Are there any records of the prophet (saw) speaking to an atheist?
With atheist I mean; non muslim, non polytheist, not from ahlu al kitab, someone not believing in a god at all.

If not, are there even records of people living in that time and place, who were atheists?
Please add your references and provide some examples.

  • The best hint I can think of for the prophet to meet agnosticism is saint Thomas. He is mentionned in the bible as an apostle (friend of jesus) who did not believe jesus resurrected. Of course, jesus comes by with stigmates. Is there any opinion of the prophet on this story ? I don't think he met anybody from greek philosophical movements. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 10:21
  • @user5751924 When did he live?
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 10:58
  • in the same time than isa. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:04
  • I am talking about the Prophet Muhammed
    – Kilise
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:05
  • 1
    To my knowledge, epicurians, atomists, materialists and so on never spread their ideas beyond the roman empire, and had a quite limited number of followers. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


Are there any records of the prophet (saw) speaking to an atheist?

No, because all the Arabs were either polytheists, or Christians, or Jews.

Are there even records of people living in that time and place, who were atheists?

Well the Quran mentions the creed of Ad-Dahriyyah and the Arab idolators who embraced their creed, denying Resurrection,

And they say, "There is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time." And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming.

Ibn Kathir says:

They say that there is only this life, some people die while others are born to life, without Resurrection or Judgement. This was the creed of Arab idolators who used to deny Resurrection, in addition to, the creed of the atheist philosophers among them who denied the creation and Resurrection. This was also the statement of atheist philosophers who deny the Creator and think that the world will return to its original form once every thirty--six thousand years, when everything will restart its life--cycle again! They claim that this cycle was repeated for infinity, thus contradicting the sound reason and the divine revelation. They said nothing destroys us but time.

  • Thanks for your answer. By the way, denying the resurrection doesn't automatically mean someone is an atheist, as the mushrik of Quraysh did. Which verse or where did Ibn Kathir state this? I'd like to read it in Arabic, to at least see which word he used in Arabic for "atheist".
    – Kilise
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 1:40
  • Those were the Arab idolaters. Dahriyyah denied creation and resurrection.
    – Casanova
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 1:48
  • Could you add the Arabic text too or at least the link with references to the quoted text by Ibn Al Kathir?
    – Kilise
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 1:49
  • He said المنكرون للصانع
    – Casanova
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 1:51

Al Islam describes a debate between the Prophet Muhammad and atheists. It begins:

Part 3: Debate with Atheists

The Prophet (S) then turned towards the atheists and said: “Now, tell me what is the reason behind your claim that the objects [or whatever is] in this Universe have no beginning and they have been there forever and will exist forever.”

The atheists replied: ‘We are simply stating what we observe. We have not seen hudooth [contingency, coming into existence] in objects [or whatever exists] of the Universe so we say that this Universe has been there forever and when we did not observe destruction and annihilation, we postulated that whatever exists in this Universe is not transient [will never annihilate].’


  • 2
    Hi! Link-only answers tend to not be useful. I've made some initial edits, but would it be possible to expand this answer, explaining how we can confirm the Al Islam source is reliable? [Noting that some hadith are weak and some are fabricated.] Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 5:21
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    This looks very much like something written in this, or the last, century. Note also that the word "atheist" does not really have a translation in classical arabic. Atheists are more likely to be dubbed "infidels", "disbelievers", ... Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 9:16

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