Divine Love: A Biblical and Quranic Perspective

Being A Critique of Shabir Ally’s Arguments for the Islamic Conception of God’s Love

Sam Shamoun

Renowned Christian philosopher and debater Dr. William Lane Craig engaged in a series of debates with Muslim polemicist Shabir Ally in Canada. One of the debates was titled Concept of God in Islam and Christianity which took place on March 6, 2002, and can be viewed here.

The debaters were to make a case for their particular view of God, i.e. which conception of Deity was more rational and acceptable. One of the arguments that Dr. Craig used to demonstrate why Christianity is superior to Islam is that God is the greatest conceivable Being, and as such one would imagine that his love is the greatest love imaginable and possible. With this point in mind Craig showed that the Holy Bible says that God loves sinners whereas Allah does not love them, proving that God’s love in the Bible is greater than what is taught in Islam and that the Islamic concept is morally inadequate.

Shabir Ally presented some counterarguments which we would like to examine here to see if his responses were valid and whether they were based on what Islam actually teaches.[1]

We will deal with a number of issues under the following subheadings:



The Islamic Teaching on God’s Love

Shabir Ally made reference to passages which call Allah Wadood, meaning the Loving:

Ask pardon of your Lord and then turn unto Him (repentant). Lo! my Lord is Merciful, Loving (Wadoodun). S. 11:90 Pickthall

And He is the Forgiving, the Loving (al-Wadood), S. 85:14 Pickthall

He takes this to mean that Allah loves all. Ally also alluded to this particular text to prove that Allah loves everyone:

And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Apostle from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people. S. 2:143 Shakir

Yet, as Dr. Craig rightly noted, these verses do not prove that Allah loves sinners since, if we interpret them in light of the other Quranic statements, it is apparent that his love and affection are only directed towards those who earn or deserve it.

For example, the Quran says that Allah loves those who do good, repent etc.

And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good. S. 2:195 Shakir

They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness. S. 2:222 Pickthall

Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. S. 3:31 Pickthall

And how many a prophet has fought with whom were many worshipers of the Lord; so they did not become weak-hearted on account of what befell them in Allah's way, nor did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves; and Allah loves the patient. S. 3:146 Shakir

Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust. S. 3:159 Shakir

And because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts. They change words from their context and forget a part of that whereof they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover treachery from all save a few of them. But bear with them and pardon them. Lo! Allah loveth the kindly. S. 5:13 Pickthall

(They like to) listen to falsehood, to devour anything forbidden. So if they come to you (O Muhammad SAW), either judge between them, or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot hurt you in the least. And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly. S. 5:42 Hilali-Khan

Surely those who believe and do deeds of righteousness -- unto them the All-merciful shall assign love. S. 19:96 Arberry

And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the Command of Allah; then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable. S. 49:9 Hilali-Khan

Lo! Allah loveth them who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure. S. 61:4 Pickhtall

At the same time, the Quran teaches that Allah does not love those who are evildoers:

And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits. S. 2:190 Shakir

Assuredly Allah knoweth that which they keep hidden and that which they proclaim. Lo! He loveth not the proud. S. 16:23 Pickthall

But seek the abode of the Hereafter in that which Allah hath given thee and neglect not thy portion of the world, and be thou kind even as Allah hath been kind to thee, and seek not corruption in the earth; lo! Allah loveth not corrupters, S. 28:77 Pickthall

And the recompense of evil is punishment like it, but whoever forgives and amends, he shall have his reward from Allah; surely He does not love the unjust. S. 42:40 Shakir

It even claims that Allah doesn’t love the prodigals!

It is He who produces gardens trellised, and untrellised, palm-trees, and crops diverse in produce, olives, pomegranates, like each to each, and each unlike to each. Eat of their fruits when they fructify, and pay the due thereof on the day of its harvest; and be not prodigal; God loves not the prodigal. S. 6:141 Arberry

This basically shows that Allah’s love is conditional and offered only to those who first love him and turn to him in righteousness. It is therefore not surprising to find the following Muslims translating Sura 85:14 in this manner:

And He is Oft-Forgiving, full of love (towards the pious who are real true believers of Isl‚mic Monotheism), Hilali-Khan

After all is said and done this fact remains: The Quran never affirms that Allah loves sinners and Shabir failed to prove the contrary.

Moreover, love is ultimately seen in actions. There are many instances in the Bible where God shows love to the unlovely, and sending Jesus and him dying for sinners is the greatest of all those acts of love. God becomes "personally involved" and loves to the point where he himself suffers. Nothing like this is reported of Allah. His claims to love are nearly always abstract statements. Allah loves … but how? Clear Quranic examples are necessary in order to show that this is not an empty claim but is backed with tangible evidence.


