Sunday, January 25, 2009

Muhammad's Reason for Not Forbidding Ghilah

The following Hadith gives us a glimpse of Muhammad's method of forbidding and accepting various practices:

Sunan an-Nasa'i 3328--It was narrated from Aishah that Judamah bint Wahb told her that the Messenger of Allah said: "I was thinking of forbidding Ghilah until I remembered that it is done by the Persians and Romans"--(one of the narrators) Ishaq said: "(They) do that--and it does not harm their children."

Ghilah refers to having sex with a woman who is breastfeeding. Muhammad says that he was thinking of forbidding the practice. But then he remembered that the Persians and Romans do it, so he didn't forbid the practice. Apparently, if he hadn't remembered that the Persians and Romans practice Ghilah, he would have condemned it, and Muslims today would say that Allah forbids Ghilah.

Isn't it obvious that this had nothing to do with any divine insight on Muhammad's part, and that what he rejected and accepted was simply a matter of his all-too-human thought processes? If so, why are Muslims so obsessed with following Muhammad's regulations (especially when they include pagan practices, such as bowing to the Ka'ba, etc.)? Here Muslims will say, "We follow Muhammad's regulations because he commanded us to follow his regulations." But that's exactly my point. As this Hadith shows, Muhammad's reasoning had nothing to do with revelation. Why, then, accept his command to follow his regulations?

17 comments:

Bassam said...

A part of the prophet's mission is to recommend things that deal with general health, not as a matter of revelation but as a matter of life. The issue was about the health risks of having sex with a woman who is nursing, and whether that will hurt the baby. He (peace be upon him) indicated that it does not hurt the baby because of what he observed of the practice on the Romans and Persians, otherwise he was going to outlaw it. This was not a part of the Islamic legislation, but a question about health that he answered based on the fact that the actual practice of it did not hurt the mother or baby. Had he outlawed it, it would be part of another legislation that says, "La dharara wala dhirar", (i.e. no causing harm or being harmed) which makes something forbidden if it causes harm to one or to others. This rule is beneficial for us today that we use it to prohibit smoking, not because there is a text that says so but because this hadeeth (the one about forbidding harm or being harmed) makes harm a factor in outlawing things in life based on medical experience or other experience, making it an ongoing process. In other words, this was nothing more than a matter of life that he suggested to his companions. There is nothing in the hadeeth to say that it was part of the divine inspiration or that he was taking it as a matter of religion, but a matter where medical benefit is weighed against harm. This is not the only time he did something like that, he was also asked about pollinating date trees and gave an answer as a man not as a prophet. Not every thing the prophet said was a part of the religion, he gave medical advice sometimes based on the religion and some other times as part of his experience and this simply happened to be one of them.

Nakdimon said...

Bassam “A part of the prophet's mission is to recommend things that deal with general health, not as a matter of revelation but as a matter of life.”

So Bassam, how does health issues in Islam add up in the face of Muhammad’s orders to drink camel urine as a medicine and to forbid garlic?

Just curious.

Bassam said...

Don't forget to point out that the people who actually drank the camel urine actually got cured. That was a specific recommendation to them (maybe it was a miracle, i dont' know), not a general recommendation to everyone.

As for garlic, it is not prohibited in Islam in a general sense. Rather, the Prophet only prohibited it before one went to the mosque in order to not disturb the people praying next to you with your breath. Scholars have understood that one should avoid bothering people praying next to them in all senses (e.g. so take a shower and don't stink, goggle if you have smoked cuz your breath stinks, etc.)

Regards,

Bassam

Nakdimon said...

OK! Thanks Bassam. I could object to that camel urine and stinking reference, but I’ll refrain. I appreciate your response though.

Respect!

Nakdimon

David Wood said...

They never got cured, Bassam. This was clearly some embellishment on the part of Muslims.

