Tag Archives: Koran

Unpacking Jay Smith: Topkapi Dating

In the past four weeks there has been a roll out of my latest video to the tune of more than 15,000 views. I recently began a series engaging with Joseph “Jay” Smith of Pfander, about his inconsistent, often erratic and usually dishonest claims. I would like to thank MuslimByChoice, SCDawah and EFDawah for uploading the video to their YouTube platforms.

Watch the video on MuslimByChoice’s channel:


Watch the video on SCDawah’s channel:


Watch the video on EFDawah’s channel:


The video is also viewable on our Facebook page:


I have been watching very closely the kind of feedback I’m receiving from specifically Christians who echo Jay’s material and the feedback has been quite surprising. There have been a lot more messages to Calling Christians over the last four weeks from Christians asking for more information. They usually come to agree that in this instance, on the dating of the Topkapi manuscript, that Jay is indeed incorrect though they would not explicitly state that he is intentionally being misleading. One common response was usually along the lines of, if he’s wrong in this case it does not mean he’s wrong in everything else he claims. To this I usually responded that this is one of his foundational and most oft-repeated claims, if a core claim is so obviously wrong, and we know he knows this information is incorrect, then how can we claim he is reliable in other areas?

and God knows best.

The Basmala in the Qur’an


The Basmala as it is known in English as, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” is one of the proofs of the preservation of the Qur’an. Allow me to explain.

For every Surah except one it is included at the start, it’s excluded in only one Surah. Everyone knows this. There is no Qira’ah (recitation of the Qur’an) that deviates from this and places it at the start of Surah 9. This is peculiar because in the written tradition, if a scribe is monotonously writing the Basmala for every Surah and they have no knowledge or a little knowledge of the Qur’an, it would seem abnormal to leave it out, so from this standard we should expect to see at least one Qira’ah that includes it, yet none do. We see the opposite with the New Testament as doxologies were commonly added because of their oral use in gatherings, we find no such equivalence in the Qur’an.

All the Qira’at have the Basmala as the same. A scribe with little to no knowledge of the Qur’an could have assumed that “Raheem” was mistakenly repeated and omitted it because of “Rahman” being similar. We find no such instance of this in any of the Qira’at. However, according to scribal habits and trends observed with the New Testament, this happened all the time and is known as haplography.

Or they could have assumed another word was meant beside “Raheem” and changed it to “Razaq” to make the phraseology more diverse and “more meaningful” according to their own reasoning, yet we find no instance of this is any Qira’at.

What this teaches us is that had the Qur’an been changed like the New Testament was, we should expect to see the kind of changes I mentioned above. These deviations should have occurred at some point and became their own Qira’at or found their way into one. Yet we find no instance of this and so we must ask ourselves how the untrained and unlettered Muslim world achieved this feat, when the literate and powerful Graeco-Roman peoples had not.

One verse bears with it so much greatness that I can only use the Qur’an to describe itself, “It is not possible for this Qur’an to have been produced by anyone other than God.” – Qur’an 10:37 (translation by Dr. Mustafa KhattabThe Clear Quran).

and Allah knows best.

Ramadan Mubarak 2018

As Salaamu ‘Alaykum,

The team at Calling Christians would like to extend Ramadan greetings to our vast readership. We are thankful for your continuing support, engagement and interactions with us. We sincerely pray that this Ramadan is a source of mercy and blessings for you all, ameen.


With that said, we invite everyone to read Qur’an Made Easy, an English translation by the recently deceased, Mufti A.H. Elias of South Africa. The translation with in-line commentary is free on Amazon and can be freely downloaded using the Amazon Kindle App to your PC, Android and iOS devices.

We’ll also be reading The Clear Qur’an, which is an excellent English translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab. It can be read on this website (go to settings, choose “translations”, then, select “Dr. Mustafa Khattab”).

Throughout this month we’ll be posting material exclusive to the Qur’an as we want to focus on the Qur’an during…the month of the Qur’an.

and Allah knows best.

Why Do Muslims Pray for Muhammad (peace be upon him)?


Why do Muslims pray for Muhammad (peace be upon him) doesn’t that mean he needs prayers or forgiveness from God? This is a claim that often comes up in conversations with Christian missionaries.


The primary reason we send salutations of peace and blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) is due to this verse in the Qur’an:

“Indeed, Allah showers His blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels pray for him. O believers! Invoke Allah’s blessings upon him, and salute him with worthy greetings of peace.” – Qur’an 33:56 (translation by Dr. Mustafa Khattab – The Clear Qur’an).

Due to God commanding Muslims to do so, that is the most significant reason for us to convey salutations (praise) upon him. On the other hand, conveying these salutations do not necessarily imply a lack of good on his part or some moral deficiency, this can also be seen in the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” – Matthew 6:9 (NIV).

“Father, hallowed be your name…” – Luke 11:2 (NIV).

In these passages, “hallowed” refers to respect, honour, glory and to salute (see the Cambridge English Dictionary). No one argues that God lacks respect, honour, glory or needs our salutations, rather these praises are done out of respect, love and admiration. The same in this case applies to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he does not lack these qualities, but rather we have a deep love, admiration and respect for him that is expressed when we convey prayers upon him.

and God knows best.

Missionary Mishap: Christians Cannot Lie

As the fall out from the debate I had with Joseph Jay Smith continues, a peculiar comment was made on my video that simply had to be addressed. The comment you are about to see, exemplifies the type of Christian that is following Joseph Jay Smith.


According to this Christian fellow, Joseph Jay Smith is a Christian, and as a Christian he cannot lie. Which means that whatever Joseph Jay Smith says, will always be true. This is the kind of intellect that Jay’s rhetoric appeals to, one of deifying humans and discarding basic logic altogether. Isn’t this what cults do? You can’t question Jay, whatever he says must be right because he said it.


and God 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.

The Passing of Shaykh Muhammad Mustafa al ‘Azami

It is with a heavy heart that I convey the sad news of the passing away of my teacher, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Al-A’zami (rahimahullah).

The Sheikh was one of the world’s premier scholars of Hadith, and received his education at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband, India (1952), al-Azhar University, Cairo (M.A., 1955),


The Shaykh

and the University of Cambridge (Ph.D., 1966). He was Professor Emeritus at King Sa’ud University (Riyadh) where he also chaired the department of Islamic Studies.

He served as curator of the National Public Library, Qatar; Associate Professor at Umm al-Qura University (Makkah); Visiting Scholar at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor); Visiting Fellow at St. Cross College (University of Oxford); King Faisal Visiting Professor for Islamic Studies at Princeton; and Visiting Scholar at University of Colorado (Boulder). He was also an Honorary Professor at University of Wales (Lampeter).

His publications include Ageless Qur’an: A Timeless Text, The History of the Qur’anic Text, Studies in Early Hadith Literature, Hadith Methodology and Literature, On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, Dirasat fi al-Hadith an-Nabawi, Kuttab an-Nabi, Manhaj an-Naqd ‘ind al-Muhaddithin, and al-Muhaddithin min al-Yamamah. He had also edited numerous other works including Kitab at-Tamyiz of Imam Muslim, Muwatta of Imam Malik, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah and Sunan Ibn Majah to name a few.
In 1980 he was the recipient of the prestigious King Faisal International Award for Islamic Studies.

In the western world, the Sheikh was best known for his critical investigation of the writings of the famous orientalists Ignác Goldziher, David Margoliouth, and Joseph Schacht.

I was fortunate to spend almost 15 years with the Sheikh learning from him and benefiting from his knowledge.

A great loss for the Muslim Ummah!

Source: Imtiyaz Damiel, Facebook.

The Preservation of the Qur’an Explained in Detail

Br. Adnan Rashid and Br. Mansur have delivered an exceptional lecture on the preservation of the Qur’an. Dozens upon dozens of common claims made against the Qur’an’s preservation are completely and totally refuted in what can only be described as having been done in an academic yet accessible form:

I would highly recommend this lecture for those who are interested in the Qur’an’s preservation. I would also recommend subscribing to the channel that the video is posted on, they have excellent content and even better videos will be appearing soon.

and Allah knows best.

Qur’an says “Sun Setting in Muddy Water,” claim Refuted – By Br. Ijaz and Br. Abu Ayoub

In this in-depth video, myself and Br. Abu Ayoub examine the claim that Qur’an in Surah  18:83-86 literally says the sun is “setting in a spring of muddy water.” We walk through the phenomenological statements the Bible also uses in respect to the sun rising and setting, usually known as semitisms which is a form of language behaviour or syntax in the Semitic languages. In the end, we see that the Arabic and Hebrew languages use many language devices that are not meant to be interpreted hyper-literally and which use hyperbole to express some geographical boundary.

and God knows best.

A Brief Refutation of the Gharaniq (Satanic Verses) Claim

A Brief Refutation of the Gharaniq (Satanic Verses) Claim by Hamza AA

This topic has been often been used by missionaries and Islamophobes to cast doubts about Islam, as such it merits at least a brief response.

What is the Gharaniq (Satanic Verses) Claim?

According to the fictional story, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wished that Allah would reveal verses (of the Qur’an) so that he could have reconciled with his tribe. Satan took this opportunity to manipulate the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) mind with certain words, which he mistook for Qur’anic verses, and recited them in praise of pagan idols.

By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire …

and when he came to the words:

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

Satan cast on his tongue (because of his desire for reconciliation with his tribe) the words:

These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval

Upon hearing these verses, the Muslims and pagans jointly prostrated in worship. Later, Angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and informed him that he (Gabriel) had not revealed those words to him. The Prophet got very upset with himself for having lied about God and falsely promoting the worship of idols. God then comforted him with the claim that such confusion had happened to all Prophets (peace be upon them) in the past:

And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (22: 52)

The Prophet then publicly retracted the false verse:

He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord. (53:18) So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? (53:19)  And Manat, the third – the other one? (53:20)

This in turn angered the pagans who rejected and hated Islam.
An example From Tabari [1192-1193], vol. 6, pp. 108-110 reads:

“Ibn Humayd – Salamah – Muhammad b. Ishaq – Yazid b. Ziyad al-Madani – Muhammad b. Ka’b al-Qurazi: When the Messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed out, and he debated with himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed:

By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire …and when he came to the words:

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words:

These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval.

When the Quraysh heard this, they rejoiced and were happy and delighted at the way in which he spoke of their gods, and they listened to him, while the Muslims, having complete trust in their Prophet in respect of the messages which he brought from God, did not suspect him of error, illusion, or mistake. When he came to the prostration, having completed the surah, he prostrated himself and the Muslims did likewise, following their Prophet, trusting in the message which he had brought and following his example….The Quraysh left delighted by the mention of their gods which they had heard, saying, ‘Muhammad has mentioned our gods in the most favorable way possible, stating in his recitation that they are the high-flying cranes and that their intercession is received with approval.’

…Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, ‘Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you.’ Then the Messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad’s tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers, and revealed:

Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he recited (the Message) Satan cast words into his recitation (umniyyah). God abrogates what Satan casts. Then God established his verses. God is knower, wise.

Thus God removed the sorrow from his Messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared and cancelled the words which Satan had cast on his tongue … Those two phrases which Satan had cast on the tongue of the Messenger of God were in the mouth of every polytheists …”

Brief Rebuttal:

Although a minority of scholars have adopted the Gharaniq story, such as Tabbari in his exegetical work, Ibn Ishaq, and Al-Wahidi in his renowned classic work Asbab al Nuzul, the vast majority of scholars have rejected it. We should further add that the story neither exists in the Qur’an, nor is it located in any main hadith collection (at least what is considered as Sahih). As for the narration and authors that narrate the story we must ask several questions:

Is the Isnad (Line of Transmission)  and Matn (content) reliable ?

1)  a) It’s absurd to place any source whose accuracy of preservation or narration is not equivalent to that of the Qur’an or as equally credible (muttawatir).

These are the verses of Allah which We recite to you in truth. Then in what statement after Allah and His verses will they believe (Quran  45:6)

b)  In the beginning of Al Tabbari’s work on the History of the Prophet (peace be upon him) he warns the readers of the following:

Let him who examines this book of mine know that I have relied, as regards everything I mention therein which I stipulate to be described by me, solely upon what has been transmitted to me by way of reports which I cite therein and traditions which I ascribe to their narrators, to the exclusion of what may be apprehended by rational argument or deduced by the human mind, except in very few cases. This is because knowledge of the reports of men of the past and of contemporaneous views of men of the present do not reach the one who has not witnessed them nor lived in their times except through the accounts of reporters and the transmission of transmitters, to the exclusion of rational deduction and mental inference. Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us  (Source: Abu Ja`far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari: Tarikh al-Umam wal-Muluk, 1997, Volume I, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut (Lebanon), p. 13.)

In other words, Al Tabbari informs us that he gathered informative records as they were passed on to him and if we find any errors, we should disregard those records.

c) Ibn Ishaq has been criticized for the inaccuracies of his work:

– Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was asked about the solitary reports of Ibn Ishaq if they are considered reliable. He said “No!”. See Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Da’ira Ma’arif Nizamia, Hyderabad, 1326 A.H. vol.9 p.43

– Imam Malik was not the only contemporary of Ibn Ishaq’s to have problems with him. Despite writing the earliest biography of Prophet Muhammad, Scholars such as al-Nisa’I and Yahya b. Kattan did not view Ibn Ishaq as a reliable or authoritative source of Hadith. (Jones, J.M.B. Ibn Ishak. Vol. IV, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, edited by Ch. Pellat, and J. SchachtV.L.M.B. Lewis. London: Luzac & Co., 1971: pages 810-811)

d) It is clear that Waqidi is in fact the senior partner. Ibn Sa’d, known of course as ‘Katib al-Waqidi’, was a secretary-editor of his master and of the materials he had assembled and then amplified. Waqidi was attacked for loose isnad usage by strict practitioners of Hadith. (T. Khalidi, Arabic Historical Thought In The Classical Period, 1994, Cambridge University Press, p. 47 , 48)

2) It is irrational to claim that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would be confused in reciting verses praising idols, whichwould flat out contradict the basic fundamental teaching of Islam, the Tawhid (The oneness of God).

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin. (Quran 4:48)

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly gone far astray.  (Quran 4:116)

And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah , your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.” (Quran 39:65)

3) Historically the Gharaniq story does not add up. According to the story:

– The Satanic verses were revealed roughly around the Fifth year of the Prophetic call (Eight years before the Prophet made Hijrah [Migration to city of Madinah]).

–  The Gharaniq story states that verses 73-75  of Surah 17 were revealed to reprimand the Prophet (please note: the correct context of these verses is provide in point 4, section C) for reciting the so called satanic verses. Yet, it is known that these verses were not revealed before the Miraj event (when the Prophet [peace be upon him] ascended to heaven). This event is historically dated no earlier than the 10th year of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) call (in other words at least three years before the Prophet’s Hijrah [Migration) to the city of Madina].

–  The Qur’anic verse 22:52 was revealed the first year of Hijrah.

Taking the above details into consideration, how rational is it that the satanic verses would be revealed in the fifth year before the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) Hijrah and as such, God’s admonishment and rectification of these false narrations would be revealed roughly 5 to 9 years later? Are we to presuppose that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Muslim companions would be associating partners with Allah (shirk) for at least 6 years before these verses were nullified and rectified?

4) Had the Gharaniq story been historically true, the Qur’an would have to explicitly address it, while on the contrary:

a) The Qur’an provides assurances that it is divinely protected and impenetrable by falsehood:

Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian. (Quran 15:9)

Indeed, those who disbelieve in the message after it has come to them… And indeed, it is a mighty Book. Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise and Praiseworthy. (Quran 41:41-42)

b) The Qur’an clearly confirms that had the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited any falsehood he would swiftly be punished:

So I swear by what you see (69:38)  So I swear by what you see (69:39) [That] indeed, the Qur’an is the word of a noble Messenger. (69:40) And it is not the word of a poet; little do you believe. (69:41) Nor the word of a soothsayer; little do you remember. (69:42) [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. (69:43) And if Muhammad had made up about Us some [false] sayings, (69:44)  We would have seized him by the right hand; (69:45) Then We would have cut from him the aorta. (69:46)  And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from him. (69:47)

c) The Qur’an states the Prophet (peace be upon him) was protected from being seduced by the disbelievers. Had he followed the disbelievers, he would have been severely punished:

And indeed, they were about to tempt you away from that which We revealed to you in order to [make] you invent about Us something else; and then they would have taken you as a friend. (17:73) And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little. (17:74) Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death. Then you would not find for yourself against Us a helper. (17: 75)

d) The Qur’an states that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) preached the Qur’anic revelation, he spoke not of his own desires but from that of divine inspiration:

Your friend (Muhammad) was not astray, nor was he deceived. (53:2) Nor was he speaking out of a personal desire.(53:3) It was divine inspiration (53:4)

5) Clarifying the misinterpreted verses in the Gharaniq Story.
a) A closer look at Qur’an 53:18:28 –

He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord. (53:18) So have you considered al-Lat and al-‘Uzza? (53:19) And Manat, the third – the other one? (53:20)  Is the male for you and for Him the female? (53:21) That, then, is an unjust division. (53:22) They are not but [mere] names you have named them – you and your forefathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow not except assumption and what [their] souls desire, and there has already come to them from their Lord guidance. (53:23) Or is there for man whatever he wishes? (53:24) Rather, to Allah belongs the Hereafter and the first [life]. (53:25) And how many angels there are in the heavens whose intercession will not avail at all except [only] after Allah has permitted [it] to whom He wills and approves. (53:26) Indeed, those who do not believe in the Hereafter name the angels female names, (53:27)  And they have thereof no knowledge. They follow not except assumption, and indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all. (53:28)

The above verses sarcastically rebuff the pagan idols and it would make no sense to glorify the pagan idols after verses 53:18-20. The Qur’anic verses accuse the pagans of falsely attributing names and authority to idols, basing their belief on nothing but assumptions.

In other words, what kind of divine revelation would in one sentence praise the idols, while later on deprecating them with such vehemence and intensity? How could such a blatant contradiction within two consecutive sentences be explained or justified?

b) A closer  look at Qur’an 22: 52-54 –

And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. (22:52) [That is] so He may make what Satan throws in a trial for those within whose hearts is disease and those hard of heart. And indeed, the wrongdoers are in extreme dissension. (22:53) And so those who were given knowledge may know that it is the truth from your Lord and [therefore] believe in it, and their hearts humbly submit to it. And indeed is Allah the Guide of those who have believed to a straight path. (22:54)

There is no explicit understanding that shows Satan confused the Prophet (peace be upon him) to recite those false verses. On the contrary, whatever malicious words Satan tried to throw in order to confuse the Prophet (peace be upon him) are nullified, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was protected from these temptations, and Allah’s words prevailed.

6) It would be ironic that once the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited these Satanic verses that both the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and pagans without hesitation and defiance would prostrate themselves willingly.

For instance, in a previous historical event the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) grew angry and objected that the Prophet (peace be upon him) signed a certain treaty (The Treaty of Hudaybiah; little did they know it was for their benefit) with the Quraish pagans and agreed not to enter Mecca until the next year. If the companions were willing to object to such an event of less importance, why would they not be willing to rebuke in anger the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) allegedly contradictory words, while prostrating to idols in total submission?

As for the pagans, after years of fighting the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his beliefs (Tawheed), why would they simply bow their heads to verses that were recited without hesitation or questioning.

7) Had the Gharniq story actually happened, the damage would have been irreparable:

a) It would have caused a drastic confusion in regards to the authenticity of what was being revealed (the Qur’an). The believers wouldn’t have known whether the recited words were divine or satanic.

b) If Satan had succeeded to confuse the Prophet (peace be upon him) once, he could have successfully done it several times.

c) Contradictory statements would have lead believers to leave Islam.

d) If the Prophet (peace be upon him) was confused by Satan, what would prevent the same thing from happening to the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) upon reciting the Qur’an or anything else?


Regardless from which perspective we examine this claim, the Satanic Verses allegation fails every test of authenticity, whether historically, chronologically, contextually, and logically. Therefore, this claim should be disregarded without thinking twice.
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