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Response to Sam Shamoun on the Quranic Contradiction “Messengers Were Sent Only to Their Own People?”



By Ahmed Eldin



His article:


The Quran contradiction – maker Sam Shamoun continues to expose his ignorance on the Glorious Quran and the saying of the Prophet Muhammad(p). In his article he try to prove that Quran contains Contradiction on the issue “ Messengers sent only to their people or to all people?” The Holy Quran and the saying of Prophet Muhammad perfectly agree on the fact that all the previous Prophets were sent only to their people, but prophet Muhammad was sent to the mankind. Let us analyze his claims:



He wrote:


The Quran explicitly says that Allah never sent any messenger except to his own people speaking in their own language:

And We have sent NO Messenger save with the tongue of his people, that he might make all clear to them; then God leads astray whomsoever He will, and He guides whomsoever He will; and He is the All-mighty, the All-wise. S. 14:4

Noted exegete Ibn Kathir agrees that this is the meaning of the verse but tries to make an exception in the case of Muhammad:

Every Prophet was sent with the Language of His People; Guidance or Misguidance follows the Explanation

Allah is Kind and Compassionate with His creation, sending Messengers to them from among them and speaking their language, so that they are able to understand the Message that the Messengers were sent with. Allah said next…

<Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills.> after the proof and evidence have been established for the people, Allah misguides whom He wills from the path of guidance and guides whom He wills to the truth…

<And He is the All-Mighty,> whatever He wills occurs and whatever He does not will never occurs…

<the All-Wise.> in His decisions, misleading those who deserve to be misled and guiding those who deserve guidance. This is from Allah's wisdom with His creation, every Prophet He sent to a people spoke their language and everyone of these Prophets WERE ONLY SENT TO THEIR PEOPLE. Muhammad bin `Abdullah, Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, was sent to all people. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Jabir said that the Messenger of Allah said…

<<I have been given five things which were not given to anyone else before me. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for worship and a purifier. The war booty has been made lawful for me and it was not lawful for anyone else before me. I have been given the right of Intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only, but I have been sent to all mankind.>> Allah said…

<Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah...> [7:158] Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Volume 5, Surah Hud to Surat Al-Isra’, Verse 38, abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: July 2000], pp. 309-310; source; capital and underline emphasis ours)



My response:


Sam Shamoun tries to say that Ibn Kathir make an exception to the case of Prophet Muhammad being sent to the whole humanity. Notice how the explanation of the verse exposed totally Sam Shamoun and then he tries to accuse Ibn Kathir of giving a false explanation by using the word “he tries”. Indeed very funny. 



He wrote:


 The problem with the claim of the hadith that Muhammad was sent to all mankind is that Q. 14:4 makes no such exception. The verse is formulated in such a way as to include every single messenger. We, therefore, have a contradiction regarding the extent of Muhammad’s mission, i.e. was he sent only to his people speaking in their own language or was he sent as a guide for everyone?


My response:


The contradiction actually is in the head of Shamoun. Let us read the verse again that Shamoun claims that makes no exception about Prophet Muhammad.


[014:004]We sent not an apostle except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Now God leaves straying those whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases: and He is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom. (Yusuf Ali)


Does this verse mention anywhere that Muhammad sent ONLY to his people? Of course, he sent to his people AND to the whole humanity. Indeed Prophet Muhammad sent speaking Arabic to his Arab people but his message is for the whole humanity. Is that so difficult to understand?  Read some verses from the Holy Quran that clearly state that Prophet Muhammad is the messenger for all humanity:


From Quran:


[034:028]  We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.



[025:001]Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures;-


[021:107] We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.



For more detail evidence about the universal message of Prophet Muhammad read:   




He wrote:


The Quran further contradicts itself by saying that Jesus and his mother were signs for all of mankind and that both the Torah and the Gospel were revelations given to everyone:

And mention in the Book Mary when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place, and she took a veil apart from them; then We sent unto her Our Spirit that presented himself to her a man without fault. She said, 'I take refuge in the All-merciful from thee! If thou fearest God … He said, 'I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure. She said, 'How shall I have a son whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchaste?' He said, 'Even so thy Lord has said: "Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men (ayatan lilnnasi) and a mercy from Us; it is a thing decreed."' S. 19:16-21

And she who guarded her virginity, so We breathed into her of Our spirit and appointed her and her son to be a sign unto all beings (ayatan lilAlameena). S. 21:91

He has sent down upon thee the Book with the truth, confirming what was before it, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, as guidance to the people (hudna lilnnasi), and He sent down the Salvation. As for those who disbelieve in God's signs, for them awaits a terrible chastisement; God is All mighty, Vengeful. S. 3:3-4


My response:

Jesus and his Mother Mary (p) were signs to all beings because of his miraculous birth not for his message. Jesus message was only for the Jews not for the humanity. The next verse that Shamoun post ( 3:3-4), clearly says that Torah and the Gospel was guidance to the people (of Israel) not to humanity (alamin).


Jesus also confirms that he sent only to his people:


5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into  any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.( Matthew 10:5-7)


Jesus also said:


But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:24)



He wrote:


Since Islamic scholarship agrees that the Torah was given to Moses this implies that Moses’ mission wasn’t limited to Israel, but also included other nations as well. In fact, this is precisely what the Quran says, that Allah didn’t simply send Moses to the nation of Israel but also to Pharaoh and his people:

Then We sent forth, after them, Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his Council with Our signs, but they waxed proud, and were a sinful people. So, when the truth came to them from Us, they said, 'Surely this is a manifest sorcery.' Moses said, 'What, do you say this to the truth, when it has come to you? Is this a sorcery? But sorcerers do not prosper.' They said, 'Art thou come to us to turn us from that we found our fathers practising, and that the domination in the land might belong to you two? We do not believe you. Pharaoh said, 'Bring me every cunning sorcerer.' Then, when the sorcerers came, Moses said to them, 'Cast you down what you will cast.' Then, when they had cast, Moses said, 'What you have brought is sorcery; God will assuredly bring it to naught. God sets not right the work of those who do corruption. God verifies the truth by His words, though sinners be averse.' So none believed in Moses, save a seed of his people, for fear of Pharaoh and their Council, that they would persecute them; and Pharaoh was high in the land, and he was one of the prodigals. S. 10:75-83

And We sent Moses with Our signs, and a manifest authority, to Pharaoh and his Council; but they followed Pharaoh's command, and Pharaoh's command was not right-minded. He shall go before his people on the Day of Resurrection, and will have led them down to the Fire-evil the watering-place to be led down to! And there was sent following after them in this world a curse, and upon the Day of Resurrection -- evil the offering to be offered! S. 11:96-99

Surely We have sent unto you a Messenger as a witness over you, even as We sent to Pharaoh a Messenger, but Pharaoh rebelled against the Messenger, so We seized him remorselessly. S. 73:15-16



My response:


Shamoun ignores the fact that the people of Moses was the Jews and the Egyptians, you can read the detail story of how the Bible itself describe Moses Egyptian and Jewish background in Exodus the first and second chapter. Therefore, his mission was for both of them because the Noble Quran says:


[014:004]  We sent not an apostle except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Now God leaves straying those whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases: and He is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom.




He wrote:


The Islamic source material also testifies that Jesus’ mission was for all the peoples:

"He (Jesus) began to use such language announcing his death. Then he said, 'The truth is that one of you shall deny me thrice before the cock-crow, and one of you will shall sell me for a few coins, and he shall eat my price.' They walked out and dispersed. The Jews were looking for him. They seized Simeon, one of the apostles, and said, 'This one is a companion of his.' But he denied it, and said, 'I am not his companion.' So they left him. Then another caught him, but he denied it again. Then he heard the cock crow, and wept. When morning came, one of the apostles came to the Jews, and said, 'What will you give me if I lead you to Christ?' And they set for him thirty pieces of silver. He took those, and led them to him. Before that they were not sure of Christ. But now they seized him, chained him, tied him with cord, and began to lead him away, saying, 'You revived the dead, chased away the devil, and cured the possessed, will you not set yourself free from this cord?' They spat upon him and threw thorns upon him, until they brought the wooden board upon which they wanted to crucify him. But God raised him up to Himself and they crucified 'only a likeness of that shown them.' A week passed. Then his mother and the woman whom Jesus healed and cured from derangement came weeping at the place of crucifixion. But Jesus came to them and said, 'Why are you weeping?' They said, 'Because of you;' whereupon he replied, 'God raised me up to Himself, and nothing but good has happened to me. Only a likeness was shown to them. Instruct the apostles to meet me at place such and such. They met him at that place, eleven of them, as the one who had betrayed him and led the Jews to him was missing. Jesus asked the apostles about him. They said, 'He rued what he had done, and strangled himself to death.' Jesus said, 'Had he repented, God would have forgiven him.' He asked them about John, a youth who was following them, and said, 'He is with you. Go! EACH OF YOU WILL SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF A PEOPLE TO WARN AND SUMMON THEM'…

"Among the apostles, and the followers who came after them were the Apostle Peter and Paul who was a follower and not an apostle; they went to Rome. Andrew and Matthew were sent to the country whose people are man-eaters, a land of blacks, we think; Thomas was sent to Babylonia in the east, Philip to Qayrawan (and) Carthage, that is, North Africa. John went to Ephesus, the city of the youths of the cave, and James to Jerusalem, that is, Aelia. Bartholomew was sent to Arabia, namely, the Hijaz; Simeon to the land of the Berbers in Africa. Judas was not then an apostle, so his place was taken by Ariobus. He filled in for Judas Iscariot after the latter had perpetrated his deed." (The History of al-Tabari - The Ancient Kingdoms, translated by Moshe Perlmann [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 1987], Volume IV, pp. 121-122, 123; bold and capital emphasis ours)



My response:


This is personal opinion of a Scholar of Islam. These words nowhere exist in the Quran or in the hadeths. In addition, this quote gives a personal opinion of how God saved Jesus from the cross. In addition, Tabari is known for putting all the Islamic reports together with no verification and he personally left his work to be improved by others Scholars. He was just collected all the weak and authentic reports by not saying if this are good or bad report.




He wrote:


Moreover, the hadiths say that Noah was the first prophet sent to the people of the world, not just to his own folk:

Narrated Anas:
The Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection the Believers will assemble and say, 'Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.' So they will go to Adam and say, 'You are the father of all the people, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the angels to prostrate to you, and taught you the names of all things; so please intercede for us with your Lord, so that He may relieve us from this place of ours.' Adam will say, 'I am not fit for this (i.e. intercession for you).' Then Adam will remember his sin and feel ashamed thereof. He will say, 'Go to Noah, for he was the first Apostle, Allah sent to the inhabitants of the earth.' … (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 3)

… Then they will go to Adam and say, 'You are Adam, the father of the people. Allah created you with His Own Hand and made you reside in His Paradise and ordered His angels to prostrate before you, and taught you the names of all things will you intercede for us with your Lord so that He may relieve us from this place of ours? Adam will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking.' He will mention his mistakes he had committed, i.e., his eating off the tree though he had been forbidden to do so. He will add, 'Go to Noah, the first prophet sent by Allah to the people of the Earth.' … (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532v)




My response:


Sami zaatari says concerning that part:


“This is a specific comment of Prophet Muhammad. Noah was the first Prophet that God sent to the humans of earth, it does not have to mean a general statement to all humans but that he was the first prophet to the humans. He was sent to which was his own people it did not say to ALL the inhabitants of the earth. Secondly, perhaps in the time of Noah his people were the only humans on earth! Since humanity was still very young, then and most likely did not spread from that area. There are only 10 generations between Adam and Noah so in 1000 years humans went all over the world? Most likely not.”







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