Consider the Muslim version of the story:

(1) Some Muslims didn't feel well.
(2) Muhammad told them to drink camel's urine.
(3) They drank the urine and were cured.
(4) They then left Islam and killed Muhammad's shepherd.
(5) Muhammad burned out their eyes, cut off their hands and feet, and let them die of thirst in the hot sun.

Does this chain of events make sense? Of course not. Here's a more reasonable progression:

(1) Some Muslims didn't feel well.
(2) Muhammad told them to drink camel's urine.
(3) They drank the urine and felt even worse.
(4) Recognizing that Muhammad was a false prophet, they then left Islam and killed Muhammad's shepherd.
(5) Muhammad burned out their eyes, cut off their hands and feet, and let them die of thirst in the hot sun.
(6) Muslims (who love to invent things) invented the part about the men being cured, despite the fact that this detail makes no sense in light of the rest of the story.

Bassam said...

Aaaahhhh yes David the historian.

David seems to argue that it is unbelievable for someone or a group of people to be treated nicely or experience a miracle from a prophet and then end up betraying that prophet.

From what I have understood from David, this is his argument. I want David to confirm, for if he says yes then allow me to expose his double standards in an instant. If he says no, then what on earth is his argument then?

Regards,

Bassam

Sami Zaatari said...

David do you have any proof that that was the exact reason for what these men did? or did you (as usual) just make everything up, read whats no there etc etc? lol and then you actually say me and bassam are the ones who read into things and re-interpret!

lol david went with what seems 'resonable' yet when me and bassam quote everything together in context to get the 'reasonable' conclusion, david says no you guys are being modernists and making things up! oh man this is just amazing.

for instance Islam says treat slaves good, beat them go to hell, treat them like brothers sisters etc, marry them even, so its 'reasonable' with context to say that this proves that when you have a captive you cant rape her for it will contradict all of the above, but no no david says were being modernists for going with logical 'reasonable' explanation, yet no davids conclusion is correct ignoring all of the context. :)

Nakdimon said...

Well, David has a point. I remember you rejecting the Satanic verses and the Zaynab story because the story supposedly didn't add up, asidefrom the fact that you thought that the narration was "weak". Well, then be consistent and apply the same standards to this story.

Nakdimon

David Wood said...

How many times in history do we see someone being commanded to do X by a prophet, then the person is miraculously healed because he obeys the prophet, then the person instantly rebels against the prophet and wants to destroy the religion? You might claim that one weird individual could be like this, but an entire group of people??? This just makes no sense, Bassam. How many of the people who were healed by Jesus turned around in a fury and wanted to rebel against him? Did Lazarus say, "Hey! Jesus just raised me from the dead! I now hate Jesus and will do anything to destroy his message!"?

So, given the fact that Muslims doctored their stories quite often, isn't it more reasonable to believe that these men left Islam and rebelled against Muhammad because something negative happened, e.g. he told them to drink urine and it didn't work?

You keep attacking the historical method. Yet the historical method makes perfect sense (far more sense than your silly, circular, unanimously-rejected-by-actual-historians "isnad criticism." If you're dealing with a story recorded more than two hundred years after the event, you have to ask yourself, "Would people have a reason to fabricate or embellish this story?" If the answer is "yes," we have to be on guard. So, supposing Muhammad commanded these men to drink urine, then they got worse, then they rebelled against Islam, would Muslims have a reason to change some of the details of this story? Of course they would! They can't have Muhammad being wrong now, can they? They can't have people rejecting Muhammad because he was obviously a false prophet, can they?

Bassam said...

David commits the fallacy of circumstantial ad hominem. That is, if it appears that someone has a motive to make up something, it means that he actually made it up.

Secondly, we already have examples of the Israelites apostatizing even after witnessing the miracle of Moses peace be upon him splitting the sea.

Christians believe in Solomon apostatizing after receiving inspiration from God.

One could use David's logic and say "It is absolute nonsense to comprehend someone abandoning his God and becoming a polytheist after being exposed to the supernatural realm. Actually, it makes more sense to believe that Solomon was a believer in God while growing up and he believed himself to be a Prophet. However, when he realized that the God of the Bible was a fake and didn't exist, he turned to polytheism"

Thirdly, even if David was right this only means two things:

1) The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave bad wordly advice. This is nothing new. We already have examples of him giving wrong worldly advices (e.g. the pollination example). The narration doesn't indicate that it was inspiration from God, thus this has no effect on the veracity of Muhammad's (peace be upon him) prophethood.

2) Even if they drank the urine and got worse, it didn't justify their murdering the Prophet's shepherd.


Regards,

Bassam

David Wood said...

Bassam said: "David commits the fallacy of circumstantial ad hominem. That is, if it appears that someone has a motive to make up something, it means that he actually made it up."

I'm glad you're trying to learn a bit about logic, but you need to learn some more before you start tossing these terms around. Did I say, "If someone had a motive to make something up, he made it up"? No. And you know that's not what I said. This means that you're deliberately misrepresenting my position and attacking a straw man. Your desperation is evident.

So what's my position? I think it's quite clear based on my comments. Here goes: If we have a story that sounds quite odd, and our records of the story come from a couple hundred years after the event, and we know that people in the community in question were making things up left and right, we should ask ourselves whether they had a reason to invent or embellish the story. If they did have such a reason, it would be absurd of us to blindly accept the story. This isn't a fallacy, Bassam. It's common sense, and no philosopher or historian on the planet would accuse me of fallacious reasoning here. Only Muslims, who (1) have an a priori adherence to Islam, and (2) generally don't know how to apply logical rules, would suggest that I've made a blunder.

Bassam said: Secondly, we already have examples of the Israelites apostatizing even after witnessing the miracle of Moses peace be upon him splitting the sea.

Apples and oranges, my friend. Most of the Israelites hadn't broken away from the polytheistic influences of Egypt. (It took them more than a thousand years to break this habit.) If Moses is gone for a while, we might expect them to call on another god. The key here is that the people had (bad) reasons for apostatizing. They hadn't seen Moses in a while. They wanted to go back to Egypt, and Moses' God didn't want to bring them there. They were used to hearing about many gods, etc.

Is that what we're dealing with in the story we're discussing? No. People had converted to Islam, and then, immediately after being healed, the entire group goes berserk, leaves Islam, and kills Muhammad's shepherd. What possible reason could there be for doing this? None. Which means that we must ask ourselves why they did it. Like it or not, the only reasonable explanation is that Muhammad's cure didn't work.

Bassam said: Christians believe in Solomon apostatizing after receiving inspiration from God.

True, but once again, that's not what we're talking about. Solomon got weaker and weaker over a period of several decades due to the influence of his pagan wives. Here we again see an explanation for why Solomon would have been led astray. In the case of the apostate Muslims, however, the only explanation is that Muhammad's "cure" didn't work.

Bassam said: One could use David's logic and say "It is absolute nonsense to comprehend someone abandoning his God and becoming a polytheist after being exposed to the supernatural realm. Actually, it makes more sense to believe that Solomon was a believer in God while growing up and he believed himself to be a Prophet. However, when he realized that the God of the Bible was a fake and didn't exist, he turned to polytheism"

Solomon never rejected the existence of the God of the Bible. He simply started honoring other gods as well. This was wrong, but it's beside the point. How would my reasoning apply to such an event? Let's say I'm confronted with data about Solomon supporting polytheism. I ask myself, "Would Jews have a good reason to invent such a story?" The answer is "no." So your attempted parallel fails horribly.

Bassam said: Thirdly, even if David was right this only means two things: 1) The Prophet (peace be upon him) gave bad wordly advice. This is nothing new. We already have examples of him giving wrong worldly advices (e.g. the pollination example). The narration doesn't indicate that it was inspiration from God, thus this has no effect on the veracity of Muhammad's (peace be upon him) prophethood. 2) Even if they drank the urine and got worse, it didn't justify their murdering the Prophet's shepherd.

I agree with both of your points here. I would never argue that since Muhammad told people to drink camel's urine, and since it didn't work, he must be a false prophet. Nor would I say that if someone is a false prophet, you should kill his shepherd.

What I am saying is that you can't point to a supposed healing here as evidence for consideration (which is what you did). There are too many problems with this story to take the healing part seriously. That's all I'm saying, and my point obviously stands.

Bassam said...

David said: “and we know that people in the community in question were making things up left and right, we should ask ourselves whether they had a reason to invent or embellish the story. If they did have such a reason, it would be absurd of us to blindly accept the story. This isn't a fallacy, Bassam. It's common sense, and no philosopher or historian on the planet would accuse me of fallacious reasoning here.”

Of course you are committing the fallacy of circumstantial ad hominem. This is precisely what you are doing.

Your only argument is “it appears that Muslims had a motive to change the story”. That’s all. You haven’t provided evidence that they had a real motive to hide this mistake of the Prophet (peace be upon him), since they weren’t shy enough to speak about his other mistakes in other narrations.

Secondly, not all Muslims were known to make up stories. Some were. You are stereotyping, which is another fallacy (what a shame, you supposedly teach logic in a university). You haven’t proven that the narrators in that particular chain were known for having a reputation to make up stories.

And when you say “philosopher or historian on the planet”, please remember that you are only speaking about people that agree with you. We have Muslim historians that we are proud of who aren’t intellectually deprived to the extent of taking your argument here seriously. So don’t appeal to a consensus that doesn’t exist okay?

My argument stands. You are committing the fallacy of circumstantial ad hominem.

David said: Most of the Israelites hadn't broken away from the polytheistic influences of Egypt. (It took them more than a thousand years to break this habit.) If Moses is gone for a while, we might expect them to call on another god. The key here is that the people had (bad) reasons for apostatizing

So you argued that the Israelite’s reason was because they had a history of worshipping idols. I could argue the same thing and say that those Arabs had a history of worshipping idols too. Now what?

David said: Like it or not, the only reasonable explanation is that Muhammad's cure didn't work.

I don’t think you have the right to say with confidence that this is the only reasonable explanation. We are lacking so much information about these people. We don’t know anything about them. For instance, take into consideration the range of different possibilities:

- These individuals got sick of the weather in Medinah, thus they wanted to abandon the Muslims and leave the place. This is not far fetched due to the fact that an incident in Saheeh Bukhari is recorded where a man broke a treaty with the Prophet for simply not being comfortable living in Medina.

- These individuals faked their acceptance of Islam in order to sneak into Medina and rob houses, since they were professional robbers. They saw that they weren’t successful; they decided to steal the Prophet’s camels.

- These individuals accepted Islam with the intention of gaining war booty, but realized they weren’t gaining anything. Hence, they killed the Prophet’s shepherd and stole his camels.

I mean there are so many possibilities. We lack so much information about these individuals. I don’t know how you can say with confidence that this is the only good explanation.

It might be true that with the very little information that we have about these people, on the surface level of the matter your explanation seems the best and most logical. However, that in no way is proof that it is the correct one, since your basing it on the very little information that you have.

Taking that into consideration you have no right to say that Muslims manipulated this tradition, especially since it was reported through independent chains of transmission. To convince me of a big conspiracy of hiding the Prophet’s worldly mistake, which Muslims have no theological problems with to begin with really doesn’t sound convincing to me or any thinking Muslim David.

So sorry, try again.

David said: True, but once again, that's not what we're talking about. Solomon got weaker and weaker over a period of several decades due to the influence of his pagan wives. Here we again see an explanation for why Solomon would have been led astray.

Got me there, my Solomon analogy is flawed.

David said: That's all I'm saying, and my point obviously stands.

Whatever makes you sleep at night 


Kind Regards,

Bassam

David Wood said...

Bassam,

I don't know how to make this any clearer. You really have no clue what you're talking about when you try to say my reasoning is fallacious. Go to any good book that describes the fallacy of CAH. After saying that a person's vested interest doesn't make a claim false, it will go on to say that if a person has a vested interest, we must be suspicious of the claim. One commits the CAH when one concludes that a person's statement is false simply because the person has a vested interest. Again, that's not what I'm doing at all. THE STORY MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. AND IT COMES MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES AFTER THE EVENTS. You can't leave out these details when you make your claim.

Bassam, the more you argue, the more stubborn and illogical you become. I really have no idea why I'm bothering to respond to you right now. Here's how a conversation with you goes:

BASSAM: "I say X!"
DAVID: "I reject claim X because of reasons A, B, C, and D."
BASSAM: "Ha! You're committing Fallacy Y, since you're only rejecting my claim because of Reason A!"
DAVID: "Actually, I said I'm rejecting claim X because of A, B, C, and D. Did you miss my other points."
BASSAM: "No! You're saying you reject X because of A! Ha! I can't believe you're a philosophy professor."
DAVID: "And I can't believe I'm even discussing this with you. You're either deliberately misrepresenting my position (in which case I shouldn't bother responding to you) or you throw around logical terms in order to sound like you know what you're talking about, even when you don't (in which case you're obviously not interested in truth, and I shouldn't be talking to you). Either way, I shoudn't be talking to you, since, again, the more we talk, the more stubborn and illogical you become."

Bassam said: "So you argued that the Israelite’s reason was because they had a history of worshipping idols. I could argue the same thing and say that those Arabs had a history of worshipping idols too. Now what?"

Do you realize that you do this every time? I give three or four reasons for something, and I attribute my view to a combination of the reasons. Then you latch on to one reason and attempt to deceive people into thinking that it was my only reason. I repeat: there are multiple reasons for the Jews, after a period of time, coming to call on another god. There is only one conceivable reason for the Muslims in your story to immediately apostatize after drinking the urine--Muhammad's cure didn't work. You hypothesize a number of other reasons which are far less reasonable. (You might give one of your reasons for one odd individual, but for an entire group that had been cured? Come on!) But still, if we're going to hypothesize explanations for the data, we might as well go with the simplest explanation--Muhammad's cure didn't work, and Muslims didn't want to admit this. This accounts for all of the data, and it does so without strain.

Bassam said: "To convince me of a big conspiracy of hiding the Prophet’s worldly mistake, which Muslims have no theological problems with to begin with really doesn’t sound convincing to me or any thinking Muslim David."

What on earth makes you think I'm trying to convince YOU??? I learned after my first conversation with a Muslim that evidence and argumentation are practically meaningless to Muslims. So when you see me discussing something with a Muslim, I'm usually not trying to convince the Muslim. I'm trying to show spectators how illogical and unreasonable Muslims have to be in order to defend their position.

Bassam said: "Whatever makes you sleep at night"

Ha! Are you suggesting that I have to go to great lengths to reject the awesome evidence for Islam? Give me a break! No non-Muslim in the universe would even consider accepting a 200+ year old story that arises in an atmosphere where Muslims are forging stories left and right and which makes absolutely no sense. Does one have to be stubborn and unreasonable to reject such a story? No. But one does have to be stubborn and unreasonable to defend it. But, you know, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Bassam said...

David wants to stop this conversation. Good. But let me conclude it with the following facts:

- David couldn’t refute the main argument against his position, which is that we lack information about the people in the narration and thus have no right to say that the story doesn’t make sense.

- He also couldn’t refute the fact that Muslims would have had no motive whatsoever to alter this story, for it has no theological implications. He couldn’t deal with that fact, thus rendering his argument to be weak.

- He said that no non-Muslims accept these stories. Umm yeah sure that’s why millions of them converted to Islam believing these stories. Some of them being respected professors like Dr. Lawrence Brown who has defended hadith methodology in his class in a Western University in David's beloved country. See his video on google videos.

- David said that he gave four reasons for why the Jews apostatized. This is false. Go back and read his statement and see that he only gave two reasons (i.e. their history of polytheism and not being used to living in Egypt). I explained that these two reasons were equal possibilities in the other situation as well. These people had a history of polytheism and were not used to Medinah (that’s why they got sick there). I also gave other possibilities. My accumulated case definitely weakened David’s argument.

- Lol David said that Muslims don’t follow evidence. Oh yes, this is coming from someone who bases his eternal salvation on a book authored mostly by people we don’t know. Oh yes indeed, David is the model of a truth seeker to follow.

Also, David is speaking or has either has spoken falsehood. David is saying that he gave up believing that Muslims would follow evidence after his first conversation with a Muslim. However, on the radio show 'Iron Sharpens Iron' along with his 'ex Muslim wannabe' friend Nabeel said that Christians should not give up on Muslims. Paraphrasing the meaning of David's words, he said:

"Christians should not think that Muslims are not willing to follow the evidence. I believe that there are good Muslims out there who want the truth. That is why I started this ministry."

Thus, we see that David on the radio show affirmed that there are Muslims who want to follow the evidence. However, over here he said that he lost hope in Muslims following the evidence. So what is it David? Were you putting up a fancy act on the radio show to try and portray yourself as a passionate and optimistic missionary, or did you just utter what you uttered over here out of frustration because you realized that you are getting refuted badly? Your call buddy.

Kind Regards,

Bassam

David Wood said...

Bassam said: "David couldn’t refute the main argument against his position, which is that we lack information about the people in the narration and thus have no right to say that the story doesn’t make sense."

I did refute your point. I showed that we do have enough information to know that such a large group would never, with one accord, leave Islam and violently attack it after having been cured of their sickness. Your counter-theories ("maybe they just didn't like the climate") are absurd.

Bassam said: "He also couldn’t refute the fact that Muslims would have had no motive whatsoever to alter this story, for it has no theological implications. He couldn’t deal with that fact, thus rendering his argument to be weak.

No motive whatsoever? Are you saying that Muslims are completely comfortable with the fact that Muhammad could command people to do things and these things were completely wrong? I have books full of Muhammad's commands. Muslims kept records of them because they believed that Muhammad's commands are really important. Yet here you jump in and say, "Muhammad's commands aren't that important, so who cares if he was wrong?" Yes, all Muslims certainly agree with you on this.

Bassam said: "He said that no non-Muslims accept these stories. Umm yeah sure that’s why millions of them converted to Islam believing these stories."

Is that what I said? Once again, you're misrepresenting me, and you're trying to deceive people in the process. I said that no non-Muslims are going to accept a story that (a) makes no sense, (b) was written more than two centuries after the event, and (c) Muslims clearly had reasons to embellish. Yet you expand my statement to embrace all ahadith! Pure deception! And you go on to say that millions of people convert because of these stories (meaning stories like the one I'm referring to). Really? Show me some people who converted to Islam based on a bogus story about Muhammad telling people to drink camel's urine! Or were you just making this up? Did Dr. Brown convert because of this story?

My friends, let's look at a wonderful instance of absolute desperation.

Bassam said: "David said that he gave four reasons for why the Jews apostatized. This is false. Go back and read his statement and see that he only gave two reasons (i.e. their history of polytheism and not being used to living in Egypt)"

So Bassam accuses me of deception, since (a) I claimed that I had given four reasons, and (b) I had actually only given two.

First, concerning (a), notice what I actually said: "Do you realize that you do this every time? I give three or four reasons for something, and I attribute my view to a combination of the reasons. Then you latch on to one reason and attempt to deceive people into thinking that it was my only reason."

I said "three or four" as a general claim, and "multiple" in reference to the number of reasons I gave for Israel's lapse into polytheism. With that said, how many reasons did I actually give? Here's what I said:

"Most of the Israelites hadn't broken away from the polytheistic influences of Egypt. (It took them more than a thousand years to break this habit.) If Moses is gone for a while, we might expect them to call on another god. The key here is that the people had (bad) reasons for apostatizing. They hadn't seen Moses in a while. They wanted to go back to Egypt, and Moses' God didn't want to bring them there. They were used to hearing about many gods, etc."

Now let's count:

(1) People had been influenced by polytheistic Egypt.

(2) Moses was gone for a while.

(3) They wanted to return to Egypt.

(4) Moses' God wasn't going to bring them back to Egypt.

So how many reasons did I offer? Four! And yet Bassam accuses me of deception!

Bassam said: "Lol David said that Muslims don’t follow evidence. Oh yes, this is coming from someone who bases his eternal salvation on a book authored mostly by people we don’t know. Oh yes indeed, David is the model of a truth seeker to follow."

Who says we don't know who the authors are? With the exception of the Letter to the Hebrews (and I have a good idea who wrote that), I'd say we know who wrote every book of the New Testament. Of course, if we're going to be skeptical (as many people are when it comes to the Bible), we'd also have to be skeptical about the Qur'an and the Hadith. What happens when we're skeptical about Muslim sources? Ask your Muslim brother from Germany, who declared that Muhammad probably never existed. (My point here is that you should be consistent in your level of skepticism. You're clearly not.)

Bassam said: "Also, David is speaking or has either has spoken falsehood. David is saying that he gave up believing that Muslims would follow evidence after his first conversation with a Muslim. However, on the radio show 'Iron Sharpens Iron' along with his 'ex Muslim wannabe' friend Nabeel said that Christians should not give up on Muslims."

Trying to unjustly accuse me again, eh? How can you possibly miss my position? Here goes: When I debate in public or argue on this blog, my primary goal is to equip Christians. My secondary goal is to show non-Muslims who may be wondering whether Islam is true that it most certainly isn't true. Convincing Muslims is not a priority, because, again, I find that in general they're not concerned with evidence. Does this mean that I would never try to convince a Muslim? Not at all, as my history with Nabeel and others shows. But before I try to convince a Muslim there's an evaluation process that goes on. If I blast a Muslim with evidence, and he keeps coming back to discuss things, and if he actually listens and honestly studies instead of jumping from point to point trying to attack Christianity and defend Islam at any cost (in addition to throwing around baseless insults and attacks), then I start to think that this person is sincere. If he's sincere, I will gladly devote several years of my life to witnessing to him. But such people are an extreme minority in Islam. I can count the number of such Muslims I've met on one hand.

So am I lying again, Bassam? Please stop throwing out such baseless accusations. It only shows how desperate you're becoming. (But could this be a positive sign? Surely you wouldn't be so desperate unless you're starting to realize that the evidence is overwhelmingly against you.)

Bassam said...

David said: I did refute your point. I showed that we do have enough information to know that such a large group would never, with one accord, leave Islam and violently attack it after having been cured of their sickness. Your counter-theories ("maybe they just didn't like the climate") are absurd.

Bogus, this so called “large group” is numbered at 7 or 8 people. That’s not “large”.

I already gave possibilities stating that they were close friends and collaborated from the beginning. No response from your end.

David said: No motive whatsoever? Are you saying that Muslims are completely comfortable with the fact that Muhammad could command people to do things and these things were completely wrong? I have books full of Muhammad's commands. Muslims kept records of them because they believed that Muhammad's commands are really important. Yet here you jump in and say, "Muhammad's commands aren't that important, so who cares if he was wrong?" Yes, all Muslims certainly agree with you on this.

Umm yes we are comfortable due to the fact that there are other cases reported in the literature and that the Prophet himself said that he could make mistakes in worldly matters.

So yes, you couldn’t refute that and your motive hypothesis has been flushed down the toilet.

David said: Is that what I said? Once again, you're misrepresenting me, and you're trying to deceive people in the process. I said that no non-Muslims are going to accept a story that (a) makes no sense, (b) was written more than two centuries after the event, and (c) Muslims clearly had reasons to embellish. Yet you expand my statement to embrace all ahadith! Pure deception!

And you go on to say that millions of people convert because of these stories (meaning stories like the one I'm referring to). Really? Show me some people who converted to Islam based on a bogus story about Muhammad telling people to drink camel's urine! Or were you just making this up? Did Dr. Brown convert because of this story?


David, why are we starting with hurtful words like “deception”. I’m restraining myself from saying “No you’re the deceiver”.

I never said or gave the impression that you expanded it to all hadith. You said that this kind of hadith (the camel urine one) is a narration that won’t be accepted by ALL non-Muslims. I said that you are wrong because there are non-Muslims who would know these kinds of stories already and still accept Islam. There is nothing weird or difficult to believe about this story.
My friends, let's look at a wonderful instance of absolute desperation.

I never said that they accepted Islam because of these stories. This is the second time you put words into my mouth. You’re not thinking straight and either writing in a hurry or out of frustration.

David said: So Bassam accuses me of deception, since (a) I claimed that I had given four reasons, and (b) I had actually only given two.

I did not accuse you of deception. I chose my words very carefully. I said that you uttered falsehood. Deception entails uttering falsehood intentionally. I didn’t’ accuse you of that, since I know that you aren’t stupid enough to do it when someone can easily check your comments on the same page.

Someone might say something false unintentionally; nevertheless the person has still uttered falsehood.

David said: Now let's count:

(1) People had been influenced by polytheistic Egypt.

(2) Moses was gone for a while.

(3) They wanted to return to Egypt.

(4) Moses' God wasn't going to bring them back to Egypt.

So how many reasons did I offer? Four! And yet Bassam accuses me of deception!


Points 3 and 4 overlap and I could even argue that points 1,3 & 4 overlap, but I will be lenient. So it seems like three reasons, so apologies for saying that you only said 2. I apologize for a false criticism, NOT FOR ALLEGEDLY ACCUSING YOU OF DECEPTION. You have really taken it overboard.

Anyways, my point stands since I offered more reasons than you did for the other incident.

David said: Who says we don't know who the authors are? With the exception of the Letter to the Hebrews (and I have a good idea who wrote that), I'd say we know who wrote every book of the New Testament. Of course, if we're going to be skeptical (as many people are when it comes to the Bible), we'd also have to be skeptical about the Qur'an and the Hadith. What happens when we're skeptical about Muslim sources? Ask your Muslim brother from Germany, who declared that Muhammad probably never existed. (My point here is that you should be consistent in your level of skepticism. You're clearly not.)

This deserves an article. Will let you know when it’s published.

David said: So am I lying again, Bassam? Please stop throwing out such baseless accusations. It only shows how desperate you're becoming. (But could this be a positive sign? Surely you wouldn't be so desperate unless you're starting to realize that the evidence is overwhelmingly against you.)

Again, I did not accuse you of lying. I will be honest and say that I initially typed the word “lying” in my post, but then decided to delete it, for it was possible that you wrote what you wrote out of frustration and didn’t really mean the words that you said or that you were just being a typical Christian and was just merely being inconsistent and that was no surprise to me. So I only said that you “uttered falsehood”, which is impartial in its implications (i.e. either you uttered falsehood intentionally or unintentionally)

You gave a loooooooong explanation of your words, but you and I both know deep down inside that this is not the impression whatsoever that one gets from these words that you stated:

What on earth makes you think I'm trying to convince YOU??? I learned after my first conversation with a Muslim that evidence and argumentation are practically meaningless to Muslims. So when you see me discussing something with a Muslim, I'm usually not trying to convince the Muslim. I'm trying to show spectators how illogical and unreasonable Muslims have to be in order to defend their position.

You are clearly stereotyping against Muslims based on these words.

It’s great that you clarified yourself, but again I was addressing your previous words, not your interpretation of them that only you know and not what the reader of these words could ever figure out on his own.


Kind Regards,

Bassam

Bassam said...

As I promised David:

Who Authored The New Testament?