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Is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a true prophet? Part 2

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We now continue to examine the propositions (arguments) set forth by Sam Shamoun to try and disprove Muhammad (AS) as a prophet. For part one click here.

Shamoun writes:

The Holy Bible says that magic and sorcery has no affect against true believers of the true God:

"There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, "See what God has done!'" Numbers 23:23 NIV

"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.' He replied, ?I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'" Luke 10:17-20 NIV

Muhammad fails this test since a Jew was able to bewitch him! In fact, Muslims claim that Surahs 113 and 114 were "revealed" to free Muhammad from this curse. The hadiths record:

Narrated Aisha:
 Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: That is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect). Then one day he said, "O 'Aisha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other. What is wrong with this man?' The latter replied he is under the effect of magic. The first one asked, Who has worked magic on him?' The other replied Labid bin Al-A'sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.' The first one asked, What material did he use)?' The other replied, 'A comb and the hair stuck to it.' The first one asked, 'Where (is that)?' The other replied. 'In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan' '' So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said "That was the well which was shown to me (in a dream) Its water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils." The Prophet added, "Then that thing was taken out' I said (to the Prophet ) "Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?" He said, "Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among my people." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660; see also number 661)

Narrated Aisha:
Once the Prophet was bewitched so that he began to imagine that he had done a thing which in fact he had not done. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 400)

RESPONSE

There are many points to respond to, but we will first start off by pointing out a fallacy from Shamoun, a fallacy that he has carried from his first proposition.

The fallacy can clearly be seen by all, just because the Bible says A is true, and then B happens, B must be false because the Bible said that A is true. This is not a real argument, this is purely circular, and no Muslim will feel compelled by such arguments. The reason I say no Muslim will be compelled with such arguments is because Sam earlier wrote:

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

Well no Muslim who already believes the Bible to be corrupt is going to become a Non-Muslim because of a supposed contradiction between the Bible and the Quran.

So what we see now is that Shamoun is clearly arguing under the premise of The Bible says so, therefore it is so. Yet there is a problem with such a line, because what about the errors and mistakes of the Bible? What do we do with those? Do we ignore the errors and go on blind faith or do we accept the reality and move away from the Bible?

Now Shamoun has raised the bewitchment incident concerning the Prophet Muhammad, the incident is as follows:

Sahih Bukhari, volume 4, book 54, and number 490. 

Narrated 'Aisha:

Magic was worked on the Prophet so that he began to fancy that he was doing a thing which he was not actually doing. One day he invoked (Allah) for a long period and then said, "I feel that Allah has inspired me as how to cure myself. Two persons came to me (in my dream) and sat, one by my head and the other by my feet. One of them asked the other, "What is the ailment of this man?" The other replied, 'He has been bewitched" The first asked, 'Who has bewitched him?' The other replied, 'Lubaid bin Al-A'sam.' The first one asked, 'What material has he used?' The other replied, 'A comb, the hair gathered on it, and the outer skin of the pollen of the male date-palm.' The first asked, 'Where is that?' The other replied, 'It is in the well of Dharwan.' " So, the Prophet went out towards the well and then returned and said to me on his return, "Its date-palms (the date-palms near the well) are like the heads of the devils." I asked, "Did you take out those things with which the magic was worked?" He said, "No, for I have been cured by Allah and I am afraid that this action may spread evil amongst the people." Later on the well was filled up with earth.

A quick point that must be made is that this incident had no effect with the revelation of the Quran.

Secondly Shamoun yet again quotes a text that does not disprove the Prophet Muhammad, but in point of fact proves that Muhammad (pbuh) is a true prophet.

This incident should not make Muslims have doubts, rather this incident should remove all doubts a Muslim can possible have, because note the most interesting part of this story:

Two persons came to me(in my dream) and sat, one by my head and the other by my feet. One of them asked the other, "What is the ailment of this man?" The other replied, 'He has been bewitched" The first asked, 'Who has bewitched him?' The other replied, 'Lubaid bin Al-A'sam.' The first one asked, 'What material has he used?' The other replied, 'A comb, the hair gathered on it, and the outer skin of the pollen of the male date-palm.' The first asked, 'Where is that?' The other replied, 'It is in the well of Dharwan.' " So, the Prophet went out towards the well and then returned and said to me on his return,

These two persons were angels, so the question must be asked, why would two angels of God come to a false prophet and tell him where to go and locate the material that was used for the black magic?

