Translating Words, Interpreting Events

Was Muhammad a Messenger from God or Satan?

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An Account by Fr. Zakaria Botros

Jihad Watch

Part 1

Father Zakaria Botros recently ran a show dedicated to answering the question, “Was Muhammad a messenger from God or Satan?” As usual with these shows, viewers were asked to call in and respond to this question, with poll results revealed at the end of the show.

His co-host in this particular show was an ex-Muslim woman turned Christian, who, a few shows earlier, used to still wear a hijab, but not today—as Zakaria Botros put it, in English, her “new look.” She said that such an offensive question—ascertaining the divine or demonic source of Muhammad’s prophethood—would have enraged her in former days, and how, till today even, it makes her feel awkward, uncomfortable. Such was her conditioning.

Botros was quick to respond by saying that it is not he that insults Muhammad but rather Islam’s books. He, once again, insisted that he’s merely a reader, who is bringing to the table what he reads—”So don’t be angry with me!” he says, somewhat tongue in cheek. “If you don’t like it, then go and burn all those books that portray him so and leave me alone!”

He then spent some time making a valid point: that in Islam, it seems that Muhammad’s honor is to be more zealously guarded than even Allah’s. To prove this, he quoted from a famous Arabic manual of law calledKitab Ahkam Al-Koran (“Book of Koranic Rulings”) by the famous scholar al-Jassas: according to this manual, the apostate must not be killed until he has been given several chances to repent and return to Islam. This same book, however, clearly states that whoever offends the name of the prophet (Muhammad) must be killed right where he stands, not given a chance to repent or take back his words.

So, wondered Botros, while the person who offends Allah by essentially rejecting him and trying to break away from his religion gets several chances to repent, not the one who offends Muhammad—thus, according to Botros’ logic, “In Islam, Muhammad has a higher place than Allah.”

As for the question of the show, Botros asked a more pivotal question: how does one differentiate prophets from false prophets? He came up with three prerequisites of prophethood as well as three characteristics of prophets. Today we will examine the prerequisites.

PREREQUISITES:
1.A prophet typically receives direct revelations from God
2.A prophet usually does just that—prophesy, usually about the future
3.A prophet’s claim to prophethood is usually supported by miracles

As for receiving direct revelations from God, Botros provided several examples from the Bible, such as Exodus 3:10, where God not only directly communicates with Moses, but also sends him out on his mission. Likewise, the Koran confirms this, by saying that Allah spoke directly to Moses (4:164).

“So, what about Muhammad?” asked Botros; “Did God speak to him direct? Not at all; instead, he was visited by a creature [that is, a created, lesser being], who Muhammad himself was convinced was a demon or Jinn.” (Botros ran an entire episode revealing the many anecdotes in Islamic tradition that indicate that Muhammad was in fact visited by a Jinni, which I hope to translate shortly).

As for the second prerequisite, prophecy, again Botros provided several examples from the Bible of prophets prophesying, such as Psalms 22: 16, which Christians believe foretells the sufferings of Jesus, by nearly two millennia.

Asked Botros: “So, what prophecy did Muhammad bring?” He then quoted from the Koran verses which plainly indicate that Muhammad had no inkling of the future (see 6:50 and 7:188).

To the third prerequisite of prophethood: miracles. Botros indicated the miracles of Moses (e.g., Ten Plagues) and Jesus (raising the dead), which are recorded in both the Bible and Koran.

“So,” asked again, rather dryly, the Coptic priest, “what miracles did Muhammad perform?”
Here his co-hostess said that, from childhood, she, as a Muslim, was taught that the Koran is the miracle of Islam and Muhammad—to which Botros gave a chuckle, only to implore the viewers to not be angry with him, that he is not laughing in mockery but rather dismay.

He then insisted that discussing the problems of the “divine” Koran are manifold—linguistically, contextually, grammatically, etymologically—and that he had already dedicated several shows examining these problems. “However, let’s let one single Islamic book that exposes this issue suffice for today.”

After giving the title of the book, Haqa’iq Al Islam (“the Truths of Islam”), he boomed: “Quick, leave the TV set, or send your sons to the stores to buy this book, because we all know from previous experience that whatever Islamic book is used as evidence against Islam on this show is often immediately pulled off the market!”

He then read from page 200 of that book: “The Koran is most magnificent and perfect in language and structure; thus, if something appears wrong, it is not the Koran that is wrong but rather our understanding of language. As for obvious problems or contradictions, we are obligated to overlook these, for faith will resolve these matters.”

He also quoted Sunni Islam’s most authoritative institution, Al Azhar, saying “We must always strive to discover why in certain instances the Koran appears to not follow correct Arabic grammar. If we cannot find an answer, however, then we must leave the matter to Allah.”

The co-hostess said that Muslims believe Muhammad performed other miracles, according to the hadith. Botros responded by saying that that is simply another contradiction with the Koran, which flatly declares that even though the people demanded a miracle from Muhammad, the only one he could provide was the Koran:

“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…. 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—a messenger?” (17:90-93).

Part 2

Earlier, Father Zakaria Botros discussed the three prerequisites of prophethood—direct revelation from God, the ability to prophesize, and the ability to perform miracles to support the claim of prophet. Here he discussed the three characteristics of prophethood, which are:

1.Lead a righteous life in order to be a good example before others
2.Make sacrifices for others, not vice-versa
3.Dedicate one’s life to the service of God

For the first characteristic regarding prophethood, Botros opened by quoting Jesus’ famous saying: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:15-16).

However, since Muslims may think that verse has been “corrupted”—the accusation of tahrif being commonplace when wanting to avoid biblical debates—Botros also went on to quote from none other than Ibn Taymiyya himself, radical Islam’s most favorite son, in regards to the characteristics of prophets.

According to Sheikh al-Islam’s Minhaj Al Sunna Al Nabawayya, Taymiyya said that false prophets, such as Musailima the Liar, were exposed by the fact that they were liars, oppressors, and possibly possessed by demons and jinn. However, when sober minded individuals studied their lives and deeds, they were able to discern that they were false prophets, that they were exposed.

After reading the relatively long quote from Taymiyya, Botros put his book down, looked directly at the screen, and flatly said that everyone of those negative characteristics indicative of false-prophethood mentioned by Taymiyya in fact apply to Muhammad. As but one example, he pointed to the fact that, even though the Taymiyya excerpt condemned lying, Muhammad himself justified lying in three circumstances—during war, to reconcile people, and husband to wife.

As for oppressive qualities of false prophets, Botros, reading from Sunan Al Bayhaqi, revealed to the viewers that Muhammad, after raiding innocent villages, would take into concubinage women he found desirable, and then send off to be sold in the market less than attractive women as well as children. With the money he’d make from this slave trade, he would purchase war horses and weaponry, in order to conquer other villages.

After reading such accounts, the good priest again put the books down, looked directly into the camera, and asked the predominantly Muslim viewers: “Does this sound like a real prophet to you? Remember: Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

Botros next considered what he called “Muhammad’s sexual escapades.” After listing them—all which should be famous by now to Jihad Watch readers—he proceeded to read from Kitab Al Tabaqat A Kubra, quoting a Muhammadan hadith, wherein the latter said “Of this world, the most things Allah has made me love are”—here Botros interjected with “What? Salvation of souls?! Doing good to others? What?!” only to continue quoting Muhammad’s conclusion—”women and perfume,” the latter to lure the former.

As for the second characteristic Botros listed as being indicative of prophethood—making sacrifices on behalf of others—the Coptic priest listed some biblical examples, such as Paul saying “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (2 Cor 12:15). He also pointed to the “ultimate sacrifice” of Jesus. Here, his co-hostess objected saying that Jesus was not a prophet, but Son of God, to which the father roared “I’m speaking according to their beliefs!”

He then looked at the viewers asking, “So, what ‘sacrifices’ did Muhammad make?” He confessed he knew of none, but instead read various quotes of Muhammad asking others to sacrifice themselves for him and his religion—in the jihad and as shuhada—promising them a sensual heaven in return, one filled with sexual orgies and rivers of wine.

He next moved on to the final point, the final characteristic of a prophet: dedicating one’s life to God, exhibited by a life of good deeds, advocating peace, and above all love. He spend some time insisting that a prophet should lead mankind to love God unconditionally, so that believers would want to worship God voluntarily, not as an act of obsequiousness or fear.

He quoted from John 14:21: “He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

“Well, what of Muhammad? What was his approach to making humanity worship their Maker?” Botros insisted that Muhammad, doing away with grace and love as typified by the New Testament, tried instead to usher mankind back to an era of law and fear. “Instead of love and mercy, Muhammad brought death and punishments.”

As example, he read from al-Shinqiti’s works an entire chapter dedicated to proving that in Islam, whoever refuses to perform the obligatory prayers should be killed. Writes Shinqiti: “Those who refuse to pray, stand above them with a sword or stick, and command them—’Pray!’—and if they refuse, smite them until they either pray or die.”

Finally, Father Zakaria Botros closed the program with an overall comparison of the life and deeds of Jesus and Muhammad, the founders of the two largest religions. He said that Jesus’ words and life example would lead to peace on earth, and mercy, whereas the words of Muhammad and his life example—here he quoted several Koranic verses, such as 9:5, 9:29, and 8:60—lead only to warfare and terrorism.

“Jesus came to save souls, Muhammad came to sacrifice the souls of others in order to create a worldly empire for himself.”

At the end of the program, Botros revealed the end poll results regarding the question “Was Muhammad a messenger from God or Satan?” 89% said Satan, 11% said God.

  • truthBtold

    If the spirit of Islam is a demonic one then Christians should start organizing a world-wide exorcism. Oh, but wait, all the leaders of the biggest denominations in the West believe Islam should be honored as one of the great religious traditions of the world (to quote numerous modern popes). The devil behind Islam is small compared to the devil behind Modernism. As far as I can tell the only thing worse than Islam is the Modernist Church.

    • Evan

      I agree with you about what you said about modernism.
      In all honesty though, Western interpretations of Christianity being called “Christian” is debatable.

  • traehnam

    Raymond Ibrahim, 89% said Muhammad is from Satan — how much of that 89% of his audience is (was) Muslim? He broadcasts to the Islamic world, I gather. If his audience is mainly Muslim, 89% is remarkable. I also wonder about the polling method.

  • Shabeer Hassan

    By the dictum of

    the Bible, then, let us consider the disorders that manifest themselves

    in the person possessed by the Devil :

    1. Screaming aloud owing to the affliction of the brain (Mark 1:24,

    Luke 9:39, John 10:20)

    2. Suicidal tendency (Mathew 9,18:17, 15:32, Mark 5:13, Luke 8:33)

    3. Tendency to walk naked (Luke 8:2, 8:35)

    4. To be pushed aside by the Devil (Mathew 17:15, Mark 1:26, 9:18,

    9:20, 9:26)

    5. Dumbness (Mark 9:25, 9:32, 12:22, Luke 11:14)

    6. Deafness (Mark 9:25)

    7. Blindness (Mathew 12:22)

    8. To see that which others do not and to know that which others

    don’t (Mark 1:24, Luke 4:3, Mathew 8:29)

    None of the symptoms of the one possessed by the Devil, which

    are described in the Bible, is seen in the person of Muhammad (e).

    One of the evidences cited by those who allege that Muhammad (pbuh)

    was possessed by the Devil has been his own statement that the divine

    revelation sometimes came to him in the form of the ringing of a bell

    and that this form of revelation was the hardest for him. Another

    evidence cited has been the saying of Aysha (r), the wife of the Prophet,

    that she saw beads of perspiration on the forehead of the Prophet

    when the revelation came upon him on a very cold day. Here, there is

    an important question that is to be considered. Does the Bible say, in

    any place, that the one possessed by the Devil feels the ringing of a

    bell in his ears or that his forehead is dampened with the wetness of

    perspiration even in extreme cold? If it does not, then what, indeed, is

    the basis on which the followers of the Bible allege satanic possession

    against the Prophet?

    Those who say that the divine message received by the Prophet

    was the production of a Devilish possession, are, in fact, actually

    forced to say that their own holy men are themselves possessed by

    the Devil.

    ‘St. Paul’ had been the one who had actively laboured to destroy

    Jesus as well as the ideals that he propagated (Acts of the Apostles

    9:1, 26:10, 8:1) as long as he remained on the earth, after which it was

    that he came forward with the claim that Christ had appeared to him

    in a vision. Observe the description in the Bible of the way in which he

    had received this vision of Christ: “As he neared Damascus on his

    journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He

    fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why

    do you persecute me?’

    ‘Who are you, Lord ?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you

    are persecuting.’ He replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city,

    and you will be told what you must do.’

    The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, they

    heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the

    ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So

    they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was

    blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” (Acts of the Apostles

    9:3-9)

    We have seen that the Bible indicates the falling down to the

    ground, seeing that which others do not see and hearing that which

    others do not hear as being the symptoms of a devilish possession. In

    the incident wherein Paul claimed that he saw Christ, he had

    experienced all these symptoms too. But will the Christian world

    accept it if it was now claimed that Paul himself had been possessed

    of the Devil? The Christian critics will never be able to produce even

    a single shred of evidence from the Bible to conclusively assert that

    Muhammad (e) was possesed by the Devil. On the other hand,

    however, it can be shown, using the Bible, that Paul, the real founder

    of the present-day Christian faith, had been subjected to the

    insinuations of the Satan. Then who is it, now, who was actually

    possessed of by the Devil ?

    Now, examine the very corner-stone of the Christian allegation

    that the Qur’an had come to be written because of the Satanic influences

    that moved Muhammad (e). After all, it has been only because of the

    Qur’anic denunciation of the concept of salvation through the

    crucifixion of Jesus Christ that the Qur’an has been alleged to be a

    satanic creation. What, then, is the reality? Both Christians and

    Muslims believe that Jesus was of a pure and unblemished character.

    Both groups are agreed upon the fact that he had been appointed by

    God Almighty Himself. Further still, both affirm that he was not

    possessed by the Devil. If such is the case, then why should we not

    compare the teachings of Jesus Christ with those of Paul and

    Muhammad (e) in order to analyze as to who it was – Paul or

    Muhammad (e) – who was afflicted by the insinuations of the Satan.

    For any person in receipt of a revelation from the Devil must, of a

    necessity, be an enemy of Jesus; going by the consideration that the

    antagonist of a messenger from God will naturally be the antagonist of the message that he conveys.

    Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the

    Law or the prophets” (Mathew 5:17)

    The Qur’an says, “It was We who revealed the Torah (to

    Moses): therein was guidance and light.” (5:44)

    “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: ‘O Children

    of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (Sent) to you, confirming

    the Taurat (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of

    messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.’” (61:6)

    Paul had written, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the

    Law.” (Galatians 3:13)

    “By abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments

    and regulations.” (Ephesians 2:15)

    Jesus said that he came not to destroy the law; the Qur’an, too,

    says the same. As for Paul, he contends that Jesus had come to save

    the world from the law. Who indeed, is the one who recieved the

    revelation of Satan ?

    Jesus Christ had never taught that he was God. (Mark 12:29,

    Mathew 4:10). The Qur’an, too, reiterates this beyond the shadow of

    a doubt. (3:51). But Paul had stated thus, “Who, being in very nature

    God, did not consider equality with, God something to be grasped.”

    (Philippians 2:6) and “He is the image of the invisible God, the

    first born over all creation.” (Colossians 1:15). Jesus had never

    received any revelation that stated that he himself was God. Even if

    he did receive such a revelation, he would certainly have made it

    known. But Paul seems to have received a ‘revelation’ declaring Jesus

    to be God. Whence, indeed, must that ‘revelation’ have proceeded ?

    The Bible described the circumcision as a covenant which God

    had made with Abraham. The Lord had instructed Abraham about the

    circumcision as follows: “As for you, you must keep my covenant,

    you and your descendants after you for the generation to come.’”

    (Genesis 17:9-14). The Bible quotes God as having told Moses, “‘On

    the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.’” (Leviticus 12:3).

    Jesus, too, had observed this divine commandment: “On the eighth

    day, when it was time to circumcise him …..” (Luke 2:21) Jesus

    had never instructed anyone against the circumcision. This had been

    for the simple reason that he had never received such a revelation in

    the first place. But observe what Paul says: “…. if you let yourselves

    be circumcised Christ will be of no value to you at all.” (Galatians

    5:2). Whence did Paul receive this ‘revelation’ ? Of a certainty, not

    from God,if not, then where from indeed?

    The major reason behind the allegation that Muhammad (e)

    had his revelations from the Devil has been that the Qur’an refuted

    the crucifixion and salvation of humanity through the sacrifice of a

    single individual. There are numerous verses in the Qur’an wherein

    Jesus and his mother have been praised and have found the most

    reverential mention. It may also be remembered that Maryam has been

    the only woman to be referred by name in the Qur’an. The Qur’an

    further describes even the miracle wrought through Jesus which has

    not been recorded in the Bible like his having breathed life into birds

    of clay (3:49). The incident wherein the baby Jesus had spoken from

    his cradle which the Qur’an describes (19:30) is not mentioned

    anywhere in the Bible. There is nothing in the Qur’an that serve to

    tarnish the lofty character of Jesus. Here it is especially relevant that

    according to the Gospel of John, the first miracle of Christ had been

    that he had produced wine at a marriage function in Canaan (John

    2:1-11). There is, however, no such reference in the Qur’an.

    The Biblical concept has been that “… anyone who is hung

    on a tree is under God’s curse.” (Deuteronomy 21:23). The Jews

    had thought that they had had Jesus accursed by way of impaling him

    onto the cross. Paul, too, says the same thing. “Christ redeemed us

    from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is

    written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’” (Galatians

    3:13). It follows from this that the crucifixion has only served to make

    of Jesus an accursed person. But the Qur’an does not accept the idea that Jesus had become so accursed for the sins of the whole world.

    How can anyone believe that God never heard the prayer of Jesus

    which he made in order that he be saved from the accursed wooden

    cross (Mathew 29:39) without believing in the very rejection of divine

    mercy to Jesus? The Qur’an, however, teaches that God had, by way

    of saving Jesus from the accursed wooden cross, undermined the

    conspiracy of the Jews. (4:157,158)

    The Jews contend that Jesus had become accursed by way of

    his being impaled upon the cross.

    Paul contends that Jesus had become accursed by way of his

    dying upon the cross.

    The Qur’an contends that God saved Prophet Jesus from the

    cross.

    Which among these is the revelation of the Satan? Is it the one

    which glorifies Jesus or is it the one which makes of him an accursed

    person?

    In short, therefore, the stark reality is that those who strive to

    produce proofs to the effect that the Qur’an’s has been a satanic revelation, have kept falling into the pitfalls of their own making.