I would like to encourage missionaries to stop making this claim in regard to John 3:16. The verse does not teach unconditional love. It does not. You simply have to read the verse and you’ll realise this. So, let’s take a look at the verse:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)
The love of God in giving His Son to us, is pivoted on the condition of whoever believes in this happening. Only those who believe that God sent His Son, would earn the merits of God sending the Son and by extension, loving the world. The verse is saying that due to God’s love for the world, He gave His Son, and in giving His Son we will have eternal life and will not perish, if we believe. This love for the world in giving us His Son, is conditional on us believing. Therefore, a condition does exist, you have to believe. For those who God does not love, they will perish and you can only perish if God does not love you.
In conclusion, John 3:16 does not teach that God’s love is unconditional, as the condition of belief exists. Therefore, those who make such a claim most likely have not read the verse properly. Considering it’s one of the most famous, if not the most famous verse of the Bible, it’s pretty ridiculous that anyone can understand it this wrongly.
and Allah knows best.
As brought to my attention by Br. Kaleef of Discover the Truth, a recent news article has been circulating mentioning the “discovery” of an extremely early Qur’anic manuscript in Tubingen University in Germany:
Scholars at the Coranica Project, part of the University of Tübingen, examined a manuscript written in Kufic script, one of the oldest forms of Arabic writing. Using carbon-14 dating on three samples of the manuscript parchment, the researchers concluded that it was more than 95 percent likely to have originated in the period 649-675 AD.
The manuscript is one of more than 20 fragments of Kufic script held by the Tübingen University Library. This particular item was donated to the university in the 19th century.
However, as Dr. Saifullah has duly pointed out, Islamic Awareness has been aware of this collection of manuscripts since 2010 and has for sometime possessed photos of them which have been published on the site, they were already dated to the first century AH as well. We’d like to finally thank the rest of the world for catching up with us!
and Allah knows best.
On Sunday 16th November, two prominent UK Muslim speakers/ debaters, Br. Ayaz and Br. Zakir Hussein both went to Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park (London) to confront Jay Smith. They had decided to challenge him to a debate, the video of that challenge will be uploaded soon. The reason I’m mentioning this, is that while speaking to Smith, they told him that, “Ijaz says hi!“, to which he responded that I was a liar and that he’s preparing a response to my paper.
The problem is, and I hope he realises this soon so that he can stop embarrassing himself – he doesn’t need to prepare a response to me. Following the debate, Smith released an email in which he explains that he’s been studying the topic of Qur’anic manuscripts for sometime, with the dates of January 2014 and March 2014 being mentioned. Given that the debate happened at the end of September, it would then mean that Smith had been preparing for this debate for some 9 months or so.
With 9 months of preparation, research and study, he entered into the debate with what appeared to be a large stack of papers which contained that very research, of which he shared several of them with the audience:
At one point in the debate, he remarked that he’d share his research with the public, and that it was available for anyone to see should they request it. So what does this all mean? Since the day of his debate with Dr. Shabir, he has possessed 9 months of research, collected into that large stack of papers several inches thick on the table beside him. So, the problem is, what does he need to prepare in response to me, if he already has 9 months of research several inches thick already prepared?
Especially when he declared that the research was ready for anyone to see! So what exactly does he need to prepare? Either he did his research over a period of 9 months and had it ready on the day of the debate, or, given the countless errors and lies I found him making during the debate, he really has no research to present for us and is now scrambling to get something done. So Smith, which is it? It’s time for you to clear the air. Either you lied during the debate or you lied after the debate and on Sunday when you made those remarks. Which is it? Can’t get your story straight it seems.
Since you said the research would be shared with anyone who requests it, then I proudly declare that on this day, I request it! Send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll be waiting! For everyone else, you can download and view the 53 page paper on Qur’anic manuscripts here.
and Allah knows best.
