In this article, Mr. Meherally takes issue with his fellow Muslims concerning the example of Muhammad. However I also believe that the "example" provided by Muhammad needs historical analysis and ethical analysis.
Mr. Meherally quotes two passages from the Qur'an:
Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation. Holy Qur'an 33:56
A Believer who has read the above verses would have probably asked himself, and if not, let him ask himself the following question;
The prophet of Islam (peace be upon him), did many things during his life that are indeed worth remembering and undeniably worth following by the Believers. BUT, what was the primary purpose and the foremost mission of the prophet's life that none could or should ever overlook?
A crucial question, at this point: Is Muhammad a "good example"? With our eternal destiny at stake, I believe that we need to examine this claim. I will quote exclusively from Islamic sources. Let us look at the morals of Muhammad:
1. Muhammad told his followers to lie and murder unarmed people who disagreed with him.
For example, please refer to Bukhari where Muhammad commands his followers to lie to and murder Al-Ashraf who has "hurt Allah and His Apostle". Mr. Meherally, do you believe that it is moral to send someone to lie, to kill another person, and then hide behind God? How can a man hurt God? Muhammad also ordered the execution of Abu `Afak , a man who was reported to be 120 years old, because he questioned Muhammad! Another critic, who Muhammad had murdered, was a woman named Asma' Bint Marwan - a mother of five small children! Muhammad's henchmen killed her in her sleep, with her children in bed with her and while her baby was suckling. How could a "Prophet" of a merciful and forgiving God commit such an act? It is interesting to note that after Asma' Bint Marwan was murdered, Muhammad said "Two goats won't butt their head about her", or in other words, no one will care about her death except her children. Our Muslim friends tell us that angels helped Muhammad at the Battle of Badr, yet Muhammad resorted to murder to silence critics who could do him no harm - a 120 year old man and a woman with 5 children!
2. Muhammad was superstitious
Sahih Muslim, Book 25, Number 5448: Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 65, Number 356, claims that Sad said:
Also, Sahih Muslim, Book 25, Number 5531: Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah:
The philosphical problem with these beliefs in superstition, is that they conflict with the idea of a sovereign, all-powerful God. If one believes in God and in the power of God's will, what is the purpose of superstitions? Can any of these things alter or over-ride the will of an all-powerful God? Muhammad's belief in superstitions, seriously undermines the theological ideas that he preached and casts doubt on the validity of all of his purported "revelations".
I have noticed this trend on campus. I most certainly condone proper hygiene and good manners, however, the excessive attention that some pay to the tiny details of Muhammad's personal habits reminds me of some religious cults where every move of the leader is copied. I do not believe that God really cares if I put on my right or left shoe first!
[I will skip over Mr. Meherally's disagreements with the Shia]
We are also given a passage from the Qur'an which has some historical and philosophical problems:
The problem with this passage is that God did not protect Muhammad from mankind! In fact, Muhammad died as a result of being poisoned.
Mr. Meherally continues:
Doing Daw'ah to non Muslims and in particular to the "People of the Book" should be the Mission of those who regard the prophet to be "a good example for him". Since a large number of Christians are entering Islam in our times, it is worth devoting more time and effort in that direction. Our duty is to convey the Message of Allah which appears in the Torah, the Injeel and the Furqan with a suggestion of observing these True Messages that have been overshadowed by the non-revealed guidance. If any who fails to judge by what Allah has Revealed therein, they are those who rebel.
I agree that we must ponder what God has revealed to us - our eternal destiny depends on our decision. We must test both the message and the messenger in order to determine if they are from God. Clearly, when we look at the life example of Muhammad, according to Muslim sources, he did not live a life of righteousness before God and should not be an example for us. Also, according to the Qur'an, Muhammad brought no proofs of prophethood - no miracles and no prophecies. Muhammad's teachings also contradicted the teachings and prophecies of God's prophets. Once again, I believe that Christians and Muslims must examine the message and messenger of both Islam and Christianity.
Responses to Akbarally Meherally
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