Highway 9 church of Christ   

Muhammad--His Life And Influence   

by Joel Hendon
Chapter 5 from his book WHILE THE EAGLE SLEPT

Muhammad was born in the year 569 A.D. in the Arabian city of Makkah, which is now known as Mecca located some sixty miles inland from the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. He was born of the union of Abdullah, the son of a wealthy dignitary and his wife, Amina. Only two or three months after their marriage, Abdullah became sick while on a journey and died. Amina was with child and gave birth to a son, professing that she had been instructed by a voice from on high to name him Muhammad. She died when Muhammad was about five years old and his grandfather Abd Al-Mutallib took him but also died when he was about eight years old. He was then taken and raised by a poor uncle, Abu Talib, and worked as a shepherd boy to help with the cost of his care. Although it is denied by some sources, Muhammad never learned to read or write.

Muhammad married a wealthy forty year old cousin when he was aged 25. They had two sons who died and four daughters. With the wealth of his wife he became quite affluent and claims to have received his first revelation from God when he was about 40 years old.

“Mecca’s new materialism and traditional idolatry disturbed Muhammad. He began making long retreats to a mountain cave outside town. There he fasted and meditated. On one occasion, after a number of indistinct visionary experiences, Muhammad was visited by an overpowering presence and was instructed to recite words of such beauty and force that he and others gradually attributed them to God. This experience shook Muhammad to the core. It was several years before he dared to talk about it outside his family.” (Muhammad: Legacy of a prophet. PBS website http://www.pbs.org/)

These ‘experiences’ continued off and on until Muhammad’s death. He professed to receive and recite these words of ‘beauty and force’ and others would write these recitations. The Koran, was not written by Muhammad since he was illiterate. The fact that he was unable to read or write was not unusual in his time, especially among the poor. The authenticity of his receiving inspired recitations has always been fraught with severe questions and doubts. Especially, since he had no credentials of biblical prophecy or anything else other than his own word. Muhammad’s initial remarks “quotes” were hand copied by someone chosen by him although some sources state that many were not written immediately but later, some after his death and only as remembered by the writers. We will discuss the validity, or lack thereof, of the Koran in a later chapter.

Muhammad, with the backing of his wife’s fortune, became quite successful as a trader and made a number of trips to places as far away as Syria. His start as a prophet, preaching his new found doctrine, was not well received in the beginning but rather, was considered as heresy and blasphemy by many and even resulted in his having to flee Mecca to avoid assassination. He fled to Madinah, later called Medina, where his following grew strong in numbers. He finally returned to Mecca with 10,000 followers and took the city without a fight. He then lectured the populace and granted them their freedom. This gesture increased his following.

Ten years after starting the Islam religion, Muhammad’s wife died. And although he and his writings supposedly condemn polygamy, which he did not practice while his first wife Khadija lived, he married a widow about two months after her death. He then married a seven year old girl and on to a total of fifteen wives, including another ten year old girl.

Muhammad is recorded as being a kind and benevolent person by his followers, yet he participated in a number of wars during his lifetime. Many question his reason for starting the Islamic religion and his claim of being an inspired prophet of God, and for good reason. First, because he has no authority or evidence for the founding of the religion or for the claim. It is evident that he had no such intent when he began his first “recitations”, but later was convinced by his wife that they were revelations from God.

Followers claim that the Bible contains prophecies of Muhammad and his teachings, yet they refer you to scriptures which offer no such suggestion, except by the figment of one’s imagination. They profess that the prophecies by Jesus of the coming of the comforter (John 14:16) refers to Muhammad when it clearly refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is also fulfilled in the second chapter of Acts. The comforter was promised to be sent TO the Apostles, not to succeed them some five hundred years later.

They also profess that the promise made to Abraham that he would make a “great nation” of Ishmael, refers to the followers of Islam. When in fact, it only refers to the vast number of his progeny. Actually, the only true prophesies of Muhammad are found in such verses as the following:

“Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7: 15)

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1: 8)

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is anti-christ that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2: 22)

The only motivating factors that this writer (as well as many others who have pondered the question) can determine as to the desire for Muhammad and his early followers to start this false religion are desire for power, recognition, and glory among men, with the underlying earnest craving to have a leader from among their Ishmael descendants. Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, gave himself for all mankind, not just the Jews, but only to all men who will accept the very thing which Muhammad and his followers vehemently reject. That He was (is) the literal Son of God, not of man. And he had the credentials to prove it. The over three hundred fulfilled prophecies, the miraculous powers and the resurrection from the dead! Muhammad, and all of his followers could have chosen Jesus and have had the glory of becoming a child of God, the glory of spending eternity with Him in heaven.

Herein we find the strong evidence that, although Muhammad professed to believe in the Biblical record, he allowed the festering resentment between the Arabs and the Jews to turn him from the way of salvation. The truths of the Bible are clearly evident and revealed. The only people who cannot discern these truths are those who are willfully striving not to. One has to have help, to misunderstand them.

The founding of this false religion has developed a strong history of troubling the world and is unrelenting in that respect. They have refused to allow their people to be taught anything even slightly contradictory to their uninspired writings and therefore offer no possibility for them to be compatible with others. They have nothing that offers salvation to mankind. The religion’s existence is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Holy Bible. The theme of the entire Bible is the coming of the messiah, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His crufixion and His resurrection. And the doctrine of Muhammad teaches that Jesus was NOT the Son of God. That He was ONLY a prophet (and inferior to Muhammad). I don’t see any evidence of Muhammad being born of a virgin, I see NO prophecies fulfilled by his life. I see no record of miracles performed by Muhammad. I see no evidence that he was raised up from the dead by the Father. All I see is a book of vague and obscure nonsensical remarks that a man was unable to write and record for himself. Was his “Allah” unable to grant him the ability to write them? Only the gift of being able to SAY them?

After a life as a nomad trader, a self proclaimed prophet and years of warfare, Muhammad died in 633 A.D., at age sixty-four. Although his religion has gained many millions of followers, the vast majority have been of the non-Jewish descendents of Abraham. In more recent times, they have been fairly successful in recruiting others but much of it has been among the disgruntled and wretched, the paranoid and angry.