Friday, June 4, 2021

WHO SPOKE TO MUHAMMAD IN THE CAVE?

 

Well, who spoke to Muhammad in the cave of Hira? Was it Gabriel? Or was it a demon impersonating the angel Gabriel? Islamic sources admit that Muhammad did not know who the cave spirit was until some years later. It was about three years after the encounter in the cave that Muhammad began to associate the spirit with the angel Gabriel. We will now look into the most authentic Hadith in the Muslim world and examine Muhammad’s first encounter with the spirit in the cave.

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3:

The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me 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 the Most Generous.” (96.1, 96.2, 96.3)

Then Allah’s Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailid and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me.”Khadija replied, “Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Something really distressing occurred in the cave that day. Muhammad ran back to his wife terrorized. In total panic he told her, “I fear that something may happen to me.” And just as children hide under the covers when they are afraid, Muhammad had his wife wrap him in a blanket. He did not want to see the cause of that terror again. That supernatural confrontation in the cave was more demonic than divine.

Had the spirit been Gabriel, it would have reassured Muhammad and calmed his fears. However, the spirit left him in extreme distress. The encounter by Muhammad stands in stark contrast to the gentle nature of angelic encounters recorded in the Bible. The true Gabriel and other angels almost always begin their conversation with the comforting phrase, “Do not be fearful.” The following

Biblical accounts are just a few out of the many examples of comforting encounters that worshippers of the true God had with angels:

Matthew 28:5: The angel said to the women: “Do not be fearful, I know that you are looking for Jesus, who has been crucified.”

Luke 1:13: However, the angel Gabrielsaid to him: “Zechariah, have no fear, God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to a son, and you will name him John.”

Luke 1:26-30: In the sixth month after Elizabeth became pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He was sent to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph. He came from the family line of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel greeted her and said, “The Lord has given you special favor. He is with you. Mary was very upset because of his words. She wondered what kind of greeting this could be. So the angel said to her: “Have no fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

And even the Qur’an admits to this gentle encounter with the angels when it recalls the Bible’s account of the Angelic visitation to Abraham:

Surah 51:24-30:Has the story reached you, of the honored guests (three angels; Gabriel along with another two) of Abraham? When they came in to him, and said, “Salam!” He answered: “Salam” and said: “You are a people unknown to me.” Then he turned to his household, so brought out a roasted calf. And placed it before them, saying: “Will you not eat?” Then he conceived a fear of them when they ate not. They said: “Fear not.” And they gave him glad tidings of an intelligent son, having knowledge. (Hilali-Khan)

In contrast, Muhammad’s encounter with the spirit deeply troubled him. This proves that the spirit could not have been the angel Gabriel but a demon impersonating him. In order to confirm the identity of this impersonating spirit with certainty, we need to analyze the messages that this spirit conveyed to Muhammad. Are the messages given through this spirit reliable? Are they in harmony with the earlier inspired Scriptures of God?

TEST THE SPIRIT

More than five-hundred years before the Qur’an was revealed, the inspired Scriptures that were given to the Christians warned them against the dangers of being misled by deceptive spirits:

Galatians 1:8: “But should we or an angel from Heaven preach to you any other Gospel than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

So what sort of messages did this impersonating spirit transmit to Muhammad? Are they in harmony with the revealed will of God? In one of the messages delivered to Muhammad, we find the following statement:

Surah 9:30: “The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; in this they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to day. God’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!” (Yusuf Ali)

The above Qur’anic verse denies the Sonship of Jesus Christ. However, centuries earlier when Gabriel appeared to Mary, he told her:

Luke 1:35: The holy spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And for that reason the one who is born will be called holy, God’s Son.

Clearly, these are two contrasting messages. Can they really come from the same Gabriel? Which one of them is then the true message from God? Is it the message in the Bible or the one in the Qur’an? The Book of Luke is part of the Gospel. Carefully notice what is said about the Gospel in the Qur’an.

Surah 5:46: “And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was revealed before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was revealed before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off evil.” (Pickthall)

The Qur’an recognizes the Gospel as one of the inspired Scriptures of God. And very significantly it adds that there is “guidance and a light” in the Gospel. Can the Scripture which is given by God as “guidance and a light”for mankind contain an erroneous teaching in it? Absolutely not! Therefore, the teachings in the Gospelregarding the identity of Jesus as the “Son of God”must be absolutely true. And it must remain absolutely true for all eternity. This is because the Qur’an guarantees that no one can change the Word of God.

Surah 10:64: “None can change the Words of Allah. This is indeed the Supreme Triumph.” (Pickthall)

Since the Qur’an itself identifies the Gospel as the Word of God, it means that the Gospel cannot be changed in any way by any one. It is not supposed to. Otherwise, the above Qur’anic verse becomes false the very instant the Gospel is changed. This essentially rules out the claim by Muslims that the Christians corrupted the identity of Jesus as the “Son of God” in the present Gospel. Muslims cannot hold on to their claim without falsifying their Qur’an. Either the Qur’an is wrong in its claim that “none can change the Word of God”or the Qur’an is right in its claim that “none can change the Word of God.” If the Qur’an is right, then the identity of Jesus as the “Son of God” in the Gospel must be absolutely true. And it must remain absolutely true for all eternity. That is why the commandment of Allah for the Christians to “observe the Gospel” can still be found in the Qur’an today. And this means believing that Jesus is the “Son of God.”

