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

"Prophecy, Ingenuity, and Miracles"


In this segment, Dr. Badawi continues his apologetic on behalf of Muhammad. In a somewhat absurd introduction, Badawi tells us that one does not need to make prophecies (detailed predictions of future events which come true), in order to be called a Prophet. Once again, Dr. Badawi gives us no credentials or proofs of Muhammad's claim to prophethood, other than the fact that Muhammad said so, therefore, it must be so, and if it is so, then so it is.

Host: In the Old Testament implies that prophesying is a prerequisite for being a Prophet, how does a Muslim view this?

Jamal Badawi: Prophecy does not make a Prophet, it is not a sufficient and necessary condition to make a Prophet. It is a gift endowed by God on some Prophets. Prophecy as foretelling the future is a gift given to some who are not Prophets, some see dreams that come true, it is endowed. Muhammad said that if you could see dreams come true, it is 1/40th of Prophethood. Prophecy does not make a Prophet. In the early days before Muhammad, it started with dreams becoming vivid and true. A Prophet may be given information about things that will happen in the future and this applies to many Prophets. In the Qur'an, there are things that were going to happen and did occur. A Muslim does not reject prophecy but does not require prophecy.

"Prophecy does not make a Prophet"? Then what makes a Prophet Dr. Badawi? Calling someone who did not make a prophecy a Prophet is as absurd as me calling myself an Olympic Gold Medal figure skater when, in fact, I have never worn a pair of ice skates in my entire life! I really do not care what Muhammad said about the criteria for Prophethood, since he was, in no sense of the term, a Prophet of God. God defines who is, and is not, a Prophet and He provides us with a clear test to discern the Prophets of God from the false Prophets:

"When a prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.".(Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

What about prophecy is the Qur'an?

Sura 30:1-4 :

"The Romans have been defeated in the nearest part of the land and they shall conquer in a small number of years after their defeat."

This passage "predicts" two events:

1. The Romans were defeated by the Persians

2. The Romans will win a "rematch" with the Persians in a "small number of years" The Romans were, in fact, defeated in 610 AD in the battles of Antioch and Aleppo.

Muhammad's statement concerning their defeat cannot be considered a prophecy because Muhammad claimed "Prophethood" in the same year (610 AD)! This Sura was "revealed" to him, six years after the fact, in 616 AD, according to Islamic traditions.

Part 2 is, in my opinion, more of a military and political assessment than a prophecy. However, when we look at this passage more closely, we see that the defeat of the Persians should take place soon - - "in a small number of years". The question is : how do we define "a small number of years"? The traditions, as well as Muslim commentators, tell us that Abu-Bakr made a bet with Ubai-ibn- Khalaf that this prediction would be fulfilled within three years. Muhammad, who rarely had an unspoken thought, told them that the "small number" is between three and nine years (Source: al-Baizawi).

The Romans (Byzantines) defeated the Persians 12 years later in 628 AD at the battle of Ctesiphon - so Muhammad's prophecy was wrong. Muslims have worked very hard to side-step this issue. In fact, Pickthall translates Sura 30:4 as "Within ten years", whereas Ali and Shakir correctly translate it as "Within a few years". In either case, Muhammad was wrong.

Host: What about ingenuity, does a Prophet have to be a genius, Muhammad is often called a genius but not what Muslims believe him to be?

Jamal Badawi: If Prophets are intelligent, there is not question, they are but they use the techniques to reach people. Wisdom and intelligence are useful tools for Prophets. Some will say that the Prophet must be intelligent to see things. This is objectionable because one of the main reasons that we need Prophets is because some information is not known to us, the unseen, we need direct communication. The other objection is the all great Prophets insisted that what they taught was direct revelation, not a product of their thinking or intelligence. This is to accuse them of lying.

I am not questioning Muhammad's intelligence, he was a very bright man and able politician. What I question are his prophetic credentials which he lacks according to the Biblical definition of a Prophet.

Host: Another thing is the performance of miracles, what is the Muslim view?

Jamal Badawi: There have been deviations in the extremes. Some are so preoccupied with miracles that they are superstitious and sosme can exploit this. So react to this by saying that there are no miracles. The Qur'an uses the term ayah, or sigh that a Prophet uses to show his claim. Muslims recognize miracles Sura 21:68-69:

They said, "Burn him and protect your gods, If ye do (anything at all)!" We said, "O Fire! be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham!"

