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Apocryphal-Induced Hunger of an Austere Apostle


By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

17 September, 2014

Since times immemorial it has been human nature to reverentially elevate a human being to a level of supremacy well beyond the normal standard of the society. Superstitions and ignorance had played an important role in it.

Taking advantage of these conditions, the people with higher intelligence procured and sometimes demanded such status for themselves. Often their attendants and hangers-on; the people with vested interests voluntarily accorded them even higher positions and sometimes made them gods and sons of gods.

Pharaohs, Caesars, Emperors, Conquerors and Holy men fall into the above category.

Ignorance of the masses assisted the clever ones in this process. They establish different level of stratus, and religions in which they entrenched themselves as the custodians of “knowledge”. The custodians of temples, pontiffs and priests thrived where ever these conditions prevail.

To this end voluminous religious corpus was compiled in flowery language, in order to impress the gullible so as to attribute paranormal divinity, miracles and saintly qualities to their chosen personalities. Personality cults were the order of the day.

In the case of Muslims this corpus is called Hadith and attributed to a person Muhammad, referred therein as Rasullulah. Therefore reports and narrations begin with “Qaala Rasullulah”—The Messenger of God said-, were generated by the thousands. But au Kamaa Qaal- Or he might have said something like that- is always added at the end, to play it safe.

However there was a problem. A struggle for dominance to monopolise the persona of Muhammad ensued, and two acrimonious Isms, the Sunni and the Shia sectarian factions came into play. Each has their separate corpus. Thus splitting the nation in two main parts.

The Sunnis consider the Sahih Bukhari as the most authentic holy corpus. It has its roots in Central Asia just like the others.

One of the superman qualities attributed to Muhammad in Sunni Hadith is his ability to endure extreme hunger in poverty and then also impose the same on to his large extended family and household.

A few examples of this corpus are given here:-

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, page 310/11 Hadith No.461, 462 and 466—Dr M. Muhsin Khan of Islamic University, Madinah:-

461-Narated Aisha (The so called Muhammad’s favourite child-bride), “The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Madinah till the death of the prophet”.

462-Narated Aisha, “The family of Muhammad did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates”. …And a long one is:

466-Narated Aisha that she said to ‘Urwa “O, the son of my sister! We used to see three crescents in two months, and no fire used to be made in the house of Allah’s Apostle (that is nothing used to be cooked)……”

However, at grass root level, when the above is compared with the common knowledge of history, the above seems nothing short of …… absurdity:

1-       Muhammad was born in the influential family the Quresh—custodians of the temple and rich merchants.

2-       He was nurtured in childhood and supported to the hilt by his three influential uncles.

3-       He was married to his first wife Khadija, who was twice widowed before, the richest merchant woman in Makkah. The very first and important supporter.

4-       In addition, in the early period of his mission he was fully supported by the very rich and influential companions, namely Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, who in turn became Khalifs after his death.

5-       In Madinah he and his companions were offered full protection and material support. The later important supporters.

6-       He had established a viable State and himself as head of State there.

So there never was that sort of material poverty and lack of human support as reported in above Hadith.

Interestingly also the following long winded reports in Hadith also enumerate his miraculous feats such as feeding eighty hungry people with nothing but one loaf of bread and one hundred and thirty men with just one roasted sheep and then some left for absentees-Reference Hadith 293 and 294 volume 7 pages 224 and 225.

The above miracles though minor in comparison, compare favourably with Apostle Jesus’ turning water into wine to satisfy all at a wedding party and feeding thousands with 5 to 7 loaves of bread as reported in the Bible--Mathew, Mark Luke and John.

There is always something to emulate from senior religions’.

How do the above Hadiths of empty kitchen cabinet of Muhammad stack up with these miracles? They do not?

The large household also included Abu Hurrairah, a self-confessed fabricator of some Hadith– Ref. Vol. 7 Page 203, No. 268.

The characteristic of a lie is that it spawns other lies and exposes more weaknesses; such as the weakness of ungratefulness of the believers in the lies!

In this case, it denies the immense sacrifices the Apostle’s household and the gracious companions made to ensure the success of the Apostles given mission; in particular the Ansars- the helpers- of Madinah who gave him sanctuary and security; which Quran itself acknowledges.

Thus this geographical area, far away from “religious” courtyard of Makkah, and its citizens who drove him out is more important.

The above is therefore looked at Muhammad’s life given in Quran; the Book that the whole nation of Muslims believes in. ---Or does it?

But first, Muhammadun is title given to the Messenger of God and named Ahmad in the Book Quran (Ref 3-144,333-40, 47, 2, and 61-6); which is considered as the source Book of Faith – ad Deen, the Code

Most readers of the Book would be familiar with the thirtieth Juz-section of Quran where the short chapters are given, in them God confirms the Apostle’s self-sufficiency. Hence the few references from there for brevity to expose the lies of Hadith:-

Chapter 108: “Surely We have given YOU the font of plenty….”

Chapter 94: “Have WE not expanded for YOU YOUR chest? And removed from YOU YOUR burden? Which weighed down YOUR back? And exalted for YOU YOUR mention? ….”

Chapter 93: “By the brightness of the Day. Your Lord has not forsaken YOU nor is He displeased with YOU. And surely the future will be better than the past. And soon will your Lord give YOU plenty that YOU will be pleased….”

Chapter 87, verse 8: “….And We shall make YOUR path smooth to a state of ease….”

These are proof enough for those who say they believe in this Book; that the Apostle was not left alone to fend for himself, in poverty and lack of human help.

To ignore this help is crass ingratitude and gross injustice to them all if the Hadith is believed as gospel truth.

16-90: “Surely God enjoins justice and being gracious to others…”

Though Muhammad was very well-off, it is accepted by all that in his personal life he lived an austere and simple life and encouraged his followers to do the same. Nothing is miraculous in that. That was also the case with most of the previous Apostles.

Extravagance of all sorts is condemned repeatedly by God in the Book, for example 5-90 etc. Yet for religious faith, hundreds of millions of animals will be slaughtered in God’s name in the coming season of hajj!

In the matter of Faith either one believes in Quran or the Apocrypha, but both cannot be part of Muslim’s Faith.

2-79: “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say “this is from God…for the gains they make thereby”. Hides and skin industry has to thrive!

3-78: “…It is they who tell a lie against God and well they know it

What is more, that it is seen that this fictional corpus is contradictory within itself; and so intellectual honesty demands to discard it. But the businesses of religions must also go on and the operatives kept in employment!

As the poet Iqbal has aptly said:

Baatil Duee Pasand Hai, Haq La Shariq Hai

—Falsehood dwells in duality, (but) the truth never shares its space,

Shirkat Mayanaa Haq Wa Batil Nah Kar Qabool-

Never accept the partnership of Truth with Falsehood.

The Book is quite explicit: In what narrations after this (Quran) will they believe in?-77-50?

In view of the above it could be concluded that the Hadith corpus should be sent to the trash bin. A howl of protest may be heard from the academia that this would be tantamount to throwing the baby with the bath water.

So it is. For it is pointed out that it is evident from the sorry state of the Muslim nation following these lies, that the baby had drowned in the putrid water a thousand years ago!

It needs a wash and a decent burial.

An ordinary down to earth person has nothing to lose from such a move.

A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer