THE REAL MUHAMMAD?
Jumādā al-Awwal/Jumādā al-Ākhirah 1427
This year has been one of increasing tension in the English speaking countries for Muslims. Attacks on Islam have been brought about by numerous factors. Some of these attacks were due to the vindictive nature of researchers, Orientalists, newspaper writers and the like.
But still other aggressive malcontents had previously given Muslims a fair shake. But upon viewing our behaviour and unwillingness to explain or defend our faith in the face of opposition, these neutral observers have come off the fence and joined the revilers of Islam.
Those claiming or hand picked to ‘represent Islam’ have done little to remedy the problem, but rather have turned up the volume on the ‘Islam means peace’ propaganda machine. [i] The tune, although catchy and easy to hum by schoolchild and adult alike, has fallen out of the top twenty greatest hits for the unbelievers in the United States and the United Kingdom.
They have seen very little of the peace that Islam is supposed to offer. Sceptics tend to see that some Muslims, while espousing peace, are at times speaking with two tongues. [ii] This anomaly does us no end of harm in attempting to present a saving faith to a lost world.
The present battle in our midst revolves around the person of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Since his first being prophesied up until the day he died and after, he has been a constant source of study, along with the revelation that he received. [iii]
The struggle in presenting him to the world continues along with the realisation that most of the world has been given a circus mirror perception of him. At times, polemicists against Islam have made attacks so fanciful it is astonishing that someone could take them as ‘gospel truth.’ [iv]
Although the attacks levelled against the character, essence and person of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, are a myriad, it is possible to distil them to as little as three in number which, depending on the century, vie with one another for prominence in the mind of scoffers towards Islam.
The first of these is that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was a renegade priest of the Arian[v] heresy that built Islam on this peculiar belief. [vi] The first recorded documentation for this allegation can be traced to a figure known as St. John of Damascus, [vii] who perceived the link between the heresy of Islam and Christianity as resting in the rise of Arianism.
The link came, John of Damascus posited, by his coming into contact with Arianism in Arabia and/or perhaps in a more limited form from Bahīrah the monk. After this encounter, he then began to take these doctrines, shaping and Arabising them into something palatable to the Arabs. The outcome of this was Islam. [viii]
But the problems for John of Damascus and those who support this are many in number when attempting to find evidence.
We find no definite evidence of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, having access to Arian literature before, during or after revelation.
Attempting to use Bahīrah the monk as an evidence would further complicate matters for the hypothesis as we neither have material sources proving Bahīrah’s Arian pretensions nor the site where he lived being known for or familiar with such doctrines. And further to this, Bahīrah had abandoned his Christian faith and admitted its’ falsehood and was pleased to find the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, when he was a young boy with his uncle on a business trip to Syria.
This hardly sounds like the description of an Arian apologist, who would also hold strong Christian views, although major doctrinal variances would abound. Then there is the problem of finding Arian beliefs in either the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, or Bahīrah the monk. Arian beliefs would include things such as the Lord and Christ being of like substance, the Holy Spirit being a force, Christ being eternal and the creator of all things although created in time.
Examination of the Qur’ān, the Sunnah and the texts of the first three generations will turn up no such beliefs. Orthodox Muslims have also never believed that the soul is extinguished at death, as Arius and his followers then and now espouse. Those who amend their statement and call the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, a Catholic cardinal or renegade also trouble themselves more than anyone else.
Again the issue of material sources for these assertions enters the conversation. Then there are foundational things necessarily unique to Catholicism that would have to be found in Islam in order for the hypothesis to transform into a fact.
Catholic doctrines such as purgatory, salvation by with the sacraments of the Church, veneration of images, the Pope as logical successor the Christ and expositor of doctrine and second part of the trinity on Earth while the son is in heaven, the Lord having a triune essence while being one in description and other doctrines are not found in the Qur’ān, Sunnah or first three generations.
In the faith of Allah, salvation by faith alone-which is from the Mercy of Allah and not deeds-is why and how one enters the Paradise. The Lord is Unique and One, displaying or depicting animal or human life is blameworthy, Allah neither resembles the creation nor vice versa, there is no purgatory and no one scholar or layman is the final authority on revelation or its’ application.
Those attempting to present the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, in this light damage themselves more than anyone else with the scant resources and material sources at their disposal to prove such outstanding claims.
The second theory is more direct without any pleasantries or even an attempt at being conciliatory. This theory is mainly that Satan led him astray and that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, did not know who the True God was from the false one.
But this brings more questions than it solves as there are numerous references in the Qur’ān to resisting Satan and the Word of Allah never being influenced by Satan. [ix]
That being said, it is also known that Satan and his allies call people to idolatry and pushes them to commit it,[x] yet we find a constant campaign against idolatry and the insistence on One True Lord and Salvation by faith alone, the building blocks of faith and the primordial covenant from the beginning of time.
Still another problem with saying that Satan is the source of revelation is that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, from all available data, never took part in any idolatry or evil in which one would hand themselves over to Satan, be it in worship, belief or deed.
There is just no source material for this at all. If such a thing did not exist, there is no way to accuse him of succumbing when he remained like this his entire life. He was known among his people for not taking part in evil things in society, be it religion or other things.
Still others assert that he was neither a priest, cardinal, sincerely deceived nor a false prophet led by the devil, but simply a profligate man searching for political gains and power among his people. According to those looking at him, he wallowed in the sins and excesses of his time, devising solutions that would only insinuate him into political power and put him as head of state over his people.
This could only be done if he pursued power relentlessly. Keeping this belief in mind, there are startling realities that emerge with regards to holding such an assumption. If the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was seeking political power, he took the long and arduous rather than the short way to do it.
He and some 500 other Muslims in Makkah for 13 years were tortured, beaten in the streets like public spectacles, crucified, raped, left for dead, burned under the heat of the sun, starved until they ate the leather from their own shoes, shunned by their families, stripped of all assets and their accounts frozen.
The solution to these maladies could have been realised when the senators of the Quraish came to him and stated that they would give him kingship, women and wealth if he desired it, but to just desist from this mission. His reply was less than unifying, “If you put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand so I would stop my mission, I wouldn’t stop unless I was victorious or killed in the process.” [xi]
Why do something like this when the offer was on hand? So he continued going through several more years of torture until he had to flee the city with the 500 or more Muslims. He was even offered a treaty in which both the Muslims and idol worshippers could worship their gods freely, one year being delegated to each religious group.
At the end, if either group was convinced of the other’s religious claims, they could always convert to their religion of choice. But again, rather than take such a worldly and profane course of action, he chose to repeat what had been given as revelation,
Unbelievers! I do not worship what you worship and you will not worship what I worship. I will not worship what you are worshipping nor will you worship what I am worship. You have your religion and I have mine. [xii]
Had he been seeking the pleasures of this life in the 13 years of austerity he was subjected to in Makkah, now would have been the time to come to the table for negotiations. But rather than do that, he refused on principled grounds that he was preaching an infallible faith.
This again leaves cracks in the argument for his being worldly and addicted to this life. Even arguments for his being mentally unstable, a child molester and the like are weakened due to lack of material evidence and also the blemishless record he had held in front of his own people and all others that came in contact to visit him.
In forty years of living amongst his people, had something been unfavourable or capable of lowering his status or challenging his claims to prophethood, it would have seen the light of day.
But the fact is that no such thing has happened. Much of the modern arguments surrounding the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, gush forward from a long ago depleted spring that first existed at his coming.
But what is disturbing is not that idol worshippers and unbelievers have and are continually attacking him. This is to be expected, as exercising of their job description as unbelievers includes things such as these in reality.
But what is worrying is that Muslims who are supposed to be in the field of apologetics have faltered when faced with these glaring accusations. Leaders in the English speaking countries by and large side step them, attempt to get those who publish such material banned or legally stopped from publishing.
Some picket offices that publish or release these attacks, some Muslims have even resulted to pie throwing and smear campaigns, the cyberspace realm being full with junk mail petitions and sign up fees for different committees and think tanks.
Then there are those who just cut to the chase and kill people, in broad daylight while out shopping with their family or in the park. In this way, other people will learn that, “Islam means peace,” but only those saying it is peace possess it.
All of these people listed above have done everything but respond to the reality of what is being stated about the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. In between burning things and killing people not involved or who could easily be refuted, the skill and know how to defeat falsehood is no longer extent, but in the absence of this skill, blind violence is used.
This is when their normal two ways of apologetics fail. Once someone has received ‘the truth,’ then they still don’t subscribe, the only option left is to use your hands or trigger finger to speak.
Let us examine the methods of apologetics used by the bankrupt organisations in the United States, United Kingdom and so on, so perhaps we can understand why in the face of scrutiny some Muslims are resorting to violence.
A method that is currently taking shape in circles of debate is to mythologise the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. In an attempt to preserve his status and the rank he holds in the hearts of Muslims, he has been taken and divorced from the reality of prophecy and his mission, but in a way that seemingly complements him.
He is the ‘Beloved of Allah,’ the ‘Chosen One,’ a ‘Light’ and other titles. While these titles are indeed true and he has been given them, these descriptions are being used with a purpose in mind.
People are interested in the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, of mythology, in which we live our lives as best we can according to our own means and motives.
Whether in the office, acting as a mortgage consultant at a realty agency or as a fighter pilot in the military dropping bombs on the homes of non-combatants, each one of these ‘lovers of the Prophet’ loves the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, in a special way.
They do not overburden themselves with things of the outward such as prayer, pilgrimage, fasting, salvation and other subjects. [xiii]
Rather, they are concerned with the essence of things, the personage of the one that is ‘the Beloved.’ Thus at the time when the month of Rabi` al-Awwal comes, the pageantry of the event is in evidence on the day the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was born.
Families will arrive at the masjid early in the morning or the afternoon, sitting in while fattening foods of all shapes, colours and sizes are prepared so that the congregants might engorge themselves.
Lecture after lecture goes ahead, sometimes singing, chanting and swaying to commemorate the day. For that day, the people seem awestruck. Some sing or dedicate poetic tributes to the Beloved and sing his praises, as their time for fifteen minutes of fame and to shine in the spotlight has come.
Scholars, dignitaries and other elders come from across the country to be greeted like popes and vicars for this once in a year extravaganza. Upon arrival, these dignitaries scream, roar like camels, sing poetry and quatrains of various lengths, all to put ‘love of the Prophet in the hearts of the people.’
Upon completion of the day’s festivities, the food is either kept in the masjid kitchen to rot or sent home with some congregants to rot in their refrigerators. And where do the participants return to?
Home, to the house where upon entrance they are greeted with the ornately designed Qur’ān wrapped in white linen, [xiv] sitting high on the shelf away from the people. It beckons to ears that will not listen.
The house remains conspicuously silent from prayer, the rattling of noise and cheer being for various entertainments but the graveyard referred to as home stays dank, the souls of those creatures rotting, awaiting the same process to overtake the body.
Each day while they roll in their metal coffins on the way to work, they remain woefully and tragically ignorant of the reality of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him; the commands, the prohibitions, the prophecies, the warnings, the advice that he brought lost in the mists of mythology.
The exalted status of his remains unrealised while children are sexual abused in Qur’ān classes, wives beaten at home, daughters sexually abused by their fathers, uncles and or family friends and other horrors so severe as to shed doubt on the Islam of those involved. [xv]
With all of these events taking place in front of the Qur’ān, one wonders how the life changing message can pierce the heart when the light has been covered, the truth muted and the sweetness of faith having nothing remaining but a bitter swig, to be taken every so often when the Qur’ān is taken out of exile, chanted with longing and then replaced to its’ cell, incarcerated until the next event where its’ jailer summons it.
It is many of these that have succumbed to the cults, in which using violence to defend truth in any circumstance, is the most feasible way to show one loves Islam. But in reality, they are just as filled with doubt and guilt as they were before joining the cult.
But the cult attempts to offer uniformity, certainty, discipline and clear guidelines, something that the mythologisers of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, fail to do. [xvi]
Just as those who mythologise the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, into becoming the Logos, [xvii]so others as a reaction to the behaviour displayed, swing the pendulum in the other direction. This leads to the crass lowering of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, from the greatest man who ever lived, to ‘just another prophet, like all the rest.’
In the estimation of those involved, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, becomes the quirky post man, delivering the Qur’ān to humanity’s mail box as if a delightful little sprit and quietly striding into the sunset to await death.
After all, the Qur’ān has been revealed. The Sunnah is with us. We don’t need him, do we? One can repeatedly hear them mouth in dialogue with unbelievers, almost as if under hypnosis, “You see, all the prophets came, from the first to the last. Muhammad is just the last, that’s it. He’s the last prophet, just the same as all of them. ”
When pressed by Christian missionaries, the Muslim apologist of this ilk will often concede that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, ‘made mistakes,’ ‘fell short’ and even ‘committed sins,’ as after all he was a human being and so are the rest of us. We all make mistakes. [xviii]
They are aware of all of what the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, forbid, abstained from, but they know nothing of what he gave back, contributed or restored to the souls of men that for ages had been lost in the clutches of idolatry. What did this man physically look like? What was the salvation that he brought? How were hearts edified with his message? How was the divine order restored and what place did he hold in prophecy?
Questions such as these and more remain unanswered along with the questions of how to reconcile sin to a Just God, how the relationship between man and Creator is repaired, how one can be sure they are saved and numerous other matters that are neglected.
This is the Muhammad of those who preach the lawgiver prophet. This Muhammad being preached is cold, calculated, a law spewing machine, but with no substance, no context, no hope for humanity. It’s all fear, loathing, removing a limb or taking a life.
And it is with great consternation that these people see unbelievers turn away from the faith after they have offered them a truck load of laws, political views on the Middle East and uncertainty regarding salvation, restoration of a relationship with their Creator, an opportunity to feel loved by the one who made them.
Those in this dilemma are able to hold the seething militancy required for this type of apologetic for only some time. But then, they may revert to previous manners and some may be lost to false religions. Some may die violently, out of desperation. [xix]
What other option would there be for a people who are believing in a prophet in which they suppress, explain away or remove his miracles for fear of committing idolatry by venerating a human being in any way, shape or form but to withdraw from their faith, confused and bewildered?
Not long after, if still in the faith, these apologists begin to see the Prophet Muhammad as just Muhammad. He becomes no different than your uncle, cousin, green grocer or local bartender. This is an utter failure and shame.
The fact of the matter is the two methods of religious apologetics in these countries are bankrupt and without direction or a way to go forward because their apologetics were faulty from the start.
When the method of defense wasn’t sufficient, desperation becomes the only key to ‘winning.’ Both groups even slip in their presentation of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, hiding that shining light from the people by ignoring him. [xx]
But to present the light, we need to know what it is for ourselves. Out of the two groups of callers to Islam, if they were asked to give a physical description of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, then the core of his message, how would they perform?
Would they flunk on their Last Prophet 101 exam? Could they even answer the questions? This is something that needs to be foremost in our mind. When we proceed to this lost world, we need to be clear on what and who we are presenting. Who was the recipient of this revelation?
He was the Messenger of Allah,[xxi] the Prophet,[xxii] the enfolded one,[xxiii] the one wrapped up,[xxiv] the slave[xxv] and more than eighty other names. He was that very one. He was promised before the ages. He said about himself, “I am the first prophet created and the last one sent.” [xxvi]
He is more than just, ‘another prophet in the beginning of the line,’ he is the line, the beginning and the end. He is not like other prophets. He does not imitate other prophets. They are like him. They are imitating him. He is the prism while they are the rays of light coming through it. [xxvii]
This man we are referring to is not just, ‘Muhammad,’ he is ‘the Prophet Muhammad.’ His stature is such that in the revelation, Allah does not call or summon him by his full name. Compare this with the prophets Ādam, Nūh, Ibrāhīm, Lūt, Mūsā, Īsā and others whom Allah called by their first names when summoning them to his presence.
In fact, Allah has told believers not to do this and to always affix his prophetic title before his name. He, Allah, says of this,
Do not summon or call the Messenger as you would call one another. [xxviii]
Other prophets, we have been told by Allah that after their name we are to say, ‘peace be upon him.’ But after the name of the last prophet, the primordial one, we are told something else,
Indeed Allah and His Angels send peace and blessings upon the Prophet. You who believe! Send peace and blessings upon him! [xxix]
It is due to this verse that after his name, we affix the phrase, ‘peace and blessings be upon him,’ and not, ‘peace be upon him,’ as with other prophets.
We must return to the historical Prophet, the one of history, promised to humanity. He is the one that illuminates the hearts, the explainer of revelation, the bringer of truth, the caller, the lamp, the illuminated, the Prophet, the Messenger, the Chosen One.
All of these and more are his titles that fit him. He is the Seal of the Prophets, the final brick in the structure, the ender of the chain, the primordial one. It is long over due that we present him to the world as he was and is, both illumination and man. He is not the logos, but neither is he the post man. He is both light and man, illumination and awesome human being.
He is everything a believer seeks to be when striving and seeking to obey Allah. He is the best adviser and role model when considering a business venture or important matter.
The best way to know more of him is to read the revelation given to him, examine his life as told by those who knew him and to look at how he actualised the Qur’ān, namely in his Sunnah, his conduct. Let us give him his due and believe in him, his status, his rank, but also obey him in what he left behind. Will we heed the words he brought as revelation?
Whatever the Messenger gives you, then take it. And whatever he forbids you from, abstain. [xxx]
May Allah make us of those that obey this command, in deed and action, rightly moving forward and presenting the Word of Allah along with the recipient of that truth.
Al-Hajj Abū Ja`far al-Hanbalī
[i] Such chanting and sloganeering has done little good to answer some of the more piecing questions that unbelievers have asked with regards to faith. These questions as of yet remain unanswered and are still met with reflected questions or hyperbole designed to shift the topic of the conversation to the foreign policy of English speaking countries rather than answering some valid concerns that are held by people in the US and the UK.
This is no more obvious than on live interviews in which ‘moderate-Muslim spokesman’ are put on the spot.
The writer remembers an interview in which it was asked to the spokesman why some Muslims, scholar and layman alike, have called for armed revolt against the Americans in Iraq while during Saddam’s reign (in which we are still finding mass graves that have yet to be equalled by the American forces in over all ferocity) such calls were by and large silent. The question was further asked why Muslims have yet to have satisfactorily dealt with violent forces amongst their own ranks.
Rather than answer the question directly, the queried began going into long winded response on the evil of the war, the atrocities of the Americans, foreign policy being a direct contributor to terrorism and any and everything else that was not germane to the question.
These little vignettes consistently lead some unbelievers to hold the position that Muslims (or at least those claiming to speak on their behalf) have something to hide regarding these seeming contradictions or perhaps have no answers.
[ii] One of these ambassadors was caught red handed by famous Jewish polemicist Melanie Philips. She presented him with speeches he had made in Arabic, calling Jews donkeys, swine, sons of pigs and other racist terms (none of which had any basis in revelation) while drawing attention to the fact that in English he seemed very conciliatory.
The ambassador, caught in his contradiction, resorted to the only refuge he had, that the one in question was ‘Islamaphobic’ and that this was part of the conspiracy to denigrate Islam. This is just one example of many where supposedly ‘level headed voices’ have had lectures brought to light showing them as anything but what they espouse to be on the world stage.
They would have us believe that lying squarely in the face of unbelievers in this manner is ‘hikmah (wisdom),’ but it is clear deception. Although unsaved, those who do not believe are not without intelligence. And they will come to judge us by what fruits we reveal to them.
[iii] In fact, one may read an excerpt in the Encyclopaedia Americana, p. 494, under the letter ‘K’ about the revelation that he received,
‘There is probably no other book in history, including the Bible, that has been so much studied and commented upon’
This studying over the revelation has of course triggered study of its’ recipient. Figures such as St. John of Damascus, RVC Bodley, W.J. Thackston, Alfred Guillaume, Sir William Muir, Joseph Schact, Bishop Kenneth Craig, Rev Coplestone, John Hagee, Dr. Walter Martin and scores of others have been compelled to mention something about this most important of historical figures in their writings or speeches passed down to us for posterity.
