Steel asked:

Does the Catholic church consider Muhammad a biblical prophet?


Robert Spencer replied:

"No certainly not. There are some Episcopalians, bishops and priests who have said that they believe Muhammad is a prophet and it’s a kind of misguided ecumenism that leads them to this kind of thing. But absolutely not.

A believing Catholic will consider Muhammad to be either a false prophet, which has been traditionally the case that most people have thought. I think actually that he’s a legend in any case, not really a real person."


Steel asked:

Are there any credentials to him actually existing?


Robert Spencer replied:

"I wrote a book a couple years ago called ‘Did Muhammad Exist?’ in which I examined the evidence in great detail. And I can tell you briefly that if you think about the beginnings of Christianity, the death and resurrection of Christ, and the sixty years after that, by sixty years after the time of Christ you’d have churches all over Europe and Asia Minor and the Middle East. You have the writings of Saint Paul and the gospels. Not collected together yet but there. You have various non-Christians talking about Christianity in Christ in other writings.

In Islam, in the sixty years after Muhammad you have the Arab conquest, and Arabs pouring out of Arabia and conquering North Africa, conquering the middle east, conquering Persia. In all that time there were many, many chroniclers who talked about what happened and how the invaders came and laid waste. But never, do they ever say any of them in that sixty year span that the conquerors came with a new prophet, or a new holy book or a new religion. Now that’s an extraordinary omission if they were supposed to be energized by the teachings of this prophet and this holy book. They never mentioned him once. Never mentioned anything about it to the conquered people. It staggers the imagination.

That has led many people to think, and combined with the fact that we don’t start hearing the stories of Muhammad’s life until the middle of the eighth century. One hundred twenty five to one hundred fifty years after he died. Or after he’s supposed to have died. We get the big proliferation of the stories in the ninth century. Two hundred years after he died. The people are starting to think that those stories are essentially legend and not historical accounts at all."


Copyrights:

Catholic Answers, "Islam" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2013)

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Show air date: September 20, 2013

Name of show: Islam

Guest comments by: Robert Spencer

Question appeared in show: 42:45


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