The Problem of Mohammed as an example for Muslims

                                      When  does Sharia law appear?

The Qur’an says, in  verse 33.21
“Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much.”  (Pickthall)

“Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.”  (Shakir)

“The messenger of GOD has set up a good example for those among you who seek GOD and the Last Day, and constantly think about GOD.”  (Khalifa)

The name Mohammed appears only four times in the Qur’an although some translations fill in the name where it seems that Allah is talking to someone and in the mind of the Muslim translator or others  it is thought it must be talking about Mohammed.   In three of the four appearances it could be referring to a title,  i.e., the praised one or chosen one, and not to a named person like Mohammed.     The phrase “messenger of Allah” appears over three hundred times.  There are many Biblical names in the Qur’an.  Abraham is mentioned 79 times, Moses listed 136 times, Pharaoh noted 74 times.    What is really significant about the Qur’an is that it tells us little or nothing about the life of Mohammed.  If Mohammed is to be an example, the  Qur’an gives little detail of what that example is like, or how it should be followed.

If the Qur’an is silent about the life of Mohammed as its example, where does one find information about his life.    There are several issues in dealing with this.

1. It is possible that Mohammed never existed in terms of the developed Islamic tradition.  There are an increasing number of scholars who are concluding for this position. Spencer lists over 20 names of scholars who raise questions about the Muslim account of Islam.  In this case sources of alleged information about Mohammed appear so much later in history that it is regarded as unreliable.  More on this later.

2. The ahadiths (plural of hadiths) are regarded as an important source for the details of Mohammed’s life and actions.  The problem with the ahadiths is that they arise much later, after the presumed death of Mohammed in 632.  In the 830’s to 860’s the collections of the ahadiths are published providing great details about Mohammed.

3.  The last source would be the biography of Mohammed,  the Sira, as it is called.  Ibn Ishaq (d.773) wrote the  first and earliest biography of Mohammed.    The work of Ishaq is known  only by the lengthy fragments appearing in a later writer, Ibn Hisham, who wrote in the first quarter of the 9th century. 

The biography of Mohammed, The Life of Mohammed,  by the Muslim author  Ibn Ishaq (d.773)  does not give a picture that reasonable  people would want to imitate.  Mohammed appears as a blood thirsty warrior preying on caravans, marrying a nine year old girl, Aishe, marrying a lot of other women, hating the Jews for rejecting him as a prophet, and eventually having 600-900 Jewish men beheaded as an act of revenge for rejecting Mohammed.  There are lots of terrible things about Mohammed recorded in The  Life of Mohammed, but there is no need to rehearse them here.  Keep in mind that this is a book written by a devout Muslim.

I have written an article “Does the Qur'an have a Revelation from God?”  which appears on Answering Islam here.  My purpose in this article  is to raise questions about the hadiths and their reliability.  Moreover, there were 6 Muslims who were involved in writing Sharia law and the Muslims claim that these laws are also divine laws and revelation.

There are no historical references to Mohammed during his life.   Probably the first  reference to  Mohammed and Muslims comes in 690 when a Coptic Christian in Egypt mentions the words.  But this note is found in an Ethiopic translation from the Arabic which was translated from the Greek or something else dating from 1602. Not a contemporary source at all.  There were  invaders who were called Saracens, Hagarians, Ishmaelite, terms later translated as Muslims.

Since there were no contemporary records of the life of Mohammed people wanted to know something of his personal life, his character, what he did, how he related to people, etc.   Consequently, the hadiths were invented.   They are not revelation.  No angel appeared to any of the authors.  No visions or dreams were given to individual writers of the hadiths. None of the writers of the hadiths were prophets. Moreover, there are contradictory hadiths supporting the views of  the Islamic party in power. 

One valuable historical observation is this:   if there are no contemporary sources for the person being studied it does not make sense that hundreds of thousands of stories should arise two hundred years later.  Most Muslims do not know that these stories are fabrications without historical evidence.  In a culture in which one cannot ask questions, demand evidence, or dispute issues, and in which imams reject inquiring questions, they have been set up to believe without questioning that these stories are the teachings of Mohammed.

