Three Christian Objections and Muslim Responses: History

Muslims think: Christian Objection: Muslim Response: Christian Action:
Jesus (peace be upon him) is not a god but a prophet (of Submission to Allah – i.e. Islam) Qur’an came 600 years after Jesus (peace be upon him) so it is less reliable than the sayings of St Paul (together with the gospels) If Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a prophet, it is irrelevant that the Qur’an came 600 years afterwards in terms of reliability. Reliability is derived from his being a prophet of God. Determine by researching a plurality of histories (not just anti-Muslim ones!) about Muhammad (peace be upon him) to decide was he actually a prophet. Does he share similar traits as the prophets from the Old Testament? Some have commentated that there are remnants of prophecies about him in the Bible itself (see here). If he is a Prophet – which he clearly was – one must consider his words seriously. And since he is the Last Prophet, his time is now.
“But he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets” [Qur’an 33:40]
Source:
Qur’an
Some Christians think: Christian Objection: Muslim Response: Christian Action:
The gospels are historically problematic. There are inconsistencies with the history vis-a-vis the gospels 1) In the event that we do not have any counter history or evidence, means that we must make do with what we have (i.e. the Paulian narrative) – or reject all of it totally; the latter is ludricous if you’re a believer in God. 2) These historians are secularists and don’t know the truth of the Unseen (and they have their own agenda). 1) We do have a counter history for believers in God – via the Muslim tradition that continued to promote the Early Christians’ message that died out via the Trinitarians. 2) Let us see what can be established materially, and consider if there are links with other narratives from sacred history (i.e. Biblical and Islamic history that does not negate the Unseen). Compare how the Muslim tradition of Jesus (peace be upon him) links up remarkably with the secular history of the early Jewish-Christians and the early Jerusalem Church.

Conclusion: Consider the Muslim account (revelation, history, enterprise) positively and seriously.

Source:
Secular historians
Some Christians think: Christian Objection: Muslim Response: Christian Action:
The seerah tradition (Muslim history of the Prophet, peace be upon him) is historically problematic. Our only source of history about Muhammad (peace be upon him) is from the Muslims, which must be doubted. There is nothing to corroborate the Muslim narrative. 1) We do have histories from other traditions; 2) some non-Muslim histories are unreliable because of their blatant lies (propaganda, agenda); 3) consider the rigour for truth promoted both in the Qur’an and Sunnah – and the early Muslim intellectual enterprise; 4) these ultra critical historians follow a secularist line of thinking and don’t consider the truth of the Unseen in their analysis (and they have their own agenda); 5 and so, in the name of Truth, let us see what can be established materially, and consider if there are links with other narratives from sacred history (i.e. Biblical and Islamic history that does not negate the Unseen) – but bear in mind that the Qur’an regards itself as ‘the Criterion’ (al-Furqan) and Overseer of all other Worldviews (uniquely and explicitly stated in the Qur’an 4:105). When weighing out the evidence, consider how do we handle the fact that if we cannot trust the Muslim narrative at all – as supposed by ultra sceptics, we are left with pure conjecture, which is equally unhistorical and, therefore, inadequate. Moreover, what are the chances for a Prophet with world-changing dynamo to come out of a region from the Arabian remoteness moments prior to the invention of the Book (i.e. al-Qur’an was the first book of the Arabs) and then the explosion of the written word (i.e. historical records) thereafter in that culture/region? (The ‘miraculous’ nature of this can be viewed as yet another proof for him (– where we are forced – in the main – to weigh through the Muslim record for this period,)

Conclusion: don’t reject the Seerah tradition (nor the hadith tradition that might authenticate it some more) out of hand. See this ‘Intro to Hadiths‘ and this on the ‘Early Hadiths‘.

Source:
Ultra critical secular historians*
* Tom Holland is a recent historian who has questioned normative Muslim history of the Prophet (peace be upon him), whose work has been critiqued, here. He relies on Crone and Cook’s earlier historical works (notably ‘Hagarism’), which they themselves have rejected as highly problematic later in their own careers.

 

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Islam, Jews Christians and Muslims

One response to “Three Christian Objections and Muslim Responses: History

  1. Paul Williams

    Reblogged this on Blogging Theology.

    Like

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