Response to Zakir Naik's Claims for the Quran

Sam Shamoun

  • Revelations of Convenience
            Bloodthirsty, Vengeful and Dishonest
            Muhammad's Hypocrisy
            Wife Beating
  • Muhammad and Miracles
  • Conclusion

    This begins our first response to Naik's claims as outlined in the introduction to this series of rebuttals. The other responses to follow shortly, Lord willing.


    The Quran itself supplies evidence that Muhammad suffered from mythomania. According to Naik, a person that suffers from mythomania will often change his story when confronted with facts. This is precisely what we find Muhammad doing with the alleged message of Allah:

    "Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any guardian or helper? Or would ye question your messenger as Moses was questioned aforetime? He who chooseth disbelief instead of faith, verily he hath gone astray from a plain road." S. 2:106-108

    Mahmoud M. Ayoub provides the following commentaries on S. 2:106 by the some of the foremost Muslim scholars:

    "Wahidi says that this verse was sent down because the associators said, 'Do you not see Muhammad, how he commands his people to do something, then forbids them to do it and commands them to do its opposite? Today he says one thing and tomorrow he changes his mind regarding it. The Qur'an is no more than the words of Muhammad, which he utters from himself. It is composed of words which contradict one another.' Thus says Wahidi, God sent down verse 101 of al-Nahl (Q. 16), and this verse (Wahidi, p. 32: see also Zamakhshari, I. p. 303). Tabari interprets abrogation (naskh) broadly as 'what we [that is, God] abrogate regarding the precept of a verse which we change, or for which we substitute another, so that what is lawful may become unlawful and what is unlawful may become lawful; what is permitted may become prohibited and what is prohibited may become permitted. This however, can only be done with regard to commands and prohibitions ... but as for reports or narratives, they can neither be abrogated nor can they abrogate' (Tabari, II, pp. 471-472; see also Shawkani, I, pp. 125-126). Tabarsi relates on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, 'I means that we [God] abolish, whether it be a verse or precept of a verse; or it may mean that we substitute another for it' (Tabarsi, I, p. 407)." (Ayoub, The Quran and Its Interpreters, [State University of New York Press, Albany 1984], p. 139)

    Ibn Kathir comments:

    "The word 'Naskh' (abrogation) literally means 'copy' in Arabic. The technical meaning of 'Naskh' is abrogation of the judgement due to a delayed legal proof. Abrogation is confirmed sometimes by maintaining 'the letter of the law' and rescinding the law as in the case of the abrogation of the charity due before consulting the Prophet in private, and abrogating the order that the Muslim should have patience in battle with ten non-believers and limited it to two instead.

    This also involves changing the permissible to prohibited and vice versa. Abrogation is only applicable to commands, prohibitions and permissions. As for the concrete facts and positive information, it does not apply. "Naskh" can also occur by deleting the text and maintaining the law as in the hadith: 'An old man and an old woman, if they are found to be adulterers, then stone them both'.

    <If We abrogate any verse> means change its judgement; <or cause it to be forgotten,> the Arabic word in this verse is read in two different ways: 'nunsiha' and 'nansa'uha'. The first one means that Allah made His Prophet forget what was sent down to him; the second one derives from 'annasi'ah' meaning delay and postponement. 'Abd Ar-Razzaq narrated from Mu'ammar with reference to Qatadah as saying about the verse: <If We abrogate any verse or cause it to be forgotten,> that Allah made His Prophet forget that which He wished him to forget, and abrogated that which He wished. 'Abd Ibn 'Umayr, 'Ata and Mujahid said that it means to delay it. Narrated Ibn Abi Hatim quoting Ibn 'Abbas as saying that 'Umar gave a speech in which he said that the verse in question means to delay it. <We replace it by a better or similar one> means in law relative to the benefit of the people. Qatadah said that the verse <We replace it by a better or similar one> means verses which include a lighter judgement, a wider permission, a command and a prohibition." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London, 1998 second edition] part 1, pp. 203-204; bold italic emphasis ours)

    The translator has a note stating:

    "Translator's note: The author alludes here to the verse: 'If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred...' (8:65) which was abrogated by 'Now has Allah lightened your burden, for He knows that there is weakness in you. So if there be of you a steadfast hundred they shall overcome two hundred..." (8:66)" (Ibid.)

    Al-Zamakhshari continues:

    "(As the occasion of the revelation of this verse) the following is related: The unbelievers had challenged the canceling of verses and said: 'Look at Muhammad, how he commands his companions to do something, and then forbids it to them and commands the opposite. He says something today and retracts it tomorrow.'

    Thereupon this verse came down.

    "Instead of whatever verse We abrogate (nansakh), some read: whatever verse we allow (or cause) to be abrogated (nunsikh). ...

    Or cast into oblivion (nansa'ha): Some read: or cause to be cast into oblivion (nunsiha or nunassiha). Others read this as if addressed specifically to the Messenger of God: or when you forget it (tansaha). Still others read: or when you are caused to forget it (tunsaha). 'Abd Allah (ibn 'Abbas) read: when we cause you to forget (nunsika) or to abrogate it (nansakkha). And Hudhaifa read: when we abrogate (nansakh) a verse or cause you to forget it (nunsikaha).

    "To abrogate a verse means that God removes (azala) it by putting another in its place. To cause a verse to be abrogated means that God gives the command that it be abrogated; that is, he commands Gabriel to set forth the verse as abrogated by announcing its cancellation. Deferring a verse means that God sets it aside (with the proclamation) and causes it to disappear without a substitute. To cause a verse to be cast into oblivion means that it no longer is preserved in the heart. The following is the meaning: Every verse is made to vanish whenever the well-being (maslaha) (of the community) requires that it be eliminated - either on the basis of the wording or the virtue of what is right, or on the basis of both these reasons together, either with or without substitute.

    "We bring a verse which is better for the servants (of God), that is, a verse through which one gains a greater benefit, or one which is equal to it in this respect.

    "God is powerful over everything: he is able to produce what is good, but also something which is even better or something which is equal in its goodness to the first." (Helmut Gätje, The Qur'an and its Exegesis [Oneworld Publications, Oxford 1996], p. 58)

    What is troubling about this passage is that not only does Allah change the revelation and causes Muhammad to forget, but also replaces the abrogated commands with ones that are better! The question is how can God improve on his revelation, especially a revelation that allegedly has eternally preexisted on heavenly tablets in the Mother of the Book? (Cf. S. 43:1-4)

    Zamakhshari also provides proof for variant readings, indicating that the Muslim claim that the Quran is perfect in its transmission is a farce, one devoid of any fact.

    Other passages include:

    "Allah effaceth what He will, and establisheth (what He will), and with Him is the source of ordinance." S. 13:39

    "And when We put a revelation in place of (another) revelation, - and Allah knoweth best what He revealeth - they say: Lo! thou art but inventing. Most of them know not. Say: The holy Spirit hath delivered it from thy Lord with truth, that it may confirm (the faith of) those who believe, and as guidance and good tidings for those who have surrendered (to Allah). And We know well that they say: Only a man teacheth him. The speech of him at whom they falsely hint is outlandish, and this is clear Arabic speech." S. 16:101-103

    "And if We willed We could withdraw that which We have revealed unto thee, then wouldst thou find no guardian for thee against Us in respect thereof." S. 17:86

    "Never have we sent a single prophet or apostle before you with whose wishes Satan did not tamper. But God abrogates the interjections of Satan and confirms His own revelations." S. 22:52

    "We shall make thee read (O Muhammad) so that thou shalt not forget Save that which Allah willeth. Lo! He knoweth the disclosed and that which still is hidden;" S. 87:6-7

    Ibn Kathir comments on the above:

    "... Then Allah the All-Mighty refers to the Revelation and says that the Prophet will not forget what he has been taught, except what Allah Himself wants him to forget. Another interpretation is that Allah is commanding His Messenger not to forget what is being taught to him, except what Allah wishes." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir Summarized, translated by Habib Badr [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh Saudi Arabia; first edition August 1997], part 30, p. 62)

    The Dictionary of Qur'anic Terms and Concepts states:

    "Quranic injunctions themselves may be abrogated, as has happened in a few cases. An example of this abrogation is 24:2 which abrogates the punishment of adultery, (q.v.) stated in 4:15-16. A study of the Quran shows first, that only a limited number of Quranic verses have been abrogated, and second, that the abrogation pertains to legal and practical matters only, and not to matters of doctrine and belief." (Muntasir Mir, pp. 5-6, published by Garland)

    In the book, Behind the Veil the writer states:

    "In their interpretation of this verse (p. 16), the Jalalan say that God's intention for this verse is, 'To eliminate the ordinance of the verse either with its wording or to keep the wording and eliminate the ordinance, or we make you O, Muhammad, to forget it; namely, we will remove it from your heart' (p. 16).

    The Baydawi says in p. 22,

    'This verse was given because the Jews and the infidels said that Muhammad ordered his followers to do something, then He prohibited them from it and commanded them to do something opposite to it. Abrogation means eliminating reading it as an act of worship or eliminating the ordinance inferred from it, or both of them. To forget it means to remove it from hearts.'

    Refer also to the Zamakh-shari in 'al-Kash-shaf' (part I, p. 303). In part 3, p. 59 the Suyuti says, 'Abrogation means the removal as it is mentioned in chapter Haj: 52, and it means alteration.'

    In his book, 'The History of Islamic Law' (p. 115), Dr. Shalabi states, 'The abrogation is to rescind something and replace it with something else, as ibn Hazm said. Muslims in general have consented that abrogation has taken place in the Qur'an as it is clearly indicated in the sound verses.'

    This statement means that Muhammad was accustomed to stating something to his followers with the claim that it was revealed to him through the angel Gabriel, then later (maybe after a few hours), he would tell them that God had invalidated it. Thus the infidels used to say, 'Muhammad utters something today and abolishes it tomorrow' (refer to Zamakh-shari, part I, p. 303).

    "In Asbab al-Nuzul, p. 19, the Suyuti says that,

    'Ibn Abbas himself said, "Sometimes the revelation used to descend on the prophet during the night and then he forgot it during daytime, thus God sent down this verse: 2:106"'.

    Is it acceptable or sensible to think that God changes His mind during the night? Ibn 'Abbas is not the only one who insists on that because Ibn 'Umar says, 'Two men read a Sura which the apostle of God had taught them, yet one night they rose up to pray but they failed to remember one word of it. The next morning, they went to the apostle of God and related it to him. He told them, "It is one of those, which have been abrogated, thus, forget about it..."' (Refer to the Itqan, 3:74).

    Such strange behavior led the infidels to say that Muhammad is a calumniator and he does not receive inspiration from God for he changes his mind whenever he wishes or says, 'I forgot the verse because God made me forget it and it was abrogated'. Thus, a verse was written in the Qur'an referring to this debate which was waged between Muhammad and the infidel. The verse says, "And when we put one revelation in place of another revelation — and Allah knows best what He reveals — they say, "To! thou art but inventing"' (16:101).

    In his above-mentioned book, Dr. Shalabi attempts to defend the concept of abrogation. He remarks, 'God changes His ordinances according to the change of time and circumstances, therefore, the abrogation and the giving of one verse instead of the verses of the Qur'an took place' (p. 116).

    The reader can easily realize that this defense is meaningless and will not suffice because circumstances do not change drastically in a few night hours as Ibn 'Abbas has claimed when he said that the verse would be received during the night and abrogated in daytime. Dr. Shalabi, in the context of his defense, says, 'Most of what was alluded to in the abrogated verses was intended to lighten (the ordinances)' (p. 117).

