Johnny Bravo and Demon Possession:

Examining A Muslim’s Defense of Muhammad’s Bewitchment

Part 3

Sam Shamoun

This is the third and final part of our response to Bravo’s defense of his prophet’s bewitchment.

Satan’s Relationship to God, Job, and David

Bravo says of the prophet Job:

Job (P), who was the victim of Satan, but is not strictly classed as a "prophet" by Christians. But he is described by God as "perfect" (Job 1:8). Satan, in the Old Testament, talked God into letting him afflict Job to see if he could make him curse God. The Quran (sura 38:40 [sic]) leaves God out of it, treating Satan somewhat more independently.

The Old Testament story can be used to biblically confirm the power of Satan, if Satan can put a spell on GOD (make GOD listen to and obey him) how much easier to afflict a prophet? The story involves Satan making God do something He never would have done Himself. God was actually "qvelling" about Job. ("Qvelling" is a Yiddish word meaning going on and on about how wonderful someone is, usually a child.) It was very far from God's mind to afflict His wonderful servant Job. If Sam's god, whether as the Father or Son, is vulnerable to Satan, how much more so the prophets, people like you and me, but spiritually superior. Job ultimately did not crumble, but his life was severly [sic] taken over by Satan and made to suffer heavily.

Of course, the most productive way of taking this is that Satan needs God's permission to do anything at all in the world.

"Satan," or "Adversary" is the angel whose office it is to test the sincerity of men..."

[SR Driver, Introduction to the Old Testament. New York: Scribners, 1914 p. 412]

If Satan could afflict a PERFECT man, so described by the Bible, then he could afflict ANY man!

RESPONSE:

Bravo’s assertion that the Quran leaves God out of it only serves to prove that the Quran is an incoherent record, and makes little sense if one didn’t have recourse to the previous Scriptures to understand it. Note, for example, what 38:41-44 says (not 40 as Bravo wrongly suggests):

And make mention (O Muhammad) of Our bondman Job, when he cried unto his Lord (saying): Lo! the devil doth afflict me with distress and torment. (And it was said unto him): Strike the ground with thy foot. This (spring) is a cool bath and a refreshing drink. And We bestowed on him (again) his household and therewith the like thereof, a mercy from Us, and a memorial for men of understanding. And (it was said unto him): Take in thine hand a branch and smite therewith, and break not thine oath. Lo! We found him steadfast, how excellent a slave! Lo! he was ever turning in repentance (to his Lord). S. 38:41-44

To begin with there is absolutely nothing in the context which denies that Allah had anything to do with Job’s trials. In fact, the Quran says that it is Allah who unleashes satans on people:

So WE HAVE APPOINTED to every Prophet an enemy -- Satans of men and jinn, revealing tawdry speech to each other, all as a delusion; yet, had thy Lord willed, they would never have done it. So leave them to their forging, S. 6:112 A.J. Arberry

O children of Adam, let not Satan seduce you, even as he turned your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment that he might show them their nakedness. Truly, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you see them not. Surely, WE have made Satan friends of those who believe not. S. 7:27 Sher Ali

Seest thou not that WE send satans against the disbelievers, inciting them to acts of disobedience? S. 19:83 Sher Ali

Hence, since these satans cannot do anything without Allah permitting it, this means that Allah is indirectly responsible for the trials these satans inflict on people. More on this below.

Furthermore, the Quran doesn’t explain the reason for Allah commanding Job to strike the ground with his foot, or why Job had to strike someone or something with a branch due to an oath he had made. We aren’t even told why he even made an oath in the first place, nor the reason why the need for a cool bath and refreshing drink.

Appealing to the hadiths and commentators only complicate matters for Bravo. Note for instance what al-Tabari wrote about Job:

... His wife, WHOM HE WAS ORDERED TO BEAT WITH A BRANCH, was a daughter of Jacob b. Isaac named Liyya, whom Jacob married to him ...

It is said that his wife whom he was ordered to beat with the branch was Rahmah bt. Ephraim b. Joseph b. Jacob. She owned all of al-Bathaniyyah in Syria and all that it contained.

... Iblis, may God curse him, heard the angels respond by blessing Job when God mentioned and praised him. Desire and envy overcame him, and he asked God to give him power over Job in order to seduce him away from his religion. GOD GAVE IBLIS MASTERY OVER JOB’S POSSESSIONS, though not over his body or mind ...

When the accursed Iblis saw that [Sam- Job praising God in spite of his afflictions], he asked God to give him mastery over Job’s children. God gave him mastery over them, but still did not give him mastery over Job’s body, heart, or mind… Iblis asked God to give him mastery over Job’s body. So God gave him mastery over Job’s body except for his tongue, his heart, and his mind over which he did not appoint him ruler ... (The History of al-Tabari: Prophets and Patriarchs, translated by William M. Brunner [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, 1987], Volume II, pp. 140-142; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Al-Tabari saw no problem in borrowing information from the biblical version of the story in order to fill in some necessary details to the quranic account. He also definitely saw no conflict with Allah granting Iblis authority over Job.

Ibn Kathir, in his commentary, says:

<And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath.> Ayyub, peace be upon him, got angry with his wife and was upset about something she had done, so he swore an oath that if Allah healed him, he would strike her with one hundred blows. When Allah healed him, how could her service, mercy, compassion and kindness be repaid with a beating. So Allah showed him a way out, which was to take a bundle of thin grass, with one hundred stems, and hit her with it once. Thus he fulfilled his oath and avoided breaking his vow. This was the solution and way out for one who had Taqwa of Allah and turned to Him in repentance ... (Source)

The late Muhammad Asad writes:

"... In the words of the Bible (The Book of Job ii, 9), at the time of his seemingly hopeless suffering Job's wife reproached her husband for persevering in his faith: 'Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die.' According to the classical Qur'an-commentators, Job swore that, if God would restore him to health, he would punish her blasphemy with a hundred stripes. But when he did recover, he bitterly regretted his hasty oath, for he realized that his wife's 'blasphemy' had been an outcome of her love and pity for him; and thereupon he was told in a revelation that he could fulfill his vow in a symbolic manner by striking her once with 'a bunch of grass containing a hundred blades or more'. (Cf. 5:89- 'God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought.') (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar, rpt. 1993], p. 700, fn. 41; bold emphasis ours)

Thus, Allah made Job strike his wife to fulfill his vow that he would hit her! Does it not amaze the readers to discover that Allah would actually assist Job in fulfilling his oath to beat his wife, even if this beating was done in a less severe manner than originally intended? Now why didn’t Allah simply tell Job not to hit his wife at all, instead of having him hit her once in place of the hundred strikes that Job had promised? Didn’t Allah understand that Job made an oath in his anger, in his haste, and on that basis absolve him from having to fulfill it? After all, this very same Allah permitted Muhammad to break an oath that the latter had made to his wife Hafsah that he would never sleep with Mary the Copt again:

O Prophet! why do you forbid (yourself) that which Allah has made lawful for you; you seek to please your wives; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Allah indeed has sanctioned for you the expiation of your oaths and Allah is your Protector, and He is the Knowing the Wise. S. 66:1-2 Shakir

Al-Maududi, in his introduction to the Surahs, states:

In connection with the incident of tahrim referred to in this Surah, the traditions of the Hadith mention two ladies who were among the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) at that time Hadrat Safiyyah and Hadrat Mariyah Qibtiyyah. The former (i. e. Hadrat Safiyyah) was taken to wife by the Holy Prophet after the conquest of Khaiber, and Khaiber was conquered, as has been unanimously reported, in A. H. 7. The other lady, Hadrat Mariyah, had been presented to the Holy Prophet by Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt, in A. H. 7 and she had borne him his son, Ibrahim, in Dhil-Hijjah, A. H. 8.These historical events almost precisely determine that this Surah was sent down some time during A.H. 7 or A. H 8. (Source)

According to Islamic tradition Muhammad would assign one day to each of his wives. One of Muhammad’s wives was named Hafsah, the daughter of Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim Caliph. On the day Muhammad was to visit Hafsah, she went to visit her father. Muhammad brought his slave girl Mary and slept with her in Hafsah’s house. Hafsah came home only to discover Muhammad and Mary in her house. Needless to say, she was not pleased. In order to quiet Hafsah down, Muhammad promised to never again sleep with Mary.

Muslim biographer, Muhammad Husayn Haykal mentions Hafsah’s reaction:

One day Hafsah went to her father's house complaining about this situation. While the Prophet was in her room, Mariyah came to him and stayed with him some time. Upon Hafsah's return she found the Prophet and Mariyah in her quarters and, as she waited for them to come out, her jealousy broke all bounds. When, finally, Mariyah left the quarters and Hafsah entered, she said to the Prophet: "I have seen who was here. By God, that was an insult to me. You would not have dared to do that if I amounted to anything at all in your eyes." At the moment Muhammad realized that such deep-lying jealousy might even move Hafsah to broadcast what she had seen among the other wives. In an attempt to please her, Muhammad promised that he would not go unto Mariyah if she would only refrain from broadcasting what she had seen. Hafsah promised to comply. However, she could not keep her promise as jealousy continued to affect her disposition ... (Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, tran. Isma‘il Raji al-Faruqi [American Trust Publications, USA 1976; Malaysian edition by Islamic Book Trust], p. 436; online edition; bold emphasis ours)

Now there are different traditions regarding the precise reason why surah 66 was "sent down." Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Allah permitted Muhammad to break his oath.

Furthermore, this same Allah supposedly says:

God will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing. S. 2:225 Y. Ali

If Allah could absolve Muslims from fulfilling thoughtless oaths, then why didn’t he do the same for Job? The obvious answer is that Allah doesn’t mind it when men "discipline" their wives since he explicitly commands it elsewhere (Cf. 4:34).

