A short story

The grisly stories that feature in the hadiths and the biography of Mohammed were not written by his enemies but by devout followers. When confronted about events which reflect badly on Mohammed there is a tendency for Islamic apologists to cast doubt on the sources but in this case, of the murder of a Jewish poet who had insulted Mohammed, we have four of his greatest admirers combining to relate one episode.

Sahih Bukhari 4:52:271
“The Prophet said, ‘Who is ready to kill Ka’b bin Ashraf (i.e. a Jew).’ Muhammad bin Maslama replied, ‘Do you like me to kill him?’ The Prophet replied in the affirmative. Muhammad bin Maslama said, ‘Then allow me to say what I like.’ [ie lie] The Prophet replied, ‘I do (i.e. allow you).’ ”

Sahih Muslim 19:4436
….So they came and called upon him at night. He came down to them. Sufyan says that all the narrators except ‘Amr have stated that his wife said: I hear a voice which sounds like the voice of murder. He said: It is only Muhammad b. Maslama and his foster-brother, Abu Na’ila. When a gentleman is called at night even it to be pierced with a spear, he should respond to the call. Muhammad said to his companions: As he comes down, I will extend my hands towards his head and when I hold him fast, you should do your job. So when he came down and he was holding his cloak under his arm, they said to him: We sense from you a very fine smell. He said: Yes, I have with me a mistress who is the most scented of the women of Arabia. He said: Allow me to smell (the scent on your head). He said: Yes, you may smell. So he caught it and smelt. Then he said: Allow me to do so (once again). He then held his head fast and said to his companions: Do your job. And they killed him.”

al-Tabari 7:94
“Ashraf suspected no evil when Maslama cried, ‘Smite the enemy of Allah!’ So they smote him, and their swords clashed over him. Maslama said, ‘I remembered my dagger and I seized it. I thrust it into the lower part of his body. I bore down upon it until I reached his genitals. Allah’s enemy fell to the ground.’ ”

ibn-Ishaq:368
“We carried Ka’bs head back to Muhammad during the night, saluted the Prophet as he stood praying, and cast Ashraf’s head before his feet. The Prophet praised Allah that the poet had been slain, and complimented us on the good work we had done in Allah’s Cause. Our attack upon Allah’s enemy cast terror among the Jews, and there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life.’ ”

al-Tabari 7:97
“The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, ‘Kill any Jew who falls under your power.’ ”

ibn-Ishaq:369
“Thereupon Mas’ud leapt upon Sunayna, one of the Jewish merchants with whom his family had social and commercial relations and killed him. The Muslim’s brother complained, saying, ‘Why did you kill him? You have much fat in you belly from his charity.’ Mas’ud answered, ‘By Allah, had Muhammad ordered me to murder you, my brother, I would have cut off your head.’ Wherein the brother said, ‘Any religion that can bring you to this is indeed wonderful!’ ”

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