Islamic Doctrine of Predestination and Original Sin

Shabir Ally thought that he had another reason which adequately addressed why Allah only loves those who first love him or do what pleases him. Ally claimed that Allah created man in a state of salvation from the very start and it is man who strays from this position. Ally asserted that Islam teaches that man was created in a state of deen al-fitrah, or the natural religion, a natural inclination to know God and to have a relationship with him, which is unlike Christianity that teaches that man is born with the stain of original sin. He takes this as an indication of Allah loving everyone since he created everyone in this secure condition.

Ally also stated that when men stray from this condition then Allah justifiably loves them no longer until and unless they repent.

What Shabir does not tell his audience is that this state has nothing to do with salvation and doesn’t therefore prove that a person is born already saved. Rather, this state refers to the condition which Allah has predestined a person for, as the following texts make plain:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: No babe is born but upon Fitra. It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist. A person said: Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion if they were to die before that (before reaching the age of adolescence when they can distinguish between right and wrong)? He said: It is Allah alone Who knows what they would be doing. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426)

Abu Huraira reported from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) many ahadith and one amongst them is that he is reported to have said: An infant is born according to his (true) nature. It is his parents who make him a Jew, a Christian, just as a she-camel gives birth to its young ones. Do you find any deficiency in their limbs? You cut their ears (i. e. after birth). They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: What is your opinion about him who dies in infancy? Thereupon Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: It is Allah alone Who knows best what they would be doing. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6428)

These statements at first glance seem to support Ally, that is until we take into consideration the following report:

‘A’isha, the mother of the believers, said that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was called to lead the funeral prayer of a child of the Ansar. I said: Allah’s Messenger, there is happiness for this child who is a bird from the birds of Paradise for it committed no sin nor has he reached the age when one can commit sin. He said: 'A'isha, per adventure, IT MAY BE OTHERWISE, because God created for Paradise those who are fit for it WHILE THEY WERE YET IN THEIR FATHER’S LOINS and created for Hell those who are to go to Hell. He created them for Hell WHILE THEY WERE YET IN THEIR FATHER'S LOINS. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6436)

The forgoing statements lead to the conclusion that a child’s fitrah is connected to that which Allah has predestined him/her for. In other words, Allah created a person in the circumstances and condition which will lead him/her to realize his/her destiny, i.e. whether s/he has been created for salvation or wrath. As one writer put it:

Sultan Muhammad Paul's Argument

In the light of Mawlana Muhammad Ali's translation of Surah 30:30 and his comments on this verse, three questions arise:

  1. Is there anything in the verse to substantiate the claim of Mawlana Muhammad Ali's claim that this verse demonstrates freedom from sin at birth (payda`ishi ma'sumiyya)?
  2. What is the meaning of fitra?
  3. Has God created people, from an Islamic perspective, in (mankind's) original (perfect) condition?

Nothing in Qur'an 30:30 proves that man is free from sin from birth. Nor does the hadith quoted by Muhammad Ali state that "fitra is Islam" - an addition which is only Bukhari's personal commentary. The hadith, to which Qur'an 30:30 is added, is:

Abu Huraira reported God's messenger as saying, "Every child is born in fitra, but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian; just as a beast is born whole. Do you find some among them (born) maimed?" Then he was saying, "God's pattern on which He formed (fitra) mankind. There is no alteration of God's creation. That is true religion."13

Even Muhammad Ali in the English translation of the Quranic commentary does not translate fitra by "Islam" but by "the true religion". A member of any one religion considers that religion to be the true religion. Still no one need be surprised when Muslims equate fitra with Islam.

Nevertheless not all Hadith commentators agree with this equation. One of these commentators writes that `ala`l-fitra means that "a child is born with a type of condition or disposition that facilitates reception of any religion. Barring a catastrophe, he will always remain in it." Jurjani writes that "fitra is that natural disposition (jibillah) which may be ready for the reception of any religion". Ibn Mubarak, a renowned specialist of Hadith, writes about this hadith:

Every child is born into his own natural (fitrati) happiness or misery according to the knowledge of God. Then each one of them will be present at the end with the same nature (fitra) with which he was created and likewise acted in this world. One of the signs of misery is to be born among Jews or Magians, because they will make him miserable on account of their religious belief.

The following hadith indicates the unfortunate destiny of children born to infidels:

`A`isha said: I asked, "Messenger of God, what happens to offspring of believers?" He replied, "They are joined to their parents." I asked, "Although they have done nothing, messenger of God?" He replied, "God knows best what they were doing." I asked, "What happens to the offspring of polytheists?" He replied, "They are joined to their parents." I asked, "Although they have done nothing?" He replied, "God knows best what they were doing."14

Two other traditions in Bukhari reveal Muhammad's reluctance to predict the destiny of children born to infidels: children who, being born innocent like all children, would go to heaven, according to Mawlana Muhammad Ali's argument.

Did God, then, create all in a perfect state, as Mawlana Muhammad Ali claims? In fact both the Hadith and the Qur'an demonstrate the creation of people in two states:

Ibn Mas'ud said that God's messenger who spoke the truth and whose word was believed told them the following: The constituents of one of you are collected for forty days in his mother's womb in the form of a drop, then they become a piece of congealed blood for a similar period, then they become a lump of flesh for a similar period. Then God sends to him an angel with four words who records his deeds, the period of his life, his provision, and whether he will be miserable or blessed; thereafter He breathes the spirit into him. By Him other than whom there is no god, one of you will do the deeds of those who go to paradise so that there will only be a cubit between him and it, then what is decreed will overcome him so that he will do the deeds of those who go to hell and will enter it; and one of you will do the deeds of those who go to hell so that there will be only a cubit between him and it, then what is decreed will overcome him so that he will do the deeds of those who go to paradise and will enter it.15

Anas bin Malik reported that he heard God's messenger say: "God appoints an angel over the womb of a mother who says: 'O Lord, now there is a drop; O Lord, now there is congealed blood; O Lord, now there is a lump of flesh.' When God wished to complete His creation, then (the angel) said: 'O Lord, is it male or female? Miserable or happy? What is its provision and when does it die?' All of this is written when it is in the womb of its mother."16

'Abdallah b. 'Amr reported that he heard God's messenger say, "God created His creatures in darkness17 and cast some of His light upon them. Those on whom some of that light falls will have guidance, but those who are missed by it will go astray. On that account I say that the pen has no more to write about God's knowledge."18

The latter hadith especially, which states that all mankind (and jinn) are born in darkness, conflicts with the claim of Muhammad Ali that God created all mankind in a perfect state. (A Summary of The Fall of the Human Race by Khwaja Kamal ud-Din, Mawlawi Muhammad Ali & Sultan Muhammad Khan Paul (A Muslim-Christian Dialogue on Original Sin: Summarized, Translated and Annotated by Ernest Hahn); online edition)

In fact, this is not simply an isolated teaching of the hadith but the explicit combined testimony of the Quran and the Islamic traditions. For instance, the Quran plainly teaches that Allah predetermines all events and actions, whether good or evil, and the fate of every person.

Say: 'Naught shall visit us but what God has prescribed for us; He is our Protector; in God let the believers put all their trust.' S. 9:51

Here is how Sahih al-Bukhari interpreted this specific text:

XIV. "Say: 'Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us." (9:51)

Mujahid said, "Bi-fatinina" (37:162) means misguided, those for whom Allah has written that they will burn in Hellfire."

"Qaddarra fa-hada" (87:3): He decreed misery and happiness and guided livestock to their grazing pasture." (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 85. Book of the Decree (Qadar); source; underline emphasis ours)

Moving on to other texts:

Surely We have created everything in measure. S. 54:49

No affliction befalls in the earth or in yourselves, but it is in a Book, before We create it; that is easy for God; S. 57:22

And he cast a glance at the stars, and he said, 'Surely I am sick.' But they went away from him, turning their backs. Then he turned to their gods, and said, 'What do you eat? What ails you, that you speak not?' And he turned upon them smiting them with his right hand. Then came the others to him hastening. He said, 'Do you serve what you hew, and God created you and what you make?' S. 37:88-96

Abraham supposedly claimed that Allah made them and their idols, meaning that it was Allah who moved them to make statues of false gods!

This is confirmed by the following Islamic texts:

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)

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) [2]

The Quran even says that the reason why people turn away from Islam is because they were designed to do so:

Turned aside therefrom (i.e. from Muhammad SAW and the Qur'an) is he who is turned aside (by the Decree and Preordainment of Allah). S. 51:9 Hilali-Khan

Moreover, the Quran and ahadith emphatically confirm the doctrine of original sin, contrary to Shabir’s claims. The Quran states that the sin of Adam and Eve plunged all of their descendants into a fallen state:

But the Satan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of YOU being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. We said: Go down, ALL OF YOU, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. S. 2:36-38

The above clearly shows that Adam’s sin had a negative impact on all future generations of mankind since in Arabic the YOU in both 2:36 and 38 is plural (referring to more than two), as opposed to the dual. We know that in the case of Sura 2:38 the plural cannot be a reference to Satan since he stands condemned to hell and will not follow the guidance which will come from Allah. Therefore, it is quite obvious that the plural is addressed to all of mankind, that humanity suffered expulsion due to their federal head, Adam, a point reiterated elsewhere:

God said, `Go forth, some of you will be enemies of others. And for you there is an abode on the earth and a provision for a time.' S. 7:24

