Does Allah Inherit or Doesn’t He?

A Muslim Seeks to Explain

Sam Shamoun

The readers may recall that in the conclusion to my article regarding Allah inheriting from his creatures (*) I had warned them in advance to,

… watch as Muslims try to scurry with a response such as arguing that the word inherit doesn’t really mean inherit or that Allah is simply inheriting something which was already his to begin with. Watch as they try to come with any explanation to refute the assertion that just because Allah is inheriting from someone doesn’t prove that he is not God, or at least the one sole eternal God, even though these same Muslims have no qualms at all using this same type of argument to attack the absolute Deity of Christ.

Muslim polemicist Bassam Zawadi has actually done exactly what I said Muslims would do since he has come out with an article seeking to address the issue of Allah receiving an inheritance from his creation (*).

Zawadi says that:

Shamoun is comparing apples and oranges. He thinks that he can take the Islamic criteria to determine the deity of a being and impose it on the Bible. Shamoun doesn't realize that if he does so, then according to Islam Adam is also claimed to be divine since he is called the Son of God (Luke 3:38) and Moses is also claimed to be divine since he is called a god (Exodus 7:1), etc.

You can't impose the Islamic criteria on the Bible. The Bible uses terminologies (e.g. Son of God) that are blasphemous according to Islam, yet okay with the Bible.

When we examine the Biblical criteria, then we can see that Jesus nowhere claimed divinity in the Gospels and that is the method of exegeses that must be used when examining Jesus' claims in the Bible.

So Shamoun's false methodology won't fool anyone.

Did Zawadi even understand the point of my paper? I wasn’t arguing that Allah cannot be God because he is inheriting, but that this has to be the conclusion IF we assume that certain Muslim arguments against the Deity of Christ are true, which was the whole point of my article.

After all, these Muslims did NOT ask what does "inherit" mean in the Biblical context, what is the actual meaning of those texts that speak of Jesus inheriting from his Father, but simply imposed their own understanding of the word (Islamic or not) on these verses in order to make them an argument against the full Deity of Christ. We simply took the understanding of the Muslim objectors (not our own) and applied that to the Quran to test their argument for consistency and it became blatantly obvious that they were being inconsistent.

Moreover, Zawadi is correct that a person cannot impose the Islamic criteria upon the Bible but one can impose the Biblical criteria upon the Muslim scripture. The Quran invites people to test Muhammad’s message in light of the Book of the Jews and Christians:

So, if thou art in doubt regarding what We have sent down to thee, ask those who recite the Book before thee. The truth has come to thee from thy Lord; so be not of the doubters, S. 10:94 Arberry

It even claims that Muhammad came to confirm the previous Scripture and that he was to follow the guidance of the prophets of the Holy Bible:

He has sent down upon you the Book with the truth, confirming what is BETWEEN ITS/HIS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi), and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel before this, as guidance to the people, and He sent down the Salvation/Criterion (al-Furqan). As for those who disbelieve in God's signs, for them awaits a terrible chastisement; God is All-mighty, the Avenger. S. 3:3-4 our translation

That is Our argument, which We bestowed upon Abraham as against his people. We raise up in degrees whom We will; surely thy Lord is All-wise, All-knowing. And We gave to him Isaac and Jacob -- each one We guided, And Noah We guided before; and of his seed David and Solomon, Job and Joseph, Moses and Aaron -- even so We recompense the good-doers -- Zachariah and John, Jesus and Elias; each was of the righteous; Ishmael and Elisha, Jonah and Lot-each one We preferred above all beings; and of their fathers, and of their seed, and of their brethren; and We elected them, and We guided them to a straight path. That is God's guidance; He guides by it whom He will of His servants; had they been idolaters, it would have failed them, the things they did. Those are they to whom We gave the Book, the Judgment, the Prophethood; so if these disbelieve in it, We have already entrusted it to a people who do not disbelieve in it. Those are they whom God has guided; so follow their guidance. Say: 'I ask of you no wage for it; it is but a reminder unto all beings.' S. 6:83-90 Arberry

And before this, was the Book of Moses as a guide and a mercy: And this Book CONFIRMS (IT) in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust, and as Glad Tidings to those who do right. S. 46:12 Y. Ali

They said, "Our people, we have heard a Book that was sent down after Moses, confirming what is BETWEEN ITS HANDS (musaddiqan lima bayna yadayhi), guiding to the truth and to a straight path." S. 46:30 our translation

What this means is that Muhammad must pass the Biblical test for prophethood and his message must agree with the Holy Bible since this is the Book which was in his hands during that time.

Yet, as Zawadi just admitted, neither the Quran nor the sayings of Muhammad fully agree with the message of the biblical prophets concerning the nature of God, the Person and work of Christ, the doctrines of salvation and the life in the hereafter, etc. Since Muhammad denies such essential and vitally important doctrines like the Divine Sonship of Christ and the spiritual Fatherhood of God he is therefore a false prophet.

Hence, that Zawadi could say that Adam being called God’s Son or Moses being addressed as god means that they are divine according to an Islamic perspective only further proves that Muhammad wasn’t a prophet of the true God and was ignorant of the theology of God’s true prophets. He could not have been inspired by the same God who inspired the genuine prophets and apostles.

Zawadi is also correct that comparing Christ with Allah is to compare apples with oranges since Jesus is a true historical person whereas Allah is the false god of Muhammad. Christ left the tomb empty to provide supernatural verification for his Divine claims (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) whereas Allah failed to provide any verifiable proof for his existence. The so-called evidence which Muslims present, namely the alleged miraculous nature of the Quran, is one of the greatest arguments against his existence and proves that Muhammad was a false prophet seeing just how incoherent and illogical the Muslim scripture happens to be (*).

We also agree with the fact that a false method of argumentation and reasoning doesn’t fool any intelligent person; this is why Zawadi is failing in his attempt to discredit the truth of Christianity and to deceive honest, intelligent people into believing his lies and deceptions concerning Muhammad and his god.

Regarding the issue of Adam being called God’s Son or that Moses was called god please consult the following articles and rebuttals:

And for those interested in reading the overwhelming Biblical case for the absolute Deity of Christ and to see where Jesus claimed Divinity we recommend reading the articles found all throughout these links:

As well as our refutations to Zawadi’s "rebuttals" which are posted here.

We further recommend the following book which is a full length treatise on the Biblical evidence supporting the full Deity of Christ, "Putting Jesus In His Place: The Case For The Deity Of Christ" (*).

Zawadi next appeals to a commentator in order to offset my arguments. Let us see whether his commentary is able to assist him in solving this dilemma.

Shamoun and his hypocrisy. He will use Qur'anic commentaries whenever he thinks it might help him prove a point. But he won't use them if he fails to understand certain Qur'anic verses and wants to sincerely understand what they are trying to say.

Imam Tabari said…

(The tafsir of His saying: "and to God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and earth; and God is aware of the things you do" means that Allah All Living and does not die, and He remains after the perishing of all of His creation.

and if one says: so what does His saying mean: "and to Him belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth" and "the inheritance", that is known, is the transfering
[sic] of the property\ownership from the owner to the inheritor, after his death, and to Allah is the dunya (this life) before the perishing of the creation and after it?

It is said (to him): the meaning of that is what we described, His (Allah's) describing of Himself with eternal existence, and His informing of His creation that He has decreed their perishing.

And because the property of the owner becomes inheritance after his death, so Allah said: "to Allah is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth" informing, by that, that the property of all of His creation is transferring to Allah (going back to Him) after their deaths, and that no one but will perish except Him (Allah), for He is the one when perishing all of His creation, and all of their property is removed from them, no one will remain for their property to go to except Him.

and the meaning of the ayah: "But as for those who are niggardly with the bounty God has given them, let them not suppose it is better for them; nay, it is worse for them; that they were niggardly with they shall have hung about their necks on the Resurrection Day; " (3:180), after they perish (the niggard\greedy) and their property is removed from them, in the time that they don't own anything, to Allah becomes its inheritance, and the inheritance of rest of His creation.
(Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Jami al-bayan fi ta'wil al-Qur'an, Commentary on Surah 3:180, Source)

So we see that God is not using the word inheritance in the sense that we use it. (i.e. receiving something that is not ours from someone who has died). God is only using the word in order to make us understand that once everything perishes (everything being made dead) and He is the only one who will live, everything will remain for Him and go back to Him, for there is no one else alive to take it.

So God is basically emphasizing on the fact that He is eternal and does not die. He is not using the word literally in the sense that Shamoun thinks He is.

There are several problems with Zawadi’s commentary. First, al-Tabari doesn’t deny that Allah inherits but candidly admits that Allah will indeed inherit the property of those who die. Note his words carefully:

… to Allah is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth" informing, by that, that the property of all of His creation is TRANSFERRING TO Allah (going back to Him) after their deaths, and that no one but will perish except Him (Allah), for He is the one when perishing all of His creation, and all of their property is removed from them, no one will remain for their property TO GO TO EXCEPT HIM. (Emphasis ours)

So al-Tabari is actually proving my point! This, once again, shows that Zawadi doesn’t read his material carefully when he says that the word isn’t being used literally since his own source admits that Allah actually inherits something from his creatures.

Second, this still fails to explain why Allah would need to inherit anything when everything belongs to him already. Third, there is no need to speak of Allah inheriting something in order to illustrate the fact that everything perishes except him and that everyone will eventually lose their property. The Quran could have communicated this point by merely noting that everyone will perish and will therefore lose all that they own.

There is a fourth point which we will mention next, but first we want to address Zawadi’s appeal to the Bible. He quotes Zechariah 2:12 to show that Yahweh himself inherits. He then uses my words against me regarding Muslims coming up with fancy explanations to deny the plain meaning of the text.

What makes this rather ironic is that I already fully addressed the issue of Yahweh inheriting in a footnote which is found in one of the very papers which I had referred to in my article on Allah receiving an inheritance! Here is the link again:

Does Zawadi even bother to read these articles, or is this simply more evidence that he doesn’t read carefully and/or isn’t interested in studying the points which thoroughly refute his arguments?

Moreover, this is where my fourth point comes into play and where Zawadi’s argument will come back to haunt him and establish my case against him. If the Bible writers could speak of Yahweh inheriting land without this diminishing his absolute Deity then why should Jesus inheriting from the Father diminish his Divinity?

More importantly, if Zawadi has no problem with Allah being God even though he inherits possessions from those who are not God, but finite fallible creatures, then why should he have a problem with Christ being fully God while receiving an inheritance from the Father?

The answer? Because Zawadi is inconsistent and doesn’t use his argumentation fairly since to do so would mean that he would be forced to reject Allah and Muhammad. Hence, if anyone is being a hypocrite it is Zawadi for failing to apply his critical method fairly. He never bothers to use his own arguments against the Quran to see whether it passes his own test since he is not interested in the truth; he is only interested in attacking Christianity in order deceive people into thinking that if he can disprove Christianity this somehow means that Islam is therefore true.

And this was precisely the whole point of my article… not that texts which speak of Allah inheriting cannot be harmonized in such a way as to maintain the consistent testimony of the Quran that Allah is absolutely God (as false as that assertion is). Rather, the entire point of the paper was to show what would happen if we apply the Muslim attacks against the Deity of Christ to the teaching of the Quran concerning Allah and do not accept any attempts of harmonization or allow for these passages to be interpreted in light of the overall message of the specific Scriptures in question. The result would be that Allah cannot be truly God.

Zawadi concludes his "response" by again demonstrating that he either doesn’t understand what he reads or will not accept the fact that his points have already been thoroughly refuted.

Shamoun with his false analogies again.

The argument is different against the Biblical Jesus since he admits that nothing can be done of his own self. (John 5:30), which indicates that he is dependent on someone else. You won't find any verse in the Qur'an where Allah talks like that.

A classic case of repeating the same argument ad nauseum ad infinitum no matter how many times it has been refuted. We have already documented that this passage, when it is read in its immediate context, is one of the more powerful witnesses to the absolute Deity of Christ and the perfect, inseparable union that exists among the three distinct members of the one true Godhead. Instead of repeating ourselves we encourage the readers to go and read the full length exegesis of the context which can be found here:

Moreover, there are plenty of passages and Islamic reports which say that Allah is dependent upon his creatures since he is incomplete without them. Read the following articles for the documentation:

In conclusion I would like to thank Zawadi for proving my case regarding the inconsistency and blatant hypocrisy of Muslims for using one standard against the Bible and yet failing to fairly apply that same method against the Quran. His so-called rebuttal is a shining example of such inconsistency and hypocrisy and we therefore encourage him to keep up the great job of writing articles which actually aid us in our cause to defend God’s truth (by his grace) and to expose the lies of Islam.

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