Posts Tagged ‘Khadija’

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Ahmadinejad: sanctions are sacrilege to Islam

October 1, 2012

From AGI (h/t Gates of Vienna) during Ahmadinejad’s visit to the U.N. last week:

New York – Iranian President Ahmadinejad has described sanctions inflicted on his country by the USA, the UK and France as a “sacrilege against Islam”. Speaking in New York where he is attending the United Nations Assembly, and where he spoke at a U.N. debate on the role played by legislation, Ahmadinejad said that sanctions against Islam “violate the rights and the freedom of nations.”

What is Ahmadinejad talking about?  Is he suggesting that sanctions are prohibited by Islam?  It’s an unusual argument, but he isn’t alone.  Watch this video uploaded to Youtube in March showing our old punching bag, Imran Hosein, who asserts that Islam does not permit economic embargos or the use of trade as a weapon.

Imran Hosein is very knowledgeable about his own religion, but what legal and religious basis do his comments have?  One old story supporting such a position may be that a rival tribe of Muhammad imposed trade sanctions against Muhammad’s clan, leading to widespread hunger and, according to one questionable account, the starvation and death of his wife Khadija—a woman of enormous personal wealth:

The other clans of Quraysh implemented a trade embargo on the clan of Banu Hashim, Muhammad’s clan. The embargo lasted for three years and many of the clan starved to death. Khadija, weakened by starvation, died during this time as did his beloved uncle and sole protector, Abu Talib. That was the year 619 CE, “the year of sorrows.”

But that tale turns out to be just another Islamic tear jerker that is contradicted by centuries of economic aggression that followed it.  How do Messrs. Ahmadinejad and Hosein account for:

  • The recent cyber attack against U.S. financial institutions by Iran itself?
  • The international boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel?
  • The economic sanctions adopted by the Arab League against Syria last year?
  • The Turkish prime minister’s call for “UN sanctions on Israel
  • Libya’s 2008 sanctions against Switzerland?
  • The recommendation from Hizbul Mujahideen to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to implement economic sanctions against India?
  • The 1973 Arab oil embargo?
  • The heavy tolls imposed by the Ottoman Empire along the Silk Road that forced Christopher Columbus to search for a water route to circumvent the Middle East to reach the Far East?
  • Perhaps most importantly from the standpoint of Islamic law and tradition, the higher customs duties imposed by Islam’s second Umar, a close companion of Muhammad, who engaged in, according to Islamic sources, something of a trade war against the Roman and Persian empires?

Far from being sacrilegious, sanctions appear to be rather well-suited to Islam.

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The fairy tale of Muhammad dying in poverty

July 8, 2012

The would-be heirs of Muhammad’s wealth: Ali (left) and Fatima (right), with their children on Muhammad’s lap

Why would Fatima and Abu Bakr engage in a protracted dispute over the inheritance of the estate of Muhammad (see the Sahih Muslim, Book 19, No. 4354) if, as Muhammad’s wife Aisha (“Mother of the Believers”) described, Muhammad died a poor man with his armor mortgaged to a Jew in Medina?  What happened to the enormous wealth of Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife, after she died?  Would he not have inherited it?

These provocative questions are raised and answered in an excellent 10 minute lecture by Iraqi exile I.Q. al Rassooli, author of Lifting the Veil and blogger at the-koran.blogspot.com and inthenameofallah.org.

This talk also covers many issues which we have highlighted over the past few years about Muhammad’s personal accumulation of wealth through taxes (particularly khums and fai) that he claimed were mandated by Allah.

We don’t normally post audio that’s longer than five minutes, but it is worth the time:

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Irony: Muslim wives told not to squander money

December 20, 2011

This irony alert comes from the religion that Muhammad founded using money from rich woman he married, Khadija.  Islam very well might not have gotten off the ground or waged its earliest wars if it weren’t for the capital Khadija provided.

Granted, Abu Bakr‘s wealth from the family cloth merchant business helped too, but Muhammad only met Abu Bakr through Khadija, because both Khadija and Abu Bakr owned homes in the same ritzy neighborhood of Mecca.

Yet now, Muslim women are being told that they should not be wasteful or squander their husband‘s wealth.  This bit of ungrateful advice comes in this slide from a presentation entitled “The Duties of the Wife in Islam” uploaded to Slideshare a few weeks ago:

Islamic women advised not to squander their husband's cashIf I were a Muslim woman, I’d be so offended that I’d take off my trash bag and drive away in a car.  And if Khadija were alive in Saudi Arabia today, she’d be killed for it.

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Weekly word: Khadija

July 28, 2010

Okay, so it’s more of a person than a “word,” but this week we look at Khadija, the first of Muhammad’s sixteen wives.  Just look (h/t Zombietimes) at Khadija in her veiled glory (or scandalous display of neck and face, depending on your point of view):

Khadija, Muhammad's rich, older wife

Chick Publication's illustration of Muhammad & Khadija

But who was this lady?  The love of Muhammad’s life?  Her soul mate?  No—his sugar mama!  From A Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions:

Khadija.  The first wife of the Prophet Muhammad, and during their twenty-four years of married life his only wife.  Khadija was a rich merchant’s widow, who first of all employed Muhammad in her service.  She was said to have been married twice before, with children of her own.  She was about forty years of age, but bore Muhammad seven children.  Their marriage was happy, and Khadija encouraged Muhammad after his visions and during his early preachings, being virtually his first convert.  Her cousin Waraqa (q.v.) was a Christian and no doubt this helped to make her sympathetic to Muhammad’s teaching of one God.  Her death in A.D. 619 was a grievous loss to the Prophet, and only then did he take other wives.*

If you can’t strive (for jihad) with your own wealth (Q. 9:41), why not strive with someone else’s?  Of course, many important men throughout history would never have made it so far if they hadn’t married a rich woman.  Isn’t it inspiring for the prophet of one of the world’s biggest religions to have done so?

In addition to Khadija’s money, Muhammad amassed personal wealth in his lifetime through his role in early Islam including Safi (special gifts from the spoils of war), khums tax revenues (both as the prophet who was entitled to one-fifth of khums and as a Muslim soldier who was entitled to an individual share for four-fifths of the remaining ghanima), and 100 percent of the spoils of Khaybar, the oasis he stole from the Jews.

Muhammad understood that to be Prophet, he needed profit.  Money, both the legal acquisition of and the illegal confiscation of it, were central to fueling Muhammad’s rise to power and the spread of early Islam.

*Parrinder, Geoffrey, A Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1971).