Category Archives: Christianity/Orientalists

Orientalism, Misinformation and Islam

by Abu Iman ‘Abd ar-Rahman Robert Squires

Any open-minded person embarking on a study of Islam, especially if using books written in European languages, should be aware of the seemingly inherent distortions that permeate almost all non-Muslim writings on Islam.  At least since the Middle Ages, Islam has been much maligned and severely misunderstood in the West. In the last years of the Twentieth Century, it does not seem that much has changed — even though most Muslims would agree that progress is being made.

QUESTIONABLE MOTIVES & GENERAL IGNORANCE

I feel that an elegant summary of the West’s ignorance of Islam and the motives of Orientalism are the following words by the Swiss journalist and author, Roger Du Pasquier:

“The West, whether Christian or dechristianised, has never really known Islam.  Ever since they watched it appear on the world stage, Christians never ceased to insult and slander it in order to find justification for waging war on it. It has been subjected to grotesque distortions the traces of which still endure in the European mind. Even today there are many Westerners for whom Islam can be reduced to three ideas: fanaticism, fatalism and polygamy. Of course, there does exist a more cultivated public whose ideas about Islam are less deformed; there are still precious few who know that the word islam signifies nothing other than ‘submission to God’.  One symptom of this ignorance is the fact that in the imagination of most Europeans, Allah refers to the divinity of the Muslims, not the God of the Christians and Jews; they are all surprised to hear, when one takes the trouble to explain things to them, that ‘Allah’ means ‘God’, and that even Arab Christians know him by no other name. 
    
Islam has of course been the object of studies by Western orientalists who, over the last two centuries, have published an extensive learned literature on the subject. Nevertheless, however worthy their labours may have been, particularly in the historical and and philological fields, they have contributed little to a better understanding of the Muslim religion in the Christian or post-Christian milieu, simply because they have failed to arouse much interest outside their specialised academic circles. One is forced also to concede that Oriental studies in the West have not always been inspired by the purest spirit of scholarly impartiality, and it is hard to deny that some Islamicists and Arabists have worked with the clear intention of belittling Islam and its adherents. This tendency was particularly marked—for obvious reasons—in the heyday of the colonial empires, but it would be an exaggeration to claim that it has vanished without trace. 
    
These are some of the reasons why Islam remains even today so misjudged by the West, where curiously enough, Asiatic faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism have for more than a century generated far more visible sympathy and interest, even though Islam is so close to Judaism and Christianity, having flowed from the same Abrahamic source.  Despite this, however, for several years it has seemed that external conditions, particularly the growing importance of the Arab-Islamic countries in the world’s great political and economic affairs, have served to arouse a growing interest of Islam in the West, resulting—for some—in the discovery of new and hitherto unsuspected horizons.”   (From Unveiling Islam, by Roger Du Pasquier, pages 5-7)

The feeling that there is a general ignorance of Islam in the West is shared by Maurice Bucaille, a French doctor, who writes:

“When one mentions Islam to the materialist atheist, he smiles with a complacency that is only equal to his ignorance of the subject.  In common with the majority of Western intellectuals, of whatever religious persuasion, he has animpressive collection of false notions about Islam.  One must, on this point, allow him one or two excuses.  Firstly, apart from the newly-adopted attitudes prevailing among the highest Catholic authorities, Islam has always been subject in the West to a so-called ‘secular slander’.  Anyone in the West who has acquired a deep knowledge of Islam knows just to what extent its history, dogma and aims have been distorted. One must also take into account that fact that documents published in European languages on this subject (leaving aside highly specialised studies) do not make the work of a person willing to learn any easier.”  (From The Bible, the Qur’an and Science, by Maurice Bucaille, page 118)

ORIENTALISM:  A BROAD DEFINITION

The phenomenon which is generally known as Orientalism is but one aspect of Western misrepresentations of Islam.  Today, most Muslims in the West would probably agree that the largest volume of distorted information about Islam comes from the media, whether in newspapers, magazines or on television. In terms of the number of people who are reached by such information, the mass media certainly has more of a widespread impact on the West’s view of Islam than do the academic publications of  “Orientalists”“Arabists” or  “Islamicists”.  Speaking of labels, in recent years the academic field of what used to be called  “Orientalism”  has been renamed “Area Studies” or “Regional Studies”, in most colleges and universities in the West. These politically correct terms have taken the place of the word “Orientalism” in scholarly circles since the latter word is now tainted with a negative imperialist connotation, in a large measure due to the Orientalists themselves. However, even though the works of scholars who pursue these fields do not reach the public at large, they do often fall into the hands of students and those who are personally interested in learning more about Islam.  As such, any student of Islam — especially those in the West — need to be aware of the historical phenomenon of Orientalism, both as an academic pursuit and as a means of cultural exploitation. When used by Muslims, the word “Orientalist” generally refers to any Western scholar who studies Islam — regardless of his or her motives — and thus, inevitably, distorts it.  As we shall see, however, the phenomenon of Orientalism is much more than an academic pursuit.  Edward Said, a renowned Arab Christian scholar and author of several books exposing shortcomings of the Orientalist approach, defines  “Orientalism”  as follows:

” … by Orientalism I mean several things, all of them, in my opinion, interdependent.  The most readily accepted designation of for Orientalism is an academic one, and indeed, and indeed the label still serves in a number of academic institutions. Anyone who teaches, writes about, or researches the Orient — and this applies whether the person is an anthropologist, sociologist, historian, or philogist — either in its specific or its general aspects, is an Orientalist, and what he or she does is Orientalism.” (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 2)

“To speak of Orientalism therefore is to speak mainly, although not exclusively, of a British and French cultural enterprise, a project whose dimensions take in such disparate realms as the imagination itself, the whole of India and the Levant, the Biblical texts and the Biblical lands, the spice trade, colonial armies and a long tradition of colonial administrators, a formidable scholarly corpus, innumerable Oriental “experts” and “hands”, an Oriental professorate, a complex array of “Oriental” ideas (Oriental despotism, Oriental splendor, cruelty, sensuality), many Eastern sects, philosophies, and wisdoms domesticated for local European use—the list can be extended more or less indefinitely.” (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 4)

As is the case with many things, being aware of the problem is half the battle. Once a sincere seeker of the Truth is aware of the long standing misunderstanding and hostility between Islam and the West — and learns not to trust everything which they see in print — authentic knowledge and information can be obtained much more quickly. Certainly, not all Western writings on Islam have the same degree of bias — they run the range from willful distortion to simple ignorance — and there are even a few that could be classified as sincere efforts by non-Muslims to portray Islam in a positive light. However, even most of these works are plagued by seemingly unintentional errors, however minor, due to the author’s lack of Islamic knowledge. In the spirit of fairness, it should be said that even some contemporary books on Islam by Muslim authors suffer from these same shortcomings, usually due to a lack of knowledge, heretical ideas and or depending on non-Muslim sources.

This having been said, it should come as no surprise that learning about Islam in the West — especially when relying on works in European languages — has never been an easy task.  Just a few decades ago, an English speaking person who was interested in Islam, and wishing to limit their reading to works by Muslim authors, might have been limited to reading a translation of the Qur’an, a few translated  hadeeth books and a few dozen pamphlet-sized essays. However, in the past several years the widespread availability of Islamic books — written by believing and committed Muslims — and the advent of the Internet have made obtaining authentic information on almost any aspect of Islam much easier. Today, hardly a week goes by that an English translation of a classical Islamic work is not announced. Keeping this in mind, I would encourage the reader to consult books written by Muslim authors when trying to learn about Islam.  There are a wide range of Islamic books distributors that can be contacted through the Internet. 

IMPERIALISTIC AIMS & EAGER MISSIONARIES

Moving on to a more detailed look at the West’s distorted view of Islam in general and Orientalism in particularEdward Said, the Arab Christian author of the monumental work Orientalism,  accurately referred to Orientalism a“cultural enterprise”.  This is certainly no distortion, since the academic study of the Oriental  East by the Occidental  West was often motivated — and often co-operated hand-in-hand — with the imperialistic aims of the European colonial powers.  Without a doubt, the foundations of Orientalism are in the maxim “Know thy enemy”.  When the “Christian Nations” of Europe began their long campaign to colonize and conquer the rest of the world for their own benefit, they brought their academic and missionary resources to bear in order to assist in the task.  Orientalists and missionaries — whose ranks often overlapped — were more often than not the servants of an imperialist government who was using their services as a way to subdue or weaken an enemy, however subtly:

“With regard to Islam and the Islamic territories, for example, Britain felt that it had legitimate interests, as a Christian power, to safeguard. A complex apparatus for tending these interests developed. Such early organizations as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1698) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (1701) were succeeded and later abetted by the Baptist Missionary Society (1792), the Church Missionary Society (1799), the British and Foreign Bible Society (1804), the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews (1808).  These missions “openly” joined the expansion of Europe.”  (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 100)

Anyone who has studied the subject knows that Christian missionaries were willing participants in European imperialism, regardless of the pure motives or naïveté of some of the individual missionaries.  Actually, quite a few Orientalist scholars were Christian missionaries. One notable example is Sir William Muir, who was an active missionary and author of several books on Islam.  His books were very biased and narrow-minded studies, but they continue to be used as references for those wishing to attack Islam to this very day. That Christians were the source of some of the worst lies and distortions about Islam should come as no surprise, since Islam was its main “competitor” on the stage of World Religions. Far from honouring the commandment not to bear false witness against one’s neighbour, Christians distortions—and outright lies—about Islam were widespread, as the following shows:

“The history of Orientalism is hardly one of unbiased examination of the sources of Islam especially when under the influence of the bigotry of Christianity. From the fanatical distortions of John of Damascus to the apologetic of later writers against Islam that told their audiences that the Muslims worshipped three idols! Peter the Venerable (1084-1156) “translated” the Qur’an which was used throughout the Middle Ages and included nine additional chapters. Sale’s infamously distorted translation followed that trend, and his, along with the likes of Rodwell, Muir and a multitude of others attacked the character and personality of Muhammmed. Often they employed invented stories, or narration’s which the Muslims themselves considered fabricated or weak, or else they distorted the facts by claiming Muslims held a position which they did not, or using the habits practised out of ignorance among the Muslims as the accurate portrayal of Islam. As Norman Daniel tell us in his work Islam and the West“The use of false evidence to attack Islam was all but universal . . . “ (p. 267).”  (From An Authoritative Exposition – Part 1)

This view is confirmed by the well known historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, when he writes:

“Medieval Christendom did, however, study Islam, for the double purpose of protecting Christians from Muslim blandishments and converting Muslims to Christianity, and Christian scholars, most of them priests or monks, created a body of literature concerning the faith, its Prophet, and his book, polemic in purpose and often scurrilous in tone, designed to protect and discourage rather than to inform”..”  (From Islam and the West, by Bernard Lewis, pages 85-86)

There is a great deal of proof that one could use to demonstrate that when it came to attacking Islam, even the Roman Catholic Church would readily embrace almost any untruth. Here’s an example: 

“At a certain period in history, hostility to Islam, in whatever shape or form, even coming from declared enemies of the church, was received with the most heartfelt approbation by high dignitaries of the Catholic Church. Thus Pope Benedict XIV, who is reputed to have been the greatest Pontiff of the Eighteenth century, unhesitatingly sent his blessing to Voltaire.  This was in thanks for the dedication to him of the tragedy Mohammed or Fanaticism (Mahomet ou le Fanatisme) 1741, a coarse satire that any clever scribbler of bad faith could have written on any subject. In spite of a bad start, the play gained sufficient prestige to be included in the repertoire of the Comédie-Française.”  (From  The Bible, the Qur’am and Science, by Maurice Bucaille, page 118)

WIDESPREAD LIES & POPULAR CULTURE

The dedicated enemy of the church, referred to above, was the French philosopher Voltaire. Also, the above passage introduces a point that one should be well aware of: the distortions and lies about Islam throughout the ages in Europe were not been limited to a small number of scholars and clergy. On the contrary, they were part of popular culture at the time:

“The European imagination was nourished extensively from this repertoire [of Oriental images]:  between the Middle Ages and the eighteenth century such major authors as Ariosto, Milton, Marlowe, Tasso, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and the authors of the Chanson de Roland and the Poema del Cid drew on the Orient’s riches for their productions, in ways that sharpened that outlines of imagery, ideas, and figures populating it. In addition, a great deal of what was considered learned Orientalist scholarship in Europe pressed ideological myths into service, even as knowledge seemed genuinely to be advancing.” (From Orientalism, by Edward Said, page 63)

“The invariable tendency to neglect what the Qur’an meant, or what Muslims thought it meant, or what Muslims thought or did in any given circumstances, necessarily implies that Qur’anic and other Islamic doctrine was presented in a form that would convince Christians; and more and more extravagant forms would stand a chance of acceptance as the distance of the writers and public from the Islamic border increased. It was with very great reluctance that what Muslims said Muslims believed was accepted as what they did believe. There was a Christian picture in which the details (even under the pressure of facts) were abandoned as little as possible, and in which the general outline was never abandoned. There were shades of difference, but only with a common framework. All the corrections that were made in the interests of an increasing accuracy were only a defence of what had newly realised to be vulnerable, a shoring up of a weakened structure. Christian opinion was an erection which could not be demolished, even to be rebuilt.” (From Islam and the Wesr: The Making of an Image, by Norman Daniel, page 259-260)

Edward Said, in his classic work Orientalism, referring to the above passage by Norman Daniel, says:

“This rigorous Christian picture of Islam was intensified in innumerable ways, including — during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance — a large variety of poetry, learned controversy, and popular superstition. By this time the Near Orient had been all but incorporated in the common world-picture of Latin Christianity — as in the Chanson de Roland  the worship of Saracens is portrayed as embracing Mahomet and Apollo. By the middle of the fifteenth century, as R. W. Southern has brilliantly shown, it became apparent to serious European thinkers “that something would have to be done about Islam,” which had turned the situation around somewhat by itself arriving militarily in Eastern Europe.”  (From Orientalism, by Edward W. Said, page 61)

“Most conspicuous to us is the inability of any of these systems of thought [European Christian] to provide a fully satisfying explanation of the phenomenon they had set out to explain [Islam] — still less to influence the course of practical events in a decisive way. At a practical level, events never turned out either so well or so ill as the most intelligent observers predicted:  and it is perhaps worth noticing that they never turned out better than when the best judges confidently expected a happy ending.  Was there any progress [in Christian knowledge of Islam]? I must express my conviction that there was. Even if the solutions of the problem remained obstinately hidden from sight, the statement of the problem became more complex, more rational, and more related to experience.”  (From Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages, by R. W. Southern, pages 91-92)

Regardless of the flawed, biased — and even devious — approach of many Orientalists, they too can have their moments of candour, as Roger Du Pasquier points out:

“In general one must unhappily concur with an Orientalist like Montgomery Watt when he writes that ‘of all the great men of the world, no-one has had as many detractors as Muhammad.’  Having engaged in a lengthy study of the life and work of the Prophet, the British Arabist add that ‘it is hard to understand why this has been the case’, finding the only plausible explanation in the fact that for centuries Christianity treated Islam as its worst enemy. And although Europeans today look at Islam and its founder in a somewhat more objective light, ‘many ancient  prejudices still remain.’”  (From Unveiling Islam, by Roger Du Pasquier, page 47 – quoting from W. M. Watt’s Muhammad at Medina, Oxford University Press)

SOUND ADVICE & CONCLUDING REMARKS

In conclusion, I would like to turn to a description of Orientalism by an American convert to Islam.  What he has this to say about the objectives and methods of Orientalism, especially how it is flawed from an Islamic perspective, is quite enlightening. While summarizing his views on a book by an Orientalist author, he writes:

(t)he book accurately reports the names and dates of the events it discusses, though its explanations of Muslim figures, their motives, and their place within the Islamic world are observed through the looking glass of unbelief (kufr), giving a reverse-image of many of the realities it reflects, and perhaps calling for a word here on the literature that has been termed Orientalism, or in the contemporary idiom, “area studies“. It is a viewpoint requiring that scholarly description of something like “African Islam” be first an foremost objective. The premises of this objectivity conform closely, upon reflection, to the lived and felt experience of a post-religious, Western intellectual tradition in understanding religion; namely, that comparing human cultural systems and societies in their historical succession and multiplicity leads the open-minded observer to moral relativism, since no moral value can be discovered which on its own merits is transculturally valid.  Here, human civilizations, with their cultural forms, religions, hopes, aims, beliefs, prophets, sacred scriptures, and deities, are essentially plants that grow out of the earth, springing from their various seeds and soils, thriving for a time, and then withering away.  The scholar’s concern is only to record these elements and propose a plausible relation between them. 
    
Such a point of departure, if de rigueur  for serious academic work is of course non-Islamic and anti-Islamic. As a fundamental incomprehension of Islam, it naturally distorts what it seeks to explain, yet with an observable disparity in the degree of distortion in any given description that seems to correspond roughly to how close the object of explanation is to the core of Islam.  In dealing with central issues like Allah, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), the Koran, or hadith, it is at its worst; while the further it proceeds to the periphery, such as historical details of trade concessions, treaties names of rulers, weights of coins, etc., the less distorted it becomes.  In either case, it is plainly superior for Muslims to rely on fellow Muslims when Islamic sources are available on a subject … if only to avoid the subtle and not-so-subtle distortions of non-Islamic works about Islam. One cannot help but feel that nothing bad would happen to us if we were to abandon the trend of many contemporary Muslim writers of faithfully annotating our works with quotes from the founding fathers of Orientalism, if only because to sleep with the dogs is generally to rise with the fleas.” (From The Reliance of the Traveller, Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, page 1042)

As anyone who has studied Orientalism knows, both their methodology and their intentions were less than ideal. The following remarks serve as a pointed synopsis of the approach of Western Orientalist scholars to the Qur’an in particular and Islam in general:

“The Orientalist enterprise of Qur’anic studies, whatever its other merits and services, was a project born of spite, bred in frustration and nourished by vengeance: the spite of the powerful for the powerless, the frustration of the “rational” towards the “superstitious” and the vengeance of the “orthodox” against the “non-conformist.” At the greatest hour of his worldly-triumph, the Western man, coordinating the powers of the State, Church and Academia, launched his most determined assault on the citadel of Muslim faith. All the aberrant streaks of his arrogant personality — its reckless rationalism, its world-domineering phantasy and its sectarian fanaticism — joined in an unholy conspiracy to dislodge the Muslim Scripture from its firmly entrenched position as the epitome of historic authenticity and moral unassailability. The ultimate trophy that the Western man sought by his dare-devil venture was the Muslim mind itself. In order to rid the West forever of the “problem” of Islam, he reasoned, Muslim consciousness must be made to despair of the cognitive certainty of the Divine message revealed to the Prophet. Only a Muslim confounded of the historical authenticity or doctrinal autonomy of the Qur’anic revelation would abdicate his universal mission and hence pose no challenge to the global domination of the West. Such, at least, seems to have been the tacit, if not the explicit, rationale of the Orientalist assault on the Qur’an.” (From: “Method Against Truth: Orientalism and Qur’anic Studies”, by S. Parvez Manzoor, Muslim World Book Review, Vol. 7, No. 4, Summer 1987, pp. 33-49.)

Need we say more?

Is “Yahweh” Referred to in the Qur’an??

By Ebrahim Saifuddin

There are Christians who tend to make a point that the Bible mentions in Exodus 3:14 that the name of God is “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” (depends on where one puts the vowels) but this name does not appear in the Qur’an. Hence they claim that the Qur’an cannot be the Word of God and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ cannot be a Messenger of God, because there is no reference to the personal name of God which appears in the Old Testament 6823 times.

YHWH (Yahweh) in the Bible

Let’s first read the concerned verse in the Bible in context:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. – [Exodus 3:13-15]

The Hebrew word that is translated as “I AM” in English, is YHWH (known as the Tetragrammaton) which commonly the Christians read as Yahweh or Jehovah by inserting vowels. The Hebrew form of YHWH is as below:

יהוה

The objection which Christians raise is that as we see in Exodus 3:15, God says that this is his name forever thus they say if Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a Messenger of Allah then he should have made some reference to this personal name of God, Yahweh/Jehovah, to prove that he is really a Messenger of God.

Pronunciation of the word YHWH

“Yahweh” and “Jehovah” are two pronunciations formed by humans much later. Although the Jewish Encyclopedia labels the word “Jehovah” to be a philological impossibility, the Christian world tends to use this pronunciation till this day. Coming back to the pronunciation of this word YHWH, the Catholic Encyclopedia brings it to our attention:

“According to a Rabbinic tradition the real pronunciation of Jehovah ceased to be used at the time of Simeon the Just, who was, according to Maimonides, a contemporary of Alexander the Great. At any rate, it appears that the name was no longer pronounced after the destruction of the Temple.”

Moreover we are also informed by the same encyclopedia that “the modern Jews are as uncertain of the real pronunciation of the Sacred name as their Christian contemporaries” [emphasis added]. Hence one thing has been made apparent that neither the Jews nor the Christians know the true pronunciation of this word. This word was considered to be ineffable by the Jews and thus with time people lost the knowledge of its true pronunciation.

Meaning of YHWH (Yahweh)

As it was made apparent that we do not know how to pronounce the word “YHWH”, we must now look and understand what this word means so as to get an understanding of the word itself. The Jewish Encyclopedia informs us that the meaning of the name “YHWH” is “‘He who is self-existing, self-sufficient’, or, more concretely, ‘He who lives’” [emphasis added]. Hence in simplest of terms “YHWH” means The Living and Self-Subsisting.

Did Biblical Jesus use the name YHWH?

Up till now two things have been made clear; the real pronunciation of the word is not available and that the meaning of this word is “self-existing and self sufficient”, in short “He who lives”. So now it must be established whether Jesus did use this name Yahweh in any place. The only verse which Christendom can quote to try to prove that Jesus used this word is in the Gospel of John which is as below:

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” – [John 8:58]

As we see that the verse consists of the phrase “I am”, the Christians say that Jesus has used the word YHWH. So let us take a look at the Greek version of the verse as we all know that the biblical manuscripts with the Christian world are in the language Greek although there is no concrete evidence that Jesus knew this language.

The words translated as “I am” are: ἐγώ εἰμί
Transliterated as: egō eimi
Pronounced as: eg-o’ i-mee’

So the words used here are “ego eimi” which simply means “I am” – a means of designating oneself. Not only “ego eimi” simply means “I am” as one would use “I am” in their everyday talk in the English language, “ego eimi” is no where near to the meaning of YHWH which is seen above to mean The Living, Self Subsisting. So not only does this not sound anything like the proposed pronunciation of the word YHWH, it does not even carry the meaning of the word.

Was “ego eimi” used Exclusively by Jesus?

The term “ego eimi” which simply means “I am” is used in numerous places in the Bible and there are instances when this term is used by people other than Jesus. Just to give a quick example, the blind man whom Jesus cured uses the same words as well in the Gospel of John:

Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.  – [John 9:9]

Do note the deception which the Christian world uses. In the Greek manuscripts there is no “he” in the text. The verse ends at “I am”. The same phrase “ego eimi” is used in the Greek texts. Due to the absence of “he” in the biblical manuscripts, “Young’s Literal Translation” provides the following translation for the same verse:

Others said — `This is he;’ and others — `He is like to him;’ he himself said, — ‘I am [he].’ – [Young’s Literal Translation of John 9:9]

Notice that the term “he” is placed in parenthesis because this word is not present in the biblical manuscripts. Any form of term that is not in the text being translated should be written in parenthesis to convey the meaning and not cause deception such that people would believe that it is part of the original text.

So by using the phrase “ego eimi” was the blind man suggesting that he was YHWH? Obviously not and no Christian would dare to claim that he was. So then why did he use the term “ego eimi”? Simply because this word means nothing but the same as “I am” in the English language.

Similarly there are other examples in the Bible which prove that this phrase “ego eimi” was not used only by Jesus and it certainly does not hold the meaning of YHWH as seen earlier.

If, however Christendom wants to claim that “ego eimi” refers to “YHWH”, the personal name of God, they have to accept that when traveling from Hebrew to Greek, the word was not used as “YHWH” (Yahweh) but an alternate word(s) was used “ego eimi” which was a reference to the actual name YHWH.

Does Qur’an Make Any Reference to YHWH?

So far we have learnt 4 points which I will list so as to refresh all that we have learnt so far:

⚫ Actual pronunciation of YHWH is lost

⚫ YHWH means “Self-Subsisting”, “The Living”

⚫ Jesus did not use the term “YHWH”

⚫ Christians cannot deny that traveling from Hebrew to Greek another term was used to refer to YHWH.

Thus we see that the Qur’an should have a reference to the term YHWH rather than having the term “YHWH” as the Qur’an was revealed in the Arabic and not the Hebrew. The golden question thus would be was any such reference made to the term “YHWH” in the Quran or by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?

The answer is a definite “YES”.

We have learnt so far that the meaning of the term “YHWH” is The Living, Self Subsisting and although the term “Allah” is used in the Quran, this word simply means “The God”.

However, we know that Islamic teachings inform us of 99 names (attributes) of Allah and the Quran informs us that to Allah belongs the most beautiful names and we can call him by any of these beautiful names:

He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours). To Him belong the Most beautiful names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, doth declare His Praises and Glory: and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.  – [Quran 59:24]

Say: “Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most beautiful names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between.”  – [Quran 17:110]

Thus we see that there are many different names of Allah, some of which I have listed below:

Al-‘Adl – The Just, The Equitable
Al-‘Afuw – The Pardoner
Al-‘Asim – The Protector
Ad-Dafi` – The Remover of Tribulations
Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem – The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Just like these above-mentioned beautiful names of Allah we also learn of two other names which combined are read as Hayyul-Qayyum:

Hayyul-Qayyum – The Living, Self-Subsisting

YHWH – The Living, Self-Subsisting

Here it has been proven that there is clear reference to the name YHWH in the Qur’an which crumbles the Christian stand that Islam has no reference to the name YHWH and thus Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is not the Messenger of Allah.

Stressed Importance of Hayyul-Qayyum

One of the verses which has Allah referred to by the name Hayyul-Qayyum is in Ayat-ul-Qursi (The Verse of the Throne). Ayat-ul-Qursi has multitude benefits but apart from Ayat-ul-Qursi having its benefits, this verse with “Hayyul-Qayyum” mentioned in it was referred to by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the “greatest”:

Ubayy bin Ka’b said: Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) said: O Abu’ al-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: Allah and His Apostle (May peace be upon him) know best. He again said: Abu’l-Mundhir, do you know the verse from the Book of Allah which, according to you, is the greatest? I said: “Allahu La ilaha illa Huwal Hayyul Qayyum.”  Thereupon he struck me on my breast and said: May knowledge be pleasant for you, O Abu’l-Mundhir! – [Sahih Muslim, Book 4, #1768]

In another narration, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ heard the man use “Hayyul-Qayyum” in his supplication and the Prophet ﷺ said that he has supplicated using Allah’s Greatest Name:

Narrated by Anas Ibn Malik: I was sitting with the Apostle of Allah ﷺ and a man was offering prayer. He then made supplication: O Allah, I ask Thee by virtue of the fact that praise is due to Thee, there is no deity but Thou, Who showest favour and beneficence, the Originator of the Heavens and the earth, O Lord of Majesty and Splendour, O Living One, O Eternal One.

The Prophet ﷺ then said: He has supplicated Allah using His Greatest Name, when supplicated by this name, He answers, and when asked by this name He gives. – [Abu Dawood, Book 2, #1490]

Yet another hadith to show the importance stressed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on the Hayyul-Qayyum:

Narrated by Asma’ daughter of Yazid: The Prophet (pbuh) said: Allah’s Greatest Name is in these two verses: “And your deity is one deity; there is no deity but He, the Compassionate the Merciful,” and the beginning of Surah Al ‘Imran, A.L.M. “Allahu La ilaha illa Huwal Hayyul Qayyum.”– [Abu Dawood, Book 2, #1491]

Conclusion

With the grace of Allah it can be seen that there is a clear reference to YHWH in the Quran. This reference is much stronger than what the Christians claim to be a reference to YHWH in the New Testament. The word “ego eimi” is in no way the Greek word for YHWH nor does it hold the meaning of YHWH. However as seen, there is a clear reference to the term YHWH in the Quran as well as the Hadith.

The Quran gives us many beautiful names of Allah, some of which have been mentioned above, and a Muslim can call upon Allah with any of his beautiful names unlike the followers of the Bible who do not even know how to pronounce the ‘personal name’ revealed to them. Indeed much of the truth in those books is lost just like the pronunciation of YHWH is lost and the Quran is sent to restore that which is lost – The Criterion.

Some More Beautiful Names of Allah

Al-Ghani – The Self-Sufficient, The Rich Beyond Need

Al-Awwal – The First

Al-‘Aakhir – The Last

Al-Barr – The Source of All Goodness

Al-Baaqi – The Everlasting One

Al-Haqq – The Truth

Al-Khaliq – The Creator

Al-Kafi – The Sufficient One

Ash-Shahid – The Witness

Leviticus 26:1 does not Apply to the Kabah

Some moron pagans allege that Muslims bowing towards the Kabah applies to be “idol-worship” since the OT verse of Leviticus 26:1 prohibits it, but the truth is contrary to the allegation, the following is a brief examination of the verse in question and eventually refutes the whole accusation.

Leviticus 26:1: Nothing to do with Kabah in Makkah.

Leviticus 26:1

26:1 YE SHALL MAKE YOU NO IDOLS nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.

Analysis:

1. YE SHALL MAKE YOU NO IDOLS

No IDOLS ever exist after the taking back of Makkah by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. No IDOLS ever exist in Islamic land including Madinah the city of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. No IDOL ever exist in the home of Muslims.
IDOLATORS and IDOLATRY are condemned by Allah. Allah Ta’ala says that idolatry is SATAN’S DOING.

“O you who have attained to faith! Intoxicants, and games of chance, and idolatrous practices, and the divining of the future are but a loathsome evil of Satan’s doing: ’shun it, then, so that you might attain to a happy state!” [Al-Qur’an 5:90]

“And, Lo, [thus] spoke Abraham unto his father Azar: “TAKEST THOU IDOLS FOR GODS? Verily, I see that thou and thy people HAVE OBVIOUSLY GONE ASTRAY!” [Al-Qur’an 6:74]

2. NOR GRAVEN IMAGE

Nor graven image — פסל, phesel; which signifies any image hewn out of wood or stone. (See: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/26-1.htm)

There is no SUCH THING IN KABAH AND AFTER ISLAM.

3. NEITHER REAR YOU UP A STANDING IMAGE

Is the rendering of a Hebrew word (matzebah), which is usually and more correctly translated “pillar” or “statue”

THERE IS NO STATUE IN MASJID AL-HARAM OR SURROUNDING KABAH.

4. TO BOW DOWN UNTO IT

When we bow down, our mind is in owe of Allah. We Muslim never bow down to Kabah or the stone. Allah mentioned it only for QIBLA (ORIENTATION/TOWARD) NOT FOR WORSHIP.

“So from wherever you go out [for prayer, O Muhammad] turn your face TOWARD (QIBLA) al-Masjid al-Haram, and indeed, it is the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.”   [Al-Qur’an 2:149]

THERE IS NO COMMAND FROM ALLAH TO WORSHIP KABAH OR THE STONE.

5. NEITHER SHALL YE SET UP ANY IMAGE OF STONE IN YOUR LAND, TO BOW DOWN UNTO IT

Any image of stone — אבן משׁכית, Eben mashchith; STONE OF FIGURE, device, or portraiture; or figured stone, or stone of picture, as we read in the margin; like those in use among the Egyptians, which were full of hieroglyphics, expressing some fancied perfections of their gods. Some, without any authority from the original, would render the words, a stone set up. The simply setting up pillars, or even images, WAS NOT PROHIBITED; BUT ONLY THE SETTING THEM UP TO WORSHIP THEM. (See: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/leviticus/26-1.htm)

WE MUSLIMS DO NOT WORSHIP KABAH OR THE STONE.

Therefore, Leviticus 26:1 has simply NOTHING TO DO WITH KABAH INSIDE MASJID AL-HARAM.

Pagan Easter Sunday – Idolatrous Origins of Easter Beliefs, Coloured Eggs, Rabbits, Pig-Eating, Etc

Christians engage in non-scriptural festivities, Easter has got nothing to do with the Bible.   Not only they are celebrating activities that were not scripturally based, in many cases (such as Xmas trees- prohibition is mentioned in Jeremiah 10). In short, they celebrate occult festivities hiding it with the mask of ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus).

Have you ever wondered where their beliefs come from or why do they do things which they do?? Are Christians attending church for worship or just entertainment purposes only??

The Christians should question why Easter Sunday occurs during spring equinox every year and  what has the spring equinox to do with ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus)? 

Who taught you to believe chocolate rabbits, colored eggs, hanging plastic eggs on trees, Easter baskets, Easter Bonnets, new clothes, going to church on Easter Sunday and Sunrise Services honor ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus)? Have you read this in your Bible, or are these just childhood fables that you are passing on to your children?

I expected to find a credible connection between the celebration of Easter Sunday, with all of its trappings, the Bible and Jesus. Easter Sunday has absolutely nothing to do with the either the Bible nor with ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) or Christianity.

Once I learned about biology, I really became perplexed, because rabbits are mammals and the only two mammals that lay eggs are platiypus and echidna.  

Christians engage in many paganistic behaviors without having any idea why.  The celebration of Easter Sunday is one of these ritualistic traditions where time has obscured the true reasons and origin for this celebration.

The strategy of the Christian missionaries of past and present was to send missionaries into foreign lands and enslave the minds of the citizens. This is done by replacing “pagan” beliefs with Christian beliefs. The technique is to incorporate Christian beliefs and rituals into their “pagan” beliefs and rename their deities. 

Over time, whichever deity the conquered people were worshiping prior to the arrival of Christian missionaries, the name would be gradually changed, and replaced by the Christian deity known as Jesus, while the “heathens/savages” continued engaging in their “pagan” rituals.

Consequently, the Church replaced the “pagan” ritual of Easter with the Jewish “Passover,” and then changed that into the so-called “Resurrection” of Jesus, while maintaining all of the pagan rituals of coloring eggs, rabbits laying eggs, and eating ham (Pig), etc.

The word “Easter” appears in the Bible only once, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ. Acts 12:4 says in reference to Peter’s arrest, “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”

Easter always, occur on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, which can result in a 2-4 week difference in the date, from one year to another.

Christians worship Easter Sunday as the so-called “resurrection day” for Jesus, which has nothing to do with neither ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam) Jesus nor did the resurrection take place.  On the contrary, Biblically speaking, celebrating Easter in actuality is celebrating a pagan ritual.

In an effort to find the definition and origin of Easter, you need to go outside of the Bible, because there is absolutely no information on the definition of Easter in the text of the Bible.

Easter is a Pagan Festival According to the Bible Itself!

I found out that Acts 12:4 referred to the pagan holiday established during the time of Nimrod (Namrud). According to the Bible, Nimrod built the “Tower of Babel” and began worshiping idols, including pagan deities Moloch and the sun-deity known as Baal (Ba’l is mentioned in Qur’an where Hadhrat Ilyas alayhissalaam (Elijah) criticizes his community for worshiping the pagan idol) which were contrary to the teachings of all the Prophets (alayhimussalaam).

An enemy killed Nimrod, and cut his body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout his kingdom. This is a plagiarized version of the ancient Egyptian pagan deity Osiris.

Semiramis wanted to deify her son Nimrod, so she created the myth that Nimrod ascended into heaven and became the “Sun-god” and people was to worship him as the god “Baal.”

Since you cannot have a god without a goddess, Semiramis deified herself by saying she ascended to the moon, which has a 28-day cycle and emits an egg at the end of that cycle.  This egg fell to the earth and Semiramis hatched out of it and her name was changed to Ishtar (pronounced Easter); ergo, the “Easter Egg.”

Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter’s hatching occurred after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which at the time, occurred during the Jewish “Passover,” and she became the “Goddess of Fertility.”  She was also known as the “goddess of spring” and the “goddess of prostitutes.”

Legend has it that Nimrod sent a “sun-ray” down to earth and immaculately impregnated Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter and she gave birth to their son who she named Tammuz. 

Like Nimrod, Tammuz was also a mighty hunter and he loved rabbits.

While Tammuz was hunting for rabbits a wild boar (pig) killed him. His mother Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter became very distraught and mourned for her dead son Tammuz, as written in Ezekiel 8:4: “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.”

Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter was walking through the forest mourning her loss, when she found an injured bird, which she healed in honor of her son Tammuz by transforming it into a rabbit.

She then decried that on the anniversary of her son Tammuz’s death, rabbits would lay colorful eggs.

The ancient Babylonians hid these eggs and the children would search for them. Today, children are given Easter baskets, with their colorful grass as symbolic representations of bird nests, or should I say, “Rabbit” nests.

To include adults during the celebration of Easter, naked women were painted, using various pastel colors, then they hid in the forest. Men would go “hunting” for them and when found, they would have sex, resulting in sexual orgies.  This is the origin of buying new Easter Bonnets and clothes for the Easter parade to church.

Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter mandated that everyone had to fast for forty days prior to the anniversary of Tammuz’s death, which is the Christian pagan ritual of “Lent.”

After the fast, they placed virgins on the altar and the priests had sex with them. These former virgins gave birth nine months later.

Three months after birth, during the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, they brought their newborn babies back to the altar. The priests would then sacrifice these newborn babies in honor of the god Moloch (Allegedly this still occurs annually at the Bohemian grove,, in California, honoring the pagan God moloch, in fact, the American society itself is based on satanic cults and freemasonry and referred in Bible as “Mystery Babylon”).

And use their blood to color Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter’s eggs.  This is the origin of coloring eggs for Easter.

Pig-Consumption on Easter Sunday

At the end of the forty-day fast (Lent), a celebration feast was held and because he was killed by a pig, on Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter Sunday, everyone would hold a feast with ham being the entrée; ergo, this is the origin of the “Easter Ham.”

In addition, they will serve “hot cross buns” in recognition of Tammuz.

Furthermore, because of the love Semiramis/Ishtar/Easter had for Tammuz, everyone had to end their prayer by making the sign of a “t” across their heart, as many Christians still do, believing they are making the sign of the “Cross.”

Finally, because Nimrod was transformed into Baal, the Sun-god, he is celebrated every Easter by Christians during their “Sunrise services,” which is clearly an abomination to the original teachings of ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus).

The Early Christians Who Believed that ‘Eesa Alayhissalaam (Jesus) Was Saved From Crucifixion

By Abu Zakariya

After the deity of Jesus, the crucifixion is perhaps the most contested issue about his life between Christians and Muslims. Today his death on the cross is taken as an almost indisputable fact of history, to the point where it’s not even questioned. Yet the Qur’an makes the bold claim that he was not crucified. Is it possible that the Qur’an, written some 600 years after Jesus, could be right? This article is going to show that there were in fact early Christian groups who believed that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was not crucified, just as the Qur’an proclaims.

WHAT ISLAM TEACHES ABOUT THE CRUCIFIXION

This is what the Qur’an says about the crucifixion of Jesus:

They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, though it was made to appear like that to them; those that disagreed about him are full of doubt, with no knowledge to follow, only supposition: they certainly did not kill him. God raised him up to Himself. God is almighty and wise. [4:157-158]

We can see that the Qur’an states that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was not crucified; rather it was made to appear so. What “though it was made to appear like that to them” means is a topic of discussion among scholars. A major view is that God gave someone else Jesus’ appearance and it was this other person who was substituted for ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) on the cross, causing his enemies to believe that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was crucified. We find support for this view in the narrations of one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu Anhu). He stated:

“Just before God raised Jesus to the Heavens, Jesus went to his disciples, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping with water (as if he had just had a bath) and he said, ‘There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after you had believed in me.’ He then asked, ‘Who among you will volunteer for his appearance to be transformed into mine, and be killed in my place. Whoever volunteers for that, he will be with me (in Heaven).’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered, but Jesus asked him to sit down. Jesus asked again for a volunteer, and the same young man volunteered and Jesus asked him to sit down again. Then the young man volunteered a third time and Jesus said, ‘You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of Jesus was cast over that man while Jesus ascended to Heaven from a hole in the roof of the house. When the Jews came looking for Jesus, they found that young man and crucified him…” [1]

We can see that the Qur’an and other Islamic sources are crystal clear: Allah saved His beloved messenger from the crucifixion. ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was raised up to God, alive and unharmed, where he remains until this day. We find support for the Qur’anic crucifixion narrative in history. There were early Christian groups who denied the crucifixion of Jesus, such as the first century scholar Basilides and his followers, the Basilidians. They believed that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was saved from the crucifixion and that another, Simon of Cyrene, was crucified in his place:

“The Unborn and Nameless Father seeing their miserable plight, sent his First-born, Nous (and this is the one who is called Christ) to deliver those who should believe in him from the power of the angelic agencies who had built the world. And to men Christ seemed to be a man and to have performed miracles. It was not, however, Christ who suffered, but rather Simon of Cyrene, who was constrained to carry the cross for him, and mistakenly crucified in Christ’s stead…” [2]

The beliefs of Basilides matter because he was living very close to the time of the disciples, and there are even traditions that he got these teachings from disciples of ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) such as Peter [3]. From this account we can see that it’s not the Qur’an that invented this claim that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was saved from the crucifixion, it goes back to the earliest time of Church history.

ANSWERING THE CLAIM THAT SUCH GROUPS WERE HERETICAL

Now, critics tend to discredit groups such as the Basilidians by appealing to the writings of Church Fathers who condemned them as heretical. Sadly, nearly all the writings of such groups have perished, and we mostly know of them through the writings of their opponents. It is a well known fact among historians that Church Fathers would exaggerate to the extreme when writing about other Christian sects with whom they did not agree.

For example, the second century theologian Irenaeus claimed that the followers of Valentinus made indiscriminate copulation not only permissible but a desired act for those who are truly spiritual [4], and that the Carpocratians practiced indiscriminate sex and that their theology compelled them to violate every conceivable moral law and ethical norm [5]. Perhaps the most outrageous example occurs near the end of the fourth century in the writings of the bishop Epiphanius, who in his discussion of a group of Gnostic Christians outlines their beliefs and describes their orgiastic and cannibalistic practices. Epiphanius claimed that they indulged in sumptuous feasts, with married couples separating to engage in sexual intercourse with other members of the community [6]. The couples are alleged to have then collected the semen in their hands and ingested it together while proclaiming, “this is the body of Christ.” The couple also collected and consumed the woman’s menstrual blood, saying “this is the blood of Christ” [7]. If for some reason the women became pregnant, the fetus was allowed to develop until it could be manually aborted. Then, claims Epiphanius, it was dismembered, covered with honey and spices, and devoured by the community as a special meal [8].

With the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in the 20th century we have been able to study the actual writings of a bewildering variety of Gnostic Christians. A lot of the claims made by the Church Fathers against such groups were proven to be false, as far from condoning, let alone promoting, such outlandish moral behavior, their writings urge and assume just the contrary social and personal ethics. One of the few constants among all the Nag Hammadi writings is their ascetic orientation. Gnostic Christians appear to have believed, as a rule, in punishing the body, not indulging it. They endorsed ascetic lifestyles far from the hedonistic debauchery that the Church Fathers alleged. Apparently then, Gnostics were consistently attacked by orthodox Christians as sexually perverse, not because they actually were perverse but because they were the enemy.

In fact, a lot of what we know about the early Church comes from the third century Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea who pioneered work giving a chronological account of the development of Early Christianity. He is often called the “Father of Church History.” But he is not a reliable source of information as he openly admits to lying in order to propagate what he believes is the truth. In his work, Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel), Book 12, Chapter 31 is titled as follows [9]:

“That it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such a mode of treatment.”

Eusebius makes it absolutely clear in his teachings that lying is necessary when it comes to the Gospel message. Chapter 31 reads as follows:

“But even if the case were not such as our argument has now proved it to be, if a lawgiver, who is to be of ever so little use, could have ventured to tell any falsehood at all to the young for their good, is there any falsehood that he could have told more beneficial than this, and better able to make them all do everything that is just, not by compulsion but willingly?”[10]

According to Eusebius it’s okay to lie, it’s okay to hold a false belief, if in the end the lie benefits someone. Eusebius, like most Christians today, held the death and resurrection of Jesus to be an essential belief for salvation. Based on Eusebius’ own principles then, there is no doubt that he would have been willing to lie about other groups who deny the crucifixion in order to protect what he would have seen as an essential truth. For Eusebius, the ends justify the means. It would therefore be difficult to believe that his writings are historically accurate and objective. His representations of competing groups of Christian sects are very likely not impartial.

In summary, we should take any claims of heresy made against early Christian groups who believed that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) was not crucified, with a pinch of salt. History is written by the winners, and much of what we know about these early groups has been painted by their opponents.

DID GOD DECEIVE THE WORLD?

A charge sometimes made against the Qur’an is that God ‘deceived’ people with the appearance of the crucifixion. The matter of the crucifixion was controversial in the formative years. The Old Testament prophesied that the Messiah would not be harmed. So, the evidence that ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) the Messiah could not be crucified is present within the Bible. Now, if some people of the past didn’t have access to the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah and they thought Jesus was crucified, then according to the Qur’an they would not be blameworthy in the sight of God: “God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear…”   [2:286] Here the Qur’an states that God does not hold people to account for what is beyond their capacity. Now that the final revelation, the Qur’an, has been revealed and clears up the misconceptions about ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus), people have no excuse for ignorance. The test of life is to see if truth is what matters to you, as opposed to what is convenient or fits your desires, and ultimately you are judged on your honest commitment to follow the truth as it appears to you. It’s important to realise that life is a test. God is testing us in this life to distinguish those who believe from those who disbelieve: “Do the people think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and God will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars” [29:2-3]. Such a claim about God deceiving us could be made about anything that seems confusing, contradictory or that needs a bit of investigation.

References

1 – Al-Nasa’i, Al-Kubra, 6:489.

2 – Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 24, section 4.

3 – Nicholas P. Lunn, The Original Ending of Mark: A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20, p. 349.

4 – Irenaeus , Against Heresies 1,6,3–4.

5 – Irenaeus , Against Heresies, 1,25,4.

6 – Epiphanius , Panarion 26.4.4.

7 – Epiphanius , Panarion 26.4.5–8.

8 – Epiphanius , Panarion 26.5.4–6.

9 – Accessed June 3rd 2017:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_12_book12.htm

10 – Accessed June 3rd 2017:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_12_book12.htm#100

Refutation of the Christian Lie that “Paul is a Prophet in Qur’an”

image

by Ebrahim Saifuddin

The Claim

In all their desperation Christian missionaries have now started to claim that according to the Quran Paul was a prophet of God. Their conclusions are based on conjectures and the misrepresentation of the text of the Qur’an. Simply put, there is not a single place in the Qur’an which even mentions the name “Paul” let alone mentioning him to be a prophet of God.

To make such claims the Christian missionaries run to Tafsir Ibn Kathir. They read out the tafsir by Ibn Kathir regarding the 14th ayah (Verse) of the 36th Surah (Chapter) of the Quran.

Verse under Question:

36:14

إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا إِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ

When We (first) sent to them two apostles, they rejected them: But We strengthened them with a third: they said, “Truly, we have been sent on a mission to you.”  – [Translation: Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

Christian missionaries say that Ibn Kathir says in his Tafsir of the Quran that this verse refers to Paul of Tarsus and thus Paul (Bulus) is one of the Messengers of God according to Islam.

Let’s see whether Ibn Kathir makes such a claim.

Ibn Kathir writes:

“The names of the first two Messengers were Sham`un and Yuhanna, and the name of the third was Bulus, and the city was Antioch (Antakiyah).”

But the question is this Ibn Kathir’s view?

No. This saying is attributed to: Shu`ayb Al-Jaba’i

Ibn Kathir is quoting Shu`ayb Al-Jaba’i. Ibn Kathir has also quoted interpretations of different people as well. He says that according to Ibn Ishaq the names of these three are:

(i) Sadiq

(ii) Saduq

(iii) Shalum

Note: No Bulus (i.e. Paul) mentioned here.

Later on Ibn Kathir in his tafsir refutes this and says that according to the proceeding Qur’anic verses the people were destroyed. Historically there is no evidence that the city of Antioch faced such destruction and thus this cannot even be about the city of Antioch.

Analyzing Some Tafsirs

Now let’s check Qurtubi whom these missionaries have labeled to be “The Number 1 Muslim Imam”.

Qurtubi:

“Tabari mentions: Sadiq Saduq Shalum

Someone else: Shamoun Yuhanna

Al Naqash said: Saman and Yahya – Did not mention Sadiq and Saduq.

According to Qurtubi ‘Eesa Masih (alayhissalaam) (Jesus) sent the first two as messengers to the king of Antioch. To him they said “We are disciples of ‘Eesa”. The king jailed them and whipped them. This news reached ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam) and he sent a third messenger ‘Shamoun Al-Safa’.”

Note: Qurtubi does not mention any Paul (Bulus) either.

We will now check another tafsir

Tafsir Ibn Abbas:

(When We sent unto them twain) two apostles: Simon the Canaanite and Thomas, (and they denied them both, so We reinforced them with a third) We strengthened them with Simon Peter who confirmed the message conveyed by the other two apostles, (and they said; Lo! we have been sent unto you.

Note: No Paul mentioned over there either.

What we have done here is basically refuted the idea that the Tafsirs unanimously agree that one of the three people sent as messengers was Paul. There is a difference of opinion among the scholars of tafsir which is evidence that neither the Qur’an mentions the name of Paul as one of the messengers nor did Prophet Muhammad ever mention his name with regards to this verse.

Does The Verse Really Talk About Messengers (Rasul)?

Now we will go on to refute the idea that the verse is talking of a Rasul of Allah.

The Arabic text of the Qur’an clearly shows the word used for these three to be “mursaloon”. Mursaloon which is the plural of mursal means “sent one”. This word has been highlighted in the concerned verse above.

Rasul (pl. rusul) in Islam has a specific definition.

Generally the word means:ambassador, messenger, envoy, emissary, forerunner, apostle, and courier.

Mursal (pl. mursaloon) means: sent one

This word, in the Qur’an can or can not refer to a prophet of Allah. For example in the Quran we see the following verse:

وَإِنِّي مُرْسِلَةٌ إِلَيْهِم بِهَدِيَّةٍ فَنَاظِرَةٌ بِمَ يَرْجِعُ الْمُرْسَلُونَ

But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what [reply] the messengers will return. – [Quran 27:35]

The same word “mursaloon” has been used. So does this mean that the messengers that Bilqis sent were RUSUL?

Another verse of the Quran:

فَلَمَّا جَاء آلَ لُوطٍالْمُرْسَلُونَ

At length when the messengers arrived among the adherents of Lut – [Quran 15:61]

Again the same word “mursaloon” is used. Does this mean that the angels which came to Lut were RUSUL?

Of course the answer to both the questions is “No”. None of them was a rasul but they were only ‘sent ones’. This word  “mursaloon” simply means a messenger and not necessarily RasulAllah

Further Deception by Christian Missionaries

The deceiving nature of these certain Christian missionaries is actually laughable. To support their claim they try to quote another verse from the Qur’an. The translation of that verse is given below:

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger  – [Quran 3:144]

And they say that look Muhammad was also only a messenger like the other three. But if we read the verse of the Qur’an we see that the word used here is “rasul” and not the general term“mursaloon”. A general term for messenger was used for the three people in 36:14 but for Prophet Muhammad the special word“rasul” has been used in this verse.

Further the verse continues:

Many Were the messengers that passed away before him. – [Qur’an 3:144]

This part of the verse talks about the previous rusul of Allah. And in the Arabic text, for them, again the word “rasul” is used and not the common word mursaloon.

Hence clearly the three that the Quran is talking about in Surah Yasin (36) verse 14 were not “rasul” but messengers (the sent ones) sent by Jesus on the directive of Allah.

Let’s give an example to make things clearer. If Allah informs Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to send Omar (radhiyallahu anhu) to Persia for Da’wah does that not mean that Omar (radhiyallahu anhu) is a messenger (mursaloon)? Of course he is a messenger! But it can never mean that he is a rasul!

Similarly these three were not rasul but were only messengers sent by ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) (on the directives of Allah.

Further Evidence

For more evidence we have to read Surah 36 verse 16:

They said: “Our Lord doth know that we have been sent on a mission to you:– [Qur’an 36:16]

This is a significant verse. These three supposed rasul of God go to a city and there they do not say ‘Our Lord sent us on a mission’ but rather say ‘Our Lord knows that we have been sent.’

Clearly when a Rasul of Allah (i.e. Jesus in this case) sends a messenger (i.e. Paul, Shamoun, Yuhanna or any of the other names mentioned by scholars in this case) to another city, God knows that they have been sent. It does not mean that God actually chose them to be rasul and sent them.

The Last Blow

It has clearly been refuted that according to the Qur’an or the Tafsir Paul was a Rasul of Allah. For the final blow to the deception which the Christian missionaries try to create let us take a look at a hadith of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

There is a clear hadith from the mouth of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Apostle saying, “I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus).” – [Sahih Bukhari Vol.4, Book 55, #651] This hadith has also been recorded in Sahih Muslim and Abu Dawud.

Conclusion

The whole idea of Paul being a rasul of God has been defeated in this article.

1) The verse 36:14 does not talk about a rasul but only about mursaloon.

2) Whether the verse in question refers to Paul or not is a matter of interpretation and clearly there are many scholars who don’t even mention Paul’s name in their tafsir of this verse.

3) Ibn Kathir himself refutes the claim of the city being Antioch.

4) According to Sahih Hadith it is clear that between ‘Eesa alayhissalaam (Jesus) and Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) there has been no prophet and hence Paul could have never been a prophet.

5) Even if, for argument’s sake, we would say that according to Ibn Kathir Paul is a Rasul of God, no tafsir can supercede the authentic hadith. This would be Ibn Kathir’s interpretation and Ibn Kathir was a man and not a rasul of God hence his word can never be taken over the word of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Who was the First Muslim in the Quran? No Contradiction/Error!

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[By Yahya Snow]

The Critics allege a contradiction against the Qur’an and ask; who was the first Muslim?

Secular critics such as the sceptics use this claim as well as Christians though I would imagine it was borne out of the Christian camp; it is used in evangelical Christian work such as GJO Moshay’s evangelism [1].

The critics point to two references from the Qur’an, 6:14 and 6:161-163, and claim these references show Prophet Muhammad as the first Muslim and then the critics turns their attention to another verse of the Qur’an (7:143) concerning Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) being the first of the believers. Just to further their agenda they may also highlight other Qur’anic references indicating there were Muslims before Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) namely the first man Adam (S. 2:30, 34-35, 37) and Ibraheem alayhissalaam (Abraham) as well as other Prophets (S. 4:163, S. 6:84) as believers. However they mainly use the Qur’anic verse about Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) (7:143) and try to put it along side the two concerning Muhammed (6:14 and 6:163) and they then allege contradiction/error.

The Refutation

Quite simply, the Qur’an does not claim Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) to be the first ever Muslim. The critic imposes a faulty understanding on the Qur’anic verses and alleges a contradiction when there is no contradiction/error.

Despite this it is still thorough and beneficial to offer explanations in order to clear any confusion as well as help highlight the errors of the critics in the hope they realise their mistakes and abjure themselves and eventually become amongst the guided ones, Insha’Allah

I feel it is logical to begin this simple refutation with analysing the reference concerning Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) and then we shall build upon this in a methodical fashion so the reader can follow with ease. Did the Quran claim Musa alayhissalaam Moses to be the first ever believer?

7:143 sees Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) saying he is the first of the believers. However, we do see that this is true as he (Moses) was the first believer amongst his own people.

7:143. And when Mûsa (Moses) came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him, he said: “O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.” Allâh said: “You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me.” So when his Lord appeared to the mountain[], He made it collapse to dust, and Mûsa (Moses) fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.” [2]

Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) does not say he is the first believer ‘ever’. He merely claims he is the first of the believers and knowing the context one understands he is not claiming to be the first ever believer from humankind but the first amongst his people to believe, this is apparent as it is a relative term to the “believers” and situational-context tells us that the believers at the time of Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) were essentially the Children of Israel and thus we realise that Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) is referring to himself as the first to believe amongst the Children of Israel.

The critic fails to mention this and tries to present this verse as meaning Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) is the first ever to believe amongst humanity, this is unfair and misleading on the part of the critic especially considering the word “ever” is not in the verse. There is further clarification of the Arabic phrase of the Quran ascribed to Moses (“awwalu al-mumineena”= “first of the believers”) as there is another reference in the Quran (26:51) where this term comes up and thus explaining the meaning of Musa alayhissalaam (Moses’) statement of being the “first of the believers (“awwalu almumineena”).

So we use a basic principle of Tafsir (explaining the Qur’an) by explaining a verse of the Qur’an (the verse concerning Moses, 7143) by using another part of the Quran (26:51). So what do we learn about the statement of Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) in 7:143 by looking at 26:51?

26:51. “Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Mûsa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allâh].” [3]

The context of this verse is Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) going to Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and preaching the Message and with the intention of freeing the enslaved Children of Israel.

The verse (26:51) is teaching us what the sorcerers of the Fir’awn (Pharaoh) said when they realised that Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) and Haroon alayhissalaam (Aaron) were truthful in their preaching. Thus they became the first to believe amongst the people of Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and even use the same expression as Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) “awwala al-mumineena”. It is clear that they are not claiming to be the first ever to believe as Haroon alayhissalaam (Aaron) and Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) (two people who were believers before them) were in front of them delivering the Message to Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and his people and they became believers due to the preaching (miracles) of Moses by the Will of Allah. Therefore we realise the term “awwala al-mumineena” (first of the believers) in the Quran (7:143) does not mean he is the first ever believer but it is a relative term. Thus we realise that both the sayings of Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) (7:143) and the sorcerers (26:51) are relative to their situations and they are clearly not referring to themselves as the first ever believers but it does mean they are the first believers amongst their own people. We also realise the critics build there argument upon faulty information as well as error. So now we know that Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) was not referring to himself as the first ever believer through the information presented.

However, for thoroughness we can use the same method of Tafsir (i.e. ‘explanation of the Quran by the Quran’ [6]) to realise that Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) was speaking relative to his own time and people. We need look no further than the Qur’anic references to Adam (2:30-37) and we deduct that Adam alayhissalaam came before Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) and was a believer therefore believed before Moses so we realise that the Quran is not presenting Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) as the first ever believer but as the first believer relative to the time and place Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) was in (i.e. the first to believe amongst his people). This is basic Tafsir and logic which the critic avoids.

The critics have no authority (Tafsir writers such as Ibn Kathir etc) to support their claims which are merely erroneous self-imposed understandings based on ignorance of context and Tafsir. Now we realise that the Quran did not put forward Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) (or the sorcerers) as the first ever Muslim (s) we still have the question; did the Quran claim Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as the first ever Muslim? Well let us focus on the references in question.

It is not up for debate whether Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Muslim or not. Quite simply he was the first Muslim in the sense that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Muslim (i.e. who has submitted to God) amongst his own people (the Quraish) at that particular phase in history. This is completely correct. Hence there is no contradiction as Adam alayhissalaam was the first Muslim ever while Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Muslim amongst his own people.

