Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Muhammad and the Meccans: Who Antagonized Whom? Examining Muslim Justifications for Muhammad's Atrocities""

 

By

 

Bassam Zawadi

 

 

Shamoun's article could be located over here.

 

Shamoun states what the objective of his article is:

 

It is our intention to show in this paper that the claim that the pagans were the ones who first persecuted Muhammad is not supported by the Islamic data. We will see that the Islamic evidence actually shows that it was Muhammad who first attacked and antagonized the pagan Meccans by assaulting their religion and family values, thereby igniting the anger of the Meccans and instigating their subsequent retaliation against Muhammad and his followers.

 

Shamoun states that Muhammad (peace be upon him) provoked the Meccans to persecute the Muslims. Notice that Shamoun is not trying to dispute the fact that the Meccans got violent with the Muslims first. No, he seems to be aware of that. Rather, Shamoun wants to argue that it is understandable and justified that Muhammad (peace be upon him) would get persecuted because he was calling to a faith in opposition to the Meccans. The very fact that this is his objective is quite striking and reveals his absolutely mindless hatred for Islam and his double standards. Shamoun would never accept that Jesus had it coming for him deservedly because he insulted the Jews by referring to them as an adulterous generation (Matthew 16:4) and the sons of Satan (John 8:44) and by supposedly committing blasphemy according to their standards. Shamoun would blame the Jews for rejecting the truth and being misguided. Of course he wouldn't claim the same for the Meccans and say that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was simply communicating revelation that he believed was given by God because Shamoun as usual is just a hypocrite abiding by double standards that he cherishes so lovingly much.

 

So Shamoun's entire objective to begin with is already problematic.

 

Shamoun then cites narrations from The History of al-Tabari and cites the Meccans saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to revile their beliefs. The word used isÃÐì  (adhaa), which  means:

 

To suffer damage, be harmed. To harm, hurt, wrong; to molest, annoy, irritate, trouble. To suffer damage, to be wronged; to feel offended, be hurt. (Hans Wehr: A Dictionary of Modern Writing Arabic, Third Edition, Page 12, under the word ÇÐÇ)

 

What the Meccans were saying is that they were feeling offended and irritated by the Prophet's (peace be upon him) teachings. They felt that their gods were insulted. How? Well they said so themselves (I am pasting from Shamoun's own citations):

 

Abu Kurayb and Ibn Waki'- Abu Usamah- al-A'mash- 'Abbad- Sa'id b. Jubayr- Ibn 'Abbas: When Abu Talib fell ill, a number of Quraysh visited him, among them Abu Jahl, who said, "Your nephew is reviling our gods and doing and saying all sorts of things. Why do you not send for him and forbid him to do this?". Abu Talib said to him, "Nephew, how is it that your tribe are complaining of you and claiming that you are reviling their gods and saying this, that and the other?" They showered accusations upon him, and then the Messenger of God spoke and said, "Uncle, I want them to utter one saying. If they say it, the Arabs will submit them and the non-Arabs will pay the jizyah to them." They were perturbed at this utterance and said, "One saying? Yes, by your father, and ten! What is it?" Abu Talib said, "What saying is it, nephew?" He replied, "There is no deity but God." They rose up in alarm, shaking the dust off their garments and saying, "Does he make the gods one god? This is indeed an astounding thing."

 

And:

 

"Then I saw one of them grabbing his cloak, but Abu Bakr stood in front of him weeping and saying, 'Woe upon you all! Would you kill a man because he says, My Lord is God?' Then they left him, and that is the worst thing I ever saw Quraysh do to him."

 

 

Notice what they were feeling offended at the Prophet's (peace be upon him) request to have them believe in one god. This is how they felt they were insulted and how their gods were insulted. They especially felt like their forefathers were insulted when verses like Surah 2:170-171 could be revealed claiming that their forefathers were in error.

 

Shamoun has not shown us where the Prophet (peace be upon him) was being rude and ill mannered (just like how Shamoun is when he talks about the Prophet) towards the Meccans and their beliefs.

 

For the Meccans to interpret the Prophet's (peace be upon him) preaching as something insulting to their gods is understandable. Consequently the Prophet (peace be upon him) at the end of the day is saying that their beliefs are false. This in and of itself is an insult. Islam has similar views.

 

Saheeh Bukhari

 

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 415:

 

Narrated Abu Huraira:

 

Allah's Apostle said, "Allah the Most Superior said, "The son of Adam slights Me, and he should not slight Me, and he disbelieves in Me, and he ought not to do so. As for his slighting Me, it is that he says that I have a son; and his disbelief in Me is his statement that I shall not recreate him as I have created (him) before."

 

The word "slight" is not a proper translation of the word shatam. This is the same word that the Meccans accused the Prophet (peace be upon him) of doing to their gods in another narration than the one posted above. The word shatam means:

 

To abuse, revile, vilify, scold. (Hans Wehr: A Dictionary of Modern Writing Arabic, Third Edition, Page 455, under the word ÔÊã)

 

So if a Christian were to say "Jesus is the Son of God" this is considered an insult to Allah, even though the Christian has no intention to insult God. Can't the same be said regarding Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the Meccans? Where did the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) initiate using bad words or sarcastic remarks in insulting the Meccan deities?

 

Shamoun then cites Muhammad (peace be upon him) as saying:

 

Hear, men of Quraysh. By Him in whose hand Muhammad's soul rests, I have brought you slaughter.'

 

There are two possible ways to understand this narration. One is literally and the second is metaphorically.

 

The literal understanding of the Arabic word dhabh (translated as slaughter) has us to understand that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was speaking about a particular group of people from the Quraysh and not all of them just as Sheikh Al-Munajjid states. This is clear because we know that the Prophet (peace be upon him) eventually forgave the Quraysh after the conquest of Mecca and did not slaughter them.

 

The metaphorical understanding varies. Sometimes the word dhabh denotes being put in a state of great difficulty and peril.

 

One example is displayed in this hadith:

 

 

Sunan Abu Dawud

 

Book 24, Number 3564:

 

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

 

The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: He who has been appointed a judge has been killed without a knife.

 

The Arabic word translated as "killed" is actually dhabh. This hadith is emphasizing the great difficulty and trials that judges could go through. (See Al Sindi, Sharh Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab: Al-Ahkaam, Bab: Zhikr Al-Qudaat, Commentary on Hadith no. 2299, Source; Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi, Kitab: Al-Ahkaam 'An Rasoolullah, Bab: Maa Jaa'a 'An Rasoolullah Sallah Allahu 'Alayhi Wa Sallam 'An Al-Qadi, Hadith no. 1247, Source)

 

The word dhabh could also mean to "purify" in a metaphorical sense (see here) or to be pure (see Daruqtni narration here).

 

It seems most plausible to me that the Prophet (peace be upon him) intended to communicate to the Quraysh they will be doomed to peril and destruction if they continued their ways and habits and not that he is intending to massacre them.

 

Shamoun then says:

 

The Quran says:

And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits they should abuse Allah out of ignorance. Thus have We made fair seeming to every people their deeds; then to their Lord shall be their return, so He will inform them of what they did. Surah 6:108 Shakir

Renowned Muslim commentator Ibn Kathir provides the historical background for the preceding passage:

The Prohibition of Insulting the False gods of the Disbelievers, So that they Do not Insult Allah

Allah prohibits His Messenger and the believers from insulting the false deities of the idolators, although there is a clear benefit in doing so. Insulting their deities will lead to a bigger evil than its benefit, for the idolators might retaliate by insulting the God of the believers, Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah [6:108]; "They (disbelievers) said, `O Muhammad! You will stop insulting our gods, or we will insult your Lord.' Thereafter, Allah prohibited the believers from insulting the disbelievers' idols ...

" `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said, "Muslims used to insult the idols of the disbelievers and the disbelievers would retaliate by insulting Allah wrongfully without knowledge ..." (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

 

Shamoun's arguments fails on two different levels:

 

1)      He has not shown that it was Muslims who initiated the insults. For all we know they could have been doing it in response to the disbelievers initiating it. The Meccans got fed up and couldn't take it and then wanted it to end and wanted to make a compromise with the Muslims that they would stop insulting as well.

 

2)      After this verse was revealed and the Muslims stopped insulting the Meccan deities, why did the Meccans continue to persecute the Muslims? If all they really wanted were for the Muslims to stop cursing their deities then why continue the persecution? Why continue to chase the Muslims to Abyssinia and try to have them killed?

 

 

Shamoun says:

 

At first, the Meccans sought peaceable means in which Muhammad and they could come to terms, trying to avoid any division and hostility between them. Instead of acquiescing, Muhammad tries to bribe the Meccans by promising them rulership over the peoples, both Arabs and non-Arabs alike. Muhammad also threatens them with punishment if they refuse to accept Islam.

 

So just because the Prophet (peace be upon him) refused to take their bribes in order to stop preaching that means that Muhammad (peace be upon him) refused to "acquiesce" with avoiding hostilities? Shamoun is some piece of work.

 

What is wrong with the Prophet (peace be upon him) warning the Meccans about their doom if they continued their ways? Isn't one of his tasks to be a warner? Didn't all Prophets do that?

 

Shamoun said:

 

It is rather intriguing that Muhammad could know that Allah would give the Meccans, specifically his Quraysh tribe, the kingship over all the peoples, but couldn't tell whether the Banu Amr would be given rulership for embracing Islam and for supporting Muhammad! This strongly suggests that Muhammad would just about do and say anything to win over his tribe to Islam, even making promises which he did not make to other groups and clans.

 

The reason he couldn't promise anything to Banu Amr is because leadership was only assigned to Quraysh according to Allah. That is the truth of the matter, since all the Caliphs that came later were from Quraysh.

 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

 

Saheeh Muslim

 

Book 020, Number 4480:


It has been narrated on the authority of Jabir b. Samura who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: Islam will continue to be triumphant until there have been twelve Caliphs. Then the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) said something which I could not understand. I asked my father: What did he say? He said: He has said that all of them (twelve Caliphs) will be from the Quraish.

 

 

So the Prophet (peace be upon him) isn't making promises here and there as he pleases. If he was, then he could have made plenty of promises to the Quraysh and compromised his beliefs, yet he never did.

 

Shamoun then proceeds to speak about the Muslim raids on the Meccan caravans.

 

He says:

 

Does it not strike the readers as somewhat amusing that Muhammad just so happened to receive a "revelation" to defend against his enemies right around the time that the Ansar pledged to defend him with their own lives? It seems quite obvious to those of us who are not Muslims that the command of Allah to fight the unbelievers right around the time of the second Aqabah is no mere coincidence. It was a deliberate maneuver on Muhammad's part to justify his going to Medina and prepare for war against the Meccans now that he had people who were willing to support his cause. The Meccans, therefore, had a very good reason to be afraid of Muhammad and his companions since it wasn't for peace that Muhammad fled to Medina, but for war.

 

Does it not strike Shamoun that Allah would obviously not reveal such a command until His prophet was able to carry it out?

 

Shamoun says:

 

The Muslim sources also tell us that Muhammad sent some men out on a raid during a time when fighting would be prohibited. Muhammad's men attacked a Meccan caravan at a time when the pagans expected to be safe, since it was the Arab custom to cease from hostilities and wars during the so-called sacred months. Thus, this premeditated attack on the caravan was an act of treachery and sacrilege in the eyes of the Arabs. Muhammad conveniently received a "revelation" justifying this act of treachery and bloodlust greed.

