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PART VI: How the Contemporaries of Muhammad Dealt with him as a Human Being during his Lifetime

PART VI: How the Contemporaries of Muhammad Dealt with him as a Human Being during his Lifetime




Published in January 29, 2020

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy




The Belief Is Not In Muhammad But In What Has Descended Upon Muhammad: Those Who Believe In Muhammad Are Disbelievers: PART VI


How the contemporaries of Muhammad dealt with him as a human being during his lifetime



Firstly: believers and disbelievers in Arabia called Prophet Muhammad by his first name:

1- Severe punishments wait for those who dare address the general guide of the 'Islamic' republic of Iran by his first name (i.e., Ali Ibn Jawad) instead of honorifics like Ayatollah and Rohollah. The same applies to those who dare address head-sheikh of Al-Azhar by his first name (i.e., Ahmad Al-Tayyib) instead of the honorific title the Grand Imam. Even ordinary, low-rank Azharite sheikhs or scholars who wear the Azharite uniform arrogantly refuse to be addressed by their first names; they insist on being addressed by (the reverend sheikh). The same applies to those who dare address the Wahabi sheikh Al-Qaradawy with his first name (i.e., Youssef) or the Shiite high-rank sheikh Al-Sistani by his first name (i.e., Ali). Likewise, within the different ranks of Christian clergymen in Egypt, from ordinary priests to popes, no one among the Orthodox Christian Copts dare to address them by their first names or their original names given to them before their joining the ranks of clergy and monks. Thus, no one addressed the late Pope Shenouda III with his real name (i.e., Nazeer Gayed Roufael); no one dares to address the current pope, Pope Tawadros II, with his real name (i.e., Waguih Subhy Baqi Suleiman). No Copts in Egypt dare to address ordinary priests by their names; they use the title (our father). Clergymen of all types everywhere invent their own 'holy' titles and honorifics to give the false impression to others that they are above all ordinary people who deify and sanctify such clergy.         

2- The disbelievers/polytheists within the ancient nations had their own clergymen as well; they were honest and more frank with themselves; i.e., they deified their clergymen overtly and shamelessly. They considered prophets and messengers as human beings like them; they despised and ridiculed them and accused them of lunacy and sorcery; they called messengers and prophets by their first names. We exemplify this in the points below.

2/1: About the people of Noah:

2/1/1: "They said, “O Noah, you have argued with us, and argued a great deal. Now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are truthful.”" (11:32).

2/1/2: "They said, “If you do not refrain, O Noah, you will be stoned.”" (26:116).

2/2: About the people of Aad: "They said, “O Hud, you did not bring us any evidence, and we are not about to abandon our gods at your word, and we are not believers in you.”" (11:53).

2/3: About the people of Thamood:

2/3/1: "...“O Saleh, bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are one of the messengers.”" (7:77).

2/3/2: "They said, “O Saleh, we had hopes in you before this. Are you trying to prevent us from worshiping what our parents worship? We are in serious doubt regarding what you are calling us to.”" (11:62).

2/4: About the people of Abraham: "They said, “Are you the one who did this to our gods, O Abraham?”" (21:62).

2/5: About the people of Lot: "They said, “Unless you refrain, O Lot, you will be expelled.”" (26:167).

2/6: About the people of Madian:

2/6/1: "They said, “O Shuaib, does your prayer command you that we abandon what our ancestors worshiped, or doing with our wealth what we want?...”" (11:87).

2/6/2: "They said, “O Shuaib, we do not understand much of what you say, and we see that you are weak among us. Were it not for your tribe, we would have stoned you. You are of no value to us.”" (11:91).

2/6/3: "The arrogant elite among his people said, “O Shuaib, We will evict you from our town, along with those who believe with you, unless you return to our religion.” He said, “Even if we are unwilling?”" (7:88).

3- True, monotheistic believers have no clergymen of any type. Muhammad was the messenger and prophet who conveyed the Quranic Message while being a mortal human being like them and among them. This is why during his lifetime in Arabia, they called Muhammad by his first name without any honorifics or titles; we provide more examples in the following points.

3/1: The Israelites called Moses by his first name; they never addressed him by saying (our 'master' Moses!):

3/1/1: "...“O Moses, we cannot endure one kind of food, so call to your Lord to produce for us of what the earth grows: of its herbs, and its cucumbers, and its garlic, and its lentils, and its onions.”..." (2:61).

3/1/2: "They said, “O Moses, there are tyrannical people in it; we will not enter it until they leave it. If they leave it, we will be entering.”" (5:22).

3/1/3: "They said, “O Moses, we will not enter it, ever, as long as they are in it. So go ahead, you and your Lord, and fight. We are staying right here.”" (5:24).

3/1/4: "And recall that you said, “O Moses, we will not believe in you unless we see God plainly.” Thereupon the thunderbolt struck you, as you looked on." (2:55).

3/1/5: "And We delivered the Israelites across the sea. And when they came upon a people who were devoted to some statues of theirs, they said, “O Moses, make for us a god, as they have gods.” He said, “You are truly an ignorant people.”" (7:138).

3/2: The same applies to Jesus; his disciples called him by his first name without any honorifics or titles: "“And when the disciples said, 'O Jesus son of Mary, is your Lord able to bring down for us a table from heaven?' He said, 'Fear God within piety, if you are believers.'“" (5:112).


Secondly: how the believers dealt with Muhammad during his lifetime:

  After the early believers among the immigrants settled in Yathreb, thus forming the very first Muslim society, the Quranic Chapter 24 was revealed with certain social legislations and certain prohibitions and penalties.

1- Social legislations include to seek prior permission before entering into any houses.

1/1: "O you who believe! Do not enter homes other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted their occupants. That is better for you, that you may be aware. And if you find no one in them, do not enter them until you are given permission. And if it is said to you, “Turn back,” then turn back. That is more proper for you. God is aware of what you do. There is no blame on you for entering uninhabited houses, in which are belongings of yours. God knows what you reveal and what you conceal." (24:27-29).

1/2: "O you who believe! Permission must be requested by your servants and those of you who have not reached puberty. On three occasions: before the Dawn Prayer, and at noon when you change your clothes, and after the Evening Prayer. These are three occasions of privacy for you. At other times, it is not wrong for you or them to intermingle with one another. God thus clarifies the Verses for you. God is Knowledgeable and Wise. When the children among you reach puberty, they must ask permission, as those before them asked permission. God thus clarifies His Verses for you. God is Knowledgeable and Wise." (24:58-59).

2- Social legislations, never known to Arabs before, include the following ones about how to be civilized about hosting or having guests: "There is no blame on the blind, nor any blame on the lame, nor any blame on the sick, nor on yourselves for eating at your homes, or your fathers’ homes, or your mothers’ homes, or your brothers’ homes, or your sisters’ homes, or the homes of your paternal uncles, or the homes of your paternal aunts, or the homes of your maternal uncles, or the homes of your maternal aunts, or those whose keys you own, or the homes of your friends. You commit no wrong by eating together or separately. But when you enter any home, greet one another with a greeting from God, blessed and good. God thus explains the Verses for you, so that you may understand." (24:61).

3- When some believing Arabs violated these social legislations and entered into the chambers/houses of Muhammad without getting prior permission, the following verse was revealed: "O you who believe! Do not enter the homes of the prophet, unless you are given permission to come for a meal; and do not wait for its preparation. And when you are invited, go in. And when you have eaten, disperse, without lingering for conversation. This irritates the prophet, and he shies away from you, but God does not shy away from the truth. And when you ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a screen; that is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You must never offend the Messenger of God, nor must you ever marry his wives after him, for that would be an enormity with God." (33:53).

4- The case of Desert-Arabs was worse; they apparently never heard about these Quranic social legislations once they were revealed; some of them were uncouth Bedouins who called Muhammad so loudly and raised their voices too much while addressing them; this is why the following verses were revealed: "O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the prophet, and do not speak loudly to him, as you speak loudly to one another, lest your works be in vain without you realizing. Those who lower their voices before God’s messenger - those are they whose hearts God has tested for piety. They will have forgiveness and a great reward. Those who call you from behind the chambers - most of them do not understand. Had they remained patient until you came out to them, it would have been better for them. But God is Forgiving and Merciful." (49:2-5).

5- We provide more details about legislations within some Meccan verses.

5/1: Descriptions of how a Muslim society should be are mentioned in several verses including the following one: "And those who respond to their Lord, and pray regularly, and conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, and give of what We have provided them." (42:38). Shura consultation here is emphasized; it means direct democracy. This is an Islamic religious duty; citizens manage their political (and other) affairs themselves (i.e., even without a parliament of representatives); this Shura prevents the emergence of enthroned tyrannical rulers and affluent, corrupt retinue members who monopolize power and wealth; more details about this can be found in our book about the Islamic Shura consultation.  

5/2: Once the Muslim society was formed in the Yathreb city-state, calls in the name of the messenger, Muhammad, were made regularly to hold councils of Shura for all (fe)male, (non)hypocritical, and (non)believing citizens equally; some people were lax about attending such councils or general assemblies of direct democracy. The enormity of such sin and the danger it brought made the Lord God warn them here: "The believers are those who believe in God and His Messenger, and when they are with him for a matter of common interest, they do not leave until they have asked him for permission. Those who ask your permission are those who believe in God and His Messenger. So when they ask your permission to attend to some affair of theirs, give permission to any of them you wish, and ask God’s forgiveness for them. God is Forgiving and Merciful. Do not address the messenger in the same manner you address one another. God knows those of you who slip away using flimsy excuses. So let those who oppose his orders beware, lest an ordeal strikes them, or a painful torment befalls them." (24:62-63). Of course, the term (His Messenger) here is the Quran itself when pronounced by Muhammad to his contemporaries.

5/3: Within these Shura consultation councils, the human character of Muhammad manifested itself; he was no deity at all; despite his receiving the Quranic revelation, he has been commanded, in the Quran, to adhere to Shura; this means his authority as the leader of the Yathreb city-state was not derived from the divine revelation (a claim professed by self-deified tyrannical pharaohs who ascribe their authority directly to God to 'justify' their injustices and crimes) but from the nation/citizens; this means the nation is the only source of authorities in Islam. Muhammad would have lost his authority as a leader if the Yathreb city-state citizens would have deserted him; this is why the Lord God has addressed the following to Muhammad: "It is by of grace from God that you were gentle with them. Had you been harsh, hardhearted, they would have dispersed from around you. So pardon them, and ask forgiveness for them, and consult them in the conduct of affairs. And when you make a decision, put your trust in God; God loves the trusting." (3:159).

5/4: Before Muhammad and the immigrants reached Yathreb, the controlling and ruling circles there were the affluent polytheists; they became the hypocrites later on; they resented losing their authority power, and stature once Muhammad and the immigrants settled in Yathreb; they hated the Shura direct democracy that distributed political influence and authority equally among the Yathreb city-state citizens. Muhammad listened to all of them during the Shura councils; the furious hypocrites hated the new state of affairs in Yathreb. Their reactions were as follows.     

5/4/1: They mockingly accused Muhammad of being (all ears); Muhammad remained silent and never defended himself or refuted this accusation; the Lord God is the One Who defended Muhammad here: "And among them are those who insult the prophet, and say, “He is all ears.” Say, “He listens for your own good. He believes in God, and trusts the believers, and is mercy for those of you who believe.” Those who insult the Messenger of God will have a painful torment." (9:61).

5/4/2: They opposed and disrupted the Shura councils by holding many meetings of conspiring, ridiculing, and backbiting; this is one of the several Quranic verses about this historical fact: "Have you noted those who were prohibited from conspiring secretly, but then reverted to what they were prohibited from? They conspire to commit sin, and aggression, and defiance of the Messenger. And when they come to you, they greet you with a greeting that God never greeted you with. And they say within themselves, “Why does God not punish us for what we say?” Hell is enough for them. They will roast in it. What a miserable destiny!" (58:8).

6- Many Quranic verses assert that Muhammad was a mortal human being; yet he and his wives had their own special Quranic legislations; they were temporary ones regarding this particular time and place as they will never be applied after the death of these human beings (i.e., Muhammad and his wives). These legislations are mentioned in the Quranic Chapter 33 or more specifically in the following verses: 33:6, 33:28-34, and 33:50-53.


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