By Keith Thompson
Biblical standards confirm Muhammad was a satanic false prophet
Six-hundred years before Muhammad was born, Jesus and his apostles warned of future false prophets and deceivers who would do things Muhammad did. In Matthew 7:15-16 Jesus says, “‘Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits’” (Matthew 7:15-16).
In Galatians 1:8-9 the apostle Paul warned of fallen angels masquerading as real angels deceiving people to reject the Gospel message (i.e., Jesus’ death for sins and resurrection; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-3). This is precisely what took place when Muhammad got deceived to deny the gospel by a being claiming to be the angel Gabriel. The text says, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).
Also, the apostle John warned of those, like Muhammad, who would deny Jesus is the divine Son of God and that God the Father is the Father: “. . .This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22). One of Muhammad’s key teachings was Jesus was not the Son of God and that God is not a spiritual or metaphorical Father to anyone (Koran 5:18; 9:30; 19:35).
Moreover, the same apostle also warned of those who, like Muhammad, would come and deny the incarnation of Jesus and thus His deity: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 1:7).
Therefore, according to the Bible Muhammad was a false prophet from Satan. But what about the early Islamic sources? Do they provide us with material showing Muhammad was a satanic false prophet?
Muhammad’s foster-mother thought Muhammad was demon possessed when he was young after two beings threw him to the ground. The 8th century Muslim biographer Ibn Isaq reports a story told by Muhammad’s foster-mother Halima:
“. . .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 him up.’ We ran towards him and found him standing up with a livid face. We took hold of him and asked him what was the matter. He said, ‘Two men with white raiment came and threw me down and opened up my belly and searched therein for I know not what,’ 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. . . . . When she asked if I feared a demon possessed him, I replied that I did” (Ibn Isaq, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, [Oxford University Press, 2014], pp. 71-72).
This episode is also attested to in The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, p. 63 and Koran 94:1. This shows Muhammad’s foster-mother was convinced Muhammad was demon possessed during this episode.
Moreover, the fact these beings threw Muhammad to the ground is consistent with what the Bible says demons do to people. Luke 9:42 says, “While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father" (Luke 9:42).
Muhammad’s first alleged revelational experience was demonic
This episode seems like something one might see in a supernatural horror movie as opposed to what one would expect out of an experience with the true Angel Gabriel. In Sahih Bukhari we read about this early encounter in the cave of Hira between Muhammad and this being:
“The Prophet added, ‘The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me 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 the Most Generous (96.1, 96.2, 96.3) . . . .’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3).
Another early report says here Muhammad was being strangled so hard he felt like he was going to die (Ibn Isaq, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, [Oxford University Press, 2014], p. 106).
This is not how the true Gabriel treats God’s prophets and people. In Luke 1:11-19 Gabriel appeared to Zechariah which frightened Zechariah. However, immediately Gabriel comforted him and told him not to be frightened since God’s blessing was coming to him with the birth of John the Baptist. There was no strangling or abuse. Moreover, in Luke 1:26-31 Gabriel appeared to Mary and she became frightened. However, Gabriel immediately calmed her down and told her not be afraid since she has found favor with God and was to give birth to the divine Son of God, Jesus Christ. Again, there is no strangling or torture here.
Thus, what appeared to Muhammad was not Gabriel but some sort of hostile being – either Satan or a demon.
Muhammad believed he was demon possessed and wanted to kill himself
The 9th century Islamic historian and exegete al-Tabari notes the following: “The pre-Islamic Arabs believed in the demon of poetry, and they thought that a great poet was directly inspired by demons" (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 9, [State University of New York Press, 1990], p. 167 note 1151). The Koran itself mentions some examples of people who suspected that Muhammad was under such demonic inspiration. Koran 44:14 says, “Yet they turn away from him and say: ‘Tutored (by others), a man possessed!’” (Koran 44:14, Yusuf Ali). Also Koran 37:36 says, “And say: ‘What! shall we give up our gods for the sake of a Poet possessed?’” (Koran 37:36, Yusuf Ali).
Now, in the early Muslim literature – namely al-Tabari and Ibn Isaq – we find Muhammad believed he was one of these demon possessed poets after his experience with Gabriel in the cave of Hira, so much so that he wanted to commit suicide:
“… 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" (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, [State University of New York Press, 1988], p. 71).
You find a similar account in Ibn Isaq’s Life of Muhammad: “Now none of God’s creatures was more hateful to me than an [ecstatic] poet or a man possessed: I could not even look at them. I thought, “Woe is me poet or possessed…” (Ibn Isaq, The Life of Muhammad,, [Oxford University Press, 2014], p. 106).
Muhammad was so distraught and convinced his encounters with spirit beings were nefarious that he wanted to end his own life! In the Bible there is not one instance of a true prophet or apostle being concerned they were demon possessed or controlled by Satan in going forth with their divine mission from God. This is unique to Muhammad because he was demon possessed.
