Refutation: Muslim Dawagandist Paul Williams Asks A Question


Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Sam Shamoun who is renowned for intellectual fraud, deplorable public decorum and abusive tirades has once again fallen into the old age Christian tradition of appealing to the word study fallacy. What this essentially promotes is the purposeful misinterpretation of terms due to one’s own ignorance of cherry picking a particular phrase or word from a statement to derive an overall biased conclusion. Quite popular in Christian circles, it has been deemed as a gross abuse of the interpretation of texts, whether in the original or translated language:

Just as a sentence is more revealing than a single word, so the examination of a writer’s syntax and style is that much more important to a biblical commentator. It is not surprising that fewer books have been written on this subject than on vocabulary, because whereas students of vocabulary can quickly look up lists of words in concordances and indices, in the field of syntax the study is more circuitous. There is no help except in a few selective grammars and monographs, so that the worker really must work his way through all the texts in Greek. – (Nigel Turner, Grammatical Insights into the New Testament (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1965), 2-3.)

This is a common tactic employed by propagandists and laymen who are not well educated in scriptural analyses. It’s quite commonly used by Sam Shamoun as it’s an easy way to mask his faulty cognitive thinking abilities. It’s easy for anyone to take a phrase out of context, and Sam’s method is quite extant.

Sam Shamouns 5 Step Method to Misinterpreting Anything and Everything:

(1) Quote a text (matn).
(2) Give a citation for said text (matn).
(3) Emphasize certain words or phrases from said text.
(4) Base entire argument on the emphasized phrase or word.
(5) Derive a conclusion from straw man argument of (4) based on selected phrase or word from (3).

Our Br. Paul Williams has authored an excellent piece, which can be viewed here, questioning the logic and rationality of the Christian theological framework of the atonement of sins. Sam’s reply, indicates a lack of public decorum and debate etiquette, he begins (as expected) with insults and character defamation:

Muslim taqiyyist Paul Williams has a question concerning the Christian understanding of Jesus dying on the cross in order to make atonement for our sins.

It isn’t strange for Sam Shamoun to stoop to such low tactics, he’s clearly frustrated at being refuted so often by so many Muslim academics, that he needs to release some of his frustration. After all, the alcohol and Church songs can’t keep one sane minded for too long. Sam continues into his intellectual clown juggling by first interpreting a hadith and then by following the five step program as aforementioned:

Muhammad taught that Allah will ransom Muslims from their sins by sending Jews and Christians into hell to suffer the punishment they deserve for their wickedness and transgressions:

We’ll soon realise that this is not what Allaah or what Nabi ul Ummi il Kareem, Muhammad {saw} has taught us and why it is intellectually and academically dishonest to interpret ahadith without proper contextual analysis. To begin with, the Qur’aan from Allaah makes it clear that each man (men and women) are responsible for their own sins:

وَلَا تَزِرُ‌ وَازِرَ‌ةٌ وِزْرَ‌ أُخْرَ‌ىٰ ۚ وَإِنْ تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَىٰ حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْ‌بَىٰ
Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another’s burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related.  – Qur’aan : Suratul Fatir (35) : 18.

Therefore Sam’s initial claim is refuted by the Qur’aan which implies that his interpretation from the onset is outside of Islamic aq’aid (creed beliefs, core beliefs). Therefore we have clearly established that he has purposefully misrepresented Islamic belief (step 5) by deriving a conclusion from a source he’ll intentionally misinterpret for his own benefit (step 4). He then quotes this hadith:

‘Ubada ibn as-Samit reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever testifies that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger and that ‘Isa is the slave of Allah and His Messenger and a word which He cast into Maryam and a spirit from Him and that the Garden is real and the Fire is real will enter the Garden WHATEVER HIS ACTIONS.” [Agreed upon] (Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi, Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous), 51. Chapter: On Hope; capital emphasis ours)

Notice that he admits adding emphasis to derive his conclusion, I’ve bold said part. What is striking is that this hadith, in no way mentions what Sam had stated earlier, some questions must be asked of him:

(1) Where does this hadith speak of ransom?
(2) Can he quote the part where it speaks of ransom of sins and place in the fire?
(3) Since neither of the above two (1) and (2) can be seen from the hadith, what was the point of capitalizing the words he did?
(4) Since neither (1), (2) or (3) can be demonstrated from the hadith, what was the point of quoting it?

We’ll answer number (4) for him, by referencing his 5 step program:

(3) Emphasize certain words or phrases from said text.
(4) Base entire argument on the emphasized phrase or word.
(5) Derive a conclusion from straw man argument of (4) based on selected phrase or word from (3).

It is clear that he needs to play word games in order to justify his misrepresentations of Islam. What this hadith in question refers to, is the Islamic belief that a believer who sins, more than he does good, will actually be punished in the fire (which will be a form of expiation of sins for him), for which after he has been punished for his sins, he will be rewarded with Jannah (heaven). This is so because the Muslim who entires the fire has more sins than good deeds, but since he is a (sincere) believer, Allaah has granted him a mercy and while the fire punishes him, the sin for which he is punished is expiated (paid for, forgiven). Therefore his good deeds will eventually out number his sins:

“…….. Then when Allah had finished from the Judgments amongst his creations, one man will be left between Hell and Paradise and he will be the last man from the people of Hell to enter paradise. He will be facing Hell, and will say, ‘O Allah! Turn my face from the fire as its wind has dried me and its steam has burnt me.’ Allah will ask him, “Will you ask for anything more in case this favor is granted to you?’ He will say, “No by Your (Honor) Power!” And he will give to his Lord (Allah) what he will of the pledges and the covenants. Allah will then turn his face from the Fire. When he will face Paradise and will see its charm, he will remain quiet as long as Allah will. He then will say, ‘O my Lord! Let me go to the gate of Paradise.’ Allah will ask him, ‘Didn’t you give pledges and make covenants (to the effect) that you would not ask for anything more than what you requested at first?’ He will say, ‘O my Lord! Do not make me the most wretched, amongst Your creatures.’ Allah will say, ‘If this request is granted, will you then ask for anything else?’ He will say, ‘No! By Your Power! I shall not ask for anything else.’ Then he will give to his Lord what He will of the pledges and the covenants. Allah will then let him go to the gate of Paradise. On reaching then and seeing its life, charm, and pleasure, he will remain quiet as long as Allah wills and then will say, ‘O my Lord ! Let me enter Paradise.’ Allah will say, May Allah be merciful unto you, O son of Adam! How treacherous you are! Haven’t you made covenants and given pledges that you will not ask for anything more that what you have been given?’ He will say, ‘O my Lord! Do not make me the most wretched amongst Your creatures.’ So Allah will laugh and allow him to enter Paradise and will ask him to request as much as he likes. He will do so till all his desires have been fulfilled . Then Allah will say, ‘Request more of such and such things.’ Allah will remind him and when all his desires and wishes; have been fulfilled, Allah will say “All this is granted to you and a similar amount besides.” Abu Said Al-Khudri, said to Abu Huraira, ‘Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah said, ‘That is for you and ten times more like it.’ “Abu Huraira said, “I do not remember from Allah’s Apostle except (his saying), ‘All this is granted to you and a similar amount besides.” Abu Sahd said, “I heard him saying, ‘That is for you and ten times more the like of it.” – Sahih al Bukhari : Characteristics of Prayer (12) : Hadith 770.

Sam then goes on to display a complete ignorance of Islamic belief when it comes to the anbiya (Messengers of Allaah – May He be pleased with them all):

Notice carefully Muhammad’s assertion that confessing Jesus as the Word and Spirit of Allah is necessary in order to be saved. This shows that it is simply not enough to bear witness that Allah is god or that Muhammad is his messenger for salvation.

This is called the fallacy of a hasty generalization. He’s trying to generalize the hadith to make it seems as if it is of the utmost importance to affirm the place of Isa (Jesus – alayhi as salaatu wa salaam) as the word and spirit of Allaah. Whereas, this is not something new to Muslims, the belief that we have to affirm the place of all the prophets is called one of the six articles of faith (if one disbelieves in one of the 6 articles, he is not a Muslim). It is as mentioned in the Qur’aan:

آمَنَ الرَّ‌سُولُ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَ‌بِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُ‌سُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّ‌قُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُ‌سُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَ‌انَكَ رَ‌بَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ‌
The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.”  – Qur’aan : Suratul Baqarah (2) : 285.

He then draws an illogical conclusion from the hadith in Riyadus Saliheen:

Also notice that according to Muhammad whoever makes such a confession will enter paradise no matter what actions they have committed. This means that a person could have committed the most evil sins imaginable and yet still enter heaven simply because of making this profession!

Yet, we have already placed the hadith into context, the person gains Jannah after being punished for their sins:

“…….. Then when Allah had finished from the Judgments amongst his creations, one man will be left between Hell and Paradise and he will be the last man from the people of Hell to enter paradise…….”

Sam then goes on to misrepresent and intentionally pervert the meaning and context of other ahadith:

Abu Musa’ reported that Allah’s Messenger said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your RESCUE from Hell-Fire. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6665*)

Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit IN HIS STEAD a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire. ‘Umar b. Abd al-‘Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah’s Messenger. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6666*)

Abu Burda reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with AS HEAVY SINS AS A MOUNTAIN, and Allah would FORGIVE THEM and He would PLACE IN THEIR STEAD the Jews and the Christians. (As far as I think), Abu Raub said: I do not know as to who is in doubt. Abu Burda said: I narrated it to ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, whereupon he said: Was it your father who narrated it to you from Allah’s Apostle? I said: Yes. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6668*)

The problem here, is that he appeals to the fallacy of reading between the lines, this is described as such:

This fallacy falls into the category of logical fallacies that Carson discusses in Exegetical Fallacies. The unwarranted associative fallacy “occurs when a word or phrase triggers off an associated idea, concept, or experience that bears no close relation to the text at hand, yet is used to interpret the text.” – [Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 117 (perhaps an “unwarranted associative jump”)].

This is another common fallacy of Sam. He constantly tries to reinterpret Islamic texts to comply with Christian theology, to therefore show that Islamic works agrees with, in principle to Christian doctrine. He sees the words “in his place” and automatically assumes that one person pays for the sin of another. He tries to liken his hilarious beliefs with our theological doctrine. To begin with answering this claim, the Qur’aan as quoted above, refutes him:

وَلَا تَزِرُ‌ وَازِرَ‌ةٌ وِزْرَ‌ أُخْرَ‌ىٰ ۚ وَإِنْ تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَىٰ حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْ‌بَىٰ
Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another’s burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related.  – Qur’aan : Suratul Fatir (35) : 18.

Furthermore those ahadith should be placed into context, for now we’ll educate Sam and let him know that this is termed, “contextual analysis”. In light of Islamic doctrine, what exactly are these ahadith referring to? If the Qur’aan says no man pays for the sin of another, how do we derive the context of the ahadith and the Qur’aanic statement? Simple. We negate Sam’s conclusion and we start from scratch. Instead of copying his method of appealing to fallacies, let us actually try to understand what Islam says. The ahadith refer to what we Muslims call “Qadr/ Taqdeer”, or “Predestination”. Sam should know what this is, as his close ally in Islamophobia, “Dr.” James White is a staunch Calvinist. Calvinism, like Islam, holds true to the belief in Predestination ( Allaah is Al – Alim [All Knowing], He knows the past, present and future, therefore He knows what we will do, how we’ll do it, why and when etc). In this light we must then grasp the reality that every person is destined for a place in hell or a place in paradise (as God knew what actions they would do and where it would lead them).

With this in mind, the ahadith mention that a slave (servant of Allaah – a Muslim) is being judged on Yawmul Qiyamaat (day of Judgement), for him a place is destined in heaven (due to his actions). So if that servant could either go to heaven or hell, but his actions have gained him access to heaven, what happens to what could have been his place in hell? That logically implies that if a person has two places and we use one for heaven, then there is one place remaining (hell). As Muslims and Christians believe, who goes to hell? Disbelievers. So the hadith is simply saying, for every Muslim that goes to Jannah (heaven) in what could have been his place in Jahanum (hell), a disbeliever (Christian or Jew) would take that place. This makes sense as there is a hadith which says for every 1 person who gains Jannah (paradise), 999 will go to hell:

Narrated Abu Huraira:  The Prophet {saw} said, “The first man to be called on the Day of Resurrection will be Adam who will be shown his offspring, and it will be said to them, ‘This is your father, Adam.’ Adam will say (responding to the call), ‘Labbaik and Sa’daik’ Then Allah will say (to Adam), ‘Take out of your offspring, the people of Hell.’ Adam will say, ‘O Lord, how many should I take out?’ Allah will say, ‘Take out ninety-nine out of every hundred.” They (the Prophet’s {saw} companions) said, “O Allah’s Apostle! If ninety-nine out of every one hundred of us are taken away, what will remain out of us?” He {saw} said, “My followers in comparison to the other nations are like a white hair on a black ox.
Sahih al Bukhari : Book 76 : Hadith 536.

I’ve even drawn up an image here to make things easier to understand, by God’s will:

Those ahadith, have nothing to do with one person atoning for the sins of another. They simply refer to a common principle, that if a person could go to heaven or hell and a believer goes to heaven, then it logically implies the anti-thesis to a believer is a disbeliever and the anti-thesis to heaven is hell, so the believer goes to heaven and the disbeliever goes to hell.

We hope that Sam discontinues his appeal to the fallacy of reading between the lines and that sometime in the near future he can uphold himself to a degree of academic and intellectual responsibility while retaining a standard of acceptable public decorum.

wa Allaahu Alam
[and God knows best.]

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