Paul in Islam

The False Apos­tle : Paul Of Tar­sus In Islam

The pur­pose of this brief arti­cle is to show that Paul, the self-acclaimed apos­tle” whom the Chris­tians fol­low, has no place in Islam at all. Mus­lims believe that between the time peri­ods of the Prophet Jesus(P) and the Prophet Muham­mad(P), no Mes­sen­ger of God had come between them, whether to the Gen­tiles or the Jews. This is based on an agreed hadith record­ed by Imam Mus­lim and Imam Bukhari, as follows :

Vol­ume 4, Book 55, Num­ber 651 :

Nar­rat­ed Abu Huraira : I heard Allah’s Apos­tle say­ing, I am the near­est of all the peo­ple to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are pater­nal broth­ers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus).” 

We know of only one man who claimed to be a mes­sen­ger of God in this inter­ven­ing peri­od. That man was called Paul, for­mer­ly known as Saul, of Tarsus.

Self-Pro­claimed Apos­tle of Jesus

Accord­ing to the Chris­tians, Paul of Tar­sus was an apos­tle of Jesus”. Jesus(P) had alleged­ly appeared to him in a vision” as God and chose him as his apos­tle”. Hence, Paul is also a mes­sen­ger” of God because Jesus(P) is believed to be God. It is said that Paul was sent to the Gen­tiles” to preach to them the Gospel, i.e. he has been entrust­ed with the task of preach­ing” with a mes­sage (Gala­tians 2:7 – 10).

Since Paul claimed that he was sent by Jesus(P) to the nations with a par­tic­u­lar mes­sage, it, there­fore, fol­lows that he is a mes­sen­ger”, and hence he uses the title apos­tle” for himself. 

Quotes from the New Tes­ta­ment where the title apos­tle” is applied to him are as follows :

  • Paul, a ser­vant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apos­tle and set apart for the gospel of God…” (Romans 1:1)
  • Paul, called to be an apos­tle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…” (1 Corinthi­ans 1:1)
  • Paul, an apos­tle — sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God, the Father…” (Gala­tians 1:1)

Thus we see that based on the ear­li­er hadith cit­ed from Bukhari and Mus­lim, Islam clear­ly denies the so-called apos­tle­ship” of Paul and dis­pute his claim that he was ever an apos­tle of God”, as he lived between the time peri­ods of Jesus(P) and Muham­mad(P).

How­ev­er, the mis­sion­ary Sam Shamoun took excep­tion to this and pro­ceed­ed to state oth­er­wise in his arti­cle.

Mis­sion­ary Con­fu­sion Between His­tor­i­cal Records and the Theological

One of the claims that the mis­sion­ary Shamoun made is that Paul was appar­ent­ly recog­nised” as a true fol­low­er of Jesus(P), sim­ply because he was men­tioned in Mus­lim records of the Sir­ah. Accord­ing to the missionary :

    Con­tem­po­rary Mus­lims […] may deny the apos­tle­ship of Paul, but the first Mus­lims did not as the fol­low­ing cita­tions con­clu­sive­ly prove

He then pro­ceeds to quote cita­tions from sources which are mere­ly the record of his­to­ri­ans, and they were not even from Mus­lim the­olo­gians regard­ing the posi­tion of Paul in Islam. Even then, some of his quotes are at best spu­ri­ous and decep­tive. Con­sid­er the cita­tion which the mis­sion­ary has pro­vid­ed to us from the trans­la­tion of Ibn Ishaq’s Sir­at Rasul Allah :

Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, both dis­ci­ples and those who came after them, in the land were : Peter the dis­ci­ple and Paul with him, (Paul belonged to the fol­low­ers and was not a dis­ci­ple) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the can­ni­bals ; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east ; Philip to Carthage and Africa ; John to Eph­esus the city of the young men of the cave ; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanc­tu­ary ; Bartholomew to Ara­bia which is the land of Hijaz ; Simon to the land of Berbers ; Judah who was not one of the dis­ci­ples was put in place of Judas.1

