The article could be located here.
If it wasn't for the small part in the article that sought to defend why a donkey in the Bible could speak then one would think that the above article was written by an atheist.
We shouldn't be expecting these kinds of arguments to come from Christians. If God wanted to preserve the body of a donkey for a hundred years then He could, what is the problem? God could make animals and trees, etc. speak if He wishes to.
Shamoun argues that the specific context of the passages that he put forth do not directly state that Allah miraculously intervened and made the trees/animals speak, thus this shows that Islam teaches that trees/animals can generally speak just as humans could. This shallow and desperate argument wouldn't be taken seriously by any Muslim, since the Muslim knows that the immediate context does not have to state it (i.e. Allah's divine intervention) directly and that it is already assumed by the reader.
Plus, why isn't Shamoun being consistent in regards to his own Bible? How are we supposed to believe that a man struck down six hundred individuals with an oxgoad (Judges 3:31) and no where in the immediate context does it state that it was with the help of God? In the immediate context of Samson striking down a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15) we can at least see one verse before it that God was intervening. But we don't see that in the case of Judges 3:31. The answer is because it is assumed in the overall Biblical context. Or how a stone can be a witness (Joshua 24:27)? Don't even get me started with Revelation 12:1-9.
Shamoun's arguments are not to be taken seriously by any Muslim. The main reason why I wrote this article is to point out that Shamoun as usual appeals to fabricated narrations in his articles. Those two are the stories of the speaking donkey and deer.
In regards to the story of the speaking donkey, please refer to the following sources that speak of its fabrication:
- Ibn Hibban states that there is no foundation for this narration in Al Majrooheen, Volume 2, page 328
- Al Dhahabi states that this narration is fabricated in Mizan al-Itidal¸ Volume 4, page 34
- Sheikh Albany states that this narration is fabricated in Silsilatil Ahaadeeth Al Da'eefa, Hadith no. 5405
- Ibn Al Jawzi asked Allah to curse the individual who fabricated this narration. See Mizan al-Itidal and Lisaan Al Mizan
- Interestingly, Shamoun's friend Dimitrius takes this narration from Ibn Kathir's Al Bidaayaah Wal Nihaayaa and does not bother to tell his good friend Shamoun that shortly after the story Ibn Kathir states
ÞÏ ÃäßÑå ÛíÑ æÇÍÏ ãä ÇáÍÝÇÙ ÇáßÈÇÑ [and this was condemned by more than one of the great huffaaz (i.e. hadith scholars)]
In regards to the story of the speaking deer, please refer to the following sources that speak of its fabrication:
- Al Bayhaqi states that it is weak in Dalail Al Nubuwwah, Volume 6, page 35
- Al Dhahabi in Mizan al-Itidal, Volume, page 456 states that it is fabricated.
- Ibn Kathir criticizes the matn (content) and isnad (chain of transmission) in Tuhfatil Taalib, page 158
- Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani states that this narration is rare in Muwaafaqatil Khabar Al Khabar, Volume 1, page 246.
- Al Suyuti in his Al Khasaais Al Kubra, Volume 2, page 61
Theists believe in the supernatural realm and should not be surprised to read such stories set in a religious context, since these things are not impossible in a world where God exists.