Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Faithful Muslim Who Proved That He Wasn’t Treacherous A Look at Nidal Malik Hasan's Actions in Light of Islamic Teachings Pt. 1

Sam Shamoun

The recent Fort Hood massacre has gotten the attention of the media (and rightly so). It has once again brought to the forefront the issue of whether the actions of Muslims such as Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s are motivated by the teachings of Islam or are such atrocities at odds with what Islam says concerning the treatment of non-Muslims.

Hasan himself thought that his actions were justified by the teachings of Islam and even gave a presentation to senior Army doctors on June 2007 where he demonstrated that Muslims were expressly forbidden from helping and befriending non-Muslims (
*; *). In his presentation Nidal Hasan mentioned the problems the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting wars in Muslim countries. As his own slides show Hasan also believed and was convinced that Muslims were commanded to attack and subjugate the non-Muslims if and when they had the ability to do so.

There were Muslims who actually praised what Nidal Malik Hasan did and even encouraged other fellow believers to carry out similar attacks against the infidel armies who plan on “invading” Muslim lands in order to spread their “mischief ”:


However, not all Muslims shared these sentiments. Certain Muslim “scholars” and dawagandists claim that Nidal Hasan violated the teachings of Islam by breaking the covenant that he made with the “infidels”. These propagandists argue that Islam condemns the violation of oaths and commands Muslims to honor their treaties and contracts (
*; *).(1)

In this article we are going to examine the teachings of Islam to see whether the actions of Major Hasan were in direct violation of what the Quran and Muhammad taught, or do the so-called authentic Islamic sources condone such murderous and treacherous acts.

The Islamic Prohibition on Befriending and Aiding Non-Muslims

In the first place, Major Hasan wasn’t supposed to be in the army of the “infidel” since aiding and befriending the disbelievers,” especially Jews and Christians, is a direct violation of the Quran:

O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends (auliya). They are friends (auliya) one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. S. 5:51 Pickthall

Muhammad is reported to have told the Muslims that they should only associate with fellow believers and warned that a man eventually ends up following the religion of his friend:

Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: The Prophet said: Associate only with a believer, and let only a God-fearing man eat your meals. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41,Number 4814)
Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4815)

According to the Quran the only time a Muslim can befriend a disbeliever is if s/he lives in a situation in which the unbelievers outnumber them and/or the Muslims do not have the ability to subjugate them:

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah
unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying. S. 3:28 Pickthall

Here is how noted Muslim scholar and expositor Ibn Kathir explained this passage:

The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers
Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers,
or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said…
(And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way)
meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him. Similarly, Allah said…

(O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them), until…
(And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.)
[60:1]. Allah said…
(O you who believe! Take not for friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves)
[4:144], and…

(O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them.)

Allah said, after mentioning the fact that the faithful believers gave their support to the faithful believers among the Muhajirin, Ansar and Bedouins…
(And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption.)

Allah said next…
(unless you indeed fear a danger from them)
meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers OUTWARDLY, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said, "We smile in the face of some people ALTHOUGH OUR HEARTS CURSE THEM.'' Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, "The TUQYAH is allowed until the Day of Resurrection... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir; underline and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir wasn’t alone here, nor is his interpretation simply an outdated medieval position. Here is what the Salafi scholars at
www.islamqa.com say:

In the Quraan, it says that we can not take the Kuffaar as awliyaa, but what does that mean? I mean, to what degree? Can we do business with them still? If I'm at school, can we play basketball with them? Can we talk to them about basketball and stuff? Can we hang out with them as long as they keep their beliefs to themselves? The reason I ask is because someone I know does hang out with them in this way and it doesn't affect his beliefs, but I still tell him, "Why don't you hang out with the muslims instead?" He says that most or many of the Muslims drink and take drugs where they hang out and they have girlfriends and he's afraid that the sins of the Muslims will lure him, yet he's sure that the Kufr of the Kaafirs will not lure him because that's something that isn't attractive to him. So is hanging out with them, playing sports with them, and talking with them about sports considered as "taking them as awliyaa instead of the believers" keeping in mind that he is doing that for his own eemaan?
Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah has forbidden the believers to take the kaafireen (disbelievers) as friends, and He has issued a stern warning against doing that.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
 “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allaah guides not those people who are the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust)” [al-Maa’idah 5:51]

Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: In this verse Allaah tells us that whoever takes the Jews and Christians as friends is one of them because of his taking them as friends. Elsewhere Allaah states that taking them as friends incurs the wrath of Allaah and His eternal punishment, and that if the one who takes them as friends was a true believer he would not have taken them as friends. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them; for that (reason) Allaah’s Wrath fell upon them, and in torment they will abide.

