Responses to Akbarally Meherally's site

Here is Meherally's final response that appeared on November 20 and our rebuttal.

Meherally:

IS THE SUBSTITUTION OF NAME "ISHMAEL" WITH

"ISAAC" A MATTER OF GREAT CONSEQUENTIAL

SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS?

PLEASE READ BELOW TO KNOW THE ANSWER...

At the end of this long debate one may question; What difference does it really make whether prophet Abraham took Ishmael or Isaac with him for the sacrificial offering? Why would a Christian scholar argue tooth and nail to prove that 1 billion plus Muslims who year after year honour Isma'il at the great annual feast of sacrifice called Eid al-Adha, are honouring the wrong person? Please read below the texts from the Bible and you will surprised.

Response:

This is rather an amazing statement coming from Meherally. He wonders why I would argue tooth and nail on the identity of the child of sacrifice while forgetting to mention that he was the one who initiated the debate in the first place. Meherally began this debate by slandering me and questioning my integrity, causing me to respond to his accusations. Hence, the question should really be directed towards Meherally, not me.

Furthermore, numbers are not an indication of truth. If it were, then the fact that there are over 1 billion Christians and 25 million Jews (according to the figure given by Meherally in his rebuttal) who believe that it was Isaac that was commanded to be sacrificed would prove that the modern Islamic view that it was Ishmael is completely wrong. Would Meherally accept this logic?

Meherally:

Chapter 22 from the Book of Genesis begins with God's Command for Abraham to take his ONLY SON and offer him as an offering. After Abraham had gone through the ritual and passed the Test (wherein a ram was provided in place of his son), God made the following PROMISE which was to consequence ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH, in the future.

(KJV) Gen.22:15-18 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only {son}: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is} upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Please read carefully what Paul writes in his Epistle to the Galatians:

(KJV) Gal. 3: 15-22 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though (it be} but a man's covenant, yet {if it be} confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, {that} the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance {be} of the law, {it is} no more of promise: but God gave (it} to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then {serveth}the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; {and it was} ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not {a mediator} of one, but God is one. {Is} the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

This conclusion drawn by Paul is only applied to Jesus if Isaac was the who had accompanied Abraham. As seen earlier, it was the eldest son Ishmael (the ONLY SON), that had accompanied Abraham and hence the God's Promise rightfully applies to prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Response:

First, Meherally thinks that he has proven that the sacrificial child was Ishmael when in actuality he has not. He needs to reread the previous posts and see where the evidence points.

Second, it is true that Paul made the inference that the singular usage of the term seed applied to Jesus, but as we have documented in an earlier post Paul was not alone. The ancient Rabbinic commentaries also identified this particular seed as the Messiah.

Third, Paul was not the only one who believed that the child of sacrifice was Isaac since both James and the author of Hebrews also believed that Abraham offered up his son Isaac, not Ishmael:

"By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only sonů" Hebrews 11:17

"Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?" James 2:21

Fourth, according to the Quran and the earliest Islamic sources the entire Bible as it stands is the uncorrupt word of God. This would include Paul's writings as well. In fact, both Ibn Ishaq and Bukhari allude to Paul's mission and writings as originating from God. In a previous post I had quoted the following from Ibn Ishaq's Sira Rasulullah, as translated by Alfred Guillaume:

"God has sent me (Muhammad) to all men, so take a message from me, God have mercy on you. Do not hang back from me as the disciples hung back from Jesus son of Mary. They asked how they hung back and he said, 'He called them to a task similar to that which I have called you. Those who had to go a short journey were pleased and accepted. Those who had a long journey before them were displeased and refused to go, and Jesus complained of them to God. (Tabari. From that very night) every one of them was able to speak the language of the people to whom he was sent.' (Tabari. Jesus said, 'This is a thing that God has determined that you should do, so go.'

"Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, both disciples and those who came after them, in the land were: Peter the disciple AND PAUL WITH HIM, (PAUL BELONGED TO THE FOLLOWERS AND WAS NOT A DISCIPLE) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the cannibals; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east; Philip to Carthage and Africa; John to Ephesus the city of the young men of the cave; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanctuary; Bartholomew to Arabia which is the land of Hijaz; Simon to the land of Berbers; Judah who was not one of the disciples was put in place of Judas" (The Life of Muhammad, p. 653)

In the same rebuttal, I had asked Meherally the following question:

QUESTION FOR MEHERALLY:

Since the earliest Muslim source on Muhammad's life documents that Paul was a legitimate messenger of Christ's teaching and Peter's companion, how could you even question Paul's integrity when neither Muhammad nor his followers did so? Can you please provide documentation where Muhammad and his followers attacked Paul's integrity? I have quoted one Islamic source that claims the opposite of what you have tried to demonstrate in your writings on the Apostle Paul.

Furthermore, Bukhari even quotes Paul and attributes the saying to God:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

the Prophet said, "ALLAH SAID, "I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.'" (Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 589)

According to this Hadith, Muhammad purportedly claims that Allah is the author of the preceding quotation. Compare what Allah is supposed to have revealed to Muhammad with what Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians:

"However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'" 1 Corinthians 2:9

Paul paraphrases the following citation from Isaiah:

"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." Isaiah 64:4

Hence, according to the Hadith the one who inspired Paul's saying, which Muhammad alludes to in virtually identical language, is none other than God!

This basically means that Meherally cannot really object to Paul's writings since both Ishaq and Bukhari attribute Paul's work to God, implying that Paul was a legitimate representative of Christ's teachings. The only way for Meherally to avoid the significance of these early Islamic traditions is to deny the traditions completely, something he has seemingly chosen to do.

Meherally:

Here is the revealed verse from the Glorious Quran that CONFIRMS this:

"We have sent thee (Muhammad) not, but as a mercy for all creatures." 21:107 Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

Al-Hamdulillah (Praise Be To Allah), who has REVEALED THE TRUTH.

Response:

First, there is nothing in that particular statement that would even suggest that Ishmael was the child of sacrifice and that the promise of blessings would therefore extend to his seed, i.e. Muhammad.

Secondly, using Meherally's logic this would then prove that the child of sacrifice was Isaac since one of his sons is spoken of in virtually identical fashion with what is said of Muhammad:

"He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained." S. 19:21

Jesus, Isaac's seed, is both a sign and mercy. Seeing that he is a sign unto mankind strongly implies that he is also a mercy to them as well since the context refers to the universal significance that Christ would have. Hence, would Meherally now agree that Isaac is the sacrificial child seeing that his seed was made both a sign and mercy unto humanity, fulfilling the promises of God that through Abraham's seed the world would be blessed?

Finally, we do agree with Meherally that God has revealed the truth. This truth has been revealed and is embodied in the person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Holy Bible, the only inspired word of God:

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one can come to the Father except through me.'" John 14:6

AMEN. COME LORD JESUS.

Sam Shamoun


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