Muhammad’s false prophecies

@AlFinlandi

Now if you should say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word the Lord has not spoken?’— whatever word a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing the Lord has not spoken; the prophet spoke that word impiously; you shall stay away from him.

– Deutoronomy 18:21-22 LXX

False Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

– Matthew 24:24

Muslims often appeal to Muhammad’s prophetic narrations to establish his prophethood. While prophets of the true God do indeed prophesy (cf. Deut 18:18, Jude 17 etc) a false prophet may also speak in the name of God, impiously, to mislead people from salvation in Christ. Such is the case of Muhammad.

There are hundreds of prophecies attributed to Muhammad in the hadith literature, but I want to focus on the two I think are the best case for a probable false prophecy. Vast majority of these other “prophecies” are either extremely vague and generic (ie. “There will be a lot of killing”  Bukhari 7062) or are attributed to Muhammad in the early period of Islam, in later Sunni sources (Bukhari, Muslim and other books of hadith), these prophecies allegedly describe events soon after Muhammad’s death, many of them vague, but some more specific (ie. the conquest of Jerusalem, which happened in AD 636, worth remembering that Bukhari died in AD 870, 250 years after Muhammad).

Could Muhammad have prophesied the future accurately?

Yes, in some instances. This does not make him a true prophet though. Why?

Because both Christian and Islamic tradition affirm demons convey true information to their victims. As Muhammad certainly did not meet Archangel Gabriel – who appeared to the Mother of God and announced to her that she would bear God the Word, the eternal Son of the Father (cf. Luke 1:28ff), which Muhammad denied (Quran 19:35) – he most likely met an evil spirit seeking to take control of him to drive people to hell and destruction, away from the presence of Christ.

Muhammad himself said that the demons give accurate information from the angels:

الْمَلاَئِكَةُ تَتَحَدَّثُ فِي الْعَنَانِ ـ وَالْعَنَانُ الْغَمَامُ ـ بِالأَمْرِ يَكُونُ فِي الأَرْضِ، فَتَسْمَعُ الشَّيَاطِينُ الْكَلِمَةَ، فَتَقُرُّهَا فِي أُذُنِ الْكَاهِنِ، كَمَا تُقَرُّ الْقَارُورَةُ، فَيَزِيدُونَ مَعَهَا مِائَةَ كَذِبَةٍ ‏”‏‏.‏

While the angels talk amidst the clouds about things that are going to happen on earth, the devils hear a word of what they say and pour it in the ears of a soothsayer as one pours something in a bottle, and they add one hundred lies to that.

(Bukhari 3288)

In addition, among the Holy Fathers we have the following statements:

Prophecy is for the most part a work of God which demons cannot even imitate, no matter how hard they try. There can also be a certain delusion in miracles, but to accurately foretell the future is something characteristic of the Eternal Being alone. If the demons have ever done this it was only to seduce the foolish, and therefore their predictions can easily be exposed as lies”

(St. John Chrysostom)

The demons have no fore-vision of what has not net happened. Only God is the ‘knower of all things before they be’ (cf. Dan. 13:42). The demons, however, are like thieves who run ahead, then report what they saw. Even now, they will go and tell many others about what we are doing—how we have come together and are talking about them—before any of us leave this place and tell someone about it. But the same could be done by some sprightly boy who outruns someone walking slowly. And I tell you exactly. If someone should intend to walk from the Thebaid or from another country, until he sets off, the demons do not know whether he will go or not; but as soon as they seen him walking, they run ahead and tell someone about him before he arrives, and they who are walking really do arrive in a few days. Often it happens that the one who set out to travel goes back, and then the demons turn out to be liars. Thus, sometimes they will pompously announce something about the waters of the Nile because they have seen that there was much rain in the land of the Ethiopians, and knowing that flooding in the river can come from that, they run ahead and foretell it. People would say the same thing if they could travel so swiftly from place to place as the demons. And like David’s guard who went up into the heights before those below and saw what was happening, then going ahead more swiftly than the others, related not something that had not yet happened, but what had already occurred, and the news of which was already approaching (see 2 Kings 18:24–29), the demons also take upon themselves the task of letting others know, only in order to seduce them. If Providence should be pleased to do something else with the waters or the travelers at that time (because this is also possible), then the demons will be shown to be liars, and those who listened to them will have been deceived. That is how the pagan oracles worked; that is how people have been deluded by the demons since long ago.

(St Anthony the Great)

Because the demons roam the earth (1 Peter 5:8), and are able to predict patterns seeing their knowledge is much superior to ours, they can get future information correct based on patterns in creation, or they will give statements to their vessels which are very generic or vague (cf. Nostradamus). Therefore, Muhammad’s prophecies are not in and of themselves a proof for him, considering that both traditions say the demons can acquire knowledge of the future.

So far I have discovered two prophecies Muhammad (allegedly) made which are not in his immediate milieu and are demonstrably false. We shall turn to these now:

No more Caesar and Khosrau

Muhammad is purported to have said:

هَلَكَ كِسْرَى ثُمَّ لاَ يَكُونُ كِسْرَى بَعْدَهُ، وَقَيْصَرٌ لَيَهْلِكَنَّ ثُمَّ لاَ يَكُونُ قَيْصَرٌ بَعْدَهُ، وَلَتُقْسَمَنَّ كُنُوزُهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

“Khosrau will be ruined, and there will be no Khosrau after him, and Caesar will surely be ruined and there will be no Caesar after him, and you will spend their treasures in Allah’s Cause”

(Bukhari 3027)

The contemporary rulers of the Byzantine Empire and Sassanid Empire in AD 632 were Heraclius and Yazdegerd III, respectively. I’m using 632 for generosity as this is the year Muhammad is traditionally thought to have died. Here Muhammad is saying the contemporary rulers would perish (literally, be destroyed). The Sassanid ruler has to be Yazdegerd III, because the prophecy fails otherwise. The Sassanid Empire had extremely tumultuous rulership in this era, with rulers being swiftly replaced one after another as this chart shows.

I should note this hadith is narrated with a slight variant which does not change the overall meaning: إِذَا هَلَكَ كِسْرَى (when Khosraw will be ruined…)

The plain meaning of the text is talking about the seventh century Muslim conquests of Persia and Byzantine territory. I am willing to admit Muhammad was in fact correct about the destruction of Yazdegerd III, and there was no ruler in the Sassanid Empire after him, as the Empire was annexed by the Rashidun Caliphate. However, he was VERY wrong about the death of Heraclius. In the hadith the “Khosraw” (ruler of Persia) is clearly linked with the ruler of Rome (Byzantium, more on this later), as the Byzantine Empire lasted until 1453. If the two are linked, and Yazdegerd III is contrasted with Heraclius, both would have to die and Muhammad thought both Empires would soon be overtaken by Muslims. Corroboration to this is found in the hadith:

“‏ تَغْزُونَ جَزِيرَةَ الْعَرَبِ فَيَفْتَحُهَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ فَارِسَ فَيَفْتَحُهَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ تَغْزُونَ الرُّومَ فَيَفْتَحُهَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ تَغْزُونَ الدَّجَّالَ فَيَفْتَحُهُ اللَّهُ ‏”

You will attack Arabia and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you will attack Persia and He will enable you to conquer it. Then you will attack Rome and Allah will enable you to conquer it, then you will attack the Dajjal and Allah will enable you to conquer him. 

– Muslim 2900

Therefore, Muhammad was mistaken.

A Muslim objection will be that Caesar and Khosraw are not referring to specific people but are just generic titles (which is true to an extent), but in this case the hadith just becomes tautological (“The last Khosraw of the Sassanids will be ruined and there will be no Khosraw after him…) and is hardly a prophecy at all, simply a statement. If the final ruler of a Empire dies out, the Empire itself dies. Therefore this is either a false prophecy or a tautological statement which is not a prophecy at all. The latter is undesirable because of Muhammad’s supposed eloquence (cf. an-Nasa’i 3089, “I have been sent with concise speech”). In addition, if Muhammad wanted to indicate this was a future ruler, he could have just said في آخر الأيام (in the last days…) or something to that effect, but I’m not aware of any variation in the hadith with such a wording.

The Hour will be established when the Romans are the majority of mankind

رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ وَالرُّومُ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ” ‏

The Messenger of Allah – peace and blessings of Allah upon him – said: “The Hour will be established when the Romans are the majority of mankind”

(Muslim 2898)

This hadith is simple enough. Muhammad said the Day of Judgment would come when the Romans are the majority (the word أَكْثَرُ – akhtar, means most of).

The main question is. who were the Romans in Muhammad’s context? My argument is simple: this is talking about the Byzantine Empire, and there is no justification for the modern view that it is talking about “Europeans”, Muhammad was wrong about when the Day of Judgment will occur, as the Byzantine Empire was destroyed in AD 1453.

Let’s look at some other ahadith:

In a letter Muhammad purportedly sent to Heraclius, he wrote:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ، مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ، السَّلاَمُ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent. the Most Merciful, from Muhammad, the slave of Allah and his messenger, to Heraclius, the ruler of Rome…

Bukhari 6260

In another hadith, Abu Sufyan (Muhammad’s enemy and later companion) narrates:

هِرَقْلَ أَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِ وَهُمْ بِإِيلِيَاءَ، ثُمَّ دَعَا بِكِتَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَلَمَّا فَرَغَ مِنْ قِرَاءَةِ الْكِتَابِ كَثُرَ عِنْدَهُ الصَّخَبُ، فَارْتَفَعَتِ الأَصْوَاتُ، وَأُخْرِجْنَا، فَقُلْتُ لأَصْحَابِي حِينَ أُخْرِجْنَا لَقَدْ أَمِرَ أَمْرُ ابْنِ أَبِي كَبْشَةَ، إِنَّهُ يَخَافُهُ مَلِكُ بَنِي الأَصْفَرِ‏.‏

Heraclius sent for me when I was in ‘llya’ (i.e. Jerusalem). Then he asked for the letter of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and when he had finished its reading there was a great hue and cry around him and the voices grew louder and we were asked to quit the place. When we were turned out, I said to my companions, ‘The cause of Ibn Abi Kabsha has become conspicuous as the King of Bani Al- Asfar (Romans) is afraid of him.’ “

Bukhari 2978

“Banu al-Asfar” (sons of the yellow one) js another title for Romans, as seen here in a fatwa.

Other narrations:

أَرَادَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ يَكْتُبَ إِلَى الرُّومِ

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ wanted to write to the Romans…

Sunan an-Nasa’i 5201

“‏”‏ قَدْ أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَنْهَى عَنِ الْغِيَالِ فَإِذَا فَارِسُ وَالرُّومُ يُغِيلُونَ فَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ أَوْلاَدَهُمْ

‘I wanted to forbid intercourse with a nursing mother, but then (I saw that) the Persians and the Romans do this, and it does not kill their children.

Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 2011

كُنَّا مَعَ فَضَالَةَ بْنِ عُبَيْدٍ بِرُودِسَ مِنْ أَرْضِ الرُّومِ

“We were with Fudala ibn ‘Ubayd in Rhodes in the land of Rome”

Sunan Abi Dawud 3219

لَمَّا كَانَ يَوْمُ بَدْرٍ ظَهَرَتِ الرُّومُ عَلَى فَارِسَ

On the day of (the battle of) Badr, the Romans had a victory over the Persians…

Jami’ah al-Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3192

In addition, the hadith itself strengthens my argument, let\s quote it in full.

الْمُسْتَوْرِدَ الْقُرَشِيَّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ وَالرُّومُ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَبَلَغَ ذَلِكَ عَمْرَو بْنَ الْعَاصِ فَقَالَ مَا هَذِهِ الأَحَادِيثُ الَّتِي تُذْكَرُ عَنْكَ أَنَّكَ تَقُولُهَا عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ لَهُ الْمُسْتَوْرِدُ قُلْتُ الَّذِي سَمِعْتُ مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ فَقَالَ عَمْرٌو لَئِنْ قُلْتَ ذَلِكَ إِنَّهُمْ لأَحْلَمُ النَّاسِ عِنْدَ فِتْنَةٍ وَأَجْبَرُ النَّاسِ عِنْدَ مُصِيبَةٍ وَخَيْرُ النَّاسِ لِمَسَاكِينِهِمْ وَضُعَفَائِهِمْ ‏.‏

