I read David's article below, titled "The Qur'an, Surah 4:34". Doing nothing more than providing some translations and a link, I figured nothing could really be said against it -- he really didn't say anything except quote translations of the Qur'an.
But lo! A Muslim friend responds, telling him to read the actual interpretation of the Quran. Taking a break from my studies, I decided to read this article. What we find is the same methodology that Muslims almost always employ in attemtping to circumvent the obvious: 1 - A labyrinthine reinterpretation of a clear verse, 2 - Examples that might support the reinterpreted view but do not exclude the clear view, 3 - An utter exclusion of evidence that goes contrary to the reinterpreted view, and my favorite part, 4 - An accusation that Christians are prejudiced diabolical Islamophobes, "hell-bent" on using improper methodology to prove their insidious agenda.
1 - The words which say "beat them" are reinterpreted as meaning "tap them lightly, symbolically showing your disproval." Interestingly, Allah saw fit to use the words "hit them" instead of "tap them". But to show that this modern reinterpretation is correct, our Muslim friends give us some supporting examples from the Quran and Islamic history. Let's look at that in point 2.
2 - The prophet Job is mentioned in the Quran as having been self-forced into a position of hitting his wife, and in order to fulfill this requirement, he hit her with some basil. The author of the article says that this is the only verse in the Quran "that categorically refers to what some people wanna label as 'wife beating'." Although I thought the verse that mentions beating wives is also talking about wife beating, apparently this is not the case.
Then, records are used to show what hitting someone without hurting them is like in modern times - Job used grass, but the author of this Muslim article refers to a tradition in which it's okay to hit with a stick used for a toothbrush (siwak).
Another tradition is quoted in which Muhammad says: "there shall be no infliction of harm on oneself or others." The author then goes on to use this gratuitously, as if to say "we cannot harm anyone at all, and that includes women!" but he ingores the fact that this hadith requires context (which he did not provide) and he is clearly using it in a false way (for the infliction of harm on others is allowed in Islam if justifiable, e.g. wars, executions, punishments, etc. Therefore, in Islam, there must be justifiable exceptions to the "do not inflict harm" rule, and wife-hitting could fall into it).
Finally, the author uses quotes from Muhammad which say "If (the women commit a manifest indecency), then refuse to share their beds and hit them without indecent violence". This is used as evidence by our Muslim friend that Muhammad does not condone hitting women! It might say "don't be excessive in your physical punishment" but nowhere does it say "do not use physical punishment." In fact, it clearly says "hitting them is okay, indecent violence is not."
These are the examples that this article uses to show that Islam does not condone physical violence against women. More often than not, they show that it is okay to hit women! Yes, don't hurt them too much, but hit them if necessary. Clearly, the defense's claim that hitting women is not allowed falls extremely short.
3 - But what about all the evidence that supports the view that Islam allows for physical violence against women?
- According to Sahih Muslim, Muhammad hit his wife Aisha, causing her pain! Aisha herself was the authority of this hadith. I always agree with Muslims about Muhammad's sincerity; he practiced what he preached, and this is no exception.
- According to Sunan Abu Dawud, when men complained to Muhammad about their wives, Muhammad allowed them to hit the women. These women came in the morning to Muhammad complaining about their abusive husbands, whom Muhammad proclaimed to be "not the best men among the Muslims". Why did he not just say hit them with basil leaves, or tap them symbolically? Must have slipped his mind.
- According to Tabari and Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad said in his farewell address that it's okay to hit your women, just don't be excessively violent, for women are like domestic animals, given to the men by God (to be taken care of, I'm guessing).
Really, the list goes on and on. The obvious evidence seems to be utterly ignored. Instead of dealing with the evidence, many Muslims use bad examples to try to prove their point. When this does not work, they will often move on to pointing fingers and calling names.
4 - Is it true that Christians are biased Islamophobes? In the article that was referred to by our Muslim friend, Christians are accused of being prejudiced, having a diabolical agenda, and using improper methodology. Let me say it (for the hundredth time): I am not an Islamophobe! If Islam can be shown to be true, I will accept it. But far from proclaiming the truth, we see Muslims reinterpreting the obvious, providing bad arguments, and ignoring the deluge of evidence against them. How can I determine Islam to be true when its defense entirely ignores the obvious?
Fact: Muhammad hit his wife!!! This is according to one of the top two sources of hadith! Do not call this hadith weak, for Imam Muslim himself did not do so! How are we supposed to properly interpret history if Muslims keep throwing out all the history that goes against their preformed conclusions? According to one of the best historical records, Muhammad hit his young wife. According to other books in the Sahih Sitah (the six most authentic books of Islamic tradition) Muhammad allowed many of his men to hit their wives, though he said it was not the best thing to do, and he admonished Muslims right before his death that it's okay for them to hit their wives if the wives are committing open indecency, and that wives are like domestic animals given by God. The early tradition screams the truth: physical violence is allowed in Islam.
My Muslim friends! Defend your religion as it is, not as you want it to be! The stance that should be defended by Muslims is: "Limited physical violence against women is not immoral." You might have a shot at that one. Or you could even say: "Though Islam allows limited physical aggression against women, this does not mean it has a low view of women. This is the way Allah has ordered the world, and it is not wrong." But to say that Islam forbids any violence against women is, yet again, ignoring the obvious, and it's this kind of flawed methodology that led me away from Islam.
Let me say it again, in another way: I never thought that Islam's provision for hitting women was evidence to leave Islam; maybe that is the way Allah intended it, and who am I to say otherwise? I thought "If God says 'If your women have been unchaste, you have the option to hit them, but only lightly' then maybe that's best." It didn't budge me at all. What caused me to wonder was the fact that defenders of Islam were denying the obvious truth: that hitting women is indeed allowed. I soon began to see bad methodology everywhere. It became clear to me, then, that I had to focus on a proper method of investigating the truth.
When I began accepting the truth for what it was, that which had been obvious to me became flawed, and what was hard to believe became the only thing I could believe. The truth set me free.
Here is the comment that was made on the other post.
I am Bassam Zawadi, the owner of www.call-to-monotheism.com
I recommend you visit this link http://islamic-answers.com/does_islam_really_allow_wife_beating___ and I also recommend that you visit this link and tell me what you think of the portrayal of women in the Bible http://www.islamic-answers.com/women_in_the_bible
I have a question for you. Your bible prohibits divorce except if one spouse cheats on the other. But what if a wife is getting abused by her husband? According to Christianity, she has no right to divorce him for that reason and she is stuck with her abusive husband.
Atleast in islam, the woman could get divorced from the guy.
June 16, 2007 3:34 AM
According to some Muslim reinterpretations of 4:34, it is wrong to hit women.
But as you noted, Muhammad hit Aisha, which would mean that Muhammad did something wrong. Hence, he wasn't sinless.
So which is it? Either (1) the Qur'an permits men to beat their wives and Muhammad is innocent, or (2) Islam teaches that wife-beating is wrong, and Muhammad sinned.
I saw your profile on that anastasis website and you said that your background was Muslim.
First of all you were a Qadiani who believed that another Prophet came after Muhammad peace be upon him. You were no Muslim my friend. It’s like me being a Mormon who converted to Islam and then I said my background was Christian. Would you accept that?
Another reason why you weren't a Muslim is your obvious ignorance of Islam and how to understand it. (my tone is non offensive by the way, so don’t take it wrongly)
One of the Prophet's duties is to teach the Quran (3:164) and explain it to us (16:44) and the Prophet clearly explained that the beating is non violent and served a purpose. Its purpose was to control the disobedient wife and the scholars of Islam (people who understand the religion) are in agreement that the husband must use wise judgment if he decides to take this approach. The whole point of it is to avoid a divorce. If the light beating could make the wife realize how disappointed the husband is and so on then this approach is better than a divorce.
As for Muhammad peace be upon him hitting Aisha, this has been addressed here http://www.authenticsunnah.org/karim/mistranslations_of_hadiths.htm in misconception number 1.
As for the domestic animals narration, can you please provide the reference so that I can check it out?
If women are compared to animals then I see it in the Bible when your God ordered women to be killed along with animals in Samuel 15:3.
How can I determine Islam to be true when its defense entirely ignores the obvious?
I find this to be very ironic coming from a Christian. Aren’t Christians ignoring the obvious statements of Jesus when he basically shows that he is not God? (e.g. mark 13:32, John 20:28, John 17:3 etc.)?
Aren’t Christians the ones who come up with the weirdest defenses when they try to defend an NT author taking an OT passage out of context (e.g. Matthew 2:15 alluding to Hosea 11:1)
Nabeel, do Christians expect me to leave Islam because of your Surah 4:34 argument and come to believe in the Bible when it states that God commanded or supported women to be raped, pregnant women to be ripped open, cannibalism as form of punishment and much more atrocities (see here http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/terrorism__rape_and_other_cruel_acts_in_the_bible)? The false accusations that you level against Islam are not even near that bad. If you don’t believe that Surah 4:34 is a reason to leave Islam then why waste your time arguing it. As you said…
and who am I to say otherwise?
You also try to make your self appear as if you are objective. I would like to challenge that.
I challenge you to present your evidence for Christianity. Before you do, just read the articles in this section http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/is_the_bible_the_word_of_god_ and take them into consideration before you speak.
Nabeel, I can’t ask God to guide you BACK to Islam because you never really were one, but I can ask God to make you more objective and more sincere so that you may be guided to Islam lord willing.
Note: one thing I strongly appreciate from your article was your method of trying to not offend Muslims. This is very rare in Christians unfortunately.
Can you guys also answer the previous question that I posed...
Your bible prohibits divorce except if one spouse cheats on the other. But what if a wife is getting abused by her husband?
Your bible prohibits divorce except if one spouse cheats on the other. But what if a wife is getting abused by her husband?
This is overly simplistic.
1. The Bible prohibits divorce except in cases of adultery. This is true, but you overlooked what the Bible teaches about divorce and abandonment.
2. You have also failed to account for what the Bible teaches about church discipline.
3. The Bible also treats the marriages of believers and unbelievers differently.
4. She is allowed to divorce anyway if he is an unbeliever and he leaves her. This is simple delinquency on his part. She is told to stay in order to be an example to him so he might convert.
5. The Bible teaches men to love their wives as Christ loves the church. This goes back to the covenant of creation, so it is not limited to Christians only.
6. The only real difference between the believers only and believer/unbeliever (mixed) marriage here then is the content of the marriage. In the former, both fall under the discipline of the local church. In the latter, one falls into it directly; the other indirectly.
For ease, we will assume this is a believers only marriage. The other case is still adaptable to this model.
The woman would first try to reconcile with her husband, who has sinned against her, according to Matt. 18. If he refuses, she is to go with witnesses, preferably elders. If this fails, then she is to go to the elders of the church and they are to confront him, bringing the matter before the whole local church. If he refuses, then he is to be put out of the church and treated as an unbeliever. They are to have no association with him other than calling him to repent.
Since abuse is also a crime in most Western nations, he can be charged with a crime by the wife, and the church, having investigated the matter as well, is to support her. At this point, we have a case of delinquency. Every effort should be made to keep the matter from getting to the levels of him being put out of the church and/or in jail. If he is put in jail, he has brought shame on the whole local church. That is one reason the whole local church, or at least its elders must be involved. She may divorce him on the grounds of abandonment if he refuses to repent, and the local church has the authority, for the good of the body, to keep them separated as long as he remains unrepentant. His unrepentance can be taken as grounds of abandonment. She may or may not chose to divorce him herself. If he has abandoned her, the local church is licensed to view the marriage covenant as dissolved, as is she. The civil matter is a matter of civil law at that point.
This position enjoys the benefit of church tradition as well:
The Puritan movement, with the Westminster Assembly coming at its
culmination, manifested both a masterful knowledge of Scriptural teaching and also a
pastoral sensitivity to the needs and tendencies of the human soul. This combination is
apparent in the materials that would have been available to the Westminster divines as
they dealt with the subject of divorce and whether physical abuse could be regarded as a
grounds for dissolution of a marriage.
1. To a direct question of whether physical abuse could be a grounds for
divorce, the Puritan tradition informing the Westminster Assembly would have
answered, No, not per se or by itself. William Perkins and William Ames before the
Westminster Assembly, William Gouge as a member of the Assembly, and Richard
Baxter soon after the Assembly are all consistent with Calvin and Beza and the
Genevan tradition in emphasizing adultery as the essential cause for divorce.
2. This same Puritan tradition also saw that under certain circumstances
desertion could be a grounds for divorce, and physical abuse could be the basis of a
desertion, the spouse guilty of the abuse being reputed as the deserter even though the
other one may have departed. Before such a situation could be the grounds for a
divorce, however, a sufficient time would have to expire for the efforts of both church
and civil magistrate to seek to achieve a reconciliation.
What do such findings indicate for our contemporary setting? First of all, in the
Reformation era settings of Geneva, Scotland, and England the civil magistrate could be
expected, to a greater degree than in late-20th-century America, to be mindful of and
respectful toward Scriptural principles. With regard to a matter like divorce, while we
must be respectful toward the secular courts, we cannot rely on contemporary judicial
principles to determine what is right.
Secondly, this means that we must rely even more than did the Reformation era,
on the constructive discipline of the church. When physical abuse is occurring in a
marriage, the church must deal with a situation which, as the Puritans saw, is contrary
to God’s purpose for marriage. A temporary separation may be necessary for safety,
which the church may need to facilitate, and the abusing partner should be disciplined,
with helpful counsel but eventually to the point of excommunication if there is no
repentance in deed as well as in word. The situation is complicated in our cultural
setting when the marriage partner is not a member of a church, or is a member of some
other church; nevertheless, discipline must be attempted. Only after a suitable length of
time and a sufficient process of church discipline should a divorce be granted for such a
desertion of one’s marriage partner and the marriage covenant. (This is essentially the
conclusion reached by David D. Prescott in The Problem of Wife Abuse: Wife Abuse
and Pastoral Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary D.Min. project, 1991; cf.
pp. 212-221 on “Divorce: Is It a Possibility?”)
In its understanding of the Bible’s teaching on divorce as “nothing but adultery
or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church or civil magistrate
is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage,” the Westminster Assembly was
seeking to steer the Scriptural path between two demonstrable extremes and in the
process uphold God's high ideal for marriage. On the one hand, this ruled out the
Roman Catholic concept of no divorce, allowing divorce for adultery and under certain
circumstances desertion. On the other hand, it ruled out divorce for incompatibility as
some such as Milton were advocating. Physical abuse of a spouse was seen as contrary
to the biblical purpose for marriage and would thus be grounds for church discipline
and could, if it led to prolonged separation without remedy, become a cause for
dissolution of a marriage. Such circumstantial details can be handled only by a body of
elders cognizant of and close to the situation. Whereas proven adultery would be
readily acknowledged as grounds for a divorce, desertion on the basis of physical abuse
as a cause for dissolution of a marriage should be determined from the circumstances by
the local session or in the case of a minister by the presbytery.
Thanks for the response. But sorry to say that it is not good enough.
When I read scripture I see that the woman is still bound to her husband even if he is a disbeliever who is willing to remain married (1 Corinthians 7:13)
Sure, she can get a restraining order and put him in jail, but she has to wait till he dies so that she can get married again.
If he doesn't repent, you can't consider this as abandonment and declare him a disbeliever!!!! Plus, even if he was a disbeliever but still willing to remain married, then she can't divorce him.
Jesus made it clear it the gospels (allegedly) that divorce cannot occur EXCEPT FOR MARITAL UNFAITHFULNESS.
You guys want to go around and play games with the interpretation. The advice I want to give you is similar to that of Nabeel's...
My Christian friends! Defend your religion as it is, not as you want it to be!
Quoting Scripture while not exegeting Scripture and dealing with the theology of marriage are two different things. Where is your exegesis of the appropriate texts, and where is your review of the Christian theology of marriage?
A. Now you are trying to drive a wedge between Jesus and Paul. That's a standard move from liberal theology and text criticism. I wonder if you'd appreciate it if we applied the same sort of thinking to the Quran? It's telling you have to resort to a liberal theological move to critic a Reformed evangelical theological statement. It tells me you can't argue an internal critique, you have to resort to an external one. Pick an internal critique or an external and stick to it.
B. What you did not do is interact with anything I actually posted. You simply waved your hand at it and dismissed it, which betrays the weakness of your argumentation.
a. For starters, your original complaint was not "Jesus said x" about marriage. Your original complaint was "according to Christianity" and "your Bible" says...
b. Further, it was Jesus who granted apostolic authority to Paul, so, except where Paul says he is giving his opinion and not the Lord's, he is speaking with the same authority as Christ. So, what Paul says and what every other book of Scripture says is to be taken together since it is all of the same authority. So, if you think there is a disjunction, you need to make that argument.
c. And the instances of "lawful" divorce are concessions to sin, nothing more. Nobody is arguing otherwise anyway. Divorce is actually by no means "lawful" in the context of the ideal under the covenant of creation. It is "allowed," but not "licensed." That is why the church disciplinary process is involved, a fact you overlooked.
d. And I further instructed you on what Scripture says about church discipline.
e. And Paul says that the woman should stay with her husband if he is an unbeliever. This is a case of the woman coming to believe while already married, not of an intentional mixed marriage, but he goes on to address abandonment. However, Paul is dealing with that specific situation in that church. What we have is a concrete instance of a wider principle, namely abandonment is itself grounds for divorce. Paul is not restricting divorce to that one type of situation, eg. an unbelieving husband leaving a believing wife. If you think so, you need to provide a supporting argument.
