Responses to Bismikaallahuma

EXPOSING THE COMPLETE FAILURE OF
MENJ’S ALLEGED "DECISIVE REFUTATION" OF
OUR ANALYSIS OF MUHAMMAD’S POSSESSION


Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi (MENJ)’s counter reply to Silas and myself is perhaps one of the greatest examples of MENJ’s utter failure to refute the arguments set forth in our replies. In his latest article, MENJ goes on an ad hominem spree, is guilty of evading the arguments we set forth, is guilty of trying to appeal to the emotional sensitivities of his readers in the hopes of deceiving them into thinking that he has actually provided a meaningful reply, and manages to masterfully toss out red herrings. And this is just for starters!

MENJ begins his charade with the following claim:

In their hasty attempt to obfuscate and attack anything that invalidates their claims regarding the Prophet's(P) experiences during the period known as the Fatrah, the Christian missionary Sam Shamoun had released a verbal barrage of rhetorical nonsense in his (ridiculously-)titled "A Christian Perspective[!] of the Fatrah of Muhammad". Needless to mention, it is neither "Christian" nor it is balanced in its "perspective", as the author simply remains true to the form of the missionary tradition. This is followed by the equally-messy strawman arguments by his cohort, "Silas", in his comments to our exposition of the Fatrah. We are not surrpised that the missionaries have taken a keen interest in our work, since this shows that our elucidation of the matter must have sown a deep discord amongst these proclaimed enemies of the Prophet Muhammad(P) and Islam. Whoever is the enemy of Muhammad(P) is no doubt an enemy of ours, and we aim to stiffle their tongues once and for all by addressing the claims that they have made, insha'all‚h.

RESPONSE:

First off, MENJ evidently forgot to mention that he was the one who wrote a "reply" to Silas in the first place. If anything MENJ’s "interest in our work shows that our elucidation of the matter must have sown a deep discord amongst the followers of the false Prophet Muhammad and his false religion", being enemies of the true God and the Cross of salvation.

To allow the reader to follow the development of the discussion more easily, we provide a table listing the articles so far:

[1]  Silas' original article: Muhammad's Suicide Attempts
[2]Reply by MENJ:   The Fatrah: Intermission of the Prophet Muhammad
[3]Response to MENJ [2] by Sam Shamoun:          A Christian Perspective of the Fatrah of Muhammad
[4]Response to MENJ [2] by Silas:      Comments on a Response to "Muhammad's Suicide Attempts"
[5]Reply by MENJ to [3] & [4]:        The Psychological Impact of The Fatrah Experience
[6]Response to MENJ [5] by Sam Shamoun:          This present article

This is an important topic providing foundational material for the evaluation of the prophethood of Muhammad. Therefore, to those who want to get a thorough understanding of the issues involved, we would suggest to read the arguments in sequence, i.e. to read all the above articles before continuing with the present one. This will enable you to evaluate who made which arguments and whether these arguments were then effectively responded to, or simply evaded.

{ Note 1: After the above listed articles, there was a further exchange on the issue of (dis)similarity of Muhammad's experiences to the experiences of the biblical prophets. Here are the links so that you may access the articles by MENJ [7] and Sam Shamoun [8]. }

{ Note 2: After MENJ revamped his website in September 2005, his articles have moved to new locations. The most important difference, however, is that his three fatrah articles no longer link to the articles which they are supposedly refuting. Here are the new locations: [2], [5], [7]. }

Second, MENJ’s ad hominems will do nothing to endear him to intelligent readers since they will be able to see that cheap character attacks like these are only an indication of his incapability of offering a meaningful reply. They will also see that such abusive rhetoric shows conclusively that we have struck a nerve which has caused MENJ to react rather emotionally instead of rationally.

Thirdly, as we shall show the furthest thing MENJ has done is to stifle our tongue. If anything, MENJ has been reduced to making a lot of noise as a way of trying to cover up his inability to refute our arguments. He thinks that by writing another reply he will convince his readers that he has actually addressed the issues, whereas all he has shown is that he is good at covering up the fact that he is not able to give meaningful answers.

The following is a great example of how MENJ tries to cover up his inability to refute our claims through evasion:

Obfuscation: The Missionary Tradition

After bawling out nonsensical paragraphs of what we consider as having nothing to do with his alleged "Christian Perspective" of the Fatrah, Sam Shamoun claims:

Does MENJ contest Silas’ claim that Muhammad thought he was demon-possessed? No. Does MENJ contest the fact that Muhammad attempted suicide on several occasions as a result of believing he was demon-possessed and/or because the spirit delayed in coming to him? No.

Perhaps the missionary had developed an acute sense of traumatic paranoia when he first wrote the above statement. We have shown previously that none of the reasons that the missionary had highlighted (namely, that the Prophet(P) "thought" he was demon-possessed) is correct. It is in fact stated that the reason the Prophet(P) had developed the so-called "suicidal tendencies" is because he was anguished that the Archangel Gabriel had not visited him for a period of time. Experiencing human emotions of anguish does not make one "demon-possessed"! To infer that just because we have agreed that the Prophet(P) had suffered from this anguish, and therefore this means that we support their allegations of the so-called "demon-possession" of the Prophet(P), is an outright lie and misrepresentation of our purpose in our explanation of the Fatrah experience.

