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From "Why I am Not a Muslim"  by Ibn Warraq.  This book is a collection of Journal published articles on what may be reasonable said about the life of Mohammed--not what is politically correct.  Like with Jesus, there are no reliable sources for the life of the Mohammed. 

Carl Barks
Duck being attacked by the 3 Harpies

Those are body parts at his feet



Sira and the al-Maghazi, historical writings, survives chiefly in the form of quotes by later historians. The
Sira is on the life of Muhammad, while the al-Maghazi is on the military conquest of the Prophet and his companions.

Koran and Koranic exegesis (tafsir) contain little about Muhammad.

Hadith (the traditions), prophetic tradition.

The al Maghazi (also maghazi 'l-nabi, maghazi rasul allah) are ascribed to al-Waqidi (d. 207/823) (at pages 24-5).


Aban b. `Uthman al-Bajkali (ca. 20/640-100/718), son of the murder caliph who wrote a book on maghazi which has not survived, nor has it been cited by Ibn Ishaq or al-Waqidi.

`Urwa b. al-Zubayr b. al-Awwam (23/643-94/712) the cousin of the Prophet and referred to the founder of Islamic history. There is doubt that he authored anything, but there are many traditiions that have been handed down in his name.

Shurabil b. sa`d (d. 123/740), who wrote a maghazi, but this book was considered unreliable and thus seldom used by later historians.

Wahb b. Munabbih (34/654-110/728), who wrote the Kitab al-Mubtada, which inspired many Muslim versions of the lives of the prophets. However, much was attributed to him for which he was not responsible, and the earliest fragment is 228/842, and several early writers did not use him.

Ibn Ishaq (ca 85/704-150/767), a main authority on the life and times of the Prophet. He is credited with the Sira and also A History of the Caliphs, and a book of Sunan. His reputation varied considerably among the early Muslim critics: some found him very sound, while others regarded him as a liar in relation to Hadith. His Sira is not extent in its original form, but is present in two recessions done in 218/833 and 199/814-15, and these texts vary from one another. Fourteen others have recorded his lectures, but their versions differ.

Al-Waqidi (130/747-207/822-23), who worte over twenty works of an historical nature, but only the Kitab al-Maghazi has survived as an independent work. His reputation is mared by the fact that he relied upon story tellers; viz., those who embellished the stories of others. Al-Waqidi did such embellish, such as by adding dates and other details onto the account of Ibn Ishaq (at pages 25-29)

COMMENTS: "It was the storytellers who created the tradition: the sound historical traditons to which they are supposed to have added their fables simply did not exist. . . . Nobody remembered anything to the contrary either. . . . There was no continuous transmission. Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi, and others were cut of from the past: like the modern scholar, they could not get behind their sources. . . (102). Finally, it has to be realized that the tradition as a whole, not just parts of it as some have thought, is tendentious, and that that tendentiousness arises from allegiance to Islam itself. The complete unreliability of the Muslim tradition as far as dates are concerned has been demonstrated by Lawrence Conrad. After close examination of the sources in an effort to find the most likely birth date for Muhammad--traditionally `Am al-fil, the Year of the Elephant, 570 C.E.--Conrad remarks that: 'Well into the second century A.H. scholarly opinion on the birth date of the Prophet displayed a range of variance of eighty-five years. . . ." Indeed, it appears that the only secure date anywhere in the whole saga of the origins of Islam is 622 C.E., which has been confirmed from dated coinage as marking the beginning of a new era. . . . As we have seen, the important Islamic concept of Sunna, the right or established way of doing things, began as generalized idea. There was Sunna of a region, the Sunna of a group of persons, or the Sunna of some particular distinguished person, such as David or Solomon or the Caliph, even the Sunna of Allah. It was not until the manufacture of Hadiths (Prophetic traditions) got under way in the second Islamic century that all these vague notions were absorbed and particularized in the detailed sunnt an-nabi (Sunna of the Prophet). . . . Muhammad, as Prophet and mouthpiece for the universal diety Allah, is an invention of the ulama of the second and third centuries A.H. (at pages 102-05).

Non-Arab contemporary accounts: We conclude that the local sources written before the early eighth century provide no evidence for a planned invasions of Arabs from the Peninsula, nor for great battles which crushed the Byzantine army; nor do they mention any caliph before Mu`awiya, who by contrast is clearly a historical figure fully attested from several works. The picture the contemporary literary sources provide is rather of raids of the familiar type. And the raiders stayed because they found no military opposition. We suggest, on this and other evidence, that what took place was a series of raids and minor engagements;, which gave rise to stories among the Arab newcomers of How We Beat the Romans; these were later selected and embellished in late Umayyad and early ~Abbasid times to form an Official History of the Conquest. The ayyam nature of these accounts explains why the written versions of the Traditional Muslim account disagree with each other concerning the names of battles, of commanders, the number of participants and casualties, and so on. Furthermore, if we are to judge from this literature, we must conclude that the mass of Arab tribesman were pagan at the time of their influx into the Fertile Crescent, and remained so throughout the seventh century; the governing elite adopted a simple form of monotheism, basically Judaeo-Christian, which may be discerned in an account of official Christian dealings with Arab governor during the early years of Mu`awiya's rule (the 640s/20s)(at pages 433).

Archaeological evidence: archaeological evidence thus indicates that Byzantium began to withdraw militarily from al-Sham already a hundred years before the Sassanian forays started in 604 C.E. (at 435). This section of the book goes on to describe additional archaeological evidence that conflicts with the official-religious account. Coinage, for example, does not until 71 A.H. contain "either the name Muhammad or any specifically Islamic phrases." 436

The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, edited and translated by Ibn Warraq, Prometheus Books, 59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, New York 14228-2197, 2000.

Koran, slavery and anti-Semitism

The main source of slaves was the pilgrimages to Mecca where poor Sudanese would sell one of their children into slavery for to pay for they journey home.  In 1962 the government changed the law, it no longer allowed the purchase of slaves, although it still allowed the purchase of wives. 


The Koran was used by clerics to legitimize the government’s anti-Jewish fever.  Portions of the Koran that condemned Jews:  The Jews are enemies of the of Allah, of the Prophets, of the angels (297-98).  They lies against Allah (450).   They kill the prophets of Allah (571).  They are enemies of the believers (582).  They will receive the punishment of hell fire (793).   [These passages] were given evermore prominence.  [King] Fisal when beyond what even the Koran taught about Jews….  Fisal ordered that all hotels have the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in every room….  Fisal believed the Jews used the blood of Moslems and Christians in their religious holidays [a widely held by Christians Medieval belief].  From the Secrets of the Kingdom:  The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection, Chapter 3, Gerald Posner, 2005

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The skeptic is one who judges all things according to the evidence.  The common herd affirms many things to a degree well beyond what the evidence supports; and conversely doubts that which is worthy of greater affirmation.  The humanistic skeptic applies a second measure, that of  harm resulting from such beliefs.  Issues of economics and politics, of religion, quackery and corporate medicine, and of imprudent behavior top the harm done list.   Education and scientific psychology are gateways to following the dictates of reason.