Criticism of Muhammad

Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the 7th century AD, when Muhammad was decried by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism, and by the Jewish tribes of Arabia for what they claimed were unwarranted appropriation of Biblical narratives and figures,[7] vituperation of the Jewish faith,[7] and proclaiming himself as "the last prophet" without performing any clear miracle or showing any personal requirement demanded in the Hebrew Bible to distinguish a true prophet chosen by the God of Israel from a false claimant. For these reasons, they gave him the derogatory nickname ha-Meshuggah (Hebrew: מְשֻׁגָּע, "the Madman" or "the Possessed").[8][9][10]

Dante's Inferno casts Muhammad in Hell,[1][2][3][4] reflecting his negative image in the Christian world.[3][4][5][6] Here, William Blake's illustration of Inferno depicts Muhammad pulling his chest open which has been sliced by a demon to symbolize his role as a "schismatic",[2][3][4] since Islam was considered a heresy by Medieval Christians.[3][4][5][6]

During the Middle Ages, various[3][5][6][11] Western and Byzantine Christian thinkers considered Muhammad to be a perverted,[3][6] deplorable man,[3][6] a false prophet,[3][4][5][6] and even the Antichrist,[3][5] as he was frequently seen in Christendom as a heretic[2][3][4][5][6] or possessed by demons.[2][6] Some of them, like Thomas Aquinas, criticized Muhammad's promises of carnal pleasure in the afterlife.[6]

Modern religious[3][12][13] and secular[14][15][16][17] criticism of Islam[12][13][14][15][16][17] has concerned Muhammad's sincerity in claiming to be a prophet, his morality, his ownership of slaves,[18][19] his treatment of enemies, his marriages,[20] his treatment of doctrinal matters, and his alleged psychological condition. Muhammad has been accused of sadism and mercilessness—including the invasion of the Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina[21][22][23][24][25][26] and his marriage to Aisha when she was six years old,[20][27][28] which according to most estimates was consummated when she was nine.[29]