Tag Archives: Ijaz Ahmad

The Household Impact On Our Children’s Islam

One of the greatest fears of a parent is the tragedy of a child forsaking their dīn (religion) and thereby becoming an apostate. In the noble Qurʾān we find the narrative of the wise man Luqmān عليه السلام and his advice to his son:

“O my dear son! Establish prayer, encourage what is good and forbid what is evil, and endure patiently whatever befalls you. Surely this is a resolve to aspire to. And do not turn your nose up to people, nor walk pridefully upon the earth. Surely Allah does not like whoever is arrogant, boastful. Be moderate in your pace. And lower your voice, for the ugliest of all voices is certainly the braying of donkeys.”

Qurʾān 31:17-19, The Clear Qurʾān by Dr. Mustafa Khattab

Increases in the acceptance of cultural ideals which do not cohere with the ethics of Islām are quickly becoming flashpoints of conflict in the home. Mitigation strategies need to be employed by parents and these strategies need to be taught across the board to the point it becomes commonplace within the Ummah. Unless we as an Ummah acknowledge and identify that there are issues when it comes to tarbiyah (the way in which we raise our children), then we are effectively ignoring a growing problem. There are two factors we will consider today, the first is one of the predictors of apostasy:

People who grew up in a home with relatively little credible displays of faith are more likely to be atheists, according to new research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. The study indicates that cultural transmission — or the lack thereof — is a stronger predictor of religious disbelief than other factors, such as heightened analytic thinking.

New psychology research identifies a robust predictor of atheism in adulthood – PsyPost

Here we see the advice of Luqmān عليه السلام in the noble Qurʾān clearly being demonstrated in the aforementioned study:

The researchers found evidence that a lack of exposure to credibility-enhancing displays of religious faith was a key predictor of atheism. In other words, those with caregivers who faithfully modeled their religious beliefs, such as going to religious services or acting fairly to others because their religion taught them so, were less likely to be atheists.

Ibid

In other words, if we teach our children that Islām is true because it is good and beneficial, but in the home we don’t practise Islām (the daily prayers, fasting, giving charity) but rather find constant conflict (quarrels, hypocrisy, dishonesty, lying) then the child genuinely has no reason to think Islām is benefitting his family. It’s at that point Islām becomes an impediment to what is good and this beautiful dīn becomes associated with the negative attributes of their family. It makes sense as to why a child would want to create that disassociation from Islām, to create a disassociation from chaos, stress, and toxicity.

Imagine a scenario where we teach our children that Islām teaches us to have good etiquette towards those we disagree with, but then they see their father and mother constantly quarrelling, and using insults towards each other. Imagine a scenario where we take them to the masjid for the Friday prayer but we fail to pray any other prayer. The example we set literally has a moral effect on our children, they observe and remember everything, consciously or otherwise. The Qurʾān effectively teaches us this in a very poignant way:

“As for those who believe and whose descendants follow them in faith, We will elevate their descendants to their rank, never discounting anything ˹of the reward˺ of their deeds. Every person will reap only what they sowed.”

Qurʾān 52:21, The Clear Qurʾān by Dr. Mustafa Khattab

The consequence of being a hypocrite therefore has an everlasting effect in this life and in the next:

“Allah has promised the hypocrites, both men and women, and the disbelievers an everlasting stay in the Fire of Hell—it is sufficient for them. Allah has condemned them, and they will suffer a never-ending punishment.”

Qurʾān 9:68, The Clear Qurʾān by Dr. Mustafa Khattab

The second factor that we must look at is known as maternal education (as it relates to mental and spiritual resilience). It is a duty in Islam that our Muslim sisters are indeed given the time and consideration of becoming educated. The Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ فَرِيضَةٌ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ

Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.

Sunan Ibn Majah 224, Grade: Hasan

Education is for all Muslims, not only for men. Maternal education refers to the level of education which a mother has and its long term effects on a child’s intellectual development. Low maternal education is recognized as a marker of low resilience (the ability to adapt to difficult or trying circumstances), as well as a marker of lesser educational success. In the peer-reviewed journal, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 3, we learn quite a few important details from the article, “Increases in Maternal Education and Young Children’s Language Skills.” The article states on page 319 that:

“Children of more highly educated parents enter school with higher levels of academic skills and continue to perform better than other children (Entwisle & Alexander, 1993; Lee & Burkham, 2002).”

Increases in Maternal Education and Young Children’s Language Skills, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 3

Furthermore on page 343 it states:

“Improvements in mothers’ education are associated with concurrent improvements in young children’s language development and the quality of children’s home environments, particularly the provision of learning materials and mothers’ responsiveness.”

Ibid

In a traditional Islāmic household the primary caregiver of a child tends to be the mother, the research therefore elicits the fact that the primary caregiver’s level of education and intelligence has a direct developmental effect on a child’s ability to learn. If the mothers of our children aren’t educated then we are effectively limiting the intellectual development of our children. This can and does directly affect their (our children’s) ability to reasonably think through trying circumstances (emotional regulation during distress). In the book The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles by two PhD psychologist scholars, Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté, they state that:

“Resilience is of vital importance when making quick and tough decisions in moments of chaos. What’s more, it grants you the ability to do so with grace, humor, and optimism. Resilience transforms. It transforms hardship into challenge, failure into success, helplessness into power. Resilience turns victims into survivors and allows survivors to thrive. Resilient people are loath to allow even major setbacks to push them from their life course.”

The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles, p 11.

From this, we know then that a higher level of education for the mother of a child, directly impacts their resilience, and as children grow they need a robust thinking style to navigate challenges, intellectually and spiritually. The book qualifies this point by explaining the impact and efficacy of a robust thinking style:

“Their work indicates that the process that determines our resilience as adults is a dynamic one—a complex interaction between elements of a child’s external and internal worlds. Many of the early external pressures on resilience—low birthweight due to poor maternal nutrition, childhood poverty, divorce, or physical abuse —can themselves never be reversed. They are in the past. But some of the internal causes of low resilience, such as thinking styles, can be modified, even counteracted. And, more important, once your thinking style has changed, you can use it to undo the ongoing negative consequences that stemmed from events in your childhood that were outside your control.”

The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles, p 24.

The link between resilience (mental, emotional, and spiritual), maternal education and an unstable family structure is established (emphasis mine own):

“When we hear such stories of deprivation in the early years, we know intuitively that these children are disadvantaged—they are at high risk of failing to achieve later in life. Research has isolated many of the childhood circumstances that present the greatest threat to resilience: Low birthweight, low socioeconomic status, low maternal education, unstable family structure, and maltreatment put any child at risk for underachievement. But how is it that these characteristics of the world outside the child come to exert their influence on the internal life of the child, on her motivation, achievement, and on her resilience?”

The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles, p 26.

In conclusion, as Muslims we need to practise our faith consistently, as well as educate both parents, and in focusing on these two areas, the likelihood of our children remaining Muslims while being successful in navigating life (especially spiritual challenges) seems to be fairly attainable.

There are many classes that Muslims can attend for free, I recommend the i3 Institute as one of them.

and Allāh knows best.

Was Christ Crucified? – Historiographic Study and the Aftermath

A few months ago I had a wonderful debate with Mr. Stephen Atkins of Toronto on the historicity of the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. The results of this discussion have been quite meaningful for me and I want to expand on this some more.

Typically, Muslim and Christian debates on the crucifixion have tended to focus on what the Bible or the Qur’ān say about the event itself. This almost always leads into the question of the Qur’ān denying a fact of history. Rather than repeating a debate that has been done ad nauseum, I wanted to do something a little different. It started with an innocent but yet a very foundational question. What does it mean when something is determined to be historic (this is different to an event being historical)? This question spawned other questions. What is the historical method, what counts as a fact of history, what is the role of evidence in determining something to be historic, etc? Muslim-Christian dialogues on the topic had previously presupposed to some degree that we can take the conclusions of some historians and then argue based on their conclusions. It had occurred to me that after twenty-something years of being told that there were mountains of evidence for the crucifixion that I had not actually seen these mountains at all. I surveyed Christian apologetic works against Islām to compile a list of these evidences. I then surveyed Christian apologetic works in response to mythicists (those who claim that Christ Jesus never existed) and compared the evidences they listed. The result was that the lists generally overlapped but they were quite short, in fact, this result bothered me. I assumed at that point that perhaps there was a flaw in the works I had chosen to survey and so I reached out to several Christian colleagues (many of whom were in academia or seminarians) to assist me with my lists. Most produced shorter lists than what I had produced myself.

Knowing then that my lists were more expansive, I then set out to analyse the provenance, datings, and other relevant information about each evidence listed. Most, if not all were from non-contemporaneous sources that provided less information than the Gospels collectively. Knowing already the historical problems with the Gospels (along with the New Testament in general), alongside the various preservation and textual-critical issues, I eventually concluded that our Christian colleagues had exaggerated their claim and in fact, that the emperor wore no clothes; there were no mountains of evidence. There were also no hills, no slopes, not even a slight incline, but rather a singular mole-hill. The stage was set, now I would proceed to examine the other half of the equation, the historical method itself. Reading book after book on historiography, works on historiographic criteria, and works by Christian historians, I began to feel quite underwhelmed and somewhat disappointed. I had assumed that there was some technical detail that held everything together or that there was something more elaborate and demonstrative other than assumptions that had little to no bases. One of the things which became plainly obvious was that from the secular historians I had read from, while they acknowledged the New Testament in and of itself as a complete work of literature was largely ahistorical in its claims, these same historians had viewed the individual event of the crucifixion as historic. The dichotomy was somewhat astounding. Eventually the overarching reason that this dichotomy existed was down to the view that no one else within the 1st century CE had claimed the crucifixion of Christ Jesus did not happen.

In historiography there are two terms that everyone should become familiar with.

  • Methodical credulity – where you presuppose that something is true and wait for evidence to the contrary
  • Methodical skepticism – where you presuppose that something is not true and wait for evidence to the contrary

In the case of the New Testament, academic historians generally apply methodical skepticism but in the case of the crucifixion they applied methodical credulity. What then, explained this dichotomy? It comes down to another facet of historiography known as continuities. See, continuities are generalisations which allow for assumptions of truth (credulity). For example, if I were to make the claim that President Trump owned a smartphone, no one would generally doubt this because in today’s world almost everyone has a smartphone. A historian 200, 300 years from now who examines his presidency, or even his personal life can generally assume that he did own a smartphone because it was common at our present time. It is commonly understood that the Romans regularly crucified Jews at the time of Jesus and so it can be reasonably assumed that because it was so frequent an event, that he was indeed crucified. He just happened to be one of many. Yet, this is just an assumption. For people who aren’t Christians or Muslims, accepting this as a fact bears no consequence on their worldview or their salvation. However, both Muslims and Christians have consequences to bear regarding the crucifixion or the lack of the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. It now becomes more important to have more than mere assumptions based on generalisations and arguments from silence. The stakes are quite literally raised at this point (please forgive the pun).

This is why the debate and the subsequent EFDawah livestreams on this topic became of note.

Rather than arguing based on an assumption, now we were arguing on foundational claims, principles, and evidences. The debate and the streams became somewhat of a testing ground to see just how well prominent debaters, clergymen, and apologists would do in a serious discussion on these matters. The results proved to be quite successful. I’ve had Muslims who have left Islām, return to Islām out of Christianity. Folks who had become agnostic due to this “error in the Qur’ān” returned to Islām. My friends and colleagues have reported using these very arguments successfully in their day to day interfaith conversations. Yet there is perhaps a caveat to all this which most people have yet to recognise. All of my research and all of the arguments which followed from it, have not been made public. In fact, privately with my friends and colleagues, and in a few Masjid lectures I’ve gone into a considerably greater amount of detail. What I’ve presented in the debate itself and in some of the historicity streams are generally the less technical points, summarised arguments, etc. There is so much more to unpack and I hope to do so in a comprehensive, yet brief introductory book on the crucifixion.

and Allāh knows best.

