”An interesting discussion with Ali Sina”
Wahid: You wrote:
5. Can you tell me anything about the life of Muhammad and the practices of Islam without referring to the hadith? You can’t.
A Muslim does not need any more information about Prophet’s life than what is given in the Qur’an. You should realize the importance and status God gave to Muhammad by selecting him as His messenger. It is such a person whom you try to malign with hadith literature about which you yourself are doubtful!
One can very well practise Islam without any additional information on Prophet.
Sina: You already said that before but you did not prove it. You cannot separate Muhammad from his message. Apart from the fact that he told his followers to follow his sunnah, which is recorded he hadith, the credibility of Muhammad as a prophet is also important. We have to study this man’s life to see whether he was a trustworthy person or a liar. I did and I came to the conclusion that he was a narcissist, a mentally disturbed man who lied and believed in his own lies. He was unable to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. You can say he was a “sincere liar” because he was mentally sick.
Wahid: In my previous message I wrote:
Prophet Muhammad’s traditions are those given in the Qur’an itself. He didn’t have any other tradition. If he had other traditions, he would not have been projected as good model in the Qur’an. Therefore any report of his tradition not compatible with the directions of Allah in the Qur’an is false.
Sina: This is an unsubstantiated statement. Let us say I claim to be a prophet. In order to fool people I will preach good things that they find agreeable. But since I am a conman and a liar, I will live a very immoral life. My words and my deeds contradict each other. I tell others to be honest while I enrich myself by stealing the wealth of others….
The hadith examples quoted above in the context of obligatory prayer will substantiate my statement.
Your argument that Prophet Muhammad was preaching something which he did not practise and he was fooling people will not find any taker in the 21stcentury. Why don’t you experiment and see for yourself what will be the consequence of such a venture? From the Qur’an one can understand that Muhammad did not even know the true Faith (based on earlier Scriptures – meaning that he was neither a Jew nor a Christian) before he became Prophet.
42:52 And thus We transmitted to you a rooh (i.e., the Qur’an) from Our command. You did not know what the Book (i.e., Scripture) was and (what) the Faith was. But We made it (i.e., the Qur’an) a light. We guide with it whom We wish from Our servants. And verily you are guiding (people) to the right path.
Muhammad was an illiterate person living in a society of idolaters and polytheists and had no idea about the true Faith (meaning monotheistic ideology). It was such a person God selected to convey to the world “God is one and He has no partners” – the core tenet of Islam. It is to this doctrine of unicity of God (tawhid), Prophet Muhammad invited his polytheist and idol-worshipping people to Islam – the religion of God. For that he had to face the wrath of people because he was asking them to reject all of their long-cherished traditions and beliefs (naturally – the same thing will happen now also if somebody does it). Now imagine what would have been the situation if Muhammad practised idolatry while preaching monotheism to the people! Ali Sina, your imagination and the stories you concoct go far beyond human wisdom. You are not only trying to make Prophet Muhammad a conman but the people of that era the most foolish lot!
Sina: So you say that my claim that Muhammad was a conman fooling people will not find any taker in the 21st century? Obviously you are new to FFI. The message of FFI is spreading much faster than Islam and is awakening Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Muhammad was an enigma to me even after I realized he was not a prophet. After reading the Qur’an it became clear to me that this book is not from God. It became also clear that Muhammad was a very evil man, a raider, a looter, a rapist, mass murderer, etc. But at the same time it appeared that Muhammad believed to be a prophet. Many hadiths bewildered me. He lied, but he appeared to believe in what he said and quite convinced of his mission. For a couple of years the question boggled me, until I found the answer in psychology. That answer can be found in my book. Anyone who reads my book will understand Muhammad and will leave Islam. My insight into Muhammad’s mind is unique. It was never given before and once Muslims start gaining that insight Islam will become history. Many of the ex-Muslims you see in this site have left Islam because of that book. It is a different book because it does not just tell the readers what happened. That information is everywhere. It explains what made Muhammad tick. Once you read the book and understand Muhammad, you will be able to interpret everything he said and did and he will no longer be an enigma to you. The insight contained in my book will end Islam. The challenge is to spread it. That is not difficult. Everyone who reads the book recommends it to others.
I challenge you to read it and try to hold to your faith after reading it. You will not be able to do so. I also promise that should you or anyone disprove my thesis logically, I will withdraw my book from circulation, will announce publicly that I was proven wrong and will give up the ownership of faithfreedom.org to a Muslim organization to brag for ever how the most prominent enemy of Islam was defeated.
You don’t have to buy my book. I will send it to you should you accept my challenge.
Wahid: You wrote:
7. Sina: There are many contradictions between the Qur’an and hadith. However there are also many contradictions within the Qur’an itself….
Sina: There is inconsistency even within the Qur’an. Are you prepared to reject the Qur’an?
If you start accepting the fact that the Qur’an is not the word of God but those of Muhammad, things will make a lot more sense to you and the mystery that is boggling Muslim scholars will be solved.
We will discuss these broad subjects later, if needed. Insha Allah.
You also wrote:
8a. Sina: Exaggeration is part of the mental makeup of the Middle Eastern people and Bukhari was a Persian. This collector of hadith bragged that he collected one million hadiths. But no one took that number literally. What he intended to say, and everybody understood, is that there were ‘many’ other hadiths that he rejected on the ground that they were weak.
Let’s take a look at the size of the hadiths…. Let us say Bukhari six days per week. Friday he rested, went to bath and to perform his Jum’a prayer. So in one week he could not have collected more than 60 hadith. In one year, assuming this guy never took any vacations, never got sick, never had any social life, he could not have collected more than 3000 hadiths. Bukhari lived 60 years. If he did this for thirty years, all he could have collected were 90,000 hadiths…. If you deny the hadiths, it is because you are delusional.
