Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Allah as the Inheritor of Creation"

 

By

 

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

Sam Shamoun's article could be accessed here.

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

Our aim here is to make sure that Muslims are being fair and consistent in their argumentation, and not merely tossing out cheap objections in order to win debates without bothering to see whether such polemics can be used more forcefully against their beliefs.

One way to insure that Muslims are being consistent or not is to see whether they will accept the conclusions that their objections have upon their own view of God, revelation, prophets, scripture etc. If they fail to fully embrace the ramifications of their own views when it has a negative effect upon their own religion then this will only prove that they are using a double standard. It will expose them for being dishonest and inconsistent since it is not truth that they are after.

 

My Response:

 

Shamoun is comparing apples and oranges. He thinks that he can take the Islamic criteria to determine the deity of a being and impose it on the Bible. Shamoun doesn't realize that if he does so, then according to Islam Adam is also claimed to be divine since he is called the Son of God (Luke 3:38) and Moses is also claimed to be divine since he is called a god (Exodus 7:1), etc.

 

You can't impose the Islamic criteria on the Bible. The Bible uses terminologies (e.g. Son of God) that are blasphemous according to Islam, yet okay with the Bible.


When we examine the Biblical criteria, then we can see that Jesus nowhere claimed divinity in the Gospels and that is the method of exegeses that must be used when examining Jesus' claims in the Bible.

 

So Shamoun's false methodology won't fool anyone.

 

Sam Shamoun said:

 

According to the Quran Allah has complete dominion over and full possession of all creation:

To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He who gives life and death; and He has power over all things. S. 57:2

To God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth; And God hath power over all things. S. 3:189

At the same time the Quran further teaches that Allah is an heir who receives an inheritance from others:

And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death, and We are THE HEIRS. S. 15:23

But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty God has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; and to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth; and God is aware of the things you do. S. 3:180 Arberry

Lo! We, only We, inherit the earth and all who are thereon, and unto Us they are returned. S. 19:40

Allah is even called the best of those who inherit!

And Zachariah, when he cried unto his Lord: My Lord! Leave me not childless, though Thou art the Best of inheritors. S. 21:89

The obvious questions to ask at this point are, from whom exactly does Allah inherit and what exactly is he inheriting? More importantly, why is Allah inheriting anything at all if he already possesses all things?

These next texts provide the answer to the first two questions:

Nay, but We shall record that which he saith and prolong for him a span of torment. And We shall inherit from him that whereof he spake, and he will come unto Us, alone (without his wealth and children). S. 19:79-80

And how many a community have We destroyed that was thankless for its means of livelihood! And yonder are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them save a little. And We, even We, were the inheritors. S. 28:58

Allah is receiving an inheritance from the people whom he either dispossesses or causes to die! In other words, human beings are giving to Allah what they own thereby proving that Allah doesn't have or own everything.

Now when we try to interpret both sets of passages in light of one another we are left with one of two conclusions:

  • Allah has dominion over creation by virtue of the fact that he dispossesses people of their belongings.
  • There is a contradiction in the Quran, since one set of verses say Allah owns all things whereas another set of passages claim that Allah needs to inherit things from his creatures.

Yet either interpretation leads to the same conclusion. Allah cannot be fully God since he inherits from others which means that he is dependant on someone other than God to give him something. This further implies that Allah doesn't own and have everything, and is therefore incomplete or imperfect.

To put it simply, the Quran is emphatically teaching that Allah is in need of creatures since he inherits from them! Therefore, if the Muslim logic is valid then Allah cannot be fully God, and is nothing more than an imperfect deity at best.

Now watch as Muslims try to scurry with a response such as arguing that the word inherit doesn't really mean inherit or that Allah is simply inheriting something which was already his to begin with. Watch as they try to come with any explanation to refute the assertion that just because Allah is inheriting from someone doesn't prove that he is not God, or at least the one sole eternal God

 

My Response:

 

Shamoun and his hypocrisy. He will use Qur'anic commentaries whenever he thinks it might help him prove a point. But he won't use them if he fails to understand certain Qur'anic verses and wants to sincerely understand what they are trying to say.

 

Imam Tabari said.

 

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(The tafsir of His saying: "and to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth; and God is aware of the things you do" means that Allah All Living and does not die, and He remains after the perishing of all of His creation.

and if one says: so what does His saying mean: "and to Him belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth" and "the inheritance", that is known, is the transferring of the property\ownership from the owner to the inheritor, after his death, and to Allah is the dunya (this life) before the perishing of the creation and after it?

It is said (to him): the meaning of that is what we described, His (Allah's) describing of Himself with eternal existence, and His informing of His creation that He has decreed their perishing.

And because the property of the owner becomes inheritance after his death, so Allah said: "to Allah is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth" informing, by that, that the property of all of His creation is transferring to Allah (going back to Him) after their deaths, and that no one but will perish except Him (Allah), for He is the one when perishing all of His creation, and all of their property is removed from them, no one will remain for their property to go to except Him.


and the meaning of the ayah: "But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty God has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; " (3:180), after they perish (the niggard\greedy) and their property is removed from them, in the time that they don't own anything, to Allah becomes its inheritance, and the inheritance of rest of His creation.
(Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami al-bayan fi ta'wil al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 3:180, Source)

 

 

So we see that God is not using the word inheritance in the sense that we use it. (i.e. receiving something that is not ours from someone who has died). God is only using the word in order to make us understand that once everything perishes (everything being made dead) and He is the only one who will live, everything will remain for Him and go back to Him, for there is no one else alive to take it.

