How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
Islam has been growing in the West. Interest in its teachings is growing alongside it. So many people have gone looking for reliable information about it.
However, it is difficult to find reliable information about Islam. Whenever people talk about Islam, it is always with some political or social goal in mind. So the things they tell you are filled with lies.
-Muslim leaders lie about Islam for political gain.
-Muslim laymen lie about Islam because they want to be accepted.
-Atheists lie about Islam because doing so helps them feel superior to religious people.
-Christians lie about Islam because they want Christianity to triumph over Islam.
-Leftists lie about Islam because they hate the societies within which they live, and Islam can help those.
-Rightists lie about Islam because they want to justify hostility toward Muslims.
-And many more peoples than those lie about Islam for reasons which are too numerous to count.
I dislike the massive number of lies which are being told about Islam. So I’ve decided to dedicate a portion of this blog to providing reliable information about the religion. You can trust that what I write here is a real part of the theology of Islam.
Before I continue, I should clearly state that I am an Orthodox Christian. I know what Islam is, and I reject it. Be assured that I am not lying about the religion for my own gain. I am genuinely interested in Islam and its proper teachings. I also want my readers, whom I believe are mostly Christian, to leave with the truth after they read my writing.
This is the first post I am writing in my series on Islam, so I think it is fitting that I begin with the account of Muhammad’s first revelations from Allah.
This is the account of Islam’s beginning. The information used to construct it was taken from the first of the canonical book of hadith, the Sahih Bukhari. All Muslims are required to accept this account. To reject it is an Islamic heresy.
Summary of the First Revelations – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
This is the story of how Muhammad became the prophet of Islam. He would often leave his house and go to a nearby cave to meditate, and, while there one day, he was approached by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel told Muhammad to read, although he was illiterate, and Muhammad resisted the angel before finally reading and receiving his first revelations. Afterward, Muhammad told his wife about the event, and she brought him to her cousin, a Nestorian Christian and who had been expelled from the Eastern Roman Empire for heresy, and he affirmed Muhammad’s prophethood.
How Muhammad Became the Prophet of Islam
- Khadija: Muhammad’s first wife
- Waraqa bin Naufal: A Nestorian Christian who was one of the few literate people in the area. Khadija’s cousin.
- Aisha: Muhammad’s wife (the child bride). She narrates the story, but she would not have been present for its events.
1 – Muhammad’s dreams lead him to divine seclusion
Narrated Aisha the mother of the faithful believers: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger was in the form of righteous good true dreams which came true like bright daylight, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him.
2 – Muhammad goes to the cave of Hira
He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many nights before returning to (or desiring to see) his family. He used to take the journey food for the stay with him and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.
3 – Gabriel appears and forces Muhammad to read
The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.” The Prophet added, “Then 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.’”
4 – Muhammad returns home
Then Allah’s Messenger 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 Khadija everything that had 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.”
5 – Muhammad consults a local Nestorian Christian
Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa ibn Naufal bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza, who, during the Period of Ignorance became a Christian and used to write with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight.
6 – Waraqa ibn Naufal confirms Muhammad’s prophethood
Khadija said to him, “O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew”, Waraqa asked, “O my nephew! What have you seen?” Allah’s Messenger described whatever he had seen. Waraqa said, “This is the same one (Gabriel) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.”
Allah’s Messenger asked, “Will they drive me out?” He replied in the affirmative and said, “Anyone (man) who came with something similar to what you have brought, was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day (when you will be turned out) then I would support you strongly.” But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while.
Key Takeaways for Christians
A Christian heretic announced Muhammad’s prophethood – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
Waraqa ibn Nawfal was the man who told Muhammad that he was a prophet. The idea of Muhammad’s prophethood begins with him. A case can be reasonably made that Islam would not exist were it not for Muhammad’s fateful meeting with this man.
And he was a Nestorian heretic.
So Islam has its root in a perverted form of Christianity. Every misdeed done in the name of Islam can trace its genealogy to this moment, this heresy, and this man. This is the reason why the Muslim claim that Islam is an Abrahamic religion isn’t wrong.
Let the existence of Islam and every awful thing done in the name of its god and prophet be a reminder of the horrid consequences of heresy.
How Waraqa came to be – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
Waraqa didn’t appear from nowhere. Rather, he was the result of many social and political factors which happened to meet in seventh-century Arabia. This the account of how Waraqa came to be.
Jesus was real. He lived, he was crucified, he returned, and he told his apostles to spread word of his teachings. They did so, and Christianity was born.
Christianity spread throughout Roman Empire, and both halves came to adopt it as their official religion. The Western half collapsed under barbarian invasions, and the Eastern half did not.
Christianity became the state religion of the Eastern Roman Empire during the faith’s early years. During that time, the dogmatic theology of the religion had not yet been clearly established. So lots of strange teachings spread.
The early Christians eventually formalized their teachings. Most Christians in the East adopted the formal teachings, but some did not. These people were heretics.
The heretics traveled through the Eastern Roman Empire and the lands surrounding it to spread their own theology. They were subverting the early church and causing religious divisions. So the leaders of the Eastern churches asked the Emperor to expel the heretics from his lands. Emperor Theodosius did so in 380 with the Edict of Thessalonica.
