Does the Prophet's Death from Poison Disprove His Prophethood Or Was It An Honorable Death For Our Beloved Prophet?


Bassam Zawadi


I want to stress on the fact that the hadiths do not clearly indicate that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did die from poison. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was aging and he was getting sick and the Prophet (peace be upon him) just simply stated that he still tastes the poison in his mouth. That does not necessarily imply that the poison killed him. Personally, I do not think that the Prophet (peace be upon him) died from the poison. However, I only wrote this article in response to show that this argument actually reaffirms the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) (assuming that he really did die from the poison) and so that Islamophobes won't think that we are running away from this issue.


Apparently there are some Christians who have a problem with Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) death. Let's see if this truly is a problem.


Jews have tried to kill the Prophet (peace be upon him) a number of times and they failed...


The Jews wanted to kill the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on several occasions, including the following: 

1 - When he was a child. Ibn Sa'd narrated in al-Tabaqaat, with an isnaad going back to Ishaaq ibn 'Abd-Allaah that when the mother of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave him to the Sa'di woman who breastfed him, she said to her, "Keep him safe," and she told her what she had seen. Haleemah al-Sa'diyyah passed by some Jews and said, "Will you not tell me about this son of mine? I conceived him in such and such a manner, and I gave birth to him in such and such a manner, and I saw such and such," and she repeated what his mother had told her. They said to one another, "Kill him!" They asked her, "Is he an orphan?" She said, "No, this is his father and I am his mother." They said, "If he had been an orphan we would have killed him." Haleemah (his wet nurse) took him and said, "I nearly lost that which had been entrusted to me." 

This report is mursal, but the men of its isnaad are thiqaat (trustworthy). 

2 - They tried to kill him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) after Badr. Banu al-Nadeer sent for him to come out to them with thirty of his companions, and said "We will send out thirty of our rabbis, to meet in such and such a place, halfway between us and you, so that they can listen to you. If they believe in you then we will all believe in you." Then they said: "How can we reach an understanding when there are sixty of us? Send out three of your companions and we will send out three of our scholars to listen to you. They were carrying concealed daggers and they wanted to kill the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). A sincere woman from among Banu al-Nadeer sent word to her nephew (her brother's son) who was a Muslim man from among the Ansaar, and told him about that, and he told the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went back, and the following day he brought his troops and besieged them, and the Jews of Banu al-Nadeer were expelled. This story was narrated by 'Abd al-Razzaaq in his Musannaf, and by Abu Dawood in his Sunan (3004), via 'Abd al-Razzaaq, but he does not mention the details of the story, rather he says, ". 'They will listen to you and if they believe in you, we shall believe in you.' The narrator then narrated the whole story. When the next day came, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out in the morning with an army, and besieged them." This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

3 - Ibn Ishaaq mentions another reason for the expulsion of Banu al-Nadeer, which is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to Banu al-Nadeer to ask them for help in paying the diyah of two men of ahl al-dhimmah who had been killed by mistake by 'Amr ibn Umayyah al-Dumari. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat by a wall belonging to Banu al-Nadeer, and they plotted to throw a rock on him and kill him. The Revelation informed him of that and he rushed back to Madeenah, then he issued orders that they should be besieged. (Source)



However, there are some people that try to argue that the Jews were successful in assassinating the Prophet (peace be upon him) by saying that he died by being poisoned by a Jewish lady and therefore he could not have been a true Prophet. Here are the narrations, which allegedly indicate that the Prophet died from poison...


Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 003, Book 047, Hadith Number 786.

Narated By Anas bin Malik : A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet and he was asked, "Shall we kill her?" He said, "No." I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah's Apostle.


Volume 004, Book 053, Hadith Number 394.

