Prophethood 3 – Islamic And Biblical Versions

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Jamal Badawi

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Salam Alaikum, ladies and gentlemen, based upon you all, and welcome to another episode of Islamic focus. I'm your host, Mohammed Hassan Hosni, and this is going to be our third episode in the series on Prophethood prophets within Islam. Our guest today is Dr. Jamal Badawi Salaam Alaikum Dr. program. Maybe we should start as usual by a quick recap of the last episode, two basic areas we covered last time one was a continuation of the discussion of the concept of Revelation. The highlights of what was mentioned last time is that if we focus on the perhaps the last and most authenticated,

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documented form of revelations through the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that His revelation through the agency of angel, Gabrielle

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that this was a dictation of the revelation directly to the prophet who uttered without using his own words, the passages of the Quran. And we said that this was not a guarded secret. It's something that happened often in the presence of many of the companions of the Prophet. It didn't only happen once or twice, it happens over the span of 23 years, the mission or Ministry of Prophet Muhammad, and that the Quran, which is the product of those states of Revelation is still available in our hands for examination. We also emphasize that we no believers in God can deny or dismiss revelation because it's not empirical or something that's tangible that you can touch. Because after all, we

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said that divine revelation is the foundation of all revealed, religions, anyone who believes in God Allah, and his capacity to communicate his will to humanity, obviously, would have to believe in Revelation even though it's not something to put in the stew. Nor can revelation be dismissed under excuses, such as hallucination or epilepsy, because like we discussed last time, they are totally different things we talk about epilepsy versus state of Revelation, where you get wisdom and you get holy books that guides humanity. We also made the distinction between the various meanings of inspiration, that even though these days a very selected special meaning of divine revelation, in a

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sense of holy books communicated to prophets and messengers of God, that the word inspiration itself is not limited to prophets. We talked about inspiring in a sense of teaching bees, for example, and inspiring pious people certain threads, but still something that's limited to them and not as a general message to be conveyed to the rest of humanity. This was the first issue on revelation. And then we started looking into the nature of prophethood, the who is a prophet. And we tried to document heavily from the Quran, that after all, prophets and messengers of God are human beings, they are just like you and me and the various human physiological functions. They eat and drink and

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die and get sick.

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But however, they are a very select type of people to be qualified to exemplify the message and provide a good model of beliefs and behavior for the people.

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Not for the benefit of our audience, most probably will be predominantly from the Judeo Christian tradition, can we draw a parallel can we draw a comparison between the concept of prophethood in Islam and the concept of prophethood in the Judeo Christian tradition, or the biblical

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concept?

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There are similarities but there are very important differences. Some people make a very superficial

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you know, conclusion. They say, you know, the Quran talks about sin prophets like the Bible so much

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I took it from the Bible.

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But there are similarities. However, like I mentioned before, diminishers monotheistic faiths, at least so called Judaism, Islam and Christianity have definitely a great deal in common. The notion of believing in God

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as the ultimate authority in the universe, we might differ on the questions of Trinity or chosen us or whatever. But still, the whole notion of believing God is there. And Prophethood also, the general notion of God sending prophets are messengers to guide humanity. This is quite common in the three monotheistic faiths to the concept of Revelation, as we discussed is also accepted in some form or the other. But that is the whole notion of God inspiring messengers the truth. However, I think there are some differences which are very, very important to realize. And this we call an Islam, the Esma, or the infallibility of the Prophet. To clarify, and since we're making

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comparisons, it would be fair to also refer and document from both scriptures, the Bible and the Quran.

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As I mentioned, if you recall in the previous series, second series on Prophethood, that from from the Muslim point of view with the problems you have with the Bible is that in the New Testament, there is one extreme of deifying, a prophet to the level of godhood.

