The Instigator
Zeegoner
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Mrihearvoices
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Muhammad, the final prophet of Islam, was a civilized, peaceful man.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mrihearvoices
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,501 times Debate No: 24521
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Zeegoner

Pro

The accusations that Muhammad married a "9 year old" and that he engaged in any harmful acts towards innocent individuals are laughably incorrect. Using evidence from historical events, we can infer that Muhammad married a 19-20 year old Aisha. We can also infer from many accounts that Muhammad was a peaceful man.
Mrihearvoices

Con

I'll be arguing Con for this one. Since there are only 3 rounds, I'll start right up:

Whether or not Muhammad married a 9-year-old girl, it is a well-known fact that he had 11 wives. He owned slaves. He thought of women to be inferior to men (see Hadith 3:826). He also says that "hell is mostly inhabited by women" (see Hadith 2:161 for that one).

Although Muhammad does preach to not kill innocent people, he led a troop of Muslims in battles (look up the Battle of Badr).

I want to clarify something: I have nothing against Muslims, nor do I want this to be a personal debate. Let's just look at the facts.

Thank you and peace be with you.
Debate Round No. 1
Zeegoner

Pro

haha nice username, got me chucklin a bit there ;)

I. MULTIPLE WIVES (11)

Muhammad has obligations apart from normal people, like extra prayers to God. Muhammad preached marriage with only 4 wives to all Muslims of the world, however he was obligated by God to marry with individuals of different tribes in order to create allies and friends from all people, all races, etc. (promote no discrimination against trivial things like skin).

We can also infer that Muhammad did not marry for sex:

1. Because in his lifetime after receiving revelation, a Pagan tribe offered Muhammad riches, women, etc. in exchange, he would stop preaching, yet he refused such a deal for the sake of Islam.

2. Muhammad's first wife was a middle-aged widow, Khadija.

II. HADITH QUOTES

I'm sorry but which Hadiths are these? I personally tend to distrust some Hadiths, as many of them are deemed "weak" by various Muslim Scholars, and it seems that almost all of them have problems here and there.

If we're talking Hadiths though, we can tell that Muhammad did not think women were inferior:

1. a man came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I intend to go on a (military) expedition, but I have come to ask your advice." He said, "Is your mother alive?" He said, "Yes." He said, "Then stay with her, for the Garden (Jannah) is under her feet." This hadith is declared to be sahih by al-Hakim, al-Dhahabi and al-Mundhiri. --Kashf al-Khafa', no. 1078; Al-Da'ifah, no. 593.

2. Why would Muhammad give rights to women in the Quran at all if he viewed them as inferior?

III. Wars

In the Battle of Badr, on the Wiki Encyclopedia it says Muhammad maintained a "a strong defensive position." We can see Muhammad did go to war, but in his own defense. As Muslims we believe that God is the master, and if the true religion (we believe is Islam) is under threat to be annihilated, we must defend it with our lives. If we read, we find that the Meccans have been having skirmishes with the Muslims for quite a long time. This time, the Muslims heard the caravan was carrying stolen goods that belonged to the Muslims, which they stole at the migration to Medina. This caravan was large, outnumbering the Muslims 3:1. We find that according to early Muslim sources, Muhammad didn't even intend any fighting in the first place. When it was almost time they met, the Muslims found out it was a giant army.

IV. SLAVES

Muhammad gave the slaves the choice of being free, and he preached the freeing of slaves to everyone.

1. It's quite famous that Zaid bin Hartha was a slave of Muhammad. Muhammad freed him and gave him the choice to go with his father, who had come to take him, but he refused to go with his father and preferred to stay with Muhammad.

2. Muhammad preferred people call his slaves, sons and daughters, rather than "slaves."

3. There's explicit rights for slaves in the Quran. If Muhammad encouraged enslavement, why would he bother creating these rights?
Mrihearvoices

Con

I.
So he preached marriage to 4 wives but then justified it for his sake to "create allies"? Seems a little fishy to me. Why couldn't other people "create allies" then? I'm not approving of polygamy, but it seems that if he were to preach something, he should go by it himself.

II.
I just came across this in my research and I will site these. Muslims should consider this book still to be reliable, since it is a holy book. However, to clear up any speculation, I will quote the Hadith directly.

Here, he says women are inferior to men. The description says "Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri":

"The Prophet said, 'Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?' The women said, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind.'" (Hadith 3:826)

The next source is here: http://www.sacred-texts.com...

"The Prophet replied, 'I saw Paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women.'" (Hadith 2:161)

Your quote does not prove that he loves women at all. Also, let it be noted that Mary (Mother of Jesus) is the only woman named in the Qur'an.

III.