Narated By Abu Huraira : When Khaibar was conquered, a roasted poisoned sheep was presented to the Prophets as a gift (by the Jews). The Prophet ordered, "Let all the Jews who have been here, be assembled before me." The Jews were collected and the Prophet said (to them), "I am going to ask you a question. Will you tell the truth?'' They said, "Yes.' The Prophet asked, "Who is your father?" They replied, "So-and-so." He said, "You have told a ie; your father is so-and-so." They said, "You are right." He siad, "Will you now tell me the truth, if I ask you about something?" They replied, "Yes, O AbuAl-Qasim; and if we should tell a lie, you can realize our lie as you have done regarding our father." On that he asked, "Who are the people of the (Hell) Fire?" They said, "We shall remain in the (Hell) Fire for a short period, and after that you will replace us." The Prophet said, "You may be cursed and humiliated in it! By Allah, we shall never replace you in it.'' Then he asked, "Will you now tell me the truth if I ask you a question?" They said, "Yes, O Ab Li-AI-Qasim." He asked, "Have you poisoned this sheep?" They said, "Yes." He asked, "What made you do so?" They said, "We wanted to know if you were a liar in which case we would get rid of you, and if you are a prophet then the poison would not harm you."


Volume 005, Book 059, Hadith Number 713.

Narated By Ibn Abbas : 'Umar bin Al-Khattab used to let Ibn Abbas sit beside him, so 'AbdurRahman bin 'Auf said to 'Umar, "We have sons similar to him." 'Umar replied, "(I respect him) because of his status that you know." 'Umar then asked Ibn 'Abbas about the meaning of this Holy Verse: "When comes the help of Allah and the conquest of Mecca..." (110.1)

  Ibn 'Abbas replied, "That indicated the death of Allah's Apostle which Allah informed him of." 'Umar said, "I do not understand of it except what you understand."

  Narrated 'Aisha: The Prophet in his ailment in which he died, used to say, "O 'Aisha! I still feel the pain caused by the food I ate at Khaibar, and at this time, I feel as if my aorta is being cut from that poison."


First thing to note is that even if the Prophet (peace be upon him did die from the poison right away then that does not disprove his Prophethood since the Jews had a history of killing Prophets...


Matthew 23:37

37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

            Mark 12: 1-12

The Parable of the Tenants

1He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.6"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'7"But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.9"What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Haven't you read this scripture: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 11the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?" 12Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 

14For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men




In this parable, the wicked tenants represent the Jews, the servants represent the prophets whom God sent one after another; and the owner of the vineyard represents God. The son obviously represents Jesus whom God sent last of all. This parable shows that the Jews used to kill the Prophets previously.




That had an impact in causing his death, so he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died as a martyr (shaheed), as Ibn Mas'ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: 

"If I were to swear by Allaah nine times that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was killed, that is more beloved to me than swearing once, because Allaah made him a Prophet and made him a martyr." Narrated by Ahmad, 3617. The editors said, its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim. 

Al-Sindi said: The words "he was killed" mean by the poison in the meat of the sheep's foreleg that he ate, when the effects of that appeared when he was dying. 

Quoted from Haashiyat al-Musnad, 6/116. 

The conquest of Khaybar took place in Muharram or Rabee' al-Awwal of the year 7 AH. So this event took place four years before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died.  (Source)


This is the whole miracle of it all. The fact that Allah protected the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from dying from the poison right away and then had him live long enough in order to finish his duty of spreading the message of Islam and then Allah had the Prophet (peace be upon him) die from the poison four years later so that the Prophet could die as a martyr, which is the most honorable death that a Muslim could have proves that he was a Prophet! Truly such an amazing person as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) could only deserve such an honorable death. The fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) survived that poison for four years and then died a martyr could mean nothing else except that he was truly a Prophet of God. Such a thing is scientifically impossible and is therefore a miracle. Surely the most honorable of men should deserve a most honorable death. 



Sam Shamoun also gives an argument as to why the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not eat the dates at the time of his influence of magic or being poisoned. Well a simple answer could be that it was possible that those hadith came after the whole incident of the Prophet's bewitchment. The Prophet's bewitchment had no effect on him spreading the message of God, read about it here and here.

As for the poison incident, the hadith clearly state that the dates will protect the individual for the day that he eats it! So we know that the Prophet did not get affected by the poison that day and it was four years later when it affected him. It's also possible that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was so sick that he did not have the ability to eat those dates and therefore the poison killed him. Simple as that. Nothing complicated.



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