Easter Livestreams (2020)

On this special Easter Sunday, please see the following two videos. The first, from SCDawah where the panel featured Ustadh Adnan Rashid, Br. Hashim, Br. Mansur, Br. Zakir Hussain and yours truly (don’t forget to like and subscribe to SCDawah). We had a splendid time answering questions and giving our various perspectives on the crucifixion and resurrection, as well as our unified understanding on Christ Jesus in Islam.

 

CallingChristians also did a livestream on Facebook on Easter as well.

Do not hesitate to reach out and ask us questions, we’re excited to share the truth of Islam with one and all.

Yours in Islam,
Br. Ijaz.

Debate: “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?” – Dr. Shabir Ally & John Tors

The debate is at the North York Chinese Baptist Church located at #685 Sheppard Avenue East in Toronto, Canada.

Topic: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?

Date: Saturday 11th January 2020.

Debaters: Dr. Shabir Ally and Mr. John Tors.

The livestream is available at this link (YouTube) and this link (Church Website).

You can also stream the debate below:


Yours in Islam,
Br. Ijaz.

 

Jay Smith Banned in Hong Kong, Debate Cancelled?

cc-2017-js-panderinglogo

Recently Joseph “Jay” Smith published a video claiming that I had cancelled a debate with him because I wanted a last minute change to the topic. In this brief video, I provide email evidence that not only was the topic agreed to months in advance, but that Mr. Smith himself pulled out of the debate. In addition to this, we also provide an internal Pfander document which lists myself as one of the “Principle Debaters” in the world.

View the video on EFDawah:

or, view the video on SCDawah:

Should Mr. Smith opt to reconsider his reticence to debate a Muslim he considers to be one of the best in the world, I am more than willing to provide him with the opportunity to do so.

Yours in Islam,
Br. Ijaz.

Recent Appearances

As Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

We’ve been busy as of late and have not found much time to post new articles, however, this article serves as a summary of the most recent appearances we have made on the various da’wah platforms.

recent appearances
Check out our new Live Show on the SCDawah YouTube channel, Dawah Live Chat (DLC):

Show with Br. Hijab: Topics include liberalism, secularism, how to study the Islamic faith.
https://youtu.be/qgOpOca4ZMA

Show with Br. Suboor: Topics include secularism, scientism, rational proofs for God and general da’wah advice.
https://youtu.be/R26IfHDkU9E

Show with Br. Mansur: Topics include Hyde Park, methods of learning about Islam and general da’wah advice.
https://youtu.be/WJ0pps5Fbdo

Show with Br. Hashim: Topics include Hyde Park, the methodology of da’wah and general da’wah advice.
https://youtu.be/HiXqwF3L8eg

IPCI Da’wah Training in South Africa (online) –
Topics included the preservation of the Qur’an and the preservation (or lack thereof) of the New Testament.

Part 1 – https://youtu.be/Jn7XfAzrWTw
Part 2 – https://youtu.be/rZSwZ2qSqv4
Part 3- https://youtu.be/96lIrxrxrWE
Part 4 – https://youtu.be/E85GdCao6Y4

Appearance on The Mad Mamluks –
What is the Qur’anic view of the Bible?

Episode 138: Why the Bible is Inauthentic – https://youtu.be/FJuV4A8K8_M

Response to James White on Qur’an 10:94

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and Allah knows best.

Dialogue with Jay Smith

I recently had a polite dialogue with Joseph Jay Smith of Pfander Ministries about the preservation of the Qur’an, it can be viewed here:

Alternatively, the discussion can also be viewed on Facebook.

I also asked him a question after our discussion but via text chat and well, the results were pretty spectacular:

More to come soon, by the permission of Allah.

and Allah knows best.

Response to Dr. James White’s Dividing Line Show on Jan. 9th 2018

Please note – I have quoted Martin Luther in this video and he has many anti-Semitic statements towards the Jewish people. I have only quoted him to provide context for statements made in response to Dr. White. I do not endorse or encourage use of Luther’s hateful views.

See the Presentation that Dr. White is commenting on here.

For more information on the event, see this link.

For the corruption of the OT and NT, according to Islamic beliefs, see this link.

and God knows best.

« Older Entries