Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

10/18/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Muhammad's moral life is all there is with which to assess him.

Since the natural law, albeit natural, is God's own law, that is, of his design, it follows that God's revealed law cannot contradict the natural law.  It necessarily follows that the law which God has writ in man and his nature ought not to conflict or contradict, though it may be supplemented with and supported by, revealed or divine law.   The life and message of one who claims to be a purveyor of God's revelation, whether it be Moses, or Jesus, or Muhammad, or anyone else, can be tested through the compatibility of that claimed revelation with natural law. 

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/18/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Islam, Muhammed, Muslim, Islan, Koran, Quran, Jihad, Andrew M. Greenwell


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Muhammad is a man who must be taken seriously.  He is, after all, touted by over a billion Muslims to be the mouthpiece of the most-high-God.  He is the only witness that God talked to him and recited through him his Qur'an.  Muhammad claimed to be, and his followers hold him to be, the prophet of prophets, the seal of the prophets, khatim al-nabiyin.  This means no one can improve on or change his message. 

But there is more, Muhammad claimed to be, and his followers hold him out to be, the most perfect human, what the Muslims call al-insan al-kamil.  The Qur'an--in the view of Muslims the uncreated word of God himself--says that Muhammad is a good example to imitate, uswa hasana.  Repeatedly, the Qur'an holds Muhammad out to be an exemplary man.  E.g., Qur'an, 33:21, 3:32, 3:132, 4:13, 4:59, 4:69, 4:80, 5:92, 8:1, 8:20, 8:46, 9:71, 24:47, 24:51, 24:52, 24:54, 24:56, 33:33, 47:33, 49:14, 64:12, 68:4.  For this reason, Muhammad is sometimes referred to as the "living Qur'an."

That is why Muslims are so hostile when it comes to criticism of their supposed prophet.  That is also why Muslims object to any depiction of Muhammad: he is simply too perfect to portrait.  That also explains why particularly pious Muslims slavishly imitate him, from the most mundane matters--his toilette habits, his likes for food, his beard growing and dyeing--to more transcendent matters--his prayer habits, his pilgrimage habits, to more troublesome matters--his dislike of critics, his penchant for violence, his sexual and marital habits.

Now the claims of the Muslim cry for scrutiny to see if they are true.  If they are true, it seems Muhammad as the self-professed prophet of the Creator God must be followed.  If they are false, he and his message must be rejected.  Tertium non datur.  Given the claim by Muhammad and his followers, there is no third option between yeah or nay.

The only means we have to determine whether Muhammad was the prophet of all prophets and the perfect example of human living is to invoke the judgment of reason.  Is it a reasonable claim on the part of Muhammad and his followers to claim that this man Muhammad is the prophet of all prophets and the perfect human?

In the realm of morals, the reason we use is called practical reason.  It is what helps us determine the good.  The product of reason in the realm of morals yields us what we call the natural law. 

The natural moral law provides us with sure guidance in both our personal life and our life in common.  The natural moral law, a law resident in our hearts, is a law placed there by God the Creator of men and women.  It reflects His ordered reason, His ratio ordinis, and it informs us, through self-evident principles, through conscience, through inclinations, and finally, through the application of practical reason in further determinations to know the good and discover legitimate means to pursue that good. 

The existence of the natural moral law exists before we come upon the question of God revealing Himself through supernatural means, through Revelation.  Accordingly, the natural law ought to be the common language, the lingua franca, by which and through which all men of good will can speak.  It is the law universal and shared by all men, a law superior and precedent of, all claimed positive revelation and all moral convention.

Since the natural law, albeit natural, is God's own law, that is, of his design, it follows that God's revealed law cannot contradict the natural law.  It necessarily follows that the law which God has writ in man and his nature ought not to conflict or contradict, though it may be supplemented with and supported by, revealed or divine law. 

Similarly, the life and message of one who claims to be a purveyor of God's revelation, whether it be Moses, or Jesus, or Muhammad, or anyone else, can be tested through the compatibility of that claimed revelation with natural law. 

The natural law, then, serves as a litmus test that may be applied to any claimed revelation and any man who claims to be a messenger of God.  A man who claims to be a prophet but who lives a life that contradicts the natural law may be confidently rejected for he is an inauthentic prophet, a false prophet. We may accept here the admonitory words of Jesus which are eminently reasonable.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit, and the evil tree brings forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that brings not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them."  (Matt. 7:15-20)

In the next various articles, I intend to tackle what is no doubt a controversial subject, but one that needs to be approached honestly and forthrightly.  How does Muhammad fare when his life is judged against the natural moral law?  What are his fruits, the fruits of his life and the fruits of his teaching?

While we are unable with certainty to judge the subjective sincerity of Muhammad, we are able to make an objective and morally certain assessment of his external actions, at least as those are reported to us by Muslim sources.  In this analysis, we may take the earliest Muslim sources regarding Muhammad's life as true.

Obviously, a man who has reached moral perfection must live a life in perfect conformity with the natural moral law in addition to one in conformity with any revealed law.  The moral perfection ascribed to Muhammad by the Muslims necessarily means that Muhammad could not have been trapped by conventional Bedouin morality.  Though he could live within convention and custom to the extent that these were not in contradiction with natural moral law, as a prophet whose ear was supposedly in tune with the voice of God, one would expect him to be able to overcome or criticize conventions to the extent that these contravened natural moral law.

In making this assessment regarding Muhammad, we are fortunate to have Islamic sources upon which we draw on to form a fairly accurate description of Muhammad's life.  Although the Qur΄an is not particularly biographical, there is a wealth of narrations or reports (called hadith) concerning the words and the deeds of Muhammad and these have been gathered in a number of authentic collections such as the Sahih al-Bukhari, the Sahih Muslim, the Sunan as-Sughra, the Sunan Abu Dawud, the Jami al-Tirmidhi, and the Sunan ibn Majah

Moreover, there are some fairly old and traditional biographies of Muhammad (sirat rasul allah or al-sira al-nabawiyya), such as the biography by Ibn Ishaq or the history of at-Tabari.  There are also recountings of Muhammad's military expeditions (maghazi), such as that by al-Waqidi.

In the exploration of the topic, we are aided by what Ernest Renan observed to be a unique feature of Islam relative to Judaism or Christianity; namely, that Islam was born "in the full light of history."  Islam, Renan says, "was born in the full light of history, its roots are even with the ground.  The life of its founder is as well known to us as the reformers of the XVIth century.  We can follow year by year the fluctuations of his thought, his contradictions, his weaknesses."

And it is the moral weaknesses in Muhammad that we will follow, relying on the description of Muhammad in Muslim sources, even though we may assume that these would be palpably biased in favor of Muhammad.

Given what the Muslims ask us to believe of Muhammad, it is fair that we demand more from him than we would from an ordinary mortal.  Human foibles and peccadilloes (or worse), while forgivable or at least understandable in a mere man among men, are not forgivable and are anomalous in a man who has set himself up as a divine standard against which there is no appeal, the normative canon by which human virtue is to be measured. 

This is particularly true since Muhammad's messages were buttressed by no miracle, and his flesh has not yet risen from the dead, but lies smoldering, like that of all men, in his mausoleum, the Rauda at Medina, waiting the Resurrection both he and Jesus preached.

Muhammad's moral life is all there is with which to assess him.

In the next series of articles, incidents in Muhammad's life will be compared and contrasted to those natural law precepts dealing with a variety of circumstances.  For convenience, we intend to rely upon the statement of those natural law precepts found in the Ten Commandments or Decalogue: You shall not commit adultery. You shall not murder. You shall not lie (bear false witness). You shall not steal.  You shall not covet your neighbor's goods. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.  To these precepts, I have also added the precept that the chattel slavery of humans is a violation of the natural moral law.

Most men would agree that adultery, murder, lying, stealing, lusting after another's goods and wife, and treating humans as property, as things, are, from a perspective of natural law, offensive regardless of conventions or customs.  In the words of J. Budziszewski, all humans know that these things are wrong: these are things we can't not know.  These absolute prohibitions are part of what St. Paul called the law written in the hearts of all men.  (Rom. 2:15)

The reader is forewarned.  The analysis which these series of articles will set forth is not particularly complimentary to Muhammad, and is sure to give offense to Muslims, but it is not calculated to give offense.  That it gives offense is something that is collateral to the calculated purpose, which is to tell the truth about Muhammad.  The appraisal is intended to give a frank, candid, and honest assessment of some of the external actions of Muhammad, together with a fair comparison of those actions to the natural moral law, the law of God written in our hearts.  If the heart's witness against Muhammad is severe, that is the heart's witness. 

In his Pensées (No. 277), the philosopher Blaise Pascal famously wrote: Le coueur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point.  The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.  In this instance, however, there is no division.  The heart and reason--both components of the natural moral law as they are components of man--stand together arm-in-arm in solid witness against the claimed prophet of Islam.

(This article is adapted from the book written by the author entitled, The Heart's Witness Against Muhammad: Why the Natural Law Proves Muhammad False.)

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Middle East

'Jerusalem Encounter': Ministers and Christian youths head to Holy Land Watch

Image of Ministers and youths gather in Israel to experience God (Genesistoursusa).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Local and international ministers will join forces to lead teams of Christian youths across Israel to spread the Word of God and encounter Him in the Holy Land of Israel. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the CBN News, the tour of Jerusalem, called ... continue reading


UPDATE: 70-year-old Christian woman stripped and beaten by Muslim mob Watch

Image of The mob attacked the mother of a man who was rumored to have had an affair (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Egyptian authorities have arrested six men suspected to have participated in the mob and are currently looking for 12 more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Abdel-Fattach el-sissi demands the culprits be held accountable and issued his military one month ... continue reading


New Taliban leader to refuse peace talks and continue terrorizing reign Watch

Image of New Taliban leader as ruthless as the last (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour by U.S. drone strike - but another leader has risen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Days after burying Mansour in an undisclosed location in ... continue reading


Why YOU should care about the anti-American elected to lead Iran's most powerful religious body Watch

Image of Ahmed Jannati has been elected to lead Iran's Assembly of Experts (Iran Human Rights Organization).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After a Tuesday vote, Iran's Assembly of Experts elected 89-year-old Ahmed Jannati as its next supreme leader.Jannati is famous for his extremely conservative views of Islam and is now in a position to choose Iran's next Supreme Leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


ISIS leaders punished with NEW EXECUTION METHOD using DOGS Watch

Image of ISIS leaders who fail their duties are now sentenced to death by dogs (HWT Image Library).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a bad time to be an ISIS commander. In response to the continual failures on the battlefield, ISIS commanders are now being executed by being fed to aggressive dogs. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Kurdish commander spoke to the Iranian media outlet ... continue reading


Are we in danger? Islamic State calls for attacks on Europe and US during upcoming Muslim holy month Watch

Image of Abu Mohamed al-Adnani released a 31-minute speech to call ISIS supporters to fight (ISIS video).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ISIS followers have been urged to strike at Europe and the United States by a 31-minute speech Abu Mohamed al-Adnani posted online. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In his speech, al-Adnani told his followers: "The tiniest action you do in the heart of their land is ... continue reading


Iran gleeful: Israel is just eight minutes away from destruction Watch

Image of Iran has precision ballistic missiles which can strike Israel.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A senior Iranian military adviser has said that Israel can be destroyed within eight minutes, if the order is given. The estimate is based on the amount of time it will take for a missile to reach Israel. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Ahmad Karimpour, an ... continue reading


'Isil runs a normal state ... where there are disabled people and so on': Man shot then crucified in public square by wheelchair Jihad Watch

Image of ISIS' wheelchair executioner at work again.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An ISIS militant confined to a wheelchair has made headlines once again for executing an innocent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to <a ... continue reading


ISIS desecrates Christian headstones Watch

Image of ISIS militant stands with the help of crutches beside destroyed Christian headstone.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a newly released video, an ISIS militant, supporting himself on crutches, stood beside the remains of a destroyed Christian headstone. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The video, shown on <a ... continue reading


Al-Qaeda's new hit list includes Bill Gates Watch

Image of Al Qaeda issues new hit list aimed at American economic leaders.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The latest issue of Al-Qaeda's propaganda magazine 'Inspire' claims the assassination of several American business leaders can be of use in the Prophet's holy war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, a hit list was released for lone wolf jihads ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Christians stand your ground: Graduating class recites The Lords ...
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is Good
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Killer nanny asks judge for freedom because ...
  • St. Mechtildis: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 31, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Peter 1:2-7
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of our ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 14-15, 15-16
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 12:1-12
1 He went on to speak to them in parables, 'A man planted a vineyard; he ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2016 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and ... Read More