SPITTING THE KORAN . . .
[not spitting on the koran!]
BUT SPITTING IT . . . ON A LANCE
(reminiscent of pig-sticking in the Punjab)
lancing the koran . . .
[remember the U.S. sniper and target practice with the koran as target?]
spitting it on a lance
by a Caliph yet!
Caliph Walid II stuck a Koran on his lance and shot arrows at it! He said to the Koran:
"You hurl threats against the stubborn opponent. Well then, I am a stubborn opponent myself. When you appear before God at the day of resurrection just say: My lord, al-Walid has torn me up."
The Umayyad Caliphs were irreligious and . . . some of the Caliphs may not have been true believers.
more about the Umayyads: the Caliph Muawiya . . .
Muawiya was the son of Abu Sufyan, Mohammed's old enemy before he converted to Islam (i.e. submitted to Allah and his Prophet).
Muawiya became a great Caliph. When he died, the Umayyad empire stretched from the Maghreb to the Sind in India. Civil war started soon after he died. In the internecine warfare, Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Husayn (Ali’s son) was killed by the forces of Yazid, the son of Muawiya at the battle of Karbala.
His head was cut off and presented to Yazid and kicked around like a football. Such irreverence to the Prophet's family make me wonder if Abu Sufyan and his family were true believers. More likely, Abu Sufyan (who lost two sons fighting Mohammed at Badr) converted to preserve his life. That is why the Koran and Hadiths recorded that there were many hypocrites who were constantly plotting against the Prophet.
I suspect that Abu Sufyan’s family had a blood feud against Mohammed’s family in which they finally won. Even today, Bedouin families still wage blood feuds. Abu Sufyan and his family may not be true believers but hijacked the Islamic movement for their own purposes. This topic could be the subject of a speculative article on Islam’s early days. But I digress too much. Let’s get back to the history of jihad.
Within fifty years of the death of the Prophet there were three rival Caliphs at each other's throats. Abdal Malik (a son of Abu Sufyan’s nephew) emerged the victor and became a great Caliph. The empire grew larger than before and lasted till 750.
During this time, another attempt was made to take Constantinople in 717. Muawiya had tried and failed because of lack of winter provisions. This new jihad against Christendom was led by Maslama, the brother of the Caliph, Suleyman. The Muslim force comprised of 180,000 Arabs and 1,800 ships. The Byzantines repulsed them with Greek fire and the energetic efforts of Emperor Leo. The Muslims retreated and Constantinople became the eastern gate that shut out the Muslim tide for another eight centuries till it fell to the Turks.
Elsewhere, Muslim forces were more successful. Spain fell and the tide of jihad entered France. Charles Martel stopped them there at the battle of Poitiers. This was the western gate and Christendom was saved. If the Franks had been defeated, Gibbons said:
"Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomed."