This is a continuation of our earlier discussion where we have talked about a rational approach to the prophethood of Muhammad. It is well known that the Prophet Muhammad(P) was victorious over all his opponents, to him and to his followers subdued many states and kingdoms, people entered Islam in large numbers and his call resulted in Islamic Caliphate and civilization for so many centuries. We also agree that God is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Wise.
So is it possible for the Most Wise to enable a liar to be victorious, assist him, aid him against his opponents and make the end result in his favour and his followers, although this liar continuously invent lies and forgeries against God claiming that He sent him, attributing to Him false religion and false laws and making all this God’s Words and inspiration, then this liar stays victorious and overpowering during his lifetime and after his death, while people are fooled by him accepting his lies and forgeries against God? Or does God’s Wisdom require that he is beaten in every battle and every field, and overpowered and defeated by everyone in every war and that he builds no state but God destroys it, so he dies conquered and overpowered as God does with all those who falsely claim prophethood, divinity or inspiration?
If we apply this to Muhammad’s claim of prophethood, we notice that he(P) made it clear that he is a prophet of God, inspired by Him and reciting His Words.
Moreover, Muhammad(P) made it clear that God aids him against his opponents and He was going to make him victorious over all, the Holy Qur’an says:
If any thinks that Allah will not help him (His Messenger) in this world and the Hereafter, let him stretch out a rope to the ceiling and cut (himself) off: then let him see whether his plan will remove that which enrages (him).1
The meaning is that if anyone thinks that Allah would not make Muhammad(P) victorious in this life and in the Hereafter, then let him do his best in fighting and opposing him (peace be upon him), and if he failed, let him stretch a rope to the ceiling of his house and hang himself on for Allah will inevitably aid His prophet.
Just imagine it. A man claiming prophethood and inspiration recites verses affirming that God helps him and will make him victorious over his enemies, and then he actually defeats all these enemies and becomes victorious over them in the end.
And imagine again. This man recites the following verse:
And if the messenger were to invent any sayings in Our name, We should certainly seize him by his right hand, and We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart: nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath).2
Please read the verses again and ponder upon their meaning.
Here we have a man claiming he is inspired and sent by God and challenging that if he does not tell the truth, God will certainly destroy him. However, we see that God never destroyed this man, on the contrary, he supported and assisted him and made him victorious and glorious before all his opponents.
This means one of the following:
1) God does not exist in the first place.
2) God exists but He is ignorant for He is unaware of all these challenges spoken by this impostor.
3) God exists and is Omniscient, but He is impotent for He can do nothing about the challenges spoken by this impostor. So He sits and watches the promises and challenges of the impostor come true.
4) God exists and is Omniscient and Omnipotent, but He is unwise for He misleads people to the utmost, by swallowing the challenges of impostors while He can actually stop them. Not only that, He also executes all their promises with victory and glory for them.
5) God exists and is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Wise, and Muhammad is truly His Prophet whom He aided and supported.
So, choose for yourself!
So, we conclude that it is impossible of Muhammad(P) to lie regarding prophethood because we believe that God’s Wisdom necessitates that if he was an impostor, God would humiliate him. But this did not happen. On the contrary, God aided and supported him during his lifetime and after his death which is a decisive indication that he was a true prophet of Allah.
This decisive argument is irrefutable; for we believe that Allah’s Wisdom necessitates aid of true prophet and humiliation of false prophet, and we know that Allah supported Muhammad(P) and did not let him down, so he must be a true prophet.
In the light of this argument, we cannot accept the claim that Muhammad’s victory was due to worldly reasons for this would be a complete rejection of God’s Wisdom and Omnipotence. Moreover, it is well known that Muslims were markedly fewer in number than their opponents in all the wars they fought beginning with the battle of Badr till their wars with Persian and Roman armies, except for the battle of Hunayn.
Before the advent of Islam, it was very usual of a small number of Persian or Roman soldiers to attack a large populated Arab tribe, capture their men and enslave their women. During wars, large numbers of Arab fighters were often defeated by small numbers of Roman or Persian soldiers.
After the advent of Islam, the opposite was true; small numbers of Prophet’s Companions used to defeat large numbers of Roman or Persian soldiers, even though Muslim soldiers were poorly equipped. Roman and Persian kings were always amazed how their huge well-equipped armies were defeated at hands of Muslims despite their small number, weakness and lack of equipment.
Rev. George Bush (1796-1859) says about Muhammad(P):
He laid the foundation of an empire, which, in the short space of eighty years, extended its sway over more kingdoms and countries than Rome had mastered in eight hundred. And when we pass from the political to the religious ascendancy which he gained and consider the rapid growth, the wide diffusion, and the enduring permanence of the Mohammedan imposture, we are still more astonished. Indeed, in this, as in every other instance where the fortunes of an individual are entirely disproportioned to the means employed and surpass all reasonable calculation …
…we are forced to resolve the problem into the special providence of God. Nothing short of this could have secured the achievement of such mighty results; and we must doubtless look upon Mohammedanism in the present day as a standing monument of the mysterious wisdom of Jehovah, designed to compass ends which are beyond the grasp of human minds, at least till they are accomplished.3
This is in fulfilment of God’s Promise in the Holy Qur’an:
Already has Our Word been passed before (this) to Our Servants sent (by Us), that they would certainly be assisted, and that Our forces, they surely must conquer.4
We will, without doubt, help Our messengers and those who believe, (both) in this world’s life and on the Day when the Witnesses will stand fort.5
Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (cause); for verily Allah is Full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (Able to enforce His Will).6
And God’s ultimate promise:
Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion- the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.’ If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.7
This is markedly different from disbelievers who are made victorious and established in authority for their establishment and victory is not due to divine aid, rather it is due to frank material causes like wealth and power. None of them ever claimed prophethood, nor that Allah ordered them to worship Him alone. None claimed that whoever obeyed him would go to Heaven and whoever disobeyed would go to Hell. On the contrary of the one who claims inspiration from Allah, he is either a truthful prophet of Allah, so Allah aids him and makes him victorious, or he is an impostor, so Allah humiliates him and cuts him off.
This is the answer to those who may argue that Allah had established in the land many disbelievers and followers of false religions and made them prevail and succeed like Buddhists and Confucius.
Others may argue that Muslims nowadays are weak in comparison to other nations of disbelief, so how come Allah assists them?
The answer is that Allah made Muslims victorious over other nations when they adhered to it, so He humiliated people of disbelief like Jews and Christians. This is the case with the true religion of God, if its people adhere to it, follow its commandments and abstain from its prohibitions, God will aid them and make them victorious. But if they do not, He will not till they return back.
If a doctor prescribes a certain medication for a certain disease, then the patient does not follow the prescription and his illness does not improve, no one can blame the doctor in this case, nor claim that he is not a real doctor.
This is the case with our nation, if they do not follow the commandments and teachings of Islam, Allah does not aid or help them, as the Caliph ‘Umar said: “Allah has honoured us with Islam. So if we are to seek honour in other than Islam, Allah will dishonour us.”
In brief, it is the habit of Allah to aid and support His true apostle to the degree that no one can ever oppose this apostle. It is well known that He incredibly aided Muhammad (peace be upon him) like no other apostle, it is also well known that none falsely alleged prophethood but Allah exposed him, humiliated him and cut him off, and all those aided by Allah were true prophets like Noah, Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus, David and Sulaiman, for it is the habit of Allah to aid His Messengers and their followers.
In addition, teachings of all prophets of God are the same, for all of them command with worship of God alone with no partner, belief in the Hereafter and the Judgement Day, and with praise of Allah, chastity, honesty, truthfulness in speech and deeds, and they forbid idol worship, lewdness, lying, cheating, dishonesty, etc So, if someone claims prophethood and preaches the same teachings of all previous prophets for the sake of guiding people, we know he is one of them, i.e., a true prophet, the same way we recognize the doctor if he prescribes the same medications prescribed by all other doctors and his treatment leads to cure of diseases.
This is evident in the speech of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib to the king of Abyssinia:
“O king! We were plunged into the depths of ignorance, and we were idolaters. We used to eat corpses, to commit abominations, to severe blood ties, to neglect our duties of hospitality and neighbourliness, and to use only the law of the strong. That was our life until Allah raised among us a man, whose lineage, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we knew. He called us to the Oneness of Allah and taught us not to associate anything with Him. He forbade us the worship of idols and enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful and to regard the rights of the neighbours as well as kith and kin, and to refrain from crimes and bloodshed. He prohibited us from committing abominations, speaking lies, devouring the property of orphans, and vilifying chaste women. He commanded us to offer prayers, to render alms, and to observe fasts. We have allowed what he has allowed, and have prohibited what he has prohibited. For this reason, our people attacked us and persecuted us in order to force us to abandon the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols and to regard as lawful the evil deeds we once committed. When they had tortured and encircled our lives, until finding no safety among them, we have come to your country, and hope you will protect us from oppression while we are with you, O king!”8
This speech summarizes the teachings of Islam and shows that they agree with the teachings of all previous prophets and messengers of God. This is a very important issue, for it is inadequate to merely know that Allah sent prophets and messengers to people, it is more important to know why Allah sent these prophets and messengers. In other words, what did prophets and messengers of Allah preach and teach? It is nonsense to believe that Allah sent messengers without knowing the reason why they were raised among their peoples in the first place, and understanding the purpose of their prophethood. So, belief in prophets and messengers of God requires knowing the purpose of prophethood and Messengership.
We see that all prophets of God commanded their people with all that is good, and forbade all that is evil. When we compare Muhammad(P) with other prophets who preceded him, we notice that he preached the same they preached and forbade the same they forbade.
- He(P) ordered to glorify God, exalt Him above having partners or rivals, establish His authority and worth of worship, attribute to Him all qualities of perfection and negate all qualities of imperfection from Him.
- He(P) denounced the notion that angels are daughters of God and explained their real deeds and missions in both earth and heavens.
- He(P) commanded with belief in all previous divine scriptures revealed on previous prophets and showed that they contained guidance as long as they preach monotheism and purity of faith, but once they got corrupted, they are no longer suitable for guidance.
- He(P) brought evident and decisive proofs of coming of the Last Day and Resurrection.
- He(P) commanded with pleasing God with best acts like offering prayers, giving alms, fasting and pilgrimage.
- He(P) preached good deeds and manners like truthfulness, honesty, fulfillment of trust, kindness to relations, helping the poor and the needy, etc.
- He(P) warned of association of partners with Allah, idol worship and disbelief.
- He(P) prohibited blood shedding, adultery, alcohol drinking and usury.
Are these not the teachings of all previous prophets which were decreed by Allah since the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him)?
All this indicates that he(P) walked in the footsteps of previous prophets of Allah. Actually, his Message preserved and guarded previous messages that had been corrupted and altered, Allah says:
Thus have We made of you an Ummah justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves.9
This is due to the fact that all prophets came to preach the same religion.
Sending Muhammad(P) after the corruption of the religion of the previous prophets is a mercy from Allah to mankind, for indeed He says:
We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.10
The teachings which the prophets preached commanded all that is good and forbade all that is evil. Muhammad (peace be upon him) came as a preserver, a guardian and a witness to these teachings. The Holy Qur’an says:
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.
And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: my Lord bestow on them thy mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.
Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts: if ye do deeds of righteousness, verily he is most forgiving to those who turn to him again and again (in true penitence).
And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: but squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
Verily spendthrifts are brothers of the evil ones; and the evil one is to his Lord (himself) ungrateful.
And even if thou hast to turn away from them pursuit of the mercy from thy Lord which thou dost expect, yet speak to them a word of easy kindness.
Make not thy hand tied (like a niggard’s) to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach, so that thou become blameworthy and destitute.
Verily thy Lord doth provide sustenance in abundance for whom he pleaseth, and he provideth in a just measure. For he doth know and regard all his servants.
Kill not your children for fear of want: we shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).
Nor take life which Allah has made sacred except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand Visas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).
Come not nigh to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; and fulfil (every) engagement, for (every) engagement, will be enquired into (on the day of reckoning).
Give full measure when ye measure and weigh with a balance that is straight: that is the most fitting and the most advantageous in the final determination.
And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the day of reckoning).
Nor walk on the earth with insolence: for thou canasta not rend the earth asunder, nor reach the mountains in height.
Of all such things, the evil is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.
There are among the (precepts of) wisdom, which thy Lord has revealed to thee. Take not with Allah another object of worship. Lest thou shouldst be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.11
Say: come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from: join not anything as equal with him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want; we provide sustenance for you and for them; come not nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.
And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice; no burden do we place on any soul, but that which it can bear; whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the Covenant of Allah: thus doth He command you, that ye may remember.
Verily, this is my way, leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from his (great) path: thus doth He command you, that ye may be righteous.12
Say: “My Lord hath commanded Justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere as in His sight: Such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return.”
Some He hath guided: others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the Evil once, in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance.
O Children of Adam Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but wast not be excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.
Say: who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for his servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say they are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the day of judgment thus do we explain the Signs in detail for those who understand.13
These great teachings were preached by all the Prophets, and Muhammad(P) affirmed and displayed them in the best way. It is adequate when hearing these great teachings to believe in Muhammad(P) and know that he came to mankind with guidance and favour, commanding with good and forbidding evil, whether it is in words or deeds.
And Allah knows best.
- Sura Al-Hajj, verse 15 [↩]
- Sura Al-Haqqah, verses 44-47 [↩]
- Rev. George Bush, The Life of Mohammed; Founder of The Religion of Islam, and of The Empire of The Saracens, published by Harper & Brothers, 1844, pp. 156-157 [↩]
- Sura Al-Saffat, verses 171-173 [↩]
- Sura Ghafir, verse 51 [↩]
- Sura Al-Hajj, verse 40 [↩]
- Sura Al-Nour, verse 55 [↩]
- Sirat Ibn Hisham, Biography of the Prophet, abridged by Abdus-Salam M. Harun. Translated and Published by Al-Falah Foundation, page 58 [↩]
- Sura Al-Baqarah, verse 143 [↩]
- Sura Al-Anbiyaa, verse 107 [↩]
- Sura Al-Israa, verses 23-39 [↩]
- Sura Al-An’am, verses 151-153 [↩]
- Sura Al-A’raf, verses 29-32 [↩]