Destroy all Churches in Gulf, says Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah

[By Arabian Business. Com] The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has said it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” following Kuwait’s moves to ban their construction.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah made the comment in view of an age-old rule that only Islam can be practiced in the region. (AFP/Getty Images)

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah made the comment in view of an age-old rule that only Islam can be practiced in the region. (AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, stressed that since the tiny Gulf state was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, it was necessary to destroy all of the churches in the country, Arabic media have reported.

Saudi Arabia’s top cleric made the comment in view of an age-old rule that only Islam can be practiced in the region.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia is the highest official of religious law in the Sunni Muslim kingdom. He is also the head of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas.

A Kuwaiti parliamentarian said last month he wanted to ban the construction of churches and non-Islamic places of worship in the Gulf state.

MP Osama Al-Munawer announced on Twitter he planned to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country. He later clarified that existing churches should remain but the construction of new non-Islamic places of worship should be banned.

Kuwaiti MPs call for ban on construction of churches

A Kuwaiti parliamentarian is set to submit a draft law banning the construction of churches and non-Islamic places of worship in the Gulf state, it was reported at the weekend.

Kuwaiti Member of Parliament (MP) Osama Al-Munawer announced on Twitter he plans to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country. However, he later clarified that existing churches should remain but the construction of new non-Islamic places of worship should be banned.

Fellow MP, Mohammad Hayef supported the draft law. “Kuwait already has an excessive number of churches compared to the country’s Christian minority”, he was quoted as saying by the Kuwait Times newspaper.

The country’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs recently granted a licence for the construction of a new church, which Hayef described as “an error”.

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    [The sources reveal that Muhammad was a thief, a liar, an assassin, a pedophile, a shameless womanizer, a promiscuous husband, a rapist, a mass murderer, a desert pirate, a warmonger but a spineless coward, and a calculating and ruthless tyrant. It’s certainly not the character profile of the founder of a true religion.]


    And surely thou hast sublime morals
    (Surat Al-Qalam 68:4).

    Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar
    (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:21).

    Muslims believe that the Koran is the eternal word/laws of god to acts as a divine guidance for mankind about how to live a moral, righteous life. Prophet Muhammad, the highest perfection of human life and the prototype of the most wonderful human conduct in Islamic belief, emulated the guidance of Allah perfectly.

    Islam stands or falls on the credibility of Muhammad on which we do not have single evidence but unfathomable doubts because his conduct was immoral. But he successfully twisted the sense of morality of his followers, distorted their sense of ‘Humanness’ and linked “doing good” and “a service to God” to all ungodly things. Briefly, he had given a sacred aura to crime and terrorism.

    Was Muhammad truthful and sincere when he claimed to the title of prophet? Or, was he a vulgar imposter, who posed as a prophet with his eyes upon a throne from the beginning? Where we can find some concrete evidence that Qur’anic revelations were not Muhammad’s delusions or his conscious fabrications? Where is the ‘divine’ verification for ‘divine’ revelations?

    If we put the Qur’an in chronological order and correlate it with the context of Muhammad’s life as was reported in Sira, Sunnah and Hadith we find Allah mirrored Muhammad’s character. Allah was too dumb to be the Creator God and too immoral to be Divine.

    I want to test Muhammad’s claim to the title of messenger of God because I cannot blindly accept his claim. Muhammad may be a true prophet or he may be an imposter. We must test him to see which he is. Anyone who claims to be a prophet must be prepared to have his prophecy tested.

    Towards the beginning of last century, there was a rising interest among the Western scholars to investigate the origins of Islam and its founder, i.e., Prophet Muhammad. For this they had used highest standard of historical scholarship available at that time. Their aim was to collect authentic information about Muhammad and the rise of early Islam by carefully separating the facts from fictions. In some ways the research on Muhammad was inspired by a similar type of investigation of Christianity made famous by Albert Schweitzer’s famous work ‘The Quest of the Historical Jesus’.

    As Spencer (2006, p.19) commented,

    “Most Western non-Muslims know virtually nothing about the Prophet of Islam”,

    but the question is, how many practicing Muslims know their Prophet well? Has an honest biography of Muhammad yet been written? There are enough pious and totally un-objective traditions of Muhammad preserved by the Muslim religious community, but what is lacking in these sources is honesty. Even today, numerous works in Arabic and other Muslim majority languages appear each year which try to portray Muhammad as a holy man, a seer, visionary and miracle worker. But in reality these are far from the truth. The reason no Muslim can write an honest biography of their Prophet, is that the biography of Muhammad is a subject that is taboo and as Rodinson (1981, p.24) commented,

    “… is permitted only when written as apologetic and edifying literature”.

    Hence, objective historical research on Muhammad has long been severely handicapped both by the resistance of the Muslim societies to Western analysis of their sacred traditions and by the apologetic approaches of many Western scholars, who had compromised their investigation for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities.
    But in recent time, thanks to both Western and ex-Muslim writers; a lot of scholarly work had been produced ‘which could offend certain readers’. With the help of these scholars, we can trace Muhammad’s fluctuation of thought year by year, his actions, his achievements, family life, abnormal sexual behavior, strength and weaknesses.

    If we compare our findings with that of modern development of psychological studies, the image of Muhammad that surfaces is far away from any holy religious figure but that of a person who was suffering from severe mental illness. And if we probe further deep into the mystery of Allah and carefully make a distinction between superstition and science, we have hardly any doubt left that it was his mental illness and hallucinatory experience which was solely responsible for creating Allah, Qur’an and Islam altogether.

    The Flashback of a False Prophet

    Muhammad’s Prophetic Claim

    Islam is a religion which had developed from the Prophetic claim, preaching and life of Muhammad early in the seventh century of the Christian era. During that time, the old Arabian paganism was in a process of slow disintegration and Judaism and Christianity were widely gaining popularity. Several self-proclaimed Prophets had arisen with various degrees of success in convincing people. In the beginning Muhammad was such a self-proclaimed Prophet, but with time he successfully synchronized certain basic elements of Judaism and Christianity with the pagan practices and added some nationalistic Arab pride and it has become a world religion today.

    From the authentic Islamic sources it appears that Muhammad thought of himself as in the succession of the Old Testament men of faith who was sent on a Divine mission by the one and only God, Allah. Like Noah, Jonah, and Elijah he preached a religious message in the name of this Supreme Lord, like Moses he also issued legislation in His name, and like Abraham he was not only a maintainer of righteousness but the founder of a community of the righteous. But unlike Christianity or Buddhism, his religious endeavor was an utter failure unless he was able to draw the sword and use it successfully to impose his religion on others.
    Muhammad declared himself a Prophet of Allah when he was about forty years old. Bukhari’s Hadith (1:3) recorded Muhammad’s first experience with the angel Gabriel.

    But this Divine confrontation was less heavenly and more demonic.

    Once in the cave of Hira, the angel Gabriel came to him with some written messages from Allah and asked him to read. Muhammad replied, “I do not know how to read”. Three times Muhammad expressed his inability to read but Gabriel forcefully gave him the message of Allah, the famous first revelations of Qur’an.

    “Read (Prophet Muhammad) in the Name of your Lord who created the human from a (blood) clot. Read! Your Lord is the Most Generous, who taught by the pen, taught the human, what he did not know” (Quran: 96.1-5).

    So the truth of Allah’s message started descending upon Muhammad in a violent way. This is entirely sufficient for a rational person to seriously doubt about the truthfulness of Qur’anic message and Muhammad’s reliability as a Prophet. Surprisingly, Muhammad himself was the first person to doubt the genuineness of the revelation. He hurried back to his wife bewildered and terrorized,

    “What’s wrong with me?” he asks his wife.

    Just as kids hide under the covers when they are afraid of monsters in the dark, so Muhammad had his wife wrap him in a blanket; he did not want to see the cause of terror again. He thought he was either going mad or possessed by an evil spirit.


    After this first revelation Allah was silent for about three years. Muhammad was so sad that he preferred to commit suicide. Several times he intended to throw himself from the top of high mountains but every time he went up the top of mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and said, “O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah’s Apostle in truth.” This is how Muhammad began to believe that he was a messenger of God.

    A messenger of such a demonic God who’s influence caused him to attempt suicide.

    Few people are aware of Muhammad’s suicide attempts. Few Islamic leaders will teach this to their fellow Muslims because it casts a stain upon Muhammad; it brings doubt to his trustworthiness and the credibility of his assumed “Prophetic” experience. Some Muslims deny the sources of the story. Other more intelligent Muslims, knowledgeable about the sources, respond by saying that the shock of the experience caused him to attempt suicide.

    According to Qur’an, Muhammad was the seal of the Prophets.
    “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men. He is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. Allah has knowledge of all things” (Quran: 33.40).


    According to Islamic sources (Bukhari: 1.4.189; Muslim: 30.5790; Sunan of Abu Dawud 32:4071), Muhammad had a big mole on his back between the shoulders which was as big as a pigeon’s egg. He claimed that the big mole is the proof of his Prophethood. There is no religious scripture which confirms that a mole between the shoulders is a sign of Prophethood. What he claimed to be a proof of Allah’s seal was a physical deformity which anyone can have. There is no ‘divinity’ in this. It is simply beyond the capacity of a logical thinker how this is supposed to be one of the proofs that convince people of Muhammad’s Prophethood!

    Muhammad gave no solid proof of his Prophethood. He only claimed to the title of Prophet of Allah.

    Did he lie?

    Was he under delusion?

    The validity of Islam is closely dependent on the reliability of Muhammad. If there is no solid reason to conclude that Muhammad was the true messenger of God, we may reasonably suppose that Islam is false. If we can prove that Muhammad was untrustworthy, Islam self-destructs. The scholars, who are most familiar with Arabic sources and had clear understanding of the life and time of Muhammad; like Margoliouth, Hurgronge, Lammens, Caetani are the most decisive against Muhammad’s Prophetic claim. The more we read their valuable research works, the more we find it difficult to disagree with them.

    How can we be sure that Muhammad did not lie?

    Muhammad declared that lying is acceptable if it is used to propagate the cause of Islam by killing the enemy. This particular statement should make us wonder how often Muhammad took advantage of this principle while claiming his title of a Prophet and preaching his message.

    If we take Qur’an as a primary foundation of Muhammad’s Prophethood, the doubt is still not dispelled at all. The next question is to ascertain how firm the ground it provides is. There are serious doubts about the trustworthiness of Qur’an also. Like Muhammad’s Prophetic claim, Qur’an itself is self-declarative. It describes itself by various generic terms, comments, explains, distinguishes, puts itself in contrast with other religious books and claims to be holy. The Qur’anic claims are great, but what is miserable is that, this supposed holy book fails to prove either Muhammad’s Prophetic claim or its Divine origin.

    Ultimately, it becomes a circular reasoning. Qur’an is God’s words because Muhammad said so and Muhammad was God’s messenger because Qur’an says so. Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy. We are not happy with this.

    The Embarrassment of Satanic Verses

    Traditional Islamic sources admit that Muhammad was at one time inspired by Satan to put some verses into the Qur’an.