Com­pare the above descrip­tion of the dis­ci­ples of Jesus(P) with the accounts in Acts and you would find the rel­e­vant par­al­lels. Apart from the fact that Ibn Ishaq clear­ly wrote that Paul was not a dis­ci­ple of Jesus(P), the foot­note to this pas­sage also says :

The form of the names shows that the source was Greek. It prob­a­bly came to I. I. through Syr­i­ac.2

So what does this tell us ? It shows that Ibn Ishaq had mere­ly record­ed this as a state­ment of his­to­ry based on a sec­ondary source from the account in Acts which was either the Greek or the Syr­i­ac, and not from an Islam­ic view­point. This we can see as stat­ed in the Intro­duc­tion of the same work, that :

Occa­sion­al­ly, he [Ibn Ishaq] insert­ed vers­es in his nar­ra­tive, and some­times gives his own opin­ion.3

Thus we see the decep­tion that this mis­sion­ary has no doubt instilled in his twist­ing of Ibn Ishaq’s work. The rest of his cita­tions from Mus­lim his­to­ri­ans, we repeat, also affirm that Paul was mere­ly a fol­low­er of Peter, and not a dis­ci­ple of Jesus(P).4

Con­clu­sions : Paul In Islam

So what do the ear­ly Mus­lim the­olo­gians say about Paul in Islam ? The real­i­ty is that the ear­ly Mus­lims the­olo­gians recog­nised that Paul was a hyp­ocrite and the cor­rupter of the reli­gion we know today as Chris­tian­i­ty”.

We hence would like to sum up the posi­tion of Paul in Islam with the words of the emi­nent Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H), that :

This is just like what Paul fab­ri­cat­ed when he entered into the Reli­gion of Chris­tian­i­ty in order to cor­rupt the Reli­gion of the Chris­tians.5

Ash-Shahratain (d. 1153), a the­olo­gian of the Asharite school, echoes the above words of Ibn Taymiyyah by stat­ing that :

Paul, how­ev­er, dis­or­dered his affair, made him­self (Peter’s) part­ner, altered the basis of his knowl­edge, and mixed it with the argu­ment of the philoso­phers and the (evil) sug­ges­tion of his heart.6

In con­clu­sion, while Paul holds a sig­nif­i­cant place in Chris­tian­i­ty, his role with­in the purview of Islam is fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent. Islam, based on both the­o­log­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tions and his­tor­i­cal records, refutes his self-pro­claimed apos­tle­ship. And only God knows best ! Endmark

Cite this arti­cle as : Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, The False Apos­tle : Paul Of Tar­sus In Islam,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Octo­ber 7, 2005, last accessed Feb­ru­ary 28, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​c​h​r​i​s​t​i​a​n​i​t​y​/​p​a​u​l​-​o​f​-​t​a​r​s​u​s​-​i​n​-​i​s​l​am/
  1. A. Guil­laume (trans.), The Life of Muham­mad : A Trans­la­tion of Ibn Ishaq’s Sir­at Rasul Allah, p. 653[]
  2. ibid.[]
  3. ibid., Intro­duc­tion, p. xv[]
  4. This is con­sis­tent with the record­ing of the activ­i­ties of Peter and Paul, as seen in the accounts giv­en in Acts, chap­ters 9 – 13.[]
  5. This state­ment was orig­i­nal­ly stat­ed by al-Laa­likaaiee (no. 2832) from ash-Shaibee. It was authen­ti­cat­ed by Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in Min­haa­jus-Sun­nah (1÷29) and he point­ed out the ear­li­er schol­ars who did this. It was declared hasan by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari(12÷270).[]
  6. As quot­ed by William Mont­gomery Watt, Mus­lim-Chris­t­ian Encoun­ters : Per­cep­tions and Mis­con­cep­tions (Rout­ledge, 1991), p. 69[]


18 responses to “The False Apos­tle : Paul Of Tar­sus In Islam”

  1. Lewis Tagliaferre Avatar
    Lewis Tagliaferre

    All very learned com­ments. After my search for the truth I con­clude there must be a High­er Pow­er above all the world reli­gions that cre­at­ed them all as well as every­thing from atoms to galax­ies includ­ing all the life species on earth. The Most-High GOD is men­tioned rarely in the Bible but it is in there a few times. I per­ceive this form of GOD as the Prime Force in the Uni­verse, the Gen­er­a­tor, Oper­a­tor, Destroy­er of all that was, is, and will be. Noth­ing can hap­pen out­side of its Will — which includes all these argu­ments about it. Jesus said there will be wars and rumors of wars, but the end is not yet. All in GOD’s will of course. This I call theofatalism.

  2. Ibrahim Avatar

    Paul was false…, he only used the gen­tiles to dis­tort the mes­sage of christ…

  3. Oginni David Avatar
    Oginni David

    I don’t still know what is the inter­est of islam in Chris­tian­i­ty. There are oth­er reli­gion in the world that you can argue with . I wish the islam world knew the impact of Apos­tle paul in his life time, stop call­ing him names.

  4. Mini Avatar

    What a mis­lead­ing arti­cle ! No oth­er mes­sen­ger appeared between Jesus and Muham­mad ? What about the 12 apos­tles whom Jesus com­mand­ed to go preach the gospel to Israel, Samaria and all ends of the earth ? The apos­tles them­selves could­n’t do this work alone (going to 4 cor­ners of the whole globe) so this obvi­ous­ly meant oth­er dis­ci­ples under them.

    One of them, the most pro­duc­tive, was Paul of Tarsus.
    And this work con­tin­ues until the gospel is preached to all nations and then the end shall come. 

    Sor­ry, so Bukhari says no oth­er mes­sen­ger is to be there until 500 years lat­er when Muham­mad arrives ? You got duped. The gospel can’t wait that long. And Muham­mad did­n’t even come to preach the gospel but some­thing entire­ly dif­fer­ent, that oppos­es it.

    1. Jibreel Avatar

      Prophet Muham­mad saw restored monothe­ism, after fake apos­tles like Paul, the prophe­cised rav­en­ous wolf from Gen­e­sis 49:27 btw, deformed the religion.

      A mes­sen­ger is some­one who receives rev­e­la­tion, not a dis­ci­ple who is taught, like Peter or James… peace be upon them.

      Paul did­n’t EVER meet Jesus pbuh, he claimed he had rev­e­la­tion” of him, oth­er­wise, what did he preach ? He knew noth­ing more than the aver­age joe, he was­n’t a dis­ci­ple so Jesus did­n’t teach him any­thing at all…

      He mixed Hel­lenis­tic con­cepts, like the divine son of God” con­cept, with Judaism and what­ev­er he might have got­ten from rumors…

      Like the Quran states, the truth is that nobody saw Jesus pbuh die on the cross, they were con­fused, some thought he died there, oth­ers not at all, it was chaos, then some peo­ple saw him alive, so they assumed he was res­ur­rect­ed, not at all…

      The­o­ries are open tho, but they did­n’t cru­ci­fy him, that’s facts, and you can’t prove oth­er­wise because every­thing you got is from Paul and ran­dom greek philoso­phers who wrote the 4 Gospels based on Paul and rumours of teach­ings of Jesus (which some are true btw, but not all the NT is like at all and some stuff if not the major­i­ty is unin­spired fab­ri­ca­tion and mis­quot­ing of the OT)

      Dur­ing the chaos, Paul took his change to fame… and he suc­ced­ed… did he believe in his claims ? He rec­og­nized he lied in Romans 3, and jus­ti­fied it… EXACTLY what Chris­t­ian fanat­ics do… like CP… I guess they are tru­ly legit fol­low­ers of Paul… not of Jesus pbuh…

      They learned from the master…

      Learn and behold, the Chris­t­ian lies.

