Talk:Muhammad/Archive 2

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i disaprove of the current order of "companions", it gives the impresion that Abu Bark & Umar & Uthman where better than Ali. They where not. I rather have random order, or Ali, Malik Ashtar, Abu Dhar and Ibn Abbas att the top.

Hi, Striver, we usually add new topics at the bottom. Use the plus button to generate a new section. We could put the companions in the order in which they joined Islam -- that was important to the early Muslims. However, there would be a problem because existing accounts conflict as to whether Abu Bakr or Ali came first of the men. Or, we could just put them in alphabetic order, and add a note to that effect. Perhaps that would be the least controversial. Zora 10:52, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hi Zora :)

Thx, ill put the new topics att the end.

Alphabetic works nicely for me :)

Thanks for your solution!

--Striver 11:41, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hey guys - it looks like the list is alphabetical now, which makes sense, but the line above still says that the first four were the first caliphs...which isn't true. That sentence needs to be modified. --Lance 19:33, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Founding Islam

The most significant historical fact about Muhammad is that he established the belief system known to the world as ‘Islam’ — and this fact is being deleted from the article altogether. We are not writing an encyclopedia to validate the opinions of one religion or another. We are writing it to inform people. When most people think of Islam, and possibly even most Muslims, they mean the modern religion founded by Muhammad, in the sense that anyone founds anything. Before Muhammad, there was monotheism in the Near East. After him, there was the Qur’an. Before him, there were Jews, Christians, pagans, and others in Near East, but no persons who called themselves ‘Muslims’ or called their religion ‘Islam’. After him, there were. Muhammad made that happen. The Muslim belief that he was, in creating this new worldly phenomenon, merely clarifying an otherworldly phenomenon, is spelled out clearly and respectfully. This encyclopedia is straying from common sense and scholarly objectivity if it cannot do so much as call Muhammad the founder of Islam, as all other neutral reference sources do. The phenomenon of Islam as a recognizable, verifiable, historical fact in the world began with Muhammad’s actions. I myself rewrote the introduction to accommodate the desire of some editors to note the distinction between what non-Muslims identify as ‘Islam’, and what some pious Muslims identify as ‘Islam’. Do we want to be taken seriously as a reference, or do we simply want to restate Muslim belief?
Ford 22:09, 2005 Feb 11 (UTC)

Presumably, then, we will be rewriting the entry on Jesus to cite his status as the "founder of Christianity"? BrandonYusufToropov 22:22, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
From a Muslim perspective, Muhammad was the last prophet, not the founder of anything, except maybe an Islamic state. From a secular historical perspective, the more extreme sceptics - such as Patricia Crone, Yehuda Nevo, or John Wansbrough - regard most of the Islamic traditional narrative as doubtful, and argue that what we would recognize as Islam didn't emerge until well into Umayyad times. The latter perspective is ridiculous, and no doubt the former appears ridiculous to Ford. But both have many scholarly adherents, and I see no reason to introduce an unnecessary controversy into the first paragraph. - Mustafaa 22:27, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The word "Islam" (Arabic word) was not used before Muhammad by Christians or Jews. Whether Muslims believe Islam is the religion of all previous prophets is irrelevant. Even if true, clearly those prophets did not speak Arabic. I see nothing wrong with Ford edits OneGuy 22:41, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The position that Mustafaa is arguing makes no sense. If we were to follow this logic, we will have to rewrite all the articles. Just take this sentence from Sunnah article:

The Sunnah, therefore, is the second source of Islamic law after the Qur’an.

Since Sunnah is related to Muhammad, can it be called the source of "Islamic law"? (since some scholars doubt this history? And if Islam existed prior to Muhammad, how can Sunnah be the source of "Islamic" law?) This is pretty silly. The word "Islam" is used specifically to describe a religion that began in the seventh century. That is how the word is used, even usually by Muslims OneGuy 23:03, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It wasn't a rhetorical question. By what logic would we NOT refer to Jesus as "founder" of Christianity if we refer to Muhammad as "founder" of Islam? Didn't Jesus (according to Gospels) grant authority to the Apostles? Order them to proselytize? Establish core precepts? But there's something off-kilter about that whole implied subtext: "Jesus, a religious enthusiast, woke up one morning, had an idea, and then built this brand new institution," isn't there? Such a subtext seems somehow condescending and dismissive of Christian belief, doesn't it? And maybe even bordering on intolerant, yes? And thus not neutral, or at least tactless, given the depth of feeling on the subject, perhaps? And thus inappropriate, right?
For the record, Columbia Encyclopedia opens its entry thus: "The name of the Prophet of Islam, one of the great figures of history; b Mecca..." etc. Not a word about "founding" anything, but rather "he felt himself selected by God to be the Arab prophet of true religion." So either Columbia is completely ignoring Ford's "most significant historical fact" about Muhammad, or they've got writers better able to convey the nuances of the actual subject at hand. BrandonYusufToropov 05:16, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I’ll answer the question, then: Yes, we should call Jesus the founder of Christianity (even though Paul seems to have done most of the heavy lifting). But first, I do not think most Christians would disagree, and second, since when does an omission in one article justify an omission in another? Is your requirement to be: go edit every other article first, and then we’ll edit this one? Besides, the ‘central figure’ formula that the Jesus article uses is preface to the fact that Jesus founded Christianity and Christians worship him, and Muslims do not worship Muhammad, nor would they be comfortable with anyone as the central figure in Islam other than God. Am I wrong? There is nothing at all off-kilter about the subtext, nothing condescending, nothing dismissive, intolerant, or whatever else you might mention that is supposed to make me feel bad about calling Muhammad the founder of Islam. Yes, basically Muhammad did wake up one morning, have an idea, and build this brand new institution. The timeline may have been extended a bit, and we can reserve comment about where he got this idea, but that is the narrative that even Muslims will tell you. Honestly, how many Muslims are going to lecture us on the pre-existence of Islam? There weren’t any self-declared Muslims before Muhammad. Before Muhammad, there were many who believed that there was no god but the God; but those persons mostly went on believing what they believed before. Before Muhammad, there were no persons who believed that Muhammad was the last prophet. There was no Qur’an. There was no praying five times a day. There was no hajj. Islam may have been a platonic idea waiting to be articulated, but it took Muhammad to do it. Islam was an idea before Muhammad, but it was not an institution. It was not a religion in the conventional sense: an organized system of belief with specific tenets and followers. When we say ‘Muslim’ in the encyclopedia, we cannot include those who do not include themselves. That would be condescending, intolerant, and dismissive. We cannot retroactively apply the word ‘Islam’ to beliefs whose followers were perfectly content with the religion they had. That would be condescending, intolerant, and dismissive.

You may have successfully dug around for a reference that was “nuanced”, as you put it. I am at home. I checked the American Heritage dictionary, Merriam-Webster, and the Cambridge Factfinder, which are the references I have to hand. All say ‘founder’. Britannica online says both ‘founder’ and ‘established the religion of Islam’. But in any case, I am not looking for further evidence. I do not need further evidence. Muhammad founded Islam. And if you think that, by leaving that fact out, Wikipedia will be demonstrating that it has writers better able to convey nuance or anything else, I think you are giving yourself and the rest of us way too much credit.
Ford 10:27, 2005 Feb 12 (UTC)

Ford, I think you don't understand how it is that, to the followers of any religion, their way seems so obvious and right that it's a natural part of the universe. It was there all the time, waiting to be found or revealed. Not only that, but other religions can seem soooo close to the truth. Just a few tweaks and hey presto, it's the same. As a Buddhist, I try to understand other religions through my own prism. Ditto for Muhammad and Muslims, their way seemed like a great and glorious unification and simplification -- all the best of Christianity and Judaism, free of human error. It's not just a rhetorical ploy, it's a real perception. We're just tiptoeing around it here. Zora 11:41, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think I do understand it. I spoke of a platonic idea because I recognize that followers of religions feel that way. But what are you proposing? I cannot make out, in your comments, whether you support or oppose stating that Muhammad founded Islam. I understand that some Muslims feel we should not call Muhammad the founder of Islam; but then some Muslims feel we should endorse Islam as the one true religion. We are not going to gratify that desire either. I say again, common sense and scholarly objectivity are the standards that support my position. A limited Muslim piety supports the other position. The encyclopedia can choose between them. Is the choice not obvious?
Ford 12:42, 2005 Feb 12 (UTC)
I think that the term "founder" is loaded, and perhaps had best not be used. The connotation is of someone who creates something from scratch, from nothing. But Muslims feel that Muhammad brought forth something that was already there. Surely there's a way to write around this. I'm too tired to think of one now, but there IS a way. I've written political platforms. I know how to fudge <g>. Zora 13:08, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

No, let’s not write around it. Let’s use plain language to describe a simple fact. Let’s not allow a minority with a bias determine whether a fact is true or not. Their viewpoint, their objection, is already represented in the article. But the fact that they are objecting to is now not represented in the article. Let’s change that. ‘Founder’, a loaded term? Human religion is the product of humans.

Well that's your BELIEF. It's not a fact. Those of us who are religious feel that religion is more like the laws of physics, inherent in the universe. We can discover the laws of physics, but we can't create them. That's our BELIEF. So we try to step back yet again, to a position where both beliefs are held in equipoise. Zora 14:55, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Whether some religions are divinely inspired is a matter that we cannot settle. They are all different and contradictory, so they are not all divinely inspired. We cannot say such a thing about all of them, let alone that they emerged untouched by human hands from the ether. We should not imply that about Islam. It is not true.
Ford 13:22, 2005 Feb 12 (UTC)

In my opinion, the best way to write around it is simply not to take a stand on the issue, and in essence do what Columbia did -- acknowledge that he was the Prophet of Islam, which he manifestly was, and describe what he argued had happened to him, not as fact, but as his contention.
You know why this is important? Because this "founder" thing is the modern rhetorical equivalent of "Mohammedanism." Think about it. By saying he "founded" Islam, in the first sentence, no less, we would be saying he did the same thing as Henry Ford did when he "founded" Ford Motor Company -- namely, brought along the big idea himself. Well, among Muslims, it is an article of faith that he did NOT bring along the big idea himself, but rather had it dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel. With one word, we basically dismiss the entire question of whether or not Muhammad "wrote" the Qur'an, by answering it in the affirmative for the reader. If that's NPOV, Ford, I'll buy you a ginger ale. BrandonYusufToropov 13:19, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I guess it depends on how you interpret the word "founder". If you just take it to mean "someone who lays the foundation for something" then I think it's perfectly accurate, as the concept of Islam did not exist before Muhammad's revelations. That's seems as NPOV as you can get with such a sensitive topic. That said, in the opening paragraph of the lastest revision, there is the sentence "Non-Muslims generally consider him the "founder" of Islam...", which seems to say that this viewpoint is not valid. I realize that this may have been the goal of the author, and is open to discussion. Cog05 19:15, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Everyone is being to sensitive and far to politically correct. If it offend you express your opinion and move on. If I went around griping about everything that offended my sensibilites thier would be a dispute to just about every article here. Can't we all just get along? or is personal motivated beliefs,tired propganda and rehotoric going to rule the day? This on going debate is nothing but a futile exercise in political correctness.

Someone revised history!

I thought I was keeping up with the changes to this article, but I seem to have missed a few. Someone revised the final para to say that the Muslims had conquered northern India a hundred years after Muhammad's death, and similar sillinesses. I sat down with my copy of Armstrong's Islam: A Short History and fixed the para as best I could. Zora 22:11, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Regarding this: "Under the Ghaznavids, centuries later, Islam was introduced into northern India." Islam was not first introduced into Northern India by Ghaznavids. The first Islamic invasion of India was much earlier by Muhammad bin Qasim (d. 715) OneGuy 22:18, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, I suppose it depends on what you call "northern India". If you go by present boundaries, Sind is in Pakistan. I don't believe that Muslim conquests (as opposed to raids) went beyond the Indus until the Ghaznavids. Just saying "northern India" is misleading, I suppose. I'll try a rewrite. Zora 00:02, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Pakistan WAS northern India. Invest in a historical Atlas.

Mohammed, Muhammed, Mohammad

Hi, I changed all the links that go to Mohammad to instead go to Muhammad, the correct spelling. Now I wonder if any will help me fix the other misspellings: Mohammed ([1] = 60 or so instances), Muhammed ([2] = about 30 instances)

--Jacobolus 12:02, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It is highly doubtful there is a correct way of spelling Mohammad. It is a transliteration from another language. It is therefore very hard to get an exact way of spelling it as in the true form. As long as the way it is spelt is the same through the whole article, then leave it be. All we need is consistancy through an article. Tzar or Czar, same deal, Mohammad, Muhammed, whatever. --metta, The Sunborn 22:06, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"Muhammad," "Mohammed," or "Mohammed" etc is a common name of many people, and some do spell their name as, say, "Mohammad." Do not randomly change the spelling in all the articles OneGuy 22:55, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well it seems to me anyway, that if an article is referring to the prophet Muhammad, that Wikipedia should spell his name consistently throughout all articles. Other people may spell their names differently, and I'm not planning to alter them, but one person should probably not have encyclopedia articles spelling his name 5 different ways. --Jacobolus 09:22, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I also changed all instances of Koran to Qur'an throughout Wikipedia, and all instances of Moslem to Muslim. Shi'a seems to be a much trickier case, as it is currently written Shiite, Shi'ite, Shiism, Shia, Shi'a, etc. (about 8 or 10 ways). It seems to me that these should be more standardized, so as not to confuse readers, who may not know that the prophet Mohammed is the same as the prophet Muhammad --Jacobolus 09:39, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Present policy is that while it is desirable that spelling be consistent within a single article, attempting to enforce regularized spelling across the Wikipedia is not desirable. The time spent debating what the regularized spelling should be is better spent on substantiative content. Shimmin 01:50, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)


Here's the text we're talking about:

"Islam is now the faith of more than one billion people, and believed to be the second largest religion of the present day. Islam is also the fastest growing religion in the world, both by the number of births and converts."

How is saying "more than one billion" any more or less NPOV than saying "millions". And doesn't "millions" give the wrong (not POV; just plain wrong) impression when the actual number is somewhere above a billion? I would interpret "millions" as something between 3 million and maybe 10, 20 million? Even less than "tens of millions", "hundreds of millions" and "over a billion". If the editor had said "Billions", that would be inaccurate, too.

But more generally, isn't a good idea of how many Muslims there are on the planet relevant to an encyclopedia article?

Secondly, if Islam is the fastest growing religion, or a rapidly receding religion, isn't that also relevant? iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 23:03, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)

The question of whether numerical growth is from population growth or conversion is HOTLY debated. There is no way to confirm any claims of having the most converts. If you want to put a billion instead of millions, that's fine, but the bit about "fastest growing" smacks of triumphalism, advertising, boasting, whatever. It's unpleasant. It reminds me of the Mormons and the Bahai I met when I was doing the fieldwork for my PhD, both of whom boasted about being the fastest growing religion. Based on, so far as I could tell, suspect statistics. Frex, the Bahais said that the small village where I lived had twenty Bahais, or something like that, and what they did have was a young bachelor of questionable character who had attended one meeting.
I think this topic has been discussed at length in Islam in the United States. If you feel that Islamic population growth deserves extended treatment, perhaps we should set up a page for it and adjourn the discussion there. It's too large a topic to handle in one sentence in a page on an entirely different subject. Zora 07:24, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Zora but for different reasons. I believe that one should only include factual data. For instance, this bit about the fastest growing religion was and is mostly put forward by Christian parties with mixed motives. My first memory of it is that I read about it in the "Plain Truth" magazine, and oddly the only reference I've seen so far with numbers. They claimed, and I am guessing from memory, that "over the last" 30 or 40 years Islam grew by over 300% and Christianity grew by, say, 30%. They claimed something like that in areas where Islam and Christianity are competing for converts, Islam outperforms Christianity by a ratio of 3 to 1. However, I suspect that all of this is for creating alarm to collect donations for missionary work. When Muslims make the same claim, it is based on published popoulation data (ex. CIA Factbook) and tallying the numbers, a much better source but doubtful for many reasons. I have done the same thing myself and maintain continuous data on populations, economies, military spending and so on. I quess what I would feel confortable with are numbers, not claims, published by a scholarly work. We should not have to say the fastest or whatever, but provide statistical data. If someone wants to make the claim that this growth is by births then let them provide the statistical data to prove it. The same for increase by converts. This is more logical and more convincing after all. A.Khalil 14:00, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

I might have misread the article, but the text above was supposed to be from a global perspective; not just US. Methinks you are not being able to resist one of the very things you're complaining about, Z: being US-centric :D.iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 20:43, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

I think I was not clear in what I agree with Zora on. I agree only in relation to the use of language to make a claim Vs. the use of data to make a claim. I myself do feel more comfortable and also more educated if I read that Islam grew by xx% overall over a certain period of time. Perhaps one can break it down to regions, like in Africa by xx%, Asia by xx%. One could provide population numbers, not just percentages and one cam make number comparisons between religions. My doubts in this case, however, are because I do not know of any "Muslim" published data. In most Islamic countries we have no census data to study and the numbers used even by the countries themselves come from American sources (CIA or State Department). Even the OIC's site referes you to the CIA factbook's site. I find "these" sources doubtfull on many grounds. They are "Christian/Jewish" biased. A country of millions that have 2 Christians in it would be given a percentage. A country like Russia with millions of Muslims (some say 20%) will be discounted. Countries where Mulsim populations are large, like India and China, will be mimized, and because of their large populations, a single percentage drop leads to a very large drop in count. And so on. Most of western sources are likewise. I remember reading in the footnotes of many population tables two contradictory statemts as such:
In Islamic countries minority religions are discriminated against and their numbers are much higher than reported by governments (Meaning Christains and Jews are more than what they think and Muslims are even less than what they list).
In countries where Christianity is the established religion, the whole population was counted as Christian.
Most people see no bias and contradicition in this, as I can attest because I had many arguments with Professors and others in this regard. Also, using these sources gives us a range of Muslim populations worldwide from say less than 1.0 billion (way below claimed % for Christianity) to 1.72 billion (way above claimed % for Christianity). This is why I say they are doubtful. I would like to find a real study, maybe done by a Muslim organization, telling us about Muslim populations. Absent that, and this is the weakest of faith, we should put forward the best information we can come up with from a known source, not personal lists as I have seen elswehere in wikipedia. A.Khalil 14:53, Mar 22, 2005 (UTC)

I'm new here, but uh... Wouldn't some refrences be in order? O.o If there is a general consensus or even a set of statistics considered relaiable by experts in the field of demographics, lets go ahead and toss it in. Otherwise lets not.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 19:02 (UTC)

Battle of Badr

Anthony, I removed your addition re the caravan raid, as it's misleading. Badr could perhaps be considered self-defense, as the Meccans had sent out a force to PUNISH the Muslims for a previous caravan raid. Was the raid justified? Particularily in the pilgrimage season, when caravans were supposed to be safe? I've seen Muslim editors tying themselves in knots trying to justify caravan raiding. Usually the defense given is that the Meccans had confiscated the property of the Muslims who fled to Medina, so that the Muslims were just righting the balance. Hmm. Raids don't play too well these days, but various historians point out that raiding caravans was the Arab national sport then. Like Great Plains Native Americans stealing horses and women from each other. Just good clean fun <g>. Perhaps the place to elaborate on all of this is the Battle of Badr article? Or Muhammad as warrior? If the Muhammad article gets bogged down in nit-picky polemic, it starts becoming useless as an information source for someone who just wants to know who Muhammad was. Zora 23:31, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)


An article about a person who is perhaps the 2nd most influential figure in recorded human history ought to be much more sophisticated and expanded...I think Wikipedia can do a better job here...this article deserves to be featured-article quality someday--and ought to already be, given the man's importance and sheer number of Muslims, particularly Anglophone(-educated) ones. ~ Dpr 06:56, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's quite as long as most biographical articles. Why should it be longer? and why should we accept your grandiose conception of Muhammad's importance? Zora 10:27, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It's shorter than both Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, to name two far less historically significant figures. Clearly there is still room for expansion. - Mustafaa 18:42, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Churchill and Stalin lived recently, and there's a plethora of documentation. While there is much recorded "oral tradition" about Muhammad, academics would also dismiss much of it as pious fabrication. The current organization, the skeptical view and the sira view, handles this somewhat, but any expansion of the sira view would privilege it unduly, and get us deep into partisan debate. Zora 19:19, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, we do have a whole series on Jesus... granted he had that whole divinity thing going for him... There is room to expand I agree.. but more important clarification about who accepts what. There are many different conceptions about it.... I've heard Shia discussions about how they despise Bukhari hadith as portraying their prophet horribly... So... sectarian complexities never end. gren 19:52, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't see that "any expansion of the sira view would privilege it unduly" at all. We already have the disclaimer at the top, and the contents of the sira view are of great interest both to historians and to Muslims. It could "get us deep into partisan debate", but I see no reason why it has to, if approached with due care. - Mustafaa 21:23, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, add things and we'll argue about them <g> Zora 23:20, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"An article about a person who is perhaps the 2nd most influential figure in recorded human history" Could you explain that? Good or bad I can think of many people who had a greater affect on human history.

Mohammed is a great people who could lead human being into the best as a human, no free sex just like us in west, no rasis, no homosexsual, no abuse sex to child. see! how he`s humility. His life only for God, Allah SWT and lead people do the same thing to reach highest degree beside God in heaven.

Reverting Urchid's edit

Urchid edited the introduction to make the claim that Muhammad was a Bedouin (wrong) and that he was the founder of Islam, with "Muslims believe that he is the last prophet" following as a caveat. Urchid, this is very POV. The way it is written, it implies that Muhammad really was the founder, even though Muslims think that he wasn't. I have reverted Urchid's changes. Urchid, I don't want to discourage you completely -- I'd just suggest that you read through the copious discussion on the talk page to get an idea of just what a balancing act this article is, and how delicate the balance. Zora 02:04, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Lots and lots and lots and lots of work has gone on before on this article, Urchid. Talk page is always open, let's discuss things, ok? BrandonYusufToropov 03:09, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Listen folks , you two and a few others seem to have self-appointed yourselves to represent the Muslim POV in Wikipedia. That is your prerogative, but you have NO RIGHT to censure other editors's valid NPOV contributions to Wikipedia because it DOES NOT HAPPEN TO SUIT your POV or desired SPIN on ISLAM. Perhaps your intents are good in your own way of thinking but when you keep CENSURING or blocking the contributions of others you have essentially defeated the mission of Wikipedia of disseminating information to the world. Like Noam Chomksy keeps telling us , if you believe in free speech, you also have to believe in the free speech of others even if you do not like what you hear. --Urchid 03:32, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Urchid, you're quite mistaken if you think I'm here to defend a Muslim POV. I'm a Buddhist, dang it, and my POV, if anything, is academic. Many editors who really are Muslims have been quite unhappy with me. as you'll see if you look at some of the past discussions on the talk page. But I also don't see any point in insisting on language that offends someone when it is possible to write around the difficulty. I think we did so. Zora 05:48, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

OK , I will buy your claim that you are defending an academic POV, however this habit of watering down FACTS so as to avoid offending some imaginary readership, particularly the one you might currently favor, is in effect inhibiting the reporting of other relevant facts which can have important implications in the wiki-reader’s evaluation of the topic under discussion . This causes an insidious cover-up of the truth which no academic should want to be party to. Projects like Wikipedia can go a long way in helping readers see a broader picture than just the one being presented by the advocates of a particular POV.--Urchid 12:31, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Its not POV to report what muslims and non-muslims belive. To exlude one of them would be POV. --Striver 12:56, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

To Urchid, Part One. Please get your facts straight on things like whether he was a Bedouin before you start throwing around accusations about "insidious cover-ups of the truth." If there is a specific nonfactual edit I've made in this article that you don't like, let me know about it. I work very hard to keep things accurate, and if you have spotted a mistake, I want to know about it.
Ok that is fair enough, perhaps my facts were wrong on the Bedouin thing.
To Urchid, Part Two. Christian readers would object (with cause, in my view) if we wrote as a "fact" in the early sentences of Christianity that Jesus was the "founder" of that religion. In fact, it seems highly unlikely to me that any attempt to include the word "founder" in a summary of Jesus' role in that religion would stand. (Actually, the word should probably be applied to Paul, but that's beside the point.)
I really do not see this point. Founder of Christianity seems to be a fair description for Jesus.
Now, it's not important enough to me personally to get into a hassle about it, but it's pretty hard to imagine the "compromise" that Zora has established here as flying if we applied the same principle to Christianity. Think about it:
Jesus, also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene, now deceased, was a teacher in the first-century Middle East who is regarded by non-Christians as founder of a new faith system that arose from Judaism and was eventually categorized by its adherents as Christianity.
I would not object to this phrasing. Insert it if you want.
Could someone argue that the first sentence is "factual"? I suppose. Is it the right opening to an article composed by an intelligent, unbiased editor? I have my opinions on that, but just so we can test the question, why don't you go try posting it at Christianity and see what happens? BrandonYusufToropov 14:34, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Brandon what we want to do here is present a wider view of belief systems than just the Abrahamistic POV on the matter. It might be a hard thing to conceive for some followers of rigid orthodoxies but the world of religion is not solely monopolized by monotheism .----

Dang it, Urchid, your latest edit claimed to be NPOV and it was the most POV thing you've contributed. Allah is just the Arabic name for God. Just because Muslims prefer to use the Arabic term, that doesn't mean that they worship a separate "God". It's as if you were to claim that the French worshipped a different god named "Dieu" or the Germans a god named "Gott". Zora 01:47, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to write down a note about something which many people don't realize, it is about the Arabic expression <Allah>, which is the same used by Arab Christians to describe 'God' in the Christian belief. So <Allah> as a word doesn't refer to any but the same which the English word <God> refers to, whatever it was by the thing/process/experience.

Zora , that is not quite the point, the idea is to express these concepts independently of the Abrahamic POV of the world.

  • How would you phrase these ideas, which are obviously basic assumptions in YOUR conception of the world, to an audience that is not just composed of Abrahamic Monotheists but also includes Atheists or Polytheists or readers who do not have a background in Abrahamistic theology ?
  • Are you assuming that all the reader's perspectives will be Abrahamic or that they all accept your conception of GOD ? To a Zulu tribesman in South- Africa, or Chinese Zhuang for instance "final prophet of Allah (God)" does not mean anything. In those conceptions of the world , what you call Allah would have to be stated as "a God that has a name of ALLAH". The only POV that would have a problem with this are the ones that are intolerant of non-monotheistic POVs.
  • Are we assuming that non Abrahamistic monotheism POVs are irrelevant and to be ignored in Wikipedian perspectives? Can we not break away from our cultural ethno-centricities when presenting information to a culturaly diverse and heterogenous world? --Urchid 03:31, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
Urchid, this is funny. "God" is not one of my basic assumptions ... as you would know if you knew anything about Buddhism. Buddhists have often been described as atheists. In this case, I'm quite willing to accept "Allah" as the Islamic conception of "God" because Muslims have always, since Muhammad, claimed not to be rejecting Judaism and Christianity, but carrying them forward. Islam is explicitly, consciously about the same "God". That's to completely leave aside the rather interesting question as to whether monotheists of any sort are necessarily talking about the "same thing". Off-hand, I can't think of any monotheistic traditions that accept a personalized first principle and object to a translation into the English word "God". Zora 03:48, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
OK, you are a Buddhist but in relation to your contributions to this category of Wikipages you insist on articulating or defining the concept of Allah strictly within the Abrahamistic POV. ( a POV which is in my opinion inherently xenophobic to other cosmologies of the universe).
This brings us back to the point I am making above, which is: can we define or describe the components of this article in a broader perpective than just the Abrahamic Monotheistic one? For instance how might you define Allah in a NPOV language that would be understandable to a Buddhist or a Zhuang or a Zulu? (and who is not versed in Abrahamistic theology)?
Obviously I am a wiki-reader and a wikieditor like you are and my personal conception of the universe does not revolve around the Abrahamistic POV anymore than any other paradigm that human beings have ever devised. PS I am not unfamiliar with Buddhism.--Urchid 12:11, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Why should I define God? Surely the point is to experience God.

I was suggesting you phrase GOD in NPOV terms, ie not only in abrahamistic wording.

As for the Zhuang or the Zulu -- the usual approach of Christian missionaries is to use the name of the group's creator god and redefine it to fit the Christian conceptions. I can't think of a polytheistic mythology that doesn't have a god who was the origin of everything and then retired to the sidelines and gave way to "younger" gods. I dunno what Muslim missionaries do. Zora 18:11, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Sounds awfully crass , I hope we can take more a respectful approach towards other belief systems in Wikipedia. --Urchid 03:19, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I support reverting the "abrahamistic" & "called allah" polemic. Go Zora! --Striver 21:23, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Don't be ridiculous. This article is about Muhammad, not about how other people interpret his teachings over a thousand years after the fact. We don't have a section about the Crusades or anti-abortion violence in the article on Jesus, now do we? Firebug 23:07, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I seems as some people dont get that its POV to assume that Muhammed (PBUH) was NOT a genuine prophet from God.

--Striver 11:26, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

re:changes to this article

If anyone is interested, Wikipedia NPOV policy can be found here NPOV.--Urchid 03:08, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Couple things: wet nurse and tomb inside the mosque in Medina...

I was saying to Zora: a couple of things about your last edit:

  • The wet nurse issue. I haven't read Ibn Ishaq, but the concept of the wet nurse Halima is very central to the narrative (mythology, if you will) of Muhammad's life for Muslims—if not the history. It might be useful to acknowledge that; maybe with language like "the traditions about Muhammad's life often mention that following Meccan customs, his mother sent him to the desert to be wet nursed by a Bedouin Mother. The desert air was fresher than Mecca’s, and it was felt that in this climate, a city boy would have a sturdier start in life...."
  • The tomb is in the mosque as far as I remember. I was last there in 1980 or so—and the structure and size of the mosuqe has only been expanded since.

iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 03:10, May 3, 2005 (UTC)

I might be wrong, but i think i read somewher that it not in it... im not sure...

--Striver 11:30, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, like I said, I am telling you from experience...iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 21:00, May 3, 2005 (UTC)

You know, the (false) hadith about "dont use my gave as a place of worship like the christian and Jews" blabla, as if Jesus (PBUH) ever had his grave worhiped, if he ever hade one...

read the rest of the fake hadith here:

Where is Moses (PBUH) grave, you know, the one that Jews are suposed to worship?

Anyhow, using that pretexed the Saudis wahabis/salafis demolished(!) Ahl ul-Bayts graves...

So i dont think odds are high that the Prophets tomb is in a mosque

"...So the grave worshiper, the Shiite,..."

Look att their *LAME* arguments:

"Iqbal was a grave-worshiper. To pray at graves is considered by the Quran as reason for one to go to hell (102: 1-5)."

You tell me, are this verses about grave-worshiping:

[102.1] Abundance diverts you,

[102.2] Until you come to the graves.

[102.3] Nay! you shall soon know,

[102.4] Nay! Nay! you shall soon know.

[102.5] Nay! if you had known with a certain knowledge,

[102.6] You should most certainly have seen the hell;

[102.7] Then you shall most certainly see it with the eye of certainty;

[102.8] Then on that day you shall most certainly be questioned about the boons.

--Striver 11:52, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Umm...being inside a mosque is not the same as being is not in a position where people bow to it. It just happens to be in the same building...iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 21:00, May 3, 2005 (UTC)

i found this link, check then en of it: --Striver 21:37, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

This seems like a dead issue but... "Because the climate was considered to be unhealthful, he was given as an infant to a wet nurse from a nomadic tribe and spent some time in the desert." that is from the 1995 Encyclopedia Britannica. gren 03:23, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Proposed insertion in intro

Based in Wikipedia NPOV policy which states : "The neutral point of view policy states that articles should be written without bias, representing all views fairly."

I suggest we expand this statement "they believe Islam to have existed before Muhammad" with this " though this latter assertion has been challenged as an anachronism by some historical scholars" to represent other views on this. Any comments--Urchid 12:19, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I have a comment. It's ridiculous, because we're describing what people believe, not stating that belief as fact.
does that mean that we cannot also insert other views on those beliefs, or are we only allowed to have Muslim POV in this article?--Urchid 13:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
But just to prove I'm wrong in this analysis, why not head over to Jesus and place an edit in the opening paragraph there to the effect that "some historical scholars" challenge the doctrine of the resurrection as a physical impossibility. See what happens there and then we'll decide what to do here, okay? BrandonYusufToropov
Brandon , for the record my view is what is good for the goose is good for the gander. The same standards equally apply to the Jesus articles.--Urchid 13:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)


Now, seriously, whats wrong with the muslim belife of Islam existing befor its last Prophet?? --Striver 12:54, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Nothing just as there is is nothing wrong with inserting non muslims belief that this is an anachronism.--Urchid 13:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

So you wana add:

" though this latter assertion is belived to be an anachronism by some historical scholars"

In that case you have muslim "belive" and non-muslims also "belive"...

As somebody sugested, why not try to add "however, the roundness of the earth is diputed by the "flat earht society".

The proposed edit does not belong in this article, in my view, because we are not stating as a fact that anything related to Islam existed before Muhammad. We are talking about what Muslims believe about Muhammad. If that's not relevant to this article, nothing is relevant to this article.
Again, if you are eager to make a point about the shortcomings of religious belief in comparison to scientific or historic analysis, please try revising Jesus first and report back. 19:46, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Allow me to point out that even though I'm not a Muslim, I believe I understand WHY Muslims claim that Islam existed before Muhammad. If it is true that human beings find their peace and satisfaction in submission to God, then that is true for the whole history of the human race. It's inherent in the nature of things, like the law of gravity. Newton didn't invent gravity, he just stated it mathematically. Darwin didn't invent evolution, he just explained it. Just so, traditional Buddhists believe that there were Buddhas before the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, because the Buddhist teaching, the Dharma, is true at all times and places. Muhammad's insistence that he wasn't discovering something new, he was just restating something that people had been finding and losing for millenia -- well, that makes sense from a religious standpoint. If you see religion as a gigantic cognitive error, then of course this is going to seem completely bogus. Zora 20:02, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Well put!!! Count me in for what Zora said, only, you know, pretend like I actually wrote it. BrandonYusufToropov 18:52, 4 May 2005 (UTC)


This is a "boo" word that does not belong in the opening paragraph, or probably anywhere else in this context. Consider:

George W. Bush assumed office as the 43rd President of the United States, having claimed to win the 2000 presidential election.

Would that opening stand for long? I think not.

Re: Muhammad's experience, a formulation like "reported" or "told those close to him" of visits from the Angel Gabriel should certainly suffice. 12:57, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

"reported" or "told those close to him" sounds fine to me. --Striver 13:02, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

agreed --Urchid 13:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Amended Introduction

I rewrote the intro to incorporate all points of view discussed. I believe it provides a fair presentation of information that not only captures the Muslim POV but also Non Muslim as well. If you have any comments I will be hearing from you on short order.--Urchid 00:04, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, no, it's not OK. For one thing, it repeats info that follows later, in two versions. Yours makes three, which is too much. You seem to have a fierce focus on the opening paragraph and YOUR edits, without much concern for what's in the rest of the article. Zora 02:45, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
The latest version was an attempt at coming up with text which was fair to all points of view, yours and others. I upheld Wikipedia policy layed out in the NPOV article. So why not allow other POVs in this article besides the one you are so determinedly trying to uphold in these series of articles. I don't get your dogged refusal to open your mind to other POVs (such as the POV of non Abrahamistic faiths) and your apparent determination to block every non-muslim POV edit using any PRETEXT you can think of. This seems contradictory to the very assertions of "tolerance" so often used by Muslims to portray their faith. Is the lesson to learn that ISLAM IS INHERENTLY INTOLERANT OF OTHER POINTS OF VIEW? That seems to be the message that is being heard loud and clear. You also keep repeating that you are buddhist , that is really perplexing to me, I am accustomed to expect a great deal of open-mindedness from Buddhists. --Urchid 05:21, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

I read the para to which you objected again, and decided that it did give an overall impression of piety. None of the sentences in themselves are objectionable -- they're all NPOV -- it's just the way things are grouped. So, I think I understand what bugs you, Urchid. But I don't think your edits really fix the "problem", nor is your attitude helping anyone else see what you see. If you'd arrived and said, "There's something wrong with the first para, what can we do to fix it?" I think you'd have gotten less resistance. But instead you arrive, call us names, and engage in revert wars to impose fixes that don't work.

I think we could probably fix it by taking out everything that relates to "how Muslims view Muhammad, how they refer to him, etc." and perhaps using it to end the article, instead of the current ending, which is a bit triumphalist. We'd have to keep the "non-Muslims view as founder, Muslims view as renewer" bit, as that relates to why he's encyclopedia-worthy, but the rest could be postponed, instead of being put front and center. I think that would address your concerns, without being as repetitive and strident as the para you keep proposing. Zora 08:54, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

lol. Urchid, Zora isnt muslim... --Striver 12:24, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Suggested intro

Muhammad listen (Arabic محمد, also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, and formerly Mahomet, following the Latin). 7th century Arabian theological leader of the

Muhammad never did theology. That's a later development in Islamic thought.

faith of Islam who is said to have received revelations from God through the intermediary of an angel while meditating in a cave near Medina Arabia.

too much detail; not necessary here, and covered twice later

He is revered by Muslims who believe him to be the final prophet of the God of the Abrahamic family of religions.

you're confusing ideas about God with the thing/process/experience/whatever to which you're pointing when you use words and ideas.

According to his traditional Muslim biographies (called sirah in Arabic), he was born c. 570 in Mecca (or "Makkah") and died June 8, 632 in Medina (Madinah), both cities in northern Arabia. His name is Arabic for "he who is highly praised".

