Muhammad the Compromiser and Doubter

Sam Shamoun

It is no secret that Muhammad, according to the Quran, was a sinner who needed to seek forgiveness from God:

Allah forgive thee (O Muhammad)! Wherefor didst thou grant them leave ere those who told the truth were manifest to thee and thou didst know the liars? S. 9:43 Pickthall

Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. S. 40:55 Pickthall

So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest. S. 47:19 Pickthall

Lo! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory, That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favour unto thee, and may guide thee on a right path, S. 48:1-2 Pickthall

Did We not expand thy breast for thee and lift from thee thy burden, the burden that weighed down thy back? S. 94:1-3 Arberry

According to the Tafsir of Ibn Abbas, Sura 47:19 reprimands Muhammad for beating a Jew:

(So know) O Muhammad (that there is no God save Allah) there is none that harms or benefits, gives or withholds, raises or abases except Allah; and it is also said that this means: and know there is nothing that has the merit of "there is no deity save Allah", (and ask forgiveness for thy sin) O Muhammad, when he beat up Zayd Ibn al-Samin, the Jew (and for believing men and believing women) and seek forgiveness for the sins of the believing men and believing women. (Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil) your goings and comings as well as your works in the life of the world (and your place of rest) and He knows your destination and abode in the Hereafter. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs; online source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Islamic narrations also confirm that Muhammad was a sinner:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying: "By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 75, Number 319)

Al-Agharr al-Muzani, who was one amongst the Companions (of the Holy Prophet) reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: There is (at times) some sort of shade upon my heart, and I seek forgiveness from Allah a hundred times a day. (Sahih Muslim, Book 035, Number 6522)

Al-Agharr al-Muzani who was from amongst the Companions of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) reported that Ibn 'Umar stated to him that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day. (Sahih Muslim, Book 035, Number 6523)

In fact, Muhammad in his sinful rage would even curse Muslims to the extent that he had to ask Allah to bless anyone whom he wrongly swore and cursed at:


A'isha reported that two persons visited Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and both of them talked about a thing, of which I am not aware, but that annoyed him and he invoked curse upon both of them and hurled malediction, and when they went out I said: Allah's Messenger, the good would reach everyone but it would not reach these two. He said: Why so? I said: Because you have invoked curse and hurled malediction upon both of them. He said: Don't you know that I have made condition with my Lord saying thus: O Allah, I am a human being and that for a Muslim upon whom I invoke curse or hurl malediction make it a source of purity and reward.(Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6285)

This hadith has been reported on the authority of A'mash with the same chain of transmitters and the hadith transmitted on the authority of 'Isa (the words are): "He had a private meeting with them and hurled malediction upon them and cursed them and sent them out." (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6286)

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: O Allah, I make a covenant with Thee against which Thou wouldst never go. I am a human being and thus for a Muslim whom I give any harm or whom I scold or upon whom I invoke curse or whom I beat, make this a source of blessing, purification and nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6290)

Salim, the freed slave of Nasriyyin, said: I heard Abu Huraira as saying that he heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: O Allah, Muhammad is a human being. I lose my temper just as human beings lose temper, and I have held a covenant with Thee which Thou wouldst not break: For a believer whom I give any trouble or invoke curse or beat, make that an expiation (of his sins and a source of) his nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6293)

Anas b. Malik reported that there was an orphan girl with Umm Sulaim (who was the mother of Anas). Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw that orphan girl and said: O, it is you; you have grown young. May you not advance in years! That slave-girl returned to Umm Sulaim weeping. Umm Sulaim said: O daughter, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) has invoked curse upon me that I should not grow in age and thus I would never grow in age, or she said, in my (length) of life. Umm Sulaim went out wrapping her head-dress hurriedly until she met Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). He said to her: Umm Sulaim, what is the matter with you? She said: Allah's Apostle, you invoked curse upon my orphan girl. He said: Umm Sulaim, what is that? She said: She (the orphan girl) states you have cursed her saying that she might not grow in age or grow in life. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) smiledand then said: Umm Sulaim, don't you know that I have made this term with my Lord. And the term with my Lord is that I said to Him: I am a human being and I am pleased just as a human being is pleased and I lose temper just as a human being loses temper, so for any person from amongst my Ummah whom I curse and he in no way deserves it, let that, O Lord, be made a source of purification and purity and nearness to (Allah) on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6297)

What makes this rather intriguing is that Muhammad is reported to have said that he didn't curse since he was sent as a mercy, and those that do curse would be prohibited from interceding:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: It does not seem proper for Siddiq that he should be an invoker of curse. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Abu Kuraib with the same chain of transmitters. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6280)

Umm Darda' reported on the authority of Abu Darda' as saying: I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The invoker of curse would neither be witness nor intercessor on the Day of Resurrection. (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6283)

Abu Huraira reported it was said to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him): Invoke curse upon the polytheists, whereupon he said: I have not been sent as the invoker of curse, but "I have been sent as mercy." (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6284)

Thus, not only did Muhammad not live up to his own standards but also disqualified himself from being an intercessor!

The foregoing conclusively demonstrates and exposes Muhammad's weaknesses and sins.

What may not be as well known to the readers is the fact that the Quran in more than one place rebukes Muhammad for doubting and for nearly compromising the faith. Note, for instance, what the following verses say:

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. And be not thou of those who deny the revelations of Allah, for then wert thou of the losers. S. 10:94-95 Pickthall

This text has troubled many a Muslim since it shows that Muhammad had doubts whether he was indeed receiving revelation from God. The reference expressly states that as a result of these doubts Muhammad was to consult the Jews and Christians for verification of the revelation, since they are those who have been reading the Book before him. What this means is that the Holy Bible is the criterion over the Quran, that the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians are the arbiter determining whether Muhammad's revelations are genuinely from God or not!{1} The reader can see why this passage has troubled so many Muslims.{2}

O Messenger, deliver that which has been sent down to thee from thy Lord; for if thou dost not, thou wilt not have delivered His Message. God will protect thee from men. God guides not the people of the unbelievers. S. 5:67

Here, Muhammad has to be warned to deliver the message and assured that Allah will protect him.

And when you said to him to whom Allah had shown favor and to whom you had shown a favor: Keep your wife to yourself and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him. But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them; and Allah's command shall be performed. S. 33:37

The above is a rather serious charge. Muhammad was more afraid of men than of Allah to the extent that he had to be rebuked because of it. When the readers see the reason behind the "sending down" of this verse:

They will more fully appreciate why Muhammad was afraid of the people!

Muhammad was also threatened with punishment for coming close to compromising his monotheism and was even warned against tampering with the "revelation"!

And when Our clear revelations are recited unto them, they who look not for the meeting with Us say: Bring a Lecture other than this, or change it. Say (O Muhammad): It is not for me to change it of my accord. I only follow that which is inspired in me. Lo! if I disobey my Lord I fear the retribution of an awful Day. S. 10:15 Pickthall

This is (part) of that wisdom wherewith thy Lord hath inspired thee (O Muhammad). And set not up with Allah any other god, lest thou be cast into hell, reproved, abandoned. S. 17:39 Pickthall

And surely they had purposed to turn you away from that which We have revealed to you, that you should forge against Us other than that, and then they would certainly have taken you for a friend. And had it not been that We had already established you, you would certainly have been near to incline to them a little; In that case We would certainly have made you to taste a double (punishment) in this life and a double (punishment) after death, then you would not have found any helper against Us. S. 17:73-75 Shakir

O Prophet! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and do not comply with (the wishes of) the unbelievers and the hypocrites; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise; S. 33:1

And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: Surely if you associate (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught and you would certainly be of the losers. S. 39:65 Shakir

That this is verily the word of an honoured apostle; It is not the word of a poet: little it is ye believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little admonition it is ye receive. (This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds. And if the apostle 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: S. 69:40-46 Y. Ali

Interestingly, some of the earliest Muslim sources testify that Muhammad did indeed end up compromising his stance on God's unity since he temporarily lapsed back into idolatry and recited lines praising the pagan goddesses worshiped at the Kabah, also known as the daughters of Allah. These verses that he recited have come to be known as the "Satanic verses".

The Quran also says that Muhammad drove people away from worship and coveted the riches and prestige of the unbelieving Arab nobles:

And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord at morning and evening desiring His countenance; nothing of their account falls upon thee, and nothing of thy account falls upon them, that thou shouldst drive them away, and so become one of the evildoers. S. 6:52

Here is what the Tafsir of Ibn Abbas says about this text:

(Repel not) O Muhammad, because of what 'Uyaynah Ibn Hisn al-Fazari has said-he said: "repel these from you so that the nobles of Mecca come to you, hear you and believe in you"-and these nobles also asked 'Umar to request the Prophet (pbuh) to allocate one day for them and another for weak believers, but Allah rejected this and warned them against such a deed, (those who call upon their Lord) Salman and his fellow believers, among the clients, who worship their Lord (at morn and evening) through performing the five daily prayers, (seeking His countenance) and by doing so they only seek Allah's countenance and good pleasure. (Thou art not accountable for them) for their provision (in aught, nor are they accountable for you) for your provision (in aught, that thou shouldst repel them and be of the wrong-doers) of those who harm themselves. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn 'Abbs; online source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Tafsir al-Jalalayn adds:

And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord at morning and evening desiring, through their worship, His countenance, exalted be He, and not [desiring] any of the transient things of this world - and these are the poor. The idolaters had reviled them and demanded that he [the Prophet] expel them, so that they could sit with him. The Prophet (s) WANTED [to do] THIS, because of his desire that they become Muslims. You are not accountable for them in anything (min shay'in: min is extra), if what they hide in themselves be displeasing; nor are they accountable for you in anything, that you should drive them away (this is the response to the negative sentence) and be of the evildoers, if you do this. (online source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

And a second passages:

And restrain thyself with those who call upon their Lord at morning and evening, desiring His countenance, and let not thine eyes turn away from them, desiring the adornment of the present life; and obey not him whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance so that he follows his own lust, and his affair has become all excess. S. 18:28

Ibn Kathir comments on this text:

(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face;) meaning, sit with those who remember Allah, who say "La Ilaha Illallah'', who praise Him, glorify Him, declare His greatness and call on Him, morning and evening, all the servants of Allah, whether rich or poor, strong or weak. It was said that this was revealed about the nobles of Quraysh when they asked the Prophet to sit with them on his own, and not to bring his weak Companions with him, such as Bilal, `Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab and Ibn Mas`ud. They wanted him to sit with them on his own, but Allah forbade him from doing that, and said, ...

<And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.> Allah commanded him to patiently content himself with sitting with those people <the weak believers>, and said...

<And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon...> Imam Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas who said: "There was a group of six of us with the Prophet . The idolators said, `Tell these people to leave so they will not offend us.' There was myself, Ibn Mas`ud, a man from Hudayl, Bilal and two other men whose names I have forgotten. Allah's Messenger thought to himself about whatever Allah willed he should think about, then Allah revealed...

<And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.>" Only Muslim reported this; excluding Al-Bukhari...

<and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world;> Ibn `Abbas said, `(this means) do not favor others over them, meaning do not seek the people of nobility and wealth instead of them.' ...

<and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance> means, those who are distracted by this world from being committed to the religion and from worshipping their Lord...

<and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.> means, his actions and deeds are a foolish waste of time. Do not obey him or admire his way or envy what he has. As Allah says elsewhere...

<And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.> [20:131] (; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Another text states:

Stretch not thine eyes to that We have given pairs of them to enjoy - the flower of the present life, that We may try them therein and thy Lord's provision is better, and more enduring. S. 20:131

Again, here is Ibn Kathir:

Do not look at the Enjoyment of the Wealthy, be patient in the worship of Allah

Allah, the Exalted, says to His Prophet Muhammad, "Do not look at what these people of luxury and their likes and peers have of nice comforts. For verily, it is only short-lived splendor and a feeble bounty, which We are using to test them with. And very few of My servants are truly thankful." Mujahid said, ...

<various groups of them,> "This means the wealthy people." This means, "Verily, We have given you (O Muhammad) better than that which We have given them." This is just as Allah says in another Ayah, ...

<And indeed, We have bestowed upon you seven repeatedly recited verses, and the Grand Qur'an. Look not with your eyes ambitiously.> [15:87-88] Likewise, that which Allah has stored for His Messenger in the Hereafter is something extremely great. It is an unlimited reward that cannot be described. This is as Allah says, ...

