by Khaled Hammad
Khaled’s fascinating story is serialized on this site every Thursday. You can read it here:
NB: This instalment is late and the editor accepts full responsibility.
A Journey Through Hell Fire
Chapter 10: “An Addiction”
Paltalk became almost like a substance of abuse in my life. I was addicted. I would spend the whole night awake, listening and learning and go to work the next day suffering from sleep deprivation because of the hours I had spent with Paltalk. There was a topic or a theme for discussion every time. Let’s say the admin wanted to discuss the morals of the prophet Mohammed. They would pick a title for the episode, such as ‘Why do Muslims call the Prophet Mohammed “the most honourable of God’s creations?”’ Muslims who wished to discuss that matter would raise a virtual hand, and they would be asked to speak when it was their turn. They were primarily angry and incoherent. As a Muslim, sometimes it felt a bit like having a panic attack hearing things like this, really!
You did not get an Imam or a knowledgeable Muslim in those rooms defending Islam because they had their own rooms. They refused to talk about their religions. Instead, they would discuss the other religion, trying to refute it. Both parties also ensured they listened to each other incognito but did not engage; it was almost like a war with no ground operation, heavy artillery, intelligence, and celebration of victorious battles when a conversion occurs. Both parties did not preach in their rooms; Muslims who interacted were saying no more than what I have learned throughout my life from my parents, schoolteachers, or during Friday prayers. The Prophet Mohammed was kind, loving, and honourable; he was known among his tribe members as “the trustworthy and honest” before he even took on the message of Allah. If they had an issue or a disagreement, they would go to him and ask for his opinion or judgement. When the Prophet Mohammed was in Mecca, he would find litter on his doorstep every day, allegedly put there by a Jew. One day, there was no litter, so he asked about the Jew, and when he was told that the Jew was sick, the Prophet Muhammed visited him. He was that kind and respectful. Stories like these are what almost every adult Muslim knows and memorizes very well. It is what they admired the prophet for. That surely confirms the statement debated: Surely the prophet Mohammed is “the most honourable of all God’s creations”.
However, the Coptic Christians had a new tone that I was not familiar with. They attacked, armed with seemingly undeniable evidence from Sunni Quranic interpretive literature called Tasfir. You can learn more about Tafsir by clicking: Tafsir. Another source they relied on was the biography of the Prophet, such as “Sirat Ibn Hisham.” They would talk about issues that were unheard of by me, for example, that the Prophet Mohammed got his adopted son to divorce his wife so that he could marry her. Of course, he needed to prohibit adoption in order to make such an act lawful! ‘What on earth were these Coptic infidels talking about?’ Another disturbing topic was that women were apparently allowed to breastfeed stranger adult males. Killing and torturing and many other horrific stories were also introduced and discussed. They too appeared to be from credible Islamic literature.
‘Nah, this is ridiculous,’ I thought. ‘It is in the Quran, yes, very clearly indeed, but that surely is disgusting. I cannot accept this; I must start doing some homework.’ But how can I get the knowledge? I am in the UK. I do not want to read English books critiquing Islam. I need to research Arabic literature. That is when my friend Ahmed Saleh comes back to the scene. What did he do, and how did he help me?
[To be Continued…]