Thursday, 31 December 2009

Biblical Errors Confirmed by Bart Ehrman (Biblical Scholar)

I have been saying it for some time now, Christians who believe the Bible to be the exact inspired Word of God are dwindling in number as Biblical scholarship proves the Bible to be unreliable. Intellectual honesty tells you not to trust the Bible as a source of 100% reliability. Former devout Christian, Bart Ehrman (Biblical scholar) confirms the lack of reliability when it concerns the Bible.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Christian Priest Debates a Muslim :)

A funny clip from a debate between a Muslim and a Chritian priest. Surely the Christian priest has read the Bible, right?


Saturday, 26 December 2009

Become a Muslim if You Love Jesus


An ex-Christian preacher's site teaching us about Islam:http://shareislam.com/More on the brothers and sisters of Jesus in Mark 3:35 here:http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.co... .

Video is by Yahya Snow

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Jesus has Muslim Brothers, Sisters and Mothers

The Bible Confirms: Muslims are the Brothers and Sisters (and Mothers) of Jesus by Yahya Snow
This may come as a surprise to those who are unaware of the contents of the Bible as well as unaware of whom the Muslims are but rest assured it comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with Prophetic Monotheism.

In order to explain the title let us look into the statement attributed to Jesus within the Gospel of Mark (3:35). Herein Jesus teaches us that his brothers, sisters and mothers are those who follow the Will of God.

Mark 3:35 says "For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother."

Reliability?
We should also acknowledge that this verse is from the Gospel of Mark, this Gospel is thought to be the most reliable of the four as it is the earliest but it is also clear that even this Gospel has been adulterated (or changed) by the scribes; this is seen through the footnotes in the NIV Bible (indicating manuscript differences) especially the last ten verses of the Gospel of Mark (16:9-19) which are forged additions by a scribe(s).

Nevertheless the statement attributed to Jesus in Mark 3:35 does have the ring of authenticity to it as it chimes well (agrees) with what another Prophet taught; Prophet Muhammed taught something similar [2], this also hints to us that this was a general Prophetic teaching.

Of course, it should also be said that the sincere companions and followers of Jesus are Muslims too. And all Prophets are Muslims. So indeed all those who have submitted to the Will of God are Muslims and are brothers and sisters. One big happy family!

As a side note, this verse from the Gospel of Mark does reinforce the view that the followers of Jesus thought of Jesus as a Prophet rather than God as God would not declare people to be his mothers, sisters or brothers. It also shows that Jesus did not view himself to be God as this is not a statement one would expect of God but one would have expected a statement like this from a Prophet, hence Jesus thought himself as a Prophet.

Note: All Biblical quotes are taken from the New International Version of the Bible

FEEDBACK:
yahyasnow@hotmail.com

References
[1] Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 652
[2] Ramûzu’l-Ehadis p. 361, 4460

Do you believe in the incarnation? If so please view:
http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2010/09/islam-eliminates-conundrum-of.html



video
T

he uninformed may ask; how does this relate to the Muslims? Well, the word ”Muslim” simply means one who has submitted to the Will of God, so we come to know that “whoever does the Will of God” is a Muslim.

Thus we realise that Jesus is referring to Muslims in this passage so we should pass on these glad tidings to the Muslims as Muslims are indeed the brothers, sisters and mothers of Jesus. We also realise from hadith literature that all Prophets are brothers [1], so essentially Jesus is confirming that he is the brother of all the other Prophets too as all Prophets do the Will of God, i.e. all Prophets are Muslims.

Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam


Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk
 

Sami Zaatari Suspended from YouTube

Sami's account has been suspended for the time-being. He has a new (temporary) account whilst he tries to regain his old account. His new username is samizaaatari. Please do support him, it seems as though YouTube made a mistake; Zaatari had been away for three weeks and upon return uploaded a video and subsequently was suspended without prior notice. It does seem Zaatari will resolve this and regain his old channel but do be sure to subscribe to his new channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/samizaaatari


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Ex DJ Becomes a Muslim Scholar!

Why did I choose Islam?

Why I'm no longer a Christian?

Why should anybody choose to be a Muslim?

Imam Suhaib Webb is our guest on today's show ,Imam Webb was born and raised in the State of Oklahoma, USA. Suhaib William Webb accepted Islam at the age of twenty.

He graduated in Education from the Central Oklahoma University and has studied Arabic and Islamic Sciences under many notable scholars.

He is currently studying Shariah at Al- Alzhar University (Egypt). He is the author of the best selling CD album 'Mothers of the Believers'.

The Topic: How I Came to Islam ...

For more information visit the official Deen Show

http://www.thedeenshow.com/objective.php






Also see the article refuting the allegations of homosexuality levelled at the Prophet Jesus here: http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/search/label/100%25%20Proof%20Jesus%20was%20Not%20Gay

Some thoughts on the Gospel of Mark are here http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2009/10/does-gospel-of-mark11-14-refute-trinity.html

Monday, 14 December 2009

Thoughts on Jesus by Farhan Qureshi

Farhan Qureshi presents thoughts concerning Jesuswhich are thought-provoking. Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet, Muslims donot believe Jesus to be God. Muslims respect and love all Prophets




Also read the article explaining away the allegations of homosexuality alleged at Jesus. Jesus was not gay by yahya snow:

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/search/label/100%25%20Proof%20Jesus%20was%20Not%20Gay

Roman Catholic Converts to Islam

A Roman Catholic priest who converted to Islam has been speaking about his reasons for changing faith.

Idris Tawfiq was a guest speaker at the University of Cambridge's annual Experience Islam Week, which aims to raise awareness and foster tolerance.

See:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-12447396


Dr Ahmed Andrews, a lecturer in the sociology of religion at Derby University and another convert from Catholicism to Islam said: "There are between 5,000 and 10,000 white Muslim converts in this country, and most of the ones I know are former Catholics." [Telegraph]


A high proportion of the 1,500 to 2,500 converts to Islam every year are Catholics. According to Sarah Jacobs, a former Catholic who is now a Muslim, the leap between the two faiths is not as great as it seems. She was confirmed in the Catholic Church, the faith of her mother, at 13. When one of her brothers married a Muslim she was horrified, but three years ago she followed him, to the dismay of the rest of her family. She said: "What appealed to me was the incredible simplicity and clarity of Islam." [Telegraph]

Roman Catholic Convert to Islam - The Deen Show  



Muslim Act of Stoning the Devil During Hajj is Abrahamic

Misconceptions about the Black Stone

Christian accuses Muslims of pagan practices

 Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam


Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk
 

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Old Testament has No Trinitarian Concept

Farhan Qureshi points tothe issue of the Trinity not being a belief in the Old Testament. This is certainly a real stumbling block for the Trinitarian Church and thus must be given serious thought.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Youth Minister's Conversion to Islam

How the Bible Led Me to Islam: The Story of a Former Christian Youth Minister - Joshua Evans

Hamza Yusuf Speaks on Aisha's Marriage

The much respected scholar confirms that Aisha was not playing with dolls whilst living with Prophet Muhammad. It is sad to see ignorant people who have deception and malice in their hearts want to distort facts in order to slander Prophet Muhammad and insult Muslims.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Jesus was Not Gay

Jesus Was Not Gay by Yahya Snow


There is no evidence showing Jesus to be gay

The claim that Jesus was gay is based on no evidence whatsoever; hence is intellectually flawed from the beginning. Jesus never said he was gay, nor did he ever commit a homosexual act, the fact remains there is no evidence for Jesus being gay, none whatsoever.

Suffice to say, in academic circles it is the responsibility of the claimant to bring evidence for his claim; quite simply the one making such claims about Jesus has no evidence whatsoever. Therefore to claim he was gay would be a claim which lacks any evidence and thus is dismissed as unscholarly and essentially this claim is designed to incite reaction provoke and aggrieve those who hold Jesus as a holy individual (namely Muslims and Jesus) and ultimately challenge people’s attitudes towards homosexuality, especially those within conservative religious groups

This does lead to the question as to what basis they make their claim upon. Well, quite simply they build their claim upon the silence of Jesus, (i.e. he never claimed he was not gay) and the fact he never got married or had a relationship with a woman.
So from the outset you can see their claims are based on nothing but mere conjecture on their part, nothing substantial at all.

Nevertheless there is evidence that Jesus was not gay. To show this evidence I will employ a methodically rational approach in highlighting the fact Jesus was not gay.

Asking a man whether he is gay or not

If you see a person on the street and you want to ascertain whether he is gay or not you have a few routes you can take in order to find out what sexual persuasion the person is of.
The first route is the most direct and possibly the quickest; simply ask the man. Nobody asked Jesus this question. Jesus lived in a community, as well as during a time, in which homosexuality was not something which was discussed and frowned upon greatly, thus asking a man whether he was gay would have been an insult and even taboo. So, in order, to show Jesus was not gay we can use alternative reasoning.

Does the man have a wife?

The second way of finding out whether a man is gay or not is to check if he has a wife or girlfriend. If this is the case then this would surely show he is not gay. Now we know Jesus did not take a wife nor did he have any such relationship with a woman. So we must employ alternative reasoning as this method yields no benefit to out purpose.
However, before moving on to the next line of reasoning, as a way of side note; many people find it unusual that Jesus did not marry and the claimants try to use this to support their “gay” claim. This simply shows their lack of deep understanding concerning the life of Jesus.

Reasons why Jesus never married

Jesus was thought to have been amongst the Essenes who were strict Jews who practiced abstinence of all sexual relations or as Pliny described them as people who “abjure sexual love”. Thus they avoided sexual lust of any kind (i.e. avoided marriage etc) and focussed on spirituality and learning making them ascetics. Concerning Jesus; “it appears as if he was educated under the hard discipline of the Essene teachers” thus it is of no surprise that Jesus followed ways which avoided any sexual feelings and never married.

So this helps explain the lack of marriage on the part of Jesus, so it is unfair for the claimants to try and dishonestly capitalise on this and suggest homosexuality. Would they suggest homosexuality of the Pope or nuns due to their avoidance of marriage (abstinence), of course not, thus it is unfair to do this with the example of Jesus. The fact that Jesus was not a man of material means meant he could not support a wife coupled with the information of Jesus being similar to the Essenes in mindset concerning avoiding marriage provides powerful reasons behind Jesus not marrying.

The views of Jesus concerning gays and homosexuality

Going back to our methodology of reasoning, given that the man is single and we cannot ask him directly whether he is gay; what else can we do to find out whether the man is gay? Well we could always be indirect and ask him concerning his views on homosexuals and homosexuality. Thus any views opposing homosexuality would be enough to indicate the man is not gay as he must be taken at face value. Jesus he was anti-homosexuality.

Jesus did not agree with homosexuality and he opposed it and condemned it. As we know, Jesus was an honest man who was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs thus we know we can take Jesus at face value. Now, we must realise that Jesus could not have been gay as he did not support homosexuality. One may ask for references concerning Jesus’ views.

Jesus promotes marriage between man and woman as natural and as the only legitimate union. Jesus is reported to have said:

4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'
5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?
6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19: 4-6)

If that is not sufficient then there is further (and even stronger) evidence of Jesus opposing the idea of homosexuality. Jesus is reported to have said:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)

So, we see through this quotation that Jesus was supporting the Law; we also know Jesus was an expert and a teacher of the Law. So what does the Law say about homosexuality? We can get the answer from Leviticus which reports:

" 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22)

In fact Leviticus:

" 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:13)

Thus we realise that the Law teaches us that homosexuality is an abomination, it is a sin. As Jesus supported the Law we can clearly say Jesus did not support homosexuality at all. The Law also supports the death penalty for homosexual sex. Jesus hates the act of homosexuality and supports the death of those involved. Therefore Jesus could not have been a homosexual.

Further evidence shows Jesus not to be gay

Of course there is other evidence supporting this and showing to us that Jesus was not gay. Assuming you wanted to find out if an individual was gay but could not speak to that individual you could always ask his relatives and friends.

The relatives and friends of Jesus never claimed he was gay rather they considered him to be a holy man and wise. We must remember that people in those days did not consider homosexual people as pious, holy or wise thus we realise from this that Jesus was not gay as he was thought to be a holy and wise man. This is also shown by Josephus, the Jewish historian who described him as “a wise man” [1].

We can also note that the enemies of Jesus never accused Jesus of being homosexual despite their hatred towards Jesus and their desire to slander him and sway people away from his teachings. What we can infer from all this is that nobody who knew Jesus or knew of him thought he was gay even amongst those who hated him.

Based on all this overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that Jesus was not gay we can safely say that the “gay” claim against Jesus is unscholarly and untrue.

Christians and Muslims do not believe Jesus to be gay either

Finally it is important to mention those who believe in Jesus, the Christians (Trinitarians and Unitarians) and the Muslims. What do these groups believe concerning Jesus? Well, the Trinitarian Christians do not view Jesus as a homosexual, whilst the Unitarians and Muslims would have similar beliefs in believing he was a Prophet like all other Prophets, i.e. heterosexual and not homosexual. In fact Muslim sources teach us that Jesus will get married when he returns and even procreate (i.e. he will have children). [2] [3]

Summary of the evidence proving Jesus was not gay

1. There is no evidence of Jesus being gay.
2. Jesus never claimed to be gay.
3. Jesus opposed homosexuality. He did not agree with it and considered it a sin.
4. The friends and family of Jesus did not believe he was gay.
5. Even the enemies of Jesus never claimed he was gay despite their hatred of Jesus.
6. Christians (Unitarians and Trinitarians) and Muslims do not believe him to be gay
7. Muslims believe Jesus will marry and have children, thus he thought of as heterosexual.

Conclusions

In the light of such reasoning and evidence we can dismiss the “gay” claim as fanciful and based on mere conjecture as it lacks any truth or evidence to it whatsoever. The evidence in fact points to the fact that Jesus was not gay.

It is intellectually dishonest on the part of those who make the “gay” claims or use such claims to try and pursue their personal agenda. I would appeal to them to be factual and avoid such baseless claims; it reflects poorly upon them.

Disclaimer

In the way of a disclaimer; this article was not written due to homophobia or to upset any gay people. This article sets out to do academic and intellectual justice to the memory of Jesus as it appears people with less than sincere intentions have began to use their claims concerning Jesus in order to pursue insincere personal agendas.

Note: all Biblical quotes are from the NIV Bible.

References

[1] Jewish Antiquities, Flavius Josephus, Wordsworth Editions Limited 2006 pg 780

[2] Mishkat al-Masabih, 3:47

[3] Ibn Al Jauzi in Kitab al Wafa

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Muslim Radio Talk Show is Launched

Sami Zaatari of Muslim-Responses launches a new Islamic radio talk show. Please support it.




Comming this Friday, 7-9 eastern standard time, midnight GMT. Show can be listened to live at:

www.harmonybroadcasting.com

First topic of discussion is Islamophobia

Sami's YouTube site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpHAyV2xIJE

Friday, 13 November 2009

Islam-Watch Refuted on Honor Killings

Refutation of Syed Kamran Mirza’s Article entitled: “Honor Killing” is Absolutely Islamic!

Having already corrected other misleading work from Syed Kamran Mirza concerning Islam I have come across further work of his which requires correction. I do understand he presented much of his work about 10-15 years ago and a lot of it is still in circulation on the internet and it will be physically difficult for him to correct and retract his shoddy and misleading scholarship on Islam, nevertheless; I urge him to correct his work as it error-laden.

This particular piece of Mirza’s work (“Honor Killing” is Absolutely Islamic!), which is to be discussed, is equally shoddy and misleading.

Prior to coming across Mirza’s claims on honor killings I had already produced a small piece of writing which illustrated the fact that honor killings are not allowed in Islam. This work, God-Willing, will be appended into appendix 1 at the end of the article.

Despite the false accusation of honor killings being allowed in Islam is not as widespread amongst critics of Islam it is still a dangerous misconception which is becoming more common due to the desperation of certain critics. It does not surprise me that Mirza made this claim as he has a history of unorthodox and bizarre claims against Islam.

Before beginning, it is important to illustrate to the reader that honor killings are not allowed in Islam. The best way to highlight this is by searching Islamic Law to find any requirement for honor killings. This search clearly indicates that there is nothing in Islamic Law which allows honor killings. Therefore honor killing is not sanctioned by Islam thus highlighting the falsehood in Mirza’s claims. To be more thorough I will offer the opinion of the Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, on this issue:

“There is no such concept in Islam that is called “honor killing”. Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression upon it. It does not allow people to take the law in their own hands and administer justice, because doing so will be leading to chaos and lawlessness. Therefore, based on this, Islam does not permit such killings.” [1]

So Mirza is in a pickle here and is clearly incorrect with his bold assertion; “Honor Killing is Absolutely Islamic”. OK, having established Mirza has no authority and is clearly wrong let us look at some other aspects of his article.

Mirza arrogantly claims “very often civilized people do blame Islam as the precursor of this dreadful act. Most others do not agree with this notion at all; and they try to put the blame on the tribal/cultural practice, and do not consider Islam is anyway responsible for it” [2]

Mirza suggests it is the civilised people who blame Islam for this practice; thus inferring the uncivilised do not blame Islam for the practice of honor-killings. Well Mirza ends up with egg on his face as I have clearly demonstrated (with Islamic authority) that honor killings are not Islamic therefore Mirza should correct himself by claiming it is the ignorant who blame Islam for honor killings and not the civilised whilst it is the educated ones who do not blame Islam for honor killings.

Staying on the same subject Mirza begins to attack non-Muslims who are unwilling to be as unscholarly as he is; “Most Muslim apologists and also some gullible westerners want to argue that the ‘so called “honor killing” is not Islamic and it’s a tribal/cultural vice.’ This statement is utterly untrue and only a wish full covers up”. [2]

Well, I suggest Mirza puts his campaign of propaganda aside and re-research Islam rather than attacking Islam with preconceived ideas. This way he will not look quite so biased against Islam, unscholarly and arrogant.

If Mirza’s arrogance has not shocked you, his ignorance will certainly shock you; Mirza goes on to claim “And this kind of cruel killings to save family honor had happened, still happening, and will remain to happen—only to a Muslim family. Honor killings happen only to some designated Muslim nations” [2]

Absolutely amazing! After this comment I am certain, even the most ardent supporter of Mirza (critic of Islam) will begin to doubt Mirza’s claims and reliability. Mirza only needs to read a few news articles to realise honor killings occur in Sikh, Hindu and Christian communities too. In fact it is a big issue amongst the Hindu and Sikh communities and occurs all over the planet.

However prior to Mirza’s shocking attempt to convince us that honor killings are an exclusive activity of Muslims Mirza contradicts himself by writing “Honor killing is a manifestation of global phenomenon in general and Muslim nations in particular.” [2]

Mirza further contradicts himself by claiming “However, some very rare, sporadic case of such killing might have happened in other society or people of other religion” [2]. Thus it appears Mirza was either undecided or was shoddy in editing.

Mirza proceeds to give nine distinct stories of honor killings within the Muslim community, as Mirza has a habit of being unreliable and not having enough time to painstakingly check Mirza’s information I will not comment. However, it should not be taken as a denial that honor killings occur in the Muslim community; they do occur but they are un-Islamic, i.e. not allowed in Islam therefore the Muslim committing the crime of honor killing is contravening (going against) Islamic teachings.

Mirza tries to present a further case against Islam by stating “Had it been the tribal/cultural practice, ‘honor killing’ would exist amongst the Arabs only. But honor killing does happen amongst the non-Arab Muslims also. Also Arabs belonged to all religions (Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bhai etc.) would practice honor killing with equal prevalence. Fact of the matter is—no Arab Christians, Jews or Bahai etc do practice this uncivilized act at all.” [2]

In fact Claire Murphy’s (BBC News) statement corrects and educates Mirza and shows Mirza that other cultures and religious communities have the same problem of honor killings; “It is widely agreed that the root and cause of honour killing is a complex, historical phenomenon which has no justification in Islam's holy book, the Koran, and which has also been known to occur elsewhere in the world and among other religions.” [3]

So Mirza fails with this attempt to convince the reader. Mirza finally, somewhat half-heartedly, quotes irrelevant English translations from Muslim sources (the Quran and aHadith). Mirza presents these quotes and he too seems to realise that even these quotes do not prove his ideas and in order to save face and retain a little credibility he entitles his list of quotes with; “Dictums of Quran and Hadiths which may dictate/incite honor killing”

Note the word “may”; this seems very incompatible with Mirza’s bold assertion in the title of his work, “Honor Killing is Absolutely Islamic!”

It appears as though, even Mirza’s fertile imagination could not even attempt to manipulate the quotes he presented to try and back up his assertion which wrongly claims honor killings are Islamic. The fact still remains not one of Mirza’s quotes are supporting honor killings and thus rendering his quoting irrelevant. I get the feeling Mirza knew this too, sadly he was not too quick to come forward and admit this.

To give Mirza further food for thought we can add comments from Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti:

“In Islam, there is no place for unjustifiable killing. Even in case of capital punishment, only the government can apply the law through the judicial procedures. No one has the authority to execute the law other than the officers who are in charge.” [1]

Note: “Honor” is an American spelling, the English spelling is “honour”, and I have endeavoured to use the American spelling as Mirza used the American spelling despite my preference of the English spelling.

Appendix 1

Link to a short piece indicating honour killings are forbidden in Islam:

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2009/08/honor-killings.html


References

[1] Fatwa Bank, Islamonline, Honor Killing from an Islamic Perspective. (http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543392)

[2] Honor Killing” is Absolutely Islamic! By Kamran Syed Mirza, 01 Jul, 2005 (Updated 16 Jan, 2008)

[3] Jordan's dilemma over 'honour killings' By Claire Murphy, BBC News Online, Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Christian Claims about Ahmed Deedat's Death and Stroke



Sharia Law against terrorism

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam


Learn about Islam


It has come to my attention that a group of corrupt Christians on the internet are focussing their hateful and deceitful propaganda on Sheikh Ahmed Deedat.

Ahmed Deedat, for those of you who do not know, was a self learned scholar of comparative religion and a debater for Islam who resided in South Africa. Yes, he was a Muslim who was familiar with Christianity and thus debated many Christians and proved to be highly successful in his ministry to Christians, so much so that he gained approbation, love and friendship all over the world from both Muslims and non-Muslims.

His charismatic oratory skills were gripping and perhaps he would be remembered best for coupling these oratory skills (and charisma) with piercing and coherent arguments.

He has of course passed away (in 2005) but it does appear as though a smear campaign against Deedat has begun on the internet. I do feel this smear campaign must be addressed as the perpetrators are looking to poison the well of discussion.

Deedat, before his death, had a stroke and was paralysed to the extent that he could not speak and communicated using his eyelids. This was seen, by the Muslims, as a test from Allah. Indeed Deedat had accomplished so much prior to this but continued in his work even whilst paralysed.

The reason why I mention this is due to this small group of Christians on the internet making deceptive claims about Deedat.

Their first claim is that Deedat prayed to God to mute whoever was wrong and a liar after his debate with the Christian evangelist named Anis Shorrosh. There is no evidence for this claim despite all the Deedat-Shorrosh debate being documented on video. So this claim is dismissed as a lie.

In fact Muslims could do the same thing and claim that Shorrosh prayed and asked God to have the authorities arrest and jail the one who is wrong. Anis Shorrosh was arrested an imprisoned after his debate with Deedat [1].

Or Muslims could claim the infamous Christian evangelist Jimmy Swaggart (who also debated Deedat) prayed to God to ask whoever was wrong to be humiliated by caught in a high profile sex scandal [2]. Swaggart was caught in a sex scandal and was humiliated in public.

Of course it would be absurd to claim these allegations against Shorrosh and Swaggert as there is no evidence for these claims. This is the reason why Muslims do not do this whilst these Christians have moved into the realms of deception by making false claims of this nature against Deedat.

It seems, Deedat (even after his death) is still being used to point out errors to Christians as these Christians claim to have the Holy Spirit (which Christians believe to be God) inside them whilst claiming Muslims are misguided. Interestingly enough Muslims are refraining from lying about Deedat’s opponents whilst these Christians are lying about Deedat. Surely the guided ones would refrain from lying? Surely if these Christians really had a Holy Spirit within them they would not lie about Deedat. Thus it seems Allah (God) is showing these Christians some truth and wisdom through Deedat, whether they are too blind to see it lies with them.

The other claim these Christians make is that of God punishing Deedat for speaking out against Christianity by paralysing him.

This claim is another fanciful claim based on no evidence at all and is somewhat contradictory to Christian teachings. Their premise is that Deedat sinned due to him speaking against the Trinity and the Bible and thus he was “punished” by paralysis.

Firstly the Muslim belief is that those who are paralysed or struck by a severe illness are to be honoured and looked after and not to be labelled as sinners. This is a test that Allah (God) sends to these individuals and indeed a test to the healthy so we can aid and support these people without stigmatising these people as sinners or unworthy souls.

In Islam, disabled people are indeed equal to those who are able-bodied. This I believe to be a fine teaching indeed, a teaching many Christians could benefit from too.

So we realise that this group of Christians who label Deedat as a “sinner” being “punished” by paralysis are insulting all those who have been paralysed, lost functions of any body part or struck with a sever/debilitating illness. The question is; is this pious and pure behaviour on the part of the Christians? Surely not!

Surely the Muslim belief offers more comfort to the paralysed, ill, elderly and infirm whilst this group of Christians insult and offer discomfort to these people. Again, it seems to me that Allah (God) is using Deedat to teach these Christians more wisdom and truth, whether they choose to remain blind and unreceptive to this truth and wisdom is down to them.

Also, Hitler was a great sinner, Why did God not send paralysis on him as a “punishment”? Do these Christians believe God approved of Hitler’s actions?

Also let us look at the friends of Jesus, his sincere companions and followers were terrorised and oppressed by the Romans during and after the ministry of Jesus. Do these same Christians believe that God was punishing them for sins? Interestingly enough Paul was one of those who were oppressing these sincere followers of Jesus. This is food for thought for the Christians.

However, to completely dispel any doubts and thoroughly refute this group of Christians who have resorted to arguments based on bigotry against paralysed and severely ill people we can look to pious Biblical figures and see their plight.

John the Baptist, according to the Christian belief, was imprisoned and later beheaded. Muslims do not consider this to be a punishment from God and believe John the Baptist to be a truly respected Prophet of God. Do the Christians really believe God was punishing John the Baptist? Surely this was a test for John the Baptist and a test for his followers and those around him. This was no punishment. So if this was not a punishment from God then surely the condition of Deedat was not a punishment from God but a test.

We can also look at the view that Isaac went blind in his later years. Surely these Christians do not believe God was punishing the well respected Isaac? Well, if they do not believe that about Isaac then why would they believe it about Deedat? It seems these Christians are operating a double standard. Their hypocrisy and inconsistencies are being highlighted through Deedat, again it is down to them to accept this criticism and correct their selves.

My message to these Christians to correct their deceptive ways will be further strengthened by "A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy." (Proverbs 29:1)

Further food for thought goes to babies who are born with paralysis or other health implications. Do these Christians and Christians in general really believe God is punishing these innocent babies? Surely God is not punishing these babies so why do these Christians argue against Deedat in this fashion.

Christians regularly claim God loves every body; the question has got to be where is the love and compassion of these Christians who insult the memory of Deedat and hurt his living family members and friends (both Muslim and non-Muslim).

It may come as no surprise to those familiar with the Biblical sayings of Jesus that Deedat and those who believed Jesus to be a Prophet are the target of evil lies as Jesus is reported to have said;

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. (Matthew 5:11)

In fact I put it to you that God loves Sheikh Ahmed Deedat more than he loves these Christians who are making such deceptive claims.

All Biblical Quotes are from the New International Version of the Bible

References

[1] News report concerning Shorrosh’s arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SndHKXLR17k

[2] BBC article on the Swaggart scandal:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/21/newsid_2565000/2565197.stm
By Yahya Snow
Feedback: yahyasnow@hotmail.com
***CONVERSIONS TO ISLAM***
http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/search/label/Conversions

***ANOTHER INTERNET HOAX AGAINST MUSLIMS***
http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.com/2010/09/mass-muslim-marriage-and-rape-of.html

Tags: silenced muted curse cursed,

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Does the Gospel of Mark(1:1-14) Refute the Trinity and Point to Another Prophet to Come?

Is the Gospel of Mark (1:1-14) indicating to us that there is a Prophet to come after Jesus? The same passages also present arguments which state that Jesus is not God. Is the Prophet to come Muhammed?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Rape Victims Are Not Punished in Islam

Islam does not teach Muslims to punish the rape victim. Islam punishes the rapists rather than the victim. Despite this clear teaching of Islam there are still some misguided individuals who attempt to demonize Muslims by directing false claims against Islam.

This popular "false claim" of the critics is debunked through a video responding to the infamous Nick Griffin

Aisha Was Not Pre-Pubescent: Correcting Two Christian Apologists Who Were Caught in Presenting Misinformation

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Discussed: Sexual Sensations in the Islamic Paradise

Much has been written about this subject, to the surprise of learned Muslims as paradise in the Islamic mindset is much more than mere sexual-sensation. Thus, the critic’s fascination with this Islamic belief is perplexing to say the least, William Montgomery Watt (paraphrased) did indicate that the critic who focuses on the sexual elements related to Islam speaks more about him/herself as opposed to Islam. In fact he goes further and highlights the fact that the Muslim world is better controlled when it comes to sexual urges than its Western (Christian) counterpart [1]. It does seem that the famous Biblical passage concerning the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye is highlighted while your own eye contains something far more harmful (a plank) yet ignored comes into play. [2]

Historical outline

However, it is still important to outline the view of paradise that the Muslim will have rather than the view the critic wrongly imposes upon the Muslim. Critics often seem horrified that the Muslims would be of the belief that there would be physical sensations in paradise, especially of a sexual nature. The history or the context behind this is that the critic invariably comes from a culture which was or is still subsumed by Christianity and the Christian view of paradise is generally one of a spiritual sensation only and the “horror” of having a physical experience (especially one of a sexual nature) in the “presence of God” in paradise does not sit well with the cultural and religious beliefs that the critics have been moulded by (consciously or subconsciously). Thus, it is fair to say that the critic’s almost obsessive focus on the sexual element within the Muslim paradise is somewhat understandable as it is foreign and incompatible with the influencing factors which shaped their mode of thinking. That does not mean that they are exempt from revising their views in the light of the Muslim response, a response which is usually left unreported leading to a lob-sided debate or one-way argument against Islam.

To the Muslim the critic’s view is extremely myopic and sensationalistic whilst the critics on the unregulated internet do add to the mix in a much more coarse and unsophisticated fashion; this combined with the lack of a Muslim response to balance the discussion leads the Muslim to much frustration. Subsequently shrieks of “Islamophobia” can be heard but all that is required in reality is an analytical approach and an approach that brings to the surface the Muslim response, this is sufficient to show that the Muslims have some genuinely potent points that counter the critics in a convincing fashion. If this methodical approach is adopted as opposed to suspicion and idle claims of Islamophobia this issue would have been put to bed in no time (pun intended) thus forcing the critic in a position of defence rather then the default attack position that the critic has been stuck in concerning this aspect of Islam.


Critics misunderstood

Firstly it is important to show the critics who are representing Islamic views on paradise as solely physical that they are mistaken as according to Islamic theology the individual (in paradise) will have the best of the physical and the best of the spiritual in paradise. So the thunderous denials to the claims that the Islamic paradise is solely focussed on sex or physical well being must be heard as critics are misrepresenting the Islamic views on Paradise. In fact the spiritual aspect of paradise is thought to be greater and more appealing than the physical features of the Muslim paradise. It is concerning that the critics leave this crucial information out in order to carry out their onslaught against Islam

Now we have established that the Islamic views pertaining to paradise are similar to the Christian views in so far as the inhabitant would be at a zenith or peak of spirituality (i.e. his/her relationship with God would be more complete) we can realise the only difference between the two (aside from the obvious theological differences concerning the nature of God) is that the Islamic view incorporates the idea of physical pleasure (i.e. good food, clothing, accommodation, spouses etc). The question is, why would physical pleasure be objectionable to the critic, especially considering that the spiritual side of the Islamic Paradise is very much there too?

The first argument of the critic

Well there are two stances the critic takes to this, the first argument is theologically motivated (usually critics who happen to be Christians use this approach) in that they argue that physical pleasure in the “presence” of God is something unthinkable, especially pleasure of a sexual nature. This view would be more understandable if the Islamic Paradise lacked the spiritual element but the fact remains it does not and is very much similar to the Christian view of paradise when it comes to the spiritual aspect. So I feel the theologically motivated critic argues a straw man as he/she wrongly pre-supposes that the Muslim paradise is solely physical and lacks the spiritual side to it.

Their argument also drifts to the obvious tangent in that they cannot comprehend how or why sex would be allowed in Paradise “in the presence of God”, they in fact are quite simply horrified by this. Their horror only arises as Christendom’s views on sex has always been one of a taboo, this perhaps is borne from their belief that Jesus never married and thus they view it (sexual relations) somewhat unbefitting of the pious and those of a spiritual nature; this is further supported by the Catholic priests and nuns vowing celibacy. On the other hand the Muslim view of sex has never really got the stage of taboo or shame. In fact it is seen as a natural desire of the man and woman which would be related to the natural desire of the human for food (though not the same). Islam in this sense recognises the human nature and even recommends avenues to fulfil this desire in an Islamically acceptable fashion, namely within marriage. Marriage is recommended and celibacy is frowned upon and the woman’s desire for sexual satisfaction is acknowledged too.

In fact Muslim writings concerning sex are very analytical and scientific whilst in the past (as well as now) Christian writings have always seemed to be underpinned by suspicion, shame and even eroticism when it comes to sex. Even to this day the Catholic Church is vigorously opposed to contraception as sex thus becomes a thing of pleasure rather than procreation whilst the Muslim does not generally object to contraception as sexual relations are seen through a scientific fashion and the sensual enjoyment of sex is recognised along with it being the mode for reproduction. In fact, upon reflection, I saw the Islamic method of dealing with issues of this type as progressive, modern and scientific (whilst being enveloped with a removal of any negative taboo). This Islamic mindset is deemed a positive one for sex education.

Having set the context we realise that the idea of sex within Paradise for the Muslim is not something of taboo but merely linked to the view that in paradise everybody (man and woman) has their desires fulfilled (both physical and spiritual desires) and sexual urges are included in the physical desires.

Knowing this the critic should factor this into his/her work, if this is done diligently without an agenda-based motivation we would see that the idea of sexual pleasure in the Islamic paradise is not such a big deal and those who do make it into an issue are lacking contextual knowledge and in many cases argue a straw man as they fail to realise that the Muslim paradise includes spiritual pleasure and this pleasure is viewed as the greater form of pleasure.


"In the presence of God"

Going back to the Christian repulsion towards sexual satisfaction “in the presence of God” in paradise one only needs to remind the Christian of their belief concerning Jesus, the Christian believes him to be God. Now, when Jesus was on earth his mother was married to Joseph and he was beset by married people, therefore conjugal relations (sex within marriage) clearly were taking place in the proximity of Jesus. As the Christian believes Jesus to be God then the Christian critics seem hypocritical and even Biblically illiterate when making such an attack against the Islamic view of paradise.

To make the point even more vivid it is hinted that prostitution (illegal sexual relations) was taking place in the locality of Jesus [4]; the question to the Christian is, if the Bible hints at illegal sexual satisfaction taking place in the area of Jesus (who the Christian believes to be God) then how can the Christian critics object to sex in paradise for the Muslim. It really is a case of hypocrisy and ignorance of their ideologies. Of course if that illustration was not sufficient for the critic of a Christian background then how about the belief that the Holy Spirit (who is also thought to be God by Christians) resides in Christians; do Christians not have sex? Certainly they do therefore according to their beliefs we realise they must believe that this sexual satisfaction takes place in the presence of their god. Thankfully there are only a small group of Christians who make such hypocritical and ignorant attacks against Islamic ideas on paradise.

Biblical view

Before moving onto the second group’s argumentation we can look to the Bible and realise there is not much definitive description concerning paradise and thus leaving it open to debate within Christendom whether the body will be physical or not but there is a description of John’s view of paradise in Revelation 22:2, remarkably it seems to fit in line with the Muslim view that paradise will have a physical element to it:

down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations

Though this is not definitive but the fruit being yielded does support the argument that there will be food in the Christian view of paradise, however it is important to note that the Christian view of paradise is not fully understood as the Bible does not really expand upon it thus leaving it open to speculation. So, pardon the pun, this is some food for thought for the critics who come from a Christian background.

It is also worth noting that though there is food in the Muslim paradise (and the Christian view of paradise hints at the same through the Biblical reference cited) we should realise that both the Christian and Muslim beliefs about paradise teach us that there will be no thirst or hunger in paradise therefore the food/drink is something solely for pleasure rather than out of hunger/thirst. As we are discussing the critics who happen to be motivated by evangelising their Christian beliefs to the Muslims we can bring a Bible passage into play. The real motivation behind the Christian critic in attacking the Muslim view of paradise is all down to the fact that Muslims do not view Jesus as God but rather as a Prophet; surely this belief of Muslims should not mean that they get a raw deal! A Biblical passage to encourage the Muslim to take the unfair critique from theologically motivated groups with a mature and patient approach:

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [3]

These words are attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. They do resonate in the hearts of the Muslims who have been unfortunate enough to witness some of the sinister misrepresentations of the Muslim faith by so-called Christians on the internet. I am glad to say that the majority of Christians that I know of do not go down the route of attacking Islam in a wicked manner just because it holds a different teaching to the Trinitarian Christian view.

The second argument of the critic

The second group are those who attack the Muslim view of Heaven solely based on sexual enticement alone, they tend to be people who claim Muslim men are motivated by sex alone and question why “sexual reward” must be offered in order for the Muslim to behave. It is important to correct this group (they usually consist of secularists) as reward is not merely limited to men but includes women too. This critic misses the other rewards of paradise and directs his focus solely on the sexual pleasure within paradise. Well, the question to the critic would be why not have a variety of physical rewards in Heaven?

Muslims and Christians are commanded by their respective faiths to avoid sexual sin (even looking lustfully at a member of the opposite sex); would it not be Just of God to reward those that complied with His orders with something better? This view of paradise by the Muslim does in fact help the Muslim to comply; knowing that there is something better in the hereafter if they avoid the sin in this life. It must be stressed that this is not the reason behind the Muslim avoidance of sin but the reason is due to his/her spiritual nature and closeness to God.

Not to pick on Christianity but to merely use it as an example to put against Islam, within Christendom there has been a number of high profile cases of Christian leaders falling to sexual sin (i.e. Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggert etc) whilst, to date, instances of such a nature are unheard of when it concerns high profile Muslim leaders. Now we compare the two, Christianity lacks a clear idea of a “reward” of physical pleasure in paradise while Islam does posses this idea very clearly. Couple this with the fact that sexual sin is not such a widespread problem in the Muslim world as opposed to the Christian world and ask the question which one seems to inspire their respective followers to avoid the sin? Thus the Islamic view of paradise does have an apparent wisdom behind it.

The Islamic belief is that Allah is Just so if an individual who is not appealing to the member of the opposite sex (through no fault of his/her own) has something of comfort from his/her beliefs concerning paradise. Why cannot this person be of the belief that in Paradise he/she will get a spouse who is greater than anything this world can offer, this view surely offers emotional and psychological comfort to the individual. I think this belief is even more relevant in this Hollywood/Pop culture of ours in the West where beauty, wealth and attraction to the opposite sex are seen as the be-all and end-all; yet we know many will never reach the lifestyle that the Western (pop/Hollywood) culture sets for us as the benchmark. Surely, psychologically and emotionally, the Islamic belief is a fine remedy and also curtails the individual’s desire to enter the realms of unregulated materialism thus aiding his/her spiritual growth as materialism is a hindrance to spirituality. It seems to me that the Islamic system has got a system that is workable and of benefit to the individual both psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. This is food for thought.

Summary

The critic generally misses the fuller picture of the Muslim Paradise and blows the sexual element out of perspective and takes it out of context. The critic fails to mention that the Muslim paradise contains spiritual ecstasy and this is the main feature of the Muslim paradise and the physical ecstasy (be it food, drink, accommodation, sexual relations) is second to the spiritual element. Critics also focus entirely on the sexual element of the physical whilst the Muslim paradise contains a whole spectrum of physical delights for the inhabitants.

Theologically motivated critics abhor the idea that physical pleasure should be “in the presence of God” but fail to give a reason why God would not allow physical pleasure in Heaven especially considering that He can view us in this life partaking in physical pleasure. This type of critic also falls into hypocrisy as the Christian Bible shows that physical pleasure (including sexual pleasure) took place in the locality of Jesus and the Christians believe that Jesus is God therefore we realise that the Muslim idea of paradise containing physical delight “in the presence of God” is not something for the Christians to argue against.

Finally, looking at the Muslim idea of physical delight in the Hereafter we realise that this idea provides great emotional, psychological and spiritual support in combating the superficial, materialistic ideas and teachings on life that the current Pop culture in our Western world imposes upon us.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. [3]


I do hope the critics do ponder upon these points and give the Muslim a fair deal.

May Allah help us all into Paradise. Ameen.

Note: all Bible references come from the New International Version

References

[1] What Is Islam by W.Montgomery Watt, Longman Group, Second Edition, 1979, pg230

[2] New International Version, Matthew 7:3

[3] Ibid. Matthew 5:11-12

[4] Ibid. Luke 7:36-39

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Video Response: Is Muhammed mentioned in the Gospel of John?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdlJJfyJ1gk

A Response to Sam Shamoun: Does John 1:19-21 mention Muhammad?

Is John1:19-21 Referring to Prophet Muhammed?

It has become a common argument from the Muslim camp to suggest to the Christian that John 1 contains a reference to Prophet Muhammed. This reference is not an explicit reference by name but an implicit reference by the title of “the Prophet” which is not referring to the Prophet Jesus (the Christ). This argument can be found in the first appendix which provides a link to the Muslim claim.

The evangelical Christian camp, however, have stepped up efforts to counter this Muslim claim. This is the reason of my writing of this short paper; the Christian camp in the form of an apologist for Christianity, Sam Shamoun, did comment on this claim and attempted a refutation on the ABN (Aramaic Broadcasting Network).

Intellectual honesty


As a word of note to the readers; if the response by Shamoun was convincing I would not be writing this as I would have accepted Shamoun’s response in order to be intellectually honest. On the flip-side if Shamoun’s response is insufficient (which is what I feel) I would not accept it as it would be equally intellectually dishonest to do so. Also, in the way of fairness and scholarly etiquette I have appended a link to Shamoun’s response so the more interested reader can listen to it and judge my response with a more potent measuring stick, see the second appendix.

I do ask Shamoun’s Christian audience (as well as any non-Christians amongst his audience) to maintain intellectual honesty and also re-evaluate his views based on my points of contention.

Shamoun is a fine orator and puts his points across in an enthusiastic and passionate fashion. I feel his enthusiasm did get the better of him as he began to interpolate his own biased views into the Biblical text spoken of. Allow me to expand upon this.

John 1,19-21

Essentially the passage of John that Shamoun devotes much of his attention to and tries to explain away in a fashion which would exclude an intimation of the Prophet Muhammed from the text (John 1: 19-21)

It is important to quote this text for the reader’s ease of following (John 1:19-21):

1:19 now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.

1:20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ."

1:21 They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."


So we realise the Jewish elite question the John the Baptist, he tells them that he is not the Christ and they proceed to ask him whether he was Elijah or “the Prophet”. What we glean from this text is that the Christ, Elijah and the Prophet are three separate people and thus the Jews who were questioning John the Baptist were expecting the arrival of three distinct figures in the future; Elijah, the Christ and the Prophet. The Muslim suggests that the Prophet is Muhammed and not the Christ (Jesus), this is a reasonable suggestion in so far as “the Prophet” is distinct and independent from the Christ.

It should also be noted that John the Baptist did not question the Jews concerning “the Prophet” and nor did he seem perplexed once questioned about “the Prophet” which suggests he (John the Baptist), like the Jews, was aware of a Prophet to come who is not Jesus (the Christ). As a note to the lay reader, Christ simple means Messiah (literally the anointed one) in Greek and does not mean God or the son of God.

The Muslims have been making this argument for numerous years now concerning this particular passage of John 1. Shamoun’s is an interesting response, superficially it may have sounded pretty convincing to much of his audience but with a little analysis we see gaping holes in his argumentation.

Shamoun is wrong

He initially (wrongly) goes onto impress upon the inquiring Jews of John 1:19-21 his own views which is not supported by the text. His view is that the inquiring Jews believe “the Prophet” to be an Israelite. This view does not have any Scriptural support from the passage quoted. Shamoun adds this to the equation, he recklessly tells us that the inquiring Jews “knew” that “the Prophet” was an Israelite as John the Baptist was an Israelite. He says this as Muhammed was an Ishmaelite and he is moved by his focus to try and remove any intimation of Muhammed from the passage. Of course being moved by such a task quite naturally leads to an underpinning bias which leads Shamoun into this reckless manipulation of his own Holy Book which yields his warped understanding of the passage.

This is a peculiar understanding which Shamoun states rather forcefully, however it is not only a peculiar understanding which lacks proof from the passage in question but it is an inconsistent view as Shamoun fails to use the same “peculiar” method of exegesis concerning the passage when it mentions the Christ.

Shamoun lacks consistency


Shamoun’s lack of consistency is highlighted by John 1:20 where if he was to use the same far-fetched reasoning and assumption without any authority he should also conclude that John the Baptist believes that the inquiring Jews believed that the Christ was to have a natural birth as John the Baptist tells them that “I am not the Christ”. The inquiring Jews would have known that John the Baptist was not born of a virgin birth but that of a normal birth; therefore Shamoun (being consistent) would conclude the Jews believed Christ to be a man born of a husband and wife. Why Shamoun lacked the consistency to judge the whole passage by his own erroneous yardstick is a mystery. Shamoun simply interpolates his own unfounded assumption into the text; the text does not teach us that “the Prophet” is an Israelite; in fact it does not teach us anything about the lineage of “the Prophet” despite Shamoun’s inconsistent assertion.

Shamoun also suggests that the Jews could have been mistaken when they mentioned “the Prophet”. He suggests that no such Prophet was expected as the inquiring Jews may have believed this erroneously. Well, Shamoun misses the other key party in the conversation; namely the Prophet John the Baptist. In this passage John the Baptist seems to know of “the Prophet” the Jews inquire about as he answers their question concerning him without any hesitation, confusion or any correction/questioning of the existence of “the Prophet” thus we realise John 1:19-21 suggests to us that “the Prophet” is real and was being expected by the Jews and they were not mistaken. Therefore we realise Shamoun’s assertions are lacking firm foundations and Scriptural support.

The facts are important


The facts remain; all we realise from John 1: 19-21 is that the Jews were awaiting three distinct individuals (the Christ, Elijah and “the Prophet”) and they did not believe “the Prophet” to be either Elijah or the Christ. We do not realise Shamoun’s interpolations as the text does not mention anything of the like.

Needless to say Shamoun moves on after his fanciful manipulation of his own text. He tries to convince us, rather erroneously, that “the Prophet” and the Christ are the same person despite the above passage (John 1:19-21) militating against him.

Shamoun uses John 1:45 incorrectly

Strangely enough he tries to use John 1:45 to state this claim. As the reader can see, John 1:45 does not help Shamoun one iota:
John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
In fact Shamoun seems to hesitate in quoting the passage fully as the passage seems to be opposing the Christian doctrine of Jesus divinity and the miraculous birth as Jesus is described as “the son of Joseph” (not the son of God), hence it is unsurprising to me to hear a perceived shift in the intonation of Shamoun’s voice when he came to this part of the verse. Surely this passage opens up a new can of worms for Shamoun and his colleagues.

To address Shamoun thoroughly and to do his points justice I would state that Moses and other Prophets writing about Jesus in the Law (Torah) does not mean the Christ is “the Prophet”. This was a confusing argument which Shamoun presented and the more discerning amongst the audience would have felt the same in my view. Also, as a worrying point of contention for Shamoun and other Christian apologists; Philip seems to be claiming that Moses wrote about Jesus “the son of Joseph”, thus Philip is not only denying the miraculous birth of Jesus but is intimating that Moses wrote about somebody (a Prophet to come) who was to have a natural birth, this could not have been Jesus so the question remains, who is this person? This passage, ironically cited by Shamoun to support his views, does not aid Shamoun at all but further compounds the confusion and leads to a multitude of important questions.

Shamoun and John 5:39-40

Shamoun fluently moves onto John 5: 39-40 and tries to build his argument upon this passage. This passage does not shed any further light on the matter, the readers can judge for themselves:

5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
5:40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Thus we realise this passage (John 5:39-40) does not support Shamoun’s assertion that “the Prophet” and the Christ are the same person. Shamoun, after much positing of irrelevant or impotent “evidences”, moves onto his main Biblical citation which he believes supports his views that “the Prophet” is the Christ. Shamoun brings forth the Biblical reference of John 6:14-15:
6:14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."
6:15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Shamoun does not prove anything

Again, this reference does not prove Shamoun’s belief that “the Prophet” and the Christ was the same person. All this reference teaches us is that a group of people saw Jesus performing a “miraculous sign” and then they believed him to be “the Prophet”. There is no mention of the people calling him the Christ as well in this passage and nor is there any mention of the people exclaiming the two are the same person. Suffice it to say Shamoun interpolates his own understanding and imposes it upon the people of this passage without any authority or logical reasoning whatsoever. Even if we go with the view that Jesus is “the Prophet” then the question of who was the Christ arises.

We of course now know that Jesus was the Christ so could not have been “the Prophet” as these two were two distinct people (as gleaned from John 1:19-21). So it is more reasonable to view these people as being mistaken when pronouncing Jesus to be “the Prophet” (other people were mistaken concerning the identity of Jesus in Matthew 16:13-14, which is discussed later) as this would erroneously mean that Jesus was not the Christ unless one adopts Shamoun’s position which requires interpolating an unsubstantiated belief (the belief that the Christ and “the Prophet” are the same person) into the text. That would mean that the Biblical text is prevented from speaking for itself and Shamoun would act as an intermediary between the Bible and the reader.

In fact the context of this passage is that Jesus feeds the five thousand through food multiplication (this is the “miraculous sign” which they observed) the people saw this and then concluded that Jesus was “the Prophet”. Now, we realise from this that the sign of food multiplication is linked to “the Prophet”. If we look at the life of Mohammed we realise he too performed similar miracles of multiplying both food and water and feeding a great number of people due to the miracles [1, 2]. So this strengthens the Muslim claim that “the Prophet” is Mohammad.

What about Jesus?

One, naturally, may ask “what about Jesus”? Well, the context concerning Jesus was that there was much discussion and confusion concerning his identity, even John the Baptist did not know who Jesus was and questioned him. Those who knew of Jesus did not even know who he was so it of no surprise that some people (John 6:14-15) viewed him to be “the Prophet” initially as if we cross reference this with Matthew 16: 13-14 we realise there were many conflicting ideas concerning the identity of Jesus, quite simply people did not know who he was:
Matthew 16:13-14:

13: When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14: They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

Using Shamoun’s method we would simply combine all these titles and proclaim Jesus to be John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and other prophets all in one despite all these being separate entities just like “the Prophet” and the Christ are separate entities. Rather than using an exaggerated form of Shamoun’s methodology we can simply use the Scripture and logic and realise Jesus was the Christ and therefore was not John, Elijah, Jeremiah or any other prophet. So going back to Shamoun’s point we now know that Jesus is the Christ therefore the people of John 6:14 who claim Jesus to be “the Prophet” are incorrect as the two are not the same person according to the Bible. So Shamoun has a dilemma; either accept the Bible and realise the Christ is not “the Prophet” or manipulate the Bible in order for it to suit his own purposes.

Not only does Matthew 16:13-14 highlight the uncertainty of who Jesus was but it also shows a good number of people did not believe Jesus to be God which is an issue for the Trinitarian Church but is not the focus of this article. Just to further highlight the lack of knowledge concerning who Jesus was we can look to no less than John the Baptist who does not know who Jesus really was (Matthew 11: 1-2):

11:1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
11:2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

This passage further highlights the lack of knowledge concerning Jesus and the potential to misidentify Jesus. As a side note, it further militates against the Trinitarian form of Christianity as John the Baptist (a Prophet) does not recognise Jesus as God.

Shamoun should rethink his views

However, going back to Shamoun’s assertions; surely it would be more logical for Shamoun to free himself from the shackles of bias (and conflicting ideas) and accept either he does not have a full understanding of the text or accept that “the Prophet” is not Jesus but somebody else. If he accepts the issue requires further contemplation and research then that would be admirable as we are all human beings and have huge gaps in our knowledge and of course only God is the All-Knower. Shamoun does not lose much ground, to his Muslim counterparts either, if he accepts what the Biblical text indicates namely; “the Prophet” was being expected by the Jews and was not Jesus (the Christ) but somebody else. I say Shamoun does not lose much ground to the Muslims in this discussion as Shamoun could quite easily counter and say there is no Biblical proof from this passage that it refers to the Prophet Muhammed and he could go further and say for all the average reader knows is that it could refer to Joseph Smith, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad or other figures believed to be prophets by their respective followers. The neutrals could point to the fact that the passage was contained within the Gospel of John which scholars view to be the most theologically evolved and thus the least reliable of the four Gospels and they too could argue that the passage is not proof of another Prophet to come yet alone Muhammed.

So Shamoun has room to manoeuvre if he is willing to free himself of his own bias and desire to manipulate the Scripture in order to realise this bias. Shamoun must always remember he is not an intermediary between his audience and the Bible as the audience are well capable of reading and deciding for themselves without the view of Shamoun, otherwise it stops becoming the Bible but becomes Shamoun’s handbook they are reading into.

Summary

Shamoun has no Biblical foundations for his view that “the Prophet” and the Christ is the same person. John 1: 19-21 clearly indicates that the two people are separate thus rendering Shamoun into the realms of textual acrobatics and interpolations in order to oppose the ideas presented by John 1:19-21. We also realise that there was much confusion as to who Jesus actually was and a miracle of multiplying food and feeding a multitude of people is a key factor in identifying who “the Prophet” was highlighted in John 6:14-15. We note biblical evidence (John 1:19-21) highlights that the Christ is not “the Prophet” and there is no Biblical evidence to show the two are the same despite Shamoun’s assertions.

We also see Philip appearing not to believe in Jesus as God but as a human who was “the son of Joseph” (John 1:45), this passage re-opens the Unitarian arguments. As a side note, many Muslims would state that Muhammed performed a miracle of feeding the multitude and this is a key identifying feature of “the Prophet”, thus their claims are in fact strengthened by this analysis.

The question still remains; who is “the Prophet”?

Of course the reader is left to go away and independently decide who “the Prophet. was It is not for myself, Shamoun or anybody else for that matter to decide for the reader we can merely put the facts out rather than opinion; that is what I have attempted to do in the course of this paper. I do feel Shamoun lent heavily on supposition and interpolating his own views into Biblical text but if anybody feels I have inadequately dealt with this subject or made a mistake then do contact me and let me know.

Thank you
Search for the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.
Note: All Bible references were taken from the New International Version of the Bible

Appendices

1. Link to the Muslim argument suggesting Muhammed is referred to in the Gospel of John:

http://www.institutealislam.com/muhammad-in-the-bible-by-dr-jamal-badawi/
And:
http://www.institutealislam.com/prophet-muhammad-in-the-bible-by-dr.-zakir-naik/

2. Link to Shamoun’s claims which I responded to in the course of this article (video entitled: Muhammad in the Bible? John 1:19-21):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xHJ7JEQOXQ&feature=channel_page

References

[1]
Volume 5, Book 59, Number 428
[2] Volume 4, Book 56, Number 777

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Alleged Quranic Contradiction Answered: How Long is a Day? 1000 or 50000 years?

The Critics Accuse The Quran of Contradiction Concerning The Length Of A Day.

The critic says:
‘Sura 22:47 and 32:5 tell us that one day to Allah actually means 1,000 years, but Sura 70:4 says a day with Allah is 50,000 years’ [1]

An unlearned individual may read the critic’s claim and feel it is a genuine contradiction. However closer scrutiny shows there is no contradiction and this claim is only borne out of the critic’s own misunderstanding of the text.

The Arabic word for day is ‘yawm’. Now this can be translated as a day, long period or epoch. As we see from the context the translation would either be long period or epoch as the verses are not referring to 24 hour periods (i.e. the conventional day). As the meaning is not a 24 hour day we realise that their is no contradiction as the term "yawm" can refer to many periods of time all with differing lengths of time. So please keep this in mind when reading this article. To be thorough we shall go into depth concerning their claim

As we further investigate we realise the reason why the length of these long periods or epochs are different (either 1,000 years or 50,000 years) is due to the verses referring to different events. In order to highlight this it is necessary to look at each of the verses individually:

22:47 - And they ask you to hasten on the torment! And Allâh fails not His Promise. And verily, a day with your Lord is as a thousand years of what you reckon. [2]

Tafsir Jalalayn tells us the day (long period/epoch) referred to in 22:47 is concerning a day in the Hereafter (in Hell) [5]. So we note that this verse is teaching us that the length of a regular day in Hell is equivalent to a thousand years.

32:5 - He arranges (every) affair from the heavens to the earth, then it (affair) will go up to Him, in one Day, the space whereof is a thousand years of your reckoning (i.e. reckoning of our present world's time) [3]

Tafsir Jalalayn teaches us the Quranic verse 32:5 is referring to a day (long period/epoch) which is equivalent to a thousand years is referring to the affairs taking a day to go up to Allah [6]. This takes a thousand years of our (human) measure and it is described as a yawm (day, long period or epoch).

70:4 - The angels and the Rûh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] ascend to Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years, [4]

Tafsir Jalalayn tells us this is concerning the Day of Resurrection [7], though this can also be obviously discerned by reading the verses by prior and after the verse in question (70:4). So essentially we realise that this verse tells us the Day of Resurrection is measured as 50,000 (fifty thousand) years. Tafsir Jalalayn does go further and mention it is of the perspective of the disbeliever; hence the Day will be different for the disbeliever (longer) and the believer (shorter). But for the purposes of this article it is sufficient to know this verse of the Quran (70:4) concerns the Day of Resurrection and is referring to a different event (not the same events mentioned in the two previous verses, 22:47 and 32:5)

Thus we realise the Quran speaks of three different events which last a specific amount of time (days):

1. Verse 22:47 concerns a day in the Hereafter (i.e. Hell) which lasts 1,000 years.
2. Verse 32:5 concerns the length of time (a day/long period/epoch) for the affairs to go up to Allah which consists of 1,000 earth years.
3. Verse 70:4 concerns the Day of Judgement which lasts 50,000 earth years for the disbeliever.

All three of these events all take a set amount of time. Two of them take 1,000 years of our reckoning while the last one takes 50,000 years of our reckoning.
So to summarise we can say there is no contradiction as the Quran is not speaking of the same event in each verse. Therefore we realise there is no contradiction at all.

The critic due to his/her lack of research conflates and confuses the three events into one and erroneously believes the three are all the same. This error on the part of the critics leads to their egregious and unscholarly claim which highlights the ignorance on the part of the critic.

May Allah guide us all. Ameen

And certainly Allah knows best.

Further Reading

http://www.ilovezakirnaik.com/misconceptions/b14.htm

References:

[1] Anatomy of the Quran by G.J.O Moshay Chick Productions 2007 pg 117

[2] Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan. Verse 22:47

[3] Ibid. Verse 32:5

[4] Ibid. Verse 70:4

[5] Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza. Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan. 2008. Concerning verse 22:47

[6] Ibid. Concerning verse 32:5

[7] Ibid. Concerning verse 70:4

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Alleged Contradiction in the Quran Refuted: Who was the First Muslim?

The Critics allege a contradiction against the Quran and ask; who was the first Muslim?

Secular critics such as the sceptics use this claim as well as Christians though I would imagine it was borne out of the Christian camp; it is used in evangelical Christian work such as GJO Moshay’s evangelism [1].

The critics point to two references from the Quran, 6:14 and 6:161-163, and claim these references show Muhammad as the first Muslim and then the critics turns their attention to another verse of the Quran (7;143) concerning Moses being the first of the believers. Just to further their agenda they may also highlight other Quranic references indicating there were Muslims before Muhammed (pbuh) and Moses namely the first man Adam (S. 2:30, 34-35, 37) and Abraham as well as other Prophets (S. 4:163, S. 6:84) as believers.

However they mainly use the Quranic verse about Moses (7:143) and try to put it along side the two concerning Muhammed (6:14 and 6:163) and they then allege contradiction/error

The Refutation
Quite simply, the Quran does not claim Muhammed nor Moses to be the first ever Muslim. The critic imposes a faulty understanding on the Quranic verses and alleges a contradiction when there is no contradiction/error. Despite this it is still thorough and beneficial to offer explanations in order to clear any confusion as well as help highlight the errors of the critics in the hope they realise their mistakes and abjure themselves and eventually become amongst the guided ones, Insha’Allah

I feel it is logical to begin this simple refutation with analysing the reference concerning Moses and then we shall build upon this in a methodical fashion so the reader can follow with ease. Did the Quran claim Moses to be the first ever believer?

7:143 sees Moses saying he is the first of the believers. However, we do see that this is true as he (Moses) was the first believer amongst his own people.

7:143. And when Mûsa (Moses) came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him, he said: "O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You." Allâh said: "You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me." So when his Lord appeared to the mountain[], He made it collapse to dust, and Mûsa (Moses) fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers." [2]

Moses does not say he is the first believer ‘ever’. He merely claims he is the first of the believers and knowing the context one understands he is not claiming to be the first ever believer from humankind but the first amongst his people to believe, this is apparent as it is a relative term to the "believers" and situational-context tells us that the believers at the time of Moses were essentially the Children of Israel and thus we realise that Moses is referring to himself as the first to believe amongst the Children of Israel.

The critic fails to mention this and tries to present this verse as meaning Moses is the first ever to believe amongst humanity, this is unfair and misleading on the part of the critic especially considering the word "ever" is not in the verse.

There is further clarification of the Arabic phrase of the Quran ascribed to Moses ("awwalu almumineena"= "first of the believers") as there is another reference in the Quran (26:51) where this term comes up and thus explaining the meaning of Moses’ statement of being the "first of the believers ("awwalu almumineena"). So we use a basic principle of Tafsir (explaining the Quran) by explaining a verse of the Quran (the verse concerning Moses, 7143) by using another part of the Quran (26:51). So what do we learn about the statement of Moses in 7:143 by looking at 26:51?

26:51. "Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Mûsa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allâh]." [3]
The context of this verse is Moses going to Pharaoh and preaching the Message and with the intention of freeing the enslaved Children of Israel. The verse (26:51) is teaching us what the sorcerers of the pharaoh said when they realised that Moses and Aaron were truthful in their preaching. Thus they became the first to believe amongst the people of Pharaoh and even use the same expression as Moses "awwala almumineena".

It is clear that they are not claiming to be the first ever to believe as Aaron and Moses (two people who were believers before them) were in front of them delivering the Message to Pharaoh and his people and they became believers due to the preaching (miracles) of Moses by the Will of Allah. Therefore we realise the term "awwala almumineena" (first of the believers) in the Quran (7:143) does not mean he is the first ever believer but it is a relative term.

Thus we realise that both the sayings of Moses (7:143) and the sorcerers (26:51) are relative to their situations and they are clearly not referring to themselves as the first ever believers but it does mean they are the first believers amongst their own people. We also realise the critics build there argument upon faulty information as well as error.

So now we know that Moses was not referring to himself as the first ever believer through the information presented. However, for thoroughness we can use the same method of Tafsir (i.e. ‘explanation of the Quran by the Quran’ [6]) to realise that Moses was speaking relative to his own time and people. We need look no further than the Quranic references to Adam (2:30-37) and we deduct that Adam came before Moses and was a believer therefore believed before Moses so we realise that the Quran is not presenting Moses as the first ever believer but as the first believer relative to the time and place Moses was in (i.e. the first to believe amongst his people). This is basic Tafsir and logic which the critic avoids. The critics have no authority (Tafsir writers such as Ibn Kathir etc) to support their claims which are merely erroneous self-imposed understandings based on ignorance of context and Tafsir.

Now we realise that the Quran did not put forward Moses (or the sorcerers) as the first ever Muslim (s) we still have the question; did the Quran claim Muhammed as the first ever Muslim? Well let us focus on the references in question. It is not up for debate whether Muhammad (pbuh) was the first Muslim or not. Quite simply he was the first Muslim in the sense that Muhammad was the first Muslim (i.e. who has submitted to God) amongst his own people (the Quraish) at that particular phase in history. This is completely correct. Hence there is no contradiction as Adam was the first Muslim ever while Muhammad was the first Muslim amongst his own people. There are two Quranic references (6:14 and 6:162-163) the critics bring up, so it is appropriate to analyse the two references.

The first of the Quranic references the critics cite (6:14) shows that Allah instructs Muhammed to "say” (Qul): "Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (as Muslims).":

6:14. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Shall I take as a Walî (helper, protector, etc.) any other than Allâh, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? And it is He Who feeds but is not fed." Say: "Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (as Muslims)." And be not you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Mushrikûn [polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh]. [4]

We also note the same applies to the second Quranic reference (6:162-163) in that it also begins with Qul (say) and Mohammed is instructed to say: “… I am the first of the Muslims”:
6:162. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
163. "He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." [5]
So we see that Muhammed is being instructed to say these words and we can refer to Von Denffer concerning Quranic verses, such as the two cited by the critics (6:14 and 6:162-163), which begin with Qul (say): “More than 200 passages in the Quran open with the word ‘Qul’ (say:), which is an instruction to the Prophet Muhammad to address the words following this introduction to his audience in a particular situation…” [7]

So the natural question is who is Muhammed’s audience for him to say these words to? The audience were the tribe of Quraish. The Quraish were Muhammed’s people (tribe) [8].Thus they were his foremost audience. Indeed Muhammed was the first Muslim amongst the Quraish who were a Pagan tribe.

Also we realise his immediate audience resided in Mecca as these two Quranic references are form the Meccan period, this shows that Muhammed’s audience was the Pagan Arabs of Mecca and the foremost of these Pagans in Mecca was his own people, the Quraish tribe. Thus we realise that Muhammad was to teach the Pagan audience in Mecca that he was the first Muslim. This was the context and we realise it is relative to the Quraish and thus refers to him being the first Muslim from amongst the Pagans of Quraish. Note he was not instructed to say this to Adam or earlier Prophets nor was he instructed to say this to the whole of humanity but he was instructed to say it “to his audience” (pg78) who were primarily the Quraish. How the critic misses this context is not worth too much thought at this juncture, the fact of the matter is that the critics completely miss the context and thus fall into error and onto the thorny path of misleading others with their erroneous claims.

Even not knowing the context one can realise that Quran is not referring to Muhammed as the first ever Muslim as the Quran does not qualify it with the word ‘ever’! However there is further unscholarly work on the part of the critic as the context is again realised through the rest of the verse (6:14):
And be not you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Mushrikûn [polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh]. [4]

This shows that Muhammed was instructed by Allah through the Quran to speak relatively to his people who were idolaters/disbelievers (Quraish)

Interestingly enough 6:163 uses a similarly structured term as the verse concerning Moses (7:143, "awwala almumineena"), thus we can deduce that “Awwalul-muslimeen” is not a term used by the Quran referring to the first ever Muslim and thus the context needs to be applied. The context shows that Muhammed is the first Muslim relative to his own time and place i.e. the first Muslim amongst his immediate audience (the Quraish) who were the Mushrikun.

It is disheartening to see the critics would overlook scholarship of explaining the Quran in favour of their own shoddy, misleading methodology of imposing their own understanding on the Quranic verses they choose to use. If they had an ounce of scholarship they would realise that their own warped understanding should not be imposed upon the Quran as there is a clear methodology to explain (tafsir) the Quran.

To further pour humiliation and refutation on the critic’s claims we can refer to the two undisputed modes of explaining the Quran; “Naturally, the explanation of the Quran by the Quran and the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet are two highest sources for tafsir, which cannot be matched nor superseded by any other source”. [6]

So let us use the Quran to explain the Quran as “many of the questions which may arise out of a certain passage of the Quran have their explanation in other parts of the very same book, and often there is no need to turn to any sources other than the word of Allah, which in itself contains tafsir”. [6]

Strangely and worryingly enough we see the critics ignoring the use of the Quran and the Hadith (of the Prophet Muhammed) in favour of their own views. This is intellectual savagery and quite frankly a butchering of the science of tafsir. Now we know the two primary methods of explaining the Quran are the Quran and the Hadith (of the Prophet).

So if we use the Quran we realise that Mohammed is not being put forward as the first ever Muslim as the Quran (elsewhere) refers to earlier Prophets who are believers. Hence we realise that the Quranic references (6:163, 6:14) do not teach us that Muhammed is the first ever Muslim.

Now to use the other form of Tafsir we need not look further than these hadith (from the Prophet Muhammed (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 290, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 555 and Volume 1, Book 5, Number 277) to realise that the Muslims (including Muhammed) never believed Muhammed was the first Muslim ever as he mentions other prophets in the past tense and through the text we realise these prophets are indeed believers who came before Muhammed’s time, and these Prophets ( who were believers) existed before Muhammed on this earth and believed before Muhammed as Muhammed had not even been born at the time. So this highlights that the Quran is not teaching us that the Prophet Muhammed is the first ever Muslim contrary to the fanciful claims of the critics.

To further highlight the misleading vehicle which is the critic’s claim we can look to the authoritative Tafsir (explanations) of the relevant verses by the early Muslim scholars, strikingly enough; none of them hold the belief of the critics!

So, in essence, the critic abandons scholarship, reasoning and research in favour of their own clouded, ignorant and embarrassing methodology in order to level an accusation of contradiction/error at the Quran. This leads them to arguing a false point and attributing their own inexact, ignorant and distorted views on the Quran and claiming a non-existent contradiction.

The fact remains the Quran does not put either Muhammed or Moses forward as the first ever Muslim. Nor does the Quran put forward Abraham or anybody after the time of Adam as the first Muslim. The Quran does not explicitly tell us who the first ever Muslim was but we can deduce it was Adam.

Thus it becomes clear that there is no contradiction in the Quran and we realise that the critics essentially show themselves to be unscholarly in omitting the context or not knowing the context and thus rendering their work misleading, confusing and full of error.

It is thoroughness to mention the other references a critic may bring up despite these other references not impacting upon what has been mentioned above, however it is still beneficial to know what the critic may bring up such as 2:132, this Quranic reference does not mention anybody as a first Muslim/believer here but critics would bring this up to show Abraham and Jacob to be Muslims (i.e. Muslims before Muhammed). This still does not impact on anything said earlier as the critic argues a straw man and claim the Quran states something which it does not. I stress again; the Quran does mention Muhammed or Moses as being the first EVER Muslims. The context of the Quran is clear, they (Moses and Muhammad) are the first to believe amongst their people.

The critic also cites Quranic references about Adam (2:30-37). Despite these references not exactly saying Adam was the first Muslim we still know by the way of context and deduction that Adam was the first believer in God amongst mankind. This does not impact on the reference concerning Moses (7:143) who was the first of the believers amongst his own people and nor does it impact on the references about Muhammad (6:14 and 6: 161-163) who was commanded to be and indeed was the first to submit to Allah amongst his own Pagan people (Quraish)

The other citations (S. 4:163, S. 6:83-87) the critic may bring forth highlight to us that there were a number of guided people (Messengers) before Muhammed. This is the Muslim believe, all Muslims are aware of this so it should be realised by the critic that this is not knew information to the Muslim. It is also important to reiterate; none of this impacts on the fact that Muhammed and Moses were the first to believe amongst their own people and not the first to believe (ever) amongst human kind. Also the more astute critics may point to the religion of Hanif and followers of the Abrahamic traditions of the past, however the teachings of Abraham (and Ishmael) became diluted with the gradual introduction of innovations, superstitions and idol-worship. Eventually ‘idolatry spread all over Makkah’ and thus the people left the Abrahamic teachings [9]. This was many years prior to Muhammed’s time so this does not impact on what has been said earlier either. There are traditions of four friends who rejected the idol-worshipping of Mecca and went out in search of an alternative, this does not impact on the fact that Muhammed was the first Muslim amongst the Quraish either.

Finally, after showing the critics to be wrong, it is worthy of mention to bring up the concerted efforts of critics in the past in order to find a critical claim of contradiction/error to stick (concerning the Holy Quran) despite their past work and the work of their contemporaries we see that they have failed and not found anything which people can honestly call a contradiction in the Quran, all this despite their best efforts.

Of course Allah knows best and we ask Allah do guide and help us further. Ameen.

References


1. Anatomy of the Quran by G.J.O Moshay Chick Productions 2007 pg 116
2. 7:143 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
3. 26:51 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
4. 6:14 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
5. 6:162-163 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
6. Ulum al Quran, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer, The Islamic Foundation 2003 pg 124
7. Ulum al Quran, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer, The Islamic Foundation 2003 pg 78
8. Islam A Short History by Karen Armstrong, Phoenix Press, 2001, pg 3
9. Ar-Raheequl-Makhtum by Safi-ur-Rahman
Al-Mubarakpuri, Darussalam, 2002 pg 45