RESPONSE:

We encourage our readers to read MENJ’s article to see that my statement regarding his confirming Silas’ claim is correct and still stands. MENJ’s smokescreen does nothing to negate this fact. MENJ evidently hasn’t understood my statement, or has understood it but chose to misrepresent it. MENJ accuses me of misrepresenting the reason he gave regarding why Muhammad suffered anguish. Let me repeat the very section cited by MENJ, with added emphasis, to show how he failed to interact with my argument and that he is the one who has misrepresented me:

Does MENJ contest Silas’ claim that Muhammad thought he was demon-possessed? No. Does MENJ contest the fact that Muhammad attempted suicide on several occasions as a result of believing he was demon-possessed AND/OR BECAUSE THE SPIRIT DELAYED IN COMING TO HIM? NO.

Since MENJ DOES agree with Silas that one of the reasons Muhammad suffered anguish was because the Spirit delayed coming to him, HE HAS BASICALLY PROVEN MY POINT AND REFUTED HIMSELF!!!

Furthermore, MENJ’s claim that Muhammad’s suicidal tendencies were not the result of the latter’s fears of demon-possession provides further proof that MENJ is incapable of dealing with our arguments. This statement ignores all the citations that we produced which showed that this is precisely what Muhammad initially believed and was the very reason for his first suicide attempt. Here is just one citation for proof:

"So I read it, and he departed from me. And I awoke from my sleep, and it was though these words were written on my heart. (Tabari: Now none of God's creatures was more hateful to me than an (ecstatic) poet or a man possessed: I could not even look at them. I thought, Woe is me POET OR POSSESSED - Never shall Quraysh say this of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest. So I went forth to do so and then) when I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying "O Muhammad! thou are the apostle of God and I am Gabriel." (Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasulallah (Life of Muhammad), trans. Alfred Guillaume translation [Oxford University Press, Karachi], p. 106; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This also refutes his straw man argument that our inference regarding Muhammad’s possession was based on his "human emotions of anguish." The preceding citation should make it clear that we based this inference ON MUHAMMAD’S OWN CLAIMS THAT HE WAS DEMON-POSSESSED. In other words, our arguments had nothing to do with his emotions or anguish. It had everything to do with the reason why he started to experience such trauma, which according to the Muslim sources was due to his own fears that he had been possessed.

MENJ continues:

That is not all. The missionary fantasies get even worse as he tries to desperately pit our sources against us, the very same sources that a priori lends support to our article!

The most interesting part of all this is that MENJ’s own sources confirm Silas’ statements. For instance, MENJ cites authorities regarding the duration of Muhammad’s Intermission, and makes the inference that this period lasted no later than six months even though there is nothing in his sources that suggest this.

Perhaps it has not been clear to the missionary that the problem with their "Christian perspective" of the Fatrah is that they only wish to demean and denigrate any significance of this experience to the Prophet Muhammad(P). Their closet-minded blindness has failed to make them look at the bigger picture of the Fatrah and the mode of Revelation. This will be further elucidated in the next section where we discuss the psychological impact of the experience, insha'allah.

RESPONSE:

It is truly amazing that despite his claim that my attempt to pit his own sources against him was desperate, MENJ FAILED TO INTERACT WITH ANY OF THESE SOURCES! He doesn’t even bother trying to refute them. If anything, it is MENJ’s smokescreens that are actually desperate and only prove our contention that his so-called response lacks any real substance.

MENJ’s claim that we only wish to demean and denigrate Muhammad’s experience is erroneous. We sought to examine Muhammad’s experience in light of the biblical tradition. Since Muhammad claimed to be a prophet like the prophets of the Holy Bible it becomes incumbent on every Christian to examine his statements in light of the revelation that came before him, something the Quran itself says that we should do. Once this is done then the only conclusion one can arrive at is that Muhammad was a false prophet. More on this below.

MENJ proceeds to provide additional evidence for my accusation that he simply doesn’t have anything meaningful to say in response to our arguments. Much like Osama Abdallah before him, he constantly repeats himself thinking that this will somehow convince his readers that he has actually addressed the issues:

Next, the same missionary again bawls out irrelevant material which cites the "opinions" of some people who had thought the Prophet(P) had an encounter with a "demon" or was "demon-possessed". It is no surprise as to why these people had thought so, as the mode of Revelation was virtually unknown in the consciousness of the pagan Arabs before the coming of Islam. As the pagan Arabs are not used to perceiving the phenomenon of wahy[1], the prevailing superstition have connected the supernatural experiences of wahy with demons. Hence the missionary attempt at making a "connection" between two totally unrelated events is simply a desperate attempt at making a strawman and then knocking it down.

Interestingly, while this missionary was busy berating our appeal to Karen Armstrong and quoting a passage from her work which he claims "defeats" our position, his very same citation actually supports our above contention regarding the perception of the pagan Arabs on wahy!