  5. Kardo Avatar

    Rems : dear friend there are so many but I give you 1 know which
    Gala­t­ian 5:2
    (2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be cir­cum­cised, Christ shall prof­it you nothing. )
    John 7:23
    (23 If a man on the sab­bath day receive cir­cum­ci­sion, that the law of Moses should not be bro­ken ; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sab­bath day ? )

    In con­clu­sion a lier Paul preached against prophet jus­es (pbuh) and just check it out for your infor­ma­tion Paul nev­er ever seen jus­es christ indeed he comes so many years after 

    I pray for you inshal­lah truth come to you
    Good bless you

  6. arjun Avatar

    so many fun­ny mus­lims r here. u peo­ple nwants to speak abt paul/​good joke. aoslte paul was annoint­ed by Jesus acts 9:5. paul also wht jesus has preached. go n read ur quran first. 09652358956

  7. Rolbin Avatar

    This Chris­t­ian don’t hate the truth ! I don’t believe in the trin­i­ty, believe Paul was false, am a veg­e­tar­i­an, believe in one Most High ! The truth will set you free !

  8. Festus K. Chea Avatar
    Festus K. Chea

    Paul was nev­er the founder of Chris­tian­i­ty, a group he opposed till the encounter on the road to Dam­as­cus, paul like the rest of the apos­tles preached Jesus cru­ci­fied, res­ur­rect­ed and risen,regardless of what crit­ics includ­ing Islam cook up about this front­lin­er in prop­a­gat­ing the Gospel of Jesus Christ even to the point of con­scious­ly dying a mar­tyr, the glar­ing facts prove that Paul was a chris­t­ian and not its founder, and he preached the Gospel under the guid­ance of the Holy Spir­it. Every sin­cere read­er of the let­ters of paul will dis­cov­er that with­out know­ing Mohammed who sur­faced cen­turies ear­li­er, the Holy Spir­it exposed the lie Islam is.

  9. Rems Avatar

    Let me address this heresy, first Islam and Mohammed were not even born when Paul help spread the gospel of Jesus through all of Asia and parts of Europe, so Islam has no right to com­ment about some­thing that took place 500 years before it. Every sci­en­tif­ic and his­tor­i­cal record all agree Jesus died on the cross even peo­ple that are not Christians 

    Sec­ond­ly : Mus­lims fool them­selves by say­ing the believe in Jesus, if you dont believe Jesus is the son of God, came on earth to die on the cross for the sins of mankind and after 3 days res­ur­rect­ed then you DONT believe in Jesus.

    Third­ly, Can any­one tell me places where Paul has con­tra­dict­ed the teach­ings of Jesus.

  10. Helena Avatar

    Jusuf is say­ing that Chris­tians hate the truth. We fol­low Jesus who told us : “ i am the truth, the way and the life, “ Truth is the basis of chris­t­ian life. I will not insult you with what is thought of islam.

  11. Yusuf Avatar

    Chris­tians hate the truth.

    While I per­son­al­ly can’t imag­ine writ­ten Midrashim exist­ing in the first cen­tu­ry it is obvi­ous to most peo­ple who have spent any time inves­ti­gat­ing, that Paul was a false apostle. 

    Sor­ry Chris­tians, it’s just true. Ask the Ebionites.

  12. Helena Avatar

    What­ev­er any Hadith or Qoran verse says , is not our prob­lem. Near­ly every­thing is dis­tort­ed and made a mock­ery of when it comes to our beliefs. Your reli­gion did not exist and your prophet has only repeat­ed here­sies which were ram­pant . In order to stop the here­sies, the coun­cil of Nicea was called to be . There­fore every­thing dif­fer­ent to that coun­cil is still a heresy . The prophet pre­ferred the here­sie app­par­ent­ly , not only those of christ but also Jew­ish heresies.
    Paul was a fer­vant, rad­i­cal anti Christ who was on his way to Dam­as­cus to go and fight the chris­tians. When he was on the road to Dam­as­cus, he heard a voice say­ing Why are you per­se­cut­ing me?” The rest you can read in the Gospel. He came to love and believe in Christ and that has made him an apos­tle. Not to be com­pared with the apos­tles (12) who were with Christ before the cru­ci­fix­ion. His Spir­i­tu­al Con­ver­sion made an apos­tle out of him. The Crux­i­fic­tion, Res­ur­rec­tion and weeks lat­er the pour­ing out of the SPIRIT was the end of the most beau­ti­ful sto­ry ever told. There was noth­ing to be added and now we are wait­ing for HIS sec­ond com­ing. When the whole world will have heard or read about His Word , then the peri­od of His com­ing will be near. This is what Jesus him­self said.

  13. Richard Avatar

    Not only that, but Peter wrote direct­ly about Paul in his own sec­ond epistle :

    MEV :

    2Pe 3:14 There­fore, beloved, since you are wait­ing for these things, be dili­gent that you may be found by Him in peace, spot­less and blameless.
    2Pe 3:15 Keep in mind that the patience of our Lord means sal­va­tion, even as our beloved broth­er Paul has also writ­ten to you accord­ing to the wis­dom giv­en to him.
    2Pe 3:16 As in all his let­ters, he writes con­cern­ing these mat­ters, in which some things are hard to under­stand, which the unlearned and unsta­ble dis­tort, as they also do the oth­er Scrip­tures, to their own destruction.
    2Pe 3:17 You there­fore, beloved, since you know these things before­hand, beware lest you also fall from your own firm foot­ing, being led away by the decep­tion of the wicked.

    The ESV ren­ders the last verse even more potent­ly for those who deny Paul :

    2Pe 3:17 You there­fore, beloved, know­ing this before­hand, take care that you are not car­ried away with the error of law­less peo­ple and lose your own stability.

    Error of law­less peo­ple” is pret­ty much say­ing that indi­vid­u­als who deny that Paul was Christ’s mes­sen­ger, are break­ing the law of God and are deceivers thus­ly. (Whether they are con­scious of that or not, is anoth­er matter.)

    There­fore, those are some pret­ty strong words from Peter for any­one who wish­es to take a shot at Paul.

    From per­son­al expe­ri­ence, I find that peo­ple who have huge issues with Paul, they have demon­ic or world­ly reli­gious pro­gram­ming in their mind, or they have an ongo­ing demon­ic attack, to grind them down. Satan and his fall­en angels always attack in order to split apart that point where humans are at their weak­est, divid­ing an indi­vid­ual or a group of peo­ple into weak­er, small­er and more eas­i­ly con­trol­lable parts. If an indi­vid­ual already believes there is some kind of major con­flict between Jesus’ teach­ing and Paul’s teach­ing, Satan will attack you there. And the result will be either : that you will yield to Satan (because it is in your self­ish inter­est to dis­be­lieve both in Jesus being the only way to God and/​or to dis­be­lieve and dis­trust Paul), or you will call on Jesus to pro­tect you, puri­fy you and to show you the truth. Ful­fill­ing His com­mand­ment that a per­son who asks, shall receive.

    Satan loves to dri­ve dis­trust, fear and con­fu­sion into the very heart and mind of every man and woman. He NEEDS humans to be at each oth­er’s throats con­stant­ly. That takes the focus off their learning/​maturing, they become sin­ful in con­demn­ing, hat­ing and killing each oth­er. It also takes the focus of him, so that humans for­get that he is the real ene­my, that he is the one who has cre­at­ed so many false reli­gions in the world to divide the peo­ple up, and lead them to death. Once the focus is off him, humans con­flict with each oth­er and Satan is free to imple­ment his rule over this world ever more.

  14. Tuck Bowerfind Avatar
    Tuck Bowerfind

    What do you say about the wit­ness in the book of acts where Paul is clear­ly accept­ed by the oth­er apos­tles as one with a legit­i­mate claim and apos­tolic mission ?

