Thursday, 12 December 2013

Fornication Incidents and Muhammad's Great Wisdom

Ibn Kammuna

Muhammad, it is claimed, was one of the wisest men ever lived. I have shown in some of my previous writings that this is in fact far from the truth. In this article, I present to the reader two hadiths that have a similar story. We will analyze those hadiths from a purely moral perspective. We want to discover Muhammad’s “wisdom” in those hadiths.

Here is the first hadith:

Dawud - Book 38, Number 4451:
Narrated Sahl ibn Sa'd: A man came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and made acknowledgment before him that he had committed fornication with a woman whom he named. The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) sent someone to the woman and he asked her about it. She denied that she had committed fornication. So he gave him the prescribed punishment of Lashes and left her.

In the above story, a man comes to Muhammad and tells him that he fornicated with a woman. Muhammad does the right thing by going to the woman to ask her if this is in fact the case. She denies it. So, Muhammad punishes the man by himself for fornication, at least that’s how I read the punishment for in the above hadith. Here, it seems clear that Muhammad did two wrongs. First, he punishes a man for fornication that did not occur (according to the story). If anything, the man should be punished for lying only. Second, what did Muhammad expect the woman to say? If she admits to the relation, she will be punished too. She denied it and so Muhammad cannot punish her. Why, then, did Muhammad believe her, and not the man who came to him? It is evident that Muhammad had no way of knowing who was telling the truth. In a court of law, such a case will be dismissed for lack of evidence. But apparently, that was not the case with the wisest man ever lived!!

Let us now look at a very similar story, but this time Muhammad decides to take a different action. Here is the hadith:

Dawud - Book 38, Number 4452:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: A man of Bakr ibn Layth came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and made confession four times that he had committed fornication with a woman, so he had a hundred lashes administered to him. The man had not been married. He then asked him to produce proof against the woman, and she said: I swear by Allah, Apostle of Allah, that he has lied. Then he was given the punishment of eighty lashes of falsehood.

Here again, a man comes to Muhammad and tells him that he had committed fornication. So, Muhammad administers the punishment right away. What more do you want? The man admitted guilt. That is well. But the problem comes after that. Muhammad asks the man to produce proof against the woman. Shouldn’t Muhammad have done that before punishing the man? The fact that he punished the man has an implied acceptance by Muhammad that the man and the woman are both guilty. Why else would he punish the man? So, asking for a proof against the woman is an unrealistic one. The story does not end here. The woman denies it, and it seemed that Muhammad accepted her word. Well, if this is the case, why did he punish the man? And shouldn’t Muhammad have asked the woman about it before prescribing any punishment against the poor young man? It does not end here either. Muhammad gives a second punishment to the man for lying! I do not know how Muhammad knew that the man lied. He said he did commit fornication. The woman denied it. In such a case, the case should be dismissed in court. But again, Muhammad, being such a good feminist (I am just joking here), accepts the woman’s word for it, and gives the man a double dose of punishments.
The above hadiths clearly show that Muhammad was not consistent or wise in judging or analyzing situations. He did not have the analytical ability needed to be just and fair when dealing with people’s problems and faults.



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