St. Paul and Islam 

Sam Shamoun

The following is a response to Nisar Muhammad’s article regarding Paul which can be found here: 

Nisar has falsely claimed that I have been unable to refute his arguments, and consistently boasts about defeating me. He even boasts about being my student. Seeing that this is not about me, but rather about God's truth, his fanaticism with me becomes all the more intriguing.

Suffice it to say, much like I have already done in prviate email exchanges, I will be refuting all of Nisar’s false claims in order to silence the lie that I have been unable to refute him. This time my responses will be posted on the web for all to see. Nisar thinks that by repeating himself over and over again will somehow prove that his arguments are sound, even though these arguments have been thoroughly refuted. 

I trust that the intelligent readers wil be able to see that Nisar’s arguments are some of the worst ever, with only Osama Abdullah’s articles being much worse still. As I refute Nisar’s points, the readers should be able to see that it is Nisar who has shown that he is incapable of refuting my arguments. Repeating himself doesn’t refute anything. 

With that said, let us begin our response by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 


Looking at FALSE Christian beliefs in...  

St. Paul and Islam

The False Apostle - The Islamic Belief

The False Apostle

Muslims believe that between the Prophet Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) no Messenger of God came to the Gentiles or Jews.  This is based on an agreed hadith in Imam Muslim and Imam Bhukari as below:

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 651:

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus)."

One man claimed to be a messenger of God in this intervening period.  That man was called both Paul and Saul.

According to Christians Paul was a "Messenger of God".  Jesus appeared to him in a vision as God and choose him as a Messenger i.e. Paul is a Messenger of God because Jesus is God.

It is said that Paul is "sent to the the Gentiles" to preach to them the Gospel; i.e. he is "a sent one" (an apostle) with a message .  [Remark: "Apostle" and "Messenger" are basically equivalent terms]

Paul is sent by Jesus to the nations with a particular message, i.e. he is a messenger, quotes from the Bible where the title "Apostle" is applied to him are as follows:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, ... (Romans 1:1)

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, ... (1 Cor. 1:1)

Paul, an apostle - sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God, the Father, ... (Galatians 1:1)

I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, (Galatians 2:7-10)


First, Nisar has erroneously assumed that Muhammad is a prophet/messenger, and therefore whatever his false prophet says must be true. Nisar needs to prove that Muhammad is a prophet and not simply assume that he is. 

Second, it may be true that some Muslims believe that there were no messengers between Jesus and Muhammad, yet this is not the case with all Muslims. As we shall see, Muslim scholars of the past wholeheartedly upheld the view that Jesus’ apostles functioned as messengers and prophets, and that Paul himself was a true disciple of Jesus Christ.  

Third, Nisar is wrong in claiming that Paul was one man who claimed to be a messenger, since the NT is replete with examples of messengers and prophets that came after the Lord Jesus Christ: 

“But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:” Acts 14:4

“Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.” Acts 15:32

These verses should put to rest Nisar’s false assertions that Paul was one man that claimed to be a messenger, since there were many apostles and messengers. 


Islam denies the apostleship of Paul and the claim that Paul is a messenger of God.


Correction. Contemporary Muslims like Nisar may deny the apostleship of Paul, but the first Muslims did not as the following citations conclusively prove: 

Sham’un refers to Simon Peter, Yuhanna to the apostle John, and Bulus is Arabic for Paul. Ibn Kathir’s citation demonstrates that many of Muhammad’s contemporaries viewed Paul as one of the Messengers sent by God! In light of Nisar’s assault on the beloved Apostle Paul, this becomes quite intriguing. In Alfred Guillaume's translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasulullah titled The Life of Muhammad (Oxford University Press Karachi) we find the following positive endorsement of Paul:  

Other Muslim sources that affirm the preceding statement include:  


The translator, Moshe Perlmann, comments on the above statement that Paul was not an apostle:  

According to Islam’s premiere historian Paul was a faithful follower of the Apostles, especially the Apostle Peter. In fact, al-Tabari lists Paul as one of those martyred for the faith:  

We therefore see that as far as sound biblical exegesis, historical data, and Islamic traditions are concerned Nisar has no case against the beloved Apostle of the Lord Jesus. Nisar needs to invent lies and twist sources in order to justify his assault on Paul. 