Waraqah’s initial concern
Initially Muhammad’s wife’s cousin Waraqah correctly believed Muhammad was demon possessed. After Muhammad’s wife Khadija explained to Waraqah what was happening with Muhammad after his first encounter with the being who would come to be seen as Gabriel, Waraqah had a very interesting perspective:
“Waraqah expressed surprise and said Jibreel came only to Prophets, the best of creatures, so, he wished to meet the Prophet. He said that sometimes the devil deceives people pretending to be Jibreel and then he to whom the devil goes turns mad” (Ibn Kathir, The Life of Prophet Muhammad, [Darul – Ishaat Karachi, 2010], p. 130).
Waraqah was correct about devils or Satan appearing as an angel of light to deceive people much like what happened many years later to the false prophet of Mormonism Joseph Smith when he was approached by a being who claimed to be the angel Moroni. The Biblical reference of warning can be found in 2 Corinthians 11:14: “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” That is what occurred with Muhammad.
Muhammad’s revelations were actually possessions
During his alleged revelations Muhammad would hear ringing in his ears and sweat profusely (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 2), turn red and breath heavily (Sahih Muslim, 2656, Abdul Siddiqi Translation, Vol. 2, p. 700; Ibn Kathir, The Life of Prophet Muhammad, [Darul – Ishaat Karachi, 2010], p. 126), be choked (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 3), move his lips quickly (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 4), hear voices thinking trees and rocks were speaking to him (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, [State University of New York Press, 1988], p. 63), fall to his knees with trembling shoulders (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, [State University of New York Press, 1988], p. 68), feel dread and terror (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, [State University of New York Press, 1988], p. 68), have a racing heart with swollen veins on his shoulders and neck (Ibn Kathir, The Life of Prophet Muhammad, [Darul – Ishaat Karachi, 2010], p. 123), and have a severe fever (Ibn Kathir, The Life of Prophet Muhammad, [Darul – Ishaat Karachi, 2010], p. 126).
Muhammad’s condition is inconsistent with what is documented about the experiences of previous prophets who received revelation from God. Such things are never said to accompany their revelational experiences. Instead Muhammad exhibited features which are actually consistent with what the Bible describes as demonic possession.
In an essay the Muslim apologist Bassam Zawadi, in regards to this data, admitted, “. . .these are the symptoms of one who usually gets possessed by Satan. . .” (Bassam Zawadi, Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article ‘Examining Some More Evidence for Muhammad Being Deceived’). Although Zawadi claims Muhammad was not demon-possessed, he did in fact admit that all these symptoms are common with those who are demonically possessed.
The satanic verses
Muhammad admittedly included verses from Satan as part of the Koran and then retracted them. Originally Surah 53 of the Koran included what are known as the infamous “satanic verses.” These verses say three pagan goddesses named al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat exist and are valid intercessors who are exalted. According to al-Tabari the reason Muhammad delivered these verses was because he was eager for the welfare of his former pagan tribe the Quraysh and wanted unity with them. So, after becoming a Muslim, he acquiesced to their paganism and delivered verses from the devil acknowledging their false pagan gods (The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, [State University of New York Press, 1988], pp. 107-108).
After criticism and retracting these satanic verses, Koran 22:52 was then created by Muhammad to give an excuse as to why he delivered verses from Satan: “Never did We send an apostle or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but God will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and God will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for God is full of Knowledge and Wisdom” (Koran 22:52, Yusuf Ali). In other words, after Muhammad retracted the verses the devil put on his tongue, he claimed Allah said all prophets speak satanic revelations by mistake – so it is normal. Islamic commentators who agree Koran 22:52 refers to the satanic verses episode include: Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Al-Wahidi, Zamakhshari, and others.
Many early Islamic religious sources affirm this satanic verses episode occurred in history (e.g. The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 6, [State University of New York Press, 1988], pp. 107-108; Ibn Isaq, Life of Muhammad, [Oxford University Press, 2014], pp. 165–166; Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 385; Koran 17:73-75; 22:52).
According to Deuteronomy 18:20 Muhammad was a demonic false prophet because of this episode: “But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die” (Deuteronomy 18:20). Moreover, if Muhammad could not tell the difference between a revelation from the devil and one from God, why should he be trusted as a reliable prophet?
Muhammad and black magic
Muhammad was the victim of black magic. At a period during his so-called prophetic career, Muhammad was under the satanic influence of bewitchment or witchcraft. The scholar Alfred Guillaume cites an Islamic tradition which says Muhammad was under the control of this black magic for a whole year (Ibn Isaq, The Life of Muhammad,, [Oxford University Press, 2014], p. 240 n. 1).
In Sahih Bukhari this bewitchment is explained:
“Narrated 'Aisha: A man called Labid bin al-A'sam from the tribe of Bani Zaraiq worked magic on Allah's Apostle till Allah's Apostle started imagining that he had done a thing that he had not really done. . . (Sahih Al-Bukhari: Volume 7, Book 71, Number 658).
“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. . .” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660).