Although much of it might have been negative, the fact that they felt duty bound to make reference to this greatest of human beings shows a concern and interest in him as a subject.
[iv] One could refer to Pensées by Blaise Pascal (1623-1662 AD) or a collection of the speeches of Martin Luther (1483-1546 AD), known as What Luther Says. The ignorance of Islam displayed within the books of the two authors aforementioned is palpably absurd, considering these two historical figures are touted to be the most reformative and egalitarian voices of Christian Western thinking.
This woeful ignorance is especially shameful in the case of Martin Luther, who was exposed to Muslims for extended periods of time when he left Germany on evangelism missions to other countries, including Spain, where he was given an audience by then Holy Roman Emperor and Catholic Monarch, Charles V.
At that time, numerous theological inquests between Muslims and Christians were still taking place in the Iberian Peninsula as well as in Western Europe, so one wonders how being men of such stature-especially Luther-they could show themselves to be so obtuse regarding essentials of Islamic faith.
[v] 256-336 AD. Born in Libya of Berber parents, he was a leading Christian theologian who held the position that the son was not eternally God, subject to the will of the father and not of the same substance.
In addition, he posited that the Holy Spirit was the interface of revelation between God, the Son and man. Thus it was not strictly a person, but more accurately described-according to Arius-as the power of the Lord. The argument, although well put by Arius, was branded heresy by Athanasius and was later ratified as such at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
The Council, which was supposed to have a solidifying effect on the Christian doctrine and to isolate Arius, only achieved these objectives in part.
Although now marked as a dangerous heretic, the persuasive force of his arguments and the seeming inability of opposing Christian theologians to satisfactorily rout him in debate, his status was increased to that of a celebrity and Arianism did indeed spread to reach such people as the Visigoths, Ostrogoths as well as others, even after his death which Athanasians declared a miracle while supporters of Arius asserted foul play at hand.
The doctrine continues to be held, albeit in a limited form by Jehovah’s Witnesses, the NOI as well as the Christadelphians.
[vi] Those who are Greek, Syrian or Russian Orthodox and Coptic members have in recent centuries amended their charge to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, being a renegade Catholic priest or cardinal. To the writers knowledge, this position is still hold by most Greek Orthodox theologians, including the head of the Greek Orthodox in England and their representatives, who the author has met and had the opportunity to try to preach the faith. Much of their insistence on his being a renegade Catholic has to do with the deep animosity and wide gulf that permeates till this day the relationship between Catholics and the Orthodox and Coptic Churches.
[vii] 676-749 AD. Considered by Christians of all orientations to be a defender of the faith, John of Damascus or in Latin Johannes Damascenus Chrysorrhoas, John of Damascus, the Golden Speaker, was born in Damascus a generation after the Muslims under Ummayad rule had secured Syria under their authority.
His father was a Christian scholar and tax collector under the governance of the ruler of Syria and educated his son with the best Christian education possible after the Melkite rite of Christianity. John of Damascus was known for his piety and his unflinching defense of his religion, even debating with Muslim theologians, many of the remnants of these dialogues being written down in his works.
He died in his monastery a few miles from the city of Jerusalem, where he had made his home in his final years. Most of his works are now extent in the English language for those who desire to read how Christians in the early ages dealt with encounters with Muslim laity and their elite.
[viii] A vocal few of the Muslim preachers in the United States and United Kingdom have not helped in the last two decades by their claiming that Arius was a ‘pre-Muhammad Muslim’ and that this was the reason for the Christian persecution of Arianism. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The writer has repeatedly attempted to warn these ‘reformers’ and ‘renewers’ of Islam to verify such claims before charging into the battlefield with Satan and his army but by and large these suggestions have fallen upon deaf ears. Upon crowning Arius and his ideas as proto-Islamic, Christian accusations of heresy and Islam being a slavish copy work of Christianity and Judaism were more easily founded, as Muslims did their work for them.
