Has Islam Misunderstood Christianity?
A Christian Response to Bassam Zawadi’s Debate
With Dr. James R. White Pt. 2
It is ironic that Zawadi continues to claim that Islam is a monotheistic religion when, in reality, it is nothing more than repackaged paganism.
The fact is that Muhammad was an idolater who is responsible for causing countless numbers of individuals to commit idolatry, since he made it mandatory to venerate a black stone which he himself kissed and caressed.
Suffice it to say, this idolatrous veneration of an inanimate object perplexed even his own followers:
Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia:
'Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667)
The following, somewhat lengthy quote provides some additional details concerning the ways in which Muslims are supposed to honor this stone:
It is Sunnah to perform certain acts in tawaf as given below:
Facing the Black Stone at the start of the tawaf while uttering a takbir (Allahu-Akbar), and a tahlil (La ilaha illahlah), and raising one's hands as they are raised in prayers, and if possible touching it with both hands and kissing it quietly, or placing one's cheek on it. Otherwise, one may touch it with one's hand and kiss the hand, or touch it with something, and then kiss it, or if even that is not possible, one may just point to it with a stick, etc. as is mentioned in some of the ahadith given below.
Ibn 'Umar said: “Allah's Messenger faced the Black Stone, touched it, and then placed his lips on it and wept for a long time.” 'Umar also wept for a long time. The Prophet said: 'O 'Umar, this is the place where one should shed tears.” (Reported by Al-Hakim, who considers it a sound hadith with a sound chain of authorities)
It is reported by Ibn 'Abbas that 'Umar bent down towards the Black Stone and said: "By Allah! I know that you are A MERE STONE, and if I had not seen my beloved Prophet kissing you and touching you I would have never done so." The Qur'an says: "You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)."' (Qur'an 33.32) This was reported by Ahmad and others in slightly different words.
Nafi' said, “I have seen Ibn 'Umar touching the Black Stone with his hand, and then kissing his hand and saying: 'Ever since I saw the Prophet doing this, I have never failed to do that.''' (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
Sowayd bin Ghaflah said: "I have seen 'Umar kissing the Black Stone and touching it." He further said: "I know that the Prophet was especially very particular about it.'' (Muslim)
Ibn 'Umar reported that Allah's Messenger used to come to Ka'bah, touch the Black Stone and then say: Bismillahi wallahu akbar (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.)" (Ahmad)
Muslim has reported on the authority of Abu Tufail that he said: "I have seen the Prophet making tawaf around the Ka'bah and touching it with a stick and then kissing the stick."
Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Daw'ud reported that 'Umar approached the Black Stone and kissed it. Then he said: "I know that you are A MERE STONE that can neither harm nor do any good. If I had not seen the Prophet kissing you, I would have never kissed you."
Al-Khatabi said: "This shows that abiding by the Sunnah of the Prophet is binding, regardless of whether or not we understand its reason or the wisdom behind it."
Such information devolves obligation on all those whom it reaches, even if they may not fully comprehend its significance. It is known, however, that kissing the Black Stone signifies respect for it, recognition of our obligation toward it, and using it as a means of seeking Allah's blessings. Indeed Allah has preferred some stones over others, as He preferred some countries and cities, days and nights, and months over others. The underlying spirit of all this is unquestioning submission to Allah.
In some ahadith which say that "the Black Stone is Allah's right hand on earth," we do find, however, a plausible rationale and justification for this statement. In other words whosoever touches the Black Stone he pledges allegiance to Allah, as it were, by giving his hand into the hand of Allah, just as some followers do pledge their fealty to their kings and masters, by kissing and shaking hands with them.
Al-Muhallib said: “The hadith of 'Umar refutes the assertions of those who say that ‘The Black Stone is Allah's right hand on earth wherewith He shakes the hands of His slaves.’” God forbid that we should ascribe any physical organs to Allah [sic]. The commandment to kiss the Black Stone is meant to test and to demonstrate palpably as to who obeys and submits. It may be compared with the command to Iblis to bow to Adam.
We have no definite evidence, however, to believe that any of the stones used in building the Ka'bah originally (by Ibrahim and Isma'il), is still in existence today excepting the Black Stone. (Sayyid Saabiq, Fiqh-Us-Sunnah, Volume 5: Tawaf or Circumambulation around Ka'bah, Number 74b; bold, capital, and italic underline emphasis ours)
Pay attention here to how Muhammad would touch and kiss the black stone, as well as place his cheek on it, taking its station as the place to weep. Muhammad would also kiss his hand after touching the stone, and, if he couldn’t touch it, he would use a stick to reach it and then kiss that. And even though they didn’t (and still don’t) understand the wisdom behind it the Muslims continue(d) to implement this practice of their prophet since they thought/think that they would/will receive a blessing by doing so.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the above narration asserts that some Muslims actually believed that the black stone is Allah’s right hand on earth and that to touch it is to shake Allah’s right hand!
But that’s not all. According to another report the black stone will actually intercede for Muslims on the Day of Judgment:
2944. Sa'd b. Jubair is reported to have said, "I heard Ibn 'Abbas saying that Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings Allah be upon him) said, “This Stone must come on the Day of Resurrection and it will have two eyes to see with and a tongue to talk with bearing witness for him who caressed it with Truth (Islam).” (Sunan Ibn-I-Majah (Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad b. Yazid Ibn-I-Maja Al-Qazwini), English version by Muhammad Tufail Ansari [Kazi Publications, Lahore (Pakistan), 1st edition 1995], Volume IV, Chapter NO. XVII: Caressing The (Black) Stone (Fixed in a Wall of Ka’ba), pp. 244-245; bold and underline emphasis ours)
What makes this rather ironic is that the pagans did the very same thing to their idols since they too believed that their stone gods would intercede for them before Allah!
However, Muhammad wasn’t buying any of their excuses since he harshly rebuked them for their blatant idolatry:
If ye call them to guidance, they will not obey: For you it is the same whether ye call them or ye hold your peace! Verily those whom ye call upon besides God are servants like unto you: Call upon them, and let them listen to your prayer, if ye are (indeed) truthful! Have they feet to walk with? Or hands to lay hold with? Or eyes to see with? Or ears to hear with? Say: “Call your ‘god-partners’, scheme (your worst) against me, and give me no respite! For my Protector is God, Who revealed the Book (from time to time), and He will choose and befriend the righteous. But those ye call upon besides Him, are unable to help you, and indeed to help themselves.” S. 7:193-197 Y. Ali
And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him! S. 10:18
And yet Muhammadans like Zawadi expect us to believe that they are not idolaters who are guilty of basically worshiping a stone which the pagans themselves honored and worshiped!
As far as the Holy Bible is concerned, what Muhammad did is blatant idolatry since God’s revelation expressly prohibits true believers from bowing down to and kissing objects such as stones:
“And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.’” Exodus 20:1-6
“Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 26:1
“Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:18
“if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.” Job 31:26-28
God even commanded his people that such objects had to be destroyed:
“The LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, ‘Tell the Israelites: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you, destroy all their sacred stones and cast images, and demolish all their high places. You are to take possession of the land and settle in it because I have given you the land to possess.’” Numbers 33:50-53
And yet, instead of destroying the black stone, Muhammad kept this pagan relic in order to venerate it, something which is an abomination to the true God of Abraham.
Zawadi must, therefore, come to grips with reality and face the fact that his prophet was an idolater who stands condemned for promoting idolatry, as well as for perverting the message of God’s true prophets and apostles.