Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Even the Demons Know that Jesus is God Incarnate And Tremble!

Part 1

Sam Shamoun

The Quran expressly prohibits serving someone other than Allah as Lord, even if it happens to be a prophet from God:

Say: O followers of the Book! come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught with Him, and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah; but if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. S. 3:64 Shakir

It is not meet for a mortal that Allah should give him the Book and the wisdom and prophethood, then he should say to men: Be my servants rather than Allah's; but rather (he would say): Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves). And neither would he enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims? S. 3:79-80 Shakir

The Holy Bible teaches something similar in that it expressly forbids believers from serving two lords, since they are to serve God alone:

No man can serve two masters (dysi kyriois): for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

The Quran further claims that Jesus’ followers were Muslims:

When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: "Who will be My helpers to (the work of) God?" Said the disciples: "We are God's helpers: We believe in God, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims. S. 3:52 Y. Ali

"And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Apostle: they said, 'We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to God as Muslims'". S. 5:110 Y. Ali

If this were true then the disciples would have never imagined serving Jesus as their Lord.

However, this is exactly what Jesus’ followers did, namely, worship Christ as their risen and glorious Lord.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: by whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace FROM God our Father, AND the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:1-7

“unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: grace be unto you, and peace, FROM God our Father, AND from the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:2-3

“which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:8

“James, a servant of God AND of the Lord Jesus Christ (Theou kai Kyriou ‘Iesou Christou), to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” James 1:1

“My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory (Kyriou hemon, 'Iesou Christou, tes doxes), with respect of persons.” James 2:1

Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called… For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (kai Kyrion hemon ‘Iesoun Christon).” Jude 1:1, 4

Now this either means that the disciples started worshiping a mere human prophet as their Lord, thereby contradicting the Quran, or they realized that Jesus wasn’t simply a flesh and blood human being. Christ’s followers came to believe that Jesus is the unique, divine Son of God who fully shares in the essence and glory of God, a view that also contradicts what the Quran has to say about the Person of Christ.

There is further evidence that this is precisely what the original disciples of the risen Lord believed and proclaimed. For instance, James states that the demons tremble before God:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19

The reason why these evil spirits tremble at the notion of there being one God is because they are aware that this one God has the power to destroy them, and will actually do so on the day in which he will judge his creation in righteousness:

“before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Psalm 96:13

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.” Isaiah 24:21-22

And yet this is precisely how these wicked spirits reacted in the presence of the Lord Jesus!

“And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he CRIED OUT, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee” Mark 1:21-27

“And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, AND CRIED, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.” Mark 3:11-12

Here are demons that are seeing Christ for the first time on earth and yet, not only are they fully aware of who he truly is, they even know that he has the power to destroy them!

This next case is rather astonishing:

“And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; AND NO MAN COULD BIND HIM, no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: NEITHER COULD ANY MAN TAME HIM. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran AND WORSHIPPED HIM, AND CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.” Mark 5:1-10

This particular demoniac was so powerful that no human being could control or tame him, and yet the Lord Jesus was able to subdue him just by the power of his word!(1)

And much like the other demons that Christ encountered, this legion of unclean spirits trembled with fear and terror in the presence of the Lord Jesus. They even worshiped Jesus because they knew that he is the Son of the Highest!(2)

The fact that these evil spirits already knew Jesus’ identity points to his prehuman existence. I.e., the reason why they knew who Christ was, despite this being the first run in with him while on earth, is because they recognized him from the heavenly realm.

This also explains why they were aware that he is the One who could destroy them, and would eventually do so at the designated time,

“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us BEFORE THE TIME?” Matthew 8:28-29

“And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep (ten abysson).” Luke 8:27-31 – cf. Revelation 9:1-12; 20:1-3

Since they would have known from the heavenly realm that God had appointed him to be the Judge at the last day so as to repay everyone for what they have earned: 

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of HIS Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send HIS angels, and shall gather together HIS elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” Mark 13:25-27

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of HIS Father with HIS angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27

When the Son of man shall come in HIS GLORY, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of HIS GLORY: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall THE KING say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of MY Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels… And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory… Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:27, 36

“The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)… And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:36, 42-43

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31 – cf. John 5:22-23; Romans 2:16; 14:8-12; 1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 3:11-15; 4:3-5; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 18; Revelation 2:18, 23; 22:12-13, 16, 20

And now a final example of Christ subduing a demon:

“And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:14-29(3)

Christ again boggles the mind since he casts out an evil spirit just by his command without having to fast or pray to do so, even though he himself stated that prayer and fasting were required for such powerful demons to be subdued!