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On the other hand, I mentioned briefly, that there is another extreme also of attributing Cardinal sins, to great prophets, and we said that the Muslim does not accept post. Since we have talked already last time about the question of deification of humans and given the evidence from the Quran. Contrary to that, perhaps we might as well focus today on the question of fallibility or infallibility of the profits.

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Like I said, in the Old Testament, we find stories that stuns the Muslim. In fact, examples of this would be the story about prophet Jacob and his father, Prophet Isaac May peace be upon them both. As you know, the tradition has been in the Old Testament that the elder son inherits, you know, the honor. And it says that,

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in particular, in the book of Genesis, chapters 27, that is, how was the older son of Isaac and he was the one who's supposed to receive the blessing, they have the birthright, right has the birthright, and that somehow the information reached Jacob, that guy that his father Isaac is going to bless is out. So he went to his father's exploiting the fact that he was almost blind. He said, his sight was very, very weak father, the father, Isaac, and Jacob went to him, pretending that he is out until Isaac blessed.

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Jacob instead by mistake, a verification of the mother, identification of the mother. That's right. And then later on Israel discovered that and Isaac discovered that and said, There is no way because he has already blessed

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Jacob by mistake. Well, it kind of story like this depicts a great prophet who is adored by Muslim prophet Jacob peace be upon him as a cheater and deceiver who goes to his father and and lie to him and pretend that he's the other son in order to get that blessing, a problem that a Muslim would have a different problem accepting kind of story like this. In the book of Exodus, in chapter 32, especially verses one through six, it describes how prophet err on the brother of Moses, Prophet Moses, may peace be upon them both, how he himself participated in collecting gold,

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to put it and cartridge and to make the famous golden calf, why Moses will not

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come on right now it detects here a great profit, respected and adored by Muslims as someone who has not only acquiesce to

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to idolatry, but even participate himself and make the the making of the golden calf Muslim can never accept this kind of, of accusation.

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What is even very strange to them in the mind of the Muslim is the story about prophet David, in the second book of Samuel, where, where he talks about the incident when Uriah one of the commanders of Prophet David was away in a battlefield and then

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it says that David went on top of the King's House and he looked and he found a beautiful woman bathing.

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So he sent to ask or inquire about her and he was told that this is the wife of his commanders, or you know that soldier officers, Uriah and then he sent for her committed adultery with her

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And then when you re I came back, it detects prophet David peace be upon him as a person who wanted to play all kinds of tricks to hide the crime that he committed the sin that he did. So he asked it, and that's again, like I said, all in the in the book of someone's second book of summon, then he asked Uriah to go and wash his feet inside his house, he actually meant to go and sleep with your wife to hide the source of the new baby. And then Uriah being very, you know, faithful to the soldier, he refused to have lunch with the soldiers that they would not touch. That was something Exactly, so he refused, and he slept outside the doorstep of his house. And when district did not

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work, then it narrates or claims that Prophet David sent a message with Uriah himself to one of his other commanders drab, and he asked him to put Uriah in the hottest spot in the battlefield, so that he might be killed and slain, finished, that again, the crime would be hidden.

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And of course, it ended up as you know, with the,

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with the slaying of Uriah. Now, for the Muslim, he find that this is totally unacceptable. And he believes a Muslim believes that this can never be an original or genuine revelation given to any Prophet, because a prophet who does this type of things definitely would be contradictory to the concept of Prophet as explained

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in the Quran, and also contradicted to the very logic of prophethood. As, as Islam presented, in fact, this will not on the incidence, of course, there is the famous story about Prophet Abraham, when he went to Egypt, and he had his wife with him. And she was so beautiful, she was afraid that Pharaoh might take her away or something would kill him. So he claimed that it was his sister and let her go even inside the house of the pharaoh who tried to approach her to have a relationship with her.

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You know, there are similar things about Prophet Solomon, getting married to, to pagan wives, and then his heart was inclined towards their gods. This whole this whole description, like I said, is totally for the Muslim contradictory to the text of the Quran, as well as to the role and function and perception of who the prophets now you're really working out their appetite. So why don't you elaborate a little bit on in what sense is a contradictory to the Quran for instance, and to the prophetic tradition, in terms of the Quran.

