Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Incredulous and Absurd Teachings of Muhammad Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

As Islam continues to gain prominence throughout the world, many Christians are confronted by the issue of whether Muhammad is a true prophet from God and, if so, then how does he measure up to the true prophets that came before him.

The orthodox Islamic communities follow two sources: the Quran, the Muslim Holy Scripture, and the Sunna, the traditions of the “prophet” of Arabia.

It is incumbent on all Muslims seeking the pleasure of their "lord" to imitate their "prophet" in every way, i.e., how he prayed, what he ate, his grooming and hygiene techniques etc. In order for a faithful Muslim to do so, he must follow the traditions attributed to their prophet called Hadith. There are several grades of Hadith ranging from poor to reliable to sound (without doubt as to its authenticity).

In light of this, we will be taking a look at the Hadith literature in order to see some of the things that Muhammad reportedly said and did. The reason for quoting the Hadiths is to show that the things that are attributed to Muhammad negate the idea of him being a true prophet, since no true prophet of God would say or do the things that Muhammad is stated to have said and done.

In our examination we will be quoting primarily (but not exclusively) from the soundest traditions available, namely the works of Imam al-Bukhari, called Sahih Al-Bukhari. The hadith compilation of al-Bukhari is deemed to be so authentic that Salafi Muslim scholar, Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, could write:

“The authenticity of Al-Bukhari’s work is such that the religious learned scholars of Islam said concerning him: ‘The most authentic book after the Book of Allah (i.e., Al-Quran) is Sahi Bukhari... Many religious scholars of Islam tried to find fault in the great, remarkable collection Sahi Al-Bukhari but failed. It is for this reason they unanimously agreed that the most authentic book after the Book of Allah is Sahi Al-Bukhari.” (Translation of the Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English, translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Formerly Director, University Hospital, Islamic University, Al-Madina Al-Munawwara (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), [Dar-us-Salam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, July, 1997], Volume 1, pp. 18-19)

We will be using Dr. Khan’s nine-volume translation of Sahih al-Bukhari, unless noted otherwise.


According to the Quran, Muhammad performed no miracles to confirm his prophethood (Q. 6:37; 17:59; 28:48; 29:50-51). This embarrassing fact has led Muslim theologians to search desperately for any sign that would attest to Muhammad’s prophetic claims. One such evidence is the so-called “Seal of Prophethood” alluded to in the Quran:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Apostle of God, and the seal of the Prophets: and God has full knowledge of all things.” S. 33:40

The question arises as to what was the Seal of the Prophets. Was it a spiritual or a physical sign? Does it find Biblical precedence and support for it? To our amazement the seal was a hairy mole between Muhammad’s shoulders!

“Narrated As-Saib bin Yazid … I stood behind him (i.e., Muhammad) and saw the seal of Prophethood between his shoulders, and it was like the ‘Zir al-Hijla’ (meaning the button of a small tent, but some say ‘egg of a partridge.’).” Vol. 1, No. 189 – see also Vol. 4, No. 741


“Jabir b. Samura reported: I saw the seal on his back as it were a pigeon’s egg.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5790)

“Abdullah b. Sarjis reported: I saw Allah’s apostle and ate with him bread and meat, or he said Tharid (bread soaked in soup). I said to him: Did Allah’s apostle seek forgiveness for you? He said: Yes, and for you, and he then recited this verse: ‘Ask forgiveness for thy sin and for the believing men and believing women’ (xlvii 19). I then went after him and saw the Seal of Prophethood between his shoulders on the left side of his shoulders having spots on it like hairy moles.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5793)

The Dictionary of Islam by T.P. Hughes states:

SEAL OF PROPHECY. Khatimu 'n-Nubuwah. A mole of an unusual size on the Prophets back, which is said to have been the divine seal which, according to the predictions of the Scriptures, marked Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets," Khatimu'n Nabiyin.

According to a tradition, recorded in the Mishkatu 'l-Masabih, book iii, ch. 7, it was the size of the knob of a bridal canopy. Others say it was the size of a pigeon's egg, or even the size of a closed fist.

Shaikh 'Abdu 'l-Haqq says "it was a piece of flesh, very brilliant in appearance, and according to some traditions it had secretly inscribed within it, 'God is one and has no Associate.

Abu Ramsa', whose family were skilled in surgery, offered to remove it, but Muhammad refused, saying, "The Physician thereof is He who placed it where it is."

According to another tradition, Muhammad said to Abu Ramsa', "Come hither and touch my back"; which he did, drawing his fingers over the prophetical seal and, behold! there was a collection of hairs upon the spot. (See Muir, new ed. P. 542.)

'Abdu 'l-Haqq also says it disappeared from the Prophet's back shortly before his death.

It is not clear how far Muhammad encouraged the belief in this supernatural sign of his prophetic mission, but from his reply to Abu Ramsa', it would not appear that he really attributed any special power to its existence. (P. 567)

This can be interpreted in one of two ways: 1) That Muhammad understood this mole to be the physical seal of authority i.e., that he was an Apostle of Allah or, 2) the mole was something placed on his body as nothing more than a mark of deformity, i.e. birth mark.

Regardless as to how Muhammad understood the significance of this mark, the fact remains that the Muslims took it as proof that Muhammad was Allah’s Prophet. However, the idea that a mole proves prophethood is fallacious and finds no Biblical substantiation, contrary to what Muslims might believe.

The second sign of prophethood according to Muslims was the manner in which Muhammad received revelations. According to the Traditions, Muhammad

  • acted as a drunkard (Ibn Hisham, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiya, chapter on how the revelation came to him).
  • would tremble, foam at the mouth and snore or moan like a camel or a newborn calf.

“Narrated Safwan bin Ya'la bin Umaiya from his father who said: ‘A man came to the Prophet while he was at Ji'rana. The man was wearing a cloak which had traces of Khaluq or Sufra (a kind of perfume). The man asked (the Prophet), “What do you order me to perform in my ‘Umra?” So, Allah inspired the Prophet divinely and he was screened by a place of cloth. I wished to see the Prophet being divinely inspired. 'Umar said to me, “Come! Will you be pleased to look at the Prophet while Allah is inspiring him?” I replied in the affirmative. ‘Umar lifted one corner of the cloth and I looked at the Prophet who was snoring. (The sub-narrator thought that he said: The snoring was like that of a camel). When that state was over, the Prophet asked, “Where is the questioner who asked about ‘Umra? Put off your cloak and wash away the traces of Khaluq from your body and clean the Sufra (yellow color) and perform in your Umra what you perform in your Hajj (i.e. the Tawaf round the Ka'ba and the Sa'i between Safa and Marwa).”’” Vol. 3, Bk. 27, Number 17

In the sahih collection of Muslim, there is an account by Hammam b. Yahya, from ‘Ata’, from Ya‘la b. Umayya, who is quoted as saying,

“‘Umar said to me, ‘Would you like to look at the Messenger of God while revelation is coming to him?’ He raised the edge of his robe from his face while he was receiving revelation at al-Ji‘rana, and he was all flushed. And he would moan like a newborn calf.” (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), translated by Professor Trevor Le Gassick, Reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, UK, First Paperback Edition: 2000], Volume I, p. 307; italic emphasis ours)

See also Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 1, Nos. 34, 464 and Vol. VI. 163.

  • would move his lips rapidly in trying to recite and memorize the “revelation.”

“Narrated Sa’id bin Jubair: Ibn 'Abbas in the explanation of the Statement of Allah, ‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith.’ (75.16) Sa’id: ‘Allah's Apostle used to bear the revelation with great trouble and used to move his lips (quickly) with the Inspiration.’ Ibn 'Abbas moved his lips saying, ‘I am moving my lips in front of you as Allah's Apostle used to move his.’ Sa’id moved his lips saying: ‘I am moving my lips, as I saw Ibn 'Abbas moving his.’ Ibn 'Abbas added, ‘So Allah revealed, “Move not your tongue concerning (the Qur'an) to make haste therewith. It is for us to collect it and to give you (O Muhammad) the ability to recite it (the Qur'an)” (75.16-17), which means that Allah will make him (the Prophet) remember the portion of the Qur'an which was revealed at that time by heart and recite it. The Statement of Allah: “And when We have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its (Qur'an) recital” (75.18) means “listen to it and be silent.” “Then it is for Us (Allah) to make It clear to you” (75.19) means “Then it is (for Allah) to make you recite it (and its meaning will be clear by itself through your tongue).” Afterwards, Allah's Apostle used to listen to Gabriel whenever he came and after his departure he used to recite it as Gabriel had recited it.’” Vol. 1, Bk. 1, No. 4

  • the buzzing of bees could be heard around his face.

“Imam Ahmad stated that ‘Abd al-Razzaq related to him, quoting Yunus b. Salim, who said that Yunus b. Yazid dictated to him, from Ibn Shihab, from ‘Urwa b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Abd al-Qart who said, ‘I heard ‘Umar b. al-Khattab say, “When revelation came down to the Messenger of God, it would be heard like the buzzing of a bee near his face.”’” (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, Volume I, p. 306)

  • perspiration the size of pearls would fall down from his forehead, even if it were cold out.
  • would hear the ringing of bells that caused intense pain.

“Narrated 'Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers): Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle, ‘O Allah's Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?’ Allah's Apostle replied, ‘Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.’ 'Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).” Vol. 1, Bk. 1, No. 2

“… So, there overtook him the same state which used to overtake him, (when he used to have, on being inspired divinely). He was sweating so much so that the drops of the sweat were dropping like pearls though it was a (cold) wintry day. When that state of Allah's Apostle was over, he was smiling and the first word he said, 'Aisha! Thank Allah, for Allah has declared your innocence.' My mother told me to go to Allah's Apostle . I replied, 'By Allah I will not go to him and will not thank but Allah.' So Allah revealed: "Verily! They who spread the slander are a gang among you . . ." (24.11). Vol. 3, Bk. 48, No. 829 – see also Volume 4, No. 438

  • suffered headaches and would faint.

