بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
Islam, Jack Chick and the Battle for Souls – Response to the Chick Tract “Camel’s in the Tent”
Originally Published: December 18, 2017
Updated: December 7, 2022
“Surely those who receive our revelations with denial and arrogance, the gates of heaven will not be opened for them, nor will they enter Paradise until a camel passes through the eye of a needle. This is how We reward the wicked.”
– The Holy Quran, Surah Al-A’raaf, 7:40 (Mustafa Khattab translation)
This article is a continuation of the series “Islam, Jack Chick and the Battle for Souls”. Continuing with our exposé of the bigoted and ignorant “Chick tracts”, we will now discuss the racist propaganda tract titled “Camel’s in the Tent”.
“Camel’s in the Tent” – The Plot
Unlike the first Chick tract we examined (“Allah Had No Son”), this tract does not involve any single plot but is rather a propaganda tract that attempts to warn Americans and westerners in general about the perceived threat of Islam to their societies. It is one of Chick’s most xenophobic and racist tracts.
The opening scene is of a camel suffering in the cold of a “wintry night”. In order to escape the low temperature, the camel asks his owner (a “sheik” who is sleeping soundly in his warm tent) if he could:
“…put my nose in the tent, if I may.”
The sheik obliges and allows the camel to warm his nose. But then the camel asks for more concessions, one by one. First, he asks if he can warm his neck, then his face, and then his forelegs. For each concession, the sheik kindly obliges. Finally, the camel asks if he can just enter the tent completely, and the sheik (obviously annoyed at this point) begrudgingly allows it.
But then, things quickly turn sour for the poor sheik. The camel sees that there is no space in the tent for the two of them and then tells his human companion that “one of us must go”. Unfortunately for the sheik, the camel decides that he must go and pushes him out. Thus ends the story.
Next, Chick explains the origins of this “camel”, which turns out to be a metaphor for Muslims from the Middle East who worship Allah (apparently, all Muslims are from the Middle East in Chick’s mind). He describes these people as those who (like the camel):
“…move in and take over, not just tents, but entire countries.”
He describes their religion (Islam) as “very big” and perhaps the “largest in the world”. He warns that this religion has around 1.5 billion followers who pray to Allah five times a day and that if someone says something bad about Allah or His prophet, “some of them will try to hurt you”. He then proceeds to regale the reader with a story of “how Islam got started”.
According to Chick, the pre-Islamic Arab tribes were “warring” with each other but nevertheless came together peacefully at the Kaaba in Mecca. They referred to the Kaaba as “the house of gods” because it contained 360 idols inside. Of these 360 idols, five belonged to the Quraysh, the tribe Muhammad (peace be upon him) belonged to. He also claims that the “ancient Arabs” believed that Allah (the “moon god” according to Chick) had married the “sun goddess” and had “three powerful goddess daughters”, who were named Allat, Al-Uzza, and Manat.
Chick then proceeds to tell his version of the story of Muhammad (peace be upon him). It begins with a famous encounter in a cave, in which, according to Chick, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “strangled” by a “powerful force” that caused him to have seizures. Chick claims that even Muhammad (peace be upon him) “believed it was a devil”. But Chick claims that his “rich wife” and her cousin “could interpret his visions for him”, convincing him that it was in fact an angel and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “a prophet of the top god, Allah”.
Eventually, Muhammad (peace be upon him) gained power and “cleared the Ka’aba of all its idols” so that he could “choose one god for the Arab world” (the alleged moon god). However, he also discarded “the moon god idol”, but kept the name of the god (Allah).
Soon afterward, Chick claims, the new religion “caught fire” and Muhammad’s army “used the sword without mercy” to spread his religion. Chick quotes Surah Al-Anfal, 8:12 to show the alleged merciless violence of the Muslim armies:
“I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”
Apparently inspired by this verse, the Muslim armies “burned cities”, “tortured and killed men”, and “raped and enslaved” women.
Moving to modern times, Chick proceeds to warn his readers of how Muslims “invade today”. At first, they are “peaceful”, but once they gain power, all non-Muslims must “look out!” He then makes the claim that England “is closer to accepting Sharia law”. The plan, according to Chick, has a pattern: infiltrate, populate, legislate and decimate. And America is apparently next! Being a “tolerant nation”, America is inviting the “camel” in and setting up its own downfall.
Next, Chick describes who Muhammad (peace be upon him) was:
- He was white and owned black slaves.
- He had 23 wives, one of whom was 6 years old.
- He raped, lied, and murdered.
- His teachings send millions to their deaths.
- He died and is in hell (Chick knew this somehow).
Chick then lists some of Muhammad’s teachings:
- Satan stays in the upper part of a person’s nose at night.
- The majority of the people of hell are women who were ungrateful.
- Some Jews were turned into monkeys, pigs, and rats.
- Ethiopians have “a head like a raisin”.
- He hated the Bible because it says that Jesus Christ was the creator of the universe.
Chick then provides a summary of alleged Biblical teachings, including Satan’s fall from Heaven, the fall of Adam and Eve from their “perfect world” due to Satan’s deception, original sin, and Jesus’ death and resurrection for the washing away of sins. But in Chick’s view, when Muhammad (peace be upon him) came 600 years later, he “blocked Arabs from believing in [Jesus]” by denying that he was “God” or “God’s son” and never died for humanity’s sins.
Chick then proceeds to make an apocalyptic warning that “Islam’s days are numbered” and appeals to a prophecy in the book of Ezekiel about the destruction of the armies of Gog and Magog (which represent Islam and Russia, according to Chick). When Russia (Magog) attacks Israel with Muslim nations like Iran, Ethiopia (which is apparently a Muslim country in Chick’s view), Libya, and others, God will destroy them with “giant earthquakes” (we have to assume that Israel will somehow be spared the fury of these earthquakes). After the destruction of Russia and Islam, Jesus will return to begin his 1,000 years of rule and “will judge every soul that ever lived-including Muhammad”.
With this apocalyptic warning, Chick concludes his tract by asking the reader to “take your pick”, by choosing to have Jesus as “your personal savior and dearest friend” or “your deadliest enemy”.
Examination of “Camel’s in the Tent”
As we have seen, “Camel’s in the Tent” is a “doom and gloom” tract full of racism, xenophobia, fear-mongering, and religious fanaticism. First and foremost, it was written to instill fear of Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims are a small minority in America and other western nations. As we observed in our discussion of Chick’s tract “Allah Had No Son”, it is not a coincidence that xenophobic fearmongering has historically always targeted minority groups. They simply make convenient and easy targets.
In his attempt to present Muslims as a dangerous fifth column in America, Chick chose to use the metaphor of a camel, an obvious reference to Arabs. This choice exposes Chick’s rampant racism (which he ironically accused the Prophet Muhammad of) as well as his apparent ignorance of the fact that, of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, only a small fraction are Arabs! So was he afraid of Muslims from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc. all ganging up and taking over America, or only Arab Muslims from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries? To equate “Arab” with “Muslim” is to ignore the demographics of Islam. It is not exclusively an Arab religion. Rather, it has followers from every culture and ethnicity.
As a way to demonize Muslims, Chick provided a vivid and scary summary of the origin of Islam. It all began in “ancient” Arabia, where warring tribes would gather peacefully at the Kaaba. According to Chick, it was called “the house of gods”. Obviously, Chick wanted to associate Islam with idolatry. But he provided no reference for this claim, and it is unclear what he based it on, other than the fact that in pre-Islamic times, the Kaaba was used to store the hundreds of idols that the different Arab tribes worshipped. But historians confirm that rather than being called “the house of gods”, the Kaaba was actually called “the House of Allah”, both before and after the coming of Islam, and Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) was known as the “Lord of the Kaaba”. Additionally, Karen Armstrong observes that while the Kaaba was “officially dedicated to the god Hubal” at the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him), it was originally dedicated to Allah, who was “the High God of the Arabs”. Even Ibn Ishaq, a favorite source for Islamophobes, related a story of when the Quraysh were rebuilding the Kaaba (before Muhammad became a prophet), they discovered an inscription that described Mecca (and by association, the Kaaba) as “God’s holy house”. Ibn Ishaq also quoted from an “ode” composed by Muhammad’s uncle Abu Talib (who was not a Muslim and never became one), which referred to the Kaaba as “the house of God”. So, no matter what source we use, we find Chick’s claim that the Kaaba was known as “the house of gods” to be completely bogus!
Beyond this ludicrous claim, Chick also repeated another debunked polemic, which was that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) was a moon god who had married the sun goddess and had three daughters (Allat, Al-Uzza, and Manat). We previously discussed the “moon god” polemic in the response to Chick’s tract “Allah Had No Son” and found it to be a baseless and embarrassing low-point of Christian allegations against Islam.
Next, Chick discussed Muhammad’s famous supernatural encounter which began his prophetic career, when he was sleeping in the cave of Hira in the year 610 CE. Muslims know the story well and will find Chick’s version to be deceitful and strange. According to Chick, “a powerful force grabbed [Muhammad]” and “strangled him”. This violent encounter was so detrimental that it caused Muhammad (peace be upon him) to have seizures. The only source Chick provided in support of this strange summary was the book “Christ, Muhammad and I” by the Christian apologist and “ex-Muslim” Mohammad Al-Ghazoli. But a search of the Islamic sources will easily show that the Christians were very liberal in their paraphrasing. In short, their summary of Muhammad’s encounter is inaccurate.
First, it is obvious that Chick was trying to insinuate that the “powerful force” that “grabbed” and “strangled” Muhammad (peace be upon him) was really a demon. In fact, to emphasize this implicit point, Chick claimed that Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself initially thought it was a “devil”. According to Ibn Ishaq’s account, after the encounter, Muhammad (peace be upon him) indeed wondered whether he was “possessed” and even contemplated committing suicide, but even if this account was authentic, all it would prove is that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was understandably frightened and traumatized by a supernatural event. That in itself does not prove that he had encountered a demon.
Second, the claim that this “powerful force” had “strangled” Muhammad (peace be upon him) is simply a lie. Chick made it up! None of the sources, whether Ibn Ishaq or the authentic accounts in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim say that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “strangled”. In actual fact, they all state that the being had “caught” or “pressed” him in a powerful embrace. Here is what Ibn Ishaq’s account states:
“[h]e pressed me with it [a coverlet of brocade] so tightly that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said, “Read!” I said, “What shall I read?” He pressed me with it again so that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said “Read!” I said, “What shall I read?” He pressed me with it the third time so that I thought it was death and said “Read!” I said, “What then shall I read”? – and this I said only to deliver myself from him, lest he should do the same to me again.”
And here are the authentic accounts from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, respectively:
“The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) added, ‘The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.’”
“There came to him the angel and said: Recite, to which he replied: I am not lettered. He took hold of me [the Apostle said] and pressed me, till I was hard pressed; thereafter he let me off and said: Recite. I said: I am not lettered. He then again took hold of me and pressed me for the second time till I was hard pressed and then let me off and said: Recite, to which I replied: I am not lettered. He took hold of me and pressed me for the third time, till I was hard pressed and then let me go and said: Recite in the name of your Lord Who created, created man from a clot of blood. Recite. And your most bountiful Lord is He Who taught the use of pen, taught man what he knew not.”
There is nothing here about “strangling”. Chick even illustrated the encounter by showing the angel grabbing Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the neck and choking him! This deception reveals that perhaps it was Chick who was “possessed” by a demon! Why else would he have lied like this? After all, as the Gospel of John states, Satan is “the father of lies”!
Third, Chick evidently ignored the fact that the encounter in the cave was actually not the first supernatural incident involving Muhammad (peace be upon him). Rather, his prophethood actually began with dreams that would come true and, according to some reports (such as Ibn Ishaq), trees and stones would greet him as he walked by saying:
“Peace unto thee, O apostle of Allah.”
The reports of dreams are found in the authentic collections as well. For example, Sahih Bukhari reports:
“Narrated ‘Aisha: The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright daylight, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food likewise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.”
Did Chick automatically reject these stories because they showed Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a favorable light? Isn’t it rather convenient that he seemed to overlook these stories?
Next, Chick essentially accused Muhammad’s wife Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) and her cousin Waraqa of misguiding him into thinking that the being he had encountered in the cave was in fact an angel and not a demon. This polemic is related to the bizarre and laughable conspiracy theory that Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was actually a Catholic nun who had been sent by the Vatican to find a man who would start a new religion (no, really)! This conspiracy theory is completely bogus since, like most conspiracy theories, it has no solid evidence.
Next, Chick repeated the “moon god” polemic yet again, claiming that once Muhammad (peace be upon him) cleared the Kaaba of all the pagan idols (as Chick put it, “he got rid of all his competition”), he kept the name of the “moon god” (while throwing out the moon god “idol”). As for this alleged moon god “idol”, we have discussed it in the response to the tract “Allah Had No Son”. In that discussion, it was shown that most scholars actually view it as a statue of a man rather than a deity, and even those who do consider the possibility that it is a deity only do so with great caution. Moreover, even those scholars who cautiously state that the statue represents a “deity” do not state that it represents “Allah”. Thus, Chick’s declaration that it is an idol of the “moon god” is not supported by the evidence.
Continuing with his demonization of Muslims, Chick appealed to the alleged violent spread of Islam throughout the world. One particular verse from the Holy Quran was used to “prove” that killing unbelievers was required, namely Surah Al-Anfal, 8:12. In its entirety (Chick did not quote the entire verse), the verse states:
“˹Remember, O Prophet,˺ when your Lord revealed to the angels, ‘I am with you. So make the believers stand firm. I will cast horror into the hearts of the disbelievers. So strike their necks and strike their fingertips.’”
So, as a matter of fact, this verse is not addressed to Muslims at all but to the angels who were sent to aid them in battle! Not only that but this verse was specifically revealed with regard to the Battle of Badr when a small band of Muslims fought and defeated a larger pagan army. Not only that, but the same surah also commanded Muslims to seek peace if it was offered:
“If the enemy is inclined towards peace, make peace with them. And put your trust in Allah. Indeed, He ˹alone˺ is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
Thus, it is not sufficient to support Chick’s bold assertion that Muslims spread their religion through violence because the Quran told them to do.
Chick also asserted that the Islamic armies carried out mass killings, rape, and enslavement of their conquered foes. Like any sensationalist claim, this one is also more myth than fact. The actual historical facts are far less sensational. First and foremost, the first Quranic verse that was revealed with regard to warfare is generally agreed by scholars to be Surah Al-Hajj, 22:39, which states:
“Permission ˹to fight back˺ is ˹hereby˺ granted to those being fought, for they have been wronged.1 And Allah is truly Most Capable of helping them ˹prevail˺.”
Caner K. Dagli, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, observes that in this verse:
“…the use of force by Muslims is framed as a defensive action in response to wrongs committed offensively against them.”
Moreover, Dagli also observes that subsequent verses also emphasized the defensive nature of permitted fighting, such as Surah Al-Baqarah 2:217. Finally, despite the permission to fight in self-defense, Dagli explains that:
“[t]he moral landscape of the Quran is unambiguously against religious persecution and military aggression and in favor of justice and forgiveness as well as restraint…”
As for the claim of widespread violence, massacres, and rapes, the reality is again far less sensational. As Dagli explains:
“[i]n their wake Muslim armies left large portions of the lands they conquered pre-dominantly non-Muslim for decades or even centuries, as we see in the cases of Syria and Persia, since the expansion of Islamic rule did not require the expansion of the Muslim population. Indeed, on occasion Christians fought alongside Muslims during the early conquests, and Jews fought alongside Muslims in Andalusia.”
Furthermore, when we examine historical accounts of the Muslim conquests from the point of view of the conquered peoples, we find varying views, ranging from being celebratory to highly critical. As an example, let us examine the Coptic accounts of the conquest of Egypt by the Muslim armies. As the historian Hugh Kennedy states:
“[t]he Copts, in fact, are said to have helped the Muslims on a number of occasions, but this was by no means a general pattern, and they suffered like the Romans from the depredations of the Muslims and the effects of heavy and arbitrary taxation. The truth seems to be that the responses of the Copts were varied and perhaps confused…”
But even so, the Coptic accounts had a favorable view of the first Muslim governor of Egypt, Amr Ibn Al-As (may Allah be pleased with him), who became a Muslim during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). As Kennedy states:
“[e]ven more striking is the verdict of John of Nikiu. John was no admirer of Muslim government and was fierce in his denunciation of what he saw as oppression and abuse, but he says of Amr: ‘He exacted the taxes which had been determined upon but he took none of the property of the churches, and he committed no act of spoliation or plunder, and he preserved them throughout all his days.”
Finally, the treaty signed between the Muslims and the Copts (known as the “Treaty of Misr (Egypt)”) provides more details into the reality of the Muslim conquests, which is a far cry from the tales of mass murder and enslavement that Chick wanted people to believe. According to Kennedy, the treaty stipulated that the Copts:
“…would be obliged to pay the jizya (tribute) every year when the rise of Nile…was over. If the river failed to rise properly, payment would be reduced in proportion. If anyone did not agree to it, he would not pay the tribute but he would not receive protection. Romans and Nubians who wanted to enjoy the same terms might do so and those who did not were free to leave. […]
This treaty is just one of a number of slightly differing accounts which we have of the terms that were made with the people of Egypt. In many of them the tax to be paid was assessed at 2 dinars per male except for the poor.”
This is of course not to say that in the aftermath of battles, some Muslim troops did not engage in illegal and immoral acts of violence and pillaging. But this was not the policy of the early Muslim rulers, but rather the short-lived acts of undisciplined troops, who were actually new converts to Islam. As Fred Donner, professor of Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago, explains:
“…the arrival of the Believers in many areas may have been accompanied by widespread- though short and superficial- plundering and raiding, of a kind that would have been observed and reported by some early sources (such as the sermons and homilies of Sophronius in the 630s), but that would also leave little archaeological record since major towns were not involved. The reason for this petty plundering was simple. Many of the Arabian tribesmen who joined the Believer’s movement during the ridda wars were probably very undisciplined.”
As for the larger towns and cities, Donner explains that:
“[i]t was only those cities and towns that refused to make terms that would have been subjected to siege, and these were few…But even in these cases we can expect the damage to have been limited, for the Believers’ goal was not to destroy these towns, but rather to bring their monotheistic populations under the rule of God’s law. It was not the monotheist populations against whom the Believers were waging war, after all, but the Byzantine and Sasanian regimes, which they saw as tolerating (or even imposing) sinfulness.”
Also of interest is how Christians tended to interpret the conquests with regard to divine punishment. These accounts show the extent of the sectarian hatred between rival Christian sects as well as hatred of Jews. As Kennedy explains:
“[i]n general, the writers saw rival Christian sects and, of course, the Jews as the real enemy to be challenged and defeated. The Arabs, by contrast, could be tolerated and even manipulated to serve sectarian ends.”
As for alleged “forced” conversions, once again, the historical facts are far less sensational than Chick’s ludicrous assertions. As Kennedy states:
“[t]he Islamization and Arabization that followed conquest over the next two or three centuries would not have occurred if political conquest had not already succeeded, but they were not a direct and inevitable consequence of that conquest. Instead, it was a gradual, almost entirely peaceful result of the fact that more and more people wanted to identify with and participate in the dominant culture of their time.”
Given the historical evidence, what then can we conclude from the final analysis? Once again, Kennedy offers the bare facts and not the sensationalist and fear-mongering nonsense of Chick and his fans:
“[a] key element in the success of the conquests was the comparatively easy terms usually imposed on the conquered. Arab commanders were normally content to make agreements that protected the lives and properties of the conquered, including rights to their places of worship, in exchange for the payment of tribute and the promise that they would not help the enemies of the Muslims. Defeated defenders of cities that were conquered by force were sometimes executed, but there were few examples of wholesale massacres of entire populations.”
So, we can relegate Chick’s asinine claims to the dustbin!
Next, Chick moved his attention to modern times and issued his warning of an imminent Islamic takeover. Basically, the warning is that Muslims are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are initially peaceful, but once they “gain power”, it’s trouble for their host countries! He then made the bizarre and utterly ludicrous claim that England “is closer to accepting Sharia law”. This is sheer nonsense, for as was shown in the response to the tract “Allah Had No Son”, England is rapidly becoming an atheist/agnostic nation, so it is absurd to suggest that it will soon adopt “Sharia law”. Chick offered little proof of the grand conspiracy to “infiltrate, populate, legislate, decimate and eliminate”, which is not surprising since conspiracy theories are typically based on imaginary proofs and not real ones.
Chick then provided a deceitful explanation of who Muhammad (peace be upon him) was and what his teachings were. Let us examine each claim:
- He was “white” and owned black slaves.
Obviously, Chick was trying to use the race card to demonize Muhammad (peace be upon him). But unless his readers were really stupid, they would realize that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an Arab, so being called “white” would not mean he was literally a white man (like Europeans or Americans). As for the ahadith that Chick referred to prove that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a white man, he is simply misinterpreting the meaning. This tends to happen when Christian apologists blindly parrot each other by repeating nonsensical polemics without bothering to do the research. In the hadith, the phrase translated as “this white man” uses the word “الأبْيَضُ” (“abyad”). According to Lane’s “Arabic-English Lexicon”, “abyad” can mean “white” or “having whiteness”. However, it also states (emphasis mine):
“”[a]pplied to a man…it was sometimes used to signify white in complexion…”
Furthermore, it could also be used to refer to a man as “…pure; free from faults”. But further still, it was used in lexicons and “other post-classical works” as meaning “white; or fair in complexion”.
