Tag Archives: Apostles

Debate Review: What Was the True Faith of Jesus’s Disciples? – Br. Yahya Snow

I review a debate entitled “What Was The True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples?

The Debaters:

  • Br. Ijaz Ahmad of Calling Christians
  • Rev. Steven Martins of Nicene International Ministries Canada.

Note: I did the bulk of the review a while ago but never managed to finish it in the detail I would have liked but never got back to it through procrastination and other priorities I’ve quickly tidied up what I had and rolled it out.

“None of the Apostles could have written or sanctioned these stories about themselves” – Br. Ijaz Ahmad

Were the Gospel Accounts eye-witness reports

Steven Martins’ approach was to draw upon the New Testament in his attempt to present what he believes the disciples believed. Steven believes the Gospels are the historical eye-witness records of  the disciples. This was rejected outright by Ijaz Ahmad who pointed out the 4 Gospels were not contemporary to Jesus p and nor are the writers of these Gospels known so how can somebody take these works as eye-witness accounts? None of the authors of the documents which make up the NT were eye-witnesses. Paul himself indicates this of himself (and his writings are the earliest written amongst the NT writings). On top of this the authors of the 4 Gospels are anonymous (these names Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were later given to the anonymous authors). So weighing up all these points it’s sad to hear Steven insist these writings were eye-witness accounts. Perhaps this is what he was taught by his mentors and other Christian apologists but that does not make it true.

Also, just knowing these two basic facts would preclude one from claiming the authors were eye-witnesses – the Gospels are written by highly literate Greek speakers while the companions of Jesus were considered to be illiterate and Aramaic speakers (these people were lower class men). This suggestion they were unschooled is backed up by the writer of Acts as Ijaz cites:

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13]

This may seem odd to us folk living in the 21st Century but the vast majority of the ancient world did not know how to read and write.

Ijaz Ahmad offers an analysis that many may have never come across – the alleged chains of transmission of the Gospel accounts. 4 out of the 6 lead to what Trinitarians would call heretical beliefs and the other two are anonymous – further highlighting the range of differing beliefs amongst early Christians. Ijaz states these chains of transmission indicate Peter, Matthew and John rejected a belief in the death of Jesus (which as Ijaz says, it sounds like they had an Islamic belief!).

Do the Gospels contain myths and legends

Ijaz argues there are erroneous stories in the Gospels. One of Steven Martins’ arguments against the claim the Gospels contains myth and legend is that there was not enough time between Jesus’ life and the recording of the Gospels for myth and legend to enter. He then concludes the Gospels are historical based on this.

Has Steven considered William Lane Craig’s unease at the biggest resurrection story in all of Christian literature – that of the resurrection of the many saints in Matthew. He finds it difficult to accept as a literal event, see here:

William Lane Craig Doubts Resurrection Story is Historical (‘The Resurrection of the Saints’) Matthew 27

Now, if Steven Martins believes this story literally then why does nobody else mention it? A story of many dead people coming out of their graves, is that not something that would get people writing according to Steven? Or does he think this is a myth that was added to the account?

However, a point that it is not unrelated to Steven’s theory, Ijaz Ahmad ran through early Christian history pointing out there were multiple competing Christian traditions which all differed from each other – there were even Gospels which differed from each other. So if at the time of Paul there were different Gospels (now lost) then how can Steven be so confident to believe there are no myths and legends in the four Gospels he has ended up with?

In addition the theology amongst various Christian groups in early Christianity was radically different to the Trinitarian theology the majority of modern-day Christians subscribe to.

There were Christian groups which believed in 2 gods, 12gods and 365 gods. Ijaz Ahmad mentions the Arian controversy as a case in point to demonstrate rival factions were competing with each other. This is a good example to highlight as Arianism is Non-Trinitarian and it drew upon the same scriptures as the Trinitarian faction/s as well as it being a good demonstration of how popularity and a sympathy with the ruling elite promoted one faction over another

Arianism taught that Jesus was created by God and was distinct from God. This belief had it’s scriptural basis in John 14:28

These varying theologies within early Christianity should be something Steven should look into further.

Ijaz taught Paul did not mention or use the four Gospels which modern-day Christians use today so even Paul did not sanction these Gospels. Is it possible Paul was unaware of these Gospels? Not that Paul is a criterion of right and wrong but is it possible Paul would have considered some of the writings in the four Gospels spurious?

Another point mentioned, by Steven I think, Paul abolished circumcision. The question is, who gave him authority to do so?

These are further points for Steven to consider.

Object of worship?

Steven Martins claims throughout the Gospels Jesus is the object of worship – paradoxically he mentions this in the same breath as his mentioning of Satan tempting Jesus p. Think about it, he effectively claimed Jesus was God and Jesus was tempted by Satan. Playing games with the belief of the hypostatic union is not going to get the Bible believing Trinitarian away from this problem. Ijaz Ahmad refers to original language of the scripture to show Steven that the word he uses does not denote the type of worship God receives.

‘Son of God’ title

Steven emphasises the ‘Son of God’ attribution given to Jesus in one of the Gospel narratives after Jesus performed a miracle (walked on water) but this just simply meant somebody who was chosen by God – as taught by Prof. Bart Erhman.

The Gospel of John

 

Rather predictably, Martins in his attempt to prove Jesus was divine, leans heavily on the Gospel of John. Almost as though the Gospel of Mark (the earliest Gospel) does not exist!

The irony is, Steven Martins tells Ijaz Ahmad to give priority to the earlier sources (Gospels) when Ijaz brought up the church history. Sadly, many Christians don’t do this with the Gospels and they lean disproportionately to the last Gospel – John’s Gospel.

Another Christian apologetics argument presented is that some doubted in the story where Jesus is said to have been worshipped. Martins claims the story must be true because it mentions ‘doubt’. I guess he’s utilizing the idea of a criterion of embarrassment argument here.

Martins rattles off the ‘he who has seen me has seen the Father’ argument in his attempt to prove Jesus was divine. Similarly Martins uses the Gospel teaching of  Jesus pre-existing before his birth and the ‘I am’ statements.

Martins states Jesus was omnipotent and omniscient as well as being capable of forgiving sins in order to prove his Trinitarian case. Martins also claims Jesus was called by the name of God, ‘my Lord my God’

Steven Martins would do well to look at where these things are written. Are they written in the Gospel of Mark, the earliest Gospel, or the latest one which is the most Christologically developed whose author is effectively described as a liar by Christian apologist Mike Licona (accused of changing stories to make theological points – thus he was forging stories to get his theology across).This anonymous author (later named John) is not the person Steven wants to be going to to get important aspects of theology or proof texts!

What Every Christian Should Know About The Gospel Of John

Peter
Gleeson Archer is cited by Martins to support the claim that the authorship of 2 Peter should not be corrected. Bart Ehrman teaches us that virtually all scholars (with the exception of conservative evangelicals) are unified that 2 Peter is not from Peter. The bombshell is that Prof.Ehrman does not believes 1 and 2 Peter are not written by Peter at all as hebelieves Peter was illiterate.

And would Ijaz’s citation of Acts not support the view that disciples were illiterate?

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13]

Miracles
Martins acknowledges other Prophets performed miracles but he tries to draw a distinction between the miracles performed by Jesus and the other Prophets. Martins intimates, erroneously, that these were done by Jesus independently while the miracles of the other Prophets were done by the authority of God. Has Steven got any proof of this? Does he even have a quotation attributed to Jesus to this effect?
There is something in the Gospel of John that militates against Steven’s claim:
but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” [10:32]
Steven Martins starts talking about the Quran
I’m not sure why he did this but he just presented dated and already refuted Christian missionary material.
Martins mentions the Quran 10:94 and 5:47. Martins claims the Bible was already in existence at the time of the Quran revealed. Martins just presents the standard intellectually dishonest and shallow Christian apologist material on this.
Ijaz touches on this here:

https://callingchristians.com/2013/02/14/does-quran-validate-bible/

Bassam Zawadi here:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/refuting_the_argument_regarding_the_qur_an_ordering_the_jews_and_christians_to_judge_by_their_scriptures

I think Steven Martins also used one of these missionary arguments too:

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/does_the_quran_affirm_the_teachings_of_paul_

Steven Martins and IjazAhmad on Paul of Tarsus
Ijaz Ahmad focuses on the historicity of multiple traditions within early Christianity which were competing against each other contemporaneously. To support this claim, Ijaz cites Paul twice

Galatians 1:6

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel [ESV]

Romans 2:16

on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. [ESV]

Ijaz makes a point worthy of consideration, when Paul mentions ‘gospel’ he’s not referencing the 4 we see in the New Testament as he wrote his letters prior to those 4. Ijaz supports this conclusion through the absence of references from those 4 Gospels within Paul’s letters. So here, ‘my gospel’ is referring to ‘my teachings of Christ’.
Steven Martins offers his argument for Paul being truthful, yet if Steven thinks about it, the throwing yourself into hardship from comfort argument can be used with much greater force to show Prophet Muhammad (p) was truthful. Think about it, just read his life  – the Prophet risked his life and was rejected by his tribe. The argument Steven presents is better suited for Prophet Muhammad (p). If Steven is consistent and objective he would accept Prophet Muhammad (p).
When Reverend Steven Martins wrongly claimed Paul’s writing constituted 75% of the NT it suggested to me that Reverend Steven Martins WAS just eager to deliver a response to defend his already-held world view. Is Steven at home thinking about the points presented deeply and re-evaluating his beliefs, is he searching for the truth or is he simply searching for material to offer in defence of his already-held beliefs?
Ijaz argues Paul turned towards the Gentiles in his preaching because he was weak in his arguments and thus was rejected by the Jews, hence why he turned towards the Gentiles – whom Ijaz believes Paul considered to be an easier audience. Interestingly enough, the Gentiles came from pagan backgrounds where mythology was rampant, this fits in with why the stories about Jesus (p) would have presented him as a god-man, the pagans were accustomed to such stories.
This also ties in with the discussion Ijaz and Steven have on why Paul did not quote from the Gospels. The hardest hitting point as made by Ijaz: Paul was being rejected by the Jews yet he never quoted from the Gospels, why would he not quote something that he believes to be authority to people who were rejecting him?

Disingenuous claim by Christians about Bart Ehrman
I’ve heard this before from Christian apologists. Steven Martins makes the same appeal, claiming even Ehrman believed in the death of Jesus p. However, what Christian apologists always do, they never mention that Ehrman is not accepting miracles and thus is of course going to believe a man who was born over 2000 years ago has died. Thus Ehrman, as a historian, accepts the most popular early story about Jesus p and thus he believes he died. Christians really should stop making this point, it’s not like Ehrman believes in the resurrection belief despite the story of the resurrection is in the same account as the death by crucifixion story.
Controlled or Uncontrolled Texts
Ijaz Ahmad offers a good rebuttal to the James White-style attempt in trying to take a positive out of the lack of a controlled text within early Christianity. The Quran, which was controlled in it’s copying, was scribed in a more suitable environment for accuracy. Chunks were being added to the Gospels by dishonest scribes, so clearly the environment in which the scribes were operating in did not offer restrictions against such doctoring of texts.
If I recall correctly Steven mentioned Uthman. Many Christians are fed misinformation regarding Uthman’s burning of manuscripts. Here’s an expert to explain it:

Why did the Third Caliph Uthman Burn the Copies of Quran?

A really bad argument by Steven pounced on by Ijaz
Martins appeals to the fact that Herod, Pontius Pilate, the pool of Siloam are mentioned in the Gospel accounts as being testimony to the historicity of the Gospels. This is an odd argument – it’s absurdly odd.
To be honest, Steven opened himself up to ridicule when he continued with the argument that geographical locations being mentioned in the Gospels as being evidence for their authenticity. Ijaz hit back by pointing out that the same argument could be used on Harry Potter as it includes King’s Cross station (London). What I’d like to know is, from where did Steven get this line of argumentation? Was it an argument from a Christian apologetics school which he accepted blindly?  And would Steven be consistent enough to now claim Islam is true because in Islamic sources real people and real places are mentioned?

The Christian tradition in 7th century Arabia
I feel it’s misleading when Christian apologists bang on about how their canon was formed by this time and thus assume people in Arabia had the modern-day Bible in their possession in the 7th century as though they were Trinitarian Pauline Christians exactly as we find them in a Baptist church somewhere in Texas.

Christians really need to stop making this assumption and they need to stop basing arguments on this erroneous assumption that all Christians had the same books.
Ijaz Ahmad refutes the superficial (and intellectually dishonest) argument It’s obvious this is not the case. Ijaz mentions Christians and Jews converting to Islam during the time of Prophet Muhammad. I would recommend Reverend Steven Martins looks into the story of Salmam Al Farsi, who converted to Christianity, before the coming of Prophet Muhammad, from a Zoroastrian tradition.
Salman Al-Farsi, the son of a Zoroastrian priest, met a Christian monk inPersia and converted to Christianity at the hands of the monk. Salman Al-Farsi ran away to Syria and joined the monk’s Christian sect which was dying sect. Salman Al-Farsi learned, from his Christian sect, of a Prophet to come who was predicted by Jesus (p). He was told of three signs the Prophet would meet:

He shall appear in a land full of dates.

He will have a physical mark on his back.

This man will accept gifts but never accept charity.
From Syria, Salman Al-Farsi ended up in Yathrib after being enslaved. He wound up toiling away as a slave for decades. A time came when talk spread about Prophet Muhammad (p) emigrating to Medina. Salman Al-Farsi heard of this talk and came to Prophet Muhammad (p), he soon realised Prophet Muhammad (p) fulfilled all three signs and converted to Islam.
Salman’s story indicated how few real Christians were left at the time of Prophet Muhammad (p).

Another story illustrating this was that of the Emperor Heraclius, who received a letter from Prophet Muhammad (p). In the account, Heraclius mentions that there are Scriptures in which a Prophet is predicted to come after Jesus (p) and that Prophet Muhammad (p) fits the description.

Both stories indicate that there were Scriptures that the majority of Christians at the time did not have access.

http://thefactsaboutislam.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/christianity-before-islam-in-arabia.html

City of Village?

The difference between a village of a city – the village of Bethsaida. Ijaz Ahmad picks on the author of John for making an error of anachronism. Luke also calls it a city. Perhaps it was one of those loose Gospel scribes writing after it was changed to a city. Whatever the case may well be (the Gospel authors or the scribes), it’s an interesting point raised by Ijaz Ahmad to possibly further impugn the reliability of those texts.
Ijaz accuses the author of John of an anachronistic error regarding the city of Bethsaida and Ijaz spends some time relaying discrepancies concerning the Gospel accounts. I think he could have offered more examples to the audience of discrepancies but perhaps he wanted to focus on stories involving companions of Jesus rather than the standard show of contradictions between the Gospels such as what Barth Ehrman presents here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuvEmajcaiQ
If clear evidence is shown of discrepancies and changes within the Gospels then the question the truth-seeker may ask is, how can these texts be trusted to think they weren’t changed in other ways to the extent that the texts do not even represent the theology of Jesus?

Conclusion

What’s established from the debate, the Trinitarian narrative is not sound. The Gospels are not reliable. There were competing Gospels and traditions. Basing one’s beliefs entirely on the New Testament is effectively accepting conjecture.

Ijaz Ahmad

Clearly he, for such a young man, has a burgeoning apologetics CV. He and Zakir Hussain could well be the mainstay of Muslim debates with Christians for the next few decades.
It’s also nice to hear an accent other than a North American or British accent.
I think Ijaz rushed his positive case for the disciples being Muslims. Ijaz shows links between Jewish Christianity and Islam. His focus was heavily leaning on refuting Reverend Steven Martins and the Trinitarian narrative – this he achieved easily in clearly demonstrating the Trinitarian narrative is not sound.
Another point I would pick on here, Ijaz went for the more complex points which for an audience tuned in to apologetics may well have been suitable but I’d imagine the majority of the live audience and those viewers of the recorded debate are not too familiar with the bread and butter points regarding Gospel contradictions and textual criticism.

Ijaz possesses faith shattering information for the Christian, it would be wise to always ensure the audience is invited to Islam at the end of the debate. Most apologists and debaters don’t do this but surely we want them to come to the truth of Islam rather than not invite them to the truth after effectively destroying their faith.

Where does Ijaz go from here? Well, I’d imagine on his island the scope for engaging with seasoned apologists is quite limited so I’d personally like him to debate local pastors. People want to see apologists debate but let’s see Muslims go to churches to dialogue with pastors (who have flocks of people following them). I would also hope the pastors aren’t marred by some of the dishonest arguments Christian apologists are plagued with today so the discussion is easier – less rubbish to wade through before engaging the Christians productively.
Ijaz has charisma and seems like a nice guy too so these qualities could well endear him to Christians which can only be a good thing in witnessing the truth of Islamic monotheism to Christians

Steven Martins of Nicene International Ministries

For me, Steven was visibly struggling in this debate. This should be a sign to Steven that he’s not on the right side of the fence.

I think he’s a victim of bad information from those who has learned from. The person who gave him the argument he was making based on the mention of geographical locations should be banned from apologetics!

I really think Steven should not debate again. He’s better off just remove himself from Christian apologetics and begin a search for the truth. Think about some of the questions raised. Think about why Jesus p never mentioned a man called Paul or 4 books that he wanted people to believe were ‘Gospels’.

Research Islam with an open heart and mind.

From my experience with Christians, it appears many have been hooked by emotional preaching. It’s not that they have been convinced intellectually to accept the idea of the Trinity or the god-man concept.

Think deeper.

Reverend Steven Martins on the History of Mecca

Rebuking Rev. Steven Martins of Evangelium & Apologia Ministries – ‘Western Values’

Christian apologetics to Muslims, more women in Hell Hadith

Tackling Christian Apologetics on Polygamy (Polygyny) in the Bible and the Quran

More about the Paraclete

Prophecies of the Messiah – Reza Aslan

Christians having dreams and converting to Islam

Learn about Islam

Email: yahyasnow@yahoo.co.uk

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.]

James White’s Futility and Inconsistency

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
This video analyses James White’s evidences, his pivots during his opening statement with Br. Shabir Ally during their debate, “Did Jesus Claim Deity?”. An indepth write up to be published on Monday/ Tuesday 26th/ 27th of March fully explaining, and refuting his arguments. I was planning to write up a full response, but I’m terribly busy, please see our video response to James White instead, thanks.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Refutation: Muslim Dawagandist Shabir Ally’s War With Himself

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Missionary Sam Shamoun is making strides again in deceiving himself and his waning fellowship.  In this insulting article, Sam Shamoun sought to solely attack the character and person of Br. Shabir Ally, all the while having to stoop into cheap academics and wanton fraud by misusing the Brother’s words and the Bible’s words. It’s one thing to twist the Qur’an for your own profit, but to twist your own scripture, this has to be a new low for Sam. Let’s take a look at what Br. Shabir has said. These are the Brother’s insights into Deuteronomy 18:18 and Acts 3:

“Now many Christians think, well that, Jesus was that prophet, but obviously he was not. Isa left the scene, and according to Acts of the Apostles in chapter 3 we read that Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, is saying that Isa will remain in heaven until that time of restoration comes–and he is describing that time of restoration as meaning the time when God will send that prophet! So that means Peter, the disciple of Jesus, the chief disciple, is still expecting that that prophet will come, and then eventually Isa will come back again. So we see clearly that the prophet Muhammad is mentioned in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. And if they really truly believe in the Scriptures, we Muslims should be asking them to please recognize also the prophet Muhammad, because the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verse 19 says that if you do not recognize that prophet, God will require it of you. In other words, he will bring you to judgment.” (Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible? Shabir Ally answers, posted on Sept. 20, 2010)

Now in the Old Testament, it is mentioned that Moses was told by God that God will send either a series of prophets, or another prophet. It’s often translated that God will send another prophet in Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18, a prophet like Moses. But some say that what is meant here is not just one prophet but a series of prophets, but is spoken about as though it is singular. We say, okay, suppose it’s a series of prophets? Well then it goes up until Jesus, and many have said, okay Jesus is that prophet. Then we can say why not Muhammad, because Muhammad is very similar to Moses? In fact, Musa came with a law, Muhammad came with a law. They were both prophets and statesmen at the same time; they were governing, and so they have a lot of similarity. If we come to Jesus and say Jesus is like Moses, and Jesus is the prophet like Moses, well then we just need to go one step further and recognize the prophet Muhammad as well.” (Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?, posted on Dec. 22, 2011)

To expound upon Brother Ally’s argument, we have to turn to the verses which he cites and the explanations for them:

” I will set up a prophet for them from among their brothers like you, and I will put My words into his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.” – Bible : Deuteronomy/ Devarim 18:18

This verse is extremely pertinent to the Islamic and Christian narrative of Prophethood. While in itself, requires an entire discussion, I will try my best to lay the foundation of understanding quite succinctly. The verse in question makes the statement, “…from among their brothers likes you…”. Around this one phrase, many various interpretations can be derived. However we’ll work with the Hebrew words used. What exactly does this phrase mean? You see, had the verse read, “from among you”, there would be no question that it refers to one of the Hebrew tribes of Israel, however it uses the term, “…from among their brothers like you…”, which in hebrew would read, “כּמו כּמו  אח (‘ach kemo – kamo)”. The brothers of the Hebrew people are the Arabs, they are both Semitic and as far as history dictates we know of no Prophet after Moses which came from any other Semitic background besides Muhammad {saw}. What is interesting is that if you are an Arab, the word, “akhi”, further solidifies this case, as the word also means, “brother” or “brethren”. From Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon we read:

 “a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance (like H1)): – another, brother (-ly), kindred, like, other.”

Even the phrase “kemo/ kamo (likeness) adds to this discussion, it stirs the fire or so to speak. The verse is literally saying, “a kin who is like you”. In fact, Martin Buber, a Jewish philosopher, sent a letter to Ghandi speaking on the willingness of his Arab brothers to work with the Jewish people:

“The Jewish farmers have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab farmers, to cultivate the land more intensively.” – Jewish Virtual Library.

If anyone even had a doubt that they were ever brothers, as I am sure Sam would try his best to show, he would not only have to refute historical data as provided above, but also scientific data as well. The case therefore, for a Semitic Prophet who is from the people who are “like” the Hebrew peoples, clearly establishes the basis from Judaic principles for an Arab prophet. We now turn to Acts, Chapter 3, Verses 19- 20 which raises further questions:

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,  and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.”

To the untrained mind, the first response would be that this simply predicts Jesus’ coming. However this verse is from Acts of the Apostles, literally, the time of the Apostles after Jesus’ earthly ministry. The problem however, arises when we take a look at other versions of this rendition. The Syriac, Arabic and Ethiopian manuscripts mention Jesus instead of Messiah, whereas the Greek manuscripts differ and simply mention, “Messiah”. Another plausible argument is that Muhammad {saw} isn’t a Messiah, therefore it can’t refer to him, this is incorrect as a Messiah is simply one who is anointed (chosen) and if taken in a divine sense, “anointed by God to do God’s bidding (will)”. With this in mind, we understand that this can mean a Rabbi, a teacher, an Imam, a leader (Romans 13:1-7) and in this case, a Prophet. As a prophet is one who is anointed by God to deliver God’s message to the people. The phrase which stirs our interest is:

“that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.”

There is a duality here, a Messiah, who could be Jesus, but then, it doesn’t have to be Jesus. Therefore we must ask, who then could God send? When we looked at the various exegeses on this verse, besides pointing out the manuscript troubles, they did indicate the reference to Deuteronomy 18:18. Therefore if Sam Shamoun is claiming that Br. Shabir Ally has in anyway perverted the true understanding of these verses, then he is simply ignorant of what his own religion teaches. This however is common for Sam and thus, I must say I did not expect any better from a missionary, they are after all not highly educated. This is simply a consequence of “Google learning”. Br. Shabir then continues:

“Now it is true that Muslims and Christians claim two very different things about Jesus. Muslims and Christians do believe, and agree, that he was a prophet. Many Christians do not actually realize that this is a necessary part of the Christian proclamation. Regardless of whatever else a Christians may say about Jesus, the New Testament is very clear that Jesus was a prophet. Now Jesus came and he did what he had to do, and said what he had to say, and then he left the scene. Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, in the New Testament that Christians read, tells us something about what the disciples of Jesus said and did after Jesus was gone. This is a very important document, and though scholars believe today that not everything in the Acts of the Apostles is accurate, it nevertheless gives a glimpse into the lives of the Apostles of Jesus after Jesus had left. Now we see in the Acts of the Apostles that the disciples proclaimed Jesus as the prophet like Moses. In Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verse 18 in the Old Testament, a prophet like Moses was spoken about. The disciples here are saying that Jesus was that prophet. That means that Jesus was a prophet! And in that case, Muslims and Christians agree at least that he was a prophet.” (The Jesus Debate: Metaphor, Prophet, Or Son of God?, posted on Feb. 16, 2012)

Br. Shabir is using the oft repeated Christian contention that Deuteronomy 18:18 refers to Jesus’ coming, a Messianic prophecy of sorts, he agrees that we Muslims also have no problem with the Christian understanding of the verse, as we too confirm that Jesus (may Allaah’s peace be upon him) was also a Prophet. However, Sam Shamoun has a problem with Br. Shabir’s confirmation that we do accept the Christian interpretation of the verse if applied to Jesus:

With the foregoing in perspective, doesn’t this show that Ally will conveniently adopt whatever interpretation helps his purpose of duping people into becoming Muslims? After all, these clips seem to indicate that when Ally wants to convince people that Muhammad is mentioned in the Holy Bible he will adopt the interpretation that Acts depicts the disciples as believing that the prophet like Moses was someone different than Christ. Yet when he wants to show that the disciples did not believe that Jesus is God he will then argue that Acts presents the disciples as proclaiming that Jesus is that prophet like Moses!

