Counter Rebuttal to Matt Slick's Response to My Rebuttal to His Article 'Questions for Muslims'
You can access Matt Slick's response to my rebuttal to his original article.
Matt Slick said:
Bassam Zawadi's Original: "Introduction This article is in response to Matt Slick's article questions for Muslims.
God willing I will try my best to provide answers to the questions posted by Matt Slick. The answers mostly are not of my own. I just provide them.
Matt Slick said:
- The Qur'an says "To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward" (Surah 5:9).
- Question: Are you doing enough good deeds to receive salvation on the Day of Judgment?
- Question: Are you doing all you can or are you relaxing in your dedication to Allah?
My Response: How do you know if you studied well enough for the test the next day? You just know. Your heart tells you. You know when you are doing more good deeds than bad. It is obvious. You feel it. People could stop and think about what they have done through out their lives and think if they have used it for the good or bad. God judges you by your intentions and efforts. The person knows if he put the necessary effort into it or not. There is no other way to explain it."
Matt Slick's Response: What Mr. Zawadi offers us is nothing more than his opinion. He appeals to the heart, the very thing that the Bible says not to trust because it is desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). There have been many times when my heart has told me that I had studied very well for a test and I knew I would get a good grade. Unfortunately, the grades I sometimes received were not what my heart told me I would earn. There have been women I have felt very strongly towards but later found out that my feelings were misguided. Is it wise to trust in something that can be mislead? I think not.
What Mr. Zawadi is telling us is that he feels that he's good enough to merit the forgiveness of his God. If his opinion accurately reflects the teachings of Islam, then he lowers the stature and holiness of God. The Christian would never say that he feels he is good enough or done enough good to merit the forgiveness of the Almighty. Such a thing is sinful because it is boastful and self-centered. When it comes to forgiveness before God and our works, we are commanded to boast only in what Christ has done and not in ourselves: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast," (Eph. 2:8-9), and "For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world," (Gal. 6:13).
Finally, Mr. Zawadi did not answer the question. He did not tell us if he is doing enough good deeds to receive salvation on the day of judgment. He also did not tell us if he was doing all he could do or if he was relaxing in his dedication to his God. If Mr. Zawadi were to tell us that he was good enough, that he was doing enough good deeds to earn his salvation, then he is a far better man than I am. For I would never boast and could never claim that I was good enough or doing enough good deeds to please my Lord -- no matter how hard I tried. Instead, I must rely completely on his grace found in Jesus that has been manifested in the cross through which I am forgiven by the sacrifice of the Son of God.
I never said that I would receive salvation only through works. I never said that I could rightly deserve and earn the mercy of God. Islam teaches us that our deeds are useless and we can only go to heaven with God's mercy.
Volume 8, Book 76, Number 470:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The deeds of anyone of you will not save you (from the (Hell) Fire)." They said, "Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "No, even I (will not be saved) unless and until Allah bestows His Mercy on me. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise)."
But this does not mean that a man should give up deeds which please Allah, keeping in view, the above Hadith. Furthermore, Allah made some laws and principles to acquire his mercy, as well as legislated many rules in order to recognize his anger and displeasure. Good deeds are means of asking Allah's favour, whereas, evil acts cause his rage. Therefore, Allah's mercy showers upon him who pursues the right path. (Mufti Md. Shahabuddin, A Worshipper and A Wrong Doer, Source)
Islam emphasizes on faith and works (Surah 2:25, 21:94, 47:2, 65:11, 85:11) and that works by themselves are not enough (Surah 9:17).
I explained this in more detail in one of my rebuttals to Matt Slick http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/rebuttal_to_matt_slick_s_article__does_islam_teach_salvation_by_works__
God is not going to shower his mercy on us because of our deeds, but because of our efforts because he knows that we are limited.
Interestingly even the Bible teaches that our deeds plays a role in salvation...
20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"[e] and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
21 "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.
22 None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.
16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18"Which ones?" the man inquired.