Spencer wrote:  “Muslims also fabricated hadiths in the heat of political and religious controversies that they hope to settle with a decisive, albeit hitherto unknown, word from the prophet.  Abd al-Malik at one point wanted to restrict Muslims from making a pilgrimages to Mecca because he was afraid one of his rivals would take advantage of the pilgrimage to recruit followers.  Accordingly, he prevailed upon the hapless  az-Zuhri to fabricate a hadith to the effect that a pilgrimage to the mosque in Jerusalem (Bayt al-Maqdis) was just as praiseworthy in the sight of Allah as one to Mecca.  Az-Zuhri went even further, having Muhammed say that “a prayer in the Bayt al—Maqdis of Jerusalem is better than a thousand prayers in other holy places”---in other words, even better than going to Mecca.  This hadith duly appears in one of the six canonical Hadith collections that Muslim scholars consider most reliable: the Sunan of Muhammad ibn Maja” (824-887). (p.72)

Fabrication of hadiths went on by opposing political and religious parties.  There were two important groups,  the Umayyads in control at first, but they were overthrown by the Abbasids, accusing them of being “ godless and in opposition to religion.”  Each created   hadiths to justify their actions.
Eventually, the growing number of hadiths were collected, “none of which date from earlier than two centuries after Muhammad’s death.  Together these are known as  as-Sahih as-Sittah: the authentic and trustworthy ones (sahih means “sound” or “reliable”).  These include, in order of their importance and general reputation for reliability,  Sahih  Bukhari, the most respected and authoritative Hadith collection,  compiled by Bukhari (810-870);  Sahih Muslim, by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (821-875);  the Sunan of Abu Dawud as-Sijistani (818-889);  As-Sunan as-Sughra, by Ahmad ibn Shuayb an-Nasai (829-915;  the Jami of Abu Isa Muhammad At-Tirmidhi (824-892); and the Sunan of Muhammad ibn Maja (824-887)”  (Spencer, p. 78.)

 The claim is made that Bukhari  collected about 300,000  hadiths  but rejected 293,000 of them as fabricated  and published about 7000 that included repetitions but settled down to 2602 as authentic.  One can raise the question:   how can there be 2602 reliable hadiths when there was not that much information about Mohammed to begin with.  I have read other sources indicating that as many as 600,000 floated around but no one collected that many.  Has Islam created  a mythological story that does not allow its own people to raise questions, express doubts, and require reasons for believing these myths?  How can you gain information from no information? How can there be thousands of bits of information when there was none at the beginning? How can it be regarded as divine?

The Muslim claim about the Qur’an is that it is a book dictated to Mohammed.  That stands on a different foundation than the hadiths which appear only 200 years later.  The gap between the time of Mohammed’s  alleged existence and the hadiths is too great to claim that the hadiths are historical, or revealed, or credible.

If there are grave doubts about the historical value of the ahadiths  how is it possible to build a comprehensive set of laws based on them?  If the body of  ahadiths are unreliable the laws then become bogus.  Is this why so many imams do not allow people to raise questions?  The attempt to hold Muslims to the alleged model of Mohammed  is one of the terrible atrocities of mankind, particularly in regard to the treatment and regard for  girls and women.  Have  people been brainwashed to believe something for which there is no basis in fact?

At first many hadiths did not have a chain of witnesses attached and  fabrication became so easy that isnads (chain of people verifying them) were attached to lend credibility.  However, isnads were easily fabricated so reliability is still an issue.   Fraudulent hadiths arose everywhere. Consequently one cannot rationally depend on the contradictory hadiths for information about a  man where no contemporary information exists in the time that Mohammed was supposed to live.

The words of Isaiah the prophet warns against false religion.   “The Lord said, "These people claim to worship me, but their words are meaningless, and their hearts are somewhere else. Their religion is nothing but human rules and traditions, which they have simply memorized.”  (Isaiah 29:13)

Sharia law.

As the Arab  invasion of the world outside Arabia grew Sharia law came into existence.  “Under the Caliphate, particularly the Umayad rulers,  Sharia  was formulated by seven imams (religious leaders and authorities on Muslim principles of jurisprudence).

“Interestingly enough, the caliphs were exempted from being punished under Sharia for cases of theft, adultery, killing,  and drinking.  One specific codified Islamic law attributed to Imam Abu Hanifa states,  “An Islamaic State Head cannot be charged for adultery, robbery, theft, or drinking.” In a supreme irony, Imam Abu Hanifa, who supposedly wrote the law making Muslim political leaders above the law, was himself killed by the reigning caliph.

