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Rebuttal to Jochen Katz's Article "Qur'an Contradiction: Will Allah reward the good deeds of Unbelievers?"

By
Bassam Zawadi

 

 

 

Jochen Katz's article can be located here http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/reward.html

 

Jochen Katz said:

All religions exhort their followers to do good deeds, i.e. to help the weak and the poor.[1] Even people who do not believe in God at all, i.e. who do not believe that there will be eternal reward or punishment for what they do in this life, still make it a point that people should do good and help those in need.

The topic of reward and punishment for all we do in this life is a very prominent theme througout the Qur'an. Many passages speak about the good deeds of the believers or the bad deeds of the unbelievers, and there is little surprise when looking at the outcome of those. Things become more difficult when we want to know what the Qur'an teaches regarding the good deeds of those who reject Islam.

So whoever does righteous good deeds while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), his efforts will not be rejected. Verily! We record it in his Book of deeds. S. 21:94 Al-Hilali & Khan

This verse promises Muslims that their good deeds will not be rejected by Allah. On the other hand, this condition implies that those who are not (Muslim) believers are at least at risk that their good deeds will be rejected. That this is indeed so, is made explicit in some other passages.

Unbelievers, i.e. those who rejected the message of Muhammad, cannot hope that their good deeds will receive any reward from God:

It is not for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), to maintain the Mosques of Allah (i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building, etc.), while they witness against their ownselves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide. S. 9:17 Al-Hilali & Khan

As in the case of those before you: they were mightier than you in power, and more flourishing in wealth and children. They had their enjoyment of their portion: and ye have of yours, as did those before you; and ye indulge in idle talk as they did. They! - their work are fruitless in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will lose (all spiritual good). S. 9:69 Yusuf Ali

The next verse states something similar, but this time the context deals with the specific case of a Muslim who leaves Islam. It seems to be irrelevant whether he subsequently becomes a polytheist, an atheist, or a Christian:

... And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can. And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever. S. 2:217 Al-Hilali & Khan

My Response:

Agreed.

Jochen Katz said:

On the other hand, speaking of the last days and God's final judgment of mankind, Sura 99 states:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
(1) When the earth is shaken with its (final) earthquake.
(2) And when the earth throws out its burdens,
(3) And man will say: "What is the matter with it?"
(4) That Day it will declare its information (about all what happened over it of good or evil).
(5) Because your Lord has inspired it.
(6) That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may be shown their deeds.
(7) So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.
(8) And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (Al-Hilali & Khan)

This whole sura is completely general, there is no restriction to (Muslim) believers, but it says in verse 7 that everyone who does good, even if only a little, will see it, and this certainly implies some kind of reward. The passage speaks of all of mankind (6). Thus, S. 99:7 contradicts those other passages which explicitly state that there will be no reward whatsoever for the good deeds of the unbelievers.

My Response:

Yes indeed the Surah is general and says that everyone who does any good shall see it. However, we must understand this in light of how the companions of the Prophet understood it from the Prophet and in accordance with the rest of the Quranic verses, which state that the disbelievers will not be rewarded in the afterlife...

Allah then revealed the following verse about a group of people who thought that they are not rewarded for any small goodness they do nor punished for any small evil they commit, and so Allah urged them to do acts of goodness even if they are small and warned them against acts of evil even if they are small acts: (And whoso doeth good an atom’s weight) the weight of the smallest ant (will see it then) in his register and then will be happy with it; it is also said: the believer sees his works in the Hereafter while the disbeliever sees his works in the life of the world, (Tanwr al-Miqbs min Tafsr Ibn ‘Abbs, Commentary on Surah 99:7, Source)

So as we see, the reward of the disbelievers is in this life. They can enjoy the pleasures of this life, but no reward will be given to them in the next life.

Jochen Katz said:

Apart from this very general statement in S. 99:7, the Qur'an also gives Jews and Christians an explicit promise of reward for their good deeds:

Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. S. 2:62 Al-Hilali & Khan

This passage promises even more. "No fear" and "nor shall they grieve" can only mean that they will go to Paradise and not to Hell, which is even more than a certain reward for some good deeds.

Just as there are plenty of Muslims who do not truly believe and do not live according to the rules of Islam, so there are plenty of people who consider themselves to be Jews or Christians but do not truly believe in the teachings of the Bible nor live according to its moral standards. Therefore it makes sense that the Qur'an specifies some minimum requirements: (1) Belief in Allah, (2) belief in the Last Day (the Final Judgment), and (3) doing righteous good deeds. Whoever meets those three requirements among those who are either Muslims, Jews, Christians or Sabians, they shall have their reward for their good deeds. Even more, they shall not have any fear or a need to grieve in regard to the life to come.

The very fact that this verse is formulated as it is, presupposes that — according to the Qur'an — Jews and Christians believe in the same God as the Muslims. The conditions (1) - (3) merely emphasize that this promise holds only for those who are serious about their faith and live according to the teachings of their scriptures. People of religions that worship other gods are not included. 

My Response:

This statement by Ibn `Abbas indicates that Allah does not accept any deed or work from anyone, unless it conforms to the Law of Muhammad that is, after Allah sent Muhammad . Before that, every person who followed the guidance of his own Prophet was on the correct path, following the correct guidance and was saved. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Commentary on Surah 2:62, Source

 

The faith of the Jews were those who stuck to the teachings of the Torah and the Sunnah of Moses until Jesus came. When Jesus came those who used to stick to the teachings of the Torah and followed the Sunnah of Moses and if he did not leave it and follow Jesus then he was in the wrong. And the faith of the Christians are those who stuck to the teachings of the Gospel and the Sharia of Jesus was a believer acceptable by Him (God) until Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) came so those who don't follow Muhammad (PBUH) and let go of what they followed from the teachings of Jesus and the Gospel are in the wrong. (Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Commentary on Surah 2:62, Source

 

So Surah 2:62 are talking about those TRUE Christians and Jews that stuck to the TRUE teachings of the previous Prophets and the true uncorrupted revelations of God. 

Read this for further elaboration.

Jochen Katz said:

Add to this the specific statement:

And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong, and say (to them): "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our Ilah (God) and your Ilah (God) is One (i.e. Allah), and to Him we have submitted (as Muslims)." S. 29:46 Al-Hilali & Khan

My Response:

Well I don't see any problem with this verse. Indeed our God is one, whether you acknowledge him or not. However, do not forget the call that Muslims are commanded to give to the Christians and Jews...

 

Surah 3:64

Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than God." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to God's Will).

 

 

 

 

 

Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals by Bassam Zawadi.

Islam and the Noble Quran - Questions and Answers.

Answering Trinity.

Contradictions and History of Corruption in the Bible.

Questions about Jesus that trinitarian Christians don't have logical answers for.

What parts of the Bible do Muslims believe are closest to the Truth? and Why?

"Allah" was GOD Almighty's original Name in the Bible according to the Hebrew and Aramaic sources.

Scientific Miracles in Islam and the Noble Quran.

Most of the Bible's books and gospels were written by mysterious people!

Jesus mentioned Muhammad by the name in the Bible.

Did Isaiah 53 really prophesies about the crucifixion of Jesus? It supports Islam's claims about Jesus peace be upon him never died on the cross.  I also addressed John 19:36-37 from the Bible and proved that Jesus never got crucified, since GOD Almighty promised that he will protect Jesus' body and not let even a single bone be broken.    My question to all Christians is: How in the world is it possible for the feet to get nailed on the cross without any penetration to the bones by the nails, hence breaking part of the feet's bones?! I also added refutations to Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Zechariah 12:10 and Psalm 34:20, which supposedly prove the Christians' belief about Jesus crucifixion.  I proved that this dogma has no truth what so ever and exposed the wrong Trinitarian English translation of Zechariah 12:10.


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