FORTELLINGS / PROPHESIES
25 Nov 2012
There are four facts which kill all claims about foretelling made by Muhammad:
Muhammad himself in the Quran directly said he was “unable to know the unseen” or “know the unknown” = unable to make prophesies (was he then really a prophet?)
Muhammad’s child wife, Aishah, said just the same about him in Hadiths.
Muhammad also NEVER in the Quran indicated that something he said, was meant to be aprophesy. What is not intended to be a prophesy, is not a prophesy.
The Quran nowhere even indicates that Muhammad made foretelling. If he had done and it had proved true, be sure it had been mentioned.
(There are similar facts for miracles claimed performed by Muhammad.)
In addition one has to remember the laws of probability: Anyone saying many things over many years, will by chance be right now and then. But it cannot be claimed to be prophesies unless it for one thing was indicated that it was meant to be a prophesy, and for another that he/she is right more often than the laws of probability says you shall “hit the nail” by sheer chance. Muhammad said many things, but he was not a man of great imagination, and little of what he said about the future became true – far below what the law of probability would indicate (and this even more so as hardly anything he said about the future became exactly true – at best only partly true).
These are facts known to any Muslim scholar. All the same some of them tell their followers about what the glorious saint Muhammad foretold. “The religion of Truth”? (- an al-Taqiyya – a lawful lie – is never the truth.)
Pr1. Muhammad in 30/3 says that the Roman Empire soon will be victorious (in their war with Persia). In a way correct – they won in the end. But what Muslims never mention is that the Arab word which is translated with “soon” – “bedd”, a word which means “between 3 and 9 years” -whereas it took 12 or more years. Not correct – and as it was one of the rather few cases where he was partly right, it was well below the number of “hits” he should have had from sheer chance and probability – but as said Muhammad was not a man of great imagination (even though he surely was intelligent and a knower of humans).
To be believed, Islam will have to prove – not claim, but prove – that Muhammad:
· Meant this to be a prophesy. If not it is a coincidence, not a prophesy.
· And that Muhammad used a word at least meaning a dozen years, not 3 – 9 years. If not the claimed prophesy is wrong.
Pr2. (Sample from “Examine The Truth” - ETT).
“And (remember) when your Lord (here indicated to mean Allah*) declared that He would certainly keep on sending against them, till the Day of Resurrection, those who would afflict them with a humiliating torment”. ETT tells that “them” refers to 7/159 and thus to Jews. But “them” refers to 7/163: “- - - the town standing close by the sea”. This town is a mystery in the Quran and in Islam, as nobody knows which town Muhammad referred to. That the inhabitants were Jews, thus only is one of many possibilities – and thus the entire bottom under ETT’s claim here disappears.
Besides even if Muhammad provably had meant the Jews, Hitler is not a proof for that the Quran is right here: There is a “natural background noise” of cruelty and strife for power – many use cruel means to gain power, not just Hitler (just look at f.x. Muhammad ), and they use cruelty against many others than the Jews. (This also goes for Hitler – he by far caused the death of many more non-Jews than Jews). Unless it is proved that Muhammad here meant Hitler, this “proof” is invalid. Perhaps – with good will – one may call it an indication, but not a proof.
Thus to make Hitler a proof for that the Quran is right here, ETT will have to prove that Hitler was not from “the background noise”, and in addition that he was sent (not proved) by Allah (not proved) to terrorize the Jews particularly (not proved – and likely disproved as he killed many more non-Jews).
Islam and its Muslims often have problems with the rules for making logically correct conclusions, and they also often seem to be unable to - or do not want to - see the difference between words like “a coincidence”, “possible”, “perhaps”, “probably”, “likely”, etc., etc., and the word “proof”. If they like a point, they use it or twist it and name it “a proof”. But a definition for a proof is: “A proof is one or more proved facts which can give only one conclusion”. In this case the underlying “facts” are not proved + several conclusions are possible. The claim is invalid as a proof – the strongest word possible to use is that it is a possibility that Hitler was sent by an avenging god, but the word “proof” is out of the question.
The same goes if one wants to call this a prophesy. Hitler is in no way indicated in the text – only the fact that Jews had troubles – a conclusion Muhammad easily could make from the Jews’ history there and then. And through history they had problems from many others than Hitler. One also should remember that Muhammad himself very clearly stated in the Quran that he was “unable to know the hidden” or “know what is unknown”, (f.x. 6/50, 7/188) = he was unable to make prophesies (and Aishah said the same about him in the Hadiths). All the same Muslims make up prophesies claimed to come from him. Not one of the claimed prophesies are proved to be real prophesies from Muhammad (and the same goes for claimed miracles).
Pr3. (Sample from ETT – based on Hadiths (Sahih Muslim 6925)).
“The last hour would come when the Romans would have the maximum population”. ETT her claims that “the Romans” = the Christians. For one thing this is not a proved fact, but a claim, and for another it is not correct: There were many other Christians than the Romans (at the time of Muhammad = the East Roman Empire, also named the Byzantine Empire – and remember that Allah in the Quran several times states that he is using a clear language in his(?) book; when he says Romans, he means the Romans). In addition to this the Romans (East Roman Empire) were at their largest (“maximum population”) at the time when Islam started its expansion nearly 1400 years ago – but the Day of Doom has not arrived yet.
The claimed prophesy is wrong.
Pr4. (Sample from ETT – based on Hadiths).
“They (it is not said who, but perhaps the Christians*) are most able to cope with tribulation, the quickest to recover after disaster and to return to the fight after disaster”. ETT claims this is a foretelling – a prophesy – about the Marshal Plan for rebuilding Europe, etc. after WW2. But there is no indication for that Muhammad meant one single incident far into the future. ETT will have to prove – not claim, but prove - their claims here to be believed – unless it is proved that Muhammad meant the Marshal Plan, this is no proof, but a claim. Cheap claims are just that: Cheap claims.
But at that time the long war between the East Roman Empire and the Persian Empire was on. The first years the Romans suffered disaster after disaster. But they regrouped and recovered and came back time and again and again – faster than the Persians were able to match – and won the war in the end. Muhammad here simply were describing contemporary facts, not making prophesies about the distant future (this even more so as Muhammad himself said he was unable to make prophesies – “knowledge of the unknown” or “know what is hidden”, f.x. 6/50, 7/188, 10/20, 46/9, 72/26 – according to the Quran).
We also quote what this part of Muslim 6925 really says: “- - - it is a fact that they (the (people of the) East Roman Empire*) have four qualities. They have the patience to undergo a trial and immediately restore themselves to sanity after trouble and attack again after flight. They (have the quality) of being good to the destitute and the orphans, to the weak and, fifthly, the good quality in them is that they put resistance against oppressing kings”. So for one thing ETT misquotes the Hadith, and for another this is about Muhammad’s contemporary Romans, NOT a prophesy. And this is what ETT claims is a proof for that Muhammad was prophesying! (If this Hadith at all is one of the true ones – it is quite clear that a lot of made up Hadiths passed the collectors’ pretty helpless and naïve screening, and ended in the books like real ones. It often is difficult or impossible to tell which is which.)
Pr5. (Sample from ETT – based on Hadiths).
“Christians will be the best at treating the poor”. This is true, but no real foretelling, as this was a fact from the very beginning of Christianity – simply because NT so strongly stresses that to help others, and especially the weak/poor ones are good deeds. Compassion with others was and is a central part of Jesus’ teaching. (For a contrast the main purpose for the demands for good deeds in the Quran, is to gain merit in Heaven, not compassion with others – in NT both counts heavily).
What was common knowledge even at the time of Muhammad, is no foretelling.
Also see no. 4 just above, to see a correct quote of this Hadith, and its conclusion.
P6. (Sample from ETT – based on Hadiths).
