The Heart's Witness against Muhammad: Introduction
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.
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 ...
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