Now as far as Job being perfect is concerned the Hebrew word tam, in context, refers to Job living in accord with the commands of God. Tam in of itself need not imply moral perfection, as the book of Job itself shows:

"If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be." Job 7:20-21

"Then Job answered the LORD and said: ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. "Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?" Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. "Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me." I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’" Job 42:1-6

Thus, Job was perfect in the sense of being upright and God-fearing, making sure to do his best to keep the commands of God, commands which also included provisions for any sins committed:

"His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.’" Thus Job did continually. Job 1:4-5

"After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.’ So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job's prayer." Job 42:7-9

Third, Bravo again confuses demon possession with a believer being afflicted by Satan. As we have stated, being attacked by Satan is not the same as Satan possessing and bewitching a person. In fact, Satan can only afflict a true believer; he can never possess his mind or soul, just as the book of Job itself shows since Job successfully overcame all that Satan threw at him and did not curse God.

Fourth, the context of Job presents God as being sovereignly in control of Satan, the latter being able to do only what God allows, just as Bravo indicated:

"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, ‘From where have you come?’ Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’ Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD." Job 1:6-12

"Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:4-10

But since Bravo takes exception to God being incited by Satan to allow the latter to test Job, we duly return the favor. Since he threw out these smokescreens we only need to remind him of the following passages:

And certainly We created you, then We fashioned you, then We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam. So they did obeisance except Iblis; he was not of those who did obeisance. He said: What hindered you so that you did not make obeisance when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust. He said: Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones. He said: Respite me until the day when they are raised up. He said: Surely you are of the respited ones. He said: As Thou hast caused me to remain disappointed I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path. Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from their right-hand side and from their left-hand side; and Thou shalt not find most of them thankful. He said: Get out of this (state), despised, driven away; whoever of them will follow you, I will certainly fill hell with you all. S. 7:11-18 Shakir

He said: O Iblis! what excuse have you that you are not with those who make obeisance? He said: I am not such that I should make obeisance to a mortal whom Thou hast created of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape. He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away: And surely on you is curse until the day of judgment. He said: My Lord! then respite me till the time when they are raised. He said: So surely you are of the respited ones Till the period of the time made known. He said: My Lord! because Thou hast made life evil to me, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth, and I will certainly cause them all to deviate Except Thy servants from among them, the devoted ones. He said: This is a right way with Me: Surely, as regards My servants, you have no authority over them except those who follow you of the deviators. And surely Hell is the promised place of them all: It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them. S. 15:32-44 Shakir

He said: O Iblis! what prevented you that you should do obeisance to him whom I created with My two hands? Are you proud or are you of the exalted ones? He said: I am better than he; Thou hast created me of fire, and him Thou didst create of dust. He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away: And surely My curse is on you to the day of judgment. He said: My Lord! then respite me to the day that they are raised. He said: Surely you are of the respited ones, Till the period of the time made known. He said: Then by Thy Might I will surely make them live an evil life, all, Except Thy servants from among them, the purified ones. He said: The truth then is and the truth do I speak: That I will most certainly fill hell with you and with those among them who follow you, all. S. 38:75-85

Iblis asks Allah for respite with the intention of plunging man into destruction, and Allah grants him his request! Now either Allah knew Iblis’ intention and therefore wanted Iblis to cause men to stray, or Allah didn’t know it and is therefore ignorant. (Also note the glaring contradictions between these three reports. It seems that the author of the Quran couldn’t recall the exact words Allah and Iblis used in their alleged conversation.)

More importantly is what Allah supposedly said to Iblis:

Surely, as regards My servants, YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER THEM except those who follow you of the deviators. S. 15:42 Shakir

According to Allah, Satan is to have no authority over his servants. He only has authority against the deviators. The Quran also says:

O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people. S. 5:67 Shakir

O you who believe! take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you WHEN YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT WAY; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will inform you of what you did. S. 5:105 Shakir

When thou recitest the Koran, seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan; he has no authority over those who believe and trust in their Lord; his authority is over those who take him for their friend and ascribe associates to God. S. 16:98-100

Save unto every messenger whom He hath chosen, and then He maketh a guard to go before him and a guard behind him That He may know that they have indeed conveyed the messages of their Lord. He surroundeth all their doings, and He keepeth count of all things. S. 72:27-28 Pickthall

The implications of the above citations are quite obvious. Muhammad, if he was pleasing to God and under his protection, could not come under Satan’s control and be bewitched.

But the hadiths say that Muhammad came under Satan’s authority when the Jew bewitched him, which means that Muhammad must have been one of the deviators who fell from the right way! Please note the implication of all this:

  1. Satan has no authority over God’s servants except on the deviators, those who are not on the right way (a point echoed in the Holy Bible).
  2. Muhammad came under Satan’s authority, Satan’s control.
  3. Therefore, Muhammad was a deviator and wasn’t on the right path.

But since Bravo believed that Allah "saved" his prophet, the implications become worse for him.

  1. Allah promised that Satan would have no power over his true servants.
  2. Muhammad was supposedly a true servant of God, and yet fell under Satan’s control.
  3. Therefore, Allah wasn’t powerful enough to prevent his servant from falling under Satan’s authority and shows that Allah isn’t capable of fully keeping his promises.

Lest Bravo accuse us of misunderstanding the implication and the meaning of the above cited passages, we quote from a response to a question regarding this very subject as published by Understanding Islam:

Thus, if seen in the perspective of the Qur'an, there is not even a hint of any information, on the basis of which it could be said that the Prophet was ever under any magical spell. The Qur'an, on the contrary, leads us to believe that because of God's close guard over the Prophet (pbuh), no such harm could have befallen the Prophet (pbuh).

However, there are a few Hadith, which inform us that the last two Surahs of the Qur'an were revealed at a time when the Prophet (pbuh) was under a magical spell. Two of the important points in the information given by these Hadith are:

It is quite obvious that the information given in these narratives is not only against the stated verses of the Qur'an, but also creates serious doubts about the infallibility of the prophets of God. After all, if God and His appointed angels could not (or did not) protect the Prophet (pbuh) against such a magical spell then what exactly is the implication of God's declaration mentioned in Al-Jinn 72: 27 - 28 and His promise mentioned in Al-Maaidah 5: 67? (Source)

Trying to reconcile surahs 72:27-28 and 5:61 with the fact that Muhammad suffered physical injuries, Understanding Islam states:

As for the times in which the Prophet (PBUH) got hurt, I do not see these as negative. On the contrary, they may be viewed as positive. This has many reasons. The fact that a person is able to come on the battle field and strike the Prophet (PBUH) so hard and yet not kill him must surely have been utterly displeasing to the Prophet's (PBUH) enemies. They came so close so often and yet remained so far. It also showed the people's great rebellion; that they not only reject a Messenger of God after he made the truth as clear as day light but actually go as far as injuring him and attempting to murder him. They did indeed get what was coming to them. Furthermore, this was an occasion of testing the believers to see how they would react. There were some that lost all hope and began to flee but then there were others that remained firm. What is important to notice here is that none of these injuries did anything to message of God or its safe deliverance.

However, when we talk of the Prophet (PBUH) being cast under spells, I think that this would probably affect the Message. The Hadith that refer to him being under a spell for six months would in my opinion most certainly have affected the Message. So, while the Prophet (PBUH) getting physically harmed does not contradict the cited verses of the Qur'an, the spiritual damage to him (through spells) in my opinion would. (Source)

It is interesting that the above author basically agrees with what we have been saying that prophets can be physically harmed, but cannot be bewitched or possessed.

Now how does the writer reconcile his stated position that Muhammad was protected from the affects of magic with the hadith stories stating that he was bewitched? By simply denying the historical veracity of these reports, of course! Hence, despite the fact that these reports are from al-Bukhari and are deemed sahih (without dispute regarding their soundness) by Muslim scholars, they still must be rejected due to the clear implications they have on Allah’s ability and Muhammad’s prophetic claims!

But this shows that even Muslims clearly see how damaging Muhammad’s bewitchment is on his credibility, with the exception of Bravo.

In light of all the above, we can truly appreciate how awesome and sovereign the true God of the Holy Bible is in contrast to the Allah of Islam. The Lord Jesus is able to do for his servants what Allah of the Quran could not do for his "prophet", showing that Jesus, not the Allah of Islam, is truly the sovereign Lord of all creation!

Bravo continues:

Satan also "provoked" David (P), King and prophet, author of the Psalms! I Chron. 21:1ff.

The same story is told at 2 Sam 24:1ff, but here it is the Lord who provokes David (P). But the Lord uses various angels to accomplish His purposes. For example, see I Chron 24:15, part of the same story. And of course, see Job for the Lord giving Satan the thumbs up.

So, according to the missionarys [sic] "Holy" Bible, God sends Satan to afflict perfect men and His Prophets. David (P) certainly ended up suffering as a result of listening to Satan. Read both versions of the story (also note the contradiction between 2 Sam 24:13 and I Chron. 21:12).

RESPONSE:

First, please read the responses to Bravo’s so-called contradiction:

http://www.tektonics.org/TK-1CHR.html
http://www.tektonics.org/af/copyisterrors.html
http://debate.org.uk/topics/apolog/contrads.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Bible/Contra/index.html

And for some gross internal and historical errors within the Quran, many of which Muslims have unsuccessfully tried to defend, please go here:

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/index.html

Now that we got that red herring out of the way, we must say that it seems that Bravo never tires of committing logical fallacies, specifically the fallacy of false analogy. The text of 1 Chronicles 21:1 speaks of Satan rising up against David in order to incite him to sin. The passage says absolutely nothing about David being bewitched or possessed by Satan.

Besides, many scholars are of the opinion that ‘Satan’ here refers to a human adversary, not to the wicked, evil Spirit commonly known as the Devil. For instance, the word Satan in Hebrew means Adversary. It is often used in a broader context to refer to any adversary, whether human or otherwise, who stands in opposition to someone else:

satan {saw-tawn'} from 07853

adversary, one who withstands

a) adversary (in general - personal or national)

superhuman adversary

b) Satan (as noun pr) (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?word=07854&page=1)

 

Note the following OT examples:

"But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his ADVERSARY. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him… And the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to OPPOSE you because your way is perverse before me.’" Numbers 22:22, 32

Here the Angel of the Lord is called Satan! The next examples all use the word Satan for human beings:

"the commanders of the Philistines said, ‘What are these Hebrews doing here?’ And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, ‘Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.’ But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, ‘Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an ADVERSARY to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?" 1 Samuel 29:3-4

"But David said, ‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an ADVERSARY to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?’" 2 Samuel 19:22