“They do not allow themselves to be oppressed by their kings”. ETT claims that these refers to the descendants of the Romans Muhammad was talking about (= the East Roman Empire), and tells that the democratic governments in the West. But for one thing not only democrats get rid of their leaders when the leaders become too bad or too oppressive – or reduces their power. This also happens in other cultures – f.x. in Islamic countries. And for another thing the ideas about democratic rules did not take hold among “the (East*) Roman Christians which Muhammad prophesied about”, but in west Europe and USA (at the time of the revolution mainly populated from west Europe). Thus it is not clear what Muhammad was talking about – revolution against oppressive dictators (like lately in Islamic nations) or democracy. And it is clear that it was not the descendants of “his” Romans who developed and spread real democracy.
The claimed prophesy is not correct. This on top of that Muhammad himself clearly in the Quran tells that he was unable to make prophesies (“to know the unknown ” or “know what is hidden”, f.x. 6/50, 7/188), and that Aishah said the same about him in Hadiths. Muslims have no proofs at all for Allah or for Muhammad’s connection to a god, so why not make up some miracles and prophesies? – which they do “en gross”, but with not one of them proved true (on the contrary: The Quran strongly – though often indirectly - proves that all of them are made up ones.)
Also see no. 4 above, to see a correct quote of this Hadith, and its conclusion.
Pr7. (Sample from ETT – based on Hadiths (Sunan Ibn Majah (not reckoned among the most reliable ones), volume 5, pp 269).
“They (people*) said; ‘O Messenger of Allah, why will horses be so cheap?’ He (Muhammad*) said: ‘They will never be ridden in war again”. If this is not a made up Hadith and Muhammad really said this, he was wrong on the reason: The reason for low price is that the farmers do not use horses any more. Besides it is not proved that horses will not be used in wars any more – “never” is a very long time, and if the civilization breaks down, the horse will be back, also in war.
A wrong “prophesy” is an invalid one - - - and even more so as the Quran clearly tells Muhammad was unable to make prophesies – “know what is hidden” or “know the unknown”, f.x. 6/50, 7/188 – and as Aishah said the same about him in Hadiths.
For this to be a fulfilled prophesy, Islam among other things first will have to prove that horses never will be used in war any more.
Pr8. “The Hour (the Day of Doom*) will not begin until you (Muslims*) fight people with small eyes and wide faces - - -“. ETT claims these were the Mongols. The Mongols attacked in 1220 AD – nearly 800 years ago – but the Day of Doom has not yet begun. If it had been the Mongols Muhammad spoke about, according to this Hadith “The Hour” should have started centuries ago. (One of Muslims’ weak spots when they look for “good” explanations or “proofs”, are that they often are able to make explanations covering some aspects of a point, but forget – or “forget” – that other aspects with their point kill their claims. Like here: ETT “explains” flat faces, etc. but forgets(?) that this should be the prelude to the Day of Doom, and as that day has not yet come, things are very wrong with this claimed prophesy – it did not preclude the Day of Doom. In addition remember that both the Quran (f.x. 6/50 and 7/188) and Hadiths tell that Muhammad was unable to make prophesies.
This just is one more made up “prophesy” retold by ETT.
Pr9. “Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among the predecessors will spread among them”.
Some possible explanations:
· A real foretelling – but the Quran makes it very clear that Muhammad was unable to make any miracle - prophesies are a kind of miracle – or at all make prophesies (f.x. 6/50 and 7/188). Also Islam (its scholars) clearly states that “the only miracle connected to Muhammad, is the delivery of the Quran”. Further it is never documented that Muhammad made a real prophesy. Many claims, no valid proof.
· Any person speaking much has got to be right now and then from sheer coincidence. But it is clear that the cases when Muhammad said something partly correct (he hardly ever said something which became fully correct) are fewer than the laws of probability say he should experience from pure coincidence. (Coincidence is one of the words Muslims never admits if something can be reckoned to be positive for Islam – but if you screen the Quran against all the billions of facts which exists in this world, there has got to be some hits - - - by sheer coincidence.)
· Or Muhammad – if this really are his words – was talking about the known fact that new illnesses appears now and then (note that in spite of ETT’s claims, it is not stated in this Hadith that it talks about sexually transmitted illnesses) – not a prophesy, but a statement of known facts.
· Or a coincidence.
· Or a made up Hadith – there literally were thousands of them and many more.
Here are many possible explanations. “A proof is one or more proved facts which can give only one conclusion (explanation)”. This Muslim claim is just that – a claim – not a proof.
And there is the bottom line: Both the Quran and Aishah in Hadiths tell that Muhammad was unable to see the unseen or know the unknown (f.x. 6/50 or 7/188) = unable to make prophesies. (A fact Muslims like ETT never mention.)
Pr10. “There will be callers at the gates of Hell - - -“. ETT claims (not proves, but claims) that Al Qaeda and Taliban are what is foretold and that the claimed prophesy thus is true.
There have been some 3ooo sects within Islam through the times, a number of them militant and immoral (included the main parts of both shiah and sunni at times) – immoral at points compared to all normal moral codes. And there may be more sects in the future. It would be quite a co-incidence if Muhammad – if it is his words – meant just al Qaeda and Taliban. This in addition to that Muhammad himself says in the Quran that he was not able to make prophesies.
Unless it is proved Muhammad was talking about al Qaeda and Taliban, and not about one of the very many alternatives, this is a claim, not a proof (“a proof is one or more proved facts which can give only one conclusion”).
In addition there as indicated have been other bad people than Muslims – f.x. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, just to mention some from reasonably modern times.
The strongest word ETT really can use here, is “a possibility” – to claim al Qaeda and Taliban are what Muhammad meant, and that they thus prove that Muhammad made a valid prophesy, is totally outside reality and logic. And there also is the fact that Muhammad himself told in the Quran (f.x. 6/50 and 7/188) that he did not have the gift of making miracles (prophesies are a kind of miracles) or – more specified – prophesies.
Pr11. “They (the Jews in/around Medina*) will not fight you all (Muslims*) except within fortified cities or from behind walls” (59/14). This is a statement of the military situation in Mecca at that time , not a prophesy – the Muslims so much stronger than the fewer Jews, that it would be impossible for the Jews to defend themselves in the open fields.
This statement of a reality from around 624 or 625 AD ETT claims is a true and proved prophesy about the wall the Jews erected along parts of their border some years ago.
Pr12. “Dressed women appearing undressed”. (Imam Muslim no. 5310.)This kind of women has existed through all times – and if Muhammad had not seen them, this just may mean Muhammad had not traveled around enough.
This Hadith may merit a couple of “perhapses”, but as these kind of women have existed aplenty through all times, it proves exactly nothing – included that this is not a real prophesy - - - if the words really are Muhammad’s (the Hadiths are even more unreliable than the Quran and all its mistakes).
Pr13. (From ExamineTheTruth):
“There will be callers at the gates of Hell; whoever responds to them they throw them into it” - - - “They will be of our people (Arabs? Muslims?*) speaking our language (Arab*)”. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. V, pp. 197). This ETT claims is a prophesy for al-Qaeda.
But for one thing ETT first have to prove that this really is – and was meant as – a prophesy. And here one must remember that both Muhammad in the Quran and Aishah in Hadiths – and Islam today – said/says that Muhammad was unable to make prophesies. Then he/she will have to prove it really was said by Muhammad – it is ever so clear that very many of the Hadiths are made up stories. And finally he/she must prove Muhammad in case meant al Qaeda – there are numbers of alternatives, f.x. the Assassins, slave hunters, pirates, harsh rulers, harsh generals and their warriors, etc. Unless all these 3 points are proved, this is invalid both as a proof for anything and as a claimed prophesy.
>>> Go to Miracles, Part 1
>>> Go to Introduction
This work was upload with assistance of M. A. Khan, editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery".