Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greenhorn! Pt. 1

A Muslim Dawagandist Undermines
The Perspicuity and Sufficiency of the Quran

Sam Shamoun

The Muslim dawagandist who goes by the name “question mark,” a.k.a. greenhorn, is at it again. This time he tries to come to the defense of Bassam Zawadi by writing a “reply” to my rebuttal to Zawadi concerning Islam’s true shahadah.

Before proceeding with our response, we want to strongly recommend that our readers first consult the following articles and rebuttals in the order in which they appear, since this will help them follow along our response to this recent attempt of trying to defend Sunni Islam’s perversion of the true shahadah.

Greenhorn begins his “response” by claiming that I misunderstood Zawadi’s argument:

Taking Shamoun’s first objection first – he has utterly misunderstood Zawadi’s argument because Zawadi knows that Islamic cannon [sic] of scripture is not restricted to Qur’an only but extends to Hadith literature as well. The truth of the matter is that Zawadi provided Hadith quotations in his reply which did prove that the exact formulation of the Shahada is not only just present in the sacred scriptures but was/is also to be testified to be recognized as Muslim.

What Zawadi would have stated is that just because the exact formulation is not in Qur’an word by word but the concept is there in it should be amalgamated with the fact that the exact formulation IS PRESENT in Hadith literature. This further bolsters Zawadi’s point because exact formulation is present in Hadith and the concept is worded in Qur’an.

[Sidenote: It seems that greenhorn doesn’t know the difference between a canon and a cannon. A canon normally refers to a rule of faith, whereas cannon is what greenhorn would use in jihad or unholy war against us evil infidels! Was this, perhaps, a Freudian slip on the part of this dawagandist?]

If anyone has misunderstood the argument, it is actually greenhorn for mentioning the belief of Zawadi that the Islamic canon encompasses both the Quran and the ahadith. In fact, greenhorn is begging the question since he takes it for granted that the hadiths are an essential component of the Islamic rule of faith. However, even though this is what Sunnis believe, neither greenhorn nor Zawadi have been able to conclusively show that the ahadith are a necessary element to a Muslim’s faith. They simply assume that such is the case without bothering to first prove their position.  

This leads me to my next point. The Quran repeatedly claims to be a clear or perspicuous revelation:

Alif Lam Ra. A Book whose verses ARE SET CLEAR, and then distinguished, from One All-wise, All-aware: S. 11:1 Arberry Mecca

A. L. R. These are the Ayats of Revelation, - of a Qur'an that makes things clear. S. 15:1 Y. Ali Mecca

And indeed We know that they (polytheists and pagans) say: "It is only a human being who teaches him (Muhammad)." The tongue of the man they refer to is foreign, while this (the Qur'an) is a clear Arabic tongue. S. 16:103 Hilali-Khan Mecca

We verily, have made it a Qur'an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand (its meanings and its admonitions). S. 43:3 Hilali-Khan Mecca

By the manifest Book (this Qur'an) THAT MAKES THINGS CLEAR, S. 44:2 Hilali-Khan Mecca

Thus doth God MAKE CLEAR His Signs to you: In order that ye may understand. S. 2:242 Y. Ali Medina – cf. Q. 2:187, 219, 242, 266; 3:103, 118; 4:26, 176; 5:89; 24:18, 58-59, 61; 57:17

The Islamic scripture also repeats the assertion that it is a book which fully explains all of its verses:

And thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) IN DETAIL, that the way of the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners), may become manifest. S. 6:55 Hilali-Khan Mecca

It is He Who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea. We have (indeed) explained IN DETAIL Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, Revelations, etc.) for people who know. It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and has given you a place of residing (on the earth or in your mother's wombs) and a place of storage [in the earth (in your graves) or in your father's loins]. Indeed, We have EXPLAINED IN DETAIL Our revelations (this Qur'an) for people who understand. S. 6:97-98

Thus We explain variously the Verses so that they (the disbelievers) may say: "You have studied (the Books of the people of the Scripture and brought this Qur'an from that)" and that We may make the matter clear for the people who have knowledge. S. 6:105 Hilali-Khan

[Say (O Muhammad)] "Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (The Qur'an), EXPLAINED IN DETAIL." Those unto whom We gave the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth. So be not you of those who doubt. S. 6:114 Hilali-Khan

And this is the Path of your Lord (the Qur'an and Islam) leading Straight. We have DETAILED Our Revelations for a people who take heed. S. 6:126

Say (O Muhammad): "Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyibat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) things] of food?" Say: "They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them)." Thus We explain the Ayat (Islamic laws) IN DETAIL for people who have knowledge. S. 7:32 Hilali-Khan Mecca

Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur'an) which We have explained IN DETAIL WITH KNOWLEDGE, - a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. S. 7:52 Hilali-Khan

Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) IN DETAIL, so that they may turn (unto the truth). S. 7:174 Hilali-Khan

And this Qur'an is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Taurat (Torah), and the Injeel (Gospel), etc.], and A FULL EXPLANATION of the Book (i.e. laws and orders, etc, decreed for mankind) - wherein there is no doubt from the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists). S. 10:37 Hilali-Khan Mecca

Alif Lam Ra. This is a Book, whose verses have been made firm and free from imperfection and then they have been expounded in detail. It is from One Wise, and All-Aware. S. 11:1 Shakir Mecca

Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the Qur'an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of Allah's existing Books [the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah] and A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF EVERYTHING and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe. S. 12:111 Mecca

One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book EXPLAINING ALL THINGS, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. S. 16:89 Y. Ali

He sets forth for you a parable from your ownselves, - Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your slaves) to share as equals in the wealth We have bestowed on you? Whom you fear as you fear each other? Thus do We explain the signs IN DETAIL to a people who have sense. S. 30:28 Hilali-Khan Mecca

A Book whereof the Verses are explained IN DETAIL; A Qur'an in Arabic for people who know. S. 41:3 Hilali-Khan Mecca

Here is another version of this last passage:

A scripture whose verses PROVIDE THE COMPLETE DETAILS, in an Arabic Quran, for people who know. Khalifa


But if they repent, perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion. (In this way) We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) IN DETAIL for a people who know. S. 9:11 Medina

The above verses, which were composed both in Mecca and Medina, go out of their way to affirm that all of the Quran’s passages (not just some) are perspicuous and fully detailed. It is therefore evident that Muhammad actually thought that the Quran was a completely clear book which could be easily understood by the people he was communicating with.

Now this leaves greenhorn in a dilemma. Since he is convinced that the shahadah is essential to a Muslim’s faith then this means that the Quran is not a clear revelation, nor is it a book that completely explains all of its verses. The Islamic scripture fails to mention a central aspect of becoming a Muslim, namely, the necessity of reciting the words of the shahadah.

However, since greenhorn believes that the Quran is the eternal speech of Allah, he therefore has no choice but to accept its repeated claim of being a perspicuous book that fully explains all of its passages. This means that he must reject the Sunni assertion that the recitation of the shahadah is foundational for a person to become a Muslim.

Greenhorn must come to terms with reality by accepting the fact that an individual doesn’t enter into Islam by uttering the words of the shahadah, since the Quran would’ve mentioned it if such was the case.

So now we have a contradiction!

It gets considerably worse for greenhorn. The Quran actually contradicts its repeated claim of being a perspicuous scripture which explains its verses in detail by coming right out and saying that not all of its passages are clear!

It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad) the Book (this Qur'an). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the Verses of Al-Ahkam (commandments, etc.), Al-Fara'id (obligatory duties) and Al-Hudud (legal laws for the punishment of thieves, adulterers, etc.)]; AND OTHERS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials, etc.), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Tafsir At-Tabari). S. 3:7 Hilali-Khan

What makes this verse rather ironic is that all throughout his stay in Mecca and right up until his final years in Medina, Muhammad went around boasting of just how perspicuous and fully detailed his “revelation” was. Such an assertion would have left absolutely no doubt in the minds of Muhammad’s audience that the Quran was supposed to provide a clear exposition of all of its passages.

In fact, it wasn’t until Q. 3:7 was composed in Medina that individuals started hearing for the very first time that the Quran actually contains ambiguous texts whose meanings were known only to Allah. Prior to that time, it would have never dawned on them that the Muslim scripture contained statements which were vague and unintelligible.

And here is where the problem lies for greenhorn. There shouldn’t be any unclear texts in a book which repeatedly asserts that it is a perspicuous revelation, one that provides complete details for all of its passages so that others may understand.

Yet not only does the Quran contain ambiguous and unintelligible references all throughout its pages, it even has a verse which candidly admits that there are unclear passages whose interpretations are only known to Allah!

The Muslim scripture is therefore contradicting its own repeated emphasis and insistence that it is a complete revelation whose verses are plainly detailed.

This now brings us to our next section. Please proceed to the second part of our rebuttal.