Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Muhammad as Al-Amin (the Trustworthy): How His Enemies Really Viewed Him"
Sam Shamoun writes an article in which he just keeps rehashing the same arguments that are there in his website. He only does it from a different perspective this time in order to show that he is presenting something new to the readers, while he really isn't. Well, as they say "you've got to pay the rent somehow".
Shamoun posts hadith, which show that the disbelievers of Mecca affirmed the trustworthiness of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and then posts Quranic verses to try and show that this is not what the disbelievers of Mecca thought about the Prophet (peace be upon him). So he concludes that these hadith were forged by Muslims in order to portray a nice picture of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
However, he clearly failed to prove this point because the hadith Shamoun posted were talking about the people's opinion BEFORE the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), while the Quranic verses just merely show that the disbelievers in Mecca accused the Message that the Prophet brought of being a lie. This it self is even affirmed in the hadith that Shamoun posted:
He [Heraclius] said, 'Had you ever blamed him for telling lies before he claimed what he claimed?' I replied, 'No.' . He said, ?Does he break his promises?' I replied, 'No, but we are now at truce with him and we are afraid that he may betray us.' . . 'When I asked you whether he was ever blamed for telling lies, your reply was in the negative, so I took it for granted that a person who did not tell a lie about (others) the people could never tell a lie about Allah. I asked you whether he had ever broken his promise. You replied in the negative. And such are the apostles; they never break their promises.'" (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 191)
So the hadith is clearly in an indirect way acknowledging that the Meccans did blame the Prophet (peace be upon him) for allegedly telling lies, when he claimed Prophethood. So there is no contradiction at all with the Quranic verses and the hadith posted by Shamoun.
Moreover, these Islamic reports are suspect since Muslims have/had the tendency of fabricating stories and statements in order to make Islam's prophet look much better, even better than the Quran's depiction of him! It, therefore, doesn't come as a surprise that such sources would have Muhammad's enemies speaking highly of his character and honesty.
Notice Shamoun's double standard. He would love to appeal to these same sources when it would help his case and not even try to suspect them for being forged by hypocrites, but reject them when they refute an argument of his or when they speak positively about the Prophet (peace be upon him).
That means that we can argue back that the stories found in the gospels are suspect because they were passed down to us by Christian believers. Non-Christian sources regarding the alleged crucifixion only appeared way after the writings of the gospels and Paul letters occurred. So its possible that these non Christian sources took it from these Christian sources. Then using Sam's logic we could say that they are suspect.
First, God provided supernatural verification that these prophets and messengers were speaking on his behalf, showing that the claims of the disbelievers were false. Muhammad, on the other hand, failed to provide any supernatural confirmation that he was speaking on behalf of God
This is ridiculous. Hadith are filled with numerous examples of the Prophet (peace be upon him) performing miracles. Secondly, Shamoun is forgetting that John the Baptist did not perform any miracles and he was rejected by the people. So does that mean that they were justified in doing so?
Shamoun then goes on talking about the issue of Ka'b bin Al Ashraf. This argument has been addressed several times. Shamoun doesn't want to understand that this was a specific urgent situation that called for such action.
Shamoun also talks about the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted the breaking of oaths.
Well you see, the Prophet (peace be upon him) canceled his oath because the situation has changed. Let me give you an example, lets say there is someone who keeps on asking you for money all the time. Now there has come a time where you barely have enough money for your self, so you make a promise that you will not lend money to the guy this time. Now let's say two weeks later, you won the lottery or something and now you have enough money to lend to ten people. Now you will cancel your oath and lend the guy the money because the CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED.
We need to understand this Hadith in light of the other Hadith, which condemns someone who breaks his word:
"The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise and when he is entrusted he betrays the trust." (Bukhari and Muslim)
You also have to understand the context of the Hadith. The reason why the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave the oath in the first place was because he did not have the means of providing the individual with any means of conveyance. However, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) did have the means after the war booty came and therefore the whole situation changed and therefore gave the means of conveyance to the people. This was for the benefit of everyone.
There are similar hadith regarding this issue and here is the commentary on them:
The essence of all these Hadith is that if one comes to realize that, after taking an oath, his oath was wrong, then he must break the oaths. For instance, if one has taken an oath that he will drink alcohol, it will be obligatory for him to break his oath. Or if one takes an oath to not to do a thing which is desirable, or taken an oath to do something which is not desirable, then it will be desirable for him to break the oath. Similarly, if one takes an oath to not to do something permissible then the act of breaking the oath will also come in the category of permissible.
The expiation of an oath is necessary. This can be done by means of feeding ten poor persons, or by providing clothes to a similar number of persons, or by setting a slave free. If one does not have the capacity to do any of the three acts, then he should observe fast for three days. (Riyad-us-Saliheen, Commentary of Hadith no. 1716,1717 and 1718, p1273)
So the Hadith needs to be understood properly. This does not give anyone the right to break an agreement between himself and another person.
Also, notice that if someone does break his oath intentionally, he must expiate from it. Unlike Christians for if they did fall into this situation they could just go kiss the cross on their necklace and feel happy remembering that Jesus died for their sins.
Read more from Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 15, Oaths and Vows (Kitab Al-Aiman Wa Al-Nudhur)
Now it's time to turn the tables on the Christians and expose their God as immoral according to their own criteria.
Here is one passage:
1 Kings 22:20-22
20 And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?'
"One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
22 " 'By what means?' the LORD asked.
" 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said.
" 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
Here we see that the man said that he would resort to lying in order to entice Ahab and God supported the idea and told him to go ahead and do it!
We even have it in:
9 " 'And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 10They will bear their guilt-the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.' "
God is punishing him for a crime that He enticed him to do?
Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master, 'This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard-those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in him so that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.' "
That spirit's purpose was for deception.
2 Thessalonians 2:11
11For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
So God wants people to believe a lie. Is God supporting lies now?
Doesn't this all contradict with it being impossible for God to lie?
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.
a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
We see an example of God being accused of being a deceiver.
Then I said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, how completely you have deceived (nasha) this people and Jerusalem by saying, 'You will have peace,' when the sword is at our throats."
The word for deceived here is nasha, which means:
1) to beguile, deceive
a) (Niphal) to be beguiled
b) (Hiphil) to beguile, deceive
c) (Qal) utterly (infinitive)
Jeremiah is not indifferent to the message, which he is called to preach. In v 10 a note is struck to which he will return in relation to himself (15:18). In his distress he accuses the Lord of having deceived the people, presumably by having allowed false prophets to convince them with a message of peace (cf. 6:13-14). The only reply is the Lord's own confirmation that judgment is sure. (New Bible Commentary)
Even though it was really the false prophets who did the act of deception, the Bible is actually shifting the blame to God for actually allowing the false prophets to do the deception. This is what the "inspired" author Jeremiah said and this is what we have to accept.
Shamoun may argue back that Allah also deceived but the difference is that Allah deceives for the purpose of good and not evil. Deception is usually associated with negative aspects, however Allah did not do so.
As a matter of fact the Bible even praised a prostitute for using deception:
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
The New Testament acknowledges this act as so praiseworthy, that they were willing to praise a prostitute! So we see that the New Testament does acknowledge that deception at certain desperate times is something justifiable.
How about we make a compromise Shamoun? Why don't we all be open minded and understand each other's religion objectively instead of being stubborn and nit picking at every little point?
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