Gibbon’s Muhammad: Viagra®’s Vicegerent on Earth?

“Ecce Homo…in rigor mortis Viagra®-tus?”

(Hat tip Religion of Peace)

Edward Gibbon (1734-1794), considered the Enlightenment’s greatest historian,  maintains in his 1776 magnum opus, “The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Vol. 9 (p. 89, and note 175), that according to the Muslim sources, Muhammad’s sexual prowess, literally till the day he died, was a point of emphasis, glorifying,

..the tradition of his natural or preternatural gifts: he united the manly virtue of thirty of the children of Adam*…Al Jannabi records his own testimony that he surpassed all men in conjugal vigour; and Abulfeda [Abulfeda (Abū-l-Fidā’ Ismā‛īl ibn ‛Alī ‛Imād-ud-Dnī] (1273-1331; see also)] mentions the exclamation of Ali, who washed his body after his [Muhammad’s] death, “O propheta, certe penis tuus cælum versus erectus est” …“O Prophet, thy penis is erect unto the sky!”

[* From one of the two most important canonical hadith collections: Narrated Qatada:Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa’id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 268); Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet used to visit all his wives in one night and he had nine wives at that time. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 5, Number 282; see also concordant hadiths in Vol. 7, Book 62, Numbers 6 and 142)]

Karen Armstrong’s popular modern western hagiography of Islam’s prophet either ignores all such negative pious Muslim source accounts, and/or recasts them under the apparent influence of nitrous oxide (N2O; laughing gas; sweet air)  inhalation.

Contra Ms. Armstrong, Robert Spencer’s remarkably compendious and unapologetic modern biography, is a brilliant analysis of Muhammad’s disturbing contemporary legacy, exclusively reliant on pious Muslim sources: the earliest (and most respected) Muslim biographers of Muhammad, Ibn Ishaq (d. 773), Ibn Saad (d. 845), and the great historian al-Tabari (d. 923); the “gold-standard” canonical hadith collections of Bukhari (d. 870), and Muslim (d. 875); and the Koran itself. Mr. Spencer provides understated, scrupulous documentation of the consequences of Muhammad’s status as “an excellent example of conduct” (Koran 33:21), invoked by contemporary Muslim clerics, governments, journalists and jihadists alike: exploited child brides and general misogyny, sanctioned by law; Draconian, mutilating punishments such as stoning for adultery and amputation for theft; jihad violence against non-Muslims and Shari’a (Islamic Law)-sanctioned oppression of non-Muslims under Muslim rule.

A century earlier, the great Orientalist scholar David S. Margoliouth’s 1905 biography recognized Muhammad as  “… a great man, who solved a political problem of appalling difficulty — the construction of a state and empire out of the Arab tribes.” Margoliouth recounted this accomplishment without “apology” or “indictment,” summarizing faithfully the picture of Muhammad that emerges, primarily, in Ibn Ishaq’s biography:

In order to gain his ends he recoils from no expedient, and he approves of similar unscrupulousness on the part of his adherents, when exercised in his interest. He profits to the utmost from the chivalry of the Meccans, but rarely requites it with the like. He organizes assassinations and wholesale massacres….His career as tyrant of Medina is that of a robber chief, whose political economy consists in securing and dividing plunder … He is himself an unbridled libertine and encourages the same passion in his followers. For whatever he does he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is, however, impossible to find any doctrine which he is not prepared to abandon in order to secure a political end …This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion, and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy

As we learn of an inchoate, but still preposterous campaign by an ostensibly “anti-terror” New York city (Queens) imam to “celebrate” Muhammad’s birthday as a national holiday, on par with Christmas, I have a more appropriate alternative campaign recommendation: perhaps Gibbon’s image of Muhammad—reflective of pious Muslim sources—could spearhead a national advertising campaign for sildenafil, i.e., Viagra®.

Comments are closed.