This brings us to the conclusion of the first part. It is therefore time to proceed to part 2 of our discussion.



(1) This stands in marked contrast with Muhammad who fell under the control and influence of Satan, such as the time when he was bewitched into thinking he was having sex with all of his wives:

Narrated Aisha: Once the Prophet was bewitched so that he began to imagine that he had done a thing which in fact he had not done.  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 400)


Narrated Aisha: Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: That is the hardest kind of magic as it has such an effect). Then one day he said, "O ‘Aisha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other, ‘What is wrong with this man?’ The latter replied he is under the effect of magic. The first one asked, ‘Who has worked magic on him?’ The other replied, ‘Labid bin Al-A’sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.’ The first one asked, ‘What material did he use?’ The other replied, ‘A comb and the hair stuck to it.’ The first one asked, ‘Where (is that)?’ The other replied, ‘In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan.’" So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said, "That was the well which was shown to me (in a dream). Its water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils." The Prophet added, "Then that thing was taken out." I said (to the Prophet) "Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?" He said, "Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among my people." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660)

To make matters worse Muhammad initially thought that the spirit which had appeared to him for the first time, the one who manhandled him, was actually a demon. This not only led him to believe that he may actually be demon-possessed, it even caused him to want to commit suicide!

“Ahmad b. ‘Uthman, known as Abu al-Jawza – Wahb b. Jarir – his father – al-Nu‘man b. Rashid – al-Zuhri – ‘Urwah – ‘A’ishah: The first form in which the revelation came to the Messenger of God was true vision; this used to come to him like the break of dawn. After that, he grew to love solitude and used to remain in a cave on Hira’ engaged in acts of devotion for a number of days before returning to his family. Then he would return to his family and supply himself with provisions for a similar number of days. This continued until the Truth came to him unexpectedly, and said: ‘Muhammad, you are the Messenger of God.’ [Describing what happened next], the Messenger of God said, ‘I had been standing, but fell to my knees; and crawled away, my shoulders trembling. I went to Khadijah and said, “Wrap me up! Wrap me up!” When the terror had left me, he came to me and said, “Muhammad, you are the Messenger of God.”’

“He (Muhammad) said: I had been thinking of hurling myself down from a mountain crag, but he appeared to me, as I was thinking about this, and said, ‘Muhammad, I am Gabriel and you are the Messenger of God.’ Then he said, ‘Recite!’ I said, ‘What shall I recite?’ He took me and pressed me three times tightly until I was nearly stifled and was utterly exhausted; then he said, ‘Recite in the name of your Lord who created,’ and I recited it. Then I went to Khadijah and said, ‘I have been in fear for my life.’ When I told her what happened she said, ‘Rejoice, for God will never put you to shame, for you treat your kinsfolk well, tell the truth, deliver what is entrusted to you, endure fatigue, offer hospitality to the guest, and aid people in misfortunate.’…

“Muhammad b. ‘Abd al-Malik b. Abi al-Shawarib – ‘Abd al-Wahid b. Ziyad – Sulayman al-Shaybani – ‘Abd Allah b. Shaddad: Gabriel came to Muhammad and said, ‘O Muhammad recite!’ He said, ‘I cannot recite.’ GABRIEL WAS VIOLENT TOWARDS HIM and then said again, ‘O Muhammad recite!’ He said, ‘I cannot recite,’ AND GABRIEL AGAIN WAS VIOLENT TOWARDS HIM…” (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt & M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, NY 1988], Volume VI, pp. 67-69; bold and capital emphasis ours)


“Then he went to Khadijah and said, ‘Khadijah, I think that I have gone mad.’ No, by God,’ she said, ‘Your Lord would never do that to you. You have never committed a wicked act.’ Khadijah went to Waraqa b. Nawful and told him what had happened. He said, ‘If what you say is true, your husband is a prophet. He will meet adversity from his people. If I live long enough, I shall believe in him.’