Muhammad is widely believed to be the founder of the religion of Islam. Pious Muslims consider that his work merely clarified and finalized what they term as the "true religion", building on the work of other prophets of Abrahamic monotheism. Some have claimed that the religion of Islam had existed before the time of Muhammad though this latter assertion has been challenged as an anachronism by secular historians. Muslims will often give him the title Rasūlu 'llāh, "messenger of God", and follow his name in speech and in writing with the phrase sallallahu `alayhi wa s-salām, or, if using English, "peace be upon him".--Urchid 12:56, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

All this stuff can be split up.
I've got too much on my plate right now, but perhaps I can do a trial re-org AFTER I finish my current proofreading job, then post the trial on my user page. Zora 14:01, 5 May 2005 (UTC)


He is revered by Muslims who believe him to be the final prophet of the God of the Abrahamic family of religions.
you're confusing ideas about God with the thing/process/experience/whatever to which you're pointing when you use words and ideas.

Don't follow you there Zora. The line before yours very accurately reflects reality as I have seen it— on three continents (four or five, if you count meeting Muslims who live there) and in all sorts of sub-configurations; Shia, Sunni...that's what the common Muslim believes. They might be deluded/wrong/technically in the wrong; but that's what they believe.

Am I misunderstanding you?iFaqeer (Talk to me!) 19:39, May 5, 2005 (UTC)

Probably I wasn't clear. I wrote it late at night, thought it looked too Buddhist (don't mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon), but didn't have the energy to unpack it further. OK, lemme try.
When polytheists are arguing, it can go two ways. One polytheist dismisses the other's gods as mere human fabrications, while claiming that his/her gods are REAL. Or, as more often happened, one polytheist claims that the other side's gods may have different names and histories, but they are REALLY the same gods. (Roman mythology grafting itself onto Greek.)
When monotheists argue with polytheists, they say that their one god is the only real one, and the other gods are delusions (the usual position of the Abrahamic religions). Or sometimes, they'll say that the polytheists' gods are debased and confused versions of the REAL god.
When monotheists argue with monotheists, they usually agree that they've both got it right in supposing that there's only one god, but attack each other's version of that god. Sometimes you get monotheists taking the tack that their version of god is REAL, but their opponents worship a false god (Christians attacking Muslims), but this is usually a popular rather than philosophical approach.
When atheists argue with monotheists or polytheists, they usually dismiss the whole idea of god/gods as delusion, lumping the monotheists and polytheists into one category. (Pre-modern Buddhism usually took a slightly different tack, accepting that there were gods, but seeing them as just as enslaved by natural cycles and processes as anything else.)
Urchid says he's trying to avoid POV, but calling the conception of god advanced by the Abrahamic religions, "the Abrahamic god", he's implying either the condescending version of monotheism (my god is real, but their god is the Abrahamic god, a false god) or atheism (it's all delusion, the Abrahamic god is just one kind of delusion). From everything else he's said, he's of the "it's all delusion" persuasion. So he's in the position of advancing his POV by belligerently asserting that he's NPOV and everyone else is POV. The usual thing in Wikipedia <g>.
Writing about religion is walking through verbal minefields, and I believe that Urchid has laid a mine with his phrasing. Zora 22:19, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Not quite Zora . The phrasing I used is aimed at describing the assertions related to Mohamed from an universal NPOV, one that neither endorses or denies the allegations being presented but rather considers the facts that are self evident to all POVs regardless of personal convictions. The only way to refer to "GOD" without implying endorsement or denial is to define the scope of the word GOD in the context of its use , that is the God of abrahamic monotheism. When monotheists, polytheist, atheist and even theoretical physicists can all read the text and understand what is being said clearly then we wrote it right.--Urchid 00:49, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
The Muhammad article is not the place to argue whether or not there is such a thing as "god" or "gods". Seems to me that you're trying to drag that argument here. The matter is quite thoroughly discussed at God and surely a link to the article would point a reader in the direction of that argument.
@#$%$, I don't have TIME for this, but here's a proposed intro para:

Muhammad About this sound listen  (Arabic محمد, also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, and formerly Mahomet, following the Latin) was an Arabian religious and political leader. Non-Muslims consider him the founder of Islam. Muslims say that he is merely the final prophet of Islam, which they consider to have existed before Muhammad. According to traditional Muslim biographers, he was born c. 570 C.E. in Mecca (Makkah) and died June 8, 632 C.E. in Medina (Madinah); both Mecca and Medina are cities in northern Arabia.

There, reasons for being noteworthy, location in space and time, respectful of Muslim tradition, but I believe NPOV. The rest can go at the end, I haven't finished tweaking it. Zora 01:08, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Zora, I think you are over-analyzing. The like your description of the possible permutations—it taught me something new. But Urchid is right in saying that that's how Muslims see it. Maybe a better way of describing it (keeping your critique in mind) is that Muslims see Islam's understand of the divine as being in the same tradition as previous Abrahamic religions. Or something. Let me see if I can edit yoru proposed text and see if Urchid likes it:

Muhammad About this sound listen  (Arabic محمد, also transliterated Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, and formerly Mahomet, following the Latin) was an Arabian religious and political leader. Non-Muslims consider him the founder of Islam. Muslims say that he is merely the final prophet of Islam, which they consider to have existed before Muhammad and be in the same tradition as Judaism and Christianity. According to traditional Muslim biographers, he was born c. 570 C.E. in Mecca (Makkah) and died June 8, 632 C.E. in Medina (Madinah); both Mecca and Medina are cities in northern Arabia.

IFaqeer, your version is OK by me. I'd add only one thing: to be in the same tradition as .... Just to keep the parallelism, and to refresh the previous to in the reader's mind. But this is a tiny caveat.
Would you have the time to take the material that was omitted, and put it at the end of the article? A section on how Muslims regard Muhammad (use of PBUH after name, refusal to make images, or if images, face veiled, large hagiographic literature) would actually make a nice ending to the article. Of course then we'd have to put in a section re Muhammad being a demon from hell, in the view of medieval Christians, etc., but that might actually head off some of the vandalism. Zora 03:29, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Recent vandalism

Both the Muhammad and the Islam articles have been attacked by a vandal who is spoofing other editors and admins. He has been dubbed the doppelganger or impersonator vandal. He creates a new account that appears to be the account of a well-known editor or admin, (ChantingFox instead of Chanting Fox, for example) and copies the user and talk pages of the victim onto his new account. He then proceeds to vandalize his targets, all the while claiming to be "NPOVing" the article. I imagine that various folks are engaged right now in figuring out what IPs he's using, and blocking them. Zora 02:58, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

It's sad when someone's hatred towards a religion makes them spoof over 10 accounts and waste all that time for nothing.Yuber(talk) 02:59, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

announcing NPOV proposal, new policy

This is just to inform people that I want Wikipedia to accept a general policy that BC and AD represent a Christian Point of View and should be used only when they are appropriate, that is, in the context of expressing or providing an account of a Christian point of view. In other contexts, I argue that they violate our NPOV policy and we should use BCE and CE instead. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate for the detailed proposal. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:55, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Bold text

Banu Qurayza

Can someone please explain this to me.

--Striver 20:21, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Urchid's latest edits

Urchid, to the summary (which people keep trying to expand), you added:

  • That Muhammad was illiterate. That's too detailed for the summary; it's what most Muslims believe; but I believe I've read Western historians who say that it's unlikely that a merchant in those times would have been illiterate. Are you putting that in there as an accusation?
  • That he traveled only in Arabia. If we trust the Islamic sources, that's not true. He is supposed to have traveled to Syria. Perhaps other places, my memory is failing me here. Again, this sounds like an accusation -- country hick.

If you're going to try to whittle down religious figures, at least do some research! Zora 18:18, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well that Muhammad was illiterate is certainly the Muslim spin or POV on this story , it is one of the arguments for strenghthening the case of the "miracle of the Qu'ran".
That he would be literate on the basis of having been a merchand does not really follow. The third world is filled with illiterate merchants. Being a merchant does not imply literacy, but business sense. But I suppose , neither you, I or anyone else in this world will ever be able to prove any of the claims you and your revisionist fellow travellers are weaving into these series of articles.
The question arises ,though is why would Mohamad have to memorise the verses relayed to him by an Angel in a cave , if he could write them down. And where are his writings if he could write , does it not seem like those would have been considered sacred and preserved by his followers? And why has no one ever seen such an angel in a cave in arabia since. The muslims say that the revelation was final, but why did the angel have to go into hiding with bigfoot?
Well if you consider travelling the 600 miles to Syria by crossing the arabian desert and back as "widely travelled" then fine. Of course I supposed he could have taken a ship ride up the red sea , gone through egypt , crossing the levant to get to Syria.
When are you converting to Islam, Zora, or are you already wearing a chador?--Urchid 23:12, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, right now I'm wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt that's frayed on the edges. Nope, no chador that I can see. Zora 00:11, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, it's fraying so you'll need a new shirt soon... so why not just go for jilbaab and replace it all in one action? gren 03:10, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"more than likely on a camel" - LOL! Nice of you to make it obvious that you're making it up as you go along, at least... - Mustafaa 23:46, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Urchid I don't see the relevance of your talk page comments. We are not here to debate whether the revelations were true or completely fabricated. Your edits were very insignificant and pointless. What does it matter if he traveled on a camel or on an Arabian horse?Yuber(talk) 23:57, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No Yuber its a camel , no arabian horse would survive that trip through 600 miles of desert, I guess we, undecapitaded infidels, still manage to compare the real world with all the contradictory revisionist propaganda that has been woven into this article. --Urchid 00:48, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There are oases on the way to Syria, I've been to many of them. I think I will stop taking your comments seriously now, you are not worth the response.Yuber(talk) 00:55, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Actually it is who you volunteered your two cents in this discussion, I certainly did not ask for your opinion.--Urchid 02:14, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Urchid, I ask that you be more polite. This is a talk page for an article and no one's opinion has to be asked for. Thank you. gren 03:10, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Gren and the bolded statements from Yuber and Zora above are what?.--Urchid 04:53, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Urchid, I was saying that you seem to be accusing Muhammad of being a country hick, not that YOU are. Zora 06:43, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Brandon's recent edit

Brandon, we've usually gotten along, and I hope our collaboration will survive my latest revert. I think you lost sight of the overall goal when you expanded the summary section. It is NOT meant to be the main article. If you add too much detail, you end with an article that says the same things twice. Nor is it right to add Muslim triumphalist rhetoric to the summary (Number 2 and growing!). Finally, one of the reasons for the summary was to put down a list of the things that even the most sceptical of Western scholars would accept. There are many scholars who believe that we do not really know all that much about Muhammad, and that much of what Muslims think they do know is later fabrication, whether in the service of hagiography, or to explain obscure passages in the Qur'an (inventing occasions of revelation), or for political reasons, or as a basis for fiqh. One of the reasons that I split the article into summary and main section was to separate the version that even the skeptics would accept from the expanded version that Muslims prefer. Please don't lose sight of the distinction.

OK? Still good buds? Zora 20:57, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

POV sticker added

A brand new user just slapped a POV sticker on the article, without justifying it on the talk page at all. I trust that some justification is coming. Zora 05:37, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Why the POV tag

This article is representing a single Islamic POV. It does not present the POV of editors who disagree with the assertions made. Discussion page is littered with evidence of this. The current page POV is held by force by a number of pro-islamic editors who do not allow any alternate POV, and who even block the tag itself from the page. Thus the tag.--Clrhayt 23:26, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I am inclined to remove the tag as you are a brand new user with seemingly no experience on Wikipedia.Yuber(talk) 23:27, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is not an argument. If you want to claim the page is POV, present specifics, not hand-waving generalities. - Mustafaa 23:29, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Are you kidding ? This page is so POV , you could use it as a sermon in a mosque. I haven't been able to get any alternate POV in this page for weeks. The usual gang of pro-islam thugs goes into an immediate revert war whenever I try to add any other POV. The POV tag should have been inserted a long time ago.--Urchid 23:41, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hmm... I think I see another paragraph of hand-waving generalities. Specifics please? - Mustafaa 23:52, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You might start by reading the discussions above , you might note all the concerns I or others have raised that have been bullied down through ganging up in revert wars.--Urchid 00:10, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I see no arguments for a POV tag above - and still no specifics... It looks like none will be forthcoming from you. - Mustafaa 00:15, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I believe this article can have a tag... I do not think it is horrible but there are some things that I believe could be helped. I would make it {{POV}} because the factual accuracy isn't really wrong but it is Sunni Islam slanted some... I do think that Urchid, based on his other edits wants it to have no "Islamic slant" but... there will always be the appearance of an "Islamic slant" as he calls it in the nature of the subject matter, we are not going to open with "Muhammad was a terrorist who has incited modern Muslims to violence according to Daniel Pipes" because... that's just bad... surely we could cite something along those lines but this article is about Muhammad who is only important because he is a famous Muslim... that is his foremost role... I do think we could use to show some of what Goldziher, Schacht, Wansbrough, Cook, Crone, Rippin, Berg (mentioned in the article say) critical of Sira's use or something along those lines... the Muhammad was a terrorist stuff (if that's what the doubledispute tagger wants added) is rubbish along the lines of Jesus was a big faker who drank too much wine and preached some. Err, historically Muhammad is understood as a prophet in fact I am reading the 1995 Britannica encyclopedia article about him and it is far more "single Islamic POV" than this article is... gren 03:20, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't want to get bogged down in a flame-war, here (though i have a feeling that it's inevitable) but just wanted to chime in a bit...old reader, new contributor. Urchid - your rhetorical tactics are unnecesarialy confrontational and obtuse. When the slightest disagreement arises, you immediately denounce large swaths of people as 'revisionist travelers', if that even makes sense. Every article about religion or history or other subjects in which facts are difficult to prove is going to be contentious, and writing every assertion as some kind of über-PC inclusion of every POV known to man is impossible and silly. A more cooperative and consensus-driven approach might go farther in this kind of community. That said, I fear being lumped into the group of 'bullies' that are 'ganing up' on you (trust me, it's only in your mind).

Also, I find it interesting that while you lambasted Zora for her wording of the assertion of a BELIEF which is DEMONSTRATABLY HELD by Muslims (ie you can't really argue with it), you also have made multiple claims with either no proof, dubious proof, or simply your own reasoning based on limited facts (ie that long-distance desert travel with horses is somehow impossible, despite the fact that it is routinely done).

Sorry if this seems un-constructive... --Lance 20:08, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

His name

Since I started reading the Britannica article to respond to some criticisms of this article's POV (not that Britannica is perfect, but it is a good reference point for what encyclopedic is, I think it might also have a lot more content about Islam in general than we do)... but it states "Muhammad (in full Abū al-Qāsim Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allāh ibn 'Abd al-Muţţalib ibn Hāshim" (the 'h' in Muhammad has the same diacritic mark as under the t in Muţţalib — I just can't find how to reproduce it) Should this be added to the article? Where does this come from? etc. etc. gren 03:35, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

We have all this except for Abul-Qasim already; see the "Muhammad's genealogy" section. - Mustafaa 17:08, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I that's fine... I doubt he's ever called by his more full Arabic name... so splitting it up is fine I'd suppose. gren 20:42, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Re: I'd like to write down a note about something which many people don't realize, it is about the Arabic expression <Allah>, which is the same used by Arab Christians to describe 'God' in the Christian belief. So <Allah> as a word doesn't refer to any but the same which the English word <God> refers to, whatever it was by the thing/process/experience. menSh 21:35, 8 Jun 2005 (GMT)

Indeed. See Allah. - Mustafaa 22:30, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)


' This article didn't mention any about the miracles Muhammad came with - which looks like: " Hey.. there's something you missed here! "

When anyone of us may hear about someone who claims Prophecy: Looking for the proofs (the miracles) he brought is among the first actions our minds jump to. And thus; I think that we have to mention some of what Muhammad brought as miracles.

There are hundreds of scholars who wrote in the past and continue writing on this subject. Entire books and volumes have been devoted to this subject. And so, we can pick up some to be added to our Wikipedia which will help enriching the info this article presents.

There are some who have mentioned his miracles and especially the miracle of the Qur’an as proofs of his prophethood. Some others have mentioned the prophecies of previous prophets about his coming as mentioned in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some have also mentioned prophecies in other ancient religious literatures of Hindus, Buddhists. Some have based the proofs on the Prophet’s own character, teachings and his achievements. This is indeed a vast subject and can be discussed in many different ways. It is important to know the proofs of his prophethood. Through this knowledge one can distinguish the true prophet from those who make false claims.

For sure; adding those info without commenting on them is the best to do, to not fall in the trap of judging his message and affecting the reader's opinion/view. In another way: showing this side of the man's life - as long as it is recorded in his biography - ; would help establishing the noble aim of this free encyclopedia: Neutral point of view. ' menSh 13:05, 9 Jun 2005 (GMT)

This article does mention his principal miracle, and the only one which is certain: the Qur'an. The few other miracles claimed in the Hadith are much less certain, and prophecies of his coming in ancient religious literatures even less so; but if you want to try and put together something on the topic, it could be interesting... - Mustafaa 17:12, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
He never claimed that he performed any of the miracles. He always maintained that it was God, or Angels, or whatever. The Water from thin air one though, thats got a good few witnesses, doesn't it? --Irishpunktom\talk 22:23, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

Michael H. Hart

Michael H. Hart surly is not irrelevant...

gives 1 830 000 hits--Striver 08:53, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"to date over 60,000 copies of the book have sold"

If it's being sold at a discount at Walmart, well, yes, it might have sold a few thousand copies. But that doesn't make it a best-seller, not does it mean that the book has any reputation in the scholarly or journalistic communities. Zora 20:34, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ok :)

--Striver 08:53, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Muhammad and his slaves section

Here is the suggested slave section: "Muhammad owned slaves who were prisoners from battle, captured non-believers and their children.

The names of Muhammad's slaves were :Ab Kabsha, Abu Ayb, Abu Muwayhiba, Abu Rafi , Abu Waqid, Aflah, Anjasha al-Hadi, Dhakwan, Fadala Yamamin, Fadila, Hunayn, Karkara, Kasam, Khadra, Mabur, Mad am, Mary the Coptic, , Maymuna daughter of Abu Asib, Maymuna daughter of Sa d, Mirwan, Rabah, Radwa, Rayhana, Razina, Salih, Salma Um Rafi , Sanad, Tahman, Thawban, Ubayd, Um Damira, Waqid, Yakan Abu Sharh, Yara Nubyan, Zayd Ibn Haritha."--Urchid 10:36, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I completely trust that this information is accurate, but I'm not sure I see why it would be included. I'm sure denial of this section would be interpreted as precise evidence of the pro-Islam bias here, but I think it's just not all that relevant. Slaves and servants were owned by almost anyone who could afford them at the time and in the society...So while that may be perfectly true, it can easily be seen as an attempt to make him seem like a bad guy in our modern, (mostly)slave-condemning societ(y/ies). If there is some other reason to include it, please fill me in. --Lance 20:16, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree - though I'm less sure it's accurate. Several names look misspelled, and at least some I know to have been freed later. - Mustafaa 21:08, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Just to be as clear as possible - i meant that i have no idea if it's accurate, so I would assume it's coming from someplace other than thin air - that is, not to imply that I have any knowledge on the subject. Lance

Evidence for being first written constitution?

