Hadiths Concerning the unfavourable qualities in the conduct of Muhammad

The prophet of Islam, because of his claims to be the greatest of the divine messengers should not be judged by the standards of his time or the practices of past military leaders but by the absolute standards of character manifested perfectly in the life of Jesus Christ. The traditions reveal that he and his followers are very much in need of knowing the Saviour.

Muhammad did not deny that he had faults of his own. For example the Quran itself reproaches him for turning away from a blind man.

“(The Prophet) frowned and turned away,
Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting). “(‘Abasa 80:1-2)

As in the case of all human nature the strangest inconsistencies were blended in the character of Muhammad. The pure and lofty aspirations of Muhammad were gradually debased, as truth merged into falsehood, sincerity into guile.

Along with Muhammad’s anxious desire to extinguish idolatry and to promote religion and virtue in the world, there was fostered, in his own heart, a licentious self-indulgence; till in the end, assuming that he was the favourite of heaven, he justified himself by ’revelations’ from God in flagrant breaches of morality.

In his youth Muhammad earned amongst his fellows the honourable title of ‘the Faithful but in later years craft and deception were certainly not wanting towards his foes. Along with a kind and tender disposition he could yet take pleasure in cruel and perfidious assassination and could gloat over the massacre of an entire tribe. It is these details that leave a dark and indelible stain upon his character.

Required dignified respect

  1. Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 807: Narrated Sa’d: A man peeped into the house of the Prophet through a hole while the Prophet was scratching his head with a Midrai (a certain kind of comb). On that the Prophet said (to him), “If I had known you had been looking, then I would have pierced your eye with that instrument, because the asking of permission has been ordained so that one would not see things unlawfully.”
  2. Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 405: Narrated Ibn Abi Mulaika: Once the two righteous men, i.e., Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were on the verge of destruction (and that was because): When the delegate of Bani Tamim came to the Prophet, one of them (either Abu Bakr or ‘Umar) recommended Al-Aqra’ bin Habis At-Tamimi Al-Hanzali, the brother of Bani Majashi (to be appointed as their chief), while the other recommended somebody else. Abu Bakr said to ‘Umar, “You intended only to oppose me.” ‘Umar said, “I did not intend to oppose you!” Then their voices grew louder in front of the Prophet whereupon there was revealed: ‘O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet and do not speak loud to him …. ‘ (49.2-3). Ibn Az-Zubair said, ‘Thence forward when ‘Umar talked to the Prophet, he would talk like one who whispered a secret and would even fail to make the Prophet hear him, in which case the Prophet would ask him (to repeat his words).”
  3. Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 92m: Narrated Anas bin Malik: Once the Prophet was a bridegroom during his marriage with Zainab, Um Sulaim said to me, “Let us give a gift to Allah’s Apostle .” I said to her, “Do it.” So she prepared Haisa (a sweet dish) made from dates, butter and dried yoghurt and she sent it with me to him. I took it to him and he said, “Put it down,” and ordered me to call some men whom he named, and to invite whomever I would meet. I did what he ordered me to do, and when I returned, I found the house crowded with people and saw the Prophet keeping his hand over the Haisa and saying over it whatever Allah wished (him to say). Then he called the men in batches of ten to eat of it, and he said to them, “Mention the Name of Allah, and each man should eat of the dish the nearest to him.” When all of them had finished their meals, some of them left and a few remained there talking, over which I felt unhappy. Then the Prophet went out towards the dwelling places (of his wives) and I too, went out after him and told him that those people had left. Then he returned and entered his dwelling place and let the curtains fall while I was in (his) dwelling place, and he was reciting the Verses:– ‘O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s house until leave is given you for a meal, (and then) not (as early as) to what for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meals, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet; and he would be shy of (asking) you (to go), but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the Truth.’ (33-53).”

Superstitious

  1. Bukhari Volume 2, Book 17, Number 138: Narrated Abbas bin Tamlm from his uncle, who said, “The Prophet invoked Allah for rain and offered a two Rakat prayer and he put his cloak inside out.”
  2. Bukhari Volume 2, Book 17, Number 144: Narrated Anas: Whenever a strong wind blew, anxiety appeared on the face of the Prophet (fearing that wind might be a sign of Allah’s wrath).
  3. Bukhari Volume 2, Book 21, Number 243: Narrated Abu Huraira Allah’s Apostle said, “Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.”
  4. Bukhari Volume 7, Book 65, Number 292: Narrated ‘Aisha: The Prophet used to love to start doing things from the right side whenever possible, in performing ablution, putting on his shoes, and combing his hair. (Al-Ash’ath said: The Prophet used to do so in all his affairs).
  5. Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 747: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “If you want to put on your shoes, put on the right shoe first; and if you want to take them off, take the left one first. Let the right shoe be the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.”
  6. Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 345: Narrated Um ‘Atiyya Allah’s Apostle came to us and we were giving a bath to his (dead) daughter and said, “Wash her three, five or more times with water and Sidr and sprinkle camphor on her at the end; and when you finish, notify me.” So when we finished, we informed him and he gave us his waist-sheet and told us to shroud her in it. Aiyub said that Hafsa narrated to him a narration similar to that of Muhammad in which it was said that the bath was to be given for an odd number of times, and the numbers 3, 5 or 7 were mentioned. It was also said that they were to start with the right side and with the parts which were washed in ablution, and that Um ‘Atiyya also mentioned, “We combed her hair and divided them in three braids.”
  7. Muslim Book 4, Number 1961: ‘Ata’ b. Abi Rabah reported that he heard ‘A’isha, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (way peace be upon him), as saying: When there was on any day windstorm or dark cloud (its effects) could be read on the face of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), and he moved forward and backward (in a state of anxiety); and when it rained, he was delighted and it (the state of restlessness) disappeared. ‘A’isha said: I asked him the reason of this anxiety and he said: I was afraid that it might be a calamity that might fall upon my Ummah, and when he saw rainfall he said: It is the mercy (of Allah).

Short Tempered

  1. Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 91: Narrated Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani: “Then the person asked about the lost camel. On that, the Prophet got angry and his cheeks or his face became red and he said, “You have no concern with it as it has its water container, and its feet and it will reach water, and eat (the leaves) of trees till its owner finds it.”
  2. Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 92: Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet was asked about things which he did not like, but when the questioners insisted, the Prophet got angry.

Revengeful

  1. Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 234: Narrated Abu Qilaba: Anas said, “Some people of ‘Ukl or ‘Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) camels and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they went as directed and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet early in the morning and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured and brought at noon. He then ordered to cut their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, they were put in ‘Al-Harra’ and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.” Abu Qilaba said, “Those people committed theft and murder, became infidels after embracing Islam and fought against Allah and His Apostle.”
  2. Bukhari Volume 2, Book 19, Number 173: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Masud: The Prophet recited Suratan-Najm (103) at Mecca and prostrated while reciting it and those who were with him did the same except an old man who took a handful of small stones or earth and lifted it to his forehead and said, “This is sufficient for me.” Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer.
  3. Bukhari Volume 3, Book 29, Number 72: Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Apostle entered Mecca in the year of its Conquest wearing an Arabian helmet on his head and when the Prophet took it off, a person came and said, “Ibn Khatal is holding the covering of the Ka’ba (taking refuge in the Ka’ba).” The Prophet said, “Kill him.” (Muslims contend that ‘Allah’s Messenger, on conquering Mecca, forgave all the people of Mecca except some persons who had committed nasty crimes against Islam and Muslims).
  4. Bukhari Volume 3, Book 41, Number 596: Narrated Anas: A Jew crushed the head of a girl between two stones. The girl was asked who had crushed her head, and some names were mentioned before her, and when the name of the Jew was mentioned, she nodded agreeing. The Jew was captured and when he confessed, the Prophet ordered that his head be crushed between two stones.

Deceitful murders against Jewish enemies

Abu Rafi a chief of the Jewish Banu Nadhir tribe was deceitfully murdered in cold blood as Muhammad’s followers obeyed his instructions.

Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 371: Narrated Al-Bara bin Azib: Allah’s Apostle sent some men from the Ansar to ((kill) Abu Rafi, the Jew, and appointed ‘Abdullah bin Atik as their leader. Abu Rafi used to hurt Allah’s Apostle and help his enemies against him. He lived in his castle in the land of Hijaz. When those men approached (the castle) after the sun had set and the people had brought back their livestock to their homes. Abdullah (bin Atik) said to his companions, “Sit down at your places. I am going, and I will try to play a trick on the gate-keeper so that I may enter (the castle).” So ‘Abdullah proceeded towards the castle, and when he approached the gate, he covered himself with his clothes, pretending to answer the call of nature. The people had gone in, and the gate-keeper (considered ‘Abdullah as one of the castle’s servants) addressing him saying, “O Allah’s Servant! Enter if you wish, for I want to close the gate.” ‘Abdullah added in his story, “So I went in (the castle) and hid myself. When the people got inside, the gate-keeper closed the gate and hung the keys on a fixed wooden peg. I got up and took the keys and opened the gate. Some people were staying late at night with Abu Rafi for a pleasant night chat in a room of his. When his companions of nightly entertainment went away, I ascended to him, and whenever I opened a door, I closed it from inside. I said to myself, ‘Should these people discover my presence, they will not be able to catch me till I have killed him.’ So I reached him and found him sleeping in a dark house amidst his family, I could not recognize his location in the house. So I shouted, ‘O Abu Rafi!’ Abu Rafi said, ‘Who is it?’ I proceeded towards the source of the voice and hit him with the sword, and because of my perplexity, I could not kill him. He cried loudly, and I came out of the house and waited for a while, and then went to him again and said, ‘What is this voice, O Abu Rafi?’ He said, ‘Woe to your mother! A man in my house has hit me with a sword! I again hit him severely but I did not kill him. Then I drove the point of the sword into his belly (and pressed it through) till it touched his back, and I realized that I have killed him. I then opened the doors one by one till I reached the staircase, and thinking that I had reached the ground, I stepped out and fell down and got my leg broken in a moonlit night. I tied my leg with a turban and proceeded on till I sat at the gate, and said, ‘I will not go out tonight till I know that I have killed him.’ So, when (early in the morning) the cock crowed, the announcer of the casualty stood on the wall saying, ‘I announce the death of Abu Rafi, the merchant of Hijaz. Thereupon I went to my companions and said, ‘Let us save ourselves, for Allah has killed Abu Rafi,’ so I (along with my companions proceeded and) went to the Prophet and described the whole story to him. “He said, ‘Stretch out your (broken) leg. I stretched it out and he rubbed it and it became all right as if I had never had any ailment whatsoever.”

The Jew Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, who lived in Medina, used to recite satirical verses against Muhammad. Muhammad sanctioned his murder and permitted his followers to use whatever deception they considered necessary to fulfil the act.

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