As a matter of fact, even people with darker skin could be metaphorically called “white” in the Arabic language. As Islamic scholar Habeeb Akande explains in his book Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam:
“[t]he Arabs’ use of the word ‘white’ was relative and was mainly used for fair-skinned peoples. The Romans (Europeans” and Persians were considered ‘white’ in comparison to the Arabs, whilst the Arabs were ‘white’ in comparison to the black Africans. ‘White’ could also be used metaphorically for dark-skinned peoples.”
So, when applied to an Arab man like Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it was actually signifying his white complexion, as compared to other Arab men who would have a darker complexion. This is demonstrated in other ahadith which described him as having a “white complexion”:
“Abu Juhaifa reported: I saw Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) that he had white complexion and had some white hair, and Hasan b. ‘Ali resembled him.”
Not only did he have a “white complexion”, but the complexion was also described as “slightly reddish”. He was described as “neither absolutely white nor deep brown”. So, the conclusion is that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not literally a “white man”, and no serious scholar has ever described him as such. For example, Watt described him simply as having a “fair” complexion.
Also, if the ahadith that refer to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as “white” had really meant that he was “white” like a Caucasian or European man, they would have used the Arabic word “ahmar”, which means “red”. This was the word the Arabs used for someone who was literally what we would call a “white” person in the English language. To demonstrate this, Akande cites numerous classical Islamic scholars, such as Ibn Manzur, who wrote that:
“…‘the red people’ (al-Ahmar) applies to the non-Arabs (Byzantine Romans and Persians) because of the paleness of their skin.”
As for the claim that he owned black slaves, this was obviously an attempt to characterize him as a racist slave owner like American or European white slave owners. But the reality was that he did not exclusively own black slaves. He also had Arab slaves. Slavery was a fact of life in the ancient world, but it was not as if only blacks were made into slaves and not Arabs, or vice versa. Moreover, Muhammad (peace be upon him) was clearly against racism, as he made clear in his famous “Farewell Sermon”:
“[a]ll mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood.”
Furthermore, in another famous hadith, Muhammad (peace be upon him) reprimanded his companion Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him), who was an Arab, for reproaching Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him), who was an Abyssinian and the first muezzin of Islam, by saying “oh son of a black woman” (this was meant as an insult) while they were having an argument. In other words, Abu Dharr got angry at Bilal and denigrated his ethnicity in the heat of the moment. When he heard what Abu Dharr had said, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“[h]ave you reproached Bilal about his mother? By the one who revealed the Book to Muhammad, none is better than another except by righteous deeds. You have none but an insignificant amount.”
So, Chick’s claim of racism can also be relegated to the dustbin.
- One of his wives was a 6-year-old.
Referring to the Prophet’s marriage to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), Chick appeals to a common, though recent, polemic against Muhammad (peace be upon him). Of course, it is true that Aisha married Muhammad (peace be upon him) when she was 6 years old, and the marriage was consummated when she was 9 years old. But this was hardly an unusual occurrence in the ancient world, so it is not surprising that the Christian obsession with this fact only surfaced in the 20th century. Prior to that, not one Christian apologist, even the most anti-Islamic ones like Martin Luther, ever condemned Muhammad (peace be upon him) for his marriage to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her)! As the Islamic scholar Jonathan Brown states:
“…I have found no instance of anyone criticizing the Prophet’s marriage due to Aisha’s age or accusing him of pedophilia until the early twentieth century.”
The reason for this is obvious. It was never considered a matter of controversy because it was a common practice in all cultures. Commenting on the marriage, Watt observed that:
“[w]e must remember, of course, that girls matured much earlier in seventh-century Arabia. There were no children to the union, but Aisha seems to have been as happy as a girl could be in a polygamous household.”
Furthermore, this was not just an Arabian phenomenon, but rather a common occurrence even in European society up until the 19th century. For example, in England, it was legal to have sexual relations with girls as young as ten. The same was true in 19th-century America. The irony is that even John Calvin, whom Chick referred to as “the great theologian of the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition” and someone to whom Christians’ “debt…cannot be calculated”, clearly stated that a “child” can get married once he or she reaches puberty (which Aisha did when she turned 9 years of age). As John Witte Jr. and Robert M. Kingdon, this was the view of all medieval Christians:
“This natural law, medieval writers taught, communicated God’s will that fit persons marry when they reach the age of puberty, that they conceive children and nurture and educate them…”
Not only that, but Calvin also allowed the betrothal of pre-pubescent children, so long as when they reached puberty, they would agree to the marriage. He stated that:
“…the contracts made before the proper age do not bind the children unless, after they reach puberty, they feel the same way, and voluntarily acknowledge that they consider their premature marriage valid.”
Thus, given this overwhelming evidence, it is ludicrous for fanatic Christians like Chick to criticize the marriage of Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) due to her age.
- He raped, lied, and murdered.
- His teachings send millions to their deaths.
Chick provided no direct evidence for these two claims and simply directed the reader to the book “Christ, Muhammad and I” by the “ex-Muslim” Muhammad al-Ghazoli. Of course, this is also a common polemic but as we have seen already, it is simply not true. Christian apologists tend to make sensationalist claims but frequently fail to back them up with actual evidence. Moreover, even if these claims were true (which they are not), who is Chick to criticize when his own Bible is filled with stories of rape, lying, and murder? According to the Bible itself, Biblical teachings sent millions to their deaths! Just one Biblical verse is enough to prove this point:
“[n]ow go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”
Chick would have been hard-pressed to find a similar command in either the Holy Quran or the authentic ahadith. In fact, contrary to the Biblical laws of war, Islamic laws prohibited the killing of non-combatants and especially women and children:
“Narrated Ibn `Umar: During some of the Ghazawat of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) a woman was found killed, so Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) forbade the killing of women and children.”
As the respected scholar John L. Esposito states:
“[f]rom the earliest times it was forbidden to kill noncombatants as well as women and children and monks and rabbis, who were given the promise of immunity unless they had taken part in the fighting.”
- Muhammad (peace be upon him) died and is now in hell.
This claim is of course silly enough that it does not warrant a response. It was Chick’s personal belief that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is in hell. With Chick now dead himself, Muslims can easily say the same about him: Jack Chick will go to hell for eternity for his lack of faith in Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and his lies about the Islamic religion. Indeed, given Chick’s proclivity to lie about the greatest man who ever lived, it is far more likely that it is Chick himself who is now in hell!
Regardless of Chick’s asinine opinions, objective researchers, even those who did not believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a prophet, have tended to view him with respect. Speaking of Muhammad (peace be upon him), Watt stated:
“[i]n both Meccan and Medinan periods Muhammad’s contemporaries looked on him as a good and upright man, and in the eyes of history he is a moral and social reformer.”
Moving on, let us now examine Chick’s summary of some of Muhammad’s “teachings”.
- Satan stays in the upper part of a person’s nose at night.
This is another common, yet absolutely silly polemic against Islam and illustrates the desperation of some Christians against the indomitable spirit of Islam. First of all, why does Chick single this “teaching” out? Is this a fundamental teaching of Islam? Is the first thing a Muslim child learns is that Satan stays in a person’s nose at night? Also, since Chick obviously thought that this hadith was wrong, we should ask whether he knew for certain that Satan does not actually stay in a person’s nose. Also, given his own Bible’s claims of demonic possession, where a demon literally enters a person’s body and controls it, it seems strange that Chick even ridiculed this hadith! Besides demonic possession, the Bible also claims that angels (the “sons of God”) had sexual intercourse with human women and had children with them!