Some has added a factoid re the Compact of Medina being the world's first written constitution. This seems unlikely to me -- writing has been around for a long time, and people have been drafting agreements for a long time -- and it's unsourced. Also, I vaguely recall some controversy as to whether there's any evidence that the text dates from Muhammad or is actually a later creation. I haven't removed the claim, but I'd like to see a source and some arguments re date of creation. Zora 21:18, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I added that in Constitution, so it could have been drefted here because of that. Perhaps It should state earliest known Written Constitution. Anyway, I replaced a phrase that stated King Johns was the first, which we know from the Constitution of Medina to be untrue, but I've read from varying sources that Muhammads was the first. The main source for the Written Constitution of Muhammad's is the Sirat Rasul Allah, by Ibn Ishaq. Read This. Not sure about the controversy, but thats not to say there is none. --Irishpunktom\talk 22:17, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

Order of the companions

GNU4ever, the companions are in alphabetical order because there's no other way to list them that doesn't upset someone. If you put the first four caliphs recognized by the Sunni first, then a Shi'a is going to put Ali first. After several rounds of that, we put the names in alphabetic order. Zora 12:34, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I understand why it was done, but keep in mind a couple of things. The reason I'm listing the Caliphs first is because clearly that's how the article says they're listed, "The first four companions listed below were also the first four leaders (caliph) of the Muslim community after Muhammad's death".
Oy, oy, need to fix that! Zora 22:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Aamir was not one of the first four caliphs, unless my view on Islamic history is quite flawed <g>. Secondly, and this is not meant to offend anyone, but Wikipedia articles should not be getting hijacked from smaller interest groups. When a person thinks of Islam (either of that person is Sunni or not Muslim), they think of the Sunni perspective (with good reason, since that's about 85% of people who consider themselves Muslim).
Minority viewpoints (as long as they're held by a significant number of people -- undefined, but Shi'a are significant) get exactly the same consideration as majority viewpoints. Wikipedia reports the controversy, it doesn't ajudicate it. Zora 22:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I understand and am fully comfortable with that, but what I'm saying is that the way the articles are presented currently, it seems like one has to watch their step every time they contribute to the article. As I've commented elsewhere, I just strongly dislike the butchering and am fully in favour of presenting all the viewpoints, as long as its done coherently. --GNU4Eva 23:23, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ask any non Muslim with a slight understanding of history and they'll say Abu Bakr was the first leader after Muhammad. Indeed he was; if you consider the Muslim nation/empire as just that, an empire, who was the first leader after Muhammad? Even the Shias would have to say it was Abu Bakr. The validity of his claims to leadership and the quality of leadership he showed while Caliph is another point on its own, but he definitely was the leader of the Muslims and this cannot be disputed. *edit* I'm not saying that Shias and other groups should not have a voice, I'm just saying that every single message should not be diluted to please everyone. --GNU4Eva 13:40, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The order in which the companions are listed is a comparatively trivial matter -- why not be polite? I don't regard this as dilution. On the controversial issues, we shouldn't waffle, of course; give both sides, not one. But giving Sunni and Shi'a versions of the list of companions would be ... ridiculous. Zora 22:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If this was the only issue than it would definitely be a moot point; however, ever since I've returned to Wikipedia, all I've seen is, "Such and such a person did this, but the Shias believe this", and IMHO it's gotten out of hand. --GNU4Eva 23:23, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

GNU, you've been working on some early Islamic biography articles, and those are some of the most contentious. Shi'a and Sunni have diametrically opposite views of the first three caliphs, Aisha, etc. Striver is trying to put Shi'a views into Wikipedia by filling up those biographical articles with Shi'a viewpoints. It's repetitive and wearing, I admit. I have tried to pull the controversy OUT of the biographical articles and into articles like Succession to Muhammad and History of Islam, etc. I also mean to write Fitna (first Islamic civil war). I just have a tendency to get over-committed to Wikipedia projects. I start things and don't finish them. We absolutely cannot remove Shi'a views from Wikipedia just because they're a minority -- neither is it very useful to turn many of the Islamic articles into Sunni-Shi'a arguments. It's a matter of presentation, not to be solved by censorship. Praps you can think of ways to present the controversy without overwhelming the reader. Zora 01:16, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Again, I want to stress the fact that I am not suggesting censorship in anyway. It's just a matter of diluting and arguing points ad naseum (sp?) to the point that the articles are no longer readible. As for what I think should be done, take a look at the modifications made to the Umar ibn al-Khattab article. (On a side note, I truly appreciate the work you've done and I can see how much energy you've put into this. I hope it hasn't been a source of overwhelming frustration for you!!!!!) --GNU4Eva 01:45, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Prophetic career -- prophecy

Another anon changed a section title, Muhammad begins his prophetic career, to Mohammad begins his prophecy. This is the second time someone has changed it, and I'm guessing it's because I'm using "career" in an older sense, either "life's work" or "course of action" or even "path", whereas it's most used these days as "job". So I changed the section title to something plainer. I won't use "prophecy" in the sense of "prophetic career", because it's confusing -- it's usually used for a prophet's utterances. Of course, there may be other and better section titles -- I'll go with anything as long as it reads well and isn't POV.

I also removed a bit the anon added re "prophets are always persecuted" because it sounds pietistic rather than sociological. Zora 14:27, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the title of the heading "Beginning of his prophecy" because he didn't really start "preaching" at the time. Preaching seems a controversial term in this case. So I think that title is accurate and it doesn't refer to "career" or "preaching". Thanks. --Anonymous editor 18:34, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think that's a good title, because the main meaning of the word is one specific utterance. The definition in Merriam-Webster is:
1 -- an inspired utterance of a prophet
2 -- the function or vocation of a prophet; specifically : the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose
3 -- a prediction of something to come
You want to use prophecy as in 2, but the way the title reads, "the beginning of his prophecy" could just as easily refer to the first few words of a revelation or a prediction. Since the first meaning of the word is the primary one, that's the way many people are going to read the phrase. It's unclear, and as a copyeditor I protest! If you don't like "preaching", surely there's another possible title ... how about "Muhammad receives a revelation"? Zora
You are right about the different meanings. Perhaps "Muhammad recieves his revelation" or something along those lines. I just can't think of one that would perfectly describe this. I will consider any that you propose and think of some options in the meantime. Thanks.--Anonymous editor 19:21, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

"begining of the prophetic carrer" ?

--Striver 19:53, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Zora, I think the title you just put was good. To be honest, I liked Prophetic Career; but I think I personally prefer "Transition to Prophethood" --GNU4Eva 00:19, 27 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Striver on a rampage

I just reverted to a version before Striver inserted his "Muhammad's family tree" at the head of the article. He has apparently decided, without any consultation with other editors, to reorganize all the early-Islam-related biographical articles, redirecting, renaming, and adding genealogies to the top of the articles. Frex, he moved Aisha to Aisha binte Abu Bakr. He is also editing all the biographical articles to reflect a Shi'a POV -- an extremely angry and aggrieved Shi'a POV -- in which all the opponents of Ali are bastards, poisoners, or deep-dyed villains of various sorts. I have long felt that the Islamic articles were Sunni-biased and I originally welcomed the participation of Shi'a, to redress the bias. I don't think this is what I wanted. HELP! Zora 30 June 2005 01:10 (UTC)

Hi Zora!
I felt the "family tree" was a good idea... it gives a larger view on the people... am i mistaken? Maybe it shouldent be on top?`
The redirecting and renaming was a natural conclusion i reach after writing all the sahaba's, trying to standardice the articles a bit...
About being poisoners... well it did happend, so i dont get the problem? Whould anybody object to writing that Hitler was responsible for gasing people? If not, why are you objecting to me stating what killed the Sahabas? Isnt it relevant to know how they died?

--Striver 30 June 2005 01:17 (UTC)
Striver I said this to you recently and I will say it again: Please refrain from bias and respect both Sunni and Shia views. Not discussing your major edits to articles is very unfair to the other editors whether they be Shia, Sunni or non-Muslim. Thank you and salaam. -Anonymous editor June 30, 2005 01:21 (UTC)
Ok brother, i apologize. I assumed the additions of the "family tree" would be welcomed by all, however i was mistaken. Or is it so that the idea is just fine, but not consultin befor changing a major article was wrong?
I guess that after having worked for more that 5 houres in a row on several minor sahaba articles, i got used to making changes befor consulting or being felt disruptive. In the future, ill consult more in the talk pages befor changing the major articles. However, i will continue to change smaller articles without consultation. It just whould go to slow otherwise.
So, now im consultin: What do you think about the "family tree"? Doesnt it give a great oversight?
ma salam!
--Striver 30 June 2005 01:29 (UTC)
Okay Striver. My problem with the family tree is that it should be written in a more Neutral manner, spellings need to be corrected, certain format needs to be changed and that it is too spaced out. I don't see anything wrong with the current information about Muhammad's (pbuh) family. These are my concerns with the family tree but I am sure others have greater concerns than me. Thanks. --Anonymous editor June 30, 2005 01:35 (UTC)

Family trees are good ideas, but they should be separate pages, not the first thing on each biographical article. We need pages for Arab tribes as a whole, for the Quraysh, for Muhammad and Ali, for the Hashemites, for the Ummayads, for the early Abbasids ... However, the formatting could be difficult. If it's too spaced out you can't take it all in at a glance, and if it's too compact you can't squeeze in too many generations before you run out of room. Are there any family trees elsewhere on Wikipedia that could serve as models? Zora 30 June 2005 01:44 (UTC)

I just hade a look att Zora's version on Ali (pbuh) and made a similar version. You are welcome to improve on my work!
--Striver 30 June 2005 01:46 (UTC)
Striver has made the tree into a separate article. Here is a list of family trees that can serve as a template.[3]. Hope that helps. When you guys start editing the tree I will be happy to help. Thanks. --Anonymous editor June 30, 2005 01:49 (UTC)

Not to mention unsubstantiated claims on minor articles like Muawiyah I as well. ! I doubt they'll all ever be NPOVed. gren 30 June 2005 02:34 (UTC)


The Prophet Muhammad was born on Friday before sunrise on the 17th of Rabi `u 'l-Awwal in the `Year of the Elephant', 570/71.

According to Sunni tradition, he was born on Monday. Traditionists have, however, differed concerning the date. Some said it was on the second night of Rabi'u'l-Awwal, others on the tenth. This was after thirty-four years and eight months of the reign of Anushirwan son of Qubad, King of Persia, who killed Mazdak and exterminated the Dualists.

--Striver 1 July 2005 19:57 (UTC)

List of praise names

Praise names aren't really part of Muhammad's genealogy, and they were getting longer than the genealogy. So I did something I've been meaning to do for some time -- I added a short section re the Muslim view of Muhammad, and linked it to an article I'm just about to start, re Muslim veneration of Muhammad. The praise names can go into that article -- as well as all the folk tales, etc., that people keep wanting to add here. If the name is wrong, the article can be moved.

For fairness' sake, I added a yet-to-be-written section re non-Muslim views of Muhammad, which, if the rest of you decide to keep it, should be strictly limited in size. If the people who loathe and despise Muhammad want to dilate on the subject, we can set up another article, which should be a NPOV review of non-Muslim views of Muhammad, pro and con, and not a opportunity to indulge in POV flaming.

It could be that I am much too idealistic in thinking that the critics will consent to have the size of non-Muslim views section limited, or the section kept NPOV. If having these sections ON the Muhammad page is a bad idea, we can remove them and just put all the material into spin-off articles.

I do think that it's useful for Wikipedia users to get some idea of how many Muslims feel about Muhammad. Zora 3 July 2005 00:45 (UTC)

Zora, although I like most of the modifications that you made to the article, I really don't think that it is a good idea to make a non-Muslim attitudes towards Muhammad as it will be incredibly hard to keep NPOV and I doubt that most people will listen to this being "not a opportunity to indulge in POV flaming." Yes, I do think it is a wee bit idealistic :). I really don't think there is a reason for this as Muhammad does not form a large part of any other religion. Nonetheless, this will just be an oppurtunity for some to spark flame wars. I think you know what I mean. You had good intentions, but not everyone will. Thanks, --Anonymous editor July 3, 2005 01:17 (UTC)
Muhammad holds an important place in secular history as well as religious importance in the Bahá'í Faith. While this will probably run into POV problems, any important figure attracts those. I mean, just look at the Jesus article >.> Anyway, I just observe this article mostly.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 02:10 (UTC)
True. Perhaps a smaller "how other religions involve Muhammad in their beliefs" type article should be given. Anyways, yes, I know POV problems are a big issue in Islam-related articles especially and I am glad that you are observing this. That helps safeguard this from a barrage of vandalism. ;) Thanks. --Anonymous editor July 3, 2005 02:27 (UTC)
Yes. It also may be possible to collect all of the notable criticsms of Muhammed in section as well, and also have a short blurb on how credible they are. (Pedophillia: not credible. Marrying young girl: Credible). Refrences are a must of course. If it is decided to go this route, we will all have to agree to be verrrrrry careful.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 04:22 (UTC)

Current edit conflict

There's been a large number of edits here lately, many by anon. editors. Anybody want to discuss things instead of constantly reverting?

No problem lance, there was a spread of POV edits from another Islam-related article (trying to make Muslims and Muhammad look like power-hungry maniacs/raiders), but that has been dealt with through step-by-step removal. Thanks for your caring attitude though. :) --Anonymous editor July 3, 2005 04:21 (UTC)
Anonymous editor is reverting all of my changes without any discussion. His assertion that this has something to do with some other article appears to be of a delusional nature. The fact of the matter is that he has stalked and followed me here from another article, and is now carrying over his uncooperative attitude here. --Zeno of Elea 3 July 2005 05:28 (UTC)
You are making edits without discussion and most of the stuff you are posting is trying to (once again) offend Muslims or make the article anti-Islamic. Sorry, even if that did work on Talk:Jihad from your POV, it will not work here. Btw, all of my edits have been explained in the edit summaries yours have not. Thanks. Anonymous editor July 3, 2005 05:32 (UTC)
You're moving quickly towards the need for Mediation. At any rate. If Islam doesn't want pictures of the human form, then we should probably should avoid such on articles in the ISLAM series. Anonymous editor is reverting a lot, but Zeno, you are adding POV, not more information generally speaking. Try discussion on talk page since edit warring might occur otherwise. Also, both of you should take a good look at WP:AGF--Tznkai 3 July 2005 05:35 (UTC)
  • "If Islam doesn't want pictures of the human form, then we should probably should avoid such on articles in the ISLAM series." I remind you that in many cultures, Muslims overlooked the prohibition on depictions of the human form, and did create art depicting humans and also depicting Muhammad and his companions. Muslims themselves created depictions of Muhammad. There is no one monolithic "Islam," but there certainly are fundamentalist and extremist interpretations of Islam. Culture in Persia, Turkey, and India led Muslims to create depictions of Muhammad. I fail to see why depictions of Muhammad should be prohibited from Wikipedia just because Muslim fundamentalists wish it to be this way, even though in more moderate Muslim cultures such art was accepted. Are fundmanetalist Muslims mandated by Wikipedia policy to enforce their interpretations of shar'iah on the content of Wikipedia articles relating to Islam?
  • "you are adding POV, not more information generally speaking. " I object to that suggestion. I added a great deal of additional historical information that was deleted by Anonymous editor. Furthermore, I felt that I REDUCED the POV of the article. Why you feel that you are the objective arbitrator of neutrality escapes me, especially in the absense of you specifying which exact edits of mine you believe increased POV. I have reported Anonymous editor's edit war [4], now someone else can sort it out. --Zeno of Elea 3 July 2005 06:00 (UTC)
The "great deal" of information you say you added was mostly trying to make Muslims and Muhammad look like power hungry raiders of sorts. Every single one of your edits was POV and usually considered replacing some words with other which were at times mispelled and you never discussed the edit. So I fail to see how adding objectionable material and a picture makes that article less POV. Thanks, --Anonymous editor July 3, 2005 14:23 (UTC)

Recent Images and Formatting Problems

Tznkai, adding the images seems to be messing up formatting of the article for you, as you stated. Unfortunately, I can't detect the problem because the formatting looks okay to me on my screen. Maybe it's a resolution problem. What resolution are you viewing the website at? --Zeno of Elea 3 July 2005 06:59 (UTC)

1400x1050 on Firefox. The major problem is with both images it causes a cluster of 3 edit links on the lower left hand corner of the map.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 07:03 (UTC)

Regarding images of Muhammad in this article, I think that the solution that has been used in the Bahá'u'lláh article might be worth considering. Stereotek 3 July 2005 08:33 (UTC)

I am against the use of that image in this article for what should be obvious reasons. El_C 3 July 2005 12:15 (UTC)
They are not to me. I have no investment in Islam either direction other than a general interest in comparitive religion. So please, enlighten me.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 18:55 (UTC)
It is a eurocentrist depiction from 1683, and is in poor taste. El_C 3 July 2005 22:00 (UTC)
I meant the devotional painting, not just the very pecuilar looking one.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 22:57 (UTC)
I take no issue with any other images at this time. El_C 4 July 2005 01:36 (UTC)
OK then. I just added that painting again. -- Stereotek


Since there has been endless censorship by the Pro Islam people on the Islam series of articles , what would you people think of creating a new series of articles called ISLAM/UNCENSORED , MUHAMMAD/UNCENSORED, etc. This will permit those editors who believe in accurate historical information to continue to build wikipedia and not get blanked out continuously.Here is an example Islam and Slavery Uncensored--Urchid 3 July 2005 16:15 (UTC)

(cc from Talk:Islam, where the same message was posted): How about trying to work out your disagreements with these editors constructively, through polite discussion and research, in order to create an article that all of you find acceptable? POV forks are generally deleted, and even if the title does contain the word "uncensored", creating them isn't going to convince anyone of your rightness—quite the opposite, in fact. —Charles P. (Mirv) 3 July 2005 16:57 (UTC)

WP:AGF Read it learn it , love it.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 18:53 (UTC)

Islam series

Why is Muhammad in the Islam series while Jesus is not in the Christianity series? I have no particular objection to either catagorization, I just prefer consistency.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 18:58 (UTC)

Zora's Revert

Zora, please explain why you have reverted my contribution to the "How do we know about Muhammad?" section. It is a simple fact that after reading the Qur'an and the all of the hadiths, you will not have a coherent picture of who Muhammad was or what he did (i.e. his biography). That information was collected in the sirah. It is also important to note that both non-Muslims historians and Muslims are skeptical of various parts of the Sira, and to explain why they are skeptical of certain content in the Sira. The original version also has far too much focus on the hadiths, and hadith rejecters, even though the study of Muhammad's life is based on the Sira, not the hadith. I also added information about the actual authorship of the Sira, which you also deleted (without explanation). Please eleborate on your reversion. --Zeno of Elea 3 July 2005 22:37 (UTC)

You make many spelling errors. Chronical instead of chronicle, for one. You seem to be under the impression that Ibn Ishaq is the ONLY source for the life of Muhammad -- not so. Read Madelung's amazing book, The Succession to Muhammad, for an example of what a Western scholar steeped in the old literature can do. You seem to have no acquaintance with what is currently "state of the art" in academic discussion of early Islamic history. (Not that I'm completely up on it either -- I'd have a PhD in it if I were -- but I seem to be somewhat more widely read than you are.) You use the pretense of discussing Ibn Ishaq to bring up a laundry list of charges against Muhammad, typical of your campaign of villification. I don't want this article to be a hagiography, but I certainly don't want it to be a indictment either.
If you want to discuss the reliability of Ibn Ishaq, go to his article. If you want to discuss the historiography of early Islam, go to that article. If you want to discuss Muhammad and free speech or Islam and free speech -- well, perhaps we should have an article on that. I don't think it's best covered in a biographical article. I have been trying to farm all disputes out into subsidiary articles, where they can be discussed at length -- and that approach seems to be generally accepted. That way we don't put off casual encyclopedia users who just want to know who Muhammad WAS, but we link to all the controversies and cover them in detail for the readers who are interested. It's like clicking on "level of magnification" in an Adobe Acrobat document. Zora 3 July 2005 23:13 (UTC)

Conflicting versions

I endorse neither version, but I am reverting the How do we know about Muhammad? section back to its original version because such a massive edit should be discussed first.