Muhammad came to himself in terror and revulsion, horrified to think that he might have become a mere disreputable kahin whom people consulted if one of their camels went missing. A kahin was supposedly possessed by a jinni, one of the sprites who were thought to haunt the landscape and who could be capricious and lead people into error. Poets also believed that they were possessed by their personnel jinni. Thus, Hasan ibn Thabit, a poet of Yathrib who later became a Muslim, says that when he received his poetic vocation his jinni had appeared to him, thrust him to the ground and forced the inspired words from his mouth. This was the only form of inspiration that was familiar to Muhammad....[2]

It is also perhaps a good idea to define once and for all the difference between a Prophet and a mere poet/shaman:

...there is also an essential and absolute difference between a Prophet and a poet. A poet is by nature an aff‚k: what he says is sheer ifk, a word which does not neccessarily mean a 'lie', but something which has no basis of haqq (reality) or 'truth', something that is not based on haqq. An aff‚k is a man who utters quite irresponsibly whatever he likes to say without stopping to reflect whether his own words have some real basis or not, while what a Prophet says is Truth, absolute haqq and nothing else. So that the A [God] -> B [Man] relation of prophetism, although it bears an outward and formal balance to the A [Man] -> B [Man] relation of shamanism, has an essentially different structure from the latter.[3]

Further, it is also interesting to note that Armstrong had correlated the experience of Muhammad(P) with what the Hebrew prophets called kadosh, acknowledging at the same time that the reason that Muhammad(P) was brought to "suicide" was not because he was "demon-possessed", but because he had no prior experience or knowledge of the Semitic tradition of Revelation to support him:

Now, rushing from the cave, he resolved to fling himself from the summit to his death. But on the mountainside he had another vision of a being which, later, he identified with the angel Gabriel:

When I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying, "O Muhammad! Thou art the apostle of God and I am Gabriel" ...

... This was no pretty naturalistic angel, but an overwhelming ubiquitous presence from which escape was impossible. Muhammad had had that overpowering apprehension of numinous reality, which the Hebrew prophets had called kadosh, holiness, the terrifying otherness of God. They too had felt near to death and at a physical and psychological extremity when they experienced it. But unlike Isaiah or Jeremiah, Muhammad had none of the consolations of an established tradition to support him. The terrifying experience seemed to have fallen upon him out of the blue and left him in a state of profound shock. In his anguish, he turned instinctively to his wife, Khadija.[4]

This clearly refutes the missionary position on misrepresentation of evidence. The rest of his "explaining away" regarding the experiences of the Biblical Prophets, it should be noted, does not serve to prove his point other than to reaffirm Armstrong's position above. Refer to our original article that summarises the experiences of the Hebrew Prophets.

RESPONSE:

It is truly amazing that MENJ would even dare accuse us of simply quoting the "opinions" of some who thought Muhammad was demon-possessed, WHILE HE HIMSELF DOES THE VERY SAME THING. Namely, he quotes the opinions of some others who believe Muhammad’s experiences were similar to that of the prophets. MENJ’s assertion that the people thought that Muhammad was demon-possessed because of their pagan background is another one of his smokescreens which we had already refuted and will do so again a little later in our response when addressing Armstrong.

MENJ’s quote from Toshihiku Izutsu regarding the difference between a poet and a prophet is one of the best examples of circular reasoning we have ever read. It assumes that Muhammad was a true prophet and not simply a poet possessed. It assumes that Muhammad spoke the truth as opposed to spreading lies against God’s truth. MENJ cannot simply assume that Muhammad was a prophet that spoke the truth and on that basis argue that he wasn’t a poet. As we tried to communicate in our initial rebuttal, the fact that Muhammad contradicted the true revelation of God’s true prophets SHOWS THAT HE DIDN’T SPEAK THE TRUTH AND WAS THEREFORE NO DIFFERENT FROM A POSSESSED POET OR SHAMAN.

Which leads me to my next point. MENJ simply ignored my criticism of Armstrong’s argument, or perhaps didn’t even bother to read it at all, and so decided to repeat what she wrote. In either case, MENJ further illustrates that he had nothing to say by way of an actual response and simply decided to obfuscate the issue by tossing out the same smokescreen. Since he conveniently tried to evade my response I again repeat it, adding emphasis for clarity:

Before proceeding, we need to correct Armstrong’s errors here. Armstrong claims that the only form of inspiration Muhammad knew was that of jinn possession. This claim is blatantly false IN LIGHT OF WHAT THE ISLAMIC SOURCES THEMSELVES SAY. For instance, Muslim records state that Ishmael settled in Mecca where both he and Abraham built the Kabah there. If this is so, THEN MUHAMMAD WAS AWARE OF OTHER FORMS OF INSPIRATION SINCE HE KNEW OF ABRAHAM’S RELIGIOUS EPERIENCES and that he supposedly built the Kabah as the first house of worship to the true God.

In fact, these same sources state that while traveling with his uncle to Syria, Muhammad met a monk named Bahira who claimed that he was the prophet predicted in the Bible. Furthermore, after Muhammad’s encounters his wife took him to her relative Waraqa b. Neufal who was a Christian priest.

Hence, if MENJ is to accept Armstrong’s claims THEN HE MUST REJECT HIS OWN MUSLIM SOURCES WHICH CLEARLY CONTRADICT HER. (For more information, we recommend the following article: http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Saifullah/borrow.htm.)

