When a person is chosen by God to be God’s Prophet to the people they have unique characteristics that support their claims. There are 4 key elements that reveal a true Prophet of God which can be used to test and see if this individual is from God. Was Muhammad a true Prophet of God?
- The individual chosen for this task makes it the absolute priority in their purpose (Jeremiah 1:5-10; Amos 7:14, 15; Isaiah 6:1-10).
- God does not lie or contradict himself. Thus a Prophet of God would not bring false or contradictory messages from God (Isaiah 8:19, 20).
- God is supreme and sovereign in the message given and the individual knows for sure it is from God and they know God. God makes himself known (Numbers 12:6).
- Messages about the future and of what God will do, will happen how it was revealed it would (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).
It is true that Muhammad made his prophetship a priority. For 23 years he revealed messages that he claimed was from God. But this element alone does not prove that he was. We must also consider all the key elements of a Prophet together. Because anyone can devote their whole life and even sacrifice their lives for something the believe to be true- even if it is actually untrue.
Element 2 reveals a major problem for Muhammad.
“Now the apostle was anxious for the welfare of his people, wishing to
attract them as far as he could. . . . When the apostle saw that his
people turned their backs on him and he was pained by their estrangement
from what he brought them from God he longed that there should come to
him from God a message that would reconcile his people to him. Because
of his love for his people and his anxiety over them it would delight
him if the obstacle that made his task so difficult could be removed. . .
. Then God sent down “By the star when it sets your comrade errs not
and is not deceived, he speaks not from his own desire,” and when he
reached His words “Have you thought of al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat the
third, the other”, Satan, when he was meditating upon it, and desiring
to bring it to his people, put upon his tongue “these are the exalted
Gharaniq [Numidian cranes] whose intercession is approved.” When the
Quraysh heard that, they were delighted and greatly pleased at the way
in which he spoke of their gods and they listened to him; while the
believers were holding that what their prophet brought them from their
Lord was true, not suspecting a mistake or a vain desire or a slip, and
when he reached the prostration and the end of the Sura in which he
prostrated himself the Muslims prostrated themselves when their prophet
prostrated confirming what he brought and obeying his command, and the
polytheists of Quraysh and others who were in the mosque prostrated when
they heard the mention of their gods, so that everyone in the mosque
believer and unbeliever prostrated . . . Then the people dispersed and
the Quraysh went out, delighted at what had been said about their gods,
saying, “Muhammad has spoken of our gods in splendid fashion. He alleged
in what he read that they are the exalted Gharaniq whose intercession
Muhammad approved of other gods speaking on God’s behalf.
“The news reached the prophet’s companions who were in Abyssinia, it
being reported that Quraysh had accepted Islam, so some men started to
return while others remained behind. Then Gabriel came to the apostle
and said, “What have you done, Muhammad? You have read to these people
something I did not bring you from God and you have said what He did not
say to you.” The apostle was bitterly grieved and was greatly in fear
of God. So God sent down (a revelation), for He was merciful to him,
comforting him and making light of the affair and telling him that every
prophet and apostle before him desired as he desired and wanted what he
wanted and Satan interjected something into his desires as he had on
his tongue. So God annulled what Satan had suggested and God established
His verses, i.e. you are just like the prophets and apostles. Then God
sent down: “We have not sent a prophet or apostle before you but when he
longed Satan cast suggestions in his longing. But God will annul what
Satan has suggested. Then God will establish his verses, God being
knowing and wise.” (Ibn Ishaq, pp. 165-166)
But wait, that wasn’t from God. Muhammad spoke from his own desires and listened to Satan. Now of course to explain away this huge error, Muhammad then claims God just simply made “light of the affair” and “annulled” the false prophecy.
This still does not negate the fact that Muhammad failed two major elements of being a true prophet. Firstly, why couldn’t he recognize the difference between God and Satan? Does He not know God’s will? Did God not make himself clear enough for Muhammad to know it was God speaking? Obviously God is not at fault so it is not an issue of God’s clarity. The first major issue is Muhammad did not know the difference. Secondly, it is impossible to escape the fact that Muhammad falsely prophesied. This is the major and clearest test of a true prophet of God. This was not a failed future prophesy of something that did not come to pass, this was a flat out lie (even if Muhammad did not purposefully lie). This also impacts the 3rd element of a true Prophet.
Aside from God not making himself known to Muhammad in that example above, his wife even testifies to an incident(s) where Muhammad was influenced by Satan again.
Aisha narrated: “Once the Prophet was
bewitched so that he began to imagine that he had done a thing which in
fact, he had not done.”
(Sahih Al-Bukhari 3175)
Aisha narrated: Magic was worked on Allah’s
Apostle so that he used to think that he had had sexual relations with
his wives while he actually had not. Then one day he said, “O Aisha, do
you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him
about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other
sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other: ‘What is wrong
with this man?’ The latter replied, ‘He is under the effect of magic.’
The first one asked, ‘Who has worked magic on him?’ The other replied,
‘Labid bin Al-Asam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews
and was a hypocrite.’ The first one asked, ‘What material did he use?’
The other replied, ‘A comb and the hair stuck to it.'” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 5765)
But according the Quran, magic is from Satan (Qur’an 2:102) and Satan has no authority over those who know God (Qur’an 16:98-100). How can Muhammad have been under the power of magic if he was THE Prophet of God? We must discredit his wife’s testimony as unreliable but then that leads to other issues about understanding Muhammad because she is a source in Islam for how Muhammad lived. Despite the major issues above, we will continue on for the sake of argument to the 4th element of a test of a true Prophet of God.
When God delivers messages about the future, they contain key details that make them undeniable when they come to pass. Any one can make a vague prophetic statement: Here’s mine: A powerful nation will fall with in a few generations time. Boom. Am I now a prophet? My prophetic statement is vague in its details that when related events take place, it can easily be applied. Therefore, when we see God make himself known, he gives key details that make his statement of future events clear when they happen. Lets look at a prophesy from Muhammad.
“The Roman Empire has been defeated – in a land close by: But they, (even) after
(this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious – within a few years.”(Q 30:2-4).
We already see the vague-ness of this prophetic statement. “in a land close by”, which land? How far is “close by”? Then we see the usage of “defeat” and “victorious”. By who’s expectation is the event a defeat and or victory? Some times, those who lose feel as though they were still victorious. Other times those who are actually defeated feel as though in some way they were victorious. With that said, the only true reliable detail is the time frame stated, “within a few years”. According to Yusuf Ali the Arabic word for “a few years,” Bidh’un, can mean a period of three to nine years. So what was the the event that took place within the 3 to 9 year period? nothing.
The details matter. That is clearly God’s command to discern a false prophet from a true Prophet; examine the details.
The Persians defeated the Byzantines and took Jerusalem at about 614 or 615 AD. The Byzantine counter-offensive did not begin
until 622 AD and the victory was not complete until 628 AD, making it a period between
thirteen to fourteen years. Renowned historian and Muslim commentator, al-Tabari, places the Roman victory
in 628 A.D. (6 A.H.), right after the signing of Hudaiybiya. And that’s a problem. That is 13 to 14 years later, not 3 to 9 years. The one key detail in Muhammad’s prophecy fails.
Some can argue “but it happened as Muhammad said it was going to” but referring back to my prophet statement, at some point, at any point, in history, yes, any vague prophecy can occur and that only proves that God makes himself known through the details of actual occurrences verses non divine prophetic statements. Any human can make any kind of vague prophetic statement. And when the vagueness can be matched up with some event in history; that does not prove anything still. The details prove if it is of God or not. The single key detail provided by Muhammad fails still.
Other Major Issues
If Muhammad was receiving truth from God than the statements he claims must be true. Aside from the blunders listed above, there are other areas where Muhammad failed in stating what was true.
Muhammad misunderstood what Christianity taught in regards to the Trinity. He did not understand this concept AND assumed that the sources for his information about Christianity is what was actually believed by the early church.
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?‘”
He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say
that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would
have known it. (Quran 5:116)
O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah:
Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong
all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a
Disposer of affairs. (4:171, Yusif Ali)
Why would Muhammad argue for monotheism in reference to Christian beliefs? Christianity has always believed in ONE God. His understanding of Christianity is that they believed there were three gods and one of them was taught to be Mary. This is a false assumption. Did God not understand what Christianity taught? Of course not. Did Muhammad not understand what Christianity taught, clearly. BUT Muhammad gets his truth from God? This can not be so given the misunderstanding of what Christians believe.
Also read The Quran: Who Wrote It?
A Better Prophet
Islam itself points to a greater prophet than Muhammad, unintentionally. Muhammad was obviously an imperfect sinner. When he died, his body began to decompose and stink.
Al-Abbas, the paternal uncle of Prophet Muhammad, entered
Muhammad’s room three after his death, before his burial, as his body
remained there for three days as the people were too busy to bury him,
as all of them were engaged in debates of Al-Thaqeefa Council of
choosing a ruler/caliph of Yathreb to succeed him. Once Al-Abbas entered
the room, he put his hands at once at his nose, and said to the
gathered men outside: “Bury your friend Muhammad fast, for his body
began decomposition just like the rest of human beings“
Of course, there are those in Islam that believe the later created Hadiths from Al-Nisaa’i, Abou Dawood, and Ibn Maja that claim that Prophet’s bodies to not decompose and claim that the Hadith above was a fabrication. But the Quran itself supports the Hadith above.
“We did not send before you except men, whom We inspired. Ask
the people of knowledge, if you do not know. We did not make them mere
bodies that ate no food, nor were they immortal.” (21:7-8)
They said, “You are only humans like us; you want to turn us away from what our ancestors worshiped; so bring us a clear proof.”(14:10-11)
Each prophet asserted his being a mortal human creature; God has
commanded Muhammad in the Quran to say this to his people: “Say, “I am
only a human being like you…” (41:6). “Say, “I am only a human being
like you…” (18:110).
With that said, Muhammad was a sinner and “only a human being like you” who died and was buried. YET, we see a different existence of Jesus in the Quran.
Jesus did not sin.
Hardly a single descendant of Adam is born without Satan touching him
at the moment of his birth. A baby who is touched like that gives a
cry. The only exceptions are Mary and her son“ [cf. Q 3: 36].
Jesus performed Miracles
We have made some of these messengers to excel the others among
them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many
degrees of) rank; and We gave clear miracles to Isa (Jesus) son of Marium, and strengthened him with the holy spirit. (2:253, Shakir)
Jesus’ body did not see decay.
Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself
and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make
those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of
Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between
you of the matters wherein ye dispute. (3:55, Yusif Ali)
Jesus was a Prophet of God who received messages from God just like Muhammad. BUT he was more. Jesus was sinless and performed miracles THEN was taken up my God instead of being buried.
Even the Quran unintentionally validates Jesus as The Greatest Prophet. He did not speak falsehoods or have failed prophecies. He was not like all other men who were sinners. He performed miracles and Muhammad didn’t. Muhammad died and was buried, but Jesus was taken up by God (according to the Quran).
Read Jesus and Islam
We can see from the Quran itself and his followers that he was a failed prophet according to God’s tests for us of a true prophet. Tests that even Islam says is from God (The Torah). He failed to distinguish God’s revealings from Satan’s. He spoke prophetically that contradicted God. His prophecies failed to make God known and the prophecy itself failed to come true when he said it would. But when genuinely seeking a true Prophet of God in the Quran, we can even see that Jesus is true and greater Prophet.
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