Saturday, 18 April 2009

Jesus and Muhammad: Fifteen major differences (Part I: 1-8)

Here lies The big difference

Aggressive Islam is on the march. 9/11; violent protests over cartoons; many pushes to establish Islamic courts in Europe and Canada; demands to silence free speech, to criminalize criticism of the messenger of Allah; the President of Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map, and writing a long and
confused rant, inviting the President of the US to accept Islam; the election of Hamas—these actions are easy to detect and decipher. Islam wants its way, and no one should resist. It is the best religion, after all.

But there is something more subtle, gradual and dangerous going on than this in-your-face aggression. In the name of peace and tolerance—which we all want—some lines are being blurred. Islam says that Jesus was a mere prophet, only a human messenger even within Islam—never mind that he lived six hundred years before Muhammad. He and Muhammad are virtually the same. Both preached peace, but called for
the sword, when necessary. But in the final analysis Muhammad is the last and best prophet. He has the better revelation. If only we could see this! So goes the subtle and dangerous strategy.

However, this list of fifteen differences between Jesus and Muhammad disagrees with this insidious message. The differences between the two are profound.

It is better to be clear than confused, and the typical message of Islam washes away clarity about Christianity and whitewashes its own message. In fact,
many well-meaning western scholars also muddy the waters. Some aspects and policies of the two religious leaders cannot be reconciled, and it is high time we acknowledge this. If the readers are disappointed about these irreconcilable differences, then at least they will not be confused at the end of this list.

Before we begin the list, we must answer a strategy of Muslim propagandists and missionaries. Sometimes they attempt to refute lists like this. But attempting to do this is like reviewing a long, long book only from the last chapter. The reviewer has skipped over the hard work of reading all of the chapters. In the same way, Muslim polemicists must not skip over the hard work found in the back-up articles. This list is only a «summary« of many articles. It comes from a lot of strenuous labor. So Muslim missionaries must refute these articles before they earn the right to reply to a mere summary.

If the readers would like to see multiple translations of the Qur’an, they should click on
this website. This article uses the New International Version (NIV), but multiple translations may be read here.

The first two differences set the stage for all the others.

1. Personal sin

One suffered from sin. The other was sinless.


In Mecca, he receives this command about his sin.

Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy ”sin” [dh-n-b] and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. (Pickthall)

The Arabic word “dhanaba” (verb form) come from the root “dh-n-b” and is defined below in this section. This verse is unambiguous. Muhammad has sin.

It is one of the great ironies in the Qur’an that the next sura (chapter) can be titled either "Muhammad" or "War" (qital, root is q-t-l). This verse was revealed in Medina.

So know (O Muhammad….) that… none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin, [dh-n-b] and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes). (Hilali and Khan)

Note that Muhammad implores forgiveness from Allah not only for himself but for Muslim men and women. This means that
average humans have «dh-n-b», and so does Muhammad.

The final example of Muhammad’s sin comes from Sura
48, a Medinan chapter.

That Allah may forgive you your sins [dh-n-b] of the past and the future and complete His Favour on you, and guide you on the Straight Path… (Hilali and Khan)

This verse was probably revealed in 628, barely four years before he died of a fever in AD 632. Does this mean that the messenger of Allah had sin before AD 628? This seems to be the case. To be forgiven of dh-n-b, one must have it first.

How is dh-n-b defined? Is it only a small weakness? Merely a minor fault?

A Muslim scholar defines it thus: "
Crime; Fault; Offence; Sin; Any act having an evil result" (Omar). A western scholar defines it as "a crime, fault, sin" (Penrice).

here for a list of verses in the Qur’an that describe other persons who suffer from dh-n-b. It means far more than simple errors, small mistakes, superficial weaknesses, minor faults, and brief lapses of memory. It may include these things (all humans do them), but it also has to signify sin, crime, offense, and any act having an evil result (all humans do this also, in one way or another).

What does this sin nature in Muhammad mean in practical and down-to-earth terms today? If a researcher points out an atrocity or a violent act that Muhammad committed, then for a devout Muslim the atrocity or act is not wrong or unjust or sinful.
It must be right, just, and sinless, no matter what the facts say because Muhammad was sinless—again, no matter what the Qur’an says. And the vicious circle goes round and round.

This article demonstrates that Muhammad’s mortal nature includes sin.


He poses this rhetorical question to his opponents and accusers in John 8:45-46:

Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can you prove me guilty of any sin?

In his culture, "prove guilty of sin" refers to his keeping the Law. Did he deviate from it? His opponents do not take him up on his challenge.

Next, Peter lived and walked with Jesus for at least three years. If anyone could, then the chief Apostle surely saw some minor sin in the Lord, right?

To this you [Christians] were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:21-22)

In verse 22, Peter quotes from Isaiah 53:9, which Jesus fulfilled in his suffering and death. So the chief Apostle did not find even a minor sin in Jesus Christ—no sin at all.

Finally, the Apostle John also lived and walked with Jesus for three years. What is his assessment of Jesus from his own observations?

But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5)

The verdict is in: John never saw a sin in the Lord, whom he saw up close and personal.

Both declarations by Peter and John are remarkable. It is one hundred percent certain that if we had followed these apostles for three years every day, then
we would have seen at least one sin. But these two did not see even one sin in Jesus.

2. Confronting Satan

One nervously seeks refuge from Satan. The other had complete confidence and authority.


113, a short one, revealed in Mecca, says in its entirety:

Say [Prophet], "I seek refuge with the Lord of daybreak against the evil in what He has created, the evil in the night when darkness gathers, the evil in witches when they blow on knots, the evil in the envier when he envies." (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004, his insertion; cf. Suras 7:200-201; 16:98; 41:36; and Sura 114)

The hadith is the record of Muhammad words and actions outside of the Qur’an. Bukhari is considered a highly reliable collector and editor. The following hadith indicates that Muhammad believes that some sort of knots on the head is the result of Satan and witchcraft.

Allah's Apostle said, "Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep" (
Bukhari; see a parallel hadith here)

This next hadith demonstrates that Muhammad was so deeply influenced by magic that he believed that he was having sex with his wives, but in reality he was not.

Narrated Aisha: Magic was worked on Allah's Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not. (
Bukhari, and read the hadith below this linked one.)

The highly respected conservative commentator, Sayyid Abul A’
La Maududi (d. 1979), says that the hadiths on Muhammad’s bewitchment are sound. "As far as the historical aspect is concerned, the incident of the Holy Prophet's being affected by magic is absolutely confirmed" (
Maududi and scroll down to "Question of Holy Prophet being affected by magic"). Maududi is right. Muhammad was bewitched. And this is not part of true Prophethood.


Throughout his three-year ministry, he exercised spiritual authority over the kingdom of darkness, wherever he went. After the Great Test (Luke 4:1-13; see no. seven, below, in this list) Luke records the first public encounter with a demon:

33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God! 35 "Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him. (Luke 4:33-35)

Jesus speaks a stern command: "
Come out of him!" This reveals spiritual authority and decisiveness, which is repeated time and again in Jesus’ ministry.

This article contrasts Muhammad’s fears and bewitchment with Christ’s commanding authority over Satan and dark powers.

short article cites many hadiths and a modern commentator.

mid-length article analyzes Muhammad’s psychological instability.

This article refutes some recent explanations or denials of Muhammad’s bewitchment.

For an analysis of Muhammad’s suicidal thoughts, see
this article.

index page references several articles and rebuttals and replies.

3. Small-scale violence

One killed mockers and enemies. The other rises above such violence.


He assassinated (or threatened to murder) at least eleven men or women who insulted or threatened him. Several of his victims merely composed satirical poems.

