Muhammad and the Birth of Islamic Supremacism

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is David Hayden, the author of the new book, Muhammad and the Birth of Islamic Supremacism: The War With the Jews 622-628 A.D.  

FP: David Hayden, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Let’s begin with what motivated you to write this book.

Hayden: I’ve always had a keen interest in history, but my knowledge of Muslim history was quite deficient until the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the failed attack on the White House on Sept. 11, 2001.  I wanted to understand the ideas and motivations of the attackers.  Powerful ideas had to support such a brazen attack on civilian populations.  All of the suicide attackers were Muslims.  What was it in their belief system that persuaded them that such heinous acts were the moral thing to do?  To answer such questions I began a search to learn everything I could about Islam.  I read well over 100 books about Islam including 14 biographies of Muhammad, the Qur’an, numerous hadith (especially Bukhari, Muslim, and Dawud), several tafsir (commentaries on the Qur’an), Muslim and non-Muslim historians and commentators, and countless articles from both print and online sources.   

FP: So what did you learn and what is your book primarily about?

Hayden: The research led me to focus on Allah’s revelations and Muhammad as the messenger and enforcer of those revelations.  Without both the revelations and the messenger the idea of Islamic supremacism would not exist.  A detailed study of the Qur’an, hadith (collected sayings and actions of Muhammad, and sira (early biographies of Muhamad) led me to this conclusion. I focused on Muhammad’s contentious relationship with the Jews of Medina and the Hejaz region of Arabia because this relationship brings into focus the birth of the idea of Islamic supremacism. 

FP: What is different about your book from other books on the subject?

Hayden: I have not encountered another source which has covered Muhammad’s war with the Jews with the same thorough depth and breadth as I have.  The book is filled with the voices of Allah, Muhammad and his companions, commentators on the Qur’an, poets, warrior/jihadists, Muslim and non-Muslim historians and commentators.  A variety of points of view are presented throughout the book as well as my interpretation of these differing views.

FP: Tell us about your research. What are some of the sources you drew most heavily from?

Hayden: As stated above, I relied heavily on the Qur’an, the hadith (especially Bukhari, Muslim, and Dawud; the three most respected collectors of the hadith); and the biographies of Muhammad (especially Ibn Ishaq, Martin Lings, Muhammad Husayn Haykal, al-Mubarakpuri,  Ibn Sa’d, Maulana Muhammad Ali,  Maxime Rodinson, W. Montgomery Watt, Robert Spencer, Karen Armstrong, Sir John Glubb,  M.J. Kister, and Gordon Darnell Newby).  

FP: Crystallize for us the foundations of Islam.

Hayden: Islam’s foundations begin with Allah’s revelations to his messenger.  According to Orthodox Islam the Qur’an has always existed and can never be changed.  Islamic law, the Sharia, has to conform with the Qur’an and the Sunna (the hadith and sira, both of which must conform to the Qur’an).  Support for the idea of Islamic supremacism can be found in all three of these documents.  Pious Muslims involved in violent jihad base their beliefs and behavior on these documents.   

FP: Share with us how you recovered the historical truth of Mohammad’s war on the Jews and how it marked his rise to power.

Hayden: I tried to find the historical truth of Muhammad’s war with the Jews through persistent research of the sources.  In each of the major points of contention during the 622-628 years, Allah through revelations and Muhammad through his words and actions tend to place the blame on the hypocrites, poets, pagans and infidels in general, but the Jews primarily received the brunt of Muslim attacks on its enemies.

Jewish poets, Asma Marwan, Abu Afak, and Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf, criticized Muhammad for causing the battle of Badr by his failed attempt to raid a wealth-laden caravan returning from Syria; Muhammad had them assassinated. The Jewish Banu Qaynuqa tribe was accused of treachery and mockery of Muhammad; he had them exiled and their wealth confiscated after they surrendered.  The Jewish Banu Nadir tribe was accused of plotting to kill Muhammad (with flimsy evidence); Muhammad commanded them to leave “his country.”  They refused but surrendered after their castles were besieged by the Muslims.  They, too, were exiled and their wealth confiscated.  The Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe tried to remain neutral during the Battle of the Ditch between the Muslims and the Meccan-Jewish-Ghatafan confederation, but reluctantly agreed to help due to the persistent urging of a Banu Nadir leader.  But the sources show no evidence that they actually aided those who were trying to defeat the Muslims. After a Muslim victory, Muhammad had the adult males of the Qurayza Jews beheaded and their women and children enslaved, plus all of their land and wealth were confiscated.

