Tag Archives: shabir ally

Debate Event: What is God Like – Tawhid or Trinity? – Dr. Shabir and Jonathan McLatchie

Tonight features a follow up debate to Qadiani Nabeel Qureishi’s debate with the erudite, Dr. Shabir Ally, on the topic of Tawhid and the Trinity.

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See the Facebook Event’s page here. The event will be livestreamed on YouTube, via this link. At present, I intend to do a live review of the debate as it happens, as I did with the previous debate between Dr. Shabir and Nabeel.

and Allah knows best.

Jay Smith’s Story Does Not Add Up

On Sunday 16th November, two prominent UK Muslim speakers/ debaters, Br. Ayaz and Br. Zakir Hussein both went to Speaker’s Corner, Hyde Park (London) to confront Jay Smith. They had decided to challenge him to a debate, the video of that challenge will be uploaded soon. The reason I’m mentioning this, is that while speaking to Smith, they told him that, “Ijaz says hi!“, to which he responded that I was a liar and that he’s preparing a response to my paper.

The problem is, and I hope he realises this soon so that he can stop embarrassing himself – he doesn’t need to prepare a response to me. Following the debate, Smith released an email in which he explains that he’s been studying the topic of Qur’anic manuscripts for sometime, with the dates of January 2014 and March 2014 being mentioned. Given that the debate happened at the end of September, it would then mean that Smith had been preparing for this debate for some 9 months or so.

With 9 months of preparation, research and study, he entered into the debate with what appeared to be a large stack of papers which contained that very research, of which he shared several of them with the audience:

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At one point in the debate, he remarked that he’d share his research with the public, and that it was available for anyone to see should they request it. So what does this all mean? Since the day of his debate with Dr. Shabir, he has possessed 9 months of research, collected into that large stack of papers several inches thick on the table beside him. So, the problem is, what does he need to prepare in response to me, if he already has 9 months of research several inches thick already prepared?

Especially when he declared that the research was ready for anyone to see! So what exactly does he need to prepare? Either he did his research over a period of 9 months and had it ready on the day of the debate, or, given the countless errors and lies I found him making during the debate, he really has no research to present for us and is now scrambling to get something done. So Smith, which is it? It’s time for you to clear the air. Either you lied during the debate or you lied after the debate and on Sunday when you made those remarks. Which is it? Can’t get your story straight it seems.

Since you said the research would be shared with anyone who requests it, then I proudly declare that on this day, I request it! Send it over to callingchristians@gmail.com, I’ll be waiting! For everyone else, you can download and view the 53 page paper on Qur’anic manuscripts here.

and Allah knows best.

Jay Smith’s Running Scared After Unforeseen Disaster

Jay Smith’s claims during his debate with Dr. Shabir about the Qur’an have seemed to cause more trouble than he initially thought they would. See, during the debate, he claimed to have introduced new research by a colleague of his, Dan Brubaker, based on Dan’s thesis on changes in the (manuscripts of the) Qur’an. Jay had stated that Dan’s thesis would not be published until next year and so Muslims would not have been aware of its contents. However, the University that Dan Brubaker submitted his thesis through, Rice University, made his thesis available publicly. Jay, nor Dan seemed to have known this, which is why Jay assumed Muslims would have to wait one full year before they would be able to read Dan’s thesis and respond to the claims in it. Which also meant Muslims would have to wait one full year to respond to Jay’s claims based on Dan’s thesis which he made during the debate.