 

Let us read what happened:

 

1.      The Platoon of Nakhlah. It took place in Rajab 2 A.H., i.e. January 624 A.H. The Messenger of Allh [pbuh] despatched 'Abdullah bin Jahsh Asadi to Nakhlah at the head of 12 Emigrants with six camels. 'Abdullah was given a letter by the Prophet [pbuh] but was instructed to read it only after two days. He followed the instructions and discovered that he was asked to go on to a place called Nakhlah standing between Makkah and At-Ta'if, intercept a caravan for Quraish and collect news about their intentions. He disclosed the contents of the letters to his fellows who blindly obeyed the orders. At Nakhlah, the caravan passed carrying loads of raisins (dried grapes), food stuff and other commodities. Notable polytheists were also there such as 'Amr bin Al-Hadrami, 'Uthman and Naufal, sons of 'Abdullah bin Al-Mugheerah and others... The Muslims held consultations among themselves with respect to fighting them taking into account Rajab which was a sacred month (during which, along with Dhul Hijja, Dhul Qa'da and Muharram, war activities were suspended as was the custom in Arabia then). At last they agreed to engage with them in fighting. 'Amr bin Al-Hadrami was shot dead by an arrow, 'Uthman and Al-Hakam were captured whereas Naufal escaped. They came back with the booty and the two prisoners. They set aside one-fifth of the booty assigned to Allh and His Messenger, and took the rest. The Messenger disapproved of that act and suspended any action as regards the camels and the two captives on account of the prohibited months already mentioned. The polytheists, on their part, exploited this golden opportunity to calumniate the Muslims and accuse them of violating what is Divinely inviolable. This idle talk brought about a painful headache to Muhammad's Companions, until at last they were relieved when the Revelation came down giving a decisive answer and stating quite explicitly that the behaviour of the polytheists in the whole process was much more heinous and far more serious than the act of the Muslims:

 

"They ask you concerning fighting in the sacred months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say, 'Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allh is to prevent mankind from following the way of Allh, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-Al-Harm (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing." [Al-Qur'an 2:217]

 

The Words of Allh were quite clear and said that the tumult created by the polytheists was groundless. The sacred inviolable sanctities had been repeatedly violated in the long process of fighting Islam and persecuting its adherents. The wealth of the Muslims as well as their homes had already been violated and their Prophet [pbuh] had been the target of repeated attempts on his life. In short, that sort of propaganda could deservedly be described as impudence and prostitution. This has been a resume of pre-Badr platoons and invasions. None of them witnessed any sort of looting property or killing people except when the polytheists had committed such crimes under the leadership of Karz bin Jabir Al-Fahri. It was, in fact, the polytheists who had initiated such acts. No wonder, for such ill-behaviour is immanent in their natural disposition.

 

Shortly afterwards, the two captives were released and blood money was given to the killed man's father.[For details see Za'd Al-Ma'ad 2/83-85; Ibn Hisham 1/605; Rahmat-ul-lil'alameen 1/115, 2/468] (Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri, The Sealed Nectar, Chapter: The Prophet On the Battlefield, Source)

 

Note the following points:

 

-         The Prophet (peace be upon him) never ordered the Muslims to attack during the sacred time period.

 

-         The Prophet (peace be upon him) eventually released the captives and paid blood money to the victims father. This was done in recognition of the Muslim soldiers fault and that it wasn't the intention of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for that to happen.

 

-         It wasn't the Muslims who instigated this whole ordeal, the Meccans continuously tried to harass the Muslims and tried to have the Prophet (peace be upon him) killed even after he migrated from Medina and left the Meccans alone. This has been proven over here http://call-to-monotheism.com/did_the_muslims_instigate_the_battle_of_badr__a_rebuttal_to_david_wood

 

Shamoun provides this narration:

In this year a raiding party led by Zaid b. Harithah set out against Umm Qirfah in the month of Ramadan. During it, Umm Qirfah (Fatimah bt. Rabi'ah b. Badr) suffered a cruel death. He tied her legs with rope and then tied her between two camels until they split her in two. She was a very old woman.