In His Pre-Christian Days He Had Been A Persecutor Of The Disciples Of Jesus (PBUH)
He had done evil to the Saints in Jerusalem.
He was breathing threats and slaughter.
He arrested the Christians
He had and he himself flogged the Christians often in every synagogue
He physically beat the Christians
Beyond measure he ravaged the Church
He was totally successful in Jerusalem
He persecuted the church
He was a blasphemer
He was CHIEF sinner
He bound men and women
He persecuted the way (Christians) to death
He was violent i.e. caused injury to others
He made havoc and was ravaging the church
He went from synagogue to synagogue
After Stephen's death he may have led the worst persecution of the church
He went house to house
He went to foreign cities
He had the Christians punished
He had savagely attacked the Christian faith
He had persecuted the Christians
He had persecuted this way unto death
He had imprisoned the saints

Bede a commentator of the Acts says in his commentary with regard to Saul  - "and when they were put to death I handed down judgement. I myself gave judgement how they must be killed"

Under Acts 9:1 he says "He was causing those who were present to suffer slaughter, and he was terrifying those who were absent by his threats. He had more than blood of Stephen on his hand."

Stephen the Deacon, first Christian Martyr. Deacon. Preacher.  Jews stoned him to death. In the crowd was a man as Paul, who approved of his death.

According to the Acts Paul associated himself with Stephen's accusers, guarding the outer garments of the witness as, in conformity with the ancient law, they threw the first stones at his execution.  He tried to get the Christians to renounce their faith when they were brought before synagogue courts, pursuing refugees beyond the frontiers of Judea in an attempt to bring them back to trial and punishment.


Please do notice that as Nisar himself admits, these things occurred BEFORE Paul converted. They are therefore irrelevant to our discussion. That Nisar can only cite examples from Paul’s pre-Christian days to cast doubt on his integrity speaks volumes about Nisar’s arguments.  

NISAR:Paul had the deacon Stephen slaughtered, he had other early Christians scourged in synagogues and hunted them from town to town. Look at what Jesus said about him. He was of this generation i.e. the generation of Jesus (PBUH). BTW, Jesus was talking to the scribes and the Pharisees. PAUL WAS A PHARISEE.

"You serpents, brood of vipers, how can you escape being condemned to HELL?"

"This is why-look- I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some you will slaughter and crucify, some you will scourge in your synagogues and hunt from town to town (city to city); and you will draw down on your self the blood of every upright person that has been shed on earth, from the blood of Abel the holy to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. IN TRUTH I TELL YOU, it will recoil on this GENERATION"

Paul had a part in the death of Christians.  "SAUL WAS STILL BREATHING OUT MURDEROUS THREATS AGAINST THE LORD'S DISCIPLES".  He "persecuted the way (Christians) to death ".

Page 16-17 Christian Martyrs;

A handbook of the believers who have dared to die for God compiled by Robert Backhouse, says "He (PAUL) instigated imprisonment and executions on numerous early followers of Christ".  The killings were not the only sins of Saul.


Here, Nisar tries to pit scripture against scripture, something that Satan tried to do against the Lord Jesus. But as the Lord Jesus demonstrated, one must interpret scripture in light of scripture. (Cf. Matthew 4:1-10) 

Nisar cites Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees to prove that since Paul was a Pharisee, he therefore falls under Jesus’ condemnation. This fails to take into consideration that many priests and Pharisees believed in the Lord Jesus and repented of their sins: 

This also fails to take into consideration that even during Jesus’ earthly minister several Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin had secretly come to believe in him: 

“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.” John 19:38-42  

“It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.” Mark 15:42-47

This means that Jesus’ condemnation didn’t apply to ALL Pharisees and scribes, but to those whose hearts were hardened and would not accept him. Paul, on the other hand, was miraculously transformed from an enemy of Christ to one of the greatest Christian soldiers the world has ever known.  

Nisar must explain the reasons for Paul’s conversion and martyrdom for a religion that he himself was trying to destroy. To simply attack Paul’s character and integrity doesn’t explain away Paul’s conversion to Christianity. If we add to this the positive testimony of Muslims such as Al-Tabari, we see that Nisar has a lot of explaining to do. 


Why Are Muslims Afraid To Cry Wolf

Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  A Wolf attacks, seizes and kills his prey.  The false wolf may not always be aware of his folly.

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.16

By their fruit you will recognize them.....17

Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.21

"Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22

Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'23

Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'


How these passages apply to Paul is beyond us. If Nisar is trying to use these passages to cast doubt on Paul’s integrity DUE TO HIS PERSECTUION OF BELIEVERS PRIOR TO HIS CONVERSION, then these verses do not support Nisar’s arguments at all. Let us quote the very passage Nisar cites above: 

The question is how can anyone make a tree good? The Lord Jesus gives us the answer: 

Much like Jesus chose the twelve and empowered them to bear fruit, the Lord Jesus also chose Paul and appointed him to bear fruit as well. In fact, Jesus’ whole mission was to come and make sinners righteous: 

If anything, Paul’s conversion is a living testimony of Jesus’ claim. Paul is proof that the risen Lord Jesus has the life-transforming and sovereign power to take the worst of sinners and change them into the greatest of saints: 

We again see that Nisar has tried to pit scripture against scripture in order to impugn Paul’s integrity. Yet a careful reading of the entire context of scripture sufficiently refutes Nisar’s erroneous assertions. Nisar proceeds to conclude his assault on Paul by pasting the following comments from an anti-Pauline Jewish website: 

Yeshua And The Conclusion

As long as one isn’t trying to salvage Paul’s reputation, the earlier date of 65 AD for the writing of Revelation, during the Neronian persecution, fits all the data best.


The author has assumed that Revelation was written during the same time that 2 Timothy was written. Yet many scholars do not agree with his assessment since many place the writing of Revelation during the reign of Domitian, a view supported by some of the early Church fathers: 

Interestingly, this source identifies some of the heretics and may quite possibly be those referred to by the Lord. This interpretation becomes more plausible in light of the fact that Cerinthus lived in Ephesus during the time that John was there: 

Second, even if the author’s dating were correct this still wouldn’t prove his point. For instance, both the NT and the early Church Fathers wholeheartedly acknowledge the Apostles’ approval of Paul. Compare the following citation: 

More evidence for Paul’s acceptance below. 


The one fact that immediately jumps from the pages of Revelation is that in spite of Paul's supposed popularity, not one word is given from Yeshua in recognition of him or his work among the Gentiles.  Of the seven churches to whom the book is originally addressed, as far as we know, only one of them is a church that had any direct dealings with Paul.  That church is the church of Ephesus, the first on the list of the seven.  John records:


The Lord Jesus also didn’t mention Peter, James or any other Apostle by name for that matter with the exception of John. And? This is a classic example of arguing from silence. One can just as easily say that the Lord Jesus didn’t need to refer to Paul since it was common knowledge that he was the Lord’s instrument to the Gentiles. In fact, that Jesus would actually address places where Paul preached demonstrates that the Lord acknowledged the Apostle’s work and was simply correcting some of the aberrations that had taken place since Paul’s demise. The following example helps illustrate this point: 

The Lord Jesus may be reminding the Ephesians of the love they initially had for Christians, which Paul had praised them for in his epistle: 

The Lord Jesus would therefore be exhorting them to restore their intense love for believers. If this is the case, then this supports my point that Jesus is not condemning Paul or his ministry, but rather exhorting Christians to live up to the standards that Paul had set for them. Furthermore, using the author’s logic one can just as quite easily say that the Lord Jesus was undermining Peter’s authority in the following passages: 

Jesus’ statement that he holds the keys of death, Hades and David is clearly a polemic against Matthew’s claim that Peter holds the keys to the kingdom in Matthew 16:19. This means that Peter was a false Apostle. This is what we would be forced to conclude if the author’s reasoning was sound, which of course it is not.


"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Rev. 1:10,11 NKJV

Yeshua goes on to tell John what to say to each church and the general pattern of the things he said to each church went like this: first He would tell them what they were doing right and commend them for it.  Next he would point out to them where they going wrong and reprimand them for it.  Then he would exhort them to repent and change what they were doing wrong, or they would suffer the consequences.  Then he would give them a promise of reward if they did repent and overcome their problems. Then, (and this is important), toward the end of each and every address to a church, he would speak to the whole world and say that what was true and good for this and all seven churches was good for anybody who cared to listen.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches". NKJV

The reason that this is important is because there has been some false teaching going around.  It holds that along with the obvious fact these letters were written to specific churches in Asia, they were also a parallel prophecy of the churches that would come along in time.  The last church then (Laodicea) was supposedly a foreshadowing of the Christian church in general at the end of the age just before Yeshua returned.  This has had the effect that we have concerned ourselves with only what was supposedly addressed to us.  Today, one can hear all kinds of preaching about the lukewarm church of Laodicea, but one hears very little about what was said to the other six churches.  We have been left blinded to six sevenths of the truth available. There is no truth to the parallel theory because the Holy Spirit explicitly repeated seven times that what was good for each and every one of the seven churches was also good for any individual who cared to listen.  And much was addressed to those churches by Yeshua that flies directly in the face of Pauline doctrine. More on this later.

Now look at what was said to the only church of the seven that we know Paul had any dealings with, Ephesus.  Among the things that Yeshua commended the Ephesian church for doing right, is this quote:

"I know your works, your labour, and your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars." Rev. 2:2 NKJV

Yes. I believe Yeshua here is referring to Paul and his cohorts Timothy, and possibly Barnabas, and that his claims of apostleship and his doctrine are false! Consider the facts.

Paul's ideas on the sovereignty of God and his subsequent doctrine are groundless and severely flawed. (See previous chapter)


The author has assumed that Paul is a false apostle. The author then uses this assumption to reject Paul’s ideas regarding the sovereignty of God as groundless. The fact of that matter is that Paul is correct and the author is wrong and must therefore abandon his unbiblical presuppositions.


We have record of Paul claiming to be an apostle to the Ephesians.  "Paul, an apostle of Yeshua by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus," EPH 1:1 NKJV

We have no record of anyone else claiming to be an apostle to anyone anywhere, not even to the Ephesians.

Ephesus is the only church of the seven listed in Revelation, that we have record of Paul claiming to be an apostle to.


This is essentially an argument from silence. To say that we have NO RECORD of anyone else claiming to be an Apostle to the Ephesians, is not the same AS DEMONSTRATING THAT THERE WERE NO OTHER APOSTLES, especially men claiming to be Apostles yet who were not. In fact, Revelation 2:2 is actual proof that there were many Apostles, since the Lord Jesus doesn’t refer to one apostle, but to at least two: 

Since Jesus refers to more than one apostle, the burden of proof is upon the author to provide some historical references to show that Paul was part of a group of false apostles that flourished in Ephesus. We have provided evidence to show that he was not one of them. Hence, the author’s assertions do not constitute as proof.

NISAR:Paul and his doctrine had troubles being accepted in Ephesus from the start, as recorded in Acts 19:8,9.

"And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.  But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them..." NKJV

Remember that this is recorded from Luke’s point of view and that he believed Paul's doctrine was 'the Way'.  Notice that those who rejected Paul are men in the synagogue, not atheists or pagans. If these men had stood up in front of the synagogue and said, "Paul's doctrine is flawed. He is a false apostle, and a liar"; Luke would no doubt have seen this as "speaking evil of the Way".


Notice that when it is convenient, the author will use Luke to prove his case. Yet the author will attack Luke’s credibility when the latter contradicts the author’s erroneous assertions. This essentially entails circular reasoning. Luke is correct only when he agrees with the author, and wrong when he disagrees. Hence, the author will use Luke to validate his unproven assumptions, and then use these very assumptions to reject Luke when the latter disagrees! Let us quote the context to see what the author conveniently left out: 

We see that God supernaturally backed up Paul’s message through signs and wonders. Hence, if the author is basing his rejection of Paul primarily on the reaction of SOME of the Jews despite their being vigorously refuted, then he must also reject the rest of the Apostles as well since not all accepted their message either. In fact, the Apostles claimed to hold to the same Gospel that Paul proclaimed: 

Furthermore, had the author continued reading Acts he would have found Paul warning the Ephesians of false teachers that were to arise after his passing: 

Revelation 2:2 therefore proves that Paul’ prophecy regarding false teachers arising after his departure was correct. It is little wonder that the Ephesians rejected these false apostles, since they were faithfully following Paul’s advice. Hence, if anything Revelation 2:2 actually vindicates the Apostle Paul and shows that his prophecies were truly inspired by the risen Christ! 


If these five reasons are not enough to seriously call into question Paul's status as an apostle, there is one more.  It is a most interesting quote from Paul's own pen that finally seals the fate of his supposed apostleship.  It comes from his second letter to Timothy, which was also written during the same Neronian persecution (the same time the book of Revelation was being written). This letter is believed by many scholars to contain the last recorded words of Paul.  Here he makes a short statement of lament that seems to have gone unnoticed.  The implications of which are astounding if one is able to hear everything that is being said. In 2Tim. 1:15, Paul says to Timothy:

"This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me."

Asia!  All of them!  Rejecting Paul!  And when he says, "This you know", it sounds like this must have been relatively common knowledge at that time.  Asia!  The very place that Yeshua told John to write, where his seven churches were.  And they were alive, and obviously had been established for some time.  Again, notice that Paul did not say that Asia had rejected the gospel of Yeshua.  Obviously they hadn't rejected Yeshua if there were thriving churches there that Yeshua wanted to address through John.  Instead Paul said that all Asia had rejected him personally! How could it NOT be Paul and his band that Yeshua had commended the Ephesian church for rejecting?


Let us read the context to see how the author has misquoted Paul: 

It is clear from the context that Paul was using hyperbole, since he makes mention of an entire household who assisted him. In fact, when we continue to read 2 Timothy we are surprised to find the following: 

Paul mentions Luke as being with him as well as requesting that Timothy bring Mark since Mark was a great benefit to the Apostle. Interestingly, Paul elsewhere mentions both Mark and Luke as being present with him at the same time: 

Interestingly, this is the same Mark that accompanied the Apostle Peter and who wrote the Gospel of Mark: 

These verses conclusively demonstrate that both Paul and Luke were on good terms with the Apostles and their companions. In fact, Peter himself praised Paul and called the latter’s writings Scripture: 

We therefore see that much like his five previous points, the author’s last point contains little substance and fails to prove his assertions.  


This by itself, should be more than enough reason to raise some question about Paul.  When we add to this the rest of the evidence against him, we have more than enough evidence to do as the Ephesian church, and convict Paul of the crime of false impersonation of an apostle!

If Yeshua’s opinion of Paul was that Paul was a false apostle and a liar.


The evidence from the Holy Bible, early Church history, and early Muslim records should provide sufficient reasons to accept Paul’s claims. When we examine the evidence objectively we are forced to do what Paul commands, namely to test all things and reject that which is unsound. Since the author’s arguments are devoid of any substance, we choose to reject his claims and align ourselves with the risen Lord Jesus in his assessment of his beloved Apostle: 

This concludes this part. In the next part, we will compare Muhammad to Paul in order to document how the former fails to live up to the standard set by the risen Lord’s true emissary. Jesus is our risen and eternal Lord of glory forever and ever! Amen.

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