Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

More Proof from the Quran that Jesus is God Incarnate! Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

According to Muslim apologist Shabir Ally, Allah doesn’t demand moral perfection since he created man to be frail and weak, making it therefore impossible for humans to be absolutely perfect:

“And that means that human beings in the Quran are not expected to be absolutely perfect. IN FACT, WE CANNOT BE. Human beings as we are, we are frail, we are weak, and God created us with our weaknesses, he knows them. And he is ready to overlook our shortcomings; he’s just looking for sincere servants who are trying their best to serve him.” (Dr. James R. White vs. Dr. Shabir Ally, Sin and Salvation)

Another Islamic debater named Shadid Lewis basically agrees with Ally since this is what he said in one of his debates:

“No one can do enough good deeds to pay the price. No one can do enough on their own to get themselves in. But God knows that. He created you like that, he didn’t make you perfect. He didn’t make you a being who, from your birth to your death, will live without committing wrong, without making mistakes. He didn’t create you like that, so he knows that you can’t achieve that. So this is why he gave us the way back to redemption.” (Daniel Scot vs. Shadid Lewis, Salvation in Islam)

These gentlemen are simply echoing the teachings of the Quran which plainly states that there is no creature that does not sin:

And if Allah had destroyed men for their iniquity, He would not leave on the earth a single creature, but He respites them till an appointed time; so when their doom will come they shall not be able to delay (it) an hour nor can they bring (it) on (before its time). S. 16:61

This explains why the Quran says that even those who are closest in position to Allah hope for his mercy and fear his judgment:

Say: Call on those whom you assert besides Him, so they shall not control the removal of distress from you nor (its) transference. Those whom they call upon, themselves seek the means of access to their Lord -- whoever of them is nearest -- and they hope for His mercy and fear His chastisement; surely the chastisement of your Lord is a thing to be cautious of. S. 17:56-57

The Quran further says that believers stand in dread of Allah’s chastisement since they know better than to feel secure from their lord’s scheming or trickery:

“VERILY, man is born with a restless disposition. [As a rule,] whenever misfortune touches him, he is filled with self-pity; and whenever good fortune comes to him, he selfishly withholds it [from others]. Not so, however, those who consciously turn towards God in prayer. [and] who incessantly persevere in their prayer and in whose possessions there is a due share, acknowledged [by them], for such as ask [for help] and such as are deprived [of what is good in life]; and who accept as true the [coming of the] Day of Judgment; and who stand in dread of their Sustainer's chastisement for, behold, of their Sustainer's chastisement none may ever feel [wholly] secure; and who are mindful of their chastity,” S. 70:19-29 Muhammad Asad

Are they then secure from Allah's scheme? NONE deemeth himself secure from Allah's scheme save folk that perish. S. 7:99 Pickthall

They are even fearful of returning to their lord since they have no assurance that he has been pleased with their deeds:

Surely they who from fear of their Lord are cautious, And those who believe in the communications of their Lord, And those who do not associate (aught) with their Lord, And those who give what they give (in alms) while their hearts are full of fear that to their Lord they must return, These hasten to good things and they are foremost in (attaining) them. S. 23:57-61

Note how Muhammad is reported to have explained this particular text:

(1)  (V .23 :60)…

(36) CHAPTER. (What is said regarding) the fear of a believer that his good deeds may be annulled (lost) without his knowledge.

And Ibrahim At-Taimi said, “When I compare my talks with my deeds (then I find that my deeds are deficient compared with my talks), I am afraid, my deeds deny what I talk.” And Ibn Abi Mulaika said, “I met thirty Companions of the Prophet and each of them was afraid of becoming a hypocrite and none of them said that he was as strong in belief as the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) or Mikael (Michael).” And Al-Hasan (Al-Basri) said, “It is only a faithful believer who dreads hypocrisy and only a hypocrite who considers himself safe (is not afraid of hypocrisy).”

And one should be afraid, not to persist in hypocrisy and disobedience of Allah (by committing sins) without repenting to Allah immediately, as is referred to in the Statement of Allah: “And (they) do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (V .3 :135)…  

Narrated ‘Aishah (the wife of the Prophet), I asked Allah’s Messenger about this (following verse): “And those who give that (their charity) which they give (and also do other good deeds) with their hearts full of fear…” (V .23 :60).

She added: “Are these who drink alcoholic drinks and steal?” Allah’s Messenger replied: “No! O the daughter of As-Siddiq, but they are those who fast, pray, and practise charity, and they are afraid that (their good) deeds may not be accepted (by Allah) from them. ‘It is these who hasten in goods.’” (Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, 3225)(Tafsir al-Qurtubi)… 

Narrated Sahl (bin Sa'd): There was a man who fought most bravely of all the Muslims on behalf of the Muslims in a battle (Ghazwa) in the company of the Prophet. The Prophet looked at him and said. "If anyone would like to see a man from the people of the Fire, let him look at this (man)." On that, a man from the people (Muslims) followed him, and he was in that state i.e., fighting fiercely against Al-Mushrikun [polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad] till he was wounded, and then he hastened to end his life by placing his sword between his breasts (and pressed it with great force) till it came out between his shoulders. Then the man (who was watching that person) went quickly to the Prophet and said, "I testify that you are Allah's Messenger!" The Prophet asked him, "Why do you say that?" He said, "You said about so-and-so, 'If anyone would like to see a man from the people of the Fire, he should look at him,' that fought most bravely of all of us on behalf of the Muslims and I knew that he would not die as a Muslim (martyr). So when he got wounded, he hastened to die and committed suicide." Thereupon the Prophet said, "A man may do the deeds of the people of the Fire, while in fact he is one of the people of Paradise, and he may do the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact he belongs to the people of Fire, and verily, (the rewards of) the deeds are decided by the last actions (deeds)”. [Sahih al-Bukhari, 8/6607 (O.P.604)].

(1) (V .23 :61):

(2) CHAPTER. (What is said regarding) the pen has become dry (i.e., after the writing has been completed), with Allah’s Knowledge.

And Allah’s Statement…

“… And Allah knowing (him as such) left him astray…” (V .45 :23)

And Abu Hurairah said: The Prophet said to me, “The pen has dried after writing what you will surely encounter.”

And Ibn ‘Abbas said: “…They are foremost in them (in good deeds, e.g., prayers, Zakat, fasts, Hajj, etc.)…” (V. 23 :61) means that happiness has already been foreordained for them.

Narrated Imran bin Husain: A man said, "O Allah's Apostle! Can the people of Paradise be known (differentiated) from the people of the (Hell) Fire?” The Prophet replied, "Yes." The man said, "Why do people (try to) do (good) deeds?" The Prophet said, "Everyone will do the deeds for which he has been created to do or he will do those deeds which will be made easy for him to do (i.e., everybody will find easy to do such deeds as will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 8/6596 (O.P.595)]. (Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur'an In the English Language, by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Lahore, Houston, New York, First edition: January 2000], Part 5: From Surah 21 to 28, pp. 195-199; bold and underline emphasis ours)   

Since Muslims have been purposely created frail and weak in order that they might end up committing sins against Allah,

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)


Abu Sirma reported that when the time of the death of Abu Ayyub Ansari drew near, he said: I used to conceal from you a thing which I heard from Allah's Messenger and I heard Allah's Messenger as saying: Had you not committed sins, Allah would have brought into existence a creation that would have committed sin (and Allah) would have forgiven them. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6620)

And since they do not know whether Allah has predestined them for paradise or hell, no Muslim can ever be assured of whether his faith and deeds will be pleasing enough to Allah in order to save him from hell.

With the foregoing in view, we now proceed to the next part of our discussion.