What Sam has willingly perverted in his understanding, is that Br. Shabir is using the Christian comprehension of the verse, which the quote that Sam himself provided has stated:

“Now it is true that Muslims and Christians claim two very different things about Jesus. Muslims and Christians do believe, and agree, that he was a prophet. Many Christians do not actually realize that this is a necessary part of the Christian proclamation.”

Sam is simply grasping for straws to attack Br. Shabir since he was humiliated a few years ago, by the Brother in a debate:

Sam then goes on what I can only determine to be an emotional tirade, mocking Brother Shabir with insults, while insulting the Qur’an and even to the extent, he was trying to quote the Bible to insult us, but in reality only provided an argument against himself:

““For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.” Psalm 5:4-6″

This is definitely interesting, as Sam is using deceit in this article. Br. Shabir was referencing the Christian position and Sam’s intentional misread to be used to attack the Brother, is initself deceit. He has based his entire article, which contains atleast 10 insults and abuses, based on his own error:

  • “Muslim Dawagandist”
  • “inconsistent and deceptive”
  • “document his lies, deceptions and gross inconsistencies.”
  • “Ally will just about say and do anything in order to win an argument or deceive people into believing his false religion”
  • “exposes Ally as dishonest and deceitful, it is simply silly to think manipulation and deceit will remain undetected”
  • “Your lies will not only be exposed and punished”
  • “they will come back to haunt you in this life and destroy your credibility”

He even became so desperate to attack the brother, that he misused Jesus’ words in the Bible:

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

I could not contain my laughter after having read this verse, knowing the true context, I really must contest Sam’s ability to be literate. Did he simply do a word search for the words, “deceit” and “lie” and then copy paste them into his article, while wiping the foam from around his mouth after his petulant digression? To put the verse into context, this is one of Jesus’ alleged anti-Jewish remarks:

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” 48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” – Bible : John (8) : 44 – 48.

Hopefully, Sam the missionary, will learn his lesson and change his tactics since his lies are coming back to expose and discredit him.

There’s nothing like using Sam’s own words against him.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best].

 

Ancient Bible Discovered, Turkey and the Vatican Vie for Interests [Updated]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

A Turkish state media release, has sparked interest throughout the entire world, as it possibly concurs with proper Islamic theology towards Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad {saw}.

The article over at the DailyMail UK says:

Turkish culture and tourism minister Ertugrul Gunay said the book could be an authentic version of the Gospel, which was suppressed by the Christian Church for its strong parallels with the Islamic view of Jesus.

He also said the Vatican had made an official request to see the scripture – a controversial text which Muslims claim is an addition to the original gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

In line with Islamic belief, the Gospel treats Jesus as a human being and not a God.

This new discovery, has really sent a shock wave of buzz throughout the religious and non-religious worlds. Popular news websites, atheist websites, Muslim and Christian forums are filled it excitement over the prospects of this news. However, many Christian polemics and apologists have sought to denounce the discovery as fraudulent. The very existence of this codex (collection of manuscripts), presents a troubling case for Christendom. The very core beliefs of Islam are being verified, whereas the core doctrinal beliefs towards the alleged deity of Jesus is being thoroughly disputed. Perhaps, the most popular claim against the codex, is that given the dating, it still would not be during the time of St. Barnabus, thus automatically it is a fraud. However, this can be easily rejected, as the name merely presents an identity, for the work’s author, it does not deny the historicity of the manuscripts themselves. Therefore to present such a claim, is to appeal to the fallacy of consequences of a belief.

We must make some points extant, that is, we must identify clearly, why the Christian arguments and reasoning for rejecting this codex (collection of manuscripts) are nothing more than failing attempts to protect a proper challenge to their faith:

(1) The author’s name/ title doesn’t matter, the content does, whether or not the author is known, the data which discusses Islamic and Christian doctrines is of utmost importance. Similarly, most of the authors of the New Testament and many of the Old Testament are either homonymous (attributing to yourself a title of a previously known author), pseudonymous (false name) and even anonymous (unknown), yet Christians themselves will never acknowledge the same argument to be used against their Bible.

(2) The content doesn’t matter in relation to whether or not it agrees with Christian Theology, that isn’t the pivot of veracity. Whether Christians agree with the contents or not, does not affect its truthfulness. What matters is that the content directly challenges the Christian narrative and brings to light new and shocking information about early Christendom and its proximity in core beliefs towards Islam.

(3) Other rejected Gospels which already date to the time of the 4 accepted Gospels, exist and do agree to some extent with Islamic theology. For example, according to Professor Robert Eisenmann, the Jewish sect of the Essenes migrated to Arabia, as they believed him to be the foretold Prophet in their scriptures. These scriptures are better known today as the Qumran scrolls or the Dead Sea Scrolls.

We therefore must conclude that there is no real Christian argument against this discovery, as their own Gospels are founded upon the same arguments they are using against the Turkish Bible. Until more information arises, we have to work under the assumption it may be valid, that is, until more data can be derived towards its exact dating.

Some information on the manuscripts:

  •  The 1,500-year-old tome is said to contain Jesus’ early teachings and his prediction of the Prophet Muhammad ‘s (saw) coming.
  • The leather-bound text, written on animal hide, was discovered by Turkish police during an anti-smuggling operation in 2000.
  • It was closely guarded until 2010, when it was finally handed over to the Ankara Ethnography Museum.
  •  The Vatican had made an official request to see the scripture – a controversial text which Muslims claim is an addition to the original gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
  • In line with Islamic belief, the Gospel treats Jesus as a human being and not a God.
  • The £14million handwritten gold lettered tome, penned in Jesus’ native Aramaic language, is said to contain his early teachings.
  • It rejects the ideas of the Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion and reveals that Jesus predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).
  • In one version of the gospel, he is said to have told a priest: ‘How shall the Messiah be called? Muhammad is his blessed name’.

We don’t expect Christians to accept this Turkish Bible, rather, the point of this being made public is to atleast state that there were writings of the Prophet Muhammad {saw} 100 years before his coming. In addition to the numerous Arabo-Islamic reports of Priests in the ancient world, acceding to Muslim emissaries and conceding that Muhammad {saw} was indeed the promised Messenger. In this light, we say that there is no new information for us, this discovery is simply an addendum to our ever growing and ever expanding prophetic material towards Islamic theology.

More articles from around the world on the discovery:

http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2012/02/more-on-1500-year-old-gospel-kept-in.html

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-02/25/c_131430464.htm

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-272446-1500-year-old-handwritten-bible-includes-depiction-of-last-supper.html

http://english.cri.cn/6966/2012/02/25/2724s683103.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2850468/posts

http://www.armtown.com/news/en/yer/20120223/20651/

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Boko Haram: More Christians Arrested Attempting to Blow Up Church [Nigeria]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

In another report by Nigerian police, a group of Christians were again, caught in another terror plot to blow up Churches. Major Nigerian media outlet, Premium Times Nigeria, had this report to give:

Nine bombers, believed to be christians, were apprehended this morning when they attempted to bomb a COCIN church at Miya Barkate, 20 kilometres along Jos-Bauchi Highway in Bauchi State.

The suspected bombers are Lamba Goma, Filibus Danasa, Joshua Ali, Danjuma Sabo, Joseph Audu, Simon Gabriel, Bulus Haruna, Yohanna Ishaya and Daniel Ayuba (who was the immediate past Secretary of PDP at Tilden Fulani Ward, Toro LGA, Bauchi State).

The suspects are members of the same COCIN church, Unguwar Rimi, a new and small Christian settlement between Tilden Fulani and Shere Hills. The suspects who were thoroughly beaten by the public were rescued by police and then detained at the Toro Divisional Police Division before they were transferred to Bauchi State Police Command, Bauchi.

At about the same time this morning in the Neighbouring Plateau State, a bomb explosion was reported at the headquarters of the same COCIN church during a Sunday service. The number of casualties are not certain. The pastor of the targeted COCIN Church in Bauchi is Ishaya Izam, who recently arrived on posting from the Cocin headquarters in Jos, which was bombed this morning.

To read more on this ongoing development, visit the original news report here.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

The Biblical God’s Indecision, Confusion with Salvation

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

After the creation of the universe, planets, earth, humans, animals etc, God according to the Bible states that everything created was very good:

Genesis 1:31
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Proceeding to Genesis 6: 5-7 , after Adam and Eve are both cast out of paradise for eating from the fruit of knowledge and thus sent to earth, humankind becomes plentiful on earth. God (in the Bible) then notices that the human race was full of wickedness, so He regretted creating man (or feels sorry for creating man on earth, depending on the translation) and decided to eradicate all men, save for Prophet Noah and his household.

Genesis 6: 5-7
The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

After Noah and his house build the ark, they along with animals enter it. God then sent rains, flooding the earth and killing every living thing.  After the flood ends God tells the Prophet Noah to come out of the ark and so he does (as well as Noah’s household and the animals). Noah then offers a sacrifice to God and God responds:

Genesis 8:20-21
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

When we read the following passages, we should wonder if the Biblical God knows what he is doing !

(1) God destroys the earth except for a handful because man is born evil.

(2) After destroying the earth and every living thing (expect for Noah, his household and some animals), God notes that all of mankind are evil and He (God), won’t repeat this action of punishment again.

We ask:

(a) Who created man? Doesn’t God know how evil man’s heart is? Why create them evil by nature and then punish them? Why then, change your mind on not punishing the future generation, despite noting that man has the same evil within him.

(b) If mankind is inclined to evil by nature why has Noah and his household not been killed as well?

(c) If Jesus is the reason, please refer back to question (a).

(d) Why flood the whole planet? Did Noah manage to spread the message throughout the planet ?

Christian Biblical Commentaries on Genesis 8:21:

John Gill’s Commentary:

“for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; his nature is depraved, his heart is corrupt, the thoughts of it evil, yea, the imagination of it, and of them, is sinful, and that originally, even from his birth; from the time he is shook out of his mother’s womb, as Jarchi interprets the phrase: man is conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and is a transgressor from the womb, and so a child of wrath, and deserving of the curse of the law upon himself, and all that belong to him; and yet this is given as a reason why God will not any more curse the ground for his sake: that which was a reason for destroying the earth, is now one against it, see Genesis 6:5 which may be reconciled thus, God for this reason destroyed the earth once, for an example, and to display his justice; but such is his clemency and mercy, that he will do it no more to the end of the world; considering that man has brought himself into such a condition, that he cannot but sin, it is natural to him from his birth; his nature is tainted with it, his heart is full of it, and all his thoughts and imaginations are wicked and sinful, from whence continually flow a train of actual sins and transgressions; so that if God was to curse and drown the world as often as man sins, he must be continually doing it; for the words may be rendered, “though the imagination of man’s heart is evil”, &c. (h); yet I will not do it; and so they are expressive of the super abounding grace of God over abounding sin:”

Gill points out that man is evil and due to his evilness, God drowns them up (related to Genesis 6:5)

Gill goes on to say:

neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done; this hinders not but that there might be, as has been since, partial calamities, or particular judgments on individual persons, towns, and cities, as those of Sodom and Gomorrah, or partial inundations, but not a general deluge, or an universal destruction of the world and creatures in it, at least not by water, as has been, but by fire, as will be; for that the earth will have an end, at least as to its present nature, form, and use, may be concluded from the following words.

 

So if God won’t drown the entire planet as a punishment, how then will He burn them on Judgment day? Despite noting that He created them evil by birth, sparing Noah, his household and their offspring, also have the same evilness in them.

We see similar commentaries below, Clark and Jamieson-Fausset-Brown  try to solve the problem by stating that Jesus is the reason (God sends himself to die for the sin [evil] he created in mankind).  This does not resolve the problem or the questions asked above (a, b, c and d).

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible

The Lord smelled a sweet savor – That is, he was well pleased with this religious act, performed in obedience to his own appointment, and in faith of the promised Savior. That this sacrifice prefigured that which was offered by our blessed Redeemer in behalf of the world, is sufficiently evident from the words of St. Paul, Ephesians 5:2 : Christ hath loved us, and given himself for its an offering and a sacrifice to God for a Sweet-Smelling Savor; where the words οσμην ευωδιας of the apostle are the very words used by the Septuagint in this place.

I will not again curse the ground – לא אסף lo osiph, I will not add to curse the ground – there shall not be another deluge to destroy the whole earth: for the imagination of man’s heart, כי ki, Although the imagination of man’s heart should be evil, i.e. should they become afterwards as evil as they have been before, I will not destroy the earth by a Flood. God has other means of destruction; and the next time he visits by a general judgment, Fire is to be the agent. 2 Peter 3:7.

2 Peter 3:7

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 

 

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour-The sacrifice offered by a righteous man like Noah in faith was acceptable as the most fragrant incense.

Lord said in his heart-same as “I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth” (Isa 54:9).

for-that is, “though the imagination is evil”; instead of inflicting another destructive flood, I shall spare them-to enjoy the blessings of grace, through a Saviour.

 

From an Islamic perspective:

(1) Unlike Christianity in Islam every human is born with a Fitra (an inclination to submission to God), it is society’s influence and man’s freewill (Choice) that leads him/her to evil.

The Prophet Muhammad {saw} said, “No babe is born but upon Fitra . It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also informs us: “Every child is born upon the natural way. It is then his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1296)]

Quran 30:29

But those who wrong follow their [own] desires without knowledge. Then who can guide one whom Allah has sent astray? And for them there are no helpers.

Quran 45:15

Whoso doeth right, it is for his soul, and whoso doeth wrong, it is against it. And afterward unto your Lord ye will be brought back.

Quran 17:15

“Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit: who goes astray does so to his own loss: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another …”

(2) In the Qur’an, Prophet Noah was sent to a specific civilization and they refused to believe in God’s message.

Quran 7:59-7:64

We sent Noah to his people. He said: “O my people! worship God! ye have no other god but Him. I fear for you the punishment of a dreadful day! The leaders of his people said: “Ah! we see thee evidently wandering (in mind).” He said: “O my people! No wandering is there in my (mind): on the contrary I am an apostle from the Lord and Cherisher of the worlds! “I but fulfil towards you the duties of my Lord’s mission: Sincere is my advice to you, and I know from God something that ye know not. “Do ye wonder that there hath come to you a message from your Lord, through a man of your own people, to warn you,- so that ye may fear God and haply receive His Mercy?” But they rejected him, and We delivered him, and those with him, in the Ark: but We overwhelmed in the flood those who rejected Our signs. They were indeed a blind people!

In the end we notice what doubt and confusion the Bible provides, Islam answers with clear cut , extant responses. Islam states we are not born sinners but with the Fitra, and we will be judged according to our good and bad deeds. Islam shows God is in control and knows what he is doing and God’s word is always accurate.

– Authored by Brother Hamza A., a former Maronite Christian from Lebanon.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

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