Upon the advice and suggestions of some friends, who felt that the name of the present blog was a bit too combative, I decided to start a new blog on comparative religion, entitled:
Open Discourse On Abrahamic Religions http://opendiscourse.wordpress.com/
Most of the essays on this blog have been transferred over to the new one (with a few adaptations and refinements) and a few irrelevant pieces have been left out.
The present blog (Answering-Missionaries) will remain inactive since material will be added to the new site (http://opendiscourse.wordpress.com/) from now on, although I will not remove it permanently.
[Disclaimer: I personally take no sides on the issue of Qadr or subscribe to any particular point of view at this stage. Thus I am neutral on this subject. Nor am I in anyway associated with the questioner. Br. Shabir Ally clarifies his position regarding Qadr and also responds to certain claims made against him by an individual.]
RUMOURS AND RESPONSES
QUESTIONS FROM A MUSLIM BROTHER
Asalamu’alaikum wa’rahmatullah! I hope you are well insha’allah. I would just like to ask you a few questions as i’ve recieved an email from someone and they highlighted a few ‘problems’ about you. after hearing rumours, following the sunnah, you have to verify the news so this is what i have come to do. I dont mean to ask in a rude manner or offend you in any way, i was hoping to find the truth so that i could tell this person to stop slandering and backbiting others as they have done before. anyhow, the person has laid a few accusations which are listed as below:
Shabir ‘Ally claims that Allaah does not know the deeds of people until they happen.
He says that all Ahadeeth related to Qadr are not accepted (like the hadeeth of Adam to send people of hell 999) this hadith he said is contrary to Allaah’s mercy.
Using Aqal (intellect) to judge the Deen.
He believes that the Sahabah made lots of mistakes in their narrations of Hadeeth and also the Qur’aan (so he thinks there is only one correct Riwayah).
He accuses our scholars like Imam Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim and others like the scholars of Jews and Christians.
In one of the discussions he said that our salaf did not do a good job in replying to deviant groups like for instance; Mu’tazili and Qadaris.
He accuses the salaf of intellectual stagnation.
He described the Jihad of the prophet (sallahu alayhe wa salaam) as Olympic games because at the time of the prophet ( sallahu alayhe wa salaam) the tribes of Arabs in the peninsula were attacking each other, the Jihad was a must and no way to get out of it.
He also described the Muslim prayer as a mixture of western sports and Buddhist mediation.
please could you respond insha’allah and clarify this. jazakallahu khair akhi.
SHABIR ALLY REPLIES:
July 23, 2006
Dear Brother in Islam,
Thanks for asking for clarification. You are indeed following the dictates of Islam in doing so. You could of course do even better. You can, and should, ask the people who are circulating these rumours to furnish the proof for their claims. According to a hadith the burden of proof is on someone who makes a claim. Those who claim that I said what you are asking about have the obligation to substantiate their claim. We should ask them for the exact words I said, and the context of those words. Although the reported statements have some connection with things I have said, they can be best understood if they are reported in the original words I uttered, and if they are given together with the evidence I have advanced from the Quran and the Sunnah in their support. Many of the statements you have asked about have been put in a form that I find ridiculous, and which I immediately reject.
Recently I received an e-mail containing pictures of Israeli children writing messages on bombs and missiles which are being used by the Israeli army to attack the Lebanese civilian population and the civilian infrastructure. Consider these pictures:
You can see a number of Israeli kids busy writing up their messages on the shells which will be used to kill civilians and in the background you can also see cheerful individuals. Well, someone definitely had a very twisted concept of a picnic. You can check the album here. See also this.
Pictured above is a cheeky little liar and a scoundrel named Khalid Mahmood, Perry Bar Labour MP constituency of Birmingham. I have seen him on TV a few times and was shocked by many of his, what I deemed to be, idiotic comments. A few minutes ago I saw him again on “Newsnight,” channel 4. Krishnan Guru-Murthy was the host and Mahmood was lying as usual. The discussion was about Tony Blair’s recent ridiculous statement that many Muslims had supposedly a “false sense” of grievance against the West. On the panel were, first, our liar and sell-out Khalid Mahmood, the neo-con extremist Charles Moore friend of Mahmood, Dr. Azzam Tamimi, and Asghar Bukhari. Generally, Asghar Bukhari and Dr. Tamimi did well, although I do not agree with all of their views, but what really shocked me were Khalid Mahmood’s absurd comments.
Assalam Alaikum readers
I know the site has not been updated in a while. Besides being a little lazy, job hunting, and finishing up some assignments, I have been exceedingly busy getting some work done at home (new kitchen tiles, flooring, painting etc). However, I plan to update the site in a few weeks Inshallah.
I thought why not give you a glimpse of my future plans:
My plan is to finish a large paper on the compilation and transmission of the Quran. Although I have already started working on this subject, it would take a little longer to acquire all the necessary references. As work continues on this paper, I will try to upload on this blog a few excerpts on different aspects of the Quran from a particularly interesting book I recently came across, as well as certain excerpts from a classical book. Third, I plan to put up a series of articles on the historical Jesus subject in which I will attempt to briefly present the conclusions derived by a number of scholars whose books I have been reading for some time. Fourth, I wish to put up some book reviews as well – both Islamic and non-Islamic books. Fifth, offer some responses to the common missionary polemics against Islam. Finally, I will attempt to write a little on New Testament authorship, canon and textual transmission as well, where I will attempt to tackle certain common apologetic arguments.
Well, as you can see I have a lot on my mind. Inshallah, with God’s help I am sure I will manage it. Keep an eye on this blog!
Regards and best wishes.
“Is the New Testament as it exists today the inspired word of God?”
Debate summarisation and critical review
Shabir Ally and James White had a debate at the Biola University on 7th May, 2006. As is rather obvious from the topic, the purpose of the debate was to determine whether or not the New Testament, as it exists today, is the inspired word of God.
I will say a few words about the speakers. Shabir Ally is a very eloquent speaker, a fine debater, and highly knowledgeable when it comes to comparative religion. Shabir Ally is currently completing his Phd in Quranic interpretation. In the past he has debated people ranging from Robert Morey, Joseph Smith, to the well-known Christian philosopher, scholar and debater, Dr William Lane Craig. Moreover, Shabir Ally is an exceedingly polite and gentle speaker. Having watched over a dozen of his talks and debates, I can’t recall an instance where he was harsh or rude towards an opponent. James White, on the other hand, is also a fine debater and a rather fast speaker, having recently debated New Testament scholars such as Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg. Dr. White has also authored a number of books on the Bible.
Some noise was raised a little while ago about the conduct of a few Muslim individuals who were alleged to have been quite rude towards James White during the break-time. James White himself says this much in one of his Dividing Line talks. Previously, I argued that if what is alleged was true, then these individuals committed a disgraceful act and that there was no reason whatsoever to be rude and offensive towards James White even if he was distorting the truth at times (the misinformation about Ibn Masud’s fictitious beating. See this and this). I presented this case in the following paper:
As some of you might have noticed, a few days ago I received some comments regarding the Shabir Ally Vs James White debate by a Muslim who attended this debate. I have decided to post his interesting comments on the main blog:
A few days ago I went to the cinema with my brother and a friend to watch the movie “Da Vinci Code”, starring Tom Hanks. The movie is based on a fictional murder mystery book by Dan Brown entitled “The Da Vinci Code.” I have not read Brown’s book nor am I likely to read it in the future.1 To be frank, I don’t really enjoy reading lengthy novels and stories. That is not to say that I do not read at all; I love reading books on Quranic and Biblical studies. Over the years I have been obtaining a number of books on the topic of the canon of the New Testament, its textual transmission, Gospel studies, historical Jesus, Islamic history, the formation, collection and transmission of the Quran, books on Prophet Muhammed (P) as well as Islamic books in general. Thus, I have now a fairly decent collection of books lying around in my bedroom. In fact, my bedroom has become my mini-library. But, apart from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series and, my favourite, The Count of Monte Cristo, I just don’t like reading lengthy novels.
Butler’s recent tirade against me can only be described as hopelessly pathetic. Recall that in his previous paper, Butler made a number of rather absurd comments. For instance, Butler, who has repeatedly claimed to know “a lot” about the Middle-Eastern culture and has allegedly spent “much” time among different Muslims from different localities, did not even know the most fundamental and simple thing: the meaning of “Assalam Alaikum.” His ridiculous level of ignorance can be easily gauged from the fact that somehow, almost magically, he convinced himself that “Assalam Alaikum” was my name! Worse, he then lied when he described me as a “self proclaimed expert” in New Testament textual criticism, even though I had never made such a claim about myself and had never claimed to be an “expert” in any area of New Testament studies. It gets worse. After making a silly blunder and telling an outright lie, Butler then proceeded to “respond” to some of the things he thought I might have said in my paper even though he did not even bother to read what I had to say carefully and in its entirety!
I was eagerly looking forward to Patrick’s reply to my latest reply to him as I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion and truly respect him. However, I was quite disappointed on reading his brief and strange reaction. Patrick does not engage with anyone of my arguments, but only expresses his disappointment at me. He says that he believes that I will not quite “get it.” Immediately thereafter, he asks his readers regarding what to do when the person you are debating “lacks the mental sophistication to appreciate your arguments?” Here Patrick assumes that he had offered highly “technical” and “sophisticated” arguments which poor me just wasn’t able to comprehend at all. Of course, this is what he likes to believe and he does not bother to present a single example to substantiate his baseless assertions. I don’t quite understand why Patrick reacted in such a strange way. I believe I understood his argument and then replied to them the best I could. If Patrick truly believes that I misunderstood anyone of his arguments, then he should have pointed that out clearly by sharing those alleged examples with his readers. If indeed I misunderstood anything, then I will acknowledge my mistake. But the problem is that Patrick does not offer any such alleged examples and I do not think that he will likely do so in the future.
Steve Hays has come out with another reply to my response to his first reaction.
A lot of my arguments have either been entirely ignored or discussed briefly. Worse, as before, Hays often misreads and constructs a series of straw man arguments. I will provide examples of these as I proceed with my analysis of his comments. Moreover, as before, he maintains his arrogant, condescending and rude tone, something which I will try to avoid as much as possible.
Whatever I say about the Quran is immediately tossed aside with one or two liners. Hays is obviously not interested in an honest discussion where the purpose of the correspondents is to fairly assess the evidence in order to arrive at the truth. As a result, I will subject the Bible to the same treatment just to show how easily it can be “refuted” in a similar manner by someone who has already made up his/her mind.