Meherelly adds one final section to his alleged rebuttal of my article. We thank God that this is the last of his series of responses because Akbarally again, as we shall see, has failed to rebut any one of my points. Let us proceed to his alleged refutation:
Sam Shamoun writes (the italics are his, the color scheme is mine):
Finally, Tabari himself:
Why would I need to do provide a citation for what Tabari claimed to be evidence within the Quran that pointed to Isaac as the child of sacrifice? I am simply reporting Tabari's words as found in his book. Yet, had you read Tabari carefully, you would see that his proof was implicitly stated within his very own citation:
Tabari alludes to S. 37:99-100 as proof that the promised child that was to be given to Abraham was made even before Hagar was in the picture. Hence, this promise could only apply to both Abraham and his wife Sarah.
Actually, I did not mislead my readers but mistakenly inserted the wrong word. Yet, one can still find my parenthetical comments but this time with a point of clarification:
"This (i.e. the child promised to Abraham and later commanded to be sacrificed) was in the fertile land of Syria and Palestine. The boy thus born, was, according to Muslim tradition (which however is not unanimous on this point), the first-born son of Abraham, viz Ishmael..." (1: p. 1204, f. 4096).
Hence, the phrase used by Ali, "this", was referring to God's promise of a child to be given to Abraham; the very same child which would later be commanded to be sacrificed.
The differing views held amongst the Muslims as to the identity of the child only proves that the Bible is truly authoritative and reliable since what the Quran does not clarify, the Bible corrects and addresses, leaving no guesswork for scholars to work through.
Again, in which way does my statement contradict Tabari? Had I said THAT TABARI SAID THAT THE QURAN WAS AMBIGUOUS OVER THESE ISSUES then it would be a contradiction. The fact that Tabari could disagree with others over this issue PROVES MY POINT THAT THE QURAN IS VAGUE SINCE HAD IT BEEN CLEAR THEN WE WOULD NOT FIND TABARI AND OTHER MUSLIMS ARGUING WITH EACH OTHER OVER THIS VERY POINT.
Hence, my original statement still stands, namely that the Holy Bible is vastly superior to the Quran since on issues which the latter fails to mention or clarify the former magnificently addresses leaving no room for scholars to disagree over.
Actually, we highly recommend that Akbarally read what is actually stated and stop attacking a straw man and refrain from ad hominem slurs since that is all his responses really amount to, having little substance behind them.
Again, it depends on which historian you choose to agree with. If you agree with Tabari, then the Quran conclusively proves that it was Isaac. But if you are looking at it objectively, then the best you can say is that the Quran fails to clarify this issue, leading prominent Muslims to disagree over the identity of the child. Just in case Akbarally tries to twist my words, for the record, MY PERSONAL VIEW IS THAT THE QURAN IS VAGUE AND DOES NOT CONCLUSIVELY PROVE WHETHER IT WAS ISAAC OR ISHMAEL. This is why I stick with God's inspired Word, the Holy Bible. It leaves no guesswork on this important issue for me to struggle with.
Sam Shamoun quotes Abdullah Yusuf Ali's commentary # 4099:
Note: After the first question mark above there is an answer to the question by Yusuf Ali. It reads: See n. 2725 to xxi. 69. Similarly, before the second question mark Yusuf Ali has mentioned (ii 127). I do not know why these are expunged!
Maybe the reason for it being expunged was because it simply had no relevance to the point I was making? Is that too hard for Akbarally to figure out? Let us read the citation in question to see if it makes a difference to the point I was trying to make:
Since this passage refers to the building of the Kaba, not where the sacrifice supposedly took place, in what way is this relevant to my point? Perhaps Mr. Meherelly can explain.
In relation to Ali's footnote 2725, I quote it here at length in order to demonstrate that nothing stated therein solves the problem at hand. In fact, it complicates matters more!:
The terms, "perhaps", "if", "we may suppose", "may be" should be a clear indication of Ali's inability to precisely pinpoint any of the major events of Abraham's life. When we look up Ali's footnote on Nimrud's identity, the problem gets even worse!:
Hence, Ali can only opt for traditions that are not 100% certain. In fact, the identity of Nimrud as the king who tossed Abraham into the fire leaves more problems since Nimrud preceded Abraham by hundreds of years! If this is the evidence that Akbarally is appealing to then he is left with more problems than solutions.
Sam's comment to the commentary:
Yusuf Ali has simply stated, there is no data to answer the question; if the sacrifice had taken place before or after the building of the Kabah. As usual Sam has INJECTED his own agenda and written:
This is a constant problem I find with Akbarally, a willful neglect of the context in which a statement is made. Had Akbarally honestly cited the context in which I made the inference from Ali's footnote he would have seen that there is no problem with my statement:
Once the preceding paragraph is quoted, one can clearly see why I appealed to Yusuf Ali. Ali affirms the point I was making, namely that the Quran does not give us the site where the sacrifice was to take place, and hence the Holy Bible is a superior revelation. I went on from there to use Ali's acknowledgment of this fact to make the inference that evidence is also lacking for the Muslim belief that Abraham and Ishmael were ever in Arabia. After all, if no evidence exists for the place where the sacrifice was to take place then by the same token there would be no evidence supporting that Abraham or Ishmael had ever been in Mecca. This deduction would have been apparent to those reading my citations within the given context:
"At what stage in Abraham's history did this occur? ... It was obviously after his arrival in them Land of Canaan and after Ishmael had given up years of discretion. Was it before or after the building of the Kabah ...? There are no data on which this question can be answered. But we may suppose it was before that event, and that event may itself have been commemorative." (1: p. 1204, footnotes 4098, 4099).
As Ali states, there is no data, especially from the pre-Islamic period or archaeology, which confirms the fact that either Abraham or Ishmael were ever in Mecca, LET ALONE SUPPORT THE NOTION THAT ABRAHAM INSTITUTED THE RITES OF THE PILGRIMMAGE. The late Egyptian Professor, Dr. Taha Husayn, considered one of the foremost authorities on Arabic literature, acknowledges this when commenting on the story of Abraham and Ishmael building the Kabah:
Noted Christian Apologist, John Gilchrist states:
Therefore, it is purely wishful thinking for Muslims to use the rites of the Hajj as proof that Abraham offered up Ishmael at Mecca near the Kabah, since pre-Islamic history indicates that these rites were nothing more than pagan customs adopted by Muhammad into Islam. Further, as was noted, Islamic scholarship strongly disagrees and much confusion still exists over the identity of the son, with some arguing for Isaac and others for Ishmael.
THE LACK OF UNIFORMITY OF OPINION AND THE AMBIGUITY OF THE QURAN IN REGARD TO THIS ISSUE HELPS TO SOLIDIFY THE BIBLICAL NARRATIVE AS VASTLY SUPERIOR AND MORE TRUSTWORTHY."
Hopefully, this clarifies things for Akbarally.
Better Substantiate The Claims Or Withdraw...
Sam wrote in his rebuttal:
Sam, you have given me enough reasons to raise that same question over and over again.
If anything it is you who have provided evidence for carelessness in citing your sources and failing to read my article within context. In fact, we are still waiting for your acknowledgment that you willfully misquoted Badawi in your article, something you are quite aware of since you have now dropped the misquotation from your paper. Will you be honest enough and respect the integrity of your readers by admitting to them you made a mistake, whether intentional or not? Or should we now assume that your silence affirms that you were willfully being deceptive, something you have tried to accuse me of but have thus far failed to prove?
I now anxiously look forward to your providing the documented written evidences to substantiate your claim that there is a strong disagreement among the Islamic scholars of the present era, as to who was offered for sacrifice. And, the Islamic Ummah and/or the Scholars are still confused on this issue.
There is actually no need for me to present many since one will suffice:
These citations prove nothing more than Ali's presuppositions. Let me quote his comments and demonstrate:
Here are the relevant footnotes in order:
"... An acceptable sacrifice: see last note."
Here, Ali assumes that the phrase in 19:55, "most acceptable in the sight of his Lord" refers back to Ishmael's willingness to sacrifice himself in obedience to God's command. The only problem is that the phrase in and of itself need not prove that Ishmael offered himself as a sacrifice, but rather that Ishmael's conduct and walk was pleasing to God. This is borne out by the following passages where the same word is used for others:
"(One that) will (truly) represent me, and represent the posterity of Jacob; and make him, O my Lord! one with whom Thou art well-pleased!" S. 19:6
On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those for whom permission has been granted by (God) Most Gracious and whose word is acceptable to Him. S. 20:109
Furthermore, I never claimed that Ali believed that Ishmael was not the victim of God. Rather, I cited Ali to prove that Muslim scholars were not unanimous over this issue:
This basically affirms that in footnote 2506 either Ali was making a hasty generalization about Muslim tradition agreeing that Ishmael was the chosen sacrifice, or contradicted himself since in one place he states that Muslim tradition was not unanimous on this point. Either way, nothing Ali claims in his footnotes solves the problem for Akbarally.
In conclusion, we sincerely hope and pray that Akbarally will carefully ponder over these issues and come to embrace the Holy Bible as the only divinely inspired Word of God and receive Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
Responses to Akbarally Meherally
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