The Quranic principle of abrogation
vitor_palmer
Anyone who hopes to engage in discussion with Muslims must be aware of the concept of the later Quranic verses abrogating the earlier verses.

Particularly at an "Islam outreach event", the Muslim leader will focus on all the kind and gentle things Muhammad said while he was in Mecca.

Of course, while Muhammad was in Mecca, he had no power, so he had to appeal to the local Jewish and pagan tribes with smooth, kind words that he hoped would lead to their acceptance of his new "religion".

It's at that time Muhammad said a lot of nice things about Jews, Christians and Muslims being one community of believers and there being no compulsion in religion and a few other platitudes that were rendered meaningless by the hate-filled rhetoric he later espoused.

If you are familiar with the principle of abrogation and the later verses which clearly contradict the earlier verses, you'll be able to effectively refute the Muslim leader and help raise public awareness of the true dangers of Islam.  Here's an example of how such a conversation might play out:

(As always, establish that the Quran is eternal and unchangeable, Muhammad is the standard for humanity for all time, etc.)

EW: In my study of your faith, one thing that has stuck out to me is verse 2:106, which states that, "Nothing of our revelation, even a single verse do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring in place one better or the like thereof"

This strikes me as kind of strange, particularly in light of verses like 6:115, which states that, "Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words", and 10:64, which says, "There is no changing the Words of Allah".

So 2:106 seems to be saying that sometimes earlier verses are abrogated, while 6:115 and 10:64 say that the words of the Quran can never be changed.  That doesn't really make sense to me, and seems to be a clear contradiction.  What is your personal explanation of this issue?

Dr. Naik:  (He'll likely go the "This wasn't in reference to earlier Quranic verses, but was actually referring to differences betweeen the Quran and the Bible.  As Muhammad was given the responsibility of sharing God's last, true message with mankind, some of the words of the Quran differed from the words of the Bible.  So no, the later verses of the Quran do not abrogate the earlier verses).

EW: That seems like a reasonable response, but I personally find it unacceptable, and here's why:
 
You earlier told us of a few verses that showed Muhammad didn't believe in forcing anyone to follow his religion.

You included verses such as these:

2:256 There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.

16:82 But if they turn away from you, O Prophet remember that your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message entrusted to you.

6:107 Yet if God had so willed, they would not have ascribed Divinity to aught besides him; hence, We have not made you their keeper, nor are you of your own choice a guardian over them.

4:79-Say to everyone of them, 'Whatever good betides you is from God and whatever evil betides you is from your own self and that We have, O Prophet sent you to mankind only as a messenger and all sufficing is God as witness. Whoso obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys God. And for those who turn away, We have not sent you as a keeper."

Those verses are nice.  You earlier confirmed that the hadith collection of Sahih Bukhari is the second most important book in Islam.  Let's take a look at what Bukhari had to say:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260:

Narrated Ikrima:

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "

So Muhammad said, "If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him". 

Obviously, this contradicts verse 16:82, which says that, "But if they turn away from you, O Prophet remember that your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message entrusted to you".

Let's take a look at a few more hadith from Bukhari:

Volume 9, Book 83, Number 37

"By Allah, Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."

Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57:

Narrated 'Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

These ahadith clearly contradict any verses that deal with the "lack of compulsion in Islam".  If the punishment for leaving a religion is death, it's impossible to claim that membership in that religion is strictly voluntary.

I'd also like to take a look at Muhammad's treatment of Abu Sufyan, a man who was fiercely opposed to Islam.

Muhammad said, “Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, isn’t it time that you recognize that I am Allah’s apostle?” He (Abu Sufyan) answered, “As to that I still have some doubt.” I (the narratory) said to him, “Submit and testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the apostle of Allah before you lose your head,” so he did so. (Ibn Ishaq 814)

"Submit and testify that Islam is true or I'll cut off your head".

I'm not sure I can think of anything more compulsory than that.  In light of these later sayings of the Prophet, we must conclude that the earlier verses that deal with there being no compulsion in religion have now been abrogated and rendered meaningless for a Muslim.  Since this is the case, why have you repeated these verses as though they carry any significance for a Muslim?

Dr. Naik: (He'll probably go the "fake hadith" route, Quran is more important than the hadith collections, etc.  If so, remind him that he earlier confirmed that the hadith collection of Bukhari is the second most important book in Islam, Quran 4:80 says that, "Whoever obeys the prophet obeys Allah, etc.)

I think this approach is effective, and even if it isn't "devastating", it'll allow people to realize that Muhammad, a "beautiful pattern of conduct", had people killed for leaving his religion.

Obviously, a Westerner is going to have a hard time believing Muhammad could have been a legitimate "man of God" if he had people killed for refusing to accept his particular belief system.

As always, the most important thing is raising awareness of the more unseemly aspects of Muhammad's character. 

According to the Quran, the 9/11 attacks were justified
vitor_palmer
I earlier wrote a more detailed dialogue dealing with the issue of whether the 9/11 hijackers are currently in Heaven, being rewarded by their God.  It can be found here:

http://vitor-palmer.livejournal.com/910.html

This dialogue will simply focus on whether or not the attacks on 9/11 were justified according to Islamic theology.

EW: Dr. Naik, in your opinion, are terror attacks like 9/11 justified according to Islamic theology?

Dr. Naik:  Most certainly not!  In fact, to prove this point, I'd like to read Quran 5:32, which clearly shows that killing any innocent person is wrong.

Quran 5:32-If anyone slays a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.

In this verse, we can see that God has said that you should never kill an innocent person, and we therefore know that terror attacks like 9/11 are terrible crimes against Islam.

EW: Yes, 5:32 is very nice.  I've heard Muslim leaders repeat it on numerous occasions.  But for some reason, I've never heard a Muslim leader continue on to 5:33.  For the benefit of all here, I'd like to go ahead and read that verse:

5:33-The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement

So according to 5:32, the killing of innocent human beings is a terrible crime.  But according to 5:33, the killing of others is perfectly acceptable, so long as the person in question has "made mischief".

I'd now like to discuss 9/11.  Here are a few things we know about America:

America has invaded Islamic lands.

America has killed Muslim people.

America has taken advantage of the natural resources in Islamic lands.

So by any objective standard, we must conclude that America has "waged war against Allah" and "made mischief in the land".

Dr. Naik: *Interjecting: But the people who were killed that day were innocent civilians, not members of the military.

EW: I'm glad you brought that up.  Could you please tell me the Quranic verse that explicitly makes a distinction between the military of an enemy nation and the civilians of an enemy nation?

Dr. Naik:  Well, there are numerous verses that refer to fighting only on the battlefield, etc. (He might even make something up, so have your Quran ready; such a verse doesn't actually exist, so be ready to call him on it if he tries to either alter a verse or invent a verse).

EW: Since the Quran doesn't make a clear distinction between the civilians of an enemy nation and the military of an enemy nation, I'd like us to now take a look at a few ahadith.

Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4322:

It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256:

Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama:

The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." I also heard the Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle."

These hadith tell us that Muhammad had no problem with the killing of women and children, as these women and children were of the enemy.

Sahih Muslim Book 019, Number 4457:

This tradition has been narrated by the game authority (Yazid b. Hurmus) through a different chain of transmitters with the following difference in the elucidation of one of the points raised by Najda in his letter to Ibn Abas: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used not to kill the children, so thou shouldst not kill them unless you could know what Khadir had known about the child he killed, or you could distinguish between a child who would grow up to he a believer (and a child who would grow up to be a non-believer), so that you killed the (prospective) non-believer and left the (prospective) believer aside.

And here we see that Muhammad approved of the killing of children who "would never grow up to be believers".

Book 38, Number 4390:

Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi:

I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.

And this tells us that during your prophet's mass execution of the the Banu Qurayza tribe, he killed all those who had begun to grow pubic hair, which tells us that your prophet was perfectly happy killing boys as young as 11 or 12.

Now that we know all this, let's go ahead and look once more at 5:33.

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement

And as we earlier established, America has certainly waged war against the Islamic God and caused mischief in Islamic lands.

We've also seen that your prophet and your god are accepting of the killing of all those in an enemy nation, which of course includes the women and children of an enemy nation.

So according to Islamic theology, the 9/11 attacks were justified, and your god was very happy about the killing of 3,000 of my fellow Americans on September the 11th of 2001. 

In light of this, why do you think Americans should accept your religion in their country, and more specifically, why should we allow you to build a monument to your god right here in our town?

Dr. Naik: (I don't really know what he might say.  He'll probably try to change the topic, throw out a few "nice" Quranic verses, etc.  Just stay on him, and make him answer the questions).

A note for Christians
vitor_palmer
The main purpose of this blog is to present a method that will help to prevent the spread of Islam in America.  I think this method will be optimally utilized in settings such as mosque debates, Islam outreach events, call in radio/TV shows, etc.  The objective of the approach I've presented is to force the Muslim leader in question to admit that in the year 2010, slavery, pedophilia, the killing of apostates, wife-beating, etc., are morally acceptable.  Of course, if the Muslim leader admits such things, the proposed mosque will likely be denied, public opinion will turn, and hopefully, America will come to the point that it no longer regards Islam as a legitimate religion, but rather the aggressive political ideology it truly is.

Because that is the objective of this blog, the approach presented is quite confrontational.  The entire point is to corner the Muslim leader, and force him to admit that some of the terrible things previously mentioned are morally acceptable. 

As a Christian, I personally don't want to alienate Muslims, or "send them back to the Middle East".  Of course, as Christians, we've been called to share the message of Jesus Christ, the one who suffered, died upon a cross, and was resurrected three days later that we all may have eternal life.  

I plan to make an effort to describe some approaches that I feel may be effective in sharing the Gospel with Muslims.  When my knowledge of the Islamic faith becomes sufficient, I will do my best to assemble that information and distribute it.

Until then, here are a few things I've learned that may be helpful in sharing the Gospel with Muslims:

1.  Be as non-confrontational as possible.  Most Muslims have been told their entire lives that, "Islam is true, Muhammad is the greatest man to ever live, etc." 

If you were to approach a Muslim with a "I'd like to tell you how to find God", sort of approach, you'd immediately put them on the defensive and likely cause the Muslim in question to shut down any further communication.

The same goes for a "I'd like to compare your Prophet with another great man" approach.  Any hint that you may try to criticize Prophet Muhammad will come across in a confrontational manner, and again, you'll likely get shut down.

2.  I personally find the best approach is to first enter into a trusting relationship.  Once you get to the point that you feel comfortable, you can broach the subject of faith.  

Here's a possible approach:

"You know, I've been spending a lot of time reading the Quran.  There are a few things I don't really understand, and I was hoping you could explain these things to me".

Then, perhaps, you could open the Quran to:

2:223-Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.

You might then follow this up with something like, "I don't really understand this verse.  I personally think that saying something like, 'Your wives are your equal partner in marriage, so you should always love them as yourself, and always be sensitive to her needs' seems a little better.  To me, saying that, 'Your wives are your property, so you should do with them what you will', seems a little insensitive.  Why, in your personal opinion, did the God of the Quran say this?"

And likely, there won't be much of a response.  Of course, the second option does sound much better.  So that's a good starting point.  From there, you can bring up several other verses (or really, hundreds) that don't really make much sense. 

So in my personal experience, that's the best approach.  Make friends, open a dialogue, be as non-threatening and non-confrontational as possible, and get the Muslim to explain his or her beliefs, and explain why their God/Prophet said the things they did.

Once this happens, you'll likely be asked about your faith, and of course, you should be ready to explain what you believe and why you believe it.

And certainly, if you choose to witness to Muslims, don't be nearly as confrontational as I have been in most of these entries.

The problem of rejecting friendship with non-Muslims
vitor_palmer
In this approach, we'll look at a couple verses from the Quran that make it absolutely clear that Muslims are not to be friends with non-Muslims.  The Quran also says that Muslims are are to fight until all the world is Islamic.  If Islam truly is a religion of peace, that poses a serious problem. 

(Establish that the Quran and Muhammad's example are eternal and unchangeable).

EW: You earlier told us that you all have made the effort to reach out to the local and Jewish communities.  I think that's wonderful.  So would you say you have many non-Muslim friends?

Dr. Naik: Oh, absolutely.  The local Christian leaders have been very supportive of us, and we have done everything we can to reach out to all non-Muslims.  We love all people, and we really want to do a lot of good in this community.

EW: Well, I think that's wonderful.  I do believe that if we're to move forward, people of all faiths must make the effort to work together and to live in harmony with one another.

But it also seems strange to me that you have made friends with non-Muslims.  Here's why:

Quran 4:144-O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves?

Quran 5:51-O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk

These verses make it clear that Muslims are not be friends with non-Muslims.  Since you have taken Christians and Jews to be friends, we have to conclude that you are in acting in direct opposition of the will of your god.  Why are you disobeying your god?

Dr. Naik: Well, what you have to understand is that at the time of Muhammad, the non-believers were constantly fighting against them, so it was important for the Muslims to band together as tightly as possible, etc.

EW: Historical context is irrelevant.  You earlier confirmed that the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word.  That means that in the year 2010, the words of the Quran are every bit as relevant as they were in the 7th century.

So your god made it clear that Muslims are not to be friends with non-Muslims.  To reinforce this point, let's take a look at a few more verses that tell us how your god feels about non-Muslims:

(I'll post quite a few.  Obviously, you don't have to use every single one, but the more, the better).

Quran 25:55-The Misbeliever is a helper (of Evil), against his own Lord!

Quran 9:123-O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty

Quran 9:30-The Jews call Ezra a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!

Quran 25:52-Listen not to the unbelievers, but strive (Jihad) against them with the utmost strenuousness

Quran 2:6-As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom

Quran 66:9-Strive hard (Jihad) against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed

Quran 8:12-Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment.

Quran 3:110-Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors

Quran 98:6-Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.

Quran 8:55-Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe

(And there are plenty more, but those should obviously make the point)

So we see that the god of the Quran doesn't think highly of non-Muslims, to say the least. 

As we earlier established, the Quran also says Muslims are not to make friends with non-Muslims.

Since this is the case, I'll ask again: why are you disobeying the word of your god?  Do you not love your god?

Dr. Naik: (He won't have much of a response to this.  Particularly with a large non-Muslim audience, it's important to emphasize the hatred the god of the Quran does have for non-Muslims)

Once that's been established, this is a good follow-up.

EW: I'd also like us to take a look at another verse:

Quran 8:39-And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah

So we can see that Muslims are to fight until the entire world is Islamic.  You earlier assured us that Islam is all about peace, so we can only conclude that by "fight" the god of the Quran means "strive through non-violent means" until all the world is Islamic.

Of course, the only non-violent way bring others to your religion is through evangelization.  And to evangelize, you are to enter into trusting relationships with non-believers, share your faith, and show them your faith through your good deeds and love.

So this doesn't make much sense to me.  Your god told you to fight until all the world  Islamic, but then he told you not to be friends with non-Muslims.  Therefore, it seems like it would be quite difficult for Muslims to bring non-Muslims to the true faith through non-violent means.  I suppose the only conclusion we can make is that when the god of the Quran said to fight, he actually meant "engage in physical warfare" until everyone is either dead or thinks exactly like you do.

And that doesn't really square with my view of a "loving" God. 

Could you help me understand this?

Dr. Naik: (Maybe there's something I'm not seeing here, but this should effectively trap him)

Establishing the eternality and unchangeability of the Quran and Muhammad's example
vitor_palmer
I posted this approach in the first couple entries, but I've decided I'll go through the entire process every few entries.  The reason is that it is absolutely essential that the audience member establish that the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word, and that the example of Muhammad is to guide man for all time. 

If you don't go through this process, the Imam may very well say, "Well, it was okay back then, but times have changed, so it's no longer valid".

If you go through the detailed set-up, it's impossible for him to use that escape option.  Once it's been established that the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word and that the example of Muhammad is perfect for ALL TIMES, you're set, and you can start hammering away with questions.

So here's the best way to go about it:

EW=Everyday Westerner who has learned a little bit about Islam and has a genuine interest in learning more about Islam

Dr. Naik=The friendly, tolerant Imam who will be the leader of the proposed mosque

EW: Dr. Naik, first off, thank you for coming here and giving this presentation. I think I speak for all when I express gratitude for your inspiring words, and I now realize Islam is in fact the religion of peace.

In preparation for this conference, I have started learning about Islam, its prophet, and its history, and I have a couple questions relating to Islam and Islamic theology.

The first question I have relates to the Prophet Mohammed. According to Islamic theology, Prophet Mohammed was God’s last, true prophet. Is that correct?

Dr. Naik: Yes, that’s correct.

EW: Okay. And Muslims also believe that Mohammed was a great man. In fact, they believe he was the “standard for all humanity”. Is this also correct?

Dr. Naik: Yes, we believe he is the greatest person to ever live.

EW: Okay. And you also accept that his words and actions are to guide man for all time, right? In other words, Muslims are to look at his behavior as the standard, regardless of the time period. For example, Mohammed lived in the 7th century, yet his behavior is every bit as good and proper in the 12th century, 21st century, 50th century, correct?

Dr. Naik: Yes, Muslims do believe this to be true.

EW: And I’ve also learned that Muslims rely on both the Quran and Sunnah to properly understand Mohammed’s words and behavior, correct? According to Islamic theology, one is incomplete without the other, right?

Dr. Naik: Yes, we rely on both.

EW: From what I can gather, in order for Muslims to understand the Sunnah, they are to look to the authentic hadith collections, right?

Dr. Naik: Yes, according to mainstream Islamic theology, that is true.

EW: I’m not familiar with all of them, but I have read parts of the hadith collections by Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. These are both well-respected hadith collectors, is that true?

Dr. Naik: That is true. We have great respect for these devout believers and scholars.

*Once that's been established, you're good to go.

For today's dialogue, we'll take a look at polygamy.

EW: Thank you for confirming all that, Dr. Naik.  I'd now like to take a look at a verse from the Quran:

Quran 4:3-If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.

This seems kind of strange to me.  I personally believe polygamy is wrong.   My view on marriage is that one man should marry one woman, and they should commit their lives to each other.

Earlier, you confirmed that the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word.  So surely, you must believe that in the year 2010 polygamy is morally acceptable?

Dr. Naik: (He'll likely go the "It's against the laws of this country, back during the 7th century it was different, etc." route)

EW: Dr. Naik, I'm not speaking of the laws of this country, and since you earlier confirmed that the Quran is eternal and unchangeable, there's no sense talking about how times were different.

The Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word.  So surely, you must believe that in the year 2010, there are certain circumstances in which it is morally acceptable for a man to marry multiple wives, correct?

Dr. Naik: (Obviously, there's no way out.  He'll likely try to switch topics, so the audience has to be sure to stay on him and force him to give a direct answer).

While we're on the topic of marriage, Quran 2:223 is a good verse to bring up.

EW: I'd also like us to take a look at another verse from the Quran.

Quran 2:223-Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.

This verse seems a bit insensitive to me.  Certainly, your god could have said something like, "Your wives are your equal partners in marriage.  You should love them as you love yourselves, and you should respect their every wish and desire".

So your god could have said something like that.  But instead, he said, "Your wives are a tilth unto you, so approach whenever or however you want".

That doesn't quite make sense to me.  Why, in your personal opinion, did your god say what he did?

Dr. Naik: (I've personally never heard a good response to this question.  It'd probably be a good one to use, especially in our emasculated culture).

The unnecessary slayings of Muhammad and his followers
vitor_palmer
My next post shall deal with Muhammad's slaughter of the Banu Qurayza, one of the lowest points of what was for Muhammad an entire lifetime of low points.

But for this post, we'll simply take a look at a Quranic verse that briefly mentions Muhammad's slaughter of the Banu Qurayza tribe.

EW: One thing that strikes me about Muhammad's life is that he most certainly did have people killed and took some of those he defeated as captives.

Dr. Naik: Well, you must understand that Muhammad only did this very, very infrequently, and when his army was forced to kill others, they did it very mercifully.

EW: Fair enough, but I'd like us to take a look at a verse from the Quran:

33:26- And He brought those of the People of the Scripture who supported them down from their strongholds, and cast panic into their hearts. Some ye slew, and ye made captive some

This verse clearly tells us that on at least one occassion, Muhammad and his followers killed people and "made captive" of others.  Why do you personally believe Muhammad and his followers had people killed and took some for slaves?

Dr. Naik: What you have to understand is that the enemies of Muhammad were very strong and very powerful.  Muhammad and his followers were few, so in order to protect themselves, it was sometimes necessary for them to take the lives of others in battle.  But they only killed others in battle, and even when this occurred, the total number of fatalities was very few.

EW: That's a nice answer, but here's what I don't understand: Muhammad was God's last, true prophet, right?  And the god Muhammad followed was an all-knowing, all-powerful god, right?

Dr. Naik:  Yes, that's correct.

EW: Alright, so certainly, Muhammad knew that Islam was God's true plan, and Muhammad also knew that his god could provide for all his needs.

Since Islam was God's true plan and he knew that God could provide for all his needs, why did he and his followers feel the need to slay their enemies?

Obviously, Muhammad knew that no man could possibly stop God's plan.  So had Muhammad chosen, he could have pardoned his enemies, told them of God's truth, and allowed them to go on their way.  Yet for some reason, he instead decided to slay his enemies.  Why, in your personal opinion, did Muhammad slay his enemies instead of pardoning them and telling them of God's truth?

Dr. Naik: (In all likelihood, he'll attempt to emphasize how dangerous the other tribes were to Muhammad's weak, poor army).

*If he does this, once again emphasize the fact that Islam is God's true plan, and if God is for it, no man can possibly oppose it, and that if God wants to keep Muhammad and his followers safe (and if Islam is true, then of course God does), then God would not allow them to come to harm.

Also, it could be good to press the issue of captives.

EW: I'd also like to take a look at the second part of 33:26-And He brought those of the People of the Scripture who supported them down from their strongholds, and cast panic into their hearts. Some ye slew, and ye made captive some

I don't really understand why Muhammad and his followers "made captives of some".  Certainly, the god Muhammad followed was all-powerful.  Muhammad's god could have easily provided anything Muhammad and his followers needed.  Since this is the case, I can't really understand why Muhammad felt the need to "make captives" of some of those whom he defeated in battle. 

Since Muhammad's god could have provided everything he needed, why, in your personal opinion, did Muhammad's god choose to tell Muhammad to make slaves of men instead of simply providing everything they needed?

Dr. Naik: (Not sure how he attempts to get out of this one.  My guess is that he'll try to say man isn't to question God's plan.  If he takes that route, be sure not to let him off hook and demand an answer).

The vagueness of 5:33
vitor_palmer
5:33 is an excellent verse to use in numerous arguments.  Here, we'll simply read the verse and get our tolerant, peaceful Muslim leader to get us to explain why his god was so deliberately vague on such a serious issue.

EW: You earlier mentioned Quranic verse 5:32, which tells us that "if anyone killed a person, it would be as if he had killed all of humanity".  That's really nice.  But 5:33 seems doesn't seem nearly as "loving and tolerant".

Let's take a look at it:

(It might be worth reading a couple of the different "respected" translations just to limit his "mistranslated, misinterpreted" options).

YUSUFALI: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter

PICKTHAL: The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom

SHAKIR: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement

So we see that your god said that those who "wage war against Allah" or "make mischief" should be executed, crucified or dismembered. 

Now, it might just be me, but it seems like execution, crucifixion, and dismemberment are pretty serious punishments.  I would think that the grounds for such terrible punishments should be clearly defined. 

For example, we might say, "Any grown man who has sex with a child should be executed".

Or we might say, "Anyone who owns slaves, or engages in the slave trade should have his hands cut off".

But for some reason, the god of the Quran said, "those who wage war against Allah or make mischief should be executed, crucified or dismembered".

In your opinion, what constitutes "waging war against Allah" or "making mischief"? 

Also, why do you think your god was so deliberately vague about such a terribly serious matter?

Dr. Naik: (I genuinely have no idea how he might respond to this; I've personally never heard a decent response, so it should work quite well).

Death for apostasy
vitor_palmer
EW: As we've established, according to Islam, the Quran is the most important book, and the hadith collection by Sahih Bukhari is the second most important.  As we've also established, Allah is all powerful, so there's nothing in these books that Allah wouldn't want included.  With that in mind, let's take a look at Bukhari's book:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.'

Bukhari Volume 9 Book 83, Number 37)

I said, "By Allah, Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57

Narrated 'Ikrima:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to 'Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn 'Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Apostle forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 58

Abu Musa said, "I came to the Prophet along with two men (from the tribe) of Ash'ariyin, one on my right and the other on my left, while Allah's Apostle was brushing his teeth (with a Siwak), and both men asked him for some employment. The Prophet said, 'O Abu Musa (O 'Abdullah bin Qais!).' I said, 'By Him Who sent you with the Truth, these two men did not tell me what was in their hearts and I did not feel (realize) that they were seeking employment.' As if I were looking now at his Siwak being drawn to a corner under his lips, and he said, 'We never (or, we do not) appoint for our affairs anyone who seeks to be employed. But O Abu Musa! (or 'Abdullah bin Qais!) Go to Yemen.'" The Prophet then sent Mu'adh bin Jabal after him and when Mu'adh reached him, he spread out a cushion for him and requested him to get down (and sit on the cushion). Behold: There was a fettered man beside Abu Muisa. Mu'adh asked, "Who is this (man)?" Abu Muisa said, "He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism." Then Abu Muisa requested Mu'adh to sit down but Mu'adh said, "I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, "Then we discussed the night prayers and one of us said, 'I pray and sleep, and I hope that Allah will reward me for my sleep as well as for my prayers.'"

Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 64:

Narrated 'Ali:

Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."

Obviously, this is of great importance. Your god would have not allowed something like, "If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him" into his holy book unless this is how he feels.

Your god/prophet could have said something like, "If a Muslim discards his religion, that's his personal choice. However, this is God's plan for salvation, so he will have to answer to God in the afterlife.  Because this is true, you should do everything you can to bring him back to the true faith".

Muhammad could have said something like that, but he didn't. Instead, he said, "If a man discards his religion, kill him".
In your personal opinion,  why do you believe your prophet said to kill apostates instead of something more peaceful and loving?

Dr. Naik: (He'll probably try to go the "There are fake hadith" route, so be sure to remind him that Allah is all powerful, and that if Allah didn't want such statements in his holy books, they wouldn't be there.  Also, I realize that's a lot to read, so you don't necessarily have to read all of them, but of course, the more you present, the fewer escape options he'll have).

allah/muhammad's low opinion of women
vitor_palmer
Especially with a room full on non-Muslims, trying to get a Muslim leader to explain these particular Quranic verses/hadiths could work well.

Just read the Quranic verse/hadith and get the Muslim leader to explain why he personally believes muhammad/allah said such things:

 
Quran 2:282

If the party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her.

This verse clearly tells us that the testimony of a woman is of less value than the testimony of a man.


Why do you personally believe the god you worship thinks the testimony of women is less valuable than the testimony of men?

Quran 4:11

Allah (thus) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance; if only one, her share is a half. For parents, a sixth share of the inheritance to each, if the deceased left children; if no children, and the parents are the (only) heirs, the mother has a third; if the deceased Left brothers (or sisters) the mother has a sixth. (The distribution in all cases ('s) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.

This verse tells us that in matters of inheritance, "to the male, a portion equal to that of two females".

The implication is that women are less capable of dealing with financial matters than men. Why do you personally believe that the god you worship believes males deserve twice the inheritance of females?

Qur'an (4:34) - "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."

Why do you personally believe that your god thinks men are the owners of women?

Also, why do you personally believe your god commanded men to beat women if they disobey?

Let's take a look at what Bukhari had to say:

Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."

Why do you personally believe the god you worship has placed more women in hell than men?

Also, why do you think Muhammad said that women are "deficient in intelligence"?

Quran 2:23 Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will; but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah. And know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give (these) good tidings to those who believe.

This verse seems terribly insensitive to me. Why do you think your god said something like this?

