Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


The Five Assassinations


Dt:  3/6/20

The Five Assassinations



Dr T H Chowdary*


(Written after re-reading the book, “The Life of Mahomet  From Original Sources” by Sir William MUIR).  Third Edition, London 1894, second Indian Reprint in 2002, published by VOICE of India.  Most of the text in this article is verbatim from the book. Page numbers given are from the book. )




1.      In the case of Sri Ramachandra and Krishna, it may be said, “facts became stories; stories became  legends and legends became mythology.  In the case of Jesus Christ  there is some historical evidence in the history of imperial Rome and its rule in Palestine – Judea -Israel and mythology as woven by the founders of Christianity as a religion – St. Paul and the  four gospels  Mark, Mathew, John and Luke.  In the case of Prophet Mohammed, there is much reliable narration of actual events in the life, actions and revelations in the Holy Koran and hadiths and various biographies by several celebrated authors.


2.      Vexed with the  hostility, ostracism and insults from the Mekkans, especially from the dominant Koreishi tribe, Prophet Mohammad left Mekka ( A.D 622  ) along with Abu Bekr and Ali and emigrated (Hizra) to Madina ( his late mother Amina’s town) .  A few more preceded and followed  him in course of  time.  Some citizens of Madina not only welcomed him and his followers from Mekka, but even converted to Islam .  There were also some who did not like the new religion, Islam . Some of them vigorously opposed Prophet Mohammed and the spread of his religion, superseding the traditional faith of Madina’s citizens .  Prophet Mohammad had  some of them assassinated by publicly demanding the act.




The first victim was a woman, Asma bint Merwan in Madina  She was a poetess.  She was assassinated at the express wish of Mohammad. “Asma, daughter of Merwan belonged to a disaffected tribe , the Aus and to a family which had not as yet thrown off the ancestral faith.  She made no secret of her dislike to Islam; and being a poetess composed some couplets ; after the battle of Bedr, on the folly of receiving and trusting a stranger  who had risen against his own people and slain the chief of them in battle . The verses quickly spread from mouth to mouth . Omeir, a blind man of the same tribe ( according to some, a former husband of Asma) vowed  that he would  kill the woman.  In the dead of night, he crept into the  apartment where  Asma with her little ones lay asleep feeding  her baby. Stealthily, he removed her suckling babe and plunged his sword into her breast with such force   that it transfixed her to the couch.  Next morning, in the mosque at prayer, Mohammad who was aware of the bloody design, said to Omeir : “hast thou slain the daughter of Merwan?” “Yes, answered Omeir. Then turning to the people assembled in the mosque, Prophet Mohammad said : “ If ye  desire  to see a man that hath assisted the Lord and his Prophet, look ye here”. ( page 239)



3.      The next person to be assassinated at the Prophet’s wish and  command was  Abu Afak, an aged Jewish proselyte, who not withstanding his change of faith, still lived with his tribe and was active in opposition to the new religion.  Like Asma bint Merwan, Abu  Afak composed some stinging verses. “ Who will rid me of the  pestilent fellow?” said Mohammad to  those about him.


                        Not long after,  a convert from the same tribe watched his opportunity and  falling unaware upon the  aged man,  as he slept in the  court- yard   outside his house , dispatched him with his sword. (page 240)



4.      The third person assassinated at the express wish of the Prophet was Ka’b  ibn al-Ashraf. He was the son of a Jewess “who converted to Islam but was troubled by the carnage inflicted by the Prophet’s Muslims on the Mekkans at the battle of Badr.  He was a poet.  He made a trip to Mekka and stirred up the Koreish  through his elegies to avenge their heroes buried at Badr.  On his return,  to Medina Prophet prayed aloud : “ who will ease me of the son of  Al Ashraf  ? for he troubleth me”. Then a team of his followers headed by Abu Naila, foster brother of  Ka’b was formed to assassinate  Ka’b. Abu Naila went to the  house of Ka’b and called out Ka’b to come out of the house. Abu Naila  seized  Ka’b’s  hair  dragged him to the ground  and shouted  “slain him, slain the enemy of God”.  Conspirators  fell  upon the  victim and  killed him with their swords. They brought the  severed  head of Ka’b  and placed it at the feet of the  Prophet. Then Mohammad praised God for what had been done. (P 247-49).



5.      The fourth murder ordered by the prophet and executed by his fanatical Muslims was that of the Mekkan poet, Abu ‘Azza.  He was taken  prisoner by the Prophet’s men at the battle of Badr.  He was then pardoned because he had five daughters dependent on him.  He came back with the Mekkans into the battle of Uhud (Ohod)  and taken prisoner again.  He pleaded for mercy.  The Prophet said,  “lead him forth to execution”.  So, saying, he motioned to a  bystander , who with his sword cut off the captive’s head. (P 267)


6.      The fifth murder, Prophet Mohammad personally ordered was that of Sufyan-ibn Khalid, the chief of the Lihyan tribe who was organizing a follow-up to Ohod victory against the Moslems. The Prophet dispatched Abdallah ibn Oneis with instructions to assassinate Sufyan.  Abdallah joined Sufyan ibn Khalid as a volunteer of his, fell  upon him unawares while no  one was near and having cut off his head , carried it to Madina and presented it to the Prophet. The Prophet welcomed him  and presented Abdallah, the assassin  with his staff  (P 276).


7.      “The teaching of the Prophet was fast drifting  to induce ruthless fanaticism in his followers”,  Sir  William Mir observed. “the strong  religious which they (the assassins) hurried them into excess of barbarous treachery  and justified that treachery by the interests of Islam and “approval of the  Deity” . (Reflecting this opinion of Sir William,  Gandhiji, when apprised of the Moplahs’ atrocities  on Hindu women, children and men and their temples during the Moplah rebellion in  Malabar in 1921, did not  condemn the Moplah’s vandalism and demoniac acts against Hindus. He described the Moplahs as “god-fearing” people and declared that “they are fighting for what they consider as religion and in a manner they consider as religious



8.       Thus we see human lives being taken by direct instigation of the Prophet who would brook no criticism of him nor accept any plea for mercy by the victims.  In the Mahabharata war, Dhristadyamna avenged the humiliation of his father Drupada by Drona by cutting off the head of  Drona when he laid  down his arms and sat grieving over the  (false) news of death of his son, Aswathama.  Incited and urged by Krishna,  Karna was killed by Arjuna, while he, unarmed was engaged in lifting up a  wheel of his  chariot, stuck in the ground. Bhima killed Dushasana in a savage way and even drank his blood,  to fulfill the vow he took when Dussasan was  disrobing Draupadi . None of theses actions are extolled by Bharatiyas and no God was invoked by the killers in approval of their ghastly acts.  But the beheading  of critics of the Prophet in particular ( recall the Fatwa for Salman Rushdie’s head) and Islam in general is an un-condemned act of cruelty, reckoned as a pious act, meriting heaven.  Albert  Shweitzer, philosopher and  healer of the sick in west Africa spoke and wrote about reverence for life, all life.  The readiness with which the faithful of a religion take life by beheading and otherwise, is revolting to humanness of our species  and sad to know, it had the sanction of  Prophet.  The faithful are taught that the Prophet was infallible and every word and action of his owed to God  himself and they must  strive to emulate him in their earthly life.   (1,316  words)