Furthermore, even if it were true that Muhammad had no prophetic tradition to fall upon this still wouldn’t justify the manner of his experiences and the suicidal tendencies which resulted from it. Abraham also had no prophetic tradition to fall upon when God called him to be his friend. The Holy Bible shows that Abraham’s family members were idolators:

"Joshua said to all the people, ‘This is what the LORD , the God of Israel, says: 'Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods.’" Joshua 24:2

The Bible describes the call of Abraham:

"The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. Genesis 12:1-8

Notice that, unlike Muhammad, Abraham experienced no fears, no doubts, and no suicidal tendencies when encountering God for the first time. Now if MENJ claims that Abraham would have had an idea of prophecy from his ancestors since he was a descendant of Noah who had spoken with God, then we would simply repeat what we stated above. If we are to accept the Quran and the Islamic traditions at face value then Muhammad also knew of biblical prophecy and should therefore not have had the experiences that he did. That he did have these experiences that were completely unlike the experiences of God’s true prophets serves to confirm that the true God didn’t speak to him.

MENJ also ignored the hadiths I had cited stating that Muhammad claimed that the Angel Gabriel was assisting the poet Hasan in writing poems against Muhammad’s enemies! Here it is again:

Narrated Al-Bara:
The Prophet said to Hassan, "Lampoon them (the pagans) in verse, and Gabriel is with you." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 174; see also Volume 4, Book 54, Number 435 and Volume 5, Book 59, Number 449; Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 6074)

This means that Gabriel inspired Hasan to utter poetry which "has no basis of haqq (reality) or 'truth', something that is not based on haqq." MENJ has now indirectly slandered Gabriel by accusing him of assisting an aff‚k, i.e. "a man who utters quite irresponsibly whatever he likes to say without stopping to reflect whether his own words have some real basis or not."

MENJ doesn’t bother dealing directly with our section which showed that Muhammad’s experiences WERE NOTHING LIKE EXPERIENCES OF THE TRUE PROPHETS OF THE TRUE GOD. MENJ conveniently simply brushes it aside and will even try later on to run to a Muslim source to save him. As we will be showing shortly, even his Muslim source fails to prove his case.

MENJ continues his ad hominem onslaught by now turning his attention to Silas. It only piles on more false accusations. The most interesting part about all this is that MENJ has the audacity to accuse Silas of committing ad hominem! He even goes so far as to call him a "filthy missionary," which is an ad hominem of the worst kind! Such hypocrisy is truly astonishing to say the least. He is guilty of doing unto others what he accuses them of doing unto him.

It is therefore all the more laughable when he then says:

To repicropate [sic] in the same manner would make us stoop as low as to the level of the missionary mentality, therefore we would not dance to their tune. [SIC]

The venom in his words only proves that we really have shaken him so badly that he doesn’t know how to respond.

MENJ then quotes the Quran to try and disprove that Muhammad was possessed!!! Talk about circular reasoning! MENJ also quotes the following source as if this too will prove his case:

Having said that, however, it would be a good idea to discuss excerpts from Malik Ben Nabi's The Qur'anic Phenomenon[5], which actually analyses and refutes criticisms similar to the ones alleged by the missionaries.

Discussing the psychological impact of the Fatrah on the Prophet(P), Ben Nabi rhetorically asks:

...towards his fortieth year one finds Muhammad with a dominant, painful preoccupation: he doubts. He doubts not God - his belief in this respect was never to be shaken, but he doubts himself. We might as why and how this doubt come to his mind. Why, in the course of his contemplation, did he finds the shadow of his person, the specter of his "me" standing out at the far end of his religious meditation, suddenly becoming its central point?[6]

He then answers that

Without giving us an entire explanation for Muhammad's doubt, the verse and biographical detail cited showed, nonetheless that this doubt does not result from a temporary hope, from an egocentric insanity, or from a hyperthrophy of the Muhammad "me". One is obliged to see it as the consequence of an accidental subjective condition in which the Prophet found himself with the pre-knowledge, the foreboding of something extraordinary concerning his destiny.[7]

In other words, one can pinpoint that the reason for the mental anguish of the Prophet(P) is due to this serious doubting of self, having not known the reasons of this foreboding. This due to the fact that the phenomenon of Revelation was an entirely unknown concept to the nomad Arabs at the time.

RESPONSE:

MENJ doesn’t realize that he now ends up contradicting himself. Earlier MENJ claimed that Muhammad’s mental anguish was a result of the delay of "Gabriel" in coming to him:

... It is in fact stated that the reason the Prophet(P) had developed the so-called "suicidal tendencies" is because he was anguished that the Archangel Gabriel had not visited him for a period of time ...

Now he claims that Muhammad’s anguish was a result of self-doubt and not knowing the reasons, despite the fact that Muhammad was personally told several times by this Spirit that he was God’s Messenger! On the several occasions where Muhammad wanted to commit suicide "Gabriel" appeared to him to convince him that he was a prophet. Let me repeat one of MENJ’s quotes which shows this:

[T]he Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth" whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before.

