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Theme Changer

 Topic: The story of Saffiyah

 (Read 13058 times)
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  • The story of Saffiyah
     OP - January 30, 2013, 05:19 PM

    what is the Safiyyah and Rayana story?


    It is difficult to try to be neutral when describing the enslavement and rape of Safiyyah. I generally try to let the ahadith speak for themselves, which is bad enough, but I think that the story of Safiyyah needs to be told in a manner that portrays its repulsive nature.  Feel free to cross-reference everything that I say with Islamic sources.

    After years of virtual stalemate between himself and the Meccan army, Muhammad decided to plunder the Jewish village of Khaybar, to the north of Madinah. Khaybar was a fertile oasis filled with lush palm trees flourishing vegetation. Furthermore, the Jewish inhabitants, many of whom were expelled from Madinah by Muhammad just a few years earlier, were skilled craftsmen with stores of gold and valuable weaponry. Muhammad gathered his troops on the outskirts of the town.  Preparing his armies for a surprise raid at dawn, he shouted “When we descend upon their precincts, terrible indeed shall be the morning of those who had been warned!”  

    With that, Muhammad’s men descended upon the sleeping town, wreaking havoc, cutting palm trees, killing men, and enslaving women. One of the men that was captured was Kinana. Kinana was rumored to have knowledge of the location of a great treasure. Muhammad had his men torture Kinana to learn the treasure’s location, threatening him with death if he refused to disclose it. After finding the treasure, Muhammad had Kinana killed.

    As the village lay in defeat, the bloodied and bruised bodies of the dead scattered about the rode, Muhammad had his men tie up the women and force them into sexual slavery. The women, bounded by rope and completely distraught, were screaming, wailing, pulling at their own hair and rubbing their faces in dust. Walking by, Muhammad referred to them as “she devils.” He gave orders to his companions to “chose whatever women they wanted.”

    One of those women was 17 year old Safiyyah Bint Huyay. Safiyyah was the daughter of the tribe’s chief. She was also the wife of Kinana, whom Muhammad had tortured and killed earlier. Once Muhammad learned of her status, and of her striking beauty, he ordered her to be reserved for himself. He threw his cloak over her to show that she was his property.

    She was cleaned, beautified, and prepared for the pleasure of the 60 year old self proclaimed prophet—the same man who ordered the raiding of her village, the enslavement of her friends, the murder of her father, and the torture and death of her husband.

    Al- Bukhari Narrates:
    Narrated Abdul Aziz:
    Anas said, "When Allah's Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there (early in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet. He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, ‘Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.’ He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, ‘Muhammad (has come).’ (Some of our companions added, ‘With his army.’) We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, ‘O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.’ The Prophet said, ‘Go and take any slave girl.’ He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Allah's Apostle! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.’ So the Prophet said, ‘Bring him along with her.’ So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, ‘Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.’" Anas added: "The Prophet then manumitted her and married her."
    Thabit asked Anas, "O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?" He said, "Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then married her." Anas added, "While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the Prophet. So the Prophet was a bridegroom and he said, ‘Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.’ He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others cooking butter. (I think he (Anas) mentioned As-Sawaq). So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal). And that was Walima (the marriage banquet) of Allah's Apostle." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367)

    Ibn Hisham states:

    “Safiyah was born in Medinah. She belonged to the Jewish tribe of Banu 'I-Nadir. When this tribe was expelled from Medinah in the year 4 A.H, Huyaiy was one of those who settled in the fertile colony of Khaibar together with Kinana ibn al-Rabi' to whom Safiyah was married a little before the Muslims attacked Khaibar. She was then seventeen. She had formerly been the wife of Sallam ibn Mishkam, who divorced her. One mile from Khaibar. Here the Prophet married Safiyah. She was groomed and made-up for the Prophet by Umm Sulaim, the mother of Anas ibn Malik. They spent the night there. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari guarded the tent of the Prophet the whole night. When, in the early dawn, the Prophet saw Abu Ayyub strolling up and down, he asked him what he meant by this sentry-go; he replied: "I was afraid for you with this young lady. You had killed her father, her husband and many of her relatives, and till recently she was an unbeliever. I was really afraid for you on her account". The Prophet prayed for Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Ibn Hisham, p. 766)
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #1 - January 30, 2013, 06:32 PM

    Sadly I've heard muslims defend it by saying that she was happy to be freed from her husband and family, and practically begged mohammed to come and get her.

    It was told to me that way as a love story.  Grin


    Truth is far from it.   Roll Eyes

    Why else would his companion have been afraid for his safety in the tent with her?  the epic love story of calling for him to rescue her would have been known by him, if it had happened that way.

    Reality is mohammed allowed rape, participated in it, but just said he was better because he made his captive is wife. 

    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #2 - January 30, 2013, 06:55 PM

    A love story. Nice. (HM shakes his head in disbelief.)

    I wonder if people who say stuff like that really even believe their own BS. A teenager fell in love with a 60 year old and begged him to raid her town, murder her father, torture her husband, and enslave her girl friends? Happens all the time!
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #3 - January 30, 2013, 06:57 PM

    ^ Yes, but who can blame them when this story is so unknown and even Western academics romanticize the story without using any source material.

    Martin Lings wrote in 'Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources' the following:

    Quote
    He then told Safiyya that he was prepared to set her free, and he offered her the choice between remaining a Jewess and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. (pg. 277)


    He does not provide any references for this offer that Muhammad supposedly made to Saffiyah. Talk about sloppy scholarship on such an important controversial issue.

    And this book by Lings has generally got very good reviews on Amazon.com. Here is my 1-star review of it:

    http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Life-Based-Earliest-Sources/product-reviews/1594771537/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #4 - January 30, 2013, 07:05 PM

    Rayhana's story is similar, isn't it?

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #5 - January 30, 2013, 07:07 PM

    So for Muslims, the Quran is like the original "50 shades of gray"?? Stories of rape, slavery, abuse, bondage, violence are supposed to be "love stories"? Have they heard of the idea of "consent"?

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #6 - January 30, 2013, 07:13 PM

    You don't need consent with the apostle of Allah because Allah (and his apostle) knows best

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #7 - January 30, 2013, 07:14 PM

    Rayhana's story is similar, isn't it?


    Rayhana's story is almost identical. Except that Rayhana refused to convert to Islam so Muhammad kept her as a concubine and she never became his wife officially.

    Though there is less certainty about the story of Rayhana, I think it appears in the Sira of Ibn Ishaq but not in the hadiths. And some sources do say that she did eventually become one of his wives. But that may be simply because they felt uncomfortable with writing that Muhammad kept a concubine without marrying her.

    Anyway, I suspect that most Muslims will simply deny the story of Rayhana because it may not be in the hadiths (as far as I know). But they can't do the same with Saffiyah, they would have to reject the Hadiths to do so.
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #8 - January 30, 2013, 07:20 PM

    Bookmarked this to show my daughters one day.

    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #9 - January 30, 2013, 07:21 PM

    Great review tonyt. I gave it a “yes” for being helpful.

    In all honesty, if the account of Muhammad’s capture of Safiyyah is historically true, it would not be an uncommon thing for an Arabian warlord to do. Up until the last century, women captured in Bedouin raids were taken as slaves, with the most beautiful and highly statured women being reserved for the chief. In fact, the mother of the current king of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, was a princess of the Al-Rashid dynasty. The Al Rahid were the bitter rivals of the Al Saud, who controlled much of Najd until Ibn Saud’s insurgency. She was captured when the Shammar territory of Ha’il was defeated and was given to Ibn Saud as a “bride,” according to cultural norms. Was it morally reprehensible? Yes. Was it anything new or strange in that culture? No.

    The problem is that Muslims treat Muhammad as more than a warlord. They try to justify all of his acts on moral grounds and consider him to be a model for humanity.  They run into so many problems when stories like this are blatantly mentioned in Sahih al Bukhari.     
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #10 - January 30, 2013, 07:30 PM

    Bookmarked this to show my daughters one day.