A year later, Muhammad attacked the Jewish settlements at Khaybar, defeated them, confiscated their land and wealth, and effectively began the system of dhimmitude with the Jews who remained to work the land for the new owners.  In each of these episodes, the Jews were always the “treacherous” ones according to the Muslims who told the story. At no time, however, did a Jewish tribe attack the Muslims; the reverse was true in every case. Some Jews were reportedly involved in helping defeat Muhammad, but no evidence could be found that a Jewish tribe, as a collective group, ever attacked the Muslims.

The pattern goes like this:  the treacherous Jews are accused of some misdeed which has little factual support; the Jews are given a chance to accept Allah and his messenger; the Jews refuse and are attacked by the Muslims who further accuse the Jews of starting a war; after several weeks of trying to defend their property and lives the Jews surrender; the Muslims either exile the surviving tribe, or in the case of the Qurayza Jews, behead the males and enslave the women and children and confiscate all their land and wealth.

In every case the Muslims view the Jews as the aggressors and Muhammad and his companions as victims of such aggression.

Supporting this Muslim point of view is the Qur’an.  Numerous verses are sharply critical of the Jews, including Allah’s talk of terrorizing them himself and leading the charge in battle such as at Badr.  Muhammad had to be quite smug knowing that Allah supported his efforts to take on the Jews.  Likewise, the hadith and sira provide evidence for the aggressive behavior of Muhammad in each of these cases. Islamic supremacism for the sake of Allah permeates the early Islamic literature.  A belief in this supremacy undergirds Muhammad’s rise to power. 

FP: So, what motivated the jihadists for the 9-11 attack?

Hayden: The 9-11 jihadists believe in the idea of Islamic supremacism.  They are quite serious and sincere about their faith.  In their hearts and minds, they believe they are truly following in the footsteps of Muhammad, the perfect man, who simply carried out the commands of Allah through revelation.

Today’s jihadists consistently refer to the Qur’an, hadith, sira, commentaries on the Qur’an (tafsir), the shari’a (Islamic law) and the military success of the first 1000 years of Islamic history to support the idea that Islam will eventually triumph over the infidel.  They believe in the long view of history.  September 11, 1683, is a pivotal date in Islamic history.  Osama bin Laden referred to it soon after the attacks on America on 9-11.  On September 11, 1683, Ottoman Muslim forces were repulsed from taking over Vienna, Austria.  The attack on the World Trade Center was a Muslim jihadist way of saying, “We’re back.”  To repeat: today’s jihadists are motivated because of Allah’s revelations and his messenger’s words and actions.    

FP: Why does our mainstream media and higher literary culture never speak a word on the things your book talks about? What are the consequences of this denial and ignorance in our culture?

Hayden: Both the mainstream media and higher literary culture in the United States seem to have a penchant for believing Islam is a religion of peace. While it is probably true that a good percentage of Muslims in America are law-abiding and peaceful, my research has led me to understand that the Qur’an,  hadith, sira, tafsir, and 1400 years of Islamic history can be interpreted to support the idea of Islamic supremacism and violent jihad as core Islamic beliefs.

So why do the mainstream media and literary elites tend to ignore this interpretation and focus on the peaceful side of Islam?  Fear is one explanation.  The jihadists’ use of terror against the West has succeeded in silencing many in the media who might otherwise try to report the truth honestly.  Journalists, professors, and politicians tend to bend over backwards not to criticize the basic tenets of Islam which present the religion in a bad light.  Some of Allah’s revelations reveal the Muslim belief in the divine use of terror.  After the Muslim victory over the Quraysh (Meccans) at the Battle of Badr, Allah revealed this verse:

“When the Lord inspired the angels [saying to them], ‘I am with you; so make those who believe stand firm.  I will throw FEAR into the hearts of those who disbelieve.  Then [you angels] smite their necks and smite of them each finger'” (Qur’an 8: 12).

