Refuting Islam: Lectures of the Russian Martyr Who Converted Countless Muslims (Part 3)

In this series, Fr. Daniel Sysoev presents a critical analysis of Islamic doctrine as well as analysis of theological and mystic aspects of life and work of Muhammad in the framework of traditional Orthodox comparative theology. . .

Originally appeared at:

Click here to read Part 1 - On Islam

Click here to read Part 2 - Muhammad

Part 3 - Questions and answers

I would like to know how Muhammad obtained the Quran. Did he write it or receive it from above as Moses did?

There was an apparition, Jibril by name. It appeared regularly. Muhammad felt very sick: he heard a terrible rumble in his head, some swelling clash, and he shivered. Then he had an inspiration and pronounced it like a sermon. He never recorded it. He delivered his sermons and everyone learnt them by heart. Of course, some people put them down on pebbles or palm leaves. But the text emerged as a sermon, and Muhammad sermonized what occurred to him, it was a superhuman speech hurting him awfully. He said that the agony was not comparable to anything he had suffered.

And the Quran starts from the records?

Just so. Records were made, and then more and more records. After Muhammad’s death when Muslims waged war against all flags (Muhammad initiating the conquest of all other tribes), subsequently involving half mankind, experts knowing the text by heart were killed in the wars generating the need for registering and consolidating the Quran texts. Several versions were compiled and then Uthman, the fourth caliph99, chose the Quran of Zayd, Muhammad’s former adopted son, a copyist slave. He combined all the texts. Zayd arranged the texts as we see them today. Interestingly, the surahs differ from Muhammad’s sermons in length though many mistakenly think that they are identical. Some sermons are equal to corresponding surahs while others may only cover one half of a sermon. The compilation is purely mechanical.

What was the guiding principle? According to the Islamic doctrine of eternal the Quran in Allah’s mind, the texts were arranged in descending powers: from the longest surah down to the shortest 114th. In fact, the mechanical compilation was governed by size rather than chronology.

All the alternative versions, which were many, were burnt off.

Was Muhammad the only author of the Quran? Or someone else added his own visions?

Again, the question is whether the records reconstructed from memory are reliable. For instance, the final ayats were written by a scribe from memory. But was the memory trustworthy enough? Of course, they start from the sermons of Muhammad who believed them to be inspired by alternate spheres. This is similar to the “Isis Disclosed” by Blavatskaya100. She thought that the “Isis Disclosed” was only written in her hand and certainly inspired, even though the text represents her singular ideas. For example, she compiles quotations deriving from various sources. Nevertheless, she believed that it was actually authored by a spirit. This is also true about Muhammad.

How long did Muhammad live?

He lived for 63 years.

How many children did he have?

He had 3 sons dying in infancy, and 5 daughters with only three reaching adulthood.

Does it mean that he was only perpetuated in daughters?

Muhammad was only succeeded by his daughters.

Are there any surviving descendants?

Yes, of course. The King of Morocco101 is one. There are some in Russia. Muhammad’s descendants survive today.

What about his adopted son? Are his descendants…

Since he was proclaimed not to be… Actually, the surviving descendants are the Sheikhs ruling in Saudi Arabia, descending from Zayd102. Yet, the adoption being revoked, they are informal only.

The Quran emerged in a heathen, non-Christian environment, and was not intended for anti-Christian strife.

There was no such intention, for Muhammad believed that Christians were his allies against the Hebrew. As a matter of fact, Muhammad’s original intention was to unite with the Jews but he failed in that, and only Christians supported him. That is, they actually saved early Muslims in Ethiopia from extermination.

Is there anything positive in Islam? Islam actually emerged in a pagan environment as a monotheistic religion.

What is meant by “positive”? Any confession has some positive elements. There are right and just elements in paganism too, like recognition of the Creator, or traditional Arabic virtues including loyalty, sticking to one’s word and aversion to treachery. Both paganism and Islam have their positive concepts.

As of monotheism proper… Well, worship of the one false God is no good, is it? In principle, monotheism could be referred to as satanism as well. But this won’t do. Worshipping the one Satan is bad. I am not saying that Islam is satanism, it would not be right. It just means that monotheism is not progressive in itself. All the more, there were the Hebrew, and the Christians. Native Arabians knew both.

Could the Quran represent the Old Testament for Arabians? Could it be a step to the Gospel?

By no means so. The Quran derives from human sources. It cannot be too highly stressed that Muhammad was no scoundrel, no way. It would be wrong to present him as a willful freak like Grabovoy, ready to do anything for money. This would do him an injustice. He did have some inspirations though they certainly came from an evil source. The Old Testament revelations, however, derive from a good source. Religion is not to be structured in political terms. Religion means human attitude to a superhuman world, the world of angels. In this view, Muhammad was primarily tempted by the evil, which is certainly quite different. Moreover, I daresay that it was the Quran that prevented Arabians from adopting Christianity.

Could you specify the criteria for differentiating between a false and a true prophet, to fit the case of Muhammad?

Criteria of a prophet are specified by the Scripture. First, it is the recognition of complete revelations granted by the Old and the New Testament. This means recognizing the fullness of revelations without modifying and distorting the Scripture. Thus whoever says that the pharaoh chasing Moses is the same pharaoh who wished to build the Tower of Babel designed by Haman103 who lived 1000 after the event, is obviously not the prophet of God, for he must have had actual knowledge.

Additionally, a true prophet shall profess the faith of all earlier prophets, the faith in God, His Word, and His Holy Spirit – that is, the Trinitarian God of the earlier prophets. And a prophet must recognize divine Incarnation as the Great Revelation. For “God, who at sundry times and divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds”104. This means that the great revelation of Incarnation must be accepted as accomplished fact. A prophet must therefore accept Jesus Christ as God and Man. Clearly, God cannot lie; He has no need to deny His words. A prophet cannot budge from his position. And a true prophet would never say that future prophecy would be corrupted. For, if God holds the Revelation, He would hold it forever. He would not save the Quran to exclude the Scripture! God would be absolutely infallible.

Then, he shall preach, bringing people into the fellowship of Christ – that is, His historical Church, for the act of divine Incarnation is the act of history and the community of the Covenant is one. The single community of the Covenant starting with Adam and surviving to date is the Ecumenical Orthodox Church.

A true prophet shall also support his mission with predictions of the future, to be borne out when they come true. See how earlier prophecies were realized!

A prophet shall use the words that could alter man’s soul, his inner life, bringing him to confession and absolution. The question is not of mere penitence, this should be realized! Why, Judas repented and then hanged himself. Repentance should lead to absolution.

A true prophet must remember Christ saying, “that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father”105. Therefore he shall always support his mission.

He must also speak to reconcile men with God without heeding other opinions. Prophet Jeremiah says: Is not my word like a fire? sayth the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”106 Can you see it? His word must fight man’s inherent evil, independent of the man.

These are the basic criteria. Whoever does not match them is a false prophet.

Did Muhammad actually fall into epileptic fits when he had revelations?

As I have said, some symptoms of epilepsy are evident even though overruled by the hadith – frothing at the mouth, convulsions. And he actually felt awfully chilly and feverish. He was nicknamed the Muffler (al-Mudathir – ed.) for wrapping himself up.

Muhammad has been mentioned in manuals of psychoneurology as a typical case of epilepsy. On the other hand, epilepsy with its causes and etiology is little studied and difficult to distinguish from demonical possession.

Could you tell how Muhammad treated the Gentiles? Does the attitude persist today?

Contemporary view specified the two categories of Gentiles: the polytheists and the so-called people of the Book. The latter including Christians, Hebrews, and Sabaeans107 (an idolatrous sect in Arabia subsequently loosely identified with Zoroastrians), were tolerated with the exclusion of missionary work. They were to pay the taxes but were disabled and could not oppose Muslems on penalty of death.

Polytheists were to adopt Islam on penalty of death.

This was his attitude. And it persists today. Muhammad made a sharp distinction: in cases where Shariah requirements are impracticable, strange faith is not to be abused. Thus Muhammad preaching in his first, Meccan period was inspired that gentile gods were not to be abused or else the infidels would abuse Allah. Just believe in Allah and never abuse others! Yet that was good when Muslems were knowingly weaker that local heathens.

The principle is now followed in the countries where Muslims are in the minority and unable to exercise power, allowing to regard Islam as a peaceful religion hurting none, supporting no evil deed or act of terrorism. This is only the guise of Islam.

As soon as Muslims gain power, they declare that any renegade Muslim is to be put to death. Remember a recent case of a man adopting Christianity in Afghanistan108.

You say that Muslims believe Muhammad to be infallible. What is sin in Muslim interpretation?

Sin is abuse of law. Abusing the law of Allah is a sin.

Even though it is not in conflict with moral standards? Muhammad’s plunder of caravans is not sinful…

No, it is not a sin.

And cutting off a thief’s hand…

It was commanded by Allah.

So Muslims are not embarrassed by discord?

Admittedly, morality is a secular version of commandments. There is no concept of absolute morality. There is a concept of validity starting from the Scripture. This is true about Christianity, Islam and any other religion. So God’s will is the primary factor. Yet it must be admitted that Muhammad is open to criticism even in terms of the Quran. For example, one day when he was preaching Islam to a man, a blind man came up begging to be admitted. Muhammad sent him away thinking that a blind good-for-nothing is of no use to him. Even Allah reproached him for treating the blind man so badly. So Muhammad is not faultless even by the Quran standards. And yet he is officially respected as impeccable!

