Demonic Sponsorship In Islam
“The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.”
Regardless of the pattern of false revelation being dealt from supposed angelic sources, one might consider it, if it were congruent with previous revelation and foretold clearly by known prophets. Any truth claim must be measured objectively and with reason. So let us examine and contrast some claims.
Unlike Christ, whose new covenant and incarnation were predicted in over 300 messianic prophecies over 1,500 years by numerous individuals throughout the Old Testament, Islam claims but one prophecy, which was already ascribed to Christ in the New Testament, and even in its claim, it fails.
Moses says in Deuteronomy 18:15, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear.”
Moses, speaking to Israelite Jews, says simply another Prophet will come after him, and he will be an Israelite Jew, from among the brethren. A funny thing Islam claims this for Muhammad, being an Arabic non-Israelite non-Jew.
Since this cannot possibly apply to Muhammad, it seems so strange that God would send His “greatest, final, sealing prophet” completely by surprise and without a murmur throughout all history and prophetic record, considering what He did in foretelling Jesus Christ, and even John the Baptist.
In addition, a logical safeguard God has placed over the prophetic office has been an ability to perform miracles to provide a supplementary proof that the prophet speaks on the behalf of God. Moses performed miracles, Elijah and Elisha performed miracles, as well as Jesus and the apostles. It is even conferred through faith to any New Testament Christian to establish the gospel to the world in Mark 16: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover... And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”
Yet Muhammad had no confirming signs or miracles, nor anything that might give credibility to his claims. Prophets, in practice, not only speak the mind of God and bring revelation about the past and present, but are renowned for speaking things of a predictive nature about the future. For Muhammad, prediction is not entirely absent, but he only predicted a few events within a short-term time frame, a matter of months or a couple years, and within his own lifetime – nothing which a shrewd and observant person would not have known through seeing the present political and social landscape. It is limited to who would win which battle and what tribes would grow in power. When one starts to compare this record of the Qur'an with the Bible, which boasts nearly 3,000 predictive statements, some 2,500 of which have come to pass already to the letter, (the last 500 reserved for end times events) and providing prophecy spanning through months, years, decades and centuries, even across cultural and technological lines, the verdict is in: These two books are not even in the same category for comparison regarding their prophetic record.
Any mode previously used to establish the validity of a prophet in the past is conspicuously absent in the case of Muhammad and the Qur'an.
Questions of Demonism from the Start
Much of what we know biographically about Muhammad is not from the Qur’an, but rather from biographies written by his friends, family and first followers. These early accounts were written in many cases during the life of Muhammad, some shortly after his death. They all have one thing in common: they believed the revelation of Muhammad and the Qur’an, and they sought to establish a case for its validity and their testimony is considered next to their scripture. Since they have no desire to defame him, we can reasonably believe that any unflattering content is due to actual happenings.
In Ibn Ishaq's biography, it tells us that as a child, Muhammad was nursed by a Bedouin woman. Muhammad apparently had some sort of experience with “men in white raiment” that left him in a scary trace-like state, and the nurse not actually seeing them was disturbed by the whole event. It is here we read: "His [Muhammad's friend's] 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. ..She [Muhammad's mother] asked me what happened and gave me no peace until I told her. When she asked if I feared a demon had possessed him, I replied that I did.”
And so the woman who nursed Muhammad, raised him and knew him so well, feared he was possessed by a demon. The event must have been shocking and out of character of the boy to reach this conclusion. This is not the only instance, however.
Consistently reported in early Islamic sources, well into his prophetic career, Muhammad had a 'slip' and during a public recitation of his revelation and uttered what is known as the Satanic Verses. He was reciting Sura an-Najm, considered a revelation by Gabriel, and the biographies of the event say Satan tempted him to utter the following lines after verses 19 and 20:
“Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzzá and Manāt, the third, the other?
These are the exalted gharāniq, whose intercession is hoped for.”
