Tag Archives: Alpha and Omega Ministries

Response to James White on Qur’an 10:94

In a short clip, spanning roughly 20 minutes long, Dr. James White sought to address my article on Qur’an 10:94. He generally had three main points of dispute:

  1. That you have to “jump” from Qur’an 10:94 to Qur’an 46:10 to understand the verse.
  2. That Qur’an 10:94 uses plural for the People of the Book but Qur’an 46:10 is singular therefore it does not apply.
  3. Islamic scholars disagree on whether Qur’an 46:10 was revealed in Makkah (earlier) or Madina (later).

On the first point, there is not a need to respond to it. One of the first rules of exegesis is to let scripture interpret scripture. I am not aware of anyone opening John 1:1, and then complaining that they have to “jump” all the way back to Genesis 1:1 for a comparison to derive further context, I don’t believe a Christian would complain that they had to “jump” (to use Dr. White’s phrase) some 43 books to understand the relation between the two passages. Perhaps he can expand on his surprise and awe of scripture being referenced in such a fashion. As per my own understanding, it is a strawman and faux criticism.

It should be noted that one often has to jump more than a dozen books or more in some cases to reference Isaiah or the Psalms when reading the New Testament, I am not aware of this being a problem until Dr. White expressed it as such.

On the second point, yes, the Qur’an does use the term “those” as in the plural but that is because there were many witnesses at that time, including but not limited to Salman al Farsi, Abdullah ibn Salam and Zaid ibn Sanah. However verse 46:10 is generally referring to one person, while Qur’an 10:94 can refer to multiple witnesses. Therefore, there is no issue here whatsoever.

On the third point, if we argue Qur’an 46:10 is earlier and is therefore a prophecy of a Person of the Book who testifies to the truth of the Qur’an, then it is a prophecy par excellence given the witnesses I mentioned above. If it was revealed in Madinah, then it confirms a truth publicly known and acknowledged, thus verifying the verse itself and the Qur’an. There is no discrepancy here and Dr. White does not seem to follow through on his own logic, he merely states he disagrees with it but does not provide any justifiable reason for making such claims.

Throughout the 20 minutes or so in which he addresses my article, he made statements regarding whether or not there is such a thing as hermeneutics for the Qur’an, while at the same time reading from a Tafseer I quoted in my article. It’s a bit like driving in my car and then asking if I have a car. In case there is any doubt, yes Dr. White, there is and it’s called ‘Uloom al Qur’an, I am fairly certain every single Tafseer books mentions this in some capacity. Perhaps you were being facetious but it came across as being quite uninformed.

and Allah knows best.

Consistent Calvinism and Textual Criticism

Can one be a consistent Calvinist/ Reformed and use Textual Criticism to affirm the New Testament…? This major Calvinist scholar says no. Herman Bavinck says as follows:

“Those who make their doctrine of Scripture dependent on historical research into its origination and structure have already begun to reject Scripture’s self-testimony and therefore no longer believe that Scripture. They think it better to build up the doctrine of Scripture on the foundation of their own research than by believingly deriving it from Scripture itself.”

Source: Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Prolegomena, p. 424.

Bavinck on the self-testimony of Scripture (1--424)

For more information on Bavinck, please click here for his Wikipedia page.

When I initially posted this on my personal Facebook profile, I was immediately reproached by Dr. James White. His argument varied, but it began with claiming I didn’t understand what Bavinck was saying, it then moved to the claim that Bavinck was not referring to textual criticism and finally it moved on to whether or not historical criticism includes textual criticism or not.

The point being, that Dr. White was clearly uncomfortable with this quote and the consequences it bore on his position as recently rebuked by James Simpson, Sam Shamoun and other Christians. I was most disappointed with his response, because as far as I and other Muslims viewed his comments, it seems as if he took the post personally. Beside the point, when I tried to explain that Bavinck’s quote could be applicable and inclusive of textual criticism, I included this statement:

I don’t disagree, read the page, historical-critical, it absolutely includes higher criticism, no one doubts that. Then again, no one else disagrees that there is a distinction between higher and lower criticism, any longer. There’s a bit of both involved in each discipline. Thanks for the fruitful replies though!

I think my statement was quite clear, when it comes to historical-critical study, there is an overlap, a bit of both higher and lower criticism. For some reason, which we all now know why, Dr. White chose to ignore that qualifying phrase of  “a bit of both” and invectively chose to represent my argument as referring to absolutely no distinction between higher and lower criticism. It’s quite obvious that isn’t what I said but it’s the position he chose to stake his claim upon, shifting the goalposts if you would, and quite disappointing for someone who seeks to understand his opponents’ points of view. I forgive him for that.

In any case, yes, historical-critical research does include higher and lower criticism, which encompasses textual criticism. In the end, this quote does have ramifications for Reformed folk who choose to view the New Testament through the eyes of history to validate variant units. I gave one such example to qualify my point which was noted by all, that Dr. White intentionally chose to ignore:

With all due respect, when using philology to develop an authorial profile to help us with stemmata, don’t we have to refer to historical information/ data in that very process?

We look for language development, basically the way someone represents language changes over time and so we can demarcate eras of language use within the written tradition and delineate forms of writing over time. To do so, especially in textual criticism, we have to be aware of the language, its form, variations, standards, etc. In conclusion, distractions aside, this quote is damning for some of the more prolific Christian apologists and the untenable positions they hold to.

and God knows best.

The Trinity – A Simple Explanation

Do you find the Trinity difficult to understand? Many Christians do. This video offers a simple, step by step guide on how one can make sense of the Trinity.

YouTube Mirror: The Trinity – A Simple Explanation

This clip is taken from a debate between Mr. Joe Ventilacion of Iglesia Ni Cristo and Mr. Chauncey Killens of Church of God in Christ. This is from the first cross-examination of the debate, where Mr. Ventilacion had the opportunity to ask Mr. Killens about his opening statement which defended the doctrine of the Trinity as being Biblical. The debate took place in Salina (California, USA) on February 27th, 2010.

and God knows best.

Do Muslims Assume Unitarianism in Discussing the Trinity

Question:

Popular Christian speakers like James White have repeatedly said that Muslims assume Unitarianism when discussing and debating the doctrine of the Trinity. Is this true? What is Unitarianism?

Answer:

Unitarianism, refers to the belief that God exists as one person. This is in contrast to Trinitarianism which teaches that there is one God who exists in three “persons”, all of whom are distinct from the other persons, but co-equal in nature. Unitarianism argues that there is only one person. The most popular believers in this doctrine are those who believe in modalistic monarchianism or monarchianism. Modalism refers to the believe that the one person who is God, moves between varying roles; these roles are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Apologists like James White believe that Muslims argue from the belief of Unitarianism because many Muslim speakers argue against the Trinity by arguing that Jesus who is the Son, is not the Father and thus this is polytheism, not monotheism. Christians would then argue that this proves the Trinity since they do not believe the Son is the Father (that’s Unitarianism), they believe that the Son is a distinct person from the Father and so arguing that they are distinct is already a belief they hold. Therefore, when Muslims do so, they are arguing in futility. This however, does not take the Muslim’s argumentation as a whole. Muslims argue using sequential logic, they start with one point and then from this point argue another second rational point. The second point follows from the first point, thus it is sequential (in a specific order) and sequitur (one point follows from the other point, they are connected to each other. In Discrete Mathematics, a point is referred to as a premise and the symbol used to demonstrate that they are sequitur can either be -> [if this, then that] or <-> [it follows both ways, i.e. vice versa]). I am not saying that James White is the only person to commit this error, but since the questioner mentioned him specifically, and since I am familiar with him having argued as such, I will subsequently refer to him in this article.

The misunderstanding thus begins when Christian apologists isolate one of the premises or arguments, while ignoring the entire logical sequence being drawn out. So what is the Muslim’s entire argument? Trinitarians believe, as previously mentioned that each “person” of the Trinity is co-equal and absolute in their nature (i.e. perfect beings). The Muslim argument demonstrates that they are not equal and as a consequence of this, they are in a hierarchy, since there is a hierarchy and one is weaker than the other it means two of the three are not absolute in their natures and thus not God. A God is defined as a being absolute in its nature, if a God is not, such as if it does not have absolute knowledge (i.e. the knowledge of everything; see Mark 13:32), then it can no longer be considered a God. The Muslim argument, therefore also follows through to the position that this is polytheism, since Christians are deifying three non-equal beings with one absolute being, and two “partners” who are deficient in nature.

In conclusion, the next time a Christian speaker mentions that Muslims assume or argue from a position of Unitarianism, kindly stop them and ask that they listen to the entire argument and not cherry pick isolated premises from a complete argument. If they insist that they are not, kindly ask them to list the premises being postulated by the Muslim sequentially, this should only be four sentences at the very least. If they can’t articulate the Muslim’s argument, then it is clear they do not grasp it. Since they can’t grasp it, this explains why they fail to respond to it and thus have to create red herrings.

and Allah knows best.

James White Issues Debate Challenge to Ijaz Ahmad

In an email received a few minutes ago, James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries has indicated his intention to issue a debate challenge (one to Sheikh Awal and another to myself) in today’s edition of his religious talk commentary radio show, the Dividing Line. He’s also posted a pre-show statement on his website:

cc-2014-jameswhite-debatechallenge

The crux of the matter is quite clear. Regardless of what last minute cover up and face saving James has to do later today, the fact remains that the original and unedited debate has not been provided to Sheikh Awal. If it has taken this long for the debate to be provided to Sheikh Awal, then any response by James should be taken with a grain of salt. It seems that he’s only willing to defend his actions and to discuss the contentious issues surrounding the event when his integrity is called into question. Whereas when he demeaned the character of the erudite da’ee, Sheikh Awal, he, did not respond in a like manner – Alhamdulillah (praise be to God).

It is with great interest that I will listen to this evening’s program and should the debate challenge be issued by James, I will give an appropriate response in a timely manner.

I do hope that James does have a better excuse than “Sheikh Awal is lying about me”, this evening, because as it stands, he has not yet provided the raw audio-video of the debate to Sheikh Awal, despite his numerous requests.

and Allaah knows best.

Refutation: Where Does Moses Prophesy of Jesus’ Coming?

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

AO Ministry’s Francis Turretin, wasn’t too fond my recent exchange with a Christian missionary. In my exchange, my question essentially was, what was YHWH’s purpose for revealing the Law, according to the Torah itself. Subsequent to this, the missionary claimed that the purpose of the Law was to foretell the coming of Jesus the Christ, I asked for some evidence of this and sadly that particular missionary could not provide any. To his rescue!? If I may call it that is Francis who says:

“There are doubtless many ways in which Moses pointed to Jesus’ coming. The most obvious and explicit one is this:

Deuteronomy 18:15-19
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”

Except that:

  1. The brothers (‘ach in Hebrew) of the Israelites are any of the descendants of Abraham, inclusive of the Arabs.
  2. This verse is not a Messianic Prophecy.
  3. His application of it as a Messianic Prophecy is based on the fallacy of post-hoc eisegesis.
  4. Did Christ send himself, or was he sent by God? As it says ‘God will raise…’, not, ‘the Son’, ‘the Word’, ‘the Mashiach’ or,  ‘Immanuel’, would raise himself.
  5. Did Christ ever speak as a God? If so, then did he speak on behalf of his own identity as a son-God or as the verse says solely on behalf of the Father-God? As it is says, ‘I will put my words in his mouth…’.
  6. Did Christ give divine commands as a son-God or did he solely obey the will of the Father-God? As it says, ‘and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him‘.
  7. Finally, the last line explicitly states that the words the person in the verse being referred to will speak God’s words, as it says, ‘in my name‘ and that God will, ‘require it of him’. Was Christ required as a deity to do the will of another deity?

Sorry Francis, unfortunately your archaic Christian response based on post-hoc eisegesis of the Messiah’s mission will not aid your cause here. You’ve raised more problems than solutions and atleast for the better part of things, given us Muslims believable reasons to reject the dual nature of Christ according to these passages.

Still the question remains unanswered: ‘What does YHWH Say the Purpose of the Law Is?‘ and as a consequential question for our missionary friends, ‘Where does Moses say the Law is to Prophesy About Jesus?‘.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Zakir Hussain Baptises James White

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Well, that didn’t take long! The day after James White’s debate with Br. Zakir Hussain (details here, audio stream here, or right click ‘save as’ to download here), James released an article conceding to his clear ineptitude, inability to respond to well founded research and lack of basic comprehension skills. By basic I mean not being able to find a word and correctly identify its meaning, even after having used a computer to search for it (even though he’s a self claimed expert on the Greek language). I really must question not only his basic comprehension skills, but his lazy and hypocritical attitude as well. Yet, before I do so, let’s examine his statements:

First, having quoted John 1:1 in Greek a few thousand times in my life, I think I ended up trying out for a spot on the TBN team at one point last night, but without an interpreter. My apologies.

Ask a 3 year old Muslim to recite 7 ayat from Surah Fatihah and they would be able to do so with perfect pronunciation (tajweed), which I can demonstrate as being possible here and here, ask James White to repeat something he’s done several thousand times and he can’t. What’s worse is that James White even released a video condemning Shaykh Ahmad Deedat for not pronouncing the Greek of John 1:1 correctly, but James himself could not do so. In the video, he says:

Ahmad Deedat’s comments on John 1:1 were inaccurate and incorrect, you will remember that I documented that he didn’t even have the proper Greek terms…..he was actually unable to handle the Greek language, he claimed to be able to do so…..I’m not sure how you are able to properly understand his (Deedat’s arguments) upon not being able to read the language…..in the process he demonstrates that he (the person in the video, not Deedat) cannot read Greek…..he doesn’t known the difference between a v and a nu , he regularly mispronounces the words and he (the person in the video, not Deedat) just does not know the language.

Unfortunately for James, it seems as if his hypocrisy has shown through his facade of using the Greek language. If he can produce a 9 minute video condemning Shaykh Ahmad Deedat (who never formally studied Greek), as opposed to James claiming to have studied Greek and using one verse’s Greek ‘a few thousand times‘, that either means James has to produce a video condemning himself while retracting the video about Shaykh Ahmad Deedat, or James has to concede that he is largely uneducated in this field. This isn’t a situation of ‘either or’, but a situation of ‘and’. Mr. White’s pretentious use of the Greek language was also exposed by myself earlier in this earlier post. What’s worse is that he can’t read Greek by himself, as James has stated that he needs an interpreter as he wrote himself (as seen above).

 Anyway, Zakir was talking at the speed of sound in the rebuttal period (as my notes show) and it was next to impossible to keep up with the references as they flew by.

James was unable to keep up with the vast amounts of information that Br. Zakir used in his presentation, not only was James unable to match his level of research, or keep up with Br. Zakir’s arguments, James later concedes that he intentionally refused (much like a petulant child) to respond to several of the brother’s arguments. Let’s examine James’ inability to properly search for a word, he writes and I quote:

At one point he raised the issue of the Matthean reference to the prophecy (2:23) about the Nazarene. I did a quick search on my computer looking for the right reference and…got the wrong one in my haste.

As opposed to this baby who can actually use an iPhone to search for a song (you can see the baby scrolling through a list and then selecting what it wants; something which James seems unable to do!):

It’s really embarrassing to note that this man is supposed to be, keyword: ‘supposed’ to be, an intellectual of the Christian religion, a representative of their faith and he’s unable to do something for which he condemns others for. Reminds me very much of Matthew 7:1-5:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Sad to say this James, but this is one time you’re going to have to face the music. James then goes on to say this:

 I did a quick search on my computer looking for the right reference and…got the wrong one in my haste. Oh, I got “branch” alright, but I wrote down the reference below what I wanted in the search list, Isaiah 14:19. My apologies. I didn’t have time to read but a single line, saw “rejected branch,” and scribbled it down.

At this point, you must be questioning James’ rationale. James searches for a word, turns out to be the wrong one, he sees a word/ phrase that looks similar to what he wanted to use and decides to give up on academic standards and just ‘wings it’, his reasoning can be seen as the equivalent to another popular right wing nut, Bill O Reilly! See his rant here:

James then ends that portion of the article with this statement:

 I will set up a donation fund for some prescription mid-range reading glasses.

James, I think you need more than glasses. There are many vocational schools that can help you with your comprehension problem, but as for your integrity and dignity, I can offer you nothing but a broom to sweep the fragments of them off of the floor (I’m sort of cheap, get the scoop yourself).

James then decided to use the age old tactic of anti-intellectual argumentation, by generalizing his opponent’s argument and then belittling his generalization:

Finally, I did not get into the issue of the wavy hair and light skin because, as anyone can see, that kind of description could have been applied to any number of the Muslims attending the debate that night, and even some of the Christians.

This is a problem, as James betrays his own methodology of searching for prophecies of Jesus the Christ in the Jewish Tanach. For example, to witness James’ double standards, in this debate with Br. Shabbir Ali, James refers to the physical description of Christ as a ‘key prophecy’, which allegedly foretold of his ‘coming’. However, apparently when a Muslim uses the same methodology of referring to a ‘physical description’, it’s belittled by James. Why can’t the argument James sources from Deuteronomy also be applied to any of the other Jewish Messiahs? Why his God? Is that not confirmation bias? James has once again betrayed any form of dignity. He continues:

the only real issue is whether the term machamad is actually the name of Muhammad. I obviously argue that such a connection is absurd.

On the same note, David is not Dawud, Echad is not Ahad, Abraham is not Ibrahim, Moses is not Musa, Iyov is not Ayub, Ketuvim is not Kutub, Miriam is not Maryam, of course, such relations are just ‘absurd’, and have nothing to do with two Semitic languages mirroring each other! He continues (to his own peril):

Utilizing verbal roots in this fashion can be used to prove anything, as I have noted already by finding both Shabir Ally and Zakir Hussain in the Old Testament using the same methodology.

Apparently James find such a method quite silly, yet ask him what Shemot (Exodus 3:14) is supposed to mean (note: it’s a series of verbs: ‘ehyeh asher ehyeh’ – I will be who I will be – future perfect tense) and that’s supposed to mean Ego Emi (a present tense statement), referring to Christ’s deity. As opposed to an actual name being used, as is clearly demonstrated above. James then concedes to making more mistakes, it just doesn’t get any better for him:

 But I did want to note two things for the sake of accuracy once again. First, at least two people have mentioned to me that I was in error on an ABN show regarding the root H M D in either Arabic or Hebrew, and I may have been, I haven’t taken the time to go back and try to find the comments.

After being corrected by two persons, and after making grievous mistakes and spreading misinformation on live TV, James still did not review his statements, nor did he try to find what was wrong with his presentation, yet he admits to using the same incorrect information during his debate:

 I do recall doing a program on a particular video on YouTube (well, we quoted material from it anyway)

In ending, James’ article is nothing short of a direct result of being baptised by Br. Zakir. The term ‘baptised’ simply means to be ‘whelmed’ that is, ‘overwhelmed’ (see Strong’s Greek Lexicon: G907, ‘βαπτίζω‘). James White, was baptised into conceding that he was misinformed, deceitful and that he demonstrated clear cut pseudo-intellectualism. Br. Zakir most certainly did excellent to evoke such emotions from James White. Please do check out his debate, you will not be disappointed.

wa Allaahu Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

Was Jesus Crucified? Sami vs White

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Today’s event details can be found here, via the MDI Facebook invite, or here via their Events page:

MDI international speaker, Sami Zaatari debates visting american speaker, Dr James White (Calvinist Scholar) on the historical and theological arguments for truth behind the alleged crucifiction of Jesus.

Debate is hosted by Trinity Road Chapel, in South London.

Date: 19 Sep 2012
Place: Trinity Road Chapel – Trinity Road Chapel, 205 Trinity Rd, London Borough of Wandsworth, London SW17 7HW
Email: Comms@muslimdebate.co.uk

The event would be recorded and uploaded soon, insha Allaah. Br. Sami has our support and du’as, he is very proficient and well versed in this area of discourse and has many years of experience dealing with ignorant Christian missionaries, especially James White. We look forward to Br. Sami’s impending success, insha Allaah (God willing).

wa Allaahu Alam,
and God knows best.

Response to James White’s Dividing Line Program 28-08-2012

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Once again, I’ve rattled the hornet’s nest of Evangelical extremism. This isn’t something I’m unfamiliar with, but this week’s Dividing Line program had me in stitches, allow me to explain why. James White found my article located here, to be ‘condescending‘, ‘insulting‘ and alluded to my writing as being ‘extremist‘. The problem therein is that James White has no problem with the language, the insults, the wild accusations that his friends over at Answering Islam or ABN Tv use (see here and here). In fact, it’s quite well known that James is a friend and ally, even a student and sometimes a teacher of one, a Mr. Sam Shamoun. Those who are familiar with Sam know that he is far removed from any level of dignity. Therefore, it is in that light that I am calling James White out on his hypocrisy. If he does not condemn Sam for the language he and his co-missionaries use, on what grounds of intellectual responsibility does he stand? Nay, on what grounds as a Christian (as he claims himself to be), can he be silent on the acts of his own brothers in faith, but attack Muslims when they use the same form of argumentation? It should also be noted, that I found James to be fond of using the term, ‘double standard’, yet in his rant, he was often more than inconsistent, falling prey to his own double standards.

I’d like to make it clear, that my article was simple:

  • To identify a criteria to determine who God was according to the Old Testament.
  • This criteria had to be unique, solely to YHWH.
  • Demonstrate said quality of YHWH that identifies YHWH solely as God.
  • Compare aforementioned quality to Jesus of the New Testament to see if the same unique quality can be equated.
  • Comment on the findings.

This is all my article did. Based on that, James did not answer my question, in fact he demonstrated his inability to properly respond to basic theological analysis. The premise was simple, if YHWH is God, does He do something only God can declare?  This is exactly what YHWH did, He declared himself to be God in no uncertain terms. The same cannot be said of Jesus, although James did try by referencing Titus 2:13 which reads:

“while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,”

Which isn’t what I asked for. I asked, where did Jesus declared Himself to be God, as YHWH did in the Old Testament. No one says YHWH is God because Abraham, David or Moses call Him God. We know YHWH is the God of the Old Testament because He says so Himself, because He identifies Himself as God almighty. The same cannot be said of Jesus, because at no point does He ever mimic the behaviour of YHWH as a proud God. For hundreds of years, nay, thousands of years, YHWH continuously declared Himself to be Hashem Adonai, Elohiym, etc. Yet the point remains, that despite thousands of years of doing so, he was unable in the person of Jesus to do so once. If they were the same God, why does Jesus not have the same proud, boastful, magnificent, powerful declarations of YHWH? You can find a more expansive study of that argument, with relevant verses here.

Now James did try to counter my questions by referring to quite pathetic straw men. Today, I’m going to analyse some of his straw men and ask him why it is that he could not present a counter question, relevant to mines. You can find his rabid diatribe here, his rant against my article begins at the 48th minute mark.

Argument 1:

  • Is every single Surah of the Qur’an the same? No.

I don’t see what Chapters (Surahs) have to do with fundamental alterations to God’s persona. I did not question James on what Matthew says, as compared to that of Luke, I asked James why YHWH had one persona for thousands of years, and suddenly in the space of 33, could not continue this persona. This has nothing to do with chapters, verses, books, scripture, it’s a question about His deity. Therefore not only is this question irrelevant, it’s a poor attempt at diverting from the issue at hand. Perhaps it was an emotional argument, but nonetheless, it can only give nothing but credence to his weak scholarship.

Argument 2:

  • If you read the Qur’an, in a contextual and chronological fashion you will see a development, the first portions of the Qur’an barely emphasizing tawheed. That specific term does not appear in the Qur’an. The oneness of Allah against polytheists, at that time Muhammad [saws] is a minority Prophet,  and he’s calling the Quraysh and Meccans to true worship.

I’m not sure if James White was at any point intoxicated during this radio program, or if he intentionally was being deceptive. The very first verse to be revealed (see Ahmed Von Deffer’s, “Ulum al Qur’an” for the Chronology of the verses revealed), refers to Allaah as being Lord (singular, i.e. Tawheed):

Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), – Qur’an 96:1.

Not only is Allaah defined as Lord (Rabb), He is also defined as the Creator, and that’s in the very first verse. It gets worse, the second set of verses to be revealed enforce this message once more:

Glorify your Lord – Qur’an 74:3
And persevere in the way of your Lord. – Qur’an  74:7.

Tawheed refers to the oneness of our Lord (Rabb) and I am pretty sure that any functionally literate human sees the singular word, ‘Lord’ and not ‘Lords’. If referring to God as a ‘Lord’, that is: singular, does not emphasize the oneness of God, then James is sacrificing his intellectual integrity for an argument a child would be able to refute. To rub some salt into his intellectual wounds, the next two Surahs which were revealed speak specifically about Tawheed (some say Surah 73 came second and then Surah 74, quoted above):

Lord of the East and Lord of the West – there is no God except Him, therefore make Him your sole Trustee of affairs. –  Qur’an 73:9.

Tawheed is pretty clear, protruding, extant, explicit, in the verse above, even if that does not satisfy him, the very next (forth) revealed Surah mentions it in even more detail:

In the name of Allah, most benevolent, ever-merciful. ALL PRAISE BE to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, Most beneficent, ever-merciful, King of the Day of Judgement. You alone we worship, and to You alone turn for help. Guide us (O Lord) to the path that is straight, The path of those You have blessed, Not of those who have earned Your anger, nor those who have gone astray. – Qur’an 1:1-7.

Here’s a bit of advice James, if you have to lie, atleast make a smart lie, something with some level of ambiguity, something that I may not have knowledge about, but out of all things, do not lie about the Qur’an or early Islam. We have endless access to vast amounts of information that make it almost impossible for you to qualify your deceitful statements.

Argument 3:

  • I mean some Surahs say one thing and another Surah does not contain the exact same thing as another one, that must mean there is some change. Must be a different God.

This is another poorly constructed straw man. My argument was not nor has it ever been differing contents from one chapter to a next, my argument has and will always be, why the change in persona from a boastful, prideful God, to a mute that would not dare declare his deity, as opposed to thousands of years of magnificent declarations?

Argument 4:

  • When jesus comes, there are prophecies, those prophecies identify him as El Gibbor and Father God, Father Eternity. John comes to make straight the way for YHWH. The original followers of Jesus identify him as YHWh and cite texts from the OT and apply them to Jesus.

The problem arises once more, these are not the proud, bold, extant, explicit statements of YHWH, Jesus does not make these statements, nor does he interpret such statements to be about him. The epistles which do so, and the gospels which are written about him, are not the same as his interpretations, or his points of view. Taking post hoc eisegesis by unknown scribes as evidence of a man’s deity is not only lazy scholarship but grasping for straws at the least. It is also  quite abhorrent to identify the original followers of Jesus as being those from whom Tanach prophecies were applied, as we have no proper definition of who a ‘real’ Christians was until 325 AD when a vote decided that. It’s merely wishful thinking to assume that a decision of who a real Christian was, some 290 years after the man’s ministry, somehow transforms him into a God.

Argument 5:

  • So is your argument, really that Jesus should have just popped into existence.

After roughly 10 minutes of ranting, James finally asks an intelligent question. He wants to know what my argument is. See, this makes sense, all the previous questions he has asked are unintelligible and not related to what I asked in my article. I applaud James for conceding that he has faulty argumentation and for not knowing what my argument actually was. My argument is not that Jesus should have just popped into existence, my argument is why does he never say he is God, like YHWH does in the 12 verses I gave (not to mention the vast amounts of others I am willing to provide)?

Argument 6:

  • Is he just supposed to pop out with a big sign and say I am God, worship me? That’s the only way God can do these things. I am God, worship me. Is that the only way God can really do this thing? It is not possible, that the God man can come and actually come to veil his glory.

Again James, your inability to answer my question and to divert by promoting a straw man, leads me to further understand why Paul Williams refuses to share a stage with you. Such a low level of academia should not be entertained. I will quote myself:

 I asked for where Jesus declared Himself to be God, as YHWH did in the Old Testament. No one says YHWH is God because Abraham, David or Moses call Him God. We know YHWH is the God of the Old Testament because He says so Himself, because He identifies Himself as God almighty. The same cannot be said of Jesus, because at no point does He ever mimic the behaviour of YHWH as a proud God. For hundreds of years, nay, thousands of years, YHWH continuously declared Himself to be Hashem Adonai, Elohiym, etc. Yet the point remains, that despite thousands of years of doing so, he was unable in the person of Jesus to do so once. If they were the same God, why does Jesus not have the same proud, boastful, magnificent, powerful declarations of YHWH?

What is worse is that James mentions that God may have wanted to ‘veil‘ His glory. Veil here means to ‘cover‘, so God who is Eternally Majestic, would like to ‘hide’ His majesty? Logically speaking, to be Eternal is a constant, i.e. never ending and to ‘hide’ is to alter this constancy and thus be rendered as non-eternal. Therefore James provides another reason why YHWH is not Jesus, YHWH declares Himself to be eternal:

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. – Genesis 21:33.

While Jesus is not eternal in His attributes, but veiled and hidden, atleast according to James White.

Argument 7:

  • Is it possible, just slightly possible, Ijaz, that God doesn’t want to present his son in this fashion? That maybe the idea of faith, is to be something other than just simply accepting some massively overpowering display.

So James at one point, hit a note of desperation and decided to throw an emotional argument into the mix. Yet the Bible refutes James once more, it says:

Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? – Exodus 15:11.

YHWH is defined as an eternal God, eternally Majestic, Eternal in Glory, yet James’ version of YHWH is timid and veiled, not overpowering, which is different from the powerful and magnificent YHWH:

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. – Deuteronomy 10:17.

Argument 8:

  • When your quran says your prophet came with no other miracle than the qur’an, now narrations came up with all sorts of stuff that he allegedly did but that was later on. That’s odd isn’t it….Why isn’t there any glowing massive demonstration that Muhammad is the final prophet outside of well, just the Qur’an, which I just read and don’t find all that impressive?

I’m not sure what YHWH being God and Jesus not declaring himself as such, has to do with miracles of the Prophets. Doing miracles does not make one a Prophet, even the Bible attests to this:

They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. – Revelation 16:14.

Similarly, your argument that the ahadith came later on, is not only ignorant of the early transmission of the Sunnah, but ignorant of the fact that the argument backfires against you. Another one of your ‘double standards‘, recall that the stories of Jesus’ life were produced decades after his ‘worldly ministry’, since you lay claim to the notion that time affects validity, then your claim to miracles being a criteria can be equally as dismissed through dated record by scribes about your New Testament.

Argument 9:

  • Marcionite was not an actual Christian. We should hold all those little Muslim sects and cults to be Muslims as well. The great double standard.

Marcion was a Christian, the formal declaration of a Christian which you now hold to was only decided at the Council of Nicea. The same Catholic Church which you refer to as apostate and following the devil, is the same Church’s definition you use to define who a true Christian was, before 325 AD. The same Catholic patristics you demonise are the ones who opposed Marcion. Yet Marcion had vast amounts of followers and was the first man to codify as scripture, the New Testament you use today. Clearly if you want to talk about double standards, you must question yourself first.

In closing the question that sparked this article and a radio show, remains unanswered. Why is it that the YHWH of the Tanach is able for thousands of years to declare Himself as an Eternal, Majestic, Mighty, Powerful, Jealous, Vengeful God, with explicit, extant and clear statements, but Jesus, in 33 years, is unable to do so, not even once? James did indicate he may continue his ‘response’ to me on Thursday, if that is the case, is he planning to actually answer the crux of the argument then, or would I have to seep through his straw men to find it?

wa Allaahu Alam,
and God knows best.

Punishing the Female Rape Victim in Islam

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

It is unfortunate that for people who profess objectivity and sincerity in their study, research and pursuit of knowledge that there continues to be a great perversion of the understanding of Islamic Shari’ah laws and its applications. Proponents of the modern secular system, or of varying theological political systems, seemingly cannot produce a consistent stance on judging the use or misuse of the Islamic Shari’ah, while wholly regarding it to be unfair, unjust and backwards. Demonstrably, it can be noted that their own justice systems produce often, curious if not peculiar judgements. In one case, a mother can be sentenced to jail for a period of 5 years, for stealing clothing from a store for her children at a value of  $102 dollars. While at the same time a Wall Street tycoon who has defrauded enough persons to make himself a billionaire, was sentence to a period of only, 11 years. What then, can we say is logical about this? Based on this one example of a judgement that is neither proportional to the crimes when compared and contrasted nor morally justifiable, can I then generalize the American justice system as being inhumane, profiteering and socially inept?

To further this discussion with more evidences relevant to the topic at hand, let’s examine sexual assault cases, in particular rape. This child rapist was sentenced to only 5 to 7 years in prison, the same amount of time as the woman who stole $102 dollars worth of goods. This rapist was sentenced to only 9 years in prison, while defrauding persons of hundreds of millions of dollars and sending families into distress, bankruptcy and insolvency will earn you the same amount of jail time. Continuing with this trend, we can deduce that according to the modern secular system, stealing and rape are upon the same field of justice. Considering these tragic acts, let’s examine the Islamic position on rape in the modern world. To rape in Islamic law is to have committed “ightisaab”, which means to forcefully transgress and take a woman’s honour from her (rape). The crime is punishable by death but doesn’t have to be punished by death, the punishment however has to be severe as to deter anyone else from attempting this crime. Therefore, there can be no equivalence between stealing and rape, a woman’s honour is not the same as stealing an apple, or clothing as it is seen in the secular justice system.

Islamic Shari’ah rule, is intended to govern a state by Islamic law, where the ulema (religious leaders) who are fuqaha (jurists), establish courts where a qadhi (judge) can make binding rulings (fatawa) on behalf of the state against a criminal and establish justice in the society. This understanding is based upon the Qur’anic statements:

“And so judge (you O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) among them by what Allaah has revealed” – [al-Maa’idah 5:49].

“And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers — of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allaah’s Laws)” – [al-Maa’idah 5:44].

“And whosoever does not judge by that which Allaah has revealed, such are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers — of a lesser degree)” – [al-Maa’idah 5:45].

“And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed (then) such (people) are the Fâsiqûn [the rebellious i.e. disobedient (of a lesser degree)] to Allaah” – [al-Maa’idah 5:47].

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission” – [al-Nisa’ 4:65].

“Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people who have firm Faith” – [al-Maa’idah 5:50].

To make this succinct and easy to grasp, the discussion will be broken up into several questions:

  • What do the Islamic scholars (Ulema) say on the punishment of rape?
  • Are four witnesses needed to prove rape?
  • Are women who do not wear hijab responsible for their rape?
  • Is the woman to be punished for rape?
  • Forced marriage to rapist?
  • Further reading.

What do the Islamic scholars (Ulema) say on the punishment of rape?

Yûsuf ibn `Abd Allâh ibn Muhammad Ibn `Abd al-Barr  Abû `Umar al-Namarî al-Andalusî al-Qurtubî al-Mâlikî (may Allaah be pleased with him), a prominent Islamic jurist, of whom Imam al Qurtubi cites/ references about 500 times in his tafsir has stated in Al-Istidhkâr li Madhhab `Ulamâ’ al-Amsâr fîmâ Tadammanahu al-Muwatta’ min Ma`ânî al-Ra’î wal-Athâr (“The Memorization of the Doctrine of the Scholars of the World Concerning the Juridical Opinions and the Narrations Found in Mâlik’s Muwatta'”),  7/146:

The scholars are unanimously agreed that the rapist is to be subjected to the hadd punishment if there is clear evidence against him that he deserves the hadd punishment, or if he admits to that. Otherwise, he is to be punished (i.e., if there is no proof that the hadd punishment for zina may be carried out against him because he does not confess, and there are not four witnesses, then the judge may punish him and stipulate a punishment that will deter him and others like him). There is no punishment for the woman if it is true that he forced her and overpowered her, which may be proven by her screaming and shouting for help.

Are four witnesses needed to prove rape?

Mufti Taqi Uthmani [db] in his discussion during an interview on Pakistan’s implementation of the Protection of Women Bill 2006, expounded upon his rulings and the rulings of other Islamic judges:

‎”I myself had been directly hearing cases registered under Hudood Ordinance, first as a Judge of Federal Shariah Court and then for seventeen years as a member of Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court. In this long tenure, not once did I come across a case in which a rape victim was awarded punishment simply because she was unable to present four witnesses.

In fact it was not possible to do so. First, according to the Hudood Ordinance, the condition of four witnesses only applied to enforcing the hadd for rape. Clause 10(3), which awarded the ta’zeer punishment, did not have this requirement; the crime could be proven through one witness, medical reports, and chemical analysis report. Consequently most rape criminals were awarded punishment as per this clause.

Further, a woman claiming rape could not be punished under Qazf (false accusation of zina) since Exemption 2 in Qazf Ordinance Clause 3 clearly stated that if someone approaches the legal authorities with a rape complaint, she could not be punished in case she was unable to present four witnesses.”

To compound this statement, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (may Allaah be pleased with him) has stated:

“This is a common myth about Islamic criminal law. Rather, the four witness requirement applies only to the prescribed hadd punishment (which in the case of a married person could be death and for the non-married, 100 lashes). [Marghinani, Hidaya] This punishment is only applied in very rare cases, as is clear, and is meant to be a social deterrent, above all.

As the classical and contemporary jurists (such as Mufti Taqi Usmani) have made clear, a rapist can be convicted on lesser evidence (including scientific evidence, such as DNA tests and medical reports) for discretionary punishments. These discretionary punishments are left up to the legal system to determine.

However, it is a myth to say that Islam would in any way condone rape, or allow a rapist to go free for this terrible crime against an innocent human being and against society.”

This therefore rests the case, of the issue with 4 witnesses being needed to prove rape, indeed rape can be proven using modern scientific methods and other evidences, as seen above, as being agreed upon by Islamic fuqaha (jurists).

Are women who do not wear hijab responsible for their rape?

Mufti Muhammad Kadwa and Mufti Ebrahim Desai (may Allaah be pleased with them both) have stated:

These are two separate issues; rape and the lack of Hijaab. The rapist will be punished for his heinous crime whilst the woman will be sinful not for rape, but for failure to observe the rules of Hijaab. Failure to wear Hijaab in no way justifies the heinous crime of rape.

Is the woman to be punished for rape?

Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) has said in Al-Muwatta’, 2/734:

In our view the man who rapes a woman, whether she is a virgin or not, if she is a free woman he must pay a “dowry” like that of her peers, …. The punishment is to be carried out on the rapist and there is no punishment for the woman who has been raped, whatever the case.

Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has also decreed punishments for persons who have committed rape, while freeing the woman of any punishment:

“Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr (may Allaah be pleased with him):
When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered (raped) her. She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That (man) did such and such to me.

And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her. She said: Yes, this is he. Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him).

When he (the Prophet) was about to pass sentence, the man who (actually) had assaulted her stood up and said: Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her.

He (the Prophet) said to her: Go away, for Allah has forgiven you. But he told the man some good words (AbuDawud said: meaning the man who was seized), and of the man who had had intercourse with her, he said: Stone him to death.”  – (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith #4366, Kitab al Hudud [38]).

Forced Marriage to Rapist?

While Islam punishes the rapist, we do hear of some really peculiar instances where the woman is married to the man. This has no basis in Islamic law, nor does it comply with Islamic reasoning, according to this fatwa by Mufti Ebrahim Desai [db]:

“Knowing the importance and sacredness of a marriage commitment, the boy and girl having consulted with their seniors and making Istikhaara, should make their own independent choice.

They should not be compelled to marry against their wishes as the consequences (non-compatibility, divorce, disputes, custody of children, etc.) are too ghastly to bear. Parents should not compel their children to marry against their wishes due to economic status reasons.”

As well as this fatwa by the same Mufti (Islamic Jurist):

“As an adult, you have an independent right to choose your marriage partner. You should not be forced into marrying someone against your choice. Those forcing you are guilty of depriving you of your Shar’ee right and committing a major sin,

You should simply say no if you are not confident of marrying against your choice. The consequences of forced marriages are too ghastly. There are great possibilities of a marital breakdown. That will lead to disunity among many families. The matter will be clouded even more if there is a child born through the marriage. Considering the many negative consequences of a forced marriage, you should never give in to being forced to marry against your wish. It will be you and no one else who will have to bear the burdens in future. You may forward this email to those forcing you to marry against your wishes.”

However, to contrast the Islamic position, let’s look at this excerpt from the Jewish and Christian religious text, Old Testament (Torah), Deuteronomy (Devarim), Chapter 22, Verses 28 – 29:

“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”

Further Reading:
http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/12/testimony-of-rape-victim/
http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/archives/2006/does-islam-require-four-witnesses-for-rape/
http://thedebateinitiative.com/2012/03/12/is-the-shariah-inhumane-you-decide/ 

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

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