Bassam Zawadi has written a follow up rebuttal (*) to my response (*) on the issue of whether Muhammad showed the symptoms of one who was possessed or under the influence of Satan.
I will omit certain comments which failed to refute anything I said, since this will help prevent this rebuttal from being too lengthy. We encourage the readers to first thoroughly go through Zawadis comments before reading this response.
Again purely circumstantial evidence. Sam quotes people who THOUGHT and FEARED that the Prophet was possessed. However, did they continue to believe so? Did the Prophet's wife Khadija continue believing that her husband (pbuh) was possessed? Did she ever think he was possessed? Or did she only give her opinion as to why she thought that God stopped sending revelations to the Prophet. Did that mean she was right? As for the Prophet and the suicide attempts read about it here.
So again, no objective evidence provided. So lets move on...
He will later say about Waraqa suspecting that Satan appeared to Muhammad:
Again, like before Sam is quoting someone who THOUGHT and was AFRAID that the Prophet might have had an experience with a devil. However, did Waraqa continue to believe in this?...
Zawadi then quotes hadiths which say that Waraqa told Muhammad that Allah sent to him what he had sent to Moses.
To begin with, Zawadi needs to recall that the reason why I cited these views in my rebuttal was to expose his weak attempt of brushing aside the claim of the wife of Abu Lahab that Muhammads Satan had left him. The statements I provided demonstrated that it wasnt only hostile witnesses who believed that Satan had appeared to Muhammad. Even those who were sympathetic to Muhammad thought so as well.
Second, the reason why I even bothered writing my paper was to show that this initial assessment by Muhammad and those who knew him that he had come under the control of Satan was correct. I documented that Muhammad manifested the symptoms commonly associated with demonic control and oppression.
Third, neither Khadija nor Waraqa had any real reason to disbelieve Muhammads initial claim that a spirit had possessed him. In fact, neither of them provided Muhammad with any legitimate Biblical basis to deny that the spirit that had appeared was Satan or one of his demons. Notice what Al-Bukhari records:
Then Allahs Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija replied, "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones."
Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza, who, during the PreIslamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, "Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!" Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" Allahs Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allahs Apostle asked, "Will they drive me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, "Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)
The reasons that Khadijah gave to convince Muhammad that he wasnt possessed are unconvincing since even relatively good people can come under Satanic possession. In fact, according to the Holy Bible it is only faith and union with the Lord Jesus that protects a person from Satans control.
Moreover, for a person who was suppose to be reading the Gospel Waraqa was rather too hasty in assuming that God had sent Muhammad the same angel that had appeared to Moses. After all, Waraqa must have known that no genuine Biblical prophet had ever been violated and demoralized by Gods Spirit or angels. Besides, Waraqa should have known to test the message brought by this spirit to see if it was in complete agreement with the Gospel that he was reading and had access to. After all, the New Testament expressly says not to believe every entity but to test them so as to see whether they confess the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15
"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9
"but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:21
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared," 1 Timothy 4:1-2
"Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also." 1 John 2:22-23
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." 1 John 4:1-6
Also notice that Waraqa died shortly after Muhammad started having these experiences. Had he continued to live and actually learned what Muhammad would later preach about Jesus Christ and his Cross, Waraqa may have not been so keen to support him.
And we do encourage the readers to read about Muhammads suicide attempts here:
Here is what Zawadi says regarding my comments that the hadith literature speak of Muhammad being possessed by a satan even after he began his prophetic career:
As for the hadith saying that the Prophet with the help of God became safe from the devil, well what is the problem? I don't understand why Shamoun highlighted that part of the hadith. What point is Sam trying to make? Didn't Jesus have help from God when he wanted to overcome devils? (Luke 11:20)
To begin with, Jesus never claimed that he had a satan circulating in his body which he needed help with. Here is what the Lord Jesus actually said:
"I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. HE HAS NO POWER OVER ME;" John 14:30
Zawadi is clearly committing the fallacy of false analogy at this point.
Moreover, Christ also promised that all true followers would be given his sovereign authority to overcome and trample Satan and his demons:
"The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us IN YOUR NAME! And he said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I HAVE GIVEN YOU AUTHORITY to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:17-20
Christ is promising his followers that the enemy will not be able to control or possess them, provided that they are walking in fellowship with God. This is a promise made throughout the Holy Scriptures:
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind." James 4:7-8
"I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." 1 John 2:13-14
"Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4
"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1 John 5:4-5
"We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one." 1 John 5:18-19
And because Satan can no longer control true believers he will try to either tempt them to sin or physically harm them:
"Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world." 1 Peter 5:8-9
"And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have CONQUERED HIM by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." Revelation 12:9-11
Here is how Zawadi responds to my use of John 14:30 and Luke 10:17-20:
Okay fine I also just quoted hadith that shows that the Prophet was safe from the devil by the grace of God and that the Prophet would also give ways to his followers on how to repel and resist the devil.
As we shall see next, Allah failed to grant Muhammad the protection which the Lord Jesus guaranteed for his followers.
He says that:
The hadith which shows that Gabriel said that this was part of Satan in the Prophet's heart and the devil circulating in the blood people. These are just figures of speech only to emphasize that the devil is always around trying to persuade people to do evil.
There are many examples of hadith, which talks about the devil in a figure of speech. (*, *, *, *, *, *, *) We could also see this in the Bible in Matthew 16:23, 1 Timothy 1:20
The problem here is that none of the examples provided by Zawadi prove his assertion that the word devil is to be understood merely as a figure of speech. In fact, every one of them presupposes that the narrators had a literal evil spirit being in view.
Moreover, Matthew 16:23 is not using the term Satan as a figure of speech, but in the sense of one who is an adversary since that is what the word literally means:
But he turned and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan! You are a HINDRANCE to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." Matthew 16:23
Here the Lord Jesus called Peter Satan not in the sense that he was identical to or possessed of the Devil, but in the more generic sense of one who stands in opposition to another just as the context shows.
Furthermore, let us see how Paul used the word in 1 Timothy 1:20
"among them Hymenae'us and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme."
Again, in what way do Pauls words lead Zawadi to assume that the Apostle was using the term as a figure of speech? Pauls statement that he handed over these men to Satan is his way of saying that he had these men disfellowshipped or excommunicated from the Church where they would then come under the domain and judgment of Satan. Compare this with the following references:
"It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber -- not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Drive out the wicked person from among you." 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 9-13
What Paul was basically saying is that those refusing to walk in obedience are to be excluded from the congregation, to be severed from the communion of believers, so that God could then hand them over to Satan to punish and discipline them.
And a little later Zawadi writes:
Now yes the devil is 'attached to everyone' in the sense that there is always a Jinn who is trying to incite evil in the person. However, the Prophet was an exception because he overcame the devil with the will of God. However, even if the devil tried to incite the Prophet to do evil, would that make the Prophet demon possessed? Of course not!
There are two problems with claiming that Jinns are attached to everyone. First, it assumes that Jinns do exist and that there are good and bad ones among them. From a Biblical perspective a Jinn, if it existed, would be a demon which means that if everyone has a demon attached to them then we have a problem. Demons seek to harm man, not help or aid him, and at times they will appear as friendly guides in order to prevent the person from realizing that the real intentions of these demons is to destroy man.
This leads us to the second problem. The Biblical passages that we cited above showed that Satan and his demons have no control over true believers since Christ has come to set the captives free and to give them victory over the evil one:
"And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1-7
"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:24-26
"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage." Hebrews 2:14-15
"He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
Thus, if Muhammad were a true prophet and if God had truly delivered him then he would have no demon circulating within him. Hence, to say that Muhammad had a Jinni circulating in his body provides further proof that he was under the control of a demon, and that this evil spirit allowed Muhammad to think that he had rendered the spirit powerless.
Zawadi then states:
How can the Prophet be possessed by Satan when he was a great enemy of Satan...
I had already answered this in my rebuttal. Muhammad thought he was fighting against the real Devil, when in reality the Satan which he opposed was nothing more than a counterfeit. The Devil of Islam is a decoy, erected by Satan himself, in order to deceive Muhammad and Muslims into thinking that the religion of Islam is indeed fighting and undermining Satans kingdom.
Moreover, Zawadi is contradicting the hadiths here that say that Satan circulated in Muhammads body. If Satan could circulate in Muhammads body then he definitely could possess him.
The Prophet assured us that the devil could never take an image of him...
As an act of desperation, Zawadi turns to the Holy Bible to justify Muhammads possession:
Why don't we try to see what the Bible says about the devil...
Yes, let us see what the Holy Bible says in order to show how this backfires against Zawadi:
3Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited (cuwth) me against him to ruin him without any reason."
1) to incite, allure, instigate, entice
1) to incite (to a request)
2) to allure, lure
3) to instigate (bad sense)
Shamoun has a problem with the devil trying to incite the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) yet his own Bible says that the devil incited God Himself to do wrong! Would that make the God of the Bible demon possessed?
What I have a problem with is Zawadis straw man argument and misrepresentation of my position, as well as his distortion of what the Holy Bible actually teaches as he tries so desperately to vindicate Muhammad. To begin with, I never said that I had a problem with Satan trying to incite or tempt Muhammad. Rather, I have a problem with a person claiming to be a prophet who falls under the power and control of Satan where the Devil controls ones mind and actions:
Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle SO THAT HE USED TO THINK THAT HE HAD SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH HIS WIVES WHILE HE ACTUALLY HAD NOT. (Sufyan said: That is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect). 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-A'sam, 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.' The first one asked, 'Where (is that)?' The other replied. 'In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan' " So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said "That was the well which was shown to me (in a dream) Its water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils." The Prophet added, "Then that thing was taken out.' I said (to the Prophet) "Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?" He said, "Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among my people." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660)
The Prophet continued for such-and-such period imagining that he has slept (had sexual relations) with his wives, and in fact he did not ... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 89)
Now let us contrast this with Jobs situation. The context of Job presents God as having sovereign control over Satan, the latter being able to do only what God allows:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, From where have you come? Satan answered the LORD and said, From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it. And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? Then Satan answered the LORD and said, Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand. So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD." Job 1:6-12
"Then Satan answered the LORD and said, Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face. And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life. So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die. But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:4-10
Note carefully that Satan could not possess Jobs mind, his soul. He could only inflict physical harm on him. In fact, the very point of these chapters is to show how Job actually overcame Satan and proved him to be a liar, despite Satans best efforts to cause Job to falter from his faith.