The oversight of these Orthodox Muslims (in their well meaning zeal) not doing sufficient research into the issue at hand caused them to be lumped in with groups such as the Mormons (LDS Church), Jehovah’s Witnesses, NOI and the Christadelphians as just another poor Xerox copy of Christianity.
Those claiming Arius and his teachings to be compatible with Islam have also themselves fallen into theological problems, or at least shown their ignorance of the faith of Islam, Arius, his ideas or all three.
Arius claiming that there was one god is not sufficient proof to crown him a Muslim and to pray for him as some Muslims have, for the Egyptians who worshipped Aton also believed him to be ONE. The Hindus who worship Brahma believe him to be ONE.
The Sikhs believe their deity to be ONE. The mere statement that one believes their god is one does not then infer that it is the One True Lord over all. If one is worshipping ONE god, what if it is the wrong ONE and you are lost and without a relationship with the true ONE who spoke at Mt. Sinai and down through the ages to 124,000 prophets? The consequence is clear.
And what is more, the fact of Allah being ONE was not all Arius said. He also stated that he believed that although Jesus Christ was created at one point in time, he was and is still the creator of all the worlds before time and before being begotten.
Arius also maintained that there was no trinity, but actually a monarch. At the top of the monarchy was God the Father, below him was the Son and then the active mover of revelation was the Holy Spirit. Thus although rejecting the trinity, he asserted monarchism in faith, in addition to affirming that although God the Father and the Son were not of the same substance, they were of like substance.
A careful read of these and other statements will prove that from the standpoint of a Muslim, Arius and his counterparts are just as idolatrous as other Christians, although more intellectually defended and explained. And it is due to our ignorance of these and other works that we have been led to believe by some Muslim apologists that Christadelphians and Jehovah’s Witnesses are closer to faith when they are just as much in the wilderness of idolatry as the rest of their companions in the world. Fortunately, Arius’s works and research on them have been translated into many languages and can be accessed by any student to verify the claims made by the writer.
[ix] Please see sūrahs al-Isrā (17), āyah 88;al-Hajj (22), āyah 52; Takwīr (81), āyah 25
[x] cf. Sūrahs Al-An`ām (6), āyah 112; Saba (34), āyāt 40-41; Al-Jinn (72), āyāt 1-5; Maryam (19), āyāt 44-45; Al-Hajj (22), āyāt 3-4; Yā Sīn (36), āyāt 60-62; Ibrāhīm (14), āyah 22
[xi] Sirah Ibn Hishām, V. 1, pp. 260-266
[xii] Sūrat ul-Kāfirūn (109), āyāt 1-6
[xiii] ‘We may be non-practicing, but you can’t judge us,’ they rage at the common Muslim when he or she attempts to call them to righteousness and a relationship with Allah.
[xiv] Perhaps most disturbing is the striking similarity between the burial shroud that Muslims are buried in and the clean white linen many Muslims wrap the Qur’an in when placing it on the shelf. What does this say about how we feel about the Speech of Allah?
[xv] The things that the writer mentions are eye witness accounts that he has dealt with in the capacity of counselling or while preaching to Muslims who have become Christians and cite these as part of their impetus for leaving the faith. Statistics by independent and verifiable sources are available in libraries and other places for those who might consider a thorough research of the subject at hand.
[xvi] The writer has found that the vision that the mythologisers and their family have of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, is already severely out of proportion, to the point where he becomes the Logos. At times, segments of their ranks become offended when someone refers to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, as a human being.
This has been witnessed by the writer and other eye witnesses along with the fact that when someone seems to offer some sort of substance to what is being given, children of these individuals jump at the chance. And it is with this that some of the most cold blooded killers from our ranks, from the Dar ul-Islam movement all the way to the July 7, 2005 bombers have had some that came from this background.
They searched for some truth outside of the King Arthur legends surrounding the greatest man who ever lived and stepped forward into falsehood. Rather than foreign policy faux pas, it has been the Muslim domestic family policy that has produced some of the worst theological sociopaths the world has seen in this decade.
[xvii] The Logos in Christian theology refers to the doctrine that the pre-incarnate Christ before being on Earth was the Word of God literally, “god from god, light from light, true god from true god,” as the Creeds of Christendom run. It is he whom the Christians ask for forgiveness of sins, rain, food, salvation and the like.