Renowned Sunni exegete Ibn Kathir says of 2:38-39:

Allah informs of His warning to Adam, his wife and Satan, THEIR OFFSPRING, when he ordered THEM to descend from Paradise. He says he will send messengers with Scriptures, signs and proofs… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Part 1, Surah Al-Fatiah Surah Al-Baqarah, ayat 1 to 141, Abridged by Sheikh Nasib Ar-Rafa‘i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London: Second Edition 1998], pp. 109-110; capital emphasis ours)

Regarding Sura 2:34 Ibn Kathir says that:

This Ayah mentions the great honor that Allah granted Adam, and Allah reminded Adam's offspring of this fact. Allah commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam, as this Ayah and many Hadiths testify, such as the Hadith about the intercession that we discussed. There is a Hadith about the supplication of Musa, "O my Lord! Show me Adam who caused us and himself to be thrown out of Paradise." When Musa met Adam, he said to him, "Are you Adam whom Allah created with His Own Hands, blew life into and commanded the angels to prostrate before?" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-Fatihah to Verse 252 of Surat Al-Baqarah), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: January 2000], Parts 1 and 2, Volume 1, p. 193; bold and underline emphasis ours)

He then writes in reference to Sura 7:172:

Commenting on this Ayah (7:172), At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, …

((… So Adam denied that and HIS OFFSPRING FOLLOWED SUIT (denying Allah's covenant), Adam forgot and HIS OFFSPRING FORGOT, Adam made a mistake and HIS OFFPRING MADE MISTAKES.))

At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih, and it was reported from various chains of narration through Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet. Al-Hakim also recorded it in his Mustadrak, and said; Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim, and they did not record it."

These and similar Hadiths testify that Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, brought forth Adam's offspring from his loins and separated between the inhabitants of Paradise and those of the Fire… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) (Surat Al-A‘raf to the end of Surah Yunus), First Edition: May 2000, Volume 4, pp. 201-203; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir had the following things to say about those who deny predestination, that Allah predestines people for salvation and destruction:

Also, Allah relates the misguidance of those who indulged in it, although they were justly misguided according to Allah's appointed destiny. For instance, Allah said...

<He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right path)> (18:17)

and...

<Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him; and He lets them wander blindly in their transgression> (7:186).

These and several other Ayat testify to the fact that Allah alone is the One Who guides and misguides, contrary to the belief of the Qadariyyah sect, who claimed that the servants choose and create their own destiny. They rely on some unclear Ayat avoiding what is clear and contradicts their desires. Theirs, is the method of the people who follow their lust, desire and wickedness. An authentic Hadith narrated...

<<When you see those who follow what is not so clear in it (the Qur'an), then they are those whom Allah has mentioned (refer to 3:7). Hence, avoid them.>>

The Prophet was referring to Allah's statement...

<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), and seeking for its hidden meanings> (3:7).

Verily, no innovator in the religion could ever rely on any authentic evidence in the Qur'an that testifies to his innovation. The Qur'an came to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and guidance and misguidance. The Qur'an does not contain any discrepancies or contradictions, because it is a revelation from the Most Wise, Worthy of all praise. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 1; source)

Here, also, are the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s comments on Sura 2:36:

… Note the transition in Arabic from the singular number in ii. 33, to the dual in ii. 35, and the plural here [2:36], which I have indicated in English by "All ye people." Evidently Adam is the type of all mankind, and the sexes go together in all spiritual matters. Moreover, the expulsion applied to Adam, Eve, and Satan, and the Arabic plural is appropriate for any number greater than two. (Bold and underline emphasis ours)

The Islamic narrations take it a step further and say that not only did Adam expel mankind from paradise but also that Allah actually predestined this for him!

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. 'O Adam! You are our father WHO DISAPPOINTED US AND TURNED US OUT OF PARADISE.' Then Adam said to him, 'O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action WHICH ALLAH HAD WRITTEN IN MY FATE forty years before my creation?' So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times. (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 611)

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira and Hudhaifa that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, would gather people. The believers would stand till the Paradise would be brought near them. They would come to Adam and say: O our father, open for us the Paradise. He would say: What turned you out from the Paradise WAS THE SIN OF YOUR FATHER ADAM. I am not in a position to do that; ... (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0380)