“The writers of Sharia had the precedent of Mohammed himself when they came up with exemptions for the Muslim caliph.  Islam gave Muslim men up to four wives, but  Mohammad had up to eleven wives at a time in addition to concubines.  Many caliphs later pushed the number way beyond Mohammed’s with harems of thousands.  The effect of this divine exemption are still felt today in the Muslims world where rulers are above the law and the Muslim public accepts and expects it.

“Islamic Sharia, which was written by learned and respected  imams under the authority of reigning caliphs had a sad ending for the imams who wrote it.  The following was the destiny of eight prominent imams after some of them fulfilled their duty of writing the laws of Sharia.
            Imam Abu Hannifa (699-767):  Poisoned in prison by Caliph Al Mansur
            Imam Shafi’I (767-820)  Imprisoned by Caliph Harunar Rashid
            Imam Malik  (712-795)  Punished, hand severed by Caliph Al Mansur
            Imam Hanibal  (778-855)  Imprisoned for fifteen years by Caliphs Mamunur Rashid, Al    Mutasim, and Al Wasiq                
             Imam Jafaar Sadiq, a Shi’ite imama:  Poisoned in prison by Caliph Al Mansur
            Imam Musa Kazim, a Shi’ite imama: Poisoned in prison by Caliph Harunnar Rasshid.
            Imam Bukhari (810-870),   Exiled to Samarkhand by governor of Bukhara
            Imam Taymiyah (1263-1360)  Poisoned in prison by Caliph Al Hisham.
(Cruel and Usual Punishment, by Nonie Darwish, p. 21-22)

The author concludes, “Muslims have no choice but to live as captives within the confines of a psychological “iron curtain” of Sharia from which they cannot escape.  They are living under the most brutal, degrading, and humiliating laws in human history;  laws that are obsessed with the sexuality of women, that subjugate and humiliate non-Muslims, and that ultimately produce a dysfunctional angry society.” (P. 23)

There are lots of Sharia laws relating to all aspects of life.  One  relates to the use of the toothbrush, the  miswak.    There is nothing in the Qur’an about the miswak, but there are a couple of hadiths indicating  its use by Mohammed.   One can affirm the practice of brushing one’s teeth, but to make it a religious law seems going beyond the family’s role.  Does one need a religious law to support this???   Did people not brush their teeth before the time of Mohammed?   What is special about the fact that Mohammed brushed his teeth?

Why should one still imitate Mohammed today when there are better ways to care for one’s teeth.  Why should one be limited to Sharia law when  flossing is better than brushing.  There were no dentists in those days that could fill a  cavity so is it un-Islamic to go to a dentist to solve a problem that Mohammed never knew would exist?  Is it un-Islamic to use tooth paste for cleaning the teeth when there was no tooth paste listed in the hadith?  There are imams who reject the use of polio vaccinations for children declaring this “un-Islamic.”  Polio is on the rise in some Muslim countries. Obviously, there were no vaccinations in Mohammed’s day.

All of this may sound interesting to the Muslim, but the question still needs to be raised:  how did people know this 200 years later when nothing in the Qur’an is mentioned about this?  Again, these writers were not prophets,  nor did they have visions, or revelations about this.  Moreover, why should one brush one’s teeth Mohammed’s way when we don’t know how he did it, nor should one be limited to his way when better ways of caring for the teeth are now known.

One might raise a set of questions about the model of Mohammed.   If Mohammed is the model for so much of a Muslims’ life,  why  do the Taliban not use swords in their fighting rather than bombs,  guns,  and rockets.  Are not all these things un-Islamic?   Why are the Iranians feverishly  working to build a nuclear bomb when this is so un-Islamic.  Why should they imitate the infidels in seeking to have  guns, explosives, and bombs?

A second example relates to the requirement of four witnesses for rape, or slander, or illicit sex. The Qur’an has four verses about this.

“And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony - They indeed are evil-doers -   (24:004)

As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies, (swearing) by Allah that he is of those who speak the truth;   (24:006)

Why did they not produce four witnesses? Since they produce not witnesses, they verily are liars in the sight of Allah. (24:013)

As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation).  (4:015)

“In Pakistan, it is reported that three out of four women in prison under its Hudud laws [these are the laws of what it forbidden and permitted by Allah himself], are rape victims. Because rape is equated with zina [unlawful sexual intercourse] under Hudud law, rape victims are required to produce four pious male witnesses. It is of course nearly impossible for the rape victims to produce the four male witnesses required to prove their allegation. Therefore their police report of rape was taken as a confession of illicit sex on their part and they were duly found guilty.

