Tag Archives: Exposing Sam shamoun

Exposing how Trinitarian Apologists Misuse Thomas’ “My Lord, My God” Expression

Question Mark

Introduction

Christian polemist Sam Shamoun considers Dr. James White a “reformed Christian scholar and apologist”. As such he quotes him towards a common agenda – the viability of Trinity, especially, the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him):

Unfortunately there are those that oppose the doctrine of the glorious and blessed Trinity who seek to diminish Thomas’ declaration to the essential Deity of our risen Lord. Yet noted reformed Christian scholar and apologist Dr. James R. White demonstrates why such feeble attempts by these anti-Trinitarian groups simply do not work:

“Thomas’s answer is simple and clear. It is directed to the Lord Jesus, not to anyone else, for John says, ‘he said to Him.’ The content of his confession is plain and unambiguous. ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus is Thomas’s Lord. Of this there is no question. And there is simply no reason–grammatical, contextual, or otherwise–to deny that in the very same breath Thomas calls Christ his ‘God.’

“Jesus’ response to Thomas’s confession shows not the slightest discomfort at the appellation ‘God.’ Jesus says Thomas has shown faith, for he has ‘believed.’ He then pronounces a blessing upon all who will believe like Thomas without the added element of physical sight. There is no reproach of Thomas’s description of Jesus as his Lord and God. No created being could ever allow such words to be addressed to him personally. No angel, no prophet, no sane human being, could ever allow himself to be addressed as ‘Lord and God.’ Yet Jesus not only accepts the words of Thomas but pronounces the blessing of faith upon them as well.” (White, The Forgotten Trinity – Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief [Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN 1998], Chapter 5. Jesus Christ: God in Human Flesh, pp. 69-70) (http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/identity1.html)

By quoting Dr. White from his book “The Forgotten Trinity”, Shamoun wants to support the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) through Thomas’ proclamation of him being his “Lord and God”!

Thus, we would concentrate specifically on this darling Trinitarian argument to expose how Shamoun and White have been twisting their own “Scriptures” merely to suit a sectarian agenda.

Note that White is confident that the grammar and context around “Thomas’ confession” does not yield anything else but that Jesus (peace be upon him) was his “Lord and God”. Therefore, we would use White’s own yardsticks to check the viability of the argument. We take context first and then grammar.

Context

We are glad that Dr. White has appealed to the context of Thomas’ confession since the context itself dispels most of Trinitarian mist. Thomas’ so-called confession is specific to immediate scenes after Jesus’ (peace be upon him) alleged post crucifixion resurrection. Consider the following “verses”:

It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” (John 20: 19-29)

Notice the set up very carefully. The same day – Sunday – when Jesus (peace be upon him) had allegedly risen from death, he meets all his disciples in a closed quarter except Thomas.

When the other ten disciples inform Thomas that they have had actually witnessed the “risen Jesus” (peace be upon him) physically – he belied them: “I will not believe”.

In fact, Thomas provided his own whimsical yardstick that unless he has put his fingers through Jesus’ (peace be upon him) wounds, he would not believe in as foundational a doctrine as Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection!?

In Thomas we have a man torn between two emotions: On one side he – the best and earliest Christ “believer” –  could not believe the super natural event of resurrection, while on other hand, he has the testimony of categorically all of his colleagues. It was under these confused and agitated circumstances that Thomas had to spend one full week praying for peace of heart.

It was under this context that Jesus (peace be upon him), after a week’s period of tested patience, appears to Thomas pandering to his demand, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side.

Initially Thomas was sure of the falsity in the reports of the Apostles and now he did not merely witnessed the allegedly post crucifixion resurrected Jesus (peace be upon him) but he was also given a chance to put fingers in his wounds – exactly as he demanded. In fact, Jesus (peace be upon him) himself pacified him towards belief: “Stop your doubting, and believe!

On the foregoing, the doubting-Thomas was but naturally taken by surprise and when he was confirmed of Jesus’ (peace be upon him) alleged so-called resurrection, he inadvertently exclaimed at the moment, in his conversation, to his interlocutor – Jesus (peace be upon him), “My Lord and My God!

No wonder White also makes a big argument that Thomas said specifically to Jesus (peace be upon him) as His Lord and God:

Thomas’s answer is simple and clear. It is directed to the Lord Jesus, not to anyone else, for John says, ‘he said to Him.’

Although we believe we have already responded it above yet we revisit it. Thomas and Jesus (peace be upon him) were in conversation where the latter was trying to put faith in the former. Under such circumstances Thomas’ inadvertent exclamation upon belief would have to be towards Jesus (peace be upon him) with whom he was conversing, although, not necessarily for him. And any third party recording the conversation would apparently have to claim that Thomas said to Jesus (peace be upon him) what he said (for the simple fact that they were in conversation).

Taking parallels from daily life, while conversing with somebody else we often come across surprising moments and we do exclaim, “My God” at the interlocutor yet this is not specifically targeted for him/herself.

Jesus’ (peace be upon him) further response to Thomas’ exclamation further corroborates that the exclamatory remark was not meant for Jesus (peace be upon him). Consider the following explanation:

Once Jesus (peace be upon him) had received positive exclamatory remark from Thomas, awing at the wonders of “His Lord and His God” – the biblical Father – Jesus (peace be upon him) praised Thomas for him finally believing in the resurrection! He connected Thomas’ exclamatory remark to the belief in hisresurrection than on accepting his deity! This can be further evidenced by Jesus’ (peace be upon him) statement wherein he said, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!

Notice the rationale in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) query; he questions Thomas that he has believed because he has seen him! Therefore, how much more blessed would be those who not witness his physical resurrected body and yet believe in his resurrection! Now, we have seen in the contextual “verses” that all other disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) had witnessed/seen physical resurrected body of Jesus (peace be upon him) except Thomas. Thus, Thomas also “believed” in the resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) once he saw him (“you see me”) after resurrection.

Therefore, any attempt to connect Thomas’ exclamation to anything else (like Jesus’ deity) than his belief in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrection would only evince the dire desperation of Trinitarians to prove his deity! As such White was only twisting and forcing his interpretations when he “exposited” as follows:

“Jesus’ response to Thomas’s confession shows not the slightest discomfort at the appellation ‘God.’ Jesus says Thomas has shown faith, for he has ‘believed.’…There is no reproach of Thomas’s description of Jesus as his Lord and God. No created being could ever allow such words to be addressed to him personally. No angel, no prophet, no sane human being, could ever allow himself to be addressed as ‘Lord and God.’ Yet Jesus not only accepts the words of Thomas but pronounces the blessing of faith upon them as well.”

However, such “exegesis” is expected in given weak situation of Christianity undermined by the lack of concrete, explicit evidence even in their best chosen scriptures.

The problem with White’s flawed “exegesis” does not stop here since rather than doing any good it backfires to jeopardizes the very base of Trinity-ism:

Let us agree with Dr. White’s “exegesis” that when Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and My God”, he had actually “shown faith” and “believed” in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him). On the light of this explanation we would have to infer that, a couple of “verses” earlier, Thomas disbelieved in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) since he claimed the following “gospel-truth”:

Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!” (John 20: 25-27)

If Jesus (peace be upon him) ratified and “Apostle” Thomas’ belief in his deity, then he must have been rebuking, a couple of verses ago, Thomas’ disbelieve (“I willnot believe”) in his deity!! So then we have the earliest of all Christians, an apostle himself, the so-called twin brother of Jesus (peace be upon him), “not believing” in Jesus’ (peace be upon him) deity; so much so that, Jesus (peace be upon him) had to revisit after his alleged death to re-baptize Thomas’ hitherto maverick belief!!??

To further exacerbate the situation, it was not merely doubting-Thomas but,according to White’s explanation, all other ten disciples were not willing to “believe” in the “deity” of Jesus (peace be upon him)!  This is so because just like Thomas, all other disciples, initially disbelieved in the resurrection until they witnessed it firsthand:

He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.’ “Then the women remembered his words, returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles.But the apostles thought that what the women said was nonsense, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the grave cloths but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened. (Luke 24:6-12)

They returned and told the others, but these would not believe it. (Luke 16:13)

As Jesus (peace be upon him) was irked at Thomas’ disbelief “in-his-deity”, similarly he also chided the other ten “apostles” for their unbelief (!):

Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive. He said to them, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people.  (Mark 16: 14-15)

And,

And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.” Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets. (Luke 24:21-27)

Accepting White’s “exegesis” would imply that none of the disciples of Jesus (peace be upon him) were willing to believe in his deity unless they saw and spoke to him after his resurrection. As New Testament manuscript scholar D.C. Parker asserts:

“…that the disciples did not believe (neither source has such a reference), and that when Jesus does appear, he rebukes ‘their unbelief and hardness of heart’. It is only when they see and speak with Jesus that they believe.(D.C.Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels (1997), p.140)

On foregoing, as a Muslim all we want to say to Mr. White is – Thank you very much!

Grammar

So much with the “context” of the verse! In this section we would deal with White’s second argument that the grammatical construction of Thomas’ exclamation also proves nothing but deity of Jesus (peace be upon him). Note that Dr. White is a learned scholar of the Greek language. To refresh here are White’s words once again:

 And there is simply no reason–grammatical, contextual, or otherwise–to deny that in the very same breath Thomas calls Christ his ‘God.’

According to classical Trinity-ism there are three distinct persons in the godhead! As such it was considered heretical to blur the distinction between the 3 distinct persons in the godhead:

Modalism is probably the most common theological error concerning the nature of God.  It is a denial of the Trinity. Modalism states that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three modes, or forms.  Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times.  At the incarnation, the mode was the Son and after Jesus‘ ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit.  These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous.  In other words, this view states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another.  Modalism denies the distinctiveness of the three persons in the Trinity even though it retains the divinity of Christ.

Present day groups that hold to forms of this error are the United Pentecostal and United Apostolic Churches.  They deny the Trinity, teach that the name of God is Jesus, and require baptism for salvation.  These modalist churches often accuse Trinitarians of teaching three gods.  This is not what the Trinity is.  The correct teaching of the Trinity is one God in three eternal coexistent persons:  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Source: CARM)

With that understood, let us see how White’s “exegesis” has led him to efface the important Trinitarian distinction between the persons in the godhead!

The literal translation for the English expression, “My Lord and My God” in Greek would be: Mou Kurios Kai Mou Theos. In other words, Greek word “Kurios” is for “Lord” in English and “Theos” is equivalent to English word “God”. And, standard Trinitarian “exegesis” to which White also endorse, both the words have been addressed to Jesus (peace be upon him).

However, this is exactly where the problem lies. According to standard Trinitarian belief, the three persons (gods?) in the godhead (polytheism?) are distinct from each other. The Father is not the son and vice versa. And technically, New Testament, especially in the epistles of “apostle” Paul has always applied the titles “Kurios” (Lord) to the person of son (and therefore not to the father) and “Theos” (God) to father (and therefore not to the son). Consider the following Pauline verse as substantiation of the notion:

yet there is for us only one God (Theos), the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord (Kurios), Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

Luke also made similar distinction:

“All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God (Theos) has made Lord (Kurios) and Messiah!” (Act 2:36)

Observe the theological nuances in the above quotations. In the Pauline quote, God – the Father is the creator (not the Son), however, the creation is facilitated through the person of Son. As such Father is termed as God and Son as Lord – to make distinctions clear. As such the appellation of God and Lord to the same person would diminish the distinction between the Creator (Father) and the means of creation (Son); of course such ignorance cannot be attributed to “apostle” Thomas.

In the Lukan quote, God (Father) has not made Jesus (peace be upon him) as Godand Messiah. Rather, he wrote that God has made him “Lord” and Messiah; indicating that although where Jesus (peace be upon him) was referred to as Lord, he was never entitled as God even when Jesus (peace be upon him) was to be appealed for his (Trinitarian) divinity.

On the foregoing, it is rather interesting to observe that where Father has been referred to as “God” at numerous places in the Bible (including New Testament) and Jesus (peace be upon him) has been referred to as lord elsewhere; at not one place do we find Jesus (peace be upon him) referred as God prior to this Trinitarian misunderstanding. This lends more support to the notion that Thomas, based on the biblical literary traditions, could not possibly have entitled Jesus (peace be upon him) as God.

Thus, it can be argued on good grounds that the New Testament authors aptly reserved the title “God” for the “person” of Father and lord for Jesus (peace be upon him). They hardly mixed the two titles together to avoid “heresy” of the Sabellistic kind!

“In the very same breath”

White made an interesting remark that Thomas called Jesus (peace be upon him) God in the very same breath as he called him his Lord!

…in the very same breath Thomas calls Christ his ‘God.’

We showed the Sabbelistic perils in calling Jesus (peace be upon him) Lord andGod “in the very same breath”. However, if White would be at all consistent with his argument of “same breath” then we have several instances in the Bible where God and mere mortals have been conjoined together in divinity, in the same breath. Consider few of such for instance:

 “Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Bless Yahweh your God.’ And the whole assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads low and worshiped Yahweh AND the king (wayyiqadu wayyishtahawu YHWHW walammelek).” 1 Chronicles 29:20

And,

They will serve (wa‘abadu) Yahweh their God AND David their king whom I will raise up for them.” Jeremiah 30:9

Notice in the above citations the congregations are bowing, worshipping Yahwehand in the same breath bowing and worshipping the king of the state too! They served Yahweh and in the same breath, served David (peace be upon him) as well.

Thus, if White is consistent then he got to use his argument to bow, worship and serve worldly kings as did his Israeli forefathers! Probably he has forgotten to take note of it and thus we may assume The Forgotten Polytheism is on its way.

Let alone the term “God”, Thomas’ referral to Jesus (peace be upon him) as Lordwould also hardly do any good to the Trinitarian argument. Since in Old Testament the term “Lord” has been assigned to Yahweh,

Thus says your Lord (adonayik), Yahweh and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: ‘See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it.’” (Isaiah 51:22)

And the same term – Lord (adonayik) – in the same breath, has been assigned to worldly kings too:

“So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord (adonayik), worship Him (wahishtahawilow)… I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever. (Psalm 45:11, 17)

So much for Dr. White’s claim that Thomas claimed in the same breath that Jesus (peace be upon him) is his Lord and God!

Conclusion

We were amazed to see how a “scholar” of New Testament – Dr. James White – claimed that there is nothing in the context and grammatical construction of “Thomas’ confession” to prove other than he claimed Jesus (peace be upon him) as his Lord and God.

As far as context was concerned, Thomas was too much a “disciple” to merely believe in the resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him); he wanted to tangiblyexperience of  Jesus’ (peace be upon him) resurrected body. As such when, after one week of boiling confusion, Jesus (peace be upon him) appeared to Thomas, he couldn’t help but give words to his hitherto half baked belief in the resurrection with a exclamatory remark of remembering God: “My Lord My God”. Jesus (peace be upon him) after hearing the exclamatory remarks of alluding to Thomas’ acceptance of his resurrection, confirms him that he has believed, not to former’s deity, but the belief in his resurrection!

Therefore, if Trinitarians like White (and Shamoun) would argue that Thomas believed in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) through his “confession”, then they would also have to agree that one of the closest disciple, the so-called “twin brother”, disbelieved in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him) for good long period! Embarrassingly, on the same corollary, not merely Thomas but all other disciple initially disbelieved in the deity of Jesus (peace be upon him).

Grammatical construction also does not avail much as appealing to it would diminish the important Trinitarian difference between the persons of Father and Son since New Testament has reserved the title of God for Father and lord for Jesus (peace be upon him).

On the contrary, appealing to the grammatical construction, would deify multiple kings.

We expect from scholars like Dr. White that although they have full right to profess their faith yet they need to be more sincere while propagating it. In the mean time,there is no God but Allah (SWT) and Mohammad (peace be upon him) is His messenger and slave.

Refutation: Is Jesus God because he did mighty miracles?

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Question:

Some Christians believe that Jesus’ miracles prove that he is God. The problem with this claim is that almost every single miracle performed by Jesus finds a parallel within the OT. There are many OT prophets that performed the very same kinds of miracles that Jesus did. If the miracles of Jesus make him God then why don’t the miracles of the other prophets prove that they are God/gods as well?

Answer:

Sam’s response is quite muddled, in the sense that while he does attempt to answer the question, he actually falls just short. I understand that this was an honest attempt at responding to the question, but Sam seems unable of directly answer questions. Whether this is due to a lack of faith or a lack of intelligence, I cannot say. but clearly he has lost the plot. He says, and I quote:

 In the first place, it isn’t so much the miracles which make Jesus God, but the divine claims of Jesus which the miracles serve to validate. Jesus made certain statements that no other true prophet before him ever did, and then performed supernatural miracles to back up the truthfulness and validity of those claims:

“‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken– do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming,” because I said, “I am the Son of God”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.” John 10:25-39

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:9-11

If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.” John 15:24

“concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God IN POWER according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 1:3-4

Thus, the miracles do not make Jesus God, but rather it is Jesus’ own claims which demonstrate that he at least believed he is God. The miracles only served the purpose of providing divine validation for Christ’s claims.

According to Sam, it’s Jesus’ own words which make him into their God and the miracles Jesus did are simply done to validate Christ’s statements. However, this is a dogmatic answer, it is quite well known that these statements attributed to Christ in the Bible are not first person verbatim (Greek: grapho) statements. Meaning then, that they cannot directly be traced back to Jesus, but can be traced back to someone attributing them to Jesus. If I were to throw this piece of knowledge out of the discussion and assume that Jesus did speak these words, we would still reach at the conclusion that Christ is not a God. For example, using Sam’s quote from John 10 above, we read:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE, and they will never perish, AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand……I have shown you many good works from the Father;

If we also examine his quote of John 14, we see:

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,or else believe on account of the works themselves.’” John 14:9-11

While Jesus is able to do the miracle, he is claiming that the source of the miracle is not himself, but the Father (God). Jesus is making it clear that the authority who is permitting him to exercise these ‘miracles’ are from the Father (God). Sam’s quote of Romans is irrelevant as these are Paul’s words and not Christ’s. If he cannot prove Christ’s divinity without needing Paul, then clearly he has failed at proving Christ’s divinity, as this would mean that Christ’s words alone are not sufficient in determining his deity. There exists another problem, Sam’s argument can be summarised as such:

  • Christ is God because of what he says.
  • Miracles add validity to his claim of being a deity.