    When Muhammad first began preaching in Mecca he thought that the Meccans would accept his religion. But the Meccans were not receptive to him. This made Muhammad angry and he started taunting them for years by insulting their religion and Gods. Meccans refused all dealings with him and his followers. Eventually to appease the Meccans, Muhammad recited the following Qura’nic verses,

    “Have you then considered the al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the last … these are the exalted Gharaniq (a high flying bird) whose intercession is approved” (Quran: 53.19-20)

    Al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat were some of the local idols worshiped in Mecca. Previously Muhammad had spoken against them in his monotheist preaching but now he recited that their “intercession is approved”. This made the Meccans very pleased and the boycott was lifted shortly.
    Soon Muhammad realized that by acknowledging the local idols al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat he had made a terrible blunder. He had undermined his own position that as the sole intermediary between Allah and the people and by doing so he made his new religion indistinguishable from pagan beliefs and hence redundant. So he retracted and said the two verses acknowledging pagan idols were satanic verses i.e., the verses inspired by Lucifer, the Biblical Satan. This is Muhammad’s most embarrassing moment.

    Islam crumbled in the wake of the Prophet’s satanic indulgence. Muhammad desperately tried to make amends for the satanic verses and recited the following verse.

    “Surely Allah does not forgive setting up partners with Him; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he indeed strays off into remote error. They call but upon female deities. They call but upon Satan, the persistent rebel!” (Quran: 4.116)

    Subsequently, the relevant verses were also modified with the final form what is now in the modern Qur’an,

    “Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza. And Manat, the third, the other? Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division!” (Quran: 53:19-22).

    Many of the Muhammad’s followers left him on this account realizing that Muhammad was making up the Qur’an (Sina, 2008, p. 16). Muhammad had to run away from Mecca in shame. The shame of defeat was so much that Muhammad and Abu Bakr had to flee through a window. On their way out of town, both had to hide in a cave for fear the Meccans would find them (Winn, 2004. p. 587).

    “When the Messenger decided upon departure, he went to Bakr and the two of them left by a window in the back of Abu’s house and went to a cave in Thawr, a mountain below Mecca”.
    (Ishaq: 223)

    “The Messenger came back to Mecca and found that its people were more determined to oppose him and to abandon his religion, except for a few weak people who believed in him”.
    (Tabari: VI. 118)

    However, after this blunder Muhammad was more careful not to make the mistake again. He just hammered a nail into his own Prophetic coffin.

    Muslims are very uncomfortable with the satanic verses episode and this had been the subject of endless and bitter controversy (Walker, 2002, p. 111). But if we have to believe the authentic Muslim sources there is no reason to reject this occurrence. This incident was recorded by devout Muslims like Al-Wikidi, Al-Zamakshari, Al-Baydawi, Al-Tabari, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Sa’d and Bukhari. It is unthinkable that such a story would have been fabricated by all of them.

    While this event is well documented in Islamic sources, current day Islamic leaders rarely tell Muslims or the general public about it.

    We can make three logical conclusions from this satanic verses incident.

    Firstly, a Qur’anic verse can be modified or deleted at a later date.

    Secondly, it casts a shadow over the veracity on Muhammad’s entire claim to be a Prophet.

    Finally, Satan proves that Qur’an is not a miracle. Qur’an challenges “bring a Sura like it”. (Quran: 2.23) and Satan took the challenge and did it.

    Did Muhammad carefully plan a ploy to win the hearts of the Meccans, or was it his subconscious that had suggested to him a sure formula which provided a practical road to unanimity?

    The Traditional Sources

    It seems logical, and also agreeable to Muslims, to say that if we have solid reasons to believe that Muhammad was a reliable messenger of God, we may conclude that Islam is a true religion and, in case there are strong reasons to question Muhammad’s trustworthiness, Islam self-destructs.

    In the West, Muhammad’s critics are quick to claim that he was either possessed by demons or suffering from mental illness or he was a conscious fraud. We have no concrete evidence to support one of these claims and discard others; but at least we all agree to the point that, there was certainly something wrong with Muhammad.

    The Western scholars judge the Prophet by the standards of human morality and conscious. But Muslims’ thinking is different. From their point of view they have accepted Muhammad as a ‘superior being’ and ‘the mercy of God among mankind’ (Sina, 2008, p. 6).

    Though Muslims dismiss all attacks on their faith as anti-Islamic polemic and a calculated and deliberate misrepresentation of their religion from Christian prejudice and Zionist-instigated ill will but the irony is that; even if we reject and leave aside all these Western scholars and depend only on authentic traditional sources for information, we still cannot find anything which suggests that Muhammad was a ‘superior being’ or ‘the mercy of God among mankind’ but we have thousands of accounts that do portray him a psychopath criminal.

    But, are the traditional sources reliable?
    The Reliability of Traditional Sources

    Our knowledge and understanding of early Islam and its founder mainly rests on the writings we call Sira, Al-Maghazi, Qur’an, Qur’anic exegesis (Tafsir), Tabari’s history, and Shahi Hadith collections.

    Sira means ‘biography’, and likewise Sirat Rasul Allah is the biography of Muhammad, the messenger of Allah written by Ibn Ishaq (CA 85/704 – 150/767(?)), which is the earliest life of Muhammad of which we have any trace. He was one of the main authorities on the life and times of the Prophet. Amongst the early Muslim critic, Ishaq had a very high reputation (e.g., Al-Zuhri spoke of him as ‘the most knowledgeable man in Maghazi’). Ishaq’s Sira or biography provides the sole account of Muhammad’s life and the formation of Islam written within 200 years of his death. The work of Ibn Ishaq is very important for the researchers not only because it is the earliest biography, but also for the reason that Ibn Ishaq was a free thinker and he was free from any influences of later idealizing tendencies. While the character, message, and deeds portrayed within its pages are the direct opposite of Jesus Messiah’s and his disciples, the Sira’s chronological presentation is similar in style to the Christian Gospels. His work contains too much information of a character that is devastatingly unfavorable to the Prophet.
    Al-Maghazi is the early Muslim military expeditions or raiding parties in which Muhammad took part in the Medinan period. But this term seems to have been more or less often used synonymously with term Sira.

