Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Would Jesus Approve of Muhammad?

Part 2: Holiness

Keith Thompson

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7

In Part 1 we pondered if Jesus would approve of Muhammad with regards to the topic of mercy. In this second article we will examine the topic of Jesus’ exhortation to live holy lives and see if Muhammad adequately followed Jesus’ new covenant requirements. In light of Jesus commanding believers to live holy lives can we affirm that Jesus would have approved of Muhammad and looked at him as a righteous man of God? Or would Jesus say to Muhammad “I never knew you; depart from me” as he will to those false prophets who lived lawless lives and were not of God (Matthew 7:15-23)?

For this article I am going to appeal to some passages of Scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ and or his inspired Apostles commanded holiness and we will see if Muhammad was a valid example of someone following Jesus’ commands or if he was a false prophet who did not do the will of the Father in Heaven. According to 1st century Christian theology the regenerated believer will grow to love holiness and live by Jesus’ commands while hating the sin he once loved since the believer is regenerated. I would submit that Muhammad did not have his sins atoned for on the cross since he denied the crucifixion of Christ and therefore did not have the righteousness of Christ imputed to him and was not regenerated by the Holy Spirit whereby his life would show the good fruit or evidence of salvation (i.e., good works). Muhammad, because of his failure to believe in Christ and what he did on the cross, was not filled with the Holy Spirit and was thus still dead in his sin. Therefore when we compare Jesus’ teachings on holiness to Muhammad’s life one can clearly see that Muhammad was not only unable to follow Jesus’ commands on holiness or willing to, due to an unregenerate heart, but he often taught his followers that it was alright to engage in the very things that Christ forbade. Here are some passages that deal with holiness in the Bible. We will examine five passages and their specific points and see if Jesus would have approved of Muhammad and his actions while he was claiming to be a prophet of God.

Matthew 5:31-32 “It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Revelation 22:15 “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

Revelation 21:8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

In these passages Jesus and his Apostles exhort people to avoid many heinous acts of sin clearly affirming that we must repent from such sins if guilty of committing them striving not to repeat them, hate such sin and grow in holiness. It is because of God’s grace that the saved person would be able to do so. I will focus upon seven of these sins. The seven sins are adultery with regards to divorce, greed, murder, thievery, sexual immorality/immorality, idolatry and lying. When we examine Muhammad’s life in light of these teachings about holiness in the believer’s life we find that Jesus would not approve of Muhammad. When we examine each of these sins we will see that Muhammad was deeply stuck in their bondage and unrepentant showing that he was deceived, unregenerate and without hope. It would have been nice if Muhammad had accepted Christ and got saved preventing him from creating the false system of Islam and I do not delight at Muhammad’s fate in hell but we must accept the fact that Muhammad did not know Christ and did not bear the fruit of a justified believer. I make note of the following things because it is my prayer that Muslims see this material, receive conviction and get saved.

Adultery Regarding Divorce

In Matthew 5:31-32 we are told that sexual immorality is the only grounds for divorce. If the spouse is caught cheating divorce is justified. What is more, anyone who marries a divorced person is guilty of adultery. Muhammad violated Jesus’ holy command by marrying his adopted son’s wife. Muhammad saw his son Zaid’s wife unveiled at her house and was aroused. Upon leaving Muhammad commented on her beauty and she informed her husband (Muhammad’s adopted son Zaid) about what transpired. Zaid then agreed to divorce her so that Muhammad could marry her. She did not commit adultery so the divorce was not justified and Muhammad is guilty of marrying a divorced woman according to Biblical criterion. This story is confirmed in Quran 33:37:

S. 33:37 (Yusuf Ali) “… Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee …”

Therefore, one can affirm that Jesus would not approve of Muhammad on the issue of adultery and divorce.

Greed and Murder

In 1 Corinthians 6:10 as well as in Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 we are told that the justified person who is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit will not be greedy or commit murder under New Covenant direction and that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

A clear example of Muhammad’s greed and murder is found in the earliest biography of Muhammad by Ibn Isaq: “The Life of Muhammad.” This Muslim source confirms that Muhammad, because of his greed, murdered a man named Kinana who refused to give up treasure. The account states:

Kinana al-Rabi, who had the custody of the treasure of Banu Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it.  He denied that he knew where it was.  A Jew came (Tabari says "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 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. (The Life of Muhammad, A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Karachi Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth Impression 1995], pp. 145-146; bold emphasis ours)

Therefore Muhammad was guilty of greed and murder and thus we can justifiably assume, based on sacred Scripture, that Jesus would not approve of him nor allow him into the kingdom of heaven.


