quran

Muhammad’s Sins – Join islam

One of the misunderstandings propagated to elevate the status of Muhammad, the messenger of God, is to claim that he was without fault or sin. The Quran informs us that no creature on the Earth is sinless.

[35:45] If GOD punished the people for their sins, He would not leave a single creature on earth.But He respites them for a predetermined interim. Once their interim is fulfilled, then GOD is Seer of His servants.

 وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُوا۟ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَىٰ ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِۦ بَصِيرًۢا

While God would not allow His messengers to err in delivering the message, they, as humans, were not immune from making mistakes and committing sins in their own affairs. This is because the human messengers of God are tested like all other people (29:2-3) and have their own trials and tribulations to overcome (2:214 & 12:110).

The Quran documents a number of mistakes made by messengers prior to Muhammad.

  • 60:1 – Abraham prayed for forgiveness for this father
  • 21:87 – Jonah abandoned his mission
  • 12:42 – Joseph implored his prison mate to get out 
  • 28:15 Moses killed someone
  • 7:22 – Adam approached the tree
  • 38:31 – Solomon got distracted by his horses 

And just like the messengers before him, Muhammad was no different.

[3:144] Muhammad was no more than a messenger like the messengers before him. Should he die or get killed, would you turn back on your heels? Anyone who turns back on his heels, does not hurt GOD in the least. GOD rewards those who are appreciative.

 وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ ٱلرُّسُلُ أَفَإِي۟ن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ ٱنقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَىٰٓ أَعْقَـٰبِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ ٱللَّهَ شَيْـًٔا وَسَيَجْزِى ٱللَّهُ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ

[46:9] Say, “I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a profound warner.”

قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنَ ٱلرُّسُلِ وَمَآ أَدْرِى مَا يُفْعَلُ بِى وَلَا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

Below are examples in the Quran where Muhammad, the man, committed errors and sins.

Before Messengership was Astray

The Quran indicates that before Muhammad was appointed by God as a messenger, he was astray. This can be seen in 93:7, which uses the singular form of “you” in Arabic, indicating that it refers to Muhammad.

[93:5] And your Lord will give you enough; you will be pleased.
[93:6] Did He not find you orphaned and He gave you a home?
[93:7] He found you astray, and guided you.

(٧) وَوَجَدَكَ ضَآلًّا فَهَدَىٰ

1 wawajadaka وَوَجَدَكَ And He found you
2 ḍāllan ضَآلًّا lost / astray,
3 fahadā فَهَدَىٰ so He guided (you).

Before Messengership worshiped Idols

The Quran indicates that Muhammad worshiped idols before being appointed as a messenger. We see in the following two verses (40:66 & 6:56) uses the word “nuhītu” ( نُهِيتُ ), which indicates to cease, refrain, or stop something that was going on. See, for example, the same word in 4:171 or 2:192.

[40:66] Say, “I have been enjoined from worshiping the idols you worship beside GOD, when the clear revelations came to me from my Lord. I was commanded to submit to the Lord of the universe.”

 قُلْ إِنِّى نُهِيتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَمَّا جَآءَنِىَ ٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتُ مِن رَّبِّى وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أُسْلِمَ لِرَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ

[6:56] Say, “I am forbidden from worshiping what you worship besides GOD.” Say, “I will not follow your opinions. Otherwise, I will go astray, and not be guided.”

قُلْ إِنِّى نُهِيتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ قُل لَّآ أَتَّبِعُ أَهْوَآءَكُمْ قَدْ ضَلَلْتُ إِذًا وَمَآ أَنَا۠ مِنَ ٱلْمُهْتَدِينَ

[4:171] O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, “Trinity.” You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master.

 يَـٰٓأَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَا تَغْلُوا۟ فِى دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا۟ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلْحَقَّ إِنَّمَا ٱلْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ٱبْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُۥٓ أَلْقَىٰهَآ إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ فَـَٔامِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَلَا تَقُولُوا۟ ثَلَـٰثَةٌ ٱنتَهُوا۟ خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ إِنَّمَا ٱللَّهُ إِلَـٰهٌ وَٰحِدٌ سُبْحَـٰنَهُۥٓ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُۥ وَلَدٌ لَّهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque (Masjid), unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. [2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

(١٩٢) فَإِنِ ٱنتَهَوْا۟ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

God Forgave His Past and Future Sins

The Quran confirms that Muhammad committed sins in the past and was destined to commit sins in the future and that God has forgiven him for these transgressions.

[48:1] We have bestowed upon you (O Messenger) a great victory.
[48:2] Whereby GOD forgives your past sins, as well as future sins, and perfects His blessings upon you, and guides you in a straight path.

 إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًا

 لِّيَغْفِرَ لَكَ ٱللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنۢبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُۥ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَٰطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا

The Quran informs us that God communicates to people, including his human messengers, in one of three ways.

[42:51] No human being can communicate with GOD except through
(1) inspiration,
(2) or from behind a barrier,
(3) or by sending a messenger through whom He reveals what He wills.

He is the Most High, Most Wise.

 وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُكَلِّمَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا
وَحْيًا
أَوْ مِن وَرَآئِ حِجَابٍ
أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِىَ بِإِذْنِهِۦ مَا يَشَآءُ
إِنَّهُۥ عَلِىٌّ حَكِيمٌ

The only messenger God spoke to directly from behind a barrier was Moses (2:253). Regarding Muhammad, God communicated to him through inspiration (6:19) and the angel messenger Gabriel (2:97).

God informs us that the function of His messengers is to bring those who believe out of darkness into the light. This was done by the angel Gabriel in the context of Muhammad.

[65:11] a messenger who recites to you GOD’s revelations, clearly, to lead those who believe and work righteousness out of the darkness into the light. Anyone who believes in GOD and leads a righteous life, He will admit him into gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. GOD will generously reward him.

 رَّسُولًا يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـٰتٍ لِّيُخْرِجَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَـٰلِحًا يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـٰتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًا قَدْ أَحْسَنَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۥ رِزْقًا

Almost Leaned Towards Disbelievers

The Quran informs us that God had to strengthen the heart of Muhammad; otherwise, he was about to divert from the revelations given to him.

[17:73] They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend.
[17:74] If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit.
[17:75] Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us.
[17:76] They almost banished you from the land to get rid of you, so they could revert as soon as you left.

 وَإِن كَادُوا۟ لَيَفْتِنُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ لِتَفْتَرِىَ عَلَيْنَا غَيْرَهُۥ وَإِذًا لَّٱتَّخَذُوكَ خَلِيلًا

 وَلَوْلَآ أَن ثَبَّتْنَـٰكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْـًٔا قَلِيلًا

 إِذًا لَّأَذَقْنَـٰكَ ضِعْفَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ وَضِعْفَ ٱلْمَمَاتِ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ عَلَيْنَا نَصِيرًا

 وَإِن كَادُوا۟ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ ٱلْأَرْضِ لِيُخْرِجُوكَ مِنْهَا وَإِذًا لَّا يَلْبَثُونَ خِلَـٰفَكَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

Battle Participation

The messenger allowed people to stay behind from going to battle before confirming if their excuses were valid, and God pardoned him.

[9:42] If there were a quick material gain, and a short journey, they would have followed you. But the striving is just too much for them. They will swear by GOD: “If we could, we would have mobilized with you.” They thus hurt themselves, and GOD knows that they are liars.
[9:43] GOD has pardoned you: why did you give them permission (to stay behind), before you could distinguish those who are truthful from the liars? 
[9:44] Those who truly believe in GOD and the Last Day do not ask your permission to evade the opportunity to strive with their money and their lives. GOD is fully aware of the righteous.

 لَوْ كَانَ عَرَضًا قَرِيبًا وَسَفَرًا قَاصِدًا لَّٱتَّبَعُوكَ وَلَـٰكِنۢ بَعُدَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلشُّقَّةُ وَسَيَحْلِفُونَ بِٱللَّهِ لَوِ ٱسْتَطَعْنَا لَخَرَجْنَا مَعَكُمْ يُهْلِكُونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَـٰذِبُونَ

 عَفَا ٱللَّهُ عَنكَ لِمَ أَذِنتَ لَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكَ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا۟ وَتَعْلَمَ ٱلْكَـٰذِبِينَ

 لَا يَسْتَـْٔذِنُكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِ أَن يُجَـٰهِدُوا۟ بِأَمْوَٰلِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِٱلْمُتَّقِينَ

Captives

The prophet acquired captives from a battle he did not participate in, and God saved him from terrible retribution.

[8:67] No prophet shall acquire captives, unless he participates in the fighting. You people are seeking the materials of this world, while GOD advocates the Hereafter. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.
[8:68] If it were not for a predetermined decree from GOD, you would have suffered, on account of what you took, a terrible retribution.

 مَا كَانَ لِنَبِىٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُۥٓ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةَ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

 لَّوْلَا كِتَـٰبٌ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَآ أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Turned away from the Blind Man

Sura 80 of the Quran is entitled “He Frowned” (‘Abasa) and is regarding an incident where the prophet gave his attention to the rich man over the blind man. While the blind man couldn’t see Muhammad frown, God could and corrected him for this.

[80:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[80:1] He (Muhammad) frowned and turned away.
[80:2] When the blind man came to him.
[80:3] How do you know? He may purify himself.
[80:4] Or he may take heed, and benefit from the message.
[80:5] As for the rich man.
[80:6] You gave him your attention.
[80:7] Even though you could not guarantee his salvation.
[80:8] The one who came to you eagerly.
[80:9] And is really reverent.
[80:10] You ignored him.
[80:11] Indeed, this is a reminder.
[80:12] Whoever wills shall take heed.

Apprehensive to Mary Zaid’s Wife

Sura 33, The Parties (Al-Ahzãb), mentions an incident where the prophet was given a direct commandment to marry the divorced wife of his adopted son, yet he was apprehensive to follow through with God’s command, fearing what the people would say for such actions.

[33:36] No believing man or believing woman, if GOD and His messenger issue any command, has any choice regarding that command. Anyone who disobeys GOD and His messenger has gone far astray.[33:37] Recall that you said to the one who was blessed by GOD, and blessed by you, “Keep your wife and reverence GOD,” and you hid inside yourself what GOD wished to proclaim. Thus, you feared the people, when you were supposed to fear only GOD. When Zeid was completely through with his wife, we had you marry her, in order to establish the precedent that a man can marry the divorced wife of his adopted son. GOD‘s commands shall be done. [33:38] The prophet is not committing an error by doing anything that is made lawful by GOD. Such is GOD‘s system since the early generations. GOD‘s command is a sacred duty. [33:39] Those who deliver GOD‘s messages, and who reverence Him alone, shall never fear anyone but GOD. GOD is the most efficient reckoner.

 وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُۥٓ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـٰلًا مُّبِينًا

 وَإِذْ تَقُولُ لِلَّذِىٓ أَنْعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ زَوْجَكَ وَٱتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ وَتُخْفِى فِى نَفْسِكَ مَا ٱللَّهُ مُبْدِيهِ وَتَخْشَى ٱلنَّاسَ وَٱللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَىٰهُ فَلَمَّا قَضَىٰ زَيْدٌ مِّنْهَا وَطَرًا زَوَّجْنَـٰكَهَا لِكَىْ لَا يَكُونَ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ حَرَجٌ فِىٓ أَزْوَٰجِ أَدْعِيَآئِهِمْ إِذَا قَضَوْا۟ مِنْهُنَّ وَطَرًا وَكَانَ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ مَفْعُولًا

 مَّا كَانَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ مِنْ حَرَجٍ فِيمَا فَرَضَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۥ سُنَّةَ ٱللَّهِ فِى ٱلَّذِينَ خَلَوْا۟ مِن قَبْلُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَّقْدُورًا

 ٱلَّذِينَ يُبَلِّغُونَ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَيَخْشَوْنَهُۥ وَلَا يَخْشَوْنَ أَحَدًا إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ حَسِيبًا

Prohibited Something Lawful

Sura 66, Prohibition (Al-Tahreem), mentions that the prophet made something unlawful that God did not prohibit just to please his wives.

[66:1] O you prophet, why do you prohibit what GOD has made lawful for you, just to please your wives? GOD is Forgiver, Merciful.

 يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَآ أَحَلَّ ٱللَّهُ لَكَ تَبْتَغِى مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَٰجِكَ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Only God has the authority to make something unlawful (haram), and it is a major sin to claim something is unlawful (haram) when it is not.

[16:116] You shall not utter lies with your own tongues stating: “This is lawful, and this is unlawful,” to fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD. Surely, those who fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD will never succeed.

 وَلَا تَقُولُوا۟ لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ ٱلْكَذِبَ هَـٰذَا حَلَـٰلٌ وَهَـٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُوا۟ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلْكَذِبَ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ

Conclusion

When Muslims claim that Muhammad was sinless or infallible, they think they are respecting the prophet, but they are only spreading falsehood and elevating his status in an act of idolization. I believe these examples are in the Quran to remind us that he was only a human being and to avoid elevating his status to the point of worship like it has been done to some of God’s messengers in the past.

[18:110] Say, “I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord.”

 قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۠ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَٰحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِۦ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَـٰلِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِۦٓ أَحَدًۢا

[3:79] Never would a human being whom GOD blessed with the scripture and prophethood say to the people, “Idolize me beside GOD.” Instead, (he would say), “Devote yourselves absolutely to your Lord alone,” according to the scripture you preach and the teachings you learn.
[3:80] Nor would he command you to idolize the angels and the prophets as lords. Would he exhort you to disbelieve after becoming submitters?

 مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحُكْمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُوا۟ عِبَادًا لِّى مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَـٰكِن كُونُوا۟ رَبَّـٰنِيِّـۧنَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ

وَلَا يَأْمُرَكُمْ أَن تَتَّخِذُوا۟ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةَ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ أَرْبَابًا أَيَأْمُرُكُم بِٱلْكُفْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ أَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ

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