Meherally continues his response in his latest posting that appeared November 8. Let us see what he now has to say:
SAM SHAMOUN DEMANDS AN EXPLANATION
Finally, here is what we as Muslims believe:
Say: "We believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes and in (Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." Sura 3:84
Perhaps Meherally can explain these passages for us:
O Children of Israel! Remember My favour wherewith I favoured you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures. S. 2:122
Lo! Allah preferred Adam and Noah and the Family of Abraham and the Family of 'Imran above (all His) creatures. S. 3:33
And when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah hath chosen thee and made thee pure, and hath preferred thee above (all) the women of creation. S. 3:42
"And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one (of them) did We prefer above (Our) creatures..." S. 6:86
He said: O Moses! I have preferred thee above mankind by My messages and by My speaking (unto thee). So hold that which I have given thee, and be among the thankful. S. 7:144
And thy Lord is Best Aware of all who are in the heavens and the earth. And we preferred some of the prophets above others, and unto David We gave the Psalms. S. 17:55
Since Allah clearly made a distinction between the prophets, does this mean that Muslims are more fair and righteous than Allah since they view all the prophets equally, giving them the same honor and respect? If Allah can make a distinction and prefer some above others, why can't Muslims do likewise seeing that their God clearly did so?
I wish, Sam Shamoun who has taken upon himself the formidable task of "answering-islam" had carefully studied and understood the meaning of the word "islam". Anyone who enters Islam - the religion chosen by Allah, is expected to obey the Revealed Commands of Allah, with full faith.
What does the meaning of the term Islam have to do with my main arguments? Absolutely nothing, which again demonstrates Meherally's red herring argumentation.
Anyone who reads the FIRST word and the LAST part of the verse 3:84 with full faith (which obviously is lacking within the person who demands the explanation), would clearly understand that this Command from Allah of making no distinction between one and another among them is made by Allah to those who bow their will to Allah willingly, with the unconditional full faith.
It is the naivety of Sam that expects that a Muslim should peruse and follow what Allah prefers for Himself to do rather than to bow down to the Will of Allah and obey what has been Commanded by Him. FYI, Muslims do not imitate Allah. The Prophet of Islam is the best of example for a Muslim.
Hence, it the lack of understanding on your part as to what is Islam has prompted you to quote the verses that you have quoted in your rebuttal.
Had you actually read my comments, you would have seen that I already anticipated such a poor response from you. Here is what I said in bold caps:
So to repeat my question again, does this mean that Muslims are more righteous and respectable than their God since they view prophets on the same level, something that even Allah does not do?
Furthermore, since you claim that you follow Muhammad's example then maybe you can explain this hadith for us:
Narrated Abu Hurayrah:
Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: I shall be pre-eminent amongst the descendants of Adam on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first intercessor and the first whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah). Sahi Muslim Book 29, Number 5655
Since your prophet believed that he would be preeminent amongst the seed of Adam, does this now mean that you also view him as greater than all the prophets seeing that you claim to follow his example? If so, then what do you do with your claim that Muslims, of whom Muhammad was supposedly one, are not to make any distinction amongst the prophets something which Muhammad clearly violated? But this problem is far from being solved since you must now deal with this hadith:
Two persons, a Muslim and a Jew, quarrelled. The Muslim said, "By Him Who gave Muhammad superiority over all the people!" The Jew said, "By Him Who gave Moses superiority over all the people!" At that the Muslim raised his hand and slapped the Jew on the face. The Jew went to the Prophet and informed him of what had happened between him and the Muslim. The Prophet sent for the Muslim and asked him about it. The Muslim informed him of the event. The Prophet said, "Do not give me superiority over Moses, for on the Day of Resurrection all the people will fall unconscious and I will be one of them, but I will be the first to gain consciousness, and will see Moses standing and holding the side of the Throne (of Allah). I will not know whether (Moses) has also fallen unconscious and got up before me, or Allah has exempted him from that stroke." Bukhari Volume 3, Book 41, Number 594
So now which hadith do you choose? The one where Muhammad clearly claims to be preeminent over all, which includes Moses? Or do you accept the one where Muhammad denies being superior to Moses? If you cannot decide, then how can you tell me you follow the example of your Prophet seeing that you have two conflicting views of what that example entailed?
Explanation No. 2:
Here is a Translation by M. M. Pickthall. This will make it easy to understand Explanation No. 2. The verse number is 3:85 in his translation:
Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.