81. And had they believed in Allaah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers); but many of them are the Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah)” [al-Maa’idah 5:80-81]

Elsewhere Allaah forbids taking them as friends and explains the reason for that, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allaah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have despaired of (receiving any good in) the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have despaired of those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)” [al-Mumtahanah 60:13]

In another verse Allaah explains that this is so long as they are not taken as friends because of fear or taqiyah (i.e., being friendly with them in order to avoid harm); if that is the case then the one who does that is excused. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliyaa’ (supporters, helpers) instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allaah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:28]

This verse explains all the verses quoted above which forbid taking the kaafirs as friends in general terms. What that refers to is in cases where one has a choice,
 but in cases of fear and TAQIYAH it is permissible to make friends with them, as much as is essential to protect oneself against their evil. That is subject to the condition that one's faith should not be affected by that friendship and the one who is behaves in that manner out of necessity is not one who behaves in that manner out of choice.

It may be understood from the apparent meaning of these verses that the one who deliberately takes the kuffaar as friends by choice and because he likes them, is one of them.
End quote. Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 2/98,99

One of the forms of making friends with the kaafirs which is forbidden is taking them as friends and companions, mixing with them and eating and playing with them.

In the answer to question no.
10342 we have quoted Shaykh Ibn Baaz as saying:

Eating with a kaafir is not haraam if it is necessary to do so, or if that serves some shar’i interest. But they should not be taken as friends, so you should not eat with them for no shar’i reason or for no shar’i purpose. You should not sit and chat with them and laugh with them. But if there is a reason to do so, such as eating with a guest, or to invite them to Islam or to guide them to the truth, or for some other shar’i reason, then it is OK.

The fact that the food of the People of the Book is halaal for us does not mean that we may take them as friends and companions. It does not mean that we may eat and drink with them for no reason and for no shar’i purpose.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-'Uthaymeen was asked about the ruling on mixing with the kuffaar and treating them kindly hoping that they will become Muslim. He replied:

the Muslim is obliged to HATE the enemies of Allaah and to disavow them, because this is the way of the Messengers and their followers. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allaah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever until you believe in Allaah Alone’” [al-Mumtahanah 60:4]
“You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allaah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), even though they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred (people). For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with Rooh (proofs, light and true guidance) from Himself” [al-Mujaadilah 58:22]

Based on this, it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allaah who are in fact his enemies too. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth” [al-Mumtahanah 60:1]

But if a Muslim treats them with KINDNESS and gentleness in the hope that they will become Muslim and will believe
, there is nothing wrong with that, because it comes under the heading of opening their hearts to Islam.
But if he despairs of them becoming Muslim, then he should treat them accordingly. This is something that is discussed in detail by the scholars, especially in the book Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah by Ibn al-Qayyim.

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3, question no. 389. (Question #59879: What is meant by taking the kuffar as friends? Ruling on mixing with the kuffar; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And here is the counsel they gave to a Muslim enlisted in an “infidel” army:

I work in the army of a non-Muslim state, and there are wars between them and the Muslims. What is the ruling if they send me with a division of this army to wage war against the Muslims? As a Muslim, my feelings are that I never want to fight against Muslims in any war. What should I do?
What is the ruling if I go…?

Praise be to Allaah.
If you are sent to wage war against the Muslims,
then it is not permissible for you to take part at all. Helping the kaafirs against the Muslims is a form of major kufr which puts one beyond the pale of Islam. Allaah says concerning one who supports the mushrikeen (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’, i.e., friends), then surely, he is one of them”[al-Maa’idah 5:51]

With regard to how you may get out of this situation, and what excuse you can give to get out of this dilemma if it happens, we ask Allaah to help you, and we suggest that you consult some Muslims who have relevant knowledge or experience.

We want to emphasize to you the necessity of finding other employment and of leaving service in the army of the kaafirs, because that implies helping them, strengthening them and increasing the numbers of their fighters and supporters –
unless your work can bring some benefits to the Muslims, such as giving information and secrets of the kaafirs to the Muslims so as to help the Muslims, or if your work is purely da’wah, such as giving khutbahs and leading prayers for the Muslims in the kaafir army whilst also advising them to avoid any work that will strengthen the kaafirs. We ask Allaah to keep you safe from temptation and to give you a good end in this world and in the Hereafter.
(Fatwa No. 14004: It is not permissible for a Muslim to fight with kaafirs against the Muslims at all; bold and underline emphasis ours)

See also their following answers to similar questions:

The Muslim scripture further forbids the unlawful killing of fellow believers:

It is not for a believer to kill a believer except (that it be) by mistake
, and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, (it is ordained that) he must set free a believing slave and a compensation (blood money, i.e.
Diya) be given to the deceased's family, unless they remit it. If the deceased belonged to a people at war with you and he was a believer; the freeing of a believing slave (is prescribed), and if he belonged to a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation (blood money - Diya) must be paid to his family, and a believing slave must be freed. And whoso finds this (the penance of freeing a slave) beyond his means, he must fast for two consecutive months in order to seek repentance from Allah. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise. And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him. S. 4:92-93 Hilali-Khan

And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause
. And whoever is killed (intentionally with hostility and oppression and not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority [(to demand
Qisas, Law of Equality in punishment or to forgive, or to take Diya (blood money)]. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life (i.e. he should not kill except the killer only). Verily, he is helped (by the Islamic law). S. 17:33 Hilali-Khan

It is interesting that Nidal Hasan himself quoted these very passages in slide 12 of his presentation. Thus, Hasan knew very well that aiding the “infidel” in “attacking” Muslims in their lands was a direct violation of the teachings of Islam.

Islam on waging war and spreading mischief
The Quran threatens to punish anyone who would spread mischief and/or seek to wage war against Allah and his “messenger:”

Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits (e.g. by doing oppression unjustly and exceeding beyond the limits set by Allah by committing the major sins) in the land! The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief (fasadan) in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter. S. 5:32-33 Hilali-Khan

According to Muslim scholars waging “war” and spreading “mischief” encompass more than just physical fighting. It also includes such things as spreading a religion other than Islam and/or disobeying the express commands and prohibitions of Allah:


Fasad, literally 'corruption', in Qur'anic terminology, means creating disorder and corruption earth BY FOLLOWING A PATH OTHER THAN GOD’S. Islam maintains that true peace and happiness emanate ONLY THROUGH THE OBSERVANCE OF GOD’S COMMANDS and through making a conscious effort to see that His laws alone are implemented in every sphere of life. Fasad occurs when man violates God's laws and disobeys Him. Fasad may therefore be partial as well as total; partial when one disregards God's law in one aspect of life while acknowledging His sovereignty in other spheres. If a society is based on the denial of God, that society is bound to be a corrupt and exploitative society - hence full of fasad. (
Glossary of Islamic Terms, compiled by Ishaq Zahid; capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Kathir explains that:

The Punishment of those Who Cause Mischief in the Land
Allah said next…

'Wage war' mentioned here means, OPPOSE AND CONTRADICT, and it includes DISBELIEF, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Volume 3,
p. 161: capital emphasis ours)

He further says in reference to Q. 2:11-12 which uses the same wordfasad:

Meaning of Mischief

In his
Tafsir, As-Suddi said that Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Mas`ud commented…

"They are the hypocrites. As for…
<"Do not make mischief on the earth">, that is DISBELIEF AND ACTS OF DISOBEDIENCE." Abu Ja`far said that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that Abu Al-`Aliyah said that Allah's statement, ...
, means, "Do not commit acts of disobedience on the earth. Their mischief is DISOBEYING Allah, because whoever disobeys Allah on the earth, OR COMMANDS THAT ALLAH BE DISOBEYED, he has committed mischief on the earth. Peace on both the earth and in the heavens is ensured (and earned) through obedience (to Allah)." Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Qatadah said similarly. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Volume 1, Parts 1 and 2 (Surat Al-Fatihah to Verse 252 of Surat Al-Baqarah), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri
[Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: January 2000],
pp. 131-132; capital emphasis ours)


Types of Mischief that the Hypocrites commit

Ibn Jarir said, "The hypocrites commit mischief on earth BY DISOBEYING THEIR LORD on it and continuing in the prohibited acts. They also ABANDON WHAT ALLAH MADE OBLIGATORY AND DOUBT HIS RELIGION, even though He does not accept a deed from anyone EXCEPT WITH FAITH IN HIS RELIGION and certainty of its truth. The hypocrites also lie to the believers by saying contrary to the doubt and hesitation their hearts harbor. They give as much aid as they can, against Allah's loyal friends, and support those who deny Allah, His Books and His Messengers. This is how the hypocrites commit mischief on earth, while thinking that they are doing righteous work on earth."
The statement by Ibn Jarir is true, taking the disbelievers as friends is one of the categories of mischief on the earth... (Ibid.,
 p. 132; capital emphasis ours)

Hence, from an Islamic perspective what Major Hasan did was noble since he sought to prevent the “enemies” of Allah from “invading” Muslim lands and spreading their “mischief.”

Islam on the Permissibility of Violating Oaths and Covenants
These propagandists further failed to inform their readers that Islam actually allows Muslims to break their agreements and vows:

Freedom from (all) obligations (is declared) from Allah and His Messenger to those of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), with whom you made a treaty
. So travel freely (O
Mushrikun - see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land, but know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah, and Allah will disgrace the disbelievers. And a declaration from Allah and His Messenger to mankind on the greatest day (the 10th of Dhul Hijjah - the 12th month of Islamic calendar) that Allah is free from (all) obligations to the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) and so is His Messenger. So if you (Mushrikun) repent, it is better for you, but if you turn away, then know that you cannot escape (from the Punishment of) Allah. And give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful torment to those who disbelieve. Except those of the Mushrikun with whom you have a treaty, and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor have supported anyone against you. So fulfill their treaty to them to the end of their term. Surely Allah loves Al- Mattaqun (the pious - see V.2:2). Then when the Sacred Months (the 1st, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And if anyone of the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) seeks your protection then grant him protection, so that he may hear the Word of Allah (the Qur'an), and then escort him to where he can be secure, that is because they are men who know not. How can there be a covenant with Allah and with His Messenger for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) except those with whom you made a covenant near Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah)? So long, as they are true to you, stand you true to them. Verily, Allah loves Al-Muttaqun (the pious - see V.2:2). How (can there be such a covenant with them) that when you are overpowered by them, they regard not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant with you? With (good words from) their mouths they please you, but their hearts are, averse to you, and most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious disobedient to Allah). They have purchased with the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah a little gain, and they hindered men from His Way; evil indeed is that which they used to do. With regard to a believer, they respect not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who are the transgressors. But if they repent, perform As-Salat(Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat, then they are your brethren in religion. (In this way) We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for a people who know. But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish - pagans of Makkah) - for surely their oaths are nothing to them - so that they may stop (evil actions). Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people, And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. S. 9:1-15 Hilali-Khan

We shall see shortly see that, contrary to the assertions of the above passage, it was Muhammad who broke his treaty with the pagans first, not the other way around. Moreover, the pagans had already surrendered and come under the subjection of Muhammad when these verses were composed, and as such they posed no serious threat to him or his followers. For more on this issue we recommend the following


Continues with Part Ib


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Did Muhammad Deny the Trinity or Paganism?

K. Dayton Hartman II

Aside from the issues covered in my previous articles appearing on Answering Islam, another factor in Islam’s denial of the Trinity has to do with the sonship of Jesus Christ. The following article will examine (albeit briefly) the Muslim conception of Jesus’ sonship and then provide the orthodox Christian position.

Arabia Prior to Islam      
Prior to the introduction of Islam, the people of the Arabian Peninsula were largely nomadic and principally polytheistic.
1 In the midst of this polytheism, however, there existed a monotheistic minority know as the Hanifs. Within some scholarly circles it is believed that the Hanifs were a codified group or movement of neo-Abrahamic monotheists entirely independent of Judaism.2 However, it must be admitted that details from this period of history are scant to say the least and any proposition based upon the known data is ultimately conjecture rather than established fact. It is interesting to note that Khadijah, Muhammad’s first wife, had a cousin named Waraqa ibn Naufal who was reported to be a Hanif.3 Further, Al-Bukhari reports that Muhammad personally encountered a few professing Hanifs.4 In addition, according to Al-Bukhari it was Waraqa, a Hanif, who convinced Muhammad that he was not demon possessed, but rather was a true prophet of Allah.5 Therefore, it is quite possible (and in fact very likely) that this pre-Islam, monotheistic group had a direct effect upon Muhammad’s theology; a group that, interestingly enough, eventually had three of its four named adherents find their way to becoming professing Christians.6

A great deal of difficulty exists in concretely describing the indigenous religions of the Arab people during Muhammad’s time. While it is known that the Arabs indulged in a mixture of polytheism and animism, their exact level of adherence to these deities is uncertain.
7 The central shrine in Mecca, the Ka’bah, was ruled by the supreme god, Allah; however, it also contained a number of idols dedicated to various other deities.8 While some during this period recognized Allah as the supreme god, there was an overall tendency to view other deities as intercessory beings.9 This fact is implied by the Qur’an in Surah 29:61-65. The text states that, while many acknowledge Allah as supreme in times of need, they would ultimately return to their polytheism during times of peace.10 Thus, in the face of paganism a supreme deity, Allah, was recognized.11

During this period, there were various Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Christian (largely outside the bounds of historic orthodoxy) settlements within Arabia.
12 According to some scholars many of the known Christian settlements of the period were mostly comprised of Nestorians and Monophysites.13 The Nestorians taught that “… two persons as well as two natures in[dwelled within] Christ.”14 This would mean that “… when Christ sacrificed His life on the cross, it was not the person who is also divine, the Son of God, who died for us.”15 The Monophysites, on the other hand, denied that Christ possessed a fully human and a fully divine nature. This belief went against the orthodox teaching that the two natures existed alongside one another, undiminished and unmixed. According to some sources, these settlements held positions of influence, albeit to a small degree, on the Arabian Peninsula. As a result, their theological positions were known by at least some throughout the region.16 Some scholars believe that the existence of such groups potentially impacted the development of Islamic theology, as well as Muhammad’s understanding of Christianity.17 However, in light of the Muslim understanding of the Qur’an’s origination, it would not matter who Muhammad came into contact with from within the outskirts of Christendom, because the Qur’an as Allah’s direct word by its very nature necessitates an accurate account of orthodox Christian belief entirely untarnished by Muhammad’s faulty understanding of Christian theology.