    The history of al-Tabari is a mine of information for historical and critical research by Western scholars. This Persian historian was a devout Muslim, a commentator of Qur’an and widely traveled. He had not only devoted much time to history but even mathematics and medicine.

    Tabari derived much of his material from oral traditions and literary sources like the works of Abu Miknaf, al-Wiqidi, Ibn Sa’d and of course Ibn Ishaq.

    Qur’an’s claim to Divine origin rests on the Ahadith (plural of Hadith).

    The Hadith, or the book of tradition, are the records of what Muhammad did, what he enjoined, what was done in his presence and what he did not forbid. Hadith collections also include the authoritative sayings and doings of the companions of Muhammad. Muhammad was aware that people were taking note of all his casually uttered words and that stories of what he did were being passed around. He was aware of the dangers and warned against the practice because some of his casually uttered word may get included in Qur’an by mistake (Brahmachari, 1999, p. 131). But the trend once started could not be stopped and was accelerated after his death (Walker, 2002, p. 172) The Hadith contains material from pre-Islamic times also. Much was added to it after Muhammad’s death with fresh material with the growth of Islamic empire.

    It is true that much of the Ahadith was fabricated before Imam Bukhari made his compilation. As example, Ibn Abi-I-Awja (executed 772 CE for apostasy) confessed before his death that he had fabricated more than four thousand Ahadith, in which he forbade Muslims what was in fact permitted and vice versa and he made Muslims to break the fast when they should have been fasting (Warraq, 2003, p. 45). Awja’s case is just one example.

    There are instances where many Ahadith were invented to serve the political purposes of the Umayyad, the Abbasids and later dynasties of Caliphs and handing down of the traditions went downwards to the level of a business enterprise (Goldziher, 1971, p. 169) as a means of livelihood. A large amount of non-Islamic material was drawn into by the compilers which even included sayings of Buddhist wisdom, Roman stories and verses from the Zoroastrians, Jewish and Christian scriptures and even Greek philosophy (Gibb, 1969, p. 51). Soon the number of Ahadith already in circulation and still being invented became unimaginable. As one Muslim authority wrote, ‘in nothing do we see pious man more given to falsehood than in the traditions’ (Nicholson, 1969, p.145).

    So it was urgently necessary to compile an authentic collection. The best-known and most authoritative compilation is by Bukhari. It is said that Bukhari had examined a total of 600,000 traditions. He preserved some 7,000 (including traditions), which means he rejected some 593,000 as inauthentic (Crone, 1987, p. 33).
    But since many of them were repeated, there remained only about 2760 in total. Second only to Bukhari’s collection is the work of Muslim Ibn al-Hajaj, which contains three thousand traditions. These compilations are believed to be Sahih Hadith (authentic traditions).

    With much disappointment to the Muslims, the above five oldest and most trusted Islamic sources don’t portray Muhammad a ‘superior being’ or any kind of ‘the mercy of God among mankind’.

    The sources reveal that he was a thief, a liar, an assassin, a pedophile, a shameless womanizer, a promiscuous husband, a rapist, a mass murderer, a desert pirate, a warmonger but a spineless coward, and a calculating and ruthless tyrant. It’s certainly not the character profile of the founder of a true religion.

    Moreover, there is no reason to believe that these authentic collections of Bukhari were later additions by religious rivalries. Bukhari was a devout Muslim and his sincerity was beyond doubt.

    Other traditional books were written by pious Muslims, the copies are preserved and certainly it would not be the characteristic of believers to portray their Prophet as a villain. After all Muhammad had promised them Paradise in exchange of their acceptance of Muhammad as a Prophet. How can they malign him?
    Similarly the trustworthiness of Christian sources cannot be doubted either. By the time Muhammad received his first revelation early in the seventh century; Christianity was already an established religion and had been in law of the exclusive faith of the Roman Empire, the superpower of the Mediterranean for some two centuries. Christianity also had been planted from Ethiopia to Ireland and Morocco to Georgia and in Mesopotamia, i.e., modern Iraq (Fletcher, 2003, pp. 4, 6). The multiplicity and diversity of the Christian texts stands as a proof of an intellectual life of Christendom within the Roman world. In fact this was a new era when this faith was slowly coming out of the religious orthodoxy. As the grip of the Orthodox Church was relaxed, there was a wave of theological deviants and the contemporaneous Christians evaluated Muhammad and his sect as yet another such group which had gone astray. It was unthinkable to them that Islam might be ‘a new religion’ in the strict sense of the term.

    The Islamic leadership remained on friendly terms with the Christian populations of the land they conquered. Qur’an (29:45) requires Muslims should respect the Ahl al-Kitab, the people of the book, that is to say the Christians and Jews. Hence we hardly have any doubt on the authenticity of early Christian sources. It was too late for the Christian to realize the fact about Islam.

    Discrediting Muhammad using Traditional Sources

    The original book of Ibn Ishaq is lost to history and all we know of it is what is quoted from it by the later writers, particularly Ibn Hisham and al-Tabari. These quotations are fortunately quite reliable. Ibn Hisham edited and abridged Ibn Ishaq’s work about sixty-five years later. In his edition, Hisham (Guillaume, 1955, p. 691) wrote,

    “I am omitting things which Ishaq recorded in this book. I have omitted things which are disgraceful to discuss and matters which would distress certain people.”

    This particular comment of Hisham speaks volumes. Today we need to know, what were those ‘disgraceful to discuss’ discussions Hisham omitted from Ishaq’s original works and what were those ‘matters which would distress certain people’.

    We understand Hisham’s position. He was actually compromising with the truth to save his life, which was dependant upon not offending the cleric-kings during his time. But he was honest enough to admit that he had compromised with the truth.

    However, a few modern historians have attempted to recover the lost portion of Ishaq’s work. They applied the Biblical criteria of ‘Form and Redaction criticism’ (Form criticism is an analysis of literary documents, particularly the Bible, to discover earlier oral traditions as example, stories, legends, myths, etc upon which they were based. Redaction Criticism is concerned with when and by what process (of collecting and editing) did a particular section or book of the Bible reach its final literary form) to the basis historical assemblage of Ishaq. To quote Margoliouth (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 340),

    “The character attributed to Muhammad in the biography of Ibn Ishaq is exceedingly unfavorable… for whatever he does he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is however, impossible to find any doctrine which he is not prepared to abandon in order to secure a political end. At different points in his career he abandons the unity of God and his claim to the title of a Prophet. This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy.”

    The Pagan Meccans were wise enough not to believe Muhammad’s gigantic claim because they had seen many such imposters. There are more than a dozen verses which confirm that Muhammad and the ‘voice’ he had heard were ridiculed by the pagans. They thought that Muhammad was fabricating verses or in the parlance of those days, he was demon-possessed. The contemporaries of Muhammad called him ‘majnoon’ (Lunatic, crazy, possessed by jinn) (Sina, 2008. p. 6) or a soothsayer ‘kahin’. This is very explicit in the ten Qur’anic verses 15.6, 23.70-72, 34.8, 34.45/46, 37.35/36, 44.13/14, 52.29, 68.2, 68.51 and 81.22. In a few instances, there are verses 21:5, 36:69, 37:36/35, 52:30 where an alternative explanation was given that Muhammad was an ambitious but fanciful poet who had merely invented it all.

    To defend himself Muhammad added several references to Biblical Prophets likewise accused of ghost-possession, as example earlier Prophets in general (Quran: 51.52), Noah (Quran: 23.25), Moses (Quran: 26.26/27, Quran: 51.39). Let it be on record that the Bible nowhere mentions such an allegation against Noah, Moses or most other Prophets. The one exception is Hosea, a Prophet apparently unknown to Muhammad:

    “They call the man of the spirit a madman: so great is their guilt that their resistance is likewise great” (Hosea: 9.7).

    Undoubtedly, Muhammad, whose knowledge of the Bible was only sketchy, was merely projecting his own plight onto Noah and Moses.

    Muhammad’s argument was very silly and stands on a slippery ground. His reason was something like this, – ‘I am a Prophet but am not acknowledged by my narrow-minded contemporaries, just as the ancient genuine Prophets were not given due recognition either at first instance. Hence I am also a genuine Prophet’. Muhammad lost many of his followers on this account.

    Bukhari (9:87:111) recorded that Muhammad’s Prophetic mission was confirmed by a cousin of Khadija, a Christian convert from Judaism named Waraqa Bin Naufal. After a few days of confirming Muhammad’s Prophethood, Waraqa died mysteriously. The fact that Waraqa was a Christian had been a source of embarrassment to the Muslims. Hence they often deny it to get rid of this shame. Some overenthusiastic Muslim sources say that, by recognizing the Prophet, Waraqa converted to Islam. However, some modern scholars contend that Waraqa actually rejected Muhammad and the text of Ibn Hisham’s version of the Sira was later corrupted (Spencer, 2006, p. 53). There is no account in voluminous Hadith that Waraqa converted to Islam and the details of his mysterious death. From the Hadith collections we can find minutest details of Muhammad’s activities and the events of early Muslim communities. The conversion of a Christian priest who was a cousin of Muhammad and his wife would have been a momentous event. Waraqa was the most revered holy man in Mecca. Why the cause of his death was not recorded in the Hadith? Today the mainstream Islam accepts that Waraqa recognized
    Muhammad’s Prophetic status, but this is baseless. Nowhere is it recorded that Waraqa’s appreciation was witnessed by anyone.

    Though it appears shocking, but I believe that Waraqa was murdered by Muhammad. This is a possibility which we cannot ignore. After Muhammad and Khadija had used him, he became a liability—someone who could and would profess that Muhammad’s claims were untrue. Once Waraqa was dead, Muhammad felt free to concoct any lies and attribute them to him and the deception continued unabated.

    Strange but true that, even there is mention in Hadith (Bukhari 4. 56.814) that Muhammad was once challenged by a Christian convert who reverted back to Christianity by seeing that Muhammad was actually faking the Qur’anic revelations and declared,

    “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him”.

    There was a similar type of observation by one of the Muhammad’s scribes; Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh, who used to write down Allah’s revelations. When Abdullah suggested some changes to Muhammad’s dictation, Muhammad readily agreed with Abdullah. This led Abdullah to suspect Muhammad’s claim of reception of messages from God, apostatized and left Medina for Mecca. He then proclaimed that he (Abdullah) too could easily write the Qur’anic verses by being inspired by Allah (Caner & Caner, 2002, p. 45).