In another verse dealing with a battle against the Qaynuqa Jews of Medina, Allah said: “So if you gain the mastery over them in war, punish them severely in order to disperse [create terror in] those who are behind them, so that they may learn a lesson” (Qur’an 8: 57).

Allah also revealed how he cast terror into the hearts of the Qurayza Jews:

“And those of the Book who aided them–Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners” (Qur’an 33: 27).

As terror worked against the Jews in the 7th century, so has it worked with our mainstream media, politicians, and cultural elites.

Some liberals and progressives tend to not have fear of Islamic terror; they actually support the goals of jihad.  In an exchange with an editor of a progressive book publishing company, I was told that the thesis of my book was “strange.”  He went on to make this revealing statement:

“We now believe that all cultures in spite of their differences have ‘human dignity.’  There is no war of Muslims against Jews now. What we have is the last gasps of a dying Euro/America which seems determined to kill as many people of the world as it can while it still has any breath remaining.  The era of Euro/American hegemony is passing but it is not going out peacefully. There is no rationale for our current wars other than pure viciousness.  Jews are Europeans.  That’s what makes them enemies.”

He says America/Israel are the causes of the world’s problems; Islamic jihadists are simply fighting to make social justice a reality.  The left’s romance with social justice makes them bedfellows with the jihadists.  Both of them are totalitarian, against free market capitalism, and anti-liberty in their stated goals.  It is easy to understand why “they never speak a word” about the contents of my book.  But eventually, they too may well be in the crosshairs of the supremacists.

Our culture cannot afford to remain ignorant of Islamic supremacism. The jihadists have declared America enemy #1 for Islam.  Knowledge precedes understanding.

FP: What are your main conclusions and what is your advice and warning for the West and its leaders?

Hayden: My research of Muhammad’s relationship with the Jews of the Hejaz has convinced me that modern-day jihadists have a better understanding of Muhammad than do those who see his schtick as a man of peace.  Muslim supremacists do, however, believe in peace, but they say true peace will not reign until after Islam has become supreme and Allah’s law, the sharia, is accepted all over the world.  In the meantime, jihadists have the green light to create violent mayhem both in the lands of the disbelievers and against the disbelievers in Islamic lands.  They use terror or a tactic to intimidate the infidel; that includes all non-Muslims and those in the Islamic fold they consider to be heretics.  This presents an existential problem for peaceful Muslims.  As perceived enemies of Islam and Muhammad, they too are in the crosshairs of the jihadists who recognize them as apostates from the true faith.  Our political and military leaders, plus the wonks who implement U.S. foreign policy, need to drop all the political correctness and take an Islamo-Realist approach.  In order to do that, they have to understand the nature of Islam starting with the birth of Islamic supremacism which began with Allah’s revelations and Muhammad’s role as messenger/enforcer of them.

FP: David Hayden, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

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  • AdinaK

    A most timely piece! And the readers must become better acquainted with its essence.

    As an adjunct lesson, please review 'Islam & Blood', a GROUNDBREAKING policy paper, regarding the same subject matter –

    Its efficacy is urgent.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel –

  • June

    Islam is a fraud perpetrated by Muhammad. All religions require a certain amount of delusion on the part of the believer to make a go of it, but Islam requires one to abandon all that is human and reason in order for it to be swallowed. Only stupid people believe in its validity as a word of god and Muhammad as its sole conduit. It would be funny, it it were not so deadly.

