Answering Dr. Jamal Badawi:
Jamal Badawi's Misinformation and Misquotations - Part 5
[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 ]
Badawi on Embryology and Genetics
The Quran has much to say about the formation of the embryo. For instance, in seven different places the Quran claims that man is created from a Nutfah (cf. S. 80:17-19; 76:2; 75:37-39; 53: 45-47; 40:67; 23:12-14; 22:5).
In his lecture regarding Quranic embryology titled Embryology in the Quran, Badawi claimed that the Quran is completely accurate in describing the developing embryo. Badawi had much to say about the meaning of Nutfah, stressing the fact that in two places Nutfah is described as something that is ejaculated. (Cf. S. 75:37-39; 53:45-47)
Badawi claimed that since Nutfah is described as something ejaculated, it could only be referring to the male seminal fluid. Badawi concluded that the Quran correctly indicates that it is the male contribution that determines the gender of the child, completely agreeing with modern genetic discoveries.
Let us see if the evidence from ancient and modern Muslim authorities supports Badawi's claim that the Nutfah that is poured forth refers solely to the male seminal fluid.
Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali & Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan's Translation of the Quran:
Be cursed (the disbelieving) man! How ungrateful he is! From what thing did He create him? From Nutfah (male and female semen drops) He created him, and then set him in due proportion; S. 80:17-19
Verily, We have created man from Nutfah drops of mixed semen (discharge of man and woman), in order to try him, so We made him hearer, seer. S. 76:2
Was he not a Nutfah (mixed male and female discharge of semen) poured forth? Then he became an 'Alaqa (a clot); then (Allâh) shaped and fashioned (him) in due proportion. And made him in two sexes, male and female. S. 75:37-39
And that He (Allâh) creates the pairs, male and female, From Nutfah (drops of semen male and female discharges) when it is emitted; And that upon Him (Allâh) is another bringing forth (Resurrection); S. 53:45-47
He, it is Who has created you (Adam) from dust, then from a Nutfah [mixed semen drops of male and female discharge (i.e. Adam's offspring)] then from a clot (a piece of coagulated blood), then brings you forth as children, then (makes you grow) to reach the age of full strength, and afterwards to be old (men and women), though some among you die before, and that you reach an appointed term, in order that you may understand. S. 40:67
And indeed We created man (Adam) out of an extract of clay (water and earth). Thereafter We made him (the offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (mixed drops of the male and female sexual discharge) (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb of the woman). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So blessed be Allâh, the Best of creators. S. 23:12-14
O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily! We have created you (i.e. Adam) from dust, then from a Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge i.e. offspring of Adam), then from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood) then from a little lump of flesh, some formed and some unformed (miscarriage), that We may make (it) clear to you (i.e. to show you Our Power and Ability to do what We will). And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth). S. 22:5
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
The following commentaries are taken from the ten-volume set of Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore.
Ibn Kathir on S. 76:2
<Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj>
meaning, mixed. The words Mashaj and Mashij mean something that is mixed together. Ibn 'Abbas said concerning Allah's statement, ...
<from Nutfah Amshaj>
"This means the fluid of the man and the fluid of the woman when they meet and mix. Then man changes after this from stage to stage, condition to condition, and color to color. 'Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, and Ar-Rabi' bun Anas all made statements similar to this. They said, "Amshaj is the mixing of the man's fluid with the woman's fluid." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 10, Surat At-Tagabun to the end of the Qur'an, first edition, September 2000, p. 284; bold emphasis ours)
Ibn Kathir on S. 23:12-14
<Thereafter We made him a Nutfah.> Here the pronoun refers back to humankind, as in another Ayah: ...
<and He began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.> [32:7,8]
meaning, weak, as He says: ...
<Did we not create you from despised water? Then We placed it in a place of safety.>
meaning, the womb, which is prepared and readily equipped for that, ...
<For a known period. So We did measure; and We are the Best to measure> [77:22-23]
meaning, for a known period of time, until it is established and moves from one stage to the next. Allah says here, ...
<Then We made the Nutfah into a clot,>
meaning, 'then We made the Nutfah, which is the water gushing forth that comes from the loins of man, i.e., his back, and the ribs of woman, i.e., the bones of her chest, between the clavicle and the breasts. Then it becomes a red clot, like an elongated clot.' 'Ikrimah said, "THIS IS BLOOD."
<then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh,> which is like a piece of flesh with no shape or features ...
<then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones,>
meaning, 'We gave it shape, with a head, two arms and two legs, with its bones, nerves and veins.' ...
<then We clothed the bones with flesh,>, meaning, 'We gave it something to cover it and strengthen it.' ...
<and then We brought it forth as another creation.>
means, 'then We breathed the soul into it, and it moved and became a new creature, one that could hear, see, understand and move.'
... Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that 'Abdullah -- Ibn Mas'ud -- said: "The Messenger of Allah, the Truthful one, told us: ...
<The creation of anyone of you is gathered for forty days in his mother's stomach as a Nutfah, then he becomes a little lump of flesh for a similar length of time. Then the angel is sent to him and he breathes the soul into it, and four things are decreed: his provision, his life-span, his deeds, and whether he will be wretched or blessed ...>
This was recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 6, Surat Al-Isra', Verse 39 to the end of Surat Al-Mu'minun, first edition July 2000, pp. 636-638; online edition; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Ibn Kathir on S. 22:5:
The Development of the Nutfah and Embryo in the Womb
<then from a clot then from a little lump of flesh>
if the Nutfah establishes in the woman's womb, it stays like that for forty days, then more material is added to it and it changes into a red clot, by the leave of Allah, and it remains like that for forty days. Then it changes and becomes a lump of flesh, like a piece of meat with no form or shape. Then it starts to take on a form and shape, developing a head, arms, chest, stomach, thighs, legs, feet and all its members. Sometimes a woman miscarries before the fetus is formed and sometimes she miscarries after it has formed. As Allah says:
<then from a little lump of flesh - some formed and some unformed> meaning, as you see.
<that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term,>
meaning that sometimes the fetus remains in the womb and is not miscarried.
<some formed and some unformed,> Mujahid said, "This means the miscarried fetus, formed or unformed. When forty days have passed of it being a lump of flesh, then Allah sends an angel to it who breathes the soul into it and forms it as Allah wills, handsome or ugly, male or female. He then writes its provision, its allotted length of life and whether it is to be one of the blessed or wretched."
It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Ibn Mas'ud said, "The Messenger of Allah who is the true and truly inspired one, told us: ...
<Every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for another forty days, and then a lump of flesh for another forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his provision, his deeds, his life span, and whether he will be blessed or wretched. Then he blows the soul into him.> (Ibid., pp. 525-526; bold emphasis ours)
Here are some additional comments from Ibn Kathir that further clarify the meaning of Nutfah:
<Then We placed it in a place of safety,>
meaning, 'We gathered him in the womb, where the fluid of the man and the woman settles. The womb has been prepared for this, as a protector of the fluid deposited in it ...' (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 10, p. 313; bold emphasis ours)
<Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.>
means, they reproduce in this fashion, from a Nutfah which comes from the loins of men and from between the ribs of women. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 7, Surat An-Nur to Surat Al-Ahzab, Verse 50, first edition August 2000, p. 609; bold emphasis ours)
Several problems arise from the preceding passages and comments. The outline given in Ibn Kathir and the hadiths on how the fetus develops contain gross scientific errors. Christian medical doctor and author Dr. William Campbell commenting on the hadiths notes:
We have here a Hadith which is reported to be from the mouth of Muhammad; attested to by the best authorities - Bukhari and Muslim; included in a special collection of Hadiths by a specialist in Hadiths; which has gross scientific errors.
The drop of sperm remains a drop of sperm 40 days, then an 'alaqa' 40 days for a total of 80 days, then 'chewed meat' for 40 days for a total of 120 days. Modern gynecological studies have shown that sperm remain alive less than a week inside the female genital tract, and that at 70 days organ differentiation and maturation are well advanced, except for the brain and bones. This Hadith says that it doesn't even become 'chewed meat' until 80 days, a clear error. Dr. Bucaille also mentions this Hadith and concludes,
'This description of embryonic evolution does not agree with modern data.'
(The Qur'an and the Bible in the Light of History & Science [Middle East Resources 1992, ISBN 1-881085-00-7], p.191; bold emphasis ours)
Second, it is quite evident that Muhammad and his followers believed that the ejaculated Nutfah didn't refer to the sperm of the man alone as asserted by Dr. Badawi. Rather, Muhammad and his followers believed that it also referred to the seminal fluid of the woman. In many instances it clearly refers to the mixture of the male and female sexual fluids, and both together are necessary for a new baby to develop in the womb – hardly an astonishing scientific insight ahead of its time. That the Qur'an, Muhammad and the commentators speak about the mixture of the sexual fluids of both spouses is corroborated by another passage and its classical interpretation.
"Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted - Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs:" S. 86:5-7
Ibn Kathir comments on this passage:
<He is created from a water gushing forth.>
meaning, the sexual fluid that comes out bursting forth from the man AND THE WOMAN. Thus, the child is produced FROM BOTH OF THEM by the permission of Allah. Due to this Allah says,
<Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.>
meaning, the backbone (or loins) of the man and the ribs OF THE WOMAN, which is referring to her chest. Shabib bin Bishr reported from 'Ikrimah, who narrated from Ibn 'Abbas that he said,
<Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.>
"The backbone of the man and the ribs of the woman. It (the fluid) is yellow and fine in texture. The child will not be born except FROM BOTH OF THEM (i.e., THEIR SEXUAL FLUIDS)." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir - Volume 10, p. 439; bold and capital emphasis ours)
In fact, Muhammad seems to speak of actual female sperm in the following hadith:
... He (the Holy Prophet) said: The reproductive substance of man is white and that of woman yellow, and when they have sexual intercourse and the male's substance prevails upon the female's substance, it is the male child that is created by Allah's Decree, and when the substance of the female prevails upon the substance contributed by the male, a female child is formed by the Decree of Allah. The Jew said: What you have said is true; verily you are an Apostle. He then returned and went away. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: He asked me about such and such things of which I have had no knowledge till Allah gave me that. (Sahih Muslim, Book 003, Number 0614)
Muhammad was apparently convinced that the female "reproductive substance" is directly involved in gender determination and therefore responsible for a girl being born, i.e. when the substance coming from the woman overwhelms the substance coming from the man, then the child will be a girl. This is obviously in direct contradiction to Dr. Badawi's claim mentioned at the beginning of this paper.
Interestingly, this idea was not unique to Muhammad. Greek physicians prior to the advent of Islam also believed this. Christian writer Dr. Lactantius, commenting on Dr. Keith Moore's statements regarding Quranic embryology, states:
"In the verses listed above nutfah is used when describing the fluid which gushes out during sexual intercourse and clearly this can only refer to semen. However, Prof. Moore is keen to translate nutfah in sura 76:2 as 'mingled fluid' and explains that this Arabic term refers to the male and female fluids which contain the gametes (male sperm and female egg). While it is true that the ancient Greeks would not have been able to see individual sperm or eggs, these only being visible through the microscope, the Qur'an emphatically does not mention sperm or eggs; it simply says nutfah. This can reasonably be translated semen, or at a push, germinal fluid - which was a term used as early as Hippocrates who spoke of male and female reproductive fluids (but obviously could not have been aware of the cells contained in the fluids). If Moore wishes to translate nutfah as germinal fluid, he inadvertently reinforces that the Qur'an is borrowing this term from the Greeks."
