Talk:Muhammad/Archive 7

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Islamic beliefs in Islam before Muhammad

Websites: IslamOnline, Muslim Student Association, [1], [2], etc.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam (1999): "All prophets are said to have taught the identical message that came from God to Muhammad." (p. 306) Adam being the first of the prophets.

Maududi, Towards Understanding Islam, 1986: "Adam, the first man on earth, was also appointed as the Prophet of God. God revealed his religion -- Islam -- to him and told him to convey and communicate it to his descendents." (p. 38)

It's obvious that Muslims believe this. I shouldn't even have to be giving cites -- any more than editors writing about Christianity should have to give cites showing that Christians believe Jesus was crucified.

This is a widespread view. It is held by more than a billion people. It is notable. By NPOV rules, it deserves the same neutral treatment as any other POV. Zora 10:43, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

What one finds are statements like the following:
"Many people have a misconception that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the founder of the religion of Islam. However, Islam is in existence since the first man (Prophet Adam) first set foot on earth. Since then, Almighty God sent several prophets and revelations, the last in this chain being Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur’an."
(1) The sentence "Islam is in existence since the first man first set foot on earth" is incomprehensible to me, because I fail to see what the author means by "Islam" in this context.
What does "Islam" mean? — Let's take a look at a good dictionary:
"1. A monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God. 2a. The people or nations that practice Islam; the Muslim world. b. The civilization developed by the Muslim world."
Now, does the author mean:
(a) "[The] monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God is in existence since the first man first set foot on earth." (?)
(b) "The people or nations that practice Islam, the Muslim world is in existence since the first man first set foot on earth." (?)
(c) "The civilization developed by the Muslim world is in existence since the first man first set foot on earth." (?)
Both (a), (b), and (c) are clearly false!
So what else might "Islam" mean here?!
Speaking anachronistically of a "pre-Muhammadian era of Islam" is nothing but an attempt on the part of the Muslim theologians to ideologically re-interpret the entire history of the religions (especially of Judaism and Christianity) in such a way that Islam and nothing but Islam appears to be the only true eternal religion that has always existed even before Muhammad. — In the view of the Islamic theologians all the other religions, in particular Judaism and Christianity, are merely "Islam in disguise", so to speak.
Editorius 13:09, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
I think I understand this conflict in that it pits belief against historical fact. While it's true that over a billion believe in the existence of Islam prior to Muhammad it seems more logical to say that Muhammad decided to interpret and incorporate previous prophets into the religion he established, Islam. These prior prophets would have mentioned Islam during their times if they themselves believed they were indeed prophets as part of that religion. Netscott 11:04, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Zora is right. --Striver 11:58, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
We do not have to prove for anyone that Islam exist before Muhammad (PBUH). He is the last prophet of God, according to all Muslims and founder of Islam according to some non-Muslims. That is enough to be mentioned in this article. --- Faisal 12:01, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Its much easier than that. We claim that the message of the previous prohets where Islam, we dont claim they came with the exact same rules that Muhammad (pbuh) presented. That means that Moses was Muslim in his days, and that the Mosaic Law where Muslim laws at that time. Its a question of perspective, pov, nothing else. --Striver 12:03, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

It would be more neutral to say that Muhammad established Islam but Muslims believe that Islam existed before Muhammad. No? Netscott 12:05, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
It will be not Neutral at all but extremely biased if done so. Tell me, will it be neutral to mention first that what Muslims think about Bush and then mention that he is a president of USA. Not at all. Similarly first tell that Muhammad (PBUH) is the last Prophet of Muslims and then give what non-Muslims think about him. --- Faisal 12:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
My earlier neutrality arguement is a bit more logical because it stems from historical (verifiable) fact while Islam's establishment as a religion prior to Muhammad is based upon a belief (of Islam itself). Is that not evident? Netscott 12:21, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Even the title of this section created by User:Zora is "Islamic beliefs in Islam before Muhammad". Writing from a standpoint of beliefs as facts isn't neutral. Obviously writing about the fact of those beliefs is a different story. Netscott 13:03, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Netscott, you are correct in saying that it pits belief against historical fact, but let's rephrase that in Wikipedia terms: it pits reliable sources which assert one things as fact against reliable sources which state that Muslims believe otherwise. This is exactly analogous to the view of Creationists vis-a-vis Earth.
There can be no useful compromise except at the expense of WP policy: as Zora partially quoted above, well-sourced facts support statements of fact, well-sourced beliefs support the existence of these beliefs as fact. We can say, Muhammad founded Islam, and then, Muslims believe Islam to have existed before Muhammad. Both are true from the standpoint of WP:V, WP:RS.
The mistakes are 1) thinking that we must say "Non-muslims believe Muhammad to have founded Islam" - in fact, reliable sources state as fact that Muhammad founded Islam, so no attribution is necessary beyond citation. 2) proceeding as if this fact and that belief must be given equal weight in this article - in fact, the belief of pre-existing Islam is off-topic here, which is a bio of Muhammad. Muhammad founding Islam is the most salient fact of his life. Islam existing before him is a belief that Muslims have about Islam, it's not an event in Muhammad's life.Timothy Usher 16:47, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd also like to address what Zora wrote above, "By NPOV rules, it deserves the same neutral treatment as any other POV." Yes, it deserves neutral treatment. Not "Despite obvious historical fact, Muslims inexplicably believe..." or the like. But "neutral treatment" doesn't mean equal weight of belief with sourced fact, nor does it make the pre-existing Islam on-topic.
I quote from WP:NPOV:
"NPOV is one of Wikipedia's three content-guiding policy pages. The other two are Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in the main namespace. Because the three policies are complementary, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one other, and editors should therefore try to familiarize themselves with all three. The three policies are also non-negotiable and cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' consensus." (Note that WP:RS is included in WP:V).
Interpreting WP:NPOV in isolation from WP:V and WP:RS is exactly what we're being asked to do. These policies are non-negotiable. We may not substitute a sourced belief for a sourced fact. We must find a reliable source which states as fact that Islam may have existed before Muhammad, or drop the argument. It's non-negotiable.Timothy Usher 16:59, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
I think the problem here is the way muslims define Islam in this context and the way others seem to read it. In this sense all they are saying is that Muslims beleive Islam as in the concept of "submission to allah (monotheistic form god)" has been communicated since the time of Adam, vs Islam as in the practices of today that non-muslims use to identify muslims. In that sense the muslims today are the ummah of the prophet muhammad while the jews would be ummah of the prophet moses, christians of prophet jesus etc. etc. Which is why the concept of the seal of the prophets is important in Muslim belief because it significes an end to the continuation of this chain of revelation and a final revision of the message of god. Hope that helps in evolving a common acceptable position that can included in the article.--Tigeroo 12:52, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
This type of discussion is typical of people with different belief systems showing disregard for others. From a religious perspective, there can only be one valid set of religious beliefs. To say that a prophet is a founder of that set of religious beliefs, is a very biased remark. From a monotheistic perspective, prophets are messengers from God. Hence, they are not founders of any new ideas or beliefs. To label a prophet as a founder or even a promulgator is simply to imply invalidity of the latter's belief system. .--Husaini 15:00, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I actually disagree with you that usage founder renders ones belief system invalid. Founder merely implies a continuity after the actions of a person of something with can be distinctly differentiated. As in founding a dynasty within an existing empire/kingdom, founding a new clan within a tribe etc, new ummah within a religion, new district within a city/state/country etc. so it does not necessarily mean new, rather distint enough to be differentiable. Anyhow seems we are old to the argument and the issue has been resolved already and the point is moot.
On an unrelated note, some corrections to the underlying assumptinos you have made in framing your arguments because they offended me. I see you have gone and made assumptions on my religious beliefs, which I simply believe reveals your bias on how monolithicly you believe others view issues, as well as that implying muhammad is not a founder of a new religion but one from god also implies that the belief systems of the non-muslims are invalid by your own logic, which then leaves you in the same position and accused of the same disregard you have ascribed to others. Then we can move onto the "religious perspective that there can be only one valid set of religious beliefs" comment, if that is true which set is valid? Shia or Sunni, Hanafi or Shafaii or you speaking about the more general common belief in a montheistic god such as that between between the Jews and Muslims or are you simply referring to your personal belief. I only use those examples e to help you define your position and then to reconsider the validity of the statement and your position against the Dharmic religions for whom only a few core values are good enough to be ensure validity or even the jahilliya arabs for who pretty much "collected" gods and beliefs or even atheists (humanists vs. nee-chians (sorry but I did that coz it was too much of a pain to get spelt right)).--Tigeroo 05:48, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


In her text on Islam in the Encyclopaedia Britannica the eminent scholar Annemarie Schimmel uses the verb "promulgate" in connection with Muhammad ("Islam." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. <>)

In order to show that I'm not a primitive "Muslim-basher", I propose the following Islam-friendly formulation, which at least does not distort historical truth:

"Muhammad promulgated the religion of Islam and established the Muslim community."

(or: "Muhammad is the promulgator of the religion of Islam.")

This formulation should really be deemed non-objectionable by the Muslims. Editorius 13:41, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

The problem is it will baffle a large number of readers who aren't quite sure what it means to promulgate.Timothy Usher 16:33, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
???—It's a word of the English language, isn't it?
In Google the current number of occurrences of "promulgate" is 6.290.000. So it's not a word hardly used by anybody. Editorius 17:27, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
And for those (I doubt that their number is large) who might not directly grasp its meaning useful things termed "dictionaries" have been invented.
This is really but a pseudo-problem, and absolutely no relevant argument against my formulation above.
What is obviously desperately needed here is the right word, which neither Muslims nor Non-Muslims find objectionable, and in my opinion "promulgate" (or "promulgator") is the right one.
Editorius 16:51, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Beyond the potential comprehensibility problem, we'd be avoiding clear language - and face it, "promulgate" falls fall short of what Muhammad did here - in order to satisify a religiously-based demand to violate WP source policy. The sources proferred thusfar say Muhammad founded Islam; so can we. See my posts above.Timothy Usher 17:05, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Of course one can justifiably state that Muhammad is the (historic) founder of Islam. But for the sake of democratic compromise (which, alas, is usually less than ideal) I'd be prepared to accept a formulation such as mine above, which is a historical truth too but more Muslim-friendly.Editorius 17:13, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Please check out Joseph Smith, Jr., who is described on Wikipedia as an American religious leader who founded the Latter Day Saint movement, a restorationist belief commonly known as Mormonism. Muhammad could also be considered the founder of some sort of a restorationist movement. Despite the fact that Muslims believe that Islam has been in existence since creation, there is no proof of that. In fact, Islam as we know it today, was founded by Muhammad, no matter how many similarities there are between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Muslim claim that the Judeo-Christian scriptures had been corrupted and that that's the reason the Qur'an was revealed, has to my knowledge not been substantiated, so it must be assumed that the similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an are the result of contacts between Muhammad and Jews and Christians. --Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 18:23, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I suspect that calling Islam "some sort of a restorationist movement" would provoke even harsher Muslim criticism. So for the sake of de-escalation I'd be prepared to accept a formulation such as the one I propose above. Editorius 19:10, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

To the point, the word used in this case does not matter if you address the problem raised in the above section adequately, because of the way muslims identify/ define Islam, doing so does not contradict the other. Exposition of the position and Blabber follows, (hope it helps):
Maybe its because I am new to this debate so pardon me if I am rehasing old arguments, but what exactly is the problem with founded? As far as I am aware using it does not conflict with the arguments above because in this case it is applying and alluding to a specific code of practices that the "ummah" of the prophet muhammad has to adhere to vs. the different code of conduct ascribed to earlier "ummah"s by their prophets.
The disagreement to me seems to hinge upon the definition of Islam and it can be seen from the arguments on this page that muslims have defined and understand it slightly differently. When applied to two different time periods; pre-muhammad it is used to apply to those follow the earlier prophets of their era or locale in the general sense (more specific terms being jews, christians etc.) and post-muhammad it is used exclusively to followers of his era. In this context Islam is merely a continuation of a chain of belief but not practices.
Founded, established, promulgated its all the same if you are talking about the specific set of practices. The problem is that the western concept of Islam has historically defined Islam in terms of Mohammad while the muslims have defined themselves in terms of monotheism and secondarily by prophets. As for the terms "Restorationist movement" or reform movement sure go for it, but of what? Muslims acknowledge Islam is just such a movement but aimed at restoring the primacy of god (corrupted message etc.), but it went beyond that and redefined practices and social intercourse some merely with a aim to establish a distinct identity. The agency of prophethood is seen as primarily serving the purpose of reform and restoration vis-a-vis religion and I suspect that if we go with that tack the complaints arising won't be from the muslims, regardless within this context of the definition of Islam, yes he founded/ established it.--Tigeroo 14:16, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
This isn't as difficult as you seem to be making out. Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad (whom they respectfully designate Peace Be Upon Him) received the series of directly divine pronouncements now known as the Qur'an or Recitation from the angel Jebreel (Gabriel), and was thus mandated to establish the practice of monotheistic worship known to posterity as Islam. The word islam, related to salaam, means something along the lines of submission to peace terms, God being envisioned, as it were, in the role of an all-conquering, but supremely merciful king. He issues His terms, and we must comply. It is Islamic tradition and belief that there were others before the Prophet to whom God made His words known, people such as Adam, Noah, Jonah, Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mary and John. They "submitted to God's peace terms" - they were muslimeen. There is likewise a tradition (and some evidence) that the tribe out of which the Prophet came, and his paternal line specifically, maintained an insistence on being hanfa - monotheists in the Abrahamic manner even before the time of Muhammad PBUH himself.
There is no anachronism, just a different interpretation of the original information.
Nuttyskin 08:28, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Religio perennis

Those editors who are triumphantly claiming that they are being scientific and neutral, while Muslims are just being religious obscurantists, are mangling the NPOV policy by elevating their own beliefs to the status of "fact". The use of the term "founder" is itself POV, in that it implies that the thing "founded" didn't exist before the foundation. However, many of the major religions claim for themselves a "true for all places and TIMES" status. Jainism claims to go back into human prehistory. Buddhists claim that the truth that heals, the dharma, is inherent in the nature of things, and that the historical Buddha was only the latest of many. There are even non-sectarian and academic upholders of this POV, in the form of teachers and scholars who believe in the Perennial philosophy. From that standpoint, Islam makes just one version of the religio perennis claim.

(If you want to see just how controversial the "founder" claim is, go look the talk pages for List of founders of major religions; in just about every case, some adherent of the religion has shown up to claim that "founder" is not the right word. We've had to rephrase the introduction and entries numerous times, weasle-wording around "founder".)

Curious thing that the editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, all of them rather distinguished, did not have to "weasle-word" around "founder", ain't it?!Editorius 19:56, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

There's no way that our "scientific" editors can prove the perennial philosophy version (and the Islamic version of it) "wrong". The anti-religious and the religious perspective are both to be given equal credence. Zora 18:59, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Your insinuation that all those describing Muhammad as a founder are ipso facto anti-religious is plainly false.
(For example, W. Montgomery Watt is not an anti-religious man.) Editorius 20:51, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Have you ever heard of the non-negligible qualitative difference between the empirical science of the history and sociology of religion and theological historiography, which is mythological, and so definitely not on a par with the former?!
Your argumentation somehow reminds me of the rhetorical strategy of the Intelligent Design propagandists: "Darwinism is but one point of view among others (such as ID)" ... "All different points of view are on a par, and so deserve to be mentioned with equal rights for the sake of objectivity and impartiality" (and so forth)
What the ID-iots systematically do (unfortunately with great public success) is pass science off as mere ideology or philosophy.
It really seems to me that sometimes the vociferous demand for "neutrality" is itself anything else but the expression of a neutralistic point of view.
Editorius 19:43, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree that all relevant opinions should be mentioned, but I don't think the Muslim view should come first. I'd suggest something like "Muhammad is considered to be the founder of Islam by non-Muslims, whereas Muslims believe him to be God's final prophet." --Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 20:07, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
That would be like saying, "Non-creationists believe humans to be members of the Primate family."Timothy Usher 20:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
The accusation that the scientific historians' statement that Muhammad founded Islam is just a merely subjective judgement of theirs is insubstantial.Editorius 21:03, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Zora, have you decided to ignore my posts above?[3], [4]
You write, "The anti-religious and the religious perspective are both to be given equal credence." That's not the point. The attribution of opinion, religious or otherwise, is not to be given equal weight with the reliably-sourced statement of fact. You must produce a reliable scholarly source which states as a matter of fact, on its own authority, that Islam may have existed before Muhammad, or there is no legitimate argument. That can't stop you from maintaining an illegitimate one, but if you continue to avoid addressing this point of policy, you have no hope of convincing those who are aware of it and sincerely wish to follow it.Timothy Usher 20:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Even to say "Muslims believe Muhammad was God's final prophet" does not answer the question "Who founded Islam?" where the only NPOV answer is "Muhammad". This is Wikipedia, not a religious text. The fact that there is even controversy on this is really quite silly. --FairNBalanced 20:57, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

It seems that many/most/all(?) Muslims tend to say "God founded Islam" or even "Islam has never been founded because it is eternal". But I agree with you insofar as I don't really understand either what the point in denying that Muhammad is the historical founder of Islam is; for we all know that this is the case, don't we?!Editorius 21:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

What if the entry on Muhammad began with the following sentence: "Muhammad, the man who did not found Islam." This would be ludicrous, wouldn't it?! Editorius 21:21, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Once again, for the sake of pragmatic de-escalation, I suggest that the formulation "Muhammad promulgated the religion of Islam and established the Muslim community (both culturally and politically)" be used instead. Editorius 21:32, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I concur, promulgation is neutral. Observe the oxford english dictionary's definition:"'To make known by public declaration; to publish; esp. to disseminate (some creed or belief), or to proclaim (some law, decree, or tidings).'" This agrees with both sides, does it not? Muslims believe he made it known--nonmuslims believe he proclaimed it, disseminated the belief. I fail to see much of a problem with the POV. Zenosparadox 23:42, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Oops I seem to have posed my addressal of this issue in the earlier section, seem to be more pertinent here but it can be reviewed. There does not seem to me to be a problem with the term founded or the beleif of its eternal message. The only I have to add to the dissucssion is that the only reason I beleive "promulgate" is a better word to use than founded, in the case of ALL religions, is because it better describes the active processess involved in the "founding" of any religion.--Tigeroo 14:26, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

How WP policy favors secular points of view

Wikipedia policy favors the secular point of view, indirectly but quite specifically and undeniably, by requiring us to proffer reliable sources in support of our claims. No reliable source will say either that God founded Islam, created humankind, or anything of the sort; hence, the religious viewpoint is, as a matter of policy, relegated to claims of the sort "X believes", whereas statements of fact from reliable sources are not so limited, and may only be mitigated by one another.

