After Christ, Muhammad is the second most influential man in
history. For 1,350 years he has had an essential impact on a sixth of humanity.
The apostle Paul did not aim to put forth his own ideas or a new religion, but
was totally subordinate to Christ. Marx and Lenin exercised an influence on the
nations only for a few decades, and thus can hardly be considered. Buddha and
Confucius, Plato and Aristotle, reached relatively few people when measured by
the founder of Islam. Everyone should become acquainted with the life of
Muhammad in the light of the Bible, because Muhammad became one of the most
influential men in history.
In studying the life of Muhammad one can recognise the important stations of
his life: the orphan who became a merchant, a persecuted prophet
in Mecca, and finally a statesman in Medina. There he died,
presumably poisoned by one of his Jewish female slaves. Muhammad thought he was
the last of all prophets in line with the Old and New Testament men of God.
According to his interpretation, each prophet received some pages of the
original book of Heaven from Allah. Muhammad suffered persecution in Mecca for
about 12 years. Then, in 622 AD, he rose to reign in Medina as the "Ambassador
of Allah" with craftiness and power.
Three turning points in Muhammad's life may be compared with corresponding
incidents in the life of Jesus.
Neither the Qur'an, nor any Muslim, nor even Muhammad himself, ever claimed
that Muhammad was of a divine nature or of transcendental origin. His father's
name was Abdallah and his mother's name was Amina. They were descended from the
Hashemite clan (at that time an impoverished family) and belonged to the tribe
of the Koreish. Muhammad's father died before the birth of his first son. His
mother died a few years later, while Muhammad was still a child. His
grandfather, Abd al-Mutallib and later his uncle, Abu Talib, raised him in
accordance to the Arabic laws of kinship.
The Qur'an mentions, in Sura al-Sharh 94:1-3, an extraordinary story from
the childhood of Muhammad. Two angels appeared and took the boy aside. Cutting
open his chest, they took out his heart and removed an impure clot (wizr) from
it, then put his heart back and closed his chest again. This event is
interpreted by Muslims as the purification of Muhammad and his predestination as
prophet from childhood. It appears to them as though all inherited
unrighteousness had been removed from the child. Islam denies that there is an
inherited sin nature!
In regard to his later life the Qur'an states that Muhammad asked Allah
several times for forgiveness of his sins, for example, when he married the wife
of his adopted son Zaid (Sura al-Ahzab 33:38; Ghafir 40:56; Muhammad 47:21).Muhammad
understood himself to be a sinner who lived by God's mercy.
This fact is clearly attested in the Qur'an, yet denied by most Muslims.
They claim that all Ambassadors of Allah and his prophets lived irreproachably,
without sin. They were accounted as "good ones," just as Allah is
good. The assertion that Muhammad, like David or Moses, was an adulterer and
murderer, sets Muslims into a blind rage. They idealise Muhammad and fear that
an acknowledgement of his imperfection could make his message questionable.
In contrast to Muhammad, Jesus remained without sin throughout his entire
life. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. The Holy
Spirit in Jesus overcame all inherited sinful tendencies from His forefathers,
so that He could say to His enemies, "Which of you convicts me of one sin?"
If they had been able to point out even the slightest unrighteousness in His
life, they would have done so with joy. Even in His youth Jesus remained free of
sin. Pilate, the Roman governor, officially confirmed three times that he had
found no guilt in this man. Jesus was holy and without sin, but Muhammad was
impure, a sinner.
A former Muslim, now a Christian, marvelled: "How can you compare Jesus
and Muhammad to each other? Christ is God, Muhammad is man. They do not stand at
the same level." This interpretation is only partly correct, for Jesus
the Son of God is also the Son of Man. He is a real man and true God.
Muhammad was only man, while Christ has always been God and only became man in
order to save us.
The Qur'an literally confirms Christ (Sura al-Nisa 4:171) as the "Logos
incarnated" and as a "Spirit of Allah". It testifies that Christ
not only taught God's word, but He was it. He lived out what he taught. There
was no difference between his words and his deeds. When Muhammad died he did not
ascend into heaven, according to Islamic teaching, but his soul remained in an
intermediate state (barzach) where it is still waiting for the day of judgement.
So, all Muslims in the world, each time they mention Muhammad's name, must
also intercede, "May Allah pray for him and grant him peace!" That
means, according to Islam, that Muhammad is not yet saved; he is not living with
God. But if the founder of Islam is not yet redeemed, how much more do other
Muslims, his followers, live with uncertainty and fear in their heart, waiting
for the judgement!
Christ, however, is risen from the dead. His grave was and is empty. The
grave of Muhammad in Medina still contains the bones of the prophet. The
resurrection of Jesus was an essential sign of His sinlessness and holiness. He
would have remained caught in death's snare had He committed a single sin and
not always lived in complete conformity with His Father. Now Christ is risen
from the dead, but Muhammad, a sinful man, remains in his grave.
After His resurrection Christ ascended to heaven and was seated at the right
hand of His Father. He returned to His place of origin. So the promise of Psalm
110:1 was fulfilled: "The Lord said to my Lord, `Sit at my right hand, till
I make your enemies your footstool.' "
The one who recognises these spiritual facts in the life of Christ
understands that it is almost impossible to compare Muhammad with Jesus. The
founder of Islam was only man: limited, impure, guilty, mortal, and he remains
in the grave. But Christ the Son of God became man and remains continually holy,
omnipotent, innocent and humble. After He died for us, He ascended to His Father
into eternal glory. Christ lives. Muhammad is dead.
After Muhammad started working for a lady-merchant, Khadija, he married her,
even though she was considerably older, and so moved up into the higher level of
Meccan society. He belonged to the prestigious class of the city and lived in
the prominent quarter of Mecca. His wife gave birth to four daughters and three
sons. Unfortunately all three sons died. The Arabic understanding attributes
this to black magic or Allah's wrath. Muhammad was rich and respected, but He
lived under continuous pressure.
At that time spiritual unrest arose among the people of the Arabian
peninsula. Jewish refugees, Christian slaves and followers of Zoroastrianism
brought foreign ideas into the land with their caravans. A religious
breakthrough began in the Bedouin culture. Animism, with its primitive idol cult
around the Kaaba in Mecca, became more and more questionable.
Some orientalists write that, in those days, Christian evangelists from
South Yemen came to Mecca in the month of the pilgrimage and held discourses in
the inner court of the Kaaba. Muhammad could have listened to such a sermon and
snatched up the fearful message: "Allah is coming soon for judgement!"
These words shot like lightning through his soul and became the commanding theme
of his life. This last judgement is described in Islam as "the day of
the religion," the aim of all history and the conclusion of all
Shocked, Muhammad did not wait to listen to the continuation of the messages
in which the grace of God in Christ would probably have been presented as a
second step. He ran panic-stricken into the desert, hid himself in a cave, and
meditated over the question: "What can I do, I, the merchant from Mecca,
when Allah comes and demands an exact account of my life?" His total guilt
suddenly rose before him like a mountain.
In his deep turmoil -- while he was still in the cave searching for answers
over right and wrong -- he suddenly heard a voice saying to him, "Read
(recite) in the name of your Lord!" (Sura al-`Alaq 96:1-6). He leaped up
and cried to himself, "How shall I recite? I can neither read nor write.
Now I am receiving a revelation from God, the key to the solution of all
problems -- but I am illiterate!" Deep despair overcame him, yet the voice
was heard again and became irrevocably impressed upon his soul and memory.