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There is no single passage in the entire Quran, new single passage.

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Even though it talks, the Quran talks about all of these prophets, all of them are mentioned in the Quran. But there is no single passage in the Quran that attribute such Cardinal sins that really blemished the moral character of the Prophet as we have seen cited in various places in the, in the Old Testament. In fact, the contrary is true. All of these prophets are mentioned with a great deal of admiration and respect. About the Prophet David and Solomon they are mentioned as people who are preachers needs to get people who are really faithful to God about prophet Jacob, not as a deceiver, cheater, but as a respected and holy messenger, prophet of God, and give you some examples.

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For example, on Prophet Abraham, he was described in the Quran as a man of truth, that's in 1941. He was also described as devoutly obedient to God and true in face 16 120. Prophet Ishmael, is described in 1964, as one who was strictly true to his promise, and the biggest was the son of Abraham was the son of the second son of Abraham, he has Isaac and Ishmael Ishmael is the grandfather of Prophet Muhammad, again, grandfather. And

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Isaac, of course, was the grandfather of all the Israelite prophets. He was the first son, Ishmael was the first was the first exactly Schmidt was the first time because as you know, the wife of of Abraham was barren.

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And then later on she got

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Isaac This is an interesting area that we've come to

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in terms of the connection between the various monotheistic faiths. And but of course, when God mentioned about Israel as being true to his promise, the biggest promise is to obey God and to be faithful to him. About Prophet Moses is described in the Quran as most lesson translated roughly as one who was specially chosen. That's a 1951 about the Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. He's giving a very tender description in the Quran. As YG Han said Daniela touches my heart when I decided, really what Ji Han said dunya and akhira. In English it means that Jesus was one who is helped

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In honor, in this word, and in the Hereafter, and of the company of those nearest to God, the reference to that in the Quran is in three, chapter three, verse 45. About Prophet Mohammed is described as a model.

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For example, we read and such as 321. That you have, are believers indeed, in the in the Messenger of God, that is a beautiful pattern, or model of conduct, for any whose hope is in God. And in the final day, and like I said, this is not this, I'm not the only citation, I could go on and on giving you more, but just to give you an example of generalization that are made, about more than one prophet about groups of prophets, we read, for example, in 2190, that these that these prophets were

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quick in emulation in good works, they used to call on us, that's on God with love, reverence, and humbled themselves before us. That's in 2190. So these always talk about reverence, respect and praise of all of those great prophets. This is one aspect of the text of the Quran. I say also that this story is that were cited from the Bible are inconsistent with the Muslim view of the role and natures of Prophet the logic of prophets. In what sense? Well, as we said before, a prophet is not somebody just to come and communicate the words of God to people. He is a person to exemplify in his own behavior and his own moral, standard and actions, the message that he's preaching, it doesn't

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preach something and do something contrary to that this is very essential. How could then a profit be an example and modeled for people when he is a liar? cheater, drunkard, adultery, aim of this description, are descriptions of people who are really very wicked. How could a prophet be a model of faith in God, when his heart is inclined towards other

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idols or other pagan deities? You know, this is something that's totally inconceivable in the mind logical realism. It's very logical. Point to me clearly. That's why, like I said before, the Quran always indicate that the prophets were specially chosen, they have even more privilege over the pious. In other words, if they were pious people who do not commit this major sins that blemish their moral character,

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then definitely the Prophet should be even above that. To give documentation on this issue gives us the verses in the Quran, there are more one, Allah who has documented meta equity roussillon Amina mass, God chooses messengers from engine and from people that's in 2275. Surely the choice of Gods is much better than what the stories depict. Also, in 686, in the Quran, we did, and to all that is to all prophets, we gave favours above the nations

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also, and we made them leaders, guiding people, to our by our command, and inspire them notice this, and inspire them, to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and to practice regular charity, and they constantly served us that is in 2173. So the inspiration was not just by message, knowledge, philosophy, drive philosophy, it was inspiration also, by meaning and by actions in their own lives. And this is the essence of the Islamic concept of asthma. I smh, asthma are the infallibility of all the messengers and prophets of God. Now, some of the viewers may fall into a logical trap here sort of a seeming inconsistency. And that is, on the one hand, in the last

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episode, we've been talking and we have over emphasized and you went that Glen to quote, chapter and verse in the Quran, proving the humanity of the prophets and now we may get the impression that they are human, but they are infallible. How do you reconcile this? Or how do you dissipate that inconsistency if such an inconsistency is there altogether? In other words, you're asking us to whether infallibility is inconsistent with humanity, humanity right? Not really. If you make the distinction between errors or sins, if you want, then that would resolve the problem very easily.

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Well, at least there are three kinds of sense that is the way I can classify them to facilitate it. There are sins which relate to deviation and error in belief in God like believing or inclination towards other gods. For example, Gods smudgy, yeah, this this is one type of error. A second

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type of error is what you might call a cardinal sin, something horrible, something really very bad. Like I said, cheating, committing adultery with somebody else's wife and all this stuff. This is a very distinct group of

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sense. And then there is a type of sin which could be a human error in judgment, which does not constitute, in my race a violation of a basic moral law. 10 commandments, for example, as a Christian understand it, nor does it really reflect any bad intention on the part of a profit making this error or mistake. malice aforethought, thoughtcrime exactly was Yeah, premeditated type of virus. But if we take that structures to facilitate our answer, then we can say, first of all, the old prophets and messengers of God are very infallible, absolutely infallible with respect to the first and second,

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exactly. In the first dimension, they cannot be fallible as far as the communication of the message of God about faith. Because if the Prophet makes an error in conveying the message of God, then he's not qualified. He's confusing his leading people astray. Instead of saying worship God, they say worship gods, you know that that was?

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Exactly. And that's why it took just one verse from the Quran. Again, the translation in English does not convey the origin of the beauty of the origin. And but I'll explain it in 69, verses 44 through 47. It says, And if, if the messengers were to invent anything

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in our revelation, that's a tribute to God's revelation, if a message of sight to change, we should certainly sees him by his right hand, and we should certainly cut off the outside of his heart, nor could any of you

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withhold him from our rest. That's a symbolic meaning of what it really means that nonprofit can fall into an error of conveying the belief, the proper, pure belief as dictated or communicated to him by God, or else God would definitely stop him from making this falsification and leading people astray, if he's a really a genuine, messenger and prophet.

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This is one, the other

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second category of of sins are sins that everybody agrees that yes, we are humans, you have all this temptation, however, we know that there are certain sins that are really Cardinal to steal somebody else's wife and commit adultery, and then cheat and try to do all kinds of tricks to avoid facing this kind of crime definitely is something that is not consistent with life.

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Exactly. And we know that many people who are reasonably pious would not do this things as bad, how about the Select better person who's supposed to be the prophets or messenger of God. But when it comes to the third category of errors, errors in judgment and something very minor, and even with good intention, not really deliberate type of mistake, this is not necessarily a contradiction with the infallibility of the prophets. Its infallibility in the sense that it does not affect their basic function as profits, source of Revelation, and model, also, of human behavior. It would be nice actually, if you could give us an example of this third category of errors. Well, there are so

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many examples, maybe I can just pick one particular example. And surprising enough, it applies him to Prophet Mohammed himself.

