Prophet Muhammad

Was Muhammad poisoned by a Jew and if it is true why the was it necessary for such a beloved Islamic Prophet to die in this way?


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July 21, 2015 4:04PM

There are numerous stories about how Muhammad died. One of them is the set of Hadiths mentioned in Answer 1, that relates how a Jewess named Zaynab bint al-Harith poisoned the lamb that Muhammad ate. Within the narrative, she states very clearly the reason for her anger: Muhammad had just married her (against her will) after his soldiers murderered her husband, father, and uncle. It is not specifically Jewish to seek retribution against those who murder your family, but such retribution styles were common in Arabia at that time.

That Muhammad is beloved by Muslims does not change the fact that he ordered the attack on the Banu Nadir who were living peacefully in Khaybar. This completely unwarranted attack and the violence that ensued was entirely Muhammad's making, so it is completely appropriate that Muhammad suffer as he had made others suffer.

Additionally, as noted earlier, there are a number of different and contradictory hadiths about what led to Muhammad's death; this is simply one of them, and some scholars rejected its validity.

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July 21, 2015 3:54PM

Answer 1

From Ibn Sa'd pages 251, 252: [different narrator]

....When the apostle of Allah conquered Khaibar and he had peace of mind, Zaynab Bint al-Harith the brother of Marhab, who was the spouse of Sallam Ibn Mishkam, inquired, "Which part of the goat is liked by Muhammad?" They said, "The foreleg." Then she slaughtered one from her goats and roasted it (the meat). Then she wanted a poison which could not fail. .... The apostle of Allah took the foreleg, a piece of which he put into his mouth. Bishr took another bone and put it into his mouth. When the apostle of Allah ate one morsel of it Bishr ate his and other people also ate from it. Then the apostle of Allah said, "Hold back your hands! because this foreleg; ...informed me that it is poisoned. Thereupon Bishr said, "By Him who has made you great! I discovered it from the morsel I took. Nothing prevented me from emitting it out, but the idea that I did not like to make your food unrelishing. When you had eaten what was in your mouth I did not like to save my life after yours, and I also thought you would not have eaten it if there was something wrong.

Bishr did not rise form his seat but his color changed to that of "taylsan" (a green cloth)..........The apostle of Allah sent for Zaynab and said to her, "What induced you to do what you have done?" She replied, "You have done to my people what you have done. You have killed my father, my uncle and my husband, so I said to myself, "If you are a prophet, the foreleg will inform you; and others have said, "If you are a king we will get rid of you.""......

The apostle of Allah lived after this three years till in consequence of his pain he passed away. During his illness he used to say, "I did not cease to find the effect of the (poisoned) morsel, I took at Khaibar and I suffered several times (from its effect) but now I feel the hour has come of the cutting of my jugular vein." So Allah swt took his soul, and not the poison killed him. and he died because of the high fever, not because of the poison.

Answer 2

A Jew Killing Muhammad Probably not, but the same could be said for anybody the victim of murder. To use another religious example, Jesus was crucified. Many believe he was the Son of God and he was killed horribly by asphyxiation and acidosis, or the spear, whatever you want to believe. Martyrs for all religions often die very bad deaths (being stoned, burned alive, purification by pain, etc.). Does it matter if it was a Jew that poisoned Muhammad (if such a thing really happened)? Wouldn't it have been equally tragic if a Muslim or a Christian or a Buddhist or a Hindi poisoned him instead? Does who killed him affect whether he was a beloved prophet or not? Much more likely that a Muslim killed him. Jews were discriminated against all over the known world thousands of years before Muhammad was even born and were conspicuous everywhere they went. But so you don't misinterpret the assumption, it would be more general to just assume that it was someone of Arabian descent that poisoned him.