  • kafir4life

    When muslims read the koran, they do so knowing that their perfect man, mohamat, or "momo the dog faced pig" as he's become known, shat the entire contents of the koran in one long nite. Apparently, according to historical records, momo was enjoying a romantic evening with his favorite pig, or "mom" as he called her, when he suddenly came over all peckish. Learning that "Mom" had eaten all the food that momo brought on their "date", including a little bit of little momo (in a Clinton-esque fashion). Momo decided it was time to "return the favor" to Mom. But as there was little knowledge of proper preparation of pork (or Mom), Mom just dived right in. The resulting intestinal distress led momo to……well, let's just say squirting in the sand. By the light of day, he could see that he had shat an entire book!! He called it the koran, and it smells as much today as it did then.

    allahu snackbar!!

    • kafir4life

      sorry….morning fingers…
      …..momo just dived right in……

      • Adam

        The punishment for Kafir is hell fire for good. There is no god but Allah and Mohamed is his prophet…this is all you need to become a Muslim.

        • kafir4life

          Hey adam!! you one of them moon god worshippers??? Neat-o!! So what you think of that pedophilic false prophet?

          There's no moon god but that made up moon god allah-ha-ha, and momo is his pedophile!
          There's no moon god but that made up moon god allah-ha-ha, and momo is his pedophile!
          There's no moon god but that made up moon god allah-ha-ha, and momo is his pedophile!

          That's three, adam…..Now what?

  • jakespoon

    A perverted, gutter "religion." Death worshipers. Satanic at it's core.

  • Ghostwriter

    Gee,and most Muslims wonder why many Americans have such a negative view of their religion. Could it be stuff like what was described in the article?

  • Stuart Parsons

    Oh no this is naughty, naughty. Muhammad was a nice gentleman. It was the wicked Jews who caused all the trouble by not converting to Islam. This upset the Mighty Allah and he told His dear kind sweet Apostle to eliminate them. That's reasonable isn't it ? They are still at it today. Don't they realise the Hamas rockets are flaming arrows fired from Heaven at evil Jewish jinn eavesdropping on the conversations of Angels.

  • Mahmood Ahmad

    David Hayden does not seem to be familiar with the Hadith and the Quran. The Jews made a number of attempts to kill the prophet. He was poisoned by a Jewess. There were attempts to kill him by throwing a large stone on him. In the battle of the ditch the Jews attacked the city of Medina itself. The Jews and the Holy Prophet peace be upon him had a mutual defence treaty. The Jews not only broke the treaty but tried to kill all the Muslims. A simple perusal of history would clearly show the reality of this unfortunate deception by David Hayden.

    • David Hayden

      A Jewess did try to poison Muhammad by the wife of a Banu Naidr leader who was killed in the Muslim attack on Khaybar.
      The Muslim historians allege that the Banu Nadir were going to throw a stone on Muhammad. This seems far-fetched. At that time Muhammad and several of his men were near the Banu Nadir fortress. If the Banu Nadir wanted to kill Muhammad, they would have easily done so without dropping a rock on his head from above.
      The Banu Qurayza Jews did not try to attack to Muslims during the battle of the Ditch. According to Ishaq they agreed, after much cajoling by a Banu Nadir chief, to support the confederates, BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED. The Muslims "won" the battle because of the following: The Meccans left because the Jews refused to cooperate; Nyuam's deceit led to animosity between the confederates; the confederate's animals were dying due to dehydration and starvation; and the horrible wind led the Meccans to head back to Mecca. Read the book, Mr.Mahmood Ahmad.

    • erica

      But a perusal of history is not simple.
      There is no history of muslims that wasn't written as a biased religious and political story hundreds of years after the fact.
      And muslims have destroyed every historical writing and item they can ,trying to erase all records of civilizations that pre-date muhammad . They will completely erase Jews,Judaism and Christianity if they can.

      Just like the Zoroastrian history, Egypt's history,the Druze,Hitites,Edomites,Natufians,Assyrians ,Philistines ,Phoenicians ,Lydians, Alexandria's libraries ,Hindu,Buddhist ,Socrate's original books,Portugese history………300,000 churches,synagogues and temples muslims destroyed.

      1 crappy,illogical book supposedly written by an illiterate 1/2 Jew, 1/2 African that believed god talked to him,is not an accurate historical record.

    • Mary Sue

      wait I thought stones were harmless ????

    • Mary Sue

      I'd try to poison the murdering, rape-happy lech that murdered my family, too. Wouldn't you?

  • Adam

    You must believe that there is no god, but Allah (alone with no partner or son) and Mohamed is his prophet OR you will be burning in hell when you die for ever.

    • kafir4life

      adam…..allah the moon god was made up by mohamat the dog faced pig. Yo've been conned.

  • Arlie

    Islam is a political satanic system that wants to destroys men's souls. The hate filled father beats the mother and the mother beats the children and the children kick the dog. There is no love or joy or tenderness or miracles for they are blind to truth when filled with hate from birth by lies and lack of love. There are not enough mental or emotional therapists on earth to fix them so they blow themselves up…what a waste of life. Worse than that is they are so terrorized inside themselves that the terror they face comes out to terrorize the kind, unsuspecting souls in the world and they call that supreme. They are all nutjobs with attitudes. Any good therapists out there want to take these people on? The only way to fix hate is with love but they do not know what that is. It is missing from birth so they are guided by hate.

  • US Muslim

    "But the sources show no evidence that they actually aided those who were trying to defeat the Muslims" as far as the Jewish tribe of Bani Qurayza was concerned.

    This just about sums up how much "objectivity" there has been in your research, Hayden. I happen to have a copy of Martin Ling's biography. Unless you're being willfully blind, the biography clearly stated that, upon hearing rumors that Bani Qurayza had defected to the Meccan side during the "War of the Trench", Muhammad warned his followers not to spread "unconfirmed rumors". He then had a couple of trusted followers go into the Bani Qurayza fort to confirm or deny the rumor. When they arrived at the fort, they got a pretty ugly reception. They then PLEADED with the Jews of the fort not to abandon their treaty with Muhammad, but got nowhere. They were then forced to confirm the rumor to Muhammad secretly so as not to induce panic amongst the Muslims.
    Just another amateur "scholar" on Islam…

    • David Hayden

      US Muslim,

      Here's what I quoted Martin Lings as saying: The Banu Nadir leader "was urging
      Quraysh and Ghatafan to send by night each a thousand men to the fortresses of
      Qurayza and from there to raid the centre of town and break into the fortresses of the Muslims and carry off their women and children. The appointed night, for various reasons, was put off more than once, and the project never realized" (Lings 222-223). Lings adds that Muhammad sent Zayd and 300 horse to patrol the area. The Qurayza NEVER allowed the fortresses to be used against Muhammad and his jihadists.
      Yes, Muhammad sent Ibn S'ad and other to confirm rumors that the Qurayza had joined the confederacy. There were recriminations on both sides in this visit. It is understandable that the Jews were very leery of Muhammad; the Qurayza were between a rock and a hard place. Their balancing act did not work for them as Ibn Sa'd, Muhammad and Allah agreed that the Qurayza men deserved beheading, and the women and children sold into slavery. It's important to keep in mind that this history/biography (Sira) was written in book form by Ibn Hisham who rescended Ibn Ishaq's notes.
      It is Muslim history told from a Muslim point of view. Why would Muslims write such a history if they didn't believe it was the truth as they studied it? Here's what Hisham said about the decisions he made to use, or not to use, the notes of Ishaq: "…for the sake of brevity, [I am] confining myself to the prophet's biography and omitting some of the things which Ibn Ishaq has recorded in this book in which there is no mention of the apostle and about which the Qur'an says nothing and which are not relevant to anything in the book or an explanation of it or evidence for it; poems which he quotes that no authority on poetry whom I have met knows of; things which it is disgraceful to discuss; matters which would distress certain people; and such reports as al-Bakka'i told me he would not accept as trustworthy—all these things I have omitted" (Ishaq, "Ibn Hisham's Notes," The Life of Muhammad, 691).

  • Ghostwriter

    And for the most part,the Muslim world has been tolerant of terrorism towards Americans and Israelis. The majority of Muslims rejoice when innocent Americans are murdered like they were on 9/11. How are we SUPPOSED to feel about a people and a religion that wants to force itself upon America and Americans?