Refuting Sam Shamoun's Arguments Against The Monotheism of Islam: Part 1
Rebuttal to Sam Shamoun's Article "Quran Difficulty:
Is Allah the only sovereign or isn't he?"
[Introduction, Sami Zaatari's Rebuttals to Shamoun, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Tawassul in Christianity]
Sam Shamoun's article could be located over here.
Sam Shamoun said:
The Quran states in many passages that Allah is the sovereign king or ruler of the universe and that the kingdom or dominion belongs entirely to him:
Knowest thou not that to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that you have none, apart from God, neither protector nor helper? S. 2:107
To Allah belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and of the earth; and Allah is powerful over everything. S. 3:189; cf. 5:17-18; 9:116
Specific Islamic texts emphasize the point that Allah doesn't share his rule with anyone and therefore doesn't have any associate in his kingdom:
And say: 'Praise belongs to Allah, who has not taken to Him a son, and who has not any associate in the Kingdom, nor any protector out of humbleness.' And magnify Him with all the magnificence. S. 17:111
Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector, etc.) other than Him, and He makes NONE to share in His Decision and His Rule." S. 18:26 Hilali-Khan
Blessed be He who has sent down the Salvation upon His servant, that he may be a warner to all beings; to whom belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth; and He has not taken to Him a son, and He has no associate in the Kingdom; and He created every thing, then He ordained it very exactly. S. 25:2
The Muslim scripture further mentions that on the Day of Judgment or last day Allah will show that the kingdom belongs to him alone:
It is He who created the heavens and the earth in truth; and the day He says 'Be', and it is; His saying is true, and His is the Kingdom the day the Trumpet is blown; He is Knower of the Unseen and the visible; He is the All-wise, the All-aware. S. 6:73
The Kingdom upon that day shall belong to Allah, and He shall judge between them. As for those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, they shall be in Gardens of Bliss. S. 22:56
Upon the day that heaven is split asunder with the clouds and the angels are sent down in majesty, the Kingdom that day, the true Kingdom, shall belong to the All-merciful and it shall be a day harsh for the unbelievers. S. 25:25-26
Exalter of ranks is He, Possessor of the Throne, casting the Spirit of His bidding upon whomever He will of His servants, that he may warn them of the Day of Encounter, the day they sally forth, and naught of theirs is hidden from Allah. 'Whose is the Kingdom today?' 'It is Allah's the One, the Irresistible!' Today each soul shall be recompensed for that it has earned; no wrong today. Surely Allah is swift at the reckoning. S. 40:15-17
However, there are other passages which contradict all of this since the Quran specifically mentions individuals who share in Allah's rule and dominion:
Have you not considered the chiefs of the children of Israel after Musa, when they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, (that) we may fight in the way of Allah. He said: May it not be that you would not fight if fighting is ordained for you? They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in the way of Allah, and we have indeed been compelled to abandon our homes and our children. But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them, and Allah knows the unjust. And their prophet said to them: Surely Allah has raised Talut to be a king over you. They said: How can he hold kingship over us while we have a greater right to kingship than he, and he has not been granted an abundance of wealth? He said: Surely Allah has chosen him in preference to you, and He has increased him abundantly in knowledge and physique, and Allah grants His kingdom to whom He pleases, and Allah is Ample giving, Knowing. And the prophet said to them: Surely the sign of His kingdom is, that there shall come to you the chest in which there is tranquility from your Lord and residue of the relics of what the children of Moses and the children of Aaron have left, the angels bearing it; most surely there is a sign in this for those who believe. And David slew Jalut, and Allah gave him kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He pleased. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men with others, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder; but Allah is Gracious to the creatures. S. 2:246-248, 251
Say: 'O Allah, Master of the Kingdom, Thou givest the Kingdom to whom Thou wilt, and seizest the Kingdom from whom Thou wilt, Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt, and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt; in Thy hand is the good; Thou art powerful over everything. S. 3:26
And when Moses said to his people, 'O my people, remember Allah's blessing upon you, when He appointed among you Prophets, and appointed you kings, and gave you such as He had not given to any being. S. 5:20
Certainly We tried Solomon, and We cast upon his throne a mere body; then he repented. He said, 'My Lord, forgive me, and give me a kingdom such as may not befall anyone after me; surely Thou art the All-giver.' So We subjected to him the wind, that ran at his commandment, softly, wherever he might light on, and the Satans, every builder and diver and others also, coupled in fetters: This is Our gift; bestow or withhold without reckoning.' And he had a near place in Our presence and a fair resort. S. 38:34-40
It has never crossed Shamoun's mind that the first verses that he put forth mean that no one ULTIMATELY owns the kingdoms of the world just as Allah, however if Allah wills He may allow a human being to rule over the people and have a kingdom of his own. Notice that Surah 3:26 that Shamoun put forth for us makes it clear that it is Allah who can give the kingdom to whomever He wills, which indicates that He is the ultimate one in control.
Hence, even if Allah does allow kings to rule over their kingdoms, it doesn't change the fact that there is still only one true ruler over all the kingdoms of the world and that is Allah, since it is only by His will that kings could rule over others.
Also, can't we pose the same argument against Shamoun? How does Shamoun explain the fact that everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to God who rules over all kingdoms (1 Chronicles 29:11; 2 Chronicles 20:6), but others could rule as well (1 Kings 4:21)?
We are used to Shamoun's double standards by now, so we don't really expect a response from him anyways.
Sam Shamoun said:
To make matters worse, there are certain expositors which say that the following passage,
And as for the night, keep vigil a part of it, as a work of supererogation for thee; it MAY BE that thy Lord will raise thee up to a laudable station. S. 17:79
Refers to the last day when Allah will actually seat Muhammad on his very own throne! The renowned Muslim historian and commentator al-Tabari wrote that:
"Even though the traditions we have mentioned on the authority of the Prophet and his Companions and the Followers indicate the correct interpretation of maqaman mahmudan in Qur. 17:79 (as referring to Muhammad's role as intercessor on the Day of Resurrection), Mujahid's statement that God will seat Muhammad on His Throne remains one whose soundness CANNOT BE REJECTED either on the basis of traditions (khabar) or on the basis of speculation (nazar). This is so because there is no tradition from the Messenger of God or anyone of his Companions or the Followers that declares it to be impossible. From what we have said, it has become clear that, it is not impossible for an adherent of Islam to say what Mujahid had said, namely, that God will seat Muhammad on His Throne. If someone says: We do not disapprove of God's seating Muhammad on His Throne (in view of the following tradition transmitted by) 'Abbas b. 'Abd al-'Azim - Yahya b. Kathir - al-Jurayri - Sayf al-Sadusi - 'Abdallah b. Salam: 'On the Day of Resurrection, Muhammad will be on the Lord's footstool (kursi),' but we disapprove of God's seating him together with Him, it should be said: Is it then permissible in your opinion that He seat him on it but not together with him? If he permits this, he is led to affirming that either he is together with Him, or God seats him (on the Throne) while being Himself either separate from it or neither contiguous with nor separate from it. Whatever alternative he chooses, he thereby enters into something that he disapproves. If he says that it is not permissible, he deviates from the statements of all the groups we have reported. This means diverging from the views of all adherents of Islam, since there is no other possible statement than those three, according to each of which Mujahid's statement in this sense is not impossible." (The History of Al-Tabari - General Introduction and From Creation to the Flood, translated by Franz Rosenthal [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1989], Volume I, Appendix A. A Partial Translation of Tafsir on Qur. 17:79 (Above, pp. 75 f.), pp. 149. 151; capital and underline emphasis ours)
See also al-Tabari's explanation of Q. 17:79.
Al-Qurtubi, who is also viewed as an outstanding Muslim exegete, commented on this same Quranic reference in his al-Jami' li Ahkam al-Qur'an:
The third explanation of this verse is what al-Tabari reported from a party of scholars - among them Mujahid - whereby "the Exalted Station is the seating by Allah of the Prophet with Him on His Throne (kursiyyih)." They narrated a hadith to that effect, and al-Tabari backed up the possibility (jawâz) of such a thing with some extravagant statements (shatatin min al-qawl). However, what he said cannot be inferred [from the verse] except with over-subtlety as to meaning (al-talattuf bi al-ma'nâ), and it is far-fetched (fîhi bu'd). This is not to say that there is no such narration; only that [one endowed with] knowledge interprets it figuratively (al-'ilmu yata'awwaluhu). On that basis it is the same, with respect to possibility, whether Allah seats the Prophet on the Throne or on the ground. For His elevation over the Throne is not in the sense of displacement (intiqâl), removal (zawâl), nor change of position from standing to sitting, nor any state or condition to which the Throne itself is subject. Rather, He is elevated over the Throne in the way He has stated concerning Himself, without saying how. Nor does His seating of the Prophet on the Throne impose upon the Prophet (s) the attribute of Lordship [sic] or move him out of that of servanthood [sic]. Rather, it consists in an elevation because of his status, and an honor bestowed upon him because of his sublime character. (Source; underline emphasis ours)
Another Muslim authority named Ibn Batta stated in his book al-Sharh wa al-Ibana 'ala Usul al-Sunna wa al-Diyana ("Elaboration of the Principles of Sunni Doctrine"), p. 61, that:
The Prophet shall be seated on the Throne with his Lord (yujlas ma'a rabbihi 'alâ al-'arsh), and this privilege belongs to no one else. Thus did Nafi' narrate it from Ibn 'Umar from the Prophet concerning the verse: "It may be that thy Lord will raise you to an Exalted Station" - he said that He shall seat him with Him on the Throne. Thus also did Mujahid explain it, as narrated by Muhammad ibn Fudayl, from al-Layth, from Mujahid. (Underline emphasis ours)
In case the readers are wondering who this Mujahid is, he is Mujahid ibn Jabr, Abu al-Hajjaj al-Makhzumi (d. 102), one of the major commentators of the Qur'an among the tabi'in or followers of Muhammad's companions (sahabah), and viewed as holding the highest rank in reliability among hadith narrators (thiqa). It is related by a Muslim scholar named Ibn Sa'd, in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra (6:9), that Mujahid went over the explanation of the Islamic scripture together with Ibn 'Abbas, Muhammad's first cousin and one of the most knowledgeable Muslims that ever lived, approximately thirty times.
And here is a modern Muslim writer who affirms this interpretation:
Do they know any other Prophet or angel whom Allah addressed directly and by whose life He swore? "By thy life (O Muhammad)!" (15:72); "And who is better in his discourse than he who calls unto Allah and does good and says: I am one of the Muslims?" (41:33) i.e. who is better in speech than the Prophet? "Lo! those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings" (98:7) i.e. the Prophet is the best of created beings; "Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct" (49:13) i.e. the Prophet is the noblest of those to whom the Qur'an is addressed in the sight of Allah; "And lo! thou (Muhammad) art [I swear] of a tremendous nature" (68:4). The reality of this compliment - khuluqin `azim - can be fathomed only by the Speaker Himself and whoever He wills; "Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while _some of them He exalted (above others) in degree_" (2:253) i.e. the Prophet. "And we preferred some of the Prophets above others" (17:55) then He said: "It may be that thy Lord will raise thee to a praised estate" (17:79), a Station which the Prophet said none but he would receive and this is the Station of Intercession at the right of the Glorious Throne as we described at length in the posting "The Seating of the Prophet on the Throne." (G.F. Haddad, The Prophetic Title "Best of Creation"; *; *; underline emphasis ours)
For more on Muhammad occupying Allah's throne we advise consulting the following articles:
First of all, Shamoun ignorantly links to this article http://www.sunnah.org/aqida/ProphetsSeatingontheThrone.htm, which refutes Shamoun's case! This article ascertains that the veracity of all these narrations that speak about the Prophet (peace be upon him) sitting on the thrown with Allah cannot be verified. Notice some of the comments that the author makes:
The authenticity of this narration is not known and its wording departs from all the other narrations, though not its meaning.
