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Is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a true prophet? Part 1

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Missionary Sam Shamoun from Answering-Islam has come out with 6 propositions (arguments) that supposedly disprove the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as a true prophet. In his article Shamoun writes:

We ask all Muslim reading this to consider these propositions prayerfully and carefully, and see for themselves whether they are true or not.

We shall follow in the spirit of Shamoun’s request, examining the 6 arguments he raises, and to see whether they disprove Muhammad (pbuh) as a true prophet.

We shall be dividing our article into 6 parts, with each article dealing with each specific argument of his, so for example this article, part one, will deal with his first argument.

For his first argument he writes:

Muhammad claims to follow in the footsteps of the prophets:

Lo! We inspire thee as We inspired Noah and the prophets after him, as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as We imparted unto David the Psalms; S. 4:136 Pickthall

Muhammad is even told to follow the previous guidance and to confirm his message with the previous Scriptures:

Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: "I believe in whatever Book Allah has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and to Him is (our) final goal. S. 42:15

This means that his message must be consistent with the prophets that went before him.

RESPONSE

Yes, the Prophet Muhammad did follow in the footsteps of the other prophets, and yes the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims accept and believe in the revelations of the previous prophets. Some of these revelations are mentioned in the Quran:

The revelation (Torah) to Moses:

It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. (5:44)

We gave Moses the Book, and made it a Guide to the Children of Israel, (commanding): "Take not other than Me as Disposer of (your) affairs." (17:2)

The Gospel given to Jesus:

And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (5:46)

Then, in their wake, We followed them up with (others of) Our messengers: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel (57:27)

The Psalms (Zabur) given to David:

And to David We gave the Psalms. (4:163)

So these are the previous revelations given to some of the prophets prior to the coming of Muhammad (pbuh). Now the Torah Given to Moses mentioned in the Quran is not the same Torah we have today, the Gospel given to Jesus is not the Gospel we have today, and the same goes for the Psalms of David.

The Quran itself teaches that the books we have today concerning the Torah,  and the Gospel are not the originals:

Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby. (2:79) 



That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not (4:157)

But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few - ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind. (5:113)

Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "What hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe. (4:46)

There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, "That is from Allah," but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it! (3:78)

The Prophet Muhammad also said:

The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Whatever the people of the Book [Jews and Christians] tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: We believe in Allah and His Apostle. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not falsify it.  (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Knowledge (Kitab Al-Ilm), Book 25, Number 3637)"

Narrated Abu Huraira:  "The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. Allah's Apostle said (to the Muslims). 'Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, 'We believe in Allah and whatever is revealed to us, and whatever is revealed to you.' '  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur'an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 460)" 

And also from Ibn Abbas the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and companion:

Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461:

Narrated Ubaidullah:

Ibn 'Abbas said, "Why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah's Apostle is newer and the latest? You read it pure, undistorted and unchanged, and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it, and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said, 'It is from Allah,' to sell it for a little gain. Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No, by Allah, we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!"

Concerning Ibn Abbas, the Prophet Muhammad is also reported to have said the following about Ibn Abbas:

Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 75:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

Once the Prophet embraced me and said, "O Allah! Bestow on him the knowledge of the Book (Qur'an)."

This is the same Ibn Abbas that Sam Shamoun's own website writes:

Abdullah bin Abbas was the son of Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad, thus Ibn Abbas was Muhammad's cousin and also the cousin of Ali bin Abi Talib.

He was born in Meccathree years before Muhammad fled to Madinah(619 A.D.) and was about 13 years old when Muhammad died.

Ibn Abbas grew up as a Muslim and had a good relationship with his cousin Muhammad the prophet of Islam. He memorized a great number of hadithsat that time.

One of the stories told about him states that Muhammad prayed for him: "Allah, give him wisdom, and teach him the interpretation (of the Qur'an)." Then Muhammad looked at him and said: "You are a good Qur'an interpreter."

After Muhammad's death he was considered one of the highest authorities in interpretation of the Qur'an and narration of correct hadiths. He has been called Baher ("sea"), because of his wide knowledge about Islam, and was also called Heber al-Ummah ("the scholar of the Ummah"). (http://answeringislam.net/Index/index.html)

So when Sam Shamoun states that Muhammad (AS) affirmed the previous scriptures, Shamoun must be aware of the fact that this is not an affirmation of the books which Shamoun currently calls his Holy Bible. The Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were referring to the original revelations that were given.

For a further comprehensive study of this issue visit the following extensive article:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/does_islam_endorse_the_bible__

So with that said we do not want Shamoun to misrepresent the Quran as supposedly conforming the current Bible held by him, because the Quran, nor the hadiths do such thing.