    You're the best dad in the world dude, seriously

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #11 - January 30, 2013, 07:32 PM

    The problem is that Muslims treat Muhammad as more than a warlord. They try to justify all of his acts on moral grounds and consider him to be a model for humanity.  They run into so many problems when stories like this are blatantly mentioned in Sahih al Bukhari.     


    Honestly, Mo is Islam's achilles heel. To the claims of Islam's immutable, eternal, timeless universal moral perfect and supremacism. Mo is its achilles heel.

    Why else is he defended with such violence, hysteria and frenzy. You just show the truth about Mo, and all the ethical and truth claims Islam makes for itself fall down like a house of cards.

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #12 - January 30, 2013, 07:45 PM

    I totally agree. Personally, I had never heard the story in such detail until I was in Madinah, but I can honestly say that there was never a time when these stories did not bother me. I tried not to think about them, I pushed them aside, but I always found them troubling. I can not understand Muslims who can read this kind of stuff and really believe that it is ok, or worse, try to justify it on ethical grounds! Hah, I love story... banghead
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #13 - January 30, 2013, 07:47 PM

    Reminds me of that scene in Mel Gibson's Apocalypto when they raid the village in the morning and capture all the slaves. It must have been a fairly similar scene.
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #14 - January 30, 2013, 07:55 PM

    In all honesty, if the account of Muhammad’s capture of Safiyyah is historically true, it would not be an uncommon thing for an Arabian warlord to do. Up until the last century, women captured in Bedouin raids were taken as slaves, with the most beautiful and highly statured women being reserved for the chief.


    I was reading an article the other day about Semitic languages. By looking at root words that many Semitic languages share, it is possible for linguists to speculate on the origins and culture of the first "proto-semitic" speaking peoples. For example, the fact that most Semitic languages share the same word for a certain crops like figs, pistachios, and almonds suggests that the first Semitic peoples hailed from an area where these crops grew.

    Apparently many Semitic languages share the same word for female slaves but have a different word for male slaves. So linguists suggest that in Proto-Semitic societies, slaves were perhaps acquired as prisoners of war, the males being killed. The minute I read that I thought about Muhammad.

    Quote
    Other Proto-Semitic words provide more glimpses into the social structure. That it was stratified is shown by the existence of words for “king” or “prince” (two are found,*arr- and *malk-, the latter of which is associated with the verbal root mlk, “to rule”), “lord, owner, master,” *bal- (and the feminine *balat- “lady”; see bl), and “female slave,” *amat-. (No masculine counterpart is reconstructible; slaves were perhaps acquired as prisoners of war, the males being killed.) Communities had judges who adjudicated (dyn) over local disputes.

    http://www.jamshid-ibrahim.net/148.0.html
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #15 - January 30, 2013, 07:56 PM

    I never got angry with my younger brother with a deep contempt until he tried defending Mo's action on Safiyyah and thinks that she is in love with him despite that I pointed it out to him that Mo  killed both her father and husband.

    I was troubled about the event when I read the part in Seerah as a muslim.

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #16 - January 30, 2013, 07:58 PM

    In fact, the mother of the current king of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, was a princess of the Al-Rashid dynasty. The Al Rahid were the bitter rivals of the Al Saud, who controlled much of Najd until Ibn Saud’s insurgency. She was captured when the Shammar territory of Ha’il was defeated and was given to Ibn Saud as a “bride,” according to cultural norms.


    This is very interesting and very sad, TBH. Just looked her up, and wikipedia has some interesting articles linked about King Abdullah's mother, Fahda, like this one (it's a pdf):

    Sindi, Abdullah Mohammad. "The Direct Instruments of Western Control over the Arabs: The Shining Example of the House of Saud" (PDF). Social sciences and humanities.

