Five Things About Muhammad
Muslims trust Muhammad as the last and final prophet and believe the revelation he received to be the literal word of God. As God’s supposed final messenger and prophet, we should expect him to adhere to certain standards and possess qualities that previous prophets exhibited. What does Islam tell us about Muhammad?
1. Muhammad did NOT know if he would go to heaven after death!
Narrated Kharija bin Zaid bin Thabit:
Um Al-‘Ala’, an Ansari woman who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet said to me, “The emigrants were distributed amongst us by drawing lots and we got in our share ‘Uthman bin Maz’un. We made him stay with us in our house. Then he suffered from a disease which proved fatal when he diedand was given a bath and was shrouded in his clothes, Allah‘s Apostle came I said, ‘May Allah be merciful to you, O Abu As- Sa’ib! I testify that Allah has honored you’. The Prophet said, ‘How do you know that Allah has honored him?’ I replied, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Let my father be sacrificed for you! On whom else shall Allah bestow His honor?’ The Prophet said, ‘No doubt, death came to him. By Allah, I too wish him good, but by Allah, I do not know what Allah will do with me though I am Allah’s Apostle. ‘ By Allah, I never attested the piety of anyone after that.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 334)
Question: If Muhammad did not know how to get to heaven or paradise, why would anyone want to listen to him?
2. Muhammad could not distinguish between a revelation supposedly from God and one from Satan.
The Messenger of God was eager for the welfare of his people and wished to effect a reconciliation with them in whatever way he could… Then God revealed:… “Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?” when Satan cast on his tongue the two phrases “These are high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is to be desired.” …Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, “Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.” … Then the Messenger of God said, “I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken.” (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, pages 108-111)
Question: If Muhammad could not tell when Satan was giving him revelation, why should we believe anything that was revealed to him?
3. Muhammad denied that he could perform miracles.
They say: “We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth, Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water; Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face: Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read.” Say: “Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- an apostle? (Quran, Sura 17:90-93)
Question: If Muhammad could not peform miracles to validate his revelation, what kind of a prophet was he?
4. Muhammad made false prophecies.
When Abdullah bin Salama heard of the arrival of the Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) at Madina, he came to him and said: “I am asking you about three things which nobody knows but a prophet: What is the first portent of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle?” Allah’s Apostle (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Gabriel has just now told me of their answers.” . . . “The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be extra-lobe of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her.” On that Abdullah bin Salam said: “I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 4, hadith 3329)
Comment: Note that this was a test to determine if Muhammad was a prophet. Muhammad failed miserably.
- The first portent of the hour will be a fire… How is this a verifiable predictive prophecy, since the end of the earth (The Hour — of final judgement when earth will be destroyed) has not yet occurred.
- The first meal in paradise will be an extra lobe of fish liver. Again, how is this a verifiable predictive prophecy?
- A child looks like his mother or father depending on who gets dischage first during sexual intercourse. On this one, Muhammad got it wrong. One would think if an all-knowing god was giving Muhammad a revelation, this god would know biology. Why would anyone want to follow a man with such a wrong message?
5. Muhammad thought he may have been demon possessed.
“Woe is me, poet or possessed — Never shall the Quraysh say this of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself dowm that I may kill myself and gain rest.” (The Life of Muhammad: Sirat Rasul Allah, Muhammad ibn Ishaq, translted by Alfred Guillaume, Oxford Press, page 106)
Comment: It is recorded in other Islamic literature that Muhammad tried three times to commit suicide by jumping off a mountain. No other prophet in history thought he was demon possessed because of the revelation he received. What led Muhammad to this possible conclusion?
Muhammad did not seem to be much of a prophet. He could not discern when Satan was giving him revelation. He was unable to provide verifiable, specific predictive prophecy. He disavowed the ability to perform miracles as prior prophets had done. He made false prophecies. Furthermore, as the man through whom Allah chose to send a revelation, Muhammad was unsure of his final destination at death. Why would anyone place their faith in this man or his revelation?
On the other hand, the prophets of the Bible met all these criteria and more. The prophets all brought the same message: a call to a rebellious and sinful people to repent of their sin, turn back to God, and come into communion once again with a God who wants to be personal and have a relationship with His creation: you and me. Come to the God of the Bible and discover real fulfillment, peace, joy, and know where you will be in eternity.
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