Original Version

The sources available to us for information about Muhammad are the Qur'an, the sira biographies, and the hadith collections. While the Qur'an is not a biography of Muhammad, it does provide some information about his life. The earliest surviving biographies are the Life of the Apostle of God, by Ibn Ishaq (d. 768), edited by Ibn Hisham (d. 833); and al-Waqidi's (d. 822) biography of Muhammad. Ibn Ishaq wrote his biography some 120 to 130 years after Muhammad's death. The third source, the hadith collections, like the Qur'an, are not a biography per se. They are stories of the words and actions of Muhammad and his companions.

Some skeptical scholars (Goldziher, Schacht, Wansbrough, Cook, Crone, Rippin, Berg, and others) have raised doubts about the reliability of these sources, especially the hadith collections. They argue that by the time the oral traditions were being collected, the Muslim community had fractured into rival sects and schools of thought. Each sect and school had its own sometimes conflicting traditions of what Muhammad and his companions had done and said. Traditions multiplied, and Muslim scholars made a strenuous effort to weed out what they felt were spurious stories. Traditionalists rely on their efforts; the skeptics feel that the question must be revisited, using modern methods. (See Historiography of early Islam.)

Muslim and non-Muslim scholars alike agree that there are many inauthentic traditions concerning the life of Muhammad in the hadith collections. (Indeed, most of these traditions are acknowledged by Muslim clerical authorities to be weak; only a few hadith collections are considered sahih, or reliable.) A very small minority called the "Quran Alone Muslims" consider all hadith as unreliable.

However, the historicity of the biographical material about Muhammad presented in the Summary above is not generally contested. Traditionalists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, paint a much more detailed picture of Muhammad's life, as described below.

New Version

The Qur'an does not chronical the life of Muhammad and is of limited, but nevertheless significant, use to historians of his life. The hadith literature is a collection of quotations attributed to Muhammad and his companions, and as such it also provides limited (but significant) biographical information. Essentially everything that is known about Muhammad's life, from an historical perspective, comes from the work of the Arab historian Ibn Ishaq (d. 768), in his monumental work titled "Sirat Rasul Allah" (the Life of the Prophet of God). Ibn Ishaq wrote his biography some 120 to 130 years after Muhammad's death, and his work survived only as it was quoted by the later Arab historians Ibn Hisham (d. 834) and Tabari (d. 923). In Islam, this collection of literature became known as the Sirah.

The Sirah is part biographical work, and part religious, devotional literature; the Sirah attributes numerous miracles to Muhammad, during his childhood, and both before and after his prophetic career. One traditionally famous story in the Sira relates that one day, when Muhammad was a child, he was alone in the desert and angels came to him, opened his chest, removed his heart and cleansed it with snow, and then the angels put his heart back and let Muhammad go. Thus, to varying degrees, historians are skeptical of the Sirah. Muslims too may often be skeptical of the Sirah. Indeed, there are problematic stories about Muhammad in the Sira, such as the massacre of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe, or his command to "kill any Jew that falls into your power" [1], or his murders of the poetess Asma bint Marwan and the old poet Abu 'Afak. Muslims may confront such problematic stories in the Sirah by being skpetical of the reliability of Ibn Ishaq's work.

However, the historicity of the biographical material about Muhammad presented in the Summary above is not generally contested. Traditionalists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, paint a much more detailed picture of Muhammad's life, as described below.


I don't know enough about the details to endorse either version based on factual accuraccy, I prefer the original's style..--Tznkai 3 July 2005 23:06 (UTC)

Hadith tells you all you need to know, if you have the time to go through all 100 000's of them... that is what ibn Ishaq did, whent through hadith. Maybe not all of them, but non the less. --Striver 3 July 2005 23:20 (UTC)
That is not true. Ibn Ishaq did not merely recompile and summarize the hadith. He related much information that is outside of the hadith. The Sira contains a LOT more than the hadith, including pre-Islamic history of Arabia, chronological details, artifacts of poetry and so forth. The hadith are quite different from the Sira. As factual evidence of the fact that Ibn Ishaq used sources other than the QUr'an and Hadith, I present an article, written by a Muslim, published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, titled "NEW LIGHT ON THE STORY OF BANU QURAYZA AND THE JEWS OF MEDINA" [5]. IN this article, the author explains in great detail the various sources that Ibn Ishaq used to collect information about the fate of the Banu Qurayza tribe. Throughout Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq explains his sources, which are more often than not ouside of the Qur'an and hadith. It is patently false that Ibn Ishaq's only sources were the Qur'an and hadith. As further evidence, I refer you to the Wikipedia article on Sira which states, "The sira literature include a variety of materials such as political treaties, military enlistments, assignments of officials, etc. which were recorded by successive generations of Muslims. In principle, the biographies of Muhammad would have been assembled from reports of what Muhammad did, just as what he said was recorded in the form of hadith. However, the sirah literature is technically different from hadith literature as it is in general not as concerned with validation through the chain of transmitters (isnad), although in the earliest sira many of the narratives are accompanied by isnads." --Zeno of Elea 3 July 2005 23:31 (UTC)
Tznkai, you say you endorse neither version, but you nevertheless reverted my edits and also said that "prefer the style" of the reverted version. I do not understand the basis of your revert. If there is something wrong with the style, then you can change the style without changing the factual content of the section. I have sourced every single fact presented in my version, so I don't see how anyone can question the factual accuracy. --Zeno of Elea 3 July 2005 23:52 (UTC)
The reversion is based on the fact that your change was major, and major changes should be discussed. I prefer the style of the previous version, refering to the consistent spelling, and general asthetic appeal. That in itself is not a reason for reversion, just personal prefrence. If the second version is proved factually accurate and NPOV, I will simply edit the style for consistent spelling.--Tznkai 3 July 2005 23:59 (UTC)
"If the second version is proved factually accurate and NPOV..." All claims have been thoroughly sourced, and this I have already pointed out to you. I have also discussed the changes at length, both in the edit comments and here. You have not demonstrated why the section is not NPOV, but have nevertheless reverted and are now using "NPOV" as an argument for reversion - doesn't make sense to me. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 00:53 (UTC)
Zeno, you are missing the point. You made a major edit. It seems to be contarversial. It seems to be against consensus. Discuss it!--Tznkai 4 July 2005 00:56 (UTC)
Tznkai, I HAVE discussed it, as the above text demonstrates. But you have not pointed out what "seems to be contraversial" and why. Furthermore, I do not see any demonstrated conensus on the matter. I have discussed every aspect of the edit, and accompanied with the sources. If you have specific criticisms, I would be glad to hear them. In fact, since you are so determined to revert my edit in this "How do we know about Mohammad" section, I request that you please DO provide a more specific criticism of what it is exactly that "seems to be controversial" and also please take note that a subject's percieved controversiality is not in and of itself a reason to censor discussion of said subject. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 02:31 (UTC)
Zeno, I said discuss, not monologue. Wikipedia works best by creating a consensus. There is no demonstrated consensus, as you said. Since this is a major edit which has been reverted by Zora, and I believe once by Anon, its clearly not considered ok by everyone here. A discussion involves dialogue between multiple parties.--Tznkai 4 July 2005 02:52 (UTC)
Alright, I have a position now. The new version's second paragraph reads POV, and also sounds like original research. Took a few good nights sleep for me to gain the mental acumen to read it critically, but now that I have, I can point out some problems should the principle OR criticsm be answered.--Tznkai 6 July 2005 16:31 (UTC)

Use of the term "pagan"

The problem with "pagan" is that it was originally a term of abuse, for country-dwellers in the Roman empire who didn't adopt Christianity. It became the term used for followers of the traditional Greek and Roman cults -- but it's always been a bit problematic in that regard.

Taking the same term and applying it to pre-Islamic Arabian religions is even more problematic. These folks didn't worship the Greek and Roman gods. They had their own gods. Nor were they one unified religion. Using pagan this way suggests that anyone who doesn't belong to one of the major religions, but follows an older and smaller tradition, is a "pagan" and a second-class citizen of the world of religion. Anthropologists just don't use the term, as it's too inexact.

To use it is to buy into the Islamic condemnation of previous faiths as pagans, idolators, infidels, etc. I don't agree with the Islamic attitude towards the "idolators", I think they deserve toleration and respect just as much as anyone else and even though they're all dead -- dang it, I'm gonna watch out for them <g>. Zora 4 July 2005 00:05 (UTC) (hopeless idealist)

Took a quick glance at the wikitionary entry and thought about it for a bit, and I think you're right. To me the term pagan refers to any small/traditional religion, but I realized thats an artifact of my anglo-euro-western-centricism and what not. Good call--Tznkai 4 July 2005 00:11 (UTC)
It's true that the term "paganism" is etymologically linked to a derisive word used to refer to rural dwellers who continued to believe in polythiesm after the rise of monotheism in Europe. So initially, a "pagan" was basically someone who believed in ancient Greek or Roman polytheism. It was also used derisively by the Christians. But today, the word is used as a technical term in the comparative study of religion. As such, the word "pagan" no longer carries its original derogatory context (more or less). I remind you that all English translations of the Qur'an liberally use the word "pagan" to refer to Arabs who neither Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim. No one will understand what "traditional Arab religion" means. FIRST of all, Arabs have believed in Christianity and Judaisms for hundreds of years before Islam came about. So technically speaking, Christianity and Judaism are also traditional Arab religions, in addition to the pre-Islamic, Arab paganism (which no longer exists today). I was referring specifically the people who are called "pagans" in the Qur'an, who believed in a polytheistic pantheon of gods, and who were eradicated with the rise of Islam; generally speaking, Muslims refer to Arabs pagans as "jahils" (barbarians), from the "jahiliya" (the time of barbarianism). Now, it would certainly be offensive to adopt the orthodox Islamic terminology on this subject, but I think "Arab paganism" does the job pretty well. There are people today who enthusaistically call themselves pagans, and I was not thinking "rural dwelling peasants" when I said "Arab pagans," I was merely trying to specifically refer to the extinct pagan Arab heritage. Your replacement of the phrase "Arab paganism" with "traditional Arab religion" does not make any sense because it is not specific enough; as explained, Judiasm and Christianity also fall into the "traditional Arab religions" and these religions are NOT extinct amongst Arabs (unlike Arabic paganism, which is extinct). I don't mean any offense by saying "paganism," this is a commonly used term in the comparative study of religion, and it is generally understood to now have semantic connotations beyond its Christian/Latin etymological history. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 00:31 (UTC)
It is POV, it is not used by anthropologists, and it is not used by careful scholars outside the Graeco-Roman context. If you don't like my replacements for pagan, fine -- we can think of different ones. But you can't just use a POV term and insist that it's OK because you don't mean any harm. How about "worshippers of Hudbal, Azzat, and other pre-Islamic gods"?
Bull****. "worshippers [... of ] pre-Islamic gods" roughly equates to "pagan". [throw in with that "pre-Christian and pre-Isreali gods". Mohammad was a pagan before his self-described revelation. It's pretty simple. This seems to be apologetics at it worst.
An acknolgement of Mohammad's good standing in his tribes non-abrahamic rituals and pratices should be made. It should be in the one of the early section parts of his life.
Bein pagan is not a "bad thing" ... that is a connotation that a one may subjectively put on it, but that should not be wikipedia's problem. The other path lead to delineating what is "is" and other insanity. JDR 09:55, 13 August 2005 (UTC)


There's no "fair use" for Wikipedia, because we give the material away. We let other sites mirror it, cockaroach text and pictures for their own use, etc. So if the owner wouldn't want the picture given away, we can't use it. I suspect that the owner of the copyright to the map didn't make it PD.

I'm not vouching for any of the other pictures, BTW. I didn't add them. I only upload stuff that's OK per the Supreme Court ruling that photos of PD 2-dimensional material can't be copyrighted. So photos of pre-1923 pictures are OK, but photos of statues aren't, since there's an element of "art" in picking the angle, lighting, etc.

If the map is pre-1923, it's OK. If it's later, it's not. Zora 4 July 2005 00:32 (UTC)

The map comes from someone's homepage at Princeton [6]. I figured if he was posting it like that on the web without infringing copyrights held by the map publisher, then Wikipedia could as well. I don't know much about copyright law though. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 00:39 (UTC)
Zeno, as the poster of the image, its your burden to establish its copywrite status. Please do so. Removing until that is done.--Tznkai 4 July 2005 00:41 (UTC)
Sounds complicated. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 00:44 (UTC)
Here [7] is a personal homepage at UPenn that also posts all the same maps. They were published in 1957, but in Amsterdam. Looks like everyone is posting them on the web. There must be a legal reason. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 00:48 (UTC)
The internet has a lot of illegal stuff on it. Its your responsiblity to be sure its legal or fair use..--Tznkai 4 July 2005 00:50 (UTC)
Accoridng to Zora, there is no such thing as "fair use" --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 00:57 (UTC)
Not the point! Go establish its legal status.--Tznkai 4 July 2005 00:58 (UTC)
I've established its legal status within Wikipedia's policy. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 01:17 (UTC)
No. No you have not. It is perfectly possible to determine what it is. Go find out. Find out who owns it, and find it if it is fair use.--Tznkai 4 July 2005 01:21 (UTC)
I already know who owns it, and I've also determined that it is fair use under US copyright law. But since I am not a lawyer, I have put the "fair use - unsure" tag instead of the "fair use" tag. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 01:31 (UTC)
How did you arrive at such a determination? El_C 4 July 2005 01:37 (UTC)
Ah, well, I looked at the fair use articles more carefully, and apparently I was wrong. What I am supposed to do in this situation is RECREATE the map. Luckily, I have at my disposal a public-domain, cartographic database available from the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), called CIA World DataBank II [8]. I also have the appropriate open-source software for reading and graphically manipulating the CIA provided cartographic database. Therefore, I will re-create the map myself, while avoiding any copyright or software licensing issues. --Zeno of Elea 4 July 2005 02:26 (UTC)

Isn't anyone else defending this article?

The review of historical sources now says that Ibn Ishaq is the only real source and then lists the usual accusations (pedophilia, massacre of Banu Qurayza, murdering critics, etc.). I hate to keep reverting to my own prose -- it seems rather egocentric. But do we just turn this article over to the Islam bashers? Zora 6 July 2005 03:35 (UTC)

Its more that you are doing such a excellent work defending it that some might have forgot to aid you :)
--Striver 6 July 2005 10:18 (UTC)
I tend not to be a very good writer to capture a NPOV. I do, however, know enough about the subject to tell what is correct or what is glossing over details to be excessively pro or anti-Islamic. Personally I'd revert to your Revision as of 18:34, 3 July 2005 and maybe re-add some of the information about the Qur'an's semi-useful-use in shedding light on Muhammad's life. That's just from my reading the differences between now and then... I'd have to give the rest a closer look before I could judge if it should have more changed. gren 6 July 2005 15:47 (UTC)
Zora, what real sources of historical information are there, other than Ibn Ishaq? The story of Muhammad is told in the sira, not the hadith and certainly not the Qur'an. Perhaps we should start with your claim that the Qur'an gives a biographical story of Muhammad. Please describe what historical information the Qur'an tells us about Muhammad - a few quotes from the Qur'an outlining the story of Muhammad would suffice. Also, are you saying that the issues of pedophilia, Banu Qurayza, and the murdered poets, are not to be discussed on Wikipedia? If so, why do you feel that discussion of such issues should be suppressed? --Zeno of Elea 23:22, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Are you aware of the substantial information on Muhammad's life given in both the hadith and the tafsirs? Or of the importance of al-Waqidi's early Sira? Or of the scepticism with which both early siras are viewed among Hadith scholars? Or, indeed, of the early non-Muslim sources, rarely detailed but nonetheless helpful, some predating John of Damascus? And why are you claiming that Zora says the Qur'an gives a biographical story of Muhammad, when she actually says "While the Qur'an is not a biography of Muhammad, it does provide some information about his life"? - Mustafaa 23:29, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

  1. What substantial biographical information about Muhammad's life is given in the hadith literature? Please cite examples.
  2. You have mentioned the tafsir literature. The tafsir literature is commentary on the Qur'an based on hadith and sira literature. Thus the tafsir uses the sira for biographical information on Muhammad.
  3. You have mentioned al-Waqidi's sira. I first note that the fact the sira literature is the source of biographical information about Muhamamd is not being contested. Furthermore, I note that Ibn Ishaq's sira pre-dates al-Waqidi's sira. A number of historians wrote sira literature after Ibn Ishaq, building on Ibn Ishaq's work - that much is not being contested.
  4. You have mentioned early non-Muslim sources. Please be more specific. In my studies, I have yet to come accross an early biography of Muhamamd written by non-Muslims. What helpful historical information do early non-Muslim sources give about the life of Muhammad? Again, please cite specific examples.
  5. Finally, regarding Zora's claim, what biographical information does the Qur'an give about Muhammad's life? Please cite the relevant verses. Remember, all claims on Wikipedia should be reliably sourced and verifiable. The claim that the Qur'an and hadith are sources of biographical information about Muhamamd's life has been brought into question. Now it is up to those who support this claim to back their claims with documented sources. --Zeno of Elea 23:41, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Almost every hadith describes an incident in Muhammad's life. Most are way too minor to belong in a biography; others provide substantial details on larger events within his life (see, for example, the many hadith from Bukhari in Banu Qurayza#Hadith, or the very important hadith of Aisha describing the first revelation in Bukhari). Of course there is no early "biography" of Muhammad written by non-Muslims; that's not the issue. Rather, they provide confirmation of his existence, and sometimes of the broad outline of his life. For example, Bishop Sebeos in the 660s[9]:

In that period a certain one of them, a man of the sons of Ishmael named Muhammad, became prominent [t'ankangar]. A sermon about the Way of Truth, supposedly at God's command, was revealed to them, and [Muhammad] taught them to recognize the God of Abraham, especially since he was informed and knowledgeable about Mosaic history. Because the command had [g104] come from on High, he ordered them all to assemble together and to unite in faith. Abandonning the reverence of vain things, they turned toward the living God, who had appeared to their father--Abraham. Muhammad legislated that they were not to [123] eat carrion, not to drink wine, not to speak falsehoods, and not to commit adultery. He said: "God promised that country to Abraham and to his son after him, for eternity. And what had been promised was fulfilled during that time when [God] loved Israel. Now, however, you are the sons of Abraham, and God shall fulfill the promise made to Abraham and his son on you. Only love the God of Abraham, and go and take the country which God gave to your father Abraham. No one can successfully resist you in war, since God is with you."