Her story is as follows. According to Ibn Humayd- Salamah- Ibn Ishaq- 'Abdallah b. Abi Bakr, who said: The Messenger of God sent Zayd b. Harithah to Wadi al-Qura, where he encountered the Banu Fazarah. Some of his companions were killed there, and Zayd was carried away wounded from among the slain. One of those killed was Ward b. 'Amr, one of the Banu Badr [b. Fazarah]. When Zayd returned, he vowed that no washing [to cleanse him] from impurity should touch his head until he had raided the Fazarah. After he recovered from his wounds, the Messenger of God sent him with an army against the Banu Fazarah. He met them in Wadi al-Qura and inflicted casualties on them. Qays b. al-Musahhar al-Ya'muri killed Mas'adah b. Hakamah b. Malik b. Badr and took Umm Qirfah prisoner. (Her name was Fatimah bt. Rabi'ah b. Badr. She was married to Malik b. Hudhayfah b. Badr. SHE WAS A VERY OLD WOMAN.) He also took one of Umm Qirfah's daughters and 'Abdallah b. Mas'adah prisoner. Zayd b. Harithah ordered Qays to kill Umm Qirfah, AND HE KILLED HER CRUELLY. He tied each of her legs with a rope and tied the ropes to two camels and they split her in two ... (The History of Al-Tabari: The Victory of Islam, translated by Michael Fishbein [State University of New York Press, Albany 1997], Volume VIII, pp. 95-96; bold and capital emphasis ours)

However, this narration is weak because it contains Ibn Humayd.

As for this narration:

According to 'Ali b. al-Hasan al-Azdi- 'Abd al-Rahman b. Sulayman- 'Abd al-Malik b. Sa'id- Abu Janab- al-Hurr- 'Ammar al-Duhni- Abu al-Tufayl: I was in the army that 'Ali b. Abi Talib sent against the Banu Najiyah. We came to them and found them split in three groups. Our commander said to one of these groups, "What are you?" and they replied, "We are a Christian people who do not consider any religion to better than ours, and we hold fast to it." Our commander said to them, "Be off with you (i'tazilu)!" He said to another band, "What are you?" and they said, "We were Christians, but we accepted Islam and we hold fast to our Islam." He said to them, "Be off with you!" Then he said to the third group, "What are you?" and they said, "We are a people who were Christians. We accepted Islam but we do not think, that any religion is better than our previous one." He said to them, "Accept Islam!" but they refused. He said to his men, "When I rub my head three times, attack them and kill the fighting men and make captive the dependents." (The History of Al-Tabari: The First Civil War, translated by G. R. Hawting [State University of New York Press, Albany 1996], volume XVII, pp. 187-188; bold emphasis ours)

I couldn't find the biographies of several of these narrators. It is probably due to the fact that they are unknown. Unless, Shamoun could provide evidence that these narrators are reliable, there is really no reason to believe in the story. Secondly, even if the story were true, the Muslim made a mistake killing the apostate on the spot, since apostates are not supposed to be killed instantly. A period of time (many scholars opine 3 days is usually enough) must be given to the apostate to have him change his mind and a scholar must be there to address whatever concerns he has from coming back to Islam before he is to be killed.

Shamoun said:

Since Muhammad could not provide the supernatural evidence for his prophetic aspirations, he had no right to impose his religious views and claims upon his contemporaries, threatening them with death and eternal punishment if they failed to believe his message. He had no right to condemn the gods of his tribe on the basis that he was God's prophet who had been authorized to do so. Muhammad needed to first prove that he was God's prophet before he could make threats and condemn other peoples' religious views and ways of life.

Who said that Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not "prove" himself? Shamoun? Wow, I didn't know that Shamoun's hypocrisy and double standard utilization of criteria were the locus of standards in determining truth. What does Shamoun have to say about the fact that John the Baptist did not "prove" his prophethood since he provided no miracles to his people according to the Gospel of John? Does this not mean that the Jews then were justified in killing him according to Shamoun?

