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Some Thoughts On The Death Of Nabeel Qureshi

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1. Introduction

The diverse online community of Muslims and Christians, especially those involved in apologetics on the World Wide Web received the news of the death of Nabeel Qureshi at the age of 34 years old from a “rare and deadly form of stomach cancer”CBN News, Nabeel Qureshi’s Plea: ‘Please Pray For Me! Please Pray That God Will Heal My Whole Body’, 22 August 2017 on 16th September 2017 with mixed reactions. It is after all well-known to the Muslims that, having branded himself as an “ex-Muslim” with a strong appeal to family emotionalismAn example of this can be seen in: Faith It, The Most Painful Day of His Life? When His Parents Found Out He Gave Up Islam for Jesus…But It Was Worth It, March 12, 2014, Nabeel had gone on to become the author of three polemical booksHis books are entitled: “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity” (2014); “Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward” (2016) and “No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity” (2016) dissing Islam and its tenets, developed an online money-making polemical video course aimed at an evangelical target audience, and allied himself with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) to go on various roadshows and seminars with the sole intention of vilifying Islam openly.

This article aims to provide context to Nabeel Qureshi’s polemical life, his forays into Christian missionary attacks against Islam and his hidden motives in doing so, insha’allah.

2. Was Nabeel Qureshi Raised As A “Muslim”?

It should be mentioned right from the onset that Nabeel was a Qadiani. He converted to Christianity under the influence of David Wood from the Ahmadiyya, a movement that has never been recognised by mainstream Islam as “Muslims”. The Ahmadiyya believe that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet of God and the promised Messiah in the likeness of Jesus, two fundamental claims that run contrary to mainstream orthodox Islam which clearly says that there can be no Prophet of God after the passing of Muhammad(P) (Qur’an, 33:40) and that the Messiah was no other than Christ Jesus(P), the son of Mary.

Yet the Christian media, in the wake of Nabeel’s death, conveniently gloss over this small, inconvenient fact and consistently potrayed Nabeel Qureshi in their rabid, polemical frenzy as an “ex-Muslim”WND, “Ex-Muslim, author, evangelist Nabeel Qureshi dead at 34”, 20 September 2017 or as a “former Muslim”See for example PJ Media, “Nabeel Qureshi Shows Christians How to Die Well, With a Message of Love and Trust in Jesus Christ”, 16 September 2017.

It is interesting to note that some Christian apologists did question Nabeel Qureshi’s “Islamic upbringing”. One of them was Seth Dunn, in which he says (while commenting on Nabeel’s contradictory story on having been converted through a “dream”Todd Friel, a Christian TV host, questions whether dreams are a valid reason for Muslims converting to Christianity and gave Biblical evidence against this in Wretched, Episode 2025: “Is God converting Muslims through dreams?”):

Still, readers should recall that it was originally a Muslim apologist who exposed inconsistencies in Ergun Caner’s Islamic background story. While the inconsistencies in the dream stories cited above are slight, they are relevant given the vast evangelical fascination with stories of Muslim dreams and visions of Jesus. Furthermore, Qureshi’s very Islamic credentials are in question. Qureshi is a former Ahmadi. According to Snow, the Ahmadi sect is not considered Muslim by Muslims in the same way Mormons are not considered ChristiansSeth Dunn, “Resetting the Evangelical Mindset on Nabeel Qureshi” in Pulpit & Pen, 4 July 2016

In other words, Nabeel Qureshi’s so-called “Muslim upbringing” was a convenient “hammer” against the Muslims that the Christian missionaries utilised to the fullest.

3. How Influential Was Nabeel Qureshi, Really?

No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him! (Qur’an, 23:91)

At the onset of his reimaging as a Christian apologist in 2014, Nabeel wrote the following tweet:

As any Muslim who sincerely understands and believes in the message of Islam would know, that statement by Nabeel is totally untrue and without any real basis whatsoever. As it is, Islam does not solely hinge on the life of the Prophet Muhammad(P) to uphold the divine truth of the Qur’an as the direct Revelation from God Almighty. Hence, when the news of Nabeel’s death became known, the Muslim initial reaction was — on the whole — muted and dignified on the social media and blogs. It was only the Christian news media and Christian blogs that went with inflammatory headlines in order to drum up public sentiment about Nabeel’s death and sensationalise it for their target audience.

This brings us to the next question: how far did Nabeel’s successes really go? We find it odd that at the time of writing this article, no Christian had openly questioned the so-called “achievements” of Nabeel Qureshi in his attempts to bring Muslims to the worship of Christ; more its effectiveness. Where are those so-called “hundreds of Muslims” that were inspired by Nabeel’s message and converted? What are their names and which part of Nabeel’s message reached them to the point that they feel compelled to convert to Christianity? There has been no such data produced and we believe that there will be no such data anytime soon, simply because it does not exist. Nabeel Qureshi’s tired polemics on the issue of Allah (God), the personality of the Prophet Muhammad(P), the concept of jihad and anything else apart from this will not change the minds of Muslims to consider Christianity as a valid option.

The Christian scholar and thinker Hans Kung said as follows regarding Muhammad:

Whatever we Christians do with this fact, we must affirm that he acted as a prophet and that he was a prophet. I do not see how we can avoid the conclusion that on their way of salvation, Muslims follow a prophet who is decisive for them.See our article: Hans Küng On “Is Muhammad A Prophet”?

Certainly, the credentials of Hans Kung is much more impeccable than the highly polemical and disputed authority that Nabeel Qureshi represents!

Generally speaking, however, there was no polemical inquiry from Nabeel Qureshi on Islam that has not already been analysed, debated, answered and refuted already by the many Muslim apologists and the online Islamic da’wah movement in general. Indeed, the general opinion among Muslims regarding the Prophet(P) is one of being merciful, the total opposite of what Nabeel Qureshi represents:

When Muhammad came into a position of political power after decades of persecution, his first act was to forgive those who had persecuted him. His heart of mercy is also illustrated by this hadith: “A dying child was once brought to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). When, on seeing the child’s last breaths, the Prophet began to shed tears, one of his companions asked why he was crying. He replied: ‘It is a mercy that God has put in the hearts of God’s servants, and God is merciful only to those of God’s servants who are merciful to others’”. I hope that, in the midst of public debate between Muslims and non-Muslims, we all can be merciful to one another.Jonathan E. Brockopp (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad, Cambridge University Press (2010), pp. 280-281

Outside of the World Wide Web, Nabeel Qureshi was (and still is) an unknown entity to the Muslim world and never had any real influential presence. Elijah Reynolds in an online piece co-written with a Christian graduate student criticized Nabeel Qureshi by stating:

For Qureshi, the Qur’an is a bloody and violent text—a fact which learned interpreters of Islam today ignore, he implies, but somehow the unlearned Jihadists get right. Qureshi claims that as a young man, he was shielded from reading Qur’an and hadith on his own, and instead was taught a message of Islamic peace and love. This reading was subsequently shattered by his own independent investigation of the texts, bypassing centuries of the tradition and scholarly interpretations.

Qureshi claims to speak more authoritatively on Islam than the imams whose interpretation he explicitly ignores. He remembers as a child, “if I wanted to know about the traditions of Muhammad, I had to ask imams or elders in my tradition of Islam.” It was not until he bypassed “centuries of tradition and their imams’ interpretations” that he discovered real Islam—apparently on the internet, where young potential ISIS recruits easily find real Islam too.

Qureshi’s rejection of the learned scholars of his community in favor of the internet….is comparable to an atheist learning everything she knows about Christianity from Richard Dawkins.Jonathan Homrighausen and Elijah Reynolds, “Looking For Islam In All The Wrong Places: A Response to Nabeel Qureshi” in Religion Dispatches, USC (April 20, 2016)

The vast and copious material that he had produced from the time of his conversion to Christianity until a week before his death are mostly rehashes of Orientalists and Christian polemicists in the likes of Alphonse Mingana, Samuel Zwemer, Robert Spencer, David Wood and many others. There was nothing new or anything worth mentioning that he had introduced in his debates with the Muslims, apart from him consistently attempting to create a “dichotomy” between “Allah and Jesus” (as made apparent in his book titles and online speeches). Even that “honour” too has been taken away by the Christian missionaries Robert Morey and Sam Shamoun, the former being known for his “Allah is a moon-god” theory and the latter for his virulent, Islamophobic strawman against the conception of God in Islam. The image that was carefully planned and crafted of him having “questioned his Muslim faith”CBN (700 Club), “Why Nabeel Qureshi Questioned His Muslim Faith”, undated and “being called off the minaret”Christianity Today, “Christ Called Me Off the Minaret”, 8 January 2014. It is interesting to note that he made no mention that his family were from the Ahmadiyya, and portrayed his family background as being mainstream Islam. however, has made it a prominent feature among a gullible Western audience primed with Islamophobia and always willing to parade someone from “the enemy” as one of their own.

In spite of the meagre achievements of Nabeel Qureshi in the Muslim world, this had not stopped the Western Christian public — deluded by the mythical influence of their fallen hero — to donate money to his cause, even in death. Nabeel’s GoFundMe page reached up to USD700,000.00 after the news of his death was known to the public sphere, and the monthly amount he receives from Patreon had not wavered either. It seems obvious to us that those managing the crowdfunding pages of their fallen comrade are making a huge profit out of this sensationalism.

4. Why Did God Not Heal Nabeel Qureshi?

This was the question posed by the Christian polemicists, guised in the form of an op-ed by Frank Turek and another in a blog post. This must have been the question that had been playing in their minds when Nabeel Qureshi first announced that he had Stage IV cancer on August 31, 2016. We find the statement made by Frank Turek in reference to Muslims extremely polemical and was totally below the belt, as he wrote that:

    Is it because the Muslim God is the true God, and He punished Nabeel for leaving Him? No, there’s excellent evidence for the Christian view of God (see Nabeel’s book No God but One). Moreover, Muslims who suggest this should be asked, “Why did your God wait until Nabeel had written three best-selling books, made hundreds of hours of videos, and helped bring hundreds of Muslims to Christ? Is his timing off?” Not only that, Nabeel’s work will continue to bring people to Christ, probably in an accelerated manner after his passing.

We would like to address several things for this missionary to digest. First of all, Mr Turek, there has never been a “Muslim God” or a “Christian God” or any other god that the Muslims worship which is distinct from the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus, peace be upon them all. It is very insulting to even suggest that the God of Islam is distinct from the God of Christianity because, in reality, they are not distinct — Muslims and Christians do worship the same God.

Regarding the second part of Turek’s rhetorical question, one may not have to look far to see why this may be the case. It has been reported by several Christian news portals that Nabeel himself “prayed for God to kill him after converting to Christianity”Reported in The Christian Post, “Former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi Prayed for God to Kill Him After Converting to Christianity”, July 19 2016; Christian Today, “Apologist and former Muslim Nabeel Querishi reveals he asked God to kill him after his conversion”, 23 July 2016; Faith It, “Muslim Begs God to Kill Him After Becoming a Christian—After 3 Dreams, His Bible Opens to This…”, 19 July 2016 and The Christian Times, “Former Muslim confesses he wanted to die after converting to Christianity”, 22 July 2016.

This may or may not have been true as we would like to keep an open mind on this, but we leave the interested reader to follow the trail and check out the evidence for themselves as to whether God may have indeed “killed” Nabeel Qureshi because He did answer what Nabeel had prayed for…and it has nothing to do with the Muslims.

5. Conclusions

Nabeel Qureshi was a Qadiani, or otherwise known as the Ahmadiyya, a deviant sect that only began in the late 19th century and have been consistently denounced by mainstream Islam as heterodox for their belief that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a Prophet and the promised Messiah. He was never a Muslim to begin with. This is akin to stating that a former Mormon who reverted to Islam was a “Christian”, even though Mormonism is rejected by mainstream Christianity because Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. The parallels between Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Joseph Smith are so similar to one another that we wonder how was it possible for Western Christians to fall for this con.

    Google Trends graph for the search term “nabeel qureshi”. Note how his name only peaked around the time of his death in September 2017

It should be noted that Nabeel never once addressed the issue of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad when talking about his past — whether in his books or in his speeches — because he knew that to do so will lend little credence to his claims of being a “former Muslim” and totally remove any vestige of his credibility. He unabashedly capitalised on that label to the point of making a huge fortune from his various evangelical ventures, with the backing of the Christian establishment. It is worth mentioning that this was the same tactic employed by a Christian polemicist and Islamophobe extraordinaire by the name of Ergun Caner — a self-professed “former devout ex-Muslim” who never did practice any of the basic tenets of Islam during his early life and was in fact weaned into Christianity even before the age of puberty. Ergun Caner exploited his shenanigans to the hilt as a money-making enterprise until he was exposed as a fraud by Mohammad Khan, a British Muslim, for passing off gibberish as Arabic phrases and Qur’anic verses.

In turn, the Christian missionaries themselves used Nabeel Qureshi as a hammer against the Muslims — and their ideological weapon — to promote an agenda of extinguishing IslamWe are reminded of the following verse: “They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.” (Qur’an 61:8, which still remains the fastest-growing religion in the world. While we reserve our judgement on the final fate of Nabeel Qureshi who had clearly erred in the sight of Islam (as we do believe matters of his affairs have now come between him and God Almighty), we do find that the Christian missionary attempts at the hero-worship of Nabeel Qureshi in death and (mis)using it — to the point of making thinly-veiled attacks on Islam and the Muslims — shameful and disgusting, to say the least.

In the end, Muslims are reminded of the words of God Almighty in the Final Testament, the Qur’an, which says:

And they say, “None will enter Paradise except one who is a Jew or a Christian.” That is [merely] their wishful thinking, Say, “Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” (Qur’an 2:111)

And verily, only God knows best!

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Some Thoughts On The Death Of Nabeel Qureshi," in Bismika Allahuma, Thu 1 Muharram 1439AH 21-9-2017AD, last accessed Sun 4 Jumada Al Oula 1439AH 21-1-2018AD, https://www.craftora.com/op-ed/nabeel-qureshi-death/

Appendix 1: “You Cannot See God And Live”By Ibn Anwar of Unveling Christianity

In a debate event entitled What is God Really Like: Tawhid or Trinity? that the late Nabeel Qureshi had with Dr Shabir Ally, a person asked in the Q&A Session how he would reconcile the apparent contradiction between saying that Abraham actually laid eyes on God and yet Exodus 33:20 has God telling Moses that seeing His face is an impossibility as seeing Him would cause the human being to die. In answering this question, Nabeel argued that it was Jesus that Abraham saw and not the Father. It is the Father, according to Nabeel and many other Christian apologists, that human being cannot lay eyes on and live, but if it was the Son, that is, Jesus then it would be totally all right for the human eyes to see.

Firstly, the verse in Exodus 33:20 does not categorise God into the Father and the Son and thereby argue, as Nabeel did, that only the Son can be seen but not the Father. The plain text simply shows God as One Being and One person explicitly declaring that nobody can see Him and live. Secondly, If indeed it was God that Abraham saw and his life was preserved despite Exodus 33:20 because — as Nabeel and co. reasoned — it was Jesus, but if it had been the Father then he would have been utterly destroyed, then the necessary implication of that claim is that the Father and Jesus are not co-equal as the Trinitarians claim. If they were, in fact, equal in power and glory, then seeing both would result in the same catastrophic end, i.e., death. But apparently, the Father has a far greater glory than the Son, that seeing Him and not the Son would have the viewer forfeit his life.

In conclusion, in an attempt to reconcile Genesis 18 with Exodus 33:20, Nabeel Qureshi inadvertently refutes the Trinity as he glorifies the Father and makes the Son inferior.

Paul Says That The Earliest Gospel (Mark) Is “Futile”

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Celebrating life

The whole of Christianity rests on the question of the resurrection as its founder, Paul of Tarsus writes:

    “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17, NLT)

But the first of the four gospels, i.e., the Gospel according to Mark, apparently did not receive Paul’s memo. And this is a very important point as we keep in mind that each of the gospels was initially divorced from each other and were written in different localities for different audiences. There was no canon of the New Testament as we know it today in the first 70 years of Christianity in the first century. The first person to canonise scripture was the heretic Marcion and this was, according to most biblical critics, the impetus behind the orthodox canonisation process.Perhaps it is also pertinent to note that a gospel that predates Mark, the so-called Sayings Gospel or Q (quelle, which means “source” in German), which has been reconstructed by scholars through the Synoptic Problem, has absolutely no crucifixion or resurrection narratives in it. Professor James Robinson writes: “…the Sayings Gospel has no passion narrative or resurrection stories…” (Robinson, J. M. (n.d.). The Real Jesus of the Sayings “Q” Gospel. Retrieved from http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=542). Professor Bart Ehrman writes: “Most striking was the circumstance that in none of the Q materials (that is, in none of the passages found in Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark) is there an account of Jesus’ death and resurrection.” (Ehrman, B. D. (2003), Lost Christianities (New York: Oxford University Press) p. 57)

The gospel of Mark seems to support the Islamic worldview as it starkly keeps silent or omits any mention of the resurrection. The gospel ends in verse eight with the women, in utter confusion, fleeing the scene of the tomb, which was empty:

“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone because they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8, NIV)

The late Catholic Jesuit scholar John McKenzie writes:

“…for Mark really has no resurrection and no apparitions, just the empty tomb.”McKenzie, J. L. (2009), The New Testament Without Illusion (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock), p. 198

Lightfoot Professor of Divinity and New Testament scholar, James Dunn writes:

“… the earliest Gospel (Mark) ends without any record of a ‘resurrection appearance’,…”Dunn, J. D. G. (1985), The Evidence for Jesus (Louisville, Kentucky: The Westminster Press), p. 66

Dean at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University, Dr Brian Shmisek writes:

“For our purposes, let us note that the earliest gospel has no appearance narrative and leaves many questions unanswered.”Schmisek, B. (2013), Resurrection of the Flesh or Resurrection from the Dead: Implications for Theology (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press), p. 61

Chair of the Department and Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, Prof. John S. Kloppenborg writes:

“Mark, famously, has no resurrection appearance stories, only the discovery of an empty tomb.”Kloppenborg, J. S. (2008). Q, the Earliest Gospel: An Introduction to the Original Stories and Sayings of Jesus (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press), p. 84

Essentially, the gospel according to Mark has zero resurrection narrative and so those– the initial recipients — that read this gospel soon after it was written and put into circulation, would not have had much belief in the resurrection as they were not made aware of it by the gospel that they were relying upon. The gospels according to Matthew and Luke, which would eventually supply such information would only come years later. And this would have been utterly antithetical to the gospel preached by Paul, which specifies the fundamental importance of the resurrection; therefore, according to the words of Paul, the gospel according to Mark, without the resurrection, is in fact “useless”.

Conclusions

The original ending of Mark proved very disturbing to the early scribes of the Bible and it really did not sit too well with them. So perturbed was their theological sensibilities, that they sought to smoothen the ending with their own version of an ending by appending to verse 8 the longer ending of Mark that extends from verse 9 to 20 and that currently remains part of the main text in the New King James Version. In fact, more creative scribes added two other versions of the ending, i.e., the Freer Logion and the Shorter Ending. North America’s most eminent textual critic — the protege of Bruce Metzger — Professor Bart Ehrman, writes:

“Obviously, scribes thought the ending was too abrupt. The women told no one? Then, did the disciples never learn of the resurrection? And didn’t Jesus himself ever appear to them? How could that be the ending! To resolve the problem, scribes added an ending.”Ehrman, B. D. (2006). Whose Word is it?: The Story Behind Who Changed the New Testament and Why (London: The Continuum International Publishing Group), p. 67

And that was how easy it was to mint the so-called “words of God” in Christianity. In short, the gospel according to Mark — according to the gospel of Paul — is nothing but a useless gospel, because without the resurrection the faith of Christianity is useless and the resurrection simply does not exist in Mark’s gospel.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Paul Says That The Earliest Gospel (Mark) Is “Futile”," in Bismika Allahuma, Sat 12 Jumada Al Akhira 1438AH 11-3-2017AD, last accessed Sun 4 Jumada Al Oula 1439AH 21-1-2018AD, https://www.craftora.com/bible/bible-commentary/paul-earliest-gospel-futile/

The Gospels’ Accounts Concerning the Choice of the First Apostles

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Ibn Hazm (994CE-1064CE) was a Muslim scholar of great repute from Cordoba, during the Muslim Spain era. He is widely regarded as the “Father of Comparative Religion”. In his celebrated magnum opus entitled Kitab al-Fasl fi al- Milal wa al-Ahwa’ wa al-Nihal, he predated modern Biblical textual criticism by several centuries and as Krentz admits, Ibn Hazm’s criticisms generally represents the first, albeit rudimentary, systematic historic criticism of the BibleEdgar Krentz, The Historical Critical Method (Fortress Press, 1975), p. 4. He had demonstrated his prowess in Biblical textual criticism by giving many examples of internal contradictions in the Bible.

