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TEL AVIV – Muslim preacher Mostafa Rashed, considered by many to be the highest authority on Islam in Australia, has sparked a storm of criticism by saying on television that the Islamic prophet Muhammad was a Christian until age 40.
He further stated that Muhammad was the assistant to a Christian preacher named Waraqa Bin Nofal.
On a show on the LTC television station, Rashed claimed that Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife, was also Christian. Rashed stated that Muhammad was married to Khadija before his divine revelations and his marriage to a Christian is further proof that he was a Christian himself.
Another religious scholar from Al-Azhar University participated in the program and denied Rashed’s theory. According to Sheikh Muhammad Hamoude, Muhammad was not a Christian and it is not known whether he maintained a friendship with Bin Nofal.
Shiekh Rashed’s comments invited a storm on social media, where Zahim Alshamri, a Twitter user in Saudi Arabia, wrote, “Now this has crossed the limits of madness. He took some serious drugs. May Allah erase you and your mind.”
A Syrian social media user, Elias Alabdullah, wrote, “Allah protect us, what exactly is happening in Egypt?”
An Egyptian on Twitter, Zaki, resented the fact that so many were focused on Sheikh Rashed’s Egyptian citizenship, writing, “You asses, why are you saying that he’s an Egyptian preacher, he barely finished his professional education. And you Muntasser [the interviewer], you are in the dirtiest profession in history.”
Najm Adin Zafer quoted the Quran on Twitter, “‘We gave you inspiration, you who were not aware of the book and the faith,’ this is proof that the Prophet did not belong to any other religion.”
A Shi’ite social media user, Suhad, wrote, “If the one saying this was a Shi’ite cleric, they would say he was barking and would cause us a big headache.”