More Evidence of Shabir’s Inconsistency

An Analysis of Shabir Ally’s debate with Dr. Anis Shorrosh [Part 2]

Sam Shamoun

We resume our discussion of Shabir’s case for Muhammad being mentioned in the Holy Bible.

4. The Songs of Solomon contains an echo of Muhammad’s name (cf. Songs 5:16).

Shabir repeated this point in his first rebuttal period, emphasizing the fact that Muhammad was the one described in the Song of Solomon. Shabir Ally did admit that the name in Hebrew means something entirely different from what the Arabic name Muhammad means. Despite this admission, Shabir still tried to make his case on the basis that the two languages share a similar root system and pronunciation.

Furthermore, when Shorrosh chided Shabir for claiming that Songs contains Muhammad’s name, Shabir responded by denying that this is what he was saying. He said that it contains an echo of his name, whatever that means. Shabir must have forgotten what he has written since in one of his articles he makes the following claim:

Now what remains is for us to specify where in the Bible to find mention of our prophet. In the Old Testament there are many references. The most significant is Song of Solomon, chapter 5, verse 16. This verse mentions our prophet by name. It says in the Hebrew language Bibles "He is Muhammad." But English translation have "He is altogether lovely" instead of the real truth. You need to insist that, SINCE IT SAYS OUR PROPHET’S NAME IN THE HEBREW, the "altogether lovely" translation is nothing more than a camouflage hiding our prophet's name. Tell every Bible reader whether Jew or Christian to ask any Hebrew scholar to read the Hebrew word which appears as "altogether lovely" in the translation. You will hear that word pronounced "Muhammad." WHY THEN HIDE WHAT YOU SHOULD BELIEVE? (Tough Questions and Easy Answers; capital emphasis ours)

What makes this even more interesting is that in this article Shabir addresses specific questions regarding some things that Dr. Anis Shorrosh had stated in his book Islam Revealed!

Shabir has taken the phonetic sound of a word which sounds similar to his prophet’s name in order to infer that Muhammad is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Basically what Shabir has done is to commit a Phonic Fallacy, i.e. assuming that just because two words sound the same they have the same or similar meaning or refer to the same person or thing.

Here are two examples to help illustrate how and when this fallacy is committed so as to drive home our point.

Both Hebrew and Arabic have the word Akbar, which in Arabic means greater. Yet according to the following lexical data, based on Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius, Akbar means mouse in Hebrew!

`akbar {ak-bawr'}
Word Origin
probably from the same as (05908) in the secondary sense of attacking

    1. mouse
(Source: *, *)

The word appears in the following passages: Leviticus 11:29; I Samuel 6:4-5, 11, 18; Isaiah 66:17.

Employing Shabir’s hermeneutic we can say that when Muslims recite the words Allahu Akbar they are actually testifying that Allah is a mouse!

Another example of this fallacy is to say that Allah appears in the Greek New Testament because it uses the word alla, which means "but"! After all, they do sound the same.

It should be obvious from the foregoing that Shabir’s case is quite desperate since the Hebrew word neither has the same meaning as Muhammad nor is it a noun. It means lovely or desirable and is an adjective describing the Shulamite’s lover, i.e. Solomon, whereas Muhammad is a noun and means praiseworthy.

In fact, it doesn’t even sound the same and the word isn’t even singular, but plural in Hebrew! The word in Hebrew is not Muhammad, but machmaddim and is the plural form of machmad.

Since Shabir is insisting that because these words sound similar and therefore echo Muhammad’s own name, he should have no problem with the following texts being echoes of Muhammad as well. In fact, we will render the Hebrew word as Muhammad for clarity’s sake:

"Nevertheless I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants and lay hands on whatever Muhammad (pleases) you and take it away." 1 Kings 20:6

"The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her Muhammad (precious things); for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom you forbade to enter your congregation. All her people groan as they search for bread; they trade their Muhammad (treasures) for food to revive their strength. ‘Look, O LORD, and see, for I am despised.’" Lamentations 1:10-11

"Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the Muhammad (delight) of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword." Ezekiel 24:21

These texts all contain the very word which Shabir claims echoes the name Muhammad. For the sake of consistency Shabir must also apply these references to Muhammad and thereby conclude that enemies will take Muhammad away, God will profane Muhammad, and people will trade their Muhammad for food! We know, of course, that Shabir wouldn’t dare apply these passages to his prophet and the readers can obviously see why.

During the final rebuttal period Shabir said that the Songs shouldn’t be taken as literally referring to sexual love, especially chapter 7, due to its graphic content but should be viewed as using euphemism to illustrate spiritual truths. More specifically, Shabir believes that Jewish scholars were correct in saying that this is the Word of God and that it speaks of God and his love for Israel, just as Christians apply it to Christ and his Church. Shabir wanted to use this same hermeneutic in connection with Muhammad and the Muslim ummah, in reference to the love that Muhammad and his followers had for each other.

One main reason why Jews and Christians apply Songs to the love that God and Christ have for their communities is because both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Scriptures picture God and Christ as spiritual husbands to their people. The Holy Bible says that God and Christ treat the covenant community as a loving husband treats a spouse:

"For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called." Isaiah 54:5

"And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy." Hosea 2:16-19

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:22-33; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:2

"‘Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’" Revelation 19:7-9

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:1-2

In light of the foregoing it is easy to see why Jews and Christians would want to apply Songs metaphorically or spiritually for God’s and Christ’s relationship with the elect.

But the problem with applying this to Muhammad and his ummah is that no Muslim that we know claims that the ummah was/is Muhammad’s bride. The Quran never describes Muslims as the bride of either Allah or Muhammad, and therefore the application to either one is quite erroneous. Besides, the connection begs the question since it presupposes that Muhammad was a genuine prophet of the true God, which he of course wasn’t.

For more on the common logical fallacies committed by Muslims, especially by Shabir, please read this article.

5. Jesus’ prediction of the Paraclete is a prophecy of Muhammad (cf. John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15).

Ally believes that the Gospel of John is dated around 100 A.D, after having gone through several stages of development.

Ally essentially brought this point up to call into question the veracity of these Paraclete passages, hoping to use this in order to set forth the possibility that John 15 and 16 may have been earlier forms of Jesus’ teachings than what we find in John 14. He stated that scholars believed that chapters 15-17 were inserted between chapters 14 and 18 since 13:36 contradicts 16:5 and Jesus said in 14:30 that he wouldn’t speak with the disciples. And yet Jesus continues speaking for two additional chapters. Shabir believes that these considerations support his position that chapters 15-17 are an earlier form of Jesus’ teachings which were then placed in their present location at some later stage of editing.

Shabir tried to totally discount Jesus’ Paraclete sayings in John 14, arguing that they were a corrupted or embellished form of Christ’s original words.

Ally also asserted that since masculine pronouns are used of the Paraclete in John 15-16, specifically 16, then this implies that he would be a human being, a male salvific figure, since neuter pronouns would have been used if this were a reference to the Holy Spirit. Shabir reiterated this point in his rebuttal periods.

We won’t bother trying to refute these erroneous claims regarding John 14 being later, or that 15-17 were inserted into the Gospel at some later stage since that would make the present paper much longer than what it already is. Instead, we will simply agree with Shabir’s fallacious assumptions and use them to see whether Jesus’ statements regarding the Paraclete in chapters 15-16 prove his case.

Here is what Jesus said about the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth:

"But when the Helper comes, whom I WILL SEND TO YOU from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning." John 15:26-27

"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I WILL SEND HIM TO YOU. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:7-15

Jesus says that he will send the Paraclete from the Father, since the Paraclete proceeds from the Father. This last statement implies that the Paraclete dwells with/in the Father’s presence, that he originates out of heaven, from God himself, and would come from there to be with Christ’s followers.

If Shabir is correct that these so-called earlier forms of Jesus’ statements refer to a male figure, specifically to Muhammad, then he has several problems which he needs to deal with.

  1. Jesus will send the Paraclete, yet Muslims believe Allah sent Muhammad. If Shabir is correct that Muhammad is the Paraclete then this means that Jesus is Allah, the God who sent Muhammad!
  2. The Paraclete proceeds from the Father who is in heaven. If Shabir is correct about Muhammad being the Paraclete then this means that Muhammad was alive and existing in heaven before Jesus sent him.
  3. Islamic theology doesn’t believe that Allah is anyone’s father, and yet Jesus says that the Paraclete will come forth from the Father to glorify him. Hence, if Shabir accepts this as a genuine saying of Jesus then this means the Quran and Islam are wrong since they deny God’s spiritual Fatherhood.
  4. Jesus says that everything that the Father has belongs to him, making him a co-heir with God, but Islam says Allah is the heir, the inheritor of all things (cf. Suras 15:23; 19:40). Again, since Shabir accepts this statement as genuine this either means that the Quran is wrong or that Jesus is Allah, Shabir’s and Muhammad’s God!

Shabir will have to contend with and address all these points if he wants to convince any honest and open-minded reader that these Paraclete passages refer to his prophet.

And if Shabir really wanted to get at what he thinks is the original, or earlier, form of Jesus’ sayings then he should have consulted the Synoptic Gospels and Acts since even by his own admission these all predate John’ composition, at least in its final form.

There he would have found evidence that the Paraclete is the Holy Spirit since what John says about the Paraclete the other writers say about the Holy Spirit. For instance, one theme that John 15:18-16:15 deals with is Christian persecution for the sake of Christ. And in that context Jesus says that the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, would be given to his followers in order to serve as his witnesses and that the Paraclete would declare to them the words of Christ. Compare this to the following statements made about the Holy Spirit assisting Christ’s followers to be his witnesses, especially in the face of persecution as they testify against rulers and authorities:

"I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Mark 1:8

"And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit." Mark 13:11

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." Matthew 10:16-23

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:13

"And behold, I AM sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." Luke 24:49

Note how similar these texts are to John’s Paraclete passages where Jesus says that both the Father and he would send/give the Paraclete to the believers.

"for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now… But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:5, 8

"But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.’" Acts 5:29-32

"Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking." Acts 6:9-10

In light of the foregoing, it should be clear to any unbiased reader of the Gospels that what John has said about the work the Paraclete would perform in and through Jesus’ Apostles parallels what is said about the Holy Spirit elsewhere in the NT.

When discussing the Paraclete passages, Shabir referred to the late NT Catholic scholar Father Raymond Brown and introduced him as one of the foremost New Testament authorities. He also made reference to his commentary on the Gospel of John.

Amazingly (but not surprisingly), although Shabir spoke glaringly of Brown he totally discarded what this late scholar said about the Paraclete being the Holy Spirit. Here is what Brown wrote:

The combination of these diverse features into a consistent picture and the reshaping of the concept of the Holy Spirit according to that picture are what have given us the Johannine presentation of the Paraclete. We must examine this presentation in more detail. It is our contention that John presents the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in a special role, namely, as the personal presence of Jesus in the Christian while Jesus is with the Father.

This means, first of all, that the Johannine picture of the Paraclete is not inconsistent with what is said in the Gospel itself and in the other NT books about the Holy Spirit. It is true that the Paraclete is more clearly personal than is the Holy Spirit in many NT passages, for often the Holy Spirit, like the spirit of God in the OT, is described as a force. Yet there are certainly other passages that attribute quasi-personal features to the Holy Spirit, for example, the triadic passages in Paul where the Spirit is set alongside the Father and the Son, and the Spirit performs voluntary actions (I Cor xii 11; Rom viii 16). If the Father gives the Paraclete at Jesus’ request, the Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke xi 13; also I John iii 24, iv 13). In Titus iii 6 we hear that God has poured out the Spirit through Jesus Christ. If both the Father and Jesus are said to send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit is variously called the Spirit of God (I Cor ii 11; Rom viii 11, 14) and the Spirit of Jesus (II Cor iii 17; Gal iv 6; Philip 1 19). John iv 24, says "God is Spirit," meaning that God reveals Himself to men in the Spirit, and John xx 22 has Jesus giving the Spirit to men. Thus there is nothing said about the coming of the Paraclete or about the Paraclete’s relation to the Father and the Son that is totally strange to the NT picture of the Holy Spirit.

If the Paraclete is called the "Spirit of Truth" and is said to bear witness on Jesus’ behalf, in I John V 6(7) we are told, "It is the Spirit that bears witness to this, for the Spirit is truth." If the witness of the Paraclete is borne through the disciples, so in Acts the coming of the Holy Spirit is what moves the disciples to bear witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Conceptually there is a very close parallel to John xv 26-27 in Acts v 32 … If the Paraclete is to teach the disciples, Luke xii 12 says that the Holy Spirit will teach them (see also discussion of I John ii 27 in vol. 30). If the Paraclete has a forensic function in proving the world wrong, the Spirit in Matt x 20 and Acts vi 10 also has a forensic function, namely, that of defending the disciples on trial.

This does not mean that the Paraclete is simply the same as the Holy Spirit. Some of the basic functions of the Holy Spirit, such as baptismal regeneration, re-creation, forgiving sins (John iii 5, xx 22-23), are never predicated of the Paraclete. Indeed, by emphasizing only certain features of the work of the Spirit and by placing them in the context of the Last Discourse and of Jesus’ departure, the Johannine writer has conceived of the Spirit in a highly distinctive manner, so distinctive that he rightly gave the resultant portrait a special title, "the Paraclete." Nevertheless, we would stress that the identification of the Paraclete as the Holy Spirit in xiv 26 IS NOT AN EDITORIAL MISTAKE, for the similarities between the Paraclete and the Spirit are found in all the Paraclete passages. (The Anchor Bible Series: The Gospel According to John XIII-XXI, A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary by Raymond E. Brown, Appendix V: The Paraclete [Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. 1970], Volume 29a, pp. 1139-40; underline and capital emphasis ours)

Thus one of Shabir’s own references, a man whom he (not us) praised as a renowned scholar, agrees with the historic Christian position that John’s Paraclete is indeed the blessed and glorious Holy Spirit of God. Why then does Shabir even bother using these Johannine texts to prove that the glorious and immortal Lord Jesus predicted Muhammad when his own authorities disagree with him?

Concluding Remarks

We finish off our analysis by making some additional observations regarding some of the other claims which Shabir made. For instance, during the rebuttal periods Shabir essentially proceeded to assault the Holy Bible so as to offset Dr. Shorrosh’s points, attacking the very Scriptures he was using to prove that Muhammad was the Prophet who was predicted to come!

An example of Shabir’s blatant inconsistency came in his response to Dr. Shorrosh’s appeal to Jesus’ own words where the Lord said that Moses wrote about him (cf. John 5:45-47). Ally responded by saying that many scholars believe that Jesus could not have been God since he assumed that Moses wrote the Torah (Pentateuch), when in fact he didn’t.

But this is the very same Torah Shabir was using to prove his contention that Moses predicted Muhammad’s coming! Hence, Shabir has no problem in using the Torah, or believing that Moses wrote it, to prove Muhammad was God’s messenger. But when that same Torah contradicts his beliefs as a Muslim, or proves that Muhammad was a false prophet, Shabir then appeals to liberal critical scholarship to undermine its validity! The inconsistency and deceit is truly amazing.

This isn’t the only time in the debate that Shabir employed deceptive tricks and inconsistent tactics. When Shorrosh presented a list of similarities between Moses and Jesus, Shabir responds by saying that he was quoting a point of view from a Christian writer who deliberately tried to make Jesus look like Moses. Shabir basically discounted the NT witness as a fabrication, attempts by the writers to embellish their stories in order to make Jesus appear like Moses. Shabir cited John Dominic Crossan who says that the Gospels are not history memorized but prophecy historicized, i.e. the NT writers took OT texts and wrote a historical setting whereby they made it seem that Jesus fulfilled prophecy.

The reason we say that this is another example of his deceit at work is because when Dr. Shorrosh used Al-Sirah Al-Halabiyya to prove that Muhammad and Waraqa met annually for a month over a 15 year period Shabir brushed it aside due to its being a document from the 13th century AD. He responds to Shorrosh’s assumption that Waraqa was a Nestorian monk who taught Muhammad Hebrew for 15 years by saying:

"You can suppose a lot of things. In the Da Vinci Code it is supposed that Jesus went along with Mary and had a child and the bloodline survives in France, or wherever. You can support[sic] a lot of things. But as the New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman puts it nicely in his book on this, ONE HAS TO HAVE REAL FACTS AND EVIDENCE. You cannot quote a 13th century book like Al-Sirah Al-Halabiyya. YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS, Dr. Shorrosh, and find out what was Waraqa ibn Nawfal, NOT THE SUPPOSITION OF OTHERS THAT AGREE WITH YOUR OWN SUPPOSITIONS." (Capital emphasis ours)

But this is exactly what Shabir has done, quote only those scholars that happen to share his suppositions, while failing to note or even quote other scholars who have responded to or refuted these arguments. Shabir attacks the original documents and chooses to rely on select scholars’ hypothetical assumptions or reconstructions that are utterly devoid of any real fact or evidence. The great bulk of what these sources say is not based on any real historical data or proof, but on a prior assumption regarding the veracity (or the lack thereof) of the NT documents.

For example, what evidence does Crossan have to show that the Gospels are not accurate historical summaries on the life and teachings of Jesus? Absolutely no evidence, but an a priori belief that the OT Scriptures do not contain supernatural predictive prophecies which Jesus literally fulfilled.

What’s more, Shabir doesn’t even accept all the conclusions of these scholars, but selectively chooses whatever may suit his dandy or purpose. For example, although acknowledging the late Raymond Brown as one of the most renowned NT scholars, Shabir rejects this scholar’s conclusion regarding the Paraclete being the Holy Spirit. But on what grounds? It’s definitely not on any textual or historical grounds, that’s for sure.

Now we are not saying that Shabir has to accept everything a particular scholar says. What we are saying is that one must produce real facts and evidence, as Ehrman put it, to show why a given scholarly opinion is valid or why one chooses to reject that same scholars’ conclusions regarding a specific issue, especially when one is quoting that same scholarly source as evidence.

Shabir has failed, and continues to fail, to provide any shred of historical, archaeological, textual, and/or manuscript (MS) evidence to support either his premises or conclusions. He merely cites one scholar’s opinion after another, and only those scholars who happen to share his erroneous assumptions. Oftentimes he quotes only those parts of these scholars’ statements which appear to support his claims, but fails to acknowledge what else these same scholars are saying on a specific issue which does not agree with Shabir’s agenda.

Shabir must therefore do the very thing he demanded of Dr. Shorrosh. He cannot simply cite sources that share his suppositions, while maligning those documents or scholarly views which do not, but must produce real facts and evidence.

The fact of the matter is that it was Muhammad who distorted sacred history and twisted the Holy Bible to suit his fancy. Muhammad didn’t make his life conform to the stories of the prophets, but the reverse! He perverted the biblical stories of the prophets in order to make their experiences conform to his own, i.e. they used the very words he used, faced opponents similar to those he faced, made them espouse Islamic theology etc. Unlike Shabir, we have the documentation to prove this:

In light of the foregoing, we hope that the readers can see why we say that Shabir is not interested in a genuine scholarly debate or in preserving and presenting truth. Shabir is more interested in misquoting, twisting, distorting and abusing his sources in order to convince people that Islam is true and Christianity is false. He will lie and deliberately distort things as long as it serves his purpose of demonstrating that he has the truth. Talk about an oxymoron!

We need to seriously ask, is this how a person tries to convince people to believe in his or her religion? What kind of religion is this that needs someone to manhandle references and rewrite history so as to defend it? And how do Muslims feel about the fact that their best debaters and scholars often need to resort to lies and deception in order to defend Muhammad and his religion? Doesn’t it bother them that their apologists need to use such deceit and trickery in order to prove Islam?

When a person has to lie in order to save his religion from criticism or to make it seem true then it becomes obvious that the religion in question cannot be from God. The Holy Bible tells us where such religions come from:

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

"I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough… For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15

We are glad for one thing, we are glad that Shabir conducts such debates. After all, if he didn’t engage in these exchanges we wouldn’t be able to document his distortions and logical fallacies. For that we want to thank him since he has given us the opportunity to show why he is neither a scholar nor a competent student of comparative religion.

As a side note it should be pointed out that Al-Sirah Al-Halabiyya is considered one of the most important and authoritative biographies on Muhammad. This can be easily seen from the response of Sunni writer G.F. Haddad to a question regarding what resources a person should get on Muhammad's life:

SIRA HALABIYYA; Sirat al-Dahlan; al-Sira al-Shamiyya (the most comprehensive hadith-based Sira); most recently the massive study by Dr. M. Abu Shuhba, al-Sira al-Nabawiyya. Also the Sira by the late Egyptian Shaykh, Muhammad Sadiq `Arjun. A reliable brief Sira used as a textbook in many schools is Nur al-Yaqin fi Sirat Sayyid al-Mursalin by Shaykh Muhammad al-Khudari Bayk. (Haddad, Al-Waqidi and Sira — Did Lings Rely on an Unreliable Source?; source; underline and capital emphasis ours)

Further Reading

There was a lot more we could have said regarding each of the specific points raised by Shabir, but which we decided to leave out due to the size of the paper. We recommend the following articles for those interested in reading some of the other arguments that we could have presented here, but didn’t for the sake of trying to make the paper less lengthier than it already is. These papers also address some other points which Shabir raised in his debate with Dr. Shorrosh that we were unable to address here:

Responses to Shabir Ally
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page