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Kalam Cosmological Argument: Addressing Some Atheist Contentions

Bismillah iRahman iRahim (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

The Kalam cosmological argument is as follows:

Premise 1: Whatever comes into being has a cause

Premise 2: The universe came into being

Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Below are some atheist contentions I address:

Premise 1 is just an illusion, since everything that comes into being is just rearranged matter.

Wood from a tree never rearranges itself into a table or chair. A carpenter does that. The same is true for all examples of rearranged matter: there is a conscious entity (in our experience, humans) doing the rearranging.

If God can be uncaused/eternal, why not the universe?

Potentially the universe could be eternal, but the overwhelming cosmological evidence is that it is not. Every effect has a cause.

Maybe the cause of the universe is also finite, and hence dependant upon a prior cause. And perhaps the cause of that cause, and the cause of the cause of that cause, ad infinitum.

If my neighbour refuses to help me move my table unless HIS neighbour helps out too, and THAT neighbour insists upon the same precondition, and so does HIS neighbour ad infinitum…the table would never get moved! Likewise, an infinite string of causes would never lead to our universe ever coming into existence. Yet, it has!

How do you know the First Cause is God, let alone the god of Islam in particular (as opposed to Yahweh, Krishna etc)?

The only possible way a football could roll itself into a goalpost is by its own conscious volition, hence the First Cause must be a conscious being, i.e. God.

The Kalam cosmological argument does not aspire to prove the existence of any particular god. That relies on additional argumentation.

wAllahu ‘alim (and God knows best).

On the Reliability of the Bukhari hadith banning Musical Instruments

Bismillah I-Rahman I-Rahim (In the name of Allah, the all-Compassionate, the all-Merciful)

Unless specified, my source is

With regards to the claim that the hadith is mu‘allaq and hence not an official hadith of his collection, the scholars of the sciences of hadith (‘Ulum al-Hadith) have rejected this on the grounds that Hisham al-Ammar, from whom Bukhari narrates the hadith, was one of his teachers. Ibn al-Salah says:

There is no discontinuity in this at all, from the perspective that al-Bukhārī met Hishām and heard from him, and we have explained in the book Ma‘rifat ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth that when meeting and hearing is found, along with the absence of tadlīs (a narrator’s omission of intermediaries between himself and his teacher), what he narrates from him will be treated as [actual] audition in whatever wording it is, just as the statement of a Sahābī: ‘The Messenger of Allāh said’ is treated as having heard him.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani mentions NINE reliable Hadith-transmitters besides Bukhari who narrated this hadith from Hisham ibn ‘Ammar. To quote Ibn al-Salah: “This hadith itself is known to be connected in clear words in [routes] besides the route of al-Bukhari”.

Imam lbn Hajar al Haythami gathered all the hadiths relating to the prohibition of musical instruments (he enumerates around forty) in his Kaff ar-Ra’a’ ‘an Muharramat al Lahwa was-Sama’ (Prohibiting People from the Forbidden Distractions and Singing) and concludes: “All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful”.

To give a small sample of these hadiths:

  1. Verily, Allah has forbidden wine, gambling and the drum. (graded saheeh)
  2. Verily, Allah prohibited wine, gambling and the kuba, and every intoxicant is prohibited. (graded sound by al-Albani)
  3. Verily, Allah has prohibited for my Ummah wine, gambling, a drink distilled from corn, the drum and the lute (guitar). (graded as sound by al-Albani)
  4. Verily, I did not prohibit weeping, but rather I forbade two voices which are imbecilic and sinfully shameless: one a voice [singing] to the accompaniment of musical amusement (lahwa) and Satan’s [wind] instruments: the other, a voice [wailing] due to some calamity, accompanied by striking the face and tearing the garments. This [weeping of mine] stems from compassion, and whoever does not show compassion will not receive it. (graded as reliable by al-Albani)

The Reliability of Hisham al-Ammar

Br. Yahya Ederer has cast doubt on the reliability of Hisham, saying:

Imam al-Thahabi mentions [in Mizan al-I’tidaal] that Hisham bin Ammar used to be a veracious narrator, then he changed. He has narrated 400 hadiths that have no basis. He used to not narrate unless someone paid him. He was accused of changing the text. Imam Ahmad said he was reckless. Some narrated that he said the Qur’an has words from Gabriel and Muhammad ﷺ and is created speech.

Hisham only changed from reliable* (he was a khatib in the central masjid of Damascus btw!) to unreliable when he got senile from old age. Bukhari, however, collected hadith from him when he was much younger. Regarding his “changing of the text”, this was again due to senility: “[W]hen informed that a certain wording of a hadith was narrated by him, he began to accept that it was his narration, despite not having heard it in that way”. (Mawlana Zameelur Rahman) This is the context of Ibn Hajar’s criticism of Hashim’s reliability, to which Ederer later refers.

