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

"Source of the Qur'an VI - Religious Illusions? (Cont.)"


In this segment, Dr. Badawi will attempt to convince us that the Qur'an contains prophecies of future events. However, upon closer examination, these alleged prophecies were incorrect. Please remember the Bible's criteria for a Prophet:

"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)

Host: Could we the issue of prophecies, are there more in the Qur'an?

Jamal Badawi: Sura 30, there is an interesting case because it is historically accurate. When Muslims were not strong enough around 614 AD, the Romans were defeated by the Persians and many thought the Rome was finished. In 610, Persia dominated Egypt and North Africa. The Sura says that the Romans would be victorious in a few years, in Arabic this mean 3 to 9 years. Gibbons says that about seven years around 621 or 622, there was a battle where the Romans won at Issus, two years latter the Romans were able to invade Persia. The prophecy that the Romans would win and in a few years. The passages ends by saying that the believers will be happy with the victory of God. At the same time that the Romans were winning, Muslims were winning the Battle of Badr. What person can make such accurate prophecies?

There are two important issues in this Sura:

1. The Qur'an commits an Historical Error

The Persians attacked the Byzantines, not the Romans.

The ancient Roman Empire was divided into two parts - Eastern and a Western. The Eastern portion was ruled by the successors of Constantine, from the capital city of Byzantium or Constantinople. Byzantine refers to the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire which survived after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Byzantine State existed between 610 and 717 AD.

This Sura was apparently "revealed" to Muhammad in 615 AD, (source) - five years after the establishment of the Byzantine Empire! Therefore, had the "revelation" been from God, it should have referred to the Byzantines and not the Romans.

More disturbing is that, according to the Traditions, Muhammad and his companions were aware that the eastern Roman Empire was called the Byzantine Empire. One of the most perplexing traditions was recorded by Bukhari and says, at the end:

"... 'Alif-Lam-Mim, the Romans have been defeated, and they, after their defeat, will be victorious,' (30.1-3) (This verse): Indicates that the defeat of Byzantine has already passed."

This tradition suggests the impossible scenario of an all-knowing God, committing an historical error in [what is purported to be] His revelation!

2. This Alleged Prophecy was WRONG

Here is a time line for this Sura:

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."

615 AD : The Byzantines were defeated by the Persians and lost Jerusalem (614-615 AD). Also, in 615AD, this Sura was "revealed" to Muhammad (according to Maududi). Therefore, Muhammad knew of the Persian defeat of the Byzantines. What about Muhammad's prediction concerning the future Byzantine victory?

Muhammad believed that "a small number of years" ranged between 3 and 9 years. The Byzantines defeated the Persians 13 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: Could you explain the Battle of Badr a little more.

Jamal Badawi: In Sura 54:45 it makes a prediction:

Soon will their multitude be put to flight, and they will show their backs.

This verse was revealed in Mecca when the Muslims were weak and unlikely to have a military battle.

This passage DOES NOT refer in any way to the Battle of Badr! Please read the passage in context. This passage is talking about what well happen to believers on the Day of Resurrection. The Battle of Badr is not mentioned anywhere in the Sura, nor is it implied.

Host: On the earliest revelations Sura 8:19 says:

(O Unbelievers!) if ye prayed for victory and judgment, now hath the judgment come to you: if ye desist (from wrong), it will be best for you: if ye return (to the attack), so shall We. Not the least good will your forces be to you even if they were multiplied: for verily Allah is with those who believe!

This is an early prophecy of military battle. Another is an ayah talks about the sky engulfing them in smoke and mist and theat Allah will remove the difficulty and they go back to their old ways. Because of their disbelief, Muhammad called on God for a message, a great famine took place that they were so hungry that everything looked hazy. They went to the Prophet to pray to God and the famine was removed. The prophecy said that a great punishment will come, it also mentions Moses, drawing the parallel.

This passage looks more like a pep talk for Muhammad's troops! It makes no mention of specific battles. Remember, no military commanders attacks with the expectations that he will lose the battle.

Then watch thou for the Day that the sky will bring forth a kind of smoke (or mist) plainly visible,

There is no mention in this Sura of a famine!

Host: Are there other prophecies about individuals?

Jamal Badawi: One of the Prophet's uncles was Abu Lahab who had a bad temper. After Muhammad warned the people, Abu Lahab told the Prophet that he did not want to hear that kind of talk and said may he perish. After this Sura 111 was revealed. It described how he and his wife would be punished for harming the Prophet. Something may go unnoticed, the prophecy of his punishment cannot be confirmed but we know that many people were as bad as Abu Lahab who ended up believing, how could anyone make the prophecy that this man will die an unbeliever? He was very eager to prove the Qur'an false, why didn't he pretend to be a Muslim to prove the Qur'an false? The Qur'an said that he would not believe.

