Divinely Inspired Ignorance?
by Saif min Suyufillah
Divinely Inspired Ignorance or the deliberate ignorance of the the Critic?
The Qur’an speaks of a certain encounter that Muhammad had with some Jews, and their arguments by which they resisted and rejected Muhammad and his message. In this passage (S. 3:181-185) we also find the following statement:
Those same men said, ‘God has made covenant with us, that we believe not any Messenger until he brings to us a sacrifice devoured by fire.’ Say: ‘Messengers have come to you before me bearing clear signs, and that you spoke of; why therefore did you slay them, if you speak truly?’ S. 3:183 Arberry
This is a somewhat cryptic statement that we need to unpack in order to understand what it means, and to see the reasons why it is wrong.
Obviously, this fire is not a usual fire that is lit by people to burn a sacrifice (or anything else), but a miraculous fire. It is supposed to be an authenticating sign given by God that this messenger is a true prophet of God; i.e. this verse refers to “fire from heaven”. It is God himself who sends the fire to devour the sacrifice. This understanding is also reflected in many Muslim translations of this verse. I will quote only two:
Those (Jews) who said: “Verily, Allah has taken our promise not to believe in any Messenger unless he brings to us an offering which the fire (from heaven) shall devour.” Say: “Verily, there came to you Messengers before me, with clear signs and even with what you speak of; why then did you kill them, if you are truthful?” Al-Hilali & Khan
(The same are) those who say: Lo! Allah hath charged us that we believe not in any messenger until he bring us an offering which fire (from heaven) shall devour. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Messengers came unto you before me with miracles, and with that (very miracle) which ye describe. Why then did ye slay them? (Answer that) if ye are truthful! Pickthall
Whom is Muhammad talking about?
Which messenger brought fire from heaven to devour a sacrifice and was (then) slain by whom? The nearer and wider context of this verse makes it most likely that this refers to a dispute Muhammad had with some Jews (as also Al-Hilali & Khan indicate in their translation). Thus, the reference point for this discussion has to be the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament of the Bible.
Biblical facts: It is true, there were several occasions on which God sent fire to devour a sacrifice prepared by a prophet, judge or king of Israel (Leviticus 9:23-24, Judges 6:20-22, 1 Chronicles 21:26, 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, 1 Kings 18). Moreover, the Bible speaks often about false prophets and gives the Children of Israel a number of criteria to distinguish false prophets from true prophets (1, 2). It is also correct that on one occasion fire from heaven consumed a sacrifice as a sign of confirmation for the divine authority of the prophet Elijah over against the prophets of the false god Baal (1 Kings 18).
However, “bringing a sacrifice devoured by fire from heaven” was never made a general criterion or a distinguishing sign that Israelites should demand from everyone who claims to be a prophet. No such command is in the Bible. Such a “covenant” does not exist. Moreover, the vast majority of the true prophets sent by God never experienced this particular miracle.
Therefore, we need to ask: Who lied?
The statement, ‘God has made covenant with us, that we believe not any Messenger until he brings to us a sacrifice devoured by fire’, was either a lie by these Jews, or the author of the Qur’an / Muhammad lied by putting this wrong statement into the mouth of the Jews, although they never made such a claim.
In the latter case, if Muhammad made up this false argument and put it into the mouth of the Jews, then he is a liar and is disqualified as a prophet from God. If the author of the Qur’an invents false statements about the Jews (or anyone else for that matter), then the Qur’an is exposed as cheap polemics, and it does not come from God who is the truth.
In the former case, Muhammad had the perfect occasion to show that he is truly inspired by God by exposing that the claim of these Jews is wrong. He could simply have said: “God tells me that you are lying. Show me where in your scriptures you are commanded this!” They would not have been able to show it. His opponents would have been silenced, and Muhammad would have gained credibility.
Excursus: Muhammad had to struggle over and over again with the problem that he was not able to do any miracles. He claimed to be a prophet from the same God who had sent the earlier prophets. On the one hand, he included many stories about the miracles done by these earlier prophets in his own message; on the other hand, he demanded from his audience to be accepted as another prophet like them but without showing any miracle that would authenticate his divine authority.
It is no surprise that Muhammad was confronted time and again with the sceptical question, “Why has no sign (miracle) been sent down upon him from his Lord?”, or some similar formulation. Such questions are found in S. 2:118, 6:37, 10:20, 11:12, 13:7, 13:27, 20:133, 29:50. There are a number of different ways that Muhammad / the author of the Qur’an responds to such demands. One answer that is given a number of times is the claim that even if God were to send such miraculous signs, they would still not believe (2:145, 17:59, 28:48, 37:14-15), i.e. there is no point in giving miracles. (Muhammad and Miracles is a detailed article discussing the statements of the Quran on this matter.)
S. 3:183 belongs to this group of verses that seek to directly or indirectly divert the attention from Muhammad’s lack of miracles by claiming that there is no point in giving them. Specifically, the demand of the Jews is answered here by a rhetorical question: Why do you demand a miracle when you killed the earlier prophets that performed various miracles for you, including the specific miracle which you are demanding from me?
Back to the main topic of this article. S. 3:183 reports an objectively wrong statement, an assertion that was allegedly made by some Jews who opposed Muhammad’s claim to prophethood. We may never know whether these particular Jews tried to trick or deceive Muhammad with this “divine criterion”, and the Qur’an only recorded this, or if Muhammad lied about the Jews.
Be that as it may, the question now is how does an inspired prophet respond to a false claim about God’s earlier revelation? Even though Muhammad was not able to perform miracles, if he had exposed their false claim, he could have made some progress in regard to his own credibility.
However, instead of exposing their demand as a false claim, a fabrication, he attacks the honesty or sincerety of the questioners. Instead of dealing with the content of their criterion of prophethood, he uses an ad hominem approach in order to avoid the uncomfortable issue of his own authentication:
Those (Jews) who said: “Verily, Allah has taken our promise not to believe in any Messenger unless he brings to us an offering which the fire (from heaven) shall devour.” Say: “Verily, there came to you Messengers before me, with clear signs and even with what you speak of; why then did you kill them, if you are truthful?” S. 3:183 Al-Hilali & Khan
These Jews put before Muhammad a criterion or test of prophethood that he was not able to satisfy. Seeing attack as his only way of defense, Muhammad in return questions their sincerety. The accusation and conclusion that is implicit in the rhetorical question given to them in response is this: Because you killed the prophets which came to you with miracles, you are not truthful and have therefore no right to question me. Suddenly the question is no longer what is the correct criterion for a true prophet, and whether Muhammad satisfies this criterion, but the issue now is the sincerety of the people questioning Muhammad.
Given that Muhammad was not able to show any miracles to authenticate his claim to be a true prophet of God, this was probably the best he could do. In some way, that was a clever move. Too bad that the Qur’an does not give any room for the comments of the Jews on Muhammad’s diversion tactics. However, those skeptical Jews were a constant threat to Muhammad’s credibility. He was not willing to tolerate that his authority be undermined by a repeated questioning of his status as a prophet. Therefore, Muhammad decided to get rid of them, and he expelled or killed all the Jews living in Medina in order to solve this problem once and for all, see the section on Muhammad and the Jews.
Viewing it as Muhammad’s personal response, as coming from an imperfect human being, I can understand all that. However, Islam expects us to believe that the Qur’an is not Muhammad’s word, but God’s word. His answer to the claim of those Jews was allegedly not Muhammad’s idea, but God told him to give this answer. And that causes considerable problems.
God knew exactly that the criterion put forward by these Jews was wrong. God never gave such a command, and he is not forgetful about his earlier revelations. God could have given a decisive answer that would have exposed them as fabricating a command of God.
Muhammad, on the other hand, was ignorant on the matter. He may have had a suspicion that these Jews tried to deceive him, but he was not sure, and their criterion could just as well be taken from their scriptures. Therefore, he could not directly charge them with deception in this specific matter. He ends his answer with “if you are truthful”, which is not only part of his counterattack, but also an admission of his own ignorance. This is the first indication that the answer did not come from God but from Muhammad’s mind.
“I have made you an assayer and a tester among My people, That you may know and assay their way.” All of them are stubbornly rebellious, Going about as a talebearer They are bronze and iron; They, all of them, are corrupt. The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed.They call them rejected silver, Because the LORD has rejected them.
