Sunday, 30 June 2013

Debate: Was Muhammad a True Prophet? Osama Abdallah v Sam Shamoun (Review) by Yahya Snow

I feel compelled to write on the debate between Osama Abdallah and Sam Shamoun on the topic of whether Prophet Muhammad (p) was a Prophet.

Constructive criticism of Osama Abdallah

Before the debate review, some constructive criticism for Osama Abdallah in order to help Osama Abdallah in the future.

Sam Shamoun is a dishonest and obnoxious man who is considered unworthy of debate – the man is a true disaster in Christian apologetics. By debating such a person one ends up appearing to be ‘legitimizing’ and allowing his insults, deceptions and general craziness to be swept under the rug. Mainstream Muslim speakers do not consider Shamoun with any regard. The man has some serious issues of dishonesty hatred towards Muslims and immorality as highlighted in the Sam Shamoun section here:

I cannot agree with Osama’s decision to share a platform with Shamoun. Why feed the trolls? Why help resuscitate his dead apologetics career? Why allow his unchecked insults and blasphemies go unpunished? This is a man who trolls comment sections and abuses Muslims in his attempts to arrange a debates.

Osama, from my understanding had FOUR DEBATES against FOUR different opponents in TWO days

This is a ridiculous amount of responsibility to take on. I actually criticise Osama for taking on such a work load. Why he did so I am not sure. It certainly is not wise and nor beneficial to oneself or the audience. How does he expect to do each topic justice with his attention diverted 4 ways? This is not a game – it’s serious business.

You can’t offer the same clarity, quality information and quality argumentation in each debate as you would if you focussed on one debate like each one of his opponents (Sam Shamoun, Anthony Rogers, Dr Edward Dalcour and Louis Lionheart).

Osama was had – either he was duped or he made a humongous error in judgement and his opponents rubbed their hands with glee. The ‘Center for Religious Debate’ must have been licking their chops with anticipation of the lone ‘sheep’ that was going to be hunted by for of their ‘wolves’ The interesting thing here is, as you will see in the review below, his opponent could not make any real inroads due to an absence of genuine and consistent argumentation.

Osama’s performance in many ways reflected this four-fold dilution despite making numerous good points he lacked flow, organisation of thoughts, coherence (at times), research, planning, structure and decorum (at times). This is not doing the Muslim community justice at all.

The organisation of the debate was shoddy. It seemed as though they were forming the debate format whilst debating. Osama close to the end just became less professional and less controlled – it actually became a farce. I guess the stress of having to do 4 debates in 4 days with 4 different opponents was getting to him. I also think Osama’s lack of preparation added to his frustrations which led to his inability to maintain an acceptable level of restraint.

Muslim argumentation is so much stronger than Christian argumentation and much of the leg work has actually been done for you by the likes of Dr Shabir Ally. For a Muslim debater it’s essentially just a matter of turning up ORGANISED and PREPARED. Have an opening statement penned. For me there is no excuse for a Muslim debater not to be fluent in his OS. No excuse at all. Pen it and practice it. Then turn up and deliver it.

Debate Review: Osama Abdallah v Sam Shamoun on ‘Was Muhammad a True Prophet?’

Osama used the Bible to convince his audience of the Prophethood of Muhammad. This is fair enough and makes sense as I believe his immediate audience was primarily consisting of Christians. However Osama spent too long on this line of argumentation, in fact most if not all his presentation was based on this line of argumentation which for me was an unwise move on the part of Osama.

It’s easy to argue for the Prophethood of Muhammad (p) as here is a man (p) who called people back to Abrahamic monotheism, performed miracles, confirmed the previous Prophets (p) including Jesus and significantly he came with a Book (the Quran) from God which contains historical, numerical and scientific miracles.

Scientific facts in the Quran (by Abdur-Raheem Green):

Historical Facts in the Quran:

Mathematical miracles in the Quran (Dr Shabir Ally):

Those around the Prophet are actually powerful witnesses as here we have thousands of people who met him (many of whom knew him well) were so convinced of the Prophethood of Muhammad (p) which was revealed to the Prophet that they were willing to die for such beliefs. This is a powerful witness for those who want to reflect.

The fruits of what was revealed to Prophet Muhammad have actually defended Mary (may Allah bless her further) against false allegations and have the lowest amount of sex outside of marriage (fornication and adultery) –  a recent study has shown that Muslims have the least sex outside of marriage out of all the world’s major religions:


Aside from producing a group of people who are better behaved sexually than any other group we can also see Muslims are famous for not drinking alcohol. Medical professionals would applaud this as alcohol is a risk factor for cancer amongst other ailments of the health - sincere Christians would also appreciate this in the light of the following verses in their Bible:
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” [Book of Proverbs 20:1]
“And be not drunk with wine”. [Book of Ephesians 5:18]

Islam brings back the teachings of covering your head (a teaching which is forgotten by many Christian women), keeping a beard for the man and worshipping God alone through prostrations (the manner in which Jesus worshipped God).

