Who Broke the Covenant: Paul or Muhammad?

Sam Shamoun

Bassam Zawadi claims (1, 2) that Paul broke the covenant of God:

Paul broke the covenant of God regarding circumcision.

God of the Old Testament says about circumcision...

Genesis 17:14

Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

Lets see what Paul says about circumcision...

1 Corinthians 7:19

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts.

Paul fails to realize that to keep circumcision is to keep God's law and he is breaking it.


First, the Law which Paul was referring to was the one which God gave through Christ:

"To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law BUT AM UNDER CHRIST'S LAW), so as to win those not having the law." 1 Corinthians 9:20-21

Paul states that he is not under the Law, meaning the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ (a Law which, by the way, bound him to keep much of the Mosaic commands since he was an ethnic Israelite. We shall have more to say on this later). This clearly demonstrates that the commands which Paul instructed believers to observe were those given by Christ personally or through his Apostles. More on this next.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

"But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does." James 1:25

Furthermore, the Lord Jesus gave his divinely appointed representatives the authority to bind or loose believers from specific commands, determining what rules were necessary and which ones were no longer obligatory:

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19

"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:18

"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." John 16:12-13

This is why one often finds the Apostles referring to the authority they had from Christ to command believers:

"If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you IS THE LORD'S COMMAND. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored." 1 Corinthians 14:37-38

"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus ... Therefore, he who rejects THIS INSTRUCTION does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, 8

The foregoing shows that believers are required to consult the teachings of the Apostles in order to know what instructions God has given to the Church. Hence, the only commands from the Old Testament which would still be applicable are those which the NT expressly binds all believers to observe or which had not been consummated by the work of Christ. As noted Evangelical Scholar Craig L. Blomberg stated in reference to 1 Corinthians 7:18-19:

Verses 18-19 illustrate this principle with the example of circumcision versus uncircumcision. Judaizers sought to force Gentile Christians to be circumcised (Acts 15:1), while many Jews who sought acceptance in the Greco-Roman world underwent a minor surgical procedure to make themselves appear to be uncircumcised. Although it was one of the most fundamental ritual requirements of Judaism, circumcision is now a matter of moral indifference for believers (cf. Acts 15:1-21). The New Testament counterpart to circumcision is salvation, symbolized by baptism (Col. 2:11-15).

"Keeping God's commandments" (v. 19) for Christians does not mean observing all 613 pieces of Mosaic legislation, at least not literally, though all do have relevance in one way or another for believers (2 Tim. 3:16). Rather Paul refers to the reinterpretations and applications of the Law for a new age, in light of the words and works of Jesus and the apostles. (Blomberg, The NIV Application Commentary - 1 Corinthians [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI], pp. 145-146; bold emphasis ours)

We also need to keep in mind that Paul's letters were directed primarily to Gentile believers since his mission was predominately to the Gentiles:

"I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else's foundation. Rather, as it is written: 'Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.' This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you." Romans 15:15-22

"As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—those men added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do." Galatians 2:6-10

Moreover, the NT emphatically teaches that Gentile believers do not need to be circumcised in order to be saved or justified:

"Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: ‘Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.’ This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.’ The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed thm: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.’ The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up: ‘Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:"After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages." It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.’ Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: reetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul - men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good TO THE HOLY SPIRIT and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell." Acts 15:1-29

Note that Paul AND the other Apostles of the Lord Christ agreed that circumcision was unnecessary for Gentile believers.

Keeping the foregoing in view, we can see why Paul wrote what he did in 1 Corinthians 7:19. Paul may have been addressing Gentiles who thought that they needed to be circumcised in order to be approved by God. Paul reminded them that a physical mark doesn't mean anything if one fails to keep God's commands, the very point which he makes in his epistle to the Romans:

"If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker." Romans 2:26-27

In other words, as long as the Gentiles faithfully carried out the commands of the Lord Jesus they need not worry about circumcision since Christ never gave them that commandment.

This leads us to our next point, namely the precise stipulations of the covenant made with Abraham in Genesis 17. Let us highlight two key aspects of the Genesis 17 passage which Zawadi evidently missed:

"‘I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of YOUR DESCENDENTS AFTER YOU. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and YOUR DESCENDENTS; and I will be their God.' Then God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your DESCENDENTS after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male AMONG YOU shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male AMONG YOU who is EIGHT DAYS OLD must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner-those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circmcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’" Genesis 17:7-14

The passage states that God gave this command to Abraham and his PHYSICAL descendants. Foreign slaves also had to be circumcised since they fell under the headship of the Israelite master, being viewed as members of the household.

This instruction also applied to any foreigner who wanted to live in the land of Israel and observe God's holy feasts:

"An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD's Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat of it." Exodus 12:48

"'An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD's Passover must do so in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for the alien and the native-born.'" Numbers 9:14

What the foregoing shows is that, during the Old Testament dispensation, circumcision marked an alien's willingness to worship and follow the God of Israel as opposed to the gods of the nations. Yet the person in question would still maintain his ethnic identity, his distinct nationality, and wouldn't be reckoned as an offspring of Abraham since, during this period, such a connection would be based solely on physical lineage or descent from the patriarch.

During the NT period, however, things became different since, in Christ the Son of Abraham, Gentiles could become children of Abraham. Yet Gentile Christians do not become PHYSICAL descendants of Abraham. They become his SPIRITUAL offspring and therefore not bound to keep the command of physical circumcision. Rather, being spiritual descendants of Abraham by faith in Christ, their circumcision is spiritual in nature. It is a circumcision of the heart which is symbolized by baptism:

"A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God." Romans 2:28-29

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:26-29

"Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh — though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless." Philippians 3:1-6

"In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Colossians 2:11-15

Now this is the case with Gentile believers. With Jewish Christians, however, they were required to be circumcised since they were ethnically related to Abraham, not just spiritually:

"And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Ico'nium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek." Acts 16:1-3

And as physical Jews they still observed many aspects of the Law of Moses in light of the revelation of Christ, a revelation which led them to the realization that observance of the Law doesn't save or justify, but is the means by which to work out their sanctification as Jews:

"Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses." Acts 13:38-39

"And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, 'Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.'" Acts 15:7-11

"On the following day Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present. After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, 'You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed; they are all zealous for the law, and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you but that you yourself live in observance of the law. But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity.' Then Paul took the men, and the next day he purified himself with them and went into the temple, to give notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and the offering presented for every one of them." Acts 21:18-26

In this last text, James brings to Paul's attention the unfounded rumor that the latter was teaching Jews, not Gentiles, to live contrary to the teachings of Moses. In reality, Paul did no such thing since, as we stated earlier, his instructions were aimed primarily at Gentile converts.

In fact, Paul could make the confident assertion that he didn't act contrary to the Law and that the Jews could bring no charge against him to show that he did, nor could they prove that he was ceremonially unclean as far as the Law was concerned:

"And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied: 'Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, and they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult.'" Acts 24:10-18a

"Paul argued in his defense, 'Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.'" Acts 25:8

"After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, 'Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case.'" Acts 28:17-18

What the foregoing examples demonstrate is that Jewish followers of the Law of Christ still observed certain OT injunctions which Gentiles had been loosed from and therefore not required to observe.

In the words of liberal NT textual critic Bart D. Ehrman who does a wonderful job of explaining why believing Jews kept specific parts of the Torah which Gentiles were freed from (comments within brackets are my own):

Scholars have a field day with questions such as this, with scholarly opinion ranging all over the map. In my view, the easiest way to solve the problem is to say that Paul somehow imagines that there are two basic kinds of laws given in the Jewish Scriptures. There are some laws that are meant for Jews to show that they are members of God's covenant community, including the laws mentioned above, of circumcision, kosher diet, Sabbath observance, and so on. These are the laws that make Jews Jewish. But salvation in Christ, for Paul, is not for Jews only; it is for Jews and Gentiles. Gentiles are not expected to become Jews in order to be right with God [Note- Ehrman is not denying that Gentiles become spiritual Jews, which is plainly taught by the NT writers as we saw above. Rather, he is focusing on the distinguishing marks that are commonly associated with being an ethnic Jew]. If they had to do anything of the sort, it would show that the death of Jesus itself was not sufficient for a right standing before God. But it is the death of Jesus alone that makes a person right with God. Gentiles who think they have to become Jews (for example, by being circumcised) have completely misunderstood the gospel.

There is, however, the other kind of law found in Scripture. This is the kind of law that applies to all people–for example, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to bear false witness, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Everyone, Jew and Gentile, needs to keep these laws. Those who are in Christ are able to keep these laws because the Spirit of God empowers them to do so. So it is not by keeping the law that one is right with God. But one who is right with God will keep the law, at least that law that is designed for all people though not the law designed to show who is Jewish and who is Gentile. For that reason, even though Paul taught a "law-free gospel"–that is, a right standing before God does not come from keeping the law–he did not, at least in his own opinion, teach a "lawless gospel," that is, a gospel that leads to wild and lawless behavior. Believers in Christ are still expected to live moral upright lives, and the Spirit enables them to do so.

Finally, I should point out one of the most striking aspects of Paul's teaching about the salvation of God that comes apart from the law. Paul claimed this teaching is taught by the law itself. In other words, he did not see himself as innovative, coming up with a new religion distinct from Judaism. In his view, his understanding of Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel (the promised messiah) was a fulfillment of Judaism. Throughout his writings he appeals to Scripture itself as "proof" for his views. In one famous passage, for example, he points to the father of the Jews, Abraham, who was not, Paul insists, put into a right standing before God by keeping the law. Instead, Abraham was put into a right standing before God because he had faith: "And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" (Gen. 15:6; quoted by Paul in Rom. 4:3 and Gal. 3:6). For Paul, Abraham pointed the way for all future generations: the Torah itself shows that keeping Torah is not what gives a person a right standing before God, but having faith does. And for Paul, that means faith in what God has now done in fulfillment of the Scriptures, in having Christ die for sins and then being raised from the dead. (Ehrman, Peter, Paul, & Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend [Oxford University Press, 2006], pp. 117-118; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Finally, Genesis 17 explicitly states that males have to be circumcised on the eighth day:

"For the generations to come every male among you WHO IS EIGHT DAYS OLD MUST BE CIRCUMCISED, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner - those who are not your offspring." Genesis 17:12

In light of this stipulation it is rather amusing to note that the Muslims are the ones who are in violation of God's everlasting command and are therefore disqualified from being God's covenant people. The reason is that the Quran nowhere refers to circumcision being obligatory, let alone commanding Muslims to observe it on the eighth day. This has led Muslims to circumcise males anywhere from a few days old to a few years old, in fact even older, which is an express violation of the Abrahamic covenant!

Zawadi may appeal to the hadith literature to show that Muslims are required to get circumcised. The main problem with appealing to the hadith literature is that it is this same source which also demands that women get circumcised as well!

e4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)

A: ... comment by Sheikh 'Abd al-Wakil Durubi
Ar. Arabic n: ... remark by the translator
O: ... excerpt from the commentary of Sheikh 'Umar Barakat

(Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law In Arabic with facing English text, commentary and appendices, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana publications, Revised Edition, 1994)

However, the above English version of this Sharia manual is actually a misrepresentation of the facts and the Arabic text as the reader can see in this discussion.

Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah:
A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 5251)

Various hadiths also define legal intercourse (for purity purposes) as occurring when the circumcised parts cross or touch each other, i.e. circumcision of both men and women is presupposed.

Abu Musa reported: There cropped up a difference of opinion between a group of Muhajirs (Emigrants and a group of Ansar (Helpers) (and the point of dispute was) that the Ansar said: The bath (because of sexual intercourse) becomes obligatory only-when the semen spurts out or ejaculates. But the Muhajirs said: When a man has sexual intercourse (with the woman), a bath becomes obligatory (no matter whether or not there is seminal emission or ejaculation). Abu Musa said: Well, I satisfy you on this (issue). He (Abu Musa, the narrator) said: I got up (and went) to 'A'isha and sought her permission and it was granted, and I said to her: O Mother, or Mother of the Faithful, I want to ask you about a matter on which I feel shy. She said: Don't feel shy of asking me about a thing which you can ask your mother, who gave you birth, for I am too your mother. Upon this I said: What makes a bath obligatory for a person? She replied: You have come across one well informed! The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sid: When anyone sits amidst four parts (of the woman) and the circumcised parts touch each other a bath becomes obligatory. (Sahih Muslim, Book 003, Number 0684)

The following traditions are found in Malik's Muwatta:

Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Said ibn al-Musayyab that Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan and A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say, "When the circumcised part touches the circumcised part, ghusl is obligatory." (Book 2, Number 2.19.73: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/muwatta/002.mmt.html#; see also No. 74 and 75)

Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi that Abdullah ibn Umar used to say, "When the circumcised part passes the circumcised part, ghusl is obligatory." (Malik's Muwatta, Book 2, Number 2.19.77)

Basically, this means that if Zawadi wants to prove his case from the hadith literature then he must be consistent and accept the fact that Islam commands female genital mutilation. He also needs to start encouraging Muslim women to get circumcised since it is a Sunna according to the traditions of Islam:

Question :

Is female circumcision sunnah or a bad practice? I read in a magazine that female circumcision in any form is a bad practice that is harmful from a medical point of view, and that it may sometimes lead to sterility. Is this correct?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

Circumcising females is sunnah; it is neither a bad practice or harmful, if it is done within moderation. When extreme forms of female circumcision are carried out, harm may result. (Question #1188: Ruling on female circumcision; online source)

In light of the foregoing, we offer the following challenges to Bassam:



For more on Paul and the Law, as well as how this Muslim argument discredits Muhammad more than it does the blessed Apostle, we recommand the following articles:


Rebuttals to Answering-Christianity
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page