In addition to these Christian settlements, there were a number of Christian slaves living on the Arabian Peninsula.
18 According to those who opposed Muhammad’s monotheism, the prophet received his information concerning Allah from these Christian slaves; however, this assertion cannot be concretely confirmed or rejected.19 Regardless, Muslim tradition does preserve accounts, not inherently improbable, concerning several Meccan Arabs who possessed knowledge of Jewish and Christian scriptures, and these figures are generally accepted by Muslim opinion as having had close relations with Muhammad and even affected his spiritual development.20 Whether directly influenced by “Christian” heretics or by Muslims who received second-hand information pertaining to the biblical text, it is plausible that Muhammad’s conception was likely influenced by those acquainted with a variety of Christian theological positions. However, it must be pointed out that even if Muhammad’s understanding of Christian doctrine was delivered via second-hand information or through theologically sub-biblical positions, this does not provide an adequate explanation for the Qur’an’s misrepresentation of what orthodox Christians actually believe. Even if Muhammad was unaware of what the Christian Scriptures actually teach regarding the nature of God, surely Allah would have known. Therefore, regardless of the potential influences upon Muhammad’s understanding of Christian belief, if the Qur’an is truly settled in heaven and originates from Allah it should have accurately recounted what Trinitarians themselves profess to be true.

Muhammad was a member of the Quraish tribe and was born near Mecca in A.D. 570. After being orphaned as a child, Muhammad’s merchant uncle, Abu Talib, became the young boy’s guardian. By the time Muhammad began his career as a prophet in A.D. 610, he had spent more than fifteen years in the caravan trade. It is quite probable that during his travels, Muhammad encountered various monotheistic movements, including the aforementioned theological schools of Christianity. In his biography of Muhammad’s life, Ibn Ishaq records an encounter between the prophet and a Monophysite monk in Syria.
21 In addition, Ibn Ishaq proposes that Muhammad was briefly under the influence of an Ethiopian Christian while living in Mecca.22

The deeply religious Muhammad eventually developed one guiding principle in the midst of his polytheistic context: a single transcendent God must exist. As a result, Muhammad believed that his calling was to restore mankind to the original monotheism of Scripture, a monotheism he understood to be transgressed by many, including Jews and Christians.
23 According to F.E. Peters: “… what distinguished Muhammad from his Meccan contemporaries was (1) his belief in the reality of the Resurrection and the Judgment in both flesh and spirit, and (2) his unswerving conviction that the ‘High God’ was not only unique but absolute; that the other gods, goddesses, jinn and demons were subject and subservient to Him…”24 Through his reflection on the oneness of Allah, and through the reported recitations he claims to have received from the angel Gabriel, Muhammad formulated his theology concerning the divine being. This eventually led to the development of Islam’s central doctrine, tawhid.

The central message of Muhammad’s career was the absolute unity of Allah.
25 Thus, it should come as no surprise that the theme of unity and oneness permeates the text of the Qur’an. In Taha Unal’s estimation, “The Divine Unity (tawhid) is the highest conception of deity, and is the basic element which gives Islam its essential color.”26 Unal adds, “Tawhid is the source of hope, determination, patience, firmness, and courage, and also of happiness and spiritual satisfaction.”27

Is Jesus the physical Son of God?
In light of the material presented regarding pre-Islam Arabia, it is no surprise that the Qur’an unabashedly attacks the notion that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The idea that Allah sired Jesus Christ in a physical sense is repugnant to Muslims. In pre-Islam Arabia, tribal people attributed physical wives (Surah 72:3), daughters (Surah 6:100; 16:57; 17:40; 37:149-153; 43:19; 53:27), and sons (2:116; 6:100-101; 10:68; 17:111; 18:4; 19:91-92; 21:26; 25:2) to a high god. As a result, Muslims currently reject any theological concepts which they believe entail similar relationships with Allah.

The most explicit passage in the Qur’an condemning the Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ appears in Surah 5:116, “And behold! Allah will say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah?’” Ibn Taymiyya believes that this passage conclusively shows that Christians attribute a physical wife to Yahweh.
29 The logic behind Ibn Taymiyya’s assertion is quite consistent with Muslim assertion that the Qur’an is perfect and originates from the will of Allah. Ibn Taymiyya proposes that in spite of what the Christian Scriptures actually record regarding the nature of God and regardless of what Christians have historically believed about the nature of God, because the Qur’an teaches that Christians believe Yahweh has a female consort, then in the face of all known data, it must be true.

Similarly, Surah 2:116 depicts Christians as holding the belief that Allah physically fathered Jesus Christ. Commenting on this passage, Yusuf Ali writes:

It is derogation from the glory of God—in fact it is blasphemy—to say that God begets sons, like a man or an animal. The Christian doctrine is here emphatically repudiated. If words have any meaning, it would mean an attribution to God of a material nature and of the lower animal function of sex.

The Qur’an, on a number of occasions,
31 condemns the belief of Allah having offspring. However, the greatest condemnation is clearly directed towards Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.32 The reason for such opposition is because Muslims believe that Christians understand the Fatherhood of God in a physical sense.

Once more in Surah 39:4, the concept of divine paternity is attributed to Christians, and is subsequently condemned. However, this passage offers an alternative to “begetting.” The text reveals that, if Allah had wanted a “helper,” he would not have needed to sire him in a physical sense, but would instead have created him. If Allah has no wife, as the Qur’an undeniably teaches,
33 then he can have no son. The idea that he would lower himself to the level of creatures for the sake of procreation is entirely blasphemous.

Understanding that prior to the advent of Islam, Arabs believed that Allah engaged in sexual activity, it is not shocking to find that Muslims abhor the concept of “begetting.” Undoubtedly, Muhammad perceived this language to mean that Christians believe that God literally engaged in sexual intercourse with Mary, the mother of Jesus. In light of the historical and religious context into which Muhammad was born, it is no surprise that he would object to a doctrine he believed mirrored the pagan “trinities” existing in Arabia. In summary, the Qur’an proposes that Christians believe the following. First, Mary is literally the wife of God. Second, Allah physically engaged in sexual intercourse with Mary and Jesus of Nazareth is the physical offspring resulting from this carnal encounter. Third, the Christian concept of the Trinity resembles paganism, teaching that a high god (Yahweh) took for Himself a wife (Mary) and sired a half-man-half-God son.

Christian Response
In the Arabic language, two terms are used to express the concept, “son of.” The first is walad,
35 which is used to describe offspring resulting from the sexual union of a male and female. The second word, ibn, can be used metaphorically. It is utilized to describe a close relationship between persons, or persons to things, without necessarily implying a physical paternal connection.36 For example, a traveler “… [i]s spoken of as a son of the road” (ibnussabil).37 Yet, such a statement does not imply that a sexual relationship, resulting in a child, has occurred between a human being and the road.

Nearly every passage in the Qur’an that denies the sonship of Jesus Christ utilizes walad. The single reference that employs ibn to describe Christ‘s sonship is Surah 9:30; however, when taken in the context of the entire Surah, it is clear that the reference actually refers to physical sonship.
38 Orthodox Christianity would only use the term ibn, in its metaphorical sense, to explain Christ’s relationship to the Father. Therefore, in Arabic the Scriptures call Christ ibnu’llah, not waladu’llah.

Some older english translations of the Bible utilized the most unhelpful formulation “only begotten.”
39 The phrase translated in the King James Version as “only begotten Son” ismonogenes huios (μονογενηςυιος). However, one should not take this in a literal, physically paternal sense. For instance, huios (son) has been used metaphorically throughout the New Testament. In Mark 3:17, James and John are referred to as “Sons (huios) of Thunder.” Furthermore, in Galatians 3:26 Paul writes that all believers are “Sons (huios) of God.” These references are clearly intended to be figurative. The translation of monogenes as “only begotten” is a result of the King James translators retaining Jerome’s Latin translation of the term, unigenitus, meaning “only begotten.” However, the Latin text existing prior to Jerome’s translation did not use the Latin unigenitus when describing God the Son; instead, it utilized the term unicus, meaning “only.”40

In order for the Greek manuscript to warrant the translation “only begotten,” the Greek term being translated would need to be monogennetos. To translate monogenes as “only begotten” is, without question, incorrect. Commenting on this mistranslation, James White noted that;

The key element to remember in deriving the meaning of monogenes is this: it is a compound term, combining monos, meaning only, with a second term. Often it is assumed that the second term is gennasthai/gennao, to give birth, to beget. But note that this family of terms has two nu’s,
νν, rather than a single nu, ν, found in monogenes. This indicates that the second term is not gennasthai but gignesthai/ginomai, and the noun form, genos.41

The term genos means “kind,” or “race.”
42 When the two terms monos and genos are combined, the reference is intended to convey that Christ is “unique, the only one of his kind.”43 Additionally, William Mounce explains that monogenes can only be understood as stressing the unique nature of Christ; it cannot and should not be understood to imply any type of biological siring.44

This metaphorical understanding of sonship is demonstrated in the book of Hebrews. The author of Hebrews refers to Isaac as Abraham‘s “only begotten son.”
45 Making use of the same term found in John 3:16 to describe the father-to-son relationship (monogenes), the author of Hebrews notes the unique nature of Isaac as the promised child from God. The Muslim reader will readily admit that Abraham had multiple children; therefore, the intent of the text is to stress that Isaac is Abraham’s unique son, not his only son.46 Craig Keener believes the use of the term monogenes in John 3:16 is intended to call to mind the traditional Hebrew understanding of Isaac. Just as Abraham gave Isaac, God the Father has not given merely a son but the unique, beloved Son with whom there is no comparison.47 In the same manner, Christ should be understood as the unique, one-of-a-kind, “Son of God.” Christ’s Hebrew contemporaries understood His claim to be the Son of God as an equation with God rather than a statement of biological origin. When Jesus was before Pilate the Jewish authorities charged, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”48 Thus, His sonship declared His full deity, not a biological origination.

