Does Allah pray? If yes then who does He pray to?

Refuting the nonsense that Allah prays for Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons)

    A couple of days ago I was chatting with some Christians who brought up this issue. One of them was arguing that Allah worships or prays on or for Muhammad s.a.w. according to the Qur’an. This contention was popularised by the Christian polemicist Sam Shamoun and his ilk. It is no doubt a reaction to Muslims who argue against the alleged divinity of Jesus Christ by pointing out that he prayed to God. The argument essentially postulates that if a person prays to God then that disqualifies him from divinity. In many Christians’ mindset by arguing that Allah prays on Muhammad that refutes the Muslims’ postulation on Jesus and his prayerful disposition, that is, Allah prays and yet he’s still God hence if Jesus prays that means he is no less divine than Allah. In this article we will illustrate that the argument propounded by Shamoun and his ilk stems from a profound ignorance and misunderstanding of the Arabic language and linguistics in general.

The argument that Allah prays(by implication to someone) is derived from the following verse:

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَـتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً

“Surely, Allah and His angels send blessings to the Prophet. O you who believe, do pray Allah to bless him, and send your Salām (prayer for his being in peace) to him in abundance.” (33:56)

The detractors of Islam e.g. Shamoun argue that the word used in the verse stems from the word ‘Salah’ which means to pray or worship. They would argue that the above which renders the word as ‘blessings’ is a mistranslation of the original Arabic. The word in question is yusalloon which is fi’il mudhari’ jama’ muzakkar saleem or third person plural imperfect verb. It comes from the root Sala or صلا. Ordinarily the word Salah or صلا from which we get the word salah (صلاة) does mean prayer or worship, however in the verse in question when the word is ascribed to God and angels it connotes the meaning of blessing and/or forgiveness. When the word is used by God it does not mean prayer or worship, but rather blessing. This phenomenon is known as polysemy in language, that is, a word may carry multiple dimensions or meanings in different situations. Ahmad Shehu Abdussalam explains it in the following:

“Polysemy is a semantic state of a word in which it indicates two or more meanings. A word is polysemous when it looks the same as others and has more than one meaning…These varied meanings are known as “senses” (al-wujuh in the sciences of the Qur’an), and can be interrelated, shared in certain attributes or slightly different, indicating multiplicity of meaning, while varied forms of the same word, if any, are the “uses” (al-naza’ir in the sciences of the Qur’an). The word al-akhirah, with only one form (i.e. a use) has five senses: resurrection, paradise, hell, grave and the latter (Qur’an 92:13, 2:102, 39:9, 14:27 and 38:7 respectively).” [1]

The noun Sala or Salah in Arabic has a number of meanings to it which includes prayer/supplication, worship, blessing or praise/magnification, but as we have already stated when it is used of God it means blessings. All of these will be proven in due course as we look at a number of major dictionaries and lexicons of the Arabic language.

According to a Christian author by the name Abdullah al Araby who is appealed to in one of Shamoun’s articles on the issue, “The phrase “send blessings” was originally “pray upon“. The translator didn’t think it is appropriate to say that God and His Angels would pray upon (inferring praying to) the prophet Mohamed, so he had to change it to “send blessings.”” [2] One of the earliest translations of the Qur’an into English was accomplished by the Christian Orientalist George Sale in 1734. The following is Sale’s translation of the verse in question:

“Verily GOD and his angels bless the prophet. O true believers, do ye also bless him, and salute him with a respectful salutation.”[3]

Did George Sale think that it was inappropriate to translate Salah as pray? What vested interest did George Sale have as a Christian to exonerate the Qur’an? No, the alleged feeling of inappropriateness claimed by Abdullah al Araby is nothing but a sham. Consider also the following non-Muslim translations of the same verse:

“Verily, God and His Angels bless the Prophet! Bless ye Him, O Believers, and salute Him with salutations of Peace.” (John Medows Rodwell, 1861)

“God and His angels bless the Prophet. O believers, do you also bless him, and pray him peace.” (Arthur J. Arberry)

What hidden interests did the above non-Muslim and Christian translators have in opting for bless rather than pray for the word Salah? The answer is of course none whatsoever. They were translating as they saw fit in accordance with their comprehension of the Arabic language. The case has actually been won, but we’re going to provide more detailed information so as to put this to rest once and for all. The only translation of the Qur’an which has the word ‘pray’ instead of ‘bless’ is Edward Henry Palmer’s translation which is appealed to by Shamoun in his article ‘Islam and the prayers of Allah’. What Shamoun failed to reveal to his readers is that Palmer has a footnote to his translation of 33:56. The following are his remarks on the verse:

“The same word is used as is rendered ‘pray’ in all the other passages in the Qur’ân, though the commentators interpret it here as meaning ‘bless.’ So, too, in the formula which is always used after Mohammed’s name, zalla ’llâhu ‘alâihi wa sallam, ‘may God bless and preserve him!’ is literally, ‘may God pray for him and salute him!'” [4]

This means that although Palmer favours the meaning ‘pray’ for Salah in the verse when it refers to God he does acknowledge that the word is correctly interpreted as ‘bless’ in the commentaries which is an implication that is easily ascertained from the lack of correction on his part on the interpretation of ‘bless’ for the word Salah. It should be noted however, that his saying that salla Allah ‘alaihi wasallam literally means ‘may God pray for him and salute him is in error as we have already seen in the translations of Sale, Rodwell and Arberry. Further more, the word ‘alaihi‘ actually literally means ‘upon him’ not ‘for him’. He is also in error for his claim that “the same word is rendered ‘pray’ in all the other passages of the Qur’an” as we see him rendering al-salawat(plural of salah) as synagogues in Surah al-Hajj, verse 40 :

“Permission is given to those who fight because they have been wronged,–and, verily, God to help them has the might,–who have been driven forth from their homes undeservedly, only for that they said, ‘Our Lord is God;’ and were it not for God’s repelling some men with others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein God’s name is mentioned much, would be destroyed. But God will surely help him who helps Him; verily, God is powerful, mighty.” [5]

The original Arabic reads:

ٱلَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَارِهِم بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلاَّ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ وَلَوْلاَ دَفْعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا ٱسمُ ٱللَّهِ كَثِيراً وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ

We also see Palmer translating salawat(from salah) in 2:157 as blessing rather than pray!

أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَٰتٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌۭ ۖ وَأُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُهْتَدُونَ

“These, on them are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and they it is who are guided.” (E.H. Palmer)

The above two examples amply show that Palmer’s own words that he translates salah throughout the Qur’an as only pray/er is a farce and an inconsistent claim. Palmer’s translation in this regard is to be discarded in light of his own admission for the permissibility of ‘bless’ in 33:56 rather than ‘pray’ as well as the choice of translation made by Sale, Rodwell and Arberry. Finally, the English Christian missionary Thomas Patrick Hughes in the entry on al-Salat in his Dictionary of Islam corrects Palmer’s error: “Also blessing, e.g. Surah xxxiii. 56: “Verily God and His angels bless (not “pray for,” as rendered by Palmer) the Prophet.” (See Lane’s Dictionary, in Loco.).”[6] (emphasis added)

The following translations by Muslim translators, experts and academics should also be given due credence  and as further proof for our position:

“Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.” (Marmaduke Pickthall)

“God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” (Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

“Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!” (Muhammad Asad)

“Verily God and His angels whelm in blessings the prophet. O ye who believe invoke blessings upon him and give him greetings of Peace.” (Martin Lings)

“Surely, Allah and His angels send blessings to the Prophet. O you who believe, do pray Allah to bless him, and send your Salām (prayer for his being in peace) to him in abundance.” (Mufti Taqi Uthmani)

“Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.” (Muhammad Habib Shakir)

“Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet; O People who Believe! Send blessings and abundant salutations upon him.” (Ahmed Raza Khan, Mohammed Aqib Qadri)

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.” (Ibrahim Walk)

“Indeed God and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who believe, invoke blessings on him and invoke peace upon him in a worthy manner.” (Royal aal al-bayt Institute)

“Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet and also His angels (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salat on (ask Allah to bless) him and greet him with the Islamic way of greeting.”(Muhammad Taqiuddin al-hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan)

Thus far we have more than ten Islamic scholars and three non-Muslim translators and scholars of Arabic who spent months and years translating the entire Qur’an repudiate the falsehood that Allah prays for rather than blesses the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. when using the word Salah. In addition, we have also seen a Christian missionary Thomas Patrick Hughes who joins our ranks and repels Palmer’s erroneous translation for salah when used of God in Surah al-Ahzab, verse 56. That means there is not a single authority left that could be appealed to for the translation ‘prayed for’ rather than ‘bless’. Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, Muhammad Asad, Shakir, Ahmed Raza Khan, Mohammed Aqib Qadri, Ibrahim Walk, Royal aal al-bayt Institute, Muhammad al-Hilali, Muhammad Muhsin Khan, George Sale, J.M. Rodwell, A.J. Arberry and Thomas Patrick Hughes form an impenetrable bulwark for our position against the mistakes and errors of Christian propagandists on the issue of Allah blessing(Salah) His prophet and not praying for him. Let us now turn our attention to several major dictionaries and lexicons of the Arabic language by both Muslims and non-Muslims to see what they have say about this.

The following is from Lisan al-Arab authored by Ibn Mazur al-Afriqi which is one of the major reference materials for anyone persuing academic studies in Arabic:

والصلاة الدعاء والاستغفار…وصلاة الله على رسوله رحمته له وحسن ثنائه عليه وفى حديث ابن أبى آوفى آنه قال أعطانى أبى صدقة ماله فاتيت بها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال اللهم صل على آل أبى أوفى قال الازهرى هذه الصلاة عندى الرحمة ومنه قوله عز وجل ان الله وملا ئكته يصلون على النبى يٰأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً فالصلاة من الملائكة دعاء واستغفار ومن الله رحمة وبه سميت الصلاة لما فيها من الدعاء ولاستغفار وفى الحديث التحيات لله والصلوات قال أبوىبكر الصلوات معن ها الترحم وقوله تعالى ان الله وملا ئكته يصلون على النبى اى يترحمون

Al-Salah is supplication and seeking forgiveness…and the Salah of Allah upon his messenger is His blessing/mercy for him and magnification/praises  upon him. In the narration of Ibn Abi Awfa verily he said: “My father gave charity from his own wealth. Thereafter I went to the messenger of Allah with it whereby the Prophet s.a.w. said, “Oh Allah send Salah on the family of Abi Awfa.” Azhari said that this Salah in his sight means al-Rahmah(the blessing/mercy). And Allah s.w.t. says,”Verily, Allah and His angels send Salah(blessings) upon the Prophet. O you who believe, do pray Allah to bless him, and send your Salam to him in abundance.” Thus the Salah of the angels are supplication(du’a) and seeking forgiveness(for the messenger) and from Allah it is His blessing(rahmah). And it is called Salah within which is supplication and seeking for forgiveness. And in the narration on the greetings and salawat(plural of salah), Abu Bakr said, “Al-salawat means conferring blessing” and Allah said, “Verily, Allah and His angels send Salah(blessings) upon the Prophet” which means they bless him.” [7]

Isma’il bin Hammad al-Jawhari in his Sihah Taj al-Lughah wa Sihah al-‘Arabiyyah defines it as follows:

والصلاة من الله تعالى : الرحمة

“Al-Salah when it is from Allah means mercy/blessing.” [8]

Abi Mansur Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Azhari in his massive Tahzib al-Lughah  defines it as follows:

نوما فإن لجنب المرء مضطجعا وأما حديث ابن أبى أوفى أنه قال : أعطانى أبى صدقة ماله فأتيت بها رسول الله صل الله عليه وسلم فقال : (( اللهم صل على آل أبى أوفى )) فإن هذه الصلاة عندى الرحمة , ومنه قوله جل وعز : ( إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبى ) فالصلاة من الملائكة دعاء واستغفار , ومن الله سبحانه رحمة .

He mentions the same narration as Ibn Manzur al-Afriqi that Ibn Abi Awfa went to the Prophet s.a.w. with charity given by his father from his wealth “upon which the Prophet s.a.w. remarked, “Oh Allah, send Salah on the family of Abi Awfa.” Therefore this al-Salah with me means al-Rahmah(the blessing/mercy). And from His(Allah’s) word: “Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet”. Al Salah from the angels is supplication and seeking for forgiveness(for him), and from Allah s.w.t. it means blessing/mercy.””[9]

El-Said Badawi of the American University in Cairo and Martin Hinds of Cambridge University in their A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic: Arabic-English defines it as follows:

“salla ‘ala 1 [Isl] to invoke a blessing on. salli ‘an-nabi [Isl] (bless the Prophet!) (1) expclamation of wonder or delight, as in aadi l-‘aruusa salli ‘an-nabi aaxir gamaal there’s the bride! my! isn’t she beautiful.” [10]

Another major resource German scholar of Arabic Hahns Wehr writes:

“…(of God) to bless s.o. : صلى الله عليه وسلم (sallam) God bless him and grant him salvation! (eulogy after the name of Prophet Muhammad).” [11]

Last, but most definitely not least is Edward William Lane’s definition in his excellent magnum opus Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon:

[And,said of a man, He blessed him, meaning he invoked God’s blessing upon him; namely the Prophet; or he said, اللهم صل عليه ( expl. by what here follows ) accord. To the rendering of صلوا عليه , i.e. على النبى , by Bd and others in the Kur xxxiii. 56.] One says, صليت على النبى [ I blessed the Prophet ; &c.]. (S.) __ And, said of God, He blessed him, meaning He conferred blessing upon him : and He had mercy on him : and He magnified him, or conferred honour upon him :  hence the saying اللهم صل على ال أبى أوفى ,

meaning O God, bless the family of Aboo-Owfa : or have mercy on &c. : but in the saying [ in the Kur xxxiii.56 ], إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبى , the verb does not import two meanings ; for it has there only one meaning, which is “magnification” [ i.e. these words mean Verily God and his angels magnify the Prophet ; or rather I would render them, bless the Prophet, as this rendering implies magnification and also a meaning of the quasi-inf. n. given in the M and K, which is “eulogy,” or “commendation,” bestowed by God upon his apostle, while it imports God’s “conferring of blessing” and the angels’ “invoking thereof”] : (Msb,TA:) [ it is said that] اللهم صل على محمد  means O God, magnify Mohammad in the present world by exalting his renown and manifesting his invitation [ to El-Islam] and rendering permanent his law, and in the world to come byaccepting his intercessionfor his people and multiplying his reward: and it is disputed whether or not this form of prayer may be used for any but the Prophet [ Mohammad ] : El-Khattabee says that it may not, though he himself used it for others. (TA.) [ صل الله عليه وسلم is a phrase commonly used by the Muslims after the mention of their prophet. [12] (emphasis added)

Edward William Lane makes it unequivocally clear that in Surah al-Ahzab, verse 56 when Allah uses the word Salah it means magnification or blessing and definitely not praying for or anything of the kind. He affirms the translations of the team of translators and academics that were mentioned earlier as clearly understood from his saying that “I would render them, bless the Prophet, as this rendering implies magnification…”. Thus far, three additional non-Muslim experts (who have no vested interest in Islam) of the Arabic language that include Martin Hinds, Hahns Wehr and Edward William Lane lend support to our already magnificently well designed bulwark in refuting the allegation that Allah prays for Muhammad in Surah al-Ahzab, verse 56 or anywhere else for that matter.

Let us now turn our attention to one of the finest tafsir or exegesis works available in English by Mufti Shafi’ Uthmani which will provide further clarity on the matter:

“The word: صلوة is used in the Arabic language to convey the sense of : Mercy (rahmah), prayer (du’a), and praise (madh and thana’). The Salah attributed to Allah Ta’ala in the cited verse means His sending of mercy, but Salah from angels denotes their prayer for him, and the sense of Salah (durood) from common believers is a combination of du’a (prayer) and thana’ (praise). Most commentators have given these very meanings and Imam al-Bukhari has reported from Abul ‘Aliyyah that the Salah of Allah Ta’ala means the honor accorded to  him and the praise showered on him before the angels.” [13]

The following is an explanation on 33:56 given by Sahibul Fadhilah Ustadh Sheikh Ahmad Mustafa Al-Maraghi in his tafsir work:

إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبى) الصلاة من الله الرحمة, ومن الملائكة الاستغفار, فالمعنى كلم قال ابن عباس : إن الله يرحم النبى, والملائكة يدعون له ويطلبون له المغفرة.
وقد أخبر الله سبحانه عباده بمنزلة عبده ونبيه فى الملإ الأعلى, بأنه يثنى عليه لدى ملائكته المقربين, وأن ملائكته يصلون عليه طالبين له المغفرة من ربه

Al-Salah from Allah is al-Rahmah(blessing/mercy) and from the angels it is their seeking for forgiveness. The meaning of the verse as explained by Ibn Abbas is that Allah sends rahmah(blessing) on the Prophet and the angels pray for him and ask for his forgiveness. In addition, Allah informs his servants of the status of his servant and prophet among those in heaven. In regards to that Allah praises him before the angels and the angels give Salah on him by seeking forgiveness for him.” [14]

Finally, Imam Al-Qurtubi explains the verse in his luminous tafsir as follows:

هذه الآية شرف الله بها رسوله عليه السلام حياته وموته, وذكرمنزلته منه, وطهر بها سوء فعل من استصحب في جهته فكرة سوء, أو في أمر زوجاته ونحو ذالك. والصلاة من الله رحمته ورضوانه, ومن الملائكة الدعاء والاستغفار, ومن الأمة الدعاء والتعظيم لأمره

“In this verse Allah honours the Prophet s.a.w. with it during his life and in his death…and al-Salah from Allah is His rahmah(blessing/mercy) and his pleasure, and from the angels it is their supplication and seeking for forgiveness(for him) and from the people it is supplication and exaltation for his order.” [15]

In conclusion, the argument that Allah prays for Muhammad which then implies that He is praying to someone is ad hoc and built on a patently false and misguided understanding of the word Salah in Arabic. Both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars have been shown to concur that when the word salah is used of God the meaning ‘to pray for’ is totally eliminated from the equation and the meaning ‘blessing, honouring, giving mercy or magnifying’ are retained. To keep on the worn-out bandwagon of propagandists is folly and it is a futile attempt to undermine Islam and exonerate Christianity for its claim that Jesus who is supposed to be God prays to another. It is nothing but the presumptuous meanderings of the unlearned. The narration in al-Bukhari, Bayhaqi and others shows clearly that standard Islamic belief repels the idea of another in existence together with Allah:

روى البخارىُّ والبيهقىُّ وابنُ الجارود أن رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:”كان الله ولم يَكُنْ شَىءٌ غَيْرُهُ

“It is narrated by Bukhari, al-Baihaqi and ibn Al-Jarud that the Prophet s.a.w. said: When Allah existed nothing else existed other than Him”

Surah al-Ikhlas in the Qur’an puts the final nail on the coffin as it explicitly describes Allah as the absolute power and ends with the unequivocal note that “there is absolutely nothing like Him” It is astounding that after such clear cut easy-to-understand verses and narrations that someone can actually think he has a case against the singular majesty of Allah s.w.t. It is inconceivable according to Islam with authority from both Qur’an and Sunnah that Allah could be beseeching or petitioning someone else for whatever cause or reason. It is an impossibility according to Islamic theology founded upon its scriptures.

Addendum:

The following are further proofs that will add further value and credence to what has already been written above .

Reverend E. M. Wherry in his A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran has the verse in question as follows:

“Verily God and his angels bless the Prophet. O true believers, do ye also bless him, and salute him with a respectful salutation.”[16]

In a footnote to the verse he writes: “Salute him, &c.. “Hence the Muhammadans seldom mention his name without adding, ‘On whom be the blessings of God and peace!’ or the like words.” – Sale.” [17]

Orientalist and lecturer in Arabic at Edinbrugh University, Richard Bell who was no supporter of Islam by any stretch as anyone with a modicum of knowledge of Qur’anic studies would know renders the verse as follows:

“Verily Allah and His angels pronounce blessings upon the prophet; O ye who believed, pronounce blessings upon him, and give (him) the salutations of Peace.” [18]

He does add a footnote to the word “blessings” in his translation saying “Lit. “pray over.”, however he had enough sense to correctly apply his knowledge of the Arabic language despite his critical predisposition against Islam rendering the verb as ‘blessings’ in the verse proper when it is ascribed to Allah.

Dr. Colin Turner who is Reader in Islamic Thought at Durham University translates the verse as follows:

“God and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Whenever you mention the name of the Prophet, send blessings to him and greetings of peace.” [19]

The well respected Anglican priest and academic Rev. Kenneth Cragg translates the verse as follows:

“God and His angels call blessing upon the prophet. O you who have believed, you also call blessing upon him and greet him with a greeting of peace.” [20]

Hanna E. Kassis’ A Concordance of the Qur’an has the verse as an entry under Salah rendering the verb as ‘blessing’ [21] which is as follows:

                                                      *S L W

SALLA ~(with prep. ‘ala) to bless

                             b) impf. act.

33.56 (56)            God and His angels bless the Prophet

N. J. Dawood who is of Jewish descent from Iraq and translator of the Qur’an translates the verse as follows:

“The Prophet is blessed by God and His angels.” [22]

Majid Fakhry in his translation of the Qur’an translates the verse as follows:

“Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O believers, bless him and greet him graciously, too.” [23]

The following translation is from The Quran, An English Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an which was checked and revised by Mahmud Y. Zayid with the assistance of a group of Muslim scholars  and approved by the Supreme Sunni and Shi’a Councils of Lebanon:

“The Prophet is blessed by Allah and His angels. Bless him, then, you that are true believers, and greet him with a worthy salutation.” [24]

 M. A. S. Abdel Haleem renders the verse in his translation as follows:

“God and His angels bless the Prophet – so, you who believe, bless him too and give him greetings of peace.” [25]

The erudite scholar  Prof. Dr. Abdulmalik Abdulkarim Amrullah or simply known as Hamka among South East Asian Muslims writes in his commentary on the verse:

“This verse proves that even Allah Himself has admiration for the Prophet. Allah sends his salawat to the Prophet! The angels in heaven also send salawat to the Prophet. Thus people who have faith should send salawat on him.

Imam Bukhari said: “Accroding to Abul Aliyah the meaning of the salawat of Allah Ta’ala to the Prophet is magnification/praise that He gives to him. And the salawat of the angels to the Prophet is their supplication.

Ibn ‘Abbas explained that what is meant by Allah sending salawat is that He sends His blessings.

Abu Isa Tidmidhi said that Sufyan and not only one or two scholars who said that the salawat of Allah to the Prophet is His mercy to him. The salawat of the angels is when they seek for forgiveness on behalf of the Prophet s.a.w.

According to the narration of al-A’masy, Atha’ bin Abu Rabah interpreted that the salawat of Allah to the Prophet is Subbuhun Quddusun, “Most Pure and Most Holy; My mercy overtakes My wrath.” Hence what is meant by this verse is that Allah magnifies His Prophet in front of his angels and the angels also say salawat to him which means their supplication.” [26]

Mawlana Abdul Majid Daryabadi translates the verse as follows:

“Verily Allah and His angels send their benedictions upon the Prophet. O you who believe! send your benedictions also upon him and salute him with a goodly salutation.” [27]

Commenting on the verse he writes: “God’s benediction upon His prophet is clear enough. The angel’s ‘benediction’ means that they pray to God for His blessings on the Prophet. The verb in the phrase imputes God’s “conferring of blessing” and the angels’ “invoking thereof.” ‘(LL)” [28]

Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani in his commentary on the verse writes:

“صلوة على النبى (Sending mercy on the Prophet) means admiration and esteem with mercy and kindness. Then with whom صلوة is connected, the admiration, esteem, mercy and kindness shall be taken befitting his state and degree. For example, we say the father is kind to the son, the son is kind to the father, and the brother is kind to the brother, or they love each oher, then it is quite obvious that the kind of love and kindness which the father has for his son is not similar to that which the son has for his father. Similarly the kindness of the brother for the brother is different from both. Similar is the case here in the oresent verse. Allah also sends mercy (صلوة ) on His Prophet i.e. with mercy and kindness admires him and honours him; and the Angels also send mercy on the Prophet, but the mercy, kindness and honour of God and the Angels shall be according to the state and degree of each. Onward the Believers are ordered to send mercy and peace on the Prophet. Its nature shall be different from both. The scholars have said : “The Salat (صلوة ) of God is the sending of mercy, the Salat of the Angels is the asking of forgiveness, and the salat of Believers is the praying for the Prophet.” [29]

The great mufassir(interpreter) of the Qur’an Imam al-Tabari has the following commentary on the verse:

يقول تعالى ذكره : إن الله وملائكته يبركون على النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلام.
٢٨٦٣٢- كما حدثنى على، قال : ثنا أبو صالح، قال : ثني معاوية، عن علي، عن ابن عباس، قوله (إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبي يا أيها الذين آمنوا صلوا عليه) يقول: يباركون على النبي. وقد يحتمل أن يقال : إن معنى ذلك : أن الله يرحم النبي، وتدعوله ملائكته ويستغفرون، وذلك أن الصلاة في كلام العرب من غير الله إنما هو دعاء.

“The meaning of it is that Allah and His angels send blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

Ali informed me that he said: Abu Salih informed us that he said: Mu’awiyyah informed me from Ali, from Ibn ‘Abbas regarding the verse, “Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings upon the Prophet. O you who believe send blessings on the Prophet.” The meaning is that They bless the Prophet. (Al Mawardi, al-Nukat wal Uyun & Ibn Kathir)

The meaning of it is that Allah blesses the Prophet s.a.w. and the angels supplicate for him and seek forgiveness for the Prophet s.a.w. That is because al-salah in the Arabic language when used by other than Allah means supplication(du’a).” [30]

Al-Allamah al-Sheikh Abdullah al-Bustani defines al-Salah as follows:

الصلاة الدعا وهو اصل معانيها – الرحمة و – الاستغفار – حسن الثناء من الله عز وجل

“Al-Salah is supplication and its original meanings are – mercy  and – forgiveness and – magnification from Allah Most High…” [31]

Al-Husayn bin Muhammad al-Ma’ruf bi Raghib al-Asbahani defines wa salawat al-rasul as follows:

وصلاة الله للمسلمين هو فى التحقيق تزكيته إياهم . قال تعالى : (( أولئك عليهم صلوات من ربهم و رحمة )).
ومن الملائكة هى الدعاء والإستغفار , كما هى من الناس . قال تعالى : (( إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبى )).

Dr. Rohi Baalbaki in his Al-Mawrid [32] defines the word as follows:

To bless                    صلى الله على : بارك

    God’s blessing and peace be upon him                      صلى الله عليه وسلم

 

John Penrice in his سلكت البيان فى مناقب القرآن  or A Dictionary and Glossary of the Qur’an defines the word al-Salah as follows:

صلاة pronounced, and sometimes written صلاة D.S. Gr. T. 1, p. 36; Plur. صلوات A prayer;  صلوات من ربهم

2 v. 152, “ Mercies from their Lord ; “ at 22 v.41 it means “Synagogues.” –

صلى II. To pray, properly, by bending the knees and whole body in adoration, or generally, to offer prayer to God ( with لِ ) ; with على it means to pray for, also to bless, as in the formula صلى الله عليه وسلم “God bless and keep him.[33] (emphasis added)

John Penrice understood that when salah and salawat was used of God it means ‘mercies’ and ‘blessing’ which is why he translated صلى الله عليه وسلم  as “God bless and keep him” and certainly not “God prays for him.” The part where he says “with على it means to pray for” is clearly in reference to human beings i.e. believers or angels sending salah upon (or pray for) the Prophet s.a.w.

The late Emeritus Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University, Montgommery Watt who was hailed as one of the foremost western academic on Islam chose the translation of the verse and comments on it in the following:

56 do you also bless him…: this is the basis of the pious phrase used after mentioning Muhammad, salla ‘llah ‘alayh-hi wa-sallam, ‘God bless him and give him peace’.” [34]

Mawdudi in his tafsir explains the verse in the following:

106. “Allah’s sending His blessings on His Prophet” means this: “Allah is very kind to His Prophet: He praises him, blesses his work, exalts his name, and showers His mercies on him.” “Blessings of the angels” means: “They love the Prophet most dearly and pray to Allah to bless him with the highest ranks, cause his religion and Shari’ah to flourish and exalt him to the laudable position.” [35]

The immediate context of the verse provides more clarity to the verse in question. A few verses before verse 56 we see that Allah instructs visitors to the Prophet’s s.a.w. house to observe some visitation etiquette such as not to arrive too early so as to wait for food to be served or to linger too long after finishing a meal prepared by the Prophet’s household and chatter for too long a period as that was a source of annoyance to him. Without getting into the intricate details of what transpired it is sufficient to note here that the Prophet s.a.w. was like a celebrity in his time. If there were no rules to restrict visitations to the Prophet’s own houses he would be swarmed 24/7 and as a human being he would not have been able to cope with it and neither could his wives. The Prophet s.a.w. himself did not do anything about it until the revelation was sent down as he was by nature a shy individual. It was not within his nature to demand people to leave him alone which coelesces with the Qur’an perfectly whereby he is described as a mercy to the worlds. We now understand that one of the meanings conveyed by the verse in question(v. 56) is that Allah is the ultimate source of blessings and mercy for him from which the he receives peace and serenity and the angels too in their holiness sned their blessings on him, hence believers who are nothing compared to Allah are  instructed to be a source of peace and serenity for the Prophet s.a.w. rather than a source of annoyance to him. The late Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali captures this point nicely and succinctly:

“As the surah reviews the hardship and the intimidation of the Prophet had to put up with, it brought him great solace and much comfort by reassuring him that: “God and His angels bless the Prophet. Bless him, then, you that are true believers and greet him with a worthy salutation” (56).” [36]

*credit is due to brother Jesus(one of our avid guests) for reminding me of this point in one of his comments*

The Qur’an: an Encyclopedia whose head editor is Professor of Philosophy and Zantker Professor of Judaic Studies  Oliver Leaman has an interesting and pertinent way of looking at the verse under the entry of Salat and the sub-heading of Does God pray for believers?:

‘Take from their money [O messenger] a charity to purify them and sanctify them. And support them, for your support reassures them. God is all-hearing, omniscient’ (9:103). Here again it can hardly be meant that the Prophet should pray for these people: God and His angels yusallun ala al-nabi (support the prophet). O you who believe, you shall sallu alayhi (support him), and recognise and accept him (as God’s messenger)'(33:56) Once again it is clear that neither God nor the angels conduct a salat for the Prophet, nor the believers required to do so. [37]

Whatever one makes of the above one thing is absolutely clear according to this academic work: With regards to the question ‘Does God pray for believers?’ the answer is positively no. It should be clarified however that the book does not actually negate the fact that salat is given to the Prophet s.a.w in the last sentence in the above quotation. Rather, it is denying that salat is given to the Prophet s.a.w. if the meaning intended is ‘pray’ rather than support(which is an acceptable interpretation of blessing and supplication). It is critical that one understands this which is made evidently clear in the first part of the quotation as well as the previous sections under the same entry which goes to some length in explaining salat as worship given to God at specific times with specific movements etc. It is that kind of salat that is not given to the Prophet s.a.w. by Allah, the angels or believers.

Author Abdur Rashid Siddiqui correctly writes:

When the word Salah is attributed to Allah, it means that he turns towards His servants with love and affection and showers His benefactions and blessings on them (al-Baqarah 2:157). It is in the same sense that the word Salah is used in Surah al-Ahzab: “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send your blessings on him and salute him with respect” (33:56). [38]

 

References:

[1] Ahmad Shehu Abdussalam (2008). Concordance of the Qur’an. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: International Islamic University of Malaysia Press. p. 23

[2] Shamoun, S. (n.d.) The Mystery of “PBUH” Revealed: Allah’s prayers for Muhammad examined: A Christian’s critique of a Muslim’s denial. Retrieved from http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Menj/pbuh.htm

[3] Sale, G.(1734). The Koran: Commonly Called The AlKoran of Mohammed. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/7440/pg7440.html

[4] Palmer, E.H. (1880). The Qur’an. Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/sbe09/033.htm#fn_188

[5] Ibid. Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/sbe09/022.htm

[6] Hughes, T. P. (2003). Dictionary of Islam: Being Cyclopedia of the Doctrines, Rites, Ceremonies, And Customs, Together with the Technical and Theological terms of the Muhammadan Religion. New Delhi, India: Rupa & Co. p. 561

[7] Ibn Manzur al-Afriqi (2003). Lisan al-Arab, Vol. 18. Saudi Arabia: Dar ‘Alim Al-Kutub. p. 198

[8] Abi Nasr Ismail bin Hammad al-Jawhari (1999). Al-Sihah Taj al-Lughati Wa Sihah al-‘Arabiyyah, Vol. 6. Beirut, Lebanon: dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. p. 384

[9] Abi Mansur Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Azhari (n.d.). Tahzib al-Lughat, Vol. 17. Cairo, Egypt: Matabi’ Sabil al-Arab. p. 236

[10] El-Said Badawi & Hinds, M. (1986). A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic: Arabic-English. Beirut, Lebanon: Librarie Du Liban. p. 509

[11] Wehr, H. (1960). Hahns Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary. (n.d.) p. 524

[12] Lane, E. W. (1872). Arabic-English Lexicon, Book 1: Derives from the Best and the Most Copious Eastern Sources. Covent Garden, London: Williams and Norgate. p. 1720

[13] Shafi’ Uthmani (n.d.). Ma’riful Qur’an, Vol. 7 (Muhammad Hasan Askari & Muhammad Shamim, Trans.). Karachi, Pakistan. Maktab Darul ‘Ulum. p. 228

[14] Ahmad Mustafa al-Maraghi (n.d.). Tafsir al-Maraghi, Vol. 8. Dar al-Fikr. pp. 33-34

[15] Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Ansari al-Qurtubi (1993). Al-Jami’ al-Ahkam al-Qur’an. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. p.149

[16] Wherry, E. M. (1885). A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale’s Translation and Preliminary Discourse, with Additional Notes and Emendations, Vol. 3. London: Trubner & Co. p. 326

[17] Ibid.

[18] Bell, R. (1939). The Qur’an: Translated, with a Critical Re-arrangement of the Surahs, Vol. 2. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. p. 418

[19] Muhammad Baqir Behbudi (1997). The Qur’an : A New Interpretations (Coling Turner, trans.). Surrey, England: Curzon Press. p. 254

[20] Cragg, K. (1988). Readings in the Qur’an: Selected and Translated with an Introductory Essay. London: Collins Religious Publishing. p. 288

[21] Kassis, H. E. (1983). A Concordance of the Qur’an. London: University of California Press. p. 87

[22] N. J. Dawood (1990). The Koran: Translated with Notes. London: Penguin Books. p. 298

[23] Majid Fakhry (2002). An Interpretation of the Qur’an: English Translation of the Meanings. New York: New York University Press. p. 426

[24] Mahmud Y. Zayid (1980). The Quran: An English Translation of the Meaning of the Quran. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Choura. p. 312

[25] M. A. S. Abdel Haleem (2004). The Qur’an: A New Translation. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 270

[26] Abdul Malik Abdulkarim Amrullah (1987). Tafsir al-Azhar, Vol. 22. Sinapore: Pustaka Nasional Pte Ltd. p. 5770

[27] Abdul Majid Daryabadi (n.d.). Tafsirul Qur’an: Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Vol. 3. Lucknow, India: Academy of Islamic Research and Publications, Nadwatul Ulama. p. 457

[28] Ibid. p. 458

[29] Shabbir Ahmed Usmani (n.d.). The Noble Quran: Tafseer-e-Usmani (Mohammad Ashfaq Ahmad, trans.). Lahore, Pakistan: Aalameen Publications. pp. 1857-1858

[30] Abi Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari (1999). Jami’ al-Bayan fi Ta’wil al-Qur’an, Vol. 10. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. p. 329

[31] Abdullah al-Bustani (1992). Bil Bustan Mu’jam Lughawi Mutawwal. Beirut, Lebanon: Maktabah Lubnan. p. 616

[32] Rohi Baalbaki (1996). Al-Mawrid, Qamus ‘Arabi – Inkiliziyya: A Modern Arabic-English Dictionary. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul ‘Ilm lil Malayin. p. 698

[33] Penrice, J. (1971). A Dictionary and Glossary of the Koran, with Copious Grammatical References and Explanations of the Text (Original published in 1873). London: Curzon Press. p. 85

[34] Watt, W. M. (2008). Companion to the Qur’an: Based on the Arberry Translation, Vol. 10. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 195

[35] Syed Abul A’la Maududi (1992). The Meaning of the Qur’an, Vol. VIII. Lahore, Pakistan: Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Limited. p. 141

[36] Muhammad al-Ghazali (2005). A Thematic Commentary on the Qur’an (Ashur A. Shamis, trans.). Herndon, Virginia: International Institute of Islamic Thought. p. 462

[37] Leaman, O. (Ed.). (2006). The Qur’an: an Encyclopedia. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 565

[38] Abdru Rashid Siddiqui (2008). Qur’anic Keywords: A Reference Guide. Leicstershire, U.K. : The Islamic Foundation. pp. 203-204

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38 Responses to “Does Allah pray? If yes then who does He pray to?”

  1. Jesus says:

    Good response brother Anwar .Sam Shamoun had produced a rebuttal to this article ,you should see it he refutes nothing but just copy pastes his previous arguments .He just does not want to concede he is wrong but keeps persisting in his ignorance .

    This foolish assumption of his is also refuted excellently at ‘let me turn the tables’ by brother Waqar.

    Archimedes after he discovered principle of boyency ran naked .When Sam Shamoun runs saying he has discovered something absurd about Islam ,a close examination shows he has not discovered anything it only shows how much naked he is in his knowledge about Islam.

    He takes a word of Arabic which he barely know and says Allah prays ! just completely ignoring that one word can have different meanings and he also ignores what scholars say .What an ignorant man .If you see him it will be clear that he has nothing over is head and if you read his articles it will be even more clear he has nothing inside it too !

  2. rocko says:

    shamoun will never be seen contributing to forums like word reference, if he did he would have had the holy ghost kicked out of his pagan a ss

  3. Christian says:

    Rocko, thank you for exposing Islam

    • rocko says:

      I AM NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BEAUTIFUL DEEN OF ISLAM. ISLAM IS INDEPENDANT OF ME . but the FACT IS if shamoun even WERE TO DIALOGUE with linguists at word ref forums he would have the holy ghost kicked out of his as s

  4. Christian says:

    You can claim you don’t represent Islam or that it is independent of you – you can even lie now and say you’re not Muslim. But the fact remains. Your fruits show who you are and the validity of your faith. I urge you to repent and leave the evil of islam before it is too late for you.

  5. Christian says:

    Rocko is an orthodox muslim who represents your view. That is one thing. But when dealing with Christians who hold to orthodox reformation theology which is set on orthodox Christian roots you should not appeal to Catholic atrocities since Romanists departed from the teachings of Jesus and the apostles long ago, they admittedly don’t view Scripture as their ultimate authority and their theology derives from the opinions of later men, not Christianity. So quote to me a real Christian (not a papist) who said something to the equivalent of Rocko, you can’t. This would be like me quoting Luis Farakan to you and saying Muslims are evil and their religion is false. Don’t quote heretics, papists, prosperity cultists – quote to me Christians who actually submit to orthodox theology.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Keith, even if Rocko is an orthodox Muslim is not an indictment of Islam. After all, Islam recognises the imperfection of Muslims as human beings. His actions as well as some of mine are not sanctioned by Islam. So for you to try and use certain Muslims’ actions as an argument against Islam is really absurd. The links that I provided are not only of Roman Catholics, but also of Protestants and non-Catholic Christians such as your hero Sam Shamoun, Anis Shorrosh, Kent Hovind etc. You may claim that Catholics are not Christians but Catholics will argue that you’re not Christian and they would have a better position since they were the ones who canonised the New Testament i.e. Bishop Athanasius. You have inherited major doctrines together with their technical terminology from Catholic theology such as the Trinity(persons, essense, hyspotasis etc.) Historically we know for a fact that these were later formulations that did not exist in early Christianity (refer to James Dunn).

    • rocko says:

      leave islam for the pagan cr ap called christianity? the pagan cr ap which says that god wore flesh and then got the pagans to beat the crap out of it, then god cosmically self abused himself to cool down? leave islam for cr ap like this? god self abused himself , cooled down and then wants his followers to remember his MURDER by wearing metalic objects around thier knecks? what ACTIONS would moses have applied on this keith falsehood if he had said this about yhwh? before you use the cra p called crosstianity to judge my words maybe you want to start of with jebus’ PUBLIC abuse of the pharisees , so bad was his public abuses that the pharisees wanted to DESTROY him? why? becoz they they loved his words or pissed with his INSULTS? i’m not threatened by your hippie god keith truth. humans judged and destroyed jesus, they brought him down to his knees. jesus was so scared that he was unable to show his face for the 2nd time lol. keither, think about it your is BLODDY violent minded, he thought he could DIVIDE and conquer , ” i have come to bring fire” ” how i wish it was already kindled” “i come not to bring peace” when he found out that jews WERE more successful in TURNING crowds against him in 2 days, the only other OPTION your sick self abusing god had was to VIOLENTLY get himself self abused. OFcourse jesus’ teachings on DIVIDE and conquer were USEFUL for early christians

      ehrman says,

  6. rocko says:

    But the hottest early christian debates were with other christians, as they argued over the right things to believe and the right ways to live. these internal christian debates were often filled with vitriol and hatred. christians called one another nasty names, said ugly things about one another, and pulled out all stops to make thier christian opponents look reprehensible and stupid, denying , in many instances, that the opponents even had the right to call themselves christians.

    page 180

    forged

    ketihe falsehood, what these christians were doing was TRULY representing your failed and nailed god jebus krist. they were trying to act like jebus and jebus’ wish to kindle the fire was fullfilled in pagan christians who hated each other and called abused each other like jebus abused and insulted the pharisees, the HELPLESS and poor cananite woman who sought help for her daughter, she only recieves help after she REFUTES and destroys your gods stupid reply to her.

    you think you a bad man telling ppl to leave islam? why don’t you try to convince ex-christians to come back to your pagan god who enjoyed the violence which was done to him? who went willingly to please himself?

    http://www.freeratio.org/showt.....038;page=2

    ?

  7. Christian says:

    I don’t believe in your opinions about you not indicting Islam. After all you are imperfect as you admit so you can’t rely on your opinion there. (censored) Now, show me where Athanasius believed any of the major doctrines which Catholics claim are necessary to be Catholic (Papal infallibility, papal primacy, immaculate conception of Mary, assumption of Mary, transubstantiation etc). You can’t because he didn’t believe that stuff and was thus not Catholic. And he didn’t canonize the New Testament, he simply stated what books he believed were true. Christian churches functioned with their own held to books long before Athanasius. Does that mean they all canonized the NT too? The word Trinitas was used by Tertullian and Theophilus (2nd-3rd cent)long before the Roman Catholic church and their doctrines existed, if you disagree show these major Roman doctrines at that time to prove it existed. Your hero Jimmy Dunn can be used against you as seen in the article entitled “The Muslim Abuse and Misuse of Modern Biblical Scholarship” where Dunn agrees with us on Phil. 2 and other vital texts. Plus you shouldn’t rely on him so much he changes his mind all of the time when he is refuted by his peers. As for Kent Hovind you need to listen to his side of the story before going around believing whatever you hear and Annis Shorrosh must have had some mental breakdown, you can’t fault Christianity therefore.

    As for you mentioning Sam Shamoun look at the article entitled “Setting the Record Straight: Exposing the Deliberate Lies and Slanders of Muslim Dawagandists” where it is clear that the reason he gave some Muslims a taste of their own medicine was because they started the insulting, so don’t bring up Shamoun. In fact in that article you will see the evidence where you brothers in Apologetics (zaatari, Osama, Nadir, Jalal etc) threaten each other with physical violence, use the f-word and call for each others deaths! You’re even linked in there were you beg your brothers not to do such things and disgrace Islam so even you believe they indict Islam! So don’t bring up Shamoun responding to those animals without mentioning all of this proof. Don’t delete this either as I have it screen capped.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      I don’t believe your opinions about anything pertaining to Islam as you are under the delusion of falsehood. My imperfection as a human being has no bearing whatsoever on the intellectual merits of what has been said so far. Are you suggesting to us that you are perfect? If you think or claim that you are perfect then you are neither Catholic nor Protestant. Do you have your own specific church? What you mentioned about Athanasius and those particular Catholic doctrines is nothing but a red herring. My point was specifically that there are certain Catholic traditions which you have accepted and take for granted and yet you discard Catholicism as total falsehood. There was no theologian prior to Athanasius who listed the 27 of the NT as Athanasius did, hence your saying that Christian churches held to books long before Athanasius does not support you in any way. It was Athanasius who suggested that the NT should carry 27 books in it and that got stuck in the western canon. Don’t try to downplay the significant role played by catholic bishops in canonising the New Testament as you know it today. It’s not going to work. The Bible does not tell you that you should have 27 books in the NT. This is something that is inherited by the tradition of the Catholic church fathers. Thus what you said about following the traditions of men is a slap on your own face. You mentioned that the term Trinitas was used by Tertullian in the 2nd century. This is another red herring because this is what I actually said: You have inherited major doctrines together with their technical terminology from Catholic theology such as the Trinity(persons, essense, hyspotasis etc.) Historically we know for a fact that these were later formulations that did not exist in early Christianity (refer to James Dunn). No, Sam Shamoun’s shoddy article which you have cited does not help your case on Philippians 2:6 with regards to Dunn’s position on it. Shamoun makes the claim that Phillipians 2:5-11 is called “hymn to Christ” whilst mentioning Dunn in the same context hence making it sound as if Dunn agrees that it is a hymn to Christ.This is what Dunn actually holds:
      “Christ is clearly the subject of these hymns; they can properly be called ‘Christ hymns’. What they are not, however, is hymns to Christ.” (Dunn, J. D. (2010). Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? The New Testament Evidence. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 41) Stop relying on Shamoun’s nonsense and grow up Keith. Everyone has a side to his/her story but Hovind broke the law and is in prison for it. Take it up with the American justice system. There is no evidence that Anis Shorrosh had a mental breakdown. That’s your pathetic little excuse to exonerate his criminal act to destroy certain documents that could implicate him with the law. How do you exonerate this reverend? http://unveiling-christianity......-children/ Come on..come up with another brilliant excuse will you? The problem with you is that you are under the delusion that Christians are angels on earth living saintly lives committing no sins or crimes. You’re living in fairy tale land Keith. You really need to wake up.
      No, Shamoun doesn’t give Muslims a taste of their own medicine. Rather, Shamoun has by nature a foul mouth. You have either never listened to his talks on paltalk among Christians and Muslims or you’re pretending not to know. His little pal Christian Prince is another beautiful character. Would you like to propose some excuses for his foul mouth too? Those Muslim apologists threatened each other with physical violence? Is that the same as David Wood actually arrested for committing physical violence?

  8. rocko says:

    ” I urge you to repent and leave the evil of islam before it is too late for you.”

    i am NOT THREATED by the false crap u worship ONE bit, i am CONFIDENT that i would destroy your god ONCE AGAIN , for the gods which are drilled to a stick can never say ” before it is too late” they can only utter empty threats. thats what the christians were saying “my dead god who was destroyed by humans is gonna get you back” i’m sure the jews were laughing thier heads off. YOU REPENT and you leave the evil of christianity before it is too late for you.

  9. rocko says:

    its funny to see these insincere pagans one minuite playing the victim game and then saying “before it is too late” in the past “prayed” for those who were persecuting them, thinking that if we “pray” for them we might win thier hearts but in thier hearts (christians) don’t worry we will get you back soon. christians thought they could sell their meat god in this way and what is interesting is that victim game was successful for christians like paul then the meat god. jezuz does all these miracles in israel and preaches in jewish temples yet he is UNABLE TO win jewish hearts and minds, jews , it seems , only used him and then TURNED ENTIRE crowds against him in 2 days, WHAT A MIRACLEOF MIRACLES WORDS CAN be. paul had MORE success in converting the PAGANS outside of israel than jesus has inside of israel . funny that.

  10. Christian says:

    Since you are imperfect by admission you can’t have certainty about your opinion regarding Islamic fruits not showing the falsity of the religion. I’m not interested if you don’t “think” your imperfection has bearing on your “intellectual merits”, that again is an opinion flowing from an imperfect being which can’t be fully relied on. So you haven’t refuted that. We can’t go to Muhammad either since, as I have shown, Muhammad was also imperfect and not under the direction of God, but under the direction of the evil one. When we go to Christ’s words, which your quran ordered the Christians to judge these issues by (S. 5:46-47), we see that this method of testing through fruits is valid. So who are we to believe? An imperfect person who we can’t have full certainty about? Or the Messiah who even the Islam says was without sin? The issue is not Athanasius getting the 27 books right, the issue is you saying he “canonized” the NT, which is an inappropriate term since Athanasius never claimed to do that. And yes if you look at the Muritorian canon from around A.D 190 it got the NT right with the exception of 3 books which is very good. Compare this with the different early Quran’s which existed and how Muslim scholars admit there was wide disagreement over the exact number of Surah’s which should be in the Qur’an in ancient Islam (see the Answering – ansar article “Who believes the Quran has been a victim of Tahreef?”). You keep identifying Athanasius as Catholic but still haven’t demonstrated that by showing he held to necessary Catholic doctrines which I listed. Until you can do that you have no case. Plus, during the Arian crisis he directly opposed papal rule when the bishop of Rome became Arian! That sounds real Catholic. Shamoun never said Dunn believed this was a hymn to Christ – Shamoun identified it as a hymn to Christ as a definition and simply notes that Dun agrees with us on the main aspect that it was a pre-Pauline Christian hym and that “he took the form of a slave, accepted the condition of (fallen) humanity, and humbled himself in obedience to death; therefore God exalted him and gave him A TITLE AND HONOUR DUE TO GOD.” Dunn agrees with us that the earliest Christians were teaching the pre-existence, incarnation and divine honor attributed to Christ.” You haven’t addressed these things but brought up smokescreens and distorted Shamoun. As for Tertullian you will find him using the word Trinity which you initially asked for, so you were refuted. And he separates the Father, Son and Spirit in person-hood very clearly saying they are of one substance (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Ch. 2). Simply saying “refer to James Dunn” isn’t an argument.

    As for David Wood, you’re bringing up his pre-Christian days which has no bearing on him reflecting Christianity. God changes and regenerates people. So nice try. Yes your top apologists threatened to kill eachother, beat each other up and use the f- word to each other. This is Islam. Can you show Christian apologists arguing with each other in this manner? No, again by their fruits you will know them. What I find interesting is how Nakdimon recorded you insult Muhammad – I hear you apostatize and convert back to Islam quite often so you simply show hypocrisy when you condemn others. You need justificatin, to be made right with God because right now you are dead in sin and acting accordingly. Will pray for you.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      You have made it clear in your comments that imperfection is sufficient reason to doubt and ultimately discredit a person’s opinions. Only a truly perfect being can be believed in whose opinions are accepted. In that case let us all throw Paul out of the window as he admitted that he was not perfect, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12) Commenting on this verse Barnes’ Notes on the Bible states, “This is a distinct assertion of the apostle Paul that he did not regard himself as a perfect man…and he who lays claim to a degree of holiness which even Paul did not pretend to, gives little evidence that he has any true knowledge of himself, or has ever been imbued with the true humility which the gospel produces.” Let us refer to the Christian theologian John Wesley on this issue:
      “In the first place, I shall endeavour to shew, in what sense Christians are not perfect. And both from experience and scripture it appears, first, that they are not perfect in knowledge: they are not so perfect in this life, as to be free from ignorance…No one, then, is so perfect in this life, as to be free from ignorance. Nor, secondly, from mistake, which indeed is almost an unavoidable consequence of it…Nay, with regard to the Holy Scriptures themselves, as careful as they are to avoid it, the best of men are liable to mistake, and do mistake day by day…Even Christians, therefore, are not so perfect, as to be free either from ignorance or error.” (Wesley, J. (n.d.) Sermons on Several Occasions, Vol. 1. pp. 441-443)
      Perhaps, Keith will say that John Wesley was a heretic! Give it up already. Solomon according to the Bible was an idolater, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” (1 Kings 11:4) Elsewhere, he is described as a person who committed all the sins of his father (1 Kings 15:3). Despite all these horrendous imperfections the book attributed to him is retained in the Holy Bible as Holy inspired writ. Will you be consistent and throw out his book as unworthy as he was evidently imperfect according to your own book? That’s only one example. Shall we talk about David? Shall we chuck Psalms out too?
      You said, “When we go to Christ’s words, which your quran ordered the Christians to judge these issues by (S. 5:46-47)” Shabir Ally has already utterly demolished and destroyed Sam Shamoun in the debate they had in 2000 on this very pathetic claim that you have regurgitated. There is no need to beat on a dead horse. You said,”So who are we to believe? An imperfect person who we can’t have full certainty about? Or the Messiah who even the Islam says was without sin?” Standard Islamic theology(putting aside your total misunderstanding of verses about zunub with regards to the Prophet Muhammad in the Qur’an) teaches that all the prophets were sinless(ma’sum). Do you think that in accordance with mainstream Islamic thought that God would have created the universe for a sinful individual? No, reason dictates that holy God would create the universe for an upright and righteous individual and that was Muhammad. Standard Islamic theology teaches that the universe was made due to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. as seen in the hadith, “Law laka law laka ma khalaqtal aflaak”. All your nonsense about the Qur’an is fully and academically addressed by Prof. M.M. Azami in his ‘The History of the Qur’anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the old and New Testaments’. Please edify yourself with the contents of this work if you’re really interested in answers to your baseless allegations.
      You said, “The issue is not Athanasius getting the 27 books right, the issue is you saying he “canonized” the NT, which is an inappropriate term since Athanasius never claimed to do that.” Athanasius specifically used the term ‘kanonizomena’ which properly translates as ‘canonized’ with regards to his list of 27 books of the New Testament. (Refer to David Brakke’s journal article “”Canon Formation and Social Conflict in Fourth Century Egypt: Athanasius of Alexandria’s Thirty Ninth Festal Letter” as published in the 87th Harvard Theological Review, 1994).
      You said, “And yes if you look at the Muritorian canon from around A.D 190 it got the NT right with the exception of 3 books which is very good.” No, the so called Muritorian Canon did not get the New Testament right. The following are the books listed in the Muritorian Canon:
      Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 & 2 John, Jude, Revelations, Wisdom of Solomon, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas(though not as sacred text).(http://unveiling-christianity......-inspired/). The list only has 21 out of the 27 books of today’s western/orthodox canon. You claimed that Dunn agrees with the pre-existence of Jesus. This is untrue. Dunn writes:
      “In his birth narrative Luke is more explicit than Matthew in his assertion of Jesus’ divine sonship from birth (1:35, 35, note also 2:49 where Jesus recognizes God as his father). Here t is sufficiently clear that a virginal conception by divine power without the participation of any man is in view (1:34). but here too it is sufficiently clear that it is a begetting, a becoming, which is in view, the coming into existence of one who will be called, and will in fact be the Son of God, not the transition of a preexisting being to become the soul of a human baby or the metamorphosis of a divine being into a human fetus.” (Dunn, J. (1996). Christology in the Making. Eerdemans. pp. 50-51) With regards to the verse itself in Philippians refer to his latest work ‘Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence’. The conclusion of the entire thesis is that Jesus is the agent of God who brought God close to His creation, but is himself not that God. He is the intermediary between man and God. In Islamic terminology he was a kind of “waseelah” to God as Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is “waseelah” to God whereby Orthodox(not wahabi) Muslims may invoke the name of the Prophet s.a.w. in their petitions to God as did Adam when he sought intercession with Him during his repentance.(hadith of Adam through the route of Maysara) You said, “As for Tertullian you will find him using the word Trinity which you initially asked for, so you were refuted.” No, I did not ask for a reference to a person who used the term Trinity in the early centuries of Christianity. I said, “Historically we know for a fact that these were later formulations that did not exist in early Christianity” The formulations that I meant were the terminology, jargon and theological explanations used within the concept of the Trinity including the term “hypostasis” which is directly taken from Greek philosophy. Perhaps I should have qualified what I meant by early Christianity i.e. the first century. By the way, Tertullian did not use the term “trinity”, but rather the latin word “trinitas” which literally means three.
      You said, “As for David Wood, you’re bringing up his pre-Christian days which has no bearing on him reflecting Christianity. God changes and regenerates people.” You cannot prove to us here that David Wood was not really a Christian back then. It would amount to nothing but your own personal assertions that you cannot prove. You said, “Yes your top apologists threatened to kill eachother, beat each other up and use the f- word to each other. This is Islam. Can you show Christian apologists arguing with each other in this manner?” Yes, Tyndale was executed for simply translating the Bible which was a practice at odds with Christian authorities at the time. John Calvin and other theologians in his time were instrumental in the death of Michael Servetus due to his unitarian leanings and opposition to the Trinity. Martin Luther was involved in the persecution of those who did not agree with his theological views. Today in America you have individuals like Pastor Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church who calls other Christians heretics among other negative epithets. He calls Billy Graham a false prophet and that other Christians who agree with the policies of America harboring sinners as tantamount to damnation from God. Anders Behring Breivik who describes himself as a practicing Christian massacred other Christian children in his Christian crusade. You said that the practice of those Muslims that you named is Islam. That just shows the level of knowledge you have of Islam. If you had even an ounce of understanding of Islamic theology and teaching then you would know that there are clear injunctions in both the qur’an and hadith prohibiting Muslims from insulting each other. The Qur’an explicitly states:
      “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” (49:11)
      That’s only one verse. There are plenty more of such verses all over the Qur’an. Thus insulting one another with negative epithets is not a Qur’anic injunction. Rather, the Qur’an strongly condemns such behaviour. Why do you have to refer to how Nadir Ahmed, Sami Zaatari and Osama Abdallah treat each other? These are individuals who in their own ways try to preach and defend Islam. However, none of them has any real background in Islamic education. If you want to really make comparisons then why don’t you mention Dr. Shabir Ally (and you know of him) who is a professional Muslim apologist with the necessary credentials in Islamic education? Why don’t you make mention of Sheikh Hamzah Yusuf, Sheikh Nuh ha Mim Keller, Sheikh Faraz Rabbani, Mufti taqi Uthmani, Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti etc. and how they treat each other and others? Why are they not representative of Islam but Nadir Ahmed is? Is Reverend Gary Michael Aldridge representative of Christianity? is Jimmy Swaggart representative of Christianity? Is Ted Haggard representative of Christianity? Oh no, you will cry that they are not true Christians. Come on man…get serious. That game that evangelical Christians like you play no longer works. You need to wake up and realise that certain Muslims’ behaviour and attitude do not negate Islam just as certain evil actions of real Christians may not necessarily be representative of CHristianity hence having no bearing on the religion’s credibility. You said, “I hear you apostatize and convert back to Islam quite often so you simply show hypocrisy when you condemn others.” The Shafi’i manual of fiqh, ‘Umdat al-salik states, “wa in takarrarat riddatuhu wa islamuhu qubila minhu (al-ruju’ ilal islam wa yakun hasilan binntq bishshahadatayn) wa yu’azzaru.” which means “If he apostatizes from Islam and returns several times, it (his return to Islam, which occurs when he states the two testifications) is accepted from him, but he is disciplined.” In Islam God is merciful enough to forgive His servants’ mistakes and errors in life. Apparently, according to several Christian denominations once you have left Christianity you have no chance to return, hence eternal hell fire awaits the Bart Ehrmans of the world. They will all go to hell for all eternity for sure since they cannot ever return to Christianity. Do you belong to this ideology? If so then circumspect your own position first before you wish to inspect and criticise others’ positions.

      • Christian says:

        Addressing your points in no particular order. You initially claimed Athanasius was a Catholic but failed to meet my challenge and show that he held to the major doctrines Catholicism says you must hold to de fide (papal infallibility, immaculate conception, assumption of mary etc).

        You first argued Athanasius canonized the NT. I said he didn’t use that language of himself – since did didn’t believe he had the authority to officially canonize Scripture. You mentioned how he used the word kanonizomena quoting Brakke but all Athanasius says is that there are “canonical”or “canonized books” (biblia kanonizomena), not that he is the arbiter of the official canonization process.

        You said I can’t prove David Wood wasn’t a Christian during the events you mentioned. However his testimony is published in a debate with Loftus where he gives his testimony and yes he became a Christian afterwards. That is what the evidence points to, if you disagree then show some evidence to the contrary.

        You quote Paul’s writings and Christian scholars saying Paul was imperfect and that we can’t fully rely on his words. That is true of every human who is not writing as they are carried by God’s Spirit to pen special revelation and nullify our sinful nature at that time. However both Paul’s writings and the evidence in conjunction with them (the fruit of his ministry labor in many respects) show that Paul’s epistles were inspired by the Holy Spirit, not the result of his own volition (1 Corinthians 14:37-38; 2 Corinthians 13:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Colossians 4:16; 2 Corinthians 13:3). Therefore, you argument doesn’t work because it depends upon Paul’s writings being of his own independent volition.

        You quote Dunn saying the birth narrative in Luke doesn’t support pre-existence. I never said Dunn believes the contrary with respect to Luke. I argued that on Phil. 2 he seems to have taught pre-existence. But if I misread him I retract that. I have no problem with doing that unlike you who won’t concede anything, for example you not being able to show Athanasius was Roman Catholic by meeting my criteria, then dropping that point without saying anything. Looking back Dunn didn’t say Jesus existed in Phil 2. and I apologize if I put words into Shamoun’s/Dunn’s mouth, my mistake. But Dunn did say, in agreement with us, “therefore God exalted him and gave him A TITLE AND HONOUR DUE TO GOD” which didn’t address. I have no problem conforming to the facts if I got something incorrect. Will you concede he is more on our side with respect to the title and honor due to God and the other issues Shamoun raised in his article? That is the question.

        As for you naming Christians who allegedly speak and act the same way as Nadir, Osama, Jalal and Zaatari you mention Tyndale. Well he was executed by Rome which I already argued abandoned primitive apostolic Christianity long ago and hence they shouldn’t be identified as Christian. If you disagree show me their major doctrines in Scripture or the primitive church to prove they are followers of historic Christianity. You mention Calvin and Servetus well read my response to Paul Williams on the death penalty to see that Calvin wasn’t even a citizen at that time and held no formal secular power. Also check out James White’s video on that issue “Calvin and Servetus: Dan Barker Twists History.” Calvin even prayed with Servetus in prison and begged him to recant so that the secular authorities wouldn’t execute him for heresy. Calvin wasn’t on the street cheering his death, saying he would punch out his eye socket or saying the things jalal and Osama say to each other. As for Luther I challenge you to show me where he said he will mount his opponent and bust his eye or gather people around to view a “fair fight” like Nadir, Osama and Jalal. There’s no comparison. You said Anders Breivik considered himself Christian? Here is the refutation of that: see youtube video: “Is Anders Behring Breivik a Christian?” Easily documentable that he didn’t believe that. But a real young Muslim in France named Mohammed Merah just massacred a bunch of people at a Jewish school. I wonder why.. Again, no comparison between real Muslims following the hatred of the quran and hadith and your desperate distortion of reality with respect to Christians.

        The muritorian canon got 22 of the 27 right, I meant it excluded 5 not 3, that was off memory. But the point is that is very close. It’s not as though until you get to Athanasius there is just no consensus at all on the major books. This shows you have churches accepting the 4 gospels and most of the other texts long before Athanasius. You have the apostolic fathers quoting from the Gospels and Paul’s writings as well etc. So when you say “There was no theologian prior to Athanasius who listed the 27 of the NT as Athanasius did” you need to qualify that by noting that with the exception of a few books there was wide recognition of the canonicity of the vast majority long before Athanasius. Just a matter of honesty at that point.

        You quoted 49:11 exhorting Muslims not to call each other wicked and you say not to judge Islam when apologists do otherwise. Well 98:6 does say unbelievers are the worst of creatures and in those exchanges Jalal, Osama and Nadir clearly viewed themselves as disbelievers and hence “worst of creatures”. So yes they were sanctioned to have their attitude toward each other on the grounds that they viewed each other as disbelievers.

        You said that in Islam an apostate can return and be forgiven. Mainline Christianity teaches the same thing, I don’t know of the denominations which say an apostate can’t return, we teach they were probably never saved yet but had an empty profession and can receive salvation if they wish. But the difference is in Islam if the apostate doesn’t return to Islam he is killed… We don’t do that. So again, utter dishonesty. It’s funny you will censor my posts at points and not allow links, yet you yourself post links and allow “rocko” to continue spewing the worst venom demonstrating you don’t truly believe Muslims should act with respect. Otherwise you would chastise him severely and censor his wicked posts. Again you prove our point that you and your proponents show Islam has rotten fruit.

        • Ibn Anwar says:

          Was Athanasius a Catholic? The Catholic Encyclopedia writes that, “Bishop of Alexandria; Confessor and Doctor of the Church; born c. 296; died 2 May, 373. Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of “Father of Orthodoxy”. Frances Forbes writes, “It was thanks to Athanasius and his untiring efforts that Egypt and Alexandria were still, in the main, true to the Catholic Church.” (Forbes, F.A. (2009). Saint Athanasius. Middlesex: The Echo Library. p. 37). Dutch thinker Hugo Grotius states, “In Laodicaea Athanasius defended the Catholic faith against Arius with Probus, a heathen, for judge, who presided on behalf of the emperor; and he awarded the case to Athanasius.” (Grotius, H. (2001). De imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra: Critical Edition with Introduction, English Translation and Commentary (Harm-Jav Van Dam, trans.). The Netherlands: Brill. (Original work published 1647). p. 281) Athanasius himself in his so called Athanasian Creed states, “Haec est fides catholica, quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit.”(This is the Catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.)

          You said, “You said I can’t prove David Wood wasn’t a Christian during the events you mentioned. However his testimony is published in a debate with Loftus where he gives his testimony and yes he became a Christian afterwards. That is what the evidence points to, if you disagree then show some evidence to the contrary.”

          Unless you can prove that his parents were atheists or if they belonged to any other faith group other than Christianity and that he was never taught and brought up with Christian values then you have no case at all.

          You said, “You quote Paul’s writings and Christian scholars saying Paul was imperfect and that we can’t fully rely on his words. That is true of every human who is not writing as they are carried by God’s Spirit to pen special revelation and nullify our sinful nature at that time. However both Paul’s writings and the evidence in conjunction with them (the fruit of his ministry labor in many respects) show that Paul’s epistles were inspired by the Holy Spirit, not the result of his own volition (1 Corinthians 14:37-38; 2 Corinthians 13:10, 1 Thessalonians 4:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Colossians 4:16; 2 Corinthians 13:3). Therefore, you argument doesn’t work because it depends upon Paul’s writings being of his own independent volition.”

          You were the one who made the criterion that if a person is imperfect(in general) then he is unreliable whose opinions are to be discarded. You said, “Since you are imperfect by admission you can’t have certainty about your opinion regarding Islamic fruits not showing the falsity of the religion.” Anyone who understands English will come to the understanding that you were arguing that because a person is imperfect by admission then he cannot have certainty about his opinion. Paul clearly admitted that he was not perfect. I reproduce my previous response for all to see:
          You have made it clear in your comments that imperfection is sufficient reason to doubt and ultimately discredit a person’s opinions. Only a truly perfect being can be believed in whose opinions are accepted. In that case let us all throw Paul out of the window as he admitted that he was not perfect, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12) Commenting on this verse Barnes’ Notes on the Bible states, “This is a distinct assertion of the apostle Paul that he did not regard himself as a perfect man…and he who lays claim to a degree of holiness which even Paul did not pretend to, gives little evidence that he has any true knowledge of himself, or has ever been imbued with the true humility which the gospel produces.” Let us refer to the Christian theologian John Wesley on this issue:
          “In the first place, I shall endeavour to shew, in what sense Christians are not perfect. And both from experience and scripture it appears, first, that they are not perfect in knowledge: they are not so perfect in this life, as to be free from ignorance…No one, then, is so perfect in this life, as to be free from ignorance. Nor, secondly, from mistake, which indeed is almost an unavoidable consequence of it…Nay, with regard to the Holy Scriptures themselves, as careful as they are to avoid it, the best of men are liable to mistake, and do mistake day by day…Even Christians, therefore, are not so perfect, as to be free either from ignorance or error.” (Wesley, J. (n.d.) Sermons on Several Occasions, Vol. 1. pp. 441-443)
          Perhaps, Keith will say that John Wesley was a heretic! Give it up already. Solomon according to the Bible was an idolater, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.” (1 Kings 11:4) Elsewhere, he is described as a person who committed all the sins of his father (1 Kings 15:3). Despite all these horrendous imperfections the book attributed to him is retained in the Holy Bible as Holy inspired writ. Will you be consistent and throw out his book as unworthy as he was evidently imperfect according to your own book? That’s only one example. Shall we talk about David? Shall we chuck Psalms out too?
          —end of quotation—
          Did Paul ever write out of his own volition?
          “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” (1 Corinthians 7:25)
          The ISV, NASB etc. translates judgment as “opinion”. This is because the Greek word gnome can also be understood as opinion. Whichever it is, I believe the verse speaks for itself. Paul speaks on his own prerogative without divine intervention. Is it possible that he speaks presumptuously here? The typical Christian answer is of course a definite no. However, it does go well with numerous passages that clearly show him as nothing more than a charlatan and a deceiver as we see in the previous articles on Paul. Anyway, it is woth noting that several commentaries agree that Paul received no divine judgment here, but he rather spoke out of his own opinion.

          “II. The determination he gives, which, considering the present distress, was that a state of celibacy was preferable: It is good for a man so to be, that is, to be single. I suppose, says the apostle or it is my opinion. It is worded with modesty, but delivered, notwithstanding, with apostolic authority.” (Henry, M. (1995). Matthew Henry’s New Testament Commentary. Great Britain: Hadder and Stoughton. p. 235)

          The concession given in the above commentary is that Paul spoke out of modesty, but, with apostolic authority. Is Paul really all that modest? Interestingly, another reputable commentary contradicts Matthew Henry.

          “He appeals neither to his apostleship nor to his authority in Christ… Paul will give his own judgment…” (Fee, G. D. (n.d.). The First Epistle to the Corinthians. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 328)

          In short, Paul gave his own opinion which was not inspired yet there it is in the NT which is supposed to be wholly inspired.

          Was Paul truly inspired?

          “Even one of their own prophets has said,”Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in faith and pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” (Titus 1:12-14)

          The person being quoted by Paul in the above passage is Epimenides according to numerous reputable Christian Bible commentaries.

          “III In reference to their people or hearers, who are described from ancient testimony given of them. 1. Here is the witness(v. 12): One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, that is, one of the Cretans, not of the Jews, Epimenides a Greek poet, likely to know and unlikely to slander them.” [1] (emphasis added)

          “Even one of their own prophets has said,”Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”(1:12). The Greek is better rendered,”Even one of them, their own prophet.” Here “prophet” is used in the sense of a religious leader or reformer. The reference is to Epimenides, the fifth-century B.C. poet honored by the people of Crete. The contemptuous evaluation of the Cretans is reflected in pagan writings and even in the Greek language itself, where the word kretizo,”to Crete-ize,” came to mean “to lie” or “to cheat”.” [2] (emphasis added)

          “(m) Epimenides, who was considered a prophet amongst them. See Laertius, and Cicero in his first book of divination.” [3] (emphasis added)

          “A prophet of their own. A Cretan sage, seer and teacher, Epimenides by name, who lived about 500 B.C.
          The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. The hard testimony of his countrymen is quoted from a poem now lost.” [4] (empasis added)

          “1:12, Cretans…gluttons: quoted from Epimenides, a Cretan poet of the sixth century B.C.” [5] (emphasis added)

          “In 1:12, Paul quotes the Greek poet Epimenides, who wrote “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” [6] (emphasis added)

          “He quotes Epimenides, one of their own poetic spokesmen who lived around 600 B.C.” [7]

          “12. One – Epimenides of Phaestus, or Gnossus, in Crete…” [8]

          “12. Invective against opponents supported by a hexameter from the Cretan poet Epimenides (ca. 600 BCE)” [9]

          Some of you might ask, “so what exactly is the problem?”. Well, it’s quite simple and straight forward really. The person quoted is Epimenides. He says that,”Cretans are ALWAYS liars”. The Greek word for always here is ἀεὶ(aei) which means “ever and always”(without exception). So, the problem is that this testimony is by Epimenides who is HIMSELF a CRETAN! And Paul affirms the testimony without hesitation as he put it:

          “This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in faith…”

          If Epimenides is a Cretan and the testimony in question says “Cretans are ALWAYS liars” which Paul affirms then how can the testimony be true in the first place? If Epimenides is a Cretan and they always lie then how is his testimony here true? Do you understand what always means? Any reasonable person will no doubt agree with me that there’s a big logical problem here. Indeed, it is a huge stumbling block.

          I had an hour long discussion on this with a Christian apologist and the defense which he mustered was quite interesting however false it was. Instead of dealing with the logical problem of the passage he tried to spun an entirely different interpretation of the text. He claimed that Paul was not affirming what the quotation says, but rather the quotation itself i.e. he’s saying that the quotation is authentic(actually said by someone). The problem with this explanation is that it just does not correlate with the text which itself is quite clear:

          “Even one of their own prophets has said,”Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in faith…”

          Paul believes that the testimony which he is reporting is true so he says THEREFORE or as the NASB translates it “FOR THIS REASON” REBUKE THEM SHARPLY. What’s the reason? What’s to rebuke? To rebuke is to scold, to refute, to correct, to reproach etc. Do you rebuke someone on the basis of a quotation which is not true? No! The reason for the rebuking is because according to Paul the TESTIMONY that says Cretans are always liars is true i.e. what is said by it is true! As Matthew Henry explains:

          “2. Here is the matter of his testimony: The Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, slow bellies. Even to a proverb, they were infamous for falsehood and lying. 3. Here is the verification of this by the apostle himself: v. 13. This witness is true.” [10] (emphasis added)

          The following Bible translation is quite helpful:

          “It was a Cretan prophet, one of their own countrymen, who said, ‘Cretans were ever liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons’ – and how truly he spoke! All the more reason why you should rebuke them sharply…”(Revised Standard Version, Oxford and Cambridge University Press)

          Let us consider several more commentaries that admit to the fact that Paul believes the testimony made by the Cretan Epimenides to be factual.

          “…generally considered to be Epimenides, a contemporary of Solon (about 600 B.C.)… The indictment is severe, but this testimony is true.” [11] (emphasis added)

          “13. This witness is true. Paul confirms these as facts and says rebuke them sharply.” [12] (emphasis added)

          “the apostle confirms the accuracy of the character sketch.” [13] (emphasis added)

          “13. This witness “This testimony(though coming from a Cretan) is true.” [14] (emphasis added)

          The logical problem : Epimenides was a Cretan. He claims that CRETANS ARE ALWAYS LIARS. Paul says this testimony from Epimenides the Cretan is true. How can it be true if Cretans ALWAYS lie? If Epimenides who was himself a Cretan was telling the truth with regards to the statement, then how can Paul agree with the statement that Cretans ALWAYS lie? If Epimenides was telling the truth then obvously Cretans do not always lie.

          The result: Paul was deluded and uninspired.

          References:

          [1] Matthew Henry. Matthew Henry’s New Testament Commentary(1995). Great Britain: Hadder and Stoughton. p. 387

          [2] Richard, Lawrence O. , The Victor Bible Background Commentary New Testament, Victor Books, p. 540

          [3] Geneva Study Bible

          [4] People’s New Testament

          [5] Firstside New American Bible. Wichita, Kansas: Freeside Bible Publishers. p. 1319

          [6] NKJV Study Bible. Thomas Nelson 2nd Edition. p. 1932

          [7] William MacDonald. Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson Publishers. p. 2138

          [8] Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. p. 1386

          [9] The New Oxford Annotated Bible(2007). Oxford. p. 363

          [10] Matthew Henry. Op. Cit. p.387

          [11] The Wesleyan Bible Commentary. Vol. 5, p. 643-644

          [12] Liberty Bible Commentary. The Old Time Hour, Lyncburg, Virginia, p. 655

          [13] William MacDonald. Op. Cit.

          [14] Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary. Op. Cit.

          —taken from my article http://unveiling-christianity......n/—-

          Regarding Dunn, yes, you have misunderstood him. You said, “Looking back Dunn didn’t say Jesus existed in Phil 2. and I apologize if I put words into Shamoun’s/Dunn’s mouth, my mistake. But Dunn did say, in agreement with us, “therefore God exalted him and gave him A TITLE AND HONOUR DUE TO GOD” which didn’t address.” That is of no consequence as God is called King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15) and the same title is given to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:37.

          You said:
          As for you naming Christians who allegedly speak and act the same way as Nadir, Osama, Jalal and Zaatari you mention Tyndale. Well he was executed by Rome which I already argued abandoned primitive apostolic Christianity long ago and hence they shouldn’t be identified as Christian. If you disagree show me their major doctrines in Scripture or the primitive church to prove they are followers of historic Christianity. You mention Calvin and Servetus well read my response to Paul Williams on the death penalty to see that Calvin wasn’t even a citizen at that time and held no formal secular power. Also check out James White’s video on that issue “Calvin and Servetus: Dan Barker Twists History.” Calvin even prayed with Servetus in prison and begged him to recant so that the secular authorities wouldn’t execute him for heresy. Calvin wasn’t on the street cheering his death, saying he would punch out his eye socket or saying the things jalal and Osama say to each other. As for Luther I challenge you to show me where he said he will mount his opponent and bust his eye or gather people around to view a “fair fight” like Nadir, Osama and Jalal. There’s no comparison. You said Anders Breivik considered himself Christian? Here is the refutation of that: see youtube video: “Is Anders Behring Breivik a Christian?” Easily documentable that he didn’t believe that. But a real young Muslim in France named Mohammed Merah just massacred a bunch of people at a Jewish school. I wonder why.. Again, no comparison between real Muslims following the hatred of the quran and hadith and your desperate distortion of reality with respect to Christians.

          My reply:
          Let me reiterate what I wrote previously as Keith has not really refuted the major points that were made in refutation to his clumsy argumentation:
          Yes, Tyndale was executed for simply translating the Bible which was a practice at odds with Christian authorities at the time. John Calvin and other theologians in his time were instrumental in the death of Michael Servetus due to his unitarian leanings and opposition to the Trinity. Martin Luther was involved in the persecution of those who did not agree with his theological views. Today in America you have individuals like Pastor Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church who calls other Christians heretics among other negative epithets. He calls Billy Graham a false prophet and that other Christians who agree with the policies of America harboring sinners as tantamount to damnation from God. Anders Behring Breivik who describes himself as a practicing Christian massacred other Christian children in his Christian crusade. You said that the practice of those Muslims that you named is Islam. That just shows the level of knowledge you have of Islam. If you had even an ounce of understanding of Islamic theology and teaching then you would know that there are clear injunctions in both the qur’an and hadith prohibiting Muslims from insulting each other. The Qur’an explicitly states:
          “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” (49:11)
          That’s only one verse. There are plenty more of such verses all over the Qur’an. Thus insulting one another with negative epithets is not a Qur’anic injunction. Rather, the Qur’an strongly condemns such behaviour. Why do you have to refer to how Nadir Ahmed, Sami Zaatari and Osama Abdallah treat each other? These are individuals who in their own ways try to preach and defend Islam. However, none of them has any real background in Islamic education. If you want to really make comparisons then why don’t you mention Dr. Shabir Ally (and you know of him) who is a professional Muslim apologist with the necessary credentials in Islamic education? Why don’t you make mention of Sheikh Hamzah Yusuf, Sheikh Nuh ha Mim Keller, Sheikh Faraz Rabbani, Mufti taqi Uthmani, Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti etc. and how they treat each other and others? Why are they not representative of Islam but Nadir Ahmed is? Is Reverend Gary Michael Aldridge representative of Christianity? is Jimmy Swaggart representative of Christianity? Is Ted Haggard representative of Christianity? Oh no, you will cry that they are not true Christians. Come on man…get serious. That game that evangelical Christians like you play no longer works. You need to wake up and realise that certain Muslims’ behaviour and attitude do not negate Islam just as certain evil actions of real Christians may not necessarily be representative of CHristianity hence having no bearing on the religion’s credibility.

          Was Anders a Christian when he planned and executed his heinous crusade? Yes, he was and remains a Christian believer (http://www.timesunion.com/news.....624540.php).

          Was Calvin involved in the execution of Servetus? Yes, he was.
          Dean of Canterbury, F.W. Farrar writes:
          “Renee, Duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Louis XII, was a thoughtful and pious princess and a warm admirer of Calvin. In a letter to the great reformer of Geneva she made the wise remark that ‘David’s example in hating his enemies is not applicable to us.’ It might have been supposed that Calvin would at once have endorsed a sentiment which only echoed the teaching of Christ…’I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.’ But Calvin was shocked by the remark of the Duchess! He curtly and sternly answered her that ‘such a gloss would upset all Scripture;’ that even in his hatred David is an example to us, and a type of Christ; and ‘should we presume to set ourselves up as superior to Christ in sweetness and humanity?’ The Princess was wholly right and the theologian disastrously in the wrong. It would have been better for Calvin had he more truly understood the teaching of Christ…Had he done so, he would have been saved from the worst errors of his life — the burning of Servetus, the recommendation of persecution to the Protector Somerset and the omission to raise his voice in aid of the miserable and exiled congregation of John a Lasco. But as Grotius truly said, the Calvinists were for the most part as severe to all who differed from them as they imagined God to the greater part of the human race. And unhappily the Pilgrim Fathers and their earliest descendants imbibed these perilous errors and though they were themselves fugitives from kingly despotism and priestly intolerance, they tortured harmless old women whom they called witches and treated saintly, if misguided, Quakers with remorseless fury” (The Bible: Its Meaning and Supremacy, Longmans, Green and Co.,1897,92,93 as cited in Buzzard, A. (2007). Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian: A Call to Return to the Creed of Jesus. Morrow, GA: Restoration Fellowship. p. 10)

          The renown French intellectual and historian, Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire writes:
          “Unfortunately he(Servetus) passed through Geneva; Calvin apprised of it, informs against him, and gets him seized…When his enemy(Servetus) was in jail he went and insulted him in the most contumelious language, such as used by cowards, after they have got the upper hand. At length, by soliciting the judges, by using the credit of those who were under his direction, by declaring loudly, and by making others declare, that God demanded the execution of Michael Servetus, he caused him to be burnt alive, and triumphed at his punishment…The last stroke in Calvin’s character may be taken from a letter in his hand-writing, which is still preserved in the caste of Bastie-Roland near Montelimar: it is directed to the Marquis of Poet, lord Chamberlain to the King of Navarre, and dated the 30th of September 1561.
          “May honour, glory , and riches be the reward of your trouble: above all, be sure you don’t fail to clear the country of those pitiful zealots, who are exciting the people to revolt against us. Such monsters as those ought to be strangled, the way i dealt with Michael Servetus the Spaniard.”” (Voltaire, F. M. A.(1756). The Universal History and State of All Nations from the time of Charlemain to Lewis XIV (trans.). Edinburgh. pp. 242-244)

          You claimed that, “he(Tyndale) was executed by Rome”. It is your belief that Catholics are not Christians but that is your own personal view which you need so desperately to cling to in order to exonerate Christian brutality and malpractice. The fact of the matter is the Catholic church is regarded as Christian and they hold on to the Bible, the Trinity, the death and resurrection of Jesus etc. Those are tenets that you yourself hold on to. Tyndale had met Martin Luther when he was in exile and did the latter give him a hand of assistance? No, he did not. Luther left him to his fate just as he did Giodarno Bruno who was also eventually executed.

          You said, “The muritorian canon got 22 of the 27 right, I meant it excluded 5 not 3, that was off memory. But the point is that is very close. It’s not as though until you get to Athanasius there is just no consensus at all on the major books.”

          Clearly, you are grasping at straws and you’re still not getting it right! It’s 21 books and not 22. Not so perfect after all eh? You said that “it’s not as though until you get Athanasius there is just no consensus at all on the major books.” Historically, we know that none of the Patristic figures prior to Athanasius ever listed all the 27 books that you now recognise as canonical in their own canons.

          You said, “You first argued Athanasius canonized the NT. I said he didn’t use that language of himself – since did didn’t believe he had the authority to officially canonize Scripture. You mentioned how he used the word kanonizomena quoting Brakke but all Athanasius says is that there are “canonical”or “canonized books” (biblia kanonizomena), not that he is the arbiter of the official canonization process.”

          What I initially said was, “You may claim that Catholics are not Christians but Catholics will argue that you’re not Christian and they would have a better position since they were the ones who canonised the New Testament i.e. Bishop Athanasius.” Can you name one non-Catholic theologian who was involved in the canonization process? No, you cannot. My point was not that Athanasius was the ultimate arbiter of what the NT canon should be, rather if you recall the context of the discussion it is that he along with other Catholic theologians were the ones who eventually put together the NT which is now subscribed by Protestants such as yourself as inspired canon. It is not a debatable point that Athanasius specifically used the term “canonize” when listing the 27 books. He did believe he had the authority to canonize scripture(that is determining which books are inspired text and which are not) as did Iranaeus along with several other Patristic figures. I suggest you take up Raymond Brown’s ‘Introduction to the New Testament’ or something similar so that you won’t make all these moot points.

          You said, “You quoted 49:11 exhorting Muslims not to call each other wicked and you say not to judge Islam when apologists do otherwise. Well 98:6 does say unbelievers are the worst of creatures and in those exchanges Jalal, Osama and Nadir clearly viewed themselves as disbelievers and hence “worst of creatures”. So yes they were sanctioned to have their attitude toward each other on the grounds that they viewed each other as disbelievers.”
          The verse describes the disbelievers as the worst of creatures. Does it specifically sanction insults and ridicule to anyone? No, you are pulling a fast one and you know it. You are desperately trying to prove Islam wrong on an argument that is completely fallacious as I have amply demonstrated in my refutations to you. A verse describing a group of people as the worst of creatures according to God is not the same as an imperative or allowance to insult, ridicule and threaten. I literally despise lizards and to me they are among the worse creatures on earth. Does that now mean I’m teaching that it’s okay to insult and attempt to kill them? You see the logic does not follow. We have amply demonstrated that there are plenty of born again Christians that are sinners and even criminals including Jimmy Swaggart who was hailed as a great born again and no one doubted him for a second from among other born again Christians prior to his scandals. Let’s have a look at one more example: George Bush said “God told him to go to war” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOTkVhfMWcw) As a result of what “God” told him hundreds upon thousands of innocent civilians, women and children have been killed. according to John Hopkins University and The Lancet over 600 000 were killed by the war. Many many more are dead and killed due to the war effort and countless are left maimed for the rest of their lives. Is it a secret that Bush received millions of votes from strong Bible believing Christians in the Bible belt? You can never win this silly game of yours Keith. Get over it and move on already.

          With regards to apostates having the inability to return please refer to Hebrews 6:4-6:
          It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

          John MacArthur argues that the verses are not addressing actual Christians which is a rather weak position to take in light of the section that says, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age…” Though he doubts that Christians are being addressed he does recognise that, “They had either to go on to full knowledge of God through faith in Christ or else turn away from Him, to become apostate and be lost forever.” (MacArthur, J. (1983). The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Hebrews. Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute. p. 147)

          Albert Barnes agrees that Christians are addressed in the verses and writes, “He warns them, in the most solemn manner, against apostasy. He assures them that if they should apostatize, it would be impossible to renew them again. They could not fall away from grace and again be renewed; they could not, after having been Christians and the apostatizing, be recovered. Their fall in that case would be final and irrecoverable…” (Barnes, A. (1850). Notes, Explanatory and Practical, on the Epistle to the Hebrews. New York: Harper and Brothers. p. 126)

          Paw Creek Ministries agrees that if Christians apostatize they can never return to the faith: http://www.pawcreek.org/salty-.....st-forever
          Dr. Ralph F. Wilson agrees that the verses are about real Christians apostatizing and that once apostatized they can never return: http://www.jesuswalk.com/hebrews/apostasy.htm

    • Jesus says:

      Great reply brother Anwar you knocked him off .I just want to add few things ‘Christian’ you are nothing but a typical Christian who read superficial internet articles by your like minded persons and think you have acquired full knowledge

      You quoted answering ansar site to tell us about tahreef in quran this is because you saw answering Islam site quoting it .

      To your shock answering ansar site them self belief Quran is perfectly preserved this you do not know because you are not informed of it .

      The traditions of tahreef which they bring are discussed in detail and in a scholarly way by Sunnis and Shias equally.Let me quote few Shia scholars on Quran .Answering ansar site is a Shia owned site and they too belief what these scholars say

      The Shia scholars say
      Shaykh Abu Ja`far:” Our belief is that the Qur’an, which Allah revealed to his Prophet Muhammad is (the same as) the one between the two boards (daffatayn). And it is that which is in the hands of the people, and is not greater extent than that. The number of suras as generally accepted is one hundred and fourteen.And he who asserts that we say it is greater in extent than this (the present text) is a liar.”
      Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Babwayh al-Qummi, I’tiqadatu’l Imamiyyah (The Beliefs of Imamiyyah), English translation: A Shi’ite Creed, 1982 (Revised) Asaf A. A. Fyzee, World Organization of Islamic Services: Tehran (Iran), p. 77.

      Allahmah Qui biggest Shia theologian in his book ‘maj ma ul bayan’ which is printed from Cairo discussed in a scholarly way each of those reports in detail and proofed Quran is free from tahreef.

      Nearly all Muslim scholars Sunni and Shia alike say Quran is free from tahreef that to not just like that but after a thorough research .Orientalists who delved into this topic ALL baring 1 or 2 say that Quran is free from tahreef and is perfectly reserved.

      You are ignorant of this.I recommend you to see debate between Bassam Zawadi and Nabeel Qureshi on ‘is the Quran perfectly preserved’.You will see how your like minded Nabeel got owned in this debate and simply could not prove anything.

      Your Bible is an example of how a book looks when it is corrupted .Christian scholars them self unanimously agree on this and moreover it is academically proofed that the bible contain so many forged verses and few are removed from it !

      Coming to your reference of few Muslim apologist who you say speak bad words .May i turn your attention to Sam Shamoun what about him .His mouth never gets dried on speaking bad words telling lies ,quoting wrongly and this scholarly article by brother Anwar showed how he lacks basic knowledge about Arabic.

      As brother Anwar cited many good Muslim apologist i want to just add Dr.Zakir Naik .See his live shows on peace tv ,in each show on an average 4 to 5 people convert to Islam can you name me 1 christian apologist who convert so many in his shows .

      • Ibn Anwar says:

        You are correct akhi in that Shi’a authorities themselves recognise that today’s Uthmani mushaf is the uncorrupted text of the revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. There was a conference held in Tehran, Iran some years back and the Shi’a authorities that were present declared that they did not have a different Mushaf from that of Uthman’s and that this mushaf is free from any kind of corruption or change. (M. M. al-Azami (2011). The History of the Qur’anic Text: From Revelation to Compilation: A Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments. Alberta, Canada: Al-Qalam Publishing. p. 234, n. 11)
        In the 1930s to 1940s the University of Munich inaugerated an Institute of Qur’anic Research. It was able to assemble more than 40 000 copies of the Qur’an from different centuries and countries. Though the Institute together with its staff and library was destroyed by American bombs what was the inevitable conclusion of the entire enterprise was that the Qur’an has no variants from the first to the 20th century. (M, Hamidullah & Arthur Jeffrey as cited in M. M. Azami Ibid. p. 244, n. 43)

        Adrian Brockett says regarding the preservation of the Qur’an via both memorisation and writing:

        “There can be no denying that some of the formal characteristics of the Qur’an point to the oral side and others to the written side, but neither was as a whole, primary. There is therefore no need to make different categories for vocal and graphic differences between transmissions. Muslims have not. The letter is not a dead skeleton to be refleshed, but is a manifestation of the spirit alive from beginning. The transmission of the Qur’an has always been oral, just as it has been written.” (Rippin, A. (1988). Approaches of the History of Interpretation of the Qur’an. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 34

        He also says:

        “Thus, if the Qur’an had been transmitted only orally for the first century, sizeable variations between texts such as are seen in the hadith and pre-Islamic poetry would be found, and if it had been transmitted only in writing, sizeable variations such as in the different transmissions of the original document of the constitution of Medina would be found. But neither is the case with the Qur’an. There must have been a parallel written transmission limiting variation in the oral transmission to the graphic form, side by side with a parallel oral transmission preserving the written transmission from corruption.” (Rippin, A. Ibid. p. 44)

        Christian preacher and Orientalist, Sir William Muir states:

        “The recension of ‘Uthman has been handed down to us unaltered. So carefully, indeed, has it been preserved, that there are no variations of importance, – we might almost say no variations at all, – amongst the innumerable copies of the Koran scattered throughout the vast bounds of empire of Islam. Contending and embittered factions, taking their rise in the murder of ‘Uthman himself within a quarter of a century from the death of Muhammad have ever since rent the Muslim world. Yet but one Koran has always been current amongst them…. There is probably in the world no other work which has remained twelve centuries with so pure a text.” (Muir, W. (1912). The Life of Mohammad. Edinburgh. p. xxii-xxiii)

        Bruce Lawrence writes:
        “Through complex process, the recitations that had been revealed in verses and chapters became over time a book. After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, ‘Ali, his close relative and supporter, worked with others to compile them into a written text. Then twenty years later, during the rule of ‘Uthman, the third Caliph or Successor to Muhammad (after Abu Bakr and ‘Umar but before ‘Ali), all extant versions were arranged into one ‘standard’ version. This version persists substantially unchanged to the present day.” (Lawrence, B. (2006). The Qur’an, A Biography. Great Britain: Atlantis Books. p. 6)

  11. rocko says:

    “When we go to Christ’s words, which your quran ordered the Christians to judge these issues by (S. 5:46-47)”

    use your bloody brains you stupid failure worshipping christian. the Qur’aan says that ALLAH IS ABLE TO DESTROY jesus and his mother.
    then it takes a u turn and says that the items ALLAH is able to destroy should judge Allahs words?

    why should Qur’aan be judged by saviour/failure greek gods ?

    1. the jews had their 100 percent human saviours
    2. innocent children and unborn fetus are murdered because of what thier parents and ancestors did
    3. according to jewish THOUGHT outside of the torah, yhwh saves israel because of the blood of martyrs who were 100 percent human beings

    4. greeks had gods who also rescued /saved thier ppl
    5. listen to the carrier v jacoby debate which proves that saviour gods pre existed jesus 🙂

    6. Qur’aan is asking to be judged by this myth?

  12. rocko says:

    this stupid pagan for krist keith falsehood should answer the following questions

    1. was jebus’ speeches CATALOGUED in aramaic?

    2. was his speeches repeated 5 times a day?

    3. was any of his speeches RECITED from cover to cover in the WHOLE month

    4. according to the nt, the christians got thier asses kicked and the jews DOMINATED , controlled and DESTROYED jebus.

    5. jews SAID things about jesus and made thier words WIDELY known

    6. jews were in power, christians were powerless

    7. christians were not kind enough to preserve jebus’ words in aramaic or hebrew, like mentle people REDUPLICATED words in EUROPEAN language.

    8. all honest people know that matthew tries to BIG UP marks DEFLATED jebus. all honest people know that in mark jesus’ DECIPLES are close to being DUMBOS, thier iq level is big upped in matthew.

    9. so the primitive version has dumb a ss deciples as your guides.

    10, these same dumb a ss deciples who forsook your god because story TELLERS about your god

    11. how honest were they

    12. who talked about thier TRUTHFULLNESS

    13. WHO CHECKED THE claims and said ” yeah we investigated it and found it to be true”

  13. rocko says:

    ‘ The reason it is widely accepted that Matthew and Luke relied on Mark and Q isn’t because they talked about the same events, but because the lexical and syntactic parallels are too close.’

    AND

    The problem is more that such sources are assumed to be independent attestations, when we are dealing with literature within the one ideological community (which includes the scribes who copied useful classical texts, bringing references into that ideological community, as evinced by christian interference with the TF, as well as the fabrication of Paul/Seneca letters). It’s not just the philological manifestations of the synoptic gospels, but the participation within the same community. It’s like the police being suspicious of testimonies that say the same sorts of thing being rehearsals. To give a good modern example, the issue of a new stamp in Britain commemorating the life of Marie stopes triggered a wave of spleen across internet that rehash the same inane nexus of deception which tie together her supposed Nazi sympathy, her support of eugenics and the false claim that she supported abortion in order to purvey the notion that Stopes’s birth control clinic was a sinister plot to experiment on working class women. Blogs and web pages sprang up apparently independently to tell different versions or selections of the same material all with the same intent at character assassination, thousands of attestations that Stopes was at a congress on population studies in Berlin in 1935 and had written sympathetic letters to Hitler to attest to her Nazi sympathy. No sources are ever given. But the same memes are used over and over again. What a multiplicity of attestation! But there is no independence of attestation. We are dealing with the one tradition in the attack on Stopes, obviously the British catholics, who she had a running feud with for the last 38 years of her life and which raised their heads over a stamp commemorating a woman who did more for British working women that anyone else in Britain for a decade.

    People operating within the one ideological community don’t make for independent attestations. In such conditions independence must be demonstrated rather than assumed.

    .

