From Merchant to Messenger
Revenge and An Extraordinary Accomplishment
In a series of revealed truths which conclude surah The Poets, Allah brings together His Messenger and three of his most troublesome opponents: false gods, demons and other poets.
The first revelation is a warning for His Prophet about calling on other gods, followed by an explanation of what demons and other poets are like respectively.
26:213 So do not call, with Allah, upon another god. For then you will be one of those chastised.
26:214 And warn your closest clan members.
26:215 And lower your wing humbly to those of the believers who follow you.
26:216 Should they disobey you, then say: “I am quit of what you are doing.”
26:217 And put your trust in the All-Mighty, the Merciful;
26:218 Who sees you when you stand up;
26:219 And When you go around those who prostrate themselves.
26:220 He is indeed the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing.
26:221 Shall I tell you upon whom do the demons descend?
26:222 They descend upon every vicious impostor.
26:223 They listen, but most of them are liars.
26:224 And as to the poets, the perverse follow them.
26:225 Do you not see that they wander aimlessly in every glen?
26:226 And that they say what they do not do?
26:227 Except for those who believe and do the righteous deeds, mention Allah frequently, and are victorious after they were wronged. Surely, the wrongdoers shall know what outcome is ultimately theirs.
The Prophet could not do much about the demons and false gods except repeat Allah's invective against them; but mortals were another matter. An All-Powerful God like Allah could have easily eradicated the demons and false gods; but that was not His Way, for then He would have been left without scapegoats for all the pain and suffering His creation endured.
An all-powerful Prophet had no such qualms or limitations.
The victorious Prophet’s way of dealing with the poets who mocked him and whose pointed verses, it was said, distressed and severely wounded him was to have them killed as he did most of his more vocal critics. Al-Nadr b. al-Harith, who was taken prisoner at the Battle of Badr, he had beheaded on the spot. The poetess Asma bint Marwan he had assassinated for writing poems deriding “the Prophet of Mercy”; another was the Jewish poet Abu Afak and so on.
(For more on the Prophet's targeted and revenge assassinations read Jihad in the Koran)
A Prophet on His Own
25:51 Had We wished, We would have sent forth to every city a warner.
25:52 So, do not obey the unbelievers and strive against them with it (the Qur’an) mightily.
27:73 Your Lord, indeed, is Bountiful to mankind, but most of them do not give thanks.
27:74 And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they reveal.
27:75 There is no hidden secret in heaven or on earth, but is in a Manifest Book.
27:76 This Qur’an relates to the Children of Israel most of what they differ on.
27:77 And it is, indeed, a guidance and mercy to the believers.
27:78 Your Lord will decide between them according to His Judgement. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.
27:79 So put your trust in Allah; you are on the manifest and the true [path].
27:80 You will certainly not cause the dead to hear or the deaf to hear the call, if they turn away in flight.
27:81 And you will not deflect the blind from their error. You will only cause those who believe in our Signs to hear; for they have submitted.
27:91 I (Muhammad) was only ordered to worship the Lord of this city (Mecca) which He has sanctified. His is everything, and I was ordered to be one of those who submit [to Allah];
27:92 And to recite the Qur’an. He who is well-guided is only well-guided to his own advantage, and to him who goes astray, say: “I am only one of the warners.”
27:93 And say: “Praise be to Allah. He will show you His Signs and then you will recognize them. Your Lord is not heedless of what you do.”
The Prophet was warned not to call on other gods for assistance, as he is again in revelation 28:88.
28:85 He Who imparted the Qur’an to you will surely return you to a safe resort. Say: “My Lord knows best who has brought the guidance and who is in manifest error.”
28:86 You did not expect that the Book will be transmitted to you, except as a mercy from your Lord. So, do not be a partisan of the unbelievers.
28:87 And let them not divert you from the Revelations of Allah after they have been sent down to you. Call upon your Lord, and do not be one of the idolaters.
28:88 Do not call, besides Allah, upon any other god. There is no god but He. Everything will perish save His Face. His is the Judgement, and unto Him you shall all be returned.
It must have been tempting for the Prophet, during the early portion of his Call when everything was going well for those who worshipped other gods besides Allah and bad for him and his small group of followers, to ask these other gods for help, perhaps a miracle or two as Allah did for Jesus.
No Jesus-Like Miracles
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection."
Having said that, the Prophet later claimed responsibility for a phenomenon where the moon appeared to an observer on the Peninsula as having split into two parts. The following was, of course, not a Jesus miracle, if it was a miracle at all.
