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This article is also located at: http://www../Responses/Menj/paul_of_tarsus.htm




He Wrote:


Responses to Bismikaallahuma

Paul of Tarsus: The False Apostle According to Islam

In the article, Paul of Tarsus: The False Apostle According to Islam, MENJ (Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi) presents us with the following polemic:

The purpose of this brief article is to show that Paul, the self-acclaimed "apostle" whom the Christians follow, have no place in Islam at all. Muslims believe that between the time period of the Prophet Jesus(P) and the Prophet Muhammad(P), no Messenger of God had came between them, whether to the Gentiles or the Jews. This is based on an agreed hadith recorded by Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari as follows:

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 651:

Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers, and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus)."

We know of only one man who claimed to be a messenger of God in this intervening period. That man was called Paul, formerly known as Saul, of Tarsus.

According to the Christians Paul was an "apostle of Jesus". Jesus(P) allegedly appeared to him in a "vision" as God and choose him as his "apostle". Hence, Paul is also a Messenger of God because Jesus(P) is believed to be God. It is said that Paul was sent "to the the Gentiles" to preach to them the Gospel, i.e. he "has been entrusted with the task of preaching" with a message (Galatians 2:7-10).

Since Paul claimed that he was sent by Jesus(P) to the nations with a particular message, it therefore follows that he is a "messenger", and hence he uses the title "apostle" for himself. Quotes from the New Testament where the title "apostle" is applied to him are as follows:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God... (Romans 1:1)

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God... (1 Cor. 1:1)

Paul, an apostle - sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God, the Father... (Galatians 1:1)

Thus, we see that based on the earlier hadith cited from Imam Bukhari & Muslim, Islam clearly denies the so-called "apostleship" of Paul and dispute his claim that he was ever an "apostle of God", as he lived between the time periods of Jesus(P) and Muhammad(P).


It seems that Menj can only repeat arguments which have been refuted time and time again. Here, Menj sounds a lot like Nisar Muhammad who made the same claim in one of his articles, which I have already addressed.

Amazingly, Menj has read this article since later on he will allude to it. This means that even though these claims have been addressed, Menj can do no better than simply repeat poor and unsound arguments.


My Response:



Just an introduction, nothing really important or juicy here.




He Wrote:


We repeat the relevant excerpts from my response to Nisar, yet with slight modifications. First, Menj has erroneously assumed that Muhammad is a prophet/messenger, and therefore whatever his false prophet says must be true


My Response:

First, Shamoun has erroneously assumed that the Holy Prophet (S) is not God’s prophet/messenger. He erroneously assumes that the Holy Prophet (S) is a “false” prophet and he erroneously concludes that whatever the Holy Prophet (S) said was “false.”

Is this really how arguments take place in discussions? Any sober minded individual, whatever his/her religion, can see that Shamoun constantly begins by presenting presupposed conclusions upfront in his polemics. This is a fallacious manner of argumentation. Instead, conclusions are subsequently derived after a careful examination of the data and not vice versa.


He Wrote:


Instead of simply assuming his position, Menj needs to prove that Muhammad is a prophet. Thus far, the Muslim evidence has been embarrassingly weak.


My Response:


Again he present his preconceived conclusions. Using the same line of argument, Shamoun presumes that Paul was a genuine apostle and that the NT is the word of God. This underlying presupposition can be clearly seen throughout his polemical tirades.

Instead, the logical approach is as follows. Do not assume that any person is or is not a prophet/messenger/apostle of God. This is the approach one uses when having arguments and discussions with individuals outside of our respective religions since they do not affirm our beliefs and practices. However, when having discussions with fellow co-religionists, there is nothing wrong with assuming beliefs which fellow members also acknowledge. Thus, Shamoun may begin with the presupposition that Paul was an apostle when having discussions/arguments with Christians, but he cannot do so when having arguments with Muslims. Instead, he needs to PROVE the alleged apostleship of Paul. Similarly, Muslims also cannot merely argue with the presumption of the inspiration and Messenger ship of the Holy Prophet (S) with non-Muslims. But with fellow co-religionists, there is nothing “wrong” with such circular arguments since all members affirm the beliefs and doctrines of the religion.

Coming to Menj, we can see that Menj was doing nothing fallacious in his opening statement. Instead, he was merely presenting the Muslim belief about the Holy Prophet (S). In other words, he was not asking non-Muslims to accept the Holy Prophet (S) merely because the Holy Prophet (S) claimed to be a Prophet or because Muslims proclaim the Holy Prophet (S) as a Prophet. Therefore, we have here another example of the way Shamoun deliberately distorts an opponents position in order to create a fictitious scenario.


He Wrote:


Knowing how little evidence there is for his own prophet, it is amazing to see Menj start his attack on Paul with the following derogatory words.


My Response:


Again he presents a conclusion upfront in order to poison the well. Yes, Shamoun may erroneously (according to Muslims) believe that there is allegedly “little evidence” in support of the Holy Prophet (S), but Muslims obviously disagree with this. Similarly, non-Christians might say that there is little evidence for the alleged apostleship of Paul, but Christians, naturally, would tend to disagree with such an assertion.

Coming to the alleged “derogatory” words used by Menj against Shamoun’s apostle, let us read those words:

Paul, the self-acclaimed "apostle" whom the Christians follow.

There is nothing “derogatory” in this statement. It is a factual statement that Paul was a self-proclaimed apostle. There is no “insult” intended with this factual statement. What really is “derogatory”? Consider the following opening abusive, insultive and blasphemous comments issued by Shamoun against the Holy Prophet (S) and Muslim beliefs in these emails and mp3 files:







https://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_trinity_debate_2.mp3 (In the following debate between brother Saami A Muslim and Sam Shamoun, Sam began to insult the Holy Prophet (S) and his family at the end)


This shows that Shamoun is a hypocrite. While he sees nothing wrong at all in using the most vile, abusive, derogatory and insultive statements upon the Holy Prophet (S), Muslims and their beliefs, he is immensely hurt when Muslims (and non-Muslims!) rightfully describe Paul as a self-acclaimed “apostle”!


He Wrote:


Clearly Muhammad was nothing but a self-acclaimed "apostle


My Response:


Clearly, Paul was nothing but a self-acclaimed “apostle.” Like Shamoun, we too can make such proclamations. According to Muslims, it is God who said that the Holy Prophet (S) was His apostle. But yes, we cannot make such an argument when dealing with non-Muslims just as Christians cannot appeal to the risen “Jesus” in defense of the alleged apostleship of Paul. From an outsider’s perspective, Paul was not but a self-acclaimed “apostle.” Be that as it may, we (both Muslims and Christians) can say to outsiders that “self-proclamation” does not follow that the one making the acclamation is “false.” We need to study his words and then decide if he was true to have claimed to be a messenger/prophet/apostle of God. This is what we need to do with Paul and the Holy Prophet (S)


He Wrote:


Paul, however, was confirmed in his apostleship and message by the Council of the Apostles (cf. Acts 9:1-31; 15:1-35; Galatians 1:11-24, 2:1-10; 2 Peter 3:15-16) i.e. by other recognized apostles


My Response:


This argument is based on a series of convenient assumptions, all of which are highly questionable and disputed among Christians themselves. We simply have no writings from any “apostles” where we find an alleged “recognition” of Paul. Now Shamoun might argue that 2 Peter was composed by the apostle Peter and quote some Christians, however, almost all scholars dismiss Petrine authorship of this letter, including a great many conservative and evangelical scholars as well. At the very least, we can say safely say that the authorship of 2 Peter is a matter of considerable dispute and controversy among Christians themselves. Therefore, Shamoun cannot use it as “evidence” for the questionable assertion that Paul’s alleged “apostleship” was “confirmed” by other apostles. We can also say that Shamoun is guilty of being exceedingly unscholarly when he presents 2 Peter without once informing his readers about the serious dispute among Christians over its authorship.

Second, his claim is based on the presupposition that Paul was always truthful and objective, having no reasons and motives whatsoever to exaggerate, lie and twist facts. So, just because Paul claims that he was accepted as an apostle by others, it does not mean that he is telling the truth and that this really happened.

Third, there is evidence within Paul’s own letters that show that he was not accepted as an “apostle.”  Starting with Acts, let me summarize the case of mainstream Biblical scholarship on this matter. Acts is a writing written by a member of the Pauline school of thought long after Paul’s death. Naturally, his attempt was to give a rosy picture of Paul. This author (for convenience we call him “Luke”) is known to have altered his sources at times to suit his theology i.e., consider his use and alteration of the gospel according to Mark. So his claims cannot be trusted and accepted as given blindly. More importantly, when we refer to Paul’s own writings, we get a very different picture. We learn that competing Christians regularly challenged Paul’s authority and that Paul had to constantly defend himself against the accusations of lying. Consider Paul's resentful polemics:  "Am I not an apostle?" he asked the Corinthians.  Paul also said: "If to others I am not an apostle at least I am to you, for you are the soul of my apostleship." (1 Corinthians 9:2-1). Paul was also obliged to vehemently deny any inferiority and labelled other preachers "superlative apostles." (2 Corinthians 11:5, 12:11). This suggests that he did not receive any unanimous “confirmation” from the apostles, let alone Christians in general. From his own letters we can see that Paul’s authority and views were much questioned by Judaic Christians, who were aligned with the disciples in Jerusalem.

Third, some of the passages referred to by Shamoun undermine his assertions and do not say what he is “reading” within them

Galatians 1:11-24:-

11 For I want you to know, brothers and sisters,d that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; 12for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
  13 You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. 14I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son to me,e so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
  18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother. 20In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! 21Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; 23they only heard it said, "The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy." 24And they glorified God because of me.

Here Paul denies that he received his “gospel” from the apostles. Moreover, after his alleged encounter with “Jesus”, instead of seeking out the actual followers of Jesus (P), Paul decides to go to Arabia! Then, AFTER THREE YEARS – long after his views were fully set -  he visits Jerusalem and only stays there for 15 days and even then seeing only Peter and James. It is important to note that we are not told that these apostles accepted Paul’s claims, beliefs and arguments. We are not presented with the details of their conversations and discussions. We just have Paul’s side of the story. Nor are we told that they accepted Paul as an “apostle” equal to their own status. In fact, other details in Paul’s various letters show that these Christians heatedly confronted Paul, did not accept him as an “apostle,” and gave him a very hard time.

Let’s look at Galatians 2:1-10:-

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. 3But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4But because of false believersa secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us-- 5we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. 6And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--those leaders contributed nothing to me. 7On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised 8(for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), 9and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I wasb eager to do.

This was Paul’s second trip to Jerusalem (according to Acts, it was his third). As is obvious, Paul went to Jerusalem to convince the apostles that it was not necessary for the Gentiles to follow the Law, including circumcision. Thus, Paul met with the apostles privately and apparently he convinced them even though some objected to Paul. Therefore, according to Paul, these apostles concluded that there was no need for Gentiles to get circumcised. Remember that we are basically dependent upon Paul’s side of the story, having just his assertions. We do not have the other side. Nonetheless, the conflict between Paul and Judaic Christian again occurs if we go on reading Galatians 2:11-14, where Paul angrily rebukes Peter and called him hypocrite. Interestingly, Paul does not state if Peter acknowledged his alleged mistake. Paul never says that Peter and the other Judaic Christians came to agree with him and apologized. Paul’s silence, therefore, indicates that he did not eventually win the argument. According to Paul “And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.”

Finally, there are no hints of reconciliation in Galatians between Paul and the Jewish Christians, led by James.

More importantly, the incident referred to in Galatians 2:11-14 shows that the tactical agreement reached between the two sides was understood differently by them and that for Peter and other Jewish Christians, the agreement was implemented in terms specified by James and not Paul.

Apostles such as James and Peter remained staunch Jews throughout their lives, following and upholding the Laws. This shows that they did not accept Paul’s views.


He Wrote:


This Muhammad cannot boast of. No recognized spiritual authority of this calibre has been seen or heard to confirm Muhammad's self-acclaimed prophet hood


My Response:


The comparison of the Holy Prophet (S) and Paul here is faulty. The Holy Prophet’s (S) audience was primarily the pagans and while many opposed him many also came to accept him and later acknowledged their mistakes. Paul is different. Paul was not accepted as a genuine “apostle” on equal footing by those who accompanied Jesus (P) and spent their time with him. So while in the case of the Holy Prophet (S) we can “boast” of his success in his very lifetime despite insurmountable odds, we can only say that Paul’s mission was a dismal failure in his own lifetime.


He Wrote:


If being only "self-acclaimed" disqualifies anyone from being a true messenger of God, then Muhammad is immediately disqualified by Menj's own criterion. Paul, however, has the acclamation and support of multiple other recognized authorities.