 

So God is basically emphasizing on the fact that He is eternal and does not die. He is not using the word literally in the sense that Shamoun thinks He is.

 

Let's see if Shamoun will be consistent (since he claims in the beginning of the article that we should be consistent) and condemn the Biblical God for also being an inheritor.

 

 

Zechariah 2:12

 

The LORD will inherit (nachal) Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.

 

 

The word nachal means.

 

 

1) to get as a possession, acquire, inherit, possess

a) (Qal)

1) to take possession, inherit

2) to have or get as a possession or property (fig.)

3) to divide the land for a possession

4) to acquire (testimonies) (fig.)

b) (Piel) to divide for a possession

c) (Hithpael) to possess oneself of

d) (Hiphil)

1) to give as a possession

2) to cause to inherit, give as an inheritance

e) (Hophal) to be allotted, be made to possess

 

Source: http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H05157&Version=kjv

 

 

How interesting. Shamoun's God 'acquires', 'gets as a possession' and INHERITS!

 

 

Sam Shamoun said:

 

Now watch as Muslims try to scurry with a response such as arguing that the word inherit doesn't really mean inherit or that Allah is simply inheriting something which was already his to begin with. Watch as they try to come with any explanation to refute the assertion that just because Allah is inheriting from someone doesn't prove that he is not God, or at least the one sole eternal God

 

My Response:

 

Now watch as Shamoun will try to scurry with a response such as arguing that the word inherit doesn't really mean inherit or that the Bibical God is simply inheriting something which was already his to begin with. Watch as he will try to come with any explanation to refute the assertion that just because the Biblical God is inheriting from someone doesn't prove that he is not God, or at least the one sole eternal God

 

Sam Shamoun said:

 

even though these same Muslims have no qualms at all using this same type of argument to attack the absolute Deity of Christ!

 

My Response:

 

Shamoun with his false analogies again.

 

The argument is different against the Biblical Jesus since he admits that nothing can be done of his own self. (John 5:30), which indicates that he is dependent on someone else. You won't find any verse in the Qur'an where Allah talks like that.

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________


 

Appendix

 

 

Shamoun as usual provided a feeble response to my paper over here.

 

As usual he talks about how the Qu'ran confirms the Bible. As usual I have to ask Shamoun to refer to my articles over here to see the refutation to his arguments. Looking at the arguments he presented in his article, the articles in particular to look at would be the following two...

 

- Refuting The Argument That The Qur'an Orders The Prophet and Doubting Believers To Refer To The Christians and Jews For Consultation

- Refuting The Argument Regarding The Qur'an Being A Confirmation Of The Bible

 

Shamoun else where gives us links that attempt to prove the deity of Christ. We ask the readers to also visit the Refuting Trinity section of my website and to especially visit the following link http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=109 to see refutations to the Trinitarian dogma.

 

Shamoun also gives links to sites, which supposedly provide evidence for the truth of Christianity. In turn, we would like to ask the readers to visit the Is the Bible the Word of God? section of my website and to visit all the recommended links over there.

 

 

Shamoun in his article accuses me of not paying attention to his argument. He argued that Muslims argue that Jesus is not god because he inherits. Then Shamoun tried to argue that since Allah inherits as well then this would serve as proof that Allah also isn't God.

 

However, as I argued before Shamoun is comparing apples and oranges.

 

Allah's inheriting does not imply that He does not have ultimate possession of what He is inheriting, but that He is simply receiving back what He had delegated to His creation by His will and permission.

 

As for the case of the Biblical Jesus it is different. For he himself admitted that he is dependent (John 5:30) and that things were not under his control until they were GIVEN to him (Matthew 28:19). This is simply not the case with Allah.

 

Shamoun thinks that by asking us to refer to his article http://www.answeringislam.net/Shamoun/q_can_do_nothing.htm over here he has refuted the argument. The truth of the matter is that Shamoun does not even address the verse. He does nothing but appeal to other verses to try and prove Jesus' deity all of whose refutations could be found in the following links...

 

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=94

 

http://www.wrestedscriptures.com/b08trinity/john5v23.html

 

http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=93

 

http://www.wrestedscriptures.com/b08trinity/john6v33v38v51v58.html

 

 

Nowhere do we see evidence that Jesus is independent but always dependent.

 

If Shamoun wants to reply back "But according to the Trinity, all persons in the Godhead are interdependent on one another" then that's a convenient escape route for him to take.

 

For every time we show that Jesus is dependent on the Father, he could simply escape the argument with that convenient argument.

 

The truth of the matter is that the Biblical Jesus only makes it clear that he is dependent (always receiving) and never fully independent. The Muslim argument against the deity of Christ is that we see him being nothing but dependent according to his own testimony. While this is not the case with Allah in the Qu'ran. Thus Shamoun's analogy fails.

 

Recommended Reading

 

http://www.authenticsunnah.org/jesus_heir_of_god_lie.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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