Unfortunately for both Dan and Jay, we got our hands on the thesis quite some time ago and already picked it apart. So when Jay was on the stage during his debate with Dr. Shabir, and he assumed that Muslims would have no idea of what he was saying or what the thesis contained, he made some pretty silly claims to bolster his bravado. Jay has now run into a major problem. After I posted that we had possession of Dan’s thesis and proved this with the thesis’ cover image, the University removed the thesis and it is no longer available. So we have a few questions that need to be answered:

  1. Why was the thesis removed after my article was published?
  2. Did Jay ask Dan to ask the University to remove it?
  3. Why would Dan suddenly request for the University to remove the thesis?
  4. Dan did not request the University to remove the thesis after the debate, so why the day after my article?
  5. Did Dan give Jay the entire thesis or just a few photos?
  6. If Dan did give Jay the entire thesis, why did Jay only claim to have taken a few photos?
  7. If Jay did read Dan’s thesis, is he aware that he openly contradicts what Dan states?
  8. Is Dan aware that Jay claimed things of Dan’s thesis that do not exist within it?
  9. Why has the University removed the thesis?
  10. Who requested the thesis be removed?

For those who’d like to see where Dan’s thesis was once available and now is miraculously removed from the University’s page, please see our Brother Ahmed’s accessing of it:

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This article has been sent to Jay Smith. Will he respond to the questions, or does he realise he’s in a bit of a conundrum? Has Jay been put in an awkward position? Its sudden removal is quite telling. Jay does have reason to be concerned, why else would it be removed? Why else would Jay have Dan request the University to remove it? Jay knows that he’s screwed up big time and the fun is only just starting!

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and God knows best.

Update on the Paper, “Response to Jay Smith’s Mistakes”

A number of years ago when I debated Anthony Rogers of Answering Islam, a statement I had made during that debate had angered some Christians. I had mentioned that some Christians worshiped the Holy Prepuce, which historically is accurate but was very upsetting to a number of missionaries. What followed was a video by Anthony Rogers, in which he had taken a brother’s personal translation of a narration that was incorrect and unique to his website that was framed in a polemical manner. Using the brother’s mistranslation, the missionaries produced a video that was supposed to be a response to my allegations in the debate. After I had seen their video, I announced that in a few days’ time I would publish a video response. Several days passed and the deadline passed, so I pushed the date back by a few days, again that new deadline was missed and another deadline was declared. The missionaries, seeing that the deadline was constantly being changed assumed that I couldn’t respond to their video, that the arguments they had presented were strong and so I was trying to pretend I could respond to their video when I could not. I saw their comments about me, I saw them boasting and celebrating that they finally got one over on me, they had a victory against Islam!

This however, was not the case. While editing my video response I was contacted by the brother whose mistranslation was used. He showed me how the missionaries had used his website and read word for word from his article. The brother decided that he was at fault and would like to assist in the response video. So, we both began to work on the video. This was a major breakthrough, not only was a response going to be made but I had evidence that the missionaries stole someone’s research, word for word! As we gathered more information to put in our video, the deadlines passed and the missionaries had assumed I was having difficulty in making a response. Rather, so much work was being put into the video, deadlines passed because of the amount of information and sources we kept finding reasons to include. If I could remember clearly, there were three brothers and two sisters who contributed to the video. We were going to correctly translate the Arabic sources the brother had used and subsequently mistranslated. So we had more than one person translate the material, ensure it was valid, authenticate citations, there was a buzz of activity and sure enough, the video was almost done. In the end, the video was released and to all of us involved in producing it, we can say that it was very successful in what we had set out to achieve.

Not only had the missionaries been exposed as plagiarists, they had falsely claimed someone else’s research for themselves, falsely claimed to have access to sources they didn’t have, falsely claimed to be able to translate fusha arabic, etc. The video was successful, so successful that the missionaries appeared on ABN TV and swore to release a second video in response to ours. It’s been three years now and they have yet to release any video. It would seem like deja-vu all over again in regard to my paper about Jay Smith’s mistakes. When I began the paper, I didn’t have the intention to publish something that would be very detailed. However, as my paper began to spread, there were requests to expand on what I had written and suddenly the paper went from responding to a few of Jay’s erratic statements to fully critiquing his opening statement in a minute by minute breakdown. I learned from my mistake the previous time, in this instance I have not yet set a date for when the paper would be published. The draft was made public for a few reasons. Most importantly, it was made public soon after the debate because I wanted to show the missionaries that we knew Jay had lied and lied badly. Jay had my questions sent to him on a number of occasions in which he refused to answer them. Even in a sit down with some persons who had attended the debate and noted his errors, he refused to explain himself.

The funny thing is, Christians were elated, they thought that Jay Smith had academic arguments and sources, until my draft paper was released. Showing the glaring contradictions between Jay’s claims and the works of the author’s he had mentioned, definitely burst their bubble. The fall out of having published the draft paper was that the missionaries went on the attack against me. We have to remember that Jay claimed to have read these academic publications, that he had access to his friend’s private thesis which was not yet published, therefore how could I, a nobody in the Caribbean have access to his friend’s works? How could I have access to Dr. Deroche’s or Dr. Tayyar’s publications? So, the allegations began to flow in that I was pretending to have possession of those works. That’s until I included quotes from Dr. Deroche’s works, even from his 2009 French work – we had it translated. What was worse is that his gang of friends accused me of lying about Dan Brubaker’s thesis, that’s until I published the cover page of his thesis with his supervisors’ approval signatures! Then came the allegation that Jay did read the works of the authors’ names he had mentioned and that I was lying. So, I turned the tables, I said I’ll gladly admit that I am wrong if anyone could prove that Jay did have access to and did read those works accurately.

A missionary friend of Samuel Green and Shamoun and of Jay himself, while commenting on Br. Paul’s blog claimed that he had received a summary of a paper by a Turkish scholar and the paper itself from Jay. I challenged him to forward that email to me to prove me wrong and since then, he’s never replied to the challenge and has not sent any email. Thereby proving his dishonesty. I would like to say though, that if Paulus the missionary does read this and if he would like to prove me wrong, he can send the email and I’d still gladly concede that I was mistaken. Another missionary criticised me for again, lying on Jay. This missionary is also a friend of Jay’s buddies, they were all there to defend Jay’s character. That’s until a missionary posted a quote from one of the Turkish scholar’s works which directly contradicted Jay’s claim, by almost an entire century! To date, that missionary known as Robert Wells/ Radical Moderate has yet to explain how Jay could utter such deceits if he had actually read the scholar’s work. Let’s take a look at their claims and their sudden silence. Here we have the missionary claiming to have received the email with the scholar’s work from Jay:

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Here’s my challenge, which I issued for a second time and he has since, yet to respond to:

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Here’s Robert Wells/ Radical Moderate’s comment in response to mines. You’d notice that when I mention the glaring error that Jay had made in relation to the fully quoted and cited text from the Turkish scholar’s work, he attempted to evade the evidence and the follow up question. He then sarcastically conceded that I had read Dr. Tayyar’s work more accurately than Jay himself:

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The quote he’s responding to is as follows:

“Altıkulaç dates the Topkapi manuscript to “the second half of the first century A.H. and the first half of the second Century A.H. [due to] “vowelling and dotting.” (i.e. early – mid 8th century) (Altıkulaç, ‘Al-Mushaf al-Sharif’ 2007:81)”

Which clearly states that the Topkapi Manuscripts date to the second half of the first century, which would be from 600 CE to 699 CE, or within the 1st year after hijrah, which is clearly not the 8th century as Jay had claimed. So if Jay did read the Turkish scholar’s work, then he either lied by omission or, if I were to give him the benefit of the doubt, he hadn’t read the work at all and had someone inform him that the scholar dated the manuscript to the second century/ 8th century, which is clearly inaccurate and misrepresents what the scholar stated. Unfortunately, both Robert and Paulus have yet to respond. The end result of all of this drama, is that I do possess the works I have publicly claimed to have, for those who viewed the draft paper before I made it private, I utilized several quotes and citations from those works. What is clear is that the missionaries are confused that I had access to those works and more importantly, that I knew their contents better than Jay Smith and by producing a paper with his intentional lies and deceits, I was denigrating the character of Jay Smith which as a result, casts a damning light on the state of Christian Apologetics. While I can’t give a certain date on when the paper would be fully published or when the accompanying video would be released, I can confirm that the only hindrance to its release has been by worsening health which prevents me from working on the paper on a consistent basis. However, I have a few translators preparing some select quotes from the works of a number of the authorities that Jay appealed to, which would surely embarrass him more and expose him for the charlatan that he is. What I can say, is that the paper should be released early next week or possibly this coming weekend, with the video a week after that – God Willing.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

Jay Smith concedes he isn’t familiar with the sources used

Recently Jay Smith sent an email lauding himself for referencing scholars and scholastic work he has not read nor has he studied. He claims in his email:

Dr. Gordon Nickels helped me (via skype) put together the main body of the material I used before the debate itself.

It thus makes sense that someone else told Jay what to say, without Jay having read or studied any of the materials used in the main body of the debate. This also explains why he refused to reference any of the sources he took his information from. As I’ve explained in my response to him, most of what he says and what the people he refers to says, contradicts. The apparent disconnect between Jay and the studies he refers to now makes sense, as he’d never read them before, he had someone else over Skype give him snippets of information that he was not familiar with. He continued:

I made sure to initially highlight the French scholar Dr. Francois Deroche’s research, coupled with the two leading Turkish scholar’s work on the earliest Qur’anic manuscripts (Dr. Tayyar Altikulac, and Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu).

I’m not sure if highlight is the word here to be used. He certainly mentioned Dr. Deroche, but as I’ve explained in my response, what he says of Deroche and what Deroche himself says – wholly contradicts each other. Jay merely referenced a number, 93, without giving Deroche’s explanation but trying to explain it himself, which led to him overstating what Deroche had intended. I’ve referenced the page number and the book where Jay got this number 93 from, but I present the rest of what Deroche says which completely refute’s Jay’s uneducated and baseless statements. One would also notice he mentioned the names of Dr. Tayyar Altikulac, and Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, neither of whom he quotes or refers to again. All he quite literally did was mention their names. So not only has he admitted he got these names over an Evangelical on Skype, he’s also admitted he has no experience with their writings themselves! He continued:

I then introduced Dr. Keith Small’s research concerning his comparisons between the Biblical and Qur’anic manuscripts, and his excellent assessment of the political control in standardizing the Qur’anic text 1-2 centuries after Muhammad.

He keeps using the term introduced and I think this is where he’s being honest. During the debate, you’d notice a very disconcerting pattern. He’d drop a name, explain why the person is important and then proceed to give some snippet of information that he was unfamiliar with and when he expanded on them, began to contradict what the sources themselves had said. Keith Small has already been replied to en masse by scholars and lay men alike. The assertion that the Qur’aan was protected by the Muslim governors and rulers can’t be seen as negative. When the power of the State ensures the validity of the transmission, that in no way can be a negative thing. After all, the State has both the power and the resources to invest in the preservation of such important and sacred documents. Perhaps what is troubling is Jay’s ignorance of New Testament transmission, he claimed during the debate that there was no political power involved in the copying, distribution or preservation of the New Testament. Perhaps he should educate himself, as the Latin Vulgate was produced after Pope Damasus near the end of the 4th century, commissioned Jerome to produce the “best” edition of the New Testament based on the various Latin transmissions of the text during that time. If I cannot expect a man to be honest or to be acquainted with the history of his own text, on what grounds can I expect him to speak truthfully of any other religion’s? He continued:

I also introduced Dr. Andy Bannister’s Formulaic material, pointing out the many instances in the Qur’an where Jewish formulaic apocryphal writings were borrowed.

I think it’s fairly easy to understand that if God sent a message before and He reiterated that message again in another revelation, we’d expect it to say something similar, or repeat the same thing again. I am familiar with Andy’s work, and to be honest, all the poor guy’s done is taken the claim that the Qur’aan is based on Jewish and Gnostic apocryphal writings and stated they have similar words between them. It does not take a genius to make the connection that if two statements convey the same message, they’re going to contain similar terms. It’s one thing to claim though that the Qur’aan literally took from those sources, as opposed to explaining how an Arab had access to lost apocryphal literature in a language he, neither his people can speak or have since been able to speak. It’s a nice conspiracy theory, but on the grounds of objective academic and scholastic work, it’s mere polemics. Dr. Shabir does speak at length about Bannister’s claims and opinions in this recent video. Jay continued:

But most of my time was spent introducing Dr. Dan Brubaker’s new research on the hundreds of variants (up to 800) which he found in the 10 Manuscripts he researched, some written as late as the 9th century. Earlier this month I had spent a day with him at his home, and he let me use pictures from his doctoral thesis to underline the 6 forms of consonantal corrections he found in these manuscripts. So, our best evangelical scholars in this field were well represented in my presentation.

This is perhaps where it gets to be quite interesting. Dan only let Jay take pictures. I own and currently posses the entirety of Dan’s thesis. So while Jay’s arguments are based on photos he took, I have the entirety of Dan’s work and I’ve actually read it. All 45 mb’s of it. So thus far, Jay’s information has been from a Skype conversation on works he does not own and has never read, along with a thesis he took photos from and hasn’t read. Can this get any worse? Yes, it’s Jay Smith, it can get worse.

It was the variants in the manuscripts which pointed to a later standardization of the Qur’an after the 8th century which seemed to especially cause a problem with the Muslims who were present, or were watching, and for good reason. With this evidence Muslims will no longer be able to simply say, as they so often do, that their Qur’an is 1) eternal, 2) sent down 3) complete, and 4) unchanged. Now they will have to prove it, and you can see just how difficult that is now going to be.

The problem is, that nothing Jay stated in the debate is contained within the works of the people he has name dropped. I know full well that Jay has been informed of my response to him, since then, my indication of his errors and mistakes were used in a sit down in which he was unfortunately unable to defend himself and his academic dishonesty. We can say as Muslims with confidence that the Qur’aan was standardized in the 7th century CE, with the orthography as we read today developing further in each century. With the extant evidences we posses, we can say with certainty that the Qur’aan is eternal, sent down, complete and unchanged. We have proved it and I’ve used Jay’s own sources to do so in my draft response to him.

What have we learned? We now have an explanation as to why Jay’s statements in the debate, contradict the works and people he appealed to. This is because he has neither studied those works or read them, instead as he admits, this information was provided to him via a Skype conversation and as he further claimed, this information was taken from a thesis he took a few photos of without having studied or read it, a thesis which I own and posses completely. Have some fun with Jay, demand that he explain his errors and mistakes, his deceits and lies as documented in this article by me.

and God knows best.

Dr. Shabir Ally & Dr. John Dominic Crossan Event

It is with great enthusiasm that I am looking forward to the dialogue between two erudite and honest religious scholars of our age on the Historicity of Jesus’ life in the Gospels.

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You can find updates for the event and the live stream link (offered for free) via: Ally and Crossan Dialogue Website. More information can also be found via the event’s Facebook page, see here, while tickets can be purchased here.

I will be live tweeting the event via my Twitter account, and if time permits, offering a post-dialogue summary.

and God knows best.

Dr. Shabir Ally responds to James White’s Complaint of his event with Dr. Crossan (Of the Jesus Seminar)

James White asked:

 But, I will say this—it will be a kindly discussion.  Having engaged in nine debates total with these gentlemen, I know at the very least it will be pursued in a kindly fashion.  But I remain confused as to its real reason.

Dr. Shabir Ally has responded by saying:

WHY A DIALOGUE WITH DR. CROSSAN?

Some of you have wondered how we may respond to those traditional Christians who think that Dr. Crossan does not represent them, and that therefore we should not be engaging in dialogue with Dr. Crossan. In answer to that, we should say that Christianity is quite diverse, and no one person can speak for all of Christianity. Any Christian scholar with whom we have a dialogue will probably have both supporters and detractors. Indeed, this has been my experience over the years.