  15. A disciple of Jesus Avatar
    A disciple of Jesus

    Because Paul’s name does not appear in Hebrews, and he said he signed every epis­tle with his own name (2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 3:17), it is safe to say that Hebrews was writ­ten by some­one else. Also, the style of writ­ing is com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. In Hebrews the author almost nev­er refers to him­self, where­as in Paul’s epis­tles, he almost nev­er stops boasting.

    Paul did not meet any of the qual­i­fi­ca­tions for being an apos­tle. These includ­ed being a wit­ness of Jesus’s bap­tism, his min­istry, and his res­ur­rec­tion from the dead (Acts 1:21 – 22). In fact only two peo­ple met these qual­i­fi­ca­tions : Matthius and Barnabus. Paul was nowhere around at the time, and his epis­tles show that he seemed to know very lit­tle about Jesus except that he was crucified.

    I used to believe Paul, but no more. He taught too much that was in oppo­si­tion to Jesus. As you say of so many who fol­low Paul, “…see­ing they see not, and hear­ing they hear not, nei­ther do they under­stand.” (Matthew 13:13) Yes indeed !

  16. shery Avatar

    Paul’s Inno­va­tion

    For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God… With­out father, with­out moth­er, with­out descent, hav­ing nei­ther begin­ning of days, nor end of life…” (Hebrews 7:1,3)

    Here is a can­di­date for Divin­i­ty itself, for only God Almighty could pos­sess these qual­i­ties. Adam had a begin­ning (in the gar­den), Jesus had a begin­ning (in the sta­ble); Adam had an end and, claim the Chris­tians, so had Jesus and he gave up the ghost”. But where is Melchisedec ? Per­haps he is hiber­nat­ing some­where like Rip Van Winkel (a fairy tale char­ac­ter who slept for many ages.)

    And what is this Hebrews”? It is the name of one of the Books of the Holy Bible, authored by the gal­lant St. Paul, the self appoint­ed thir­teenth apos­tle of Christ. Jesus had twelve apos­tles, but one of them (Judas) had the Dev­il in him. So the vacan­cy had to be filled, because of the twelve” thrones in heav­en which had to be occu­pied by his dis­ci­ples to judge the chil­dren of Israel (Luke 22:30).

    Saul was a rene­gade Jew, and the Chris­tians changed his name to Paul”, prob­a­bly because Saul” sounds Jew­ish. This St. Paul made such a fine mess of the teach­ings of Jesus, peace bless­ings be upon him, that he earned for him­self the sec­ond most cov­et­ed posi­tion of The Most Influ­en­tial Men of His­to­ry” in the mon­u­men­tal work of Michael H. Hart : The 100 or The Top Hun­dred or the Great­est Hun­dred in His­to­ry. Paul out­class­es even Jesus because, accord­ing to Michael Hart, Paul was the real founder of present day Chris­tian­i­ty. The hon­or of cre­at­ing Chris­tian­i­ty had to be shared between Paul and Jesus, and Paul won because he wrote more Books of the Bible than any oth­er sin­gle author, where­as Jesus did not write a sin­gle word.

    Paul need­ed no inspi­ra­tion to write his hyper­boles here and in the rest of his Epis­tles. Did not Hitler’s Min­is­ter of Pro­pa­gan­da Goebbels say : The big­ger the lie the more like­ly it is to be believed’? But the amaz­ing thing about this exag­ger­a­tion is that no Chris­t­ian seems to have read it. Every learned man to whom I have shown this verse to, seemed to be see­ing it for the first time. They appear dumb­found­ed, as described by the fit­ting words of Jesus :

    …see­ing they see not, and hear­ing they hear not, nei­ther do they under­stand.” (Matthew 13:13)

    The Holy Quran also con­tains a verse which fit­ting­ly describes this well cul­ti­vat­ed sickness :

    Deaf, dumb and blind, will they not return (to the path).” (2:18)

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