Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muhammad, Satan, and Muhammad’s Prophetic Call

By Cornelius

Please consider the following statements from Islamic literature (Sirat, Hadith and Quran).

Ibn Ishaq’s "Sirat Rasul Allah," The Life of Muhammad, translated by A. Guillaume, p. 106

(Muhammad Speaking) "Now none of God’s creatures was more hateful to me than an (ecstatic) poet or a man possessed: I could not even look at them. I thought, Woe is me poet or possessed — Never shall the Quraysh say this of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest."

History of Tabari Translated [1150], translated by W. Montgomery Watt, vol. 6, p. 71

(Muhammad Speaking) "There was no one of God’s creation more hateful to me than a poet or a madman; I could not bear to look at either of them. I said to myself, ‘Your humble servant (meaning himself) is either a poet or a madman, but Quraysh shall never say this of me. I shall take myself to a mountain crag, hurl myself down from it, kill myself, and find relief that way.’"

History of Tabari [1147], translated by W. Montgomery Watt, vol. 6, p. 68

"He (Muhammad) said: I had been thinking of hurling myself down from a mountain crag, but he appeared to me and said, ‘Muhammad, I am Gabriel and you are the messenger of God.’"

History of Tabari [1148], translated by W. Montgomery Watt, vol. 6, p. 69-70

"He (Muhammad) said: I had been thinking of hurling myself down from a mountain crag, but he appeared to me and said, ‘Muhammad, I am Gabriel and you are the messenger of God.’

‘O Muhammad, recite!’ He said, ‘What shall I recite?’ and he said:

Recite in the name of your Lord who creates! He created you from a clot of blood. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Bountiful, He who teaches by the pen, teaches man what he knew not.’

Then he went to Khadijah and said, ‘Khadijah, I think that I have gone mad.’ ‘No, by God,’ she said. ‘Your Lord would never do that to you.’"

History of Tabari [1151], translated by W. Montgomery Watt, vol. 6, p. 72

"At last Gabriel left me and I went back to my family. When I came to Khadijah, I sat down with my thigh next to hers, and she said to me, ‘Abu al Qasim, where have you been? I sent messengers to look for you all the way to Mecca and back.’ I said to her, ‘I am either a poet or a madman.’ but she answered, ‘May God save you from that, Abu al-Qasim! God would not do that to you.’"

History of Tabari [1155], translated by W. Montgomery Watt, vol. 6, p. 76.

"Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-A’la-Ibn Thawr — Ma’mar — al-Zuhri: The inspiration ceased to come to the Messenger of God for a while, and he was deeply grieved. He began to go to the tops of mountain crags, in order to fling himself from them; but every time he reached the summit of a mountain, Gabriel appeared to him and said to him, ‘You are the Prophet of God.’ Thereupon his anxiety would subside and he would come back to himself."

Al-Bukhari, vol. VII, no. 660

"Narrated Aisha: Magic was worked on Allah’s Apostle so that he used to think that he had had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not …" (Source)

Al-Bukhari, vol. VII, no. 658

"Narrated Aisha: A man called Labid bin al-A’sam from the tribe of Bani Zaraiq worked magic on Allah’s Apostle until Allah’s Apostle started imagining that the had done a thing that he had not really done. One day or one nigh he was with us, he invoked Allah and invoked for a long period, and then said, ‘O Aisha! Do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I have asked him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other replied, ‘He is under the effect of magic.’ The first one asked, ‘Who has worked the magic on him?’ The other replied, ‘Labid bin Al-Asam’ …" (Source)

History of Tabari [1192-1193], vol. 6, pp. 108-110

"Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Muhammad b. Ishaq – Yazid b. Ziyad al-Madani – Muhammad b. Ka’b al-Qurazi: When the Messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed out, and he debated with himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed:

By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire …

and when he came to the words:

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words:

These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval.

When the Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced and were happy and delighted at the way in which he spoke of their gods, and they listened to him, while the Muslims, having complete trust in their Prophet in respect of the messages which he brought from God, did not suspect him of error, illusion, or mistake. When he came to the prostration, having completed the surah, he prostrated himself and the Muslims did likewise, following their Prophet, trusting in the message which he had brought and following his example….The Quraysh left delighted by the mention of their gods which they had heard, saying, ‘Muhammad has mentioned our gods in the most favorable way possible, stating in his recitation that they are the high-flying cranes and that their intercession is received with approval.’ …Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, ‘Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.’ Then the Messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad’s tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers, and revealed:

Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he recited (the Message) Satan cast words into his recitation (umniyyah). God abrogates what Satan casts. Then God established his verses. God is knower, wise.

Thus God removed the sorrow from his Messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared and cancelled the words which Satan had cast on his tongue … Those two phrases which Satan had cast on the tongue of the Messenger of God were in the mouth of every polytheists …"

The above accounts are particularly interesting in light of the following verses in the Quran

39"(Iblis) said ‘O my Lord! Because Thou hast put me In the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in wrong. – 40"Except Thy servants among them, sincere and purified (By thy grace).’ 41(God) said: ‘This (Way of My sincere servants) is indeed a way that leads straight to me. 42For over My servants no authority shalt thou have, except such as put themselves in the wrong and follow thee. 43And verily, Hell is the promised abode for them all! To it are seven gates: for each of those gates is a (special) class of sinners assigned.’" S. 15:39-43 (Yusuf Ali)

According to these Islamic traditions Muhammad was deceived by Satan and was bewitched by a sorcerer. Thus it is clear that Satan exercised some degree of authority over him. Since Surah 15:42-43 states that Satan has no authority over Allah’s servants, but Satan only has authority over those who put themselves in the wrong and follow Satan, and that the followers of Satan will be cast into hell, one can therefore logically deduce whom Muhammad followed and where he is today.

Do you want to follow Muhammad?