"Another Hadith says 'If a male's fluid prevails upon the female's substance, the child will be a male by Allah's decree, and when the substance of the female prevails upon the substance contributed by the male, a female child is formed'. Surely this is not referring to dominant and recessive genes at all, as certain Muslims have claimed, but is simply repeating the incorrect belief of Hippocrates that both men and women produce both male and female sperm. The sex of the resulting child is determined by which sperm overwhelms the other in strength or quantity:
... both partners alike contain both male and female sperm (the male being stronger than the female must originate from a stronger sperm). Here is a further point: if (a) both partners produce a stronger sperm then a male is the result, whereas if (b) they produce a weak form, then a female is the result. But if (c) one partner produces one kind of sperm, and the other another then the resultant sex is determined by whichever sperm prevails in quantity. For suppose that the weak sperm is much greater in quantity than the stronger sperm: then the stronger sperm is overwhelmed and, being mixed with weak, results in a female. If on the contrary the strong sperm is greater in quantity than the weak, and the weak is overwhelmed, it results in a male".
Earlier in the Hadith, Muhammed says that the reproductive substance of men is white and that of women is yellow. This sounds very much like the content, white and yellow, that is found inside developing chick-eggs, and which Aristotle was known to dissect." (Source: Dr. Lactantius, Embryology in the Qur'an; bold emphasis ours)
Third, Ibn Kathir states that the word 'Alaqah means a red elongated blood clot, with 'Ikrimah stating blood. This implies that the fetus becomes actual blood, another gross error. In the words of Dr. William Campbell:
As every reader who has studied human reproduction will realize, there is no stage as a clot during the formation of a fetus so this is a very major scientific problem.
In the dictionaries of Wehr and Abdel-Nour the only meanings given for `alaqa in this feminine singular form are "clot" and "leech", and in North Africa both of these meanings are still used. Many patients have come to have a leech removed, and many women, believing that the fetus goes through a stage as a clot, have come to me in the dispensary asking for medicine because their periods haven't come. When I would answer that I couldn't do that because I believed that the fetus was a person, they would say, "but it's still blood." (Ibid., p. 185; bold emphasis ours)
Fourth, in the same lecture Badawi claimed that the terms "formed and unformed" could be translated as "in proportion, out of proportion." Badawi then claimed that this refers to the different stages of the embryo where certain aspects of the fetus actually develop out of proportion with the rest of its parts. Yet Muhammad's companions contradict Badawi since they all believed that the term "formed and unformed" refers to the fully developed fetus in contrast to the fetus that is miscarried by its mother.
The preceding factors show that Badawi is willing to reinterpret and mistranslate Arabic words in order to make them fit in with modern scientific facts. The true miracle, therefore, isn't the Quran but rather the manner in which Muslims will twist their sacred book to suit their theological presuppositions and agenda. It is more a miracle of reinterpretation and mistranslation than a miracle in the actual meaning of the text.
More On Embryology
On November 9, 1996 at the University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina Dr. Robert A. Morey and Badawi debated two topics relating to Islam. The first debate was titled Is Allah of the Quran the true universal God?, with the second debate titled Is the Quran the Word of God? In their second debate, Dr. Morey quoted the following hadith:
When 'Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet at Medina, he came to him and said, "I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a prophet: What is the first portent of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its MATERNAL UNCLE?" Allah's Apostle said, "Gabriel has just now told me of their answers." 'Abdullah said, "He (i.e. Gabriel), from amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews." Allah's Apostle said, "The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her." On that 'Abdullah bin Salam said, "I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah." 'Abdullah bin Salam further said, "O Allah's Apostle! The Jews are liars, and if they should come to know about my conversion to Islam before you ask them (about me), they would tell a lie about me." The Jews came to Allah's Apostle and 'Abdullah went inside the house. Allah's Apostle asked (the Jews), "What kind of man is 'Abdullah bin Salam amongst you?" They replied, "He is the most learned person amongst us, and the best amongst us, and the son of the best amongst us." Allah's Apostle said, "What do you think if he embraces Islam (will you do as he does)?" The Jews said, "May Allah save him from it." Then 'Abdullah bin Salam came out in front of them saying, "I testify that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah." Thereupon they said, "He is the evilest among us, and the son of the evilest amongst us," and continued talking badly of him. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 546)
Dr. Morey stated that this hadith contains a gross scientific error since sexual discharges do not determine a child's physical characteristics. Dr. Badawi tried to respond by suggesting an alternate way of understanding the passage based on the Arabic text.
First, Badawi proposed that "resembles" doesn't necessarily refer to physical characteristics (i.e., looking like ones father or mother), but to gender. Hence, the questioner was actually asking Muhammad the reason why a child either becomes male or female.
Second, Badawi claimed that different hadiths use two different Arabic words for "first". One uses the term as-sabaqa, which can mean ahead of either in time sequence or in terms of status or importance. The other is ala, which literally means above and can refer to being more important.
In light of this claim, Badawi proposed that the statement regarding discharges isn't literally referring to the man or woman's actual discharge, but rather to whether the male element (Y chromosome) discharges ahead of the female element (X chromosome). If so, then the child will be male. And if the female element discharges first and overwhelms the male element than the child will become female.
After making this claim, Badawi stated that the answer given by Muhammad was genetically sound, proving that he was a prophet since no one knew genetics at that time.
Let us give two main responses to Badawi's erroneous assertion. First, Badawi deliberately misquoted and misrepresented the actual words of the Hadith. Here is the relevant portion demonstrating Badawi's mishandling of the Hadith:
"... Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its MATERNAL UNCLE? ..."
