Muhammad’s Neglect and Disdain for the Poor and Ill

The Quran unashamedly admits that Muhammad turned away from the poor and marginalized in order to appease the rich elite of the Quraish tribe:

Repel not those who call upon their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance. Thou art not accountable for them in aught, nor are they accountable for thee in aught, that thou shouldst repel them and be of the wrong-doers. S. 6:52 Pickthall

And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, etc., and other righteous deeds, etc.) morning and afternoon, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost. S. 18:28 Hilali-Khan

Here’s how the Muslim commentators explain the foreging verses:

And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord at morning and evening desiring through their worship His countenance exalted be He and not desiring any of the transient things of this world — and these are the poor. The idolaters had reviled them and demanded that he the Prophet expel them so that they could sit with him. The Prophet WANTED TO DO THIS because of his desire that they become Muslims. You are not accountable for them in anything min shay’in min is extra if what they hide in themselves be displeasing; nor are they accountable for you in anything that you should drive them away this is the response to the negative sentence and be of the evildoers if you do this. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Q. 6:52; bold and capital emphasis mine)

(Repel not those who call upon their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance…) [6:52]. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ja’far informed us> Zahir ibn Ahmad> al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Mus’ab> Yahya ibn Hakim> Abu Dawud> Qays ibn al-Rabi’> al-Miqdam ibn Shurayh> his father> Sa’d who said: “This verse was revealed about six of us: it was revealed about me, [‘Abd Allah] ibn Mas’ud, Suhayb [al-Rumi], ‘Ammar [ibn Yasir], al-Miqdad [ibn ‘Amr] and Bilal [ibn Rabah]. The Quraysh said to the Messenger of Allah: ‘We do not accept to be followers of these, so repel them’. Some of what they said ENTERED THE HEART OF ALLAH’S MESSENGER as much as Allah willed it to enter. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Repel not those who call upon their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance…)”. This was narrated by Muslim from Zuhayr ibn Harb from ‘Abd al-Rahman from Sufyan from al-Miqdam. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman informed us> Abu Bakr ibn Abu Zakariyya al-Shaybani> Abu’l-‘Abbas Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman> Abu Salih al-Husayn ibn al-Faraj> Muhammad ibn Muqatil al-Marwazi> Hakim ibn Zayd> al-Suddi> Abu Sa’id>> Abu’l-Kanud> Khabbab ibn al-Aratt who said: “This verse was revealed about us. We were weak and stayed at the Prophet’s in the morning and evening. He taught us the Qur’an and goodness and instilled fear in us through the mention of hellfire and the Garden and also through that which benefits us and by means of mention of death and the Resurrection. One day, al-Aqra’ ibn Habis al-Tamimi and ‘Uyaynah ibn Hisn al-Fazari came to the Prophet and said: ‘We are among the nobles of our people and we dislike that we be seen with them, so could you repel them when we sit with you?’ THE PROPHET AGREED, but they said: ‘We will not be pleased until you write an agreement between us’. When skin and ink were brought, these verses were revealed (Repel not those who call upon their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance) up to His words (And even so do We try some of them by others) [6:53]”. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu Muhammad ibn Hayyan> Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman> Asbat ibn Muhammad> Ash’ath> Kurdus> Ibn Mas’ud who said: “A group of people from Quraysh passed by the Messenger of Allah while he had with him Khabbab ibn al-Aratt, Suhayb, Bilal and ‘Ammar, and they said: ‘O Muhammad, are you pleased with these? Do you want us to be followers of these?’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Repel not those who call upon their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance)”. (‘Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul; bold and capital emphasis mine)

And with the same chain of transmission, ‘Ubayd Allah related to us> Abu Ja’far> al-Rabi’ who said: “There were some men who were always forerunners to the assembly of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. Among these men were Bilal, ‘Ammar, Suhayb and Salman [al-Farisi]. The nobles and chiefs of his people would come to see him and find all the aforementioned already sitting with him. In one occasion they said: ‘Suhayb is a Byzantine, Salman a Persian, Bilal an Abyssinian: they all come and sit close to him whereas when we come we sit on the side’. And then they mentioned this to the Messenger of Allah. They said to him: ‘We are the nobles and chiefs of your clan, why do you not sit closer to us when we come to see you’. HE WAS ABOUT TO DO JUST THAT when Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Said ‘Ikrimah: “A group of unbeliever nobles from Banu ‘Abd Manaf headed by ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah, Shaybah ibn Rabi’ah, Mut’im ibn ‘Adiyy, al-Harith ibn Nawfal went to Abu Talib and said: ‘If only your nephew Muhammad repels from him our clients, slaves and downtrodden, it would please us, mean a great deal to us and would be a step forward for us to follow him and believe in him’. Abu Talib went and conveyed to the Prophet what they said. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab commented: ‘Why do you not do as they ask so that we consider what they want and verify whether they are truthful?‘ Then Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. When it was revealed, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab went and apologized for what he had said”. (Ibid.; bold and capital emphasis mine)

(Restrain thyself along with those who cry unto their Lord…) [18:28]. The judge Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn al-Hasan al-Hiri related to us by dictation in Dar al-Sunnah on Friday after prayer, in the months of the year 410 a.h.> Abu’l-Hasan ibn ‘Isa Ibn ‘Abdawayh al-Hiri> Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Bushanji> al-Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Musarrih al-Harrani> Sulayman ibn ‘Ata’ al-Harrani> Maslamah ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Juhani> his uncle Ibn Mashja’ah ibn Rub’i al-Juhani> Salman al-Farisi who said: “Those whose hearts were to be reconciled (al-mu’allafati qulubuhum) – ‘Uyaynah ibn Hisn, al-Aqra’ ibn Habis and their families – came to the Messenger of Allah and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if only you could sit at the front of the assembly and remove these people – meaning: Salman al-Farisi, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and other poor Muslims – and their smelly outer garments – because the only thing they had on them were these woollen outer garments – from us, then we could sit with you, talk to you and learn from you!’ As a response, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge beside Him. Restrain thyself along with those who cry unto their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance) [18:27-28] up to His words (Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire…) [18:29], threatening them with hell. The Prophet stood up and went looking for them. He found them at the back of the mosque making remembrance of Allah, exalted is He. He said: ‘Praise be to Allah Who did not take away my soul until He commanded me to restrain myself with men of my community. It is with you that I live and with you that I die’ ”. (…and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance…) [18:28]. Abu Bakr al-Harithi informed us> Abu’l-Shaykh al-Hafiz> Abu Yahya al-Razi> Sahl ibn ‘Uthman> Abu Malik> Juwaybir> al-Dahhak> Ibn ‘Abbas who said regarding the words of Allah, exalted is He (…and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance…): “This verse was revealed about Umayyah ibn Khalaf al-Jumahi. He asked the Prophet to do something that he disliked. He asked him to chase away the poor from his assembly and draw to him, instead, the leaders of Mecca. Allah, exalted is He, revealed (…and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance), i.e. sealed his heart such that he will never believe in Allah’s divine oneness (who followeth his own lust) i.e. idolatry”. (Ibid., Q. 18:28; bold emphasis mine)

It was said that this was revealed about the nobles of Quraysh when they asked the Prophet to sit with them on his own, and not to bring his weak Companions with him, such as Bilal, `Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab and Ibn Mas`ud. They wanted him to sit with them on his own, but Allah forbade him from doing that, and said…

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Allah commanded him to patiently content himself with sitting with those people (the weak believers), and said…

(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon…) Imam Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas who said: “There was a group of six of us with the Prophet . The idolators said, `Tell these people to leave so they will not offend us.’ There was myself, Ibn Mas`ud, a man from Hudayl, Bilal and two other men whose names I have forgotten. Allah’s Messenger thought to himself about whatever Allah willed he should think about, then Allah revealed…

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Only Muslim reported this; excluding Al-Bukhari.

(and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world;) Ibn `Abbas said, `(this means) do not favor others over them, meaning do not seek the people of nobility and wealth instead of them.’

(and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance) means, those who are distracted by this world from being committed to the religion and from worshipping their Lord.

(and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.) means, his actions and deeds are a foolish waste of time. Do not obey him or admire his way or envy what he has. As Allah says elsewhere…

(And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.) (20:131). (Tafsir Ibn Kathir Q. 18:28; bold and underline emphasis mine)

That’s not all the so-called prophet of Islam did. Muhammad went even as far as to frown upon a poor blind man who was seeking his council solely because the latter was interrupting Muhammad’s conversation with a rich elite Quraishite whom he wanted to influence:

(The Prophet) frowned and turned away, Because there came to him the blind man (i.e. ‘Abdullah bin Umm-Maktum, who came to the Prophet while he was preaching to one or some of the Quraish chiefs). But what could tell you that per chance he might become pure (from sins)? Or that he might receive admonition, and that the admonition might profit him? As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient, To him you attend; What does it matter to you if he will not become pure (from disbelief, you are only a Messenger, your duty is to convey the Message of Allah). But as to him who came to you running. And is afraid (of Allah and His Punishment),Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another, Nay, (do not do like this), indeed it (these Verses of this Qur’an) are an admonition, So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it. S. 80:1-12 Hilali-Chan

Here, again, is the interpretation of the Muslim expositors:

(He frowned and turned away. Because the blind man came unto him) [80:1-2]. This refers to Ibn Umm Maktum. The latter went to see the Prophet while the latter was meeting ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah, Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, and Ubayy and Umayyah the sons of Khalaf. He was calling them to Allah, hoping that they might embrace Islam. Ibn Umm Maktum stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, teach me of that which Allah has taught you”. He kept on requesting him and repeating his request, not knowing that he was busy and dealing with someone else. Signs of annoyance appeared on the face of the Messenger of Allah because of being repeatedly interrupted. He said in himself: “These chiefs will say: his followers consist of only the blind, lowly people and slaves!” The Messenger of Allah frowned and turned away from him, and faced toward the people he was addressing. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed these verses. After this, the Messenger of Allah used to honour him, and would say, whenever he saw him: “Welcome to the one about whom my Lord has rebuked me!” Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Musahifi informed us> Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hamdan> Abu Ya’la> Sa’id ibn Yahya ibn Sa’id> his father> Hisham ibn ‘Urwah> ‘A’ishah who said: “(He frowned and turned away) was revealed about Ibn Umm Maktum, the blind. The latter went to the Prophet and kept saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah, guide me’, while there were with the Messenger of Allah the leaders of the idolaters. The Prophet kept avoiding him and turning to the others. It is about this that (He frowned and turned away) was revealed”. This was revealed by al-Hakim in his Sahih from ‘Ali ibn ‘Isa al-Hiri> al-‘Utabi> Sa’d ibn Yahya. (Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul; bold emphasis ours)

The Prophet being reprimanded BECAUSE HE FROWNED AT A WEAK MAN

More than one of the scholars of Tafsir mentioned that one day the Messenger of Allah was addressing one of the great leaders of the Quraysh while hoping that he would accept Islam. While he was speaking in direct conversation with him, Ibn Umm Maktum came to him, and he was of those who had accepted Islam in its earliest days. He (Ibn Umm Maktum) then began asking the Messenger of Allah about something, urgently beseeching him. The Prophet hoped that the man would be guided, so he asked Ibn Umm Maktum to wait for a moment so he could complete his conversation. He frowned in the face of Ibn Umm Maktum and turned away from him in order to face the other man. Thus, Allah revealed…

(He frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man. And how can you know that he might become pure) meaning, he may attain purification and cleanliness in his soul. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; capital and italicized emphasis mine)

The style of this first sentence is elegant and subtle. Although in the following sentences the Holy Prophet has been directly addressed, which by itself shows that the act of frowning and turning aside had issued forth from him, the discourse has been opened in a manner as though it was not he but some one else who had so acted. By this style the Holy Prophet, by a subtle method, has been made to realize that it was an act unseemly for him. Had somebody familiar with his high morals witnessed it, he would have thought that it was not he but some other person who had behaved in that manner. The blind man referred to here implies, as we have explained in the Introduction, the well-known Companion, Hadrat Ibn Umm Maktum. Hafiz Ibn ‘Abdul Barr in Al-Isti’ab and Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Al-Isbah have stated that he was a first cousin of the Holy Prophet’s wife, Hadrat Khadijah. His mother, Umm Maktum, and Hadrat Khadijah’s father, Khuwailid, were sister and brother to each other. After one knows his relationship with the Holy Prophet, there remains no room for the doubt that he had turned away from him regarding him as a poor man having a low station in life, and attended to the high-placed people, for he was the Holy Prophet’s brother-in-law and a man of noble birth. The reason why the Holy Prophet had shown disregard for him is indicated by the word a ma (blind man), which Allah Himself has used as the cause of the Holy Prophet’s inattention. That is, the Holy Prophet thought that even if a single man from among the people whom he was trying to bring to the right path, listened to him and was rightly guided, be could become a powerful means of strengthening Islam. On the contrary, Ibn Umm Maktum was a blind man, who could not prove to be so useful for Islam because of his disability as could one of the Quraish elders on becoming a Muslim. Therefore, he should not interrupt the conversation at that time; whatever he wanted to ask or learn, he could ask or learn at some later time… That is, “You should never do so: do not give undue importance to those who have forgotten God and become proud of their high worldly position. The teaching of Islam is not such that it should be presented solicitously before him who spurns it, nor should a man like you try to invite these arrogant people to Islam in a way as may cause them the misunderstanding that you have a selfish motive connected with them, and that your mission would succeed only if they believed, otherwise not, whereas the fact is that the Truth is as self-sufficient of them as they are of the Truth.” (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Tafhim al-Qur’an (The Meaning of the Qur’an); bold emphasis mine)

Contrast this with the Lord Jesus who, not only did not turn away or frown upon the marginalized or the blind, but actually loved them enough to fellowship with them and heal all their infirmities, which in turn led the religious authorities to look down upon him. Unlike Muhammad, this didn’t cause Jesus to pull away from the downtrodden in order to appease the so-called religious elite, but rather resulted in the Lord severely rebuking and condemning them for their hypocrisy and evil, wicked attitude towards those whom God came to save and restore:   

“When He came down from the mountains, large crowds followed Him. And then a leper came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will. Be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one. But go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded as a testimony to them.’ And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, entreating Him, and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home, sick with paralysis, terribly tormented.’ Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.’ The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But speak the word only, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this man, “Go,” and he goes, and to another, “Come,” and he comes, and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’ When Jesus heard it, He was amazed and said to those who followed, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say to you that many will come from the east and west and will dine with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way. And as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that very moment. When Jesus entered Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother, lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she rose and served them. When the evening came, they brought to Him many who were possessed with demons. And He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all who were sick, to fulfill what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’” Matthew 8:1-17

“He entered a boat, crossed over, and came into His own city. They brought to Him a man sick with paralysis, lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Son, be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven you.’ Then certain scribes said within themselves, ‘This Man blasphemes.’ Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Arise and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—then He said to the paralytic, ‘Arise, pick up your bed, and go into your house.’ And he rose and departed to his house. But when the crowds saw it, they were amazed and glorified God who had given such authority to men. As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s station. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And he rose and followed Him. While Jesus sat at supper in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’… While He was speaking these things to them, a certain ruler came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘My daughter is even now dead. But come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus rose and followed him, and so did His disciples. Then a woman, who was ill with a flow of blood for twelve years, came behind Him and touched the hem of His garment. For she said within herself, ‘If I may just touch His garment, I shall be healed.’ But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her, He said, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort. Your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well instantly. When Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the musicians and the mourners making a noise, He said to them, ‘Depart. The girl is not dead, but is sleeping.’ And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. The news of this went out into all that land. As Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith, let it be done for you.’ And their eyes were opened, and Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, ‘See that no one knows of it.’ But when they had departed, they spread His fame in all that region. As they went out, they brought to Him a mute man possessed with a demon. And when the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke, and the crowds were amazed, saying, ‘This has never been seen in Israel.’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons through the ruler of the demons.’ Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted and were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:1-13, 18-38

“But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great crowds followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them that they should not make Him known, to fulfill what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen, My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will render judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not struggle nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not quench, until He renders judgment unto victory; and in His name will the Gentiles trust.’ Then one possessed with a demon was brought to Him, blind and mute, and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” Matthew 12:15-21

“Jesus went ashore and saw a great assembly. And He was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14

“Jesus departed from there, and passed by the Sea of Galilee, and went up on a mountain and sat down there. Great crowds came to Him, having with them those who were lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and placed them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them, so that the crowds wondered when they saw the mute speak, the maimed made whole, the lame walk, and the blind see. And they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, ‘I have compassion on the crowd, because they have remained with Me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I will not send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.’” Matthew 15:29-32

“As they departed from Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. There, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!’ The crowd rebuked them, that they should be silent. But they cried out even more, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!’ Jesus stood still and called them, saying, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, let our eyes be opened.’ So Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.” Matthew 20:29-34

“The following day He went into a city called Nain, and many of His disciples and a large crowd went with Him. When He came near the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then He came and touched the coffin, and those who carried it stood still. He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise.’ He who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. Fear came on everyone. And they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us!’ and ‘God has visited His people!’… The disciples of John told him of all these things. John, calling for two of his disciples, sent them to Jesus, saying, ‘Are You the One who is coming, or shall we look for another?’ When the men had come to Him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, “Are You the One who is coming, or shall we look for another?”’ In that same hour He cured many of their infirmities and afflictions and evil spirits. And to many who were blind He gave sight. So Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the gospel is preached to the poor. Blessed is he who does not fall away on account of Me.’… One of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. So He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down for supper. There, a woman of the city who was a sinner, when she learned that Jesus was sitting for supper in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment, and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw it, he said to himself, ‘If this Man were a prophet, He would have known who and what kind of woman she is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ He said, ‘Teacher, say it.’ ‘A creditor had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they had no money to pay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose he whom he forgave more.’ He said to him, “You have judged rightly.’ Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little.’ Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who sat at supper with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is He who even forgives sins?’He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Luke 7:11-16, 18-23, 36-50

“Now all the tax collectors and sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. But the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’” Luke 15:1-2

We see this very same loving and compassionate attitude towards the poor and marginalized being displayed by the Apostles and of the Lord Jesus:

“He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease… These twelve Jesus sent out, and commanded them, saying, ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper for your purses, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor shoes, nor even staffs. For the workman is worthy of his keep.’” Matthew 10:1, 5-10

“Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,” Acts 24:17

“But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It has pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, they also ought to minister to them in material things. Therefore, when I have completed this and have given this blessing to them, I shall come by way of you to Spain, and I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” Romans 15:25-29

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given instruction to the churches of Galatia, so even you must do. On the first day of the week let every one of you lay in store, as God has prospered him, so that no collections be made when I come. And when I come, I will send whomever you approve with your letters to take your generous gifts to Jerusalem. If it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.” 1 Corinthians 16:1-4

“When James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, understood the grace that was given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only they requested that we should remember the poor, which I also was eager to do.” Galatians 2:9-10

“What does it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and lacking daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ and yet you give them nothing that the body needs, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But a man may say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:14-18

Clearly, Muhammad was anything but a mercy unto creatures, as the Quran fallaciously claims (Cf. Q. 21;107), and falls way short of the love and compassion shown by the Lord Jesus and his followers. As the following Christian author put it:

It has been reported that Ibn Umm Maktum came to Muhammad while the latter was talking with the nobility of the Quraish, and said to him, “Recite to me and teach me what God taught you.” Muhammad, however, paid him no heed and turned away from him, and said to himself, “Those mighty men say that only the boys, the slaves, and the scum of society follow him.” So Muhammad frowned and turned away from him in disdain, and continued talking to the honourable people. We ask: How could Muhammad attend to the influential  people and reject the poor, the needy, and, in this instance, the blind? How far he is from Christ, who acted compassionately and tenderly when a blind man came to him – and restored his sight!

It has been told that al-Aqra’ Ibn Habis al-Tamim and ‘Uyaina Ibn Hisn the Fazarite came to Muhammad and found him seated with Suhaib, Bilal, ‘Ammar and Khabab along with a group of lowly believers. When those men saw the poor people around him, they despised them and said to Muhammad, “Why don’t you sit here in front of the people and banish those men and the stench of their garments; then we would follow you. We would prefer it if you took your seat among us as a sign of our superiority over the Arabs. Arab delegations will come to you and we will be ashamed to be seen with those [black] slaves. So when we come to you, banish them from our presence, and when we finish [talking with you] you can seat them wherever you want.” He agreed, and they said, “Then write us a contract in this respect.” So he brought a sheet and asked (Ali to write, but on second thought he perceived it was a trap, so he claimed that Gabriel forbade this.

Ibn ‘Abbas said: Some poor folk were with the Prophet. Some of the nobility said, “We believe in you, but when we come to pray, put those men behind us.” He was near to agree to their request, but when he perceived the injustice in it, he said that God forbade him from doing this. (‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi, Is the Qur’an Infallible? [Light of Life, Villach, Austria], pp. 362-363; bold emphasis ours)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s