The following Bible contradiction was extracted from an unpublished thesis entitled Ibn Hazm On The Doctrine of Tahrif which cites Kitab al-Fasl fi al-Milal wa al-Ahwa’ wa al-NihalAbdul Rashied Omar, Ibn Hazm On The Doctrine of Tahrif (unpublished thesis, 1992), p. 34 and insha’allah this will be part of an ongoing series to reproduce extracts of Ibn Hazm’s criticisms of the Bible and Christianity, as well as further elaboration on our part to refine his arguments in order to solidify the charges against the Bible.

So which is the correct Gospel account concerning the choice of Jesus’ first apostles? Ibn Hazm quotes Matthew 4, 12-22“Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.” (Mt. 4: 12-22); Mark 1, 14-20“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.” (Mk. 1: 14-20); Luke 5, 1-11“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.” (Lk. 5: 1-11) and John 1, 35-42“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (Jn. 1: 35-42) and concludes that there are four basic contradictions contained in the Gospel accounts of the first apostles. They relate to:

    (1) The time the first apostleship of Andrew and his brother Simon Peter commenced. Was it before the imprisonment of John the Baptist as Mathew and Mark records, or was it after the imprisonment of John as he himself claims?
    (2) The place where the first apostleship took place. Was it at the place where the Messiah found Peter and Andrew entering their nets into the sea as they were about to fish as Matthew and Mark relates, or was it at the place where Andrew was standing with John when he heard him remark when the Messiah walked past saying “Behold the Lamb of God!”, as John records?
    (3) The sequence of the first companionship. Did Simon, Peter and his brother Andrew jointly become the Messiah’s first apostles at the same point in time, or was it Andrew who became the Messiah’s first apostle and subsequently recruited his brother Simon?
    (4) The conditions in which the Messiah found his first two apostles. Was it as they were entering their nets into the sea or was it as they were getting out of their boat in order to wash their nets after they had spent the entire night without catching any fish?

According to Ibn Hazm, one of these four confusing stories must be untrue. Such untruths, however, cannot be attributed to God, nor a Prophet, neither of any truthful person. Ibn Hazm also points out that Saint John had translated the Gospel of Matthew from Hebrew to Greek and therefore he must have come across the differences in the two accounts. These clear contradictions are sufficient proof, Ibn Hazm claims, “that the Gospels are the works of accursed liars (min ‘amal kadhibin mal’unin).”As cited from Abdul Rashied Omar, Ibn Hazm On The Doctrine of Tahrif (unpublished thesis, 1992), p. 34

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Gospels’ Accounts Concerning the Choice of the First Apostles," in Bismika Allahuma, Sun 29 Jumada Al Oula 1438AH 26-2-2017AD, last accessed Sun 4 Jumada Al Oula 1439AH 21-1-2018AD, https://www.craftora.com/bible/bible-contradictions/bible-internal-errors/gospels-accounts-choice-apostles/

The Reliability Of Luke As A Historian

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Christian apologists and missionaries believe that Luke was “inspired” and “inerrant,” even though Luke himself does not make such a claim in his books (Gospel according to Luke and Acts). One of most popular argument often proposed by missionaries as “evidence” that Luke was “inspired”, or at least someone who we can blindly trust without second thoughts, is as follows: he was an excellent historian who conducted a careful investigation during the course of composing his books. It is claimed that Luke accurately named many countries, cities, that he accurately described certain events of his time, correctly named various officials with their proper titles and referred to places which have only recently been discovered. Therefore, this somehow “proves”, according to the apologists, that Luke’s story can be trusted in its entirety and that there is no room for doubts regarding his claims whatsoever.

  1. We refer to the author as “Luke” simply for the sake of convenience and not because we believe that Luke authored the third Gospel and the Book of Acts. We might as well call the author “Max”, but because the third gospel is commonly known as the “Gospel according to Luke,” the name of Luke is retained.

According to critical scholars, the third gospel, like all the gospels, is anonymously authored. That is to say, we really do not know who authored it. Nonetheless, even if we accept the traditional authorship claim, it remains that Luke was a non-eyewitness – he did not witness any of the alleged events from the life of Jesus first hand. Luke was a follower of Paul. According to the late Raymond Brown, it is possible that Luke, a minor figure who travelled with Paul for some time, wrote the third gospel and the book of Acts decades after Paul’s death. Brown writes:

We have no way of being certain that he was Luke, as affirmed by 2nd-century tradition; but there is no serious reason to propose a different candidate.Raymond E. Brown, S.S, An Introduction To The New Testament (The Anchor Bible Reference Library), 1997, Doubleday, p. 326

Similarly, Lee Martin McDonald and Stanley Porter accept traditional Lucan authorship but not wholeheartedly. They write (p. 295): “We are inclined to accept Lucan authorship, but not without some reservation …”See Lee Martin McDonald, Stanley E. Porter, Early Christianity And Its Sacred Literature, 2000, Hendrickson Publishers. For a more critical assessment, see Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz, who dismiss the traditional authorship claims about the gospels in their The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide, 1998, SCM Press Ltd. See also W. G. Kummel, Introduction To The New Testament, 1975, Revised Edition, SCM Press Ltd. Helmut Koester also discusses gospel authorships in his Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development, 1990, Trinity Press International. Also Vincent P. Branick, Understanding the New Testament and its Message: An Introduction, 1998, Paulist Press

Bart Ehrman, summing up the stance of critical scholars, writes:

Proto-orthodox Christians of the second century, some decades after most of the New Testament books had been written, claimed that their favorite Gospels had been penned by two of Jesus’ disciples – Matthew, the tax collector, and John, the beloved disciple – and by two friends of the apostles – Mark, the secretary of Peter, and Luke, the travelling companion of Paul. Scholars today, however, find it difficult to accept this tradition for several reasons.

…none of these Gospels makes any such claim about itself. All four authors chose to keep their identities anonymous.Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 2000, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, p. 52. For a defense of traditional authorship claims, see the following books by evangelical scholars: Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Master Reference Collection), Revised Edition, 1990, InterVarsity Press; D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo, Dr. Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament, 1992, Zondervan Publishing House.

As for the dating of Luke and Acts, most scholars place it in the 80 – 100 AD period. For instance, Paula Fredriksen places Luke between c. 90 – 100.See Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus To Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Christ, Second Edition, 2000, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, pp. 3-4, 19. E. P. Sanders dates the final form of the gospels between the years 70 and 90.See E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure Of Jesus, 1993, Penguin Books, p. 60. Theissen and Merz place Luke anywhere between 70 C.E to 140/150 C.E — more in the first half of this periodGerd Theissen, Annette Merz, The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide , 1998, SCM Press Ltd. p. 32 The late Catholic scholar and priest, Raymond Brown, placed Luke in the year 85 — give or take five to ten yearsRaymond E. Brown, S.S, An Introduction To The New Testament (The Anchor Bible Reference Library), 1997, Doubleday, p. 247. Similar dates are also proposed in the following sources: Gerd Ludemann, Jesus After Two Thousand Years: What He Really Said and Did, 2001, Prometheus Books; Graham N. Stanton, The Gospels and Jesus, Second Edition, 2002, Oxford University Press; James L. Mays (General Editor), The HarperCollins Bible Commentary, 2000, HarperSanFrancisco; Donald Senior, Jesus: A Gospel Portrait, New and Revised Edition, 1992, Paulist Press; W. G. Kummel, Introduction To The New Testament, 17th Revised edition, 1975, SCM Press Ltd; Vincent P. Branick, Understanding the New Testament and Its Message: An Introduction, 1998, Paulist Press; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Vol. 1, 1991, 1st edition, The Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday; Also Geza Vermes, The Authentic Gospel Of Jesus, 2004, Penguin Books. These types of dates are accepted by the vast majority of New Testament scholars and the references provided above are only a few examples. For much earlier dates, see the aforementioned introductions by Donald Guthrie and Carson. See also John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, 2000, Wipf & Stock Publishers.

  1. It should be noted that the author of the third gospel and Acts nowhere claims to have been “inspired” by a higher source to write his accounts. Such arguments are listed by one missionary as follows:
    Independent archaeological research has solidified the authenticity and the historical reliability of the New Testament. Some of the discoveries include:

  • Luke refers to Lysanias as being the tetrarch of Abilene at the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry, circa 27 A. D. (Luke 3:1) Historians accused Luke of being in error, noting that the only Lysanias known was the one killed in 36 B. C. Now, however, an inscription found near Damascus refers to “Freedman of Lysanias the tetrarch” and is dated from 14 and 29 A. D.
  • Paul, writing to the Romans, speaks of the city treasurer Erastus (Romans 16:23). A 1929 excavation in Corinth unearthed a pavement inscribed with these words: ERASTVS PRO:AED:P:STRAVIT: (“Erastus curator of public buildings, laid this pavement at his own expense.”)
  • Luke mentions a riot in the city of Ephesus which took place in a theatre (Acts 19:23-41). The theatre has now been excavated and has a seating capacity of 25,000.
  • Acts 21 records an incident which broke out between Paul and certain Jews from Asia. These Jews accused Paul of defiling the Temple by allowing Trophimus, a Gentile, to enter it. In 1871, Greek inscriptions were found, now housed in Istanbul which read:

    NO FOREIGNER MAY ENTER WITHIN THE BARRICADE WHICH SURROUNDS THE TEMPLE AND ENCLOSURE. ANYONE WHO IS CAUGHT DOING SO WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO THANK FOR HIS ENSUING DEATH.

  • Luke addresses Gallio with the title Proconsul (Acts 18:12). A Delphi inscription verifies this when it states, “As Lucius Junius Gallio, my friend, and the Proconsul of Achaia …”
  • Luke calls Publicus, the chief man of Malta, “First man of the Island.” (Acts 28:7) Inscriptions now found do confirm Publicus as the “First man”. (Josh McDowell, The Best of Josh Mcdowell: A Ready Defense, pp. 110-111)

He goes on to present more similar citations and arguments:

    The significance of such extra-Biblical evidence is of such magnitude that honest sceptics are now forced to agree that the Bible is historically accurate and reliable. One such person was Sir William Ramsey, considered one of the world’s greatest archaeologists. He believed that the New Testament, particularly the books of Luke and Acts, were second-century forgeries. He spent thirty years in Asia Minor, seeking to dig up enough evidence to prove that Luke-Acts was nothing more than a lie. At the conclusion of his long journey, however, he was compelled to admit that the New Testament was a first-century compilation and that the Bible is historically reliable. This fact led to his conversion and embracing of the very faith he once believed to be a hoax.

    Dr Ramsey stated:

      “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy … this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”

    Ramsey further said: “Luke is unsurpassed in respects of its trustworthiness.” (Josh McDowell, The Best of Josh Mcdowell: A Ready Defense, pp. 108-109)

Firstly, we should note that there is nothing in the above which would indicate that Luke was “inspired”or “inerrant” and that everything within his books can be trusted blindly. There is nothing here which would show that Luke was somehow “special”. Far from being remarkable, the above are very ordinary examples of Luke’s alleged accuracies. There is no reason to suppose that unless a person is inerrant or inspired, he or she cannot get such basic elementary facts straight. Such type of ordinary accuracies relating to certain factual matters is also to be observed in fictional books, which name, for instance, cities correctly, etc.

So what if Luke was able to name the various cities in existence in his time, accurately name officials of his time with their correct titles, name certain countries of his time, mention a theatre he knew about which has recently been discovered and accurately mention certain religious rites and practices of the time? There is nothing “extraordinary”about this. This only shows that Luke was a person who had basic education and was familiar with his surroundings. If I am not considered inspired and inerrant despite accurately naming fifty countries in existence today, accurately naming various world cities, accurately naming heads of state and various other officials together with their correct titles and ranks, accurately naming a few theatres around London together with a few additional tourist attraction sites and accurately describing the workings and practices of the local mosques and churches, then why must Luke be considered inerrant and inspired? These are utterly ordinary matters and such type of accuracies do not in anyway suggest that the person or book is “extraordinary”, “special”, or in any way heavenly “inspired”.

Secondly, besides the above listed so-called wonderful “accuracies”, there are also grave inaccuracies within Luke’s gospel. The following are some inaccuracies and discrepancies within Luke’s Gospel and Acts over which there is widespread agreement among scholars, including devout Christian scholars:

  • Luke forged a genealogy for Jesus(P) even though he(P) had no father. The genealogy has no historical standing. Worse, his genealogy contradicts the one forged by Matthew.
  • Luke provides an infancy narrative which is irreconcilable with the infancy narrative provided by Matthew.
  • Luke mentions a census under Quirnius during the birth of Jesus(P) which is almost universally recognized as a major historical blunder on Luke’s part.

In addition to the difficulties raised by a detailed comparison of the two birth narratives found in the New Testament, serious historical problems are raised by the familiar stories found in Luke alone.Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, 2000, Oxford University Press, p. 109 In Acts, Luke has Gamaliel referring to a revolt by Theudas which in fact took place years later after his speech. Again, there is widespread agreement among Christian scholars that Luke was in error on this occasion.

There is also general agreement among New Testament scholars that the speeches found in Acts are either the creations or adaptions of Luke.Marshall believes that most of the speeches in Acts are based on traditional material, but he adds that they were never meant to be verbatim reports and that Luke has provided us with nothing more than brief summaries. Hence he leaves room for at least some Lucan creativity [I. Howard Marshall, Acts (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), 1980, Inter-Varsity Press, WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, p. 41]. Moreover, he acknowledges that Luke could not have known what Festus and Agrippa said to each other in their private apartments (25:13-22; 26:30-32) nor could the Christians have learnt what exactly was said by the members of the Sanhedrin in closed sessions (4:15-17; 5:34-40). Nonetheless, he speculates that perhaps Luke could have expressed the things that the public behaviour of rulers indicated that they had probably said in private (so some invention of speech by Luke did take place?) and that it is possible that some sympathizer from the Sanhedrin may have given Christians the gist of the conversation (ibid.). Furthermore, Luke’s story in Acts contradicts at a number of points with the information within the authentic Pauline epistles, something also generally acknowledged by scholars. Therefore Luke was a very errant writer, who made both mistakes and accuracies in his writings.Marshall admits that there are points of tension between Luke’s portrait of Paul and his own writing, but insists that they are not so substantial so as to make Acts entirely unhistorical (ibid.)

Moving on, “inspired”Luke lifted 50% of his gospel from Mark — a secondary source authored by a non-eyewitness. Why would Luke do this if we are to suppose that he was accurately researching the issues and shifting through reliable first-hand sources? We know from Luke’s opening words that he did not have a high regard for the previous narratives. Evangelical scholar Donald Guthrie writes:

Luke’s preface is illuminating in regard to his own approach to his task. He claims to have made a comprehensive and accurate survey over a considerable period, which throws a good deal of light on his seriousness of purpose. Moreover, Luke admits that others had previously attempted the same task, but his words imply that he found them unsatisfactory…Donald Guthrie, B.D., M. Th., New Testament Introduction. The Gospels and Acts, 1966, Inter-Varsity Press, p. 87

W.G. Kummel, in his classical introduction to the New Testament writes:

With his historical work Lk joins their ranks [ranks of his predecessors who composed gospel narratives], though he was not himself a witness from the beginning, because he feels the works of his predecessors to be in some way inadequate.W. G. Kummel, Introduction To The New Testament, 17th Revised edition, 1975, SCM Press Ltd, p. 129

Raymond Brown, on the other hand, says:

…neither evangelist [Matthew and Luke] liked Marks’s redundancies, awkward Greek expressions, uncomplimentary presentation of the disciples and Mary, and embarrassing statements about Jesus. When using Mark, both expanded the Markan accounts in the light of post-resurrectional faith.Raymond E. Brown, S.S, An Introduction To The New Testament, 1997, (The Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, p. 115

Yet Luke, our so-called “reliable” historian, copies no less than 50% of his book from Mark, regarded as an unsatisfactory source! Raymond Brown mentions some of the ways on how Luke had used Mark:

  • Luke improves on Mark’s Greek, bettering the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, e.g., in 4:1, 31, 38 and passim by omitting Mark’s overused “immediately”; in 20:22 by changing a Latinism like kensos (=census) from Mark 12:14; in 20:23 by substituting the more exact “craftiness, treachery” for the “hypocrisy” of Mark 12:15.
  • Luke states at the beginning his intention to write carefully and in an orderly manner (1:3); accordingly he rearranges Marcan sequence to accomplish that goal, e.g., Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth is put at the opening of the Galilean ministry rather than after some time had elapsed (Luke 4:16-30 vs. Mark 6:1-6) in order to explain why his Galilean ministry was centered at Capernaum; the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law is placed before the call of Simon and companions (4:38-5:11 vs. Mark 1:16-31) in order to make more logical Simon’s willingness to follow Jesus; Peter’s denials of Jesus are put before the Sanhedrin trial in preference to Mark’s complicated interweaving of the two. At times Luke’s orderliness is reflected in avoiding Marcan doublets (Luke does not report the second multiplication of loaves) whereas Matt likes to double features and persons. Yet Luke has a double sending out of the apostles/disciples (9:1-2; 10:1).
  • Because of changes made in material received from Mark, Luke occasionally creates inconsistencies, e.g., although in Luke 5:30 the partners in the conversation are “the Pharisees and their scribes,” 5:33 speaks of “the disciples of the Pharisees,” as if the Pharisees were not present; although in 18:32-33 Luke takes over from Mark the prediction that Jesus will be mocked, scourged, and spit on by the Gentiles, Luke (unlike Mark 15:16-20) never fulfills that prediction; Luke has changed the Marcan order of the denials of Peter and the Jewish mockery of Jesus but forgotten to insert the proper name of Jesus in the new sequence, so that at first blush Luke 22:63, in having “him” mocked and beaten, seems to refer to Peter, not Jesus. See also n. 67 above.
  • Luke, even more than Matt, eliminates or changes passages in Mark unfavorable to those whose subsequent career makes them worthy of respect, e.g., Luke omits Mark 3:21,33,34 and (in 4:24) changes Mark 6:4 in order to avoid references detrimental to Jesus’ family; Luke omits Mark 8:22-26 which dramatizes the slowness of the disciples to see, and Mark 8:33 where Jesus calls Peter “Satan”; in the passion Luke omits the predicted failure of the disciples, Jesus’ finding them asleep three times, and their flight as reported in Mark 14:27,40-41,51-52.
  • Reflecting Christological sensibilities, Luke is more reverential about Jesus and avoids passages that might make him seem emotional, harsh, or weak, e.g., Luke eliminates: Mark 1:41,43 where Jesus is moved with pity or is stern; Mark 4:39 where Jesus speaks directly to the sea; Mark 10:14a where Jesus is indignant; Mark 11:15b where Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers; Mark 11:20-25 where Jesus curses a fig tree; Mark 13:32 where Jesus says that the Son does not know the day or the hour; Mark 14:33-34 where Jesus is troubled and his soul is sorrowful unto death; Mark 15:34 where Jesus speaks of God forsaking him.
  • Luke stresses detachment from possessions, not only in his special material (L), as we shall see below, but also in changes he makes in Mark, e.g., followers of the Lucan Jesus leave everything (5:11,28), and the Twelve are forbidden to take even a staff (9:3).
  • Luke eliminates Mark’s transcribed Aramaic names and words (even some that Matt includes) presumably because they were not meaningful to the intended audience, e.g., omission of Boanerges, Gethsemane, Golgotha, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.
  • Luke may make Marcan information more precise, presumably for better story flow, greater effect, or clarity, e.g., Luke 6:6 specifies that the next scene (Mark 3:1: “again”) took place “on another Sabbath”; Luke 6:6 specifies “the right hand” and 22:50 “the right ear”; Luke 21:20 clarifies or substitutes for Mark’s “abomination of desolation”.Raymond E. Brown, S.S, An Introduction To The New Testament, 1997, The Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, pp. 263-265

The important point to note here is that Luke has used Mark and made a number of changes to its contents. New Testament scholars compare Luke and Mark to see how Luke is using his source (Mark) and adapting it. Mark is obviously not the only source employed by Luke, but since we know that he has altered the Markan stories in a variety of ways, it is only logical and reasonable to conclude that Luke must have done the same with the other sources at his disposal – he must have altered them as well to suit his agenda and presuppositions. Therefore, the fact that Luke accurately mentions certain ordinary details, such as naming cities correctly etc., does not follow that his story in its entirety can be trusted blindly. Thus the statement that “honest sceptics are now forced to agree that the Bible is historically accurate and reliable” is nothing more than nonsense. Critical scholars certainly do not regard Luke, or any book of the Bible, in its entirety to be “historically accurate and reliable” just because certain ordinary details are recorded accurately within them.

Although we have not gone into detail regarding the above-mentioned issues, the aim was to simply highlight here some of the major problems within Luke’s writings over which we have a scholarly consensus. Thus contrary to Ramsey’s conclusion (and bear in mind that he was an apologist and not a balanced historian) the fact is that there is nothing “super”, “extraordinary” or “special” about Luke’s writing even if we buy all of Ramsey’s claims regarding Luke’s alleged accuracy on certain issues. Moreover, Luke also makes mistakes, some examples provided above. Of course, apologists will challenge all of them, but remember that these are accepted as such and acknowledged by mainstream scholarship.

Instead, we come across a fairly ordinary writer who utilises sources at his disposal, making a variety of changes to them to suit his theological agenda and one who makes errors at times and also gets certain facts right. None of the examples presented by these apologists suggests that the “Bible” (which is a collection of many individual books and letters by authors of varying degrees of education and literacy) is “historically reliable” as a whole.

Modern New Testament scholars do not entirely endorse Ramsey’s claims pertaining to Luke’ abilities as a historian and consider him to have exaggerated his case. To be more precise, the studies by Ramsey and others did at least establish that Acts was not a complete fiction authored in the mid-late second century period. The author is likely to be one writing sometime in the late first century, someone who was educated and well-travelled, and was using some traditions and sources at his disposal. There is no doubt that he does present accurate details, yet it is also a fact that his account is selective, romanticised at times and theologically motivated. We know that the author was not just relating bare incidents and events without changes but was adapting them to suit his purposes. Hence his work (the gospel and Acts) needs to be used carefully and critically by the historians.

The late Raymond Brown made a remark that Luke would have been a fitting candidate for membership in the brotherhood of Hellenistic historians, but he would never be made the president of the society.Raymond E. Brown, S.S, An Introduction To The New Testament, 1997, The Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, p. 322. Howard Marshall, on the other hand, a major conservative evangelical scholar of our times who is quite charitable towards Acts, admits that:

“…he [Ramsey] was capable of making assertions about Luke’s historical accuracy which went beyond what could be shown by the available evidence.”I. Howard Marshall, Acts (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), 1980, Inter-Varsity Press, WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, p. 34

Marshall talks about the “essential” reliability of Acts regarding historical matters and not its complete reliability. Sherwin-White, for instance, believes that “Luke makes mistakes, but the main thrust of his book is to demonstrate that for the most part Luke portrays the first-century Roman scene accurately.”I. Howard Marshall, Acts (The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries), 1980, Inter-Varsity Press, WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, pp. 36-37 Note this does not mean that we can accept all of Luke’ stories blindly. So while many modern scholars do not outright dismiss Acts and consider it to be more accurate than was previously thought, it is nonetheless recognized that its author is not without mistakes and does colour sources at his disposal for theological and apologetic reasons, which means that not everything within his books are historically accurate.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "The Reliability Of Luke As A Historian," in Bismika Allahuma, Sun 28 Rabi Al Awwal 1431AH 14-3-2010AD, last accessed Sun 4 Jumada Al Oula 1439AH 21-1-2018AD, https://www.craftora.com/bible/bible-contradictions/reliability-luke-historian/

Ali Sina’s “Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography”

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Introduction: Who Is “Ali Sina”?


For those who are familiar with the extremist Islamophobic website called “Faithfreedom International”, the name of its founder Ali Sina (a pseudonym) is synonymous with the bigotry and vile rhetoric often displayed against Muslims and Islam. This was a person who openly advocated for the atomic bomb to be used on Muslim populations and have many times declared that he will “wipe out” Islam within 30 years. Now this relatively unknown figure within academic circles — apart from becoming the self-appointed hero for the cause of Islamophobia, bigotry and the new emerging school of lay-people and pseudo-scholars — has moved beyond the world that he is more accustomed to on the internet.

Like his predecessors, such as the infamous Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, “Ali Sina” is now attempting to make his name within the world of published authors with the publication of his book Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography. Whilst it is true that over the course of years he has gathered a large following of largely misled haters, Ali Sina still has had to resort to self-publishing with a relatively small publishing press where anyone with anything to rant about can publish their own.

Ali Sina’s Self-Proclaimed “Psychobiography”

The book claims to be a “psycho-biography” of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, but it is far from being objective and sane in its purported “scholarship”. It claims to refer to the Islāmic religious texts (heavily relying on translations and not the original Arabic sources which betray the author’s lack of command in the language) and then attempts to characterize Muhammad(P) in “modern analytical terms”. Coming from a Shi’ite background in predominantly Shi’ite Iran, it is not clear from the onset about why Ali Sina favours referring to the Sunni sources such as the hadith collection of Bukhari and Muslim (which is not used by the Shi’a and largely unfamiliar to them) and hardly mentions the Shi’ite sources themselves which talk about the Prophet(P). This leads us to suspect that he may not have the credentials of an Iranian Muslim as he claims to have. Unfortunately, this book does nothing more than to resort to the old underhanded technique of cherry-picking a handful of half-truths, sprinkling them with lies, exaggerations and misrepresentations, and eventually to come up with a twisted mix of politically motivated propaganda.

A) Ali Sina The Liar

While Ali Sina believes that his agenda will liberate Muslims, common sense would tell you that Ali Sina’s book comes nowhere close to it. In fact, he is much more likely to lend credence to the grumblings of right-wing nut jobs who want to stoke fear and hatred. The quality of Ali Sina’s “different” pseudo-scholarship is thus displayed by the revival of a long-abandoned polemic against the historical character of the Prophet of Islam – namely, the issue of epilepsy. Nuanced scholars such as the Swedish academic Tor Andrae and prolific writer Karen Armstrong have long dismissed the idea of epilepsy as nonsense. It seems that Ali Sina believes that such studies about the Prophet(P) in historiography should be abandoned and instead we should return to Orientalists such as Margoliouth, Muir and other Christian missionaries who would have us believe that the Prophet(P) was epileptic. Ali Sina consistently maligns the Prophet (SAWS) as delusional – while at the same time ignoring that the coherence, completeness and success of Islam in its 1400 years of history show that it cannot be the product of a madman’s mind, nor of that of an epileptic. Ali Sina then calls him (SAWS) a liar (an all too familiar accusation), conveniently ignoring how much he suffered for twenty years before gaining the upper hand and even then he had lived as a poor man with no luxuries. The inconsistencies of Ali Sina’s accusations against the Prophet(P) are themselves a testament to the foolishness of his reasoning.