So many heretics left the Empire. Some went to Persia, others went northward into the Caucasus, some entered Ethiopia, and some retreated into Arabia.
The heretics who entered the Arabian desert traveled there for a while and encountered the pagan Arabs. They began to preach their heretical teachings, and some of the Arabs believed them.
Waraqas ibn Nawfal was one such Arab. He converted to the Nestorian heresy, taught himself to read, and thereby became one of the more intelligent Arabs. He took the role of a “wise old man” for those around him.
The importance of Gabriel
Islam draws most of its cosmology from Judaism and Christianity. This includes belief in angels. Gabriel is the greatest of those angels which Islam recognizes, and most angelic actions are attributed to him.
Islam also accepts the existence of demons and jinn, which are different creatures. Islamic demons are called shaytan. They are not fallen angels; rather, they are a different class of being which exists to tempt man.
The delay of inspiration – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
The hadith mention that Muhammad would go through periods in which no new divine inspiration came to him. And some people like to say that Muhammad was lying when he said that he was receiving a revelation. The periods without revelation can be used to test their claims.
If Muhammad was lying, then we should expect that his revelations would stop coming during those times when his life was well. We should also expect that they would return when things weren’t going his way. This is because he would not need “Allah’s” help when he was succeeding, but he would need it when he was failing.
If a person wants to study the hadith to test the validity of the “Muhammad was making it all up” claim, then they should pay close attention to the periods during which Muhammad was not receiving revelations.
If you read Islamic texts for a while, then you’ll start to notice an odd tendency among their authors. They almost never refer to Muhammad by his name. Instead, they call him The Prophet or The Messenger of Allah.
I used to think they did this out of convenience. After all, Muhammad is a ridiculously common name among the Muslims. But I no longer do.
It is definitely true that Muhammad is a common Muslim name, and it makes sense that modern Muslims would call their prophet by something other than his name. This helps them avoid confusion.
But this reasoning would not hold for the early Muslims. Muhammad was not such a common name during their time, and they did not need to call him by something else in order to clarify they were talking about him. They were calling him by his titles for a different reason.
Could it be that they were doing so out of respect?
Maybe, but I doubt it. Muhammad’s wives, who were the people most familiar with him, didn’t call Muhammad by his name either. It is strange that they would not call their husband by his name.
I do not know why this peculiarity exists, but it does exist, and I believe it to be important. I do not trust any living Muslim to tell me why this is.
Muslims & Literacy – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
Most Muslims can’t read. The literacy rate within the Islamic community is only around 50%. Not only it their literacy rate low, but it happens to be higher now than it has ever been before.
Not only is illiteracy the norm among Muslims, but it features heavily in the story of Islam’s founding. The story of Muhammad’s first revelation is often treated as proof of a miracle because Muhammad, an illiterate man, was said to have read verses from the Quran.
Later, the people who followed Muhammad, being illiterate themselves, memorized those verses of the Quran which he recited to them. These verses were written some time after Muhammad’s death in order to transform the Quran into a book.
Many Muslims claim that these verses were memorized perfectly and without discrepancy by all those who memorized them. This belief is required in order for the Quran to be perfect, which is another claim Muslims make for Islam.
If Muhammad’s followers memorized things differently, then the written Quran may have the wrong versions of the verses used to construct it. If this is the case, then the Quran is not perfect and Islam is refuted.
Muhammad’s solitude – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
Islam is unique among the major religions because it rejects monasticism. The Quran denounces the practice in the ninth chapter, and some hadith criticize it as well.
However, despite its rejection of monasticism, Islam teaches that the decision to remain in isolation in the mountains is an upright act. Moreover, Muhammad was said to receive his first revelation while he was meditating alone in a cave.
So… Islam rejects monasticism while supporting the decision to live as a religious hermit in the mountains. Yet a religious hermit is a type of monk.
This implies that Islam is only opposed to communal monasticism.
Islam and dreams – How Did Muhammad Become the Prophet of Islam?
People have attached religious importance to dreams for thousands of years. Most religions acknowledge their value to some extent, but Islam seems to attach the most significance to them. Islamic stories often mention dreams which serve as catalysts that drive Muslims to great action. Therefore, it is little wonder that the story of Muhammad’s first revelations would begin with his dreams.
Moreover, many hadith address the proper way for Muslims to think about dreams. Islam has a small theology dedicated to them, and a few books could be written on it.
The Ignorance of the Arabs
Muslim writers call the time before the Arabs embraced Islam The Period of Ignorance. During this period, the Arabs were mostly pagans, although a few Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians lived in the peninsula. Shortly after the rise of Islam, these people were expelled or killed and the Muslim invasions occurred
That Muslims refer to the pre-Islamic period as a time of ignorance is a sobering reminder of how horrible the world used to be. Modern man can easily look at the squalid state of the Islamic World and look down on Islam because of it. However, when the Arabs adopted Islam, the religion really was a massive humanitarian improvement over what came before.
Here’s an example of such an improvement:
During the pre-Islamic period, wealthy Arabian men would often keep giant harems of 30 or more women. But when Islam was adopted, this practice was reduced to four, which was a massive leap toward monogamy. Yet when we look at Islam today and see that Muslim men are permitted to marry up to four women, we recognize it as a backward religion.