The Quran’s Geographical Errors Pt. 2

This is a continuation from the previous segment (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/13/the-qurans-geographical-errors-pt-1/).

8. The Valley of Towa

Question 8: We read in Sura Ta Ha 20:12: “I am thy Lord; put off thy shoes; thou art in the holy valley, Towa.”

Muslim scholars agree unanimously that the valley where God first appeared to Moses is Towa. But the Bible teaches us that, when Moses was grazing the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, he drove the sheep out of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. And he beheld the bush burning with fire without being consumed. Then the Lord called to him, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground” (Exodus 3:1-5). So this happened to Moses in Horeb, the mountain ofGod. Where did the Qur’an find the name “Towa”, when in fact Horeb was a well-known mountain on the Sinai Peninsula?

9. Olives on Mount Sinai

Question 9: We read in Sura al-Mu’minun 23:19,20: “Then We produced for you therewith gardens of palms and vines wherein are many fruits for you, and of them you eat, and a tree issuing from the Mount of Sinai that bears oil and seasoning for all to eat.”

Commentators said that the tree refers to olives, and the seasoning refers to the food eaten with the bread (al-Tabari, Jami’ al-Bayan 18:13).

We ask: Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to refer to Canaan, which is known for olives, and notSinai, where God had to provide manna for the Israelites, owing to the barrenness of the land? In other words, the Sinai Desert is not known for its olives.

10. The Sun Runs to a Resting Place

Question 10: We read in Sura Ya Sin 36:38: “And the sun – it runs to a fixed resting-place; that is the ordaining of the All- mighty, the All-knowing.”

Al-Baidawi said:

“The sun – it runs to a fixed resting-place” refers to a certain limit at which its cycle comes to an end. It is compared to the resting place of a traveller after his journey, or to the centre of the sky where it moves slower, so that one thinks it has come to a halt. [The poet says, ”The sun is gone astray and revolves in the sky.’1lt can also mean a settled and certain course, or an appointed end for each day from the east to the west. For it has a cycle of three hundred and sixty sunrises and sunsets; it rises every morning from arising place and sets in a setting place, only to retum to them the following year. This could also be a reference to the destruction of the world when it ceases to rotate. Another reading is: “with no resting-place to it”; namely, it does not rest, but moves all the time.

We ask: How can the Qur’an say that the sun runs, or that it has a resting place to which it is bound to go? The sun is a stationary star that does not move anywhere. Rather, it is the earth that revolves around the sun.

As for the claim that a variant reading of the Qur’an points to the sun running and not stopping, this only proves that the Qur’an has widely different interpretations which change the meaning. Thus the commentator himself contests the alleged soundness and accuracy of the Qur’an.

11. The Moon Is Like a Palm Frond

Question 11: We read in Sura Ya Sin 36:39,40: “And the moon – We determined it by stations, till it runs like an aged palm bough. It behoves not the sun to overtake the moon, neither does the night outstrip the day, each swimming in the sky.”

Al-Baidawi said:

“And the moon – we determined” means its course is determined by stations. These stations are [twentyseven]. They are as follows: Saratan [‘Cancer’], Batin [‘the Ventricle’], Thurayya [‘the Pleiades’], al-Dabaran, al-Mihqama, aI-Hata’a, Dhira’ [‘the Arm’], al-Natra, Tara’ [‘the End’], Jaiha [‘the Countenance’], Zabra [‘the Lion’s Shoulder’], Sarfa [‘the Lion’s Heart’], ‘Uwa’ [‘the Lion’s Thigh’], al-Samalik, al-Zayana, Iklil [‘the Wreath’], Qalb [‘the Heart’], Shauka [‘the Thorn’], al-Ta’a’im, Balda [‘the Town’], Sa’d al-Dhabih [‘Said of the Sacrifices’], Sa’d Bala’, Sa’d al-Su’ud, Sa’d al-Ahbiya, Fargh al-Dilw al-Muqaddam [‘the advanced Aquarius’], Fargh al-Dilw al-Mu’akhkhar [‘the delayed Aquarius’], and Risha [‘the Whale’s Belly’]. Every night the moon rests at a station, neverexceeding it, and never late to it. When it is at its last station, which precedes the meeting, it tapers and tums into a crescent, “till it runs like an aged palm-bough” or an old palm frond, or a year-old palm frond. “It behoves not the sun” means it does not fit the sun “to overtake the moon” in speed. “Neither does the night outstrip the day” means it does not run before it and leave it lagging behind.

“Each” refers to the suns and the moons. “Swimming in a sky” means they glide easily in it.

12. Mount Qaf Encompasses All the Earth

Question 12: We read in Sura Qaf 50:1: “Qaf by the glorious Qur’an.”

In Ara’is al-Majalis (pp. 7, 8) Tha’labi says, “God, highly exalted, created a great mountain of a green chrysolite, to which the sky owes its greenness. It is called Mount Qaf, and it encompasses all the earth. It is by this mountain that God swore when He said, ‘Qaf by the glorious Qur’an.”’ In a book entitled Qisas al-Anbiya (p. 5) it is written that “(Abdallah Ibn Salam inquired of Muhammad, saying, ‘What is the highest peak in the world?’ Muhammad said, ‘It is Mount Qaf.’ He asked, ‘And what is it?’ Muhammad said, ‘It is of green chrysolite, to which the sky owes its greenness.’ He said, ‘You have spoken the truth, Messenger of God. And what is the height of Mount Qaf?’ Muhammad answered, ‘It is a journey of five hundred years!’ He asked him further, ‘How long does it take a man to cover its circumference?’ He answered, ‘It is a joumey of two thousand years.’ ”

This story of Mount Qaf owes its origin to the Jewish book, Hagiga. In chapter 11, section 1 of this book, the author tries to explain the rarely used Hebrew word tohu [“emptiness or formlessness”], which occurs in Genesis 1:2. The said book reads: “Tohu is the green line encompassing the entire world, from which darkness issues.” The Hebrew word translated as “line” in this book is qav. On hearing the word, the Companions did not know it meant a line, but fancied it to be a majestic mountain chain called Qaf! (There is no letter v in Arabic.)

Now if the Qur’an was revealed by God, as Muslims claim, how could it allege that the horizon, which is an imaginary line, is a mountain?

The Quran’s Geographical Errors Pt. 1

The following is taken from ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi’s monumental work, Is the Qur’an Infallible?, Part One: Geographical Questions, pp. 15-32, published by Light of Life, P.O. Box 13, A-9503, Villach, Austria.

1. The Sun Sets in a Spring

Question 1: We read in Sura al-Kahf 18:83-86: “They will question thee concerning Dhu al-Qarnain. Say: ‘I will recite to you a mention of him.’ We established him in the land, and We gave him away to every thing; and he followed away until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and he found nearby a people.’

Al-Baidawi in his commentary Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta’wil says the following with regard to these verses:

The Jews asked Muhammad about Dhu al-Qamain (Alexander the Great), and he said to them that God established him in the land so that he could reach the place where the sun sets. He found that it set in a muddy spring, and all around the spring were idolatrous people! He also walked to the place where the sun rises and discovered that people lived there who went about naked, with no homes to shelter them from the sun. After that he walked to a site that lies to the north, between the place where the sun rises and sets, which he found to be between two mountains. He poured on these two mountains a mixture of iron and molten brass, thereby setting up an impassable barrier which only God can reach on the Day of Resurrection.

Al-Baidawi added that “Ibn ‘Abbas heard Mu’awiya read ‘aynin hamiya [‘hot spring’l, so he told him it was hami’a [‘muddy’]. Therefore, Mu’awiya sent to Ka’b al-Ahbar, asking, ‘Where do you think the sun sets?’ He said to him, ‘In water and mud.'”

We ask: As the sun is many times larger than the earth, how then could Dhu al-Qamain see it set in a spring filled with water and mud, surrounded by people?

2. The Earth Is Stationary 

Question 2: We read the following in the Qur’an:

“He created the heavens without pillars you can see, and He cast on the earth firm mountains, lest it shake with you” (Sura Luqman 31:10).

“It is He who.stretched out the earth and set therein firm mountains” (Sura al-Ra’d 13:3).

“And the earth – We stretched it forth, and cast on it firm mountains, and We caused to grow therein every thing justly weighed” (Sura al-Hijr 15:19).

“And He cast on the earth firm mountains lest it shake with you, and rivers and ways; so haply you will be guided” (Sura al-Nahl 16:15).

“And We set in the earth firm mountains lest it should shake with them” (Sura al-Anbiya’ 21:31).

Al-Baidawi explains the verse in Sura al-Ra’d as follows: “‘Stretched out the earth’ means it was flattened in width and length so that feet may be steady on and animals may roll on it.” He explained these verses in his commentary on Sura al-Nahl 16:15 as follows:

“And He cast on the earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you,” or lest it should tum aside and be thrown out of balance. For before the mountains were created on it, the earth had been a light-weight sphere of simple substance. It floated about freely in orbit like the planets, and would advance with the slightest movement. Its sides varied in dimension when the mountains were created on its surface, and they centred it, thus serving as wedges to keep it from moving. It was also said that, when God created the earth it started to sway and swing, so that the angels said, “None can have a resting place on its surface.” So it was made stationary by the mountains.

We ask: How could the earth be stretched out, flattened and motionless? How can anyone say that the mountains keep the earth from moving when it is evident that it rotates on its axis once every 24 hours, causing the cycle of day and night? It also revolves around the sun once a year, effecting the changing of the seasons.

3. Stars Are for Stoning the Satans

Question 3: We read in Sura al-Mulk 67:5:

“And We adorned the lower heaven with lamps, and made them things to stone Satans; and We have prepared for them the chastisement of the Blaze.”

Al-Baidawi explained this verse, saying:

“And We adorned the lower heaven” means the nearer heavens. “With lamps” refers to the luminous stars that light the night as lamps. This does not contradict the fact that some stars are stationed in higher heavens, for the adorning of the lower heaven means they are made manifest in it. “And made them things to stone Satans” means they were made for another reason, which is the stoning of enemies. Rujum [“things to stone”] is the plural of rajam, which is anything used for stoning that has flames issuing from it. Another opinion says, “We made them mediums of clairvoyance and augury [which is another definition of the root verb rajama] for the Satans among men, who are the soothsayers.”