The text of Scripture further demonstrates that the Muslim notion of the New Testament portraying Christ as the biological Son of God is in error. The birth narrative in Luke’s Gospel makes no mention of natural conception resulting from a sexual union. After Gabriel informed Mary that she would carry a Son, she asked, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
49 Gabriel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”50 The narrative is completely devoid of any sexual interaction between God the Father and Mary; rather, the reader is informed that it is through the working of the Holy Spirit that the virgin conceived. Commenting on this fact, Wayne Grudem states, “Scripture clearly asserts that Jesus was conceived by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit…51 Thus, the text of both John’s and Luke’s Gospels depict Christ as uniquely, rather than biologically, the Son of God. Further, Christ is the Son of God not because of conception, but because of His economic relationship to the Father. Therefore, the Qur’an is not rebutting the text of Christian Scripture but is reacting against a misunderstanding of orthodox Christianity at best and more directly Arab paganism.

Does Allah have a Son?
Without question, the Qur’an denounces the idea of Allah fathering a son in the genetic sense. Interestingly, the Qur’an addresses Muhammad’s course of action pending the figurative establishment of Allah having a son. According to Surah 43:81, “Say: If the All-merciful [God] had a son, I would be the very first to worship [him].” Some Islamic commentators believe that in this passage Muhammad was stating that, if it could be proven that Allah had a son, he would be the very first to submit unto and worship him.
52 Commenting on Surah 43:81, Yusuf Ali states that, “The prophet of Allah does not object to true worship in any form. But it must be true: it must not superstitiously attribute derogatory things to Allah, or foster false ideas.”53 If one takes the Surah in its context, it would appear that Muhammad made this statement because of his conviction that Allah has no son; yet, if Allah’s “fatherhood” could be established he would be willing to accept the son of Allah as God.54 Arab Christian Chawkat Moucarry notes that famed Muslim commentator Fakhr-ul-Din Razi believes that, of all the possible interpretations of this Surah, the preceding is the most viable.55 For Moucarry, Fakhr-ul-Din’s interpretation raises a few questions. He asks, “Is there really evidence that God has no son? If so, where is this evidence? What if the case for God having a son is made? Are Muslims prepared, like the Prophet, to worship and to serve him?56

In continuation, the most famous Surah to reject the idea of Allah having a son was not historically used as a refutation of the Christian doctrine of incarnation, but was instead a criticism of Arab polytheism.
57 Surah 112:1-4 reads, “Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” Moucarry proposes that the use of this Surah as a condemnation of the Christian understanding of the Son of God comes long after it was used against its intended targets, pagan Arabs. It is only after the expansion of Islam that this Surah was understood as a repudiation of Christian Trinitarianism.58 Moucarry believes that if the Muslim interpreter intends to remain literally and historically grounded in the text of the Qur’an, he must acknowledge this fact.59

Muhammad’s knowledge of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity (which was well established by the sixth century A.D.) is questionable at best. The Qur’an clearly misrepresents what Christians actually believed and still do believe about the triunity of God. However, the Qur’an rightly and accurately condemns the pre-Islam polytheism that permeated the Arabian Peninsula. What Muhammad denied then was the pagan deities of his native peoples, yet he mistook the Christian doctrine of the true Trinity as being nothing more than a Christianized version of pagan belief. With Muhammad’s primary denial of the Trinity being aimed at the doctrine as it relates to the Sonship of Jesus Christ, and with that notion being corrected above, what then can be said in denial of what Christians actually believe regarding the Trinity and the incarnation of Jesus? Simply put, Muhammad denied the very same doctrines that Christians have denied for over two-thousand years. The difference being that for over fourteen-hundred years Muslims, as prescribed by the Qur’an, have attributed to Christians a belief that no orthodox Christian has ever held to. So, did Muhammad deny the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity as it relates to the incarnation of Jesus Christ? No!

1 William Montgomery Watt. A Short history of Islam (Boston, MA: OneWorld Oxford Publishing, 1996), 9.
2 Winfried Corduan believes this monotheism represents Arab vestiges of original monotheism. Winfried Corduan. Neighboring Faiths (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 79. Cf. Timothy Tennent. Christianity at the Religious Roundtable (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002), 143.
3 Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad translated by Alfred Guillaume (Oxford University Press, 1979), 99. Interestingly enough the Qur’an refers to Abraham as a true Muslim Hanifa. See S. 3:67.
4 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 407. This text was retrieved from this Answering Islam article.
5 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 3. See previous link.
6 J. Spencer Trimingham, Christianity among the Arabs in Pre-Islamic Times (London: Longman Group, 1979), 263.
7 Watt, 9. According to Samuel Zwemer, pre-Islamic poetry portrays Allah as a supreme god. Samuel Zwemer, Islam: A Challenge to Faith (New York: Laymen‘s Missionary Movement, 1907), 12.
8 Tennent, 142.
9 Surah 10:19, 39:3.
10 Watt, 50. Surah 29:61-65 “If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law), they will certainly reply, "Allah". How are they then deluded away (from the truth)? Allah enlarges the sustenance (which He gives) to whichever of His servants He pleases; and He (similarly) grants by (strict) measure, (as He pleases): for Allah has full knowledge of all things. And if indeed thou ask them who it is that sends down rain from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death, they will certainly reply, "(Allah)!" Say, "Praise be to Allah." But most of them understand not. What is the life of this world but amusement and play? but verily the Home in the Hereafter,- that is life indeed, if they but knew. Now, if they embark on a boat, they call on Allah, making their devotion sincerely (and exclusively) to Him; but when He has delivered them safely to (dry) land, behold, they give a share (of their worship to others)!” Cf. Surah 23:84-89. All quotations from the Qur’an are taken from Yusuf Ali’s translation.
11 Ibid, 52.
12 Tennent, 79. Such Christologies would be officially condemned as heresy by the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451.
13 Ibid.
14 Norman Geisler & Abdul Saleeb. Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002), 274.
15 Ibid.
16 William Montgomery Watt, Muhammad at Mecca ( London: Oxford, 1965), 27.
17 Norman Anderson, ed. The World’s Religions (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1976), 54.
18 Ghada Osman, “Foreign Slaves in Mecca and Medina in the Formative Islamic Period” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations Vol. 16 No. 4 (October 2005), 345. Cf. Watt, Muhammad at Mecca, 27.
19 Ibid.
20 Tarif Khalidi, The Muslim Jesus (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 21.
21 Ibn Ishaq, 79-81.
22 Ibid, 180.
23 Tennent, 147.
24 F.E. Peters, “The Quest for the Historical Muhammad”, International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 23 No. 3. (August 1991), 301.
25 Abdel Mahmud, The Creed of Islam (London: World of Islam Festival Trust, 1978), 20.
26 Taha Unal, The Crossroads (Izmir, Turkey: Kaynak House of Publication, 1993), 29.
27 Ibid, 30.
28 It should be noted that some object to the observations that follow in this section. The claim is that the Qur’an does not misrepresent the Trinity. Rather, some claim that Christians did and do in fact worship the virgin Mary as part of the Godhead. For instance, Dr. Mohar Ali makes the claim that Christians worship Mary as God. However, Dr. Ali fails to note when and where this occurred and with whom it occurred. Further, he fails to note that if any Christians did in fact worship Mary as a god (a tenuous position at best) they did so in direct opposition of the Christian Scriptures, orthodox Christian belief, and virtually all Christian institutions throughout history. In other words, Dr. Ali fails to add anything to the conversation; rather, he is merely regurgitating previously tackled arguments. For further observation you may access his book here.
29 Ibn Taymiyya, A Muslim Theologians Response to Christianity. (Delmar, NY.: Caravan Books, 1984), 260.
30 Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an. (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 1989), 286.
31 Surah 16:57; 17:40; 37:149.        
32 Maulana Ali. The Religion of Islam. (Lahore, Pakistan: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam, 1983), 148.
33 Surah 6:101.
34 Unal, 34. Cf. Tennent, 146.
35 Hans Wehr. Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (London: MacDonald and Evans, 1961), 1097-1098.
36 Ibid, 76.
37 Geisler & Saleeb, 249. Cf. Surah 2:215.
38 Surah 9:30 “The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah.s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!”
39 For more information, this article.
40 “In the Cathedral of Vercelli, Italy, is the most notable of the Old Latin MSS, Codex Vercellensis(a), supposedly written in A.D. 365 by Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli. In this document, which contains the Gospels, with lacunae, the word monogenes in John 1:14, is; in 3:16, it is translated with the Latin word unicus (only), not unigenitus (only begotten). Dale Moody, “God’s Only Son: The Translation of John 3:16 in the Revised Standard Version.” The Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 72:4 (1953), 214.
41 James White, The Forgotten Trinity (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1998), 201-202.
42 D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1996), 30.
43 Cleon Rogers J.r. & Cleon Rogers III, The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 185.
44 William Mounce, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), 1214.
45 Hebrews 11:17, “By faith, Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son.”
46 Carson, 31.
47 Craig Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 270-271.
48 John 19:7.
49 Luke 1:34
50 Luke 1:35. Cf. Matthew 1:18-24.
51 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 529.
52 Chawkat Moucarry, The Prophet and the Messiah (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2001), 187.
53 Yusuf Ali, 1279.
54 Ibid.
55 Moucarry, 187-188.
56 Ibid.
57 Ibid, 189.
58 Ibid. It should be noted that even if such a proposition is historically accurate, the Qur’an does explicitly condemn in other passages Christian doctrine as a whole.
59 Ibid.

Source: http://answering-islam.org/authors/hartman/sonship.html