Finally, biographical information provided by the Qur'an tends to be oblique, sometimes requiring the aid of the tafsirs to understand. However, cases like surat Ad-Dhuha ("Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)?... And He found thee in need, and made thee independent.") are clear enough, confirming biographical information, while cases like Al-Anfal are more oblique, but still clearly describe events in his lifetime - in this case, a battle ("Remember ye were on the hither side of the valley, and they on the farther side, and the caravan on lower ground than ye. Even if ye had made a mutual appointment to meet, ye would certainly have failed in the appointment: But (thus ye met), that Allah might accomplish a matter already enacted; that those who died might die after a clear Sign (had been given), and those who lived might live after a Clear Sign (had been given). And verily Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things). Remember in thy dream Allah showed them to thee as few: if He had shown them to thee as many, ye would surely have been discouraged, and ye would surely have disputed in (your) decision; but Allah saved (you): for He knoweth well the (secrets) of (all) hearts. And remember when ye met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes, and He made you appear as contemptible in their eyes: that Allah might accomplish a matter already enacted. For to Allah do all questions go back (for decision)." - Mustafaa 00:04, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Do you agree that the historical information about Muhamamd in the Qur'an and Hadith cannot be understood without the aid of the sira? Neither the hadith nor the Qur'an provide a coherent and chronological picture of Muhamamd's life, and for this reason the sira literature had to be written. I think the article needs to mention that the sira is the primary source of biographical information on Muhammad, and that the hadith and (to a lesser extent, the Qur'an) were used were used in the compiling of the sira. This is quite an important point because it concerns the sources which are used in writing the Muhammad article. --Zeno of Elea 00:25, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
The hadith for certain, and some of the Qur'anic references, can be understood without the aid of the siras, though the siras help. A full chronological outline would be very difficult to reach without the siras, though the tafsirs could fill in a significant amount; it would be interesting to try. Of course, given that (as you note) the siras were themselves based on hadith, it might not be a bad idea to explain that hadith are the primary source of biographical information on Muhammad... - Mustafaa 00:36, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
* "The hadith for certain, and some of the Qur'anic references, can be understood without the aid of the siras, though the siras help." I am not referring to specific statements, such as the Qur'an verse that says "Did We [God] not find you [Muhammad] an orphan." While such statements can be understood in and of themselves, they do not provide a biography of Muhammad.
* "A full chronological outline would be very difficult to reach without the siras, though the tafsirs could fill in a significant amount" It would not just be "very difficult," it is in fact impossible. You keep mentioning the tafsir literature, even though it has been pointed out that the tafsir literature makes use of the sira literature.
* "Of course, given that (as you note) the siras were themselves based on hadith, it might not be a bad idea to explain that hadith are the primary source of biographical information on Muhammad... " The sira literature makes use of the hadith literature, but is not BASED on the hadith. There is a substantial amount of information in the sira that is contained neither in the Qur'an nor the hadith, and it is precisely this additional information that provides a chronological biography of Muhammad. The sira literare is based on far more than just the hadith books. You admit yourself that without the sira, there is no real biography of Muhammad. The story of Muhammad is told in the sira, not the hadith or the Qu'ran. The purpose of the Qur'an is entirely different, while the hadith relate specific examples of Muhammad's actions without reference to historical or chronological detail. The sira is a genre of literature unto itself, it is not a rehashing of the hadith and Qur'an. The primary source of biographical information on Muhamamd is the sira, NOT the hadith, NOT the Qu'ran, and NOT the tafsir, and this is by your own admission. --Zeno of Elea 01:10, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
The sira really is a rehashing of hadith. Read Ibn Ishaq: scarcely a paragraph is given without an isnad. Not all the hadith are ones which have made it in to the best-known hadith collections, which are much more focused on law and regard Ibn Ishaq as rather less than trustworthy; but it is scarcely an overstatement to say that the siras (and maghazi) are just an early branch of hadith literature, organized by time rather than, like most later collections, by topic. - Mustafaa 01:16, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough. You might want to add such details to the article, but I'll leave it as it is. --Zeno of Elea 01:40, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Muhammad as influental

Various version of a phrase about Muhammad as influental keep getting added and removed, so I just wanted to point out this quote from the 2nd or 3rd sentence in the 'Jesus' article: He is also an important figure in Islam, the Bahá'í Faith and other religions, and because of this is considered one of the world's most influential historical figures.

Whichever way it's decided, it seems like it should be consistent. Certain versions were probably removed because they were too triumphalist, but I feel like it wouldn't be too hard to come to a version that people can agree on. How about something like "As one of the most important figures in one of the world's largest religions, Muhammad and his teachings have had a profound effect on history."

or, if those two "one of"s in a row sounds akward, we could try "As the most important mortal figure in one of the world's largest religions..." -Lance

I may be partially responsible for that in the Jesus article. My reasoning for putting it there is Jesus is, in my opinion, the one historical figure who has changed the world as we know it the most. This is something that I think Time also thought, and I'm sure many historians would agree. Christianity, Catholicism, and Love and reactions to the above are huge influences in western history. In eastern history, we've seen the west roll over the east and impose their culture, for better or worse.
Muhammed is the leader/central figure of a major religion that has some rather large number of followers. To me he is comparable to Bhudda, to Peter the Great, the Ivan, to Confucious, to the Yellow Emporor. But none of these figures has done so much change.
Balance should never come at the cost of accuracy, and I feel he would. We can state in a single sentance that Muhammed's followers form a signficant religion, but we don't need to refrence the Jesus article and seek balance for all other religions. That isn't Neutral, its just being PC.--Tznkai 6 July 2005 22:52 (UTC)
You forget that its Pual that is the main founder of Chirstianity.
I believe (at lesat partially) that the claim of the most influential person is being driven by a reading of Michael Hart's The 100 --GNU4Eva 8 July 2005 13:45 (UTC)
Maybe, not directly but I probably picked up a quote from that book second hand. Another quick acid test of notablility is get random people in a room, and they'll probably react strongly to "Jesus", less so to "Bhudda" or "Muhammed" and not so much to "Paul". --Tznkai 8 July 2005 16:27 (UTC)
I think it depends on what you mean by 'react strongly' :D I think pretty much everyone you'd get in said room would recognize all 3 of those names and have an idea who they are (ie 'most important figure in a religion'). Also, there are huge chunks of the world's population who would recognize Buddha or Muhammed more than Jesus (eg the billion or so people in India). I don't think things need to be 'PC' or that we somehow need to balance all the religious articles - nobody suggested referencing the Jesus article or similar - but a claim that Muhammed is NOT 'one of the most influential people in history', I would argue, is clearly incorrect. --Lance
Never said he wasn't influenctial, just said it wasn't important to note in the article like that. and I disagree. India was under brittish occupation for a long time. Jesus features prominently in Islam theology as part of how they point out that Allah is to perfect to have son's (as I understand it anyway). I think being the founding figure of islam, the head of a growing empire implies quite succsinctly his importance.--Tznkai 8 July 2005 17:48 (UTC)
Okay, I interpreted the ambiguous "Balance should never come at the cost of accuracy, and I feel he would. " as meaning that you opposed the assertion that Muhammad was 'one of the most important people in history'...which I think is difficult to argue with, being an ambiguous definition itself. ---Lance
My POV is that stating "one of the most important people in history" is to be used for the notables above the notables. Darwin is easly the most recognizable figure in science, lincon in us presidents, hitler in global politics, etc. I felt that putting in the words "Muhammed is considered one fo the most important people in history" would be equivocating him to having the same signifcance to the world as darwin had to science, lincon on the us, and jesus on everything. In the study of western history, I can't think of a point where Jesus's influence didn't come up significantly. The fact the west has managed to deal massive change (some good, some bad, some ugly) also tends to put Jesus's influence up there still. Muhammed to me, doesn't quite make the cut, but thats my POV.--Tznkai 8 July 2005 21:34 (UTC)
I understand your POV, but your argument made it sound like there can only be one 'important' person in each field of human history, and even then I strongly disagree with your examples. Also, I feel like you must be equating the achievements/failings/events of the West with Jesus to a large degree to come to the conclusions you have, without connecting Muhammad with the same elements in middle eastern history, which is inconsistent...personally I think disconnecting them in both cases makes more sense. ---Lance
Well, that bais is inherent in my perspective (student of history in a western institution) Perhaps this is a better way of making my argument. In the case of Jesus, listing his influence is a staggering proposition, considering his constant influence on the modern world and thought for the last two millenia (less than really, but whatever) simply as a historical figure who, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, died for saying how nice it would be if we were nice to eachother for a change. We can't even come to an agreement on if he was the leader, central figure, vicitim, or object of worship of the Christian faith : P. Muhammed, while incredibly important and influential, I can summarize that a bit easier "Started Islam, a rapidly going faith in the Abrahamic tradition, and also a political and military leader who helped put the islamic empire into being. (I think thats fair anyway) At any rate, I don't feel strongly enough to RV any more changes, but that is my POV, and I think its fair, even if it may turn out to be incorrect--Tznkai 19:10, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't think there should be any debate as to the fact that he was influential. In fact, the statement "Muhammad was very influential" is unbiased and both his supporters and detractors can agree to this. Influence doesn't have to be good or bad.Heraclius 8 July 2005 23:17 (UTC)

I agree, but I think a better solution would be removing the sentence from the Jesus article. It's non-neutral insofar as it assumes that he was a historical figure (which I believe, but many historians don't), and frankly odd in mentioning the tiny Bahai faith on a par with Islam as a reason for his being "historically influential", and in suggesting that historical influence is measured by religious significance, rather than by material effect on the world. - Mustafaa 8 July 2005 23:30 (UTC)

I really don't think the jesus article should have anything to do with this article.--Tznkai 8 July 2005 23:32 (UTC)
Irrespective of that, I think it has no place in the Jesus article. - Mustafaa 8 July 2005 23:36 (UTC)
So talk about this in the Jesus discussion page! The only thing the articles should have in common is the high degree of scrutiny and effort we apply to each :) ---Lance

Zora's recent edits

I revised info re Muhammad's daughters, because it reflected the Sunni POV and didn't even hint that the Shi'a had a different view. I removed the bit that an anon keeps adding, a claim that Muhammad might have died of malaria. I haven't found that ANYWHERE in my reading of Islamic history. The anon never gives a source, just adds it.

After various pious Muslim editors kept adding PBUHs and bits of folklore re Muhammad, I wrote a section for the article re Muslim veneration of Muhammad. Somehow, it got removed without discussion. Dunno whether it was considered too pious by some editors (even though it just recounts instances of piety, doesn't recommend it) or perhaps tending towards bida by a Salafi editor. If other editors think it's unnecessary I would be fine with removing it, and just linking to the article I started, but I'd at least like some discussion before it's axed. The separate article could also use some work -- I know that there are lots of observances and folk tales to be added. Zora 01:10, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Zora, regarding your most recent edits, please explain to me, why did you remove the painting of Muhammad? -- Stereotek.
I didn't remove the painting. Someone else did. I have a feeling that it's being put there just to upset pious Muslims, but I'm staying out of the fray. Put it in, take it out ... I have no opinion. Zora 08:20, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Pictures and WP:Civility

I removed the painting of Muhammed from the article. I have done this because of my interpretation of WP:Civility. It can be noted that I am not Muslim/Islamic, and infact have a number of philosophical and theological diffrences with them, not having images of persons one of them.

That having been said, my understanding of Islam is that paintings and pictures, images, and so on are avoided or prophibited because it is seen as dangerously close to idolaltry. So, I think, once we acknowledge that, to have a picture of Islam's most important figure/prophet/personage would be, if not blasphemous, atleast very impolite. There is a commons link for those who wish to look for these images, and removing it from the article keeps offending persons with the highest intrest in the article at a minimum.

This isn't about right or wrong, or censorship or anything else. I simply think its a matter of being polite and civil.--Tznkai 16:52, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Agree wholeheartedly. It's telling, I think, that the user insisting on the inclusion of this edit is anonymous. A fairly obvious attempt by Islamophobes to start trouble ... for the sake of starting trouble. File under: Wikipedia:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point.BrandonYusufToropov 17:17, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Tznkai, before editors like BrandonYusufToropov start to poison this discussion by using personal attacks and calling me such things such as an 'islamophobe', could you please tell me why your (I must say very personal) understanding of Wikipedias rules regarding civility then doesn't seem to apply to other religious leaders, where the use of images is also a sensitive issue, such as Bahá'u'lláh? Also, I think the fact that the painting was created by a Persian (and most likely Muslim) painter should be considered. Maybe this isn't such a big issue to many Muslims that hold less fundamentalist views regarding their religion. -- Stereotek

Perhaps if you signed your posts and edits in the future, people would be in a better position to evaluate whether or not you actually do display a fear or hatred of Islam. BrandonYusufToropov 19:20, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

WP:POINT is what I immediatly need to cite in refrence to Bahá'u'lláh, and the above discussion on Jesus should describe my positions. In other words: I don't really care about what other articles do, and if you think that decision is wrong, figure it out over there. Second, and possibly more importantly, that was the results of a compromise as I recall. I don't care who created what, it is telling of many things, but nothing thats relevant. Two wrongs don't make a right, and WP:Civility is important.
Take it another way. We have two options. Include the picture, or don't. If we include the picture, we get a painting, and we offend various people. If we don't, we don't get a painting, and we don't offend various people. I see no significant advanatage to offending people, nor to having the painting.
Wikipedia is not a majoritian democracy. It is a consensus democracy in a sense, and in my understanding, that includes respecting the ideas and feelings of the smaller, but siginficant populations. This is part of WP:Civility and WP:NPOV. Nor is this the place to say that these sensibilities are wrong WP:NOT.
In summary. This is about what we gain for the project, and what we lose for the project, and how we as editiors choose to act.
All of those things tell me the painting does not belong. If you choose to offer a compromise that is palitable, like that on the Bahá'u'lláh article, feel free.--Tznkai 19:30, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Ekshully, I was the one who found that picture online and figured it was fair use, being a reproduction of two-dimensional material in the public domain. I put it into the Wikipedia picture archive to use it as an illustration for the Buraq article, where it has provoked absolutely no controversy. So if the picture isn't HERE at Muhammad, it's easily viewable at Buraq. BTW, a look at the picture at greater magnification will show that the face of the Muhammad figure is covered with a veil. This was the Persian artist's solution to the "no images of Muhammad" stricture. Zora 22:23, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

On Bahá'u'lláh I argued that WP is not a Bahai encyclopedia, and that the image should be at the top. They now have it at the bottom, and I suppose that is a fair compromise. The difference is of course that in the case of Bahá'u'lláh, we are dealing with an actual photograph, the relevance of which is undisputed, while in Muhammad's case, we can never have more than an artist's impression. Since there are notable artists' impressions, I do argue they belong on the article, Wikipedia being non denominational. But they do not necessarily belong on the top, we can easily have a section "In Persian art" or something further down. Also, since this image was obviously made by a Persian Muslim, I do not think it is appropriate to imply that "Muslims" are offended by it, and thta it should be removed out of "civility". It is Muslim iconography! Islam is not monolithic, and if some Muslims are offended by other Muslims views, that is hardly Wikipedia's fault, we are simply here to document all of them, regardless of whether some are offensive to some. Just as "Wikipedia is not censored for minors", "Wikipedia is not censored for iconoclasts", either. dab () 08:29, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Okay, there seems to be consensus for this, and I appear to be the only one objecting ... not a problem. BrandonYusufToropov 09:10, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
ok, but note that we are open to your suggestions for compromise how to stash it away inoffensively, e.g. in a section "Muhammad in Persia" or something. dab () 13:25, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Just as a note of pragmatism, I think we will get more disruptive edits from offended Muslims the closer it is to the top of the article. Not sure where it belongs, but if it's two or three screens down, we will have fewer complaints. BrandonYusufToropov 13:59, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
as on Bahaullah, we can even have it at the bottom. But since this is not a portrait, but relevant to a particular episode, it should appear in context of that. Anyway, "offended Muslims" typically are capable of constructive criticism, like over at Talk:Adam and Eve where we agreed just to leave the "in Islam" section picture-free. dab () 14:21, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm all for a compromise, and I'm glad to see the persons intrested in keeping it there to offend have kindly left. My suggestion is to have a small section on "Artistic Impressions of Muhammed" or some such, with a wikilink to a main article which contains said art, with clear warning that it does.--Tznkai 15:57, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Tznkai, you have stated that painting of Muhammad is different from the picture of Bahullah because the latter is a real picture, while the former is a painting. Please take careful note that the article on Jesus contains a painting of Jesus, not an actual picture. Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet, and fundamentalist Muslims object to portraits of Jesus. Should we then remove the Jesus portrait so as to avoid causing offense to fundamentalist Muslims? As it has been noted, not all Muslims object to protraits of Muhammad (in fact, the paintings of Muhammad was widely made by Persian Muslim artists). Your argument against removing the painting is that it causes offense to fundamentalist Muslims as is "dangerously close to idolatry." As for the issue of offending fundamentalists - if we adopt such a policy, then we must also removing the portrait of Jesus on that article, by the very same logic. In response to this, you claim that you "do not care about other articles." I'm afraid that this is not a logical argument, you are merely creating and imposing a new set of rules for Islam related Wikipedia articles, rule based on the personal biases of fundamentalist/puritanical Muslims, and that is unacceptable. Wikipedia is a secular encylopedia, many things on Wikipedia can cause offense to many relgious fundamentalists and puritans (eg. the Jesus portraits), but that is no reason for censoring relevant anthropological artifacts from articles. It is important to note in the Muhammad article that there is a long history and theological debate regarding artistic depictions of Muhammad, and the Persian minature painting plays a relevant role in that discussion. I again note that if an informative picture is causing offense to fundamentalist Muslims, then that is not suffucient cause for deleting the information. And as for the issue of "idolatry," I note that idolatry is not considered a danger on Wikipedia. --Zeno of Elea 23:28, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
"Tznkai, you have stated that painting of Muhammad is different from the picture of Bahullah because the latter is a real picture, while the former is a painting. "
No, No I did not state that at all. My argument was simple. No matter what other articles standards have, the Muhammed article can be treated like an island. A precident in one article is not the same precident here. You're establishing a false analogy. My argument is that this can be very offensive to a significant minority opinion. Civility and common sense suggest we respect that, unless we have pressing need to do otherwise. No one is arguing to "delete the information", but to move it somewhere. Compromise and Consensus are far more important to Wikipedia then taking a stand against "muslim fundamentalists". We're here to raise a barn, not to argue about its ornamentation. That having been said, does anyone have some suggestions for a compromise?--Tznkai 03:57, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
"My argument is that this can be very offensive to a significant minority opinion. Civility and common sense suggest we respect that, unless we have pressing need to do otherwise." You see, inevitably you are forced to make statements of general principals which if they apply here then should apply elsewhere as well (lest we admit ourselves to a double standard). I'm sure that the Wikipedia article on Jesus is also offensive to a significant minority (i.e. Muslims), because it shows a Christian portrait of Jesus. Is there a pressing need for the portrait of Jesus? If there is a pressing need for the Jesus portrait, then the same need applies here. If there is no pressing need for the Jesus portrait, then your argument applies there as well unless we apply the double standard you are proposing. We need not but still should ask, is there a pressing need for these portraits? Well, humans are visual beings, despite fundamentalist Islam's suppressions of art. When we think of a historical figure, we ask "what did this person look?" In the case of ancient religious figures, we ask "how did the pious imagine their characters of their religions?" This article must answer these questions. How did Muhammad look? We do not know how Muhamamd looked. Why do we not know how Muhammad looked? Because early Islam prohibited the depiction of living things "with souls" (interpreted to mean humans and other mammals, but not plant life). BUT there is a catch. When Islam spread beyond the Arabs to the Persians, Muslims began making religious portraits of Muhammad, just as Christians make religious portraits of Muhammad. SO all is not lost. [insert persian minature painting here]. As you can see, the painting fits quite well into this disucssion. Because this is a biographical encylopedia article, it must include a discussion of visual records of the person that the article is about, and being a religious biographical article, it must also consider the how the pious imagined the relgious figure whom this article is about. I wish I could think of a compromise, but this is a binary decision problem - either we have the picture, we do not have the picture. Originally, a compromise was reached and the picture was moved below the time line, and a consensus seemed have been reached. --Zeno of Elea
There was never a consensus reached on where the picture was moved too, and I see you doing very little to offer one. I have offered a compromise. Moving it further down to the bottom of the page has been offered as a compromise. Ignoring all of the labling, slippery slope and false analogy arguments presented, I will lay out may case, and stop repeating myself.