    In part 3, p. 69 of the 'Itqan', the Suyuti refers to the same reason. It is left to the reader to answer this question, 'Did God not know the circumstances of His worshippers and their abilities so that He made it a habit to decree an ordinance or dictate an order, then change His mind and replace it immediately the next day with a lighter command or an easier commandment?' The fact is that Muhammad has failed to comprehend his followers' circumstances, thus he used to order something, then change it the next day whenever he found it too difficult to be implemented..." (Behind the Veil, Unmasking Islam, published by Voice of the Martyrs, p. 220)


    "The abrogator precedes the abrogated. In part 3, p. 69 the Suyuti remarks, 'In the Quran there is no abrogator (verse) without being preceded by an abrogated (verse) except in two verses, and some added a third one, while others added a fourth one.' (Al Itqan)." (Ibid., p. 226) (see also this chapter.)

    Muhammad Asad's footnote to S. 2:106 is interesting:

    "... The principle laid down in this passage-relating to the supersession of the Biblical dispensation by that of the Qur'an-has given rise to an erroneous interpretation by many Muslim theologians. The word ayah ('message') occurring in this context is also used to denote a 'verse' of the Qur'an (because every one of these verses contains a message). Taking this restricted meaning of the term ayah, some scholars conclude from the above passage that certain verses of the Qur'an have been 'abrogated' by God's command before the revelation of the Qur'an was completed. Apart from the fancifulness of this assertion- WHICH CALLS TO MIND THE IMAGE OF A HUMAN AUTHOR CORRECTING, ON SECOND THOUGHT, THE PROOFS OF HIS MANUSCRIPT, deleting one passage and replacing it with another-there does not exist a single reliable Tradition to the effect that the Prophet ever declared a verse of the Qur'an to have been 'abrogated'. At the root of the so-called 'doctrine of abrogation' MAY LIE THE INABILITY OF SOME EARLY COMMENTATORS TO RECONCILE ONE QUR'ANIC PASSAGE WITH ANOTHER; a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been 'abrogated'. This arbitrary procedure explains also why there is no unanimity whatsoever among the upholders of the 'doctrine of abrogation' as to which, and how many, Qur'an-verses have been affected by it; and furthermore, as to whether this alleged abrogation implies a total elimination of the verse from the context of the Qur'an, or only a cancellation of the specific ordinance or statement contained in it. In short, the 'doctrine of abrogation' has no basis in historical fact, and must be rejected..." (Asad, Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar rpt. 1993], pp. 22-23, n. 87 bold emphasis ours)

    Asad correctly points out that abrogation is an indication of human imperfections and weakness. The fact that Muhammad claimed that Allah abrogated certain commands indicates that the former suffered from mythomania since when questioned he would then change his view in order to avoid getting caught. Interestingly, the above passages clearly contradict the following verse:

    And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. S. 18:27

    Asad notes:

    "...According to Razi, it is on this passage, among others, that the great Qur'an-commentator Abu Muslim al-Isfahani based his rejection of the so-called 'doctrine of abrogation' discussed in my note 87 on 2:106." (Ibid., p. 443, n. 35)

    In either case, the Quran leaves us with major problems. To affirm abrogation is to affirm a contradiction within the Quran and a problem with Muhammad's psyche. To deny the doctrine of abrogation is to still admit that the Quran contains contradictions. In fact, so apparent are these contradictions that according to Asad the early Muslim commentators had to come up with the doctrine of abrogation in order to avoid these problems.

    Hence, we find that the Quran itself testifies that Muhammad suffered from mythomania.


    The hadith seem to support the fact that some of Muhammad's experiences were due to religious hallucinations:

    Narrated Abu Salama:

    'Aisha said that the Prophet said to her "O 'Aisha' This is Gabriel and he sends his (greetings) salutations to you." 'Aisha said, "Salutations (Greetings) to him, and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on him," and addressing the Prophet she said, "You see what I don't see." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 440)

    If this hadith does not strongly suggest that Muhammad suffered from religious hallucinations we don't know what else will!

    Continuing further, we read:

    Narrated 'Aisha:

    The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again 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 and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to... that which he knew not." (96.15) Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, 'Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet described whatever he had seen.

    Waraqa said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) 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." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they turn me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. 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 and the 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. (Ibn 'Abbas said regarding the meaning of: 'He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)' (6.96) that Al-Asbah. means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 111)

    Narrated 'Aisha:

    The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship(Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again 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 and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous... up to... that which he knew not." (96.15) Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, 'Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) 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." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they turn me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. 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 and the 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. (Ibn 'Abbas said regarding the meaning of: 'He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)' (6.96) that Al-Asbah. means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 111)

    Narrated Aisha:

    Al Harith bin Hisham asked the Prophet, "How does the divine inspiration come to you?" He replied, "In all these ways: The Angel sometimes comes to me with a voice which resembles the sound of a ringing bell, and when this state abandons me, I remember what the Angel has said, and this type of Divine Inspiration is the hardest on me; and sometimes the Angel comes to me in the shape of a man and talks to me, and I understand and remember what he says." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 438)

    And, Narrated Ibn Masud:

    I was with the Prophet at one of the farms of Medina while he was leaning on a date palm leaf-stalk. He passed by a group of Jews and some of them said to the other, Ask him (the Prophet) about the spirit. Some others said, "Do not ask him, lest he should tell you what you dislike" But they went up to him and said, "O Abal Qasim! Inform us bout the spirit." The Prophet stood up for a while, waiting. I realized that he was being Divinely Inspired, so I kept away from him till the inspiration was over. Then the Prophet said, "(O Muhammad) they ask you regarding the spirit, Say: The spirit its knowledge is with my Lord (i.e., nobody has its knowledge except Allah)" (17.85) (This is a miracle of the Qur'an that all the scientists up till now do not know about the spirit, i.e, how life comes to a body and how it goes away at its death) (See Hadith No. 245, Vol. 6) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 400)

    Two things stick out from these hadiths. First, according to Aisha Muhammad received the first revelation while dreaming. Hence, one can legitimately argue that Muhammad's religious experiences were due to hallucinations caused by an overactive imagination or due to deep spiritual meditation.

    Second, the encounters and experiences Muhammad had with this alleged Angel strongly points to the fact that Muhammad was being visited by the Devil, not Gabriel.

    Satan could have deceived Muhammad without the latter realizing that the Angel that came to him was actually the Devil in disguise. This point is strengthened by the fact that Muhammad himself believed at first that the Angel that visited him was actually a demon.

    Muslim biography Muhammad Husayn Haykal in his book The Life of Muhammad, speaks of the first encounter Muhammad had with the alleged Angelic messenger:

    Naturally he was scared, and intimated to his wife, Khadija, the fear that he might even be possessed by an evil spirit... Stricken with panic, Muhammad arose and asked himself, "What did I see? Did possession of the devil which I feared all along come to pass?"... When he calmed down, he cast toward his wife the glance of a man in need of rescue and said, "O Khadijah, what has happened to me?" He told her of his experience and intimated to her his fear that his mind had finally betrayed him, and that he was becoming a seer or a man possessed. (Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad [North American Trust Publications, USA 1976], pp. 73-75)

    According to Haykal, this was not the first time Muhammad had felt that he was possessed of the devil, only to be convinced otherwise by his wife Khadijah. For, "as she did on earlier occasions when Muhammad feared possession by the devil, so now stood firm by her husband and void of the slightest doubt," convinced him that he was called to be God's prophet to the Arabs. (Ibid., p. 75)

    Even Muhammad's very own foster-parents believed that the former had been possessed by evil-spirits. For instance, his foster-mother Halimah feared for the child since she believed he was possessed:

    "Some months after our return he and his brother were with our lambs behind the tents when his brother came running and said to us, `Two men clothed in white has ceased that Qurayshi brother of mine and thrown him down and opened up his belly, and are stirring him up.' We ran towards him and found him standing up with a livid face. We took hold of him and asked him what was the matter. He said, `Two men with white raiment came and threw me down and opened up my belly and searched therein for I know not what,' so we took him back to our tent... His father said to me, `I am afraid that this child has had a stroke, so take him back to his family before the result appears.' So we picked him up and took him to his mother who asked why we had brought him when I had been anxious for his welfare and desirous of keeping him with me. I said to her, `God has let my son live so far and I have done my duty. I am afraid that ill will befall him, so I have brought him back to you as you wished.' She asked me what happened and gave me no peace until I told her. When she asked if I feared a demon possessed him, I replied that I did. She answered that no demon had any power over her son who had a great future before him, and then she told me how when she was pregnant with him a light went out from her which illumined the castles of Busra and Syria." (Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, pp. 71-72)

    Muhammad was so troubled by the fact that he might have been demon-possessed that he contemplated suicide:

    "I shall go to some high mountain cliff and cast myself down therefrom so that I may kill myself and be at rest. I went off with this mind, but when I was in the midst of the mountains I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'O Muhammad, thou art God's apostle and I am Gabriel.' (At-Tabari, Tarikh al-Rasul Wa al-Muluk, Leiden, 1991, I, p. 1152)

    Further support comes from Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasulallah as translated by Alfred Guillaume in The Life of Muhammad, p. 106:

    "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."

    The Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, "Book of the Major Classes", by Ibn Sa'd, translated by S. Moinal Haq, p. 225 has Muhammad saying:

    "O Khadija, I see light and hear sounds and I fear I am mad."

    The visitations from the spirit continued and then stopped for a time believed to be from between 6 months to 3 years. According to The History of Al-Tabari Volume 6-Muhammad at Mecca (State of New York Press, Albany 1988), p. 76:

    "The inspiration ceased to come to the messenger of God for a while, and he was deeply grieved. He began to go to the tops of mountain crags, in order to fling himself from them; but every time he reached the summit of a mountain, Gabriel appeared to him and said to him, 'You are the Prophet of God.' Thereupon his anxiety would subside and he would come back to himself."

    Also from The History of Al-Tabari Volume 9-The Last Years of the Prophet, 1990, p. 167, note 1151:

    "The pre-Islamic Arabs believed in the demon of poetry, and they thought that a great poet was directly inspired by demons. Similarly, a kahin (soothsayer) and an 'arrafah (sorceress) were suppose to have a spirit (shaytan or tabi'), who visited them... "

    This explains why Muhammad thought he was demon possessed, or influenced by demons since the Quran in many places reads like typical Arabic poetry. Note the charges leveled against Muhammad by the unbelievers:

    "Do they not reflect? Their companion is not seized with madness (min-jinnah): he is but a perspicuous warner." S. 7:184

    And say: "What! Shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed (shaa'irim majnun)? S. 37:36

    "Thou art not, by the Grace of thy Lord, mad or possessed (bi-majnun)." S. 68:2

    "And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed (bi-majnun);" S. 81:22

    In fact, Muhammad would later boast that Allah actually gave him a Muslim jinn to assist and advise Muhammad:

    "From Abdu-Allah Ibn Massoud; Mohammed the messenger of God said `everyone one of you has a companion from Angels and Jinn.' `Even you the Messenger of God?' 'Even me, but Allah has helped me and my Jinn companion became Muslim, therefore he only advises me to do good'" (Ahmed Bahgat, "The Prophets of God" or "Anbi'a Allah", p. 386- Ahmed is an Egyptian)

    According to another biography, Ibn Hisham, Khadija decided to test the spirit:

    "Would you please tell me when the spirit comes to you? When Muhammad told her of the spirit's arrival Khadija said, 'Muhammad sit on my left thigh.' Muhammad sat on her left thigh. 'Do you see the spirit?' she asked. 'yes.' 'Then sit on my right thigh.' Muhammad sat on her right thigh. 'Do you see the spirit?' 'yes,' he answered. 'Then sit on my lap.' Muhammad sat on her lap. 'Do you see the spirit?' she asked. 'yes,' he answered. Khadija uncovered a feminine part of her body while Muhammad was sitting on her lap. 'Do you see the spirit?' 'no,' he answered. Then Khadija said, 'Muhammad, that spirit is an angel, not a devil.'" (Hisham, Vol. 2, pp.74-75)

    Two questions need to be asked:

    1. How could Khadija test the spirit when she herself was a pagan? Secondly, how does uncovering a female body part prove that a spirit is angelic or demonic?
    2. The Biblical Gabriel never tortured people into receiving the revelation, causing them to panic. He rather would comfort and strengthen God's people:

    So he (Gabriel) came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face... but he touched me, and set me upright..." Daniel 8:16-18 KJV

    "Do not be afraid Zacharias... I am Gabriel that stand in the presence of God." Luke 1:13,19 KJV

    Gabriel also appeared to Mary who became greatly troubled. He went on to say to her, "Do not be afraid Mary." Luke 1:30 KJV

    Therefore, in light of the preceding evidence we must agree with Muhammad's initial conclusion that the Angel which appeared to him was actually Satan himself.


