The following hadith shows just how rational Muhammad truly was:
1396. Narrated (Abu Huraira) The Prophet said, “A group of Israelites was lost. Nobody knows what they did. But I do not see them except that they were cursed and transformed into rats, for if you put the milk of a she-camel in front of a rat, it will not drink it, but if the milk of a sheep is put in front of it, it will drink it. I told this to Ka’b who asked me, “Did you hear it from the Prophet?” I said, “Yes.” Ka’b asked me the same question several times; I said to Ka’b. “Do I read the Taurât (Torah)? (i.e. I tell you this from the Prophet).
[4:524-O.B] (The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic-English), Translation by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah), Compilation: Al-Imam Zain-ud-Din Ahmad bin Abdul-Lateef Az-Zubaidi [Maktaba Dar-us-Salam Publishers & Distributors, 1994], 54. The Book of the Beginning of Creation, p. 656 https://ia802602.us.archive.org/18/items/SummarizedSahihAl-bukhari.pdf/SummarizedSahihAl-bukhari.pdf; underline emphasis ours)
Before continuing any further, the immediate question that comes to my mind is, what group is Muhammad talking about? Does it refer to the “lost tribes” of Israel that you find also discussed in Christian books? Or to a certain smaller group of the “ancient” Israelites? Or does this refer to some Jews that disappeared in Muhammad’s time?
But if it was some ancient event he is referring to, did Muhammad claim that these rats were the actual Jews/Israelites that had been lost (i.e., rats which are about a thousand years old?) or that they were the offspring of these “Israelite-rats”? (Unfortunately for Muslims, Muhammad did not have a realistic feeling for time and history; see the many historical compressions we have listed in the Quran contradictions section www.answeringislam.net/Quran/Contra/).
Another observation: Muhammad seemingly assumed that ALL rats were originally those Israelites, because he makes a GENERAL statement, e.g. “for if you put the milk of a she-camel in front of a rat, it will not drink it.” He does not say: usually rats drink camel-milk, but there are some rats which do not. THOSE rats are cursed Israelites. As far as the above narration is concerned, Muhammad seems to be claiming that rats in general do not drink camel-milk and therefore all rats were originally Israelites. In a way, rats did not exist, before Allah turned some Israelites into these “new creatures”. Or all other (original) rats became extinct after the much more intelligent Israelite rat took over their habitat since they were superior in competition…! The more one thinks about this the weirder it gets.
Returning to the issue at hand, note the logic here. Muhammad sees a group of rats refusing to drink the milk of camels and concludes that they must be Jews since Jews are forbidden from eating camels or drinking their milk. The translator has a footnote stating the same thing:
 It was illegal for the Israelites to eat the meat or drink the milk of camels while they were allowed to eat the meat and drink the milk of sheep. The Prophet inferred from the rats’ habit that some Israelites had been transformed into rats. (Ibid.; underline emphasis ours)
(Sidenote: Why does Muhammad assume that these Israelites that were turned into rats for their disobedience to the laws of God, would all of a sudden become meticulous Torah-observant rats?)
To say that such reasoning is impeccable would be a wild understatement.
In fact, employing Muhammad’s logic we can infer that lots of people have been transformed into rats and various other animals, specifically Muslims. For instance, Muslims are forbidden to drink strong intoxicants; rats usually do not drink strong intoxicants like Whiskey or Vodka as well. Imitating Muhammad’s Sunnah, and applying his logic logic, we should therefore conclude that Allah must have turned countless numbers of Muslims into rats.
And, before we forget, … I am sure there are some “missing Muslims” out there in the world. In fact, am sure the police that are supposed to be looking for those missing Muslims will appreciate this new lead/insight/hint in helping them solve those cases!
There’s more to the story. According to the translator Muhammad was later informed by way of revelation that the missing Israelites had actually been changed into pigs and monkeys:
 Later on the Prophet was informed through inspiration about the fate of those Israelites: They were transformed into pigs and monkeys. (Ibid.; underline emphasis ours)
(Sidenote: This “new revelation” basically means that Muhammad was wrong, since the Jews were not turned into rats. This then implies that Muslims have been narrating a hadith containing a false statement by Muhammad ever since, even including it into Sahih al-Bukhari itself! Isn’t that rather damaging? How much else is wrong with Muhammad’s hadiths which Allah did not “correct” by special revelation later on?
Or should we assume that Allah turned a disobedient group into rats, and at another time, he changed another disobedient group into monkeys? And does it even constitute a suitable explanation for “lost Israelites”? Did the people see the punishment to be warned? If so, they were not lost. If not, how could that ever be a warning to the others? Until hundreds of years later when Muhammad talks about it, but then Islam is the message and the Sabbath command is no longer relevant as people are supposed to be Muslims, not Jews. That does not really make sense, or does it?)
