Reexamining The Logical Coherence of the Trinity

Exposing the False Analogies and Irrational Arguments of a Muslim Dawagandist

Sam Shamoun

This resumes our discussion of Zawadi’s claim that the Trinity is logically incoherent.

After articulating the Christian position concerning the Trinity Zawadi provides an example which he thinks illustrates why the Trinity is irrational:

Do the above statements make any sense? What do they mean when they say that there is one being who is God, but three different persons who share that one being's essence?

That is as illogical as me saying:

-          Ahmed is a human being.
-          Khalid is a human being.
-          Ayman is a human being.
-          These are not three human beings, but three different persons who share ONE essence, which is human.

Obviously no one says that one essence "human" is being shared by seven billion people on Earth today. Rather, we say that there are seven billion human beings on Earth today.

Similarly, we can't say that there are three different persons sharing the one essence of God, but that there are three different Gods in light of what the Trinity teaches.

He basically repeats this point later in his discussion,

However, an irrational statement would be:

-          Ahmed is the only human being.
-          Khalid is the only human being.
-          Ayman is the only human being.

Now this is definitely irrational. How is it possible for Ahmed and Khalid at the same time to be the only human being? Anyone could clearly see that these two beliefs are mutually exclusive and it cannot logically be possible both of them to be true at the same time.

And further adds:

According to Christians:

-          The Father is truly God.
-          The Son is truly God.
-          The Holy Spirit is truly God.

There is nothing irrational about the above statement (if we were to assume that it teaches three different Gods). Similarly, the following statement is also logical:

-          Ahmed is a human being.
-          Khalid is a human being.
-          Ayman is a human being.

The readers can immediately spot the problems with Zawadi’s argumentation. He presupposes unitarianism, e.g. God is only one Person, and also assumes that God’s Being is identical to man’s state of existence.

Zawadi is correct that the three men in his comparison cannot all be the only human being without this being a contradiction since they are all different and distinct beings, not just different persons. We know that humans are by nature uni-personal and therefore a man cannot be more than one person and yet still one being at the same time. But the only way for Zawadi’s analogy to be a valid comparison to refute what Trinitarians believe concerning the nature of God is if he can prove that God is uni-Personal, i.e. he is not just one Divine Being but one Divine Person as well. He must further prove that God’s existence is identical to the being of man so that God cannot exist as a single Being who is more than one Person.

The problem is that Zawadi cannot prove his case by appealing to the Holy Bible since God’s true Word emphatically proclaims the utter uniqueness of God, that there is no creature that can be likened to him:

"For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you." Psalm 89:6-8

"Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?" Psalm 113:5-6

"‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One. ‘Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.’" Isaiah 40:25-26

"No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power… But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’ But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding." Jeremiah 10:6, 10-12

In fact, the Lord even rebuked the Israelites for thinking that he was like them:

"These things you have done and I kept silent; you thought the I AM was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face." Psalm 50:21

And what is more unique and unlike creation than the Biblical teaching that the one true God exists as three eternally distinct, yet inseparable, Persons at the same time? After all, is there anything in creation that is identical to the Triune God in his mode of existence, in his Being?

Furthermore, we have clearly documented in many of our discussions and rebuttals (much like we did in the first part of our reply to Zawadi) that the inspired Bible writers believed that there is only one God while also affirming that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct Persons who happen to be fully God in nature since all of them have all the essential Divine attributes.

Moreover, Zawadi is unfaithful to his own religious book for basically likening God to his creation, which is an implicit form of shirk, since he assumes that the Being of God is identical to the way man exists. Yet in assuming this he is only denying what his own false scripture says concerning the uniqueness of God:

The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. S. 42:11 Hilali-Khan

And there is none comparable unto Him. S. 112:4 Pickthall

And to repeat – there is nothing logically inconsistent with saying that God is one in a certain sense but more than one in another sense, e.g. he is one eternal Being who exists as a plurality of Divine Persons having a multiplicity of attributes. It would be logically inconsistent to say that God is one Being and three Beings at the same time, or one Person and three Persons simultaneously, but this is NOT what the doctrine of the Holy Trinity teaches.

Zawadi needs to spend some more time studying logic in order to avoid making such basic blunders in argumentation.

With that said it is now time to turn the tables on Zawadi.

The Quran as the Uncreated Speech of Allah

Zawadi, along with the orthodox Sunni Muslim community, believes that the Quran is the uncreated speech of Allah. This means that the Muslim scripture is both eternal and temporal, uncreated and created at the same time, i.e. the book that contains it, the ink used to write it, the voices that recite it, the hearts that memorize it are all created whereas the words themselves are not.

Muslim scholars went so far as to say that even though the Quran is not Allah it is not other than him!

We confess that the Kuran is the speech of Allah, uncreated, His inspiration and revelation, not He, yet not other than He, but His real quality, written in the copies, recited by the tongues, preserved in the breasts, yet not residing there. The ink, the paper, the writing are created, for they are the work of men. The speech of Allah on the other hand is uncreated, for the writing and the letters and the words and the verses are manifestations of the Kuran for the sake of human needs. The speech of Allah on the other hand is self-existing, and its meaning is understood by means of these things. Whoso sayeth that the speech of Allah is created, he is an infidel regarding Allah, the Exalted, whom men serve, who is eternally the same, His speech being recited or written and retained in the heart, yet never dissociated from Him. (A. J. Wensinck, The Muslim Creed (Cambridge: The University Press, 1932) p. 127; taken from the Wasiyat Abi Hanifa; bold and underline emphasis ours)


He has attributes from all eternity subsistent in His essence. They are not He nor are they other than He. And they are Knowledge and Power and Life and Might and Hearing and Seeing and Willing and Desiring and Doing and Creating and Sustaining. (Sa‘d al-Din al-Taftazani, A Commentary on the Creed of Islam, translated by E. E. Elder [Columbia University Press: New York, 1950], p. 49; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Now Zawadi is faced with a dilemma. If the Quran is not Allah then how can it be eternal? How can Allah still be one if the Quran is other than him? And if it isn’t other than Allah how then can the Muslim scripture not be a living, dynamic entity that is fully Divine? Moreover, if it isn’t other than Allah, how can it be distinct from Allah? How many Allahs are there? More importantly, how can something be and not be a specific thing at the same time, e.g. how can the Quran be Allah and not be Allah without this being a logical contradiction, being "a" and "not a" simultaneously? How can it be both eternal and created? Does this make sense? Not according to Zawadi if he is going to be consistent.

To make matters worse the Quran narrates episodes that have occurred within time and space. Since it is eternal this means that all of these events and speeches were foreordained, which means that the players in these episodes did not have free will but were programmed to say and act in accord with what Allah’s uncreated word had already predestined. After all, they had no choice to act in a manner contrary what is found in the Quran. How, then, can Zawadi affirm human free will while holding to the belief that the Quran is uncreated if he is going to be logically consistent?

What’s more, some of the Muslim scholars likened the Muslim view of the Quran to the Christian position concerning Christ being the eternal Word!

The problem of the nature of Christ, so central in the dogmatic development of the early church, has also influenced, in a certain way, the development of Islamic dogma. Christ's designation as logos, as the Word of God, "born not created," has most probably influenced Islamic theories about the Koran, which is regarded by the Muslim as the uncreated Word of God. Phenomenologically seen, the Koran has the same position in Islamic dogmatics as has Christ in Christianity. Harry A. Wolfson therefore coined the term "inlibration," the "Word become Book," in contrast to the Christian concept of incarnation, "the Word became Flesh." That explains why theologians emphasized the designation ummi for Muhammad; this term, first probably meaning "the prophet sent to the gentiles" was interpreted as "illiterate." The Prophet had to be a vessel unstained by external knowledge for the Word's inlibration, just as Mary had to be a virgin in order to be a pure vessel for the Word's incarnation. That is, the Koran is much more than simply a book ... (Annemarie Schimmel, Islam - An Introduction [State University of New York Press, Albany 1992], pp. 74-75; bold emphasis ours)

Muslim scholar Mahmoud M. Ayoub, in speaking of Muhammad’s relation to the Quran, writes:

… that the words that Muhammad conveyed to his people were not his own, but were revealed to him by God. It is also understood to mean that his mind was not contaminated by human wisdom. Rather it was a pure receptacle for the divine word in the same way that Mary's virginity means for Christians that her body was a pure vessel fit to receive Christ, the Word of God.

In fact, there is an interesting parallel between Christ and the Qur'an. Christ is, for Christians, the incarnate Word of God. While the Qur'an is, like Christ, the eternal divine word, it does not play a role in the creation of the world. It is the eternal word of God preserved for moral and spiritual guidance. It is an eternal book: "This surely is a glorious Qur'an, preserved in a well-guarded Tablet" (Q. 85:21-22). (Ayoub, Islam: Faith and History [Oneworld Publications, Oxford England, 2004], p. 41; underline emphasis ours)

John L. Esposito, Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, stated the following concerning the Mutazila view of the Quran and God's attributes:

The Mutazila took issue with the majority of ulama over the doctrines of the divine attributes or names of God and the eternal, uncreated nature of the Quran. Both beliefs were seen as contradictory and as compromising God's unity (Islam's absolute monotheism). How could the one, transcendent God have many divine attributes (sight, hearing, power, knowledge, will)? The Mutazila maintained that the Quranic passages that affirmed God's attributes were meant to be understood metaphorically or allegorically, not literally. Not to do so was to fall into anthropomorphism, or worse, shirk, associationism or polytheism. Similarly, the Islamic doctrine that the Quran is the speech or word of God should not be taken literally, for how could both God and His word be eternal and uncreated? The result would be two divinities. The Mutazila interpreted metaphorically those Quranic texts that spoke of the Quran preexisting in heaven. Contrary to majority opinion, they taught that the Quran is the created word of God, who is its uncreated source. The Mutazila critique of those like Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who believed in the eternity of the Quran, was ably summarized by Caliph Mamun in a letter to his governor:

Everything apart from Him is a creature from His creation - a new thing which He has brought into existence. [This perverted opinion they hold] though the Koran speaks clearly of God's creating all things, and proves to the exclusion of all differences of opinion. They are, thus, like the Christians when they claim that Isa bin Maryam [Jesus, the son of Mary] was not created because he was the word of God. But God says, "Verily We have made it a Koran in the Arabic language," and the explanation of that is, "Verily, We have created it," just as the Koran says, "And He made from it His mate that he might dwell with her." (Esposito, Islam The Straight Path [Oxford University Press, New York Oxford: Hard cover, third edition], pp. 71-72; underline emphasis ours)

Thus, whereas Jesus is God’s eternal Word who became flesh the Quran is the eternal Word that became a book! Since Zawadi has no problem affirming the unity of Allah while also believing that the Quran is the eternal speech of Allah that became a book on what logically consistent basis can he reject the Christian belief in the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the blessed Incarnation as irrational?

The following articles and rebuttals provide a more thorough discussion of these specific issues: 1, 2, 3, 4

Exposing More of Zawadi’s Double Standards

And now it’s time to document more of Zawadi’s inconsistencies. Zawadi stated that,

Now this argument probably won't convince Christians, since they would probably go on and reply back saying "Our logic is too limited to grasp the paradox of the Trinity".

Is this the same Zawadi who tries to defend and justify his irrational belief that Allah has bodyparts, e.g. Allah literally has eyes, hands, shins, feet, a waist, and literally ascends and descends even though these traits are supposed to be unlike anything in creation? The same Zawadi who also believes that Allah created time/space/matter, which is a contradiction to his belief that Allah literally has specific body parts? After all, Allah can only have eyes, hands, feet etc. is if he has a form of some kind and occupies space and time, which means that time/space/matter are eternal as well.

And is this the same gent who associates with Jalal Abualrub who censured those who would try to use human reasoning to refute the Salafi position concerning Allah’s bodily "attributes" being literal, and note simply metaphorical?

K – Wahhabis Literally Explain Texts Regarding Allah’s Hands and His Istiwaa,
Leading them to Tajseem

Samuel Zwemer said that Wahhabis commit Tajseem: they literally explain Texts of the Quran about Allah’s Hands and Istiwaa (rising above His Throne).

Comments: Believing in Allah’s Names and Attributes does not mean that one is attributing a specific nature for them (sic).


  1. In, Shar’h al-‘Aqeedah at-Ta’hawiyyah (Pg., 518), Imam Abu Jafar at-Ta’hawi said, "Islam is in the middle, between extremism and shortcomings, and between Tashbeeh and Ta’teel…"
  2. On page 520, Imam Ibn Abi al-‘Izz al-‘Hanafi commented on Imam Abu Jafar’s statement that Islam is, ‘…between Tashbeeh and Ta’teel’, by saying, "We previously stated that Allah, the Exalted, the Honored, should be described by what He described Himself with and by what His Prophet described Him with, without Tashbeeh. Consequently, it should not be said that Allah’s Hearing is similar to our hearing, or His Sight is similar to our sight. Also, Ta’teel should be avoided, and thus what He described Himself with and what the most knowledgeable person in Him (Prophet Muhammad [sic]) described Him with should not be denied, because this constitutes Ta’teel (circumventing the Text)… These meanings are found in Allah’s Statement, …

{There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer}; [42:11]"


  1. Christians are told in the Bible to recite this prayer; Matthew 6:7-13, …
  2. Centuries before Prophet Muhammad came, Prophet Jesus attested to Allah being in (above) heaven. Also, Psalm 11:4 states,

    "… the Lord’s throne is in heaven:"

  3. Also, Numbers 11:23 affirms Allah’s Hand and the fact that He spoke to Prophet Moses, …
  4. "And the Lord said to Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not."

    Of course, People of the Scriptures, especially Christians, have become experts at altering and circumventing their Word of God, explaining it by other than its apparent meaning and wishing that Muslims follow suit.

  5. Genesis 3:8-10 contains the following astonishing statement about Adam and Eve …

These verses claim that God was walking in the garden, in the cool of the day, and not knowing where Adam was [sic], calling him, saying, ‘Where are you, Adam?’ This is the exact Tashbeeh that Islam rejects. The only part of Genesis 3:8-10 that Islam upholds, is that stating that Allah speaks with whatever He will whenever He will. (Abualrub, Biography and Mission of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab, edited by Alaa Mencke [Madinah Publishers and Distributors, First Edition, June 2003], Chapter Nine: Popular Perceptions About the Wahhabi Movement, pp. 620-622)


L – Wahhabis Believe that Texts of the Quran and Sunna
Take Precedence Over the Mind

Samalley said that, ‘Wahhabis,’ do not allow freedom for the mind to answer religious questions, because human mind is incapable of finding correct solutions for matters pertaining to life and religion; they say that the answer to all this is found in the Quran and Sunna.


{It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision}; [33:36]."

That same Zawadi? Truly amazing.

In light of such irrational beliefs we would like to apply Zawadi’s closing comments to his own logically incoherent religious views:

Sure, Muslims can redefine language in order to deny that Allah has an actual body with body-parts so that it can make sense, but the problem with this would be that their anthropomorphic understanding is not Quranically based. It is simply the product of a hyper-literal reading of a text which is already brimming with contradictions and incoherent statements. However, in light of the fact that there are many Sunni Muslims who do not adopt such a hyper-literal reading of their false scripture we can definitely say that the Salafi insistence that Allah has a body is not just logically incoherent but also contrary to the correct exegesis of the Quran. It is not simply a matter of this doctrine being beyond our logic, but it emphatically goes AGAINST our logic. If it is AGAINST our logic then that means that it is a false belief, and that Muhammad is a false prophet.

Moreover, Zawadi and his fellow dawagandists may argue that, despite the fact that the Quran is not Allah and yet uncreated, this still doesn’t prove that Muslims have two gods, even though logically they do.

Christians, praise the Lord Jesus Christ Almighty that you are blessed to be following a faith that, although paradoxical, doesn’t conflict with sound reasoning.

For a thorough refutation of Zawadi’s irrational position concerning Allah’s bodyparts we suggest the following rebuttals and articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

And for a defense of the logical coherence of the Trinity and Incarnation we recommend reading the following materials: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

What makes this rather amusing is that Zawadi thought that his response was a sufficient reply to some of the above articles! That’s what happens when you live in a fantasy world where you believe in things such as the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, and that Muhammad is a prophet and Allah is actually god.

Rebuttals to Bassam Zawadi
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page