Abu Nu‘aym related, from a tradition of Qutayba that ‘Ali b. Ghurab related to him, from al-Ahwas b. Hakim, from Abu ‘Awana, from Sa‘id b. al-Musayyib, from Abu Hurayra, who said, “When revelation came down to the Messenger of God, he would get a headache and would cover his head with the henna plant.” (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, Vol. I, p. 308; italic emphasis ours)

Abu Hurayrah narrated: “When the revelation came from Allah to the Prophet it was as if he had fainted.” (Abu Nu'aym). (As-Suyuti, Tahdhib al-khasa'is al-nabawiyyah al-kubra (“The Awesome Characteristics of the Prophet”) [Iz Publication, Istanbul 2003], p. 300)

  • would turn red and breathe heavily

“Narrated Safwan bin Ya'la bin Umaiya: Ya'la used to say, ‘I wish I could see Allah's apostle at the time he is being inspired Divinely.’ When the prophet was at Al-Ja'rana and was shaded by a garment hanging over him and some of his companions were with him, a man perfumed with scent came and said, ‘O Allah's apostle! What is your opinion regarding a man who assumes Ihram and puts on a cloak after perfuming his body with scent?’ The prophet waited for a while, and then the Divine Inspiration descended upon him. ‘Umar pointed out to Ya'la, telling him to come. Ya'la came and pushed his head (underneath the screen which was covering the prophet) and behold! The prophet's face was red and he kept on breathing heavily for a while and then he was relieved. Thereupon he said, ‘Where is the questioner who asked me about ‘Umra a while ago?’ The man was sought and then was brought before the prophet who said (to him), ‘As regards the scent which you perfumed your body with, you must wash it off thrice, and as for your cloak, you must take it off; and then perform in your 'Umra all those things which you perform in Hajj.’” Volume 6, Bk. 61, No. 508

We find that contrary to Muslim sentiment, these two signs fail to authenticate the prophethood of Muhammad for very good reasons. First, no Biblical prophet ever experienced these conditions during revelation. In fact, we find spiritists, mediums, diviners and those in the occult experiencing these conditions. One such person was the pagan Socrates who claimed that his philosophy was inspired by his Daimon (demon), who was also the cause of Socrates’ seizures. It was in this condition that Socrates received the ideas for the philosophical treatise he would eventually produce, or so he claimed.

Muhammad himself believed that at first he was being possessed by a jinn (demon-spirit):

“Narrated 'Aisha: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ (The prophet added), ‘The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, “I do not know how to read,” whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, “I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?).” Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, “Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous,” up to, “that which he knew not.” (96.1-5)’

“Then Allah's apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching WITH TERROR till he entered upon Khadija and said, ‘Cover me! Cover me!’ They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, ‘O Khadija, what is wrong with me?’ Then he told her everything that had happened and said, ‘I fear that something may happen to me.’ … But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended SEVERAL TIMES TO THROW HIMSELF FROM THE TOPS OF HIGH MOUNTAINS and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, ‘O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth,’ whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before. (Ibn 'Abbas said regarding the meaning of: ‘He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)’ (6.96) that Al-Asbah means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night).” Vol. 9, Bk. 87, no. 111

The very foster-mother of Muhammad, Halima, believed he was possessed:

‘Some months after our return he and his brother were with our lambs behind the tents when his brother came running and said to us, "Two men clothed in white have seized that Qurayshi brother of mine and thrown him down and opened up his belly, and are stirring it up." We ran towards him and found him standing up with a livid face. We took hold of him and I asked him what was the matter. He said, "Two men in white raiment came I and threw me down and opened up my belly and searched therein for I know not what."1 So we took him back to our tent. His father said to me, "I am afraid that this child has had a stroke, so take him back to his family before the result appears." So we picked him up and took him to his mother who asked why we had brought him when I had been anxious for his welfare and desirous of keeping him with me. I said to her, "God has let my son live so far and I have done my duty. I am afraid that ill will befall him, so I have brought him back to you as you wished." She asked me what happened and gave me no peace until I told her. When she asked if I feared a demon possessed him, I replied that I did. She answered that no demon had any power over her son who had a great future before him, and then she told how when she was pregnant with him a light went out from her which illumined the castles of Busra in Syria, and that she had borne him with the least difficulty imaginable. When she bore him he put his hands on the ground lifting his head towards the heavens. "Leave him then and go in peace," she said.’ (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], pp. 71-72; bold and italic emphasis ours)