"And the LORD raised up an ADVERSARY against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom ... God also raised up as an ADVERSARY to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah. And he gathered men about him and became leader of a marauding band, after the killing by David. And they went to Damascus and lived there and made him king in Damascus. He was an ADVERSARY of Israel all the days of Solomon, doing harm as Hadad did. And he loathed Israel and reigned over Syria." 1 Kings 11:14, 23-25

"Appoint a wicked man against him; let an ACCUSER stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin!" Psalm 109:6-7

The NT also uses the Greek word Satan in a similar way:

"From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a HINDRANCE to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.’" Matthew 16:21-23

The Lord Jesus calls Peter Satan, not in the sense that he was identical to or possessed of the Devil, but in the more generic sense of one who stands in opposition to another just as the context shows. The NT plainly shows that the spirit entity called Satan wanted Christ to be killed:

"Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money… When Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, ‘Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.’" Luke 22:1-5, 52-53

"During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him… Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’" John 13:2, 27

Therefore, if 1 Chronicles 29 is referring to a human adversary who incited David to number Israel, then this only further proves that David’s experience is nothing at all comparable to Muhammad’s bewitchment. A human being cannot possess a person’s mind or spirit like demons can.

Bravo should have no objection to our claim that Satan in 1 Chronicles doesn’t necessarily refer to the Devil. Note, for instance, what the Quran says:

And when they meet the faithful they say, "We believe;" but when they are apart with their Satans they say, "Verily we hold with you, and at them we only mock." S. 2:14 Rodwell

Thus have We appointed unto every prophet an adversary – DEVILS (shayateena, lit. satans) OF HUMANKIND and jinn who inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile. If thy Lord willed, they would not do so; so leave them alone with their devising; S. 6:112 Pickthall

Allah assigns to individuals satans which are either human or jinn, showing that even in the Quran the word Satan has a broader meaning.

But even if the passage has the Devil in mind (a position we hold to), this still in no way justifies Muhammad’s bewitchment. As we have already said, Satan can try to incite true believers to sin. Satan can also strike believers with trials and afflictions. But Satan cannot force God’s true servants to sin, nor can he possess either their minds or souls.

The following passage demonstrates how shallow the comparison is between Satan inciting David and Muhammad being bewitched:

"Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘From where have you come?’ Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason." Job 2:1-3

The first chapters of Job, as we saw above, show that God is in control of Satan and will even use him to accomplish his sovereign purposes. In the case of Job, God allowed Satan to incite him against this righteous man in order to vindicate Job and prove Satan a liar for bringing false charges against his blessed servant. Thus, David was no more under the control and power of Satan than Yahweh was. Satan could only incite David to sin, but couldn’t force him to sin since David wasn’t under the control of Satan. David was under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit:

"The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God," 2 Samuel 23:2-3

"David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.’" Mark 12:36

"Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus." Acts 1:16

The only way for a person to be under the control or possession of Satan is if God’s Spirit is removed from them. According to the OT, God would remove his Spirit from those whom he rejected because of their wickedness:

"The word of the LORD came to Samuel: ‘I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.’ And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the LORD all night ... And Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.’" 1 Samuel 15:10-11, 26

"The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’" 1 Samuel 16:1

"Now the Spirit of the LORD DEPARTED from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD TORMENTED HIM. And Saul's servants said to him, ‘Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.’ So Saul said to his servants, ‘Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.’ One of the young men answered, ‘Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.’ Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, ‘Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.’ And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, ‘Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.’ And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." 1 Samuel 16:14-23

It wasn’t until God’s Spirit left Saul that an evil spirit came to possess him, which shows that Satan cannot possess those who truly have the Spirit. David himself, after committing the sins he did with Bathsheba, feared that God’s Holy Spirit would leave him because of his wickedness:

"Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me." Psalm 51:11

The New Testament also teaches that Satan cannot possess true believers:

"And you WERE dead in the trespasses and sins in which you ONCE WALKED, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is NOW at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all ONCE LIVED in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we WERE DEAD in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1-7

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you IS GREATER than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:1-4

"We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, AND THE EVIL ONE DOES NOT TOUCH HIM. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." 1 John 5:18-19

{It again bears repeating, since Bravo has shown that he completely misses our point (ignores it is more like it), that being under the power of the Spirit doesn’t mean a person will not sin, since the person still has a sinful inclination and is the reason why he/she sins in the first place. Therefore, to be under the power of the Spirit means that a person is no longer under the control and power of Satan, and that the Spirit will convict and discipline a person in case he/she sins in order to lead the person back to repentance (Cf. Proverbs 3:11-12; 1 Corinthians 11:31-32; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 3:19).}

Pay close attention how Saul’s condition after being possessed of an evil spirit is very similar to Muhammad’s condition when he was bewitched.

Muhammad’s bewitchment in light of Saul’s situation shows that Muhammad wasn’t simply enticed or incited by Satan. Muhammad actually came under the control and power of Satan indicating that, much like Saul, Muhammad wasn’t pleasing to the true God.

