Is Muhammad a Messenger of God?
[Many of our readers have asked us this question, so we have posted the following answer to help]
“Do you believe Muhammad is a messenger of God?”This question put forth in just a few words is actually quite vast in its scope, and as I ponder how to answer with all the clearness and honesty that any inquirer deserves, I must say that I can only go so far in my reply in writing. To Judge or Evaluate? In a particular instance in the Injil, as ‘Isā al-Masih was teaching,
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” (Luke 12:13-14)Elsewhere in the Injil, he warned us:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)But in another place we are told,
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.” (Luke 6:43-44)So we are not to judge, but we are to evaluate a tree by its fruit. That’s not the same thing as judging, because judging involves not only the right and the authority to be above the one we judge (a right and authority that belong only to God), but also the function of condemning. Look carefully again at Jesus’ words: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Therefore I do not and will not judge Muhammad. If he has done me good or if he has taught anything that has led me astray or done me harm, I can only acknowledge it, and leave it in God’s hands. I have no right to judge him. I have no right to condemn him. I only have the privilege of either thanking him or forgiving him. Evaluate the Tree So I am not a judge of Muhammad. I can only evaluate the tree. Let me explain it this way: If you were to evaluate all (not just part) of Buddha’s teachings, and you were to accept them as completely godly and completely true, then you would de facto believe that he is a messenger of God. But if even one of Buddha’s teachings contradicts what has already been established elsewhere in inspired Scriptures to be completely godly and completely true, then you cannot accept him as a prophet. This is not applicable just to Buddha. You would also have to evaluate the teachings of ‘Isā al-Masih in the same way. If his words and example comply with God’s established truth, then you have to accept his teachings as coming from God. Again, in the very same way you would have to evaluate Muhammad’s teachings in the light of previously established divine truth. I cannot do this for you. You are responsible before God to do this for yourself. Please, do not judge Muhammad, because it’s God’s right alone to do so. But you can and should evaluate his teachings and example, and ask yourself if it is in accordance with the Tawrat and Zabur and Injil. Most Muslims who do this evaluation find that Muhammad’s teaching often contradict previous revelation. How could that be? How can they resolve this problem? Usually they resort to two tentative solutions. First, they will say that the previous revelations have been corrupted or lost, and so the difference between what they teach and what Muhammad taught exist only because Jews and Christians altered those previous books. Second, they will say that it the differences are legitimate because Allah has cancelled what was taught before and replaced it with something else. Both of these claims are contrary to what both the Qur’ān and the Hadith say, and that’s what our website and teaching aims to show. Since your question, “Do you believe…” focuses on my personal belief, for my part, my evaluation has enabled me to see that though Muhammad has shared some truths, I cannot follow all of his teachings, and especially not his example on many critical points of life. In a friendly discussion with my own father, I pointed out a certain practice that was taught by Muhammad about marriage, and I asked my father if he would be willing for his daughter (my sister) to be given in marriage according to that particular teaching of Muhammad. My father thought long and hard about it, and then admitted he could not follow this teaching when it came to his own daughter. This was the beginning of my father’s doubts. It was the beginning of his detachment from the person of Muhammad. He later became a follower of ‘Isā al-Masih. So, reader, I will pause here for now and allow you to reflect on what I’ve shared so far. If you have further questions, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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