The questioner wasn't asking why a child looks like his mother, but rather why does it resemble its uncle on the mother's side. This means that Badawi's explanation regarding the term "resembles" being a reference to gender is blatantly false. X or Y-chromosomes have nothing to do with a child resembling a maternal uncle. This proves that resemblance here refers to physical resemblance and characteristics; the reason why the child will look either like the father or the uncle and has absolutely nothing to do with gender. This again implies that Muhammad believed that sexual discharges or climaxes actually influence a child's physical characteristics!
Secondly, Badawi's claim that no one could have known this information is an outright lie. The context of the Hadith shows that the questioner was testing Muhammad to know whether the latter was a true prophet. Here again is the relevant section:
"... When 'Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet at Medina, he came to him and said, 'I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a prophet' ..."
Upon answering, the questioner told Muhammad:
"... On that 'Abdullah bin Salam said, 'I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah.' ..."
In order for the questioner to know that Muhammad had answered correctly, thus passing the test, the former had to know the answers beforehand. Otherwise, had this information been unknown there would have been no way for the questioner to know whether Muhammad answered correctly. This means that Muhammad simply repeated information known by his (educated) contemporaries. In fact, Muhammad's information is nothing more than data taught and passed on by Greeks, Jews, Christians and pagans before his time that contained gross scientific errors.
The most amazing aspect about this is that earlier in their first debate, Badawi presented six points that scholars should observe when debating on any topic. They are:
Amazingly, Badawi has broken every single one of these rules throughout his writings, lectures and debates. The honest thing for Badawi to now do is to take his own advice and acknowledge his mistakes by correcting himself. Otherwise, Badawi will be guilty of using a serious double standard and thereby proving that he is nothing more than a hypocrite.
Badawi on the words of Jesus
One of Badawi's main criticisms regarding the authenticity of the Gospels is that Jesus' words are recorded in Greek, rather than in Jesus' original mother tongue Aramaic. Badawi claims that we do not have Jesus' original Aramaic words and therefore are unable to accurately know their true meaning.
This presumes that Jesus only spoke in Aramaic and/or always spoke in Aramaic. Yet this ignores the fact that Greek was the lingua franca of that time, strongly implying that Jesus would have both known and spoken Greek.
In fact, the three main languages used in Jerusalem were Aramaic, Latin and Greek as the Gospels themselves imply:
"Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, LATIN and GREEK." John 19:19-20
Since Jesus was crucified near Jerusalem with the charges that hung over his head being written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek, implies that these were spoken languages at that time. Otherwise, it would be completely meaningless for the sign to be written in languages unknown by the people living in that area.
Furthermore, the area that Jesus grew up in was Galilee, which had a strong Gentile population.
"But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: 'He will be called a Nazarene.'" Matthew 2:22-23
"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John." Matthew 3:13
"When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali - to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 'Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.' From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.' As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen." Matthew 4:12-18
Jesus would have needed to know Greek to effectively communicate with the Gentiles, since Gentiles were not required to speak Aramaic.
Third, John's Gospel mentions Greeks coming to Jerusalem to meet with Jesus:
"Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. 'Sir,' they said, 'we would like to see Jesus.' Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.'" John 12:20-23
Again, in order for Jesus and his followers to communicate with these Greeks they would have to know Greek. Further proof that Jesus spoke Greek can be seen in the following citation:
"When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 'What do you want with us, Son of God?' they shouted. 'Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?' Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.' He said to them, 'Go!' So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region." Matthew 8:28-34
Gadara and (Mark's) Gerasa were both part of the Decapolis, a primarily Gentile area with a large Jewish population (Josephus, The Jewish War 1.155). That Jesus was communicating with Gentiles in this passage can be seen from the fact that the text mentions pig herders. Herding pigs was not an occupation that Jews engaged in. Since Jesus was able to communicate with the demoniacs and the people of the town implies that he could speak Greek.
Fourth, it amazes us that Badawi would even use this type of argument. The Quran, which Badawi believes to be God's word, is written in the seventh century Quraish dialect of Arabic. The Quran allegedly records the words spoken by prophets such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus in seventh century Quraish Arabic. Yet these true prophets of God never knew or even spoke this language! This means that Badawi himself does not have the original words of God's true prophets in their original mother tongue, but an alleged translation in an Arabic dialect which these men never even heard!
Badawi might claim that Muslims have the revealed words of God given to Muhammad in his mother tongue. Therefore, Muslims do have a revealed record of what those prophets' words would be like in Arabic had they spoken it.
We too would respond that Christians also have the original language of the inspired apostles and authors of the NT, namely Koine Greek. As such, we too believe that God accurately preserved Jesus' words in the inspired Greek text of the New Testament, since God is able to accurately inspire the authors to accurately record Jesus' words in the Greek language. We even have Jesus' own personal promise that his words would be preserved:
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." John 14:26
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." John 16:13
The reason why God chose Greek as the language of the inspired NT record is because the message of the Gospel is universal in scope, being God's sole means of salvation for all humanity:
"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" Matthew 28:18-20
"I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her." Mark 14:9
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18
"Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did.' So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, 'We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.'" John 4:39-42
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51
"And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Revelation 5:9-10
"Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-to every nation, tribe, language and people." Revelation 14:6
As such, the Gospel had to be revealed in the universal language of that time so that all men might be given the opportunity to hear it and be saved from their sin.
