The Martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Strong evidence to prove the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
In this study, we prove one of the most important historical events of Islam, i.e. the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and we are trying to use the Qur’an and the valid books of both sects (Sunni and Shia)as references.
First,we express the opinion of Sunni Muslims about the martyrdom of the Prophet and his poisoning bya Jewish woman in Khyber and then we will criticize it;and then will talk about Shia opinion in this regard.
Chapter One: proof of martyrdom of the Prophet (PBUH) in Qur’an
“And Muhammad is only a messenger from the Lord that other messengers before him have passed away. So if he dies or is killed you return to your past (the age of ignorance? And anyone returning to its past, does not hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful soon. “(Al-Imran (2), ayah 144)
This is one of the most important ayahs mentioning the martyrdom of the prophet according to the books of interpretation of Qur’an and Hadiths.
Status of revelation of this Ayah was when the defeat of Muslims in the battle of Uhud. In the battle of Uhud the pagans (polytheists) rumored that the Prophet was killedand this rumor caused a kind of defeat, retreat and hesitation in Muslims with fragilebeliefs and God reveled this Ayah to blame them.
There are mentioned three meanings for the conjunction “or” in the Arabic syntax science: 1. Non-Nasebeh reference, 2. Nasebeh reference, 3, Ezrab.
The first type has several meanings including: 1. discretionary, 2. permissible, 3.doubt, 4. Split, 5. ambiguity.
The first four meanings do not apply to this Ayah, but the fifth that is ambiguity is possible in this Ayah. Meaning that God knows that the Prophet is to be martyred, but He puts it in ambiguity.
The reason for this ambiguity might be that if God had explicitly expressed that the Prophet is to be martyred, the pagans and Hypocrites would acceleratetheir action relying on the truth of God’s word and would plan and proceed sooner for their purpose.
The second type also has circumstances that are not existent in this Ayah.
Considering the third type Ezrab which means “nay but”, in this case the meaning of the Ayah will be: “So if he dies, nay but is killed.” This possibility also seems correctespecially that “or” meaning “nay but” appears on several occasions in the Qur’an:
- “and we sent him (Jonah) to a hundred thousand people or (but even) more.”(Al Saffat (37), Ayah 147)
- “Then your hearts became hardened after that, so they were like rock or (but even) harder.”(Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 74)
3.”So when you did your ceremonies (rites-rituals) then reminisce God the way that you reminisce your fathers, or (but even) higher than that.”(Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 200)
Chapter two: the opinion of Sunnite about the martyrdom of the Prophet (PBUH)
Great leaders of Sunnite believe that the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) wasmartyred. Including:
1.Albeyhaqhi quoted from Alhakim from Alasam from Ahmed bin Abdul-Jabbar from abiMa’an from Ala’amash as Abdullah ibn Namreh from Abi Al’ahvas from Abdullah ibnMas’ud that said:
“If I swear nine times that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was killed, is better for me that once swear that he was not killed, and this is because God made him a prophet and a martyr.”(Alsirah Alnabaviyah, Ibn Kathir Aldameshghi, vol. 4, p. 449; Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal vol. 1 , p. 408; Almo’jam Alkabir, Tabarani, vol 10, p 109; Mosnaf, Sanaani, vol. 5, p. 268)
And the reasons for the martyrdom of the Prophet:
Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) and Usamah entered the grave of the Prophet (PBUH) then a man from the Ansar who was called ibn-e-Khuli said:
“You know that I used to enter into the graves of all the martyrs, and the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) is the most virtuous martyr, so he entered into the grave with them.”(AnsabAlashraf, Beladhari, vol. 1, p. 576)
Also HakemNeishaburi said: ” Shaabi said: By Allah, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) died poisoned.” (AlmostadrakAlaAlsahihayn, Hakem Neishaburivol. 3, p. 60, Hadith-99/4395, AlmaghaziVaAlsaraya section)
Ibn Saad said: in a hadith says: “And he (the Prophet) died poisoned when he was sixty-three years old. This is the word of Ibn Abdeh.” (Al-MajdifiAlansab, Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Alawi, p. 6.)
Reviewing the books of Sunni and Shi’a,we conclude that the Prophet was martyred by poison.
Now the question is that according to Sunni beliefs, which poison was the agent of the martyrdom of the prophet.
Chapter Three: Sunni opinion about the death of the Prophet by Khaybar poison
Most of the Sunni believe that the martyr of the prophet was because of poison that a Jewish woman gave him in Khaybar.
But this opinion is unacceptable for several reasons:
The first reason: the poisoning of the Prophet (PBUH) by the Jewish woman had happened is the beginning of the year 7 AH, and his death happened in 11 AH. So it is very unlikely that his death was because of the poison that he had eaten four years ago. The effects and symptoms of the toxin usually does not remain so long, and even if remainsits effects must appear gradually and kill the poisoned person little by little, while after the Khaybar conquer until a few days before his death, the Prophet had no symptoms of poisoning and diseases and had taken part in wars and battles in full health, without any sign in his body.
The second reason: Some narrations quoted from important resources Sunnite prove that the Prophet (PBUH) did not eat the poisoned food that she the Jewish woman gave her at all, because God had warned him and he prohibited his companions from eating it.This was one of the miracles of the Prophet and one of the reasons for his prophecy. Abu Dawud and Beyhaghi and Khatib quoted from Abu Hurayrathat he said:
“A Jewish woman brought a toxic lamb (roasted) for the Prophet as a gift. He said to his companions: Hold on, this lamb is poisoned. Then the Prophet asked her: Why did you dothis? She said: I wondered if you are the Messenger of God, He will warn you that this food is poisoned, and if you’re a liar (your claim of prophecy is not true), then I would rescue the people from you! The narrator says: The Prophet did not offend her. “(AlsirahAlnabaviah, Ibn Kathir, vol. 3, p. 396, from Bayhaghi and Abu Dawood and history of Baghdad, vol. 7, p. 384, etc.)
And alsoBokhari and Daremi have quotedfrom Abu Hurayrah that he said:
“When Khaybar was conquered, the Prophet (PBUH) was brought a roasted lambas a gift that was toxic. The Prophet said: gather the Jews who are here. They were gathered together. The Prophet said to them: will you be honest if I ask a question? They said: Yes, O Abu’lghasem! The Prophet asked: Who is your father? They said: someone. He said: you lied, but your father is that person. They said: you’re right. The Prophet asked: if I ask you a question, you tell the truth? They said: Yes, O Abu’lghasem! And if we lie, you’ll know, as you understood about our fathers. The Prophet asked: Who are at fire? They said: We’re on fire and you’ll come behind us. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: you beon fire. By God, we will not come after you on fire. Then he said to them: will you be truthful if I ask a question? They said: Yes. The Prophet asked: Did you poison this food? They said: Yes. Then he asked: What was your reason for this? They said: we wanted to rescue from you if you’re a liar and if you are a prophet, then it will not hurt you.” (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 4, p. 66; Sonan Daramivol. 1, p. 33;etc.)
From these two stories and similar stories, it can be proven that the Prophet did not eat this toxic food at Khayber at all.
The third reason: some Sunnite narrations confirm that the Prophet (PBUH) did not offend Zainabbint Alharese hand did not punish her as the relating quotation was mentioned in the second reason. AlsoTabari has narrated: “Then the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) laughed and abandoned her.” (TahzibAlaasar, Tabari, vol. 6, p. 381)
And also Abdor’razagh Sanaani and Ibn Hajar Asghalani quoted Zahri: “that woman embraced Islam, so the Prophet abandoned her.” (Mosnaf, Sanaani, vol. 11, p. 28; and from him Sire Ibn Kathir vol. 3, P.398; and Alasaabah fi TamyizAlsahabah, IbnHajarAsghalani, vol 8, p. 155)
And the narration of Bukhari and Muslim also confirms this: “When the Prophet was asked: Do not we kill her (the Jewish woman)? He said: no “(Sahih Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 141; Sahih Muslim, vol. 7, p. 15)
It is certain that she did not commit a crime that the Prophet can punish her for that, so he did not eat the toxic food to get poisoned.
The fourth reason: If we accept the content of the narrations that say the Prophet had eaten thepoisonous food (without knowing that it is toxic), it would cause suspicion of prophecy and denial of his claim for prophecy, because the Jewish woman, as arguing what she had done, said: “I want to know if you’re a prophet, God will make you aware of it and if you’re a liar, people will get rescued from you.” And if it is true that God had not warned His messenger of the poisoned food and prophet had eaten that food even a mouthful of that, it will lead to the refutation of the prophet according to the Jewish woman’ and other Jew’s opinion; and the It is not expectable from Almighty God that do not help his messengers in such challenging positions, which may cause people to reject them. As we see in the history of previous prophets that when people have requested a miracle from the Prophet for challenging them, God has helped His prophets to be acknowledged by people.
Also, we cannot ascribe that: the Prophet (PBUH) of Allah had even eaten a bit of that poisoned food without any warning from God, and after that God have told him that the food is poisoned!, Because if so, then this event would not be considered as a miracle and knowing the unseen by the Jewish woman and other Jews; and it will not be counted as a proof of the prophecy of the Prophet (PBUH) and the cause of acknowledgment of him because they would say: after tasting a bit of food, Prophet had felt that the food is poisoned and so he stopped eating, so this is no miracle and no definitive reason of his prophecy.
Even today, Jews and Christians in the satellite channels and Internet websites referring to some fake narrations in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, which are quoted from the likes of Abu Huraira, are arguing that when the Prophet took the morsel in the mouth, the food started talking and said: “I am poisoned.”; So they undermined and questioned the prophecy of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) and said: if he was a prophet, God should have warned himabout this.
