بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
On the eve of Christianity’s most treasured period of celebration and praise, we find Christian Apologist David Wood focusing his attention on Islam. How strange is it, that David would rather spend an occasion so dear to his religion, to talk about another religion? In light of his statements, I present a quick, concise and simple to understand response.
The verses of Qur’aan 6:164 and 17:13-15, do explicitly state that one person would not bear the sin of another. For example, if you steal a car, I will not pay the punishment for your sin of theft. However, according to Qur’aan 16:22-25, if you lead a person to sin then you will be punished for that sin because you’ve misguided that person and misguiding/ tempting a person into sin, is a sin. Say you sell a person that stolen car, you’ve lead that person to purchase a stolen vehicle without them knowing, but it is you who are responsible for selling the vehicle. Thus you bear the sin of stealing the vehicle and selling the vehicle. The one who has purchased it, does not know it is stolen so you will bear the sin of an unlawful transaction.
David Wood doesn’t seem to understand this and sees it as a contradiction, yet the Bible also promotes the belief that tempting a person into sin is sinning, as entering into temptation is a sin:
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:41.
He then jumps to Qur’aan 29:12-13, without providing any context so as to fool the simple minded readers of his facetious blog. According to verse 12, the Quraysh told the Muslims that they should revert to paganism and they the Quraysh, would bear (willingly) the sins of the Muslims. This is substitutionary atonement, where one person pays for the sins of another by substitution. However Allaah rebukes them, rather He says that each will bear his own sin and the Quraysh will bear their sin of misguiding Muslims. Meaning then, the Muslims will bear there own sins and the Quraysh will have the added sin of trying to misguide the Muslims, i.e. tempting them to disbelief. There is again, no contradiction here, it only exists as such in the mind of David Wood.
As for the arguments he presented from the ahadith, I’ve responded to them here in great detail. The short answer being:
It’s an argument stolen from Sam Shamoun, nevertheless, the ahadith do not imply (save for a prima facie reading), that a Christian or Jew is substituted for a Muslim in the fires of hell. Rather, for a Muslim and a Christian/ Jew there is each a place for them in heaven or hell. If the Muslim goes to heaven, his place in hell is unfilled, since the Christian/ Jew (due to their kufr – disbelief) is going to hell, then that spot in hell would be occupied by a disbeliever. Nothing in either or hadith, imply that a Christian/ Jew is the substitute for any Muslim, such a case only exists in the drunken rants of David Wood.
Thus, in Islam, you bear your own sin, for you are responsible for what you do. You are also responsible for leading others into sin and will thus bear the sin of misguiding others from the truth. David says he disagrees with this type of theology, therefore I must logically conclude that David does believe he is an adult who needs to be held accountable for his grievous inhibitions and devious deeds. What’s worse is that, since David does not want to feel responsible for his own actions, he wants us to believe that God should bear the burden for our sins. This would have to mean that God is the worse sinner of all, a far cry from being a ‘Holy’ God.
Rather, we as Muslims believe in a ‘Holy God’, not a sinful God and we take full responsibility for our actions, we don’t need to blame others for our mistakes as David would want you to do.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.