Here is the decisive question: who inspired Muhammad, and from where
did his messages originate? Was Muhammad a real prophet of God or was he a
medium of Satan? Was he a charlatan, a deceiver, or was he led astray by Jews
and sectarians? To these questions several answers are possible:
- In the Qur'an we read in 12 verses the thoughts and words of the residents
of Mecca about Muhammad and his revelations. They called him demon-possessed and
a magician. He gave the impression of a bewitched poet or a fortune-teller in a
trance. He did not give the impression of a normal man to the Meccans, but that
of a mentally disturbed person (Suras al-Hijr 15:6, al-Saffat 37:35, al-Dukhan
44:13, al-Tur 52:29-30, al-Qalam 68:2, al-Takwir 81:11, Yunis 10:2, Sad 38:3,
al-Isra' 17:50, al-Furqan 25:9, al-Haqqa 69:41-42, and Fussilat 41:5). Naturally
all of these verses in the Qur'an try to prove that Muhammad was not possessed,
but that he only seemed to be so while receiving his revelations. The strange
conduct of Muhammad is not denied but is given a spiritual explanation in the
- Some orientalists are of the opinion that Muhammad was an epileptic who
felt and heard voices during his attacks, which he interpreted as revelations.
- Two-thirds of the texts of the Qur'an are distorted stories and laws from
the Old Testament. Muhammad had heard them previously from the Jews. During his
attacks the memorised texts came to mind in the form of poetry. He adapted them
to his system of faith and law and considered them to be pure revelation.
- Muhammad himself described the actual reception of his inspirations thus, "When
the angel Gabriel comes, I first hear a sound like a singing bell. Then I climb
quickly from my horse or camel and cover my head. The arriving messenger of
Allah then speaks to me, and I feel as if I almost die of pain. I hear,
understand, and retain everything that he says to me and later recite it
exactly." In later years Muhammad himself could create these conditions
when circumstances demanded a necessary revelation.
- From the Gospel's viewpoint, we are certain, that God did not send the
angel Gabriel to Muhammad in the Meccan desert 610 years after the birth of His
Son, to inform him that He, God, had no son.
Likewise, the Father of Jesus Christ never revealed to Muhammad that Jesus
had not been crucified, when the sole purpose of His Son's birth was to
reconcile the world with God on the cross. We must, therefore, recognise that:
- If Muhammad actually received revelations, they did not come from God.
- If he heard real voices, they were voices of spirits.
- If Muhammad was instructed falsely by his contemporaries, he became the
victim of Christian sects or anti-Christian Jews.
This means: the spirit that speaks until today in the Qur'an is not a
divine holy spirit, but rather an ungodly power that holds 900 million
6. In a peculiar fashion, we find two Suras in the Qur'an in which Muhammad
confirmed that he had direct contact with spirits. After the death of his wife
Khadija and the death of his uncle Abu Talib, he was lost, without protection,
and fled from Mecca to Taif, where he was violently rejected. He wandered about
in the rocky desert, where djinns, considered to be good or bad spirits,
supposedly appeared to him. He preached the Qur'an to them until they were
impressed and ready to prepare the people in their domain for Islam (Sura
al-Ahqaf 46:28-31 and al-Jinn 72:1-15).
Both Suras confirm that Muhammad did not communicate with real angels of
God, but with other spirits.
Whoever reads the Gospel recognises that Jesus also heard voices in the
wilderness. This contact did not shock him or create negative or disturbing
vibrations in him. He also did not search for unknown answers to the question of
guilt or for other key problems of mankind. He was led by the Holy Spirit to
meet Satan right after His intercessory baptism for all sinners. As soon as the
Spirit rested on Him, He was sent into the wilderness to overcome Satan during
his temptations (Matthew 4:1-11).
Jesus clearly heard the voices of the anti-deities, but He had the gift
of spiritual discernment and judged the voice of the Tempter with the
correctly interpreted word of God. Jesus was not deceived by Satan, for He is
Truth personified he and speaks continually in the spirit of truth. The devil "piously"
suggested that Jesus use his power to change stones into bread and also told
Jesus to prove His Sonship by throwing Himself down from the temple, for it is
written, "He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully."
But Jesus did not intend to become great, spectacular or rich, but chose instead
the way of the cross. Muhammad, on the other hand, grasped at power, fed his
followers in Medina by violence, rejected suffering and was always seeking
security and fame.