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. …(Malachi 3:1-18)
each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.(1 Corinthians 3:13)
so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.(1 Peter 1:7)
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”(Zachariah 13:9)
Furthermore, the answer reveals not only the uncertainty of the author, it contains also a clear error and thus exposes his ignorance about certain facts of Biblical history. Muhammad does not only raise a question about the honesty and sincerety of these Jews, he also makes positive statements which can be checked against the Bible.
The answer, “Verily, there came to you Messengers before me, with clear signs and even with what you speak of; why then did you kill them, …?” presents three statements as if they were facts:
- Messengers (from God) came to the Jews who brought clear signs, i.e. miracles.
- At least some of these came even with the specific sign that fire from heaven devoured a sacrifice that they had prepared.
- The Jews killed those messengers.
Whom is Muhammad talking about? What are the names of those alleged messengers? Again, Muhammad is not certain enough about the details, so he remains vague in his statements. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that this idea is inspired by the story of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel that is reported in 1 Kings 18 and belongs to the better known stories of the Bible. [Read at least 1 Kings 18:25-39 if you are not familiar with the story, but it would be even better to read the whole story of Elijah starting in 1 Kings 16:29.]
The Jews had killed their own Prophets as mentioned in the Holy Bible.
The Christian Bible (a.k.a. New Testament) makes the claim that Jews killed the prophets in 1 Thessalonians 2:14,15:
“For you also have suffered like this of your countrymen, even as they have of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus Christ andtheir own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.”
Jesus himself declares that the Jews were apparently in the habit of killing the prophets:
“Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.” (Luke 11:47-48)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 & Luke 13:34).
They themselves confess it.
Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.'(Matthew 23:30)
Secondly not all the Prophets are mentioned in the Holy Bible.
From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day.(Jeremiah 7:25)
The first statement is true: God sent messengers / prophets to the Israelites and some of them God confirmed with miracles.
The second statement is questionable: The Qur’an seems to speak about a plurality of messengers who prepared a sacrifice that was then devoured by fire which was sent directly by God as a public confirmation that these are true prophets.
However, Elijah was the only prophet to whom this sign was given before a skeptical audience so that the people should see that Elijah’s God was the true God, and that Elijah was truly sent by God.
There were a number of further occasions where a sacrifice was devoured by fire sent by God, but in none of these cases did it serve the purpose of confirming the prophet as being a true prophet. In Leviticus 9:23-24 fire from the Lord devours the sacrifice prepared by Aaron according to the instructions of Moses. However, Moses had already done many miracles and the people did not doubt his divine authority. The fire did not come to confirm Moses as a prophet. The occasion was the inauguration of the priestly service of Aaron and his sons. In Judges 6:20-22 we read that Gideon’s offering is consumed by fire from the Lord, but it is a sign only for Gideon to confirm for him that it is really the Lord who is speaking to him. It is not a sign that Gideon brings to the people. There is nobody else present. In 1 Chronicles 21:26 God sent fire on the sacrifice after David’s prayer of repentance as sign that God had accepted David’s repentance for the sin he had committed. David was the king of Israel and nobody questioned his authority. The fire was not to confirm David as prophet or king, but to show him that his repentance and sacrifice was accepted by God. Finally, in 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 God sent fire from heaven in response to Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple. Again, there was no question about Solomon’s authority. He was the king. God gave this fire as a sign that he accepted the Temple as the place where his presence would dwell.
There was only one time when God authenticated a prophet before the people by sending fire on a sacrifice, and that was the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). The second statement is wrong when it claims this was given as a sign of public authentification for several messengers.
The third statement is definitely false: Even if we allow all the above given names of people who experienced that God sent fire to devour their sacrifice (Moses, Aaron, Gideon, David, Solomon, Elijah), there is not even one among them who was killed by the Jews. Ironically, the only prophet whom this miracle was given as confirmation, did not even die on this earth, but was taken up to heaven by God (2 Kings 2:11). It is true that there were plans to kill Elijah, but it was not the Jews who tried to kill him. Ahab, the king of Israel, had married Jezebel, a foreign woman who brought an idolatrous pagan religion with her. She sought to kill Elijah after he had defeated and killed the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 19:1-2). However, God protected Elijah and, eventually, Elijah was taken to heaven without dying (2 Kings 2:11).