The logic being:

  • If Christ says he is a God.
  • Then miracles add credence to his claim.

Yet, none of Sam’s passages, whether they be Mark 2:5-12, Mark 3:9-11, Matthew 14:22-23, John 6:5-15, 26-42, 47-59, John 11:1-3, 23-27, 38-43 or John 5:2-10, 16-21, 25-26, 28-29, demonstrate that Christ is God, Sam has instead, skipped his initial premise and jumped into the second premise, foregoing his onus of having to prove that Jesus claimed to be a deity. He recognized this by labelling them miracles:

  • Miracles Proving that Jesus Forgives Sins
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is Sovereign over both the Spiritual and Physical Realms
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is the Sustainer and the Source of Life
  • Miracles Proving that Jesus is co-equal to the Father

Therefore by Sam’s purposeful ignoring of his own criteria, and because of his own actions, he has intentionally rested his case on miracles and not on Christ claiming to be a deity. This would then mean that because Sam has not proved Christ’s deity through Christ’s own words, then logically, the miracles do not add validity to the claim of Jesus being a deity. Thus rendering Jesus as a miracle worker and not a man-God. If we examine Sam’s ‘miracles‘, what do we see? If we take each of the miracles that Sam has used an example and refer them to Acts 2:22, which reads:

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. – Acts 2:22.

and John 5:30, which reads:

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. – John 5:30.

Our resulting conclusion of those miracles should be that:

  • Jesus told someone that there sins were forgiven because the Father forgave the person.
  • Jesus was called the Son of God (a title given to many throughout the OT and NT), and his hand was licked like a dog licking its master’s hand (the word used for worship is  ‘προσκυνέω’ – Strong’s Lexicon, G4352, ‘From G4314 and probably a derivative of G2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand)’.
  • Jesus brings life to those who are spiritually dead, he will ‘resurrect’ their spirituality.
  • The Father has sent Christ to do works in His name.

Practically nothing that Sam has quoted or referenced, lends credence to the claim that Christ is a deity, in fact, what we’ve seen is the direct opposite. Christ constantly indicates that he is doing the work or will of God, by the authority of God. After not proving Christ’s deity and relegating Christ’s miracles as a sign that he is not a God (Note: Sam said that miracles do not make Christ a God, yet Sam constantly tries to demonstrate the miracles which allude to Christ being a God). Sam goes on to say:

No prophet or apostle ever made the claims that the Lord Jesus made, and none of their miracles were done to validate their claims of being Deity.

None of the passages above demonstrate any odd claims that Jesus made. Christ constantly indicates that he is doing the will of the Father (God), in fact, Christ never lays claim to deity, as opposed to his alleged ‘Triune Father’ – YHWH who boasted of it, and made it known to thousands constantly – see my article, “The Christian God: Non Compos Mentis“. Sam continues by saying:

The prophets went out of their to show that they were nothing more than fallible human beings whom God empowered to carry out his specific purpose and will. This is quite unlike the Lord Jesus.

How is this, ‘unlike Jesus‘? Jesus showed that he was weak and feeble, that he had to run and hide, as any other man would, when his life was threatened:

 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. – John 12:36.

Sam, realising that he can’t prove Jesus’ deity through Jesus’ own words, then tried to prove Jesus was God through another alleged miracle, he attempted to do so using Mark 9:38, which reads:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

The phrase, ‘in your name’, is rendered as: ‘εν σου ονομα‘, which according to the Greek, also reads, ‘by your authority‘ (see: Strong’s Lexicon, G1722, G4675, G3686). Therefore Sam’s appeal to the text is fanciful at best as the text can be rendered both ways, which is in light of the Gospel’s account of him, which reads:

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. – Matthew 7:29.

Therefore, in Mark 9:38, the person was able to drive out demons, by the authority of Christ’s teachings. Similarly, the account in Acts which  Sam has appealed to are once again based on experiences of Paul and not from Jesus, thus directly contradicting his own criteria. If Sam needs more than what Jesus said or did to prove him to be a deity, as opposed to using examples of Christ-only events, then Christ’s own testimony is not sufficient to qualify his claims. Sam then says:

The Quran mentions many of the miracles of the prophets but fails to record a single miracle of Muhammad.

Which is a bit funny, as he then goes on to quote two ayat (verses) from the Qur’an, which says that the Qur’an itself is one of the miracles attributed to Muhammad [saws] (see quote below). That being a direct contradiction of his previous claim:

In fact, many passages of the Quran explicitly deny that Muhammad could perform any sign or wonder. Here are a couple of verses:

But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, “Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?” Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: “Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!” And they say: “For us, we reject all (such things)!” S. 28:48

Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge; and none denies Our signs but the evildoers. They say, ‘Why have signs not been sent down upon him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The signs are only with God, and I am only a plain warner. What, is it not SUFFICIENT FOR THEM that We have sent down upon thee the Book that is recited to them? Surely in that is a mercy, and a reminder to a people who believe. S. 29:49-51 A.J. Arberry

It should be noted that none of the ayat say that Muhammad [saws] could not perform any sign or wonder. I know that Sam can be desperate at times, but to quote something and then directly lie about what he has just quoted either demonstrates abject dishonesty or really horrible comprehension abilities. He continues his eisegesis of the Qur’an by saying:

The last passage expressly states that the Quran is sufficient as a sign, which means that no other sign or miracle was necessary. Thus, this surah poses huge problems for Muslims since if Muhammad did perform miracles then this means that the Quran is not sufficient, thereby falsifying the claims of the Quran!

In a previous response to Sam, I dubbed the term, “Shamounian Logic”, and it’s mostly certainly showed up again. The Qur’an clearly says that the Qur’an is a sufficient miracle for those who have knowledge and understanding, it does not say that it is the only miracle that is necessary, or that other miracles would be more sufficient, or that there would be no other miracles. In Sam’s reasoning, although the Qur’an says it is sufficient, if more miracles were done, this somehow makes the Qur’an less sufficient. His reasoning is not clear, the Qur’an does not say that nothing else is a sufficient miracle or that there would be no more miracles, but what it does say, is that by itself, the Qur’an is a sufficient miracle, if there are other miracles that are sufficient for other persons, that does not negate the appropriateness or sufficiency of the Qur’an. I’ll give an example of Sam’s reasoning using Paul and “the sufficiency of Christ’s Grace“. In 2 Corinthians 12 we read:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.

Even though Christ’s grace was supposed to be sufficient enough for Paul to deal with the messenger of Satan tormenting him, Paul still begged and pleaded for the ‘thorn in his flesh’ to be removed. This thorn was never removed, does this mean that Christ’s grace was not sufficient? According to Sam’s reading, the answer is “Yes”. Sam then admits that while there are miracles that the Prophet Muhammad [saws] did do, that these are recorded in ahadith and they are therefore ‘all made up or false‘, an appeal to ignorance really. Sam does not understand Ulum al Hadith, of which is the basis for the modern science of Textual Criticism. Hadiths were not written later or hundreds of years after the Prophet [saws], but during and directly after his lifetime, see the following excerpt from this article by Brother Jibreel (a former Christian convert to Islam):

2. The Muslim Methodology of Preserving Information

The Jewish and Christian Scriptures suffered at the hands of the very people who should have guarded them. Because of this, the Muslim community felt a pressing need to safeguard the knowledge that was entrusted to them. To write a book using a false name is tremendously easy; in the literary world the use of pen names is commonplace. Similarly, it is possible to tamper with someone else’s work then republish it under the original author’s name…Muslims devised a working solution long ago, developing a watertight system which they employed faithfully for eight or nine centuries.[4] Starting from the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) him receiving the firs revelation, knowledge proliferation has been at the core of the Muslim nation. Upon reaching Madinah the prophet (peace be upon him) arranged schools and ordered scribes to write whatever he dictated. Many companions had copies of his letters dispatched to different people.[5] Not only those things were written down with the outmost care, but also at the same time information was being checked for reliability and content. From the affairs of the government during the reigns of the three caliphs to the administrative lessons, religious rulings, political and military strategies and all of the prophet’s traditions were passed on through a very strict system.[6] The Muslims methodology of gathering information, verifying it and passing it on had no match. The isnad systems that were developed to make sure that each incident or rapport is reported by an unbroken chain back to the original narrator[7]. Evidence for the transmission of knowledge in this manner comes from thousands of ahadith bearing identical wordings but coming from different corners of the Islamic world, each tracing its origin back to a common source – the Prophet, a Companion, or a Successor.[8] For example the hadith of Abu Huraira about the obligation of following the Imam is recorded at least 124 times, and reported by 26 third-generation authorities that unanimously trace its origin to Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).[9] However theisnad system was only the first step in establishing authenticity and preserving information. Establishing trustworthiness (morality, ability, memory etc.) of the narrator was another important step in the Muslim methodology of preserving information. Umar Al Khatab and Abu Bakr, when collecting the Quran in one book, they followed the instructions of Allah the Almighty:

“…and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice.”[10]

The people of ahlul suffah (companions of the rows) used to dedicate their whole lives just to record and propagate the teachings of Islam during the time of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many companions such as Uthman, Ali, Umar and others memorized not only the sayings of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but also the whole Quran. The knowledge they preserved was passed on in the forms of books through a very stringent system that involved different levels of information delivery such as Sama’ (teacher reading to student), Ardh(student reading to teacher), Munawala (hading someone a text and allowing transmission), Kitaba (a form of correspondence), and Wasiyya (entrusting someone with knowledge to be delivered). These are just a few examples of the strict methods taken by Muslims to preserve information and the early stage in which such began being implemented[11]. Now we turn our attention to the proofs of the documentation of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his time.

3. Documentation of the Sunnah during the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time

It is agreed upon that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not fully recorded in written form during his life time, however as we have pointed out the Muslim methodology was not restricted to writing, and it relied heavily on memorization. However much of the ahadtih have been recorded in writing and books during the lifetime of the prophet (peace be upon him). There are many evidences showing that companions (in this case Abu Shah) used to write the speeches of prophet Muhammad such as the example of the speech of the inviolability of Makkah.[12] The prophet (peace be upon him) also wrote letters to many kings inviting them to Islam, some of them still being available today. Some critics have raised an objection by quoting the hadith of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, who narrates that prophet Muhammad said:

“Do not take down anything from me, and he who took down anything from me except the Qur’an, he should efface that…”[13]

They claim that prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not allow hadith to be recorded, however they selectively take what suits their agenda and ignore the whole corpus of ahadith. It is clear from the wording of prophet Muhammad that such a statement was general and it was during the time when the writing of the Quran was in it’s early stages. The prophet allowed and encouraged his companions to write ahadith once the system for recording Quran was in place. He did not want companions to mix the Quran with ahadith, and indeed we see today that such genius paid off. When some companions heard that Amr ibn Al As’s had scrolls of ahadith, they reproached him, however he went and told the prophet who said:

“Write from me, for by the One Who has my soul in His hand, nothing other than the truth has ever come out of my mouth”.[14]

The same Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al As’s collected the book called Al-Sahefah As-Sadiqah. This is a book that contained many ahdith of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and was spread amongst the companions and later generations. The Sahefah of Abu Hurayrah, which was proliferated by his student Hammam ibn Munabbih, that has survived till today and was published by Dr. Hamidullah.[15] It is without a doubt that there is sufficient information in the history of Islam to show that the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was recorded and passed on with his permission and during his lifetime. Those who say that the Sunnah was recorded only centuries after prophet Muhammad during the time of Bukhari and Muslim are far away from the historical proofs that are widely available, wishing only to escape the strict security measures that were divinely implemented in guarding not only the Quran and the Sunnah, but also Islam as a way of life.

4. Documentation of the Sunnah after the Death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

After the death of Muhammad (peace be upon him), his companions took an even stricter approach in preserving and reporting the Sunnah. In this period, a number of leading companions wrote down narrations and preserved them. Abu Hurayrah to whom 5374 channels of hadith are attributed, had many books in his possession as reported by Hasan ibn Amr ad-Damari.[16] Abdullah ibn Abbas to whom 1600 channels of narrations are attributed used to write whatever he heard and used to hire his servants to write ahadith for him.[17] Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al Aas to whom 700 channels of narration are attributed recorded ahadith in his Sahefah, while Abu Bakr was also amongst those who used to possess written copies of the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).[18] After the companions of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), their students passed on the knowledge to their students. Abu Hurairah had nine students writing down from him, Ibn Umar had eight, Anas had sixteen, Aisha had three, ibn Abbas had nine, Jabir had fourteen, and others did the same as well.[19] The time in history is known as the era of the Tabi’oon and in this era the science of gathering ahadith became stricter, as people began inventing ahadith. It is very important to highlight here the fact that fabrication was discovered and dealt with. This shows the strict nature of the system and the strong filters it had for innovations and lies. Under the reign of Umar ibn Abdul Azeez[20] the scholars compiled books of ahadith containing biographical data on the various narrators of ahadith, exposing the liars and fabricators.[21] The hadith proliferation spread with such a great strength and precise science that the science began influencing the other branches of Islamic knowledge such as Aqeedah, Fiq and other. The people would not accept the authority of any teacher of any subject, unless he or she would possess the unbroken link till prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) coupled with the reliability criteria for that person in question. The collection of ahadith and knowledge was so intense and serious that some would not wait for the ahadith to reach them but they would travel for long periods of time to hear and verify ahadith. Jabir ibn Abdullah heard of a hadith and traveled on a mount that he had purchased, and after one moth of travel he gathered the hadith and returned back. The same happened to Abu Ayoob al Ansari.[22] The sciences have only intensified and crystallized as time advanced and following the ear of the companions, the followers and their followers came the ear of the Saheehs, which was the pinnacle of hadith sciences[23].

The following excerpt is from “The Compilation of Hadith, by Shaykh Abdul Ghafar Rahmanee“, wherein he mentions the earliest codices of ahadith, dating from the time of the Prophet [saws], to directly after his death, not several hundred years later as Sam has dishonestly stated:

The Written Works of the First Period

1. Saaheefa Saadiqaa
This has been attributed to Abdullaah Ibn Amr al-Aas (d.63H at the age of 77). He had a great love for writing and making notes and whatever he heard from the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), he would write down. He personally had permission from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam).5 This treatise is composed of about 1000 ahaadeeth. It remained secure and preserved
within his family for a long time. All of it can be found in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah).

2. Saaheefa Saheehaa
This is attributed to Humaam Ibn Munabbeh (rahimahullaah) (d.101H). He was from the famous students of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu); he wrote all the ahaadeeth from his teacher. Copies of this manuscript are available from libraries in Berlin (Germany) and Damascus (Syria); Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) has categorised all of this Saaheefa in his Musnad, under Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu).6 This treatise, after considerable effort by Dr. Hameedullaah, has been printed and distributed from Hyderabad (Deccan). It contains 138 narrations. This Saaheefa is a part of the ahaadeeth narrated from Abu Hurairah, most of its narration’s are in Bukhaaree and Muslim; the words of the ahaadeeth are extremely similar and there are no major differences between them.

3. Saaheefa Basheer Ibn Naheek
He was the student of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). He also gathered and wrote a treatise of ahaadeeth which he read to Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), before they departed, and he verified it.7

4. Musnad Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
It was written during the time of the Companions. Its copy was with the father of Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu), Abdul Azeez Ibn Marwaan, the Governor of Misr who died in 86H. He wrote to Katheer Ibn Murrah instructing him to write down all the hadeeth he heard from the Companions and to send them to him. Along with this command, he told him not to send the ahaadeeth of Abu Hurairah as
he already had them.8 And the Musnad of Abu Hurairah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) was hand-written by Ibn
Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah). It is available in a library in Germany. 9

5. Saaheefa Alee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
We find from Imaam Bukhaaree’s checking that this collection was quite voluminous and it had in it issues of zakah, and from the actions that were permissible or  impermissible in Madeenah, the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah and Islaamic guidelines.10

6. The Final Sermon of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam)
On the conquest of Makkah the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) told Abu Shah Yamanee (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) to write down the final sermon. 11

7. Saaheefa Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
His students, Wahb Ibn Munabbeh (d.110H) and Sulaymaan Ibn Qais Lashkaree, collected the narrations of Jaabir (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). In it they wrote down issues of Hajj and the Khutbatul-Hajjah al-Widah.12

8. Narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa (radi-Allaahu ‘anhaa)
The narrations of Aa’ishah Siddeeqa were written by her student, Urwah Ibn Zubair.13

9. Ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
There were many compilations of the ahaadeeth of Ibn Abbaas (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu). Sa’eed Ibn Jubair would compile his ahaadeeth.14
10. The Saaheefa of Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) Sa’eed Ibn Hilaal narrates that Anas Ibn Maalik (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would mention
everything he had written by memory; whilst showing us he would say: “I heard this narration from the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu alayhe wa sallam) myself and I would write it down and repeat it to the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) so that he would
affirm it.” 15

11. Amr Ibn Hazm (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
When he was made the Governor and sent to Yemen he was given written instructions and guidance. Not only did he protect the guidelines but he also added 21 commands of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and he made it into the
form of a book.16

12. Risaalah of Samurah Ibn Jundub (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
This was given to his son in the form of a will; this was a great treasure.17

13. Sa’ad Ibn Ubaadah (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
He knew how to read and write from the time of Jahiliyyah.

14. Maktoob Naaf’i (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu)
Sulaymaan Ibn Moosaa narrates that Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu ‘anhu) would dictate and Naaf’i would write.18

Citations and Sources:

5 See Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (pp. 36-37).
6 For further details see Saaheefa Humaam of Dr. Hameedullaah and Musnad Ahmad (2/312-318).
7 See Jaami al-Bayaan (1/72) and Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (1/470)
8 See Saaheefa Humaam (p.50) and Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad (7/157)
9 Muqqadimah Tuhfatul-Ahwadhee Sharh Jaami Tirmidhee (p.165)
10 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, Kitaab al-Ei’tisaam bil-Kitaab was Sunnah (1/451)
11 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (1/20), Mukhtasar Jaami Bayaan al-Ilm (p. 36) and Saheeh Muslim (1/439)

12 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/215)
13 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (7/183)
14 ad-Daarimee (p. 68)
15 Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p. 34) from Khateeb al-Baghdaadee and al-Haakim (3/574)
16 al-Wathaiq as-Siyaasah (p.105), Tabaree (p.104)
17 Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (4/236)
18 Ad-Daarimee (p.69) and Saaheefa Ibn Humaam (p.45) from Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad

You can see more of the Prophet’s [saws] miracles here and here:

Ergo, Sam Shamoun has been duly debunked, his incompetence demonstrated and his dishonesty made public. He has thus far, failed to answer the question, abused his own logic, and lied against common ahadith knowledge. His attempts to deceive and pervert basic historical information have been shown to be infantile, and I must conclude that Sam’s arguments have been thoroughly reduced to nothing more than an ignorant’s rants.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam,
and Allaah knows best.

Refutation: The Quran’s View of the Holy Bible Revisited Pt. 2

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Continuing from part one, let’s see what other faulty arguments against Islam that Sam’s invented this week:

The second problem with Williams’ appeal to Asad’s perversion of Q. 5:48 is that it ignores the immediate context of the passage which explains what is meant by the Quran coming to confirm and safeguard the Scriptures before it. Here is the immediate context, once again, in order to help the readers follow along with our exegesis:

This is a very shocking opening statement, what is bothersome about this is that Sam clearly displays intellectual fraud, anyone who has ever done a class in hermeneutics, literature, communication studies, academic writing would have you know that each and every translation from an original language to another is an interpretation based upon the methodology and understanding of the original text by the translator. However Sam decides that the translation he disagrees with is a perversion, that however as seen in part one, does not help his case as even that translation, which he appeals to confirms what Asad’s translation says.

I have to ask a direct question to Sam Shamoun, under what pretenses are you certified to do an exegesis of the Qur’aan? What have you formally studied under Ulum al Qur’aan? May we have your degree? Your Ijaza? Some form of academic approval to do Qur’aanic exegesis? Perhaps you can demonstrate for us your skill in Arabic, I’m sure you know very well classical Arabic and Arabic etymology. With that in mind, may we also know what form of certification you have to do exegesis of the Bible? It would be our pleasure for you to make public your certification, otherwise Sam Shamoun is not qualified to do such things, and as such his work is not an exegesis, rather it’s what we term eisegesis.

eisegesis – The interpretation of a word or passage by reading into it one’s own ideas.

Eisegesis is what uneducated laymen do to scripture. Eisegesis is the anti-thesis to exegesis. Ironically he has appealed to exegetical fallacies in part one, three of which I highlighted, namely:

(1) The Word Fallacy.
(2) The Reading Between the Lines Fallacy.
(3) The Fallacy of Appeal to Authority.

You can find these fallacies through various books, however I prefer to use Exegetical Fallacies: Common Mistakes Every Student of the Bible Must Avoid – Professor William D. Barrick. Sam goes on to reference Qur’aan Surah 5, Ayat 43 – 45, I however am using a translation variant from his, as it’s suited for modern English readers as translated by a scholar of Ulum al Qur’aan, Mufti Taq Uthmani [db]:

How do they ask you to judge while the Torah is with them, having the ruling of Allaah? Still, they turn away, after all that. They are no believers. Surely We have sent down the Torah, in which there was guidance and light by which the prophets, who submitted themselves to Allaah , used to judge for the Jews, and (so did) the men of Allaah and the men of knowledge, because they were ordained to protect the Book of Allaah, and they stood guard over it. So, (O Jews of today), do not fear people. Fear Me, and do not take a paltry price for My verses. Those who do not judge according to what Allaah has sent down are the disbelievers. We prescribed for them therein: A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear and a tooth for a tooth; and for wounds, an equal retaliation. Then, if one forgives it, that will be expiation for him. Those who do not judge according to what Allaah has sent down, they are the unjust.

Notice, I’ve highlighted the areas Sam has also highlighted. He’s desperately trying to draw the conclusion that there was no need for the Qur’aan’s revelation or Muhammad’s {saw} judgement  because the Qur’aan is saying that the Torah was still the modus operandi of the day when it come to judicial implementation. This however is a fanciful generalization. Refer to the Qur’aanic quotation above, it clearly states that the Torah which the Jews had contained a ruling from Allaah and it goes on to explicitly state what that ruling was: An eye for an eye…..etc, hence the Qur’aan is rebuking the Jews for knowing what the ruling of Allaah was, while they neglected to implement it. Hence why the Qur’aan states:

So, (O Jews of today), do not fear people. Fear Me, and do not take a paltry price for My verses. Those who do not judge according to what Allaah has sent down are the disbelievers.

The following excerpt explains the verses before the above ayat:

Their gist is that the Jews were habitually used to issuing religious edicts as desired by the people, either for the benefit of relatives or to satisfy their greed for money, property, influence, and recognition. This had become a common custom particularly in matters involving punishments that they would, if the crime was committed by an influential person, change the severe punishment of the Torah into an ordinary one. It is this behaviour, part of theirs which has been described in the first verse (41) in the following words: يُحَرِّ‌فُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوَاضِعِهِ (They displace the words after their having been placed properly).

Now the people who were used to making the severe punishments of the Torah easy for their clients by changing them saw an opportunity for themselves whereby they could take such shady matters to the Holy Prophet {saw} and make him their judge or arbitrator. The dual advantage they saw in it was that they would reap the benefits of all easy and light rules of Islamic law, while at the same time, they would not have to commit the crime of altering the Torah. But, here too, they had their crookedness at work as they would hold on to their decision of taking their case to him until such time that they succeeded in finding out beforehand through some source or ruse as to the actual verdict which would be delivered in their case when presented. Then, if they found this verdict matching their wishes, they would make him their arbitrator and have him decide their case. If it happened to be contrary to their wishses, they would leave it at that.- Tafsir Maar’iful Qur’aan : Mufti Rafi Uthmani, pages 164- 165.

This presents the precedence for verse 44 and onwards:

By saying:  إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَا التَّوْرَ‌اةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ‌ (Surely We have sent down the Torah, having guidance and light therein), the hint given is that the abrogation of the Shari’ah of Torah at that point of time is not because of any shortcoming of the Torah itself but it has been done rather because of the need to change injunctions with the change of time. Otherwise the Torah too is a Book revealed by the same Revealer.

After that is was said: that is,  ۚ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا  “We had revealed the Torah so that, until its Shari’ah has not been abrogated, all incoming prophets and their deputies, the men of Allaah and the Ulama shall all decide and rule in accordance with this Torah making it the working law of their time“. After that, it was said لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالرَّ‌بَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ‌ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ (because they were entrusted with the protection of the Book of Allaah and they stood guard over it). It means that these prophets and their two kinds of deputies, the Ulama and the Masha’ikh (Men of Knowledge and Men of Allaah) were responsible for enforcing the laws of the Torah because Almighty Allaah had entrusted them with the protection of the Torah and they had given up the pledge that they would guard it.

Up to this point, the text was referring to the Torah as Divine Scripture and guidance and light which was enforced and guarded by the Prophets, and their deputies among guides and scholars. Then, the focus turns on to the contemporary Jews who have been censured for not having guarded the Torah as their elders did. They acted crookedly when they started changing its injunctions, for example, the glad tidings of the coming of the Last among Prophets, Muhammad al Mustafa, may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, was mentioned clearly in the Torah and the Jews were asked to believe in him. But, rather than believe in him as required, they became hostile to him. Also given here is the reason what prompted them to do so. It was love for power and love for money. They knew that the Holy Prophet {saw} was a true prophet of Allaah but they balked at the thought of following him because they were taken as leaders among their people, common Jews who followed them. Now if they were to embrace Islam, they will turn into common Muslim individuals. Gone will be their pivotal position for power play. Other than this, they had almost made it a profession that they would bend and alter the provisions of the Torah to provide officially endorsed conveniences for influential people against payment of bribes. The contemporary Jews were warned about this practise in the following words:

فَلَا تَخْشَوُا النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلَا تَشْتَرُ‌وا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۚ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُ‌ونَ
(So, do not fear people, fear Me. And do not take a paltry price for My verses).

It means that they should not fear that their people will stop following them or turn against them and they they should not alter the Divine commands for the sake of insignificant worldly gains for it would ruin them both materially and spiritually because:

وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّـهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُ‌ونَ
(And whoever does not judge by what Allaah has sent down, then, they are the disbelievers.)

In the second verse after that (45), there is a description of the injunctions of Qisas (Even Retaliation) with a particular reference stressing that, “We had revealed these injunctions on the Torah”. The words of the text are:

وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ وَالْعَيْنَ بِالْعَيْنِ وَالْأَنْفَ بِالْأَنْفِ وَالْأُذُنَ بِالْأُذُنِ وَالسِّنَّ بِالسِّنِّ وَالْجُرُ‌وحَ قِصَاصٌ
(And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution.) Tafsir Maar’iful Qur’aan : Mufti Rafi Uthmani, pages  177 -180

Finally, to sum the entire context of the verses from 41 to 48, we read:

In the fifth (48) and sixth (49) verse, the address is to the Holy Prophet {saw} saying that to him Allaah has revealed the Qur’aan which confirms the Torah and Injil, Books previous to it, and is their custodian as well. This is because, after the people of the Torah altered the Torah and the people of the Injil made changes in the Injil, it was the Qur’aan alone which turned out to be the kind of overseer and protector which exposed the alterations made by them, lit up the truth and reality in their proper perspective. Even today, the true teachings of the Torah and Injil still survive through the Qur’aan while those who inherited them and those who claim to follow them have disfigured them to the extant that it has become impossible to distinguish truth from untruth. Towards the end of the verse, the Holy Prophet {saw} has been given the same instruction as was given to the people of the Torah and the people of the Injil, that is, all orders and judgments given by him should be accordng to injunctions revealed by Allaah, and that he should see through the ploy of these people who intend to have him decide matters according to their wishes and take his guard against their evil plans. – Tafsir Maar’iful Qur’aan : Mufti Rafi Uthmani, page 181.

As properly demonstrate above by an exegete, we can conclude the following:

(1) The Qur’aan confirms the Torah and Injil which are from Allaah.
(2) Allaah does not recognize the rulings of the Jews which are not based on His law.
(3) The Qur’aan although confirming what was revealed makes it clear that,
(4) It was revealed because the Shari’ah (laws) of the Torah were altered by the Jews and
(5) Altered by the Christians in the Injil, therefore:
(6) It makes it clear that the only rule of law to be accepted by Allaah is:
(7) By the Qur’aan and Muhammad {saw}.

The ruling which Allaah validates that is from Him is the ruling if Qisas given in ayat 44 (Equal Retribution), it is not validating the entire Bible. In fact, Sam’s quotation helps further prove this, but first, let’s examine this statement of his:

Here we not only have Muhammad judging the Jews according to their own copy of the Torah we also find him praising it by testifying that he believes in it and the God who revealed it! This clearly is not the actions of a man who thought that the Holy Bible was corrupted.

Note how he over exaggerates what Muhammad {saw} is doing. What exactly do the Hadith and Qur’aanic ayat speak of which Allaah had revealed? The law of Qisas (equal retribution – an eye for an eye…. etc), Muhammad {saw} was testifying that he believed in the law of Qisas which Allaah had revealed and protected. That is the only logical conclusion one can come to after reading the various exegeses on the matter in light of the Qur’aan and Hadith Sharh (commentary). To reaffirm this, let’s take one more look at the ayats in question,:

So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses (بِآيَاتِي) for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers. And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. Qur’aan : Suratul Ma’ida (5) : 44 – 45.

Clearly the ayat speaks for itself, it is referring to these verses as it uses the term, بِآيَاتِي (verses) in ayat 44. Therefore for Sam’s argument to be valid, the ayat would have had to use the word كتب (book), however as one can see for themselves, it does not use that term. Shamoun then seeks to abuse even the most basic tenets of Islam:

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

“No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it.”

Al-Razi also agrees with this opinion. In his commentary he said:

“There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

“Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah.”

The problem with Sam Shamoun is that he believes Muslims think that God’s word (Kalamullah) can become corrupted. However this only displays his ignorance as this is not an Islamic belief. We do not believe that God’s word can become corrupted. Sure someone can make scribal errors or forget a verse, those are human errors, but God preserves His revelations in a myriad of ways, while one scribe may make an error, the scribal overseer would notice that mistake, or another scribe would point it out under proof reading, in the case of recitation, a hafiz (Qur’aanic memorizer) would correct the incorrectly recited ayat. However, God’s “word” can become corrupted in another way:

(1) Interpretation (eisegesis), as what Sam is doing, or
(2) By ignoring/ hiding God’s word, writing your own “revelation” and claiming it to be from God:

فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَـٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّـهِ لِيَشْتَرُ‌وا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ
(So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.) – Qur’aan : Suratul Baqarah (2) : 79.

So the corruption of God’s word that most Muslims refer to when speaking of Biblical corruption, is away from the revelation of Allaah and towards men’s words claiming to be God’s. This is what we Muslims mean, so when Ibn Qayyim {rh} says this:

And the Torah is Allah’s word. (Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351)

and the Qur’aan says this:

“And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” – Qur’aan Surat al An’am (6) : 115.

These statements are being said in relation to Qur’aan Suratul Baqarah (2), Ayat 79, that people cannot change the word of God, but that they can hide God’s word and claim their self authored writing as revelation from God. We can see one example of that here:

If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. – Bible : 1 Corinthians (14) : 37.

Here, Paul is self prophesying that his writing is God’s word (God’s command), this is a bit of circular thinking on behalf of Paul as he doesn’t have any authority to say his writing is now God’s command, no verse from the Old Testament refers to Paul as the one who would write God’s command. Ironic as it is, he should have taken his own advice:

Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. – Bible : 1 Corinthians (8) : 2.

Or as demonstrated by the author of the Gospel of Luke, where the author’s intent was to document Jesus’ worldly ministry but somehow Christians made it into an inerrant scripture:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.- Bible : Luke (1) : 1 – 4.

One moment this is an account for a person by the name of Theophilus, the next Christians are assuming it’s the word of God, inspired and inerrant. Therefore in this regard, this is what Muslims refer to as corruption of God’s word. People write documents and the masses are led to believe it’s from God. God’s word didn’t change, but people’s belief in a word of God changed. However things turned for a worse in Sam’s article, as he attempted to use, what I assume is logic statements:

A. No one is able to change the words of God.

B. The Torah (and by extension the Gospel and the rest of the Scriptures) is (are) God’s Word(s).

C. Therefore, no individual can ever change or corrupt the text of the Torah (or the other Scriptures for that matter).

That’s what we believe Sam, no one can change God’s word. To make it a bit more extant, God’s word is an attribute of God, just as you would have Al Alim (All Knowing) and Ar Rahman (Most Merciful), in this light Kalamullah (The Word of Allaah) cannot be altered as God does not change, He is, Al Awwal (The First – Alpha) and Al Akhir (The Last – Omega). This must be a new lesson for Sam as he clearly displays his ignorance of Islamic ‘aqidah. Continuing to examine his argument, we read:

Here is what that passage actually says:

And [likewise,] from those who say, “Behold, we are Christians.” We have accepted a solemn pledge: and they, too, have forgotten much of what they had been told to bear in mind – wherefore We have given rise among them to enmity and hatred, [to last] until Resurrection Day: and in time God will cause them to understand what they have contrived.

Now notice the contradiction between William’s interpretation of this text with the following verse that appears a little later in the same surah:

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him and We gave to him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition unto the godfearing. So let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down therein. Whosoever judges not according to what God has sent down — they are the ungodly. S. 5:46-47 Arberry

Let’s correct Sam’s misleading statements here, in this instance he’s appealing to a post hoc argument. Essentially, he does not take the verses into their contextual order, thereby purposely misleading himself and the audience at large. To begin with, the ayats he quotes above are from verse 14 and then he skips all the way to verses 46 and 47. Between those ayat there are 32/ 33 verses. He’s jumped 33 verses, to link two different statements to develop an entirely new understanding. This surely is academic dishonesty, for an example of what he’s done, let’s look at this Biblical example:

Looking at his disciples, he [Jesus] said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

and then he says:

“How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!” – Bible, Luke 6, Luke 21.

That sounds wrong doesn’t it? Well that’s because, just as Sam, I deliberately removed those statements from their places of context, joined them together and the argument being presented from such an act is highly fraudulent, and this is what Sam has done to the Qur’aan. Moving on, the verse which Br. Paul Williams has referenced is verse 14:

And from those who say, “We are Christians” We took their covenant; but they forgot a portion of that of which they were reminded. So We caused among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. And Allah is going to inform them about what they used to do.- Qur’aan : Surat al Ma’ida (5) : 14.

In its context, this admits that Christians, who at the time of Muhammad {saw} profess such statements, were sent a Prophet in the manner of Muhammad {saw}, the very next ayat demonstrates this:

O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book. – Qur’aan : Surat al Ma’ida (5) : 15.

Later on in the Surah however, it refers to the time when Isa (Jesus – may God be pleased with him) was alive. Referring to two completely different times:

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. – Qur’aan : Surah (5) : 46.

His argument is based on verses referencing two completely different times. This only goes on to display his incompetence and dishonesty. How shallow, can you go?

Fortunately we are in a position to know what the Torah which Jesus came to confirm looked like. As a result of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, along with Jesus’ extensive use of the OT Scriptures as documented in the Canonical Gospels, we know that the Scriptures that he was reading and confirming to be from God are the very same Books that we have today. This simply provides further evidence that Muhammad actually believed that the Torah has not been corrupted since he claimed that Jesus himself was sent to confirm the authority of the same Scriptures that he himself had access to.

The problem with Sam’s argument is that he cannot be consistent. On one end he professes the Dead Sea Scrolls are scripture, however the Christian New Testament is based loosely on a mixture of the Masoretic Text, Qumran Scrolls and Septuagint Manuscripts. Unless he can provide for us a single Christian Bible which uses the entirety of the Qumran / Dead Sea Scrolls, he’s essentially jumped the gun. Sam’s logic is described as such:

(A) Jesus lived at the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
(B) Therefore he used the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Well, it’s rather simple to challenge that. If he used the Dead Sea Scrolls:

(1) Did he live among the Essenes in Qumran? If so, give a source.
(2) Did he consider their codex to be canonical, because I don’t see the Book of War in the (Jewish/ Christian) Old Testament.
(3) Why would the early Church prefer the Septuagint over the Masoretic text which is closer to the Dead Sea Scrolls in language and content?
(4) Following the logic of (A) [implies] => (B) can we say that Jesus also used the Samaritan Scrolls which existed at the same time?
(5) Why did he have to use the Dead Sea Scrolls, why not the Scrolls from (4) or perhaps the Oral Tradition of the Pharisees?

