Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "How the Muslim "Falsification Test" Falsifies the Quran"
Sam Shamoun's article could be found here. One should give it a read first before continuing on.
Shamoun's article is just another clear example of why he is not qualified to either critique Islam or be a defender of Christianity.
First of all, there is a big difference between Surah 111 which specifically states by name that Abu Lahab and his wife will be in hell and Surah 6:93, which makes a general statement about polytheists (without naming Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh) being tormented in the afterlife! Yes indeed, the first part of the verse is referring to Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh, but then the verse goes on to make a general statement about polytheists and wrongdoers and their fate and doesn't state that Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh will necessarily remain in that state forever. I have already explained before that passages like Surah 16:106 cannot be read in isolation and that one could still repent before he dies.
Secondly, if the Prophet (peace be upon him) thought that Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh's conversion would falsify the Qur'an and if the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a fraud, he would have ordered Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh to have been killed. Instead of saying "It is not advisable for a Prophet to play deceptive tricks with the eyes", the Prophet (peace be upon him) could have easily said "Allah in the Qur'an doomed this person to hell, hence his conversion isn't sincere and he must be killed" and the Muslims would have easily complied. However, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not because this is not what the Qur'an teaches and for this same reason none of the companions ever raised the issue as to why Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh was allowed to live as a Muslim if the Qur'an doomed him to hell by name.
God didn't change His mind or anything (just as some Christians opine that God could and has in the past) and Shamoun needs to stop comparing apples with oranges.
Shamoun responded back here.
Shamoun's article is mostly filled with red herrings as usual where he tries to make his response look so long in order to motivate people to not read it and make them actually think that he responded back.
The matter is simple. Surah 6:93 begins by talking about certain people:
And who can be more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah, or says: "I have received inspiration," whereas he is not inspired in anything; and who says, "I will reveal the like of what Allah has revealed."
It is speaking about someone 1) Who invented a lie against Allah and claimed to have received inspiration and 2) Who said "I will reveal the like of what Allah has revealed".
The second description is referring to Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh.
THEN the Qur'an makes a general claim regarding the fate of polytheists:
And if you could but see when the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) with disrespect!"
No where does the verse force us to believe that Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh would have remained a polytheist until the day he died. Rather, the verse as it was currently revealed mentioned the status quo of Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh as a disbeliever and then went on to make a general statement regarding the fate of those who are disbelievers on the Day of Judgment.
Shamoun after appealing to 16:106 as an analogy argues:
However, the text itself does not mention Yasar by name but speaks in generalities, much like the verse of Q. 6:93 supposedly does. Yet despite the fact that the former verse speaks in general terms this doesn't mean that it doesn't have a specific person or event in view. By the same token, just because Q. 6:93 is alleged to be making a general statement this doesn't mean that it didn't have a particular person or group of individuals in mind when it was initially "revealed" to Muhammad.
Shamoun is not paying attention. Only a specific part of 16:106 is speaking about a particular person (i.e. Ammar) and that is the bolded parts below:
Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.
Hence, the verse makes it clear that Ammar was forced to outwardly compromise his faith, while he inwardly remained a believer.
Similarly, in Surah 6:93 only a specific part of the verse is referring to Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh:
And who can be more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah, or says: "I have received inspiration," whereas he is not inspired in anything; and who says, "I will reveal the like of what Allah has revealed." And if you could but see when the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers, etc.) are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): "Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) with disrespect!"
The part highlighted in red only tells us that Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh at some point claimed that he could reveal like what Allah has revealed. That is all it tells us. It doesn't tell us that he would never repent or that he falls under the general statement afterwards. NO ONE HAS EVER UNDERSTOOD IT LIKE THAT UNTIL SHAMOUN CAME ALONG.
In conclusion, the matter is simple. Surah 111 mentioned Abu Lahab by name that he would be in hell. This is unlike 6:93 where a specific part of the verse is in reference to Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh who was a disbeliever at the time, but then goes on to make a general statement regarding all disbelievers without stating that Ibn Abi Sarh would always remain a disbeliever. That is a simple fact, which Shamoun hasn't directly responded to. He could beat around the bush and throw red herrings and false analogies as much as he pleases, but at the end of the day the one who bothers to pay attention won't fall for such deceptive and shoddy argumentation.
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