Mohammed Hijab’s defence of Tawheed

David Wood Mohammed Hijab debate

If any of our readers would like to join us for an online apologetics class to discuss these topics in more depth, please do get in touch with us at [email protected]

Mohammed Hijab (MH) didn’t defend Tawheed, he destroyed it, but better than that, he let the Qur’an and Islamic tradition do it for him. As a result of which more Muslims all over the world will leave this false cult and, we pray, repent and find salvation in Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. Glory to YHWH, the Triune God, who is forever praised, amen! Praise God too, for David Wood for his faithful service to the LORD and to Muslims by speaking truth to them, and for keeping his cool in the face of all that bombast and bravado.

Let’s pick up on three points MH made (or failed to respond to) by which he destroyed his own religion, all of which he has already been repeatedly trounced for on the Internet, by Arabic speakers. This is important as all MH’s objections against David Wood were based on the fact he didn’t know Arabic. We look forward to MH’s debate with Arabic-speaker Christian Prince, which MH is on record as agreeing to. Four weeks later it still hasn’t happened, but we understand MH is still on holiday.

  1. “Allah prays…. I knew this was gonna happen! It doesn’t say “pray TO”, it says “pray FOR!”

Thank you for your honesty Mohammed Hijab. At last, an honest Muslim who admits what Sura 33:56 actually says i.e. pray, not bless or show mercy:

Verily, God and His angels PRAY (yusalloona) for the prophet. O ye who believe! PRAY for him (salloo) and salute him with a salutation! S. 33:56 Palmer.

Who cares if it’s pray to or pray for? The point is, according to Allah’s eternal speech, the Qur’an, Allah is praying. What is prayer? “To address a prayer to God or another deity” according to the Oxford Dictionary. So who is Allah is praying to? Himself? Or another deity? We’ve been asking this question for four weeks now at Speaker’s Corner. The only response has been “it doesn’t really mean pray” from non-Arabic speakers, although the Arabic speakers disagree! Perhaps Mohammed Hijab can give the Dawah team some free Arabic lessons when he gets back. A god that prays to himself or another deity is not pure montheism.

2. “Your recitation of the Qur’an, not the Qur’an, comes to life and intercedes for you on the Day of Judgement”

MH was referring to this Hadith:

Abu Umamah reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection” (Sahih Muslim 1757)

This contradicts how the Islamic commentaries interpret it, which is that the Qur’an itself, not the recitation,  will be ‘endowed with the power of speech’; but there are other hadith (not mentioned by MH) which make this clear. For example:

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr:

Allah’s Messenger said, “Fasting and the Qur’an intercede for a man. Fasting says, ‘O my Lord, I have kept him away from his food and his passions by day, so accept my intercession for him.’ The Qur’an SAYS, ‘I HAVE KEPT HIM AWAY from sleep by night, so accept my intercession for him.’ Then their intercession is accepted.” Jami‘ At-Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 1963

Note, the Qur’an, not the reciter’s recitation of it, is talking and interceding. So according to this hadith the Qur’an, Allah’s eternal speech is a separate conscious agent from Allah, but must be morally and ontologically superior to human beings in order to plead the case of believers before Allah himself. Allah’s separate, conscious, eternal speech is interceding before Allah. How is that pure monotheism?

But even if MH’s interpretation were correct (and Islamic tradition confirms it’s not)- your recitation intercedes for you? That makes recitation a separate conscious agent,  again morally and ontologically superior to the reciter in order to qualify as intercessor. Really? That sounds more like pantheism than monotheism.

3. Muslims worship a black stone?

MH failed to respond to DW’s objection that the black stone, which Muslims touch and kiss as part of the hajj,  is deified alongside Allah. In the Qur’an, Allah rebukes the Meccans for their idolatry, which included worship of stones:

“And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!” S. 10:18

And yet there is a stone that does apparently profit Muslims, according to Muhammad:

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said concerning the Stone: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity.” (Tirmidhi, 961; Ibn Maajah, 2944, hasan by al-Tirmidhi, and as qawiy by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, 3/462)

A black stone comes to life, with eyes and a tongue, to testify to Allah on behalf of the believers on the Day of Judgment! So a once-inanimate object is morally and ontologically superior to the believers in order to testify for them? The stone is involved in judging believers. But isn’t Allah supposed to be the only judge (Sura 6:114)? Why does he need help from a stone? Even Muhammad’s companions had doubts about all this.

Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabia:
‘Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah’s Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667; *)

We could discuss more about the deification of Muhammad, Allah’s perishable parts, whether his attributes are part of Allah or not, if Tahwheed means ‘unification’ what exactly is being unified etc, but we’ll leave those for another day. For now we hope Mohammed Hijab is enjoying his break from Speaker’s Corner; we have a few things to chat to him about when he comes back, and our prayer is – as always – that he and the other SC missionaries stop trying to defend the indefensible, repent and believe in the LORD Jesus Christ for salvation. Praise His Name forever more.

With thanks to Sam Shamoun

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Mohammed Hijab and the Trinity 16-21

David Wood Mohammed Hijab debate

This is our fourth and final article in our  series on Mohammed Hijab’s (MH) falsehoods and bad arguments against the Trinity used in his debate earlier this month with David Wood (DW).

If any of our readers would like to join us for an online apologetics class to discuss these topics in more depth, please do get in touch with us at [email protected]

16. You say ‘mighty God’, I say Elijah

David Wood quoted Isaiah 9:6 in defence of Jesus’ divinity:

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

To which MH responded (paraphrasing): “Immanuel, eh? Immanuel doesn’t mean God with us….did you know Elijah means ‘God with us’ too? MH failed to respond to the objection (‘Mighty God’), confused it with another verse (Isaiah 7:14) and got the Hebrew totally wrong. (‘Elijah’ means “YHWH is God.”)  Islam Critiqued , who knows Hebrew, has made a great video on this.

17. MH: ‘There are two words in Hebrew that mean ‘Spirit’ – Ruach and rrroooooccch(?)’

There  are indeed two words for ‘spirit’ in Hebrew: ‘ruach‘ and ‘nishmoth‘. Not sure about that other one. Again, Islam Critiqued is very educational here.

18. “How can you have a begotten Son? There are only three options: biology, adoption and metaphor! So if it’s not biology and it’s not adoption then it must be metaphor! So Jesus is not the Son of God!”

Only three options, biology, adoption or metaphor? How many  more straw men does MH want to add to his collection?  What about the one viable option he left out, incarnation? “AND THE WORD BECAME FLESH and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NKJV) MH understands perfectly the Christian doctrine of incarnation; he just threw it under the bus to please his audience. But did he mean to throw the Qur’an under the bus with it? Sura 66:12:

“And Mary the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of OUR SPIRIT; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).”
How is MH suggesting Mary got pregnant in this case? Did Allah’s Spirit make her pregnant metaphorically? Did she give birth metaphorically to a metaphorical Isa?
19. “The word 3  in the Qur’an means all of the kinds of Trinities all Christians have ever believed in!” 
MH was attempting to refute David Wood’s point, that Allah misunderstands the Trinity: except the the only Trinity Christians have ever believed in is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If Christians don’t believe in this Trinity, they aren’t Christians. And if there are more than one Trinity, was does the Qur’an ONLY mention the ‘trinity’ of Jesus, Allah and Mary?
“O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” (Sura 4:171)
And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. (Sura 5:116)
If there really were different ‘trinities’, you’d think Allah would mention some others apart from this one, or at least give a nod to the actual Trinity – especially as Allah (allegedly) sent down the Bible.
20. Melchizzdek was eternal! Bring him into the Trinity!

MH  wonders why Melchizedek (we  will be offering MH some free pronunciation lessons) is not part of the Trinity given he is an eternal being.  But does the Scripture say this explicitly?

“First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” Hebrews 7:2-3

Without father, mother, genealogy, beginning of days, end of life -does this mean eternality or just that these details were not recorded? In Genesis 14:18-20 Melchizedek appears out of nowhere to bless Abraham with bread and wine – reminiscent of the Last Supper. Even if this interpretation is wrong  and Melchizedek is eternal, he is never referred to as having all the attributes of God  – honour, attributes, names, deeds and seat – the way Jesus has. The point the writer of Hebrews is making isn’t that Melchizedek is God, but that He is LIKE the Son of God, who, the writer says in chapter 1:3 is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” For more on Melchizedek read this article by Sam Shamoun.

21. No Rabbi has inferred the Trinity for 4000 years?

MH was not listening properly because DW read from a Jewish commentary on the shema (Deuteronomy 6:4), the go-to passage for those trying to make a case for Unitarianism in the Bible:

“Hear O Israel, YHWH elohenu, YHWH is one. These three are one.How can the three names be one? Only through the perception of faith in the vision of the Holy Spirit and the hidden eyes alone.”

The writer was Jewish presumably. Does MH really think you can’t so much as infer the Trinity from this quotation? And this is the tip of the iceberg; there was a whole Rabbinic tradition in the 1st century AD that taught plurality within the Godhead.  For more on this topic, please read this article by Anthony Rogers and this  article by Sam Shamoun.

Mohammed Hijab is still away. We look forward to seeing him again at Speaker’s Corner to respond to our points.

Next up: MH’s defence of tawheed.

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Mohammed Hijab and the Trinity 11-15

David Wood Mohammed Hijab debate

This is the third article in our  series on Mohammed Hijab’s (MH) falsehoods and bad arguments against the Trinity used in his debate earlier this month with David Wood.

11. Tertullian was a subordinationist

MH again makes a big deal out of subordinationism; but as discussed,   within the Persons of the Trinity there exists subordination in function, if not essence which is entirely Biblical and orthodox. For example, the Son is “begotten” of the Father (John 1:18), and not the other way round. Tertullian puts it this way:

“… And we, in like manner, hold that the Word, and Reason, and Power, by which we have said God made all, have spirit as their proper and essential substratum, in which the Word has in being to give forth utterances, and reason abides to dispose and arrange, and power is over all to execute. We have been taught that He proceeds forth from God, and in that procession He is generated; so that He is the Son of God, and is called God FROM UNITY OF SUBSTANCE with God. For God, too, is a Spirit. Even when the ray is shot from the sun, it is still part of the parent mass; the sun will still be in the ray, because it is a ray of the sun — there is no division of substance, but merely an extension. Thus Christ is Spirit of Spirit, and GOD OF GOD, as light of light is kindled. The material matrix remains entire and unimpaired, though you derive from it any number of shoots possessed of its qualities; so, too, that which has come forth out of God is at once God and the Son of God, and THE TWO ARE ONE. In this way also, as He is Spirit of Spirit and GOD OF GOD, He is made a second in manner of existence— in position, not in nature; and He did not withdraw from the original source, but went forth. This ray of God, then, as it was always foretold in ancient times, descending into a certain virgin, and made flesh in her womb, is in His birth God and man united. The flesh formed by the Spirit is nourished, grows up to manhood, speaks, teaches, works, and is the Christ…” (APOLOGY (,)

MH is careful to attack what he calls the ‘Nicene’ Trinity, but why this emphasis? Christians don’t take the Council of Nicea as authoritative, but the Bible. Is there anything in Tertullian’s understanding of the Trinity that contradicts the teaching of the Bible?

For in-depth analysis of Tertullian’s understanding of the Trinity, please read this article by Sam Shamoun.

12. “The Islamic position of the non-divinity of Jesus and non-divinity of the Holy Spirit was represented in the early church – the Nicene Trinity was not!”

Nicene Trinity – there it is again. Why not just Biblical Trinity? MH cites 2nd-3rd century sects like the Ebionites and Monarchianists to support his view that the early church’s teaching was more proto-Islamic than Trinitarian. But he failed to mention that these groups were considered heretics by the same “massive” Church Fathers he uses to defend his case: Hippolytus, Origen, Iraenaus and Justin Martyr. And these Church Fathers all affirmed the divinity of Christ as the second person of the Trinity. For a list of their quotations, here is a useful blog from Stand to Reason. See also these articles by Sam Shamoun and Jonathan McLatchie.

13. Dodgy appeals to authority – Exhibit A

MH used J.N.D Kelly’s book Early Christian Doctrines (without giving any direct quotations) to launch his question about who gave the Nicene Fathers the authority to advance the Trinitarian position “and overule everything that came before?” Was this MH’s assertion or J.N.D Kelly’s? It wasn’t clear (perhaps deliberately so.) As we’ve already discussed, Trinitarianism already existed pre-Nicea, so who exactly was overruling what? Note – Muslim debaters have form when it comes to misrepresenting J.N.D Kelly’s arguments; here is another article by Sam Shamoun for more information.

14. Dodgy appeals to authority – Exhibit B

MH quoted Randolph Ross – “he’s a Christian by the way” – as an example of someone who couldn’t believe in the hypostatic union (Jesus the God-Man.) But Ross doesn’t believe in the bodily Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, Miracles, Orignal Sin, Atonement, the list goes on: let alone the Trinity and the hypostatic union. His position is a far-cry from orthodox Christianity. If a Christian used  Reza Aslan’s view of Islam (he called it a “man-made institution“) to critique Islam, Muslims would say ‘who cares? Reza Aslan isn’t an orthodox Muslim anyway.’ Double standards.

15. Are you asking me to believe in a squared circle today Sir?

Rhetorical flourishes aside – and Muslims are generally better at these than Christians – no, Mohammed, you are being asked to believe in the one God in three persons as is revealed to us in His inspired Word, the Bible. The Church Fathers deduced it from the Scriptures. As David Wood said “we are forced into the view [of the Trinity] by the Triune God.”

Next up: Elijah, Ruach, Mechizedek and more.

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Mohammed Hijab and the Trinity 1-5

Mohammed Hijab David Wood debate photo

Starting today in no particular order, we will be posting Mohammed Hijab’s (MH) errors, falsehoods and bad arguments used in his debate with David Wood. We will publish five points at a time, starting with his attacks on the Trinity.  Then we’ll look at his defence of tawheed. We are very grateful to the many apologists who have already posted rebuttals online, and this article relies substantially on material posted by Acts 17 ApologeticsAnthony Rogers, Vocab Malone , Islam Critiqued, Sentinel Apologetics, Christian Prince and Sam Shamoun.  We look forward to presenting our case to Muhammad Hijab at Speaker’s Corner, but for the last two weeks he has been unavailable..

  1. One divided into three?

Hijab began by calling into question the Athanasian Creed, in particular how “1 being [is] DIVIDED into 3 divine persons”, before sceptically quoting the Creed itself – “the Father Almighty, the Son is almighty, the Holy Spirit is almighty but there are not three almightys!” How can that be?! he says. But he failed to quote the rest of the Creed, which reads “and the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor DIVIDING the Essence.” He failed to grasp the difference between ‘essence’ and ‘personhood’ – the crux of the Trinitarian claim. This more than anything undermined his whole case. More on this in subsequent points.

2. Misunderstanding  ‘Oneness’

MH quoted the following Scriptures to make his case that God is One, tawheed style:

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)

‘You shall have no other gods before[a] me. (Exodus 20:3)

I, even I, am the Lord,
    and apart from me there is no saviour. (Isaiah 43:11)

(In fact in Deuteronomy 6:4, he misquoted the Hebrew Bible. He said  “sema yisrael ADONAI  elohenu ADONAI ehad” when the text says  “YHWH”, not Adonai.)