These verses offer support of this policy. Medinan Sura 33:60-61 says:

60 If the hypocrites, the sick of heart, and those who spread lies in the city [Medina] do not desist, We shall arouse you [Prophet] against them, and then they will only be your neighbors in this city for a short while. 61 They will be rejected wherever they are found, and then seized and killed. (Haleem, his insertions)

Muhammad had already assassinated some opponents for their insults and mockery before these verses were sent down, but now they give him
divine endorsement.


During the last week of Jesus’ life, the tension between him and the religious establishment rises. The leaders look for a way to trap and then arrest him. So they ask him whether it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. Apparently, they saw him as a political revolutionary who opposed Roman occupation. Would he endorse the taxation of his fellow Jews for the benefit of unclean Gentiles? However, they did not know that he was a king, but that his kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). So he replied with these famous words that are often quoted, though people may not know the exact reference and context (Luke 20:20-26; cf. Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17).

Jesus speaks first; his opponents reply.

24 "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?" 25 "Caesar’s," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s." 26 They were unable to trap him in what he said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent. (Luke 20:20-26)

After this disarming reply, it is
important to note what he did not do. He did not send Simon the Zealot, one of the Twelve, to follow an antagonistic leader, mingle in the large crowd of pilgrims during the Feast of Passover, sneak up on him, stab him, and disappear in the crowd again. These kinds of assassinations were not unknown in the decades before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. But violence was not necessary. God was with Jesus.

This article examines two very different reactions when they were insulted or threatened.

Muhammad’s Dead Poet’s Society provides a timeline of the death of poets and poetesses. It also replies to Muslim polemics for their prophet’s murders.

This is a
shorter version of the previous ones.

This page offers articles on how Muhammad dealt with personal enemies.

4. Religious freedom

One suppresses it. The other permits it.


Polytheists controlled the Black Stone housed in the Kabah shrine. This was both a spiritual center (in pagan logic) and a financial center (in real terms). Muhammad eventually conquered it in early AD 630. After declaring amnesty for Meccan pagans, he changes his tone. He imposes this ultimatum on them and all pagans.

Sura 9:5 says:

Then, when the months made unlawful for fighting expire, kill the mushriks [polytheists] wherever you find them, and seize them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, establish Salat [prayer five times a day] and pay the Zakat dues [charity tax], then let them go their way. (Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, vol. 2, p. 175)

This verse says that
unless pagans say their prayers the Muslim way and pay a forced "charity" tax, they will be killed.

Next, this hadith says that Muhammad is called
to fight until people acknowledge that only Allah is the right deity and Muhammad is his messenger. The people must also give the messenger their money.

Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah." (
Bukhari; parallel hadith here)

Malik (d. 795) is a founder of an Islamic school of law and a reliable collector and editor of hadith. He records this tradition about Muhammad’s policy on those who leave Islam:

Yahya related to me…that the Messenger of Allah…said, "
If someone changes his religion—then strike off his head!" (
Online source)


let people go their own way, if they refuse to follow him. He said, "If anyone comes after [follows] me" . . . (Matthew 17:24). The little word "if" implies freedom to accept the way of Jesus or to walk away from it. He never raised a holy army to force anyone to convert. In John 6, some disciples decided to walk away from him. He had spoken difficult words (that He had to die for the sins of mankind).

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:66-69)

It is important to note what Jesus did not do or say. He did not threaten them with physical death. He did not send a disciple or two to assassinate one of the deserters (a leader, perhaps), to teach the rest and the Twelve a lesson. "

This article explores why the West and other free countries around the globe must protect freedom of speech.

This short article contrasts Islam's coercion of conscience with Christianity's freedom of conscience.

This article analyzes Muhammad’s policy on apostates in the Qur’an, hadith, and Islamic law.

Maududi in
this booklet argues that Sura 9:11-12 refers to apostates and that they should be put to death (scroll down to "The Proof in the Qur’an for the Commandment to Execute Apostates").

