Friday, November 21, 2008

Adnan Rashid vs. David Wood: "The Satanic Verses: Fabricated or Authentic?"

I was quite excited when Muslims agreed to debate this topic. I thought it would never happen. Needless to say, I think the evidence makes it abundantly clear that Muhammad delivered the Satanic Verses. The only way around this is for Muslims (1) to declare that their earliest scholars were a bunch of liars, and (2) to cling to an outdated method of historical investigation, which, though originally designed to arrive at truth, is now being used by Muslims to eliminate embarrassing facts about Muhammad.

ADNAN'S OPENING STATEMENT


DAVID'S OPENING STATEMENT


REBUTTALS


Q&A/CONCLUSIONS


For more on the Satanic Verses, see "Muhammad and the Satanic Verses." For more on the implications of the Satanic Verses, see "The Deuteronomy Deductions."

68 comments:

LouisJ-B said...

Mr.Wood,

Bravo!;-)

sup said...

I don't know if it's just my pc, but the debate isn't available.

sup said...

naver mind

David Wood said...

Sup,

Do you use Internet Explorer? Sometimes Google Videos don't work for a while with IE.

THE STUDENT said...

WOOD I LOVE LISTEN YOU AND JAMES WHITE AND YOU GUYS ARE GREAT DEBATERS BUT I WAS JUST WONDERING WHY WASNT SAM SHAMOUN IN LONDON WITH YOU GUYS? AND ALSO I DONT REALLY SEE ANY VIDEOS OF HIM WHY IS THAT?

sup said...

Actually I use chrome

sup said...

Now all the videos work

David Wood said...

The Student,

Sam has been doing mostly writing lately. However, Sam is planning to join me for a series in March and possibly in April, so you'll see plenty of debates with Sam soon.

Bryant said...

Yea, I was thinking the same thing THESTUDENT. Why doesn't Sam debate more? He's a great debater. I personally believe that David, James and Sam have never lost a debate.

David Wood said...

Never lost a debate? What about when Nadir Ahmed crushed James??? (BTW, I'm just kidding, Nadir.)

Bryant said...

HAHAHA ROTFLOL. Nadir crush James. Not even in the twilight zone.

THE STUDENT said...

SAM, DAVID, AND JAMES I have been eager to see them debate Dr. naik why hasnt he accepted the challenge? Even though i know any one of you guys will crush him, but his fan base is real high and he needs to be exposed in front of all of them

David Wood said...

Zakir Naik refuses to debate. We've all challenged him.

Muslim by Choice said...

Bryant wrote:

" I personally believe that David, James and Sam have never lost a debate. "

Are you sure? as far as I remember David wood has lost miserably a debate with Nadir Ahmed on the topic " Trinity or Taweheed (Monotheism), which is true? " the debate is available on my channel

Youtube.com/MCDialogue

BlackBaron said...

"as far as I remember David wood has lost miserably a debate with Nadir Ahmed..."

Muslim by Choice,

Are YOU sure?

If by "lost miserably" you meant to say that after listening to the debate that you still don't understand the Trinity, then o.k. But to say that David Wood lost miserably is like saying that Nadir Ahmed is a respected debater. Neither statement is true.

BlackBaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BlackBaron said...

Muslim by Choice,

How about sharing with us your opinion of how David Wood did in THIS debate.

Cheers.

David Wood said...

Yes, Muslim by Choice, please share your thoughts on this debate. I'd like to know what Muslims think. Are you planning to post it?

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

It was great to have you guys in London. I hope next time, we will know in good time in advance so we hopefully can arrange debates elsewhere in UK. It would be great to have Sam Shamoun coming as well.

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

No Offense to David, Who himself is an accomplished Debater,

I personally believe that David has lost several debates, my definition of a loss is one in which David has failed to initially clarify or break down several of the opposition's points against him (if they are indeed Valid this is).

Those debates include:
1) Ali Ataie Debate, I believe Ali emerges stronger in the Debate.
2) Sami Zaatari on Prophethood and Christianity and Violence.
3) In David's Christianity debate with Bassam Zawadi.

I believe I indeed have good grounds to suggest that Wood had not won on these debates.

Likewise with Dr. White,
I believe there is good evidence to suggest that White flunked on the following debates:
1) Is the N.T the Inspired Word of God.

The reason for why I have come to this conclusion is that White failed to provide a positive case,and white repeatedly uttered Tu Quoques as his case.

David Wood said...

Yahya,

Let's take these one at a time. You brought up my debate with Ali Ataie. Ali's job in that debate was to show that Muhammad was a prophet of God. Which of his arguments did you think proved his case? Please enumerate his successful arguments.

Bassam said...

David said that we cannot apply the methodology of hadith onto Sirah.

David is correct when he states that Muslim scholars have differentiated between Seerah/Maghazi and hadith when it comes to methodology.

The reason why Muslim scholars were not as strict with the Seerah in its entirety is because the Seerah fills so many gaps for us (e.g. providing dates of events, number of soldiers in an army, how long a battle took place, etc.) where many of the scholars felt that it wasn't significant to be 100% sure of these not so relevant details so that we can make a story out of them and connect events. Even if Muslims today believe that there were 313 soldiers in the Muslim army during the Battle of Badr, while there actually were only 300, that won't be a problem.

However, the Seerah does contain stories that have significant theological (e.g. Satanic Verses) and jurisprudential (e.g. criminal laws) implications that indeed need to be verified properly and strictly.

Since the Satanic verses is a relevant issue, the proper method must be utilized in order to assess its autheniticity and it definitely isn't the exteremely lenient Seerah methodology.

Nakdimon said...

solid debate! Solid presentation. Adnan didn't present any proof that the satanic verses were fabricated. But then again, I didn't expect him to deliver anyway.

I also wonder when Muslims will stop appealing to late second century sources like the "gospel of Thomas". Or the other sources that are extremely late. I guess they are that used to ignore early sources and appeal to later fabrications, just like they disregard Ibn Ishaq and embrace Al-Bukhari.

Nakdimon said...

So Bassam, therefore, because you don't like the implications that the satanic verses bring to your doorstep, you disregard it as fabrication.

Upon what basis do you reject this episode? If you reject it, and I'm sure you do, then please explain the following:

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 385:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
The Prophet performed a prostration when he finished reciting Surat-an-Najm, and all the Muslims and pagans and Jinns and human beings prostrated along with him.

What was the reason that the pagans prostrated along with him if not for the Satanic Verses?

David Wood said...

Nakdimon,

I'm sure Bassam will say something along these lines: "The Qur'an is so wonderful and powerful that the pagans couldn't help but bow down before it's majesty!" That's the usual response I get from Muslims. It's clearly absurd. History shows that masses of pagans simply aren't impressed by the Qur'an (certainly not so impressed that they will bow down in one accord).

On the other hand, this fits in perfectly with the reports of the Satanic Verses, where the pagans bowed down because Muhammad had approved of their goddesses. The report in al-Bukhari also fits the pattern we see in the sources for the Satanic Verses. As time went on, Muslims took more and more details out in order to water down the story. By the time we get to al-Bukhari, all that's left is the prostration of the pagans (the only part Muslims liked!).

Bassam said...

"So Bassam, therefore, because you don't like the implications that the satanic verses bring to your doorstep, you disregard it as fabrication."

No brother, its not as simple as that. We don't only apply this criterion if it has what appears to be a negative implication in doctrine (which I don't think is the case with the Satanic verses by the way). Rather we apply this method with any doctrine implicated stories. The point is that we must be strict as where we get our doctrine from, but if it is an issue of knowing how many soldiers were participating in a particular battle, well then that is not relevant.

"Volume 6, Book 60, Number 385:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
The Prophet performed a prostration when he finished reciting Surat-an-Najm, and all the Muslims and pagans and Jinns and human beings prostrated along with him.

What was the reason that the pagans prostrated along with him if not for the Satanic Verses?"

I believe that it was the impact of the Qur'an. This is not hard to believe when we take other authentic stories into consideration. For example, `Utba ibn Rabi`a's reaction when he heard the verse { If they turn away, tell them I have warned you of a destruction similar to that of `Ad and Thamud} (Fussilat 13). Upon hearing this `Utba placed his hand on the mouth of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - so that the threat of punishment would be averted. And when Khubayb ibn `Adi pronounced a similar threat, Abu Sufyan lied down on the ground together with his son Mu`awiya to deflect its harm.

As a Muslim I believe that the Qur'an had great impact on several of the Meccans, despite them rejecting it. So I have no problem believing that they bowed down when hearing the Qur'an. Heck, 3 years ago my Christian friend from Armenia came to the mosque with me for one of the prayers and bowed down. If a non-Arabic speaking person like that can do it, I don't see any great difficulty believing why those who knew and understood the Qur'anic Arabic very well to do so as well.

Bassam said...

"On the other hand, this fits in perfectly with the reports of the Satanic Verses"

I agree with you David that it fits better. But fitting better does not mean "right fit".

Also remember that some of the Satanic Verses reports state that the Prophet didn't utter the words.

Dr. Mohar Ali interestingly points out in his book The Biography of the Prophet and the Orientalists, page 700:

Significantly enough, some versions of the story clearly state that the "satanic verses" were uttered not by the Prophet but by satan or some unbelievers at the time of the Prophet's recitation of the surah. Even the version said to have been transmitted by Urwah ibn al-Zubayr says first that it was "thrown in" by satan without mentioning "on the tongue of the Prophet", and later on specifically stating that "the Muslims did not hear what satan threw in on the tongues of the polytheists" (Al-Tabarani, Majma' etc., VI, 32-34; VIII, 70-72, Also quoted in Al-Albani, op.cit., 12-13)

The same information is given in the version coming from Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri wherein it is stated: "The Muslims did not hear what the devil threw in the hearing of the unbelievers" (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir)

Rightly, therefore, Ibn Taymiyyah categorically states that the alleged couplet was put by satan into the hearing of the unbelievers. (Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu' at Fatawa, II, 282)


But nooo David will accept the versions that state it was on the Prophet's tongue and reject the other versions that don't say so (I reject all versions by the way). On what objective ground does David do this? Who knows.

David Wood said...

Bassam,

I think you missed the point about the Sirah-Maghazi literature. The Sirah-Maghazi scholars felt quite comfortable appealing to a reliable first-century authority. That is, they had no objections to quoting a source without going all the way back to a companion, provided the person was known as a reliable source. Thus, a Sirah-Maghazi scholar would trace a story back to Sa'id ibn Jubayr, knowing that Sa'id was an authority. Hadith scholars often insisted on tracing the story all the way back to a companion of Muhammad, but this was their preference (a preference that is unanimously rejected by every non-Muslim historian on the planet).

You're saying that we have to reject the Sirah-Maghazi reports because their methodology differed from that of the Hadith scholars. But as you noted, even the Hadith scholars knew that they had a different (and acceptable) methodology. You correctly note that the Satanic Verses narratives are relevant to doctrine, and that Hadith scholars would therefore want a complete chain. But why is it relevant for doctrine? Because towards the end of the 2nd century, Muslims modified the doctrine of Ismat al-anbiya (God's protection of the prophets) so that prophets suddenly became infallible.

Here's my point. Prior to this theological modification, no one objected to the Satanic Verses, and no one held it as a threat to any doctrine. Thus, no one was looking for complete Isnads (though we have several). Hence, you're criticizing the early transmitters for not knowing that, in the future, Muslims would modify a doctrine that would call their historical report into question.

Bassam, how can you sleep at night when your faith in Muhammad rests on this sort of reasoning? Answer me plainly: Do you believe that your earliest historians were a bunch of liars? Or do you believe they were a bunch of fools? Those are the only options available to you, so long as you reject the Satanic Verses.

Bassam said...

Dr. Mohar Ali also notes on page 697:

Yet other versions state that it was neither the Prophet, nor Satan, but someone from among the unbelievers who uttered the alleged verses when the Prophet had just completed the recitation of ayah 19 of the surah.

He argues on page 700:

A second fact which needs emphasizing in this connection is that the text of the so-called "satanic verses" was no new composition made on the occasion mentioned. It was an old couplet which the Quraysh pagans used to recite in praise of their goddesses while circumambulating the Ka'ba. (Ibn al-Kalbi, Kitab al-Asnam, ed. Ahmad Zaki Pasha, p.19, Yaqut, Mu'jam al-Buldan, IV, 116)

It is also to be remembered that the unbelievers used to create noise and disturbances whenever the Prophet or the Muslims recited the Qur'an publicly. Therefore, it is very likely that when the Prophet recited the surah and mentioned Al-Lat and Al-'Uzza in the course of his recitation and in a denunciatory strain, some of the Quraysh unbelievers instantly interrupted and protested by shouting out the couplet.


Mohar Ali is proving very plausible explanations. Care to refute them objectively David? Or should we wait until our debate around April on the topic?

David Wood said...

Notice what Bassam said in his response to Nakdimon. The question was why, in Sahih al-Bukhari, we find ALL of the pagans bowing down when they heard Surat an-Najm. This just so happens to be the same Surah that originally contained the Satanic Verses, so the answer seems obvious.

How does Bassam respond? "Well, certain individuals have been impressed by the Qur'an." True. And tons of people have been absolutely unimpressed by the Qur'an. What does this mean? It means that, historically, there is a mixture of people, most being unimpressed, and some being impressed. So does this account for a narrative in al-Bukhari where ALL of the pagans bowed down upon hearing a revelation which, in its present form, condemns their religious beliefs? Not at all.

What would account for their prostration? The only explanation that fits the facts just so happens to line up perfectly with how the first-century Muslim scholars explained this prostration: Muhammad praised their goddesses and committed shirk.

David Wood said...

Bassam,

Notice how misleading Mohar Ali is. "Some versions" say such and such. Why doesn't he inform his readers that ALL of the first-century reports declare that MUHAMMAD delivered the verses, and that variations not involving Muhammad only arose later, when Muslims were obviously trying to rescue Muhammad from guilt? Why wouldn't he inform his readers of this obviously relevant fact? Because he knows that thinking readers would find his response absolutely absurd if they were only aware of the facts. It seems to me that the goal of many Muslim apologists is to mislead their Muslim readers to keep them from honestly examining the evidence.

Bassam said...

"Hadith scholars often insisted on tracing the story all the way back to a companion of Muhammad, but this was their preference (a preference that is unanimously rejected by every non-Muslim historian on the planet"

No, it wasn't simply a matter of preference. Scholars of hadith are divided on whether mursal reports could be accepted. Some of them said it could be accepted based on certain conditions (which I didn't see the narrations you provided passing).

The reason why a mursal narration could be doubted is because it is possible that the person in the second generation is not narrating from a person in the first generation. Rather, it is possible that he is narrating from another person in the second generation who is not a companion and that person could possibly be a weak narrator. Yet, we don't know because we don't know the narrator.

Furthermore, NOT A SINGLE HADITH SCHOLAR said that a mursal hadith is valid proof for theological issues. Rather, ONLY FOR JURISPRUDENTIAL ISSUES. Some hadith scholars even took the opinion that WEAK HADITH could be used as proof for jurisprudential issues, thus it wouldn't be a surprise to see them appealing to mursal sahih hadith as well.


"But why is it relevant for doctrine? Because towards the end of the 2nd century, Muslims modified the doctrine of Ismat al-anbiya (God's protection of the prophets) so that prophets suddenly became infallible"

Provide your evidence that this belief originated in the second century. Secondly, even without this belief, this is still clearly an issue related to doctrine. We are still discussing the unseen realm and revelation.

"Thus, no one was looking for complete Isnads (though we have several)"

Yeah either disconnected or corrupt.


"Bassam, how can you sleep at night when your faith in Muhammad rests on this sort of reasoning? Answer me plainly: Do you believe that your earliest historians were a bunch of liars? Or do you believe they were a bunch of fools? Those are the only options available to you, so long as you reject the Satanic Verses."

I don't fall for false dillemas.

These historians collected them in their books because it was their task to provide a comprehensive amount of information to the people. They didn't necessarily believe in everything that they collected as Imam Tabari for example clearly stated in his book. Rather they collected all the narrations that they could gather. THEN investigators could go and verify.

And if some of these narrators made mistakes believing in the story, why would I call them fools? Is every historian a fool when it turns out he believes in something that actually turns out to not be true?

As for me sleeping at night, I was going to ask you the same question for believing with certainity that the Gospels are true. By the way, did you see my rebuttal to you on my website "David Wood on the Historicity of the Gospels". Check it out, you will like it :)

As a matter of fact I'm going to bed really soon and have me a good nights sleep :)

Bassam said...

"So does this account for a narrative in al-Bukhari where ALL of the pagans bowed down upon hearing a revelation which, in its present form, condemns their religious beliefs? Not at all."

David, lets not get desperate buddy.

It is obvious that the hadith is talking about all the pagans THAT WERE PRESENT AT THE PALCE. NOT ALL THE PAGANS IN THE ENTIRE CITY.

How many pagans were present? I don't know. Maybe 10 to 20. Plus, it is not a surprise that they bowed down, since they were actually interested enough to stick close by and listen.

Bassam said...

"Why doesn't he inform his readers that ALL of the first-century reports declare that MUHAMMAD delivered the verses, and that variations not involving Muhammad only arose later, when Muslims were obviously trying to rescue Muhammad from guilt?"


Ummm helooooooooooo, Mohar Ali said that one of the narrations from Urwah ibn Zubayr stated this and Urwah ibn Zubayr lived and died in the FIRST ISLAMIC CENTURY (94 A.H.).

We are going to have alot of fun in our debate. Can't wait.

I'm going to sleep now.

Cya

David Wood said...

Bassam said: Ummm helooooooooooo, Mohar Ali said that one of the narrations from Urwah ibn Zubayr stated this and Urwah ibn Zubayr lived and died in the FIRST ISLAMIC CENTURY (94 A.H.).

Notice how confidently Bassam passes this on. It's as if he really thinks he knows what he's talking about on this issue.

My response: Bassam, Bassam, Bassam. I would suggest you go and research these things before you pass on the errors of Muslims who have no concern for truth. In the most reliable version of Urwah's version, Muhammad says: "I have obeyed Satan, and spoken his words, and he has become a partner in God's matter with me." So why do we have another version from Urwah in which Muhammad doesn't recite the verses? Check your history, and you'll see.

In Urwah's original version, the beginning of the story is ambiguous as to whether Muhammad or Satan spoke (the text just says "he"). The ambiguity is resolved at the end of the narrative when Muhammad acknowledges that he has spoken the Satanic Verses. In another version, a Muslim transmitter cuts off the last part of the narrative (obviously due to Muhammad's confession of guilt). Without Muhammad's confession, we're left with the initial ambiguity. In yet another version, a Muslim summarizes the event without the confession scene, and he argues that the proper interpretation of the narrative is that Satan delivered the Satanic Verses. So what do we have?

(1) Urwah passes on a narrative which, though inititially ambiguous, is clear by the time we reach the end. Muhammad delivered the Satanic Verses and confesses his sin.

(2) A later version cuts off the confession scene due to many Muslims' discomfort upon reading about Muhammad confessing his guilt. The passage is now ambiguous.

(3) A subsequent version summarizes the event and, based on a creative interpretation of (2), declares that Satan delivered the verses.

(4) Mohar Ali declares that one verson of the story has Satan delivering the verses. While technically correct, his claim is quite misleading. He makes it seem as if all versions are equal, as if we can't tell what Urwah actually claimed (when we know exactly what he claimed).

Thus, the fact remains: All of the first century transmitters have Muhammad delivering the Satanic Verses (despite the fact that later Muslims did everything in their power to twist and distort the narratives).

Once again, Bassam is willing to go with any position, no matter how absurd, so long as it frees Muhammad from guilt. I have a better idea. How about going where the evidence points?

David Wood said...

Bassam said: "I don't fall for false dillemas. These historians collected them in their books because it was their task to provide a comprehensive amount of information to the people. They didn't necessarily believe in everything that they collected as Imam Tabari for example clearly stated in his book. Rather they collected all the narrations that they could gather. THEN investigators could go and verify."

Bassam, I'm not talking about people like al-Tabari, writing in later centuries. (I find it amazing that, no matter which Sirah-Maghazi scholar I appeal to, Muslims will toss in al-Tabari as if this somehow settles things.) We can trace accounts of the Satanic Verses back to the first century, back to about a dozen or so early Muslim scholars. Can you seriously claim that this is the result of fabrication? Did so many of your early scholars simply invent this false story, when these scholars knew (and sometimes were relatives of) the companions? Do you really think they would have passed on such a story without checking things out? If you say "yes," then you're telling us that fabrication, deception, ignorance, etc., were a fundamental part of the earliest Muslim scholarship. If that's the case, you forfeit the right to say you know ANYTHING about Muhammad. In other words, if Muslims would invent bad things about Muhammad, surely they wouldn't hesitate to invent good or neutral things. Thus, we can be sure of nothing. (And don't appeal to Isnads at all, since the early Muslim scholars, according to you, were a bunch of liars. Liars have no problem inventing chains of transmission, Bassam.)

Bassam, when you reason in this way, non-Muslims lose all respect for Muslim historical methodology (and we didn't have much to begin with). It's clear that your method isn't meant to give you the truth. It's meant to keep the truth from entering your fortress of blind faith in Muhammad.

David Wood said...

You say that the Mursal reports I cited don't meet the requirements for acceptance. Well, they've all been verified as Sahih Mursal by Hadith scholars. Apart from this, Ibn Taymiyyah clearly accepted them according to his method.

Speaking of Ibn Taymiyyah, could you give me the passage you and Adnan quoted IN CONTEXT? I'm a bit confused. The passages I have from Ibn Taymiyyah show him rejecting the position you've attributed to him. And the only time he says what you guys say is when he quotes others (and rejects their view). So if you've got a passage from Ibn Taymiyyah that gives the position you attribute to him, it seems Ibn Taymiyyah was inconsitent in his claims. The only alternative is that you and Adnan have misrepresented him (and I hope you haven't sunk to that level). So please give me a full quotation, in context, including what comes before and what comes after.

David Wood said...

Bassam said: "As for me sleeping at night, I was going to ask you the same question for believing with certainity that the Gospels are true. By the way, did you see my rebuttal to you on my website "David Wood on the Historicity of the Gospels". Check it out, you will like it :)"

Interesting, considering the fact that I don't recall giving you a defense of the Gospels. But I'll check it out when I get the chance. If it's as good as your critique of the historicity of the Satanic Verses, I assure you I'll never have difficulty sleeping.

Bassam said...

Notice how David loses his ground.

When I argued that some of the versions in the first century stated that the Prophet did not utter those words and that Satan only made the disbelievers hear it, David said:

"Why doesn't he inform his readers that ALL of the first-century reports declare that MUHAMMAD delivered the verses, and that variations not involving Muhammad only arose later, when Muslims were obviously trying to rescue Muhammad from guilt?"

However, when he realized that he was wrong he said:

"Mohar Ali declares that one verson of the story has Satan delivering the verses. While technically correct"

So notice how David is caught and admits his mistake. Then David changes his argument and says:

"Thus, the fact remains: All of the first century transmitters have Muhammad delivering the Satanic Verses (despite the fact that later Muslims did everything in their power to twist and distort the narratives"


Notice how in the beginning David said all first century REPORTS. He then goes and changes his argument and says all first century TRANSMITTERS. This is something that I never disputed so he is basically attacking strawman.

The point that I was trying to make was that from the same transmitter we have completely different stories (one says that Muhammad peace be upon him didn't deliver it while the others said he did), so how can we know with certainty and objective methodology which one is correct?

David, has a difficult time trying to understand why Muslims would narrate stories in their books even though they didn't necessarily believe them to be true. WELL THE ROLE OF THE MUSLIM HISTORIAN back in those times is to provide ALL narrations that were available to him. He would report and let people know what everyone said so that they can be aware of the different stories being being circulated around and by whom.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) even allowed his followers to pass on stories (without indicating it is true or false) from Christians and Jews. This was to let the people know what was being and by whom. So if the Prophet of Islam allowed his followers to pass on information by kuffaaar (and the Prophet didn't specify that the kuffaar had to be reliable ones), then why not from Muslims who were not deemed trustworthy or reliable?

David would ask "So were they fools!!!?". Umm noo they weren't, they were just doing their job and they didn't present their data as if it was 100% authentic and if they did then they just did a bad job as historians. No point insulting people. Just call him a bad historian, not a fool.

David would ask "So were they liars?". Umm noo, unless they deliberately said that the story is true while they didn't believe so. However, no example of this could be shown. To transmit what people have said while you don't even necessarily believe is true at the same time is not deception or foolishness. It is the role of the collector of all narrations to do this. His job is to provide what all people have said about the matter. Then later on someone else would do the job of verification.

David simply not liking the idea of Muslims citing other Muslim statements even though they didn't necessarily believe that they were true is his problem. Too bad for him. We have a sound methodology to know what is true and that is all that matters to us.

And as Ibn Taymiyyah and his student Ibnul Qayyim said, the Salaf (first three generation of Muslims) who accepted the story of the cranes did NOT accept the Prophet uttering them version. Rather, they accepted the version that stated that the devil interjected it.

I was also laughing when David asked why Adnan is a Salafi if he doesn't agree with Ibn Taymiyyah. Its like me asking David why he is a protestant if one of his favorite scholars says something he disagrees with.

We don't believe that Ibn Taymiyyah is infallible. We are not "Taymiyyatites". Rather we believe that the consensus of the Salaf (first three generation of Muslims) is infallibe, hence the name "Salafis".

Anyways, I am not going to say anymore and instead share my "arsenal" with you on the day of the debate. And especially since I have this Shahab dissertation (your main weapon), I guarantee you your performance wouldn't be that impressive.


Tooodooolooooo

David Wood said...

Bassam, Bassam, Bassam. I said that all of the first century reports have Muhammad delivering the Satanic Verses. Your response is that one of the versions has Satan delivering them. But was this what Urwah said? No. This was a later alteration in the narrative that took place well after the first century. So how can you place it in the same category with the first century reports. I have no clue how your mind works.

Then you said something even more absurd. You said that, since there are different versions of the story, we can't know which one to trust. WRONG! You act as if common sense, historical investigation, etc., are completely useless.

First, we can see which version lines up with other first century narrations. Which one lines up? The one that has Muhammad delivering the Satanic Verses. If we have stories A and B, and we're trying to figure out which goes back to time period T, and we know that all stories from T are similar to A, doesn't this support A? Of course it does.

Second, we can compare the versions to later developments in the story. What do we know about narratives of the Satanic Verses? We know that, as time went on, Muslims tried harder and harder to exonerate Muhammad, and that they began modifying the story so that he could still be infallible. Since this is what happened later in Islamic history, guess which one probably comes from the later period? I would say it's the one that shows evidence of such modifications.

Third, we can look at internal evidence. I've already given you a progression that makes perfect sense. Urwah's original version was ambiguous at the beginning ("he"), but clear at the end. A later version cut off the embarrassing ending, leaving the narrative ambiguous. Later still, a version dispells the ambiguity and declares that Satan delivered the verses. This fits all the facts, and it's clear how the later version arose.

Now let's see what your development would look like. Let's say that Urwah's original story was that Satan delivered the Satanic Verses. So this early version would be totally at odds with all other first century versions of the story. Then, a Muslim comes along and modifies the story. How does he modify it? He takes a clear reference to Satan and makes the story ambiguous as to whether it refers to Muhammad or to Satan (it's absurd to think that a Muslim would do this, Bassam). But we need another absurdity. At a later point, yet another Muslim comes along and adds an ending to the story that removes the ambiguity and declares that Muhammad, not Satan, delivered the Satanic Verses. Not only this, he modifies the story when Muslims were modifying their doctrine of Muhammad's infallibility! Amazing theory, Bassam.

My friend, you seem to have no idea of how to examine competing hypotheses in terms of explanatory scope, explanatory power, etc. You just say, "Well, you can't prove to me what you're saying, because I reject all evidence that goes against my view. Since you can't overpower my faith, I'll just continue being a Muslim." We're very different people, Bassam. But I think that your methodology is the only way a person can examine arguments and still be a Muslim.

You continue to ignore the issue of your early scholars reporting these events, and you're still comparing al-Tabari with people who studied with Umar, Ibn Abbas, Zayd ibn Thabit. Just think for a moment, Bassam. Don't just give the standard non-sensical Muslim response. Please think right now. Your earliest scholars (MANY of them) reported that Muhamamd delivered the Satanic Verses. Can you simply attribute this to a little sloppiness on their part? Would they have invented such a story about Muhammad? If so, what else did they invent early on? If no, would they have passed on such a story without some reason to believe it? If so, what else did they pass on with no evidence whatsoever? Does it really make sense that they wouldn't have investigated this matter before they passed on the story? Wouldn't other Muslims in the scholarly community have stood up and said, "What is this false story that you're passing on! Muhammad did no such thing! How dare you attribute the Satanic Verses to him!" Won't you grant that your earliest scholars had even the slightest concern for accuracy?

You made fun of the fact that I asked how Adnan can reject the methodology of Ibn Taymiyyah. I think you missed the point. You're not simply disagreeing with Ibn Taymiyyah on some insignificant detail. You're questioning his methodology, which calls all sorts of his views into question. Moreover, you're saying that you know more about investigating reports than Ibn Taymiyyah. These aren't minor details, Bassam.

Ah, well. I hope your "arsenal" contains more than this.

BTW, could you give me the quotation from Ibn Taymiyyah that I asked for? I still don't understand how he could have been so inconsistent, so I'd like to examine your passage carefully.

Mumtaz said...

Asaalaam mu ailaikum

great job wood. I have been a reader of this site for a white now and occasionally write something.
May the good LORD keep you sane and continue your great work in this world. You have my support. Silent support of course.

AND no, i am not confused...

Nakdimon said...

I believe that it was the impact of the Qur'an. This is not hard to believe when we take other authentic stories into consideration. For example, `Utba ibn Rabi`a's reaction when he heard the verse { If they turn away, tell them I have warned you of a destruction similar to that of `Ad and Thamud} (Fussilat 13). Upon hearing this `Utba placed his hand on the mouth of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him - so that the threat of punishment would be averted. And when Khubayb ibn `Adi pronounced a similar threat, Abu Sufyan lied down on the ground together with his son Mu`awiya to deflect its harm.

Yes it is, Bassam. Your story doesn’t add up. The Hadith says that they ALL bowed down. Your explanation doesn’t account for the fact that the Meccans were mocking Muhammad’s revelations and Quran recitations for years up until then. It also doesn’t account for the fact that after Muhammad recited an-Najm the Meccans they would keep mocking his revelations as well. It also doesn’t account that the Muslims who fled to Abyssinia came back, thinking that the people embraced Islam and then having to flee once again. To say that they were at awe because of the Qur’an recitals makes no sense.

All these episodes ONLY make sense in light of the satanic recitals: Muhammad committed shirk, the pagans loved it and bowed down with him and the other Muslims (the reason the other Muslims bowed down was because Muhammad gave them the example), the news of the prostration of the pagans together with Muhammad reaches those who are in Abyssinia and they think that the pagans became Muslims, they go to Mecca only to find that nothing had changed and were then driven off again.


As a Muslim I believe that the Qur'an had great impact on several of the Meccans, despite them rejecting it. So I have no problem believing that they bowed down when hearing the Qur'an. Heck, 3 years ago my Christian friend from Armenia came to the mosque with me for one of the prayers and bowed down. If a non-Arabic speaking person like that can do it, I don't see any great difficulty believing why those who knew and understood the Qur'anic Arabic very well to do so as well.

Did you ask him why he bowed down? Wasn’t he just under the impression that he was bowing down to the same God as the God that he serves? I highly doubt that this was because he heard the Quran. If that were so, he would have accepted Islam. But he didn’t, did he? It is unheard of that a non-Arab will hear an Arabic Quran recital and be under the impression that this can only be of divine origin.

Nakdimon

Nakdimon said...

You're saying that we have to reject the Sirah-Maghazi reports because their methodology differed from that of the Hadith scholars. But as you noted, even the Hadith scholars knew that they had a different (and acceptable) methodology. You correctly note that the Satanic Verses narratives are relevant to doctrine, and that Hadith scholars would therefore want a complete chain. But why is it relevant for doctrine? Because towards the end of the 2nd century, Muslims modified the doctrine of Ismat al-anbiya (God's protection of the prophets) so that prophets suddenly became infallible.

A point well taken, David. Since the Qur’an struggles to vindicate Muhammad in the worst possible way in Surah 22, claiming that Muhammad shouldn’t feel too bad, because all prophets before him recited Satan’s Verses in the past. This is an indication that Allah had no view of prophets being infallible. But this creates a problem for the deniers of the Satanic Verses, since they claim that their prophet was infallible. They, by desperately rejecting the Satanic Verses episode to be true because of their later developed teaching of “prophetic infallibility”, go against the Qur’an that apparently doesn’t know about this teaching and supports the Satanic Verses by claiming that all prophets have done this before.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

I wonder, can any Muslim provide a verse from the Qur'an that comfirms that all the prophets or at least Muhammed was sinless?

If not I assume that David is correct in his conclusion that Islamic doctrine underwent changes and creation after the death of Muhammad, yeah who know probably to elevate the prophet.

And then again it remains remarkable that later sources should have fabricated the information we possess about the satanic verses. It seems rather that the event was so certain that it remained impossible to remove.

I am of course interested in any verse from a relibale hadith that confirms the sinlessness of the prophets, however taken into account that Allah himself did not reveal such a doctrine it makes it all the more dubious.

askmuslims said...

if you think he so good why not invite Zakir Naik and debate. I challenge he will lose.

Sunil said...

David Wood,

Thanks for your excellent work. The work that you, James White, Sam Shoumon etc are doing with Islam/Muslims is probably the most important work that God is doing through you in our times. Truth always has the best argument. Truth will come out more and more clearly, distinctly and starkly as more and more such debates take place. It is good that there are several muslims who are willing to debate.

The debates are mostly on Christian topics, but it is ok because much of Islamic apologetics surrounds around Christian topics like Incarnation, biblical authority, textual reliability, apostolic authority of Paul, morality, issues of Law/Grace etc. If these are answered, islamic apologetics has really nothing to stand on. In a way, it is good that most of the debates are on Christian topics, because there are a huge array of Christian Scholars, experts in theology etc who can easily answer the "arguments" of the "muslim street". Please include more Christian debaters, scholars etc in the debates (especially on Christian defense topics, which the Christian scholars can contribute, even if Islam is not their area of study - while those whose field is Islam can deal with topics of Islamic critique)

Christianity is like the house build upon the rock (Jesus has affirmed that God's Scriptures cannot be broken and God has given the testimony of a huge array of prophets, Jesus, apostles etc. so it has strong foundation/roots). But by going against Gods scriptures, against Jesus's commandments etc, Islam is like a man cutting the very branch/roots of the tree he wants to sit on Or like a house built upon sand. God is bringing the rain, the flood, the wind etc ... and the house cannot stand.

David Wood said...

Askmuslims,

James, Sam, and myself have all challenged Zakir Naik to debate. He refuses. Naik will only debate opponents who have no debate experience.

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

David,

Not that I am a fan of Naik, however I believe he probably doesn't want to debate you because he doesn't feel you are worth his time. White should pursue him, he is willing to fly to india plus he is a recognised authority.

As for Ali's debate with you, I will need to rewatch it to decide whether or not he could convince me of Muhammad's prophethood however, in terms of Victory I would give him the following points.

1) Successfully refuted at least your major points
2) Presentation and articulation, general command over the debate.
3) Consistently pointed out holes in your methodology.

However, in fairness, I'm not sure if I could say he did demonstrate that Muhammad is a Prophet from God.

David Wood said...

