Nabeel Qureishi’s Mistakes in Debate with Dr. Shabir


Live debate here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWpqqqZn7Kg

Nabeel said:

The term tawheed is not found anywhere in the hadith (source):

دَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ يُعَذَّبُ نَاسٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ التَّوْحِيدِ فِي النَّارِ حَتَّى يَكُونُوا فِيهَا حُمَمًا ثُمَّ تُدْرِكُهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ فَيُخْرَجُونَ وَيُطْرَحُونَ عَلَى أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَيَرُشُّ عَلَيْهِمْ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ الْمَاءَ فَيَنْبُتُونَ كَمَا يَنْبُتُ الْغُثَاءُ فِي حِمَالَةِ السَّيْلِ ثُمَّ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ مِنْ غَيْرِ وَجْهٍ عَنْ جَابِرٍ ‏.‏

 

 

Jabir narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
“Some of the people of Tawhid will be punished in the Fire until they are coals. Then the Mercy (of Allah) will reach them, they will be taken out and tossed at the doors of Paradise.” He said: ” The people of Paradise will pour water over them, and they will sprout as the debris carried by the flood sprouts, then they will enter Paradise.”
On the Qur’an being eternal, being settled in the 9th century, here’s Imam Abu Hanifah who lived during the 1st century of Islam:
Abu Ĥaniifah, said in his book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar:

والقرآن كلام الله تعالى في المصاحف مكتوب, وفي القلوب محفوظ وعلى الألسن مقروء, وعلى النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام منزّل, ولفظنا بالقرآن مخلوق وكتابتنا له مخلوقة وقرائتنا له مخلوقة والقرآن غير مخلوق.

The Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah Taˆaalaa, written on pages (muşĥafs), preserved in hearts, recited on tongues, and revealed to the Prophet (sall-Aļļaahu ˆalayhi wa sallam). Our utterance of the Qur’aan is created, and our recitation of the Qur’aan is created, but the Qur’aan is not created.He means by “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah” that the word “Qur’aan” refers to Aļļaah’s eternal speech that is not letters (thus not language or sounds – as letters are symbols that represent sounds.) I.e. there is no difference between saying “Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech” and “the Qur’aan;” they are synonyms. He makes this clear when he says a few paragraphs later:

ويتكلم لا ككلامنا ونحن نتكلم بالآلات والحروف والله تعالى يتكلم بلا آلة ولاحروف.

Aļļaah speaks, but not like our speech; we speak by means of instruments (vocal cords, limbs, etc.) and letters, but Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters.

والحروف مخلوقة وكلام الله تعالى غير مخلوق.

Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.So Abuu Ĥaniifah says that “the Qur’aan is the Speech of Aļļaah,” and then that “Aļļaah speaks without instruments or letters.” Then he emphasizes this further by saying “Letters are a creation, and Aļļaah’s Speech is not created.

Qur’an gets the Trinity wrong, see this response.

The Trinity is not 3 different Gods, see this response.

Islam has laws to punish people for heresy, see this response, some Christian sects are calling for the return of the Mosaic law to govern their nations, referred to as Theonomy.

YHWH coming or being on earth, see the Law of Agency, a theological construct in the Hebraic Testament in which someone acts on behalf of God but is referred to in the 1st person, known as “Sha’liah.”

In Islam, God could not have the attribute of love (al Wadud), before creation because there was nothing to love, see response.

—-

It’s blasphemy to burn the Qur’an, no it isn’t, where is he making this up from (source):

If there are no such cases where it is necessary to preserve old copies, then there is nothing wrong with disposing of them in respectful ways which achieve the desired purpose. The scholars have mentioned three ways of doing that:

1-

Burning, i.e., burning old copies of the Mus-haf in a careful and respectable manner, in a clean and safe place, whilst ensuring that the words are consumed by the fire and the pages are changed.

Nabeel says that the Jews had, “at least Binitarian view of God”. There goes Hebraic monotheism out the window.

Nabeel says the Schema Yisrael does not say God cannot be like a man, to correct him, it says God is not of any likeness on earth, does he think earth does not contain men?

Already trying to compensate for his disastrous performance, Nabeel has informed the crowd that he will pen a post debate write up as well as a 2 hour video.

Nabeel says that the Bible states that there are, “three persons in the Godhead”, unfortunately this simply does not exist.

Nabeel says that the Nicaean creeds and Chalcedonian creeds are not found in the Bible, and says this is the same problem in the Qur’an, that the statement of Tawheed is not found in the Qur’an, however this is wrong, it is found (Qur’an 47:19):

لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا اللَّـهُ

12 comments

  • I think Shabir Ally did well.

  • I don’t have time to respond to it all, but a few things stuck out to me. Please excuse the caps lock – typing online won’t allow me to use bold or italics.

    1) On the Qur’an being eternal – what Abu Hanifa said is beside the point. Nabeel wasn’t saying no-one held to to the eternality of the Qur’an before the later controversies, but simply that the issue wasn’t resolved (and even then by bila khayf) until a few centuries into the Islamic era.

    2) On some Christian sects calling for a theonomy – this may be the case (though I don’t know if they also call for blasphemy to be punished, though they may do). But I think such a call may be much rarer amongst Christians than Muslims, and is arguably a less fundamental component of the faith.

    3) Burning the Qur’an – Nabeel is referring to a disrespectful burning rather than a respectful burning. Arguably the fact that this is considered blasphemy (at least by Muslims rather than necessarily Islam itself) can be seen in worldwide anger against the burning of Quran’s.

    4) ‘Nabeel says that the Jews had, “at least Binitarian view of God”. There goes Hebraic monotheism out the window.’ – To me this seems to be a classic example of ASSUMING Islamic UNITARIANISM, and assuming that binitarianism (or trinitarianism) is not monotheistic. Seeing that the definition of binitarianism and trinitarianism is monotheistic (but a different form of monotheism from unitarianism), one cannot simply assume the above statement, but must demonstrate it.

    5) ‘Nabeel says the Schema Yisrael does not say God cannot be like a man, to correct him, it says God is not of any likeness on earth, does he think earth does not contain men?’ – I may be looking in the wrong place, but I can’t find this statement made in the Shema in Deut. 6:4-5. Reference seems to be made to Exodus 20:4 (perhaps this was Nabeel’s mistake), in which case I would have a few of my own responses. However as I think Nabeel pointed out, Christians don’t claim that God IS (in his natural, eternal state) like anything on the earth, but that he BECAME incarnate in Christ, and took on to himself a human nature. Thus, in the OT before the incarnation, it is quite right for God to make this statement, and it is still valid in so far as God is not IN HIS NATURAL STATE human.

    6) I’m not sure it’s trying to ‘compensate for his disastrous performance’ that Nabeel is going to provide further information. 1) Is further information not always helpful? (2) Having been involved in his debate preparation, I know that Nabeel had prepared an opening statement literally (at least) twice as long, and that there was much more that he had wanted to say.

    Thanks for reading, and sorry that I don’t have the time to respond further.

  • Thanks for your defense of Nabeel, I appreciate that someone who helped Nabeel prepare for the debate would be willing to clarify his arguments for us.

    1) “Nabeel wasn’t saying no-one held to to the eternality of the Qur’an before the later controversies, but simply that the issue wasn’t resolved (and even then by bila khayf) until a few centuries into the Islamic era.”

    Fiqh al Akbar, which is about ‘Aqeedah (doctrine, creed) is from the 1st century AH. Clearly then this demonstrates that the earliest of Muslims understood this topic quite well and that there was no issue. By your own words you agree that this was a later issue that was resolved a few centuries later. By that standard, Nabeel raised an argument that began sometime later (therefore a heresy) and which was then resolved a few centuries into the Islamic era. Given all of this, it would then stand to reason that Nabeel brought an anachronistic argument to the table and argued that Muslims had difficulty with it, when if what you say is true, he knew they resolved it. That demonstrates to me that he either willingly lied, or is simply not educated about the Islamic creed. Either way, that was undoubtedly mendacious.

    2) On some Christian sects calling for a theonomy – this may be the case (though I don’t know if they also call for blasphemy to be punished, though they may do). But I think such a call may be much rarer amongst Christians than Muslims, and is arguably a less fundamental component of the faith.

    Whether it’s rare or not, it’s an active modern day movement within Christianity. We can likewise argue that the Mutazlities who are rarer today than Theonomists, should then not have been appealed to by Nabeel, if he wished to be consistent. Such a line of argumentation is then, poor at best. It should be understood that we do not believe that Nabeel understands the differences between Shari’ah law, the Hudood and the Mitzvot/ Halacha. If he is consistent, he’d have noted such legal concepts were within the soteriological framework first established by the Israelite state by YHWH’s guidance.

    3) Burning the Qur’an – Nabeel is referring to a disrespectful burning rather than a respectful burning. Arguably the fact that this is considered blasphemy (at least by Muslims rather than necessarily Islam itself) can be seen in worldwide anger against the burning of Quran’s.

    It’s blasphemy because it’s disrespectful, it’s meant to insult and that is why it is considered desecration of scripture. Not because Muslims consider the print text and book covering to be eternal. If what you say is true, that Nabeel understood this to be the case, or if you are giving me your understanding of the issue, then someone needs to inform Nabeel he is either mistaken, or that he intentionally lied.

    4) ‘Nabeel says that the Jews had, “at least Binitarian view of God”. There goes Hebraic monotheism out the window.’ – To me this seems to be a classic example of ASSUMING Islamic UNITARIANISM, and assuming that binitarianism (or trinitarianism) is not monotheistic. Seeing that the definition of binitarianism and trinitarianism is monotheistic (but a different form of monotheism from unitarianism), one cannot simply assume the above statement, but must demonstrate it.

    Please see this link. You’re arguing polemically and it has repeatedly been demonstrated:

    https://callingchristians.com/2014/12/12/do-muslims-assume-unitarianism-in-discussing-the-trinity/

    In the Islamic framework, Christianity is not monotheistic. Telling us that it is, doesn’t change that fact for us. You may understand your faith to be monotheistic, but from the Muslim’s perspective, this is not the case.

    5) ‘Nabeel says the Schema Yisrael does not say God cannot be like a man, to correct him, it says God is not of any likeness on earth, does he think earth does not contain men?’ – I may be looking in the wrong place, but I can’t find this statement made in the Shema in Deut. 6:4-5. Reference seems to be made to Exodus 20:4 (perhaps this was Nabeel’s mistake), in which case I would have a few of my own responses. However as I think Nabeel pointed out, Christians don’t claim that God IS (in his natural, eternal state) like anything on the earth, but that he BECAME incarnate in Christ, and took on to himself a human nature. Thus, in the OT before the incarnation, it is quite right for God to make this statement, and it is still valid in so far as God is not IN HIS NATURAL STATE human.

    The understanding of the communicatio idiomatum would mean that the divine nature joined or became a union with the human nature. As such, if as you said that God “took on a human nature”, then God’s nature changed, which effectively renders him un-Godlike. Human nature is weak, hence Christians now from the perspective of God’s impassibility is no longer all powerful. God can now suffer, the divine nature cannot magically be ripped apart from the hypostatic union when Christians find it comfortable to do so. Your arguing this way, is no less, heretical. “Still valid in so far as God is not in his nature state human”, yes he is, the two natures formed a union. So either it is you reject the hypostatic union or you’re not being honest.

    6) I’m not sure it’s trying to ‘compensate for his disastrous performance’ that Nabeel is going to provide further information. 1) Is further information not always helpful? (2) Having been involved in his debate preparation, I know that Nabeel had prepared an opening statement literally (at least) twice as long, and that there was much more that he had wanted to say.

    1. He came to a debate where he was to present the Trinity in a coherent manner, when this was not the case he then found it necessary to clarify himself out of the debate. Muslims aren’t the one’s saying this, your fellow Christians are:

    http://reformedarsenal.com/2015/04/09/nabeel-qureshi-vs-shabir-ally-debate-review-opening-statement/

    To us, it certainly seemed like trying to compensate for not being able to articulate his core doctrinal belief in a valid, consistent and accurate matter. Which as a Muslim interested in the field of Christianity, I’d consider that an onstage disaster.

    2. Of all the points you’ve mentioned – I think that perhaps you should have been on that stage. Not only did Nabeel fall short, I think the fact that so many people, both Muslim and Christian were able to find his statements so inaccurate and disagreeable, it would lead us to believe that he needs a lot more study and a lot less rhetoric. He may have sought Allah and found Jesus, but as Muslims, he demonstrated to us he found something that even he doesn’t understand and left something he also didn’t understand, which says a lot.

    Thanks for reading, and sorry that I don’t have the time to respond further.

    Thanks for your comments Richard, I appreciated them. Have a good night.

  • “but that he BECAME incarnate in Christ, and took on to himself a human nature. ”

    become
    [bih-kuhm]
    Spell Syllables
    verb (used without object), became, become, becoming.
    1.
    to come, change, or grow to be (as specified):
    He became tired.

    the christians are not saying that god appeared to be a man, but that he became 100 % man. we can see that becoming man created imperfections in this god. jesus’ mind /logos was not 100 % man/flesh

    jesus’ mind DID NOT know the mind of the father

    clearly TWO different and distinct persons who aren’t CONSCIOUS of each others knowledge. one does not KNOW what it is to know the hour
    and the other does not know what it is to NOT know the hour

    two conscious gods .

    we can test this further. jesus’ mind is not flesh, does the mind DEPENDENT on flesh? does god need human eyes to view/see the earth? if no, then how come jesus’ MIND did not know the mind of the father when the mind is NOT flesh?

    in conclusion

    perfect god does not change
    jesus changed
    therefore jesus was not god

  • What a god they have. A god with diminished capability due to *taking on flesh*. Then conquered, controlled and mastered over by death. Then having to be rescued from the *agony of death* by someone else.
    What a god they have.

  • In response to Ijaz Ahmad:

    Thank you for your very polite and well thought through response – I appreciate it! As I said, I’m feeling a bit time pressured at the moment (though I would like to if I can find some time), but I just wanted to quickly clarify a couple of things I said which you may have misunderstood. This isn’t me trying to rebut your points – this is me trying to clarify where I may have been unclear (and if I was, my apologies).

    You wrote: ‘By your own words you agree that this was a later issue that was resolved a few centuries later.’ I wasn’t actually agreeing that this was a later issue, but merely conceding that SOME people held to an eternal Qur’an before the later controversies. I fear I misled you by my use of the phrase ‘later controversies’ – by this I didn’t mean there wasn’t any disagreement before (whether or not there was, I simply haven’t the foggiest!), but I just used the phrase to refer to the particular controversy that Nabeel referred to (surrounding the Mutazilla & Asharites and Mamun).

    On the issue of unitarianism & binitarianism – I understand that there is a difference between what Muslims and Christians consider to be monotheistic, and I think again I may have been unclear. When I talked about definitions of words like ‘binitarianism’ and ‘trinitarianism’ and saying that they are monotheistic, I perhaps should have said that Christians consider them to be monotheistic. Whether or not they actually are monotheistic of course cannot be assumed, but must be argued. What I was objecting to was that while I believe that Christians need to ARGUE (and not assume) that such terms ARE monotheistic (though I did not make this clear, apologies), I felt that what you wrote about ‘there goes Jewish monotheism out of the window’ assumed that Jewish monotheism (perhaps influenced by your own Islamic unitarian perspective) could not be binitarian. You may have evidence to back up why Jewish (rather than Islamic) monotheism could not be binitarian, but I did not see this in your brief one-sentence statement, and that is why I felt you were making an assertion (due to your Islamic unitarian perspective) rather than an argument.

    To summarise this rather convoluted paragraph, I agree that neither side can assume their definition to be accurate, I just felt that this is indeed what you were doing. While I respect that you might have argumentation as to why Jewish monotheism could not be binitarian, the absence of it being provided is why I felt this was an assertion. However, my response to you was perhaps too rash – instead of alleging that you inserted your own unitarian perspective, I perhaps ought to have requested further evidence for your position. If I was rash, please excuse me.

  • Thank you for your kind, considerate and objective response to my comments. Your remarks are refreshing and I completely am impressed by your calm, collected and sensible demeanor.

    I hope to engage you more, in time to come.

  • “hat God IS (in his natural, eternal state) like anything on the earth, but that he BECAME incarnate in Christ, and took on to himself a human nature. ”

    the question is, did god, who is without body and without flesh, BECOME weak?
    we saw that the christian god did become weak in knowledge. gods mind isn’t flesh/anything CREATED and neither does the mind depend on flesh/anything created, yet your gods mind became weak in knowledge.

    for arguments sake
    lets say god added a ghost nature to himself. in the bible some ghosts are powerful than other ghosts. did immaterial god become immaterial ghost? did it BECOME WEAK?

    everything created = WEAK.

    is the creator who is without BODY consciously aware of his OWN weakness and experiences weakness like anything CREATED?

    if you separate the two and say that the one outside of space and time is not 100 % like the god in space and time, then you must admit you worship gods who are CONSCIOUS of the fact that they , in different dimensions , cannot be one/same in power, might and knowledge.

    the god on earth can’t give NOTHING ( not KNOWING the hour for example) to the one who is OUTSIDE time and space. no dilution /no mixture . the one outside time and space didn’t lose or become WEAKER in knowledge.

    if they are one is KNOWLEDGE , then the one outside of time and space , who is NOT flesh , and who’s mind is NOT flesh, BECAME weaker in knowledge and power and is now finite and created.

  • did god become WEAK in knowledge?

    i am not asking about the human nature, i am asking about a mind which is NOT flesh.
    did it BECOME weak in knowledge?

    does the god who is outside time and space is “one” in knowledge with the one who does not know when day of judgement will be?

  • Mutual ignorance of each other’s thoughts is a prerequisite for a father-son relationship or any human relationship between two human beings.

    Likewise, if the analogy holds, for God the Father to be not God the Son there would have to exist some mutual ignorance between their minds. There must be something to communicate between father and son which cannot be known otherwise.

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