Revisiting Jesus’ Superiority… Again!

Sam Shamoun

Bassam Zawadi has come out with another "reply" (*) to our refutation (*) of his response (*) to our articles concerning the Lord Jesus’ superiority over Muhammad and the rest of creation (1, 2).


Muhammad’s Satanic Influence

Zawadi claims he is going to be "lenient" on me and assume for argument’s sake that Muhammad did commit sins before his so called prophetic career began. He further states that the magic spell that Muhammad fell under didn’t affect his role as a messenger and actually believes that this somehow proves that he was a prophet!? For the refutation of Zawadi’s wishful thinking we advise the readers to consult the following articles and rebuttals (1, 2, 3, 4).

Zawadi makes the rather bold assertion that the story of the satanic verses is a fabrication, even though we have thoroughly refuted this oft-repeated canard time and time again (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Zawadi goes on to say that,

It is interesting that Shamoun damages his argument by quoting Surah 22:52, which basically shows that every Messenger (no exception was made for Jesus) faced problems with Satan, which contradicts Shamoun's statement...

Jesus and the blessed Mary are the only human beings who were absolutely free from any satanic influence. The Lord Jesus and his holy mother were the only ones whom Satan could not control, could not touch, could not influence.

First, note how Zawadi blatantly perverts what the passage says. The text doesn’t claim that Satan caused some unspecified problems for God’s messengers, but that Satan inspired God’s appointed emissaries to speak in accord with the Devil’s wishes:

Never did We send a Messenger or a Prophet before you, but; when he did recite the revelation or narrated or spoke, Shaitan (Satan) threw (some falsehood) in it. But Allah abolishes that which Shaitan (Satan) throws in. Then Allah establishes His Revelations. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise: That He (Allah) may make what is thrown in by Shaitan (Satan) a trial for those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy and disbelief) and whose hearts are hardened. And certainly, the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.) are in an opposition far-off (from the truth against Allah's Messenger and the believers). S. 22:52-53 Hilali-Khan

And according to the Muslim expositors this verse was "revealed" to console Muhammad for reciting Satan’s verses which the latter had cast upon Muhammad’s tongue:

The news of the prostration reached those of the Messenger of God's companions who were in Abyssinia and people said, "The Quraysh have accepted Islam." Some rose up to return, while others remained behind. Then Gabriel came to the Messenger of God and said, "Muhammad, what have you done? You have recited to the people that which I did not bring to you from God, and you have said that which was not said to you." Then the Messenger of God was much grieved and feared God greatly, but God sent down a revelation to him, for He was merciful to him, consoling him and making the matter light for him, informing him that there had never been a prophet or a messenger before him who desired as he desired and wished as he wished but that Satan had cast words into his recitation, as he had cast words on Muhammad's tongue. Then God cancelled what Satan had thus cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers, and revealed:

Never did we send a messenger or a prophet before you but that when he recited (the Message) Satan cast words into his recitation (umniyyah). God abrogates what Satan casts. Then God established his verses. God is knower, wise.

Thus God removed the sorrow from his Messenger, reassured him about that which he had feared and cancelled the words which Satan had cast on his tongue, that their gods were the high flying cranes whose intercession was accepted with approval… (The History of al-Tabari: Muhammad at Mecca, translated by W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1988], Volume VI (6), pp. 109-110; underline emphasis ours)

And:

And We did not send before you any messenger (rasul) — this is a prophet who has been commanded to deliver a Message — or prophet (nabi) — one who has not been commanded to deliver anything — but that when he recited [the scripture] Satan cast into his recitation, what is not from the Qur’an, but which those to whom he [the prophet] had been sent would find pleasing. The Prophet (s) had, during an assembly of the [men of] Quraysh, after reciting the [following verses from] surat al-Najm, Have you considered Lat and ‘Uzza? And Manat, the third one? [53:19-20] added, as a result of Satan casting them onto his tongue without his [the Prophet’s] being aware of it, [the following words]: ‘those are the high-flying cranes (al-gharaniq al-‘ula) and indeed their intercession is to be hoped for’, and so they [the men of Quraysh] were thereby delighted. Gabriel, however, later informed him [the Prophet] of this that Satan had cast onto his tongue and he was grieved by it; but was [subsequently] comforted with this following verse that he might be reassured [of God’s pleasure]: thereat God abrogates, nullifies, whatever Satan had cast, then God confirms His revelations. And God is Knower, of Satan’s casting of that which has been mentioned, Wise, in His enabling him [Satan] to do such things, for He does whatever He will. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source)

