In the context of a fight between two Muslim websites (www.answering-christianity.com vs. www.islamlife.com) some of the authors of the latter site also commented on the Islamic knowledge and authority of Shabir Ally. They state:
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.
(Source: Rasheed Gonzales, Aboo Ishaaq, Issues of Knowledge, and Other Things: A Reply to Sami Zaatari, accessed 22 June 2006)
Though Shabir Ally is certainly one of the most prominent Muslim debaters, it seems that he is mainly used by the Muslims as a "gifted Bible basher", a tool against the Christians, but is not considered much of an authority on (inner-)Islamic issues.
Responses to Shabir Ally
Answering Islam Home Page