On the Deity of the Holy Spirit [Part 2]
Abdullah Smith has written a series of replies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) to my rebuttal to his attack on the blessed Holy Spirit of God (*).
Here, we will be addressing the claims raised in the last part of his replies series (5).
Our goal is to show that Smith produced tons of pages which did very little to refute our points. He only managed to compound the problems for his position, as well as demonstrating that he is far from qualified to respond to Christian truth claims or to defend his Islamic faith. He plagiarizes and distorts material from sources without thinking critically enough to see whether these quotes and claims actually help his case, or only further hinder it.
Smith says in regard to the verses I posted showing Allah asking questions that:
God is not asking questions.
It is obvious God knew the answers beforehand and He is asking "questions" to provoke a response.
It is only obvious to one who begs the question, as Smith does and as we shall show. He later says:
God was not asking questions out of ignorance, He pre-conceived the answers to these rhetorical questions. If God never asked "questions" to procure a dialogue to disseminate knowledge, it would be fruitless to develop a relationship between His prophets.
Smith has used several terms in a wrong sense, such as claiming that Allah "preconceived" answers to questions which were "rhetorical" in nature. An online dictionary defines preconceive as:
to form a conception or opinion of beforehand, as before seeing evidence or as a result of previously held prejudice.
American Heritage Dictionary
To form (an opinion, for example) before possessing full or adequate knowledge or experience. (Source)
Does Smith want to say that Allah formed an opinion without first seeing the evidence, or without having full or adequate knowledge? Or did he mean to say that God foreknew the answers? If so, he has used the wrong word to convey his point.
And here are the definitions given for rhetorical questions:
a question asked solely to produce an effect or to make an assertion and not to elicit a reply, as "What is so rare as a day in June?"
American Heritage Dictionary
A question to which no answer is expected, often used for rhetorical effect.
American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
A question asked without expecting an answer but for the sake of emphasis or effect. The expected answer is usually "yes" or "no." For example, Can we improve the quality of our work? That's a rhetorical question. [Late 1800s]
n : a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered; "he liked to make his points with rhetorical questions" (Source)
A rhetorical question is a figure speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer. ("How many times do I have to tell you to stop walking into the house with mud on your shoes?").
A rhetorical question seeks to encourage reflection within the listener as to what the answer to the question (at least, the answer implied by the questioner) must be. When a speaker declaims, "How much longer must our people endure this injustice?" or "Will our company grow or shrink?", no formal answer is expected. Rather, it is a device used by the speaker to assert or deny something. (Source; underline emphasis ours)
In light of the foregoing, it is obvious that none of the hadiths I presented had rhetorical questions in mind since the entities that were questioned by Allah replied back. If these were in fact rhetorical questions then the parties involved would not have been required to answer any of Allahs questions.
Clearly, Smith has attached the wrong meanings to these words and has used them in the wrong contexts.
Moreover, it maybe obvious to Smith that Allah knew the answers beforehand because he has already assumed that Allah knows all things. Yet not all Muslims thought Allah knew everything since they believed that the future was unknown even to him. For instance, Muslim scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub lists Ar-Razi's response to those who used Sura 3:143 as proof that Allah does not know the future:
"Razi is interested in the theological problems raised by the phrase in order that God may know. He argues that the literal sense of God's saying, "in order that God may know" would suggest that God alternated [the days] IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE. Obviously, this is impossible of God. Razi cites verse 143, and a number of other verses where this phrase, or one like it, occurs. He alleges that Hisham b. al-Hakkam, a well-known disciple of the Sixth Imam Jafar al-Sadiq, used such verses to argue that God does not know incidents until they occur. The answer of the theologians to this argument, Razi says, is that rational proofs have conclusively established that no change ever occurs in God's knowledge. The linguistic usage of calling something that is known with the metaphor "knowledge," or something that is subject to power with the metaphor "power" is well known. Thus any Qur'anic verse the literal sense of which indicates acquisition of knowledge [by God] actually means the occurrence of a known.
Razi then presents several possible interpretations of this phrase. First that sincerity may be distinguished from hypocrisy and the person of faith from the rejecter of faith. Secondly, that the friends (awliya) of God may know, though He attributes this knowledge to Himself by way of exalting them. Thirdly, that God may judge in accordance with this distinction, but such judgment cannot happen except with knowledge. Finally, that God may know this [i.e., faith and patience] to have actually occurred from them, although He knew that it would occur. This is because recompense must be accorded for something which actually is, and not for something which is known to occur in the future. Razi seems to prefer the first of these interpretations (Razi, IX, pp. 14-18)" (Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume II, The House of Imran [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1992], p. 330; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Notice the warped logic of ar-Razi, which is quite similar to Smiths reasoning. "May know" doesn't really mean that, it really means the occurrence of something known! Another commentator troubled by these passages was Tabarsi. Ayoub writes:
"Tabarsi is specially concerned with the theological implications of the phrase in order that God know
Tabarsi offers a number of explanations of God's knowledge as described in this verse, all aimed at affirming God's absolute and eternal omniscience. In order that God may know those who truly have faith means in order that He may know them as being distinguished by their faith from all others. Hence, the words in order that He may know do not mean being informed, for the meaning is not that He does not know them as objects of knowledge in themselves, but that He may know them as distinguished by faith. They MAY also mean in order that God may know those who have faith by the manifestation of their steadfastness in striving against their enemies. This is to say, God would treat them as one who knows them to be in this condition, even though He knows them before the manifestation of their faith as He does after it. It is that he knows before they had manifested their faith that they will do so. When they ad in fact manifested their faith, He knew them as such; hence change occurs, not in the knower, but in the known. The words MAY also mean in order that the friends of God may know, though God attributed this knowledge to Himself by way of honoring them. It is also possible that they mean in order that the patience of those who shall be patient, the fright of those who are cowardly, and the faith of the faithful may appear and be known. They MAY also mean in order that sincerity and hypocrisy of the people may be manifested (Tabarsi, IV, pp. 208-210)." (Ibid., pp. 331, 332; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
See how many explanations Tabarsi had to come up with to avoid the plain meaning of the Quran! And yet some of his explanations are even more incoherent, as in his claim that "may know" doesn't mean that Allah doesn't already know but that he may know believers by there being distinguished by their faith. His other explanation is even more amazing, i.e. that Allah is not saying that he may know but that the believers may know, and yet he attributed their ignorance to himself in order to honor them! How wonderful, Allah honors his servants by ascribing ignorance to himself! For more on Allah's imperfect knowledge please read this article.
Another Muslim writer admits that:
Great Scholars and Shaikhs?
Exposing his ignorance of Islamic knowledge and its people, Sami cackles, "lol you guys are so pathetic you attack jamal badawi, shabir ally, zakir naik, and many other great scholars and sheikhs. you guys live in your own world, well guess what, all the non-salafee muslims dont have to listen to your rubbish." Aside from the fact that the names Sami mentions are far from "great scholars and sheikhs," the fact that each of the people named by brother Sami all have legitimate criticisms held against them pretty much renders Samis assertion here as nothing more than accusations based on love of personalities rather than love of truth and Sunnah.
As the old adage goes, "know the men by the truth and not the truth by the men." This is how we Salafees judge the people. Take Shabir Ally, for examplea man I have known personally for some time. He is very similar to Samis beloved Osama in that he accepts and rejects authentic hadeeths according to what agrees or disagrees with his flawed reasoning and intellect. Worse than that, however, is the fact that he holds the heretic belief of the Qadarees: that Allah does not know things until they happen. He has been advised by many over the past few years (including brother Dr. Bilal Philips) and continues in vain to prove his views as valid by way of semantic tomfoolery. He attempts to dupe his opponents into thinking that he does not really believe that Allah does not know everything using sophistry. However, despite his repeated endeavoursagain, similar to Osamashe continues to expose that he still holds the same twisted notions and heretic beliefs concerning Allahs pre-destination and foreknowledge of everything that is, was and will be. (Rasheed Gonzales, Issues of Knowledge, and Other Things: A Reply to Sami Zaatari; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
The foregoing also exposes Smiths assertion when he says later on that:
Shamoun has seriously misunderstood Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586. Here is the passage:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allahs Apostle said, "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him? (See Hadith No. 246,Vol. 2). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586)
This is very popular Hadith; no Muslims have been deceived by false interpretations that Allah is not all-Knowing. The nature of this Hadith is very poetic, its not meant to be taken literally. God is established above His throne, only His presence descends to earth.
God is not asking questions, he is waiting for believers to supplicate and invoke His name. The Prophet Muhammad is describing how God showers blessings on the believers at nighttime.
In light of the statements of Ayoub and Gonzales, Smith is clearly overstating his case that "no Muslim has been deceived by false interpretations that Allah is not all-knowing." There were (and continue to be according to Gonzales) Muslims who, on the basis of the Arabic texts of the Quran and Islamic narrations, come to the conclusion that Allah doesnt really know everything.
Smith next attempts to evade the hadith statements regarding Allahs ignorance by appealing to the genre of "parable."
Regarding Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 597, we can apply Shamouns explanation and say that God is procuring a discussion between this man, God already knew the answer, he wanted the man to confess his fear of God, and that explains why He asked him "Why did you do so?", the man was forced to confess.
Smith has basically taken my own explanation which I used to explain similar biblical texts which he raised to undermine Gods perfect omniscience. Talk about being inconsistent! As if this werent bad enough, Smith also does a truly remarkable thing by quoting the Holy Bible, specifically Exodus 4:1-3, to prove that God doesnt ask questions because he needs to learn or discover something.
This simply exposes Smiths inconsistency and double standards. Recall that Smith initially set out to prove that the God of the Bible was ignorant because of passages such as Exodus where he asks questions, but he now turns around and cites these very same texts to show that Allah doesnt ask questions in the Quran in order to discover the outcome or answers that he doesnt already know!
We, therefore, need to ask him if these responses are good enough to explain away these Quranic texts that highlight the ignorance of his false deity then on what grounds does Smith want to question the perfect knowledge of the biblical God? If he is able to reconcile these Quranic references with his belief in Allahs perfect knowledge then why didnt he apply the same method of harmonization to the Holy Bible?
Shamoun has not informed us, but many Hadith stories are parables, they are not based on actual facts, Jesus also used parables that were not based on fact.
Here is the definition of "parable"
1. moral or religious story: a short simple story intended to illustrate a moral or religious lesson. (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary)
A short moral story (often with animal characters) [syn: fable, allegory, apologue] 2: (New Testament) any of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message; "the parable of the prodigal son" (www.dictionary.com)
According to these definitions, parables are not factual; they are metaphorical stories to teach a moral lesson.
Smith again shows that he doesnt know what a parable is or isnt. A parable, specifically ones used in the Holy Bible, takes everyday events in order to illustrate specific spiritual and/or moral truths. Take, for instance, Jesus parables of the sower and the seed, the lost coin, the lost sheep etc. All of these illustrations include examples from every day life, i.e. we know that there are actual sowers that sow seed, that people do lose coins, that sheep do get lost etc. Thus, even if we assume that these hadiths were parables this still doesnt rule out the fact that they are using real phenomena as helpful illustrations. They would be based on what supposedly occurs (or will occur) in the spiritual realm.
Or is Smith trying to say that these are fables and myths which the compilers of the hadith used to illustrate moral truths? He wouldnt be the first Muslim to admit that the Islamic source materials contain legends and fairy-tales (here).
More importantly, to illustrate that these specific hadiths are intending to convey actual phenomena that allegedly occur or shall occur, and are not merely a "parable" in the sense that Smith understands the word, note the following hadith which I had cited:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allahs Apostle said, "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him? (See Hadith No. 246,Vol. 2). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586)
This is clearly intending to convey what allegedly occurs at the third part of the night. Allah supposedly descends so as to forgive those who seek his intercession. Now Smith may say that Allah doesnt literally descend, so this is clearly using metaphor. The problem with this view is that whether the descent is actual or metaphorical, it is still narrating what supposedly transpires during the night. It is not parabolic.
Furthermore, Muslims such as the Salafis say that Allah does literally descend (1, 2).
Thus, if Smith wants to say the descent is not literal (as he tries to do here, which again exposes his inconsistency since in this recent "rebuttal" he doesnt question the reality of this hadith, i.e. he doesnt view it as a parable but as an event which Allah engages in!) then he would be doing so not on the basis of what the text actually says, but on what he thinks the text should be saying. It would be his a priori position that would be guiding the exegesis of the text, i.e. he has already assumed that Allah doesnt literally move around so the descent cannot be actual.
Smith also cites passages from the Quran and hadiths which claim that Allah knows everything. There are a couple of problems with this approach. First, he assumes that the Quran is consistent with itself, that it does not contain any contradictions. In reality, the only thing that Smith has proven by citing references that say Allah knows all things is that the Quran does indeed contradict itself. In certain places the Quran says Allah needs to ask questions, is ignorant of future events etc., yet in other places it claims that he does know whatever goes on in the heavens and the earth. For more on the contradictions of the Quran please consult this section.
Second, the Holy Bible is replete with references saying that God knows everything and has infinite, perfect knowledge:
"Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?" Job 37:16
"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me inbehind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain." Psalm 139:1-6
"He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:4-5
"Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." Isaiah 46:9-11
"Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:8
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10:29-30
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Hebrews 4:13
But this still didnt stop Smith from attacking the perfect knowledge of the true God and citing verses that he thought ascribed ignorance to Yahweh. This is yet another example of how inconsistent and dishonest Smith really is.
Smith now commits one of the worst blunders ever and somehow thinks that his next example proves his point!
The Prophet asked questions in order to disseminate knowledge:
Once I was with the Prophet in the mosque at the time of sunset. The Prophet said, "O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know best." He said, "It goes and prostrates underneath (Allah's) Throne; and that is Allah's Statement:--
'And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (decreed). And that is the decree of All-Mighty, the All-Knowing....' (36.38) (Narrated by Abu Dharr, Sahih Bukhari)
The Prophet knew the place where the sun sets, but he wanted a response from his companion so he can teach him wisdom!
Anyone who knows anything about science sees how ridiculous this hadith is. The sun does not travel to Allahs throne, which is supposed to be located above the seventh heaven, in order to prostrate before it from whence it then returns back on its course:
There are two views over the meaning of the phrase
<on its fixed course for a term (appointed).> (The first view) is that it refers to its fixed course of location, which is beneath the Throne, BEYOND the earth in that direction. Wherever it goes, it is beneath the Throne, it and all of creation, because the Throne is the ROOF of creation and it is not a sphere as many astronomers claim. Rather it is A DOME SUPPORTED BY LEGS OR PILLARS, CARRIED BY THE ANGELS, and it is ABOVE the universe, ABOVE the heads of people. When the sun is at its zenith at noon, it is in its closest position to the Throne, and when it runs in its fourth orbit at the opposite point to its zenith, at midnight, it is in its furthest position from the Throne. At that point it prostrates and asks permission to rise, as mentioned in the Hadiths.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I was with the Prophet in the Masjid at sunset, and he said
((O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets?)) I said, Allah and His Messenger know best. He said
((It goes and prostrates itself beneath the Throne, and that is what Allah says: <And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.>))
It was also reported that Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ayah
<And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term.>
((Its fixed course is beneath the Throne.))"
(The second view) is that this refers to when the sun's appointed time comes to an end, which will be on the Day of Resurrection, when its fixed course will be abolished, it will come to a halt and it will be rolled up. This world will come to an end, and that will be the end of its appointed time. This is the fixed course of its time ... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), (Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: September 2000], Volume 8, pp. 196-197; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Thus, this hadith shows that both Allah and his messenger were grossly ignorant about scientific phenomena, proving that Allah is indeed an ignorant deity!
Smith tries to do some damage control by seeking to explain away all those texts that I cited which said that Allah repents and forgets. He claims that the more authentic translation of the word Tawwaab is relent and then cites three translations to support his position:
Here is the authentic translation of 2:37, 2:54
YUSUFALI: Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful.
SHAKIR: Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (2:37)
None of the passages mention God is "repentant". God forgave the sin of Adam by guiding him, "Adam received commandments from his Lord".
Why would God repent? It was Adam who needed to repent for his transgression, not God.
It is quite amazing how Smith thinks that these versions are proving his case when in fact they are actually backfiring against him. For instance, note that the versions of Y. Ali and Shakir say that Allah turned to/towards Adam after the latter had turned to/towards Allah. The word repent implies making a turn from one course of action to another, or to turn ones thoughts around, and yet this turning implies a change in direction and thinking. To, therefore, say that Allah turned to Adam means that the former changed his thoughts and actions towards the latter! And to answer Smiths question, the reason why Allah needed to repent is because he was going to punish Adam for his sins until he had a change of mind in light of Adams repentance.
As if his hypocrisy couldnt get any worse, Smith tries to show that the Arabic doesnt mean that Allah literally repents on the basis of the meaning of an English word used in an English translation!
The Arabic language is very deep and eloquent, the Arabic words Huwat Tawwaab does not necessarily mean God Himself repented, the Quran signifies the central factor that Adam was repentant, and forgiven, but the actual repentance of Adam ("I repent O Lord") is not recorded, so Huwat Tawwaab means God relented towards Adam, that is why Pickthal uses the word "relented". Here is the definition:
To become more sympathetic or amenable and do something previously ruled out or allow something previously forbidden. 
To become more lenient, compassionate, or forgiving. 
The disbelievers are constantly warned about Gods punishment, they are urged to repent and save themselves:
Do they then expect (any thing) but (what happened in) the days of the men who passed away before them? Say: "wait ye then: for I, too, will wait with you." (Al-Quran 10:102)
Therefore proclaim thou the praises (of thy Lord): for by the Grace of thy Lord, thou art no (vulgar) soothsayer, nor art thou one possessed. Or do they say:- "A Poet! we await for him some calamity (hatched) by Time!" Say thou: "Await ye!- I too will wait along with you!" Is it that their faculties of understanding urge them to this, or are they but a people transgressing beyond bounds? (Al-Quran 52:29-31)
Repentance is human, God forgives those who sincerely repent, and He does not accept sarcastic repentance or fake supplications.
The late scholar Abul Ala Mawdudi explains the word Huwat Tawwaab
This means that when Adam became conscious of his act of sin and wanted to return from his state of disobedience to that of obedience, and when he tried to seek remission for his sin from God, he was unable to find the words to use in his prayer to God. In His Mercy God taught him the words with which he could pray.
The word tawbah basically denotes to come back, to turn towards someone. Tawbah, on the part of man, signifies that he has given up his attitude of disobedience and has returned to submission and obedience to God. The same word used in respect of God means that He has mercifully turned towards His repentant servant so that the latter has once more become an object of His compassionate attention. (Towards Understanding the Quran, vol 1. p. 65)
Smith must have forgotten what he wrote here since in a recent article he claims that:
While the English Bible is sacred to Christians, the Holy Quran is the Word of God in Arabic alone. There exists only ONE Quran but multiple Bible versions. The NIV (1973) and KJV (1611) are based on different text-types. The Bibles contradict each other because they follow different readings 1. The Holy Quran is preserved and fully intact, the English translators may vary, but doesnt mean the Arabic text changes. The English translations of the Quran are a choice of words. Yet, there are so many versions of the Bible! (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
He brushes aside the vast differences between the various English versions of the Quran on the grounds that the Quran is in Arabic. Yet here is trying to build his case on an English version! To see how the Arabic text of the Quran is not uniform even till this day, please consult these materials.
Moreover, he obviously failed to grasp the point of Mawdudi:
The same word used in respect of God means that He has mercifully TURNED towards His repentant servant so that the latter has once more become an object of His compassionate attention.
Again, for Allah to turn this requires that he changes his direction and course of action. In other words, Allah has to repent!
Instead of looking at an English translation we shall consult the Arabic text to see whether the words used for Allah repenting imply that Allah does change his mind:
Then Adam received commandments from his Lord, and his Lord repented (fataba) towards him; for He is Oft-Repenting (huwa al-tawwabu), Most Merciful. S. 2:37
And remember Moses said to his people: O my people! ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf; so repent (fataboo) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker. Then He repented (fataba) towards you: for He is Oft-Repenting (huwa al-tawwabu), Most Merciful. S. 2:54
Our Lord! And make us submissive unto you and of our seed a nation submissive unto you, and show us our ways of worship, and repent (watub) toward us. Lo! You, only You, are the Oft-Repenting (anta al-tawwabu), the Merciful. S. 2:128
Except those who repent (taboo) and make amends and openly declare: To them I repent (atoobu); for I am Oft-Repenting (wa ana al-tawwabu), Most Merciful. S. 2:160
Do they not know that Allah accepts repentance (al-tawbata) from His servants, and takes alms; and that Allah is He who is Oft-Repenting (huwa al-tawwabu) and merciful. S. 9:104
And to the three who were left behind, until the earth became strait to them notwithstanding its spaciousness and their souls were also straightened to them; and they knew it for certain that there was no refuge from Allah but in Him; then He repented (taba) to them that they might repent (liyatooboo); surely Allah is the Oft-repenting (huwa al-tawwabu), the Merciful. S. 9:118
These texts clearly show Allah turning towards his creatures by repenting or changing his mind or the course of action he was going to take against them.
Since Smith has tried desperately to deny that Allah literally repents from doing certain things by changing his mind, we bring to his attention what Moses supposedly commanded the Israelites to do in Q. 2:54. He allegedly commanded them to turn or repent of their sins, which would result in Allah turning to them and repenting of the destruction that he was to bring on them for their evil act. In other words, just as we are to assume that the text is expressly stating that the Israelites were called to actually change their thoughts and actions we are also to assume that Allah would also literally change his attitude towards them by refraining from carrying out the destruction he intended to bring on them.
As if this werent enough to prove that Allah literally repents according to the Quran, note how the very words used in connection with Allah repenting, i.e. taba and tawwab, are applied in these other passages to denote actual repentance or change of mind and/or actions:
They will question thee concerning the monthly course. Say: 'It is hurt; so go apart from women during the monthly course, and do not approach them till they are clean. When they have cleansed themselves, then come unto them as God has commanded you.' Truly, God loves those who repent (al-tawwabeena), and He loves those who cleanse themselves. S. 2:222 Arberry
And when two of you commit indecency, punish them both; but if they repent (taba) and make amends, then suffer them to be; God turns, and is All-compassionate. S. 4:16 Arberry
And to Thamood their brother Salih; he said, 'O my people, serve God! You have no god other than He. It is He who produced you from the earth and has given you to live therein; so ask forgiveness of Him, then repent (tooboo) to Him; surely my Lord is nigh, and answers prayer. S. 11:61 Arberry
Save him who repenteth (taba) and believeth and doth righteous work; as for such, Allah will change their evil deeds to good deeds. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. And whosoever repenteth (taba) and doeth good, he verily repenteth (yatoobu) toward Allah with true repentance (mataban). S. 25:70-71 Pickthall
Believers, turn (tooboo) to God in sincere repentance (tawbatan); it may be that your Lord will acquit you of your evil deeds, and will admit you into gardens underneath which rivers flow. Upon the day when God will not degrade the Prophet and those who believe with him, their light running before them, and on their right hands; and they say, Our Lord, perfect for us our light, and forgive us; surely Thou art powerful over everything. S. 66:8 Arberry
The foregoing demonstrates beyond a doubt that when taba and tawwab are used of Allah we are to take this to mean that Allah literally changes his mind and his course of action.
The Quran provides further evidence that Allah does indeed change his mind and repents, since it ascribes certain emotions to him:
And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. S. 2:190 Shakir
And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good. S. 2:195 Shakir
And when he turneth away (from thee) his effort in the land is to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle; and Allah loveth not mischief. S. 2:205 Pickthall
Allah does not bless usury, and He causes charitable deeds to prosper, and Allah does not love any ungrateful sinner. S. 2:276 Shakir
Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Say: Obey Allah and the messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loveth not the disbelievers (in His guidance). S. 3:31-32 Pickthall
Yea, whoever fulfills his promise and guards (against evil) -- then surely Allah loves those who guard (against evil). S. 3:76 Shakir
Those who spend (of that which Allah hath given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loveth the good; S. 3:134 Pickthall
What this basically means is that Allahs emotions change depending on the actions a specific individual takes. For instance, if a person does right Allah will then love him, but if that same person abandons what is right in Allahs sight then Allah will no longer love him. Likewise, Allah will not love anyone who does what is evil, but if that individual repents then Allah will start loving him. Yet in order for Allah to start or stop loving someone he must have a change of mind and emotions, i.e. he has to change his attitude towards anyone who repents or turns away from doing what pleases him.
Smith again resorts to quoting the Bible to prove his case. He cites Exodus 32:14 where the Arabic uses the word tawwab for the Hebrew nacham, which the KJV translates as God repented, and argues that the KJV is a wrong translation. His reason for doing this is to defend his premise that Allah doesnt actually repent. It seems that we need to again remind Smith that he initially tried to prove in his paper through the use of such passages that the true God was ignorant since he needed to change his mind. In light of this, he cannot now turn this around by citing these very passages to disprove that his god repents.
As if this werent bad enough, he reverts back to his initial position by attacking the Bible for claiming that God changes his mind! Note what he says:
God decides to change his mind:
"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line. (1 Samuels 2:30-31)
He will also say:
The Biblical descriptions of God are not metaphors; they are perverted depictions which have no Divine inspiration. Did God actually inspire these verses? The Quran never portrays God as one "sleeping" or "forgetting". Only the pornographic Bible records statements of God riding naked angels, or cherubs. The fact is Christian artists have always painted angels as naked woman, and the inspiration is derived the Bible.
Smith doesnt know what he wants to believe regarding the Holy Bible, i.e. are these metaphors and poetic descriptions of God which are not to be taken literally? Or are they literal depictions of God which should be rejected?
Smith goes on to repeat the charge that tawwab doesnt mean that Allah actually repents, which we will omit since this has been fully addressed and there is no need to repeat ourselves.
He tries to deny that Allah literally forgets by, once again, appealing to texts where Allah is said to be all-knowing and therefore interpreting forgetting to mean ignoring. But Smith fails to realize that the Quran provides amble evidence that Allah forgets things, especially past events. For instance, Allah forgot that the baby Moses was taken in by Pharaohs daughter, not Pharaohs wife (*).
He forgot that he gave Moses two tablets on two separate occasions, not many (more than two) as the Quran erroneously claims (*).
Allah also forgot that he didnt flood Egypt during the time of Moses (*).
Allah doesnt remember whether Israels response to the covenant was that they would obey or disobey (*).
He further forgot that Jesus mother was not the sister of Moses and Aaron (*).
It must have slipped his mind that John the Baptist wasnt the first one called by that name, or that Yahya is not the Aramaic and Hebrew forms of his name (*).
If Allah cant accurately recall all these past events how can he then be trusted to perfectly remember on the Day of Judgment all that an individual has done? Isnt it rather clear from the foregoing that Allah does literally forget?
Shamoun quotes another poetic Hadith by misunderstanding it
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah created the creation, and when He finished from His creation the Rahm (womb) got up, and Allah said (to it). Stop! What do you want? It said; At this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kinship.) Allah said: Would you be pleased that I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relation with you? It said: Yes, O my Lord. Allah said (to it), That is for you." And then Abu Huraira recited the Verse:-- "Would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship." (47.22) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 593)
God is not asking questions to His own creation! God is personifying his creation, and the Prophet is using Personification, which means:
A figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form, (1)
The Prophet is teaching his companions to respect the creations of God, to keep the earth clean, so God wont sever relations with us.
Smith erroneously thinks that Muhammad was merely using personification in order to illustrate some moral or spiritual point. Smith has obviously not taken the time to read what his own Islamic scholars have said about this matter. For instance the translator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, has this interesting footnote to the hadith of the sun prostrating before Allahs throne:
The procedure of the sun mentioned in this Hadith and similar other things mentioned in the Quran like the prostration of the trees, herbs and stars (V. 55:6) are beyond our limited knowledge of this universe. It is interpreted that these are mentioned so because of the limited understanding of the people at that time about matters of the universe. (Bold emphasis ours)
Other narrations unashamedly teach that inanimate objects actually have intellect, emotions, can speak etc.
It was narrated by Muhammad Ibn Tarif, narrated by Muhammad Ibn Fadil, narrated by Abu Hayan, narrated by Atta, narrated by Ibn Umar who said, "We were with the prophet may Allahs prayer and peace be upon him on a journey when we were approached by a Bedouin.
When the prophet saw him he said to him, To where are you heading? The Bedouin said, To my family. The prophet asked, Do you wish to have a good thing? The Bedouin asked, What would that be? The prophet replied, To bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, who has no partners and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
The Bedouin asked, And who will testify to what you say? The prophet answered, This tree will. So the prophet called to the tree that was in a valley by the seashore and it came to him, crawling on the ground until it stood up right between his hands. So the prophet made the tree say the Shahada three times and then it returned to where it was planted before.
The Bedouin then returned to his people and said, If they follow me I will bring them (to Muhammad) otherwise I will return to him myself." (Sunan Al-Darimi, written by Ibn Kathir, Hadith number 16, Section One: The Introduction, Entry title: "What Allah has graced His prophet with that which causes trees, animals and Jinn to believe in him," source; translated by Dimitrius)
Note how this tree had the ability to recite the shahada, the Muslim confession of faith, which presupposes that it has a voice box! And:
Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The Jews will fight with you, and you will be given victory over them so that a stone will say, O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; kill him!" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 791; see also Book 52, Number 177)
Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews. (Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6985)
Not only do impersonal objects like trees speak according to Muhammad, but they can also cry and prostrate as well!
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
The Prophet used to stand by a stem of a date-palm tree (while delivering a sermon). When the pulpit was placed for him we heard that stem crying like a pregnant she-camel till the Prophet got down from the pulpit and placed his hand over it. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 13, Number 41)
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
The Prophet used to stand by a tree or a date-palm on Friday. Then an Ansari woman or man said. "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we make a pulpit for you?" He replied, "If you wish." So they made a pulpit for him and when it was Friday, he proceeded towards the pulpit (for delivering the sermon). The date-palm cried like a child! The Prophet descended (the pulpit) and embraced it while it continued moaning like a child being quietened. The Prophet said, "It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of religious knowledge given near to it." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 784)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: On the night of my Ascent (Mi'raj) I met Abraham and he said to me: Muhammad, convey my salam to your people and tell them that Paradise is a vast plain of pure soil and sweet water and that its TREES CRY: Holy is Allah, all praise is due to Allah, there is none worthy of worship save Allah, and Allah is Great. Transmitted by Tirmidhi. (Hadith of al-Tirmidhi, Number 439 ALIM CD-ROM Version)
Once when Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was with a number of the Emigrants and Helpers a camel came and prostrated itself before him. Thereupon his companions said, "Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) beasts and TREES prostrate themselves before you, but we have the greatest right to do so." He replied, "Worship your Lord and honour your brother. If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I should order a woman to prostrate herself before her husband. If he were to order her to convey stones from a yellow mountain to a black one, or from a black mountain to a white one, it would be incumbent on her to do so." Ahmad transmitted it. (Hadith of al-Tirmidhi, Number 963 ALIM CD-ROM Version)
AbuTalib went to ash-Sham (Syria) accompanied by the Prophet (may Allah bless him) along with some shaykhs of Quraysh. When they came near where the monk was they alighted and loosened their baggage, and the monk came out to them although when they had passed that way previously he had not done so. While they were loosening their baggage the monk began to go about among them till he came and, taking Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) by the hand, said, "This is the chief of the universe; this is the messenger of the Lord of the universe whom Allah is commissioning as a mercy to the universe." Some shaykhs of Quraysh asked him how he knew, and he replied, "When you came over the hill not a tree or a stone failed to bow in prostration, and they prostrate themselves only before a prophet. I recognize him by the seal of prophecy, like an apple, below the end of his shoulder-blade." He then went and prepared food for them, and when he brought it to them the Prophet (peace be upon him) was looking after the camels, so he told them to send for him. He came with a cloud above him shading him and when he approached the people he found they had gone before him into the shade of a tree. Then when he sat down the shade of the tree inclined over him, and the monk said, "Look how the shade of the tree has inclined over him. I adjure you by Allah to tell me which of you is his guardian." On being told that it was AbuTalib he kept adjuring him to send him back until he did so. AbuBakr sent Bilal along with him and the monk gave him provisions of a bread and olive-oil. Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Hadith of al-Tirmidhi, Number 1534 ALIM CD-ROM Version)
A tree even relayed information regarding the unseen to Muhammad!
"I asked Masruq, Who informed the Prophet about the Jinns at the night when they heard the Qur'an? He said, Your father 'Abdullah informed me that a tree informed the Prophet about them." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 199)
Even food can speak and glorify Allah before it is consumed!
We used to consider miracles as Allah's Blessings, but you people consider them to be a warning. Once we were with Allah's Apostle on a journey, and we ran short of water. He said, "Bring the water remaining with you." The people brought a utensil containing a little water. He placed his hand in it and said, "Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah." I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah's Apostle, and no doubt, WE HEARD THE MEAL GLORIFYING ALLAH, WHEN IT WAS BEING EATEN (by him). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 779)
It is therefore not surprising that Ibn Kathir could say in reference to Q. 2:74 that:
Solid Inanimate Objects possess a certain Degree of Awareness
Some claimed that the Ayat mentioned the stones being humble as a metaphor. However, Ar-Razi, Al-Qurtubi and other Imams said that there is no need for this explanation, because Allah creates this characteristic - humbleness - in stones. For instance, Allah said,
<Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah's torment)> (33:72)
<The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him> (17:44)
<And the stars and the trees both prostrate themselves (to Allah)> (55:6) ...
<Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline> (16:48)
<They both said: "We come willingly."> (41:11) ...
<Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain> (59:21),
<And they will say to their skins, "Why do you testify against us"' They will say: "Allah has caused us to speak."> (41:21).
It is recorded in the Sahih that the Prophet said,
<This (Mount Uhud) is a mount that loves us and that we love.>
Similarly, the compassion of the stump of the palm tree for the Prophet as confirmed in authentic narrations. In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that the Prophet said, ...
<I know a stone in Makkah that used to greet me with the Salam before I was sent. I recognize this stone now.>
He said about the Black Stone that,
<On the Day of Resurrection it will testify for those who kiss it.>
There are several other texts with this meaning (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Parts 1and 2 (Surat Al-Fatihah to Verse 252 of Surat Al-Baqarah), First Edition: January 2000, Volume 1, pp. 264-265)
It is obvious that both the author of the Quran and Muhammad believed that inanimate objects such as trees, stars, sun etc., were rational beings with emotions and intellect. In other words, Muhammad wasnt merely personifying impersonal objects, but erroneously thought that they possessed conscious intelligence!
Smith engages in more circular reasoning as he seeks to interact with Q. 2:260 where Allah asks Abraham whether he believed that the former could raise the dead. Yet he says something quite intriguing:
God knew Abraham was a believer; he was not really asking "questions" but only expressing His great surprise at Abrahams curiosity of how the dead are raised.
Apparently, God was surprised at Abrahams curiosity, but He was not asking questions!
It is truly amazing that this gentleman actually believes that such responses are refuting the points which I raised. If God was SURPRISED by Abrahams curiosity then this means that he didnt know that Abraham would ask such questions or have such doubts! After all, if he knew in advance what Abraham felt and that he would have these questions then there would have been no reason for God to be surprised. A person is only surprised when he doesnt know of the circumstances or reactions of persons beforehand.
In response to my exegesis of Isaiah 45:7, Smith brings up passages where God had people killed, where he is supposedly described as a deceiver etc., all of which have been addressed and refuted time and time again:
What makes this rather interesting is that Smiths criticisms of the Holy Bible basically prove Muhammad was a false prophet. After all, some of the texts that Smith criticizes in his rebuttals are those that refer to holy wars carried out by men such as king Saul under the orders of God. Smith must have forgotten that the Quran actually approves of Sauls wars since it agrees that God commissioned him to engage in them!
Hast thou not Turned thy vision to the Chiefs of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Moses? They said to a prophet (That was) among them: "Appoint for us a king, that we May fight in the cause of God." He said: "Is it not possible, if ye were commanded to fight, that that ye will not fight?" They said: "How could we refuse to fight in the cause of God, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?" but when they were commanded to fight, they turned back, except a small band among them. But God Has full knowledge of those who do wrong. Their Prophet said to them: "God hath appointed Talut as king over you." They said: "How can he exercise authority over us when we are better fitted than he to exercise authority, and he is not even gifted, with wealth in abundance?" He said: "God hath Chosen him above you, and hath gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily prowess: God Granteth His authority to whom He pleaseth. God careth for all, and He knoweth all things." And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith." When Talut set forth with the armies, he said: "God will test you at the stream: if any drinks of its water, He goes not with my army: Only those who taste not of it go with me: A mere sip out of the hand is excused." but they all drank of it, except a few. When they crossed the river,- He and the faithful ones with him,- they said: "This day We cannot cope with Goliath and his forces." but those who were convinced that they must meet God, said: "How oft, by God's will, Hath a small force vanquished a big one? God is with those who steadfastly persevere. When they advanced to meet Goliath and his forces, they prayed: "Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against those that reject faith." By God's will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and God gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not God Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But God is full of bounty to all the worlds. S. 2:246-251 Y. Ali
The Quran is obviously recounting the story of the people of Israel asking the prophet Samuel for a king, Sauls appointment as a king, Sauls wars, and David killing Goliath (cf. 1 Samuel 8-17). The most interesting aspect of this is that even though the Quranic narration presupposes the biblical account of Gods commission to wipe out the Amalekites, as well as others, it nowhere condemns this Divine decree. It does not say that Saul killing women and children was an evil thing or that the Israelites tampered with the story since this isnt how it happened; nor does it deny that these things did happen. Its very mention in the Quran without any qualification presupposes that the author of the Quran had absolutely no problem with these wars since he believed that God sanctioned them. So why does Smith go against the teachings of his own book (as false as it is) and attack the Holy Bible for something which the Quran confirms?
Moreover, he slanderously lies that God in the Bible condoned the raping of women but says absolutely nothing about his false prophet giving Muslims permission to rape married captive women and then selling them as chattel:
Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath God ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property, - desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and God is All-knowing, All-wise. S. 4:24 Y. Ali
Renowned Sunni exegetes al-Jalalayn stated:
And, forbidden to you are, wedded women, those with spouses, that you should marry them before they have left their spouses, be they Muslim free women or not; save what your right hands own, of captured [slave] girls, whom you may have sexual intercourse with, EVEN IF THEY HAVE SHOULD HAVE SPOUSES among the enemy camp, but only after they have been absolved of the possibility of pregnancy [after the completion of one menstrual cycle]; (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
Another commentary explains:
(And all married women (are forbidden unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess) of captives, EVEN IF THEY HAVE HUSBANDS in the Abode of War, after ascertaining that they are not pregnant, by waiting for the lapse of one period of menstruation. (It is a decree of Allah for you) that which I have mentioned to you is unlawful in Allahs Book. (Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned) as unlawful, (so that ye seek them) marry (with your wealth) up to four wives; it is also said that this means: so that you buy with your wealth captives; and it is also said that this means: so that you should seek with your money marrying women for an agreed period of time (zawaj al-mutah) but the lawfulness of this practice was later abrogated, (in honest wedlock) (Lo! Allah is ever Knower) in relation to making lawful to you marriage for an agreed, limited period of time, (Wise) in later making this practice unlawful; it is also said that this means (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn Abbâs; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
Here is how Muslims put this command into practice:
Abu Sirma said to Abu Sa'id al Khadri (Allah he pleased with him): O Abu Sa'id, did you hear Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) mentioning al-'azl? He said: Yes, and added: We went out with Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi'l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing 'azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah's Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will be born. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3371)
Abu Said al-Khudri said: The apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting period. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Volume 2, Number 2150)
Smith proceeds with more of his distortions by denying that the word makr means that Allah is a liar and deceiver:
Shamoun does not use the honest translation of the Quran; he relies on Arberrys version
A correction to Smiths claim: I wasnt using Arberrys translation at this point. And since he questions the "honesty" of Arberrys version here is what one of the authors that Smith will later quote, Akbarally Meherally, says regarding Arberrys interpretation:
3. The question one may be inclined to ask is; How should I read the translated text that it may complement or harmonize with the given explanation? Here is professor Arthur. J. Arberry's Literal Interpretation: "The Hour has drawn nigh: the moon is split."
Arberry's work has a reputation among the scholars, Muslims and non-Muslims, for being purely academic, objective and unbiased. (More Evidences are for the "Moon Splitting" in the Future; source; underline emphasis ours)
In this book I have quoted the verses of the Koran from The Koran Interpreted by professor Arberry, whose translation I regarded as objective and unbiased. It is composed in a clear and unmannered English, easy to read and understand. Arberrys interpretation, as he prefers to call his translation, is not apt to confuse the readers, because it is written without footnotes and glosses. For the information of my readers, professor Arberry was not a Muslim; his work is purely academic. (Understanding the Bible through Koranic Messages; source)
None of these verses say Allah is a deceiver, the Quran states that God is the best of planners, not deceivers. Gods plan will prevail over the disbelievers, and God will help the Prophet defeat his enemies. The Arabic word almakireena means planners, not "deceivers"
The most faithful and honest translation of the Holy Quran is Yusuf Ali, and he translates the Arabic word as "planners", which is the correct reading. There are only two places in the Quran where almakireena is used, its 3:54 and 8:30. The Holy Quran never portrays Allah as deceptive, it teaches the exact opposite!
We will let Muslim scholars such as Mahmoud M. Ayoub prove Smith wrong. In his book, The Quran and Its Interpreters: The House of Imran, (State University of New York Press, Albany 1992), Volume II, p. 165, Ayoub raises the issue of,
"how the word makr (scheming or plotting), which implies DECEITFULNESS or DISHONESTY, could be attributed to God." (Bold and capital emphasis ours)
After listing several Muslim sources, he cites ar-Razi as saying,
"scheming (makr) is actually an act of deception aiming at causing evil. It is not possible to attribute deception to God. Thus the word is one of the muttashabihat [multivalent words of the Quran]." (Ibid., p. 166; bold emphasis ours)
Ayoub mentions one Muslim who actually boasted in Allah being the best conniver, deceiver, schemer etc.
Qurtubi observes that some scholars have considered the words "best of schemers" to be one of Gods beautiful names. Thus one would pray, "O Best of Schemers, scheme for me!" Qurtubi also reports that the Prophet used to pray, "O God, scheme for me, and do not scheme against me!" (Qurtubi, IV, pp. 98-99; cf. Zamakhshari, I, p. 366). (Ibid., p. 166)
Smith next quotes passages which speak of Allah fulfilling his oaths and not misleading people. It seems we need to be constantly repeating ourselves that quoting such texts do not explain away the fact that the Quran clearly teaches that Allah is a liar, a conniver, and a deceiver who deliberately misleads people. The most Smith is proving at this point is that the Quran clearly contradicts itself.
Moreover, Smith didnt read his own quote carefully since if he did he would have seen how it proves my point:
It was never Allah's (part) that he should send a folk astray after He had guided them UNTIL He had made clear unto them what they should avoid. Lo! Allah is Aware of all things. S. 9:115
The above reference doesnt say that Allah does not mislead people; it simply claims that he doesnt do so until he makes clear to them the forbidden things, and once these things are revealed to them he then goes ahead to mislead them! To put it simply, Allah will only mislead people after they have been informed about the things they should avoid, implying that his sole purpose in revealing to them what is prohibited is so that he could cause them to disobey these commands and thereby destroy them! This is precisely what Q. 17:16 says, as we shall see shortly.
Here is how he deals with Q. 4:142:
Here is the true reading of 4:142
The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance; (4:142, Yusuf Ali)
Shamouns favorite word al-makireen is not present in the Arabic text!
Here is the transliteration of S. 4:142
Inna almunafiqeena yukhadiAAoona Allaha wahuwa khadiAAuhum waitha qamoo ila alssalati qamoo kusala yuraoona alnnasa wala yathkuroona Allaha illa qaleelan
So Palmers translation is false, the Arabic word al-makireen is not used.
It is obvious that Smith suffers from a serious inability of reading his sources carefully. I didnt say that the word makr appears in Q. 4:142, but that it appears in the previous texts which I cited. I quoted this specific passage to show that Allah deceives unbelievers. Here is a comparison of various renditions along with the Arabic transliteration of the verse:
Inna almunafiqeena yukhadiAAoona Allaha wahuwa khadiAAuhum
Lo! the hypocrites seek to BEGUILE Allah, but it is He Who BEGUILETH them Pickthall
Verily, the hypocrites seek to DECEIVE Allah, but it is He Who DECEIVES them Hilali-Khan
The hypocrites seek to TRICK God, but God is TRICKING them Arberry
The readers can see that the same word is applied to the action of both the hypocrites and Allah, i.e. both groups are said to be beguiling/deceiving/tricking the other. In fact, we will use Smiths own version to illustrate this point:
The Hypocrites - they think they are OVER-REACHING Allah, but He will OVER-REACH them ...
Even Alis version demonstrates that Allah is doing the very same thing to the unbelievers that they are trying to do him; and since their actions are presented as being evil and wicked this means that Allah is returning the favor by acting just as wickedly as them, perhaps better (or worse)!
He then claims that I distorted the Arabic of Q. 17:16:
Shamoun distorts the Quranic verse, it does not say God commanded the people to sin; they corrupted their own souls after God allowed them to live at ease. God commands the men to repent and worship Him, when they refuse God destroys them like Sodom. There is no indication here that Allah deceives, the city deceives and corrupts itself after guidance comes to them:
What kept men back from belief when guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has Allah sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger." (Al-Quran 17:94)
The arrogant ones will say to those who had been despised: "Was it we who kept you back from guidance after it reached you? Nay, rather, it was ye who transgressed. (Al-Quran 34:32)
The verse 17:16 emphasizes the Plan of God to bring destruction on ancient cities that reject His message. Men who violate the commands of God after guidance will be punished, unless they sincerely repent.
This is coming from a gent who doesnt know the Arabic of the Quran! Here is the text in question:
And when We would destroy a township WE SEND COMMANDMENT to its folk who live at ease, AND AFTERWARD they commit abomination therein, and so the Word (of doom) hath effect for it, and we annihilate it with complete annihilation. S. 17:16 Pickthall
Again, the readers can see for themselves that there is nothing in the context which says that these people first rejected Allah which then resulted in their annihilation. Rather, the passage expressly states that the people committed abominations BECAUSE ALLAH COMMANDED THEM TO DO SUCH! We will let Egyptian Christian writer and scholar Dr. Labib Mikhail bring out the real meaning of the Arabic:
I have to mention, as one who mastered the Arabic as my first language and who has read the different versions of the Koran, that some of who translated the Koran into English were not honest; they tried to deceive the English speaking reader. Here are a few examples of their deception.
(4) In Surat Al-Isra we read this Arabic verse in the Koran, where Allah is saying:
Wa eza aradna an nohlika kariatan amarna motrifiha fafasako feha fahaqa Alliah alkowl fadamarnaha (Surat Al-Isra 17:16)
The correct translation of this verse should be:
And when we (Allah) decide to destroy a village, we send a definite command to those who lead a life of luxury in it to commit lewdness, and thus the word of torment is justified against them. Then we destroy it with complete destruction.
This means that when Allah wants to destroy a village that he will command the elite of that town to commit gross sins. Then after that he will punish them because they obeyed his commands. (Mikhail, Islam, Muhammad and the Koran: A Documented Analysis [Blessed Hope Ministry, Springfield VA; Second edition, Revised and Expanded 2002; online version of the first edition here], pp. 111, 112-113)
He again goes on an attack of the Holy Bible, obviously because he cant defend his false book, even though he has no problem using the Bible when it helps his case!
It is true, God guides whomsoever He wills, and does Shamoun have a problem with this?
We have indeed sent down signs that make things manifest: and Allah guides whom He wills to a way that is straight. (Al-Quran 24:46)
Is he, then, to whom the evil of his conduct is made alluring, so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? For Allah leaves to stray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills. So let not thy soul go out in (vainly) sighing after them: for Allah knows well all that they do! (Al-Quran 35:8)
I dont have a problem with Allah guiding people, but misguiding them into committing sins in order to destroy them. Smith quotes an inaccurate version of Q. 35:8, namely the translation of Y. Ali, which hides the real meaning of the Arabic which emphatically says that Allah actually leads or sends astray, not leaves to stray, whomever he wills:
Is he, then, to whom the evil of his deeds made fairseeming, so that he considers it as good (equal to one who is rightly guided)? Verily, Allah SENDS ASTRAY WHOM HE WILLS, and guides whom He wills. So destroy not yourself (O Muhammad SAW) in sorrow for them. Truly, Allah is the AllKnower of what they do! S. 35:8 Hilali-Khan
Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray? And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way (of guidance). S. 4:88 Hilali-Khan
And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah's Will is to keep you astray (yughwiyakum). He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return. S. 11:34 Hilali-Khan
And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. S. 14:4
He then complains that the Holy Bible contains disturbing passages since it talks about hell! If these descriptions disturb him then surely he must be troubled by the following graphic depictions of hell:
Surely! Those who disbelieved in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly, Allah is Ever Most Powerful, AllWise. S. 4:56 Hilali-Khan
In front of such a one is Hell, and he is given, for drink, boiling fetid water. S. 14:16 Y. Ali
Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on! S. 18:29 Y. Ali
These two opponents (believers and disbelievers) dispute with each other about their Lord; then as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be poured down over their heads. S. 22:19 Hilali-Khan
This is the similitude of Paradise which the godfearing have been promised: therein are rivers of water unstaling, rivers of milk unchanging in flavour, and rivers of wine -- a delight to the drinkers, rivers, too, of honey purified; and therein for them is every fruit, and forgiveness from their Lord -- Are they as he who dwells forever in the Fire, such as are given to drink boiling water, that tears their bowels asunder? S. 47:15 Arberry
Drinking from a boiling spring, No food for them save bitter thorn-fruit Which doth not nourish nor release from hunger. S. 88:5-7 Pickthall
The Bible comes nowhere near being as graphic and sadistic in its depiction of hell as the Quran!
Here is how Smith responds to the hadiths which say that Allah commanded adultery for the sons of Adam:
Note: There is no law to commit adultery, only the Bible commands adultery (Hosea 3:11).
First, there is no Hosea 3:11. Smith possibly meant Hosea 3:1. Here is what this text actually says which refutes his lie:
"The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes. So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you." Hosea 3:1-2
God didnt command adultery, but told Hosea to take his wife back again even though she had committed adultery, thereby violating her marriage covenant. The prophet clearly tells his wife not to be intimate with any other man so that he can remain her husband.
It is actually Allah and his messenger that promote adultery as we saw above in our analysis of Q. 4:24, and from what will now follow.
Shamoun has once again misunderstood. Here, the Prophet explains how the sons of Adam lust after woman, by glancing at their private parts
The Prophet Muhammad is reiterating that Adams sons stare at woman lustfully, and commit adultery in their heart.
It seems that we need to quote the narrations once again, this time with additional emphasis:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
I did not see anything so resembling minor sins as what Abu Huraira said from the Prophet, who said, "Allah has written for the son of Adam his INEVITABLE SHARE of adultery whether he is aware of it or not: The adultery of the eye is the looking (at something which is sinful to look at), and the adultery of the tongue is to utter (what it is unlawful to utter), and the innerself wishes and longs for (adultery) and the private parts turn that into reality or refrain from submitting to the temptation." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 609)
Verily Allah has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he OF NECESSITY MUST COMMIT (or there would be no escape from it). (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6421)
Note that these reports do not say what Smith wishes they said, but emphatically affirm that Allah PREDETERMINED the very adultery every person must INEVITABLY commit.
Smith cites texts which contradict the above statements of the Quran and so-called authentic hadiths, thinking that this somehow solves the dilemma for him. Smith is constantly proving over and over again that the Quran and Islamic sources are CONTRADICTING each other.
What makes this all the more amusing is that he quotes Shabir Ally who admits that it was Allah who wanted and created man to be a sinner!
Human beings turned out just the way God had planned
The saying "every child of Adam is a sinner" means that every human being is a sinner, sin being an inevitable outcome of a fallible human nature. No matter how righteous a person is, he or she may at times disobey God through ignorance or forgetfulness. The prophet, on whom be peace, meant to emphasize that the best person is the one who seeks forgiveness for his or her sins. Furthermore, he said that one who repents from sin is like one without sin. God says in the Qur'an that He will replace the evil deeds with good for those who repent, believe, and do righteous deeds (see Qur'an 25:70).
Another saying of the prophet indicates that God actually intended that humans will be a species that commit sins so they can turn to Him and He would forgive them (see Sahih Muslim, Eng. Trans., vol.4, nos. 6620-2). This is a much better explanation than the popular conception according to which God at first sees that humans are good, then God discovers that they are wicked and so, being sorry that He made them in the first place, God eventually decides to wipe them off the face of the earth; but then he changes His mind again and lets them eventually procreate and fill the earth although they are still sinful as ever. The better explanation is that God knew in advance that we would sin, and we turned out just the way God planned. God does not discover new things - He knows everything always. (Shabir Ally, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, p. 42)
Talk about a gentleman who is obviously confused! If mankind turned out exactly the way that Allah intended then this proves my point that Allah deliberately created man to be a sinner who would commit atrocious sins such as adultery!
After I had stated that cherubim are not young female angels by citing Ezekiel 1 and cross-referencing it with chapter 10, Smith says:
How do we know Ezekiel was describing cherubs? The word "cherub" is never mentioned! Therefore, Ezekiel was not speaking of cherubs, but male angels. The cherub is a naked angel, a female.
The Bible implies that cherubs are naked angels:
He made one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; at the two ends he made them of one piece with the cover. The cherubim had their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim faced each other, looking toward the cover. (Exodus 37:8-9)
Only one with a perverted mind like Smith could claim that Exodus 37 teaches that angels are naked. Moreover, had Smith actually bothered to take the time to consult Ezekiel 10, which was cross-referenced at the end of my citation from Ezekiel 1, he would have received his answer:
"I looked, and I saw the likeness of a throne of sapphire above the expanse that was over the heads of THE CHERUBIM. The LORD said to the man clothed in linen, Go in among the wheels beneath THE CHERUBIM. Fill your hands with burning coals from among the cherubim and scatter them over the city. And as I watched, he went in. Now THE CHERUBIM were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD. The sound of the wings of THE CHERUBIM could be heard as far away as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks. When the LORD commanded the man in linen, Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim, the man went in and stood beside a wheel. Then one of THE CHERUBIM reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out. (Under the wings of THE CHERUBIM could be seen what looked like the hands of a man.) I looked, and I saw beside THE CHERUBIM four wheels, one beside each of THE CHERUBIM; the wheels sparkled like chrysolite. As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as THE CHERUBIM went. THE CHERUBIM went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went. Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels. I heard the wheels being called the whirling wheels. Each of THE CHERUBIM had four faces: One face was that of A CHERUB, the second the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. Then THE CHERUBIM rose upward. THESE WERE THE LIVING CREATURES I HAD SEEN BY THE KEBAR RIVER. When THE CHERUBIM moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when THE CHERUBIM spread their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels did not leave their side. When THE CHERUBIM stood still, they also stood still; and when THE CHERUBIM rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them. Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple AND STOPPED ABOVE THE CHERUBIM. While I watched, THE CHERUBIM spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. These were the living creatures I had seen BENEATH THE GOD OF ISRAEL BY THE KEBAR RIVER, AND I REALIZED THAT THEY WERE CHERUBIM. Each had four faces and four wings, and under their wings was what looked like the hands of a man. Their faces had the same appearance as those I had seen by the Kebar River. Each one went straight ahead." Ezekiel 10:1-22
Ezekiel clearly identified these creatures that Yahweh rode on as cherubim and these cherubim were definitely not young females with breasts!
After getting caught and exposed for lying about the Bible teaching that angels have female breasts, since I showed how the Greek word is also used to refer to the male chest area, Smith says:
Just because the Bible says men have "breasts" does not preclude the sexual depiction of angels in Rev. 15:6.
Apparently, the Bible is perverted to even apply the word "breasts" to angels, who are called cherubs in the Old Testament (2 Sam. 22:11). Angels dont have breasts like Jesus, they are spiritual beings The Bible portrays angels as "naked woman" because the Bible writer was perverted, well never know if "breasts" was the original reading of the Greek text!
The problem with Smiths remark is that if he can never know what the original reading of the Greek text was then by the same token he cannot attack the Bible writer for being perverted since he doesnt know whether it was the author who wrote about female breasts or not!
Moreover, it is solely due to Smiths perverted mind which leads him to see womens breasts in this specific text when the point of Revelations is to highlight what these angels had around their chest, namely a golden sash which signifies that these were priestly angels.
Thirdly, the Holy Bible clearly teaches that angels in heaven do not engage in sex:
"Jesus replied, Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." Mark 12:24-25
This in itself should expose Smiths perverted mind.
Finally, it seems that Smith has confused the Holy Bible with the Quran since it is his filthy book which says that there are spiritual beings in heaven that are capable of engaging in sex:
Wherein both will be those (maidens) restraining their glances upon their husbands, whom no man or jinn yatmithhunna (has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse) before them Houris (beautiful, fair females) restrained in pavilions; Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? Whom no man or jinn yatmithhunna (has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse) before them. S. 55:56, 72-74 Hilali-Khan
Surely for the godfearing awaits a place of security, gardens and vineyards and maidens WITH SWELLING BREASTS, like of age, and a cup overflowing. S. 78:31-34 Arberry
Thus, the Quran speaks of heavenly creatures who have swelling breasts and who shall be physically penetrated, or deflowered, by both men and jinn!
Since Smith goes on to deny that the Quran is describing that these women have huge breasts we will cite some of Islams premier scholars to refute him:
<And vineyards, and Kawa'ib Atrab,> meaning, wide-eyed maidens WITH FULLY DEVELOPED BREASTS. Ibn 'Abbas, Mujahid and others have said,
<Kawa'ib> "This means ROUND BREASTS. They meant by this THAT THE BREASTS OF THESE GIRLS WILL BE FULLY ROUNDED AND NOT SAGGING, because they will be virgins, equal in age " (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), (Surat At-Tagabun to the end of the Qur'an), First Edition: September 2000, Volume 10, pp. 333-334; bold and capital emphasis ours)
The famous commentator ar-Razi stated in his Tafsir (Volume 8, p. 311) that:
"The kawa`ib are the buxom girls (nawahid) whose breasts have become FULL (taka``abat) and ROUND (tafallakat)." (bold and capital emphasis ours)
This accounts for why the following translations all read breasts in Q. 78:33:
And young full-breasted (mature) maidens of equal age; Hilali-Khan
maidens with pears-shaped breasts who are of equal age (to their spouses) Muhammad Sarwar
and girls with swelling breasts of the same age as themselves, Palmer
And damsels with swelling breasts, their peers in age, Rodwell
and [damsels] with swelling breasts, of equal age [with themselves], Sale
Ibn Kathir said of Q. 55:56 that:
<Qasirat At-Tarf> chaste females, wives restraining their glances, desiring none except their husbands, seeing them as the most beautiful men in Paradise. This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani and Ibn Zayd. It was reported that one of these wives will say to her husband, "By Allah! I neither see anything in Paradise more handsome than you nor more beloved to me than you. So praise be to Allah Who made you for me and made me for you.'' Allah said,
<whom never deflowered a human before nor Jinn>
meaning they are delightful virgins of comparable age who never had sexual intercourse with anyone, whether from mankind or Jinns, before their husbands. This is also a proof that the believers among the Jinns will enter Paradise. Artat bin Al-Mundhir said, "Damrah bin Habib was asked if the Jinns will enter Paradise and he said, `Yes, and they will get married. The Jinns will have Jinn women and the humans will have female humans." Allah's statement,
<whom never deflowered a human before nor Jinn. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny>
Then Allah describes these women for the proposed
<they are like Yaqut and Marjan.>
Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ibn Zayd and others said, "They are as pure as rubies and white as Marjan." So here they described Marjan as pearls (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), (Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun), First Edition: September 2000, Volume 9, pp. 400-401)
He also wrote the following regarding Q. 56:35-37:
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said
<In Paradise, the believer will be given such and such strength for women.>
Anas said, "I asked, 'O Allah's Messenger! Will one be able to do that? He said,
((He will be given the strength OF A HUNDRED (MEN).))
At-Tirmidhi also recorded it and said, "Sahih Gharib." Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah was asked, "O Allah's Messenger! Will we have sexual intercourse with our wives in Paradise?" He said
((The man will be able to have sexual intercourse WITH A HUNDRED VIRGINS IN ONE DAY.))
Al-Hafiz Abu 'Abdullah Al-Maqisi said, "In my view, the Hadith meets the criteria of the Sahih, and Allah knows best." (Ibid., pp. 429-430; bold and capital emphasis ours)
The two Jalals noted in reference to Q. 56:36 that,
and made them virgins, immaculate - every time their spouses enter them they find them virgins, nor is there any pain [of defloration] - (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
And regarding Q. 36:55 they say:
Indeed today the inhabitants of Paradise are busy (read fi shughlin or fi shughulin), [oblivious] to what the inhabitants of the Fire are suffering, [busy] delighting in pleasures such as deflowering virgins - not busy with anything wearisome, as there is no toil in Paradise - rejoicing, blissful (fakihuna is a second predicate of inna, the first being fi shugulin, 'busy'); (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
And here is what the hadith compiler Ibn Majah stated about the sexual organs of the men and the maidens of paradise:
4337. Abu 'Umama (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Allah will not admit anyone in the Paradise but Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, will marry him with seventy two wives: two will be from virgins (haurine) with big eyes and seventy will be his inheritance from the people of the Hell-Fire (1). Everyone of them will have A PLEASANT VAGINA and HE (the man) WILL HAVE A SEXUAL ORGAN THAT DOES NOT BEND DOWN (during sexual intercourse)."
Hisham b. Khalid says, "The words 'out of his inheritance (due) from the denizens of the Fire', many men who will enter the Fire and the inmates of the Paradise will inherit their wives just as Faraoh's[sic] wife will be inherited (by the believer)."
According to al-Zawa'id, its isnad has some controversy. Al-'Ajali has declared Khalid b. Yazid b. Abi Malik reliable while Imam Ahmad, Ibn Mu'in, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Ibn Jarud Sahi, 'Uqail etc., have declare[sic] Ahmad b. Salih al-Misri da'if. (Sunan Ibn-I-Majah (Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Yazid Ibn-I-Maja Al-Qazwini), English version by Muhammad Tufail Ansari [Kazi Publications, Lahore (Pakistan), 1st edition 1995], Chapter NO. XXXIX, "The Description of the Paradise", Volume V, p. 546; capital and underline emphasis ours)
Smith claims that the use of holy oil is a pagan practice, but again fails to see how this exposes Muhammad as a fraud:
Then We brought forth for you therewith gardens of date-palms and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you, and whereof you eat. And a tree (olive) that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows oil, and (it is a) relish for the eaters. S. 23:19-20 Hilali-Khan
Thus, if the use of oil is pagan then Muhammad was nothing more than a pagan for affirming that God commissioned its use! (Muhammad was in fact a pagan, yet for other reasons, as we document here: 1, 2.)
To read a refutation of the claims of Timothy Freke, the author that Smith cites to prove his case, we recommend the following:
He tries to refute my response that the Bible doesnt teach that Isaiah went around literally naked by assuming that since the Assyrians would expose the buttocks of the Egyptian captives that Isaiahs buttocks would be exposed as well since he was to be a sign of what would happen to them. The readers should see the fallaciousness in such reasoning since Isaiahs experience didnt have to correspond in every detail to what the people would eventually endure. Otherwise Isaiah would have to be an Egyptian and be pranced around in chains by some Assyrian soldier in order for his sign to correspond exactly to what the Egyptians were to later experience.
Moreover, we have recently shown (here) that Allah had no problem parading Moses completely naked in front of millions of Israelites, as well as allowing Muhammad to appear completely nude in front of his fellow Meccans. Here is how Smith responds to the hadiths which say that Moses pranced around naked:
There is no indication that God moved the stone. The evidence suggests that Satan (or a Jinn) moved the stone, not God:(Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun Allah and "Nudity"; source)
There are two problems with Smiths "response." First, assuming that it was a jinn who moved the stone why did Allah allow him to do it? Why didnt Allah intervene and prevent the jinn from humiliating one of his most beloved prophets?
Second, Smith provides further proof that he is unable to read clearly since the quotes I presented expressly state that it was Allah who wanted to vindicate Moses and so therefore caused the stone to take off with his clothes:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "(The Prophet) Moses was a shy person and used to cover his body completely because of his extensive shyness. One of the children of Israel hurt him by saying, 'He covers his body in this way only because of some defect in his skin, either leprosy or scrotal hernia, or he has some other defect.' ALLAH WISHED TO CLEAR MOSES OF WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT HIM, SO one day while Moses was in seclusion, he took off his clothes and put them on a stone and started taking a bath. When he had finished the bath, he moved towards his clothes so as to take them, but the stone took his clothes and fled; Moses picked up his stick and ran after the stone saying, 'O stone! Give me my garment!' Till he reached a group of Bani Israel who saw him naked then, and found him the best of what Allah had created, and Allah cleared him of what they had accused him of. The stone stopped there and Moses took and put his garment on and started hitting the stone with his stick. By Allah, the stone still has some traces of the hitting, three, four or five marks. This was what Allah refers to in His Saying:-- "O you who believe! Be you not like those Who annoyed Moses, But Allah proved his innocence of that which they alleged, And he was honorable In Allah's Sight." (33.69) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 616)
O you who believe, do not behave, towards your Prophet, as did those who harmed Moses - when they would say, for example, 'The only reason he does not wash with us is that he has an inflammation in his testicles' - WHEREAT GOD ABSOLVED HIM OF WHAT THEY ALLEGED: when Moses placed his robe on a rock to go to wash, the rock hurtled away with it until it came to a halt amid a group of men from the Children of Israel. As Moses chased it and took his robe to cover himself, they saw that he had no such inflammation (udra is an inflammation of the testicle). And he was distinguished in God's sight. An instance of our Prophet (s) being subjected to hurt was when [on one occasion] while dividing up the spoils a man said to him, 'This division has not been done to please God!', whereat the Prophet (s) became enraged and said, 'May God have mercy upon Moses, for truly he was hurt with worse than this, but endured' - reported by al-Bukhari. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)
Since Smith quoted the following text against the Bible:
When they do aught that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing so"; and "(Allah) commanded us thus": Say: "Nay, Allah never commands what is shameful: do ye say of Allah what ye know not?" (Al-Quran 7:28)
He must accept that either Allah is not god since he did command what is shameful, or that Muhammad lied in Allahs name for making up such embarrassing stories about the prophets, or that the Quran is not the word of God since it contradicts itself so often.
Smith on the Deity of Christ
Smith raised a series of questions and objections to my defense of the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ which we would like to address here. He asserts that:
The fact that Jesus could not grant the prayer implies a direct contradiction to the trinity. Shamoun believes Jesus and God are one, but since Jesus did not have the power to grant the wish implies that God and Jesus are not one.
Let us review the passages:
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." (Mark 10:36-40, Matthew 20:22-24)
Jesus did not possess the authority, only God possesses the authority for these types of wishes. Jesus is recorded to have said:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:13-15)
Jesus promised to answer, but he couldnt answer Zebedees mother, which implies that hes not God.
Smith obviously cant distinguish between prayers asked to God in heaven with requests made to someone while on earth. The sons of Zebedee were not praying to Jesus, but making a request to him as he stood among them in the form of a man.
Furthermore, Smith conveniently doesnt quote the entire context of either Mark or Matthew which both say:
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45 cf. Matthew 20:28
This explains the reason why Christ couldnt grant the wishes of the sons of Zebedee and their mother. While on earth Jesus was functioning in the role of a servant/slave who had come to do and say only what his Father commanded:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." John 6:38
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:5-8
Moreover, we quote the immediate context of John 14:13-14 to see what Smith chose to overlook or deliberately ignore:
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:12-14
Jesus clearly says in the context that he will answer all prayers once he returns to heaven to be with the Father. Thus, there is no contradiction between what Jesus said to the sons of Zebedee and with what he later tells his followers on the night of his betrayal.
Yet in order for Jesus to be able to hear all the prayers offered in his name he must be both omnipotent and omniscient. After all, Christ would have to know who is praying to him and what they are praying for, as well as have the power to grant all these requests.
As if his arguments couldnt get any more ridiculous, here is where Smith once again exposes either his ignorance or his willingness to deliberately distort Christian teaching:
Shamoun produces a few examples to show that Jesus subjection to Gods authority does not preclude his "oneness" with God. This is ridiculous, because the parent and child is not "one", they are equal by nature, but they are not "one" in essence (trinity).
It is rather obvious Smith doesnt know what he is talking about since he claims that a parent and a child are equal by nature and yet denies that they are one! He is obviously confused since he thinks that the only way for them to be one is if they happen to be the same person. Smith apparently doesnt grasp the fact that a parent and a child can indeed be one in essence without having to be the same person. This is precisely what Trinitarians mean when they say that the Father and the Son are one, not that they are the same Person but that they are equal by nature. Smith fails to apparently see how his own comments prove my point. He continues:
Similarly, the masters and slaves, the husband and wife, the king and his subjects are not triune.
According to the doctrine, Jesus and God is the same Person, yet the mother and child is not the same Person! The child is subject to his mothers authority, so the mother is greater; Jesus is subject to Gods authority, so God is greater. The mother and child are not triune, they are separated by status, so Jesus and God are not triune, and they are separated by status. Jesus possessed the nature of a fallible being that made mistakes. Therefore, only God is the granter of these types of wishes, Jesus was utterly powerless. He said "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) and "I can do nothing of my own authority" (John 5:30)
He then cites texts which speak of Jesus doing things by the authority of the Father, thereby concluding:
Jesus denies authority and sovereignty, all power and wisdom belongs to God who gives power and wisdom to His prophets.
First, as we have said before, Smiths arguments do a great job of exposing his ignorance and show why he is not qualified to critique Christian beliefs. Note his claim that, according to the doctrine of the Trinity, Jesus is the same Person as God, which is a distortion of the facts. In Trinitarian theology the term God is used at times to denote the Triune Being of God, with Jesus being a Person of the Trinity, specifically the second Person of the Godhead. It is therefore incorrect to claim that Trinitarians teach that Jesus is the same Person as God since this would mean that Jesus is the Trinity!
Furthermore, the word God is also used to refer to the Person of the Father who, according to Trinitarianism, is an eternally distinct Person from the Son. Again, it is wrong to claim that the doctrine teaches that Jesus and God are the same Person since this would mean that Jesus is the Father.
And just as a human mother and her child, a human master and his slave are all distinct persons and yet share the same essence, the Father and the Son happen to also be eternally distinct Persons who share the same Divine essence. At the same time, just as human mothers and human masters have greater authority, the Divine Father has greater authority than his Divine Son.
This leads us to Smiths second error. He has committed a categorical fallacy by confusing position with essence, erroneously assuming that Jesus cannot be God on the basis that the Father granted him the authority to do the things he did.
As any informed Trinitarian knows, Jesus being given authority by the Father only proves that Christ was functioning as the perfect servant and obedient Son who only did what his Father commanded. After all, Christ himself stated that he came down from heaven above to carry out the Fathers will since he had become a man specifically for the purpose of serving.
What Smith overlooks in all this is that in order to be able to do what the Father commanded Christ had to be God since only God could do the things that Christ did (and continues to do).
In fact, a careful analysis of some of the very texts cited by Smith will help to prove this point:
"So Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For WHATEVER the Father does, THAT THE SON DOES LIKEWISE. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, SO ALSO THE SON GIVES LIFE TO WHOM HE WILL Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted THE SON ALSO TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear HIS VOICE and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. John 5:19-21, 25-26, 28-29
Note that Jesus claims that, even though he cannot act independently from the Father, he can do everything that his Father does such as raise the dead by his all-powerful voice since he, like the Father, has life within himself!
He repeats this same point in John 11:
"Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, Lord, the one you love is sick. When he heard this, Jesus said, This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." John 11:1-4
"Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again. Martha answered, I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? Yes, Lord, she told him, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." John 11:23-27
"So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me. When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go." John 11:41-44
Christ specifically states that his prayer was performed in order for the people to know that the Father sent him as his agent to give life to believers. In other words, Jesus whole point is that the Father gave him authority to demonstrate to the people through the miracles he performed in the power of the Holy Spirit that he is indeed the very unique Son of God and the Source of life for all who believe in him!
Furthermore, Christ in John 8 claimed to have existed in heaven with the Father even before Abraham was created:
"But he continued, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I AM, you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:23-24
"Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me." John 8:42
"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. You are not yet fifty years old, the Jews said to him, and you have seen Abraham! Truly, truly I say to you, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I AM! At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." John 8:56-59
He also asserted that he, as the unique Son, came to set people free:
"Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:34-36
Finally, even the claim that he can do nothing on his own is an astonishing statement in itself. Finite, imperfect creatures can never make such a claim since it is rather obvious that we humans do a lot of things that God wouldnt do or desires for us to do, i.e. lying, stealing, murder etc. Nor can any creature say he can only do whatever God does.
The foregoing shows that, far from denying his absolute Deity in human flesh, Jesus Christ actually confirms that he is just as much God in essence as his Father is!
For more on these issues please consult the following articles:
He now cites Muslim apologist Akbarally Meherally:
Since Jesus emanated from God, he cannot be God Himself.
Christianity professes that the Holy Spirit emanates from God and yet is God. The Koran teaches that Allah is self-sufficient, self-existing and totally independent. God does not emanate from any other source. From a simple and rational point of view, anything that is used from, or emanates and comes from a source without (not within), cannot be recognized as a primary source but a secondary source. Hence, the Holy Spirit that has emanated cannot be the same as its source.
If someone argues and says that the Holy Spirit is same as its source then what he is saying is that there was total emanation or 100 % transfer. If that be the case, then the primary source has either annihilated itself (or Himself) or has reproduced a clone. (Akbarally Meherally, Understanding the Bible through Koranic Messages, p. 51)
First, we need to apologize for sounding like a broken record but we cant help it: either Smith is once again exposing his abysmal ignorance of Christian teaching or showing that he has no problem distorting the doctrine, since Meherallys quote says nothing about Jesus but is speaking about the Holy Spirit. Does this mean that Smith erroneously thinks that Trinitarians believe that Jesus is the Holy Spirit?
Second, Meherally is another Muslim who grossly misunderstands or deliberately misrepresents the Biblical teaching on the Trinity. For instance, no informed Trinitarian claims that the Holy Spirit is the same as the Source from whom he proceeds (if by Source one means Person) since this would imply that the Holy Spirit is the same Person as the Father. The Holy Bible says the Holy Spirit is a distinct Person from the Father, which means that the Father isnt reproducing or annihilating himself. Meherally has confused Trinitarianism with the heresy known as modalism.
Meherally also chooses to speak in less than clear terms leaving the reader baffled as to the point he is making. After all, what does Meherally mean emanating from a source without? Does he mean that Christians supposedly believe that the Holy Spirit originates from outside of Gods own Being? If so, then he is grossly ignorant of Biblical teaching since the Spirit proceeds forth from the Father himself:
"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me." John 15:26
In fact, the Bible describes the Spirits procession as God breathing:
"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4
Thus, the Spirit originates from within Gods own eternal Being without severing from him. Moreover, by being described as Gods breath the Spirit is shown to be an essential part of Gods nature and essence, and that which is an intrinsic aspect of Gods existence is essentially God in nature.
Finally, the same type of argument can be leveled against the Quran since it speaks of Allah breathing out his own Spirit to animate creation, specifically man:
And when thy Lord said to the angels, 'See, I am creating a mortal of a clay of mud moulded. When I have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him!' S. 15:28-29 Arberry
When thy Lord said to the angels, 'See, I am creating a mortal of a clay. When I have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him!' S. 38:71-72 Arberry
In light of this, we need to ask both Smith and Meherally the following: Allah breathing out the Spirit means that the Holy Spirit emanates from him. That Allah breathed him into man shows that the Spirit is the means through which life was imparted to the first human, thereby becoming a living being. Obviously, the Spirit must be God if he emanates from Allah and gives life. The Quran teaches that Allah is self-sufficient, self-existing and totally independent. If this is taken to mean that Allah cannot emanate from any other source than this essentially means that the Quran contradicts itself by asserting that Allahs Spirit emanates from Allah while being God at the same time! From a simple and rational point of view, anything that is used from, or emanates and comes from a source without (not within), cannot be recognized as a primary source but a secondary source. Hence, the Holy Spirit that has emanated cannot be the same as its source, which shows once again that the Quran is contradicting itself.
Moreover, since the Quran presents the Holy Spirit as being God this essentially means that the Holy Spirit is the same as its source, which further means that there was total emanation or 100 % transfer. If that were the case, then the primary source has either annihilated itself (or Himself) or has reproduced a clone. Perhaps Smith or Meherally would care to explain or clarify these problems.
Smiths arguments go from bad to worse to outright terrible:
The New Testament is the canon of the Pauline Church, the Essene New Testament upholds the Oneness of God whereas the NT contains false references to trinity which have been exposed as sheer fabrications (ex. 1 John 5:7) The Essenes scriptures were destroyed by the false Pauline Christians who rejected Gods unity. The NT books were written under the influence of Paul 1, and the Jewish sects of Galilee. We find a mixture of Jewish and Gentile influence, the synoptic Gospels represent the Human Jesus, and the Gospel of John represents the "divine" Jesus.
Essene New Testament? Destroyed by Pauline Christians? Is there any real, serious scholar that actually believes that the Essenes were Christians, let alone who had a New Testament?
Smith should do himself a favor and read the Biblical basis for the Trinity:
If time permits, and if the Lord Jesus wills, we will try to dissect and refute the main points of his so-called "rebuttals" in order to provide further evidence that Smith does more damage to Islam than good. It is therefore not surprising that he writes for Osama Abdallah who manages to utterly humiliate and anger some of his fellow Muslims by certain claims that he makes, i.e. Muhammad wasnt really bewitched but only suffered from Alzheimers disease! (here)
The only other gent that is nearly as bad as Osama and does nearly as much damage to the cause of Islam, one who has lost nearly all his debates despite thinking he wins, is Nadir Ahmed (here).
Note: For those readers who are interested to read our quotes from Ibn Kathir for themselves, we recommend that they download the entire abridged English translation of his commentary from the following website: http://www.geocities.com/tafsir_ibn_kathir/
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