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So that it shows By the way, the reason I picked that example, is that there are still some people who are not familiar with the true facts about Islam who says For example, or insinuate that, oh, Muhammad wrote the Quran again, rejecting this notion of Revelation. But if it's true that Muhammad wrote the Quran were invented it and lied and said that this came from God, which is, of course, absolutely untrue. Then definitely he would not include in that court on any verse or passage that rebukes him How could someone write something self incriminate self incrimination? Can't be but we find it in the Quran which shows that there is another authority above Muhammad that gave him this

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instruction and reveal this information same. This is a famous Chapter Chapter 80. In the Quran,

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the title of which in English usual is he found in original Arabic Ibis.

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And the this chapter was revealed as a commentary and correction in a particular interesting story. And the story briefly is this. Prophet Mohammed in the early days of Islam was trying to invite the leaders of the noble

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tribe of crush crush to Islam, he had very good reason to emphasize and focus on them, this word opinion leaders, and he said he thought that if he wins them to face and they believe in God and reject idolatry, then this would encourage other people to follow suit. Furthermore, he also said

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or felt that those people are involved in persecuting Muslims, because they are powerful. And if those people are want to face and understand Islam properly, perhaps this would lead them to be more sympathetic, and they stop that persecution or Dr. Evil. So this was a human judgment, which before, you know, the rest of the study said, All right, what's what's wrong? Did the profits of it's perfectly all right is there is doing that, not for any personal gain, but rather for propagation of the message of truth. And why he was talking to them earnestly in concentration, there came an all poor, blind man, by the name of Abdullah, if no microphone and that person has wanted to ask the

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prophet to teach him something about the Quran. And he kept bugging him asking him asking him the Prophet again, in his human judgment with all good intention, he showed a little bit of impatience and found a little bit. Because in a way, he said, All right, this man is already a believer. Couldn't you wait a little bit until I really talk to those people who might be in business? Exactly what this is for him? No, I understand. Yeah, business incentives of attracting,

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as we mentioned before, yeah, exactly for the benefits of faith and gentlemen. So he showed a little bit of impatience, but then came to him. Gabrielle, with this, I'll just recite a few verses from this chapter. It says he that is Mohammed frowned and turned away, because they're come to him, or they came to him, the blind man, interrupting. But what could tell you that he that is the blind man might be purified, or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him as to one who regards himself as self sufficient, the rich, the powerful to him, or Mohammed, do you attend? Though there is no blame to you, if he is not purified, very powerful attribute of the presence of

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the Prophet Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, but still, it doesn't accuse him of any moral sin or any mistake and bracelet simply even as judgment with all good intention. Still, God shows him that there is wisdom higher than human wisdom, and that a poor, blind person who sincerely believer is better than this whole bunch of rich, powerful unbelievers who are so proud, so puffed up with pride that they are not listening to the message of profit. Indeed, it's interesting to know that

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after this incident, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him used to hold that man up to law, in great esteem. And whenever he met him, he said, and and in an archive, and if you hear a beat, which means Welcome to he, for who sick, God rebuke me, used to give him that, you know, love and affection. And that's why many people misunderstand statements made in the Quran, either commending great prophets like Abraham, or Mohammed or quoting them as saying they saw the forgiveness of Allah,

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the alpha like Allahumma Takata, so that God can forgive you or Mohammed, whatever you have done, have errors. And they say, ha, look, that's an evidence that those prophets are sinful. And this is a very erroneous and superficial way of looking at it. Because number one, like I said, it's error, but it's only error in a sense of human judgment with good intention. And secondly, the point that is always forgotten, is that a mistake for the Prophet is not like a mistake, for a common man course, see, a prophet because of the very high standard demanded of him in his morality and behavior, even the slightest mistake, even if judgment. This is a serious one, not because it's

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serious in itself, but because of the standard expected of him. Not only this prophet also because of his purity, no matter how worship free and sincere, he may be he always feel he's not really doing worship, as he should. He's not doing enough. So he always asked God for forgiveness. Thank you very much, Dr. Jamal. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us, and we hope you'll join us in the following episode on Islamic Prophethood. Until then, this is Muhammad Hafiz signing off and May peace be upon you all Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah