Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

This paper aims to respond to certain questions posed by Mr. Folarin Sunday during his appearance at one of ACADIP’s public lectures titled ‘EXPOSING THE FORGERS.’ For reasons unbeknownst to us, Mr. Folarin seems unsatisfied with the answers given. The purpose of this piece is to respond to some of the questions he posed in due course. I assume the reader has seen the video, and I’ll go straight to the point.

Before I begin, it would be imperative to note a few things. To begin with, the questions will not be quoted verbatim as the questioner posed them; HOWEVER, we will do our best possible to convey the intended purpose of the questions to our readers. Also, the questions will not be in the order as posed by the questioner. This piece is aimed at elucidating the response given by Mallam Adepoju. Finally, to save time and energy, Mr. Folarin will be designated the letter Q while our response will be given as A.

Q WHAT ARE THE AUTHENTIC BOOKS IN WHICH WE CAN FIND AUTHENTIC INFORMATION ABOUT MUHAMMAD. A Q was actually trying to make a point which he will refer to later in the session. The Quran, the hadith, and various books of sirah can provide us with information about the Prophet. It should, however, be noted that the Quran is the most authentic source we will refer to. The hadith/sirah, however, are prone to certain human errors. We will not delve into the methodology of authenticating these other sources; however, it is worth keeping that in mind.

Q According to the Quran, was Jesus a sinner? [A implies no]. Q quotes Quran 19:19 to back up his point. Then he goes on to ask whether the Prophet Muhammad was a sinner [He implies yes]. He then went ahead to quote Quran 48:2. A Q is trying to play a trick here. However, we will not be falling into this pit. Before we provide a straight response to that, let’s consider a verse from the Quran.

“And We sent before you also human beings as Messengers to whom We revealed (Our Message). If you (O objectors) have no knowledge of this, you may ask those who have the knowledge. We did not give them such bodies as could survive without food, nor were they immortal.” (AI-Anbiya`; 7-8)

This verse signifies and points to the fact that prophets were only like other people in humanity. They ate, drank, and were mortals. This only means one thing. Now, let’s consider a hadith of the prophet on this

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مَنِيعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا زَيْدُ بْنُ الْحُبَابِ، حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ مَسْعَدَةَ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ : ‏ ‏ كُلُّ بَنِي آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ وَخَيْرُ الْخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَّابُونَ ‏ ‏.


It was narrated from Anas that the Messenger of Allah () said: Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.’”


Sunan Ibn Majah 4251

This is decisive and straightforward, no exceptions. The prophet himself wasn’t excluded. Now, let’s deal with the verses quoted.

إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَـٰمًۭا زَكِيًّۭا ١٩ He replied, ‘I am only a messenger from your Lord, ˹sent˺ to bless you with a pure son.’

The problem here is that Q believes that since Jesus is referred to as pure, he had no skirmishes. Now, we have to ask A what he defines ‘pure’ as. If we do not know his standards, we won’t be able to help with this very question. However, what we can say is that somehow Q missed another verse that refers to someone as being pure. Did he do this on purpose? We do not know. The verse occurs five verses before

وَحَنَانًۭا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَوٰةًۭ ۖ وَكَانَ تَقِيًّۭا ١٣


 as well as purity and compassion from Us. And he was God-fearing. 19:13


This verse uses the same word [in a different form]. Again, we have to understand his standards for defining the word. This title isn’t limited to Jesus alone.

Q argues to point out a sin mentioned of Jesus if he truly sinned. This is absurd. The Quran mentions no such thing.

At this point, let me stake out a position. Our scholars have pointed out that it would be inappropriate to ascribe a prophet’s shortcomings with the word ‘sin.’

To Muslims, sin is the deliberate violation of a divine commandment, and humans are accountable for it because they choose to sin despite their ability to avoid it.


A prophet, while conveying the message, is saved from committing major sins. However, as it is stated in the Quran, none can be likened to ALLAH. Only He is perfect without any flaws. It is, however, safe to liken a prophet’s sin to a mistake. This is the case with the prophet, although translations differ. In Quran 48:2, several translations use the word ‘sin,’ while others use ‘fault’ and others use ‘shortcoming.’ I hope this is clear.

Because the Quran mentions nothing about Jesus sinning doesn’t mean he had no faults. This is a fallacious argument from silence. The Quran doesn’t mention sleeping, it doesn’t mean he did not. Also, we can point out verses in the Bible that affirm Jesus sinned. We can also point out from the Bible that Jesus wasn’t the only pure person.

Q Q says Muslims see Apostle Paul from the Bible as a forger. He then asks for a reference from the Quran or hadith. Later on, he quoted Quran 36:14 to somehow point out that the Quran endorses PAUL [how absurd].

A This point actually made me smile a bit. Paul? People like Q are fond of cherry-picking verses, translations, and exegesis. They only pick what seems convenient for them, and they do not make thorough research on any critical study. To answer the question, I would like to quote a hadith which dispels his argument.

The Prophet Muhammad said, “I am most akin to the son of Mary among the whole of mankind, and the Prophets are of different mothers, but of one religion, and no Prophet was raised between me and him. Reference: Sahih Muslim 2365a.


Seeing the text above actually dispels his arguments, and it is sufficient to let it be that way. However, we don’t want Q to have any doubts or feel dubious about this. We will provide some of the exegesis of our exegetes. Like I said, Q didn’t conduct thorough research on this verse; he only picked one that suited his purpose. He chose the exegesis of IBN KATHIR. Surely, IBN KATHIR is a well-known and respected scholar, no dispute. However, one has to understand the various ways in which an exegete does their work. There are endless resources on the internet; we won’t delve into that here. But, it should be known that in the course of doing tafsir, the exegete uses certain verses to explain another. They can also use the ahadith of the prophet and, on some occasions, eisegesis.

Regarding the verse quoted, Ibn Kathir mentioned some names in the tafsir of the verse. However, he didn’t mention that the names were something found in the Hadith or sayings of the prophet himself. He didn’t provide a chain of narration, so with this, we won’t accept the fact that these were the names of these messengers. As it is stated in the Commentary of Yusuf Ali, he said, ‘No name or period or place is mentioned in the text. The significance of the story is in the lessons to be derived from it as a parable, which is independent of name, time, or place’ (see Yusuf Ali translation). Q doesn’t know that the verse doesn’t even mention Jesus. Check the context to see. Why didn’t Q use other hadiths? How does Q know that Bulus is Paul? If it says Pulus, it could be considered valid (however, wrong), but it says Bulus. The names hold no water, and as Yusuf Ali has said, only the lessons should be learned.


Now, various tafaseer on Qur’an 36:14

Tafsir At-Tabari: “Tabari mentions: Sadiq Saduq Shalum. Al Naqash said: Saman and Yahya – Did not mention Sadiq and Saduq. According to Qurtubi, Jesus sent the first two as messengers to the king of Antioch. To him, they said, ‘We are disciples of Jesus.’ The king jailed them and whipped them. This news reached Jesus, and he sent a third messenger, ‘Shamoun Al-Safa.’

What I have done here is primarily refute the idea that the Tafsirs unanimously agree that one of the three people sent as messengers was Paul.

There is a difference of opinion among the scholars of tafsir, which is evidence that NEITHER the QURAN MENTIONS the NAME of PAUL AS ONE of the MESSENGERS NOR DID PROPHET MUHAMMAD (saw) ever mention his name with regards to this verse.

Tafhim Al Qur’an says a lot about this and it is really worth reading.

Maududi – Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an.


The early commentators, generally, have expressed the opinion that the ‘habitation’ implies the Syrian city of Antioch, and the messengers mentioned here were the ones sent by the Prophet Jesus for the preaching of his message there. Another thing that has been mentioned in this connection is that Antiochus was the king of this land at that time. But historically, this story, which Ibn ‘Abbas, Qatadah, ‘Ikrimah, Ka’b Ahbar, and Wahb bin Munabbih, and others have related on the basis of unauthentic Christian traditions, is baseless. There have been 13 kings of the Seleucid dynasty named Antiochus who reigned in Antioch, and the rule of the last king of this name, rather the rule of this dynasty itself, came to an end in 65 B.C. At the time of the Prophet Jesus, the whole land of Syria and Palestine, including Antioch, was under the Romans.

Then, no proof is forthcoming from any authentic tradition of the Christians that the Prophet Jesus might himself have sent any of his disciples to Antioch for preaching his message. On the contrary, the Acts of the Apostles (N.T.) shows that the Christian preachers had reached Antioch for the first time a few years after the event of the crucifixion. Now, evidently, the people who were neither appointed messengers by Allah nor sent by His Messenger cannot be regarded as messengers of Allah by any interpretation even if they might have traveled for the purpose of preaching of their own accord. Moreover, according to the Bible, Antioch was the first city where the non-Israelites embraced Christianity in large numbers and where the Christian faith met with great success; whereas the habitation mentioned by the Qur’an was some such habitation that rejected the invitation of the messengers and was consequently punished with a Divine torment. History also does not bear any evidence that Antioch was ever afflicted with a destruction, which might be regarded as the result of denying the Prophethood.