His argument doesn’t follow proper logic, just because it may have existed within the era of Jesus, does not mean that he used it, as not a single Patristic source claims that Jesus used the Scrolls of the Essenes and if Sam has evidence of Jesus using the scrolls of the Essenes (Dead Sea Scrolls), then please, give it to the world, we’re waiting. In fact, to the contrary we have Christian scholars declaring the codex and canon of the Essenes to have contained pseudepigrapha books:

The Essene canon contained some of the Pseudepigrapha which they claimed to be divine. Most of these writings were midrash on canonized books and logically therefore would not be Scripture. For if the Pseudepigrapha contained a copy of a canonical book as well as commentary on it, why would it not negate the original canonical book, because the Pseudepigrapha with its inspired commentary would be much more valuable? In addition, “If they were conscious of being inspired, why did they not have the confidence to use their own names?”Even the quote in Jude 14 of 1 Enoch 1:9 does not require that 1 Enoch is Scripture. To quote what is true in Scripture is different than saying that what is quoted is Scripture. Even Paul quoted a pagan poet in Acts 17:28, yet he certainly did not regard it as Scripture but as simply true.The Content and Extent of the Old Testament, by Wayne Stiles.

Seemingly reeling from a bout of inanity, Sam then desperately tries to attack the Qur’aan ina  last ditch attempt to manifest some form of compensation for failing to argue against Br. Paul’s statements:

Lastly, what makes William’s distortion of the Quranic witness to the authenticity of the Holy Bible rather remarkable is that the Quran testifies to its own textual corruption!

(Of just such wrath) as We sent down on those who divided (Scripture into arbitrary parts), – (So also on such) AS HAVE MADE THE QUR’AN INTO SHREDS (as they please). S. 15:90-91 Y. Ali

Here is how another version translates this text:

As We sent down (Our curse and disagreement) on those who divided (the Scripture out of their own whims into equal parts and thus mutilated the integrity of its Surahs)—those who made Al-Quran into (thirty or sixty equal) parts (on the basis of the thickness of volume, completely disregarding the subject matter and the divisions sanctioned by the Divine Author). Dr. Kamal Omar

This ayat has nothing to do with textual corruption of the Qur’aan, whether during the lifetime of Muhammad {saw} or otherwise. This is why Sam’s eisegesis has led him to many false conclusions and his word study fallacy really is not helping the situation. Neither the ayat (verse) or Dr. Kamal’s translation speak about textual corruption, but Dr. Kamal does explain what the verse means:

completely disregarding the subject matter and the divisions sanctioned by the Divine Author

There were people who were disregarding what Allaah had said in the Qur’aan, and they were dividing it into their own understandings as Dr. Kamal clearly indicates. A word for word reproduction for what Sam is doing. The very Qur’aanic ayat he is trying to use to disparage the sacredness of the Qur’aan, backfires and in great irony, describes what he’s trying to do. Glory be to God. Let’s now try to seek the proper understand of this ayat:

(Who have made the Qur’an into parts.) Some have said that Al-Mutaqasimin refers to the Quraysh, that the Qur’an means this Qur’an (as opposed to the Scriptures of the People of the Book), and that “made it into parts” referred to what `Ata’ said that some of them said that he (the Prophet ) was a sorcerer, some said he was crazy, or a soothsayer. These various allegations were the parts. This opinion was also reported from Ad-Dahhak and others. Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Ibn `Abbas that Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah – holding a noble position among the people – rallied a group of Quraysh behind him when Al-Mawsim (the time for pilgrims to meet in Makkah for Hajj) had come. He said to them, “O people of Quraysh! The time of Al-Mawsim has come, and delegations of Arabs will come to you during this time. They will have heard some things about this companion of yours (meaning the Prophet ), so agree on one opinion, let there be no contradicting or denials of each other’s sayings”. They said, “And you, O Abu `Abd Shams, give us an opinion and we will say that.” He said, “No, you make the suggestions and I will listen.” They said, “We say he is a soothsayer.” He said, “He is not a soothsayer.” They said, “We say he is crazy.” He said, “He is not crazy.” They said, “We say he is a poet.” He said, “He is not a poet.” They said, “We say he is a sorcerer.” He said, “He is not a sorcerer.” They said, “So what should we say” He said, “By Allah, what he says is as palatable ﴿to the average person﴾ as something sweet, so you cannot say anything against it without it being obviously false.Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Qur’aan Surah 15 : Ayat 90 -91.

To now conclude with a brief summary, we recall:

(1) The Qur’aan came to confirm that Shari’ah of the Torah (from Allaah) and Injil (from Allaah), see 5:44 to 5:49.
(2) The Qur’aan which was revealed to Muhammad {saw} admonishes the Jews for ignoring the law of Qisas (Equal Retribution). (5:44)
(3) The Qur’aan which was revealed to Muhammad {saw} came to confirm the law of Qisas (which Muhammad {saw} testified was from God and which he testified in the corrupted Torah of the Jews). (5:4445)
(4) Isa (Jesus – may God be pleased with him) confirmed the Injil (Gospel) giving to him by God, not that of Mark, Matthew, Luke or John which came with Pope Siricius’ Canon in 397 AD [after the failed vote of 393 AD]. (5: 46)
(5) The Qur’aan confirmed what God revealed and admonished the Jews and Christians for corruption of scripture (2:79, 5:14).
(6) It is in this context, that it is Allaah who has established the lawmaking to be based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah of Muhammad {saw}. (5:48)

As such, the Qur’aan as given by Allaah and as received to us through the Messenger, Muhammad {saw} clearly has demonstrated the errors of the Christians and Jews with respect to their scriptures and its corruption while enforcing the sanctity of the Qur’aan as being the source of hukm (law making) for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

This now places Shamoun in a dilemma. If Shamoun continues to believe that the Bible has not been corrupted then he has to conclude that his own article proves him to be wrong, and therefore a farce of an attempt to attack Islam. Yet if he agrees with himself that the Bible is the uncorrupt Word of God then Shamoun must again accept the fact that Paul was a false apostle since the latter contradicted the essential core doctrines taught within the self inspired pages of his own falsification of scripture, i.e. the condition Paul lays for himself in 1 Corinthians 8:2.

With that said, we now end our discussion with the following advice to Sam Shamoun: Read. Inwardly digest. Learn. and at some point, be Intellectually Responsible and avoid Inane and Petulant Deceits.

“He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and he to whom wisdom is granted receives a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the message but men of understanding” – [Al Qur’an 2:269]

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Refutation: The Quran’s View of the Holy Bible Revisited Pt. 1

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Sam Shamoun continues to betray intellectual responsibility, especially in light of the Christian method of scriptural exegesis. This week he falls prey to the Word Study Fallacy:

Word studies are popular, easily obtained from available resources, and an easy way to procure sermon content. However, word studies are also subject to radical extrapolations and erroneous applications. It is not always possible to strike exegetical gold by extracting a word from the text for close examination. Word studies alone will not suffice. Indeed, over-occupation with word studies is a sign of laziness and ignorance involved in much of what passes for biblical exposition in our times. – Exegetical Fallacies: Common Mistakes Every Student of the Bible Must Avoid by William D. Barrick, page 3.

and to the Fallacy of Reading Between the Lines:

The unwarranted associative fallacy “occurs when a word or phrase triggers off an associated idea, concept, or experience that bears no close relation to the text at hand, yet is used to interpret the text.” – Exegetical Fallacies: Common Mistakes Every Student of the Bible Must Avoid by William D. Barrick, page 5.

We must also recall Sam Shamoun’s famous five step program to misrepresenting anything and everything:

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

Sam Shamoun begins his attack on rationalism, by first implying the Qur’aan is in agreement with him:

How does the Quranic revelation see itself in relation to previous books like the Bible?

God speaks to his prophet, Muhammad, in the Quran saying:

And unto thee O Prophet have We vouchsafed this divine writ, setting forth the truth, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein.

Judge, then, between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee.

Unto every one of you have We appointed a different law and way of life.

And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but He willed it otherwise in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto you.

Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.

(Surah 5:48)

What he’s trying to imply from the Qur’aan is that the Qur’aan gives precedence to the authenticity of the current Biblical canon and codex. As we continue you shall see how he slowly deceives himself into thinking this argument is actually valid in relation to the Qur’aanic text.

And We descended to you The Book with the truth, confirming to WHAT (IS) BETWEEN HIS HANDS from The Book (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi), and guarding/protecting on it, so judge/rule between them with what God descended and do not follow their self attractions for desires about what came to you from the truth, to each from you We made/put God’s decreed way of life/method/law and order, and a clear/easy/plain way, and if God wanted/willed, He would have made you one nation/generation, and but to test you in what He gave you, so race/surpass (to) the goodnesses/generosity (good deeds), to God (is) your return altogether, so He informs you with what you were in it differing/disagreeing (P).

