for the husband to go find a sleeping place among his clan.

The muhajirun from patriarchal Mecca felt lost and appalled in this new community of traditions and customs, where sexuality was not a big deal and women had a say in city politics.

In the first four years, women demanded equality with men and got it in the Koran. The Prophet went at great length detailing heritage procedure and shares for every member of the family; even an orphan and a child born from a slave and a free person (regardless of gender) had a share as any other member of the family.

Muhammad insisted that at least one of his wives join him in his military expeditions to the grand dam of the masculine army.  People of both genders would visit the Prophet’s wives for clarifications and explanations on verses of the Koran and the daily routines of behavior.  There was no dividing space line between private and public life: And the Prophet was constantly harassed with countless queries even in his residence because the new converts wanted to learn the new message of change.

Then, Muhammad lost the battle of Uhud in 626 against a coalition of tribes under the leadership of Quraich of Mecca.

Three hard years of civil unrest in Medina followed.  Muhammad opted for defensive attitudes and no serious military campaigns “razzia” brought much loot for the survival of the growing followers in Medina.

Believing in Allah and his Prophet took serious shaking down and the incredulous turn to cynicism, calumny, and even open anger.  One clan leader entered the apartment of Aicha and Muhammad and demanded of the Prophet to swap Aicha with one of his wives.

The wives of Muhammad were apprehended in the streets with sexual overtones under the pretense that the “munafikeen” thought they were women slaves since they wore no veil.

The second Caliph Omar was the most intransigent misogyny “muhajer”:  he kept harassing the Prophet for demanding women to wear the veil and to refrain from dealing in public affairs.

People were becoming openly highly critical of Muhammad’s behaviors and his selection of newer wives.  This open space between private and public life was to tumble down gradually under the massive pressures of little military excursions and civil unrest.

Verses were pronounced to drop curtains in Muhammad’s apartment for visitors who were not invited.  Omar obtained that the wives of the Prophet start wearing veils when out of their residences.  The Prophet who never beat or slapped any of his wives had also to permit male ascendancy in the family.

Violent Omar was told by Muhammad “You may slap your wives but this would be the behavior of the unaccomplished Moslem

The next year to the battle of Uhud, Quraich tribes came back and set siege to Medina for 28 days.

For the first time in Arabia, a large ditch was dug around a city for defense purposes to enemy cavalry. Civil unrest in Medina grew and women avoided walking out their residences.  The Prophet had to give priority to political survival at the expense of equal rights to all converts, for both genders, for class differences, and for further emancipation of slaves.

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”


adonis49

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