Revisiting the Issue of Allah’s Knowledge

A Critique of one Muslim’s Response

Sam Shamoun

Jalal Abualrub of www.islamlife.com has recently started a writing campaign against Osama Abdallah and his website, www.answering-christianity.com, for slandering the religious texts and scholars of Islam, specifically Muhammad and his companions. In one such article (Is it Know or Test?, posted 20 June 2006, defunct) Abualrub seeks to demonstrate why Osama Abdallah’s staff of writers, specifically Sami Zaatari, are not qualified to defend Islam, and decided to bring me into the picture since he chose to focus on Zaatari’s response (here) to my article which questions whether Allah is all-knowing (here).

I do wholeheartedly agree with Abualrub that Osama Abdallah is unqualified to defend Islam or refute essential Christian doctrines, and that his website does more damage to the cause of Islam than good.

Yet what I want to do here is to examine whether Abualrub’s brief response and critique to my article provided a better refutation than what Sami Zaatari produced. I encourage the readers to first read Abualrub’s article and then read my analysis of his points.

Abualrub starts off his rebuttal by taking shots at the Holy Bible and the Deity of the Lord Jesus:

Mind you that Shamoun believes that Jesus is all-knowing, even though he knows that Jesus had no idea when the Day of Judgment will occur: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father"; [Mark 13:32].  What I usually do with this liar is what I will also do here: challenge him to bring one Ayah or Hadeeth wherein is stated that Allah does not know even one thing.  Just one example, as clear and straightforward as the one I provided here from the Bible, will be sufficient.  There is no such statement in the Quran or Sunnah.  This is why Shamoun does the next best thing that comes to his twisted mind: corrupt Islamic texts and then claim that what he has corrupted is actually what Islam propagates.  The result: ‘so that Allah may know’ somehow becomes ‘Allah does not know’.

RESPONSE:

The reason why I, as a Bible believing Christian, can hold to Jesus’ omniscience even though there is a statement where Christ claims not to know something is because I accept all of what the Holy Scriptures teach. The Holy Scriptures teach that Christ is God in essence who also became man without ceasing to be God:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1-3, 14

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form," Colossians 2:9

As such, Christ has two distinct natures coexisting together in one Divine Person. In reference to his Deity, Christ is immutable in his Divine attributes and therefore all-knowing:

"He also says, ‘In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’" Hebrews 1:10-12

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

In relation to his humanity, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature:

"And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him… And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:40, 52

"Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered." Hebrews 5:8

It is not an either/or proposition, but a both/and situation.

Second, Abualrub has the audacity to call me a liar when he knows full well that he is deliberately deceiving his readers by posing challenges that he himself is aware can be turned against him more forcefully. For instance, in several responses to his material (1, 2) I made specific challenges for him to show us the following from the Quran:

What makes this particular challenge interesting is that Abualrub tried to answer it (here) by piecing verses together which he felt identified Gabriel as the Holy Spirit, without ever providing an explicit text saying that the Holy Spirit is Gabriel! This shows that Abualrub does not apply his own method consistently, since he has no problem in making connections that are not stated explicitly, or even implicitly, in order to prove his beliefs. For an analysis of Abualrub’s response please read this article.

  1. Tauhid al-Rububiyyah
  2. Tauhid al-Uluhiyya/Ibaadah
  3. Tauhid al-Asma wa-Sifaat

Lest Abualrub claim that this second challenge is trivial since the Quran speaks of the oneness of Allah, notice what one Muslim says about this threefold classification concocted centuries after Muhammad:

Or consider the seventy-three-page "introduction" to volume one of this same translation, a tract that explains the Muslim Trinity: Tawhid al-Rububuyya, Tawhid al-Uluhiyya, and Tawhid al-Asma wa al-Sifat—the (1) Tawhid of Lordship, (2) Tawhid of Godhood, and (3) Tawhid of Names and Attributes. By way of preface to it, Dr. Khan notes that many Western converts enter Islam without knowing what belief in the Oneness of Allah really means. He clarifies that tawhid is not one; namely, to say and believe the shahada of Islam with complete conviction—as it was from the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) until the advent of Ibn Taymiya seven centuries later—as new converts might imagine, but must now be three in order to be one, and cannot be one without being three. While such logic may be already familiar to converts from Christianity, Imam Bukhari (d. 256/870) certainly never knew anything of it, and its being printed as an "introduction" to his work seems to me to qualify as "tampering with classical texts"—aside from being a re-form of traditional ‘aqida, in which Islam, in the words of the Prophet of Islam (Allah bless him and give him peace), "is to testify that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah . . ." (Sahih Muslim, 1.37: 8). (Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Question 3, Re-Forming Classical Texts: As far as Wahhabi tamperings with classical texts goes, how widespread is this heinous crime? Can you give some serious examples of this?; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Thus, if Abualrub keeps insisting that we find texts which say that Allah doesn’t know a thing in those exact words, then he must shoulder the burden of proving to us that the foregoing items are also taught or denied in the Quran by providing citations that use those very exact phrases and terms. He cannot draw inferences or cite texts that are ambiguous and open to various interpretations, but must produce references that explicitly use the vocabulary employed in the above challenges.