Several times Jesus encountered demons. They were afraid of Him. Jesus'
overwhelming person made them cry out, "What have we to do with You, Jesus
of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who You are - the Holy One of
God!" (Mark 1:21-27).
When Satan used Peter, the disciple's spokesman, to try and dissuade Jesus
from going the way of the cross, Jesus commanded him, "Get behind Me,
Satan! You are an offence to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God,
but the things of men" (Matthew 16:23).
It is obvious that the revelations of Christ were never demonically
influenced, neither in form nor content. Jesus was not arrogant and did not fall
into Satan's trap. The Son of God did not act tyrannically, but described
Himself as the Word of His Father, "The words that I speak to you I do not
speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works"
(John 14:10 and 12:49). Jesus became even more self-denying and spoke, "The
Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He
does, the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19-20).
Through all His revelations, speech and testimony, Jesus did not behave
unnaturally, as if possessed, or as a sorcerer. He was the incarnation of love,
joy, peace and patience. He did not speak as if in a trance or in strange
tongues, but continually remained kind and gentle, full of grace and truth so
that He was able to say, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father"
Jesus was even suspected by His own family of being out of His mind, yet did
not act insane. His brothers spread this rumour to save Him and themselves from
persecution by the teachers of the Torah. They blamed Jesus for standing in
league with the highest of the demons, because in no other way could they
account for his supernatural miracles. Jesus warned them of the sin against the
Holy Spirit, because they hardened themselves against His testimony and
blasphemed the Spirit of God in Hit (Matthew 12:22-32, Mark 3:22-30).
Jesus was begotten by the Spirit of God and also anointed with the Holy
Spirit. The fullness of the deity was incarnate in Him (Colossians 2:9). Jesus
did not only speak the words of God as other prophets had done: He Himselfwas
the Word of God incarnate. He not only preached the gospel, but He was the
gospel in person. He not only brought a new revelation, but was Himself the
inspirer of the revelation.
Jesus had given Satan a last chance to repent when He told him, "You
shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only" (Matthew 4:10). Satan
refused this last call to an unconditional submission to the Father and the Son
and did not worship Christ, God in the flesh, although, ironically, he had twice
called Him "the Son of God".
With Muhammad it was the opposite. Satan met Muhammad, disguised himself
using the old Arabic name for God, "Allah", and demanded from
him total submission and worship. Muhammad delivered himself wilfully to this
anti-divine spirit. Since then, one-sixth of humanity bows before the wrong
Allah and denies the deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
It is not difficult to recognise that the spirit of Islam is opposed to the
spirit of Christ.
Muhammad and his small community in Mecca suffered under the increasing
pressure of boycott and persecution. Their position became more and more
untenable until the spirits, which had promised their support to Muhammad,
smoothed the way for him to proceed toward Medina. Seventy-three people who had
become Muslims before Muhammad's resettlement already lived in this town.
Muhammad struck an agreement with them as a legal basis for the emigration and
naturalisation of his community in Medina. Every Medinan Muslim should adopt a
Muslim family from Mecca and guarantee housing, food and tribal protection for
them. Muhammad and his followers did not flee with blind trust in Allah and his
care, but only after contractual assurance and an extensive guarantee for the
life of each member in his community were made. This unity of Muslims, later
understood as blood-brotherhood, lasted only for a time. It is difficult to
shelter refugees over a long period. Soon serious problems developed regarding
living space, work, property and the distribution of inheritance. The refugees
from Mecca remained poor; their funds dwindled. The Medinan Muslims, on the
other hand, possessed everything necessary for life and were becoming richer and
richer. Muhammad became aware that he was obliged to do something to help the
Muslims who had fled with him from Mecca to establish a source of income.
Otherwise, the community stood in danger of falling to pieces. But where should
he go for money and goods, if not to the inhabitants of Mecca, who had taken the
possessions of the refugees?
