‘Why A’isha Likely Poisoned Muhammad, Not a Jewish Woman’ Part I
by, Mohammad A. Khan | Islam Watch
In this article, I tried to present my analytical view about the followers of Muhammad and the tradition about Muhammad’s death, widely propagated by Muslims that a Jewish woman at Khaibar had poisoned him. The story goes like this: a Jewish woman, captured in Muhammad attack of Khaibar, was put on the duty for preparing the meal, and she had put poisoned meat in Muhammad’s and his companions’ meal to take revenge for the murder of her husband, sons and brothers by Muhammad and his Jihadi companions.
This study will reveal that the truth about Muhammad’s murder may be different; his own wife Aisha might have had killed him.
Abu Hurraira, a companion of Prophet Muhammad, entered the fold of Islam after his conquest of Mecca in 630 C.E., and became very close to Muhammad. He is well known for narrating many sayings of Muhammad, who shared with Abu Hurraira many confidentialities, which he had kept hidden from his other companions and dear ones. For example, there is a famous incident regarding the confiscation of the state of Fadak by first Caliph Abu Bakar, allegedly gifted by Muhammad to his daughter Fatima. Soon after the prophet died, Caliph Abu Bakar confiscated the state of Fadak from Fatima and her husband Ali. When Fatima came to know about it, she quarreled with Abu Bakar, but Abu Hurraira informed that he learnt from her father that Prophets do not enjoy inheritance by law. This story tells us that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, kept many things hidden from his closest beloveds.
There’s another incident in Shia tradition, also recorded by Abu Hurraira (father of cats, who narrated many Hadiths that are not verifiable through any means). A Shia scholar narrating the story that goes as below:
In the open market, a poor Muslim was trying to sell his onions, but no passers-by were buying his merchandise. This made the poor Muslim vender worried. He found his way to Abu Hurraira, as he was considered very pious and literate amongst Muhammad’s companions. He told Abu Hurraira about his business situation; and that he was worried that his onion might start rotting if not sold.
Abu Hurraira said, “It’s not a problem; if you agree to share half of your profit with me out of your business, I can make your onions sell.” Poor vender had to agree to his terms.
Soon after, Abu Hurraira started to speak out loud in street to catch people’s attention by saying: “O people, do you know what our master Muhammad said?”
People in astonishment looked at each other and said, “No.”
Abu Hurraira replied, “Our master said that anyone who will eat onions today, he will be the first to enter heaven.”
All onions were quickly sold and the vender was very happy.
When Aisha, Prophet Muhammad’s child-wife, came to know about this matter, she called Abu Hurraira and asked him, “When Muhammad said that on the day any who eat onions will go to heaven?”
To puzzle her, he retorted, “Prophet didn’t claim either that prophets don’t have their heirdom”, and added, “this is our wish wherever we navigate the sail or drag it to any direction”, puzzling her further.
This is a very old, nasty and deceptive tactic, which Muslims use to cover up their tarnished actions; they hurl their lies and irrational reasons to others, especially non-Muslims. Muslims thought that they will hide the real facts forever and their made-up history will be played out on the world-stage; they think others are stupid and would not be able to get the facts. Muslim historians had no clue to the fact that the history they left behind itself is not good enough to fool others. Muslim historians and hadith compilers themselves made problems for their own selves.
Treatise on Islam by many Muslim scholars raises too many problematic questions in the mind of rational readers to which Muslims have few answers. The list of such problematic questions keeps growing larger as Islamic historical and theological texts are being investigated by meticulous researchers.
The incident of Muhammad’s massacre at Khaibar of many innocent Jews of Banu Nadir tribe, whom he had earlier deported from Medina, is undoubtedly true. Muhammad’s biographers and hadith collectors narrate that he surrounded the Jews at Khaibar and besieged them. When they were defeated and surrendered, he ordered killing of the captured Jewish men above the age of puberty. At dinner time, a Jew woman, who was given the responsibility of cooking food, added poison in the meal. Muhammad and his companions started eating their meal. Soon one of his companions collapsed and died on the spot. Muhammad had eaten only a small part of the poisoned morsel. He threw it away and grabbed the Jewish woman, and asked if she had added poison in the food. She confessed and was put to death by Muhammad.
The event occurred in 629 C.E., but Muhammad died in 632. No history book gives any evidence that Muhammad fell sick or his health deteriorated from the day he consumed the poisoned food until his death. In these 3-4 years, Muhammad was in his good health, leading many Jihad wars. He fell seriously ill only during the last few days of his life, which eventuated into his death.
It is also ridiculous of Muslim historians to suggest that their master would give the responsibility of preparing the meal to a person, whose husbands, sons, brothers and fathers had been killed a while earlier by him.
Aisha and Muhammad
Both the Quran and Islamic history give strong evidence that Aisha, who was married to Muhammad at the age of 9, was never happy with her husband—over 8 times older than her at the time of contracting the marriage. There are evidences that Aisha and Muhammad both quarreled with each other over many issues so much so that Muhammad was on the verge of divorcing all his wives, just because of Aisha and Hafsa, who had shared the truth about Muhammad’s lecherous habit with their co-wives. On another occasion, Muhammad had separated himself from Aisha on the suspicion of sleeping with another young disciple of his.