    Unlike what Naik claims, the Islamic traditions clearly spell out Muhammad's motives in claiming prophethood, namely power, money and women.

    For instance, the Quran claims that Muhammad was poor and Allah made him rich:

    "Did He not find you as an orphan and give you shelter? Did He not find you wandering about and give you guidance? And did He not find you in need AND MAKE YOU RICH?" S. 93:6-8 Muhammad Sarwar

    In fact, the Quran commanded the Muslims to give a fifth of the booty to Allah and his Messenger along with those near of kin, needy etc.:

    And know that out of all the booty that ye may acquire (in war), a fifth share is assigned to Allah,- AND TO THE MESSENGER, and to near relatives, orphans, the needy, and the wayfarer,- if ye do believe in Allah and in the revelation We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Testing,- the Day of the meeting of the two forces. For Allah hath power over all things. S. 8:41

    Interestingly, Muhammad and 300 followers had attacked a caravan which led to the Battle of Badr. The goods taken by Muhammad and his men were estimated to be worth 50,000 Gold Dinars! The surviving Meccans were exchanged for ransom. Those who did not fetch a good ransom were killed. Muhammad received the following "revelation" to excuse his barbaric behavior:

    "It is not fitting for a prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he hath thoroughly subdued the land. Ye look for the temporal goods of this world; but Allah looketh to the Hereafter: And Allah is Exalted in might, Wise. Had it not been for a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that ye took. But (now) enjoy what ye took in war, lawful and good: but fear Allah: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." S. 8: 67-69

    In the Mishkat ul-Masabih, Volume II, p. 406 we are told:

    "After the Battle of Badr, the verse dealing with the booties was first revealed. The verse introduced the rule for the first time that the spoils of war would be the property of the soldiers who actually take part in the battle...THAT IS ONE OF THE REASONS why the soldiers of Islam fought tooth and nail. They would get Paradise in case of death in a Holy War, and booties in the case of CONQUEST. Jihad is therefore the best source of all acquisitions."

    "The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them, and those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to free the captives and the debtors, and for the cause of Allah, and (for) the wayfarer; a duty imposed by Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise." S. 9:60

    Al-Baidawi comments:

    "Those whose hearts are brought together are a group of people who converted to Islam but had a weak intention to continue in it, whose hearts were brought together by the freewill offerings [that were given them]. Or they could be some of the nobility who would turn to Islam if they saw how their fellows were given both honour and money. The Messenger has indeed given [money to] 'Uyaina Ibn Hisn, al-'Aqra Ibn Habis, and al-'Abbas Ibn Mirdas for that reason. It was said they were some of the nobility whose hearts Muhammad had united by giving them money; some also he promised to give money if they were ready to fight the unbelievers. It was said that the portion of money allotted to making converts was for the purpose of increasing the number of Muslims, so when God made him strong and increased his followers, that portion was canceled." ('Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi, Is the Qur'an Infallible? [Light of Life, PO Box 13 A-9503 VILLACH AUSTRIA], pp. 99-100)


    Of their goods, take alms, that so thou mightest purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them: And Allah is One Who heareth and knoweth. S. 9:103

    O ye who believe! When ye consult the Messenger in private, spend something in charity before your private consultation. That will be best for you, and most conducive to purity (of conduct). But if ye find not (the wherewithal), Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. S. 58:12

    After Muhammad and his men captured Khaybar, Muhammad ordered his men to torture the Jewish chief of this settlement who was named Kinana. He had him tortured in order that the Jew would tell where the community treasure was buried. Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasulallah gives the details:

    Kinana b. al-Rabi', who had the custody of the treasure of B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came (T. or was brought) to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, 'Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?' he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr b. `Al-Awwam, 'Torture him until you extract what he has,' so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head, in revenge for his brother Mahmud. (Alfred Guillaume, The Life Of Muhammad [Oxford Press Karachi], p. 515)

    It is little wonder that the Hadith states:

    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    Whenever a dead man in debt was brought to Allah's Apostle he would ask, "Has he left anything to repay his debt?" If he was informed that he had left something to repay his debts, he would offer his funeral prayer, otherwise he would tell the Muslims to offer their friend's funeral prayer. When Allah made the Prophet wealthy through conquests, he said, "I am more rightful than other believers to be the guardian of the believers, so if a Muslim dies while in debt, I am responsible for the repayment of his debt, and whoever leaves wealth (after his death) it will belong to his heirs." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 37, Number 495)

    We read in Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #3000, that:

    "So they (Muhammad and the Jews of Khaibar) concluded a treaty of peace providing that gold, silver and weapons would go to the apostle..."

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #3002:

    "...the dates from half the produce of Khaibar were divided into a number of portions. The apostle would take the fifth. The apostle used to contribute from the fifth one hundred wasqs of dates and twenty sasqs of wheat to each of his wives."

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #2984:

    Narrated Mujja'ah ibn Mirarah al-Yamani: Mujja'ah went to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) asking him for the blood-money of his brother whom Banu Sadus from Banu Dhuhl had killed. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Had I appointed blood-money for a polytheist, I should have appointed it for your brother. But I shall give you compensation for him. So the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) wrote (a document) for him that he should be given a hundred camels which were to be acquired from the fifth taken from the polytheists of Banu Dhuhl. So he took a part of them, for Banu Dhuhl embraced Islam. He then asked AbuBakr for them later on, and brought to him the document of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). So AbuBakr wrote for him that he should be given one thousand two hundred sa's from the sadaqah of al-Yamamah; four thousand (sa's) of wheat, four thousand (sa's) of barley, and four thousand (sa's) of dates. The text of the document written by the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) for Mujja'ah was as follows: "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This document is from Muhammad, the Prophet, to Mujja'ah ibn Mirarah of Banu Sulma. I have given him one hundred camels from the first fifth acquired from the polytheist of Banu Dhuhl as a compensation for his brother."

    Here Muhammad gave his wealth away amounting to 100 camels that was going to be taken from others. In Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #2985, Amir said:

    "The prophet had a special portion in the booty called safi. This would be a slave if he desired, or a slave girl if he desired, or a horse if he desired. He would choose it before taking out the fifth."

    The note for this Hadith says, "Safi was the property of choice selected by the prophet before taking the fifth from the booty. This was a special portion appointed by Allah for the prophet."

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #2986:

    Ibn Awn said:

    "I asked Muhammad about the portion of the prophet and safi. He replied: A portion was taken for him along with the Muslims, even if he did not attend the battle and safi was taken from the fifth before everything."

    We see that Muhammad was to receive his private share even if he had not participated in the battle.

    Sunan Abu Dawud Book 19, #2966:

    Narrated Umar ibn Abdul Aziz:

    "...When Abu Bakr was made ruler he administered it as the Prophet had done in his lifetime till he passed on. Then when Umar ibn al-Khattab was made ruler he administered it as they had done till he passed on. Then it was given to Marwan as a fief, and it afterwards came to Umar ibn AbdulAziz."

    Muhammad's wealth was so vast that a great portion of it lasted from his time to the time of Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Al Khattab, Marwan and Umar bin Abdul Aziz. This is some wealth!

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #2989:

    Malik said: we came to Khaibar. When Allah bestowed the conquest of fortress on us, the beauty of Safiyyah, was mentioned. Her husband was killed in the battle and she was a bride. The apostle chose her for himself. He came out with her till we reached Sadd. Where she was purified. So he cohabited with her."

    Here we see that not only did Muhammad receive a fifth of the plunder, but also women of his choice to cohabit with.

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #2991:

    Anas said:

    "A beautiful slave girl fell to Dihyah. The apostle purchased her for seven slaves. He then gave her to Umm Sulaim for decoration her and preparing her for marriage."

    Muhammad was so captivated by this woman's beauty that he gave up seven slaves for her! This serves to debunk the Muslim myth that Islam came to set slaves free, whereas Christianity drove men into slavery.

    Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 19, #2992:

    Anas said:

    Captives were gathered at Khaibar. Dihyah came and said, "apostle, give me a slave girl from the captives." He said, "Go and take a slave girl." He took Safiyyah. A man then came to the prophet and said: "You gave Safiyyah chief lady of Quraizah and al-Nadir to Dihyah?" This is according to the version of Yaqub. Then the agreed version goes: "She is worthy of you." He (Muhammad) said, "Call him along with her." When the prophet looked at her, he said to him: "Take another slave girl from the captives." The prophet then set her free and married her.


    Narrated 'Abdul 'Aziz:

    Anas said, 'When Allah's Apostle invaded Khaibar, we offered the Fajr prayer there yearly in the morning) when it was still dark. The Prophet rode and Abu Talha rode too and I was riding behind Abu Talha. The Prophet passed through the lane of Khaibar quickly and my knee was touching the thigh of the Prophet. He uncovered his thigh and I saw the whiteness of the thigh of the Prophet. When he entered the town, he said, 'Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is ruined. Whenever we approach near a (hostile) nation (to fight) then evil will be the morning of those who have been warned.' He repeated this thrice. The people came out for their jobs and some of them said, 'Muhammad (has come).' (Some of our companions added, "With his army.") We conquered Khaibar, took the captives, and the booty was collected. Dihya came and said, 'O Allah's Prophet! Give me a slave girl from the captives.' The Prophet said, 'Go and take any slave girl.' He took Safiya bint Huyai. A man came to the Prophet and said, 'O Allah's Apostles! You gave Safiya bint Huyai to Dihya and she is the chief mistress of the tribes of Quraiza and An-Nadir and she befits none but you.' So the Prophet said, 'Bring him along with her.' So Dihya came with her and when the Prophet saw her, he said to Dihya, 'Take any slave girl other than her from the captives.' Anas added: The Prophet then manumitted her and married her."

    Thabit asked Anas, "O Abu Hamza! What did the Prophet pay her (as Mahr)?" He said, "Her self was her Mahr for he manumitted her and then married her." Anas added, "While on the way, Um Sulaim dressed her for marriage (ceremony) and at night she sent her as a bride to the Prophet. So the Prophet was a bridegroom and he said, 'Whoever has anything (food) should bring it.' He spread out a leather sheet (for the food) and some brought dates and others cooking butter. (I think he (Anas) mentioned As-SawTq). So they prepared a dish of Hais (a kind of meal). And that was Walrma (the marriage banquet) of Allah's Apostle." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 367)

    Muhammad allowed one of his followers to take a slave girl. Yet, upon hearing of her beauty Muhammad changes his mind and takes her for himself.

