For those of you checking out this post because of the title, you should know that the following is a research paper I did this semester. It is rather lengthy, so I don’t expect all of you to read it. What you really want to know is what my title means…so, my conclusion in essence is that Muhammad had a real experience with a demon. There. Now you’re interested enough to read it all. But even if you don’t agree with my conclusion, perhaps I’ve raised some questions that you should look into yourself. Please note that the following material is copyrighted by me. Do not use or cite without permission. My sources are listed at the end, anyway. You’d do better to go to my sources instead of trying to quote me. This paper reflects an objective opinion based upon my research, and is not necessarily the opinion of NOBTS, its students, or of the professor. Please feel free to refute, but do so in an objective scholastic manner.
Note – there are five pages to this article. Look for the Page number links to progress. They are at the bottom beneath the share buttons.
THE REVELATION OF MUHAMMAD:
EVALUATION, CRITIQUE, AND BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
A Research Paper Submitted to
Dr. Mike Edens
Of The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Course
THEO6333 Islam and the Doctrine of Revelation
Division of Theological and Historical Studies
B.M., William Carey University, 2002
November 28, 2011
Muhammad lived from 570 AD to 632 AD. He spent his life in various regions of the Arabian peninsula, from Mecca to Medina and the trades routes throughout the region. The revelations and prophetic experiences of Muhammad are the foundation for all Islamic beliefs. Without the experiences of Muhammad, the Koran would not exist nor would the Muslim religion. Islam has grown into one of the largest religions and is one of the oldest existing religions still practiced. But does anyone fully understand what happened to Muhammad when he entered the mountain cave and encountered the angel for the first time? Either he was truthful about his encounter or he was a liar. And if he was a liar, then his religion is a fraud.
As with any person who begins a new religion, these questions should be asked and the person’s legitimacy should always be challenged. History is littered with men seeking to manipulate others for the sake of their own prosperity through social or religious means. Just because a person claims to have encountered the divine, doesn’t mean that person really has. The claim should be challenged and tested in multiple ways. Each claim needs to be vetted for truthfulness, until it can be determined if the claimant is honest or fraudulent. If he were a liar, why put his family through so much persecution? How could a man like that perpetuate a lie so convincingly for so long, even unto his death? Social behavior suggests that Muhammad was not a liar. A third option remains that perhaps he suffered from some form of mental illness. In the past, critics of Muhammad have attempted to pin epilepsy to his experience, but there are specific evidences that testify against this.
It is clear that making a determination about the legitimacy of Muhammad’s experience is complex and difficult. This paper will seek to make such a determination. The claims and experiences of Muhammad will be tested and evaluated. Was Muhammad a liar seeking personal gain? Was Muhammad mentally ill? If not either, did Muhammad have a real experience? If he had a real experience, was it angelic as claimed? If he did not encounter an angel, what did he encounter? These are all valid and fair questions that should be addressed.
To begin an evaluation of Muhammad’s revelation experiences, a quick survey of his life leading up to those experiences and the nature of his claims must be taken. Only after the nature of his prophetic claims has been accurately understood can a proper evaluation begin.