The authenticity of this narration is not known and Daylami (d. 509) did not give his chain when citing the hadith
The chain of this hadith would then be weak and cut-up (da'îf munqati') as confirmed by Ma'ruf and al-Arna'ut's comments
M. Nasir al-Albani who said: "Its chain is weak and severed (maqtû')."
Ibn al-Jawzi said: "This narration is not authentic from the Prophet (s)."
Isn't it amazing? Shamoun brings up an argument and then links us to an article that demonstrates that the evidence for the position is weak!
Secondly, even if we do assume that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sits with Allah on the Throne, this is only proof of Allah greatly honoring the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Where does it say in Islamic sources that only the divine could sit on the Throne? No where does it say that. It is only Shamoun's personal subjective opinion that tells him that if someone sits on the Throne with God then that makes the person God. This is completely unfounded and baseless.
Sam Shamoun said:
The inspired Christian Scriptures teach that the risen Christ now sits on and rules from his Father's Divine throne as the exalted and immortal Lord of all creation whom every creature shall eventually worship:
". Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' 'I am,' said Jesus. 'And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" Mark 14:61b-62
"and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." Ephesians 1:19-23
"For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:5
"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11
"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." Revelation 3:21
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne (singular) of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him." Revelation 22:1-3
Unfortunately for these Muslims, and contrary to their denials, they failed to see how this plagiarizing of Biblical truth turned Muhammad into a demigod and thereby stands in direct conflict with the express statements of the Quran that there is no other deity or potentate besides Allah.
Shamoun suffers from a severe case of Trinity fever. Whatever passage he looks at, he immediately states "These passages show that Jesus is God!"
Jesus sitting at the right hand of God does not in any way imply that he is God.
On the contrary, it serves to show that he is not God. "To sit at the right hand" is a Jewish idiom signifying the custom of a dignitary honoring someone. If we take the case of a king, it would be the place of uppermost honor for any of his subordinates. Therefore, Jesus' session merely signifies His exaltation to the place of highest honor in heaven, but not that He is God. The Father inviting Jesus to come and sit at His right hand illustrates His superiority over Jesus and Jesus' dependence upon Him.
We would also like to ask Shamoun how come there aren't three thrones in heaven for each of the persons in the Triune Godhead.
Richard Bauckham said:
In Second Temple Judaism, then, the throne of God in the highest heaven became a key symbol of monotheism. (Richard Bauckham, The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus, page 53)
Marinus de Jong said:
God on his heavenly throne remains the center of all worship (Rev 7:11-17), and adoration of the Lamb in no way endangers or diminishes the worship due him. (Marinus de Jong, God's Final Envoy, page 138)
If the Throne of God became a symbol of monotheism and that the God on the Throne receives all worship and the Trinity is true, then why isn't there a Throne for each person? If Shamoun insists that all three persons were sharing the Throne, then I challenge Shamoun to cite me one verse that says that the Holy Spirit is sitting on the Throne as well. He cannot. We sure do hope that Shamoun doesn't get desperate and states what other Christian's state, which is that the Throne of the Holy Spirit is the body of the believer. If he does, then it becomes pretty obvious that he is avoiding the argument, for the Holy Spirit should be able to occupy a Throne and still be in the believers simultaneously.
Sam Shamoun said:
In order to help Muslims see the problem with this view it needs to be emphasized that placing Muhammad alongside Allah on the same throne basically means that he is a co-ruler with Allah. Moreover, to hold the position of Muhammad being a co-occupant of the divine throne inevitably leads to believing that a finite creature is equal with his creator. And yet how can any creature, no matter how exalted, ever be equal with the almighty in authority and rank?
These are only words that Shamoun is uttering. He hasn't shown any proof for the truth of these claims.
Sam Shamoun said:
In order to get around this problem certain Muslims may simply wish to discard these traditions, despite the many great Muslim minds that fully embraced and believed in the veracity of these reports. In fact, we even have cases where renowned scholars such as al-Tabari went out of their way to defend the authenticity and soundness of these reports.
Be that as it may, by rejecting such traditions the Muslims only help to expose the utter chaotic and confused state in which Islamic scholarship finds itself as it seeks to cope with the intellectual and scholarly onslaught on the Muslim source material. It merely reveals that Islam is in shambles and cannot withstand the critical scrutiny and rational analysis of its primary sources by open-minded intelligent individuals. It is only a matter of time that, by the grace of the risen Lord Jesus, Islam will collapse and Muslims will be free from the shackles of the false teachings of the false prophet Muhammad and his god.
Shamoun never considered the reality that the science of hadeeth was set up in order to distinguish false narrations from true ones. He thinks that if somehow a difference of opinion on a certain narration occurs then that makes all of our traditions doubtful. This is just sheer ignorance and this logic can even be used more forcefully against Shamoun, for we can say that since there is a difference of opinion over the veracity of Mark 16:9-20 and other passages in the Bible that would render his entire Bible doubtful!
As previously shown (from a link that Shamoun provided!) these traditions are not very reliable specifically because of weaknesses in their chains of transmission. Secondly, even if we do accept these traditions then they still don't pose a problem, as I have previously explained.
Sam Shamoun said:
And even if a Muslim rejects these narratives s/he must still contend with the gross contradiction within the Islamic scripture concerning the question of whether Allah shares his rule or not. A Muslim may try to get around this problem by saying that the passages which say that Allah does not share his kingdom with anyone actually mean that all authority and rule stem from him and that individuals only reign because of Allah's permission.
The problem with this explanation is that this is not the plain reading of the passages and that is not what the verses say. Since Muslims believe that the Quran is the standard of Arabic eloquence and grammar we would expect to find the Muslim scripture being more clear in communicating this point regarding Allah granting dominion to his creatures since the kingdom belongs to him, assuming of course that this is what the author(s) of the Quran was(were) actually saying. In other words, one can only accept this interpretation, e.g. Allah wasn't denying that there are others who reign but was really saying that all rulership stems from him, at the expense of the Quran's alleged perfect eloquence and structure. A Muslim must face the fact that the author(s) of the Quran once again failed to clearly communicate his/her/their message since s/he/they didn't write what s/he/they really wanted to say, but wrote in such a way as to convey the wrong idea which actually ended up contradicting other verses of the Quran!
This is the most deceptive part of Shamoun's article. He is a deceiver who doesn't give the Qur'an the same courtesy he gives to the Bible. He says that our explanation does not fit in with the 'plain reading' of the text. Over here, when Shamoun says 'plain reading' he actually means 'literal strict reading in isolation of its context'. He doesn't mean to say -clear obvious meaning in light of what we know about Islam as a whole'.
I have also presented an example from the Bible regarding this same issue, which clearly exposes Shamoun's double standards.
Sam Shamoun said:
To put it another way, if the Quran is really saying that Allah is the true source and giver of rulership and dominion, and not that other rulers do not exist, then consistency in exegesis demands that we interpret Quranic statements which say that Allah is the sole divinity to mean that he is the sole source of deity. These verses do not mean that other gods do not exist. In other words, just as there are others who rule, even though Allah is the only one who has dominion, there are also other gods that exist who receive their divinity from Allah, the only so-called deity.
Shamoun the ignorant exegete continues to utter foolish words. Can't Shamoun understand that we could interpret the passage to mean that Allah is the true and ultimate source and giver of leadership because we have other passages that affirm that Allah gives people leadership, however there are no passages that state that there are other 'gods' thus making the analogy absolutely ridiculous and fallacious?
We ask Shamoun to be consistent and answer the following question:
Since you interpret Jesus's statement 'The Father is Greater Than I' to mean greater than in authority, but not in essence does this mean that every time you see a passage, which states that God is greater than someone then that means that He is only greater than that person in authority, but equal in essence? If you argue no and that you must look at context, then why are you being so stubborn by twisting the verses of the Qur'an?
Shamoun then cites a Tabari tradition about Al Uzza, however he doesn't provide the isnaad for us to analyze its authenticity.
Shamoun has written a response over here.
However, not only did Zawadi completely ignore my citation from al-Tabari who defends the veracity of this tradition:
Al-Tabari is stressing on the fact that one must not reject the narrations because they are afraid of the implications that it might have. He is arguing that its meaning is acceptable. I do agree with Imam Al-Tabari that it is not impossible for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to sit on the Throne with Allah. I have no objections to that. The only reason why I don't believe it is because it has not been demonstrated through any authentic chains of transmission.
Shamoun then wastes our time talking about scholars who believed that Muhammad (peace be upon him) would be seated with Allah. I am already aware of that, but how does that answer my argument that there is no authentic chain of transmission? Shamoun emphasizes on statements saying that the chain is uninterrupted, but how does it being connected accrue to its authenticity? He cites the scholars condemning people as Jahmis and heretics if they denied that Muhammad (peace be upon him) sits on the Throne. But there is a huge difference between the Jahmis and others such as my self who would reject this belief. The reason why the Jahmis rejected this belief is because of logical and philosophical reasons. They objected to its possibility. This is worthy of condemnation. However, I would reject the belief because there is no solid evidence for it in Qur'an or authentic hadeeth. I wouldn't be condemned for that. Some Orthodox Muslims simply accepted this as one of the valid meanings for the Praised Status (maqaam al mahmoud), which would be given to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Zawadi also failed to mention that even his very own idol Ibn Taymiyyah and his pupil Ibn Qayyim believed and embraced the veracity of this tradition!
I haven't found any explicit statements from Ibn Taymiyyah or Ibnul Qayyim that they believed this, rather they only mentioned that scholars held this opinion and that it was a valid opinion that was accepted, but they never explicitly stated that they held to it. Even if they did, what would be the problem anyways?
Yet since Zawadi doesn't like "weak" narrations here is one which is deemed to be reliable or sound:
8. Another Narration From 'Abd Allah ibn Salam
From 'Abd Allah ibn Salam, in a long hadith on the Day of Judgment: "A seat (kursî) will be placed for the Prophet on the right of Allah."
 Al-Hakim narrated it in his Mustadrak (4:568-569) and declared its chain sound (sahîh), as confirmed by al-Dhahabi. (Bold and underline emphasis ours)
Where in this narration does it say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is sitting on the same Throne as Allah? Rather it is speaking about a different throne. Also, Shamoun should cite GF Haddad in full since he says:
Yet the hadith scholars have drawn attention to 'Abd Allahbn Salam as one of the Companions who frequently report narrations from the People of the Book (isrâ'îliyyât). Because of this, they have refrained from giving his mawqûf reports - and those of 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn al-'As - the status of marfû? unless independently confirmed. Similar caution applies to the Successors Ka'b al-Ahbar and Wahb ibn Munabbih.
These narrations bring to three the reported positions of the Prophet (s) in the different versions of the hadith of the seating: On the Throne, in front of the Throne, and to the right of the Throne. The first is itself divided into two versions: alone, or "with Allah." The latter is obviously the most controverted version.
Shamoun then said:
Hence, Muhammad will be given a seat right next to Allah! This means that Muhammad shares in Allah's exclusive rule over all creation and is therefore Allah's partner who is another sovereign lord besides Allah!
Shamoun, do us a favor and keep your unwarranted Trinitarian exegesis outside of our faith. We have no clue or idea how on earth you concluded such a thing, so please either prove it or just spare us your crazy interpretations.
Shamoun then mentions narrations, which I have already addressed elsewhere in this series of refutations to Shamoun.
Zawadi must be suffering from amnesia since he forgot the following citation which he borrowed from "Servetus the Evangelical":
Richard Bauckham said:
In Second Temple Judaism, then, the throne of God in the highest heaven became a key symbol of monotheism. (Richard Bauckham, The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus, page 53)
Shamoun has got to be kidding me. He thinks that just because I cite Christian scholars against him then that would mean that I agree with their beliefs! I only cited Bauckham because he is theologically authoritative to the Christian. Not the Muslim. EVEN if it were true that according to the Bible to sit on the Throne with God proves one's divinity, in no way does that mean the same thing according to Islam.
Shamoun added an appendix to his rebuttal.
He is arguing for the authenticity and veracity of this report, as well as for its theological soundness.
Anyone could read the citation that Shamoun provided from Imam Al Tabari, especially the bold parts that Shamoun highlighted and clearly see that Imam Al-Tabari did not claim to adhere to this belief. Even Al-Tabari himself acknowledges what interpretation he views as correct: "Even though the traditions we have mentioned on the authority of the Prophet and his Companions and the Followers indicate the correct interpretation of maqaman mahmudan in Qur. 17:79 (as referring to Muhammad's role as intercessor on the Day of Resurrection)" What he was saying was that Mujahid's statement is not impossible (meaning it cannot be rejected), however he didn't say that we should accept it. If Al-Tabari personally accepted this belief then so what? How does that change the fact that there is no authentic chain of transmission going back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself?
The scholars that I cited clearly stated that any person who denies the soundness of this narration is to be condemned, which proves that these scholars believed that this report was reliably transmitted and that it was based on authentic chains of transmission. This is the main reason why these same scholars condemned the Jahmis, not because of their appeal to logic and reason, but because of their rejection of a report that was based on a sound chain. This also refutes Zawadi's assertion that there is no authentic chain confirming the veracity of this report since the sources I quoted claimed there was.
Clearly Shamoun is ignorant about terminologies employed by Islamic scholars and the historical context surrounding the disputes between Jahmis and orthodox Muslims. He doesn't understand what the Jahmis beliefs and arguments were all about and in what context these scholars were saying what they said. We could provide several statements from classical scholars declaring those who said that the Qur'an is created is a kaafir or those who deny that Allah is above the Throne is a kaafir, however one needs to understand the principles of Takfeer and distinguish between general Takfeer and specified individual Takfeer and based on what conditions should someone be labeled a kaafir (e.g. does he have valid scriptural reasons or just appealing to emotions?). This is not the time or place for this discussion. We simply respond by saying that Shamoun must not appeal to authority and actually prove his case from Qur'an or authentic hadeeth.
Shamoun then cites Ibnul Qayyim, but again fails to provide evidence that he adhered to the position. Scholars listing supporters of a belief doesn't necessitate that they believed in it as well. The most we know about Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul Qayyim is that they neither denied nor affirmed this belief.
Again, I don't understand the problem. I am already aware of and concede to the valid difference of opinion regarding this issue. I have zero problems with someone taking the opinion that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would sit on a throne next to Allah that day. So Shamoun doesn't have to waste his time telling me that such and such scholars believed in it. However, I reject this opinion (i.e. I reject that we must believe in it and don't make a positive denial to its truth) because there is no solid evidence for it from Qur'an or the statements of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
According to these reports there will actually be two seats or thrones in heaven, not just one, one for Allah and the other for Muhammad.
Where did thrones in heaven come from?
By sitting on another kursi or throne alongside Allah's Muhammad inevitably ends up sharing in Allah's unique rule over creation as sovereign lord. Muhammad therefore becomes a partner with Allah in his sovereignty, which means that Muslims actually have two Lords, not just one!
First of all, it is not the Throne that is sovereign, but the one on the Throne.
Secondly, who said that the Prophet's (peace be upon him) throne (assuming he will sit on a throne) is of the same glory and magnitude as that of Allah? Does the disciples sitting on thrones and judging the twelve tribes of Israel when the Son of Man would also sit on his glorious throne on the Day of Judgment (Matthew 19:28) also make them divine? We feel Shamoun is going to come up with some kind of explanation, which could also work for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, if Shamoun just simply wants to fallaciously argue that since God has a Throne and someone else also does then that would also mean he is divine, then we would surely have a field day with the Bible!
1. According to the Quran Allah's throne symbolizes his sovereignty over all creation.
2. The Quran further attests that Allah does not allow anyone to share in his unique rule over his creation.
3. Certain reports claim that Muhammad will be seated on Allah's own throne, whereas other narratives state that he will actually be seated on his very own throne next to Allah's.
4. In either case, this means that Muhammad shares in Allah exclusive sovereign rule over the entire creation.
5. As such, this makes Muhammad into another lord and deity besides Allah.
6. This in turn violates one of the essential components of Islamic monotheism, namely Tauhid al-Rububiya.
If only Shamoun could clearly show the connection from point 3 to point 4, we would be more than willing to agree with him. But as usual he cannot prove his case.
Return to Refuting Sam Shamoun
Return to Homepage