Muhammad a Mercy Unto Creation: What About Dogs?

Muslims often claim on the basis of the following verse,

And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). S. 21:107 Hilali-Khan

That Muhammad wasn’t just compassionate to mankind, but was also meant to be the expression of Allah’s mercy to animals.

This is assertion is rather ironic when we take into consideration fact that the Islamic sources themselves testify that Muhammad was actually merciless to those who would dare question his prophetic claims or lampoon him. Note, for instance, the following cases where Muhammad ordered the murders of a 120 year old Jewish man and a nursing mother simply because they dared to mock him in poetry:

SARIYYAH OF ‘UMAYR IBN ‘ADI

Then (occurred) the sariyyah of Umayr ibn ‘Adi Ibn Kharashah al-Khatmi against ‘Asma Bint Marwan, of Banu Umayyah Ibn Zayd, when five nights had remained from the month of Ramadan, in the beginning of the nineteenth month from the hijrah of the Apostle of Allah. ‘Asma was the wife of Yazid Ibn Zayd Ibn Hisn al-Khatmi. She used to revile Islam, offend the Prophet and instigate the (people) against him. She composed verses. ‘Umayr Ibn ‘Adi came to her in the night and entered her house. Her children were sleeping around her.There was one whom she was suckling. He searched her with his hand because he was blind, and separated the child from her. He thrust his sword in her chest till it pierced upto her back. Then he offered the morning prayers with the Prophet at al-Madinah… The Apostle of Allah said to him: Have you slain the daughter of Marwan? He said: Yes. Is there something more for me to do? He said: No. Two goats will butt together about her. This was the word that was first heard from the Apostle of Allah. The Apostle of Allah called ‘Umayr,basir (the seeing).

SARIYYAH OF SALIM IBN ‘UMAYR

Then occurred the sariyyah of Salim Ibn ‘Umayr al-‘Amri against Abu ‘Afak, the Jew, in Shawwal in the beginning of the twentieth month from the hijrah of the Apostle of Allah. Abu Afak, was from Banu ‘Amr Ibn ‘Awf, and was an old man who had attained the age of one hundred and twenty years. He was a Jew, and used to instigate the people against the Apostle of Allah and composed (satirical) verses. Salim Ibn ‘Umayr who was one of the great weepers and who had participated in Badr, said: I take a vow that I shall either kill Abu ‘Afak or die before him. He waited for an opportunity until a hot night came, and Abu ‘Afak slept in an open place. Salim Ibn ‘Umayr knew it, so he placed the sword on his liver and pressed it till it reached his bed. The enemy of Allah screamed and the people, who were his followers rushed to him, took him to his house and interred him. (Ibn Sa’ad’s Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. [Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi – 110 002 India), Volume II, pp. 30-31; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Islamic corpus also reveals the fact that Muhammad was anything but compassionate to animals, specifically dogs.

Muhammad believed that angels do not enter a house that has a dog:

Narrated Abu Talha: The prophet said, ‘Angels do not enter a house witch [sic] has either a dog or a picture in it.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 539 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=54&translator=1&start=0&number=539 – see also Vol. 5, Bk. 59, No. 338)

And:

Chapter 19: ANGELS DO NOT ENTER A HOUSE IN WHICH THERE IS A DOG OR A PICTURE

A’isha reported that Gabriel made a promise with Allah’s Messenger to come at a definite hour; that hour came but he did not visit him. And there was in his hand (in the hand of Allah’s Apostle) a staff. He threw it from his hand and said: Never has Allah or His messengers (angels) ever broken their promise. Then he cast a glance (and by chance) found a puppy under his cot and said: ‘A’isha, when did this dog enter here? She said: By Allah, I don’t know. He then commanded and it was turned out. Then Gabriel came and Allah’s Messenger said to him: You promised me and I waited for you, but you did not come, whereupon he said: It was the dog in your house which prevented me (to come), for we (angels) do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. (Sahih Muslim, Book 024, Number 5246 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=024&translator=2&start=0&number=5246)

And because of this, “Allah’s Apostle ordered that the dogs should be killed” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Number 540 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=54&translator=1&start=0&number=540).

Later, after realizing that dogs were a necessity for hunting and guarding sheep, Muhammad changed his mind and ordered that only the black dogs should be killed, since he foolishly and erroneously assumed that they were literally devils:

Maimuna reported that one morning Allah’s Messenger was silent with grief. Maimuna said: Allah’s Messenger, I find a change in your mood today. Allah’s Messenger said: Gabriel had promised me that he would meet me tonight, but he did not meet me. By Allah, he never broke his promises, and Allah’s Messenger spent the day in this sad (mood). Then it occurred to him that there had been a puppy under their cot. He commanded and it was turned out. He then took some water in his hand and sprinkled it at that place. When it was evening Gabriel met him and he said to him: you promised me that you would meet me the previous night. He said: Yes, but we do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. Then on that very morning he commanded the killing of the dogs until he announced that the dog kept for the orchards should also be killed, but he spared the dog meant for the protection of extensive fields (or big gardens). (Sahih Muslim, Book 024, Number 5248 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=024&translator=2&start=0&number=5248)

Chapter 31: COMMAND OF KILLING DOGS AND THEN ITS ABROGATION, AND PROHIBITION OF KEEPING THEM BUT FOR HUNTING AND PROTECTION OF LANDS OR CATTLE OR LIKE THAT…

Ibn Umar reported that Allah’s messenger ordered the killings of dogs except the dog tamed for hunting, or watching of the herd of sheep or other domestic animals. It was said to Ibn Umar that Abu Huraira talks of (exception) about the dog for watching the field, whereupon he said: Since Abu Huraira possessed land.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3812 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=010&translator=2&start=0&number=3812)

Abu Zubair heard Jabir b. Abdullah saying: Allah’s messenger ordered us to kill dogs, and we carried out this order so much that we also killed the dog coming with a woman from the desert. Then Allah’s Apostle forbade their killing. He (the Holy Prophet) further said: It is your duty to kill the jet black (dog) having two spots (on the eyes), for it is a devil. (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3813)

In addition, the Musnad by Imam Ahmad records that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<O Abu Dharr! Seek refuge with Allah from the devils of mankind and the Jinns.>> Abu Dharr said, “I asked him , `Are there human devils’ He said, <<Yes.>>” Furthermore, it is recorded in Sahih Muslim that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<The woman, the donkey and the black dog interrupt the prayer (if they pass in front of those who do not pray behind a Sutrah, i.e. a barrier).>> Abu Dharr said, “I said, `What is the difference between the black dog and the red or yellow dog?’ He said…

<<(The black dog is a devil.>>.

Also, Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab once rode a Berthawn (huge camel) which started to proceed arrogantly. `Umar kept striking the animal, but the animal kept walking in an arrogant manner. `Umar dismounted the animal and said, “By Allah! You have carried me on a Shaytan. I did not come down from it until after I had felt something strange in my heart.” This Hadith has an authentic chain of narrators. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=92&Itemid=35; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The question that naturally arises is, didn’t Allah know that people needed dogs for hunting and shepherding seeing that he is supposed to be omniscient? If so then why didn’t he prevent his messenger from murdering so many dogs? Is it because Allah wanted his prophet of mercy to order the senseless killing of dogs for no other reason than that he can do whatever he wants since he can never be questioned about the moral sanity and rationality of his actions?

Finally, Muhammad declared that if any man were to keep a dog other than for hunting or guarding the herd, he “loses everyday out of his deeds equal to two qiraat” (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3815 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=010&translator=2&start=0&number=3815). In other words, Muslims with house-dogs will lose their eternal rewards!

These narrations raise a few more questions. First, if Allah’s angels are capable of withstanding Satan himself, how can dogs or pictures stop them from accomplishing their tasks? Second, couldn’t “Gabriel” have waited for Muhammad to come outside of his house in order to speak with him? Or couldn’t he have met Muhammad in his mosque? Why did this “Gabriel” have to speak to Muhammad in his house where the dead dog was? Third, if dogs are really devils then why does the Quran say that Allah protected a dog along with the Companions of the Cave (Q. 18:18 and 18:20)? Is Allah in the business of preserving evil animals as they lay asleep for centuries only to awaken them again? More importantly, what were these righteous servants doing with a dog in the first place? Fourth, didn’t Allah give Solomon power over the Jinn to build statues or images (Q. 34:13)? And didn’t the temple, which Solomon built for the worship of God, contain images (1 Kings 6:23-35; 7:27-37; 2 Chronicles 3:10-14)? Does this therefore mean that the angels never entered Solomon’s palace or temple?

The translator of Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, tries to desperately explain away the obvious problems with Muhammad’s stance on dogs,

“The Hadith gives us an idea why the Holy Prophet commanded to kill dogs. There must have been an excess of stray dogs and thus the danger of rabies in the city of Medina and its suburbs. The Holy Prophet, therefore, ordered to kill them. Later on when it was found that his companions were killing them indiscriminately, he forbade them to do so and told them that only ferocious beasts which were a source of danger to life should be killed. The word ‘devil’ clarifies this point. Here devil stands for ferocious…” (Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim, rendered into English by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui [Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 11th Reprint 1995], Volume III & IV, Book X. Kitab Al-Buyu’ (Pertaining To Business Transactions), p. 825, fn. 2012; italicized emphasis ours)

One senses Siddiqui’s desperation to defend the killing of dogs. He tries to justify this by assuming that there was an excess of stray and rabid dogs in Medina, yet provides no proof for such a claim. Secondly, even if his assumption were correct, why did Muhammad allow both hunting and sheep dogs to remain alive? After all, these dogs would be just as deadly since they would come in contact with ferocious disease-infested animals that could have easily transmitted these diseases to humans. Furthermore, we are still left to grapple with the problem of jet-black dogs with two spots being devils. If “devil”, as Sidiqqi states, means ferocious, then why single out these dogs as devils when there were other dogs just as, or even more, ferocious than they? It would seem that Muhammad believed that these animals were literally possessed by devils.

Moreover, Siddiqui’s rationalization makes little sense in regard to the story that started Muhammad’s dog massacre. Did Gabriel say that he could not enter because he was in fear of a dangerous, deadly sick, or ferocious dog? No, it was a little puppy under Muhammad’s cot that prevented Gabriel from entering! And Gabriel said nothing about dogs being infectious or ferocious but made a statement about dogs in general. In fact, the very coupling of “a dog or a picture” refutes Siddiqui’s argument because “a picture” doesn’t fit any of these supposedly “rational reasons”.

The simple fact is that Muhammad was anything but a mercy for creation. He was nothing more than a false prophet and antichrist whose teachings have brought great misery and suffering to the world.

 

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