I would like to ask again about the Wahhabis and the acts of terrorism in Chechnya, and the armed gangs: what are all these? Is this the Muslim religion of Muhammad, or some alternative trends similar to Christian schisms, each in its own way?

Muhammad Wahhab109 was an 18th-century reformer of Islam. Islam in Arabia was actually dissolved in paganism, and almost exhausted. It was but a dummy. So Wahhab intended to reconstruct Islam in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah. He urged to purify Islam of the reverence of saints, cults of sacred places, Sufism and its inheritance, requiring the most precise, quite literal compliance with the Shariah, i.e. the law.

He founded the sect referred to as the Wahhabism. This is the official religion in Saudi Arabia, for the Saudites had promoted Wahhabis doctrines in the 18th century. They were first defeated by the Turks but then came to power with British support. The Saudites ruling in Saudi Arabia are still following the Wahhabis. It is also officially professed in Mecca and Medina, in the core of Islamic world.

As regards terrorism … The point is as follows: war is directly related to Islam. War is presumed to be as important for true Islam as the sixth pillar. But this is optional. There are only five basic pillars of Islam though many believe that war is as obligatory as adherence to the five pillars. Others argue against it not because they think that war is bad but because it cannot be regarded as the sixth pillar since it is not always practicable. Indeed, Jihad is absolutely impracticable in Saudi Arabia! Why they are all Muslims! Yet war against the infidels is a must, a doctrinal requirement for a Muslim.

We now turn to the issue of terror. Suicides, the Shahids, first appeared in Islamis sects. The Assassins110 were the first to use hired assassins and suicides, and there were Shiis sects.

Other facts generally associated with terror are largely authorized by Muhammad. Thus Muhammad set a fixed rate for ransom. Practical aspects of hostage and ransom were authorized by Muhammad and prescribed in the Sunnah. They are described in every detail: who is to take or to be taken hostage, who is to be or not to be held hostage, and who is to be killed on the spot. And all the specifications are complied with as far as possible.

As regards slaveholding… It was authorized by Muhammad. There was a case of a dying Muslim setting his slaves free in his will. Muhammad was enraged. He summoned the slaves, divided them in 4 groups, released one and enslaved all others.

This is also true about rape. Does Islam permit rape? Not of a married woman if she is not a slave. And if she is, the Quran permits rape explicitly. To quote word for word: “ …marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess”111.

On the other hand, well water poisoning possibly emerged at a later date. Suicide involving murder certainly originated with the development of explosives. Suicides first appeared in the 19th-century112. They were the first Shahid killers. But common murder, fighting, and hostage were instituted in the very first stage.

This is an interesting point of mentality: compare the attitude of Christ with that of Muhammad. Everyone knows the story of Christ and the forgiven adulteress. The Lord told them: “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”113. And they departed conscience-stricken. And the Lord said: “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?”… “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more”114.

Now to Muhammad. A woman came to him saying that he was pregnant by adultery. She said: “Oh envoy of Allah, I am guilty, so punish me!” The Prophet summoned her guardian and told (him): “Treat her well, and bring her to me upon delivery”. (The man) did as he was told, (and when he brought her after delivery) the Prophet had her stoned and then prayed for the repose of the dead. When Omar asked: “Oh envoy of Allah, you pray for her (even though) she committed adultery?!”, the Prophet retorted: “She has repented for seventy (others)”115.

How does this correlate? We see identical situations with opposite results, for Muhammad has no absolving authority and thus cannot forgive sins. He believes that to escape eternal torture, man should be put to death on the Earth. So Muslim cruelty is a genetic extension of impossibility of forgiveness, absolution on the Earth.

As a matter of fact, this is often ignored. There is a great deal of talk about a genetic cruelty of Muslims, which is mostly wrong. Most Muslims are decent folk and pleasant personal contacts. There is no question of genetic cruelty! The question is of believing that slaughter is the only way to overcome evil. Can you see it? They do not know that nature can be improved, that one can purify oneself, that one can be justified by virtue of and in communion with Christ. They are simply unaware of it! For them there is no alternative.

Of course, imposing faith with the sword is typical for Islam, demonstrating Muhammad’s inner foible.

On the other hand, the Euro-Islam originating in 1809 represents a renovated, user-friendly Islam in European style. In Russia it is the Jadidism. They are trying to include into their everyday life a general idea of worshipping God, recognizing the authority of Muhammad, and reading the Quran as historical writing. This Islam type or, strictly speaking, no Islam at all, is more or less peaceable. Few accept it and many digress these days, for half-faith would not sustain: people either fall into atheism or move up to traditional Islam.

Godspeed to us all, let us pray and hope that Muslims adopt Christianity and refuse to follow their false prophet.

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