9. The Peace of Muhammad and of Christ
All Muslims pray every time they mention the name Muhammad:
“May Allah pray over him and grant him peace.”
صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّم ْ
Their prayer indicates that the peace of Allah has not yet come to Muhammad, even though his followers have prayed for him all these centuries! Muhammad is the prophet who constantly needs the intercession of his people, instead of the other way around. The Qur'an testifies that Allah Himself, all angels and all Muslims, should pray fervently for Muhammad, in order to save him on the Day of Judgement:
“Truly Allah and his angels pray over the Prophet. O you who have believed, pray over him and greet him with the greeting of peace.” (Sura al-Ahzab 33:56)
إِن اللَّه وَمَلاَئِكَتَه يُصَلُّون عَلَى النَّبِي يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِين آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْه وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيما (سُورَة الأَحْزَاب ٣٣ : ٥٦)
In Sura Maryam 19:33, Christ testifies:
“And peace is upon me, the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive.”
وَالسَّلاَم عَلَي يَوْم وُلِدْت وَيَوْم أَمُوت وَيَوْم أُبْعَث حَيّا (سُورَة مَرْيَم ١٩ : ٣٣)
The Son of Mary is the Prince of Peace, who lived His earthly life at peace with God from beginning to end. Nothing separated Him from His eternal blessing.
The birth of Christ from the Virgin Mary happened according to the will and the power of God. He was born without sin. The real peace of God rested upon Him from the beginning of His life. In evidence of this fact, the heavens opened and the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:14)
Christ died a real death. He did not die for His own sin, but as a substitute for our sins. Even in His death, Christ experienced peace with God. People die because of their loathsome sins, "for the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). But God was highly pleased when Christ died, because His substitutionary death has reconciled Him with mankind. Therefore, the peace of God presided over the death of Christ.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the greatest proof of His holiness. If Christ had committed only a single sin during His whole lifetime, death would have found legitimate power over Him and would have kept Him in its grip, as has happened with Muhammad. But Christ never committed a single sin, big or small! For this reason, He has overcome death and has risen as a victor from the dark power. Christ is alive -- Muhammad is dead! All the Muslims confess this reality when they mention the name of Christ, saying:
“Peace is upon Him!”
They know well and testify that He lives in full peace with God.
Muhammad experienced bitter persecution in Mecca, but when he became politically and socially powerful, he launched severe attacks and bloody wars against his enemies. He sometimes became intolerant and unforgiving. In the Qur'an, he commands more than sixteen times that his enemies, all unbelievers, and those who have slipped away from Islam should be killed:
“And kill them wherever you find them. Expel them from where they expelled you; sedition is more grievous than killing. Fight them not near the Forbidden Mosque (in Mecca) until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, kill them; such is the recompense of the disbelievers.” (Sura al-Baqara 2:191)
وَاقْتُلُوهُم حَيْث ثَقِفْتُمُوهُم وَأَخْرِجُوهُم مِن حَيْث أَخْرَجُوكُم وَالْفِتْنَة أَشَد مِن الْقَتْل وَلا تُقَاتِلُوهُم عِنْد الْمَسْجِد الْحَرَام حَتَّى يُقَاتِلُوكُم فِيه فَإِن قَاتَلُوكُم فَاقْتُلُوهُم كَذَلِك جَزَاء الْكَافِرِين (سُورَة الْبَقَرَة ٢ : ١٩١)
“So do not take for yourselves friends from them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then if they turn away (from Islam), seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take no friend nor helper from among them.” (Sura al-Nisa' 4:89)
فَلا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُم أَوْلِيَاء حَتَّى يُهَاجِرُوا فِي سَبِيل اللَّه فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَخُذُوهُم وَاقْتُلُوهُم حَيْث وَجَدْتُمُوهُم وَلا تَتَّخِذُوا مِنْهُم وَلِيّا وَلا نَصِيرا (سُورَة النِّسَاء ٤ : ٨٩)
“And fight them, till there is no more discord, and the religion is Allah's entirely.” (Sura al-Anfal 8:39)
وَقَاتِلُوهُم حَتَّى لا تَكُون فِتْنَة وَيَكُون الدِّين كُلُّه لِلَّه (سُورَة الأَنْفَال ٨ : ٣٩)
“So, when the sacred months have passed by, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.” (Sura al-Tawba 9:5)
فَإِذَا انْسَلَخ الأَشْهُر الْحُرُم فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِين حَيْث وَجَدْتُمُوهُم وَخُذُوهُم وَاحْصُرُوهُم وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُم كُل مَرْصَد (سُورَة التَّوْبَة ٩ : ٥)
Muhammad did not bring peace to the world, but many wars. He sent his followers on raids and holy wars more than thirty times. He himself participated in such attacks and expeditions twenty-nine times. He commanded his people to shed the blood of his enemies. He was the example of the believers and the political leader of the Arabian Peninsula.
As for the gentle and humble Christ, the Jews persecuted Him violently, but He did not defend Himself with the sword. He forbade His followers to shed the blood of His enemies, commanding Peter: "Put your sword into its place, for all who take the sword shall perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). Any Christian who fights for the spread of Christianity with deadly weapons, shedding the blood of other people, is violating the will of God; he will be judged as disobedient of the commands of the Prince of Peace. Muslims, however, are promised that whoever shall die in a holy war will immediately enter to paradise. Christ is the only one who has established real peace without fighting and killing. Muhammad made it the duty of every Muslim to fight against his enemies. (See also Suras al-Nisa' 4:95,96 and al-Furqan 25:52) Christ preferred to shed His own precious blood in order to save His enemies, that they may not perish. He even prayed for them: "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). Jesus was the only true Muslim, if we consider the definition of the word "Muslim" to be a derivation of the Arabic word Salaam, meaning "peace." A true Muslim is a peace-maker who has surrendered himself to the God of Love, serving Him alone.