B) Ali Sina The Ignorant

Ali Sina clearly ignores several facts contained within the Sirah itself; that the Prophet(P) spared the Makkans who had tortured and killed his followers for two decades even after conquering them, that he spared all the hypocrites in Madinah undermining his authority (something the man Sina describes would not tolerate), that he had all too often freed prisoners of war freed for no material gain, that he explicitly forbade harming innocent civilians such as women, children, elderly and monks; that he always honoured his treaties even if they were extremely unfair to him (until the disbelievers broke them), that his stories are filled with instances where he spared men who were out to kill him, that as soon as someone became Muslim, he forgave all their past evils, betrayals and murders. The only people that the Prophet(P) was harsh with were with those who were treacherous and betrayed their pacts to turn on the Muslims to destroy them in their weakest moment – which is considered as high treason in times of war. Ali Sina deviously omits the context and interpreted such acts as something that the Prophet(P) habitually does, which is nothing short of deception to his readers.

Perhaps we should not be surprised at his attempts of ad hominem and poisoning of the well; after all, Ali Sina’s methodology is consistent with his use of “weak Hadiths”, saying of the Prophet(P) that are not accepted by Muslims or are seen as weak sources for the religion. Further, this short list of verses from the Holy Qur’an shows Islam in a different light and contradicts the conclusions made by Ali Sina:

    “There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever, therefore, rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing.”Qur’an, 2:256

    “And so (O Prophet!), exhort them your task is only to exhort; you cannot compel them to believe.”Qur’an, 88:21,22; also see Qur’an 24:54

    “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.”Qur’an, 60:8

C) Ali Sina The Demented

The only people who would “love” this book are either psychologically demented — similar to Ali Sina himself — disaffected Muslims who have been hurt in the past and want to blame someone for their problems, or they are extremist Hindus and right-wing Christians who would like nothing better than to rationalize their extremist racism and xenophobic hatred with spurious scholarship. Muhammad(P) did not witness any insurrections or attempts on his life at the hands of his own followers. Not even after his death did anyone attempt to assassinate his memory or desecrate his grave. Instead, the Prophet’s(P) example spawned an empire that ruled over the Middle East for one thousand years and saw a revival of culture and learning the likes of which was not seen in the West until the Age of Enlightenment.

Conclusions

In summarizing this tiresome work, “Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography” is not a biography at all, much less a “psychobiography”, of the Prophet Muhammad(P) but a pathetic attempt at character assassination and the rehashing of age-old polemics dating as far as the earliest days of Orientalism. In fact, the author’s methodology is consistent with what that is found on his website and other atheist websites online. It is simply bad history and even worse psychology by a man who can claim to be neither a historian nor a psychologist. He simply repeats the lying polemics of Serge Trifkovic, Robert Spencer, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other atheists who have an axe to grind against Islam. When bigots and extremists approach any text, be it the Turner Diaries, the Bible, the Qur’an, Nietzsche or the Sirah literature, they cannot be divorced from contextual hermeneutics. The reason Ali Sina views the Prophet Muhammad(P) in such light is simply a case of trying to find a demon through the nitpicking of isolated incidents. Indeed, if one were to play with such rhetoric, one could find justification for the Holocaust, even within the New Testament as Hitler did.

We have come to the conclusion that a brief psycho-analysis of Ali Sina will find that he is simply a bigoted, disaffected “former Muslim” who is no doubt working out issues with his painful upbringing at the hands of his puritanical parents, cruel Islāmic clergy or perhaps a child-molesting Iranian mullah (or whatever the thorn in his side may be), as in his book he has focused all his rage into painting the ugliest portrait of the Prophet Muhammad(P) that can ever be conceived by the most insane mind.

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "Ali Sina’s “Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography”," in Bismika Allahuma, Thu 4 Jumada Al Akhira 1430AH 28-5-2009AD, last accessed Sun 4 Jumada Al Oula 1439AH 21-1-2018AD, https://www.craftora.com/book-reviews/ali-sina-understanding-muhammad-psychobiography/

King Abdullah I: As the Arabs See The Jews

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Editor’s Note: This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.

The Transcript

I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.

So many billions of words have been written about Palestine — perhaps more than on any other subject in history — that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.

We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.

There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.

The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.

Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered — a minority in our home.

Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.

Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.

Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.

No people on earth have been less “anti-Semitic” than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.

Damascus, Baghdad, Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment — far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.

I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow “always been a Jewish land.” Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their “historic claim.” I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!

If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.

Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most — but not all — of the inhabitants of Palestine.

It is significant that the Philistines — not the Jews — gave their name to the country: “Palestine” is merely the Greek form of “Philistia.”

Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly — but not all — the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.

This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, “homeland” of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

Many Mexicans might claim Spain, “homeland” of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the “homeland” of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid — or just as fantastic — as the Jewish “historic connection” with Palestine. Most are more valid.

In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country “Arab”, what does?

The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion. It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs—and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World—are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.

May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

The Jewish “religious claim” to Palestine is as absurd as the “historic claim.” The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now — almost three years after war’s end — still languish in cold, depressing camps.

Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.

And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine — a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East—to accept the entire burden. “We have hurt these people terribly,” cries the West to the East. “Won’t you please take care of them for us?”

We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore “cruel and heartless nationalists”?

We are a generous people: we are proud that “Arab hospitality” is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.

But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us — even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.

I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.

And yet this same America — the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known — refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!

I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.

Perhaps you have been informed that “the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine.”

This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.

The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!

You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.

Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine. His answer was simple: “My Jewish advisors tell me so.” He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.

The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine. Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.

Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.

The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.

The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.

One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.

If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives — or Palestine — we would both choose Palestine, too.

But open up any other alternative to them — give them any other choice, and see what happens!

No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors — just a little — to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.

Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death. Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.

In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.

The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years — unless stopped now — it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.

Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews—about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.

We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?

The sorry story of the so-called “Balfour Declaration,” which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs—promises made in cold print which admit no denying.

We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a “national home” for an entirely foreign people.

Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30th June, 1922.

In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it—in 1927 almost twice as many.

But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.

In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.

But the next year — the year of Hitler — it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!

It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.

I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.

I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.

Quite aside from official American support for the “National Home” of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.

The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.

The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine — to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.

It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the “refugee ships” that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers — your allies — and Arab citizens — your friends.

We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.

I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.

I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.

What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst—enough to dominate your country—merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?

Our answer is the same.

And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?

Ours will be the same.

Abdullah I was the first King of Jordan. This article was published in The American Magazine, November, 1947

Cite this article as: Bismika Allahuma Team, "King Abdullah I: As the Arabs See The Jews," in Bismika Allahuma, Fri 19 Muharram 1430AH 16-1-2009AD, last accessed Sun 4 Jumada Al Oula 1439AH 21-1-2018AD, https://www.craftora.com/history/as-the-arabs-see-the-jews/