Can we trust the Qur’ans?
Can you trust the Qur’an? How was it compiled? Why are there different Arabic Qur’ans with meanful variants? Christian/Muslim discussion.
Was Muhammad a good father?
It’s Father’s Day in the UK; Hatun and Godwin are asking if Muhammad was a good father. What kind of father lusts after his adopted son’s wife and then marries her?
“And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, “Keep your wife and fear Allah,” while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished.” Sura 33:37
4. Muhammad was not an Israelite
Muslims often go to Deuteronomy 18: 18-19 as one of the Biblical ‘proof’ texts which prophesy about Muhammad, according to Sura 7:157. In this passage the LORD tells Moses:
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among you, from their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the Prophet speaks in my name.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)
Muhammad was not an Israelite, he was an Arab, so he can’t be the prophet the passage refers to. Objection quashed: or so you’d think. But no, the counter-argument goes, Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael and therefore an Israelite by default. But is this true? Was Muhammad really a descendant of Ishmael? And are descendants of Ishmael really Israelites?
What does Muhammad’s genealogy tell us? According to some websites, Kedar is next in the list of forebears after Ishmael in Muhammad’s lineage:
“Prophet Muhammad- Abdullah- Abd Al Muttalib- Hashim- Abd Manaf- Qusaiy- Kilab (Ancestor of the Holy Prophet’s mother)- Murrah- Ka’b. Lu’ayy- Ghalib- Fihr- Malik- Al Nadr- Kinanah- Khuzaiymah- Mudrikah- Ilyas- Mudar- Nizar- Madd- `Adnan- Adad- Zayd- Yaqdud- Al Muqawwam- Al Yasa’- Nabt- Qaidar (Kedar)- Prophet Ismail”
But according to Muhammad’s earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, the genealogy has Nabit instead of Kedar:
“Muhammad was the son of “Abdullah, b. “Abdu’l-Muttalib (whose name was Shayba), b. Hashim (whose name was Amr), b. “Abdu Manaf (whose name was al-Mughira), b. Qusayy (whose name was Zayd). B. Kilab, b. Murra, b. Ka’b, b. Lu’ayy, b. Ghalib, b. Fihr, b. Malik, b. al-Nadr, b. Kinana, b. Khuzayma, b. Mudrika (whose name was “Amir), b. Ilyas, b. Mudar, b. Nizar, b. Ma’ add, b. “Adnan, b. Udd (or Udad), b. Muqawwam, b. Nahur, b.’Tayrah, b. Ya’rub, b. Yashjub, b. Nabit, b. Isma’il” (The Life of Muhammad, trans. Alfred Guillaume pp. 3-4)
Why the discrepancies in genealogies which purport to follow the same patriarchal line? Genealogies aside, is there a convincing historical case for Muhammad’s ancestry from Ishmael? According to Islamic sources, Muhammad was from Mecca. Where was Ishmael from? From Israel. Genesis 21 tells us that Hagar and Ishmael were sent away in the Desert of Beersheba (v14), that he married an Egyptian woman and settled in the Desert of Paran (v21.) Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583 says that Ishmael was present in Mecca from infancy:
“Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka’ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water.”
Mecca is over 800 miles from the desert of Paran (either site). According to the Bible, Ishmael’s descendants settled in the area from “Havilah to Shur, near the Eastern border of Egypt as you go towards Ashur” (Genesis 25:18) Where’s this? Nowhere near Mecca:
Should we trust the Old Testament account with extant manuscripts from c.800 years before the life of Muhammad, or Bukhari, compiled 200 years after Muhammad’s death, earliest manuscript fragment 1000AD – 4 centuries after Muhammad and 29 centuries after the time of Abraham?There is no documentary evidence to suggest that Ishmael embarked on an epic journey south, and without any epigraphical or archeological evidence to support this, it becomes highly unlikely that Ishmael was ever in Mecca or that he was one of Muhammad’s forbears. (The existence of Mecca itself is highly questionable before the 9th century, but that’s for another post.)
But ultimately, genealogies don’t count, geography doesn’t count, and the previous Scripture doesn’t count – because Muhammad’s lineage is a matter of revelation, not of independently verifiable fact. Islamic tradition says Gabriel told Muhammad he can identify as a descendant of Ishmael, whatever the local tribespeople think:
“Ma’n Ibn ‘Isa al-Ashja’i al-Qazzaz (silk-merchant) informed us; he said: Mu’awiyah Ibn Salih informed us on the authority of Yahya Ibn Jabir who had seen some Companions of the Prophet and said: The people of Banu Fuhayrah came to the Prophet and said to him: You belong to us. He replied: Verily, (the archangel) Gabriel has informed me that I belong to Mudar.” (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Volume I, p. 4)
Let’s move on to the second question: does the Bible conflate Ishmaelites with Israelites? Do they both have equal rights as God’s chosen people? In Genesis 17, Abraham pleads for this very thing when God announces His covenant with him:
“Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[d] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”
God considers Isaac the only legitimate son. We see this in Genesis 22:2:
“Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
As such, Ishmael does not inherit the same covenant promises as Isaac; Paul even uses the divergent lineages of Ishmael and Isaac analogously with the new covenant (through Christ) and the old covenant (though the Law):
“These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:
“Be glad, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.
28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”
But there is an even more straightforward answer to the question of who the Israelites are. Who was first given the name Israel? Jacob. Genesis 32:28:
“Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Israelites are descendants of Jacob, the son of Isaac – not Ishmael. This alone disqualifies Muhammad as the prophet of Deuteronomy 18, before we’ve even got on to whether Muhammad really spoke the words of God or not, whether what he said came true etc etc.
More to the point, the Bible already answers the question when it comes to who the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18 might be. In Acts 3:22, Peter says this is referring to Jesus:
“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets,saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.”
Not that Jesus is only a prophet (before you start, Muslims): but it is one of His titles, alongside His other divine titles – Messiah, Son of God, Word of God, Saviour, Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Holy and Righteous One. Our Saviour, Priest and King.
Muslims need to stop asking questions which the Bible has already answered and instead humbly admit they have the wrong man. Not only that, they need to be attentive to what the Scripture goes on to say:
“Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.” (Acts 3:23)
Listen to Jesus and find rest for your souls.
With thanks to Sam Shamoun, who has a lengthier article on this topic here.
Jizya: Protection and Humiliation (Daniel and Adnan)
The Islamic Dawah team challenged Daniel for a debate on Jizya. Daniel unpacks s9:28-30 and s2:256 with the tafsir of Ibn Kathir. Jizya is payment for humiliation.
O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise. (Sura 9:28)
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. (Sura 9:29)
The Jews say, “Ezra is the son of Allah “; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of Allah .” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded? (Sura 9:30)
Ibn Kathir, The Battles of the Prophet, pp. 183-4 Allah, Most High, ordered the believers to prohibit the disbelievers from entering or coming near the sacred Mosque. On that, Quraish thought that this would reduce their profits from trade. Therefore, Allah, Most High, compensated them and ordered them to fight the people of the Book until they embrace Islam or pay the Jizyah. Allah says, “O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Therefore, the Messenger of Allah decided to fight the Romans in order to call them to Islam.
Some of the recording is missing between 30min and the conclusion. Apologies.
Hatun and Daniel investigate what Islamic Paradise looks like, including some delightful ahadith:
Tirmidhi 3:20:1663: the Messenger of Allah said: “There are six things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy two wives along Al-Huril-‘Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede (save) for seventy of his close relatives.” (from hell) (Hasan)
Ibn Majah 5:37:4337: the Messenger of Allah said: “There is no one whom Allah will admit to Paradise but Allah will marry him to seventy-two wives, two from houris (heavenly wives) and seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell, all of whom will have desirable front passages and he will have a male member that never becomes flaccid (i.e., soft and limp).” (a promise of a private part that is hard while having sex with 70 women from hell)
Rev 22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Daniel discusses Sura 5:32-33. Do these verses really teach peace?
“Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.” Sura 5:32
“Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment” Sura 5:33
By A.P, friend of DCCI.
The authorship of 2 Peter is attacked by many liberal New Testament scholars such as Bart Ehrmann. The claim is that because the Greek writing style of 1 Peter is so strikingly different to 2 Peter, they must have been written by different authors.
However there are good reasons to believe 2 Peter is still authored by Peter. It was common practice at the time to use an amaneunsis (scribe) or secretary to help with letter writing, and that Peter himself needed assistance as we see from 1 Peter 5:12:
“With the help of Silas,[a] whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.”
So it may be the case that Silas was acting as Peter’s amanuensis in 1 Peter whereas 2 Peter was written either by Peter himself or another amanuensis. This was Jerome’s view. So stylistic differences in themselves are not a strong argument against the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter.
Another argument for 2nd Peter’s authenticity is the strong internal evidence. Peter claims authorship right at the beginning of the letter:
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
He also says it is his second letter to the churches:
“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you”
It claims to come from an eye-witness of Jesus:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”[b] 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.”
The author uses the same words in 2 Peter 1:17 as the transfiguration account in Matthew 17:5:
“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)
“He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (2 Peter 1:17)
Is the author just plagiarising Matthew? Or does the author remember the words the same way because he was actually there? Peter seems to be making that very point – unless the author is a brazen liar.
The author of 2 Peter is also fully aware of the writings of Paul and calls him “our beloved brother” (2 Peter 3:15-16). Peter and Paul knew each other personally; Galatians 1 and 2 tells us that Paul became acquainted with Peter three years after his conversion and that Peter, James and John “extended the right hand of fellowship” to Paul. The way the author writes about Paul in the present tense suggests he is still alive and they are contemporaries:
Is it really Jibril?
Lizzie discusses the Hadith of Gabriel with a Muslim. Gabriel doesn’t identify himself, the companions have to take Muhammad’s word for it.
Umar ibn al-Khattab said: One day when we were with God’s messenger, a man with very white clothing and very black hair came up to us. No mark of travel was visible on him, and none of us recognized him. Sitting down before the Prophet, leaning his knees against his, and placing his hands on his thighs, he said, “Tell me, Muhammad, about submission.” He replied, ‘Submission means that you should bear witness that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is God’s messenger, that you should perform the ritual prayer, pay the alms tax, fast during Ramadan, and make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to go there.” The man said, “You have spoken the truth.” We were surprised at his questioning him and then declaring that he had spoken the truth. He said “Now tell me about faith.” He replied, “Faith means that you have faith in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you have faith in the measuring out, both its good and its evil.” Remarking that he had spoken the truth, he then said, “Now tell me about doing what is beautiful.” He replied, “Doing what is beautiful means that you should worship God as if you see Him, for even if you do not see Him, He sees you.” Then the man said, “Tell me about the Hour” The Prophet replied, “About that he who is questioned knows no more than the questioner.” The man said, “Then tell me about its marks.” He said, “The slave girl will give birth to her mistress, and you will see the barefoot, the naked, the destitute, and the shepherds vying with each other in building.” Then the man went away. After I had waited for a long time, the Prophet said to me, “Do you know who the questioner was, ‘Umar?” I replied, “God and His messenger know best. “He said, “He was Gabriel. He came to teach you your religion. ”