Al-'Uzzā and Manāt were two goddesses worshiped by the Meccans and Al-lat was the pre-Islamic pagan consort of Allah, which we will discuss elsewhere.
The subtext to the event is that Muhammad was backing away from his monotheism by saying that these goddesses were real and their intercession was effective. The Meccans were overjoyed to hear this and joined Muhammad in ritual prostration at the end of the Sura.
Later, Muhammad recanted this, admitting Satan had put these words in his mouth, and so the verses now written in the Qur'an read differently. Surely, those who knew Muhammad and the early Muslims who recorded this would not fabricate a story so damaging to the credibility of the entire revelation. It is not the sort of tale a supporter would make up, or add in to boost the prophet's credibility, and so its testimony would only be included if it actually occurred.
Since we have an instance of Muhammad aware of Satan speaking through him, it leaves a looming question of how many other times Satan spoke through him, but without his knowledge. Both Biblically and experientially, Satan can only co-opt the will of a man to speak and act on his behalf who is thoroughly spiritually compromised. As when Judas betrayed Jesus, and it says “Satan entered into him,” so it must have been with Muhammad to have endorsed these false gods and bowed before them. And so an axiom is made, “the demons endorse the man, and the man endorses the demons.”
Qualities of Muhammad's Angel
Consider this first encounter Muhammad had in the cave with 'Gabriel,' as narrated by his wife Aisha, in the Hadith of Bukhari, 9:111:
“The angel came to him in the cave and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added) "The angel caught me forcefully and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous."
Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything.”
Read plainly, what occurred was this: the angel physically accosts him and forces him three times to prophesy. After the angel presses into him three times until he could bear it no longer, he is endowed with 'the Inspiration.' Muhammad is twitching and terrified by the experience, so much so, that he runs home to his wife and hides under a blanket until his acute fear subsides. At this point he still feels something is very wrong with himself. After he tells his wife everything, she then convinces him all is well and from Allah.
Now it is true, angels in the Bible can have a frightening countenance. Encounters with the supernatural tend to be foreign and frightening because the event is so far outside our realm of experience, it engages our whole being. I should point out though that the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, the source of all inspiration in the New Testament, is associated with an overwhelming sense of joy, peace and love. As frightening and foreign as an angelic visitation may be, Biblically, they don't blindly accost people and force 'inspiration.' This incident calls into question the character of this 'angel,' who is supposedly the very same that delivered the good news of Christ's birth to Mary. Note that Mary was troubled, yet not by Gabriel himself, but by the angel's greeting, which praised her far above her own opinion of herself. (Luke 1:29)
Later on in life, when Muhammad would have a pause in his divine “revelations,” it would make him madly suicidal. No less than three separate times he climbed atop mountains to throw himself off, but was prevented at the last moment by this 'angel.' There is absolutely no precedent for this type of madness by a man of God.
It is noted in Bukhari 2:225 that when he was temporarily no longer receiving these messages, “one of the Quraish women said, 'His Satan has deserted him.'” It seems that those around him who were not enticed with his words and tales saw a very different side of this entity.
In fact, this may be because Gabriel was responsible for things that might merit him being called “Satan.” In Bukhari 5:448, Muhammad has just returned from a battle against the Jews, but Gabriel is not content with the amount of blood shed. The Hadith says “When the Prophet returned from the battle of Al-Khandaq and laid down his arms and took a bath, Gabriel came to him while he was shaking the dust off his head, and said, "You have laid down the arms?" By Allah, I have not laid them down. Go out to them (to attack them)."The Prophet said, "Where?" Gabriel pointed towards Bani Quraiza. So Allah's Apostle went to them and besieged them.”
The result was 800 prisoners of war killed, and the enslavement of thousands of women and children by Muhammad, at the direction of his angel.
These actions alone make the nature of this 'angel' suspect, yet there are many more examples that are too numerous to exhaustively cover here. Unfortunately, there is much more to question in the revelation itself and in the character of the prophet.