We read in Sura al-Saffat 37:6-10: “We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars and to preserve against every rebel Satan; they listen not to the High Council. For they are pelted from every side, rejected, and theirs is an everlasting chastisement, except such as snatches a fragment, and he is pursued by a piercing flame.”

We read in Sura al-Hijr 15:16-18: “We have set in heaven constellations and decked them out fair to the beholders, and guarded them from every accursed Satan excepting such as listens by stealth – and he is pursued by a manifest flame.”

Al-Baidawi explains this verse as follows: ” ‘And guarded them from every accursed Satan’ means that one cannot go up to heaven, tempt its inhabitants, be aware of its location, or subdue it. ‘Excepting such as listen by stealth’ refers to every demon. ‘Listening by stealth’ means overhearing or eavesdropping. It is compared to snatching a fragment from the dwellers of heaven owing to the similarity of their substance, or by deduction from the positions and movements of the stars.”

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that:

They [the fallen angels] had not been kept away from the heavens. But when Jesus was born they were kept away for three years, and when Muhammad was born they were all kept away from them by means of the flames [meteors]. This is not to be rejected owing to the fact that the meteors had been formed before the angels’ birth, for it is possible that they were created for other purposes. Another opinion is that the exception is withheld, meaning that anyone who listens by stealth will be pursued by a flame visible to those able to see. Shihab [“flame”] is a blazing brand of fire. It can also refer to a star [meteor] or a flaming dart, owing to the brilliance of either.

We ask: How are we to imagine an angel the size of a man holding the stars like pieces of rock with which to pelt Satan, keeping him from listening to the voices of the inhabitants of heaven? Have these heavenly bodies been created to serve as ammunition or war material for the stoning of Satan? It is a matter of fact that every star is like an enormous galaxy, and therefore the universe contains millions of enormous galaxies floating at huge distances in limitless space. Also, how can the angels throw the stars without plunging the universe into utter chaos, since by their actions they would upset its equilibrium?

4. Seven Heavens and Seven Earths

Question 4: We read the following verses in the Qur’an:

“It is God who created seven heavens, and of earth their like” (Sura al-Talaq 65:12).

“It is He who created for you all that is in the earth, then he lifted himself to heaven and levelled them seven heavens; and he has knowledge of everything” (Sura al-Baqara 2:29).

“So he determined them seven heavens in two days, and revealed its commandment in every heaven. And We adorned the lower heaven with lamps, and to preserve; that is the ordaining of the All-mighty, the All-knowing” (Sura Fussilat 41:12).

“We set up the heaven as a roof well-protected; yet still from Our signs they are turning away” (Sura al-Anbiya) 21:32).

“Hast thou not seen how that God… holds back heaven lest it fall upon the earth, save by His leave? Surely God is AII-gentle to men, All-compassionate” (Sura al-Hajj 22:65).

“What, have they not beheld heaven above them, how we have built it, and decked it out fair, and it has no cracks?” (Sura Qaf 50:6).

A1-Baidawi said the “roof well-preserved” in Sura al-Anbiya’ 21 is kept from falling by the command of God. He also explained the “cracks” in Sura Qaf 50 as ruptures, and said that God created the heavens smooth and closely fitting, one on top of the other. It clearly follows from al-Baidawi’s exegesis that God created heaven as a vast, smooth roof above us, with six other heavens as roofs, one on top of the other. He also created our earth together with six other earths like it. The sum total of heavens and earths is thus fourteen.

We ask: How could it be that the IimiUess space above us is a smooth roof capable of caving in, or that there are seven roofs of this kind? How could it be that the millions of stars floating in IimiUess space are lamps fixed in an imaginary roof? How can the claim be justified that there are seven earths like our earth, which is unique among millions of planets, moons and suns?

5. The Postponed Month Is Unbelief

Question 5: We read in Sura al-Tawba 9:36,37: “The number of the months, with God, is twelve in the Book of God, the day that He created the heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred. That is the right religion. So wrong not one another during them. And fight the unbelievers totally even as they fight you totally; and know that God is with the god-fearing. The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another, to agree with the number that God has hallowed, and so profane what God has hallowed. Decked out fair to them are their evil deeds; and God guides not the people of the unbelievers.”

The question is: Is this really unbelief? Scientists determine dates by the solar calendar, which is different from the lunar calendar by roughly one month, so how can a natural astronomical calculation be considered unbelief?

6. Egypt Is Irrigated by Rain

Question 6: We read in Sura Yusuf 12:49: “Then thereafter there shall come a year wherein the people will be succoured [yughathu] and press in season.”

Here a reference is made to the drought that Egypt suffered for seven continual years during the time of Joseph, and to the surplus that would replace this barrenness. It says that in the year of plenty they will have rain [the word succoured in Arabic means ‘to be relieved by rain1; as if Egypt’s fertility is based on rain. This contradicts reality, for rain is very scarce in Egypt, and it plays no role in that country’s irrigation, which is obtained solely from the annual flooding of the Nile. How then can the fertility of Egypt be attributed to rain?

7. Thunder Is an Angel

Question 7: We read in Sura al-Ra’d 13:13: “The thunder proclaims His praise, and the angels, in awe of Him. He looses the thunderbolts, and smites with them whosoever He will; yet they dispute about God, who is mighty in power.”

Al-Baidawi said, “Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet was asked about the thunder. He answered, ‘It is an angel entrusted with the clouds. He has entwined shreds of fire with which he drives the clouds and the angels, in awe of God.’ Another opinion says that the pronoun him refers to the thunder itself.”

Al-Tirmidhi brought out, quoting Ibn ‘Abbas, that “the Jews came to Muhammad and said, ‘Tell us about the thunder. What is it?’ He said, ‘One of the angels who is entrusted with the clouds. He has entwined shreds of fire with which he drives the clouds wherever God wills.’ They asked, ‘What is this sound, then, which is heard?’ He said, ‘It is his rebuke to the clouds, that they should stop where they have been commanded.’ They said, ‘You have spoken the truth!'”

We ask: Why does the Qur’an say that thunder is an angel, when primitive peoples regarded it as a god? In reality it is the electricity generated by the collision of positively and negatively charged ions in the clouds.

There’s more from al-Fadi in the next installment (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/13/the-qurans-geographical-errors-pt-2/).

The Manifold Contradictions of the Quran

The Quran challenges unbelievers to find many contradictions within it in order to disprove its alleged divine origin:

Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradictions. S. 4:82 Hilali-Khan

I have therefore chosen to do just that, namely, provide a list of just some of the many egregious mistakes of the Quran. The following is taken from ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi’s monumental book, Is the Qur’an Infallible?, Part Nine: Lexical Questions, pp. 301-309, published by Light of Life, P.O. Box 13, A-9503, Villach, Austria.

3. Contradictory Accounts

Question 201: We read in Sura al-Nisal 4:82: “What, do they not ponder the Quran? If it had been from other than God surely they would have found in it much inconsistency.”

The problem is, we find much contradiction within the Quran’s pages. Consider the following:

Do the Words of Change?

No Change: “There is no changing the word of God” (Sura Yunis 10:64); “No man can change His words” (Sura al-Kahf 18:27); “It is We who have sent down the Remembrance, and We watch over it” (Sura al-Hijr 15:9).

Change: “And when We exchange a verse in place of another verse – and God knows very well what He is sending down – they say, ‘Thou art a mere forger!’ Nay, but the most of them have no knowledge” (Sura al-NahI16:101); “And for whatever verse We abrogate or cast into oblivion, We bring a better or the like of it; knowest thou not that God is powerful over everything?” (Sura al-Baqara 2:106); “God blots out, and He establishes whatsoever He will; and with Him is the Essence of the Book” (Sura al-Ra’d 13:39).

How Long Is One Day?

One Thousand Years: “He directs the affair from heaven to earth, then it goes up to Him in one day, whose measure is a thousand years of your counting” (Sura al-Sajda 32:5).

Fifty thousand Years: ”To Him the angels and the Spirit mount up in a day whereof the measure is fifty thousand years” (Sura al-Ma’arij 70:4).

Does God Permit Intercessors?

Intercessors Permitted: “Surely your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then sat Himself upon the Throne, directing the affair. Intercessorthere is none, save after His leave [i.e., except by His permission]. That then is God, your Lord; so serve Him. Will you not remember?” (Sura Yunis 10:3).

Intercessors Not Permitted: “Say: ‘To God belongs intercession altogether. His is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; then unto Him you will be returned'” (Sura al-Zumar 39:44); “God is He that created the heavens and the earth, and what between them is, in six days, then seated Himself upon the Throne. Apart from Him you have no protector neither mediator [i.e., intercessor]; will you not remember?” (Sura al-Sajda 32:4).

How Many Muslims in Paradise?

Few Muslims: “A throng of the ancients and how few of the later folk” (Sura al-Waqi’a 56:13,14).

Many Muslims: “A throng of the ancients and a throng of the later folk” (Sura al-Waqi’a 56:39,40).

Who Will Be Saved?

Muslims and Others: “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Sabaeans, and those Christians, whosoever believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness – no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow” (Sura al-Malida 5:69).

Muslims Only: “Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers” (Sura AI Imran 3:85).

Is Pardoning Sanctioned?

Pardon: “Surely the hour is coming; so pardon thou, with a gracious pardoning” (Sura al-Hijr 15:85).

Do not Pardon: “O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them; their refuge is Gehenna – and evil homecoming!” (Sura al-Tawba 9:72).

Is Indecency Permitted?

Forbid It: “And whenever they commit an indecency they say, ‘We found our fathers practising it, and God has commanded us to do it.’ Say: ‘God does not command indecency; what, do you say concerning God such things as you know not?'” (Sura al-A’raf 7:28).

Allow it: “And when We desire to destroy a city, We command its men who live at ease, and they commit ungodliness therein, then the Word is realised against it, and We destroy it utterly” (Sura al-Isra’ 17:16).

Is Hypocrisy Alright?

Prohibit it: “Give thou good tidings to the hypocrites that for them awaits a painful chastisement. Those who take unbelievers for their friends instead of believers – do they seek glory in them? But glory altogether belongs to God” (Sura al-Nisa’ 4:138,139); “The hypocrites, the men and the women, are as one another; they bid to dishonour, and forbid honour; they keep their hands shut; they have forgotten God, and He has forgotten them. The hypocrites -they are the ungodly. God has promised the hypocrites, men and women, and the unbelievers, the fire of Gehenna, therein to dwell forever. That is enough for them; God has cursed them; and there awaits them a lasting chastisement” (Sura al-Tawba 9:67-68); “Hast thou not regarded those who have taken for friends a people against whom God is wrathful? They belong neither to you nor to them; and they swear upon falsehood, and that wittingly. God has made ready for them a chastisement terrible; surely they – evil are the things they have been doing. They have taken their oaths as a covering, and barred from God’s way; so there awaits them a humbling chastisement” (Sura al-Mujadila 58:14-16).

Al-Baidawi said, “They have taken their oaths, which they made known, as covering, that is as your action against [the shedding of] your blood and [the forfeiting of] their possessions.”

Allow It: “The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the Son of’; the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of God.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. God assail them! How they are perverted!” (Sura al-Tawba 9:30); “So the last remnant of the people who did evil was cut off. Praise belongs to God the Lord of all Being” (Sura al-An’am 6:45); “O believers, shall I direct you to a commerce that shall deliver you from a painful chastisement? You shall believe in God and His Messenger, and struggle in the way of God with your possessions and yourselves. That is better for you, did you but know. He will forgive you your sins and admit you into gardens underneath which rivers flow, and to dwelling-places goodly in Gardens of Eden; that is the mighty triumph” (Sura al-Saff 61:10-12); “And struggle for God as is His due, for He has chosen you, and has laid on you no impediment in your religion, being the creed of your father Abraham; He named you Muslims aforetime and in this, that the Messenger might be a witness against you, and that you might be witnesses against mankind (Sura al-Hajj 22:78).

Is Caprice Permissible?

Forbid it: “But as for him who feared the Station of his Lord and forbade the soul its caprice, surely Paradise shall be the refuge” (Sura al-Nazi’at 79:40,41).

Allow it: Muhammad permitted his followers to launch religious raids and have sex with female captives without their being divorced from their husbands. The Qur’an says therefore, “And married women, save what your right hands own” (Sura al-Nisa’ 4:24).

Al-Baidawi said, “‘Save what your right hands own'” of the women that were taken as captives having unbelieving husbands; these are lawful to the captors. And marriage is annulled by captivity, for Abu Sa’id, may God be pleased with him, said, ‘We fell upon some women captives on the Day of Awtas who were married to unbelieving husbands, and we were averse to have sex with them. So we asked the Prophet, and this verse was revealed! We, therefore, took them as lawful together with him.’ By ‘him’ he meant al-Farazdaq, for he said, ‘And a married woman whom we married by our swords… she is lawful to whoever enters upon her being not divorced.'”

Muhammad made his marriage to any woman who desired him, or any woman he desired, categorically and unconditionally permissible. This was in addition to his harem and concubines. For he said, “And any woman believer, if she give herself to the Prophet and if the Prophet desire to take her in marriage, for you exclusively, apart from the believers” (Sura al-Ahzab 33:50). Moreover, Muhammad made sexual relationships with women the future hope in Paradise, for he said, “huris [white youthful maidens], cloistered in pavilions… untouched before them by any man or jinn… reclining upon green cushions and lovely druggets” (Sura al-Rahman 55:72,74,76)

Is Wine Allowed?

Forbid It: “O believers, wine and arrow-shuffling, idols and divining-arrows are an abomination, some of Satan’s work; so avoid it, haply so you will prosper” (Sura al-Ma’ida 5:90).

Allow It: “This is the similitude of paradise which the godfearing have been promised: therein are rivers of water unstaling, rivers of milk unchanging in flavour, and rivers of wine- a delight to the drinkers”(Sura Muhammad 47:15); “They are given to drink of a wine sealed whose seal is musk – so after that let the strivers strive” (Sura al-Mutaffifun 83:25,26).

What to Do with Unbelievers?

(1) Do not strive against them:

Heed not the hurt: “And obey not the unbelievers and the hypocrites; heed not their hurt, but put thy trust in God; God suffices as a guardian” (Sura al-Ahzab 33:48).

No compulsion in religion: “No compulsion is there in religion. Rectitude has become clear from error. So whosoever disbelieves in idols and believes in God, has laid hold of the most firm handle, unbreaking; God is All-hearing, All-knowing” (Sura al-Baqara 2:256).

Extend money to them: “Thou art not responsible for guiding them; but God guides whomsoever He will. And whatever good you expend is for yourselves, for then you are expending, being desirous only of God’s Face; and whatever good you expend shall be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged” (Sura al-Baqara 2:272).

Leave them alone: “And say to those who have been given the Book and to the common folk: ‘Have you surrendered?’ If they have surrendered they are right guided; but if they tum their backs, thine it is only to deliver the Message; and God sees His servants” (Sura Al-Imran 3:19); “Had God willed, they were not idolaters; and We have not appointed thee a watcher over them” (Sura al-An’am 6:107); “And thy Lord had willed, whoever is in the earth would have believed, all of them, all together. Wouldest thou then constrain the people, until they are believers? It is not for any soul to believe save by the leave [i.e., permission] ofGod; and He lays abomination upon those who have no understanding” (Sura Yunis 10:99,100).

Calling them with goodwill: “Call thou to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and good admonition, and dispute with them in the better way. Surely thy Lord knows very well those who have gone astray from His way, and He knows very well those are guided” (Sura al-Nahl 16:125).

(2) Strive against them:

Kill them: “Urge on the believers to fight. If there be twenty of you, patience men, they will overcome two hundred” (Sura al-Anfal 8:65).

Fight for the sake of religion: “Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is God’s” (Sura al-Baqara 2:193).

Exact money from them: “Fight those who believe not in God and the Last Day and [who] do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden – such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled” (Sura al-Tawba 9:29).

Persecute them: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them; until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they tum their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves anyone of them as friend or helper” (Sura al-Nisa’ 4:89); “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds” (Muhammad 47:4); “O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them; their refuge is Gehenna- evil homecoming!” (Sura al-Tawba 9:71).

Call them with the sword: “So do thou fight in the way of God; thou art charged only with thyself. And urge on the believers” (Sura al-Nisa’ 4:84). In line with this verse, Muhammad butchered his opponents; such as Ka’b Ibn al-Ashraf, Abu ‘Afk al-Shaikh, and Abu Rafi ‘Ibn Abi ‘Aqiq. The blood of these men will testify against him until the Day of Judgment!

What Happened to Pharaoh?

He was delivered: “And We brought the Children of Israel over the sea; and Pharaoh and his hosts followed them insolently and impetuously till, when the drowning overtook him, he said, ‘I believe that there is no god but He in whom the Children of Israel believe; I am of those that surrender.’ ‘Now? And before thou didst rebel, being of those that did corruption. So today We shall deliver thee with thy body, that thou mayest be a sign to those after thee'” (Sura Yunis 10:89-92).

He was drowned: “‘And, Pharaoh, I think thou art accursed.’ He desired to startle them from the land; and We drowned him and those with him, all together” (Sura al-Isra) 17:102,103); “Therefore We seized him and his hosts, and cast them into the sea; so behold how was the end of the evildoers!” (Sura al-Qasas 28:40).

Was Earth or Heaven Created First?

Earth was first: “Say, ‘What, do you disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two days, and do you set up compeers to Him? That is the Lord of all Being. And He set therein firm mountains over it, and He blessed it, and He ordained therein its diverse sustenance in four days, equal to those who ask. Then He lifted Himself to heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth, “Come willingly, or unwillingly!” They said, “We come willingly.” So He determined them as seven heavens in two days, and revealed its commandment in every heaven.’ And We adorned the lower heaven with lamps, and to preserve; that is the ordaining of the All-mighty, the All-knowing” (Sura Fussilat 41:9-12).

Heaven Was First: “What, are you stronger in constitution or the heaven He built? He lifted up its vault, and levelled it, and darkened its night, and brought forth its forenoon; and the earth after that he spread it out, therefrom brought forth its waters and its pastures, and the mountains He set firm” (Sura al-Nazi’at 79:27-32).

What Is the Language of the Qur’an Like?

Clear language: “And We know very well that they say, ‘Only a mortal is teaching him.’ The speech of him at whom they hint is barbarous; and this is speech Arabic, manifest’ (Sura al-Nahl 16:103).

Ambiguous language: “It is He who sent down upon thee the Book, wherein are verses clear that are the Essence of the Book, and others ambiguous. As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part, desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only God. And those firmly rooted in knowledge say, ‘We believe in it; all is from our Lord’; yet none remembers, but men possessed of minds” (Sura Al lmran 3:7).

Further Reading

Contradictions in the Qur’an (https://answeringislam.net/Quran/Contra/index.html)

Contradictions in the Qur’an (http://carm.org/contradictions-quran)

 

Another Passage Which Exposes Muhammad’s Fraud: The Samaritan Who Didn’t Exist

Since the Quran challenges unbelievers to find discrepancies and mistakes within it, in order to disprove its divine origin,

Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other Than God, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy. S. 4:82 Y. Ali

I have, therefore, decided to highlight another serious blunder which exposes Muhammad as a fraud and false prophet.

Muhammad erroneously assumed that a Samaritan was responsible for fashioning the golden calf during the time of Moses:

Said He: “Then [know that], verily, in thy absence We have put thy people to a test, and the Samaritan (al-samiriyyu) has led them astray.”… They answered: “We did not break our promise to thee of our own free will, but [this is what happened:] we were loaded with the [sinful] burdens of the [Egyptian] people’s ornaments, and so we threw them [into the fire], and likewise did this Samaritan (al-samiriyyu) cast [his into it].”… Said [Moses]: “What, then, didst thou have in view, O Samaritan (ya samiriyyu)?” S. 20:85, 87, 95 Muhammad Asad

Here are other renderings of the foregoing passage, which have no problem translating or acknowledging that the Arabic term does, in fact, mean Samaritan:

He said: Then, truly, We tried thy folk after thee and the Samaritan caused them to go astray… They said: We broke not what was promised to thee from what is within our power, but we were charged with a heavy load of the adornments of the folk. Surely, we hurled them because the Samaritan cast… Moses said: Then, what is thy business O Samaritan? Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar

He said: “We have tested your folk in your absence and the Samaritan has led them astray.”… They said: “We did not break your appointment of our own accord, but we had to carry loads of the people´s ornaments and toss them [into a furnace]. That is what the Samaritan suggested.”… He said: “What have you been trying to do, 0 Samaritan?” T.B.Irving

[God] said, “But We have tested your people after you [departed], and the Samaritan has led them astray.”… They said, “We did not break our promise to you deliberately, but we were weighed down with the heavy burden of the people’s jewelry so we threw them [into the fire], following what the Samaritan did.”… [Moses] said, “And what is the matter with you Samaritan?” Safi Kaskas

He said, “Truly We tried thy people in thine absence, and the Samaritan led them astray.”… They said, “We did not fail our tryst with thee of our own will, but we were laden with the burden of the people’s ornaments. So we cast them [into the pit], and thus did the Samaritan throw also.”… He said, “What was your purpose, O Samaritan?” The Study Quran

(God) said: “Then (know that) We have put your people to a test in your absence, and the Samiri (Samaritan) has led them astray.” Ali Ünal

Said He, “Yet surely We have already tempted your people even after you; (i.e., after your departure from them) and As- Samiriyy (The Samaritan) has led them into error.”… They said, “In no way did we fail your promise of our volition; but we were burdened with encumbrances of adornment of the people; so we hurled them (into the fire). So, (even) thus did As-Samiriyy (The Samaritan) also cast.” Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali

Allah said: “Well, listen! We tested your people after you and the Samiri (Samaritan) has led them astray.” Farook Malik

He (Allah) said: ‘We tempted your nation in your absence, and the Samaritan has misled them into error.’… They replied: ‘We have not failed in our promise to you through our choosing. We were laden with fardels, even the ornaments of the nation, and threw them just as the Samaritan had thrown them (into the fire),’… You, Samaritan, ‘ said he (Moses), ‘what was your business?‘ Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah

Said He, ‘We have tempted thy people since thou didst leave them. The Samaritan has misled them into error.’… ‘We have not failed in our tryst with thee,’ they said, ‘of our volition; but we were loaded with fardels, even the ornaments of the people, and we cast them, as the Samaritan also threw them, into the fire.’… Moses said, ‘And thou, Samaritan, what was thy business?’ Arthur John Arberry

The standard Arabic lexicons and dictionaries also confirm that the Arabic term means Samaritan.

as-samira the Samaritans

samiri Samaritan; (pl. -unsamara) a Samaritan (Hans-Wehr, 4th edition, p. 501)

.. (TA) the Samaritans; a people said to be] one of the tribes of the Children of Israel; (M;) or a sect, (Msb,) or people, (K,) of the Jews, differing from them (Msb, K).. Zj says, they remain to this time in Syria… (M:) most of them are in the mountain of En-Nabulus… (Lane’s Lexicon, p. 1426)

… The Samaritan, a name given to an individual who is said to have made the Golden Calf for the Children of Israel. (Penrice, Dictionary and Glossary of the Quran, p. 71)

… The Samaritans.. a sect of the Jews differing from them in some of their institutions… (M. G. Farid, Dictionary of Quran, p. 410)

Samiriyyun The Samaritan (87:95). (L; T; Razi; Ibn Kathir; LL) (Dictionary of the Holy Quran, p. 279)

(The above were all taken from the following link: http://ejtaal.net/aa/#hw4=514,ll=1471,ls=5,la=2090,sg=527,ha=347,br=479,pr=80,vi=197,mgf=441,mr=324,mn=658,aan=283,kz=1146,uqq=162,ulq=955,uqa=205,uqw=802,umr=524,ums=443,umj=383,bdw=447,amr=317,asb=471,auh=772,dhq=271,mht=431,msb=116,tla=57,amj=370,ens=1,mis=1073).

As the foregoing citations indicate, Muslim scholars themselves, such as Tabari, ar-Razi, Ibn Kathir etc., admitted that the Quran is referring to an actual Samaritan. Here are a few more Muslim scholars that acknowledge this point:

But those he supposed to be following him had remained behind for He exalted be He said ‘Indeed We tried your people after you that is after your departure from them and the Samaritan led them astray’ so they took to worshipping the golden calf. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=20&tAyahNo=85&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)

They said ‘We did not break our tryst with you of our own accord read the mīm with any of the three vowellings meaning ‘by our own power’ or ‘of our own will’ but we were laden with read hamalnā ‘we carried’ or hummilnā ‘we were made to carry’ the burdens the weight of the people’s ornaments of the trinkets of Pharaoh’s folk — which the Children of Israel had borrowed from them on the pretext of using them for a wedding but which had remained with them — and we cast them we threw them into the fire at the command of the Samaritan and so just as We cast did the Samaritan cast what he had on him of their trinkets together with the dust that he took from the track left by the hoof of Gabriel’s steed as follows (Ibid. https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=20&tAyahNo=87&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)

He said ‘And what have you to say what was the motive for doing what you did O Samaritan?’ (Ibid. https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=20&tAyahNo=95&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)

AS-SAMIRI.… Mentioned in the Qur’an (Surah xx. 87: “As-Samiri has led them astray”) as the person who made the golden calf for the Children of Israel. In Professor Palmer’s translation, it is tendered “the Samaritan,” which is according to al-Baizawi, who says his name was Musa ibn Zafar, of the tribe of Samaritans. [MOSES.] (Thomas P, Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p. 564 https://answeringislam.net/Books/Hughes/s.htm; underline emphasis mine)

Orientalists and Islamists have long noted this serious historical blunder on the part of Muhammad. They even postulate the possible reason why Muhammad erroneously placed a Samaritan with Moses, even though no such ethnic group existed at that time:

19 That is, the Samaritan. This rendering, which is probably the true explanation of the word Samiri, involves a grievous ignorance of history on the part of Muhammad. Selden (de diis Syr. Syn. i. ch. 4) supposes that Samiri is Aaron himself, the Shomeer, or keeper of Israel during the absence of Moses. Many Arabians identify him with the Micha of Judges xvii. who is said to have assisted in making the calf (Raschi, Sanhedr. 102, 2 Hottinger Hist. Orient. p. 84). Geiger suggests that Samiri may be a corruption of Samael. See next note. But it is probable that the name and its application in the present instance, is to be traced to the old national feud between the Jews and Samaritans. See De Sacy, Chrestom. i. p. 189, who quotes Abu Rihan Muhammad as stating that the Samaritans were called Al-limsahsit, the people who say, “Touch me not” (v. 97, below), and Juynboll Chron. Sam. (Leid. 1848) p. 113. Sale also mentions a similar circumstance of a tribe of Samaritan Jews dwelling on one of the islands in the Red Sea. (John M. Rod-well, The Koran, p. 108 https://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/qr/020.htm#fn_232; bold emphasis mine)

Samiri was the name for Samaritan, and according to the Arabians the Samaritans said, “Touch us not.”8 With how much reason the Arabians hold this is indeed unknown, perhaps only from confusion with a sect of the Pharisees described as bad in the Talmud, where it is named “The set-apart, touch me not;”9 but I have only a dim recollection of the passage. In short the Samaritans were certainly known to later Arabians by this name, and Muhammad doubtless knew them by it too; and since he gave the name of Samaritan1 to the maker of the calf, this man must have seemed to him to be the founder of the sect, and the “Touch me not” must have originated with him, which as a punishment was known to Muhammad from the similar story of the wandering Jew. Muhammad says that the calf lowed as it come forth.2 With this is to be compared the Rabbinical statement: “There came forth this calf3 lowing, and the Israelites saw it. Rabbi Johuda says that Samael entered into it and lowed in order to mislead Israel.”4 In the Quran it is said5 that among the people of Moses there was a tribe which kept to the truth. This seems to refer to the tribe of Levi and especially to their behaviour about the calf, although possibly it may refer also to their belief in Moses’s mission to Pharaoh of which we have spoken before. In the biblical account a statement is made,6 which is explained by the Rabbis as follows:7 “From Exodus, xxxii. 26, it is clear that the tribe of Levi was not implicated in the matter of the golden calf.” The Arabian commentators produce the most unedifying fables about this passage. (Abraham Geiger, Judaism and Islam, pp. 132-133 https://answering-islam.org/Books/Geiger/Judaism/chap22.htm; bold emphasis mine)

This is not, however, the only wonderful story which the Qur’an relates concerning what took place during the sojourn of the Israelites in the wilderness. Not less strange is what we are told about the calf which they made to worship during Moses’ absence. In Surah XX56, Ta Ha, we are told that when Moses returned and reproached them for this, they said, “We were made to bear loads of the ornaments of the people, and we threw them [into the fire]: and the Samaritan likewise cast in. Then he brought out unto them a calf in body, which could low.” Jalalain’s note says that the calf was made of flesh and blood, and that it had the power of lowing because life was given it through a handful of dust from the print left by the hoof of the Angel Gabriel’s steed, which “the Samaritan” had collected and put into its month, according to v. 96 of the same Surah.

This legend also comes from the Jews, as is evident from the following extract which we translate from Pirqey Rabbi Eliezer § 45, “And this calf came out lowing, and the Israelites saw it. Rabbi Yehudah says that Sammael was hidden in its interior, and was lowing in order that he might deceive Israel.” The idea that the calf was able to low must come from the supposition that, though made of gold (Exod. xxxii. 4), it was alive, since it “came out” (v. 24) of the fire. Here, again, we see that the use of a figurative expression, when taken literally, led to the growth of a myth to explain it. The Muhammadan commentator in explaining the words “a calf in body” in the Qur’an as signifying that it had “flesh and blood” has only gone a step further, and he does this to explain how it was that the animal could low. Muhammad seems to have understood most of the Jewish legend correctly, but the word Sammael puzzled him. Not understanding that this is the Jewish name of the Angel of Death, and perhaps misled as to the pronunciation, he mistook the word for the somewhat similar “Samiri,” which means “Samaritan.” Of course he made this mistake because he knew that the Jews were enemies of the Samaritans, and he fancied that they attributed the making of the calf to one of the latter. He was doubtless confirmed in this belief by some indistinct recollection of having heard that Jeroboam, king of what was afterwards called Samaria, had “made Israel to sin” by leading them to worship the calves which he made and placed in Dan and Beth-el (1 Kings xii. 28, 29). But since the city of Samaria was not built, or at least called by that name, until several hundred years after Moses’ death, the anachronism is at least amusing, and would be startling in any other book than the Qur’an, in which far more stupendous ones frequently occur.

Here, as in very many other instances, Muhammad’s ignorance of the Bible and acquaintance with Jewish legends instead is very striking. It is hardly necessary to point out that in the Bible the maker of the golden calf is Aaron, and that we read nothing of either Sammael or of the “Samaritan.” (Rev. W. St. Clair-Tisdall, The Original Sources of the Quran https://answeringislam.net/Books/Tisdall/Sources/chap3.htm; bold emphasis mine)

Here are one or two other tales of Moses in the wilderness; and first, that of the Golden Calf which came out of the fire kindled by the people at Sinai. The Koran tells us that Sameri also cast (what he had into the fire) and brought out unto them a bodily calf which lowed.(Surah 20:9) The origin of this fiction we find in a Jewish writer.2 as follows: “The calf having cried aloud, came forth, and the children of Israel saw it. Rabbi Yahuda says that Sammael from the inside of it made the cry of the calf in order to lead the Israelites astray.” No doubt the Prophet in this matter got his information from the Jews; strange that he should have been led to adopt this baseless tale. But he has used the wrong name Al Sameri. The name of the people, of course, occurs often in the Bible, and the Jews regarded the Samaritans as their enemies; but as the city of Samaria did not arise till some four hundred years after Moses, it is difficult to imagine how it came to be entered in this story.3 We also note that in this matter the Koran is in opposition to the Torah, which tells us that Aaron was the person who for fear of the Israelites around him, had the molten calf set up. Another story, given us twice in the Koran, (Surah 2:28, Surah 4:152) is that when the Israelites insisted on seeing the Lord, they were punished by death, but eventually restored to life again; and to add to the foolish tale we are told that it was the Torah which appealed for help and thus obtained their revival. (Tisdall, Sources of Islam, pp. 37-38 https://truthnet.org/islam/src-chp3.htm – see also https://answeringislam.net/Books/Tisdall/Sources0/p037-038.htm; bold emphasis mine)

Another Qur’anic story which has an undoubted Jewish origin is that found in Su’ratu Ta Ha (xx. 90) in connection with the calf which was worshipped by the Israelites during Moses’ absence on Mount Sinai. We are there told that the people brought their ornaments of gold and silver and cast them into the fire, after which in like manner Samiri also cast them in and he brought out to them a corporeal, lowing calf.” It is well known that the Taurat contains no mention of the golden calf having lowed; but Rabbinical fables are not wanting in which the story as reproduced by Muhammad is clearly traced. Thus in the Pirke Rabbi Eleazar we read, “The calf having cried aloud, came forth, and the children of Israel saw it.” Rabbi Yahuda further preserves a fable to the effect that a man named Sammael secreted himself inside the image and made a cry like a calf in order to lead the Israelites astray.1 Such is the story which was current amongst the Jews of Arabia in the time of Muhammad. Let it be compared with the narrative of the Qur’an and the reader will easily see that Muhammad, thinking the story which he heard upon the lips of his Jewish contemporaries to be a part of the scripture record, adopted and later gave it out to the ignorant Arabs as though revealed from heaven.

Unfortunately Muhammad failed to rightly understand the allusion to the man Sammael, and, confounding his name with the name of the Samaritans, whom he probably knew to be enemies of the Jews, makes the Samaritan to have a part in the matter. Since, however, the Samaritans did not come into existence as a people until some centuries after the event recorded here, it must require a wide stretch of credulity indeed to enable one to believe that this Qur’anic tale also was handed down from heaven by the angel Gabriel. (Rev. William Goldsack, The Origins of the Quran: An Enquiry Into the Sources of Islam , pp. 17-18 https://answeringislam.net/Books/Goldsack/Sources/chap2.htm; bold emphasis mine)

Hence, it seems that Muhammad garbled up a Jewish fairytale that claimed someone named Sammael made it seem as if the golden calf was actually lowing, and mistakenly took Sammael to be a Samaritan! 

And even though he candidly acknowledges that the word means Samaritan, the late Jewish convert and Muslim scholar Muhammad Asad nonetheless tries to explain it away:

70 The designation as-samiri is undoubtedly an adjectival noun denoting the person’s descent or origin. According to one of the explanations advanced by Tabari and Zamakhshari, it signifies “a man of the Jewish clan of the Samirah”, i.e., the ethnic and religious group designated in later times as the Samaritans (a small remnant of whom is still living in Nablus, in Palestine). Since that sect as such did not yet exist at the time of Moses, it is possible that – as Ibn ‘Abbas maintained (Razi) – the person in question was one of the many Egyptians who had been converted to the faith of Moses and joined the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt (cf. note 92 on 7:124): in which case the designation samiri might be connected with the ancient Egyptian shemer, “a foreigner” or “stranger”. This surmise is strengthened by his introduction of the worship of the golden calf, undoubtedly an echo of the Egyptian cult of Apis (see note 113 on 7:148). In any case, it is not impossible that the latter-day Samaritans descended – or were reputed to descend – from this personality, whether of Hebrew or of Egyptian origin; this might partly explain the persistent antagonism between them and the rest of the Israelite community. (The Message of the Qur’an, p. 658; bold emphasis mine)

Another Quranic translator, the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali, also tried to salvage this gross blunder of the Quran:

2605 Who was this Samiri? If it was his personal name, it was sufficiently near the meaning of the original root-word to have the definite article attached to it: Cf. the name of the Khalifa Mu’tasim (Al-Mu’tasim). What was the root for “Samiri”? If we look to old Egyptian, we have Shemer=A stranger, foreigner (Sir E.A. Wallis Budge’s Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, 1920,p. 815 b). As the Israelites had just left Egypt, they might quite well have among them an Egyptianised Hebrew bearing that nickname. That the name Shemer was subsequently not unknown among the Hebrews is clear from the Old Testament. In I Kings, xvi. 21 we read that Omri, king of Israel, the northern portion of the divided kingdom, who reigned about 903-896 B.C., built a new city, Samaria, on a hill which he bought from Shemer, the owner of the hill, for two talents of silver. See also Renan: History of Israel, ii. 210. For a further discussion of the word, see n. 2608 below. http://www.alim.org/library/quran/surah/english/20/YAT#ayanote-2605

2608 See n. 2605 about the Samiri. If the Egyptian origin of the root is not accepted we have a Hebrew origin in “Shomer” a guard, watchman, sentinel. The Samiri may have been a watchman, in fact or by nickname. http://www.alim.org/library/quran/surah/english/20/YAT#ayanote-2608

There are a few glaring problems with these attempted explanations.

First, the Quran claims to be a book that makes everything clear so that people can understand:

Thus doth God MAKE CLEAR His Signs to you: In order that ye may understand. S. 2:242 Y. Ali

Alif Lam Ra. A Book whose verses ARE SET CLEAR, and then distinguished, from One All-wise, All-aware: S. 11:1 Arberry

A. L. R. These are the Ayats of Revelation, – of a Qur’an that makes things clear. S. 15:1 Y. Ali Mecca

And indeed We know that they (polytheists and pagans) say: “It is only a human being who teaches him (Muhammad).” The tongue of the man they refer to is foreign, while this (the Qur’an) is a clear Arabic tongue. S. 16:103 Hilali-Khan

We verily, have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand (its meanings and its admonitions). S. 43:3 Hilali-Khan

By the manifest Book (this Qur’an) THAT MAKES THINGS CLEAR, S. 44:2 Hilali-Khan – cf. Q. 2:187, 219, 266; 3:103, 118; 4:26, 176; 5:89; 24:18, 58-59, 61; 57:17

The Quran also describes itself as a scripture that completely explains everything that it covers in detail:

It is He Who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea. We have (indeed) explained IN DETAIL Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, Revelations, etc.) for people who know. It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and has given you a place of residing (on the earth or in your mother’s wombs) and a place of storage [in the earth (in your graves) or in your father’s loins]. Indeed, We have EXPLAINED IN DETAIL Our revelations (this Qur’an) for people who understand. S. 6:97-98

[Say (O Muhammad)] “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (The Qur’an), EXPLAINED IN DETAIL.” Those unto whom We gave the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth. So be not you of those who doubt. S. 6:114 Hilali-Khan

Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur’an) which We have explained IN DETAIL WITH KNOWLEDGE, – a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. S. 7:52 Hilali-Khan

Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the Qur’an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of Allah’s existing Books [the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allah] and A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF EVERYTHING and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe. S. 12:111

One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book EXPLAINING ALL THINGS, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. S. 16:89 Y. Ali

A Book whereof the Verses are explained IN DETAIL; A Qur’an in Arabic for people who know. S. 41:3 Hilali-Khan Mecca

As such, we would expect the Muslim scripture to explain in a detailed matter the precise identity and meaning of the term Samiri in order to make it clear to the reciters/readers/hearers lest they be confused. Therefore, if the author(s)/editor(s) wasn’t/weren’t erroneously referring to a Samaritan living at the time of Moses, but to some watchman or guardian, then s/he/they could have communicated this fact by employing the correct term or Arabic word that corresponds to the Hebrew phrase Shemer or Shomer. Any other expression would have been more appropriate than Samiri, seeing all the confusion that this name has caused for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