Badawi On Teman
Badawi often appeals to Habakkuk 3:3 to prove that Muhammad is predicted in the Holy Bible. There, the prophet states that God will arise from Teman, which Badawi takes as a prophecy of the advent of Islam. Badawi asserts that Teman is an oasis north of Medina, citing J. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible as proof. In his pamphlet, Muhammad in the Bible, Badawi writes:
Habakkuk 3:3 speaks of God (God's help) coming from Te'man (an Oasis North of Medina according to J. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible), and the holy one (coming) from Paran. That holy one who under persecution migrated from Paran (Mecca) to be received enthusiastically in Medina was none but prophet Muhammad. (source)
Yet, Hastings never claimed that Teman was an oasis north of Medina. Hastings was actually referring to the country of Tema, indicating that Badawi has misread and misquoted Hastings. Hastings writes:
TEMAN - A tribe (and district) of Edom (Hastings, p. 897)
According to Hastings Teman is a district of Edom, an ancient country just south of the Dead Sea that is approximately 800km from Medina. On the same page Hastings notes:
TEMA - In Gn. 25:15 (1 Ch. 7:30), a son of Ishmael. The country and people meant are still represented by the same name - modern Taima, a large oasis about 200 miles S.E. of the head of the Gulf of `Akabah, and the same distance due N. of Medina in W. Arabia.
Badawi has taken the information of Tema and deceitfully applied it to Teman! This exposes a deliberate attempt on Badawi's part to misinform his readers, since he knows that most readers, especially Muslims, will take him at face value without bothering to check his sources personally.
This is both inexcusable and dishonest to say the least.
Badawi On Mithraism and Jesus' Vicarious Atonement
Badawi claims that the NT portrait of Jesus as a dying and rising God is directly copied from the pagan mystery religions, specifically Mithraism. Badawi claims that the cult of Mithra taught that Mithra was the Son of God that came down from heaven, died to reconcile God and man, was raised from the dead and then ascended into heaven. Badawi also sees a direct connection between the births of Mithra and Jesus since both were allegedly born on December 25.
First, even if it were true that Christians took Mithra's birthday and adopted it as Jesus' birthday, this would have no bearing on the historical reliability and accuracy of the NT documents. The NT doesn't tell us when Jesus was born, so Badawi's argument does not prove that the NT authors were influenced by pagan myths. The most he could claim is that Christians in later centuries were being influenced by paganism and began adopting their practices and customs.
Second, Badawi is behind the times in terms of scholarship and research. It might have been true that certain scholars of the past believed that the NT authors were influenced by the mystery religious cults, yet scholars today are generally in agreement that no such influence exists.
A careful examination of the sources in question have led to a general consensus amongst the scholarly community that the NT documents are simply unique and find no parallels in the pagan myths. In fact, these scholars claim that the evidence actually demonstrates that in certain cases it is NT Christianity that has influenced the mystery religions!
One such scholar is Christian Professor Edwin Yamauchi. Yamauchi comments on the alleged influence of Mithraism on the NT portrait of Jesus:
C. Inexact Parallels From Late Sources
What should be evident is that past studies of phenomenological comparisons have inexcusably disregarded the dates and the provenience of their sources when they have attempted to provide prototypes for Christianity. Let me give two examples, Mithra and the taurobolium.
Mithra was the Persian god whose worship became popular among Roman soldiers (his cult was restricted to men) and was to prove a rival to Christianity in the late Roman Empire. Early Zoroastrian texts, such as the Mithra Yasht, cannot serve as the basis of a mystery of Mithra inasmuch as they present a god who watches over cattle and the sanctity of contracts. Later Mithraic evidence in the west is primarily iconographic; there are no long coherent texts.
Those who seek to adduce Mithra as a prototype of the risen Christ ignore the late date for the expansion of Mithraism to the west (cf. M. J. Vermaseren, Mithras, The Secret God, 1963, p. 76). The only dated Mithraic inscriptions from the pre-Christian period are the texts of Antiochus I of Commagene (69-34 B.C.) in eastern Asia Minor. After that there is one text possibly from the first century A.D., from Cappadocia, one from Phrygia dated to A.D. 77-78, and one from Rome dated to Trajan's reign (A.D. 98-117). All other dated Mithraic inscriptions and monuments belong to the second century (after A.D. 140), the third, and the fourth century A.D. (M. J. Vermaseren, Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae, 1956).
The taurobolium was a bloody rite associated with the worship of Mithra and of Attis in which a bull was slaughtered on 'a grating over an initiate in a pit below, drenching him with blood. This has been suggested (e.g., by R. Reitzenstein) as the basis of the Christian's redemption by blood and Paul's imagery in Romans 6 of the believer's death and resurrection. Gunter Wagner in his exhaustive study Pauline Baptism and the Pagan Mysteries (1963) points out how anachronistic such comparisons are:
The taurobolium in the Attis cult is first attested in the time of Antoninus Pius for A.D. 160. As far as we can see at present it only became a personal consecration at the beginning of the third century A.D. The idea of a rebirth through the instrumentality of the taurobolium only emerges in isolated instances towards the end of the fourth century A.D.; it is not originally associated with this blood-bath [p. 266].
Indeed, there is inscriptional evidence from the fourth century A.D. that, far from influencing Christianity, those who used the taurobolium were influenced by Christianity. Bruce Metzger in his important essay "Methodology in the Study of the Mystery Religions and Early Christianity" (Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish and Christian (1968), notes:
Thus, for example, one must doubtless interpret the change in the efficacy attributed to the rite of the taurobolium. In competing with Christianity, which promised eternal life to its adherents, the cult of Cybele officially or unofficially raised the efficacy of the blood bath from twenty years to eternity [p. 11].(Source; bold emphasis ours)
Professor Ronald Nash concurs:
Attempts to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of Mithraism face enormous challenges because of the scanty information that has survived. Proponents of the cult explained the world in terms of two ultimate and opposing principles, one good (depicted as light) and the other evil (darkness). Human beings must choose which side they will fight for; they are trapped in the conflict between light and darkness. Mithra came to be regarded as the most powerful mediator who could help humans ward off attacks from demonic forces.
