There are a lot of videos and articles out there which give you certain facts about Muhammad and tell you who Muhammad was. Unfortunately those videos and articles, those lists are usually very one-sided. Therefore I have decided to sit down and to make a video in which I want to show you the other side. Today I want to list and share at least 10 things that everybody should know about Muhammad.
Number 10. Muhammad is not the God of Islam but he is definitely a sex god. Not really a sex god, more like a sex enthusiast or a sex addict. According to the most authentic reports, Muhammad had 9 or 11 wives at once (Sahih Bukhari 268). The Quran itself says that you may marry the women that you like two, three or four (Surah 4:3) but Muhammad had much more than four because the Quran gives special privileges to Muhammad such as that women could simply give themselves to him and he could marry them. (Surah 33:50) Even his wife Aisha commented that she does not understand how women can just give themselves to him and that Allah seems to care a lot about Muhammad’s convenience and desires. (Sahih Bukhari 4788) His first marriage was to a woman who was 15 years older than him because she was his employer and supporter but after her death he could just not get enough of women.
Number nine. The child marriage. One very controversial fact about Muhammad is that he reportedly married a little girl when she was only six and consummated the marriage with her when she was only nine meaning he had sexual intercourse with her when she was only nine years old. (Sahih Bukhari 3894, 3985, 3896, 5133, 5134, 5158, etc.) Some modern Muslims want to doubt the authenticity but those reports are not doubted unless you want to doubt the authenticity of Islamic scripture altogether. Muhammad is taught to be the most perfect human being to ever walk the face of the earth, to be globally followed, obeyed and imitated. The fact that he married and had sex with a little child makes this very problematic.
Number eight. He was a slave master. Although Muslims in modern times romanticized Muhammad as somebody who gave slaves better rights and emancipated slaves, that is a very new perspective and actually a distortion of who Muhammad was. Slavery and the slave market were always a big part, a core part of Muslim society and Muhammad never ended or intended to end slavery. In fact, if we search through Islamic traditions about Muhammad and slavery, what we see is predominantly that Muhammad kept, bought and sold slaves, picked out slaves took or distributed female slaves for sexual pleasure, and even advised gifting a slave to someone else instead of freeing a slave. (Sahih Bukhari 2592, 4234, 6161, 6202, 5191, 371, 3145, 6603, 4121, 2403, 2415) What is true is that a certain early Muslim Bilal was a slave and that he was bought and freed by the Muslims because he converted to Islam and he was asking for help. What is also true is that Muhammad and the Quran make it a good deed or an atonement for sins to free a slave but just because freeing a slave is a good deed or an atonement in exchange for sin that doesn’t mean that slavery is considered bad and that people are obligated to free slaves. Muhammad is the best example of Islam according to Islam and he certainly did not have a problem with the idea of the ownership of humans over other humans. (Sahih Bukhari 1464)
Number 7. Muhammad’s strange state of revelations. The Islamic belief is that Muhammad was a messenger, a prophet of Allah and that he would receive inspirations from Allah through the angel Gabriel. Muhammad would then recite those revelations that he supposedly received to the people around him, who would orally memorize them or write them down. The authenticity of all that aside for now, how Muhammad got these revelations is a matter of interest. According to the most authentic reports, Muhammad himself described that the inspirations from Allah would sometimes come in what resembles the ringing of a bell and that this would be very hard for Muhammad. Sometimes the angel would come in the form of a man and speak to him and then he would grasp what was being said to him. (Sahih Bukhari 2) According to other reports by his wife and those around him, he would sweat heavily when receiving a revelation, he would be unresponsive and in a trance-like state when receiving revelation. According to one report he was laying down making loud noises like the snorting of a camel and his loyal follower Umar would cover him during that inspiration. (Bukhari 2, 4929, 4795, 1180) I don’t want to make any diagnosis here but Muhammad’s divine revelations were seemingly a very great struggle to him and resemble the symptoms of certain psychological disorders, which are very distressing and which come with hallucinations and delusions.
Number 6. Muhammad was born in Mecca into a polytheistic tribe that oversaw the pagan temple of the Kaaba, which then was dedicated to a polytheistic god Hubal. Muhammad did not like his own culture possibly because he was an orphan and he didn’t fit in. Reportedly, he used to go on trade routes to Syria as an early teenager where he learned about Christians and Jews and their beliefs. He probably looked up to them because they were far more advanced, knowledgeable and civilized than his own people back home. Muhammad declared his own religion based on monotheistic Abrahamic beliefs but even after declaring his own religion, which was meant to be an Abrahamic religion, he still kept many polytheistic pagan aspects, which he adopted from the pre-Islamic Arab polytheists. These are the Kaaba, which turned into the center of Islamic attention, the black stone which the stone-worshiping polytheists revere, the belief in beings called jinns and more.