This information is found in the Quran itself:
And indeed you knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected. So We made this punishment an example to their own and to succeeding generations and a lesson to those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).” S. 2:65-66 Hilali-Khan
This passage answers part of my last question above. Verse 66 presupposes that people saw and knew about this punishment that befell the Jews, otherwise it could not serve as a warning to that generation. And as such, if it was observed and known, it cannot refer to “LOST Israelites” because “lost” means that nobody knows where they are or have gone. Moreover, since this judgment is supposed to be a well known example of what Allah will do to evildoers why then did Muhammad not know it? Why did he mistakenly think that the Jews were turned into rats until he gets “revelation” telling him they were transformed into monkeys, not rats?
Here are a couple of more verses:
Say: “Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from God? those who incurred the curse of God and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil; – these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!” S. 5:60 A. Yusuf Ali
(Sidenote: Does this passage refer to the same incident as Q. 2:65? After all, is “fishing on the Sabbath” the same as “worshipping evil”? Or are they two occasions on which Allah transformed people into apes and swine (not mentioned in the other reference). The next reference seems to be the same story as in Q. 2:65, and here again, the transformation is only into monkeys, with no mention of swine.)
And ask them (O Muhammad) about the town that was by the sea, when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them for they used to rebel (see the Qur’an: V. 4:154). And when a community among them said: “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?” (The preachers) said: “In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may fear Allah.” So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel (disobey Allah). So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.” (It is a severe warning to the mankind that they should not disobey what Allah commands them to do, and be far away from what He prohibits them). S. 7:163-166 Hilali-Khan
Here is how one of Islam’s premiere commentators interpreted these Quranic ayat:
(And indeed you knew). This Ayah means, O Jews! Remember that Allah sent His torment on the village that disobeyed Him and broke their pledge and their covenant to observe the sanctity of the Sabbath. They began using deceitful means to avoid honoring the Sabbath by placing nets, ropes and artificial pools of water for the purpose of fishing before the Sabbath. When the fish came in abundance on Saturday as usual, they were caught in the ropes and nets for the rest of Saturday. During the night, the Jews collected the fish after the Sabbath ended. When they did that, Allah changed them from humans into monkeys, the animals having the form closest to humans. Their evil deeds and deceit appeared lawful on the surface, but they were in reality wicked. This is why their punishment was compatible with their crime. This story is explained in detail in Surat Al-A`raf, where Allah said (7:163)…
(And ask them (O Muhammad) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel (disobey Allah).) (7:163)
In his Tafsir, Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said…
(We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected”) means, “Allah changed their bodies into those of monkeys and swines. The young people turned into monkeys while the old people turned into swine.” Shayban An-Nahwi reported that Qatadah commented on…
(We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected”), “These people were turned into HOWLING MONKEYS WITH TAILS, after being men and women.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 2:65 http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=366; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
… Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that Ibn Mas`ud said, “Allah’s Messenger was asked if the current monkeys and swine were those whom Allah transformed. He said…
<<Allah never destroyed a people by transforming them and making offspring or descendants for them. The monkeys and swine existed before that.>>” This was also recorded by Muslim. (Ibid., Q. 5:60 http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=762&Itemid=60; bold and underline emphasis ours)
We have to ask, does that mean that those “Israelites turned rats” would be infertile and therefore incapable of having offspring? If so then this means that Muhammad must have thought that those Israelite rats were at least a thousand years old! Certainly another Islamic miracle.
Moreover, how does one connect Muhammad’s claim that Allah would never allow those Jews who were changed into monkeys and pigs to have offspring together with the clear common-sense observation that rats who don’t drink camel milk must be the Jews, when rats have LOTS of offspring? There is something highly inconsistent and illogical here.
There you have it folks. Allah tempted some of the Israelites to sin against him by bringing out the fish only on the Sabbath day, so as to get the Israelites to fish on that specific day, in order to punish them by changing them into howling monkeys and swine!
Muhammad’s science is a reversal of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Darwin had primates transforming or evolving into human beings, whereas Muhammad had human beings devolving into monkeys and pigs. And yet one is just as fictitious as the other!
It is logic and science such as that found in the above Quranic verses and ahadith that have convinced many people to become Muslims since only a prophet could possess such deep knowledge and exhibit such amazing reasoning faculties.
I want to thank Jochen Katz for providing a lot of valuable information and insights which made this article all the more better.