Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greenhorn! Pt. 3

Sam Shamoun

We resume our discussion and analysis of greenhorn’s arguments.

Turning the Tables on a Muslim Neophyte

Greenhorn cites John 17:3 to prove that Jesus cannot be God, or coequal with God, since the text differentiates Jesus from the only true God. He also quotes Acts 2:22 to establish that Jesus was nothing more than a man whom God worked through by doing miracles. He further argues that Jesus placed himself under the authority of some higher God since, in John 17:3 and 9, Christ speaks of himself as the one whom God sent.

According to greenhorn, these passages establish the following facts about Jesus (as well as Muhammad since he mentions him along with Christ):

Jesus is separate from the true God.

God has authority over Jesus.

Jesus is simply a man approved by God, and one through whom God did miracles.

Instead of addressing this neophyte’s gross misinterpretation of these specific texts in this reply, we will simply point our readers to the following articles and rebuttals for the time being:

Lord Jesus willing, we will be addressing greenhorn’s distortion of these passages in a future response.

What we would like to do for now is to turn the tables on this greenhorn in order to help him see what happens when his logic is applied to his own specific beliefs.

According to Sunni Muslims, it is an essential article of faith to affirm that the Quran is the uncreated speech of Allah.

For instance, in one particular forum Bassam Zawadi, who happens to be another leading taqiyyist, quoted the following Islamic authorities to establish the uncreatedness of the Quran:

09-04-2010, 09:25 AM

From Mukhtasar Al 'Uluww, page 158, narration no. 161:

Abu Haatim Al Raazi – Al Hassan bin Al Sabbaah said that Abdullah bin Idris (a scholar who died in 192 A.H.) asked and it was said to him, “We met people who said that the Qur’an is created”. He asked “From the Christians?” They said no. He asked “From the Jews?” They said no. He asked “From the Magians?” They said no. He asked “From who then?” They said from the Muslims. He said “They are not Muslims” Then he went on to say “Bismillah Al Rahmaan Al Raheem. Allah is not created, Al Rahmaan is not created and Al Raheem is not created. These people are heretics.”

Sheikh Al Albaani comments: Its isnaad is Saheeh. It has another Isnaad that Abdullah ibn Ahmad collected on page 8 of his Al Sunnah and its Isnaad is Saheeh…

From Mukhtasar Al 'Uluww, page 196, narration no. 242

Ibn Abi Haatim – Ali bin Al Hussain bin Mahran – Aba Ja’far Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Nufayl (a scholar of Ahl al Jazeera who died in 234 A.H.) said: WHO EVER SAID THAT THE QUR’AN IS CREATED IS A KAAFIR. It was said to him “Kufr is of two types: 1) Kufr Al Ni’ma 2) Kufr in the Lord All Mighty” He said “No, it is kufr in the Lord. What do you say about he who says Allahu Ahad, Allahu Al Samad is creation? Isn’t he a kaafir?”

Sheikh Al Albaani comments: Its isnaad is Saheeh. (The Belief of the Righteous Salaf that Allah spoke with letters; capital emphasis ours)

Zawadi translated these references from the following Islamic link.

Another Muslim, this time of the Sufi type, writes:

This posting sums up the doctrine of the massive majority of the Muslims, namely the People of the Sunna and the Congregation, concerning the pre-existent, pre-eternal, beginningless, and uncreated nature of the Divine Speech Allah Most High has named al-Qur'an, as held by the Salaf al-Salihun and as formulated by the two Masters, Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash`ari and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and their respective schools.

The position of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a differs fundamentally on this matter with that of the rest of the Muslim sects, especially with that of the now defunct Mu`tazila. The position of the Shi`a is indentical[sic] with that of the Mu`tazila, who denied not only the Pre-existent status of the Divine Speech, but of all the Divine Attributes for they considered that they are the same as the Essence.

Ahl al-Sunna agree one and all that the Qur'an is the pre-existent, pre-eternal, uncreated Speech of Allah Most High on the evidence of the Qur'an, the Sunna, and faith-guided reason.

In a rare instance of classic kalâm reasoning, Imam Malik gave the most succint statement of this doctrine:

"The Qur'an is the Speech of Allah, the Speech of Allah comes from Him, and nothing created comes from Allah Most High." Narrated by al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' (Dar al-Fikr ed. 7:416).

Hafiz Abu al-Qasim Ibn `Asakir said in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (Dar al-Jil ed. p. 150-151):

"The Mu`tazila said: 'the Speech of Allah Most High is created, invented, and brought into being.' The Hashwiyya, who attribute a body to Allah the Exalted, said: 'The alphabetical characters (al-hurûf al-muqatta`a), the materials on which they are written, the colors in which they are written, and all that is between the two covers [of the volumes of Qur'an] is beginningless and pre-existent (qadîma azaliyya). Al-Ash`ari took a middle road between them and said: The Qur'an is the beginningless speech of Allah Most High unchanged, uncreated, not of recent origin in time, nor brought into being. As for the alphabetical characters, the materials, the colors, the voices, the elements that are subject to limitations (al-mahdûdât), and all that is subject to modality (al-mukayyafât) in the0[sic] world: all this is created, originated, and produced."

Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi said in al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (al-Kawthari ed. p. 265; al-Hashidi ed. 2:18) with a sound chain:

"Something Ibn Shaddad had written was handed to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi which containing the phrase: "My pronunciation of the Qur'an is uncreated" and the latter was asked to show it to Ahmad ibn Hanbal for corroboration. The latter crossed out the phrase and wrote instead: "The Qur'an, however used (haythu yusraf), is uncreated."

"In another sound narration, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi, Abu Muhammad Fawran [or Fawzan], and Salih ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal witnessed Ahmad rebuking one of his students named Abu Talib with the words: "Are you telling people that I said: 'My pronunciation of the Qur'an is uncreated'?" Abu Talib replied: "I only said this from my own." Ahmad said: "Do not say this - neither from me, nor from you! I never heard any person of knowledge say it. The Qur'an is the Speech of Allah uncreated, whichever way it is used." Salih said to Abu Talib: "If you told people what you said, now go and tell the same people that Abu `Abd Allah [Imam Ahmad] forbade to say it."" End of al-Bayhaqi's narration in al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 265-266; al-Hashidi ed. 2:18). This is a sound narration also found in Salih ibn Ahmad's book al-Mihna (p. 70-71), Ibn al-Jawzi's Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad (p. 155), and Ibn Taymiyya in Majmu` al-Fatawa (12:360, 12:425).

The Proof of Islam and Renewer of the Fifth Hijri Century, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali said in his "Foundations of Islamic Belief" (Qawa`id al-`Aqa'id) published in his Rasa'il and his Ihya' `Ulum al-Din and partially translated in Shaykh Nuh Keller's Reliance of the Traveller and by Mrs. Ahmad Darwish on the Mosque of the Internet:

"The Qur'an is read by tongues, written in books, and remembered in the heart, yet it is, nevertheless, uncreated and without beginning, subsisting in the Essence of Allah, not subject to division and or separation through its transmission to the heart and paper. Musa heard the Speech of Allah without sound and without letter, just as the righteous see the Essence of Allah Most High in the Hereafter, without substance or its quality." End of al-Ghazzali's words.

And Imam al-Tahawi said of the Qur'an in his "Creed of Abu Hanifa and his Companions": "It is not created like the speech of creatures."

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal was detained and lashed for twenty-eight months for refusing to say that the Qur'an was created. In his stand for the sake of the pure and undefiled Religion he was compared to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq's unwavering stand with regard to the Arabian tribes who committed apostasy after the Prophet left this life. (Sh. G. F. Haddad, The Uncreatedness of the Divine Speech: The Glorious Qur'an; bold emphasis ours)

It is not hard to see the logic being employed to prove the uncreatedness of the Quran. If the Quran is the speech of Allah, and if Allah’s speech is uncreated, then the Quran must also be uncreated. In light of this reasoning, to say that the Quran is created would then imply that Allah’s attribute of speech was also created, which further implies that Allah was imperfect at some point in time since he lacked an essential characteristic, namely the ability to speak.

At the same time, however, the Quran repeatedly asserts that Allah sent it down to and through Muhammad:

“Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong)…” S. 2:185 Y. Ali

O ye who believe! ask not about things which, if revealed to you, would cause you trouble, though if you ask about them while the Qur'an is being sent down they will be revealed to you. ALLAH has left them out on purpose. And ALLAH is Most Forgiving and Forbearing. S. 5:101 Sher Ali

And WE have divided the Qur'an in parts that thou mayest read it to mankind slowly and at intervals and WE have sent it down piecemeal. S. 17:106 Sher Ali

And thus We have sent it down as a Qur'an in Arabic, and have explained therein in detail the warnings, in order that they may fear Allah, or that it may cause them to have a lesson from it (or to have the honour for believing and acting on its teachings). S. 20:113 Hilali-Khan

Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures… But the misbelievers say: "Naught is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him at it." In truth it is they who have put forward an iniquity and a falsehood. And they say: "Tales of the ancients, which he has caused to be written: and they are dictated before him morning and evening." Say: "The (Qur'an) was sent down by Him who knows the mystery (that is) in the heavens and the earth: verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." S. 25:1, 4-6 Y. Ali

The unbelievers say, 'Why has the Koran not been sent down upon him all at once?' Even so, that We may strengthen thy heart thereby, and We have chanted it very distinctly. S. 25:32 Arberry

It is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to thee by stages. S. 76:23 Y. Ali

Now here is what we would end up with if we apply greenhorn’s reasoning to his particular beliefs concerning the nature of the Quran:

1. Allah is the only being that is eternal/uncreated.

2. Allah sent down the Quran.

3. The Quran is, therefore, distinct and separate from Allah.

4. Since the Quran is distinct and separate from Allah it cannot be uncreated.

5. If it were uncreated then this means that there are two separate beings that are eternal, which would contradict greenhorn’s unitarian beliefs and assumptions.