    Sunan Abu Dawud Book 19, #2961:

    Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:

    Malik ibn Aws al-Hadthan said: One of the arguments put forward by Umar was that he said that the Apostle received three things exclusively to himself: Banu an-Nadir, Khaybar and Fadak. The Banu an-Nadir property was kept wholly for his emergent needs, Fadak for travelers, and Khaybar was divided by the Apostle into three sections: two for Muslims, and one as a contribution for his family. If anything remained after making the contribution of his family, he divided it among the poor Emigrants."

    Here we find that the wealth of three cities was distributed amongst Muhammad, his family, and the poor people. That is a great deal of wealth.

    We are told in Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir that Muhammad owned several homes:

    Muhammad Ibn 'Umar informed us: 'Abd Allah Ibn Yazid al-Hudhali informed us; he said: I saw the houses of the wives of the Apostle of Allah when 'Umar Ibn 'Abd al-Aziz demolished them. They were built with sun dried bricks and rooms were constructed of palm-leaf stalks plastered with earth. I counted them, and there were nine rooms. They were (situated) from the house of 'Ayisha to the door joining the door of the Prophet, may peace be upon him, and that of Asma Bint Hasan Ibn 'Abd Salamah and her room of sun-dried bricks. Thereupon I asked her grandson (about it). He replied: When the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, fought the ghazwah of Dumah, Umm Salamah built her room with sun-dried bricks. When the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, looked at the bricks, he went to her first of all and said to her: What is this construction? She said: O Apostle of Allah! I like to obstruct the gaze of people. He said: O Salamah! The worst investment of the wealth of Muslims is the construction (of building).


    Muhammad Ibn Muqatil al-Marwazi informed us: 'Abd Allah Ibn al-Mubarak informed us: Hurayth Ibn al-Sa'ib informed us: I heard al-Hasan saying: I used to enter the houses of the wives of the Prophet, may peace be upon him, during the Caliphate of 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan, and I could touch their roofs with my hand. (Sa'd, Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, Volume I [Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi-1 1 0002], pp. 593, 594-595)

    The Quran itself mentions the fact that Muhammad had many homes:

    O ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses, - until leave is given you, - for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. Such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet: he is ashamed to dismiss you, but God is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth... S. 33:53

    In light of the preceding traditions, we discover that Muhammad was extremely wealthy. Muhammad gave some wealth away as charity. He and his family didn't go hungry. He didn't live a lavish lifestyle, but this was not due to him being poor. The fact is that Muhammad was no pauper. In fact, by the time Aisha was around 18 she had gained enough weight to slow her down. Sauda was described as "fat". His wives were eating pretty good and had their own homes. Aisha had her own slave, Asma had her own slave, and just about every member of his family had their own slaves.


    According to Islamic Tradition the nobility of the Arabs, al-Aqra ibn Habis al-Tamim and Uyaina ibn Hisn the Fazarite came to Muhammad and found alongside of him Suhaib, Bilal, Ammar and Khabab along with a group of the other lower-class. Upon seeing them, the Arab nobles told Muhammad, "Why don't you sit here in front of the people and banish those men and the stench of their garments; then we would follow you. We would prefer it if you took your seat among us a sign of our superiority over the Arabs. Arab delegations will come to you and we will be ashamed to be seen with those [black] slaves. So when we come to you, banish them from our presence, and when we finish [talking with you] you can seat them wherever you want." UPON AGREEING WITH THEIR DEMANDS, they said, "Then write us a contract in this respect." So he brought a sheet and asked Ali ibn Abu Thalib to write, but upon perceiving it was a trap, he claimed Gabriel forbade him from doing so. (Abdallah Abd al-Fadi, Is the Quran Infallible?, p. 363)

    Ibn Abbas states: Some poor folk were with the Prophet. Some of the nobility said, "We believe in you, but when we come to pray, put these men behind us." HE WAS NEAR TO AGREE TO THEIR REQUEST, but when he perceived the injustice in it, he said that God forbade him from doing this. (Ibid., p. 363)

    Hence, Muhammad was willing to banish the downcast and the poor in order to please the Arab nobles and only changed his mind when he realized that it might have been a ploy on the part of the nobles to trap him. We ask, did Moses ever cast people away to please the Pharaoh? Did the Lord Jesus ever think even for a moment to banish the lepers, the poor and the downcast from his presence so that the Pharisees might find favor with him?

    Revelations of Convenience

    O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makkah) with thee; and any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Thou mayest defer (the turn of) any of them that thou pleasest, and thou mayest receive any thou pleasest: and there is no blame on thee if thou invite one whose (turn) thou hadst set aside. This were nigher to the cooling of their eyes, the prevention of their grief, and their satisfaction - that of all of them - with that which thou hast to give them: and Allah knows (all) that is in your hearts: and Allah is All- Knowing, Most Forbearing. It is not lawful for thee (to marry more) women after this, nor to change them for (other) wives, even though their beauty attract thee, except any thy right hand should possess (as handmaidens): and Allah doth watch over all things. S. 33:50-52

    O ye who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses,- until leave is given you,- for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation: but when ye are invited, enter; and when ye have taken your meal, disperse, without seeking familiar talk. Such (behavior) annoys the Prophet: he is shy to dismiss you, but Allah is not shy (to tell you) the truth. And when ye ask (his ladies) for anything ye want, ask them from before a screen: that makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy Allah's Messenger, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in Allah's sight an enormity. S. 33:53

    According to Muslim authorities the reason why Allah forbade believers from marrying Muhammad's widows was due primarily to Muhammad's jealousy. Al-Suyuti in Asbab al-Nuzul writes:

    "Talha came to one of the Prophet's wives and talked with her; he was her cousin. But Muhammad said to him: 'You will never do this again.' Talha said: 'But she is my cousin, and Allah knows that neither I nor she said anything abominable. But Muhammad said: `There is none more jealous than Allah, and there is none more jealous than me.' He left, and after that he said: `On the death of Muhammad I will surely marry Aisha after him.' When Muhammad heard about it, he said: '...neither marry his wives after him.'" (The True Guidance [Light of Life, P.O. Box 13, A-9503, VILLACH AUSTRIA], pt. 5, p. 236)

    When we keep in mind Muhammad's youngest wife, Aisha, we need to ask what advantage did she get from this command which disallowed her from ever remarrying? Aisha had been widowed while still in her teens (roughly 18) and had to remain without a husband or children for the rest of her life!

    Another time when verses were "sent" down occurred when Muhammad's wife Hafsah found him sleeping with his slave-girl, Mary the Copt in Hafsah's own home! Muhammad made an oath to Hafsah that he would no longer sleep with Mary provided that Hafsah would tell no one that she had caught her husband sleeping with his concubine in Hafsah's house. Yet rather than honoring this commitment Hafsah related the story to Aisha, Muhammad's youngest wife, who in turn brought it up to Islam's Prophet. Surat al-Tahrim, 66, was revealed absolving Muhammad from the oath he had made. Hence, the "revelation" gave Muhammad the justification he needed to sleep with any of his wives:

    O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to thee, thou seekest to please thy consorts? But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah has already ordained for you, the expiation of your oaths (in some cases): and Allah is your Protector, and He is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom. When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it (to another), and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed part thereof and passed over a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said, "Who told thee this?" He said, "He told me Who is the Knower, the Aware." If ye two turn in repentance to Allah, your hearts are indeed so inclined; but if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe,- and furthermore, the angels - will back (him) up. It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allah will give him in exchange consorts better than you,- who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility), who fast,- previously married or virgins. S. 66:1-5

    Muhammad Asad comments:

    There are several essentially conflicting - and, therefore, in their aggregate, not very trustworthy - reports as to the exact reason or reasons why, at sometime during the second half of the Medina period, the Prophet declared on oath that for one month he would have no intercourse with any of his wives. Still, while the exact reason cannot be established with certainty, it is sufficiently clear from the above mentioned hadith that this emotional, temporary renunciation of marital life was caused by a display of mutual jealousy among some of the Prophet's wives. In any case, the purport of the above Quranic allusion to this incident is not biographical but, rather intended to bring out a moral lesson applicable to all human situations: namely the inadmissibility of regarding forbidden (haram) anything that God has made lawful (halal), even if such an attitude happens to be motivated by the desire to please another person or other persons. Apart from this, it serves to illustrate the fact repeatedly stressed in the Quran - that the Prophet was but a human being, and therefore subject to human emotions and even liable to commit an occasional mistake (which in this case, however, was invariably pointed out to him, and thus rectified, through divine revelation.) (Muhammad Asad, The Message of The Qur'an, p. 875, n. 1)

    According to Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Number 361 we are told:

    Narrated Zahdam:

    Once we were in the house of Abu Musa who presented a meal containing cooked chicken. A man from the tribe of Bani Taim Allah with red complexion as if he were from the Byzantine war prisoners, was present. Abu Musa invited him to share the meal but he (apologised) saying. "I saw chickens eating dirty things and so I have had a strong aversion to eating them, and have taken an oath that I will not eat chickens." Abu Musa said, "Come along, I will tell you about this matter (i.e. how to cancel one's oath). I went to the Prophet in the company of a group of Al-Ashariyin, asked him to provide us with means of conveyance. He said, 'By Allah, I will not provide you with any means of conveyance and I have nothing to make you ride on.' Then some camels as booty were brought to Allah's Apostle and he asked for us saying. 'Where are the group of Al-Ash'ariyun?' Then he ordered that we should be given five camels with white humps. When we set out we said, 'What have we done? We will never be blessed (with what we have been given).' So, we returned to the Prophet and said, 'We asked you to provide us with means of conveyance, but you took an oath that you would not provide us with any means of conveyance. Did you forget (your oath when you gave us the camels)? He replied. 'I have not provided you with means of conveyance but Allah has provided you with it, and by Allah, Allah willing, if ever I take an oath to do something, and later on I find that it is more beneficial to do something different, I will do the thing which is better, and give expiation for my oath."

    Yet in the OT anyone taking an oath and breaking it would fall under the righteous condemnation of God:

    "Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: 'This is what the LORD commands: When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.'" Numbers 30:1-2

    Mut'a- Temporary Marriages

    One shameful aspect of Islam is the practice of temporary marriages called mut'a. This practice granted Muhammad's followers the privilege of gratifying their carnal desires with women for a temporary time period at a very cheap price:

    And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise. S. 4:24 Pickthall

    Ibn Kathir comments:

    "... <And how could you take it back and you have gone in unto each other.> (4:21): the general meaning of which was given as evidence for Mut'a Marriage (Marriage for an intended short time) which was, undoubtedly, PREVALENT at the onset of Islam, but was abrogated thereafter. Ash-Shafi'i and a group of scholars were of the opinion that Mut'a Marriage had once been permitted but was later invalidated on two occasions. Some were more assertive than that, while others have made it lawful only if necessary. The majority of scholars, however, have opposed this view. The correct statement is mentioned in Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Ali Ibn Abu Talib: 'The Prophet forbade Mut'a Marriage and the meat of local skylarks (a type of bird) on the Day of Khaibar.'

    "It is narrated in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Ar-Rabi' Ibn Sabrah Ibn Ma'bad Al-Juhani, who had quoted from his father, who had participated in the Conquest of Makkah with the Prophet who said: 'O, People! I have permitted you to do Mut'a Marriage and Allah has forbidden it until the Day of Judgment. Therefore, whosoever is married to a woman through this type of marriage, should release them and should not take anything back from Mahr you have given them.' According to Muslim, it was said during Hujjatal Wadaa' (Farewell Pilgrimage). This Hadith has other meanings in the Book of Al-Ahkaam." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London; First edition 2000], part 5, pp. 29-30 italic emphasis ours)

    The Hadith supplies several examples of such marriages:

    Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported: We were on an expedition with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and we had no women with us. We said: Should we not have ourselves castrated? He (the Holy Prophet) forbade us to do so He then granted us permission that we should contract temporary marriage for a stipulated period giving her a garment, and 'Abdullah then recited this verse: 'Those who believe do not make unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, and do not transgress. Allah does not like trangressers" (al-Qur'an, v. 87). (Sahih Muslim Book 008, Number 3243)

    Jabir b. 'Abdullah and Salama b. al-Akwa' said: There came to us the proclaimer of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) has granted you permission to benefit yourselves, i. e. to contract temporary marriage with women. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3246)

    Abu Nadra reported: While I was in the company of Jabir b. Abdullah, a person came to him and said that Ibn 'Abbas and Ibn Zubair differed on the two types of Mut'as (Tamattu' of Hajj 1846 and Tamattu' with women), whereupon Jabir said: We used to do these two during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). Umar then forbade us to do them, and so we did not revert to them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3250)


    Rabi' b. Sabra reported that his father went on an expedition with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) during the Victory of Mecca, and we stayed there for fifteen days (i. e. for thirteen full days and a day and a night), and Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) permitted us to contract temporary marriage with women. So I and another person of my tribe went out, and I was more handsome than he, whereas he was almost ugly. Each one of us had a cloak, My cloak was worn out, whereas the cloak of my cousin was quite new. As we reached the lower or the upper side of Mecca, we came across a young woman like a young smart long-necked she-camel. We said: Is it possible that one of us may contract temporary marriage with you? She said: What will you give me as a dower? Each one of us spread his cloak. She began to cast a glance on both the persons. My companion also looked at her when she was casting a glance at her side and he said: This cloak of his is worn out, whereas my cloak is quite new. She, however, said twice or thrice: There is no harm in (accepting) this cloak (the old one). So I contracted temporary marriage with her, and I did not come out (of this) until Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) declared it forbidden. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3253)

    What kind of prophet would sanction such immorality? Is not this type of temporary marriage a form of legal prostitution since the intent in the marriage is sexual gratification as opposed to marital union and family upbringing? And how does this maintain the integrity of the women who are simply provided material gifts for the degrading of their bodies in satisfying the sexual lust of men acting as untamed animals?


    Naik assumes that Muhammad was known as a man of integrity both before and during prophethood. Naik claims that prior to the call of prophethood Muhammad's contemporaries gave him the title of Al-Amin, the Trustworthy. In fact, according to Naik even Muhammad's own enemies viewed the Prophet of Islam as trustworthy and honest.

    The problem with this claim is that belief in Muhammad's integrity is derived solely from Islamic traditions that were compiled nearly two hundred years after Muhammad's death. Hence, Naik must first assume that the hadiths are trustworthy and contain no embellishments of any kind. In other words, Naik simply begs the question when appealing to Muslim sources that report what Muhammad's enemies said about their beloved prophet!

    Yet, interestingly it is the Muslim sources themselves that furnishes us with the evidence that Muhammad was anything but trustworthy as we shall shortly see.

    Furthermore, 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. These men also suffered much for their claims. Would Naik embrace them as messengers of God as well?

    For instance, what could have been Baha'ullah's motive in suffering imprisonment for over twenty years if he were not really a prophet of God? 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 motives behind these men maintaining their persecuted positions, forsaking earthly riches for the life to come? The obvious reason why these men went through the sufferings that they did was due to the fact that they sincerely believed they were God's spokespersons for their respective communities.

    It should therefore be obvious to the reader that using Naik's criteria one can establish the prophetic claims of other so-called prophets and/or messengers.

    We now proceed to the Islamic traditions themselves to show that Muhammad was anything but trustworthy and honest.

    Bloodthirsty, Vengeful and Dishonest

    O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise. Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low. S. 9:28-29 Pickthall

    O Prophet! Rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding. For the present, Allah hath lightened your (burden), for He knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of Allah: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere." S. 8:65-66

    "O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end." S. 9:73

    "O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)." S. 9:123

    "Say to the desert Arabs behind: Ye shall be summond (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then shall, ye fight, or they shall submit. Then if you show obedience, God will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did before, He will punish you with a grievous penalty." S. 48:16

    Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. S. 47:4

    "...Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords..." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Number 73)

    Naik might object here and claim that these were not offensive killings, but killings done in retaliation against the pagans who had persecuted the Muslims. Hence, Muslims fought only in self-defense, repaying the unbelievers for the violence they had first initiated against the believers. Naik might even try and quote the Quranic verse that states there is to be no compulsion in religion:

    "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Taghut (evil) and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things." S. 2:256

    What Naik conveniently overlooked is that according to Muslim scholars Allah has canceled out this verse. Al-Zamakhshari comments on S. 2:256:

    "Some say that what is involved here is a proclamation in the sense of prohibition, namely: 'Exercise no compulsion in your religion!' On the other hand, some people say that this (verse) is abrogated through God's words: 'O Prophet, struggle against the unbelievers and hypocrites (munafiqun) and be harsh with them. Their refuge is Jahannam, an evil home-coming!' (Sura 9:73/74; 66:9). Others say that (the prohibition against compulsion) refers especially to the People of the Book, since they have been immuned themselves (from compulsion) through the payment of tribute (jizya). It is related that one of the 'Helpers' (ansar) of the Banu Salim ibn 'Auf had two sons who had accepted Christianity before the Messenger of God was sent. Both came to Medina and their father was grieved for them and said: 'By God, I will not let you go until you have converted to Islam!' The two refused, however, and then (all three) came before the Messenger of God with their controversy. The 'Helper' said: 'Messenger of God, should a part of me go into hell-fire while I am watching?' At this, this present verse cam down and the father left the two alone." (Gätje, pp. 215-216)

    The following material is quoted (with slight adaptations) from the booklet Tolerance in Islam by M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton:

    The Muslim scholar Nahas states:

    "the scholars differed concerning Q. 2:256. Some said: 'It has been abrogated [cancelled] for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fought them and did not accept any alternative but their surrender to Islam. The abrogating verse is Q. 9:73 "O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them." Mohammad asked Allah the permission to fight them and it was granted. Other scholars said Q. 2:256 has not been abrogated, but it had a special application. It was revealed concerning the people of the Book [the Jews and the Christians]; they can not be compelled to embrace Islam if they pay the Jizia (that is head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule). It is only the idol worshippers who are compelled to embrace Islam and upon them Q. 9:73 applies. This is the opinion of Ibn 'Abbas which is the best opinion due to the authenticity of its chain of authority." (al-Nahas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 80. See also Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut, 1986, p. 42)

    Ibn al-'Arabi writes:

    "'No compulsion' is a condemnation of compelling people to do evil generally, but compelling people in the truth is a religious duty. Does the infidel get killed for any thing except on the basis of his religion? The Prophet said: I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah. This Hadith is taken from the words of Allah 'Fight them on until there is no more tumult and religion becomes that of Allah' (Q. 2:193).

    If some one asks how can people be compelled in the truth when the mere fact of compelling indicates a the violation of the will of the one compelled? The first answer is that Allah sent Mohammad calling people to Him, showing the way to the truth, enduring much harm... until the evidence of Allah's truth became manifest... and His apostle became strong, He ordered him to call people by the sword... hence there is no more an excuse after being warned. The second answer is that people first are taken and compelled, but when Islam becomes prevalent... and they mix and make friends... their faith strengthens and finally becomes sincere." (Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn 'Abd Allah known as Ibn al-'Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur'an, vol. 1, pp. 232-234)

    According to the author of an-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, there are 114 verses that speak of tolerance in early Islam, but all were abrogated by one verse before Muhammad' death, namely S. 9:5. (Ibid., pp. 12-18) Some of these verses include:

    "Pardon thou, with a gracious pardoning..." S. 15:85

    "Speak good to men..." S. 2:83

    "If it had been thy Lord's Will, they would all have believed, all who are on earth! Wilt thou then compel mankind against their will to believe!" S. 10:99

    "To you your religion, and to me my religion." S. 109:6

    All the above verses have been abrogated by Q. 9:5 according to Ibn Hazm. He also wrote:

    "'Fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors (2:190)' On the authority of Ga'far ar-Razi from Rabi' Ibn 'Ons, from 'Abil-'Aliyah who said: This is the first verse that was revealed in the Qur'an about fighting in the Madina. When it was revealed the prophet used to fight those who fight with him and avoid those who avoid him, until Sura 9 was revealed. And so is the opinion of 'Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn 'Aslam who said this verse was cancelled by 9:5 'Slay the idolaters wherever you find them.'" (Ibid., p. 27)

    Another view is one shared by Dr. Sobhy as-Saleh, a contemporary academic scholar. Dr. Sobhy claims that S. 2:256 and 9:73 are not cases of abrogation. Rather, these verses provide examples of delaying or postponing the command to fight the infidels. To support his view he quotes Imam Suyuti the author of Itqan Fi 'Ulum al- Qur'an who wrote:

    The command to fight the infidels was delayed until the Muslims become strong, but when they were weak they were commanded to endure and be patient. (Sobhy as-Saleh, Mabaheth Fi 'Ulum al-Qur'an [Dar al-'Ilm Lel-Malayeen, Beirut, 1983] p. 269)

    Dr. Sobhy, in a footnote, commends the opinion of a scholar named Zarkashi who said:

    Allah the most high and wise revealed to Mohammad in his weak condition what suited the situation, because of his mercy to him and his followers. For if He gave them the command to fight while they were weak it would have been embarrassing and most difficult, but when the most high made Islam victorious He commanded him with what suited the situation, that is asking the people of the Book to become Muslims or to pay the levied tax, and the infidels to become Muslims or face death. These two options, to fight or to have peace return according to the strength or the weakness of the Muslims." (Ibid., p. 270)

    (Source: M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, Tolerance in Islam, web edition)

    Ibn Kathir provides the following commentary on S. 9:5:

    This is the Ayah of the Sword...

    <But if they repent and perform the Salah, and give Zakah, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.>

    Abu Bakr As-Siddiq used this and other honorable Ayat as proof for fighting those who refrained from paying the Zakah. These Ayat allowed fighting people unless, and until, they embrace Islam and implement its rulings and obligations... In the two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn ‘Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

    <I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayer and pay Zakah.>

    This honorable Ayah (9:5) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, EVERY TREATY, AND EVERY TERM." Al-‘Awfi said that Ibn ‘Abbas commented: "No idolator had any more treaty or promise ever since Sura Bara’ah was revealed. The four months, in addition to, all peace treaties conducted before Bara’ah was revealed and announced had ended by the tenth of the month of Rabi’ Al-Akhir." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Abridged Volume 4, Surat Al-A’raf to the end of Surah Yunus, pp. 375, 377; bold italic and capital emphasis ours)

    The hadith itself testifies that many embraced Islam through the fear of the sword:

    Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

    On the Day of Hunayn, Umm Sulayman took out a dagger she had in her possession. AbuTalhah saw her and said: Messenger of Allah, this is Umm Sulayman. She is holding a dagger. The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) asked (her): Why are you holding this dagger? She said: I took it up so that I might tear open the belly of a polytheist who comes near me. The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) began to smile (at these words).

