Rebuttal To Jochen Katz's Article "Sexy Fruits?"
We recommend our readers to first read Jochen Katz's article over here before proceeding to read this article. The arguments I provide in this article are good enough to also refute Jochen's claims in this article.
There is no explicit evidence that the Qur'an intends to say that there is male and female fruit or male and female plants. The Qur'an says that they were created in "pairs" (zawjayn) and the word "pair" does not necessarily refer to gender.
Ibn Manzur states the various meanings in different contexts that the word zawjayn (i.e. pair) could have:
وعندي زوجان من الخفاف يعنون اليمين والشمال ويوقعون الزوجين على الجنسين المختلفين نحو الأَسود والأَبيض والحلو والحامض
وكان الحسن يقول في قوله تعالى ومن كل شيء خلقنا زوجين قال السماء زَوْج والأَرض زوج والشتاء زوج والصيف زوج والليل زوج والنهار
"And I have two pairs of sandals", they mean the right and left and they assign pairs to two different categories such as black and white and sweet and sour.
And Al Hassan used to say regarding Allah's words "and of everything we have created pairs", that the sky and ground are pairs, the winter and summer are pairs, the night and day are pairs. (Ibn Manzur, Lisaan Al-'Arab, Volume 2, page 291)
So when we come to the verse in question regarding fruits, scholars have said that "pairs" could refer to sweet and sour, dry and wet, white and black, big and small, etc. (see the commentaries of Al-Qurtubi, Az-Zamakhshari, Al-Shawkani, Ar-Razi, and others). Some other scholars said that this only refers to the beginning of creation of fruits, which is that God initially began the process of creating fruits into two pairs, but later on they expanded (see the commentary of Abu Hayyan)
The truth of the matter is that Allah did not define what He meant by "pairs", but only stated that He created them in pairs. Pairs could be imagined to be almost anything. Taking this into consideration, Jochen really isn't able to muster any argument.
Turning The Tables on Jochen - How Consistent Is He?
The Bible states that God created human beings as male and female:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'
However, as all of us know there exists a category of human beings known as "intersexuals" whose biological gender could not be classified as either being male or female.
Jochen might argue back that these passages only refer to the "beginning of creation" and that God created intersexuals at a later stage, however doesn't that make Paul's comments today quite meaningless to intersexuals?:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Based on this should we argue that Jochen's god "forgot" to include this category of human beings within his creation fold or should we assume that Jochen's god didn't create all human beings?
We will do neither, since we don't stoop down to such level of argumentation. It's obvious to me that the Bible is speaking about the general rule. If on the other hand it was Jochen pushing forth this argument he wouldn't allow for such leniency. He has a bad habit of splitting hairs. Indeed, if one reads most of the articles authored by him one would see that many of his arguments consist of splitting of hairs.
What about the below passage:
You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.
Doesn't the above passage clearly state that ALL living creatures (i.e. animals) are either male or female? Wouldn't Jochen's arguments equally work against him, especially when there are atheists applying these arguments against his Bible (e.g. go here and see point #3 under heading #11)
We hope Jochen would stop this habit of splitting hairs and would try being consistent.