1. To be polite is important. (Wikipedia is a barn raising community)

2. To be informative is also important. (Wikipedia is an encyclopedia)

3. If and only if something is sufficiently informative, (or useful, or important), then politeness is secondary. (Notibility)

4. If it is sufficiently informitive, it should be portrayed in a way that gets the information across, in context, but with the utmost effort to minimize the offensiveness, and maximize the civility. (Prima Facie value)

Those are the general principles I take from WP:NOT WP:NPOV and WP:Civility. In this specific article, my argument is as follows:

1. The Muhammad article is high profile and likley to attract attention from a great number of Muslims

2. Civility, common sense and common decency suggest we are atleast polite to these readers.

3. I do not believe the picture is significantly informitive to the main Muhammad aritcle.

Nothing in this argument leaves room for a slippery slope, because there is a distinct and deliberate lack of definitive 1/0 binary decisions. This is, as always, a judgement call, and time for consensus decision making. There is clearly a lack of consensus on the importance and relevance of the painting. This to me suggests a compromise. I will aqueise to the picture being moved further down, but I would prefer having an off main article page link that will allow those who want to look to look, and those who do not, to not.--Tznkai 15:08, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

I am not against the picture really, but... I am not sure I like how all of this is being done. It should be noted that comparing this to Jesus is silly. Muslims follow Muhammad, the vast majority don't have representations. Christians follow Jesus, many do have representations. I don't think I agree with the civility argument, but I think we should think about how minority this view of having pictures of Muhammad is. Adding Edip Yuksel's opinion to this article would be stupid. Why? because he is not-notable. So, I think it is at least relevant to think of how notable (and thus prevalent) such a picture is. I think this is more relevant than the civility argument. As Zora said, I have a feeling that it's being put there just to upset pious Muslims, but I'm staying out of the fray. -- I will add my opinion (which incidentally hasn't decided on what should be) but I won't get into a big mess over this issue. gren 04:36, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Please stop the red herring civility argument. No-one is being rude to anyone else. I would like to echo dab and say that WP is NOT censored for minors, or iconoclasts. The painting is encyclopedic, illustrative and very beautiful. Politeness is important, of course, but this picture is not rude. Someones religious belief is that persons issue, not WPs. If you want to fork and build shariapedia, go ahead. WP is subject to WPs policies. For an exact repetition of Tznkai's arguments, see the talk page of Clitoris ad nauseum. --Mrfixter 16:25, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't see how its a red herring since I'm not trying to distract from any issues at hand. The reason I say this, is because when I removed the picture, I did it because of civility. Now, if you don't like it, thats fine, but thats how I felt. The picture, or any picture is probably not inherently rude, but its presentation is what makes it rude. I have no idea what the clitoris article has to do with the price of tea in China, or with this article. I am not suggesting, have not, and will not suggest we subject wikipedia into being "shariapedia", merely that we do our level best to reasonable. If you prefer a diffrent term, try acting not only in good faith, but with good taste.--Tznkai 16:39, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I have exquisite taste, but that is besides the point. This is an encyclopedic article about Muhammad, lets have a painting of him in it. It has also been noted that the painting was done by a persian muslim person and that they managed to get round any problems by veiling his face. Either way, if people are gonna be upset by this picture, my response is tough, go somewhere else then. This is wikipedia, not shariapedia. WP policy, not sharia is what governs this article and any article on the WP. However, I also feel that appearing on WP:LAME is good for no-one, so I am willing to move the picture further down if that will make people feel better. --Mrfixter 19:46, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
Is there any reason that is under my comment? Because, if so, you failed to discuss anything I talked about. gren 20:46, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

A suggestion re picture

There is now a section on Muslim veneration of Muhammad, at the very bottom. I don't see why we couldn't move the picture down there and add these lines to the list:

  • Muslims do not venerate pictures or images of Muhammad, as they believe that this is the sin of shirk, or idolatry; many believe that even non-iconic representations of the prophet are wrong. Some Muslims, notably Persian minaturists, believe that it is permissible to picture Muhammad as long as his face is veiled.

This would put the picture at the very bottom and put it in context. Zora 21:30, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Like the first sentence, second sentence a bit clunky with the "notably Persian minaturists" schtick. All being said, I support the move, the wording is no big thing. --Mrfixter 00:02, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

That seems a completely appropriate place for the picture. Maybe shorten the words in the list to something like: "While even non-iconic representations of Muhammad are discouraged, some Muslims (e.g. Persian minaturists) believe it permissable to picture Muhammad as long as his face is veiled." --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 00:24, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

I'd rather it be moved to the sub article, but I do not oppose this solution.--Tznkai 03:15, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
This would work for me too, though it would not be my first choice. Consensus may be to retain picture in this article, in which case this would be a diplomatic middle way. BrandonYusufToropov 13:08, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

WP underattack by followers of Sina's Cult of phobia

Plz make your replies on talk:Islam

Anon Sunni changing Death of Muhammad section

In between bouts of vandalism, an anon Sunni changed the Death of Muhammad section to give the Sunni view as "fact", and relegated the Shi'a view to an afterthought. I restored the old version. Shi'a may be a minority, but their POV is just as relevant as the Sunni version. Zora 07:28, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

That was me who edited athe death part!

I didn't state the sunni viewpoint as fact. I wrote it in the same language as the previously shia opinion. I merely swapped the sunni and shia viewpoints around as it makes more logical sense to have the majority opinion first.

I'm sure any non-muslim would agree with me!

I'm a non-Muslim and I don't agree with you. Despite extreme aggro from the few Shi'a editors, I'm still committed to giving the Shi'a a fair deal. As to whose position gets stated first -- that's problematic. If we put the Sunni first, then some Sunni objects that the Shi'a version, coming later, gets "the last word". If we put the Shi'a first, then someone objects because first place is the position of honor. Sheesh! Can't win! The only fair thing is to put the Sunni first half the time and the Shi'a first half the time, but this only works in articles with many mentions of Sunni/Shi'a differences of opinion.
Let me further observe that there's a third branch of Islam, the Ibadi, and they hardly get ANY mention here. That's extremely unfair. Unfortunately, there's so little available info about Ibadis that it's hard to make sure that they're represented. Zora 21:29, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Shouldn't the majority opinion be first? That's just totally obvious! It's clear that as the article currently stands, there is a shia bias in the "Death" section. Can anyone not see that?

No, it is NOT totally obvious that the majority opinion comes first. Sunnis have complained if the Shi'a opinion comes second. As for the bias -- I don't see it. There is one sentence there that is not marked as Shi'a opinion, but I think it's clear from the context that it is Shi'a opinion rather than fact. Is that what's bothering you? If so, that sentence could be joined onto the first, to make it clear that it's all opinion. Zora 10:35, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

The article states the shia (minority) opinion as fact and then says the (majority) sunni "dispute this". This is totally biased!

Judaism and Christianity not earlier versions (strictly speaking)

It is rather sloppy to say that 'Islam is considered by Muslims to be the final step in the revelation of a monotheist religion of which earlier versions were Judaism and Christianity.', as these two latter religions are not viewed by Muslims as the embodiment of teachings given by Moses and Jesus; Muslims regard these religions as distortions (only partially correct) of the true monotheism. Therefore, I have made the appropriate change. In fact, what is written in quotes above may actually be a non-muslim view, but it is certainly not a muslim view (believe me, I know). ---Mpatel (talk) 07:36, August 11, 2005 (UTC)

Subtle point, but fair enough. I'm not going to contest the change. Zora 08:19, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, I'd be inclined to put "Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus)" since... that's what the emphasis is on. gren グレン 08:32, 11 August 2005 (UTC)


I copyedited an anon's revisions re Mawlid, in which the anon said that Muhammad did not celebrate his birthday, therefore Mawlid was bidah. I generalized from that to early Muslims as a group not celebrating anyone's birthday. So far as I know, that's true. I haven't run across any references to birthday celebrations in any of the primary sources. Most of the time the chroniclers can't even agree on what YEAR someone was born. I could be wrong, of course, in which case the more limited formulation, that Muhamamd did not celebrate his birthday, would make better sense. Zora 08:32, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Battle of Uhud

Taken away the summary of the battle of Uhud, because it is innacurate. A Meccan attack on Medina in which they failed to Claim the city or Kill the leader of the city is not a victory. While it was clearly not a Muslim victory either, the Muslims did succeed in preventing the death of Muhammad, and held on to the city.--Irishpunktom\talk 15:47, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't matter if we think its a victory, or someone else thinks it was a loss. Get a refrence saying either way.--Tznkai 16:21, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Muhammad in Medina

This article has been through some major changes recently and I'm not sure when some of them were made. We've had various versions of Muhammad's deathbed words, or last sermon words, seemingly picked by editors with agendas to advance. However, there is no agreement in the earliest sources on what he said, or when he said it. Madelung's book The Succession to Muhammad is a good study of the many accounts of his last actions. It would take a whole article to cover the subject. Unless someone wants to write the article, I'm removing the last words.

A non-Muslim hand was also at work on the Hijra section, giving a somewhat anti-Islamic account of the influence of Judaism on Islam and of Muhammad's disenchantment with the Jews. I didn't want to remove this, since I tend to agree with it, but I also know that it is offensive to Muslims and would be considered POV. So I tried to tone it down and make it clear that there are various theories. Ditto with the caravan raiding. Zora 02:26, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

I made quite a few of the recent revisions. I wasn't aware of any POV included in my changes, but your revisions look fine. Uriah923 04:18, 22 August 2005 (UTC)


Considering the majority of art venerating Muhammad is Calligraphy, my edit makes sense, avoids the appearance of being conversial for the sake of it, and should please all seeking a NPOV resolution. --Irishpunktom\talk 11:15, August 23, 2005 (UTC)

The caption is POV, in that it assumes that Islam forbids life-like art. There are many Muslims who would dispute that. Some strains of Islam forbid figurative art. The caption should also include some translation of the Arabic, since most viewers won't be able to read it. I dunno what I think about replacing the picture. On the one hand, I don't want to be needlessly offensive; on the other hand, I really don't want Wikipedia to censor stuff that only a small minority of viewers would find problematic. It seemed to me that by presenting the picture but also saying the some Muslims found such pictures offensive, we did present both POVs. Zora 21:59, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

This is not censure-anything-that-someone-could-find-offensive-pedia, and it doesn't matter here what Islam forbids or not. It's a beautiful public domain painting of the person that this article discuss, so it is entirely relevant and there is no excuse to censure it. It was even created by a Muslim. We are not here to "avoid the appearance of being conversial for the sake of it" -- Karl Meier 08:49, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Fact is that the overwhelming vast majority of Art venerating Muhammad is Calligrapy. If you want an accurate representation of art venerating him, then Calligraphy is the way to go. No, this is not "is not censure-anything-that-someone-could-find-offensive-pedia", but neither is it "Controversial-for-the-sake-of-it-pedia". The Image of Muhammad is neither representative of the wider Art in the Islamic world, not is it represetative of Art venerating him. Why would you not want Calligraphy? --Irishpunktom\talk 09:54, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

Could we have both? Zora 10:11, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Right now we do have both, but the insistance on having this seems to be a Flame attampt. --Irishpunktom\talk 10:20, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

Is it a "flame attempt" to add a painting of the person that the article discuss, which was created by a Muslim? Your bad faith accusations doesn't make any sense. -- Karl Meier 10:38, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

I moved the Miraj picture down, so that the two POVs-in-pictures are tother. Zora 10:30, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

I honestly think that the painting would make more sense in the "death of Muhammad" section. -- Karl Meier 10:39, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Why? It's a picture of something that is supposed to have happened years and years before his death. Zora 10:51, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Oh! I got that (I must say rather amazing) story all wrong! Now, I know better though. I just moved the painting to a section where it is more suitable then. -- Karl Meier 11:01, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Ok, So, how about we replace the dodgy Minature, with a picture like this, the carving of Muhammad in the US Supreme Court. Considering this is both a Photo, and has a rather interesting stry attached to it I think it's a good call. thoughts? --Irishpunktom\talk 13:30, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

I am not against it, but what is the copyright status of that specific photo? Also, I just uploaded a better version of the Minature which available at Commons here: [10] -- Karl Meier 13:49, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Another thing is, why should we actually replace the painting? I think that there is more than enough room for both the painting and the photo in this article. Karl Meier 14:29, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Zeno moved the pictures around and gave them completely illiterate captions. Sheesh. Zora 07:12, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Re-added ON article reference

I have replaced the reference that was removed by Zora. It was used by me to add considerable content to the site and, therefore, must remain on the page as a reference. Please see the history for details. Uriah923 17:47, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

ON linkspamming

Uriah added a reference to ON again, along with a note on my talk page sternly warning me not to delete the reference. Well, I deleted it. Uriah has been repeatedly cautioned (see his talk page) not to linkspam for ON, and persists in doing so. Linkspam deserves to be deleted. Zora 22:56, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Per Wikipedia policy: "if you add information to an article which you gleaned from a specific external source, please cite where you got your information." This is exactly what I did in my edit on the 19th of August. A reference isn't spam simply because you call it that - and so far, that's all you have done. Reference re-added. Uriah923 04:36, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Just WHAT specific information is found on the ON link that isn't available elsewhere? The ON article seems to have been written by a Will Waddell and is evidently based on various other primary and secondary sources. There doesn't seem to be anything new or noteworthy there -- though it's not obviously bad -- and Mr. Waddell is NOT listed as a prominent scholar of Islam in any of the course bibliographies I've been collecting. I'm deleting the link again, and I hope the other editors will back me up in this. Zora 05:50, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
The fact remains that I added content (see history for details) that I "gleaned from an external source" and, therefore, I am required by policy to include a reference. This is, of course, to avoid copyright infringement. If you come in and delete the reference, how is the article not then in copyright violation? Uriah923 17:02, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Oh my god, you did nothing but reword, just to get your spam in. Consider this: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. That is a tertiary source, a compendium of primary and secondary sources. To cite another tertiary source is useless, we might as well just cite their references. How many Britannica citations do you see on common articles? Not to mention that in my book, citing that website is like citing someone's personal Angelfire page. Just to be sure, I looked up the Alexa rank, and it's 4,508,662, even with the recent inflation due to Wikipedia citations. I find this graph telling. (Your site has gone up thousands and thousands of places just in the last few days because of your spam.) If you used an Angelfire website to make changes, would we be compelled to include an unreliable source? No. Dmcdevit·t 17:14, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
When I made the content additions, I reworded them befor inserting into the Wikipedia article, per policy. I then added a reference as the content was "gleaned from an external source" - again, per policy. I do not see why you have a problem with the content I've added or with the fact that I followed Wikipedia policy in referencing the source. Are non-primary sources not allowed? Uriah923 17:48, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Dmcdevit, Zora: Not to argue for or against this article link or the content added, but what difference does it make what the Alexa rank is? It seems that if you cared at all about the quality of your article on wiki, you'd look at the quality of the information sources, i.e., is it accurate? If it is, I'd say you have no argument. If it's not, delete away. Whether or not you think his link or content is spam is beside the point. The question is: does his additions add to the quality of this wiki entry? To argue any other reason is meaningless. 18:34, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, to answer both Uriahs, no. Linking to an unreliable does not add quality. And, you've got the policy wrong. It's not "link to any source you use", it's "cite reliable sources." You seem to have left out the reliable part. You shouldn't even be using an unreliable little private website as a source on our reputable encyclopedia. And any good-faith non-spammer would move on to making real contributions by now, instead of revert warring over sillt linkspam. Dmcdevit·t 19:32, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Why is the source I used not reliable? Uriah923 19:45, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Value of ON content and quality of reference

The content added from the ON reference remains in this article, but the reference has been removed. This action is disputed and a conversation is ongoing here. Uriah923 06:30, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

One of most influential people in history

I removed the sentence. I don't think it should be in the Jesus article either, but I don't normally edit there. Sentences like that lead directly into unending debate about who, of the billions of people who have lived, should be considered "most influential". If we have it for Jesus and Muhammad, what about Buddha? Lao Tzu? Dogen Zenji? Yasutani Roshi? Where do you draw the line? This is something that people enjoy doing -- I've read endless online discussions of the BEST films, novels, composers, etc. -- but it is a notoriously subjective and unproductive endeavor. There IS a list of Founders of major religions where such things are argued. Let's keep the argument there. Zora 21:15, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

I understand your concern, but this is factually correct. It isn't really POV because I said widely considered which I think is factual rather than POV. Even non-Muslims consider Muhammad to be one of the most influential, not the most. Certain limits should be imposed, but I have no doubts considering Jesus and Buddha also influential. The exact line I added ("He is widely considered to be one of the most influential people in history.") is an exact copy of the Jesus article (as you know already). Ofcourse in the book "100 most influential people" by Micheal Hart also proves as a source for this where Muhammad is ranked #1. Nonetheless, I understand the position you are arguing from and will try to remove this same phrase from the Jesus article, although I have no doubt that this will be a struggle. :) -- a-n-o-n-y-m 21:31, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
I think we have to weigh how much it actually adds to the article vs. how much avoidable angst and trauma it will inspire. Probably simpler to leave it out, and doing so does no damage to the article, I think -- though I heartily agree with Hart. BrandonYusufToropov 00:43, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
I'd leave it out... It really adds no factual anything to the article... meaning I think Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms says enough about it? gren グレン 01:08, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Recent edits by anon and Anonymous Editor

"Said to have been a merchant" because some academics doubt even that much. See Crone on Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. Remove name of cave because this is supposed to be a summary, not a repeat of the rest of the article. "Ascended to heaven" removed because of religious overtones. I should think that this would be unacceptable to most Muslims, because of the Christian connotations. Zora 02:48, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

First of all, I think it is only fair to incorporate what the anon editor said because it clarifies Muslim belief. Obviously Zora, no matter how much we try to make this NPOV, we will still need the basics of Islamic belief. For example, contrast this with the Jesus article in which almost everything is absolute as if everything from trinity to cruxifixion exists. Certainly if we are giving a summary of Muhammad, we have to include the Muslim perspective. It seems that there are higher standards of neutrality for Islam-related articles than any other religion. I mean one can't even go two lines without saying "Muslims believe" or "Muslims say". You would think that if someone was reading something about a person who most non-Muslims consider to be the "founder" of Islam that it would be understandable that they will get the Muslim view. You will get people out there who will doubt anything, even our existence. I will ofcourse not object to your revert of my minor edits, but I think for wider issues in the future we will have to consider whether too much neutrality can obscure content. a-n-o-n-y-m 03:12, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

AE Edits

AE, I reverted your edits and here's why:

The discussion of the Banu Qurayza is there in such detail because we have had extensive wars over the material, with the anti-Muslim forces trying to play up the incident and the Muslim pietists to remove all mention of it. If you remove all mention of it, we're going to have another edit war. It's possible that some of the detail can be replaced with generalization and a stronger pointer to the Banu Qurayza article. But we can't just ignore the incident!