Wikipedia's reliability is known to be shaky, so I found another source from about.com on the battle. If you read the article here ( http://asianhistory.about.com... ) it says that they had going back and forth for a while. The city of Mecca kicked out Muslims, and the Muslims retaliated. It says nowhere that the Muslims tried to retreive their "stolen goods", nor does it say that Muhammad was against the fighting.

What is does say is that the Muslims tried to raid the caravan, then Mohammad marched his army. After the battle, Muhammad ordered that the held the wealthy be for ransom. That doesn't sound very peaceful to me.

IV.

This is another widely debated issue. I can't find any legitimate source saying that he "preached the freeing of slaves to everyone". The fact of the matter is, he owned and traded African slaves. Take a look at this article as well:
http://asianhistory.about.com...

The myth that he allegedly "bought the freedom of slaves" (not that you said this, but I saw this online) is false. Many times he traded slaves for more slaves.
Whether not he believed in slave rights, he still encouraged slavery through his actions.

Thank you for the response, and good luck in the final round.

Final note: could you please include sources? Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Zeegoner

Pro

I. MARRIAGE

Muhammad preached 4 wives for regular Muslims. Muhammad was the leader, so it was probably cultural that the leader marry with the other tribes.

How could it still be fishy for you? I gave some points proving that Muhammad wasn't sex-hungry. I'll repost them here this time with sources:

1. Because in his lifetime after receiving revelation, a Pagan tribe offered Muhammad riches, women, etc. in exchange, he would stop preaching, yet he refused such a deal for the sake of Islam. (Alfred, Guillaume. The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasu Allah. Oxford University press, 2002. PP. 131-132)

2. Muhammad's very first wife was a middle-aged widow, Khadija. (You don't need a source for that I hope)

II. WOMEN STATUS

Let me come forth right away and put down the accusation that Muhammad believes women are inferior:

"Women are full sisters of men." In Arabic text, Muhammad uses a word, which implies
TOTAL SIMILARITY AND EQUIVALENCE.

YOUR QUOTE: That is commonly misquoted. In this case, the translation is just weak, and if we go into the Arabic text, and the context of the situation, we can conclude that Muhammad is meaning something very different than what is implied by this author.

Note: - Muhammad was speaking to a congregation of women on an upbeat, joyful occasion.
- It is repeatedly stressed by Muhammad the reward for women is equal to that of men in Paradise.

Context: Muhammad was getting the attention of women at this joyous congregation.

QUOTE IN FULL: "On the occasion of Eid, either that of sacrifice or that of ending the fast, the Prophet, peace be upon him, went to the prayer place, and then went to speak to women and he said: "Ladies! I have not seen people deficient in mind and religion yet can get away with a rational man's mind like any one of you." They asked: "How are we deficient in mind and religion, Messenger of God?" He said: "Is it not true that a woman's testimony counts as half that of a man?" When they answered in the affirmative, he said: "This is her mental deficiency. Is it not true that when a woman is in her period she neither prays nor fasts?" They again answered in the affirmative. He said: "This is her religious deficiency." (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Let's tackle this quote in parts:

"I have not seen people deficient in mind and religion yet can get away with a rational man's mind like any one of you."

This means "I haven't seen any human being able to get away with even a rational man's mind like you guys." He is actually asserting here the power of women to influence men and sway their opinion. This is one of the distinctions that women, in their natures, have.

DEFICIENT IN MIND AND RELIGION: It's figurative in Arabic. The translation makes you think Muhammad is insulting these women! How can this make ANY sense in this time and place? Before making assumptions, read the next part:

They asked: "How are we deficient in mind and religion, Messenger of God?" He said: "Is it not true that a woman's testimony counts as half that of a man?" When they answered in the affirmative, he said: "This is her mental deficiency. Is it not true that when a woman is in her period she neither prays nor fasts?" They again answered in the affirmative. He said: "This is her religious deficiency."

Now here are eye-catching words: MENTAL DEFICIENCY, RELIGIOUS DEFICIENCY

When your read this you think it means that the women are DEFICIENT, SUBPAR, in these areas. Well if we go back to the Arabic text, we can find that these words can only REMOTELY make sense when used in this context.

Now, everytime you read "deficient" or "deficiency," put in: "RELIEVED OF"

This is essentially what Muhammad is implying. According to Islamic law, women's testimony can be 1/2 of a man's in some cases. The women are RELIEVED because in these specific cases where it's 1/2 the value, the women are not put as much of a burden to make a testimony. KEEP IN MIND, that also, in Islamic law, in some cases, Men's testimony can be NOT VALUED. These cases can include fosterage and virginity.

CONCLUSION: The translation of this Hadith as quoted is WRONG. It implies Muhammad is insulting women during an Eid festival? Do I need to tell you how boneheaded this translation sounds just at a simple first glance? Here's a much more accurate modern English translation I whipped up adding all the points I mentioned.