The Israelites recorded their crimes in detail in their own history. Here are just a few examples from the Bible:
(1) After the death of Solomon the state of the Israelites was split into two: the State of Judah with its capital in Jerusalem, and the State of Israel with its capital in Samaria. This was followed by a series of wars between the two States so that the State of Judah sought the assistance of the Aramacan State of Damascus against its own kinsmen. At this, Hamani the seer went under God’s direction to Asa the king and rebuked him. Instead of rectifying his behavior, Asa was so angry that he put the seer in the stocks. (See 2 Chronicles 16: 7-10.)
(2) When Elijah denounced the Jews for their worship of Baal and invited them to return to monotheism, Ahab, the king of Israel pursued him for the sake of his pagan wife so that he had to take refuge in the mountains of the Sinai peninsula. On this occasion, according to the Bible, he said: ‘. . . the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword., and 1, even 1 only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away’ (1 Kings 19: 14).
(3) The same king Ahab imprisoned another Prophet, Micah, for no other reason than that of speaking the truth. King Ahab ordered that he should be given only bread and water. (See 1 Kings 22: 26-7)
(4) When idol-worship and moral corruption became prevalent in Judah and the Prophet Zechariah raised his voice against them, he was stoned to death in the very court of the house of the Lord. (See 2 Chronicles 24: 2l.) (5) When the Israelite State of Samaria was wiped out by the State of Jerusalem, the Prophet Jeremiah deplored the condition of the Israelites. He warned them that it was time they set about mending their ways otherwise they would face an even more calamitous end than that of Samaria. The response to this sincere preaching was abuse and curses: he was beaten, imprisoned, put in the stocks and lowered by ropes into a cistern, where he was left to die of hunger and thirst. He was also accused of various crimes, including treason and conspiracy. (See Jeremiah 15: 10; 18: 20-3; 20: 1-18; 36-40)
(6) It is reported of another Prophet, Amos, that when he denounced the widespread errors and corruption in the State of Samaria and warned of the evil consequences that follow such misdeeds, he was condemned to exile and told to pursue his prophetic task somewhere beyond its frontiers. (See Amos 7: 10-13.)
(7) When John the Baptist protested against the acts of moral corruption that were brazenly practiced in his court, Herod, the ruler of Judah, first put John into prison, then had him beheaded at the request of a dancing girl, and had his head set on a platter and presented to the girl. (See Mark 6: 17-29)
(8) The same hostility to Prophets is evident from the life of Jesus. The priests and political leaders of Israel ultimately became inflamed against Jesus, who criticized them for their impiety and hypocrisy and invited them to true faith and righteousness. It was this which prompted them to prepare a false case against him and persuade the Romans to sign a death sentence. Later, when the Roman governor, Pilate, asked them which of the two prisoners – Jesus or Barabbas, a notorious brigand – should be released on the occasion of the feast, they asked for the release of Barabbas and for the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27: 20-6).
This is a shameful chapter in the record of the Jewish nation, to which the Qur’an refers here in passing. It is evident that when a nation chooses its most notoriously criminal and wicked people for positions of leadership, and its righteous and holy men for goal and the scaffold, God has no alternative but to lay His curse and damnation on that nation
As so often, the author of the Qur’an messed up on the details of the Biblical stories. It is true that a number of prophets sent to the Jews were persecuted and some even killed. It is also true that there were some men of God who experienced that fire from the Lord devoured their sacrifice. However, not one of those men of God who were given the sign of “fire from heaven devouring their sacrifice” were killed by the Jews.
How could you say so,knowing that the history is that much forged by you people?
How could you say so when you know that it has remained the habit of Jews to kill the Prophets?
God certainly knew this. But Muhammad was ignorant about the details and often confused the Biblical stories .This error is again strong evidence that Muhammad himself is the author, and it was not God who gave him this response as an answer to the Jews.
Again, the answer to the Jews was made up by Muhammad, and the error contained in it exposes the ignorance of the author. This is a false claim in the Qur’an and it constitutes evidence that Muhammad fabricated himself what he claimed to have received as divine revelation. To claim that God is the author of the Qur’an is an insult to God, because it means to ascribe ignorance to God and blame him for the errors in the Qur’an.
Without question, the issue of testing a prophet is very important. In the Bible God spoke several times about the matter of how to discern true prophets from false prophets (1, 2). Muhammad was confronted with this question a number of times, but this core issue was only evaded by the author of the Quran. The Jews came with a criterion. Why has Allah not corrected their wrong criterion and given the right criterion? Instead, Muhammad simply evaded the matter with an ad hominem attack on the questioner. That is not what I would expect from God. It is unworthy of God. That observation also points to Muhammad as the originator of this text. Muhammad did not have an answer on this matter.
The biblical verses expose your lies and your baseless claims.
The verses prove that The Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w. was truly the messenger of Allah.
The verses prove that you people conceal the facts and make baseless propaganda.
A possible Muslim objection
Some Muslims may try to avoid the charge that Muhammad’s answer in the Qur’an was ignorant by claiming either that the Bible is wrong on Elijah, or that this passage does not talk about Elijah but about some other prophets whose story is not recorded in the Old Testament.
This explanation does not work. After all, Muhammad’s counterattack will only be able to silence the Jews if they know what he is talking about. If they are not aware of any prophet who brought fire from heaven and which was then killed by the Jews, Muhammad’s answer will not be able to convince them, but only make them laugh about his ignorance. And what the Jews know about their prophets is found in their scriptures. The answer presupposes that this is a known fact among the Jews. But Muhammad was wrong in this assumption. Again, I would love to know what these Jews said in response, whether in direct response to Muhammad, or only among themselves, but the Qur’an does not report that.
No such objection.
An internal contradiction
We have seen that the third statement above is false according to the Bible. However, it is worse than that. The author of the Qur’an does not only say that “some Jews (in the past) killed those messengers” but “why then did YOU kill them”, addressing the questioners directly. This is not only factually wrong, it also contradicts the teaching of Islam in other passages of the Qur’an.
According to Islam there is no original sin and no one is accused or punished for what his parents did. We know that during Muhammad’s time there were no prophets sent to the Jews. Nevertheless, in this verse Muhammad is accusing the Jews of his time of killing the prophets. This contradicts his own message and theology. This matter is discussed in more detail in footnote 2 of the companion article, Which Prophets Did the Jews Kill?
The Jews of that time were not punished for doing so,it means they were not mentioned as guilty personally rather their whole nation and the behavior of their forefathers is mentioned which was continued over a period of time.
It is clarified that their history is such that even if a Prophet with their desired signs would come,they would deny Him and even Kill him so it is not necessary to give the signs of their desire.
How Muhammad failed the test in multiple ways
Some Jews came to Muhammad and confronted him with a test of his prophethood. This is only fair, since Muhammad demanded from them that they would accept him as a prophet, and the Bible tells us that we should test everyone who comes claiming to be a prophet. This encounter became a test of Muhammad’s prophethood in several ways, and Muhammad failed in all respects.
First, Muhammad failed because he did not satisfy the criterion of a physical miracle to authenticate his claim to be a prophet of God like the earlier prophets. The Jews were wrong to demand only this one specific sign of “fire that devoures a sacrifice”, but their scriptures report how God regularly confirmed his true prophets with miracles. The Jews were certainly justified to expect that a genuine prophet of God would have a confirming supernatural sign.
Muhammad was not able to bring any miracles of the kind given to the earlier prophets, neither fire from heaven, nor any other supernatural sign.
See the list of some miracles.
– The night Prophet Mohammad (s.a.a.w.s.) was conceived by his parents, all the idols of Mecca were thrown down on the ground. Angels cast the throne of Iblis (Satan) into the sea and Satan was tormented for forty days. – The night our Prophet (s.a.a.w.s.) was born: (a) The Palace of Qisra (King of Persia) trembled and its fourteen towers fell down. (b) The flames of the fire-worshippers, the Majus (Zoroastrians) went out, though that fire had been burning for more than a thousand years, never extinguished.
– Prophet Muhammad’s birth corresponds with the Year of the Elephant, which is named after the failed destruction of Mecca that year by the Aksumite King Abraha who had in his army many elephants.