In conclusion, Shamoun's false allegations have been refuted as usual and he has failed to mount a successful case against the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Appendix

 

 

 

Shamoun wrote a response to my article over here.

 

Shamoun insists that the Meccans claimed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was insulting their gods. I already know that! But the question IS HOW? It is clearly evident from the lines that Shamoun himself has highlighted in bold in his citation from Al-Tabari that they interpreted the insult as being that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was teaching monotheism and that their gods were false. They found that to be insulting.

 

Shamoun then cites another tradition:

 

Yunus stated, from Ibn Ishaq, "Then Abu Bakr met the Messenger of God and asked him, 'Is it true what the Quraysh are saying, Muhammad? About you abandoning our gods, ridiculing our intellects, and calling our ancestors pagans?'

"The Messenger of God said, 'Yes indeed. I am the Messenger of God, and His Prophet, He sent me to deliver his message and invite you to God by the truth. For I swear, God is the truth. I call upon you, O Abu Bakr, to believe in God alone, in Him who has no associate. And I call upon you to worship none but Him, and to devote yourself to obeying Him.'

Again, this does nothing but reaffirm what I am saying. The Meccans interpreted the Prophet's call to one God as being insulting since the implications of it meant that their forefathers were wrong and polytheistic pagans. The Qur'an also illustrates how illogical their beliefs were, which they interpreted to be an insult to their intellect.

 

My position is reinforced when looking at the following narration attributed to Ibn Abbass:
 

{ } :

 

When the verse "Surely you and what you worship besides Allah are the firewood of hell" (21:98) was revealed this disappointed the Quraysh and they said: "He insulted our gods". (Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani in his Muwafaqah al-Khubr al-Khabar, Volume 2, page 173 declared this narration to be hasan.)

This is what the Quraysh meant when they claimed that Muhammad (peace be upon him) insulted their gods. The very fact that the Qur'an taught that their religion is false was an insult to them. Wouldn't that same logic make Christianity an "insulting" religion as well?

Shamoun then provides several verses from the Qur'an, which state that the fathers of the Quraysh had no knowledge and committed shirk. Is Shamoun working with me or against me here? He is strengthening my argument in illustrating that this is exactly what the Meccans meant when they said that Muhammad (peace be upon him) insulted their faith and their forefathers. They interpreted Muhammad's (peace be upon him) preaching that monotheism is true and polytheism is false to be insulting.

Does Shamoun agree with the Meccans that this is meant to be insulting and mocking them and justifies their antagonistic behavior towards the Prophet (peace be upon him)? If yes, then Shamoun is really putting Christian preachers in danger, since one could also argue based on Shamoun's logic that when Christians say that Christianity is the only means to salvation and that all other faiths are wrong and that those who don't come to Jesus would be doomed to hell including the people of the past then that means that these Christians are ridiculing, mocking and insulting the faiths of these people and these people would then be justified in fighting them!

 

Shamoun then said that the Qur'an warned the disbelievers of hell. So what? Wouldn't it actually be immoral not to warn them about the consequences of their actions and try to save them?

 

Shamoun said:
 

Finally, these next passages give us an idea of what Muhammad was actually saying to his people and how the pagans felt about his criticisms of their beliefs:

And when those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah) see you (O Muhammad), they take you not except for mockery (saying): "Is this the one who talks (badly) about your gods?" While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Beneficent (Allah). [Tafsir. Al-Qurtubi]. S. 21:36

And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fairseeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do. S. 6:108

These texts clearly presuppose that Muhammad did more than offend the Meccans by proclaiming the unity of god. He also insulted the religious beliefs of the pagans by speaking badly of their gods.

 

I fail to see the evidence for Muhammad (peace be upon him) using words that were offensive or in the form of mockery with the sole intent of hurting their feelings.

 

Shamoun then provides a weak narration with Ibn Humayd in the chain.

