To set the context for the story, Kinana was a Jewish man in the town of Khaibar.

Muhammad attacked Khaibar after receiving a revelation that Allah had already delivered the town into his hand. Muhammad attacked the men of Khaibar as they were going out to work and defeated them.

After this, Muhammad took all the loot that he could find. Someone came to him and told him that there was a man named Kinana al-Rabi who knew the location of more treasure.

“Kinana al-Rabi, who had the custody of the treasure of Banu Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it.  He denied that he knew where it was.  A Jew came (Tabari says “was brought”), to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early.  When the apostle said to Kinana, “Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?”  He said “Yes”.  The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found.  When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr Al-Awwam, “Torture him until you extract what he has.”  So he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead.  Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud.”

Ibn Ishaq pg. 515

Now the usual Muslim response to this claim is that Ibn Ishaq is a “weak source.” Ishaq included many fables and stories about Muhammad that may not have been true, but this story probably happened. By themselves, these three points of evidence would probably not be enough to make a definitive statement, but when you put all three together they become far harder to refute.

First off, Ibn Ishaq was a Muslim scholar. Name any Muslim scholar that would have made up a terrible story like this about Muhammad. That’s right, there is not a single one, because you would probably be killed.

Second off, Ibn Ishaq was written far earlier than the Hadith. Yet the Hadith is classified as “authoritative.” A lot of the times when the stories of Islam are written, the stories that show Muhammad in a bad life are often discredited by Muslims.

Third, a great deal of Ibn Ishaq’s work is historically accurate.


It is highly improbable that a Muslim scholar would go through all of the work to accurately dictate the life of Muhammad to his students, only to include a ‘hit-piece’ about the prophet that he loved so much.

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