If having "Gabriel" appear to you on more than one occasion doesn’t alleviate your doubts, then there is something really wrong with that picture. MENJ repeats Armstrong’s arguments which we have already refuted, and quotes another source which tries to justify Muhammad’s traumatic experience. We delete them with the exception of the following paragraph since it establishes our position:

One should note that the condition of this "me" between the two crises and the two outcomes in question was never marked by a messianic hope, but only by a search for a state of grace, seen vaguely at the time of the first revelation. We should also note Muhammad's DESPERATE EFFORT during this time TO RECOVER HIS MENTAL SELF-POSSESSION. (capital emphasis ours )

Herein lies the problem, namely, that after this encounter Muhammad needed to desperately recover his mental health, something quite different from the experiences of God’s true prophets. Too bad MENJ doesn’t see how this undermines his entire case and actually supports ours.

MENJ writes:

Hence it is clear that such an experience cannot be merely the product of a subconscious mind. For the missionaries to convince us that the Prophet(P) had indeed "suffered" experiences that are not dissimilar to shamans, poets or the "demon-possessed", they must show that Ibn Khaldun's Theory of Prophecy cannot be generally applied to the Biblical Prophets, and is hence null and void. See our appendix for further details.

The above exposition is sufficient to repel the rancour of the missionaries, the stench of their rhetorical fantasies and the incessant whinings of their claims that Satan was responsible for the experiences of the Prophet(P)! On the contrary, it is in fact clear that

Muhammad certainly had in this collection of personal facts a subject for reflection - at least at the beginning of his mission. He could not have avoided considering these events as constituting objective facts, unique to his case, though insufficient in themselves as a basis for a firm conviction regarding the nature of his mission. This conviction would come only through the formulation of the Qur'an.[10]

Conclusions

We believe that we have made a strong case in having exonerated the Prophet(P) from all the charges and defamation by these two known fanatical characters in the "Answering Islam" camp, by discussing in brief the psychological impact of the Fatrah, which can only be described as positive. Hence

...Muhammad's belief in his sincerity was in fact genuine and not a product of illusions and hallucinations. This is not a simple undertaking, because it amounts to the verification and substantiation of the entire body of doctrines, rites and practices of Islam. However, we can make the following statement in this connection: the strongest proof of the sincerity of Muhammad's belief n the Divine nature of his mission is the Qur'an itself. Its nble language and teachings, its lofty moral directives, the exciting and revealing accounts which it conveys of former nations, their prophets and anti-prophets, their fates and fortunes, the information which it contains about things to come and the fore-knowledge which it conveys about a diversity of subjects-these are some of the considerations which make it extremely unrealistic to pronounce it a product an an outcome of a hallucinatory and illusory vision.[11]

We seek the protection of God from the missionaries' fanaticism and bigotry, from the evils within their hearts and from the fitna' which they spread with their tongues. We also beseech Him that He may always strengthen our resolve to stiffle the tongues of those who oppose Him and His Apostle.

And only God knows best.

RESPONSE:

Apart from MENJ’S wishful thinking, which leads him to think that he has actually rebutted something, and his ad hominem slurs, MENJ has failed to refute anything either Silas or myself wrote. He has simply produced an article which provides textbook examples of straw man argumentation, red herrings, evasion tactics and some of the worst ad hominems we have ever read.

MENJ again repeats the claim that Muhammad’s traumatic experiences prove that he was sincere and again failed to address our response to this claim. So here it is again, this time in large red font:

Second, just because a person is sincere doesn’t prove that the person is right or a prophet, since one can be sincerely wrong. In fact, if integrity is a key issue in deciding prophethood then what do we do with men such as Baha'ullah, Joseph Smith, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Elijah Muhammad? These men also believed that the message they received was actually from God and some of them suffered greatly for their claims. Does this mean that we need to embrace them as messengers of God as well?

Take for example Baha’ullah. What could have been his motive in suffering imprisonment for over twenty years if he did not truly believe he was God’s spokesperson? What were Buddha's motives for abandoning his lofty status as a prince to live an impoverished life if he did not sincerely believe that what he was teaching was the truth? What led Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to suffer isolation and disgrace for claiming to be God's final Islamic messenger and Reformer of this age? Why would Rashid Khalifah die as a martyr if he were simply a deceiver seeking monetary gains? What could have been the reasons behind these men maintaining their persecuted positions, forsaking earthly riches for the life to come? The obvious reason is that they sincerely believed they were God's messengers/prophets for their respective communities.

This should make it obvious to the reader that using sincerity as a criterion establishes the prophetic claims of these other so-called prophets and/or messengers.

We now move into the next section of our rebuttal.



Appendix A: Ibn Who?

MENJ’s appendix is one of the best proofs he provided to show that he wasn’t able to respond to our challenge. Realizing that he couldn’t address any of our points MENJ has decided to run away from it and turn to Ibn Khaldun to help him. The only problem is that Ibn Khaldun is not an authority on determining prophethood. He is neither a prophet nor a messenger and does not speak on behalf of God. MENJ’s appeal to Ibn Khaldun is simply a case of the fallacy of appealing to authority. It is a huge smokescreen aimed at covering up MENJ’s gross inabilities to deal with the arguments.

