For insight into the workings of Muhammad’s mind, consider Chapter 33 of his Koran, entitled “The Confederates.” This is one of the chapters Muhammad composed in Yathrib (later called Medina) where he fled after his Meccan compatriots determined they needed to kill him to preserve their way of life.
The chapter is like a wild theme park ride that races in and out of numerous topics. In the 73 verses that make up the chapter, Muhammad covers the following, using the God-voice he adopted for the Koran: He recaps a recent battle with the Meccans and excoriates people who were afraid to fight and die for him; he gloats about his extermination of the men and boys of one of the Jewish tribes of Yathrib, the confiscation of their property, and the enslavement of their women and children; he authorizes himself to take as many wives as he likes, permits himself to marry the wife of his adopted son, forbids himself from taking any more wives after he has taken as many as he likes, but allows himself sex slaves.
As the verses of this “revelation” continue, Muhammad imposes full body and face cover for women when outside the home, threatens people with humiliating punishment in the afterlife for annoying him, threatens to murder his critics, prohibits the practice of adoption, and dishes up images of sadistic torture in Hell awaiting people who don’t believe in him. He also praises himself as a “lamp spreading light,” and holds his behavior as a “beautiful pattern” for people to follow if they want to score well with Allah.
Among the verses is a celestial advisory that he must be obeyed:
“It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (Koran 33:36) [All of the Koran quotes in this article are taken from the Yusuf Ali translation.]
Despite their tediousness, it is worth exploring some of these verses because, in addition to providing evidence of his strange mentality, they also show that his Koran was like a blog in which he commented on the happenings of the moment. The happenings of the moment recorded in Chapter 33 had to do with war, sex, and Muhammad’s betrayal of his adopted son.
In the war part of these verses, Muhammad covers the Meccan assault on Yathrib that came to be known as the Battle of the Trench, so named because of a three-mile defensive trench he dug around vulnerable parts of the valley to fend off the attackers. By the time of this battle, he had been waging war on the Meccans for almost five years. The two major battles of Badr and Uhud had already been fought.
The Battle of the Trench was the third major fight, which took place in A.D. 627. The Meccans attacked with an army of 12,000 warriors, drawn from numerous tribes who were itching for payback for all the harm Muhammad had caused them. But they were unable to get beyond the trench and finally gave up after a fierce windstorm leveled their encampments.
Verses 9 to 25 recap the action, but most are Muhammad’s diatribe against cowardly or fake believers who he was certain would have betrayed him had been given the opportunity. But he declares that Allah did not provide them with the opportunity because he sent the windstorm that disheartened the invaders and sent them packing. The battle was a test of faith of the believers who held firm, and Allah knows how to reward those who hold firm in their faith.
And rewarded they were: After the invaders left, Muhammad attacked the only remaining Jewish tribe of Yathrib and ended up distributing their wealth to the faithful. When he arrived in the valley, half of its 20,000 population was Jewish, divided among three major tribes. By the time of the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad had forced out two of the Jewish tribes. Hoping to escape the same fate, the remaining tribe at first insisted on not taking sides during the Meccan attack, then agreed to aid the invaders, but then backed out of it. Muhammad used this as an excuse to behead all of the men and boys.
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