    She said: Messenger of Allah, kill all those people --other than us-- whom thou hast declared to be free (on the day of the Conquest of Mecca). (They embraced Islam because) they were defeated at your hands (and as such their Islam is not dependable). The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Umm Sulayman, God is sufficient (against the mischief of the polytheists) and He will be kind to us (so you need not carry this dagger). (Sahih Muslim, Book 18, Number 4453)

    Examples of coercion and premeditated murder on the part of Muhammad and his followers include:

    Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

    Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab)." The Prophet said, "You may say it." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369)

    The Hadith proceeds to record the brutal way Maslama had Kab beheaded. Another treacherous murder took place when Muhammad sent Umar ibn Adai to kill Asma bint Marwan, a poetess who wrote poetry insulting Muhammad. According to Nisa Muhammad (Muhammad's Women), p. 102, authored by Muslim Sania Qur'aa, Adai,

    "came to her at night and put away her baby (editor: she was nursing her infant) and killed her by the sword; then he went to Mohammed and Mohammed said, 'you've revenged God and his Apostle, Omeir.'" (See also Haykal, The Life of Muhammad [Indianapolis; North America Trust, 1976], p. 243)

    Finally, we know that

    Muhammad sent to the Julanda brothers the following letter through the intermediary of 'Amr bin al-'As al-Sahmi and Abu Zaid al-Ansari:

    "Peace be upon the one who follows the right path! I call you to Islam. Accept my call, and you shall be unharmed. I am God's Messenger to mankind, and the word shall be carried out upon the miscreants. If, therefore, you recognize Islam, I shall bestow power upon you. But if you refuse to accept Islam, your power shall vanish, my horses shall camp on the expanse of your territory and my prophecy shall prevail in your kingdom."

    The historian al-Baladhuri, writing barely two and half centuries after the coming of the Messengers to Sohar, described the event in these terms:

    "When the people of Oman shall have responded to the evidence of truth and shall have promised obedience to God and His prophet, then Amr, their Amir, and Abu Zayid would be made responsible for conducting the prayers, for conveying Islam to the people and for teaching them the Quran and the precepts of the religion."

    (Source: Muhammad's letter to the Julanda Brothers of Oman)

    In light of the preceding factors on what basis can Naik claim that Islam is not a bloodthirsty religion seeing that killing for Allah and coercion is the very sunna of his own prophet?

    Muhammad's Hypocrisy

    Narrated 'Aisha:

    A man asked permission to enter upon the Prophet. When the Prophet saw him, he said, "What an evil brother of his tribe! And what an evil son of his tribe!" When that man sat down, the Prophet behaved with him in a nice and polite manner and was completely at ease with him. When that person had left, 'Aisha said (to the Prophet). "O Allah's Apostle! When you saw that man, you said so-and-so about him, then you showed him a kind and polite behavior, and you enjoyed his company?" Allah's Apostle said, "O 'Aisha! Have you ever seen me speaking a bad and dirty language? (Remember that) the worst people in Allah's sight on the Day of Resurrection will be those whom the people leave (undisturbed) to be away from their evil (deeds)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 59)

    Need we say more?

    Wife Beating:

    One sad aspect of Muhammad's sunna is that Muslim men are given the privilege of beating their wives if the women show signs of rebellion:

    "Men are superior to women on account of the qualities which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and SCOURGE THEM: but if they are obedient to you then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great!" S. 4:34 Rodwell

    The embarrassment of this passage has led Muslim scholars to redefine scourging as a light tap which leaves no mark. An example of such a view is Ibn Kathir:

    <And beat them.> if they do not abstain from their disobedience through both advise and desertion. However, the beating should be Dharbun ghayru mubrah, i.e. light, according to the hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Jabir, who had quoted the Prophet as saying in his farewell pilgrimage: "And fear Allah in women, for they are your aides, and their duties towards you is that your beds should not be shared with someone you dislike. Therefore, if they disobey you, beat them lightly, and your duty towards them is that you should maintain and buy them clothes in a reasonable manner."

    Scholars said: Dharbun ghayru mubrahun means: The husband should beat his wife lightly, in way which does not result in breaking one of her limbs or affecting her badly. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, part 5, p. 53; bold italic emphasis ours)

    Notice that even in Ibn Kathir's translation of S. 4:34 the command to beat one's wife sticks out clearly. Furthermore, there is absolutely no justification in beating women even if that beating is mild. This is simply inhumane to say the least.

    The reason this is inhumane is not just over the issue of whether the beating is light or heavy. The issue is, that the right of the man to beat his wife is a clear violation of her dignity as an equal partner. Parents may at times have beat their children as part of disciplining them, because they are in authority above them, while children have the duty to obey. Their position is not one of equality. Beating is an expression of not only higher physical strength, but of position, and beating violates the status and dignity of women, putting them on the level of children [or even animals] in comparison to their "owner".

    Some Muslims also appeal to Hadiths where it is reported that Muhammad disallowed wife abuse. Yet, unfortunately for these Muslims the preceding statement from Ibn Kathir that at the time of the Farewell Pilgrimage Muhammad gave the command to beat women cancels out such an attempt to deny spousal abuse. In fact, other traditions clearly show Muslims beating their wives with Muhammad's approval:

    "... the above verse (i.e., 4:34) was revealed in connection with a woman who complained to Mohammad that her husband slapped her on the face (which was still marked by the slap). At first the Prophet said to her: 'Get even with him,' but then added: 'Wait until I think about it.' Later on the above verse was revealed, after which the Prophet said: 'We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best.'" (Ar-Razi, At-tafsir al-Kabir on Q. 4:34)

    Ibn Kathir reports:

    On the authority of Ali, Ibn Mardawih narrated: "A man from al-Ansar came with a woman to the Prophet, then the woman said: 'O Allah's Messenger! Her husband who was known as so and so from al-Ansar had hit her and that had affected her face.' The Prophet replied: 'He should not have done that.' Then, the verse, <men are the protectors and maintainers of women.>, as far as discipline is concerned, was revealed. Therefore, the Prophet said: 'You wanted something and Allah wanted something else.'" (Ibid., pp. 50-51; italic emphasis ours)

    In Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 715 we find another woman who was beaten severely enough that a green bruise was found on her body.

    Narrated Ikrima:

    Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by the beating.) It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing woman. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent, and is useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa'a." Allah's Apostle said to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa'a unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that Abdur-Rahman said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "you claim what you claim (i.e., that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow."

    We notice two things from this Hadith. First, Aisha attests that Muslim women were suffering more than any other women. Second, Muhammad never once corrected Abdur-Rahman for beating his wife so hard as to leave a bruise on her body but focuses instead on his wife's allegations and motives.

    In Sunan of Abu Dawud, # 2141 we read:

    Iyas Dhubab reported the apostle of Allah as saying:

    "Do not beat Allah's hand maidens," but when Umar came to the apostle of Allah and said: "Women have become emboldened towards their husbands," he (the prophet), gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the apostle of Allah complaining against their husbands. So the apostle of Allah said, "Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you."

    And, in # 2142 Umar reported the prophet as saying:

    "A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife." When Ash'ath Ibn al-Qays discovered Umar b. Khattab beating his wife, Umar stated: "Memorise three things from me, which I memorised from the prophet, who said: 'The man is not to be asked why he beat his wife..." (Ibn Kathir on Q. 4:34, taken from a Hadith reported by Abu Dawood, al-Nisa'i and Ibn Magah)

    In Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 7, Number 132 Muhammad said:

    "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs his slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day."

    In other words, it is all right to flog women, only not as hard as slaves, or on the day a person decides to have intercourse with them. This exposes Islam's harsh treatment of both women and slaves.

    Another time where a woman was beaten occurred shortly after an incident involving Muhammad's youngest wife, Aisha. According to the traditions, after the Muslims were returning to Medina from the campaign of Banu al-Mustaliq, Aisha fell behind. Safwan Mu'attal ibn al-Salami found her stranded and brought her back to the camp. A rumor began to spread that Safwan and Aisha had committed adultery, causing Muhammad to distrust his young wife.

    In order to get to the heart of the matter, Ali ibn Abu Talib decided to question Aisha's female servant in the presence of Muhammad about the latter's wife. Haykal notes,

    "The servant was called in and Ali immediately seized her and struck her painfully and repeatedly as he commanded her to tell the truth to the Prophet of God." (Husayn, The Life of Muhammad, p. 336)

    According to Mishkat Al-Masabih's translator, in his footnote of Fatwa by Qazi Khan, that beating a wife mildly is:

    "allowed in four cases (1) when she does not wear fineries though wanted by the husband, (2) when she is called for sexual intercourse and she refuses without any lawful excuse, (3) when she is ordered to take a bath (to clean herself) from impurities for prayer and she refuses and (4) when she goes abroad without permission of her husband." (Mishkat, Bk.1, section "duties of husband and wife," f. 138)

    This is confirmed by Abu Dawud in his notes on #2141 and #2142:

    "This shows that wives should obey their husbands," and, "This means that a man tries his best to correct his wife, but if he fails to do so, he is allowed to beat her as a last resort. This tradition never means that a husband should beat his wife without any valid reason."

    Finally, the Arabic term for beat, idreb, is used a total of 12 times in the Quran, three in reference to sayings or proverbs and eight for a physical sense such as S. 8:12:

    [And he commanded the angels:] "And give firmness unto those who have attained to faith [with these words from Me]: 'I shall cast terror into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth; strike, then, their necks, [O believers] and strike off every one of their finger tips.'"

    In fact, the hadiths record Muhammad singling out one Muslim for having the reputation of being a great wife beater!:

    Fatima bint Qais (Allah be pleased with her) reported that her husband divorced her with three, pronouncements and Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) made no provision for her lodging and maintenance allowance. She (further said): Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to me: When your period of 'Idda is over, inform me. So I informed him. (By that time) Mu'awiya, Abu Jahm and Usama b. Zaid had given her the proposal of marriage. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: So far as Mu'awiya is concerned, he is a poor man without any property. So far as Abu Jahm is concerned, he is a great beater of women, but Usama b. Zaid... She pointed with her hand (that she did not approve of the idea of marrying) Usama. But Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon himn) said: Obedience to Allah and obedience to His Messenger is better for thee. She said: So I married him, and I became an object of envy. (Sahih Muslim, Book 009, Number 3526)

    Fatima bint Qais (Allah be pleased with her) reported: My husband Abu 'Amr b. Hafs b. al-Mughira sent 'Ayyish b. Abu Rabi'a to me with a divorce, and he also sent through him five si's of dates and five si's of barley. I said: Is there no maintenance allowance for me but only this, and I cannot even spend my 'Idda period in your house? He said: No. She said: I dressed myself and came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). He said: How many pronouncements of divorce have been made for you? I said: Three. He said what he ('Ayyish b. Abu Rabi'a) had stated was true. There is no maintenance allowance for you. Spend 'Idda period in the house of your cousin, Ibn Umm Maktum. He is blind and you can put off your garment in his presence. And when you have spent your Idda period, you inform me. She said: Mu'awiya and Abu'l-Jahm (Allah be pleased with them) were among those who had given me the proposal of marriage. Thereupon Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Mu'awiya is destitute and in poor condition and Abu'l-Jahm is very harsh with women (or he beats women, or like that), you should take Usama b. Zaid (as your husband). (Sahih Muslim, Book 009, 3527)

    We must ask Dr. Naik the following question. Does Muhammad's allowance of Muslim men to beat rebellious wives show signs of integrity? What women would view Muhammad as honest and trustworthy seeing that he favors domestic abuse?