This brings me to my second point. Both the Quran and hadiths testify that Muhammad believed and honored the Torah in the possession of the Jews of Muhammad’s day, since part of his mission was to confirm the textual incorruptibility and authority of the Scriptures which the Jews and Christians were reading at Muhammad’s time:

Children of Israel, remember My blessing wherewith I blessed you, and fulfil My covenant and I shall fulfil your covenant; and have awe of Me. And believe in that I have sent down, confirming that WHICH IS WITH YOU, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And sell not My signs for a little price; and fear you Me. And do not confound the truth with vanity, and do not conceal the truth wittingly. And do not confound the truth with vanity, and do not conceal the truth wittingly. And perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and bow with those that bow. Will you bid others to piety, and forget yourselves WHILE YOU RECITE THE BOOK? Do you not understand? S. 2:40-44

And they say, ‘Our hearts are uncircumcised.’ Nay, but God has cursed them for their unbelief; little will they believe. When there came to them a Book from God, confirming WHAT WAS WITH THEM — and they aforetimes prayed for victory over the unbelievers — when there came to them that they recognized, they disbelieved in it; and the curse of God is on the unbelievers… And when they were told, ‘Believe in that God has sent down,’ they said, ‘We believe in what was sent down on us’; and they disbelieve in what is beyond that, yet it is the truth confirming WHAT IS WITH THEM. S. 2:89, 91

When there has come to them a Messenger from God confirming WHAT WAS WITH THEM, a party of them that were given the Book reject the Book of God behind their backs, as though they knew not, S. 2:101

The Jews say, ‘The Christians stand not on anything’; the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand not on anything’; YET THEY RECITE THE BOOK. S. 2:113

Those to whom We have given the Book and who recite it WITH TRUE RECITATION, they believe in it; and whoso disbelieves in it, they shall be the losers. S. 2:121

It belongs not to any mortal that God should give him the Book, the Judgment, the Prophethood, then he should say to men, ‘Be you servants to me apart from God.’ Rather, ‘Be you masters in that YOU KNOW THE BOOK, and in that YOU STUDY.’ S. 3:79

You who have been given the Book, believe in what We have sent down, confirming WHAT IS WITH YOU, before We obliterate faces, and turn them upon their backs, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-men, and God’s command is done. S. 4:47

Muhammad went as far as to praise the very copy of the Torah, which the Jews held in their possession, and testified that he believed in its textual veracity and authority:

… Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “Some Jews came to the Messenger of Allah and invited him to go to the Quff area. So he went to the house of Al-Midras and they said, ‘O Abu Al-Qasim! A man from us committed adultery with a woman, so decide on their matter.’ They arranged a pillow for the Messenger of Allah and he sat on it and said…

<<Bring the Tawrah to me.>> He was brought the Tawrah and he removed the pillow from under him and placed the Tawrah on it, saying …

<<I TRUST YOU and He Who revealed it to you.>> He then said …

<<Bring me your most knowledgeable person.>> So he was brought a young man… and then he mentioned the rest of the story that Malik narrated from Nafi`.” These Hadiths state that the Messenger of Allah issued a decision that conforms with the ruling in the Tawrah, not to honor the Jews in what they believe in, for the Jews were commanded to follow the Law of Muhammad only. Rather, the Prophet did this because Allah commanded him to do so. He asked them about the ruling of stoning in the Tawrah to make them admit to what the Tawrah contains and what they collaborated to hide, deny and exclude from implementing for all that time. They had to admit to what they did, although they did it while having knowledge of the correct ruling… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 5:41; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah mentioned this very same narration in his Ighathat Al Lahfan, Volume 2, p. 351, in reference to his claim that there were some notable Muslim scholars who argued for the textual incorruptibility of the Torah on the basis of such texts:

On the other side, another party of hadith and fiqh scholars said: these changes took place during its interpretation and not during the process of its revelation. This is the view of Abi Abdullah Muhammad bin Ishmael Al-Bukhari who said in his hadith collection:

“No one can corrupt the text by removing any of Allah’s words from his Books, but they corrupted it by misinterpreting it.”

Al-Razi also agrees with this opinion. In his commentary he said:

There is a difference of opinions regarding this matter among some of the respectable scholars. Some of these scholars said: the manuscript copies of the Torah were distributed everywhere and no one knows the exact number of these copies except Allah. It is impossible to have a conspiracy to change or alter the word of God in all of these copies without missing any copy. Such a conspiracy will not be logical or possible. And when Allah told his messenger (Muhammad) to ask the Jews to bring their Torah and read it concerning the stoning command they were not able to change this command from their copies, that is why they covered up the stoning verse while they were reading it to the prophet. It was then when Abdullah Ibn Salam requested that they remove their hand so that the verse became clear. If they have changed or altered the Torah then this verse would have been one of the important verses to be altered by the Jews.

Also, whenever the prophet would ask them (the Jews) concerning the prophecies about him in the Torah they were not able to remove them either, and they would respond by stating that they are not about him and they are still waiting for the prophet in their Torah.

Abu Dawud narrated in his collection that Ibn Umar said:

A group of Jewish people invited the messenger of Allah to a house. When he came, they asked him: O Abu Qasim, one of our men committed adultery with a woman, what is your judgment against him? So they placed a pillow and asked the messenger of Allah to set on it. Then the messenger of Allah proceeded to say: bring me the Torah. When they brought it, he removed the pillow from underneath him and placed the Torah on it and said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you, then said: bring me one of you who have the most knowledge. So they brought him a young man who told him the story of the stoning.

The scholars said: if the Torah was corrupted he would not have placed it on the pillow and he would not have said: I believe in you and in the one who revealed you. This group of scholars also said: Allah said:

And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

And the Torah is Allah’s word.

Note how these Muslim authorities employed the following Quranic verse to argue for the Torah’s perfect preservation:

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. S. 6:115 Y. Ali – Cf. 18:27

They reasoned that since the Torah is Allah’s word, and since Allah’s words can never be changed, this means that the Torah has never been and can never be changed.

Muhammad further told people to consult the Jews and Christians if they wanted to know about their sacred history, or if they had any doubts about the revelation of the Quran:

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall – Cf. 16:43; 21:7

And verily We gave unto Moses nine tokens, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty). Do but ask the Children of Israel how he came unto them, then Pharaoh said unto him: Lo! I deem thee one bewitched, O Moses. S. 17:101 Pickthall

Herein lies the problem. Muhammad taught that the revelation that Allah gave Moses is a perfectly detailed  Scripture that fully explains everything:

Again, We gave the Scripture unto Moses, COMPLETE for him who would do good, AN EXPLANATION OF ALL THINGS, a guidance and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. S. 6:154-157 Pickthall

He said: O Moses! I have preferred thee above mankind by My messages and by My speaking (unto thee). So hold that which I have given thee, and be among the thankful. And We wrote for him, upon the tablets, the lesson to be drawn from all things AND THE EXPLANATION OF ALL THINGS, then (bade him): Hold it fast; and command thy people (saying): Take the better (course made clear) therein. I shall show thee the abode of evil-livers. S. 7:144-145 Pickthall

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: There was an argument between Adam and Moses in the presence of their Lord. Adam came the better of Moses. Moses said: Are you that Adam whom Allah created with His Hand and breathed into him His spirit, and commanded angels to fall in prostration before him and He made you live in Paradise with comfort and ease. Then you caused the people to get down to the earth because of your lapse. Adam said: Are you that Moses whom Allah selected for His Messengership and for His conversation with him and conferred upon you THE TABLETS, IN WHICH EVERYTHING WAS CLEARLY EXPLAINED and granted you the audience in order to have confidential talk with you. What is your opinion, how long Torah would have been written before I was created? Moses said: Forty years before. Adam said: Did you not see these words: Adam committed an error and he was enticed to (do so). He (Moses) said: Yes. Whereupon, he (Adam) said: Do you then blame me for an act which Allah had ordained for me forty years before He created me? Allah’s Messenger said: This is how Adam came the better of Moses. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6411 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=033&translator=2&start=0&number=6411; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Therefore, had there been an Egyptianized Hebrew by the name of Shemer, or if there actually was some watchman/guardian that fashioned the golden calf, then the Hebrew Bible would clearly have mentioned this fact. Instead, we find the Torah which the Jews possessed during the time of Muhammad, and which he praised as the incorruptible revelation of God, contradicting this Quranic fairytale since it says that Aaron was the one who helped build the golden calf for the Israelites:

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, ‘Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ Aaron said to them, ‘Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from them, formed it in a mould, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow shall be a festival to the LORD.’ They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel… Moses said to Aaron, ‘What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?’ And Aaron said, ‘Do not let the anger of my lord burn hot; you know the people, that they are bent on evil. They said to me, “Make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So I said to them, “Whoever has gold, take it off”; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!’” Exodus 32:1-6, 21-24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

This in itself is irrefutable proof that the story of the Samaritan is nothing more than a myth, a fable, that Muhammad mistakenly garbled up and passed off as historical fact.

Therefore, the late Dr. Robert A. Morey was correct when he wrote:

3. In Sura 20:87, 95 we are told that the Jews made the golden calf in the wilderness at the suggestion of “the Samaritan.”

This is a clear historical error as such a country and a people by that name did not exist during the time frame of the passage.

Samaria did not come into existence for many centuries, until after the captivity of Israel first by the Assyrians and then by the Babylonians.

Yusuf Ali tries to get away from this error by obscuring the translation of the name, but the Arabic is clear. (Morey, The Islamic Invasion: Confronting the World’s Fastest Growing Religion [Christian Scholars Press, 1992], pp. 163-164)

Hence, contrary to the assertions of many a Muhammadan polemicist (https://bloggingtheology.com/2019/09/30/an-extraordinary-example-of-the-quran-correcting-a-significant-falsehood-in-the-bible/), the Quran doesn’t correct the Torah, but plainly contradicts it, even though it is supposed to confirm its textual veracity and divine authority. As such, this proves that Muhammad was a fraud, a false prophet, and an antichrist who stands condemned by the one true God revealed in the Holy Bible.