“With Dubai emerging as a major stopover point for long haul journeys, five hundred flights a month will deliver over one million of us to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the next year.

“Dubai is being promoted as a luxury high-class paradise in the desert, but the reality is brutally different, as Australian Alicia Gali discovered. Gali took a job in the UAE with one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, Starwood. What happened next makes this story a must-watch for every Australian planning on travelling through the region.

“Gali was using her laptop in the hotel’s staff bar when her drink was spiked. She awoke to a nightmare beyond belief: she had been savagely raped by three of her colleagues. Alone and frightened, she took herself to hospital. What Alicia didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rape cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. She was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months….”  (UAE: Australian woman raped by Muslim gang, then jailed for having sex outside of marriageRobert Spencer May 12, 2013 )

“Lahore: Pakistan’s top human rights watchdog on Friday expressed “alarm and disappointment” over a declaration by the Council of Islamic Ideology that DNA tests are not acceptable as primary evidence in determining rape cases.

The Council of Islamic Ideology rejects DNA testing as primary evidence because it isn’t mentioned in the Qur’an. The Qur’an mandates that four witnesses are required to establish sexual crimes — zina — and that’s that. Women are victimized by this ridiculous and impossible rule? Who cares? It’s the will of Allah.”   (

In light of all these things, we have to ask again about the issue of  Mohammed’s requirement of four witnesses for rape, etc.     The requirement is crude, cruel, and crazy.  Muslim culture is a rapist’s paradise.   What are the possibilities of a rapist carrying thru his attack when there are witnesses around?   Even when three men rape a woman none of them are going to testify that they did it.  Moreover, suppose that three witnesses were found, the case would be thrown out because there were not four. 

With the possibility of DNA testing there is certain proof whether a man raped a woman.  It is a way of clearing innocent men and  convicting guilty men.  Claiming that it is un-Islamic is a cruel admission that women  do not matter except as sex objects. 

There is another sad story of a Pakistani teen age girl who was gang raped.  Tradition means that her family should kill her for bringing “shame” on the family.   But her father and family stood by her and she is seeking to gain justice in the Pakistani courts.  The father sought to have the police arrest the people involved but he was rebuffed by the police.  The lives of the family have been threatened and they have been forced to move and hide out from the people of their village who want to kill them for not killing the girl who was raped.

“In Sharia courts, which enforce Islamic principles, a female rape victim would need four men to testify that it was a rape. That is either four men who just stood around and watched, or four men who tried to rescue her. And, with the macho-male culture of Islam, even if there were four men to testify the witnesses would be in danger of retaliation by the rapist and his family. It is the easiest thing for the rapist and the rapist’s family and the witnesses for the rape victim to be blamed and murdered. And, under Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims are prohibited from criticizing Islamic law or Mohammad or Mohammad’s example or anything Islamic. So, there is no “justice” for her in an Islamic court.” (

Many women have been victimized and imprisoned wrongfully because of this evil law. 

The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam says:

Allah’s law is not to be penetrated by the intelligence … i.e. man has
to accept it without criticism, with its apparent inconsistencies and its
incomprehensible decrees, as wisdom into which it is impossible to enquire. One
must not look in it for causes in our sense, nor for principles; it is based on
the will of Allah which is bound by no principles, therefore evasions are
considered as a permissible use of means put at one’s disposal by Allah
himself. Muslim law which has come into being in the course of time through the
interworking of many factors, which can hardly be exactly appreciated, has
always been considered by its followers as something elevated, high above human wisdom, and as a matter of fact human logic or system has little share in it. ( Gibb and Kramer, Concise Encyclopedia, 525.)   

In contrast to the things Muslims believed about Mohammed and the lifestyle embedded in the  hadiths, let’s take a look at the example of Jesus,  declared in Scripture to be the Son of God incarnate, and affirmed by the miracles he did as well as the resurrection after his crucifixion.   What did Jesus teach us by his words and actions?

First, he quoted the  Torah affirming the two great commandments of the Old Testament.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  The second great commandment is  “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”   Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan who illustrated the  love of a neighbor.   The neighbor was anyone in need of help.

