Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Shabir Ally’s Contradictions and Inconsistencies Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

Here begins a new series where we will highlight the many contradictions and blunders that noted Muhammadan taqiyyist and polemicist Shabir Ally has made throughout the years in his various talks, debates, and supposed dialogues. These errors provide further confirmation for my accusation that Ally is not interested in being truthful or consistent, since truth is not a priority for him. What matters to him is to defend Islam by any means necessary, even if those means entail having to contradict oneself and/or employ inconsistent arguments. For Ally, the ends do justify the means.

Here is what Ally had to say regarding God requiring substitutionary atonement for the forgiveness of sins in response to my question concerning Muhammad’s teaching that Allah would torture Jews and Christians in hell as a ransom for all the crimes and wickedness carried out by Muslims:

"So when we look at the question of substitutionary sacrifice the problem that occurs in the Christian concept is that, if God forgave us because Jesus died for our sins then it's not really a forgiveness; it's… God got his blood anyway, whether from his Son OR SOMEBODY ELSE, and he's satisfied. And if you wanna thank somebody we should thank Jesus not God. It look likes God is a wrathful, vengeful God, and the Son is the one who is loving and kind to us. And in that case we should ask, ‘isn't God kind to his Son?’…" (Do Muslims believe in the Doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement? - Dr. Shabir Ally)

Ally made the same point in a more recent debate with a young Christian apologist named Luis Dizon, as he appealed to the parable of the prodigal son (cf. Luke 15:11-32), and “The Lord’s Prayer” (cf. Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-5):

“… The son disobeys his father, he goes away but when he returns, the father welcomes him, and nobody dies for his sins nobody pays for his sins… Then see what it says: ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ So that is speaking to the Muslim doctrine of salvation through the forgiveness of sins, not through the blood atonement of somebody else.

“On the other hand–I have just one minute left–if you say that Jesus came and died as a ransom for many, as Luis quoted a verse to mean, well then who was the ransom paid to? These are complications! It could not be that the ransom is paid to the devil, that makes the devil have equal bargaining terms with God, so God has to give his Son to the devil to buy us back. Doesn't seem right! It can’t be paid to God as if God somehow needs his pint of blood regardless of whether he gets it from us, or from his Son. It doesn't make sense either way! The best way out of this dilemma is to say that Jesus taught the doctrine of the forgiveness of sins so that if we turn back to God, he is willing and he will forgive us.” (Christians & Muslims Perspective On The Nature & Intertextuality of Their Scriptures)

And yet in the first rebuttal period of this particular debate, Ally made the following comments in response to Dizon’s assertion that the Quran is not in continuity with the OT teaching that atoning sacrifices are needed  in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins:

"The atonement. I would say yes, the Quran does have a continuity with atonement, because for example sacrifice–we do an annual sacrifice commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham. When a child is born we also do a sacrifice on behalf of the child. And we believe that these sacrifices entail the forgiveness of sins, or these CAUSE the forgiveness of sins to flow from God, or this is the way BY WHICH WE OBTAIN the forgiveness of sins. That's one way."

Suffice it to say, not only does this exemplify Ally’s willingness to contradict himself in order score debate points, it now places Ally in the very dilemma which he tried to foist on Christians.

First, since Ally now concedes that Islam does teach the necessity of atoning sacrifices for the obtainment of forgiveness, this means he is left with having to contend with the fact that, per his own logic, Allah doesn’t truly forgive anyone! In Ally’s own words, since his deity forgives Muslims because of the sacrificial deaths of animals “then it's not really a forgiveness,” seeing that Allah basically gets “his blood anyway."

Secondly, by admitting that Muslims perform an annual sacrifice to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to offer up his own son, Ally has further compounded his problems. The Quran expressly teaches that Allah ransomed Abraham’s son from being slaughtered by substituting him with a great sacrifice:

“We RANSOMED his son with a great sacrifice” S. 37:107 Muhammad Sarwar

But that’s not all. The sound ahadith proclaim that Allah will rescue or ransom Muslims from being punished in hell by torturing Jews and Christians for all the sins that they have committed: 

Superiority of the believers in the Oneness of Allah and the punishment of the Jews and Christians

8) Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups. One sort will enter Paradise without rendering an account (of their deeds). Another sort will be reckoned an easy account and admitted into Paradise. Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. He will say: UNLOAD the sins from them AND PUT THE SAME OVER the Jews and Christians: then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.

(This Hadith IS SOUND and mentioned in Mustadrak of Hakim). (110 Hadith Qudsi (Sacred Hadith), translated by Syed Masood-ul-Hasan, revision and commentaries by Ibrahim m. Kunna [Darussalam Publishers and Distributors], pp. 19-20; capital and underline emphasis ours)


432. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “On the Day of Rising, Allah will hand over a Jew or a Christian to every Muslim and say, 'HERE IS YOUR REDEMPTION FROM THE FIRE.” [Muslim]

In another variant from him is that the Prophet said, “Some of the Muslims will be brought on the Day of Rising WITH SINS THE SIZE OF MOUNTAINS and Allah will forgive them.” (Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi, Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous), 51. Chapter: On Hope; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Here is one from the hadith collection of Imam Muslim:

(20) CHAPTER. Disbelievers are sent to Hell as SACRIFICE to the Muslims

1937. Abu Musa narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “When it is the Day of Resurrection, Allah will deliver every Muslim a Jew or Christian and say: ‘THAT IS YOUR SACRIFICE FROM HELL-FIRE.’” (The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Muslim (Arabic–English), Compiled by Al-Hafiz Zakiuddin Abdul-Azim Al-Mundhiri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: February 2000], Volume 2, 62– The Book Of Repentance And Allah’s Great Mercy, pp. 1033-1034; bold and capital emphasis ours)

However, this now leads us to ask Ally to answer his very own questions and challenges, which he leveled against the Biblical teaching that Christ ransomed or redeemed us from our sins. Who does Allah pay the ransom to? Does he pay it to the devil? Or does he pay it to the king and wardens of hell?

The sinners will be in the Punishment of Hell, to dwell therein (for aye): Nowise will the (Punishment) be lightened for them, and in despair will they be there overwhelmed. Nowise shall We be unjust to them: but it is they who have been unjust themselves. They will cry: "O Malik! would that thy Lord put an end to us!" He will say, "Nay, but ye shall abide!" S. 43:74-77 A. Yusuf Ali

Soon will I cast him into Hell-Fire! And what will explain to thee what Hell-Fire is? Naught doth it permit to endure, and naught doth it leave alone! – Darkening and changing the colour of man! Over it are Nineteen. And We have set none but angels as Guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number only as a trial for Unbelievers, - in order that the People of the Book may arrive at certainty, and the Believers may increase in Faith, – and that no doubts may be left for the People of the Book and the Believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the Unbelievers may say, "What symbol doth God intend by this?" Thus doth God leave to stray whom He pleaseth, and guide whom He pleaseth: and none can know the forces of thy Lord, except He and this is no other than a warning to mankind. S. 74:26-31 Y. Ali

If so, then this places the devil and/or Malik and the guardians of hell on equal bargaining terms with Allah, so that Allah was/is required to give a tremendous sacrifice to Satan and/or the keepers of hellfire, as well as having to hand the Jews and Christians over to him/them, in order to buy back the Muslims.

Or is Allah actually paying the ransom to himself? If so then this brings us back to the initial problem that Ally raised, namely, that Allah needs his pint of blood in order to forgive sins, which is no forgiveness whatsoever. Either way, Ally is faced with insurmountable problems!

For more on this topic of Allah requiring sacrifices in order to forgive, and the issue of him having to pay a ransom, we recommend the following rebuttals:

A Good Question: Whom Exactly Does Allah Pay The Ransom to? [Part 1], [Part 2]

The Problems with the Islamic Doctrine of Atonement [Part 1], [Part 2], [Part 3], [Part 4]

With the foregoing in perspective we ready to move on to the second part in our series.