In Meherally' latest posting of Nov. 6, 1999, he now switches subjects to something totally unrelated to our initial discussion of Isaac and Ishmael. The fact that he must change the topic, tossing out red herrings, clearly reinforces the case that Meherally has proven himself incapable of dealing with any of my arguments. Let us proceed to his red herrings:
Sam Shamoun writes:
I used Genesis 17:15-21 to demonstrate the point that God's promises about Isaac, WHICH INCLUDED MAKING A COVENANT WITH HIM BUT WAS NOT LIMITED TO JUST THAT ASPECT, did not include Ishmael at all. Amazingly, you twisted the citation and quoted only a part of it, leaving out the very part that was essential in establishing Isaac's preeminence over Ishmael:
My response to the above:
The gist of Sam's thrust is that his essential purpose in citing Genesis 17:15-21 was to establish Isaac's preeminence over Ishmael. Out of God's several promises, within the cited texts, I faithfully quoted the God's Covenants as they do appear in the Bible. There was not distortion or twist in it. However, I did not quote the not so important promises. I now thank Sam Shamoun for his passionate objection to the above omission. If he had not disputed, I would not have quoted the entire text from Genesis 17:15-21.
Praise Be To Allah, in quoting the entire text, I discovered God's promises for Ishmael, as well. As demonstrated earlier, these promises by God for Ishmael have established who has the preeminence in the eyes of God. If Sam refuses to see this greater preeminence of Ishmael over Isaac which is so apparent, within the text cited by him, then that is Sam's own problem.
Is this really all you have to say by way of response? I'm glad you were able to discover the true biblical position on Ishmael, one finding no parallels with the Muslim view. Furthermore, I am going to repeat your words here for the readers to see what I have been claiming all along:
This statement clearly implies that Meherally had not read the chapter before my citation from it in my article. Yet, Meherally feels that he can exegete a passage despite having failed to read the entire context in which a statement appears. This again demonstrates that Meherally does not read carefully or clearly, and makes hasty generalizations. Mr. Meherally thank you for indirectly admitting this fact to us, we appreciate it!
Just for the record, in case Meherally tries to accuse me of saying things which I have not claimed, I want to say that I have never said that the Quran makes a covenant with Isaac and yet not with Ishmael. Nor do I claim that the covenant the Quran alludes to is identical with the one God made with Isaac in the Holy Bible. I admit that the Quran clearly mentions covenants that God has made with Adam, Israel, Isaac, Ishmael, believers etc. In fact, here is sampling of verses from the Quran to affirm this fact:
"And when We exacted a covenant from the prophets, and from thee (O Muhammad) and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus son of Mary. We took from them a solemn covenant..." S. 33:7
The making of a covenant with all the prophets would also include both Isaac and Ishmael, as the following verses show:
"And make mention in the Scripture of Ishmael. Lo! he was a keeper of his promise, and he was a messenger (of Allah), a prophet." S. 19:54
"And (remember, O Children of Israel) when We made a covenant with you and caused the mount to tower above you, (saying): Hold fast that which We have given you, and remember that which is therein, that ye may ward off (evil)." S. 2:63
"And verily We made a covenant of old with Adam, but he forgot, and We found no constancy in him." S. 20:115
And when We made the House (at Makka) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship). S. 2:125 Pickthall
Hopeflly, Meherally will now drop this issue.
Sam Shamoun writes:
BTW, we are still waiting for an acknowledgment from Meherally on his misquotation of Badawi. Should we assume that since Meherally has failed to comment thus far on this fact that he was deliberately trying to deceive and mislead his readers?
My response to the above:
Here goes the story. One day I was surfing the website "answering-islam". I read a statement that duly supported what I was trying to convey to my readers, from the Islamic history. This particular statement was connected with Dr. Badawi's earlier statements, mentioned in that article. I picked up that passage and placed it on my web site. I mentioned, the statement came from Dr. Badawi. When I learnt that this was Sam's statement, in response to Dr. Badawi, I immediately deleted it from my article.
And, added underneath the heading of the said article: (last updated and modified Oct. 19, 99) in bold types. Sam is vehemently accusing me of deliberately deceiving and misleading my readers by mixing up the name of the contributor.
Yet, this is precisely the problem. The fact that you assumed the statement came from Badawi affirms what I have been saying, namely THAT YOU DO NOT READ CAREFULLY! Furthermore, it is okay for you to make a mistake but not for others. Hence, my mistake was deception whereas yours was purely unintentional. Why the double standard? Finally, even though you had a note informing your readers that the article containing the misquotation had been modified you still failed to comment on the misquotation itself. Why did you not specifically tell your readers what was being modified and that you had falsely attributed a quotation to Badawi? Hence, the charge of deception sticks much better with you rather than me.
IN THE OLD TESTAMENTS:
In the Authorized King James Version, until 1976 DEUTERONOMY was called "The Fifth Book of Moses"
The authorship belonged to Prophet Moses.
In nearly all the Revised Versions of the King James Version:
The title "The Fifth Book of Moses" has been Expunged or Erased. The authorship of DEUTERONOMY now belongs to Prophet Moses and Joshua jointly. The name of Joshua appears as the "probable author".
Mr. Meherally, can you please explain to us in what way do the opinions and comments of translators' effect the integrity of the Holy Bible? Had you been able to show that the inspired text of scripture contained the above statements then you might have had a case. Besides, for one translator to say that Moses wrote Deuteronomy, while another says Moses and Joshua poses no real difficulty whatsoever. If I were to write 90% of a book and died before completion, would it be wrong for someone to attribute the book's authorship to me despite the fact that someone else, let's say Jochen Katz, wrote the remaining portion? Obviously not, just as it wouldn't be wrong for someone else to say that Sam Shamoun and Jochen Katz were actually the authors of the book I intended to write but did not complete due to my untimely death, God forbid!
Hence, Meherally grasps at straws since, a) he attacks the comments of translators that have no bearing on the inspired text, and b) claims to have found an error when actually the only error is the one assumed in Meherally's own mind.
"The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended." Deut. 34: 8
"Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face." Deut. 34:10
This is perhaps the strangest objection Meherally could possibly bring up. As a Muslim, Meherally believes in both revelation and prophecy. Meherally also believes that Moses was able to predict the advent of a prophet who was to come hundreds of years later. In Meherally's opinion, this prophet was Muhammad. Yet, if it were possible for Moses to predict the advent of a prophet that was to come hundreds of years after him, why would Meherally find it hard to accept the fact that Moses could have also recorded his death as well? If he could predict the future advent of a prophet that was to come later, then it is also possible for Moses to record his death by revelation given to him from God. Meherally argues as if he were an atheist, not like one who believes in God and revelation.
IN THE NEW TESTAMENTS
In the Authorized King James Versions, until as late as 1976, HEBREWS was called:
"The Epistle (or The Letter) of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews".
In nearly all the Revised Versions of the recent dates HEBREWS is now called:
"The Epistle (or The Letter) to the Hebrews".
The authorship of Hebrews now belongs to a pseudo author (man or could be woman), whose identity is unknown. Someone who spoke of Timothy as his/her "brother". Martin Luther suggested the name of Apollos. Tertullian said the author was Barnabas. William Ramsey suggested he was Philip. Adolf Harnack and J. Rendel Harris speculated Priscilla (or Prisca).
