Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"

"Islamic and Biblical Versions"


In this segment, Dr. Badawi uses Islamic doctrine to recreate the Prophets of God into one dimensional characters which suit the needs of his [and Islam's] arguments in favor of Muhammad's alleged Prophethood. This is attempted through the use of the doctrine of Isma which claims that all Prophets are sinless. After closer examination, we will find that this doctrine has absolutely no foundation in the teachings of the Bible or in the teachings of the Qur'an and the Traditions.

Host: Can we draw a comparison between Prophethood in Islam and the Judeao-Christian view?

Jamal Badawi: There are similarities and differences. There are differences. The infallibility of the Prophets is very important. Muslims have a problem that Jesus is deified and other Prophets are accused of cardinal sins - a Muslim does not accept this. Muslims are offended by the Old Testament stories, for example the Prophets Jacob and Isaac. The elder son inherits the honor a Gen 27 tells us that Esau was the oldest but the information reached Jacob that he was going to bless Esau and Jacob pretended, to be Esau to his blind father and received the blessing. This story shows that Jacob is a cheater, a Muslim cannot accept this. In Exodus 32:1-6 it tells how Aaron participated in collecting gold to make the golden calf. A Muslim cannot accept this. The Prophet David in 2 Sam he talks about when Uriah was killed in battle, because David ordered him in the front lines in a battle, so that David could take his wife. A Muslim believes that this cannot be genuine revelation, it contradicts the Qur'an's definition of Prophethood. Abraham, went he went to Egypt, said that his wife was his sister, Solomon married Pagan wives, this is totally a contradiction for the Muslim.

I am sorry that the truth concerning the humanity of the Prophets offends my Muslim brothers and sister, however, it is the truth. Sometimes the truth is uncomfortable and sometimes the truth hurts. Why does Dr. Badawi so desperately want to believe, and convince us, that all of the Prophets are completely sinless? Please keep in mind that Muslims believe that Muhammad is the final, and greatest, Prophet sent by God. Also keep in mind that Muhammad did not perform any miracles and did not give a single prophecy that actually came true. When we look at the Qur'an's teachings concerning Jesus, we find that He was born of a virgin, performed miracles, and was sinless (Sura 19:19). No man, before or after Jesus, has ever been described in such a way! Perhaps out of the fear that Muhammad (who is supposed to be the final and greatest prophet) would appear grossly inadequate in comparison to Jesus, and other Prophets, Muslims formulated a creed (providing the Prophets an Isma) called the Fiqh Akbar II:

"All of the Prophets are exempt from sins, both grave and light, from unbelief and sordid deeds. Yet stumbling and mistakes may happen on their part". (Wensinck, The Muslim Creed, p. 192).

Host: In what sense is it contradictory?

Jamal Badawi: There is no passage in the Qur'an that attributes sins to the Prophets. The contrary is true, they are mentioned with reverence and respect. Abraham is in Sura 19:41 and Sura 16:120, Ishmael in Sura 19:54 as one who is true to his promise, Moses is one who is chosen in Sura 19:51, Jesus is one who is held in honor in this world and the here-after in Sura 3:45, Muhammad in Sura 33:21 he is a model for everyone. In sura 21:19 the Prophets were an emulation in good works. The Bible is inconsistent with the Muslim view of Prophets, he doesn't only give the words, he is an example of the message that he speaks. How can he be a model when he lies, cheats, and commits adultery?

Sura 22:75:

Allah chooses messengers from angels and from men for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things).

Surely God's choice is better than the Bible says.

Sura 6:86:

And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and Lot: and to all We gave favour above the nations:

Isma is the infallibility of all of the Prophets.

Issue 1: "There is no passage in the Qur'an that attributes sins to the Prophets."

Dr. Badawi has said many things in this teaching series which are wrong, however, this statement is simply amazing and demonstrates either Dr. Badawi's lack of knowledge concerning the Qur'an (which I doubt since he probably knows the Qur'an very well), or his desire to justify his beliefs without any regard to the truth. Does the Qur'an say that the Prophets sinned? Yes it does:


Sura 20:121:

"In the result, they both ate of the tree, and so their nakedness appeared to them: they began to sew together, for their covering, leaves from the Garden: thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and allow himself to be seduced."

Disobeying the commands of God is the very definition of sin! Later in this Sura, the Qur'an records an account of Adam's repentance. In spite of this repentance, the fact remains that Adam, considered the first Prophet by many Muslims, sinned against God.


Sura 11:47 tells us that:

"Noah said: "O my Lord! I do seek refuge with Thee, lest I ask Thee for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless thou forgive me and have Mercy on me, I should indeed be lost!"

Why did Noah ask God to forgive and have mercy on him if he was sinless? If Noah was without sin, what did God forgive?


Sura 21:87 says:

"And remember Sun-nun (Jonah), when he departed in wrath: He imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, "There is no god but thou: glory to thee: I was indeed wrong!"

Jonah departed from God in wrath and admitted that he "was indeed wrong"! Jonah defied the commands of God and, in this passage, admitted his sin.


Sura 6:76-78:

When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set." When he saw the moon rising in splendor, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."

The Prophet Abraham, before God revealed Himself to him, worshipped nature!


Was Muhammad without sin? What does the Qur'an say about the sins of Muhammad? Sura 48:2 says: "That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favor unto thee, and may guide thee on a right path." Clearly, not only did Muhammad sin in the past, God knew that he would sin in the future!

