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Thursday, January 22, 2015
Was Muhammad white?
From "Muhammad: Believe it or else" and several other polemics, oft directed against the NOI etc:
The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaybar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet. He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. (tr. Bukhari 1.8.367)
Paul Atreides, come on down! - or not.
Consider the source: Bukhari, like Muslim al-Nisaburi, wasn't a Greek, but he was of old Central Asia. Both scholars Bukhari and Muslim were probable racial Soghdians; northern Iranians. These two were white men themselves, with a little Asian in them. I have seen photos of late 1800s Bukhara. Many of those guys looked exactly like me. Especially the, er, Jews but we'll not get into that.
I haven't looked into the asanid of the ahadith which say that the Prophet was, beneath the sunburn, white. But I suspect they were part of the anti-Arab shu‘ubiya. This movement was strongest in newly-Islamicised Persia, as part of the ‘Abbâsid revolution.
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