Under the New Covenant believers are forbidden to steal as clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 6:10. Thieves will not inherit the kingdom. However, Muhammad taught that is was lawful for him to steal people’s possessions after war.

S 8:1 Pickthall “They ask thee (O Muhammad) of the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war belong to Allah and the messenger, so keep your duty to Allah, and adjust the matter of your difference, and obey Allah and His messenger, if ye are (true) believers.”

This authentic Hadith even says Muhammad became wealthy from such theft:

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)

Therefore, on the basis of the New Covenant teachings it seems clear that Jesus would not approve of Muhammad on the issue of thievery. The justified believer under the New Covenant is not going to want to commit such wicked acts.

Sexual Immorality/Immorality

When the New Covenant believer grows in Christ they will learn to avoid sexual immorality as it is inconsistent with the Christian life and contrary to the will of God. In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul states that people who indulge in such sin will not inherit eternal life. However, when we examine Muhammad’s life we see that he made lawful such wicked acts with out any repentance as though doing such acts were ordained by God.

A clear and disturbing example of Muhammad allowing his followers to engage in sexual immorality is when Muhammad and his followers were in battle. The men were away from their wives and became desirous and impassioned. They sought Muhammad’s advice and Muhammad’s solution was that they should engage in Mut’a marriage. Mut’a marriage is a temporary marriage contract with a woman for the purpose of sex that would be quickly broken. In other words Muhammad allowed his impassioned followers to temporality marry woman for the purpose of sex – a marriage that would be quickly dissolved after the desires were fulfilled. Bukhari reports:

Narrated Abdullah:

We used to participate in the holy battles led by Allah's Apostle and we had nothing (no wives) with us. So we said, "Shall we get ourselves castrated?" He forbade us that and then allowed us to marry women with a temporary contract and recited to us: -- ‘O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, but commit no transgression.’ (5.87) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 13o)

Notice how this type of teaching directly opposes Jesus Christ’s holy exhortation on marriage and the sacredness of it:

Matthew 19:4-9 “Haven't you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,’ and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”


In 1 Corinthians 1:9, idolatry is warned against. The act of venerating idols is strictly forbidden all throughout the Holy Bible (Ex 20:4–5; Deut 27:15; Lev 26:1). However, Muhammad venerated a Pagan shrine called the Kaba and kissed the black stone that is now attached to it:

"And when the apostle of God had finished his period of seclusion and returned (to Mecca), in the first place he performed the circumambulation of the Ka'ba, as was his wont. While he was doing it, Waraqa met him and said, ‘O son of my brother, tell me what thou hast seen and heard.’" (Sirat Rasulullah, trans. Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad [Oxford University Press, Karachi], p. 107; bold emphasis ours)

Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia:

'Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667)

Muslims assert that the Kaba goes back to Abraham and Ishmael but there is not one shred of early historical evidence for such assertions. What there is evidence for, however, is that the pre-Islamic Meccan Arab Pagans venerated this Pagan shrine. This early Muslim source affirms:

"They [Pagans]… went with them inside the ka‘ba to the site of their god Hubal, where there was the well in which offerings to the ka‘ba would be placed.” (The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya) by Ibn Kathir, Volume I, translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization, 1998], pp. 126, 127; parenthesis mine)

In light of this it is clear that Muhammad was guilty of idolatry and the Lord Jesus would not approve of Muhammad on this issue. Since there is no early historical evidence that God ordained the veneration of the Kaba and black stone kissing one can affirm that Muhammad was guilty of idolatry.


In Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 lying is forbidden and identified as something the true believer is to avoid. However, Muhammad permitted lying when it was employed to help with a murder!

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 4, Book 52, Number 271)

Notice Muhammad sanctioned lying so that Maslama could deceive Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf and kill him! It is clear Jesus would not approve of Muhammad.


Because Muhammad rejected Christ’s work on the cross and did not receive justification and sanctification he was unable to conform to the holiness Christ demanded believers grow into. In fact, Muhammad even taught and sanctioned some of the very sins that Christ and his inspired Apostles said true believers will not commit under the New Covenant. Therefore, based on Muhammad’s actions we can affirm that Jesus would not approve of him on the issue of holiness.

Christ has risen, He is Lord.