Muhammad began to summon his followers to a holy war, and to attack the
Meccan caravans. He incited the Muslims to take part in these ventures, although
his fellow-believers did not want to participate in a holy war. In the end, the
ones they were to fight were their own relatives. They were still unbelievers,
but among Arabs blood-bonds count as much as spiritual alliances, if not more
As long as the Muslims lived in Mecca they had understood the "holy
war" to be a verbal defence of their faith as a minority, but they were
secure under the protection of their relatives. Tribeless slaves were brutally
persecuted. These were the first Muslim martyrs.
In Medina the concept of holy war changed. Out of this passive suffering a
planned ambush rose. It escalated to active defence, to methodical attack and
aggressive attack in every possible direction under heaven.
Decisive in this dramatic development was the indoctrination that had taken
place in the Muslim community. From a contemplative, passive, prayerful group
that was fasting and waiting for the last judgement, there arose in a short time
an aggressive band, resolute even in the face of death. In the first military
campaign the Muslims opposed fighting and abandoned Muhammad. They did not want
to fight, but to pray; they shunned the spilling of blood, and preferred to
prepare themselves for paradise. They often said, "Allah has not
predestined us for war" (Sura al-Nisa 4:73-80).
But Muhammad continued with his systematic brainwashing. At first he tried
to arouse his followers with direct commands from Allah. He enticed and
threatened, made promises and hurled curses. He did everything to motivate the
community to attack in the name of Allah. But the Muslims preferred a civil,
modest life over battle.
At that point Muhammad confined himself primarily to some wild companions
from among his acquaintances, sending them out to attack the small caravans from
Mecca. These ventures were not successful until the month of pilgrimage, when
all fighting among the Arabs was forbidden under treaty. It was then that
Muhammad pushed his followers to attack an unarmed caravan.
When the robbers returned to Medina with their booty, there was an uprising.
Muslims and Jews alike condemned the attack and wanted nothing to do with the
booty. Muhammad, knowing his countrymen, commanded the camels to remain loaded.
The rich booty then spoke for itself. After some days the mood changed, so that,
with the help of divine revelation, the booty could be publicly distributed. For
the next attack 83 emigrants and 231 Medinan Muslims set out for battle. The
brain-washing had finally had an effect. Muhammad had revealed an absolution
Sura for all fighters in the holy war, "They will question thee concerning
the holy month, and fighting in it. Say: `Fighting in it is a great
transgression, but to hinder men from the way of Allah and not to believe in him
and the sacred mosque and to turn out its people from it is worse with Allah.
Sedition is worse than killing'" (Sura al-Baqara 2:216-218). Sedition
(al-Fitna) usually means tempting a Muslim to fall away from Islam and to fight
The expected caravan of the Meccans did not come. Their leader had spied out
the intentions of Muhammad in Medina, turned his caravan in another direction,
and lured him into an ambush.
In this decisive "Battle of Badr" the fate of Islam stood
at a knife-edge. Muhammad, in despair, implored the retreating Muslims with
frantic eloquence, full of poetic flights of imagination to fight on, whatever
the cost. At last an amazing thing happened.
The Muslims were victorious against a force three times their size. Thus,
Muhammad triumphed and declared, "You did not kill them, but Allah killed
them. You did not shoot, when you shot, but Allah shot (Sura al-Anfal 8:17).
With it the principle of the holy war was born. Allah himself fought through
the hands of his Muslims. The bloody victory of the holy war was evidence of the
truth of Islam and the presence of Allah. Where Allah is, there is victory!
Attack after attack followed the Battle of Badr, counterstrikes by the
Meccans, and changing fortunes of war. Yet the unceasing victory of Allah had
impressed itself on the minds of the Muslims. After ten years they had
subjugated the entire Arabian peninsula. The spread of Islam into Asia and
Africa was mostly based on the sword. The holy war was the motivating
factor that drove Muslims out into all the world.