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'[d] and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'[e]"
20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (this shows Jesus advised the man to do more good deeds)
Matt Slick in his article http://www.carm.org/diff/Eph2_8.htm makes a desperate attempt to reconcile the contradiction between Paul and Jesus's teachings. He claims that good deeds are a result of good faith (I agree) and that is what is meant in James chapter 2. However, James is crystal clear in what he said. There is no where in the gospel where Jesus said that salvation is through believing in the fact that he came to be crucified for the sins of the world. Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5) and when you read the gospel you see Jesus stressing on the people to do more good deeds as it is their key to their salvation. In the Old Testament, God ordered people to do good deeds as I showed in (Ezekiel 18:21-22), so what has changed? If people have been earning their salvation this way through out time, why does God need to change that and send his son to be crucified for the sins of the world?
Yes it is true that we cannot keep and follow the Law perfectly, that is why we ask God for forgiveness. The test is, how are we going to react after we commit the sin? Are we going to repent or are we going to continue committing them?
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: "Matt Slick said:
- The Qur'an says, "O ye who believe! Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your evil deeds and bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, on the day when Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and on their right hands; they will say: Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and forgive us! Lo! Thou art Able to do all things," (66:8-9). Notice how it says if you are sincere you may receive forgiveness.
- Question: How do you know you are sincere enough to be forgiven of Allah?
- Question: Does it give you peace to know that even if you are very sincere that at best, you may receive forgiveness?
- Question: If you say that you know you are sincere enough in your repentance before Allah, how do you know you are not deceiving yourself?
- Question: Is your heart really good enough to muster enough sincerity before a Holy and Righteous God?
- Question: If you say yes, I honestly and humbly ask you, "Are you being prideful?"
- Question: If you say you are not being prideful, then are you boasting in your sincerity?
My Response: This is only a figure of speech that God is using. For example, "if you wash my car I might let you take it for a drive". Now when I say "I might", it means that I will let the person take it for a drive. It is only a figure a speech.
The person knows that his repentance is sincere when he has fulfilled the conditions of tawbah (repentance)
Taken from http://www.alinaam.org.za/library/duaa/tawbah02.htm
Hazrat Allie [radhiyallahu anhu] was asked as to what Tauba is. He replied, "It is a combination of six things,
1) To regret over ones sins.
2) To make Qadha of any Fardh or Wajib one had foregone.
3) To return the property of others which one usurped.
4) To seek forgiveness from the aggrieved if one has harmed him physically or verbally.
5) A firm resolution not to embark on sin in future.
6) Just as one has witnessed himself disobeying Allah Ta'aala he now beholds himself in His obedience.
Matt Slick's Response: Mr. Zawadi did not answer the questions. Instead he dismisses them by saying, "This is only a figure of speech that God is using." Which part of Sura 66:8-9 is a figure of speech? He does not tell us. Mr. Zawadi does say, however, that there are six steps that a person must follow in order to know is repentance is sincere enough. Regret, restitution, asking forgiveness, repentance, etc. but this does not address the issue of the heart of the Muslim. The questions deal with the heart. How does the Muslim know that his own sincerity down deep in his heart is good enough? That is the question. The question is not what deeds must be done, but how does he know his sincerity is enough? He does not address the second question, nor the third, nor the fourth, nor the fifth, nor the sixth. How can this response from Mr. Zawadi be taken seriously as a rebuttal to a list of questions when he doesn't even answer them? How do you rebut questions? Don't you answer them? Why did Mr. Zawadi not do that?
I think I made it pretty obvious which part of the verse was a figure of speech. When Allah says "maybe" in the verse, I explained that it was a figure of speech.
Then Matt Slick says that I did not address all the questions. That is because all of them could be answered with one answer. I explained how we achieve sincere repentance in Islam.
I have to regret for my sins. Matt is asking how I know I truly regret for my sins. Well this is a subjective answer. I cannot prove it to anyone except my self. Only I know if I regret it. There are different ways to do this. Maybe I can imagine my self going back in time using a time machine and not committing the sin.
It is like me asking Matt Slick this question. How do you know if the Holy Spirit is truly dwelling within you? How do you know that your not psychologically brainwashing your self into thinking so? How do you know that it is not the devil acting like the Holy Spirit? Matt could only respond back and say that the experience is subjective, personal and has no way to explain it. It is just between him and his Lord and that he has confidence that God really knows his intentions and efforts and feelings.
I do not believe that my heart is good enough to muster enough sincerity before a Holy and Righteous God. But that is the way God created me. God knows that I am like that and would not punish me for He created me this way. He would only punish me for something that is in my capability. If it is not my capability to be righteous enough before this Holy God, then He cannot punish because He created me this way. However, my capability is that I try my very best to be sincere. How do I know that I am trying my very best Matt might ask? Again like I said, this is subjective and personal and between me and my Lord.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: "Matt Slick said: In Christianity, Jesus is God in flesh who paid for our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). Because of that, we Christians are secure in Him and do not have to worry about doing enough good works to please God since we are saved by grace through faith in Him, (Eph. 2:8-9).
- Question: Why should we Christians give up our guarantee of salvation in Jesus for the requirements of your Qur'anic law when you yourselves don't even know if you have done enough good deeds to be saved on the Day of Judgment?
My Response: Well Matt Slick is assuming that Christianity is the truth and that Jesus really did die for his sins. Well if Christianity is the truth, then Islam is false and therefore we should all become Christians. However, people do not choose a religion that appeals to them, they choose the truth. The reason why Matt Slick and all Christians should leave Christianity is because it is a false religion, therefore they have no salvation unless they turn to the glorious Quran."
Matt Slick's Response: Yes, I do assume that Christianity is the truth and that Islam is false. But Mr. Zawadi is incorrect because if Christianity is true, it does not mean that all people will become Christians. He is incorrect again when he says that "people do not choose a religion that appeals to them, they choose the truth." Not all people choose truth. For example, many have chosen Islam, and Mormonism, and Jehovah's Witnesses, and atheism, and Buddhism, etc.
But again, Mr. Zawadi does not answer the question. I fail to understand why he would write a rebuttal to my series of questions if he doesn't even answer the questions in the first place. Again, how do you write a rebuttal to questions? You don't. You write a rebuttal to statements, not questions. Perhaps Mr. Zawadi would care to answer the questions sometime in the future. Mr.'s Zawadi's statements are not rebuttals.
I made a mistake when I said:
"However, people do not choose a religion that appeals to them, they choose the truth."
I should have said:
However, people SHOULD not choose a religion that appeals to them, they SHOULD choose the truth.
This only comes down to a debate whether Christianity (Paul's version) or Islam (true Christianity) is the truth. The only answer I could give Matt is from a Muslim perspective. That is that just because you believe that Jesus died for your sins, it does not make it the truth. I do not believe that Jesus did, therefore that is why I believe that you should give up your religion. If Jesus did, then don't give it up. But I believe he did not.
This is only going to get to a debate "Which is the truth? Christianity or Islam?". Matt asked such a general question that could dive into a many categories.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said:
- The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:16) and that He loves all people (Matt. 5:43-48; John 3:16). The Qur'an never says that "God is love." In fact, the Qur'an says that Allah does not love unbelievers (2:98; 3:32).
- Question: If Allah does not love unbelievers, can you say that Allah is love, especially if the Qur'an does not say it?
- Question: If you say yes, that Allah is love, then why does he only love the Muslims and not all people?
- Question: If you say Allah is love, is he more loving than the God of the Bible who loves all people?
God is fair, how can God love the unbelievers and throw them into eternal fire? That is illogical. How does it make a believer feel that with all the good deeds he has done and all the love that he showed towards God and then finds out that God loves the corrupt people equally? It is not fair. It is illogical.
Matt Slick's Response: Mr. Zawadi comes close to answering the questions but fails to directly address them. Matt. 5:43-48 deals with the love of God for all people in that he provides for them rain, sunshine, etc. This is a gracious act of God extended to the unbeliever. The point of my original question was not to say that God does not hate anyone, because God does (see my article Does God hate anyone?). The point was to show that the Bible says that God is very loving and that he loves unbelievers as well. Mr. Zawadi missed the point altogether.