In any case, many scholars traditionally interpreted the hadith about Satan in a metaphorical way. For example, the scholar Al-Qastallani explained the hadith in the following way:
“[l]et him sniff water three times to expel harmful things after he blows it out from his nose, for it cleans the airways through which the Quran is recited.”
In other words, when the hadith refers to “Satan”, it is referring to all manner of “harmful things”.
But perhaps the best way to interpret this hadith is simply as a matter of faith since it involves the supernatural. In the English translation of Imam Ibn Hajar’s Bulugh Al-Maram, Imam Muhammad bin Ismail As-San’ani explains that:
“[t]his fact is part of the unseen that only Allah knows, and we can only know it through His Prophet. So we believe that the devil actually spends the night in this part of the nose even though we cannot perceive how.”
Chick should have checked his nose every night because it seems Satan was stuck somewhere up there!
- The majority of the people of hell are women who were ungrateful.
Chick must not have been thinking straight when he criticized this hadith since anyone who has read the Bible knows that its views on women are not exactly progressive.
The hadith is a warning to women to not be ungrateful for good things done to them by their husbands or anyone else. Chick only quoted part of the hadith and ignored the rest:
“Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.’ It was asked, ‘Do they disbelieve in Allah?’ (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, ‘They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.’”
Moreover, the hadith does not state that these women will stay in hell forever. The reason is that they were “ungrateful” to their husbands, but not to Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). In fact, they believed in Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), and thus, they will eventually be in Paradise, inshaAllah. But like all sinners who did not repent for their sins, they may be punished in hell for some time.
Finally, another authentic hadith seems to clearly suggest that when all is said and done, and the eternal place of all people will be decided (Paradise or hell), women will actually outnumber men in Paradise:
“Muhammad reported that some (persons) stated with a sense of pride and some discussed whether there would be more men in Paradise or more women. It was upon this that Abu Huraira reported that Abu’l Qasim (the Holy Prophet) (ﷺ) said: The (members) of the first group to get into Paradise would have their faces as bright as the full moon during the night, and the next to this group would have their faces as bright as the shining stars in the sky, and every person would have two wives and the marrow of their shanks would glimmer beneath the flesh and there would be none without a wife in Paradise.”
Commenting on this hadith, Ibn Hajar stated:
“Abu Huraira used this Hadith as a proof to maintain that women will outnumber men in Jannah (paradise)…”
The bottom line is that all who deserve Paradise, whether men or women, will have it, but the only way to attain it is through belief in Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and His messenger, as well as good deeds. As the Holy Quran states:
“The believers, both men and women, are guardians of one another. They encourage good and forbid evil, establish prayer and pay alms-tax, and obey Allah and His Messenger. It is they who will be shown Allah’s mercy. Surely Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.
Allah has promised the believers, both men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow, to stay there forever, and splendid homes in the Gardens of Eternity, and—above all—the pleasure of Allah. That is ˹truly˺ the ultimate triumph.”
So unlike Chick, whose sojourn into hell will be eternal, Muslim women who are sent to hell as a punishment for their ingratitude to their husbands (and not for disbelief in Allah), will eventually be brought out, insha’Allah. The same applies to Muslim men who will be punished in hell for their unforgiven sins. Chick and his cronies, on the other hand, will remain there eternally, insha’Allah!
- Some Jews were turned into monkeys, pigs, and rats.
It seems Chick was in the habit of blindly repeating common Christian polemics against Islam. There was little effort made to ascertain the facts, and more effort made to sensationalize these ahadith and shock his readers.
It is well-known from the Holy Quran that some Jews were turned into monkeys and pigs for violating the Sabbath:
“You are already aware of those of you who broke the Sabbath. We said to them, ‘Be disgraced apes!’”
Missionaries like Chick try to make it sound as if the Quran is saying that all Jews are monkeys when it clearly states that it was only those who violated the law of the Sabbath who were turned into monkeys as a punishment. Similarly, there are ahadith that warn that people among the Muslims will also be turned into monkeys and pigs for considering such forbidden things as fornication, wearing silk, drinking alcohol, and using musical instruments, as lawful when they are in fact unlawful. But if the missionaries argue that it is not for this reason that they criticize this hadith, but because it is “absurd” to think that people can be turned into animals, then we can remind them that their Bible claims that a talking snake (not Satan) deceived Adam and Eve into eating from the “Tree of Knowledge”! So, once again, Chick made a monkey of himself by appealing to this silly polemic!
- Ethiopians have “a head like a raisin”.
Once again, Chick resorted to misquotes and shock value to deceive his readers. As we already showed above, the accusation of “racism” against Muhammad (peace be upon him) is baseless. In fact, the hadith that Chick was referring to clearly shows that a person’s color or nationality could not be used to preclude the people from making him their “chief” and obeying him. Here is the hadith:
“Narrated Anas bin Malik: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, ‘You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian (black) slave whose head looks like a raisin.’”
We can see that the hadith is not even claiming that all Ethiopians have a head that “looks like a raisin”. It is merely saying that even if such a person was made the “chief”, it was incumbent upon the people to obey him. Moreover, there are other versions of the hadith where it does not mention what the Ethiopian chief’s head looks like:
“It was narrated that Yahya bin Husain said: ‘I heard my grandmother say: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah say, during the Farewell Pilgrimage: If an Ethiopian slave is appointed over you who rules according to the Book of Allah, then listen to him and obey.’”
And yet another version describes the Ethiopian slave as having been “mutilated”, yet it was still incumbent upon the people to obey him:
“It was narrated from Umm Husain that she heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘Even if the one appointed over you is a mutilated Ethiopian slave whose nose and ears have been cut off, listen to him and obey, so long as he leads you according to the Book of Allah.’”
Even western scholars do not classify these ahadith as promoting “racism” or explain that the phrase “whose head looks like a raisin” is an insult to the physical appearance of Ethiopians. The late British orientalist Bernard Lewis described the phrase as an Arabic rhetorical device known as “an argument by the absurd” or “trajectio ad absurdum”, which was:
“[a] principle is asserted and an extreme, even an absurd, example is given – but the purpose is to show that the principle still applies even in this extreme and absurd formulation.”
Taken together, what these ahadith teach us is that a person’s appearance and ethnicity do not determine his qualification to lead the Muslims. This is the antithesis of racism! Thus, by making this silly and stupid argument about “raisin-heads”, Chick demonstrated that he was a chowder-head (not literally, of course)!
- He hated the Bible because it says that Jesus Christ was the creator of the universe.
This is a laughable claim by Chick. First of all, when claiming that the “Bible” says that Jesus was the “creator of the universe”, it depends on what Chick meant by “Bible”. If we look at the Jewish Bible (the “Tanakh”), there is mention of Jesus at all, let alone that he was the “creator of the universe”! As for the New Testament, the Synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) do not describe Jesus as the “creator of the universe”. It is only the gospel of John, the last gospel to be written, and some of the epistles of Paul, that describe him as some sort of “divine” being. Not only that, but these references from the Gospel of John or the epistles of Paul are not Jesus’ direct statements, but rather from the authors. One has to wonder why Jesus (peace be upon him) did not clearly say it himself!
