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Was Muhammad the Seal of Prophets?

Questioner

Asim

Reply Date

Feb 02, 2018

Question

As-salam Alaikum, I have been in Christian - Muslim dialogue for some time now, as I finished high school at a Catholic school. Ever since September 11th, Christian - Muslim dialogue has not been as clean as it has once been. Lately, in a dialogue with Christians and non-Muslims, they have been criticizing our merciful Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They accuse him of many obscene accusations. They even doubted his prophethood, saying that he performed no miracles! How should I respond to these allegations, proving to them that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not what they claim and that he did perform miracles? Thank you and salam.

Consultant

Answer


seal of prophets

Short Answer: Many non-Muslims compare him to Jesus internalizing the idea that Jesus was a God – as they believe – and Muhammad was just a human being. So this is a very important point to start with – refuting the idea that Jesus was a God. As for Muhammad (peace be upon him); he was a man, a prophet, a husband, a father, and a community leader. This is why he was the final messenger and the ideal role model for all people.

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Assalamo Alaikum Asim, 

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

It has been agreed upon in many circles that debate can lead to more interfaith tensions and distrust, and that the best way to foster tolerance and respect between people of faith is by focusing on mutual concerns and shared ethics.

Muslims can never utter any accusations about Jesus (peace be upon him), while some Christians do say negative things about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).  

I know many accusations that you might have faced. So, I will not go into details about all the myths and lies that are told about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

But, I do advise you to frame these statements against the prophet by looking into the social and textual contexts that surrounded the revelation, and read more of the hadith (authentic sayings) and seerah (biography) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) so that you can feel confident about your Islam and your ability to discuss the life of the Last Messenger. 

Also, there are many books that show how the Prophet (peace be upon him) was seen by many non-Muslim scholars of Islamic studies as an example of the ideal man. I have two books in mind that you should check out:

  • Michael Heart’s book that names Prophet Muhammad the greatest man in history. 
  • Karen Armstrong’s biography of the Prophet.

I simply think that being familiar with the life of the Prophet would allow you to present him, as he deserves -as a man of honor, integrity, and outstanding qualities.

Even if a non-Muslim does not convert to Islam, he/she can still appreciate the character of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). 

Convert Experience

Once, I met a Palestinian convert to Islam.

He mentioned that his conversion was quite easy and natural, as his very pious practicing Christian father used to teach him Quran and talk about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with immense respect. 

This led to his conversion, and he kept all the good virtues of Christianity in his heart.

He was able to enjoy the relation to both traditions, as coming into the fold of Islam is conditioned by believing in Jesus as a prophet and honoring him and his mother, Mary

There is also a need to see Prophet Muhammad as a messenger (peace be upon him), who brought the messages of previous prophets to a completion and the Quran as the last testament. 

So, I suggest that until you feel knowledgeable enough, do not engage in debates, if you ever do decide to.

Focus on learning more through reading, interfaith activities, social work, and being a good role model of how the Muslim should behave. 

If then you decide you are ready for debate with non-Muslims, at this point feel free to respond.

Sometimes, it is even preferable not to respond, not because you have nothing to say, but because you want to change the course of the debate to a beneficial direction. 

The Quran says:

{And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s revelations disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them, until they enter into some other discourse; surely then [if you stayed] you would be like them. Surely Allah will gather together the hypocrites and the unbelievers all in hell.} (An-Nisaa’ 4:140)

Muhammad Was a Human Being

Finally, it is important to remember the mere fact that Muhammad was a man, living a normal human life to the fullest. 

While he was a prophet (peace be upon him), he was simultaneously a model person and a figure of charismatic nature. 

Many non-Muslims simply compare him to Jesus.

This is why they start attacking every aspect of his life for being human, internalizing the idea that Jesus was a God – as they believe – and Muhammad was just a human being. 

I think this is a very important point to start with – refuting the idea that Jesus was a God.

This is while stressing that within his nature as a human being, he was very much unique and that his way of life was beyond reproach. 

As for Muhammad (peace be upon him); he was a man, a prophet, a husband, a father, and a community leader. This is why he was the final messenger and the ideal role model for all people.

As for the miracles, the miracle of Muhammad was the Quran, and the first word revealed in it: “Read”! 

Thank you and please keep in touch. 

Walaikum Asalam

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Prophet Muhammad: What Most Non-Muslims Don’t Know

10 Myths About Muhammad (Infographic)

How Can You Not Love Prophet Muhammad (SAW)?

10 Things You May Not Know About Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Muhammad: A 21st Century Prophet? (Special Folder)

 




About Heba Rauf Ezzat

Heba Rauf Ezzat is an Egyptian political scientist and Islamic thinker and activist. She is a lecturer of political theory at Cairo University and currently a visiting fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics.

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