There are two Qur’anic references (6:14 and 6:162-163) the critics bring up, so it is appropriate to analyse the two references. The first of the Quranic references the critics cite (6:14) shows that Allah instructs Muhammed to “say” (Qul): “Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (as Muslims).”:

6:14. Say (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “Shall I take as a Walî (helper, protector, etc.) any other than Allâh, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? And it is He Who feeds but is not fed.” Say: “Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (as Muslims).” And be not you (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of the Mushrikûn [polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh]. [4]

We also note the same applies to the second Quranic reference (6:162-163) in that it also begins with Qul (say) and Mohammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is instructed to say: “… I am the first of the Muslims”:

6: 162. Say (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists). 163. “He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” [5]

So we see that Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is being instructed to say these words and we can refer to Von Denffer concerning Qur’anic verses, such as the two cited by the critics (6:14 and 6:162-163), which begin with Qul (say): “More than 200 passages in the Quran open with the word ‘Qul’ (say:), which is an instruction to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to address the words following this introduction to his audience in a particular situation…” [7]

So the natural question is who is Muhammed’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) audience for him to say these words to? The audience were the tribe of Quraish. The Quraish were Muhammed’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) people (tribe) [8].Thus they were his foremost audience. Indeed Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Muslim amongst the Quraish who were a Pagan tribe.

Also we realise his immediate audience resided in Makkah as these two Quranic references are form the Makkan period, this shows that Muhammed’s audience was the Pagan Arabs of Makkah and the foremost of these Pagans in Makkah was his own people, the Quraish tribe. Thus we realise that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was to teach the Pagan audience in Makkah that he was the first Muslim. This was the context and we realise it is relative to the Quraish and thus refers to him being the first Muslim from amongst the Pagans of Quraish. Note he was not instructed to say this to Adam alayhissalaam or earlier Prophets nor was he instructed to say this to the whole of humanity but he was instructed to say it “to his audience” (pg78) who were primarily the Quraish. How the critic misses this context is not worth too much thought at this juncture, the fact of the matter is that the critics completely miss the context and thus fall into error and onto the thorny path of misleading others with their erroneous claims.

Even not knowing the context one can realise that Qur’an is not referring to Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as the first ever Muslim as the Qur’an does not qualify it with the word ‘ever’! However there is further unscholarly work on the part of the critic as the context is again realised through the rest of the verse (6:14): And be not you (O Muhammad (lsallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of the Mushrikûn [polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh]. [4]

This shows that Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was instructed by Allah through the Quran to speak relatively to his people who were idolaters/disbelievers (Quraish) Interestingly enough 6:163 uses a similarly structured term as the verse concerning Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) (7:143, “awwala almumineena”), thus we can deduce that “Awwalul-muslimeen” is not a term used by the Qur’an referring to the first ever Muslim and thus the context needs to be applied. The context shows that Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the first Muslim relative to his own time and place i.e. the first Muslim amongst his immediate audience (the Quraish) who were the Mushrikun. It is disheartening to see the critics would overlook scholarship of explaining the Quran in favour of their own shoddy, misleading methodology of imposing their own understanding on the Quranic verses they choose to use. If they had an ounce of scholarship they would realise that their own warped understanding should not be imposed upon the Quran as there is a clear methodology to explain (tafsir) the Quran.

To further pour humiliation and refutation on the critic’s claims we can refer to the two undisputed modes of explaining the Quran; “Naturally, the explanation of the Quran by the Quran and the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet are two highest sources for tafsir, which cannot be matched nor superseded by any other source”. [6]

So let us use the Qur’an to explain the Qur’an as “many of the questions which may arise out of a certain passage of the Qur’an have their explanation in other parts of the very same book, and often there is no need to turn to any sources other than the word of Allah, which in itself contains tafsir”. [6]

Strangely and worryingly enough we see the critics ignoring the use of the Qur’an and the Hadith (of the Prophet Muhammed) in favour of their own views. This is intellectual savagery and quite frankly a butchering of the science of tafsir. Now we know the two primary methods of explaining the Qur’an are the Qur’an and the Hadith (of the Prophet). So if we use the Qur’an we realise that Mohammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is not being put forward as the first ever Muslim as the Quran (elsewhere) refers to earlier Prophets who are believers. Hence we realise that the Quranic references (6:163, 6:14) do not teach us that Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the first ever Muslim.

Now to use the other form of Tafsir we need not look further than these hadith (from the Prophet Muhammed (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 290, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 555 and Volume 1, Book 5, Number 277) to realise that the Muslims (including Muhammed) never believed Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Muslim ever as he mentions other prophets in the past tense and through the text we realise these prophets are indeed believers who came before Muhammed’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) time, and these Prophets (who were believers) existed before Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on this earth and believed before Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had not even been born at the time. So this highlights that the Qur’an is not teaching us that the Prophet Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the first ever Muslim contrary to the fanciful claims of the critics.

To further highlight the misleading vehicle which is the critic’s claim we can look to the authoritative Tafsir (explanations) of the relevant verses by the early Muslim scholars, strikingly enough; none of them hold the belief of the critics! So, in essence, the critic abandons scholarship, reasoning and research in favour of their own clouded, ignorant and embarrassing methodology in order to level an accusation of contradiction/error at the Qur’an. This leads them to arguing a false point and attributing their own inexact, ignorant and distorted views on the Qur’an and claiming a non-existent contradiction.

The fact remains the Qur’an does not put either Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) forward as the first ever Muslim. Nor does the Qur’an put forward Ibraheem alayhissalaam (Abraham) or anybody after the time of Adam alayhissalaamas the first Muslim. The Qur’an does not explicitly tell us who the first ever Muslim was but we can deduce it was Adam alayhissalaam.

Thus it becomes clear that there is no contradiction in the Qur’an and we realise that the critics essentially show themselves to be unscholarly in omitting the context or not knowing the context and thus rendering their work misleading, confusing and full of error.

It is thoroughness to mention the other references a critic may bring up despite these other references not impacting upon what has been mentioned above, however it is still beneficial to know what the critic may bring up such as 2:132, this Qur’anic reference does not mention anybody as a first Muslim/believer here but critics would bring this up to show Abraham and Jacob to be Muslims (i.e. Muslims before Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This still does not impact on anything said earlier as the critic argues a straw man and claim the Qur’an states something which it does not. I stress again; the Qur’an does mention Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) as being the first EVER Muslims. The context of the Quran is clear, they (Musa and Muhammad) are the first to believe amongst their people.

The critic also cites Qur’anic references about Adam (2:30-37). Despite these references not exactly saying Adam was the first Muslim we still know by the way of context and deduction that Adam was the first believer in God amongst mankind. This does not impact on the reference concerning Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) (7:143) who was the first of the believers amongst his own people and nor does it impact on the references about Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) (6:14 and 6: 161-163) who was commanded to be and indeed was the first to submit to Allah amongst his own Pagan people (Quraish)

The other citations (S. 4:163, S. 6:83-87) the critic may bring forth highlight to us that there were a number of guided people (Messengers) before Muhammed. This is the Muslim believe, all Muslims are aware of this so it should be realised by the critic that this is not new information to the Muslim. It is also important to reiterate; none of this impacts on the fact that Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and Musa alayhissalaam (Moses) were the first to believe amongst their own people and not the first to believe (ever) amongst human kind.

Also the more astute critics may point to the religion of Hanif and followers of the Abrahamic traditions of the past, however the teachings of Ibraheem alayhissalaam (Abraham) (and Ishmael) became diluted with the gradual introduction of innovations, superstitions and idol-worship. Eventually ‘idolatry spread all over Makkah’ and thus the people left the Abrahamic teachings [9]. This was many years prior to Muhammed’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) time so this does not impact on what has been said earlier either. There are traditions of four friends who rejected the idol-worshipping of Makkah and went out in search of an alternative, this does not impact on the fact that Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Muslim amongst the Quraish either.

Finally, after showing the critics to be wrong, it is worthy of mention to bring up the concerted efforts of critics in the past in order to find a critical claim of contradiction/error to stick (concerning the Holy Qur’an) despite their past work and the work of their contemporaries we see that they have failed and not found anything which people can honestly call a contradiction in the Qur’an, all this despite their best efforts.

Of course Allah knows best and we ask Allah do guide and help us further. Aameen.

References

[1] Anatomy of the Quran by G.J.O Moshay Chick Productions 2007 pg 116

[2] 7:143 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan

[3] 26:51 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan

[4] 6:14 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan

[5] 6:162-163 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan

[6] Ulum al Quran, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer, The Islamic Foundation 2003 pg 124

7. Ulum al Quran, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer, The Islamic Foundation 2003 pg 78

8. Islam A Short History by Karen Armstrong, Phoenix Press, 2001, pg 3

9. Ar-Raheequl-Makhtum by Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Darussalam, 2002 pg 45