What did he (peace be upon him) come to teach and what reasons do we have to believe that he was telling the truth?Indeed - what reasons do we have to believe that Muhammad was telling the truth?
Before we consider this important question, may I say that it's a relief (in the present climate) that iERA are giving us permission to test the message (even though they are publicising this new dawah initiative under the rather bellicose banner of Defend the Prophet! and Hamaza Tzortzis looks very angry indeed in his video ...) I'm also delighted that iERA have posed this particular question since it is one I have struggled with ever since my friend announced he had "reverted" to Islam.
Regular readers of Rational Islam? will know that the so-called scientific and historical miracles in the Qur'an played a decisive role in my friend's conversion. Hence when I asked him this very question he replied that "all the arrows" pointed towards the Qur'an having been written by God... and when asked what "arrows" in particular, he directed me to Maurice Bucaille's book: The Bible, The Qur'an and Science and to the western scientists who had made pronouncements to the effect that they could not see how the knowledge in the Qur'an in their discipline could have come from anywhere other than divine revelation.
We have seen in countless posts on this blog and elsewhere how the claims of the miracle seekers are without foundation and, in the case of the Commission on Scientific Signs, of very dubious origin. So will iERA continue to base their new dawah campaign on these modernist and divisive claims or will they turn to more traditional theological reasons?
For if I felt the need to find answers to life's great questions in a religion, then the desperate need to prove the ridiculous scientific and historic "miracles" in the holy texts of Islam by Muslims such as Yusuf Estes, Deedat, Hamza Tzortzis et al would, I'm afraid, put me right off.
So let's return to iERA's question: What reasons do we have to believe Muhammad was telling the truth that the angel Gabriel spoke to him over a period of 22 years and that the Qur'an is God's final message to mankind - perfectly preserved, word for word?
If any Muslim would like to forestall the idiots at iERA and answer my question without reference to numerology, pharaohs, mountains, honey, the water cycle, the Big Bang or f*cking embryology I would be delighted to hear from you.