In light of the foregoing we challenge Zawadi to produce a single Quranic text that says that Satan was able to dupe an inspired prophet of God into mistakenly reciting words from the evil one, much like Muhammad was duped into narrating satanic verses that he initially thought were from Allah. We want him to show us a prophet speaking in the following manner:

That evening Gabriel came to him and reviewed the surah with him, and when he reached the two phrases which Satan had cast upon his tongue he said, "I did not bring you these two." Then the Messenger of God said, "I have fabricated things against God and have imputed to Him words which He has not spoken." (The History of al-Tabari, Volume 6, p. 111; underline emphasis ours)

We will be generous enough to also allow him to consult God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, to find any such statements.

Moreover, far from refuting the fact that Jesus is sinless this verse simply introduces another blatant contradiction and gross error within the Muslim scripture. After all, the Quran emphatically says that Jesus’ grandmother prayed that Allah would protect her daughter and grandson from Satan with the hadith literature confirming that her prayer was answered. More on this below.

It further contradicts the Holy Bible which says that Jesus was absolutely free from any control or influence from Satan and sin (unlike Muhammad):

"He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." John 7:18

"The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases himCan any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?" John 8:29, 46

"I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me," John 14:30

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15

"Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens." Hebrews 7:26

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" Hebrews 9:14

"but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:19

"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 1 Peter 2:22

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18

"Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure… But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin… Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous." 1 John 3:3, 5, 7

This leads us to Zawadi’s next assertion that I am imposing my own personal interpretation upon the hadith.

Shamoun fails to realize that he is imposing his own personal interpretation onto the text of the hadith. The hadith only states that Satan has not touched Jesus or Mary during the time of their birth. This could have several meanings such as...

Zawadi goes on to source a few different interpretations of the hadith:

1)      The fact that Jesus and Mary (peace be upon them both) were saved from Satan's prick is not enough alone to tell us that they were saved from Satan's influence and temptation later on. (See Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi's Tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 3:36, Source)

2)      That it is the prick of Satan that makes babies cry once they are born, but for Jesus and Mary they did not feel the prick, thus they didn't cry when they were born. (See Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani's Fathul Bari, Kitab: Ahaadeeth Al Anbiyaa', Bab: Qawl Allah Ta'aala wazhkur fil Kitaabey Maryam ezh enthabazhat min ahliha, Commentary on Hadith no. 3177, Source)

And then states:

Imagine, Shamoun didn't even bother to address and refute all possible interpretations of this hadith. He takes it at face value that his intepretation [sic] is correct. However, since I have decided to be lenient on Shamoun in this article, we will assume that his interpretation is the correct one for sake of argument.

He will contend a little later that:

… However, as I have shown above, Shamoun can't confidently claim that he has the correct understanding of the hadith without disproving all other possible meanings… For there is no evidence (except for Shamoun's personal opinions) to suggest that Satan's prick on a baby makes that baby impure.

Zawadi still doesn’t get the point; either that or he simply doesn’t want to get it. He somehow thinks it is more appropriate to avoid carefully scrutinizing my statements and divert his readers’ attention elsewhere, specifically to how some scholars exegeted Q. 3:36.

It seems that this is going to be another time where I have to walk Zawadi through this step by step in order to help him understand the argument.

The Quran says that Jesus’ grandmother prayed that Allah would protect Mary and her holy Son from Satan:

When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!" - and God knew best what she brought forth - "And no wise is the male like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected." S. 3:36 Y. Ali

The hadith records the answer to this prayer by showing how Satan was unable to touch Christ and his blessed mother:

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab:
Abu Huraira said, "The Prophet said, ‘No child is born but that, Satan touches it when it is born where upon it starts crying loudly because of being touched by Satan, except Mary and her Son.’" Abu Huraira then said, "Recite, it you wish: ‘And I seek Refuge with You (Allah) for her and her offspring from Satan, the outcast.’" (3.36) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 71)

And:

And when she gave birth to her, a girl, and she had been hoping for a boy, since only males were consecrated to the service of God, she said, apologetically, ‘O, Lord, I have given birth to a female’ — and God knew very well what she had given birth to: a parenthetical statement constituting God’s speech (a variant reading [for wada‘at, ‘she gave birth’, has wada‘tu, ‘I gave birth’ [making these Hanna’s words, sc. ‘and God knows very well what I have given birth to’]); the male, that she had asked for, is not as the female, that was bestowed upon her, because he is designed for the service [of God], while she would not be suitable on account of her lesser physical ability, her private parts, the effects of menstruation on her, and so on. ‘And I have named her Mary, and commend her to You with her seed, her children, to protect them from the accursed, the outcast, Satan’. In a hadith [it is stated]: ‘Every new-born is touched by Satan and begins [life] by crying, except for Mary and her son’, as reported by the two Shaykhs [Bukhari and Muslim]. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; underline emphasis ours)

Abu Huraira’s sourcing Q. 3:36 in connection with this specific narrative demonstrates that Satan’s failure in touching Jesus and Mary was an answer to the prayer of Imran’s wife, e.g. Allah granted the request of Christ’s grandmother to protect them from the stain of Satan. As renowned expositor Ibn Kathir noted:

<"...And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast."> means, that she sought refuge with Allah from the evil of Shaytan, for her and her offspring, i.e., `Isa, peace be upon him. Allah accepted her supplication, for `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said

((Every newly born baby is touched by Shaytan when it is born, and the baby starts crying because of this touch, except Maryam and her son.))

Abu Hurayrah then said, "Read if you will…

<And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from Shaytan, the outcast>. The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; source; underline emphasis ours)

The Quran provides further evidence that Allah answered this prayer, from the same Surah no less:

The angels said, "O Mary, GOD has chosen you and purified you. He has chosen you from all the women." S. 3:42 Arberry

One commentary states:

(And when the angels) i.e. Gabriel (said: O Mary! Lo! Allah hath chosen thee) with Islam and worship (and made thee pure) from disbelief, the association of partners with Allah and blemishes; it is also said this means: He has saved you from being killed, (and hath preferred you above (all) the women of creation) of your time by the birth of Jesus. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source)

By piecing all of these sources together it is clear that Allah’s act of purifying Mary began at her birth when he prevented Satan from staining her with his touch.

And now to aid Zawadi in understanding the significance of all of this we need to repeat the point once again that Satan’s failure in pricking Jesus and his mother at their respective births was a sign that Allah responded to the prayer of Mary’s mother, thereby indicating that he was not going to allow the enemy to harm or influence them. After all, Mary’s mother didn’t simply ask that Satan would not be allowed to touch Christ and his blessed mother at their births, but that he would not be allowed to affect them at all.

Hopefully, Zawadi will get it this time (which seems unlikely).


Are Muslims really protected from Satan at birth?

Zawadi quotes certain reports where Muhammad believed that Satan wouldn’t be able to harm Muslim children, and in so doing only provides further evidence that Satan tainted his prophet:

4)      That only Jesus and Mary were the only two exceptions before the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him), but now others could possibly be protected from Satan...

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 143:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

The Prophet said, "If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said (and he must say it before starting) 'In the name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e. the coming offspring) from Satan, and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm that offspring."

Taking points 3 and 4 into consideration, these people will continue to be the ones who will not be affected by Satan's misguidance (Surah 15:40) and all of those who fit under this category will be like Jesus and Mary. (See Imam Az-Zamakhshari's Al-Kashshaf, Commentary on Surah 33:6, Source)

Zawadi doesn’t see how this narrative proves that Satan harmed and affected Muhammad and his companions when they were born. Notice, carefully, what Muhammad is reported to have said:

The Prophet said, "If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said (and he must say it before starting) ‘In the name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e. the coming offspring) from Satan, and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm that offspring.’"

Muhammad said that if Muslims pray to Allah before having intercourse then their children will be protected from the harm of Satan.

Now does the reader see the problem this causes for Zawadi, specifically for Muhammad and his followers? Both Muhammad and his companions were born to pagans, which means that their parents would not have known to make such an invocation before having intercourse, and therefore indicates that their children were susceptible to attacks from the Evil One.

This, perhaps, accounts for Muhammad admitting that Satan circulated within his body and that Allah had to remove Satan’s corrupting influence from him:

Anas b. Malik reported that Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) while he was playing with his playmates. He took hold of him and lay him prostrate on the ground and tore open his breast and took out the heart from it and then extracted a blood-clot out of it and said: That was THE PART OF SATAN IN THEE. And then he washed it with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to its place. The boys came running to his mother, i.e. his nurse, and said: Verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed toward him (and found him all right). His color was changed, Anas said. I myself saw the marks of a needle on his breast. (Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 311)

Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Habib al-Tusi – Abu Daud al-Tayalisi – Ja‘far b. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Uthman al-Qurashi – ‘Umar b. ‘Urwah b. al-Zubayr – ‘Urwah b. al-Zubayr – Abu Dharr al-Ghifari: I said, "O Messenger, how did you first know with absolute certainty that you were a prophet?" "Abu Dharr," he replied, ‘Two angels came to me while I was somewhere in the Valley of Mecca. On of them came down to earth, while the other remained between heaven and earth… Then one said to the other, ‘Open his breast.’ He opened my breast, and then he said, ‘Take out his heart’ or ‘open his heart.’ He opened my heart, and took out from it the pollution of Satan and a clot of blood, and threw them away. Then one said to the other, ‘Wash his breast as you would a receptacle–or, wash his heart as you would a covering.’" … (The History of al-Tabari – Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1988], Volume VI (6), p. 75; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Since Muhammad’s parents were pagans they didn’t know how to pray to their deity in order to protect their child from the power and control of Satan.

What’s even more amazing is that Allah allowed Muhammad to come under the direct control of magic:

Narrated 'Aisha:
The Prophet continued for such-and-such period imagining that he has slept (had sexual relations) with his wives, and in fact he did not. One day he said, to me, "O 'Aisha! Allah has instructed me regarding a matter about which I had asked Him. There came to me two men, one of them sat near my feet and the other near my head. The one near my feet, asked the one near my head (pointing at me), 'What is wrong with this man? The latter replied, 'He is under the effect of magic.' The first one asked, 'Who had worked magic on him?' The other replied, 'Lubaid bin Asam.' The first one asked, 'What material (did he use)?' The other replied, 'The skin of the pollen of a male date tree with a comb and the hair stuck to it, kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan.’" Then the Prophet went to that well and said, "This is the same well which was shown to me in the dream. The tops of its date-palm trees look like the heads of the devils, and its water looks like the Henna infusion." Then the Prophet ordered that those things be taken out. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Won't you disclose (the magic object)?" The Prophet said, "Allah has cured me and I hate to circulate the evil among the people." 'Aisha added, "(The magician) Lubaid bin Asam was a man from Bani Zuraiq, an ally of the Jews." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 89)

Thus, Allah allegedly does for Muslim children what he didn’t even do for his last messenger/prophet!

In light of this, Zawadi’s example only ends up proving my case that Jesus (as well as his mother) is vastly superior to Muhammad and his closest companions since God protected Christ from the Devil even from his birth whereas he allowed Satan to influence and pollute the prophet of Islam all throughout his life and mission.

Moreover, Islam itself agrees that the believers are not on the same level as the prophets, which means that even if Muslim children born after Muhammad’s time were/are protected from Satan this still wouldn’t/doesn’t place them on the same level with Jesus.

With this being the case isn’t it rather obvious that Zawadi’s comments at this point are nothing more than a red herring since they are irrelevant to the discussion and fail to refute or address the issues that I had raised concerning Jesus being greater than all creation, especially Muhammad?


John the Baptist and the issue of Jesus’ superiority

Zawadi accuses me of blabbing and for attacking a straw man:

Shamoun then blabs a lot of useless things to try and show that Prophet John (peace be upon him) could not be superior to Jesus and THAT ISN'T EVEN SOMETHING THAT I ALLEGED, thus Shamoun is attacking strawman.

My main contention for appealing to Prophet John (peace be upon him) was that we even have evidence that Prophet John (peace be upon him) was born pure and this is something that isn't unique to Jesus (peace be upon him).

Let me remind Zawadi of what he initially said in regards to the Baptist’s sinlessness:

There is also evidence that God blessed John the Baptist with the same miracle... Let us assume for sake of argument that Islam teaches that Jesus is sinless and that everyone else isn't. Does this prove his superiority? Well according to Islamic and Biblical teachings, no! (Source; emphasis ours)

It is rather evident from the context of what Zawadi wrote that his whole purpose in mentioning John was to show that just because Jesus happens to be sinless this doesn’t necessarily mean that he is superior to everyone else. In fact, even here he basically admits that this is one of the reasons he referred to the example of John since he writes:

My MAIN contention for appealing to Prophet John…

To say that his MAIN contention in referring to John was to show that Jesus wasn’t the only sinless One implies that this wasn’t his only reason for mentioning the Baptist. It implies, just as the context of his initial article indicates, that there were other reasons for appealing to his example, such as to refute my assertion that Jesus is superior to all creation according to Islam.

Our advice to Zawadi: In the future please make sure to take the time necessary to write out your thoughts clearly and in a coherent fashion so as to avoid saying something completely different from what you actually intended to communicate. Moreover, please make sure to study logic carefully since you erroneously accuse others of committing logical fallacies even when they haven’t, all the while committing fallacies of your own.

He further contends concerning the Baptist’s alleged sinlessness:

… There is no contradiction between saying that Prophet John (peace be upon him) was born pure, yet Satan pricked him when he was a baby…

In light of our examination both here and in our initial rebuttal that Satan’s touch pollutes an individual and influences a person to sin Zawadi is blatantly wrong that there is no contradiction. By touching John at his birth Allah wasn’t simply allowing the enemy to harm him physically but also permtting the Devil to have some corrupting influence over the Baptist’s life which would later cause him to sin and stumble.

There is a way that Zawadi can reconile these conflicting assertions. He can argue that, although born initially pure, Satan’s touch defiled the Baptist thereby causing him to become unclean and impure. Yet no matter how Zawadi tries to reconcile these conflicting statements this fact would still remain clear... Jesus is vastly superior to John the Baptist.


Does God need sinners in order to forgive?

Zawadi commits a false analogy in trying to respond to my assertion that the hadiths that he sourced concerning Allah deliberately creating sinners in order to have the opportunity to show off his mercy proves that his god is dependent upon creation:

First of all, Shamoun doesn't realize that this argument can also be used against him since obviously his God could also not display forgiveness if there exists no sinners to forgive.

Actually it is Zawadi who doesn’t realize that his example only exposes his inability to defend his own beliefs and accounts for why he always feels the need to constantly attack the Holy Bible. In the first place, Zawadi will never find a single passage in the Holy Scriptures where God says that he had to create a sinful people in order to demonstrate his love and mercy. Muhammad said that about his god, yet none of the inspired prophets and apostles said this about the true God Yahweh.

The second problem with Zawadi’s false analogy is that it fails to understand that forgiveness is an extension of God’s love and compassion, e.g. God is a loving Being who is willing to forgive those who offend and hurt him because he chooses to love them:

"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man— the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes,’ declares the LORD." Hosea 11:1-11

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:5-11

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1-7

Yet forgiveness is not required for God to express perfect love provided that those he loves are living in perfect union and fellowship with him. It is only when such persons sin that God would extend such forgiveness (provided that he does love them).

This leads to the third problem with Zawadi’s attempt of diverting attention away from Muhammad’s problematic conception of the deity. The Holy Bible emphatically teaches that God is a community of Divine Persons who enjoyed perfect love and fellowship with one another even before creation:

"And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’" Mark 1:11

"but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me." John 14:31

"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began… Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." John 17:5, 24

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves," Colossians 1:13

What this shows is that Yahweh, unlike Muhammad’s Allah, didn’t need to create anyone in order to express love, compassion etc. since he was already exhibiting perfect, unconditional love and communion long before the existence of creatures. This also implies that Yahweh didn’t create out of necessity but out of his own free will since he didn’t need anything or anyone outside of his own Being, which is unlike Allah as we shall shortly see.

For more on these points and for a thorough refutation of Zawadi’s gross misunnderstanding of these issues please read the following articles and rebuttals (1, 2, 3).


Allah’s imperfection and contingency examined

Zawadi continues to show that he neither comprehends the arguments of his opponents nor does he understand what his own religious texts teach:

Secondly, no where does the hadith state that Allah "needs" to create in order to forgive. This is Shamoun's personal assumption being inserted into the meaning of the hadith. It didn't cross Shamoun's mind that its possible that the hadith is simply trying to communicate to us that God loves repentance. That the narration is basically stating that humans committing sins is something that is bound to happen, yet we should never despair of God's mercy since we know God is always willing to forgive us.

Here we will quote two narratives in order to see whether Zawadi has actually understood the implications of Muhammad’s own words:

Abu Sirma reported that when the time of the death of Abu Ayyub Ansari drew near, he said: I used to conceal from you a thing which I heard from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and I heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Had you not committed sins, Allah would have brought into existence a creation that would have committed sin (and Allah) would have forgiven them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6620)

Abu Ayyub Ansari reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: If you were not to commit sins, Allah would have swept you out of existence and would have replaced you by another people who have committed sin, and then asked forgiveness from Allah, and He would have granted them pardon. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6621)

Do the readers see how Muhammad expressly says that Allah would annihilate everyone if there were no sinners and create a people who would sin? Now why would Allah want to destroy a perfect creation and replace that with imperfect beings that transgress? The answer is obvious (except to Zawadi) … Allah needs to have evildoers around in order to exercise his attributes of mercy and love.

Moreover, there was no need for Muhammad to say that Allah would have created a sinful people if his chief aim was to show that Allah loves those who repent. He could have communicated this idea by simply noting the fact that Allah loves repentant sinners, and could have even used similar language to what is found in the Quran:

… Truly, God loves those who repent, and He loves those who cleanse themselves. S. 2:222 Arberry

He could have even said, much like he did in the Quran, that sinners should never despair of the mercy of Allah if this was his main point:

Say: O My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt! Despair not of the mercy of Allah, Who forgiveth all sins. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. S. 39:53 Arberry

Clearly, this is not what Muhammad stated but spoke in a manner that expressly implies that Allah deliberately created an imperfect and wicked people out of the need to show just how forgiving and merciful he is.


Are those who repent like those who are completely righteous?

Zawadi failed to grasp the reason why quoted specific Quranic texts to prove that even Islam denies that a repentant sinner is the same as one who has never sinned:

Shamoun then quotes Surah 3:162, 9:19 and 39:9, yet I have no idea what he is trying to show here.

And:

What is Shamoun trying to prove here?