Black magic is a satanic art and Muhammad was under its control. He imagined things and believed untruths such as having sex with his wives. If this could be done to Muhammad, one has to wonder what else he imagined and what other untruths he believed during his “prophetic” career.
That Muhammad was bewitched is attested in many sahih ahadith (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 490; Volume 7, Book 71, Number 658; Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660; Volume 7, Book 71, Number 661; Volume 8, Book 75, Number 400).
There is also another independent attestation of this bewitchment reported by Ibn Isaq: “From B. Zurayq: Labid B. A’sam who bewitched the apostle of God so that he could not come at his wives” (Ibn Isaq, The Life of Muhammad,, [Oxford University Press, 2014], p. 240).
True prophets prior to Muhammad were not bewitched by satanic people. As 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says, “the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
Muhammad’s death proves he was a satanic false prophet and not of God. In Koran 69:44-46 Muhammad stated if he fabricated false teachings (i.e., invented revelations) not from God he would have his aorta cut. It says, “And if he had fabricated against Us some of the sayings, We would certainly have seized him by the right hand, Then We would certainly have cut off his aorta” (Koran 69:44-46, Shakir).
Well it just so happens that the Muslim sources tell us Muhammad was poisoned by a Jewish person and then reported that it caused him to feel as if his aorta was being cut:
“Ibn 'Abbas replied, ‘That indicated the death of Allah's Apostle which Allah informed him of.’ 'Umar said, ‘I do not understand of it except what you understand.’ Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet in his ailment in which he died, used to say, ‘O 'Aisha! I still feel the pain caused by the food I ate at Khaibar, and at this time, I feel as if my aorta is being cut from that poison" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 713).
This is also repeated in the hadith of Sunan Abu Dawud:
“. . . The Apostle of Allah . . . . He then said about the pain of which he died: I continued to feel pain from the morsel which I had eaten at Khaybar. This is the time when it has cut off my aorta” (Sunan Abu Dawud, 4498, Ahmad Hasan Translation, Vol. 3, p. 1264).
This is a clear sign from the true God that Muhammad was a false prophet.
Muslims claim Jesus was under Satan’s control
In response Muslims claim the Bible teaches Jesus couldn’t decide weather to follow Satan or not for 40 days and that he had evil desires during this time of temptation in the dessert. Because their prophet was clearly under the control of Satan, this is what they resort to claiming in response.
They appeal to Matthew 4:1 which says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). Then they connect that verse with James 1:13-14 which says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:13-14).
However, the word tempt has two meanings. It can mean to “successfully tempt” or “try to tempt.” If I go up to someone and try to get them to do something, I would be “tempting” them. It does not matter if they actually had the desire to do it or not. So yes, when people are successfully tempted they are lured and enticed by their own desires as James 1:4 says. But Jesus was not tempted in that sense.He was tempted in the other sense.
In context James is clearly teaching God cannot be successfully tempted or succumb to temptation with evil. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s impossible for people to try to tempt God (which can also be called “tempting” him). Many have tried to do so like in Psalms 106:13-15 (and the same Greek word for “tempt” (i.e., peirazō) used in Matthew 4:1 and James 1:13-14 is used in the LXX version of this Psalm). This is the case with Jesus too. Satan tried to tempt Jesus (which can also be called “tempted”) just like people tried to tempt God in Psalms 106:13-15. Yet, Jesus was never successfully tempted with evil.
We know this because Jesus did not succumb to Satan’s proposals. Everything Jesus said to the devil in Matthew 4:1-11 after being offered certain things by him was a rejection or rebuke. For example, after such satanic proposals, Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (v. 4), “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (v. 7), “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’” (v. 10). This also refutes the argument that since James 1:13 teaches God is never successfully tempted that therefore Jesus couldn’t be God since he was tempted. This is again because Jesus was never successfully tempted. He was tempted in the other sense.
Paul was possessed?
Another response by Muslims is to falsely claim Apostle Paul was possessed. They say Paul went to the ground on the road to Damascus after seeing a vision of Jesus and that this is similar to what Muhammad experienced. Therefore, they say, Paul must have been possessed too.
However, if one reads the accounts of this in Acts 9:3-8; 22:6-10; and 26:12-18 we see, unlike Muhammad and the demon-possessed boy in Luke 9:42, Paul was not physically forced to the ground by spiritual beings who threw him. Instead, because of the radiance of the light that was brighter than the sun, Paul went to the ground himself being temporarily blinded. Also, nowhere did anyone accuse Paul of being possessed because of this incident as Muhammad and the boy in Luke 9:42 were accused. In fact, right from onset, after the event, just the opposite was stated. We have attestation from credible Christian witnesses like Ananias who was told by Jesus himself to confirm to Paul that he had indeed seen the Lord and was to be an instrument of God to the Gentiles (Acts 9:10-18). We also have the evidence of the apostles themselves giving Paul their right hand of fellowship after the event confirming that Paul’s experience was of God (Galatians 2:9; Ignatius, Letter to the Romans, Ch. 4; Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians, Ch. 3).