” Muhammad was a mere helper”
Muslims, and certain Islamic narrations, claim that Muhammad is the most exalted of all of Allah’s creatures. They believe that Allah has preferred Muhammad to the rest of the prophets and messengers. However, the Qur’an does not substantiate this assertion since there is someone else who is presented as being more exalted than Muhammad. In fact, this someone else is presented as superior to all other prophets according to the Qur’an.
For instance, when the Qur’an mentions that Allah has preferred some apostles above certain others it specifically mentions Jesus and David:
Those apostles We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them God spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If God had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If God had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but God Fulfilleth His plan. S. 2:253 Y. Ali
And it is your Lord that knoweth best all beings that are in the heavens and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts than on others: and We gave to David (the gift of) the Psalms. S. 17:55 Y. Ali
Notice that Muhammad is not mentioned by name in either one of the citations. We shall see that it is not a coincidence that Jesus and David are mentioned instead.
This next text supposedly quotes David and Solomon as saying:
And We gave David and Solomon knowledge and they said, 'Praise belongs to God who has preferred us over many of His believing servants.' S. 27:15 Arberry
Thus, Allah has preferred David and Solomon above many of his servants. As anyone reading the NT already knows, Jesus is a descendant of David:
"the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh" Romans 1:3
"Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel," 2 Timothy 2:8
By stating that Allah exalted David, the Qur’an is basically agreeing that God chose Jesus’ ancestors above all the rest, a point confirmed by this next text:
Lo! Allah preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of 'Imran above (all His) creatures. They were descendants one of another. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (Remember) when the wife of 'Imran said: My Lord! I have vowed unto Thee that which is in my belly as a consecrated (offering). Accept it from me. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower! And when she was delivered she said: My Lord! Lo! I am delivered of a female - Allah knew best of what she was delivered - the male is not as the female; and lo! I have named her Mary, and lo! I crave Thy protection for her and for her offspring from Satan the outcast. S. 3:33-36 Pickthall
The family of Imran whom Allah chose above all creatures is supposed to be the family of Jesus, specifically his mother’s parents. The Qur’an even identifies Mary as Imran’s daughter:
And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants). S. 66:12 Y. Ali
Moreover, Islamic traditions state that Allah answered the prayer of Jesus’ grandmother by making him and his mother the only ones whom Satan was unable to touch upon their births:
Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, EXCEPT MARY AND HER CHILD." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (3.36) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641; see also Volume 4, Book 54, Number 506)
But the Qur’an doesn’t stop there since it goes on to say that Jesus’ blessed mother is the most exalted of all women:
And when the angels said, 'Mary, God has chosen thee, and purified thee; He has chosen thee above all women. S. 3:42 Arberry
In the same Sura, Jesus is shown to have qualities and titles that no one else has such as being the only person called God’s Word and honoured in the next life:
Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to God; He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is! And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel, And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): ‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe; (I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me. It is God Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.’" -51 Y. Ali
Here is what we have thus far gathered from the teaching of the Qur’an:
- Allah has preferred some messengers above others.
- David and Solomon are some of those messengers that Allah has chosen above the rest.
- David is Jesus’ ancestor.
- Allah has chosen Imran’s family above all creatures.
- Imran is said to be Mary’s father, Jesus’ grandfather.
- Allah has chosen Jesus’ mother Mary above all women.
- Jesus is the only person explicitly said to be honored in the next world.
- Jesus is given specific attributes and titles that are not given to any other messenger.
What this all means is that it is not Muhammad that is the most exalted creature of all according to the Qur’an. Rather, Jesus is the one messenger, the one person, whom Allah has preferred and exalted above all the others. Allah has conferred upon Christ and his family an honour that has not been given to anyone else.
We aren’t the only ones seeing it this way since there is one moderate Muslim writer who candidly admits that, according to the Qur’an, Jesus is the greatest of all prophets. Dr. Nader Pourhassan, after citing surahs 2:253, -46, and 59, says that:
Moslem religious leaders try to isolate Muhammad from all other prophets by saying, "God kept the best for last." Again, this directly contradicts the Koran's teachings. The Koran says that some prophets have been given more than others - that some even talk to God. The example it gives is that of Jesus Christ, not Muhammad…
These passages clearly show that God considered Jesus to be His best prophet, not Muhammad. After all, Jesus revealed himself to be a prophet from childhood, while Muhammad was not inspired until he was forty years old. The Koran relates a number of miracles from Jesus' childhood, but says nothing of this phase of Muhammad's life. The name "Christ" is also used. Unlike Jesus, Muhammad was not a special messenger of God, but a mere helper, who brought justice to the world, and glorified the name of Jesus by setting the record straight about his deeds on earth. His mission was also to eliminate the corruption of the message of those prophets who had gone before him. On the other hand, of Jesus it is said that he was created in a similar way to Adam…
Bear in mind that when God announced His creation of Adam to the angels He commanded them to bow to him. (Pourhassan, The Corruption of Moslem Minds [Barbed Wire Publishing, Las Cruces, New Mexico 2002], pp. 34-35)
Christian readers especially will be interested to learn that the Koran teaches that Jesus was God's best prophet, and that Christians will be placed above non-believers until the Day of Judgment... (Ibid., p. 61)
Moslem religious leaders claim that Muhammad was the greatest prophet ever sent. If this was true, then God would have stated so in the Koran. Instead, when God talks of a prophet being greater than others, the name He mentions is that of Jesus. (Ibid., p. 101)
We couldn’t have put it any better!