UI – Part 146 – Muhammad and Jesus – Let’s Compare
How do these two Prophets differ?
Did Muhammad and Jesus preach a morally equivalent message?
Are all religions the same?
You be the judge. Please share your comments. A resource for much on this posting was the website The Religion of Peace.
Muhammad: “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” (Ibn Ishaq[i] 992)
Jesus: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 5:14)
Muhammad: Stoned women for adultery.
Jesus: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7)
Muhammad: Permitted stealing from unbelievers. (Bukhari[ii] 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764)
Jesus: “Thou shalt not steal.” (Matthew 19:18)
Muhammad: Permitted lying. – taqiyya – (Sahih Muslim[iii] 6303, Bukhari 49:857)
Jesus: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” (Matthew 19:18)
Muhammad: Beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys. (Sahih Muslim 4390)
Jesus: Beheaded no one.
Muhammad: Murdered those who insulted him. (Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)
Jesus: Murdered no one. Preached forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-22, 5:38)
Muhammad: Ordered the murder of women. (Ibn Ishaq 819, 995)
Jesus: Never harmed a woman.
Muhammad: Slept with a 9-year-old child. (Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236)
Jesus: Never had sex with a child
Muhammad: Ordered 65 military campaigns and raids in his last 10 years.
(Ibn Ishaq )
Jesus: Ordered no military campaigns, nor offered any approval of war or violence.
Muhammad: Killed captives taken in battle. (Ibn Ishaq 451)
Jesus: Never took captives. Never killed captives, or anyone for that matter.
Muhammad: Encouraged his men to rape enslaved women. (Abu Dawood[iv] 2150, Qur’an 4:24)
Jesus: Never encouraged rape. Never enslaved women.
Muhammad: Demanded captured slaves and a fifth of all other loot taken in war. (Qur’an 8:41)
Jesus: “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28)
Muhammad: Was never tortured, but tortured others. (Sahih Muslim 4131, Ibn Ishaq 436, 595, 734, 764)
Jesus: Suffered severe torture, but never tortured another.
Muhammad: “And fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is only for Allah” Qur’an 8:39)
Jesus: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44)
Muhammad: What are the Greatest Commandments? “Belief in Allah and Jihad in His cause” (Muslim 1:149)
Jesus: What are the Greatest Commandments? “Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Muhammad: Demanded the protection of armed bodyguards, even in a house of worship. (Qur’an 4:102)
Jesus: Chastised anyone attempting to defend him with force. (John 18:10-12)
Muhammad: Died fat and wealthy from what was taken from others in war or demanded from others in tribute.
Jesus: Demanded nothing for himself. Died without possessions.
Muhammad: Advocated crucifying others. (Qur’an 5:33, Sahih Muslim 16:4131)
Jesus: Was Crucified
Muhammad: According to his followers: Had others give their lives for him. (Sahih Muslim 4413)
Jesus: According to his followers: Gave his life for others. (John 18:11 and elsewhere)
Muhammad: Promoted Hatred – Sura 60:4, “We disbelieve in you (Jews, Christians and Infidels) and there has arisen enmity and hatred between us and you forever until you believe in Allah alone….”
Jesus: Promoted Love: Love God and love neighbor the two most important commandments.
From the website http://www.The Religion of Peace.com, “The two religions (Islam vs. Christianity) contrast sharply even in their positive aspects. The morality of the Qur’an is amateurish and frustratingly obscure for those who try to compare it to what is contained in the Bible. Most of Islam’s holiest book is devoted toward distinguishing and heaping abuse on unbelievers. There are no verses that promote universal love and brotherhood. The few verses that are sometimes held up as examples of tolerance and peace generally require separation from textual and historical context. The difference between Christianity and Islam starts at the top.”
Muhammad died in 632. After he died the Quran was complied. Also the Law of Islam began to be developed. First by early Caliphs and close Companions (the 7 Sahaba), considered scholars, as they were among the closest to Muhammad during his lifetime, and then by future scholars, ulema, seen by the people as learned and knowledgeable as to the teaching and thinking of Muhammad. Their initial focus was the Quran, finalized under the 3rd Caliph Uthman, no doubt reflective of changes made for his benefit and that of the Umayyad Dynasty to follow. Many collections of sayings, commentary, beliefs shared by companions (more than the 7, possibly hundreds) and compiled by scholars were used in the evolution of Sharia (Islamic) Law. The establishment practices and disciplinary actions taken by Caliphs and other subsequent rulers of areas controlled and contained under Allah, the rules employed and judgments applied, were included in the scholarly editions.
Reference is made to Ibn Ishad (he died in 767) a biographer of Muhammad (135 years post Muhammad’s death). Imam Bukhari compiled hadiths.[v] He died in 870CE, 235 years after Muhammad. Muslim Ibn al Hajjaj died in 818, another compiler of rules and regulations considering the conceptualized thinking of Muhammad. Sunan Abu Dawood died 889, he too wrote what conceivably, and believed by followers, as thoughts of Muhammad. These compilations and others comprise foundational aspects of the Law of Islam with differences as to what in fact may be useful to the Sunni, Shia and/or other divisions of Islam.