There is additional evidence to support this conclusion. Mark’s Gospel refers to a possessed boy whom Jesus healed:

"When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing with them about?’ he asked. A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed BY A SPIRIT that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, IT THROWS HIM TO THE GROUND. HE FOAMS AT THE MOUTH, gnashes his teeth AND BECOMES RIGID. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.’ ‘O unbelieving generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’ So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. HE FELL TO THE GROUND and rolled around, FOAMING AT THE MOUTH. Jesus asked the boy's father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From childhood,’ he answered. ‘It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can'?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He's dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. Mark 9:14-27

Now compare this with Muhammad’s condition, especially during the time "inspiration" came to him:

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
When the Ka'ba was rebuilt, the Prophet and 'Abbas went to carry stones. 'Abbas said to the Prophet "(Take off and) put your waist sheet over your neck so that the stones may not hurt you." (But as soon as he took off his waist sheet) he fell unconscious on the ground with both his eyes towards the sky. WHEN HE CAME TO HIS SENSES, he said, "My waist sheet! My waist sheet!" Then he tied his waist sheet (round his waist). (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 170)

The preceding incident occurred before Muhammad’s call to "prophethood." The statement that Muhammad fell down unconscious and came to his senses implies some sort of mental deliriousness or defection. Therefore, Muhammad's falling to the ground wasn’t simply the result of his so-called prophetic experiences.

'Ubida b. Samit reported that when wahi (inspiration) descended upon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), he felt a burden on that account and the colour of his face underwent a change. (Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5766)

... Zaid said, "Ibn-Maktum came to the Prophet while he was dictating to me that very Verse. On that Ibn Um Maktum said, "O Allah's Apostle! If I had power, I would surely take part in Jihad." He was a blind man. So Allah sent down revelation to His Apostle while his thigh was on mine and it became so heavy for me that I feared that my thigh would be broken. Then that state of the Prophet was over after Allah revealed "... except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame etc.) (4.95) (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 85)

From Ibn Sa’d:

... on the authority of Abu Arwa al-Dawsi; he said: I witnessed the revelation coming to the Prophet, may Allah bless him, while he was riding his beast, it screamed and contracted its fore-legs, and I thought they would break. Sometimes it sat and sometimes it stood up straightening its fore-legs till the burden of the revelation was gone and the (Prophet) got down from it like a string of pearl. (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab Al-Tabaqat, p. 228; bold emphasis ours)

Narrated Safwan bin Ya'la bin Umaiya:
Ya'la used to say, "I wish I could see Allah's Apostle at the time he is being inspired Divinely." When the Prophet was at Al-Ja'rana and was shaded by a garment hanging over him and some of his companions were with him, a man perfumed with scent came and said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is your opinion regarding a man who assumes Ihram and puts on a cloak after perfuming his body with scent?" The Prophet waited for a while, and then the Divine Inspiration descended upon him. 'Umar pointed out to Ya'la, telling him to come. Ya'la came and pushed his head (underneath the screen which was covering the Prophet) and behold! The Prophet's face was red and he kept on breathing heavily for a while and then he was relieved. Thereupon he said, "Where is the questioner who asked me about 'Umra a while ago?" The man was sought and then was brought before the Prophet who said (to him), "As regards the scent which you perfumed your body with, you must wash it off thrice, and as for your cloak, you must take it off; and then perform in your 'Umra all those things which you perform in Hajj." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 508)

According to some Muslim sources, Muhammad would even foam at the mouth:

"The authoritative Hadith (Tradition) relate that Muhammad used to faint whenever revelation came to him. It is claimed he used to act like a drunkard (See Al-Sirah al-Nabawiya, by Ibn Hisham; chapter on how revelation came). In his boo, Al-Qur’an al-Majid, Darwaza claims that Muhammad was taken out of this world. Abu Huraira says that ‘whenever Muhammad received revelation, he was overwhelmed by trembling.’ Another account says: ‘He became distressed, FOAMING AT THE MOUTH and closing his eyes. At times he snorted like a young camel’ (Ahmad b. Hanbal I, 34, 464, VI, 163)." (The True Guidance (Part Four): An Introduction to Quranic Studies [Light of Life, P.O. Box, A-9503, Villach, Austria], p. 9; bold emphasis ours)

And:

Ibn Ishaq says 2 that, before the revelation first began to descend upon him, Muhammad's friends feared that he was suffering from the evil eye: and that, when it came upon him, almost the same illness attacked him again. What this particular malady was we can perhaps infer from the statements of the Traditionists. 'Ali Halabi, in his Turkish work entitled Insanu'l Uyun, informs us that many people declared that Aminah, Muhammad's mother, used a spell in order to recover him from the influence of the evil eye. On the authority of 'Amr ibn Sharhabil it is stated that Muhammad said to Khadijah, "When I was alone I heard a cry: 'O Muhammad, O Muhammad."' In tradition (رواية) it is stated that he said, "I fear lest I should become a magician, lest one should proclaim me a follower of the Jinn"; and again: "I fear lest there should be madness" (or demoniac possession جنون) "in me". After an accession of shivering and shutting his eyes, there used to come over him what resembled a swoon, HIS FACE WOULD FOAM, and he would roar like a young camel: Abu Hurairah says: "As for the Apostle of God, when inspiration descended on him, no one could raise his glance to him until the inspiration came to an end." In Tradition it is stated that "He was troubled thereat, AND HIS FACE FOAMED, and he closed his eyes, and perchance roared like the roaring of the young camel.' 'Umar ibnu'l Khattab says: "When inspiration descended on the Apostle of God, there used to be heard near his face as it were the buzzing 1 of bees." (C.G. Pfander, The Mizan-Ul-Haqq (Balance of Truth), pp. 345-346; online edition; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Al-Waqidi, according to Sir William Muir, recorded a very interesting tradition:

47 K. Wackidi 741. It is there added that he had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with that figure upon it. This may, however, have been symbolical of his extreme aversion to the doctrine of the crucifixion. (Muir, The Life Of Mahomet, Volume III, Chapter Ten, p. 61, fn. 47: online edition)

The similarities in the experiences of the demon possessed boy and Muhammad, especially their reaction in the presence of Christ and his Cross, are quite remarkable to say the least. It shows that Muhammad was under the control of Satan and was not a true prophet of God. There really is no way around this and the implications are rather clear, except for Bravo of course.

So we once again issue our challenge. We challenge Bravo to show us a single passage where true prophets and apostles of God were ever bewitched. We challenge him to show us any of God’s true servants coming under the power of sorcery.


The Holy Bible, The Quran and Textual Criticism

We will try to be brief here. Bravo has again focused to attack the integrity of the Holy Bible on the basis of variant readings. For instance, note his following shot at the Scripture’s integrity:

That the missionary can derive "Muhammed (P) was not a true prophet" from anything he has quoted shows how little he understands his own books. He seems to think that anything which concerns "Israel" or a group of 72 (70?) Christian disciples must also apply to all true prophets.

Bravo is implicitly alluding to a variant reading in Luke 10:17 since certain MSS have 70 instead of 72. It seems that no matter what we say, Bravo will keep chanting the old mantra of variant readings prove that the Bible has been corrupted.

We have mentioned time and time again that the variant readings do not call into question the preservation of the Holy Bible any more than they would call into question any other ancient document. No ancient document has come down to us without variant readings, yet no honest critic would call into question the integrity of most of these writings.

Besides, the great majority of the biblical variants deal with names, places and things. Most of these variants are easily reconciled and do not call into question any essential tenet of Christianity. Just look at Bravo’s own example. Do any Christian doctrines hinge on whether the Lukan text reads 70 instead of 72? Of course not.

Furthermore, both the Quran and the earliest Muslim sources affirm that the Holy Bible has remained pure. We mention this not because we are in need of the Quran’s testimony, we don’t, but for Bravo’s sake. Since Bravo believes in the Quran he therefore must deal with what his own book says about the authenticity of the Holy Bible. Thus far, what he (and the others) has said fails to adequately deal with this issue, as our debates and responses have shown: What the Qur'an Says About the Bible.

We therefore eagerly await his attempt of trying to deal with the issue (assuming of course, that he even will try to do so).

The fact of the matter is that the Holy Bible has greater MSS authority and a more accurate textual transmission than any other document of antiquity. It is even better attested than the Quran, which happens to be more recent than the Bible and yet its corruption is actually greater.

The Quran has thousands of variant readings and (contrary to what Bravo would want to believe) is not a perfectly compiled text.

For the sake of space, we limit ourselves to one example of a textual variant in the Quran. In the present Uthmanic text, we read the following:

"The prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers." S. 33:6

The late Muslim translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali records that Ubayy b. Ka‘b, a companion of Muhammad and considered to be one of the best reciters/readers, had an additional clause which was attested by other Muslim readers:

"In spiritual relationship the Prophet is entitled to more respect and consideration than blood-relations. The Believers should follow him rather than their fathers or mothers or brothers, where there is conflict of duties. He is even nearer - closer to our real interests - than our own selves. IN SOME QIRAATS, LIKE THAT OF UBAI IBN KA'B, occur also the words ‘and he is a father to them,’ which imply his spiritual relationship and connect on with the words, ‘and his wives are their mothers.’ Thus his spiritual fatherhood would be contrasted pointedly with the repudiation of the vulgar superstition of calling any one like Zaid ibn Haritha by the appellation Zaid ibn Muhammad (xxxiii. 40): such an appellation is really disrespectful to the Prophet." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an, p. 1104, fn. 3674)

Keep in mind that Ubayy b. Ka’b was one of the four men from whom Muhammad told Muslims to learn the Quran:

Narrated Masriq:
‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr mentioned ‘Abdullah bin Masud and said, "I shall ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Take (learn) the Qur'an from four: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu’adh and Ubai bin Ka'b.’" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 521)

He was also one of only four men to have collected the entire Quran. Ibn Sa’d recorded:

... When the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, breathed his last, NOT MORE THAN FOUR PERSONS HAD THE QUR'AN IN ITS ENTIRETY. All of them were of the Ansars and there is a difference about the fifth one. The persons of the Ansars who had collected it in its entirety were Zayd Ibn Thabit, Abu Zayd, Mu'adh Ibn Jabal and Ubayyi Ibn Ka'b, and the person about whom there is a difference was Tamim al-Dari. (Ibn Sa'd, Al-Tabaqat, Volume II, parts I & II, pp. 457-458; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Hence, we have a clause of serious theological implications, whose authority is attested by some of the most qualified compilers and reciters of the Quran which is missing from the present text!

