Answering Robert Spencer on Islam and Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Answering Robert Spencer on Islam and Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Spencer cited my article published in Kashmir Reader with the title “No Place for Xenophobia and Violence in Islam”


Kashmir Reader published my article with the title “No Place for Xenophobia and Violence in Islam” in November, 22, 2020 ( The article was cited by Robert Spencer (Nov 30, 2020) on his website The link of which is “ the-planet.” After quoting some lines from my article, he wrote in response and I quote him, “Ashraf Amin writes this about Muhammad: “When he was stoned, taunted in the streets of Taif, he instead of cursing the wicked, prayed to Allah that their progeny may accept the message and meaning of Islam.” He is not telling the whole story. Islam mandates death for non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state who mention “something impermissible about Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), or Islam” (‘Umdat al-Salik, o11.10), and such laws are based upon passages in the Hadith and Sira in which Muhammad orders the murders of people who have insulted him. These include Abu Afak, who was over one-hundred years old, and the poetess Asma bint Marwan. Abu Afak was killed in his sleep, in response to Muhammad’s question, “Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?” Similarly, Muhammad on another occasion cried out, “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” One of his followers, Umayr ibn Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn’t stop Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well. Muhammad commended him: “You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, Umayr!” (Ibn Ishaq, 674-676).
Then there was Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf. Muhammad asked: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Sahih Bukhari, volume 5, book 59, number 369) Likewise, the popular online fatwa site Islam QA called for death for blasphemers on a page it later took down. It used both Qur’an and Hadith to make its argument. “The scholars are unanimously agreed,” the site explains, “that a Muslim who insults the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) becomes a kaafir [unbeliever] and an apostate who is to be executed. This consensus was narrated by more than one of the scholars, such as Imam Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Qaadi ‘Iyad, al-Khattaabi and others.”
Before I answer Spencer’s allegations and claims, it would be good to introduce him first. Robert Spencer (b.1962) is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is the author of twenty-five books, including the New York Times bestseller, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (Regnery Publishing). Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI, the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry. He is a senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy. Among many of his books are: Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books, 2002), Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West (Regnery Publishing, 2003), The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims (Prometheus Books, 2004), The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion (Regnery Publishing, 2006), Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t (Regnery Publishing, 2007), Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs (Regnery Publishing, 2008), Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins (ISI Books, 2011), Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (CA Press, 2013), The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS (Regnery Publishing, 2015), Confessions of an Islamophobe (Bombardier Books, 2017), The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process (Bombardier Books, 2019).
The titles of the books of Robert Spencer are suggestive of the content in them. His speeches are equally venomous and provocative. He is a xenophobe and Islamophobe through and through. He pitches Islam against Christianity and America, and the entire West. He provokes clash of civilizations, blocks the doors of dialogue and sows the seeds of enmity among Muslims and Christians. Now coming to my article that Spencer has rebutted, I feel that he is ignorant or oblivious of the answers given by Muslim scholars like Maulana Shibli Noamani, Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah, Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, Maulana Wahid-ud-Din Khan, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, etc. to the questions raised by him. Besides, some influential preachers of Islam like Dr. Shaykh Ahmed Deedat and Dr. Shabir Ally have also answered such allegations fittingly. The precise answers to the accusations of Spencer are also available on The website is supervised by Shaikh Muhammad Salih al Munajjid.
The point to make is that the source of Spencer’s conclusions on Muhammad (SAAS) is the book, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s “Sirat Rasullulah” by A. Guillaume (1888-1965), a British Christian Arabist. Guillaume has relied on the reporters of Hadith like Al-Wakidi, al-Fudayl, Muhammad bin al-Hajjaj, Ibn al Gawzi, etc, in connection with the murders supposedly ordered by Rasullulah (SAAS). Such narrators have been charged with fabrication and flawed reporting in Hadith by the great Muhadithun. Spencer must be aware of the authenticity and un-authenticity of Ahadith in Islam. However, in case of the murder of Ka’b bin Ashraf, Nadr bin Harith, Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl, Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Sarh, Habbar bin Aswad, Miqyas Subabah Laythi, Huwairath bin Nuqayd, Abdullah Hilal, Nadr bin Harith and Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ayt, Ibn Khatal, etc, they had not been killed at the behest of Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) for the reason of blasphemy only. They deserved the punishment in lieu of their crimes of treason, violating the honors of Muslim women and instigating the people against Muhammad (SAAS) and his followers, after some of them had even signed the Covenant of Madinah (Mithaq-i-Madinah). Overlooking all these causes, Robert Spencer would only stick to the point of blasphemy for it serves his interests. The major flaw in the position of Spencer is that he is not presenting the complete picture of Uswa-i-Rasul (The Character of Muhammad (SAAS)).
He cherry-picks the events in the life of Muhammad (SAAS) and comments upon them out of context. In the hurry for proving the superiority of Christianity, he hides the truth of Islam and the good in Sirah of Muhammad (SAAS). He would refer to the murders committed by the companions of Muhammad (SAAS) [in retaliation] but won’t give a remote reference of the conspiracies, treasons, plots of Jews, hypocrites, and pagans to annihilate the community of believers in Madinah. In an authentic Hadith recorded in Bukhari and narrated by Hadhrat Aisha (RA), it is reported that Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) never took revenge (over anybody) for his own sake but (did only) when Allah’s legal bindings were outraged in which case he would take revenge for Allah’s sake. Unfortunately, Spencer attempts to show that Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) didn’t spare his foes. He even goes on to say that the Prophet (SAAS) couldn’t take up any criticism and insult. The entire mass of Sirah books is replete with the countless episodes and incidents recording the ill-treatments─ physical, psychological, and emotional towards Rasulullah (SAAS). In that case if Muhammad (SAAS) would have avenged all injures, there would have been mass murders! Does Spencer know: how many men got killed in the battles fought under the leadership of Muhammad! Only 463, out of which 200 include Muslim soldiers. Hundreds of prisoners fell into Muslim hands, had all the foes who had insulted Prophet (SAAS) been separated and ordered to be killed, the number would have been staggering!
Robert Spencer requires more knowledge on Islam. He must shun his arrogance and egoism to see the real picture of Islam. Instead of labeling Islam for radical Jihad, and violence, he must be well versed with the notion and nuances of Jihad in Islam. He seems very ill-educated on Islam, when he equates the actions of ISIS with Islamic Jihad. He fails to catch up with the peaceful treaties of Rasulullah (SAAS) with the Christian of Najran, Jews of Madinah, and polytheists of Makkah (in Hudaibiyah). He turns a blind eye to the Ahadith of Rasulullah wherein he has specially urged for the protection of non-Muslims and substituting a bad deed by a good one. He is unmindful of the verses of the Qur’an that talk about Adl, Qist, respecting the prophets, protecting the weak and vulnerable, choosing one’s faith out of conviction, etc. In all, he is poorly educated in the scriptures of Islam. I suggest Robert to channelize his energies towards an un-biased, neutral research on Qur’an, Hadith & the Sirah of Muhammad (SAAS) in place of his relentless propaganda against Islam drawn from weak and un-reliable sources. That would fetch more in the interest of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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