This agrees perfectly with what the Lord Jesus said regarding Satan not being able to control the minds or wills of true believers. Satan can only tempt true followers of Christ or bring physical harm upon them. This is unlike Muhammad who came under the control of magic which affected his mind and will.
And since Zawadi threw out the smokescreen of God being incited by Satan to allow the latter to test Job, we duly return the favor and remind him of the following passages:
And certainly We created you, then We fashioned you, then We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam. So they did obeisance except Iblis; he was not of those who did obeisance. He said: What hindered you so that you did not make obeisance when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust. He said: Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones. He said: Respite me until the day when they are raised up. He said: Surely you are of the respited ones. He said: As Thou hast caused me to remain disappointed I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path. Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from their right-hand side and from their left-hand side; and Thou shalt not find most of them thankful. He said: Get out of this (state), despised, driven away; whoever of them will follow you, I will certainly fill hell with you all. S. 7:11-18 Shakir
He said: O Iblis! what excuse have you that you are not with those who make obeisance? He said: I am not such that I should make obeisance to a mortal whom Thou hast created of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape. He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away: And surely on you is curse until the day of judgment. He said: My Lord! then respite me till the time when they are raised. He said: So surely you are of the respited ones Till the period of the time made known. He said: My Lord! because Thou hast made life evil to me, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth, and I will certainly cause them all to deviate Except Thy servants from among them, the devoted ones. He said: This is a right way with Me: Surely, as regards My servants, you have no authority over them except those who follow you of the deviators. And surely Hell is the promised place of them all: It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them. S. 15:32-44 Shakir
He said: O Iblis! what prevented you that you should do obeisance to him whom I created with My two hands? Are you proud or are you of the exalted ones? He said: I am better than he; Thou hast created me of fire, and him Thou didst create of dust. He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away: And surely My curse is on you to the day of judgment. He said: My Lord! then respite me to the day that they are raised. He said: Surely you are of the respited ones, Till the period of the time made known. He said: Then by Thy Might I will surely make them live an evil life, all, Except Thy servants from among them, the purified ones. He said: The truth then is and the truth do I speak: That I will most certainly fill hell with you and with those among them who follow you, all. S. 38:75-85
Iblis asks Allah for respite with the intention of plunging man into destruction, and Allah grants him his request! Now either Allah knew Iblis intention and therefore wanted Iblis to cause men to stray, or Allah didnt know it and is therefore ignorant. (Also note the glaring contradictions between these three reports. It seems that the author of the Quran couldnt recall the exact words Allah and Iblis used in their alleged conversation.)
More importantly is what Allah supposedly said to Iblis:
Surely, as regards My servants, YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER THEM except those who follow you of the deviators. S. 15:42 Shakir
According to Allah Satan is to have no authority over his servants, which agrees with what the Holy Bible teaches. He only has authority against the deviators. The Quran also says:
O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people. S. 5:67 Shakir
O you who believe! take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you WHEN YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT WAY; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will inform you of what you did. S. 5:105 Shakir
When thou recitest the Koran, seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan; he has no authority over those who believe and trust in their Lord; his authority is over those who take him for their friend and ascribe associates to God. S. 16:98-100
Save unto every messenger whom He hath chosen, and then He maketh a guard to go before him and a guard behind him That He may know that they have indeed conveyed the messages of their Lord. He surroundeth all their doings, and He keepeth count of all things. S. 72:27-28 Pickthall
The implications of the above citations are quite obvious. Muhammad, if he was pleasing to God and under his protection, could not come under Satans control and be bewitched.
But the hadiths say that Muhammad came under Satans authority when the Jew bewitched him, which means that Muhammad must have been one of the deviators who fell from the right path! Please note the implication of all this:
But since Zawadi also claims that Allah was able to "save" his prophet, the implications become even worse.
In fact, the foregoing Quranic statements led certain Muslim groups to reject those hadiths that claimed Muhammad was bewitched:
Thus, if seen in the perspective of the Qur'an, there is not even a hint of any information, on the basis of which it could be said that the Prophet was ever under any magical spell. The Qur'an, on the contrary, leads us to believe that because of God's close guard over the Prophet (pbuh), no such harm could have befallen the Prophet (pbuh).
However, there are a few Hadith, which inform us that the last two Surahs of the Qur'an were revealed at a time when the Prophet (pbuh) was under a magical spell. Two of the important points in the information given by these Hadith are:
- The Prophet (pbuh) remained under this magical spell for six months; and
- This spell caused amnesia in many of the day-to-day affairs of the Prophet (pbuh).
It is quite obvious that the information given in these narratives is not only against the stated verses of the Qur'an, but also creates serious doubts about the infallibility of the prophets of God. After all, if God and His appointed angels could not (or did not) protect the Prophet (pbuh) against such a magical spell then what exactly is the implication of God's declaration mentioned in Al-Jinn 72: 27 - 28 and His promise mentioned in Al-Maaidah 5: 67? (Was the Prophet (pbuh) ever a Victim of a Magical Spell?; online source)
As for the times in which the Prophet (PBUH) got hurt, I do not see these as negative. On the contrary, they may be viewed as positive. This has many reasons. The fact that a person is able to come on the battle field and strike the Prophet (PBUH) so hard and yet not kill him must surely have been utterly displeasing to the Prophet's (PBUH) enemies. They came so close so often and yet remained so far. It also showed the people's great rebellion; that they not only reject a Messenger of God after he made the truth as clear as day light but actually go as far as injuring him and attempting to murder him. They did indeed get what was coming to them. Furthermore, this was an occasion of testing the believers to see how they would react. There were some that lost all hope and began to flee but then there were others that remained firm. What is important to notice here is that none of these injuries did anything to message of God or its safe deliverance.
However, when we talk of the Prophet (PBUH) being cast under spells, I think that this would probably affect the Message. The Hadith that refer to him being under a spell for six months would in my opinion most certainly have affected the Message. So, while the Prophet (PBUH) getting physically harmed does not contradict the cited verses of the Qur'an, the spiritual damage to him (through spells) in my opinion would. (Magical Spell on the Prophet (pbuh); online source)
It is interesting that the above author basically agrees with our position regarding the Holy Bible teaching that prophets can be physically harmed, but cannot be bewitched or possessed. Finally, the translator of Ibn Ishaqs Sirat Rasulullah, Alfred Guillaume, writes:
I In commenting on this Suhayli asserts that the tradition is sound and is accepted by the traditionists. He found in the Jami of Muammar b. Rashad (a work which I cannot find mentioned by Brockelmann) THE STATEMENT THAT THE SPELL LASTED FOR A YEAR. He adds that the Mutazila and Modernists rejected the tradition ON THE GROUND THAT PROPHETS COULD NOT BE BEWITCHED OTHERWISE THEY WOULD COMMIT SIN and that would be contrary to the word of God And God will protect thee from men (5.71). He finds the tradition unassailable. It is properly attested and intellectually acceptable. The prophets were not preserved from bodily afflictions in which category sorcery falls. (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ibn Ishaqs Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Karachi Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth Impression 1995), p. 240; bold and capital emphasis ours)
For more on this please read the following articles:
Zawadi says regarding my exposing his distorted use of Mark 3:22 where Jesus was accused of demon possession:
The reason for the accusation is irrelevant. Because it is still possible for someone to cast out demons by the power of the devil. Therefore, it was a good reason for them to accuse Jesus because it was possible. The reason for the accusation is irrelevant, the issue is whether the accusation holds any water.
It does not against the glorious Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The reason for the accusation is actually QUITE RELEVANT, despite Zawadis claims to the contrary. Jesus was not accused of demon possession because a spirit had tortured him, or because he wanted to commit suicide since he thought he was possessed. Muhammad, however, thought that he was indeed possessed and contemplated suicide in order to be spared from having a Jinni controlling him.
Hence, the people had no valid reason to accuse Jesus of being possessed in light of the exorcisms he performed which provided supernatural verification that he was destroying Satans kingdom, and therefore could not be under the control of the evil one. Muhammad, on the other hand, had valid reasons for doubting whether God had in fact sent his angel Gabriel to commission him.
Zawadi claims that the other Apostles disagreed with Paul and cites several NT texts which he thinks prove his case (cf. Galatians 1:6, 3:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:4-5, 22-24).
None of the passages even remotely suggest that the Apostles which Paul opposed were the very disciples of the Lord Jesus. We know this because of what Paul also wrote in these very same epistles which Zawadi has tried to distort to his own destruction (cf. 2 Peter 3:16):
"Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 1 Corinthians 9:1-5
"Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast -- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me." 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
"But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem TO VISIT CEPHAS, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles EXCEPT JAMES THE LORDS BROTHER. (In what I am writing to you, BEFORE GOD, I DO NOT LIE!)" Galatians 1:15-20
In all of the above passages Paul aligns himself with the Apostles such as Peter and the Lord Jesus brothers, indicating that all these individuals were in agreement regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Zawadi then has the audacity to quote Galatians 2:11-21 and ask the following questions:
(why did people such as the Apostle James still believe that the law regarding food should still be applied? If Jesus came to replace the law, then why are they still following the law?)
(why are they arguing over following the law or not? Why are they not in agreement of doctrine?)
James and the rest were not arguing over whether the Gentile believers were to keep the Law, specifically the dietary prohibitions, as we shall shortly demonstrate. This is Zawadis gross misreading of the text. Again:
(so, Peter, James and Barnabas are wrong?)
Yes they were, at least Peter and Barnabas, as we shall see. Finally:
Paul condemns all Jewish Christians including Peter and Barnabas. We only have Pauls side of the story but Peters recollection of this story is not given to us in the New Testament.
Note the sheer desperation of Zawadi as he tries to undermine the evidence against him and against his prophet. Paul was writing at a time when his audience could have personally verified whether what he had written was true or not. Paul didnt write his epistle after the death of the Apostles but while they were still alive, which means that the recipients of his letter could have met with them to verify whether what Paul had said was correct.
For instance, notice how freely Paul appeals to his readers as being eyewitnesses to the things he writes:
"O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain? -- if it really is in vain. Does he who supplies the Spirit to you AND WORKS MIRACLES AMONG YOU do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?" Galatians 3:1-5
Hence, Paul could not pass on lies and distortions since the Apostles were still alive and could have easily exposed him. In light of this fact, here again is what Paul wrote regarding the reception he received from James and the others:
"Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage -- to them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) -- those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me; but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles), and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, GAVE TO ME AND BARNABAS THE RIGHT HAND OF FELLOWSHIP, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised; only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do." Galatians 2:1-10
As we just mentioned, Paul could not have gotten away with making these statements if he were lying.
More importantly, note the blatant inconsistency and hypocrisy of Zawadi at this point. He has no qualms with accepting whatever the Quran and the so-called sound narrations say about the events of Muhammads life, his clashes with his enemies etc., despite the fact that he has no independent reports from those whom Muhammad opposed that could provide further light on whether what we read in these Islamic sources are true. Zawadi is completely dependent upon whatever his biased sources record. The inconsistency and hypocrisy is truly amazing.
If this werent bad enough Zawadi tries to call into question the Petrine authorship of 1 and 2 Peter:
Peter truly would have known Jesus better than Paul. There is dispute whether 1 Peter is a letter written by Peter and almost all scholars, ancient and modern agree that 2 Peter is not a letter written by Peter. Sam may argue and quote his scholars to prove that 2 Peter is written by Peter, however there are still many major Christian scholars who don't think that 2 Peter was written by Peter so at the end of the day we are not going to be 100% sure and therefore cannot use 2 Peter as evidence to prove that he agreed with Paul.
First, Peter would have also known Jesus better than Muhammad, and the earliest data that we have on what Peter proclaimed about Jesus contradicts the teachings of Muhammad. Does this mean that Zawadi will reject Muhammad as an imposter, as a false prophet?
Second, there is no dispute among conservative Christian scholarship regarding the authorship of 1 Peter since the historical data is quite clear that the beloved Apostle wrote this letter. Moreover, although there was some dispute regarding whether Peter himself wrote 2 Peter (which shows the extreme care of the Church in accepting a book within its canon) the data quite strongly favors Petrine authorship. For more on these issues please consult the following:
Fourth, contrary to Zawadis wishful thinking, 2 Peter can still be used as evidence even if one were to reject Petrine authorship. This epistle still serves as an independent witness that those within the Christian community who looked to Peter as their authority figure saw no conflict, no problem, with what Peter taught and with what Paul had written throughout his letters.
Zawadi cites this next text to prove that the Apostles were somehow impeccable since they were filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore could not be mistaken:
31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
If Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit then why is Paul calling Peter a hypocrite for eating with the Gentiles and then when people came from James he got up. James is Jesus half brother, he lived and stayed with Jesus. Why did he still think that people have to eat kosher meat? We dont have any account of Peters story regarding this incident. Barnabas is also called a hypocrite in verse 13. Look how in verses 15 thought 17 Paul is arguing with them about the law. That means the disciples wanted to follow the law and suggested following it. Otherwise Paul wouldnt have mentioned it. How could he say those things to Peter and look what Jesus said about Peter
To begin with, being filled with the Holy Spirit doesnt mean that individuals cannot sin or be mistaken in matters of judgment. As the text itself says, filled with the Spirit in this specific context means to be empowered to speak Gods truth boldly without fear of the consequences. Yet the same Scriptures warn against quenching and grieving the Spirit by indulging in the sins of the flesh:
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another." Galatians 5:16-26
"Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:26-32
"Do not quench the Spirit," 1 Thessalonians 5:19
Thus it was possible for Peter, and any other disciple for that matter, to sin and thereby grieve and quench the Spirit of God. And here is what Jesus did say about Peter:
"From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you. But he turned and said to Peter, GET BEHIND ME, SATAN! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men." Matthew 16:21-23
The above rebuke from Jesus clearly shows that Peter (as well as the rest) was far from being perfect and could make gross mistakes and errors in judgment.
Moreover, Zawadi has distorted and/or misunderstood the reason Paul stated that Peter and the rest acted hypocritically. Here is the specific section in question with added emphasis:
"But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, HE ATE WITH THE GENTILES; but when they came HE DREW BACK AND SEPARATED HIMSELF, fearing the circumcision party. And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, If you, though a Jew, LIVE LIKE A GENTILE and not like a Jew, HOW CAN YOU COMPEL THE GENTILES TO LIVE LIKE JEWS WE OURSELVES, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, YET WHO KNOW THAT A MAN IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY WORKS OF THE LAW BUT TRHOUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we ourselves were found to be sinners, is Christ then an agent of sin? Certainly not! But if I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose." Galatians 2:11-21
As anyone who has read this chapter carefully can see, Paul did not rebuke Peter for preaching A DIFFERENT GOSPEL, since he clearly appeals to Peter as knowing full well that individuals are justified by faith in Christ. Paul rebuked Peter for acting inconsistently, for separating himself from table fellowship, or eating, with Gentiles when certain Jews arrived since before that time he had no qualms doing so. Pauls point to Peter was that since Gentile believers have been justified freely by their faith in Jesus Jews could therefore eat freely with them without being afraid of being ceremonially defiled.
Moreover, by associating with these Jews Peter was giving credence to their distorted claims that Gentiles were required to follow the Law of Moses in such areas as circumcision, something that Paul says Peter knew wasnt the case at all. That is why he accused Peter of not being straightforward in the first place, since Peter didnt agree with the position of these Judaizing Christians and yet failed to act in accord with his own convictions regarding this matter.