The sentence you added at the end of the summary is both POV and inaccurate. POV because it's Muslim triumphalism, and inaccurate because Muslims who have read secular historians know that we do NOT know as much about Muhammad as the ulema thinks. The ulema created the shari'a and protected it against meddling from caliphs by claiming that everything could be traced back to Muhammad's sunnah. That involved the creation of dubious hadith for everything. As one author, I can't remember who, says, the later the source, the more he "knows" about Muhammad. The earliest sources are indeed sketchy. The rest is probably exaggeration or invention.

You may disagree with the above para, but it's a common view in academia, and Muslims like Reza Aslan who have studied in Western universities are much more likely to hold that view than they are to trust the ulema. Zora 21:05, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Zora, you reverted my removal of irrlevant material in the Battle of the Trench section, yet you are the same person who did not want to add the name of the cave Muhammad went to! Please do not have double standards. I don't care what the anti-Islamic editors think, the information is prolonged there and should be added to the Battle of the Trench article if need be.
Secondly, it is sickening how once again anti-Islamic editors many of them who go under the guise of "secular" seem to think that any mention of Islamic belief in an Islam-related article is wrong. Obviously most Muslims believe that Muhammad's teaching has not changed. It is not Muslim triumphalism, it is a belief, similar to type of material that is evident in the Jesus article. A lot of the current article makes Muhammad sound completely from a POV manner, despite what many think. Thanks as always, a.n.o.n.y.m t 21:16, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
AE, you are not even trying to work with me. In fact, you're "hitting back" by deleting mentions of secular scholars that have been there for many months. Also, by saying that secular scholars "claim" that Muslim scholars weeded the hadith, you're denying the Sunni ulema's OWN version of its history. Bukhari and Muslim's compilations are accepted as "sahih" because they were the best scholars of their time at sifting out the fake hadiths. Muslims ADMIT that there were thousands of invented hadiths. The only dispute between the secular scholars and the ulema is whether the 9th and 10th century siftings are to be accepted as sacrosanct. Surely you should not be contesting material that is basic to any Islamic scholarship, ulema or secular. Zora 23:36, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Zora, I am trying to work with you. I readded the names of the scholars. I was not contesting that material, I only removed the specific names of the skeptical scholars. But I think that the material I added is not POV and also that the Battle of the Battle of the Trench material belongs in its own relevant article. We don't need all the mentions of what happened before and after the event in the Muhammad article. Thanks, a.n.o.n.y.m t 23:56, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

We should not erase the controversy. People should KNOW that there's a controversy, and that it's discussed at length someplace else.

As for your sentences added to the summary being POV -- of course they don't seem POV to you. They seem factual. I'm NOT a Muslim. They seem POV to me. Not only that, they don't add anything to the summary. You seem to feel that the summary should end with a rhetorical flourish, and that flourish should be vaguely pietistic. It doesn't need a flourish, and it doesn't need piety. Look, you're saying basically two things: Muslims haven't forgotten anything about the life of Muhammad, and the Qur'an (his teaching) hasn't been changed over the centuries. The first bit, even Muslim scholars would say is just flat out wrong. The second part is a matter of faith, which is discussed thoroughly in the Qur'an article. There's no need to bring it up in a context in which it can't be examined properly. The flourish is not needed.

The whole point of the summary is that it should recount the material that even the most skeptical scholars would accept. It also gives the reader an overview of the matter, and helps him/her absorb the mass of detail in the second part of the bio, the one that accepts more of the sira and hadith material. There's no need to end a section with a flourish. Zora 09:24, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

You might want to read this before making malicious attack:

Okay what about something like this?

<duplicate posting of something I just laid out on my talk page>

Okay, what about something like this:
In 625 the Meccan general Abu Sufyan marched on Medina with 3,000 men. The ensuing Battle of Uhud took place on March 23, ending in a stalemate. The Meccans claimed victory, but they had lost too many men to pursue the Muslims into Medina.
In April 627 Abu Sufyan led another strong force against Medina. But Muhammad had dug a trench around Medina and successfully defended the city in the Battle of the Trench. Shortly afterwards, a Jewish group thought to have been allied with the Muslims were found, by a neutral arbiter, to have been guilty of betraying their alliance with the Muslims. The men were, according to Jewish law, executed and the women and children enslaved. The incident has been the subject of much controversy in recent years; see Banu Qurayza and Muhammad as a warrior for a fuller discussion.
Following the Battle of the Trench, the Muslims were able, through conversion and conquest, to extend their rule to many of the neighboring cities and tribes.
Thoughts? BrandonYusufToropov 16:01, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

"Neutral arbiter" isn't really fair -- someone wounded in the Battle of the Trench, while fighting for the Muslims, couldn't be considered neutral. The sentence is trying to make it sound as if the Banu Qurayza were rightfully found guilty, which I don't think can be justified from the account in Ibn Ishaq. "According to Jewish law" is also Muslim POV, trying to shift the blame. I don't think there's anything IN Jewish law requiring massacre.

I already rewrote the section and I think it's fairly neutral. I'd accept Brandon's version without the argumentative bits. Perhaps the two versions can be melded. Zora 19:25, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

I also accept Brandon's version. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:27, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

"Final prophet of Islam"

We simply can't use that phrase as a description unless it's prefaced by a disclaimer like "Muslims believe that". That description is inherently POV. It's a bad as accepting "Jesus, the Son of God" as a description of Jesus. "Final prophet of Islam" assumes that there IS a thing called Islam, that there were previous prophets, and that Muhammad was the last. All these are matters of faith for Muslims, but they are not acceptable to non-Muslims. Please stop trying to PUSH this description into various Islam-related articles. Zora 19:48, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

This description is only in this article. By your standards, would be like saying "Christians believe that Jesus is christianity's central figure". Jesus is Christianity's central figure just like Muhammad is the final prophet of Islam. This is fact. Whether you believe Muhammad existed or not that does not change his position in Islam. He is the final prophet in Islam. Muslims are the adherents of Islam. Obviously the adherents of a religion or ideology are going to believe what the religion says. Islam has Muhammad as the final prophet. Zora if you aren't even willing to say what his position in Islam is, you might as well delete the article. That phrase was satisfactory for months now, why all of a sudden have you decided to change it? --a.n.o.n.y.m t 19:56, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
AE, you're reifying "Islam", as if it existed outside the people who say that they are Muslims. You think of it as a THING that requires certain beliefs. This is inherently POV. A non-Muslim would not accept this. Furthermore, different Muslims have different ideas about "Islam", and what "Islam" requires. By declaring your conception of "Islam" as the real, honest, true "Islam", you're in effect saying that you get to define what Islam is and isn't. Heck, if I were a Muslim I wouldn't give you that power. You see your beliefs as just facts and don't understand why I'm screaming "POV". Well, that's the nature of belief. I see my Buddhist beliefs as just facts too. A non-Buddhist wouldn't see it that way. Please, step back from faith for a second and ADMIT that other people may not share your view of what's fact and what isn't. Zora 20:21, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Zora, you don't understand. Whether it is a non-Muslim or a Muslim viewing the article does not change who Muhammad is in Islam. He is still the final prophet of Islam. That is his position and one of the requirements for being a Muslim. Why is that hard to understand? Islam is what it is, regardless of what people think and Muhammad is the final prophet of Islam. Saying that "Muslims believe" is completely unnecessary.--a.n.o.n.y.m t 20:29, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Zora, even saying "muslims believe" is technically putting words into their mouths. The question, is whethor the article is accurate or not, whether the words are true to the follower's beliefs. So the beliefs listed here are the words of the vast majority of its followers. No such questions have been adaquatly raised.
Also, you only need "muslims believe" at the begining of paragraphs and at key points just to reinforce that this is a set of beliefs, we need not say "X beleives Y" for every statement.Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 22:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
No doubt about that. It is similar to the case of PBUH. A statment like According to Islam, Muhammad is the last prophet... is the right thing to state in the article and in the same time avoid redundancy as per Voice. Cheers -- Svest 22:39, 24 October 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
How about Muhammad is the final prophet of Islam? Been saying that all along...:)--a.n.o.n.y.m t 22:48, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Still. Same case. It would be confusing and contradicting with the view of non-Muslims and Muslims alike. For Muslims, Islam have existed since the creation of the world and therefore for them Muhammad is still the final prophet of all Abrahamic religions. On the other hand, for non-Muslims, it's not the case as it would imply the same thing for Muslims. To respect the NPOV and accuracy I believe that what I said above is right and correct (indeed it's not contradictory) -- Cheers Svest 22:56, 24 October 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
I understand. But I would like to point out that the next line says "Non-Muslims generally consider him the founder of Islam". So it all balances out. Thanks, a.n.o.n.y.m t 23:09, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
The current version seems fine. The "maintream line" is fine, although "according to" will also work. The intro to a religious figure article bests start of with "according this religion" and "according to its non-followers" in the first few lines. This way, we know what it is, because it is hard not to call a spade a spade. Not only do muslims believe that he is the final prophet, but he is the final prophet of Islam. We don't need Muslims believe that he is the final prophet of Islam. Religion implies belief, so putting in belief multiple times is sloppy. Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:22, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Exactly what I said before. :) Thanks. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:26, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I see what you mean AE. But it is the truth. While Muslims believe he is the last prophet, Non-muslims consider him as the founder of Islam is the right sentence. I don't think adding or removing something from that would be accurate. Cheers -- Svest 00:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
Absolutely. The current version is very close to that with the exception of the minor grammar edit with which I and Voice of All agree. Thanks, a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:32, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Speaking of grammar, you should have wrote "which Voice of All and I agree on" :-).Voice of All @|Esperanza|E M 00:37, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Darn and I am a teacher too. Gulp... --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:38, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
(I assume "you should have wrote" was ironic?) kwami 00:59, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Drastic reduction of first para

AE, all the little provisos and flourishes had turned the first para into a mini-course in Islamic theology. That is not really what we want in an opening para, which is supposed to be broad and simple. It was actively off-putting, as in, "MEGO, my eyes glaze over, I don't want to read any more."

I cut it down drastically. If people want to know what Muslims mean by "final prophet of Islam", they can click the links. How's that for a solution? Zora 02:07, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

...considered the final prophet of Islam by mainstream Muslims.
"mainstream" was added recently. With the article as it is, this addition is confusing, not clarifying. What does "mainstream" mean? Which Muslims don't consider him the last prophet? I couldn't find anything in this article explaining this. --Yodakii 18:25, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I originally wrote it without the "mainstream". Whoever added it has a point, however, There ARE groups claiming to be Muslims who also recognize prophets or messengers after Muhammad.
The devilishly-difficult thing about explaining "who is Muhammad, in the eyes of Muslims", is that different groups have different views of who Muhammad is, and his role in the wider scheme of things. Everything from Barelvis (Muhammad is eternally present) to modern minimalists to Ahmadis. Just about any generalization you make can be shot down by citing one outlier. That's why the intro para was turning into a mini-theology lecture with lots of caveats, which is not what we need for an intro para. Short, sweet, and universally valid doesn't seem to be attainable. I will mull this over. It's a problem. Zora 19:38, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Muslim sources report

I don't see any problem with "claiming to have had visions" myself. It's a subjective experience and all anyone can do is claim. I'd say that the Buddha claimed to have experienced enlightenment and not see it as POV. But ... if BYT feels that the phrase sounds too skeptical I'm willing to try a different phrasing. But "Muslim sources report" is NOT OK. "Report" has connotations of someone seeing something and then reporting it. It implies that something happened and that authoritative Muslim sources were just reporting it. I'm sorry, that won't do. There's a hadith where Aisha describes seeing Muhammad in the throes of revelation. "Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the Sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over)." No angels, just some sort of possession with noticeable physical effects. Zora 12:57, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

"Muslims say" works for me -- it's certainly accurate and nonjudgmental. As for Aisha, I hear what you're saying, but remember she's considerably later in the history. Consider that a) initial revelations may have had extraordinary features and b) Muhammad may have seen and heard things (then and later) that others did not. BrandonYusufToropov 13:15, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Aren't there any Movies about Muhammad?

Where can I find a list of movies about Muhammad? Just because it may be offensive for some people to see a picture of Muhammad, or a movie about his life, doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to see it, or read a short list of their titles. Considering how many ways his name can be spelled, a short list (with dates produced, and names of directors) would be very useful to the interested viewer.

Some that I know:
  • The message, 1976. The first ever. [11]This film has been approved by both Sunni and Shi'ite scholars thus presents a pretty balanced view of the life of Muhammad. Directed by Mustapha Al-Akkad. Featured Anthony Quinn, Michael Ansara and Irene Papas.
  • Muhammad: The Last Prophet, 2004. An animated film by Richard Rich and produced by RichCrest Animation Studios for Badr International.
  • Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, 2002. A documentary (Kikim Media) created and co-produced by Michael Wolfe and Alexander Kronemer, and co-produced and directed by Michael Schwarz and Omar Al-Qattan . Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Unity Productions Foundation and some other foundation and individual contributors.
I haven't watched the last 2 ones but I believe that The message is a Must-See.-- Svest 00:42, 16 October 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
There are also many documentaries about the Prophet that shouldn't be hard to find. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 03:23, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Iconoclasts at work?


Re the repeated deletion of referenced pictures:

  1. The Islam's (or the Muslims') stance on whether pictures of Muhammad are acceptable or not is utterly irrelevant - WP is not a religious project, so religious rules cannot apply. Otherwise, anything that could be considered non-compliant with the rules of Islam would have to be deleted - any criticism of Muhammad, any doubts about whether he had a vision / an encounter with Gabriel / insert random religious belief here. Come to think of it - it could even be doubted whether the article should be changed during Ramadan!
  2. Take a look at what an encyclopedia is; the original project by Diderot and others was explicitly started as an indepedent collection of knowledge; independent from the restrictive and censoring influences of the Catholic church, too. Letting some religious belief introduce (self-)censorship to WP is an inacceptable corruption of the idea of a source of knowledge that is based on rationalism only and that is one of the most important products of the Age of Enlightment.
  3. Any reasonable user - and me one of the first of them - would object strongly to the idea of banning (e.g.) Michelangelo's works from WP, just for the reason that some Christian or Jew might feel offended due to the First / Second commandment. WP is not about some people hypothetically feeling offended - otherwise we had to either delete / censor a lot of articles, Dildo not by far being the most offensive.
  4. I can't find anything "cartoonish" about the picture: It is clearly made in the very usual style of it's time, nothing derogatory or malevolent about it. About it's historical accuracy - well duh, nobody can truly judge that.
To conclude it: I deeply consider your actions as an unappropriate act of censorship; it is irritatingly resembling other most disturbing acts of suppressing personal freedom in favor of minorities' beliefs ([12],[13]). So - I will insert the picture once more; if you keep deleting it's reference, I will seek the WP community's attention on this issue (this is no threat, just a clarification of my stance on this).
-- 00:27, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
As I said before, the picture had been inserted before by the editor who uploaded it. It was removed with an extensive discussion on the issue that has now been archived. You are just walking down the same path. The picture is both ridiculous (the artist was probably on drugs) and may be offensive to Muslims. These discussions never change. It's always the pathetic argument on "censorship". According to your logic, I suppose I can insert a swastika into the Judaism article? Inserting that pic again will only count as vandalism. And saying that it is a picture of the religion's "founder" is also ridiculous, simply because of the nature of the picture.--a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
(As mentioned on your discussion page):You consider a picture of Muhammad (e.g. the picture of the religion's founder) in his own article comparable to the picture of a swastika in the judaism article (e.g. the symbol of the industrial attempt of eradication of the jews)? Sorry, but that must be the most invalid argument I have read for quite a time. -- 00:37, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Can't see what's wrong with the term "founder", btw.

That picture really is awful. It deserves to be in a cartoon, not in an encyclopaedia page about a religion. --JadeManiac 00:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

What do you consider "cartoonish"? -- 00:46, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't see why anyone would want to enter that picture unless they were biased against a religion to begin with. --JadeManiac 00:51, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
See? That's exactly the point: For you it's a matter of being pro/contra religion; you don't even grasp the concept of an article being neither of the above or NPOV. -- 01:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

POV discussion

The user strongly objecting the reference of the above-mentioned picture let's himself carry away by his personal beliefs, IMO. While his entitled to them without limitations, they shouldn't be carried into a WP article, since they mean a violation of the NPOV approach of WP on religion(more detailed explanation above). Religion is fine with me - as long as it stays on the personal level and doesn't influence the neutrality of articles. -- 00:46, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Good. I feel the same way about anti-Religion. Keep at your personal level. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:48, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm not in the anti-religion business; I just don't like POV articles. -- 00:54, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
This user's a troll, right? Should we even play along?
A picture of Jesus, even though fictional, might be relevant in an article on Jesus, because it shows how his followers see him. (It would certainly be relevant in an article on Christianity.) But there's a reason why we aren't swamped with Muslim images of Mohammed. If we actually had a portrait that had preserved, that of course should be included. But there's no point in adding a fictional picture of him.
But let's not encourage a troll, okay? The discussion will just get ridiculous. kwami 00:50, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I share the views of Kwami. The problem with the picture is that Alexander Ross's gives no explanations whatsoever about the history behind the picture. The picture is not ridiculous but has no historical background and therefore it's a fiction. -- Svest 01:00, 24 October 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
Yeah I have no doubt it's a troll. It is funny how ridiculously repetitive these discussions are though.--a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:53, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Nah, no sillyness please - these "He's a troll / reincarnation of user xy / anti-article" defamation games aren't a good idea. -- 00:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I currently see everyone else in opposition. Surely you can work this out in a decent manner. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 01:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Whoa, plus the negation of the existence of a dispute. Now that's bad style. Why not let the WP community have look at it instead of suppressing the discussion?-- 01:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Come on, don't be silly - deleting the POV template is the wrong way of handling this, it is a most indecent behavior, not to say rude. Let the Wikipedians decide on the (N)POV nature, willya? That should be the way for things to go, not the suppression of a discussion. -- 01:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Reverts without discussion, huh? Sorry, but I see no choice but demanding a mediation process. -- 01:23, 24 October 2005 (UTC)