Muhammad Speaks – and It’s Not Pretty

Over seventeen years after the September 11 attacks, it is still commonplace to hear Islam called a religion of peace. Muslims and non-Muslim Islamic apologists in the West routinely characterize the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, as a champion of human rights.

16/10/09 TODAY Picture by Tal Cohen –
Muslims protest outside Geert Wilders press conference in central London 16 October 2009, Wilders who faces prosecution in the Netherlands for anti-Islam remarks pays visit to the capital. The Freedom Party leader said ‘Lord Malcolm Pearson has invited me to come to the House of Lords to discuss our future plans to show Fitna the movie.’ Wilders won an appeal on October 13 against a ban, enforced in February, from entering Britain. Ministers felt his presence would threaten public safety and lead to interfaith violence. (Photo by Tal Cohen) All Rights Reserved – Tal Cohen – T: +44 (0) 7852 485 415
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The Muslim writer Farida Khanam portrays him as meek, mild, and full of love and compassion: “His heart was filled with intense love for all humankind irrespective of caste, creed, or color.” Muhammad “was, by all accounts,” says Islamic scholar Carl Ernst, “a charismatic person known for his integrity.” Karen Armstrong, in her Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, claims that Muhammad “abjured violence and pursued a daring, inspired policy of non-violence that was worthy of Gandhi.”

In his new documentary film Muhammad In His Own Words, Randall Terry exposes all this hagiography for what it is by doing what Islamic apologists most dread Americans doing: quoting Muhammad’s words and recounting his deeds from the earliest Islamic sources. What those sources reveal is startling to those who assume that Muhammad, as the founder of what is blandly included among the “world’s great religions,” taught benevolence and magnanimity: Muhammad was a warlord who led battles, order the assassination of his enemies, and amassed multiple wives and sex slaves, including a nine-year-old girl.

Why does the prospect of quoting Muhammad’s own words, as is done so effectively in this film, so frighten Islamic apologists, who themselves for the most part avoid doing so? Because of statements such as these, which are found in hadiths (traditions reporting Muhammad’s words and deeds) that Muslims consider reliable.

Muhammad said: “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” (Muslim 1:33)

There is a threat attached in another version of that hadith, which has Muhammad saying: “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally.” (Bukhari 8:387) Their blood and property will be sacred to us – that is, left undisturbed, instead of their being killed and their property seized.

Muhammad said: “Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious.” (Abu Dawud 14:2527)

Muhammad said: “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords.” (Bukhari 52:73)

Muhammad said: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…  When you meet your enmies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them… If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Muslim 19:4294)

One of Muhammad’s followers asked him, “Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is the best?” Muhammad answered: “Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause…” (Muslim 1:149)

Muhammad said: “There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth.” One of his followers asked, “What is that act?” Muhammad replied: “Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah!” (Muslim 20:4645)

Muhammad said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” (Bukhari 52:177)

Muhammad said: “I have been made victorious with terror.” (Bukhari 52:220)

All this is extremely important because these are not statements without contemporary resonance. The Qur’an and Islamic tradition are clear that Muhammad is the supreme example of behavior for Muslims to follow. He is “an excellent model of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21). He demonstrates “an exalted standard of character” (68:4), and indeed, “he who obeys the Messenger [Muhammad], obeys Allah” (4:80). The Qur’an frequently tells Muslims to obey Allah and Muhammad: while the Muslim holy book takes for granted that Muhammad is fallible (cf. 48:2; 80:1-12), it also instructs Muslims repeatedly to obey him (3:32; 3:132; 4:13; 4:59; 4:69; 5:92; 8:1; 8:20; 8:46; 9:71; 24:47; 24:51; 24:52; 24:54; 24:56; 33:33; 47:33; 49:14; 58:13; 64:12).

Policymakers and pundits generally do not want to examine the evidence that Terry has amassed in this film because its conclusions could be frightening. If the terrorists have not “hijacked” a peaceful religion, if they have not perverted Islam’s substance, then what? Do you want to see a global war? But if Muhammad’s own life and teachings are the source of jihad violence, identifying that truth will allow for clear-minded policymaking, make possible honest reform within Islam, and have the advantage of being based on the facts.

Muhammad In His Own Words takes us from politically correct fantasy about Muhammad to harsh reality. The implications are enormous. If America is to survive the contemporary global jihad onslaught as a free society, it will be due in large part to eye-opening doses of truth such as this one. The film can be ordered at

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