Zawadi has erroneously assumed that since the text says that these Jews came from James this therefore means that they had James approval to do and preach what they did. On the contrary, all this implies is that they had come down from Jerusalem where James presided as overseer without this necessarily implying that James had sent them. In fact, the context of Galatians 2 which we had read earlier shows that James was in complete agreement with Pauls Gospel and even gave him the right hand of fellowship.
And since Zawadi submitted the book of Acts as evidence to support his position we will now quote what this book says regarding the relationship between Paul and the rest of the Apostles:
"But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoeni'cia and Sama'ria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses. The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts BY FAITH. Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? BUT WE BELIEVE THAT WE SHALL BE SAVED THROUGH THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS, JUST AS THEY WILL. And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul AS THEY RELATED WHAT SIGNS AND WONDERS GOD HAD DONE THROUGH THEM AMONG THE GENTILES. After they finished speaking, James replied, Brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, "After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old." Therefore MY JUDGMENT is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood. For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues. Then it seemed good to THE APOSTLES AND THE ELDERS, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch WITH PAUL AND BARNABAS. They sent Judas called Barsab'bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, with the following letter: The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cili'cia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, ALTHOUGH WE GAVE THEM NO INSTRUCTIONS, it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with OUR BELOVED Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation. And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words and strengthened them. And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brethren to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also." Acts 15:1-35
The foregoing provides independent attestation to what Paul wrote in Galatians regarding James, Peter and the rest of Christs followers being in full agreement with his Gospel. It also shows that the men who opposed Paul were not the Disciples of Christ, but were Jews like the Pharisees that had converted to the truth. And even though they had come from the area of Jerusalem and Judea they had received no authority from any of the Apostles or elders to command the Gentiles in Antioch to keep the Law of Moses such as circumcision.
Yet we are pretty certain that Zawadi will even call the witness of Acts into question, perhaps claiming that Luke was influenced by Paul and would obviously try to present a favorable picture of the situation. In other words, no matter what evidence is presented Zawadi will simply brush it aside as irrelevant or not credible.
Since we expect that this is what he will essentially do, and as a preemptive strike so to speak, we will therefore appeal to sources that hold authority only for him as a Muslim, not for Christians. Renowned Sunni commentary al-Qurtubi wrote in reference Sura 61:14 that:
It was said that THIS VERSE was revealed about the apostles of Jesus, may peace and blessing be upon him. Ibn Ishaq stated that of the apostles and disciples that Jesus sent (to preach) there were Peter AND PAUL who went to Rome; Andrew and Matthew who went to the land of the cannibals; Thomas who went to Babel in the eastern lands; Philip who went to Africa; John went to Dac-sos(?) which is the tribe to whom the sleepers of the cave belonged; Jacob went to Jerusalem; Bartholomew went to the lands of Arabia, specifically Al-Hijaz; Simon who went to the Barbarians; Judas and Barthas(?) who went to Alexandria and its surrounding regions.
Allah supported them (the apostles) with evidence so that they prevailed (thahirin) meaning they became the party with the upper hand. Just as it is said, "An object appeared on the wall" meaning it is clearly visible (alu-wat) on the wall. Allah, who is glorified and exalted, knows the truth better and to Him is the return and retreat. (online source; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Another Sunni scholar Ibn Kathir said regarding Sura 36:
<so We reinforced them with a third> means, We supported and strengthened them with a third Messenger. Ibn Jurayj narrated from Wahb bin Sulayman, from Shuayb Al-Jabai, "The names of the first two Messengers were Shamun and Yuhanna, and the name of the third was BULUS, and the city was ANTIOCH
<Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.>
meaning, from your Lord Who created you and Who commands you to worship Him Alone with no partners or associates. This was the view of Abu Al-Aliyah. Qatadah bin Diamah claimed that they were messengers of the Messiah, peace be upon him, sent to the people of Antioch. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 8, Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan, abridged under a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition, September 2000], p. 179; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Shamun refers to Simon Peter, Yuhanna to the Apostle John, and Bulus is Arabic for Paul. Hence, this source unabashedly affirms that Paul was a Messenger sent by God!
"Among the apostles, and the followers who came after them were the Apostle Peter and Paul who was a follower and not an apostle; they went to Rome. Andrew and Matthew were sent to the country whose people are man-eaters, a land of blacks, we think; Thomas was sent to Babylonia in the east, Philip to Qayrawan (and) Carthage, that is, North Africa. John went to Ephesus, the city of the youths of the cave, and James to Jerusalem, that is, Aelia. Bartholomew was sent to Arabia, namely, the Hijaz; Simeon to the land of the Berbers in Africa. Judas was not then an apostle, so his place was taken by Ariobus. He filled in for Judas Iscariot after the latter had perpetrated his deed." (The History of Al-Tabari, Volume IV, The Ancient Kingdoms, translated by Moshe Perlmann [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1987], p. 123; bold emphasis ours)
The translator explains what Tabari meant that Paul was not an Apostle:
317. In Islamic terms the messengers or apostles pave the new path. Their work is continued by the tabi'un, the followers, members of the next generations, who lead the Faithful. (Ibid.)
