When Saul of Tarsus met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he reported that he saw a bright light that blinded him. No possession occurred in this story as recorded in the book of Acts.
On this page, I will compare and contrast the story about the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to the spiritual experiences of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. The reports about Muhammad come from Muslim sources as reported by Muhammad's companions and Muhammad's wives.
Report by Ayesha
Muhammad's favorite wife
"...it left him..."
Consider the story as reported by Muhammad's favorite wife.
"Ayesha [Muhammad's favorite wife] reported "I saw him [Muhammad] while the revelation descended upon him on an intensely cold day; then it left him while his brow steamed with sweat" (Miskat IV).
This is an interesting story since it supports that Muhammad temporarily lost control of himself to a spiritual being. Notice that Ayesha reports, it left him. It is important to ask, "What was "it"?
In another story reported in the Hadith called Sahih Muslim, Book 26, Number 5395, [Search on the referenced site to find the number "5395"] Muhammad is reported to have gone into a trance-like state. Just before this phenomenon occurred, Muhammad was eating his evening meal and had been asked a question by another wife named Sauda. Then the event occurred. As the trance-like state took control over Muhammad, his thoughts and actions appeared to be frozen in time. No gestures or speech proceeded from Muhammad as long as he remained under spiritual captivation. Suddenly the phenomenon ended and Muhammad reentered the conversation with Sauda as if from the instant that he had earlier left that conversation. The Story about this event reads as follows:
Narrated Ayesha [Muhammad's favorite wife]:
. . . Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was at that time in my house having his evening meal and there was a bone in his hand. Sauda [Another wife of Muhammad] reclined and said: Allah's Messenger. I went out and 'Umar said to me so and so [Asking Muhammad for permission]. She (Ayesha) reported: There came the revelation to him and then it was over; the bone was then in his hand and he had not thrown it and he said:" Permission has been granted to you that you may go out . . ."
Another interesting story that parallels the first story. There is a sequence to the possession as follows:
- Muhammad has control of himself before the possession event occurs.
- Muhammad loses control of himself as a spirit takes control of him. In each story, Muhammad is not able to speak to the people around him, he stops eating, or in general is not capable of response during this time of spiritual captivation.
- When the spirit leaves, Muhammad gains control of himself and continues right where he left off.
The New Testament presents spiritual possession by unclean spirits quite often. And usually, the end result is that the demons leave the person who is possessed due the power and presence of the Lord Jesus. Consider some texts that have a common thread as presented in the New Testament.
In Luke 6:17-19, Jesus heals a Demon-possessed person.
In Acts 5:16 and Acts 8:7, the disciples drive out demons in Jesus' name.
In Matthew 8:14-17 Jesus heals the demon-possessed.
In Mark 1:21-28, Jesus expels a nasty spirit from a man.
In all cases noted above and many others not listed above, the spirit(s) leave the human being. In all cases, the possession was temporary.
It is appropriate to ask, "Was Muhammad possessed by a demonic being?"
Muslims who believe Muhammad received words from the Archangel Gabriel do so on complete "blind faith." Even those who were direct witnesses of Muhammad's spiritual experiences.
However, archaeological evidence supports that Muhammad did not tell the truth about Jesus dying on the cross. To date, not even one archaeological item has been uncovered to support that viewpoint. And this being true, we can conclude at a high confidence level that Muhammad was not hearing from God. Therefore, the only other conclusion based on Muhammad's experiences as reported by his wife Ayesha and the companions is that Muhammad was possessed.
Finally, it is important to gain insights into the issue of spiritual possession by considering the conversion story for Saul of Tarsus.
Saul of Tarsus was confronted by the presence of the living God. The brilliant light blinded Saul of Tarsus. There is a great contrast between the spiritual experience of Saul of Tarsus compared to Muhammad.
It is apparent that Saul of Tarsus did not understand the Old Testament prophecies about God becoming the Messiah. The brilliant light of Jesus Christ support that Jesus is both Lord and Messiah. Consider the prophecy of Jeremiah.
"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King (the Messiah, emphasis mine) who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name (of the Messiah, emphasis mine) by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
According to Jeremiah, the Messiah's name is The LORD Our Righteousness. Who is The LORD Our Righteousness? The original word in Hebrew that is translated as "LORD" [Search on the referenced site to find Hebrew Word number "3068"] is the name of God most often refered to as Jehovah or Yahweh. So holy is this name according to Jewish people, they will not even pronounce the name and prefer to write it as LORD. According to Jeremiah, the name of the Messiah is Jehovah, who gives His righteousness to those who believe in Him. This verse shows that righteousness comes from the Messiah, who takes away the sins of the world. Jeremiah's words relate directly back to Daniel 9:24,26a where the Messiah gives his life to redeem humans. The New Testament mirrors these prophetic utterances from outside time-space over and over again.
Messiah as a Child
(Who is called Mighty God)
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called . . . Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6).
The prophet Isaiah reveals the Messiah will be the Almighty. The original word in Hebrew that is translated as "God" [Search on the referenced site to find Hebrew Word number "410"] is the Hebrew word "El".
Messiah as David's Son to be Born in Bethlehem
(Who comes from the Days of Eternity)
"But you, Bethlehem . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from the days of eternity" (Micah 5:2).
The prophet Micah pinpoints where the Messiah will be born. But just as important, Micah reveals that the Messiah existed long before the creation. The original word in Hebrew that is translated as "eternity" [Search on the referenced site to find Hebrew Word number "5769"] is the Hebrew word "Olam".
Messiah as the Son of God
(Who comes down to Earth)
"Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know" (Proverbs 30:4).
Words written by Solomon, the son of David, about the Messiah. Is it any wonder that the New Testament teaches that Jesus is the Son of God. The original word in Hebrew that is translated as "son" [Search on the referenced site to find Hebrew Word number "1121"] is the Hebrew word "ben".
The New Testament teaches us through the revelation that the Apostle Paul received that Christians can have a deep, personal relationship with God. Consider the following verses.
- Paul wrote to Christians, “…the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9).
- And in another verse, “…you are God's temple . . . God's Spirit lives in you” (1 Corinthians 3:16.
I know of Christians that experience the ever abiding presence of God in their beings. And because Christians do experience the ever abiding presence of God, it is important to understand the dire spiritual condition in which Muslims are living. Those who are spiritually blind continue attempting to support that they are correct despite all the evidence that shows there is no credible reason to follow the Qur'an. Are you strong enough to face yourself and ask the following questions?
- Why didn't Muhammad see a super bright light that blinded him?
- Why did Ayesha report it left him?
- Ayesha's report that it left him supports that temporary possession by a spirit was going on. How can you explain it otherwise?
- Why hasn't even one archaeological item been uncovered to support the Qur'anic viewpoint that Jesus did NOT die on the cross?
- Why do the Bible and the Qur'an have so many diametrical opposite viewpoints about God?
Go to Next Page Understanding the Christian Message of Love