Some Answered Questions
Now we come to Muḥammad. Americans and Europeans have heard a number of stories about the Prophet which they have thought to be true, although the narrators were either ignorant or antagonistic: most of them were clergy; others were ignorant Muslims who repeated unfounded traditions about Muḥammad which they ignorantly believed to be to His praise.
Thus some benighted Muslims made His polygamy the pivot of their praises and held it to be a wonder, regarding it as a miracle; and European historians, for the most part, rely on the tales of these ignorant people.
For example, a foolish man said to a clergyman that the true proof of greatness is bravery and the shedding of blood, and that in one day on the field of battle a follower of Muḥammad had cut off the heads of one hundred men! This misled the clergyman to infer that killing is considered the way to prove one’s faith to Muḥammad, while this is merely imaginary. The military expeditions of Muḥammad, on the contrary, were always defensive actions: a proof of this is that during thirteen years, in Mecca, He and His followers endured the most violent persecutions. At this period they were the target for the arrows of hatred: some of His companions were killed and their property confiscated; others fled to foreign lands. Muḥammad Himself, after the most extreme persecutions by the Qurayshites, who finally resolved to kill Him, fled to Medina in the middle of the night. Yet even then His