Origins of Allah
It is commonly told, taught and believed that Muhammad sought the true religion of Abraham, believing the revelation of God was corrupted by the Jews and Christians. As often as this is repeated, it does not make it true. While the textual transmission of the New Testament is found faithful through the comparison thousands of copies of manuscripts, both early and late, much of the revelation of the Qur'an is mixture of Judeo-Christian monotheism, pre-Islamic paganism and Arabic folklore.
In Arabic today, “Allah” is not a proper name, but simply means “the God,” and is used even by Arabic speaking non-Muslims in referring to deity. However, this was not always so. In pre-Islamic times, “Allah” was the divine consort to “Al-lat,” an Arabian pagan goddess, who was one of three chief goddesses of Mecca. Especially in older sources, “Al-lat” is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld. Allah, himself was a god of rain and the moon, who stood among company within the pre-Islamic pagan religion of Mecca.
As a testimony to this, the Kaaba, the most sacred site in all of Islam, towards which all Islamic prayer is directed, was a house of 360 idols for centuries beforehand. Even the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to view and kiss the 'black stone' within the Kaaba, was already practiced when Muhammad showed up on the scene.
The story is told in the Hadith how Muhammad came to the Kaaba, ejected all of the other idols, and proclaimed Allah as the god above all. The only artifact that was saved was the 'black stone,' a mysterious meteoric relic that fell from the sky, and was therefore sacred to Allah. It was at this time he dedicated the house of idols, the Hajj and the stone to Allah. The once moon-god became the supreme god of all, and so now the flag of every Muslim majority nation features the crescent and star, and the spire atop every mosque features the moon at its apex.
The Bible records the history of the gods of that area in Psalm 83. It is a prayer against the peoples and the nations which conspire against Israel and their God. It speaks of Edom and the Ishmaelites, from whom the Qur'an cites as the definitive lineage of true Islam. The prayer is for God to “make all their princes as Zebah and Zalmunna.” (Psalm 83:11)
The conclusion of the story of Zebah and Zalmunna is found in Judges 8:21, where we read, “So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.”
Therefore, the prayer of Psalm 83 was not only to keep Israel safe from potential invaders, but to cast down the moon-god who they worshiped, the same one which Muhammad simply reformed into a different image.
The true origins of Allah are visible to all, and he is still worshiped in the same place and in the same way as he was for centuries before Muhammad. Instead of Muhammad's revelation about Allah being a new one, it is rather just the repackaging of old Arabic paganism, in both word and practice.
Blessed Are The Murderers
From a religion inspired by demonic forces, one would expect certain ways and doctrines that would further the ends of its original progenitor. This is precisely what we find in Islam.
While Jesus says “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9), Muhammad not only proclaims the slaying of non-believers, but specifically calls for the the murder of “the people of the Book,” namely Jews and Christians. Of these commands, there are not a few, obscure, hard to be interpreted passages, but rather there are dozens of simple commands to fight and kill the unbelievers wherever they find them. The most famous and quintessential verse in the Qur'an regarding this is aptly called the 'verse of the sword,' Sura 9:5 which states, “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war." and Sura 47:4, "When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah's Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom them (based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam."
In light of these verses, and very many others, we find that Islam is at literal war with all of unbelieving humanity until all submit to Islam. This is a grand departure from any previous revelation, Jewish or Christian, which advocates kindness to strangers, knowing “it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.” (Rom. 2:4)
It is true that Christians are at perpetual war as well, though the Bible makes it very clear that it is not a physical war, but that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” (2 Cor. 10:4) and “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Therefore, since we deal with a contradictory religion that seeks to kill us, though it claims it came from the same God, we must recognize that it is not Muslim people that are our enemy, nor any other religion or lack thereof. Our Enemy is unseen and untiring, and the battle is not with people of other views. We may overcome only by the means which we are given to overcome, namely to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). We stand with the charge to “not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
It is by this contrast, far above any logical or intellectual reasons, that it will be proved which revelation comes from God, and which revelation is inspired by Satan.