This website has
an overview of Islam on apostates. They should be given time to repent, but if they refuse, they must be killed. Women apostates may be killed according to some schools of law, or she may be imprisoned and whipped.

5. Large-scale violence

One launched the first Crusade. The other ordains preaching alone.


It is true that the word "Crusade" comes from the word "cross," but it is used here in the broad sense of "holy war." Muslims today forget that
Muhammad was the first to launch one, long before the western Europeans responded with theirs. In the ten years that he lived in Medina, he either sent out or went out on seventy-four raids, skirmishes and battles. Sura 9 is his last revelation in its entirety before he dies. He commissions his followers to wage war on Jews and Christians or the People of the Book or Scripture (= Bible).

Sura 9:29 says:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued (Hilali and Khan, insertions in parentheses are theirs)

This verse that commands battle against Christians and Jews is all about theology and belief. It says nothing explicit about a real and physical harm done to Islam. Muhammad launched his Tabuk Crusade in late AD 630 against the Byzantine Christians. He had heard a rumor that an army was mobilizing to invade Arabia, but the rumor was false, so his 30,000 jihadists returned home, but not before imposing a jizya tax on northern Christians and Jews. They had
three options: (1) fight and die; (2) convert to Islam; (3) or submit and pay the second-class-citizen jizya tax for the "privilege" of living under Islam.


After he was resurrected from the dead and just before he ascended to rule on high, he sends forth his followers to preach the gospel without violence. In Evangelical Christianity this passage is known as the Great Commission.

18 Then Jesus came to [the disciples]
and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

Nothing in these verses command warfare. For centuries after Christ’s resurrection and ascension, his disciples crisscrossed the Mediterranean world preaching without violence. Despite being persecuted, they turned the world right-side up and transformed it.

Here is a back-up article:
Timeline of the Islamic Crusades.

This article analyzes Matthew 10:34 and Sura 9:123, a jihadist verse. Jesus does not order his disciples to kill people with sharp swords.

This article also looks at verses that seem to say that Jesus’ followers should use swords. But he does not order any kind of jihad—not even close.

These articles (
here and here) explain the differences between Muhammad’s wars of worldwide conquest and the Old Testament’s limited wars more than 3,000 years ago.

6. Martyrdom

One promises earthly and heavenly rewards for dying in a holy war. The other says his martyrdom promises his followers heaven.


Sura 4 was revealed over a three year period in the middle of Muhammad’s career (AD 625-627). He is not quite as secure as he will be when he conquers Mecca in AD 630. For now, he needs to recruit jihadists for his raids, conflicts, and wars. One way to get them to join up is to promise earthly or heavenly rewards.

Let those fight in the cause of God Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of God, - whether he is slain or gets victory - Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value)…(Yusuf Ali)

Next, these two verses in Sura 4 teach that Allah has created at least a two-tier system in his Muslim ummah or community: (1) Those who "strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives"; (2) those who sit at home. The disabled are in a separate category.

Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward; 96 Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy…(Hilali and Khan)

At the end of Muhammad’s life, Muhammad reinforces this two-caste system: see Sura 9:38-39, 41, 44, 86, 87.

Finally, as seen in 4:74, an economic bargain is offered to jihadists in this next verse. Allah purchases their lives in exchange for Islamic paradise. Sura 9 is the last sura to be revealed in its entirety.

Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'an. . . Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded … (Hilali and Khan)

Allah and Muhammad are completely wrong about the Bible’s command to fight in bloody wars in order to bring heavenly rewards. Moses ordered wars that were time-specific (more than 3,000 years ago), location-specific (holy land), and
purpose-specific. But Moses or Joshua or the judges did not promise heaven, automatically, for the express act of dying in wars.

All of these passages use
win-win-win logic from Muhammad’s point of view. If a jihadist dies fighting, then he gets Islamic paradise. If he wins and lives, then he gets material spoils. If he is defeated but escapes with his life, then he gets to fight another day.


Matthew 5:10 10:39, 19:29 speak of an uncompromising commitment to follow Jesus, laying down one’s life mainly in a spiritual way, and possibly in a physical death under severe and fatal persecution, but the verses are not found in the context of a bloody religious war. Rather, Jesus calls his disciples to
pick up their cross and follow him (Matt. 10:38, 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23, 14:27), but he also says that they should do this daily (Luke 9:23). The image of the cross means that they must follow Jesus no matter what, on a daily basis, which precludes an earthly martyrdom, which is done only once; per contra, a "daily martyrdom" is continuous. A twisted love of physical death is not in view in those New Testament passages in the context of holy wars.

The following cannot be repeated too often because it diametrically opposes the Islamic doctrine of salvation, or how to get into heaven: only Christ’s "Martyrdom" guarantees a believer’s place in heaven; only Christ’s Ultimate Good Work on the cross paves the way to God. Thus, the
Christian does not (or should not) have a psychological inducement to kill himself or to be killed in battle to achieve heaven. He needs only trust in Christ.

For more information on the Qur’an’s economic bargain of death for jihadists in holy wars and how it differs from the Old and New Testaments, see
this article.

7. Wealth

One took it by force. The other resisted this temptation.


Besides forcing religious conformity and the submission of non-Muslims, he was after wealth.

Sura 48 was revealed in AD 628, after a treaty with the Meccans and during his conquest of the Jews of Khaybar. This verse predicts future spoils of war for Allah’s beloved prophet. Sura 48:20 says:

Allah has promised you abundant spoils that you will capture, and He has hastened for you this, and He has restrained the hands of men from you, that it may be a sign for the believers, and that He may guide you to a Straight Path. (Hilali and Khan)

Maududi says that the clause "
Allah has promised you abundant spoils that you will capture" refers to the conquests after Muhammad’s takeover of the city of Khaybar. It communicates a general promise of the spoils of any war that he embarks on. (The Meaning of the Qur’an, vol. 5, p. 62, note 35).

However, Allah in this verse warns Muslims and Muhammad not to get attached to material things or to get ensnared by the "love of desires."

The love of desires, of women and sons and hoarded treasures of gold and silver and well bred horses and cattle and tilth, is made to seem [beautiful] to men; this is the provision of the life of this world; and Allah is He with Whom is the good goal (of life). (Shakir)

This verse teaches wisdom, but
Muhammad did not follow it. He is the one who desired women and married many of them—a privilege of numbers reserved only for him (Sura 33:50); he is the one who
traded in slaves, a lucrative business; he is the one who owned vast herds of livestock; he is the one who said that money will expiate or atone for sins; he is the one who bought off converts; he and his successors are the ones who conquered peaceful people who did not harm Islam in the slightest; he is the one who spread out recently collected tax money in his mosque, counting the most he had ever received; he is the one who promised his jihadists heaven if they died, and plunder if they lived. If anyone had the "love of desires," it was the prophet of Islam.


Satan offers Jesus the whole world at the very beginning of his ministry. But he turned down this offer. Luke 4:1-2, 5-7 says:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil . . . 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instance all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will be yours." 8 Jesus answered, "It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’" (cf. Deuteronomy 6:13)

In divine cooperation between Jesus and the Spirit, God allowed Satan to lead Jesus up to a high place and show him all the kingdoms of this world—their glory and political authority (exousia in Greek means political authority; cf. Luke 4:6 and 12:11, 20:20, 23:7). In addition to political authority, kingdom, by definition at the time of Christ, includes material resources, backed by a strong military. However, Jesus raises his and our vision to a spiritual transformation of the world, one soul at a time, without killing people and robbing their money by bloodshed.

The main
back-up article discusses more topics on Muhammad’s policies on accumulating material possessions.

This article critiques Muhammad’s quest for wealth.

8. Marriage

One allowed polygamy and had many wives. The other says one man and one woman.


