Tag Archives: Peter

Missionary Mishap: Origin Stories of the Disciples

The origin stories of the disciples is perhaps some of the most contentious passages of the New Testament Gospels. Earlier today I had a conversation with Samuel Green on this very topic, which led to the conversation below:

cc-2016-sg-originstoriesofdisciples

One Gospel – Matthew indicates that Jesus initially meets Peter and Andrew beside the Sea of Galilee casting their nets. John 1 disagrees and has Andrew go fetch Peter, bring him to Jesus and there they meet with Jesus near the River Jordan. One version has Jesus going to them (Sea of Galilee), the other has them coming to Jesus (River Jordan). Quite the contradiction!

and God knows best.

A Case Study of Peter’s Denial

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Note: This article by sister Elisabeth Strout, a female revert from the depths of Christianity to the heights of Islam, read her story here.

While getting ready to teach a Sunday School class on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, my mother asked me what Islam teaches about these issues. Honestly, I responded that the Qur’an simply states categorically that Jesus didn’t die, the Jews only thought they killed him. While that leaves room for countless theories, from the switching of bodies with a look-alike, to the swoon theory, the basic teaching is that Jesus did not die and come back to life, but rather ascended to heaven without dying. I concluded with the assertion that Christians themselves cannot trust their own Bible’s teaching, as it’s riddled with contradictions. My parents confidently disavowed any possibility of discrepancy between the Bible’s four accounts of the event, and as a result, I’ve spent the last few days studying the four Biblical crucifixion and resurrection narratives closely, to analyze the contradictions between them.

There are quite a few, and while some may be written off with the “inclusive” explanation (i.e. Matthew and Mark recount Jesus’ last words as being “my God, my God why have you forsaken me”, Luke claims they were “into thy hands I commit my spirit”, while John says they were “it is finished”, and Christians generally claim that Jesus said all three in succession, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me, into your hands I commit my spirit, it is finished”.), there are some narratives that cannot be reconciled, no matter how you superimpose them.

Rather than posting them all here at once and leave readers floundering in all the references, I decided to start with a case study of one particular event in the story, namely Peter’s denial of Christ. While the wording differs insignificantly between the three questioners who point Peter out, that is not primarily of interest. Take a look at Matthew and Luke’s accounts, which are almost identical, and then compare them with John, and then Mark, and notice the incompatible details:

Matthew 26:69-75

  • All disciples flee upon Jesus’ arrest, Peter follows at a distance.

  • A servant girl in the courtyard says, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean,” Peter responds, “I do not  know what you mean”.

  • different servant girl at the gate says, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth,” Peter responds with an oath, “I do not know the man”.

  • The bystanders say, “Certainly you are one of them, your accent betrays you,” Peter responds again with an oath, “I do not know the man.”

  • The rooster crows, Peter remembers Jesus’ prediction, and weeps bitterly.

Luke 22:55-62

  • Jesus is arrested (no mention made of disciples fleeing), Peter follows at a distance.

  • A servant girl in the courtyard says, “This man also was with him,” Peter responds, “Woman, I do not know him.”

  • Another person says, “You also are one of them,” Peter responds, “Man, I am not.”

  • Another person says, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean,” Peter responds, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.”

  • The rooster crows, Peter remembers Jesus’ prediction, and weeps bitterly.

So far, so good. Again, there is a slight difference of wording, but that can be overlooked. Take note of the emphasized words in Matthew, and now watch how in John, the story takes on a lot more detail (though John was written decades later), and the contradictions begin.

John 18:15-27

  • Jesus is arrested (no mention made of disciples fleeing), Peter and another disciple follow. The other disciple gets into the courtyard because he knows an official. Peter doesn’t get into the courtyard, so the disciple sends a servant girl to open the gate for him.

  • The servant girl at the gate says, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” and Peter responds, “I am not.”

  • The officers and servants around the fire in the courtyard say, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” and Peter responds again, “I am not.”

  • A relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off asks, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” and Peter denies it.

  • The rooster crows (no mention is made of his weeping).

