Rebuttal to Al-Jawab as-Sahih Part 3: The Qur'an on the Universality of Muhammad's Prophethood

April 2005 version


This document was contributed as a reply to a subset of errors by a Salafi Muslim in the treatise Al-Jawab as-Sahih : Part 3 : The Qur'an on the Universality of Muhammad's Prophethood by Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.

I did not choose to reply to this particular document because of its uniqueness with regard to error. The other documents published by the Shaikh also have inconsistencies, but this served as an example within the set. As I was reading these documents, I was astounded at the number of errors I encountered. These errors include factual errors, errors in logic, gross oversights, and misleading statements.

The reader will notice two common themes within the rebuttal. First, I will attempt to address the fact that Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah has a surprising lack of evidence and citations within the document itself. I have endeavored to provide references both from the Bible as well as the Qur'an to illustrate several of the statements. The issue of whether the Bible itself or the Qur'an itself is inspired and therefore a suitable source is a much broader topic, and one that cannot be fully probed herein. However, the Shaikh brings up questions about references to the Qur'an by Christians, which will be dealt with later in this rebuttal. Regardless, citations are provided throughout this rebuttal. In this way, readers can know from where the information is coming rather than wondering if I am innovating random teachings.

Second, there is much more happening here than a point by point rebuttal. On one level, there is a spiritual component that is being overlooked. Any logical argument is not necessarily enough to convince anyone of who Jesus is. In John 18:36-37 Jesus Himself commented on this before Pilate "Jesus answered 'My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.' Therefore Pilate said to Him, 'So You are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.'" It is with this spirit that I present the upcoming rebuttal. I am not fighting for any rewards or accolades in this world, but rather I am testifying to the Truth.

It should be noted that Shaikh Taymiyyah lived in the early 14th century in what is now present-day Syria. He is credited as the founder of the Salafi movement, and considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest Muslim apologist of all time. With that honor in mind, it makes this rebuttal more surprising; that someone so esteemed could create such logical fallacy. Still, there are two notable points of concession that must be made.

First, the article presented was originally written in Arabic. It must be remembered that the translation may be faulty. If so, it is possible the errors in logic occur from a abysmally poor translation, although it is extremely unlikely given the frequency of mental miscues. Second, it is possible that the translators did not feel it necessary to translate source citations. The Shaikh is criticized in many locations for not providing sources; it is possible this criticism should be directed at those who translated his work.

All Biblical quotations and citations come from the New American Standard translation. This translation was chosen due to its strict adherence to the literal meanings and word order of the Greek manuscripts whenever feasible.

The rebuttal is ordered in the same manner as presented within Al-Jawab as-Sahih : Part 3.

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

Before we begin looking at the various problems within "The Qur'an on the Universality of Muhammad's Prophethood" by Shaikh Taymiyyah, let us examine a piece of the first paragraph, on which the author lays a fundamental supposition. The Shaikh states

"...what Muslims profess is that Muhammad was sent as a messenger to the two races - humans and jinn — to the people of the Book and others. They profess further that whoever does not believe in him is an unbeliever deserving of Allah's punishment and deserving of jihad. This is a matter in which the people of faith in Allah and his Messenger agree..."

The Shaikh asserts that Muslims typically agree that Christians who do not accept Muhammad are destined for hell. I believe the author is correct on this one very important point; Christians and Muslims worship a different God. There is no room for fence sitters on this topic. Should someone wish to gently peruse Islam and Christianity and conclude that they are two paths to the same God, you may as well stop reading both the Shaikh as well as myself right now. Both the Shaikh and I fully agree that there is no margin for error on this point; either Muhammad was the last prophet of Allah or Jesus is the Christ, the crucified Son of the Living God. It cannot be both. From this point forward, our opinions diverge greatly.

Do not forget this critical concept as we move forward. Islam is a denier of Jesus as Lord, and Christians testify that Muhammad is a false prophet. With this in mind, let's move on to the actual arguments stated by Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.

Christians are Monotheists

"Muhammad made his call open and invited the People of the Book to Allah and Monotheism."

Right from the beginning, the author implies that Christians are not monotheists. This is news to me, and every other Christian I have met. Christians ARE monotheists. What is a monotheist? It is defined as a person who believes in only one true God. This is regardless of whether or not you agree with what they believe about God. You cannot say someone is not a monotheist, just because you believe in a different One True God than they do.

Christians believe in one God only. This is the God who created the universe, the God who spoke to Abraham and Moses, the God who came to visit the earth in the person of Jesus, and the God who speaks to us now through His Holy Spirit. Muslims do not understand the concept of the Trinity, so they continually refer to Christians as polytheists. Christians believe that there is one God who is able to operate within multiple persons, and in three distinct ways, while still being one God. There is no exact physical analogy for God, but a simple analogy of threeness and oneness is that a mountain can have one base and three peaks. A second analogy, that Tertullian came up with around 200 A.D., asks, has anyone seen the sun or felt its heat? Actually, no. We have only seen the light from the sun and felt the effects as heat. No one has seen the Father directly, but we see the light of God as Christ, and we see the working of God in our world through the Holy Spirit. God is of one purpose, of one mind, of one action, and of one essence. When Jesus claims to be God with skin on, this has infinite ramifications for the rest of humanity.

Words can only go so far, but the author of Hebrews sums it up in Hebrews 1:1-3: "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..."

Christians are strong monotheists: they never believe there is more than one true God. Just because the Shaikh does not understand the concept of the Trinity does not give him license to imply Christians are polytheists. I am not sure whether he is being intentionally deceptive, or just not aware of this fact.

Can Christians Quote from the Qur'an with Muslims?

"Hence, if we accept that there is a contradiction, then the Missionary's argument of a legitimate Christian religion and scripture by using the text of the Qur'an is invalid, since the Qur'an cannot be considered to be from Allah. Hence, the Missionary revolves in both Brownian and circular motion, attempting to bite his own tail with specious reasoning."

The author asserts that a missionary attempting to legitimize Christianity from the Qur'an is engaged in specious reasoning. By his (flawed) reasoning, he and other Muslims would be hypocrites if they quote the Bible. It is true that you cannot prove or disprove Christianity by arguing from the Qur'an only. However, a person can make statements about Islam, which in turn shed light on the differences between Jesus and Muhammad.

To be clear, one can argue from someone else's point of reference as an acceptable debate tactic. This is the case regardless of whether you accept the other point of references as legitimate. Additionally, attempting to prove the falseness of a document by citing itself as a source does not implicitly show tacit acceptance of that document.

If I am debating with a Muslim, I therefore most certainly have the right to argue from the Qur'an, just as they assert the right to argue from the Bible. I have this right not because of what I believe the Qur'an to be, but because of what the Muslim believes the Qur'an to be. If someone else believes the Qur'an to be the perfect message from Allah, then he should be able to defend it when cited by someone else, regardless of whether that other person believes in it or not. In this same way, any Muslim is welcome to debate the divine incarnation of Jesus by using the Bible. I would welcome such a discussion with any Muslim.

However, if I am forced to believe the Qur'an before citing it, then of course anyone would be put in an impossible position. The Muslim asserts that I cannot debate unless I first accept, thus canceling the need for the debate. This is absurd. Only someone who is ashamed of his own religious texts would employ such a tactic, especially if they then turn around and quote the Bible. If the Qur'an is such a wonderful document, the Shaikh should be prepared to defend it with joy rather than attempting to circumvent real dialogue by forcing an inappropriate logical strategy to smother criticism.

Christians quote the Qur'an for three reasons:

a) To show the contradictions, gross errors, and "strange" teachings.

b) The Qur'an says the Torah and Gospels were from God. It also says Jesus (not Mohammed) is the Messiah. These also lead the Muslim to paths of inevitable logical contradiction.

c) The Qur'an never actually says all the Bible text was corrupted; it only claims that some Jews perverted what they understood, some believed only part of the scriptures, and some made up their own scriptures. (Of course, since Muslim Ghulat sects have done the same; that alone would not prove the Qur'an false any more than it would prove the Bible false.)


Did Christians and Jews Expect a Prophet Near Medina?

"To further add to the Missionary's dismay and bankruptcy, it is known that the Jews and Christians were in expectance of a Prophet, whom they thought would assist them against their wars with the Arabs. Hence, significant numbers of them had settled around Yathrib (Medinah) awaiting this Prophet. However, when they noted that the Prophet was not from the lineage of the Jews, but from the Arabs, they fell into arrogant rejection."

The Shaikh makes up the fantastic claim that Jews and Christians had moved to around Medina to await the final prophet. It is no more accurate for him to say Christians were expecting another prophet than for him to say that Sunni Muslims are expecting another prophet. Both statements are equally false. The Jews who had rejected Jesus were still waiting for this prophet, which the Old Testament clearly indicates would come from Jewish lineage (Num 24:17, Jer 23:5, Isaiah 11:1, etc.), not an Arabic lineage. The Bible never refers to multiple Messiahs, but always refers to the Messiah in the singular. In subjects such as science and history, if an author writes a paper asserting facts with no evidence or references, that paper is not taken too seriously. In religion too, if the Shaikh states as certain that Jews and Christians settled around Medina to await the Messiah from there, he needs to present at least one historical record from the Jews or Christians to show that he is not making things up out of thin air. The Bible talks about slander, gossip, and rumors, and says those are wrong.

More Unsubstantiated Rumors - Let's See Your Evidence!

"And arrogant rejection is the only explanation for the peculiar behavior of the Missionary, who has no sound argument, contradicts himself and his own reasoning and fails to realise, or perhaps pretends to realise, that his argument necessitates the falsehood of his own religion to the first degree..."

The author makes various assumptions regarding the attitude of missionaries, and their approach to the Qur'an and their approach to the Bible. What evidence does the author give for being able to make the claim that he understands the intent of their approach? Perhaps it is time to shed some light on the Missionary's actual dilemma.

In Islam, many consider is an insult to even suggest Muhammad was not a prophet. I myself have personal experience with this sad cultural fact. In this way, Islam does a marvelous job of avoiding face-to-face debate. The next time the someone such as the Shaikh wants to get inside the mind of a missionary, I suggest he first examine his own religion and ask himself why the Qur'an does not allow Him to be friends with a Jew or Christian, who does not think the same way about Muhammad as he does (Sura 60:1,13). Even if a wife becomes a Muslim, she is not allowed to remain married to her non-Muslim husband (Sura 60:10). One reason to be afraid of communicating with someone who thinks differently than you is because you are worried they might be right. By cutting off meaningful personal interaction with followers of Jesus, Islam shields itself from questioning. This shielding is clearly required given the contradictory nature of the arguments that are put forth by Muslims when defending itself against Christianity.

Fortunately for all of us, the internet is breaking down those barriers. I recognize that people have the right to choose what they want. I would challenge any Muslim to become friends with a follower of Jesus, one who denies the prophethood of Muhammad. Would he dare to do so?

"Muslims Have Not Innovated a Single Thing" - Is That His View of the Taliban, Shi'ites, 'Alawites, etc.?

"Muslims have not innovated a single thing of that of their own accord, unlike Christians, who have innovated much if not most of their religion"

I find this statement very perplexing. Entities such as the Taliban and other governments have imposed quite a number of rules in the name of proper Islam. Does the modern day Muslim believe that such newly created rules are all mandated by the Qur'an? Certainly not as this would be an indefensible position. Yet would such a modern day Muslim suggest that everything in the ahadith must be followed to the letter? Certainly not as again this would be an indefensible position. Therefore, either the ahadith must be scrapped as an innovation, or the author must admit that Muslims have enhanced Islam over the centuries.

Therefore, we are left to wonder exactly what was being referred to. Perhaps the author was referring to religious services themselves. Perhaps the author was referring to the concept of the Trinity, which will be addressed shortly. Still, since no examples are given, I am leery yet forced to embark on a mind reading exercise.

Would He Be a Denier of God's Word on the Nature of Christ?

"Before Muhammad was sent Christians had already changed the religion of Christ, for they innovated the trinity and divine union [in Christ] and changed the legal prescriptions of the Gospel. "

From the start, the New Testament dealt with how Jesus could be both God and man simultaneously. While the Bible shows the Trinity but does not use the term, the Qur'an does not use the word for oneness (Tawheed) either. The Trinity is simply an "abbreviation" for what scripture shows:

There is a threeness in Scripture: Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 15:26.

There is only One God. Deuteronomy 4:35-39; 6:4; Isaiah 43: 10-12; 44:6,8; 45:5-6,14,21; 46:9; 1 Timothy 1:17;6:15-16.

Three distinct persons: Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:1; 6:38-40; 15:26; 16:28; 17:5; Acts 5:31-32.

Jesus is God. John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:5-9; John 9:38; 2 Corinthians 11:3; John 20:28-29; Revelation 5:8-9; 22:20

The Spirit is God. Romans 8:9-16; Luke 1:35; 1 John 4:12-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16 vs. 1 Corinthians 6:19;

They are equal in nature, glory, and honor. John 5:18; 5:23; Colossians 2:9-10; (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8 vs. Revelation 1:17-18; 22:13)

They differ in role and rank. 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28; Matthew 12:18,21; Ephesians 1:3,17; John 1:33; 14:16,26,28; Romans 8:26-27.

Moreover, regarding the veracity of the scriptures themselves, the author does not provide any evidence concerning manuscript corruption, and we have numerous early manuscripts and Christian writings showing manuscript reliability. Never once is it stated how the Bible was changed. The truth is that early Christians spent lots of energy trying to comprehend what Jesus meant when saying things such as "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30). What Jesus said here and elsewhere was so incredible, so outrageous, so pivotal, that correctly understanding it was of primary importance. The Shaikh failed to address early Christian writings, which reference sayings of Christ that imply the trinity. These references were also written long before the trinity was agreed upon as a mechanism for understanding the divine incarnation of Jesus.

For examples, bishop Theophilus of Antioch (168-181/188 A.D.) in his Letter to Autolycus 2:15.

Tertullian (200-220 A.D.) was the second we have record of using the term "Trinity", in his letter Against Praxeus.

Novatian (210-280 A.D.) from Rome wrote a 32-chapter book, Treatise on the Trinity.

Clement of Alexandria (wrote 193-217/220 A.D.) also spoke of "the Holy Trinity" in Stromata 5:14.

Was the Shaikh not aware of such early writings? Did he mean to suggest such manuscript corruption happened in the early 1st century? If so, the backlash of eyewitnesses would be historically momentous. This could not be done within one generation of Jesus the Christ, particularly when Jesus' disciples were still alive. If it were done, records of this corruption, with specific references to verses altered would be everywhere. Logically, if instead the supposed manuscript corruption occurred after the 1st century, then why were these early Christian authors grappling with the concept of Jesus as both God and man before the word "trinity" was ever used? Since logically the corruption could not have happened early, and since logically the corruption could not have happened centuries later, the only logical conclusion is that there was no corruption.

"For someone to reject this about him would be just as if he were to disavow that he [Muhammad] brought the Qur'an or legislated the five prayers, the fast of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to the Sacred House. The rejection of Muhammad and what is successively handed down from him is greater than if the followers of Christ's apostles should deny his sending them to the nations and his bringing the Gospel, or the denial that Moses brought the Torah and rested on the Sabbath. "

Whether Muhammad believed he was called to Arabs or to the world at large is a moot point if the true God did not call Muhammad at all! Yet, the issue is this: Christians, who accept Jesus and His words, have absolutely no logical dilemma accepting Moese and the earlier Jewish prophets and their words. Even their words prophesied a coming Savior. Yet Muslims do not accept Jesus and His Words. If God did not in fact permit the corruption of Jesus' words as Muslims claim, then Islam falls. The Old Testament contains many fulfilled prophecies that fit Jesus of Nazareth, and no prophecies that fit Muhammad. As an example for Jesus, in Micah 5:2 it is claimed the Christ will be born in Bethlehem. Additionally, nowhere in those prophecies is it ever suggested that there is more than one such coming prophet. All references are singular. The author seemed to suggest that accepted fulfilled prophecy for Christ requires a Christian to accept unfulfilled and inaccurate prophecy related to Muhammad.

The best Muslims can do is try to fit John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:5-15 (about the Comforter or paracletos) to Muhammad. However, would they say their prophet did the following?

1. Mohammed glorified Jesus. (John 16:14)

2. Allah sent Mohammed in Jesus' name. (John 14:26)

3. Mohammed was also sent by Jesus too. (John 16:7)

4. Mohammed took Jesus' wisdom and made it known to us. (John 16:15)

5. Mohammed was "in" the apostles. (John 16:17)

Certainly not!

Time the Leader was On Earth

"The transmission from Muhammad is over a short period of time, and those who transmitted [information] from him were many, many times more than those who transmitted the religion of Christ from him..."

While Muhammad had a 23-year prophetic career, Jesus was shorter, only about three years. In the case of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, information about Him was written and transmitted by eight separate individuals; Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James, and Jude. These eight independent authors offer corroboration of the life story of Jesus, and a testimony to what He said. In the case of Muhammad, only he himself knows what he saw in his visions. It is much, much easier for error to occur when one person is the bottleneck than when a group of people all communicate together. This is simple logic. Would you rather convict a man of wrongdoing on one eyewitness, or on eight eyewitnesses? This is not withstanding all of the other disciples and other people who witnessed the resurrected Christ and spread the tradition orally. What is relevant is that only Muhammad heard the revelation from someone who claimed to be Gabriel, yet multiple people heard and recorded the words and deeds of Jesus the Christ. If Muhammad himself was in error or was deceived, the large number of people who heard the revelation second hand will all also be in error or deceived.

Do All People Agree that Arabic is the Most Sincere Language?

"...for all people agree that the language of the Arabs is one of the most sincere and correct languages of mankind. They are agreed that the Qur'an exhibits the highest degree of clarity, eloquence, and fine composition..."

Quoting from Geisler and Saleeb in Answering Islam, p 192. "...the Qur'an is not unrivaled, even among works in Arabic. The Islamic scholar, C.G. Pfander, points out that 'it is by no means the universal opinion of unprejudiced Arabic scholars that the literary style of the Qur'an is superior to that of all other books in the Arabic language.'...Moreover, the authors quote an Iranian Shi'a writer Ali Dashti about the literary defects of the Koran: 'The Qur'an contains sentences which are incomplete and not fully intelligible without the aid of commentaries; foreign words, unfamiliar Arabic words, and words used with other than the normal meaning; adjectives and verbs inflected without observance of the concord of gender and number; illogical and ungrammatically applied pronouns which sometimes have no referent; and predicates which in rhymed passages are often remote from the subjects.'"

Ali Dashti and Saleeb are not western, and both were raised as Muslims. Saleeb converted to Christianity and Ali Dashti did not.

Not only this, but apparently Allah can only communicate effectively in one language. The Qur'an dominance of Arabic, (Qur'an 12:2, 13:37, 16:103, 20:113, 26:195, 39:27-28, 41:3, 42:7, 43:3, 46:12) as the only true language of his perfect revelation shows Allah unable to effectively communicate his perfect Word in other languages. In contrast, here is what happened in the first few months of the Christian church as recorded in Acts 2:4-8: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, 'Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?'" God is able to effectively comminute in all languages, including Arabic. In contrast, Allah communicates in Arabic only.

Even given the evidence above, certainly Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah would not have denied the importance within the Muslim faith of exact recitation of the Qur'an in the original tongue! This important tradition requires Muslims to believe Arabic is somehow superior to other languages. This in itself is a debatable point not addressed here. Not only this, but the Qur'an itself is not the quintessential Arabic work, nor does a divinely transcendent God need to restrict Himself to one language anyway.

Everyone Who Claims to be a Prophet from God is not Necessarily One

"This is a matter with which the world is full, which has been heard by both judge and scoundrel. People - those who believe in him and those who do not - know that he said that he was the messenger of Allah to the People of the Book and others. "

It is true that Muhammad repeatedly claimed to be the last prophet of Allah. In fact, Muhammad claimed it over and over and over again. The author intimates that because it was stated time and time again, to both judge AND scoundrel no less, you can be sure he was the prophet. Saying something a thousand times does not make it true. If Muhammad was deceived, he could claim he was the prophet all he wanted, but it does not change the fact that he was deceived.

I wonder how many times I must say that I am an airplane before people can know it is true! The bottom line is this: without evidence of fulfilled prophecy, miracles, supernatural occurrences, or divine interruptions recorded by observers, he could state he was the prophet as many times as he wanted. Yet no amount of repetition can logically or reasonably lead to an assurance as truth.

Mohammed Can Abrogate the Eternal Qur'an verses Revealed Just a Few Years Earlier, but Jesus Cannot Abrogate any of the Law 1400 years earlier?

"Either the verses have meaning that are in agreement with what he used to say [elsewhere], or else they are among those which have been abrogated. "

To abrogate a verse means to render it invalid because it has been superceded. As an example, there are some verses in the Qur'an that appear to be contradictory, so Muslims claim the verses are abrogated, meaning superceded, by other Qur'anic verses. Surah 53:19-20 is an example of this.

After this statement, the author then goes on to compare the Qur'an to the law of the prophet (Moses), which also contains abrogations. The author fails to accept that any abrogations of the law come directly from Jesus Himself, with specific mention of why they are abrogated. (e.g., Matthew 5:43-48) More importantly, there are no abrogated verses in the New Testament.

Besides all this, if the Qur'an is supposed to be God's perfect word, why there are any abrogations within it in the first place? Understanding why a document described as "perfect" requires abrogations is beyond my limited comprehension. How can God's perfect word require abrogations unless it was not perfect from the outset? How could a perfect God not get it right the first time? Bottom line: the New Testament is error free; the Qur'an has admitted verses that must be abrogated.

All Intelligent People Agree Muhammed was the Finest in Diplomacy and Law?

"...upon whom intelligent people of all the religions agree that he was the most intelligent of people and the finest in diplomacy and law?"

People strongly disagree that any man was the finest in diplomacy and law who ordered torture with fire (al-Tabari vol.8 p.122), assassinations (Bukhari vol.5 book 59 no.360 p.248), even executing women (Abu Dawud vol.2:2678 p.744), mass beheadings (al-Tabari vol.8 p.38.), and sex with captives (Abu Dawud vol.2 no.2150 p.577; Sura 4:24). This comment, in itself, is utterly indefensible.

The author is asking how someone so great as Muhammad could have allowed contradictions in the Qur'an, but I want to focus on this part of the quote particularly. This statement is clearly false whether viewed from the perspective of the Bible, from the perspective of secular history, or from the perspective of the Qur'an.

From the perspective of the Bible, Jesus was the one and only human who led a sinless life. For example, 1 Peter 2:21-22 "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH." Other examples of this are 1 John 3:5 "You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin." Most Muslims also agree that Jesus was sinless.

Even secular historians comment on this point. Christian antagonist J.S. Mills wrote "About the life and saying of Jesus there is a stamp of personal originality combined with profundity of insight in the very first rank of men of sublime genius of whom our species can boast". Renowned historian William Lecky wrote "The simple record of these three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind then all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists."

From the perspective of the Qur'an, Jesus was the only one to lead a sinless life (Koran 19:19). Just in case someone is not sure about the verse cited, here is the whole verse with more explanation. The messenger of Allah says to Mary mother of Jesus, "I am only a messenger of thy Lord that I may bestow on thee a faultless son." To be clear, the word translated as "faultless" is sometimes translated to English as "pure"; in Arabic the word is zakkiyya, which means completely without sin.

So then how is it that people of all religions believe Muhammad is the greatest? Christians, Muslims who read the Qur'an, and secularists alike hold Jesus to be the greatest moral teacher in the history of man. How could the Shaikh say Muhammad was the finest in law and diplomacy, when clearly Jesus led a sinless life? Once again, my limited comprehensive abilities fail to grasp his logic, even when viewing it from an Islamic perspective. This type of bankrupt reasoning must be employed to exalt Muhammad and to shield Muslims from the Truth of who Jesus is.

Which Kind of Oneness?

"The position which they follow with the Qur'an is similar to what they follow in the earlier books and the teaching of the prophets in the Torah, Gospel, Psalms and other books. In those books there are so many clear passages on the Oneness (tawhid) of Allah and ..."

Even though the Qur'an never uses the word Oneness (tawhid), we grant that the Qur'an speaks abundantly of the concept of the tawhid of God. The Bible also speaks abundantly of the Oneness of God; the sheikh failed to understand the Oneness in Trinity, of Three-In-One.

Yet again, the author talks about Old Testament references to Allah, yet nowhere in the Old Testament is a specific god name Allah mentioned, as the pre-Islamic Arabs had a specific Allah with three daughters. This particular aspect of the argument is particularly complex for Christians to respond to. The difficulty lies in the double usage of the world "Allah". "Allah" is both the generic Arabic word for "God" as well as the specific name given to that God by Muslims (among others). When discussing this point, it must be clear which usage is being put forth in order to avoid confusion.

The name God gives to himself is "YHWH", transliterated "Jehovah", which literally means, "I AM". The Qur'an and Islam lost this truth. The primary character of God is His existence, thus the name. In fact, God went so far to make sure people knew that his name, "I AM", would never be changed. (Exodus 3:15) "This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations." If this issue seems trivial or unimportant, then show me a Muslim who prays to "I AM" rather than Allah. When a Christian prays to "God", the generic word for the omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being, he knows that his name is "I AM". The confusion of the word "Allah" as both specific and general masks the Muslims dilemma in recognizing that Muhammad changed God's name. Yet, the fact remains that it is the Muslims who have changed Scriptures by changing God's name from Jehovah to Allah, his home from Jerusalem to Mecca (Zec 3:2, Micah 4:7), and many other attribute changes.

As an example, this passage was written in the book of Isaiah (2:2-3) about events yet future. "Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.' For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

God has a permanent name, Jehovah, and a former and future place of residence, Jerusalem. Allah takes Mecca for a home. Once again, indeed we see that Christians and Muslims are not worshipping the same God.

However, the statement noted above descends into something even more ridiculous, which will be examined in stunning detail.

Oneness in the Bible

"The position which they follow with the Qur'an is similar to what they follow in the earlier books and the teaching of the prophets in the Torah, Gospel, Psalms and other books. In those books there are so many clear passages on the Oneness (tawhid) of Allah and the servanthood of Christ that they can only be counted with difficulty. In them there are a few phrases that contain ambiguity, they seize upon the few, hidden, complex ambiguities of the earlier books, and omit the many clear, definite, unambiguous passages."

It is good that He recognizes that the Bible speaks of the Oneness of God. Christians completely agree on Oneness, but the sheikh rejects only the verses that tell about the Triune kind of oneness.

Trying to take a walk through the Bible without seeing a reference to Jesus as the Son of God is like trying to walk through a forest without seeing a tree. Islam has a term "deniers" for certain Ghulat that deny very obvious facts. To illustrate this fact, I have listed roughly 50 verses showing Jesus' claims to being God's son. I left out countless other references to that effect, because frankly the list is too large to be given completely and still hope to maintain the reader's attention. In contrast, I cannot find one verse, not even one, where Jesus claims to be a servant only. Apparently, Shaikh Taymiyyah could not either, or else perhaps he might have cited one.

Who is Jesus?

Who said it



Matt 3:17; Matt 17:5


Isa 9:6 (the human part is born, the God part is a gift)


Psalm 2:7

John the Baptist

John 1:29-34


John 11:27

Nathaniel (disciple)

John 1:47-49

Thomas (disciple)

John 20:28-29

Peter (disciple)

Matt 16:13-17, Acts 2:36


Jude 1:4

John (disciple)

John 1:1-3,14, 1 John 1:1-3, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 2:22-23, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:9-10


1 Cor 15:14-15 (By introduction, Paul claims he would be useless and a liar if Jesus was not resurrected), Acts 26:15-18. (Not faith in what Jesus said, but faith in Him.) Col 1:13-15, Col 2:9, Titus 2:13


Math 14:31-33 (Note Jesus accepts worship, to which God alone is due), John 5:18, Hebrews 1:1-2, Hebrews 1:8, Math 27:43, Luke 8:39, John 19:7


Luke 1:32-35


Math 8:29, Luke 4:34

Jesus Himself

John 3:34-36, John 4:25-26, John 8:58, John 9:35-37, (Again note that Jesus here accepts worship) John 5:25-27, John 14:9

Math 26:63-65, Luke 18:18-19 (Either Jesus is God, or not a good teacher), Mark 2:5-11 (note verse 7), Math 22:42-46. John 12:27-28 (Jesus calls to his Father, and his Father answers). Rev 1:8, Rev 1:17-18, Rev 2:8, Rev 2:18. John 17:5 (Isa 42:8)

Indirect references

Psalm 23:1 in conjunction with John 10:11

Isaiah 45:22-23 in conjunction with Philippians 2:10-11


Are these the limited obscure verses the Shaikh was referring to? Yet I cannot find the countless verses describing Jesus as nothing but a servant or prophet. Ultimately, John summed it up as follows in his Gospel in 19:30-31: "Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."