Abu Huraira reported that God’s messenger told of Adam and Moses holding a disputation in their Lord’s presence and of Adam getting the better of Moses in argument. Moses said, "You are Adam whom God created with His hand, into whom He breathed of His spirit, to whom He made the angels do obeisance, and whom He caused to dwell in his garden; then BECAUSE OF YOUR SIN caused MANKIND to come down to the earth." Adam replied, "And you are Moses whom God chose to deliver His messages and to address, to whom He gave the tablets on which everything was explained, and whom He brought near as a confidant. How long before I was created did you find that God has written the Torah? Moses said, "Forty years." Adam asked, "Did you find in it, ‘And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred’?" On being told that he did, he said, "Do you then blame me for doing a deed WHICH GOD HAD DECREED THAT I SHOULD DO forty years before He created me?" God’s messenger said, "So Adam got the better of Moses n the argument." Muslim transmitted it. (Mishkat Al-Masabih English Translation With Explanatory Notes by Dr. James Robson, Volume I [Sh. Muhammad Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore-Pakistan, Reprint 1990], p. 23; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z-Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Adam and Musa argued and Adam got the better of Musa. Musa rebuked Adam, 'You are Adam WHO LED PEOPLE ASTRAY and brought them out of the Garden.' Adam said to him, 'You are Musa to whom Allah gave knowledge of everything and whom he chose above people with His message.' He said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Do you then censure me for a matter WHICH WAS DECREED FOR ME BEFORE I WAS CREATED?'" (Malik's Muwatta, Book 46, Number 46.1.1)

Islamic traditions also blame Eve for causing God's curse to fall on all future generations of women by having a negative influence on them:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "Were it not for Bani Israel, meat would not decay; and were it not FOR EVE, no woman would ever betray her husband." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 611)

Hammam b. Munabbih said: These are some of the ahadith which Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrated to us from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him), and one of these (this one): Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Had it not been for Bani Isra'il, food would not have become stale, and meal would not have gone bad; and had it not been FOR Eve, a woman would never have acted unfaithfully toward her husband. (Sahih Muslim, Book 008, Number 3472)

As if this weren’t enough notice what another renowned exegete and commentator named al-Tabari narrated regarding the fall:

According to Yunus - Ibn Wahb - Ibn Zayd (commenting on God's word: "And he whispered"): Satan whispered to Eve about the tree and succeeded in taking her to it; then he made it seem good to Adam. He continued. When Adam felt a need for her and called her, she said: No! unless you go there. When he went, she said again: No! unless you eat from this tree. He continued. They both ate from it, and their secret parts became apparent to them. He continued. Adam then went about in Paradise in flight. His Lord called out to him: Adam, is it from Me that you are fleeing? Adam replied: No, my Lord, but I feel shame before You. When God asked what had caused his trouble, he replied: Eve, my Lord. Whereupon God said: Now it is My obligation to make her bleed once every month, as she made this tree bleed. I ALSO MAKE HER STUPID, although I had created her intelligent (halimah), and must make her suffer pregnancy and birth with difficulty, although I made it easy for her to be pregnant and give birth. Ibn Zayd said: Were it not for the affliction that affected Eve, the women of this world would not menstruate, AND THEY WOULD BE INTELLIGENT and, when pregnant, give birth easily. (The History of Al-Tabari: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood, translated by Franz Rosenthal [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1989], Volume 1, pp. 280-281; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Cain also shares in the blame of man’s fallen state:

Narrated 'Abdullah:
The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said, "...a part of its blood because he was the first to establish the tradition of murdering." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 423)

The foregoing perhaps explains why the Quran describes man in the following manner:

1. Man is unjust and ungrateful.

And He gives you of all that you ask Him; and if you count Allah's favors, you will not be able to number them; most surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful. S. 14:53 Shakir

Cursed be man! how ungrateful is he! S. 80:17 Shakir

"Truly man is, to his Lord, ungrateful; And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds); And violent is he in his love of wealth." S. 100:6-8

2. Man is foolish and fails to do what is commanded.

"We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and foolish;-" S. 33:72 Shakir

"By no means hath he fulfilled what Allah hath commanded him." S. 80:23 Shakir

3. Man is created impatient.

"Verily, man is created impatient and miserly. When evil touches him, he is full of lamentations, But when good falls to his lot, he is niggardly, Except those who pray, Those who are constant in their Prayer; And those in whose wealth there is a known right–" S. 70:19-24 Sher Ali

"And man prays for evil as he ought to pray for good, and man is ever hasty." S. 17:11 Shakir

4. Man is created weak.

"Allah doth wish to lighten your (difficulties): For man was created weak (in flesh)." S. 4:28

5. Man inclines to evil.

"Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." S. 12:53

The Quran explains that the reason why man has a natural tendency for evil is because Allah breathed wickedness into him!

