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The Sealed Nectar

 The Sealed Nectar by Shaykh Safi ur-Rahman

The orientalists allege that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was subject to the Judeo/Christian influence of his time and that the Quran reflects this influence. It was suggested that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) had two big problems if he were to embrace Judaism or Christianity. If he becomes a Christian, he would be bringing in the Christian Byzantine regime to Mecca which will not be tolerated by his people in Mecca, and he could not pretend that he know more than the older members and priests of those two religions - Judaism and Christianity. Thus, in both instances, he cannot take the leadership. So the orientalists suggest that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) decided to reproduce the role of Moses or Jesus, because he could see that "they were men, and what they had done he could do."

The orientalists allege that the monotheistic influence was due to Christian and Jewish influence who were present in Makkah and also suggested that there was a monotheist informant from one of those religions. However at a different stage, they also suggested that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) received from his informants "would be factual knowledge" but the "meaning and interpretation of the facts" came to him "by the usual process of revelation".

They suggested that the gradual growth in accuracy of the Quran's narration pertinent to biblical stories is evidence that Muhammad got these stories from some informant.

They alleged that the Quran reproduced contemporary errors that were originally found in the Judeo/Christian scriptures.


The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was only 12 years old when he met Baheera for a very short period of time on the way to Syria. This very brief meeting is not sufficient to discuss religious doctrines. It is stupid to assume that the young boy can discuss religious doctrines and scriptural prophecy about the coming of the Messenger etc, at this tender age.


The orientalists accept a part of this meeting only, but they fail to acknowledge the other, which speak about:


Baheera's knowledge concerning the prophecy in the Scriptures regarding the coming of the new prophet;


Baheera recognizing the sign of Prophethood in Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him); and


Baheera asking Abu Talib to take the boy home


When confronted with the above information, Muir even tries to explain it as a mistake or as a forgery of a designing monk. In order to downplay the importance of Baheera's recognition of the sign of prophethood, Muir writes a footnote saying that the report is full of absurdities, but later realizing his folly, omits the footnote in subsequent editions without altering the main text.


It is common knowledge that a trade caravan traveling in the harsh desert would concentrate their trade in populated areas only and avoid wandering into deserted habitations, ruined townships or empty church assemblies for the sight seeing pleasure of a young boy. Yet Muir suggests that the caravan passed near Petra, Jerash, Ammon and other ruined cities and that these sights influenced the young Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him).


In Makkah there were only a few Christians of humble social and intellectual status, being either slaves or petty retailers and mostly immigrants. Only one or two original inhabitants of Makkah such as Uthman ibn al Huwairith and Waraqah ibn Nawfal had turned Christians, the former out of personal or political considerations, and the latter as a result of his search for better faith. But the Makkan community had some second- hand knowledge of these two religions of Judaism and Christianity.


The question is, would a person like Mohammed's (Peace and Blessings be upon him) stature, knowledge and intelligence as suggested by the orientalists, proceed to propound a new religion and challenge the credibility of both the prevailing systems of Judaism and Christianity only on the basis of hearsay and superficial knowledge of them?


The orientalists are not consistent in their allegation that:


The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was ambitious and therefore careful enough to avoid the political implications of embracing either Judaism or Christianity; and


He was careless enough to institute a new religion based on information picked up from bazaar gossips and Jewish storytellers at wine shops.





It is nave to say that Islam is an amalgam of second hand information about Judaism and Christianity with an inkling of Arab elements in it and it is absurd to suggest that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was cognizant of the two religious systems.


The concept of prophethood, the memory of Ibrahim as a prophet and founder of Kaaba which the Arabs univerPeace and Blessings be upon himly cherished, as well as the Abraham's rites of Haj or pilgrimage to the Kaaba were unquestionably pre-Jewish and pre-Christian. Pre-Islamic Arabs independent of any Jewish or Christian influence knew the concept of Allah as the supreme God. The teachings of Ibrahim found haven in Arabia long before the arrival of Judaism or Christianity and the Arabs were already conversant with the word Hanif as the worshipper of One God.


