Oh You Who Believe!

“…There are people who say, “We believe in God and the Last Day,” but they don’t really believe. They go about trying to fool the believers and would even try to deceive God if they could. They don’t perceive it, but they aren’t deceiving anyone but themselves. In their hearts is disease and God allows their disease spread, because of their persistent lying. A grievous suffering awaits them because of this. When they are told, “Do not spread corruption on Earth,” they answer “We are improving things!” This is a lie regardless of what they say. They are the ones spreading corruption and are blind to this truth…” – Qur’an 2:8-12

I used to want to be an important Islamic thinker and scholar. One who would write, lecture, etc. on Islam and important American Muslim issues. I started a blog, had podcast, appeared on various radio and television programs, etc. all in the name of being a contributor and voice in the defense of Muslims. Then one day after a very contentious debate with a leading anti-Muslim propagandist, I realized my time and energy would be better served doing other things. This did not mean that my activist spirit was completely silenced however. Occasionally I’ll write and share articles written by others on issues that I’m really passionate about.

What has caught my attention this time is a video that is being spread on Facebook that is so chock full of lies, that although my initial response was to ignore it and laugh at the sheer ridiculousness, after seeing it pop up several more times and after reading the God awful comments, I felt that if nothing more than to calm my nerves, I had to write some sort of rebuttal.

It wasn’t the video that bothered me per se, but the comments that followed and the fact that so many people were sharing it. The video is scary because the person in it makes a lot of false claims, even citing chapters and verses in the Qur’an that are so inaccurate that you don’t even have to know anything about Islam to disprove them, all you need is Google and yet, many have readily accepted it as accurate, praised it as a true testimony, and are using it as quality evangelism of their own faith and religion. It’s the latter that concerns me. I don’t expect any non-Muslim to believe a word I write, but at a minimum, I hope people agree that the best way to promote the value of your belief or religion, should not rely on the disparaging of others, especially to the point of spreading misinformation and outright lies. Doing so, belittles the person behind the lying as well as all those who eagerly accept them, and unfortunately makes the religion look bad as well, because the outsider could say, why would I want to be part of a religion and a people who don’t value truth and honor over lies?

My intent is to give a point by point response to the most glaringly obvious lies presented in the video below. I used Google and Islamicity/Quransearch for all my research. All Qur’an references come from the Muhammad Assad translation as he uses a modern form of English, provides more context, and provides notes and commentary on the Arabic.

In the very beginning of the video the speaker states that he believed that Allah was God and while as a Muslim, I don’t have a problem with that statement obviously, it becomes clear as he continues, that this is meant as a foolish concept. For the record, I want to offer that Allah, al (the) illah (god), literally means nothing more than The God in English. It’s not some crazy personal Muslim name for God, it’s simple Arabic for the word God in English. Religiously speaking, the term Allah is used to denote that while people may have and believe in many illah’s (gods) there is only One Supreme illah, which is al (the) illah (god), or Allah. If you live in a region of the world that speaks Arabic, you most likely call God Allah regardless of the religion you follow, just like in English speaking countries, regardless of religion we call The Supreme Being God.

What follows is a dizzying array of lie after lie that by the end of the rubbish, one is left shaking their head and feeling sorry for the guy and all those who believe his tales.

Below is a list of his claims followed by the correct answers.

1: The Qur’an has 6666 verses. This is an allusion to the popular 666 mark of the devil which doesn’t even actually mean that either if one studies Christian texts, but I digress. Basically, this is his opening Islam is evil and false claim which ironically is supposed to prove all his other claims, because if the book, Qur’an is has the obvious mark of the beast, then we should readily believe what he says right?

Let’s imagine if his claim was true, it is not, the Qur’an by most estimates has about 6236 verses, logically speaking, if the book by it’s very nature is false because it supposedly has the mark of the beast on it, why quote it later in the video to prove your point that Islam is false and that’s why you became a Christian? My head hurt on that one too.

2. We’re then told that Jesus is mentioned more times in the Qur’an than Muhammad. Even if that were true, and it actually is, what we’re supposed to get from this “revelation” is that this is proof that Jesus is superior than Muhammad according to the Qur’an right?

Let’s assume for a minute that according to his claim that how many times someone is mentioned in the Qur’an signifies their importance in Islam and whether or not you should accept them as superior. Does that mean that the following are superior to Jesus because they were mentioned the same or more times than Jesus who was mentioned 25 times?

Adam 25

Lot 27

Joseph 27

Mary 34

Noah 43

Israel 43

Abraham 69

Moses 136

3. Another lie told is that the Qur’an doesn’t mention any women except Mary.

Not true. Eve, Noah’s wife, Lot’s wife and daughters, Sarah, Moses’ wife and mother, the Queen of Sheba, Muhammad’s wife and daughters, Pharoah’s wife, and Jesus’ grandmother are all mentioned in the Qur’an in most of the following verses: 20:17, 66:10, 11:79, 15:71, 11:71-72, 28:7, 28: 23, 26-27 10, 12-13.

4. The speaker points out that Chapter 19 of the Qur’an truthfully titled Mary is significant because it’s named after the mother of Jesus. This of course is to further the claim of Jesus’ overall all importance because a chapter of the Qur’an is named after his mother.

If we followed the thinking that the name of the chapter signifies importance in Islam as it relates to people. What can be said of the following chapters:

Chapter 10 Jonah
Chapter 12 Joseph
Chapter 14 Abraham
Chapter 34 Sheba
Chapter 47 Muhammad
Chapter 71 Noah
 
5: At other times, the speaker really goes too far. It’s one thing to make broad, sweeping claims, it’s another to cite specific verses in support of your claims. When one does that, it’s to promote authority on a subject, but it also means that one can open themselves up to criticism. Several times this is done. The first time, we are told that 3:34 of the Qur’an says:
 
When it actually says: “in one line of descent. And God was all-hearing, all-knowing” and ironically, in context says: “On the Day when every human being will find himself faced with all the good that he has done, and with all the evil that he has done, [many a one] will wish that there were a long span of time between himself and that [Day]. Hence, God warns you to beware of Him; but God is most compassionate towards His creatures. Say [O Prophet]: “If you love God, follow me, [and] God will love you and forgive you your sins; for God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.Say: “Pay heed unto God and the Apostle.” And if they turn away – verely, God does not love those who deny the truth.BEHOLD, God raised Adam, and Noah, and the House of Abraham, and the House of `Imran above all mankind, in one line of descent. And God was all-hearing, all-knowing.” 3:30-35
 
6: The speaker makes a claim about Mary saying the Qur’an says that she was without original sin.
 
This is deceptive for two reasons. First all, the Qur’an says that she was never deviated from the truth (5:75) and chaste (21:91), for example. Which isn’t the same as saying she never sinned, though most Muslims accept that she was upright and didn’t sin. The point the speaker is trying to make, is to say that Mary is infallible which is part of his own doctrine about Mary apparently as the Qur’an makes clear again in (5:75) that Mary was a mortal like anyone else. Secondly, there is no concept of original sin in Islam. This is solely a Christian doctrine. In fact, concerning Adam and Eve’s story, where this doctrine originated in Christianity, the Qur’an says that although Adam and Eve both disobeyed God, they were forgiven (7:19-25, 20:121-122). The Qur’an further refutes the idea that sin can be inherited by stated that no one is responsible for another’s sin (53:38-53:42). 
 
7: The speaker again allegedly quotes the Qur’an this time 50:23 in support of his claim
 

But 50:23 actually says: “And one part of him will say: “This it is that has been ever-present with me!” and in context: “and [in the end] the trumpet [of resurrection] will be blown: that will be the Day of a warning fulfilled.

And every human being will come forward with [his erstwhile] inner urges and [his] conscious mind [and will be told:] “Indeed, unmindful hast thou been of this [Day of Judgment]; but now We have lifted from thee thy veil, and sharp is thy sight today!”And one part of him will say: “This it is that has been ever-present with me!”
[Whereupon God will command:] “Cast, cast into hell every [such] stubborn enemy of the truth, [every] withholder of good [and] sinful aggressor [and] fomentor of distrust [between man and man – everyone] who has set up another deity beside God: cast him, then, cast him into suffering severe!” Qur’an 50:20-26
 
8: Misquoting and attributing to the Qur’an again, the speaker alleges that Jesus is said to have physically ascended to heaven according to the Qur’an among other ordinarily Christian beliefs.
 
The Qur’an 3:45-55 says: “Lo! The angels said: “O Mary! Behold, God sends thee the glad tiding, through a word from Him, [of a son] who shall become known as the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, of great honour in this world and in the life to come, and [shall be] of those who are drawn near unto God. And he shall speak unto men in his cradle, and as a grown man, and shall be of the righteous.” Said she: “O my Sustainer! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” [The angel] answered: “Thus it is: God creates what He wills when He wills a thing to be, He but says unto it, ‘Be’ – and it is. And he will impart unto thy son revelation, and wisdom, and the Torah, and the Gospel, and [will make him] an apostle unto the children of Israel .” “I HAVE COME unto you with a message from your Sustainer. I shall create for you out of clay, as it were, the shape of [your] destiny, and then breathe into it, so that it might become [your] destiny by God’s leave; and I shall heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead back to life by God’s leave; and I shall let you know what you may eat and what you should store up in your houses. Behold, in all this there is indeed a message for you, if you are [truly] believers. “And [I have come] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains of the Torah, and to make lawful unto you some of the things which [aforetime] were forbidden to you. And I have come unto you with a message from your Sustainer; remain, then, conscious of God, and pay heed unto me. “Verily, God is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer; so worship Him [alone]: this is a straight way.” And when Jesus became aware of their refusal to acknowledge the truth, he asked: “Who will be my helpers in God’s cause?” The white-garbed ones replied: “We shall be [thy] helpers [in the cause] of God! We believe in God: and bear thou witness that we have surrendered ourselves unto Him! O our Sustainer! We believe in what Thou hast bestowed from on high, and we follow this Apostle; make us one, then, with all who bear witness [to the truth]!” And the unbelievers schemed [against Jesus];but God brought their scheming to nought: for God is above all schemers. Lo! God said: “O Jesus! Verily, I shall cause thee to die, and shall exalt thee unto Me, and cleanse thee of [the presence of] those who are bent on denying the truth; and I shall place those who follow thee [far] above those who are bent on denying the truth, unto the Day of Resurrection. In the end, unto Me you all must return, and I shall judge between you with regard to all on which you were wont to differ.
 
I’m not seeing why he would point to any of this as evidence of his claims…
 
9: The speaker then makes goes on to categorically state that the Qur’an makes 10 statements about Jesus that should in so many words, seal the deal and prove that Jesus is not only greater than Muhammad, but is really God and should be worshipped.
 
Never mind that the speaker is using the “false” “mark of the beast” Qur’an to support his claims. Instead of his 10 claims. I’ve decided to raise him 10 more and give a list of 20 things the Qur’an says about Jesus, Christians, and Himself. 
 