 

Shamoun then said:
 

The Prohibition of Insulting the False gods of the Disbelievers, So that they Do not Insult Allah

Allah prohibits His Messenger and the believers from insulting the false deities of the idolators, although there is a clear benefit in doing so. Insulting their deities will lead to a bigger evil than its benefit, for the idolators might retaliate by insulting the God of the believers, Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah [6:108]; "They (disbelievers) said, `O Muhammad! YOU WILL STOP INSULTING OUR GODS, OR WE WILL INSULT YOUR LORD." Thereafter, Allah prohibited the believers from insulting the disbelievers' idols.

(lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge.)'' `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said, "Muslims used to insult the idols of the disbelievers and the disbelievers WOULD RETALIATE by insulting Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Allah revealed.

(And insult not those whom they worship besides Allah.)" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; capital and underline emphasis ours)

 

Again, weak narrations.

 

The first narration is weak because the chain is disconnected. Ali ibn Abi Talha never met Ibn Abbas. Who is the missing individual in the middle and is he reliable?

 

The second narration regarding Qatadah is mursal.

 

Even if we grant that this is what occurred, who is say that the Meccans only started persecuting the Muslims after the Muslims insulted their gods? How does Shamoun know that the Muslims weren't so frustrated with the persecution being inflicted upon them that they started insulting the gods of the Meccans? This is especially since it is said that Surah 6 was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) stay in Mecca long after the Meccans persecuted the Muslims.

 

Shamoun said:

 

Now if Zawadi's claim was sound then we would expect that the pagans would have also persecuted Waraqa for believing that there was only one God, thereby turning all the gods into one, much like Muhammad was accused of doing. However, such is not the case since Waraqa continued to live peaceably with the pagans in Mecca and was free to preach and believe in whatever religion he wanted.

 

That would be a false analogy taking into consideration that Waraqa didn't put the amount of effort in persisting to the Quraysh to leave their faith and come to the truth such as Muhammad (peace be upon him). For all we know Waraqah tried and quickly gave up after being rejected.

 

Shamoun said:

 

This in turn exposes the utter weakness of Zawadi's explanation since it proves that the pagans didn't have a problem with Muhammad choosing to believe in one god

 

I never claimed that the Quraysh had a problem with the Prophet (peace be upon him) only believing in one God. They had a problem with him trying to preach this belief to them and trying to get them to leave their false faith.

 

Shamoun then goes on a red herring spree trying to show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had people who insulted him to be killed. It's funny also that the analogy is fallacious, since these people were allegedly killed for bad mouthing and using offensive and insulting words to harm the Prophet (peace be upon him). They didn't simply say that he was a false prophet. No evidence was shown that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke about the Meccan deities back in Mecca the way these people allegedly spoke about the Prophet (peace be upon him), which ended up with them being killed.

 

Shamoun said:

 

This shows that when Muhammad said he came to bring slaughter to the Quraish he specifically meant their chiefs.

 

No evidence has been shown for this. There is no necessary connection between the two events. Plus, if the Quraysh really understood the Prophet's statement at that time as an actual physical threat then they would have killed him on the spot justifiably with no fear from the Prophet's tribe retaliating. 

 

Shamoun then talks about the Ayah of the Sword, which is a red herring and has nothing to do with the topic at hand. It doesn't prove or illustrate whether Muhammad (peace be upon him) antagonized the Meccans first or vice versa.

 

Shamoun said:

 

May the Triune God have mercy on Muslims such as Zawadi by bringing them out of the deception of Islam and into the glorious light of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

If Shamoun wants his prayer to be answered then he needs to stop appealing to weak sources, being dishonest, committing double standards and providing weak arguments in general. This is something clear since Shamoun purposely didn't address the fact that I have exposed his double standards by talking about how according to the Bible Jesus insulted his people and according to Shamoun's logic that would make them justified in their persecuting him. Shamoun also failed to counter my exposing him on his argument regarding the Muslims attacking the caravans. Quite frankly, we are getting sick and tired of Shamoun's pathetic arguments and he needs to stop his polemical tirade against Islam immediately. 

 

 

 

 

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