Also do not ignore the last part of the hadith were the prophet clearly states:

I asked, "Did you take out those things with which the magic was worked?" He said, "No, for I have been cured by Allah

So notice this crucial part, God himself cured the Prophet Muhammad (AS). And this incident is supposed to disprove Muhammad (pbuh) as a prophet? An incident where 2 angels come to Muhammad (pbuh) to tell him where to find the material used for the black magic, and an incident in which God himself helps and cures the prophet. In reality this incident completely proves the prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh).

Shamoun cannot simply brush these facts away, he cannot pick and choose which parts of the story he wants to use, and which parts he wants to ignore.

Either he accepts the whole story, thereby affirming God cured Muhammad (PBUH), or he simply never brings this up, he can't have his cake and eat it.

Thirdly, there is a whole moral and wisdom behind this story, and the wisdom behind this story is that if we are afflicted with some sort of evil then we must look and turn to Allah for the help and cure, because Allah is the only one who can protect and save us. This is the entire basis of this incident, that we put all our faith and trust in Allah.

As Allah himself says in the Noble Quran:

And put thy trust in Allah, and enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs. (33:3)

"For my Protector is Allah, Who revealed the Book (from time to time), and He will choose and befriend the righteous. (7:196)

Nay, Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers. (3:150)

Lastly, all of us will be tested by God, including the prophet himself, therefore it should not surprise us if harm comes to the prophet, as the Quran says:

Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? they encountered suffering and adversity, and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! Verily, the help of Allah is (always) near! (2:214)

Shamoun might say well why couldn't God just teach people to rely on him etc, why does he have to make someone go through it?

There are two reasons; firstly God himself has stated that he will test us, so that is why he makes us go through hardship and times of struggle.

Secondly, when someone goes through the incident and through the ordeal we can then greatly look at this incident for an example and help. The Prophet Muhammad is the example we look to, in both words and actions, hence when he went through this struggle we have the best and most excellent guide on how we should deal with such a struggle if we happen to fall into it. We have both the texts and actual physical examples on how to deal with both. Sometimes they say actions speak louder than words.

So Muslims in point of fact have excellent tools to combat evil, we have the Quranic and Sunnah teachings on how to protect ourselves.

Now let us deal with the verses Shamoun cited from his Bible, starting with:

"There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, "See what God has done!'" Numbers 23:23 NIV

The problem with this is that evil did affect true believers of God; a great example would be the prophet Job. Let us read the first book of Job from the Bible itself:

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

So as we read, the Prophet Job is a great believer in God, and that there is no one else like him in the land. God even tells Satan about how great Job is which leads Satan to his challenging of God, Satan alleges that the only reason why Job is such a great believer is because God has blessed him, and that if Job was afflicted with harm he would renegade against God. So God takes Satan on his challenge and puts all of Job’s possessions and family in the hands and power of Satan!

Satan eventually causes havoc, destroying many of Job's farmlands, and even killing his family members. So as you can see Job was greatly affected by the evil forces, he lost everything, and that was the point of it all. God was testing his Job, just like God was testing the Prophet Muhammad and using him as an example for us to follow in times of hardship.

Now it doesn't end there, Satan continues to cause havoc in the Book of Job chapter 2, we read:

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

So since Satan failed at the first attempt, he comes back for more, and this time he is after Job's health. As you can see Satan challenges God alleging that the only reason why Job is such a great believer is because he basically has good health, the skin and bone. So after this God puts the health of Job in Satan's hand!

So notice what has happened to Job, Satan has destroyed his livelihood, killed his family, and has now affected his health. So does this make Job a false prophet? Off course not, God was simply testing his servant, to see how he would react when everything went wrong. The same applies to the Prophet Muhammad.

Essentially when God says that true believers will not be affected by evil this means that in the general sense evil will never completely harm or destroy us. Evil may sometimes temporarily affect us, but in the long term God's true believers will be saved and rescued by God. So it is in that sense that God's believers will not be affected by evil.

Now what about Shamoun's second verse that he quoted from the Bible which says:

"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.' He replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits 
submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'" Luke 10:17-20 NIV

Yet as we all know the disciples and followers of Jesus were harmed and affected by evil. So according to Shamoun's narrow interpretation this means that they were false men of God.

We all however know the interpretation is not so narrow, but is as I said above, that in the general sense evil will never affect us. Evil will only temporarily affect us, but eventually in the end the believer will come out victorious.

So this concludes part two and Shamoun's second proposition. His second proposition in no way refutes Muhammad (pbuh) as a true prophet. In reality all Shamoun ended up doing was disproving other men of God, such as Job, and the disciples, whom he supposedly believes in as true men of God. 

 

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