The following story connected with Muhammad's stay with Halimah is related by Abu 'l-Fida' (p. 64). When some time passed, Muhammad and his foster-brother went out to a distance from the house, when Halimah's son came to his mother and said. "Two men clothed in white raiments have taken hold of the Quraish boy, and have thrown him down and have ripped open his belly." So Halimah and her husband went to the place where the child was, but found him standing on his feet. And they said, "What has happened to thee child?" And he answered and said, "Two men came to me, and threw me down and ripped up my belly." Then Halimah's husband said to her, "I greatly fear that this boy has got the epilepsy." So they took him to his mother Aminah. And Halimah said to Aminah, "I am afraid he is possessed of a devil." But Aminah said, "What in the world can Satan have to do with my son that he should be his enemy?" (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p. 368; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Once more, we must reiterate the fact that none of the biblical prophets ever thought of jumping off a cliff after receiving inspiration nor did Gabriel strike dread and terror into the hearts of the servants of God, but often comforted them, unlike this “Gabriel” who would cause Muhammad to tremble, foam and sweat profusely.

A further indication of the occultic nature of Muhammad’s revelations is seen by the following examples taken from the Bible and Islamic sources.

According to al-Waqidi, “Muhammad had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with that figure upon it.” (Dictionary of Islam, p. 63)

We wonder as to what could have caused such a violent reaction to the symbol of the cross which pointed to the Lord Jesus’ victory on Calvary? The Holy Bible provides the answer,

“Then one of the crowd answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid ...’ Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth … When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: ‘Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!’ Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, ‘He is dead.’” Mark 9:17-18, 20, 25-26

All one has to do is to compare Muhammad’s condition at the time of revelation with that of this demon possessed boy and the conclusion is obvious; the spirit inspiring Muhammad was most certainly not of God.

Muhammad also prayed for the dead and spoke to them, a common occultic practice. Muhammad Husayn Haykal relates that on the occasion of the victory of Badr when Muhammad had his opponents murdered, he started,

“addressing the dead in their new graves: ‘O people of the grave’! he murmured, ‘O `Utbah ibn Rabi'ah! O Shaybah ibn Rabi'ah! O Umayyah ibn Khalaf! O Abu Jahl ibn Hisham!’ After calling by name the fallen one by one, he addressed them in these words: ‘Have you really found that which your Lord had promised you? I have found what my Lord had promised me. But have you? The Muslims who overheard him asked, ‘Are you calling the dead?’ and the Prophet answered, ‘They hear me no less than you do, except that they are unable to answer me.’” (Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, Translated by Isma'il Razi A. al-Faruqi, p. 74)

According to the same author, on another occasion Muhammad was found “praying for the dead buried in that cemetery,” with the author admitting that “there is no reason to deny the event of the Prophet’s visit to the cemetery of Baqi as out of place considering Muhammad’s spiritual and psychic power of communication with the realms of reality and his awareness of spiritual reality that surpasses that of ordinary men.” (Ibid., p. 496)

Such a practice is abominable to the true God of Abraham:

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12 NKJV

Secondly, as noted earlier, nowhere in the holy Bible does one find prophecies of a future messenger to come who would have a mole on his shoulder to confirm his apostleship. This fact has led some Muslims, such as Ali al-Tabari, to deliberately mistranslate and misinterpret Biblical passages, i.e., interpreting the following statement from Isaiah 9:6 “the government shall be upon his shoulders” as “the seal of prophecy shall be upon his shoulders”!

The test of true prophethood does not come from physical marks or the condition of the messenger at the time of revelation, but from the moral teaching and guidance given by the claimant. Thus, Muhammad either stands or falls on the message presented for us in the Hadiths and the Quran. It is here that we find the true test of Prophethood.


Muhammad had some very unusual views about Satan. For instance, he thought that Satan urinated in people’s ears:

“Narrated Abdullah: A person was mentioned before the prophet and he was told that he had kept on sleeping till morning and has not gotten up for the (fajr - early morning) prayer. The prophet said, ‘Satan urinated in his ears.’” Vol. 2, Bk. 21, No. 245

He believed that yawning comes from Satan:

“Narrated Abu Huraira: The prophet said, ‘Yawning is from Satan and if anyone of you yawns, he should check his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of you (during the act of yawning) should say: ‘Ha’, Satan will laugh at him.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 509 – see also Vol. 8, Bk. 73, No. 242

Muhammad even claimed that Satan actually lodges in the upper part of a person’s nose during the night and therefore needed to be flushed out every morning by snorting water in and out of one’s nose!

“Narrated Abu Huraira: The prophet said, ‘if anyone of you rouses from sleep and performs the ablution, he should wash his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out thrice, because Satan has stayed in the upper part of his nose all the night.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 516

The footnote to this particular hadith states:

We should believe that Satan actually stays in the upper part of one’s nose, though we cannot perceive how, for this is related to the unseen world of which we know nothing except what Allah tells us through his messenger.”

Desperate attempts have been made to make sense of this tradition. One explanation given is that “Satan” refers to harmful things within the nose that need to be flushed out. If this were the case, then something harmful enters one’s nose during the day as well as the night; yet this Hadith emphasizes night, implying that Satan literally enters one’s nose at nighttime, or so Muhammad believed.

To make matters worse, Muhammad actually thought that Satan could fart or pass wind!

“Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's apostle said, ‘When the Adhan is pronounced Satan takes to his heels and passes wind with noise during his flight in order not to hear the Adhan. When the Adhan is completed he comes back and again takes to his heels when the Iqama is pronounced and after its completion he returns again till he whispers into the heart of the person (to divert his attention from his prayer) and makes him remember things which he does not recall to his mind before the prayer and that causes him to forget how much he has prayed.’” Volume 1, Book 11, Number 582

Finally, Muhammad thought that a bad dream is from Satan and one “should spit on his side thrice and seek refuge with Allah from its evil; then it will not harm him.” (Sahih Muslim, Bk. 29, Number 5613). One is left wondering how does spitting three times to the side affect Satan?


Muhammad believed that angels do not enter a house that has a dog:

“Narrated Abu Talha: The prophet said, ‘Angels do not enter a house witch has either a dog or a picture in it.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 539 – see also Vol. 5, Bk. 59, No. 338



A'isha reported that Gabriel made a promise with Allah's Messenger to come at a definite hour; that hour came but he did not visit him. And there was in his hand (in the hand of Allah's Apostle) a staff. He threw it from his hand and said: Never has Allah or His messengers (angels) ever broken their promise. Then he cast a glance (and by chance) found a puppy under his cot and said: 'A'isha, when did this dog enter here? She said: By Allah, I don't know. He then commanded and it was turned out. Then Gabriel came and Allah's Messenger said to him: You promised me and I waited for you, but you did not come, whereupon he said: It was the dog in your house which prevented me (to come), for we (angels) do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. (Sahih Muslim, Book 024, Number 5246)

And because of this, “Allah’s Apostle ordered that the dogs should be killed” (Vol. 4, No. 540).

Later, after realizing that dogs were a necessity for hunting and guarding sheep, Muhammad changed his mind:

Maimuna reported that one morning Allah's Messenger was silent with grief. Maimuna said: Allah's Messenger, I find a change in your mood today. Allah's Messenger said: Gabriel had promised me that he would meet me tonight, but he did not meet me. By Allah, he never broke his promises, and Allah's Messenger spent the day in this sad (mood). Then it occurred to him that there had been a puppy under their cot. He commanded and it was turned out. He then took some water in his hand and sprinkled it at that place. When it was evening Gabriel met him and he said to him: you promised me that you would meet me the previous night. He said: Yes, but we do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. Then on that very morning he commanded the killing of the dogs until he announced that the dog kept for the orchards should also be killed, but he spared the dog meant for the protection of extensive fields (or big gardens). (Sahih Muslim, Book 024, Number 5248)


Ibn Umar reported that Allah’s messenger ordered the killings of dogs except the dog tamed for hunting, or watching of the herd of sheep or other domestic animals...” (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3812)

Abu Zubair heard Jabir b. Abdullah saying: Allah’s messenger ordered us to kill dogs, and we carried out this order so much that we also killed the dog coming with a woman from the desert. Then Allah’s Apostle forbade their killing. He (the Holy Prophet) further said: It is your duty to kill the jet black (dog) having two spots (on the eyes), for it is a devil. (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3813)

These narrations raise a few questions. First, if Allah’s angels are capable of withstanding Satan himself, how can dogs or pictures stop them from accomplishing their tasks? Second, couldn’t “Gabriel” have waited for Muhammad to come outside of his house in order to speak with him? Or couldn’t he have met Muhammad in his mosque? Why did this “Gabriel” have to speak to Muhammad in his house where the dead dog was? Third, if dogs are really devils then why does the Quran say that Allah protected a dog along with the Companions of the Cave (Q. 18:18 and 18:20)? Is Allah in the business of preserving evil animals as they lay asleep for centuries only to awaken them again? More importantly, what were these righteous servants doing with a dog in the first place? Fourth, didn’t Allah give Solomon power over the Jinn to build statues or images (Q. 34:13)? And didn’t the temple which Solomon built for the worship of God contain images (1 Kings 6:23-35; 7:27-37; 2 Chronicles 3:10-14)? Does this therefore mean that the angels never entered Solomon’s palace or temple?

The translator of Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid Siddiqui, tries to desperately explain away the obvious problems with Muhammad’s stance on dogs,

"The Hadith gives us an idea why the Holy Prophet commanded to kill dogs. There must have been an excess of stray dogs and thus the danger of rabies in the city of Medina and its suburbs. The Holy Prophet, therefore, ordered to kill them. Later on when it was found that his companions were killing them indiscriminately, he forbade them to do so and told them that only ferocious beasts which were a source of danger to life should be killed. The word 'devil' clarifies this point. Here devil stands for ferocious..." (Sahih Muslim by Imam Muslim, rendered into English by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui [Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 11th Reprint 1995], Volume III & IV, Book X. Kitab Al-Buyu' (Pertaining To Business Transactions), p. 825, fn. 2012; italic emphasis ours)

One senses Siddiqui’s desperation to defend the killing of dogs. He tries to justify this by assuming that there was an excess of stray and rabid dogs in Medina, yet provides no proof for such a claim. Secondly, even if his assumption was correct, why did Muhammad allow both hunting and sheep dogs to remain alive? After all, these dogs would be just as deadly since they would come in contact with ferocious disease-infested animals that could have easily transmitted these diseases to humans. Furthermore, we are still left to grapple with the problem of jet-black dogs with two spots being devils. If "devil", as Sidiqqi states, means ferocious, then why single out these dogs as devils when there were other dogs just as, or even more, ferocious than they? It would seem that Muhammad believed that these animals were literally possessed by devils.

Finally, Muhammad declared that if any man were to keep a dog other than for hunting or guarding the herd, he “loses everyday out of his deeds equal to two qiraat” (Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3815). In other words, Muslims with house-dogs would lose their eternal rewards.


Muhammad claimed that fevers were caused by the heat of hellfire:

“Narrated Aisha: the prophet said, ‘fever is from the heat of the Hell-fire so abate it with water.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 485

And Muhammad also taught that,

“… The severity of heat is from the raging of the Hell-fire, and in very hot weather, pray (zuhr) when it becomes cooler.” Vol. 1, Bk. 10, No. 514


Muhammad believed that people would be tormented in their graves for soiling their clothes with their urine:

“Narrated Ibn Abbas: ‘Once the prophet while passing through one of the Heytan (gardens or graveyards) of Al-Medina or Makka, heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The prophet said, ‘These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid).’ He then added, ‘Yes! (There they are being tortured for a major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends).’

And how did Muhammad expect them to receive relief from their pain?

“The prophet then asked for a green branch (of a date-palm tree), broke it into two pieces and put one on each grave. On being asked why he had done so, he replied, ‘I hope that their torture might be lessened, till these get dried.’” Vol. 1, Bk. 4, No. 215

In fact, Muhammad believed that certain types of urine had a medicinal effect:

“(Narrated Abu Qilaba): Anas said, ‘some people of ‘Ukal or ‘Uraina tribe came to Al-Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (milch) camels and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine) …” Vol. 1, Bk. 4, No. 234

Another tradition says that Muhammad told them to, “drink a mixture of its (camel’s) milk and urine.” (As-Sayyid Sabiq, Fiqh us-Sunnah, Purification and Prayer, vol. 1, p. 12)

Muslim scholars have used these traditions to prove that Muhammad made animal urine permissible to drink. For instance, the compiler of the five-volume set of Fiqh us-Sunnah says that, “by analogy, other permissible animals’ urine may also be considered pure.” (Ibid.)

And according to Ibn al-Munzhir, “Those who claim that that was permissible only for those people are incorrect,” since “scholars permit, without any objection, the sale of sheep’s stools and the use of camel’s urine in their medicine, both in the past and in the present, again without any objection. This shows that they are considered pure.” (Ibid.)

Ash-Shaukani stated that, “Apparently, the urine and stools of every animal permissible to eat is pure.” (Ibid.)

To this the compiler states, “There is nothing to prove otherwise.” (Ibid.)


The following narrative shows us the type of reasoning Muhammad used to conclude that a group of Jews had been transformed into rats:

“Narrated (Abu Huraira): The prophet said, ‘a group of Israelites was lost. Nobody knows what they did. But I do not see them except that they were cursed and transformed into rats, for if you put the milk of a she-camel in front of a rat, it will not drink it, but if the milk of a sheep is put in front of it, it will drink it.’ I told this to Ka’b who asked me, ‘did you hear it from the prophet?’ “I said, ‘Yes”. Ka’b asked me the question several times; I said to Ka’b, ‘do I read the Taurat (Torah)? (i.e., I tell you this from the prophet).’” Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 524

What does the footnote say?

“Later on, the prophet was informed through inspiration about the fate of those Israelites: They were transformed into pigs and monkeys.”

This footnote is not alone in affirming the literal transformation of humans into animals. Several of Islam’s greatest scholars, namely, Baidawi, al-Zamakhshari, and the two Jalalans in their commentaries also believed that some of the Jews were literally transformed into animals.

Muhammad further believed that on the judgment day Allah would transform Abraham’s pagan father into a hyena and throw him in hell:

“Narrated Abu Huraira: The prophet said, ‘On the Day of Resurrection Abraham will meet his father Azar whose face will be dark and covered with dust. (The Prophet Abraham will say to him): “Didn't I tell you not to disobey me?” His father will reply: “Today I will not disobey you.” Abraham will say: “O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father?” Then Allah will say (to him):' “I have forbidden Paradise for the disbelievers.” Then he will be addressed, “O Abraham! Look! What is underneath your feet?” He will look and there he will see a Dhabh (an animal,) blood-stained, which will be caught by the legs and thrown in the (Hell) Fire.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 55, No. 569

In light of this, it shouldn’t surprise us that Muhammad actually thought that his god would literally change people’s faces into donkeys if they raised their heads in prayers before the imam!