Osama would have made better use of his time if he truncated the arguments from the Bible and added a standard presentation to his Biblical arguments – similar to the accumulative type which Dr Shabir Ally or an iERA speaker would present.

Sam Shamoun throws the Bible behind his back

Sam Shamoun had no genuine or consistent argumentation. Shamoun focuses on 2 or three small incidents in the life of Prophet Muhammad (p) and presented his own narrative to argue against the character of Prophet Muhammad (p). In the process he threw the Bible behind his back. His desperation to argue against the Prophethood led him to such an inconsistent and disingenuous level of argumentation.

If he can accept Moses (who according to Exodus 32 passed on the command from God to kill roughly 3000 men plus according to Numbers 31 it shows Moses giving the instruction to kill boys and women) , David (who according to the 2 Samuel 11 committed adultery), Lot (who according to the Genesis was involved in incest unknowingly) and Solomon (who according to the1 Kings 11 had 700 wives and 300 concubines – the same reference also says he was led astray by his wives) as Prophets then he would be hypocritical to argue against Prophet Muhammad in such a way.

Shamoun presented the same tired and already-refuted argument of ‘special privileges’ for Prophet Muhammad (p). Shamoun tries to make out that the Prophet Muhammad was using the religion as a self-serving vehicle. This again is another argument which lacks thought. Theres an account where Umar ibn AlKhattab was weeping upon seeing the austere way Prophet Muhammad lived. He did not live in luxury. Surely if you were a man who was misusing a religion to gain special privileges you would not live in such austerity. Here is an article by Bassam Zawadi to aid people’s understanding further:

The pagans, upon seeing the followers of Prophet Muhammad (p) increasing, they offered him wealth and power to the extent of him becoming the richest amongst them and a king – Prophet Muhammad declined and stood fast to Islam. So Shamoun’s self-serving argumentation is just  illogical, old, boring and oft refuted.

The problem with Sam Shamoun is his hatred and pride leave his ability to think logically clouded hence arguments of this calibre. In fact Shamoun or anybody else for that matter does not need copious research to realise the invalidity of the ‘self-serving’ argument as numerous people who were staunch believers and contemporaries of Prophet Muhammad – people who knew him well –risked their lives and some actually lost their lives for the religion revealed to the Prophet. People don’t risk or lose their lives if they believe the founder is solely in it for himself. Here is a short article by Sami Zaatari to aid people’s understanding further:

Shamoun throws his Bible aside in order to argue against what he deems 'irrational teachings from ahadith'
Shamoun then proceeded with an inconsistent (hypocritical) line of argumentation which he deemed to be ‘irrational teachings’ of Prophet Muhammad (p). An example here is Shamoun’s criticism of Adam’s height being 60 cubits.

On what basis can Shamoun as a supposed Bible-believing Christian criticise this? Shamoun actually believes in giants as the Bible mentions them (Genesis 6). So what is Shamoun’s problem? Clearly a desire to grab any absurdly inconsistent (hypocritical) argument and throw it out there!

It highlights the lack of argumentation he has. In fact Osama Abdallah actually presented science to show that the inhabitants of earth were bigger in the early history of the earth – hence the size of dinoaurs. However, I don’t think Osama needed to even go to such an extent with Shamoun’s argumentation as Shamoun believes angels had intercourse with humans (women) and the offspring were giants. Thus his Bible is indicating heavenly bodies are actually bigger!

Another example here is his criticism of the Muslim belief that Satan urinates. Shamoun believes this is irrational as he believes Satan is a spiritual being so does not urinate. Erm says who? Has Shamoun met Satan and followed him around to check if he urinates or has bowel movements? Why is Shamoun trying to make Satan out to be cleaner than human beings?

The elephantine portion of inconsistency (hypocrisy) of his argument is highlighted as angels (genuine spiritual beings) are believed (by Paul and other Trinitarian Christians such as Shamoun) to have sex and lust:

So why is Sam Shamoun objecting to Satan urinating whilst Paul was believing that angels have sex with humans and lust after Christian women who don’t cover their heads?

Looks like Shamoun is defending Satan and attacking angels all in order to present a case against the Prophethood of Muhammad (p). Bizarre!

Shamoun wastes time by making much hoohaa over ‘satan in your nose’. It seems as though Shamoun just plucked this argument from some tacky anti-Muslim flyer and just ran with it in the debate.

Again, Shamoun throws his Bible behind his back just to leach on to any argument against Islam:

He must have read his own Bible which has dozens of statements about Satan entering the bodies and bellies of people. The Gospel of John says that after Judas ate food from Jesus’ own hand, “Satan entered into him.” (John 13:27) So if after eating food from Jesus’ hand one could not be safe from Satan, what is surprising if an ordinary person has Satan near his nose during the night? [Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi]

Did Shamoun even stop to bother to check if his anti-Muslim flyer style argument had already been discussed by scholars? Shamoun, would do well to read the following by Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi:

Muslim scholars explain that the nose is one of the ways to one’s mind and thoughts. Satan tries to put his ideas and suggestions into the mind of a person during his sleep as well. The best cure is that after waking up one should clean one’s nose, make ablution for Prayers and seek God’s protection. Some other scholars say that Satan is a symbol of everything bad and evil. Through this symbolism the Prophet was warning the people to be conscious about the cleanliness of their bodies. In the hot and dry climate, the nose does become stuffy during the night. One feels like the devil was in the nose. This was the Prophetic way to tell the people to keep themselves clean and make ablution as soon as they get up.