Last year, I had the fortune of being gifted by Dr. Ehrman, a free 1 year subscription to his blog. After spending 11 months on the blog, I think it’s time to give my experience and thoughts on it.
Dr. Ehrman’s blog focuses on Christianity in Antiquity, specifically New Testament Textual Criticism, early Christian doctrines, and he often comments on Christianity in pop culture, whether that be any new manuscript finds or the yearly Jesus had a wife claim. This treasure chest of content is simply spectacular. I particularly enjoyed his re-posting of his debates and his added commentary on them, the extra information provided is not only insightful, it’s added value to an already informative and extensive array of debates. Articles are posted often, very often. Some may be short, but a vast majority of his posts are expository in nature, in which he spares no expense in enlightening the reader. They’re just the right size to keep someone interested, but not long enough to be seen as tedious.
One of the greater benefits of the blog, is the ability to discuss, disagree and even argue with Dr. Ehrman! He replies to most comments and entertains disagreements, which has proven to be quite a valuable experience to have witnessed. Although his schedule is quite busy, for a person interested in New Testament Textual Criticism, he spends a lot of time explaining his yearly schedule, his research methodology, the criticisms leveled against his conclusions, and so, this allows someone new to the field or just interested in it, to develop a holistic understanding of his works. This is as opposed to merely labeling him an anti-Christ liberal as many of our evangelical inerrantist colleagues do, thus discarding his research as propaganda.
The monetary cost to access the website is very minimal, please note all costs listed below are subject to change on the website and are valid as of 16.11.14, the currency in use is USD:
- $3.95/month for trial membership;
- $7.95 for three months;
- $24.95 for a year.
So, is it worth it? For the Muslim lay man, it probably is if you’re super interested in the field but if you’re just dipping your toes into da’wah, then I can’t see it being too useful. For someone who’s read most of his works and interested in his views, his research and his methodology, then I think it’s a minimal expense that would benefit you greatly. As for myself, I was very grateful for the opportunity afforded to me by Dr. Ehrman and I definitely do believe I’ll be taking a full year’s membership.
and God knows best.
Viktor Frankl an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist says in his book, A Man’s Search for Meaning:
After a while I proceeded to another question, this time addressing myself to the whole group. The question was whether an ape which was being used to develop poliomyelitis serum, and for this reason punctured again and again, would ever be able to grasp the meaning of its suffering. Unanimously, the group replied that of course it would not; with its limited intelligence, it could not enter into the world of man, i.e., the only world in which the meaning of its suffering would be understandable.
Then I pushed forward with the following question: “And what about man? Are you sure that the human world is a terminal point in the evolution of the cosmos? Is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension, a world beyond man’s world; a world in which the question of an ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?”
Is it not cynical for man to think that he is the pinnacle of intelligent life? That the human world is an end point, the boundary of existence? Surely, if an ape can experience the world around them with all their senses and still be veiled from higher reasoning, can we too not conceive that perhaps we are also veiled?
Or, perhaps it is that some wish for this boundary to exist willingly at the cost of their own bravado…..
and Allah knows best.
Santa Claus becomes a Father like figure to the historical Jesus, to protect him using magic. Sounds like a stupid movie plot? Well, ding ding ding, we have a winner. Popular Christian right wing commentator, Glenn Beck and his production studio are currently working on a movie with that same plot. No, no, this is not a joke. Christians have now begun to parody Jesus and openly align him with a fictional character: Santa Claus.
From Glenn Beck’s website, he describes the movie as follows:
The Immortal is really a story that starts from my frustration. All the stories that we’re doing come from my head, and this one is really deeply personal, because it started two years ago when my kids were getting ready for Christmas, and all they could talk about was presents, toys, and Santa and elves.
And I kept trying to come up with some way to work Christ into it. You know, can we stop with the, you know, fat magic fairy that gives you everything you want for Christmas? Let’s actually talk about what it is. Now, I don’t want to be the guy who complains about the giant corporations. I don’t want to be the guy who’s complaining about Santa. I don’t want to be that dad, because I remember growing up Santa was important. That was cool. It’s magic. It’s magic.
