In this segment, Dr. Badawi begins to explain the concept of revelation and Prophets from the Islamic perspective. When we look a little closer at his arguments, we find that there are many philosophical problems with Badawi's, as well as Muhammad's, claims.
Jamal Badawi: There are two forms about Gabriel coming to Muhammad:
1. In human form, a man teaching him and dictating. This is reported in Sura 96:1-5:
This was the first time when Muhammad was in a cave at Hira, and told Muhammad to read, and Muhammad was illiterate. We find the Qur'an says proclaim. Alaqa means something that hangs and mistakes where made calling it a clot, but now we known that the eggs hangs in the wall of the uterus, this is amazing that this was known 1400 years ago, showing that Muhammad could not have made this up.
There are several problems in this introduction.
1. If Islam is the only religion accepted by God and Muhammad is the last Prophet, why did God send Gabriel to speak to Muhammad, why didn't God speak directly as He did to Moses?
2. Gabriel did indeed appear to others throughout history, and his appearances were never intended to frighten anyone. Gabriel appeared to three people in the Bible:
Clearly, Gabriel did not want to frighten anyone, in fact, he comforted them by telling them not to be afraid. But, if we believe the Traditions, Gabriel nearly frightened Muhammad to death. Why would Gabriel do this to Muhammad? Also, according to some Traditions, Muhammad thought that the spirit in the cave was a Jinn! How did Muhammad test this spirit? Ibn Hesham tells us:
Is this any way to test a spirit?
3. Why would Gabriel order Muhammad to read if Muhammad were illiterate? Gabriel would have known that Muhammad was illiterate and even if he did not know this, Muhammad told him that he could not read!
4. Alaqa has a variety on meanings, from blood clot to a pully that hangs over a well. It is hardly a miracle that the people of Muhammad's day knew that a developing embryo and fetus "clings" to the wall of the uterus. Incidentally, this passage contradicts Sura 38:71,72:
For more about the Qur’an and embryology please read this article.
Yes, and that same tradition tells us that Muhammad told his companions that the man was Gabriel after the man left and could not be questioned!
Dr. Badawi is right, these were not secret! In fact, Bukhari and Muslim tell us that when Muhammad was inspired, he heard bells, fell down to the ground, turned red, sweated profusely, made moaning noises, and spit up. No Prophet of God, found in the Bible, ever received revelations in this way! Can you imagine the true Prophets of God such as Jesus, John the Baptist, Moses, or Daniel going through such theatrics?
Once again, Dr. Badawi makes the claim that the Qur’an is perfectly preserved. However, this is not true. Muhammad's companions claimed that passages were omitted from Uthman's Codex including the verse on suckling, the Valley of riches , and the verse on stoning
Jamal Badawi: There was no physical sight, the Prophet said that. When Muhammad started revealing the Qur'an, he concentrated and perspired greatly, he had shivers while under this state - this was one indication. The second was that while under that state he uttered the verses which they memorized from his mouth. The Qur'an is God speaking, it is not a story. It says all the believe follow the messenger. The third is the statement of the Prophet who said that when Gabriel comes to him he hears something like a bell and I hear the dictation.
Once again, it is very odd that Muhammad perspired, had the shivers and heard bells - no other Prophets had this experience. Second, whether the Qur'an is the Word of God is a completely different issue that I will address in further segments.
Jamal Badawi: This used to be a popular theory and some today hold this. We know from doctors that epilepsy is an interruption of the normal function of the brain and the person is not totally conscious and they would utter meaningless things and would not remember anything. Muhammad remembered everything and the Qur'an is available today in the same language and words that the Prophet uttered and the Qur'an is not rambling, it is poetic. If the people who raised this issue were atheists, we can accept their motives. What bothers me is that the co called scholars who say this are confessed jews or Christians who base their beliefs of revelations, this is double standards. No Jew or Christian would say that the Torah is the product of epilepsy, but with the last Prophet Muhammad, they claim that it is not the revelation of God. If God is capable of conveying messages, then all Prophets are epileptic or all have received revelations from God - it is as simple as that.
I never believed in the epilepsy theory either. The fact the Muhammad's purported revelations are still in Arabic does not prove that they are divine. I do not consider any portion of the Old Testament or New Testament a product of epilepsy. I also do not consider the Qur'an the Word of God since it contradicts the teachings of God's Prophets.
Jamal Badawi: The Qur'an calls revelation way in a general sense where God guides creatures, and the special meaning is the conveying scriptures. Inspiring creatures is in Sura 16:68:
It is also used in guiding those that are not Prophets Sura 5:114:
The mother of Moses was inspired. In Sura 41:12 it is used as commanding and in 8:11 informing, 19:10 as a sign. The special meaning is limited to select messengers.
There is no argument that God has inspired men and women throughout history. The key issue is that we must test the claims of those who tell us that God has given them a revelation. We cannot believe them on their word alone.
Jamal Badawi: A Prophet is a select human to carry God's message and to be a model. The problem are two extremes: there are two in the Bible, to deify a pious Prophet to the level of Godhood (Jesus), the other extreme is to accuse others of cardinal sins. Prophets are humans, there is nothing between human and divine, The Qur'an says Sura 21:7
Sura 3:59 says of Jesus
People rejected the Prophets. The Qur'an responds to the thought that it is strange that God would reveal his message to a normal human being in Sura 10:2
To the issue of those who reject the Prophethood of Muhammad while they accept the other Prophets, the Qur'an says in Sura 6:91
This is a clear fallacy of a false analogy. As a Christian, I do respect the Prophets of God. This, however, does not compel me to consider Muhammad a Prophet because he does not pass the Biblical test for Prophethood. One is not a Prophet simply based on their own claims.
Jamal Badawi: I can give examples of things that humans do like eating and drinking.
Prophets got married and had children except a few like Jesus and John the Baptist. Sura 13:38
Prophets may suffer Sura 26:18
Prophets can be killed Sura 2:87
Prophets do not control their destinies. Sura 7:188
The problem which Dr. Badawi has avoided to this point is: how do we determine if someone is a true Prophet of God? Do we simply take them at their word? If this is the case, then we have many people throughout history, as well as today, who claim to have messages from God! Fortunately, God gives us a criterion to test the claims of those who claim to be Prophets:
The Bible also warns us against false Prophets:
The fact of the matter is, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, is that Muhammad gave us no prophecies which came true. He does not pass God's test as a Prophet. We will discuss some the issues surrounding the concept of prophecy in the next segments.
Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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