Further Reading

The “Samaritan” Error In The Qur’an (https://answeringislam.net/Responses/Saifullah/samaritan.htm)

Moses and the Samaritan (https://answeringislam.net/Quran/Contra/qbhc01.html)

 

 

Where’s The Blood? Isaiah’s Suffering Servant

In this section (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/wheres-the-blood-responding-to-another-muslim-ruse-pt-2/), I am going to simply quote the clearest Old Testament prophecy that foretells the vicarious, sacrificial death of the Messiah for the sins of the world, and his subsequent resurrection to immortal life and exaltation to glory.

The following is taken from Isaiah 52:13-15 and 53:1-12, where the prophet Isaiah was given a revelation from the Holy Spirit in the eighth century BC, nearly eight hundred years before the birth of our Lord Jesus, in which he foresaw in quite specific detail the substitutionary death of God’s Messianic Servant.  A copy of this prophecy was found in 1947, among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which was written roughly 125 years before the birth of Christ. So this is clearly a prediction made before the birth of Jesus, which only the Lord Jesus perfectly fulfilled.

I will be quoting from the New International Version (NIV) of the Holy Bible, which can be read online by clicking on the following link: (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+52%3A13-53%3A12&version=NIV). All capital and/or underline emphasis will be mine.

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

13 See, my servant will act wisely[a];
    he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him[b]
    his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
    and his form marred beyond human likeness
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,[c]
    and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand.

53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS,
    he was crushed FOR OUR INIQUITIES;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and BY HIS WOUNDS we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
AND THE LORD HAS LAID ON HIM 
    THE INIQUITY  OF US ALL.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[d] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE HE WAS PUNISHED.[e]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the LORD makes[f] his life AN OFFERING FOR SIN,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[g] and be satisfied[h];
by his knowledge[i] my righteous servant will justify many,
    AND HE WILL BEAR THEIR INIQUITIES.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[j]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[k]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 52:13 Or will prosper
  2. Isaiah 52:14 Hebrew you
  3. Isaiah 52:15 Or so will many nations be amazed at him (see also Septuagint)
  4. Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest
  5. Isaiah 53:8 Or generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living, / that he was punished for the transgression of my people?
  6. Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make
  7. Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life.
  8. Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11 He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied
  9. Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him
  10. Isaiah 53:12 Or many
  11. Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous

 

Where’s the Blood? Responding to Another Muslim Ruse Pt. 2

I continue from where I previously left off (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/wheres-the-blood-responding-to-another-muslim-ruse-pt-1/).

The Lord Jesus continued the tradition of the Hebrew Bible by pointing to the need of substitutionary atonement for the remission of sins. This can be from the following parable of our Lord:

“And he spake also unto certain who have been trusting in themselves that they were righteous, and have been despising the rest, this simile: `Two men went up TO THE TEMPLE to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer; the Pharisee having stood by himself, thus prayed: God, I thank Thee that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax-gatherer; I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all things — as many as I possess. `And the tax-gatherer, having stood afar off, would not even the eyes lift up to the heaven, but was smiting on his breast, saying, God be propitious (hilastheti) to me — the sinner! I say to you, this one went down declared righteous, to his house, rather than that one: for every one who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbling himself shall be exalted.’” Luke 18:9-14 YLT

The word translated as “be propitious” is the Greek hilaskomai. This is how one lexical source defines the term:

Cognate: 2433 hiláskomai (akin to 2434 /hilasmós, “propitiation, appeasement/satisfaction of divine wrath on sin”) – properly, to extend propitiation, showing mercy by satisfying (literally, propitiating) the wrath of God on sin; “to conciliate, appease, propitiate (so the LXX; see also Thackeray, Gr., 270f quoting from inscriptions and Deiss., BS, 224f)” (Abbott-Smith). See 2434 /hilasmos (“propitiation”). (Biblehub https://biblehub.com/greek/2433.htm).

And here are two additional renderings of the specific part of our Lord’s parable pertaining to the sinful man’s request for atonement:

“The tax collector stood off alone in the corner, away from the Holy Place, and covered his face in his hands, feeling that he was unworthy to even look up to God. Beating his breast, he sobbed with brokenness and tears saying, ‘God, please, in your mercy AND BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD SACRIFICE, forgive me, for I am nothing but the most miserable of all sinners!’ Luke 18:13 The Passion Translation (TPT)

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest[a] and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me[b]—a sinner!’”

Footnotes:

a. Luke 18:13 = mourning

b. Luke 18:13 Lit God, be propitious to me; = May Your wrath be turned aside by the sacrifice Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

It is quite clear from our Lord’s own words that God showed mercy to the tax collector by accepting and/or making atonement for the man’s sins, which resulted in God justifying or making the tax collector righteous in God’s sight.

This isn’t the only place where the New Testament employs this specific Greek term:

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels to suffer death, crowned with glory and honor, so that He, by the grace of God, should experience death for everyone… Therefore, in all things it was necessary for Him to be made like His brothers, so that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make atonement (hilaskesthai) for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:9, 17 MEV

Note the following rendering of v. 17:

“This is why he had to become like his brothers in every respect — so that he might become a merciful and faithful cohen gadol in the service of God, making a kapparah for the sins of the people.” Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Here it is Jesus himself who makes atonement for the sins of God’s people.

And as the foregoing lexical source I cited indicated, there is another related Greek word, which the NT writings employ in respect to the necessity of atonement for the remission of sins:

2434 hilasmós – properly, propitiation; an offering to appease (satisfy) an angryoffended party. 2434 (hilasmós) is only used twice (1 Jn 2:2, 4:10) – both times of Christ’s atoning blood that appeases God’s wrath, on all confessed sin. By the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus Christ provided the ultimate 2434 /hilasmós (“propitiation”). (Biblehub https://biblehub.com/greek/2434.htm)

The following is also related to this Greek term:

2435 hilastḗrion (a substantival adjective, derived from 2433 /hiláskomai, “to propitiate”) – the place of propitiation; the lid of the golden ark (the mercy-seat) where the blood of a vicarious lamb appeased God’s wrath on sin. See also 2434 (hilasmós). (Biblehub https://biblehub.com/greek/2435.htm)

Here’s how the NT uses these two phrases:

“whom God offered as a place where atonement (hilasterion) by the Messiah’s blood would occur through faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because he had waited patiently to deal with sins committed in the past.” Romans 3:25 ISV

Compare:

“God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death…” CJB

And:

“My little children, I am writing these things to you, so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice (hilasmos) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 MEV

“Also, he is the kapparah for our sins — and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 CJB

Finally:

“In this way the love of God was revealed to us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice (hilasmon) for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10 MEV

“Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah for our sins.” CJB

Hence, the teaching of Christ and his spokespersons concerning the need for atonement is perfectly consistent with the message of the Hebrew prophets. This is why Christ entered into the world, namely, to offer his life as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all those who would turn to God through faith in the Son:

“This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:50-51 MEV

“This is far more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who becomes a priest not by a law pertaining to ancestry, but by the power of an endless life… And the former priests were numerous because they were hindered from serving because of death. But He, because He lives forever, has an everlasting priesthood. Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He at all times lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, for He is holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and is higher than the heavens. Unlike those high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices—first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for He did this once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints men who are weak as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son who is made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:15-16, 23-28 MEV

“And according to the law almost everything must be cleansed with blood; without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was therefore necessary that the replicas of heavenly things be cleansed with these sacrifices, but that the heavenly things themselves be cleansed with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter holy places made with hands, which are patterned after the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Nor did He enter to offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. For then He would have had to suffer repeatedly since the world was created, but now He has appeared once at the end of the ages to put away sin by sacrificing Himself. As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this comes the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to save those who eagerly wait for Him.” Hebrews 9:22-28 MEV

“For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifices and offerings You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, I have come to do Your will, O God,’ as it is written of Me in the volume of the book.’ Previously when He said, ‘You did not desire sacrifices and offerings. You have had no pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin,’ which are offered in accordance with the law, then He said, ‘See, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. But every priest stands daily ministering and repetitively offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He has been waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified…Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” Hebrews 10:4-14, 18 MEV

Ironically, and in spite of the NT’s explicit teaching on this subject, these same Muhammadan polemicists will quote the following words of our Lord,

“When He set out on His way, a man came running and knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good, except God alone. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ He answered Him, ‘Teacher, all these have I observed from my youth.’” Mark 10:17-20 MEV

In order to prove that even Jesus affirmed that salvation is attained through obedience to God’s commandments without the need for vicarious sacrifice.

This is another instance where Muslims are reading passages out of their intended context since the chapter goes on to show that Christ was not teaching that salvation comes through observing the Torah:

“Then Jesus, looking upon him, loved him and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross AND FOLLOW ME.’ He was saddened by that word, and he went away grieving. For he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus, looking at them, said, ‘With men IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, but not with God. For with God all things are possible.’ Peter began to say to Him, ‘Look, we have left everything and have followed You.’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left a house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields, for MY SAKE and for the gospel’s sake, who shall not receive a hundred times as much now in this age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, with persecution, and in the age to come, eternal life.’” Mark 10:21-30 MEV

It is evident that our Lord wasn’t claiming that salvation is to be attained by obedience to the commandments, but by wholeheartedly following him, even to the extent of losing everything for Christ’s sake.

