(Continued from page 428)Muhammad supported Polytheism!
SATAN'S POWER OVER MUHAMMAD
By contrast, Muslims who want to continue believing in Muhammad also cannot refute the overwhelming historical evidence for Muhammad's 'temporary' support of polytheism or explain why faithful Muslim historians, such as Ibn Ishaq, Wakidi, Ibn Sa'd, al-Tabari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Mardauyah, Musa ibn 'Uqba, and Abu Ma'shar carefully recorded their accounts of how Muhammad was deceived - a lapse that clearly called his prophethood into question among his own tribe and surrounding peoples. The early Muslim biographers also appealed to various chains of authority in their efforts to demonstrate the story's authenticity and al-Bukhari, Islam's most trusted authority, confirms certain details of the story that only make sense if Muhammad really did deliver the 'Satanic Verses':
The Prophet performed a prostration when he finished reciting Surat an-Najm [Sura 53], and all the Muslims and Al-Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad) and jinn and human beings prostrated along with him. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume Six, Muhammad Muhsin Khan, tr. Riyadh: Darussalam, 1997, Number 4862 ).
Though Bukhari understandably omitted the embarrassing reason for the prostration of the pagans he inadvertently confirmed the account given by Ibn Ishaq, and others, who faithfully reported that the pagans bowed down because Muhammad spoke favourably of their gods. There are Muslims who claim that the pagans bowed down in honour at Muhammad's recitation of Sura 53 (which in its present form clearly ridicules polytheism) because they were so overwhelmed by its 'majesty.' Such a response ignores the fact that, such is the unimpressive nature of the Qur'an, that Muhammad won remarkably few converts when he appealed to the words and poetry of the Qur'an as evidence of his divine commission and only saw large numbers of converts when he turned to violence as a means of conversion. Thus, al-Bukhari's hadith makes far more sense when read in the light of historical works of such as Ibn Ishaq (which predates Sahih al-Bukhari by many decades) and therefore the only conceivable reason the pagans would bow down in honour of Sura 53 is that the passage originally supported paganism, which is exactly what the earliest historical records claim.
Then, again, Muslims must account for Sura 22:52, which claims that all God's prophets received revelations from Satan at some time! Notice that the Bible verses we have quoted here prove that such an excuse could only fool the Muslim community and will never fool a believing Jew or Christian.
CONTRAST MUHAMMAD'S TERROR WITH THE POWER OF JESUS
Informed Muslims will also be aware that Muhammad was apparently the victim of black magic administered by a Jewish magician named Labid. One of his wives, Aisha, narrated this account:
"Once the Prophet (the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) was bewitched so that he began to imagine that he had done a thing which in fact he had not done (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Number 3175)
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) so that he used to think that he had had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not. 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-Asam, 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 a hair stuck to it.' (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Number 5765)
Ibn Ishaq also reports that "Labid bin Al-Asam ... bewitched the apostle of God so that he could not come at his wives. " (Ibn Ishaq, p.240 - Guillaume added a note saying that, according to tradition, "the spell lasted for a year")
So we find that the earliest and most reliable Muslim writings and traditions record that Muhammad's first 'encounter' of the supernatural kind left him believing that he might be demon-possessed. When we read the Bible we never learn that God's servants have an experience of this kind! In fact we find an altogether different pattern when an angel appears in physical form or in dreams to God's people in the Bible: there may be fear and awe (so people fall on their faces), but the angel often tells the person to 'fear not' and terror is certainly not inflicted on them in the way Muhammad claimed to have experienced, e.g.:
Genesis 21:17: And God heard the voice of the lad; and the ANGEL of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
Numbers 22:31: Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the ANGEL of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
Judges 13:20: For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the ANGEL of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.
Matthew 28:5: And the ANGEL answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
Luke 1:13: But the ANGEL said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
Luke 1:30: And the ANGEL said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luke 1:34: Then said Mary unto the ANGEL, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Luke 2:9: And, lo, the ANGEL of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. Lu 2:10 And the ANGEL said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
It is noteworthy that Gabriel was the angel who appeared to Zacharias (Luke 1:13) and to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26ff.), Muhammad claimed Gabriel appeared to him, yet we do not find either Biblical character affected so adversely as Islam's prophet or doubting that God's angel had appeared to them! This is one of many reasons you will never find Christians accepting Muhammad and his Qur'an.
Details of Muhammad's encounter record that he was left terrified of his revelations, screaming for someone to cover him as he sweated profusely, even in the cold. Furthermore, we learn he could not distinguish genuine revelations from Satanic revelations and was the victim of a debilitating magic spell that probably lasted a year! How can people wonder that the world questions his claim to be a messenger for God.
Contrast this evidence of Muhammad's bizarre, un-Biblical, behaviour with evidence from the ministry of a True Messenger of God, Jesus of Nazareth, who had many encounters with demons:
Mark 1:21-27: They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!" "Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of the man with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching - and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him."
Mark 5:1-20: They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. MK 5:6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8 For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" MK 5:9 Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. MK 5:11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. MK 5:14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man - and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. MK 5:18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
So, contrary to the Qur'anic claims, True Messengers are never puppets of Satan and the Lord Jesus Christ clearly had complete authority over demons. If we are to choose who to listen to it is obviously reasonable to trust the one who demonstrated full authority over demons and who warned his followers that "many false prophets will appear and deceive many people' (Matthew 24:11).
Was Muhammad such a deceiver? Should we ever trust a man who is capable of this statement which the most trusted Muslim historian attributes to him:
he "who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar." Sahih Al-Bukhari (Dr Muhammad Matraji, tr. New Delhi: Islamic Book Service, 2002, Number 2692)
Such a statement clearly identifies a deceiver and liar to a Christian - and explains much of the deception being perpetrated worldwide in the name of Allah today!
Obviously, if Islam's prophet could believe that he was demon-possessed and susceptible to the spiritual attacks of a magician then he could clearly fall prey to the more powerful deceptions of Satan. Contrast this with the 'temptation' of Christ (Matthew 4:1-11):
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 4 Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' " 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " `He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' " 7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' " 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' " 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
It is important to note here that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness and allowed Satan to tempt Him - and that Satan was amply rebuffed by Jesus' quotation of the Word of God: 'It is written'! Note: in English the expression "The Word of God" may mean (1) the Bible, or (2) Christ. In Arabic these are carefully distinguished, the former being Kalamu'llah, the latter Kalimatu'llah.
Do not fall into the simple traps that cults and false religions set for you by trying to attack the deity of Jesus, or the principle that 'God cannot be tempted,' by using such verses against the truth. The Bible clearly teaches that Satan - and evil spirits - can only do what God Almighty permits (Job 1:6-12):
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." 8 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face." 12 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.
We also learn that God will send evil spirits to disobedient servants (1 Samuel 16:13-23):
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah. 14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him. 15 Saul's servants then said to him, "Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you. 16 "Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skilful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well." 17 So Saul said to his servants, "Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me." 18 Then one of the young men said, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skilful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him." 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David who is with the flock." 20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son. 21 Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. 22 Saul sent to Jesse, saying, "Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight." 23 So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.
Notice the important differences:
anointed … and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.'
'the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.'
the musician had to be more than simply 'skilful' - the important fact was that 'the LORD is with him."
the result was that 'whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him' - it was the presence of the Spirit of God in David's praise music that drove the evil spirit away!
An obvious additional conclusion is that if an evil spirit came to Muhammad - and the overwhelming evidence indicates that he was often troubled by demonic apparitions - it was because he also did not have the Sprit of God! But, unlike Saul, Jews and Christians know that Muhammad never ever had the Sprit anyway.
A third and final example from the Old Testament will suffice to drive home the point about evil spirits and how God allows them to work in false prophets. This Scripture concludes the history of an evil king, Ahab, who did not defeat Syria when he had the opportunity, so the enemy came back to attack him and finally kill him (similarly, King Saul had failed to destroy the Amalekites, and one of their young men killed him). Ahab's daughter was married to King Jehoshaphat's son (2 Chronicles 21:1-7), which partially explains his foolish action in forming an alliance with evil Ahab. Note that Jehoshaphat also made the mistake of agreeing to the alliance before enquiring about God's will concerning the battle - the mistake that Israel made with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). Belatedly he wanted to inquire of the prophets that ministered to Ahab. Not surprisingly evil Ahab had equally evil heathen prophets who prophesied what they thought the two kings wanted to hear - and promised victory. But, at least, Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from a prophet of the Lord. Micaiah was the only one available (and he was a prisoner), so they sent for him and asked for his message. Sarcastically, Micaiah echoed the promises of the heathen prophets, but the king knew he was pretending. Micaiah then told the truth that God put in his mouth with 100% accuracy: the heathen prophets were being used to tell lies, for King Ahab would die in the battle and Israel would be scattered. What did the faithful prophet receive for his ministry? Bread and water in the prison. But he had been faithful to the Lord, and that is what counts.
