Dawah

A selection of material from the site and it’s favourite intellectuals relating to Islamic apologetics and promoting the religion as well as refuting and addressing the claims of it’s doubters (and haters!).

We emphasise intellectual depth over the feel – good polemics of many dawah organisations. As a result, you will find that some of the talks are very ‘in depth’. But then, this is the level of detail that is needed…and you will struggle to find it elsewhere.

Theism or Atheism? You Choose.

Adam Deen v. Raymond Tallis

Professor Raymond Tallis is a philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic and was until recently a physician and clinical scientist. In the Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine (Autumn 2009) he was listed as one of the top living polymaths in the world.

 

 

 

Does Science Really Lead To Atheism?

Adam Deen vs. Prof. Pater Atkins

Peter William Atkins (born 10 August 1940) is a British chemist and former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Lincoln College. He is a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks, including Physical ChemistryInorganic Chemistry, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. Atkins is also the author of a number of popular science books, including Atkins’ MoleculesGalileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science and On Being.

 

 

 

Islam & Terrorism

 

 

 

Professor Stephen Hawking says no God created the Universe. Is this the end of God ?

23 November 2010

Stephen Hawking, Britain ‘s most famous physicist has reignited the perennial debate between science and religion in his forthcoming book ‘The grand design’. Extracts from his new book state there is no place for God according to his theories of the creation of the Universe and “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going”. According to Hawking, the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. The Big Bang, he argues, was the inevitable consequence of these laws ‘because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.’

Hawking’s answer is “M-theory” also known as String theory. According to Hawking, M-Theory is a promising candidate for the theory of everything to explain the existence of the universe. A theory of everything is a unified theory of the four fundamental forces of nature, to reduce gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force to one fundamental force carried by one fundamental particle. Such a theory will explain why these four forces take the values that they do, precluding claims of personal agency and design of the universe.

Although framing it as part of the debate between the allegedly warring camps of religion and science is great publicity (his publicist is a genius), do Hawking’s findings really pose such a threat to God? Rather than a discussion between science and religion, it seems to be more of a debate between science and science, with many physicists stating that they do not find Hawking’s claims very compelling, “…I don’t share his (Hawking’s) enthusiasm for M-theory as the ultimate answer.” comments Jim al-Khalili, Professor of Physics at Surrey University.

No doubt these new assertions will be poetry to the ears of Militant Atheists and will be hailed as their latest article of faith. However, that would be rather premature. Hawking wrote that “philosophy is dead”. I don’t think that is true but logic would definitely be in need of resuscitation if one infers atheism from Hawking’s claims. Even, if one accepted Hawking’s assertions as true, it would not logically follow that God does not exist. The most it would demonstrate is that nature does not need God, the statements “the existence of the universe is caused by Physics alone” and “God exists” are perfectly logically compatible.

Now what of M-Theory? According to the theory, the physical universe must have 11-dimensions, but why the universe has to possess just that number of dimensions is not addressed by the theory, suggesting that the elaborate fine tuning of the initial conditions of the universe are not overcome, but rather pushed up another level.

Moreover, it is one thing to say that a theory is mathematically consistent and makes sense in the mathematical world and it is quite another to claim that theory can be exported to the actual world. It is imperative to point out that this theory is not a complete theory and is described by some as nothing more than clever mathematics. So the strongest objection to Hawking’s theory is that there is no independent evidence to support it.

Consider for instance the “fairy theory of gravity.” Suppose a wacky physicist claimed that the reason objects do not float out into space is because there are tiny invisible fairies inhabiting the surface of all objects and pushing objects to the ground creating a continual force of gravity. Now this would have explanatory power, that is to say that it would explain the phenomena of gravity. However, why would we not accept this theory? Well one major reason would be that there is an absence of independent evidence in support of tiny invisible fairies.

The problem with M-theory, as well as with other models that try to explain the creation of the universe, such as inflationary models, is that none of them admit to independent evidence, they merely appeal to their explanatory power to justify themselves. The only thing to confirm them is their ability to explain certain data or resolve certain problems, but explanatory power does nothing to limit the unbridled imagination. For example Hawking postulates that there are many worlds that exist and our world is one of them. Where is the independent evidence to support this? We always experience exactly one world and have no direct access to alternative parallel worlds. In short, we have a long way to go before taking Hawking’s assertions as fact; the mere ability to explain data and clever, highly theoretical, mathematics isn’t enough. In fact, metaphysics, the realm in which Hawking is reasoning, has a long way to go before demonstrating that the coherence of imaginary numbers conjured up in theoretical models can translate into anything verifiable or even meaningful in the real world. A brilliant imagination and mathematical coherence do not the theory validate.

Theories such as M-theory require us to have a great amount of faith in them, as much faith as the ancient Greeks had in Hades controlling the underworld.

Militant Atheism

17 December 2010

In earlier times it was widely believed that our children and grandchildren would live in a new era void of religion and its infantile illusions. That generation’s cultural high point came on April 8th, 1966, when Time magazine carried a lead story, entitled “Is God Dead?’ The story described the advent of the “death of God” movement. And yet, over 50 years on from that proclamation, nothing could appear further from the truth. It has been widely noted that since the 1980’s, there has been increase of religiosity across the world, including in the western world.

The perception of the ‘death of God’ has given way to a renewed interest in God and spirituality. Atheism’s prophecies of a Godless world have in fact, failed to materialise. Belief in God and religion have began once again to thrive, much to the astonishment and intense irritation of those who hold such things to be superstitious and mythological. Out of this sheer annoyance and frustration is born an anti-religious movement, known as the ‘new atheists’ and sometimes ‘militant atheism’.

“The forcible suppression of religion is one of the most troubling aspects of new atheism”

The popular science writer Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion went straight to the top of the best seller lists in Britain and America when it was published in 2006. Christopher Hitchens’ book, God Is Not Great, has achieved similar levels of success since its publication in 2007 and other books promoting atheism by Sam Harris, AC Grayling and Daniel C. Dennett, have also found an avid readership.

What’s distinguishes this kind of atheism is not its intellectual content, the new atheists have nothing novel or concrete to add here as compared with the leading pioneers of atheism, such as Hume and Kant, but rather it is the tone, the pernicious and aggressive attitude towards religion which marks it out as a new current. Faced with the realization that religion will not just lie down and die of its own accord, the new atheists have opted for an alternative that is its eradication by force. The forcible suppression of religion is one of the most troubling aspects of new atheism. The discourse of eradication compares religion to vial acts and malignant infections in order to justify its obliteration from our lives.

In the preface to The God delusion, Dawkins declares that his intention is to convert religious believers to atheism by helping them to overcome their ‘childhood indoctrinations’ and that bringing children up with a religious identity is tantamount to a form of ‘child abuse’.

A C Grayling describes religion as ‘one of the worst toxins poisoning human affairs’ 1, whilst co-Atheist Christopher Hitchens compares religious believers with the plague-carrying rats in Albert Camus’s novel The Plague. 2 ‘If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion’, Harris explains, ‘I would not hesitate to get rid of religion,’3

Dennet writes ‘I think that there are no forces on this planet more dangerous to us all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism, of all the species: Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as countless smaller infections’ 4

Those familiar and aware of twentieth century political ideologies should recall this kind of rhetoric. As Tina Beattie points out, the language of malevolence to label an enemy is not a new one, before the Nazis killed the Jews, they labelled them as vermin. Before the Rwandan genocide, Hutus referred to their Tutsi neighbours as ‘cockroaches’.

The new atheists uniformly seem to blame all of modern man’s problems on religion. Along with claims that religion corrupts our ethical values and perceptions, they argue that religion is responsible for most of the violence in the world past and present.  No one can deny that ‘religious’ individuals have in fact caused a degree of violence in history, like in more recent times. However, this emphasis on the negative actions of believers and the wholesale condemnation of religion, through reference to a minority of extremists, we are left with a reductionist view that allows no room for a more nuanced discussion of the causes of such violence.