    S. 4:34 also points out the fact that Allah has made man superior to woman. This superiority is not due solely to position as we find in the Holy Bible, but also includes the fact that Allah has given men superior qualities over women. This idea is restated in S. 2:28:

    "... Women have such honorable rights as obligations, but their men have a degree above them."

    Ibn Kathir on 4:34 states:

    In this verse Allah says that the man is the leader over the woman and is the one who disciplines her if she does wrong. <Because Allah has made one of them excel the other.>, this is because men are better than women, and man is better than woman. Therefore, prophethood and kingship were confined to men, as the Prophet said: 'A people that choose woman as their leader will not succeed.' This hadith was narrated by Al-Bukhari. Added to that positions such as judiciary, etc.... <And because they spend from their means.> Here, Allah refers to the dowry and expenses, which Allah has prescribed in the Qur'an and Sunnah; and given a man is better than a woman, it is appropriate that he be her protector and maintainer, as Allah says: <But men have a degree over them.> (2:228). (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, part 5, p. 50; bold italic emphasis ours)

    And Ibn Kathir on 2:228:

    <But men have a degree over them.>, that is, men have a degree over w omen as far as virtue, behavior, status, obeying orders, expenditure, fulfilling duties, and grace in both worldly life and the Hereafter... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, part 2, p. 204)

    In light of all the preceding factors we must conclude that Naik's argument on Muhammad's integrity proves absolutely nothing since the integrity of a person is not an indication of truth. A person may be sincere and yet still be sincerely wrong and/or simply deceived. This comes as no surprise to Christians since the Holy Bible teaches that Satan himself masquerades as an Angel of Light and pretends to be righteous in order to deceive mankind. (cf. 2 Corinhians 11:14-15)

    In fact, as was already shown, if integrity is proof of prophethood then Naik is forced to accept the prophetic claims of Baha'ullah, Smith, Khalifa, Ahmad etc. since these men also suffered greatly for their religious claims.

    Furthermore, we have documented from Muslim sources themselves that Muhammad was anything but a man of integrity in his affairs with his enemies and women.

    Muhammad and Miracles

    The final area we would like to address in this section is Naik's claim that Muhammad performed many miracles. Let us see if the Quran agrees with Naik:

    Say those without knowledge: "Why speaketh not Allah unto us? or why cometh not unto us a Sign?" So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike. We have indeed made clear the Signs unto any people who hold firmly to Faith (in their hearts). S. 2:118

    Even IF thou wert to bring to the People of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow thy Qibla; nor art thou going to follow their Qibla; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qibla. If thou after the knowledge hath reached thee, Wert to follow their (vain) desires,- then wert thou Indeed (clearly) in the wrong. S. 2:145

    They say: "Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord!" Say: "Allah hath certainly power to send down a Sign: but most of them understand not." S. 6:37

    They swear their strongest oaths by Allah, that if a (special) sign came to them, by it they would believe. Say: "Certainly (all) Signs are in the power of Allah: but what will make you (Muslims) realize that (even) if (special) signs came, they will not believe."? S. 6:109

    'Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi comments:

    The Quraish said, "Muhammad, you tell us that Moses had a rod with which he struck the rock and twelve springs broke forth, and you tell us that Jesus raised people from death, and that Thamud had a she-camel for a sign. Perform a miracle for us, then, so that we may believe you and believe in you." Muhammad said, "What thing do you wish?" They said, "To turn Al-Safa [a mountain] into gold, or bring back from death some of our dead folk to ask them whether what you say is true or false. Show us also angels testifying to you." Muhammad said, "If I do some of what you say, will you believe?" They answered, "Yes, by God, If you do, we shall follow you all together." Muhammad stood up and prayed to God to turn Al-Safa into gold. But Gabriel came to him and said, 'You have whatever you wish: If you wish, it will be gold, but if they do not believe you we will cast them away, and if you wish we will leave them until ones destined to repentance repent." Muhammad said, "I wish that they repent." And so Muhammad worked his way out of having to perform a miracle! (Is the Qur'an Infallible, p. 371)

    They say: "Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?" Say: "The Unseen is only for Allah (to know), then wait ye: I too will wait with you." S. 10:20

    And the Unbelievers say: "Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?" But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide. 13:7

    The Unbelievers say: "Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord?" Say: "Truly Allah leaveth, to stray, whom He will; But He guideth to Himself those who turn to Him in penitence,-" S. 13:27

    And We refrain from sending the Signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the She-camel to the Thamüd - a visible Sign-, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of frightening (and warning from evil). S. 17:59

    Muhammad Asad comments on S. 17:59: "... This highly elliptic sentence has a fundamental bearing on the purport of the Qur'an as a whole. In many places the Qur'an stresses the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, despite his being the last and greatest of God's apostles, was not empowered to perform miracles similar to those with which the earlier prophets are said to have reinforced their verbal messages. His only miracle was and is the Qur'an itself- a message perfect in its lucidity and ethical comprehensiveness, destined for all times and all stages of human development, addressed not merely to the feelings but also to the minds of men, open to everyone, whatever his race or social environment, and bound to remain unchanged forever. Since the earlier prophets invariably appealed to their own community and their own time alone, their teachings were, of necessity, circumscribed by the social and intellectual conditions of that particular community and time; and since the people to whom they addressed themselves ha not yet reached the stage of independent thinking, those prophets stood in need of symbolic portents or miracles (see surah 6, note 94) in order to make the people concerned realize the inner truth of their mission. The message of the Qur'an, on the other hand, was revealed at a time when mankind (and, in particular, that pat of it which inhabited the regions marked by the earlier, Judeo-Christian religious development) had reached a degree of maturity which henceforth enabled it to grasp an ideology as such without the aid of those persuasive portents and miraculous demonstrations which in the past, as the above verse points out, only too often gave rise to new, grave misconceptions." (Asad, The Meaning of the Qur'an, pp. 427-428, n. 71)   That Asad's explanation is rather forced is seen by the fact that it was the People of the Book and the pagans that demanded Muhammad to perform miracles to prove his prophethood. Hence, maturity had nothing to do with it since in every age man expects supernatural verification from one claiming to speak on God's behalf.

    They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth, Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water; Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face: Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?" S. 17:90-93

    Asad on 17:93:

    "... A reply to this demand of believers is found in verse 7 of Al-An'am, revealed - according to Suyuti - shortly after the present surah. But the allusion to this and the preceding 'conditions' is not merely historical: it illustrates a widely prevalent, psychologically contradictory attitude of the mind - a strange mixture of prima-facie scepticism and primitive credulity which makes belief in a prophetic message dependent on the prophet's 'performing miracles' (cf. 6:37 and 109 and 7:203). Since the ONLY miracle granted by God to Muhammad is the Qur'an itself (see the first part of verse 59 of this surah, as well as note 71 above), he is bidden, in the next passage, to declare that these demands are irrelevant and, by implications, frivolous." (Ibid., p. 433, n. 109 bold emphasis ours)

    But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!" S. 28:48

    Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: and none but the unjust reject Our Signs. Ye they say: "Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord?" Say: "The signs are indeed with Allah: and I am indeed a clear Warner." And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe. S. 29:49-51

    Notice how A.J. Arberry renders the above surah:

    Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge; and none denies Our signs but the evildoers. They say, 'Why have signs not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Say: 'The signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner. What, is it not SUFFICIENT FOR THEM that We have sent down upon thee the Book that is recited to them? Surely in that is a mercy, and a reminder to a people who believe.

    This last passage states that the Quran is sufficient as a sign, which means that no other sign or miracle was necessary. In fact, this surah poses huge problems for Muslims, since if Muhammad did perform miracles then this means that the Quran is not sufficient, thereby falsifying what this passage says!

    Al-Fadi quotes al-Baidawi's commentary on the above passage:

    Al-Baidawi said: "'Why have signs not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' as [was the case with] the she-camel of Salih, the rod of Moses and the table of Christ Jesus. 'Say: The signs are only with God,' who sends them down to whomever he wills. I do not possess them, so as to be able to perform what you suggest. 'I am only a plain warner'; I have nothing to do but to warn." (Is the Qur'an Infallible?, p. 369 emphasis ours)

    Muslim Faruq Sherif notes:

    "Apart from its assertion of its inimitability and its reference to the Prophet's ascension (if taken literally), the Qur'an does not attribute any miracles to the Prophet... Muhammad was often challenged by the pagans to produce miracles; his reply was that God makes miracles appear when he wills, but that the miracles which were performed by the prophets in the past were powerless to convince the people, who treated them as lies and sorcery.

    "The pagans' persistent challenge embarrassed the Prophet who, reciting the Qur'an, always laid emphasis on the miracles bestowed by Allah not only on Moses and Jesus but also lesser figures such as Salih and Solomon. If, asked the pagans, Allah empowered Moses to dry the sea, and Jesus to bring the dead back to life, why did He not send down a miraculous sign to confirm Muhammad such as by enabling him to cause a spring to gush forth from a rock, by giving him a well-watered orchard, or a house adorned with gold, or a treasure, by sending angels to accompany him on earth, by exempting him from the necessity of eating and walking in the market, by permitting him to mount to heaven and bring back a written confirmation of his mission, or by causing a piece of the sky to fall upon the unbelievers and crush them? (XVII. 92-95, XX.133)

    "To all this the Prophet's answer was: I am only a man and a warner; signs are in Allah's hands, and those which were revealed to the former generations did not make them less intransigent...

    "Accordingly Muhammad declared that his unquestionable miracle was the revelation of the Qur'an. Nevertheless the pagans' questions troubled his mind, and his bewilderment brought reproaches from Allah: 'In case you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to you,' says the Qur'an in X.94, 'perhaps you feel inclined to suppress a part of what has been revealed to you, being distressed at heart lest they say why has not a treasure been sent down to him or why an angel has not come with him; but you are only a warner''(XI.14). 'If you find their aversion hard to bear, seek if you can a tunnel in the earth or a ladder to the sky by which you may bring them a sign' (VI.35). (Sherif, A Guide to the Contents of the Qur'an [Garnet Publishing Limited; UK 1995], pp. 62, 63)

    Muslim Akbarally Meherally quotes Huston Smith with approval:

    "Huston Smith was a professor of Philosophy at Washington University. He writes in his book, The Religions of Man:

    In an age charged with supernaturalism, when miracles were accepted as the stock-in-trade of the most ordinary saint, Muhammed refused to traffic with human weakness and credulity. To miracle-hungry idolaters seeking signs and portents he cut the issue clean: 'God has not sent me to work wonders; He has sent me to preach to you. My Lord be praised! Am I more than a man sent as an apostle? From the first to the last he resisted every impulse to glamorize his own person... 'I am only a preacher of God's words, the bringer of God's message to mankind.' If signs be sought, let them not be of Muhammed's greatness but of God's, and for these one need only open one's eyes... Only one miracle is claimed, that of the Koran itself. That he by his own devices could have produced such truth-this was the one naturalistic hypothesis he could not accept.

    (Meherally, Understanding the Bible through Koranic messages [A.M. Trust P.O. Box 82584, Burnaby, B.C. Canada, 1989], p. 99)

    What of the reports in the hadith where we are told that Muhammad actually performed many miracles? Norm Geisler and Abdul Saleeb respond:

    "There are many reasons for questioning the authenticity of these stories. Critics have observed the following.

    First, none of them are recorded in the Qur'an. In fact, they are in general contrary to the whole spirit of the Muhammad of the Qur'an, who repeatedly refused to do these very kinds of things for unbelievers who challenged him (3:181-84; 4:153; 6:8-9).

