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Hadith

Summary: 

Myth: "Our Prophet (peace be upon him) suffered at the hands of the polytheists merely for preaching the religion of Allah to the poor and marginalized" 

What the hadiths say:

According to Muslim historians, the Meccans were actually quite tolerant of Muhammad preaching his new religion.  Mecca was an open society where different religions were respected.  Polytheists, Jews and Christians lived and worshipped side-by-side, especially during the holy months, when pagan pilgrims would travel long distances from beyond the city to perform their rituals at the Kaaba.

Muhammad brought on the resentment of the local people not by preaching Islam, but by breaking with Meccan tradition and cursing other religions:

When the apostle openly displayed Islam as Allah ordered him, his people did not withdraw or turn against him, so far as I have heard, until he spoke disparagingly of their gods.  When he did that, they took great offence and resolved unanimously to treat him as an enemy. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 167), "[Muhammad] declared Islam publicly to his fellow tribesmen.  When he did so, they did not withdraw from him or reject him in any way, as far as I have heard, until he spoke of their gods and denounced them." (al-Tabari Vol.VI, p.93)

Although asked to stop, Muhammad continued to stir up trouble by “condemning” the local religion, causing the Meccans great anxiety:

[The Meccans] said they had never known anything like the trouble they had endured from this fellow.  He had declared their mode of life foolish, insulted their forefathers, reviled their religion, divided the community and cursed their gods (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 183)."We [the Meccans] have never seen the like of what we have endured from this man [Muhammad].  He has derided our traditional values, abused our forefathers, reviled our religion, caused division among us, and insulted our gods.  We have endured a great deal from him." (al-Tabari, Vol.VI p.101)

Other references:   (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 188),  (al-Tabari, the Tarikh Vol. 1), 

Summary: 

Hadith as source of Islamic history

 

Besides this, the Hadith is the source of the history of Islam. If we do not consider its reports to be reliable, we cannot believe with certainty that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali -- may God be pleased with them -- were Companions of the Holy Prophet, who succeeded him in this order, and also died in this order. If Hadith is considered unreliable, then there is no evidence to definitely believe that these holy personages existed. It would be possible, in that case, that all these names were fictitious, and in fact there had not been an Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman or Ali, because according to Mr Ata Muhammad, the objector, all these traditions are isolated, and these names are not given in the Holy Quran. So according to this principle, they cannot be accepted as authentic. Similarly, the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s father having the name Abdullah, his mother having the name Amina, and his grandfather having the name Abdul Muttalib; one of his wives being called Khadija, one Aishah and one Hafsa, and his wet-nurse being called Halima; the Holy Prophet’s withdrawing to the cave of Hira for worship, the emigration of some of his Companions to Abyssinia, his staying in Makka for ten years after the Call, and then all those battles no mention of which is to be found in the Holy Quran -- all these facts are known only from Hadith. Should all of these be denied on the grounds that Hadith is not reliable? If this is true, Muslims would not be able to give any details of the life of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him.

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