Dawkins’ attitude…makes him very much the Nick Griffin of Atheism.

This method of demonisation through the use of sweeping statements and unwarranted generalisations is often seen in current debates with the BNP. Islam is a ‘wicked and evil religion’ says Nick Griffin, ignoring the plethora of injunctions in the Quran to defend justice. Dawkins’ attitude to religion and unwillingness to acknowledge any good that religion has been used for, makes him very much the Nick Griffin of Atheism.

The new atheism is very much a wounded animal, desperately trying to fight back to survive, and in this struggle, it will use any means necessary. What is quite astonishing is that we can see extreme attitudes amongst new atheists that bear a close resemblance to the attitudes of Muslim extremists and Christian fundamentalists.

Sam Harris makes his contempt very clear with the will to justify any violence, however extreme, to fight this alleged threat posed by religion. In his view the threat is not only radical Islamism but Muslims in general.

According to Harris “many Muslims [are] standing eye deep on the red barbarity of the fourteenth century… Any honest witness to current events will realize that there is no moral equivalence between the kind of force civilized democracies project in the world, warts and all, and the internecine violence that is perpetrated by Muslim militants, or indeed by Muslim governments”. 5 This negative portrayal of Islam leads Harris to conclude that we must continue to spill blood in the war of ideas6 and that torture is not only permissible but even ‘necessary’.7 

“We cannot let our qualms over collateral damage paralyze us because our enemies know no such qualms. There is a kill-children-first approach to war, and we ignore the fundamental difference between their violence and our own at our peril. Given the proliferation of weaponry in our world, we no longer have the option of waging this war with swords. It is certain that collateral damage, of various sorts, will be part of our future for many years to come.” 8

We need to view this new movement for what it truly is and not be fooled by its witty rhetoric, masquerading as a protector of pure unfettered reason. Modern western societies prize tolerance and have limited patience for those who demand the elimination of any belief, right or wrong, and its followers. Whilst we should fear religious fanaticism in all its forms, we should for the same reasons fear secular fanaticism, which has griped the intellectual classes in the form of militant atheism, and which should not be underestimated in the equally devastating consequences it could wreak.

[1] AC Grayling, ‘Trough the looking glass’, The New Humanist, Vol. 122 Issue 4

[2]Hitchens used this metaphor during a public conversation with Ian McEwan at the Garrick theatre, London, on 19 June 2007.

[3]Jörg Blech, THE NEW ATHEISTS – Researchers Crusade against American Fundamentalists, October 26, 2006

[4] Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

[5]Sam Harris, The end of faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York and London, W. W. Norton and Company, 2004), p145

[6]Ibid., p. 53.

[7]Ibid., p. 199.

[8] Ibid., p. 203.

Do people who claim the Quran has been changed have a point?

One of the best and most indispensable talks I have come across. Looking forward to more from this guy as well as the iconic Sheikh Atabek.

Sadly, these types of attacks against the Quran are somewhat invited by Ahlal Hadith types (read: Wahhabis); there flagrant overemphasis on single chain narrations has led them to understate the mass narration of the Quran.

This guy is like, a genius.

Sheikh Atabek Nasafi no introduction, he handles part 2 here:

 

 

 

Paul Williams Debates The English Defence League (EDL) On English Identity:

 

 

 

Jesus Christ: Prophet or God?

 

 

 

Paul Wiliams vs. Chris Green: Jesus – Muslim Prophet Or Christian God?

 

 

 

Paul Williams’ Dialogue With The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams:

 

 

 

The Jews of Banu Qurayza: Were All The Men Killed?

In my experience, this question is very poorly answered by Muslim apologists (with the exception of people like Shabir Ally). What makes this all the more unacceptable is that it is a complete straw man allegation against Islam. See for yourself.

The accusation that the tribe of Banu Qurayza received ‘collective punishment’ by having all it’s adult males killed, has been so oft – repeated that even Muslims have started to believe it.

But what is the proof that all the males, even non-combatants, were in fact killed?