“Mustawrid Qurashi reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The Last Hour would come when the Romans would form a majority amongst mankind. This reached ‘Amr b. al-‘As and he said: What are these ahadith which are being transmitted from you and which you claim to have heard from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)? Mustawrid said to him: I stated only that which I heard from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). Thereupon ‘Amr said: If you state this (it is true), for they have the power of tolerance amongst people at the time of turmoil and restore themselves to sanity after trouble, and are good amongst people so far as the destitute and the weak are concerned.”

Sahih Muslim 2898

Notice the bold parts? ‘Amr ibn al-‘As says the ROMANS have positive qualities, this makes no sense if “the Romans” is anyone but the Byzantine Empire who were the contemporaneous empire, the behavior of which ‘Amr had seemingly observed, it’s clear the reference to THEM in the text refers to those ruling in the time of ‘Amr.

Corroboration by later Muslim authors

Can we find any corroboration in early Muslim literature for the idea that Rome = Byzantine Empire? Yes.

In 2010, Koray Dorak published an article called “Who are the Romans? The Definition of Bilād al-Rūm (Land of the Romans) in Medieval Islamic Geographies”, I’ll quote the earliest mentions in this work:

In ibn Khurrada’dhbih’s work (Kita’b al-masa’lik), Bilad al-Rum unequivocally stands for the Byzantine Empire. The term Rum is used exclusively for Byzantium. The capital city of the Romans is Constantinople; the ‘Roman ruler’ is the Byzantine emperor; and the administrative information about
Bila¯d al-Ru¯m refers to the administration of the Byzantine Empire. Ibn Khurrada’dhbih lists the military regions (Themata) of Byzantine Anatolia and the Balkans when he writes that the Byzantine Empire is divided into 14 provinces; he means Byzantine military officials by ‘Roman patricians’ (Ibn Khurrada’dhbih 104, 109). All of the territories that Ibn Khurrada’dhbih calls ‘Roman’, such as Cyprus, Crete and the eastern Taurus Mountains, were ruled by the Byzantine Empire when Kita’b al-masa’lik
was written. Moreover, Ibn Khurrada’dhbih lists only Cyprus, Crete and Sicily among
the ‘Roman islands’ excluding western Mediterranean islands that were not part of the Byzantine Empire in the ninth century.

(p. 289-290. bold mine)

Very much like ibn Khurrada’dhbih, al-Yaqu’bı, who died in 897 or 905, came from a family of postal officials. His work, Kita’b al-Bulda’n, which he completed in Egypt, is an administrative geography. The book deals mainly with topography and itineraries; and the arrangement of the material in the book is similar to that of ibn Khurrada’dhbih’s book. He starts with discussion of Baghdad and Samarra and
deals with four regions of the Islamic world starting with the east and continuing with the south (Zaman; Miquel La ge’ographie 102104; M. Ahmad A History 6061). The author discusses non-Islamic regions, but unfortunately, the northern part that dealt with Byzantium is largely missing. However, a few extant lines from the section were devoted specifically to the Land of the Romans. Other random references to the
‘Romans’ in other sections of Kita’b al-Buldan show that al-Yaqu’bı had the Byzantine Empire in mind when he used the term ‘Roman’. al-Yaqu’bı lists Byzantine provinces in Anatolia and the Byzantine army in the extant lines concerning the Romans. The author refers to Malatya, which was a Byzantine town on the Syrian border, as a ‘famous city of the Romans’. He also describes the Muslim town of Tyre in Lebanon as
a place where ‘boats destined to attack the Romans are built’. Because the military
confrontation in the eastern Mediterranean in the early tenth century took place between the Byzantines and the Arabs, one can safely assume that the Romans in question were the Byzantines. In line with the assumption that the term ‘Roman’ represented the Byzantines, al-Yaqu’bı calls the ethnic groups in Western Europe, such as the Basque and the Franks, by their names and does not label them as Roman (Jakubi 322, 362, 327, 355).

(pp. 290-91. bold mine)

Quda’ma, who belonged to a Christian family of governors from Basra, worked in
the central administration in Baghdad at the office of the Post, and died sometime between 922 and 948. He wrote Kita’b al-khara’dj (The Book of Taxes) in around 928 as ‘‘a register of postal stations and routes required by the postal department’’ (Bonebakker; Miquel La ge´ographie 95101; M. Ahmad A History 6869). In this administrative geography, all the references to Bila’d al-Ru’m relate to his discussion of
the administration, army and borders of the Byzantine Empire.
For instance, the Roman army whose hierarchy Quda’ma discusses is the Byzantine army. Moreover, Quda’ma places the source of the Euphrates River into the Land of the Romans, that is to say Byzantine Anatolia. The sea on which the Romans sail is the Marmara Sea. On the other hand, the author of Kita’b al-khara’dj does not include Britain or the Narbonne region (of south-western France) inside Bila’d al-Ru’m. England is described simply as ‘the island of Bratania’, and the Narbonne region as the ‘Land of Narbonne’ (Kodaˆma 25556, 25758, 233, 231). Western Europe does not seem to be part of the
Roman lands in Quda’ma’s imagination.

(p. 291, bold mine)

Durak goes on to describe an evolution among Muslim usage in the 10th century which eventually starts to encompass all of Europe as “land of the Romans”, but these authors are NOT identifying all of Europe as “Rome”:

Ibn al-Faqı’h’s conceptualisation of Ru’m works on two levels. On the first level, he is very clear about the geographical limits of the Roman territory. He writes twice that ard al-Ru’m (territory of the Romans) extends from Antioch to Sicily and from Constantinople to Tu’liya (Thule meaning either Britain or the Shetlands). This description definitely encompasses all of Western Europe and Byzantium. However,
on a more specific level, Ru’m refers to the Byzantine Empire in Kita’b al-Bulda’n. The ruler of the Romans (Ru’m) is the Byzantine emperor; the taxes collected by the Romans are the ones levied by the Byzantine Empire; and Ru’m regions that border the Islamic Empire, such as Armenia, Syria and Iraq, are Byzantine territories (ibn al-Faqı’h 136, 145, 137-38, 76, 286-95). The fact that ibn al-Faqı’h makes a distinction between the Ru’m and the Frankish and Slavic regions can be observed in the following statement: ‘‘Europe [Aru’fa] consists of al-Andalus, al-Saka’liba [Slavic lands], Ru’m, and Ifrandja [Francia]’’ (ibn al-Faq’ıh 6). When ibn al-Faqı’h discusses western or northern Europe, he labels these territories as ‘the lands of Franks’ and ‘the
lands of Slavs [Bulda’n al-Saka’liba]’. On a few occasions, he uses the terms ‘Roman’ and ‘Frankish’ in the same sentence, from which we can infer that these two regions are separate entities. For instance, he writes, ‘‘to the north of al-Andalus and of Ru’m is Ifrandja’’ (ibn al-Faqı’h 6, 82-83). Unlike earlier writers of administrative geography, ibn al-Faqı’h simultaneously sees in the term ‘Roman’ a larger territorial
unit corresponding to Europe, and a more specific unit representing only the Byzantine Empire. He does not make an explicit distinction between the two entities; he simply uses ard al-Ru’m to refer to the whole European continent, and Ru’m to refer to Byzantium specifically.

(pp. 291-92, bold mine)

Later on (11th and 12th century), as Durak notes, the usage becomes even more fluid, but this does little to help us to ascertain the meaning among Muhammad, his companions and other early Muslims, which we are more interested in.

Early Muslim opinions

Musa Cerantonio, an Australian convert to Islam from Roman Catholicism and a well-known da’i published an essay in 2014 arguing for “Rome” referring to Turkey in the eschaton. I will quote sections of the paper:

[Rome being the Byzantine Empire] was originally a unanimously held opinion, and was the opinion held by almost all of the scholars of the Ummah up until 857 AH (1453 AD). The opinion was based upon the fact that the Roman Empire was always known as Rūm by the Muslims, it was identified by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Companions as Rūm, and was the only entity ever referred to by the Muslims as Rūm…. it would have been the most obvious conclusion to assume that Rūm would still continue to be the Byzantine Empire in the Last Days.

p. 15

Rūm when referred to in the Qur’an as well as in the events contemporary to the lifetime of the Prophet refers to the Eastern Roman Empire which is better known in our days as the ‘Byzantine Empire’…Rūm in Arabic undoubtedly referred to the Roman Empire based in Constantinople which Western historians called the Eastern/Byzantine Empire…the entity of Rūm was understood to be the land that was controlled by the Byzantine Empire. The description of which lands belonged to Rūm according to the Muslims was therefore a political description, it described any land which the Roman Empire governed and maintained political control over. What we must understand therefore, is that when Allah speaks about Rūm in the
Qur’an, what is being referred to is the empire that existed at that specific time (approx. 615 AD). The ‘Romans’ as mentioned in Surat Ar-Rūm are the people of the Byzantine Empire at the time of the descent of the Revelation. Any time that Rūm would be mentioned one would have to take into account which lands the Byzantine Empire controlled at that time in order to understand what the lands of Rūm being discussed were.

(pp. 4-6)

Thus we can see that in the hadith literature as well as among early secular writings by Muslims, Rome refers to Byzantium exclusively until the 900’s. It seems to me that this widened definition of Rome as Europe is anachronistic, and is certainly not how Muhammad and his companions understood the term. For them Rome just was the Byzantine Empire and to say that the texts which speak of Rome in eschaton as having some other meaning are just attempts to defend Muhammad from making a false prophecy. In fact. Cerantonio admits as much:

The remnants of the Byzantine Roman Empire based in Constantinople eventually fell to the hands of the Muslims when Muḥammad Al-Fātiḥ conquered the city in 1453, destroying the Roman Empire which had lasted for many centuries. If it were not for the mention of Rūm in the prophecies of the Last Days one would may assume that Rūm effectively ended with the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Empire in 857 AH (1453 CE), however the fact that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم mentioned Rūm in future events means that without doubt Rūm will exist in the Last Days…

p. 14

But this is question-begging. Muhammad mentioning how Romans will exist in the last days is not evidence for his prophethood and is in fact evidence AGAINST his prophethood for non-Muslims in light of the fact that early Muslim sources (authentic Sunnah and the Quran, both of which are revelation to Sunni Muslims) never give any indication that Rome means anything but the Byzantine Empire. They identify “Romans” consistently with Byzantium, and it seems that to say that in the eschaton this means something else is just ad hoc and assuming the conclusion it is seeking to prove.

Conclusion

While the majority of prophecies attributed to Muhammad are so vague so as to make them unfalsifiable, the above two, and especially the latter are quite probable cases for a false prophecy. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the second one, in light of Muhammad’s own milieu, is bulletproof. Every single hadith I’ve been able to find describes “Rome” exclusively as the Byzantine Empire, and there is no indication anything but the Byzantine Empire is intended in these narrations. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As confirms this interpretation as he describes the virtues of the Byzantines, who Muhammad said will be the majority among mankind. The Byzantine Empire was annexed by the Ottomans in 1453, therefore rendering this prophecy a false prophecy. As we’ve seen above, the only reason a Muslim will say “Rome” refers to anyone but the Byzantines is because there is a prior commitment to Muhammad as a prophet of God, something Christians do not share. Even in the best case scenario, a Christian is justified in saying this is a false prophecy in light of Muhammad’s milieu

One final note: as the vast majority of Muhammad’s prophecies are unfalsifiable, they are bad examples of genuine prophecy because they can be true at one time and false in another, which would correspond to vagueness given by demonic spirits who only guess the future accurately at times. Our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied the exact signs of His Coming in power to judge the living and the dead (cf. Mark 13/Matthew 24) and even specified that the genea (either the Christian race the exact generation) that sees the signs. He also prophesied short-term that His holy Apostles and Disciples would suffer for His sake. (Matthew 10). Muhammad also made other erroneous statements which he presented as divine revelation, which I shall discuss in my next post.

Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Undivided and Life-Giving Trinity, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.

Muhammad’s false prophecies

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