Besides, there is another authentic route to the hadith that bypasses Hisham. Also, Hisham did NOT say that the Qur’an contains created speech from Jibril (as) and Muhammad (saw). He only said that the utterance of the Qur’an by Jibril (as) and Muhammad (saw) is created, like all human speech. Al-Dhahabi defended him in this respect.

The Reliability of ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays

To quote Mawlana Zameelur Rahman in response to Ederer:

The narrations of ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays are included in all six famous collections of hadīth. Ibn Hibbān included him in his work on trustworthy narrators, al-Thiqāt, and Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī referred to him as “trustworthy” (thiqah)[65]. Moreover, Imām al-Tirmidhī said about a narration transmitted only through ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays: “It is a hasan sahīh hadith.”[66]

wAllahu ‘alim (and Allah knows best).

*Yahya ibn Ma‘in and al-‘Ijli described him as “trustworthy” (thiqah), the former adding that he is extremely intelligent; al-Nasa’i said: “there is no fault in him”; al-Daraqutni said: “[he is] reliable, of immense stature”; and Abū Hatim said: “reliable”.

Is the Shari’ah ‘Outdated??’ — Islam Reigns

Islam views the human being as composed of instincts and needs continually facing problems in how to satisfy them. The Islamic texts came to address men and women as human beings, not just as individuals living in the seventh century Arabian Desert. The Islamic texts did not address humanity in relation to a particular time […]

Is the Shari’ah ‘Outdated??’ — Islam Reigns

Not all non-Muslims will suffer in Hellfire

Khaled Colwill

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

One of the things that’s always troubled me morally is the idea that non-Muslims are going to face eternal punishment in Hell, and that since Allah has contempt for them, Muslims must too. After all, if we look around, there are many good people; not all non-Muslims are polytheists, murderers, rapists etc.

The problem here is equating all non-Muslims with disbelievers. They’re not the same thing. Disbelievers are people who meet the following criteria, which I have derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah:

  1. They understand the message of tawheed in Islam
  2. They either understand the evidence for Islam or they don’t take it upon themselves to look for evidence* (Allahu ‘alim)
  3. They still reject Islam despite meeting the above two conditions
  4. They commit shirk regardless of whether or not they meet the aforementioned conditions.

Since it is impossible…

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NEW VIDEO: “Who is the Paraclete?” — The Quran and Bible Blog

This is a summary of the NYK article “Easy Paraclete”. It is recommended that you read the article to fully understand why the “holy spirit” cannot be the Paraclete, and why only Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) best fits the role:

NEW VIDEO: “Who is the Paraclete?” — The Quran and Bible Blog

Not all non-Muslims will suffer in Hellfire

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Not all non-Muslims should be stereotyped as “disbelievers” (kuffar). Going by their definition in the Koran, disbelievers are only those who understand the message of Islam and its warning of eternal hellfire for rejecting it, yet they still fail to investigate it to see if there are rationally convincing reasons to think it is really from God (and hence have only themselves if they end up in eternal Hell as a result). It may well be that even those who do investigate but don’t yield any personally convincing information may also be exonerated from Divine Wrath.

When the Koran talks about disbelievers, it’s primary subject is of course the disbelievers of Arabia at the time of the Prophet, who heard the miraculous language of the Koran and knew it was the Truth. Today, on the other hand, it may well be that only a minority of non-muslims today qualify as “disbelievers”: since we do not know, we should leave judgement entirely to Allah. The non-Muslims who do not qualify as disbelievers will be made immune from all suffering in Hell according to Prophet Muhammad. They (and Muslims) may be punished temporarily for sins, but only if they knew these were bad actions.

wAllahu alim (and Allah knows best).

Why didn’t Allah reveal Paradise and Hellfire in the Torah?

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

The Torah wasn’t written down until centuries after it was revealed to Prophet Musa (as), and so a large portion of it changed or got lost during that period. Since this was a blind process rather than a conspiracy, it would be far-fetched to say that the lost portion happens to include every reference to Paradise and Hell!

The more reasonable conclusion, then, is that Allah never revealed Paradise and Hellfire to Bani al-Israil in the first place. The wisdom behind this is that the Jews by their nature are dunya-orientated and hence much more intimidated by the threat of worldly destruction rather than eternal damnation. Having known this beforehand, Allah swt realised the futility of threatening them with the latter. By contrast, the Qur’an is sent for all humanity, and non-Jews are more obedient.

wAllahu ‘alim (and Allah knows best).