Elsewhere in the same chapter we read:

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things. S. 33:40 Pickthall

Now contrast the two statements:

"and he (Muhammad) IS a father to them"

"Muhammad IS NOT the father of any man among you"

This is a clear-cut contradiction and explains why it is not found in the Uthmanic version of the Quran. Bravo may argue that it isn’t a contradiction since 33:40 is referring to biological relations, not spiritual ones. The problem for Bravo is that there is absolutely nothing within 33:40 to suggest that biological fatherhood is in view. But even if we were to accept such a harmonization we are still left with a clause that is not found in the modern texts of the Quran.

So is this clause part of the Quran or not? Is Muhammad a father of believers or not? And how does Bravo or any other Muslim know for certain? The simple fact is that they don’t know.

That Bravo has no certain knowledge to make his case regarding the (in)validity of this variant can be seen from the comments of the following renowned Muslim scholar of the past:

... An unusual reading of the Qur'an includes, "He is a father to them," but it is no longer recited since it is AT VARIANCE with the version of 'Uthman. (Muhammad Messenger of Allah (Ash-Shifa of Qadi 'Iyad), Qadi 'Iyad Musa al-Yahsubi, translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K. 1991; third reprint, paperback], pp. 29-30; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Note that this quote implies that even as late as the twelfth century A.D. (the book is dated at 544 A.H./1149 A.D.) this variant reading was known and being discussed by Muslims! The above scholar's comment shows that it was deliberately expunged from the recitation due to it being in conflict with the Uthmanic text. Thus, we have a Muslim indirectly admitting that verses were being deliberately expunged on the assumption that the Uthmanic text was more reliable than the others, a position which is not supported by the Islamic data. Hence, they didn't omit the variant on the basis that it was weakly attested, but on the gratuitous presupposition that Uthman's corrupted version of the Quran was truly authentic at every point.

But it doesn’t end here. Bravo (as do many other Muslims) believes that the Quran was revealed in seven different ways. They believe that the Quran has been transmitted in seven different readings, which makes it an utterly unique book (note the sarcasm here)! It wasn’t revealed in one way, but in seven: nor was it transmitted in one reading, but in seven different readings. But even here the decision to narrow down the readings to seven was completely arbitrary since there were actually more than seven. To top this all off, the Muslim can’t even decide what exactly does it mean that the Quran was revealed in seven ways or (in Arabic) ahrufs!

In spite of all this chaos, BRAVO STILL BELIEVES THAT THE QURAN HAS BEEN PERFECTLY PRESERVED!

Now imagine if this was the case with the Holy Bible. Imagine what Bravo would say if we claimed that the Holy Bible was revealed in seven ways and was transmitted in seven different readings. We are sure that he would see this as more evidence that the Bible is a corrupted scripture and an indication of just how blind and na´ve Christians are to believe it. But since it is the Quran, well now that is a different story altogether, since it so happens that it is the word of God.

The foregoing clearly demonstrates one thing for certain, that Bravo loves to use double standards. Bravo wants to denounce the Bible on the basis of variant readings, and yet still believe that the Quran is perfect in spite of all its variant readings and chaotic state! The readers should be able to see by now that Bravo’s criticism of the Bible is just another example of his hypocrisy and inconsistency.

For an examination of the MSS evidence and the nature of the NT textual variants, demonstrating that the NT books are the best-attested documents of antiquity and that their preservation are not in doubt by honest textual critics, please go here:

http://answering-islam.org/Bible/index.html
http://answering-islam.org/Bible/Text/index.html
http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/pastorals.html
http://www.tektonics.org/ntdocdef/gospdefhub.html
http://christian-thinktank.com/stilltoc.html

And for more on the textual corruption and missing passages of the Quran, and how the evidence supporting its preservation fails to compare with the evidence for the Holy Bible, please consult the following links:

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Text/index.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3a.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3b.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3c.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3ef.html
http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/bib-qur/contents.htm
http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/qur_hist.htm

Furthermore, since Bravo and MENJ seem to be really fond of the late Catholic NT scholar, Father Raymond Brown, we thought they would also be fond of the following papers regarding his "orthodoxy." The two links below are from Catholics who share their perspectives on just how conservative and orthodox Raymond Brown really was:

http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ323.HTM
http://www.catholicintl.com/epologetics/FrRayBrown.asp

Conclusion

In summary, all of Bravo’s ad hominems and logical fallacies, as well as his gross misquotation of the Holy Bible, have done absolutely nothing to refute the fact that Muhammad was demon possessed. Bravo’s smokescreens haven’t undermined the teachings of the hadiths and the official Muslim sources which say that Muhammad initially believed that he was demon possessed, and that later on in life he fell under the effects of sorcery.

These factors alone show that Muhammad was not a true prophet like the prophets of the Holy Bible. No true prophet of God fell under the power and dominion of Satan, and Bravo’s gross distortion of the Holy Bible hasn’t refuted this fact in the least.


Responses to Bismikaallahuma
Examining Muhammad's Claim to Prophethood
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page