Interestingly, the Quran itself testifies that it was made or created:

By the Book that makes things clear, - We have MADE IT (jaAAalnahu) a Qur'an in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom). And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our Presence, high (in dignity), full of wisdom. S. 43:2-4 Y. Ali

A comparison of the following texts shows that the Arabic word “made” can, and does have, the same meaning as “create”:

It is He who created you (khalaqakum) out of one living soul, and MADE (wa-jaAAala) of him his spouse that he might rest in her. Then, when he covered her, she bore a light burden and passed by with it; but when it became heavy they cried to God their Lord, 'If Thou givest us a righteous son, we indeed shall be of the thankful.' S. 7:189 Arberry

In this particular reference, Allah is said to have made Eve from out of Adam. However, the following passage employs the Arabic word for create to describe the formation of the first woman from the first man:

O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you (khalaqakum) from a single soul and from it created (khalaqa) its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you. S. 4:1 Pickthall

The above example shows that the Muslim scripture will use the Arabic words for making and creating interchangeably and synonymously.

Hence, for the Quran to claim that Allah MADE it an Arabic recitation is simply another way of saying that it is created.

6. Moreover, Allah must have authority over the Quran since he has the power to send it down whenever, wherever, and to whomever he wants.

Now this introduces a whole host of additional problems for Islam’s greenhorn who has been duped into believing that the Quran is the very speech of Allah.

1. The Quran is supposed to be Allah’s speech and therefore eternal.

2. However, the Quran is separate from Allah and is sent down by him.

3. According to greenhorn’s own reasoning this would mean that the Quran must be created since anything that is other than Allah, and is subordinate to him, is by necessity a part of creation.

4. Yet since the Quran is supposed to be the speech of Allah this must mean that Allah’s speech was also created.

5. Since Allah’s speech was created this establishes that he was lacking an essential characteristic.

6. And since Allah didn’t always possess this specific attribute this implies that he didn’t always have the ability to communicate.

7. Moreover, since he didn’t always have the capacity to speak this would further mean that Allah initially existed as an imperfect being.

8. And yet by acquiring the ability to speak at some later point in time, Allah must have experienced a significant change to his nature.

Leave it to greenhorn to embarrass Muslims by writing “rebuttals” which expose just how irrational Muhammad and his god truly are.

For more on the Quran being the uncreated speech of Allah, and the implications this has on Islamic unitarianism, we recommend consulting the following rebuttals:

It’s not over just yet for this neophyte.

Greenhorn helps to establish that Muhammad is an antichrist!

Greenhorn thinks that John 17:3 actually affirms the Islamic shahadah:

6. Rather than doing any good to Shamoun; an appeal to John 17:3 further established the Islamic Shahada!

Greenhorn’s statements show that he either has a hard time comprehending what he reads, or that he is simply being dishonest and deceptive.

A careful reading of the immediate context of John 17:3 actually proves that Muhammad was a false prophet who preached in the name of a false god.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify YOUR Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you BEFORE THE WORLD EXISTED… All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled… I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me BEFORE the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.’” John 17:1-5, 10-12, 20-25

Here, Jesus addresses God as Father and identifies himself as his Son. Christ also speaks of the love that the Father has had for the Son from before the creation of the world. Jesus even goes so far as to claim that, as the Son, he shared the same divine glory with the Father long before the world was made.

Christ further claims that the Son has been appointed to give eternal life to everyone that the Father gives to him, a point he repeatedly made all throughout this Gospel:

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will… Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself… Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear HIS [the Son’s] voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:25-29

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, BUT RAISE IT UP ON THE LAST DAY. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY.’ So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY… Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY.’” John 6:35-44, 53-54

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.’” John 11:23-27

Christ then refers to his mutual indwelling of the Father and all his followers, which is another point he made on more than one occasion:

“‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I AM IN MY FATHER, and you IN ME, AND I IN YOU. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him.’” John 14:18-23

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5

Christ is essentially claiming omnipresence (as well as omni-benevolence) since the only way he could be in all believers at the same time, no matter where they are, in order to love and have fellowship with all of them is if he is not bound by the limitations of time and space.

Now with that said, does greenhorn really expect us to believe that these statements are compatible with the teachings of his false prophet who expressly denied that his god is a father to anyone or that Jesus is God’s unique Son?

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! S. 9:30 – cf. Q. 5:18; 6:101; 19:88-93; 21:26; 72:3

According to John, Muhammad's denial of these basic revealed truths not only proves that he was a false prophet, it also establishes that he was an antichrist:

“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23

This further implies that Muhammad made God out to be a liar:

“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, AND THIS LIFE IS IN HIS SON. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:9-13

However, since it is impossible for God to lie,

“in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” Titus 1:2

“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:17-18

This means that it is Allah and his messenger who are the liars for denying God’s own testimony concerning Jesus being his unique, divine, beloved Son:

“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:9-11

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’” Mark 9:2-7

As it stands, the immediate and overall contexts of John 17:3 do not bolster the Islamic shahadah, but expose it as a satanic counterfeit created by the spirit of antichrist in order to mislead people away from the true God and his only inspired message which can save them.

Lord willing, I shall have a lot more to say in the next parts of my reply to Greenhorn’s “rebuttal,” which should be appearing shortly.