The citations from Exodus and Isaiah are not arguments for God’s monadic ‘oneness’; rather they are arguments for YHWH’s unique existence as the only TRUE God (as opposed to idols – Exodus 20:3), the only one worthy of our worship. Isaiah 43:11 the LORD speaks about his unique role as SAVIOUR  – but ‘saving’ is not one of Allah’s attributes and ‘saviour’ is not one of his names.  So what about Deuteronomy 6:4? The Hebrew for ‘one’, ‘ehad’ doesn’t just mean ‘one’ in the sense of ‘alone’; it can also convey the sense of compound unity. For example, the same word is used in Genesis 2:24, when Adam and Eve become ‘one’ flesh, while still being distinct in personhood. So ‘ehad‘ doesn’t rule out YHWH having more than one person either.

3. “A multiplicity of substantiations in any given genus”

MH said you can only have a distinction between something’s “how (?)”and its “what” when you have a “multiplicity of substantiations in any given genus.” This is called the “trying to impress with my cleverness” fallacy. His argument was confusing  as he kept referring to the ‘how‘ and the ‘what’, when he meant the ‘who’ not the ‘how – because the Trinity is about persons, not causation.

But what was he getting at with the ‘multiplicity of substantiations’ thing? Something along the lines of: you can only meaningfully talk about the individuality or personhood of ‘somethings’ (‘substantiations’) when there are a lot of something (‘multiplicity’) already in its particular category (‘genus’). But what category (or genus) do you put God into? Isn’t He in a unique category all his own? The Qur’an even teaches this very thing:

There is NOTHING LIKE HIM, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer (Sura 42:11)

Doesn’t this  allow at least the possibility of God existing in three persons? Why is MH limiting God?

4. Pronouns, verbs etc.

MH claimed that in the Hebrew Bible “elohim” [pl- lit.’gods’] is always with 3rd person male singular pronoun.” Then he quoted Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created..” – created, in Hebrew, is bara – a third person singular masculine verb (not a pronoun.) But he deliberately raced over the point here -surely if the Bible taught pure monotheism, “elohim” wouldn’t be plural in the first place? Genesis 1:1 doesn’t support his case, it undermines it.

He then claimed “there are 9000 pronouns that relate to elohim.. [where did he get this number?] but you don’t find a pronoun which is pluralised when it comes to elohim.” He’s wrong. For example, Gen 1:26

“Then God  (‘elohim ‘) said ‘Let US make mankind in OUR image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

This is not the only time God (‘adonai’ in this example) refers to Himself with a plural pronoun:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for US?’ (Isaiah 6:8)

(For a lengthier analysis watch this video from Sentinel Apologetics)

5. Jesus was given the name of God in Phillipians 2?

MH said  Jesus was given the “Name above every Name” in Phillipians 2:9 by God the Father, suggesting there was a point in time when he didn’t have it, therefore cannot be God. But he skips over verse 6 which says:

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 “who, BEING IN VERY NATURE GODdid not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

MH equates Jesus ‘self-emptying’ with heretical subordinationism. But he doesn’t understand that not all subordinationism is heresy, like Arian subordinationism. The Son is subordinate to the Father; He does His Father’s will by incarnating, and voluntarily laying down some of his divine rights and privileges as the verse suggests. On the other hand, the Father does not incarnate, He is not subordinate to the Son. The Spirit is sent by the Father; the Father is not sent by the Spirit, and so on. So there is subordination within the Trinity, but it is subordination of function or role, but equality in essence. This is an orthodox Christian position.

When Jesus is given is given the ‘name that is above every name’ it’s because He accomplished His Father’s will – dying on a Cross to save sinners who repent and believe in Him. This is not the Father conferring divine status on Jesus; rather he has always been, and will always be, co-equal with God the Father.

More coming.

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