Let's take a look once more at what Bukhari had to say:

Bukhari 4.54.460

"If a husband calls his wife to his bed [i.e. to have sexual relation] and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning"

Why do you personally believe that your god sends angels to curse women all the night long if they refuse to have sex with their husbands?
Personally, I've never heard a Muslim come up with a "good" response to these questions.  Some non-Western Muslims have simply said things like, "Because women aren't as intelligent/reliable as men", etc., but obviously, that's not going to fly with a room full of Westerners.

How to respond to the "fake hadith" defense
vitor_palmer
It's commonly accepted amongst Muslims that the Quran is God's eternal, unchangeable word, but that the hadith collections contain some "fake hadith".  They will often use this defense to dismiss unsavory accounts of their prophet's life.

If that happens, this is an effective response:

EW:  The hadith collections of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are considered to be the second and third most authentic and important books in Islam.  Both these accounts make it absolutely clear that Prophet Mohammed married Aisha when she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her when she was nine (It's worthwhile to read the relevant hadith).

So Dr. Naik, we've already established that Mohammed is a "beautiful pattern of conduct" for Muslims to follow.  Therefore, you certainly believe that in the year 2010, all his actions were morally acceptable, correct?  So you must believe that in the year 2010 there are certain circumstances in which it is morally acceptable for a grown man to marry and have sex with a nine year old child, correct?

Dr. Naik:  Actually, the Quran is eternal and unchangeable, but the hadith collections are subject to corruption.  We believe that there are numerous fake hadith in the collections of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, even though in general, their accounts are very reliable.  We believe that the hadiths which indicate Aisha's age are fake.  Recent analysis has concluded that Aisha was approximately 16 when the marriage was consummated.

EW:  Oh, that's interesting.  Even though these two books are considered the second and third most important books in Islam, you believe they are filled with fake and/or unreliable information.  That seems strange to me.

Is this a correct statement?  In order for Muslims to draw close to God, Muslims are to follow the Quran and the Sunnah (the sayings and deeds of the Prophet).

Dr. Naik:  Yes, Muslims are to do both.

EW:  Alright, then please either confirm or deny this statement:  in order for Muslims to follow the Sunnah, they are to look to the six "authentic" hadith collections, of which the two most reliable are those by Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

Dr. Naik:  That's basically correct, but we're also to look to the sira (biographies of Mohammed).

EW:  Alright, thank you.  So it's God's plan for people to draw near to him by following the Quran and the Sunnah, and in order to understand the Sunnah, they are to read the hadith collections of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.  Yet according to you, these most reliable hadith collections are filled with fake and unreliable information.

I'm having trouble grasping this.  God wants you to follow the Sunnah, but he made the Sunnah deliberately difficult to understand.  Why do you think God did that?

Dr. Naik:  God most certainly did not intentionally provide false information.  These hadith collections were corrupted by men, and as we're all aware, men are from from perfect.

EW:  It's true that men are fallen, but answer this question for me.  Do you believe that your god is all-powerful?

Dr. Naik:  Surely he is.

EW:  OK.  Then either confirm or deny this statement for me:  God is powerful enough to keep the hadith collections free from fake hadith.

Dr. Naik:  Well, yes, He could have.

EW:  Alright, so your god could have kept these hadith collections free from fake/unreliable hadith, but He didn't.  Therefore, we can only conclude that your god intentionally included fake hadith.  Why do you personally believe your god would do such a thing?  You earlier told us that God wants man to follow both the Quran and the Sunnah, yet according to your own words, God gave man no clear way to understand the Sunnah.  Seems odd.  Please help me to understand this.

Dr. Naik:  Well, we believe that God allowed some fake hadith so that His followers would take the time to carefully study the holy texts and learn more about His true character.

EW: It seems strange to me that a "holy, pure" God would try to intentionally deceive his own followers, but I suppose I'll go with it.

Let's now go back to the issue of Aisha's age.  Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari clearly stated that Aisha was nine.  None of the other "authentic" hadith collections disputed this.  Why do you personally choose to believe God included these outright lies into his holiest of books?

Dr. Naik:  (I'm not entirely sure what happens at this point, but this approach has worked well in previous debates, so I'd recommend using it)

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