So now, apart from the general wording and the location of the questioners (he goes from courtyard to gate in Matt., and from gate to courtyard in John), we have several distinct differences. First, the identity of the following disciples. Matt. claims all the disciples fled except Peter, and Peter alone followed from a distance. John makes no mention of the disciples fleeing, and claims both Peter and another disciple followed. Typical of John, the other disciple remains anonymous leaving Christians to speculate that it was probably John himself. Either way, either they all fled except Peter, or they all fled except Peter and John. It can’t be both.

Secondly, the identity of the questioners. Other than the first, the servant girl, Luke leaves the second two questioners anonymous, so his version is fairly compatible with the others. Matthew on the other hand, states that the questioners were (1) a servant girl in the courtyard, (2) a different servant girl at the gate, and (3) the bystanders (identified in John as officials and servants). John claims they were (1) a servant girl at the gate, (2) the by-standing officers and servants, and (3) a relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off.

While some may be tempted to generalize “bystanders” to mean anyone, including servant girls and relatives of earless men, the gospels purposely distinguish between the two, and the relative’s words in John set him apart even further from the bystanders of Matt., Mark, and Luke. While the three synoptics list, with slightly different wording, the third questioner as having recognizing Peter as a Galilean (because of his accent in Matt.), John’s third questioner (the relative of the man whose ear Peter cut) recognizes Peter because he saw him in the garden, during the arrest. It can’t be both.

Finally, we come to Mark’s account, which has yet another notable difference. While agreeing with Matthew about all the disciples fleeing except Peter, and the third question from the bystanders about Peter being Galilean, there are a few details that don’t match up.

Mark 14:66-72

  • All disciples flee upon Jesus’ arrest, Peter follows at a distance.

  • A servant girl at the fire in the courtyard says, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus,” Peter responds, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.”

  • Peter goes out to the gate and the rooster crows.

  • The same servant girl sees him there and says, “This man is one of them,” and Peter denies it.

  • The bystanders say, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean,” Peter responds with an oath, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”

  • The rooster crows a second time, Peter remembers Jesus’ prediction, and weeps bitterly.

While Matthew specifies that the first two accusations were leveled by two different servant girls, Mark goes to the trouble of telling us they were spoken by the same servant girl. It can’t be both. The second, and more noticeable aberration, is that Mark’s account of the story, as well as his account of Jesus’ prediction, differ in the number of times the rooster crows. While Peter is told he will deny three times, and does deny three times, in all accounts, Jesus predicts it will be “before the rooster crows”, in Matt., Luke, and John, and “before the rooster crows twice”, in Mark. And sure enough, in Matt., Luke and John, Peter denies thrice before the rooster crows, while in Mark, he denies, the rooster crows (the sound of it doesn’t bring him to his senses yet), he denies twice more, and the rooster crows again. So which was it, before the rooster crows, or before it crows twice? It can’t be both.

It seems like a silly, insignificant story. Same servant girl or different one, courtyard or gate, bystanders or relative, all but one disciple or all but two disciples, Galilean accent or previous encounter in the garden, one crow or two; does it really matter? For the Christians who claim there’s not a single contradiction in the entire Bible, it does matter. You can’t get around these, and you can’t get around the dozens, if not hundreds more in the Bible, no matter how insignificant. For the more reasonable Christians who openly admit that sure, they’re ancient documents, there’s the occasional slip-up, but nothing major that affects doctrine, their intellectual honesty is refreshing, but it begs the question, can God’s divine revelation be anything less than perfect? When God sends a final text for all of mankind, shouldn’t it be held to the same standards of holiness and perfection as He himself? Others maintain that as God’s Word incarnate, Jesus himself was the final revelation, and it’s his person that matters, not the text. Yet the text is all we have of him today, and if it contradicts itself, if it can’t be trusted to deliver the truth about the small events, how can we trust its claims about matters as weighty as death and resurrection?

Punishing the Female Rape Victim in Islam

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

It is unfortunate that for people who profess objectivity and sincerity in their study, research and pursuit of knowledge that there continues to be a great perversion of the understanding of Islamic Shari’ah laws and its applications. Proponents of the modern secular system, or of varying theological political systems, seemingly cannot produce a consistent stance on judging the use or misuse of the Islamic Shari’ah, while wholly regarding it to be unfair, unjust and backwards. Demonstrably, it can be noted that their own justice systems produce often, curious if not peculiar judgements. In one case, a mother can be sentenced to jail for a period of 5 years, for stealing clothing from a store for her children at a value of  $102 dollars. While at the same time a Wall Street tycoon who has defrauded enough persons to make himself a billionaire, was sentence to a period of only, 11 years. What then, can we say is logical about this? Based on this one example of a judgement that is neither proportional to the crimes when compared and contrasted nor morally justifiable, can I then generalize the American justice system as being inhumane, profiteering and socially inept?

To further this discussion with more evidences relevant to the topic at hand, let’s examine sexual assault cases, in particular rape. This child rapist was sentenced to only 5 to 7 years in prison, the same amount of time as the woman who stole $102 dollars worth of goods. This rapist was sentenced to only 9 years in prison, while defrauding persons of hundreds of millions of dollars and sending families into distress, bankruptcy and insolvency will earn you the same amount of jail time. Continuing with this trend, we can deduce that according to the modern secular system, stealing and rape are upon the same field of justice. Considering these tragic acts, let’s examine the Islamic position on rape in the modern world. To rape in Islamic law is to have committed “ightisaab”, which means to forcefully transgress and take a woman’s honour from her (rape). The crime is punishable by death but doesn’t have to be punished by death, the punishment however has to be severe as to deter anyone else from attempting this crime. Therefore, there can be no equivalence between stealing and rape, a woman’s honour is not the same as stealing an apple, or clothing as it is seen in the secular justice system.

Islamic Shari’ah rule, is intended to govern a state by Islamic law, where the ulema (religious leaders) who are fuqaha (jurists), establish courts where a qadhi (judge) can make binding rulings (fatawa) on behalf of the state against a criminal and establish justice in the society. This understanding is based upon the Qur’anic statements:

“And so judge (you O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) among them by what Allaah has revealed” – [al-Maa’idah 5:49].

“And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers — of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allaah’s Laws)” – [al-Maa’idah 5:44].

“And whosoever does not judge by that which Allaah has revealed, such are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers — of a lesser degree)” – [al-Maa’idah 5:45].

“And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed (then) such (people) are the Fâsiqûn [the rebellious i.e. disobedient (of a lesser degree)] to Allaah” – [al-Maa’idah 5:47].

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission” – [al-Nisa’ 4:65].

“Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people who have firm Faith” – [al-Maa’idah 5:50].

To make this succinct and easy to grasp, the discussion will be broken up into several questions:

  • What do the Islamic scholars (Ulema) say on the punishment of rape?
  • Are four witnesses needed to prove rape?
  • Are women who do not wear hijab responsible for their rape?
  • Is the woman to be punished for rape?
  • Forced marriage to rapist?
  • Further reading.

What do the Islamic scholars (Ulema) say on the punishment of rape?

Yûsuf ibn `Abd Allâh ibn Muhammad Ibn `Abd al-Barr  Abû `Umar al-Namarî al-Andalusî al-Qurtubî al-Mâlikî (may Allaah be pleased with him), a prominent Islamic jurist, of whom Imam al Qurtubi cites/ references about 500 times in his tafsir has stated in Al-Istidhkâr li Madhhab `Ulamâ’ al-Amsâr fîmâ Tadammanahu al-Muwatta’ min Ma`ânî al-Ra’î wal-Athâr (“The Memorization of the Doctrine of the Scholars of the World Concerning the Juridical Opinions and the Narrations Found in Mâlik’s Muwatta'”),  7/146:

The scholars are unanimously agreed that the rapist is to be subjected to the hadd punishment if there is clear evidence against him that he deserves the hadd punishment, or if he admits to that. Otherwise, he is to be punished (i.e., if there is no proof that the hadd punishment for zina may be carried out against him because he does not confess, and there are not four witnesses, then the judge may punish him and stipulate a punishment that will deter him and others like him). There is no punishment for the woman if it is true that he forced her and overpowered her, which may be proven by her screaming and shouting for help.

Are four witnesses needed to prove rape?

Mufti Taqi Uthmani [db] in his discussion during an interview on Pakistan’s implementation of the Protection of Women Bill 2006, expounded upon his rulings and the rulings of other Islamic judges:

‎”I myself had been directly hearing cases registered under Hudood Ordinance, first as a Judge of Federal Shariah Court and then for seventeen years as a member of Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court. In this long tenure, not once did I come across a case in which a rape victim was awarded punishment simply because she was unable to present four witnesses.

In fact it was not possible to do so. First, according to the Hudood Ordinance, the condition of four witnesses only applied to enforcing the hadd for rape. Clause 10(3), which awarded the ta’zeer punishment, did not have this requirement; the crime could be proven through one witness, medical reports, and chemical analysis report. Consequently most rape criminals were awarded punishment as per this clause.

Further, a woman claiming rape could not be punished under Qazf (false accusation of zina) since Exemption 2 in Qazf Ordinance Clause 3 clearly stated that if someone approaches the legal authorities with a rape complaint, she could not be punished in case she was unable to present four witnesses.”

To compound this statement, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (may Allaah be pleased with him) has stated:

“This is a common myth about Islamic criminal law. Rather, the four witness requirement applies only to the prescribed hadd punishment (which in the case of a married person could be death and for the non-married, 100 lashes). [Marghinani, Hidaya] This punishment is only applied in very rare cases, as is clear, and is meant to be a social deterrent, above all.

As the classical and contemporary jurists (such as Mufti Taqi Usmani) have made clear, a rapist can be convicted on lesser evidence (including scientific evidence, such as DNA tests and medical reports) for discretionary punishments. These discretionary punishments are left up to the legal system to determine.

However, it is a myth to say that Islam would in any way condone rape, or allow a rapist to go free for this terrible crime against an innocent human being and against society.”

This therefore rests the case, of the issue with 4 witnesses being needed to prove rape, indeed rape can be proven using modern scientific methods and other evidences, as seen above, as being agreed upon by Islamic fuqaha (jurists).

Are women who do not wear hijab responsible for their rape?

Mufti Muhammad Kadwa and Mufti Ebrahim Desai (may Allaah be pleased with them both) have stated:

These are two separate issues; rape and the lack of Hijaab. The rapist will be punished for his heinous crime whilst the woman will be sinful not for rape, but for failure to observe the rules of Hijaab. Failure to wear Hijaab in no way justifies the heinous crime of rape.

Is the woman to be punished for rape?

Imam Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) has said in Al-Muwatta’, 2/734:

In our view the man who rapes a woman, whether she is a virgin or not, if she is a free woman he must pay a “dowry” like that of her peers, …. The punishment is to be carried out on the rapist and there is no punishment for the woman who has been raped, whatever the case.

Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has also decreed punishments for persons who have committed rape, while freeing the woman of any punishment:

“Narrated Wa’il ibn Hujr (may Allaah be pleased with him):
When a woman went out in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for prayer, a man attacked her and overpowered (raped) her. She shouted and he went off, and when a man came by, she said: That (man) did such and such to me.

And when a company of the Emigrants came by, she said: That man did such and such to me. They went and seized the man whom they thought had had intercourse with her and brought him to her. She said: Yes, this is he. Then they brought him to the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him).

When he (the Prophet) was about to pass sentence, the man who (actually) had assaulted her stood up and said: Apostle of Allah, I am the man who did it to her.

He (the Prophet) said to her: Go away, for Allah has forgiven you. But he told the man some good words (AbuDawud said: meaning the man who was seized), and of the man who had had intercourse with her, he said: Stone him to death.”  – (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith #4366, Kitab al Hudud [38]).

Forced Marriage to Rapist?

While Islam punishes the rapist, we do hear of some really peculiar instances where the woman is married to the man. This has no basis in Islamic law, nor does it comply with Islamic reasoning, according to this fatwa by Mufti Ebrahim Desai [db]:

“Knowing the importance and sacredness of a marriage commitment, the boy and girl having consulted with their seniors and making Istikhaara, should make their own independent choice.

They should not be compelled to marry against their wishes as the consequences (non-compatibility, divorce, disputes, custody of children, etc.) are too ghastly to bear. Parents should not compel their children to marry against their wishes due to economic status reasons.”

As well as this fatwa by the same Mufti (Islamic Jurist):

“As an adult, you have an independent right to choose your marriage partner. You should not be forced into marrying someone against your choice. Those forcing you are guilty of depriving you of your Shar’ee right and committing a major sin,

You should simply say no if you are not confident of marrying against your choice. The consequences of forced marriages are too ghastly. There are great possibilities of a marital breakdown. That will lead to disunity among many families. The matter will be clouded even more if there is a child born through the marriage. Considering the many negative consequences of a forced marriage, you should never give in to being forced to marry against your wish. It will be you and no one else who will have to bear the burdens in future. You may forward this email to those forcing you to marry against your wishes.”

However, to contrast the Islamic position, let’s look at this excerpt from the Jewish and Christian religious text, Old Testament (Torah), Deuteronomy (Devarim), Chapter 22, Verses 28 – 29:

“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”

Further Reading:
http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/12/testimony-of-rape-victim/
http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/archives/2006/does-islam-require-four-witnesses-for-rape/
http://thedebateinitiative.com/2012/03/12/is-the-shariah-inhumane-you-decide/ 

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

James White’s Futility and Inconsistency

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
This video analyses James White’s evidences, his pivots during his opening statement with Br. Shabir Ally during their debate, “Did Jesus Claim Deity?”. An indepth write up to be published on Monday/ Tuesday 26th/ 27th of March fully explaining, and refuting his arguments. I was planning to write up a full response, but I’m terribly busy, please see our video response to James White instead, thanks.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Refutation: Muslim Dawagandist Shabir Ally’s War With Himself

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Missionary Sam Shamoun is making strides again in deceiving himself and his waning fellowship.  In this insulting article, Sam Shamoun sought to solely attack the character and person of Br. Shabir Ally, all the while having to stoop into cheap academics and wanton fraud by misusing the Brother’s words and the Bible’s words. It’s one thing to twist the Qur’an for your own profit, but to twist your own scripture, this has to be a new low for Sam. Let’s take a look at what Br. Shabir has said. These are the Brother’s insights into Deuteronomy 18:18 and Acts 3:

“Now many Christians think, well that, Jesus was that prophet, but obviously he was not. Isa left the scene, and according to Acts of the Apostles in chapter 3 we read that Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, is saying that Isa will remain in heaven until that time of restoration comes–and he is describing that time of restoration as meaning the time when God will send that prophet! So that means Peter, the disciple of Jesus, the chief disciple, is still expecting that that prophet will come, and then eventually Isa will come back again. So we see clearly that the prophet Muhammad is mentioned in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. And if they really truly believe in the Scriptures, we Muslims should be asking them to please recognize also the prophet Muhammad, because the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verse 19 says that if you do not recognize that prophet, God will require it of you. In other words, he will bring you to judgment.” (Is Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible? Shabir Ally answers, posted on Sept. 20, 2010)

Now in the Old Testament, it is mentioned that Moses was told by God that God will send either a series of prophets, or another prophet. It’s often translated that God will send another prophet in Deuteronomy chapter 18, verse 18, a prophet like Moses. But some say that what is meant here is not just one prophet but a series of prophets, but is spoken about as though it is singular. We say, okay, suppose it’s a series of prophets? Well then it goes up until Jesus, and many have said, okay Jesus is that prophet. Then we can say why not Muhammad, because Muhammad is very similar to Moses? In fact, Musa came with a law, Muhammad came with a law. They were both prophets and statesmen at the same time; they were governing, and so they have a lot of similarity. If we come to Jesus and say Jesus is like Moses, and Jesus is the prophet like Moses, well then we just need to go one step further and recognize the prophet Muhammad as well.” (Muhammad Prophesied in the Bible?, posted on Dec. 22, 2011)

To expound upon Brother Ally’s argument, we have to turn to the verses which he cites and the explanations for them:

” I will set up a prophet for them from among their brothers like you, and I will put My words into his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.” – Bible : Deuteronomy/ Devarim 18:18

This verse is extremely pertinent to the Islamic and Christian narrative of Prophethood. While in itself, requires an entire discussion, I will try my best to lay the foundation of understanding quite succinctly. The verse in question makes the statement, “…from among their brothers likes you…”. Around this one phrase, many various interpretations can be derived. However we’ll work with the Hebrew words used. What exactly does this phrase mean? You see, had the verse read, “from among you”, there would be no question that it refers to one of the Hebrew tribes of Israel, however it uses the term, “…from among their brothers like you…”, which in hebrew would read, “כּמו כּמו  אח (‘ach kemo – kamo)”. The brothers of the Hebrew people are the Arabs, they are both Semitic and as far as history dictates we know of no Prophet after Moses which came from any other Semitic background besides Muhammad {saw}. What is interesting is that if you are an Arab, the word, “akhi”, further solidifies this case, as the word also means, “brother” or “brethren”. From Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon we read:

 “a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance (like H1)): – another, brother (-ly), kindred, like, other.”

Even the phrase “kemo/ kamo (likeness) adds to this discussion, it stirs the fire or so to speak. The verse is literally saying, “a kin who is like you”. In fact, Martin Buber, a Jewish philosopher, sent a letter to Ghandi speaking on the willingness of his Arab brothers to work with the Jewish people:

“The Jewish farmers have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab farmers, to cultivate the land more intensively.” – Jewish Virtual Library.

If anyone even had a doubt that they were ever brothers, as I am sure Sam would try his best to show, he would not only have to refute historical data as provided above, but also scientific data as well. The case therefore, for a Semitic Prophet who is from the people who are “like” the Hebrew peoples, clearly establishes the basis from Judaic principles for an Arab prophet. We now turn to Acts, Chapter 3, Verses 19- 20 which raises further questions:

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,  and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.”

To the untrained mind, the first response would be that this simply predicts Jesus’ coming. However this verse is from Acts of the Apostles, literally, the time of the Apostles after Jesus’ earthly ministry. The problem however, arises when we take a look at other versions of this rendition. The Syriac, Arabic and Ethiopian manuscripts mention Jesus instead of Messiah, whereas the Greek manuscripts differ and simply mention, “Messiah”. Another plausible argument is that Muhammad {saw} isn’t a Messiah, therefore it can’t refer to him, this is incorrect as a Messiah is simply one who is anointed (chosen) and if taken in a divine sense, “anointed by God to do God’s bidding (will)”. With this in mind, we understand that this can mean a Rabbi, a teacher, an Imam, a leader (Romans 13:1-7) and in this case, a Prophet. As a prophet is one who is anointed by God to deliver God’s message to the people. The phrase which stirs our interest is:

“that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.”

There is a duality here, a Messiah, who could be Jesus, but then, it doesn’t have to be Jesus. Therefore we must ask, who then could God send? When we looked at the various exegeses on this verse, besides pointing out the manuscript troubles, they did indicate the reference to Deuteronomy 18:18. Therefore if Sam Shamoun is claiming that Br. Shabir Ally has in anyway perverted the true understanding of these verses, then he is simply ignorant of what his own religion teaches. This however is common for Sam and thus, I must say I did not expect any better from a missionary, they are after all not highly educated. This is simply a consequence of “Google learning”. Br. Shabir then continues:

“Now it is true that Muslims and Christians claim two very different things about Jesus. Muslims and Christians do believe, and agree, that he was a prophet. Many Christians do not actually realize that this is a necessary part of the Christian proclamation. Regardless of whatever else a Christians may say about Jesus, the New Testament is very clear that Jesus was a prophet. Now Jesus came and he did what he had to do, and said what he had to say, and then he left the scene. Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, in the New Testament that Christians read, tells us something about what the disciples of Jesus said and did after Jesus was gone. This is a very important document, and though scholars believe today that not everything in the Acts of the Apostles is accurate, it nevertheless gives a glimpse into the lives of the Apostles of Jesus after Jesus had left. Now we see in the Acts of the Apostles that the disciples proclaimed Jesus as the prophet like Moses. In Deuteronomy, chapter 18, verse 18 in the Old Testament, a prophet like Moses was spoken about. The disciples here are saying that Jesus was that prophet. That means that Jesus was a prophet! And in that case, Muslims and Christians agree at least that he was a prophet.” (The Jesus Debate: Metaphor, Prophet, Or Son of God?, posted on Feb. 16, 2012)

Br. Shabir is using the oft repeated Christian contention that Deuteronomy 18:18 refers to Jesus’ coming, a Messianic prophecy of sorts, he agrees that we Muslims also have no problem with the Christian understanding of the verse, as we too confirm that Jesus (may Allaah’s peace be upon him) was also a Prophet. However, Sam Shamoun has a problem with Br. Shabir’s confirmation that we do accept the Christian interpretation of the verse if applied to Jesus:

With the foregoing in perspective, doesn’t this show that Ally will conveniently adopt whatever interpretation helps his purpose of duping people into becoming Muslims? After all, these clips seem to indicate that when Ally wants to convince people that Muhammad is mentioned in the Holy Bible he will adopt the interpretation that Acts depicts the disciples as believing that the prophet like Moses was someone different than Christ. Yet when he wants to show that the disciples did not believe that Jesus is God he will then argue that Acts presents the disciples as proclaiming that Jesus is that prophet like Moses!