I see no counter rebuttal here. Matt slick made a mistake in his third question,
Question: If you say Allah is love, is he more loving than the God of the Bible who loves all people?
I clearly showed verses from the Bible that the God of the Bible does not love everyone.
Matt gives the example of how God sends down rain for everyone and that shows his love for the unbelievers. I one hundred percent agree with that. I believe that God "loves" all his creation in some basic way. God said in the Quran that he sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a mercy for All Mankind. That shows God's "love" for all mankind, including disbelievers. However, when I spoke of love I meant the love of God that we want God to shower on us in order for us to enter paradise. I was not talking about His basic love for His creation. Allah does not love the unbelievers the same special way that He loves the believers. But the basic love and mercy as in God giving them air to breathe, legs to walk on, etc. is there. That is if you want to define it as "love", then it does not go beyond that for unbelievers.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: By the way, who said that the God of the bible loves all?
[Formatting improved to save space] Ecclesiastes 3:8, "a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Leviticus 20:23, "You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them"; Deuteronomy 18:12, "Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you"; Leviticus 26:30, "I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you"; Psalm 5:4-6, "You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell, 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. 6 You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors"; Psalm 11:5, "The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates"; Romans 913, "Just as it is written: 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Matt Slick's Response: I addressed this above.
No do you did not. In your question you said that God loves all people and he does not love all people according to your Bible.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: "Us Muslims believe that Allah has put us on earth and made us all Muslims by fitrah (nature). That it is natural for all of us to want to know God. To get to know God. We are born pure. It is like he has put us all on a highway leading to paradise but there are many exits. People unfortunately take those exits despite God warning us not to take them. Therefore, those who turn away from the mercy of God. Reject the love that God wants to give them and has already given them from the start. Therefore, God does not love them anymore. They do not deserve to be loved."
Matt Slick's Response: The Bible teaches us that none deserve to be loved. But we are loved because of what and who God is. In other words, God first loves us in spite of our sinfulness. God loves us because of what is in him, not because of what is in us. As Christians, we know we are not worth loving, that we have sinned against an infinitely holy God, and that we deserve damnation. But, we have been blessed by the grace of God to receive forgiveness through Jesus. Therefore, we boast in nothing that we have done, in none of our actions, and certainly not our own hearts.
I agree with all that Matt said except about the salvation through Jesus part. We believe that God is just too merciful that he is willing to forgive us.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: "Matt Slick said:
Matt Slick's Response: This is no response at all. The questions deal with who has performed the greatest act of love. Mr. Zawadi did not answer the question. He avoided it...yet again. This is not an adequate rebuttal by any means.
I already explained that this is going to get to debate about which religion is the truth or not. I believe Matt should give up the "love" of the God he believes in, the great act (crucifixion) because it never occurred in the first place.
Brother Sami Zaatri has already refuted Matt's article over here.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said:
- Islam teaches that the Holy Spirit is Gabriel. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit lives in the Christians.
- Question: If the angel Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, how can he dwell in us? (Note: According to the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament Textual Apparatus, there are no textual variations any of the following biblical references. They are recorded and transmitted to us accurately.)
- "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you," (2 Tim. 1:14, NASB).
- "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16, NASB).
Matt Slick's logic is "if the New Testament says something and the teachings of Islam say something else, then Islam must be wrong". Matt Slick yet needs to prove that whatever the New Testament says is superior to the teachings of Islam. It does not matter if there are no textual variations (I like how he indirectly admits that there are though). It does not matter if that is what is really written, it does not make it true.
Matt Slick's Response: It goes without saying that as a Christian I affirm the teachings of the New Testament. The issue here is how the Muslim would answer the question that if the angel Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, according to Islam, then how can he dwell within us. Instead of dealing with the question Mr. Zawadi briefly mentions textual variations. I had mentioned them because the Muslims claim that the Bible is corrupted, though they have no proof of this. The textual apparatus demonstrates that the text I quoted is identical in every single manuscript that has been unearthed. Therefore, there is no evidence whatsoever to demonstrate that the texts thus cited are incorrect. Mr. Zawadi sidesteps the question and yet again fails to answer. Again, how is this a rebuttal? It is not.
It amazes me how people think. In Islam we do not believe that Gabriel dwells with in us. What is your proof for that? Your bible? You are using your bible to incorporate an Islamic doctrine. We believe that Gabriel is the Holy Spirit. But no where in the Quran does it say that Gabriel is within us.
Again this comes down to a debate whether the Bible or the Quran is the true word of God.
Matt Slick said:
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said:
- Lying is okay?
- Question: Was Muhammad wrong for advocating lying? Is Lying okay? "Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him [Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf]?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). "The Prophet said, "You may say it," (Hadith Vol. 5, Book 59, #369).
- Question: Who is more holy, Allah or Yahweh?
- In the above quote from the hadith, Muhammad advocated lying. The Christian God would never approve of lying. Does the god of Islam approve of lying? If not, then wasn't Muhammad wrong? If he was not wrong, then Allah approves of lying. Which God is more holy? The God of Christianity is far more holy.
My Response: Lying is strongly prohibited in Islam. Read this great article for the proof http://www.islamtomorrow.com/lies.asp Now Matt Slick needs to understand that it was only during that specific situation. You can read about it http://understanding-islam.org/related/text.asp?type=rarticle&raid=263&sscatid=149 and http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/Muhammad/kaab.htm
Matt Slick's Response: So what Mr. Zawadi is telling us is that lying is strongly prohibited in Islam but it is also permitted. That is a contradiction. The fact is that Mohammed advocated lying so that someone could be killed. Jesus did not teach people to lie nor does he approve of their lying. But in Islam, Mohammed approved of it.
I'm not interested in reading multiple articles that he references in his so-called rebuttal. If Mr. Zawadi wishes to answer the questions forthright, I would be interested in seeing those answers. As it stands, he has offered very little regarding answering the questions and his rebuttal is no rebuttal at all.
I'm very disappointed in his response to my paper. He did not answer the questions and by not answering them, he did not have a grounds on which to establish the truth of those answers. I assume that since he did not answer, he does not have answers.
Lying is a sin, just like how killing is a sin. But there arise circumstances where the act does not become a sin anymore. No judge in the world would convict someone for killing someone in self defense. There arose a situation where someone had to kill the other. Is that a sin? No! But it is still killing isn't it? The circumstances don't make it that way. The same case here with Kab bin Ashraf, the man had to lie in order to convince Kab bin Ashraf to come out of his hiding.
Why doesn't Matt want to read the links I have provided? The answers to his questions are there. Why do I have to waste my time making up new arguments or paraphrasing someone else's answers?
Well, then I guess I would have no choice but to turn the tables on the Christians and expose their God as immoral according to their own criteria.
Here is the passage...
1 Kings 22:20-22
20 And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?'
"One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
22 " 'By what means?' the LORD asked.
" 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said.
" 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
Here we see that the man said that he would resort to lying in order to entice Ahab and God supported the idea and told him to go ahead and do it!
We even have it in...
9 " 'And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 10 They will bear their guilt?the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.' "
God is punishing him for a crime that He enticed him to do?
Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master, 'This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard?those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him so that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.' "
That spirit's purpose was for deception.
2 Thessalonians 2:11
11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
So God wants people to believe a lie. Is God supporting lies now?
Doesn't this all contradict with it being impossible for God to lie?...
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
Now Matt would argue back and ask us Muslims to understand the situation and reason why God did such a thing. However, when we tell our Christian brethren to do the same thing when it comes to analyzing Islam they don't want to do it. So why should us Muslims?
How about we make a compromise. Why don't we all be open minded and understand each other's religion objectively instead of being stubborn and nit picking at every little point?
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