To bring this discussion back to Earth, suppose documents were unearthed appearing to show that Islam was preached centuries before Muhammad, but their authenticity were disputed. Then we'd have something to discuss.Timothy Usher 21:28, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

What ought to be favoured in Wikipedia is the scientific, the empirical point of view.
If, one day, the scientific historians of religion should discover evidence permitting the conclusion that Islam as an institutionalized religious system of particular beliefs and practices has already existed before Muhammad, then we would certainly be obliged to correct our empirically well-grounded belief that there wasn't any such thing as a pre-Muhammadian Islam.
Of course, there were lots of pre-Muhammadian religious beliefs and practices such as those of Judaism and Christiany, which could be taken up and be modified by Islam; but to call those "Islamic" would be unjustifiably anachronistic, and simply false Editorius 22:04, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
And to anachronistically regard other major religious figures such as Moses and Jesus, who existed before Muhammad, as "Islamic prophets" is mythology, not historiology (= the social science of history). Editorius 23:02, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorious, I beg you to start imposing your POV on all religious articles immediately, so that the angry reaction teaches you that you have completely misunderstood NPOV. You've been relatively unopposed here, because (for some unknown reason) the Muslim editors seem to be thin on the ground of late, and Islam is unpopular enough these days that there are few of us non-Muslims willing to make sure that WP is fair to the Islamic POV.

WP is not a religious encyclopedia; neither is it an anti-religious encyclopedia. NPOV does not allow you to present your POV as a "fact", while denigrating all other POVs as "anachronistic" and "false".

You seem to be bewitched by the word "neutral".
You seem to adhere to some sort of "super-relativistic point-of-view-ism".
Your motto seems to be: "Everybody is right, nobody is wrong—Let everybody have their say, and that's it—Peace!"
Strictly speaking, your point of view that all points of view ought to be treated equally is, put diplomatically, problematic, because if it is true, then your point of view that all points of view ought to be treated equally and my point of view that not all points of views ought to be treated equally ought to be treated equally. This means, you cannot say anything against my point of view that not all points of views ought to treated equally, for then you wouldn't treat my point of view and yours equally. — See?!
I'm afraid that if you are really convinced that scientific methodology and theological mythology are on a par, we share no common ground.
The point is that "my" point of view simply reflects the one of the (empirical) historiology (historical sociology) of religions.
From the scientific point of view, all we factually know is that there lived a man called "Muhammad" in 7th century CE, who founded the religion of Islam (the verb "to found" being fairly non-cryptic!).Editorius 02:23, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

When Muslims say that that Adam, Abraham, Moses, etc. were prophets of Islam, what they mean is that those folks had hold of religious truth. Since all truth is one, they're Muslims. Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism do the same thing. Truth is one, therefore Jesus and Muhammad can be respected as religious figures. Jesus is regarded by some Hindus as an avatar of Vishnu. Zen Buddhists happily welcome Christians, Jews, and Muslims to their Zen centers. Since Buddhism is atheistic, we'd happily welcome you too. Zora 00:42, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

You say that "Truth is one", but then you speak of a "religious truth", which implies that there is more than one truth: a religious one and a non-religious one.
So could you please define "religious truth"?
I think you're right insofar as I too think that there is only one truth: the truth.
We all know the phrase "to say the truth"; we don't say "to say a truth"!
There is no scientific reason whatsoever to suppose that Muslims who nebulously claim that Islam already existed before Muhammad, implying that it thus couldn't have been founded by him, are actually saying the truth!
Of course, this depends on the meaning of "Islam".
Would you be so kind as to offer a precise definition?!
Editorius 02:23, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

We're not talking about "our POV", but statements of fact based upon reliable sources. It's policy, Zora. So far you've been ignoring all my posts to repeat the cry of "NPOV", but WP:V and WP:RS is policy, and I'm not letting it go. You must proffer a reliable source stating upon its own authority that Islam may have existed before Muhamamad.Timothy Usher 00:46, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Timothy, those policies apply to references, not to POVs. One editor -- let's call him Fred -- asserts POV X. We say, "You can't do that, there's a dispute, you have to phrase that in terms of who believes X." (NPOV) So Fred says "All residents of Bend, Oregon, believe X." At this point we say, "Prove it!" (V) Fred then cites his own blog, which makes that assertion. We then say, "No, Fred, that is not a reliable source. Give us a cite from the NY Times or the Portland Oregonian." (RS)

To take the creationism example, we can't state that creationism, or evolution, are true. We can just say things like "the vast majority of scientists believe that the theory of evolution is the best fit to the currently known facts" and then give cites. Ditto with creationism, which we describe neutrally. However, any statements we make about creationism have to be verifiable (backed by references) and those references have to come from reliable sources.

You have just confirmed my suspicion!
I am not saying that you actually are an ID-propagandist, but your argumentational strategy is strikingly similar to the one devised by the Discovery Institute.
Your defense of "neutralism" appears more and more non-neutralistic. (Yes, this is a point of view of mine.)
Your super-relativistic, overall principle seems to be that all objectivistic statements about what is the case need to be transformed into subjectivistic, i.e. psychological, statements about what is believed to be the case. — The problem with that is the question whether, then, statements of the form "x/the x's believe/-s that p is the case" are themselves true or just believed to be true.
For example, is "The Muslims believe that Muhammad did not found Islam" true or just believed to be true?!
It seems to me that you erroneously think that one can never justifiably state that "p" is true unless the knowledge that p is absolute and infallible.
Editorius 02:46, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Editorious, the rules here at Wikipedia are that we don't privilege one notable POV over another. If there's a dispute, we don't undertake to resolve it. We always step back and turn it into "A believes X and B believes Y". That's the NPOV rule. If you don't want to play by that rule, then you should start your own wiki where you set the rules. Zora 03:43, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
There is no fundamental dispute among the (scientific) historians as to whether Muhammad founded/established the religion of Islam!
(Neither is there any fundamental dispute among the (scientific) biologists as to whether the Darwinistic theory of evolution correctly describes the facts. Such a "dispute" has merely been tactically stage-managed by the creationists in order to make the non-academic public believe that Darwinism is an unconfirmed theory.)Editorius 13:25, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Zora, that is true if and only if both of the notable POV's are based upon reliable sources. You need a reliable source which states on its own reliable authority than Islam may have existed before Muhammad.
Problem is, I know exactly what the source is. It's the Qur'an. Guess what? The Qur'an isn't a reliable source upon what Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc. believed. It doesn't cite any of its primary sources. It's not fact-checked. It's not peer-reviewed. Etc., etc. It claims that these facts about beliefs of former prophets were revealed to Muhammad by Gabriel. That doesn't cut it in academia.Timothy Usher 03:51, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

It has been made abundantly clear, and verified with reliable sources, that Muslims believe that there were prophets of Islam before Muhammad. That statement is true, OK? It is also true that non-Muslims describe Muhammad as the founder of Islam. That can also be verified from reliable sources. What's really at issue is privileging one POV over another, and NPOV says we don't do that. As long as there's a dispute, with notable numbers of people holding opinions on each side, we don't take sides. Zora 01:01, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

There are analogies between what the Jewish and Christian gurus of the pre-Muhammadian era preached and what Muhammad preached. But to characterize the former as "prophets of Islam" is simply an anachronistic mythological re-interpretation of history serving the ideological purposes of the Muslim theologians.Editorius 14:24, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
That Muhammad founded Islam is a matter of sourced fact, not a POV. Read the policy, Zora. Facts and opinions are explicitly distinguished. Sourced facts become opinions only when reliable sources contradict one another.Timothy Usher 01:30, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't. It's disputed. A billion people dispute it. Your POV has to be treated as an assertion, not a fact. BTW, it all turns on the meaning one attaches to "founded". Which is a matter for argument and nothing that can be demonstrated. Zora 01:34, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

From "p is disputed (by xx)" it does not logically follow that "p is not a (known) fact". And we really don't need to quibble over the semantics of "found", since its public meaning is sufficiently clear. You seem to be eager to obscure it! If there is a word that might require further clarification, it is "Islam". (Remember, I already asked you to present a precise definition!)Editorius 13:41, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Zora, "Muslims" isn't a reliable source. If we can say what "Muslims" believe, it's only because a reliable source says they believe it.
And where do you get "A billion people dispute it"? Is there some poll of which I'm unaware? Not that such a poll would support a finding of fact, as you'd like it too, but it would be interesting to include such information in the Islam article.Timothy Usher 01:48, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Sheesh, Timothy, I haven't heard any Muslims deny this. It's an article of faith in every sect. If you want to dispute the "billion," on the grounds that I haven't surveyed every Muslim on the planet, OK. Millions. Every Muslim on record, ever. Sample citations given above. Have any counter-examples? Zora 01:56, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like original research. In any case, what we're disputing is whether "Muslims" constitutes a reliable source - read the policy and tell me what you think.Timothy Usher 02:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Guys, both are right. It's a matter of definition, non-Muslims define Islam as "Qur'an + Sunnah", Muslims define Islam as "Gods message". That is the root of the dissagreement, you define the word in different ways. A Muslim will agree that "Qur'an + Sunnah" came with Muhammad (pbuh), but will not agree that "Gods message" came with Muhammad. It's that simple, you need to define "Islam". --Striver 08:26, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I thought "Islam" was an arabic word meaning 'submission to the will of Allah' or 'surrender (to God)' not "God's message". Either way, the word "Islam" is used in the English language to refer to the religion of Muslims (i.e. the religion practiced based on "Qur'an + Sunnah"). It's a clear matter of the historical record that Muhammad founded the religion "Islam". Esoteric arguments on the eternal nature of the religious doctrine found in the Qur'an are certainly appropriate in a Mosque, but for the purposes of Wikipedia, "Muhammad founded Islam" is much more appropriate. --FairNBalanced 09:16, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Your words are like a fresh shower ... ;-) Editorius 13:48, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
The word "Islam" refers to
(a) the monotheistic religious system of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Koran
(b) the civilization of Muslims collectively which is governed by the Muslim religion
Editorius 14:39, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Discussion of what you dismiss as "esoteric arguments" is part of the discussion of religion. They're appropriate in university classrooms as well as mosques, and they're appropriate here.
I agree that it's a problem conveying the subtlety of the Muslim position in an opening para. It's very much a problem when editors insist on using words like "founder", which advance a POV that Muslims don't accept. It's as if you insisted on describing Buddha as a "wandering beggar," in which case Buddhists would argue that the word "beggar" doesn't begin to do justice to the concept of the sannayasin.
I need to sleep on this and perhaps tomorrow (after I've finished a little paying work) I can write a whole bunch of possible first paras. Zora 10:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Zora, get your sleep! But for tomorrow: isn't the real issue not what "Buddhists" would argue, but what reliable sources (in this case, translators/linguists) do argue?Timothy Usher 10:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Omigosh! Hell just froze over! I agree with something Striver said. Yes, that's a good way to put it. Muslims believe that Islam as submission to God was taught by all prophets, but only Muhammad brought the Qur'an (though most Muslims believe that it was up there in the heavens, waiting to be revealed). With the Qur'an comes Islam as practiced since Muhammad.
I thought the old intro para was just fine, myself. Zora 09:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
While I'm no expert, I'd suggest Deen (Arabic term) is highly relevant to this discussion; Islam doesn't define itself as a "religion" but a way of life. &#0151; JEREMY 10:42, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Some Muslims use that terminology, others don't. Zora 10:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

This is all nice, folks - and you're all always welcome to discuss these interesting topics on my talk page - but are there any actual sources involved?Timothy Usher 10:48, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

"Some Muslims use that terminology, others don't": That's eristical. The five Madhaahib beg to differ: they use the terminology, and, among other things, consider Islam a way of life. While individual Muslims may contradict, I don't know of any relevant group that does. Anyway, since when is there debate in WP that we value RS based stances over POV? The reverted edit gave weight accordingly. Though "esoteric arguments" on Islam's nature certainly are fit when discussing the subject and related edits, we're dealing with a person whose role historic sciences have determined, so referring the state of research is mandatory. Nothing wrong citing contradicting religious implications - giving due weight. The equidistant description of belief and research is encyclopedically unwarranted. --tickle me 11:51, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
There are analogies between what the Jewish and Christian gurus of the pre-Muhammadian era preached and what Muhammad preached. But to characterize the former as "prophets of Islam" or "Islamic prophets" is not only historically misleading but also simply an anachronistic mythological re-interpretation of history serving the ideological purposes of the Muslim theologians.Editorius 14:31, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

If we want to avoid the verb "to found" , which Zora deems evil (for no sensible reason), we could use an alternative, but related one:

"Muhammad instituted the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam."

Editorius 14:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Related? I think it means pretty much the same ... ----Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 14:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
It surely does, and it surely has to, since what we must do is express the fact as it is!
Question: Is it a historical truth that Muhammad instituted the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam?
The only answer known to be right is: "Yes!"
Editorius 15:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Zora has not been able to offer any plausible argument against this whatosever apart from her perverted neutralism. She thinks that the judgements of the Muslim mythologians are epistemologically on a par with the judgements of the scientific historians, and that, hence, both deserve being treated equally; but this is simply not the case, for the latter are objective inasmuch as they are solely grounded on the strictly methodical, empirical study of real history, whereas the former are not, and thus are merely subjective.Editorius 15:18, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Zora's incessant insinuation that the affirmation of
"Muhammad instituted the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam."
indicates that those affirming it must be "Muslim-bashers", "anti-Islamic", or generally "anti-religious", is nonsensical.
Editorius 15:25, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
And it is beyond me how it should be possible to seriously hold that the statement above is "not neutral enough" in the light of the fact that it is true!
A true sentence can impossibly be "neutral" (in your perverted sense), because its truth certainly entails the falsity of its negation.
Editorius 16:05, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Hello guys, i've been following this discussion for a while now and noticed that every side you take is a POV one. We are not here to tell people that Muhammad is this or that because that is the truth. Muhamamd is the last prophet is POV and w/ no doubt Muhammad is the founder of Islam is another POV. Editorius goes further and talks about a strictly monotheistic religious system which is total POV. Who defines strict? Anyway, you are facing the same paradox as when facing a border or a territory conflict. Are you telling me that Taiwan is part of China or the opposite. Whatever you'd do is POV. Haven't we learned how to respect NPOV yet? Wasn't the article more stable and w/ no POV stating both sides of the picture? cheers -- Szvest 15:22, 5 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

Wellywell, everything is just a "point of view" ... (blah blah blah ...)
Let everything be a "point of view", for what matters is not whether something is a point of view but whether it is a right or true point of view!
And there can be no rational doubt that the point of view that Muhammad instituted the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam corresponds to the historical facts!
The phrase "strictly monotheistic" describes the Islamic theism perfectly well, because e.g. the Christian theism is not strictly monotheistic insofar as it teaches the Trinity of God, which is vehemently rejected by the Islamic theologians. Editorius 15:40, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
By the way, are you aware of the consequences of your perverted neutralism?!
According to your and Zora's argumentation, we would, for example, have to let the Nazis have their say in the entry on Hitler (Steady, friends, I am not equating Muslims with Nazis!):
—"Nazis believe that Hitler was the greatest leader of all times, and Non-Nazis believe that Hitler was not the greatest leader of all times but one of the greatest criminals in history."
—"Nazis believe that Auschwitz is just a lie, and Non-Nazis believe that Auschwitz is not a lie."
—(and so forth)
Do you get my point?
Editorius 15:54, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Editorius, please avoid calling other's opinons blah blah while they are being perverted. Otherwise, we'd have no chance to arrive to neither a compromise nor an understanding.
I did not say that Zora and others are perverted, but that the neutralism they endorse is.Editorius 16:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Back to the subject. "Nazis believe that Auschwitz is just a lie, and Non-Nazis believe that Auschwitz is not a lie" is the outmost of a NPOV. You know why? because it tells you what both sides believe. Neither you nor me were there but we are present today here at this NPOV encyclopaedia.

What is this supposed to mean? — That we must not explicitly write down in Wikiepdia that it is an undeniable historical fact that the KZ in Auschwitz existed and that the mass gassings took place? (Just for your information: in Germany you get sentenced for publically denying Auschwitz.) Editorius 16:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I got your point in a way that i understand that you believe Muhammad created Islam. Is that the truth? Are you sure? I am not sure. Cheers -- Szvest 16:08, 5 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

Let me reply with the words of Ludwig Wittgenstein: "What I know is believed by me."
Editorius 16:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Decision Now

I think it's time for a decision.

Here are my candidates:

(1) "Muhammad established the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam and the Muslim community."

(2) "Muhammed promulgated the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam and established the Muslim community."

("to promulgate" does not necessarily have the connotation "to bring into existence", and so should really be deemed "neutral enough" by the super-neutralists here.)