What Sam has willingly perverted in his understanding, is that Br. Shabir is using the Christian comprehension of the verse, which the quote that Sam himself provided has stated:

“Now it is true that Muslims and Christians claim two very different things about Jesus. Muslims and Christians do believe, and agree, that he was a prophet. Many Christians do not actually realize that this is a necessary part of the Christian proclamation.”

Sam is simply grasping for straws to attack Br. Shabir since he was humiliated a few years ago, by the Brother in a debate:

Sam then goes on what I can only determine to be an emotional tirade, mocking Brother Shabir with insults, while insulting the Qur’an and even to the extent, he was trying to quote the Bible to insult us, but in reality only provided an argument against himself:

““For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.” Psalm 5:4-6″

This is definitely interesting, as Sam is using deceit in this article. Br. Shabir was referencing the Christian position and Sam’s intentional misread to be used to attack the Brother, is initself deceit. He has based his entire article, which contains atleast 10 insults and abuses, based on his own error:

  • “Muslim Dawagandist”
  • “inconsistent and deceptive”
  • “document his lies, deceptions and gross inconsistencies.”
  • “Ally will just about say and do anything in order to win an argument or deceive people into believing his false religion”
  • “exposes Ally as dishonest and deceitful, it is simply silly to think manipulation and deceit will remain undetected”
  • “Your lies will not only be exposed and punished”
  • “they will come back to haunt you in this life and destroy your credibility”

He even became so desperate to attack the brother, that he misused Jesus’ words in the Bible:

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

I could not contain my laughter after having read this verse, knowing the true context, I really must contest Sam’s ability to be literate. Did he simply do a word search for the words, “deceit” and “lie” and then copy paste them into his article, while wiping the foam from around his mouth after his petulant digression? To put the verse into context, this is one of Jesus’ alleged anti-Jewish remarks:

44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” 48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” – Bible : John (8) : 44 – 48.

Hopefully, Sam the missionary, will learn his lesson and change his tactics since his lies are coming back to expose and discredit him.

There’s nothing like using Sam’s own words against him.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best].

 

Ancient Bible Discovered, Turkey and the Vatican Vie for Interests [Updated]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

A Turkish state media release, has sparked interest throughout the entire world, as it possibly concurs with proper Islamic theology towards Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad {saw}.

The article over at the DailyMail UK says:

Turkish culture and tourism minister Ertugrul Gunay said the book could be an authentic version of the Gospel, which was suppressed by the Christian Church for its strong parallels with the Islamic view of Jesus.

He also said the Vatican had made an official request to see the scripture – a controversial text which Muslims claim is an addition to the original gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

In line with Islamic belief, the Gospel treats Jesus as a human being and not a God.

This new discovery, has really sent a shock wave of buzz throughout the religious and non-religious worlds. Popular news websites, atheist websites, Muslim and Christian forums are filled it excitement over the prospects of this news. However, many Christian polemics and apologists have sought to denounce the discovery as fraudulent. The very existence of this codex (collection of manuscripts), presents a troubling case for Christendom. The very core beliefs of Islam are being verified, whereas the core doctrinal beliefs towards the alleged deity of Jesus is being thoroughly disputed. Perhaps, the most popular claim against the codex, is that given the dating, it still would not be during the time of St. Barnabus, thus automatically it is a fraud. However, this can be easily rejected, as the name merely presents an identity, for the work’s author, it does not deny the historicity of the manuscripts themselves. Therefore to present such a claim, is to appeal to the fallacy of consequences of a belief.

We must make some points extant, that is, we must identify clearly, why the Christian arguments and reasoning for rejecting this codex (collection of manuscripts) are nothing more than failing attempts to protect a proper challenge to their faith:

(1) The author’s name/ title doesn’t matter, the content does, whether or not the author is known, the data which discusses Islamic and Christian doctrines is of utmost importance. Similarly, most of the authors of the New Testament and many of the Old Testament are either homonymous (attributing to yourself a title of a previously known author), pseudonymous (false name) and even anonymous (unknown), yet Christians themselves will never acknowledge the same argument to be used against their Bible.

(2) The content doesn’t matter in relation to whether or not it agrees with Christian Theology, that isn’t the pivot of veracity. Whether Christians agree with the contents or not, does not affect its truthfulness. What matters is that the content directly challenges the Christian narrative and brings to light new and shocking information about early Christendom and its proximity in core beliefs towards Islam.

(3) Other rejected Gospels which already date to the time of the 4 accepted Gospels, exist and do agree to some extent with Islamic theology. For example, according to Professor Robert Eisenmann, the Jewish sect of the Essenes migrated to Arabia, as they believed him to be the foretold Prophet in their scriptures. These scriptures are better known today as the Qumran scrolls or the Dead Sea Scrolls.

We therefore must conclude that there is no real Christian argument against this discovery, as their own Gospels are founded upon the same arguments they are using against the Turkish Bible. Until more information arises, we have to work under the assumption it may be valid, that is, until more data can be derived towards its exact dating.

Some information on the manuscripts:

  •  The 1,500-year-old tome is said to contain Jesus’ early teachings and his prediction of the Prophet Muhammad ‘s (saw) coming.
  • The leather-bound text, written on animal hide, was discovered by Turkish police during an anti-smuggling operation in 2000.
  • It was closely guarded until 2010, when it was finally handed over to the Ankara Ethnography Museum.
  •  The Vatican had made an official request to see the scripture – a controversial text which Muslims claim is an addition to the original gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
  • In line with Islamic belief, the Gospel treats Jesus as a human being and not a God.
  • The £14million handwritten gold lettered tome, penned in Jesus’ native Aramaic language, is said to contain his early teachings.
  • It rejects the ideas of the Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion and reveals that Jesus predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).
  • In one version of the gospel, he is said to have told a priest: ‘How shall the Messiah be called? Muhammad is his blessed name’.

We don’t expect Christians to accept this Turkish Bible, rather, the point of this being made public is to atleast state that there were writings of the Prophet Muhammad {saw} 100 years before his coming. In addition to the numerous Arabo-Islamic reports of Priests in the ancient world, acceding to Muslim emissaries and conceding that Muhammad {saw} was indeed the promised Messenger. In this light, we say that there is no new information for us, this discovery is simply an addendum to our ever growing and ever expanding prophetic material towards Islamic theology.

More articles from around the world on the discovery:

http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2012/02/more-on-1500-year-old-gospel-kept-in.html

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-02/25/c_131430464.htm

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-272446-1500-year-old-handwritten-bible-includes-depiction-of-last-supper.html

http://english.cri.cn/6966/2012/02/25/2724s683103.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2850468/posts

http://www.armtown.com/news/en/yer/20120223/20651/

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

Boko Haram: More Christians Arrested Attempting to Blow Up Church [Nigeria]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

In another report by Nigerian police, a group of Christians were again, caught in another terror plot to blow up Churches. Major Nigerian media outlet, Premium Times Nigeria, had this report to give:

Nine bombers, believed to be christians, were apprehended this morning when they attempted to bomb a COCIN church at Miya Barkate, 20 kilometres along Jos-Bauchi Highway in Bauchi State.

The suspected bombers are Lamba Goma, Filibus Danasa, Joshua Ali, Danjuma Sabo, Joseph Audu, Simon Gabriel, Bulus Haruna, Yohanna Ishaya and Daniel Ayuba (who was the immediate past Secretary of PDP at Tilden Fulani Ward, Toro LGA, Bauchi State).

The suspects are members of the same COCIN church, Unguwar Rimi, a new and small Christian settlement between Tilden Fulani and Shere Hills. The suspects who were thoroughly beaten by the public were rescued by police and then detained at the Toro Divisional Police Division before they were transferred to Bauchi State Police Command, Bauchi.

At about the same time this morning in the Neighbouring Plateau State, a bomb explosion was reported at the headquarters of the same COCIN church during a Sunday service. The number of casualties are not certain. The pastor of the targeted COCIN Church in Bauchi is Ishaya Izam, who recently arrived on posting from the Cocin headquarters in Jos, which was bombed this morning.

To read more on this ongoing development, visit the original news report here.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]

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