Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Revisiting the issue of whether Muhammad was certain of his own salvation

Sam Shamoun

Bassam Zawadi added an appendix to his article seeking to refute my claim that Muhammad was uncertain of his salvation since his god is unreliable and cannot be trusted.

We suggest reading my article and then Zawadi’s appendix before embarking on this rebuttal.

I had quoted Ibn Kathir’s explanation of Q. 46:9 to prove that the passage is referring to Muhammad’s salvation, i.e. Muhammad was uncertain about what would happen to him in the afterlife. Since Zawadi has shown that he has a hard time comprehending what he reads I am therefore not surprised that he didn’t get the point and wonders how Ibn Kathir’s narration confirms my position.

It is very simple. In his explanation of Q. 46:9 Ibn Kathir quoted a hadith concerning Muhammad being uncertain about the eternal fate of a Muslim who had just died. This shows that the verse in question is addressing the issue of the afterlife, e.g. Ibn Kathir’s narration proves that Muhammad’s statement in Q. 46:9 that he does not know what will happen to him is in relation to his salvation. Muhammad wasn’t saying that he didn’t know what would happen to him during his earthly ministry but was claiming to be uncertain regarding what Allah would do to him in the afterlife!

Hopefully Zawadi gets the point now.

Zawadi tries to squirm him his way out of one of his statements which I used to establish that even he acknowledges that Q. 46:9 is speaking of Muhammad being uncertain of his own salvation.

Is Shamoun blind?. Not only did I not say that this view is implausible, but I said the exact opposite! This is what I said:

Thus, even though I believe that the second solution is still plausible, I will nevertheless personally opt for the first solution.

Let me repost what I quoted from Zawadi, this time by adding a little more context and by putting the relevant sections in capitals:

The first possible solution is that the Qur'anic verse and statement of the Prophet came before the Prophet knew that he was going to paradise…

So we see that the first possible solution is that the Prophet EXPRESSED HIS IGNORANCE OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HIM IN THE NEXT LIFE before he received revelation from Allah that stated that he would be going to paradise…

The second possible solution is that the Qur'anic verse and hadith are not even speaking about the next life, but this life…


As anyone can see Zawadi expressly states that he agrees that Q. 46:9 is referring to Muhammad’s uncertainty of what will happen to him in the next life, even though he qualifies this by saying that this was before Muhammad received revelation that he was going to paradise! And that was my point, namely that even Zawadi accepts the fact that Q. 46:9 is referring to the afterlife not about this temporal life.

Zawadi tries to convince the readers that the Quranic verses which use the Arabic word asa, “may” or “maybe,” doesn’t necessarily imply probability but can also convey certainty. He then produces a list of Muslim authorities who argue that when asa is used in relation to Allah it always means an obligation, i.e., Allah will certainly forgive and pardon. As if he couldn’t get any more desperate he quotes Luke 1:4 to prove that even the English word “may” doesn’t have to refer to possibility, as if the English use of “may” has any relevance in helping us understand what the Arabic word for “may” means and how it is used in the Quran!

Zawadi also thinks that the following exposition proves his point:

The definite proof for this is when Allah revealed Surah 9:102, which states:

And there are others who confessed their faults. They mixed good works with others that are evil. It may be that ALLAH will turn to them with compassion. Surely, ALLAH is Most Forgiving, Merciful.

Waakharoona iAAtarafoo bithunoobihim khalatoo AAamalan salihan waakhara sayyi-an AAasa Allahu an yatooba AAalayhim inna Allaha ghafoorun raheemun

This verse was revealed regarding Abu Lubabah. Tafsir Al-Jalalayn states:

And [there are] others (ākharūn is the subject), [another] folk, who have confessed their sins, for having stayed behind (i'tarafū bi-dhunūbihim is an adjectival qualification of it [the subject] and the predicate is [the following, khalatū 'amalan sālihan]) they have mixed a righteous deed, that is, their former [participation in the] struggle, or the their confession of their sins, or otherwise, with another that was bad, which is their having stayed behind. It may be that God will relent to them. Truly God is Forgiving, Merciful: this was revealed regarding Abū Lubāba and a group of men who tied themselves to the walls of the mosque after they heard what had been revealed regarding those who stayed behind; they swore that only the Prophet would untie them, which he did when this [verse] was revealed. (Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, Commentary on Surah 9:102, Source)

The background of this story is that Abu Lubabah mistakenly told the Bani Qurayza tribe what their fate would be. He realized that this was a big mistake and then he tied himself to the wall of the mosque until God forgave him. Then Surah 9:102 (containing the word 'assa) was revealed. Once it was revealed Abu Lubabah was untied. The question here is why he would do that if the word 'assa indicated that his repentance would be conditional? The answer is because it didn't. Abu Lubabah understood that he was definitely forgiven and that is why he agreed to untie himself.

It is rather unfortunate that Zawadi is unable to see how his own sources actually prove my case, not his.

In the first place, Zawadi’s quote is another example of a straw man argument since it gives the misleading impression that I am somehow arguing that asa means that Allah NEVER forgives anyone. Otherwise, why even bother quoting an example of a person being forgiven? However, I never said or even implied that asa means that Allah NEVER forgives. Nor did I base my case on the meaning of this one specific word since some of the texts I quoted don't even use asa at all!

The point I was making was that the Quran uses a variety of expressions that imply that Allah MIGHT choose to forgive a person but gives no guarantee that he will. This is why the Quran says that the righteous and the prophets can only HOPE for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness since Allah gives absolutely no assurance that he will grant them salvation:

But as to him who repents and believes and does good, MAYBE he will be among the successful: S. 28:67 Shakir

Verily, those who have believed, and those who have emigrated (for Allah's Religion) and have striven hard in the Way of Allah, all these HOPE for Allah's Mercy. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. S. 2:218 Hilali-Khan

Those unto whom they cry seek the way of approach to their Lord, which of them shall be the nearest; they HOPE for His mercy and they FEAR His doom. Lo! the doom of thy Lord is to be shunned. S. 17:57

Verily! We really HOPE that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Musa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allah]." 26:51 Hilali-khan

And Who, I [Abraham] ardently HOPE, will forgive me my sin on the Day of Judgment. S. 26:82 Pickthall

The following texts speak of Allah having the freedom and final choice in deciding whether he will forgive anyone or not:

To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in your ownselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Able to do all things. S. 2:284

Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts. And there is no victory except from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. That He might cut off a part of those who disbelieve, or expose them to infamy, so that they retire frustrated. Not for you (O Muhammad, but for Allah) is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardons) them or punishes them; verily, they are the Zalimun (polytheists, disobedients, and wrong-doers, etc.). And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. S. 3:126-129 Hilali-Khan

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 – cf. 116; 5:18, 40; 48:14

Have you not considered those who attribute purity to themselves? Nay, Allah purifies whom He pleases; and they shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone. S. 4:49

“... And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” S. 24:21

He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned. S. 21:23

It is clear from all of these citations that salvation and forgiveness are not guaranteed to anyone in Islam since Allah is a sovereign despot who can do whatever he wants to whomever he wants whenever he wants.

Secondly, the only reason that Zawadi even thinks that Abu Lubabah was “forgiven” is because Muhammad came to set him free which, however, is inconclusive. Moreover, how does Abu Lubabah’s case prove that Allah will do this for everyone?

Thirdly, just because Allah had supposedly forgiven Abu Lubabah for committing this particular sin this doesn’t mean that Allah had also forgiven all his future sins or that Lubabah had the assurance that he would not go to hell.

Fourthly, this story still fails to prove that Allah gave any assurance that THIS particular sin was forgiven.

It seems that those who “stayed back” got some severe threat of punishment from Allah, and were shocked about that. They tied themselves to the wall of the mosque, and since this was obviously not a good advertisement for Muhammad’s religion here comes a new revelation saying that Allah MAY STILL forgive (contrary to what it looked like before). Yet this is still nothing more than a possibility of forgiveness in the verse, not a definite promise and assurance of forgiveness. This forgiveness still depends on their future performance and obedience. So, Muhammad comes and unties Abu Lubabah as a sign that he still has a chance and Allah is willing to forgive him (if from then on, he will be a loyal follower).

Thus, there is absolutely nothing in the story that demands that it be read as an assurance of forgiveness. It is the same vague language as throughout the Quran that keeps the believers in fear and insecurity.

This leads me to my next point. What does Zawadi do with cases where Muhammad’s companions were afraid to die because they did not know whether Allah would forgive their sins and save them from hell?

Also narrated by Abdel Razak, narrated by Ibn Ayena, narrated by Ismail Ibn Abu Khalid, narrated by Qais Ibn Abu Hazem who said that Abdallah Ibn Rawaha placed his head on his wife’s lap and BEGAN TO WEEP, so his wife began to weep also. So he asked her, "Why are you weeping?" She responded, "I saw you weeping and so I started to weep." He said, "I remembered the saying of Allah - who is glorified and exalted- (Surah 19:71) ‘Not one of you but will pass through it,’ AND I DON’T KNOW IF I WILL BE SAVED FROM IT OR NOT." In another narration it adds the phrase, ‘he said this while he was ill.’