By a Soul and Him who balanced it, And BREATHED INTO IT ITS WICKEDNESS and its piety, S. 91:7-8 Rodwell

Here is how Muhammad purportedly interpreted this passage:

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 preodained 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)

These next narrations provide further substantiation that Allah has preordained everything that occurs, even wickedness and evil:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-'As: I heard Allah's Apostle (PBUH) as saying: Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water. (Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6416)

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your "if" opens the (gate) for the Satan. (Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6441)

And:

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:

Muslim ibn Yasar al-Juhani said: When Umar ibn al-Khattab was asked about the verse "When your Lord took their offspring from the backs of the children of Adam" - al-Qa'nabi recited the verse--he said: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say when he was questioned about it: Allah created Adam, then passed His right hand over his back, and brought forth from it his offspring, saying: I have these for Paradise and these will do the deeds of those who go to Paradise. He then passed His hand over his back and brought forth from it his offspring, saying: I have created these for Hell, and they will do the deeds of those who go to Hell.

A man asked: What is the good of doing anything, Apostle of Allah? The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: When Allah creates a servant for Paradise, He employs him in doing the deeds of those who will go to Paradise, so that his final action before death is one of the deeds of those who go to Paradise, for which He will bring him into Paradise. But when He creates a servant for Hell, He employs him in doing the deeds of those who will go to Hell, so that his final action before death is one of the deeds of those who go to Hell, for which He will bring him into Hell. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 40, Number 4686)

6. Man is lost.

"Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy." S. 103:2-3

7. Man thinks he is self-sufficient.

"Day, but man doth transgress all bounds, In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient." S. 96:6-7

8. Sin is universal.

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

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

"If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve. He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: when their Term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His Servants." S. 35:45

9. Man is incapable of becoming pure in and of himself.

"O ye who believe! follow not Satan's footsteps: if any will follow the footsteps of Satan, he will (but) command what is shameful and wrong: and were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah on you, not one of you would ever have been pure: but Allah doth purify whom He pleases: and Allah is One Who hears and knows (all things)." S. 24:21

10. Man is created in distress.

"Certainly We have created man to be in distress." S. 90:4 Shakir

11. Allah debases unbelievers.

"Certainly We created man in the best make. Then We render him the lowest of the low. Except those who believe and do good, so they shall have a reward never to be cut off." S. 95:4-6 Shakir

It is evident that an accurate and careful reading of the Quran and Muslim sources demonstrates that authentic, historic Islam does hold to a doctrine of original sin and federal headship. These sources even articulate and define this doctrine just as clearly as the Holy Bible!

Since Shabir Ally’s argument that Allah created man in a state of salvation is not substantiated by either the Quran or the Islamic traditions this means that he is back to square one. He is faced with the problem that the Islamic conception of Divine love is morally deficient since Allah’s love is not the greatest imaginable one. Allah, unlike Yahweh, is not all loving since his love is partial and has to be earned. As one source puts it:

Professor Daud Rahbar, a modern Muslim scholar wrote: "Unqualified Divine Love for mankind is an idea completely alien to the Qur'an. In fact 'to love' is a phrase too strong to convey the idea of ahabba which can be rendered equally well as to like or to approve …. Even if we adopt the translation 'loves' for yuhibbu when it is used with God as the subject, nowhere we find the idea that God loves mankind. God's love is conditional." [106: (Daud Rahbar, God of Justice, Leiden E.J. Brill, 1960, p. 172] (M. Rafiqul-Haqq and P. Newton, ALLAH: IS HE GOD?, The Love of God - Who Deserves It?; source)

The following Muslim scholar basically concurs with Rahbar:

"The love of God was not stated by the Qur'an except for those who possess great virtues which result in the good of mankind and human society. And was denied by God for those who are described by extreme wickedness which results in spreading harm and corruption." ('Afif abd-Al-Fatah Tabarah, Roh al-Din al-Islami (Spirit of the Religion of Islam) [Manshourat Gama'at 'Ebad al- Rahman, First edition, Beirut, 1955], p. 131)

In fact, according to the Islamic position a creature has shown more love than his creator. The Quran mentions that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son out of his love for Allah:

And he said (after his rescue from the fire): "Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!" "My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous." So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: "O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to God), so look what you think!" He said: "O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insh‚' God (if God will), you shall find me of As-S‚birin (the patient ones, etc.)." Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of God), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering); And We called out to him: "O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream (vision)!" Verily! Thus do We reward the MuhsinŻn (good-doers -- see V.2:112). Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a ram); S. 37:99-107 Hilali-Khan

Allah has never duplicated this self-sacrificial act of love, unlike the God of the Holy Bible who offered his only beloved Son for sinners. Thus, a mere mortal showed greater love than Allah!


The Biblical Teaching on God’s Love

It is time to turn our attention to what God’s Word says about the subject of Divine love. The Holy Bible affirms God’s love for sinners and that his love for them is not based on any inherent righteousness or goodness that they possess. Rather, God loves them in spite of their wickedness and seeks to save and reform them from their evil ways:

"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today." Deuteronomy 7:6-11

"Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people." Deuteronomy 9:4-6

God also loves the prodigal:

"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost." Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost." Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’ And he said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me." And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, "How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’" And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate. Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, "Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound." But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!" And he said to him, "Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found."’" Luke 15:1-32

God’s love for the wicked is beautifully seen in the following instructions of Christ:

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:43-48

Believers are to reflect God’s perfection by loving their enemies and praying for those who seek to do them harm since God himself shows kindness and love to the wicked, not just the righteous.

Jesus’ statements echo the words of the Psalmist who wrote:

"The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made." Psalm 145:9

In fact, it is because God first loved us that we come to love him:

"We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:19

God went so far as to prove his love for sinners by sending his beloved Son to redeem them through his death and resurrection:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’" John 4:42

"This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." John 6:50-51

"and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:5-8

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10

In a nutshell, the true God of the Holy Bible loves the very people that the Quran says Allah does not love!


Does Yahweh Differentiate in His Love?

Although God loves all mankind and blesses them, the Holy Bible also teaches that he loves believers in a special and unique way:

"‘Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, ‘Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’" John 14:21-23

"for the Father himself loves you, BECAUSE you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father." John 16:27-28

"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:20-26

According to the foregoing, God loves those who obey Christ in the same manner and to the same extent that he loves his Son. This presupposes that God does not love to the same degree those who do not believe in Jesus, or obey him. This is similar to what Paul says in his epistle to Timothy:

"For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10

God is the Savior of all mankind, i.e. he is the one who delivers man from his enemies, from calamites, from diseases etc. At the same time, God is the Savior of believers in a unique way, i.e. he redeems them from their sins and from the eternal wrath to come just as these texts say:

"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save HIS PEOPLE from their sins." Matthew 1:21

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1

"Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:9-11

"For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Thessalonians 5:9

Likewise, God loves the world in a specific sense, i.e. he cares and provides for it as well as sending forth his Son to save it:

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." John 3:17

"If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." John 12:47

"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1-2

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:11-14

Yet he loves believers in a more intimate and special manner.


What About God’s Hatred of Sinners?

Another way Shabir tried to defend the Islamic conception of God’s love is by highlighting passages in the Holy Bible where God is said to hate sinners. His purpose in referring to these biblical texts was to show how similar the Christian and Muslim conceptions of Divine love are, and that Craig’s criticism of Islam would apply to his beliefs as a Christian.[3]

Here are the biblical passages where Yahweh is said to hate evildoers:

"Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you." Deuteronomy 18:12

"A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this." Deuteronomy 22:5

"No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute. You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD your God detests them both." Deuteronomy 23:17-18

"For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly." Deuteronomy 25:16

"The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man." Psalm 5:5-7

"The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence." Psalm 11:5

"There they are, in great terror, where there is no terror! For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you; you put them to shame, for God has rejected them." Psalm 53:5

"for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence." Proverbs 3:32

"There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers." Proverbs 6:16-19

"The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless." Proverbs 11:20

"The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful." Proverbs 12:22

"The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him." Proverbs 15:26

"The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished." Proverbs 16:5

"The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. ‘I have loved you,’ says the LORD. But you say, "How have you loved us?’ ‘Is not Esau Jacob's brother?’ declares the LORD. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.’" Malachi 1:1-3

The apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans quotes the reference from Malachi:

"As it is written, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’" Romans 9:13

Now do these references support Ally’s contention that both the Christian and Islamic conceptions of God are similar, and that Islam’s teaching on Divine love is therefore morally acceptable? Not at all for at least two reasons.

First, as Craig rightly pointed out, the most this proves is that both conceptions are morally inadequate, not that the Islamic view is acceptable. Craig correctly noted that this is nothing more than a logical fallacy, more specifically the fallacy of tu quoque (which is what Shabir called it in his response to Craig even though he tried to deny the charge!).

Secondly, the reason why the true God of the Holy Bible justifiably hates sinners is because of their rejection of the love that he has shown them. The Holy Bible teaches that God has taken the initiative in revealing himself to mankind and by providing for their well-being, both physically and spiritually:

"But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?" Job 12:7-9

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat." Psalm 19:1-6

"Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he sprang up and began walking. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.’ Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them." Acts 14:8-18

"Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, ‘What does this babbler wish to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities’--because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took hold of him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.’ Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, "To the unknown god." What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "In him we live and move and have our being"; as even some of your own poets have said, "For we are indeed his offspring." Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’ Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’" Acts 17:16-32

When sinners spurn God’s provisions and acts of mercy they arouse God’s righteous anger and hatred:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." Romans 1:18-25

This is even stated in some of the very texts which mention God’s hatred of sinners:

"And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them." Leviticus 20:23

"I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you… But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you… But the land shall be abandoned by them and enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them, and they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they spurned my rules and their soul abhorred my statutes. Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, neither will I abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them, for I am the LORD their God." Leviticus 26:11, 27-30, 43-44

"But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel. But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert; he gave them what they asked, but sent a wasting disease among them. When men in the camp were jealous of Moses and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD, the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram. Fire also broke out in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image. They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. Therefore he said he would destroy them -- had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them. Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD. Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness, and would make their offspring fall among the nations, scattering them among the lands. Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; they provoked the LORD to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them. Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed. And that was counted to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever. They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account, for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips. They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds. Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage;" Psalm 106:13-40

"My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her." Jeremiah 12:8

"Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels." Hosea 9:15

Here is the crucial and foundational difference between the teachings of the Holy Bible, God’s true Word, regarding Yahweh’s love versus the Quran’s teaching on the love of Allah. The God of the Holy Bible has taken the initiative and even proven his love for sinners by caring for them and sending Jesus to die for them. Thus, he is completely justified in hating them when they spurn his love. The Quran, on the other hand, never says that Allah loves sinners but expressly states that he only loves those who love him and do what is good in his sight.

We conclude our analysis with the words of the exalted and risen Lord Jesus:

"If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same." Luke 6:32-33

Allah’s love rises no higher and is no greater than the love shown by sinners.


Further Reading

http://answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/love.html
http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/love.htm
http://www.carm.org/uni/Godhates.htm
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=q_and_a
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/predestination.htm


Endnotes

[1] Even though we felt that William Lane Craig won the debate and easily refuted Ally’s arguments, we do not agree with all of his points such as his assertion that biblical passages stating that God hates sinners are not literal, but should be understood to mean that God hates the sin. Craig argued that most of the verses which speak of God hating sinners appear in the poetic books, not in the didactic or teaching portions of Scripture. Craig reasoned that since such books obviously use hyperbole these texts should not be used to determine theology. Ally rightly pointed out that many of these citations also appear in the didactic and narrative parts of the Holy Bible and cannot be simply dismissed as hyperbole. Clearly, Craig’s philosophy hindered him from dealing with the sound exegesis of the references which speak of God hating sinners, not just their sins.

[2] Shabir Ally has all but abandoned this classical Islamic view of Allah’s perfect knowledge and preordainment of all events. Ally has embraced a view of Allah’s knowledge which is akin to William Lane Craig’s position called middle knowledge, also known as molinism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molinism). This has angered many a Muslim such as the following:

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.

Men like Shabir are mere feigners of Islamic knowledge and scholarship. They do not reach the ankles of many young Salafee shaikhs of today like Shaikh 'Alee Hasan al-Halabee and his companions in Jordan, Shaikh 'Abdul-Maalik Ramadaanee and many others in Saudi, Shaikh Hishaam bin Fahmee al-'Aarif in Palestine, and many, many others around the world; so then how do they fair when compared to older, more experienced and knowledgeable shaikhs and scholars? Islamic scholars and shaikhs are those who excel in the Islamic academic sciences, not those who excel in spewing out Bible verses and engaging in polemical catfights with ignorant Christian missionaries and atheists while being completely ignorant of the religion in whose name they claim to be doing whatever it is that they are doing.

(Rasheed Gonzales, Aboo Ishaaq, Issues of Knowledge, and Other Things: A Reply to Sami Zaatari; source; accessed 22 June 2006; bold emphasis ours)

Another Muslim named Dr. Tariq AbdelHaleem even wrote a four part rebuttal to Shabir Ally titled, Ahlul Sunnah's Understanding of al-Qada'a wal Qadar: A Reply to a Confused Aqida. These series of responses were available for a time at http://alarqam.com/, but unfortunately this site is no longer online.

Shabir Ally responds to the above in this article.

[3] It is rather intriguing that Shabir Ally would raise this against Craig in light of his debate with Dr. James White which took place at Biola University, on May 7, 2006 titled "Is the New Testament We Possess Today Inspired?" (1, 2). Dr. White essentially shut down Ally’s case against the NT by reminding Shabir that his critical approach, the method of criticism that he employs to undermine the Holy Bible, could be used against the Quran to debunk its claims of inspiration. Dr. White criticized Ally for failing to use his methodology against the Quran when he has no problems employing it against the Holy Bible. White noted that inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument, and Ally is definitely inconsistent.

Ally takes exception with White’s criticism of his methods (*), and yet here, in his debate with Craig, he basically employed White’s approach to defend Islam! Ally was basically complaining that Craig wasn’t using his argument consistently since if he did then he would have to essentially reject the Holy Bible. Talk about a double standard and of being inconsistent!


Further articles by Sam Shamoun
Responses to Shabir Ally
Answering Islam Home Page