Second, Jesus said something that people have misunderstood.  Read what he said in the Sermon on the Mount,  "You have heard that it was said,  “Love  your friends, hate your enemies.'  But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 43-44)

The Greek word for love is agape, and it is not related to sexual love as many  think.  This is the kind of love that God has for mankind.  It is a love that seeks to regard other people as truly worthy of regard and concern.  You don’t have to like your enemy to love him. God loves you in spite of your sin. If your enemy is thirsty, give him a drink.  If he is in need of help,  do what you can.  Under no circumstances does Jesus give any hint of regarding the  enemy as an object of jihad.

Third,   Jesus said,   “ This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. “(John 3:19)  People who kill, who rape, who mutilate others, who place women in an inferior position are fulfilling the words of Jesus that their deeds were evil and they have ignored the light.  Jesus is the Light of the world.

Fourth,  “Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.”  (John 14:23) When you love someone you give yourself to them.   Saying I respect Jesus does not cut it. What is necessary is commitment to Him.    That is the only way a relationship can be established with the Father and Jesus.

Fifth,  Jesus said,  “The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them.” (John 15:13)   This is what Jesus did for mankind.  He gave his life on the cross for you.  He rose from the dead for you.  His example is giving our lives to help others, not taking their lives in hopes of gaining paradise.

Sixth,  One of the great love chapters of the Bible written by the Apostle Paul has these words,

 “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud;   love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs;  love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.  Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.  Love is eternal.”   (I Cor. 13:4-8)

Jesus is the embodiment of these words.    As a parent are we patient and kind to our children,  as well as to our spouses?  Am I jealous, conceited or proud?   This  must be asked when one lives in a culture of shame requiring me to do things contrary to love.   Keeping a record of wrongs is a   terrible way of relating to people.   Do you keep a mental note about everyone who does something wrong to you or your family?  Keeping  such a record is a prelude to revenge. This leads to doing evil and sin.   Love is not only happy with the truth but it also seeks the truth.  Love is not happy with evil at any time and there is much evil going on in the world.   Love is eternal because God is eternal. God is love in his nature and he has come in the person of Jesus, the Son of God, to redeem us, forgive us, transform us, and by unmerited favor given us everlasting life in His presence….forever.
There is a story about Jesus that  emphasizes forgiveness,  transformation,  redemption, and a new life. 

 “Then early the next morning he went to the temple. The people came to him, and he sat down and started teaching them.   The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses brought in a woman who had been caught in bed with a man who wasn't her husband. They made her stand in the middle of the crowd.   Then they said, "Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who isn't her husband.   The Law of Moses teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death! What do you say?"   They asked Jesus this question, because they wanted to test him and bring some charge against him. But Jesus simply bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger.  They kept on asking Jesus about the woman. Finally, he stood up and said, "If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!"  Once again he bent over and began writing on the ground.   The people left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone.  Jesus stood up and asked her, "Where is everyone? Isn't there anyone left to accuse you?"   "No sir," the woman answered. Then Jesus told her, "I am not going to accuse you either. You may go now, but don't sin anymore."    (John 8:2-11)

Laws make us aware of the serious sins we can do.  Laws do not allow for forgiveness.  Laws demand a penalty to be done.    Jesus came to bring forgiveness.  There is so little forgiveness in the world.  Forgiveness comes from Yahweh  and where there is forgiveness there is no need to punish.  Where there is forgiveness, there is transformation possible.  Where there is forgiveness a new life can begin.  

Around the world women are terribly abused as in rape cases,  denied equal rights with men, taken advantage of and humiliated.  Lives committed to Jesus would bring  Forgiveness and mercy and change these terrible events.
Without a doubt Jesus is the only model for life, not Mohammed.   The disciple Thomas  said to Jesus,  "Lord, we  do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"  Jesus said to him,  "I am the way,  and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”   (John 14:5-6) 

Earlier, Some people were offended  at the words of Jesus and turned back.   “So he asked the  twelve  disciples, "And you---would you also like to leave?"   Simon Peter answered him, "Lord,  to whom  would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”  (John 6:67-68) 

Obeying Sharia law or the words of the Qur’an will not get you to heaven.  But Jesus can give you everlasting life right now.

Committing your heart and life to Jesus brings everlasting life in the presence of God. 

If you want to see what Muslims are doing in various parts of the world in killing and persecuting non-Muslims,  check out daily for information that you won't get in your local newspaper or TV news.  Then you may wonder why you are not informed on this serious issue.