Did Muhammad ever claim that he was without sin? No, in fact, Muhammad once prayed:

"So forgive the sins which I have done in the past or will do in the future, and also those (sins) which I did in secret or in public, and that which You know better than I. None has the right to be worshipped but you". (al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, p. 403)

Clearly, the doctrine of Isma has absolutely no foundations in the teachings of the Qur'an or in the words of Muhammad.

Issue 2: "How can he be a model when he lies, cheats, and commits adultery?"

Well, I can ask this very question of Muhammad! Let us begin with the issue of lies, as well as murder:

Bukhari says:

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." .......

So, Muhammad tells his followers that they must kill a man who has "who has hurt Allah and His Apostle"! How can a man hurt Almighty God? Muhammad clearly condoned murder and dishonesty when it suited his purposes.

Host: On one hand we talked about the humanity of the Prophets, now we say that they are infallible?

Jamal Badawi: If you make the distinction between errors and sins. There are sins that are deviations like believing in other gods, then there are cardinal sins which are very serious. Some sins are basic errors in human judgement and there is no bad intention. All Prophets are infallible in the first two, the Prophets cannot make errors in conveying the message. Sura 69:44-47:

And if the messenger were to invent any sayings in Our name, We should certainly seize him by his right hand, And We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart: Nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath).

What this means is that no Prophet can fall into an error in conveying a pure belief or God will stop him.

Some sins are very cardinal, cheating, this is not consistent. No pious would do this yet alone the select. In errors in judgement, this does not contradict infallibility because it does not affect their function as Prophets.

Issue 1: Sin

Worshiping false gods is a sin, however, it is not the only sin a man can commit. Any disobedience to the Will of God is a sin and all of us, except Jesus, have sinned.

Issue 2: "the Prophets cannot make errors in conveying the message"

What about Sure 53:19-20? During Muhammad's early years in Mecca, he had few followers. Muslim sources, including at-Tabari and Ibn Sa'd, tell us that the Pagan leaders of Mecca told Muhammad that his religion might grow faster if recognized their gods. Muhammad claimed that received a revelation from Gabriel:

Have ye thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza And Manat, the third, the other? These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for.

The Muslim sources tell us that after the Muhammad recited these verse, his followers and the Pagans all prostrated themselves before the Ka'bah. After this incident, tensions eased between Muhammad and the Pagans.

Muhammad retracted these verse, however, the length of the time lapse between the revelation and abrogation are not clear in the Traditions. Gabriel told Muhammad that Satan had used Muhammad's desire for reconciliation with the Pagan leaders to insert the verses about the interceding cranes, also known as "the Satanic Verses". Gabriel replaced this verse with:

Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division! (53:21,22)

For more information on this topic, please read The Satanic Verses and The Satanic Verses and their implications for the Miracle of the Qur'an.

Host: Can you give an example?

Jamal Badawi: Muhammad for example, some say that Muhammad wrote the Qur'an. If this is true then he would not include a passage that rebukes him. Sura 80 was a commentary and correction when Muhammad invited the leaders to Islam, this was a human judgement. While he was talking, an old poor blind man named Abdullah asked him to teach him. The Prophet was impatient and wanted him to wait because he was a believer. Then Gabriel corrected him and rebuked him, but he was not accused of a moral sin. After this incident, Muhammad held this man up. This is why people mistake the statement that Muhammad sought God's forgiveness. A mistake for the Prophet is not the same as a common man, he is held to a higher standard of purity.

The rebuke that Muhammad received is minor compared to the benefits. Muhammad claimed to receive revelation which, coincidentally, solved a problem that he was facing at a particular point in time. When Muhammad needed money, he received Sura 9:103:

Of their wealth 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.

I thought that only God could purify and sanctify!

When Muhammad wanted his friends not to yell outside of his house, he received yet another passage, Sura 49:4-5:

Those who shout out to thee from without the inner apartments - most of them lack understanding. If only they had patience until thou couldst come out to them, it would be best for them: but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Also according to Muhammad, Allah had commanded that a man could marry up to four women at any one time:

"Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four" (Sura 4:3).

However, four women were simply not enough for Muhammad, did he fight the temptation? No, he believed that he needed special permission from God to marry more and he (claimed that) that God gave it to him:

O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has 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 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" (Sura 33:50).

In the beginning of this segment, Dr. Badawi was outraged that the Bible tells us that King David commits adultery with Uriah's wife and then murdered her husband (2 Samuel 11:3-4,15-18). Dr. Badawi does not tell us what King David, a true Prophet of God, did after he committed these terrible acts. Did David compose a Psalm in which he claimed that God approved of his actions? No way! David cried out to God:

"Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned and done that which is evil in Thy sight" (Psalm 51:4).

Many other Prophets of God also repented of their sins both in the aforementioned Qur'an texts and in the Bible. Job said:

"I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:6), and Micah also confessed his sins (Micah 7:9)

How did Muhammad handle a similar situation? One day, Muhammad lusted after Zainab, the wife of his adopted son Zaid, and wanted to marry her. Instead of repenting of this ghastly thought, Muhammad claimed that he received a revelation from God approving of the union in Sura 33:37:

"Behold! Thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favour: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife, and fear Allah." But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people, but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. And Allah's command must be fulfilled."

Muhammad not only sinned, he usually did not repent. In fact, he conveniently, claimed to have received a "revelation" to get him out of any problem in which he found himself! Why would God allow one of his Prophets to have lower moral standards than the masses that he is supposed to inspire and teach?

Andrew Vargo

Responses to Jamal Badawi's "Radio Al-Islam Channel RA 200"
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