Analyzing Muhammads Monotheism in light of the Prophetic Writings
Jalal Abualrub has produced a booklet (*) where he seeks to address the statements made by the current Pope who, on September 12, 2006, cited the following words from the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II,
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
In response to the assertion that Muhammad brought nothing but destruction and evil Abualrub presents 50 new and humane concepts which he believes his prophet supposedly brought to the world.
We have decided to respond to some of the examples presented by Abualrub to see if whether Muhammad did introduce anything new, or did he simply repackage, plagiarize and/or distort the teachings of the past.
Does the Quran Claim that Muhammad Brought Anything New?
But before we begin addressing specific sections of Abualrubs book we first want to see if whether the Quran agrees with the view that Muhammad introduced new concepts and teachings to the world.
The following texts seem to support Abualrubs contention since the Muslim scripture states that it contains some things which were new to Muhammad and his contemporaries:
These are announcements relating to the unseen which We reveal to you, you did not know them -- (neither) you nor your people -- before this; therefore be patient; surely the end is for those who guard (against evil). S. 11:49 Shakir
My Signs used to be rehearsed to you, but ye used to turn back on your heels- In arrogance: talking nonsense about the (Qur'an), like one telling fables by night. Do they not ponder over the Word (of God), or has anything (new) come to them that did not come to their fathers of old? Or do they not recognise their Apostle, that they deny him? S. 23:66-69 Y. Ali
Wouldnt this prove that Muhammad did introduce some new concepts to mankind?
Not at all since the main problem with these references is that they contradict other passages that expressly say that Muhammad didnt bring anything new, but simply reiterated and confirmed what was already known and taught before him:
Say (O Muhammad SAW): "I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah) (i.e. I am not the first Messenger) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner." S. 46:9 Hilali-Khan
NOTHING is said to you (O Muhammad) except what was said to the Messengers before you. Verily, your Lord is the Possessor of forgiveness, and (also) the Possessor of painful punishment. S. 41:43 Hilali-Khan
A tafsir (commentary) attributed Ibn Abbas says regarding the above text:
(Naught is said unto thee) Muhammad, of vilification or denial (save what was said unto the messengers before thee) of vilification and denial; it is also said that this means: the message that you were commanded to convey is like what the messengers before you were commanded to convey. (Lo! thy Lord) O Muhammad (is owner of forgiveness) He forgives those who repent of disbelief and believe in Allah, (and owner (also) of dire punishment) for those who die in a state of disbelief. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn Abbâs; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Interestingly, these very citations were actually sourced by Muslims in an open letter, which addresses the current Popes recent statements, to prove that Muhammad didnt bring something new but simply reemphasized the message of the prophets before him:
You mention the emperors assertion that "anything new" brought by the Prophet was "evil and inhuman, such as his alleged command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." What the emperor failed to realizeaside from the fact (as mentioned above) that no such command has ever existed in Islam is that the Prophet never claimed to be brining anything fundamentally new. God says in the Holy Quran, Naught is said to thee (Muhammad) but what already was said to the Messengers before thee (Fussilat, 41:43), and, Say (Muhammad): I am no new thing among the messengers (of God), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that what is Revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner (al-Ahqaf, 46:9). Thus, faith in the One God is not the property of any one religious community. According to Islamic belief, all the true prophets preached the same truth to different peoples at different times. The laws maybe different, but the truth is unchanging. (Open Letter to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, p. 3; source; underline emphasis ours)
This could not be otherwise since Jesus said: (Matthew 22:40)"On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Moreover, God confirms in the Holy Quran that the Prophet Muhammad brought nothing fundamentally or essentially new: Naught is said to thee (Muhammad) but what already was said to the messengers before thee (Fussilat 41:43). (An Open Letter and Call from Muslim Religious Leaders to: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, (III) COME TO A COMMON WORD BETWEEN US AND YOU, p. 13; source 1; source 2; underline emphasis ours)
Some of the renowned Muslim scholars who signed the above include Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Hamza Yusuf and Nuh Ha Mim Keller.
