Response to rebuttal to Matt Slick's Questions for Muslims article

by Matt Slick

Response to rebuttal to
Matt Slick's "Questions for Muslims" article

(I have permission from the author to reproduce his article and respond to it in full. - Matt Slick
Mr. Zawadi's original is in brown. My responses are in green.)

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Bassam Zawadi's Original: "Introduction This article is in response to Matt Slick's article questions for Muslims.
God willing I will try my best to provide answers to the questions posted by Matt Slick. The answers mostly are not of my own. I just provide them.
Matt Slick said:

  1. The Qur'an says "To those who believe and do deeds of righteousness hath Allah promised forgiveness and a great reward" (Surah 5:9).
    1. Question: Are you doing enough good deeds to receive salvation on the Day of Judgment?
    2. Question: Are you doing all you can or are you relaxing in your dedication to Allah?

My Response: How do you know if you studied well enough for the test the next day? You just know. Your heart tells you. You know when you are doing more good deeds than bad. It is obvious. You feel it. People could stop and think about what they have done through out their lives and think if they have used it for the good or bad. God judges you by your intentions and efforts. The person knows if he put the necessary effort into it or not. There is no other way to explain it."

Matt Slick's Response: What Mr. Zawadi offers us is nothing more than his opinion. He appeals to the heart, the very thing that the Bible says not to trust because it is desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). There have been many times when my heart has told me that I had studied very well for a test and I knew I would get a good grade. Unfortunately, the grades I sometimes received were not what my heart told me I would earn. There have been women I have felt very strongly towards but later found out that my feelings were misguided. Is it wise to trust in something that can be mislead? I think not.

What Mr. Zawadi is telling us is that he feels that he's good enough to merit the forgiveness of his God. If his opinion accurately reflects the teachings of Islam, then he lowers the stature and holiness of God. The Christian would never say that he feels he is good enough or done enough good to merit the forgiveness of the Almighty. Such a thing is sinful because it is boastful and self-centered. When it comes to forgiveness before God and our works, we are commanded to boast only in what Christ has done and not in ourselves: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, that no one should boast," (Eph. 2:8-9), and "For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh. 14But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world," (Gal. 6:13-14).

Finally, Mr. Zawadi did not answer the question. He did not tell us if he is doing enough good deeds to receive salvation on the day of judgment. He also did not tell us if he was doing all he could do or if he was relaxing in his dedication to his God. If Mr. Zawadi were to tell us that he was good enough, that he was doing enough good deeds to earn his salvation, then he is a far better man than I am. For I would never boast and could never claim that I was good enough or doing enough good deeds to please my Lord -- no matter how hard I tried. Instead, I must rely completely on his grace found in Jesus that has been manifested in the cross through which I am forgiven by the sacrifice of the Son of God.

Zawadi's Original: "Matt Slick said:

  1. The Qur'an says, "O ye who believe! Turn unto Allah in sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your evil deeds and bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, on the day when Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and on their right hands; they will say: Our Lord! Perfect our light for us, and forgive us! Lo! Thou art Able to do all things," (66:8-9). Notice how it says if you are sincere you may receive forgiveness.
    1. Question: How do you know you are sincere enough to be forgiven of Allah?
    2. Question: Does it give you peace to know that even if you are very sincere that, at best, you may receive forgiveness?
    3. Question: If you say that you know you are sincere enough in your repentance before Allah, how do you know you are not deceiving yourself?
    4. Question: Is your heart really good enough to muster enough sincerity before a Holy and Righteous God?
    5. Question: If you say yes, I honestly and humbly ask you, "Are you being prideful?"
    6. Question: If you say you are not being prideful, then are you boasting in your sincerity?

My Response: This is only a figure of speech that God is using. For example, "if you wash my car I might let you take it for a drive". Now when I say "I might", it means that I will let the person take it for a drive. It is only a figure a speech.
The person knows that his repentance is sincere when he has fulfilled the conditions of tawbah (repentance)
Taken from http://www.alinaam.org.za/library/duaa/tawbah02.htm

Hazrat Allie [radhiyallahu anhu] was asked as to what Tauba is. He replied, "It is a combination of six things,

  1. To regret over ones sins.
  2. To make Qadha of any Fardh or Wajib one had foregone.
  3. To return the property of others which one usurped.
  4. To seek forgiveness from the aggrieved if one has harmed him physically or verbally.
  5. A firm resolution not to embark on sin in future.
  6. Just as one has witnessed himself disobeying Allah Ta'aala he now beholds himself in His obedience.

Matt Slick's Response: Mr. Zawadi did not answer the questions. Instead he dismisses them by saying, "This is only a figure of speech that God is using." Which part of Sura 66:8-9 is a figure of speech? He does not tell us. Mr. Zawadi does say, however, that there are six steps that a person must follow in order to know his repentance is sincere enough: regret, restitution, asking forgiveness, repentance, etc., but this does not address the issue of the heart of the Muslim. The questions deal with the heart. How does the Muslim know that his own sincerity - down deep in his heart - is good enough? That is the question. The question is not what deeds must be done, but how does he know his sincerity is enough? He does not address the second question, nor the third, nor the fourth, nor the fifth, nor the sixth. How can this response from Mr. Zawadi be taken seriously as a rebuttal to a list of questions when he doesn't even answer them? How do you rebut questions? Don't you answer them? Why did Mr. Zawadi not do that?

Zawadi's Original: "Matt Slick said: In Christianity, Jesus is God in flesh who paid for our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). Because of that, we Christians are secure in Him and do not have to worry about doing enough good works to please God since we are saved by grace through faith in Him, (Eph. 2:8-9).

Question: Why should we Christians give up our guarantee of salvation in Jesus for the requirements of your Qur'anic law when you yourselves don't even know if you have done enough good deeds to be saved on the Day of Judgment?

My Response: Well Matt Slick is assuming that Christianity is the truth and that Jesus really did die for his sins. Well if Christianity is the truth, then Islam is false and therefore we should all become Christians. However, people do not choose a religion that appeals to them, they choose the truth. The reason why Matt Slick and all Christians should leave Christianity is because it is a false religion, therefore they have no salvation unless they turn to the glorious Quran."

Matt Slick's Response: Yes, I do assume that Christianity is the truth and that Islam is false. But Mr. Zawadi is incorrect because if Christianity is true, it does not mean that all people will become Christians. He is incorrect again when he says that "people do not choose a religion that appeals to them, they choose the truth." Not all people choose truth. For example, many have chosen Islam, and Mormonism, and Jehovah's Witnesses, and atheism, and Buddhism, etc.

But again, Mr. Zawadi does not answer the question. I fail to understand why he would write a rebuttal to my series of questions if he doesn't even answer the questions in the first place. Again, how do you write a rebuttal to questions? You don't. You write a rebuttal to statements, not questions. Perhaps Mr. Zawadi would care to answer the questions sometime in the future. Mr.'s Zawadi's statements are not rebuttals.

Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said:

  1. The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:16) and that He loves all people (Matt. 5:43-48; John 3:16). The Qur'an never says that "God is love." In fact, the Qur'an says that Allah does not love unbelievers (2:98; 3:32).
    1. Question: If Allah does not love unbelievers, can you say that Allah is love, especially if the Qur'an does not say it?
    2. Question: If you say yes, that Allah is love, then why does he only love the Muslims and not all people?
    3. Question: If you say Allah is love, is he more loving than the God of the Bible who loves all people?

My Response:

God is fair, how can God love the unbelievers and throw them into eternal fire? That is illogical. How does it make a believer feel that with all the good deeds he has done and all the love that he showed towards God and then finds out that God loves the corrupt people equally? It is not fair. It is illogical.

Matt Slick's Response: Mr. Zawadi comes close to answering the questions but fails to directly address them. Matt. 5:43-48 deals with the love of God for all people in that he provides for them rain, sunshine, etc. This is a gracious act of God extended to the unbeliever. The point of my original question was not to say that God does not hate anyone, because God does (see my article Does God Hate Anyone?). The point was to show that the Bible says that God is very loving and that he loves unbelievers as well. Mr. Zawadi missed the point altogether.

Zawadi's Original: By the way, who said that the God of the bible loves all?

[Formatting improved to save space] Ecclesiastes 3:8, "a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Leviticus 20:23, "You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them"; Deuteronomy 18:12, "Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you"; Leviticus 26:30, "I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you"; Psalm 5:4-6, "You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell, 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. 6 You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors"; Psalm 11:5, "The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates"; Romans 913, "Just as it is written: 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Matt Slick's Response: I addressed this above.

Zawadi's Original: "Us Muslims believe that Allah has put us on earth and made us all Muslims by fitrah (nature). That it is natural for all of us to want to know God. To get to know God. We are born pure. It is like he has put us all on a highway leading to paradise but there are many exits. People unfortunately take those exits despite God warning us not to take them. Therefore, those who turn away from the mercy of God reject the love that God wants to give them and has already given them from the start. Therefore, God does not love them anymore. They do not deserve to be loved."

Matt Slick's Response: The Bible teaches us that none deserve to be loved. But we are loved because of what and who God is. In other words, God first loves us in spite of our sinfulness. God loves us because of what is in him, not because of what is in us. As Christians, we know we are not worth loving, that we have sinned against an infinitely holy God, and that we deserve damnation. But, we have been blessed by the grace of God to receive forgiveness through Jesus. Therefore, we boast in nothing that we have done, in none of our actions, and certainly not our own hearts.

Zawadi's Original: "Matt Slick said:

  1. In the Bible, Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." In Christianity, the greatest act of love is performed by God Himself -- since Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9). Jesus is the one who fulfilled His own words on this. He laid His life down for us.
    1. Question: What is the greatest act of love performed by Allah?
    2. Question: If what Jesus said is true, then hasn't someone besides Allah performed the greatest act of love?
    3. Question: Why do you, as a Muslim, want me to give up such a great love performed by God Himself (from a Christian perspective) for your belief in Allah who only loves people if they are Muslims?

My Response: Appeal to my 2 previous responses.

Matt Slick's Response: This is no response at all. The questions deal with who has performed the greatest act of love. Mr. Zawadi did not answer the question. He avoided it...yet again. This is not an adequate rebuttal by any means.

Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said:

  1. Islam teaches that the Holy Spirit is Gabriel. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit lives in the Christians.
    1. Question: If the angel Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, how can he dwell in us? (Note: According to the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament Textual Apparatus, there are no textual variations in any of the following biblical references. They are recorded and transmitted to us accurately.)
      1. "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you," (2 Tim. 1:14, NASB).
      2. "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16, NASB).

My Response:

Matt Slick's logic is "if the New Testament says something and the teachings of Islam say something else, then Islam must be wrong". Matt Slick yet needs to prove that whatever the New Testament says is superior to the teachings of Islam. It does not matter if there are no textual variations (I like how he indirectly admits that there are though). It does not matter if that is what is really written, it does not make it true.

Matt Slick's Response: It goes without saying that as a Christian I affirm the teachings of the New Testament. The issue here is how the Muslim would answer the question, that if the angel Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, according to Islam, then how can he dwell within us. Instead of dealing with the question Mr. Zawadi briefly mentions textual variations. I had mentioned them because the Muslims claim that the Bible is corrupted, though they have no proof of this. The textual apparatus demonstrates that the text I quoted is identical in every single manuscript that has been unearthed. Therefore, there is no evidence whatsoever to demonstrate that the texts thus cited are incorrect. Mr. Zawadi sidesteps the question and yet again fails to answer. Again, how is this a rebuttal? It is not.

Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said:

  1. Lying is okay?
    1. Question: Was Muhammad wrong for advocating lying? Is Lying okay? "Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him [Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf]?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab). "The Prophet said, "You may say it," (Hadith Vol. 5, Book 59, #369).
    2. Question: Who is more holy, Allah or Yahweh?
    3. In the above quote from the hadith, Muhammad advocated lying. The Christian God would never approve of lying. Does the god of Islam approve of lying? If not, then wasn't Muhammad wrong? If he was not wrong, then Allah approves of lying. Which God is more holy? The God of Christianity is far more holy.

My Response: Lying is strongly prohibited in Islam. Read this great article for the proof http://www.islamtomorrow.com/lies.asp Now Matt Slick needs to understand that it was only during that specific situation. You can read about it http://understanding-islam.org/related/text.asp?type=rarticle&raid=263&sscatid=149 and http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/Muhammad/kaab.htm

Matt Slick's Response: So what Mr. Zawadi is telling us is that lying is strongly prohibited in Islam but it is also permitted. That is a contradiction. The fact is that Mohammed advocated lying so that someone could be killed. Jesus did not teach people to lie nor does he approve of their lying. But in Islam, Mohammed approved of it.

I'm not interested in reading multiple articles that he references in his so-called rebuttal. If Mr. Zawadi wishes to answer the questions forthright, I would be interested in seeing those answers. As it stands, he has offered very little regarding answering the questions and his rebuttal is no rebuttal at all.

I'm very disappointed in his response to my paper. He did not answer the questions and, by not answering them, did not offer grounds on which to establish the truth of those answers. I assume that since he did not answer, he does not have answers.

 

 

 

 
 
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