Answering Islam Email Dialogs
Topic: Shi'ites, Scholars & Seekers
Received: 9 June 2005
Subject: Your Website
I would like to keep this message short and sweet so as not to take up too much of your time. I would firstly like to say that certain aspects of your website are incorrect or not accurate enough when it comes to what is effectivley the most important decision one can make. There are quotes from such books as Sahih Al-Bukhari among others and the majority of quotes are from books which originate from writers who are in fact Sunni. The mediators on your site would do well to note that there are rougly 200 million muslims in the world whom do not accept these texts as true representations of Islam as taught by the prophet and his family. I am from this 200 million minority known as shi'ites and I would like to point out that many of your arguements as a whole in the Christian religion are filled with holes for a number of reasons which I am unable to go into in this short time and with my limited knowledge. However i would ask you to put forward absolutley any arguements you have to a renowned Shi'te scholar of my choosing and if he does not answer your question fully and leave the arguement having had a plausible answer for all your question which I am sure will be reasonable, then I will personally convert to Christianity and shout hallelujah. However if you do respond to this e-mail I shall give you the names of a few scholars of my choosing and the means and information to contact them and you will be free to ask and challenge as much as you like. You may think my confidence slightly ill-placed if not crazy but I have heard your arguements obliterated so many times and have read on almost all religions to insure I am on the righteous path that I am sure of my religion to the highest degree. If you are unable to do this I shall be happy to attempt to answer any worries or doubts you may have regarding my religion but I urge you to ask someone more qualified than I.
Thank you for your time and may god bestow the truth upon us all and may our egos not get in the way of that which our mind tells us is true.
Wa Aleikum Salama,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Your first point seems to be that many of the arguments that we make here on Answering-Islam are weak (in your view) because they quote from sources that only have authority among Sunni Muslims. That's an interesting and valid point. Of course you do realize that it would be nearly impossible for us to essentially produce two separate arguments for every point that we make using two separate set of references etc. Should we also have specific arguments for Ismailis, Ahmadiyahs, etc, etc? Because Sunnis are indeed the majority sect (roughly 85% of Muslims), we do tend to focus more on answering Sunni arguments etc. But many of the points that we make indeed pertain to all Muslims. For instance, the many obvious problems with the Quran are a problem for all Muslims everywhere -- regardless of sect.
But -----, far more importantly, I want to talk about the rest of your e-mail. I find it very interesting. To be honest, I can't quite figure it out. Is it a challenge? Or are you sincere when you say that you would convert to Christianity and "shout hallelujah" if we could present a problem or argument that one of your scholar friends could not answer sufficiently? You say that you have studied Islam and other religions enough so that you are fully confident in your religion, yet you also say that you do not have the ability to discuss issues of religion with us personally, but desire us to have a separate conversation with a scholar of your choosing. That's where I get confused. If you are unable to have an intelligent discussion with us yourself, then how can you say that are fully confident in your own religion? If you cannot defend your own beliefs, then how solid are they? If it brings you any comfort, I will tell you that I myself am not a scholar. I am someone like yourself whose studies are quite limited. While I would be entirely open to discussing issues with any of the scholars that you know, I would far rather have a personal discussion with you and if you need to defer to any of your scholar friends at any time, then you could certainly do so. The benefit of dialogue is that it causes both of us to think. Through such we both grow. When I was a child, I used to catch two big bugs and put them into a glass jar to see which bug could kill the other one (the praying mantis always won). But now that I am an adult, I really don't think that repeating the same process with religious dialogue is very beneficial to anyone. But of course, if any of your scholar friends would like to personally write us themselves with any questions, we would be very happy to respond to them.
But before we part, I would like to ask you how sincere you are when you suggest that you would convert to Christianity if there was any question that one of your scholar friends could not answer sufficiently. Is this something that you are genuinely open to? I look forward to talking with you again.
Meanwhile, here is a promise from God Himself: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
Bless you -----!
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