According this Wikipedia article Kenana ibn al-Rabi was tortured by Muhammad to reveal where his treasure is.

Why can't Muhammad just ask God or Gabriel where the treasure is?

If it's not true, what actually happened?


3 Answers 3


The whole story (according to the narration quoted in tarykh at-Tabari) has heavy weaknesses, so most scholars consider it as fabricated.

The narrator Mohammed ibn Hamyd ar-Razi محمد بن حميد الرازي was considered as a kind of fabricator. Imam ad-Dahabi called him صَاحِبُ عَجَائِبَ "A man or fellow of wonders, meaning who told hair-rising stories." al-Bukhari said one must take his narrations very carefully; some said he was considered as a liar.

The narrator Ibn Ishaq ابن إسحاق has no sanad (no continuous chain) to our Prophet (peace be upon him) and some of the people of his time especially Imam Malik -who knew him well- regarded this story as a fabrication of him. As they said in his narration there were some israeliyaat! However Malik might be biased as there was a concurrence situation between both. So when it comes to maghazi (battles of the Prophet) Ibn Ishaq is a good refence, but as a narrator in hadith matters he might need the support of other trustworthy narrators who have narrated the same thing, as he used to make strange additions.

By the way also a similar narration in Tabaqat الطبقات ibn Sa'ad is weak because of similar reasons.

Now on the other hand there are many ahadith (hadiths) which show 1st that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was not known to like nor to use torture as his sunna proofs the opposite and 2nd true sahih ahadith (hadiths) show that the Jews of Khaybar have been condemned because they broke a promise and the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had promised that he will keep them in peace if they didn't. And it seems that Kinana himself was condemned according to a hadith quoted by al-Bayhaqi for taking an innocent life (of Mahmud ibn Maslma). This I only found quoted by Ibn Hajjar Al-A'sqalani in Fath al-Bary.

Therefore this story can't only be considered as baseless or fabricated.

Here are some examples of the sunna:

It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraida through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. Then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of the Muhajireen and inform them that, if they do so, they shall have all the privileges and obligations of the Muhajireen. If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will have the status of Bedouin Muslims and will be subjected to the Commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share from the spoils of war or Fai' except when they actually fight with the Muslims (against the disbelievers). If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. When you lay siege to a fort and the besieged appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not accord to them the guarantee of Allah and His Prophet, but accord to them your own guarantee and the guarantee of your companions for it is a lesser sin that the security given by you or your companions be disregarded than that the security granted in the name of Allah and His Prophet be violated. When you besiege a fort and the besieged want you to let them out in accordance with Allah's Command, do not let them come out in accordance with His Command, but do so at your (own) command, for you do not know whether or not you will be able to carry out Allah's behest with regard to them.

Sahih Muslim

`Abd Allah b. Mughaffal reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying : Allah is gentle, likes gentleness, and gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness.

Sunan abi Dawod

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said: "Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness."

Sunan ibn Majah

The story of the treasure also is a bit strange, it could only be explained by the disloyalty and breaking the covenant! Those scholars who accept it said that at least it was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). So if there has been a treasure it has been found, it could be the treasure or the goods the Jews of bani Qaynuqa' who have been expelled from Medina have taken with them even if they were not allowed to according the treathy or charter of Medina!

  • 1
    So your answer is it didn't happen. Muhamad didn't torture anyone. Nothing he did is above and beyond "standard" at that time. I am not saying it's true or false. It's just that it's your answer right? Somebody got to update the wikipedia entry.
    – user4234
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 12:42
  • One could only comment the wikipedia entry to keep academic honesty! As at least two references which are mainly (not in particular) accepted by muslims do quote it. That's the point ibn Ishaq for example was the first to write down/narrate a biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) but from a Hadith science point of view he would be considered as weak, so only sahih ahadith (hadiths) can support his narration!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 14:22
  • So what's actually happen? There is no treasure?
    – user4234
    Commented Oct 2, 2016 at 12:06
  • @SharenEayrs what happens: We don't really know. If there has been a treasure it has been found without torture.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 12:49
  • @SharenEayrs We don't know the exact story but he most likely broke the treaty and got executed for that. He deserved it. Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 18:17

According this Wikipedia article Kenana ibn al-Rabi was tortured by Muhammad to reveal where his treasure is

As Medi1Saif has said, the story is from a narrator who was regarded as a very weak source. No Muslim government takes his accounts seriously. They are kept in books as knowledge. Other then that, his narrations have almost no application.

Why can't Muhammad just ask God or Gabriel where the treasure is?

Muhammad is the slave servant of God. He is the prophet of God. His job is to serve God and spread God's message. If he asked God to tell him where XYZ treasure is (I don't believe in this incident, this is for hypothetical scenario) then it would be injustice. He as a prophet is protected from sins. He was a good man but when he became a prophet, the influence of Satan severely decreased on him. He didn't sin much when he was influenced by Satan which is why he was chosen as a prophet because he was among the best of the people of that time.

He as a prophet can't argue with his master the lord of the worlds. If he asked to know something for his own interests and God gave it to him then it would be injustice towards the one from whom the treasure is taken. God is all just and he treats people with justice.

If it's not true, what [actually happened]?

We have no idea from where this story came from. The simple answer is we don't know.


There are two trusted sources Allah the Creator send us: Qur'an al-Kareem and sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him.

We do not accept fabricated false stories. If Imam Malik, great imam regarded this story as fabrication, so we do, verily, the Messenger, peace be upon him, is free from sins and wrongdoing. Would have casted downvote if had enough reputation.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .