Here is our response to Meherally's latest "response" posted on February 2, 2003. We omit material which appear both in Meherally's original article, as well as my initial response. Read [Part 1] first, before you continue here.
Please read carefully the opening sentence from Sam's response.
Fourth, Meherally thinks that Deuteronomy 34 somehow refutes Mosaic authorship.
I have for sure refuted the MOSAIC authorship for CHAPTER NUMBER 34, which happens to be the LAST CHAPTER of that Book. To uphold and support my refutation I have also quoted VERSES 7 - 8 and Verse 10 from Chapter 34.
Now, please read once again the above quoted misleading
Response of Sam.
He refers to my OTHER WORKS as the Source Documents, that deal with CHAPTERS 18 and 33 of Deuteronomy. Sam, the "esteemed writer" boasts that he has EXPOSED "Meherally's hypocrisy". Need I spell out what has been in reality exposed from the above Response of Sam, who has not quoted anything from chapter 34? Sam, should read again my Sources and demonstrate where have I rejected the entire Book of Deuteronomy to prove "Meherally's hypocrisy". Let me, repeat what I had written earlier: "It is often, within the Divine Plan of Allah, to expose the deceit from the writings of those who wish to propagate falsehood in His name."
Meherally thinks he has actually refuted my article, but as I will now show Meherally has only managed to expose his shoddy scholarship and shallow reading of my material. Please notice what Meherally originally wrote regarding the Pentateuch, this time with added emphasis (green and italics):
It is absolutely incorrect or rather a folly to claim that "The Taurat" refers to the collection of the 39 Books of "The Old Testament". It is an indisputable fact that this entire collection of 39 Books was not Revealed to Prophet Moses. Similarly, it is ALSO incorrect to assert that the First Five Books of the Old Testaments called "The Pentateuch" (lit. "The Five Books"), which are often erroneously declared as the "Five Books of Moses", were Revealed to Prophet Moses. The Bible Scholars (mostly Christians and Jews), who have examined The Pentateuch (Five Books attributed to Moses), have discovered four or more main sources underlying them.
Do take note that Meherally initially claimed that it is incorrect to assert that ALL FIVE BOOKS of the Pentateuch WERE REVEALED TO MOSES. Yet after exposing his inconsistent methodology by quoting from his own article where he clearly attributes Deuteronomy 18 and 33 to Moses, Meherally tries to pull a fast one by claiming that I need to show where he rejects the entire book of Deuteronomy. This gives the misleading impression that Meherally does not reject Mosaic authorship for most of the Pentateuch, or at least for most of Deuteronomy. This is a sheer falsehood in light of Meherally's original claim.
This will become even clearer in the next quotation because Meherally's above statement continues:
The Bible Scholars (mostly Christians and Jews), who have examined The Pentateuch (Five Books attributed to Moses), have discovered four or more main sources underlying them.
Here are the Four Recognized Main Contributors or the Main Source Documents.
1. J = Yahwistic Text. Written by the authors in the time of
David or Solomon.
2. E= Elohistic Text. Written by the author after the disruption of
the old Solomonic Kingdom.
3. D= The work of Deuteronomists. The Text was written in the last
quarter of the 7th and the first quarter of the 6th centuries BCE
4. P= The Priestly Accounts. Written after the Babylonian exile
Meherally seemingly subscribes to the JEDP theory. In this theory the "recognized scholars" believe that the earliest part of the Pentateuch is written in the time of David, i.e. about 1000 BC, roughly 400 years after Moses' death (about 1400 BC). In particular, these scholars declare all of the book of Deuteronomy to be the work of the Deuteronomist(s) and date it to a time at least 700 years after Moses according to the dates provided by Meherally himself, and which he even emphasized by writing it in extra large letters so that we may not overlook it.
Most importantly for our discussion, this theory does not make a difference between Deut. 18 and 33 on the one hand and Deut. 34 on the other. But that is a difference that Meherally would like to argue in his reaction to our rebuttal.
Meherally states, correctly, that this theory "identifies" four main sources for the Pentateuch, all of which are dated several centuries after the time of Moses. Moses is not even one of the main sources of the Pentateuch in the JEDP theory. Some of these scholars may hold that there may be small traces of text that are genuinely of Mosaic origin, but if they exist at all, that part is very minor. (Many of these scholars may not even believe that Moses existed in the sense that he was a historical figure.)
By subscribing to and promoting the JEDP theory, Meherally has indeed rejected ALL of the Pentateuch as Mosaic, but certainly ALL of Deuteronomy. If, on the other hand, he does not agree with this theory, why does he refer to it to support his argument?
Does Meherally promote theories in which he does not believe? Does he act under the guiding principle: It doesn't matter whether it is true or false as long as it is useful to damage the credibility of the Bible in the eyes of my readers, I will gladly use it! Anything that further promotes Islam is good and right? Don't dare hold me accountable for what I wrote?
Yet, instead of admitting that he was caught red handed and was therefore mistaken, Meherally tries to cover up his gross errors by making excuses. Hence, not only has Meherally failed miserably to refute my initial defense of Mosaic authorship for Deuteronomy 34, as I will again demonstrate, but Meherally has exposed himself by distorting his original claim in order to cover up his gross mistakes.
Sam writes in his response and I quote:
If Meherally believes that Moses predicted the coming of his prophet twenty centuries
before Muhammad's birth, then on what basis does Meherally use Deuteronomy 34 to reject
Mosaic authorship? It seems to have never occurred to Meherally that just as it was
possible for God to reveal to Moses the advent of a prophet that came thousands of years
later, God was also able to reveal to Moses the manner of his death and have him record
it for future generations!
(The underlines are mine.)
Sam is trying to change the text of a post Moses Historical Record into a Prophecy.
Once again this ingenious scheme falls flat on its face, before the following quote.
Here is a text copied from the NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION (NRSV) of the Bible, that appears under the subheading of VITAL STATISTIC:
As anyone reading my response could see, I didn't "try to change" anything. Rather, I tried to demonstrate that just as it was possible for God to reveal to Moses thousands of years of history beforehand, it is equally possible that God told Moses beforehand the manner of the latter's death. From there, God could have had Moses record his death as having already transpired, even though it was still future.
Here I will produce additional evidence supporting my claim. I first begin with the book of Deuteronomy:
"The LORD said to Moses, NOW THE DAY OF YOUR DEATH IS NEAR. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, where I will commission him. So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting. Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent. And the LORD said to Moses: YOU ARE GOING TO REST WITH YOUR FATHERS, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, "Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?" And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods. Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them. When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant. And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants. I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath. So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites. The LORD gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you. After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die! Assemble before me all the elders of your tribes and all your officials, so that I can speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to testify against them. For I know that AFTER MY DEATH you are sure to become utterly corrupt and to turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall upon you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and provoke him to anger by what your hands have made." Deuteronomy 31:14-29
"On that same day the LORD told Moses, Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. THERE ON THE MOUNTAIN THAT YOU HAVE CLIMBED YOU WILL DIE AND BE GATHERED TO YOUR PEOPLE, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel." Deuteronomy 32:48-52
Not only does God tell Israel what will befall them in the future, but also tells Moses that his death is near, going so far as to tell him the very exact location of his death! Hence, these passages clearly establish my original point. Just as God was able to tell Moses beforehand where and when he would die, God was also capable of telling Moses to record his own death and burial as a befitting way to conclude the book of Deuteronomy.
The following citations provide additional support for my position. These passages show how inspired prophets can speak of future events as past or present realities:
"And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day HAVE I BROUGHT your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever." Exodus 12:17 KJV
God tells Israel that he has brought them out of Egypt even before the Exodus had actually occurred!
"Therefore my people ARE GONE into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst." Isaiah 5:13 KJV
Isaiah speaks of the future captivity of the Jews as having already occurred!
"He IS COME to Aiath, he IS PASSED to Migron; at Michmash HE HATH laid up his carriages: They ARE GONE over the passage: THEY HAVE TAKEN up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled." Isaiah 10:28-29 KJV
Isaiah again speaks of the future as already transpiring.
"And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly: And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Eziongaber. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD HATH broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish." 2 Chronicles 20:35-37 KJV
Notice here that the prophet speaks of God as having already broken or destroyed Ahaziah's works, i.e. the ships, even though it didn't happen until some time later.
"Lo, days are coming, an affirmation of Jehovah, And I HAVE MADE with the house of Israel And with the house of Judah a new covenant, Not like the covenant that I made with their fathers, In the day of My laying hold on their hand, To bring them out of the land of Egypt, In that they made void My covenant, And I ruled over them -- an affirmation of Jehovah. For this [is] the covenant THAT I MAKE, With the house of Israel, after those days, An affirmation of Jehovah, I have given My law in their inward part, And on their heart I do write it, And I have been to them for God, And they are to me for a people. And they do not teach any more Each his neighbour, and each his brother, Saying, Know ye Jehovah, FOR THEY ALL KNOW ME, from their least unto their greatest, An affirmation of Jehovah; For I PARDON their iniquity, And of their sin I MAKE MENTION no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34 Young's Literal Translation
God's future covenant with Israel is spoken of as being a present reality.
This OT phenomena of speaking of future events in the past is known as the prophetic perfective. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (section 106n, pp. 312-313) states:
More particularly the uses of the perfect may be distinguished as follows: -- ... To express facts which are undoubtedly imminent, and, therefore in the imagination of the speaker, already accomplished (perfectum confidentiae), e.g., Nu. 17:27, behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. Gn. 30:13, Is. 6:5 (I am undone), Pr. 4:2. ... This use of the perfect occurs most frequently in prophetic language (perfectum propheticum). The prophet so transports himself in imagination into the future that he describes the future event as if it had been already seen or heard by him, e.g. Is. 5:13 therefore my people are gone into captivity; 9:1ff.,10:28,11:9 ...; 19:7, Jb. 5:20, 2 Ch. 20:37. Not infrequently the imperfect interchanges with such perfects either in the parallel member or further on in the narrative.
Yet this is phenomena is not restricted to the OT, as the following NT examples demonstrate:
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house IS LEFT DESOLATE. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." Luke 13:34-35
Jesus speaks of both his future rejection and the desolation of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70 A.D., as already occurring!
"I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do ... Father, I want those you have given me to be with me WHERE I AM, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." John 17:4, 24
Even before his actual crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension to heaven, Christ could speak of already having completed the work of God and of receiving his heavenly glory!
"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, WHICH IS POURED OUT FOR YOU." Luke 22:19-20
Here, the Lord Jesus speaks of his blood as already being poured out even though he hadn't undergone the actual crucifixion.
Greek Grammarians H.E. Danay and Julius R. Mantey label this use of the present tense for future events as the futuristic present, stating:
"This use of the present tense denotes an event which has not yet occurred, but which is regarded as so certain that in thought it may be contemplated as already coming to pass." (Danay & Mantey, A Manuel Grammar of the Greek New Testament [Macmillian Company, Toronto, 1995], p. 185; emphasis ours)
The preceding verses clearly demonstrate that it is quite possible that God told Moses to record his impending death and burial as something which had already transpired in order to conclude the writing of the Torah.
Finally, I am not the first one to promote the idea that Moses recorded his own death and burial. This is a view held by men such as Philo and Josephus:
"The term the book of Moses, found in II Chronicles 25:4; 35:12; Ezra 3:2; 6:18; and Nehemiah 8:1; 13:1, surely included the Book of Genesis and also testifies to a belief in Israelite circles in the fifth century B.C. that all five of the books were the work of Moses. Ben Sira (Ecclus. 24:23), Philo, Josephus, and the authors of the Gospels held that Moses was intimately related to the Pentateuch. Philo and Josephus EVEN EXPLICITLY SAID that Moses wrote Deuteronomy 34:5-12. Other writers of the New Testament tie the Pentateuch to Moses. The Jewish Talmud asserts that whoever denied Mosaic authorship would be excluded from Paradise." (Herbert G. Livingston, The Pentateuch in Its Cultural Environment, [Baker, 1974], pp. 218-219)
Thus far, nothing that Meherally has said even begins to refute the evidence presented for the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy 34.
Moses (except for the final summary which was probably written by
Joshua after Moses' death).
Note: Joshua the son of Nun is the author of the next Book in the O/T.
I have a suggestion for Sam, Silas and his Organization:
Write to the Editors of NRSV and ask them to amend what they have written...
Meherally thinks that by appealing to a translation committee he will somehow undermine my argument. Yet, all Meherally has managed to show is that he is good at evasion tactics and at committing logical fallacies. In this case, Meherally commits the fallacy of appealing to authority:
Appeal to Authority
(argumentum ad verecundiam)
While sometimes it may be appropriate to cite an authority to support a point, often it is not. In particular, an appeal to authority is inappropriate if:
(i) the person is not qualified to have an expert opinion on the subject,
(ii) experts in the field DISAGREE ON THIS ISSUE.
(iii) the authority was making a joke, drunk, or otherwise not being serious
A variation of the fallacious appeal to authority is hearsay. An argument from hearsay is an argument which depends on second or third hand sources.
(i) Noted psychologist Dr. Frasier Crane recommends that you buy the EZ-Rest Hot Tub.
(ii) Economist John Kenneth Galbraith argues that a tight money policy s the best cure for a recession. (Although Galbraith is an expert, not all economists agree on this
(iii) We are headed for nuclear war. Last week Ronald Reagan remarked that we begin bombing Russia in five minutes. (Of course, he said it as a joke during a microphone test.)
(iv) My friend heard on the news the other day that Canada will declare war on Serbia. (This is a case of hearsay; in fact, the reporter said that Canada would not declare war.)
(v) The Ottawa Citizen reported that sales were up 5.9 percent this year. (This is hearsay; we are not n a position to check the Citizen's sources.)
Show that either (i) the person cited is not an authority in the field, or that (ii) there is GENERAL DISAGREEMENT AMONG THE EXPERTS in the field on this point. (Source: http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/aa.htm)
Since there is general disagreement amongst scholars regarding Deuteronomy 34, to then appeal to a certain scholar(s) to support one's case is clearly a fallacy and proves absolutely nothing.
Secondly, even though I have attempted to defend the Mosaic authorship of Deuteronomy 34, the claim that someone else wrote Moses' obituary would still do nothing to undermine Mosaic authorship of either the Pentateuch or the great bulk of Deuteronomy. It would only suggest that Moses didnt write Deuteronomy 34.
There are many conservative Jews and Christians who believe that another inspired writer such as Joshua wrote Deuteronomy 34. Evidence for this view can be found within the Holy Bible itself since we are told that God personally commissioned Joshua to add additional instructions to the book of the Law:
"On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD." Joshua 24:25-26
This passage demonstrates the plausibility of Deuteronomy 34 being written by another inspired writer under the direct order of God.
In fact, in one of my first debates with Meherally, I had written:
Mr. Meherally, can you please explain to us in what way do the opinions and comments of translators' effect the integrity of the Holy Bible? Had you been able to show that the inspired text of scripture contained the above statements then you might have had a case. Besides, for one translator to say that Moses wrote Deuteronomy, while another says Moses and Joshua poses no real difficulty whatsoever. If I were to write 90% of a book and died before completion, would it be wrong for someone to attribute the book's authorship to me despite the fact that someone else, let's say Jochen Katz, wrote the remaining portion? Obviously not, just as it wouldn't be wrong for someone else to say that Sam Shamoun and Jochen Katz were actually the authors of the book I intended to write but did not complete due to my untimely death, God forbid!
Hence, Meherally grasps at straws since, a) he attacks the comments of translators that have no bearing on the inspired text, and b) claims to have found an error when actually the only error is the one assumed in Meherally's own mind. (Source)
As one can see, the fact that some conservatives believe that someone else wrote Deuteronomy 34 while still believing that Moses wrote the Pentateuch demonstrates that Meherally's appeal to the NRSV is misplaced and does nothing to support his gross errors.
For a look at conservatives who believe that someone else wrote Moses' obituary, we recommend the following two scholarly articles:
Finally, please do remember that Meherally's original claim was that it was incorrect to ascribe ALL FIVE BOOKS to Moses. He now abandons his original position and concedes (after getting caught and exposed) that Moses did in fact write certain parts of the Pentateuch, specifically Deuteronomy 18 and 33. He then tries to give his readers the impression that he was only seeking to undermine Mosaic authorship for Deuteronomy 34. Yet, Meherally's smokescreen and recanting of his original position only demonstrates that Meherally realized that he got caught in a gross error and is now trying to desperately cover over this major embarrassment.
Here is another passage from Sam's Response:
Interestingly, Meherally contradicts himself since elsewhere he calls Deuteronomy "the fifth book of Moses":
Is Sam trying to tell his readers that he has never opened the famous King James
Version of the Bible and read the headings of the Books of the Old Testament?
In K.J.V. the title for the first book of the Old Testament reads:
The First Book of Moses, called GENESIS.
And, this style is maintained by K.J.V. for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and the 5th Book.
The title for the fifth book of the Old Testament reads:
The Fifth Book of Moses, called DEUTERONOMY.
In the Glorious Qur'an the Chapter (Sura) Number 69 is called Al-Haqqa meaning THE REALITY. If Sam was to call that Chapter "The Reality", can anyone claim that Sam has acknowledged that Chapter to be THE REALITY (The Truth)?
It is rather quite apparent that Meherally is getting very desperate here. His appeal to the KJV is nothing more than a red herring aimed at avoiding admitting that he has been exposed for his inconsistent methodology and shoddy scholarship. Seeing that the translators of the KJV held to conservative views of the Holy Bible, specifically affirming Mosaic authorship of most, if not all, of Deuteronomy, Meherally is therefore guilty of committing the fallacy of a false analogy. The translators of the KJV did not deny that the Pentateuch was revealed to Moses, as Meherally does (or did initially). Yet, after being exposed for contradicting himself from one article to the next (i.e. his denial that Moses wrote the Pentateuch to his appeal to Deuteronomy 18 and 33 as genuine prophecies of Moses regarding Muhammad), Meherally has now tried to do an about face and 180 degree turn.
Furthermore, unlike Meherally, I do not appeal to the Quran as the word of God. Everytime I appeal to the Quran, it is solely for the purpose of exposing and/or convincing Muslims of the error of their ways. For instance, in my original response to Meherally, I used the Quran to show that his view regarding the Holy Bible is grossly in error and is not supported by the very book he claims to be God's Word.
Yet, Meherally often points to prophecies within the Pentateuch, such as Deuteronomy 18 and 33, as well as other books of the Holy Bible, with the implication that these are genuine revelations from God. In light of this, Meherally is again guilty of a false analogy, since my appeal to the Quran is not the same as Meherally's appeal to the Holy Bible.
Meherally next commits one of the grossest errors we have ever seen. In fact, what Meherally is about to say is one of the greatest lies and deceptions we have heard thus far:
Sam makes a very serious erroneous claim below and then goes on to make the unwarranted serious remarks for the Glorious Qur'an:
Finally and even more amazingly, it might come as a complete shock to our readers to
find that the Quran never actually says that the Taurat was given to Moses.
Instead, the Quran says that Allah gave Moses the Book. This means that the only
way for Meherally to know whether the Taurat was given to Moses IS BY TURNING TO THE HOLY
BIBLE! Otherwise, Meherally can never prove from the Quran itself that the Taurat
was given to Moses. This is another indication that
the Quran is an incomplete and incoherent record.
(The under lines and the color changes, are mine)
Insha'Allah, God Willing, I am about to EXPOSE Sam that will not only SHOCK the
readers, but will DISCREDIT him, once and for all the times. What Sam has claimed is
a FALSEHOOD, that none can deny after reading the following verse that speaks of
"AT-TAWRAAT" being revealed to Moses. After reading the following
translations and the transliteration Sam should sincerely lament and apologize for
having written the following falsehood for THE QUR'AN, I quote:
This is another indication that the Quran is an incomplete and incoherent record.
Here are the translations and transliteration of Verse 5: 44:
Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the Prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah's Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.Translation by M. M. Pickthall
It was We who revealed the law (to Moses); therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews by the Prophet who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah's will by the Rabbis and the doctors of Law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men but fear Me and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by
Indeed We revealed the Taurat to Moses, in which there is guidance and light: By its laws, all the Prophets, who were Muslims, judged those who call themselves Jews and so did the rabbis and jurists of law. They were entrusted the protection of Allah's Book and they themselves were witnesses. Have no fear of people; fear Me, and do not sell My revelations for a petty price: those who do not judge by the law which Allah has revealed, are indeed kafirs (unbelievers).
'in(na) -naa anzalnaaat- tawraah fe -haa huda(n) wa- nor yah.kum bi- -haa an- nabeyon 'alladhena aslamo li- 'alladhena haado wa- ar- rabbaaneyon wa- al- ah.baar bi- maa istuh.fiz.o min kitaab 'allaah wa- kaano calay -hi shuhadaa' fa- laa takhshaw an- naas wa- ikhshaw -ni wa- laa tashtaro bi- 'aayaat -e thaman(an) qalel(an) wa- man lam yah.kum bi- maa anzala 'allaah fa- 'olaa'ika hum al- kaafiron.
Here is the greatest shock:
Let me repost Meherally's own transliteration of the Arabic in order to expose one of the boldest lies and deceptions ever attempted by a Muslim:
'in(na) -naa anzalnaaAT-TAWRAAH fe -haa huda(n) wa- nor yah.kum bi- -haa an- nabeyon 'alladhena aslamo li- 'alladhena haado wa- ar- rabbaaneyon wa- al- ah.baar bi- maa istuh.fiz.o min kitaab 'allaah wa- kaano calay -hi shuhadaa' fa- laa takhshaw an- naas wa- ikhshaw -ni wa- laa tashtaro bi- 'aayaat -e thaman(an) qalel(an) wa- man lam yah.kum bi- maa anzala 'allaah fa- 'olaa'ika hum al- kaafiron.
Transliteration of Verse 5: 44
Everyone can easily see that the expression At-Tawraah (the Torah) appears in the Arabic, BUT THE WORD MUSA (the Arabic name of Moses) IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE TEXT! And yet, Meherally has the audacity to claim that I am in error, and that I have promoted falsehood!
Notice how the following translations render this verse:
A. J. ARBERRY: Surely We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; thereby the Prophets who had surrendered themselves gave judgment for those of Jewry, as did the masters and the rabbis, following such portion of Gods Book as they were given to keep and were witnesses to. So fear not men, but fear you Me; and sell not my signs for a little price. Whoso judges not according to what God has sent down- they are unbelievers.
PICKTHALL: Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah's Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.
N. J. DAWOOD: We have revealed the Torah, in which there is guidance and light. By it the prophets who surrendered themselves judged the Jews, and so did the rabbis and the divines, according to Gods Book which had been committed to their keeping and to which they themselves were witnesses. Have no fear of men; fear Me, and do not sell My revelations for a paltry end. Unbelievers are those who do not judge according to Gods revelations.
SHAKIR: Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof; therefore fear not the people and fear Me, and do not take a small price for My communications; and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.
MAULVI SHER ALI: Surely, WE sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to US, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law, because they were required to preserve the Book of Allah, and because they were guardians over it. Therefore fear not men but fear ME; and barter not MY signs for a paltry price. And whoso judges not by that which Allah has sent down, these it is who are the disbelievers.
MUHAMMAD SARWAR: We had revealed the Torah, containing guidance and light. The Prophets who had submitted themselves to the will of God, judged the Jews by the laws of the Torah. So did the godly people and the Jewish scholars who remembered some parts of the Book of God and bore witness to it. Mankind, do not be afraid of people but have fear of Me. Do not sell My revelations for a paltry price. Those who do not judge by the laws of God are disbelievers.
MUHAMMAD ASAD: Verily, it is We who bestowed from on high the Torah, wherein there was guidance and light. On `its strength did the prophets, who had surrendered themselves unto God, deliver judgment unto those who followed the Jewish faith;" and so did the [early] men of God and the rabbis, inasmuch as some of God's writ had been entrusted to their care; and they [all] bore witness to its truth. Therefore, [O children of Israel,] hold not men in awe, but stand in awe of Me; and do not barter away My messages for a trifling gain:' for they who do not judge in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high are, indeed, deniers of the truth!
T. B. IRVING: We have sent down the Torah containing guidance and Light. The prophets who were committed to [live in] peace judge those who were Jews by means of it, and [so do] the rabbis and scholars, because of what they sought to observe from God's book. They have even acted as witnesses for it. So do not dread mankind, and dread Me; do not buy up My signs for a paltry price. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down disbelievers!
E. H. PALMER: Verily, we have revealed THE LAW in which is guidance and light; the prophets who were resigned did judge thereby those who were Jews, as did the masters and doctors by what they remembered of the Book of God and by what they were witnesses of. Fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a little price; for whoso will not judge by what God has revealed, these be the misbelievers.
As can be seen from the preceding translations, Moses' name does not appear anywhere in the verse. This is just as expected, since we have already established, that it is not found in the Arabic original. The fact that a translation by F. Malik inserts the word Moses into the text doesnt help Meherally in the least. All this shows is that some Muslims have dishonestly translated the Quran by either obscuring the real meaning, or by reading their own unwarranted presuppositions into the text.
This also shows that, if anything, it is Meherally who hasn't read S. 5:44 carefully. Yet, I do have a problem with letting Meherally off the hook that easily. I do find it rather hard to accept that Meherally has not read the text carefully, especially when Meherally appeals to the Arabic transliteration of the Quran and even distinguishes the relevant part with a different color. This suggests to me that he has indeed carefully read the verse and therefore knows very well that Moses' name does not appear in the text. We find it highly unlikely that Meherally has not only failed to understand the English translation, but also failed to grasp the Arabic as well. We are therefore left with one conclusion:
MEHERALLY HAS CHOSEN TO DELIBERATELY LIE TO HIS READERS AND HAS TRIED TO DECEIVE THEM.
Some may have wondered, what is the point in quoting nine English translations of a verse from the Quran after we have already proven from the Arabic that "Moses" is not mentioned in it? Using the search engine Google on March 4th 2003, we found that Meherally currently cites at least the following translations in his website "mostmerciful.com":
|The Translation of||is quoted in|
|A. Yusuf Ali||53 articles|
|M. Pickthall||16 articles|
|Arthur Arberry||12 articles|
|Muhammad Asad||11 articles|
|F. Malik||4 articles|
|Muhammad Sarwar||0 articles|
Shakir and Sarwar are standard Shia Muslim translations, and Dawood also is a commonly used translation, even though Meherally uses these three seldomly. The translation of F. Malik is a relatively new, but obscure and rarely used one (no wonder, it is quite inaccurate, taking too many liberties, as we have seen in this case). Yusuf Ali, the translation most used by Meherally, puts (to Moses) in brackets to indicate that this is an addition NOT FOUND in the original text. The point is: Meherally has available and regularly uses many different translations of the Quran, nearly all of which make it clear that Moses is NOT mentioned in Surah 5:44. But despite the fact that Meherally is well aware of it, he searches until he finds one rarely used English translation which does write what he wants, and then presents it as proof, that the Quran states what it clearly does not say. This is additional evidence for an intentional deception.
It would have been acceptable had Meherally - as an expression of common Muslim belief - written in any of his articles that the Quran states the Torah was given to Moses. It would then just have been a matter of common ignorance. No big deal. It is quite another issue that after this fact was (a) clearly stated to Meherally, and (b) after Meherally has researched it himself by comparing several translations and even consulting the original Arabic of the Quran, to then deliberately lie about it.
[ Meherally may not be able / willing to listen to Christians, or accept any correction or insights from Christians, just because they are Christians and therefore "enemies of the truth" in his mind. Meherally's track record of admitting clear error has certainly not been impressive so far. However, many Muslims are reading his materials. Does the Muslim community care about what one of their public spokesmen does? (Meherally's site is linked and even warmly recommended by many Muslim sites. Islamic Awareness lists Meherally's site among a selected few in their section "Websites we recommend" and praises him: Akbar Meharally .... He is a good and careful writer. A quick search on the web shows his site linked on at least these pages: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .) Therefore:
Question to our Muslim readers: This particularly obvious distortion of the Quran was on Meherally's web site in the above quoted form for nearly five weeks before we published our rebuttal. Why has not any Muslim protested against it? Does no Muslim care about the correct interpretation of the Quran? Does every Muslim just switch off his mind and cheers when Meherally seems to give the Christians a bashing? And even if truth alone was not important enough for this little effort of writing Meherally an email, even if there is little passion to stand for truth for the sake of truth, did nobody care at all to warn the author that this is so obviously wrong, that he should correct it before the Christians expose his argument as a fraud, before there will be yet another embarrassment for Islam, and before Meherally himself becomes even more of a laughing-stock? ]
HERE IS AN ADDITIONAL SHOCKER. Meherally thinks that by appealing to a subheading in his article he will somehow refute my original challenge and this constitutes as proof for his claim. Since Meherally's subheading is not part of the Quran, this only further demonstrates that Meherally is using deceptive tactics to evade the fact that he has been exposed. So we issue our challenge again:
WE CHALLENGE MEHERALLY TO PRODUCE ONE SINGLE VERSE FROM THE ENTIRE QURAN WHERE IT SAYS THAT GOD REVEALED THE TORAH TO MOSES. SHOW US A SINGLE PLACE FROM YOUR BOOK WHERE MOSES IS SAID TO HAVE RECEIVED THE TORAH.
Since Meherally appealed to Silas' statement regarding dogs and donkeys, we reproduce it here leaving it to the reader to decide whether Meherally fits the bill:
At this point, I need to say to Meherally, "Meherally! Before you rebut anything, please read all of it!!! Otherwise you appear to be a barking dog or a braying donkey."
In light of the fact that Meherally again has shown that he hasn't read our rebuttal carefully or, even worse still, has chosen to deliberately misrepresent our arguments, and even the Quran itself, Silas' description is rather befitting. We must say it rather bluntly that Meherally's deceptive methodology is shameful to say the least. Nor is this the first time or in any way unusual. It is and was a consistent feature of Meherally's approach from the beginning. We only need to point to this rebuttal dating back to 1995: Issues of Integrity.
[Meherally responded to the above, and our answer is found here.]
Meherally proceeds to introduce another red herring into the discussion:
Here is an excerpt from the Encyclopedia Britannia 1953, under the Title BIBLE, Heading NEW TESTAMENT, Sub-heading TEXTUAL CRITICISM Vol. 3, page 51. This passage gives several examples to demonstrate that the interpolations within the Gospels are INTENTIONAL. The Gospels that Christians are reading today have materials from the external sources and hence are corrupted.
In the Gospels, on the other hand, the characteristic variations are intentional, such as the addition or insertion of whole passages, some of which must certainly have been supplied from an external source. The longest is the whole story of the Woman taken in Adultery, inserted between John vii. 52 and viii. 12; others are a long insertion after Matt. xx. 28 (61 words), the saying about the Face of the Sky in Matt. xvi. 2-3 (31 words), the story of the Angel and the Bloody Sweat in Luke xxii. 43-44 (26 words), and many other shorter passages. No satisfactory paleographical explanation has ever been found for these variants; they are evidently made on purpose, by persons who had new matter to insert into the text and felt themselves at liberty to do so. The fact of the occurrence of these longer Interpolations (as they are usually called) prepares us to find that very many of the shorter variants are of the same nature, i.e., that they did not arise through scribal errors but by intentional efforts to improve or enrich the original.
Meherally now changes the subject of the discussion from the Quranic view of the Holy Bible to textual criticism, a discipline of New Testament scholarship that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Quran. This evasion tactic only further demonstrates just how weak and desperate Meherally's response truly is. Since these issues have already been dealt with elsewhere, we will simply link to the responses:
Furthermore, please do read the following articles documenting the corruption of the Quran at the hands of Muslims, especially the last two:
These links document how entire chapters and verses have either been omitted or deliberately inserted into the text of the Quran.
Meherally has also tried to address the issue of Quranic variant readings on his web site. Yet, as is the case with most of his articles, his response is rather poor and unscholarly, as we will show in the near future, Lord Jesus willing.
As they say, a person who lives in a glass house shouldn't be throwing stones!
We conclude our article by briefly commenting on the following claim:
Here are the promised two URLs of Sam's response:
Since the above response deals with the re-narrated Hadeeths and the works of Ibn
Kathir, I suggest the readers to read my two articles on these two subjects:
(Myths & Realities of Hadeeths)
(Please read the end part for Ibn Kathir's commentaries).
The following quotation is Meherally's praise for Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri's stringent work of omitting all weak narrations from Ibn Kathir's commentary:
Good News... The Admission of "Weak Hadeeths" and "Israelites Stories" within the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir... Process of Weeding Out initiated by the Muslim Scholars and Islamic Organizations...
Meherally then presents the following quote:
Careful analysis and eforts [sic] have been made and taken to ensure that weak Hadith ARE NOT included within the abridged version of the English translation.
It seems that Meherally failed to grasp the implication of the Shaykh's comments. Since the weak hadiths were omitted from Ibn Kathirs commentary, leaving only those that are sound according to the Muslim scholars, and since this is the very translation I use in most of my citations, THIS MEANS THAT THE STATEMENTS I QUOTE FROM IBN KATHIR ARE SOUND AND ARE WITHOUT DISPUTE! Hence, Meherally's very own appeal to the translators of Ibn Kathir only serves to strengthen my case against him. Thank you Meherally. We appreciate all your fine efforts in helping us expose your shoddy research and scholarship.
Meherally plans to update his responses to our initial response. As this occurs, we will also update our rebuttals to him, Lord Jesus willing.
Continue with Meherally and the Bible - Revisited [Part 3].
Responses to Akbarally Meherally
Answering Islam Home Page