Yahya,

You missed my point about Naik. He won't debate ANY Christian debaters--not James White, not Sam Shamoun, not Jay Smith, not William Lane Craig, not me, not anyone. However, if some Christian who has no debate experience and poor communication ability challenges him, all of a sudden Naik is happy to debate. That's just a fact my friend, so don't even try attributing this sort of cowardice to my status as a debater. I know you like to insult people, but you should be honest about this. (BTW, Muslims are incredibly inconsistent on this point. Christians debate Muslims, and Muslims come up to us afterwards and say, "You shouldn't be debating these Muslims; you should be debating Zakir Naik." Then we say, "All right, we'll contact Zakir Naik." Then we find out that Zakir Naik won't debate, at which point Muslims say, "Well, why would he want to debate you anyway? You're beneath him!" Make up your minds, and then tell us what we're supposed to do.)

As for Ataie, I knew exactly what you were going to say, because that's what all Muslims say. They say, "Ataie won the debate." And I say, "Well, what arguments did you find convincing?" And suddenly Muslims realize that Ali didn't offer any arguments in support of Muhammad.

You see, when Muslims are watching a debate on the prophethood of Muhammad, they're thinking to themselves, "All right, we'll assume at the beginning that Muhammad was a prophet. It's the Christian's job to PROVE, to OUR satisfaction, that Muhammad wasn't a prophet. If the Christian fails to prove that Muhammad was a false prophet, we can only conclude that Muhammad was a true prophet." However, non-Muslims are thinking something quite different. We're thinking, "All right, until you give us some good evidence that Muhammad was a prophet, we can only conclude that he was a normal human being." Thus, a non-Muslim watching my debate with Ataie would hold that Ataie did miserably, while a Muslim (assuming from the beginning that Muhammad was a prophet) will say that Ali did a great job.

There's another problem as well. It concerns the effectiveness of Muslim answers in the eyes of Muslims and non-Muslims. If I say, "Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl," non-Muslims are absolutely shocked to hear this. Then the Muslim responds, "Well, Mary may have been pretty young when she got pregnant with Jesus." Muslims typically take this as some sort of meaningful response, while non-Muslims are wondering how this is at all relevant. Mary certainly wasn't nine (when girls generally haven't started puberty, a process that takes a few years). She was most likely between thirteen and fifteen (when most girls have completed puberty). Thus, while Muslims say, "Ha! The point about Mary refutes your claim!" everyone else is thinking, "Why didn't you actually address the claim?"

I've found that, when Muhammad is criticized, Muslims will accept virtually ANY answer as a satisfying response, while non-Muslims are looking for something a bit more substantial.

And now we come to the illogic inherent in your claims, Yahya. Ali offered no positive case whatsoever. Instead, he ran defense and claimed that I'm being inconsistent (BTW, please show me where I was actually being inconsistent). And you say that he won. But what do you say about James's debate with Shabir? You say that James simply ran defense and claimed that Shabir was being inconsistent, and that he therefore lost. So let me get this straight. If a Muslim is debating the prophethood of Muhammad, he can simply attack the other position, and this is completely acceptable. But if a Christian is debating the inspiration of the New Testament, simply attacking the other position can only result in complete failure.

Yahya, do you hear yourself? (Tell me my inconsistency detector is broken.)

Yahya Hayder Seymour said...

Yahya,

You missed my point about Naik. He won't debate ANY Christian debaters--not James White, not Sam Shamoun, not Jay Smith, not William Lane Craig, not me, not anyone. However, if some Christian who has no debate experience and poor communication ability challenges him, all of a sudden Naik is happy to debate. That's just a fact my friend, so don't even try attributing this sort of cowardice to my status as a debater. I know you like to insult people, but you should be honest about this. (BTW, Muslims are incredibly inconsistent on this point. Christians debate Muslims, and Muslims come up to us afterwards and say, "You shouldn't be debating these Muslims; you should be debating Zakir Naik." Then we say, "All right, we'll contact Zakir Naik." Then we find out that Zakir Naik won't debate, at which point Muslims say, "Well, why would he want to debate you anyway? You're beneath him!" Make up your minds, and then tell us what we're supposed to do.)


1) I don't claim anyone should debate Zakir Naik, I think his apologetic method is pitiful.
2) From what I've heard from personal friends of mine who have spoken to students of zakir naik, he seems to believe william campbell is the epitome of christian intellectualism, which whilst I disagree with this, he can hold this belief if he chooses. I know if White can gather a large enough crowd, zakir naik may agree to debate him. Talks of Naik and Smith debating have been on going for years.

As for Ataie, I knew exactly what you were going to say, because that's what all Muslims say. They say, "Ataie won the debate." And I say, "Well, what arguments did you find convincing?" And suddenly Muslims realize that Ali didn't offer any arguments in support of Muhammad.

Nope, I never claimed Ali sufficiently proved Muhammad (SAW) was a Prophet from God, all I said was he won in my opinion i.e he had the upper hand.

You see, when Muslims are watching a debate on the prophethood of Muhammad, they're thinking to themselves, "All right, we'll assume at the beginning that Muhammad was a prophet. It's the Christian's job to PROVE, to OUR satisfaction, that Muhammad wasn't a prophet. If the Christian fails to prove that Muhammad was a false prophet, we can only conclude that Muhammad was a true prophet."

If you condemn James White for starting his debates with these suppositions then I'll willing condemn Muslims for doing so.


However, non-Muslims are thinking something quite different. We're thinking, "All right, until you give us some good evidence that Muhammad was a prophet, we can only conclude that he was a normal human being." Thus, a non-Muslim watching my debate with Ataie would hold that Ataie did miserably, while a Muslim (assuming from the beginning that Muhammad was a prophet) will say that Ali did a great job.

Yep, and a Non-Christian would say you did lame too.

There's another problem as well. It concerns the effectiveness of Muslim answers in the eyes of Muslims and non-Muslims. If I say, "Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl," non-Muslims are absolutely shocked to hear this. Then the Muslim responds, "Well, Mary may have been pretty young when she got pregnant with Jesus." Muslims typically take this as some sort of meaningful response, while non-Muslims are wondering how this is at all relevant. Mary certainly wasn't nine (when girls generally haven't started puberty, a process that takes a few years). She was most likely between thirteen and fifteen (when most girls have completed puberty). Thus, while Muslims say, "Ha! The point about Mary refutes your claim!" everyone else is thinking, "Why didn't you actually address the claim?"

Ok, then Dr. White's debates with Shabir Ally in the first debate was a pathetic response then?

I've found that, when Muhammad is criticized, Muslims will accept virtually ANY answer as a satisfying response, while non-Muslims are looking for something a bit more substantial.

I agree many Muslims do this, however just to give a sense of nuance, I don't and many others I know don't.

And now we come to the illogic inherent in your claims, Yahya. Ali offered no positive case whatsoever. Instead, he ran defense and claimed that I'm being inconsistent

He still did better than you in my opinion David.

(BTW, please show me where I was actually being inconsistent)

The issue with Islam and Violence is a clear cut inconsistensy, as was the age of Aisha. You appealed to atheist secular criteria to judge events in Muhammad's life.


"But what do you say about James's debate with Shabir? You say that James simply ran defense and claimed that Shabir was being inconsistent, and that he therefore lost."

actually I personally went up to Dr. White in the London debate with shabir ally and congratulated him on victory, please have a sense of nuance david.