The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) accused the contemporary Arabs, the Jews and the Christians of having deviated from the original teachings of their prophets and of having degenerated into polytheism. He also rejected what they said were the teachings of their scriptures. So he cannot be misconstrued as having conceived the idea of monotheism from the Judeo Christian influence.


The Quran does not maintain that it is teaching a new religion. Instead it upholds and revives of the original teachings God has given through all Prophets of all nations. It claims that its teachings are the same as that of Ibrahim, Moses and Jesus and speak about all of them in glowing terms. Since every orientalist agrees on the fact that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) has not read any of the scriptures, his source of knowledge must be something other than these scriptures.


The rejection of biblical teachings about the son or father of the God was rejected even in the Makkan Surahs and long before the migration to Madina. Hence it is not correct to say that these renunciations came about, at the wake of the separation from the Jews and Christians in Madina.


It is impossible to get even a glimpse of Monotheism from any amount of observation of Judaism and Christianity in those days. The practices of these two religious groups were steeped in the most debasing corruption and superstitions, which are vastly removed from being model monotheists.


The various reform movements in Christianity, particularly the Cluniac Movement, the Iconoclastic Movement and the reformation started by Martin Luther bear testimony to the depth of degradation into which the Christians and Christianity of the day had condescended. In a way, all these reform movements and the subsequent emphasis on monotheism, in spite of an adherence to the doctrines of Trinity and divinity of Christ are, by and large impacts of the uncompromising monotheism enunciated and propagated by Islam. In other words, it was Islam that influenced the revival movements in Christianity.


The tradition that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) heard Quss ibn Saida preach at the Ukaz fair is spurious and discarded as one its narrators Muhammad ibn Hallaj al Lakhmi is a confirmed liar. The suggestion that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) learnt from Zayd ub Harithah is discarded on the ground that Zayd came to the Prophet as a little boy and as such could not have taught very much about Christianity to his foster father. Moreover, Zayd was of genuine faith in the mission of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and followed him till his death. The allegation that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) received instruction from Waraqa ibn Nawfal on Christianity is rejected on the ground that, if this information is true, then the Quraishis would have made a very strong point and issue about it. The assertion that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) is being instructed by a foreigner, is already properly addressed and rebutted by the Quran itself and as such it is not discussed here. If some of the Christians and Jews of Makkah have provided information about former religions, they would not have faith in the Prophet's mission and leadership to become Muslims in the first p.


The Makka tortured a number of such converts in order to extort an admission that Mohammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) had obtained help from them. Jabr, one of the victims of oppression when persecuted and tortured to the extreme, gave a significant reply: "It is not I who teaches Muhammad, rather it is he who teaches and guides me." Tafsir - Qurtubi.


It is worth noting some of the points raised by Dr. Jamal Badawi, a renowned scholar in Canada in this connection. He says, 'It would be highly imaginary to say that through his occasional chats with Jews and Christians, while busy with his caravan, Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) learned enough about either or both religions to formulate a new powerful and viable religion, a task that defies the collective efforts of scholars for centuries.'


Further, the above assertion raises a number of questions. Dr. Jamal Badawi puts forth the following six questions. Why is it, that in spite of the abundance of historical material on Muhammad's life, and in spite of the extensive research on his life for centuries by his severe critics, why was it not possible to discover that mysterious teacher(s) through whom Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) might have learned all that?


It is known that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was opposed, ridiculed and persecuted for nearly thirteen years by his own contemporaries. With this magnitude of severe enemies, was it not possible for them to prove to the masses that Muhammad's (Peace and Blessings be upon him) claim of revelation was sheer fabrication? Was it not possible for them to reveal and name which they alleged to be the human source of sources of his teachings? Even some of his adversaries who made this assertion changed their minds later on and accused him, instead, of magic or of being possessed by evil etc.


Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was raised among his people and every aspect of his life was exposed to them, especially by the openness that characterizes tribal life in the desert. How could the multitudes of his contemporaries, including many of his close relatives who knew him so well, how could they believe in his truthfulness if they had any doubt tht he was claiming credit for ideas taught to him by some other teachers without bothering to give them credit?


What kind of teacher might have taught Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) a coherent and complete religion that changed the face of history? Why didn't he or they (if any) speak against the alleged student who continued learning from them, while ignoring them and claiming some other divine source for his teachings?


How could many Jews and Christians amongst his contemporaries become Muslims and believe in his truthfulness if they knew that he was copying from their scriptures or learning from their priests or rabbis?


It is known that some of the Quranic revelations came to Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) in the presence of people. The Quran was revealed during the span of twenty-three hears, where then was that mysterious perhaps, invisible human teacher of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him)? How could he have hidden himself for so long? Or how could Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) who was constantly surrounded by followers, how was he able to make frequent secret visits to that mysterious teacher or teachers for twenty-three years without being caught even once?




The whole teachings of Islam in the Quran such as, the rules and duties are indeed spelt out gradually over a period of 23 years, and the arrangement of Ayahs and Suras revealed are as per the need of the society at the time. A good example is the warning about the intoxicants in the Quran and how it was finally prohibited. The prohibition did not come all of a sudden. The society was first spiritually prepared to accept such a prohibition and when the prohibition came into effect, it was accepted openly and gladly. This may look as a gradual growth in accuracy for some of the orientalists who may make an issue out of it, but it is not so. However, it is worth noticing that some of the orientalists have started to discard this line of thinking.


The Quran is not a derivation from the Judeo/Christian scriptures as claimed by the orientalists and as evidenced by the following...




Some of the Prophets mentioned in the Quran i.e. Hud for the Thamud and Peace and Blessings be upon himih for the Ad people are not even mentioned in the Bible.


Information given in the Quran about Prophet Ibrahim specifically about his teachings on monotheism and the resultant struggle is not found in the Bible.


Jesus speaking in the cradle confirming the chastity of his mother, his giving life to the birds made in clay by God's permission, the table descending from heaven.


Musa travelling to the "meeting place of two seas".


The incident of Pharaoh's plan to kill Musa and that a "believer" in Pharaoh's court dissuaded him from carrying out his plan.


Musa striking the 12 springs for each of the Jewish tribe.


The magicians in Pharao's court died for their belief in God.


Quran contradicts accounts given in the Bible:


The angels visiting Ibrahim on their way to Lut;


The preaching of Nuh was specifically monotheism according to Quran;


Quran categorically denies that concept of trinity and confirm that Jesus was no more than a Prophet - not god, not the son-of-god and not the trinity;


Quran categorically states that Jesus was not crucified nor killed;


Quran states that all the prophets are noble men sent by Allah and clears all of the prophets from evil intention or evil actions, as against what can be found in the bible.


Quran testifies that all the prophets of God were sincere to their mission for which they were sent by God, and never betrayed their mission as suggested in the bible such as Moses, Haroun, or sinned as in the case of Lut, David, Solomon and others.




1. Incidents relating to Prophet Nuh


2. Mary being asked to pray to Allah - implying that Mary is a human being who require the mercy of God


3. The whole story of Yoosuf (ala) delivered in a spiritual atmosphere with more details of his life, that is not found in the bible


It is true that some of the historical incidents are mentioned in the bible and the Quran, but this does not mean that the Quran picked them from these sources. Instead it is a confirmation of the events of the past but looking at them with a clear vision. There was no good library or museum in Makkah in the first place and the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) could not read or write. There were no scholars and philologists in that place to unravel the secrets of ancient work to the would be Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him).


While casually recognizing that there are new elements in the Quran, the orientalists did seem to have never paid attention to find out the sources of these elements. If they had done so, the orientalists would surely have found reason to see that the assumptions under which they have hitherto been laboring so diligently and impressively need revision.