Also narrated by Ibn Jarir, narrated by Abu Kurayb, narrated by Ibn Yaman, narrated by Malik Ibn Maghul, narrated by Ibn Ishaq who said, "Whenever Abu Maysarah would lie down on his bed he would say, ‘I WISH MY MOTHER HAD NEVER BORE ME.’ AND THEN HE WOULD BEGIN TO WEEP. When asked why he was weeping he would respond, ‘We were told that WE WOULD ENTER HELL, BUT WE WEREN’T TOLD THAT WE WOULD EXIT FROM IT.’”

Also narrated by Abdallah Ibn Al-Mubarak, narrated by Al-Hassan Al-Basri who said, "A man said to his brother ‘Have you been told that you shall enter hell?’ The brother answered ‘YES.’ He then asked, Have you also been told that you shall exit from it?’ The brother responded ‘NO.’ So he asked, ‘Then why the laughter?’ The brother responded, ‘I have not seen a person laugh until he joined Allah.’

Narrated by Abdel Razak, narrated by Ibn Ayena narrated by Amru who told us that he heard Ibn Abbas feud with Nafi Ibn Al-Azraq regarding the meaning of, ‘Entering (Al-wurood).’ He said it meant ‘Entering (Hell),’ but Nafi disagreed. Thus Ibn Abbas read (Surah 21:98) "‘Verily ye, and the gods that ye worship besides Allah, are but fuel for Hell! To it will ye surely will enter (Wardan),’ and asked did they enter or not? He also read (Surah 11:98) ‘He will go before his people on the Day of Judgment, and lead them (Awrada-hum) into the fire: but woeful indeed will be the place (Wird) to which they are led (Al-mawrud)!’ Did they enter or not? As for you and I, WE WILL ENTER IT but let us see if we will exit from it and I don’t see Allah taking you out of it because you lie (regarding its meaning)." Nafi then laughed.

Narrated by Ibn Jarir, narrated by Atta who stated that Abu Rashid Al-Harury, who is called Nafi Ibn Al-Azraq, said, "They (the believers) will not hear hell’s roar." So Ibn Abbas responded, "Woe to you! Are you insane? What of Allah’s verse (Surah 11:98) ‘He will go before his people on the Day of Judgment, and lead them (Awrada-hum) into the fire,’ and also the verse (Surah 19:86) ‘And We shall drive the sinners to hell being lead (Wirdan)’? And also the verse (Surah 19:71) ‘Not one of you but will pass (Waridu-ha) through it’? By Allah, the supplication of those who lived previously used to be, ‘O Allah TAKE ME OUT OF HELL FIRE peacefully and allow me to enter paradise victorious.’"

Narrated by Ibn Jarir, narrated by Muhammad Ibn Ubaid Al-Mihrabu, narrated by Asbat, narrated by Abdel Malik, narrated by Ubaid Allah narrated by Mujahid who said, "I was in the company of Ibn Abbas when a man called Abu Rashid, who is also known as Nafi Al-Azraq, came and asked Ibn Abbas, ‘Have you seen the saying of Allah (Surah 19:71) ‘Not one of you but will pass through (Waridu-ha) it: this is, with thy Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished?’ Ibn Abbas replied, ‘As for you and I, O Abu Rashid, WE SHALL ENTER IT (hell), but let us see WHETHER we shall exit from it or not.’"

Narrated by Abu Dawud Al-Tayalisi, narrated by Sha’aba, narrated by Abdallah Ibn Al-Sa’ib about those who heard Ibn Abbas read the verse (Surah 19:71) ‘Not one of you but will pass through (Waridu-ha) it,’ meaning the infidels. This is how it was narrated by Amru Ibn Al-Walid Al-Basti that he heard Ikrimah read it likewise.

Also narrated by Al-Awfi, narrated by Ibn Abbas who said, "(Surah 19:71) ‘Not one of you but will pass through (Waridu-ha) it’ means that the righteous and the sinner (shall enter hell). For don’t you hear what Allah said to Pharaoh (Surah 11:98) ‘He will go before his people on the Day of Judgment, and lead them (Awrada-hum) into the fire,’ and also the verse (Surah 19:86) ‘And We shall drive the sinners to hell being lead (Wirdan)’? So he called ‘passing through’ (Wird) AN ENTRY INTO HELL AND NOT AN EXIT OUT OF IT.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 19:71)

Doesn’t the fear and uncertainty of Muhammad’s companions show that even those who actually knew the language of the Quran better than anyone else could plainly see that their god had given them absolutely no assurance of salvation and forgiveness of sins?