Editorius 17:10, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

3) Keep what it is currently or the may revert back to an older improved version. Muhammad (c. 570–632) (Arabic: محمد muḥammad listen, also transliterated as Mohammed and other variants), is believed by Muslims to be God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed, sent to guide all of mankind with the message of Islam. He is referred to as "The Prophet" (Arabic: النبي an-nabiyyu) or "The Messenger" (Arabic: الرسول ar-rasūlu) within the religion. Non-Muslims generally consider him to be the founder of Islam --- Faisal 02:06, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

[Remember what Annemarie Schimmel, who was very Islam-friendly, writes in her entry on Islam in the EB: (ISLAM =) "major world religion belonging to the Semitic family; it was promulgated by the Prophet Muhammad in Arabia in the 7th century AD." (Source: Editorius 17:31, 5 June 2006 (UTC)]

You aren't the boss of us. You can't DEMAND a decision on your schedule. Zora 17:34, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I thought we could meet halfway; but now it seems to me that you want to meet me nowhere. Editorius 02:16, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Is this the boss speaking...?!Editorius 17:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC) How much "weasel-wording" do you think needs still to be done before a decision can be made?Editorius 18:15, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Zora's right, you could take a survey to gage consensus about such a thing though. Netscott 17:37, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

???—Even though I find Zora's arguments completely misguided, I have repeatedly demonstrated my willingness to compromise by offering formulations such as (2) above, which Zora et al. have deliberately ignored so far.Editorius 17:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

If she or others find even (2) still "not neutral enough", I'm done. Editorius 18:08, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Editorius, please do not make such threats!!! It would be heartbreaking to see you leave, as I am thoroughly enjoying (and agreeing with) all of your contributions on this page ! --FairNBalanced 06:02, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
The intro is fine how it is. —Aiden 17:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Wow, how perfectly fine it is...! - "the most prominent person in Islam" — Come on, you can't be serious!Editorius 17:58, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

(By the way, isn' t Allah much more prominent in Islam than Muhammad?! — I find this formulation objectionable. The only formulation I deem "neutral enough" and "ideologically unbiased" is "Muhammad is a man who has something to do with Islam". ;-) Editorius 18:03, 5 June 2006 (UTC))
I respectfully yet emphatically disagree with both alternatives. WP:NPOV means the neutral presentation of material drawn from verifiable, reliable sources, not the neutral presentation of disputes between editors to this talk page. These policies (and I quote) are non-negotiable and cannot be editors' consensus. To compromise is in itself a violation of policy.
No, provided the statement that expresses the compromise is still a historical truth, which is the case in (2). Editorius 23:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Muhammad founded Islam is what the cited sources say, and that's what the first sentence of this article should say, until someone produces a reliable source which says otherwise, at which point we can reevaluate it. The second sentence should say what Muslims believe about him, not about Islam's existence generally.Timothy Usher 23:24, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
???—You agree with "Muhammad founded Islam" but disagree with the synonymous "Muhammad established the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam"?! This I do not understand ... Editorius 23:39, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
In the first place we ought to state what is known to be the case, and then we may certainly add what the Muslims believe to be the case, for the world of the religious myths is not equal to the real world. Editorius 23:32, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Once again the introduction is fine. If your aim is to develop consensus then it is not there. I believe that most will disagree with you. Hence you should drop it. --- Faisal 23:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I read your "I believe that most will disagree with you" as "I hope that most will disagree with you"!
If even a formulation such as "Muhammed promulgated the strictly monotheistic religious system called Islam and established the Muslim community." should be not "consensus-apt", then that's got me stumped. Editorius 01:36, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Why you so badly want to change the current introduction? I can understand Timothy disagreement that he wants to push his "well-sourced" founder claim at the very start. However not able to understand that why you are against it? --- Faisal 01:51, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Also do not insult others by using words like religion myths. For those who believe, it is not a myth. It is always nice to respect other side views. --- Faisal 23:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Generally, I do respect all moral Muslims as human persons, in the same way that I respect all moral non-Muslims. But in this context I do have a problem with the words "insult" or "offence", which many Muslims love to use inflationarily. They employ them maliciously as a rhetorical maneuver, whenever a non-Muslim says something against Islam that they do not like; and, of course, they do not like it when somebody says anything whatsoever against Islam. — I'm afraid we all have to live willy-nilly with the fact that there is always somebody who says something we do not like at all. For example, according to the Quran I as an atheist am one of "the worst of beasts" (8:55. "For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are those who reject Him: They will not believe." trans. Yusus Ali), which, be honest, is truly very offensive, being close to "subhuman" — and yet I live with that without wishing that all Muslims go to hell. As I said in the beginning, I do respect all moral Muslims as human persons, but you cannot expect me to respect the religious ideology of Islam. Should you consider any disrespect for Islam as a religious ideology to be a personal insult to the Muslims, then—I beg your pardon—that is your problem, not mine, for then it's you who ought to work on his way of judging things. — In my opinion, which is supported by scientific knowledge, the history of Islam as taught by the theologians is mythological, with little or no correspondence to reality. If you consider this opinion of mine an insult, then I am sorry because I do not intend to insult you; but I'm afraid there is nothing else I can do about it.Editorius 01:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for being nice. I must have misunderstood you, I am sorry. Now I know unlike some you not one of those who ridicules others ideology. Obviously we all have right to differ with each other but we should try to express it as polite as possible. --- Faisal 01:23, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
You are welcome! Editorius 01:46, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Editorius, not to be pushy here, but it's better if you don't break up comments with a point-by-point response. Quoting them makes the discussion easier to follow, as it keeps comments associated with their user/time signatures.
Onto substance - we agree with the order of presentation. Statements of historical fact must come first.
"strictly monotheistic religious system" is unnecessary, as this article is about Muhammad, and Islam will be wikilinked. "Religious sytem" is strange - let's use plain language and stick with "religion".
"Muhammad (c. 571–632) founded the religion of Islam.(CITES)" is, I submit, the most pithy expression of sourced fact that we can muster. Swapping "established" for "founded" is okay, I suppose.
But this is exactly the kind of thing which is rightly debated. Core wikipedia policy is not. What Zora and Faisal are really upset about is that WP:NPOV doesn't override WP:V and WP:RS. Two words: not negotiable.Timothy Usher 00:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Not Negotiable is Negotiable. You defend people against atrocity and forget not to avoid seeing your actions applying it. Be WP:Civil. Cheers -- Szvest 00:18, 6 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
Cheers...but to which atrocities do you refer? Anyhow, not negotiable is nearly a direct quote of core policy, which are non-negotiable and cannot be editors' consensus.Timothy Usher 00:26, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
That's the point. Cheers -- Szvest 00:40, 6 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
Szvestalicious! We meet again. So are you saying that you agree with Usher and Editorius on this issue? That WP:V and WP:RS supersede the inclusion of an unreferenceable POV? --FairNBalanced 06:36, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Timothy, you may replace "religious system" with the simpler "religion", that would be fine with me; but I don't consider "strictly monotheistic" superfluous, because it actually is informative.Editorius 01:15, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

It is informative, but about Islam, not about Muhammad. Not that Islam can't come up in this article - obviously - but it's a common misperception that the article is about Islam, and one that I think that is influencing some of the discussion: to wit, we shouldn't mention in this article that Muslims believe Islam to have existed before Muhammad, or get involved with previous prophets, other than to say Muslims believe Muhammad to have been the last of God's prophets and provide the appropriate links. Saying Muhammad founded Islam is enough for the capsule summary one expects in an opening paragraph.
As this article is supposed to be a biography, a better place for it would be when discussing the beginnings of his ministry (currently a pathetic section), where we can and should discuss how his teachings differed from the other religions of his time and place.Timothy Usher 01:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Inserting the short phrase "strictly monotheistic" is not a case of prolixity, is it?! And that Islam is strictly monotheistic is an important fact about it. Editorius 01:43, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Well strictly monothesitic is a good information and I will support it. --- Faisal 02:17, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

In Islam the oneness of God is absolute, whereas in Christianity God is three persons in one (Trinity of God). I am an atheist, but in this particular respect I like Islam much more than Christianity. Editorius 02:33, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Lest we not forget that not ALL Christians believe in the Trinity, there are those vehemently opposed to it (i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses). Also, I am not an atheist, but I agree with you- I believe Islam is more correct in their monotheistic stance than the typical Christian viewpoint. --FairNBalanced 06:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
It tells that you are a fair person (not biased) and does not dislike things just for the sake of disliking. --- Faisal 02:47, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, so do I, but saying that God is one in the Islamic sense falls fall short of saying that Muhammad quoted him accurately. Anyhow, about the article...
Of course it's good information, just not for the first sentence of this article. "George Washington was...the first President of the federal republic known as The United States" doesn't work for the George Washington article. The point here is just to ground the discussion by minimally identifying why he is important, not what is important about the United States (which is be appropriate for the first sentence of that article), although of course the form of government would come up during the bio. Same here.
And generally, it’s completely okay and expected that this article will not explain all the key facts about Islam, only what’s minimally necessary to discuss Muhammad. That’s why we have the Islam article, wikilinked to here.
The monotheism should come up here during the description of his ministry, because the natural question is, well, what was he preaching, and why didn’t Meccans like it? We can’t discuss that without it. But that’s the only reason it should be in this article, and that’s where it should appear.Timothy Usher 02:40, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

FWIIW, I welcome Editorius' efforts at finding a solution, and I think his proposals are fair. Imho, far too much debate has gone into this "founder" thing, and it's time we settled on a super-neutral compromise ("promulgated" sounds good). In any case, stop the aggressive revert-warring. Solutions are reached precisely by suggestions like Editorius'; if unhappy with his proposals, suggest minor tweaks to the wording, rinse and repeat. Wikipedia is not all about citations. It's about citations first and foremost. Once the facts are on the table, it is also very much about consensus and good faith, intelligent compromise. The issue may be too complicated for the intro, and may need at least an explanatory footnote. The problem with "Non-Muslims generally consider him to be the founder of Islam" is that it leaves the reader confused about why Muslims would not consider Muhammad the founder: the statement implies controversy without resolving the issue by actually explaining the controversy. dab () 08:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Here is my proposal again:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) promulgated the strictly monotheistic religion of Islam and established the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed."

(Let me stress once more that "to promulgate" does not necessarily have the connotation "to bring into existence", and that such an eminent, pro-Islamic scholar as Annemarie Schimmel uses it, arguably deeming it appropriate.) Editorius 14:09, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

That's not a very commonly used word. People shouldn't have to pull out a dictionary to read the article. Just say established. —Aiden 14:57, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm afraid an author cannot first carry out a survey on how many people directly understand his words before using them in his text. What matters is that the word in question is a regular lexical item and adequately expresses the intended meaning. — As far as I'm concerned, I could certainly live very well with "establish". But the point is that this verb does have the connotation "to bring into existence" (see:, which I've been trying to defuse for the sake of compromise. Editorius 17:21, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius, you are a nice guy, but your vocabulary is honestly too advanced. I think you assume the general public is much smarter than they really are (with regard to use of the word "promulgate"). In fact, you could very well be the smartest one here. Watching you apply your logic is like watching someone shoot fish in a barrel with a shotgun. Ironically, the only problem is that these "fish" don't even realize that they've been shot (metaphorically speaking)... I think "established" is a better word than promulgate, more common in usage, and entirely accurate. That's why I'm leaning toward your suggestion:
"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the strictly monotheistic religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed." Despite not using "promulgate" in this version, you still have the sentence "Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to who the Qur'an was revealed" which should be more than a sufficient compromise.
You and the UsherDude have both already pointed out that this is article should not be made into a hagiography (in the pejorative sense of the word). --F.N.B. 17:32, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Muhammad (PBUH) has not "establish" anything. Hence above are not acceptable. I still not able to get what is the problem with the current intro and why you want to change it. --- Faisal 18:27, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Dear Faisal, as I've already said many times, that Muhammad founded/established/instituted the religion called Islam is and remains a scientifically unassailable fact. Another scientifically unassailable fact is that Muhammad did not found monotheism. As we all know, there are monotheisms originating from pre-Muhammadian times. But it needs to be stressed over and over again that it is illegitimate to anachronistically label those "Islamic"! Neither is it legitimate in any way to speak of the first members of the species homo sapiens ("from Adam onwards ...") as "the first Muslims"!Editorius 20:12, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

The following is doubtless the best and most accurate formulation:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the strictly monotheistic religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed."

This formulation is objectively impeccable. — I've been offering the formulation containing the "weasel word" "promulgate" only for the sake of compromise. Editorius 20:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius 20:21, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Person or not?

Allah is NOT a Person (according to Muslims). The intro is fine. --- Faisal 19:22, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
The 99 (descriptive) Names of God could not collectively apply to a nonperson.
[Theism =] "the view that all limited or finite things are dependent in some way on one supreme or ultimate reality of which one may also speak in personal terms."
["Theism." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.]
For an atheist it doesn't make any (literal or analogical) sense to do so. Editorius 20:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Also see e.g. in The Columbia Encyclopedia: [Theism =] "in theology and philosophy, the belief in a personal God" (
Islam is a theistic religion, just like Judaism and Christianity. Editorius 20:48, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
What name make him a person? According to Muslims believes and Quran. Allah does not need to sleep. He is not father of anyone and no one is his child or family member. He is not married and do not need to be married. He does not need to have food (or any fuel). No one has created him. No one is like him or has abilites like him. He has created the universe and can distroy it whenever he wants.... Hence Allah is not a person. Start another section/debate and every Muslim member will agree that it is wrong to call Allah as a person. --- Faisal 20:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Your "hence" is misplaced, because from what you've mentioned it merely follows that Allah is not a human person, but not that he is not a person at all. Editorius 21:38, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Practically all of the 99 names characterize God as a personal being. For example, the noun "creator" (Nr. 12) implies that what is called a creator is somebody who is capable of purposive action and complex thought. I fail to see how a nonperson could intentionally create and design a complex universe such as ours. An atheist doesn't say that there is somebody who is its creator but that there is something which is the (impersonal) cause of its existence. — Believe it or not, the god of the Muslims has personality. :-) Editorius 21:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
It is wrong to put Allah in any group. Person is a group with many members. Allah is very unique. He is most powerful, most generous, most beautiful and does not have requirements similar to living being or persons (like he does not get tired, sleepy, hungry, thristy, bore etc). No one can match his abilities or even come near to the abilities he has. So I could never think when I read Person in the intro. that someone could possibly think Allah as a Person. The above two choices of yours are not better than current intro because even the Muslim community was establish before Muhammad (PBUH). He was the just the final prophet that completed the religion Islam started by Adam (PBUH) and continue by other prophets (Jesus (PBUH), Moses (PBUH) ...). See Prophets_of_Islam --- Faisal 21:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
This is mythological yarn spun by shrewd theologians for the sole ideological purpose of "islamizing" the entire history of mankind, from its dawn (Adam) onwards:
[7.172] "When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): "Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yea! We do testify!" (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful":"
[19:58] "Those were some of the prophets on whom Allah did bestow His Grace,- of the posterity of Adam, and of those who We carried (in the Ark) with Noah, and of the posterity of Abraham and Israel of those whom We guided and chose. Whenever the Signs of ((Allah)) Most Gracious were rehearsed to them, they would fall down in prostrate adoration and in tears."
(trans. Yusuf Ali)
That has absolutely nothing to do with scientific historiography. To speak of a "pre-Muhammadian Muslim community" is historical nonsense.— If the stories by the mythologians and the ones by the historians should be deemed equally credible and equally substantiated by the Wikipedia admins, I wouldn't want to have anything to do with Wikipedia. Editorius 22:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
you seem to be confused by translation. We've been through this before, and I am tired of repeating points that can be looked up in the archives for free. When commenting on the "founder of Islam" issue, it is important to understand the ambiguity of half-translated half-loaned terminology. "Muslim community" is a half-Arabic half-English expression open to misinterpretation. "Muslim" is Arabic for "faithful", so the full English translation would read "community of the faithful", or "community of the righteous [according to Mohammedan ideals]". It is patently not "historical nonsense" to talk about faith or even monotheism predating Muhammad. There were faithful monotheists a millennium before Muhammad was born. The entire problem is that the Arabic term for "faith" has become undistinguishable from "Mohammedan" in English, and practically synonymous in Arabic. I realize that in English, the loanword "Islam" means "Mohammedan", and not "faithful" in general (a faithful Christian is not called muslim in English any more than fromm or pieux). Replacing "Mohammedan" with "Muslim" was originally intended as a PC courtesy because people objected to the term "Mohammedan". It is now an encyclopedia's job to unravel the terminological mess this has landed us in. This can be done in a neutral manner and straightforwardly. dab () 08:50, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
This is all true. But this is an English-language encyclopedia; we don't aim to redefine terms, even those which have been unjustly redefined - and Muhammadan(ism) would be more than fine with me. But it's been replaced by Islam/Muslim. The question is, do we take what Islam/Muslim means in English at face value, or include the nuances of the Arabic derivation? I think the answer, as framed, is clear. We're not here, on this article, to solve these problems - which come to think of it is a kind of original research, albeit valid enough in that.
Shall we cite dictionaries along with Watt and Encyclopedia Britannica? English language dictionaries define "Islam" and "Muslim" such that your objections, based on the Arabic language, are valid but off-topic.
Verifiable, reliable sources for English-language meanings are English-language dictionaries. While we can certainly discuss the foreign-language origins and meanings of borrowed terms, we use English meanings in our prose.Timothy Usher 09:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
no, we are not here to solve these problems. We are here to explain them. Understand that the fact that you are able to cite sources that use these terms without bothering to explain the implications does not force us to do the same. In fact, seeing that people keep objecting this way or that to a certain point dictates that we add a decent explanation, in a footnote or wherever, on the points I summarize above. I have no opinion on the matter, man. All I'm saying is "it's complicated". You say "I agree, but here's a dictionary that doesn't bother about that". I say, well, but the EB and friends have the advantage (or disadvantage) that people have no opportunity to edit-war about their sloppy terminology. Just explain things along the lines I point out above and we'll have peace. Otherwise the article will never be stable. dab () 10:01, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
"Understand that the fact that you are able to cite sources that use these terms without bothering to explain the implications does not force us to do the same."
But the inability to cite other reliable sources which contradict those (dictionaries) does. If we can find an English language dictionary which defines the English term "Islam" as faith or generic submission to God, then you have a point. Otherwise, it's actually not complicated. All we have here is a supremely off-topic (remember, this is about Muhammad, not Islam) introduction of semantic disputes kept alive only by the comments of editors to this talk page.Timothy Usher 10:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

dab, it is indeed not historical nonsense to talk about faith or even monotheism predating Muhammad. I wrote:

— Of course, there were lots of pre-Muhammadian religious beliefs and practices such as those of Judaism and Christiany, which could be taken up and be modified by Islam; but to call those "Islamic" would be unjustifiably anachronistic, and simply false Editorius 22:04, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
— There are analogies between what the Jewish and Christian gurus of the pre-Muhammadian era preached and what Muhammad preached. But to characterize the former as "prophets of Islam" is simply an anachronistic mythological re-interpretation of history serving the ideological purposes of the Muslim theologians.Editorius 14:24, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

But it is indeed historical nonsense to talk about Islamic faith or even Islamic monotheism predating Muhammad. Furthermore, concerning "Muslim" you seem to commit an etymological fallacy:

"What I am referring to as the etymological fallacy is the assumption that the original form or meaning of a word is, necessarily and by virtue of that very fact, its correct form or meaning. This assumption is widely held. How often do we meet the argument that because such and such a word comes from Greek, Latin, Arabic, or whatever language it might be in the particular instance, the correct meaning of the word must be what it was in the original language of origin! The argument is fallacious, because the tacit assumption of an originally true or appropriate correspondence between form and meaning, upon which the argument rests, cannot be substantiated."

[Lyons J. 1981. Language and linguistics: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. (p. 55)]

What matters here is the contemporary common meaning of "Muslim", and that is crystal-clear: a Muslim = an adherent of Islam [Etymology: Arabic muslim, literally, one who surrenders (to God)] (Source:

We definitely cannot use "Muslim" as very broadly meaning "somebody who believes in God (surrenders to God)", because then all (mono-)theistic believers worldwide would be Muslims, including the Jews and the Christians. Counting the latter among the Muslim community would not only be very misleading, extremely unfair to the Jews and Christians in particular, but also historically false. In the English language "Muslim" factually does not mean "adherent of a (mono-)theistic religion" but "adherent of the (mono-)theistic religion called Islam".