How does the author's anonymity effect the inspiration of the book of Hebrews? Inspiration does not originate with the author, but with God. Hence, whether Paul, Apollos, Philip or Prisca wrote it is irrelevant since all these individuals were either disciples of Christ or the companions of the Lord's beloved Apostles. We believe these individuals were inspired by the Holy Spirit to record God's word. Yet, we can no more prove this than you can prove that Gabriel spoke with Muhammad face to face and revealed the Quran to the latter. Just in case you want to question the integrity of the Apostle Paul, here is something from Ibn Ishaq's Sira Rasulullah, as translated by Alfred Guillaume:
"Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, both disciples and those who came after them, in the land were: Peter the disciple AND PAUL WITH HIM, (PAUL BELONGED TO THE FOLLOWERS AND WAS NOT A DISCIPLE) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the cannibals; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east; Philip to Carthage and Africa; John to Ephesus the city of the young men of the cave; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanctuary; Bartholomew to Arabia which is the land of Hijaz; Simon to the land of Berbers; Judah who was not one of the disciples was put in place of Judas" (The Life of Muhammad, p. 653)
QUESTION FOR MEHERALLY:
Since the earliest Muslim source on Muhammad's life documents that Paul was a legitimate messenger of Christ's teaching and Peter's companion, how could you even question Paul's integrity when neither Muhammad nor his followers did so? Can you please provide documentation where Muhammad and his followers attacked Paul's integrity? I have quoted one Islamic source that claims the opposite of what you have tried to demonstrate in your writings on the Apostle Paul.
Sam: Is this not viewed by you as a "THE HOLY DECEPTION"?
Once again, please explain to us how a translator's insertion or comments that does not form part of the inspired text effects the integrity of the Holy Bible? The fact that this is all you could produce speaks volumes on how weak your arguments really are.
It is this pseudo author (identity unknown), who has given his own hypothetical doctrine and the supposed assurance to the readers of the New Testaments. Christ Jesus never spoke of this speculative dogma. Tom Harpur, author of several books on Jesus and Christianity and a former professor of the New Testament and a former Minister writes:
"Perhaps I am lacking in piety or some basic instinct, but I know I am not alone in finding the idea of Jesus' death as atonement for sins of all humanity on one level bewildering and on the other morally repugnant. Jesus never to my knowledge said anything to indicate that forgiveness from God could only be granted after or because of the cross." 'For Christ's Sake' p. 75.
And, yet Sam speaks of "Holy Bible's superiority over the Quran"!!!
The necessity of the shedding of blood, and more specifically the blood of Jesus, God's Son, for the remission of sins is something taught throughout inspired Scripture as the following examples clearly demonstrate:
"Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any bloodI will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." Leviticus 17:10-11
John the Baptist:
"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'" Matthew 26:26-28
"In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" Luke 22:20
"'I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.' Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?' Jesus said to them, 'I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." John 6:51-58
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all menthe testimony given in its proper time." 1 Timothy 2:5-6
"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:18-19
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defenseJesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2
"... and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Fatherto him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." Revelation 1:5-6
"And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation'." Revelation 5:9
"'Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robeswho are they, and where did they come from?' I answered, 'Sir, you know.' And he said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'" Revelation 7:13-14
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." Revelation 12:11
This means that Tom Harpur either was trying to deceive his readers when making his statemet that Jesus never taught the necessity of his cross for salvation, or he had not read the Holy Bible carefully. Furthermore, Meherally appeals to Harpur as if he were an infallible authority for Christians. The only infallible authority binding on the conscience of Christians is God's inspired word, the Holy Bible. Hence, all claims must be tested in light of the Holy Bible. We have tested both Harpur's and Meherally's repeated claims and have found them wanting.
Since, Meherally tried to change the subject by trying to prove that the Holy Bible is an inferior revelation in comparison to the Quran, we have questions of our own. The difference with our questions is that we will be looking at the text itself, not the commentaries of translators that have no bearing on the written record, much like what Akbarally has attacked throughout his article:
Useless Words Of The Quran
The Quran contains useless words that have no bearing on the life of a Muslim. They are:
The late Christian writer, 'Abdallah 'Abd al-Fadi, wrote:
A. Yusuf Ali comments on Sura 10 and the meaning of Alif Lam Ra:
We are also told in Ali's footnote 25, p. 17, that the meaning A.L.M.:
(NOTE TO OUR READERS- We do recommend that you read the omitted portions of Ali's citations lest Akbarally tries to use this against me and claim that I was being dishonest in not citing the entire context.)
Muslim translator, Muhammad Asad, has a whole appendix that deals with this issue:
"The significance of these letter-symbols has perplexed the commentators from the earliest times. There is no evidence of the Prophet's having ever referred to them in any of his recorded utterances, nor any of his Companions having ever asked him for an explanation. None the less, it is established beyond any possibility of doubt that all the Companionsobviously following the example of the Prophetregarded the muqatta'at as integral parts of the suras to which they are prefixed, and used to recite them accordingly: a fact which disposes effectively of the suggestion advanced by some Western orientalists that these letters may be no more than the initials of the scribes who wrote down the individual revelations at the Prophet's dictation, or of the Companions who recorded them at the time of the final codification of the Qur'an during the reign of the first three Caliphs.
"Some of the Companions as well as some of their immediate successors and later Qur'anic commentators were convinced that these letters are abbreviations of certain words or even phrases relating to God and His attributes, and tried to 'reconstruct' them with much ingenuity; but since the possible combinations are practically unlimited, all such interpretations are highly arbitrary and, therefore, devoid of any real usefulness..." (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp Gibraltar, rpt. 1993], App. II, p. 992)
After summarizing several different interpretations, Asad concludes:
QUESTION FOR MEHERALLY
Since Asad admits that Muhammad never recited these mysterious letters, where did the Companions come up with such a practice? The problem with your position is that you have nothing to appeal to since you do not believe in the integrity of the early records of Islam and hence have no explanation to offer us as to the origins of these letters.
"All the Muslim scholars have indicated that they do not know the meanings of the names of these chapters. God only knows (refer to the Jalalan). On the other hand, the meanings of the names of the rest of the chapters are understood and familiar although there are very strange names linked to a mythical episode which is meaningless, as we will see.
"It should be noted that some of the Qur'anic chapters carry the names of insects or animals such as the chapters of the Cow, Ants, Spider, Elephant, Bee and the Cattle. We do not find in the Bible, for example, books with such names as 'The Book of the Lion' or 'The Bat' or 'The Buffalo' or 'The Book of the Serpent'. We also find in the Qur'an some chapters entitled, 'Chapter of the Afternoon', or 'The Dawn', or 'The Night', or 'Morning'."
"Moreover, there are strange stories which were the reasons behind these given names. Also, we are going to relate some stories recorded in the Qur'an which are only fit to be narrated by grandparents to children as part of folklore." (Behind the Veil, pp. 215-217 also found on the web here.
The authors produce an example of why some of these chapters were titled after insects and the like:
""And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the Jinn and humankind and of the birds and they were set in the battle order. Till, when they reached the valley of the Ants, an ant exclaimed, "O Ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you." And Solomon smiled, laughing at her speech.'
"This is the reason why this chapter is entitled, 'The Ant'. All scholars (without exception) present this episode as it is recorded. They acknowledge that it is supernatural, yet it truly happened with Solomon, the Wise (refer to Baydawi, page 501; the Jalalan, p. 316,317).
"When Qatada, one of Muhammad's companions, came to Iraq, he was surrounded by some Muslims who inquired of him about this episode. The Imam Abu Hanifa who was still a lad, asked him, 'Was the ant of Solomon male or female?' He answered, 'It was a female.' This is what Zamakh-shari has recorded. He even mentioned that the ant which warned its friends was called Tahina and Solomon heard her when he was still three miles away." (Ibid., p. 216)
We also highly recommend the following link which further documents the useless aspects of the Quranic revelation: A Perfect Quran Part 4
In light of the preceding evidence, can Meherally now claim that the Quran even approaches the authority and clarity of the Holy Bible? In light of the evidence, we are again forced to conclude that the Holy Bible is a vastly superior revelation, far superior from the Quran.
Responses to Akbarally Meherally
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