"So let me get this straight. If a Muslim is debating the prophethood of Muhammad, he can simply attack the other position, and this is completely acceptable. But if a Christian is debating the inspiration of the New Testament, simply attacking the other position can only result in complete failure."

The debate was not "Was Muhammad a Prophet?" It was "Who was Muhammad"

Thus Ali didn't even have to prove he was a Prophet, he finely dealt with all your accusations anyway.

Yahya, do you hear yourself? (Tell me my inconsistency detector is broken.)

According to you Professor Wood, you've won every single debate, gain some modesty here at least.

Javier said...

Likewise with Dr. White,
I believe there is good evidence to suggest that White flunked on the following debates:
1) Is the N.T the Inspired Word of God.

The reason for why I have come to this conclusion is that White failed to provide a positive case,and white repeatedly uttered Tu Quoques as his case.


Firstly, tu quoques are not always fallacious. And in the debate with Shabir, White was negatively demonstrating why Shabir Ally is inconsistent in the conclusions he arrives at.

Secondly, White makes it explicitly clear that its unfair, and clearly in error to apply differing standards to each inspired religion, considering that Islam is not simply a stand alone religion, but claims to be the end of a succession of inspired religions. White would then argue that on the basis of his inspired religion, without eliminating any previous inspiration, Islam is false. He wouldn't, like Shabir, apply the standards Shabir employs and then apply differing standards to his own religious views. This is why Shabir is inconsistent. Its flawed if James White applies the same standard to Islam, but from what I understand and what I have heard, James White does not. In fact, Islam is easily disqualified on the basis of our conservative assumptions about the Bible and the Quran, and we don't even need to argue from liberal or conservative views about the Quran.

Islam is self destructive, we don't need liberal scholarship.

Nakdimon said...

David, Where does everyone get the impression from that Mary was very young, particularly between 13 and 15?

Yahya, I don't recall David saying that he won every debate he did.

David Wood said...

Yahya said: "I never claimed Ali sufficiently proved Muhammad (SAW) was a Prophet from God, all I said was he won in my opinion i.e he had the upper hand."

And that's exactly the point. For non-Muslims watching the debate, no one's going to have the upper hand without giving some kind of evidence that his position is the correct one. Only Muslims seem to come up with these odd reasons for favoring one opponent over another. (If evidence has nothing to do with your view, Yahya, I have to ask: Did you like his voice better or something?)

Yahya said: "If you condemn James White for starting his debates with these suppositions then I'll willing condemn Muslims for doing so."

I know for a fact that some Christian debaters objected to James's presentation because they didn't feel he presented enough of a positive case. My view is that James did something extremely important in that debate (though I certainly would have liked more of a positive case). He showed that all of Shabir's arguments, which he so confidently applies to Christianity wherever he goes, would destroy Islam if he applied them consistently. Thus, he can't really believe in his criticisms, which means he's not really attacking Christianity because of evidence. Now I'm sure you're thinking, "But that's what Ali Ataie did," and here you're simply wrong. When Muslims say, "You're being inconsistent," there's rarely any inconsistency involved (cf. Aisha vs. Mary). But when Muslims attack Christianity, there's almost always an inconsistency. Apart from this, Muslims are in a unique position. According to the Qur'an, the Torah and the Injeel are inspired by God. Without some good reason to reject the Old and New Testaments, we seem to have Muhammad's stamp of approval on these texts. What good reason can Muslims offer for rejecting them? They only have inconsistencies to offer! Muslims therefore have a serious problem.

Now compare this with Ali. I offered arguments against Muhammad that Ali never responded to (e.g. the historical inaccuracy of the Qur'an, attributing deception to Allah, etc.). The bulk of his responses to my arguments was "David's being inconsistent," when I wasn't being inconsistent at all. What's the result? If all of my arguments fail, we're still left to conclude that Muhammad was a normal human being, unless Ali gives us reason to think otherwise (which he didn't).

To sum up, if Muslims are inconsistent in their attacks on the Bible, we're left to conclude that Muhammad approved of these texts. But if Christians are inconsistent in their attacks on Muhammad (which I'm not), we're left to conclude that Muhammad was an ordinary person.

Yahya said: "A Non-Christian would say you did lame too."

Show me one. The feedback I got was quite different.

Yahya said: "He still did better than you in my opinion David."

Again, better at what? You can't say his arguments were better, since he didn't offer any. So you must like the sound of his voice or something. I'm just not sure what your criteria for judging a debate are.

Yahya said: "The issue with Islam and Violence is a clear cut inconsistensy, as was the age of Aisha. You appealed to atheist secular criteria to judge events in Muhammad's life."

Clear cut? Did you read what I said about Aisha? For me to be inconsistent, I would have to say "It's wrong and immoral to have sex with a nine-year-old girl," and "It's okay to have sex with a nine-year-old girl." Is that what I said, Yahya? No. So is this an inconsistency? No. And yet, in your mind, I'm somehow inconsistent. And what about violence? How do I use the issue of violence in my debates? I use it as a response to the "Argument from Moral Excellence." As I said in my debate with Sami, I would reject "We know Christianity is true because the Old Testament is so moral" just as quickly as I would reject "We know Muhammad was a prophet because he was so moral." Where's the inconsistency?

Just to be clear, I think that violence is a problem for any text, whether in Christianity or Islam. If the Old Testament is violent, that's a problem that Christians need to address. If Muhammad was violent, that's a problem that Muslims need to address. As a Christian I would respond, "Yes, there are some things that bother me in the Old Testament, but we have clear evidence that Christianity is true, and this evidence outweighs any difficulties." I would apply the same standards to Islam. I see lots of problems. The question is: What evidence is there to outweigh these problems? If Ali offers no evidence, then all we're left with is a buch of problems. That was the result of the debate. In the end, Muhammad sounded immoral to every non-Muslim in the room, and yet Ali offered nothing to counterbalance this.

Yahya said: "actually I personally went up to Dr. White in the London debate with shabir ally and congratulated him on victory, please have a sense of nuance david."

But we're not talking about that debate. We're talking about the debate in which you condemn James for pointing out inconsistencies, right after you declare Ali the victor because he supposedly pointed out inconsistencies.

Yahya said: "The debate was not 'Was Muhammad a Prophet?' It was 'Who was Muhammad.' Thus Ali didn't even have to prove he was a Prophet, he finely dealt with all your accusations anyway."

Oh boy. The Muslim answer to "Who was Muhammad" is "He was a prophet." The Christian answer is "He wasn't a prophet." Did Ali ever give us any evidence for the Muslim position? No. What would the default position be? If someone can't show that person X is a prophet, the default position would be that he's not a prophet. Thus, in the absence of a positive case, the non-Muslim wins. You've admitted that Ali had no positive case.

As for finely dealing with my accusations, I have to say that this was only in the eyes of Muslims (and by no means all Muslims). When a Westerner hears that a man had sex with a nine-year-old girl, that he was the victim of black magic, that he delivered revelations from the devil, that he was morally inconsistent ("You can have four wives, but I can have far more"), the weak responses of Muslims just don't sound persuasive.

So we're left with my argument in the debate:

(1) There are lots of problems that would lead us to believe that Muhammad was not a prophet.
(2) There's nothing to make us think that he was a prophet.
(3) Therefore, we shouldn't believe he was a prophet.

You can say that Ali refuted (1) in the eyes of Muslims all you like. Until he disproves (2), we have no reason to believe in Muhammad.

Yahya said: "According to you Professor Wood, you've won every single debate, gain some modesty here at least."

Show me where I've ever said any such thing. If you ask me, "Did you win debate X?" I would respond, "According to whom?" Different people are looking for different things. I would say that I've won every debate in the eyes of some, and that I've lost every debate in the eyes of some. You've seen someone here in the comments section declare that I've never lost. You've declared that I have lost. My question for you is "Which ones, and why?" And your response has been quite odd, to say the least.

David Wood said...

Nakdimon,

You're correct that the text gives us no clear indication that Mary was any particular age. As far as the text goes, she could have been 17 or 18. However, she sounds like a young girl, and we know that it was quite common in 1st century Israel for 13-year-old girls to get married. So I have no objection to a Muslim saying that Mary was young. I do, however, object to the idea that this is somehow similar to Muhammad's sexual relationship with Aisha, since (a) there was no sex involved in Mary's case, (b) 9 is very different from 13-15 (the former typically not having entered puberty, the latter typically having finished puberty), and (c) little girls around the world are now suffering because men are told to follow the example of Muhammad.

And yet, somehow, "It's okay for Muhammad to have sex with a nine-year-old because Mary probably became pregnant when she was several years older than Aisha" makes sense to Muslims (even to Yahya), who, as I've said, tend to accept ANY response as a complete vindication of Muhammad.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

To Jews according to the Talmud it was acceptable to marry a 13 year old girl to 18 year old who had the means to sustain a family (that was the rule).

However the Talmud also clarifies that it was a disgrace to marry a young girl to an old man.

A notion of this is found in the Song of songs where the brothers of a young girl protect her against an older guy who comes with a proposal.

The text says:

'We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the days she is spoken for? If she is a wall we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar' (Song of Song 8: 8-9)

This seems to be the practice of the Jews, and the Qur'an even establishes the fact that the Jews possess the true teaching and conduct from God.

The Jews did not practice such evil, probably the Arabs did and Muhammad followed their disgraceful practice.

Hence what Muhammad did when he as a fifty year old married a 6-7 year old girl and consummated the marriage with her at that age 9 was contrary to common sense, ethics and practice at least among Jews.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Also as I have already asked about.

Where does the Qur'an confirm that all the prophets are sinless???

Or are we to assume that this is a later doctrine that has established itself in Islamic doctrine?

In what sense then is Islam to pure doctrine of Allah?

Nakdimon said...

But I still have to wonder though, what is worse: Marrying a 6-year old girl or having sex with a 9-year old. Doesn't matter in this case, the wanna-be prophet did both!

This is sheer pedophelia. It doesn't matter if it was "the thing to do" at that time. In Roman times it was "the thing to do" for men to sleep with boys, no one would call that anything other than homosexual behaviour. Yet, muslims find it excusable in the case of their prophet to sleep with a 9-year old girl, when it was "the thing to do", and we can't call it pedophelia without them getting offended.

One has to be pretty twisted to be attracted to a 6-year old little girl playing with dolls and swinging on a swing. She just got out of diapers for heavens sake! And this is a man of "excellent moral behaviour"? No wonder in the Islamic world poor little girls at the age of poor little Ayesha are given into marriage to adult perverts. With this man as their ultimate example, their "holy" prophet, how DARE muslims open their mouth and criticize the (secular) West for being immoral. (although it is most of the time)

HAVE YOU NO SHAME??

Confident Christianity said...

Wow! David did an excellent job in this debate. It's refreshing to see someone stay on task and actually argue the debate topic........

Roger Sharp
Confident Christianity, Inc.

Erich said...

I just discovered this article and this comments thread now, a little over three months after the last commenter.

Particularly the text debate between Wood and Bassam inspired me to write an essay on my blog.

To quote one relevant passage:

While David Wood did an excellent job against Bassam, that excellence is for the most part only rendered visible by the rather rare reader who would take the care and trouble to peruse that copious and complex exchange. I suggest, in keeping with my proposal here, that Wood would have served a better pedagogical purpose by fixating on any one of the dozens of points about which Bassam was screamingly in error—to the utter exclusion of all other points—and not letting Bassam move on to any other points until he admits defeat on that one point. As it stands, what we have in that exchange is a fireworks display of obscure facts and interpretations in a clotted jumble of argumentation, which may be easily navigable by an expert like David Wood, but which becomes bewildering and off-putting to most readers.

My essay begins with this new rule for debates with Islam apologists:

My proposal is simple: Any future debates with Islam apologists (whether they be Muslims or PC MC ideologues) should integrate a non-negotiable rule:

The anti-Islam debater should only debate one point at a time, and should not move on to another point nor let the Islam apologist try in sophistical obfuscation to move on to another point, until such time as the Islam apologist concedes his error on that one point.

To read the full essay, " One point at a time: a proposal for future debates with Islam apologists" --

http://hesperado.blogspot.com/2009/03/one-point-at-time-proposal-for-future.html

Erich said...

If my last link doesn't work, try:

http://hesperado.blogspot.com/

mkvine said...

David Wood,

Excellent job on the debate. I have a question regarding Surah 7:73 which Adnan appealed to in his opening statement. He said that based on this verse Satan tried to tempt Muhammad to say the satanic verses but God protected him from ever saying them. Adnan also said that since the qur'an is the most reliable Islamic source, we have to give its testimony priority over the rest of Islamic literature. I don't recall you addressing this specific point. Could you explain why his point would be invalid? Thanks

desmond said...

I Love you all !

Brit-sg said...

David & Sam you guys are unstoppable! No Muslims argument can hold up against your's, so far no one has any concrete evidence to refute your debates, anyone can see that both Muslim and Christian. Muslims are desperately and constantly having to bend over backwards to prove any point and then fail. This proves Jesus truth cant be hidden.. keep up the good work. We all learn a lot from you!

Johnny said...

To Brother David Wood i thank our Heavenly Father for giving u such wisdom and knowledge praise be to God the Father of all creation.what i wanted to say is people think evangelism is easy and with that it leaves to most of them by not having a strong base on Gods word and later they get bashed up and bruised up not only in debates but when it comes in terms of preaching the gospel why because they ignore knowledge and wisdom,nowadays people go to bible college take some training session and then go for church palnting i am not against this but what i meant to say that there must be a strong root of foundation and i love ur resources like trinity,rebuttals to sammi zattari.osama abdallah many more etc for the Lord has been teaching me thru ur resources and one day he will use me so thanks be to God for raisng such debators like u all.Earlier my prayer was that god should raise Apostles,prophets,evangelists,pastors,teachers etc but now my cry to him will be to raise many christain apologetics for waht many pastors and teachers havent been able to refute with muslim apologetics u guys have been doing it.A big God bless u,thank u Lord Jesus

Johnny said...

God will bless u brother David wood and aslo he will reward ufor ur hard labour

Donny Contino said...

brother David..i'm really excited to watch this debate but for some reason it wont let me watch it? did you by chance upload it to youtube?

Claude Armstrong said...

Please send where to watch this, and to get a complete copy of the "Jesus of Mohammad" show about this same topic, since the one now on Youtube by "trueislam" is missing a vital section between part 13 and 14.

chiki waren said...

Mr. David Wood,
What caused the death of Ahmad Deedat?