Muhammad: Ladies, you guys are so Relieved in the mind! You guys can sweep even a resilient man off his feet! Ladies: How are we relieved in the mind?
Muhammad: You guys only have 1/2 a testimony in cases you may be uneasy about, right?
Ladies: Right
Muhammad: This is your mental relief (from Allah). During menstruation, God has relieved you from praying and fasting, right?
Ladies: Right
Muhammad: This is her relief of religion.

You see, changing almost a single word has cleared up our misunderstandings about this WEAK quote.

YOUR OTHER QUOTE: "The Prophet replied, 'I saw Paradise and stretched my hands towards a bunch (of its fruits) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight. I saw that most of the inhabitants were women.'" (Hadith 2:161)

To start with, the Hadith does not say that most women born on Earth, eventually are doomed to hell. It says that the majority of hell dwellers are women. This simply signifies that more women fail in this worldly test than men. Just think a bit, It really makes a difference in understanding.

Plus, that was Hell AT THAT TIME.
The Quran speaks for ALL TIMES. The Quran doesn't say anything about MORE women being in hell at the Day of Judgment.

MARY BEING THE ONLY FEMALE FIGURE IN THE QURAN -

So what? Women weren't able to get ideas across back in that time... What do you want? Women prophets? It couldn't have been possible back then, nobody would follow a woman.

By the way, women themselves are mentioned MANY times throughout the Quran, so it shouldn't matter.

III. BATTLE OF BADR

Ok, go to the New World Encyclopedia: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org...

Here are their sources:

Translation of Malik's Muwatta.USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts.
Translation of Sahih Muslim.USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts
Translation of Sahih al-Bukhari. USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts
Partial Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud.USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts

Note: there are a lot more sources and notes they used, but It'd take too much space.

I misread, it wasn't "stolen goods," it was money. The caravan was funded with the money that the Muslims had left behind in Mecca before their departure for Medina.

You have put out a blatant lie, the word "raid" is not even used in your source.
Both your AND my sources say that Muhammad tried to AMBUSH the caravan, which outnumbered them 3:1.

The people who Muhammad kept for ransom were ENEMIES OF ISLAM, and EVEN THEN, he didn't kill them, he spared them. Muhammad COMPLETELY spared the poor people too! Sounds pretty peaceful to me.

NOW LET'S GET TO THE MECCANS:

Do you want to know what the Meccans did? Bam, took their swords, and killed all of their prisoners, NOT ONLY THAT, they went and killed all Muslim prisoners of their allies in revenge for the defeat.... Does that sound peaceful to you? Doesn't sound very peaceful to me, sir XD

IV. SLAVES

Muhammad on slaves:

Prophet taught that even the word "slave" should not be used, but one could only say "my boy" or "my girl" . . .
(Osman 989)

Serve Allah . . . and do good - to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the Companion by your side, the way-farer (you meet), and what your right hands possess [i.e. YOUR SLAVES] . . . (4:36) Quran

Muhammad through his actions showed to give slaves their due rights, and allow them to be free if they will to do so.
Mrihearvoices

Con

I.
This just proves that he didn't want to stop preaching, not that he wasn't sex-hungry.

II.
Muhammad says himself in your quote that women have a mental deficiency. It doesn't matter how many people were at his party. You just change the wording of the Sacred Scripture to make it sound innocent!

You say yourself that women fail more and apparently don't live as good lives as men.

You said that "women weren't able to get ideas across". The point I'm trying to make is that because they didn't even mention their name, they have a lot less respect for them. Look in many predominately Muslim cultures in the Middle East--they aren't even allowed to drive or show their faces!

III.
As a side comment, this website looks exactly like Wikipedia.
I have not told a lie! The website doesn't say "raid" but it does say "ambush", two very similar words.
Your source says "Muhammad had given orders for the Muslims to attack with their ranged weapons." Sound pretty violent to me. If he were peaceful, he would've said "forgive thine enemy". Your source says exactly the same thing as mine, so we can agree on that. Here's a definition of ambush:
ambush - those who attack suddenly and unexpectedly from a concealed position.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

IV.
I'm not sure what "Osman 989" is, I tried researching but got nothing relating.

My final point is that if he truly believed slaves should be free, he would lead by example, not by having it in his book how nice he tried to be.

Anyway, thanks to my opponent for a great debate, and I strongly urge a Con vote!
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Mrihearvoices 4 years ago
Mrihearvoices
I think I will accept.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by AnalyticArizonan 4 years ago
AnalyticArizonan
ZeegonerMrihearvoicesTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded that Muhammad waged wars which is by definition, not peaceful. By doing so, he negated the resolution. Not a vote bomb. Just a concise RFD. Con posted more reliable sources and more often to back up his points.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
ZeegonerMrihearvoicesTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: countering arizonian's votebomb