Ahab thought he could avoid death by disguising himself, for the soldiers would seek to kill the king first. Jehoshaphat went into battle in his royal robes and, because he was still a king fairly faithful to God the Lord protected him - but Ahab in his disguise was slain! Verse 34 even indicates that the soldier shot the arrow without even aiming, yet the Lord directed it to its proper target. When the judgment of the Lord comes, no devices or disguises will protect the sinner. Israel lost the battle and also lost her king. The king was buried at Samaria; the bloody chariot was washed at the pool; and the dogs licked the blood, as God had promised through two prophets (an unknown 'son of the prophets' - 1 Kings 20:42 and Elijah 21:19). Ahab's alliance with Baal worship, and the evil influence of his godless wife, brought him to final defeat. Ahab experienced the goodness of God in the military victories, yet refused to submit himself to the Law. He humbled himself outwardly when judgment was announced, and even then received a "stay of execution," but his shallow repentance did not last. The three and a half years of drought and the great demonstration of God's glory on Mount Carmel did not soften his hard heart. He had "sold himself to do evil," and he would not repent. He heard one of the greatest prophets of history, Elijah, and yet did not repent. His twenty-two years of reign only led the nation farther away from God and his wicked son Ahaziah reigned in his place, and the nation continued in its sinful course (1 Kings 22:1ff.):
1 Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. 2 In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 Now the king of Israel said to his servants, "Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?" 4 And he said to Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?" And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses." 5 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Please inquire first for the word of the LORD." 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?" And they said, "Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king." 7 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?" 8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." But Jehoshaphat said, "Let not the king say so." 9 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, "Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah." 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, "Thus says the LORD, 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.'" 12 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king." 13 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, "Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably." 14 But Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak." 15 When he came to the king, the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?" And he answered him, "Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give it into the hand of the king." 16 Then the king said to him, "How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?" 17 So he said, "I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said, 'These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.'" 18 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?" 19 Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 20 "The LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said this while another said that. 21 "Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.' 22 "The LORD said to him, 'How?' And he said, 'I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then He said, 'You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.' 23 "Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you." 24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?" 25 Micaiah said, "Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself." 26 Then the king of Israel said, "Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son; 27 and say, 'Thus says the king, "Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely."'" 28 Micaiah said, "If you indeed return safely the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, "Listen, all you people." 29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself and go into the battle, but you put on your robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into the battle. 31 Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, "Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone." 32 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, "Surely it is the king of Israel," and they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 34 Now a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armour. So he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn around and take me out of the fight; for I am severely wounded." 35 The battle raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, "Every man to his city and every man to his country." 37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the LORD which He spoke. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.
Rami, since you wonder about the Jews so often in your mails perhaps you should consider this other fact: Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem and we learn (1 Kings 22:43-44) that:
'he walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might which he showed and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land.
So, even with such a mixture of good and evil deeds, God faithfully supported many of Jehoshaphat's exploits! Such is the grace and mercy God extends to the most weak and foolish men. Usurping the position and authority He has decreed for His servants, as foolish king Saul did, calls for Divine punishment as suffered, ultimately, by Saul (see 1 Samuel 31 - 2 Samuel 1).
But, far more seriously, sinning against the Holy Spirit, as Muhammad did in claiming that he holds a higher position in his ministry and in heaven than the Lord Jesus Christ and claiming that the verses in John 14-16 predicting the coming Holy Spirit refer to himself, a mere man, is an unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:30-32; Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10)!
The historical evidence shows that Muhammad demonstrated incredible weakness in giving into temptation to actively promote polytheism by delivering a revelation from Satan. Again, there hardly seems any point in comparing this failure of Muhammad with the 'Temptation of Christ' (Matthew 4) that Jesus rebuffed so totally, as we saw earlier! Muslims simply have no credible response to the conclusions we have drawn from Deuteronomy and the unavoidable deduction, based entirely on Biblical verses and the history recorded by faithful Muslims, is that, far from being any kind of servant of the God of the Bible, Muhammad is a proven false prophet and gross sinner.
Examine the arguments carefully, inspect the premises and weigh the evidence. It would obviously be illogical to reject the conclusion unless you can refute the argument - and if you cannot refute the argument you must consider that the facts show that Muhammad was no prophet at all. Of no less important is examination of the facts concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, who Muslims claim as their prophet, while the True Scriptures found in the Bible alone prove Jesus to be so much more than a prophet!
(Continued on page 430)