    Second, these alleged miracles follow the same pattern as the apocryphal miracles of Christ from a century or two after his death. They are a legendary embellishment of people removed from the original events. They do not come from contemporary eye-witnesses of the events.

    Third, even among Muslims there is no generally agreed upon list of miracles from the hadith. Indeed, the vast majority of stories from the hadiths are rejected by most Muslim scholars as not being authentic. Different groups accept different collections of them.

    Fourth, the collections of the hadith that are generally accepted by most Muslims are far removed from the original events by several generations. Indeed, most of those who collected miracle stories lived one to two hundred years after the time of the events - plenty of time for legends to develop. They relied on stories that had been passed on orally for many generations with ample embellishment. Even the stories accepted by Muslims as authentic, as determined by the isnad (chain of storytellers), lack credibility. For even these stories are not based on eye-witnesses but rely on many generations of storytellers, often involving hundreds of years. Joseph Horowitz questioned the reliability of the isnad:

    The question as to who first circulated these miracle tales would be very easy to answer if we could still look upon the isnad, or chain of witnesses, as unquestionably as we are apparently expected to do. It is especially seductive when one and the same report appears in various essentially similar versions... In general the technique of the isnad does not make it possible for us to decide where it is a case of taking over oral account and where copying from the lecture of books of teachers.45

    Fifth, Bukhari, considered to be the most reliable collector, admitted that of the 300,000 hadith he collected, he considered only 100,000 might be true. He then narrowed this number down to 7,275, many of which are repetitions so that the total number is in fact 3,000. That means that even he admitted there were errors in over 295,000 of them!

    Sixth, there is no one canon of authenticity for these stories accepted by all Muslims. Most Muslims rank their credibility in descending order as follows: the Sahih of Al Bukhari (d. 256 A.H. [after Hijrah]); Al Sahih of Muslim (d. 261 A.H.); the Sunan of Abu Da'ud (d. 275 A.H.); the Jami of Al-Tirmidhi (d. 279 A.H.); the Suand [sic] of Al Nasa (d. 303 A.H.); and the Sunan of Ibn Majda (d. 283 A.H.). Along with these hadith there were important biographers who related miracle stories. The most important ones are Ibn S'ad (d. 123 A.H.), Ibn Ishaq (d. 151 A.H.), and Ibn Hisham (d. 218 A.H.). The above six categories are rejected by Shia Islam. Yet they, along with other Muslims, accept the Qur'an as it is. Finally, what is of crucial significance here is that none of these miracle stories fit the nine criteria accepted by Muslims for a miracle that can confirm a prophet's claim (mudjiza). Hence, by their own standard, none of them have any apologetic value in demonstrating the truth of Islam.

    Finally, the origin of the miracle claims of Islam is suspect. It is common knowledge that Islam borrowed many of its beliefs and practices from other religions.46 This has also been documented by many scholars.47 It is not surprising that Muslim miracle claims arise, then, as a result of Christian apologists demonstrating the superiority of Jesus to that of Muhammad by way of Jesus' miracles. It was only after two Christian bishops (Abu Qurra from Edessa and Arethas from Ceasaria) had pointed this out that the Islamic miracle stories began to appear. As Sahas notes, 'The implication [of the bishop's challenge] is quite clear: Muhammad's teaching is one that might have merit; but this is not enough to qualify him as a prophet, without supernatural signs. If such signs could be shown one could possibly accept him as a prophet.'48

    Thus, the task for Muslims was clear. If they could invent miracles they could respond to the Christian challenge. It was soon after this that Muhammad's miracle claims began to appear. Sahas notes that 'it is quite interesting that several of these (miracle stories) sound as if they are being offered as responses to Christians as Abu Qurra, and they bear an amazing resemblance to miracles of Jesus found in the Gospels.'49 Likewise, it was during this polemic that Muslims began to interpret certain events in the Qur'an as miracles. All of this points toward one conclusion: the Muhammad miracle stories lack credibility." (Geisler & Saleeb, Answering Islam-The Crescent in the Light of the Cross [Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI 1999], pp. 164-166; see also pp. 166-169)

    Alfred Guillaume adds:

    Controversy with Christians on the rival merits of Jesus and Muhammad may fairly be regarded as the origin of the pretended miracles, flatly contradicting the plain statement of the great Arabian and those of many of his immediate followers that he was not sent with power to work miracles. Whether the object of the inventors was elevate their prophet to a position equal to that held by Jesus in the estimation of His servants, or whether it was to furnish themselves and their pupils with a messenger of God who satisfied a natural craving of the human heart for a visible manifestation of divine power it is not our purpose to determine. There are good reasons for believing that deliberate imitation was resorted to for the reasons already given, and because the ashabu-l-hadith did not stop at ascribing the works of Christ to their prophet. His words and those of his apostles are freely drawn and out into the mouth of Muhammad. (Guillaume, The Traditions of Islam [Clarendon Press; London, 1924], p. 138)

    Finally, in the words of the late Iranian Muslim scholar Ali Dashti:

    Moslems, as well as others, have disregarded the historical facts. They have continually striven to turn this man into an imaginary superhuman being, a sort of God in human clothes, and have generally ignored the ample evidence of his humanity. They have been ready... to present these fantasies as miracles...

    Many Iranians have been raised on a diet of myth and are ready to believe that any emamzada, of however ancestry, can at any moment perform a miracle. But if they were to read the Qor'an, they would be surprised to find no report of a miracle in it at all. They would learn from twenty or more Qor'anic passages that whenever the Prophet Mohammed was asked by doubters to perform a miracle, he either stayed silent or said that he would not do so because he was a human being like any other, with no function except to communicate, to be a "bringer of good news and a warner." (Dashti, 23 Years: A Prophetic Career of Muhammad [George Allen & Unwin; London, 1985], pp. 1, 38)

    Naik might object here and claim that the Quran does in fact mention a miracle that is also recorded in the hadith, namely S. 54:1 on the splitting of the moon:

    "The Hour (of Judgment) Is nigh, and the moon Is cleft asunder."

    Unfortunately for Naik, not all agree that this in fact does refer to an alleged splitting of the moon. Abdullah Yusuf Ali notes:

    "... Three explanations are given in the Mufradat, and perhaps all three apply here: (1) that the moon once appeared cleft asunder in the valley of Mecca within sight of the Prophet, his Companions, and some Unbelievers; (2) that the prophetic past tense indicates the future, the cleaving asunder of the moon being a Sign of the Judgment approaching; and (3) that the phrase is metaphorical, meaning that the matter has become clear as the moon. That the first part was noticed by contemporaries, including Unbelievers, is clear from verse 2. The second is an incident of the disruption of the solar system at the New Creation: Cf. lxxv. 8-9. And the third might well be implied as in eastern allegory, based on the other two." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an-Translation and Commentary, p. 1454, n. 5128)

    Muhammad Asad claims:

    "... Most of the commentators see in this verse a reference to a phenomenon said to have been witnessed by several of the Prophet's contemporaries. As described in number of reports going back to some Companions, the moon appeared one night as if split into two distinct parts. While there is no reason to doubt the subjective veracity of these reports, it is possible that what actually happened was an unusual kind of partial lunar eclipse, which produced an equally unusual optical illusion. But whatever the nature of the phenomenon, it is practically certain that the above Qur'an-verse does not refer to it but, rather, to a future event: namely, to what will happen when the Last Hour approaches. (The Qur'an frequently employs the past tense to denote the future, and particularly so in passages which speak of the coming of the Last Hour and of Resurrection Day; this use of the past tense is meant to stress the certainty of the happening to which the verb relates.) Thus, Raghib regards it as fully justifiable to interpret the phrase inshaqqa 'l-qamar ('the moon is split asunder') as bearing cataclysm- the end of the world as we know it- that will occur before the coming of Resurrection Day (see art. shaqq in the Mufradat). As mentioned by Zamakhshari, this interpretation has the support of some of the earlier commentators; and it is, to my mind, particularly convincing in view of the juxtaposition, in the above Qur'an-verse, of the moon's 'splitting asunder' and the approach of the Last Hour. (In this connection we must bear in mind the fact that none of the Qur'anic allusions to the 'nearness' of the Last Hour and the Day of Resurrection is based on the human concept of 'time'.)" (Asad, p. 818, n. 1 bold emphasis ours)

    In fact, Muslim Apologist Akbarally Meherally has a whole article documenting that S. 54:1 is referring to a future event. Here are some highlights from that article:

    Here is a passage from 'The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam' by Cyril Glasse on the above subject:
    There are no contemporary accounts of such an event. It is far more likely that the Koran is speaking allegorically of a sign of the Last Day, rather than of a miracle. (page 274).


    Three more verses from the Qur'an to bear in mind:

    He has subjected the sun and the moon! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. Surah Al-Ra'd (13): 2

    He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law) each one follows a course for a time appointed. Surah Az-Zumar (39): 5

    Note: In verse 54: 1, the text "and the moon is cleft asunder" appears. Two verses thereafter in 54: 3 we read; "But every matter has its appointed time". In 54:6;

    "Therefore, (O Prophet,) turn away from them (and wait for) the Day that the Caller will call". These texts indicate of the event to happen in future and at its appointed time.

    The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed. Surah Ar-Rahman (55) verse 5.

    It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon nor can the Night outstrip the Day: each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law). Surah Ya Sin (36) : 40.

    Commentary # 5174: In the great astronomical universe there are exact mathematical laws, which bear witness to Allah's Wisdom and also to His favours to His creatures; for we all profit by the heat and light, the seasons, and the numerous changes in the tides and the atmosphere, on which the constitution of our globe and the maintenance of life depend. (Translations and commentary by Yusuf Ali)


    * Abu 'l-Qasim Husayn ar-Raghib (d. 503 H.), in Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Qur'an.
    ** Mahmud ibn 'Umar az-Zamakhshari (d. 538 H.), in Al-Kashshaf 'an- Haqa'iq Ghawamid at-Tanzil.

    Here is a note by the Late Muhammad Asad to this Surah 54:

    As RAZI*** points out, the first verse of this surah, appears almost like a continuation of the last verses of the preceding one, especially 53:57 - "the [Last Hour] which is so near draws even nearer" -: and so we may assume that both were revealed at approximately the same time, i.e., towards the end of the early part (perhaps the fourth year) of Muhammad's prophethood.
    *** Imam Abu 'l-Fadl Muhammad Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi (d. 606 H.), in At-Tafsir al-Kabir. (see this related article)

    Seeing that the splitting of the moon supposedly took place during the fifth year of Muhammad's prophethood serves to refute the notion that S. 54:1 is referring to this event. This is based on the above claim that S. 54:1 was probably revealed towards the end of the early part (perhaps fourth year) of Muhammad's prophethood.

    There is a plausible explanation as to why we find the hadith recording the story of the splitting of the moon. Muslims used S. 54:1 as the basis to concoct stories on Muhammad allegedly causing the moon to split in order to refute the claims that unlike the prophets of old, Muhammad performed no miracles.

    Therefore, in light of the claims from both the Quran and Islamic authorities we find another one of Naik's arguments crumbling from underneath his feet.


    In light of the preceding traditions we discover that Naik's claim that Muhammad had no ulterior motives in claiming prophethood to be simply untrue. The Islamic traditions clearly spell out Muhammad's motives in claiming prophethood, namely power, money and women.

    This ends part one of our analysis of Naik's claims for Islam and the Quran. Continue with Part 2.

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