Sixthly, what makes Zawadi’s reply rather disturbing is that it gives the misleading impression that the scholars unanimously hold to the view that Q. 9:102 was “revealed” in reference to Abu Lubabah informing the Banu Qurayza that they would be murdered, when such is not the case just as the following commentaries prove:

(And (there are) others who have acknowledged their faults…) [9:102-103]. Ibn al-Walibi reported that Ibn 'Abbas said: “This verse was revealed about some people who failed to join the Messenger of Allah at the Battle of Tabuk and then regretted it, saying: 'We are enjoying shelter and shade with the women while the Messenger of Allah and his Companions are engaging in Jihad. By Allah, we shall tie ourselves to the columns [of the mosque] and remain tied until the Messenger himself unties and pardons us'. And they tied themselves to the columns of the mosque. When the Messenger of Allah returned from the battle, he passed by them and asked about who they were. He was told: 'These are the people who failed to join you. They vowed to remain in their position until you untie them yourself'. The Prophet said: 'And I swear that I will not set them free until I am commanded to do so nor will I pardon them unless it is Allah Who pardons them first. They have failed to join me and shunned fighting alongside the Muslims'. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. When it was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, sent for them, freed them and pardoned them. When they were freed, they said: 'O Messenger of Allah, these are our riches which caused us to fail to join you, spend them on charity on our behalves to purify us and ask forgiveness for us'. He said: 'I was not commanded to take anything from your riches'. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, then revealed (Take alms of their wealth, wherewith thou mayst purify them and mayst make them grow…) [9:103]”. Said Ibn 'Abbas: “They were ten men”. (Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi; bold emphasis ours)


(And (there are) others) and of the people of Medina, there are other people: Wadi'ah Ibn Judham al-Ansari, Abu Lubabah Ibn 'Abd al-Mundhir al-Ansari and Abu Tha'labah (who have acknowledged their faults) by not joining in the Battle of Tabuk. (They mixed a righteous action) they went forth with the Prophet once (with another that was bad) and stayed behind once. (It may be) 'may be' ['asa] when used in connection with Allah denotes a requisite (that Allah will relent towards them) forgive them. (Lo! Allah is Relenting) towards those who repent among them, (Merciful) towards he who dies in a state of repentance. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Q. 9:102)

Allah then explained to the Prophet what he should take of their wealth because they had asked him to take some of it because they had stayed behind and not taken part in the Battle of Tabuk. But the Prophet initially refused to take anything from them until, that is, Allah explained the matter to him, saying: (Take alms) a third (of their wealth) the wealth of those who stayed behind, (wherewith thou mayst purify them) from their sins (and mayst make them grow) and reform them with it, (and pray for them) ask forgiveness for them and make supplication for them. (Lo! Your prayer) your asking for their forgiveness and your supplications (is an assuagement for them) tranquility for their hearts that their repentance WILL BE ACCEPTED. (Allah is Hearer) of what they say, i.e. their saying: take our wealth, (Knower) of their repentance and intention. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Q. 9:103)

It is rather unfortunate that Zawadi who acts as if he can read Arabic and pretends that he understands English is constantly embarrassing himself and demonstrating that he has no problem using lies and deceptions to accomplish his aims.

And isn’t it ironic that these individuals were still required to go to Muhammad to pay him some money as “charity” and pray for their forgiveness in order for their repentance to be accepted?!

Thus, the Quran turns Muhammad into a co-savior with Allah, one whose intercession is necessary for salvation and forgiveness of sins. And this is despite the fact that Muhammad himself was uncertain of his own salvation!

I had asked why Allah commanded Muhammad in Q. 110:1-3 to seek his forgiveness when he had already promised him that all of his sins had already been forgiven. Here is how Zawadi answered the question:

Could it be that the reason why Allah informed His Messenger that His past and future sins are forgiven is because Allah already knew how Muhammad would continue to live out the rest of his life? You think that Muhammad could turn around and say "Haha God! I can do whatever I want now since you promised to forgive all my future sins!"? Obviously not. Allah already forgave the Prophet in advance and informed him in advance because He knew that he would continue repenting and worshipping Allah until the day he dies.

This fails to answer my question. I am not asking for the reason why Allah told his false prophet that all his immoral, wicked acts which he had committed and would continue to commit would be forgiven. I am asking why Allah commanded Muhammad to seek forgiveness at all WHEN he had already told him that he had pardoned all of his vile transgressions.

If Allah already knew in advance how Muhammad would continue to live the rest of his days and on that basis had already promised him that all of his sins were forgiven then there was absolutely no need for Allah to “reveal” a sura commanding his messenger to seek his forgiveness.

Zawadi then posts a hadith which he again thinks confirms his point:

Aisha asked the Prophet a similar question:

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 361:

Narrated Aisha:

The Prophet used to offer prayer at night (for such a long time) that his feet used to crack. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Why do you do it since Allah has forgiven you your faults of the past and those to follow?" He said, "Shouldn't I love to be a thankful slave (of Allah)?' When he became old, he prayed while sitting, but if he wanted to perform a bowing, he wound get up, recite (some other verses) and then perform the bowing.

All Zawadi is doing at this point is illustrating that he is good at attacking straw men and throwing out red herrings. I am not asking the reason why Muhammad asked for Allah’s forgiveness, so this is nothing more than a straw man. I am asking WHY ALLAH COMMANDED MUHAMMAD TO SEEK FORGIVENESS FOR HIS SINS!

It is one thing for Muhammad to continue to ask pardon out of gratitude to his lord. It is another thing altogether for Allah to continue to demand that Muhammad seek for forgiveness even after he had informed him that he had already forgiven him. Does Zawadi understand the difference?

Besides, Muhammad’s reply conflicts with Q. 110 since this surah does not say that the reason why Allah commanded his false prophet to ask for pardon even after he had been informed that all his sins were already forgiven is because Allah wanted him to show gratitude.

That Allah would continue to command Muhammad to seek for forgiveness even after he had told him that all his sins were already forgiven is a clear indication that he is a god that cannot be trusted. This is especially so when we take into account that the Quran describes Allah as the greatest deceiver of them all and depicts him as changing his mind, thereby resulting in Allah having to expunge commandments from the Quran and replacing them with others!

But that’s not all. There is every indication that Allah actually changed his mind and did not forgive Muhammad but condemned him to hell instead.

According to the Islamic sources Muhammad agreed to change the words of the Quran due to the suggestions of one of his scribes. For instance, the following passage:

Who is more wicked than the man who invents a falsehood about God, or says: “This was revealed to me”, when nothing was revealed to him? Or the man who says, “I can reveal the like of what God has revealed”? S. 6:93 N.J. Dawood

Was “revealed” in reference to the scribe Abdallah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh:

(Who is guilty of more wrong than he who forgeth a lie against Allah, or saith: I am inspired…) [6:93]. This was revealed about the liar, Musaylimah al-Hanafi. This man was a soothsayer who composed rhymed speech and claimed prophethood. He claimed that he was inspired by Allah. (… and who saith: I will reveal the like of that which Allah hath revealed?) [6:93]. This verse was revealed about ‘Abd Allah ibn Sa‘d ibn Abi Sarh. This man had declared his faith in Islam and so the Messenger of Allah called him one day to write something for him. When the verses regarding the believers were revealed (Verily, We created man from a product of wet earth…) [23:12-14], the Prophet dictated them to him. When he reached up to (and then produced it as another creation), ‘Abd Allah expressed his amazement at the precision of man’s creation by saying (So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators!). The Messenger of Allah said: “This [‘Abd Allah’s last expression] is how it was revealed to me”. At that point, doubt crept into ‘Abd Allah. He said: “If Muhammad is truthful, then I was inspired just as he was; and if he is lying, I have uttered exactly what he did utter”. Hence Allah’s words (and who saith: I will reveal the like of that which Allah hath revealed). The man renounced Islam. This is also the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbas according to the report of al-Kalbi. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abdan informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Nu‘aym> Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Umawi> Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar> Yunus ibn Bukayr> Muhammad ibn Ishaq> Shurahbil ibn Sa‘d who said: “This verse was revealed about ‘Abd Allah ibn Sa‘d ibn Abi Sarh. The latter said: ‘I will reveal the like of that which Allah has revealed’, and renounced Islam. When the Messenger of Allah Mecca, this man fled to ‘Uthman [ibn ‘Affan] who was his milk brother. ‘Uthman hid him until the people of Mecca felt safe. He then took him to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and secured an amnesty for him”. (‘Ali ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul; bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Quran had warned Muhammad that if he ever decided to tamper with the so-called revelation that Allah would cut off his aorta or his life-vein.

And when Our signs are recited to them, clear signs, those who look not to encounter Us say, 'Bring a Koran other than this, or alter it.' Say: 'It is not for me to alter it of my own accord. I follow nothing, except what is revealed to me. Truly I fear, if I should rebel against my Lord, the chastisement of a dreadful day.' S. 10:15 Arberry

it is the speech of a noble Messenger. It is not the speech of a poet (little do you believe) nor the speech of a soothsayer (little do you remember). A sending down from the Lord of all Being. Had he invented against Us any sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand, then We would surely have cut his life-vein. S. 69:40-46 Arberry

Lo and behold this is precisely what happened to Muhammad! Muslim tradition attests that Muhammad died a very painful death due to the effects of poison, effects that he claimed cut at his jugular vein:

The messenger of God said during the illness from which he died - the mother of Bishr had come in to visit him – “Umm Bishr, at this very moment I feel my aorta being severed because of the food I ate with your son at Khaybar.” (The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York (SUNY), Albany 1997] Volume VIII, p. 124)

In a footnote the translator of al-Tabari writes that the expression, “it severed his aorta,” need not be taken literally since it can be an expression denoting extreme pain.

Other sources corroborate that Muhammad’s painful death was due to the poison he had ingested years before his demise:

Anas reported that a Jewess came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) with poisoned mutton and he took of that what had been brought to him (Allah's Messenger). (When the effect of this poison were felt by him) he called for her and asked her about that, whereupon she said: I had determined to kill you. Thereupon he said: Allah will never give you the power to do it. He (the narrator) said that they (the Companion's of the Holy Prophet) said: Should we not kill her? Thereupon he said: No. He (Anas) said: I felt (the affects of this poison) on the uvula of Allah's Messenger. (Sahih Muslim, Book 026, Number 5430)

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

‘Umar bin Al-Khattab used to let Ibn Abbas sit beside him, so ‘AbdurRahman bin ‘Auf said to ‘Umar, “We have sons similar to him.” ‘Umar replied, “(I respect him) because of his status that you know." 'Umar then asked Ibn 'Abbas about the meaning of this Holy Verse:-- "When comes the help of Allah and the conquest of Mecca...” (110.1)

Ibn ‘Abbas replied, “That indicated the death of Allah's Apostle which Allah informed him of.” ‘Umar said, “I do not understand of it except what you understand.” Narrated ‘Aisha: The Prophet in his ailment in which he died, used to say, “O ‘Aisha! I still feel the pain caused by the food I ate at Khaibar, and at this time, I feel as if my aorta is being cut from that poison.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 59, Number 713)

Compare the foregoing statements with the following Quranic citation:

We indeed created man; and We know what his soul whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein. When the two angels meet together, sitting one on the right, and one on the left, not a word he utters, but by him is an observer ready. And death's agony comes in truth; that is what thou wast shunning! S. 50:16-19 Arberry

Allah warns those who disbelieve that he is nearer to them than their jugular vein, an obvious threat that he has the power to kill them, and further threatens that they would experience an agonizing death.

The fact that the Islamic narrations state that Muhammad died a severe death, describing his death in language that is reminiscent of Q. 69:45-46 and 50:16-19, supports the position that he was being punished for the heinous sin of changing the Quran at the suggestions of his scribe.

This means that Allah did not forgive all of Muhammad’s sins but actually killed him for changing the text of the Quran by including the statements of an uninspired scribe!

For more on this issue and to see why Allah murdering his prophet doesn’t imply that we somehow believe that the Quran is true or that Muhammad’s deity must truly be God, we recommend this article.

Zawadi ends by asking me why I continue to repent if my debt has already been paid for by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only is this another red herring it is also a false analogy which further proves that Zawadi simply didn’t understand my argument and is incapable of getting the point (which doesn’t surprise me in the least). However, as Zawadi rightfully said this question is a different topic which will have to be addressed in another rebuttal.

In conclusion, Zawadi once again failed to refute the fact Muhammad was uncertain of his own salvation. The evidence we presented showed that Muhammad had every reason to be afraid since his god Allah is a deceiver who cannot be trusted to do as he says.

Lord Jesus willing, we will have more replies to Zawadi’s “responses” in the near future.

Further reading:

Whistling in the Dark by Jochen Katz is another rebuttal to Zawadi's central argument from a different perspective.