Number 5. Muhammad was a suspected liar. Muslims and Islamic sources often assert that Muhammad was known as a reliable man and that he had the nickname “the trustworthy”. They assert that he earned this title as a trader and in the internal affairs of Mecca before he announced his prophethood. But of course just because someone is a reliable trader that does not mean that this person can be trusted in everything that they say and do, especially if they claim to be coming in the name of an almighty God who demands everyone’s submission. In fact, the Quran itself, which is supposedly Allah’s direct word revealed through Muhammad’s own mouth, responds to people and defends Muhammad repeatedly because people ridicule him for his stories and claims. They call him a liar repeatedly, they call him a madman, they accuse him of forgery and of retelling ancient stories as if they were original. (Surah 35:4, 16:101, 25:4-5, 15:6, 9:61)They would also accuse him of believing what everyone says and they even accused him of taking his Quran revelations and stories from a specific man that Muhammad used to spend time with. The Quran attempts to refute this in a rather funny way by saying that that man that Muhammad talks to speaks a different language while the Quran is in Arabic. (Surah 16:103) From here, we can see that the entire idea that Muhammad was undoubtedly a reliable man is a little bit far-fetched and probably does not represent the whole truth.
Number four. Head of military and state. Muhammad was not only a prophet and the founder of the Islamic religion, he was also the head of a new state and its army. Muhammad formed the Islamic state with his followers in the city of Medina. This state was the first Islamic state whose mission it was to uphold Islam, to protect the Muslims and to spread Islam. Under different pretenses, the Muslim army under Muhammad conquered tribe after tribe and Muhammad states had taken most of Arabia by the time he died. After his death, his followers established the caliphate and designated khalifs who, like Muhammad, led the state and the army to uphold and spread Islam like Muhammad did. This caliphate continued fighting until it was abolished by Ataturk in the early 20th century.
Number three. Muhammad’s life is unclear. Trusting Muhammad is not the only issue that we have. Even before we get to trusting Muhammad, it is hard for us to establish who Muhammad really was. The Quran deals in much of its contents with the political matters that are happening during the time of its revelation. Aside from that it repetitively retells fragments of biblical stories and makes claims about life, afterlife and Allah. It doesn’t really tell us much about Muhammad himself what we know about Muhammad comes from biographies, the first complete one of which came into existence 120 years after Muhammad’s death and mostly relied on oral traditions. The other primary source is the hadith, which are transmitted narrations about the actions and words of Muhammad and his contemporaries. The first complete hadith compilation was completed a century after Muhammad’s death while the most authentic compilations only came into existence over two centuries after his death. There are also many problems with the hadith such as that many unreliable hadiths exist and that hadiths can only be rated as authentic if the narrators are Muslims of a good character, which under historical standards would establish a bias and put the authenticity of those reports under doubt. So accounts of who Muhammad actually was and what he really did rely on late accounts that may be very biased and that makes it hard to trust the Islamic tradition altogether.
Number two. Muhammad was illiterate or ignorant. Among most Muslims, it is a known fact that Muhammad was illiterate although there is some dispute about this. Generally, Muslims argue that it is miraculous that Muhammad was illiterate but yet he brought forth the Quran, which was so much full of knowledge, which of course proves that the Quran came from Allah. There are certain problems about that such as that the Quran only came into existence as a book after Muhammad’s death. And that if we analyze and criticize certain things within the Quran, Muslims generally tend to reinterpret the Quran and to deny that the Quran is mistaken about many issues. It is rather unclear whether Muhammad was really illiterate. The Quran refers to Muhammad as “ummiy” (Surah 7:157), which is translated as “illiterate” but the term could also stand for unlettered, as in ignorant such as ignorant of religion and scripture or ignorant of Abrahamic religion. In fact, the Quran does use the word in that way in other parts (Surah 2:78, 7:157) and many hadith report him writing a letter (Sahih Bukhari 2938, 65, 5875, 7162) or asking for a paper and a pen because he wants to write a note (Sahih Bukhari 7366, 4432, 114). So although Muhammad’s illiteracy is treated as a known fact, it is in reality not really clear, it’s a little bit ambiguous.
Number one. Finally we have the confusing idea of the final messenger. The core Islamic idea surrounding Muhammad’s prophethood is not only that he was a messenger, a prophet of Allah but that he was also the final messenger. Islam teaches that Allah sent prophets before to all nations to warn them but Muhammad is the final messenger who has come to warn the people before the destruction so they come onto the true path. If we look closer at the Quran and the hadith, we see that the idea here was not that Muhammad will be the last messenger, and that the world will then go on forever, the idea was rather that judgment day, the last day, the end of the world is imminent. (Surah 33:63, 20:15, 54:1) It is very near about to happen and that Muhammad is the final messenger who has come to warn everybody before it happens. According to the early Islamic reports (Sahih Muslim 41:7044-7049), Muhammad said on multiple occasions that the last day is about to happen (Sahih Muslim 2880-2881), that it is extremely near, closer than ever. He hinted and said that the events of the last day are about to happen, he feared that the end was about to happen, he was in fact very specific in prophesying the imminent end of the world (Sahih Muslim 41:7050-7053, Sahih Bukhari 601, 564, Sahih Muslim 2538 etc.). There are many of these traditions which, put together, make that very clear. So Muhammad’s title as the final messenger was not just some weird title. It served as the title of the final messenger who comes before the end. Insofar, Islam was very much a doomsday cult which failed.