Once a person is willing to place Christ first in his/her life, loving the Lord more than anything, even more than one’s own life,

“When He had called the people to Him, with His disciples, He said to them, ‘If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever would lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Whoever therefore is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of HIS Father with the holy angels.’” Mark 8:34-38 MEV

That person’s sins will be forgiven on the basis of Jesus’ sacrificial death, which is precisely what our Lord and his inspired emissaries taught:

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 ESV – cf. Matthew 20:28

“As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take and eat. This is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and after He gave thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28 MEV – cf. Mark 14:22-24

Then He took the bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ In like manner, He took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you.’” Luke 22:19-20 MEV – cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

“There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. This was the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6 MEV

Astonishingly, Christ and his Apostles ascribe to the Lord a function and ability, which the Hebrew Bible explicitly attributes to God alone, namely the power to redeem human lives from everlasting destruction:

“none of them can by any means redeem the other, nor give to God a ransom for anyone, for the redemption of their souls is costly; even so people cease to exist forever, making efforts to live eternally, and not see the pit… But God shall redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He shall receive me. Selah” Psalm 49:7-9, 15 MEV

Hence, not only do Jesus and his inspired disciples emphatically teach that salvation is granted on the basis of Christ’s atoning death, but they also affirm the perfect Deity of our Lord and his essential unity with God the Father.

After all, since God alone is able to save human beings, Christ must, therefore, be God Almighty in the flesh since it is his sacrificial death that results in the salvation of the world, in fact of the entire creation:

“No one has ascended to heaven except He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:13-18

“If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him ALL THINGS were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; ALL THINGS have been created through him and for him. He IS before ALL THINGS, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself ALL THINGS, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:13-20 NIV

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 MEV

“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6 MEV

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests unto our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’” Revelation 5:9-10 MEV

“Then I looked. And there was a great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out with a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders asked me, ‘Who are these clothed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ He said to me, ‘These are those who came out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. “They shall neither hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them,” nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and “He will lead them to springs of living water.” “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”’” Revelation 7:9-17 MEV

So much for the shameless Muslim mishandling of God’s Word in order to make the Holy Bible agree with their Islamic theology, which can never be done. The fact is, God’s Word condemns Muhammad as a false prophet and antichrist sent to mislead the world from the only hope of salvation, namely, by believing in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s uniquely begotten Son (Cf. Matthew 24:23-25; John 10:1-18; Romans 1:1-4, 16-17; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 2:22-23; 4:1-14).

Where’s the Blood? Responding to Another Muslim Ruse Pt. 1

It’s become fashionable for Muslim polemicists to cite specific biblical texts, which seem to deny the necessity of atoning sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. The following is one of the passages that Islamic apologists appeal to:

“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the punishment of the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father bear the punishment of the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if the wicked turns from all his sins that he has committed, and keeps all My statutes, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live. He shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be remembered against him. Because of his righteousness that he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, but rather that he should turn from his ways and live?… Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord God. Repent, and turn away from all your transgressions so that iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions whereby you have transgressed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, says the Lord God. Therefore, repent and live.” Ezekiel 18:20-23, 30-32 Modern English Version (MEV)

Is Ezekiel denying the necessity and centrality of blood atonement for reconciliation between God and man? Or is this simply another instance where Muhammadans are simply distorting what the Holy Bible teaches concerning this issue?

In the first place, atonement without repentance towards God is ineffectual, since God’s acceptance of vicarious sacrifices for the remission of sins is predicated on the individual turning towards God in genuine faith and obedience, a fact that is affirmed all throughout the inspired New Testament writings:

“The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Creator of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, by faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. And faith which comes through Him has given him perfect health in your presence. Now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold through all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled. Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the One who previously was preached to you, Jesus Christ, whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoring what God spoke through all His holy prophets since the world began… God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your iniquities.’” Acts 3:13-21, 26 MEV

“God exalted this Man to His right hand to be a Ruler and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31

“When they heard these things, they were silent. And they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has granted to the Gentiles also repentance unto life.’” Acts 11:18 MEV

“testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21 MEV

“‘to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do works proving their repentance.” Acts 26:18-20 MEV

“and being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:9 MEV

“What does it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and lacking daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ and yet you give them nothing that the body needs, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But a man may say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God; you do well. The demons also believe and tremble. But do you want to be shown, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? Do you see how faith worked with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? The Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God. You see then how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.” MEV

This brings me to my next point. Had these Muslim polemicists simply bothered to read the rest of Ezekiel they would have found God himself speaking of atoning sacrifices for purification from sins:

“Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, this is what the Lord God says: These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is constructed, so that burnt offerings may be sacrificed on it and blood may be splattered on it: You are to give a bull from the herd as a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who approach me in order to serve me. This is the declaration of the Lord God. You are to take some of its blood and apply it to the four horns of the altar, the four corners of the ledge, and all around the rim. In this way you will purify the altar and make atonement for it (wakippartahu). Then you are to take away the bull for the sin offering, and it must be burned outside the sanctuary in the place appointed for the temple. On the second day you are to present an unblemished male goat as a sin offering. They will purify the altar just as they did with the bull. When you have finished the purification, you are to present a young, unblemished bull and an unblemished ram from the flock. You are to present them before the Lord; the priests will throw salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the Lord. You will offer a goat for a sin offering each day for seven days. A young bull and a ram from the flock, both unblemished, are also to be offered. For seven days the priests are to make atonement (yakapparu) for the altar and cleanse it. In this way they will consecrate it and complete the days of purification. Then on the eighth day and afterward, the priests will offer your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar, AND I WILL ACCEPT YOU. This is the declaration of the Lord God.” Ezekiel 43:18-27 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

“This is the contribution you are to offer: Three quarts from five bushels of wheat and three quarts from five bushels of barley. The quota of oil in liquid measures will be one percent of every cor. The cor equals ten liquid measures or one standard larger capacity measure, since ten liquid measures equal one standard larger capacity measure. And the quota from the flock is one animal out of every two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel. These are for the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and fellowship offerings, to make atonement (lakapper) for the people. This is the declaration of the Lord God. All the people of the land must take part in this contribution for the prince in Israel. Then the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings for the festivals, New Moons, and Sabbaths—for all the appointed times of the house of Israel—will be the prince’s responsibility. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and fellowship offerings to make atonement (lakapper)on behalf of the house of Israel. This is what the Lord God says: In the first month, on the first day of the month, you are to take a young, unblemished bull and purify the sanctuary. The priest is to take some of the blood from the sin offering and apply it to the temple doorposts, the four corners of the altar’s ledge, and the doorposts of the gate of the inner court. You are to do the same thing on the seventh day of the month for everyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance. In this way you will make atonement (wakippartem) for the temple.” Ezekiel 45:13-20 CSB

The Hebrew word translated as “make atonement” is kaphar, and has the basic meaning of “to cover over, pacify, make propitiation” (https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3722.htm).

In fact, not only does God make explicit reference to vicarious sacrifices and offerings, he also refers to a covenant he will make with his people that is predicated upon God’s making atonement for all their sins:

“I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord, so that when I make atonement (bakappari) for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace. This is the declaration of the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:62-63 CSB

Here is how v. 63 reads in various English translations:

“that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.” English Standard Version (ESV)

“Then you will remember, be ashamed, and you won’t open your mouth anymore due to humiliation when I will have made atonement for you for everything that you’ve done,’ declares the Lord God.” International Standard Version (ISV)

Then you will remember, be ashamed, and remain silent when I make atonement for all you have done, declares the sovereign Lord.” New English Translation (NET)

“Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.” New International Version (NIV)

“‘that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done,’ says the Lord God.” New King James Version (NKJV)

“That thou mayest remember, and be ashamed, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I have made kapporah (atonement, i.e., when I am pacified, appeased) toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith Adonoi Hashem.” Orthodox Jerusalem Bible (OJB)

“So that thou dost remember, And thou hast been ashamed, And there is not to thee any more an opening of the mouth because of thy shame, In My receiving atonement for thee, For all that thou hast done, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah!” Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Note how this word is used all throughout the Hebrew Bible, especially in the Torah of Moses:

“If a murder victim is found fallen in the open country of the land that the Lord your God is about to give you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, then let your elders and judges go out and measure the distance from the dead body to the neighboring cities. Then the elders of the city nearest the body are to take a heifer that hasn’t been put to work or hasn’t pulled a yoke and are to lead the heifer to a flowing stream in a valley that has never been tilled or planted. They are to break the heifer’s neck there. Then the priests of the descendants of Levi are to step forward, because the Lord your God chose them to serve and pronounce blessings in his name. Every case of dispute and assault is to be subject to their ruling. All the elders of the city nearest the dead body are to wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they are to make this declaration: ‘Our hands didn’t shed this blood, nor were we witnesses to the crime. Make atonement (kapper) for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, Lord, and don’t charge the blood of an innocent man against them.’ Then the blood that has been shed will be atoned for (wanikkapper). This is how you will remove the guilt of innocent blood from among you, for you must do what is right in the sight of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 21:1-9 ISV

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement (wakipper) for His land and His people.” Deuteronomy 32:43 NKJV

“And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were disgraced, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of Yahweh. Then they stood at their positions according to custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God. The priests were sprinkling the blood from the hand of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who did not consecrate themselves, so the Levites were over the killing of the Passover sacrifices for all who were not clean, to consecrate them to Yahweh. For a majority of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves. But they ate the Passover sacrifice otherwise than prescribed, but Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, ‘May the good Yahweh make atonement (yakapper) unto everyone whose heart is set to seek God, Yahweh the God of his ancestors, though not according to the cleansing for the sanctuary.’ And Yahweh listened to Hezekiah, and he healed the people.” 2 Chronicles 30:15-20 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

“Iniquities are stronger than me; as for our transgressions, You atone for them (takapparem).” Psalm 65:3 MEV

“Yet he was compassionate; he atoned (yakapper) for their iniquity and did not destroy them. He often turned his anger aside and did not unleash all his wrath.” Psalm 78:38 CSB

“Help us, O God of our salvation, For the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement (wakapper) for our sins, For Your name’s sake!” Psalm 79:9 NKJV

These passages repeatedly stress the fact that remissions of sins and salvation are predicated upon God choosing to make atonement for his people; otherwise, they would remain condemned in their transgressions.

In the next segment, I will show how the Lord Jesus and his inspired emissaries are in complete agreement with this oft-repeated teaching of the Hebrew Bible (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/wheres-the-blood-responding-to-another-muslim-ruse-pt-2/).