Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article, "Quran Contradiction: Is Muhammad Only A Warner or a Prophet/Messenger?




Bassam Zawadi




Sam Shamoun's article can be accessed here.


Shamoun cites the following Qur'anic verses that state that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is no more than a warner:

Say: For myself I have no power to benefit, nor power to hurt, save that which Allah willeth. Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me. I am but (illa) a warner, and a bearer of good tidings unto folk who believe. S. 7:188 Pickthall

So perchance you (Muhammad SAW) may give up a part of what is revealed unto you, and that your breast feels straitened for it because they say, "Why has not a treasure been sent down unto him, or an angel has come with him?" But you are ONLY a warner (innama anta natheerun). And Allah is a Wakil (Disposer of affairs, Trustee, Guardian, etc.) over all things. S. 11:12 Hilali-Khan

Those who disbelieve say: If only some portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Thou art a warner ONLY (innama anta munthirun), and for every folk a guide. S. 13:7 Pickthall

And they say: "Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord? Say: "The signs are only with Allah (qul innama al-ayatu AAinda Allahi), and I am ONLY a plain warner (wa-innama ana natheerun mubeenun)." S. 29:50 Hilali-Khan 

Then Shamoun argues that since Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is no more than a warner, then that means he isn't a Messenger, since him being a Messenger would make him more than just a warner, thus we would end up having contradictions in the Qur'an.


This results from Shamoun taking things too literally, as we will show.

The Quran states that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a teacher of the Qur'an and a purifier (3:164), warner (7:184,188; 11:2,12; 17:105; 25:56; 26:115; 33:45; 35:23), bearer of good tidings (7:188; 11:2, 17:105; 25:56;33:45), a witness (33:45: 48:8), a caller to the straight path (33:46), a judge (4:105; 5:48) and much more.

In certain verses, the Qur'an states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 's only duty is to convey the message:

Surah 3:20


And if they argue with thee, (O Muhammad), say: I have surrendered my purpose to Allah and (so have) those who follow me. And say unto those who have received the Scripture and those who read not: Have ye (too) surrendered? If they surrender, then truly they are rightly guided, and if they turn awaythen it is thy duty only to convey the message (unto them). Allah is Seer of (His) bondmen.


Surah 5:92

Obey Allah and obey the messenger, and beware! But if ye turn away, then know that the duty of Our messenger is only plain conveyance (of the message). 

Now, would this contradict other verses that state that the Prophet (peace be upon him) 's other duties are to warn, give good tidings, teach the Qur'an, judge, etc.? No, we don't believe so since we believe that this all comes under the Prophet's role of conveying the message of Islam to us.

Shamoun cites Surah 18:110, which states:


Say: "I am but a man like yourselves(but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is one God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.


Shamoun forgets to emphasize the exception that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is making to his statement, which is that he is receiving revelations from God (meaning he is a Messenger).


There is also a verse that states that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is no more than a messenger:


Surah 17:93


Or thou have a house of gold; or thou ascend up into heaven, and even then we will put no faith in thine ascension till thou bring down for us a book that we can read. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord be Glorified! Am I aught save a mortal messenger? 


Shamoun stubbornly insists that the verses state that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is NO MORE than a warner. Thus, it is contradicting the above verse and the others.


However, the Qur'an states that the Messengers of the past are also NO MORE than warners and bearers of good tidings...


Surah 6:48


We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Whoso believeth and doeth right, there shall no fear come upon them, neither shall they grieve.


Surah 18:56


We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve contend with falsehood in order to refute the Truth thereby. And they take Our revelations and that wherewith they are threatened as a jest. 


Now, will Shamoun continue using his very literal and uncalled-for exegetical approach to the text, or will he try to allow for harmonization between the verses?


When the Qur'an states that the Messengers of God are no more than warners, it emphasizes that their task and duty is not to guide people, as Allah states here...


Surah 28:56


Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is Best Aware of those who walk aright. 


But all they can do is communicate the message of God to them (which includes warning, giving glad tidings, proper understanding of scripture, etc.)


Each of the verses has its intended meaning.


For instance, in 7:188 and 29:50, we see that what is being emphasized is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has no independent power or will to perform miracles or to know of the unseen. In 11:12, we see that what is being emphasized is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a human being, not an angel.


So, when all the verses are considered together, we see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was no more than a Messenger of Allah who received revelations from Allah to warn, give glad tidings, teach, and purify his people.






Return to Refuting Sam Shamoun


Return to Homepage

click here to view site

HomeWhat's new?ChristianityRefutations Contact Me