More of Muhammad’s False Prophecies:
Muhammad’s failed prediction concerning Christ’s return
It is time, once again, to turn the tables on the Islamic propagandists.
It is typical to find these dawagandists claiming (*; *) that the synoptic Gospels contain a false prediction since Jesus prophesied that the end of this age and his return to the earth would take place before his own generation had passed away:
“Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:34 – cf. Mark 13:30
Despite the fact that Christian scholars and apologists have answered this objection time and time again (e.g., 1, 2), these propagandists never tire of using this argument against unsuspecting Christians who may not know their faith that well.
In light of this, I have therefore decided to turn this argument against these same Muslims in order to let them see what happens when we apply their own criticisms against their prophet.
According to the so-called sound ahadith, Muhammad erroneously and mistakenly thought that Jesus was going to descend soon during the lifetime of his own companions:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425; *)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656; *)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary WILL SOON DESCEND AMONGST YOU and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it." Abu Huraira added "If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e. Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them." (4.159) (See Fateh Al Bari, Page 302 Vol 7) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said "How will YOU be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU and he will judge people by the Law of the Quran and not by the law of Gospel (Fateh-ul Bari page 304 and 305 Vol 7) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658)
These same traditions can also be found in Sahih Muslim:
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said: By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Mary WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE. He will break crosses, kill swine and abolish Jizya and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287; *)
The above narration (as well as the first hadith from al-Bukhari cited earlier) is particularly interesting, not only because of the word “soon” but also because it is prefaced with an oath or appeal to Allah. Muhammad clearly makes this pronouncement as coming “with/in the authority of Allah.”
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah observed: What will be your state when the son of Mary descends AMONGST YOU and there will be an Imam amongst you? (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0290)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that he heard the Messenger of Allah as saying: What would you do when the son of Mary would descend AND LEAD YOU? (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0291)
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah observed: What would you do when the son of Mary would descend AMONGST YOU AND WOULD LEAD YOU AS ONE AMONGST YOU? Ibn Abi Dhi'b on the authority of Abu Huraira narrated: YOUR LEADER AMONGST YOU. Ibn Abi Dhi'b said: Do you know what the words: "He would lead as one AMONGST YOU" mean? I said: Explain these to me. He said: He would LEAD YOU according to the Book of your Lord (hallowed be He and most exalted) and the Sunnah of your Apostle. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0292)
In the following tradition, Muhammad even goes so far as to describe Jesus’ features so that his followers would be able to recognize him when he descends upon them!
Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
The Prophet said: There is no prophet between me and him, that is, Jesus. He will descent (to the earth). When YOU see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet. He will fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish jizyah. Allah will perish all religions except Islam. He will destroy the Antichrist and will live on the earth for forty years and then he will die. The Muslims will pray over him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310; *)
Here, now, is an abbreviated list which contain the precise statements of what Muhammad is reported to have said in all the above hadiths concerning the return of Christ:
1. “… the son of Mary will SOON DESCEND AMONGST YOU and will judge mankind justly…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657).
2. “… will SHORTLY DESCEND AMONGST YOU people (Muslims)…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 34, Number 425).
3. “…WILL SOON DESCEND AMONG YOU AS A JUST JUDGE…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0287)
4. “… How will YOU be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658)
5. “… would descend AMONGST YOU AND WOULD LEAD YOU AS ONE AMONGST YOU…” (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0292)
6. “… When YOU see him, recognize him…” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, Number 4310).
7. “… until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends AMONGST YOU as a just ruler…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656).
The language of these reports is crystal clear. Muhammad was addressing his immediate followers and told them that “Jesus would SOON descend among YOU,” and “lead YOU,” meaning those he was addressing. It is therefore clear that Muhammad was limiting this to the generation of his own followers. However, this event never happened since Muhammad’s followers died and Jesus did not descend among them to lead them.
What makes this even more interesting is that none of these ahadith say that Jesus would descend upon “the Muslims living at the time of his return” or any other general formulation in the third person, but always, in every single narration it uses the word, “you”, i.e. the direct address which is clearly intended to be understood personally.
Now if these Muslim polemicists were consistent then they would have to apply their logic to these traditions and conclude that Muhammad must be a false prophet (which he is) because he claimed that Jesus would SOON descend during the lifetime of his companions and that they would be able to recognize him when he did!
They must face the fact that it has been nearly 15 centuries since Muhammad allegedly uttered these words, and not only have all his companions died but Christ has still not returned to the earth!
Now instead of doing the honest thing and admit that Muhammad fails their own test, watch and see how these apologists of Islam come up with a way of explaining why such a mistaken prediction does not prove that their prophet was in error. Watch and see how they will end up doing the very thing that conservative Christians do by trying to find a way of harmonizing this false prophecy with their erroneous belief that Muhammad was God's prophet. They will seek to do this despite the fact that these same Muslims complain whenever Christians do the same for their respective Scriptures and reject any of their attempts of harmonization!
Yet one thing these dawagandists cannot do is to reject these narrations on the grounds that they are weak traditions or forgeries since they are found in the collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim, compilers whose works are considered to be absolutely reliable. This means that these traditions are thoroughly sound as far as the Islamic criteria for authenticity is concerned, especially since both al-Bukhari and Muslim narrate them, which means that they met their rather stringent demands for reliability.
If the polemicists like Williams try to object to the reliability of these reports by claiming that they were written centuries after Muhammad's death then this only creates more problems for the Islamic position. The fact is that all of the extant hadiths which Muslims appeal to were written centuries after the death of Muhammad, and none of them come from contemporary eyewitness documents which were compiled during the lifetime of Muhammad or his followers. This means that these dawagandists need to be consistent and toss out all of the hadith literature, especially the collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim.
However, if they do end up rejecting all of their hadith compilations then this means that they are left without any detailed information concerning Muhammad’s life, his wives, his raids and battles etc., since all of that comes from the ahadith and sirah literature.
The fact is that the only real reason these Muslim propagandists would reject these specific narrations is because they prove to be quite embarrassing and end up exposing Muhammad as a false prophet (which he was).