Narrated Ibn Masud:
During the lifetime of Allah's Apostle the moon was split into two parts; one part remained over the mountain, and the other part went beyond the mountain. On that, Allah's Apostle said, "Witness this miracle."
The Prophet Muhammad did not perform Jesus-like miracles unless you subscribe to one interpretation of revelation 54:1 that the Prophet actually split the moon, as opposed to another that the moon will be split on the eve of Judgement Day as part of Allah’s end-of-days spectacle.
The Judgement Day interpretation appears to be supported by Allah’s statement in revelation 54:3 that “every matter had been settled” and by revelations 54:6-8.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
54:1 The Hour is drawing near and the moon is split asunder.
54:2 If they see a sign, they turn away and say: “Continued sorcery.”
54:3 They denounced and followed their fancies, while every matter had been settled.
54:4 And they have received such news as would deter,
54:5 An outstanding wisdom; so what good are warnings?
54:6 Turn away from them. On the Day the caller shall call out unto an abominable thing;
54:7 They will come out of their graves, with their eyes downcast, as if they were swarming locusts,
54:8 Scrambling towards the caller. The unbelievers will say: “This is a very hard day.”
If the Prophet had split the moon why did some still demand that he cause a spring to gush, or a river to flow before they believed? Wasn’t splitting the moon enough? Unless, of course, the revelation pertaining to the splitting of the moon came after revelation 17:90 which follows:
17:90 And they say: “We will not believe you until you cause a spring to gush out from the ground for us.
17:91 “Or have a garden of palms and vines; then cause the rivers therein to gush out abundantly.
Allah’s heaven is anchored to, and above a flat earth. It is a solid piece of real estate held up by invisible pillars. Allah said that some people even when they see a piece of this real estate fall from the sky still don’t believe.
52:44 “If they see a lump falling down from the sky, they say: “A mass of clouds.”
Some of the Prophet’s critics challenged God’s Messenger to perform a miracle by having a piece of heaven fall down at his command, or having Allah and His angels make an appearance.
17:92 “Or cause heaven to fall upon us in fragments, as you claim; or bring Allah and the angels down, so that we can see them face to face.
So the Prophet Muhammad, from what we know, could not do Jesus-like miracles that dazzled and amazed. Is that sufficient reason not to believe that God’s Messenger did not have God’s ear and vice versa? Allah did say that in Muhammad He sent humanity “a human messenger” not a god masquerading as a man.
Humans, no matter how great they are, should not be expected to perform miracles, as Allah reminds His Messenger to remind whoever.
17:93 “Or possess a house of gold, or ascend to heaven. Yet, we will not believe in your ascension, until you send down to us a book we can read.” Say: “Glory be to my Lord; I am anything other than a human Messenger?”
In the end, apart from being told what to say (mostly about how to live a God-fearing-life and worshipping Allah and only Allah, all accompanied by a recurring refrain about signs) and promises of a horrible punishment later for those who denied His Signs, the Prophet was very much on his own, which makes his accomplishment that much more extraordinary, and may explain his mercilessness towards those who made it so difficult, such as the poets, and those who still refuse to believe to this day.
For the Love of a Father
The Prophet Muhammad never knew his father who died before he was born. His mother passed away when he was six or seven years old.
When you read the Koran, especially the revelations where Allah expresses his love for His Messenger and where He threatens to do serious damage to anyone who would harm him, or cause him distress, you can’t help thinking that Allah was also the father Muhammad, as a child, never had. The father that a fatherless child might imagine.
Don’t you just feel the love of a father for his son in revelations 33:56-57 where Allah blesses His Messenger and issues a stern warning to anyone who would harm him; does it not remind you of a previous God-Son relationship?
33:56 Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O believers, bless him and greet him graciously, too.
33:57 Those who cause Allah and His Messenger any injury, Allah has cursed them in this life and the life to come and has prepared for them a demeaning punishment.
33:58 And those who injure the believers, men and women, except for what they have incurred, have borne the burden of falsehood and manifest sin.
In his last public appearance, a short time before he died, he asked the thousands who had come to hear what would be his last sermon if he had done a good job. The crowd shouted in unison: “We bear witness that you have conveyed the trust and discharged your ministry and looked to our welfare.”
The Prophet then lifted his forefinger towards the sky and then pointing towards the people then to his father in heaven asked Him to bear witness three times: “O Lord: Bear Thou witness unto it”.
Did the Prophet Muhammad, in making the Koran known to mankind, want to please his god the way a child wishes to ingratiate himself to his father, and in return get the love and approbation that comes from being a good son?
Did he imagine the wisdom that his equally imaginary Father wanted his son to transmit? Did he imagine the love of a father he never had? If you believe then the answer is obvious.