<And verily, your Lord will give you so that you shall be well-pleased.> [93:5] For this reason, Allah says, ...

<But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.> In the Sahih it is recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab entered upon the Messenger of Allah while he was in the small room in which he had separated himself from his wives after he had vowed to stay away from them. When he came in, he saw him (the Prophet ) lying down upon a sandy straw mat. There was nothing in the house except a pile of sant tree pods and some hanging equipment. `Umar's eyes filled with tears (upon seeing this), so the Messenger of Allah said to him, ...

<What makes you cry, O Umar?> He replied, "O Messenger of Allah, verily Kisra and Caesar are living in their luxurious conditions, yet you are the chosen Friend of Allah amongst His creation." The Prophet said, ...

<Do you have doubt, O son of Al-Khattab? Those people have had their good hastened for them in the life of this world.> Thus, the Prophet was the most abstinent of people concerning worldly luxuries, even though he had the ability to attain them. If he acquired anything of worldly treasures he would spend it on this and that for the servants of Allah. He would never save anything for himself for the next day. Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Abu Sa`id that the Messenger of Allah said, ...

<Verily, the thing I fear most for you all is what Allah will allow you to acquire of the splendor of this world.> They (the Companions) said, "What is the splendor of this world, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, ...

<The blessings of the earth.> Qatadah and As-Suddi said, "The splendor of this worldly life means the beautiful adornments of the life of this world." Qatadah said, ...

<that We may test them thereby.> "So that We may put them to trial." (Source; italics and underline emphasis ours)

The problem with the above story regarding Muhammad's supposed destitute condition is that it directly contradicts both the Quran and other so-called sound narrations which say that Allah made Muhammad rich:

"Did He not find you as an orphan and give you shelter? Did He not find you wandering about and give you guidance? And did He not find you in need AND MAKE YOU RICH?" S. 93:6-8 Muhammad Sarwar

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Whenever a dead man in debt was brought to Allah's Apostle he would ask, "Has he left anything to repay his debt?" If he was informed that he had left something to repay his debts, he would offer his funeral prayer, otherwise he would tell the Muslims to offer their friend's funeral prayer. When Allah made the Prophet wealthy through conquests, he said, "I am more rightful than other believers to be the guardian of the believers, so if a Muslim dies while in debt, I am responsible for the repayment of his debt, and whoever leaves wealth (after his death) it will belong to his heirs." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 37, Number 495)

One of the ways in which Allah made his prophet rich was through the plunder stolen from caravans and military expeditions since a fifth of the booty had to be given to Muhammad:

They ask thee (O Muhammad) of the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war belong to Allah and the messenger, so keep your duty to Allah, and adjust the matter of your difference, and obey Allah and His messenger, if ye are (true) believers. S. 8:1 Pickthall

And know that whatever ye take as spoils of war, lo! a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger and for the kinsman (who hath need) and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if ye believe in Allah and that which We revealed unto Our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the day when the two armies met. And Allah is Able to do all things. S. 8:41 Pickthall

Muhammad even owned many homes!

O believers, enter not the HOUSES of the Prophet, except leave is given you for a meal, without watching for its hour. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have had the meal, disperse, neither lingering for idle talk; that is hurtful to the Prophet, and he is ashamed before you; but God is not ashamed before the truth. And when you ask his wives for any object, ask them from behind a curtain; that is cleaner for your hearts and theirs. It is not for you to hurt God's Messenger, neither to marry his wives after him, ever; surely that would be, in God's sight, a monstrous thing. S. 33:53 Arberry

Allah even promised to compensate Muslims for the financial loss they would experience as a result of the pagans being banished from Mecca through the taxation which would be imposed on the people of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians):

O believers, the idolaters are indeed unclean; so let them not come near the Holy Mosque after this year of theirs. If you fear poverty, God shall surely enrich you of His bounty, if He will; God is All-knowing; All-wise. Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden -- such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled. S. 9:28-29 Arberry

From the foregoing we can see that Muhammad was far from being destitute and that Islam turned out to be a very lucrative endeavor for both Muhammad and the Muslims.

Here is a final example from the Quran where Muhammad was rebuked for ignoring the misfortunate in order to appease the rich:

He frowned and turned (his) back, Because there came to him the blind man. And what would make you know that he would purify himself, Or become reminded so that the reminder should profit him? As for him who considers himself free from need (of you), To him do you address yourself. And no blame is on you if he would not purify himself And as to him who comes to you striving hard, And he fears, From him will you divert yourself. S. 80:1-10 Shakir

What we gather from the above is that Muhammad, like all the rest of mankind, needed a sinless Savior to redeem him from the stains and effects of his imperfections, shortcomings, and wickedness. Muhammad needed Jesus:

"The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners; but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:15-16

"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16

"Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself." Hebrews 7:25-27

"You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin... He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8

"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins... And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:9-10, 14

But sadly he rejected the real Jesus of history, who is the Christ of New Testament faith, for a counterfeit Jesus named Isa who cannot save:

"For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough... For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15

But you don't have to:

"But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13

Recommended Reading


{1} One Muslim named Bassam Zawadi tries to address the implications Sura 10:94 has on Muhammad's faithfulness and state of mind:

The meaning is that the Prophet should ask the true believers from the people of the book such as Abdullah bin Salam who says that the Prophet has been described by Jesus to later come. (Tafsir of Tabari) and (Tafsir of Qurtubi). Well the Prophet then replied back saying that he does not doubt and therefore would not ask. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir), (Tafsir of Suyuti), (Tafsir of Tabari) and (Tafsir of Qurtubi)

Anyone reading the text can see that this is not the "meaning" of the verse since there is nothing in the immediate or remote contexts which refer to any alleged prophecies of Muhammad in the previous Scriptures. It seems that Zawadi conveniently overlooked the verse that immediately follows:

And be not thou of those who deny the revelations of Allah, for then wert thou of the losers. S. 10:95 Pickthall

The context shows that what Muhammad was doubting was not whether the previous prophets predicted his coming, but whether he was receiving genuine revelations. More on this below.

Moreover, the Quran nowhere records any alleged response from Muhammad denying that he has any doubts. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt on the part of Muslims to do some damage control, to try to make their prophet look much better than the depiction of him in the Quran.

Furthermore, assuming for argument's sake that these sources are all correct and that this is referring to Muhammad doubting whether there are predictions of his advent, this still leaves Zawadi with problems. Zawadi's sources claim that Muhammad responded by saying he will not ask, and yet there are narrations where Muhammad did ask!

This is a description of the Prophet Muhammad in the Books of the Prophets. They delivered the good news of his advent to their nations and commanded them to follow him. His descriptions were still apparent in their Books, as the rabbis and priests well know. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sakhr Al-'Uqayli said that a bedouin man said to him, "I brought a milk-producing camel to Al-Madinah during the life time of Allah's Messenger. After I sold it, I said to myself, 'I will meet that man (Muhammad) and hear from him.' So I passed by him while he was walking between Abu Bakr and 'Umar, and I followed them until they went by a Jewish man, who was reading from an open of the Tawrah. He was mourning a son of his who was dying and who was one of the most handsome boys. The Messenger of Allah asked him (the father), <I ask you by He Who has sent down the Tawrah, do you not find the description of me and my advent in your Book?>
He nodded his head in the negative. His son said, 'Rather, yes, by He Who has sent down the Tawrah! We find the description of you and your advent in our Book. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah.' The Prophet said (to the Companions),
<Stop the Jew (the father) from (taking care of) your brother (in Islam).>
The Prophet then personally took care of the son's funeral and led the funeral prayer on him. This Hadith is sound and is supported by a similar Hadith in the Sahih narrated from Anas.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Muthanna said that 'Ata bin Yasar said, 'I met 'Abdullah bin 'Amr and asked him, 'Tell me about the description of Allah's Messenger in the Tawrah.' He said, 'Yes, by Allah! He is described in the Tawrah, just as he is described in the Qur'an,
<O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner.> [33:45]
as a safe refuge for the unlettered ones. [author's note- what follows is a paraphrase of Isaiah 42:1-7] 'You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you 'Al-Mutawakkil' (who trusts in Allah), not hard or harsh.' Neither uttering foul speech in the markets nor returning evil deed with one in kind. Rather, he forgives and forgoes. Allah will not end his life until He straightens through him the crooked religion, so that they might proclaim, 'There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' He will open through him sealed hearts, deaf ears and blind eyes.'" 'Ata then said, 'I also met Ka'b and asked him the same question, and his answer did not differ from 'Abdullah's answer, even concerning one letter." Al-Bukhari recorded from 'Abdullah bin 'Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari [up to the word] forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of 'Abdullah bin 'Amr then he said: "It was common in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Scriptures as the Tawrah, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Volume 4 (Surat Al-Ar'af to the end of Surah Yunus), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000], pp. 178-179; online edition; bold emphasis ours)

The foregoing leaves us with several options:

  1. Muhammad lied that he wouldn't ask.
  2. Muhammad started wavering in his faith and ended up having to ask in order to reassure himself.
  3. Zawadi's sources lied by either forging or passing on a forged narration which claimed that Muhammad would not ask.

This one thing is certain, the Islamic sources are contradicting themselves!

Zawadi does admit that the verse is referring to Muhammad:

The verse is addressing the Prophet Muhammad. When you read the Arabic it says...

Arabic Fa-in kunta fee shakkin mimma anzalnna ilayka fais-ali allatheena yaqraoona alkitaba min qablika laqad jaaka alhaqqu min rabbika fala takoonanna mina almumtareena

The word kunta is singular. Therefore, addressing one person. That being Prophet Muhammad. If it said kuntum then it would be a general command for everyone.

God asked the Prophet if he had doubts and then Prophet replied back saying no. God did not accuse the Prophet of having doubts.

Even though he is trying so desperately to deny it, by admitting that the ayah does refer to Muhammad Zawadi is indirectly acknowledging that the passage is in fact rebuking Muhammad and warning him not to be of those who doubt.

{2} Some Muslim apologists such as Dr. Jamal Badawi insist that Sura 10:94 is not really addressed to Muhammad but to the people through him. Badawi produces the following text as an example where Muhammad is addressed even though it is really directed to the people:

O Prophet! When ye (men) put away (tallaqtumu) women, put them away for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord. Expel them not from their houses nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality. Such are the limits (imposed by) Allah; and whoso transgresseth Allah's limits, he verily wrongeth his soul. Thou knowest not: it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass. S. 65:1 Pickthall

The word tallaqtum is plural which means that the command is directed to a group of men, even though it begins with a reference to Muhammad. Badawi deduces from this that Sura 10:94 is directed towards others despite its use of the singular pronoun.

There are at least several reasons why this reference doesn't support Badawi's position. First, as Badawi noted, the word for divorce is plural which serves as a semantic signal to the reader that Muhammad is not the only person that the author is directing these instructions. Yet no such signal appears in Sura 10:94 which uses the singular address.

Second, Sura 65:1 is not just addressing the people through Muhammad, but includes Muhammad as well. After all, these rules of divorce would apply to him just as much as to the others, unless of course Badawi wants to assume that Allah prescribed different rules of divorce for his messenger! Thus, even if we were to assume that Sura 10:94 is directed to others this still would not exclude Muhammad from being included within this address.

Third, the hadith literature provides an example where Muhammad was in doubt whether he truly had received revelation and how he then went to a Christian to verify his experience:

Narrated 'Aisha:
(the mother of the faithful believers) The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read.

The Prophet added, "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, 'I do not know how to read.' Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, 'I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?' Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, 'Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous." (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija replied, "Never! By Allah, Allah wll never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones."

Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza, who, during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to Waraqa, "Listen to the story of your nephew, O my cousin!" Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" Allah's Apostle described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, "This is the same one who keeps the secrets (angel Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they drive me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, "Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa diedand the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while... (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3)

... Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, "Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good reactions with your kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet described whatever he had seen.

Waraqa said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they turn me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth," whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before. (Ibn 'Abbas said regarding the meaning of: 'He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)' (6.96) that Al-Asbah means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 111)

The above narrations prove that Sura 10:94 is indeed addressed to Muhammad and that he had to confirm whether the messages he was receiving were true by consulting the Jews and Christians. In fact, it can be safely said that had the so-called Christian monk Waraqa not convinced Muhammad that revelation had come to him that there would be no Islam today.

What this basically shows is that Muhammad did struggle with doubts and unbelief, explaining why there are passages in the Quran rebuking or encouraging him to faithfulness.

Articles by Sam Shamoun
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