The Use of Vulgar Language by Muhammad and his Companions
16 Jun, 2007
- It is central in the Islamic faith to believe that Mohammed is the best human Allah ever created, or will ever create. Allah describes him in the Quran:
- "And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character’ and gives a reason why Mohammed was such a great character." [Q.68: 4]
- "Nor does he say of his own desire." [Q.53: 3]
- "It is no less than inspiration sent down to him." [Q.53: 4]
- Mohammed himself explained why he was such a great man with such great qualities in this hadith: ‘Allah brought me up to the good manners and He did so well’.
- Therefore, it is no surprise that the Quran wants mankind to follow the example of Mohammed:
- "Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct." [Q.33: 21]
- Muslims do not only believe that Mohammed had better manners than any other human before or after him, but they also believe that Mohammed is one of the most expressive and eloquent of his time. Even some Muslims tend to associate miracles to his sayings in the same way they associated miracles to the Quran, although the majority of Muslims relate the miracles to the meaning of his sayings (ahadith) rather than its language style.
- A careful reading of Islamic history, written by Muslim historians with inevitable bias towards Islam and its founder, Mohammed, reveals some amazing findings. Mohammed and his companions were not people with high integrity as Muslim scholars want us to believe. This article will not address the issues of tortures, assassinations, mass murders, or personal corruption practiced widely by Mohammed and his companions. They are important issues, but they had already been discussed in details elsewhere. In addition, we will not delve into the Islamic wars and power struggles that litter the Islamic history since Mohammed’s death. In this article we will focus on the language style used by Mohammed, the most eloquent, the best expressive, and the best mannered human created by Allah, as Muslims want us to believe.
- The following hadith is reported by both Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sunan Abu Dawud. It is certified as sahih (authentic) and refers to the story of a Muslim man called Ma’ez who came to Mohammed filled with guilt and admitting adultery:
When Maez came to the prophet pbuh, he (the prophet) asked him ‘ perhaps you kissed or touched or looked at her, he (Ma’ez) said ‘no, messenger of Allah’. He (the prophet) said ‘ aniktaha? (Did you f*** her) and used no other word, he (Ma’ez) said yes, he (the prophet) said until that from you disappeared inside that from her? He (Ma’ez) said yes, and then he ordered him to be stoned (to death).
When I read the word ‘aniktaha’ I did not believe my eyes, how could Mohammed say something as rude as that? Al Bukhari must be a very brave imam to accept to include it in his book. The word is an extremely vulgar word in the Arabic language. You will find it written in any Arabic book or paper, and you will never hear it in any Arabic language radio or TV; it is just too rude!
How come that a man who is believed to be the most eloquent, the best expressive Arab of his time could use such a rude and vulgar language? Did he run out of words? Here, in this hadis Mohammed, claimed to be inspired by Allah (Q.53: 4) caught red-handed using a offensive language suitable only for people with bad manners.
If you ask ordinary Muslims about the above hadith, the chances are they will admit they have never heard it before. But when you ask Muslim scholars for an explanation, they will try hard to justify it on the basis that the word was not considered so rude at the time. Nevertheless, we know aniktaha has always been a very rude word to the Arabs. In fact, the emphasis by the narrator of the above hadith which Mohammed ‘used no other word’ is in itself an indication that the narrator was aware of the obscenity of the word, and possible disbelief of the readers. The absence of the word from all decent Arabic literature or poetry is another indication of the rudeness of the word.
Other Muslim scholars claim that Mohammed deliberately used the word to make sure the man knew what he was talking about, because a decision between life and death would have be taken. I find this a laughable explanation, because Mohammed did not insist on such clarity in other similar circumstances where decisions of stoning were made. According to the above hadith, even after pronouncing the offending word, Mohammed continued to demand more elaboration on the sexual act by asking ‘until that from you disappeared inside that from her’. Ma’ez was a man full with guilt that he couldn’t keep in his chest; he turned to his moral leader to make his confession. He is obviously a man in desperate need for help and support. Mohammed exploited the man’s weakness and despair by asking him to elaborate more on his sexual experience. All the help Ma’ez received from Mohammed was mental torture, then cruel slow death by stoning.
The highly revered companions of Mohammed, known as sahaba, are generally believed to be the best Muslims after Mohammed. Ten of those sahaba were given a guarantee by Mohammed that they would go to paradise. The fact that some of those sahaba actually killed each other in the power struggles that followed Mohammed’s death, does not ring alarm bells in Muslims’ minds. We also have historical evidence that those sahaba also used vulgar language in the presence and absence of Mohammed, who never reprimanded them for their uncouth behaviour. Let us read the following from the books of sira (Mohammed’s history) and other books of Islamic history:
Abu-Bakr was Mohammed’s closest friend; later he became the first Caliph of Islam. The following incident took place when Mohammed was massing an army outside Mecca in preparation to conquer the city. Urwa Ibn Masoud, who was one of the chiefs of Quraysh (Mohammed’s tribe), went to meet Mohammed outside Mecca to dissuade him from attacking the city and his own tribe. Urwa gave a talk to remind Mohammed that he (Mohammed) is, after all, belongs to Quraysh while the people around him may sometime desert him. Abu Bakr heard that but did not like it. He said to Urwa, "We desert him? Go and suck the clitoris of the Al-Lat" (the goddess of Quraysh). [Sources: The Sira Alnabawya by Ibn Hisham, Almaghazi by AlWakidi]
Uthman Ibn Affan, the third Caliph, once said to Ammar Ibn Yasser, "You the one who bites the penis of his father" [Sources: Ansab Al-Ashraf by Al Balathri, Attabakat Alkubra by Ibn S’ad]
Ibn Masoud heard a man looking for something in the mosque, he shouted at him using obscene words, another man blamed Ibn Masoud for saying such words, Ibn Masoud answered: "we were ordered (by Mohammed) to do so!" [Source: Reported by Al Albani from Sahih Ibn Khuzayma]
A man called Ajrad Al Tamimi had a dispute with Ubayy Ibn Ka’ab, Ajrad said (with pride) ‘O the tribe of Tamim’, Ubayy answered him may Allah make you bite the penis of your father. People said to Ubayy, "we did not know you are rude’ he said ‘the prophet pbuh ordered us to say that, and no other words, to people who behave like Jahilia behavouir." [Reported by Ibn Asaker in History of Damascus]