Of course we can add etymological information about what the original Arabic meanings of "Muslim" and "Islam" are. But, as already said, the original Arabic meanings are not the same as the contemporary English meanings, which are the only relevant ones for English readers.

(By the way, even I consider "Muhammadan"/"Mohammedan" and "Muhammadanism"/"Mohammedanism" pejorative and hence inacceptable.) Editorius 13:54, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

on your final point, I honestly don't see why "Mohammedan" should be any more pejorative than "Lutheran". I suspect "Mohammedan" was ousted out of circulation by a flawed analogy to "Christian" (an implied comparison of Muhammad with Christ), but the term "Lutheran" makes perfectly clear that a religion may be named after its honoured instigator rather than its deity. Luther is the founder of the Lutheran creed, not of Christianity. Yet there is no problem with saying Luther founded Lutheranism. So why should there be a problem with saying that Muhammad founded Mohammedanism? And, if "Islam" in English really synonymously replaces "Mohammedanism", that would read "Muhammad is the founder of Islam". Since that seems to offend many Muslim readers because it reads like "Muhammad founded piety", I see nothing wrong with clarifying that "Muhammad founded the world religion known as Islam" or something. My point is that this is about terminology, not about factual disagreement, so why don't people just settle on terminology acceptable to everybody? My objection stands that the "generally considered by non-Muslims" implies a controversy without making it explicit. If that wording is to remain, it needs at the very least an explanatory footnote. dab () 18:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
That wording, "generally considered by non-Muslims", resulted from an earlier compromise based on the misconstrual of WP policy as discussed, and certainly shouldn't remain - the "non-Muslims" in question are important because they're mainstream reliable sources, not because they represent a "non-Muslim POV".
Incidentally, were we to adopt the original Arabic derivation as our definition of Islam/Muslim, we would no longer be able to call anything or anyone Islamic/Muslim without serious qualification, as it's not up to us to decide what constitutes "submitting [to God]".Timothy Usher 20:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Your "world religion" tweak is fine with me (as it was when you'd first posted it several months ago).Timothy Usher 20:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Archive in the Works?

Not to change the subject, but is there any chance that at least the first half/part of this talk page could be archived? The page length seems to be getting a little outta hand...—Preceding unsigned comment added by FairNBalanced (talkcontribs)

Thank you IrishPunk Tom --F.N.B. 17:34, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Can we vote yet?

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the strictly monotheistic religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed."

Per Editorius, this absolutely is the most impeccable version. I'm not familiar with the "world religion" tweak that Usher spoke of, but if anyone would like to put it up here for a look, that would be great. "Established" is more accurate than promulgate and a more well known word. The average reader will get confused when they see "promulgated"- a long complex word that starts with a "p". Let's not forget that "pedophile" and "pederast" are also unusual words that start with a "p". In light of the stigma that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has been trying to overcome for centuries, I don't think "promulgate" is a word we should stick with. --FrankNBeans 04:53, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

"long and complex word"? — "promulgated" = 11 words, "established" = 11 words.
And I hope you don't consider the "p" thing a serious argument.Editorius 11:52, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I think this is perfectly fair. Except, why all the brackets (one set is enough) (instead of lining up bracket after bracket), and why the Turkish form of the name? say "also Mohammed and other variants" and add a footnote listing all variants known to man. Although I find your association of "promulgate" with "pederast" a bit surreal, I agree that "promulgate" is not a word we should stick to without need. dab () 08:52, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Can we get rid of "strictly monotheistic"? Of course it's true, but as discussed above, it's off-topic for the first sentence of this article.Timothy Usher 08:56, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
The phrase "strictly monotheistic" is absolutely non-off-topic, because it conveys very important information about Islam:
"No religion has interpreted monotheism in a more consequential and literal way than Islam. According to Islāmic doctrine the Christian dogma of a trinitarian god is a form of tritheism—of a three-god belief. There is no issue upon which this religion is so intransigent as the one of monotheism."
["Monotheism." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.]
So we really shouldn't omit it.Editorius 12:01, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with this proposal, excluding "strictly monotheistic". Pecher Talk 09:15, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Strictly is relative and that would mean POV. Without it the intro is more neutral. Cheers -- Szvest 09:26, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
No, "strictly" is not relative, and "strcictly monotheistic" describes the Islamic religion perfectly well.Editorius 12:01, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
But if the tiny adverb "strictly" should bother most of you somehow, then let's omit it, for I don't want to be too pedantic.Editorius 13:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget there are those that say voting is evil. Are we sure voting is needed? Judging by the "(help·info)" bit of the first line, to use this text verbatim would likely be a copyright violation. That said this line is the most neutral out of the various lines proposed as it does not rely upon faith in establishing historical fact. Netscott 09:26, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I try to compare this intro with the one of Jesus and find no logic being applied at all. -- Szvest 09:30, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
Yes, I've seen that argumentation device used elsewhere but in reality that argument could just as easily be saying that Jesus needs editing. Netscott 09:35, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure if that needs a revision. The intro of Jesus is as neutral as it should be based on what neutrality is. -- Szvest 09:39, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
I'm not sure how the proposed intro text can possibly be a copyvio. Pecher Talk 09:36, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Me neither. -- Szvest 09:39, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
Is that first line not a word for word copy from another encyclopedia? On another note the comparison of pederast and pedophile to promulgate in relation to Muhammad does not strike me as being done in good faith and I would council User:FairNBalanced to remain professional (and preferrably neutral) in discussions about the subject of this article. Netscott 09:42, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Do you mean that the intro above is taken from Britannica? Copyrights apply than. Thanks for mentioning it Scott. People are free to say whatever they like in the discussion pages (in goog or bad faith and excluding personal attacks) so that is not a problem. -- Szvest 09:48, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
guys, I seriously doubt that sentences like "Muhammad established Islam" or "Columbus sailed to America" are at all copyrightable. This discussion is involved enough. Copyvio is lazy ripping off of another's work. Nobody will be able to say that we didn't put work of our own into this damned intro. Let's just find a consensus without bothering what EB have as their first paragraph. dab () 10:57, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
The Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on Muhammad begins exactly as follows:
"Muhammad: born c. 570, Mecca, Arabia [now in Saudi Arabia] died June 8, 632, Medina
in full Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, founder of the religion of Islām and of the Muslim community."
["Muhammad." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.<>]
There is certainly no copyright on the phrases "the religion of Islam" and "the Muslim community".Editorius 12:15, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Back to the subject. I believe strictly is POV and believe that established or promulgated is not NPOV. Who says that he did and who says he didn't do that? -- Szvest 12:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

thus, how about

Muhammad (محمد; also Mohammed and other variants[1]; c. 571632) established the monotheistic religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed.

dab () 12:19, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't see the need for "monotheistic" qualification here; attributes of Islam are best described in the Islam article. Otherwise, sounds good. Pecher Talk 12:24, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Dieter, why not add more explanation for the sake of neutrality and clarity?
Muhammad (محمد; also Mohammed and other variants[1]; c. 571632) is the central figure of monotheistic religion of Islam. Non-Muslims believe he established Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed and that he completed the message of God.
I see Dieter that both suggestions are equal and in plain English they seem neutral. Mine is giving nobody the right to tell that one view is correct. We can remove monotheistic term as per Pecher. Cheers -- Szvest 12:32, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
This latest version by Szvest isn't neutral. What is the verifiable history regarding Muhammad and Islam? Netscott 12:38, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
It may be true Scott and that's what i tried to explain through that. Verifiability concern both sides of the story. So what history and academic books say about it? Academic sources differ and the only thing we can do is present both views and not say that he established when other sources say no. -- Szvest 12:42, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
I'm sorry Szvest but equating religious belief with historical fact isn't neutral. Netscott 12:46, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
In that i am w/ you Scott and i say the same. The point is that we discard Muslim historians from the game. Is that because they had a religious background? Hadn't non-Muslim historians who wrote about Islam religious background as well? -- Szvest 12:56, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
What about saying something to the effect that Muhammad established Islam whose tenets hold that it is a religion that has always existed. Netscott 12:59, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Scott, when we say X established Y, we mean that he did it whereas sources are conflicting. Z believes X established Y means that nothing is 100% factual, which is the case. It is like saying Gates inveted the first OS based on windows called "Windows" wich is debatable as well. Don't you see guys that we can be more neutral than that but there's something on the way? -- Szvest 13:05, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

Can we vote yet? II

did you at all listen? what is the meaning of "Non-Muslims believe he established Islam and the Muslim community"? Is this a religious belief parallel to "Muslims believe he was God's final prophet"? On what grounds is it disputed that he founded the religion / the ummah? Does anyone see the two statements "established Islam" and "was God's final prophet" as mutually exclusive? why? As I understand the matter, M established Islam. Muslims believe that he did so by virtue of being God's prophet, non-Muslims believe that he just did it. Both views are compatible with the simple fact that M established (the religion of, yadda yadda) Islam. What is your problem? Otoh, if the whole point of Islam is that it is extremely monotheistic (no trinity, no saints, no idols/hagiography), why should we not describe "Islam" as "monotheistic religion"? It's not like that takes away too much space or like it is biased in any way. We can split hairs over this all week. Or we can just agree that Mohammed established the bleeding monotheistic world religion known as Islam, prophet or not, and unprotect. dab () 12:51, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
It's simplistic to reduce Islam to just monotheism; in fact, Islam is more correctly described as deen, a complete way of life for each and every individual. The point is that the intro to the article on Muhammad is not the place to describe the intricacies of Islam. I'm not disputing that Islam is monotheistic; I'm just pointing out that singling one of the attributes of Islam among others is unjustified. Pecher Talk 12:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I reject the formulation "Non-Muslims believe he established Islam and the Muslim community", because it suggests (and I suspect it is cunningly intended to suggest this) that it expresses a merely subjective, i.e. unjustified judgement on the part of the non-Muslims, which might easily be false. But this is not the case, for what we have here is an empirically confirmed, and hence well-founded historical judgement.Editorius 13:16, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I second this, unless we explain why we are suggesting that the point is subjective. As for deen vs. tawhid, well, we can also link to deen if you like. Muhammad is so intricately linked with Islam that it is certainly permissible to link to one or two basic tenets of Islam (hence, of Muhammad's) from the intro. We could also say "the monotheistic religion of Islam", no problem. dab () 13:29, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I concur with Editorius without hedge:
"Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed whilst non-Muslims consider him to be the founder of Islam"
Matching belief with consideration clearly insinuates unwarranted encyclopedical equidistance, while the precedence of the religious view even gives undue weight and indicates preference. Also, the term consideration detracts the scientific factuality. In my understanding WP prefers WP:RS over belief. Is that a minority view? --tickle me 13:41, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
would somebody mind answering my question why this consideration is reserved to non-Muslims? It seems perfectly obvious that Muslims consider Muhammad the founder of stuff as well as believing that he is God's prophet. Where is the (implied) contradiction here, I would like to know (and I am asking for about the fourth time now with no reply)? dab () 13:49, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Are the modern textbooks of chemistry an expression of ideological bias just because the point of view of the alchemists is left out...?! — I really do not think so! Editorius 14:04, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Can we vote yet? III

Editorius, Netscott- For the record, I love you guys and your work is great here. I'm renominating this version, per Editorius, Usher, Pecher, the "Dabinator" et al (including my homie Szvest):

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed and that he completed the message of God."

Is this a reasonable compromise? --FrankNBeans 17:00, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

There's only one problem here and that is everyone on this list you've created appears to have never self-identified as Muslim (I'm not saying whether anyone on the list is Muslim or not). Writing articles on Wikipedia is not a one sided affair. I'm not going to be agreeing with any particular version until such time as a reasonable number of points of view (a general consensus) is inclined to sign off on it. That said I am sooner inclined to support a version of the introduction like this that does correspond to verifiable and reliable sources and does not depend upon facts stemming from a religious belief. Netscott 17:09, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Sounds fair to me. A few things:
  • Why include the Turkish name? It's an English encyclopaedia, so I think it makes more sense to include the variants that are current in English. Else we might as well include a bunch of other languages.
  • Aren't he was God's final prophet and he completed the message of God tautological statements? I don't even think the second statement is true: it is believed that he merely conveyed God's message.
By the way, I agree that statements about the Islam (such as calling it a strictly monotheistic religion) should not be included in the introduction of this article. That's what the Islam article is for. ----Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 17:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Netscott.. that's why I used "et al". Plus Benne has a point. We could remove the word "Turkish:" and just include all of the variants, including Muhammed.

Netscott, I'm just trying to fore-go all of the side-discussions and push forward the discussion of a working sentence we can all agree on- regardless of who's on which "side" and who self-identifies as what. In order to follow WP:RS and WP:V it really doesn't matter who self identifies as Muslim or not.

Per Benne?:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed, Muhammed and other variants), (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed."--FrankNBeans 17:51, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I think there's enough contention regarding this change that it may require a proper request for comment to settle this issue. Netscott 17:55, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
FrankNBeans' last version is ok by me, the stance on "...completing the message of God" wouldn't hold water. RFC: Zora asked daB for help as her RfC didn't meet reaction, so that won't help much. Besides, the notion that real or self-identified Muslims must have a say on Muslim topics turns WP upside down: It's about argument and debate eventually, and I'm not astounded that we're left alone. Hic Rhodos: this talk page is a good enough RfC, and lacking participation speaks for itself. Then again: lacking participation?? Not at all: more than half a dozen disputants and a vigorous debate. We're in no hurry, but the proceedings here are a valid basis for admins to act upon. --tickle me 18:17, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
We are not in a hurry. Suppose we reach a consensus today and imagine editors comming tomorrow to start over again! I mean articles of this kind need more time and patience to deal w/ and i suggest that we get patient too to avoid eventual future disputes. I believe this article's reached its maturity and therefore time is needed to fix the small differences so to deal only against vandalism later and no more edit warring. I agree w/ Tickle that there's no need or obligation for us in this debate to go for an RFC as we are almost reaching a concensus anyaway. Just cool down and wait for another 24 hours or so and see. By the way, i am in agreement w/ Frank's version except the he established thingie there. Cheers -- Szvest 18:27, 7 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
The aforementioned version is balanced and acceptable. —Aiden 19:44, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Still I'm not convinced that the alleged rareness of "promulgate" is a decisive reason against using it, for I think that the prospect of finally reaching an agreement is more important. — How about using "propagate" instead:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed, Muhammed and other variants), (c. 571–632) propagated the religion of Islam and established the Muslim community (ummah). Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed."

Editorius 20:13, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

No, propogate doesn't cut it.... that's still leaves out the question of who historically established the religion called Islam. Netscott 20:52, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree. The most accurate verbs are and remain "found" or "establish". They hit the nail right on the head, so to speak. And I don't think that any Wikipedia policy forbids one to use accurate expressions. Editorius 21:55, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

The etymological fallacy Lyons describes does play a crucial role here. Of course, if "Muhammad founded Islam" is read as "Muhammad brought forth the submission to one god", this is a misinterpretation, since he is not the deviser of monotheism in general. Editorius 23:31, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

If we can unprotect the article, I'll do a nice informative footnote shedding light on this point. dab () 11:44, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

That would be a helpful thing. — I think we can now request unprotection (but we'd better keep the page semi-protected).:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). [footnote] Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed and that he completed the message of God."

[footnote: This is not supposed to mean that Muhammad was the first person to propagate the submission to one god (= monotheism). Here, "Islam" and "Muslim" are used in their respective active lexical senses, not in their respective etymological senses.]

Editorius 13:22, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Primordial Islam?

Here comes the myth:

"Muhammad did not found Islam. Islam was created by Allah at the beginning of time, and in fact Muslims regard Adam as the first Muslim."


When Muslims say so, they are equivocating on "Islam", deliberately mixing up its etymological and its present lexical meaning, the latter of which happens to be the only active one in the English language (and of course in many other ones such as German as well). But even if one employs "Islam" in the deactivated etymological sense, what matters most is the question whether there is any empirical historical evidence proving that, from the dawn of mankind onwards, all (or most) tribes and all (or most) people(s) have always "submitted" to the one unique god as conceptualized by Muhammad and the Muslim theologians:

"For exclusive monotheism only one god exists; other gods either simply do not exist at all, or, at most, they are false gods or demons; i.e., beings that are acknowledged to exist but that cannot be compared in power or any other way with the one and only true God. This position is in the main that of Judaism, Christianity, and Islām. [...] Exclusive monotheism is not to be found in either primitive or archaic religions, according to present knowledge."

["Monotheism." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.]


That is to say, no evidence is available that proves that Islam-like monotheism is innate in the sense of having been primordially implanted in the human mind by Allah himself. — Anyway, even if there were evidence confirming the hypothesis of an exclusive (or strict) primoridal monotheism, that would certainly by no means imply that there is a god which implanted such a kind of religious belief in the human mind! Therefore, the story of the beginning of "Islam" told by the Muslims must be considered a mere myth—period. Editorius 13:54, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

"[...] In any event, it is a very long jump from the premise that primitive tribes have high gods to the conclusion that the earliest men were monotheists."

["Religion, Study of." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. <>]

There are no empirical indications showing that the first members of homo sapiens actually were Muslim-like monotheists. Editorius 16:00, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

[30:30] "So set thy face to the religion, a man of pure faith -- God's original upon which He originated mankind. There is no changing God's creation. That is the right religion; but most men know it not --" (trans. Arberry)

This is devotional writing, not scientific historiography. Editorius 16:36, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius, we are with you, there is no need to preach to the choir. Let's focus on the subtleties that are disputed. I agree that the argument you cite is mixing up the etymological and present lexical meaning of "Islam". However, I do not think that this is in all instances done deliberately. Not everybody is a linguist. I fully agree that on en-wiki, the present English lexical meaning is what counts, but I insist that we should add a footnote explaining precisely the issue of shifting semantic fields to avoid further misunderstandings. I am not asking you to move in your conviction. I am asking you just to allow for the instruction of hot-headed readers who may not be as enlightened about the murky pitfalls of terminology as you are. dab () 18:21, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Editorius, kudos for the Lyons cite. That's a great general work as they go.Timothy Usher 21:00, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

The etymological fallacy Lyons describes does play a crucial role here. Of course, if "Muhammad founded Islam" is read as "Muhammad brought forth the submission to one god", this is a misinterpretation, since he is not the deviser of monotheism in general. Editorius 23:31, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

If we can unprotect the article, I'll do a nice informative footnote shedding light on this point. dab () 11:44, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

That would be a helpful thing. — I think we can now request unprotection (but we'd better keep the page semi-protected).:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). [footnote] Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed and that he completed the message of God."

[footnote: This is not supposed to mean that Muhammad was the first person to propagate the submission to one god (= monotheism). Here, "Islam" and "Muslim" are used in their respective active lexical senses, not in their respective etymological senses.]

Editorius 13:11, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Like I said before, I think he was God's final prophet and he completed the message of God are more or less tautological statements, the second of which is not correct (it is believed that he conveyed God's message). ----Benne ['bɛnə] (talk) 16:37, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Oops..., I happened to copy-paste a formulation which contains something I dislike. Corrected version:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). [footnote] Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed." [footnote: This is not supposed to mean that Muhammad was the first person to propagate the submission to one god (= monotheism). Here, "Islam" and "Muslim" are used in their respective active lexical senses, not in their respective etymological senses.]

Editorius 22:53, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

It is off the topic of your debate, but regarding your proposed final paragraph, I had thought the Turkish variant of Muhammad was "Mehmet".


Quick question. I am curious as to if the burial site of Muhammad still exists. If so, where, and if not, what became of it? Google didn't immediately have any useful information that I saw. This would probably be a great addition to the death section if indeed the information exists. Vonspringer 02:24, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I’ve moved your comment from the top of the page - new posts should be placed at the bottom. Muhammad is buried in the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.Timothy Usher 04:16, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I shall add a brief sentence to that effect in the article.Vonspringer 00:26, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Timothy Usher is apparently some sort of islamic wiki jihadist, as he's removing anything he finds 'upsetting' and potentionally negative about islam.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) - unsigned changes saying that I made an unsigned change made by Timothy Usher—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) Timothy Usher 04:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

There's a place where me and my brothers in struggle get together to discuss and plan our daily activities. It's called The Muslim Guild. Post your allegation there, if you've the nerve.Timothy Usher 04:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Hah, the struggle.. Your Kampf eh? Monty2 04:59, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Yup. Like I said, take it there.Timothy Usher 05:01, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Timothy, up to some baiting are we? Netscott 06:24, 8 June 2006 (UTC)


Under Life based on Islamic traditions -» Childhood the following passage can be found:

"(...) a stone temple (now called the Kaaba) that wrongfully housed many different cult figures (idols)."

What does the word "wrongfully" do in that sentence? Are we to understand that the idols that stood in the Kabaa in that time should not have stood there? If so, that means that they should not have stood there from a later, muslim belief-based perspective.

If this assumption is correct, I think the word should be removed. When giving a historical account in an encyclopedia, there should be no moral judgements whatsoever incorporated in the text. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

- I agree. Monty2 09:24, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Me too but unfortunately the article's currently protected due to an earlier revert war that is being worked out. Netscott 09:26, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I, too, wholeheartedly agree.Timothy Usher 09:33, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
"should be removed": yes. --tickle me 13:45, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Jumping on the bandwagon. Pecher Talk 14:04, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I am wondering why we had to vote on a POV expression like this. Anyway, it is removed. Cheers - Szvest 15:03, 8 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
Do not change article on this kind of voting. They are their wrongfully in Kaba because Prophet Ibrahim (PUBH) has not made it place for idols. Kaba was not build for them. No one should be allowed to change the article in the protected form. --- Faisal 19:34, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Can you produce a reliable source substantiating your claim that Abraham built the Kaaba, and didn't want any idols there?Timothy Usher 21:28, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Administrators have the ability to protect pages so that they cannot be edited, or images so that they cannot be overwritten, except by other administrators. -- Szvest 10:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

I just happened to notice that you are an admin. So how about unprotecting this page before you go support Trinidad & Tobago in the World Cup? — That would be a kind thing.Editorius 12:39, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius, i am already an involved party in this debate and therefore i don't believe that unprotecting this page by myslef would be a good idea. I wish i could Editorius but it is out of my power. I'd suggest to check w/ AmiDaniel who did the protection. Indeed, it is already under request, so there would be some admin out there. -- Szvest 12:58, 9 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

Unprotection has been requested

The following formulation should be fully acceptable for everybody:

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). [footnote] Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed." [footnote: This is not supposed to mean that Muhammad was the first person to propagate the submission to one god (= monotheism). Here, "Islam" and "Muslim" are used in their active lexical senses, not in their etymological senses.]

Editorius 23:12, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure that we need to mention Umma here, but if we are to do so, it ought be wikilinked as Muslim community.Timothy Usher 23:14, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I find that wording is generally acceptable but while the actually terminology is entirely correct, if we use that text (which is believe is word for word from Encyclopaedia Brittanica) we'll be falling afoul of Wikipedia copyright violation regulations. Netscott 23:23, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I wrote:

The Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on Muhammad begins exactly as follows:
"Muhammad: born c. 570, Mecca, Arabia [now in Saudi Arabia] died June 8, 632, Medina
in full Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim, founder of the religion of Islām and of the Muslim community."
["Muhammad." Encyclopaedia Britannica, from Encyclopaedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2005 DVD. Copyright © 1994-2004 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.<>]
There is certainly no copyright on the phrases "the religion of Islam" and "the Muslim community".Editorius 12:15, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius 00:19, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I understand that but what is this --> (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants) doing in that text? Isn't that just evidence of the verbatim copied nature of that text? Netscott 00:57, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

No, there really is no copyright problem here.Editorius 11:50, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

My vote is that this version is great, and changing points such as (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants) or (Turkish: Muhammed) etc are subtleties that you guys can figure out without me. The meat and potatoes of the opening paragraph is right on. :) Editorius, I might be your biggest fan here on Wikipedia. --FairNBalanced 05:33, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
It's at least a whole lot better than keeping this page protected. The main point, that Muhammad established/founded Islam is now mandated not only by policy but also consensus. We can deal with the particulars later, in the normal way.Timothy Usher 05:55, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I support the unprotection. Pecher Talk 08:14, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Please do not unprotect the page. The changes you are suggesting are unacceptable. --- Faisal 10:29, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

???—Oh please, come on, not that pointless "Muhammad did not establish anything" sort of objection again! I beg you to read the footnote above! Editorius 11:50, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

The main thing is not acceptable to be mention in footnote. Mention you favourite establish thing in footnote. --- Faisal 12:00, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Dear Faisal, your definition of "compromise" seems to be as follows: "compromise" =def "the other side has given in". I have demonstrated my willingness to compromise several times ("promulgate", footnote), and now it's time for you to make a concession! (And by the way, you shouldn't overlook the fact that Wikipedia is not an Islamic encyclopedia.)Editorius 12:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I am out of this mess

To everybody participating or not in this mess, i'm saying that i'm out of it. Bias and POV pushing from both sides of the universe is unhelpfull. Good luck to you all. The page is protected, yes. But what the hell w/ removing a blatant POV from a section (re wrongfully) and what the hell w/ the footnote proposed above (re established)?! Guys, god bless Wikipedia. I'd rather go support Trinidad & Tobago in the World Cup. -- Szvest 10:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

Please don't leave. Your change - our change - will take place the moment the article is unprotected.Timothy Usher 10:16, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Which change are you talking about Timothy? I mentionned a couple above. -- Szvest 10:24, 9 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;
The removal of "wrongfully".Timothy Usher 10:48, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Szvest, it would indeed be very unfortunate to see your balancing force leave regarding this article. You've shown balance even in your parting statement. Seriously, please stay with this article. Netscott 10:54, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Szvest, what the hell do you mean "what the hell w/ the footnote proposed above"?! That footnote is intended to calm down those Muslims who get choleric when they read that Muhammad was an "establisher". As far as I'm concerned, I could do without it. Anyway, there is no mess any more, and so you can stay with us! Editorius 11:59, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Please mention your establish POV in footnote and then use that footnote to clam down yourself. --- Faisal 12:04, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

In a non-Islamic encyclopedia such as Wikipedia, the verb "establish" is placed perfectly well in the main text. (Footnote: "non-Islamic" is not supposed to mean "anti-Islamic".)Editorius 12:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Guys, suppose i'd stay but what would be needed from me? I've done what i could. I'd eventually get back if there's a non-respect of Wikipedia's policies. W/ regards to the subject, i already gave my opinion and i am in no position to do better than that. I respect you all and wish that this issue is sorted it out in the near future. Thank you. -- Szvest 12:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

The issue has already been sorted out prolixly, and so there is absolutely no need for further discussion.Editorius 12:58, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Dear Szvest, I just happened to notice that you are an admin. So how about unprotecting this page before you go support Trinidad & Tobago in the World Cup? — That would really be a kind thing. Thanks in advance! Editorius 12:54, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
I answered above and i noticed that Dieter's already done it. -- Szvest 13:00, 9 June 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

I'm very glad to read this.Editorius 13:02, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

By the way, is the page now fully unprotected? I think we'd better keep it at least semi-protected so that only registered users can edit it (one never knows...). Editorius 13:30, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I posted this comment above, does it belong down here instead? Kate It is off the topic of your debate, but regarding your proposed final paragraph, I had thought the Turkish variant of Muhammad was "Mehmet".

Edit warring

This is a pre-emptive post but please let us not return to edit warring about this! It'll be so foolish to return to that and have the article become locked again where stuff like "wrongfully" can't be rightfully edited with ease. Netscott 13:12, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I beg everybody to tolerate the current formulation, which does justice to the historical facts and to what the Muslims believe! — This is what can justifiably be called a compromise. Thanks to all for your understanding! Editorius 13:19, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it, the present intro reflects more or less a consensus. The wording can be tweaked still, especially the rather technical-sounding footnote may be made more accessible. However, if people are unhappy with the present state, wikiquette would demand that they propose changes on talk first, and have them run through a few iterations of debate or straw polls before inserting them. Let's hope the wikiprocess starts to bear fruit at this point. dab () 14:18, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
The most passionate dissenting editor has been spamming for reverts[5],[6], which will probably occur at one point or another. I doubt anything we say on this talk page will change that.Timothy Usher 00:40, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

The person you call "the most passionate dissenting editor" is Faisal (

He wrote:

"Where are you these days. Without you they are becoming stronger and I am missing you. They are going to unprotect Muhammad article. They want to pust their stuff in. Please stop its unprotection and ready for reverting their POVs. I hope to see you soon around." --- Faisal 11:37, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


I thought Faisal is a reasonable man — but he has proven me wrong. I begged him personally to tolerate the current formulation, but, apparently, he is not willing to make any concession at all and prefers to become a saboteur instead. "they are becoming stronger", "they are going to", "they want to" ... — these words sound like the ones by a (paranoic) man on a mission. On his personal page one can read the following: "I do not care if by expressing my views they ban me from wikipedia. I will still express them." ( So, obviously, there is method in his intransigence. In his eyes no "compromise" is reached before the other side (= we who do not agree with him) has given in. He doesn't seem to give a damn about the fact that Wikipedia is not an Islamic encyclopedia.

In my opinion he has now succeeded in disqualifying himself as an honest interlocutor. Any sabotage by Faisal ought not to be tolerated! Editorius 02:57, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think anyone can say Faisal isn't honest. He's been completely upfront about why he's here - have you seen his posts on the Muslim Guild? He believes that there is a plot to fill Wikipedia with anti-Islamic propaganda, and that we, and the introduction to this article, are part of it. See also his user page.Timothy Usher 02:53, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Faisal: "For example look at Dhimmi, talk:Muhammad article. We need to end this propoganda against Islam." (

This speaks for itself. If Faisal doesn't care about possibly being banned from Wikipedia (see above), others might do so. Editorius 03:15, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

On his userpage, Faisal openly declares his views about the editors who dissent with him "I think that some specific people group is using wikipedia for their propoganda." What is it if not an assumption of bad faith writ large? Pecher Talk 09:11, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

If Faisal really believes that the formulation below is nothing but an expression of anti-Islamic propaganda, his faculty of judgment must be impaired.

"Muhammad (محمد (help·info) also Mohammed and other variants), (Turkish: Muhammed) (c. 571–632) established the religion of Islam and the Muslim community (ummah). [footnote] Muslims believe that he was God's final prophet, to whom the Qur'an was revealed." [footnote: This is not supposed to mean that Muhammad was the first person to propagate the submission to one god (= monotheism). Here, "Islam" and "Muslim" are used in their active lexical senses, not in their etymological senses.]

Editorius 12:41, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm a Muslim, and I have spent one hour reading every single comment made in this discussion section, by all parties involved. I am absolutely apalled by some of the comments made, and cannot believe users would say such things on a site, whereby every single entered will be recorded in its history for future reversions - whether or not it is deleted from here anytime soon. I won't name any names, although it is tempting, but it seems certain members have nothing else to do but go against the teachings of Islam, in the name of history. Muhammad did not create, formulate, or any other verb which implies to bring into existence from scratch; Islam. He "brought" it to the Arabs. Some of you claim to be intellectuals: how can Muhammad be the "last" prophet of Islam, which you gladly leave in, if there were none before him? or no Islam before him? Many of you sound silly. However, my comment is not even upon the way the article is written, as many Muslims I know have given up with editing fundamentally Islamic WP articles as we do believe that there is world climate whereby many forms of media/info aim to look at Muslims in a negative light - my comment is regarding the lack of respect you people have for one another, Muslims included. Take care. The-pessimist 02:08, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


I can't stand the ugly audio link (the speaker icon and the (help|info) thing) messing up the lead, so I moved it to the footnote. Alternatively it could be in an "Arabic term" box. I note that the pronunciation was recorded by a non-native speaker; it sounds ok to me, but I have no perfect recognition of the phoneme. Do we have a native Arabic speaker here who can check it out and comment? Imho, it only makes sense to feature an audio file if the pronunciation on it is impeccable. dab () 13:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


DAB, "furthermore" was eliminated for style - it's ugly - though I now see your point. We'll see if it has the stabilizing effect you'd like it to.Timothy Usher 00:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree it's not brilliant style. I considered "also", but that would imply, again, that the "established" statement is a "belief" on the same level with the "revealed". I'm happy with the present version, but if objections arise again, we need to make absolutely clear in the footnote that the "establishing" part is in no way intended as contradicting the "belief in M as a prophet of God" part. dab () 12:14, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid we can render the foonote as crystal-clear as a mountain stream, and certain people such as Faisal will still bellow "Inacceptable!".
I don't think we have to be more royal than the queen here. Editorius 13:44, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Ali Sina

I'm not happy seeing User:FairNBalanced trying to add Ali Sina's "challenge" to this article. This "challenge" reaks of hate and imho doesn't merit inclusion in this article for this reason alone. Can we get a consensus on the addition of info related to Ali Sina to this article? Netscott 17:36, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Ali Sina is not a scholar, he's an Islam-bashing polemicist. He is not considered noteworthy in any intellectual sense in academia. His english is even poor. So no, I wouldn't consider adding his views to this article. His Excellency... 15:27, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Ali Sina's inclusion in the New Quotations Section

Various biographies on Wikipedia have quotes about the person in their respective articles. Some anon user decided to included a "quotations about" section for the holy Prophet.

It is also true, that Muhammad was a fiercely controversial figure.

Ali Sina's challenge is a very notable quote about Muhammad at least as much, if not more, than the other quotes provided. I think all of the other quotes about Muhammad are great. However, Muhammad is long since dead (so don't worry about "libel") as in WP:BLP. Also, Sina provides a myriad of evidence on his website (using predominantly Islamic sources, no less) to support his claims. --FairNBalanced 17:46, 10 June 2006 (UTC)--FairNBalanced 18:01, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Or, we could just delete the whole quotations section altogether :) --FairNBalanced 18:09, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Done. I'll grant you, the quote you included was the only one which was sourced. The other quotes may very well be from the listed sources, but were most likely copied and pasted from an Islamic website - this is a very common thing for them to have. They're as irrelevant here as they are there.Timothy Usher 18:13, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
quotes belong on wikiquote. Sina is not notable in the long run. He is just an notable (fierce) critic of Islam on the internet. No reason to quote him here to be sure, quote section or no quote section. dab () 21:56, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Muhammad picture

Pecher please do not put Muhammad (PBUH) picture in the article. It does not matter if no face is shown. It is not related to the article. So stop reverting back the change. Why we have to compromise everytime? (oh i forget it is not islamic-wikipeida). Faisal 21:30, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

"oh i forget it is not islamic-wikipeida". Bingo.Timothy Usher 21:50, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
the picture was discussed ad nauseam. Check the archives. It's Islamic hagiography, not some western caricature. dab () 21:54, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Islam is against pictures. It might be drawn by so-called muslim but cannot be islamic. --- Faisal 22:02, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
We can put it on the bottom of the page like they've done at Bahaullah. BhaiSaab talk 00:03, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
They shouldn't have. "This violates my religion" is simply not a valid reason to change anything in Wikipedia. It honestly doesn't matter that "Islam is against pictures." Wikipedia isn't.Timothy Usher 00:27, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
If you're opposed to what they've done over at Bahaullah, do you intend on changing that? BhaiSaab talk 00:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I just left a message on the Talk:Bahaullah, as there is a special warning on the article.Timothy Usher 01:37, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Faisal, even within Islam the issue whether all pictorial representations are absolutely illegitimate or not has always given rise to controversy.Editorius 12:44, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The picture drawn by hand of living beings (humans, animals ...) are haram. The controversy is only with the pictures taken by camera, whether if they are halal or haram. The pictures of trees, nature, building etc are halal. --- Faisal 13:20, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

To be frank, I consider it outrageous that very many Muslims demand that all non-Muslims bow down before their religious customs such as their aniconism. They simply mistake their right to religious freedom for the right to curtail the freedom of the non-Muslims.Editorius 15:21, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

"...even within Islam the issue ...has ...given rise to controversy": I agree, but even that is irrelevant here. " is not islamic-wikipeida": yes. --tickle me 14:19, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, their ideological blindness prevents Faisal and others from reading "non-Islamic" as "non-Islamic". For them "non-Islamic" means per se "anti-Islamic", and this is what fuels their holy struggle against the alleged "infidel conspiracy" in Wikipedia.Editorius 15:04, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius. Please see WP:NPA. Did I ever said such words about you? Even though I also disagree with you on your edits. --- Faisal 13:36, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Die, infidel, DIE! lol, now seriously, the picture is not relevant to the Muhammad biography, its relevant to "Islamic art" or something. It belongs to the Depiction of Muhammad article. --Striver 15:14, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
we don't exactly have too many images on this article so far, and "depictions of Muhammad" is a subtopic to this article, so while obviously we won't include the entire gallery found there, it is perfectly normal to keep one or two representatives here. The picture was, furthermore, drawn by a Muslim. This is simply not an issue. If you don't like pictures, configure your browser to not display them or use lynx (or switch off your monitor. You are here because you want to, not because anyone is forcing you to look at pictures). dab () 18:08, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it really should be a nonissue.Editorius 18:24, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
I looked at the prophets of islam and almost none of them have pictures to them (two do). This is obviously a religious thing because many muslims have drawn pictures of them. Every time I see a discussion about a Muhammed picture someone always says it shouldn't be here it should be somewhere else. It DEFINITELY deserves to be here since the article is about Muhammed. (Anonymous User) 12 June 2006

What advantage would there be anyways of having a picture of Muhammad, as noone really knows what he looked liked. The best we can get to is imaging from decriptions written down in the hadiths or Quran

A picture brings life to an article. Otherwise we could forget about comics books, magazines... If that hurts somebody in his religious sensitiveness than he can still clic away ;) Just Protest 10:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

The picture (an imaginary at the best) can not make an article interesting - when it offends another human being. However, show of respect for a religion or way of life can bring all (religious and non religious) of us nearer and help us avoid unnecessary animosity. Just a thought for the wise and respectful group.--Nonentity 00:28, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Section: The first revelations (Cannot have first revelations)

  • There is a section about First revolution, but it does not have first revolution in it. If I write in it the first revelation then they are removed. Why it is so?
  • Why you want to put Muhammad (PBUH) picture in the article. Is that neutrality? You are not giving any significant information. Is that mean you are teasing Muslims, that see we do what ever we like? Why cannot you compromise for a thing that is not informational and we have to compromise everytime? That is the kind of thing that created the Muslim Guild. Because for every action there is equal but opposite reaction. --- Faisal 22:02, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and encyclopedias have been published long before Wikipedia came about. While on all matters, factuality and verifiability is the primary concern, there is no rule that says the sentiments of potential readers are to be completely ignored. Books that deliberately offend their readers aren't very marketable. Adding a picture depicting Muhammad would not add to the quality of the article. Doing so offends Muslims. The fact that the individuals who want to add the picture have a known history of pushing anti-islamic material shouldn't be ignored either. All sides considered, adding such a picture to this particular article doesn't make sense. His Excellency... 16:24, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Faisal, if you and your friends should plan to create an "Islamipedia", please feel free to do so. Within the bounds of such an Islamic (i.e. explicitly pro-Islamic) encyclopedia, I'd never attempt to insert a picture of Muhammad in the entry on him. But the encyclopedia called Wikipedia is not Islamic, and so you as a Muslim are not entitled to prevent the non-Muslims here from inserting a (non-mocking) picture of Muhammad, for this is something you simply have to tolerate. And in case you feel unable to do so, you cannot expect us non-Muslims to tolerate your intolerance.