Moreover, Abualrub gives the impression that I am the first one to come up with the idea that the Quran teaches that Allah doesn’t know all things and doesn’t have perfect knowledge of future events. He must have glossed over the comments I provided from Muslim scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub who wrote regarding Sura 3:143:

"Razi is interested in the theological problems raised by the phrase ‘in order that God may know.’ He argues that ‘the literal sense of God's saying, "in order that God may know" would suggest that God alternated [the days] IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE. Obviously, this is impossible of God.’ Razi cites verse 143, and a number of other verses where this phrase, or one like it, occurs. He alleges that Hisham b. al-Hakkam, a well-known disciple of the Sixth Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, used such verses to argue that God does not know incidents until they occur. ‘The answer of the theologians to this argument,’ Razi says, ‘is that rational proofs have conclusively established that no change ever occurs in God's knowledge. The linguistic usage of calling something that is known with the metaphor "knowledge," or something that is subject to power with the metaphor "power" is well known. Thus any Qur'anic verse the literal sense of which indicates acquisition of knowledge [by God] actually means the occurrence of a known.’

Razi then presents several possible interpretations of this phrase. ‘First that sincerity may be distinguished from hypocrisy and the person of faith from the rejecter of faith. Secondly, that the friends (awliya’) of God may know, though He attributes this knowledge to Himself by way of exalting them. Thirdly, that God may judge in accordance with this distinction, but such judgment cannot happen except with knowledge. Finally, that God may know this [i.e., faith and patience] to have actually occurred from them, although He knew that it would occur. This is because recompense must be accorded for something which actually is, and not for something which is known to occur in the future.’ Razi seems to prefer the first of these interpretations (Razi, IX, pp. 14-18)" (Ayoub, The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume II, The House of Imran [State University of New York Press, Albany, 1992], p. 330; bold, capital, and underline emphasis ours)

Here we have a pupil of the sixth Shiite imam Ja’far al-Sadiq named Hisham b. al-Hakkam who used the very same texts I presented to prove that Allah doesn’t know everything!

It further seems that Abualrub hasn’t been reading some of the materials on his own site, such as Rasheed Gonzales’ comments regarding Muslim polemicist Shabir Ally:

Great Scholars and Shaikhs?

Exposing his ignorance of Islamic knowledge and its people, Sami cackles, "lol you guys are so pathetic you attack jamal badawi, shabir ally, zakir naik, and many other great scholars and sheikhs. you guys live in your own world, well guess what, all the non-salafee muslims dont have to listen to your rubbish." Aside from the fact that the names Sami mentions are far from "great scholars and sheikhs," the fact that each of the people named by brother Sami all have legitimate criticisms held against them pretty much renders Sami’s assertion here as nothing more than accusations based on love of personalities rather than love of truth and Sunnah.

As the old adage goes, "know the men by the truth and not the truth by the men." This is how we Salafees judge the people. Take Shabir Ally, for example—a man I have known personally for some time. He is very similar to Sami’s beloved Osama in that he accepts and rejects authentic hadeeths according to what agrees or disagrees with his flawed reasoning and intellect. Worse than that, however, is the fact that he holds the heretic belief of the Qadarees: that Allah does not know things until they happen. He has been advised by many over the past few years (including brother Dr. Bilal Philips) and continues in vain to prove his views as valid by way of semantic tomfoolery. He attempts to dupe his opponents into thinking that he does not really believe that Allah does not know everything using sophistry. However, despite his repeated endeavours—again, similar to Osama’s—he continues to expose that he still holds the same twisted notions and heretic beliefs concerning Allah’s pre-destination and foreknowledge of everything that is, was and will be. (Issues of Knowledge, and Other Things: A Reply to Sami Zaatari, posted 17 June 2006; defunct; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Pay attention to Gonzales’ claim that Shabir’s denial that Allah knows everything is in line with the position of an earlier Muslim sect called the Qadaris, whose beliefs he deems to be heretical. This demonstrates that certain Muslims, both of the past and present, which have read the Quran concluded that Allah doesn’t know everything. Thus, Abualrub’s battle is not with me, but with his fellow Muslims who read the same Quran but come to a very different understanding than he does. In fact, Abualrub’s battle is with the Quran itself because of its chaotic structure and unintelligibility. It is the Quran which causes so much confusion since it contains verses that are unclear and incoherent, a point which the Quran itself makes:

It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad SAW) the Book (this Qur'an). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the Verses of Al-Ahkam (commandments, etc.), Al-Fara'id (obligatory duties) and Al-Hudud (legal laws for the punishment of thieves, adulterers, etc.)]; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials, etc.), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Tafsir At-Tabari). S. 3:7

This is why Abualrub appeals to the hadith literature, in order to salvage the Quran and to make sense out of its unintelligibility. He himself realizes that without these so-called authentic reports the Quran is not a sufficient record or clear enough to establish his position as a Salafi Muslim.

Abualrub likes the fact that I can be funny at times:

Shamoun is funny, though.  In his article, "Allah's Guessing Game -- Is Allah an All-Knowing God?", Shamoun quotes John 16:30 (sic, it is 21:17): "The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’"  However, if Jesus knew everything as Shamoun claims and as is attributed to Simon Peter to have said, then he would have known that this testimony is worthless, since it is coming from Satan: "Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men"; Matthew 16:22-23.  And note how Peter rebukes his lord and savior.  Yet, Shamoun had the nerve to criticize the Quran and say that Allah does not know all things!

RESPONSE:

I am glad that I can make Abualrub laugh since this is the least I can do in light of all the entertainment and comic relief he has given me from reading his materials.

In response to the above, Abualrub has committed several mistakes. First, he seems to assume that Satan or demons can never speak the truth, a position which is contrary to both God’s true Word, the Holy Bible:

"They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ‘What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.’ News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee." Mark 1:21-28

"They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!’ For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss." Luke 8:26-31

"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." James 2:19

And to the teachings of Islam:

And (remember) when Shaitan (Satan) made their (evil) deeds seem fair to them and said, "No one of mankind can overcome you this Day (of the battle of Badr) and verily, I am your neighbour (for each and every help)." But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he ran away and said "Verily, I have nothing to do with you. Verily! I see what you see not. Verily! I fear Allah for Allah is Severe in punishment." S. 8:48

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "If while you are praying, somebody intends to pass in front of you, prevent him; and should he insist, prevent him again; and if he insists again, fight with him (i.e. prevent him violently e.g. pushing him violently), because such a person is (like) a devil."

Narrated Muhammad bin Sirin: Abu Huraira said, "Allah's Apostle put me in charge of the Zakat of Ramadan (i.e. Zakat-ul-Fitr). Someone came to me and started scooping some of the foodstuff of (Zakat) with both hands. I caught him and told him that I would take him to Allah's Apostle." Then Abu Huraira told the whole narration and added "He (i.e. the thief) said, ‘Whenever you go to your bed, recite the Verse of "Al-Kursi" (2.255) for then a guardian from Allah will be guarding you, and Satan will not approach you till dawn.’" On that the Prophet said, "He told you the truth, though he is a liar, and he (the thief) himself was the Satan." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 495)

Narrated Abu Mas'ud:
The Prophet said, "If somebody recited the last two Verses of Surat Al-Baqara at night, that will be sufficient for him."

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle ordered me to guard the Zakat revenue of Ramadan. Then somebody came to me and started stealing of the foodstuff. I caught him and said, "I will take you to Allah’s Apostle!" Then Abu Huraira described the whole narration and said: That person said (to me), "(Please don't take me to Allah’s Apostle and I will tell you a few words by which Allah will benefit you.) When you go to your bed, recite Ayat-al-Kursi, (2.255) for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn." (When the Prophet heard the story) he said (to me), "He (who came to you at night) told you the truth although he is a liar; and it was Satan." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 530)

This means that even if Peter was a Satan in the sense that Abualrub imagines, this doesn’t mean that what he said about Christ was any less true. Hence, Abualrub’s argument is nothing more than a non sequitur.

Second, he seems to be erroneously assuming that Jesus meant that Peter was somehow possessed of Satan, when such is not the case. The word Satan simply means an adversary, one who opposes another, and can therefore be applied to any one who hinders someone. It is even used of the Angel of Yahweh as he sought to hinder the false prophet Balaam from cursing God’s covenant people:

"But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his ADVERSARY. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him… And the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to OPPOSE you because your way is perverse before me.’" Numbers 22:22, 32

In these next examples, the word applies to humans:

"the commanders of the Philistines said, ‘What are these Hebrews doing here?’ And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, ‘Is this not David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.’ But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him. And the commanders of the Philistines said to him, ‘Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an ADVERSARY to us. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?" 1 Samuel 29:3-4

"But David said, ‘What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an ADVERSARY to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?’" 2 Samuel 19:22

"And the LORD raised up an ADVERSARY against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom ... God also raised up as an ADVERSARY to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah. And he gathered men about him and became leader of a marauding band, after the killing by David. And they went to Damascus and lived there and made him king in Damascus. He was an ADVERSARY of Israel all the days of Solomon, doing harm as Hadad did. And he loathed Israel and reigned over Syria." 1 Kings 11:14, 23-25

"Appoint a wicked man against him; let an ACCUSER stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin!" Psalm 109:6-7

The Quran itself uses the term Satan in this very same sense:

And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies - Shayatin (devils) among MANKIND and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it, so leave them alone with their fabrications. (Tafseer Qurtubi, Vol.7, Page 67) S. 6:112 Hilali-Khan

Jesus was calling Peter a Satan in the sense of one who was trying to hinder him from accomplishing God’s will regarding the Messiah having to die and rise on the third day:

"From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!" he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’" Matthew 16:21-23

It has nothing to do with Peter being possessed by a spirit.

More importantly, the purpose of John 21:17 (not 16:30 as Abualrub has erroneously assumed) is to show how Jesus restored Peter to faith after having denied his Lord three times. That is why Jesus asked Peter three consecutive times whether he loved him in order to allow for the Apostle to make restitution for each of the times he denied his beloved Master.

Since Abualrub has a problem with Jesus speaking to a human satan then he surely must have a problem with Allah being manipulated by Iblis:

(Allah) said: "O Iblis (Satan)! What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?" [Iblis (Satan)] said: "I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud." (Allah) said: "Then, get out from here, for verily, you are Rajim (an outcast or a cursed one)." [Tafsir At-Tabari] "And verily, the curse shall be upon you till the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)." [Iblis (Satan)] said: "O my Lord! Give me then respite till the Day they (the dead) will be resurrected." Allah said: "Then, verily, you are of those reprieved, Till the Day of the time appointed." [Iblis (Satan)] said: "O my Lord! Because YOU MISLED ME, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. Except Your chosen, (guided) slaves among them." (Allah) said: "This is the Way which will lead straight to Me. Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghawin (Mushrikun and those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evil-doers, etc.). And surely, Hell is the promised place for them all. It (Hell) has seven gates, for each of those gates is a (special) class (of sinners) assigned." S. 15:32-44

(Allah) said: "O Iblis (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with Both My Hands? Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?" [Iblis (Satan)] said: "I am better than he, You created me from fire, and You created him from clay." (Allah) said: "Then get out from here, for verily, you are outcast. And verily!, My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense." [Iblis (Satan)] said: "My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected." (Allah) said: "Verily! You are of those allowed respite Till the Day of the time appointed." [Iblis (Satan)] said: "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism)." (Allah) said: "The Truth is, and the Truth I say, That I will fill Hell with you [Iblis (Satan)] and those of them (mankind) that follow you, together." S. 38:75-85

Allah had to ask Iblis why he refused to bow to Adam, which means that Allah didn’t know. As if this weren’t enough to prove that Allah doesn’t know all things, Iblis asks Allah to grant him respite so as to mislead mankind, and Allah obliges! This shows that Allah didn’t know what Iblis was up to since if he did then why did he grant him this grace period? Does this mean that Allah wanted Iblis to plunge mankind into hell? Shockingly, Satan even has the audacity to accuse Allah of misleading him! Here is the text once again:

[Iblis (Satan)] said: "O my Lord! Because you misled me (aghwaytanee), I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead (walaoghwiyannahum) them all. S. 15:39

Note the various translations of this specific text by the different versions of the Quran:

Said he, 'My Lord, for Thy perverting me … Arberry

[Satan said]: "My Lord, since you misguided me, …" Majid Fakhry - An Interpretation of the Qur'an (Approved by Al-Ahzar University)

'Lord,' said Satan, 'since You have thus seduced me, …' N.J. Dawood

"My Lord, since you have misled me, …" Thomas Clearly

He said, "O my Lord! because thou hast beguiled me, … Rodwell

He said, 'O my Lord! for that Thou hast seduced me ... Palmer

[The devil] replied, o Lord, because thou hast seduced me, … Sale

The parallel text reads slightly different:

(Ibls) said: "Because You have sent me astray (aghwaytanee), …" S. 7:16

Here is how various versions render it:

Said he, 'Now, for Thy perverting me, …’ Arberry

Satan said: "Because You have misled me, …" Fakhry

'Because You led me into sin …' N.J. Dawood

He said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray, … Pickthall

He said: "Because thou hast thrown me out of the way, … Y. Ali

He said, "Since You have willed that I go astray, …

He said, "Now, for that thou hast caused me to err, … Rodwell

said he, 'For that Thou hast led me into error, … Palmer

The devil] said, because thou hast depraved me, … Sale

The following Muslim commentators interpret Sura 7:16 to mean that Allah misled Satan:

(He) Iblis (said: Now, because Thou hast sent me astray) just as You made me err from guidance, (verily I shall lurk in ambush for them) for the children of Adam (on Thy Right Path) the religion of Islam. (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Said he, 'Now, because You have sent me astray (fa-bi-ma aghwaytani means bi-ighwa'ik, 'for Your sending me astray': the ba' is for oaths, and the response of the oath is [the following]) verily I shall sit in ambush for them, that is, for the Children of Adam, on Your straight path, that is, on the path that leads to You. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn; source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

And because Allah misled Satan the devil will now mislead others:

[Iblis (Satan)] said: "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead (laoghwiyannahum) them all," S. 38:82

Moreover, this word (along with its various forms) is always used in a negative connotation:

"Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghawin (Mushrikun and those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evil-doers, etc.). S. 15:42

And recite (O Muhammad SAW) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but he threw them away, so Shaitan (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray (alghaweena). S. 7:175

Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to stick on themselves the leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray (faghawa). S. 20:121

And the (Hell) Fire will be placed in full view of the erring…Then they will be thrown on their faces into the (Fire), They and the Ghawun (devils, and those who were in error). S. 26:91, 94

So he became afraid, looking about in the city (waiting as to what will be the result of his crime of killing), when behold, the man who had sought his help the day before, called for his help (again). Musa (Moses) said to him: "Verily, you are a plain misleader (laghawiyyun)!" S. 28:18

Those about whom the Word will have come true (to be punished) will say: "Our Lord! These are they whom we led astray (aghwayna). We led them astray (aghwaynahum), as we were astray (ghawayna) ourselves. We declare our innocence (from them) before You. It was not us they worshipped." S. 28:63

So we led you astray (aghwaynakum) because we were ourselves astray (ghaweena). S. 37:32

Your companion (Muhammad SAW) has neither gone astray nor has erred (ghawa). S. 53:2

Now Abualrub may claim that Satan falsely accused Allah of leading him astray, that Satan’s words shouldn’t be taken at face value since he is a liar and a slanderer. The problem with this response is that the Quran agrees with Satan that Allah does deceive and mislead people:

"And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah's Will is to keep you astray (yughwiyakum). He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return." S. 11:34

And, as we already saw, not everything Satan says is a lie according to Muhammad.

It seems that the reason why Iblis felt that he had been misled is because Allah condemned him for not obeying a command given to the angels:

And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves before Adam.". And they prostrated except Iblis (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allah). S. 2:34

And surely, We created you (your father Adam) and then gave you shape (the noble shape of a human being), then We told the angels, "Prostrate to Adam", and they prostrated, except Iblis (Satan), he refused to be of those who prostrate. S. 7:11

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him." So, the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. S. 15:28-30

And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves to Adam." They prostrated (all) except Iblis (Satan), who refused. S. 20:116

And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate unto Adam." They prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He said: "Shall I prostrate to one whom You created from clay?" S. 17:61

Remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Truly, I am going to create man from clay. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him." So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them: S. 38:71-73

Note that both Suras 15 and 38 expressly say that ALL the angels prostrated in obedience to Allah’s directive. Yet according to the Quran Iblis is a jinn, not an angel!

And (remember) when We SAID TO THE ANGELS; "Prostrate to Adam." So they prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the jinns; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the Zalimun (polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc). S. 18:50

In light of the foregoing, why did Allah blame Satan for not obeying an injunction which was imposed upon the angels, not the jinn?

Abualrub will later say:

d.   This is certainly better than insinuating that, unless God comes down himself to investigate the news, He will not know what’s going on, "And the LORD said…I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know"; [Genesis 18:20-21].

In order to see why God employed such language it is vitally important that we quote the entire chapter, so please bear with us since it is rather lengthy:

"The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.’ ‘Very well,’ they answered, ‘do as you say.’ So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. ‘Quick,’ he said, ‘get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.’ Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘There, in the tent,’ he said. Then the LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’ Then the LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, "Will I really have a child, now that I am old?" Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.’ Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh.’ When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’ Then the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.’ The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.’ Then Abraham spoke up again: ‘Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?’ If I find forty-five there,’ he said, ‘I will not destroy it.’ Once again he spoke to him, ‘What if only forty are found there?’ He said, ‘For the sake of forty, I will not do it.’ Then he said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?’ He answered, ‘I will not do it if I find thirty there.’ Abraham said, ‘Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?’ He said, ‘For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.’ Then he said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.’ When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home." Genesis 18:1-33

Here are some points to keep in mind when understanding this specific text: Yahweh God manifested himself in a visible form at a certain time and place in order to communicate directly with Abraham. The text indicates that Yahweh was one of the three men who appeared to Abraham, who had feet which could be washed and could eat food which had been offered to him. This should provide the clue as to why Yahweh spoke of going down to Sodom and Gomorrah to verify whether these groups had committed all the violence which had been reported to him. Yahweh was adapting human language and limitations, speaking the way a man would in order to insure Abraham that he wouldn’t simply destroy Sodom on the words of others, but that he himself would personally investigate the manner so as to do the right and just thing. The theological term that scholars employ to describe this phenomenon of God using human language to express himself is called anthropomorphism.

What makes this truly ironic is that Abualrub, in his haste, forgets that he is a Salafi "anthropomorphist", one who believes that Allah actually has eyes, hands, feet, shins etc., and who actually mounted his throne, albeit in a manner unlike creation (whatever that is supposed to mean). Abualrub also believes that Allah literally descends since this is part of the Salafi faith and is expressly taught in the so-called sound narrations:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, "Every night when it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Superior, the Blessed, DESCENDS to the nearest heaven and says: Is there anyone to invoke Me that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone asking My forgiveness so that I may forgive him? (See Hadith No. 246,Vol. 2). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 586)

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: When half of the night or two-third of it is over, Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there any beggar, so that he be given? Is there any supplicator so that he be answered? Is there any beggar of forgiveness so that he be forgiven? (And Allah continues it saying) till it is daybreak. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1658)

Abu Sa'id and Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah waits till when one-third of the first part of the night is over; He descends to the lowest heaven and says: It there any supplicator of forgiveness? Is there any penitent? Is there any petitioner (for mercy and favour)? Is there any solicitor? -till it is daybreak. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 1660)

And here is what Abualrub’s Salafi brothers have to say to those who deny the literalness of Allah descending:

2 – What is meant by the descent of Allaah – may He be exalted – to the lowest heaven: 

It should be noted that the descent of the Lord – may He be exalted – to the lowest heaven is one of the actions that are attributed to Him and has to do with His will and wisdom. It is descending IN A REAL SENSE, in a manner that befits His majesty and might. Allaah descends however He wills, whenever He wills. Glory be to Him, there is nothing like unto Him and He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing. It is not permissible to distort the meaning of the hadeeth by saying that what is meant is that His command or mercy descends, or that one of His angels descends. This is false for several reasons: 

(i) This misinterpretation goes against the apparent meaning of the hadeeth. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) attributed descent or the act of descending to Allaah, and the basic principle is that a thing is attributed to the one who does it, so if it is attributed to someone else, that is a distortion that goes against this basic principle. We know that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the most knowledgeable of all people about Allaah, and that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the most eloquent of mankind and the most truthful in what he says. There are no lies in his speech and it is impossible for him to attribute something to Allaah that is not one of His names or attributes or actions or rulings. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

"And if he (Muhammad) had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allaah),

45. We surely would have seized him by his right hand (or with power and might),

46. And then We certainly would have cut off his life artery (aorta)"

[al-Haaqqah 69:44-46] 

Moreover the only intention of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was to guide mankind, so if he said, "Our Lord descends" and someone else says something that runs contrary to the apparent meaning of these words, such as saying that His command descends, then we say: Do you have more knowledge about Allaah than the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "Our Lord descends" but you say His command descends. Or are you more sincere towards the ummah than he was, since he (allegedly) concealed what he was supposed to tell them and told them something different. Undoubtedly the person who tells the people one thing but means something else is not sincere towards them. Or do you think that you are more eloquent than the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?! Undoubtedly such a misinterpretation implies that one is accusing the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) of some kind of shortcoming that a Muslim can never accept on the part of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).  

(ii) The descent of His command and mercy is not restricted to this part of the night, rather His command and mercy descend all the time. If it is said that what is meant is a specific command or specific mercy which does not happen all the time, the answer to that is that if we assume that this interpretation is correct, then the hadeeth indicates that where the descent of this thing ends is in the lowest heaven, so what benefit can it be to us if mercy descend to the lowest heaven without reaching us? Why would the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) even tell us about it? 

(iii) The hadeeth indicates that the One Who descends says: "Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?" No one can say that except Allaah, may He be exalted. (Question #20081: Affirming that Allaah does descend (to the lowest heaven): source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

These hadiths presuppose two things: First, the reports assume that Allah has to descend to the lowest part of the heaven in order to answer prayers since he wouldn’t be able to know who is praying and what they are praying for, demonstrating once again that Allah doesn’t know everything.

Secondly, these narrations presuppose a flat earth since in a spherical earth one part of the globe would still be daytime, which means that Allah would actually be descending at a time in which it was day! How can he therefore descend at the third part of the night without him descending during a certain hour of the day? And wouldn’t an all-knowing deity know about the time difference in different parts of the world?

What about those prayers that are spoken during the day, when Allah is far away and does not hear them? Are they lost? Or who is "keeping them" for him until he comes between the third part of the night and daybreak and then hands them over to Allah? If he already knows them before he descends (because he knows everything), why does he have to ask for them after descending?

In light of the foregoing, it is truly "funny" that Abualrub has a problem with the true God Yahweh manifesting himself within time and space in a visible form in order to communicate directly with his servants, when his allegedly authentic traditions claim that Allah descends at the third part of the night!

Abualrub quotes passages where it says that Allah knows everything and has already decreed all the calamities which would befall mankind. He then argues from this that Allah was simply insuring that what he knew would happen, because he had decreed it, would actually come to pass so as to know that these acts were actually committed???!!!

Abualrub operates under the assumption that the Quran is a consistent scripture, that it presents a coherent portrait of God and his attributes. He assumes that since there are texts which speak of Allah knowing all things this proves that the references stating that Allah needed to orchestrate certain events in order to learn or discover something new do not really mean that; they must mean something else such as Allah coming to know the acts which he already knew would occur since he decreed them. Yet the sharp reader will see the problem with Abualrub’s harmonization, namely that if Allah already knew that these events would occur then there was nothing for him to discover or know.

To illustrate why Abualrub’s assumptions are circular in nature, and are not supported by the data, notice what he says here:

a.   This includes all types of disasters, {No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (al-Lau`h al-Mahfdh) before We bring it into existence}; [57:22].

b.   Ayah 57:22 discusses two different aspects of Allah’s Ilm: what is inscribed in the Book of Decrees, al-Lau`h al-Ma`hfudh, and bringing it into existence; the former comes before the latter since Allah wrote everything in al-Lau`h al-Ma`hfudh 50,000 years before He created the heavens and earth; [Muslim].

Abualrub states that Allah wrote all his decrees fifty thousand years before creation. Yet the following citation contradicts this position:

Verily! We have sent it (this Qur'an) down in the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) And what will make you know what the night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] by Allah's Permission with all Decrees, S. 97:1-4

Al-Qadr refers to the decree of Allah, which means that Allah preordains things on a specific night of the year. This presupposes that Allah foreordains matters of creation a year at a time, which is exactly how renowned Sunni commentator Ibn Kathir interpreted this passage:

… Sa‘id bin Mansur said, ‘Isa bin Yunus told us that Al-Amash narrated to them that Mujahid said concerning Allah’s statement … <There is peace> "It is security in which Shaytan cannot do any evil or harm." Qatadah and others have said, "The matters are determined DURING IT, and the times of death and provisions are measured out (i.e., decided) DURING IT." … (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat At-Tagabun to the end of the Qur’an), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publications & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore, First Edition: September 2000], Volume 10, p. 543; bold and capital emphasis ours)

How can events be decreed on a specific night of the year if Allah has already decreed everything in a book 50,000 years before the creation of the heavens and the earth?

Furthermore, here are some additional citations showing that Allah really doesn’t know everything:

Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return. S. 2:245 Hilali-Khan

Allah has to ask whether there is anyone that will give him a loan, much of which may have gone to his alleged messenger:

Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allah for them. Verily! Your invocations are a source of security for them, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. S. 9:103

After all, Allah did command that a fifth of the war spoils be given to his prophet:

They ask you (O Muhammad SAW) about the spoils of war. Say: "The spoils are for Allah and the Messenger." So fear Allah and adjust all matters of difference among you, and obey Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), if you are believers. S. 8:1

And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain, verily one-fifth (1/5th) of it is assigned to Allah, and to the Messenger, and to the near relatives [of the Messenger (Muhammad SAW)], (and also) the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarer, if you have believed in Allah and in that which We sent down to Our slave (Muhammad SAW) on the Day of criterion (between right and wrong), the Day when the two forces met (the battle of Badr) - And Allah is Able to do all things. S. 8:41

Here is another text where Allah asks questions:

And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead." He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe?" He [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith." He said: "Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." S. 2:260 Hilali-Khan

Didn’t Allah know if Abraham believed or not? If Allah knows everything then why ask Abraham?

Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers. S. 9:13 Hilali-Khan

Again, shouldn’t Allah have known beforehand who would fight and who wouldn’t?

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Allah created the creation, and when He finished from His creation the Rahm (womb) got up, and Allah said (to it). ‘Stop! What do you want?’ It said; ‘At this place I seek refuge with You from all those who sever me (i.e. sever the ties of Kinship.)’ Allah said: ‘Would you be pleased that I will keep good relation with the one who will keep good relation with you, and I will sever the relation with the one who will sever the relation with you?’ It said: ‘Yes, O my Lord.’ Allah said (to it), ‘That is for you.’" And then Abu Huraira recited the Verse:-- "Would you then if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship." (47.22) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 593)

Does this sound like an all-knowing Deity? And what does it mean that Allah actually spoke to a womb?

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle said, "A man who never did any good deed, said that if he died, his family should burn him and throw half the ashes of his burnt body in the earth and the other half in the sea, for by Allah, if Allah should get hold of him, He would inflict such punishment on him as He would not inflict on anybody among the people. But Allah ordered the sea to collect what was in it (of his ashes) and similarly ordered the earth to collect what was in it (of his ashes). Then Allah said (to the recreated man), ‘Why did you do so?’ The man replied, ‘For being afraid of You, and You know it (very well).’ So Allah forgave him." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 597)

If Allah were all-knowing then why would he need to ask this person the reason for having himself cremated? And how can Allah judge a person for what s/he has done if he can’t recall what s/he did while on earth?

Moreover, Abualrub contradicts himself since later he says:

5.   The disaster that struck the Muslims during the battle of U`hud was recorded beforehand in al-Lau`h al-Ma`hfudh by Allah’s Eternal Ilm in what will happen, {No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (al-Lau`h al-Mahfdh) before We bring it into existence}[57:22]; it was brought into existence by Allah’s Ilm, i.e., by His Leave, i.e. by His creating it, on the day the battle of U`hud occurred; this disaster was a consequence of the errors which Allah knew beforehand that Muslims will commit: He recorded all this by His Ilm in al-Lau`h al-Mahfdh, {(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: "From where does this come to us?" Say (to them), "It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds)." And Allh has power over all things. And what you suffered (of the disaster) on the day (of the battle of U`hud when) the two armies met, was by the Leave of Allh}[3:165-166]; this was part of Allah’s decision to, {test the believers}[3:166], by letting them live this life and do the things He knew beforehand they will choose to do, so that, {Allh may Ya`lam those who believe}[3:140], i.e., so that Allah may bring these actions into existence after having recorded them in the Book, because Allah decided that, {Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allh Ya`lam those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) Ya`lam those who are As-Sbirn (the patient)?}[3:142], meaning, ‘Do you think you will enter Paradise solely on Allah’s Ilm in what you will do, which He recorded in the Book of Records, rather than on His Ilm that you actually did these actions by His Leave, i.e. by His creating them? Do you think that you will enter Paradise as Mujahideen and Sabirin even though Allah knows you did not do the Jihad or the Sabr yet?’

  1. Thus, these two elements of Allah’s Ilm shall always meet: His Ilm of what will happen, which has duly been recorded in the Book of Records 50,000 years before this life was created, and His Ilm that it came into existence, by His creating it in this life.

But then he says:

  1. This is when the reward or punishment is perfectly justified; {Thus has the Word of your Lord been justified against those who disbelieved, that they will be the dwellers of the Fire}; [40:6]. Allah knew they will disbelieve and destined them to Hellfire: He entered them into Hell not because He knew what they will do, but because they disbelieved.

We couldn’t let this slip by since Abualrub basically concedes that Allah doesn’t know all things:

Allah knew they will disbelieve and DESTINED them to Hellfire. He entered them into Hell NOT BECAUSE HE KNEW WHAT THEY WILL DO, but because they disbelieved.

Notice how he manages to contradict himself in a matter of a few paragraphs. He wants his readers to believe that the unbelievers went to hell because of their disbelief, not on the grounds that Allah ordained this for them.

Yet earlier he claimed that Allah decreed everything in a book which he wrote fifty thousand years before the formation of the heavens and the earth. This obviously means that Allah had not only decreed that disbelievers would go to hell, but that he also foreordained that they would be unbelievers in the first place, and commit atrocious sins, a position supported by the so-called authentic narrations:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
I did not see anything so resembling minor sins as what Abu Huraira said from the Prophet, who said, "Allah has written for the son of Adam his inevitable share of adultery whether he is aware of it or not: The adultery of the eye is the looking (at something which is sinful to look at), and the adultery of the tongue is to utter (what it is unlawful to utter), and the innerself wishes and longs for (adultery) and the private parts turn that into reality or refrain from submitting to the temptation." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 609)

Abu al-Aswad reported that 'Imran b Husain asked him: What is your view, what the people do today in the world, and strive for, is it something decreed for them or preordained for them or will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teaching which they did not act upon? I said: Of course, IT IS SOMETHING WHICH IS PREDETERMINED FOR THEM AND PREORDAINED FOR THEM. He (further) said: Then, would it not be an injustice (to punish them)? I felt greatly disturbed because of that, and said: Everything is created by Allah and lies in His Power. He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be questioned; thereupon he said to me: May Allah have mercy upon you, I did not mean to ask you but for testing your intelligence. Two men of the tribe of Muzaina came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, what is your opinion that the people do in the world and strive for, is something decreed for them; something preordained for them and will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teachings which they did not act upon, and thus they became deserving of punishment? Thereupon, he said: Of course, it happens AS IT IS DECREED BY DESTINY AND PREORDAINED FOR THEM, and this view is confirmed by this verse of the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious: "Consider the soul and Him Who made it perfect, THEN BREATHED INTO ITS SIN and its piety" (xci. 8). (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6406)

Verily Allah has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he OF NECESSITY MUST COMMIT (or there would be no escape from it). (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6421, see also Number 6422)

The Quran itself says that Allah created jinn and humans for hell:

Whomsoever Allah guides, he is the guided one, and whomsoever He sends astray, those! They are the losers. And surely, We have created many of the jinns and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones… Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him; and He lets them wander blindly in their transgressions. S. 7:178-178, 186

Allah even deliberately created black people for hell!

Abu Darda' reported God's messenger as saying, "God created Adam when He created him and struck his right shoulder and brought forth his offspring white like small ants. And he struck his left shoulder and brought forth his offspring BLACK as though they were charcoal. Then He said to the party on his right said, 'To paradise, and I do not care', and He said to the party in his left shoulder 'To hell, and I do not care'." Ahmad transmitted it. (Mishkat Al Masabih, English translation with explanatory notes by Dr. James Robson [Sh. Muhammad Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore-Pakistan, Reprint 1990], Volume I, Chapter IV, Book I.- Faith, pp. 31-32; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Narrated AbudDarda'

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Allah created Adam when He had to create him and He struck his right shoulder and there emitted from it white offspring as if they were white ants. He struck his left shoulder and there emitted from it THE BLACK OFFSPRINGS as if they were charcoal. He then said (to those who had been emitted) from the right (shoulder): For Paradise and I do not mind. Then He said to those (who had been emitted) from his left shoulder: They are for Hell and I do not mind.

Transmitted by Ahmad. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 38; ALIM CD ROM Version)

Hence, Abualrub has not only been unable to reconcile the discrepancies in the Quran, but he has actually helped to bring out even more problems with his Islamic scriptures.

Now the reader may be thinking that the same types of arguments could be leveled against God’s Word, the Holy Bible, that verses of Scripture which seem to suggest (some even believe quite strongly) that God doesn’t know everything can be pitted against those passages which teach that God does indeed know all things. Even Abualrub tried to do that in this rebuttal by referring to Genesis 18:20-21 and Mark 13:32. And just as I would want someone to interpret these texts in a conciliatory manner, in order to try and harmonize all of what Scripture says, shouldn’t I do the same with the Quran?

I wholeheartedly agree with such an approach and believe that both Christians and Muslims should be willing to adopt the same methods of criticism and apply the same criteria to both Scriptures. But the problem is that Muslims do not use their methods or employ their criticisms fairly, since they rarely, if at all, subject the Quran to the same type of rigorous scrutiny as they do to God’s true Word, the Holy Bible. This is one reason why I even bothered writing my article regarding Allah being ignorant of the future, in order to show Muslims such as Abualrub what happens when their own arguments are used against their religious scriptures, i.e. the results of such an approach will not please them. Unfortunately, some Muslims like Abualrub just don’t seem to want to get it and choose to stubbornly cling to their criticisms of the Holy Bible anyway. In other words, despite all of the above problems with the Quran, Abualrub will continue to have the nerve to complain and criticize God’s true Word, the Holy Bible.

To conclude, we encourage Abualrub to heed his own advice that he gave Sami Zaatari when he wrote:

4. Sami’s deficient answer provides proof why he should not be responding to challenges to Islam, before he first seeks knowledge in Islam.  In the section of his article quoted here, Sami offers a weak response that does not address Shamoun’s sole challenge, which he simply posts in bold: "Allah MAY KNOW…while Allah has NOT YET KNOWN".

We couldn’t have given Abualrub any better advice than the above. Hopefully he will swallow his pride and heed it and refrain from producing shoddy rebuttals that are full of emotional rhetoric which masquerades itself as a scientific rebuttal.

Due to Abualrub being a Salafi, all of our Quranic quotes were taken from the Salafi version of the Quran as translated by the Al-Hilali & Khan duo.


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