Misquotations and Misinformation propagated by Zakir Naik
This article will briefly highlight some of the many gross misrepresentations of facts and misquotations that Dr. Zakir Naik has made throughout his lectures and debates. If he continues to repeat these errors or continues to make any additional mistakes, we will continue to highlight these errors for our readers. If Naik admits to his mistakes, we will be more than happy to document this as well for our readers.
We begin with the first error in our list. In the question and answer session of his lecture titled Similarities Between Islam & Christianity # 28, Dr. Naik misquoted the Holy Bible and misrepresented the Christian position in several key essential areas.
For instance Naik responded to one Christian's citation of John 10:30 where Jesus states that he and the Father are one by claiming that this does not mean that the Father and Son are one person. Trinitarians do not believe that this verse teaches that Jesus is the same person as the Father, but that this passage affirms that they are two distinct persons inseparably united in one Being, having the same nature and essence. They are one in nature, not one in person.
A.T. Robertson, perhaps the greatest Greek grammarian of this century, states:
"One (en). Neuter, not masculine (eis). Not one person (cf. eis in Galatians 3:28), but one essence or nature. By the plural sumus (separate persons) Sabellius is refuted, by unum Arius. So Bengel rightly argues, though Jesus is not referring, of course, to either Sabellius or Arius. The Pharisees had accused Jesus of making himself equal with God as his own special Father (John 5:18). Jesus then admitted and proved this claim (John 5:19-30). Now he states it tersely in this great saying repeated later (John 17:11, 21). Note en used in 1 Corinthians 3:3 of the oneness in work of the planter and the waterer and in 17:11,23 of the hoped for unity of Christ's disciples. This crisp statement is the climax of Christ's claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger." (Robertson, Word Pictures of the New Testament)
NT commentator William A. Hendriksen explains:
"Note how carefully both the diversity of the persons and the unity of essence is expressed here. Jesus says, 'I and my Father.' Hence, he clearly speaks about two persons. And this plurality is shown also by the verb (one word in Greek) 'we are' ('esmen). These two persons never become one person. Hence, Jesus does not say, 'We are one person' (eis), but he says, 'We are one substance ('en).' It has well been said that 'en frees us from Charybdid of Arianism (which denies the unity of essence), and 'esmen from Scylla of Sabellianism (which denies the diversity of the persons)." (Hendriksen, Commentary on the Gospel of John [Banner of Truth; London 1964], p. 126)
(Note- For a rebuttal to Naik's misinterpretation of the context of John 10:30 we recommend that our readers read the following article)
This is not the first time Naik attributed this false belief to Christians. In a symposium dealing with the Hindu, Christian and Muslim conception of God titled Religion in the Right Perspective – "Concept of God In Hinduism, Christianity and Islam" (Speakers: Swamy Golokananda, Father Geo Payyapilly and Dr. Zakir Naik, Tagore Auditorium, Calicut, India, 30th Dec., 1996), Naik claimed that Christians believe that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three Persons who are one Person. We paraphrase Naik's statement:
The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, yet not three Gods but one God. The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord, yet not three Lords but one Lord. The Father is a Person, the Son is a Person, and the Holy Spirit is a Person. Yet not three Persons, but one Person.
In order to document Naik's deception we list here all the major Christian creeds:
The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ's ascension into heaven. Despite this legendary claim, each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed can be perhaps found in the (ca. A.D. 215). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542). It reads:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Athanasian Creed (c. 415-542 A.D.)
This creed is named after Athanasius (A.D. 293-373), the champion of orthodoxy against Arian attacks on the doctrine of the trinity. Although Athanasius did not write this creed and it is improperly named after him, the name persists because until the seventeenth century it was commonly ascribed to him. It begins:
Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith. Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith:
That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, NEITHER BLENDING THEIR PERSONS nor dividing their essence. For the person of the Father IS A DISTINCT PERSON, the person of the Son IS ANOTHER, and that of the Holy Spirit STILL ANOTHER. But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has. The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable, the Son is immeasurable, the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal.
And yet there are not three eternal beings; there is but one eternal being. So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings; there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.
Similarly, the Father is almighty, the Son is almighty, the Holy Spirit is almighty. Yet there are not three almighty beings; there is but one almighty being.
Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three gods; there is but one God. Thus the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord. Yet there are not three lords; there is but one Lord.
Just as Christian truth compels us to confess EACH PERSON INDIVIDUALLY as both God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone. The Son was neither made nor created; he was begotten from the Father alone. The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten; he proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers; there is one Son, not three sons; there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits. Nothing in this trinity is before or after, nothing is greater or smaller; in their entirety the three persons are coeternal and coequal WITH EACH OTHER.
So in everything, as was said earlier, we must worship their trinity in their unity and their unity in their trinity. Anyone then who desires to be saved should think thus about the trinity.
But it is necessary for eternal salvation that one also believe in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and human, equally. He is God from the essence of the Father, begotten before time; and he is human from the essence of his mother, born in time; completely God, completely human, with a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as regards divinity, less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human, yet Christ is not two, but one. He is one, however, not by his divinity being turned into flesh, but by God's taking humanity to himself. He is one, certainly not by the blending of his essence, but by the unity of his person. For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh, so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation; he descended to hell; he arose from the dead; he ascended to heaven; he is seated at the Father's right hand; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily and give an accounting of their own deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith: one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
Nicene Creed (381 A.D.)
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Chalcedonian Creed (451 A.D.)
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
In light of the preceding evidence, we challenge Naik to produce one creed where it states that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three Persons, yet not three Persons but one Person. The preceding statements tell us that Naik either does not know what Trinitarians actually believe and if so, then he needs to study what we actually believe instead of attacking a straw man. Worse yet, Naik does know what we believe but chooses to deliberately misrepresent our beliefs. If so, then his entire credibility as a student of both the Holy Bible and the Quran is suspect.
It will not do for Naik to claim that he was simply addressing what someone told him in a private discourse. The personal beliefs of specific individuals are not a sufficient basis to make blanket statements in a public forum, especially when the audience can be misled into thinking that this is what historic Christianity actually teaches.
In fact, in one of his online articles, Naik claims that this is found in the Christian Catechism:
- The Catechism of the Church
- According to the Catechism of the Christian Church, "The Father is a person, the Son is a person, and the Holy Ghost is a person; but they are not three persons but one person." Person, person, person but not 3 persons but 1 person! What language is this? 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 and not 1. 1 x 3 = 3 and not 1. What makes a person different than the other person? It is his personality.
- If we have three identical triplets and one of them commits murder, should we hang the other two? The answer is No, because he is a different person having a different personality.
- When the Christians speak about the Father in Heaven they have a certain mental picture in mind, of an elderly man some what like Santa Claus sitting on one of the planets with the earth as his foot stool. When they speak about the son, they have a certain mental picture in their mind. A tall handsome man, who has a beard and long hair; somewhat like Jeffery Hunter who did the role of Jesus (pbuh) in the film King of Kings. When they speak about the Holy Ghost they have a certain mental picture in mind like that of a dove that came upon Jesus (pbuh) when he was baptised or like a spirit at the feast of Pentecost. If we ask the Christians "How many mental pictures do you have when you speak about Trinity?" they say "We have only one picture". They lie when they say this, for 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 and not 1.
(Source: Naik's "Dawah Training Programme": Most Common Questions asked on concept of god in Christianity?)
We challenge Naik to produce one official Christian Catechism that says what he claims. He needs to give us the name, the date and the page number of this so-called Christian Catechism so we can personally verify the accuracy of his claim. We are pretty certain he will be unable to produce the documentation since it doesn't exist. Such deceptive information, especially when it is forged, is shameful to say the least.
Naik claimed that the Greek text of John 1:1 called God with whom the Word was ho theos which means THE God whereas the Word is simply called ton theos, implying that the Word was just "a god" not the Almighty God. Naik also boldly asserted that Greek Scholars agree with his interpretation of the Greek text of John 1:1, and went so far as to accuse the translators of deception for translating the text as "the Word was God" as opposed to "a god."
In fact, in the very same article mentioned above, Naik writes:
- HOTHEOS THE GOD; TONTHEOS A GOD.
The New testament is written in Greek. The first time God occurs in the quotation is "Hotheos" which literally means "the God" i.e. "And the Word was with God". But the second time when the word "God" appears in the quotation, the Greek word used is "Tontheos", which means "a god" i.e. "and the word was with god." In Hebrew there is nothing like Capital G and small g like in the English language. Thus Hotheos is the God with capital G and Tontheos is a god with small g.(Source)
Apart from the fact that John wasn't written in Hebrew, Naik again exposes his ignorance of the langauges of the Holy Bible since the problem with Naik's assertion is that the phrase ho theos does not appear in the Greek text of John. Naik is also wrong when he says that the Word is called ton theos since the proper Greek construct is ton theon. This demonstrates that Naik hasn't even consulted any scholarly Greek sources since ton theos is grammatically wrong Greek. Furthermore, ton theon is used of the Father. Here is the actual transliteration of the Greek text of John 1:1 with the English translation found right beneath:
En arche en ho Logos:
In the beginning was the Word
kai ho Logos en pros ton theon:
and the Word was with/towards the God
kai Theos en ho Logos:
and God was the Word.
If we were to use Naik's logic we would be forced to conclude that the Father with whom the Word was is "a god" but not the true God since he is called ton theon.
[Note: Naik mindlessly copied this nonsense from Deedat's anti-christian polemics, see these two articles (*, *). The fact that this error did not originate with Naik hardly counts as an excuse. It is his responsibility to check whether arguments are true before he teaches others to use them.]
When one properly exegetes the text of John 1:1 we discover that John's intent was to highlight the nature of the Word. John wasn't teaching that the Word was only semi-divine, but that the Word eternally existed in the very nature and essence of God who then became flesh for our salvation.
This point is highlighted by John's use of the Greek verb en "was". En is the imperfect tense form of the Greek verb, eimi. The word en implies continuous existence or past action. Just how continuous depends on the context itself.
In the case of John 1:1, en is used to denote the Word's continuous past existence before the very beginning of creation. For the Word to precede the beginning of all things, which includes time, implies that the Word is timeless having no beginning or ending. This makes the Word eternal and shows that the Word eternally existed with God the Father. This also means that the Word eternally existed as God, or existed in the nature of God from eternity. There was no point in time in which the Word wasn't in existence.
This is precisely what Trinitarians believe, that the eternal Word of God existed alongside the Father, being distinct from him in person but equal to him in nature.
Further evidence for the absolute deity of the Word comes from John 1:3-4,10:
"Through him ALL THINGS were made; without him NOTHING WAS MADE that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. ... He was in the world, AND THOUGH THE WORLD WAS MADE THROUGH HIM, the world did not recognize him."
According to John, the Word was not a creature but the Eternal Creator. For John to affirm that the Word was the Creator of all things implies that the Word is Yahweh, since the Old Testament teaches that it was Yahweh alone who created all things and that no other god exists alongside Yahweh:
"You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other… Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other." Deuteronomy 4:35, 39
"See ye, now, that I -- I [am] He, And there is no god WITH ME: I put to death, and I keep alive; I have smitten, and I heal; And there is not from My hand a deliverer," Deuteronomy 32:39 Young's Literal Translation
"He ALONE stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south." Job 9:8-9
"This is what the LORD says - your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself," Isaiah 44:24
"I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me," Isaiah 45:5
For Yahweh to be the sole Creator God, and for the Word to have created all things, means that the Word is the Creator God Yahweh. Add to this fact that from eternity the Word existed alongside another Person called God, and yet the Holy Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God, implies that this one God is a multi-personal being. Hence, Naik's claim that the Word is simply "a god" and not THE God is shown to be exegetically shallow to say the least.
Finally, here is a list of Greek scholars that clearly prove that Naik's comments on the meaning of the Greek text of John 1:1 are completely way off the mark.
In regards to John's usage of the Greek verb en and its implications in relation to the eternal nature of the Word, Author Dr. James R. White states:
"The tense of the verb expresses continuous action in the past… as far back as you wish to push 'the beginning,' the Word is already there. The Word does not come into existence at the 'beginning,' but is already in existence when the 'beginning' takes place. If we take the beginning of John 1:1, the Word is already there. If we push it back further (if one can even do so!), say, a year, the Word is already there. A thousand years, the Word is there. A billion years, the Word is there. What is John's point? The Word is eternal. The Word has always existed. The Word is not a creation. The New English Bible puts it quite nicely: 'When all things began, the Word already was.'" (White, The Forgotten Trinity - Recovering the Heart of Christian Belief [Minneapolis, MN; Bethany House Publishers, 1998], pp. 50-51)
Frederick Louis Godet indicates:
The imperfect en, was, must designate, according to the ordinary meaning of the tense, the simultaneousness of the act indicated by the verb with some other act. This simultaneousness is here that of the existence of the Word with the fact designated by the word beginning. 'When everything which has begun began, the Word was.' Alone then, it did not begin; the Word was already. Now that which did not begin with things, that is to say, with time, the form of the development of things, belongs to the eternal order… The idea of this first proposition is, therefore, that of the eternity of the Logos. (Godet, Commentary on the Gospel of John [Grand Rapids; Zondervan, n.d.], vol. 1, pp. 244-245; emphasis ours)
Murray J. Harris concurs:
In itself John 1:1a speaks only of the pretemporality or supratemporality of the Logos, but in his conjunction of... en (not egeneto) John implies the eternal preexistence of the Word. He who existed 'in the beginning' before creation was himself without a beginning and therefore uncreated. There was no time when he did not exist. John is hinting that all speculation about the origin of the Logos is pointless. (Harris, Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House 1992], p. 54; emphasis ours)
Robert M. Bowman Jr. elaborates:
Had John wanted to say that the Word was the first creation of God, or even simply say that the Word existed before the rest of creation, there are a number of ways he could have said so clearly and without any possibility of misunderstanding. He could have written, 'from the beginning,' using the word apo instead of en, as he did repeatedly in his writings in the expression ap' arches (John 8:44; 15:27; 1 John 1:1; 2:7, 13,14, 24; 3:8, 11; 2 John 5,6). This would trace his existence back to the beginning without telling us anything about his existence 'before' the beginning (if such existence were possible). Or, he could have written, 'In the beginning the Word came into existence,' substituting for the word en the word egeneto, which occurs repeatedly in the Prologue (John 1:3,6,10,14,17). This would have settled the debate forever in favor of the JW interpretation of the text, since it would be an explicit affirmation of the creation of the preincarnate Jesus. Yet John wrote neither of these things. Instead, he wrote what most naturally would be (and as a matter of historical record has been) interpreted as a declaration of the eternality of the Word. 'In the beginning the Word was'; the verb was is the imperfect past tense verb en, here unquestionably used of durative, continuing existence. To continue existing at the beginning of the time is to be eternal by definition. (Bowman, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ & The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1995], p. 23; emphasis ours)
Modern Greek scholar Randolph Yeager concludes:
Thus the Word existed before the beginning, since He has always existed. With Him there is no beginning. He is eternal and everlasting… It is impossible to avoid the force of John's grammar. (Yeager, The Renaissance New Testament [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1973], vol. 4, p. 2)
For John to say that the Word was (en) God, meant that Jesus as the Word eternally existed as God. Scholars who agree that the noun theos is qualitative and refers to the nature of the Word, implying that Jesus is God in an absolute and eternal sense include:
F. F. Bruce:
The structure of the third clause in verse 1, theos en ho logos, demands the translation "The Word was God." Since logos has the article preceding it, it is marked out as the subject. The fact that theos is the first word after the conjunction kai (and) shows that the main emphasis of the clause lies on it. Had theos as well as logos been preceded by the article the meaning would have been that the Word was completely identical with God, which is impossible if the Word was also "with God." What is meant is that the Word shared the nature and being of God, or (to use a piece of modern jargon) was an extension of the personality of God. The NEB paraphrase "What God was, the Word Was," brings out the meaning of the clause as successfully as a paraphrase can. (Bruce, The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1983], p.31; emphasis ours)
Those people who emphasize that the true rendering of the last clause of John 1.1 "the word was a god" prove nothing thereby save their ignorance of Greek grammar. (Bruce, The Books and the Parchments [Old Tappan, NJ; Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963], pp. 60-61 note)
According to Bruce, Naik's claim that the "Word was a god" only demonstrates Zakir's ignorance of the Greek language.
A. T. Robertson:
And the Word was God (kai theos en ho logos). By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying ho theos en ho logos. That would mean that all of God was expressed in ho logos and the terms would be interchangeable, each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (ho logos) and the predicate without it (theos) just as in John 4:24 pneuma ho theos can only mean "God is spirit," not "spirit is God." So in 1 John 4:16 ho theos agape estin can only mean "God is love," not "love is God" as a so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say... So in John 1:14 ho logos sarx egeneto, "the Word became flesh," not "the flesh became Word." Luther argues that here John disposes of Arianism also because the Logos was eternally God, fellowship of the Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each necessary to the other). Thus in the Trinity we see personal fellowship on an equality. (Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament [Grand Rapids; Baker Book House, 1932], vol. 5, p.p. 4-5; emphasis ours)
And the Word was as to His essence absolute deity. (The New Testament: An Expanded Translation [Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 1956]; emphasis ours)
Naik also falsely claimed that Genesis 3:16 states that pregnancy and labor pains are a sign of the curse that fell upon Eve. He further claimed that Genesis 3 blames the woman for the Fall.
First off, even though Eve is held responsible for eating from the forbidden tree it is Adam who is held mainly accountable for the Fall:
"To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it," Cursed is the ground BECAUSE OF YOU; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.'" Genesis 3:17-19
"Like Adam, they have broken the covenant - they were unfaithful to me there." Hosea 6:7
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through ONE MAN, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned - for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time OF ADAM to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, AS DID ADAM, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of THE ONE MAN, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of THE ONE MAN'S SIN: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of THE ONE MAN, death reigned through THAT ONE MAN, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of THE ONE MAN the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:12-19
"For since death came through A MAN, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in ADAM all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
The reason why the man is held mainly responsible for the Fall is that whereas Adam knowingly broke God's command by eating from the tree, the Holy Bible states that Eve was deceived into eating:
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden"?' The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die."' 'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'" Genesis 3:1-5
That the serpent went to Eve and questioned her whether God had really given the command not to eat from the forbidden tree implies that God never directly commanded the woman not to eat from the forbidden fruit. Had God directly told Eve then she would have realized that the serpent was lying to her from the very start. This means that it was Adam who told Eve not to eat from the forbidden fruit. The serpent deceived Eve into doubting whether God had actually forbidden them from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil since the woman never directly heard God command her not to eat from it. This is perhaps the reason that Paul could say that Eve was deceived, while Adam was not:
"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:3
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner." 1 Timothy 2:12-14
Second, childbearing is clearly viewed as a gift from God. This means that pregnancy did not result from the curse upon Eve, but rather the gift of bearing children would now include labor pains due to the woman's disobedience:
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and FEMALE he created THEM. God blessed THEM and said to THEM, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.' Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food.' And it was so." Genesis 1:26-30
Even before the Fall, wee see God commanding man to reproduce after their own kind refuting Naik's false claim.
"Sons are a HERITAGE from the LORD, children a REWARD from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5
"Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. YOUR WIFE WILL BE LIKE A FRUITFUL VINE WITHIN YOUR HOUSE; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD." Psalm 128:1-4
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28
"But women will be saved THROUGH CHILDBEARING - if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." 1 Timothy 2:15
These passages also affirm that both man and woman are created in the divine image, and therefore are essentially equal before God. Genesis 1-3 clearly establishes that both man and woman were given authority to rule over God's creation, with man being assigned positional headship in the relationship. In fact, it is the woman who is said to be the mother of all the living:
"Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living." Genesis 3:20
We challenge Naik to show us a single verse in the Quran where Allah states that Eve is the mother of all the living. We also challenge him to show us in either the Quran or in the Islamic traditions Allah creating man and woman in his own image. In case, Naik tries to claim that Islam does not allow for the belief that man was made in the image of Allah, we only need to remind him of the following Hadith:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Allah created Adam in HIS IMAGE, sixty cubits (about 30 metres) in height. When He created him, He said (to him), 'Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring.' Adam (went and) said, 'As-Salamu alaikum (Peace be upon you).' They replied, 'As-Salamu 'Alaika wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Allah's Mercy be on you).' So they increased 'wa Rahmatullah' The Prophet added, 'So whoever will enter Paradise, will be of the shape and picture of Adam. Since then the creation of Adam's (offspring) (i.e. stature of human beings) is being diminished continuously up to the present time." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 74, Number 246 as translated in Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Quran In the English Language - A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari, Summarized in One Volume By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, pp. 142-143, f. 1 pocket size edition)
Third, men are commanded to view their wives as their own bodies, caring for them as Christ cared enough for the Church to die for her. Husbands must be also willing to do likewise:
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:25-33
In fact, Paul demands that husbands view their bodies as not belonging to themselves but to their wives and vice-versa, and must not deny the others' needs:
"Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
The Quran, however, claims that women are a man's possession and a tilth that they can enter into anyway they see fit:
Your wives are AS A TILTH UNTO YOU; SO APPROACH YOUR TILTH WHEN OR HOW YE WILL; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe. S. 2:223
Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things THEY COVET: WOMEN and sons; Heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the POSSESSIONS of this world's life; but with Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). S. 3:14
Unfortunately, Dr. Naik tried to cover up the shame of these Quranic passages by twisting both their context and actual meaning. During the Question & Answer session in one of his debates hosted by the Bombay Press titled Press Debate - Is Religious Fundamentalism A Stumbling Block To The Freedom Of Expression, Naik was asked if the Quran classifies women as possessions. His comment on S. 3:14 was:
"Which man is not proud of a good wife? The Quran says women, including wife and daughters, and son. Which father is not proud of his son? Which husband should not be proud of his wife? And which wife should not be proud of her husband if he is good? So where is Quran talking as though they are properties?"
The underlined portion should make it clear to everyone Naik's desperate attempt of trying to resolve the Quranic difficulty that women are mere possessions that men can enjoy. In order for Naik's argument to work, he must first produce a Quranic verse stating that men are also in the same category of wives, sons, wealth and horses that a woman can enjoy. Since no such verse exists Naik has failed to resolve the problem. In fact, when we read Ibn Kathir's commentary on this verse, the problem worsens:
Allah mentions the delights that He put in this life for people, such as women and children, and He started with women, because the test with them IS MORE TEMPTING. For instance, the Sahih recorded that the Messenger said,
<I did not leave behind me a test more tempting THAN WOMEN.>
When one enjoys women for the purpose of having children and preserving his chastity, then he is encouraged getting married, such as,
<Verily, the best members of this Ummah are those who have THE MOST WIVES> He also said,
<This life is a delight, and the best of its delight IS A RIGHTEOUS WIFE>
The Prophet said in another Hadith,
<I WAS MADE TO LIKE WOMEN AND PERFUME And the comfort of my is the prayer.>
'Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "Nothing was more beloved to the Messenger of Allah THAN WOMEN, except horses," and in another narration, "…than horses EXCEPT WOMEN."
