Tag Archives: MDI

Upcoming Debate: Br. Shadid Lewis and Dr. Andy Bannister


For further information, please see the Facebook event page as created by Ratio Christi. There is no information as of yet on whether or not there will be a livestream of the debate or the duration till the recording will be made public. As soon as any pertinent details are made aware to us, we’ll update this post and share the relevant information on our social media platforms.

and God knows best.

Dialogue Video: Navigating Differences in Theology – Br. Ijaz and Mr. Alex Kerimli

I recently had a dialogue with my friend and colleague, Mr. Alex Kerimli in Toronto. Today the video of that event is being released. The event was graciously hosted by the i3 Institute, which offers courses for young Muslims in the Greater Toronto Area.


The event went extremely well and in the end I have to say that I definitely enjoyed my time with Mr. Kerimli. We met a second time following the dialogue and had a second more informal dialogue that would be released in the near future. In the meantime, this dialogue took place in the context of a discussion I have been having with Mr. Kerimli for the past two years. It mainly revolves around the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an’s relationship with both of those books. We explore these relationships, the existence of a possible “Madinian Torah” and other fascinating questions about textual preservation in light of historical evidences.

At the end of the dialogue, it was all smiles from both sides of the theological divide.


In addition to releasing the video of the dialogue I am also including my PowerPoint presentation slides in PDF form. There are two versions of these slides. There is the original presentation as I used it in the dialogue. Following the event I noted that there was a miscitation of a quote from Mark, instead of Mark 4:15 I accidentally put Mark 4:20. There was also another miscitation, instead of Pslam 40:6-8, I wrote Isaiah 40:6-8. Along with that error, I also clarified my use of terms in the table comparing the contents of the Shema in the Gospels and the Septuagint editions. To be fair, I am releasing both the original version with the errors and the corrected version for clarity. I will follow up with Mr. Kerimli to see if he would be willing to do the same.

Here is the dialogue video:

and Allah knows best.


Debate: The Bible or the Qur’an? – Sadat Anwar vs. Dr. Tony Costa

One of favourite Muslim debaters, Br. Sadat Anwar (may Allah preserve him) recently debated Dr. Tony Costa. Today the debate video has been released and suffice it to say, Br. Sadat is simply mesmerizing. He’s previously debated Alex Kerimli and Carlton McDonald, as well as one Qadiani, Ansar Raza. I strongly recommend that this debate be shared on behalf of Br. Sadat, it should be watched and studied.

Let us know what you think of Br. Sadat’s arguments.

and Allah knows best.

Double Debate Release: Br. Zakir Hussain vs Richard Lucas

These two debates were recorded earlier in 2015, but only one of them was video recorded. The video recorded debate was released earlier last month: Who was Jesus?

The second debate has just been uploaded (audio only, with photos instead of video): Islam or Christianity – Which is the One True Religion?

Br. Zakir did an excellent job for both debates, I’ll be posting a review soon on the first debate.

and Allah knows best.

Debate Release: What is the True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples – Br. Ijaz vs Rev. Steven Martins

We’re happy to announce that the first debate between myself and Rev. Steven has been published online. The topic, “What is the True Faith of Jesus’ Disciples?,” featured a lot of discussion on the early Christology of the proto-orthodox Christian tradition. There was also discussion on the New Testament manuscript tradition however the Reverend chose not to pursue that course of argument (I had with me several papyrological studies on hand but the debate did not follow that path). The claim that the disciples were eyewitnesses or the authors of the NT textual tradition was deeply discussed and the Reverend makes quite the statement during the debate, “it’s all hypothetical!,” which then led to some even more interesting remarks.

I focused on the chains of transmission as claimed by Church tradition, and examined them in light of the deutero-canonical traditions, the results would surprise many. I also compared and contrasted several “claims” by the early Church fathers as to from whom they took their testimony from about Christ, which led to quite a major contradiction given Papias’ witness. All in all, this was an extremely enjoyable debate and the audio is 100% clear. Again, I’d like to thank Br. Haseeb from IBN for the recording, Br. Asad (of Motorway Hall) and the MYTT for hosting the event, Br. Nazam for stitching the video together and then uploading to his channel, Pastor Kris for moderating the event and especially Rev. Steven for being my gracious interlocutor. The event was extremely well attended and I must thank the community for their participation.

Enjoy the recording!

and Allah knows best.


Release: A Critical Analysis of Jay Smith’s Mistakes About the Qur’an [Update]

Update: I have been made aware that some persons are unable to access the paper via Scribd, you can therefore click this link and download the PDF directly: Response to Jay Smith’s Mistakes.

All Praise is due to Allah alone. The paper has undergone some minor changes, which are listed in the paper under the title of, “Structure of the Paper”. A formatting error for some headers were corrected, especially for Appendix B.

and Allah knows best.

Originally Published: 12/11/14, 6:46 a.m.

Second Recording of my Debate with Pastor Samuel Green

A great deal of thanks must be conveyed upon Brother BeholderGuard who not only recorded the debate, but also did a video for it, added quotations and commentary. If I was difficult to hear in the first recording produced, then please note that this recording is 100% clearer! Glory be to Allaah for this recording, as it’s clear and crisp in its audio:

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Second Debate Review: Bob Siegel vs Ijaz Ahmad, “Which is more reliable – NT or Qur’aan?”

Br. Zakir Hussain of the Muslim Debate Initiative has reviewed and critiqued my performance against that of Bob Siegel in our recent radio debate. It’s quite a read, but it’s interesting to see the thoughts of a seasoned debater on what many deem to be a controversial debate:

I would firstly like to thank brother Ijaz for the excellent work he has been doing on his blog and for his great performance against respected Christian apologist Pastor Samuel Green.

After listening to this recent debate and realizing that Bob Siegel hasn’t changed his approach since his performance against Brother Shadid Lewis I thought I would give a brief review of his next encounter with Brother Ijaz Ahmed. I will try to comment on some of the points presented in the order they were made in the debate. One point I would like to say is that it was quite hard understanding a lot of Ijaz Ahmed’s opening statement and rebuttal as it seems his mic or phone line was not very clear. In fact I had to keep replaying some parts in order to try to make out what he was saying so I think this was something that worked against Ijaz in this debate.

Now Bob started off with the usual cheap argument that the Quran teaches that the Bible is the word of God. I think Bob must have Surah 2:75-79 missing in his personal manuscript of the Quran and also Surah 5:13 and 4:157 which refers to his New Testament as CONJECTURE. After this first erroneous point Bob than claimed that although the Quran confirms the Bible, at the same time it also contradicts it. For example the Quran denies Jesus is God yet on the other hand Jesus (AS) allegedly claimed to be God. If Bob had an accurate understanding of what the Quran teaches he would know that the Quran does NOT confirm the entire scriptures of the Jews and Christians. If you read the Tafsir of Surah 5:48 for example you will find the following:

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
Ibn Jarir said,
“The Qur’an is trustworthy over the Books that preceded it. Therefore, whatever in these previous Books conforms to the Qur’an is true, and whatever disagrees with the Qur’an is false.”

So if as Bob says the New Testament teaches that Jesus is God, than the Quran does not confirm this part of the New Testament and in fact the Quran responds to the Christians regarding the New Testament teaching that Jesus is the son of God:

9:30. The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!

So the first reason Bob gives for a positive case for his Bible fails miserably. As even brother Ijaz in his rebuttal period mentioned Surah 2:79 to Bob and no response was given by Bob.

Bob than preceded to show how the New Testament fulfils Old Testament prophecies such as Isaiah 53. One thing that was very surprising was Bob made the claim that Isaiah 53 says that the anointed one (Messiah) will come and die for our sins, but Isaiah 53 nowhere mentions the Messiah. At first I thought this might have been a slip of the tongue but then Bob mentioned this again and again. So I would challenge Bob to show us where Isaiah 53 mentions the Messiah. There is a difference between Christians claiming it is speaking about the Messiah and Christians saying that the text itself mentions the Messiah.

He also mentioned Daniel 9 predicting the exact time of when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. It’s unfortunate that Bob doesn’t know that Daniel 9 is not speaking about one anointed one but is actually speaking about 2 anointed ones. I recommend he reads a book by Rabbi Tovia Singer entitled Let’s Get Biblical where on pg.114 he goes into great detail demonstrating from the Hebrew how the text speaks of 2 anointed one’s. Not only this but he gives a different timeframe of when the 70weeks actually starts and ends hence it doesn’t line up with the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  As far as Bob quoting from Josephus. This was where I realised that it seems that Bob hasn’t done his homework at all as many scholars today recognise that much of the material present in the quote of Josephus are actually what they would call a “pious fraud”. In other words some Christian added to and interpolated into the quote of Josephus. Bob also quotes from the Talmud to establish that the New Testament is corroborated by other non-Christian documents but historians like Josephus and the Jews of the Talmud did not have any independent sources regarding Jesus but were just simply repeating what they had heard from Christians so this hardly makes the case for the New Testament any stronger.

So we see that Bobs whole opening statement was riddled with error after error on the other hand let’s see how Ijaz approached this topic.

Ijaz started off by mentioning a key difference between the Quran and the New Testament. Namely the fact that the Quran was viewed as scripture right from the get go and as such Muslims started learning it and studying it from the start whereas on the other hand the NT was not seen as scripture from the start and it actually took years before it started getting viewed as inspired documents. Ijaz mentioned that the Quran was transmitted in 2 ways, namely in oral form and also in written form with both forms complementing each other. He then asked Bob regarding which NT he deems reliable as in the early years and actually for centuries Christians had different books in their canon and this phenomenon is actually the case with Christians today. One can compare the canon of the Protestants with the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox and Ethiopian churches. They differ with each other. An excellent question that Ijaz posed to Bob was regarding Psalms 119 which says that the word of the Lord is written in heaven on a tablet (us Muslims also believe this). Ijaz then asked which version of the OT and NT are written on this tablet. I must say I was disappointed with Bob avoiding the question and instead speaking about translations and how 99% percent of manuscripts he trusts are reliable etc thus avoiding the question.

Another excellent point Ijaz made was that the Disciples of Jesus did not have a NT to guide them nor did they have anything but the OT for their guidance so why do Christians need the NT if the disciples didn’t. So these are some of the points mentioned in the opening statement. After this point the debaters had questions posed to them.

The 1st question posed to Ijaz was regarding the transmission of the Quran i.e. who wrote it and how it came to us and when was it written. Ijaz responded with the fact that the Quran was being written down by the companions and followers of the Prophet from the earliest years of its revelation as the story of Umar (RA) visiting his sister who had secretly embraced Islam and who had a written copy of a certain chapter with her thus confirming that it was being written down very early.

Bob than responded by claiming that the Quran was neither written down nor compiled in the Prophets lifetime. It seems that Bob once again must have a missing verse in his personal manuscript of the Quran namely

80.11 Nay, but verily it is an Admonishment,
80.12 So let whosoever will pay heed to it,
80.13 On honoured leaves
80.14 Exalted, purified,
80.15 (Set down) by scribes

Bob was accurate regarding the Quran being compiled together after the Prophet (PBUH) had passed but all of it had been written in the Prophets lifetime and in his presence but it was only put together into a book form by his right hand man Abu Bakr (RA).
Bob than quoted Ibn Umar (RA) to try to show that Ibn Umar believed that much of the Quran was lost but as brother Ijaz rightly pointed out that Ibn Umar was speaking about the fact that some verses and recitations of the Quran were abrogated. What we have in the Quran today is the same as what the Prophet recited to angel Jibreel twice in the last Ramadan of his life.

Bob then in response to the claim by Ijaz that the NT was not seen as scripture in the early years tried to show how the disciple of Jesus Peter claimed in 2nd Peter that the letters of Paul are inspired like the OT. First off Bob should know that biblical scholars are almost unanimous that 2nd Peter was not written by the disciple Peter but by an anonymous person who forged this letter in the name of Peter. He can read the book by Bart Ehrman entitled Forged or even check out the arguments presented by Bruce Metzger regarding 2nd Peter. It must also be mentioned that this is not just a modern view but even early church fathers were in dispute regarding whether 2nd Peter was actually written by Peter. I would ask Bob to give us some proofs that any document in the NT is written by an apostle. I am confident that apart from some of the letters of Paul the rest of the NT has no solid proof that it was written by any apostles. Ijaz also mentioned that 2nd Peter is attributed to the 2nd century by some scholars as opposed to the first century as Bob thinks.

We now move on to the part of the debate where the moderator asked both speakers regarding the internal consistency of their scriptures. Ijaz proceeded to show how the Quran is clear and consistent on the first commandment namely that God is one in an absolute sense and how Islam and Judaism both do not believe in human substitution sacrifices and concepts such as the Trinity. At this point it would have been good to hear Ijaz speak about how the Quran itself in Surah 4:82 mentions that if it was not from God than surely it would have contradictions.

Bob mentioned that the Quran has many contradictions of which he could only bring up his wild theory that the Quran confirms the Bible yet contradicts it which has already been refuted above and in the debate by Ijaz who mentioned Surah 2:79.
The next question was regarding Paradise according to both scriptures of which Bob mentioned that both Islam and Christianity have a similar concept of paradise and both believe you must follow the ways of God to reach paradise. Bob mentioned that before the time of Jesus people like Moses and Abraham worked with animal sacrifices to cleanse their sins. What is remarkable is that Bob contradicted Jesus as Bob claimed that Abraham didn’t know about the coming of Jesus yet according to the Gospel of John Jesus allegedly said

8:56 your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

So Bob needs to explain why he contradicted Jesus. Was it a slip of the tongue or have I misunderstood what he was trying to say?
After this Ijaz once again asked Bob regarding Psalms 119 which states that the scriptures of the Lord are preserved in heaven, so which scriptures according to Bob are preserved? Is it the Masoretic text or may be the Qumran scrolls, Codex Sinaiticus or may be Vaticanus? I must confess I did not hear Bob answer.

The last part of this debate I would like to touch on is how Islam spread. Ijaz claimed it was because of the power of the Quran whereas Bob on the other hand claims it was because of the Sword. So I will ask him something the late great Sheikh Ahmed Deedat asked Anis Shorrosh in 1988. Which Muslim army went to Indonesia with the sword and which army is now in America and Europe where Islam is the fastest growing religion? Ijaz pointed to verses of the Quran such as 2:190 which give the context of warfare in Islam but Bob claimed that the Quran contradicts itself on peace and war where in one place it says be peaceful and in another place it says pick up the sword.

Has it not crossed Bob’s mind that just like the pre Exodus period of the life of Moses (AS) where he did not fight but after the demise of Pharaoh Moses and the Israelites conducted military operations and much like the 1st coming of Jesus where allegedly according to Bob Jesus was a pacifist but on the other hand when Jesus returns in his 2nd coming he will be a warrior with a sword as Bob confirms and Jesus confirms in Luke 19:27. Than in the same way Prophet Muhammad resembled Moses and Jesus in their first period whilst he was in Makkah but in Madina he was in the position of Moses after the Exodus and Jesus in his 2nd coming where he could fight against the disbelievers on behalf of God in the context of Ayah’s such as Surah 2:190 which Ijaz mentioned. It’s silly for Bob to quote Jesus telling Peter to put his Sword down as he who lives by the sword dies by the sword and interpret it in the way he has that Jesus was teaching pacifism. If this is the case than I have 2 questions for Bob

1) Who told Peter to purchase a sword in the first place?
2) if you interpret the statement of Jesus that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword the way you have than please explain if people like Moses and Joshua and David who all waged wars with swords died by the sword.

Isn’t it better to see what Jesus meant how the early Christian commentators understood it that what Jesus meant was think before you pull out the sword and don’t be brash with it rather than how you understand it that Jesus was condemning his followers to use a sword period.

So in summary I think it’s clear that in this debate Ijaz put Bob on the spot and under pressure a few times by posing questions that Bob kept on evading such as which NT is on the tablet mentioned in Psalms 119 and why do Christians need the NT when the disciples and early Christians didn’t need it. Its times like this when I believe apologists should be honest and just admit that they don’t know the answer. I mean none of us knows everything so wouldn’t it have been better for Bob to just say to Ijaz that I can’t answer your questions but I will research them and get back to you. Rather than just talk about other things and act like he was addressing the questions. Does it hurt one’s pride to just say I don’t know?

I am also pleased with the way Ijaz showed how the Quran is more reliably transmitted than the NT as it was written and memorised from the start and the key difference between both books is that the Quran was recognised as the word of God from the very beginning unlike the NT.

So all in all I think that apart from the issues of the audio of Ijaz’s mic that overall this was a good dialogue and praise must be given to Ijaz for his good approach. As for Bob I think he needs to research his claims more rather than just copy and paste arguments such as the Quran approves the Bible from google. I must say though that I do respect Bob as he seems sincere and is a charismatic speaker and I can tell he loves God and has a thirst for the truth. So I pray that Allah guides him to the straight path of the Prophets which is Islam In Sha Allah.

Debate Video Release: Samuel Green vs Ijaz Ahmad – “An Incarnate God: Fact or Fiction”

Here’s the debate video from our Paltalk debate which took place last night between Pastor Samuel Green and I. It’s just about two hours and the audio is quite clear and consistent. Two edits were made, there was a lot of technical sorting out at the beginning (mic testing etc) and the Pastor clarifying the time not to be used during his pre-Opening Speech’s Introduction. The audio gaps of 10 seconds or so were not removed, this occurred when the speakers were changed and I decided to leave them in as it set a good pace and tone for the event.

It hasn’t even been more than a day and we’re already releasing the debate! Much thanks to the room recorder, Br. Abdul Wadud (a fellow Trinidadian Uncle), without his hardwork, dedication and efforts, we would not have been able to release the debate this quickly.

Much thanks to Pastor Samuel and Sr. Waduha who worked through the Day Light Savings time error and allowed us to amicably decide on how to have proceeded with the night’s event. There is one point of note, this is the first debate against a Muslim speaker in which Pastor Samuel chose not to speak off topic on the alleged corruption of the Qur’aan, I’m not sure if this is because he’s found it useless given his discussions with me on it, or if he simply didn’t have the time to do so, either way, it’s a good sign of the intensity and excitement that the discussion carried.

wa Allaahu ‘alam.

« Older Entries