– When Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.s.) was either nine or twelve years old while accompanying a Meccans caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk or hermit named Bahira who foretold Muhammad (s.a.a.w.s.) that he was going to be a prophet of God.
Prophet Mohammad (s.a.a.w.s) showed several miracles, such as:
1. Israa & Miraj – Night Journey to Jerusalem and then to Heaven
Another great miracle is Israa & Miraj which is Prophet Mohammad’s journey overnight from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to Heaven. He met with all the previous prophets, including Jesus & Moses, and he had the honor of being chosen as the leader of a prayer that was attended by all prophets. Narrated by Ibn Abbas, in Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 462: The Prophet said, “On the night of my Ascent (Mi’raj) to Heaven, I saw Moses who was a tall, brown, curly-haired man as if he was one of the men of Shan’awa tribe, and I saw Jesus, a man of medium height and fair complexion inclined to the red and white colors and of lank hair. I also saw Malik, the gate-keeper of the (Hell) Fire and the Ad-Dajjal (Anti-Christ) amongst the signs which Allah showed me.” (The Prophet then recited the Quranic Verse): “So be not you in doubt of meeting him’ when you met Moses during the night of Mi’raj (ascent) to the heavens” (Quran 32:23)
2. Splitting of the Moon
The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two](54:1)
3. Survival of Prophet Mohammad after Being Poisoned
A Jewish woman invited him to eat a meal and put poison in his food. He ate and felt poison and told her that she could not with her poison kill him. Indeed, he survived about 13 years after that incident.
4. Spider’s Web
After he fled Mecca, his enemies went after him. So, he, and his closest companion Abu Bakr, hid in a cave. He enemies reached the opening of the cave, but the enemies did not enter the cave because they noticed a spider’s web covering the opening of the cave, so they thought that it was impossible for Mohammad to have entered that cave
5. Food Multiplication
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 780: Narrated by Jabir: My father died in debt. So I came to the Prophet and said, “My father left unpaid debts, and I have nothing (to pay back the debt), except the yield of his Date Palm Trees; and their yield for many years will not cover his debt. So please come with me (to meet the creditors), so that the creditors may not misbehave with me.” The Prophet went around one of the heaps of dates and invoked (Allah’s) blessings, and then did the same with another heap and sat on it and said, “Weigh (the dates).” He (Prophet Mohammad) paid them (the debtors) what they were entitled to and what remained was as much as had been paid to them.
6. Water Multiplication
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 779: Narrated by Abdullah: Once we were with Allah’s Messenger (Prophet Mohammad) on a journey, and we ran short of water. He said, “Bring the water remaining with you.” The people brought a container which had little water left. He placed his hand in it and said, “Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah.” I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah’s Messenger, and no doubt, we heard the meal glorifying Allah, when it was being eaten (by him)
7. Supplication for Rain
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 115: Narrated by Anas bin Malik: A man came to the Prophet on a Friday, while he (the Prophet) was delivering a sermon in Medina, and said, “There is lack of rain, so please invoke your Lord to bless us with rain.” The Prophet looked at the sky when no cloud could be detected. Then, he invoked Allah for rain. Clouds started gathering together and it rained till the Medina valleys started flowing with water. It continued raining till the next Friday. Then, that man (or some other man) stood up while the Prophet was delivering the Friday sermon, and said, “We are drowned; Please invoke your Lord to withhold it (rain) from us.” The Prophet smiled and said twice or thrice, “O Allah! Please let it rain around us and not upon us.” The clouds started dispersing over Medina to the right and to the left, and it rained around Medina and not upon Medina. Allah showed them (the people) the miracle of His Prophet and His response to his invocation.
8. Lights to Guide Prophet Mohammad’s Companions
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 454: Narrated by Anas bin Malik: Once, on a dark night, two of the companions of the Prophet departed (after a meeting with the prophet) and were led by two lights like lamps (from the sky) lighting the road in front of them. And, when they parted (from each other), each of them was accompanied by one of these lights till he reached his house.
9. Crying of the Trunk of the Date Palm Tree
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 783: Narrated by Ibn Umar: The Prophet used to deliver his sermons while standing beside (or leaning on) a trunk of a Date Palm tree. When he had the pulpit made, he used it (the pulpit) instead (of the Date Palm tree). The trunk (of the tree) started crying/weeping (grieving out of love for the prophet) and the Prophet approached it, rubbing his hand over it (to sooth it and stop its crying/weeping). Comment: This story indicates that people actually heard the truck of the tree crying/weeping.