Hence, according to al-Tabari Paul was a faithful follower of the Apostles, especially the Apostle Peter. Al-Tabari even lists Paul as one of the martyrs of the faith:
"Abu Ja'far says: They assert that after Tiberius, Palestine and other parts of Syria were ruled by Gaius, son of Tiberius, for four years. He was succeeded by another son, Claudius, for fourteen years, following which Nero ruled for fourteen years. He slew Peter and crucified Paul head down. For four months Botlaius [Vittelius] ruled thereafter. Then Vespasian, father of Titus whom he sent to Jerusalem, ruled for ten years. Three years after his rise to power, forty years after the ascension of Jesus, Vespasian sent Titus to Jerusalem. Titus destroyed it and slew numerous Israelites in his wrath over the fate of Christ " (Ibid., p. 126; bold emphasis ours)
For more on the early Islamic view of Paul please read the following articles:
Now dont be surprised if Zawadi comes back to attack even these Islamic references!
Finally, Zawadi wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to pit Peter and James against Paul in order to invalidate the testimony of the Apostle to the Gentiles, but fails to realize how this backfires against Muhammad. If Zawadi wants to keep insisting that Peter and James commanded that even Gentiles must keep the Law of Moses then this means Muhammad was a false prophet since he broke many of those commandments. Muhammad didnt keep all the dietary laws, violated Sabbath worship, failed to institute a sacrificial system of atonement, an office of priesthood etc. For more on these points please read the following: http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/mosaic_law.htm
Zawadi next tries to deny that the spirit tortured Muhammad:
Gabriel did not torture the Prophet he just pressed him hard. How is that torturing?
The spirit pressed Muhammad hard enough to make the latter believe that he was going to die:
When the night came on which God ennobled him by making him his Messenger and thereby showed mercy to his servants, Gabriel brought him the command of God. The Messenger of God said, "Gabriel came to me as I was sleeping with a brocade cloth in which was writing. He said, Recite! and I said, I cannot recite. He pressed me tight AND ALMOST STIFLED ME, UNTIL I THOUGHT THAT I SHOULD DIE " (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, 1988], p. 71; capital emphasis ours)
The Prophet added, "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me SO HARD THAT I COULD NOT BEAR IT ANY MORE. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, I do not know how to read. Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time TILL I COULD NOT BEAR IT ANY MORE. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)? Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me " (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)
This next account expressly says that the spirit was violent with Muhammad:
Muhammad b. Abd al-Malik b. Abi al-Shawarib Abd al-Wahid b. Ziyad Sulayman al-Shaybani Abd Allah b. Shaddad: Gabriel came to Muhammad and said, "O Muhammad recite!" He said, "I cannot recite." GABRIEL WAS VIOLENT TOWARDS HIM and then said again, "O Muhammad recite!" He said, "I cannot recite," AND GABRIEL AGAIN WAS VIOLENT TOWARDS HIM (Ibid., p. 69; capital emphasis ours)
Hence, the pressing inflicted enough pain to cause Muhammad to think that he was going to die. If this doesnt classify as torturing a person then we dont know what does.
Now as for the rest of the paper Sam Shamoun's basic argument is that because the Prophets of the Old Testament did not have the same experiences when receiving revelation such as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then this necessarily implies that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is not a true Prophet. There are some problems with this assertion...
First, Shamoun assumes that his Bible is the true authentic word of God and is using it as a criteria to judge Prophet Muhammad. This is something that he still needs to prove and not just assert.
First, I am not alone in assuming that the Bible judges Muhammad, the Quran does as well:
And if thou art in doubt concerning that which WE have sent down to thee, ask those who have been reading the Book before thee. Indeed the truth has come to thee from thy Lord; be not, therefore, of those who doubt. S. 10:94 Sher Ali
And WE sent not as Messengers before thee but men to whom WE sent revelation - so ask those who possess the reminder, if you know not - S. 16:43 Sher Ali
And WE sent none as Messengers before thee but men to whom WE sent revelations. So ask the people of the reminder, if you know not; S. 21:7 Sher Ali
Zawadi seems to have forgotten what he had written in regards to the meaning of Suras 16:43 and 21:7:
Again, the ignorance of Sam Shamoun regarding understanding Holy Scripture just keeps getting clearer and clearer.
The Quraysh of Mecca used to accuse Muhammad (PBUH) to be a false Prophet and if that God were to send a Prophet then he would send angels instead. But God is saying here that all Prophets before used to be men. Ask the Christians and Jews and indeed they will tell you that the Prophets in the past would be men.
That's all! We don't go to the People of the Book for everything!(Source)
Thus, according to Zawadi these references establish the principle of asking Jews and Christians whether God inspires men to be his messengers. This includes not only inquiring about whether God commissions humans to be his representatives, but also the manner in which God inspires them.
This leads us to our second point. The Quran claims that Muhammad was inspired in the same way that previous prophets were:
We have revealed to thee as We revealed to Noah, and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, Jesus and Job, Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and We gave to David Psalms, and Messengers We have already told thee of before, and Messengers We have not told thee of; and unto Moses God spoke directly -- S. 4:163-164
When we do consult the Holy Bible we discover that Muhammad wasnt inspired like the true prophets of God.
Secondly, Shamoun is arguing from silence. He thinks that just because his Bible does not mention these experiences then that necessarily implies that they didn't happen.
Shamoun recently had a debate with Sami Zaatri on the topic, "Is Jesus God", which can be downloaded here. Sam Shamoun says in the 20th minute 10th second...
Your arguing from silence, right, and absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Now let me repeat that again. Now just because the documents do not say that he said "x" does not mean that he didn't say "x".
So notice, Shamoun is committing the same fallacy he accused Sami Zaatri of doing. There are many Prophets in the Old Testament that we do not know full and complete details about. Therefore, it would not be fair to say with conviction that they did not have the same experiences.
If anyone is guilty of a logical fallacy, it is Zawadi for committing the fallacy of false analogy. The Holy Bible is not silent on the nature and manner of revelation:
"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." Hebrews 1:1-2
The Holy Scriptures provide plenty of examples illustrating how God inspires humans, some of which include:
"And he said, Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" Numbers 12:6-8
"In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I SAW the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts! Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven. And I HEARD the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I! Send me. And he said, Go, and say to this people: "Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive." Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."" Isaiah 6:1-10
"And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:13
"First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:20-21
"I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, Write what YOU SEE in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per'gamum and to Thyati'ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice'a." Revelation 1:9-11
Moreover, one way that God doesnt inspire his representatives is to send a spirit to terrify or physically harm them. True believers are comforted and reassured when encountering the Divine or angelic entity. Several examples have already been provided in our initial rebuttal, and here we provide a few more:
"Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, It is a ghost! And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, TAKE HEART, it is I; HAVE NO FEAR. And Peter answered him, Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water. He said, Come. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord, save me. Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, O man of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God." Matthew 14:22-33
"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah. He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him. When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, RISE, AND HAVE NO FEAR. And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only." Matthew 17:1-8
"Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Mag'dalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, DO NOT BE AFRAID; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you. So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, Hail! And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, DO NOT BE AFRAID; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." Matthew 28:1-10
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, FEAR NOT, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Revelation 1:17-18
Thus, far from being silent the Holy Bible literally screams aloud that what Muhammad experienced wasnt revelation from the true God.
Thirdly, Sam quotes from the book of Daniel and gospel of Luke to show Prophet's experiences with Gabriel. But Sam forgot an important point. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saw Gabriel in his true original form while receiving the revelation. He saw him up close and personal and had physical contact with him. Daniel saw Gabriel while Gabriel took the form of a man...
Zawadi keeps begging the question since he assumes that Muhammad saw Gabriel as opposed to a satanic counterfeit. What the citations from Daniel and Luke prove is that Muhammad did not see Gabriel since this righteous angel does not torture or demoralize Gods messengers. He encourages and helps them to cope with the task given to them by God.
As a final act of desperation Zawadi distorts Daniel 10:7-15 to support his case. He says:
So here we see that Daniel got terrified from his vision just like Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him did. We also see in verse 15 that Daniel had problems breathing. I believe that 'gasping for air' was one of the criteria that Shamoun put forth for someone being possessed by a demon while receiving revelation. So does Daniel fit the criteria as well? Or is Sam Shamoun being a hypocrite and only applying it to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
First, let us highlight the parts that Zawadi conveniently overlooked:
"In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshaz'zar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks." Daniel 10:1-3
Notice that Daniel had been fasting for three weeks because he had been in mourning over what he had seen in a previous vision. This may explain why he was so weak and couldnt stand up, that his weak physical condition along with seeing the angelic envoys accounts for his falling to the ground. Moreover, notice what the angel did for Daniel:
"On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with gold of Uphaz. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the noise of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me; my radiant appearance was fearfully changed, AND I RETAINED NO STRENGTH. Then I heard the sound of his words; and when I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in a deep sleep with my face to the ground. And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, O Daniel, man greatly beloved, give heed to the words that I speak to you, AND STAND UPRIGHT, for now I have been sent to you. While he was speaking this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, FEAR NOT, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, so I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia and came to make you understand what is to befall your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come. When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was dumb. And behold, one in the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. How can my lord's servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me. Again one having the appearance of a man touched me AND STRENGTHENED ME. And he said, O man greatly beloved, FEAR NOT, PEACE BE WITH YOU; BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE. And when he spoke to me, I WAS STRENGTHED and said, Let my lord speak, FOR YOU HAVE STRENGTHENED ME." Daniel 10:4-19
The foregoing shows that Daniel wasnt terrified because he thought he was possessed by a demon, or because the angel squeezed him violently. In fact, instead of physically harming Daniel the angel relieved him of his fears and provided him with the strength he needed to endure the revelations.
Hence, unlike Muhammads angel, this messenger didnt cause Daniel to tremble in fear or to run back to his companions shivering with dread and terror. Nor did this righteous angel cause Daniel to believe that he was possessed and cause him to contemplate suicide as a result.
In Muhammads case the spirit didnt even console or comfort him. Muhammads wife was the one who actually calmed him down and tried to convince him that he wasnt possessed!
And to refute Zawadis distortion of my reference to gasping, here is what I said:
I mentioned gasping in the context of a person being choked or harmed by the spirit that inspires him or her. As we just saw above, this never happened to Daniel.
Bassam Zawadi has not provided any objective refutation of the evidence that we presented proving that Satan controlled Muhammad. His rebuttals have been rather desperate and weak, and he has failed to use the same arguments to show that the true prophets of God could be accused of demon possession. The criteria given by the pagan Arabs and Gods true Word, the Holy Bible, provides conclusive proof that Muhammad was not a true prophet and that the spirit which inspired him wasnt a righteous messenger sent by the true God. Zawadi needs to accept reality and come to grips with his prophet being deceived by Satan.
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