But even more importantly MENJ’s running to Ibn Khaldun ignores what the Quran commands him to do when seeking to establish a person’s prophetic claims. Since MENJ has conveniently chosen to ignore the advice of his own book, we are only too glad to remind him of it:

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall

Therefore hold fast to that which has been revealed to you; surely you are on the right path. And most surely it is a reminder for you and your people, and you shall soon be questioned. And ask those of Our apostles whom We sent before you: Did We ever appoint gods to be worshiped besides the Beneficent God? S. 43:43-45 Shakir

The next two passages are quite pertinent to our discussion since it relates to the mode of revelation:

And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men whom We inspired - Ask the followers of the Remembrance if ye know not! – S. 16:43 Pickthall

And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men, whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not? S. 21:7 Pickthall

The Quran advises persons to consult the people who have access to the scriptures which were revealed before Muhammad’s time. This means that a person needs to consult the Judeo-Christian community and their scriptures, i.e. the Holy Bible, and test Muhammad’s claim in light of it.

Ibn Khaldun was a Muslim and obviously tailor-made his criteria in order to prove that Muhammad was a prophet. It is rather easy to create criteria suitable for any imposter and then apply them to prove that the person in question was a true prophet. The Mormons have certainly their criteria that make Joseph Smith a prophet. Is MENJ going to accept them? Will he accept the criteria used by Bahais in support of their founder? What about the criteria used to prove the claims of the Ahmaddiyas founder or the leader of the Nation of Islam?

Here then are the real criteria of a true prophet taken from the very Scriptures which the Quran itself commanded individuals to consult for verification purposes.


1. Comes in the name and authority of the true God Yahweh.

One way to know whether a person is a true prophet is if he comes in the name of the true God:

"The LORD said to me: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks IN MY NAME, I myself will call him to account.’" Deuteronomy 18:17-19

The true God’s name is Yahweh:

"God, furthermore, said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, "YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you."’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations." Exodus 3:15

"and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but {by} My name, YHWH, I did not make Myself known to them. Exodus 6:3

"Then YHWH came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the YHWH. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘YHWH, YHWH, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’" Exodus 34:5-7

And YHWH will be king over all the earth; in that day YHWH will be {the only} one, and His name {the only} one. Zechariah 14:9

Muhammad never knew or used this name, which means that he was not a true prophet of God. Now MENJ may claim that the correct enunciation of the name YHWH has been lost, and the way people pronounce it today is not completely accurate. He may wish to submit this as proof that God’s name YHWH must not have been important if God allowed its correct pronunciation to be lost.

If MENJ does bring this up we only need to remind him that the four consonants marking the Divine Name (known as the Tetragrammaton) have never been lost, but have been preserved by God in the extant manuscripts. Furthermore, this would actually provide further proof that Muhammad is not a true prophet. Muslims claim that Muhammad came to restore the true faith of the prophets. If this is so then why did God not reveal to him the correct way to pronounce His name, since he himself said that YHWH "is My memorial-name to all generations"? That Muhammad did not use and apparently never knew YHWH as the name of God, which even other non-Israelites acknowledged to be his name (such as what we find in the book of Job), destroys MENJ’s attempt of trying to link his prophet with God’s true prophets.

For more on this subject we recommend the following series of articles:

http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Perez/name_of_god1.html
http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Perez/name_of_god2.html
http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Perez/name_of_god3.html
http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Perez/name_of_god4.html


2. Confirms and is in Conformity with the Previous Revelation.

The Bible warns us about people who will come preaching a different message from what God’s true spokespersons proclaimed. Such persons are to be rejected even if they perform miracles to back up their claims:

"If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, ‘Let us follow other gods’ (gods you have not known) ‘and let us worship them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you." Deuteronomy 13:1-5

"At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible." Matthew 24:23-24

"I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough ... For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" Galatians 1:6-9

"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

"Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." 1 John 2:22-23

"Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in THE TEACHING OF CHRIST does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." 2 John 1:7-11

Muhammad’s message contradicts the essential teachings of both the Old and New Testaments regarding the nature of God, the person of Christ, the plan of salvation, and the description of heaven. Muhammad cannot be a true prophet.

For more on this issue please read the following articles:

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/true_seal.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/badawi_shirk.htm


3. The complete accuracy of all prophecies made.

"But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:20-22

The following example posits two of the requirements of a true prophet, namely consistency with the message of the previous prophets and the accurate fulfillment of predictions:

"In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people: ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the LORD's house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon," declares the LORD, "for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon."’ Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the LORD. He said, ‘Amen! May the LORD do so! May the LORD fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the LORD's house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon. Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: From early times the prophets WHO PRECEDED YOU AND ME have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true.’ Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it, and he said before all the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: "In the same way will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon off the neck of all the nations within two years."’ At this, the prophet Jeremiah went on his way. Shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: ‘Go and tell Hananiah, "This is what the LORD says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals."’ Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, ‘Listen, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. Therefore, this is what the LORD says: "I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the LORD."’ In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died." Jeremiah 28:1-17

Even here Muhammad fails the test as the following article shows:

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/false_prophecies.htm

Make sure to read the links provided at the end of the article to our responses to Muslims who tried to exonerate Muhammad from his false prophecies.