The basic point is that non-Muslims do not have the right to demand that pictures of Muhammad be inserted in Islamic texts, and that Muslims do not have the right to demand that pictures of Muhammad be not inserted in non-Islamic texts. In case you find the denial of the latter right "teasing", I'm afraid I cannot comply with your wishes.Editorius 17:40, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Editorius, this is a question of mere curiosity: Do you by any chance know who first coined the neologism "Islamipedia" ? was it Whoever it was, it's brilliant. I think our Muslim brother here would find himself much happier starting a wiki-based "Islamipedia" which could easily become a very popular website. I would wholeheartedly support my fellow Muslim Guildsman in such an endeavor. --FairNBalanced 17:45, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea who first coined "Islamipedia"; it just popped up in my mind.
(But I am not the first one, as I have just googled out:
Editorius 18:15, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
OT, somehow: Warum in die Ferne schweifen, wenn das Gute liegt so nah? The name of the game is openislampedia, where the "Muslim voice will be privileged". --tickle me 04:15, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Tickle me- Die ist eine gute Website aber wir werden nicht gehend, wikipedia zu lassen --- Faisal 10:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm surprised to learn that there already is such a thing as an Islamic Wikipedia.Editorius 13:46, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I thought I was proposing something new when I advised Faisal to start Islamopedia on Talk:Dhimmi. As it turns out, this superneutral encyclopedia already exists. Pecher Talk 21:30, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Quotations section

I propose moving the now-defunct section on quotations to Wikiquote. Opinions? Pecher Talk 22:47, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Sounds good. I looked at the text of some of those quotes and while I agree with User:Timothy Usher that it was likely that nearly the whole section constituted a copyright violation, many (if not all) of the quotes seemed well sourced. Netscott 02:06, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
If we can't verify that the immediate source was reliable, we can't guarantee they haven't somehow altered the quotes, either (as we've seen on WP from time to time). I'd like to see that an editor looked for himself.
Also, as far as this article is concerned, some of the quoted people aren't experts about Muhammad, and it'd have been just as easy to quote Winston Churchill or some other fellow notable for something other than knowledge of the matters at hand cursing the prophet, or someone with a poor reputation praising him. Why not quote Osama Bin Laden's opinion of Muhammad? He's notable, right? Etc.Timothy Usher 19:03, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Another addition in the quotes of Timothy Usher, who think he is very neutral. Why not quote Osama Bin Laden's opinion of Muhammad? He's notable, right? --- Faisal 09:55, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to add (PBUH).Timothy Usher 10:04, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
With your name? --- Faisal 10:30, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
To OBL. Pecher Talk 21:24, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Section: The first revelations (Cannot have first revelations) 2

There is a section about First revolution, but it does not have first revolution in it. When I write in it the first revelation then they are removed by Timothy. Why it is so?

Can I add following? It is very much relevant to Muhammad (PBUH) and 'first revelations section and not that big too (Just few lines).

The first revealed ayats were following

Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created- Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,- He Who taught (the use of) the pen,- Taught man that which he knew not.[Quran 96:1] -- [Quran 96:5] --- Faisal 10:11, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

keep the quotes to a minimum. we don't want a qur'anic florilegium, we want a good prose article on Muhammad. dab () 10:48, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

You want picture that has nothing to do with Muhammad (PBUH). But you do not want the first revelation in the secion named first revelations. It does not make sence to me. Come-on those are just few line and will not make the article Quranic. Those first revelations are much more related to the article than picture. --- Faisal 11:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I concur with dab, the section is informative as it is. Adding one such revelation adds nothing to its understanding, as the text cited needs interpretation to be evaluated properly by the regular reader. That arguably might be fitting in an eventual corresponding article - here it's out of scope. As for the picture: if you think it's wrong, address the issue, don't use it to make a WP:POINT. If you don't succeed addressing the issue: accept consensus - stop trying to make a point, don't be disruptive. Besides, you're wrong. It has been dicussed ad nauseam that it's proper encyclopedic standard to illustrate an article's subject - and only these standards matter. --tickle me 17:30, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Concur. This section, like so much of the article, needs serious help, but this isn't it.Timothy Usher 19:37, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
hey, I have nothing against a well-placed quote. I am just saying, don't let it open the door to plastering the article with quran'ic quotes at every turn. If you could pick one quote from the qur'an, and this would be it, I'll be happy to have it in the article, but it needs to be commented, annotated, and put into context. And did I mention it should not be used as a stepping stone for the insertion of even more quotes. dab () 22:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Pecher, has once again reverted my edit. I need to hear from more people. Why you think that the section named The first revelations cannot have first revelations. Whereas a picture which even do not resembles to Muhammad (PBUH) at all and made after centuries of his death could find it place in the article. Why the picture is more relevant than those ayats? Your might answer that wikipedia is not islamic-wikipedia and hence no place of those ayats. But sir many sites on the Internet has those ayats. For example (how well written it was at [7]).
Muhammad (s) was forty when, during his one of many retreats to Mount Hira for meditation during the month of Ramadan, he received the first revelation from the Archangel Jibril (Gabriel). On this first appearance, Gabriel (as) said to Muhammad: "Iqraa," meaning Read or Recite. Muhammad replied, "I cannot read," as he had not received any formal education and did not know how to read or write. The Angel Gabriel then embraced him until he reached the limit of his endurance and after releasing said: "Iqraa." Muhammad’s answer was the same as before. Gabriel repeated the embrace for the third time, asked him to repeat after him and said:
"Recite in the name of your Lord who created! He created man from that which clings. Recite; and thy Lord is most Bountiful, He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not."
These revelations are the first five verses of Surah (chapter) 96 of the Qur’an. Thus it was in the year 610 CE the revelation began. .
similarly there are other secular websites that had them ([8] [9]. --- Faisal 19:44, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Faisal please see: Wikiquote, "Muhammad" which is linked from this article (in the lower right hand corner). Netscott 19:58, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Faisal, either wikiquotes or wikisource is the appropriate place for quotations such as the one you propose. I do not feel it adds to the article, and the prose is such that I feel it will confound a reader, rather than enhance an experience. Zenosparadox 05:14, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Just for clarification, Wikipedia doesn't operate under secularity but neutral point of view. Netscott 19:47, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

...which had better be called "objective point of view". (And the most objective point of view is the scientific one.) Editorius 13:49, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

"Ibn Ishaq records that Khadijah bore Muhammad five children: two sons named Al Qasem and Abdullah (who is also called Al Tayeb and Al Taher) and four daughters." Hang on... 2 sons and four daughters... That makes... 5 children? I don't get it. Can somebody make this right? I don't know what it's s'posed to be...

Conquest of Mecca

Pecher put up a disputed marker on "Conquest of Mecca," which IbrahimFaisal reverted immediately. I don't particularly like seeing such markers & reversions without discussion. I'd like to ask Pecher why he put it up to begin with, rather than having a revert war begin. Thoughts/objections to the section? I don't particularly see how it is NPOV, though it only has one source, that source is Encylopedia of Islam. Zenosparadox 18:19, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

The dispute started after Pecher's this edit, before that there was a peace. Previously this section was greatly written. But Pecher himself has changed the section, making it disputed and now he himself wants to remove the disputed-tag. He has not posted any message on talk page before removing the totally-dispute-tag. The reason of the dispute is second-paragraph. There are many websites and Urdu book references that I can quote here, however, let see what "the encyclopedia of Islam" has to say about it. The two main points of conquest of Mecca were following
1. Muslims have NOT breached the treaty
2. Conquest was achieved without any major bloodshed.
I tried online demo version of the "the encyclopedia of Islam" from [10]. It says following about conquest of Mecca
"A breach of the terms of this treaty by Meccan allies led to a great Muslim expedition against Mecca with some 10,000 men. The town was surrendered almost without a blow, and all the Meccans, except a handful who were guilty of specific offences against Muhammad or some Muslims, were assured their lives and property would be safe if they behave honorably. For some time, Muhammad had been aiming at reconciling the Meccans rather than crashing them by force. When, a week or two after the capture or fath, it was learnt that there was a large concentration of nomads to the east of Meccan, some 2,000 Meccans took to the fields with Muhammad and helped him to gain the victory of Hunayn. Some of the pagan Meccans become Muslims at once, others only after a longer period."
Please go and find yourself on then go to MAKKA [V1:144b] (section: "The Pre-Islamic and early Islamic Periods" and the subsection "Mecca and the beginnings of Islam."). --- Faisal 20:09, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
The disputed tag was added by Anonymous editor after he exhausted his three reverts removing the material I added; Anonymous editor never bothered to say a word on talk. It's funny to observe that the current dispute is about the section where the paragraph about the conquest of Mecca is blanked; I didn't follow the article for some time and have no idea how this blanking has occurred. The reference to the Encyclopaedia of Islam is reagrding the Battle of Khaybar, not about the conquest of Mecca itself, so Faisal's claims are beside the point. Pecher Talk 20:26, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
The Treaty of Hudaybiyya taken place at 6th Hijri and Mecca conquest at 9th Hijri. Hence second paragraph is misplaced and should not be there. --- Faisal 20:41, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
If you believed it was misplaced, you would have moved it elsewhere rather than deleting it altogether. In addition, it's not "misplaced"; it provides pertinent context to the conquest of Mecca by recounting the events that preceded it. Pecher Talk 20:55, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
If you want to expand the article then you could have mentioned in more detail that who breached the agreement and why. As it is related to Meccan's conquest. Instead of adding something that is disputed and has nothing to do with Mecca conquest. --- Faisal 21:03, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
You seems to be entirely confused. Above, you said you were disputing the paragraph on the conquest of Mecca; now you're saying you're disputing the Battle of Khaybar. Is it because you don't really what to dispute as long as it was added by me? The Battle of Khaybar was an important event in the life of Muhammad; there is not a single conceivable reason why it should be blanked. This persistent blanking is highly disruptive. Pecher Talk 21:09, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
A POV "Strengthened by the conquest of Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca.". This is the link created by Pecher to attached two events that are unrelated and TWO years apart from each other. There are many war fought by Muslims why this war had great importance and other not? Also tell me why Muslims wait for 2 years before attacking to Mecca? And if you want to keep it there then restore totallydisputed tag too. ---- Faisal 07:44, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
This section of the article lacks reference and it is full of Weasel, words. One instance of User:Pechers use of weasel words is Strengthened by the conquest oh Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca; this is twisting the facts to push POV to demonize the character of Muhammed (pbuh). And the section lacks NPOV as pecher has missed some of the key points of the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, which would've essentially established NPOV.  «Mÿšíc»  (T) 11:48, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

conquest of Mecca Section

By 628, the Muslim position was so strong that Muhammad decided to return to Mecca, this time as a pilgrim[citation needed]. In March of that year, he set out for Mecca, followed by 1,600 men[citation needed]. After some negotiation, a treaty was signed at the border town of al-Hudaybiyah. While Muhammad would not be allowed to finish his pilgrimage that year, hostilities would cease and the Muslims would have permission to make a pilgrimage to Mecca the following year.

Many of Muhammad's followers were disgruntled at the inconclusive result of the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. To deflect their opposition, Muhammad needed a new victory. He chose to attack the rich oasis of Khaybar, inhabited by several Jewish tribes including the Banu Nadir, whom Muhammad had previously expelled from Medina. In June 628, the Muslims captured Khaybar after a siege. They killed all the men of the Banu Nadir and divided the women among themselves; Muhammad chose for himself Safiyya bint Huyayy, daughter of the Banu Nadir chief. Other Jews of Khaybar were allowed to remain in the oasis on condition of paying heavy tribute; Muslims also took substantial booty.[1]

Strengthened by the conquest oh Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca. Tribal allies of the Muslims and the Meccans clashed, and Muhammad regarded this incident as a breach of the treaty[citation needed]. In 630, Muhammad marched on Mecca with an enormous force, said to number more than 10,000 men. After some scattered skirmishes, in which only twenty-four Meccans were killed, the Muslims seized Mecca. Muhammad promised a general amnesty to all but a few of the Meccans. Most Meccans converted to Islam, and Muhammad destroyed the idols in the Kaaba. Henceforth the pilgrimage would be a Muslim pilgrimage and the shrine a Muslim shrine.

moved section here until proper references are provided and weasel words are removed.  «Mÿšíc»  (T) 17:23, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Removal of an entire section, obviously relevant to the article, is borderline vandalism. Needless to say, I have restored it. Pecher Talk 20:54, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Borderline vandalism? Nonesense!!! The section has no source, it uses weasel words, lacks NPOV, it pushes the USUAL PECHER POV, its bad according to all the policies of wikipedia. You cannot scare me with your intimidation.. I too know the policies of wikipedia!!!  «Mÿšíc»  (T) 16:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Also Mr Pecher remember that removing of unsourced material from articles is the duty of all the editors, And it is not vandalism. the burden of providing reliable sources is on the editor who is adding the information to the article and not on others, you cannot add POV and add {{Fact}} to the section and leave it for someone else to add the reference for you!!! This article was a featured article sometime back, now it is not even in the good articles list!! thanks to mindless editors who add unsourced material!! So just think for a moment who is the real vandal!!!  «Mÿšíc»  (T) 17:09, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Material is irrelvant to the Conquest of Mecca and is removed again. There is no link between these two events as I have stated above. The two events was 2 years apart and even there was another war after kayber-war and before Mecca-conquest. If you really want to write about Kayber-war then you must create a new section. In that case do not forget to create many new sections about each war. As war of Kayber is very insignificant as compare to other more important wars (for example one against Romens). Hence to include kayber-war you will need to rewrite the whole article. --- Faisal 14:54, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Stop removing sourced factual information. Pecher Talk 15:10, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Pecher important question is WHY? Can not nyou read my many posts above? I can bold it for you here again. :: Material is irrelvant to the Conquest of Mecca and is removed again. There is no link between these two events as I have stated above. The two events was 2 years apart and even there was another war after kayber-war and before Mecca-conquest. If you really want to write about Kayber-war then you must create a new section. In that case do not forget to create many new sections about each war. As war of Kayber is very insignificant as compare to other more important wars (for example one against Romens). Hence to include kayber-war you will need to rewrite the whole article. --- Faisal 14:54, 20 June 2006 (UTC) ---- Faisal 15:16, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
The material looks relevant to me. I don't see how the two years disconnects the events. It's well-sourced and should be included. Tom Harrison Talk 15:35, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
It could be relevant if you could establish a source for this big POV. That is. Strengthened by the conquest oh Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca. Can you? if not then do not revert my change again please. Also there are another war between war-of-kayber and Mecca conquest. Why not mention that too? --- Faisal 18:05, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
then why don't you just propose an alternate wording de-emphasizing the connection between the two events instead of removing the entire paragraph? Just try to keep a cool head. dab () 18:13, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I've added a citation about Khaybar and the planning that lead up to it. It looks pretty well-supported by different sources. Certainly what's up now would be a good foundation to build on. If there are other viewpoints, maybe we could include them, together with the citations that support them. Tom Harrison Talk 18:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Tom Harrison Why you have restored the POV? Is that what administrators are for? What is your citiation of Strengthened by the conquest oh Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca.. The point that relate two unrelated wars? I will remove it again. Unless you convince me. If you have only one argument that It might be unrelevant to Meccan-Conquest but still well-citied Then Please answer me yes or not for the following.
Muslims fought twice with Romans who were super-powers of that time. If you think that insignificant war of kayber (not related to Mecca conquest) should have ONE PARAGRAPH in Muhammad article. Then I should be allowed to write about TWO war with Romans (super-power) one page. Obviously, they are much more significant hence I should be allowed to write multiple paragraphs about them. Those multiple paragaph will be well-citied. Hence I hope you will not remove them too. Answer Me: Should I do that or you would like to remove this POV yourself? --- Faisal 19:28, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Faisal, you are free to write volumes about the conflicts between the Caliphs and the Byzantines. Just, not on the Muhammad article, because Muhammad was not alive at that time. dab () 19:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Obviously dab as you have already stated on Timothy page. I have to cross language barriers while replying and my contribution are "useless for wikipedia" (like 90% other people). Similarly you had been taking sides on this article mulitple time and unprotected on the hight of conflict and while talking to those people at their user-pages. I can give URLs of each and everything I have said above. I cannot assume good fait towards you. Hence please do not bother to talk with me again as I will not like to answer you. Muslims had fought twice with Romans when Muhammad was ALIVE. However, how can I know. Me a useless person. BYE --- Faisal 19:58, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
sheesh, Faisal, you may not have realized, but I was defending you there on Timothy's page. All I said was that you do not have to be an outstanding editor on WP in order to be treated decently. Again, I ask you to keep a cool head. For all I care, we can discuss even more of Muhammad's military exploits. The point is that you should calmly suggest changes in wording and layout instead of simply removing entire paragraphs because you don't like a turn of phrase. dab () 20:16, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
(1) Your comments about me: I do not think Faisal's contributions are particularly helpful. Big deal, that goes for about 90% of Wikipedians. [11]
(2) My comment on your unprotection of Muhammad article (when you were yourself non-neutral towards the topic)here --- Faisal 20:44, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Faisal, it looks to me like a neutral summary of an important event. I don't understand why you call it POV. Muhammad is presented favorably, as a capable strategist and leader. After all, this was the seventh century. Clearly his actions were enlightened by the standards of that time and place. You seem to find this passage personnaly offensive, and I'm sorry for that, but it is well-supported by citations, three of which have been added today, I think. Tom Harrison Talk 19:48, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Is that War-of-Kaber article Tom Harrison? NO. Is it related to conquest of Mecca? NO. Is it is really significant from Muhammad as compare to other wars? NO. Does not matter if it is well-citied or not because if that is the reason to keep it then I should be allowed to write a page (VERY WELL-CITIED) about two wars that Muslim fought with Romans as they deserve more place then this war. Agreed? Also why you are supporting a POV, why cannot you remove it for me. That is this sentence (because you have not read it so) I will write it in bold again. Strengthened by the conquest oh Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca.. Can you remove it for the sake for wikipedia please as this is a POV no book can say so? --- Faisal 20:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
A citation has been requested for that sentence, and if one isn't forthcoming in a day or two, it should be removed. Or, if you have a citation to something that says otherwise, add that in its place. Again, I do not agree that the passages are POV. I think they are neutral. As far as the Romans go, I have no opinion one way or the other. Write it up and add it if you want to, and I'll read it with an open mind. Tom Harrison Talk 20:17, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you Tom Harrison: Tell me that how come someone can give any reference when events are two years apart and then on 8th Hijri (one year after kayber-war) war-of-Motwa (might not be correct spelling of Motwa) was fought. In the war-of-Motwa many famous Muhammad Shabahs died and it was Muslims "first" war with Romans. However, you can wait for a day. I can wait for a day only to see your removing the POV that you have restored. As we both know that burden-of-proof is on them not on me. But can you also please answer my two questions . (1) If that sentence is removed then there will be no link with the war-of-kayber and Mecca-conquest it means that war-of-kaber will no more be part of Conquest-of-Mecca-section? Right ????? (2) If you still allow to write about war-of-kaber (hopefully in some other section) then about all other wars should be written and important one should be written longer? right? --- Faisal 20:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

The battle of Mu'ta was an unsuccessful expedition against Byzantine territory.Editorius 20:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Again, I don't agree that it is POV. It seems to me neutral, and even generous, toward Muhammad. I have not yet understood why you think it is other than neutral. I have no opinion about the Romans. Write something up and put it in if you want to. Beyond that, please excuse me, but I do not understand your question. It is not as if the battle of Khaybar is something to be ashamed of, is it? It was the seventh centurary. Muhammad led his troops in battle against his enemies; he won, they lost, and the spoils went to the victor. Life was hard back then. The Muslim troops behaved like solders behaved in the seventh century, and better than most; certainly better than my ancestors were behaving at the time, for whatever that is worth. It was an important incident in the life of Muhammad, and in the development of Islam. Tom Harrison Talk 21:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

There is a difference, Tom. In your religion, the actions of your ancestors are not considered to be an example of perfect behavior that all men must emulate for all time; in Faisal's religion, Muhammad's actions are viewed in this way. Pecher Talk 21:28, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Please do not make personal attacks on other people. Wikipedia has a policy against personal attacks. In some cases, users who engage in personal attacks may be blocked from editing by admins or banned by the arbitration committee. Comment on content, not on other contributors or people. Please resolve disputes appropriately. Thank you. --- Faisal 21:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, I do not think we can allow religious sentiment to change our presentation of factual history. I am sure Faisal is not suggesting that. Tom Harrison Talk 21:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Forget about it is neutral or not. And my feeling. We are discussing here that if it is relevant or not ONLY. How you define important? Why other think other wars are not important and should not be define in same length or more? Is the word "important" used above is not your own POV? I feel bad that you decline to answer my very simple and fair questions. I will continue asking them until you reply. So I ask again them 1) If the sentence linking two events are removed that is (Strengthened by the conquest of Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca.) then you will support exclusion of Khaybar war from Conquest-of-Mecca section. Right 2) If you will support inclusion of war-of-khayber anywhere in the article then will also support other wars written in same lenght or longer too? --- Faisal 21:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for not understanding your question earlier. My answer is this: whether that sentence is there or not, or is rephrased in some other form, does not change the historical narrative. This happened, then that, then something else. Cause and effect aren't necessary, to my mind.
I think I have answered your other question already. Certainly I have tried to. If you want to write about some other important battle, do it. Add it to the page, and I'll read it with an open mind. I hope that's responsive, because I can't think of any other ways to say it, and I'm afraid I'm beginning to repeat myself. Tom Harrison Talk 22:01, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
So Till tomorrow if there is no reference from that POV sentence (Strengthened by the conquest of Khaybar, Muhammad soon moved to attack Mecca). Then I will remove your material (well-citied but not relevent) from conquest-of-Mecca Section. Okay? You are allowed to create a new section about that. However, then I will create many new similar sections about other wars. No need to reply now. See you tomorrow. --- Faisal

damn, Faisal, who gave you the authority to impose ultimata like that? As far as I can see, you were treated fairly, with everyone trying to figure out what exactly you want in spite of your belligerence. This article has a long history of editors complaining this way or that, some trying to portray Muhammad as a pedophile madman, and some trying to portray him as God's chosen darling. We will allow neither without qualification, and we managed to get the article some stability. You are more than welcome to politely suggest tweaks in wording etc., but you are not welcome to run roughshod over it at a whim, deleting whole paragraphs because you don't like a phrase and raising a big stink on talk. The only thing you acheive is that people will lose sympathy with your cause. If you object to the words "strengthened by", just calmly suggest an alternative wording, ok? I have no idea if that's a fair representation, and I recognized you are better informed than me here: my doubts about your value as an editor alluded to above are not based a lack of factual knowledge, but on your apparent inability to collaborate with people. dab () 09:23, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

dab NOTHING give you right to say any thing wrong about me. Nothing. If you are not brave enough to say "Sorry" then admit it. Even if you say sorry how I could be sure about [your neutrality again]. My life does not start or end at wikipedia so you may join the group that want to see me banned. --- Faisal 21:31, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The battle of Mu'ta in 629 was an unsuccessful expedition against Byzantine territory, whose emperor was Herakleios.Editorius 20:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
What was the objective of Muhammad's expedition against Khaybar?
The Islamic scholar Prof. Hartmut Bobzin writes:
"The victorious expedition against the Jews of the oasis Khaybar, wherein the Banu Nadir, which had been expelled from Medina, had taken refuge, was intended to put an end to their thirst for revenge and to their pact-making against Muhammad." (my translation from German)
[Bobzin H | 2002 | Mohammed | 2nd ed | Munich / Beck. (111)]
Editorius 20:47, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi, Editorius. Good to see your around. I am going to post detail comments about this article soon. I hope you will read then with open mind. BTW In Muta war Muslims were 3,000 and Romans were 100,000. That is the ratio was 1:33. The Tactic used by Muslims to fight and servive in that war is important for Muslims. It is not an insignifant war fought against the super-power of that time. --- Faisal 21:37, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
You'd better use "Byzantines" instead of "Romans" here.Editorius 21:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Okay boss. :) --- Faisal 21:57, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Bobzin's assessment, whether authorative or not, doesn't contradict the article's notion that Khaybar's conquest strengthened Muhammad when moving to attack Mecca. As for the surhuman 1:33 bravery: just ...let's not, ok? Added {{sources}} again, I'd really like to see those who wrote the article to hand them in eventually. --tickle me 23:10, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think anybody really doubts that the Khaybar victory was helpful for Muhammad's plan to conquer Mecca.Editorius 23:20, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
then what are these pages of debate even about? WP is not a discussion forum, we need to be more strict with 'put up your sources [in a presentable, grammatical format] or shut up' dab () 11:43, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Massacre in Khaybar?

By the way, which source claims that all men of the Banu Nadir were killed by the Muslims after the conquest of Khaybar? Editorius 23:01, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, two sources are listed here, none of which I know:
Has there really been any such thing as a massacre in Khaybar?
I am not so sure:
"Muhammad had them hand over all of their property and allowed them merely to keep the clothes they wore; but he neither sold nor killed them, and he did not expel them from Khaybar either, but granted them to stay as a kind of leaseholders, with them having to annually pay half of their income to the believers [= the Muslims]."
(my translation from German)
[Buhl. Frants | 1961 | Das Leben Muhammeds | 3rd ed (1st German ed 1930) | Schaeder HH (trans) | Darmstadt / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. (293) [Originally published 1903 in Danish]]
Editorius 23:10, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Both the killing and the aspect of strengthening M. are referred to:

  1. Veccia Vaglieri , L. Khaybar. In P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.
  2. Stillman, Norman (1979). The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book, p. 18, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 082760198, p. 18

I don't have them at hand, but I knew them. Bobzin is the one I didn't. --tickle me 23:19, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

My source says 93 Jews and 20 Muslims killed in that war. But obviously my source is a Muslim author and that is why he cannot be reliable and not acceptable in wikipedia. --- Faisal 23:25, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I can offer another quotation, one by the great German Islamic scholar Rudi Paret, which renders it doubtful whether there has been a "massacre":

"The Jews were (in contrast to the Banu Quraish a few years ago) spared their lives. They did not have to emigrate or to renounce their faith."
[Paret. Rudi | 2005 | Mohammed und der Koran | 9th ed (1st ed 1957) | Stuttgart / Kohlhammer. (141)]

Editorius 23:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

And Ibn Ishaq writes:

"After about ten days, the people [= the Jews in Khaybar] realized the hopelessness of attempting to hold out; so they asked for peace and that their lives be spared. The apostle agreed, because he had already subdued all the other territory."

Ibn Ishaq does not sweep the mass execution of the Banu Quraish under the carpet (, which, in my opinion, is a reason to believe that he would also have reported a similar mass execution of the Banu Nadir, if there actually happened any such thing. So we now have three weighty sources that know nothing of a massacre in Khaybar. Editorius 01:05, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

And e.g. William Muir doesn't mention a massacre either:

"The victory was decisive, for the Jews lost ninety-three men; while of the Moslems, only nineteen were killed throughout the whole campaign.[Footnote:]The Secretary gives the number of killed at only fifteen; but Hishami (who specifies the names), numbers twenty; and both include Bishr, who was poisoned. Of the killed, four were Refugees."

Editorius 01:20, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

The massacre of the Banu Nadir men after the battle of Khaybar is not as well publicized as the massacre of the Banu Qurayza men, but it did nevertheless happen. When sources talk about the Jews of Khaybar, they usually mean indigenous Jews, not the Banu Nadir. Pecher Talk 09:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
May be now we have a chance to publicized it properly in Muhammad article??? --- Faisal 11:28, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not about publicizing anything, including the TRUE message of Islam. Rather, Wikipedia is about recording human knowledge, not hiding, and your repeating removals of entire paragraphs from this article are unacceptable and tendentious. Pecher Talk 11:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes I will say it again, wikipedia will be a great place if in Islamic articles, TRUE Islamic-view and non-Islamic view both are mentioned clearly. No need to hide anything but it is wrong to mention ONLY those sources that are known to be biased against Islam. In wikipedia most article regarding Islam are more like a critisum against Islam from "selected western sources". --- Faisal 14:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Pecher, you say that the massacre of the Banu Nadir men did happen. But I'm afraid the two sources mentioned above, need to be revealed and properly quoted by somebody to whom they are available. Talking about availability, what does W. M. Watt write concerning the Khaybar case? (In his Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on Muhammad he does not mention any mass execution!) Anyway, I am not (yet) convinced that there was any such thing as a massacre in Khaybar. Editorius 12:37, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

"The Jews were (in contrast to the Banu Quraish a few years ago) spared their lives." (Rudi Paret)

In my opinion his parenthetical comment renders it clear that "the Jews" refers to both the indigenous Jews and the Jews from Medina.Editorius 12:44, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

See the talk page of the relevant article. Let's not conduct the debate in two places at the same time. Pecher Talk 12:58, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

The alleged massacre has been mentioned here too, and so we can discuss it here as well.Editorius 14:03, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

How do you propose to do that? By posting the arguments twice? Pecher Talk 15:02, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Okay, let's continue there: Editorius 18:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


...most paragraphs and sections lack sources. I recommend adding inline <refs> for every paragraph or section with contended and controversial articles. --tickle me 21:45, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why we'd do that... but, it would be good to get some footnotes... we have the references that were used... but, we don't know where they were used. We can't just remove the old sources without totally rewriting sections or quoting them. This is clearly an important enough article that it should be well cited and maybe keeping the ugly sign at the top will help get that done. Who wrote big chunks of this article and added those references to the reference section? Maybe they will be able to remember what they were citing. gren グレン 22:04, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
footnotes/<refs>: I guess we're talking about the same thing. "we have the references that were used... but, we don't know where they were used": That's the issue, cf. the ensuing trouble with the "conquest of Mecca Section" above. --tickle me 22:16, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Dispute regarding Khyber War

War-Name It's importance Words Written in the article
  • Muslims First ever War
  • Islam could end right there.
  • Muslim nearly lost that war after clrealy winning it.
  • Lesson learned in that war were very important for Muslims
  • Very well-know war and schools have it always.
Kandak (battle of trenches)
  • Technique used in this war was of defense against bigger enemy.
  • Muslim defend successfully.
  • A War against Jews.
  • First war with Super-power (Byzantine)
  • 3,000 Muslims fight with 100,000 Romans. 1:33 ration. 3,000 still servive.
  • Many famous people killed in this war.
  • Muhammad weeps at the death of Sahaba Jaffer.
Conquest of Mecca Battle
  • A milestone in Muslims History
  • Many Rules of wars were given like:
  • Do not cut tress and not kill anyone not fighting with you.
  • Almost bloodless war. Only very few are killed.
  • Very interesting to know why few are killed?
100 (Excluding Khaybar war which has noting to do with Conquest of Mecca)
  • How can someone deny its importance, when Allah talks about this war in Quran.
  • Muslim were in majority First time ever.
  • They still Retreat in this war. (But eventually win)
1 Word only
  • Second war with Super-power.
War Banu-Nasir, War Banu-Al-Motlaq, War Ahazab Muhammad was present in all those wars Nil

So you give above statistics to any Reader and he will have following Wrong conclusion.

WRONG Conclusion: War-of-Kayber is more important than any other war. Even from Mecca-Conquest and two wars with super-powers. It is more important from Hunayn-war which has Ayats in Quran (about that war Allah himself speaks). War-of-Kayber is more important from Muslims' first war Badr, losing which means end-of-Islam. Furthermore, although no one can establish any link with this war and Mecca-Conquest but still it is very relevant with Mecca-Conquest. Hence it deserves a special place.

My Conclusion: The edit made to introduce war-of-Kayber if observed then it also shows editor affiliations clrealy (You can guess his religion). Hence he added this war in an important section of Conquest-of-Mecca because it is extremely important from Jews-point-of-view (much less important from Muhammad point of view). Believe me there are many other wars much more important from Muhammad and Muslims point of view than this war. How can someone establish any link between Mecca-conquest and this war when:

1) Two event were 2 years apart

2) Muslims fought with Romans after Khyaber war and before Mecca conquest. So even it is not a war just before Mecca-Conquest. You still insist that Mecca-Conquest section will have Khyber war? Then I can only say that wikipedia is one hell of yacky place and I simply hate it. Yes I believe that inclusion of Khyber-war in such a great detail was not done neutrally and because of its importance for Muslims/Muhammad.

My solution Either you shrink the write-up of War-of-Kayber to one line. Or let me and others write about other wars too. However if me or someone will write about other wars in same detail as "the-editor" has written about Khyber war then this article will become more on wars and less on Muhammad. Hence, I prefer first solution of shrinking. ---- Faisal 22:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

"It is less clear what Muhammad's purpose was in leading expeditions northwards to Mu'ta (in what is now Jordan, east of the most southern point of the Dead Sea) and to Tabuk. Mu'tu was within Byzantine territory, and so the question arises whether Muhammad was considering an expansion of Islam beyond the Arabic peninsula. [...] It is more likely that, in the broadest sense, Muhammad's expeditions to Mu'ta and Tabuk also served the objective of regaining Mecca, in accordance with a strategy of providing a shield (against potential enemies) in the north."
(my translation from German)
[Bobzin H | 2002 | Mohammed | 2nd ed | Munich / Beck. (111+)]
Editorius 00:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The set of writers that I read do not think so. Also the important question that your writer needs to answer is that Muhammad righteous companions (Sahaba) continue Muhammad mission and conquest the super-power. Now are they not aware of Muhammad intensions and they do not know Muhammad reasoning? Sunni Muslims believe that those Sahaba always followed Muhammad very rigorously.

Muhammad might have made plans for a trans-Arabic expansion of Islam, but, arguably, his core objective was the conquest of Mecca.Editorius 13:59, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Also my source says "After the Motah war Romans have decided to attack on Arab and the Sham's (place-name) Gasani family... was given responsibility of that. ... A trader of Sham told in Madina that in Sham Romans have gathered a big Army..." (my translation from Urdu) It is a very famous book in Pakistan. That is "Moin Ud Din Ahmed Nadvi", Tarik-e-Islam, publish By Islami Academy, Volume 1, Page-85. The book had English version also printed but I do not have one. --- Faisal 06:35, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Mecca is indeed a Milestone as it has Kaba in it but as I understand according to Quran the objective is to establish Islam in all parts of the world. Hence he did send letters to different kings of that times and asked them to come in Islam etc. Those Kings were not Meccans but away from Mecca. Islam is not suppose to be the Mecca religion or Arab religion. --- Faisal 14:33, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

You are right insofar as Islam's policy is inherently expansionistic. But the traditional story that Muhammad sent envoys with letters to the Byzantine emperor Herakleios, the Persian king Chosrau, the Ethiopian Negus, and the so-called "muqauqis" of Alexandria (probably the orthodox patriarch functioning as governor by the grace of the Byzantine emperor), "inviting" them to Islam, does not seem to be true.