As you will see, this is merely a fantasy of both Islamophobes and ignorant Muslims…

Part 1:

Part 2:

 

 

 

The Age Of Hadrat Aisha (RA): A Detailed and Balanced Answer

In my sadly long experience with Muslim scholars in the U.K, he is the only one I have found who adheres to the traditional positions of Islam and does not introduce prejudiced and puritanical innovations into the religion.

His talk on the ‘massacre’ of the Jews of Banu Qurayza was superb and showed the inadequacy of many of the Dawah carriers and here he gives a detailed and nuanced answer on this other favourite topic of Islamophobes and modernists.

Where else will you find a near two hour lecture just on this topic? And that’s just part one.

This guys talks are ‘bespoke’ for Islamic apologists. I hope you guys pay heed instead of spamming the same old stuff.

The spiel:

Whenever this topic is brought up it seems to elicit strong reactions from Muslims, with the differing views calling each other ‘modernists’ or ‘backward’ and so on. Some see it as an ‘open and shut’ case not worthy of discussion and not accommodating of dissent.

But what was the REAL position of the early Muslims on this issue?

Did they even make such a big deal out of it?

Why are both sides so determined to prove their case?

Is there another agenda here?

This talk is balanced and detailed and transcends mere polemics and cultural biases and highlights the actual strength of Muslim theologians vis – a – vis other religious functionaries: the ability to engage in critical thinking.

Part 1:


Part 2:

 

 

 

Superiority of Arabs In Islam?

 

 

 

Does Islam Allow Forced Sex With Slaves?

Many Christians and Islam haters would just love it if it did.

Islamophobes love to assert this, along with holding Islam accountable for slavery in general. This absurdity has been refuted even by Orientalists but the refuge of Evangelicals nowadays is to assert that Muslims ‘rape their captives’.

Sheikh Atabek refutes this stupidity comprehensively. He takes the approach that even bad manners to a captive, let alone wounding, are strictly prohibited in the classical schools. Rape is not mentioned explicitly as it is obviously far in excess of both of these prohibitions. He also addresses the favourite of Islamophobes, the alleged battlefield rapes, where captives had intercourse on the night of capture and shows how there is an unjustified leap from ‘sex’ to ‘rape’ (i.e, whenever Muslims have sex, they are assumed to be raping someone)

Sadly, the haters have not ultimately evolved from the whole ‘they want to kill us all and rape our women’  story (so they just do it to us first).

 

 

 

Gender Segregation In Islam?

When…and how much?

A one day intensive course by renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Atabek Nasafi

Caught between permissive liberals and watchful puritans?
Don’t know where to get the truth regarding Islamic injunctions about ‘mixing’?
Don’t know how to act at College? Uni? Home?!
Then watch this one — day intensive course and learn about the traditional Islamic position…with plenty of chances to question openly (for boys and girls!)

Part 1:

Part 2:

 

 

 

Does Islam Allow Forced Marriage? The Truth

A detailed and honest look from the perspective of classical Islam. Dawah carriers and apologists frequently fudge this issue and make up their own interpretative frame work, leaving them open to the counter-attacks of Islam – bashers when they bring more authoritative classical sources. So here is a talk explaining the practices of the classical period, so that one will not be taken unaware.

This lecture tackles the issue of ‘engagement’, where basically it is allowed for me to engage my child for marriage to another child when they are still too young to make up their own mind. Islamicly, such an arrangement cannot be consummated, according to the ijma of the scholars, until both parties are mature and agree to consummate. But what if by then the girl in particular is not happy with the arrangement? The man can just divorce, but is the woman not unfairly restricted by having to go to a judge or having a pre-nuptial? What if her father or guardian just married her off for nefarious reasons?
Is she forced to have sex with her husband?

All this is explained honestly and without deception or sophistry.

Tahir – Ul – Qadri, another well know scholar, unleashes an scathing barrage on forced marriage within Asian communities in particular.

Further, this guy includes a savage attack on the practice of ‘cousin marriages’.

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