Regarding The ‘Sins’ Of Mohammad (sws)

Question

I have always read that all the prophets of Allah are perfect people who do not sin. While I do not believe in the Torah version of events, I thought, all prophets were people who must have committed mistakes and misjudgments (political, religious or social) here and there, which God corrected immediately and forgave them for.

Now, I searched the quran for sins of the perfection or humanness of our beloved Mohammad SWS and found the following verses which not only testify that he might have committed errors in political or social decisions but sins. a sin "zanb" is much graver than a mistake and I believe it relates to breaking a religious law.

God confirms he has forgiven Mohammad SWS all his sins the past and the future but it still remains that unlike what many Moslems claim, the quran's ayas are evidence that our prophet was not a perfect human being and he committed sins.

40:55

So be patient (O Muhammad SAW). Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, and ask forgiveness for your fault, and glorify the praises of your Lord in the Ashi (i.e. the time period after the midnoon till sunset) and in the Ibkar (i.e. the time period from early morning or sunrise till before midnoon) [it is said that, that means the five compulsory congregational Salat (prayers) or the 'Asr and Fajr prayers].

47:19

So know (O Muhammad SAW) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women. And Allah knows well your moving about, and your place of rest (in your homes).

48:2-3

That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future and complete his favour on you and guide you on the straight path.

What do you think, and if I a completely wrong in my conclusion then how would I make sense of the quranic ayas?


Answer

Apparently, the verses you have quoted seem to communicate that the Holy Prophet (sws) committed sins. A deep deliberation on the verses considering the history of the life of the Prophet (sws) and other prophets of God, however, shows that the sins referred to here are not of the kind we generally take the word for. The prophets of God do not sin in pursuance of their self-centered ends as other human beings; however, these prophets may sometimes fall into error in their struggle of propagation of the faith with a righteous mind. A couple of examples from the Qur'an may help in understanding this point more clearly:

It is clear from the Qur'an, that the hypocrites sometimes found excuses for their absence from participating in the battlefields with the Prophet (sws). The Prophet (sws) would generally accept their false explanations and would excuse them. This was only because of the Prophet's kind disposition. Yet the Almighty has admonished him for accepting their explanations, as it was desired to bring the false explanations of these hypocrites and their insincerities into open public knowledge. Thus, due to his specific position, the Prophet (sws) is also supposed to guard his behavior so that he does not cross the boundaries set with regard even to giving allowances to others.

The Qur'an has also referred to an incident where the Prophet (sws) gave a kind of a preference to the leaders among the disbelievers to win their hearts so that they may get inclined to the faith and become a means for the further and effective propagation of the faith. This act is not a sin in its nature and could, in fact, have proven very fruitful for the propagation of the faith. Yet, in doing so, the educational requirements of a sincere believer and a true seeker of the Truth can sometimes be ignored. Thus, the Almighty stops his messengers from doing so. Such an act is referred to in Surah Abas (80).

Such acts, as is quite clear, cannot be termed as sin in the general implication of the word.

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