In support of the position that Muhammad didnt introduce new teachings but claimed to be upholding and following the religion of the prophets who came before him notice the following statements:
That is Our argument, which We bestowed upon Abraham as against his people. We raise up in degrees whom We will; surely thy Lord is All-wise, All-knowing. And We gave to him Isaac and Jacob -- each one We guided, And Noah We guided before; and of his seed David and Solomon, Job and Joseph, Moses and Aaron -- even so We recompense the good-doers -- Zachariah and John, Jesus and Elias; each was of the righteous; Ishmael and Elisha, Jonah and Lot-each one We preferred above all beings; and of their fathers, and of their seed, and of their brethren; and We elected them, and We guided them to a straight path. That is God's guidance; He guides by it whom He will of His servants; had they been idolaters, it would have failed them, the things they did. Those are they to whom We gave the Book, the Judgment, the Prophethood; so if these disbelieve in it, We have already entrusted it to a people who do not disbelieve in it. Those are they whom God has guided; so follow their guidance. Say: 'I ask of you no wage for it; it is but a reminder unto all beings.' S. 6:83-90
So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), "Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith, and he joined not gods with God." S. 16:123 Y. Ali
The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than God, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. God chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). S. 42:13 Y. Ali
And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), as it was to those (Allah's Messengers) before you: "If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers." S. 39:65 Hilali-Khan
Thus, Muhammad wasnt bringing a new religion but was supposedly adhering to the faith of the prophets before him.
The Quran also says that even the unbelievers knew that Muhammad wasnt bringing anything new:
The unbelievers say, This is naught but a calumny he has forged, and other folk have helped him to it.' So they have committed wrong and falsehood. They say, 'Fairy-tales of the ancients that he has had written down, so that they are recited to him at the dawn and in the evening.' Say: 'He sent it down, who knows the secret in the heavens and earth; He is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. S. 25:4-6 Arberry
When Our Signs are rehearsed to him, he says, "Tales of the ancients!" S. 83:13 Y. Ali
The unbelievers response shows that they already knew these stories and had heard them before.
Now, one can contend that these instructions and tales were new to Muhammad but they certainly werent unknown to the Jews, Christians and pagans from whom he plagiarized. As one narrative puts it:
There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet. Later on he returned to Christianity again and he used to say: "Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him." Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is the act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them." They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, "This is an act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them." They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 814)
Putting aside the obvious legendary embellishments, it is rather evident from this report that there was a growing problem of people claiming to have influenced Muhammad in composing the Quran which the Muslims had to address and explain away.
For more on Muhammad "borrowing" stories and commandments from the Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, pagans etc., we highly recommend the following articles and discussions:
Thus, the Quran refutes itself and Abualrub since it expressly states that Muhammad didnt bring anything new to the world except, perhaps, destruction and humiliation to the masses of people who refused to accept his claims. Yet even the evil and destruction which he did bring wasnt something unheard of or unknown since there were tyrants and despots before him who brought chaos and despair wherever they went.
With that said we now move to the next section.
Did Muhammad really eradicate Idolatry and reinstate Abrahamic Monotheism?
Abualrub believes that Muhammad eradicated polytheism in Mecca and destroyed the idols found at the Kabah, much like the prophets before him had done:
Eradicating Shirk: When he entered the Kabah, the Prophet of Islamic Monotheism ordered that all the idols in and around the Kabah be destroyed, the idols that were being worshipped instead of Allah. He had these idols destroyed just as Allah ordered His ancient Prophets to do, "But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire" (Deuteronomy 7:5).
What does the Pope know about Muhammad? Can the Pope appear in front of his congregation and declare that Muhammad did evil when he destroyed the idols and called to the Oneness of the Creator of everything? (Jalal Abualrub, Muhammad: The Prophet of Mercy 50 New & Humane Concepts Brought by Muhammad, edited by Alaa Mencke [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, June 2007; source], p. 136)
Abualrubs appeal to the Hebrew Scriptures is going to backfire against for at least two main reasons.
First, according to the OT Scriptures the God of Abraham is actually a multi-personal Being who often appears in human form to his servants. For the sake of space we will limit ourselves to a few examples:
"And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash YOUR FEET, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on since you have come to your servant. So they said, Do as you have said. And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes. And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree WHILE THEY ATE. They said to him, Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, She is in the tent. THE LORD SAID, I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure? THE LORD SAID TO ABRAHAM, Why did Sarah laugh and say, "Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?" Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son. But Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh, for she was afraid. He said, No, but you did laugh. Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. THE LORD SAID, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him. THEN THE LORD SAID, Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know. So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. Then Abraham drew near and said, Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just? AND THE LORD SAID, If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake. Abraham answered and said, Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five? And he said, I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there. Again he spoke to him and said, Suppose forty are found there. He answered, For the sake of forty I will not do it. Then he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there. He answered, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. He said, Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there. He answered, For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it. Then he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there. He answered, For the sake of ten I will not destroy it. And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place." Genesis 18:1-33
Here, God appears as a man alongside two other men, has feet that can be washed and even eats food!
As of this werent astonishing enough, we are told in another passage that Jacob wrestled with God who appeared to him as a man:
"And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacobs hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, Let me go, for the day has broken. But Jacob said, I will not let you go unless you bless me. And he said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob. Then he said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed. Then Jacob asked him, Please tell me your name. But he said, Why is it that you ask my name? And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered." Genesis 32:24-30
According to another text of Scripture the God who wrestled with Jacob is said to have been the Angel (or Messenger) of God:
"The LORD has an indictment against Judah and will punish Jacob according to his ways; he will repay him according to his deeds. In the womb he took his brother by the heel, and in his manhood he strove with God. He strove with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought his favor. He met God at Bethel, and there God spoke with us the LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his memorial name:" Hosea 12:2-5
Pay careful attention to the fact that the prophet Hosea identifies the Angel as the very God who spoke to Jacob at Bethel and who later wrestled with him!(1)
Hosea isnt the only one to call this specific Angel God since the Angel himself tells Jacob that he is the God of the Bethel:
"In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob, and I said, Here I am! And he said, Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred." Genesis 31:10-13
The foregoing demonstrates that this particular Angel isnt a creature but a Divine Being. The OT Scriptures emphatically proclaim that this specific Messenger is both distinct from God and God at the same time.
The Hebrew prophets also taught that Gods Spirit is a Divine Person as well, One who is fully God in essence and has all the characteristics of Personhood:
"The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God," 2 Samuel 23:2-3
The prophet David equates the Spirit with God since when the Spirit speaks God speaks!
"But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit, who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name, who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble. Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name." Isaiah 63:10-11, 14
The Spirit can be grieved, a characteristic of Personhood, and is the One who gave Israel rest by delivering them from their bondage in Egypt and bringing them into the Promised Land. And:
"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4
"When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground." Psalm 104:29-30
Gods Spirit is the Creator!
Finally, the prophet Daniel was given a vision in which he saw two Divine Persons, the Ancient of Days and one like a Son of Man:
"As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Daniel doesnt see a mere man but an entity who is also fully Divine since he rides the clouds, which is a Divine function (cf. Isaiah 19:1; Psalm 104:3), and has an eternal kingdom where all his subjects worship or serve him.
And according to the NT, Jesus is this very Divine Son of Man who rules creation forever and is worshiped by every creature:
"But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Mark 14:61-62
"And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Luke 1:30-33
"But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." Acts 7:55-56
"Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Revelation 1:7, 12-18
"Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! And the four living creatures said, Amen! and the elders fell down and worshiped." Revelation 5:11-14
Thus, the God whom the prophets worshiped is a Triune Being consisting of the Father, the Son (who is the same Person as the Divine Angel/Messenger and Son of Man), and the Holy Spirit.
The second problem with Abualrubs position is that Muhammad didnt eradicate all aspects of Arabian paganism since he still retained the idolatrous practice of kissing the black stone that was situated at the Kabah:
Narrated Az-Zubair bin Arabi:
A man asked Ibn 'Umar about the touching of the Black Stone. Ibn Umar said, "I saw Allahs Apostle touching and kissing it." The questioner said, "But if there were a throng (much rush) round the Ka'ba and the people overpowered me, (what would I do?)" He replied angrily, "Stay in Yemen (as that man was from Yemen). I saw Allah's Apostle touching and kissing it." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 680)
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)
Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father who said:
"Umar bin Al-Khattab addressed the Corner (Black Stone) saying, 'By Allah! I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.' Then he kissed it and said, 'There is no reason for us to do Ramal (in Tawaf) except that we wanted to show off before the pagans, and now Allah has destroyed them.' 'Umar added, '(Nevertheless), the Prophet did that and we do not want to leave it (i.e. Ramal).' (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 675)
The dilemma that Abualrub faces is that the prophet Abraham would never have placed a black idol for his descendants to kiss. In fact, this idolatrous rite is expressly condemned in the very Book of Moses which Abualrub quoted:
"Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children." You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars - all the heavenly array - do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshipping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven." Deuteronomy 4:10-19
God didnt appear in a visible manner to the nation of Israel so that his people wouldnt be tempted to make an image and venerate it. This shows that true believers are forbidden from fashioning and kissing an object such as a black stone.
That kissing a religious object is considered a form of worship, and hence idolatry, can be easily demonstrated from the following reference:
"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 King 19:18
God considers bowing and kissing the idol of the false god Baal an idolatrous act of worship which true believers do not indulge in. Thus, kissing any object within a religious context is a clear act of worship in the sight of the true God.
