Saturday, June 22, 2013

How Isaiah 53 Proves That Muhammad Was A False Prophet Pt. 2

This is part 2 in Sam's series replying to Shabir Ally on Isaiah 53. Part 1 can be found here.


Muhammad’s Perverted View of Vicarious Atonement

We continue from where we left off by turning our focus on Muhammad’s understanding of vicarious suffering.

It may come as a surprise for Muslims to discover that even their own prophet subscribed to substitutionary atonement, albeit a rather perverse form of what we find in the Holy Bible.

Muhammad taught that Allah would ransom Muhammad and his followers from hell by unloading all of their sins upon the disbelieving Jews and Christians, who in turn would be tortured forever in place of the Muslims:

Superiority of the believers in the Oneness of Allah and the punishment of the Jews and Christians 

8) Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups. One sort will enter Paradise without rendering an account (of their deeds). Another sort will be reckoned an easy account and admitted into Paradise. Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians: then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy

(This Hadith IS SOUND and mentioned in Mustadrak of Hakim). (110 Hadith Qudsi (Sacred Hadith), translated by Syed Masood-ul-Hasan, revision and commentaries by Ibrahim m. Kunna [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors], pp. 19-20; capital and underline emphasis ours)



Abu Musa' reported that Allah's Messenger said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your RESCUE from Hell-Fire. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6665

Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah's Apostle said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit IN HIS STEAD a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire. 'Umar b. Abd al-'Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah's Messenger. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6666

Abu Burda reported Allah's Messenger as saying: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with AS HEAVY SINS AS A MOUNTAIN, and Allah would FORGIVE THEM and He would PLACE IN THEIR STEAD the Jews and the Christians. (As far as I think), Abu Raub said: I do not know as to who is in doubt. Abu Burda said: I narrated it to 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz, whereupon he said: Was it your father who narrated it to you from Allah's Apostle? I said: Yes. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6668

Talk about a perversion of the Biblical doctrine of substitutionary atonement! Muhammad’s statements are an assault against the holiness and justice of God.

Contrast the differences between the scriptural teaching concerning the vicarious death of the Servant with these sayings of Muhammad. Yahweh’s Servant dies a voluntary death on behalf of his people and the nations in order to make atonement for their sins. In light of his willing submission to bear the sins of others, God rewards his righteous Servant by exalting him to share in his glorious reign over the nations. See part 1 for the details.

Muhammad, however, has his deity eternally torturing and humiliating Jews and Christians in hell for all the crimes and evils committed by Muhammad’s followers. This means that Allah will actually be punishing Jews and Christians for their own sins as well as for all the wickedness carried out by Muslims. To say that this is an insult against the perfect character of God would be a wild understatement. Thankfully, however, Muhammad’s god is not the true God revealed in the Holy Bible, so Christians and Jews need not take any offense at Muhammad’s travesty of divine holiness and justice.      

Embarrassed by such reports, certain Muslim scholars have tried to come up with some justification for this rather perverted view of divine justice and redemption. One such Muslim was al-Nawawi, one of Sunni Islam’s renowned authorities who wrote a commentary on Sahih Muslim which is still considered the premiere exposition. The following citation is taken from a Muslim writer(1) who not only refers to al-Nawawi’s explanation, but also shows why his exposition of these narratives is rather weak and desperate: 

“Al-Nawawi, Muslim’s commentator, seems unable to advance any rationale for these traditions and, therefore, unsuccessfully tries to interpret them in a bid to maintain their sanctity. He believes that what Abu Hurayrah has reported from the Prophet, namely that: ‘For everyone there are two places reserved, one in Hell and the other in Paradise. If a believer enters Paradise, his place in Hell will be taken over by a disbeliever due to his disbelief,’ explains the ahadith. By this he means to say that Jews and Christians will enter Hell owing to their own sins and not because of the sins of Muslims. In order to strengthen his stand he derives an argument from another hadith–‘He who introduces an evil act will have to bear the sin of everyone who does it’–and extrapolates that the non-believers will bear the sins of Muslims due to their having introduced evil acts. Al-Nawawi’s argument can hardly stand up to scrutiny. The traditions clearly mention that Allah will transfer the sins of Muslims onto Jews and Christians. The second tradition, which he quotes to explain the matter, does not indicate what he derives from it; he only takes one part and leaves the other. According to this hadith, the introducer of a sin will be burdened not only with his own sin but also with the sin committed by others, whilst the sins of others will not be commuted. The three ahadith are categorical in the transfer of the sins of Muslims to Jews and Christians, who will then be burdened with two categories of sins: 1) their own, and 2) those of the Muslims.” (Israr Ahmad Khan, Authentication of Hadith: Redefining the Criteria [The International Institute of Islamic Thought, LondonWashington, 2010], Chapter 3. The Quran and Authentication of Hadith, pp. 64-65; bold emphasis ours)  

The author goes on to cite Q. 6:164, which denies that Allah punishes people for the evil deeds committed by others, in order to show how these ahadith contradict the Quran. There are two problems with the author’s response. First, his reply assumes that the Quran is God’s word and that Muhammad is a true prophet, and therefore would never say anything to contradict the so-called “revelation.” This approach begs the question since it takes the Islamic position concerning the status of the Quran and Muhammad as a given, even though Muslim scholars and/or apologists have yet to produce any convincing and irrefutable evidence to support this assumption.

This leads me to the second problem with Khan’s argument. Contrary to his assertion, the Quran does in fact teach that people will suffer and be punished for the sins committed by others:

And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Follow our path and we will bear your wrongs. And never shall they be the bearers of any of their wrongs; most surely they are liars. And most certainly they shall carry their own burdens, AND OTHER BURDENS WITH THEIR OWN BURDENS, and most certainly they shall be questioned on the resurrection day as to what they forged. S. 29:12-13 Shakir

We, thus, have a contradiction within the Quran itself since there are specific texts which say that no sinner will bear the sins of someone else (cf. Q. 17:13-15; 53:38-42), and yet both Q. 29:12-13 and 16:25 expressly teach that they shall indeed be forced to carry the burdens of others. As the late scholar of Islamic studies Arthur Jeffrey noted in his exposition of Q. 16:25:

"This is in contradiction with the oft-repeated statement that no burdened soul will bear the burden of another. But that statement seems meant to exclude hope in a Redeemer who will take on himself the guilt of others, whereas here the meaning is that some of the guilt of those led astray will be placed on those who have led them astray." (The Koran, Selected Suras, footnote 4 to Sura 16)

Nor can taqyyists such as Ally and Williams simply brush aside these narratives since they are all included within a work that Sunni Islam deems to be the second most authentic collection of narrations ever compiled. In fact, some Muslim scholars have gone as far as to argue that in some aspects Sahih Muslim is actually superior to al-Bukhari’s collection!

“… Although Sahih al-Bukhari is the most reliable collection of Ahadith, however, Sahih Muslim has certain aspects of superiority. Imam Muslim adhered strictly to most of the principles of the Science of Hadith which were somehow at some places ignored by his teacher Imam Bukhari. Imam Muslim accepted for his collection only such Ahadith which had been transmitted with an unbroken chain of reliable narrators, free from all defects and were in perfect harmony with the narrations of other narrators. He has recorded only those ahadith which were transmitted at least by two different transmitters from two different Companions. Imam Bukhari has sometimes used the Kunyah (surname) of the narrators and sometimes their names. Imam Muslim avoided this confusion. Imam Muslim is also particular in pointing out the slightest difference in the text of the narrations. Imam Bukhari has fragmented most of the Ahadith and presented the portions under different chapters, while Imam Muslim presented them as a whole narration. So, the works of both Imams provide different approaches for the scholars and readers of Ahadith.” (The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Muslim, Publisher’s Note, Volume 1, p. ii; bold emphasis ours)


“Imam Muslim compiled many books and treatises on Hadith, the most important of his works is the compilation of the Hadith collection Al-Jami‘ As-Sahih, which is famous by the name of Sahih Muslim. Some scholars of Hadith opine that in some respects IT IS THE BEST AND MOST AUTHENTIC COLLECTION of Ahadith. Imam Muslim laboriously collected 3,00,000 Ahadith, but after critical study, he selected only 4,000 Ahadith for this collection…

“Many students learned the Science of Hadith from Imam Muslim. Those who became famous and occupied a prominent position are: Abu Hatim Razi, Musa bin Harun, Ahmad bin Salamah, Abu ‘Isa Tirmidhi, Abu Bakr bin Khuzaimah, Abu ‘Awanah and Hafiz Dhahbi.” (Ibid., p. v; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This demonstrates that these traditions thoroughly met Imam Muslim’s stringent criteria of authenticity, which also indicates that this renowned hadith scholar was fully convinced that these were actual statements uttered by Muhammad.

Therefore, these dawagandists are going to have to do a lot more than claim that these narrations are weak or fabricated seeing that they met the very strict criteria employed by Imam Muslim. As such, Ally and Williams have no choice but to accept the fact that according to Islamic historiography and the science of hadith criticism, these reports are genuine sayings of the historical Muhammad.

For more on this topic we recommend the following articles and rebuttals:

Reexamining Islam's Divine Insurance Scam Pt.1, Pt. 2

Addressing Paul Williams’ False Accusations Pt. 6

Does the Quran really deny that a person can bear the sins of another? Pt. 1, Pt. 2

We will conclude this series with an addendum where we will cite from specific Jewish sources to show that even Jewish authorities viewed Isaiah 53 as a prophecy concerning the sufferings of the Messiah. This will demonstrate that Christians aren’t the only ones who have taken Isaiah 53 to be a prediction of the vicarious death of Christ.


(1) Ironically, Israr Ahmad Khan’s book came highly recommended by none other than Shabir Ally himself in one of his “Let the Quran Speak” episodes (Following the Quran Alone?). The reason why this is ironic is because Khan’s work provides plenty of ammunition for Christians in their witness to Muslims, since it highlights the rather irrational and highly unethical teachings which pervade the hadith corpus. Khan even manages to put holes in the explanations given by Muslims to justify such silly and immoral stories and commands. We, therefore, highly recommend this book to any serious Christian apologist interacting with Muslims. We also want to thank Ally for bringing this work to our attention. Much appreciated!


Unknown said...

Excellent one all round. God bless

Dk said...

Funny I have made the same point as Khan, without having realized a Muslim has made the same critique of the supposed standard Muslim "answer" to this objection.

Hands down appreciate the quote and reference to the book "Authentication of Hadith: Redefining the Criteria".

This is surely proof that since

1) Sahih Muslim is the most authentic collection

2) Khan's points are all valid.

3) Therefore the most reliable and authentic tradition that exists and is relating us the sayings of Mohammed are telling us he taught substitutionary atonement.

In fact one argument that the author seems to have missed is this. How could not only Imam Muslim but ANY Muslim scholar include such a report in their own individual hadith corpus since this is so discrediting and embarrassing to Islamic ideology?

Including this hadith in the most authenticated valid and rigorous collection contained in Islam, would be unthinkable, even in a poorly validated biography (according to Muslim standards) like: "Sirat Rasool Allah", Ibn Ishaq left out the dirty details of his prophet, so why would the most exceptional scholar include these narrations unless they were true? Would Imam Muslim include a narration that contradicted the Quran or falsified Mohammed as a prophet?

It's obvious that Imam Muslim could not have believed these reports contradicted the Quran under the basis of verses such as these: 29:12-13, 16:25.

Since there is no valid reason to reject these as the very words of Mohammed, Muslims have a choice:

1) Continue to argue against substtionary atonement and reject Christianity and abandon Islam (due to the same reasoning),


2) Accept that your religion advocates some version of substitionary atonement even more vile than the Christian one and never object to Christianity again on this ground.

Personally I would abandon Islam since it's untenable en-light of the very morality in your heart you are attuned to.

Tom ta tum Tom said...

OOOoooops! Looks to me like it's time to call in Sahih Spencer. Yup. Imam Spencer argues that Mohammed never existed so, making Mohammed never exist will help 'disappear' Mohammed's teaching (and the Koran's teaching... and Sahih Muslim's teaching) regarding substitutionary atonement.

Are there any "Bukhari Hadith only" Muslims reading this? I think Sam just made Mr. Spencer your new Rasool...



Hazakim1 said...

Muhammad - if only he were the seal of the anti-christs....we wouldn't have to worry about a future (like Islamic) one coming.

Tom ta tum Tom said...

@Hazakim1: "... seal of the anti-Christs...". Oh, that is TOO wonderful to pass on.

[Mohammed in the pool performing for Allahu Ohynksmorr...]

"ORK! ORK! ORK!" "PLEZ, ALLAHU! Just throw me a fish!" "ORK! ORK!"

[Allahu Ohynksmorr teasing the "seal" of the anti-Christs...]

"Yessss, sssMohammedsss... jump higher... be more dedicatedsss to me... give me your offspring, give me your sanity, jump higher and I'll throw a fishsss to you...sss..."

[Mohammed jumping through the rings and showing how "strong" and "mighty" he is for Allahu Ohynksmorr...]

"ORK! ORK! ORK!" "PLEZ, ALLAHU! I will drive away the Juice and the Xtians for you! Along with them, I will drive out the only Hope for civilization, sanity & Salvation from the Saudi peninsula for you! Just make me your seal! I wanna be FAMOUS! I wanna be POWERFUL! I want... I want... I want..."

"Yessss, sssMohammedsss... jump higher... be more mindlessss for me... give me generations to come, make them my fearful slaves, struggle HARDER, crack the whips over ALL of them and I'll throw some gristle to you...sss... you'll be SO famoussss..."

Thank you, Hazakim1 for such a wonderful image. This will help me remember the EVIL of Allahu Ohynksmorr using Mohammed to find and ambush the baby Seals...


Anonymous said...

Salvation cannot be attained through Islam. No one wears another’s sins and sin cannot make atonement for sin.

All the laws commanded by God actually demonstrate how far short of his glory we fall by exposing our hopeless sinful condition. No man can follow them.

A Righteous, Holy Creator and Judge, an infinite God of infinite justice, cannot but require an overall account of and reckoning for sin and crime. Sin is as great as the God that it offends.

But, he has provided a means of escape from this reckoning and punishment through sacrificing himself in our place (has made provision for the forgiveness of sins. “…of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8).

The price of redemption, which is infinitely beyond our means, could only have been paid for by an infinite God with infinite means.

This exposes the folly of trying to gain salvation through works/good deeds.

The doctrine of good works or deeds to gain salvation features strongly throughout the Koran where it will often say along the lines of, “those who believe and do good works/deeds.” 18:83, 22:55, 47:1, 84:23, 98:6

E.g., “Those whose balance [of good deeds or works] is heavy will attain salvation, but those whose balance is light will have lost their souls and will abide in hell.” 23:102

This means of salvation promoted by the Koran, where it tells us to leap blindly into eternity with a handful of rusty and dented ornaments (good deeds or works) with which to purchase salvation for our eternal souls is a lie from Satan.

Salvation through works is a delusion and an insult to God’s holiness. Salvation comes by faith alone. But the devil would have us running around trying to gain righteousness by our own efforts and good deeds, which to him is a comedy.

Any doctrine which claims salvation through works or through having our sins unloaded onto another sinner is false. When these doctrines are uncovered we find the devil there laughing up his sleeve.