Surah 5:68: Say: “O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs – unless you truly observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!” (Asad)

The dilemma for Muslims is that even when the Qur’an is right it is wrong. This is because while the Qur’an recognizes the Bible as the eternal Word of God, it denies the Sonship of Jesus. It is a lose, lose situation for Muslims. What is important for Muslims to note is the fact that even Muhammad is commanded in the Qur’an to follow the guidance given to the earlier messengers of God. And this includes the guidance given through Jesus in the Gospel.

Surah 6:84-90: And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed We guided David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good. And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one of them was of the righteous…, Those are they unto whom We gave the Scripture and Command and Prophethood…, Those are they whom Allah guideth, so follow their guidance. (Pickthall)

While admitting that the Gospel contains “guidance and a light,” the Qur’an at the same instant contradicts the fundamental messages of the Gospel. Does not this tell us that something is seriously wrong with the messages transmitted by the spirit which spoke to Muhammad in the cave? Who then is this impersonating spirit who brought these contradictory messages to Muhammad? The Bible provides us with a vital piece of information:

Jude 1:6: “And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them in everlasting bonds under darkness, waiting for the great Day of Judgment.”

The Bible tells us that because of acts of revolt against God, some angels lost their heavenly position and joined Satan in his rebellion. These rebellious angels became demons. In vengeance these demons turn mankind away from the teachings of the true God. One way they achieve this is by inspiring misleading inspired messages–messages that contradict God’s Word. And Muhammad was a victim of these misleading demons. The deceptive spirit that brought contradictory messages to Muhammad is either Satan himself or one of his fallen angels. The Bible lovingly cautions Christians:

1 John 4:1: Beloved, do not accept as true every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

The true God encourages his worshippers to “test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God.” Since Muslims consider it blasphemous to critically analyze the Qur’an, they accept the demonic teachings of Islam unquestioningly. In fact, they are commanded not to ask any questions regarding the tenents of Islam.

Surah 5:101-102:“O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble…, Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.” (Yusuf Ali)

There are many dangers lurking in the religion of Islam. And one of the subtle dangers of the Qur’an is the existence of partial truths in it. The worst kinds of lies are half-truths because they are often hard to detect. Note for example how the Qur’an accurately teaches that the Bible, which consists of the Torah and the Gospel, is the revealed Word of God.

Surah 3:3-4: “He sent down the Law(of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind.” (Yusuf Ali)

Yet at the same time, the Qur’an contradicts the vital teachings of the Bible. The Qur’an denies not only the unique position of Jesus as the Son of God but it also denies the atoning value of his sacrifice for the redemption of mankind from sin and death. Since the Qur’an confirms the Bible as the Word of God, while contradicting its fundamental teachings, the Qur’an is misleading. It must be rejected because such conflicting teachings prove the existence of inconsistencies within its pages. Conflicting truths cannot exist in the inspired Word of God.

As Muhammad was illiterate, he was thoroughly deceived by the spirit masquerading as Gabriel. Instead of seeking enlightenment through the divine light of the Holy Bible, Muhammad’s illiteracy led him to seek enlightenment in the darkness of a cave. What an irony! The inspired Word of the true God would have greatly provided him with the necessary wisdom to distinguish truth from error. As for Muslims, there is still hope for them if they turn to the true God for salvation. Here is a vital clue for Muslims.

For a sincere Muslim to gain salvation, it is absolutely vital for him or her to take in deep spiritual knowledge of God. Without this spiritualknowledge a Muslim simply cannot become a spiritual person. And true spiritualityis attained only when we build our lives around this knowledge of God. Therefore, to gain salvation, it is vital for us to become a spiritual person.

Let’s say you are interested in learning how to play golf. And you went to the bookstore and bought yourself a book on golf. Later, as you read through the pages of that book, you find that not once the word “golf” is mentioned in the entire book. How would you react? It is the same with the Qur’an.

It is absolutely important for Muslims to note that the words “spiritual” and “spirituality” cannot be found in the entire Qur’an. How can the Qur’an then provide spiritual guidance to Muslims when it that does not even mention it at all? Spirituality is often related to the deepest values by which a God-fearing person determines to live. As such, an individual’s spirituality is crucial for the attainment of his or her salvation. How can Muslims then seek spiritualguidance from the Qur’an when it does not speak on this vital issue at all? Can a book that does not contain the word “spiritual” or “spirituality” comprehend the deep spiritual things of God? We do not think so.

There are many Qur’an Concordances available on the Internet. A concordance will help you to find out the number of times a particular word appears and where it appears in the Qur’an. All you have to do is enter the keyword. For example, if you key in the word “Hell,” every occurrence of this word in the Qur’an will be shown to you. And you can also see in which Qur’anic verses this word appears. However, you will find no reference whatsoever in the Qur’an for the terms, “spiritual” and “spirituality.” Can you comprehend the full implication of what this means?

In contrast, in numerous passages of the Bible we can find the term “spiritual” and “spirituality” mentioned within its pages. It also highlights the importance of being a spiritual person. For the benefit of our Muslim readers, we will cite just one example from the Bible:

1 Corinthians 2:11-15: No one has come to know the things of God, except the spirit of God. Now we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been kindly given us by God. These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritualmatters with spiritual words. But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man.

Muslims, only when you examine spiritual matters spiritually, you can gain salvation. For that, you need to study the Holy Bible.

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