The major reason why no Mithraic influence on first-century Christianity is possible is the timing: it's all wrong! The flowering of Mithraism occurred after the close of the New Testament canon, much too late for it to have influenced anything that appears in the New Testament. Moreover, no monuments for the cult can be dated earlier than A.D. 90-100, and even this dating requires us to make some exceedingly generous assumptions. Chronological difficulties, then, make the possibility of a Mithraic influence on early Christianity extremely improbable. Certainly, there remains no credible evidence for such an influence.
The best way to evaluate the alleged dependence of early Christian beliefs about Christ's death and resurrection on the pagan myths of a dying and rising savior-god is to examine carefully the supposed parallels. The death of Jesus differs from the deaths of the pagan gods in at least six ways:
(1) None of the so-called savior-gods died for someone else. The notion of the Son of God dying in place of His creatures is unique to Christianity.
(2) Only Jesus died for sin. As Gunter Wagner observes, to none of the pagan gods "has the intention of helping men been attributed. The sort of death that they died is quite different (hunting accident, self-emasculation, etc.)."
(3) Jesus died once and for all (Heb. 7:27; 9:25-28; 10:10-14). In contrast, the mystery gods were vegetation deities whose repeated deaths and resuscitations depict the annual cycle of nature.
(4) Jesus' death was an actual event in history. The death of the mystery god appears in a mythical drama with no historical ties; its continued rehearsal celebrates the recurring death and rebirth of nature. The incontestable fact that the early church believed that its proclamation of Jesus' death and resurrection was grounded in an actual historical event makes absurd any attempt to derive this belief from the mythical, nonhistorical stories of the pagan cults.
(5) Unlike the mystery gods, Jesus died voluntarily. Nothing like this appears even implicitly in the mysteries.
(6) And finally, Jesus' death was not a defeat but a triumph. Christianity stands entirely apart from the pagan mysteries in that its report of Jesus' death is a message of triumph. Even as Jesus was experiencing the pain and humiliation of the cross, He was the victor. The New Testament's mood of exultation contrasts sharply with that of the mystery religions, whose followers wept and mourned for the terrible fate that overtook their gods.
The Risen Christ and the "Rising Savior-Gods"
Which mystery gods actually experienced a resurrection from the dead? Certainly no early texts refer to any resurrection of Attis. Nor is the case for a resurrection of Osiris any stronger. One can speak of a "resurrection" in the stories of Osiris, Attis, and Adonis only in the most extended of senses. For example, after Isis gathered together the pieces of Osiris's dismembered body, Osiris became "Lord of the Underworld." This is a poor substitute for a resurrection like that of Jesus Christ. And, no claim can be made that Mithras was a dying and rising god. The tide of scholarly opinion has turned dramatically against attempts to make early Christianity dependent on the so-called dying and rising gods of Hellenistic paganism. Any unbiased examination of the evidence shows that such claims must be rejected.
Nash then concludes with 7 points that refute the alleged influence of the mystery religions upon Christianity:
I conclude by noting seven points that undermine liberal efforts to show that first-century Christianity borrowed essential beliefs and practices from the pagan mystery religions.
(1) Arguments offered to "prove" a Christian dependence on the mysteries illustrate the logical fallacy of false cause. This fallacy is committed whenever someone reasons that just because two things exist side by side, one of them must have caused the other. As we all should know, mere coincidence does not prove causal connection. Nor does similarity prove dependence.
(2) Many alleged similarities between Christianity and the mysteries are either greatly exaggerated or fabricated. Scholars often describe pagan rituals in language they borrow from Christianity. The careless use of language could lead one to speak of a "Last Supper" in Mithraism or a "baptism" in the cult of Isis. It is inexcusable nonsense to take the word "savior" with all of its New Testament connotations and apply it to Osiris or Attis as though they were savior-gods in any similar sense.
(3) The chronology is all wrong. Almost all of our sources of information about the pagan religions alleged to have influenced early Christianity are dated very late. We frequently find writers quoting from documents written 300 years later than Paul in efforts to produce ideas that allegedly influenced Paul. We must reject the assumption that just because a cult had a certain belief or practice in the third or fourth century after Christ, it therefore had the same belief or practice in the first century.
(4) Paul would never have consciously borrowed from the pagan religions. All of our information about him makes it highly unlikely that he was in any sense influenced by pagan sources. He placed great emphasis on his early training in a strict form of Judaism (Phil. 3:5). He warned the Colossians against the very sort of influence that advocates of Christian syncretism have attributed to him, namely, letting their minds be captured by alien speculations (Col. 2:8).
(5) Early Christianity was an exclusivistic faith. As J. Machen explains, the mystery cults were nonexclusive. "A man could become initiated into the mysteries of Isis or Mithras without at all giving up his former beliefs; but if he were to be received into the Church, according to the preaching of Paul, he must forsake all other Saviors for the Lord Jesus Christ ... Amid the prevailing syncretism of the Greco-Roman world, the religion of Paul, with the religion of Israel, stands absolutely alone." This Christian exclusivism should be a starting point for all reflection about the possible relations between Christianity and its pagan competitors. Any hint of syncretism in the New Testament would have caused immediate controversy.
(6) Unlike the mysteries, the religion of Paul was grounded on events that actually happened in history. The mysticism of the mystery cults was essentially nonhistorical. Their myths were dramas, or pictures, of what the initiate went through, not real historical events, as Paul regarded Christ's death and resurrection to be. The Christian affirmation that the death and resurrection of Christ happened to a historical person at a particular time and place has absolutely no parallel in any pagan mystery religion.