"Those accounts are to be deemed legends due to there being quite a few inconsistencies."
(my trans. from German)
[Bobzin H | 2002 | Mohammed | 2nd ed | Munich / Beck. (111)]

And Frants Buhl writes:

"If the accounts [of Muhammad's legations to foreign sovereigns] are examined thoroughly, it soon turns out that they show diverse characteristics which are purely legendary."
(my trans. from German)
[Buhl. Frants | 1961 | Das Leben Muhammeds | 3rd ed (1st German ed 1930) | Schaeder HH (trans) | Darmstadt / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. (295). (Originally published 1903 in Danish)]
Editorius 15:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
They cannot be entirely false. As One Sahaba had been killed by one King when he delivered Muhammd's message. His son name was "Osama Bin Zaid" and he is a famous Sahaba. There is an Hadith regarding "Osama Bin Zaid" in famous Hadith Book "Bakari", which answer different people suspection against "Osama Bin Zaid" when Muhammad order him to attack Bazantine (after his father death). If someone decline Bakari and many other sources of Muslims then what can I do? Muhammad had said such good words about "Osama Bin Zaid" that if there is no "Osama bin Ladin" then my son might be named Osama (However now :( ). One thing is part of Muslim faith that Islam is for whole Universe and not a specific region religion. --- Faisal 18:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Buhl concedes that "on the other hand those accounts do contain some characteristics which show that they are not wholly pure invention, but rest on a historical core, which, however, is very different from what the later legends have found therein."
[Buhl. Frants | 1961 | Das Leben Muhammeds | 3rd ed (1st German ed 1930) | Schaeder HH (trans) | Darmstadt / Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. (296). (Originally published 1903 in Danish)]
Editorius 13:21, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Faisal, I thought you were going to add material on battles with the Byzantines (Romans), not delete material on the battle of Khaybar. Did I misunderstand you? Tom Harrison Talk 17:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Read my two soultions written above (bold heading). Do you really think that I could add about all the other important wars in such a great detail. Is the article will remain about Muhammad and not become an article about his war? I suggest that you shrink the Khyber war to couple of lines and take it out from Mecca conquest section and then write about other wars too. I can do very well myself but I do not have much support. You people will not let me change it. --- Faisal
  • The section on the Khaybar war is not now in the article; You deleted it. That seems to be contrary to what you said you were going to do. Have you changed your mind? Tom Harrison Talk 19:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Can you wait till 48 hours? I will go to my University library to get lot of books and will write about it again. I will try to write about other wars too. I will try to make things well-citied. However, khyber war will not be part of Conquest-of-Mecca section as that section should have many other things about that Conquest-of-Mecca (instead of a non-related war) . Also because the "massacre" thing is NOT mentioned in most of the Muslim sources/books and it is disputed too hence the Khyber war write-up will not have massacre until dispute about it is really decided. (I could write right now but I have Urdu books at home which might not be acceptable by you as references). Deal ???--- Faisal 07:29, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
There's no hurry; everything will still be here next week. I look forward to reading it. I don't want to agree to anything until I see what you write though. Thank you, Tom Harrison Talk 13:19, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Not only a POV but also Wrong

Article says Muhammad subsequently moved to attack Mecca. Tribal allies of the Muslims and the Meccans clashed, and Muhammad regarded this incident as a breach of the treaty.'.

It appear to say that first Muhammad attack and after that incident of breach of the treaty happened. It is not true. Hence the POV sentence used to combine khyber war with Mecca-conquest (i.e. Muhammad subsequently moved to attack Mecca.) is making double damage. I am going to remove it. --- Faisal 20:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

No, in the English language, this is called a "topic sentence", i.e. a sentence that summarizes the content of the paragraph. Pecher Talk 20:49, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Just to clearify myself I do not want to remove or correct it because it is a POV but it is conveying wrong meaning. To me it appears wrong. And give impression that First there was attack by Muhammad and in the process there is breach of treaty. I wish if other people can read it and give their feedback. --- Faisal 20:52, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
The first sentence says what happened. The rest of the paragraph tells how: First "Tribal allies of the Muslims and the Meccans clashed..." (by the way, I think we need to clarify that clash or provocation); Then Muhammad marched on Mecca; then few were killed, amnesty, conversion, and destruction of idols. The last sentence tells the result. Tom Harrison Talk 21:38, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Why not simply use the past perfect in order to indicate anteriority?

"Muhammad subsequently moved to attack Mecca. Tribal allies of the Muslims and the Meccans had clashed, and Muhammad regarded this incident as a breach of the treaty." Editorius 21:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

That's against the rules of the English grammar as I know them. If we are narrating something: first happened this, then that, then something else, we don't use past perfect. "Had clashed" would indicate that the event happened somewhere in the distant past, much earlier than the rest of the paragraph. Pecher Talk 21:55, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think my sentence above is ungrammatical. "had clashed" merely indicates that this is an event in the past that took place before another event in the past [past event1(past perfect) => past event2(past tense)]. Grammar does not require that the two past events be far apart in time. Editorius 22:43, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

"The past perfect can be used together with the past tense (as basic tense) in all forms of narrative. If events are narrated in chronological order, the verbs will all be in the past tense. In retrospective passages, where the narrator looks back to a previous time, this 'time before' will normally be expressed with past perfect forms. This is particularly important when there is a series of main clauses."
[Ungerer F / Meier GEH / Schaefer K / et al | 1990 | A grammar of present-day English | Stuttgart / Klett. (137)]
Editorius 23:04, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

"Muhammad subsequently moved to attack Mecca. Because, Tribal allies of the Muslims and the Meccans had clashed, and Muhammad regarded this incident as a breach of the treaty." might be even better. --- Faisal 05:24, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

But Muhammad did not move to attack Mecca because tribal allies of the Muslims and the Meccans had clashed, since he intended to do so anyway. For him the clash was just a welcome pretext for ignoring the treaty. Generally, the mere suspicion that the other party might break the treaty was a sufficient reason for Muhammad to terminate it:

(8:58) "If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for God loveth not the treacherous." (Trans. Yusuf Ali)

Editorius 13:15, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

1) There is strong prohibtion in Quran for defying any treaty even made with non-Muslims. It is also a basic part of our faith. For example see ([Quran 9:4]). I am sure there will be many hadiths too.
2) It is not happened like the article says that pagen attack on Muslims and Muhammad went for a war. No. Not at all. Infact Muhammad send them a message (after their aggression) to pay (accept fault and pay money-for-blood) otherwise the treaty will be broken. The pagen replied. Okay the treaty is broken.
3) Then he attacked. Yes getting back Kaba which is the house-of-Allah is one of the things Muslims wanted to do anyway. But one should not forget above two points above. I want to re-writing that fact with references at Let see if I could achieve my goal or not. --- Faisal 14:47, 24 June 2006 (UTC)


I would recommend replacing all occurances of "booty" with "spoils". Firstly, the formal definition of booty has a negative ("ill-gotten") connotation, while "spoils" is neutral. Secondly, booty also has sexual connotations in the vernacular, while "spoils" doesn't. Publicola 04:16, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree. 'Booty' in this sense is nearly archaic. Tom Harrison Talk 21:41, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Request for your comments

I have today completed my first section of Muhammad article. I have to write many more sections. I will try to use as many books as possible for me and will avoid adding any POV of mine. Each line will be well-citied. Please take a look at the Section I have written and give your comments. --- Faisal 11:48, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Use of Stillman quote for claim regarding "ha-meshugga"

Please see my comments regarding the legitimacy of using the Norm Stillman quote here. Thanks, Tomertalk 17:35, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Necessary Semi-Protection

I'm afraid that, in order to ward off spontaneous vandalism, this article needs permanent semi-protection.Editorius 17:20, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

"Muhammad" a title?

In the article one reads the following:

"The name Muhammad was originally a title (...)."

This seems to be wrong. Prof. Bobzin writes:

"Der Name 'Mohammed' bedeutet 'hochgepriesen' oder 'einer der hoch gepriesen werden wird'. [...] Schon in vorislamischer Zeit ist dieser Name belegt; er ist daher nicht, wie gelegentlich behauptet, als eine Art Titel aufzufassen."

(My trans.:) "The name 'Muhammad' means 'highly praised' or 'one who will be highly praised'. [...] That this name has already been used in pre-Islamic times is verified; so it is not, as occasionally asserted, to be taken as some kind of title."

[Bobzin H | 2002 | Mohammed | 2nd ed | Munich / Beck. (67)]

Editorius 11:45, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Correct. -- Szvest 12:09, 14 July 2006 (UTC) Wiki me up&#153;

W. M. Watt writes: "[T]hough it does not appear to have been common, there is evidence that 'Muhammad' was in use as a proper name before the time of the Prophet. There is therefore no reason to doubt that it was his real name."

( Editorius 13:48, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Most Arabic names have meanings...Many of them adjectives. His father's name was Abd'llah, which means 'servant of god'. Saifur = sword of.. Saifur Rahman = Sword of the Beneficient. And so on. They're real names. This article deals with, for the most part, Muhammad's story insofar as his political and military roles are concerned. Not alot on his religious teachings and social philosophies. Shouldn't that be added in? "Muhammad's teachings" maybe... His Excellency... 17:57, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Wrong place for Quote

The article says following at Conquest of Mecca section.

The Muslims had been disappointed by the Prophet's recent abortive attempt to make a pilgrimage to Mecca and by his signing a truce with the Quraysh at al-Hudaybiyya. They needed a victory to raise their spirits. Furthermore, it was clear from the circumstances surrounding the incident at al-Hudaybiyya that most of the Bedouin were still not closely tied to the Umma (the Muslim community). Muhammad needed to show them that it was worth their while to be allied to his cause..

However Muslim had already perform hajj Peacefully next year after al-Hudaybiyya. That is on 7th Hijari they had perform Hajj in Mecca. Hence conquest of Mecca (that happened after 2 years of al-Hudaybiyya at 8th Hijri) had nothing to do with above quote. I am sure even Stillman would had not said above about conquest of Mecca. Hence please remove this propoganda from conquest of Mecca section. --- Faisal 18:43, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The conquest of Mecca may have nothing to do with it, but the attack on KHaybar has everything to do with it. Pecher Talk 19:53, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
So It means you agree that it in the wrong place. Remove it from conquest of Mecca yourself as you have put Khyber in the conquest of Mecca section (even the war of Mecca has nothing to do with Khyber war) otherwise I will remove it. --- Faisal 23:18, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
You've chosen a wrong place to make threats. Pecher Talk 20:01, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Islam template

Does anyone see any issue with the Islam template being at the top of the article and not in the Islamic traditions section? The reason I ask is because at the Jesus article, several editors moved (and continued to move) the Christianity template from the top of that article to the small Christian views section. Several other editors noted that the Islam template remains at the top of this article despite Muhammad's importance to other religions (such as the Baha'i Faith). Some argued that as Jesus is the central figure in Christianity (he is considered God incarnate by most Christians) this warrants having the article as part of the corresponding Christianity series, in much the same way as Muhammad's importance to Islam warrants the Islam template at the top of this article. I'd just like to collect feedback as to what people think about this issue: whether you think both templates should be in their resepective sections, whether they should remain at the top of both articles, or any other views. —Aiden 15:31, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

And because this debate is being dragged across wikipedia, I felt I should present another perspective. The "Christian views" section is anything but small. It is 3 screens long at 1024x786. The article is NOT part of a series on Christianity (as the template claims), but only sections of the article are. Jesus is unique among the religious figures on wikipedia because of the VAST amount of spinout articles (look here). We have Christian views of Jesus; we have Christ and Christology, etc. There is a large number of Jesus related articles that are specifically about the Christian POV, where the main Jesus article is about a number of different POVs. Muhammad is not comparable in that sense. There are not any spinout articles just dealing with the Muslim POV, and the number of varying POV in the main Muhammad article are a lot smaller than Jesus. As a side note, there is a "Islamic views" section on the Jesus article. Wouldn't it be fair to put the Islam template next to that section?--Andrew c 03:17, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

So according to that reasoning should the Islam template be in the Islamic traditions section of this article? P.S. There is and has been an Islamic views of Muhammad spin-out article. —Aiden 02:01, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
It is fine. Please leave it there. --- Faisal 22:42, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Norman Stillman Quote - Khyber

My question is hhy is his quote used so prominently in this section if this quote is a singular opinion, vs. more common opinion on the events as implied by the section (there are enough works around to be able verify this opinion on Muhammad). If it is not that common a belief then it should suffice as a footnote as the opinion of x, if it is a minority view then it should be mentioned inline as an addendum to the more commonly held views. Does that sound reasonable? As is the section reads a little strangely if the authority of a quote featured so prominently is weak (I realise he may be a expert, but there are a lot of experts and not all will or even expected to necessarily agree with each other).

Maybe this can be used with the ha-meshugga issue as well, I am more familiar with the term "Kahina" being used rather than ha-meshugga and find that it is not featured any where in this article, but then I am no expert on that issue so it is merely a suggestion.-- 05:07, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Good suggestion. I want to improve that section but not getting enough free time to work on it. I will try to improve it with full of references and with opoinions of other scholars whenever I have some time available. --- Faisal 23:11, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

"Description" section

What does this POV and lengthy quote from Montgomery Watt has to do in the article? Wikipedia is not a collection of quotes. Pecher Talk 07:28, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

The section is about the Islamic traditions that are accepted by some of the western scholars such as Watt. The description provides a very interesting picture of Muhammad. I found it really interesting and I think many others may find it so as well. --Aminz 07:31, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Can you please explain what do you mean by "pov" in your edit summary? --Aminz 07:32, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
The quote is highly POV description of Muhammad by one scholar. This section is anything but neutral. Pecher Talk 14:02, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
The quote is representative of the description of the prophet accepted by Muslims and portrayed in the hadith. As the main section is Life based on Islamic traditions unless Montgomery Watt description does not accurately represent that view I am not sure what the POV being implied is, especially as the paragraph and section prior to this provide context for the disagreement with this view and other historians are willing to accept that description.
Especially when the section on Khyber contains a similar singular view that is not even representative of anyone else's POV.

--Tigeroo 08:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing wrong about mentioning the traditional view, unless we also write that it is definitely the true view.--Editorius 13:31, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I shortened the lengthy quote from Watt and moved it to the "Veneration" section, which exists precisely for this purpose. Pecher Talk 13:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


I read somewhere that his name was originally either "Kotham" or "Halabi". I'm wondering if anyone knows the source of this? The name presently listed in the article as the name he was born with, ibn `Abdu'llah ibn `Abdu'l-Muttalib, doesn't seem right to me because I thin "ibn" means "son of". Therefore, that name is probably just referring to the names of his father and grandfather (i.e. son of Abdu'llah, who was son of Abdu'l-Muttalib). Perhaps he should be identified as Kotham Halabi ibn `Abdu'llah ibn `Abdu'l-Muttalib? ~Anonymous 6:30 PM ET 31 July 2006


I reorganized some of the content, i dont think anyone would object to the re-arengaing and some re-wording:I didnt make any controversial moves. --Striver 15:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


"Based on the Hadith, William Montgomery Watt forwards the following description of the way Muslims commonly view their prophet."

I'm afraid the first part of this sentence is ill-formed, for it means that it is Watt who is based on the Hadith, which is certainly nonsense.--Editorius

i just picked it from were it was, not my text. Thanks for improving it.
Some other issues: This article is to loong, it needs to be shortened down. I propose we move some of it contents to the articles i linked in the template at the top. Also, Encyclopedia Britanica uses "The Prophet" as a title for the Prophet, so i wonder how comes some people view it POV to use it here? Also, websters-online-dictionary has under the article "THE PROPHET" the following text: "Specialty Definition: Muhammad" and then it links to this article. Should not this article mention that higly regarded encyclopedias title him "The Prophet"? --Striver 16:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It was agreed as part of Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Islam-related articles) to avoid the word "prophet". Some people view him as a prophet, some do not. Please do not re-start the discussion. Pecher Talk 19:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I was not part of that discussion. --Striver 21:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The Manual of Style of refers to honorifics. The use of the word Prophet here is not used a honorific,
  1. it is a descriptor of the view of Muslims and when
  2. followed by the watt quotation serves to clue the read into the fact that they are looking at a purely Muslim perspective and to expect a rosy picture. Not using it in this instance mangles the perspective offered by the section. There is a thing as carrying the avoidance too far and the Manual of Style clearly gives lee way in that regard.--Tigeroo 20:13, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. --Striver 21:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It's POV to describe Muhammad as "prophet" because most people, including academic scholars, do not view him as such. Even adulatory views must be described neutrally. Pecher Talk 21:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
including academic scholars??? Bernard Lewis & Muir& Carl Ernst&D A Spellberg refer to him by the epithet "prophet"? I don't think saying "prophet" really means one believes he is a prophet. But I think it is the best to generally avoid using "prophet". In this special case, I am indifferent. --Aminz 22:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

As concerns the use of the concept prophet, I think we needn't be more Catholic than the Pope. The American Heritage Dictionary (Dell ed. 2001) gives the following definition, which should be acceptable even for atheists:

"PROPHET: a person who speaks by or as if by divine inspiration"

Editorius 00:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

He is a NPOV prophet by that standard, just as teh pope is the pope.--Striver 11:42, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
People sometimes use "Prophet Muhammad" instead of "Muhammad" in order to separate other people with the same name. So I believe, that if someone is known by some title, why somebody should object. --SaadSaleem 04:59, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Islam-related articles). We have to work within its limitations, to change it the discussion needs to be taken up elsewhere.--Tigeroo 06:18, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Here is the ongoing discussion :[12] --Aminz 06:21, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

More organized : [13] --Aminz 08:44, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

isnt he the penultimate prophet of islam

isnt he the penultimate prophet of islam, as the quran mentions about one more prophet to be born at qayamat.

also can we have this page a bit like we have it for Moses. i really liked that page, and i feel we should have similar page for muhammad, where we can talk about his controversial teachings too. i know that it may amount to blasphemy and lynching according to quran, but still i may say, that continuing with the policy of NPOV on wikipedia, cant we have a page like that of moses.

nids 12:34, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

No he is the last, there are some figures in apochrypha for the end of days, the return of christ and the Mahdi but they won't play the prophetic role.--Tigeroo 10:20, 5 August 2006 (UTC)