One would notice that the opening sentence continues and ends with a period (.) after the phrase "from their Lord". The entire sentence is thus speaking of the various REVELATIONS that came to these Prophets from their Lord. One can see that the verse is for making no distinction between any of the REVELATIONS from Allah. The phrase "any of them" applies to the REVELATIONS.
Since the Author of all the enumerated REVELATIONS is Allah Alone, then anyone who bows his/her will to Allah cannot obviously make any distinction between one and another of Allah's REVELATIONS. This is an alternate explanation. In the even that this one is set aside or rejected, the earlier Explanation No. 1 remains valid and holds ground firmly.
The translation of Pickthall does not conclusively demonstrate that the phrase "between any of them" refers to the revelation given by Allah as opposed to it being a reference to the prophets and the tribes. The best one can claim is that the phrase is vague enough to allow for either meaning, but does not conclusively prove that the verse is speaking of the revelation Allah gave to the prophets before Muhammad. Compare the following translations with the one by Ali and Pickthall:
"Say: 'We believe in God and what is revealed to us; in that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, to Isaac and Jacob and the tribes; and in that which their Lord gave Moses and Jesus and the prophets. We discriminate against none of them. To Him we have surrendered." N. J. Dawood
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "We believe in Allâh and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrâhim (Abraham), Ismâ'il (Ishmael), Ishâque (Isaac), Ya'qûb (Jacob) and Al-Asbât [the twelve sons of Ya'qûb (Jacob)] and what was given to Mûsa (Moses), 'Iesa (Jesus) and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allâh) we have submitted (in Islâm)." Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
SAY: "We believe in God and what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, and what was given Moses, Jesus and the prophets by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any one of them, and we are committed to [live at] peace with Him." Dr. T.B. Irving
SAY: We believe in God, and in what hath been sent down to us, and what hath been sent to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and in what was given to Moses, and Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord. We make no difference between them. And to Him we are resigned. J.M Rodwell
Say: We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and what was given to Musa and Isa and to the prophets from their Lord; we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit. Shakir
"Say: 'We believe in God, and in that which has been bestowed upon us, and that which has been bestowed on Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, and that which has been vouchsafed by their Sustainer unto Moses and Jesus and all the [other] prophets: we make no distinction between any of them. And unto Him do we surrender ourselves.'" Muhammad Asad
Asad's footnote 68 tells us to turn to S. 2:136, where the same thing is basically said, and to the corresponding footnote:
"I.e., 'we regard them all as true prophets of God'." (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an, p. 28, f. 112)
Asad believes that the term "them" refers to the prophets, not to the revelation given them. Hence, with the possible exception of Rodwell, these translations give the impression that the phrase in question commands Muslims not to make any distinction between the prophets and the tribes.
Finally, even if the phrase were referring to the revelation given by God to the prophets and the tribes before Muhammad, the fact is that the majority of Muslims today deny that the revelation before Muhammad's time has remained intact. In fact, the common Muslim allegation is that the Holy Bible is not the pristine revelation of God, but a mixture of God's Word and human tampering. Hence, if Meherally is correct then this verse proves that the majority of Muslims are disobeying God's express command. This is because they are making a distinction between the revelation given before Muhamamd, i.e. the Holy Bible, and viewing it as vastly inferior to the Quran, something expressly forbidden!
Hence, either explanation given by Meherally leaves him with more problems than solutions.
1: The Revelations should be from Allah.
2: The Revelations must have come to the enumerated Prophets of Allah.
3: The Revelations to be in their pure and pristine condition and not interpolated or revised or is being continuously re-revised depending upon the wills and wishes of the editors and of the contemporary society.
Meherally seemingly is trying to undermine the authority of the Holy Bible by his threefold criteria due to its many translations and revisions. Yet, the fact is that the Holy Bible is vastly superior to the Quran in terms of the number of MSS and preservation. The Quran itself testifies to the purity and preservation of the biblical text, something which I document in my article found here.
Finally, In the above verse there is nothing that could be directly applied to the "Children of Israel"; "Family of Abraham and of Imran" and to Mary.
Really, it doesn't? Despite this part:
Say: "We believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob AND THE TRIBES and in (Books) given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." Sura 3:84
Mr. Meherally, doesn't the tribes include the Children of Israel? Furthermore, didn't Imran's family have prophets such as John and Jesus? If so, wouldn't this then mean that those prophets who were of the family of Imran were preferred above everyone else? Hence, the contradiction remains. This round has ended.
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