(7) What few parallels may still remain may reflect a Christian influence on the pagan systems. As Bruce Metzger has argued, "It must not be uncritically assumed that the Mysteries always influenced Christianity, for it is not only possible but probable that in certain cases, the influence moved in the opposite direction." It should not be surprising that leaders of cults that were being successfully challenged by Christianity should do something to counter the challenge. What better way to do this than by offering a pagan substitute? Pagan attempts to counter the growing influence of Christianity by imitating it are clearly apparent in measures instituted by Julian the Apostate, who was the Roman emperor from A.D. 361 to 363. (Source; bold emphasis ours)
Finally, here are Glenn Miller's comments on the alleged connection between the NT portrait of Jesus and Mithra as an alleged Dying and Rising God (DARG):
This is a strange one, and one that is under considerable re-assessment in the scholarly community. Earlier scholars in the field followed the 1903 standard by Cumont in which the Mithra of the Roman MR's was connected with the Iranian and Persian deities of the name Mithra/Mitra. This position has been under radical and critical fire for some 25 years, since the only connection between the Middle Eastern cult and the Roman MR was the name. And the bull-ceremony, in which Mithra kills a bull, does not occur in the Iranian/Persian versions. Recent leaders in the fields, such as David Ulansey have argued for a strictly Roman origin for this MR, based exclusively on the zodiacial orientation of the period (cf. [HI:OMMU])
If we accept Ulansey's view [as well as others who interpret the 'slaying of the bull' as astrological], then there is essentially no DARG content in the Roman "Mithra" MR; most of it would have been in the Persian/Iranian versions (if at all, see below). And its ties to the East are almost nil: "Mithraism's ties with the east amount to so little that they can be denied entirely" (MacMullen, [HI:PTRE:119]). Accordingly, there is nothing to be 'similar to' and the identification fails. We have noted earlier that there is no 'suffering god' in the Roman version of this cult, and it is the Roman version that would have been in ascendency at the time of NT formation.
So, the "Roman" Mithras MR--without a 'suffering god' at all--has no bearing on our subject here, since we are essentially trying to find 'striking' parrallels between the figures of Jesus and other deity/hero figures. We obviously don't know much about the 'Roman' version, but we have already seen that specialists in the field do not consider Mithras a 'suffering god' and correspondingly, not a 'dying and rising god' either. And even many/most of the alleged ritual parallels are now suspect:
1. The sacrament meal or "communion":
"Francis comments: 'Cumont's systematic description of Mithraic liturgy in Christian terms is now seen to be misleading, not to say mischievous. In particular, his description of the Mithraic meal as "communion" has been called in question.' After a detailed examination of the subject, Kane concluded: But once again I remind the reader that in all this we have not yet found a cult meal, a meal in which all the initiates can participate... On the other hand I have found no support for a "haoma ceremony," the existence of which is the basic assumption of Cumont's theory of a sacramental Mithraic meal. Nor can I find any support for Vermaseren's assumption that Mithraic initiates ate the flesh of a bull and drank its blood so as to be born again, whether from Mithraic iconography and archaeology, Avestan texts, or the Greek and Graeco-Roman milieu.'" [cited at OT:PAB:517]
2. The "saved us by eternal blood" inscription: "Beck therefore concludes that this text, 'which has perhaps been the principal warrant for the interpretation of Mithras' bull-killing as a salvific act effective because it transcends time, can no longer carry the weight placed upon it'" [cited at OT:PAB:512]
3. Identification of the slain bull with Mithras himself: "The blood is without doubt the blood of the slain bull. Following a suggestion of Alfred Loisy--who was influenced by Christian soterology--Vermaseren entertained the suggestion that the bull was an incarnation of Mithras himself, although he correctly notes there is no evidence for this identification." [cited at OT:PAB:512]
So, if the Roman one doesn't fit the bill, does the Iranian/Indian version offer us a DARG?
The Iranian version has a background in Vedic India as well (as 'Mitra') ...
1. The vedic version of Mitra is not very emphasised (as compared to his dualistic-twin, Varuna). He is a personification of "contract", thence 'friend'. He "appears as basically benevolent, the god who regulates the tiller folk" [WR:CM:48]
2. He has some solar characteristics, but would not be considered a solar deity at the Vedic stage: "Apart from the obvious circle of Dyaus-descended divine characters discussed above, a vague tinge of 'solarity' attaches to a number of deities (including Mitra)." [WR:CM:62]
3. In Iran, immediately before Zarathustra, Mithra becomes a little more associated with the sun: "Much as in India the rather faded Mitra took on some solar characteristics and later came to be an appellative 'friend', in Modern Persian mihr, mehr still means both 'sun' and 'friendship'. Mithra is one of the most important Old Iranian divinities" [WR:CM:99]
4. When he emerges in Iran--during Zarathustra's 'revolt'--he is suppressed at first, then given expanded 'responsibilities':
"Zarathustra's exaltatation of Ahura and onomastic suppression of Mithra were symptomatic of his henotheistic fervor that did not survive the reformer. It looks as if Mithra was fleetingly demonized by the prophet's reductionist and abstractionist zeal but reemerged once the religious revolution had run its course. Outside the onomastic formulas, the conjunction/contrast Mithra and Ahura had of course collapsed, for Ahura was now a kind of pantheonic board chairman increasingly frozen in his polarized stance vis-a-vis Angra Mainyu, while it was left to Mithra to do the mythical dirty work. His roles have in fact expanded: on top of guarding human settlements and social compacts, he employs spies like Varuna and punishes perjurers and contract breakers, champions warriors, wields the thunderbolt and makes the rain fall (largely by default of the demonized Indara), and generally evolves toward a solar-tinged warrior-god not without connotations of cattle and fertility" [WR:CM:100]
