Allah Believes and Is Guided On A Straight Path?: A Rebuttal To Shamoun's Accusations of Shirk of Humanization
Sam Shamoun authored an article consisting of a two part series entitled "Muhammad's Inspiration and Eloquence versus Allah's Aseity" (*,*), however since most of his arguments have either been refuted already or are just simply too stupid and intellectually bankrupt to address (e.g. his section on "Does Allah know what he wills?" in particular) I have only decided to briefly address two of his arguments in this article since they appear to be new to me.
Guided on the Straight Path?
However, Muhammad has a so-called prophet named Hud saying that his Lord, who is supposed to be Allah, is also on a straight path!
Truly, I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord; there is no creature that crawls, but He takes it by the forelock. Surely my Lord is on a straight path (ala siratin mustaqeemin). S. 11:56
Compare this to the following translations:
Lo! my Lord is on a straight path. Pickthall
Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path. Y. Ali
Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth). Hilali-Khan
surely my Lord is on the right path. Shakir
It is one thing to say that Allah guides individuals to the straight path, but it is another thing altogether to say that he himself is ON the straight path. After all, he is supposed to be the destination which the straight path leads to. To, therefore, say that Allah is also on this same road means that he too is lost and has discovered the way back to himself, or there must be some other deity that Allah is accountable to!
In light of the above we have a few questions that we would like to see Muslims tackle.
Since Muhammad actually believed that Allah himself was on the straight path does this mean that he too was lost and needed to be guided?
If so then who is guiding Allah? Is he guiding himself or is there another deity which Allah answers to and will be judged by?
More importantly, if Allah himself needs guidance then how can it be said of him that he is the true God and the destination of all believers?
Shamoun commits the fallacy of equivocation. He erroneously assumes that the expression "straight path" always means the same thing whenever it is mentioned.
The expression "on a straight path" when applied to creatures has the meaning that they are believers following the correct religion ordained by Allah.
But for Allah, it doesn't mean that.
Imam Al-Qurtubi has it in his commentary:
إِنَّ رَبِّي عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
قال النحاس : الصراط في اللغة المنهاج الواضح ; والمعنى أن الله جل ثناؤه وإن كان يقدر على كل شيء فإنه لا يأخذهم إلا بالحق .
My Lord is on a straight path (siraat mustaqeem)
Al Nahhas said: Path (al-siraat) in the language is clear methodology and the meaning is that Allah (may His Praise be Glorified) even though He has Power over all things, He still deals with them with Justice. (Abu 'Abdullah al-Qurtubi's, Tasfir al Jami' li-ahkam al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 11:56, Source)
So yes, Allah is on a straight path of dealing with His servants with Justice. No where does it say that Allah is "guided" by someone to do this.
Allah Believes Too?
Astonishingly, one of the names of Allah is al-mumin, or the all-believing/the believer!
He is Allah; there is no god but He. He is the King, the All-holy, the All-peaceable, the All-Believing/the Believer (al-muminu), the All-preserver, the All-mighty, the All-compeller, the All-sublime. Glory be to Allah, above that they associate! S. 59:23 (translation ours)
Then he says:
The fact is that the Quran often likens Allah to his creatures, even in respect to their imperfections and needs. It is therefore not surprising that it would describe him as a believer much like it does for all those who believe and are faithful.
Actually, the only fact is that only ignoramuses like Shamoun raise such arguments. Again, Shamoun commits the fallacy of equivocation.
Shaykh Al-Munajjid has it:
What is the meaning of Allaah's name al-Mu'min (the Giver of Security)?
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah is al-Mu'min, the One Who will fulfil the promise to the sincere. He calls His slaves to believe in Him and He has control over the security of His creation in this world and in the Hereafter. And He declares Himself to be One, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Allaah bears witness that Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He)" [Aal 'Imraan 3:18]
Al-Mu'min is the one Who accepts His believing slaves, i.e., He accepts their faith and sincerity and makes them steadfast. And He fulfils His promise to His slave of reward.
He gives security to His close friends (awliya') by keeping them safe from His punishment and torment. So they are safe, and no one is safe except those to whom He grants safety. He fulfils what His slaves think of Him and never allows their hopes to be dashed.
He is the one Who declared Himself to be One, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
"And your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah (God ? Allaah)" [al-Baqarah 2:163]
He is the One Who guarantees not to treat His creation unjustly, and the one who does not deserve His punishment is safe from it.
He is the One Who will accept the testimony of His Muslim slaves on the Day of Resurrection, when the nations will be asked whether the Messengers conveyed the Message. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
" [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] has faith in the believers" [al-Tawbah 9:61]
All of these attributes belong to Allaah because He spoke the truth of Tawheed to which He calls His slaves. He guarantees that His slaves will not be treated unjustly [in the Hereafter] and promises Paradise to those who believe in Him and Hell to those who disbelieve in Him. And He is the One Who keeps His promise.
Sharh Asmaa' Allaah ta'aala al-Husna by Dr. Hissah al-Sagheer, p. 220 (Source)
One may also refer to Ibn Mandhur's famous Lisaan Al-Arab dictionary for consultation.
Shamoun then says:
Now if the author(s) was/were trying to communicate the fact that Allah is reliable or trustworthy, or that he is faithful to his promises, then s/he/they had other words they could have chosen from which would have been more suitable. For instance, s/he/they could have called Allah al-Amin ("The Faithful") or as-Sadiq ("The Trustworthy"). Instead, s/he/they chose a word which was the least eloquent way of describing the deity since it implies that Allah is a being who believes much like his creatures do.
No, the only implication is that Shamoun is an ignoramus who is discussing issues way out of his league. The word is not only merely trying to communicate that Allah is trustworthy as has just been shown. Shamoun is both ignorant of the Arabic language (so how does he know what word is eloquent or not?) and is ignorant (most likely deliberately) of the intent of Allah when He speaks.
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