Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Quran Inconsistency: Does Allah or Satan Entice People to Sin?"
Sam Shamoun's article could be located here.
Shamoun cites the following verses:
Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did. S. 6:108
As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction. S. 27:4
And then states that these verses show that it is Allah's fault for enticing people to sin because it is Allah that makes their deeds appear pleasing to them.
He then goes on to cite Surah 4:88, 6:35, 6:137, 16:9, 16:93, 76:29-31 which state that if Allah had willed to have the people guided He would have. So Shamoun argues from this that Allah is immoral for not having the people be guided.
Shamoun then quotes 41:25 stating:
Allah takes personal responsibility for ordaining that specific individuals have certain companions enticing them to do evil
So here Shamoun argues that since Allah predestined evil to occur, it is His fault.
First of all, the Qur'an makes it very clear that everyone has free will and that it is by the person's free will he commits sins and not by Allah's influence:
Await they aught say that the angels should come unto them or thy Lord's command should come to pass - Even so did those before them. Allah wronged them not, but they did wrong themselves, So that the evils of what they did smote them, and that which they used to mock surrounded them.
Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!
Say: I ask of you no reward for this, save that whoso will may choose a way unto his Lord.
And Allah hath created the heavens and the earth with truth, and that every soul may be repaid what it hath earned. And they will not be wronged.
Lo! This is a Reminder. Let him who will, then, choose a way unto his Lord.
Nay, but verily it is an Admonishment, So let whosoever will pay heed to it,
As for Allah making it appear as if the deeds of the evil doers are good, this is how He continues to misguide them. However, does that make it Allah's fault? No, the reason why Allah is misguiding them is because they themselves are corrupted and don't want to be in a relationship with Allah in the first place:
Lo! Allah disdaineth not to coin the similitude even of a gnat. Those who believe know that it is the truth from their Lord; but those who disbelieve say: What doth Allah wish (to teach) by such a similitude - He misleadeth many thereby, and He guideth many thereby; and He misleadeth thereby only miscreants;
Say: I am forbidden to worship those on whom ye call instead of Allah. Say: I will not follow your desires, for then should I go astray and I should not be of the rightly guided.
If thou obeyedst most of those on earth they would mislead thee far from Allah's way. They follow naught but an opinion, and they do but guess.
A party hath He led aright, while error hath just hold over (another) party, for lo! they choose the devils for protecting supporters instead of Allah and deem that they are rightly guided.
Allah confirmeth those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah sendeth wrong-doers astray. And Allah doeth what He will.
Whoso is blind here will be blind in the Hereafter, and yet further from the road.
Against him it is written down that whoever takes him (the devil) for a friend, he shall lead him astray and conduct him to the chastisement of the burning fire.
And it becometh not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say in their affair; and whoso is rebellious to Allah and His messenger, he verily goeth astray in error manifest.
And they say: Our Lord! Lo! we obeyed our princes and great men, and they misled us from the Way.
So when they turned away (from the Path of Allah) Allah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path) and Allah guides not the people who are fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah)."
If they were to struggle to find Allah, then Allah would guide them:
As for those who strive in Us, We surely guide them to Our paths, and lo! Allah is with the good.
So here we see that Allah is misguiding those who are already misguided and don't to strive for having a relationship with Allah. So it is their fault, not Allah's.
In regards to Allah destining, it is important to understand the Islamic concept of Predestination.
Belief in Predestination has four levels:
1. The first level is to have belief in the knowledge of Allaah; which
encompasses everything. Not even the like of a weight of an atom in the
heavens or the earth escapes His knowledge. And He, the Most High,
knew about all His creation before He created them. He knew their
provision, appointed terms, their speech and actions, all their doings, their
secrets and that which they declare openly, and those among them from
the People of Paradise and those from the People of the Hellfire.
2. The second level is to have belief in the recording of that knowledge; and
that He, the Most High, wrote all that will exist according to His prior
knowledge. Included in this is belief in the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-
3. The third level is to have belief in Allaah's executive will and His
omnipotence. They necessitate each other with respect to what was and
what will be. But they do not necessitate each other with respect to what
will not be and what was not. So what Allaah, the Most High, wishes
exists by His omnipotence, and it could not be any other way, and what
Allaah does not wish does not exist, due to the absence of Allaah's wish
for it and not due to Allaah's inability to make it exist, may He, Most
Great and Glorious, be far removed from that.
4. The fourth level is to have belief that Allaah Most High is the Creator of
everything and that there is not a single atom in the heavens nor in the
earth, nor that which is between them, that Allaah did not create. He is the
creator of their movements and their lack of movements, may He be
glorified. There is no creator besides Him and no Lord except Him. (Haafiz Ibn Ahmad
Al-Hakamee, Predestination, With Commentary by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips)
So here we see that when Allah predestines something it means that He must have had knowledge of it, recorded it, willed it (meaning He allowed it to occur) and created it. So just because Allah might have predestined something evil to occur that doesn't mean that this evil is ascribed to Him. This only means that He knew that this evil would occur, recorded that it would occur, allowed it to occur and created it. That is all.
Plus, Shamoun as a Calvinist is the last one to talk since his belief makes God out to be the author of sin http://www.examiningcalvinism.com/files/Complaints/ac_sin.html
As for Shamoun's statement:
Alalh takes personal responsibility for ordaining that specific individuals have certain companions enticing them to do evil:
This is misleading for Shamoun is giving the impression that Allah forced certain individuals to have bad companions that would entice them. This is false. As I have shown, Allah has given everyone free will. If people freely chose bad friends then that is their fault. They should have taken the Prophet Muhammad's advice and stayed away from these bad people:
Book 032, Number 6361:
Abu Musa reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk would either offer you free of charge or you would buy it from him or you would. smell its pleasant odour, and so far as one who blows the. bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell.
Sunan Abu Dawud
Book 41, Number 4814:
Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Associate only with a believer, and let only a God-fearing man eat your meals.
Book 41, Number 4815:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend. (There is some minor dispute regarding the authenticity of this narration, see Awn Al Ma'bood, however the meaning of this hadeeth is correct)
However, they didn't. So it is their fault.
As for Allah saying that He could have willed that everyone be guided, this is only Allah telling us about His Power. It is within Allah's Power to create all of us guided. However, Allah decided to create us with free will and allow us to make the decision ourselves. If He were to force us to be guided then that wouldn't be free will. The same argument could be applied against Shamoun's God. Why the double standards?
Imam Tabari says the reason why Allah didn't force everyone to be believers:
æóáóßöäøöí áóãú ÃóÝúÚóá Ðóáößó áöÓóÇÈöÞö Úöáúãöí Ýöí ÎóáúÞöí æóäóÇÝöÐ ÞóÖóÇÆöí Ýöíåöãú ãöäú ÞóÈúá Ãóäú ÃóÎúáõÞåõãú æóÃõÕóæøöÑ ÃóÌúÓóÇãåãú
But I have not done that because of my knowledge that preceded My creation and My decision concerning them before I created them and shaped their bodies. (Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami' al-bayan fi ta'wil al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 6:35, Source)
Allah is saying that He could have made them all believers, but His knowledge that preceded their creation when He recorded everything that will happen in the Preserved Tablet (lawh mahfudh) 50,000 years before He created the creation, as well as His decision based on His knowledge is that they will not believe. This is because they are not capable or worthy of it and that their decision is that they will not believe. Consequently, Allah wrote them among the disbelievers based on His eternal knowledge in what they are truly like and what they will do. However, He did not send them to hell before sending them to this earth, so He let them live and be around His Prophet (peace be upon him) so that what He knew from eternity comes to pass by their free willful decision, which will make them qualify and be worthy of His decision concerning them in the Hereafter.
In conclusion, Shamoun has not presented any convincing arguments and instead continues to show us how he is more than willing to apply one standard when it comes to examining Christianity and another one when it comes to examining Islam.
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