    In the Christian view, the gospel concerning Jesus Messiah was final. The Bible exclusively cautioned that any other teaching is false even if an angel from heaven (here meaning Gabriel) came down to preach it, was not to be accepted (Galatians.1:8). Jesus Messiah specifically spoke of false Prophets yet to come, and warned that if people report that such a one in the desert – ‘do not go there’ (Matthew. 24:26). But in spite of this clear warning in the Gospel, many early Christians did not recognize this false Prophet. Muhammad and his sect were most believably understood as yet another wave of theological deviants of Christendom who had gone astray.

    When Muhammad advised a small group of his followers to flee Mecca, the Christian king of Abyssinia received them and gave them refuge. In biographies of Muhammad, there are many references of a Christian monk named Bahira who is said to have recognized in Muhammad the signs of a Prophet. The idea that Islam might be ‘a new religion’ was in the strict sense of the term was unthinkable to the Christians. When Jerusalem was surrendered to Muslims in 638, Sophronius (Patriarch of Jerusalem), who had negotiated the surrender of the city to the Muslims, explained the invasion of Palestine as Divine punishment for the sins of the Christians. The notion was that the Muslims were the instruments of the God’s wrath (Fletcher, 2003, p. 16). But slowly the early Christians recognized Muhammad as a man of blood and his followers as irredeemably violent.

    Throughout the medieval period, all of the characteristics of Muhammad that confirmed his authority in the eyes of Muslims were reversed by Christian authors and turned into defects. When Christians recognized Islam as a rival religion to Christianity, they simply refused the notion of a new Prophet after Jesus Messiah (Ernst, 2005, p. 14). The traditional doctrine that Muhammad was illiterate, which to Muslims was proof of Divine origin of Qur’an, indicated to the Christians that he must have been a fraud. When challenged by the Meccans to produce miracles, Muhammad said that Qur’an was his only miracle. While Muslims viewed this as proof of the spirituality of his mission, Christian antagonists considered this lack of miracles as clear evidence that Muhammad was a fake.

    In 850, a monk called Perfectus went shopping in the capital of Muslim state of al-Andalus. Here he was stopped by a group of Arabs who asked him whether Jesus or Muhammad was the greater Prophet. There was a trick in the question because it was a capital offence in the Islamic empire to insult Muhammad and Perfectus knew it very well. So at first he responded cautiously. He gave an exact account of the Christian faith respecting the Divinity of Christ. But suddenly he snapped and burst into a passionate stream of abuse, calling Muhammad a charlatan, a sexual pervert and the antichrist himself and a false Prophet spoken of in the Gospel (Foxe, 1827, p. 76¬7). Perfectus was thrown into the prison but later released because the judge realized that he was provoked by the Muslims. However after few days of his release, the Muslims’ pranks provoked him once more and Perfectus cracked a second time and insulted Muhammad in such crude terms that he was again taken and later on executed (Armstrong, 2006, p. 22).
    Few days later, another Christian monk by the name Ishaq appeared before the same judge and attacked Muhammad and his religion with many crude and disgusting words. His insulting words to Muhammad and Islam were so strong that the Judge, thinking him drunk or deranged, slapped him to bring him to his senses. But Ishaq persisted in his abuse and the Judge ordered his execution also. A few days after Ishaq’s execution, six monks from the same monastery arrived and delivered yet another venomous attack on Muhammad. There were executed too. That summer, about fifty Christian monks died this way (Armstrong, 2006, p. 23).

    But those Christian monks had the right to call Muhammad a fake. They were well educated, wise and they had studied Muhammad and his religion thoroughly. The two biggest Christian criticisms of Muhammad were undoubtedly in relation to his military activities, marriages and sexual perversions. For Christians, the celibacy and nonviolent approach of Jesus were generally seen as indispensable characteristics of true spirituality. The cruelty of Muhammad and his sexual perversion were taken as clear proof that Muhammad could not be on the same exalted level as Jesus. The early Christian critics of Muhammad generally described him as motivated by a combination of political ambition and sensual lust. But the success of Islam raised a disturbing theological question: How had God allowed this impious faith to prosper? Could it be that God had deserted His own people?

    The earliest reference to Muhammad in Christian literature is found in the writings of the seventh century. The Armenian ‘Chronicle of Sebeos’ says the Muhammad was an ‘Ishmaelite’, who claimed to be a Prophet. In the coming years many Biblical scholars realized that though Islam and Christianity has many similarities, like, praying, fasting, giving alms, pilgrimage etc, but actually Islam is against Christianity. During the middle ages of Christian Europe, Christians had a very strong negative feeling against Muslims. As example, Bede, a monk and Biblical scholar described Qur’an as ‘a parody of sacred scripture of Christianity [i.e. Bible]’ and Muhammad as a pseudo-Prophet, who and his followers has made war on Christians and seized their Holy places. In a work of Biblical commentary completed in 716, Bede described Muslims as ‘enemies of the Church’ (Fletcher, 2003, p. 19).

    Like Bede, another prolific writer of theology was John of Damascus. He hailed from an ethnic Arab family and whose three generations had served Muslim rulers. He was one of the earliest Christian writers to concern himself at any length and in a systematic way with Islam. John was the first scholar who had explained the Biblical deviation of the Ishmaelites. He went on to castigate Muhammad as a false Prophet who cribbed part of his teaching from the Old and New Testaments and also from the sayings of a heretic Christian monk, Bahira. According to John, Muhammad wrote down ‘some ridiculous compositions in a book of his’ (Chase, 1958, p. 153), which he claimed had been sent down to him from heaven. Somewhere around 745, John composed a play, ‘Dialogue between a Saracen and a Christian’. This dialog envisages a situation in which a Muslim puts awkward questions to a Christian on such matters as the nature of Christ, creation, free will and many others. The Christian parries these questions so skillfully that at the end of the play it is mentioned ‘the Saracen went his way surprised and bewildered, having nothing more to say’ (Seale, 1978 p. 70). John also quoted at length but selectively from Qur’an and mocked the faith of the Ishmaelites.

    During late eighth or early ninth century, a short work was composed probably in southern Spain by an anonymous writer which is known as ‘Ystoria de Mahomet’ where Muhammad was called as ‘a son of Darkness’ who stole some Christian teaching and claimed to be a Prophet. He put together an absurd farrago of doctrine delivered to him by a vulture claiming to be the angel Gabriel. He incited his followers to war. He was a slave to lust, which he justified by laws for which he falsely claimed Divine inspiration. He foretold his resurrection after his death but in the event his body was fittingly devoured by dogs (cited Wolf, 1990, p. 97-9). Like the John of Damascus, this anonymous author was very knowledgeable of Islam. He was well-versed with the Qur’an and often gave fairly recondite references from this book.

    In a Christian work named ‘Doctrina Jacobi Nuper Baptizati’ (The teaching of Jacob the newly-baptized) a tract of anti-Jewish literature written in dialog form composed probably in Palestine round about the time of the surrender of Jerusalem. At one point the following words were attributed to one of the speakers, ‘Abraham’ a Palestinian Jews (Fletcher, 2003, pp. 16-7),

    “A false Prophet has appeared among the Saracens… They say that the Prophet has appeared coming with the Saracens, and is proclaiming the advent of the anointed one who is to come. I, Abraham referred to the matter to an old man very well-versed with the scriptures. I asked him: ‘What is your view; master and teacher, of the Prophet who has appeared with the Saracens?’ He replied groaning mightily: ‘He is an impostor. Do the Prophets come with sword and chariot? Truly these happenings today are works of disorder… But you go off, Master Abraham, and find out about the Prophet who has appeared.’ So I, Abraham, made enquiries, and was told by those who had met him: ‘There is no truth to be found in the so-called Prophet, only bloodshed; for he says he has the keys of Paradise, which is incredible’.”

    Muhammad’s Prophetic life can be divided into two distinctive periods, the Meccan period and Medinan period. During the first period i.e., Meccan period, Muhammad was a simple preacher and warner. But his preaching was clearly, from the worldly point of view, an utter failure and as a result of thirteen years of propaganda he had won no more than a handful of converts. But the scene completely changed at Medina where he gained in power and his message lost its beauty. Here he was what one might simply call a robber baron. After conquering Mecca, he entered as a political leader rather than a religious leader, and was recognized by Meccans as such. So Muhammad was changing his colors like a lizard, as situations dictated. Throughout his Prophetic mission, he dealt with Jews and Christians keeping strict political aims in view. At the initial stage, Islam was an absurd truth claim like a practical joke, but when Muhammad was able to draw the sword and successfully used it, the whole thing became serious.

    So while estimating the significance of Muhammad, we should not judge him solely as a mystic or religious reformer, though he may have the elements of both, but rather as a ruthless politician and opportunist pressed with peculiar political problems amongst barbarous people and at a critical moment of history.

    Therefore the picture that emerges of the Prophet in the above traditional accounts is not at all favorable to Muhammad. The Muslims cannot complain that this representation of their beloved Prophet was drawn by an enemy. The early Arabs did not believe in his Prophetic claim and there is sufficient proof that Muhammad was taken aback when those intellectuals of Mecca pointed to the weaknesses of the Qur’an. They fell heavily on Muhammad and pressed him hard demanding answers and explanations to the irrationalities they spotted in the Qur’an, but Muhammad and Allah stood there wordless and powerless like two ‘Divine fools’.

    By seeing the irrationalities, there was apostasy in large scale during Muhammad’s time and after his death. Many early Muslims were just opportunists and not at all religious. They joined Muhammad only for booty and captured women for sex. Those tribal Arabs lacked any deep religious sense. They only wanted worldly successes. Many confessed their belief but had no inclination towards Islam and its dogma and ritual. It is estimated that at the death of Muhammad the number who really converted to Muhammad’ doctrine did not exceed a thousand (Warraq, 2003, p. 41). Present day cultists perform much better than Muhammad in gaining followers.

    The Qur’an itself confirms that there were Arab skeptics in Mecca who did not accept the ‘fables’ recounted by Muhammad. They doubted the ‘Divine’ origin of the revelations and certainly, they had every right to do so. They even accused him of plagiarizing the pagan Arab poets. Some verses of the Qur’an were attributed to al-Qays (a.k.a Imra’ul Qays) a famous pre-Islamic Arabian poet (Warraq, 2003, p. 41). Muhammad had plagiarized several poems from the work of this poet and added them to his Qur’an. It was the custom of the poets’ and the orators to hang up the composition of their literary work upon the Ka’aba. One day, Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad was repeating two passages from Sabaa Mu’allaqat. Suddenly she met the daughter of Imra’ul Qays, who cried out,

    “O that’s what your father had taken from one of my father’s poems and calls it something that has come down to him out of heaven” (Warraq, 1998, p. 235-6).

    Even today this story is told amongst Arabs. The Qur’anic plagiarism is so prominent that Muslims cannot deny this. But how can they explain this incident? Were the poems of Imra’ul Qays also divinely inspired like the Qur’an?

    Discrediting Muhammad using the Modern-day Sources

    In 1843, a work on the life of Muhammad was published by Gustav Weil. This work was based on historical analysis and the author put forward the idea that Muhammad was suffering from epilepsy. Weil’s conclusion was supported by Sprenger. According to Sprenger, Muhammad was also a psychopath (Schimmel, 1985, p. 248). Another author, Franz Buhl described that, in his Medinan phase, Muhammad revealed the unattractive side of his character: cruelty, slyness, dishonesty, untrustworthiness; someone whose leading principle was ‘the end justifies the means’ (Warraq, 1995, p. 86, 89).

    Muir’s work on Muhammad was based on original Muslim sources and published between 1856 and ’61. Muir specialized in debating Muslim clerics and entertained the suggestion that Muhammad was inspired by the devil. He also adopted the more scientific criticism (originally advanced by the German physician Aloys Sprenger) that Muhammad’s Prophetic experiences were due to epilepsy (Ernst, 2005, p. 22). However another two scholars, Margoliouth and Macdonald believed (cited Walker, 2002, p. 315) that Muhammad’s seizures were artificially produced and those acts were merely a device by which he secured sanction for his revelations.

    In his work Muir had passed a judgment on Muhammad’s character that was repeated over and over again by subsequent scholars. According to him, Muhammad though religiously motivated during the Meccan period but showed his ‘feet of clay’ during Medinan period where he was corrupted by power and worldly ambitions (cited Warraq, 1995, p. 87). The inconsistencies in Muhammad’s character was specifically pointed out by Muir,

    “He [Muhammad] justified himself by ‘revelations’ releasing himself in some cases from social proprieties and the commonest obligations of self restraint”.

    It is of course shocking that Muhammad transformed to a bandit chieftain, who was unwilling to earn an honest living, after he gained power at Medina, as Caetani (cited Warraq, 1995, p. 88) observed,

    “If Muhammad deviated from the path of his early years, that should cause no surprise; he was man as much as, and in like manner as, his contemporaries, he was a member of a still half-savage society deprived of any true culture, and guided solely by instincts and natural gifts which were decked out by badly understood and half-digested religious doctrines of Judaism and Christianity.”

    Jeffrey (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 347) concluded that Margoliouth had done the most brilliant study of the life of Muhammad that has yet appeared. According to Margoliouth, Muhammad was a patriot, keenly alive to the opportunities of his time. Islam was created as a method to unite the Arabs and make them a strong military force. In this process the religious appeal played an important part but there was also a complete absence of moral scruple. On the success of Muhammad, Margoliouth commented that Muhammad’ success was not due to the objective truth of the Qur’an but to his skill as an organizer and military leader. Muhammad was thoroughly familiar with the shortcomings of the Arabs and utilized them to the utmost advantage and he was able to seize opportunities and distrusted loyalty when not backed by interest.

    Hume referred to Muhammad as a ‘pretended Prophet’ and wrote,

    “[The Qur’an is a] wild and absurd performance.”

    Also Hobbes concluded,

    “… [Muhammad] to set up his new religion, pretended to have conferences with the Holy Ghost in form of a dove. ”

    Also, Gibbon (1941, p. 240) concluded that Muhammad’s claim that he was the apostle of God was ‘a necessary fiction’. Will Durant, the famous historian and philosopher had the same opinion. According to Durant, Muhammad was a conscious fraud. He (1950; p. 176) concluded,

    “Muhammad felt that no moral code would win obedience adequate to the order and vigor of a society unless men believed the code to have come from God.”

    Carlyle wrote,
    “His Qur’an has become a stupid piece of prolix absurdity; we do not believe like him that God wrote that” (Warraq, 1995. p. 10, 24).

    Becker, another prominent critic of Islam commented (1909, p. 29) that the companions of Muhammad had very little interest in religion and most of them were utterly ignorant about the fundamental; tenets of the religion preached by Muhammad. For these early Muslims, as Becker commented,

    “… the new religion was nothing more than a party cry of unifying power, though there is no reason to suppose that it was not a real moral force in the life of Muhammad and his immediate contemporaries”.

    It is true that Muhammad’s companions lacked religious values. A Hadith from Bukhari gives us a clue, how Muslims during the time of Muhammad use to keep their mosques.
    Narrated Hamza bin `Abdullah: My father said.

    “During the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle, the dogs used to urinate, and pass through the mosques (come and go), nevertheless they never used to sprinkle water on it (urine of the dog)” (Bukhari: 1.4.174).

    Elsewhere Becker (cited Warraq, 2000, p. 554) commented,

    “… bursting of the Arabs beyond their native peninsula was, like earlier irruptions in which the religious element was totally lacking due to economic necessities”.

    According to Shaikh (1995, p. 24), Muhammad had a strong dominance urge. He was not only a Prophet but also the builder of an Arab empire and this was an integral part of his supposed to be Prophethood. Islam was built around the sanctity and significance of his own person which he had achieved by various means. Islam is an Arab national movement and Muhammad was possibly the greatest national leader born anywhere on earth.

    Shaikh completely discredits Muhammad as a messenger of God. According to him, Qur’an is highly contradictory. Therefore instead of leading, it misleads the people. Prophethood has nothing to do with guidance; it is simply a political doctrine.

    “God’s messenger is God’s servant by name only. In practice he is God’s superior… Islam is less a religion and more an Arab national movement” (1995, p. 12).

    Rodinson, the latest biographer of Muhammad does not believe in Muhammad’s Prophetic claim. According to him, Muhammad really did experience sensory phenomena translated into words and phrases which he interpreted as messages from God and subsequently he developed an idea of receiving those messages in a particular way. These experiences were his hallucinations. Muhammad was sincere but sincerity is not a proof. At Medina this inspired visionary transformed into an imposter. Rodinson (1980, p. 218) wrote,
    “[Muhammad was] driven by necessity to produce a convenient revelation at the appropriate moment and at no other, in the way the mediums have been known to resort to fraud in similar cases”.

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