If he doesn't repent, you can't consider this as abandonment and declare him a disbeliever!!!!
I argued that Matthew 18 states that a person in unrepentant sin before the whole church is to be treated as an unbeliever. 1 Cor. 5 states he is to be put out of the church itself, and his unrepentance for this particular sin can be construed as abandonment, which is grounds for divorce, because she, under the discipline of the church is obligated to separate from him as well, since she is a member of the church. You vastly oversimplified what I wrote. You're wanting to do this in order to characterize what I stated as a convenience, as if all she needs to do is get him declared apostate and then she's out of there.
Plus, even if he was a disbeliever but still willing to remain married, then she can't divorce him.
Except that by abusing her, he has apostatized from the marriage covenant, yet another fact you overlooked.
I've already dealt with this, but since you didn't get it, I'll go over it once more in greater detail.
The paradigm case I gave you was of a believer who falls, ultimately, under the discipline of the church and is put out of the church. It also involves several other caveats, including the removal of the wife from the home by the elders of the church and the involvement of the entire membership of the church in redemptive fashion, so what we are addressing has several phases, none of which you bothered touch. It would be helpful if you actually interacted with the material presented to you.
If we are at the point of discussing a divorce, it is only after several steps have been taken. Further Scripture does not elevate marriage to a position superior to singleness or widowhood, so where is the cruelity, if any, since the church has the authority, at this point, to remove the woman from the home and protect her from the husband on several different fronts?
I did not state that she is to remain in the home, and Scripture makes no such provision one way or the other specifically, except the 6th commandment does license her removal for her safety. You seem to think that the Bible mandates that she live in the home. Where is your supporting argument?
Further, according to Matthew 19:10-12 special Christian grace is given by God to Christ's disciples to sustain them in singleness when they renounce remarriage according to the law of Christ. So, even if we rule out divorce for her, where exactly is the outrage? She is functionally single and chaste.
The abusive husband is guilty of delinquency. His unrepentance of his abuse means he wishes to continue in sin, so he is removed from the home and the church, cut off from the covenant. That, sir, is abandonment. A man that wishes to abuse his wife forfeits any statements he may make regarding his unwillingness to divorce her. His actions render his words void. That is an eminently biblical proposition, for Scripture has a doctrine of false profession. What is unclear about this? In Christian theology, tota Scriptura, abandonment is grounds for divorce, and only then as a last resort after all attempts at repentance and reconciliation have failed. Further, remarriage is another issue altogether.
1 Corinthians 7:15 does not mean that when a Christian is deserted by an unbelieving spouse he or she is free to remarry. It means that the Christian is not bound to fight in order to preserve togetherness. Separation/divorce is permissible if the unbelieving partner insists on it. In the case of abuse, that partner is under the discipline of the church, but out of the church, and the church has license to separate the two, just as it would have license to separate two persons within its membership, if one was unremittingly sinned against and physically threatened by another.
And notice that Scripture does not state that a woman must live with an abusive husband. Neither does it prohibit any action on the part of the church to remove her from the home and keep him away from her.
In talking about restraining orders, you're introducing civil law, another caveat not in your original. However, the local church can and should intervene with or without a restraining order, and the men of the church can certainly keep him away from her through the disciplinary process of the church.Indeed, in a simple search of policies of local churches on the internet I was able to find several emphasizing that.
One can even make a just an necessary inference from the overall picture of marriage in Scripture. Marriage is depicted throughout the Bible as a covenant, a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Christ does not abuse the church, and if Christ abuse the church, he would be a false god. Under the law for idolatry, the church could "leave" Christ, ergo, the woman could "leave" the church, because the abusive husband has proven false and delinquent, the same way any member of the covenant community would be told to flee idols.
Since marriage is called a covenant between two parties, with mutual responsibilities, it can be violated by one party (e.g., abandonment, abuse, negligence, unfaithfulness to those responsibilities) and then therefore abrogated 'cleanly' by the other... It is not an uni-lateral, unconditional covenant.
It is also interesting to see you quote an English Bible, but what about Greek? "Porneia" is not limited to "adultery" in Greek. Matthew uses the word porneia instead of the word moicheia, which means adultery.
It includes sexual immorality and uncleanness and acts of many kinds, so, even on Jesus teaching alone, we can construe a wider meaning than "adultery" from the lexical meaning of the term. The only other place besides Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 where Matthew uses the word porneia is in 15:19 where it is used alongside of moicheia, where it refers to fornication. Note that the standard literal translation of porneia in Mt. 19 is "immorality" not "adultery" and not "fornication." Therefore, the primary contextual evidence for Matthew's usage is that he conceives of porneia as something different than adultery, inclusive of fornication, and wider than either one. Also, the text's emphasis is not on the exception clause, but the institution in Genesis, which calls out covenantal overtones.
Jesus is referring to the OT for his agreed upon concession. In the LXX, "porneia" words can refer to spiritual unfaithfulness, disloyalty, and apathy to Yahweh's covenant with Israel in the OT, and the OT includes a metaphor for God and Israel as a husband and a wife, and the wife is often pictured as a harlot, an adulterer, an abuser, etc. So, Jesus isn't just talking about sexual immorality, eg. simple adultery or simple fornication, by emphasizing the covenantal aspects of marriage. He's talking about unfaithfulness, nay, treacherousness with regard to the marriage covenant. Does not abuse fall into that category?
Jesus appeals to the covenant of creation? Why? It isn't simply a matter of relating to the sexual union or depicting the original "no divorce" rule. Rather, he is appealing to the covenantal overtones of marriage (which Paul picks up in Ephesians 5). Why? Because he is emphasizing that the "immorality exemption" in Moses is not simply sexual immorality/adultery and it is a concession to sin. On what basis, Moses alone? No, for Malachi 2 says that God hates divorce. Jesus is showing us why.
Some exegetes disagree, and that's fine, but it is not as simplistic as you want to relate, which is my point to you. At worst, what we have is a tension in Christian theology on this issue, and every view would concur that the woman involved would act under the authority of her church's eldership, and they would be bounden to keep them separated until he repents or license her to divorce. If the former, then Christ promises to meet all her needs, so there is nothing cruel about her being unable to divorce. If the latter, all the better. Where Scripture is unclear, if it is indeed so, then this falls under adiaphora. We can also appeal to tradition, for a warrant, which I have done. Sola Scriptura does not exclude such appeals or such measures, so I have done nothing inconsistent with the Bible here.
It is eminently lawful for the church to intervene to remove the wife for her safety. "The situation for her own safety. The sixth commandment would mandate that kind of self-defense. Of course, that creates an unbiblical marriage relationship; married couples ought to live together. But the responsibility for distorting the relationship rests with the abuser. And it is typical in Scripture for exceptions to be made to divine laws where human health and safety are at stake.
But what of "desertion?" Could spouse abuse be a form of desertion? A prior question is this: Is it possible for a spouse to desert a marriage without physically leaving the home? The answer seems to be "yes." Certainly if a husband refuses to support his wife and children financially and continues unrepentant in that pattern, but continues to live with them under the same roof, we would conclude that he has "deserted" his family in the most significant sense. He has refused to take responsibility for them. He has broken his marriage vows and does not seek to renew his adherence to them.
It does seem to me that spouse abuse may also be a ground for divorce on the basis of "desertion." The unrepentant spouse abuser, too, has forsaken his marriage vow. He no longer loves, honors and cherishes his wife; rather he has become a threat to her life and health. This is not to say that a person once abused should file immediately for divorce. Opportunities for counseling and reconciliation should certainly be taken. (Even adultery in the most literal sense does not immediately necessitate divorce.)" (John Frame)
Bassam said: "It’s like me being a Mormon who converted to Islam and then I said my background was Christian. Would you accept that?"
I hear many Muslims compare Ahmadis to Mormons regularly. This is, however, a misleading comparison. Mormons reject or distort practically every major Christian doctrine, so it makes sense to consider them non-Christians. Ahmadi Muslims don't deny or reject ANY of the major doctrines of Islam. Ahmadis believe all five pillars and all the articles of faith.
Thus, the two cases are not similar at all, Bassam.
As for your challenge to Nabeel to present his evidence for Christianity, I'll up the ante. Pick a partner and meet me and Nabeel for a two-on-two public debate. Then everyone can see where the evidence lies.
I would seriously love to accept your debate challenge. But the problem is that I live like over 20,000 km away from you. However, I am going to Toronto, Canada from Aug 28 to Sep10. I dont know if you live close by.
Otherwise we can do a textual debate. "Evidence for Islam and Christianity"
As for Ahmadis, you say that they accept the major articles of faith. I think you are talking about their intention and not actual belief. One of pillar of faith is believe in the prophets of God. If you add to it or subtract from it, you violate that essential aspect of creed. They also believe that Jesus was crucified, which completely goes against Quran and authentic Prophetic tradition. Some Muslim scholars have said that some Ahmadis can't be declared disbelievers because of their ignorance of scripture and evidence but definately their belief is kufr (disbelief). The study of takfeer (declaring people kuffar) is deep. Also Mirza Ahmad declared that whoever does not believe in him is a kaafir. The Prophet peace be upon him said that if anyone falsely accuses the other of being a kaafir then he is a kaafir. So they are falsely accusing orthodox Muslims of being kuffar, therefore it lands back on them.
However, when Nabeel wants to portray himself as a previous Muslim, it is obviously only a missionary tactic to use to try to appeal to Muslims. But the fact of the matter is that he never followed true Islam. It is good that Nabeel atleast put a small footnote indicating that in his testimony, but to say 'I was a Muslim' is misleading. He should say 'I was an Ahmadiya Muslim"
If a Jehovah's witness converted to Islam and claimed that he loved and followed the Bible wholeheartedly, wouldn't you find that misleading? Or if a Roman catholic said that Christianity taught that you can go to the Father in church and use him as an intercessor would you accept that? (i am assuming you are protestant)
But the truth is that the Ahmadiyya are much further than Islam than catholics would be from the Bible, so when Nabeel says he was an ex Muslim he is misleading the people. He has to clarify.
Anyways, I don't mind a textual debate. You can line up your arguments for Christianity and I will start addressing them.
Bassam said: "One of pillar of faith is believe in the prophets of God. If you add to it or subtract from it, you violate that essential aspect of creed."
The article of faith is simply to believe in the prophets. Since a complete list is not given, to say that the Ahmadis have violated the article is simply an interpretation on your part.
Bassam said: "They also believe that Jesus was crucified, which completely goes against Quran and authentic Prophetic tradition."
Even some orthodox Muslims are coming to the conclusion that Jesus was crucified, based on the historical evidence for Jesus' crucifixion. Shabir Ally, for instance, advocates this position in some of his debates. Is Shabir Ally a heretic?
Bassam said: "However, when Nabeel wants to portray himself as a previous Muslim, it is obviously only a missionary tactic to use to try to appeal to Muslims."
There's no tactic here. Nabeel was raised in a particular sect of Islam. He converted to Christianity, but this didn't make him think that his former sect is non-Muslim. Would you say that Shi'ites are non-Muslims as well? If so, I doubt this will cause many Shi'ites to say they're not Muslims.
Bassam said: "If a Jehovah's witness converted to Islam and claimed that he loved and followed the Bible wholeheartedly, wouldn't you find that misleading?"
Just as with Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses deny or distort several major Christian doctrines. Hence, this is not a good comparison. Ahmadi Muslims believe in all major Muslim doctrines. In the examples of your disagreements, you simply showed that you disagreed with them on some fine points.
Bassam said: "But the truth is that the Ahmadiyya are much further than Islam than catholics would be from the Bible."
First, this is completely false. Catholics believe in a number of doctrines that aren't biblical. They believe in many messengers of God after Jesus (the Popes), as well as the doctrines laid down by the popes. Many Catholics believe they can pray to Mary or to various saints, which is wrong. Hence, Catholics are further from orthodox Christianity than Ahmadis are from orthodox Islam. Second, with that said, I believe that many Catholics are sincere Christians, and I would never argue that they must identify themselves as heretics simply because I disagree with them on some issues.
I'll add, in closing, that whenever you come to a verse of the Qur'an that you don't agree with, you do some reinterpretation. But if you reinterpret verses of the Qur'an, you can hardly point a finger at the Ahmadis for reinterpreting certain verses.
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