In an article published last week in the Huffington Post entitled, "Why a Christian can view Muhammad as a Prophet" the author demonstrated a phenomenal lack of knowledge regarding Muhammad (http://goo.gl/gGbUeh). That doesn’t surprise me but I thought I would respond because I suspect that the author’s views reflect what many Americans think about Muhammad.
The author writes, “Prophet Muhammad brought love, peace, and much more to a part of the world that had little of these things.”
Perhaps this writer has never read the earliest biography of Muhammad, or perhaps he is a closet Muslim practicing Taqiya (deliberate deception to promote Islam). Whatever the case, the idea that Muhammad brought love and peace is laughable! I don’t know of any knowledgeable person (Muslim or not) who would dispute the fact that Muhammad was a warrior. Muhammad added to his wealth (inherited from his first wife) by robbing other people’s caravans (I doubt the caravan owners were feeling the love)! After becoming rich and powerful, Muhammad and his armies traveled around Arabia slaughtering those who refused to convert or submit to the terms of his religion. He even ordered the execution of converts who changed their minds and turned away from his religion.
The author writes, “One of the most overlooked aspects of Muhammad's character is his fierce anti-racist stance. He made the unprecedented move of considering both white people and black people as equals in the eyes of God.”
There is some truth in this. Muhammad and his followers owned and sold black slaves not because they were black but because they refused to accept his religion.
The author writes, “While some Muslims cite John (14:16-17) as proof that Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammad, many Christians find it difficult to interpret this verse as the ‘truth.’ Perhaps they're in denial….”
John 14:16-17 says, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth.” First, elsewhere in the article the author says Jesus was only human and made mistakes, so it is remarkable that the author thinks Jesus had enough insight to foresee Muhammad 600 years ahead of time! Second, the Muslim identification of John 14:16-17 is entirely arbitrary. Any self-proclaimed prophet could say John 14:16-17 was referring to him (or her). Third, there is absolutely nothing in the context that would point to Muhammad. In fact, Muhammad once told some followers it was acceptable to lie to carry out murder. He is hardly a “Spirit of Truth.” Virtually all biblical scholars agree that John 14:16-17 is referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
However, I do agree that Jesus foretold the coming of people like Muhammad. In Matthew 7:15-16 Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them”
The author writes, “However, I see nothing "anti-Christian" in recognizing Muhammad as a prophet.”
Really? Christians in all branches (Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) have affirmed the deity of Jesus for 2,000 years, but Muhammad specifically denies the deity of Jesus, even insisting that those who believe in the Trinity are going to hell! Christians who refused to convert to Islam or submit to second class “dhimmi” status (including paying the Jizya tax) would be slaughtered! If that’s not anti-Christian I’m not sure what is.
The author writes, “To me, a prophet is someone who has valuable insight and intuition, who is sensitive about the well-being of others regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.”
“Sensitive about the well-being of others?” In one village, Muhammad had 600 Jewish men beheaded and their families sold into slavery because they wouldn’t accept his religion! People of other religions who refused to accept Islam were often slaughtered or enslaved. Doesn’t sound too sensitive to me.
The author writes, “Let me wrap this up by returning to the question: Is Prophet Muhammad worthy of admiration among Christians? I believe he is.”
Why? What makes Muhammad worthy of admiration? His robbery of caravans? His sexual intercourse with a nine year old wife when he was in his 50’s? His ownership and selling of slaves? His imperialism? His slaughter of anyone who rejected or refused to submit to the terms of his religion? What exactly was worthy of admiration?
Please don’t take my word for all this. Purchase and read the earliest biography of Muhammad written by a devout Muslim (http://goo.gl/NHW1Tn ). The book is highly respected by Muslims around the world. Or you can check out my blog which briefly summarizes this book and provides page numbers for every detail. http://muhammadbiography.blogspot.com/
Modern western secularists have a very unhistorical and romanticized view of Muhammad. They seem to imagine him as someone like Jesus, so when they hear of the atrocities carried out by ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al Shabaab or others, they are shocked saying these groups are not truly Muslim. It is certainly true that not all Muslims support ISIS (thankfully!), but to say these groups are not really Muslim is ignorance. These groups are just following the lifestyle and teaching of Muhammad. The real danger, however, is that so many Europeans and Americans seem to believe that the thousands of Muslim immigrants we are letting into the country have a view of Muhammad similar to those of the author of that Huffington Post article. And that is truly dangerous.