Robert Spencer: Answering an Islamic apologist (Part IV)

  1. How did Muhammad react when he heard that a 120-year-old Jewish poet, Abu ‘Afak, had been killed?
    Where is the name Abu ‘Afak mentioned anywhere in the six authentic books of Hadith?
    As for blasphemy, the Quran rejects any worldly punishment against those who mock the signs of Allah, their account will be in the hereafter: [4:141] “And He has already revealed to you in the Book that, when you hear the Signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allah will assemble the hypocrites and the disbelievers in Hell, all together;”(4:141), “And bear patiently all that they say; and part with them in a decent manner.” (73:11)
    As opposed to this, the Bible teaches: “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.” (Leviticus 24:16)

Once again Rizwan Khan hopes that you don’t know that authoritative material is not found only in the Qur’an and six authentic books of Hadith. The killing of Abu Afak (which pleased Muhammad) is recounted in three of the earliest biographies of Muhammad: that of Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi, and Ibn Sa’d. And in reality, there is much support in the Qur’an and Sunnah for the death penalty for blasphemy. It can arguably be found in this verse: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.” (5:33)

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