The hadiths, the collections of scholars, most notably those from the 8th and 9th centuries are applied in the system of jurisprudence in Muslim Countries. They are relied upon even though there exist differences between the tribes, clans, and sects within Islam as to those to use and those most applicable. The Quran, on the other hand, is a universal basis for man-made judgments. First reference in making decisions is the Quran, followed then by the hadiths and the considerations given by modern-day scholars.
Laws of Islam
The Laws of Islam, Sharia, were written after Muhammad died. They evolved from considerations given to Muhammad, but not based on the words of Allah, other than the Quran. That too was composed after Muhammad’s death. The Quran relied on the recall of companions, those close and those associated with Muhammad and compiled by militant leaders, the Caliphs, the years following Muhammad’s unexpected death. There was controversy over the selection of the successors and the content of this holy book. In 656, or just prior, the final version of the Quran was selected, influenced also by the third Caliph Uthman, the first leader of what became the Umayyad Dynasty with a central focus on Damascus. The final selection from more than one version was made by Uthman, the compilers working closely with him to include Hafsah (a young wife of Muhammad), and Zaid, (his young secretary).
Laws of Christianity
The Old Testament gave laws to the Jews. The New Testament, the teachings of Christ, freed Christians from the Laws to achieve Salvation. Believing, have
ing a heart for and a relationship with God became the pathway to the eternal kingdom. The laws, the ethical and moral values provided in the Bible became guidelines, tools of conduct, the preferred lifestyle commanded by God, to be obeyed as volunteers, those justified by their faith. It dismissed with idea that works, good deeds could trump evil acts or bed deeds to attain God’s favor.
What was composed as guidelines was done before Jesus was ever born. It was not a set of standards prepared after. It was not a set of laws composed by authoritarians and leaders taking on a godlike mantel to spread their dominion for personal gain, using god as their standard-bearer.
Muhammad was a mortal with the sinful nature of man, subject to all manner of temptations. It seems he indulged in most of them. He enjoyed women, married many significantly younger women, in addition to A’isha. Many were the spoils of war, the wives of men who were killed in battle, selecting those most beautiful for himself. He enjoyed wealth. He took 1/5 of all that which was pillaged in battle or from raiding caravans. He was a military man, a commander, leading an army supplied by, fed by and enriched by the spoils of conflict while in service to him; their purpose to become victors over any dissent to that which Muhammad preached. He enjoyed servitude, having slaves and a house staff that cared for his needs. He was a teacher. He held court in his household with many, most significantly younger than himself, many just teenagers, girls and boys, discussing his beliefs and what he was told by Allah during periods of revelation. He made judgments when it impacted him, in his favor, to insure there was no opposition to his goals and objectives. He allowed for lies to be told if it advanced his career goal. He was a pedophile by today’s standards of adult conduct. He tortured. He killed others that were in opposition to him. He wanted love, but did not love unconditionally.
Jesus was called the Suffering Servant. He was compassionate. He loved, but not as a lover, but as one who saw value in all mankind. He was discerning, able to differentiate, critically at times, between those who could choose right from wrong, understood selflessness, and knew God. He never married, devoting his life to his followers. For him the sword was not the weapon but the Word. He resisted temptation and led a perfect, sin free life. He loved unconditionally and was punished for the crimes of others, all mankind, the sins of man, so they might enjoy freedom and be saved for all eternity. Persecuted, he did not retaliate but preached forgiveness. He was not a pedophile. He was not a military man. He was poor. He was humble. He wanted everyone to have a hunger and thirst for God. Material wealth was not an objective. Territorial conquests were not considered. Love of God, a desire for a relationship with God was his goal for all. He was the example of Truth. He was divine. He was God, as One.
Who would you prefer to follow? Who do you feel loves you more? Who would die for you?
Grace and Peace.
[i] Died 767, or 761 was an Arab Muslim historian and hagiographer. Under the aegis of the ‘Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur, Ibn Ishaq collected oral traditions that formed the basis of the most important biography of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
[ii] Imam Bukhari, (196-256AH / 810-870CE), was a Sunni Islamic scholar of Persia. He authored the hadith collection named Sahih Bukhari, a collection which Sunni Muslims regard as the most authentic of all hadith compilations.
[iii] one of the Six major collections of the hadith in Sunni Islam, oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It is the second most authentic hadith collection after Sahih Al-Bukhari, and is highly acclaimed by Sunni Muslims. It was collected by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, also known as Imam Muslim. Sahih translates as authentic or correct. Imam Muslim was born in 202 AH (817/18 CE) in Naysabur, Iran into a Persian family and died in 261 AH (874/75 CE).
[iv] was a noted Persian collector of prophetic hadith, and wrote the third of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims, Sunan Abu Dawood. He was born in Sistan, in east of Iran, (then Persia) and died in 889 in Basra.