The Qur’an in Sura 4:3 says:

And if you be apprehensive that you will not be able to do justice to the orphans, you may marry two or three or four women whom you choose. But if you apprehend that you might not be able to do justice to them, then marry only one wife, or marry those who have fallen in your possession. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 305)

Maududi paraphrases the verse: "
If you need more than one [wife] but are afraid that you might not be able to do justice to your wives from among the free people, you may turn to slave girls because in that case you will be burdened with less responsibilities" (note 6) (See Sura 4:24).

However, Muhammad
would not allow polygamy for his son-in-law Ali, because an extra wife would hurt Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, by his first wife Khadija. Fatima was married to Ali.

I heard Allah’s Apostle who was on the pulpit, saying, "Banu Hisham bin Al-Mughira have requested me to allow them to marry their daughter to Ali bin Abu Talib, but I don’t give permission, and will not give permission unless ‘Ali bin Abi Talib divorces my daughter in order to marry their daughter, because Fatima is a part of my body, and I hate what she hates to see, and what hurts her, hurts me." (

Muhammad understands how hurtful polygamy can be for women, but he himself practiced it and allowed it for Muslim men, generally.

Muhammad’s "special" marriage privileges

Moreover, it seems that Allah gave Muhammad special permission to marry as many women as he desired or take them as slaves or concubines,
just as in the pre-Islamic days of "ignorance."

The Qur’an in Sura 33:50, a lengthy verse, grants Muhammad wide latitude in his marriages:

O Prophet, We have made lawful to you those of your wives, whose dowers you have paid, and those women who come into your possession out of the slave-girls granted by Allah, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and aunts, and of your maternal uncles and aunts, who have migrated with you, and the believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet may desire her. This privilege is for you only, not for the other believers…(Maududi vol. 4, p. 111).

This verse says that besides those women whose dower Muhammad paid, he may marry
slave-girls—that is, he may have sex with them (see
this article for this Qur’an-inspired immorality). Maududi references three slave-girls taken during raids, and Mary the Copt, a gift from an Egyptian ruler. Muhammad had sex with her, and there does not seem to be a political need for this. Second, Muhammad may marry his first cousins, and Maududi cites a case in which this happened. Third, if a believing woman offers herself to Muhammad, and he desires her, then he may marry her (Maududi vol. 4, note 88).

This hadith says that Muhammad used to visit nine (or eleven) wives in one night.

Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number." I asked Anas, "Had the Prophet the strength for it?" Anas replied, "We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men)." And Sa'id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). (Bukhari. See the parallel hadiths here, here, and here)

But the capstone of these "special" marriages occurs when Muhammad also
marries the ex-wife (Zainab) of his adopted son (Zaid). His son-in-law divorced her with the prophet standing in the background. In fact, early Islamic sources say that Muhammad catches a glimpse of his daughter-in-law in a
state of undress, so he desired her. Once the divorce is final, Allah reveals to him in Sura 33:36-44 that this marriage between father-in-law and daughter-in-law is legal and moral.


He endorses the model in the Garden of Eden.

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" 4 "Haven’t you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate." 7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" 8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard, but it was not this way from the beginning… (Matthew 19:4-8)

The Old Testament allows polygamy, though it is honest enough to reveal the problems inhering in this ancient custom (e.g. Genesis 16:5 and 1 Samuel 1:6-7). Islam looks like the Old Testament and permits polygamy. However, God’s original intent was to honor women, but polygamy favors men to the exclusion of women. Also,
Jesus fulfills and interprets the Old Testament for Christians, and Eden is his choice. Thus, Christianity protects and honors women.

This page in an online index explains polygamy.

This article further explains why Christians do not accept polygamy.

For a more thorough analysis of polygamy in the Qur’an, go to this
online booklet and click on Chapter 12.

this article n the number of wives and human sexual property Muhammad allowed himself.

Besides the previous articles, this one is also
the back up. At the end, it links to more articles on the marriage and divorce of Zaid, Zainab, and Muhammad.

Continuing on Part II


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