Test the Spirit
According to Islamic history, Prophet Muhammad was said to practice meditation in a cave for fifteen years. Then in A.D. 610 he claimed "truth descended' on him while meditating in cave Hira. As one day Muhammad was in the cave, a spirit visited him, pressed his chest three times and asked him to read:
When it was the night on which God honoured him with his mission and showered mercy on His servants thereby, Gabriel brought him the command of God. "He came to me," said the apostle of God (i.e. Muhammad), while I was asleep, with a coverlet of brocade whereon was some writing, and said,
'Read' I said, what shall I read? He pressed me with it so tightly that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said,
'Read!' I said what I shall read?' he pressed me with it so that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said,
'Read!' I said what I shall read?' he pressed me with it for the third time so that I thought it was death and said,
'Read' l Said, what then shall l read and this l said only to deliver myself from him, lest he should do, the same to me again. He said; read in the name of lord who create, who created man of blood coagulated. Read 'thy lord is the most beneficent, who taught by the pen, taught that which they knew not unto men'. So l read it, and he departed from me. And awoke from my sleep, and it was as though these words were written on my heart,"
(Ibn Ishaq. The Life of Muhammad. (translated by A. Guillame) New York, OUP, 1980. p.81)
In other words, as Muhammad was one day meditating in the cave, a spirit visited him, pressed his chest tightly such that, he thought he was going to die. But on each occasion, Muhammad told the spirit he was illiterate and couldn't read.
After this encounter with the spirit in the cave, Muhammad thought he had been visited by a demon and ran to his wife in fear. He said to Khadija, his wife, 'cover me' she covered him until his fear was over. Muhammad related what had transpired in the cave to his wife and said, 'O Khadija, what is wrong with me? What has happened to me? I am afraid for myself! However, Khadija and on the advice of lbn Neafal her cousin managed to convince Muhammad that the spirit was Gabriel. But the spirit did not introduce itself as the angel Gabriel.
It is of great importance to identify the spirit who squeezed Muhammad at the cave of Hira near Mecca. Was the spirit really angel Gabriel? The answer is absolutely No!
A. Had the spirit been Gabriel, he would have calmed Muhammad and relieved his fear. But the spirit left him in extreme distress. The angel Gabriel appeared to many people before his alleged visit to Muhammad and each time the first thing he did was to allay that person's fear.
i. When Gabriel appeared to Daniel, he was afraid but Gabriel touched him. Gabriel did not squeeze him or cause him pain, Gabriel only touched him (Daniel 8:16-18).
ii. The angel Gabriel also appeared to Zachariah father of John the Baptist who is called Yahya in the Qur'an he identified himself and said to Zachariah : Do not be afraid, Zacharia ...... I am angel Gabriel that stand in the presence of God (Luke 1:13-19)
iii. Gabriel appeared to Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus. Mary was scared but Gabriel said to her: Do not be afraid, Mary (Luke 1:30)
B. Had the spirit been Gabriel, he would not have contradicted his former revelations. Six hundred (600) years before the birth of Muhammad, the real angel Gabriel said to Mary that she would bear a child who will be the Son of God: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
But the spirit which appeared to Muhammad told him Jesus was not the son of God:... The Christians call Christ the son of Allah .... Allah's curse be on them (Sura 9:30). If the spirit that appeared to Muhammad were angel Gabriel, it would not have said Jesus was not the son of God.
C. Had the spirit been Gabriel, he would not have given a false scientific revelation to Muhammad. The spirit said to Muhammad: "Read: in the name of thy Lord who createth - createth man from a clot! (Sura 96:11-5) These words are scientifically wrong- Prof- Haanein Muhammad Makhloof, on page 508 of his Dictionary of the meanings of words of the Quran says that the Arabic word alaq translated into English as "clot" means frozen blood. The Bible declares that man was created from clay not from frozen blood. Even the Qur'an admits that man was made from clay: I am about to created man from clay. When I have fashioned him and breathed into him of my spirit .... (Sura 38:71-72).