Moreover, if Jesus was the “creator”, then did he make false prophecies, show himself to be ignorant at times on various subjects, or worship God? One glaring example of a false prophecy is the Biblical Jesus’ claim that he would return within the lifetime of his disciples. This belief is consistently found throughout the New Testament, one of the few examples where virtually all of the different books agree on a particular subject!
A glaring example of the Biblical Jesus’ ignorance of different subjects can be seen in his failure to deduce that a fig tree was out of season and thus would not produce any fruit:
“Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves.”
Finally, Jesus was a worshiper of God, so how could he be the “creator”? Amazingly, the same Gospel of John which claimed that Jesus (the “word”) created the universe also claims that he said:
“I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
Moreover, he also explicitly identified his God as the only true God:
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Chick should have blamed the incoherence of his own Bible rather than criticizing Muhammad (peace be upon him) and other right-thinking people who reject the false and idolatrous belief that Jesus was “God”.
As of this point, we have responded to all of Chick’s false claims against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). For the purposes of brevity, we will not respond to his summary of Christian theological beliefs (the fall of Satan, the fall of Adam and Eve, Jesus’ alleged redemptive death, etc.) as these have been covered in other articles already. However, we will respond to Chick’s apocalyptic claim that “Islam’s days are numbered”.
Chick appealed to the book of Ezekiel and its apocalyptic prophecies about the war of “Gog and Magog” (Ezekiel 38) and believed that these prophecies referred to the end of Islam. However, applying these prophecies to Islam raises several problems. According to Chick, the prophecies speak of a joint Russian-Islamic attack on Israel and end with the coalition being destroyed by “giant earthquakes”. But on what basis did Chick construe “Gog and Magog” as Russia (Magog) and the nations of Islam (“Gog”)? It seems it was just his own interpretation (and one shared by other Christian fanatics) because there is no sensible reason to apply the prophecies to modern times anyway. First of all, the nations of Gog and Magog include only a small fraction of what today comprises the Muslim world. Only Persia (modern-day Iran) and Libya are Muslim nations. So, what about the rest of the Muslim world? Where is Saudi Arabia? Where is Pakistan? Jordan? Malaysia? Indonesia? Chick deceptively adds that “other Muslims will join” the coalition, but the prophecy does not say that! It is very specific as to who will be in the coalition:
“Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.”
Interestingly, “Cush” was traditionally identified as “Ethiopia”, and Chick actually included Ethiopia in the doomed coalition. The biggest problem with including Ethiopia in the coalition is that modern-day Ethiopia is actually a Christian country, so Chick was essentially claiming that some Christians will also take part in the doomed mission to destroy Israel! Also, unlike most Muslim nations, Ethiopia maintains diplomatic and military relations with the modern (illegal) state of Israel, so it is difficult to think that this alliance will somehow go sour in the near future.
As for the other nations (Gomer and Beth Togarmah), they are supposedly referring to regions in modern-day Turkey, but if the prophecy is referring to modern times, then why mention Gomer and Beth Togarmah together, since they both refer to Turkey? It seems pretty obvious that the prophecy is not referring to modern times but was actually referring to the geopolitics of ancient times. Indeed, scholars note that Gomer was a reference to an ancient nomadic tribe known as the Cimmerians. However, this tribe seems to have disappeared from the historical record after the 6th century BCE.
Second, “Gog and Magog” are only mentioned in the book of Ezekiel and the book of Revelation (Revelation 20:8). However, the book of Revelation states that the war of Gog and Magog will only happen after the descent of Jesus and his 1,000-year reign! Yet Chick claimed that the war will happen first and then “Jesus will rule the world…” Some Christian apologists may try to get around this contradiction by claiming that these are two different groups, though they are both described as “Gog and Magog”. But there is no evidence that the author of Revelation was referring to a different “Gog and Magog”. He borrowed the same concept, a cataclysmic war between “God’s people” and the rest of the world, which ends in the same way: the complete destruction of the army by God. Let us compare the two scenarios side by side:
|Ezekiel 38:16 – “You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.”
Ezekiel 38:22 – “I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him.”
|Revelation 20:9 – “They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”|
Why would we think that these are two different groups? The term “Gog and Magog” is not used frequently in the Bible. Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 20 are the only two sources to refer to them. Why didn’t other books of the Bible use the term if it was simply an umbrella term for the enemies of God and His chosen people?
Another problem with Chick’s ridiculous interpretation is that he was not the first to make such laughable claims about the end of the world, not even when it came to involving Russia in the end-times scheme. In the long history of Christianity, people have tried to predict when the end would come. In the New Testament, it started with Jesus himself (see above), and there is no doubt that the early church believed the end would come within the lifetime of the disciples of Jesus or shortly thereafter. The context of the book of Revelation also shows the expectation of the imminent end. But, as is obvious, these expectations were never fulfilled. Put another way, Christians have been waiting for the “imminent” end for almost 2,000 years, and they have always been disappointed!
There are more reasons why appealing to the book of Ezekiel opens up a can of worms for Christian apologists, but that is the subject of a separate article. For the purposes of this article, we can see that Chick’s asinine appeal to Biblical prophecy in order to demonize Islam and Muslims was severely problematic.
To close, we can now answer Chick’s ultimatum at the end of his reprehensible propaganda tract. Addressing the reader, he wrote:
“Jesus Christ can be your personal Saviour and dearest friend – or your deadliest enemy. Take your pick.
Heaven or Hell. The choice is yours…”
To this, we can say that laughable threats based on misinformation and lies do not serve to make Chick’s religion appealing to seekers of truth. Educated people will see through the lies of an apologist like Chick and will certainly not be scared into following his religion. There is no reason for anyone to be afraid of the Biblical Jesus or fear being thrown into hell simply because the Bible says so. The Bible has never demonstrated itself to be the final and trustworthy authority on these matters.
In this article, we have examined the Chick tract “Camel’s in the Tent”, one of Jack Chick’s most racist and prejudiced tracts of his long career of misinformation and fearmongering. Not only did Chick attempt to use sensationalist and shocking caricatures of Muslims, but he also deliberately misquoted and misrepresented Islamic teachings. Rather than engage in an honest dialogue, Chick was content with barking at Muslims from behind his artistic façade. All there is to be found in his comics is an unrealistic and dishonest portrayal of anything associated with Islam, which proves beyond a doubt that “Chick tracts” are nothing more but propaganda tracts. Chick warned his readers that they have two choices: Heaven or Hell. It seems he chose the latter, so he better hope that the “camel can pass through the eye of the needle”, as the Quranic verse quoted at the beginning of this article stated! That should be his primary concern, and not whether the camel is in the tent!
And Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows best!
 All reliable sources state that Islam is the second largest religion in the world, behind Christianity. However, recent reports predict that by 2050, the number of Muslims will roughly equal the number of Christians (http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/).
 As we will see, the claim that the Kaaba was called the “house of gods” is completely incorrect.
 In the tract, Chick illustrates the three goddesses wearing the niqab (face veil). It is unclear whether this was simply an attempt at humor or if he believed that they were actually depicted this way by the “ancient Arabs”.
 As we will see later, Chick did not understand the context of the verse, and he also did not realize that it was not directed at Muslims but angels!
