Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Further evidence that Allah cannot be God

Sam Shamoun

In this article we are going to turn Muslim taqiyyist Paul Bilal William’s objection against him in order to give him a taste of his own medicine.

In one of his blog posts, which we have already addressed in the following articles,

Jesus' Omniscience - A Lukan Perspective Pt. 1, Pt. 2

Williams tried to prove that Jesus could not be God, but must have been nothing more than a human being, since according to Luke 8:40-48 he didn’t know that a woman had touched the tassels of his garment and therefore had to ask who had touched him.

As we had stated previously, Williams presupposes that such questions automatically prove that Jesus must have been ignorant since he apparently assumes that God could never ask these kinds of questions. It seems to have never dawned on Williams that Christ may have been asking questions for a variety of reasons, i.e. to lead individuals to confess and/or acknowledge their sins, to stump his opponents, to expose people’s true intentions and/or wickedness etc.

Since this is the underlying assumption behind his objection let us see what happens when we apply it to his own religious texts.

According to the Quran, Allah has to place individuals in certain situations and put them through specific tests in order to discover and learn whether they truly believe or not:

If a wound has afflicted you (at Ohud), a wound like it has also afflicted the (unbelieving) people; and We bring these days to men by turns, and that Allah MAY KNOW those who believe and take witnesses from among you; and Allah does not love the unjust. And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings. Do you think that you will enter the garden while Allah HAS NOT YET KNOWN those who strive hard from among you, and (He has not) known the patient. S. 3:140-142 Shakir

And what befell you on the day when the two armies met (at Ohud) was with Allah's knowledge, and that He MIGHT KNOW the believers. And that He MIGHT KNOW the hypocrites; and it was said to them: Come, fight in Allah's way, or defend yourselves. They said: If we knew fighting, we would certainly have followed you. They were on that day much nearer to unbelief than to belief. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah best knows what they conceal. S. 3:166-167 Shakir

What! do you think that you will be left alone while Allah HAS NOT YET KNOWN THOSE OF YOU who have struggled hard and have not taken any one as an adherent besides Allah and His Apostle and the believers; and Allah is aware of what you do. S. 9:16 Shakir

The Quran also says that Allah told Moses to speak gently to Pharaoh since this may result in Pharaoh repenting:

“Go, both of you, to Fir'aun (Pharaoh), verily, he has transgressed (all bounds in disbelief and disobedience and behaved as an arrogant and as a tyrant). And speak to him mildly, PERHAPS he may accept admonition or fear Allah.” S. 20:43-44 Hilali-Khan

It is evident from this text that Allah didn’t know what the outcome of Moses’ encounter with Pharaoh would result in.

Allah also needs to find out who among his followers would give him a loan:

Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return. S. 2:245 Pickthall

This next one is quite interesting:

And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead." He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe?" He [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith." He said: "Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." S. 2:260 Hilali-Khan

It is apparent that Allah was shocked and even troubled by Abraham’s doubt in his ability to give life.

This isn’t the only time that Allah was stunned by the response and actions of people:

What is the matter with you that you do not help each other? S. 37:25

Here, Allah is clearly taken back by the believers’ disunity and lack of concern for each other.

Allah is even befuddled by the disbelievers’ assertion that he has begotten daughters:

Now surely it is of their own lie that they say: Allah has begotten; and most surely they are liars. Has He chosen daughters in preference to sons? What is the matter with you, how is it that you judge? Will you not then mind? Or have you a clear authority? Then bring your book, if you are truthful. S. 37:151-157 Shakir

These examples prove that, according to William’s reasoning, Allah cannot be truly divine for asking such questions since it implies that he lacks omniscience.

The ahadith provide further substantiation that Allah is an ignorant deity who asks questions in order to discover new information.

For instance, we are told that Allah actually descends at the last third of the night to the nearest heaven to the earth in order to answer prayers:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, descends to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him?” (See Hadith No. 246,Vol. 2). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586; *)

The above hadith presents a host of problems for Williams. It indicates that Allah isn’t omnipresent which is why he must descend to the lowest heaven to hear and respond to any of the invocations that are offered to him. Apparently, prayers do not reach Allah if he is still dwelling on/above his throne which is supposed to be above the seventh heaven.

Moreover, not only does it negate Allah’s omniscience as well as his omnipresence, it also presupposes a flat earth.

This narration only makes sense with a flat earth cosmology since it doesn’t work if the earth is a sphere. After all, it is meaningless to speak of Allah descending at the last third of the night when we keep in mind that certain parts of the world would be nighttime whereas other parts of it would actually be daytime or evening. Hence, one individual’s nighttime is another person’s daytime.

Muhammad apparently assumed that if it was nighttime where he was at then this must be the case everywhere else in the world. This means that he erroneously believed that the earth was flat, a fact which the Quran itself confirms:

Nor even how the earth has been flattened out? S. 88:20 T. B. Irving

Al-Jalalayn explain:

And the earth, how it was laid out flat?, and thus infer from this the power of God, exalted be He, and His Oneness? The commencing with the [mention of] camels is because they are closer in contact with it [the earth] than any other [animal]. As for His words sutihat, ‘laid out flat’, this on a literal reading suggests that the earth is flat, which is the opinion of most of the scholars of the [revealed] Law, and not a sphere as astronomers (ahl al-hay’a) have it, even if this [latter] does not contradict any of the pillars of the Law. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; bold emphasis ours)

For more on the subject of a flat earth Quran we recommend the following articles:

Here is another hadith which implies that Allah is ignorant:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah created the creation, and when He finished from His creation the Rahm (womb) got up, and Allah said (to it). ‘Stop! What do you want?’ It said; ‘At this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kinship.)’ Allah said: ‘Would you be pleased that I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relation with you?’ It said: ‘Yes, O my Lord.’ Allah said (to it), ‘That is for you.’" And then Abu Huraira recited the Verse:-- "Would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship." (47.22) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 593; *)

Allah was obviously caught off guard by the womb’s action, which again shows he cannot be omniscient since, if he were, he would have already known what the womb would do and wanted, and how to appease it.


Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, "A man who never did any good deed, said that if he died, his family should burn him and throw half the ashes of his burnt body in the earth and the other half in the sea, for by Allah, if Allah should get hold of him, He would inflict such punishment on him as He would not inflict on anybody among the people. But Allah ordered the sea to collect what was in it (of his ashes) and similarly ordered the earth to collect what was in it (of his ashes). Then Allah said (to the recreated man), ‘Why did you do so?’ The man replied, ‘For being afraid of You, and You know it (very well).’ So Allah forgave him." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 597)

One is left wondering, didn’t Allah know the reason why the man did what he did? If so why even bother asking him? Or was Allah uncertain about the actual reason why the man had his body burned and scattered? Did Allah think that the man did it because he thought he could actually thwart Allah by preventing his resurrection from taking place so as to avoid judgment altogether? Or was Allah aware of the fact that the man did it because of his fear of him?

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that (per William’s reasoning) Allah must not have known why the man did what he did, which therefore proves that the Islamic god is an imperfect, ignorant deity.

With that said, it is easier to accept that Jesus, who is God incarnate, could be both omniscient in relation to his Deity and also unaware of certain facts in his waking human consciousness, since the inspired Scriptures teach he became a man who personally experienced genuine human limitations. Yet we are unable to fathom how it could be possible for Allah to be ignorant when he is supposed to be an unembodied entity that never became a flesh and blood human being.

I truly hope Williams enjoys our examination of his own sources. Perhaps our brief discussion will help him realize that if he were to consistently apply his own objections to his religious texts then he would have no choice but to conclude that Allah cannot be God.

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