Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Open Debate Proposal to Jalal Abualrub

Yesterday, I got back from two debates in California. James White and I both debated Muslim scholar Jalal Abualrub. Jalal was a pleasure to work with, and he even generously gave me copies of his books after our debate. Of course, these debates can become quite heated; nevertheless, I see no reason for this to strain relations between Christians and Muslims dedicated to weighing and examining evidence.

During our debate, Jalal mentioned that he didn't have enough time to present all of the information he wanted to share. I sympathize completely. "Is Muhammad a Prophet?" is a very broad topic, and a two-hour debate barely allows us to scratch the surface. Jalal's comment made me realize that such a broad topic requires a lengthier debate. With this in mind, I make the following proposal.

I understand that Arabic Christian Perspective would like to host two debates in San Diego in July. Both debates have to do with salvation. The first debate could be called something like "Can We Be Saved Through Islam?" The second debate would have to do with salvation in Christianity. Since Jalal challenged the historical evidence for Christianity during our debate, I would suggest something like "Did Jesus Die by Crucifixion?" The second debate is fairly narrow, so a standard debate would suffice. However, the debate on Islam is going to be quite broad, which means that Jalal will most likely want a longer format. I see no reason why the debate couldn't be broken up into three parts that will take place over an afternoon and an evening, giving both debaters ample time to present our material. The format could run as follows:

PART ONE--1:30 P.M.
JALAL: One-Hour Opening Statement
DAVID: One-Hour Opening Statement


PART TWO--4:30 P.M.
JALAL: Twenty-Minute First Rebuttal
DAVID: Twenty-Minute First Rebuttal
JALAL: Twenty-Minute Second Rebuttal
DAVID: Twenty-Minute Second Rebuttal


Thirty-Minute Crossfire on the Evidence for Islam
Thirty-Minute Crossfire on the Evidence against Islam
JALAL: Ten-Minute Conclusion
DAVID: Ten-Minute Conclusion
Forty Minutes Q&A

This will certainly take far more patience and dedication from the viewers than a standard two-hour debate. However, the rewards would be tremendous. The debate would be far more thorough, and loose ends will be tied up.

I have one further thought. Jalal told me in an email before our last debate that he would rather speak second. Arabic Christian Perspective insisted that he go first, since it is standard debate procedure for the affirmative position to go first. However, if Jalal would rather go second, I will ask Arabic Christian Perspective to give him this opportunity. Though I understand why the affirmative position is supposed to go first, I also understand why a Muslim would want to get the last word on a topic so close to his heart. I have no objections to giving Jalal this opportunity.

I am notifying Jalal of this debate proposal, and I hope to post his response soon.


Anonymous said...


I am not a debater, but I was wondering if a debate has been done on the subject; "Is the allah of the Qu'ran the same as the God of the Bible."? As a Christian it grieves me when I hear other believers speak of allah at times as if he is the same as their God. I can understand our Muslim neighbors using this tactic so as to ad some sort of legitimacy to their pagan religion, but Christian ought to know better. If a debate of this kind has been done, where can I obtain the information? Thanks.

David Wood said...


I recall a debate between William Lane Craig and Shabir Ally on this topic. You can watch it on Shabir's website (or purchase it from Biola University):

Craig vs. Ally

Craig also debated Jamal Badawi on this topic. You can purchase it from the Biola University apologetics website:

Craig Resources

Concerning referring to God as "Allah," this depends on what you mean. On the one hand, there are certainly some major differences between the God revealed in the Bible and the God described in the Qur'an. On the other hand, "Allah" is simply a generic Arabic word for "God," similar to the German word "Gott." When Arabic Christians talk about God, they say "Allah," because that's the word for God in their language. When they want to describe Jesus as the Son of God, they say "Jesus bin Allah."

B said...

David, i will be in New Jersey around the end of July or first week of August. I would like to debate you on these topics.

David Wood said...


Good to hear from you. I've been looking forward to meeting you, since we've corresponded so much. By the time you get here, we should be finished with our book, so we can celebrate. (Dinner is on me.)

I'll put the word out that you're open to the two debates. I suspect someone will be willing to host them. Do you know the exact dates you'll be here (and if you won't be able to debate on any of the days)?

Anonymous said...

David wood,

Greetings. In your opinion, who do you think won the debate between Shabir and Craig concerning whether Allah and the God of the bible being the same?

Anonymous said...


David Wood, have you heard of Dr. Robert Morey and if so, what is your opinion of his ministry, and recommendations. Thanks.

David Wood said...


Concerning whether God is different in the Qur'an and the Bible, that's a no-brainer. In the Bible, God is Triune, entered His creation, and loves everyone. In the Qur'an, God is an absolute unity, does not enter His creation, and loves Muslims only.

The question for us is which view is correct. The debate between Craig and Ally was part of a four debate series, and I think Craig clearly showed that the evidence supports the Christian view.

I've never really been interested in Robert Morey, though I've heard some people speak highly of him. Basically, I know that one of his main arguments is that Allah was the moon god, and I've never found this argument persuasive. So, I've always tended to read the works of other writers, and I don't know enough about Morey to comment.

Radical Moderate said...

I have just finsished listing to the debate between David Wood and Jalal Abualrub. I was wondering if anyone had the link to Jalal Aburalrub's article on the fly curing disieses? Mr Wood you did a outstanding job. Keep up the good work.

David Wood said...

The link can be found here:


However, the PDF doesn't seem to work anymore. Perhaps Jalal knows where the article can be found.

Radical Moderate said...

Thanks for the info, I just emailed him. Perhaps he realized how ridiculous it is and took it down. That would be a real shame.

Sunil said...


>> "Is the allah of the Qu'ran the same as the God of the Bible."? As a Christian it grieves me when I hear other believers speak of allah at times as if he is the same as their God. I can understand our Muslim neighbors using this tactic so as to ad some sort of legitimacy

If Muhammad preached the God of OT/NT/Jesus, like all other prophets, he also would have affirmed the prophets/scriptures and teachings/salvation of Jesus (instead of trying replace the entire history of revelation and prophetic tradition with something of his own). You are right that by repeatedly saying that they love/repect/accept Jesus, they are trying to get legitimacy. Who would ever accept the religion of Muhammad if the fact is made known that Muhammad and his new religion violates and goes against the entire prophetic tradition and Jesus (as seen from OT/NT).

Saint and Sinner said...

"Basically, I know that one of his main arguments is that Allah was the moon god, and I've never found this argument persuasive. So, I've always tended to read the works of other writers, and I don't know enough about Morey to comment."

His argument that Allah IS the moon god of paganism divorced from the other gods is perhaps a bit weak. However, there were some serious borrowings from Arab paganism that have been documented:


David Wood said...

Saint and Sinner,

I agree completely that Islam drew heavily from paganism. The pilgrimage to Mecca, kissing the black stone, bowing to the Ka'ba, praying at certain times of the day, numerous tales in the Qur'an, a number of false Muslim beliefs, etc., were all derived from the pagans.

Radical Moderate said...

I finaly read the the article from Jalal on the fly in the drink. I honestly do not know what to say. The level of intelecet of muslism is just so low. This was actualy done at a "Islamic University, Dept of Microbiology" I will never ever have a muslim as a Doctor. If any of you are interested I found it at this link.

Radical Moderate said...

Did anyone else notice that Dr White got upset with Jalal in his debate. It's like he was hoping for a serious discourse. It honestly amazis me that some people hold muslism to the same level as non muslims. Lets face it, these are a people whom if they enter into the bathroom with the right foot, say a a prayer to protect themsleves, squat and pee like a girl, shake their money maker three times use three stones to clean there private part. Say a prayer asking for forgiveness and then walk out with the left foot. That this some how brings them closer to God. To honestly hope for anything above this level is to just set yourself up for a major disapointment.

Nanos said...

martyr maker, I personally do not like to comment on other people's religious inclinations as to what they do and what they do when they enter a bathroom or come out of it. It does not prove or disprove someone's intellect. As for "squatting to pee like a girl", this is very common in the eastern part of the world (Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.) where there are unisex toilets for both men and women just to do the same. Christians and non-Christians use it too. Does that say anything about the "intellect" of Christians and non-Christians in the eastern part of the world? However, such frivolous comments put you in a bad light showing your cultural arrogance as well as insensitivity to other people's culture. Furthermore, what is wrong with cleaning after going to toilet whether with stones or wood or grass of whatever is available instead of tissue paper or water? Such an activity shows a higher level of civilization and a better level of intellect (i.e., taking care of one's own personal hygiene).

Radical Moderate said...

Nanos, My comment was on standards. The standards that muslims live up to and the
standards that christians live up to. As a christian my standard is Jesus christ, a muslim's standard is Mohamed.I honeslty do not care about the toilet habbits of muslims. Now muslims on the other hand care a great deal about the toliet habbits of their prophet.(The majority of Abu Dawood first chapter is dedicated to toilet habbits) As a christian i do not care about the toilet habbits of Jesus Christ, and niether does Christ, the father and the holy spirit care about my toilet habbits. The same muslims that make sure they walk into
the bathroom with their right foot and leave with the left foot, are the same muslims who chant allah o akbar as they saw the head off of some poor kaffir. The same muslims who make sure they shake it only three times are the same muslims that kill their Daughters, Sisters, wives and mothers for offending what they consider honor. The same muslims who take the time to pick out three stones to clean there private parts are the same muslims who on the drop of a hat, a mis spoken word or a silly characture
Kill, pillage and plunder. "You said that their toilet habbits shows a higher level
of civilization and a better intelect?" How small is the rod that you use to mesure
intelect and civilization. How shallow is the person who turns the natural act of urination
and defication into a spiritual act. How hollow is the doctrine that calls for prayer before and after this natural act, as if by doing so is shameful, and sinful. A person following such a doctrine has a such a low standard of his god and himself that it is wrong to hold them to the higher standard that the true living God holds us to. That was the point of my comment.

Nanos said...

martyr maker, since your argument is with respect to standards, I am still not convinced by what you are saying. Since Muslims say that they follow Muhammad way of life, it is natural to expect them emulating Muhammad. Doing otherwise would be a bit hypocritical of them.

Talking about you, since you say that your standard is Jesus Christ, a Muslim might ask you as to what do you mean by him as a standard? Do you emulate him in daily life? Do you pray like him? Do you fast like him? Do you live the life like Jesus lived? If your answer is yes to these questions, then we all agree that you have Jesus as a standard. If you do not agree then Jesus can't be a standard for you although you claim that he is your standard. Or we can agree that he is only a partial standard for you depending upon "yes" and "no" to above questions.

What is wrong in knowing the toilet habits of your standard, i.e., Jesus Christ? Do you find it offensive? Orthodox Jews also have some kind of prayer after coming from toilet, as I was told. It would be interesting to find out what it is.

Furthermore, I find it strange that you do not find having good toilet habits is a sign of better civilization and intellect. I have never seen a person who has bad toilet habits called a "civilized" one. You also say: How hollow is the doctrine that calls for prayer before and after this natural act. Do you have any information about this doctrine that calls for prayer before and after this natural act? What is it? I would be very much interested in knowing this.

As for killing, plunder, etc., Muslims are not the only one who have a sole copyright. Christians have their own share, perhaps much bigger one, more so, during the height of European imperialism. It was not until after the WW II when the European imperialism finally vanished in much of world, the killings by Christians in order to "civilize" the natives finally ended.