5. His relationship to nature was as a 'weather god' and to cattle as 'lord of the wide places' (a frequent epithet of his):
"This particular god, the contract-god, was considered to be both a protector and a judge over all living things, especially humans. Since he controlled the cosmic order he could punish those who turned against the truth and rightness... In the Rigveda, Mithra was a continuous companion of Varuna. Based on these connections and Mithra's name which can be translated as 'covenant, contract, treaty' and 'friendship', one can see the focus on the honorable, ethical and just aspects of his divine persona which can reflect the importance of covenant and stability of contracts and structural divisions among the nomadic societies of Eurasia. As such an important concept, Mithra may have been 'transplanted' to the Middle East with the arrival of Indo-European nomadic tribes or groups such as the Hittites and the Persians. This argument about Mithra's 'arrival' might be strengthened by his warrior qualities (a mighty warrior on a chariot killing covenant violators with a mace) and his ability to replenish earthly waters by releasing both rivers and rain. The combination of all the above features may have earned him the title of the Anatolian weather-god whose qualities he obviously represented and it might be for this reason that his memory was carried on by the Hittite pantheon in addition to the Rigveda and the Avesta." [OT:CSME:110]
6. The original Indian Mitra was a sky-god (and therefore, somewhat connected to the sun):
"Mithra is the same as Mitra, the Vedic sky-god, and we have already seen him in the Mihir Yasht where, closely connected but not yet identical with the sun...Later Mithra was identified with the Semitic sun-god, Shamash..." [MM:103]
"In Yasht 10 (Mihir Yasht) there is a series of hymns of praise addressed to Mithra as the god of heavenly light, whose victorious power is manifest in the sun... The hymn names Mithra and begins: 'Who first of the heavenly gods reaches over the Hara, before the undying, swift-horsed sun...'" (emphasis mine; note that the sun is called 'undying', as opposed to 'dying and rising'...) [MM:74]
7. He is not known as a 'dying' god, but as a beneficient--but harsh--victorious warrior and protector diety:
"[In the Avesta] he is depicted as an omniscient warrior god, who blessed his followers but who also inflicted horrible calamities on his foes. The Avestan Mithra was associated with the sun, but was not identified with it. He was especially known as 'the lord of wide pastures,' a phrase that occurs 111 times." [OT:PAB:494]
8. In fact, his relationship with the sun is related to knowledge, instead of identity with it (note: 'solar deities' are not generally considered 'dying and rising gods' either, cf. Apollo or Sol Invictus of Rome):
"He facilitates agreements between men and makes them honor their engagements. The sun is his eye (Taitt. Brah. 18.104.22.168); all-seeing, nothing escapes him." [WR:HRI1:204]
9. He is specifically NOT a 'vegetation god' in the sense normally used:
"Such promises explain the adjective that is frequently coupled with his name: vourugauyaoiti, 'possessing vast pastures.' Not that Mithra is an agrarian deity to whom one should pray so that crops may grow, but rather that he is a fighting god who brings the victory that makes it possible for the aryas to get control of new territories." [WR:MYB:2:892]
In other words, we don't have any reason to suspect that the pre-Roman Mithra/Mitra had any DARG characteristics, either. (Source)
See also: Christmas: Pagan Festival or Christian Celebration?
Third, Badawi should be careful when boldly asserting that paganism influenced Christianity. In reality, it is Islam and the Quran that adopted pagan practices and claimed that Abraham and Ishmael instituted these practices. Noted Christian Apologist John Gilchrist states:
"Secular history knows of only one form of pre-Islamic veneration of the Ka'aba and that is the Idolatry of the pagan Arabs. There is no corroborative evidence whatsoever for the Qur'an's claim that the Ka'aba was initially a house of monotheistic worship. Instead there certainly is evidence as far back as history can trace the origins and worship of the Ka'aba that it was thoroughly pagan and idolatrous in content and emphasis... the Ka'aba was purely a shrine of thriving pagan idolatry." (John Gilchrist, The Temple, The Ka'aba, and The Christ [Jesus To The Muslims, PO Box 1804, Benoni, Republic of South Africa], p. 16; bold emphasis ours)
That the Kabah was nothing more than a pagan shrine erected for pagan worship can be seen by the fact that there were many other Kabahs erected by the pagans:
Jabir reported that there was in pre-Islamic days a temple called Dhu'l-Khalasah and it was called THE YAMANITE KA'BA or THE NORTHERN KA'BA. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said unto me: Will you rid me of Dhu'l-Khalasah and so I went forth at the head of 350 horsemen of the tribe of Ahmas and we destroyed it and killed whomsoever we found there. Then we came back to him (to the Holy Prophet) and informed him and he blessed us and the tribe of Ahmas. (Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Number 6052)
The late Egyptian Professor, Dr. Taha Husayn, considered one of the foremost authorities on Arabic literature, while commenting on the story of Abraham and Ishmael building the Kabah, states:
"The case for this episode is very obvious because it is of recent date and came into vogue just before the rise of Islam. Islam exploited it for religious reasons." (As quoted in Mizan al-Islam by Anwar al-Jundi, p. 170, as found in Behind the Veil, p. 184; bold emphasis ours)
Despite the fact that no evidence exists to support that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kabah, with the evidence irrefutably proving that the Kabah is actually pagan in origin, this does not stop Badawi from blindly believing in the divine origin of the Quran and Islam.
In light of the evidence, we need to remind Badawi to keep his research updated in order to prevent his audience from being influenced by outdated arguments and scholarship that has been shown to be false. That is, if Badawi is truly interested in promoting the truth. The evidence thus far demonstrates that truth is not a top priority for Badawi. It truly appears that for Badawi the end does justify the means.
This concludes Part 5. Continue with Part 6.
Further responses to Dr. Badawi
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