“Narrated Abu Huraira: the prophet said, ‘isn’t he who raises his head before the Imam afraid that Allah may transform his head into that of a donkey or his figure (face) into that of a donkey?” Vol. 1, Bk. 11, No. 660

“Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashar: the prophet said, ‘straighten your rows or Allah will alter your faces.’” Vol. 1, Bk. 11, No. 685

Once more, we are told by the translator that,

“This is a severe warning, that if you do not straighten your rows [in Salat (prayers)], Allah may change your faces to that of an animal, e.g. donkey, etc. Or make them like the backs of necks, etc. (see Fath Al-Bari, Vol. 2, page 349).”


One of Muhammad’s companions claimed to have witnessed and assisted a group of monkeys in stoning a she-monkey for committing adultery!

Narrated ‘Amr bin Maimun: During the pre-Islamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too stoned it along with them. Vol. 5, Bk. 58, No. 188

Need we say more?


The majority of people in hell will be women since Muhammad is reported to have warned a group of female followers that they should,

“‘Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of hell-fire were you (women).’ They asked, ‘Why is it so, O Allah’s messenger?’ He replied, ‘You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious, sensible man could be led astray by some of you.’ The women asked, ‘O Allah’s messenger! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?’ He said, ‘Is not the witness (evidence) of two women equal to the witness of one man?’ They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in your intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?’ The women replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This is the deficiency in your religion.’” Vol. 1, Bk. 6, No. 301 – see also Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 464

Women are also an evil omen and are the most harmful thing for men:

“Narrated Abdullah bin Umar: I heard the prophet saying, ‘Evil omen is in three things: the horse, the woman, and the house.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 52, No. 110

“Narrated Usarra bin Zaid: The prophet said, ‘After me I have not left any Fitnah (trial and affliction, etc.) more harmful to men than women.’” Vol. 7, Bk. 62, No. 33

Muhammad taught that angels curse any woman who refuses to sleep with her husband:

“Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s messenger said, ‘If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. have sexual relation) and she refuses and curses him in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.’” Vol. 4, Bk. 54, No. 460

Muhammad commanded that, if a person is away and is returning home from his journey, he must not enter until,

“the woman whose husband was absent (from the house) shaves her pubic hair and the woman with unkempt hair, combs her hair.” Vol. 7, Bk. 62, No. 173


For a while, Muhammad allowed what is called Mut’a, temporary marriages for Muslims to satisfy their sexual desires.

“Narrated Abdullah: We used to participate in the holy wars carried on by the prophet and we had no women (wives) with us. So we said (to the prophet) ‘Shall we castrate ourselves?’ But the prophet forbade us to do that and thenceforth he allowed us to marry a woman (temporarily) by giving her even a garment, and then he recited: ‘O you who believe! Make not unlawful the Tayyibât (all that is good as regards foods, things, deeds, beliefs, persons, etc.) which Allah has made lawful to you.’” Vol. 6, Bk. 60, No. 139

This would be considered a form of legal prostitution, since these were not real marriages but sexual services which the Muslims paid for.


Jihad (fighting for the cause of Islam) is one of the most important tenants in Islam. Dr. Khan writes:

“Al-Jihad (the holy fighting) in Allah’s cause (with full force and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior, [His Word being La ilaha ill-Allah (which means: none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and His religion is propagated.

“By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that) Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart, wish to fulfill this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.” (Ibid., p. 580, fn. 1)

Thus, the importance of spreading Islam via war cannot be underestimated. In fact, Jihad is perhaps the most important duty a Muslim can fulfill, more so than prayer and fasting:

“Narrated Abu Huraira: A man came to Allah’s messenger and said, ‘Guide me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).’ He replied, ‘I do not find such a deed.’ Then he added, ‘Can you, while the Muslim fighter has gone for Jihad, enter your mosque to perform Salat (prayers) without cease and observe Saum (fast) and never break your Saum (fast)?’ The man said, ‘But who can do that?’” Vol. 4, Bk. 52, No. 44

Khan explains,

“Of course, nobody can offer Salat (prayer) and observe Saum (fast) incessantly, and since the Muslim fighter is rewarded as if he was doing such impossible deeds, no possible deed equals Jihad in reward.” (Ibid., p. 580, fn. 2)

The hadith also states:

"Narrated (Abdullah bin Masud): I asked the prophet ‘Which deed is the dearest to Allah?’ He replied, ’To offer As-Salat (the prayers) at their early stated fixed times.’ I asked, ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied, ‘To be good and dutiful to your parents.’ I again asked, ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s cause.’ (Abdullah) added, ‘These were told by Allah’s messenger and if I had asked more, he would have told me more.’” Vol. 1, Bk. 10, No. 505