On account of these reasons, it cannot be accepted that the ‘habitation’ implies Antioch. The habitation has neither been clearly determined in the Qur’an nor in any authentic Hadith; the identity of the messengers is also not known through any authentic means, nor the time when they were appointed. To understand the purpose for which the Qur’an is narrating this story here, it is not necessary to know the names of the habitation and the messengers. The object is to warn the Quraish, as if to say: ‘You are following the same path of stubbornness, prejudice, and denial of the truth as had been followed by the people of that habitation and are preparing yourselves to meet the same doom as was met by them.

In other words, what they wanted to say was: ‘Since you are human beings, you cannot be the messengers of God.’ The same was the view of the disbelievers of Makkah. They also said: ‘Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace) cannot be a messenger because he is a man.’ ‘They say: what sort of a Messenger is he that he eats food and moves about in the streets.’ (AI-Furqan: 7). ‘And the unjust people whisper to one another, saying, ‘This man is no more than a human being like yourselves. What! will you then be enticed by this sorcery while you perceive it?’ (Al-Anbiya’: 3). The Qur’an refutes this erroneous notion of the people of Makkah and says that it is not any new kind of ignorance that these people are displaying, but all the ignorant people since the earliest times have been involved in the misunderstanding that a human being cannot be a messenger and a Messenger cannot be a human being. When the chiefs of the people of the Prophet Noah had rejected his Prophethood, they had said the same thing: ‘This person is no more than a human being like yourselves. By this, he purely intends to obtain superiority over you. Had Allah willed, He would have sent down angels. Since the time of our forefathers, we have never heard that a human being should come as a Messenger.’ (AI-Mu’minun: 24).


The people of `Ad had said the same about the Prophet Hud: ‘This person is no more than a human being like yourselves, for he eats of what you eat and drinks of what you drink. Now if you submit to a human being like yourselves, you will indeed be the losers.’ (AI-Mu’minun: 33-34). The people of Thamud also said the same about the Prophet Salih: ‘Shall we follow a man from among ourselves?’ (AI-Qamar: 24). And the same thing happened with almost every Prophet that the disbelievers said: ‘You are no more than a human being like ourselves,’ and the Prophets always replied: ‘It is true that we are no more than human beings like you, but Allah shows His favor to anyone of His servants He pleases.’ (Ibrahim: 10-11). Then the Qur’an says that this very notion of ignorance has been preventing the people from accepting guidance in every age, and the same has been the cause of every nation’s downfall: ‘Has not the news reached you of those who had disbelieved before this, and then tasted the evil results of their deeds? And in the Hereafter, there awaits them a painful torment.

They deserved this fate because their Messengers came to them with clear Signs, but they said, ‘Shall human beings show us guidance?’ So they refused and turned away.’ (At-Taghabun: 5-6). ‘Whenever guidance came before the people, nothing prevented them from believing in it except this (excuse): they said: ‘Has Allah sent a human being as His messenger?’ ‘ (Bani Isra’il: 94). Then the Qur’an says explicitly that Allah has always sent human beings as the Messengers, and a human being alone can be a Messenger for the guidance of mankind, not an angel or a supernatural being: ‘And We sent before you also human beings as Messengers to whom We revealed (Our Message). If you (O objectors) have no knowledge of this, you may ask those who have the knowledge. We did not give them such bodies as could survive without food, nor were they immortal.’ (AI-Anbiya’; 7-8). ‘All the Messengers whom We sent before you also ate food and moved about in the streets.’ (AI-Furqan: 20). ‘O Prophet, say to them: Had angels settled on the earth and moved about in peace, We would certainly have sent an angel as a messenger to them.’ (Bani Isra’il: 95). This is another notion of ignorance in which the disbelievers of Makkah were involved. In it are also involved the so-called rationalists of today, and in it have been involved the deniers of Revelation and Prophethood of every age since the earliest times. These people have held the view that Allah does not send down any Revelation at all for the guidance of man. He is only concerned with the affairs of the heavens; He has left the affairs and problems of man to be resolved by man himself. 

…to be continued


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