Finally, even if we were to accept for arguments sake that Abraham did indeed place such a stone within the Kabah this still doesnt justify what Muhammad did. After all, the Holy Bible itself shows what happens when individuals start venerating an object which God commanded to be fashioned; such an object must be destroyed.
For example, God gave Moses the order to fashion a bronze serpent:
"From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food. Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live." Numbers 21:4-9
Yet when the people of Israel started venerating this object God had the righteous king Hezekiah destroy it:
"In the third year of Hoshe'a son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezeki'ah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechari'ah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Ashe'rah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it; it was called Nehush'tan." 2 Kings 18:1-4
Thus, just because Muhammad may have erroneously believed that Abraham had placed the black stone at the Kabah he still had no right to kiss it, thereby turning it into an object of idolatry.
The foregoing shows that Muhammad not only didnt introduce or reinstate monotheism, he actually perverted the monotheism which the true prophets and messengers of God brought to mankind.
Seeing that we have already refuted much of Abualrubs book there will be no need for us to write new rebuttals to them. What we will do, instead, is to provide the title of a specific chapter from his booklet and then post the links which thoroughly address the claims made in that particular section.
Good News about the Original Sin
Was The Original Sin forgiven?
Denying any Shortcoming with Regards to Allahs Attributes
Worshipping Idols and Images
Defending the Honor & Purifying the Image of Allahs Prophets
Treatment of Non-Combatants in War
Compulsion in Religion
Surrender to Slavery, or Death!
Between Inheriting Women and Granting them Inheritance
Lord Jesus willing, more rebuttals to Abualrubs book will follow shortly.
(1) Being aware that the Bible mentions the story of Jacob wrestling with God Abualrub decides to go on the attack:
The All-Mighty looses a wrestling match: Genesis claims that the Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) wrestled with Allah and prevailed (Ibid., p. 62)
This exposes a rather superficial reading and understanding of the text. The passage itself provides a clue that God could have destroyed Jacob at any moment if he wanted to:
"When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon." Genesis 32:25, 31-32
The very fact that by one touch God left Jacob physically impaired for the rest of his life shows that Yahweh could have killed him at any time.
The question may be asked why then did God allow Jacob to prevail? In order to get the answer one must first read this section in the overall context of Jacobs life. Jacob was a man who used lies and deception to get what he wanted and often ran away from the problems that he caused for himself. For instance, in order to procure the blessing of the firstborn Jacob, with the help of his mother, deceived his father Isaac into thinking that he was his eldest son Esau. When Esau found out what had happened he swore that he would kill his brother (cf. Genesis 27:1-41).
Jacob then ran to his uncles house, who ended up deceiving and cheating his nephew. As was his habit, Jacob decided to once again run away from his problems (cf. Genesis 27:42-31:55).
Furthermore, right before his encounter with God, Jacob was on his way to see his brother Esau who had sworn that he would kill Jacob if he ever saw him (cf. Genesis 32:1-21).
It is in this context that God appears to wrestle Jacob. God was teaching Jacob that he needed to stop using deception and running from his problems if he wanted to receive Gods blessing. Jacob needed to come face to face with his trials and overcome them by faith, trusting that God would be with him to grant him success and victory.
This also explains why God asked him for his name:
"The man asked him, What is your name? Jacob, he answered. Then the man said, Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Genesis 32:27-28
Now contrast this with what transpired between Jacob and his father:
"When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, My son. Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. He went to his father and said, My father. Yes, my son, he answered. Who is it? Jacob said to his father, I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing. Isaac asked his son, How did you find it so quickly, my son? The LORD your God gave me success, he replied. Then Isaac said to Jacob, Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not. Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau. He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he blessed him. Are you really my son Esau? he asked. I am, he replied." Genesis 27:1, 15-24
Notice how Jacob claims to be someone that he is not, namely, his brother Esau. This is why God asked him what his name was, to teach Jacob not to pretend to be someone he wasnt, thinking that this was the way he would receive Gods blessing. God was showing him that if he wants to be blessed he needed to be forthright and state plainly who he is since God would not honor his lies and deceptions.
To put this simply, God allowed Jacob to prevail in his struggle in order to teach him the valuable lesson that he needed to stop running from lifes problems and face them. And once he starts doing this he would then see the power of God in his life which would enable him to prevail and therefore receive the blessing which God had promised him even before he was born:
"The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, Why is this happening to me? So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger." Genesis 25:22-23
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