"After this, Gabriel did not come to him for a while, and Khadijah said to him, ‘I think that your Lord MUST HAVE COME TO HATE YOU.’ Then God revealed to him:

By the forenoon, and by the night, when it is still, your Lord has not forsaken you, nor does he hate you.

“… I recited it, and then he desisted and departed I woke up, and it was as though these words had been written on my heart. There was no one of God’s creation more hateful to me than a poet or a madman; I could not bear to look at either of them. I said to myself, ‘Your humble servant (meaning himself) is either a poet or a madman, but Quraysh shall never say this of me. I shall take myself to a mountain crag, hurl myself down from it, kill myself, and find relief in that way.’” (Ibid., pp. 70-71; bold, and capital emphasis ours)

Thus, instead of demons being terrified of Muhammad, Muhammad was actually terrorized and tormented by them! This not only reveals how vastly superior Jesus is to Muhammad, it also shows how much greater the disciples were since none of them came under the power of black magic or thought they were demon possessed after encountering the Lord Jesus or when they were being filled with the Holy Spirit. Nor did any of them contemplate suicide as a result of their religious experiences.

(2) The Quran actually says that if God has a son then he would be worthy of worship, presumably because God’s son would also be divine:  

Say [O Prophet]: “If the Most Gracious [truly] had a son, I would be the first to worship him!” S. 43:81 Muhammad Asad

Here is another version:

Say: 'If the All-merciful has a son, then I am the first to serve him. Arberry

This is exactly why the disciples and believers worshiped Christ,

“Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Matthew 14:33

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but MY Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-17

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” John 9:35-38

And why the Father commands all of his angels to worship him as well,

“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Hebrews 1:6

Since Jesus is the unique Son of God who is essentially coequal with the Father.

(3) Astonishingly, the Islamic sources attest that Muhammad exhibited the same symptoms as this demon possessed boy, such as falling to the ground and foaming at the mouth:

When the Ka'ba was rebuilt, the Prophet and 'Abbas went to carry stones. 'Abbas said to the Prophet "(Take off and) put your waist sheet over your neck so that the stones may not hurt you." (But as soon as he took off his waist sheet) he fell unconscious on the ground with both his eyes towards the sky. When he came to his senses, he said, "My waist sheet! My waist sheet!" Then he tied his waist sheet (round his waist). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 170)

That he heard Allah's Apostle describing the period of pause of the Divine Inspiration, and in his description he said, "While I was walking I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up towards the sky, and behold! I saw the same Angel who came to me in the Cave of Hira', sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I was so terrified by him that I fell down on the ground. Then I went to my wife and said, 'Wrap me in garments! Wrap me in garments!' They wrapped me, and then Allah revealed: 'O you, (Muhammad) wrapped-up! Arise and warn...and desert the idols.' " (74.1-5) Abu Salama said, "… Rujz means idols." After that, the Divine Inspiration started coming more frequently and regularly. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 448)

“Ibn Sa’d related that A’ishah said: ‘Whenever the Prophet received Inspiration (al-wahy), his head would twitch, he would foam at the sides of his mouth, he would feel cold in his incisors, and he would break into a sweat until I flowed like pearls.’” (Imam Jalal-al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Suyuti, The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur'an: Al-Itqan fi 'Ulum Al-Qur'an (Great Books of Islamic Civilization), translated by Professor Hamid Algar, Dr. Michael Schub and Mr. Ayman Abdel Haleem, reviewed by Professor Osman S. A. Isma’il al-Bili [Garnet Publishing Limited, UK 2011], Volume 1, p. 104)

This simply confirms that Muhammad’s initial assessment was correct, and that he was in fact demonized, and therefore the spirit that came to him was not a righteous angelic messenger sent from God.