All Semitic languages, and especially Arabic, are full of metaphors and hyperboles. Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) used to speak in parables; similarly, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to instruct his people sometimes in a metaphorical and symbolic language. It is reported that Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) supposedly said, “Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.” (Matthew 7:6) These words fit very well on those who do not try to understand the Prophetic pearls and holy language. The author of this flyer should pay attention to these words of Jesus."

I would also ask Shamoun to look at this video as this Christian is being ridiculed by for believing in talking animals (snake and donkey) as he believes in the Bible. Shamoun tossed the Bible behind his back  and resembled the man mocking the poor Christian in the video whilst presenting  his argument against food praising God. Why is Shamoun arguing like an atheist? Simple, he feels he has to throw his Bible behind his back in order to argue against Islam. God can make whatever He wills talk – serious Christians and Muslims know this. Here is the video:

In sum Shamoun’s argumentations against selected ahadith were actually hypocritical as he once again threw the Bible behind his back just to scrape some silly arguments from the bottom of the barrel to use in some internet debate against the Prophethood of Muhammad (p). What a sad man.

Shamoun bangs on about slave girls – he even claims rape took place. Erm the Islamic sources are vast, there’s no record of rape and Islam does not allow rape of slave girls or anybody else. Here is an article by Bassam Zawadi to aid people’s understanding further on slave girls and the rape allegation:

Shamoun also makes a big deal out of Mut’ah. He forgets Islam did not come down all at once. It was revealed over a period of 23 years so the prohibition is not necessarily immediate – this is the same for alcohol there was no prohibition of alcohol initially. Article on Muta being forbidden in Islam by Sami Zaatari:

Shamoun throws honesty and commonsense out of the window

We’ve seen Shamoun is so entrenched in his hatred of Islam that he throws consistency and his Bible behind his back but here he just lost all control and decided to throw honesty and common sense out of the window.

Shamoun just literally started to make stuff up. He claimed Aisha was prepubescent when her marriage was consummated. What a liar. Even this ignoramus would know that scholarly consensus is that Aisha had attained puberty. The marriage between Prophet Muhammad and Aisha was similar to the practice which Jews practiced (even at the time of Jesus). See here for the scholarship of Jesus scholar, Geza Vermes, on this subject (it beats listening to Shamoun's lies):
Shamoun lied further by claiming the Quran allows sex with prepubescent girls. Another blatant lie which goes against scholarly consensus and common sense - who are you going to believe scholarly consensus or an anti-Muslim bloke on the internet who is making crazy claims?

Which lie is Shamoun going to regurgitate next? The ‘thighing’ lie? See here:


Osama Abdallah was unprepared, lacked composure and wrongly chose to go almost exclusively with arguments of Biblical prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (p). He did not even present half of the standard material that non-Muslims should be made aware of when discussing the Prophethood of Muhammad (p). 40 minutes for an OP should be used better. When you are arguing for the affirmative then the OP becomes even more important as you need to present more material than your opponent. Osama should have made better use of his 40 mins.

Sam Shamoun was dishonest, disingenuous and inconsistent to the extent of throwing his own Bible behind his back. The baulk of Shamoun’s presentation was inconsistent as he simply threw the Bible behind his back to make way for emotional arguments against the Prophethood of Muhammad (p). This speaks volumes of Shamoun’s demeanour – he is motivated out of pride and a misguided hatred for Islam rather than from a stance of BIBLICAL evangelism.

Again, I point Shamoun to his own Bible and ask him how he can accept the Prophethood of Moses, David, Solomon and Lot (in the light of respective Biblical stories highlighted earlier in this review) yet reject the clear Prophethood of Muhammad and present hypocritical arguments against him? Is it due to hatred and pride?

His inconsistent (hypocritical) and illogical arguments are one thing but his outright lying is another. Please can we send Shamoun back to the debate-blacklist. The man is an embarrassment to Christian apologetics.

Now you see why educated Christians would not value Shamoun’s argumentation.

Education and consistency is a good thing, Mr Shamoun. Try it some day.

Do I recommend this debate? No. It has little benefit. There’s plenty of other presentations out there that are of greater benefit to the truth-seeker and the researcher.

Doubtless, this debate will be viewed by cheerleaders who just want a bit of entertainment. Debates on such topics are not games. This is serious stuff.

If you want to learn about Muslim arguments for the Prophethood of Muhammad here is a presentation from Dr Shabir Ally: