(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.)
Bassam Zawadi's Original: Introduction. This article is in response to Matt Slick's article questions2.htm. 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: The Qur'an states that you shall marry only up to four women: "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with orphans, marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or that which your right hands possess . . . " (4:3).
- If the Qur'an is eternal, having been written on the table in heaven, then the four wife limit was an eternal decree.
- Question: Why did Muhammad have 12 wives if the Qur'an says to have only four? Khadija, sawda, Aesah (8 years old), Omm Salama, Hafsa, Zaynab (originally the wife of Muhammad's adopted son), Jowayriya, Omm Habiba, Safiya, Maymuna, Fatima, Hend, Asma (of Saba), Zaynab, Habla, Asma?
My Response: Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad's_marriages
Many of Muhammad's detractors have criticized his conduct in having more wives than his followers. During the Medina period, he received a new revelation telling Muslim men to marry no more than four wives, and that only if they could treat them all equally. A flurry of divorces followed, as Muslim men gave the extra wives their liberty. Muhammad, however, kept all his wives. He had nine or ten wives at his death. Is this unfair? Did Muhammad selfishly exempt himself from rules imposed on others?
Muslim scholars note that the Qur'an exempts Muhammad from the general decree.
O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers. (Al-Ahzab 33: 50)
They explain this as a kind concession to Muhammad's wives. If he were to divorce them, no one else could marry them, and they would be left alone until their deaths. The prophet's wives were revered as "Umm ul Mo'mayneen" or Mothers of the Believers; it would be tantamount to incest for a believer to marry one of Muhammad's widows. So the Qur'an commands:
Nor is it right for you that ye should annoy God's Apostle, or that ye should marry his widows after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in God's sight an enormity. (Al-Ahzab 33: 53)
If Muhammad is to be criticized for breaking the Qur'anic rules, he is exempted by those same rules.
Those who regard him as the inventor of these Qur'anic rules see this as a case of a leader enjoying privileges he denied to his followers. However, it may be noted that other traditions show him as content with a humble, almost ascetic lifestyle. In most things he lived as simply as the poorest of his followers.
For more details visit the following links http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/mohamed/1424/misconception/article10.shtml http://www.wefound.org/texts/Muhammad_files/Muhammad2.htm
Matt Slick's Response: All sorts of justifications might be offered to excuse Mohammed for having more wives than anyone else. The problem is that there is no way to verify that Islam is true because it rests on the claims of Mohammed. There is no eyewitness account of a resurrection of Muhammad, nor are there eyewitness accounts of his miracles or his walking on water, nor are there any fulfilled prophecies concerning him. Instead, we have the word of Mohammed who, we know from history, would rob from caravans and said it was OK to lie.1 It is this person who robbed caravans, advocated lying, killed many people, and claimed to have a revelation from God saying that he could have multiple wives; and then he limited the number for his followers. That is suspicious to me.
Of course, if Muslims answer the question based upon the Koran, then anything the Quran says would be a justifiable excuse. Mohammed frequently had newer revelations that abrogated previous ones, and oftentimes these latter revelations were seemingly convenient for the situation at hand. Instead of the revelations being permanent and unchanging, they were modified--which is exactly what you would expect from someone who is making up a religion.
What is interesting is that Mr. Zawadi says "it may be noted that other traditions show him as content with a humble, almost ascetic lifestyle." If that is so, then why did Mohammed claim a fifth of the spoils attained through wars and battles levied upon the people around him? Mohammed was extremely rich and very powerful, and he had a lot of women around him. This is hardly on ascetic lifestyle and is in direct contradiction to what is a Zawadi is saying.
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said: The Qur'an says that Allah created the heavens and earth in six days. "Your Guardian Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days . . . " (7:54) See also, 10:3.
- 41:9 - "Say: Is it that ye deny him who created the earth in two days . . . "
- Question: Which should we believe, the Bible or the Qur'an? The Bible says God created the earth in one day, the xth day (xxx).
- 41:10 - "He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measured therein its sustenance in four days . . . "
- Question: Does 41:10 included the 2 days of 41:9 above? If so, why does 41:9 say God created the earth in two days, but 41:10 says that God measured its sustenance in four days? They are different occurrences.
- 41:11 - "Then he turned to the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: he said to it and to the earth: 'Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly . . . "
- 41:12 - "So he completed them as seven firmaments in two days, and he assigned to heaven its duty and command . . . "
- Question: the two days of 41:9 plus the four days of 41:10 and the 2 days of 41:12 equals eight days of creation, not six. Why is that?
My Response: http://www.drzakirnaik.com/pages/qanda/32.php,
Matt Slick's Response: How is putting in a web address for someone else's work a refutation or an answer from my question that Mr. Zawadi is supposed to produce? I mean no disrespect to Mr. Zawadi, but I'm very disappointed. I would expect a more precise answer if he is claiming to refute my paper.
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said: It is a commonly held belief among Muslims that Muhammad was sinless.
- If Muhammad was sinless, then why does the Qur'an state: "Patiently, then, persevere: for the promise of Allah is true: and ask forgiveness for thy fault, and celebrate the praises of they Lord in the evening and the morning." (40:55).
- Pickthall translates 40:55 thus: "Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours."
- The Hadith says, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying." By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day." Volume 8, Book 75, Number 319, Narrated Abu Huraira:
- Question: If it is the common belief that Muhammad was sinless, why do the Qur'an and Hadith contradict that notion? Which is correct?
My Response: Taken from http://www.tasabeeh.com/english/html/article.php?sid=87
And the prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- and whom God forgave all his sins of the past and those who follow as The Right -be He blessed- said: 'That Allah may forgive thee they faults of the past and those to follow; fulfill His favor to thee; and guide thee on the straight way' (SOURAT AL FATIH- Verse: 2)
But also still he is always asking for forgiveness, and it was mentioned in Saheeh Al Bukhari that he said: 'God, forgive me my sin, ignorance and immoderation in all my matter, and what else you know more than me, O my Lord forgive me, my sins, purpose, ignorance and my joking and all, God, forgive me for what I did and to follow what I hided and what I declared, you are the one who put in advance and after, and you are able to do every thing'
And as it was mentioned in Saheeh Muslim that he -peace be upon him- asks for God's forgiveness seventy time in the day and night and when God -be He blessed- forgave him of the past and those to follow, He -be He blessed- doesn't mean to open the way of wrongdoing to him, no it is the forgiveness which is depends on the knowledge of The Right -to whom belongs might & majesty- of what was the prophet of a true and real faith with a real work and his uncovering to the hide invisible which He knows that this forgiveness will increase the obedience and thanks of the prophet -peace be upon him- and he used to get up in the night until his feet became swollen, they told him: God forgave you of the past and those to follow! Then he said: 'Shouldn't I be a thankful servant?!'
And because of The Right -be He blessed- mercy of the nation of prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- He grants us with the escape from sins and to get the complete (general) forgiveness like: The Hajj (to whom can do it), it was mentioned that prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- has said: 'who went for Hajj and doesn''t dissipate then he will be as the day of his birth'
This just shows how humble the Prophet was and that if the Prophet is asking for forgiveness then what should we be doing? The Prophet is a role model for us and he is showing us what to do.
Matt Slick's Response: I'm glad to see that Mr. Zawadi admits that Mohammed was a sinner. I can only assume that he is telling us that Mohammed was a sinner.
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said: The Qur'an says to have no divisions within Islam. "The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the [sic] which we have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which we enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them . . . " (42:13).
- Question: If Islam is the truth, which of the divisions within it is the "most" true?
- Question: Is Islam in a state of sin since there are divisions within its ranks?
My Response: It is illogical for Matt Slick to say that Islam is in a state of sin, no it is the Muslims who create sects that are sinning. Matt Slick is right, it is forbidden for Muslims to create sects among themselves. However, there are sects in Christianity as well. So if I ask Matt Slick "how do you know which Christian sect is the true one" He is going to say "the one that adheres to the bible". Just like how if Matt Slick asks me "If Islam is the truth, which of the divisions within it is the "most" true?", then i would say the sect that adheres to the Quran and authentic traditions of the glorious Prophet Muhammad.
Matt Slick's Response: Actually, Mr. Zawadi is correct in that Islam is not in a state of sin; rather, its members are. This is a poorly worded question on my part. I will modify the original question to be "Is the muslim religion as a whole in error since there are divisions within its ranks?"
Whether or not there are sects within Christianity is not the issue. The question has been asked about which division of Islam is true, and Mr. Zawadi offers us nothing of substance. Which sect adheres to the Quran properly? Instead of answering the question, he gives us an ambiguous response. This is hardly an adequate rebuttal.
Zawadi's Original: Matt Slick said: The Qur'an says, "And dispute ye not with the People of the Book [Jews and Christians and the Bible], except in the best way, unless it be with those of them who do wrong but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you," (29:46).
Question: Isn't the Qur'an here saying that the Muslim is to believe what the Bible says? My Response: This is referring to the revelation that was originally sent down to Jesus. Not the corrupted bible that we have today.
Matt Slick's Response: How do we know that what Mr. Zawadi is saying is correct? Where does the Quran say that the Bible is corrupt? From what I have read in the Quran, it assumes the accuracy of the Bible. Conclusion: I mean no disrespect to Mr. Zawadi, but he has presented a mediocre response, at best. Where are the answers to the questions? How do you refute a question? Mr. Zawadi spends time writing about possible responses but, unfortunately, tells us to read other websites. Is this considered a competent Muslim response? I don't believe so.
"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).