Can someone explain to me, how this is not offensive? A fictional child’s character, has to use magic to defend and protect a weak and powerless man God. I hope the book fails, so that the movie never gets any traction. This is ridiculous to the highest degree.
and God certainly knows best.
As we dawn upon the 3rd anniversary of this website, I’m proud to announce that today we’ve reached a fantastic Facebook Milestone. We now have 7000+ likes! Through Facebook, our articles have reached many thousands of people on a monthly basis. It’s no easy feat to gather 7000 likes, especially for a website as small and unknown as ours. We’ve spent exactly $0 on advertising on Facebook and have gained these likes organically. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have supported this website, whether it is liking an article, sharing a post or reading our research, your support has been simply amazing! If you haven’t liked us on Facebook as yet, click here to do so. On a regular basis exclusive content is posted to our Facebook page, so if you haven’t been following us for sometime, take this opportunity to do so and be kept in the loop on the latest inter-faith dialogue scene!
and Allah knows best.
I’ve been reading Viktor E. Frankl’s, “Man’s Search for Meaning” for several days now and it has really informed me a great deal about life in the Nazi concentration camps. What has been most surprising though, is the prognosis of a Jewish psychologist who also was a prisoner in those camps. Of course, I am referring to the author of the book himself. Interestingly, he had this to say:
“During this psychological phase one observed that people with natures of a more primitive kind could not escape the influences of the brutality which had surrounded them in camp life. Now, being free, they thought they could use their freedom licentiously and ruthlessly. The only thing that had changed for them was that they were now the oppressors instead of the oppressed. They became instigators, not objects, of willful force and injustice. They justified their behavior by their own terrible experiences. This was often revealed in apparently insignificant events.
A friend was walking across a field with me toward the camp when suddenly we came to a field of green crops. Automatically, I avoided it, but he drew his arm through mine and dragged me through it. I stammered something about not treading down the young crops. He became annoyed, gave me an angry look and shouted, “You don’t say! And hasn’t enough been taken from us? My wife and child have been gassed—not to mention everything else—and you would forbid me to tread on a few stalks of oats!” Only slowly could these men be guided back to the commonplace truth that no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them. We had to strive to lead them back to this truth, or the consequences would have been much worse than the loss of a few thousand stalks of oats.”
Israelis often justify the illegal existence of the State of Israel, by referencing the injustice done to them by the Nazis. This culture of excusing them for their moral misgivings through oppression has been passed down from generation to generation. To this day, when an Israeli is confronted with the moral dilemma of doing to the Palestinians, what the Nazis had done to them, they justify this by rhetorically asking, “hasn’t enough been done to us, we are only protecting ourselves!” What is striking from this quote, is that this mentality, this primitive, this savage behaviour was borne out of those camps, the very days after being liberated. When Muslims refer to Israelis as oppressors, we are not alone in this diagnosis, Viktor had seen this coming since 1945.
His most chilling statement however, is the prophecy, “we had to strive to lead them back to this truth, or the consequences would have been much worse than the loss of a few thousand stalks of oats.” Indeed, his fears have materialized. The consequences of such a violent mentality has caused the Jews to invade, occupy and terrorize the Palestinian people. It’s amazing that such information could be deduced by a Jew himself, 69 years ago, yet if any one of us were to make these claims today we’d be classified as Nazis and anti-Semites.
and Allah knows best.
Alhamdulillah, the paper is complete and can now both be viewed, and downloaded via Scribd:
Question and Answer:
- Did you write this all by yourself?Yes, I did. However along the way I had several brothers read it, authenticate my arguments, proof read it, criticise it, give suggestions, validate quotes, etc. This included Br. Waqar Cheema and Br. Ahmed Shaker.