Jesus also placed His disciples into a spiritual battle, but without
spear and arrow. He said to Peter, "Put your sword in its place, for all
who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). Christ never
called his followers to an armed crusade. He strictly forbade the spreading of
the kingdom of God with weapons. None of His apostles went armed on any
Christ Himself spoke to Peter, "Do you think that I cannot pray to my
Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?"
(Matthew 26:53). Had He done so, both His visible and invisible enemies would
have been annihilated before the battle had begun. But that was not the case,
and is not the way of Jesus Christ. He chose the cross, the sign of devotion and
weakness for His divine victory over sin, Satan, and death. Paul recognised the
secret of Christ and said a few years later, "When I am weak, then I am
strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).
In the beginning, the disciples of Jesus did not understand the principle of
spiritual authority clothed in human weakness. They wanted to fight, and hoped
to build a strong government. The Lord continually led them back to
powerlessness, meekness and humility, so that the prophetic word might be
fulfilled, "`Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit' says the Lord"
For the followers of Christ it is unthinkable to fight and kill to spread
the gospel. For Christians, only humble devotion to their Lord is allowed and
love for their neighbour, even to the point of self-sacrifice. We have no rights
and have received no command for retaliatory vengeance or blood-vengeance in the
gospel. More than that, Jesus has commanded us to unconditional forgiveness,
just as He has forgiven us all our sins. The cross of Christ unmasks the spirit
Christ did not inflict harm on anyone, not even on His enemies. He taught: "It
is better to suffer wrong than to commit wrong" (Matthew 5:38-48 and 1
Corinthians 6:7). Khomeini reserved the right to proclaim in the spirit of
Muhammad: "It is better to commit wrong than to suffer wrong." Christ
erected the kingdom of God based on love and righteousness, while Muhammad
resorted to carrying out unrighteousness by force. Until today, hate and revenge
are strong motivating forces in the lives of Muslims. Christ commanded His
disciples to love everyone in the power of the Holy Spirit. This includes even
the love of enemies, forgiveness toward those who are guilty, and patience with
the weak. Spreading the gospel occurs through the Spirit of God with prayer,
love, forgiveness and confession. Religious wars that are carried out in the
name of Christ find no justification in the Gospel.
On the cross, Jesus forgave His enemies and did not curse any of the men
that nailed Him to the cross. He even tried to save Judas in the last minute,
after He received the traitor's kiss. Jesus took the penitent criminal on the
cross with him into paradise and filled the disciples, who had deserted him,
with the Holy Spirit. The holy war of Christians demands the denial of self
and the entire sacrifice of the messenger. The holy war of Muslims plunges
countless families and peoples into bloodshed and sorrow.
Jesus was an example of frugality and modesty. He possessed neither home nor
donkey. Jesus chose to reject social power. Muhammad, on the other hand, spurred
his followers on to loot and plunder. Paul wrote, "If anyone will not work,
neither shall he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Diligence and manual work,
not attacks on the heathen, were Jesus' ethics.
Muhammad personally took part in military campaigns. In so doing he
participated in the murder of his enemies. He called upon the believers in the
Qur'an several times to, "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and
take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush"
(Sura al-Nisa 4:89; al-Tawba 9:5). Thus, corresponding actions of Muslims thus
do not signify individual offences, but rather occur at the command of Allah.
When Muhammad had strengthened his power in Medina, he had several of his
personal enemies, especially the poets who scoffed at him, killed at the hands
of commissioned men. He demanded assassination and revenge. While Medina was
encircled and besieged, some Jews of the city conspired with the enemies.
Following his victory Muhammad agreed that a mass grave be dug and had several
hundred men of this tribe killed by the sword. Muhammad was a mass murderer, and
his hands drip with the blood of countless people.
Jesus, however, did not sacrifice others - only Himself. He died on the
cross for His friends and enemies - also for Muhammad. But Muhammad resisted
Jesus and rejected Him as the crucified Son of God. His spirit was opposed to
the spirit of Jesus.
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