This has led thousands to convert to Islam out of fear, and not from sincere acceptance of the heart. One such individual embraced Islam after being tied to a pillar for three consecutive days before being released:

“Narrated Abu Huraira: The prophet sent some cavalry towards Najd and they brought a man from the tribe of Banu Hanifa who was called Thumama bin Uthal. They fastened him to one of the pillars of the mosque. The prophet went to him and said, ‘What have you got, O Thumama?’ (i.e., ‘What do you think I am going to do to you?’) He replied, ‘I have got a good thought, O Muhammad! If you should kill me, you would kill a person who has already killed somebody, and if you should set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful, and if you want property, then ask me whatever wealth you want.’ He was left till the next day when the prophet said to him, ‘What have you got, O Thumama?’ He said, ‘What I told you, i.e., if you set me free, you would do a favor to one who is grateful.’ The prophet left him till the day after, when he said, ‘What have you got, O Thumama?’ He said, ‘I have got what I told you.’

“On that the prophet said, ‘Release Thumama, so he (i.e. Thumama) went to a garden of date-palm trees near to the mosque, took a bath and then entered the mosque and said, ‘La ilaha ill-Allah’ (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and also testify that Muhammad is His messenger! By Allah, O Muhammad! There was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me. By Allah, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now it is the most beloved religion to me. By Allah, there was no town most disliked by me than your town, but now it is the most beloved town to me. Your cavalry arrested me (at the time) when I was intending to perform Umra, and now what do you think?’

“Allah’s messenger gave him good tidings (congratulated him) and ordered him to perform Umra. So when he came to Makka, someone said to him, ‘You have become a Sabi? (have you changed your religion?)’ Thumama said, ‘No by Allah! I have embraced Islam with Muhammad, the messenger of Allah. No, by Allah! Not a single grain of wheat will come to you from Yamama unless the Prophet gives his permission.’” Vol. 5, Bk. 59, No. 658

The idea of tying someone for three days is incredulous. The last clause of the passage is also of interest since it reveals the reason for Thumama’s conversion, namely economic prosperity.

Because many became Muslims due to the fear of the sword, it is not surprising to find that a great number of them abandoned Islam after Muhammad’s death. This led to bloody wars and to the implementation of brutal methods of torture in order to force apostates to convert back to Islam, and even murdering them if they refused:

“Narrated (Abu Huraira): When Allah’s messenger died and Abu Bakr became the caliph some Arabs renegaded (converted to disbelief) (Abu Bakr decided to declare war against them), ‘Umar said to Abu Bakr, ‘How can you fight with these people although Allah’s messenger said, ‘I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight the people till they say: La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and whoever said it then he will save his life and property from me except on trespassing the law (rights and conditions for which he will be punished justly), and his accounts will be with Allah.’ Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah! I will fight those who differentiate between the Salat (prayer) and the Zakat, as Zakat is the compulsory right to be taken from the property (according to Allah’s orders). By Allah! If they refuse to pay me even a she-kid which they used to pay at the time of Allah’s messenger I would fight with them for withholding it.’ Then Umar said, ‘By Allah, it was nothing but Allah opened Abu Bakr’s chest towards the decision (to fight) and I came to know that his decision was right.’” Vol. 2, Bk. 23, No. 483

“(Narrated Ikrima): Ali burnt some people and the news reached Ibn Abbas and he said, ‘Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the prophet said, “Don’t punish anybody with Allah’s punishment.” No doubt I would have killed them, for the prophet said, “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.” Vol. 4, Bk. 52, No. 260

“Narrated Abu Burda: Allah's apostle sent Abu Musa and Mu’adh bin Jabal to Yemen. He sent each of them to administer a province as Yemen consisted of two provinces. The prophet said (to them), ‘Facilitate things for the people and do not make things difficult for them (Be kind and lenient (both of you) with the people, and do not be hard on them) and give the people good tidings and do not repulse them.’ So each of them went to carry on his job. So when any one of them toured his province and happened to come near (the border of the province of) his companion, he would visit him and greet him. Once Mu'adh toured that part of his state which was near (the border of the province of) his companion Abu Musa. Mu'adh came riding his mule till he reached Abu Musa and saw him sitting, and the people had gathered around him. Behold! There was a man tied with his hands behind his neck. Mu'adh said to Abu Musa, ‘O 'Abdullah bin Qais! What is this?’ Abu Musa replied, ‘This man has reverted to Heathenism after embracing Islam.’ Mu'adh said, ‘I will not dismount till he is killed.’ Abu Musa replied, ‘He has been brought for this purpose, so come down.’ Mu'adh said, ‘I will not dismount till he is killed.’ So Abu Musa ordered that he be killed, and he was killed. Then Mu'adh dismounted…” Vol. 5, Bk. 59, No. 630

This concludes Part 1. Please proceed to Part 2.