The Quran also claims that Muhammad received the same kind of inspiration that the true prophets of God received:

Lo! We inspire thee as We inspired Noah and the prophets after him, as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as We imparted unto David the Psalms; S. 4:136 Pickthall

We showed in our initial rebuttal that Muhammad’s experiences with the Spirit were nothing like the true prophets’ encounters with the true God. Muhammad therefore was not inspired like the true prophets of God.

The preceding examples conclusively demonstrate that Muhammad was not a true prophet of the true God.



Appendix B: Paul a true Apostle according to Ibn Khaldun's "Theory of Prophecy"

We reproduce MENJ’s section on Ibn Khaldun to show that according to the latter’s criteria Paul is God’s true Messenger:

From shamanism to the poet Hass‚n ibn Th‚bit, the missionaries had constantly amused us with their constant jumping from one nefarious postulation to another. In his section, "OPEN CHALLENGE TO MENJ", the missionary has also attempted to resort to devious trickery by asking rhetorical questions which serve no other purpose other than to ridicule, hence showing that their actions all border on insanity. Below is a reproduction of a discussion regarding Ibn Khaldun's theory of prophecy that defines the experiences of a true Prophet of God, and hence invariably refutes the missionary agenda.

RESPONSE:

The only devious trickery being employed is by MENJ for failing to even address our challenge. He clearly knew he couldn’t respond and decided to throw out the following smokescreen. We do appreciate MENJ’s indirect admission that he cannot refute our challenge. MENJ continues:

In his Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun gives both a diagnosis and criteria for prophecy. The diagnosis consists of an ingenious description of the phenomenon of prophecy. In remarkably elegant style, he discusses the nature of the prophetic experience, giving a metaphysical exposition of its various signs and symptoms. The criteria, on the other hand, consists of traits and properties which are alleged to be useful in distinguishing between genuine and spurious prophets. As the leading Muslim sociologist, Ibn Khaldun believes that prophets are both chosen and prepared for their prophetic role by Providence, the essence of this role being to communicate Divine guidance to their respective peoples. The essence of Divine guidance is to acquiant man with his happiness and bliss in the Hereafter. But first, let us see how Ibn Khaldun chacterizes the prophetic experience.

1. THE NATURE OF PROPHETIC EXPERIENCE

(i) For Ibn Khaldun, prophetic experience is essentially a kind of trance, a sudden leap, from the human level of consciousness to that of the Divine order. In this trance or leap the ordinary human cognitive powers are drastically transformed so that the subject undergoing the experience becomes able to partake of the perception and understanding of the Divine order.

(ii) This transformation is described by him as a momentary exchange of the human consciousness with pure angelic consciousness, uninhibited by the mediation of the human body. As a result of this exchange or transformation, the subject becomes totally immersed in the spiritual medium of the realm of the angels. The subject becomes, momentarily that is, part and parcal of that higher realm and thus becomes able to partake in its activities, its perceptions and experience.

(iii) At the termination of the prophetic experience, which normally takes the form of a trance, the subject returns to the ordinary human condition. However, he does not lose or forget the experiences and the perception which he attained whilst in the higher realm. He retains them in an exceptionally vivid manner as if engraved on his heart. This ability to memorise things perceived in visionary trances, is acheived by the subject during the training which he receives in preparation for his imminent prophetic role.

(iv) By a process rather similar to translation but whose precise nature is unknown, the mystical content of the experience is rendered comprehensible in ordinary human discourse.

(v) The prophetic role consists in communicating the content of prophetic experience to the people, rationally and completely unchanged. This material provides Divine guidance to the people and the conveying of this guidance is the very essence of the prophetic role.

(vi) The actual transformation which makes the prophetic subject possible is quite painful and exhausting to the subjectwho shows visible signs of fatigue and hardship.

2. CRITERIA FOR RECOGNIZING A GENUINE PROPHETIC EXPERIENCE

(i) True prophets experience a trance which can be described as follows:

It is not a state of unconsciousness, nor is it a failure of physical or mental powers. The agent does not exhibit any signs of suffering mental or physical illness. And quite definitely it is not any form of epileptic unconsciousness. The agent experiencing the trance becomes unaware of his surroundings, like someone asleep.

Like a sleeping person who is experiencing some kind of unusual dream, the agent exhibits visible signs of fatigue and hardship. These include (i) heavy breathing, (ii) sweating heavily, and (iii) loud snoring. According to Ibn Khaldun, the fatigue and hardship is due to "an immersion in (and) encounter with the spiritual kingdom, the result of perception congenial to them but entirely foreign to the (ordinary) perception of men".

(ii) Even before receiving Divine Revelation the would-be prophets are recognizable as good and innocent persons, naturally adverse to any reprehensible or sinful actions. This is to say that they are immune from sin and vice. This is the well known doctrine of 'Ismah (or infallibility) with which all true prophets are endowned. Prophets, that is truly inspired prophets, are by nature disposed to avoid and shun blameworthy actions, as if such actions are the negation of their very nature.

(iii) True prophets are also recognizable by the honest and sincere means whch they employ to spread their messages. They use Divine worship and prayer, observe chastity and practise alms-giving. They are kind and sympathetic to the depressed and the under-privileged and dispense justice and equity to all people and under all circumstances. They are neither wealthy nor status seekers. Nor are they possessed by any craving for power or influence. Above all they desire and seek to impart Divine guidance at any cost to all members of their respective peoples.

