By F. W. Burleigh — March 20, 2015
For insight into the workings of Muhammad’s mind, consider Chapter 33 of his Koran, entitled “The Confederates.”
The chapter is like a wild theme park ride that races in and out of numerous topics. In the 73 verses that make up the chapter, Muhammad covers the following, using the God-voice he adopted for the Koran: He recaps a recent battle with the Meccans and excoriates people who were afraid to fight and die for him; he gloats about his extermination of the men and boys of one of the Jewish tribes of Yathrib, the confiscation of their property, and the enslavement of their women and children; he authorizes himself to take as many wives as he likes, permits himself to marry the wife of his adopted son, forbids himself from taking any more wives after he has taken as many as he likes, but allows himself sex slaves.
As the verses of this “revelation” continue, Muhammad imposes full body and face cover for women when outside the home, threatens people with humiliating punishment in the afterlife for annoying him, threatens to murder his critics, prohibits the practice of adoption, and dishes up images of sadistic torture in Hell awaiting people who don’t believe in him. He also praises himself as a “lamp spreading light,” and holds his behavior as a “beautiful pattern” for people to follow if they want to score well with Allah.
Among the verses is a celestial advisory that he must be obeyed:
Despite their tediousness, it is worth exploring some of these verses because, in addition to providing evidence of his strange mentality, they also show that his Koran was like a blog in which he commented on the happenings of the moment. The happenings of the moment recorded in Chapter 33 had to do with war, sex, and Muhammad’s betrayal of his adopted son.
In the war part of these verses, Muhammad covers the Meccan assault on Yathrib that came to be known as the Battle of the Trench, so named because of a three-mile defensive trench he dug around vulnerable parts of the valley to fend off the attackers. By the time of this battle, he had been waging war on the Meccans for almost five years. The two major battles of Badr and Uhud had already been fought.
The Battle of the Trench was the third major fight, which took place in A.D. 627. The Meccans attacked with an army of 12,000 warriors, drawn from numerous tribes who were itching for payback for all the harm Muhammad had caused them. But they were unable to get beyond the trench and finally gave up after a fierce windstorm leveled their encampments.
Verses 9 to 25 recap the action, but most are Muhammad’s diatribe against cowardly or fake believers who he was certain would have betrayed him had been given the opportunity. But he declares that Allah did not provide them with the opportunity because he sent the windstorm that disheartened the invaders and sent them packing. The battle was a test of faith of the believers who held firm, and Allah knows how to reward those who hold firm in their faith.
And rewarded they were: After the invaders left, Muhammad attacked the only remaining Jewish tribe of Yathrib and ended up distributing their wealth to the faithful. When he arrived in the valley, half of its 20,000 population was Jewish, divided among three major tribes. By the time of the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad had forced out two of the Jewish tribes. Hoping to escape the same fate, the remaining tribe at first insisted on not taking sides during the Meccan attack, then agreed to aid the invaders, but then backed out of it. Muhammad used this as an excuse to behead all of the men and boys.
About this massacre, Muhammad has Allah say:
As with much of the Koran, substitute Muhammad for Allah and the real meaning comes through. What these verses mean in plain language is that the Jews surrendered after a three-week siege, hoping Muhammad would exile them as he had done to the other Jewish tribes, but he beheaded the men and boys — somewhere between 400 and 900 with 700 being the likely number of victims. He happily seized all of their wealth of farms, date plantations, fortresses, and homes, and he enslaved all of the woman and children. The booty was distributed among his followers who participated in the siege — minus the 20 percent cut he kept for himself. The likely reason he attacked the Jews was to seize their wealth to pay off his followers for the hardships they had endured during the Battle of the Trench. The fact they had briefly taken sides with the Meccans was merely the pretext.
The chapter continues with blog entries concerning his marriage to Zaynab, the wife of Zayd, a slave whom he had adopted three decades earlier. Muhammad added Zaynab to his harem after pressuring Zayd to divorce her. He lusted for her and wanted her for himself, his adopted son be damned. This marriage scandalized even some of the truest believers because it was considered taboo among the Arabs for a father to take the wife of his son. Muhammad made use of Allah to finesse the matter. To deal with his critics, he had Allah dissolve the practice of adoption and declared that not only was his adopted son no longer his son, but he had never been his son because adoption was a human invention and was displeasing to Allah. Therefore, Muhammad declared he was blameless in the matter. Moreover, Allah had granted him the right to marry Zaynab, “and Allah’s command must be fulfilled.” (Verse 37) When critics kept up their attacks, Muhammad threatened them with bloody murder: “They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy).” (Verse 61)
This amazing chapter continues with details about the wedding banquet with Zaynab. It so happened that his anger was sparked when some of the male wedding guests dallied after the banquet was over. This irked Muhammad to no end, perhaps in part because he was eager to sleep with Zaynab, and they kept him from her, but also because he suspected the men had lingered in order to ogle his bride. He composed Verses 28-34 that warn all of his wives to watch their behavior. Then in verse 59, he decides good behavior is not enough. His wives and all believing women from then on had to cover up so that no part of their body was on display outside of the home. Thus the inspiration for burka was born:
But still sulking from the fact that some of male believers — believers in the oneness of Allah and in Muhammad as his messenger, no less! — ogled his woman at the banquet, Muhammad has Allah take time out from ruling the universe to teach such people manners. In Verse 53, he scolds them for behaving in a way that was upsetting to him, and still fuming over it, his anger spills over into Verse 57 where he threatens hellfire as punishment for anyone who upsets him.
These verses don’t have a firm order. A topic is taken up, then dropped, only to resume again in later verses. It makes it difficult to follow, even for people who know the details of Muhammad’s life.
Three of the sequential verses (50-52) have to do with the wives that Muhammad allows himself, and in their blatantly self-serving way they are perhaps the most amusing lines of the Koran:
In the verse that follows, he allows himself to rotate among his wives however he pleases. In Verse 52, he tells himself it is not lawful for him to marry any more women after all the above have been married “even though their beauty attracts” him, nor to change them for other wives. However, he allows himself the option of taking slaves as wives.
The chapter is full of self-praise, selfies taken on a celestial selfie stick.
More self-praise can be found in Verse 56 wherein he advises believers to bless him and “salute him with all respect,” because that is what Allah and Allah’s angels do to him.
This is followed by a suite of verses that rail against people who refuse to believe that God talks to him, salutes him, and blesses him. He threatens infidels that they will pay for their lack of belief in him in blazing hellfire. “Our Lord! Give them double Penalty and curse them with a very great Curse!” he says in Verse 68.
The Koran is full of such self-regard and oozes with Muhammad’s hatred for people who rejected him. But it is not necessary to read the entire book to realize it is the product on an extremely, shall we say, unusual mind.
Islam is all about Muhammad and his claim that God talked to him. His claim of communion with the divine was quite possibly brought about by epileptic fits caused by a malformed temporal lobe. The combination of his belief that he had a special mission, self-regard and fury towards those who do not conform to his edicts informs the faith he founded. Islam represents the institutionalized version of his vision.
All you have to do to understand the truth about the mind that created Islam and the ideology that is threatening the world is to read Chapter 33 of Muhammad’s Koran, which means “Recital.” Here is the Yusuf Ali translation of Chapter 33 (variously called The Clans, The Coalition, The Confederates)
F. W. Burleigh is the author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet. He blogs at www.itsallaboutmuhammad.com.
 Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. A. Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 1955, pp. 450-460.
 Ibid., pp. 461-468.
 Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Darussalam, 2000, vol. 7, pp. 695-699. (The Tafsir is a 10-volume exegesis of the Koran by the 14th century scholar Ibn Kathir.)