My Response:


First, no, “self-acclamation” by itself does not disqualify anyone. Shamoun misunderstood Menj (deliberately?) since Menj did not present the argument that “Paul is false because he is a self-acclaimed apostle.” Instead, Menj was only making a factually correct observation.

Second, Shamoun has failed to demonstrate that Paul allegedly had the “acclamation and support” of “multiple and other recognized authorities” (who are these “other authorities?”). Sadly, the evidence suggests that Paul met failure in his lifetime. That he was dismissed by the vast majority of Christians, including the original followers of Isa (A), the Jewish Christians led by James

(Now by me, Umar)

On the contrary to what Sam feels, there is enough evidence to prove Prophet Muhammad (S) is a Prophet, here are some miracles which he performed:


Volume 6, Book 60, Number 388:

Narrated Abdullah:

The moon was cleft asunder while we were in the company of the Prophet, and it became two parts. The Prophet said, Witness, witness (this miracle)."

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 780:

Narrated Jabir:

My father had died in debt. So I came to the Prophet and said, "My father (died) leaving unpaid debts, and I have nothing except the yield of his date palms; and their yield for many years will not cover his debts. So please come with me, so that the creditors may not misbehave with me." The Prophet went round one of the heaps of dates and invoked (Allah), and then did the same with another heap and sat on it and said, "Measure (for them)." He paid them their rights and what remained was as much as had been paid to them.

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 779:

Narrated 'Abdullah:

We used to consider miracles as Allah's Blessings, but you people consider them to be a warning. Once we were with Allah's Apostle on a journey, and we ran short of water. He said, "Bring the water remaining with you." The people brought a utensil containing a little water. He placed his hand in it and said, "Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah." I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah's Apostle , and no doubt, we heard the meal glorifying Allah, when it was being eaten (by him).

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 777:

Narrated Al-Bara:

We were one-thousand-and-four-hundred persons on the day of Al-Hudaibiya (Treaty), and (at) Al-Hudaibiya (there) was a well. We drew out its water not leaving even a single drop. The Prophet sat at the edge of the well and asked for some water with which he rinsed his mouth and then he threw it out into the well. We stayed for a short while and then drew water from the well and quenched our thirst, and even our riding animals drank water to their satisfaction.

Volume 1, Book 7, Number 340:

Narrated 'Imran:

Once we were traveling with the Prophet and we carried on traveling till the last part of the night and then we (halted at a place) and slept (deeply). There is nothing sweeter than sleep for a traveler in the last part of the night. So it was only the heat of the sun that made us to wake up and the first to wake up was so and so, then so and so and then so and so (the narrator 'Auf said that Abu Raja' had told him their names but he had forgotten them) and the fourth person to wake up was 'Umar bin Al-Khattab. And whenever the Prophet used to sleep, nobody would wake him up till he himself used to get up as we did not know what was happening (being revealed) to him in his sleep. So, 'Umar got up and saw the condition of the people, and he was a strict man, so he said, "Allahu Akbar" and raised his voice with Takbir, and kept on saying it loudly till the Prophet got up because of it. When he got up, the people informed him about what had happened to them. He said, "There is no harm (or it will not be harmful). Depart!" So they departed from that place, and after covering some distance the Prophet stopped and asked for some water to perform the ablution. So he performed the ablution and the call for the prayer was pronounced and he led the people in prayer. After he finished from the prayer, he saw a man sitting aloof who had not prayed with the people. He asked, "O so and so! What has prevented you from praying with us?" He replied, "I am junub and there is no water. " The Prophet said, "Perform tayammum with (clean) earth and that is sufficient for you."

Then the Prophet proceeded on and the people complained to him of thirst. Thereupon he got down and called a person (the narrator 'Auf added that Abu Raja' had named him but he had forgotten) and 'Ali, and ordered them to go and bring water. So they went in search of water and met a woman who was sitting on her camel between two bags of water. They asked, "Where can we find water?" She replied, "I was there (at the place of water) this hour yesterday and my people are behind me." They requested her to accompany them. She asked, "Where?" They said, "To Allah's Apostle ." She said, "Do you mean the man who is called the Sabi', (with a new religion)?" They replied, "Yes, the same person. So come along." They brought her to the Prophet and narrated the whole story. He said, "Help her to dismount." The Prophet asked for a pot, then he opened the mouths of the bags and poured some water into the pot. Then he closed the big openings of the bags and opened the small ones and the people were called upon to drink and water their animals. So they all watered their animals and they (too) all quenched their thirst and also gave water to others and last of all the Prophet gave a pot full of water to the person who was junub and told him to pour it over his body. The woman was standing and watching all that which they were doing with her water. By Allah, when her water bags were returned the looked like as if they were more full (of water) than they had been before (Miracle of Allah's Apostle) Then the Prophet ordered us to collect something for her; so dates, flour and sawiq were collected which amounted to a good meal that was put in a piece of cloth. She was helped to ride on her camel and that cloth full of food-stuff was also placed in front of her and then the Prophet said to her, "We have not taken your water but Allah has given water to us." She returned home late. Her relatives asked her: "O so and so what has delayed you?" She said, "A strange thing! Two men met me and took me to the man who is called the Sabi' and he did such and such a thing. By Allah, he is either the greatest magician between this and this (gesturing with her index and middle fingers raising them towards the sky indicating the heaven and the earth) or he is Allah's true Apostle."

Afterwards the Muslims used to attack the pagans around her abode but never touched her village. One day she said to her people, "I think that these people leave you purposely. Have you got any inclination to Islam?" They obeyed her and all of them embraced Islam.

Abu 'Abdultah said: The word saba'a means "The one who has deserted his old religion and embraced a new religion." Abul 'Ailya said, "The Sabis are a sect of people of the Scripture who recite the Book of Psalms."


Volume 8, Book 73, Number 115:

Narrated Anas:

A man came to the Prophet on a Friday while he (the Prophet) was delivering a sermon at Medina, and said, "There is lack of rain, so please invoke your Lord to bless us with the rain." The Prophet looked at the sky when no cloud could be detected. Then he invoked Allah for rain. Clouds started gathering together and it rained till the Medina valleys started flowing with water. It continued raining till the next Friday. Then that man (or some other man) stood up while the Prophet was delivering the Friday sermon, and said, "We are drowned; Please invoke your Lord to withhold it (rain) from us" The Prophet smiled and said twice or thrice, "O Allah! Please let it rain round about us and not upon us." The clouds started dispersing over Medina to the right and to the left, and it rained round about Medina and not upon Medina. Allah showed them (the people) the miracle of His Prophet and His response to his invocation.

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 454:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Two of the companions of the Prophet departed from him on a dark night and were led by two lights like lamps (going in front of them from Allah as a miracle) lighting the way in front of them, and when they parted, each of them was accompanied by one of these lights till he reached their (respective) houses.

All hadiths taken from Sahih Al Bukhari.


Moreover, the many fulfilled prophecies which were spoken through the mouth of the Holy Prophet (S)!:


" It is narrated by a reliable authority that, while digging the trench, there appeared a very hard rock which could not be broken by the Muslims. Seeing the helplessness of his companions the Prophet took up a pick-axe in his hand and got down in the trench. He struck hard at the stone which gave way emitting a spark. The Prophet raised, with a loud voice the cry of Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatnest) and remakred: " I have been given the keys of Syria. With my own eyes I see the red palaces of that land". He struck another blow, the stone was split and another spark was emitted. He again raised the slogan of Allahu Akbar and observed :" I have been given the keys of Perisa. By God I see the white palaces of Mada'in." The thids attempt broke the stone into pieces and the Prophet announced that he would be given the keys of Yemen. "By God! I have been shown at this place the gates of San'a." (Ibn Hajir al-Asqalani, Fatih al-Bari, Vol. viii, p.400.)


 The pages of history bear out the fact that the prophecies of the Holy Prophet came out to be true in all details and these kingdoms which at the time of the prophecy were so formidable that the Muslims could, by no stretch of imagination, conceive of their conquests, fell like a hosue of cards before the rising tide of the Muslim power."


(Source: The Life of Muhammad PBUH by Abdul Hameed Siddiqui, p. 206 Islamic Publications LTD.)


Syed Sulaimain Nadvi, the illustrious disciple of Allama Shibli Nu'Mani, gives an even longer list:


"The greatest longing of the Muslims was for the conquest of Makkah the city which they were constrained to leave under extremely straitened and miserable circumstances and where their entry was banned. They were in Madinah but the memory of their native land was never eggaced from their minds and they were looking for the day they would enter Makkah victoriously. The glad tidings of the victory of Makkah greatly strengthened dejected spirits and drooping hearts:


Lo! He who hath given thee the Qur'an for a law will surely bring thee home again (28:85)


In the Sura Saf the Muslims were conveyed the glad news of the victory along with the reward in the Hereafter.


Allah hath fulfilled the vision for His Messenger in very truth. Ye shall indeed enter the Invioable place of worship, if Allah Will, secure (having your hair) shaven and cut, not fearing. ( 48:27)


After concluding the Treaty of Hudaibya the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) turned his steps back to Madinah. Mid way between Makkah and Medina Allah revealed to him the chapter of the Holy Qur'an entitled Al-Fath (victory):


Lo: We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal (victory). (48:1)


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was extremely happy and he conveyed this good news to Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Two years after Makkah fell to the Muslims."


(Source: Sirat Un Nabi by Syed Sulaiman Nadvi rendered into English by Mohd. Saaeed Siddiqui, p. 95-96 Vol. III, Kitab Bhavan New Delhi)




" The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) callled upon his companions for the encounter. So they set out and encamped at Badr. He (Allah's Messenger) said: This is the place where Abu Jahl and such and such and such chief of Quraysh would be killed. He placed his hand on the earth (saying) here and here, (and) none of them fell away from the place which the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had indicated by placing his hand on the earth. It was an astonishing prophecy. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was informing his army consisting of three or three and a half hundred ill-equipped men that they would defeat and kill the chiefs of the well-equipped veteran one thousand soldiers of the Quraish.


'Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) called his daughter, Fatimah (during his last illness). He said to her something secretly and she wept. He again said to her something secretly and she laughed. 'Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) farther reported that she said to Fatmiah (may Allah be pleased with her): What is that which Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to you secretly and you wept and then said you something secretly and you laughed? Thereupon she said: He informed me secretly of his death and so I wept. He then again informed me secretly that I would be the first amongst the members of his family to follow him and so I laughed.


During the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) proceeded to 'Arafat on the 9th of Dhul Hijja and he said in the farewell address: Ye people! Listen to my words, I will deliver a message to you, for I know not after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again.


When Mu'adh b. Jabal was sent to help the Governor of Yemen in the discharge of his duties, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said bidding farewell to him: Mu'adh, after this you shall not meet me again."


(Source: Ibid, p. 114-115)

If you read in Deut 18, you find this:

 21 You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.


Everything above did infact take place, thus based from what we can deduct from the book of Deuteronomy, the Holy Prophet (S) is a true Prophet.


He Wrote:


The next element in Menj's attack is:

Jesus allegedly appeared to him in a "vision" ... and choose him as his "apostle".

Again, we have to ask whether Menj is consistent in his evaluation. If he wants to judge Paul based on his vision of Jesus, should we then not ask in comparison about the alleged appearance of Gabriel to Muhammad? It can hardly be claimed that this is better confirmed than the appearance of Jesus to Paul! Where do we have any comparable supernatural event at the beginning of Muhammad's life which was similarly witnessed by others? Those who accompanied Paul on his journey to Damascus where Jesus appeared to him, also heard the loud voice (Acts 9:3-7). Later, God sent another believer to him with a message from God that not only declared him to be a messenger of God to the nations but whom in confirmation of this message was given the power to heal him of his physical blindness (Acts 9:15-19). Both the event of his vision and his commissioning as apostle are confirmed by others witnesses. There is nothing "alleged" about Paul's authority. In comparison, all claims to prophethood by Muhammad depend solely on his own word.

Narrated Abu Salama:
'Aisha said that the Prophet said to her "O 'Aisha' This is Gabriel and he sends his (greetings) salutations to you." 'Aisha said, "Salutations (Greetings) to him, and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on him," and addressing the Prophet she said, "You see what I don't see." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 440)

The sole ‘witness’ to Muhammad's prophethood is Muhammad.


My Response:


Notice the above in bold. We have already showed above that there was a supernatural event that occurred (the splitting of the moon).


Moreover, even Amina, the Mother of the Holy Prophet (S) even saw a dream of a boy she gave birth to with light coming out of him:


When the time came close to the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his mother saw a dream that she gave birth to a boy and with this boy a magnificient emergence of light spread out and enveloped the earth until it reached Busra in al-Sham. She also saw herself in the dream saying ‘u’iithuhu bilahil-wahid min shari kuli hasid’ which means ‘I seek for him, refuge in Allah the One from the evil of every envier’.