- Were you asked to do this refutation?No, I was not asked to do this. I decided to do it after watching the debate and being annoyed at Jay’s dishonesty.
- Do you have Dan’s unpublished thesis?Yes, I do.
- Were you paid to produce this work?I was not paid for this work.
- How many words is this paper?The paper has 23, 908 words. It consists of 53 pages.
- Are you going to charge a fee for the paper?No, that has not crossed my mind and I don’t think it will.
- Why did it take you more than a month to publish this paper?My health was a major factor in the delay of the writing and publishing of the paper. Other factors included proof reading, trying to transcribe Jay’s words (this was a long and tedious task), having others proof read it and waiting on certain persons mentioned in the paper to reply to the criticism leveled against them.
- Were Jay’s arguments so important you had to dedicate a paper about it?They weren’t, however the attention given to the debate and my annoyance at Jay gave me the impetus to expose his deceit.
- Are you really 22 as you claim?Yes, I am.
- Why a paper, why not a video?I wanted to give a solid response and I don’t think a short video would have done it justice. This format also allows readers to quote and use the paper in their research and debates. A video however, outlining Jay’s mistakes is in the works.
- In Mistakes #5 and #6 you seem to get the dating wrong. Can you explain this, did you make a mistake?
Let me just clarify the matter:
1. First century goes from 622 to 722.
2. Jay says 3/4 of the first century is 8th century.
This would be incorrect since 697 includes the 7th century and he is ignoring this completely. This is a range and so the minimum should also be seen as a valid dating. I am not saying it isn’t 8th, I am saying that the dating contains both the 7th and the 8th centuries. Looking at the quote again:
“the second half of the first century A.H. and the first half of the second Century A.H. [due to] “vowelling and dotting.” (i.e. early – mid 8th
The second half of the first century would be 622 CE + 50 years which would be 672 CE, which is 28 years in the 7th century. Therefore when I say it includes the 7th century, I mean it includes 28 years of the first century. Jay ignores the 3 years and the 28 years and says only 8th, but this is not accurate. Please see the Appendix A where I include a graphic explaining my reasoning. I anticipated this would cause some problems, but I double checked my math and I think 28 years to dismiss and rob us of, is unfair and very inaccurate. Forget the 3 years. 28 years is the big problem, which is why I included it.
As more questions come in, and if they are found to be suitable, then I shall reply to them accordingly.
and Allah knows best.
Muslims have always been clear on the status of the Qur’an and Qur’anic translations. The Qur’an is scripture only in the Arabic language, translations of the Qur’an into other languages are only representations of the Qur’an, they are representations of scripture but not scripture in and of themselves. As such, a Muslim’s salaah or prayer is only valid if one recites the Qur’an in Arabic, the original language in which it was revealed. A Muslim fully understands that the English translation of the Qur’an can be wrong, as a translation depends on the understanding of the translator. Therefore, a translation is representative of someone’s understanding of the Qur’an from its original language to a different language. Whereas the Qur’an itself in Arabic is as God has revealed it. This is why, when missionaries criticise the Qur’an, they immediately go to the English translation which best suits their understanding as opposed to the primary text of the Qur’an in Arabic. Christians have boasted that the Bible is a scripture regardless of what language it is in. The New Testament originally written in Greek, is equally scripture alongside an English or Chinese translation. Whereas, for a Muslim, the Qur’an in Arabic is scripture and the Qur’an in English is a representation or interpretation of the scripture, they are not equal.
This however, may no longer be the case with Pastor Samuel Green. Posed with a question concerning a Syriac version of the New Testament, instead of defending it as scripture, he discarded the Syriac version as merely a translation which is not the same as the original. Pastor Samuel, has indeed now accepted the Muslim belief that only the original is scripture and the translation is not! I was very surprised to see him using this view, knowing that I have never heard him say this before.
For once, we Muslims can agree with the Pastor. Translations should be treated as translations and scripture treated as scripture!
and Allah knows best!