    THERE GOES THE BULL cra p that keithefalsehoods gospels are INDEPENDANT accounts

  14. rocko says:

    how christians have even CREATED PASSAGES for paul

    quote

    Here are the reasons Birger Pearson’s argues the passage is an interpolation:

    1.The passage begins a second “thanksgiving section” in the letter — something that appears to be an anomaly in Paul’s letters
    2.This same passage begins with a repetition of the same words and phrases (or identical ones) as had been already written in 1:13ff.
    3.The passage intrudes into a ‘travelogue’ or ‘apostolic parousia’ section, something used by Paul to declare his travel plans and desire to be with the congregation, etc. — Paul nowhere else breaks up a ‘travelogue’ section
    4.The passage urges one church to follow another church as an example — while elsewhere (including in chapter one of this same letter) Paul commands his churches to follow him, or praises them for doing so, as he follows Christ
    5.This passage points to a period of persecution of Christians in Judea between 44 and 66 (when the Jewish War against Rome began) BCE — there is no other evidence for such persecution
    6.The description of Jews as “hostile to all men” is found elsewhere among secular anti-semitic literature of the time — it contradicts Paul’s favourable views of Jews in other letters, not forgetting his own pride in being a Jew and his accomplishments in Judaism in the past
    7.This passage blames the Jews for the murder of Christ — Paul never blames them in other letters, but does accuse “the rulers of this age”, a phrase that is found in other literature to refer to archons or angels and demons. Pearson adds that even if one wanted to interpret this phrase as a reference to human agencies then we must conclude Paul is here blaming the Roman authorities, not the Jews, for the murder of Christ.
    8.The passage says that the Jews have filled up their sin quota, meaning that there is no longer any way for them to avoid condign punishment from God — something alien to Paul’s thought elsewhere about the Jews, and to the fact that Paul could boast about being a Jew himself
    9.The phrase for “to the utmost” means that the Jews have at last, finally, in the past, received their ultimate punishment without any more hope, and many commentators say that this could only refer to the event of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE — while in Romans 11 Paul speaks of ongoing and future hope and promise of salvation for the Jews.
    There are additional points. Among them are the syntactical arguments of Schmidt (1983: JBL). Daryl Schmidt went beyond the old method of using statistical frequencies of certain words and phrases to detect interpolation on the grounds that in this case the passage is too small for this sort of analysis to produce decisive results. Advances in linguistic studies now enable us to study “‘the syntactical pattern’ of a text or of an author’s style.”

    Schmidt’s approach was accordingly to study the style and grammar of the passage within the context of the letter, focusing on the section from 1 Thess 1:2 to 3:10 (i.e. the pre-exhortation section of the letter between the opening greeting and the concluding benediction). His analysis concludes that interpolation is the best explanation for 2:13-16 because this passage:

    •contains content that does not fit well in 1 Thessalonians
    •has content that does not fit well into Pauline thought in general
    •intrudes into the overall structure of the letter
    •is built around an un-Pauline conflation of Paul’s genuine expressions
    All of this would seem to be a formidable set of reasons for thinking the passage to be a forgery inserted into the letter by a copyist. These are the points debated in the scholarly literature. Jon A. Weatherly (“The Authenticity of 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16: Additional Evidence,” JSNT 42 (1991): 91-98) and J. W. Simpson (“The Problem Posed by 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 and a Solution,” Horizons in Biblical Theology 12 (1990); 52-54) have led some of the counter-argument.

    http://vridar.wordpress.com/20.....ty-part-2/

    Simpson writes:

    The virtue of the interpolation view, as it has been developed by Pearson and Schmidt, is, as we shall see, that it seeks to solve the broadest range of problems, that is, that it draws out in a valuable way the evidence which any view of 1 Thess 2:15f. must take into account.

    Weatherly says that Paul himself could have deliberately combined some of his expressions he could use in other letters and conflated them himself to have written in an “exceptional” and “uncharacteristic” (out-of-character) way for a special context (pp. 96-97). I like that. counter-argument against interpolation. The author deliberately decided to write in an uncharaceristic style!

    The reason I quote these leading opponents of the interpolation theory is to show that even they acknowledge that their own arguments against interpolation are far from being conclusive. Simpson writes of his own case:

    This is not to say that any of these arguments do not point to real problems in regard to 1Thess 2:13-16, only that the interpolation view is not the best solution. (p.62)

    After weighing the various arguments pro and con William O. Walker concludes of this passage:

    On the basis primarily of contextual (including form-critical), linguistic, and ideational considerations, a strong case has been made for viewing 1 Thess. 2.13-16 as a non-Pauline interpolation. Moreover, the case has been buttressed by comparative, situational and motivational considerations. (p. 220, Interpolations.)

  15. Christian says:

    For those speaking very wickedly towards me I say bless you and I will pray for you. To the Muslims who chimed in, I didn’t argue that the Shia Muslims do not believe the Quran is preserved in tact. I argued that they quoted many ancient Sunni traditions with respect to disagreements over the amount of verses which should be in the Quran showing how inconsistent Ibn Anwar is to argue that because early Christians disagreed on the exact number of books in the canon that therefore we can’t have certain knowledge through various criteria. Secondly, with respect to Ibn Anwar citing S. 49:11 saying Muslims ought to not call other Muslims names such as wicked or unbeliever, its interesting that in the AI article “Muhammad – The Cruel and Abusive “’prophet'” there is much evidence shown where Muhammad cursed his followers and spoke very negatively about them. So that is inconsistent:

    “A’isha reported that two persons visited Allah’s Messenger and both of them talked about a thing, of which I am not aware, but that annoyed him AND HE INVOKED CURSE UPON BOTH OF THEM AND HURLED MALEDICTION, and when they went out I said: Allah’s Messenger, the good would reach everyone but it would not reach these two. He said: Why so? I said: Because you have invoked curse and hurled malediction upon both of them. He said: Don’t you know that I have made condition with my Lord saying thus: O Allah, I am a human being and that for a Muslim upon whom I invoke curse or hurl malediction make it a source of purity and reward?” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6285) “This hadith has been reported on the authority of A’mash with the same chain of transmitters and the hadith transmitted on the authority of ‘Isa (the words are): “He had a private meeting with them AND HURLED MALEDICTION UPON THEM AND CURSED THEM and sent them out.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6286) “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Apostle as saying: O Allah, I make a covenant with Thee against which Thou wouldst never go. I am a human being and thus for a Muslim whom I give any harm or whom I scold or upon whom I INVOKE A CURSE or whom I BEAT, make this a source of blessing, purification and nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6290) “Salim, the freed slave of Nasriyyin, said: I heard Abu Huraira as saying that he heard Allah’s Messenger as saying: O Allah, Muhammad is a human being. I lose my temper just as human beings lose temper, and I have held a covenant with Thee which Thou wouldst not break: For a believer whom I give any trouble or invoke curse or beat, make that an expiation (of his sins and a source of) his nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6293)

    As for Athanasius you still didn’t prove he was a Roman Catholic. You quoted people claiming he was a Catholic (that’s not proof) and noted that he is considered a doctor of the Roman church. But the Eastern Orthodox say that as well. When Athanasius speaks of the catholic faith which he holds (as you quoted him) that word “catholic” just meant “universal Christian faith” it didn’t serve as a distinction the way “Roman Catholic” does today. He would not have known what “Roman Catholicism” was since there was no split yet. Everyone called themselves part of the universal church in those days but the debate is: was that universal church roman catholic? I argue no based on the fact that you can’t find the modern necessary roman doctrines in the early church such as papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, the assumption of Mary and a whole host of other de fide doctrines. You would need to therefore prove he held to the necessary Roman doctrines I asked you about to show he was a Roman Catholic and not just a “universal (catholic)” Christian. For works demonstrating he did not hold to necessary Roman doctrines (and was hence not a Roman Catholic) see William Webster, “The Church of Rome at the Bar of History,” David King, William Webster “Holy Scripture, Vol. 1, 2, 3,” James White, “The Roman Catholic Controversy,” William Webster, “The Matthew 16 Controversy.”

    In reference to brother David Wood you said “Unless you can prove that his parents were atheists or if they belonged to any other faith group other than Christianity and that he was never taught and brought up with Christian values then you have no case at all.” But are you really being consistent? Would you consider a person Muslim if the only connection they had to Islam was their parents being Muslim, even if they were out partying, getting drunk, sleeping around and not having Islam in their mind at all etc? Not to say Wood did those exact things but this shows just because someone’s family professes Islam, it doesn’t necessarily mean they themselves are truly Muslim – they would be of a Muslim household but living contrary to Islam. Same with Christianity. I myself was raised a Roman Catholic as a child and early teen but I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t care about God at all. Hence, I was not truly Catholic. I can say that with certainty. So just having a Catholic, Muslim or Christian family doesn’t mean anything. And yes in that debate Wood is quite clear he was not a Christian during this time. In the debate with Loftus he said “I believed life formed on its own and that the universe formed on its own” and then he explains how he later came to God. So your argument is wrong. He was not a Christian during the period you refer to at all. You should concede this like I was honest enough to concede I was wrong about Dunn. If not I can’t have any respect for you or believe you have any integrity whatsoever.

    You commented on my argument that although Paul was imperfect His writings were inspired by the Spirit and said:

    ““Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” (1 Corinthians 7:25) The ISV, NASB etc. translates judgment as “opinion”. This is because the Greek word gnome can also be understood as opinion. Whichever it is, I believe the verse speaks for itself. Paul speaks on his own prerogative without divine intervention.”

    However,there is wide recognition that what Paul was saying in 1 Cor. 7:25 was that he wasn’t repeating something Christ taught during his ministry (I have no commandment of the Lord). He wasn’t saying Christ or the Spirit had no part in his words in a current prophetic sense. Hence, when he gives his judgement you need to realize that he taught his own judgements or views contained in his writings were guided by God prophetically through Christ and the Spirit (see the same book but 1 Corinthians 2:13: “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught BY THE SPIRIT, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” We need to read Paul in totality. And also 2 Corinthians 13:3 where he says “Christ is speaking in me” in reference to the content of his writing. So you can quote as many scholars as you want but if you can’t actually deal with my arguments you’re not going to get anywhere. The normative mode in which Paul wrote was through the inspiration of God’s Spirit. This was understood in the 1st century which is why in 2 Peter we are told Paul’s writings are Scripture on par with inspired Biblical writings.

    In response to me asking you to concede Dunn agrees with us about Jesus being given honor due to God alone you respond by saying God is called king of kings and so is Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:37. However, read the context, he is called king of kings because God gave them sovereignty over humans to conquer kingdoms. That is the sense in which he is king of kings – its not divine. God the Father and Christ on the other hand are king of kings in the divine sense in that they they are enthroned as King having everything (both physical kingdoms and the spiritual abode/beings) subject under their feet, so there is no comparison (Ephesians 1:19-23; 1 Peter 3:21-22; Rev. 5:11-14; Revelation 17:14). So unless you can show Nebuchadnezzar is king of kings in both the physical as well as spiritual sense you can’t say he is actually being given the honor due to God like Christ is when He is king of kings and in Phil. 2 as Dunn concedes.

    Now, I don’t have time to go to through the rest of your gross errors since I am working on some articles but I will end on this. You quoted Voltaire speaking negatively about Calvin with regard to the servetus and he provides an alleged quote from Calvin bragging about being wicked towards servetus. First, when Voltaire says that Calvin insulted servetus in jail neither you nor he provide historical evidence on that point. Regarding the alleged letter he does quote with respect to “such monsters ought to be strangled like I did to servetus” I implore you to read the historian Jules Bonnet’s work “Letters of John Calvin” (Volume 4, pages 437-441) where this and similar quotes are proven to be forgeries which lack the normal style of Calvin’s writing. The anchoredbytruth article “The Execution of Servetus” goes into it. There are many arguments proving this is a fraud. I will present some arguments from Bonnet: “2nd. If these pieces are not in the handwriting of Calvin, still less do we find in them his style, admired by Bossuet himself and one of the finest in our language. That style is concise, nervous, and dignified, bearing the impress of a strong individuality more easy to caricature than to imitate. 3d. From the form let us pass to the substance. The two letters swarm with mistakes and historical blunders which betray the work of an unskilful forger. The first, dated the 8th May, 1547, and addressed to M. du Poet, General of the Religion in Dauphiny, bestows this title on this seigneur, fifteen years before the period in which he declared for the Reformation, and when the new faith, having neither church nor soldier in Dauphiny, could scarcely enumerate some obscure martyrs in that province. The second, dated the 13th September, 1561, has for superscription—to M. du Poet, grand chamberlain of Navarre and Governor of Montelimart, dignities with which he was invested only twenty years later, in 1584. It is one of Calvin’s accusers, M. Aubenas himself, who informs us of that, without remarking that the notice which he has devoted to M. du Poet is the best refutation of the authenticity of the letters attributed to the Reformer.”

    So you’re relying on forgeries cited by a man who had a hostile bias towards reformed Christianity and who said things with no historical basis. There are a lot of forgeries associated with this issue because of the emotional hatred to reformed theology which says God is sovereign. So you need to be careful with your sources.

    I think this discussion has proven quite a few things. One side is willing to be honest and affirm facts where the truth leads, the other side won’t concede anything but will uphold their false view even if it is refuted and absurd. We have also seen double standards when it comes to what classifies a Christian when you wouldn’t use your own criteria to determine who is Muslim. In sum Jesus’ statement about knowing them by their fruits remains true. The people on your blog have demonstrated this and so have you by not chastising their wicked behavior. I pray for all of you and will let you have the last word. Christ is Lord. Take care.

    • Christian says:

      And last thing Muhammad told the Arabs to bite their fathers penis off:

      Ubayy b. Ka‘b told that he heard God’s messenger say, “If anyone proudly asserts his descent in the manner of the pre-Islamic people, tell him to bite his father’s penis, AND DO NOT USE A EUPHEMISM.” It is transmitted in Sarah [sic] as-sunna. (Mishkat Al Masabih, English Translation With Explanatory Notes By Dr. James Robson [Sh. Muhammad Ashraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore, Pakistan, Reprinted 1994], Volume II, Book XXIV – General Behaviour, Chapter XIII. Boasting and Party-Spirit, p. 1021; bold and capital emphasis ours)

      • Ibn Anwar says:

        The above cited hadith is clearly metaphorical. There is no evidence that any Muslim went and bit off their Fathers’ private part. If you were honest with yourself then you would understand the whole point of the narration. Read the first part of it. I understand that you have little to no knowledge of Islam. If you study Islam you would come to know that one of the main points of contention made by the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in his ministry is that ‘asabiyyah(tribal fanaticism) is wrong and should be avoided. The Arabs in the Jahiliyyah period were excessively proud of their specific genealogy and used it as a way to oppress and look down on others. This was eliminated by Islam. The Prophet s.a.w. in that hadith is expressing his discontent over those who might return to the old ways and assert their genealogical superiority over others. The expression “bite his father’s penis” is clearly a suggestion that would turn any Arab red with embarrassment because as we have already discussed heritage and genealogy was and still is held dear by them. It would be unthinkable for an Arab to harm his father, let alone his father’s private part which is a source of pride in the sense that it is the instrument to procreate(the source of genealogy). Hence the point is that as much as it is unthinkable for an Arab to go bite his father’s private part so too it should unthinkable for an Arab to excessively pride himself due to his family name. It is similar to the hadith about backbiting whereby the Prophet s.a.w. said that backbiting is akin to eating the flesh of your own brother. The imagery is unacceptable and horrifying as Arabs were inherently disgusted by the idea of harming their own kin let alone consume their flesh. In addition, cannibalism is completely prohibited in Islam. Thus, the hyperbole and imagery are heightened. Similar to the idea in the hadith cited by Keith this hadith is imparting a lesson upon Muslims that just as it would be unimaginable for them to eat the flesh of their own brother it should also be unimaginable for them to backbite others. Lastly, there is not a single verse anywhere in the Bible which prohibits a man from literally biting another man’s private part. Thus the objection made by Keith(nicknamed Christian) is without any Biblical foundation. The hadith should not be offensive to him if he was a Biblical Christian. The shock effect which he is searching for does not work and he has as usual miserably failed in his attempts to discredit Islam.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      You wrote, “To the Muslims who chimed in, I didn’t argue that the Shia Muslims do not believe the Quran is preserved in tact. I argued that they quoted many ancient Sunni traditions with respect to disagreements over the amount of verses which should be in the Quran showing how inconsistent Ibn Anwar is to argue that because early Christians disagreed on the exact number of books in the canon that therefore we can’t have certain knowledge through various criteria.”

      My reply:
      All of the traditions that the Shi’a site answering-ansar uses are used by Robert Morey and his ilk to disprove the Qur’an, but the objections and traditions have all been dealt with by Jamal Badawi, Shabir Ally and others in their debates on the Qur’an and its preservation. Let me just take one sample of the traditions that are often cited in this regards and illustrate just how much the subject matter is completely beyond Keith’s level and comprehension. It is alleged that Surah al-Ahzab was as big or bigger than Surah al-Baqarah:
      Zirr ibn Hubaysh was asked by Ubayy ibn ka’b as to how he read surah al-Ahzab. He answered: 70 or 71 ayat. Ubayy said: “By God, it came down to the Prophet s.a.w.; it was like al-Baqarah or larger than it.”(Ibn al-Jawzi(n.d.). Nawasikh al-Qur’an. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. p. 34)

      There are two chains of transmission reporting the same incident:
      Chain A: Abbad Ibn Ya’qub – Sharik al-Nakha’i – Asim – Zirr ibn Hubaysh – Ubayy ibn Ka’ab (Ibid.)
      Chain B: Isma’il ibn ja’far – Mubarak ibn Fudalah -Asim – Zirr – Ubayy. (Jalaluddin al-Suyuti(2000). al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, Vol. 2. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. p. 48)

      Both the above chains are problematic and defective. In the first chain the defect lies in Sharik al-Nakha’i(177 AH) and Abbad ibn Ya’qub (250 AH). Sharik’s reports are divided by the muhadditheen into two categories:
      a) Those reports made during early stages of his life whilst living in Wasit
      b) Those reports made in the later stage of his life whilst living in Kufah
      (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani(1996). Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Vol. 2. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul Ma’rifah. p. 493)

      Almost all the scholars of hadith(muhadditheen) are unanimous on the acceptability of reports made in the first category. The second category on the other hand are declared as doubtful, weak and untenable. Ibn Hibban for example adds his name in a list of authentic narrators, but with the disclaimer that when he was in Kufah he would make mistakes in his narrations due to failing memory and so those who took and learned from him at this stage learned things full of delusions. (Ibid.)
      The final narrator who reports chain A is Abbad ibn Ya’qub from Kufah who received from Sharik in Kufah which renders the whole narration untenable. Further more, Abbad ibn Ya’qub is discarded by numerous hadith authorities as unreliable. Ibn Khuzaimah for example ultimately abandoned his narrations. (Ibid. Vol. 3, p. 71) Ibn Hibban declared that Abbad’s reports are to be set aside because he reported strange(gharib) and unknown statements(manakir) from famous authorities. (Ibid.)

      In the second chain of transmission the problem is with Mubarak ibn Fudalah. al-Nasa’i, al-Saji and Ibn Sa’ad declared him to be dha’if(weak).(Ibid. Vol. 5, pp. 342-343) Ibn Ma’in, al-Daraqutni, al-‘Ajli and Abu Dawud are reported to have occassionally considered him to be acceptable, but at other times as weak.(Ibid.) It may seem that the scholars have contradictory positions, but that is not really the case. The authenticity and lack thereof of his reports are divided into two categories which is similar to that of Sharik discussed above. His position is credited as authentic if he narrates from his immediate source by using the expression/phrase ‘haddathana’ (he reported to us). If he uses the phrase or term which shows an indirect taking by the use of the article ”an'(from), his news may not simply be taken and accepted. Al-Ajurri and Abu Zur’ah describe him as reliable only when he uses the expression ‘haddathana’.(Ibid.) In the case of the report in question his immediate source is Asim ibn Bahdalah by which the article ”an’ rather than ‘haddathana’ is used. In addition to that ‘Asim ibn Bahdalah is not listed as one of the sources of Mubarak ibn Fudalah in the works of ‘rijaal’ or biographical dictionaries of hadith. In conclusion, the report in question is unreliable.
      In addition to problems in the chains of transmission there are also defects in the ‘matan'(text). In the version by Sharik the number of verses in Surah al-Ahzab according to Zirr ibn Hubaysh is 70 or 71 which is contradicted by the version through Mubarak which reports Zirr ibn Hubaysh as counting the verses as 72 or 73. One can easily gather that according to the mututally contradicting versions that Zirr ibn Hubaysh was no sure about the precise number of verses in surah al-ahzab. This is inconceivable in light of the fact that he ought to have known the exact number of verses due to his credentials. He is highly recognised as a major scholar of the Qur’an. (Yusuf ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Barr (1995). al-Isti’ab fi Ma’rifah al-Ahsab, Vol. 2. Beirut, Lebanon: Darul Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah. p. 131, serial no. 873) He had learned the Qur’an directly from Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud.(Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari(1400 AH). Al-Jami’ al-Sahih, Vol. 3, Kitab Fadha’il al-Qur’an, hadith 4999. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi). Ibn Mas’ud as many of us know is certified by the Prophet s.a.w. as an authority on the Qur’an together with Salim ibn Mi’qal, Mu’adh ibn Jabal and ‘Ubayy ibn Ka’ab. (Ibid.) The report is evidently not genuine due to the fact that Zirr ibn Hubaysh knew the Qur’an by heart and would not have erred as to the precise contents and number of verses of Surah al-Ahzab or any other chapters of the Qur’an for that matter. Another problem with the text is seen in the alleged claim ascribed to Ubayy that he thought the chapter was as large as al-Baqar or bigger than it. It has already been stated that among the four certified authorities of the Qur’an by the Prophet s.a.w. is Ubayy ibn Ka’ab. It is inconceivable that one such as Ubayy who thoroughly memorised the Qur’an could have been uncertain about the length of a chapter in the Qur’an. In conclusion, detailed analysis of both the chains of transmission and the texts of the reports yield a definitive result that the story is altogether unreliable and discarded.

      You said, “showing how inconsistent Ibn Anwar is to argue that because early Christians disagreed on the exact number of books in the canon that therefore we can’t have certain knowledge through various criteria.” Where exactly did I claim that Christians cannot be certain about what the canon of the New Testament should be in our exchanges so far? The issue was not whether the canon of 27 books of the NT is reliable or not, but rather Athanasius was initially the one who was responsible for this particular canon conprising 27 books. The initial issue was on your rejection of Catholicism as authentic Christianity which to me is ridiculous due to the fact that much of what is contained in your faith today is inherited from the Catholic church. I have not contended that you cannot have certain knowledge through “various criteria” regarding the exact number of books in the NT canon. So please stay focused Keith. Don’t get too nervous. And yes, Let me reiterate one more time that Athanasius had a hand in the canonisation process of the NT as Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University states about the 27 books, “That canon appears for the first time in a letter of Athanasius issued in 367 CE.” (Pelikan, J. 2004)Whose Bible is It?: A Short History of the Scriptures. United States: Penguin Books. p. 116) Alister Mcgrath writes, “In 367, Athanasius circulated his 39th Festal Letter, which identifies the 27 canonical books of the New Testament, as we know it.” (Mcgrath, A. E. (2011). Christian Theology: An Introduction. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.)

      You cited the following narrations:
      “A’isha reported that two persons visited Allah’s Messenger and both of them talked about a thing, of which I am not aware, but that annoyed him AND HE INVOKED CURSE UPON BOTH OF THEM AND HURLED MALEDICTION, and when they went out I said: Allah’s Messenger, the good would reach everyone but it would not reach these two. He said: Why so? I said: Because you have invoked curse and hurled malediction upon both of them. He said: Don’t you know that I have made condition with my Lord saying thus: O Allah, I am a human being and that for a Muslim upon whom I invoke curse or hurl malediction make it a source of purity and reward?” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6285) “This hadith has been reported on the authority of A’mash with the same chain of transmitters and the hadith transmitted on the authority of ‘Isa (the words are): “He had a private meeting with them AND HURLED MALEDICTION UPON THEM AND CURSED THEM and sent them out.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6286) “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Apostle as saying: O Allah, I make a covenant with Thee against which Thou wouldst never go. I am a human being and thus for a Muslim whom I give any harm or whom I scold or upon whom I INVOKE A CURSE or whom I BEAT, make this a source of blessing, purification and nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6290) “Salim, the freed slave of Nasriyyin, said: I heard Abu Huraira as saying that he heard Allah’s Messenger as saying: O Allah, Muhammad is a human being. I lose my temper just as human beings lose temper, and I have held a covenant with Thee which Thou wouldst not break: For a believer whom I give any trouble or invoke curse or beat, make that an expiation (of his sins and a source of) his nearness to Thee on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 032, Number 6293)

      My reply:
      Those narrations are pretty much self-explanatory. First of all, those narrations do not contradict the verse of the Qur’an which I cited:
      “O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult one’s brother after having Faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: “O sinner”, or “O wicked”]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zâlimûn (wrong-doers).” (49:11)

      Where does the narrations state that the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said that a person is a sinner or wicked in a snide and insulting manner? Nowhere. If the Prophet s.a.w. had at any point described a person as a sinner or wicked that is within his Prophetic prerogative just as Jesus described his people as “a wicked and adulterous generation.”(Matthew 16:4; Luke 11:29) What exactly were the curse and malediction that were invoked? The narrations do not divulge that. However, what is interesting about all those narrations from Sahih Muslim, ‘The Book of Righteousness, Manners and Joining the Ties of Kinship’ is that those malediction and curse will be rewards for the person who receives them FROM THE PROPHET s.a.w. on judgment day. Notice that it is not an allowance for Muslims to do it. Rather, it is what the Prophet s.a.w. may do and that which HE does will be a reward from Allah to the person receiving it. The reward and the malediction and curse are not mutually exclusive, hence individuals other than the Prophet s.a.w. are not permitted to do that which the Prophet s.a.w. did which will eventually become a “mercy” by Allah through which a person gets nearness to Him and rewarded by Him. Notice also that the Prophet s.a.w. said that the “cursing” and the “malediction” are due to his frailty as a human being which is clear proof that it is not something that is recommended to be practiced. Take notice of the narration before the final narration in the book which is hadith 6298:
      Ibn Abbas reported: I was playing with children that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) happened to pass by (us). I hid myself behind the door. He (the Prophet) came and he patted upon my shoulders and said: Go and call Mu’awiya. I returned and said: He is busy in taking food. He again asked me to go and call Mu’awiya to him. I went (and came back) and said that he was busy in taking food, whereupon he said: May Allaah not fill his belly! Ibn Muthanna, said: I asked Umm Umayya what he meant by the word Hatani. He said: It means” he patted my shoulders”.

      Notice the “curse” that was made by the Prophet s.a.w. to Mu’awiyyah was due to his refusal to respond to the call of the Prophet s.a.w. which is against Islamic etiquette. The Qur’an specifically dictates that Muslims are to obey the Prophet s.a.w. Islam teaches that we are not even to ignore our Parents’ calls. In fact, in Islamic jurisprudence a person may leave his ‘nawafil'(supererogatory) prayers if his mother is calling him. The Prophet’s importance far exceeds the importance assigned to parents in Islam. Thus you can see the seriousness of the offense in the Islamic perspective. Mu’awiyyah after being called more than once still refused to harken because he was too busy taking food. This is one of the examples of the Prophet s.a.w. “cursing” his own companions due to their obstinacy which is within the Prophet’s prophetic prerogative. The example above illustrates that the Prophet s.a.w. “cursed” due to reasonable circumstances and he wasn’t going around cursing people willy nilly. Finally, if you have a problem with “cursing” and “sending malediction” will you reject the following as evil?
      “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.” (2 Kings 2:23-24) Is there an example of the Prophet of Islam cursing teenagers which resulted in their tragic and gruesome deaths? No, once again you fail the test of consistency. (See also Nehemiah 13:25)

      You said:
      “As for Athanasius you still didn’t prove he was a Roman Catholic. You quoted people claiming he was a Catholic (that’s not proof) and noted that he is considered a doctor of the Roman church. But the Eastern Orthodox say that as well. When Athanasius speaks of the catholic faith which he holds (as you quoted him) that word “catholic” just meant “universal Christian faith” it didn’t serve as a distinction the way “Roman Catholic” does today. He would not have known what “Roman Catholicism” was since there was no split yet. Everyone called themselves part of the universal church in those days but the debate is: was that universal church roman catholic? I argue no based on the fact that you can’t find the modern necessary roman doctrines in the early church such as papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, the assumption of Mary and a whole host of other de fide doctrines. You would need to therefore prove he held to the necessary Roman doctrines I asked you about to show he was a Roman Catholic and not just a “universal (catholic)” Christian. For works demonstrating he did not hold to necessary Roman doctrines (and was hence not a Roman Catholic) see William Webster, “The Church of Rome at the Bar of History,” David King, William Webster “Holy Scripture, Vol. 1, 2, 3,” James White, “The Roman Catholic Controversy,” William Webster, “The Matthew 16 Controversy.”

      My reply:
      The Eastern Orthodox considers Athanasius a saint just as the Roman Catholic church due to the fact that they were once united as one church. Power politics eventually led to the schism that broke up the church into Western and Eastern in 1054. Please study your history before you make an embarrassment of yourself here. You said, “When Athanasius speaks of the catholic faith which he holds (as you quoted him) that word “catholic” just meant “universal Christian faith” it didn’t serve as a distinction the way “Roman Catholic” does today.” Clearly, you are a major revisionist protestant evangelist. The references I made were not from mere “people” which you claim does not amount to proof. They are respected scholars in their own right. For the benefit of the readers I will recapitulate the references here:
      The Catholic Encyclopedia writes that, “Bishop of Alexandria; Confessor and Doctor of the Church; born c. 296; died 2 May, 373. Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of “Father of Orthodoxy”. Frances Forbes writes, “It was thanks to Athanasius and his untiring efforts that Egypt and Alexandria were still, in the main, true to the Catholic Church.” (Forbes, F.A. (2009). Saint Athanasius. Middlesex: The Echo Library. p. 37). Dutch thinker Hugo Grotius states, “In Laodicaea Athanasius defended the Catholic faith against Arius with Probus, a heathen, for judge, who presided on behalf of the emperor; and he awarded the case to Athanasius.” (Grotius, H. (2001). De imperio summarum potestatum circa sacra: Critical Edition with Introduction, English Translation and Commentary (Harm-Jav Van Dam, trans.). The Netherlands: Brill. (Original work published 1647). p. 281) Athanasius himself in his so called Athanasian Creed states, “Haec est fides catholica, quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit.”(This is the Catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.)

      You challenged me to show where certain Catholic beliefs such as papal infallibility, immaculate conception etc. were in the time of Athanasius. This is really a crude way of proving your baseless allegations due to the fact that Catholics themselves recognise that the Church is organic. Both protestants and Catholics believe in progressive revelation and that inspiration from on high did not just end in the time of Jesus but continued on. Following your line of reasoning a Christian today cannot be truly Christian if he does not accept all 27 books of the New Testament. That means Christians prior to Athanasius were fake Christians since they did not subscribe specifically to 27 books of the New Testament. The Catholic Church’s official position concerning the cosmos in the time of Galileo is that it was Geocentric. That is the reason why Galileo was forced to recant and committed to house arrest for the rest of his life. Today the church recognises the Big Bang theory which was first discovered by its own priest Father Lamaitre and longer subscribe to the Geocentric model. Following your logic, the Catholic church back then was not really Catholic. Serious historians do not hold to the ridiculous position which you do that when Athanasius used the word “Catholic” he didn’t use it as a specific identification for a particular Church distinguished from others. You claim that when he used the term it was generic in sense and simply meant “universsal Christian faith”. Athanasius writes to Bishop Serapion: “Let us look from the beginning at that very tradition, teaching, and faith of the catholic church which the Lord gave (edoken), the apostles preached, and the Fathers preserved. Upon this the church is founded. (cited in Clendenin, D. B. (2003). Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academics. p. 106). Here’san excerpt of a letter addressed to the Bishops and Magistrates in Athanasius’ time: “Constantius Augustus, the Great, the Conqueror, to the Bishops and Clergy of the Catholic Church. The most Reverend Athanasius has not been deserted by the grace of God…” (Scaff, P. & Wallace, H. (eds.) (2007). Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4. New York: Cosimo Inc. (Original in 1892). p. 277) The following is a Synodical letter by Athanasius to the Emperor:
      “To the very religious, most benevolent, and victorious Augustus Jovian, from Athanasius and the other bishops assembled in in person, from all Egypt, from Thebes and from Libya.
      …It clearly proves that your heart is in the hand of God, and that you will govern the empire in tranquility during a long course of years. As you piously desire to learn from us the faith of the Catholic church, we have, after rendering thanks on your behalf to God, determined above all things to propound to you the faith confessed by our Fathers at Nice. Some having renounced this faith, have laid various snares for us because we would not be led into the Arian heresy. These persons are the authors of heresy and of schism in the Catholic Church.” (Theodoret & Evagrius (n.d.). A History of the Church. Covent Garden, London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 154). Athanasius is included amongst the “Ancient Bishops , Fathers, Doctors, Martyrs, Confessors of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church” in ‘A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church’ which was translated by members of the Anglican Church and presented to the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. It is not solely a Roman Catholic enterprise. In the book it states, “Now that the whole multitude and all the people of the Catholic Church assembled together as with one mind and body, and cried, shouted, that Athanasius should be Bishop of their Church…”(Anon. (n.d.) A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church: Historical Tracts of Saint Athanasius. Oxford, London: John Henry Parker. p. 22) Refer also to historian Edward Gibbon in his ‘The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire’, Volume 2, p. 546 where he talks about Athanasius and the Catholics. Refer to Athanasius’ own words regarding the relationship of Arians with the Catholic Church when he says, “the heresy which attacks Christ has no communion with the Catholic Church’ (60.1)” (Barnes, T. D. (1993). Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constintinian Empire. United States: Harvard University Press. p. 26) We also know that Athanasius was recognised and answerable to the Pope as popes were already around at the time e.g. he had a scuffle with Pope Liberius. The following link shows the primacy of the so called seat of Peter in the time of Athanasius: http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num51.htm. This point is also explored by Stephen K. Ray in his ‘Upon This Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church’, p. 200. How Catholic did he have to be before you admit that the Catholic church existed at the time and Athanasius was one of them.

      You said:
      In reference to brother David Wood you said “Unless you can prove that his parents were atheists or if they belonged to any other faith group other than Christianity and that he was never taught and brought up with Christian values then you have no case at all.” But are you really being consistent? Would you consider a person Muslim if the only connection they had to Islam was their parents being Muslim, even if they were out partying, getting drunk, sleeping around and not having Islam in their mind at all etc?

      My reply:
      The above shows the level of knowledge that you have of the religion of Islam. Unlike you we do not simply discard members of our faith simply because they are not angels and backslide from time to time e.g. partying, consuming alcohol. Those individuals if they retain the basic precepts of Islam i.e. the five pillars of Islam and the 6 pillars of faith remain Muslims and we have no right to label them otherwise. Born again Christians like yourselves cannot fathom the possibility of Christians committing sins even though at the same time it is almost universally accepted by all the major churches that everyone including Christians are sinners and that only Jesus was ever truly sinless and perfect. You have no proof to proffer that shows that David Wood did not believe in the fundamentals of Christianity. The likelihood is that he did since you cannot show me that his parents did not believe in Christian values and doctrines. Thus you weak attempt to exonerate his past as an example of imperfection and sinfulness in a Christian has totally failed.

      You said:
      You commented on my argument that although Paul was imperfect His writings were inspired by the Spirit and said:

      ““Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” (1 Corinthians 7:25) The ISV, NASB etc. translates judgment as “opinion”. This is because the Greek word gnome can also be understood as opinion. Whichever it is, I believe the verse speaks for itself. Paul speaks on his own prerogative without divine intervention.”

      However,there is wide recognition that what Paul was saying in 1 Cor. 7:25 was that he wasn’t repeating something Christ taught during his ministry (I have no commandment of the Lord). He wasn’t saying Christ or the Spirit had no part in his words in a current prophetic sense. Hence, when he gives his judgement you need to realize that he taught his own judgements or views contained in his writings were guided by God prophetically through Christ and the Spirit (see the same book but 1 Corinthians 2:13: “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught BY THE SPIRIT, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” We need to read Paul in totality. And also 2 Corinthians 13:3 where he says “Christ is speaking in me” in reference to the content of his writing. So you can quote as many scholars as you want but if you can’t actually deal with my arguments you’re not going to get anywhere. The normative mode in which Paul wrote was through the inspiration of God’s Spirit. This was understood in the 1st century which is why in 2 Peter we are told Paul’s writings are Scripture on par with inspired Biblical writings.

      My reply:
      You have not addressed nor refute any of the points that I made. The readers can judge that for themselves as I reproduce my previous response in the following:
      Did Paul ever write out of his own volition?
      “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” (1 Corinthians 7:25)
      The ISV, NASB etc. translates judgment as “opinion”. This is because the Greek word gnome can also be understood as opinion. Whichever it is, I believe the verse speaks for itself. Paul speaks on his own prerogative without divine intervention. Is it possible that he speaks presumptuously here? The typical Christian answer is of course a definite no. However, it does go well with numerous passages that clearly show him as nothing more than a charlatan and a deceiver as we see in the previous articles on Paul. Anyway, it is woth noting that several commentaries agree that Paul received no divine judgment here, but he rather spoke out of his own opinion.

      “II. The determination he gives, which, considering the present distress, was that a state of celibacy was preferable: It is good for a man so to be, that is, to be single. I suppose, says the apostle or it is my opinion. It is worded with modesty, but delivered, notwithstanding, with apostolic authority.” (Henry, M. (1995). Matthew Henry’s New Testament Commentary. Great Britain: Hadder and Stoughton. p. 235)

      The concession given in the above commentary is that Paul spoke out of modesty, but, with apostolic authority. Is Paul really all that modest? Interestingly, another reputable commentary contradicts Matthew Henry.

      “He appeals neither to his apostleship nor to his authority in Christ… Paul will give his own judgment…” (Fee, G. D. (n.d.). The First Epistle to the Corinthians. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 328)

      In short, Paul gave his own opinion which was not inspired yet there it is in the NT which is supposed to be wholly inspired.

      Was Paul truly inspired?

      “Even one of their own prophets has said,”Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in faith and pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” (Titus 1:12-14)

      The person being quoted by Paul in the above passage is Epimenides according to numerous reputable Christian Bible commentaries.

      “III In reference to their people or hearers, who are described from ancient testimony given of them. 1. Here is the witness(v. 12): One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, that is, one of the Cretans, not of the Jews, Epimenides a Greek poet, likely to know and unlikely to slander them.” [1] (emphasis added)

      “Even one of their own prophets has said,”Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”(1:12). The Greek is better rendered,”Even one of them, their own prophet.” Here “prophet” is used in the sense of a religious leader or reformer. The reference is to Epimenides, the fifth-century B.C. poet honored by the people of Crete. The contemptuous evaluation of the Cretans is reflected in pagan writings and even in the Greek language itself, where the word kretizo,”to Crete-ize,” came to mean “to lie” or “to cheat”.” [2] (emphasis added)

      “(m) Epimenides, who was considered a prophet amongst them. See Laertius, and Cicero in his first book of divination.” [3] (emphasis added)

      “A prophet of their own. A Cretan sage, seer and teacher, Epimenides by name, who lived about 500 B.C.
      The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. The hard testimony of his countrymen is quoted from a poem now lost.” [4] (empasis added)

      “1:12, Cretans…gluttons: quoted from Epimenides, a Cretan poet of the sixth century B.C.” [5] (emphasis added)

      “In 1:12, Paul quotes the Greek poet Epimenides, who wrote “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” [6] (emphasis added)

      “He quotes Epimenides, one of their own poetic spokesmen who lived around 600 B.C.” [7]

      “12. One – Epimenides of Phaestus, or Gnossus, in Crete…” [8]

      “12. Invective against opponents supported by a hexameter from the Cretan poet Epimenides (ca. 600 BCE)” [9]

      Some of you might ask, “so what exactly is the problem?”. Well, it’s quite simple and straight forward really. The person quoted is Epimenides. He says that,”Cretans are ALWAYS liars”. The Greek word for always here is ἀεὶ(aei) which means “ever and always”(without exception). So, the problem is that this testimony is by Epimenides who is HIMSELF a CRETAN! And Paul affirms the testimony without hesitation as he put it:

      “This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in faith…”

      If Epimenides is a Cretan and the testimony in question says “Cretans are ALWAYS liars” which Paul affirms then how can the testimony be true in the first place? If Epimenides is a Cretan and they always lie then how is his testimony here true? Do you understand what always means? Any reasonable person will no doubt agree with me that there’s a big logical problem here. Indeed, it is a huge stumbling block.

      I had an hour long discussion on this with a Christian apologist and the defense which he mustered was quite interesting however false it was. Instead of dealing with the logical problem of the passage he tried to spun an entirely different interpretation of the text. He claimed that Paul was not affirming what the quotation says, but rather the quotation itself i.e. he’s saying that the quotation is authentic(actually said by someone). The problem with this explanation is that it just does not correlate with the text which itself is quite clear:

      “Even one of their own prophets has said,”Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply so that they will be sound in faith…”

      Paul believes that the testimony which he is reporting is true so he says THEREFORE or as the NASB translates it “FOR THIS REASON” REBUKE THEM SHARPLY. What’s the reason? What’s to rebuke? To rebuke is to scold, to refute, to correct, to reproach etc. Do you rebuke someone on the basis of a quotation which is not true? No! The reason for the rebuking is because according to Paul the TESTIMONY that says Cretans are always liars is true i.e. what is said by it is true! As Matthew Henry explains:

      “2. Here is the matter of his testimony: The Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, slow bellies. Even to a proverb, they were infamous for falsehood and lying. 3. Here is the verification of this by the apostle himself: v. 13. This witness is true.” [10] (emphasis added)

      The following Bible translation is quite helpful:

      “It was a Cretan prophet, one of their own countrymen, who said, ‘Cretans were ever liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons’ – and how truly he spoke! All the more reason why you should rebuke them sharply…”(Revised Standard Version, Oxford and Cambridge University Press)

      Let us consider several more commentaries that admit to the fact that Paul believes the testimony made by the Cretan Epimenides to be factual.

      “…generally considered to be Epimenides, a contemporary of Solon (about 600 B.C.)… The indictment is severe, but this testimony is true.” [11] (emphasis added)

      “13. This witness is true. Paul confirms these as facts and says rebuke them sharply.” [12] (emphasis added)

      “the apostle confirms the accuracy of the character sketch.” [13] (emphasis added)

      “13. This witness “This testimony(though coming from a Cretan) is true.” [14] (emphasis added)

      The logical problem : Epimenides was a Cretan. He claims that CRETANS ARE ALWAYS LIARS. Paul says this testimony from Epimenides the Cretan is true. How can it be true if Cretans ALWAYS lie? If Epimenides who was himself a Cretan was telling the truth with regards to the statement, then how can Paul agree with the statement that Cretans ALWAYS lie? If Epimenides was telling the truth then obvously Cretans do not always lie.

      The result: Paul was deluded and uninspired.

      References:

      [1] Matthew Henry. Matthew Henry’s New Testament Commentary(1995). Great Britain: Hadder and Stoughton. p. 387

      [2] Richard, Lawrence O. , The Victor Bible Background Commentary New Testament, Victor Books, p. 540

      [3] Geneva Study Bible

      [4] People’s New Testament

      [5] Firstside New American Bible. Wichita, Kansas: Freeside Bible Publishers. p. 1319

      [6] NKJV Study Bible. Thomas Nelson 2nd Edition. p. 1932

      [7] William MacDonald. Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson Publishers. p. 2138

      [8] Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. p. 1386

      [9] The New Oxford Annotated Bible(2007). Oxford. p. 363

      [10] Matthew Henry. Op. Cit. p.387

      [11] The Wesleyan Bible Commentary. Vol. 5, p. 643-644

      [12] Liberty Bible Commentary. The Old Time Hour, Lyncburg, Virginia, p. 655

      [13] William MacDonald. Op. Cit.

      [14] Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary. Op. Cit.

      —taken from my article http://unveiling-christianity......n-his-own/

      You said:
      In response to me asking you to concede Dunn agrees with us about Jesus being given honor due to God alone you respond by saying God is called king of kings and so is Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:37. However, read the context, he is called king of kings because God gave them sovereignty over humans to conquer kingdoms. That is the sense in which he is king of kings – its not divine. God the Father and Christ on the other hand are king of kings in the divine sense in that they they are enthroned as King having everything (both physical kingdoms and the spiritual abode/beings) subject under their feet, so there is no comparison (Ephesians 1:19-23; 1 Peter 3:21-22; Rev. 5:11-14; Revelation 17:14). So unless you can show Nebuchadnezzar is king of kings in both the physical as well as spiritual sense you can’t say he is actually being given the honor due to God like Christ is when He is king of kings and in Phil. 2 as Dunn concedes.

      My reply:
      Yes, the dominion and kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar have according to Daniel 2:37 was given to him by God, but that does not change the fact that the same epithet given to God is given to him. No matter how much you try to wriggle yourself out of this one it does not change the fact that Nebuchadnezzar is called what God is called. Further more, we know that everything that Jesus had was given to him by God i.e. power, dominion, glory. Everything was GIVEN to him. So following your understanding of Daniel 2:37 Jesus is not divine though he had all power because it was simply given to him just like authority and power were given to Nebuchadnezzar. Your reasoning disqualifies Jesus as divine because like Nebuchadnezzar all that Jesus ever had and will ever have is ultimately derivative. This is the conclusion that Dunn comes to in his thesis. Keith, you have failed the test of consistency numerous times. I suggest you reevaluate your methods. Using words that are used of God for someone in the Biblical worldview does not automatically mean that he too like God is God. This point is made clear by Dunn whereby he shows that the Jewish thinker Philo “does not hesitate to interpret” Exodus 7:1 as God appointing him as god’ and that he was “no longer man but God”.(Dunn, J. (2010). Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p 66) At the end of the section he states: “What is interesting, however, is that given their monotheism/monolatry they nevertheless had no apparent difficulty in using such language hyperbolically or in symbolical terms. The implication is that however central and of crucial importance the Shema was for all devout Jews at the beginning of Christinaity, that did not prevent them from using god-language metaphorically or with poetic flourish.” (Ibid.) Though Jesus may be given dominion over all in the end God who isn’t Jesus will reign supreme and that Jesus too will be subject to him (1 Corinthians 15:28). This understanding is concurred by James Dunn (Ibid. p. 144).

      You said:
      “Now, I don’t have time to go to through the rest of your gross errors since I am working on some articles but I will end on this. You quoted Voltaire speaking negatively about Calvin with regard to the servetus and he provides an alleged quote from Calvin bragging about being wicked towards servetus. First, when Voltaire says that Calvin insulted servetus in jail neither you nor he provide historical evidence on that point. Regarding the alleged letter he does quote with respect to “such monsters ought to be strangled like I did to servetus” I implore you to read the historian Jules Bonnet’s work “Letters of John Calvin” (Volume 4, pages 437-441) where this and similar quotes are proven to be forgeries which lack the normal style of Calvin’s writing. The anchoredbytruth article “The Execution of Servetus” goes into it. There are many arguments proving this is a fraud. I will present some arguments from Bonnet: “2nd. If these pieces are not in the handwriting of Calvin, still less do we find in them his style, admired by Bossuet himself and one of the finest in our language. That style is concise, nervous, and dignified, bearing the impress of a strong individuality more easy to caricature than to imitate. 3d. From the form let us pass to the substance. The two letters swarm with mistakes and historical blunders which betray the work of an unskilful forger. The first, dated the 8th May, 1547, and addressed to M. du Poet, General of the Religion in Dauphiny, bestows this title on this seigneur, fifteen years before the period in which he declared for the Reformation, and when the new faith, having neither church nor soldier in Dauphiny, could scarcely enumerate some obscure martyrs in that province. The second, dated the 13th September, 1561, has for superscription—to M. du Poet, grand chamberlain of Navarre and Governor of Montelimart, dignities with which he was invested only twenty years later, in 1584. It is one of Calvin’s accusers, M. Aubenas himself, who informs us of that, without remarking that the notice which he has devoted to M. du Poet is the best refutation of the authenticity of the letters attributed to the Reformer.” ”

      My reply:
      I implore you to read again Bonnet’s little excuses and see that they are hardly persuasive. It is the position of mainstream historians that Calvin did have a hand in Servetus’ execution. One of the persons who declared Servatus a heretic was Guillaume de Trie who was without a doubt a close compatriot of Calvin. From calvin’s own writings one easily ascertains that he had no compunctions with heretics getting severely punished. (Ioannis Calvini(1868). Corpus Reformatorum: Opera Quae Supersunt Omnia, Vol. 35. Brunsvigae, Germany: Schwetschke et filium, p. 842). Nicholas de la Fontaine who was also a friend of Calvin and worked for him was also involved with the prosecution of Servetus. I will reproduce the relevant quotes that I made in my previous response that I do not think have been successfully disproven by Keith for the benefit of the readers:
      Dean of Canterbury, F.W. Farrar writes:
      “Renee, Duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Louis XII, was a thoughtful and pious princess and a warm admirer of Calvin. In a letter to the great reformer of Geneva she made the wise remark that ‘David’s example in hating his enemies is not applicable to us.’ It might have been supposed that Calvin would at once have endorsed a sentiment which only echoed the teaching of Christ…’I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.’ But Calvin was shocked by the remark of the Duchess! He curtly and sternly answered her that ‘such a gloss would upset all Scripture;’ that even in his hatred David is an example to us, and a type of Christ; and ‘should we presume to set ourselves up as superior to Christ in sweetness and humanity?’ The Princess was wholly right and the theologian disastrously in the wrong. It would have been better for Calvin had he more truly understood the teaching of Christ…Had he done so, he would have been saved from the worst errors of his life — the burning of Servetus, the recommendation of persecution to the Protector Somerset and the omission to raise his voice in aid of the miserable and exiled congregation of John a Lasco. But as Grotius truly said, the Calvinists were for the most part as severe to all who differed from them as they imagined God to the greater part of the human race. And unhappily the Pilgrim Fathers and their earliest descendants imbibed these perilous errors and though they were themselves fugitives from kingly despotism and priestly intolerance, they tortured harmless old women whom they called witches and treated saintly, if misguided, Quakers with remorseless fury” (The Bible: Its Meaning and Supremacy, Longmans, Green and Co.,1897,92,93 as cited in Buzzard, A. (2007). Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian: A Call to Return to the Creed of Jesus. Morrow, GA: Restoration Fellowship. p. 10)

      The renown French intellectual and historian, Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire writes:
      “Unfortunately he(Servetus) passed through Geneva; Calvin apprised of it, informs against him, and gets him seized…When his enemy(Servetus) was in jail he went and insulted him in the most contumelious language, such as used by cowards, after they have got the upper hand. At length, by soliciting the judges, by using the credit of those who were under his direction, by declaring loudly, and by making others declare, that God demanded the execution of Michael Servetus, he caused him to be burnt alive, and triumphed at his punishment…The last stroke in Calvin’s character may be taken from a letter in his hand-writing, which is still preserved in the caste of Bastie-Roland near Montelimar: it is directed to the Marquis of Poet, lord Chamberlain to the King of Navarre, and dated the 30th of September 1561.
      “May honour, glory , and riches be the reward of your trouble: above all, be sure you don’t fail to clear the country of those pitiful zealots, who are exciting the people to revolt against us. Such monsters as those ought to be strangled, the way i dealt with Michael Servetus the Spaniard.”” (Voltaire, F. M. A.(1756). The Universal History and State of All Nations from the time of Charlemain to Lewis XIV (trans.). Edinburgh. pp. 242-244)

      Even if for the sake of argument Calvin was not directly instrumental in the death of Servetus the rest of the people who were Protestants and non-Catholics were. However, there is not a single piece of evidence that can be produced by Keith(nicknamed Christian)to show any clear protestation from Calvin against the execution of Michael Servetus. His feeble attempts to exonerate Calvin and Protestants from persecuting fellow Christians for having differing religious views have utterly failed. There were other cases of opponents of mainstream Christian doctrines who were persecuted and ultimately executed by Protestants such as Gentilis in Bern and many Anabaptists in Zurich.

  16. Tridax says:

    Assalamulaikum brother Anwar . Reading your responses was an intellectual treat. you had carefully analysed the logical fallacies resorted to by Keith. Good job. May Allah reward you for your effort.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Wa’alaikumsalam warahmatullah Tridax. I’m glad that you found the responses beneficial. I hope that you enjoyed reading the article as well :).

      • Jesus says:

        What a response brother ! .Your responses are highly academic .Not even this but your responses in general on this site bear the same mark.

        Coming to Keith assertion “To the Muslims who chimed in, I didn’t argue that the Shia Muslims do not believe the Quran is preserved in tact. I argued that they quoted many ancient Sunni traditions with respect to disagreements over the amount of verses which should be in the Quran”

        Response
        Muslim literature ,which has traditions dealing with early Muslim history ,compilation of Quran and the life and sayings of prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h) have both false and true reports mixed in it .This is because the Muslim historians who recorded those traditions recorded them with out checking whether they are true or false.

        They just used to record all traditions as they thought that if they start checking for the validity of those reports the time required will be so much that they might loose some important traditions which are truly genuine .

        However to check whether a tradition or a report present in the Muslim literature is false or true a robust science is present which has its origin since the beginnings of Islam.

        Dr.Mohammed abu laylah in his book ‘The Quran and the gospels a comparative study’ says the following about such traditions “These falsely innovatory traditions were numerous and they are known to Muslims as AHADITH MAWDUAH” page 90

        Coming to your assertion that “answering-ansar quoted many ancient Sunni traditions with respect to disagreements over the amount of verses which should be in the Quran”

        Those traditions which answering-ansar quotes have been dealt in a scholarly way by loads and loads of scholars both by Sunni and Shia scholars themself.

        However the way of approach to these traditions differ between Shia and Sunni scholars .The Shia scholars out rightly reject these traditions as they do not give the view of shiah sittah to Hadiths collection of sahih Muslim and sahih Bukhari which the Sunnis believe.The Sunni scholars have a different way of dealing with them which as i told you is a robust science which thoroughly deals with all these traditions.

        Coming to your claim that Sunni traditions have disagreement over the amount of verses which should be in the Quran .All these traditions have been dealt in a scholarly way by Sunni scholars and they answer all those allegations.

        Even the Shia scholars have dealt with these traditions and answered them in a scholarly way

        You may say then why do answering-ansar post these traditions on their site?, they themselves answer it

        “Whilst we find hadiths in both Shia and Sunni text implying that there might be some corruption of the Quran such traditions are rejected as unreliable and there remains a consensus among Shia and Ahle Sunnah about the completeness, purity and authority of the Holy Quran. Whilst this should not therefore be a topic of debate, we have still chosen to publish an article on this topic for two reasons:
        To clarify the naïve minds who read such traditions and fall into confusion.
        Nasibi attacks on the Shia belief in the completeness of Quran due to some weak traditions recorded in our text (Just as there in the Sunni text).
        We wish to make it clear from the outset that we had on numerous occasions shelved plans to publish this, since we feared the material being used as propaganda fodder for Jews and Christians.”

        See they too recognize these traditions are not true and Jews and Christians might use them wrongly with out knowledge about these traditions.

        The Quran lies free of additions and deletions as agreed unanimously by scholars ,it is the Bible which got edited at the hands of people and this is well held by the Christian scholars themselves.

        People on the answering-Islam site are helpless in case of the Bible so what they do they try to show even the Quran has been changed by taking these traditions with out even knowing that scholarly material is present on these traditions as to what significance these traditions have.
        What can you expect from a site whose premium write does not know Arabic and thinks Allah prays !!!

        Let us see what the non Muslim orientalist say on the Quran after through research on it.

        1)Geschite de Qorans – A history of Quran produce by 4 German orientalist, deals in 3 parts with the origins of Quran.It is a voluminous work done by non Muslims on the Quran and was produced after through research in the beginnings of Quran and was also the earliest.

        It says in volume 2 “we may be confident that Quran is exactly what it was at the time of Prophet”

        GdQ Vol 2 page 120

        2)The collection of the Quran by John Burton – It is a latest attempt by a western orientalist to rewrite the history of Quran
        He says in his book “what we have today in our hands is the mushaf of Mohammed ”

        page 239-240

        Other orientalist who delved into this topic nearly all say the same that Quran is unaltered .

      • Jesus says:

        EXALTED CHARACTER OF PROPHET MOHAMMED (P.B.U.H)

        The people of Makkah boycotted the Holy Prophet (PBUH) socially for three years. When he went to Taif to preach Islam, the people there threw stones at him. God spoke to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on this occasion of trial and said, “O, Muhammad (PBUH) speaks, if you so wish, I will destroy them.”
        The Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied, “O Gracious and Merciful God, show them the right path, for they don not know what they are doing. They do not recognize me. They do not know that I am Prophet of God. Make it known to them that I am their great well-wisher.”

        COMPARE THIS TO

        “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.” (2 Kings 2:23-24)

  17. rocko says:

    the jews believed that 100 PERCENT human beings who were MARTYRED WERE an ATONEMENT

    QUOTE:

    Wisdom of Solomon, Chapter 2

    [12] Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our education.
    [13] He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.
    [14] He was made to reprove our thoughts.
    [15] He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other men’s, his ways are of another fashion.
    [16] We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh his boast that God is his father.
    [17] Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him.
    [18] For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies.
    [19] Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.
    [20] Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shall be respected.
    [21] Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them.
    [22] As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls.
    [23] For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.
    [24] Nevertheless through envy of the devil came death into the world: and they that do hold of his side do find it.

    From WoS, Chapter 3:

    [2] In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery,
    [3] And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.
    [4] For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.
    [5] And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself.
    [6] As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering.

    .

    ketcher falsehoods hybrid god ‘s murder

    seems like kethchers false and failed god’s MURDER was INTERPRETATED in light of IDEAS ALREADY flouting in the air.

  18. menj says:

    That moron Sham Shamu produces nothing new and I have already dealt with this lie of his a long time ago.

  19. zbhotto says:

    I would like to mention a famous Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saw) that can be used to justify that prophet Muhammad (saw) uses the same word to bear different meanings and the meaning of the word depends upon the object not the literal word itself. Prophet Muhammad (saw) have said,” Help the oppressed people and also help the oppressor”, The companions asked the prophet (saw),”Oh rasullullah, we know we can help the oppressed people but how can we help the oppressor”. The prophet replied, “Prevent the oppressor from doing his/her oppression in whatever means you can, that is how you help the oppressor.”

  20. Jesus says:

    Brother also write an article on does Allah repent .The moron Sam Shamoun thinks that the word ‘ tawab ‘ means that Allah is repenting .

    Though all dictionaries and scholars say otherwise but the moron continues to think so because it will save him from the obvious absurdity in the Bible that shows God repenting.

    Your article on ‘does Allah repent’ will drive a nail in the coffin of his claims as did this article of yours.

  21. nadia says:

    Omg muslims are so stupid

    This stupid muslim said god created the whole universe for Muhammad or because of Muhammad loooooooooooooool sorry i cant write a serious response to this thread because how can any normal person take these psychos seriously lmaoo people dont be fooled by their loooooooooong and formal answers they are fucking stupid lmaooo im dieing from how hard im laughing hahahahahahhaha i cant get over how stupid these scums are!!

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Yes, traditional Islamic view holds that the reason behind the creation of the universe was Muhammad s.a.w. This grand gesture is encapsulated in the special title that is given to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, that is, ‘habibullah’ (the beloved of God). This in no way means that MUhammad s.a.w. is worshipped by Allah the Creator, but it is an example of how great and magnificent Allah’s love is for His Chosen One (mustafa). As a crude similiude, Shah Jahan created the most exquisite and beautiful of manmade structures to keep his most beloved wife’s body, the Taj Mahal. Does this mean that Shah Jahan left the fold of Islam and he actually became a worshipper of his wife, making him an idolater? If I had the means and the will to build a mansion for my beloved partner in life, would that mean I am worshipping the person? Your logic is perverted and flows from your perverted worship of an unknown man on a stick.

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