The various denominations are well known. If, for example, we have a dialogue with the Catholics, the Protestants may say that they were not represented. The obvious solution to this problem is for us to have dialogues with both Catholics and Protestants and with all the other denominations, as much as time will permit.

More to the point here, there is a concern that since Dr. Crossan is liberal in his criticism of the Bible, and he does not represent traditional Christian beliefs, he is not suitable for dialogue. But here again we should realise that Christians span a wide spectrum from ultra-liberal to ultra-conservative. Again, the solution is for us to have dialogues one after another with persons representing various shades of the full spectrum.

Because the conservatives are louder in their complaints when we engage with someone who does not represent them, we may get the impression that the conservatives are the only ones who deserve to represent Christianity. But we should realise that even among conservatives some do not represent others. Some are not conservative enough for the others. I have at times been convinced that I am debating with a conservative Christian only to be surprised later at the complaint from other conservatives that the person I debated with is not a true Christian, or something of that nature.

It so happens that we are not the ones who invited Dr. Crossan to come to Toronto. He was going to be here anyway. We just tagged on the dialogue to make maximum use of his presence here. He was invited by a church that falls under the umbrella of United Church which is one of the largest Christian denominations in Canada. Many Christians will be paying to attend his lectures in that church. There he will be delivering a series of five lectures on various aspects of his research into the historical Jesus. Even if some of those Christians disagree with him, some others, at least the Christians who invited him to speak in their church, obviously feel that his findings should be shared. So, he does represent some Christians.

In fact, I feel that Dr. Crossan represents many Christians today. Some of us Muslims tend to assume that Christians generally hold on to traditional views about Jesus. But you may be surprised to find that one important leader and scholar after another confesses that they no longer believe in some significant aspects of the tradition. For example, many no longer believe that Jesus died for their sins. They think it would be odd of God to demand and receive a human sacrifice. Many no longer believe that Jesus is the Son of God in a literal sense. They actually believe that he is a man and a prophet.

This tendency to reject things in the Gospels has shifted to the far left. Many no longer believe that Jesus performed the kinds of miracles described in the Bible and the Quran. Many no longer believe in the virginal conception of Jesus. This extreme may be surprising to many Muslims. But, as I have pointed out in several of my debates, once one starts looking closely at the Gospels, as one must, one sees enough problems to make one hesitate to accept the major claims about Jesus.

If we did not have the Quran, we too would have been skeptical of the claims made about Jesus in the Gospels. Hence our responsibility is to share the message of the Quran with our Christian friends. And we need to share this with all Christians, not just the ones who refuse to look at the problems in the Gospels. It is our hope that some of those who reject traditional faith in Jesus because of the problems in the Gospels may embrace Quranic faith in Jesus. And those who refuse to see the problems in the Gospels’ depiction of Jesus may see a clearer light on Jesus shining from the Quran. So, let the dialogue continue and proliferate.

Most interestingly, a comment left under Dr. Shabir’s post highlights just how much of a problem Dr. Crossan can be for the Christian faithful:

Dr. Crossan is an actual monotheist — He believes Jesus was a prophet and nothing more … He criticizes the traditional beliefs about the Bible and about Jesus. In fact it was Dr. Crossan and his companion Dr. Borg that set my mind free from these blasphemous beliefs which ultimately lead to my reversion to Islam. Mainstream Christians will say he doesn’t represent them — and that’s 100% correct. Because he uses his critical thinking abilities and has authentic faith not blind faith. He studies and dismantles the Bible and Christian doctrine and looks at it for what it really is not what he believes it to be. He is a scholar and let me tell you from first hand experience… Christians do not like scholars, they prefer a preacher who can tell them what to believe instead of a scholar that will tell them to think for themselves. May Allah guide us all.

It is with great interest that myself and the larger Christian-Muslim dialogue community looks forward to the Dr. Shabir Ally and Dr. Crossan event.

and God knows best.

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