Why am I not surprised that Zawadi didn’t understand my reason for citing these verses? Let me repeat it once again for Zawadi so that he can finally get the point. These specific citations show that the author(s) of the Quran believed that the righteous are not the same as those who sin and here is why. According to these references the one who fights in Jihad is not equal to a person who provides water for pilgrims during Hajj, nor is the one who knows equal to the individual who is ignorant.

In light of such statements it is rather apparent that the author(s) of the Quran clearly did not believe that the one who is sinless is equal to one who sins and needs to repent. S/he/they clearly operated under the assumption that the righteous were better and greater than those who sin.

After all, doesn’t the Quran even say that the most noble in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most godfearing?

O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most godfearing of you. God is All-knowing, All-aware. S. 49:13 Arberry

And who can be more godfearing than one who is absolutely perfect and never does that which offends Allah?


Revisiting Jesus’ Parable … Again!

Here is how Zawadi responds to my analysis of Jesus’ statements in Luke 15:

His response is so weak. He replies back by saying that Jesus was using this parable against the hypocrite Pharisees for thinking that they were better than the 'sinners'. Shamoun then claims these parables don't' show that Jesus believed that there were human beings who don't sin (something that I didn't claim so that's strawman) but was using these parables to show that one must seek repentance because every human being sins, except for Jesus (according to Shamoun).

What is truly weak is Zawadi’s reading comprehension and was the reason why I had to walk him through the meaning and purpose of Jesus’ parable. Yet, sadly (but not surprisingly) he still didn’t get it.

Moreover, it is amazing that Zawadi accuses me of attacking a straw man when it is clear that he hasn’t even understood the point I was making. I didn’t say that Zawadi claimed that there were human beings apart from Christ who haven’t sinned; rather, I was trying to highlight that Jesus didn’t think for a moment that there were individuals who were so righteous that they didn’t need to repent.

Did Zawadi even bother to carefully read what I actually wrote? In light of his distortions and gross misreading of my arguments it is obvious that he didn’t take the time to comprehend my statements before writing his response.

He goes on to say that,

Despite all this explanation, Shamoun still doesn't realize that he hasn't gotten himself out of the hole I had already buried him in. This time I will put in bolds caps lock...

It is hard to fathom how Zawadi can dig a hole for anyone else when he is already too steeped in the pit that his own false religion and false prophet have placed him in. Zawadi doesn’t realize that every time he digs he is only burying himself further down the hole of Islam’s irrationality.

ACCORDING TO YOU SAM SHAMOUN, JESUS IS AND WAS THE ONLY HUMAN BEING WHO WAS SINLESS AND DID NOT NEED TO REPENT. EVERYONE ELSE NEEDS TO REPENT. HOWEVER, LUKE 15:7, 29-32 MAKES IT CLEAR THAT EVEN IF YOU NEVER SINNED, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU ARE BETTER THAN ONE WHO HAS SINNED AND REPENTED. YES, I KNOW THAT THERE AREN'T ANY SINLESS PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, HOWEVER THE PARABLES WERE SAID WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT THERE WERE SINLESS PEOPLE (LUKE 15:29), THUS THE PARABLE IS COMMUNICATING THAT EVEN IF THERE WERE SINLESS PEOPLE, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY ARE BETTER THAN THOSE WHO HAVE SINNED AND REPENTED

Hopefully, Shamoun will have it drilled into his head this time.

I will return the favor by also placing my response to his gross misunderstanding of Jesus’ point in bold cap locks.

ACCORDING TO GOD’S TRUE WORD, THE HOLY BIBLE, JESUS IS AND WAS THE ONLY SINLESS HUMAN BEING AND DID NOT NEED TO REPENT (A FACT WITH WHICH EVEN ZAWADI’S FALSE PROPHET AGREED). EVERYONE ELSE NEEDS TO REPENT. MOREOVER, CONTRARY TO ZAWADI’S MISREADING OF LUKE 15 THIS PARABLE SAYS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT THE RIGHTEOUS NOT BEING BETTER THAN SINNERS WHO REPENT SINCE THAT IS NOT THE POINT OF JESUS. RATHER, JESUS MAKES IT CLEAR THAT THERE IS NO HUMAN WHO HAS NEVER SINNED AND THAT EVERYONE STANDS IN NEED OF HIM TO SAVE THEM SINCE HE HAS COME TO SEEK AND SAVE THE LOST. SINCE THE PHARISEES THOUGHT THEY WERE RIGHTEOUS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, UNLIKE THE SINNERS WITH WHOM JESUS WAS ASSOCIATING, THEY ERRONEOUSLY BELIEVED (MUCH LIKE ZAWADI) THAT THEY DIDN’T NEED CHRIST TO SAVE THEM. THEY FELT THAT THEIR PIOUS ACTS WOULD AND COULD SATISFY GOD, THEREBY MERITING ETERNAL LIFE. JESUS WAS COMMUNICATING THE FACT THAT THEY WERE SADLY MISTAKEN SINCE HE DIDN’T ASSUME FOR A MINUTE THAT THERE ACTUALLY WERE SINLESS INDIVIDUALS WHO DIDN'T NEED TO REPENT (APART FROM HIMSELF, OF COURSE).

TO SIMPLIFY THIS EVEN FURTHER SO THAT ZAWADI FINALLY GETS IT, JESUS WAS CONDEMNING THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDE OF THE PHARISEES AND TELLING THEM QUITE PLAINLY THAT THOSE SINNERS WHO WERE REPENTING WOULD ENTER GOD’S KINGDOM BUT THAT THEY WOULD NOT SINCE THEY FAILED TO ACCEPT THE GRAVITY OF THEIR SINS AND HOW TAINTED AND STAINED THEIR RIGHTEOUS DEEDS TRULY ARE IN THE SIGHT OF AN INFINITELY HOLY GOD. THE PHARISEES DIDN’T WANT TO COME TO GRIPS WITH THE FACT THAT THE ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT GOD ACCEPTS IS THAT WHICH IS FOUND IN UNION WITH THE LORD JESUS, THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WHICH COMES BY FAITH IN CHRIST.

"One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’ The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, ‘Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....’ He said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’" Luke 5:17-26

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them… Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’" Luke 7:36-38, 44-50

"Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.’" Luke 19:9-10

"He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’" Luke 24:44-49

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes… That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Romans 10:1-4, 9-10

AS A RESULT OF THEIR INABILITY TO SEE HOW WICKED THEY TRULY WERE IN GOD’S SIGHT AND DUE TO TRUSTING IN THEIR SO-CALLED RIGHTEOUSNESS THESE PHARISEES ACTUALLY BELIEVED THAT THEY WERE BETTER THAN THE SINNERS THAT JESUS WAS DINING WITH.

"To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’" Luke 18:9-14

With this in mind we now issue the following challenge to Zawadi:

PLEASE QUOTE TO US THE VERSE FROM LUKE 15 WHERE JESUS SAYS THAT THE RIGHTEOUS ARE NOT BETTER THAN THE SINNERS WHO REPENT. PROVIDE THE DOCUMENTATION FROM LUKE 15 TO PROVE YOUR ASSERTION THAT JESUS’ POINT HERE WAS TO CONVEY THE NOTION THAT A SINNER WHO REPENTS IS THE SAME AS ONE WHO IS ABSOLUTELY SINLESS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, WHEN THE PURPOSE OF JESUS’ PARABLES WAS TO CONDEMN THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS ATTITUDE OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHO FELT THEY WERE BETTER BECAUSE OF THEIR SO-CALLED PIETY.

Hopefully Zawadi will learn to read and comprehend the points that his opponents are making since it is getting rather tiresome to have to constantly walk him through such simple, basic levels of argumentation. Yet his track record has shown that he will again misunderstand and/or distort our responses to his weak attempts of rebutting our article since he really seems to be incapable of grasping a point no matter how many times it is drilled into his head.


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