 According to the Pew Research Center, Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa only account for about 19.8% of the global Muslim population, and this number is expected to grow to an even 20% by 2050 (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/31/worlds-muslim-population-more-widespread-than-you-might-think/).
 W. Montgomery Watt, Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 25.
Indeed, as Watt observed, the Quran urged the pagan Arabs to worship “the Lord of this House”, who was none other than Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). The Quran states:
“[l]et them worship the Lord of this ˹Sacred˺ House” (Surah Quraish, 106:3).
 Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992), pp. 61-62.
 Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume (Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 86.
 Ibid., p. 123.
For a brief discussion on Allat, Al-Uzza and Manat, see note #17 in the article.
 But as scholars have explained, the stories of suicidal thoughts and attempts are historically unreliable. This includes a narration in Sahih Bukhari which states that people “heard that [Muhammad] intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains…” (Sahih Bukhari, 9:87:11). In other words, some people believed this but there is no statement from the Prophet himself or any of his companions that he actually attempted suicide. Commenting on this hadith, Islamic scholar G.F. Haddad states:
“[i]t does not meet the criteria of hadith authenticity used by the lesser and greater hadith Masters, much less that of al-Bukhari who mentioned it only to show its discrepancy with two other chains whose versions omit the attempted suicide story, and Allah knows best” (http://www.livingislam.org/k/whb_e.html).
 Ibn Ishaq, op. cit., p. 106.
Now if it was a demon, why did it stop “pressing” (not “strangling”) after the third time? Wouldn’t a demon enjoy causing discomfort to a human being and continue “pressing” Muhammad (peace be upon him)? Moreover, how come this “demon” stopped physically torturing Muhammad (peace be upon him) after this incident? Islamic sources state that the revelation came in different forms, none of which were as intense as the encounter in the cave of Hirah. When speaking of how the revelation would come to him, the Prophet himself said:
”Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell and that is the hardest upon me, and sometimes the angel will appear to me like a man, and he will speak to me such that I understand what he says” (Jami At-Tirmidhi, 1:46:3634).
In the same hadith, the Prophet’s wife Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said that on occasion, the revelation came to the Prophet on a cold day, and when it was over, “his forehead was flooded with sweat”. Clearly, the descending of revelation was difficult and physically exhausting, but that does not prove that it was from a “demon”. Chick was simply committing a non-sequitur fallacy.
And before Christian apologists interject and claim that even this form of revelation sounds harsh, it should be pointed out that the Bible states that when Daniel received his “visions”, they often times left him exhausted for days:
“And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.” (Daniel 8:27, English Standard Version).
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 3; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3.
 Sahih Muslim, 1:160a; https://sunnah.com/muslim:160a.
 John 8:44.
 Ibn Ishaq, op. cit., p. 105.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 3; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3.
 See Chick’s comic titled “The Prophet” for this utterly idiotic conspiracy theory: https://www.chick.com/reading/comics/0117/0117_allinone.asp
It is not surprising that real historians and even most Christian apologists regard the story as utter nonsense. For example, James White, a prominent Christian apologist, has dismissed the theory, including the claim that Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was a Catholic nun, as “baloney” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL2fucCySQY)!
 Similarly, the Bible says that God sent angels to help the Israelites in their battles. In one such battle, the entire Assyrian army was eradicated by an angel!
“That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp” (2 Kings 19:35).
 The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (New York: HarperOne, 2015), pp. 482-486.
See the commentary specifically on verses 9-12 (pp. 485-486).
 Surah Al-Anfal, 8:61.
 Caner K. Dagli, “Conquest and Conversion, War and Peace in the Quran,” in The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary, ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (New York: HarperOne, 2015), p. 1809.
 Ibid., p. 1810.
One has to wonder whether the Christians and Jews who fought alongside Muslims had partaken in the murder of their brethren and the mayhem that was the mainstay of the conquests, as Chick asserted!
 Hugh Kennedy, The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In (Da Capo Press, 2007), p. 167.
 Ibid., p. 165.
 Ibid., p. 154.
 Fred Donner, Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 116.
 Ibid., 118.
 Kennedy, op. cit., p. 362.
 Ibid., p. 376.
 Ibid., p. 373.
 Chick also erroneously stated that “Sharia” means “government according to the strict rules [sic] the Quran”. In actual fact, the Arabic word “sharia” literally means “path to a source of water” (Kate O’Halloran, “Sharia”, in The Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. Juan E. Campo (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2009), p. 620). In the legal sense, it is referring to “the law of Islam based on God’s sovereign commandments and prohibitions as conveyed by the Quran, and on the Sunna of Muhammad and his Companions, as embodied in the Hadith” (Ibid.).
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 63; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:63.
 http://www.tyndalearchive.com/tabs/lane/; see p. 283.
 Habeeb Akande, Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam (London, United Kingdom: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 2012), p. 13.
 Sahih Muslim, 2343a; https://sunnah.com/muslim:2343a.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 3548; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3548.
 Watt, op. cit., p. 229.
 Ibid., p. 14.
 For more on the accusation of “racism”, read my article: Did Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) Say That “Satan” Was a “Black Man”? Refuting a Stupid Islamophobic Polemic.
 Jonathan A. C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (London: OneWorld Publications, 2014), p. 144.
 Watt, op. cit., p. 102.
Not only that, but sometimes, girls were married off when they were as young as five.
 John Witte Jr. and Robert M. Kingdon, Sex, Marriage, and Family in John Calvin’s Geneva, Volume 1: Courtship, Engagement, and Marriage (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), p. 29.
 Ibid., p. 213.
 Incidentally, it seems that beloved Biblical figures such as Isaac (peace be upon him) also had wives much younger than themselves. Though there is disagreement, the age of Rebecca at the time of her marriage to the forty-year old Isaac is thought to be between 10 and 14 years, and even as young as three! According to the Jewish Encyclopedia:
“[t]he Rabbis disagree as to the age of Rebekah at the time of her marriage to Isaac. The statement of the Seder ‘Olam Rabbah (i.) and Gen. R. (lvii. 1) that Abraham was informed of Rebekah’s birth when he ascended Mount Moriah for the ‘Aḳedah, is interpreted by some as meaning that Rebekah was born at that time, and that consequently she was only three years old at the time of her marriage. Other rabbis, however, conclude from calculations that she was fourteen years old, and that therefore she was born eleven years before the ‘Aḳedah, both numbers being found in different manuscripts of the Seder ‘Olam Rabbah (comp. Tos. to Yeb. 61b). The “Sefer ha-Yashar” (section “Ḥayye Sarah,” p. 38a, Leghorn, 1870) gives Rebekah’s age at her marriage as ten years” (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12610-rebekah).
 1 Samuel 15:3. We can only guess as to how many were killed, assuming this battle even happened and the Amalekites were actually wiped out by God’s command.
Amazingly, according to the Biblical account (which is known for its exaggerations), in one battle alone, the Israelites destroyed an army of 1,000,000 Ethiopians (2 Chronicles 14:9ff)! In the NIV, the Ethiopian army is described as comprising “of thousands upon thousands”, but the KJV (which Chick believed was the only authentic Bible translation) states it was “a host of a thousand thousand”.
In his book “50 Righteous and Humane Concepts Brought by Muhammad”, Jalal Abualrub provided a thorough comparison between some of the battles of the Bible versus the battles of Muhammad (peace be upon him). In this comparison, Abularub calculated the death toll in the Biblical battles to be easily surpassing 1,000,000 (due to the destruction of the Ethiopian army in 2 Chronicles 14). And this was only considering the enemy combatants and not the civilians! By contrast, he found the death toll during the 10 years the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived in Medina to be 3,522 (both Muslim and non-Muslim soldiers). With the reported civilian deaths, the number rises by a mere 129 deaths, as only 1 non-Muslim woman and 128 Muslim civilians were reported killed (Jalal Abularub, 50 Righteous and Humane Concepts Brought by Muhammad (Madinah Publishers and Distributors, 2007), pp 136-146). Even if there were more civilian deaths, we cannot expect it to be much. Since night raids were permitted only early on, it is possible there were other civilian casualties, but they were probably few. But as shown from other ahadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) often avoided attacking during the night:
“Narrated Anas: Whenever Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) attacked some people, he would never attack them till it was dawn. If he heard the Adhan (i.e. call for prayer) he would delay the fight, and if he did not hear the Adhan, he would attack them immediately after dawn. We reached Khaibar at night” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 2943; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:2943).
It should also be stated that Christian civilization did not bring about an end to the bloodshed. In fact, the bloodshed only got worse. For example, in the 30 Years War, the death toll is said to have been 8 million people (Abualrub, op. cit., p. 139)! And, of course, let’s not forget Christian campaigns such as the Crusades and the Inquisition!
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 3015; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3015.
 John L. Esposito, Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 32.
 Watt, op. cit., p. 234.
 In some cases, one person could have multiple demons inside of him (Luke 8:30)! One wonders how they were all able to fit in there!
 Genesis 6:1-4.
For more on this, see the following articles:
Genesis 6 and the “Sons of God”: A Refutation of Ken Temple Using the Bible and the “Example of the Church”
1 Enoch and the “Sons of God”: Additional Evidence for Angel-Human Copulation in the Bible
 Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani, Bulugh Al-Maram: Attainment of the Objective, According to Evidence of the Ordinances, trans. Dr. Nancy Eweiss (Egypt: Dar Al-Manarah, 2003), p. 31.
 Unlike the Holy Quran, the Bible blames Eve for mankind’s fall from grace. See our article on the fall of Adam and Eve for more: https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/the-fall-of-adam-and-eve-in-the-bible-and-the-quran/
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 29; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:29.
 Interestingly, another hadith states that the last person to come out of hell and the last to enter Paradise will be a man:
“Narrated `Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The person who will be the last one to enter Paradise and the last to come out of Hell (Fire) will be a man who will come out crawling, and his Lord will say to him, ‘Enter Paradise.’ He will reply, ‘O Lord, Paradise is full.’ Allah will give him the same order thrice, and each time the man will give Him the same reply, i.e., ‘Paradise is full.’ Thereupon Allah will say (to him), ‘Ten times of the world is for you'”” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 7511; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:7511).
 Sahih Muslim, 2834a; https://sunnah.com/muslim:2834a.
 Surah Tawba, 9:71-72.
 Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:65.
As for the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that a “lost” tribe of Israel had turned into rats, this hadith has been almost unanimously agreed by scholars to reflect the Prophet’s pre-revelatory view and not a revelation he received from Allah (Gloried and Exalted be He). Ibn Hajar stated regarding this hadith:
“And [the] majority has responded to this saying that the Prophet –may Allah bless him- said this before the revelation came to him about the reality of this matter. And for this reason there is no dogmatic assertion from him on this…” (http://www.letmeturnthetables.com/2011/06/muhammad-hadith-israelites-rats.html).
As the author of the above article, brother Waqar Akbar Cheema, states:
“The Prophet –may Allah bless him- said the thing about rats based on his observation that rats did not drink milk of a she-camel as Jews did not deem it lawful for them. So it was just his guess based on an observation as clear even from the tone of the narration.”
Also see my article on this topic: Hadith on Some People of the Children of Israel Being Transformed into Rats and Lizards
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 5590; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5590.
 See Genesis 3.
 Chick should have spent more time trying to explain why the Biblical Jesus rudely referred to a Gentile woman (and by extension, any Gentile) as a “dog” (Mark 7:24-30).
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 7142; https://sunnah.com/bukhari:7142.
 Sunan An-Nasai, 4192; https://sunnah.com/nasai:4192.
 Sunan Ibn Majah, 2861; https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:2861.
 Bernard Lewis, Race and Slavery in the Middle East: An Historical Enquiry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 34.
 Furthermore, the majority of New Testament scholars, including Christian scholars, believe that the gospel of “John” was not even written by the apostle John! The late Catholic scholar Raymond Brown explained that:
“…neither the Gospel of Matthew nor the Gospel of John was actually written by the apostle whose name it bears – a position held by almost all the major Catholic commentary writers today” (Raymond Brown, The Critical Meaning of the Bible: How a Modern Reading of the Bible Challenges Christians, the Church, and the Churches (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), p. 70).
See note #24 in the article for a discussion of how the gospels and Paul agreed that Jesus’ return was imminent.
Paul also believed that Jesus would return in his lifetime. See here: “The Coming of the Lord”: Paul’s Failed Prophecies on the Parousia of Jesus
 Matthew 21:18-19. This episode not only shows Jesus’ ignorance, but that this supposed “creator of the universe” felt hunger and thirst! Chick should have wondered why his god was like that! Why would any monotheist who rejects idolatry worship a being who was no different from the pagan gods and goddesses of antiquity?
In contrast to Chick’s god, the true God and the only one worthy of worship, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He), does not suffer from hunger or thirst:
“Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ ‘Will I take any guardian other than Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who provides for all and is not in need of provision?’” (Surah Al-Anaam, 6:14).
 John 20:17.
 John 17:3.
 Ezekiel 38:5-6.
According to the above website, Meshek and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:3) are also found in modern-day Turkey. In other words, if we replace Turkey with the regions or nations associated with it, then the prophecy reads as follows:
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of [Turkey] and [Turkey]. […] Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also [Turkey] with all its troops, and [Turkey] from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.”
We can see that the prophecy becomes repetitious and rather silly!
 The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states that:
[Gomer’s] descendants are usually identified as the Cimmerians who moved onto the stage of history from the area north of the Black Sea in the eighth century B.C.” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, electronic edition, eds. R. L. Harris, G.L. Archer, & B.K. Waltke [Chicago: Moody Press, 1999], 168).
 Grace Halsell, Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture and the Destruction of Planet Earth (USA: Amana Publications), pp. 23-25.
During the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, many Christians were convinced that the end would come via a nuclear war between the two superpowers, which would end in the destruction of the former.
 See my book The Book of Revelation: A Critical Examination, available from Amazon.
 Chick didn’t live long enough to see his prophecy about Islam fail miserably, but he did live to see the failure of another prophecy: a Muslim flag flying over the White House by 2010 (https://quranandbibleblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/islam-jack-chick-and-the-battle-for-souls-allah-had-no-son/).
10 thoughts on “Islam, Jack Chick and the Battle for Souls – “Camel’s in the Tent” (updated)”
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MashAllah, very comprehensive article. Usually tactics from the haters; misinforming, misrepresenting, and misunderstanding the whole issue.
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Yes, and they do it on purpose with the intention of demonizing rather than learning.
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