He decides that the translation he initially references from Br. Paul Williams does not help him with his word study fallacy, so he then appeals to the authority (which by itself is another fallacy) of another translation to aid him in his butchering of honesty. Notice, he emphasizes the term, “what is between his hands“. So in light of his 5 step program to misrepresenting and misunderstanding everything:

Did he quote a text? ✔
Did he emphasize a certain word or phrase? ✔
Did he try to derive an argument based on word or phrase? ✔

So far, he hasn’t skipped a single step, already violating exegetical rules his own brethren would consider horrendous, Sam goes on to lay his entire argument on the phrase, “what is between his hands”. In that light, let’s examine the actual contents of that Qur’aanic ayat:

وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ ۖ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّـهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۚ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنْكُمْ شِرْ‌عَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّـهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَ‌اتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّـهِ مَرْ‌جِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

Translation (Mufti Taqi Uthmani [db])
We have sent down to you the Book with truth, confirming the Book before it, and a protector for it. So, judge between them according to what Allaah has sent down, and do not follow their desires against the truth that has come to you. For each of you We have made a law and a method. Had Allaah willed, He would have made a single community of people, but (He did not), so that He may test you in what He has given to you.

The phrase Sam isolates in his word study fallacy is:

مُصَدِّقًا

Essentially he pushes the premise that this word means: Confirmed what is between his (Muhammad [saw]) hands. i.e. the Bible. As he has said himself:

Muhammad had to testify that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures which were available to him were the uncorrupt revelations of God.

The problem with Sam’s statement is that he focused intensely on one phrase trying to make it into something it is not, thus negating the proper context of the scripture and the message it was trying to convey. To begin with, what does the Ayat firstly state?

We have sent down to you the Book with truth

Allaah is saying, that He has sent down the book, so which book is Allaah referring to here? The Qur’aan. Allaah is saying He has sent the Qur’aan to Muhammad {saw}. What is this Qur’aan doing in relation to the previous revelations?

confirming the Book before it

The Qur’aan is confirming the book before it, i.e. the Injil min Allaah.

So the Qur’aan is confirming that it is from Allaah and it is also confirming that Allaah had revealed the Injil and that the Qur’aan protects the Injil. However Sam’s specially chosen translation paints a slightly different picture, but one which argues against him:

And We descended to you The Book with the truth, confirming to WHAT (IS) BETWEEN HIS HANDS from The Book (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi)

Initially the ayat says that Allaah sent a book to Muhammad {saw}, a revelation. This revelation is confirming what is between Muhammad’s {saw} hands [The Qur’aan] from the previous revelation [Injil]. Since Sam is a bit dense, I shall break this down step by step for him:

(1) Allaah says He revealed scripture to Muhammad {saw}.
(2) He says this scripture, that He has revealed which Muhammad {saw} has (presently) in his hands (possession – the Qur’aan) confirms the previous scripture.
(3) The previous scripture’s message is confirmed in what is in Muhammad’s {saw} book now, (1) – the Qur’aan.

Notice his provided translation says what is between his hands from the book. The ayat presents the case of two books being revealed, but one is presently in the hands of Muhammad {saw} and that is the one Allaah has revealed. This book presently in Muhammad’s {saw} hands confirm what was from the book, previously revealed. Let’s see what Shaykh Rafi Uthmani [db] had to say on this ayat:

In the fifth (48) and sixth (49) verse, the address is to the Holy Prophet Muhammad {saw} saying that to him Allaah has revealed the Qur’aan which confirms the Torah and Injil, Books previous to it, and is their custodian as well. This is because, after the people of the Torah altered the Torah and the people of the Injil made changes in the Injil, it was the Qur’an alone which turned out to be the overseer and protector which exposed the alterations made by them, lit up truth and reality in their proper persepctive. Even today, the true teachings of the Torah and Injil still survive through the Qur’aan, while those who inherited them and those who claim to follow them have disfigured them to the extent that it has become impossible to distinguish truth from untruth. – Tafsir Maar’iful Qur’aan, Mufti Rafi Uthman, page 181.

To make sense of Sam’s argument is a bit hilarious, but if we take his understanding into consideration from what he has provided as a suitable translation for his argument we get the following:

(1) Allaah has revealed a book to Muhammad {saw}.
(2) Forget (1) for now.
(3) The book in your hands, which is not (1) confirms…
(4) What was from another book previously revealed.

So then, the question begs itself, if it’s confirming a previous scripture (لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ – that which preceded it), then what currently is in Muhammad’s {saw} hands? What is in his hands now that’s confirming the previous revelation? Sam is saying the answer to this, is the previous revelation. If that makes no sense to you, as much as it does to us, then we’re on the right track. How exactly can the verse be saying that God has presently sent confirmation and that the confirmation He has sent is currently in Muhammad’s {saw} hands but the confirmation is the previous scripture, not the scripture God currently revealed to Muhammad {saw}? That leads us into a circular argument, more academically, to the fallacy of circular thinking:

Sam is saying the previous revelation is the book in Muhammad’s {saw} hands and it refers to itself as a previous revelation being confirmed by God.

How exactly Sam, is the previous revelation referring to itself as “previous”, shouldn’t it be…..current? Shouldn’t it, logically speaking, refer to itself as the current revelation to make complete sense of the ayat? Essentially, his argument is based upon a world play upon the word study fallacy and does not it into the context of the ayat (verse). The explanation which he proposes ignores rational thought, edifies non-sequitur arguments, i.e. it does not logically follow through, to be true.

He then goes on to make another word study fallacy, this time he quotes numerous places where the word, Kitab is translated as Bible in the English versions of the Qur’aan:

Asad himself translated the word Kitab as Bible and Torah as Old Testament:………….
The following Muslim translators did the same thing:………

He’s basing his argument on a translation and we can easily refute this. The word Kitab literally means Book. The word Bible does not mean Book. The word Bible comes from the Greek word:

βίβλος – A collection of papyri.

A bit more research would have you know that it refers to books:

early 14c., from Anglo-Latin biblia, O.Fr. bible (13c.) “the Bible,” also any large book generally, from Medieval and Late Latin biblia (neuter plural interpreted as feminine singular), in phrase biblia sacra “holy books,” a translation of Greek ta biblia to hagia “the holy books,” – Etymology Online.

In that light the word “Holy Bible” would have two representations in classical Arabic:

(1) Majmu ul Kutub (a collection of papyri/ books).
(2) Kitab ul Muqaddas (holy book).

Neither phrase is to be found in the Qur’aan and if he is to appeal to the fallacy of hasty generalization as we see above, then anywhere the Qur’aan says the word, “Kitab” it has to refer to the New Testament/ Old Testament, otherwise his theory fails. So let’s put that to test:

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَ‌يْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِي

Translation:

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah –

Editting for Sam’s theory:

This is the New Testament about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious to Allaah –

Therefore since according to Sam’s theory, the Qur’aan is the New Testament Bible, then he has no choice but to accept the Qur’aan as a word from God and become a Muslim. Otherwise he has to publicly rectify his mistake and apologize for this theological blunders. If not, then he continues to display his ignorant sense of intellectual disability.

Sam then goes on to quote, out of all people, Ibn Ishaq, which Sam goes on to say:

In fact, one of the earliest sources on the life of Muhammad even goes so far as to identify John’s Gospel as the written record of the very Gospel which God gave Jesus to pass on to his followers!……The above Muslim biographer quotes John 15:23-16:1 and says that it is taken from the Gospel of Christ which John wrote down for Jesus’ followers! And do notice that he never once states that this particular Gospel is corrupt or unreliable.

Actually, what Sam has done is proven that John 15:23 is referring to Muhammad {saw} as the comforter which Christ promised (as is what Ibn Ishaq’s statement is referring to), this is a direct quotation from Sam’s article:

‘He that hateth me hateth the Lord. And if I had not done in their presence works which none other before me did, they had not sin: but from now they are puffed up with pride and think that they will overcome me and also the Lord. But the word that is in the law must be fulfilled, “They hated me without a cause” (i.e. without reason). But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord’s presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth from the Lord’s presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.’

This quote from Ibn Ishaq’s work is based on the premise that Muhammad {saw} is the comforter promised:

“The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete.

Sam’s authority is Ibn Ishaq. His claim is that Ibn Ishaq says John’s Gospel is from God, however in Sam’s own quotation of Ibn Ishaq, the author himself expresses why he’s quoting John’s Gospel: to prove from the Bible that Muhammad {saw} is promised as a Prophet/ the Comforter! Sam’s own source of authority, is claiming this particular set of verses is true and from God because it confirms Muhammad {saw} as a Prophet. So the question begs itself, if the reason Ibn Ishaq has quoted this section of the Gospel of John to be true because it refers to Muhammad {saw}, does Sam accept that the verses refer to Muhammad {saw}? If not, then Sam has no right, intellectually speaking, or rather academically to state that Ibn Ishaq agrees the Gospel of John is true. As he only quotes those New Testament verses to show Muhammad {saw} is promised in the Bible.

Part 2 can be viewed here.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]