Jesus is a symbol of God’s grace like Moses 23:50
Nothing but a human being a servant blessed by God and an example for the children of Israel 43:59
Strengthened Jesus with holy inspiration not (ruh al-qudus) not holy spirit 2:87
God does what He wills and gives prophets different messages, purposes, etc. 2:253
Emphasized that anything that Jesus did was only because God made it possible and allowed it. 5:110
Says Jesus is a word from Him and will be called anointed al-masih or messiah. 3:45
Tells Mary that God creates what He wills 3:47
God will make Jesus an apostle to Israel and perform miracles with God’s permission. 3:49
Jesus says to worship God alone 3:51
Jesus’ birth is a symbol to mankind and proof of God’s grace 19:21
Jesus called himself a prophet and foretold the coming of Muhammad 61:6
Those who called Jesus God deny the truth 5:17
God will deny those who call Jesus God paradise 5:72
Calling anyone God including Jesus is an invention and a lie invented by man 9:30 – 9:31
Jesus is no more special than Adam, God said be and he was 3:59
God tells Christians to speak the truth and stop calling Jesus God. He was an anointed prophet, there is no trinity, God has no son, and God alone is worthy of worship. 4:171
Jesus was like other prophets, Mary always told the truth, both were nothing but mortals who ate food, went to the bathroom, etc. like other mortals. 5:75
God exalted Jesus above lies and says that Jesus died. 3:55, 4:158
All Prophets including Jesus preached Islam as the true faith and deny any who claim that one of them shares any divinity with God 42:13
God asks Jesus did he tell anyone to worship him or his mother, Jesus will say he did not as he had no right to say such a thing. Jesus will say that he taught them to worship God alone. 5:116-5:118
Jesus was not killed by his enemies or crucified. It’s an invented tale that people follow. 4:157
 
10. Finally, in what I’m calling the lightening round, the speaker makes several claims that he ascribes to the Qur’an, but are clearly of Christian doctrine in origin if one pays close attention. Plus he again plays the my prophet is bigger than yours game by claiming that since Jesus performed miracles and Muhammad didn’t so he says, that this along with other outlandish claims proves once and for all that Jesus is lord and that’s why he’s no longer a Muslim, that is of course assuming that he ever was. He also claims that Jesus is the word of God aka John 1:1, was filled with the holy spirit, is the Christ, etc. etc. etc.
 
Every one of these claims is either outright false or truth mixed with falsehood. For instance, God calls Jesus a word from Him i.e. a message from Him as previously pointed out, God calls Jesus and his mother a sign, and does state that Jesus performed miracles. However, when you read the Qur’an it becomes clear that God states that none of those things Jesus could do of his own will but only because of the will and permission of God. Furthermore, this idea of “word” is significant because the theological context given in John concerning the original Greek Logos is important in the Johanine texts in Christianity. The speaker hanging on this concept of “word” is trying to tie the Qur’an to his belief in John 1:1. In other words, if he can prove that the Qur’an calls Jesus the word of God and that the universe was created with a word, then the Qur’an would somehow prove or support John 1:1. Again as previously mention, the Qur’an does not call Jesus THE word, but states that he’s A word from God. Furthermore, the Qur’an is more in line with the Big Bang Theory, when it comes to the creation of the universe, when it states that the universe was a solid entity before it was “exploded” and spread out (21:30). There is no God spoke the universe into existence in the Qur’an as it is in the Bible.
 
Now concerning miracles. Although most Muslims will agree that Muhammad didn’t directly perform miracles though he did ascend to heaven after traveling to Jerusalem from Medina in and back in a single night, recited the Qur’an from the angel Gabriel even though he was illiterate, and was able to defeat an army ten times greater than his with the help of angels fighting beside him, in Islam, we don’t consider the number of miracles significant of anything. Miracles in Islam are nothing more than signs that God gives some of His prophets. There’s no measurement of greatness involved. Is parting the Red Sea more significant than helping the blind see? According to Islam, no. Apparently to the speaker. However, it should be noted that in the Bible, both prophets Elisha and Elijah are believed to have performed some of the same or similar miracles as Jesus if one cares to look it up. 
 
In the end, it’s up to the viewer to decide what they want to believe about Islam. One thing should be certain at this point however, regardless of what you feel about Islam or the Qur’an, the speaker in this video makes false claims. If his “conversion” to Christianity is significant, then is should not be based on false information. It should be enough to state that he converted and is happy, but apparently he wants to evangelize by spreading lies in the hopes that the viewer will blindly accept his claims. Somehow, he must hope that people don’t have Google. If one has to lie in order to promote their religion, what does that say about them? What should a non-believer think about a religion who’s adherents feel the need to try and tear down another religion with misinformation in order to make their’s look good?
 

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