Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

Who Can Forgive Sins But God Alone

More Deceptive Tactics From A Leading Muslim Taqiyyist

Who Can Forgive Sins But God Alone?

Sam Shamoun

It is time to, once again, expose the deceptive tactics of one of Islam’s premiere dawagandists, namely Dr. Jamal Badawi. Badawi has shown that he is all too willing, and is even not ashamed, to lie or twist sources in order to mislead people into becoming Muslims. Unfortunately, such tactics are common among Muslim apologists since their religion allows them to deceive and lie to the disbelievers (**).

In his 1997 debate with renowned Christian philosopher, Dr. William Lane Craig, which took place at the University of Illinois, Badawi tried to downplay the significance of Jesus being able to forgive sins:

“He [Craig] said that Jesus forgave and that’s a quality of God. But we have a parallel also in the Quran, in fact; which mean that even when Jesus, or Muhammad, indicate that someone is forgiven, it does not mean that they are claiming the authority of God to forgive, but they received revelation from God that they are forgiven! Those of you who are familiar with the Quran, laqad tab Allahu ala an-nabiyyu wa-muhajirin, there are references that people have been forgiven. This is not a claim made by the prophet on his authority, but information, just as Jesus was given information.” (The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity)

Here, Badawi tried to pull a fast one upon the audience since the verse of the Quran that he quoted does not say that Muhammad had authority like Jesus to forgive anyone’s sins. Rather, the verse actually informed Muhammad that Allah had forgiven him of his own personal sins!

Allah has forgiven THE PROPHET (laqad tab Allahu ala an-nabiyyi), the Muhajirun (Muslim emigrants who left their homes and came to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (Muslims of Al-Madinah) who followed him (Muhammad) in the time of distress (Tabuk expedition, etc.), after the hearts of a party of them had nearly deviated (from the Right Path), but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of Kindness, Most Merciful. S. 9:117

How could Badawi even suggest that this text is somehow similar to the way Jesus forgave people of their transgressions?

To make matters worse, the Quran goes out of its way to depict Muhammad as an imperfect human being that was uncertain of salvation, and needed his god to pardon him for all his crimes and wickedness:

And seek the Forgiveness of Allah, certainly, Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And argue not on behalf of those who deceive themselves. Verily, Allah does not like anyone who is a betrayer of his trust, and indulges in crime. S. 4:106-107 Hilali-Khan

Say (O Muhammad): “I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.” S. 7:188 Hilali-Khan

May Allah forgive you (O Muhammad). Why did you grant them leave (for remaining behind, you should have persisted as regards your order to them to proceed on Jihad), until those who told the truth were seen by you in a clear light, and you had known the liars? S. 9:43 Hilali-Khan

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. S. 40:55 Pickthall

Say (O Muhammad):”I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah) (i.e. I am not the first Messenger) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.” S. 46:9 Hilali-Khan

So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest. S. 47:19 Pickthall – cf. Q. 48:2; 80:1-10

The Islamic scripture even goes so far as to say that not a single creature would be left on earth if God were to hold people accountable for their sins:

And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment). S. 16:61 Hilali-Khan

And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of Mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape. S. 18:58 Hilali-Khan

And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth, but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves. S. 35:45 Hilali-Khan

And, yet, both the Holy Bible and the Quran affirms Jesus’ essential purity and sinlessness:

“The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” John 7:18

“And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him… Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” John 8:29, 46

“But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” Acts 3:14-15 – 7:52; 22:14

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life… but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest,holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:16, 24-28 – cf. 4:15; 9:14

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:21-24 – cf. 1:18-19; 3:18

“And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure… You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin… Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” 1 John 3:3, 5, 7

He said: “Nay, I am only an apostle from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.” Q. 19:19 Y. Ali

If thou fearest God … He said, ‘I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure. Arberry

More importantly, the Quran agrees that only God can forgive sins:

And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins – Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? – and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did. S. 3:135 Pickthall

And yet Jesus claimed this unique divine prerogative for himself!

“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, ‘Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise, take up your pallet and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of man HAS AUTHORITY on earth to forgive sins’ –he said to the paralytic—‘I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.’ And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” Mark 2:5-12 – cf. Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 5:17-26

“And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this, who even forgives sins?’ And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” Luke 7:48-50

Here we see that Jesus not only had the authority to wipe away all sins, he also had the ability to heal diseases and knew what people were thinking in their hearts.

And yet, according to the Holy Bible, these are some of the unique characteristics and functions which Yahweh alone possesses and carries out!

“and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their hands toward this temple—then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you ALONE know every human heart)When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.” 1 Kings 8:39, 46-51

“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,” Psalm 103:2-4

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19

“for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20

Nor are these the only examples of Jesus doing all of these things:

“Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Matthew 15:29-31

“Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill… Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’” Matthew 12:15, 22-23

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.’” Matthew 12:25

But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Come and stand here.’ And he rose and stood there.” Luke 6:8

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them,because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25

“But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginningwho those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)” John 6:64

“His disciples said, ‘Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 16:29-31

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” John 21:17

Jesus even went so far as to say that forgiveness of sins and salvation come through his name:

“Then he said to them, ‘These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached IN HIS NAME to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:44-47

The Apostles themselves went around proclaiming this same message, e.g. individuals can be forgiven from all their sins and receive complete physical healing in the name (and for the sake) of the Lord Jesus:

“The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.” Salvation is found in no one else, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’” Acts 4:5-12

“God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31

“As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. ‘Aeneas,’ Peter said to him, ‘Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.’ Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.” Acts 9:32-35

“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.” Philippians 1:29

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Once again, this is something that the OT Scriptures ascribe to Yahweh alone:

For the sake of your name, LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.” Psalm 25:11

“O God, save me by your name, and vindicate me by your might.” Psalm 54:1

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!” Psalm 79:9

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25

Christ further taught that he would lay his life down, and shed his own blood, as an atoning sacrifice to save and ransom people from their sins:

“For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom FOR MANY.” Mark 10:45 – Matthew 20:28

“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out FOR MANY for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’” Matthew 26:26-29 – cf. Mark 14:22-25

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst… Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD is my flesh.’ … So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.’” John 6:35, 47-51, 53-58

Compare this with what the beloved Apostles wrote:

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,who gave himself as a ransom for all men. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the atoning sacrifice who turns aside God’s wrath, taking away our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2

However, the Hebrew Scriptures emphatically teach that no human being can redeem the life of another since only God is able to ransom people from death:

Truly no man can ransom another or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit… Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell. But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive meSelah” Psalm 49:7-9, 14-15

Hence, the only way that Jesus’ sacrificial death could ever be able to ransom a host of individuals so vast that no one could count,

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, AND TO the Lamb.’ All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!’ Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?’ I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:9-17

Is if Christ is Yahweh God!

This can be further seen from the fact that Jesus comes to do for his people,

“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because He will save HIS people from their sins.’” Matthew 1:18-21

What the Psalmist says that Yahweh does for Israel:

If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you… Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. HE HIMSELF will redeem Israel from all their sins.” Psalm 130:3-4, 7-8

Concluding Remarks

We have seen that Badawi’s assertion that Jesus simply communicated to men the revelation he received from God that they had been forgiven, much like Muhammad did, does not hold any weight. Jesus went above and beyond what any true prophet of God claimed and did. Prophets pointed people to God for redemption, whereas Jesus pointed everyone to himself as the object of forgiveness and salvation.

As far as Muhammad is concerned, apart from the fact he was a false prophet, he never went around healing people as proof that he had the authority to forgive sins in the same way that Jesus did. The Quran testifies that Muhammad was a sinner who was uncertain of his own salvation, and who was often reminded by his own god of his imperfections and mortality.