Where does this Sura say that he would not become a believing Muslim?

Please read the text of Sura 111:

Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!
No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains!
Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of Blazing Flame!
His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood - As fuel!-
A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her (own) neck!

The word believer appears nowhere in this Sura, it merely says that he will burn in Hell. How do we know that he is in Hell?

Another man was a ring leader of those who wanted to hurt the Prophet, he used to shout at Muhammad "ancient tales" when Muhammad spoke. Sura 68:16 said what would happen to him, that he would not believe until he was punished, he would fight the Prophet and that he would have a mark of his unbelief.

This verse says:

Soon shall We brand (the beast) on the snout!

The man is not named in this Sura and there is no indication in the Qur'an or Traditions that this man was branded on the snout! Perhaps Muhammad killed this man when he became powerful, however, this looks much more like a threat than a prophecy. Additionally, Muhammad DID NOT refute the accusation that his Qur'an was nothing more than "tales of the ancients", only a denial is made. This denial is made 8 times in the Qur'an and no evidence is ever given to defend the Qur'an against this accusation.

Host: You mentioned other proofs that the Qur'an is not the reflection of Muhammad's personal experience, can you explain?

Jamal Badawi: If it were Muhammad's words, it would not contain corrections made to the Prophet. Sura 80, the Prophet was talking to some of the leaders of the tribes and he was trying to get them to accept Islam and a blind man named Abdullah and wanted to ask a question. The Prophet thought that this man was a believer and should have asked another time and Muhammad was annoyed. The Qur'an said that he should have paid attention to the man why would Muhammad blame himself?

Perhaps this verse reflects a guilty conscience?

Sura 8:67, the Muslims took prisoners and there was a discussion concerning their fate, Muhammad had a soft heart and freed them for some compensation, the Prophet was blamed because he should have waited until the Muslims won.

Soft heart?!?! Muhammad released the prisoners for a ransom! Read the next ayah:

Had it not been for a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe penalty would have reached you for the (ransom) that ye took.

What happened to those men who did not fetch a ransom Dr. Badawi?

In the Battle of Tabuk, Muhammad allowed some to stay out of the battle, the Sura 9:43 blames the Prophet for doing this without verifying. Obied, an enemy of Islam, died and Muhammad wanted to pray over him but was corrected by Sura 9:84. When his uncle Hamza was martyred he swore that he would punish the unbelievers but in Sura 16:126 he was corrected.

These passages appear to be Muhammad's way of eliminating combat exemptions

Even in the Prophet's personal life was corrected in Suras 33 and 66. How could someone author a book with has their own small mistakes?

How did Sura 66 correct Muhammad? Please take a moment to read this Sura. Muhammad's wives had to take revolving "turns" to be with their husband. Muhammad ignored his own system and had sexual relations with Mary the Copt on a day that was either Hafsah's or Aishah's "turn". Hafsah discovered Muhammad's breach of protocol and became upset. Muhammad promised her that he would not have sexual relations with Mary, probably out of fear that Hafsah would tell his favorite wife, Aishah - whom he married when she was a child of about 9 years of age. Hafsah and Aishah were, according to the traditions, often competitors for Muhammad's attention, and Hafsah told Aishah the entire sordid story. We can only imagine the anger of Aishah and the other wives of Muhammad. In retaliation, Muhammad boycotted the other wives, in respect to his sexual relations with them, and co-habitated exclusively with Mary. After one month, we are told by the traditions and the Qur'an that Almighty God intervened on Muhammad's behalf.

If we believe the testimony of the Qur'an, God tells Muhammad that it is acceptable for him to break his own oaths! Imagine Almighty God promoting and commending a breach of an oath made by Muhammad, especially under such circumstances as the satiation of Muhammad's carnal desires!

Host: What other psychological proof do you have that the Qur'an is beyond the Prophet? Jamal Badawi: Sura 8:67-8 Muhammad is blamed and then forgiven, this does not happen. The hypocrites made rumors against Aishah and he waited one month for the revelation that his wife was innocent. Many verses were revealed and Muhammad did not know the meaning and waited for others to explain it. One warned him against hiding things from Allah and he could not explain it until he got another verse.

This hardly constitutes "proof". Muhammad used his revelations to have his way, as we saw in Sura 66. In the case of Aishah, Muhammad was simply "playing the game". In the end, he got exactly what he wanted from these purported "revelations".

Andrew Vargo

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