Allah stopped the fire. In Sura 26:63 Moses challenge Pharaoh and was saved. Sura 3 has the birth of John the Baptist which was a miracle a 45-49 was the miraculous birth of Jesus. Sura 17:88 it talks about the miracle of the Qur’an. Some Prophets had this additional sign to attract people and the Qur’an says that these are given by God Sura 40:78.

Host: What is the importance of miracles in the message of a Prophet?

Jamal Badawi: Miracles are one aspect but not the central core. If you read the Qur’an there are 18 Prophets, the other 7 are mentioned elsewhere a total of 25.

Miracles are another very important sign that a Prophet is from God. I would not accept the testimony of a person who claims to be a Prophet without accurate prophecies. Miracles are an additional proof of a Prophets claim, but the gift of prophecy (accurately predicting future events) is the true criteria of prophethood. What was Muhammad's proof of Prophethood?

Hadith Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 4, Number 189 tells us:

Narrated As-Sa'ib bin Yazid:

My aunt took me to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! This son of my sister has got a disease in his legs." So he passed his hands on my head and prayed for Allah's blessings for me; then he performed ablution and I drank from the remaining water. I stood behind him and saw the seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, and it was like the "Zir-al-Hijla" (means the button of a small tent, but some said 'egg of a partridge.' etc.)

This "seal of Prophethood" was, in fact, a mole on Muhammad’s back! This proof is completely unacceptable for anyone who believes in the Prophets of the Bible.

Host: How about other Prophets?

Jamal Badawi: Sura 35:24 says:

Verily We have sent thee in truth, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner: and there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past).

There were others. In Sura 10:47:

To every people (was sent) a messenger: when their messenger comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged.

Sura 40:38:

The man who believed said further: "O my people! Follow me: I will lead you to the Path of Right.

Is the grace of God limited to the Middle East? The descendants of Abraham has special consideration, the foundation of the three faiths and are more similar than others who changed the message. In South Africa I visited the Zulus who believe in a higher God. Is this the influence of Islam or did they have their own Prophet?

The Bible clearly tells us that the Prophets are from the lineage of Isaac, not Ishmael. In fact, the Qur'an tells us in Sura 29:27:

And We gave (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, and ordained among his progeny Prophethood and Revelation, and We granted him his reward in this life; and he was in the Hereafter (of the company) of the Righteous.

Now, Dr. Badawi would be quick to mention that Ishmael was of Abraham's seed, and he was, however, this verse says nothing of Ishmael, or of any Prophets descending from him.

Host: What is my stand about the Prophets, do I have to believe in them literally?

Jamal Badawi: The Qur'an mentions many. It is different than the Bible, it is not a story. The Qur'an omits details but focuses on the lessons. Muslims must believe in them. This is not publication relations, Muslims must believe Sura 2: 136:

Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)."

We must accept Prophets in Sura 2:177:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.

The Qur'an muddles many of the stories which are familiar to Jews and Christians. This is the result of the fact that Muhammad knew very little about the Bible and borrowed these tales from apocryphal Jewish and Christian sources.

Muhammad reduced the Prophets to a small number of one-dimensional characters and manipulated the truth about them to serve his own needs. An excellent example of this is seen in Sura 2. After Muhammad and his Meccan followers had fled to Medina, Muhammad needed to prepare his men to fight. He then incorrectly recounted the story of Saul, whom he called Talut, and completetly omitted the name of the Prophet Samuel, and compressed several historical events into one event. To learn more about the historical and logical errors in Sura 2, please read Saul, Gideon, David and Goliath.

The Qur'an also indicates to deny one is to deny them all Prophet Sura 4:161-2:

That they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully;- We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment. But those among them who are well-grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what hath been revealed to thee and what was revealed before thee: And (especially) those who establish regular prayer and pay Zakat (regular charity) and believe in Allah and in the Last Day: To them shall We soon give a great reward.

A Muslim must accept those in the Qur'an and the second qualification is that the Qur'an says that Muhammad was the last Prophet and none after him can make this claim.

Well, the Qur'an says that Muhammad is a Prophet, and the last Prophet at that, while Muhammad says that the Qur'an is the true revelation of God - one is used to prove the other. This is circular logic. I need to see proof that Muhammad was a Prophet in the form of prophecy. I am not willing to place my eternal destiny on the teachings of someone who lacks prophetic proof, whether it is Muhammad, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Baha'u'llah, Joseph Smith, or Anna Lee. Eternity, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters, is forever - and I do not want to be in error for all of eternity!

Andrew Vargo

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