By Syed Manzoor Alam, New Age Islam
August 24, 2013
The first category of attacks, as discussed in the previous article, was total falsehood having no basis in historical facts. The second category of attacks is distorted truths. They are not lies, something is factual in them, but then certain elements are interfered in, certain things are added, in cooking terminology- certain flavours are added which twists the entire “taste” of things.
We have to realise that there is always a negative way of representing a fact. The best example that fits in this type is of the woman who came to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): the woman comes up and complaints to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that “my husband beats me when I pray, he forces me to break my fast and he misses Fajr regularly”.
So the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) called her husband, he did not give his judgement only after hearing one side of the story, he did not base his judgement just on the word of one party. The man came and said ‘O Messenger of Allah, I am a young man I come home from the fields, working all day and my wife is standing in prayer, I want the dinner to be ready, so I tell her to shorten the prayer. And she is fasting every single day and I would like be a husband to her on some days and she does not have to fast all year round, she can fast in Ramadan, that’s why I don’t want her to pray long, and I don’t want her to do extra Nafil fasts”.
The man also said “O Messenger of Allah we are a family that has some sleeping problem, I want to wake up but because of the disease I cannot, except with great difficulty”. So the Prophet replied that as soon as he awakes up he should pray.
After hearing the other side of the story as well, the Prophet said that the husband is right and he told his wife that she does not have to pray Surah Baqura, she can even pray Surah Ikhlas as well. There is no problem in that. So the Prophet sided with the husband.
Now the question arises, did the wife lie? The response is no. The wife was absolutely truthful, but it is a matter of perspective. That is why having a bias against Islam would lead the person to see this in a twisted way.
Another common example, which we find in so many anti-Islamic websites, is that the Prophet, in the early Medinal phase resorted to highway robbery. That he would hide on the side of the road with his men and every time a caravan went, he would attack and rob them and take their goods and belongings. This is a total lie that he would attack the caravans, but actually it can also come under the category of distorted truths.
First of all, the Prophet and his Companions never raided at random; secondly there was no raid on the caravans unconditionally. But it was on Quraysh. There is a big difference between caravans and Quraysh. Yes, to the Quraysh, Muhammad’s (pbuh) companions would definitely raid, not because the Prophet and his men were blood-thirsty, but because of 13 years of oppression and after being kicked out of their home city, because of their belongings being confiscated by them. The Muslims had no money because they left in a hurry to save their lives, otherwise they would have been killed in thousands and only after a verse from the Quran which was revealed which said “Permission has been to you to fight because you have been wronged” then only Muslims retorted. So the Muslims had the right to respond back to them only. The Companions of the Prophet never attacked caravans of other tribes; it was only the caravans of the Quraysh that were attacked. This is a factual statement, but it is twisted to give a negative meaning.
Another example is that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) orchestrated a mind-Holocaust of the Jews of Medina, specifically the Banu Qurayza. Yes, this statement is true that the Jews of Banu Qurayza were executed but nobody gives you the details, why?
The Jews were accused of treason; they were accused of trying to plot in the Battle of the Trench, within the city, to overthrow the Muslims. That is treason, and in any country, even so-called “secular, democratic” countries the punishment is extremely harsh. When they (the Muslims) were surrounded by 10,000 of the Quraysh, of the Pagan armies, and within Medina all of a sudden, the Banu Qurayda revolts. The Banu Qarayda tries to instigate the fifth column internally and they almost succeeded, if Allah (swt) had not shown their plot.
It was the result of the betrayal of the Jews, during the time of war which is high treason in any country. So the punishment given to them were not because they were Jews, it was because they committed treason. This has nothing to do with their ethnicity or religion. Another thing that must be kept in mind that this was not even the judgement of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) but it was the judgement of the Sad Ibn Muadh, who was chosen to pass a sentence on them. This is the fact that Jews were executed, but the truth is different! Let us not confuse Truth with mere facts.
Another half-baked truth is that initially the Prophet was very fond of Jews and Christians but later on scorned them. This is a fact but truth lies only after knowing the details. Earlier the Prophet was fond of Jews and Christians because he was hoping that these people are the People of the Book, so he was optimistic that these people would recognize him as a prophet and that they would follow him.
Instead when they tried to kill him on more than three occasions, when they rejected his message with the utmost severity, when they sided with the pagans and when they said, as the Quran tells us, “You are more rightly guided than these people who worship God alone”. So after all of this, the Prophet cut off all ties with them.
So all these are half-truths, or distorted truths. It is a matter of perspective and with the twist of the truth, the perspective almost always gives a negative impression, until and unless the context is given and we go into the historicity of the things. Then only do we get to know that truth behind the fact. So our job is to contextualize and give a frame of reference.