(Online Source: Birth of the Prophet Muhammad by Mona Soueid)



He Wrote:


Second, it may be true that this quote from Bukhari states that there were no prophets between Jesus and Muhammad, yet it is equally true that not all Muslims believed this to be so. As I have and will again show, Muslim scholars of the past wholeheartedly upheld the view that Jesus' apostles functioned as messengers / prophets and that Paul himself was a true follower who faithfully passed on the teachings of Christ.



My Response:


And we will be refuting your quotes Insha’Allah (God Almighty Willing!).



He Wrote:


Third, Menj is wrong in claiming that Paul was the only one who claimed to be a messenger, since the NT is replete with examples of messengers and prophets that came after the Lord Jesus Christ:

"Therefore I (Jesus) am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town." Matthew 23:34

"During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul." Acts 11:27-30

"In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off." Acts 13:1-3

"But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:" Acts 14:4

"Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers." Acts 15:32

"Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied. After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, ‘The Holy Spirit says, "In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles."’ When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’" Acts 21:8-13

"Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was." Romans 16:7

"And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?" 1 Corinthians 12:28-29

"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born." 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." Ephesians 2:19-20

"which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets." Ephesians 3:5

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it ... It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers." Ephesians 4:7, 11

These verses should put to rest Menj's false assertions that Paul was the only one that claimed to be a messenger, since there were many apostles and messengers. If anything, these citations only further prove that Muhammad was a false prophet since he falsely assumed that there were no other prophets and messengers between him and the Lord Jesus.


My Response:


Sam Shamoun did us a great favor by posting these verses, because he has shown us again how corrupt the Christian religion is according to the Holy Prophet (S)!


If the Holy Prophet (S) said there were no Messengers between Isa and himself, then every Muslim will accept this, but if you now quote a verse from the Bible that says there will be messengers after Jesus, then according to the Muslims, you are dead wrong!


What’s hilarious to note is that Sam and his friends at Answering Islam are fond of trying to say that the Qur’an confirms the Bible as authentic (although this would contradict Sura 4:157), and they are fond of saying that the Holy Prophet (S) considered the Bible as 100% authentic, yet now we have a contradiction between the Hadiths and the Gospel.


Do you still think now, that the Holy Prophet (S) felt the Bible was 100% authentic?



He Wrote:


Finally, taking Bukhari's statement at face value there may be a reason why Muhammad felt that there were no prophets between Jesus and himself. Ibn Ishaq records that Muhammad believed that Jesus was still alive during his time!:

‘Asim b. ‘Umar b. Qatada on the authority of a trustworthy informant from ‘Umar b. ‘Abdu’l-‘Aziz b. Marwan said that he was told that Salman the Persian told the apostle that his master in ‘Ammuriya told him to go to a certain place in Syria where there was a man who lived between two thickets. Every year as he used to go from one to the other, the sick used to stand in his way and everyone he prayed for was healed. He said, ‘Ask him about this religion which you seek, for he can tell you of it.’ So I went on until I came to the place I had been told of, and I found that people had gathered there with their sick until he came out to them that night passing from one thicket to the other. The people came to him with their sick and everyone he prayed for was healed. They prevented me from getting to him so that I could not approach him until he entered the thicket he was making for, but I took hold of his shoulder. He asked me who I was as he turned to me and I said, ‘God have mercy on you, tell me about the Hanifiya, the religion of Abraham.’ He replied, ‘You are asking about something men do not inquire of today; the time has come near when a prophet will be sent with this religion from the people of the haram. Go to him, for he will bring you to it.’ Then he went into the thicket. The apostle said to Salman, ‘If you have told me the truth, YOU MET JESUS THE SON OF MARY.’ (Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 98; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Since Muhammad believed that Jesus was alive during his time, it is little wonder that the former believed that there were no prophets and messengers between them since all the apostles and prophets were long dead leaving only Christ!


My Response:


Sam needs to read the quote properly, as it backfires against him:


Asim b. ‘Umar b. Qatada on the authority of a trustworthy informant from ‘Umar b. ‘Abdu’l-‘Aziz b. Marwan said that he was told that Salman the Persian told the apostle that his master in ‘Ammuriya told him to go to a certain place in Syria where there was a man who lived between two thickets. Every year as he used to go from one to the other, the sick used to stand in his way and everyone he prayed for was healed. He said, ‘Ask him about this religion which you seek, for he can tell you of it.’ So I went on until I came to the place I had been told of, and I found that people had gathered there with their sick until he came out to them that night passing from one thicket to the other. The people came to him with their sick and everyone he prayed for was healed. They prevented me from getting to him so that I could not approach him until he entered the thicket he was making for, but I took hold of his shoulder. He asked me who I was as he turned to me and I said, ‘God have mercy on you, tell me about the Hanifiya, the religion of Abraham.’ He replied, ‘You are asking about something men do not inquire of today; the time has come near when a prophet will be sent with this religion from the people of the haram. Go to him, for he will bring you to it.’ Then he went into the thicket. The apostle said to Salman, ‘If you have told me the truth, YOU MET JESUS THE SON OF MARY.’ (Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 98; bold and capital emphasis ours)


This sound exactly like Isa (A), just look at these examples:


Matthew 8

 1When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

 2And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

 3And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.


Thus, judging from what we read here, the person noted above could’ve been Isa (A), which is yet another proof of the Prophet Hood of the Holy Prophet (S)!


However, it is possible that this narration is false, because the Sahih hadiths say that Isa (A) will arrive in the Last Days.




He Wrote:




However, the missionary Sam Shamoun took exception to this and proceeded to state otherwise in his article <http://www../Stpaulandislam.html>.

One of the claims that the missionary Shamoun made is that Paul was apparently "recognised" as a true follower of Jesus(P), simply because he was mentioned in Muslim records of the Sirah. According to the missionary:

Contemporary Muslims [...] may deny the apostleship of Paul, but the first Muslims did not as the following citations conclusively prove

He then proceeds to quote citations from sources which are merely the record of historians, and they were not even from Muslim theologians regarding the position of Paul in Islam. Even then, some of his quotes are at best spurious and deceptive. Consider the citation which the missionary has provided to us from the translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah:

Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, both disciples and those who came after them, in the land were: Peter the disciple and Paul with him, (Paul belonged to the followers and was not a disciple) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the cannibals; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east; Philip to Carthage and Africa; John to Ephesus the city of the young men of the cave; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanctuary; Bartholomew to Arabia which is the land of Hijaz; Simon to the land of Berbers; Judah who was not one of the disciples was put in place of Judas.[1]

Compare the above description of the disciples of Jesus(P) with the accounts in Acts and you would find the relevant parallels. Apart from the fact that Ibn Ishaq clearly wrote that Paul was not a disciple of Jesus(P), the footnote to this passage also says

The form of the names shows that the source was Greek. It probably came to I. I. through Syriac.[2]

So what does this tell us? It shows that Ibn Ishaq had merely recorded this as a statement of history based on a secondary source from the account in Acts which was either the Greek or the Syriac, and not from an Islamic viewpoint. This we can see as stated in the Introduction of the same work, that

Occasionally, he [Ibn Ishaq] inserted verses in his narrative, and sometimes gives his own opinion.[3]

Thus we see the deception that this missionary has no doubt instilled in his twisting of Ibn Ishaq's work. The rest of his citations from Muslim historians, we repeat, also affirm that Paul was merely a follower of Peter, and not a disciple of Jesus(P). This is no doubt consistent with the recording of the activities of Peter and Paul, as seen in the accounts given in the book of Acts, chapters 9-13.


It never ceases to amaze me how Muslims will even malign their own sources in order to avoid the inevitable. Ibn Ishaq is the oldest biography on the life of Muhammad, even predating the hadith collection of Sahih Al-Bukhari.


My Response:



What every Muslim should find important though is that Ibn Ishaq freely took narrations from Christians:


“As regards the Maghazi literature the famous book is the work of Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, who borrows freely from the Christians and the Israelites”


(Source: Maudu’at of Mulla ‘Ali Qari, Mujtaba’I Press, p.85, as cited by Allama Shibli Nu’Mani in Sirat Un Nabi, Vol. I, p.17)




“Al Dhahabi also declares that Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported facts borrowed from the Jews and the Christians, whom unfortunately, he considered as reliable.”


(Source: Sirat Un Nabi by Allama Shibli Nu’Mani rendered into English by M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni, Vol. I p. 22, Kazi Publications Lahore)


Brother Jalaal Abulrub also wrote:


The Reliabilty of Ibn Is’haq and Tabari Books


Ibn Is`haq's Seerah as a Book of Hadeeth ?


Seerah', by definition, is a biography.  Imam Ibn Is`haq, of the late second/early third generation of Islam, collected the Prophet's biography in a book popularly known as, Seerat Ibn Is`haq.  In his Seerah, Ibn Is`haq narrated the Prophet's life-story starting from before his birth until after his death, peace be upon him.  However, Ibn Is`haq's Seerah is not a collection of Hadith or Sunnah, but an autobiography.  Ibn Is`haq's Seerah contains historical accounts, poems, genealogies, irrelevant stories, narrations of battles, as well as, some Quranic Verses –and sometimes their explanation, many Hadeeth narrations and statements collected from the Prophet's companions.  ‘Sunnah', exclusively pertains to the Prophet's statements, actions, practices and traditions, and in general terms, includes statements and actions from the Prophet's companions; Sunnah reports rely entirely on established chains of narration (Isnad) reporting them.  Ibn Is`haq, for instance, mentioned various poems popular since before the Prophet was born, and this by no means qualifies as Sunnah or Hadeeth.  Sunnah collections do not emphasize the life-story of the Prophet before Islam except to a limited extent, as Imam Ibn Taimiyyah stated in his Fatawa.  He also said (Fatawa: Vol. 13, Pg., 345), “Allah has provided evidence (i.e., Isnad) establishing the authenticity or lack thereof of the narrations that are necessary in matters of the religion. It is well known that most of what was reported in aspects of Tafsir (meaning contained in the Quran) is similar to narrations reporting Maghazi (or Seerah) and battles, promoting Imam Ahmad [Ibn Hanbal] to state that three matters (or topics) do not have Isnad: Tafsir, Mala`him , and Maghazi (or Seerah). This is because most of their narrations are of the Maraseel (pl. for Mursal) type, such as narrations reported by Urwah Ibn az-Zubair, ash-Sha`bi, az-Zuhri, Musa Ibn Uqbah and [Muhammad] Ibn Is`haq. Maraseel Hadeeths, wherein the chain of the narration is missing the name of the Prophet's companion, are weak (not authentic) narrations.


Adh-Dhahabi listed some of the major scholars of Islam who refuted Ibn Is`haq's reliability in Hadeeth narrations.  Imam Malik, for instance, called Ibn Is`haq a liar and Yahya Ibn Sa`eed al-Ansari, as well as, al-A`mash refuted one of Ibn Is`haq's narrations by saying that he lied.  As a general statement, Yahya Ibn Sa`eed graded Ibn Ishaq as being weak in Hadeeth narration.  Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal discounted the reliability of Ibn Ishaq if he alone narrates a Hadeeth.  Also, Imams Yahya Ibn Ma`een (in another narration from him), an-Nasaii and ad-Daraqutni stated that Ibn Ishaq was weak in Hadeeth.  The great Imam of Sunnah, Imam A`hmad Ibn Hanbal, also added that Ibn Is`haq's narrations are not accepted if they are about the Sunan. Stating that even [in the rare occasions] where Ibn Is`haq clearly stated that he heard a Hadeeth from his teacher, he would often contradict other narrators.  Therefore, and as Imam A`hmad stated, if Ibn Is`haq alone reports a Hadeeth, then that narration is not accepted.  Adh-Dhahabi also stated that if a narration that Ibn Is`haq reports contradicts other [more established] narrators, then Ibn Is`haq's narration is rejected.

Adh-Dhahabi listed some of the reasons why Ibn Is`haq was considered weak regarding Hadeeth narration, as follows. 

AImam A`hmad Ibn Hanbal stated that Ibn Is`haq was a Mudallis , and in another occasion, he said that Ibn Ishaq's Tadlees (v. for Mudallis) was substantial.  Imam A`hmad also said that Ibn Is`haq did not care from whom he collected Hadeeth.

[Mudallis = Ibn Is`haq often started his narrations by saying, “Those whom I trust narrated to me”, or “Some men from this city told me”, etc.  He also would collect Hadeeths from unreliable narrators and hide the name of his teacher by saying, “So and So said”, meaning the teacher of his teacher, who may be trustworthy, so that the Hadeeth narration is not rejected if the name of his own teacher is specified.

BImam Ibn Numair said that Ibn Is`haq reported false Hadeeths from unknown narrators.

C Adh-Dhahabi concluded by saying that among the worst errors made by Ibn Is`haq is that he used to record narrations he collected from anyone, and thus, did not have Wara` in this regard, may Allah forgive him.


How Ibn Is`haq's narration should be treated is summarized in this statement from Imam Ibn Numair, “If he narrates a Hadeeth from teachers he directly heard from and who are known to be truthful, then his Hadeeth is from the grade Hasan because he is truthful.”  Yet, Imam A`hmad stated that if Ibn Is`haq is the only narrator of that Hadeeth, then his narration is discounted.  And the key words to look for here, for Ibn Ishaq's narration not to be dismissed outright, are, “If Ibn Is`haq says, ‘So and so narrated to me', then he did hear that narration.' Otherwise, if he says, ‘So and so said', then the narration is rejected.'”  Meaning, Ibn Is`haq would not lie; if he states that he heard the Hadeeth from his teacher, then his assertion is accepted.

                                                                                                                                                 Definition: A Hadeeth is a narration that starts with the collector of Hadeeth narrations, such as al-Bukhari or Muslim, wherein the collector names the teacher from whom he heard the Hadeeth, who also names his teacher, and so forth, until the chain reaches the Prophet's companion and then the Prophet, peace be upon him.


A Summary of How Muslim Scholars Treated Ibn Is`haq's Hadeeth Narration

                                                                                                                                                 For a Hadeeth reported by Ibn Is`haq to be accepted as a Hasan Hadeeth, which is the lesser grade of authentic Hadeeths, Ibn Is`haq must declare that he heard the narration directly from his teacher, provide a reliable chain of narrators throughout the chain of narration until it reaches the companion or the Prophet, and then his narration cannot contradict a narration reported by a more established narrator or group of narrators.  Imam A`hmad added that Ibn Is`haq should not be the only narrator for a Hadeeth, otherwise, his narration is rejected.

It is now clear that Craig Winn (mister anti-islam who wrote lies about Islam) involved himself in a type of knowledge that is far more complicated for his limited intellect, and meager knowledge in Islam, to comprehend.


Status of at-Tabari's Tarikh

                                                                                                                                               Imam Muhammad Ibn Jarir at-Tabari (224-310/838-922) was a major scholar of Hadeeth, Tafsir (meaning contained in the Quran) and Islamic History, as Imam adh-Dhahabi stated.  At-Tabari started his book on Tarikh with creation and ended it with historical accounts that occurred during his time.  But at-Tabari was not the first to write a book on Islamic history, as Winn claimed.  Al-Ya`qubi wrote a Tarikh before at-Tabari that also started with the story of creation.


However, and just like many other Muslim historians, Ibn Jarir relied heavily on Ibn Is`haq's Seerah while reporting the Prophet's biographyThis is why a good segment of at-Tabari's Tarikh is almost identical to Ibn Is`haq's Seerah; at-Tabari often quotes Ibn Is`haq even if to contradict him.  The Tarikh by at-Tabari is by no means a Hadeeth or Tafsir collection.  It is far larger than Ibn Is`haq's Seerah, because it narrates the stories of Creation, earlier Prophets and nations, pre-Islamic history, the history of the Islamic era, until his time, and includes biographies of countless number of people.  It also includes Quranic Verses and Prophetic Hadeeths relevant to the topics contained in the book.  It is a book on Tarikh, not on Tafsir or Hadeeth.  At-Tabari compiled another book on Tafsir, popularly known as, Tafsir at-Tabari, dedicated to explaining the meaning contained in the Quran.  At-Tabari's Tafsir is one of the major books of Tafsir.  Yet, it also contains many false Hadeeths and unreliable narrations that he collected from various resourcesAt-Tabari was a scholar, but neither he nor his book are divine.  In Islam, the only resources that are free from errors are the Quran and the authentic Sunnah as reported through reliable, established chains of narration. 


To summarize, at-Tabari's book on history suffers from similar defects as Ibn Is`haq's Seerah.  This is because when reporting history, Muslim scholars did not set a condition to only include authentic narrations reporting various incidents or statements.  Thus, Seerah and Tarikh books are collections of stories that their authors collected from various sources, using authentic chains of narration, weak chains of narrations and even no chains of narration.  Enjoying a book of stories about earlier nations and historical accounts is one thing.  Using these stories as a source for Islamic legislation is an entirely different matter. 







If Hadeeth Established Through Weak Isnad (Chain of Narration) is Rejected in Islam, Then What About Stories that Have No Isnad?


Craig Winn (mister anti-islam) agrees with Muslims that the collection of Hadeeth by Imam Muslim is among the most respected books in Islam.  In the introduction to his collection of authentic Hadeeths, Imam Muslim restated, and agreed with, the established methodology that scholars of Hadeeth use pertaining to rejecting weak and unsubstantiated Hadeeths and only accepting authentic, well known Hadeeths reported by reliable, trustworthy and truthful narrators.  Imam Ibn Taimiyyah concurred, by saying (Fatawa 1:250), “It is not allowed to rely on weak Hadeeths, i.e. that are neither Sahih nor Hasan in grade, in matters pertaining to Sharee`ah.”  ‘Sharee`ah', pertains to aspects of Sunnah and Islamic Law, which Imam A`hmad stated should not be taken from Ibn Is`haq, a known Mudallis.










The Jihad of the Prophet of Mercy Was Only Directed At Those Who Sought to Destroy Islam and Kill Muslims


The Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, never committed unjustified aggression.  He only warred against those who sought to destroy Islam and kill Muslims, sometimes pre-emptying their treachery before aggression on Islam occurred.  Every one of the Ghazawat and Saraya had a reason behind it. Craig Winn (mister anti-islam) lies.  The Neos lie. 

Returning to the topic under discussion, we assert that Muslims should be exalted by this aspect of the Prophet's legacy.  Had the Prophet, peace be upon him, not safeguarded the Islamic State against all enemies, internal and external, the Islamic State would never have come to existence and Islam would never have been established as a political entity.  This is the mighty past of Islam and Muslims, and Muslims should never cease feeling delight at its glory and at the superior civilization it granted mankind.  They should never feel ashamed or become defensive towards their Prophet or any part of his Sunnah. 

Yet, Muslims should never condone acts of indiscriminate violence committed by some Muslims who disobey Muhammad, peace be upon him, and corrupt the true meaning, aim and methods of Jihad.  Anger at the terrible crimes being committed against Muslims worldwide does not justify breaking Allah's Law.  Allah grants victory only to those who aid His religion.  He does not grant victory to those who disobey His Law and transgress His Limits.  I encourage the reader to acquire and read this book, Holy Wars…Crusades…Jihad, a 300 page, detailed evidence of almost every aspect of the Prophet's Jihad, as well as, the true aims and methods of Jihad and aims not sanctioned by rightful Jihad. 


Undisputed Facts Universally Accepted by Muslims

                                                                                                                                                 The Quran is Islam's holy book, as Allah stated in the Quran, what transliterated means, {And We (Allah) have sent down to you (O, Muhammad) the Book (this Qur'ân) in truth}; [5:48]. 

The Prophet's Sunnah is also a Divine Revelation inspired by Allah, but formed by the Prophet's own words, actions and practices, {Nor does he (Muhammad) speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed}; [53:3-4]. 

The two most authentic books after the Quran are the Hadeeth Collections of al-Bukhari then Muslim. They are called “As-Sahihan” , meaning, “The Two Authentic Collections”. Al-Bukhari and Muslim gained this status among Hadeeth collectors on account of their successful implementation  of the tough conditions they set for  any Hadeeth to be included in their Books, not because they were the oldest, or the largest, or the ‘inspired’ or the ‘official’ collectionsAs we said before the Hadeeth of Ibn Ishaq and Tabari are mostly based on weak (not authentic) narrations.

At-Tabari was a scholar, but neither he nor his book are divine.  In Islam, the only resources that are free from errors are the Quran and the authentic Sunnah as reported through reliable, established chains of narration. 






He Wrote:



Menj tries to "poison the well" and even dares to misquote Guillaume in order to convince his readers that Ibn Ishaq's statement has no positive bearing on the Muslim view of Paul. For instance, he quotes Guillaume as claiming that Ibn Ishaq at times inserted his comments and gave his own opinion. This gives the misleading impression that Guillaume was applying this comment to Ibn Ishaq's work as a whole. Yet here is the context from which Menj wrenched this citation:

A little later comes ‘Asim b. ‘Umar b. Qatada al-Ansari (d. c. 120). He lectured in Damascus on the campaigns of the prophet and the exploits of his companions and seems to have committed his lectures to writing. He too is quite inconsistent in naming his authorities: sometimes he gives an isnad, more often he does not. He returned to Medina to continue his work, and I.I. attended his lectures there. Occasionally he inserted verses in his narrative, and sometimes gave his own opinion. (Ibid., p. xv; bold emphasis ours)

It is evident that Guillaume was referring to Ibn Ishaq inserting his comments and opinions into the lectures of Asim b. ‘Umar, and not to Ibn Ishaq's work as a whole. The sad thing about all this is that Menj doesn't inform his readers that he has omitted the surrounding context. Authors will usually insert three periods or dots (…) as an indication to their readers that they are quoting a specific section or portion of a paragraph. Menj fails to insert any such dots and therefore gives a false and misleading impression that he has quoted the entire section, or that the surrounding context doesn't change the meaning of his citation. Hence, if anything it is this "Terrorist" who is guilty of deception.


My Response:


We will shortly address the Muslim view of Paul Insha’Allah.



He Wrote:


Furthermore, Guillaume provides hints as to when Ibn Ishaq is quoting spurious material:

The opinions of Muslim critics on I.I.'s trustworthiness deserve a special paragraph; but here something may be said of the author's caution and fairness. A word that very frequently precedes a statement is za’ama or za’amu, ‘he (they) alleged’. It carries with it more than a hint that the statement may not be true, though on the other hand it may be sound. Thus there are fourteen or more occurrences of the caveat from p. 87 to 148 alone, besides a frequent note that only God knows whether a particular statement is true or not. Another indication of reserve if not skepticism underlies the expression fi ma dhukira li, as in the story of the jinn who listened to Muhammad as he prayed; Muhammad's order to ‘Umar to kill Suwayd; one of Gabriel's visits to Muhammad; the reward of two martyrs to the man killed by a woman. An expression of similar import is fi ma balaghani.

VERY SELDOM DOES I.I. MAKE ANY COMMENT OF HIS OWN ON THE TRADITIONS HE RECORDS APART FROM THE MENTAL RESERVATION IMPLIED IN THESE TERMS. Therefore when he does express an opinion it is the more significant ... (Guillaume, pp. xix; bold and capital emphasis ours)


My Response:


What we have to note here is that it wouldn’t matter what Professor Guillaume has to say in order to defend Ibn Ishaq, because as already cited above, Muslim scholars have openly stated that Ibn Ishaq borrowed narrations from Christians and Jews freely. Here are the quotes again:


“As regards the Maghazi literature the famous book is the work of Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, who borrows freely from the Christians and the Israelites


(Source: Maudu’at of Mulla ‘Ali Qari, Mujtaba’I Press, p.85, as cited by Allama Shibli Nu’Mani in Sirat Un Nabi, Vol. I, p.17)




“Al Dhahabi also declares that Muhammad ibn Ishaq reported facts borrowed from the Jews and the Christians, whom unfortunately, he considered as reliable.”


(Source: Sirat Un Nabi by Allama Shibli Nu’Mani rendered into English by M. Tayyib Bakhsh Budayuni, Vol. I p. 22, Kazi Publications Lahore)



He Wrote:


Speaking about Ibn Ishaq's account of Muhammad's journey into heaven and his meeting with the prophets, Guillaume writes:

The description of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus which purports to quote Muhammad's words is prefaced by za’ama’l- Zuhri, not, as often, by the ordinary term haddathani. Now as al-Zuhri and I.I. knew each other well and must have met quite often, we must undoubtedly infer from the fact that I.I. deliberately substituted the verb of suspicion for the ordinary term used in traditional matters that he means us to take this tradition with a grain of salt. (Ibid., xx)

Now compare this to the following story:

Al-Zuhri ALLEGED as from Sa‘id b. al-Musayyab that the apostle described to his companions Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, as he saw them that night, saying ... (Ibid., p. 183; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Guillaume has a note saying:

The verb implies grave doubt as to the speaker's veracity. (Ibid., f. 4)

This serves to prove that Ibn Ishaq had no doubts regarding the authenticity of the report, refuting Menj's claim.



My Response:



Complete nonsense!


The Qur’an itself attests that the Holy Prophet (S) went on the night journey:


Glory to (God) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).


(Sura 17 Ayat 1)


The Holy Prophet (S) even said:


SAHIH MUSLIM, BOOK 1: The Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman)

Book 001, Number 0317:

Abu al-'Aliya reported: Ibn Abbas, the son of your Prophet's uncle, told us that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) had observed: On the night of my night journey I passed by Moses b. 'Imran (peace be upon him), a man light brown in complexion, tall. well-built as if he was one of the men of the Shanu'a, and saw Jesus son of Mary as a medium-statured man with white and red complexion and crisp hair, and I was shown Malik the guardian of Fire, and Dajjal amongst the signs which were shown to me by Allah. He (the narrator) observed: Then do not doubt his (i. e. of the Holy Prophet) meeting with him (Moses). Qatada elucidated it thus: Verily the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him), met Moses (peace be upon him

Ibn Kathir commenting on the above Ayat said:


Allah glorifies Himself, for His ability to do that which none but He can do, for there is no God but He and no Lord besides Him.

﴿الَّذِى أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ﴾

(Who took His servant for a Journey) refers to Muhammad


(by Night) means, in the depths of the night.

﴿مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ﴾

(from Al-Masjid Al-Haram) means the Masjid in Makkah.

﴿إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الاٌّقْصَى﴾

(to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa,) means the Sacred House which is in Jerusalem, the origin of the Prophets from the time of Ibrahim Al-Khalil. The Prophets all gathered there, and he (Muhammad ) led them in prayer in their own homeland. This indicates that he is the greatest leader of all, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon them.

﴿الَّذِى بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ﴾

(the neighborhood whereof We have blessed) means, its agricultural produce and fruits are blessed


(in order that We might show him), i.e., Muhammad

﴿مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا﴾

(of Our Ayat.) i.e., great signs. As Allah says:

﴿لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ ءَايَـتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى ﴾

(Indeed he did see of the greatest signs, of his Lord (Allah).) (53:18) We will mention below what was narrated in the Sunnah concerning this.

﴿إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ﴾

(Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.) means, He hears all the words of His servants, believers and disbelievers, faithful and infidel, and He sees them and gives each of them what he deserves in this world and the Hereafter. Hadiths about Al-Isra'

Imam Ahmad reported from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah said:

«أُتِيتُ بالْبُرَاقِ وَهُوَ دَابَّةٌ أَبْيَضُ فَوْقَ الْحِمَارِ وَدُونَ الْبَغْلِ، يَضَعُ حَافِرَهُ عِنْدَ مُنْتَهَى طَرَفِهِ، فَرَكِبْتُهُ فَسَارَ بِي حَتَّى أَتَيْتُ بَيْتَ الْمَقْدِسِ، فَرَبَطْتُ الدَّابَّةَ بِالْحَلَقَةِ الَّتِي يَرْبِطُ فِيهَا الْأَنْبِيَاءُ، ثُمَّ دَخَلْتُ فَصَلَّيْتُ فِيهِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ خَرَجْتُ فَأَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ بِإِنَاءٍ مِنْ خَمْرٍ وَإِنَاءٍ مِنْ لَبَنٍ، فَاخْتَرْتُ اللَّبَنَ فَقَالَ جِبْرِيلُ: أَصَبْتَ الْفِطْرَةَ. قَالَ: ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِي إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَاسْتَفْتَحَ جِبْرِيلُ فَقِيلَ لَهُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ. قِيلَ: وَمَنْ مَعَكَ؟ قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ. قِيلَ: وَقَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ. فَفُتِحَ لَنَا فَإِذَا أَنَا بِآدَمَ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ، ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الثَّانِيَةِ فَاسْتَفْتَحَ جِبْرِيلُ فَقِيلَ لَهُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ. قِيلَ: وَمَنْ مَعَكَ؟ قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ. قِيلَ: وَقَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ، فَفُتِحَ لَنَا فَإِذَا أَنَا بِابْنَيِ الْخَالَةِ يَحْيَى وَعِيسَى فَرَحَّبَا بِي وَدَعَوَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الثَّالِثَةِ فَاسْتَفْتَحَ جِبْرِيلُ فَقِيلَ لَهُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ، قِيلَ: وَمَنْ مَعَكَ؟ قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ قِيلَ: وَقَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ. فَفُتِحَ لَنَا، فَإِذَا أَنَا بِيُوسُفَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، وَإِذَا هُوَ قَدْ أُعْطِيَ شَطْرَ الْحُسْنِ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ. ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الرَّابِعَةِ فَاسْتَفْتَحَ جِبْرِيلُ فَقِيلَ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ قِيلَ: وَمَنْ مَعَكَ؟ قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ قِيلَ: وَقَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟ قَالَ: قَدْ بُعِثَ إِلَيْهِ. فَفُتِحَ لَنَا فَإِذَا أَنَا بِإِدْرِيسَ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى:

(Al-Buraq was brought to me, and it was a white animal bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. One stride of this creature covered a distance as far as it could see. I rode on it and it took me to Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), where I tethered it at the hitching post of the Prophets. Then I entered and prayed two Rak`ahs there, and came out. Jibril brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk, and I chose the milk. Jibril said: `You have chosen the Fitrah (natural instinct).' Then I was taken up to the first heaven

And so on…..



He Wrote:


Menj also tries to pull a fast one on his readers by claiming that Guillaume's statement that the names of the Apostles are in their Greek form proves that Ibn Ishaq was dependent on secondary source material derived from Acts. Let us repeat what Guillaume said, this time with added emphasis:

The form of the names shows that the source was Greek. It probably came to I. I. THROUGH SYRIAC.

Note that Guillaume states that Ibn Ishaq may have received the disciples' names through Syriac, not Greek. The reason why Guillaume could argue for a Syriac original is because Syriac retained and borrowed many Greek words, specifically words related to Christianity. Yet, if this proves that Ibn Ishaq's story regarding the disciples is inauthentic then this would also prove that the Quran is inauthentic since many of the names of the prophets and individuals within the Quran are found in their Greek and Syriac forms. Note Guillaume's comments regarding the name of Ishmael in the Quran:

"... there is no historical evidence for the assertion that Abraham or Ishmael was ever in Mecca, and if there had been such a tradition it would have to be explained how all memory of the Old Semitic name Ishmael (which was not in its true Arabian form in Arabian inscriptions and written correctly with an initial consonant Y) came to be lost. The form in the Quran is taken either from from Greek or Syriac sources." (Alfred Guillaume, Islam [Penguin Books Inc., Baltimore, 1956], pp. 61-62; bold emphasis ours)

Other words include Injil:

In English, it went from "Godspel" to "Gospel". Arabic injil is said to have come from Greek to Syriac to Arabic (Arthur Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Quran, pp. 71-72, quoted by Abdul Haqq, p. 60).

Muslims take the Injil to mean the scripture believed to be sent down to Jesus. This word occurs 12 (or 16?) times in the Qur'an, and occurs only in the later surahs (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p. 211). According to Baidawi and Zamakshari, Injil is not Arabic, but Syriac, (Arthur Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Quran, pp. 71-72, quoted by Abdul Haqq, pp. 60), used by Syriac Christians themselves. Many modern Muslims believed that the Injil has been lost or corrupted (see TAHRIF). The Shiite Encyclopaedia states that the Injil is the New Testament. (Source)

The Quran calls Abraham's father Azar, whereas both the Holy Bible and Muslim genealogical records call him Terah. Abraham Geiger presents the possible source for the name Azar:

How Muhammad came to call Abraham's father, (whose name is given in the Bible as Terah7) Azar is at first sight not clear, but is completely explained when we consider the source of his information, namely Eusebius. In his Church History, Eusebius calls him Athar which is an easy transition from Thara, and then the Greek Athar was easily converted into the Arabic Azar. The reason which is given by some Arabic commentators is ridiculous. They maintain that Azar is like Yaszar and that this means: "O, perverted one, O, erring one;" and Abraham is supposed to have thus addressed his idolatrous father. (Source)


We notice, however, that in the Qur'an the name of Abraham's father is stated to have been Azar and not Terah, as in Genesis. But Eastern Jews sometimes call him Zarah, from which the Arabic form may have been corrupted. Or, again, Muhammad may have learnt the name in Syria, whence Eusebius probably derived the form of the name, , which he uses. Modern Persian Muhammadans often write the name , pronouncing it, however, just as it is pronounced in Arabic, though the original Persian pronunciation was Adhar, nearly the same as the form used by Eusebius. This word in Persian meant "fire," and was the title of the angel who was supposed to preside over that element, one of the good creatures of Ormazd. There may in fact have been some attempt made to win reverence for Abraham among the Magians by identifying his father with this good Genius (Izad) of Fire. However this may be, we are able to trace the origin of the legend of Abraham's being cast into the fire to a simple blunder made by certain Jewish commentators, as will be pointed out in due course. (Source)

Interestingly, the word Quran itself is not Arabic as many Muslims admit:

This can also be seen through the title "Qur'an". This word is not Arabic but Aramaic. Dr. Sobhy as-Salih stated "Allah chose to His revelation new names different from those used by the Arabs, in general and in detail."[3] Dr. Sobhy as-Salih also said, "When the Arabs before Islam used the word (qara') it meant 'to be pregnant or to have a child'. But the word qara' as 'to recite' is of an Aramaic origin."[4]

According to Dr. Sobhy as-Salih even the word, "Kitab", which is also given to the Qur'an is not Arabic but Aramaic.[5] Not only that, but the Qur'an is also called al-Furqan. According to Dr. Salih even this one is an Aramaic word.[6] The Qur'an, as a book, is also called 'Mus-haf. This is not Arabic either. Dr. Salih informs us that "when the Qur'an was collected and written on paper they wanted to give it a name. The word, Sifr, was suggested by some. It was rejected on the grounds that this is what the Jews call their books. Some suggested the word Mus-haf because this is what the Ethiopian [Christians] call their holy books."[7]. Since the Qur'an claims to contain nothing but what was in the revealed book beforehand, it seems quite natural then that the most well known titles of the Qur'an are not Arabic but really belong to the Book before it. (Source; bold emphasis ours)

The final example includes the name of John the Baptist in the Quran, namely Yahya which isn't even the Arabic form of John's name. It does not correspond to the Hebrew, Aramaic/Syriac or Greek form of John's name! Outside the Quran it is first found in the sacred writings of the heretical sect called the Mandeans which developed in the fifth century:

The fact is that the Arabic equivalent of John of the New Testament IS YUHANNA NOT YAHYA. And similarly, the Arabic equivalent of John of the Hebrew Bible IS YUHANNAN NOT YAHYA. Anyone who possesses A BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES will straight away point out that the names Yahyâ and John (Yûhanan or Yûhannâ) ARE TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT NAMES. ONE DO [sic] NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT IN SEMITIC LANGUAGES TO VERIFY THIS CLAIM; a simple Arabic translation of the Bible will suffice. (Source; capital emphasis ours)

Hence, Menj has absolutely no basis for rejecting Ibn Ishaq's story due to its alleged Greek or Syriac source, since this would mean that he would need to reject the Quran as well. Thus far, Menj has failed to prove his case.




My Response:



On the contrary, Brother MENJ has every reason to reject Ibn Ishaq’s story, as shown above, Ibn Ishaq copied from Christians and Jews. For Ibn Ishaq to say Paul was an Apostle would be a blasphemy, as Paul preached the crucifixion, while the Holy Qur’an condemns the idea that Isa (A) was crucified (Sura 4 Ayat 157).


As for the issue of the sources of the Holy Qur’an, it is not our objective to refute that. If the reader wants detailed refutations to the above, then I recommend this link:





Brother and Doctor M.S.M Saffiulah provides detailed refutations to these lies by missionaries regarding the “sources” of the Holy Qur’an.


We Pray that Allah Almighty will Always be pleased with him…..Ameen!



He Wrote:


Menj then tries to make the false distinction between a historian and a theologian. It never seemed to dawn on Menj that one can be BOTH a historian and a theologian at the same time. Since Ibn Ishaq is a Muslim whose material has much to do with theological issues, Menj's false dichotomy doesn't save him here. But since Menj is asking for the opinions of theologians, here then are Ibn Kathir's comments which were allegedly based on the opinions of the first Muslims:

<so We reinforced them with a third> means, ‘We supported and strengthened them with a third Messenger.’ Ibn Jurayj narrated from Wahb bin Sulayman, from Shu’ayb Al-Jaba’i, "The names of the first two Messengers were Sham’un and Yuhanna, and the name of the third was Bulus, and the city was Antioch ...

<Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.>
meaning, ‘from your Lord Who created you and Who commands you to worship Him Alone with no partners or associates.’ This was the view of Abu Al-‘Aliyah. Qatadah bin Di‘amah claimed THAT THEY WERE MESSENGERS OF THE MESSIAH, peace be upon him, sent to the people of Antioch. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 8, Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 51 to the end of Surat Ad-Dukhan, abridged under a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition, September 2000], p. 179; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Sham’un refers to Simon Peter, Yuhanna to the apostle John, and Bulus is Arabic for Paul. This source not only affirms that Jesus' Apostles were messengers of God, but also lists Paul as one of the messengers of Christ that God had sent! Ibn Kathir continues:

We have already referred to the reports from MANY OF THE SALAF that this city was Antioch, and that these three Messengers were messengers sent from the Messiah Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him, as Qatadah and others stated. This is not mentioned by any of the later scholars of Tafsir besides him, and this issue must be examined from a number of angles ... (Ibid., p. 189; bold and capital emphasis ours)



He Wrote:



Now, exposing the missionaries lie. For one thing, we reject the idea that the city mentioned in Sura 36 Ayat 14 is Antioch. The Holy Qur’an says:


And We sent not down against his People, after him, any hosts from heaven, nor was it needful for Us so to do.

It was no more than a single mighty Blast, and behold! they were (like ashes) quenched and silent.

Ah! Alas for (My) Servants! There comes not an apostle to them but they mock him!


(Sura 36 Ayats 28 to 30)


The Holy Qur’an says:


We did reveal to Moses the Book after We had destroyed the earlier generations, (to give) Insight to men, and guidance and Mercy, that they might receive admonition.


(Sura 28 Ayat 43)


Ibn Kathir says for the verse:


(after We had destroyed the generations of old) After the revelation of the Tawrah, no nation would again be punished with an overwhelming calamity; instead the believers were now commanded to fight the enemies of Allah among the idolators, as Allah says:


Yet, from what we read, this city which is supposedly “Antioch”, was destroyed. Thus, it is only common sense to conclude that the city in Sura 36 ISN’T Antioch, because historical records don’t show Antioch being destroyed after Christ’s arrival.


 Now coming to Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir for Sura 36, Sam quotes only one part of Ibn Kathir’s Tafsîr (for Sura 36 Ayat 14), yet when one looks at the whole thing, we find:



Allah says, `O Muhammad, tell your people who disbelieve in you,'

﴿مَّثَلاً أَصْحَـبَ القَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ﴾

(a similitude; the Dwellers of the Town, when there came Messengers to them.) In the reports that he transmitted from Ibn `Abbas, Ka`b Al-Ahbar and Wahb bin Munabbih - Ibn Ishaq reported (NOTE from Author: Please pay careful attention to how it says Ibn Ishaq reported! This further strengthens our position) that it was the city of Antioch, in which there was a king called Antiochus the son of Antiochus the son of Antiochus, who used to worship idols. Allah sent to him three Messengers, whose names were Sadiq, Saduq and Shalum, and he disbelieved in them. It was also narrated from Buraydah bin Al-Husayb, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri that it was Antioch. Some of the Imams were not sure that it was Antioch, as we shall see below after telling the rest of the story, if Allah wills.

﴿إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا﴾

(When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both;) means, they hastened to disbelieve in them.

﴿فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ﴾

(so We reinforced them with a third,) means, `We supported and strengthened them with a third Messenger. ‘Ibn Jurayj narrated from Wahb bin Sulayman, from Shu`ayb Al-Jaba'i, "The names of the first two Messengers were Sham`un and Yuhanna, and the name of the third was Bulus, and the city was Antioch (Antakiyah).


(and they said) means, to the people of that city,

﴿إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُونَ﴾

(Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.) meaning, `from your Lord Who created you and Who commands you to worship Him Alone with no partners or associates.' This was the view of Abu Al-`Aliyah. Qatadah bin Di`amah claimed that they were messengers of the Messiah, peace be upon him, sent to the people of Antioch.

﴿قَالُواْ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا﴾

(They said: "You are only human beings like ourselves...'') means, `so how could you receive revelation when you are human beings and we are human beings, so why do we not receive revelation like you If you are Messengers, you should be angels.' This is like what many of the nations said who disbelieved, as Allah has told us in the Ayah: c

﴿ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُ كَانَت تَّأْتِيهِمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ فَقَالُواْ أَبَشَرٌ يَهْدُونَنَا﴾

(That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they said: "Shall mere men guide us'') (64: 6) meaning that they were amazed by that and they denied it. And Allah says:

﴿قَالُواْ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا فَأْتُونَا بِسُلْطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(They said: "You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority.'') (14:10). And Allah tells us that they said:

﴿وَلَئِنْ أَطَعْتُمْ بَشَراً مِّثْلَكُمْ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَـسِرُونَ ﴾

("If you were to obey a human being like yourselves, then verily, you indeed would be losers.'') (23:34). And Allah says:

﴿وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً ﴾

(And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger'') (17:94). These people said:

﴿قَالُواْ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنَزلَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ - قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ ﴾

(You are only human beings like ourselves, and the Most Gracious has revealed nothing. You are only telling lies.'' The Messengers said: "Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you.'') This means that the three Messengers answered them saying: "Allah knows that we are His Messengers to you. If we were lying, He would have taken the utmost vengeance against us, but He will cause us to prevail and will make us victorious against you, and you will come to know whose will be the happy end in the Hereafter.'' This is like the Ayah:

﴿قُلْ كَفَى بِاللَّهِ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ شَهِيداً يَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ بِالْبَـطِلِ وَكَفَرُواْ بِاللَّهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ ﴾

(Say: "Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you. He knows what is in the heavens and on earth.'' And those who believe in falsehood, and disbelieve in Allah, it is they who are the losers.) (29:52)

﴿وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴾

(And our duty is only to convey plainly.) means, `all we have to do is to convey to you the Message with which we have been sent; if you obey, then happiness will be yours in this world and the Hereafter, and if you do not respond, you will soon know the consequences of that.' And Allah knows best.

﴿قَالُواْ إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴾

﴿قَالُواْ طَـئِرُكُم مَّعَكُمْ أَءِن ذُكِّرْتُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴾

(18. They (people) said: "For us, we see an evil omen from you; if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.'') (19. They (Messengers) said: "Your evil omens be with you! Because you are admonished Nay, but you are a people mischievous.'') Then the people of the city said to them,

﴿إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ﴾

(For us, we see an evil omen from you;) meaning, `we do not see in your faces any sign of good for our lives.' Qatadah said, "They were saying, `if something bad befalls us, it will be because of you.''' Mujahid said, "They were saying: People like you never enter a town, but its people are punished.''

﴿لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ﴾

(if you cease not, we will surely stone you,) Qatadah said, "By throwing stones at you.''

﴿وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾

(and a painful torment will touch you from us.) means, a severe punishment. Their Messengers said to them:

﴿طَـئِرُكُم مَّعَكُمْ﴾

(Your evil omens be with you!) meaning, `they are thrown back at you.' This is like the Ayah where Allah describes the people of Fir`awn:

﴿فَإِذَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْحَسَنَةُ قَالُواْ لَنَا هَـذِهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَطَّيَّرُواْ بِمُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ أَلاَ إِنَّمَا طَائِرُهُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

(But whenever good came to them, they said: "Ours is this.'' And if evil afflicted them, they ascribed it to evil omens connected with Musa and those with him. Be informed! Verily, their evil omens are with Allah) (7:131). And the people of Salih said:

﴿اطَّيَّرْنَا بِكَ وَبِمَن مَّعَكَ قَالَ طَائِرُكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ﴾

("We augur ill omen from you and those with you.'' He said: "Your ill omen is with Allah.'') (27:47) And Allah said:

﴿وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ حَسَنَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَقُولُواْ هَـذِهِ مِنْ عِندِكَ قُلْ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ فَمَا لِهَـؤُلاءِ الْقَوْمِ لاَ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثاً﴾

(And if some good reaches them, they say, "This is from Allah,'' but if some evil befalls them, they say, "This is from you.'' Say: "All things are from Allah,'' so what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word) (4:78)

﴿أَءِن ذُكِّرْتُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ﴾

((Do you call it ''evil omen'') because you are admonished Nay, but you are a people mischievous.) means, `because of us, because we admonished you and told you to worship Allah Alone and with all sincerity, and in return you said what you said and threatened us. Nay, but you are a mischievous people.' Qatadah said, "This means, `Because we reminded you about Allah, you saw an evil omen in us. Nay, but you are a mischievous people'. ''

﴿وَجَآءَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَى قَالَ يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ - اتَّبِعُواْ مَن لاَّ يَسْـَلُكُمْ أَجْراً وَهُمْ مُّهْتَدُونَ - وَمَا لِىَ لاَ أَعْبُدُ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ - أَءَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً إِن يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَـنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَّ تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـعَتُهُمْ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُنقِذُونَ - إِنِّى إِذاً لَّفِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ - إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ ﴾

(20. And there came a man running from the farthest part of the town. He said, "O my people! Obey the Messengers.'') (21. "Obey those who ask no wages of you, and who are rightly guided.'') (22. "And why should I not worship Him Who has created me and to Whom you shall be returned.'') (23. "Shall I take besides Him gods If the Most Gracious intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me.'') (24. "Then verily, I should be in plain error.'') (25. "Verily, I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!'') Quoting what reached him from Ibn `Abbas, Ka`b Al-Ahbar and Wahb bin Munabbih -- Ibn Ishaq reported that, "The people of the city resolved to kill their Messengers, then a man came running to them from the farthest part of the town, i.e., to help them against his people. They said, his name was Habib, and he used to work with ropes. He was a sickly man who suffered from leprosy, and he was very charitable, giving half of his earnings in charity, and his Fitrah (natural inclination) was sound.'' Shabib bin Bishr said, narrating from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, that the name of the man mentioned in Ya Sin was Habib An-Najjar, and he was killed by his people.

﴿قَالَ يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ﴾

(He said: "O my people! Obey the Messengers.'') -- he urged his people to follow the Messengers who had come to them.

﴿اتَّبِعُواْ مَن لاَّ يَسْـَلُكُمْ أَجْراً﴾

(Obey those who ask no wages of you,) means, `for the Message which they convey to you, and they are rightly-guided in what they are calling you to, the worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate.'

﴿وَمَا لِىَ لاَ أَعْبُدُ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى﴾

(And why should I not worship Him Who has created me) means, `and what is there to stop me from sincerely worshipping the One Who has created me, and worshipping Him Alone, with no partner or associate'

﴿وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ﴾

(and to Whom you shall be returned.) means, `on the Day of Resurrection, when He will requite you for your deeds: if they are good then you will be rewarded and if they are evil then you will be punished.'

﴿أَءَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً﴾

(Shall I take besides Him gods) This is a rhetorical question intended to rebuke and chastise.

﴿إِن يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَـنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَّ تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـعَتُهُمْ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُنقِذُونَ﴾

(If the Most Gracious intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me.) means, `these gods whom you worship instead of Him possess no power whatsoever, if Allah wills me some harm,'

﴿فَلاَ كَـشِفَ لَهُ إِلاَّ هُوَ﴾

(none can remove it but He) (6:17). `These idols can neither cause any harm nor bring any benefit, and they cannot save me from the predicament I am in.'

﴿إِنِّى إِذاً لَّفِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴾

(Then verily, I should be in plain error.) means, `if I were to take them as gods instead of Allah.'

﴿إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ ﴾

(Verily, I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!) Ibn Ishaq said, quoting from what had reached him from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ka`b and Wahb, "He said to his people:

﴿إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ﴾

(`Verily, I have believed in your Lord) in Whom you have disbelieved,


(so listen to me!)' means, listen to what I say.'' Or it may be that he was addressing the Messengers when he said:

﴿إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ﴾

(Verily, I have believed in your Lord,) meaning, `Who has sent you,'


(so listen to me!) meaning, `bear witness to that before Him.' This was narrated by Ibn Jarir, who said, "And others said that this was addressed to the Messengers, and he said to them: `Listen to what I say and bear witness to what I say before my Lord, that I have believed in your Lord and have followed you.' This interpretation is more apparent, and Allah knows best. Ibn Ishaq said, quoting from what had reached him from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ka`b and Wahb, `When he said that, they turned on him as one, and killed him at once, and he had no one to protect him from that.''' Qatadah said, "They started to stone him while he was saying, `O Allah, guide my people for they do not know, and they kept stoning him until he died a violent death, and he was still praying for them.' May Allah have mercy on him.''

﴿قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ - بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ - وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ - إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

(26. It was said: "Enter Paradise.'' He said: "Would that my people knew.'') (27. "That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!'') (28. And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing).) (29. It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still.) Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from some of his companions from Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that they stamped on him until his intestines came out of his back passage. Allah said to him:

﴿ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ﴾

("Enter Paradise.'') so he entered it with all its bountiful provision, when Allah had taken away from him all the sickness, grief and exhaustion of this world. Mujahid said, "It was said to Habib An-Najjar, `Enter Paradise.' This was his right, for he had been killed. When he saw the reward,

﴿قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ﴾

(He said: "Would that my people knew...'').'' Qatadah said, "You will never find a believer but he is sincere and is never insincere. When he saw with his own eyes how Allah had honored him, he said:

﴿قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ - بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴾

(He said: "Would that my people knew that my Lord has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!'') He wished that his people could know about what he was seeing with his own eyes of the honor of Allah.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "He was sincere towards his people during his lifetime by saying,

﴿يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ﴾

(O my people! Obey the Messengers), and after his death by saying:

﴿قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ - بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴾

(Would that my people knew that my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!) This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated from `Asim Al-Ahwal from Abu Mijlaz:

﴿بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ ﴾

(That my Lord has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!) "Because of my faith in my Lord and my belief in the Messengers.'' He meant that if they could see the great reward and everlasting blessings that he had attained, this would lead them to follow the Messengers. May Allah have mercy on him and be pleased with him, for he was so keen that his people should be guided.

﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ ﴾

(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send.) Allah tells us that He took revenge on his people after they had killed him because He, may He be blessed and exalted, was angry with them, for they had disbelieved in His Messengers and killed His close friend. Allah tells us that He did not send an army of angels, nor did He need to send them, to destroy these people; the matter was simpler than that. This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, according to the reports of Ibn Ishaq from some of his companions concerning the Ayah:

﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ ﴾

(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send.) He said: "`We did not seek to outnumber them, for the matter was simpler than that.''

﴿إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

(It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still.) He said, "So Allah destroyed that tyrant king, and destroyed the people of Antioch, and they disappeared from the face of the earth, leaving no trace behind. It was said that the words

﴿وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ﴾

(nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing).) mean, `We did not send the angels against the nations when We destroyed them; all We did was to send the punishment to destroy them.' It was said that the words:

﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ﴾

(And We sent not against his people after him an army from the heaven,) mean, another Message to them. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. Qatadah said, "Allah did not rebuke his people after they killed him,

﴿إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

(It was but one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still).'' Ibn Jarir said, "The former view is more correct, because the Message does not need to be brought by an army.'' The scholars of Tafsir said, "Allah sent Jibril, peace be upon him, to them, and he seized the pillars at the gate of their city, then he hurled one Sayhah upon them and lo! they (all) were still, to the last man among them, and no soul was left in any body.'' We have already referred to the reports from many of the Salaf that this city was Antioch, and that these three Messengers were messengers sent from the Messiah `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him, as Qatadah and others stated. This is not mentioned by any of the later scholars of Tafsir besides him, and this issue must be examined from a number of angles. (The first) is that if we take this story at face value, it indicates that these men were Messengers from Allah, may He be glorified, not from the Messiah, peace be upon him, as Allah says:

﴿إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُواْ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُونَ ﴾

(When We sent to them two Messengers, they denied them both; so We reinforced them with a third, and they said: "Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers.'') up to:

﴿قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ - وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴾

("Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you. And our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).'') If they had been from among the Disciples, they would have said something to indicate that they had come from the Messiah, peace be upon him. And Allah knows best. Moreover, if they had been messengers sent by the Messiah, why would the people have said to them,

﴿إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا﴾

("You are only human beings like ourselves'') (The second) is that the people of Antioch did believe in the messengers sent by the Messiah to them. Antioch was the first city to believe in the Messiah, and it is one of the four cities in which there are Christian patriarchs. These cities are: Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Messiah; Antioch, because it was the first city where all of the people believed in the Messiah; Alexandria, because it was in that city that they agreed to reform the hierarchy of patriarchs, metropolitans (archbishops), bishops, priests, deacons and monks; and Rome, because it is the city of the Emperor Constantine who supported and helped to establish their religion. When he adopted Constantinople as his city, the Patriarch of Rome moved there, as has been mentioned by several historian, such as Sa`id bin Batriq and others, both People of the Book and Muslims. If we accept that, then the people of Antioch were the first to believe, but Allah tells us that the people of this town rejected His Messengers and that He destroyed them with one Sayhah and lo! they (all) were still. And Allah knows best. (The third) is that the story of Antioch and the Disciples of the Messiah happened after the Tawrah had been revealed. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, and others among the Salaf stated that after revealing the Tawrah, Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, did not destroy an entire nation by sending a punishment upon them. Rather, He commanded the believers to fight the idolators. They mentioned this when discussing the Ayah:

﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ مِن بَعْدِ مَآ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الاٍّولَى﴾

(And indeed We gave Musa -- after We had destroyed the generations of old -- the Scripture) (28:43). This implies that the city mentioned in the Qur'an is a city other than Antioch, as also stated by more than one of the Salaf. Or, if we wish to keep the same name, it is possible that it is another Antioch, not the one which is well-known, for it is not known that it (the famous Antioch) was destroyed, either during Christian times or before. And Allah knows best.

﴿يحَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ - أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّنَ الْقُرُونِ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ - وَإِن كُلٌّ لَّمَّا جَمِيعٌ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ ﴾

(30. Alas for mankind! There never came a Messenger to them but they used to mock at him.) (31. Do they not see how many of the generations We have destroyed before them Verily, they will not return to them.) (32. And surely, all -- everyone of them will be brought before Us.)

Sam Shamoun purposely (?) cut off the rest of the Tafsir because it literally destroys his argument! Moreover, even Ibn Kathir says that even the Salaf (the Ancestors) held the view that the city was not Antioch, therefore Sam cannot appeal to other ancestors who say the city IS Antioch.


“Many of the classical commentators have supposed that the City referred to was Antioch. Now Antioch was one of the most important cities in North Syria, in the first century of the Christian era. It was a Greek city founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of the successors of Alexander, about 300 B.C. in memory of his father Antiochus. It was close to the sea, and had its sea-port at Seleucia. Soon after Christ his discplies successfully preached there, and they “were called Christians first in Antioch”: Acts, xi 26. It afterwards became the seat of a most important Bishopric of the Christian Church. In the story told here “by way of a parable”, the City rejected the Message, and the City was destroyed : xxxci, 29. Following Ibn Kathir, I reject the identification with Antioch decisively. No name, or period, or place is mentioned in the text. The significance of the story is in the lesson to be derived from it as a parable, for which see the next note. That is dependant of name, time, or place.”


(Source: The Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Fourth U.S. Edition 2002)


Analyzing the above data, can one still safely conclude the city mentioned in Sura 36 IS Antioch??



He Wrote:



Ibn Kathir clearly states that these reports regarding the Messengers being the Disciples of Christ come from the Salaf (i.e., the first three generations of Muslims). Notice what the following traditions have to say about the Salaf:

Narrated Zahdam bin Mudrab:
I heard Imran bin Husain saying, "The Prophet said, 'The best people are those living in my generation, then those coming after them, and then those coming after (the second generation)." Imran said "I do not know whether the Prophet mentioned two or three generations after your present generation. The Prophet added, 'There will be some people after you, who will be dishonest and will not be trustworthy and will give witness (evidences) without being asked to give witness, and will vow but will not fulfill their vows, and fatness will appear among them." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 819)

Narrated Zahdam bin Mudarrab:
'Imran bin Hussain said, "The Prophet said, 'The best of you (people) are my generation, and the second best will be those who will follow them, and then those who will follow the second generation." Imran added, "I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three (generations) after his generation. He added, 'Then will come some people who will make vows but will not fulfill them; and they will be dishonest and will not be trustworthy, and they will give their witness without being asked to give their witness, and fatness will appear among them.' " (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 686)

The following traditions are taken from Muslim Answers:

Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah) d. 769 C. E. (150 A. H.) said:

"Adhere to the athaar (narrations) and the tareeqah (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and beware of newly invented matters, for all of it is innovation."

[Reported by As-Suyootee in Sawn al-Mantaq wal-Kalaam, p. 32.]

Al-Awzaa'ee (rahimahullaah) said:

"Follow the footsteps of the Salaf . . ."

By clinging to their way, holding on to their beliefs and understanding the Deen (religion) as they did, worshipping Allaah in His Oneness, upon the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) in the manner of the Companions one is guaranteed success in this life and security from the Fire in the next life. When questioned by his Companions about those who will be saved from the Fire, the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) replied:

"They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon."

[Reported by at-Tirmidhee from Amr ibn al-Aas - classified as Hasan.]

All the great scholars from the earliest to the later times have advised clinging to the way and methodology (manhaj) of the Salaf and adherence to it as it is the only means of deliverance. Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) says:

"There is no blame on the one who manifests/proclaims the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from him by unanimous agreement (Ittifaaq), because the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf is nothing but the Truth (Haqq)."

[From Majmoo al-Fataawaa, 4:149.]

Additionally, the Message of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said:

"Adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, bite onto it with your molar teeth and beware of newly invented matters, for verily every innovation (bid'ah) is a going astray."

[Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad and by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, by at-Tirmidhee in his Sunan, and by Ibn Majah in his Sunan. It is an authentic hadeeth.] (Source)





My Response:



Sam doesn’t realize that the quotes above also backfire against him, as Ibn Kathir states:


 This implies that the city mentioned in the Qur'an is a city other than Antioch, as also stated by more than one of the Salaf




Ibn Kathir says clearly that there are more then one of the Salaf that say the city is not Antioch, so all Sam managed to do was shoot himself in the foot.




He Wrote:



This means that there were many from amongst the best generation of Muslims who believed that Jesus' disciples such as Paul functioned as messengers of God. In the words of Muslim theologian and scholar Ar-Razi taken from Mahmoud M. Ayoub:

Razi relates on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that the witnesses in question are Muhammad and his community. Razi substantiates this view by citing verse 2:143. He then presents a number of possible interpretations of the verse:

I. The verse, also on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas, means "Inscribe us in the company of the prophets because every prophet shall be a witness over his people [on the last day], as God says, ‘We shall question those whom [messengers] were sent and We shall question the messengers’ (Q. 7:6). God answered the prayers of the disciples AND MADE THEM PROPHETS AND MESSENGERS, for they revived the dead and did all the things which Jesus was able to do." (Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume II, The House of 'Imran [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1992], p. 163; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Sa'd concurs:

He (Ibn Sa'd) said ... There was a span of one thousand nine hundred years between Musa Ibn 'Imran and 'Isa Ibn Maryam and there was no fatarah [Sam- an interval of time between two apostles or prophets]; one thousand Apostles were raised from among the Israelites besides those raised among other nations. There was a span of five hundred and sixty nine years between Christ's nativity and the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. In the beginning of the period THREE APOSTLES WERE RAISED AND CONCERNING THIS ALLAH SAYS: "We sent to them two Prophets whom they disbelieved and we honoured them with the third." The one by whom they were honoured was SIMON who was a hawari (Apostle of Christ). The Fatarah was of four hundred and thirty-four years, when no prophet was raised. Christ's apostles were twelve in number although many people followed him. Among these apostles were a washerman and a hunter: they worked with their own hands and they were chosen persons. (Ibn Sa'd, Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, Volume I, parts I & II, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. [Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002 India], p. 46; bold and capital emphasis ours)


My Response:



Regarding the first source cited by Sam, the source says Sura 7 Ayat includes disciples of Isa (A). However, when one reads the Ayat in CONTEXT, we find that it says there are multiple interpretations to that verse, however it is highly likely that the source is reporting what Ibn Ishaq says on the authority of Ibn Abbas, that is Ibn Ishaq allegedly quoting from Ibn Abbas.


As for the second source, we have already refuted that above ^, it makes no sense to repeat the detailed refutation again.



He Wrote:



Finally, Menj's claim that Ibn Ishaq denies that Paul was a disciple of Christ, but a follower of the Apostles, is nothing more than a smokescreen. The claim of Ibn Ishaq does nothing to refute my beliefs since I am not dependent upon him for my views regarding Paul. Yet, the fact that Ibn Ishaq could even list Paul as a true believer and an eyewitness companion of the Disciples of Christ undermines the very foundation of Menj's position regarding this beloved Apostle. Hence, I do not quote Ibn Ishaq to prove my position regarding Paul. Rather, I quote Ibn Ishaq and others to silence those Muslims who would lie and claim that Islam does not recognize Paul as a true representative of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. So instead of diverting our attention away from the main issue, Menj needs to face the music and admit that the first Muslims did in fact view Paul in a positive light, going so far as to call him a companion of the Apostle Peter and a martyr for the true faith, with others going further than that by calling him a disciple of Christ and a Messenger of God!




My Response:



Every Muslim should deem Paul as a false Prophet, as his teachings are totally contrary to what the Holy Qur’an teaches! The Holy Qur’an clearly says:


That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God";- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) know ledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-


(Sura 4 Ayat 157)


However, Paul says:


Acts 2:36
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.


Acts 4:10
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.


Here, Paul himself says that Jesus was crucified, and that the People of Israel crucified Jesus, yet the Holy Qur’an clearly condemns this belief. Any Muslim who denies that Jesus wasn’t crucified, cannot be considered a Muslim, so how can a person who say Jesus was crucified be considered a Prophet, as per Islam?




He Wrote:



Let us, furthermore, requote Ibn Ishaq's statement to examine what he actually says:

Those whom Jesus son of Mary sent, both disciples and those who came after them, in the land were: Peter the disciple and Paul with him, (Paul belonged to the followers and was not a disciple) to Rome. Andrew and Matthew to the land of the cannibals; Thomas to the land of Babel, which is in the land of the east; Philip to Carthage and Africa; John to Ephesus the city of the young men of the cave; James to Jerusalem which is Aelia the city of the sanctuary; Bartholomew to Arabia which is the land of Hijaz; Simon to the land of Berbers; ... (A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 653; bold emphasis ours)

Paul is listed together with all the other apostles. No distinction is made between him and the others regarding his message or his authority. The parenthetical remark "not a disciple" but a follower only indicates (correctly) that he had not been with Jesus during his life and ministry on earth, but was commissioned by Jesus later. Still, Paul is clearly one of "those whom Jesus son of Mary sent".

In conclusion, this is only a biographical remark on Paul, not one subtracting any authority from his person or authenticity from his message as one being authorized by God.



My Response:



We have already refuted this above ^, regarding if Isa (A) sent any Messengers to Antioch or not etc,.


Furthermore, as proven above, to think that Paul is an Apostle from God, is inconceivable, as this idea clearly goes against the Holy Qur’an!



He Wrote:



Another observation may be worth noting here: Some Muslims seem to have the impression that Paul came along many years after the true disciples and then corrupted the true religion of Christianity. That is not so! Ibn Ishaq knows that the apostles Peter and Paul (and the other apostles) are contemporaries (Peter ... and Paul with him)! Neither Paul nor any of the other apostles could have changed the message without the others noticing and protesting against it. In particular, the apostle John lived about 30 years longer than Paul. If Paul had introduced anything against the true teaching of Jesus, John would have had sufficient time to discover this and to correct it. We do, however, not know of any protest by Peter or John or any other apostle that Paul had introduced heresy. Against this information the following statements by Menj disqualify themselves.


So what do the early Muslim theologians say about Paul? The reality is that early Muslims theologians recognised that Paul was the corrupter of the religion we know today as "Christianity". We hence would like to sum up the position of Paul in Islam with the words of the eminent Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H), that

This is just like what Paul fabricated when he entered into the Religion of Christianity in order to corrupt the Religion of the Christians.[4]

And only God knows best!


Menj appeals to Ibn Taymiyyah as a basis to reject Paul. Menj forgets to mention that Ibn Taymiyyah does not fall under the time period of the first and early Muslims as does Ibn Ishaq, Al-Bukhari, and Al-Tabari etc. Ibn Taymiyyah was born on 10th Rabi al-Awwal 661 AH or 1263 AD in the town of Harran in the province of Jazeerah (Source). He was born at a time when history had witnessed already nearly 300 years of anti-Christian polemics in Islam, after Muslim scholars had realized that the contradictions between the Bible and the Quran pose a serious problem for the credibility of Islam.


Ibn Ishaq - born 704 AD (85 AH) in Medina and died d. 767 AD.

Imam Bukhari - full name is Abu `Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma'il ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughira al-Ja'fai. Collector of Hadiths of the 8th/9th century (194-256 AH, i.e., 810-870 AD).

At-Tabari - Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari. He was born ca. 839, Amol, Tabaristan, Iran and died 923, Baghdad, Iraq.



My Response:



What is hilarious to note is that Sam is now contradicting the position of Ibn Taymiyyah, yet he gladly cites Ibn Kathir as a reliable source!


Every Muslim knows that Ibn Kathir was influenced by Ibn Taymiyyah.


And lastly, Sam Shamoun’s analysis of Ibn Ishaq’s quotes have been thoroughly dealt with above, we need not trample on old ground.



He Wrote:


These sources which are older than Taymiyyah by 300 to 500 years either speak approvingly of Paul (Ibn Ishaq, Al-Tabari), or even quote from Paul and attribute it to God:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "ALLAH SAID, 'I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of.'" (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 589)

According to this hadith from Bukhari, Muhammad purportedly claims that Allah is the source of these words. Compare what Allah is supposed to have revealed to Muhammad with what Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians:

"However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.’" 1 Corinthians 2:9

Menj has written something regarding Paul's quote here, which we will be addressing in the near future. Suffice it to say, we find Muhammad plagiarizing the words of the Apostle Paul and claiming that these are the words of Allah!




My Response:



We will not bother responding to these examples that the Holy Prophet (S) allegedly plagiarized from Paul, since Sam Shamoun only brings one case where the Prophet (S) allegedly plagiarized from Paul, which we will discuss below.


Sam tries to deceive his audience, and tries to say that this is what Paul says, but read carefully as it says:


"However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.’" 1 Corinthians 2:9


Paul is actually quoting from the Old Testament, specifically the book of Isaiah, chapter 64 verse 4, as it says:


4For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.


This shows that Paul is not the source for these words, infact the Prophet Isaiah is the source for these words. The Muslims only believe in the parts of the Bible that agrees with Islam, and this verse agrees with Islam, that no eye has perceived how heaven is, only Allah SWT himself knows how it really is, no matter what anyone says.


Lastly, as for the other quotes, we will not bother with them. To the Muslim they do not pose a problem, since we do believe that Isa (A) was a Messenger from God, therefore the source of these words are still the same person.


Again, for detailed refutations to these claims, we recommend:




It is a great website, and a very scholarly website made by Dr. M.S.M Saffiulah.


We will now deal with the rest of Shamoun’s article, which is relevant to the topic of St. Paul and Islam.







He Wrote:


Others who were contemporaries with Ibn Taymiyyah like Ibn Kathir did not share Taymiyyah's view regarding Paul. Note what the following source says:

Ibn Kathir's Teachers

Ibn Kathir studied Fiqh - Islamic jurisprudence - with Burhan Ad-Din, Ibrahim bin `Abdur-Rahman Al-Fizari, known as Ibn Al-Firkah (who died in 729 H). Ibn Kathir heard Hadiths from `Isa bin Al-Mutim, Ahmad bin Abi Talib, (Ibn Ash-Shahnah) (who died in 730 H), Ibn Al-Hajjar, (who died in 730 H), and the Hadith narrator of Ash-Sham (modern day Syria and surrounding areas); Baha Ad-Din Al-Qasim bin Muzaffar bin `Asakir (who died in 723 H), and Ibn Ash-Shirdzi, Ishaq bin Yahya Al-Ammuddi, also known as `Afif Ad-Din, the Zahiriyyah Shaykh who died in 725 H, and Muhammad bin Zarrad. He remained with Jamal Ad-Din, Yusuf bin Az-Zaki AlMizzi who died in 724 H, he benefited from his knowledge and also married his daughter. He also read with Shaykh Al-Islam, Taqi Ad-Din Ahmad bin `Abdul-Halim bin `Abdus-Salam bin Taymiyyah who died in 728 H. He also read with the Imam Hafiz and historian Shams Ad-Din, Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Uthman bin Qaymaz Adh-Dhahabi, who died in 748 H. Also, Abu Musa Al-Qarafai, Abu Al-Fath Ad-Dabbusi and 'Ali bin `Umar As-Suwani and others who gave him permission to transmit the knowledge he learned with them in Egypt. Source)

The source goes on to say:

Ibn Hajji was one of Ibn Kathir's students, and he described Ibn Kathir: "He had the best memory of the Hadith texts. He also had the most knowledge concerning the narrators and authenticity, his contemporaries and teachers admitted to these qualities. Every time I met him I gained some benefit from him."

Seeing that Ibn Kathir could report traditions which spoke approvingly of Paul while still knowing Taymiyyah personally only further demonstrates just how weak Menj's case truly is.




My Response:



As demonstrated above, Ibn Kathir doesn’t hold Paul as an Apostle of God, since he denies the city in Sura 36 as being Antioch, this being the backbone of Shamoun’s argument.





He Wrote:



Another old Muslim source predating Ibn Taymiyyah is The Fihrist, a 10th century Muslim catalogue. The author comments on the book of the Christians and writes:

Remarks about the Gospel of the Christians, the Names of Their Books, Their Scholars, and Their Authors

I asked Yunus the priest, who was an excellent man, about the books translated into the Arabic language which they expound and according to which they act. He replied, "Among them is the book Al-Surah (The Form) which is divided into two parts, the ‘Old Form’ and the ‘New Form.’" He also said that the "Old [Form]" was the ancient basis for the Jewish sect and the "New [Form]" for the sect of the Christians ... The New Form which is comprised of four Gospels: The Gospel of Matthew; The Gospel of Mark; The Gospel of Luke; The Gospel of John, The Disciples, known as Fraksis [Acts]; PAUL THE APOSTLE, twenty four epistles. (Abu 'l-Faraj Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-Nadim, The Fihrist - A 10th Century AD Survey of Islamic Culture, edited and translated by Bayard Dodge [Great Books of the Islamic World, Inc., Columbia University Press, 1970], p. 45; bold and capital emphasis ours)

This Muslim author has no problem writing that Paul was an Apostle. Nor does he object to Paul's writings.



My Response:


It doesn’t matter to us what this Muslim feels about Paul, we have already shown above that it is inconceivable to think from an Islamic perspective, that Paul is an Apostle of God, since he contradicts the Holy Qur’an when it comes to the crucifixion of Isa (A).




He Wrote:



Second, Ibn Taymiyyah is inconsistent with his own beliefs. Earlier, I quoted him as saying:

... Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) says:

"There is no blame on the one who manifests/proclaims THE WAY (madhdhab) OF THE SALAF, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is OBLIGATORY to accept that from him BY UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT (Ittifaaq), BECAUSE THE WAY (madhdhab) OF THE SALAF IS NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (Haqq)."

[From Majmoo al-Fataawaa, 4:149.]

Since the Salaf viewed Paul in a positive light, this means that Ibn Taymiyyah lied when he claimed that one should attach himself to their way. If their way is nothing but the truth than who better than they to know the truth about Paul? Obviously not Ibn Taymiyyah.



My Response:



Sam lies to his readers by saying that the Salaf viewed Paul in a positive light, while on the contrary there were Ancestors who viewed him in a negative light:


This implies that the city mentioned in the Qur'an is a city other than Antioch, as also stated by more than one of the Salaf


If the city mentioned in Sura 36 isn’t Antioch, then what happens to Paul? What happens to his authority, and what happens to his place in Islamic theology??


Again, we still find it funny that Sam attacks Ibn Taymiyyah yet approvingly cites Ibn Kathir, a scholar who was very much influenced by the works of Ibn Taymiyyah.




He Wrote:



Finally, here are some less than favorable Muslim articles denouncing Ibn Taymiyyah as a heretic who was not a true bonafide scholar:


It seems that for many Muslims Ibn Taymiyyah is far from being an authority on the true teachings of Islam and the first Muslims. And yet Menj has a problem with the credibility of Paul! So much for Menj's appeal to Ibn Taymiyyah.



My Response:



The Muslim wouldn’t have to regard Ibn Taymiyyah as an authority, because the Holy Qur’an holds more authority then Ibn Taymiyyah! The Holy Qur’an clearly condemns the crucifixion of Christ as being a hoax, yet Paul embraces it.


As noted earlier, a Muslim cannot be a Muslim if he believes Isa (A) was crucified, so how can one be a Messenger of Allah if he embraces the crucifixion?




He Wrote:



Our examination of Menj's arguments demonstrates that Menj has failed to counter the early Islamic evidence supporting the credibility of the Apostle Paul. Lord Jesus willing, we will be responding to the rest of his articles concerning the Apostle Paul in the near future. When we do, it will again become evident that Menj fails to discredit the beloved Apostle of our risen Lord and eternal Savior Jesus Christ, God's eternally beloved Son. Amen.



My Response:



And we have shown above that Sam Shamoun has miserably failed to prove Paul is an Apostle from God. His appeal to Ibn Kathir only backfired against him, and his attempt to show the city in Sura 36 was Antioch only exposed Sam’s sloppy scholarship.


Thus, we have ended Part 1 of our analysis; continue on to Part 2 Insha’Allah.




Written by Umar







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