As Muhammad was very old and a fatherly figure to Aisha, the young and immature Aisha certainly could never like and love him in a romantic way. When young Aisha was dreaming for her charming prince of her age, with whom she could play, do emotional talking and share jokes—she had sleep with a stinky old man. She probably was not happy of her parent’s decision either that they arranged her marriage with the person nearly of her father’s age. For about nine years, she bore Muhammad’s presence and sexual oppression.
So, it is possible that when Muhammad had become too much of annoyance and even older, she planned to get rid of old Muhammad, nearing death. Murdering Muhammad was only way Aisha could get rid of him. Her plans for killing Muhammad, however, might have been instigated when Muhammad was showing greater interest in Maria, a Coptic slave of exquisite beauty. The fact that only Maria amongst his dozen wives had borne him a child named Abraham—this might have had made Maria a favorite to Muhammad. He started cheating his wives, whereby he would send them away so that he could go to bed with Maria in their absence.
Muhammad’s accusation on Aisha of adultery
Aisha’s hatred and bitterness of Muhammad had certainly intensified after he accused her of adultery—a story, supported by both the Quran and historical texts. Aisha, a young and immature girl, was certainly easy to be manipulated by Muhammad’s young companions. When a rumour about her sleeping on one occasion with a young companion of Muhammad became popular in Medina, he lost his interest in her. He sent her back to her parent’s house. Ali, the close cousin and husband of Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah, had eagerly advised him to divorce her.
Allah (aka Muhammad) maintained silence for about a month as the scandal kept on spiraling. It was important for Muhammad not to alienate Abu Bakar, who had many trusted friends and a strong power-base. At the same time, he had to somehow prove that Aisha was innocent, not to tarnish his prophetic credential. So, only after about a month had passed and Aisha’s menses returned, proving that she hadn’t fallen pregnant from the alleged adulterous affair that Allah sent down verses to declare that the rumour was false and Aisha was innocent. Thus, she returned to Muhammad’s house (see the story: Rumors of Aisha’s Adultery and Allah’s Silence and Muhammad’s Capture of Beautiful Slave-girl Juwairiya & Aisha’s Adulterous Night-out).
Nonetheless, Aisha’s father Abu Bakar, the first caliph of Islam, grew a grudge against Muhammad, because he brought shame and insult to his daughter and family by accusing her of adultery. Muhammad’s absolving Aisha of the accusation was not good enough to assuage Abu Bakar’s hatred toward him, not enough to pacify him. He certainly wanted to take revenge of this humiliation from Muhammad, whom he had supported utmost in his darkest hours. For this reason, Abu Bakar also probably encouraged Aisha to murder her husband, and also that he confiscated the state of Fadak from Ali and Fatimah as revenge.
A ‘cold war’ between Muhammad and Abu Bakar began to appear after the incident, and he perceived that some confederations had developed between Abu Bakar and his associate to conspire against him. So, he stopped trusting Abu Bakar, Umar and others, who were close associates. Then on, he adopted a new strategy and started focusing on and supporting his son-in-law, Ali.
Umar bin Al-Khatab
Umar, the second caliph of Islam, was well-known for his rowdy and arrogant behavior, and often disagreed with Muhammad’s close companions and stayed besides Abu Bakar. It is well known that Umar behaved in a very rude manner with Muhammad when he signed the Treaty of Hudaybia with the Quraish.
The reason Umar got infuriated with Muhammad was because his daughter Hafsa, one of Muhammad’s wives, caught him red handed with his slave-girl Maria in her Hafsa’s bed, after he had sent Hafsa to her father Omar’s house that he wanted to see her. Despite Muhammad’s best efforts to calm Hafsa down, she started shouting and went back to her father’s house; she told everyone about his lecherous husband.
When she told Aisha of Muhammad’s lechery, they ganged up and started insulting Muhammad. Muhammad, though guilt-stricken, took a macho approach by refusing to sleep with his wives for their berating of him. However, the truth was probably that he quit sleeping only with Aisha and Hafsa, who had shown strong displeasure with him over the incident, and he might have feared threats or physical on his life from them.
Accordingly, an anti-Muhammad pact was formed, comprised mainly of Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman, Talha and Saad bin abi Waqas. Muhammad knew he had been trapped, thanks to his ridiculous and lecherous actions; he could only prolong the drama to drag on, but could not find a way out of it. The silent breach between the two Muslim camps kept growing deeper and deeper with every passing day, but its control was neither within the power of Muhammad nor his alter-ego Allah.
Given that Muhammad led a healthy and able life for three years after the Khaibar attack, carrying no disability or ailment from the alleged poisoning incident there by the Jewish woman, it is very likely, given the enmity that existed between Muhammad and his opponents, including some of his wives—that if Muslim historians’ claim of Muhammad death from poisoning is true, then it was done by someone closer to him and just before his death, not by the Jewish woman three years earlier. And we can only point fingers at Aisha, given her personal unhappiness and angst, plus her father’s enmity against Muhammad.