10. A Wolf Speaks and Recognizes Mohammad as of a Messenger of Allah
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 3, Book 39, Number 517: Narrated by Unais bin ‘Amr: Ahban bin Aus said, “I was amongst my sheep. Suddenly a wolf caught a sheep and I screamed at it (the wolf). The wolf sat on its tail and addressed me, saying, ‘Who will look after it (i.e. the sheep) when you are busy and not able to look after it? Do you forbid me the provision which Allah has provided me?’ Ahban added, “I clapped my hands and said, ‘By Allah, I have never seen anything more interesting and wonderful than this!’ On that, the wolf said, ‘There is something more (interesting and) wonderful than this; that is, Allah’s Messenger… inviting people to Allah (i.e. Islam).’ “Unais bin ‘Amr added, “Then Ahban went to Allah’s Messenger and informed him what happened and embraced Islam.)”
The Qur’an is miraculous in a number of aspects: (a) its linguistic perfection and inimitability, (b) its validation by recent historical, archaeological, and scientific discoveries, (c) its prophecies and so on, and (d) unlike the miracles of other prophets before him, the miracle of the Qur’an is eternal.
Second, even if the claim of the Jews that God’s test is fire from heaven was wrong, being faced with a false claim is a test in itself. Perhaps this was even intentional, i.e. the test which the Jews brought was not on the surface of their claim; they didn’t actually want to see supernatural fire, but they wanted to see whether Muhammad was able to give an answer to their trick question that exhibited divine insight. Intentional or not, Muhammad failed this “test behind the test” because he did not recognize that the criterion was not genuine.
The reason was purely the same as mentioned in Holy Quran corresponding to the Holy Bible.
Third, Muhammad failed because his answer contained a factually wrong statement that exposed his ignorance of the Bible. The Jews didn’t kill any prophet who had brought the miracle of fire from God which devoured a sacrifice.
Not a wrong statement,but a fact mentioned in Holy Bible too.
And it doesn’t help Muhammad at all that he attributed his wrong answer to God. On the contrary, by doing so he exposed himself as a false prophet.
The first two failures may be specific to this particular encounter, but the third one we see over and over again in the Qur’an. Muhammad was not a prophet from God because his allegedly divine revelation contains numerous false statements ranging from apparently small numerical inaccuracies, e.g. the age of Noah (*), to more substantial errors regarding the history of Israel and the Jewish prophets (like the one discussed in this present article) to grave misrepresentations of essential doctrines of the Christian Faith, like the crucifixion of Jesus (*), his divine sonship (*), and the doctrine of the Trinity (*).
In addition to that there is the questionable morality of Muhammad (endorsing marriage to minors in general and having sex with a nine-year old himself, the assassination of his critics, etc.), his being a victim of magic, etc., see the articles listed in the section on the person of Muhammad (*).
1. If we recognize that Muhammad fabricated revelation and put forged words in the mouth of God, then it becomes a definite possibility that he may as well have forged the whole thing and put false claims into the mouth of the Jews, even though they never said this. However, this is only a side note, Muhammad failed the test of a true prophet in either case. The main purpose of this verse may actually be something else. This verse belongs to a series of similar verses. It is one of Muhammad’s frequent attacks against the Jews, see the article…
2. In fact, the issue of false prophets is totally absent from the Quran. In my opinion, the reason is obvious: Muhammad preferred not to stir up trouble. If he gave criteria, people could wake up to the fact that prophets are not simply to be believed but that God expects the believers to test people who claim to be prophets. Claims to prophethood are to be questioned and closely examined. Muhammad could not risk that. God’s true prophets never had to fear such questioning. Only false prophets have a problem in this regard. And it is obvious that Muhammad did not like the idea that people would evaluate his claim to prophethood based on objective criteria.
The killing of the Prophets is clearly mentioned in Bible.
The Bible does not contain the names of all the Prophets.
The criteria of fire is also mentioned in Holy Bible.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.w. did not invent any lie or say anything from His own.
Everything was under divine guidance and 100% true.