The bottom line is that the Bible consistently and frequently points to Jesus as God's son, while never referring to Jesus as a servant only.

There is one interesting side note to this whole discussion. One obscure verse I have heard Muslims claim points to Muhammad is Deuteronomy 18:18. Careful and thoughtful individuals will bother to read the next few verses, Deuteronomy 18:19-22. I have included them here for those without a Bible handy. "I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require {it} of him. But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. You may say in your heart, 'How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."

These verses explain that without speaking prophecy that is later fulfilled, God says you should not be considered a prophet. Do Muslims who point to this obscure verse also point to Mohammed's prophetic utterances and their corresponding fulfillment? If not, why not? The answer is because there are not any! The same verse cited to attempt to claim Muhammad as foretold also condemns him as a false prophet.

Internal Contradictions Disqualify Muhammad from Being a Prophet from God

"If what he brought was internally contradictory, then he was not the messenger of Allah, for that which he brought from Allah could not be diverse and contradictory."

It is good that we agree with the premise; now the issue is whether the author is correct in stating that the Qur'an is not contradictory. You cannot say it is non-contradictory solely "by definition", by virtue of any contradictory verse within the Qur'an is abrogated. (Qur'an 53:19-22 and others) This is a convenient argument, but one I am surprised anyone of intelligence would fall for. In that spirit, I would respectfully submit this rebuttal is completely without mistake; however should a contradiction or error be noticed, it will of course be an abrogated section, thus preserving the infallibility of this rebuttal!


Here is a list of a few of the contradictions and gross historical errors in the Qur'an.

Sun sets in a muddy spring? Sura 18:85-86 states that a ruler called Zul-Qarnain, followed the setting sun and found that it went down into the waters of a muddy spring.

Mohammed never visited the mosque in Jerusalem in Sura 17:1; there was no mosque in Jerusalem. On the site of the al-aqsa mosque not a temple or church either; it is document that it was a garbage dump at that time.

Was Abraham or Moses the first to believe? Was Abraham commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Sura 6:14, or did Moses say he was the first to believe in Sura 7:143? If they were Muslims before Mohammed, then either they were Muslims without the Qur'an, or Allah's Qur'an was lost or corrupted.

Abraham could not have been delivered from Nimrod's fire in Suras 9:68, 21:51-71; 29:16,17; 37:97,98. Nimrod lived soon after Noah and long before Abraham. The Fihrist p.27 also acknowledges that Abraham fled from Nimrod. This story seems to be copied from a similar Jewish fable in the Midrash Rabbah.

Haman, the Persian minister in Esther's time (500 B.C.) actually work in Egypt in Moses' time (1450 B.C.) building the Tower of Babel (before 2500 B.C.) as Suras 27:4-6, 28:38, 29:39, 40:23-24,36-37 indicate?

The same Mary was not both the mother of Jesus and the sister of Moses (~1450 BC.) as Sura 19:28 says.

As you can see, the Qur'an contains many passages that cannot be pushed aside under the umbrella of abrogation. Besides, the logical fallacy of saying something is not contradictory because any contradiction is abrogated is outrageous enough. However, the above statement only gets more egregious from there.

Reject What Has Many Contradictions!

If what he brought was internally contradictory, then he was not the messenger of Allah, for that which he brought from Allah could not be diverse and contradictory. "Do they not then consider the Qur'an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many contradiction." (4:82) There must be contradictions in any book that is not from Allah.

This is my personal favorite. This one is so subtle that most people miss it completely, yet such perverted logic when exposed is obvious. Do not feel bad if you missed it; this line of reasoning will easily fool most people who are not paying attention. The author states that Allah cannot be the author of contradiction, and therefore, all other documents not written by Allah must be contradictory. In other words, if from Allah no contradiction, and therefore if not from Allah then contradiction. In logic, you would say "If A, then not B; therefore if not A, then B". This concept is defined as the inverse. The inverse is well understood as not necessarily true. To see this more clearly, let's use the same logic with simpler objects. "All dogs do not have six legs, therefore, all non-dogs do have six legs." While the last sentence is instantly seen as silly, notice that the logic is exactly the same! "All documents from God do not have contradiction, therefore all documents not from God do contain contradiction." It is harder to see the error in the second sentence because of the more complex nature of the concepts being compared. However, the reasoning is identical, and identically flawed beyond repair.

Yes, it is true God cannot be the author of contradiction, but from that point on, the Shaikh has taken a flawed line of logic. Asserting the inverse as true is a wonderfully deceptive way of getting most people to be fooled into something that is not true. Luckily, many students learned the perils of this logical fallacy in high school math class.

First the Earlier Specific and then the Later Universal Call

In this Muhammad would be following the pattern of Christ, for Christ first specified his call and then universalised it. As he said in the Gospel, "I was not commissioned and sent except to the sons of Israel".

The author cites sayings of Jesus Himself to prove Muhammad was both specifically and universally sent. While I think this is a perfectly acceptable debate tactic, you may remember the Shaikh does not. Back in the synopsis the Shaikh asserted a person should not argue from a book known to contain contradictions or to be corrupted. Here was the exact quote by the Shaikh, "...if we accept that there is a contradiction [in the Qur'an] then the Missionary's argument of a legitimate Christian religion and scripture by using the texts of the Qur'an is invalid, since the Qur'an cannot be considered to be from Allah." Since he is now arguing Islam from the New Testament, did the Shaikh now believe the biblical accounts are 100% accurate? If not, was he suggesting that now, ten pages later, it IS acceptable to argue from someone else's frame of reference even if you yourself do not believe that frame of reference to be divinely inspired? What a conundrum! Does he deny Islam, or his own earlier assertions?


Bogus Quotation

In the Gospel he also said "I was not sent except to this rotten branch."

Once again, we are left without citations. This is not from any book Christians believe. It is sort of like somebody saying "Mohammed said" and then quoting some Hindu scripture; it is a lie. The Shaikh has no reference citation because there is none from Christian scripture. While there is not anything directly problematic with citing a verse from any writing, there is a problem if an author claims it is from a religious scripture when it is not. Christians should never make up a quote and claim it is from some Muslim religious book, and we ask from Muslims to accord us the same honesty.


Proving the Universality of Jesus Does NOT Prove the Universality of Muhammad

And he [Jesus] said "As I have done for you, so do you for the servants of Allah; travel in the land, and baptise people in the name of the Father, and the son and the Holy Spirit..."

Here the author cites some of Jesus' sayings regarding universalism of teaching to prove Muhammad was universally sent. The verse cited above by the Shaikh is Matthew 28:19. It is one of the many verses left out of the table above for the sake of brevity. There are so many such references, it was just impossible to list them all. In the verse cited, Jesus tells his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Praise be to God! Who is this Son mentioned here?

I will leave the answer as an exercise for the reader.


Muhammad Being Patient with Some Early in His Career Does not Make Up For His Impatient Violence Late in His Career

They used to persecute him, debate with him, and when they spoke with him they used to reply to him with the most insulting responses. But he was patient with their insults.

Here, the Shaikh comments on how patient Muhammad was with his critics. Let's check the history books to see if this is true. Ibn Warraq, in his 1995 book "Why I am not a Muslim" reports that Muhammad's first murder victim was a man named al-Nadar. He was killed because "he had scoffed at Muhammad...and told better stories than the prophet himself." His next victim was Ocba, who Muhammad killed because Ocba was an unbeliever. Then, an Arab poetess named Asma bint Marwan wrote some prose poking fun at those who gathered around Muhammad as "men greedy for meal soup when it is cooking." By this point, Muhammad no longer had to do his own dirty work. Rather he asked, "Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?" When Umayr ibn Adi had her killed, Muhammad praised his efforts by saying "You have done a service to Allah and his messenger, Umayr."

Look at Muhammad's "patience" towards some women.

On conquering Mecca Mohammed wanted to kill four people, two of them singing girls. One was killed and the other escaped and later became a Muslim [presumably to save her life]. Abu Dawud vol.2:2678 p.744

One women of the Banu Quraizah was executed. Abu Dawud vol.2:2665 Footnote 2017 p.739 explains this by saying "she used to abuse the Prophet (may peace be upon him). Hence she was killed." In other words, since she had said bad things about Mohammed she was killed.

Surely the Shaikh does not define patience as killing someone who does not treat you rightly. Let's call things what they are, and call murder " murder". At least let's not define murderous behavior as "patient".

"The People of the Book were professing, disclosing and predicting his prophethood before he was sent. This is what Allah said in His teaching about the People of the Book (2:87-91)."

The author states that the people of the Book were waiting on a prophet to defeat the Arabs. If this were true, these people did NOT receive this knowledge from the Bible. It was an "innovated" piece of religion. Nowhere in the Bible is this referred to, and there is no Christian or Jewish historical evidence that anybody did.

This particular example illustrates the danger when anyone looks beyond the Bible in an attempt to predict future occurrences. Only the Bible has a flawless record of fulfilled prophecy. That fulfilled prophecy points to Jesus.


In attempting to justify that a prophet could be sent to both a specific group and all people at large, the author tripped over countless logical flaws. His argument that there is no contradiction within this particular duality of universal versus specific calling is not even the issue but a red herring. Whether Muhammad was indeed a false prophet, or whether God chose to have Jesus' words be corrupted, is the pivotal issue. Christians and Muslims fundamentally disagree more on who Jesus is and who Muhammad was. It is my sincere hope that this response will cause people to think about what they believe and why they believe it. A religion should not require you to undergo such mental gymnastics to justify your position. Additionally, your beliefs should stand up to scrutiny, and should be able to be defended before all men, regardless of what they believe. Jesus taught us how to love each other. Sometimes love requires straight talk in truth, and that is the spirit in which this rebuttal is written, and the spirit in which I hope it is received.

Jesus said "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." It is my sincere hope that you the reader will continue to seek.

Peace to you.

Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714