(iv) They must enjoy the support of some powerful group. This support is neccessary, because it serves as a buffer that protects them against their antagonists and gives them a measure of security which enables them to carry out their Divine mission.

(v) All true prophets produce miracles, accompanied by some advance challenge of some sort. The challenge is in many cases made by their antagonists who seek to deny, belie and upset their prophetic claims. The prophets then produce the miracles both as answers to these challenges, and furthermore, as attestations to the truth and sincerity of their claims.

RESPONSE:

Although we do not accept these criteria as mentioned above, for argument's sake, we will now show how Ibn Khaldun’s bogus criteria vindicates Paul’s apostleship:

1. Paul’s State During Revelation

"Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 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 traveling 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. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered. The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’ ‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’ But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’ Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Acts 9:1-19

"About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me. A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him. Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into A TRANCE and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick!’ he said to me. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’" Acts 22:6-21

2. Paul’s Honesty and Sincerity

"I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’" Acts 20:33-35

"After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, ‘The Holy Spirit says, "In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles."’ When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’" Acts 21:10-13

"Then Paul said: ‘I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.’" Acts 22:3-5

"When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, WITH A SOLDIER TO GUARD HIM. Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: ‘My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar--not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel THAT I AM BOUND WITH THIS CHAIN’ ... For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 28:16-20, 30-31

"Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don't we have the right to food and drink? Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.’ Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it." 1 Corinthians 9:1-18

"Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God." 2 Corinthians 2:17

"Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." 2 Corinthians 4:2

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

"Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?" Galatians 4:16

"Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." Philippians 1:12-18

"Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:1-11

"You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed-God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed." 1 Thessalonians 2:1-10

"In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’" 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8

3. Paul’s miracles

"So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders." Acts 14:3

"Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.’ She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST I command you to come out of her!’ AT THAT MOMENT THE SPIRIT LEFT HER." Acts 16:16-18

"God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured AND THE EVIL SPIRITS LEFT THEM. Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, 'In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.' Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [One day] the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?' Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor." Acts 19:11-16

"Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, 'This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.' But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured." Acts 28:3-9

"I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done - by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ." Romans 15:18-19

"I have made a full of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I m not least inferior to the 'super-apostles,' even though I am nothing. The things that mark an apostle - signs, wonders and miracles - were done among you with great perseverance." 2 Corinthians 12:11-12

4. Paul’s charity and treatment of the needy and misfortunate

"After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings." Acts 24:17

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’" Romans 12:9-21

"All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." Galatians 2:10

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others ... Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me." Philippians 2:1-4, 12-18

"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:1-8

5. Paul’s support from a powerful group

"Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’ This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them... Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with OUR DEAR FRIENDS Barnabas and Paul - MEN WHO HAVE RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. Acts 15:1-4, 22-29

"When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: ‘You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.’" Acts 21:17-20

"Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles - only James, the Lord's brother. I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they praised God because of me." Galatians 1:18-24

"Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. As for those who seemed to be important-whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance-those men added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews." Galatians 2:1-9

"Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15-16

As far as Ibn Khaldun’s doctrine of Isma is concerned this is not only unbiblical, it also contradicts both the Quran and Islamic traditions that show the prophets of God committing sins. This is especially the case with Muhammad who is not a prophet. Please read the following articles for proof:

http://answering-islam.org/Silas/mo-sinner.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/sins_of_prophets.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/adam_and_eve_shirk.htm

With that said and in light of the foregoing, Paul perfectly passes Ibn Khaldun’s tests of prophethood with flying colors, even more so than Muhammad. The real question is not whether Paul passes Ibn Khaldun’s criteria since his views mean nothing. The real question is whether MENJ will be consistent in using Ibn Khaldun’s criteria and accept the beloved Apostle as a genuine messenger of God. We highly doubt that he will, which would only prove that his appeal to Ibn Khaldun was nothing more than one big smokescreen to cover up his gross inability to meet our challenge.

This is why we conclude with:

A REISSUING OF OUR CHALLENGE

  1. Please find one biblical prophet who thought that he was demon-possessed after his encounter with God.
  2. Please find one biblical prophet who contemplated suicide as a result of thinking that he was demon-possessed.
  3. Please find one biblical prophet who fell under Satanic possession, or was bewitched either by a sorcerer, occultist, Satanist, demon etc.
  4. Please show us a prophet who received revelation while under the bed of his favorite wife.
  5. Please try and convince us that Hassan’s experiences were not similar to Muhammad.
  6. Please convince us that Muhammad’s claim that Gabriel assisted Hassan doesn’t prove that Muhammad’s Gabriel was either Satan or a demon masquerading as an angel of light.

Hopefully this time around MENJ won’t run away as he did in his supposed rebuttal, nor come up with cheap excuses or ad hominem slurs, and actually provide an answer to our specific points. If he cannot then it will be difficult for discerning readers not to take this failure to be an admission on his part that he cannot refute the facts which prove that Muhammad was not a true prophet of the true God.


Sam Shamoun


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