    "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #17 - January 30, 2013, 08:10 PM

    I totally agree. Personally, I had never heard the story in such detail until I was in Madinah, but I can honestly say that there was never a time when these stories did not bother me. I tried not to think about them, I pushed them aside, but I always found them troubling. I can not understand Muslims who can read this kind of stuff and really believe that it is ok, or worse, try to justify it on ethical grounds! Hah, I love story... banghead


    This is one of the stories that caused me to seriously question the religion too when I first read it. Common sense wouldn't allow for the justifications that were given. Seriously who would willingly marry (fuck) the man who killed her father and tortured and killed her husband?! The thing that kept me in Islam even after reading this were these phrases:

    1) "Beware of the evil Whisperer who whispers into the hearts of mankind and Jinn".
    2) "Allah will open your heart to the truth. You just have to be patient and trust in Him".

    Those and other such phrases built into religion and cults that subdue your common sense and doubts. Im soooo glad I'm not infected by this anymore.

    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #18 - January 30, 2013, 08:20 PM

    Want to write the wiki entry on this?

    When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


    A.A. Milne,

    "We cannot slaughter each other out of the human impasse"
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #19 - January 30, 2013, 08:51 PM

    I was fooled by this story as well, always thinking it was a love story. But knowing the details of how it actually happened makes it sound horrifying.

    Here is an article I found on answering-christianity.com, a pro-Islam site, that tries to defend the story of Saffiyah. It pretty much includes all the justifications that I ever heard, so it's probably an accurate representation of how Muslims think of the story: http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/safiyyah_the_wife_of_the_prophet.htm

    Some snippets if you don't want to read the whole thing:

    Quote
    The Prophet acknowledged the honesty of Safiyyah and what a great acknowledgement it was as it came from the most honest person on earth. Zayd ibn Aslam said, "When the Prophet was so sick and on the verge of death his wives gathered around him. Safiyyah bint Huyayyay said, 'O Messenger of Allah, by Allah, I would like to be in your place.' Hearing her utterance, the Prophet's wives winked at her. The Prophet saw them and said, 'Rinse your mouths.' They said, 'For what, Messenger of Allah?' He said, 'For your winking at her, by Allah, she is telling the truth.'" (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p.101, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.175)

    Just see how much Safiyyah loved the Prophet.

    Actually, it sounds like she wanted to die.

    Quote
    Here is Umm al- Mu'minin, Safiyyah, relates those moments when she hated the Prophet for killing her father and her ex-husband. The Prophet apologized to her saying, "Your father charged the Arabs against me and committed heinous act," he apologized to the extent that made Safiyyah get rid of her bitterness against the Prophet. (Al-Bayhaqi, Dala'il an-Nubuwwah, vol. 4, p. 230, Cited in Muhammad Fathi Mus'ad, The Wives of the Prophet Muhammad: Their Strives and Their Lives, p.166)

    Yes, indeed Safiyyah was angry at the Prophet at first but she forgave him later on. This is mainly due to the fact that she always knew that Muhammad was indeed a Prophet.

    No, that's not a fact. And her emotional situation is more commonly known as Stockholm Syndrome

    Quote
    We have in fact the Prophet(P) making the following offer to her, as recorded by Martin Lings:

    He [the Prophet Muhammad - Ed.] then told Safiyyah that he was prepared to set her free, and he offered her the choice between remaining a Jewess and returning to her people or entering Islam and becoming his wife. "I choose God and His Messenger," she said; and they were married at the first halt on the homeward march. (Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based On The Earliest Sources (George Allen & Unwin, 1983), p. 269, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)

    Her city is destroyed, her friends and family killed, and she has the choice to be left on her own to die or remain with her captors. Tough choice.

    Quote
    This significant act of marrying Safiyyah(R) was indeed a great honour for her, for this not only preserved her dignity, it also prevented her from becoming a slave. Haykal notes that:

    The Prophet granted her freedom and then married her, following the examples of great conquerors who married the daughters and wives of the kings whom they had conquered, partly in order to alleviate their tragedy and partly to preserve their dignity. (Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad (North American Trust Publications, 1976), p. 373, Cited in http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/index.php/articles/umm-ul-mukminin-safiyyah-the-jewish-wife-of-muhammadp)

    Wait, I thought her choice was between being set free or marrying Muhammad. Now you're saying it was actually a choice between becoming a slave or marrying him? Sounds like true love to me.

    I hear the rains, I see the fire, I feel the flame. It doesn't change the faces I want to blame for the shame I'm feeling.
    But the winds of change will blow again. And we're the lucky ones who travel on towards the sun.

    Can you hear it calling you?
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #20 - January 30, 2013, 09:27 PM

    This whole “love story” business is truly baffling. What? Do they imagine Mo gallantly riding in on a white horse, hair fluttering in the wind behind him, as Safiyya stretched out her arms? “Save me Mo! Kill my dad! Enslave my tribe! I love you!!!”

    Or is it supposed to be like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon when the princess fell in love with the desert bandit?

     The only legitimate position to take is to argue that things were different back then—and they were. So don’t tell me that we should use the life of a 7th century desert preacher as a guide for how to live today. Leave that garbage in the past and move on to the 21st century!
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #21 - January 30, 2013, 09:40 PM

    I first came across this story when I was reading criticism of Islam so I've never heard about this love story BS as I've never discussed it with any Muslims. I remember some apologist somewhere online claiming that Muhammad was actually doing Saffiyah a favour by freeing her. No amount of apologetics can change the fact that it is absolutely absurd to believe that a woman willingly had sex with the man who killed her father and her husband, and murdered/enslaved her entire tribe.  
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #22 - January 30, 2013, 09:42 PM

    Re Luthiel's post: 
    It baffles me how Muslims can defend this stuff. How is being raped by the man who killed/enslaved your entire fucking tribe a "preservation of dignity"? Love story, my foot! I first came across the account of Saffiyah when I was doubting and I can't understand how anyone can continue to believe Mo was a good guy after reading this. 
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #23 - January 30, 2013, 11:56 PM

    Umm, and is this the same safiyyah who beheaded a man in battle and tossed that head over a wall to scare off others? 

    I have never heard the TRUE story before about how muhammed got his hands on her.  Oy to the Vey.  I have to share this one with my husband.  This was profoundly disturbing.  I figured the official "love story" line was BS.  No good Jewish girl back then would ever just go running into the arms of a non Jewish man.  It always seemed fishy.

    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #24 - January 30, 2013, 11:59 PM

    I wonder why I never heard this love story thing until now? Who the hell made it up?
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #25 - January 31, 2013, 12:30 AM

    Maybe it's emphasized more to women. We were always told how we should emulate the prophet's wives.

    I hear the rains, I see the fire, I feel the flame. It doesn't change the faces I want to blame for the shame I'm feeling.
    But the winds of change will blow again. And we're the lucky ones who travel on towards the sun.

    Can you hear it calling you?
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #26 - January 31, 2013, 12:50 AM

    .. my mind is BLOWN... this IS worst than Aisha's story...  wacko Did Muhammad ever legitimately fall in love with an adult woman and did she willing marry him without being a captive or being handed over to him. I mean I know Muhammad was a man of his time.. but I mean come'on.

    ***~Church is where bad people go to hide~***
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #27 - January 31, 2013, 02:58 AM

    This is the first time I heard of this story. My faith has been shaken...
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #28 - January 31, 2013, 03:21 AM

    dont u guys understand he was just trying to protect her.  Roll Eyes

    Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. - Voltaire
  • The story of Saffiyah
     Reply #29 - January 31, 2013, 03:27 AM

    One justification I remember hearing was that by marrying her her family became his family and came under his protection... except that he killed all the men already and took the women as slaves! So by marrying her he was doing a service to her tribe. Oh and as for taking the women as slaves well they had no men to take care of them and provide for them so by becoming slaves to the Muslims at least they would be taken care of.  Roll Eyes Now how totally fucked up is that way of thinking?

    All these excuses and justifications are like being caught with ones pants down then scrambling to make excuses for it that wont make one look bad. Its amusing and pathetic at the same time. But hey we all did this too to some extent as "Believers".

    -------------------
    Believe in yourself
    -------------------
    Strike me down and I'll just become another nail in your coffin
    -------------------
    There's such a thing as sheep in wolfs clothing... religious fanatics
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