Muhammad's False Prophecies

Response to Hesham Azmy, Part 1

Sam Shamoun


The following is a reply to Hesham Azmy's response to my paper on Muhammad’s false prophecies.

We will address each specific section, yet in no particular order. We first begin with the author’s attack on some of the prophecies made by Jesus:

According to Sam Shamoun, Jesus is a false prophet
According to Mr. Sam, true prophet is known by the following Biblical verse ...
"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

So, the false prophet is the one who gives false prophecies and this is how we can recognize him. Well, our question is; did Jesus pass this test? Did he give prophecies that came true? This is the topic of this section.

Second Coming of Jesus and End of the World:

Jesus was asked ...
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)

He gave them a very detailed answer about signs of his second coming and end of the world, then he added ...
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34). See also Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:31.

So, according to Jesus, his second coming was supposed to be before the death of his contemporary generation. He even confirmed it saying ...
"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28). See also Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27.
Unfortunately, this prophecy never materialized. All contemporaries of Jesus died and their bones turned into dust 2000 years ago, but he never came back!

He sent his disciples to preach the Israelites in their cities and added ...
"But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come." (Matthew 10:23).
The disciples reached outside Israel and their descendants even reached America, but still Jesus never came back!

Even Paul was waiting the second coming of Jesus during his life ...
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
Certainly, we now know better.

RESPONSE:

We have already addressed these alleged failed prophecies elsewhere. For a thorough reply to the author’s assertions please read our rebuttal found here.

The author continues:

Twelve Disciples:

Jesus said that his 12 disciples will be saved in the next life ...
"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:27-28). See also Luke 22:29-30.
Judas the Iscariot was among the 12 disciples who received this prophecy, but we know now that he cannot sit on any throne of glory or judge anyone. This prophecy is glaringly false.

RESPONSE:

The problem does not lie with Jesus, but with the author’s ability to read carefully. We highlight the one specific part that the author apparently failed to see:

"Then Peter said in reply, ‘Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, YOU WHO HAVE FOLLOWED ME will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Matthew 19:27-28 RSV

Christ’s promise is conditioned on the apostles’ faithfulness in following him. Judas disqualified himself since he failed to follow Jesus faithfully. This becomes clearer from the very Lukan passage alluded to by the author:

"And likewise the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!’ And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this. A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have continued with me in my trials; and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’" Luke 22:20-30 RSV

Christ promised that only those who continue with him in his trials would sit on thrones to judge Israel. That this promise did not include all of the twelve, specifically Judas, can be seen from the fact that Jesus had just indicated that one of them would betray him. This means that since Judas was going to betray Christ, Jesus could not have been including him in the promise.

Later on, the Lord Jesus chose Matthias to replace Judas and thereby receive the promise of sitting on one of the twelve thrones:

"In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus- he was one of our number and shared in this ministry. (With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) For,’ said Peter, ‘it is written in the book of Psalms, "May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it," and, "May another take his place of leadership." Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.’ So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.’ Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles." Acts 1:15-26

"One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Revelation 21:9-14

It seems rather odd that the author failed to include the verses that precede Luke 22:29-30. The author seemingly knew that when read in its immediate context the passage fails to support his false assertions since the context clearly demonstrates that Christ’s promise was based on the condition that his followers had to remain faithful till the end. Otherwise, they would lose the promised blessing.

The author goes on:

Three Days and Three Nights:

This is the ultimate prophecy of Jesus with whom he challenged the entire world ...
"Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:38-40). See also Matthew 16:21, 20:19, Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:34, Luke 11:29-30 and John 2:19.

However, we read that Jesus was buried in Friday night (Mark 15:42-46) and the grave was discovered to be empty in Sunday dawn (Matthew 28:1-6 and John 20:1). So, he simply spent one day and two nights, not as he said! This is a third false prophecy.

Conclusion:

We have examined the New Testament and found that it contains false predictions. In light of prophetic criteria given in Deuteronomy 18 we discover that Jesus failed the test. This means that Jesus is not a true prophet, let alone a god.

RESPONSE:

Interestingly, the author alludes to several NT passages explaining the precise meaning of the expression "three days and three nights", but fails to both quote and comment on them. The examples will demonstrate that in light of its historical and cultural context "three days and three nights" refers to a period covering approximately three days. In other words, the expression does not refer to a literal 72-hour period, but rather to a time period that terminates on the third day:

"From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and ON THE THIRD DAY be raised to life." Matthew 16:21

"When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and ON THE THIRD DAY he will be raised to life.’ And the disciples were filled with grief." Matthew 17:22-23

"Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. ON THE THIRD DAY he will be raised to life!’" Matthew 20:17-19

"The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. ‘Sir,’ they said, "we remember that WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE that deceiver said, "AFTER THREE DAYS I will rise again." So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.’ ‘Take a guard,’ Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard." Matthew 27:62-66

Notice that Matthew records Jesus as using the expressions "three days and three nights", "on the third day" and "after three days" to describe the period of time that Christ would be entombed.

"He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and AFTER THREE DAYS rise again." Mark 8:31

"Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’ They stood still, their faces downcast.One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, IT IS THE THIRD DAY SINCE ALL THIS TOOK PLACE. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early THIS MORNING but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.’" Luke 24:13-24

According to Cleopas and his companion it had already been three days from the time of Christ’s entombment to his resurrection.

"He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead ON THE THIRD DAY, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’" Luke 24:44-47

"Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again IN THREE DAYS.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken." John 2:19-22

"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead ON THE THIRD DAY and caused him to be seen." Acts 10:39-40

Peter addressing Cornelius says that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day and that he was an eyewitness of this. This conclusively demonstrates that those following Jesus clearly understood that the expression "three days and three nights" wasn’t to be taken literally. Rather, they were aware that the expression referred to a time period that covered approximately three days.

In light of the preceding evidence the expressions "three days and three nights", "on the third day", "after three days", "in three days" are all interchangeable terms signifying a period of time lasting until the third day.

Additional evidence supporting the preceding conclusions and the NT data includes the following OT passages:

"Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them. After they had been in custody for some time, each of the two men-the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison--had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh's officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, ‘Why are your faces so sad today?’ ‘We both had dreams,’ they answered, ‘but there is no one to interpret them.’ Then Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.’ So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, ‘In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.’ ‘This is what it means,’ Joseph said to him. ‘The three branches ARE THREE DAYS. WITHIN THREE DAYS Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.’ When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, ‘I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.’ ‘This is what it means,’ Joseph said. ‘The three baskets ARE THREE DAYS. WITHIN THREE DAYS Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.’ Now THE THIRD DAY was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation." Genesis 40:1-23

Joseph’s three days equates to the third day. If three days were literal this would imply that the fulfillment of these dreams should have occurred on either the evening of the third day or sometime on the fourth day. Yet the text demonstrates that the expressions "three days", "within three days", "the third day" refer to the same time period. The same holds to true with the following passage:

"Rehoboam answered, ‘Come back to me IN THREE DAYS.’ So the people went away… THREE DAYS LATER Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, ‘Come back to me IN THREE DAYS.’" 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12

If the expression "three days later" were taken literally this means that the people had returned on the fourth day. Yet the text clearly shows that the phrase is equivalent to saying "in three days."

"For SEVEN DAYS they camped opposite each other, and ON THE SEVENTH DAY the battle was joined. The Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the Aramean foot soldiers in one day." 1 Kings 20:29

Again, the expressions "seven days" and "on the seventh day" are interchangeable terms referring to a period of time covering approximately seven days.

One final example:

"‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink FOR THREE DAYS, NIGHT OR DAY. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish’…ON THE THIRD DAY Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king's hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance." Esther 4:16, 5:1

The expression "night or day" implies that they were to fast without ceasing for three days. Yet, if three days were literal this would mean that Esther would have entered into the presence of the king on the evening of the third day, not on the third day. This once more proves that expressions such as "three days" and "on the third day" refer to the same period of time.

We therefore see that the problem is not with the Holy Bible, but rather with the author’s ignorance of biblical expressions and customs. The author commits a chronological fallacy by imposing his own modern understanding of these expressions upon an ancient document, as opposed to allowing the historical and cultural context define what these terms would have meant to those who first heard and read the biblical narratives.

Conclusion:

We have examined the New Testament and found that, unlike the Quran and Muhammad, it does not contain any real false predictions. In light of the prophetic criteria given in Deuteronomy 18 we discover that Jesus passed the test, whereas Muhammad failed miserably. This means that, unlike Muhammad who failed the test of prophethood, Jesus is not only a true prophet but also the eternal Creator who became man for the salvation of his people.


We now proceed to respond to the author’s criticism of my paper, focusing on his section regarding Muhammad’s entrance to Mecca. The author begins by asserting:

This is the prophecy given by God to Muslims that they would enter Mecca safely and peacefully to perform pilgrimage. This prophecy was given while there were no chance it could be fulfilled. Syed Abul-A’la Al-Mawdudi said in his commentary on Surat-ul-Fath,
"Apparently, there was no possible way of acting on this inspiration. The disbelieving Quraish had debarred the Muslims from proceeding to the Ka'bah for the past six years and no Muslim had been allowed during that period to approach the Kabah for the purpose of performing hajj and umrah. Therefore, it could not be expected that they would allow the Holy Prophet to enter Makkah along with a party of his Companions. If they had proceeded to Makkah in the pilgrim garments with the intention of performing umrah, along with their arms, this would have provoked the enemy to war, and if they had proceeded unarmed, this would have meant endangering his own as well as his Companions' lives. Under conditions such as these nobody could see and suggest how the Divine inspiration could be acted upon."

The author conveniently omitted the following statements from Maududi:

But the Prophet's position was different. It demanded that he should carry out whatever Command his Lord gave fearlessly and without any apprehension and doubt. Therefore, the Holy Prophet informed his Companions of his dream and began to make preparations for the journey. Among the tribes living in the suburbs also he had the public announcement made that he was proceeding for umrah and the people could join him. Those who could only see the apparent conditions thought that he and his Companions were going into the very jaws of death none of them therefore was inclined to accompany him in the expedition. But those who had true faith in Allah and His Messenger were least bothered about the consequences. For them this information was enough that it was a Divine inspiration and Allah's Prophet had made up his mind to carry it into effect. After this nothing could hinder them from accompanying the Messenger of Allah. Thus, 1,400 of the Companions became ready to follow him on this highly dangerous journey.

This blessed caravan set off from Madinah in the beginning of Dhil Qa'dah, A. H. 6. At Dhul Hulaifah they entered the pilgrims robe with the intention of umrah, took 70 camels with collars round their necks indicating that they were sacrificial animals; kept only a sword each in sheaths, which the pilgrims to the Kabah were allowed to carry according to the recognized custom of Arabia, but no other weapon. Thus, the caravan set out for the Ka'bah, the House of Allah, at Makkah, chanting the prescribed slogan of Labbaik, Allahuma Labbaik.

… At last, after a great deal of confusion, perplexity and hesitation they [the Quraish] were overcome by their false sense of honor and for the sake of their prestige they took the decision that they would at no cost allow the caravan to enter the city of Makkah.

The Holy Prophet had despatched a man of the Bani Ka'b as a secret agent so that he may keep him fully informed of the intentions and movements of the Quraish. When the Holy Prophet reached Usfan, he brought the news that the Quraish had reached Dhi Tuwa with full preparations and they had sent Khalid bin Walid with two hundred cavalry men in advance towards Kura'al-Ghamim to intercept him. The Quraish wanted somehow to provoke the Holy Prophet's Companions into fighting so that they may tell the Arabs that those people had actually come to fight and had put on the pilgrims garments for umrah only to deceive others.

Immediately on receipt of this information the Holy Prophet changed his route and following a very rugged, rocky track reached Hudaibiyah, which was situated right on the boundary of the sacred Makkan territory. Here, he was visited by Budail bin Warqa the chief of the Bani Khuza'ah, along with some men of his tribe. They asked what he had come for. The Holy Prophet replied that he and his Companions bad come only for pilgrimage to the House of Allah and for going round it in worship and not for war. The men of Khuza'ah went and told this to the Quraish chiefs and counseled them not to interfere with the pilgrims. But the Quraish were obstinate. They sent Hulays bin Alqamah, the chief of the Ahabish, to the Holy Prophet to persuade him to go back. Their object was that when Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) would not listen to Hulays, he would come back disappointed and then the entire power of the Ahabish would be on their side. But when Hulays went and saw that the whole caravan had put on the pilgrims garments, had brought sacrificial camels with festive collars round their necks, and had come for doing reverence to the House of Allah and not to fight, he returned to Makkah without having any dialogue with the Holy Prophet and told the Quraish chiefs plainly that those people bad no other object but to pay a visit to the Ka'bah; if they debarred them from it, the Ahabish would not join them in that, because they had not become their allies to support them even if they violated the sacred customs and traditions…

At last, the Holy Prophet sent Hadrat Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) as his own messenger to Makkah with the message that they had not come to fight but only for pilgrimage and had brought their sacrificial camels along, and they would go back after performing the rite of pilgrimage and offering the sacrifice. But the Quraish did not agree and withheld Hadrat Uthman in the city. In the meantime a rumor spread that Hadrat Uthman had been killed; and when he did not return in time the Muslims took the rumor to be true. Now they could show no more forbearance. Entry into Makkah was different for there was no intention to use force. But when the ambassador was put to death, the Muslims had no alternative but to prepare for war. Therefore, the Holy Prophet summoned all his Companions together and took a solemn pledge from them that they would fight to death. In view of the critical occasion it was not an ordinary undertaking. The Muslims numbered only 1400 and had come without any weapons, were encamping at the boundary of Makkah, 250 miles away from their own city, and the enemy could attack them in full strength, and could surround them with its allies from the adjoining tribes as well. In spite of this, none from the caravan except one man failed to give his pledge to fight to death, and there could be no greater proof of their dedication and sincerity than that in the cause of Allah. This pledge is well known in the history of Islam as the pledge of Ridwan.

Later it was known that the news about Hadrat Uthman was false. Not only did he return but under Suhail bin 'Amr from the Quraish also arrived a deputation to negotiate peace with the Holy Prophet. Now, the Quraish no more insisted that they would disallow the Holy Prophet and his Companions to enter Makkah. However, in order to save their face they only insisted that he went back that year but could come the following year to perform the umrah. After lengthy negotiations peace was concluded on the following terms:

1. War would remain suspended for ten years, and no party would indulge in any hostility, open or secret, against the other.

2. If any one during that period from among the Quraish went over to Muhammad, without his guardian's permission, he would return him to them, but if a Companion of Muhammad came oven to the Quraish, they would not return him to him.

3. Every Arab tribe would have the option to join either side as its ally and enter the treaty.

4. Muhammad and his men would go back that year and could come the following year for umrah and stay in Makkah for three days, provided that they brought only one sheathed sword each, and no other weapon of war. In those three days the Makkans would vacate the city for them (so that there was no chance of a clash), but they would not be allowed to take along any Makkan on return.

When the conditions of the treaty were being settled, THE WHOLE OF THE MUSLIM ARMY WAS FEELING GREATLY UPSET. No one understood the expedience because of which the Holy Prophet was accepting the conditions. No one was far sighted enough to foresee the great benefit that was to result from this treaty. The disbelieving Quraish looked at it as their victory, and the Muslims were upset as to why they should be humiliated to accepting those mean conditions. Even a statesman of th calibre of Hadrat Umar says that he had never given way to doubt since the time he had embraced Islam but on this occasion he also could not avoid it. Impatient he went to Hadrat Abu Bakr and said "Is he (the Holy Prophet) not Allah's Messenger, and are we not Muslims, and are they not polytheists? Then, why should we agree to what is humiliating to our Faith?" He replied "O Umar, he is surely Allah's Messenger, and Allah will never make him the loser." UNSATISFIED he went to the Holy Prophet himself and put the same questions to him, and he also gave him the same replies as Hadrat Abu Bakr had given. Afterwards Hadrat Umar continued to offer voluntary prayers and give aims so that Allah may pardon his insolence that he had shown towards the Holy Prophet on that occasion.

Two things in the treaty were highly disturbing for the Muslims first, the second condition, about which they said that it was an expressly unfair condition, for if they had to return a fugitive from Makkah, why should not the Quraish return a fugitive from Madinah? To this the Holy Prophet replied: "What use would be he to us, who fled from us to them? May Allah keep him away from us!And if we return the one who flees to us from them, Allah will create some other way out for him." The other thing that was rankling in their minds was the fourth condition. The Muslims thought that agreeing to it meant that they were going back unsuccessful and this was humiliating. Furthermore, the question that was causing them feel upset wad that they had accepted the condition of going back without performing the pilgrimage to the Ka'bah, whereas the Holy Prophet had seen in the vision that they were performing tawaf at Makkah. To this the Holy Prophet replied that in his vision the year had not been specified. According to the treaty conditions, therefore, they would perform the tawaf the following year if it pleased Allah.

Right at the time when the document was being written, Suhail bin 'Amr's own son, Abu Jandal, who had become a Muslim and been imprisoned by the pagans of Makkah somehow escaped to the Holy Prophet's camp. He had fetters on his feet and signs of violence on his body. He implored the Holy Prophet that he help secure his release from imprisonment. The scene only increased the Companions' dejection, and they were moved beyond control. But Suhail bin 'Amr said the conditions of the agreement had been concluded between them although the writing was not yet complete; therefore, the boy should be returned to them. The Holy Prophet admitted his argument and Abu Jandal was returned to his oppressors.

When the document was finished, the Holy Prophet spoke to the Companions and told them to slaughter their sacrificial animals at that very place, shave their heads and put off the pilgrim garments, BUT NO ONE MOVED FROM HIS PLACE. The Holy Prophet repeated the order thrice BUT THE COMPANIONS WERE SO OVERCOME BY DEPRESSION AND DEJECTION THAT THEY DID NOT COMPLY. During his entire period of apostleship ON NO OCCASION had it ever happened that he should command his Companions to do a thing AND THEY SHOULD NOT HASTEN TO COMPLY WITH IT. THIS CAUSED HIM A GREAT SHOCK, and he repaired to his tent and expressed his grief before his wife, Hadrat Umm Salamah. She said, "You may quietly go and slaughter your own camel and call the barber and have your head shaved. After that the people would automatically do what you did and would understand that whatever decision had been taken would not be changed." Precisely the same thing happened. The people slaughtered their animals, shaved their heads or cut their hair short and put off the pilgrim garb, but their hearts were still afflicted with grief… (bold and capital emphasis mine)

Maududi’s comments are interesting in that he admits that Muslims wore pilgrimage garb with the intention of entering Mecca to perform Umra. Maududi also admits that the pagans stopped Muhammad from entering Mecca in order to save face, and that the Muslims were angry that Muhammad had agreed to the pagan demands. In fact, when Muhammad commanded them to take off their pilgrimage garments and slaughter the animals as well as shave their heads none of the Companions listened. Maududi is honest enough to admit that this shocked Muhammad. Maududi is also honest enough to admit that Umar was so enraged that he even doubted whether Muhammad was a true prophet.

Hence, the author’s very own source refutes his arguments and affirms my points. The quotes from Maududi prove that Muhammad and his followers thought that they were going to actually enter Mecca. Otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense for Muslims to be wearing pilgrimage robes and to travel with sacrificial animals if they did not actually believe that they were definitely entering Mecca. More on this below.

The author continues:

Mr. Shamoun did not quote Imam Ibn Kathir (or even 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattab) in entirety. I provide here the complete text to expose Shamoun’s fallacy of misquoting authorities (not the first time in this article anyway).

"In a dream, the Messenger of Allah saw himself entering Makkah and performing Tawaf around the House. He told his Companions about this dream when he was still in Al-Madinah. When they went to Makkah in the year of Al-Hudaybiyyah, none of them doubted that the Prophet's vision would come true that year. When the treaty of peace was conducted and they had to return to Al-Madinah that year, being allowed to return to Makkah the next year, some of the Companions disliked what happened. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab asked about this, saying, 'Haven't you told us that we will go to the House and perform Tawaf around it?' Messenger of Allah said, 'Yes, but did I tell you that we would visit the Ka`ba this year?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'So you will visit it and perform Tawaf around it.' " `Umar further said, "I went to Abu Bakr and said, 'O Abu Bakr! Isn't he truly Allah's Prophet?' He replied, 'Yes.' I said, 'Then why should we be humble in our religion?' He said, 'Indeed, he is Allah's Apostle and he does not disobey his Lord, and He will make him victorious. Adhere to him as, by Allah, he is on the right.' I said, 'Was he not telling us that we would go to the Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it?' He said, 'Yes, but did he tell you that you would go to the Ka`ba this year?' I said, 'No.' He said, "You will go to Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it."
This is why Allah the Most High said, "Truly did Allah fulfill the vision for His Messenger. Ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills," to confirm the prophecy, not an exception, "with minds secure," while you are entering, "heads shaved, hair cut short," this is their condition during entering because in that time, they did not have their heads shaved and their hair cut "and without fear," this is to confirm their state during entering that they will be safe without fear and this took place in ‘Umrat-ul-Qada’ (i.e. Compensatory ‘Umrah) in Zul-Qi’dah 7 A.H."

According to Imam Ibn Kathir, the prophecy came true in the next year. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab who was misquoted by Mr. Shamoun admitted that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not tell them that they would enter Mecca in the same year. So, where is the argument of Mr. Shamoun in the light of complete quotations?!

As we shall be demonstrating throughout our responses, the only fallacies committed is by the author. The author accuses me of misquoting Ibn Kathir by not quoting the entire context. It seems to have not dawned on the author that it is not incumbent for a writer to include every single detail of a quotation, but only that which is relevant to the point being made. I quoted that part of Ibn Kathir that was relevant to my point.

Furthermore, the author is actually guilty of the very thing he accuses me, namely misquoting sources. Here is what I said in context, this time with added emphasis:

The anger of the Muslims is justifiable when we realize that Muhammad promised that his followers would have access to Mecca that very same year. WHEN THAT DID NOT OCCUR, MUHAMMAD ATTEMPTED TO JUSTIFY HIS STATEMENT BY STATING, "Yes, did I tell you that we would go to Ka'ba this year?" (Ibid)

In other words, SINCE HE DID NOT SPECIFY WHEN THEY WOULD ENTER MECCA THIS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED A FALSE PROPHECY! This is simply erroneous since the Muslim contingent was on their way to Mecca when a deputation from the pagan Arabs stopped them. In fact, one of Muhammad's demands in signing the treaty WAS THAT THE PAGANS PERMIT THE MUSLIMS TO COMPLETE THEIR JOURNEY TO MECCA in order to perform Tawaf. Suhail denied Muhammad's request and instead made an agreement that the Muslims could enter Mecca the following year. Ibn Kathir further supports this in his commentary on S. 48:27:

"In a dream, the Messenger of Allah saw himself entering Makkah and performing Tawaf around the House. He told his Companions about this dream when he was still in Al-Madinah. When they went to Makkah in the year of Al-Hudaybiyyah, none of them doubted that the Prophet's vision WOULD COME TRUE THAT YEAR. When the treaty of peace was conducted and they had to return to Al-Madinah that year, being allowed to return to Makkah the next year, SOME OF THE COMPANIONS DISLIKED WHAT HAPPENED. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab asked about THIS, saying, 'Haven't you told us that we will go to the House and perform Tawaf around it?'" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 9, Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun, Abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; first edition, September 2000], p. 171; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This proves that Muhammad actually believed he was going to enter into Mecca, a plan that never materialized. IN ORDER TO SAVE FACE HE HAD TO DENY ADMITTING THAT HE ACTUALLY IMPLIED THAT THE MUSLIMS WOULD ENTER MECCA THAT SAME YEAR.

Seeing that I clearly acknowledged that Muhammad did claim that he had not specified to the Muslims that they would enter Mecca that same year, the author is therefore guilty of not reading carefully. He falsely accuses me of failing to mention the very thing that I went on to address and rebut! Since the author wanted me to quote more of Ibn Kathir, perhaps he can explain Ibn Kathir’s statement that the Muslims actually believed that they were going to enter Mecca that same year. Why would they have thought this if in fact Muhammad hadn’t actually indicated that he was going to enter Mecca that very year? Furthermore, why go through the trouble of bringing sacrificial animals and why wear pilgrimage clothing if Muhammad actually knew that he would not be entering Mecca that year?

Third, notice that the author failed to note that Umar wasn’t satisfied with Muhammad’s response. Here is the author’s own quotation from Ibn Kathir, this time with added emphasis:

When the treaty of peace was conducted and they had to return to Al-Madinah that year, being allowed to return to Makkah the next year, some of the Companions DISLIKED WHAT HAPPENED. 'Umar bin Al-Khattab asked about this, saying, 'Haven't you told us that we will go to the House and perform Tawaf around it?' Messenger of Allah said, 'Yes, but did I tell you that we would visit the Ka`ba this year?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'So you will visit it and perform Tawaf around it.' " `Umar further said, "I went to Abu Bakr and said, 'O Abu Bakr! Isn't he truly Allah's Prophet?' He replied, 'Yes.' I said, 'Then why should we be humble in our religion?' He said, 'Indeed, he is Allah's Apostle and he does not disobey his Lord, and He will make him victorious. Adhere to him as, by Allah, he is on the right.' I said, 'Was he not telling us that we would go to the Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it?' He said, 'Yes, but did he tell you that you would go to the Ka`ba this year?' I said, 'No.' He said, "You will go to Ka`ba and perform Tawaf around it."

Even after hearing Muhammad’s explanation, Umar was still not satisfied and went to Abu Bakr to complain.

These factors only reinforce my claim, namely, that after Muhammad failed to lead his people into Mecca he had to cover up his mistake by making up the excuse that he had never said that they were going to enter that very same year.

The author went on again to misrepresent my position in order to save Muhammad from being a false prophet. Near the end, the author comments on my statement regarding the return of Abu Jandal:

If Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) kept Abu Jandal, Mr. Shamoun wouldn’t fail to accuse him of keeping not his word. The problem is not the Prophet’s behaviour, it is Mr. Shamoun’s mentality.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said to Abi Jandal,
"Be patient, resign yourself to the Will of All‚h. All‚h is going to provide for you and your helpless companions relief and means of escape. We have concluded a treaty of peace with them and we have taken the pledge in the Name of All‚h. We are, therefore, under no circumstances prepared to break it." (Ibid)

Here, the author is attacking a straw man. My problem has nothing to do with Muhammad keeping his word to return Abu Jandal. Rather, my problem has to with an alleged Prophet of God agreeing with the demands of the pagans to hand believers over to them. As I indicated, a true Prophet would never agree with the demands of pagan unbelievers to hand over the true believers in the first place. Notice what the author’s own quotation from Maududi has to say:

WHAT TROUBLED THE MUSLIMS MOST IN THIS TREATY, WAS THE CONDITION ABOUT THE FUGITIVES FROM MAKKAH AND MADINAH, THAT THE FORMER WOULD BE RETURNED AND THE LATTER WOULD NOT BE RETURNED… (Capital emphasis ours)

Even the Muslims themselves were troubled by the conditions imposed by the Pagans in the treaty THAT MUHAMMAD HIMSELF AGREED TO SIGN! This again proves that Muhammad was not a true prophet, or worse, Muhammad didn’t truly have faith in his God to fulfill the promises made to him and the Muslims. Seeing that his goal of entering Mecca never materialized, Muhammad therefore ended up compromising his beliefs to satisfy the demands of the pagans in order to get what he wanted.

It seems that the problem is not with my mentality, but with the author’s inability to understand what he is actually reading. Worse yet, perhaps the author does understand my point but chooses to attack a straw man as opposed to dealing with the real issues.

The author again misrepresents my argument regarding Muhammad’s violation of the terms of the treaty. Notice what the author says:

Please note here the double-stranded argument of Mr. Shamoun; he blamed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) before for keeping his word and, now, he blames him for not keeping it.

First, I didn’t complain about Muhammad keeping his word, but rather I complained that Muhammad should have never agreed to the demands of the pagans to hand the believers over to them.

Second, my argument here is really rather simple. Since Muhammad compromised his beliefs by agreeing with the pagans, he therefore should have kept his word and not violated the stipulations of the treaty. The fact that he failed to keep his word only proves that Muhammad was not a true prophet of God, and only claimed prophethood to get what he desired.


In conclusion, it is interesting to note that the author did not address every aspect of my criticism. Instead, the author seemingly tried to rebut those points that he thought were easy to address. But as our response has shown, his attempts have failed.


As we continue with our responses, it will become more obvious that the author’s alleged rebuttals are nothing more than desperate attempts of trying to refute my points. Yet the only thing the author has been able to refute is his own straw man arguments.

This ends Part 1. Continue with Part 2.


POSTSCRIPT:

Hesham Azmy has attempted to refute my assertion that Muhammad broke the treaty by refusing to return one of the Meccan woman to her brothers:

In response to Mr. Shamoun’s argument, Um Kulthuom was a woman and women were not included in the terms of the treaty that mentioned men only. Also, God forbade returning believing women to the unbelievers

"O ye who believe! When there come to you believing women refugees, examine (and test) them: God knows best as to their Faith: if ye ascertain that they are Believers, then send them not back to the Unbelievers. They are not lawful (wives) for the Unbelievers, nor are the (Unbelievers) lawful (husbands) for them. But pay the Unbelievers what they have spent (on their dower). And there will be no blame on you if ye marry them on payment of their dower to them. But hold not to the guardianship of Unbelieving women …." (Holy Qur’an 60:10)

This clearly refutes the desperate arguments whom Mr. Shamoun inserted inside his article. And God guides only whom He pleases.

RESPONSE:

It is quite obvious that Mr. Azmy hasn’t read his own Islamic sources carefully. Nothing in the treaty stipulated that only men were to be returned. Noted historian Al-Tabari wrote:

... So the Messenger of God said, "Write: This is that whereon Muhammad b. ‘Abdallah has made peace with Suhayl b. ‘Amr. The two have agreed on these terms: that warfare shall be laid aside by the people for ten years, during which the people shall be safe and refrain from [attacking] each other; that, WHOEVER shall come to the Messenger of God from Quraysh WITHOUT THE PERMISSION of his guardian, [Muhammad] shall return him to them; that WHOEVER shall come to Quraysh from those who are with the Messenger of God, they shall not return him to [Muhammad] ..." (The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, 1997], Volume VIII, p. 86)

Now Mr. Azmy may contend that since singular masculine pronouns are used (i.e. "his") women are therefore not included in these stipulations. On the contrary, the masculine pronouns do not refer to the men only, but serve to identify either gender. Masculine pronouns are often used to refer to both genders in Arabic, even in English. Note for instance the following Surah:

As for HIM who giveth and is dutiful (toward Allah) And believeth in goodness; Surely We will ease HIS way unto the state of ease. But as for HIM who hoardeth and deemeth HIMSELF independent, And disbelieveth in goodness; Surely We will ease HIS way unto adversity. HIS riches will not save HIM when HE perisheth. Lo! Ours it is (to give) the guidance And lo! unto Us belong the latter portion and the former. Therefore have I warned you of the flaming Fire Which only the most wretched must endure, HE who denieth and turneth away. Far removed from it will be the RIGHTEOUS Who giveth HIS wealth that HE may grow (in goodness). And none hath with HIM any favour for reward, Except as seeking (to fulfill) the purpose of HIS Lord Most High. HE verily will be content. S. 92:5-21 Pickthall

Unless Mr. Azmy wishes to argue that the above promises and warnings are directed ONLY to men, it is quite obvious that the use of masculine pronouns in no way rule out women; unless of course the context demands it.

Furthermore, the people of Muhammad’s time clearly understood that women were included within the treaty:

Ibn Ishaq added in his account: Umm Kulthum bt. ‘Uqbah b. Abi Mu‘ayt emigrated to the Messenger of God during that period. Her brothers, ‘Umarah and al-Walid b. ‘Uqbah, went to the Messenger of God to ask him to return her to them ACCORDING TO THE TREATY BETWEEN HIM AND QURAYSH AT AL-HUDAYBIYAH, BUT HE DID NOT DO SO: GOD HAD REJECTED IT. (Ibid., p. 92; capital emphasis ours)

In fact, here is what Ibn Kathir says in regards to Surah 60:10:

After Al-Hudaybiyyah, Emigrant Muslim Women may not be returned to the Disbelievers

In Surat Al-Fath, we related the story of the treaty at Al-Hudaybiyyah that was conducted between the Messenger of Allah and the disbelievers of Quraysh. In that treaty, there were these words, "Everyman (in another narration, EVERY PERSON) who reverts from our side to your side, should be returned to us, even if he is a follower of your religion." This was said by `Urwah, Ad-Dahhak, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd, Az-Zuhri, Muqatil bin Hayyan and As-Suddi.

So according to this narration, this Ayah specifies and explains the Sunnah. And this is the best case of understanding. Yet according to another view of some of the Salaf, it abrogates it.

Allah the Exalted and Most High ordered His faithful servants to test the faith of women who emigrate to them. When they are sure that they are faithful, they should not send them back to the disbelievers, for the disbelievers are not allowed for them and they are not allowed for the disbelievers. In the biography of `Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad bin Jahsh in Al-Musnad Al-Kabir, we also mentioned that `Abdullah bin Abi Ahmad said, "Umm Kulthum bint `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`ayt emigrated and her brothers, `Umarah and Al-Walid, went after her. They came to Allah's Messenger and talked to him about Umm Kulthum and asked that she be returned to them. ALLAH ABOLISHED THE PART OF THE TREATY BETWEEN THE PROPHET AND THE IDOLATORS ABOUT THE WOMEN PARTICULARLY. So He forbade returning Muslim women to the idolators and revealed the Ayah about testing them" ...

<Likewise do not keep disbelieving women,>

Then `Umar bin Al-Khattab divorced two of his wives, who were idolatresses, and one of them got married to Mu`awiyah bin Abi Sufyan, while the other got married to Safwan bin Umayyah.

Ibn Thawr narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said, "This Ayah was revealed to Allah's Messenger while he was in the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, after making peace. He agreed that WHOEVER COMES from the Quraysh to his side, WILL BE RETURNED TO MAKKAH. When some women came, this Ayah was revealed. Allah commanded that the dowery that was paid to these women be returned to their husbands. Allah also ordered that if some Muslim women revert to the side of the idolators, the idolators should return their dowery to their Muslim husbands ... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 9 (Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun), pp. 599-600, 602; online edition; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Note very carefully that neither al-Tabari nor Ibn Kathir say that the stipulations agreed upon by the pagans and Muhammad did not include women. What they say is THAT ALLAH ABOLISHED THAT PART OF THE TREATY! In other words, returning the women was part of the agreement that the pagans made with Muhammad. But what Muhammad did was deliberately break that stipulation of the treaty and then claimed that it was Allah who made him do it!

So much for Mr. Azmy’s argument.


Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page