With the contradictions that exist in Sunnite narrations, we cannot accept them. But what can resolve these contradictions are the narrations from AhlulBayt (as) in this field that will clear the truth and remove the doubts about this event.
Chapter Four: Shia opinion about the martyr of Holy Prophet (PBUH)
All the great Shiite scholars believe that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) have been killed by poison,Although, some of them have not explicitly expressed thisdue to reservation and considerations of the existent suffocation in the reign of the wicked cruel governments. But none of them have quoted narrations indicating that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) died a natural death.
Sheikh Mufid says: “He was martyred by poison inSafar,28th in year 10 AH at the age of 63 years old in Medina.” (Almaghna’eh, Sheikh Mufid, p. 456)
Sheikh Tusi also has narrated the same in Tahzibol Ahkam. (TahzibolAhkam, Sheikh Tusi, vol. 6, p. 1)
And Majlesi says: “the martyrdom of the prophet happened in year 11 AH.” (Behar al-Anwar, Allameh Majlesi, vol 22, p 514)
Allameh Helli also confirms the martyrdom of the Prophet by poison. (Montahal Matlab, Allameh Helli, vol. 2, p. 887)
Mohammad Ali Ardebili also says: “the Prophet was martyred in Medina by poison.” (Jame Alrovat, Mohammad Ali Ardebili, vol. 2, p. 463)
In addition to consensus of the Shia scholars on the fact that the Prophet was martyred, there are also quotations (Hadiths) in this regard:
The first category: Quotations affirming the martyrdom of all Ahlul Bayt
- The Prophet (PBUH) said: “there is no prophet or executor unless he is martyred.”(Basa’er Aldarajat, Mohammed bin Hassan Saffar, p. 148; Behar al-Anwar, Allameh Majlesi, Vol. 17, p. 405 and vol. 40, p. 139)
- In another narration he said: “there is none of us unless is poisoned or killed.”(Wasael Alshieh, Sheikh Horr Ameli, vol. 14, p. 2 and p. 18; Behar al-Anwar, Allameh Majlesi, vol. 45, p. 1; Man la Yahzarohol-Faghih, Sheikh Sadugh , vol. 4, p. 17)
- Imam Hasan Mojtaba(AS): “I swear to God, none of us is but the killed and martyr.” The same narration is also quoted from Imam Sadegh and Imam Reza (AS).
From these quotation, it is understood that all the Ahlul Bayt were martyred because the negation and “unless” in the samesentence express the generality and including of all, unless due to a certain reason one of them excludes that such evidence is not existent.
The second category: quotations, especially about the martyrdom of the Prophet
Although the number of quotations in this categoryis not as large as the first one, they are correct and flawless regarding their documents.
1.SalimibnGheysHelali quoted from Abdullah ibn Ja’far that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had a speech and said: “O people! When I become a martyr, Ali is prior to you from yourselves, and when Ali was martyred, my grandson Hassan is prior to you from yourselves and when my son Hassan was martyred, my son, Hussein is prior to faithful people from themselves and…. then Ali ibn abi Talib (AS) stood while he was crying, he said: O Messenger of Allah,my parents beransomed for you! Do you get killed?! He said: Yes, I get martyred by poison, and you get killed by sword and your beard will be colored by your head’s blood and my son will be killed by poison! And my son Hussein will be killed by sword, he will be killed by a tyrant, the son of a tyrant! An adulterate, the son of an adulterate!A hypocrite, the son of a hypocrite!” (Asrar Al-e-Muhammad, Salim ibn Gheys Helali, p. 362; Behar al-Anwar, Allameh Majlesi, vol 33, p 266)
- Imam Sadegh (AS) has quoted from fathers (AS) that said: Imam Hassan (AS) said to his family: “I will be killed by poison, as the Prophet (PBUH) was killed by poison.”
- Also Ayyashi has quoted from Hussein ibn Manzar that said: “I asked Imam Sadegh (AS) about the ayah in Qur’an (that says: So if he dies or is killed you return to your past): was it a murder or a natural death? Ha answered: his companions did what they did. (Meaning that they martyred him)” (Tafsir-e-Ayyashi, Muhammad ibn Ayyash, vol. 1, p. 200)
So far the ayahs and hadiths show that the Holy Prophet of Islam has been killed and his martyrdom was because of a poison but not the one that he ate at Kheybar. The fact that who has or have poisoned the Prophet and killed him,is something that there are many quotations about it. Just like the narration of the story of the beheading of Imam Hussein (AS) that some say that Sanan has done it and some say that Shemr did it.
However, investigating the Qur’an, Hadiths and history lead us to the conclusion that: the holy prophet of Islam, Mohammad Mustafa (PBUH), did not die a natural death but was killed by a poison. And those who have a little study about the history and lifestyle of the prophet and Ahlul-Bayt, know that the assassination of the Prophet is not far-fetchedand by research, it can be concluded that who has or have martyred the prophet.