So therefore if Shamoun finds something from his Bible that seems to contradict Islam this is not an argument against the Prophet Muhammad, rather as Muslims we accept from the Bible the parts which go hand in hand with the Quran. As the Quran itself says:

To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute. (5:48)

So the Quran allows us to establish what is false and true in the Bible, that which is in line with Islam we take as truth, and that which contradicts Islam is the corrupted part. In essence the Quran acts as a standard bearer, and a criteria to the Bible.

So to summarize what we have so far:

-The Prophet Muhammad affirms the previous prophets and their scriptures

-He is consistent with them as the Quran says

-These scriptures are not the present books that Christians and Jews hold

And due to this Shamoun cannot claim that:

-Muhammad (pbuh) is false because he is inconsistent with some parts of the Bible

And this is precisely what Shamoun is trying to do; the argument he is trying to make goes like this:

'Well the Quran says that Muhammad confirms the previous scriptures and is consistent with them, but when I read my Holy Bible I find several issues that are denied and contradicted by Islam, therefore Muhammad is false since he failed his own standard and criteria, he is not consistent with the Bible'

And to this our reply is

'Well Shamoun you have committed several errors, the Quran indeed does claim that Muhammad (pbuh) is consistent with the former prophets and their scriptures, yet these scriptures is not the Bible you currently hold. Secondly the Quran tells us your current Bible is corrupt, and it also tells us that what agrees with Islam in your Bible is true and what contradicts Islam is false. Hence when you show contradictions between the two books you only show the corrupted parts of your Bible.'

Even if one were to read the current Bible that Shamoun holds one would see that the Prophet Muhammad is completely consistent with the prophets of old. The Prophet Muhammad's main message, the message which Islam stands upon is tawhid, which is the monotheism and oneness of God, as the Quran says:

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only (112:1)

And also in the hadith:

Sahih Muslim book 1, number 4

He (again) said: Messenger of Allah, (tell me) what does al-Islam signify. He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Al-Islam signifies that you worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him

This is the core and main doctrine of Islam, the absolute and pure monotheism of God.

And this brings us to the main issue, according to the present day Torah what is the first commandment?

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3)

 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. (Deuteronomy 5:6-7)

This is the number one and most important commandment, and this is what Islam stands upon, that there is no God but God and that only God must be worshiped.

The first commandment did not say “I am the Lord Thy God the Trinity three in one and that I shall become a man one day and die for your sins and rise in three days and you must believe in this”.

Moses (pbuh) himself taught:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD (Deuteronomy 6:4)

And the Quran:

"Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.  (112:1-4)

So indeed the Prophet Muhammad was consistent with the pure monotheistic message, and indeed the Prophet Muhammad was not consistent with the new teaching of the Trinity, which was never taught by the previous prophets, including Jesus (pbuh).

Shamoun writes:

Since Muhammad contradicted the message of Christ, denying his divine sonship, his message is therefore not from the true God:

"Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." 1 John 2:22-23 NIV

RESPONSE

It is amazing that Shamoun quotes a verse and fails to realize how the verse proves Muhammad (pbuh) is a true prophet. The only part of the above that is not in line with Islam is Shamoun's commentary, not the verse itself. This is what the verse says by itself without Shamoun's added commentary:

"Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." 1 John 2:22-23

So the verse states the liar is the one who denies that Jesus (pbuh) is the messiah, the liar is not the one who denies the divine sonship of Jesus as Shamoun wrote, that is his own personal Trinitarian interpretation.

Now anyone that reads the Quran will see that it affirms Jesus as the

Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;

So the Quran calls Jesus the Christ, hence according to 1 John 2:22-23 Muhammad (AS) is not a liar but a true man of God since he affirms that Jesus is the Christ. 


Shamoun continues on writing:

In fact, he ends up calling God a liar:

"We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:9-13 NIV

Since Muhammad turns the true God into a liar he cannot be a true prophet.

RESPONSE

Nobody is calling anyone here a liar but Sam Shamoun. We shall quote the passages Shamoun just quoted, and we want you to read them very carefully and try to catch the part where it says anything about Jesus being the divine son of God or God himself:

"We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:9-13 NIV

You can read it 20 more times and you still won't find it.

Shamoun has yet again read into the verse, and read it through Trinitarian glasses.

Let us now specifically quote the bolded part, the part where Shamoun bolded, the part which the Prophet Muhammad supposedly contradicts, and it says:

Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son

We Muslims do believe in the testimony that God gave about Jesus, the testimony that:

-Jesus is a prophet

-Jesus is the Messiah

-Jesus was a messenger of God

-Jesus was born of a Virgin

-Jesus was given the Gospel and preached it

-Jesus was a righteous man who prayed, fasted, and gave charity to his people

So indeed we do believe in the testimony of God concerning Jesus, however so it is Shamoun who rejects the testimony and goes over the limits by claiming that Jesus is God.

So that concludes part one and concludes Shamoun's first proposition. We have closely examined Shamoun's analysis and proposition, and we have seen that it completely fails in disproving Muhammad (AS) as a prophet. 

For part 2, click here.

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