(Tafsir Ibn Kathir-Abridged Volume 2, parts 3, 4, & 5, Surat Al-Baqarah, Verse 253, to Surat An-Nisa, Verse 147, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, March 2000], p. 124)
We would like Naik to produce for us a single statement where Allah or Muhammad state that women have also been given men and horses as pleasures for this life. We would also like Naik to find a verse stating that men are also a test for women.
Further proof that Islam views women as possessions for pleasure comes from Muhammad himself:
"The woman IS A TOY, whoever takes her let him care for her (or do not lose her)." (Ahmad Zaky Tuffaha, Al-Mar'ah wal- Islam [Dar al-Kitab al-Lubnani, Beirut, first edition, 1985], p. 180)
Umar Ibn al-Khattab once told his wife:
"You are a toy, if you are needed we will call you." (Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn 'Abd Allah Ibn Mousa Al-Kanadi, Al-Musanaf, Vol. 1 pt. 2, p. 263- see also Al-Ghazali, Ihy'a 'Uloum ed-Din, Vol. II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah [Dar al-Kotob al-'Elmeyah, Beirut], p. 52)
The Caliph 'Amru Bin al-'Aas said:
"Women are toys, so choose." (Kanz-el-'Ummal, Vol. 21, Hadith No. 919)
(Note: The following citations taken and adapted from M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton's The Place of Women in Pure Islam, web edition)
To try and justify the claim of S. 2:223 that women are a tilth, Naik stated that one must read this passage in conjunction with the preceding verse. There, it mentions that men should not come near their wives while they are menstruating. How does this justify women being a tilth is beyond us. Naik also stated:
"Quran is saying don't approach in the time of the menstrual period, otherwise you have to be good to them whenever you like to approach them, whenever they like they can approach you. So what's the harm in that?"
The harm is that Naik cannot produce a single Quranic verse substantiating the claim for his underlined statement. Whereas the Quran does grant men permission to approach their wives whenever they like, there is not a single verse where it says that women can also approach their husbands whenever they like. Naik simply attempted to pull a fast one over the audience. Notice the reason Ibn Kathir gives for the "revelation" of S. 2:223 :
<Your wives are a tilth for you.> 'tilth' is the vagina. <So go to your tilth, when or how you will.> Have sex with your wives in any manner as long as it is in the vagina, as it is confirmed in the Ahadith. Al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Jabir that the Jews use to say: 'If we have sex with our wives from behind (but in the vagina), their offspring are born squint-eyed.' Then, the verse <Your wives are a tilth for you. So go to your tilth, when or how you will> was revealed. This Hadith was also narrated by Muslim and Abu Dawud.
"Quoting Jabir, Ibn Abu Hatim said: The Jews said to the Muslims: 'If one has sexual intercourse with his wife from behind she will deliver a squint-eyed child'. However, their statement is refuted when Allah revealed: <Your wives are tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will.> Ibn Jarih said concerning this Hadith that the Prophet said: 'From the front or from the back as long as it is in the vagina.' There are also several Ahadith on how to have sex with one's wife as long as it is from the vagina. However, is forbidden to have sex with one's wife in the anus." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir-Part 2 Sura Al-Baqarah, ayat 142-252, Abridged By Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rifa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London 1998], pp. 190-191)
Jews used to say: "If one has sexual intercourse with his wife from the back, then she will deliver a squint-eyed child." So this Verse was revealed:--
"Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will." (2.223) (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 51)
We therefore see that S. 2:223 was revealed to silence the Jewish claim that having sex with one's wife from behind produces squint-eyed children. Accordingly, S. 2:223 has nothing to do with the verse preceding it as Naik erroneously claimed.
Even though Ibn Kathir claims that anal sex is forbidden, some Muslims tried to justify such a practice:
"Quoting his father, from his grand father, Amru Ibn Shu'aib narrated that the Prophet said: 'Having sex with one's wife in the anus is minor sodomy.' On the authority of Ali Ibn Talq, Imam Ahmad narrated: 'The Prophet has forbidden sexual intercourse with one's wife in the anus, for Allah is not ashamed of the truth.' Quoting Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said: 'Allah will not look at whoever has sex with his wife in the anus.' Also, it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: 'Cursed is he who has sex with his wife in the anus.' Any Ahadith which allow such act are considered incorrect and they were all examined by our Sheikh al-Hafidh Abu Abdullah adh-Dhahabi in a volume which he compiled, and proved weak and false.
"It was narrated on the authority of IBN UMAR, Malik, ash-Shafi'i and at-Tahawi THAT IT IS LAWFUL but it is untrue. An-Nasr as-Sabbagh said: Ar-Rabi' used to swear by Allah that Ibn Abdul Hakam had lied, when he had made allegations against ash-Shafi'i concerning the lawfulness of having sex with one's wife in the anus. On the contrary, ash-Shafi'i mentioned the unlawfulness of having sex with one's wife in the anus in six of his books, and Allah knows best. Also, Ibn Umar forbade it. On the authority of Sa'id Ibn Yasar abu al-Habbab, ad-Darami narrated: 'I said to Ibn Umar: "What do you think of having sex with one's wife in the anus?" Ibn Umar said: "Does anyone of the Muslims do that?"' This is a good Isnad, and explicitly reveals the unlawfulness of such act, and anything attributed to him is rejected on the ground of the above Hadith.
"Ma'mar Ibn 'Isa narrated that Malik considered having sex with one's wife in the anus is unlawful. Quoting Israel Ibn Rawh, Abu Bakr Ibn Zayyad an-Nisaburi narrated: 'I asked Malik Ibn Anas's opinion on having sex with one's wife from the back, he said: "You are but Arabs, and can sowing be in a place other than that which has been ploughed? Do not go beyond the vagina." I said: "People claim that you say that?" He said: "It is a lie, it is a lie."' Thus, this is what has been attributed to them, and it involved Abu Hanifa, ash-Shafi'i, Ahmed Ibn Hanbal and their companions, followers and other scholars from the Salaf. They entirely denied the allegation and some of them even believed that having sex with one's wife in the anus is Kufr." (Ibid., pp. 191-192; bold emphasis ours)
Ibn Kathir acknowledges that Muslims were circulating hadiths permitting anal sex, even appealing to the authority of Ibn Umar as evidence.
Furthermore, can Naik produce a single verse where men are likened to property that women can approach? Does it not offend him that the Quran could even liken women to tilth, classifying them as objects as opposed to equal partners with men?
Fourth, the Bible mentions women who were used by God as prophets and leaders such as Miriam (Exodus 15:20; Micah 6:4), Deborah (Judges 4-5), Anna (Luke 2:36), the four daughters of Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:9), and a number of others (Cf. Judges 4:4; Isaiah 8:3). Not only does the Quran never mention prophetesses, it does not mention a single woman by name with the sole exception of Mary, the Lord's mother.
Finally, it is the Quran that degrades women and claims that they are inferior to men, since God made man superior:
"Women have such honorable rights as obligations, but their men have a degree above them." S. 2:228
"Men are superior to women on account of the qualities which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them: but if they are obedient to you then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great!" S. 4:34 Rodwell
Ibn Kathir on 4:34 states:
In this verse Allah says that the man is the leader over the woman and is the one who disciplines her if she does wrong. <Because Allah has made one of them excel the other.>, this is because men are better than women, and man is better than woman. Therefore, prophethood and kingship were confined to men, as the Prophet said: 'A people that choose woman as their leader will not succeed.' This hadith was narrated by Al-Bukhari. Added to that positions such as judiciary, etc.... <And because they spend from their means.> Here, Allah refers to the dowry and expenses, which Allah has prescribed in the Qur'an and Sunnah; and given a man is better than a woman, it is appropriate that he be her protector and maintainer, as Allah says: <But men have a degree over them.> (2:228). (Tafsir Ibn Kathir-Part 5, Surah An-Nisa', ayat 24-147, p. 50; bold italic emphasis ours)
And Ibn Kathir on 2:228:
<But men have a degree over them.>, that is, men have a degree over women as far as virtue, behavior, status, obeying orders, expenditure, fulfilling duties, and grace in both worldly life and the Hereafter... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, part 2, p. 204)
In fact, the Quran encourages men to deny disobedient wives sex as a form of punishment, and beat them if they persist in disobedience:
"… But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and SCOURGE THEM: but if they are obedient to you then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great!" S. 4:34 Rodwell
The embarrassment of this passage has led Muslim scholars to redefine scourging as a light tap which leaves no mark. An example of such a view is Ibn Kathir:
<And beat them.> if they do not abstain from their disobedience through both advise and desertion. However, the beating should be Dharbun ghayru mubrah, i.e. light, according to the hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Jabir, who had quoted the Prophet as saying in his farewell pilgrimage: "And fear Allah in women, for they are your aides, and their duties towards you is that your beds should not be shared with someone you dislike. Therefore, if they disobey you, beat them lightly, and your duty towards them is that you should maintain and buy them clothes in a reasonable manner."
Scholars said: Dharbun ghayru mubrahun means: The husband should beat his wife lightly, in way which does not result in breaking one of her limbs or affecting her badly. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, part 5, p. 53; bold italic emphasis ours)
Notice that even in Ibn Kathir's translation of S. 4:34 the command to beat one's wife sticks out clearly. Furthermore, there is absolutely no justification in beating women even if that beating is mild. This is simply inhumane to say the least.
The reason this is inhumane is not just over the issue of whether the beating is light or heavy. The issue relates to the fact that the right of the man to beat his wife is a clear violation of her dignity as an equal partner. Parents may at times have beat their children as part of disciplining them, because they are in authority above them, while children have the duty to obey. Their position is not one of equality. Beating is an expression of not only higher physical strength, but of position, and beating violates the status and dignity of women, putting them on the level of children [or even animals] in comparison to their "owner".
Traditions that document the abuse of Muslim women include:
"…the above verse (i.e., 4:34) was revealed in connection with a woman who complained to Mohammad that her husband slapped her on the face (which was still marked by the slap). At first the Prophet said to her: 'Get even with him,' but then added: 'Wait until I think about it.' Later on the above verse was revealed, after which the Prophet said: 'We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best.'" (Ar-Razi, At-tafsir al-Kabir on Q. 4:34)
Ibn Kathir reports:
On the authority of Ali, Ibn Mardawih narrated: "A man from al-Ansar came with a woman to the Prophet, then the woman said: 'O Allah's Messenger! Her husband who was known as so and so from al-Ansar had hit her and that had affected her face.' The Prophet replied: 'He should not have done that.' Then, the verse,
, as far as discipline is concerned, was revealed. Therefore, the Prophet said: 'You wanted something and Allah wanted something else.'" (Ibid., pp. 50-51; italic emphasis ours)
In Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Number 715 we find another woman who was beaten severely enough that a green bruise was found on her body.
Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by the beating.) It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing woman. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent, and is useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa'a." Allah's Apostle said to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa'a unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that Abdur-Rahman said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "you claim what you claim (i.e., that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow."
We notice two things from this Hadith. First, Aisha attests that Muslim women were suffering more than any other women. Second, Muhammad never once corrected Abdur-Rahman for beating his wife so hard as to leave a bruise on her body but focuses instead on his wife's allegations and motives.
In Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 7, Number 132 we are told that Muhammad said:
"None of you should flog his wife as he flogs his slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day."
In other words, it is all right to flog women, only not as hard as slaves, or on the day a person decides to have intercourse with them. This exposes Islam's harsh treatment of both women and slaves.
Another place where Allah condoned domestic violence is in S. 38:41-44:
Commemorate Our Servant Job. Behold he cried to his Lord: 'The Satan has afflicted me with distress and suffering!' 'Strike with thy foot: here is (water) wherein to wash, cool and refreshing, and (water) to drink.' And We gave him (back) his people, and doubled their number,- as a Grace from Us, and a thing for commemoration, for all who have Understanding. 'And take in thy hand a little grass, AND STRIKE THEREWITH: and break not (thy oath).' Truly We found him full of patience and constancy. How excellent is the servant! Ever did he turn (to Us)!
Ibn Kathir comments:
<And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath.> Ayyub, peace be upon him, got angry with his wife and was upset about something she had done, so he swore an oath that if Allah healed him, he would strike her with one hundred blows. When Allah healed him. How could her service, mercy, compassion and kindness be repaid with a beating? So Allah showed him a way out, which was to take a bundle of thin grass, with one hundred stems, and hit her with it once. Thus he fulfilled his oath and avoided breaking his vow. This was turned to Him in repentance… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Abridged Volume 8 Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan, September 2000, p. 339; bold emphasis ours)
Muhammad Asad concurs:
"… In the words of the Bible (The Book of Job ii, 9), at the time of his seemingly hopeless suffering Job's wife reproached her husband for persevering in his faith: 'Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die.' According to the classical Qur'an-commentators, Job swore that, if God would restore him to health, he would punish her blasphemy with a hundred stripes. But when he did recover, he bitterly regretted his hasty oath, for he realized that his wife's 'blasphemy' had been an outcome of her love and pity for him; and thereupon he was told in a revelation that he could fulfill his vow in a symbolic manner by striking her once with 'a bunch of grass containing a hundred blades or more'. (Cf. 5:89- 'God will not take you to task for oaths which you may have uttered without thought.') (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited, 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar, rpt. 1993], p. 700, f. 41)
It is amazing to discover that Allah would actually assist Job in fulfilling his oath to beat his wife, even if this beating was done in a less severe manner than originally intended. Yet, this very same Allah permitted Muhammad to break an oath that the latter had made to his wife Hafsah by promising to never sleep with Mary the Copt:
O Prophet! Why holdest thou to be forbidden that which Allah has made lawful to thee, thou seekest to please thy consorts? But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah has already ordained for you, THE ABSOLUTION OF YOUR OATHS: and Allah is your Protector, and He is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom. S. 66:1-2
Al-Baidâwi in his Commentary, Volume II, pp. 340-341, comments on this passage:
"It is related that Mohammed was alone in company with Mary in Ayshah's or Hafsah's turn. Hafsah became aware of that and therefore scolded him about it. He declared he had taken an oath, but admitted his unlawful behaviour, therefore these verses descended." (see Mizanu'l Haqq, p. 330)
Muhammad had a habit of visiting each of his wives on different days. The day that Muhammad had intercourse with Mary was the day he was to have been with Hafsah. The Mishkat has Zainab in place of Hafsah. (Mishkat II, pp. 680-681)
The Rauzatu'r Safâ, Volume II, p. 188, states:
"Mary (the Copt) was a Christian slave given to Mohammed 7 A.H. (628 A.D.) by the Governor of Egypt, Elmokaukas. Her sister, Shereena was also given at the same time. Mohammed became intimate with Mary and she bore him Ibrahim, who died in 10 A.H. The intimacy took place in the home and bed of his wife Hafsah (daughter of Umar) who was absent at that moment and on the day which was either her or Ayshah's turn. When Hafsah found this out and questioned him he promised (on oath) not to touch Mary again if she would keep this a secret, and promised that Umar and Abu-Bakr should be his successors. Hafsah, however, told Ayshah about this event, and for a full month Mohammed had no dealings with any of his wives, living with Mary alone." During that period this "revelation" was given. (Der Koran, translated by Ludwig Ullman, footnote 2 of Sura 66:1-2, p. 456)
Another source claims:
As she waited for them to come out, her jealousy broke all bounds. When, finally, Mariyah left the quarters and Hafsah entered, she said to the Prophet: "I have seen who was here. By God, that was an insult to me. You would not have dared to do that if I amounted to anything at all in your eyes." At the moment Muhammad realized that such deep-lying jealousy might even move Hafsah to broadcast what she had seen among the other wives. In an attempt to please her, Muhammad promised that he would not go unto Mariyah if she would only refrain from broadcasting what she had seen. (Muhammad H. Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, p. 436) (see this related article)
Furthermore, Asad cites S. 5:89 where Allah claims that he will not hold a person accountable for oaths made without thought. If this is the case then why didn't Allah simply excuse Job for making a hasty oath as opposed to permitting him to hit his wife even if he only hit her once? If Allah could excuse Muhammad for making a hasty oath then Allah could have also excused Job, especially when the latter's oath had to do with wife beating.
All these factors demonstrate that whereas there is a positional subjection on the part of women in the structure of the Church, this in no way assumes that they are inferior. In fact, they are given an honor lacking in any other religion, especially that of Islam.
Naik went so far to claim that the Quran is superior to the Holy Bible because the Quran does not blame Eve for the Fall. Naik also attempted to show that whereas the Quran mentions that Adam and Eve were punished for their disobedience yet, unlike the Holy Bible, the Quran states that they both repented and were forgiven.
First, as we already alluded earlier the Quran doesn't even mention Eve by name. Nor does it tell us who actually ate of the forbidden fruit first. Hence, Naik's argument actually backfires against him since this only shows that the Quran is unclear and vague, leaving out important details. This clearly demonstrates that the Holy Bible is far more coherent and vastly superior since where the Quran is silent the Holy Bible is explicit. Due to the vagueness within the Quran, Muslims were forced to consult the Biblical story in order to make sense out of the Quranic account. They realized that the Quran was unclear and vague. Muslim scholars themselves admit this to be the case. Mahmoud M. Ayoub comments on S. 2:30-38:
The story of Adam (30-38) is told in earlier surahs belonging to the later Meccan period. His creation, the obeisance of the angels to him, his dwelling in the garden and subsequent expulsion are all told in some detail. These verses may be seen as a commentary on an already well-known story, because they raise new issues and because they are placed before other and more explicit verses. These nine verses have raised many questions and controversies: Why did God tell the angels of His plan to establish a representative for Himself on the earth? How did the angels know that Adam's progeny would act wickedly? How could they question the will and wisdom of God? How was this vicegerent of God created and why did he soon disobey God's command against eating the forbidden fruit? What sort of fruit did the forbidden tree bear? Who was Satan and how was he able to enter the garden in order to lead the innocent Adam and his spouse astray? Adam's stay in Paradise, the creation of a mate for him, and their sin and expulsion are but briefly mentioned in the Qur'an. The Qur'an leaves many other questions UNANSWERED. It does not, for example, MENTION EVE BY NAME, or the manner in which she was created. For the answers to these and other questions, commentators HAD TO RESORT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK… (Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters - Volume 1 [State University of New York Press, Albany 1984], p. 73; bold and capital emphasis ours)
When one actually does consult the Muslim authorities in relation to the story of Adam and Eve, we find them largely agreeing with the Biblical account:
(35) Tabari preserves a wealth of tafsir tradition going back to the earliest authorities on this science. He relates on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn Mas'ud, and others of the Prophet's Companions that "Adam was lonely in Paradise, having no mate to keep him company. He went to sleep and when he awoke he found a woman beside him whom God created from his rib. He addressed her, saying, 'Who are you?' 'I am a woman,' she replied. 'Why were you created?' Adam asked. 'So that you may have companionship,' she said (Tabari, I, p. 513). There are traditions going back to the early authorities of tafsir such as Ibn 'Abbas asserting that God created Eve from Adam's rib, which he took from his left side. This information they claimed to have transmitted from the People of the Book, and more specifically the Jews. They differed, however, as to whether she was created before or after Adam was made to dwell in Paradise. Tabari also relates, concerning the name of Adam's spouse, "The angels, wishing to test Adam's knowledge, asked, 'What is her name, O Adam?' He answered, 'It is Hawa' [Eve]. They said, 'Why did you call her Hawa?' and he answered, 'Because she was created of a living thing'" (Tabari, I, p. 518). (Ayoub, p. 82; bold emphasis ours)
Notice, however, the marked difference between the origin of Eve's name with that of the Holy Bible. Here, she is named Eve because she is created of a living thing (Adam putting himself above her, he is the source, she is only the recipient or result, deriving her life from his), whereas in the Holy Bible her name is due to her being the mother of all the living. Clearly, the degree of honor given to Eve in the Holy Bible is vastly superior to that shown by Islam.
The devaluation suffered by women under Islam compared to their dignity and honor in the Biblical account can not only be observed regarding the meaning of Eve's personal name, but becomes even more explicit in the striking difference how the word "woman" is introduced, when she is discovered and then addressed by Adam at her first appearance.
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:18-24
Several observations are important here. By the statement of conclusion that "for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh", the divine principle is clearly established, that the relationship of a man to his wife has to take priority even over his relationship to his parents. In Islam, both in theory and practice, a man's duty and respect towards his mother is way above that to his wife, and the cause of much suffering of young wives under their mothers in law.
Second, the immediate reaction of the man when meeting the woman the first time is one of joy at the recognition of her similarity and suitability as a true companion. The fact that that he spontaneously shares his own name with her (the Hebrew word for "man" is ish, and he is then calling her isha) is an expression that he recognizes her true equality in companionship.
What a striking difference to Tabari's account above, where we read:
He addressed her, saying, 'Who are you?' ... 'Why were you created?'
He himself does not see that equality, he doesn't recognize her, or what on earth she is good for, but it is she who has to inform him what kind of being she is and that her purpose is for companionship. It seems that to this day, many Muslim men still have trouble understanding that.
Now, regarding the Fall, Ayoub continues:
… Commentators found great scope for their imagination in the story of Adam's fall. In this as in many other Biblical stories Jewish converts as Wahb ibn Munabbih and their descendants provided the main impetus and framework for such hagiographical tales. Thus Tabari relates on the authority of Ibn Munabbih that the forbidden tree had many branches intertwined with one another. It bore fruit which the angels ate in order that they might live forever. Iblis, who was prevented by the angels guarding Paradise from entering it, hid himself in the mouth of the serpent, which was then a large beast with four legs. He took the fruit of the forbidden tree to Eve and said, "Look at this tree, how fragrant is its odor, delicious its fruit, and beautiful its color!" THUS SHE ATE AND GAVE ADAM TO EAT. "Then they ate from it, and their shame appeared to them" (Q. 20:121). Adam then went into the hollow of a tree to hide from God, who called out to him, "Adam where are you?" He answered, "Here I am, my Lord." God called out, "Will you not come out?" "I am ashamed before You, O my Lord," replied Adam. Then God said, "Cursed be the earth of which you are made. Its fruit shall turn into thorns." Then He said, "O Eve, IT WAS YOU WHO DECEIVED MY SERVANT; YOU SHALL THEREFORE NOT BEAR A CHILD EXCEPT WITH PAIN, AND WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO DELIVER THAT WHICH IS IN YOUR WOMB, YOU SHALL COME NEAR TO DEATH EACH TIME." To the serpent he said, "You are the one in whose mouth the accursed one entered in order to deceive my servants. Cursed are you, so that your legs shall disappear into your stomach and your food SHALL BE NOTHING BUT DUST. You shall be enemy to the children of Adam and you shall bite his heel, but wherever he finds you, he shall crush your head" (Tabari, I, pp. 525-526).
… According to another tradition which Tabari relates on the authority of 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Zayd, "Satan whispered to Eve concerning the tree until he brought her to it. Then he made her appear beautiful in the eyes of Adam, who called her to him. She answered, 'No, not until you come here.' When he came, she said, 'No, not until you eat of this tree.' God then cursed Eve, saying, 'I SHALL MAKE HER BLEED EVERY MONTH, as she made this tree bleed. I SHALL MAKE HER FOOLISH, whereas I created her wise. I SHALL MAKE HER BEAR CHILDREN WITH HARDSHIP, whereas I created her bearing children with ease and delivering with ease'" (Tabari, I, p. 529)…
(Ayoub, pp. 83-84; bold and capital emphasis ours)
In light of the preceding citations, we find that the early Muslims were in complete agreement with the general details of the Genesis account of the Fall. This implies that either Naik is being deceptive, since he is aware of these traditions and chooses to withhold this information from his audience. Or Naik does not know Islam well enough and does not have sufficient knowledge of other religions. If this is the case, then Naik needs to refrain from giving public lectures on Islam and comparative religions since he badly misinforms his listeners and viewers.
Second, if Allah forgave Adam and Eve for eating from the forbidden fruit then why did Allah not grant them entrance into Paradise? According to the Quran, Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise due to their disobedience:
"O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, lest you become of the unjust." Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, in order to reveal to them their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: "Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever." And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser. So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame parts became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?" They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost." (Allah) said: "Get ye down. With enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood,- for a time." He said: "Therein shall ye live, and therein shall ye die; but from it shall ye be taken out (at last)." O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition! O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the Satans friends (only) to those without faith. S. 7:19-27
If they had been forgiven they should have been restored to Paradise from which they came. That they were not allowed back into Paradise again demonstrates the weakness in Naik's arguments.
Finally, even though both the Holy Bible and the Qur'an record the judgment that fell upon Adam and Eve, it is only the Holy Bible that also records God's promise to redeem his fallen creation due to his great love for man:
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; HE WILL CRUSH YOUR HEAD, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15
God promises that the seed of the woman will crush the serpent's head, i.e. destroy Satan completely. This promise of salvation was fulfilled when God sent forth his Son born of a woman to destroy the power of Satan, which is sin and death:
"But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, BORN OF A WOMAN, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." Galatians 4:4-7
"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:14-15
"He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work." 1 John 3:8
At his Second Coming, Christ will destroy Satan by tossing the Devil into the eternal fire:
"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." Romans 16:20
"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog - to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:7-10
Hence, whereas Allah in the Quran only claims to give Adam and Eve guidance to the straight path, the God of the Holy Bible gives the first couple an assurance of Satan's complete destruction and a promise of their own redemption as well as the redemption of mankind.
Naik mockingly attacked the doctrine of original sin stating that it is illogical to believe that mankind suffers the consequence of the sin committed by Adam and Eve. Naik must not have read the Quran or the Islamic traditions carefully, since if he had he would have realized that Islam does allude to the concept of original sin:
So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame parts became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?"… "O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!" S. 7:22, 26
According to this passage, Allah gave mankind clothing to cover their shame. Yet, it wasn't until Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit that the couple discovered that they were naked and became ashamed, leading them to cover themselves. Therefore, the shame of nakedness that mankind feels is a direct result of the sin of Adam and Eve.
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira and Hudhaifa that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, would gather people. The believers would stand till the Paradise would be brought near them. They would come to Adam and say: O our father, open for us the Paradise. He would say: What turned you out from the Paradise WAS THE SIN OF YOUR FATHER ADAM. I am not in a position to do that; ... (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0380)
Adam cannot help believers since his sin expelled them from Paradise!
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. 'O Adam! You are our father WHO DISAPPONITED US AND TURNED US OUT OF PARADISE.' Then Adam said to him, 'O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?' So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 611)
Moses blames Adam for mankind's expulsion from Paradise, with Adam putting the blame on Allah's decree.
The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said, "...a part of its blood because he was the first to establish the tradition of murdering." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 423)
Here, Cain gets the part of the blame for every murder that is committed.
The following hadiths state that Allah has already predetermined the fate of all humans even before their birth, irrespective of whether they have done good or bad. This is because Allah has already predetermined the good or bad a person will do in his lifetime:
'Abdullah b. Mas'ud reported: Evil one is he WHO IS EVIL IN THE WOMB OF HIS MOTHER and the good one is he who takes lesson from the (fate of) others. The narrator came to a person from amongst the Companion of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) who was called Hudhaifa b. Usaid Ghifari and said: How can a person be an evil one without (committing an evil) deed? Thereupon the person said to him: You are surprised at this, whereas I have heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saving: When forty nights pass after the semen gets into the womb, Allah sends the angel and gives him the shape. Then he creates his sense of hearing, sense of sight, his skin, his flesh, his bones, and then says: My Lord, would he be male or female? And your Lord decides as He desires and the angel then puts down that also and then says: My Lord, what about his age? And your Lord decides as He likes it and the angel puts it down. Then he says: My Lord, what about his livelihood? And then the Lord decides as He likes and the angel writes it down, and then the angel gets out with his scroll of destiny in his hand and nothing is added to it and nothing is subtracted from it. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6393)
Abu al-Aswad reported that 'Imran b Husain asked him: What is your view, what the people do today in the world, and strive for, is it something decreed for them or preordained for them or will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teaching which they did not act upon? I said: Of course, IT IS SOMETHING WHICH IS PREDETERMINED FOR THEM AND PREORDAINED FOR THEM. He (further) said: Then, would it not be an injustice (to punish them)? I felt greatly disturbed because of that, and said: Everything is created by Allah and lies in His Power. He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be questioned; thereupon he said to me: May Allah have mercy upon you, I did not mean to ask you but for testing your intelligence. Two men of the tribe of Muzaina came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, what is your opinion that the people do in the world and strive for, is something decreed for them; something preordained for them and will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teachings which they did not act upon, and thus they became deserving of punishment? Thereupon, he said: Of course, it happens AS IT IS DECREED BY DESTINY AND PREORDAINED FOR THEM, and this view is confirmed by this verse of the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious: "Consider the soul and Him Who made it perfect, then breathed into it ITS SIN and its piety" (xci. 8). ( Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6406)
'A'isha, the mother of the believers, said that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was called to lead the funeral prayer of a child of the Ansar. I said: Allah's Messenger, there is happiness for this child who is a bird from the birds of Paradise for it committed no sin nor has he reached the age when one can commit sin. He said: 'A'isha, per adventure, IT MAY BE OTHERWISE, because God created for Paradise those who are fit for it WHILE THEY WERE YET IN THEIR FATHER'S LOINS and created for Hell those who are to go to Hell. He created them for Hell WHILE THEY WERE YET IN THEIR FATHER'S LOINS. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6436)
This Hadith claims that Allah created people for hell while still in the loins of their father. The reason why Allah can condemn people from their father's loins is given in the Quran and Hadith:
"When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): 'Am I not your Lord (Who cherishes and sustains you)?- They said: 'Yea! We do testify!' (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: 'Of this we were never mindful'." S. 7:172
The Prophet said, "Allah will say to that person of the (Hell) Fire who will receive the least punishment, 'If you had everything on the earth, would you give it as a ransom to free yourself (i.e. save yourself from this Fire)?' He will say, 'Yes.' Then Allah will say, 'WHILE YOU WERE IN THE BACKBONE OF ADAM, I asked you much less than this, i.e. not to worship others besides Me, but you insisted on worshipping others besides me.' ( Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 551)
Anas b. Malik reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and High, would say to one who shall have to undergo the least torture (on the Day of Resurrection): Would you like to go as ransom if you had all worldly riches; he would say: Yes. Allah would say to him: WHEN YOU WERE IN THE LOINS OF ADAM, I demanded from you something easier than this that you should not associate anything with Me. (The narrator says): I think He also said: I would not cause you to enter Hell-Fire but you defied and attributed Divinity (to others besides Me). (Sahih Muslim, Book 039, Number 6733).
The Quran and the Hadith have Allah blaming individuals for breaking an oath they had made while still in the backbone of Adam, even before they were even born! Perhaps Naik can explain to us the justice behind condemning individuals for an oath made even before their birth, seeing that they would have no conscious recollection of such a promise.
Ibn Kathir comments:
Commenting on this Ayah (7:172), At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,…
<When Allah created Adam, He wiped Adam's back and every person that He will create from him until the Day of Resurrection fell out from his back. Allah placed a glimmering light between the eyes of each one of them. Allah showed them to Adam and Adam asked, 'O Lord! Who are they?' Allah said, 'These are your offspring.' Adam saw a man from among them whose light he liked. He asked, 'O Lord! Who is this man?' Allah said, 'This is a man from the latter generations of your offspring. His name is Dawud.' Adam said, 'O Lord! How many years would he live? Allah said, 'Sixty years.' Adam said, 'O Lord! I have forfeited forty years from my life for him.' When Adam's life came to an end, the angel of death came to him (to take his soul). Adam said, 'I still have forty years from life term, don't I?' He said, 'Have you not given it to your son Dawud?' So Adam denied that and HIS OFFSPRING FOLLOWED SUIT (denying Allah's covenant), Adam forgot and HIS OFFSPRING FORGOT, Adam made a mistake and HIS OFFPRING MADE MISTAKES.>
At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih, and it was reported from various chains of narration through Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet. Al-Hakim also recorded it in his Mustadrak, and said; Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim, and they did not record it."
These and similar Hadiths testify that Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, brought forth Adam's offspring from his loins and separated between the inhabitants of Paradise and those of the Fire… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Abridged Volume 4, Surat Al-A'raf to the end of Surah Yunus, pp. 201-203; bold and capital emphasis ours)
If this does not sound like original sin then we don't know what does!
Naik proceeded to misinform the audience on the use of anthropomorphism for God. Naik claimed that descriptions of God resting or repenting are an unbefitting manner to describe God. Seemingly, Naik was implying that the Quran is free from such language. Such a claim is far from being honest to the text of the Quran. Notice the following anthropomorphic descriptions of Allah found in the Quran:
The Quran Gives Allah A Face
"Every one upon it will disappear while your Lord's face will remain full of majesty and splendor." S. 55:26-27 (T. B. Irving - The First American Version of the Quran).
The Quran Gives Allah A Hand
"The ones who swear allegiance to you merely swear allegiance to God. God's hand rests above their hands…" S. 48:10
The Quran Gives Allah An Eye
Allah said: "Granted is thy prayer, O Moses! And indeed We conferred a favour on thee another time [before]. Behold! We sent to thy mother, by inspiration, the message: 'Throw [the child] into the chest, and throw [the chest] into the river: The river will cast him up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to Me and an enemy to him: But I endued thee with love from Me: And [this] in order that thou mayest be reared under Mine eye.'" S. 20:36-39 - King Fahd Holy Quran
The Quran Seats Allah On The Throne
"He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days; then He mounted the throne." S. 57:4 - M. M. Pickthall English Translation
The Quran Attributes Forgetfulness And Repentance To Allah:
"Then Adam received commandments from his Lord, and his Lord relented towards him; for He is Oft-Repenting (Huwat Tawwaab), Most Merciful." S. 2:37
"And remember Moses said to his people: 'O my people! ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf; so turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.' Then He relented towards you: for He is Oft-Repenting (Huwat Tawwaab), Most Merciful." S. 2:54
"Such as took their religion To be more amusement And play, and were deceived By the life of the world." That day shall We forget them As they forgot the meeting Of this day of theirs, And as they were wont To reject Our Signs. S. 7:51
"The Hypocrites, men and women, are alike: they enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and tighten their purse's strings. They have forgotten Allah: so He hath forgotten them. Verily the Hypocrites are rebellious and perverse." S. 9:67
Perhaps Dr. Naik can tell us how it is that he could have overlooked such passages seeing that he claims to be a student of Islam and comparative religions?
The final misquotation we present is taken from Dr. Naik's debate with Dr. William Campbell, The Quran & the Bible & Science. When confronted by the fact that the Quran does not mention evaporation as the source of rain clouds, Naik claimed:
"He (Campbell) said there is not a single verse in the Quran which speaks about evaporation. Quran says in Surah Tariq, Chapter 86, verse number 11, 'that by the capacity of the heavens to return.' And almost all the commentaries of the Quran, they say that this verse of Surah Tariq, Chapter 86, verse number 11 refers to the capacity of the heavens to return back rain, meaning evaporation."
Naik equivocates on the meaning of terms. He assumes that the statement of the heavens returning rain somehow implies evaporation just because some Muslim commentators believed this. But as we shall see this is not the case.
Here is Ibn Kathir's commentary of this specific passage:
Ibn 'Abbas said, "Ar-raj' means rain." It has also been narrated from him that he said, "It means that the clouds contain rain." He also said,
<By the sky (having rain clouds), which gives rain, again and again.> "This means that it rains and then it rains (again)." Qatadah said, "It returns the sustenance of the servants (creatures) EVERY YEAR. Were it not for this, they would al be destroyed and so would their cattle." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Abridged Volume 10, Surat At-Tagabun to the end of the Qur'an, pp. 441-442; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Both Ibn Abbas and Qatadah understood this verse to be referring to the rains that are continually poured forth upon the earth, with Qatadah understanding this to refer to the replenishment of the land. It never dawned on them that the phrase "by the capacity of the heavens to return" implied evaporation, i.e. that rain returned to the seas and oceans from which it was taken. In fact, when one reads the following verse, the only explanation that makes sense in light of the context is that which Qatadah proposes:
"And by the Earth which opens out (for the gushing of springs or the sprouting of vegetation),-" S. 86:12
Ibn Kathir states:
<And the earth which splits.> Ibn 'Abbas said, "Splitting to bring forth plant growths." This was also said by Sa'id bin Jubayr, 'Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hassan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others… (Ibid., p. 442; bold emphasis ours)
Hence, S. 86:11-12 refers to the fact that clouds constantly pour forth rain in order to continually replenish the land with vegetation for the sustenance of both man and animals. It has nothing to do with evaporation as the source of rain clouds.
In light of the preceding statements we discover that Naik commits the fallacy of non-sequitur. His statement on returning rain does not lead to the conclusion he seeks to make. Just because the majority of commentators believed that S. 86:11 referred to rain does not lead to the conclusion that they also believed that this necessarily involved evaporation. Their understanding of this passage is completely different from the one proposed by Naik.
Yusuf Ali understood the passage to be referring to the motion of the clouds:
"By the Firmament which returns (in its round),"He states in his footnote:
"… The Firmament above is always the same, and yet it performs its diurnal round, smoothly and punctually. So does God's Revelation show forth truth, which like a circle is ever true to its centre - it is ever the same, it revolves through the changing circumstances of our present life." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an - Translation & Commentary, p. 1720, f. 6074)
Other translations read:
"By the Firmament which giveth the returning rain," Y. Ali, Saudi Corrected Version
By the sky (having rain clouds) which gives rain, again and again.
"I swear by the raingiving heavens," Shakir
"By the sky with its cycle," T.B. Irving
"By the rotating heavens" Sarwar
"By the heaven with its recurring cycles" N.J. Dawood
I swear by the heaven which accomplisheth its cycle," J.M Rodwell
Therefore, Naik's claim that this passage refers to evaporation is seen to be an innovation. Naik imposes his prior assumption that science and the Quran are in fact compatible into his reading of the text, as opposed to allowing the text to define itself.
After examining some of the many errors made by Dr. Naik, one thing clearly sticks out. Most of Naik's statements are nothing more than material he has taken from the likes of Ahmad Deedat, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Dr. Gary Miller, Yusuf Buckas etc. combining it together without critically examining the accuracy of these sources. Naik assumes that his sources are reliable, failing to realize that the errors promoted by such men have already been documented and addressed. Naik needs to be more careful in presenting material that is both mistaken and which has already been refuted elsewhere.
In conclusion, we would like to say that if this is the best Naik has to present then Islam is in very bad shape.
In the service of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. We love you forever.
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