The reason why the author mentions this is that some Muslims come dangerously close to this when mythologising the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The language and imagery begin to sound similar to a point where when one reads the Athanasian Creed and listens to such speech, care has to be taken to differentiate.
The writer is in no way saying that those involved are no longer believers and unbelievers, but rather that what they have done is blameworthy and does nothing for the rank of the Last Prophet.
[xviii] It may be they did not realise, but they walked right into the plan of the People of the Book, which is to impute sin to prophets. The Christians especially would readily agree with such sentiment as they believe that Jesus is God and not a prophet, thus all fall short of the glory of god. ‘So if Muhammad made mistakes,’ they query, ‘how can you depend on him when you’re in just as much error?’
[xix] It may be of note that Wafa Idris, a female suicide bomber, was described by her brother on the BBC in an interview after the events as ‘not being very religious, never being known to be religious.
She did her job and came home.’ He went on to describe that she never showed any signs of religiosity, not even prayer, even up until her death. She was often depressed and spent time in isolation. It is cases like these where we want to take people who dread and fear Allah and also give them hope in Him as well.
[xx] This is particular disturbing as his name is actually in the Testimony of Faith, the statement being, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” In many instances one can witness people talking to people about Allah and His Magnitude and greatness, as well as the prophets, peace be upon them, how they have come in a chain one after the other down through the ages.
They usually end their presentation with, “So you see, Muhammad is no different than them, he is just the last one, that’s all.” It is this jaded and terribly untrue statement that leads many astray. If he was the same or of equal value as the rest of the prophets, there would be no point in him being created first, sent last and his being given gifts that other prophets never possessed.
Primarily, this type of speech is connected with an attitude of desiring to avoid revealing the rank of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, to the people.
Some are afraid of the questions it will bring while others may not be sure who it is they are presenting in explaining the faith. Should it not be strange to any bystander that they preach belief in a Book and a Lord that was preached by a certain man and then say little or nothing of that man?
All of this rests on the singular and pivotal influence of one man, yet we so capriciously hide him and conceal his identify. Why? Are we ashamed of him by hiding him in the mists of mythology? Could it be that those claiming the most zeal and love for him really don’t know him at all, but just about him?
[xxi] Sūrat ul-A`raf (7), āyāt 157-158
[xxii] Sūrat ul-Ahzab (33), āyah 59
[xxiii] Sūrat ul-Muzzammil (73), āyah 1
[xxiv] Sūrat ul-Muddath-thir (74), āyah 1
[xxv] Sūrat un-Najm (53), āyah 10
[xxvi] Collected by Imam at-Tirmidhi in his Sunan and classified as sahih. This statement was actually made in conjunction with Sūrahs Ali Imran (3), āyah 81, Sūrat ul-Ahzab (33), āyah 7 where two of the five prophets mentioned were in chronological order but he was referred to before them.
When asked why this was the case, he replied with the statement quoted previously. Although the last prophet, he was created first, prophesied and looked forward to from the beginning of the ages down until the very day that he appeared.
[xxvii] It is at this point that someone may start to believe that the writer, by stating the level of the Messengerof Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is actually denigrating other prophets, due to the Words of Allah, “We make no distinction between any one of the messengers.” Sūrat ul-Baqarah (2), āyah 285.
However the writer is not denigrating any of the other prophets, but stating the fact that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, is greater than the other prophets, the first of them and the last sent. As far as the āyah mentioned above and others like it, if read in context the reader will find that the text is in reference to acceptance of all the prophets and messengers, without denying one and then accepting others.
As far as preferring some over others, the Lord Himself stated that some are preferred or better than others when he said, Of the Messengers, some We preferred over others. Some of them Allah spoke to directly while some of them He raised in degrees. Sūrat ul-Baqarah (2), āyah 254. When reading the context of this passage, one can see that Allah has made some Messengers greater than others. We accept this without denying or denigrating the others.
[xxix] Sūrat ul-Ahzab (33), āyah 56
[xxx] Surat ul-Hashr (59), ayah 7.