Dr. William Campbell in his book The Quran and the Bible, says on page 185:
"As every reader who has studied human reproduction will realize, there is no state as a 'clot' during formation of a foetus, so this is a very major scientific problem." Would angel Gabriel make such a scientific error?
D. Had the spirit been Gabriel. He would have taught Muhammad to read and write. The Qur'an declares that Allah taught Jesus how to write: "'And Allah will teach him the book and wisdom, the Torah and the gospel" (Sura 3:48).
The famous Qur'an Commentator ibn Kathir in his exposition of the Qur'an (vol.1 p.344) says:
'The book mentioned here means write. We would expect that Mohammed, who calls himself the seal of the prophets, would be taught to read and write.
The spirit said in his revelation to Muhammad Read: and thy lord the most Bounteous, who teaches by the pen, teacheth man that which he know not (Sura 96:3-4). The question is if God teaches man that which he know not by the pen, why did he not teach Muhammad (the 'senior prophet) how to read and write instead of leaving him illiterate all his life?
E. We learn from Islamic tradition that on several occasions when Muhammad saw the spirit, he would be so frightened he would run home to his wife and ask her to cover him with clothes: "I was called again and raised my head, and there on the Throne in the open atmosphere he, i.e. Gabriel (peace be upon him) was sitting. I began to tremble on account of fear. I came to Khadija and said: Wrap me up. They wrapped me up and threw water on me..." (Sahih Muslim book 1 ch.74 no.307 p.100. Narrated by Jabir) At other times, Muhammad experienced some strange physical symptoms. From Hadith Mishkat, we learn that, sometimes he would shrive and swoon, roar like a camel and white foamy saliva would come from his mouth (Hadith Mishkat iv p.359). Sometimes when he receive revelation(s) there was the sound like the buzzing of bees near his face (source: Umar Ibnu'l Khattab), while at other times, he felt a tremendous headache.
Muhammad once said: "At times it comes to me like the ringing of a bell and that is most severe for me... and at time an Angel in the form of a human being comes to me... (Sahih Muslim vol.4 book 28 no.5765-5767 p.1248)
However, it is unclear why Mohammed later said, "...The bell is the musical instrument of Satan." Sahih Muslim vol.3 book 22 no.5279, also Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2548 -2550
According Ahmad b. Hanbal, "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). This gave rise to the allegation in certain quarters Muhammad was epileptic.
Holy Prophet Muhammad according to 'Amr Ibn Sharhabil, mentioned to his wife, Khadija, that he feared he was possessed by demons and wondered whether others consider him possessed [i.e. evil spirits] (source: pfanoter 1910:345). These statements about the physical symptoms exhibited by Muhammad when he saw the spirit were not made by strangers, non Muslims or people who did not know him. These statements were made by Aisha, Muhammad's favourite wife, relatives and his close followers who strongly believed that he was the seal of the prophets. All these people happened to be very committed Muslims who knew the alleged prophet well!
Yet when the same angel Gabriel visited Daniel, Zachariah and even Mary, none of them had convulsions with foam coming from their mouths. Neither did they hear the sounds of bells ringing nor the buzzing of bees near their faces. They did not roar like a camel or swoon, etc.
Over time Muhammad started having some doubts about the revelations he received from the spirit. Allah (God) directed Muhammad to check the truth from the Bible: If thou wert in doubt as to what we have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the book from before thee (Sura Yunus 10:94).
The 'book' mentioned in this verse is the Holy Bible. If Muhammad were a learned man, he would have known what the Bible says concerning Satan: And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14). Mohammed was not only deceived then, but the hadiths record that later he was under and evil spell too. (Bukhari vol.4 book 53 chapter 34 and vol.4 no.400 p.267)
While truth can be painful, we do not mean to offend; our hope is that you will find the truth and live with God in heaven forever.