A story from Sahih Bukhari

April 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm (Uncategorized)

Here is some entertainment from Sahih Bukhari (SaHeeH bu(kh)aaree) (which compiled sayings of Muhammad, sayings of Muhammad’s companions, deeds of Muhammad, deeds of Muhammad’s companions, and other relevant narrations, arranged thematically). This collection was compiled by Muhammad al-Bukhari (muHammad al-bu(kh)aaree; full name: muHammad bin ismaa’eel bin ibraaheem bin al-mu(gh)eerah bin bardiziyah al-bu(kh)aaree; lived from 810 to 870 CE).

Ka’b bin al-Ashraf was a Jewish poet who was particularly vexing for Muhammad. As non-Muslim poets were wont to do, Bin al-Ashraf was wont to insult Muhammad and Islam. These words seriously hurt Muhammad, perfect prophet of the Almighty God. We are sure the words of Bin al-Ashraf also seriously hurt and offended Islam’s Almighty God. The poor dears.

For ease of reading, We have divided the narration into paragraphs, which, from what We can tell, did not exist in the original. This is from a translation of the collection which We downloaded from off the Internet.

Volume 5, book 59, Hadee(th) number 369 of SaHeeH bu(kh)aaree:
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” The Prophet said, “Yes,” Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a [false] thing [i.e. to deceive Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf]. “The Prophet said, “You may say it.”

Then Muhammad bin Maslama went to Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf and said, “That man [i.e. Muhammad] demands Sadaqa [i.e. Zakat]* from us, and he has troubled us, and I have come to borrow something from you.”
On that, Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf said, “By Allah, you will get tired of him!”
Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Now as we have followed him, we do not want to leave him unless and until we see how his end is going to be. Now we want you to lend us a camel load or two of food.” (Some difference between narrators about a camel load or two.)
Ka`b bin Al−Ashraf said, “Yes, [I will lend you,] but you should mortgage something to me.”
Muhammad bin Maslama and his companion said, “What do you want?”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf replied, “Mortgage your women to me.”
They said, “How can we mortgage our women to you and you are the most handsome of the Arabs?”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf said, “Then mortgage your sons to me.”
They said, “How can we mortgage our sons to you? Later they would be abused by the people’s saying that so−and−so has been mortgaged for a camel load of food. That would cause us great disgrace, but we will mortgage our arms to you.” Muhammad bin Maslama and his companion promised Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf that Muhammad bin Maslama would return to him.

Muhammad bin Maslama came to Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf at night along with Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf ‘s foster brother, Abu Na’ila. Ka’b invited them to come into his fort, and then he went down to them. His wife asked him, “Where are you going at this time?”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf replied, “None but Muhammad bin Maslama and my (foster) brother Abu Na’ila have come.”
His wife said, “I hear a voice as if dropping blood is from him.”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf said. “They are none but my brother Muhammad bin Maslama and my foster brother Abu Na’ila. A generous man should respond to a call at night even if invited to be killed.”

Muhammad bin Maslama went with two men. (Some narrators mention the men as Abu bin Jabr, Al-Harith bin Aus, and ‘Abbad bin Bishr.) So Muhammad bin Maslama went in together with two men, and said to them, “When Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf comes, I will touch his hair and smell it, and when you see that I have got hold of his head, strip him. I will let you smell his head.”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf came down to them wrapped in his clothes, and diffusing perfume. Muhammad bin Maslama said. “I have never smelt a better scent than this.”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf replied. “I have got the best ‘Arab women who know how to use the high class of perfume.”
Muhammad bin Maslama requested Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf, “Will you allow me to smell your head?”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf said, “Yes.”
Muhammad smelt it and made his companions smell it as well. Then he requested Ka’b again, “Will you let me (smell your head)?”
Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf said, “Yes.”
When Muhammad bin Maslama got a strong hold of him, he said (to his companions), “Get at him!” So they killed him and went to the Prophet and informed him. (Abu Rafi’) was killed after Ka’b bin Al−Ashraf.

More stories and aHadee(th) to come!

inna naHnu-l-a’lam.


  1. Christopher Taylor said,

    You know… these stories sound kind of like Allah and Muhammad are pansies. They needed someone to be sneaky and trick someone because a poet said something mean?

    At least Elijah had bears eat people who mocked him and called fire down on soldiers…

  2. Scott said,

    Interesting, and maybe a (big) part of the reason why Islamic cultures haven’t amounted to much as developed nations; religion is regarded to a greater or lesser extent as an overarching “law”, and any religion that justifies lying (under any pretext) is a direct threat to the concept of contract law.

    And advanced civilization is built on contracts – people don’t work together because they’re perfect beings, they do it for mutual benefit, which only works as long as that mutual benefit is assured. But it is just too easy to opt out of unpleasant contracts where the option exists (that much is human nature), which in this case takes the form of convincing some imam that the contract is “un-islamic”, or made to a non-muslim, or a muslim who “isn’t islamic enough”, etc etc. Which simultaneously bolsters Islamism and defeats efforts towards civilized interaction.

    Which in turn leaves Islamist cultures in the position of watching the rest of the world speed past them (technologolically, medically, and etc), and causes them to worry about becoming irrelevant in the global world. So they do the only thing permissible under their islamic yoke – gain acknowledgement and influence in world affairs by means of forcible extortion or even conquest. Which has to be done through secret channels i.e. terrorism lest the developed world be given an excuse to fight back under its own stifling self-constraints, and of course using technologies developed by non-islamic countries.

    Here’s hoping the west is given enough excuses to fight back before it’s too late…

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