8b. I agree that the ahadith should not be taken as the source of guidance, as the ahle Sunnah have taken them, but they are the only source of the history of Islam. It is simply impossible to disregard them.
These (8a and 8b) are your statements that contradict your own views about the veracity of hadiths. You asked me (see item no. 3) whether the great imams were enemies, etc. Now you yourself say (see 8a) that the word of Bukhari is not true! And you also calculated how many hadiths he had collected (much same way you identify the ‘authentic’ hadiths with your logic)! All the readers have seen how absurdly you calculated the number of hadiths Bukhari had gathered 1200 years ago claiming that your figure is more precise than what Bukhari himself gave! They have also seen how forcefully you are trying to convince them of the accuracy of your figure! You exposed yourself too much by doing that. Obviously the reader will judge your arguments accordingly. Please do not underestimate the readers’ ability to distinguish the rubbish from the obvious as you underestimated the intelligence of the people whom you say Prophet Muhammad had ‘fooled’.
Sina: I don’t think Bukhari was a liar. He just exaggerated the number of hadiths that he collected. No one but you seems to have failed to understand that. A mother may tell her child, “I told you a million times, to take off your shoes when you lie on your bed.” Now the truth is that she may have told him this only three times. Would anyone call that mother a liar? This is the way of speech we humans are used to. We just throw in a large number to make a point, but few fail to understand that. All Bukhari is saying is that he collected a large number, or as we say these days, “a zillion” hadiths that he thought were false. I showed you that it is impossible to take that number literally. To write 1,000,000 hadiths in 30 years one has to write a minimum of 100 of them every day of the year non-stop. This is humanly impossible. You cannot even read one million hadiths in thirty years, let alone write that many of them with pen and ink on paper. All you had to do was stop for a minute, click on your calculator that comes with your Microsoft Windows and do a little math to see Bukhari did not mean 1,000,000 hadiths literally.
Bukhari was also a family man and an imam who had a private and a social life too. So the number is clearly an exaggeration. In all likelihood the total number of hadiths that he collected was no more than 10 to 15 thousand (which is a lot).
I never called Bukhari a liar. It is you who call him a liar and you must tell us why a man who dedicated his life to Islam hated it so much to lie about his own prophet and why all other collectors of hadith also lied and why no scholar of Islam ever objected to those lies, until now?
Wahid: To my surprise, you also agree (see 8b) that “the ahadith should not be taken as the source of guidance as the ahle sunnah have taken them.” But at the same time you say it can be taken for historical information! You are making your arguments a mockery of sorts by applying opposing canons of judgement. These statements (8a and b) further confirm the fact that you have no confidence in hadith literature but yet you use hadith literature to tarnish the image of Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
Sina: I am not a Muslim. But if I were one, I would not give the same weight to the words of men as I would give to the words of God. The hadith are stories about Muhammad and therefore should be used as the history of Islam. This does not mean one has to reject them. The Hadith makes the Qur’an comprehensible but it is not the same as the Qur’an which is deemed to be the word of God.
This is looking from the perspective of a Muslim. Looking from my perspective, things are different. I believe that the Qur’an is the book of lies concocted by Muhammad, while the hadith are the observations of his followers that in most cases are true. I do not trust a word of the Qur’an as I know the source is none but Muhammad who was a pathological liar. But I do trust many of the stories reported in the Hadith, especially those depicting Muhammad as a criminal. Those stories are like confessions and they are the only ones that matter. When Muslims bragged about how wonderful Muhammad was, they could have been lying. But when they portrayed him as a thug, there is no reason to suspect they were lying. This is a clear logic.
Joe is accused of a crime. He will sit in the court and in his own defense he will tell how wonderful he is. The judge does not pay any attention to how Joe brags about his virtues. He listens carefully to pick up a word or a phrase to prove he is a liar. The same can be said here. It does not matter how Muslims praised Muhammad and how many false miracles they attributed to him. All that matters to us are when they spoke of his crimes. Those are like confessions. It’s those confessions that matter. There are many such confessions in the Qur’an and in the hadith.
So let me come back to the original question once again which you have evaded previously:
Don’t you accept the most basic principle of rational debate that if one’s argument is to be valid, the information on which he bases his argument should be authentic? How can you criticize Islam and Prophet Muhammad based on hadith literature whose authenticity is uncertain to yourself?
Only if you answer this question clearly, honestly and to the point, is there any meaning in our debate. This applies equally to all other contents of your website.
Ali Sina, let us be frank, unbiased and rational.
Sina: I already answered this question a million times. Darn, I did it too! I take that back, I answered it several times. I repeat it again. I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of hadiths that portray Muhammad as a criminal. There is no reason for devout followers to libel the man they love more than their own lives. Such behavior is contrary to commonsense. I do believe all the stories that show Muhammad was a ruthless, murderous, criminal are true. So, you are engaging in a straw man fallacy.
When Muslims described their beloved prophet as a thug, they reported the truth. It is clear that many of them were embarrassed of what Muhammad did and that is why they tried to justify them. As Ibn Hisham confessed he threw out a large part of the Sira of Ibn Isaq, because he thought those parts were embarrassing to Muslims. God knows how many terrible things Muhammad committed that Ibn Hisham destroyed. The truth is that the story that is left is already sanitized and you can’t even stomach that.
It’s funny that you are calling on me to be honest when the fact is that it is you who needs to be honest. You accused devout Muslims of having ulterior motives and maligning their prophet, but you did not tell us why. That is not even logical. If they had ulterior motives why did they not leave Islam? Where were the good Muslims to stop these hypocrites who wrote the entire history of Islam? Why no one objected to their lies for 1200 years?
Continues on Part Five