The fact is that Badawi misled his audience by citing a Quranic verse in Arabic, which most of those in attendance could not understand, in order to disprove Craig’s assertion that Christ’s ability to forgive sins is a clear indication that the historical Jesus believed that he was(is) God’s unique, divine Son. What makes this even more troubling is that, not only did he fail to recite the text in English, Badawi didn’t even bother to give the reference to the passage in order to allow those in the audience to check it out for themselves!

It is obvious (at least to us) why Badawi didn’t give the verse number or translate it in English. Badawi knew that this passage not only fails to prove his case, it actually backfires against him, since it proves that Muhammad didn’t go around claiming to have the authority to forgive sins like Jesus did. And, because he knew what the Arabic actually says, Badawi was fully aware that this verse also establishes that Muhammad himself was a sinner who needed to receive forgiveness for his own transgressions and wickedness. Yet, despite knowing all this, Badawi still went ahead and used a passage that only ends up further proving Dr. Craig’s point!

For that, Badawi should be ashamed of himself.

Christ possesses unique, divine qualities and demands worship

Here is what Badawi had to say in his debate with Dr. William Lane Craig concerning Jesus claiming to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life in John 14:6:

“We always heard this John 14… I said, ‘Amen!’ Every prophet speak not for himself–and Jesus himself said that in John–he speaks for God who sent him. And since the way to God is one way, then a prophet in his lifetime is the way, the truth, and the life; nobody can reach God except by following the way that God revealed to that prophet.” (The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity, University of Illinois, 1997)

Badawi says the same thing in his pamphlet on Jesus:

1.    THE WAY, THE TRUTH (John 14:6): applies to every prophet in his time. (Jesus in the Quran and Bible)

Before we delve into the details of this discussion, it should be obvious that there is a huge difference between saying: “I speak the truth” or even “I have the truth” (because it was given to me by God), and the claim that “I am the truth”. No true prophet before Jesus has ever spoken this way. His claim is unique and much stronger.

With that said, it is vitally important that we quote the exact words of the Lord Jesus:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way AND THE TRUTH (al-haqq) AND THE LIFE (al-hayat). No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6

As we can see from the passage, Christ not only said that he is the Way and the Truth, he also claimed to be Life itself, a point which he made on more than one occasion:

“‘Your brother will rise again,’ Jesus told her. Martha said, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am THE Resurrection and THE Life (ana huwa al-qiyamatu w’al-hayat). The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told Him, ‘I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.’ … So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, thank you for hearing Me. I know you always hear Me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent Me.’ Having said this Jesus shouted with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.’” John 11:23-27, 41-44

Notice how Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead in order to prove to the crowds that he is both the Resurrection and Life! This shows that Jesus believed that he is the One who gives both physical and spiritual life to all creatures.

Jesus even claimed to be the One who will actually raise the dead from the graves at the last day:

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will… Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live… Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hearhis [the Son’s] voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:21, 25, 28-29

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.’” John 6:36-40

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28

Moreover, in the very same context where Jesus said that he is the Way, he also went on to say that he will personally answer all of his disciples’ prayers, doing whatever they directly ask him in order to help them accomplish his will on earth:

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14

Here is where the problems begin for Badawi. The Quran repeatedly says that it is Allah who gives life and resurrects the dead, and also states that he is the Truth and the Resurrection. It even says that he is the one whom people pray to or call upon, as well as praise:

That is because Allah, He is the Truth (al-haqqu), and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is Able to do all things. And surely, the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it, and certainly, Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves. S. 22:6-7 Hilali-Khan

Wherefore let God be exalted, the King, the Truth (al-haqqu)! There is no god but He! Lord of the stately throne! S. 23:116 Rodwell

Look then at the effects (results) of Allah’s Mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily! That (Allah) Who revived the earth after its death shall indeed raise the dead (on the Day of Resurrection), and He is Able to do all things. S. 30:50 Hilali-Khan

He is the Living (One) (huwa al-hayyu): There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds! … It is He Who gives Life and Death; and when He decides upon an affair, He says to it, “Be”, and it is. S. 40:65, 68 Y. Ali

In order to understand how all of this exposes Badawi for being deceptive, it is vitally important to keep in mind that orthodox Islam teaches that there must be three necessary prerequisites in order for pure monotheism to exist: Tauhid al-RububiyyahTauhid al-Uluhiyyah/Ibaadah,and Tauhid al-Asma wa-Sifaat.

What these categories entail is that a Muslim must believe that Allah is the sole creator, sustainer, and sovereign ruler of the universe who does not allow anyone to share in his dominion over all creation (Rububiyyah). A Muslim must also acknowledge that only Allah is worthy to be worshiped (Uluhiyyah/Ibaadah), and that he alone possesses certain divine names and characteristics (al-Asma wa-Sifaat).

Badawi himself accepts this threefold classification since he mentioned it in the same debate with Dr. Craig:

“For the Muslim, there are at least three important condition for pure monotheism. One is to believe that God is the sole creator, sustainer of the universe. No partner and no co-creator with him.

“Secondly, that God alone is worthy of worship, which means none is to be worshiped instead of him, alongside with him; nor is God to worship [sic] through any of his creature, no confession, no clergy with a specific authority.

“Thirdly, that God is not only one numerically, but one also in attributes and person, which mean there is only one person; there are no persons in Godhead.

“For the Muslim, any departure from any of these three element is regarded as so-calledshirk, which is not only polytheism. Actually, it means in a broad sense to associate others with God in his exclusive divine attributes. The Quran present that as the cardinal sin that will never be forgiven. It quotes Jesus, the blessed himself, as saying that he would be innocent of those who do the same.

“The Quran indicates that this pure monotheistic faith has been the mission and message of all prophets throughout history and they invited all mankind, in fact, to willingly submit to God, follow his guidance in their life [sic].” (The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity)

Now this is where Badawi exposes himself. By saying that all the prophets were the Truth, or even the Life, in the same way that Jesus claimed to be, Badawi is pretty much committing shirkand accusing the prophets of God of doing the same.

After all, if Tauhid al-Asma wa-Sifaat is correct then no true prophet who was nothing more than a human being could ever call himself “the Truth”, “the Resurrection”, or “the Life”. To do so would be shirk since the prophet in question would be taking the unique names and attributes of God and applying them to himself.

Moreover, no true prophet who was merely human would ever make himself an object of prayers, claiming to have the ability to answer every invocation that is directed to him in his very own name! Such an assertion would be a violation of Tauhid al-Uluhiyyah/Ibaadah since the prophet would be robbing God of the exclusive worship and devotion which belong only to him.

Badawi obviously is completely aware of this and is therefore misleading people into thinking that Jesus’ proclamation that he is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” is nothing special, and doesn’t establish his Deity. If, as Badawi asserts, Jesus is nothing more than a Muslim prophet, then according to Islam Christ is guilty of committing shirk for ascribing to himself some of God’s very own unique names, attributes, and functions.

Since Badawi knows all this, he cannot be excused for speaking out of ignorance. He surely knows that what he says and writes concerning Jesus’ statements contradict his own beliefs as a Muslim.
Jesus shares in the sovereign rule of God over all creation

In the same debate with Dr. Craig, Badawi sought to lessen the impact of Jesus’ statements that the Father had committed all things to him:

“Dr. Craig raised also the issue about Matthew 11:27 when Jesus said that ‘God gave me everything.’ Well, logically speaking, if someone is receiving and someone is giving, the one who is giving is greater and he is the only one God! Furthermore, if we take it literally that ‘God gave me everything’ then there is no Trinity because God, or the Father, is totally emasculated, and he has nothing because he gave everything already! So if you want to take it literally, it goes both ways.”

Badawi says something similar in his pamphlet attacking the Deity of Christ:

13.    SAID THAT ALL AUTHORITY WAS GIVEN TO HIM: He who gave authority is Greater (ie. His God). (Jesus in the Quran and Bible)

It is obvious that Badawi has Matthew 28:18 in view here.

There are several problems with Badawi’s arguments. First, Badawi commits the fallacy of false dilemma (**) and a non sequitur (**). The Son receiving all things doesn’t result in the Father being replaced, nor does it end up diminishing the Father’s Deity. Rather, what Jesus’ statements imply is that he shares in the unique rule and authority of the Father over all things, and that the entire creation belongs to both the Father and the Son equally.

Nor does it follow that the Son is less than the Father in essence just because he receives authority from him. After all, if this logic were to employed consistently then we would be forced to conclude that husbands are greater than their wives in essence, fathers are greater than their sons, employers are greater than their employees etc. Badawi is committing a category error at this point since he confuses nature and essence with function and authority.

It would also prove that Allah himself isn’t God since the Quran says that Muslim deity inherits and takes loans from his creatures!

Who is he that will lend Allah a good loan, and He will multiply it for him manifold? God grasps, and outspreads; and unto Him you shall be returned. S. 2:245

Surely We shall inherit the earth and all that are upon it, and unto Us they shall be returned. S. 19:40

and We shall inherit from him that he says, and he shall come to Us alone. S. 19:80

Who is he that will lend to Allah a good loan, and He will multiply it for him, and his shall be a generous wage? S. 57:11

Now here is what happens when we apply Badawi’s reasoning to these texts. Since, logically speaking, the one who is giving is greater than the one who receives, this means that Allah’s creatures are greater than Allah since they are the ones who are giving to him, and he is the one receiving from them!

Second, Badawi doesn’t adequately address Jesus’ statements which clearly go against Islamic monotheism.

For instance, in Matthew 11:27, Jesus claims to know the Father in the same way that the Father knows him. Christ also affirms that he alone knows the Father and is therefore the only one qualified to reveal him to whomever he pleases:

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Cf. Luke 10:22

These assertions mean that Jesus believed that he was(is) omniscient, since this is the only way he could know the Father in the same way that Father knows him. Christ’s statements also imply that he is incomprehensible, which is why the Father is the only one who can know him completely, since it requires another incomprehensible, omniscient mind to fully comprehend the Son.

Does Badawi seriously want us to believe that such statements are compatible with the Islamic view of Christ (or any prophet for that matter)?

Now let us see what Matthew 28:18 says in context:

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him (sajadoo lahu); but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:16-20

According to the above passage, Christ receives worship, possesses absolute sovereignty over the entire creation, shares the divine name with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and is omnipresent since this is the only way that Jesus could be present with all his followers at the same time no matter where they are.

In light of this, does Badawi really think that this is all consistent with the Quranic depiction of Jesus? Doesn’t the fact that Christ receives worship in the same context of his claiming to be omnipresent, of having absolute sovereignty, and of also possessing the divine name violate all three classifications of Tauhid as articulated by Badawi himself?

Would Badawi really have no problem saying, “In the name of Allah, and of the Messenger, and of the Angel of Revelation,” or “In the name of Allah, and of Muhammad, and of Gabriel”? Would it be perfectly acceptable for him, or any other Muslim, to use such a formula where Allah is not only conjoined together with Muhammad and Gabriel but also shares the same divine name and authority with them?

Could Badawi say of Muhammad that he is personally present with all of his followers till the end of the age?

Moreover, could Badawi say that Muhammad rides the clouds and sits at God’s right hand, as Jesus did of himself?

“And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?’ But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ And the high priest tore his garments, and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?’ And they all condemned him as deserving death.” Mark 14:60-64

Would Badawi really be comfortable with preaching that Muhammad is David’s Lord, much like Jesus claimed,

“While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, ‘Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: “The Lord (ar-Rabb) said to my Lord (rabbee): ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” David himself calls him “Lord (Rabb).” How then can he be his son?’ The large crowd listened to him with delight.” Mark 12:35-37

Even though the Quran says that Allah hasn’t permitted anyone from taking an angel or prophet as Lord (rabb)?

And he commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the prophets for lords. Would he command you to disbelieve after ye had surrendered (to Allah)? S. 3:80 Pickthall

If Badawi were to say yes then he would only be violating Tauhid al-Rububiyyah since to sit at God’s right hand in heaven means to share in God’s unique rule over creation. As the following noted Evangelical Christian scholar explains in regards to Jesus’ response to the Sanhedrin at his trial:

“… Elsewhere in Mark, fifthly, blasphemy always consists in dishonoring someone by verbal robbery; in 2:7 by verbally robbing God of the prerogative to forgive sins, in 3:28-30 by verbally robbing the Holy Spirit of enabling Jesus to perform exorcisms, in 7:22 by verbally robbing other people of their rights and dignity (as may be inferred from the sandwiching of blasphemy between envy and arrogance), and in 15:29 by verbally robbing Jesus of his supposedly claimed power to destroy the temple and build another one in three days.

“So what does Jesus say that in the judgment of the Sanhedrin dishonors the tetragrammaton pronounced by him? We may best think that the high priest and the rest of the Sanhedrin judge Jesus to have verbally robbed God of incommensurateness and unity by escalating himself to a superhuman level, by portraying himself as destined to sit at God’s right hand and come with the clouds of heaven (cf. Dan, 7:13 LXX, according to which one like a Son of man comes, not tothe Ancient of Days, but as an ancient of days – noted by W. Bousset, Religion 264-65; F.F. Bruce, NT Development 81, though the parallel is weakened by the anarthrousness of ‘ancient of days’ in the LXX [contrast Theod])…” (Robert H. Gundry, Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI 1993], pp. 916-917; bold emphasis ours)

Interestingly, this is exactly what the sin of shirk entails, namely, robbing God of his unique divine status and unity.

The Quran emphatically proclaims that Allah has absolutely forbidden any creature from sharing in his sovereign rule over all creation:

And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things. S. 3:189 Hilali-Khan

He, Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and Who did not take to Himself a son, and Who has no associate in the kingdom, and Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure. S. 25:2 Shakir

Hence, if Jesus is not God but a mere Muslim prophet then the high priest was right in concluding that Christ had just committed blasphemy. In fact, Jesus’ disciples were also guilty of shirk since they all preached that Christ is a co-occupant of God’s throne and therefore a co-ruler with God over all creation.

In other words, Jesus and the Apostles sinned against God by committing shirk in Tauhid al-Rububiyyah since they openly taught that Christ is the sovereign King of all creation, and that every creature had to therefore submit to him as Lord in order to be saved.

Noted liberal NT scholar, Professor James D. G. Dunn does an excellent job of summing up the beliefs of the very first Christians:

“Whatever we can or should say about Jesus and his mission there can be little or no question that what the FIRST CHRISTIANS believed had happened to Jesus after his death transformed their appreciation of him completely. FOR THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT GOD HAD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. This is the core affirmation of Christian faith, and it can be traced back FIRMLY TO THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE MOVEMENT THAT STEMMED FROM JESUS, and in particular to the visionary experiences that the FIRST CHRISTIANS had of Jesus as risen from the dead and exalted to heaven. Such belief was already a confession by the time Paul was himself converted, WHICH WAS PROBABLY LESS THAN TWO YEARS AFTER JESUS’ CRUCIFIXION (1 Cor. 15.3-7). And Paul was probably converted to beliefs that he had persecuted,BELIEFS ALREADY WELL ESTABLISHED AMONG THE FIRST MEMBERS OF THE SECT OF THE NAZARENES. THEIRS WAS AN ASTONISHING BELIEF IN ITSELF. Many Jews believed that there would be a resurrection at the end of time and before the day of last judgment; that is, a general resurrection of the dead. But the thought of one person being resurrected (not simply revived to his previous life) WAS UNHEARD OF. SOMETHING OF MIND-BLOWING SIGNIFICANCE HAD HAPPENED, AND JESUS WAS AT THE CENTRE.

“More to the immediate point, these EARLIEST BELIEVERS were also convinced that Jesus had been taken or exalted to heaven. What had happened to Jesus was not simply a translation like that of Enoch or Elijah, nor simply a vindication such as Wisdom 5 assures the righteous they could anticipate. What then? We can safely assume that the first disciples would have searched the Scriptures to help explain and make sense of what had happened to Jesus. A key verse that shed much light for them and that evidently informed and shaped THE EARLIEST CHRISTIAN reflection on the subject was Psalm 110.1

“This verse runs like a gold thread through much of the New Testament, and is so interwoven into the language of the New Testament writers that it evidently was a primary starting point or stimulus for the strong strand of New Testament christology summed up in the confession, ‘Jesus is Lord’. The title (‘lord’) in itself did not necessarily signify any more than the status of a (human) master to his servant or slave; but in the context of the times, use of the title for Jesus in a cultic setting affirmed that he was being ranked alongside the gods of other cults (Asclepius, Isis, etc.), or alongside the Emperor in some degree of competition with the divine claims made for Caesar. And in the context given to the title ‘Lord’ (kyrios) by Psalm 110.1, its reference to Christ immediately indicates that in EARLIEST CHRISTIAN FAITH Jesus was now to be reckoned in terms similar to those used for heavenly beings of earlier Jewish reflection, or, more precisely, to be reckoned AS SHARING THE ONE GOD’S RULE. With this title Jesus is seen to be more on the side of God reaching out to humankind, than of humankind coming to God. (Dunn, Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?, 4. The Lord Jesus Christ, pp. 101-103; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This places Badawi in an unenviable and difficult position since the Quran asserts that Jesus is one of the greatest Muslim prophets and messengers, and therefore always spoke the truth about God and his relationship to him. The Quran further states that Jesus’ own followers were Muslims as well (cf. Q. 3:52; 5:111). And yet, not only did the historical Jesus and his very first followers proclaim that he is God’s unique and beloved Son who died on the cross and rose again, they also preached that the resurrected Lord is now a co-occupant of God’s heavenly throne, sharing in God’s exclusive rule over all creation forever!

“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’” Luke 1:30-33

“For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:11
On Jesus Praying to the Father

In the debate with Dr. Craig, Badawi tried to undermine the significance of Jesus being worshiped by arguing that Christ himself fell down on his face and prayed to God. Badawi then defined prayer as an act performed “from the finite to the infinite.”

If Badawi’s definition of prayer is correct then this means that his own god must be finite since the Muslims scripture testifies that Allah himself prays:

They are those on whom are the prayers (salawatun) from their Lord and mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones. S. 2:157

He it is who prays (yusallee) for you and His angels too, to bring you forth out of the darkness into the light, for He is merciful to the believers. S. 33:43 Palmer

Verily, God and His angels pray (yusalloona) for the prophet. O ye who believe!pray for him (salloo) and salute him with a salutation! S. 33:56 Palmer

Badawi must now apply his argument consistently and so conclude that his deity is a limited, finite creature like angels and humans since he joins along with them in praying and worshiping.

For more on the subject of Jesus and Allah praying we recommend the following articles and rebuttals:

If Jesus is God was he praying to himself?
Examining Islam’s Teaching that Allah Prays and Worships
The “Mystery” of PBUH Revealed: Allah’s Prayers For Muhammad Examined
The “Mystery” of PBUH Revealed: Allah’s Prayers For Muhammad Examined Pt. 2
Concluding Remarks

It has once again become obvious that Badawi does not hesitate to pervert not only what the Holy Bible teaches concerning the Deity of Christ and the Trinity, but is also willing to distort and hide what he believes as a Muslim. Badawi obviously does this in order to mislead people away from the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, in so doing, he only ends up embarrassing himself since there are people that truly love the Lord Jesus Christ who are ready by the grace of the sovereign Triune God to expose him and his deceptive methods.

All praise to our glorious and majestic Triune God who faithfully raises up his servants in every generation to expose the lying and shameful tactics of Satan and his children in order to protect his flock from the deceptive schemes of the enemy!

 

November 13, 2011 - Posted by | Christianity / God, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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